Category Archives: Philosophy

Why Truth Matters by Butler Shaffer

Knowing the truth is a key element of man’s survival. From Butler Shaffer at lewrockwell.com:

Every time we witness an injustice and do not act, we
train our character to be passive in its presence and
thereby eventually lose all ability to defend ourselves
and those we love.

– Julian Assange

We are social beings who require relationships with others of our species not only to live well, but to survive. As Franz Oppenheimer reminded us, there are only two systems available to provide for our material needs: the economic and the political means. The “economic” means consists of persons voluntarily exchanging their respective claims of ownership on terms they negotiate for themselves; while the “political” means involve the forceful taking of property by the state, without the consent of the owner. The “property principle” is involved in each system, with the “economic” means respecting the inviolability of an owner’s claim, while the “political” means disrespects it. The distinction between these two systems is often expressed as the difference between “individualism” and “collectivism.” The state is often called upon to impose its realpolitik powers upon individuals who are inconveniences to  the established order.

“Truth” is essential to the economic means in order that the parties have precision in the property interests being exchanged, as well as other terms of the contract. Because political activity is grounded in lies, exaggerations, deceptions, and corrupt practices, truth is largely an irrelevant factor. To the politically driven in a thoroughly politicized world, a lie is as good as the truth as long as people believe it!

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The America That Was — The Good and the Bad, by Richard M. Ebeling

Almost nobody in America really knows what it’s like to live in a free society. From Richard M. Ebeling at fff.org:

We live in a time when an understanding and an appreciation of what a free society can or should be like is being slowly lost. Or so it seems, often, to a friend of human liberty. Political interventionism and a revived interest in “democratic socialism” dominate public discourse in almost every corner of life.

Calls are constantly being made for government to do more. Remaining areas of personal life are to be invaded by increased government regulation, redistribution, control, command, and constraint. The idea of the independent and self-responsible individual diminishes in the number of its supporters, or so it appears, with every passing day.

Public-policy debates concern not whether something should be overseen and managed by government, but merely how far the interventionist welfare state should go, and who is going to pay for it.

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On Inevitability, Beauty, Truth, & Experience, by Doug “Uncola” Lynn

Doug “Uncola” Lynn confronts the profound issues. From Lynn at theburningplatform.com:

“If we focus on fighting death, we can only lose…

If we focus on living life, we can only win.”

Source

For many years, I’ve held on to the feeling of invincibility I’ve known all of my life.  Like the sense one has before a test when they just know they have a better-than-average chance of coming up aces; of being prepared to rise above the challenge and feeling lucky at the same time.  Even when I went through a bout of depression and paralysis several years ago – it was, in part, because I was angry that the inevitable shit-show was taking too long get started and the waiting to die was killing me.

But now, this is the first year where I no longer feel invincible. For whatever reason, it seems like a turning point.  Or, rather, the beginning of the descent down the other side of the mountain. I don’t sleep as soundly as I have in the past and, in the mornings, my old injuries yield more aches and pains. My endurance is less, my hands can’t grip as tight as before, and my range of physical movement is increasingly restricted; or at least more than it once was. Additionally, my eyesight is diminished as are my senses of hearing and smell.

I’m older now and, of course, none of the above was a surprise as I’ve been watching them transpire for some time. It’s just now, this year, these have become absolutely undeniable on a daily basis and I’m okay with that because seasons change. That’s all.  Even so, we can fight to delay the inevitable by eating the right foods, drinking lots of water (I drink distilled), and getting plenty of sunshine, fresh air, and exercise.  Yet time waits on no one and our bodies wind down like clocks.

Inevitability is as inevitability does.

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“Thinkin’ Rots the Mind!” by Butler Shaffer

The money sentence, from the first paragraph: “Civilizations are created by individuals; they are destroyed by collectives.” From Butler Shaffer at lewrockwell.com:

This rare and brief exercise of their free choice, however
important it may be, will not prevent them from gradually
losing the faculties of thinking, feeling and acting for
themselves, and thus gradually falling below the level of
humanity.

– Alexis de Tocqueville

It is not a coincidence that the collapse of Western Civilization is being accompanied by a rampant mindlessness and reptilian reaction to events so contrary to the means by which this culture was created. Civilizations are created by individuals; they are destroyed by collectives. Creative acts do not simply happen, but require energized minds capable of focusing on subject matters often over extended periods of time. The beautiful ancient cathedrals found in Europe – as with the continuing construction of Antoni Gaudi’s Basilica i Temple de la Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, begun in 1882 – are examples of creative undertakings whose completions extend far beyond the lives of both the designers and the workers who participated in bringing them into existence. For creative minds, time preferences matter: the pursuit of a truth may extend not only over one’s life-time, but beyond. Such is the state of mind of those scientists who accept, as part of the learning process, that a theory might, after lengthy research, be disproven.

Whether Western Civilization can be considered extinct, in a terminal state, or simply on a downhill course, is subject to differing interpretations. Suffice it to say that our culture is beset by rigor mortis, including its organizational systems; its creative vibrancy is gone; it no longer produces the values necessary for its survival; nor does it continue to meet the expectations of those who have embraced its qualities or purposes in benefitting human beings. Clarity in thought or vision that drives men and women to discover or create ways in which human well-being can be advanced, is being sacrificed to political or ideological ends. The Animal Farm mantra “four legs good, two legs bad,” has been transformed into divisive slogans such as “black lives matter,” and an insistence upon a multitude of subdivided gender identities.

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The Growing Opposition To Factual Knowledge, by Paul Craig Roberts

How do people think if they don’t use facts? Short answer: they don’t. From Paul Craig Roberts and paulcraigroberts.com:

News From Information Clearing House

I just heard from Tom Feeley:

“I have been unable to determine why the website has been  suspended, I have sent lots of, emails, telephone calls and faxes and have not received any response.

“The really frustrating thing is that I am locked out of the C panel and am unable to access files I need in order to migrate to another company’s servers.

“It’s frustrating and infuriating that a company would treat a customer of 18 year  in such away, without warning.

“Thankfully, ICH supporters with tech abilities are assisting me and I hope that by Monday everything will be back to normal.”

It is curious that the host of Information Clearing House has not responded to Tom Feeley. Legally it would seem that the host of the website could tell the owner of the website that the host company had decided to cease hosting the website. But the host should not be able to effectively steal the ICH content by preventing Tom Feeley’s access to his website’s material.

Moreover, ethically, the host company should provide time for ICH to transfer to a new host.

If this is an action by the host, Tom should tell us who is the host so that everyone can protest and boycott that company. Indeed, the host might be subject to legal action.

It is possible that the host is not responsible and does not know the explanation. ICH’s disappearance could be the work of an immature and narcissist hacker amusing himself by causing trouble for others. It could be the work of the CIA, NSA, or Israel Lobby, or some Identity Politics freak. It could be a glitch of the digital world—just wait until there are self-driving cars. You can’t trust the digital world any more than you can trust CNN, MSNBC, NPR, the New York Times, Washington Post, Washington or London.

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The Reasons Behind The Relentless Ideological Onslaught Against Free Markets, by Brandon Smith

Free markets are the most defensible economic arrangement ever, but few defend them and the attacks are as unremmiting as they are fallacious. From Brandon Smith at alt-market.com:

I sometimes think that the free market concept is treated like The Hunchback of Notre-Dame’s Quasimodo in the long novel of global economic history. It is considered ugly and undesirable by most people who judge it at a mere glance without bothering to understand it. It is a bogeyman; a scapegoat for numerous societal problems that it has nothing to do with. In reality, the only time free markets do cause trouble is when they are manipulated or misused by elitists seeking to turn them into something other than free markets. And, even when free markets display their great value and internal beauty, many still prefer other systems that are intrinsically corrupt but flashier on the surface.

There are many reasons behind this persistent attitude. However, they are not coincidental or natural. Human beings actually tend to gravitate toward free markets over and over again in history, and away from centralized government interference and dominance in economic trade. But whenever they do, they get hammered down by the-powers-that-be. In our modern era, establishment elites have chosen to be more subtle (for now) and dissuade people from free markets through disinformation and propaganda.

To break it all down to a simple observation – Whenever disaster strikes economically, free markets are blamed. Whenever something is fixed, even if that fix is a temporary band-aid on a sucking chest wound, government involvement and socialism are applauded. And so the cycle continues until free markets become a pariah with no place in our world and centralization becomes the prevailing answer to everything.

Free market trade is ever present at a local level and always has been. But, those who favor globalism are hell-bent on putting an end to any and all private unregulated commerce forever.

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The Cost of the Enlightenment, by Daniel Ajamian

Does libertarianism need more than the nonagression principle? From Daniel Ajamian at lewrockwell.com:

I would like to thank Joe for the introduction and invitation, Lew for his leadership of and vision for the Institute, the supporters and friends of the Mises Institute for helping to make it the premier source on economics and liberty in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard, and I especially would like to thank The Lou Church Foundation for annually sponsoring this lecture.

It is broadly accepted that out of Enlightenment thinking came many of the “goods” of our society; goods economic, political, and social.  Goods ranging from the material wealth and the technology we enjoy to classical liberalism and libertarianism.  It is on the latter that I will focus.

An exhaustive discussion of the connection of Enlightenment thought to Classical liberalism and libertarianism is not necessary for this audience, so I will summarize: reason, the individual, equality, property rights, the separation of church and state, and science and politics freed from religious dogma.  These pillars underlie the classical liberalism that many point to and exclaim: here, we finally found freedom!  Instead, what if these have cost us our freedom?

What is Enlightenment?  Immanuel Kant gave his answer:

Enlightenment is man’s release from his self-incurred immaturity. Immaturity is man’s inability to make use of his understanding without direction from another….”Have courage to use your own reason!” That is the motto of enlightenment.

There is Diderot’s Encyclopedia, considered one of the greatest cultural and intellectual achievements of the Enlightenment; a 20 million word man-made blueprint for the creation of a rational, improving and cultivated society.

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