"My political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy(philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs). The most improper job of any man is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all who seek the opportunity." - J.R.R Tolkien
Amidst all of the race-pimping, hate-mongering, media-whoring, collectivist anti-gun, anti self-defense crusading, boundless breathtaking ignorance, and general awfulness that was the Zimmerman Affair,  the motto, bellum omnium contra omnes rang out in my head like a shot. A war of every man against every man; neighbor versus neighbor. I heard it crystal clear over the past couple of weeks. It was painfully apparent embedded in the chants of, "stand your ground is legalized murder!" And, "Stop more George Zimmermans; repeal stand your ground!" There is a sinister assumption smuggled into the premise of the government supremacist's argument, and that assumption is this -- without the Almighty Leviathan State everyone would be murdering, raping, and looting each other. I'd like to tease out this assumption in a little more depth, and focus on what is actually being said, if only implicitly. The State worshipper, the one who bows to the absolute authority of their God, is saying this -- "Oh, mighty omnipotent State, while we recognize your supreme sovereignty, and happily submit to your righteous rule, we believe, with all due unwavering respect, that you may have made a slight error in all of your infinite wisdom and judgement. It seems that you, the stalwart of all that is good and moral in this world, may have accidentally overlooked a safeguard that keeps us, your unthinking, unquestioning, unchallenging, ever devoted flock, from randomly murdering each other. The fact that this law wasn't even sighted by the murderer's feeble defense notwithstanding." "We fear that without the abolition of these laws, we will resort back the brutish, and beastish state of nature you found us in, and most graciously rescued us from. We do not desire to return to the perpetual state of war from which you delivered us. Therefore, we, as a collective, have come to the obvious and necessary conclusion that we cannot be trusted with our individual self-defense. It would be most wise of you to repeal all laws that condone the abhorrent practice of self-defense, and we will gladly, and dutifully, relinquish all responsibility in that regard."
"Make no mistake, when you cheer for the people of the American Revolution, you are cheering for traitors and criminals. They broke the law, because freedom is always illegal." - Larken Rose
It is truly something that is worth celebrating. While the masses of people in this country are lost in a sea of red, white, and blue, celebrating an event they don't really even understand or comprehend, I'll be celebrating something else; something that harkens back to the real meaning of the day -- acts of defiance. Every year, just before Independence Day, people who would otherwise claim to be law-abiding citizens, break the law. They seek to defy the laws that prohibit them from owning and using fireworks. They venture just outside of the political boundaries that have banned the use of fireworks except for those who have sought the proper channels; have applied for the correct licensing; and have paid for the privilege of recreating an act of which men were in open rebellion against their government.  The irony of that situation is enough to make any freedom lover's stomach churn in discontent. It is these individual acts of rebellion that bring a smile to my face. And even though the true spirit of freedom is only smoldering in this country, it has not been extinguished. How do I know this? Because men are breaking the law to reenact an event where men were breaking the law. Of course, there is a vast difference in degree, but the principle is the same, and that principle is individual nullification of law. I'm not too sure what drives these law-abiders to break the law on such a massive scale days before Independence Day. It may be they do not want to be told that they cannot celebrate the successes of their forebears in a way they see fit, or it may be just market forces driving the event. In either case, it is certainly something I can agree with. However, I do not think it to exclusively be the latter, because not all smugglers are in it for the money. Some of them smuggle just to acquire fireworks for personal use. Some of them even take their children on their cross-border law breaking excursions. Some of you may say, "well, they're just smuggling fireworks, no real trouble could come of it." In most states that have outlawed fireworks, the penalties can be just as stiff as getting caught with drugs. Further, these smugglers must evade a myriad of state defenses if they are to be successful in their smuggling endeavors. Agents of the state have been trained to catch these smugglers, and they will employ a plethora of tactics to try and stop them. Police will hunt the borders looking for vehicles that quickly run back and forth through jurisdictions. The thin blue line will also band together with their bordering state brethren to help facilitate the further fleecing of these rebels. In the states where fireworks are legal, police will prowl the parking lots of the pyrotechnics purveyors and dutifully jot down the license plates of the out-of-staters. They will then radio in the plate numbers of these law breakers where they will be quickly apprehended as soon as they cross back over the border.  The penalties for these crimes against the state are more than any law-abiding citizen would usually risk in their day-to-day lives yet they risk it for Independence Day.

Note: I use the term (D)ear Leade(R) in reference to both of the parties in this short essay. It's not meant to be confusing, rather it's meant to only reflect reality. A pox on both of their houses. "The state is a gang of thieves writ large." -Murray Rothbard I can't wait until this election cycle is over. I don't have cable TV, but yet my senses are punctured with a plethora of propaganda. I just can't escape it; it pervades the air like pungent flatulence, and it smells just as putrid. The waft is whipped up into a whirlwind when The Unwashed propagate the propaganda by continuing to conspire in the contest that will ultimately conclude with a winner; (D)ear Leade(R). On my way out to hunt, to help feed my family with healthier, antibiotic and hormone-free meat, I flipped on the FM band to fish for foul weather. This brought on a bout of bad behavior because I began barking, and banging my fist. I heard (D)ear Leade(R) blathering on about how his jobs plan is better. The claim was (D)ear Leade(R) merely has a "one-part" jobs-plan, and this could no way create the climate that is crucial for employment demand. (D)ear Leade(R) continually claims that the correct amount of confiscation is the cornerstone of creation. (D)ear Leade(R) exclaims that enforced extraction is essential for employment enrollment. How can we argue? The experts endorse it. As a fella who finds a fundamental flaw in that fatal philosophy, I fully reject the flagrantly fallacious findings flossed...

"Liberty, then, is the sovereignty of the individual, and never shall man know liberty until each and every individual is acknowledged to be the only legitimate sovereign of his or her person, time, and property, each living and acting at his own cost” --Josiah Warren
A couple of years ago my Service Manager came to me with what he thought was a fantastic idea. He was planning to take all of the production hours from the shop, combine them, and then split the hours evenly among all of the mechanics in the shop. My reaction? Instant face palm. For those of you who don't know, auto mechanics are generally paid on the "hours" they produce. We call it flat-rate. Here's a brief explanation on how it works. Let's say your vehicle needs a front brake job. You, the customer, paid $250 for the job, but the mechanic is paid 2.5 flat-rate hours. The mechanic is paid the same flat-rate 2.5 hours regardless of how long it takes them to do the job. If the mechanic can get the job done correctly in one hour, they still receive 2.5 hours of pay. This is still the case even if it takes them longer than 2.5 hours. You get the idea. The hours a specific job will pay will vary with the difficulty level. For mechanics, this is a blessing and a curse. For talented mechanics, it's a great way to make a comfortable living, especially in high volume shops. This is the system that is most widely used by automotive shops, dealerships and independents. From the brief description above, you can see that this system is set up to motivate and incentivize the individual mechanic to work smarter and faster. My goal every day as a mechanic is to "turn" 1.5 hours for every hour I'm actually at work. This would mean that I would be working on my next vehicle while still getting paid on the last vehicle. That's really the goal of any flat-rate technician. The faster a mechanic is able to get the vehicles in and out, the more money they will make. This is beneficial for both parties in the employer and employee relationship. The employer doesn't necessarily pay the mechanic on hours clocked, only hours turned. There's been days where I've been at work for 10 hours, but I've only made 3 hours. When there isn't vehicle on my lift, I'm not getting paid. The overhead  costs of employing a flat-rate mechanic tend to be relatively low. Also, the employer knows that a mechanic is less likely to slack off and just leave a car sitting in their bay all day long. The manager knows that the mechanic would be wasting their own time as well as the company's time. This system is beneficial in many other ways, like the promotion of study and education in the field, but that's not really the focus of this essay. To this point, I've just tried to establish a basic understanding of the mechanic's pay scale. From here, we can move on and I will show you why I did the face palm in the meeting with my manager.
When using the Socratic jackhammer against statists, it's usually not more than a couple blows of the anvil before we arrive at what the state actually is--a group of individuals exercising the use of force against other individuals. Ultimately, this is the core of the state's power; the use of force to maintain its order. This is a trait shared by all governments, from republics and liberal democracies, to totalitarian dictatorships and oppressive oligarchies. At their cores, that is, at the foundations of these differing political systems, the use of force is the fundamental premise upon which their theories are built. Only the degree of aggression, intrusion, and violence is varied from the total state to the minimal state; they are identical twins spawned from the same egg. The nurture may differ, but he nature does not. From the political scientist to the everyday statist, they share more than just the belief in the use of force; they believe in the use of "legitimate" force. And that is where the statist and the anarchist part ways; indeed that is where the true socialist, and the statist part ways. The definition of the state that is generally accepted among anarchists is that entity that claims for itself a monopoly on the use violence to maintain its order. There may be variations of this definition, but what these differing definitions refer to are the same--a monopoly on violence. You'll notice I did not include the use of the term "legitimate" in my definition of the state, because I believe that term is used by statists, in academia and beyond, in a completely arbitrary fashion.  When pressed on what one means when they use the term "legitimate" in their definition of the state, the conversation usually devolves into one big exercise of begging the question.  Here's what I mean- How did the state's use of violence become legitimate? Through legitimation. What is legitimation? It's the process of making a thing legitimate. The violence of the state had to go through the process of legitimation; was the process always legitimate? Well, it is legitimate now.
"What to the slave is the 4th of July?" -Frederick Douglass
I slammed the hood shut on a car I was working on the other day, and something caught my eye. There was a sticker on the windshield that struck me as odd, and immediately I couldn't help but notice the irony. It was a picture of the Culpeper Minutemen, and the sticker happened to be a county tax sticker. For those who don't know what these stickers are, they represent that you have paid the yearly tax on your private property--your vehicle. The sticker is placed on the windshield so that the King's Men know to back off as you drive on the King's roads-all licensed, registered, and subjugated. A sticker that is up-to-date will help to ward off unwanted attention from armed tax collectors. As one who thinks it is absurd to have to place a sticker on my vehicle to prove that I'm being an obedient subject, I couldn't help but laugh out loud a bit when I first saw this stupid sticker. Any Riflemen in this area knows The Culpeper Minutemen were a group of men who were formed under the same oak tree--not once, but twice to fight off centralized tyranny--and now they are immortalized on a tax stamp. Fitting for the times we find ourselves in. Last year I wrote an essay just before Independence Day, and I started the essay out with this quote from Frederick Douglass. "My subject, then, fellow citizens, is American slavery. I shall see this day and its popular characteristics from the slave’s point of view. Standing there identified with the American bondman, making his wrongs mine. I do not hesitate to declare with all my soul that the character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this Fourth of July!” This Douglass quote rings just as true today as it did for him back then.
"The most common of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind." ~ H.L. Mencken
How does a person come to hold the belief of absolute nonviolence? What about this belief draws people to it? Is nonviolence the logical conclusion of non-aggression? These are the question that I have been asking myself as of late, because there is a growing number of people within the liberty movement who are latching onto the belief of absolute nonviolence. I'd like to explore this idea, and try to lay out an argument as to why I think it is not only wrong, but also dangerous to adopt this belief. One who believes in, and adheres to, the non-aggression principle makes a fundamental moral distinction between aggressive violence, and retaliatory violence. One who adheres to a principle of nonviolence does not make the same distinction. Or, perhaps they do, but they see retaliatory violence as violence nonetheless, and therefore wrong, or immoral, or "against God" or something else. It is important to note here that I will not be discussing  non-aggression and nonviolence from a pragmatic point of view, rather I will be discussing these things from a position of principle. The absolute pacifist paints themselves into a tough philosophical corner. In order to remain consistent they necessarily have to abandon other positions they hold in order to avoid contradictions. For instance, any concept of justice that involves any level of violence must be rejected by one who adopts this belief. It would be a contradiction to advocate for any form of justice that involves capturing and punishing a criminal; any concept of justice that condones the use of physical force to apprehend and contain a criminal must be abandoned. Likewise, any form of government that was not wholly voluntary would also have to be discarded. It may be the case that the entire concept of government will have to be abandoned if it's not absolutely nonviolent. The only form of government that would be possible if the nonviolent position is adopted is autarchy--absolute self government.
Liberty, then, is the  sovereignty of the individual, and never shall man know liberty until  each and every individual is acknowledged to be the only legitimate  sovereign of his or her person, time, and property, each living and  acting at his own cost.”
~ Josiah Warren
The argument of the Collectivist seems to be premised on one basic point: an obligation. The excuses may be different for the obligation they claim I have, but this premise is shared by Collectivists of all stripes. The Minarchist and the the full-blown Statist may be vastly different in their theories and practices, but in principle, they are exactly the same. Their arguments reduce to this: I owe something to someone for some reason.  The tactic of the Collectivist is to try and cloak their aggression in nobility and morality. They may claim I am obligated to pay for the "rule of law", or I need to help the less fortunate. I have no doubt that they may have honorable intentions, but are they good enough "reasons" for aggression? I'd like to take a deeper look at my so-called obligation. For thousands of years the single Tyrant stood alone and his will was commanded into law. Lysander Spooner had this to say about it in No Treason: "The single despot stands out in the face of all men, and says: I am the State: My will is law: I am your master: I take the responsibility of my acts: The only arbiter I acknowledge is the sword: If anyone denies my right, let him try conclusions with me." A look at the tyrannies of ages past proves Spooner to be correct; tyranny is born with the sword and it is kept with the sword, and with the every swipe of the sword your obligation is born. The aggression of the Tyrant is the midwife of your obligation.
We all remember the part in Braveheart where William Wallace is charged with treason against "his" King. Wallace proclaims that never in his whole life did he swear allegiance to the King, and the response is, "it matters not, he is your King."
You see, It matters not, you have an obligation of allegiance. The obligation is thrust upon you, and a dissenting opinion would almost surely cost you your life. This is how the Tyrant stayed in power; by crushing dissent and rebellion through ruthless aggression. A gruesome show of force is what maintained the Tyrant's Kingdom, and throughout history the aggression tended to be thinly veiled in Divinity, but it was always covered in blood.
But these were the ways of the Old World, right? Why would I revisit this bloody past to uncover the source of my so-called obligation? Even though the Tyrant was banished from America long ago, the concept of the obligation lingers on like an infected wound. The banishment of King George from the Colonies did nothing to remove the tyranny of the obligation, but is it the same? Did anything change? Or is it the same old blood-soaked obligation? We have already established that the Tyrant demanded an obligation of allegiance through the sword, but how can any normal "citizen" still claim I have an obligation in a democratic society? The tyrant's claim was completely subjective and absolutely false, but there was always the threat of force to back up his claim. As I mentioned, I've had many people claim I am obligated in some fashion or another, but what makes their claim true? I'll give some examples of some of the "reasons" I have come up against in past discussions.
"Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of Jackals by Jackasses." ~ H.L. Mencken
I've heard many good arguments in opposition to voting. The arguments were so compelling that I adopted the non-voting stance for quite awhile. I mean, it just seemed so natural for someone who doesn't believe in authority to gravitate towards this position; it seemed like a no-brainier to me. I completely understand that behind every pull of the lever, and in back of every check of the box, lies aggression, or the threat of it. This is problematic for me, because the non-aggression principle is foundational to my philosophy. Therefore, I abandoned the act of voting, and swore I would never vote again. Along with coming to the conclusion that voting is aggression, I also had other reasons for swearing off voting. I see democracy as nothing more than a perpetual war of the collectives, and I wanted no part in that any longer. In a battle of collectives, the vote is the lowly grunt, and as an individualist, I am much more than that. I own me, I own my labor, I own my property, and frankly, that ain't up for a vote. That was basically my position, and I held it for a long time, and I defended that position fiercely. However, I try to be as honest with myself as I possibly can, so this means from time to time, I send my own beliefs back through the logic mill to check them for errors. Through internal cross-examination, I believe I have discovered an error within the principled non-voting position. I stated earlier that my property is not up for a vote, and I believe that is where the error lies. My aim with this essay is to try and lay out a logical and factual counter-argument to the non-voting position. I have found that many of the non-voting arguments appeal to emotion, specifically to pride,which I admit, can have the power to win over many people. But I am the kind of guy who constantly searches for the truth, so I specifically look for these kind of errors, and when I spot them I know I have to tread lightly. I really don't want to focus on one specific argument, because many good arguments have come from the principled non-voting camp, and if I was to try and refute every point, I would end up writing a book. Rather, I would like to try and strike at the root of these arguments; I will attempt to collapse them at their foundations.  My goal is to focus on the principle, because I no longer consider non-voting a principled position for the anarchist. As a caveat, I will admit, I do find a difference between the statist voter, and the principled anarchist voter, as one could be considered offensive and one could be considered defensive. One is based in the destruction of property rights, one struggles to preserve property rights. I don't need to tell you which position the statist holds.
"Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men." ~ Henry David Thoreau

  Chattel slavery abolitionists stood in defiance of slavery. They argued that men do not have the moral right to own other men, and of course they were correct. The truth was on their side, and it was only a matter of time before the morality of the rest of the population caught up. Now, chattel slavery is seen as universally wrong, and the fact that this abhorrent institution existed for so long has left one hell of a scar on the moral history of mankind. Despite all of the courageous efforts of the abolitionists, a particularly nasty form of slavery still blankets humanity. It is a dangerous form of slavery, because men have been tricked into thinking this form of slavery is the very pinnacle of freedom. The slavery that infects the world now is more of a free-range style of slavery; an evolutionary adaptation of human ownership. The ballot box is the master, but it is still the individual who is enslaved.  The tyrannous will of the majority has taken the place of the will of the single despotic master. The only civil recourse the individual has against this democratic offensive is to cast a vote himself in order to try and protect his life, liberty, and property. A feeble and incapable defense perhaps, but there are only two other avenues of recourse: peaceful secession, or violent revolution. One only happens when the other cannot peacefully be realized. To wield power over an individual's ability to choose is the same as wielding power over his body. It is the power of choice that makes us who we are. The body is the vehicle for free choice, and when the individual's ability to freely choose is coercively forced, then the individual has become nothing more than an organic robot. An individual's individuality spawns from the choices he makes; it is what makes up his personality. To remove the decision making from a person because you think he is too stupid or too selfish to decide for himself is to remove the very thing that makes him human. There is no point of having the freedom of movement if the individual does not have freedom of choice. Self-ownership is so much more than just ownership of the body, it is also ownership of the choices we make, good or bad. It is also the ownership of the consequences of those choices, good or bad. An example that we are all too familiar with: how many of you feel charitable on April 15th? I'll bet not too many. The choice to give money voluntarily to the needy has been almost wholly removed from us. We did not freely decide to give, so we do not feel the goodness that usually accompanies the act of being charitable. This is what collectivists fail to grasp, and what most social scientists fail to admit. Nothing will fix the problems that face humanity, except for letting humans be humans. I have trust in humanity because I have trust in myself.