I see two extremes in religious beliefs. On the one hand, during dark times people flock to religion for the promise of something better after death, since they have lost hope for something better in this life. On the flip side, people ignore religion, or are too distracted to engage themselves spiritually, when their lives are going well. Continue reading
In the past I have fallen into the habit of talking about the problems society faces, mostly from coercive government. These are real problems of which most of us are aware, and there is copious discussion on these topics in older posts on this blog. But at some point, we need to stop identifying the problems with society, and start formulating solutions. Continue reading
Secession is a Natural Right
Morality is what is naturally right or wrong. Saying someone has a “right” is a statement about an individual’s condition in nature, absent other parties. That is why rights are expressed in the negative: because a right is a declaration of the natural state of a human, and the assertion that another human that disrupts this natural state is in the wrong. Continue reading
My second major work of fiction has been published! A fast paced dystopian thriller, Flight Grounded follows a Vermont man named Jake Evans as he flees from agents of the state in an attempt to escape to Canada after being accused of carrying out a terrorist attack. Continue reading
I often argue that people would be better off without a coercive state. During these arguments, I am put in the position of explaining how the absence of government would lead to utopia. I am asked how this new system would be perfect, while the other party defends an imperfect system. Continue reading
Everyone, especially parents, should read this article by Carol Black called On the Wilderness of Children. In it she most eloquently lays out several ideas that I have been, perhaps less articulately, trying to point out. We are ruining children by forcing them through public education, we are ruining ourselves with a coercive society, and we are perpetuating this destruction every generation.
She’s not glorifying tribalism, and she’s not pretending there is a simple equation that will make kids perfect angels; Carol is pointing out how many social problems are created by treating children like caged zoo animals. In fact, when public education was created, the authorities were very upfront about removing children from their natural habitat, and raising them in a way to get them used to working in industrial factories.
And we never left that model behind. Practically everything sick about our society can be traced back to the systematized abuse children suffer that many consider integral to raising children. I recently summarized a different article with the same general theme, that our society is sick with coercion, and it is literally driving us crazy!
And Carol points out that this coercion is normalized in a public school environment, so that a master/ slave paradigm seems like the only way to solve problems.
But as Odawa elder and educator Wilfred Peltier tells us, learning -– like all human relationships –– must be based in the ethical principal of non-interference, in the right of all human beings to make their own choices, as long as they’re not interfering with anybody else. As Nishnaabeg scholar and author Leanne Betasamosake Simpson tells us, learning –– like all human relationships –– must be based in the ethical principal of consent, in the right of all human beings to be free of violence and the use of force. Simpson explains:
If children learn to normalize dominance and non-consent within the context of education, then non-consent becomes a normalized part of the ‘tool kit’ of those who have and wield power… This is unthinkable within Nishnaabeg intelligence.
Interestingly, the most brilliant artists and scientists in Euro-western societies tell us exactly the same thing: that it is precisely this state of open attention, curiosity, freedom, collaboration, consent, that is necessary for all true learning, discovery, creation.
Once you think about the causes of social problems, it all becomes so clear! Why do we think there are huge drug problems–both prescription and illicit–in our society? People do drugs for much the same reason that they starve themselves, behave violently, become depressed, or “act out”: they can’t stand the environment they are in and have no idea how to remedy what has been done to them.
For decades our model of drug addiction has been based on research done on laboratory rats provided with a lever they could press to deliver water laced with heroin or cocaine. Researchers found the rats would press the lever and consume the drug until it killed them, and they concluded that the drug itself was the cause of the addictive behavior. But then a psychologist named Bruce Alexander noticed something. The rats who killed themselves in this way were isolated in an unnatural environment, a barren Skinner box where there was nothing rewarding to do but self-stimulate with drugs. When they were placed in a more varied, more natural setting, able to interact freely with the environment and with other rats, their drug use was reduced by more than three quarters. In other words, if you gave them a life they wanted to live, and a world they wanted to live in, they did not destroy themselves. Or, as author Johann Hari has put it:
“It’s not you. It’s your cage.”
And as a byproduct of our cages, most people end up being terrified by the prospect of free humans. Many people do not understand the world outside the cage, and simply assume it would be chaos. Maybe the cage is a bleak, depressing, violent place to live, but its all I know! The outside must be worse.
But by studying un-caged societies, and the progress being made on un-schooling the “civilized” humans, it is a pretty safe bet that free animals are happy, productive, well adjusted animals.
Political theorist Toby Rollo has pointed out how the forcible subjugation of children by adults forms the psychological underpinning of every other model of political and economic subjugation. This is not a metaphor; it’s a structuring principle of political reality. During the days of overt empire and colonialism –– the same days in which our modern school system was created –– Indigenous people, people of color, women of all colors, and lower-class whites were all viewed as childlike, in need of fatherly tutelage and discipline. And because it was understood that children often required violent “chastisement” –– for their own good! –– it was natural that childlike adults would require the same.
Those who realize how harmful “traditional” education is to children have the opportunity to create a better society in one generation. We can break the cycle, we can cure the human race, and we can set in motion a cycle of freedom, love, and happiness, instead of a cycle of oppression.
There are two basic reproductive strategies nature has taken, with profound implications for evolution and consciousness.
The first, the strategy used by mammals, is to produce a small number of young offspring and then carefully nurse each one to maturity. This is a risky strategy, because only a few progeny are produced in each generation, so it assumes that nurturing will even out the odds. This means that every life is cherished and carefully nurtured for a length of time.
But there is another, much older strategy that is used by much of the plant and animal kingdom, including insects, reptiles, and most other lifeforms on Earth. This involves creating a large number of eggs or seeds and then letting them fend for themselves. Without nurturing, most of the offspring never survive, so only a few hardy individuals will make it into the next generation. This means that the energy invested in each generation by the parents is nil, and reproduction relies on the law of averages to propagate the species. –The Future of the Mind, Michio Kaku
It is important to learn from, and work with nature if we want to have success as a species. The natural way of humans is to cherish each individual. Society does not function properly when elites try to organize us like ants in a colony.
This is clearly seen in economics. Keynesians think that the economy can be designed and tweaked by “experts” like a machine. But this ends up creating bubbles—the appearance of demand where there is none, which leads to misplaced investment. But promoters of a free market understand that there is a natural order, and when human interactions are left alone, the proper fruit will grow—mutually beneficial transactions based on supply and demand. The economy is a crop to be planted and given the proper environment to grow.
In this same sense, society, and each individual making up that society, will be better off when the natural approach is taken. The natural approach is what gave rise to our species’ dominance in the first place. Yes, it was a risky strategy of nature to spend so much time on each individual. But it resulted in arguably the best, most intelligent creatures on Earth. Not just humans, but dolphins, apes, dogs and every other mammal. This is the age of mammals, the animals which cherish the individual. Things will go south very quickly if mammals are treated like insects or reptiles; like expendable cogs in a machine.
Learn from, and mimic what nature has created. Humans succeeded by valuing every individual, not hampering their potential in the name of the “greater good”. The human race is threatened by those who see some individuals as expendable, in order to benefit a minority of other individuals, in the name of the survival of the species. But nature tells us that without the survival of the individual, there will be no species.
An ant colony can benefit from sacrificing some ants for the greater good of the colony. But humans are not ants. The species only exists because individuals were nurtured, therefore the freer every one of us is to choose our own path in life, the better we will do as a species.
I try to play devil’s advocate with myself, in order to always move closer and closer to truth in my beliefs. So the other day while running, which is a great outlet for getting the mind flowing as much as the blood, it occurred to me that there must be examples of government advancing civilization at certain times.
It is practically impossible to tease apart all the factors in a society that contribute to its advance, stagnation, or decline. Clearly it is easy to point to the “benefit” government creates in one sector, while ignoring the cost in another sector (for example corn subsidies might be good for the farmer, but bad for the taxpayer). That is not what I am talking about.
I am talking about examples of government force being wielded so as to prevent a cataclysmic catastrophe, or bring about a monumental advance. Perhaps an example would be Chinese government funded invention and discovery of the 15th century.
Now per usual, I have to remind readers that I still do not believe the end justifies the means. Even if I stole $10,000 from my neighbors, knowing they would blow it on booze and cigarettes, and invested it for a return of 20% over just one year, returning $12,000 to them, this would still be wrong. Even if I do know how to manage their money better than them, it is still theft, and it is still aggression to take it in the first place, even if I return it with interest, and even if I buy them something with their stolen money that would greatly improve their quality of life.
But anyway suppose government could advance civilization, on the whole, without harming anyone in the sense that everyone’s life was actually improved in some objective manner. Yes, already a big what if, but considering extreme examples can help define our philosophy. So for argument’s sake say a government has in the past over a ten, twenty, hundred, or five hundred year period “advanced civilization”.
The Marathon to Become Civilized
To run a marathon in just under three and a half hours takes about an 8 minute per mile pace, and this is a respectable marathon time for any amateur. Now, in order to hit the target time, the best way to run it is slightly negative splits, that is, to get just a little faster each mile. No one is perfect, and most people end up varying a bit from mile to mile, but it is hard to hit your target time if you are off by more than about about ten seconds on either side, per mile.
What happens if our marathoner decides to go out with the elite runners, and does a 4:40 first mile? Well he is sure as hell not going to hit his target marathon time of 3:30. Most likely he will have to drop out of the race because he has never sprinted so fast in his life, and his legs now feel like jello. If our runner manages to push himself the rest of the way after that first mile, we are looking at a five hour marathon at best.
Relying on government to advance civilization is like forcing an 8 minute mile pace marathoner to sprint at random times throughout the race, “because it will more quickly get him to the finish”. And sure, for 4 minutes and 40 seconds of that marathon, it was easy to argue that he was quickly advancing towards his goal. But at what overall cost?
Civilization will naturally progress, and some miles might be slower than others, but government does not get us any closer to our overall goal in any real sense. It may feel like we are rapidly advancing at times, but the hidden costs of that advance are bound to slow progress down later. The monster we allow in government force will always come back to haunt us with a destructive war, genocide, epidemic, or any number of other unintended consequences of allow some people to break the rules of society that the rest of us must live by.
Chinese Versus European Progress
An old article I wrote based on Jared Diamond’s book Guns, Germs, and Steel contrasted the centralized authority of Chinese government in the early 1400’s, with the diverse competing governments of Europe in the late 1400’s. China had 400 foot ships going on treasure expeditions as early as 1405, but when a rival faction took over the government, they grounded the fleet, dismantled the shipyards, and made shipping illegal in order to centralize their power. This one decision possibly set China back a thousand years; but it was the same type of power which initially gave China a navy more advanced than would again appear on earth until the 18th century.
Columbus had a 62 foot ship almost a hundred years after the Chinese were sailing to Africa on 400 foot ships. But even though Europe was initially behind in technological development, their progress was steady according to Diamond.
The story was the same with Europe’s cannon, electric lighting, printing, small firearms, and innumerable other innovations: each was first neglected or opposed in some parts of Europe for idiosyncratic reasons, but once adopted in one area, it eventually spread to the rest of Europe…
Europe’s geographic balkanization resulted in dozens or hundreds of independent, competing statelets and centers of innovation. If one state did not pursue some particular innovation, another did, forcing neighboring states to do likewise or else be conquered or left economically behind. Europe’s barriers were sufficient to prevent political unification, but insufficient to halt the spread of technology and ideas. There has never been one despot who could turn off the tap for all of Europe, as of China. (413-416)
I’m using Europe as a “free market” example because the states were competing with each other. But clearly their power was also a government sprint versus a steady pace. Perhaps the Portuguese fishermen who had already discovered North America would have set a different tone for the new world than Columbus’s government funded expedition, and the government armadas which followed.
Maybe working together with the Native Americans in the interest of mutually beneficial transactions would have advanced society naturally so that we stayed on pace to reach our marathon goal. Instead we are still at mile 18 when we wanted to be finishing.
In my novel, Anarchy in New England, many competing security companies exist to bring crime insurance, street patrols, and criminal investigation to consumers. One such company is Atlas Protection, and this is how I imagine their security contract to look. (I have kept it short and basic; in reality a security contract would read much more in depth, including specific definitions and intricacies of each crime, with much more detail etc.).
Atlas Protection Security Fulfillment
Thank you for choosing Atlas Protection for all of your security needs. If you have purchased crime insurance in a bundle through our partners, Atlantic Insurance or Coastal Insurance, welcome, we appreciate your business.
The Section Your Coverage below will explain what Atlas Protection will provide and protect you against. The Stipulations section will review any actions that would cause us to drop coverage in the event an injured party seeks damages.
Atlas Protection investigates most criminal complaints, however we also partner with Cape Cod Criminology Labs for forensic testing. While we do provide patrols in some areas, those further from our offices will have patrols fulfilled by Northern Watch or Mountain Rangers, depending on your location. Atlas Protection is proud to work in collaboration with New England Security Agency, Corner Cop Security, and Minuteman Arms, among others, to ensure the closest security personnel will always respond in cases of emergency.
Atlas Protection retains Hudson Arbitration to settle disputes with other security companies. We advise customers that although we can appeal decisions made by arbitration, the final results are legally binding and may result in the cancellation of coverage if you are found guilty of a crime, or dismissal of charges if a suspected assailant is found innocent of victimizing you. If you wish to purchase accusation insurance for Atlas Protection to continue to represent you in the event of a conviction, please talk to your Atlas Protection representative.
If you have purchased a Gold account with us, you are covered for daily patrols, and theft protection of up to $10,000. If you have purchased a business account, please speak to your representative if you have questions about the amount and time of patrols, and area to be patrolled. Your representative will also be able to answer any questions about how much theft protection will be included in your plan.
We strive to accurately investigate, and bring assailants to justice, in order to recover the losses you sustain. It is our guarantee that if we do not bring the perpetrator to justice within one year of a complaint, Atlas Protection will pay out a settlement in accordance to the crime. All of our policies will always cover emergency response–including health emergencies and fires–, investigation, and prosecution to protect you against the following crimes:
- Assault on your person, a family member, or anyone you are consorting with, whether on someone else’s property or your own.
- Theft of your property, including items on your person or at home, but not including items left on property that is not your own, unless you were deceived into parting with said property.
- Serious threats on your life or property.
- Trespassing, breaking and entering, home invasion, and forced entry.
- Murder, rape, and attempted murder/ rape of you, a family member, or cohort. In cases where the policy holder is murdered, the policy will stay active through the investigation and prosecution, at which time the next of kin will be given the option of continuing coverage. If you have purchased life insurance through our affiliates, this will be paid immediately, and not in accordance with any investigation, except in cases of suspected suicide or fraudulent death claims.
- All other crimes which violate self ownership, and all rights which stem from self ownership. All crimes of aggression, but not defensive action (in cases where policy holder attempts to injure another).
Stipulations: Your Responsibility
I: In addition to protection from crime, Atlas Protection also advocates for you in the event you are accused of a crime.
All crimes and actions which this policy protects against may not be engaged in by the policy holder. In cases when a policy holder commits a crime, including but not limited to assault, theft, trespassing, murder etc., protection will be subject to cancellation after investigations by Atlas Protection and any other security agency have been completed, submitted, and reviewed by Hudson Arbitration and/or another third party arbiter who finds the policy holder guilty.
In such cases Atlas Protection will continue to act as defense in sentencing in order to assure fair treatment, but will yield to arbitration’s final recommendation. It is at Atlas Protection’s sole discretion whether or not coverage will continue after the verdict, and if found guilty, the policy holder may be subject to a surcharge and price increase if you wish to continue your coverage.
Security coverage will never be dropped because of an accusation alone. Though we retain the right to cancel policies in the event of conviction, up until that point, Atlas Protection will represent you against individuals, companies, and other security agencies who accuse you of a crime.
II: In cases where security personal with a valid warrant signed by a third party arbiter seek access to your home, you must allow them inside, in accordance with the warrant. They must however (1) present the warrant, (2) identify themselves, and (3) wait for a representative from our office to validate the agents’ identity as well as the warrant. Without those three steps, you are under no obligation to comply with any security personnel at your home, and Atlas Protection will prosecute the perpetrators if they force entry.
By signing this contract, you agree not to engage in the prohibited violations of others’ rights, and agree that coverage is null and void if you are found guilty after investigation and arbitration has completed.