Yesterday the electoral college held its official vote. Leading up to that vote opponents of Donald Trump were urging electoral college voters to go against their pledge. In several cases they ended up getting what they wanted but, as is often the case when you wish for something, not in the way they wanted it.
In acts of symbolic protest, three voted instead for former Secretary of State Colin Powell, while one voted for Faith Spotted Eagle, a Native American elder and activist from South Dakota.
Here in Minnesota one elector broke away from their pledged vote and instead voted for Bernie Sanders. As this is The People’s Republic of Minnesota, the renegade voter was immediately replaced with somebody who voted for the party line:
Clinton, also as expected, was awarded Minnesota’s 10 electoral votes after she won the popular tally in the state by a margin of 44,765 votes. Muhammud Abdurrahman, one of the 10 electors, broke ranks to vote for Sanders; by law, he was replaced by an alternate who voted for Clinton.
We don’t tollerate any of that free thinking bullshit here!
All but two of Texas’ 38 electors voted Monday to officially put Donald Trump in the White House, with one elector casting a ballot for Ohio Gov. John Kasich and another casting a ballot for a fellow Texan, former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul.
So there you have it. Yesterday’s lesson was, be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.
People within liberty circles have been talking about Rand Paul’s potential presidential run. Those of us who still have our sight and hearing intact view his potential run as irrelevant because we recognize Rand for the neocon he is. But many others believe the son mirrors the father and therefore stupidly cheer for the possibility of caucusing for Rand. Like many members within the liberty circles, there are a lot of neocons who mistakenly believe that Rand is just like Ron. When Ron says fun statements it makes the neocons more skittish about Rand. Thankfully Ron seems to be more than willing to troll his son:
“A lot of times people think secession, they paint it as an absolute negative,” said former representative Ron Paul (R-Tex.). After all, Paul said, the American Revolution was a kind of secession. “You mean we should have been obedient to the king forever? So it’s all in the way you look at it.”
This weekend was a crucial one for Rand Paul, the Republican senator from Kentucky and undeclared candidate for the presidency. He was in California, trying to line up donors at an opulent retreat organized by the billionaire Koch brothers.
At the same time, his father — retired after 12 terms in Congress and three presidential runs — was in the ballroom of an airport hotel here, the final speaker at “a one-day seminar in breaking away from the central state.” He followed a series of speakers who said that the U.S. economy and political establishment were tottering and that the best response might be for states, counties or even individuals to break away.
Hear hear! Secession of the individual is what I’m all about. Now that Ron’s out of politics he also seems to be more willing to discussion radical ideas such as individuals seceding from the state. But this talk could cause headaches for Rand since the neocons will believe that he also supports individuals seceding from the state. And if there’s one thing neocons can’t stand it’s individual liberty.
I don’t give a damn about Rand’s potential presidential run but I look forward to the drama if he chooses to. There is the obvious family drama, which really kicked off when Rand endorsed Mitt Romney over his own goddamn father. But the real juicy drama will be within liberty circles as the more gullible caucus for Rand while the rest of us tell them it’s a big mistake. After Rand either gets railroaded at the Republican National Convention just like his father or wins the presidency and does nothing to advance liberty those who refused to support him will take a few victory laps around the track as we laugh our asses off.
I’m an anarchist and I oppose initiating force. That closes to commonly use strategies for enacting political change to me: violent revolution and politics. In my quest to destroy the state I have opted instead to utilize counter-economics, which is a strategy that attempts to starve the state of resources and replace it by creating alternatives to the services is currently claims dominion over. But there is something I like about agorism even more than its rejection of initiating force. Agorism allows me to do what I want without having to give any fucks about what statists say.
This realization dawned on me during a discussion I had with a statist on Facebook. He, as is common amongst statists, was busy misrepresenting anarchy by claiming it is synonymous with chaos. During his continuous stream of ignorance he kept claiming that collective political action was the only way to achieve change (because it has worked so well over the last century) and that anarchists have undermined the liberty movement by stealing people from effective political activities and having them waste their time with strategies that will never work. It was then that I realized something: I don’t actually have to care what he says, thinks, or does.
Politics, which is a form of collective action, requires you to obtain the approval of your peers. If you are unable to gain favor with your peers your chances of achieving victory are nil. Imagine being a politician who wanted to really change things. Your strategy relies on taking away every ounce of power possible from the state and its cronies. You can’t promise anybody free shit because your strategy relies on taking away everybody’s free shit. What would you accomplish? The answer, as Ron Paul knows all too well, is nothing. Politics necessary requires you to give people free shit in exchange for their support. Therefore it requires you to use the power of the state to benefit your cronies in order to obtain the power necessary to accomplish your political goals. If you want to end the Federal Reserve, for example, you must promise to bomb a few foreign countries in return.
This is why politics is ineffective at creating real change. Politics has to be a circlejerk, which means you have to care what others think of you. Agorism, on the other hand, requires individual action but not permission. I don’t have to fill out permits, seek political favor, or compromise any of my principles. The only thing agorism requires me to do is provide a good or service outside of the state’s control and hope others find it appealing enough to pay me for it instead of relying on the “legitimate” market. If my product or service is desirable I will be able to deprive the state of some resources. If my product or service isn’t desirable then I return to the drawing board.
I’ve never been one to seek permission. When I want to do something I do it. If the violent gang we call the state provides an easy way to pay it off so I don’t have to spend time in a cage I will sometimes do it but not always (and I’m becoming less and less inclined to do so). Agorism appeals to independently minded people like me who aren’t fans of begging masters for privileges. More and more I notice that politics primarily caters to thee kinds of people: those interested in maintaining the status quo (perhaps with some minor changes), those with little or no creativity, and those whose political circle and social circle are one in the same. I’m much more apt to tell somebody to fuck off than I am to beg them for permission or do whatever I can to appease them in the hopes they will reward me with some scraps from the table of liberty. The fact that I’m usually sickened by extremely politically active individuals probably colors my point of view as well (seriously, if you try to get me to do call banking for a political cause or politicians you’re automatically on my shit list).
The owners had offered to sell RonPaul.com to Paul but also offered to give him RonPaul.org as an alternative if Paul didn’t want to buy the .com. Since Paul filed a UDRP against RonPaul.org after the owner offered to give it to him for free, the panel found the case to be reverse domain name hijacking.
Respondent has requested, based on the evidence presented, that the Panel make a finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking. In view of the unique facts of this case, in which the evidence demonstrates that Respondent offered to give the Domain Name ronpaul.org to Complainant for no charge, with no strings attached, the Panel is inclined to agree. Instead of accepting the Domain Name, Complainant brought this proceeding. A finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking seems to this Panel to be appropriate in the circumstances.
The panel did not find reverse domain name hijacking in the RonPaul.com case (pdf), but determined that Paul did not prove a lack of rights or legitimate interest in the domain by the respondent. As a result, the panel ruled the domain name should remain with its current owner.
Libertarian ethics usually grants property ownership to the first claimant. If you come across a piece of land that isn’t in use and hasn’t been “improved” by somebody you can mix your labor with the land to claim it as your own. Since Mr. Paul is a strong advocate of libertarianism it’s rather ironic that he decided to make an attempt to grab RonPaul.com and RonPaul.org from the first claimants. Free-market principles would state that Mr. Paul should have purchased the domain names for the asking price or negotiated a more favorable price. I commend the WIPO for ruling in favor of the current holders instead of the more famous individual.
Ron Paul is feuding with his rabid fan base over the ownership of RonPaul.com. Paul wants it, but his fans own it. They’re willing to sell it to him… for a price Paul doesn’t agree with. So now he’s taken the dispute all the way to the United Nations.
But Paul did not respond to their generous offer. Instead, he went to the United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organization to file a 13 page complaint asking for control of both domains. Oops! Paul’s opting for legal action is notable because he’s spoken out against the U.N. in the past. They generally aren’t very popular among libertarians. They aren’t so bad now that he wants control of his own name’s website.
Several people I routinely communicate with have said this is likely the work of a family member and not Ron Paul himself. While Ron has been screwed over by family members before the responsibility of calling off the dogs still lies with him. If he truly has no part to play in this attempted thievery he needs to get his ass in gear and make it know then call off the dogs or buy the domain name for the asking price. With that said, I find myself forced to speculate on whether or not Ron simply spent too much time in the presence of the One Ring. Given time the One Ring will corrupt even the most wholesome person, which is why I avoid the political system like the plague. It’s too easy to become comfortable with the state and even an steadfast advocate of liberty can find themselves justifying how the state can be “Used for good in this one instance.”
In the end it doesn’t matter if move is a clandestine maneuver being performed by a family member or the direct order of Ron Paul himself, it makes him look like a hypocrite and that is the fastest way to become discredited.
Calling on the state to prevent violence is oxymoronic because the state exclusively uses violence, specifically the initiation of violence, in everything it does. For this reason, as pointed out by Ron Paul, using government security can’t prevent violence:
Predictably, the political left responded to the tragedy with emotional calls for increased gun control. This is understandable, but misguided. The impulse to have government “do something” to protect us in the wake national tragedies is reflexive and often well intentioned. Many Americans believe that if we simply pass the right laws, future horrors like the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting can be prevented. But this impulse ignores the self evident truth that criminals don’t obey laws.
The political right, unfortunately, has fallen into the same trap in its calls for quick legislative solutions to gun violence. If only we put armed police or armed teachers in schools, we’re told, would-be school shooters will be dissuaded or stopped.
While I certainly agree that more guns equals less crime and that private gun ownership prevents many shootings, I don’t agree that conservatives and libertarians should view government legislation, especially at the federal level, as the solution to violence. Real change can happen only when we commit ourselves to rebuilding civil society in America, meaning a society based on family, religion, civic and social institutions, and peaceful cooperation through markets. We cannot reverse decades of moral and intellectual decline by snapping our fingers and passing laws.
Let’s not forget that our own government policies often undermine civil society, cheapen life, and encourage immorality. The president and other government officials denounce school violence, yet still advocate for endless undeclared wars abroad and easy abortion at home. U.S. drone strikes kill thousands, but nobody in America holds vigils or devotes much news coverage to those victims, many of which are children, albeit, of a different color.
There are a lot of people demanding the government go something immediately to prevent future school shooting from happening. What these people fail to realize is that any action the government takes will be an initiation of violence against every person living in the United States. Whether the federal government prohibit the ownership of certain firearms or puts armed thugs in every school is irrelevant, the fact of the matter is the state will use violence to achieve its goals. Let us not forget that the state pays for everything it does through expropriation, primarily taxation, which is nothing more than theft.
Yesterday Ron Paul gave his farewell speech to Congress. It will likely be the last speech opposing war to ever be given in Congress so I highly urge you to read the transcript . His speech can best be summed up as the following: Knock off the violence, it’s not doing anything positive. In his speech Paul condemns state violence against foreign countries and people living in the United States. Sadly he is the last true advocate of free market economics and voluntaryism left in the federal government so we will likely hear no more than lip service paid to peace and economic freedom. Before closing Paul had some valuable advice:
The idealism of non-aggression and rejecting all offensive use of force should be tried. The idealism of government sanctioned violence has been abused throughout history and is the primary source of poverty and war. The theory of a society being based on individual freedom has been around for a long time. It’s time to take a bold step and actually permit it by advancing this cause, rather than taking a step backwards as some would like us to do.
The ultimate solution is not in the hands of the government.
The solution falls on each and every individual, with guidance from family, friends and community.
The #1 responsibility for each of us is to change ourselves with hope that others will follow. This is of greater importance than working on changing the government; that is secondary to promoting a virtuous society. If we can achieve this, then the government will change.
Steering this country around can only be achieved by changing the hearts and minds of the individuals living here. That means getting a population that consists heavily of violent individuals who support the use of coercive means to force others to comply with their desires to turn over a new leaf. As you can see it’s an insurmountable tasks and one that is unlikely to be accomplished anytime soon. Still the best way of achieving a non-aggressive society is to live a non-aggressive lifestyle. This doesn’t mean opposing self-defense but opposing the initiation of force.
I’m sad to see Paul leaving but am happy to know he escaped the political system with his immoral soul intact. Americans have spoken and they have indicated a desire to live in a violent redistributive society where rights are mere whims of government officials. People want the wars, they want money taken from others and given to themselves, and they want only the rights they approve to be protected. So long as public opinion continues to support the status quo there is no chance of liberty thriving in this country. Those of us that support liberty must do our best to lead by example in the hope that others will follow in our footsteps. Perhaps some day people will be ready for a society built on non-aggression but that day isn’t today.
I want to thank Ron Paul for promoting non-aggressive ideals in the United States. His contribution to liberty is incalculable as noted by the massive growth of the liberty movement since his presidential bid in 2008.
With the complicated process, a well-organized minority can defeat a poorly organized majority. At the Republican caucuses in February 2012, Ron Paul received about one-quarter of the votes cast. At the Republican state convention a few months later, Paul supporters represented more than half of the delegates. Bills, a teacher and first-term state representative, was selected by the ardent Paul supporters as the U.S. Senate candidate.
As Republicans look to run serious challengers to Dayton and U.S. Sen. Al Franken in 2014, strong candidates must be recruited — from both inside the existing structure and from outside. Prospective candidates should skip the endorsement process and run in a primary, rather than focusing solely on the endorsement process. Credible candidates must be able to demonstrate an ability to raise money and communicate a message to a broader audience than 2,000 Republican delegates.
The rules put into place by the Republican Party failed to prevent the liberty movement from interfering with the party’s statist agenda. Impromptu rule changes were successful at preventing liberty advocates form gaining too much influence in the nation Republican Party. Now the party bigwigs are looking to change the rules to ensure impromptu rule changes won’t be necessary during the next election. The establishment now recognizes the dangers of the delegate system. It allows a crafty and motivated group of individuals to gain influence. A straight primary system is harder to influence as the candidate with the most money and influence in the Republican Party has a much better chance of winning.
Once again I reiterate that advancing liberty through the political system is hopeless. Third parties are prevented from gaining influence and the two major parties have the exact same agenda: maintain the powerful federal state. Since the two major political parties control everything from federal campaign funds to presidential debates there is no hope for third parties to gain a foothold. Likewise since both major parties have the same agenda there is no hope in achieving liberty through either of them. Using the political system requires that the current establishment play by a consistent set of rules but the current establishment has demonstrated to willingness to change the rules whenever it suits them.
Ron Paul still remains one of the few politicians that I respect. He was a great recruiter to the liberty movement and got liberty loving individuals motivated to help change this country. Ultimately he encourages individuals to participate in the political process in an attempt to hijack the Republican Party and turn it into a free market anti-war organization. Needless to say it would seem that the political process is his tool of choice for bringing liberty to the United States but during the 30th anniversary celebration of the Ludwig von Mises Institute he went on record saying that economic education is more important than any political action:
If you’ve read any of Paul’s books you’ve likely noticed that he often references the likes of Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard. Paul’s knowledge and philosophy stem from reading and comprehending the great minds of libertarianism, which were also the great minds of, what is now referred to as, Austrian economics. Understanding Austrian economics is understanding libertarianism. Reading material by Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, Friedrich Hayek, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, and the other big names of Austrian economics will explain why voluntary interactions are more beneficial and coercive force.
Spreading liberty can be done far more effectively through economic education than political action. Economic education teaches why liberty is important and allows individuals to internalize those lessons whereas political action requires participants not already educated in the school of liberty to mindlessly follow orders from figures of authority.
Benton is a skilled operator when it comes to lining his own pockets. He understands that his salary, $586,616 in the case of this election, is dependent on the political process. Rational self-interest will lead him towards supporting the current state as it is allowing him to collect a six figure salary. Furthermore, he also has a reason to make other politicians, such as Mitt Romney, happy since Benton may find himself in the future employ of another politicians who he made nice with.
Of course, as Tom Woods explains, those of us who were pointing out Benton’s attempt at maintaining his political gravy train at the expense of Paul’s campaign were laughed at:
People who said Benton was positioning himself all along for bigger things in the GOP were scoffed at. Why, Jesse has a secret plan to get Ron Paul the nomination at the last minute!
Now will you guys listen when we tell you that Rand Paul and Kurt Bills are just establishment Republicans who are exploiting the liberty movement to advance their political careers? When you’re dealing with the political means you are necessarily dealing with vile and corrupt individuals who have no problem throwing their mother under the bus if it advances their political career. A vast majority of the people who run for political office are sociopaths who merely want power over others. Because of that there are very few people running for office who are actually advocates of liberty.