Category Archives: Philosophy

The Last Gasp, by Robert Gore

No one is more dangerous than the suicidal.

When you can’t love, you hate. When you can’t build, you destroy. When you’re ignored, you scream. When you can’t tell the truth, you lie. When you can’t reason, you panic. When no one will follow you out of admiration or respect, you compel. When you can’t live, you kill.

This is it, the last gasp of the psychopaths who express their contempt and hatred for humanity by trying to rule it. Compulsion, not voluntary and natural cooperation. Power, pull, and politics, not incentives, competition, honest production, and value-for-value trade. From each according to his virtue to each according to his depravity.

It can’t work. It won’t work. They know it. Do you?

As the totalitarian horror unfolds before our eyes, only the willfully blind will ignore it. Only those who refuse to think will fail to grasp its implications. Only the irretrievably corrupt will embrace it.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. We were warned.

Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness; only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where humans beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?

George Orwell, 1984, 1949

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Rights Versus Wishes, by Walter E. Williams

Every good or service the government gives someone is taken from someone else, which means the recipient and the victim of theft do not have the same “rights.” From Walter E. Williams at lewrockwell.com:

Sen. Bernie Sanders said: “I believe that health care is a right of all people.” He’s not alone in that contention. That claim comes from Democrats and Republicans and liberals and conservatives. It is not just a health care right that people claim. There are “rights” to decent housing, decent food, a decent job and prescription drugs. In a free and moral society, do people have these rights? Let’s begin by asking ourselves: What is a right?

In the standard usage of the term, a “right” is something that exists simultaneously among people. In the case of our U.S. Constitutional decree, we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Our individual right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness imposes no obligation upon another other than the duty of noninterference.

As such, a right imposes no obligation on another. For example, the right to free speech is something we all possess simultaneously. My right to free speech imposes no obligation upon another except that of noninterference. Similarly, I have a right to travel freely. Again, that right imposes no obligation upon another except that of noninterference.

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Boom Times For Doomsday, by the Zman

If you think of humanity as always taking three steps forward and two steps back, and it’s always changing, it keeps you from getting too euphoric or too gloomy. From the Zman at theburningplatform.com:

Imagine a variant of the flu that is four or five times more lethal than the common flu and it is spreading quickly. The experts are not sure exactly how lethal this new flu variant will be, other than it will be considerably worse than the common flu that hits every fall and winter. Further, they are unsure of the origin or how to combat it with drugs and therapeutics. Before long, it is a serious problem. This new influenza is a pandemic spreading rapidly all over the world.

Now, you don’t have to imagine it, because you lived through it. The Swine Flu pandemic of 2009 infected about a billion people worldwide, according to most estimates. As is always the case with these things, the number of infected is always a best guess, as many are infected but are never confirmed. The death toll is a little easier to grasp, as it is hard to ignore a corpse, but many flu deaths are classed as other things. It probably killed half a million people.

The salient thing about the Swine Flu epidemic is that no one remembers it, until someone mentions it. Even then, most people probably think it killed pigs. While it caused lots of disruption and killed up to half a million people, most people did not notice it. No one remembers the SARS outbreak, which was way back in the dark ages of 2002 or the MERS pandemic in 2012. Both of those were much more lethal than the current virus spreading around the globe.

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Hoppe: The In-Depth Interview, by Hans Hoppe and Jeff Deist

Hans Hoppe is an interesting thinker. From Hoppe and Deist at mises.org:

[This interview with Jeff Deist and Hans Hoppe will appear in the upcoming issue of The Austrian (March–April 2020).]

JEFF DEIST: Your recent talk in Vienna mentioned growing up happy but poor, the son of East German parents who had been driven west during the Cold War by the Soviets. Can you elaborate on the lasting impact their experience had on you, in terms of how you view state power and its attendant evils? Are you in some ways still influenced by their “eastern” roots?

HANS-HERMANN HOPPE: The fact that my parents were both refugees, ending up in the West by the accident of WWII, driven away and separated from their original homes in Soviet-occupied East Germany, played a huge role in our family life. In particular the expropriation of my mother’s family and its expulsion from house and home by the Soviets, in 1946, as so-called East Elbean Junkers, was a constantly recurring topic at home and assumed even more importance after the collapse, in 1989, of East Germany and the following German “reunification.” My mother, as many other victims of communist expropriations, then sought and hoped for the restitution of her property—in which case I would have been set for life. However, as I already knew and correctly predicted by then, this was not going to happen. There was to be no justice. But my parents were shocked and outraged.

The numerous trips we took to visit various relatives in East Germany confirmed my parents’ judgment of the Soviet system. Shortages, waiting lines, empty stores, inferior products, and lousy services. All around controls, spies, and informants. Everywhere grey ugliness and decay. A prison wall built around the whole country to prevent anyone from escaping. And commie-proles droning on endlessly about the great successes achieved under their leadership.

Yet as a little boy and a teenager I did not understand the reason for all this mischief and misery. Indeed, the East German experience did little if anything to shake my own leftist convictions at the time. East Germany, I thought, was just the wrong type of socialism, with the wrong people at the helm.

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Are We Seriously Debating Capitalism vs. Socialism Again? by Jeffrey A. Tucker

Both on paper and in real life capitalism is orders of magnitude better for most people than socialism. From Jeffrey A. Tucker at aier.org:

The answer is yes, we are seriously debating capitalism vs. socialism again. As it should be. And herein lies the silver lining in one of the most alarming trends in public life: a self-described socialist is leading in the polls to win the Democratic nomination.

For nearly 100 years, public figures in America have dabbled in socialist ideology, learned from it, practiced it on a limited scale, imposed policies rooted in its logic, and been inspired by its conflict ethos that imagines markets to be inherently exploitative, unfair, and unjust. It makes some kind of weird sense that finally at the highest (?) levels of American public life, they would just finally come out and say it: we are all kind of socialist now.

To contradict that claim requires that you see the problem with socialism, and to see that problem leads one to think through the logic of markets and economics, which in turn leads one to see the virtues of commercial freedom. But doing that, taking those hard steps to understand scarcity, creativity, prices, and exchange threatens to undermine the ideological infrastructure of the Democratic Party itself. What has emerged instead is a “no enemies to the left” ethos that allows the extremists to control the messaging.

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Marxist Dreams and Soviet Realities, by Ralph Raico

You can always tell true socialists and communists because they refuse to talk about how their theories have worked out in practice…or the resultant body counts. From Ralph Raico at lewrockwell.com:

This essay was originally published in 1988, by the Cato Institute, Washington, DC. It is collected in Great Wars and Great Leaders (2010), chap. 4: “Marxist Dreams and Soviet Realities.”

The sharp contrast that Alexis de Tocqueville drew in 1835 between the United States and Tsarist Russia—”the principle of the former is freedom; of the latter, servitude”1—became much sharper after 1917, when the Russian Empire was transformed into the Soviet Union.

Like the United States, the Soviet Union is a nation founded on a distinct ideology. In the case of America, the ideology was fundamentally Lockean liberalism; its best expressions are the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution. The Ninth Amendment, in particular, breathes the spirit of the worldview of late eighteenth-century America.2 The Founders believed that there exist natural, individual rights that, taken together, constitute a moral framework for political life. Translated into law, this framework defines the social space within which men voluntarily interact; it allows for the spontaneous coordination and ongoing mutual adjustment of the various plans that the members of society form to guide and fill their lives.

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School vs. the Gateless Gate: Fixing the Damage, by L. Reichard White

What if you only did what you wanted to, when you wanted to? From L. Reichard White at lewrockwell.com:

There are indeed, many paths through the gateless gate. This one is fairly easy — and when we arrive at the fence-line, there’s a little trick that will get you through. For me, it involved dishes – – –

We’re at the first Way-Stone already – – –

“‘You know what Indian time means?’ [an Ojibwe tribal leader] had responded in a session with local college students. ‘It means, ‘When I’m damn good and ready.’ The old man was operating on Indian time. I was still operating on a clock and a paycheck.” –Kent Nerburn, Neither Wolf nor Dog

The contrast between “Indian time” and author Nerburn’s succinct “clock and a paycheck” marks our path. But “Indian time” isn’t unique to “First Nation” folks in North America – – –

For our sortie into the only legal casino in Malaysia at the time, Ghenting Highlands, our group had rented a high-end condo. The price included cleaning.

About 6:45AM Saturday — approximately two hours after we hit the sack — the cleaning crew — two guys and three girls — rang the bell.

They were from a local family which lived mostly on wild coconuts, mangos, papaya, durian, etc. — and by hunting a few animals I won’t mention. Almostclassic hunter-gatherers — as were we in a sense, but I hadn’t recognized that yet.

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