A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘Radical Individualism’ tag

Laws Are Irrelevant

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When you allow yourself to succumb to magical thinking, such as believing that society is a thing in of itself, you leave yourself vulnerable to other magical thoughts such as believing that laws are what establish safety and stability.

Whenever an act of violence makes it to the front pages of news sites, a lot of people start demanding laws be passed to protect people. When I see such demands being made in comment sections on the websites I frequent, I like to point out that laws are just words on pieces of paper and have no power to protect anybody. The believers in law then point out, as if I was unaware, that my argument should apply to all laws. They mistakenly believe that I’m only talking about whatever law they’re proposing but their rebuttal is correct, as I point out, I am talking about all laws. After that the believers in law tend to have a psychological breakdown and start screaming about how laws are what makes society possible.

Laws are not what make society possible. First of all, society isn’t an actual thing, it’s an abstraction that lives entirely in our imaginations. What most people commonly refer to as society is actually a complex collection of human interactions. And therein lies the truth of the matter. Laws aren’t what make those interactions possible. The will of the individuals is. The reason these complex collections of human interactions don’t regularly devolve into mass murder is because the individuals will it not to. It is you and your neighbor deciding not to kill each other that prevents either from being murdered at the hands of the other.

The impotency of laws is demonstrated every time a murder is committed. Murder has been declared illegal in pretty much every nation on Earth. But words on pieces of paper can’t interfere with an individual’s will. If an individual wills an act of murder, a murder will be attempted. I say attempted because realizing on a subconscious level that the law is incapable of protecting them the intended murder victim will likely attempt to defend themselves. Again, the law doesn’t offer them protection, their will to act does.

Even if every law were repealed tomorrow, people would still choose to act against those who act against them or others. That is what establishes safety and stability.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 20th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Identifying Yourself with a Group Is Exhausting

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People really like identifying themselves with groups. We have a lot of self-proclaims libertarians, communists, atheists, theists, gamers, intellectuals, and so on. While these labels can serve as a sort of shorthand for explaining one’s beliefs, hobbies, etc., it seems like a majority of the time spent by individuals who identify themselves with groups is denouncing all of the other individuals who also identify themselves with the same group.

Consider the self-proclaimed libertarian. He may not have a racist bone in his body but he may be accused of being a racist by somebody who doesn’t identify themselves as a libertarian. Why? Because another self-proclaimed libertarian has openly espoused racist ideals and identity politics is all about guilt by association. So our hypothetical self-proclaimed libertarian must denounce the racist self-proclaimed libertarian. They might claim that racism and libertarianism are incompatible. They might claim that the racist isn’t a real libertarian for other reasons. They might apply an additional label, such as paleo-libertarian, to create distance between their libertarianism and the racist’s libertarianism. This is a lot of work. I know, I’ve been there.

The problem with identifying yourself with a group is that different people define different groups using different criteria. A self-proclaimed libertarian may define libertarianism as a belief in private property or the non-aggression principle. A self-proclaimed communist, on the other hand, may define libertarianism as a belief system that allows racism to thrive.

As a naturally lazy person, I’ve reached a point where I’d rather avoid all of the work identifying myself with a group entails. And, frankly, life is too short to fret about imaginary nonsense.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 15th, 2018 at 11:00 am

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Statements of Fact Versus Statements of Opinion

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“You can’t be neutral!”

“You can’t be indifferent!”

“You can’t be apolitical!”

How many times have you heard somebody say a variation of these statements? I’ve heard these phrases quite a few times and the frequency seems to be increasing. However, anybody making such a statement is wrong. Why? Because you can be neutral, indifferent, apolitical, or any combination of those things.

People making such statements are mistaking their personal beliefs for facts. Most of the people who say you can’t be neutral, indifferent, or apolitical are really saying that since you disagree with them on something they view you as being in league with their enemy. For example, let’s pretend that legislation that would establish a government healthcare system has been introduced into Congress. Supporters of the legislation are making the same tired arguments that anybody who opposes it hate poor people, etc. You have been practicing medical tourism to gain access to cheaper and better healthcare and plan to continue doing so whether the legislation passes or not and therefore don’t have a preference on the legislation. If you declare your neutrality, a supporter of the legislation will likely respond by saying that neutrality is tacit opposition to the legislation and you are therefore not neutral but against it. Are you actually against it?

The problem with their assertion is that it’s based on their personal beliefs and personal beliefs are entirely subjective. There may be no such thing as neutrality in their little reality tunnel but your reality tunnel may be advanced enough to include such a concept. So what they’re really saying is that based on their personal beliefs you are their enemy.

Statements of fact can be objectively verified. For example, the top speed of a car can be measured with instruments. It doesn’t matter if you think the top speed of a car is 120 miles per hour if instruments consistently measure its top speed at 100 miles per hour. Saying that the top speed of the car is 100 miles per hour is an objective statement since it can be independently verified by others through experimentation. Abstract concepts such as neutrality, indifference, and lack of political opinions cannot be objectively verified. There is no way to objectively state that somebody cannot be neutral or that neutrality is tacit support or opposition.

The widespread lack of understanding of the difference between objective and subjective statements is, to me, one of the most aggravating characteristics of modern discourse. When somebody is stating their opinion as fact, that is to say when they are framing the debate in such a way that only their opinion is deemed valid, the debate can’t move in any constructive direction.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 14th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Imaginary Collectives of People

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There are few things in the universe as precious as an edgy atheist who makes a snide remark about imaginary sky people only to turn around and discuss societies, cultures, and other imaginary concepts as if they were real.

These individuals usually claim to have given themselves over entirely to reason. If something cannot be proven, they claim to not believe in it. Despite their claims though, most of them believe in plenty of things that can’t be proven. As I’ve noted numerous times before, there is no way to prove societies exist because societies, like all collectives of humanity, are concepts that only exists in our head. Ditto for cultures. In reality there are only individual human beings. Any attempt to treat individual human beings as a cohesive group becomes a fiction.

Thus I’m lead to conclude that most of these self-proclaimed atheists are actually theists but instead of, as they put it, believing in imaginary sky people they believe in imaginary collectives of people.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 14th, 2018 at 10:00 am

The Flawed Foundation of Democracy

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Democracy is one of those ideals that enjoys religious devotion from its advocates. In the eyes of the especially pious, democracy can do no wrong. When an election goes the way a worshipper wants it’s because of the goodness of democracy. When an election doesn’t go the way a worshipper wants it’s because democracy has been usurped by a deceiver.

This point is well illustrated by the current political climate. A lot of the most faithful worshipers of democracy, primarily those who belong to the Democratic Party sect, were unhappy with the results of the last national election. They didn’t blame the results on democracy though. Instead great deceivers, Russia and fake news, undermined the greatness of democracy. And now they believe that there is a very real threat to their god:

It already feels as though we are living in an alternative science-fiction universe where no one agrees on what it true. Just think how much worse it will be when fake news becomes fake video. Democracy assumes that its citizens share the same reality. We’re about to find out whether democracy can be preserved when this assumption no longer holds.

I used this article because it’s based on a laughable premise. According to the article democracy assumes that voters share the same reality and that modern technology is allowing deceivers to create a world where nobody shares the same reality. However, at not point in the history of democracy has every voter shared the same reality. Propaganda, bribery, coercion, and other forms of deceit existed long before Cleisthenes brought democracy to Athens. In addition to deceit, personal beliefs and opinions also alter voters’ realities. A devout Christian does not share the same reality with an atheist. We bear witness to this every time a law based on religious beliefs is proposed by a Christian politician.

Each and every one of us has, to use Timothy Leary’s term, a different reality tunnel. Our individual beliefs and experiences filter the way we perceive the world and since no two people share the exact same beliefs and experiences, no two people filter reality in the exact same way.

If democracy assumes that voters shared the same reality, the very foundation of democracy is flawed (a premise that I belief).

Written by Christopher Burg

February 6th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Dedicate the Year to Personal Greatness

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Welcome to 2018. America seems to be starting off the year the same as it starts off most years. Law enforcers continue to act without accountability, the endless wars in the Middle East continue to be waged, and the dollar continues to fall in purchasing power. However, you can’t control any of those things. What you can control is yourself so why not dedicate this year to personal greatness?

Have you always told yourself that you’re going to start working out? Start working out today. Have you been thinking about reading a particular book? Start reading it today. Have you been thinking about learning that new skill so you can make more money? Start learning it today.

While you can’t control the actions of others, you can control your own so why not make yourself superior to everybody else?

Written by Christopher Burg

January 2nd, 2018 at 10:00 am

Individual Morality and Consequences

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As a radical individuals I don’t subscribe to the idea of objective morality. If such a thing as objective morality existed, the human race would have had no choice by to agree with each on the matter. But if you ask 10 individuals to describe their beliefs of what is moral and what is immoral, you’ll likely hear 10 different systems of morality.

When I express my disbelief in objective morality, especially to libertarians, I’m usually met with a lengthy explanation of how a world without objective morality would devolved into a world of murder, rape, and pillage. It’s the same argument Christians often make against atheists. Without a belief in God, they believe people will just murder, rape, and pillage. However, people who make these arguments make two mistakes. First, they assume that all morality must be established by an outside force. Second, they believe morality and consequences are interchangeable.

My disbelief in objective morality doesn’t mean I don’t have a system of morals. As I noted above, if you ask 10 individuals to describe their moral beliefs, you’re likely to get 10 different answers. Each of those individuals will express a system of morality to you, indicating that they do have an established system of morality, but disagree on the definitions of moral and immoral. They will disagree on the definitions precisely because they have established their own system. While their system may be heavily influenced by outside forces, such as philosophy, it is a system unique to them. I, for example, have a self-defined system of morality. While I think that it’s a pretty good system and the world would be a better place if everybody lived by it, I have no way to prove objectively that it is a good system and the world would be a better place if everybody lived by it.

The second failure objective moralists often fall into is treating morality and consequences as interchangeable concepts. While an absence of a moral system may give an individual the excuse to murder, rape, and pillage, they very well might avoid performing those actions because they realize doing so could lead to severe consequences. If you try to murder or rape somebody, they might kill you in self-defense. If you try to pillage a neighborhood, the people living there might kill you in self-defense. Even if you managed to get away with such actions, somebody is likely to search for you or hire somebody to search for you so that their idea of justice can be exacted. Even sociopaths tend to understand that actions have consequences and that can often regulate their behavior.

Socialists and libertarians strongly disagree on what constitutes morality. Even though they disagree on morality they can often live together in relative peace. Why? Because they both recognize that their actions have consequences. If a socialist tries to appropriate a libertarian’s means of production, the libertarian might use violence to dissuade the socialist. Likewise, if a libertarian decides that a group of socialists is a threat to their private property and attempts to use violence against them, the socialists may respond with violence of their own.

Just because somebody doesn’t believe in objective morality, or morality of any kind, doesn’t mean they’re going to murder, rape, and pillage.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 19th, 2017 at 11:00 am

What I Need Is None of Your Business

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I was involved in yet another debate about gun control that lead to the inevitable question of why I need and AR-15. This has to be one of the most entitle and pointless questions one can ask.

First, where do they get off thinking that they’re in a position where I have to justify anything to them? Nobody has declared them emperor as far as I know.

Second, why does it matter? Humans need food, water, clothing, and shelter to survive. Beyond that everything else is a luxury. You don’t need a television, cell phone, couch, bed, etc. They’re damned nice to have but you won’t die with out them. So asking why somebody else needs something is pointless because need is obviously not a criteria for legality.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 21st, 2017 at 11:00 am

Using Politics is Akin to Using Astrology to Solve a Physics Problem

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According to gun control advocates we have a gun problem. Gun rights advocates have been rebutting their opponent’s claim by claiming that we have a mental health problem. Who the hell is this “we” they’re both talking about? I have neither a gun nor a mental health problem.

The biggest problem with political debates is that they rely on collectivism. Collectivism is a concept that exists solely in our heads, it doesn’t exist in the real world. Each individual is a unique entity. Just because they share some common traits with other individuals doesn’t mean they are like those individuals. If membership in a group controlled an individual’s actions, we would never have any schisms.

The political means fails to solve problems because it doesn’t operate in the framework of reality. Using politics to solve a problem is no different than using astrology to solve a physics problem. When the very premise of your strategy is make believe, you can’t expect to develop a real solution.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 8th, 2017 at 11:00 am

When Voting Actually Matters It Becomes Illegal

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My dismal opinion of democracy is no secret. Part of the reason I have such a low opinion of democracy is because voters are handed an artificially restricted list of options and told that that list enables them to voice their opinion. However, if your opinion is that a governmental officer should be disbanded a ballot doesn’t give you the ability to voice your opinion. Moreover, if the people decided to voice an opinion that isn’t on an artificially restricted list of options, their act of voting is declared treason, sedition, or rebellion:

Spain’s chief prosecutor has called for charges including rebellion – which carries a maximum 30 year jail term – to be brought against Catalan leaders.

José Manuel Maza said they should also face sedition charges following the region’s declaration of independence.

When voting actually matters, i.e. when it causes actual radical change, it’s suddenly declared illegal by the government. Catalonia isn’t a unique example in this regard. Almost every attempt by a people to vote themselves out of a governmental body has been declared illegal by said governmental body.

As Max Stirner pointed out, “Whoever will be free must make himself free. Freedom is no fairy gift to fall into a man’s lap.” There is no checkbox on a ballot that will grant you your freedom. If you want to be free, you must overcome any attempt to curtail your freedom.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 31st, 2017 at 10:00 am