The Road to Hell is Paved With Good Intentions: A Response to a Facebook “Friend”
By: Shane Radliff
March 13th, 2016
Facebook is a great tool for spreading the message of liberty, while also being an impediment to it. Positively, Facebook provides a great marketing forum for spreading the message of liberty, but at the same time, I am compelled by circumstances to deal with the intellectually dishonest, economic illiterates, that reject any factual information provided to them. Yes, some of them have good intentions, and they appear to care about freedom on some level, so I don’t mean to discount that.
Negatively, Facebook is surely the NSA’s favorite website, as they can produce extremely accurate profiles on every individual, with the added benefit of knowing who they should put on government watch lists; according to Alexa’s ratings, Facebook is the 2nd most popular website on the entire planet. To put it more simply: if you use Facebook without using a pseudonym, and/or a proxy server, you honestly have no real privacy, aside from using encrypted communications outside of this medium, such as ZRTP or PGP, for VoIP and email, respectively— you’re just being a thorn in the government’s ass, which I definitely encourage.
That being said, there has been a lot of discussion recently about censorship on sites like Facebook and YouTube, the latter of whom, according to Alexa, is the 3rd most popular website on the entire planet, so any concerns about censorship on either of these sites are far from trivial. I absolutely disagree with the censorship and the reasoning behind it, but these are private companies and they can do whatever they wish. When it comes to Facebook, they do control the terms of service (as does YouTube), and if someone is in violation of their (more than likely) arbitrary standards, they have the right to sanction them. When it comes to YouTube, it’s a little more complex, as the censorship is a little more blatant—channels have been shut down with no reasoning of any violation provided, and the disputes sometimes ignored, besides the abusive use of false DMCA claims, which is inherently based on copyright laws.
Now that we’ve analyzed the nature of social media, I would like to discuss a message that I received tonight from someone who I’ve been friends with on Facebook for quite some time. We had a short dialogue and I knew that our exchange could be useful in further promoting the cause of liberty. I asked him if I could do so, and he consented; that being said, I won’t provide his name out of respect for his privacy.
Here was the initial message:
Please share in your own words or simply by sharing what I’ve got to say. If influenced correctly it will become the first building block to what is to come.
Get this out there for everyone to read. People doing this will create the very foundation I intend to use to get things started.
If we wish to come out as victors, we must start understanding why the nation is in turmoil.
The family and the nation come hand in hand. You can have a successful family without a successful nation, yes, but how long will that family survive on its own? This is where the successful nation comes into play. The successful nation supported by successful united families makes for a great nation in general. Possibly the greatest due to the support is solely dependent on the self-reliant families cooperating to keep the nation great. If one or a few families become the elites of the one nation the greatness of that nation will begin to fade. Since the dependence begins to be solely dedicated on those few families. This causes the wealth, resources, and wellbeing to be placed in the hands of these few families rather the entire nation. The nation is in turmoil because of our own selfishness. We have forgotten the very foundation of a successful nation is to have the families of the nation to work amongst one another to support not only one another but the very foundation of the nation itself. Our nation crumbles because our nation is not dependent on all of our families but instead reliant on a few selfish families who wish to possess everything the nation possesses. Even if it means running them dry so no other can obtain them.
This is why we must not only prepare for our own families but for the nation as well. These few families only care about their family alone. The nation is dying, not the family. Your family may live on but be aware the nation will die. All your family needs to do is prepare a small source that is dedicated to be used for trade. Do not be selfish and keep all the best for yourself for this does not preserve or protect anything but your family alone. Learn skills in which will be useful and expect to teach these skills to not only your children but to all our children willing to learn. This is what our nation lacks and this is the starting point to preserving and protecting the greatness of our great nation.
Any problems contact me personally and we will discuss, like civilized individuals. Thank you, =M=
The first thing that I will mention, is that he is a free thinking individual. He actually remains open to an intellectual discussion, unlike a lot of folks, which is something I truly respect. Since some of these refutations will be extended, we decided it would be best that this become an article, rather than a simple Facebook discussion. That being said, let’s get started.
In the second and fourth sentences of his response, he references “building blocks” and “foundations” for the idea of liberty. The only contention I have with this, is that the idea of liberty has been in existence for a long time. For one example, the furthest back that I can personally document, let’s look at a quote from Etienne de la Boétie’s book, The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, published in 1553:
“Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces.”
The point I’m making here is that the idea of liberty has been around for quite a long time—far before the Constitution was ratified in 1787. Early on in history, there are traces of it and it has continued to progress—through Plato’s Republic, through Ancient Rome, through the Magna Carta. The further we progress through history, the greater the respect for person and property (to put it simply, self-ownership through the lens of the non-aggression principle). Even Tea Partiers and conservatives will proclaim that point—yes, their actions and advocacy may prove differently, but I think their positions come from a place of willful ignorance—for that reason, I’m glad there are some libertarians that have the patience to go educate these statists at Republican and Democratic debates, because I just couldn’t do it—division of labor is a good thing!
The next contention I have with this post is the continuous, almost redundant use, of the term “nation”. As per the Trivium method, it’s important to define our terms, to limit any possible confusion. Let’s take a look at a couple legal definitions.
“A people, or aggregation of men, existing in the form of an organized jural society, inhabiting a distinct portion of the earth, speaking the same language, using the same, customs, possessing historic continuity, and distinguished from other like groups by their racial origin and characteristics, and generally, but not necessarily, living under the same government and sovereignty.”
“A body politic or society of men united together for the purpose of promoting their mutual safety and advantage by their combined strength, occupying a definite territory and politically organized under one government.”
His definition of “nation”:
“The united families, communities, and individuals working together to support not only one another but any other who is part of the nation. That’s what I mean by nation.”
We will analyze both, but considering the fact that Black’s Law Dictionary is the most used in the United States, we will focus more of our attention on that.
The first contention I have is the “organized jural society,” which is certainly a reference to the monopolistic adjudication services (not to mention, the monopolist BAR attorneys) that plague victimless offenders today—that ranges from Charles Dyer, to Adam Kokesh, all the way to the more recent Malheur Wildlife Refuge occupiers.
To continue, the rest of that definition essentially puts this geographical location known as “America” out of contention as being recognized as a nation—“America”, the boiling pot—consisting of a number of customs, historical backgrounds, and also a recognizable variance when it comes to race and origin.
According to Black’s Law definition, “America” is not a nation.
Thankfully, Ballantine’s is more succinct. According to that definition, I think it is safe to say that America IS a nation, under those characteristics, if you don’t count the violent authoritarians, such as the social justice warriors (SJW)—they do not promote mutual safety and advantage. Rather, they promote their elevation in society by the use of force, whether it be committed by themselves, or by government.
As far as for his definition, it is, unfortunately, quite vague, although I can appreciate the emphasis on the individual and also mutual aid.
Now that I’ve pointed out a couple points of contention, it’s worth mentioning something that I certainly agree with him on. That is, the destruction of the family. Most libertarians will recognize the dangers of child protective services (CPS), but for me it’s deeper. As far as grievances go, the sheer existence of the CPS is a real one, and as a matter of course, it tears families apart; the parents have to spend thousands of dollars in court, when the cards are already stacked against them, and the chances of them getting their children back are usually slim to none.
Additionally, I attribute the destruction of the family to the demoralization of society. One of those aspects is abortion, especially when it’s coercively funded through taxation instead of being a private cost of the (formerly?) expecting parents. Although, when it comes to natural rights, as Murray Rothbard succinctly explained in his book, The Ethics of Liberty, my opinion doesn’t matter, unless ostracism and boycotts are utilized by others to deter, what I personally consider, to be a morally decrepit activity.
The public schools are also worth a mention here. When children spend over 15,000 hours a year in the indoctrination camps, they will surely be influenced by unethical practices of the State—and unfortunately, that anti-family agenda is being pushed there as well. It may not be as blatant as in college, but it’s certainly a problem.
Speaking of college, the destruction of the family is being pushed there as well, as I’ve documented in my Adventures in Illinois Higher Education series. The only difference is that the SJW’s are against the very concept of masculinity, and oppose the scientific truths that there are, in fact, only two genders: male and female. From my perspective, the SJW’s aren’t much better than the flat-earthers, when it comes to the application of logic and rationality; because of their lack of interest in science and their hatred towards men, they are literally advocating for the end of the human race, given that reproduction is necessary, despite their prejudice against so called “breeders”.
Back to the message, my Fascistbook “friend” references the accumulation of resources by a few families, and that if the family aspect is diminished (as it has been), that will lead to bad outcomes. I don’t disagree, but there is one methodological approach being left out, and that is agorism. Agorists profit and make use of the scarce resources, in spite of the State and the corporate interests that exist because of it. Rather than the pessimistic approach implied by that statement, I prefer to be optimistic, because I know that the agorists are still operating in the black and grey markets, with no regard for the arbitrary dictates of those who falsely imagine themselves to be “our” rulers.
There’s also an implication of “public property”, when he states that we are “instead reliant on a few selfish families who wish to possess everything the nation possesses.”
Before discussing the “public property” aspect, it’s worth vindicating “selfishness”. Many folks have discussed the importance of “selfishness”, when it comes to the market, including Ayn Rand and Adam Smith; Smith, in particular argued that:
“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest.”
Investopedia provides further clarification:
“Smith’s explanation of the invisible hand showed that through the self-interested actions of dozens, hundreds, and even thousands of people, without any centralized planning, goods and services get created that benefit both producers and consumers.”
That being said, I understand his concern, but it’s misplaced. In America today, we have a mixed economy—there are remnants of the free market, but predominately, it’s an odd blend of fascism and socialism. Selfishness or greed isn’t the problem—rather, it is protectionism and the overwhelming ideological perspectives that inherently violate property rights.
In regards to “public property”, there is no such thing—this is in reference to the clause of “…everything the nation possesses…” An examination of the previous definitions shows that the “public property” assumption, is more than likely incorrect. Tragedy of the commons, much?
That being said, “public property” is paid for and maintained by taxation, which is theft, therefore, there is no legitimate claim of ownership. The nation doesn’t own anything, similar to the fact that the government has no money. Anything that the State possesses it had to first violate property rights, and if argumentation ethics were applied to the State, it would fail safeguarding property rights out of the gate.
Towards the conclusion of his message, I agreed with him on something else. He mentioned survivalism, one item off of The Freedom Umbrella of Direct Action. He recognizes the importance of preparing for situations, and states that it should not only be done individually, but on a community level, much like Freedom Cells, mutual aid, or just old fashioned voluntary trade. Whatever the intention, I can’t disagree with him on any of that. One major task for anarchists at this point, is to set-up alternative institutions to the State, which is what I think he inadvertently was advocating for, but failed to articulate specifically.
Next, he mentions that “The nation is dying.” That is a statement that should be commonly known, as it has been dying since the 1787 federal Constitution was ratified (as was the case, when the Anti-Federalists acquiesced, in order to get the Bill of Rights ratified later in 1791); and, as an anarchist, I hope it does die, since any constitution provides the “masters” with the ability to create “supreme rules”, while at the same time “limiting” its own powers. As Patrick Henry said during Virginia’s ratifying convention on June 8th, 1788:
“This sir, is my great objection to the Constitution, that there is no true responsibility – and that the preservation of our liberty depends on the single chance of men being virtuous enough to make laws to punish themselves.”
Then, finally, once the State has been abolished, we can voluntarily interact with each other without the threat of Leviathan breathing down our necks. As Hans-Herman Hoppe famously said, “After reading Man, Economy, and State, I became an anarchist, or as I prefer to say nowadays, a proponent of pure private law society.”
There are two more points worth discussing.
First off, “Do not be selfish and keep all the best for yourself…” There is another reference to selfishness, and again, I don’t see anything wrong with it. Based off of natural rights theory and the twin axioms of libertarianism, people can do whatever they want with their property and the fruits of their labor. If they want to horde and be selfish, they can do that; but, I would imagine that this hypothetical person would be willing to help others.
To summate his message, the last sentence states: “This is what our nation lacks and this is the starting point to preserving and protecting the greatness of our great nation.”
Initially, the question I have is “What is there to preserve?” Through the vehicle of the political process, as well as the acceptance of these false rulers, there is nothing to preserve. The 1787 federal Constitution is fraught with contradictions, the socializing of war debts, and it set-up at least four monopolies; and when there is one monopoly, others will spring up around it, to paraphrase Gustave de Molinari. Lastly, what has ever been “great” about this nation? It was founded upon murder, enslavement, violence, and coercion. There is nothing “honorable” about any of those things.
I’m extremely happy that this gentleman sent me a message tonight, because I’ve seen similar flaws in a number of arguments. In his argument, he makes the claim that the family is being destroyed, but the premises he provides, do not provide a sound or valid argument. He is certainly correct, but the approach was wrong. He could have benefitted greatly from Occam’s razor, which essentially means that the simplest theory is the one that should be preferred, all things being equal.
Unfortunately, he did not abide by that epistemological razor. Here’s a simpler explanation, set-up as a logical argument. (P= Premise, C= Conclusion)
- P > 15,000 hours of public education cause deterioration within families
- P > Child protective services rips families apart
- P > The SJW’s despise masculinity, and therefore despise reproduction
- C > Therefore, the familial structure is being destroyed
Initially, when I responded to his message, I did so as the devil’s advocate. I asked him, “What is the ‘nation’ you speak of? I’m confused. I would guess you mean the arbitrary lines drawn by political rulers.”
After a few insignificant messages, he asked me “Should it be replaced, and if so, then what is the better word to use?”
From his definition of “nation” (“The united families, communities, and individuals working together to support not only one another but any other who is part of the nation.”), I’m unsure as to what he actually means. There are references to the familial structure, communities, individuals, as well as the overall fallacious entity known as the “nation”.
In an honest attempt to provide him an answer, I will have to provide a few different options:
- If it’s strictly regarding individuals voluntarily interacting, I would recommend the term “agora”, which is Greek for “market.”
- If you’re discussing communities voluntarily helping each other, I would recommend the term “mutual aid.”
- Finally, if you’re referring to anyone who is part of the “nation”, then stick with your initial term.
You can’t have your cake and eat it too—you’re either for voluntary interactions, or you’re for the use of coercion and violence (the “nation”, especially the nation-state). Just as there is no such thing as “limited rape”, there is no such thing as limited violence or limited coercion—taking this to its logical conclusion, that would rule out limited government as well, which at best, is the focal point of the Great Experiment, was only hypothetical. There is no gray area when it comes to ethics and even in reality itself, as testified by the fact that there is no such thing as being “a little bit” pregnant.