Category Archives: Larken Rose

May I Rob You, Sir?

Let’s be civilized about this, shall we? I have to admit that I don’t quite agree with you on this – but we as civilized people should be able to agree to disagree, shouldn’t we?

Or something like…

“I would like to kill you!” – “OK, Sir, don’t let’s be too harsh about this. As I kind of disagree with this, can we talk about this for a moment?”

Today’s anarchistic message from Larken Rose

May I rob you, Sir?Dear Subscriber,

People often lament the lack of “civil discourse” when it comes to political matters, and suggest that we should all just “agree to disagree,” and respect each other’s opinions.

For most topics of discussion, I would whole-heartedly agree. For example, people ought to be able to disagree on who the best NFL quarterback is without getting into fist-fights, or debate the zoological classification of the panda bear without having a shootout.

However, there are actually times when “civility” is a BAD thing. For example, if someone said to you, “In my humble opinion, your family should be murdered,” would you merely “agree to disagree”? Perhaps, if he was only opining what he thought SHOULD happen, you could just politely ignore him. But if he actually advocated your family’s extermination, and set about trying to make it happen, should you deal with him “civilly”? Hell, no. When he decided to advocate the initiation of violence, HE ended any hope of civility.

And so it is with almost ALL modern political discussions. For example, almost everyone in the country advocates that I be forcibly robbed to pay for things THEY want. (The Democrats and Republicans differ somewhat on WHICH things they want my stolen money to fund, but they are completely in agreement that I should be coerced into funding things that I don’t want to fund.) While that’s not as bad as advocating the murder of my family, it’s still pretty darn bad. To treat their “opinion” civilly is to give it a level of respect that it doesn’t deserve, which is an indirect way of CONDONING the evil they suggest.

Their “opinion” is not equally valid. It doesn’t deserve respect. Their “opinion” is the advocacy of VIOLENCE, and to treat it as anything else is an affront to justice. I’m constantly amazed how many people suggest that I should be robbed, controlled, extorted, harassed, insulted, and possibly imprisoned or killed, only to then get offended when I call them NAMES (like “fascist”). So I’ll make this offer to everyone: if you don’t advocate the initiation of violence against me (and against lots of other people), I won’t call you a fascist, or a statist, or a collectivist, or a Nazi. (In other words, if you stop BEING those things, I’ll stop CALLING you those things.)

Amazingly, people treat “political” opinions as if they are of no more consequence than a personal preference: whether you prefer chocolate or vanilla, or whether you prefer classic music to rock. But a “political” opinion, by definition, is about what VIOLENCE you believe “government” should use against everyone, including me. Don’t advocate my enslavement or oppression, and then get offended if I call you names as a result.

Again, it would be an insult to justice NOT to react with condemnation and castigation to those who advocate unjustified violence. (Would you tell a Nazi who is advocating mass murder, “Well, your opinion is equally valid”?) I have no intention of letting anyone feel like it’s OKAY for him to hold the “opinion” that innocent people should be terrorized, robbed and harassed. But since pro-tyranny, anti-freedom sentiments are so popular these days, people get shocked when I verbally “attack” them for holding such views.

Well, get used to it. I believe that anyone who actually values freedom OUGHT to condemn evil, no matter how popular or mainstream the evil may be. The only other option is to treat anti-human, unjust, pro-violence, statist tripe as if it’s an okay view to hold. It’s not.

So before you whine about the lack of civility in my messages, check to see if the ones I’m being “uncivil” to are advocating my forced enslavement. If so, I couldn’t care less if I offend them.

Larken Rose

The Advantages of Being Evil

Reality is a funny thing.

It is something that you are supposed to share with others. And for the most part it does work. We all agree that if we walk into that table we’ll hurt and will develop that nice and colorful bruise. OK, admittedly, there might be some that don’t get stopped by a table and walk right through it, but then we have probably so little reality in common with them, that we will not even see them. As a matter of fact, as we probably can’t see them they might be more numerous than we are.

But I digress – this is not really the level of reality I want to scrutinize today. I want to look at that reality where we are perceiving each other still very well, but where one displays behavior that the other just can not imagine being possible.

For me that would be a person with ambitions to tell others what to do. I have a little son and I would really like him to make his own decisions. Only out of pure self-preservation do I have to tell him what to do or not do – like NOT watching TV all weekend. But I know this is only temporary and I will remind myself repeatedly to better raise him to be more annoying by NOT doing what I tell him to.

But then there is this group of people who just can’t help telling others what to do and not do – and not only that, also punishing them if they disobey. You already know, what’s coming, right – it’s the P-word – Politicians – my favorite people. Favorite, because there is something for me to learn. Not necessarily to practice myself, but something to wrap my mind around, to fully ‘get’ it.

My favorite anarchist, Larken Rose, has an interesting take on this and helped me to ‘get’ it better.

Doctor Evil

Being evil has its advantages, one of which is that good people, who don’t think like deranged psychos, can be taken off guard because they imagine others to be like them. For example, consider the ever-popular plot for a horror movie: the kind-hearted soul who, out of pity, picks up the rain-soaked hitchhiker (who also happens to be an axe murderer). Us good folk don’t WANT to suspect everyone of being a villain, and we don’t EXPECT them to be, either. And when you’re talking about “respected” people in positions of great power, then we REALLY don’t want to consider the possibility that they may just be well-dressed axe murderers. But if we are incapable of considering the possibilities of what evil people might do, what kinds of things they are capable of, then we allow ourselves to be vulnerable.

“The individual is handicapped by coming face-to-face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists.” [J. Edgar Hoover]

As a result, when someone brings up some “conspiracy theory,” suggesting that people in “our” government have committed theft, torture, murder, etc., part of us doesn’t WANT it to be true. We WANT to be able to dismiss it as nonsense, rather than face the possibility that there are some people with a LOT of power who don’t at all mind torturing and killing other people.

Recently a story broke – though not very loudly in the mainstream media – that six nuclear warheads had been “accidentally” flown from North Dakota to Louisiana. (“Oops, how did that get in my suitcase?”) Some have argued that that simply can’t happen “accidentally,” and have gone on to suggest that the nukes may have been intended to be part of a surprise nuke-attack on Iran. (The feds say the nukes were about to be “decommissioned.”) Well, someone in the Air Force spilled the beans, and the military higher – ups feigned shock and outrage, and said the matter would be “investigated.”

By itself, that story could be a toss-up: was it something devious or was it incompetence–each of which the government has plenty of? However, several air force folks from the two involved bases (Minot in North Dakota and Barksdale in Louisiana) have since turned up dead. Oh, and that was all “accidental” too. The following link lists those who have died, with links to the “mainstream” stories about the deaths.

Now, there are two ways people can react to all this:

  1. Um, it must just be coincidence–are you alleging some sort of conspiracy!? Are you saying OUR government would kill Air Force people!?!!?!
  2. There is no way that’s a coincidence, but what does it mean?

The second is the rational response, while the first is wishful thinking bordering on insanity–and it’s probably how most Americans would react. If those in power can kill off several people with obvious ties to a recent, serious “incident” WITHOUT causing widespread public suspicion and outrage, well, then this country deserves to be enslaved.

If people won’t LET the rational part of their brain function, because of what it might conclude, we’re in really bad shape. I’ll give an example, which is pure speculation. I’m not pretending to have a shred of proof or evidence that the following happened; my purpose is merely to suggest the possibility, so you can see how YOU instinctively respond.


In an unheard-of “mistake,” several nukes–warhead and trigger together (though not “armed”)–get flown across the country. Shortly thereafter, several Air Force personnel from the two bases involved then die in different “accidents.” If they were killed – which seems pretty likely–WHY were they killed? Well, it could be that it was for exposing a blunder – moving the nukes improperly – but that seems pretty unlikely. What’s the point of killing people AFTER they spill the beans, especially if they can be identified as the ones who did the bean-spilling?

It seems more likely that folk would be killed to STOP them from saying something. But saying what? It can’t just be the “accident,” because someone already exposed that. Might it be that the Air Force folk were about to publicly complain about the U.S. planning to nuke Iran? It’s possible, but really darn unlikely. First of all, the possibility of an attack on Iran is being widely discussed already. Exposing such a plan wouldn’t surprise anybody. Second, it would be a huge “breach of national security” for a soldier to release such information, and he would be locked up for a very long time (or possibly executed for treason). Third, folks in the military believe in chain of command, and pride themselves on their loyalty to “authority”–it takes a LOT to have them disobey orders. Would they do it to expose a possible strike on Iran, which would probably just happen anyway?

So what would make several Air Force folk say something the powers that be REALLY didn’t want said–something serious enough that the “government” would murder its own to keep it quiet? And remember, it wasn’t just ONE guy, and to make a bunch of different military folk publicly “squeal” would take something pretty darn bad.

How about plans to nuke a U.S. city? That’s pretty bad.

Like I said, I’m making a wild guess here, for the purpose of testing what YOU are willing to consider, and what you dare to think about. So I’ll leave you with two questions:

  1. On a scale of one to ten, how likely is it that U.S. officials would be willing to nuke a U.S. city to get public support for another war, declaring martial law, or something of that nature?
  2. What is the basis for your answer to the first question?

Too many people throughout history have naively declared, “That can’t be happening in MY country! MY government – my countrymen – wouldn’t do THAT!” And so they chose to remain blind to the horrors of “authority” in action. And, in all likelihood, the American public will do the same.

Larken Rose

Trusting Bureaucrats – Remembering 9-11

New York Twin TowersSix years after the twin towers came down (whoever might be behind this) it is time again to remember and reminisce. Six years have passed and I still do not understand what happened to the American people directly following this incident.

Let’s see, nobody in his right mind before this event would have put any trust in a bureaucrat. We all made fun of their efficiency and competence – I mean – give me a break – they are BUREAUCRATS. They did not manage to get a real job!

Then a perceived true crisis comes along and suddenly everybody is putting all the trust in those bureaucrats to handle that crisis. What happened there – did everybody – except me obviously – forget what we think of pencil pushers?

We give them power beyond the wildest dreams of the founding fathers. Not surprisingly they do not handle that very well.

I don’t get it – what happened here – we have a bunch of people we do not hold in very high esteem (to say it mildly), an apparently big problem comes along and we think that those individuals suddenly develop super-powers to handle that emergency…


My favorite anarchist – Larken Rose – has some interesting thoughts along those lines.

“There have to be rules!”

Okay, here they are:

Rule #1: People with red hair get to take whatever they want from anyone who doesn’t have red hair.

Rule #2: No one is allowed to listen to music which doesn’t have at least three instruments and more than four chords in it.

Rule #3: People who wear falling-down pants will be shot on sight.

Rule #4: No one is allowed to say anything bad about me.

There, now we have rules, so we can all feel safe now and live in peace.

What’s the matter, you don’t like my rules? Oh, so you didn’t just mean you wanted any old rules; you mean you want CERTAIN rules. Maybe something along the lines of “Don’t go around robbing or murdering people.” (I kind of like that one myself.)

But wait a second. Who are YOU to say that my rules aren’t good enough? I’m the (self-appointed) rule-maker around here; who are YOU to decide that my rules are stupid? You think YOU can decide for yourself which rules you have to follow?! What are you, some sort of ANARCHIST?!?!

Of course, you (and all people on earth) DO have not only the right, but the moral obligation to decide which “rules” you should and shouldn’t obey. (Or, as the radical extremist Thomas Jefferson put it, “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is OBLIGATED to do so.”) We don’t look kindly on the people who just followed the rules of people like Stalin, Mao and Hitler, do we? No, we insist that as human beings, it was their obligation to DISOBEY the rules, when the rules went contrary to humanity and justice.

“The only obligation which I have a right to assume, is to do at any time what I think right.” [Henry David Thoreau]

But how does that fit the idea that “There have to be rules!”? The statement obviously implies a centralized rule-maker, to which we all must be subservient, in order to avoid the supposed chaos and mayhem which would otherwise ensue. But if each of us has not only the right, but the DUTY, to judge right and wrong for himself, and to do what we believe to be right, what’s the point of having someone else making up “rules”?

And WHO should make these “rules”? If we’re so scared that, without a centralized rule-maker, our neighbors would be assaulting, robbing, and murdering us, why do we think that those same neighbors–actually, the WORST among them–should be put into positions of power where they can make up “rules,” and impose them on the rest of us by force? If people are evil, why on earth would you expect them to make good “rules”? And since it’s pretty darn obvious that politicians are MORE malicious, devious, corrupt, and evil than the general public, how silly is it to insist that society depends upon THEM making up and imposing rules on the rest of us? “There will be chaos unless the biggest crook in town tells us all what to do!” Yeah, that makes loads of sense.

Frankly, it’s a self-contradictory, insane “solution” that EVERY statist–everyone who believes in “government,” however limited– MUST believe in: that as mere mortal individuals, human beings will be selfish, violent and vicious, but when put into positions of great power, will suddenly be benign, wise, and just.

“If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race?” [Frederic Bastiat]

“If man is not fit to govern himself, how can he be fit to govern someone else?” [James Madison]

What makes such a notion even more looney is how obviously and constantly history shows the exact opposite: people who are imagined to have the right to rule (i.e., those in “government”) commit assault, robbery, and murder on a scale far beyond what “private” crooks and thugs every have, or ever could. (And, incidentally, they usually commit their atrocities “by the rules”– rules which they made up.)

“But we neeeeeeeeeeeed rules!” People who say that desperately want an absolutely impossible magic trick: for an imperfect, often careless, sometimes malicious human race to create a perfect, compassionate, benign system of controlling everyone. They want something ABOVE all of us imperfect humans, to keep us in line. But what is that “something” made up of? Aliens? A giant pink armadillo? The tooth fairy? No, it’s made up of a bunch of imperfect humans–in fact, about the LEAST perfect humans around.

The truth, though it should be painfully obvious to anyone who opens his mind and thinks about it for two seconds, scares the heck out of most people: on this planet, imperfect people is all we have. And since you’re a person, NOTHING (on this planet, at least) is above you–no “authority,” no “rule,” no Constitution, no legislation, NOTHING. You don’t know everything, and your judgment won’t ever be perfect, but it’s ALL YOU HAVE to distinguish right from wrong. It is both insane and horribly destructive to try to surrender your own, personal judgment, in favor of obedience to some “authority.”

“But someone has to be in charge!”

Yes, and it’s you. You’re in charge. It’s up to YOU to decide what is right, and to decide what to do about it. No one is above you. Attempting to surrender your own moral judgment over to some “authority” is not only the ultimate act of cowardice, it is a sign of insanity–it is an attempt to rid yourself of that which makes you human: your free will. It is an attempt to shirk your responsibility to think, to judge, and to act; it is an attempt to reduce yourself to an unthinking slave, a mere tool of someone else (usually someone really nasty).

Sadly, people by the billions do it–choosing obedience over thought–and they do it with pride. And then they wonder why the outcome is so horrible. Yes, there are “rules” humans should live by, and most of the time they are in direct conflict with the “rules” which come from politicians and other pretended “authorities.” If you shirk your personal duty to discover and judge for YOURSELF what the true, legitimate “rules” are, then you are a coward of the highest order, and a traitor to humanity.

Have a nice day.

Larken Rose

South Carolina Teen Queen for President

By now it is probably difficult to not have heard about that Teen USA beauty pageant in which Miss South Carolina answered the question of why one-fifth of the US population can’t locate the US on a world map in the most amazing and embarrassing fashion.

This fact alone in itself is not necessarily news-worthy – even though some might think so – but then, by comes Larken Rose and compares this pretty girl’s dribble with the dribble that is usually called political speech.

And that was news for me!

I probably could paraphrase Larken’s words but I just love his writing style and as he has given permission to do with his newsletters as I please – – so I just post it here.

My Fellow Americans,

Much amusement has been had over the recent incoherent, air-headed ramblings of Miss South Carolina during the recent Miss Teen USA pageant. (Actually, I feel a little sorry for her, since I highly doubt that her profound cluelessness was entirely her own doing. Usually it takes a lot of co-conspirators — teachers, parents, friends, etc. — to result in such extreme bimbo-ness.) For those who haven’t witnessed the gruesome event, when asked why a fifth of Americans couldn’t find the U.S. on a world map, Miss South Carolina responded with what sounded like the output of a random- word generator. (…[Ed.: here it is…])

Normally, words are used to convey thoughts between people. In her case, the words seemed designed to convey the ILLUSION of thought, but without much success. She was, no doubt, trained to include certain catch words and phrases: “I personally believe,” “such as,” “our future,” “Iraq,” “Africa,” etc. And she did. She just didn’t bother including anything in between, which might have formed an actual concept or idea.

But what disturbs me a lot more than that one display of ignorance – – – which is hardly unusual in modern America — is the fact that when people do EXACTLY what Miss South Carolina did, only with more confidence and steadiness, we Americans usually grant them unlimited power over us. These days the megalomaniacs — those who desire personal power and dominion over others — dupe most people without even having to make a half-decent effort. Consider, as a randomly-chosen example, the following clip of Barrack Obama:

Looking sincere and confident, he spends several minutes throwing out catch phrases which, taken as a whole, mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. If I have to watch someone spewing out words which convey no shred of thought, I’d much rather watch Miss South Carolina do it. Frankly, I’d also rather have her be the all-powerful ruler of the world than have what we have now, because no amount of good old-fashioned stupidity could ever do the damage which the love-of-dominion crowd does every day through its supposedly well- intentioned “solutions.”

In his sales pitch for himself, Mr. Obama spoke of wanting a “different kind of politics,” and wanting to see the “change and progress that we so desperately need.” He pretended to sympathize with the common folk who face concerns about health care costs, pensions and college bills, and said that partisanship was preventing people from “working together in a practical, common sense way.” (Actually, “GOVERNMENT” is what prevents that.) He said he wanted us to “come together around our common interests and concerns as Americans.” He said that engaged citizens working together can accomplish extraordinary things, and that he has great hope for the future, because he believes in you. Isn’t that sweet?

So what did we learn from all that? We learned that Mr. Obama knows how to echo the same meaningless rhetoric that all politicians in all countries throughout all of history have used. When’s the last time you heard a politician say, “Ya know, I don’t much care about your stupid concerns. You’re a bunch of worthless twits who couldn’t wipe your noses if not for government. I have no intention of changing the system at all, I just want to be the one in charge of it for as long as it lasts, before the poop really hits the fan and this whole silly charade comes crashing down”? (Come to think of it, I might vote for someone who said that.)

And I picked Mr. Obama’s stupid ramblings at random. The same could be said about the rhetoric of anyone else in government: Hillary, McCain, Giuliani, Bush, Kerry, Gore, Cheney, and so on, ad infinitum. EVERY politician in Washington (with the possible exception of Ron Paul) spews the same meaningless drivel, and it WORKS–as demonstrated by the fact that they’re STILL THERE.

So before you laugh too loudly at poor Miss South Carolina, who merely sought to win a pageant, look how many of your fellow Americans are eager to give unbridled power, over everyone and everything in the country, to people who do nothing more than parrot the same old meaningless catch-phrases that tyrants have used forever. The ignorance of Miss South Carolina doesn’t hurt anyone but herself. The ignorance of the American voters, on the other hand, results in the robbery, extortion, harassment, terrorization, assault, wrongful imprisonment, and/or murder of MILLIONS of innocent human beings. And those same voters have the gall and hypocrisy to laugh at Miss South Carolina. Amazing.

Larken Rose

Maybe I’m allowed to expound on one of Larken’s thoughts. If – just IF – we would become able to recognize dribble as dribble whatever the form, we also might be able to see that instead of Hillary Clinton we elect Lauren Caitlin Upton for president and have at least something nice to look at during the speeches.

Anarchy and Owning Yourself

I believe that anarchy is a scary thing for many people. But if we look at some of the dictionary definitions we are getting a bit smarter.

One definition we find here is simply “a state of society without government or law.” This is pretty neural.

But then we also have “political and social disorder due to the absence of governmental control.” This is a rather interesting definition for a dictionary because it packs the conclusion that there will be disorder if there is no government control. This definition surely reflects the idea of many members of our species, so maybe the definition has a place in a dictionary.

Another definition is a bit more matter of fact: “a theory that regards the absence of all direct or coercive government as a political ideal and that proposes the cooperative and voluntary association of individuals and groups as the principal mode of organized society.”

The wildest one, and the one that probably most of us have in mind: “confusion; chaos; disorder.”

As my son is growing up fast and it seems time to put this seed of criticism of government into his heart. Recently I had noticed the need to really question what this government is actually good for.

Do I need it to put up stop signs on each intersection in our very quiet neighborhood with no accidents? No, not really, it just makes me use more gas because I have to stop the car completely and then accelerate again while before I could just roll slowly by that intersection. But then again, I suppose somebody had some money left in his budget and needed to get rid of it otherwise it would be cut the next year – or something to that effect.

And when I was thinking about all those interesting aspects of government versus no government, who comes to the rescue?

Larken Rose!

I have posted several of his email letters here on these pages (with his permission) and I just have to do this again. It will be lengthy as even Larken had divided his thoughts on the subject into three parts, but I will put them all together here in one post for you to enjoy.

The series of his email letters carries the title:

Opening the Cage – Part 1:

Dear Subscriber,

If one accepts the fundamental truth that each of us owns himself, and ponders all the things which logically follow from that simple concept, the way the world looks suddenly changes drastically. Concepts like “government,” “law,” “authority,” “countries,” and so on, fall apart like a house of cards. Because that scares the heck out of people, however, many go to great lengths to DENY that they own themselves. The ramifications are just too weird, and too scary, for most people to even think about.

Here is just one example:

I own me. Imagine that the me I own is standing ten feet south of the border between Montana and Canada, looking at the nifty scenery. While I stand there, some people way over in Washington think they have the RIGHT to rule me: to impose taxes, regulations, commands, requirements, prohibitions, and so on, which (they think) I am obligated to obey. But I own me, and they don’t, so I have exactly ZERO obligation to obey any of their proclamations and legislation.

(I do, however, have an obligation to refrain from doing anything which would impinge upon someone ELSE’S self-ownership, such as robbing, defrauding, murdering, vandalizing, assaulting, and so on. But that obligation does not come from any “legislation,” nor could any “law” or “rule” alter that obligation one bit.)

Now, if I step over that imaginary line, into Canada, then a DIFFERENT set of megalomaniacs imagine themselves to have the right to tax me, regulate me, command me, control me, and so on. (In fact, they also think they have the right to prohibit me from stepping over the line in the first place.) Their claim is equally bogus: I own me no matter where I am. What I am obligated to do doesn’t depend one bit upon who thinks they have the right to rule me. None of them do.

That being the case, what is the significance of that border to me? What difference is there between one “country” and the next, if I actually own myself? Yes, what might HAPPEN to me in different places will be different (many foreign megalomaniacs are a lot more overtly vicious to the noncompliant than the ones here), and what the people there will think, and how they will behave, will be different, but what I am OBLIGATED to do, and obligated to REFRAIN from doing, doesn’t change one bit.

Some people have asked me, without borders, how could we have a country? I gave them the disturbing answer: we shouldn’t have a country. No one should. (Please don’t be so silly as to read that as an agreement with the “New World Order” fascists.) Today, “countries” are defined solely by WHICH group of megalomaniacs claim the right to rule a certain piece of dirt. Sure, cultures and places are real, and I can see feeling a loyalty or attachment to that. But imaginary lines drawn by people who believe they own me? Why on earth should I care about that?

When I walk from the place in Montana, to the place that looks exactly the same in Canada, what did I leave behind? Why should I feel any differently? What actually changed? Did morality CHANGE, because a different set of tyrants claim to be in charge here? Unless you think that politicians outrank nature, the universe, or God (or whatever you believe to be the origin of right and wrong), the “law” cannot possibly ALTER morality. If I still own me, what difference does a “border” make?

Again, people often go flying off to all sorts of tangents when faced with these concepts. They start pontificating about what we need, what works for society, all the nasty things that will happen if we don’t all bow to an authority, and so on. But again, I’m just talking about what IS. If I own myself–and I do–what possible meaning can “countries” have to me? I might like a group of people, or a place, or a culture, but that is NOT what a “country” is. (I bet everyone on this list can think of a LOT of places in the U.S., and a LOT of people in the U.S., who they feel no attachment to and no comradery with.)

The path to accepting freedom is really disturbing to almost everyone (it sure was to me), which is why most people desperately fish for an excuse for NOT going down that path. “THERE WOULD BE CHAOS! WE NEED GOVERNMENT! DEATH, MAYHEM, ANARCHY!” But no such dire predictions or emotional tantrums can alter the painfully simple logic involved: either I own me, or I am the property of someone else. And if I simply accept that I own me, the world looks like a VERY different place.

The feeling is exactly like that of an animal that has been in a small cage all its life, suddenly being shown a vast expanse of open wilderness (like Montana, for example). Unfortunately, most caged animals, when they catch a glimpse of freedom, cower into the back corner of their cage, and snarl and whimper until the door is shut again.

How about you?

Part 2:

Once again, let’s peek out the open door of the “authority” cage, and see what there is to see out in the world of “I own me.” It’s drastically different from how the world looks from inside the locked cage. “Countries” are but one concept that falls apart once we accept that we own ourselves.

In his autobiography, Frederick Douglass (former slave) described how a lot of slaves back in those days were completely convinced that slaves are what they SHOULD be. Many, if not most, would even look down upon any slave who would be so despicable as to try to run away. To the radical like Mr. Douglass, however, who realized that no amount of whips, chains, or cages could change the fact that he rightfully owned HIMSELF, the world looked drastically difference. To him, the supposed “owner” was the enemy–an evil thief committing both assault and theft on a daily basis.

The world looks very different depending upon one’s ideas about who he belonged to: himself or someone else. In hindsight, most of us look back at that time and sympathize with the lawless, disobedient “slaves” who were willing to break the LAW in order to assert their rights to be free. But most people refuse to accept the same principle as it applies today.

It was not too many years ago that, when I heard the term “law enforcement,” it had a positive connotation for me. The cops were the good guys, enforcing “the law” against those nasty criminals (defined as anyone who disobeys the “law”). However, now that I realize that I own myself, and that the same is true of every other individual, “police” appear to me as what they really are: people who commit evil far more often than they commit good. I’m not talking about when they break the law, which happens often, too– I’m talking about when they enforce an immoral, unjustified “law,” which is MOST of the time. The number of “laws” which simply formalize the use of inherently justified defensive force (such as “laws” against theft, murder, assault, etc.) are far outnumbered by the so-called “laws” which ADVOCATE theft, murder, and assault.

(Warning: If you like your view from inside the cage, you may not want to continue reading.)

I own me. You own you. Every person owns himself. If some guy wants to fry his brain, it is HIS to fry. So long as he doesn’t go around messing with someone else’s self-ownership–whether out of malice or negligence–NO ONE has the right to use force to stop him from frying his brain (though we have every right to try to talk him out of it, to call him a moron, etc.). And calling violence “law” has NO bearing on whether it is justified.

When someone hiding behind the label of “authority” or “law enforcement” forces his way into someone’s home, with the intention of catching the homeowner with an unapproved LEAF (e.g., marijuana), in order to drag that person away and put him in a cage for several years, the leaf-smoker has the absolute right to use any means necessary, including killing the intruder (the “cop”), to protect himself.

The same holds true of the victims of ALL non-defensive “law enforcement.” For example, Ed and Elaine Brown up in New Hampshire have the absolute moral right to use any means necessary, including deadly force, to prevent the authoritarian thugs from taking them hostage and putting them in cages. Even if they were guilty of the “crime” of “tax evasion,” which I believe they are NOT, the Browns would still own themselves, and still have the absolute right to defend their self-ownership from thieves and terrorists, regardless of whether the theft and terrorism is “legal” or not.

Surely I’m not defending the “cop-killer” mentality?! Actually, I am doing precisely that, when the so-called “cops” are the ones doing the robbery, assault, or kidnapping. Despite how radical that may sound, it was not at all an usual attitude among those who started this country. The Declaration of Independence says that the only legitimate purpose of government is to protect the unalienable rights of the individual, and when it “becomes destructive of those ends,” it is both the right and duty of the people to overthrow it and start over. Here are a few other radical things Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration, also said:

“No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him.”

“The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others.”

(In other messages I’ll explain why even “legitimate government” is impossible.)

And when “government” force is used, not to defend those rights, but to infringe upon them, then what? Then, according to me and Thomas Jefferson, we have the right to FORCIBLY RESIST. Oddly, almost everyone agrees, when they’re talking about some “authority” they DON’T worship, but they believe it’s the ultimate blasphemy to suggest the same regarding the “authority” THEY bow to. For example, it was ILLEGAL in 1940’s Germany for the various “undesirables” to hide from the Nazis. Those who did were law- breakers; those who found them and dragged them away were “law enforcers.” And those “law enforcers” all deserved to have their damn heads blown off. And us modern Americans don’t mind saying that out loud, and in public. How about Stalin’s “law enforcers”? How about Mao’s? How about the “law enforcers” of King George III? We dang near deify the lawless, traitorous rebels who resisted George’s laws, and don’t mind at all the idea of his “law enforcers” getting gunned down. Heck, we have a big celebration about
it every July 4th.

How about today? When thugs and terrorists put a MILLION people in cages for possessing a SUBSTANCE, who should we be cheering for? It depends who owns the individual. If each individual owns himself, then those horrible “drug dealers” are the GOOD GUYS, and the “cops” are the BAD GUYS. (If the drug dealers happened to also have committed a REAL crime–the kind with an actual victim–like theft or murder, then they are the bad guys, too, but NOT because they had some “illegal” stuff.)

I warned you, if you accept the idea that you own yourself, the way the world looks changes drastically. Most people don’t like to think, and don’t like to face disturbing truths, so they look for excuses to REJECT the idea that they own themselves. They revere “authority” and “the law”–superstitions which serve as a sort of philosophical crutch to help people not have to think and judge for themselves. Again, they see the open cage door, and they back away from it, thus guaranteeing their perpetual enslavement, in body and mind. (Those people then vigorously and passionately argue in favor of their own enslavement, which I find rather depressing.) But some of us choose something else. It’s called freedom.

Part 3:

(Note: Regarding my last message, don’t confuse rights with abilities. Even when completely justified, having a shootout with the cops is almost always hazardous to one’s health. My prior message wasn’t a suggestion; it was a statement about moral justification. As long as most people insist on believing that the collective owns them–via “government”–it will be really dangerous to be one of the crazies who thinks he owns himself. The other sheep don’t take kindly to those who resist being fleeced.)

Almost everyone is a part-time collectivist. Most people have a few things which THEY want imposed on everyone else via “authority,” but when something they don’t like is imposed upon THEM, they get all self-righteous and indignant about it. Well, to paraphrase (and slightly mangle) the “golden rule,” if you don’t want other people doing it to you, DON’T DO IT TO THEM!

If I go around randomly killing people, others have the right to stop me by force, not because they own me, but because they own THEMSELVES, which logically implies the right of self-preservation. But if I’m not stomping on someone else’s self-ownership, NO ONE has the right to use force to control me. If I want to smoke pot (I don’t), have a rifle (I do), wear women’s underwear (I don’t), eat cheeseburgers (I sometimes do), marry an aardvark (I don’t), say nasty things about politicians (I do), or hit myself in the head with a baseball bat (I’ve felt like it on occasion, but haven’t yet), no one has the right to forcibly stop me. And calling the control “law” makes exactly NO difference to whether the control is justified. If the “government” doesn’t OWN me, it has exactly ZERO right to do a thing to me, unless it’s defending someone ELSE’S self-ownership (in which case, anyone would have the right to stop me).

“Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law,’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.” [Thomas Jefferson]

Sadly, people rarely think from principles, so they play both sides of the fence. Your average “liberal” will holler about his rights to smoke pot if he wants to, and then turn around and advocate the robbery of almost everyone in the country, in order to fund things HE likes (art, welfare, whatever). Meanwhile, the average “conservative” insists that he has a right to own firearms and drink his beer, but wants the “law” to forcibly stop someone else from doing LSD.

“Boo hoo! My rights are being infringed!” Well, if you’re advocating that anyone ELSE’S rights be infringed, serves you right! If you think it’s just fine for the “legal” thugs to kick down doors, drag people away, and put them in cages, because they had a LEAF the politicians don’t approve of, then when those same thugs rob and control YOU, don’t whine about it. Or, to quote a far more eloquent expression of the same sentiment:

“No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.” [Frederick Douglass]

Sadly, things are discussed in terms of legislation so often these days that most people have a hard time differentiating between “That’s a bad idea” and “That should be illegal.” There are LOTS of choices people make that are stupid or dangerous (physically or otherwise)–everything from eating too much junk food, to snorting coke, to skateboarding, to sitting in front of a computer too much (that’s me), to sleeping around, to watching too much TV, to drinking too much beer–the list goes on and on. Acknowledging that you have no right to use VIOLENCE to stop those things is worlds away from saying you CONDONE such choices. But if you want to be allowed the responsibility to make your own choices, and you don’t want to be a complete hypocrite (and a fascist), you have to also allow other people to make choices you think are stupid.

My advice: Treat everyone as if he owns himself. Because he does. Don’t advocate that he be forced, “legally” or otherwise, to do ANYTHING, except for refraining from infringing on someone else’s self-ownership. And if you do advocate using non-defense force, don’t pretend to believe in freedom; and when you then find such unjustified force aimed at YOU, you damn well deserve it.

Larken Rose

The Statistics of Terrorism

You know, if you don’t have anything to say yourself, at least quote somebody.

That seems to be the tenor of a majority of blogs – and I don’t say that’s a bad thing. boing boing for example consists to a bigger part of quotes from other people or stories the original bloggers found in the vast reaches of the internet. So it saves me a lot of time to just look at boing boing and get informed (I know it’s biased and so I don’t take it as the sole source of my data stream.)

After that introduction is should be clear that today I don’t have any of my own thoughts but are intending to quote somebody. This somebody is again Larken Rose, who, in his latest news letter, has some eye-opening things to say.

I particularly like the thingy about the bathtub control.

Dear Subscriber,

I’ve been surprised by how blunt I can be, and still not offend most of you. So far my most effective offending-you message seems to be my message about how the Constitution didn’t work. (Around 40 people unsubscribed after that one.) But that’s still well under 1% of the list, so you people apparently have pretty thick skins. So I’ll try again:

If you live in the U.S. and worry about terrorism, you’re a gullible bonehead. It’s getting pathetic how easily the government and the media can lead the American public around by their emotions, in any direction they choose. “Oh my gosh, I’m scared of global warming!” “Oh my gosh, I’m scared of gun violence!” “Oh my gosh, I’m scared of terrorism!” The general public worries about and is scared of whatever they’re TOLD to be scared of. A particularly hilarious parody of this fact can be found here:

There you can see a string of politician rhetoric which is OBVIOUSLY designed to SCARE you. Politicians are constantly talking about terrorism, and how they neeeeeeed more power to combat it. But, even accepting on blind faith the government’s version of what happened on 9/11 (which I don’t), is fear of terrorism rational?

Statistically, no. I hate to mess up their mind control by citing facts, but the following site gives some basic statistics about causes of death in the U.S.

Assuming the stats in 2003 weren’t drastically different from the preceding years, here are a few facts that you should keep in mind:

1) In the last decade (1997 to 2007), you had about a 1/100,000 chance of being killed by a terrorist attack. (That’s the population of the country divided by the number of people who died on 9/11/01).

2) In the last decade, you were about 170 times as likely to be killed in a car accident as you were to be killed by a terrorist act. Let’s do a little graphic to illustrate the ratio:

Killed by terrorists (1997-2007):
Killed in car crashes (1997-2007):
************************* ************************* ************************* ************************* ************************* ************************* ********************

(So are you 170 times more scared of driving than you are of terrorists? I am.)

3) In the last decade, you were as likely to drown in your bathtub as you were to be killed by a terrorist act. (Where is the clamor for “bathtub control”?)

4) In the last decade, you were twice as likely to die from cold weather as you were to be killed by a terrorist act.

5) Last, but not least, in the last decade you were more likely to be SHOT AND KILLED BY AMERICAN LAW ENFORCEMENT than you were to be killed by a terrorist act. Don’t believe me? Look at the bottom of that page, under the Orwellian heading “legal intervention.” (347 events per year adds up to well over 3,000 in a decade.)

(Yes, I know that using the word “you” is a bit of an over- generalization, since people in different categories obviously have different risks, but you get the point.)

People are constantly telling me how we neeeeeeed “government” to protect us (a topic I’ll discuss more soon). When the government, with the help of the mainstream media, is constantly telling you to be SCARED of things–except for itself, of course, which is what you SHOULD fear–and then painting itself as the solution to all those problems, it’s no wonder so many people think we need it. All our lives we’ve all been bombarded by the propaganda of tyrants, telling us that the world would be CHAOS if they aren’t given the power to protect us. Even a lot of pro-freedom people still have a ways to go to overcome that indoctrination.

Larken Rose

The Constitution – a Failed Experiment

So, here we have another installment of Larken Rose. You might have seen me publishing some of his email letters here on this blog (with his permission – thanks, Larken!) because what he has to say is so on target that I could not have said it any better – – to be honest, I probably could not have said it as well by a long shot.

I had been contemplating this subject for a while and gotten the idea that the founding fathers were not so great heroes after all. I mean look at all these rumors on Illuminati, Bilderberger, take whatever secret order you like, and the founding father were members (depending what sources you have.)

Declaration of Independence

This whole declaration of independence stuff could have been just a power struggle on the highest levels – with North America the battleground. The outcome is actually a society that is not better off in any way today than most other western nations. Simply look at the power attorneys have – in the old country they would have been laughed out of the room for some of the things that are taken seriously here. Now they are the rulers, the only ones with something like a noble title – Esq. All the animals are equal, some are just more equal – remember?

These secret orders take a much longer-lasting point of view. So, these two hundred years to reach total domination of the population, mostly giving away half of their earnings without noticing too much wrong with that, is actually a raving success for the victors in this battle that must have raged on a totally different level than history book tell us today – and we all know who writes the history books.

Today was a very good Larken day because we got not only one – or not even two – but three messages from him. Here is the first one.

Dear Subscriber,

I’m going to do what almost nobody who values freedom is doing these days: I’m going to suggest that you should NOT vote for Ron Paul for President.

So who should you vote for? Nobody. Voting is an immoral act. (I warned you before that what happens on this list is way outside the realm of “acceptable” political discussion.)

Unlike everyone else running for President right now, Ron Paul actually believes in something. There are actual principles underlying his beliefs. He believes in the Constitution. By itself that doesn’t sound particularly noteworthy, except that NO ONE else running for President, and no one else in either major party believes in the Constitution. Not one. They give it occasional lip- service, but in practice they ALL violate it on a daily basis.

Dr. Paul believes, as the Founders did, that the federal government should do very little, dang near NOTHING affecting the lives of most Americans. I disagree. The feds should not do ALMOST nothing; they should do ABSOLUTELY nothing. All the control freaks who call themselves “representatives,” not to mention all the thugs who work for them (IRS, CIA, DEA, ATF, FBI, FCC, FDA, DOJ, etc.), should go home, look in the mirror, recognize that they are mere mortals with no right to rule anyone else, and then they should leave everyone else alone.

I have a habit of making pro-freedom people argue something they hardly ever have to argue: that we need MORE government (more than I advocate, that is–which is none). The difference between dang- near-no government interference (as Dr. Paul advocates) and NO “government” interference (as I do) may seem trivial, but it is not. Yes, if the federal government only did what the Constitution authorizes, we would all benefit enormously. The problem would become so small that most of us wouldn’t notice it at all. A tiny little tyranny, affecting a tiny percentage of the people–who would bother getting riled up about that? Nobody. And therein lies the problem. Remember, the Constitution is what LED to where we are now: that tiny little power grew, as the anti-federalists warned, into a monstrous leviathan.

Let me just add here, if you intend to vote for anyone OTHER than Dr. Paul, you might as well put yourself in shackles right now, because you are volunteering yourself (and everyone else) into absolutely slavery. Why? Because EVERY other politician in office or running for office believes that THEY and they alone have absolute discretion over how much they will rob you and how much they will control you. They acknowledge no limits to their power. They all view you as their slaves. If you vote for them, you are AGREEING with them; you are endorsing your own enslavement, and all that is left is the pathetic attempt to get a relatively benevolent slave-master (which won’t happen either).

If a Ron-Paul-style country would be such a vast improvement over what we have now (and it certainly would), why am I suggesting that people should NOT vote for him? Because you have no right to choose a ruler for anyone else, no matter how benevolent and wise such a ruler might be. You cannot delegate to anyone rights you don’t personally have, and you do NOT have the right to impose even little “taxes,” even minimal “regulations,” even just about those few matters listed in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. And by voting, even for someone like Dr. Paul, you are ENDORSING the idea that whomever gets the most votes has the RIGHT to forcibly control everyone, even if only in a “limited” way.

Personally, I’d love to see nothing more than a Ron Paul Presidency (although frankly, I think the powers that be would kill him before they’d let him take office), just for the entertainment value if nothing else. But as enticing as that thought is, I cannot and will not play a game, the scam called “democracy,” which implies that the individual is the PROPERTY of the state, and that our only choice is WHICH slave-master will own us. If I was the property of someone else, I would love that someone else to be Dr. Paul. But I’m not, and I will not act like I am by “voting.”

Larken Rose

And here the second one coming out just hours after the first on clarifying some important aspect.

Dear Subscriber,

The great American experiment, an attempt to have a system of government whose purpose is to preserve and protect individual liberty, ABSOLUTELY FAILED. Denying that fact at this point is just silly. So why exactly does anyone think that trying the same thing again would turn out better? Let’s take it beyond the slim possibility of getting Ron Paul elected President. Let’s suppose we figured out a way to resurrect Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and the rest of them, and give them control of the government. What reason is there to think we wouldn’t end up where we are now?

Sure, it would take a while to get back to here, and you and I probably wouldn’t be around to suffer the consequences of the SECOND failed attempt. But it would get to totalitarianism nonetheless. Now, I’ve heard people say that what we have today is NOT the fault of the Constitution, but the fault of the people who didn’t value freedom, who weren’t vigilant, who fell for the tricks of politicians, and so on. Oddly, those same people will criticize communists who make the same argument: that the IDEA is fine, it’s just imperfect people keep botching it up. What good is an idea that doesn’t work in the real world? The Constitution DIDN’T WORK. It didn’t keep government in check; instead, it made something that grew into the biggest tyrannical empire in the history of the world (though not the most overtly violent… yet). That’s not to say there weren’t some huge leaps in the right direction, regarding issues concerning individual rights, limited powers of “government,” etc. But it wasn’t enough, and anyone who looks at modern America and still denies the FAILURE of the Constitution is no better than the people who look at the Soviet Union and fail to see the FAILURE of Communism. It took the Constitution a lot longer to fail, because it was infinitely wiser than the short-sighted anti-human stupidity underlying communism, but it failed nonetheless, and for the same reason: it was based on the myth of “authority.”

Many Americans, including many of those I deeply respect, still revere the Constitution as a near-divine entity, and consider criticism of it to almost amount to heresy. In my own case alone, I have seen that the First Amendment is dead; the Second Amendment is all but dead; the Fourth Amendment is dead, buried, and eaten by worms; the Fifth Amendment is in a coma; the Sixth Amendment has been cremated; and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments have died, decomposed, turned to dust, and blown away. So don’t tell me the Constitution worked. It didn’t. Now why, exactly, do you think trying the same thing again, via a Ron Paul presidency, would work out any better in the long run (especially considering the collectivist mindset that most Americans now have)?

Larken Rose

And here is number three.

Dear Subscriber,

In response to my anti-endorsement of Ron Paul (actually, my condemnation of the entire scam called “democracy”), several people disagreed, and in their messages implied that, though it’s an uphill battle, working within the system (e.g., for campaigns like Ron Paul’s) is our only hope of achieving freedom. In the same vein, they complained that I offered no alternative “solution” to the problem. In fact, several people interpreted my message as giving up, or throwing in the towel. I assure you, that is NOT the case.

Imagine you lived in a primitive tribe which, when there was a drought, would offer up human sacrifices to their gods, and pray to their gods for rain. They did this year after year, but droughts would still happen. Then one day, one dude says, “Hey, guys, have you noticed that this human sacrifice routine DOESN’T WORK!?” That radical might go so far as to advocate the “extreme” position that the tribe should STOP sacrificing people altogether.

“Oh, so we’re just going to LET the droughts happen and do nothing? You’re just going to give up? You have to work within the system, and improve our sacrifice rituals to get a better result. I know the system isn’t perfect, but we can’t just give up! Imagine how little rain we’d get if we DIDN’T do the sacrifices!”

The radical dude would probably have a tough time getting the others to think outside of the box of human-sacrifice-related “solutions.” I mean WAY outside the box, like piping in water from the nearby lake, or making rain-catching reservoirs–in other words, things that might actually work.

I am NOT suggesting that you give up on trying to achieve freedom. I’m suggesting that you give up on the traditional, perpetually failing “solution” called “government.” How long have people prayed to IT to save them, and how often has it worked? At least when you offer up human sacrifices to imaginary gods, it doesn’t make the weather WORSE, whereas when you look to “authority” to improve humanity, it ALWAYS makes it worse.

If you see working within the “system” as your only means to achieve freedom, you are VOLUNTEERING to be powerless. We were all trained to think that way: to view playing the games of tyrants as the only decent, civilized way to try to reduce tyranny. How goofy is that? If we need to ASK the tyrants whether we can be free, what do you think they will say? If we’re given two tyrants to choose from, and we ACCEPT that our only choice is to pick one, well, no wonder we’re where we are.

I’m not asking you to give up. I’m asking you to stop advocating human sacrifices. Open your eyes, and realize it doesn’t WORK. Elections, Constitutions and petitions are not the road to freedom. Those paths cannot lead there.

To put it another (slightly cliche) way, the primary problem is not the shackles on your body, but the shackles on your mind. Imagine two slaves a couple hundred years ago: one who believes himself to be the rightful property of his “owner,” the other who believes that he owns himself. The ONLY recourse of the first is to ASK his owner to “give” him freedom, while the second knows he has every right to claim his own freedom by any means necessary. The first is doomed to be enslaved forever, because he has ACCEPTED the idea that someone else has the RIGHT to rule him.

Likewise, those of you who still revere “government,” “authority,” and “law” (statutory) are accepting the premise that you BELONG to the state; that you have no right to be free until the commands of tyrants give you permission to be free (which, not surprisingly, doesn’t happen). I’m not suggesting you give up on your attempt to be free; I’m suggesting that you give up the DELUSION that will keep you enslaved forever: your belief in “authority.” Until you do that, all of your actions will amount to, “Please, Massah!” And how far do you expect that to get you?

Larken Rose

Politican Scribbles by Larken Rose

Larken Rose again delivers a very clean view of the validity of laws and the need to follow them. We are talking here pretty much about laws against mala prohibita (according to Black’s law dictionary: Prohibited wrongs or offense; acts which are made offences by positive law and prohibited as such) in contrast to laws against mala in se (Wrongs in themselves; acts morally wrong; offenses against conscience.)

I could try to out-do Larken by giving my two cents but I think I would only distract from what Larken says so eloquently.

The only problem I have with Larken’s writing is its clarity and precision which is so far out of the reach of the regular – confused – person that it simply can not be understood. The problem of a huge gap between communicator and communicatee is easier to understand if we consider a difference in emotion.

A person in deepest grief can not relate and understand a person in the deepest state of bliss and vice versa – there just is no basis of common reality. This holds true as well for clarity. A person who is permanently confused will simply not be able to grasp a clear thought, just as the clean thinker has no reality about a deep state of confusion.

But then, we don’t need too many clear thinker to bring about change. In principle, if there is any validity to many of the great new (and old) philosophers, it is only necessary to change my own view of a subject or area. My view will determine its condition. So, yes Larken, you are definitely succeeding in helping me to change my view.

Now – without further ado – please welcome to the stage – Larken Rose!

Dear Subscriber,

Is it bad to break the law? Without thinking, almost everyone would say “yes.” (However, almost everyone could think of exceptions as well.) Note that the question doesn’t say what the “law” is–a “law” against murder or a “law” requiring you to have that little sticker on your license plate. The question is about “law” in general: is it bad to disobey the official commands of “government”?

The terms “law-abiding citizen” and “lawbreaker”–the first with a positive connotation and the second with a negative one–show how much we revere “law,” in and of itself. But what are we talking about when we speak of obeying the “law”? In short, we’re talking about politician scribbles.

A bunch of politicians got together, wrote down some command — either requiring us to do something or prohibiting us from doing something–and threatened some punishment for failure to obey. Every such “law” is a threat of violence: if you don’t do as you’re told, your property will be taken, or you’ll be locked up. It’s not a suggestion or a request; it’s a command backed by a threat of force.

Whether we call something “law” does NOT depend upon the nature of the command, or what it’s about. As long as it was created via the “legislative” process, we call it “law,” and we treat is as something which–except in rare situations–should be obeyed.

But why? How did I acquire an obligation to obey whatever command a bunch of slimy politicians might happen to come up with this week? How on earth can one say that it is good to obey the “law,” without knowing WHAT the “law” in question is? How can it be inherently good to obey a command, ONLY BECAUSE OF WHO GAVE IT, and not because the command itself is justified?

I’ve talked before about justified defensive force and the unjustified initiation of violence. So-called “laws” are ALWAYS threats of force, but they can be in either category: justified or unjustified. For example, I consider a threat like “If you try to steal my car, I’ll punch you in the nose,” to be justified. On the other hand, “Give me your car or I’ll punch you in the nose” is unjustified. But either one can just as easily be “legislated” into being “law.”

Again, the simple truth makes people uncomfortable: either politicians somehow have the ability to ALERT morality, or their so-called “laws” deserve no respect at all. Either they can, by legislation, make an inherently unjustified threat into a justified threat, or their “legislation” makes no difference to what is the right thing to do. (In most religions, even God doesn’t claim the ability to CHANGE what is good and what is bad from day to day, so apparently politicians outrank God.)

In short, respecting “law” is utterly insane. The fact that a threat went through the “legislative” process has NO BEARING WHATSOEVER upon whether the threat is justified, or whether anyone has an obligation to comply with the command. None. Zero. Nada.

The morality of murder does not change depending upon whether it’s “legal” or not. The morality of theft does not change depending upon whether it’s “legal” or not. The morality of hiring a kid to mow your lawn does not change depending upon whether it’s “legal” or not. The morality of having a beer, smoking a joint, eating a cheeseburger, driving a car, opening a restaurant, singing a song, building a deck, shooting a rabbit, buying a gun, selling someone a hat, or killing and eating your neighbors, does not change depending upon whether it’s “legal” or not.

In other words, what almost everyone calls “law” deserves NO respect at all. You should fear those commands, as they are backed by the very real threat of violence, which will be carried out by people who will “just follow orders” because of their belief in “authority,” but you have no MORAL obligation to obey. (Your moral obligation to refrain from murder comes, NOT from the fact that some “law” forbids it, but from such an act being an infringement upon the rights of someone else.) In other words, breaking the law is not bad (in and of itself), and obeying the law is not good (in and of itself).

Such concepts, though based upon very simple, basic, self-evidence lines of reasoning, make most peoples’ heads explode. We are so trained to bow to “authority” that when someone says we don’t have to, most of the indoctrinated peasants reflexively react with shock and horror at the suggestion. Why, there would be CHAOS if we didn’t respect “law”! Why? If people respected individual rights, but had no respect for politician scribbles, what would happen? Think about it, and see if you can come up with a rational justification for humanity’s authority-worship and fear of freedom.

Larken Rose

(Whether a threat via “law” is justified or not is also NOT determined by whether the “law” is constitutional. Two pieces of paper–a constitution and a piece of legislation–cannot make immoral violence into justified force any more than ONE piece of paper can.)

The Purpose of Government

I have reported about Larken Rose before and I thought that his last email post is very interesting so that I better plagiarize it in its entirely and let it stand for itself. If you want to get his emails unfiltered by me you can send a blank message to (Update: This was written years ago and I don’t think this email is still active. But the content is still relevant, so I keep it here for posterity.)

Dear Subscriber,

Time for another simple line of reasoning which leads to a fairly disturbing conclusion. Once again, the challenge is not comprehending something complex; it’s letting something painfully simple drill its way through the many years of indoctrination we’ve all had.

Most people agree that there are many kinds of unjustified, immoral force (a.k.a. violence), and a few kinds of justified force (mainly defensive). When a mugger swipes a little old lady’s purse, that’s bad. When a guy tackles the mugger to get it back for the little old lady, that’s good. No doubt we could bicker endlessly about the “gray areas,” and where we think the dividing line between moral force and immoral force is, but for this point, you don’t need to use MY measure of what is or isn’t justified. Use your own. But for now I’ll use an example that most of us would agree upon.

The mugger has the ABILITY to take the purse by force, but does not have the RIGHT. The little old lady, on the other hand, has the RIGHT to use defensive force to stop the purse-snatcher, but she may not have the ABILITY. However, everyone ELSE has the right to use force on her behalf, either to be nice or because she pays them to (e.g., if she happens to be a rich little old lady with a bodyguard).

The context of the use of force is what determines whether it is moral or not. The little old lady’s right to use force doesn’t come from who she is, or from legislation. The right to use defensive force, to protect person or property, is an inherent right that every human has. No one had to give it to her. Likewise, the force used by the mugger is unjustified and immoral, not because of who he is or because “the law” says so, but because it’s an infringement upon the little old lady’s inherent rights.

So far, this is pretty basic stuff. But one little step of logic exposes something pretty disturbing. If the little old lady, and every one of us, already has the RIGHT to use defensive force (though we can bicker about where exactly to draw the line), then we have the right to have someone else use such force on our behalf. That’s what private security guards and bodyguards are: people hired to exercise the right of self-defense on behalf of someone else. We as INDIVIDUALS have the right, so we can delegate it to anyone we wish, without the need for any “law” or special “authority.”

So, what DO we need “government” for? What DOES require “legislation,” if not inherently justified force? Simple: people use statutory “law” to exercise inherently IMMORAL force–which they as individuals do NOT have the right to use–to achieve desired ends. They want “free” stuff, and since they can’t take it by force from their neighbors without unpleasant consequences, they have “tax collectors” and “government programs” do it for them. They want the poor cared for, or a military funded, or any number of other “programs” carried out, but they don’t have the right to FORCE their neighbors to fund those things, so they ask “authority” to do it. They want certain vices and habits forcibly combated, even though those behaviors do not constitute force against anyone (e.g., drug use, prostitution, gambling, etc.). The average citizen has no right to forcibly interfere with those, so they want “government” to do it instead. In short, people want “government” to use force in situations where average people have NO RIGHT to use such force. (I hope most people on this list are already aware of the fact that EVERY “law,” no matter how much rhetoric and euphemism it’s hidden under, is a threat, backed up by the ability and willingness to use force.)

So here is the punch line, which is glaringly self-evident, but is vehemently denied by the vast majority of people. Read it a couple of times carefully, to let the meaning sink in.

“Government” is the addition of IMMORAL force (unjustified violence) into society.

And people wonder why “government” corrupts everything it touches, and why it doesn’t fix the problems of society. Hint: you can’t IMPROVE society by adding more UNJUSTIFIED VIOLENCE into it. (Duh.) It doesn’t get any simpler than that, but the millions upon millions who have been thoroughly indoctrinated into the worship of the state–and I sadly confess to having been one for a long time– will come up with all manner of explanation, rationalization, and justification to try to make the insane sane. No election, no constitution, no legislation–NOTHING can alter that simple fact: the entire purpose of “authority”–the ONLY reason people want it to exist–is to exert violence (under the guise of “law”) which is INHERENTLY IMMORAL AND UNJUSTIFIED. They don’t need it for anything else.

For those who would deny that, I make this simple, unilateral pledge: I will never initiate force against you, or advocate that anyone else do so. I will use force, and advocate force, only when used in defense of person or property. Care to make that pledge as well? If so, you’ll have to first give up your belief in elections, and constitutions, and legislation, and democracy, and authority, and government, since all of those are nothing more than excuses to use inherently immoral violence.

(I warned you this wouldn’t be your average political discussion list.)

Larken Rose

How to be a Successful Tyrant

Finally there is a book that I have been looking for to find for a long time.


From the intro of the book:

Despite the apparently endless stream of “how to” and “self-help” books, one segment of the population still has nowhere to turn for help and guidance: the would-be tyrants and oppressors of the world. The purpose of this book is to remedy that deficiency.

If you are one of those individuals who most of all crave the ability to dominate, subjugate, and control your fellow man, this book is for you.

The author, Larken Rose, describes the two classes of tyrants, the “old school” tyrant who rules simply by force, and the modern tyrant who rules by convincing his subjects that servitude is the only way to go. In very clear and concise examples Mr. Rose demonstrates that in today’s world only the second method should be used. It is incredibly more effective and much safer for you, the future tyrant.

After all, a person who tears his heart out, throws it to your feet, and even stomps on it is not very likely to shoot you, while a person in shackles will do all in his or her power to break free and take back what you stole from him or her – – and probably shoot you then.

It needs to be noted that the setup of the latter tyrant requires more planning and intelligence. But once established it maintains itself and runs mostly without the need to interfere and control. The Internal Revenue Service, together with the income tax system, is the most beautiful example of the truth of that fact.

This book finally brings easily digestible data into the hand of even the smallest dictator. It might be amiss of some practical drills, but if there is enough interest I would be willing to organize boot camps where in the midst of like-minded tyrants we could practice the data presented in this book.

Update: The above was written many years ago, and, unfortunately, this book is out of print, but you might be able to get in touch with Larken Rose, and check with him if he can get you a copy.