Archive for the ‘collectivism’ Category

Why I Detest Donkeys & Elephants

Howdy folks. I decided to display more tallented writings from my friend Ken here. Anytime I post somebody’s article it is from either a message board, personal correspondance, website article, or other. Today we are going to talk about the groups informally known as elephants and donkeys and formally as the two gangs comprised of lawyers, con-artists, and thugs competing with one another to operate a protection racket, as well as other wannabe rulers *cough* minarchists *cough*.  Enjoy and leave a comment.

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Re: The Statist Love And Personality Test

If you enjoyed taking that test you might also enjoy these tests and quizzes:

* The Political Spectrum Quiz – Self-explanatory; authoritarianism is on one end of the spectrum and anarchism on the other.

* The Market Anarchy Theory Test – Great all-around test of general MA concepts and knowledge but unfortunately I don’t think the answers are given at the end or rational for them. But you can email Franc and I’m sure he’ll be happy to explain any of the questions.

* Are You An Austrian? – Fantastic quiz! Given by the Mises institute, you are presented with basic economics questions and given 4 choices. The choices are answers given by a particular school of economic thought. The choices differ on how the Austrian economist, a socialist, Chicago school, and classic/Keynesian economists would answer the question. After you are finished answering all questions they send you an email with the results. Each answer to a question is explained in full detail and they provide some readings to justify the Austrian answer to the question.

I hope you enjoy taking the above tests and quizzes like I did. In the future I may post more whenever I find any.

The Statist Love And Personality Test

Are you a Statist? Is a Statism just your thing? Find out with this short test. Mark an X for each correct statement about yourself:

Take the test HERE

Ok, now count your Xes. How many do you have? You can use the following chart:

40-43: You are statist to the bone

30-40: You are a big fat statist

20-30: You are a major statist

10-20: You are a do-gooder statist

5-10: You are a statist with a guilty consciousness

1-5: Yes, you are still a statist

0: You are not a statist, congratulations!

Property Rights and Public Space

It might be so easy as with a walk in the park that we can reveal the issue at hand today: property rights. Or who owns what?

Right at the entrance of a park nearby there is a big sign saying: “No access for dogs and cyclists.” As many public signs, it tends to be ignored, but this does give local law enforcement reason to traul the place for potential sources of income (fines). Well, what does this tell us?

The fact that my city authorities (the local government) are allowed to set rules to be followed in certain places (like the park), means they act in some manner like the owners of those grounds. Wether or not that right is legitimate, they can act as if they are rightful owners – they can exclude certain people, they can forbid certain behaviour, they can set the rules of activity in these places.

So, doesn’t the public own the parks?

It may seem so, yet, there are certain things an owner can do, and since we are not allowed freedom of behaviour (nor can we, for instance, build a house in that place), it means we cannot act like the owners of such place. There is no distinct piece of the park that we can identify as our own. The structure of ownership is not even that of a public company with shareholders. The only connection the public has to the park in regard to property rights is, in theory at least, the democratic vote. Or otherwise: the public votes for the politicians, and these exert property rights over the parks – “in the name of the people.”

So this means the politicians are a kind of “custodians,” acting in the name of the real owners which are members of the public. The politicians pass laws, which should express “the will of the people,” and so, the entire process looks voluntary.

It would be as if the politicians sign a sort of contract with members of the public, and by that authority to weild political power (and to enforce it legitimately). But what is the nature of this contract?

It’s implicit, says theory. People make an implicit agreement between themselves, which binds them all to some sort of higher authority (which is the government). If it were written, it would look a little like THIS.

What? Hold on a moment! Who is stupid enough to sign themselves into slavery? You are, I am, along with everybody else. We might not be aware of this fact, but we did. I tell you, we did!

This is where theory takes a turn away from reality. In order for a contract to be valid, it requires the acceptance and acknowledgement of the parties involves. A contract does not bind other parties than the signatories. And also, both parties must be clearly delineated.

The first point fails. People are bound to the contract, wether or not they even know about it, let alone agree to it.

Also, everyone is bound to the contract, even if they might have disagreed with the terms.

Finally, it is quite unclear what the parties of the contract are. Neither “the people,” (“the public”) nor “the government” are clearly defined. In the general theory, these entities have a collective nature. This means that they have a separate being, and are capabile of action outside the component individuals.

Now, that’s a rather shakey conceptual foundation on top of which to build a political theory. If collectives are those doing the action (and sign this contract), it means that these collectives are responsible and bound to the agreements. If the collections act, the individual members are not bound, neither liable. If the individuals act, then these individuals must sign the agreement. But they have not.

So the next time you walk through a public park and see a sign such as: “no smoking” know this does not come from the legitimate right of the legitimate owner, but the blind authority of those most capable of violence.

Patriotism Is Just Another Religion

(Many thanks to Adi and Ken for their editing of this article) 

Patriotism as defined by M-W states:

“One who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests.”

That definition is quite an interesting statement. I would like to break down various aspects of patriotism to show that it is yet another bizarre example from the cult of government.

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We Never Meant to Have Socialism

I did a little bit of research on the origin of the oft-repeated phrase: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”

A slogan popularized by Karl Marx in his 1875 Critique of the Gotha Program. The phrase incorporates the ideal that, under a communist system of government, every person shall produce to the best of their ability in accordance with their talent, and each person shall receive the fruits of this production in accordance with their need, irrespective of what they have produced. (source: Wikipedia)

But it gets better, this is the paragraph containing the famous words:

In a higher phase of communist society, after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labor, and therewith also the antithesis between mental and physical labor, has vanished; after labor has become not only a means of life but life’s prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-around development of the individual, and all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly — only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!

Now let’s check:

  1. after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labor, [and also] the antithesis between mental and physical labor, has vanished
  2. after labor has become not only a means of life but life’s prime want
  3. after the productive forces have also increased with the all-around development of the individual
  4. and all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly

only then [can] society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!”

So, after we’ve done away with the division of labour, after we seek labour not just as a means to an end, but and end in itself, after wealth overflows in abundance (think rivers of milk and honey), ONLY THEN can we follow that tenet. Only then can we have Socialism.

It’s nice to know Communists didn’t mean implement their ideas too soon. Someone should have took this matter to the attention of the Soviets. 100 million people later, maybe someone will have the good sense to listen to Marx.

To end this on a good note, you can have a look at one of Franc’s latest article. In which he delves deeper into some of the incentives associated with Socialist systems.

Have a nice day.

The real root of the Middle East crisis

Is it British or French collonialism, American Imperialism, Israeli state terrorism, or maybe Arab terrorism? Who fired the first shot, who threw the first stone?

If we’re going to be ingaged in such conversation, we might as well surrender. The roots of these feuds are so old and so convoluted that surveying them would be entirely useless from the objective in hand. At best, a hystorical perspective can provide some raw information, but even if there is agreement on factual events, the interpretations will be inherently adversative.

The solution does not involve dismantling the state of Israel as an end objective. Neither does it imply concessions on the side of “the arabs.”

Well, what is it? Stefan Molyneux to explain.

It’s not Israel, nor Palestine, Lebanon or Hezbollah. It’s old-fashioned Collectivism. Religion, Statism, Communism – and the unavoidable effect: war – all have one common root cause.