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Why States are Illegitimate

When statists use concepts like "tacit consent" and "social contract" in their arguments, they are assuming what they are trying to prove; namely, the legitimacy of the state in question. Assuming the social contract does exist, what makes the prevailing state the rightful authority in enforcing it? Since we must consider legitimacy, let us consider what legitimacy is.Read the rest at EVC.

Why Do We Value Things?

My wife grew up relatively poor in Mexico City. She shared a bed with her three sisters and never went to even a fast food restaurant, like McDonald's. Though her standard of living was much lower then than it is now, she grew up quite happy and placed a high value on what little she had. On our drive home from an evening out recently, my wife told me that she wanted to see our children value the things that they have. In answer to her question, we talked about the following.Read the rest at EVC.

Action, Faith, and Voluntaryism

An axiom is a starting point of reasoning, or a premise. Ludwig von Mises discovered the action axiom. Paraphrased, the action axiom states that humans "purposefully utilize means over a period of time in order to achieved desired ends." I posit that somewhere in there belongs the principle of faith.Read the rest at EVC.

Power and Resentment

Two themes that my mind has been dwelling on lately, in relation to each other, are power and resentment. I here offer some musings on these themes, but I do so under the condition that they are still very much debris in the air that has yet to settle. Make of them what you will.Read the rest at EVC.

LPL - November 2013 Update

In November 2013, LPL sold 332 books across North America and Europe. Here are the top 5:
33 copies, Principles of Economics - Carl Menger30 copies, Economics for Real People - Gene Callahan23 copies, Our Enemy, the State - Albert Jay Nock15 copies, The Mystery of Banking, Murray Rothbard14 copies, For a New Liberty - Murray N. RothbardLPL's all time top 5 bestsellers are:
584 copies, For a New Liberty - Murray N. Rothbard414 copies, Our Enemy, the State - Albert Jay Nock294 copies, Principles of Economics - Carl Menger161 copies, Economics for Real People - Gene Callahan137 copies, Bourbon for Breakfast - Jeffrey Tucker

Being Evil vs. Doing Evil

Adolf Hitler murdered millions of people. So did Josef Stalin and Mao Zedong. Bill Clinton murdered thousands of Iraqi children through economic sanctions. George Bush murdered thousands of Iraqis and Afghans through invasion. Barack Obama has murdered many through continued occupation and aerial drone strikes. Osama bin Laden murdered thousands. Are these men evil? I don't think so.Read the rest at EVC.

Government vs. the State

Many have tried to explain the difference between "government" and "the state." They have been more or less clear, but none of have managed to do it better than libertarian philosopher and lawyer Stephan Kinsella. Here's my long paraphrasing of his explanation.Read the rest at EVC.

The Law is Mere Risk

Most understand that criminals, like thieves, rapists, and murderers, are, among other things, risks to be mitigated. If we have an expectation of possible robbery, we lock our doors and otherwise secure our homes; of possible rape, we stay with others and arm ourselves with pepper spray or a pistol; of murder, we hide ourselves or otherwise seek protection or the removal of the would be murderer. If the state is a criminal organization, which I consider it so, then its laws are likewise risks to be mitigated.Read the rest at EVC.

Am I a Radical Extremist?

I've had to get used to a few words during my journey through voluntaryism. "Libertarian" was initially very strange to me. Then came "anarchist," even more strange, and quite a bit controversial. Now I use both unabashedly. Likewise, I am quite alright calling myself or being called a "radical extremist." Why? Because it's absolutely true. Relatively speaking, I believe I am as radical and as extreme as they come, in many different ways.Read the rest at EVC.

Patriotism, the Anti-Nationalism

"One's country" is not synonymous with "one's nation." Many are confused on this point. To equate the two is to confuse friend with foe, ally with enemy. An obviously dangerous error to make. Those who do are either in a delusion about what a nation is, or have, most unfortunately, taken up with society's enemy numero uno. So then, what does it mean to be a "patriot"? Let's see.Read the rest at EVC.

LPL - October 2013 Update

In October 2013, LPL sold 284 books across North America and Europe. Here are the top 5:
24 copies, Principles of Economics - Carl Menger23 copies, Economics for Real People - Gene Callahan15 copies, The Mystery of Banking, Murray Rothbard13 copies, Our Enemy, the State - Albert Jay Nock12 copies, The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality - Ludwig von MisesLPL's all time top 5 bestsellers are:
570 copies, For a New Liberty - Murray N. Rothbard391 copies, Our Enemy, the State - Albert Jay Nock261 copies, Principles of Economics - Carl Menger131 copies, Economics for Real People - Gene Callahan129 copies, Great Wars and Great Leaders - Ralph Raico

Social Coercion, or Humans as Means

Traditionally, voluntaryism has only been concerned with physical coercion, or physical aggression. In "Voluntaryism Transcends Anarchism" I gave my thoughts on how voluntaryism should have a much broader application. Politics and the economy are important in voluntaryist thought, but so should be societal culture and parenting and childhood development. The arguments against the use of physical coercion abound in voluntaryism and libertarian thought, with a growing emphasis on the use of violence in the home. But what seems lacking is an analysis on non-physical forms of coercion. Let's fix that.Read the rest at EVC.

J. K. Rowling and Harry Potter

So I finished the Harry Potter series. I was very impressed with Rowling's story telling. It was absolutely superb. On par with Tolkien, no question. I hope she'll either write more in the HP universe, or create something new and amazing, though she's set herself a pretty high bar. This isn't to say there weren't flaws, but everyone I've read lately (Verne, Tolkien, Lewis, Card, Burroughs, Anthony) has had flaws. Unlike those wonderful writers, however, she's the only one that's made my eyes water, and more than once. My hat's off to J. K. Rowling.

Expanding Argumentation Ethics

My column praising illegal immigrants led to one discussion where I was asked where I believe rights come from. I responded that I do not think that rights exist outside our minds; that is, rights are the result of a construction of concepts that takes places in the minds of individuals. Therefore, they come from rational analysis and logical deduction. This discussion eventually had me using Hans Hoppe's "argumentation ethics" (AE) to explain self-ownership and while doing so AE not only became clearer to me than it had previously been, but I also found myself looking at AE from a different perspective than everything I've read on it. Let me explain.Read the rest at EVC.

Private Property as the State?

In discussion with left-anarchists, I've heard the argument that private property is just another form of the state because private property owners exercise the same monopoly powers over their property. This claims overlooks an important element of libertarian theory, that initiatory aggression can only be retaliated against with like, or proportionate, aggression. Allow me to explain.Read the rest of my latest at EVC.

In Praise of Illegal Immigrants

Most conservatives and many "libertarians" decry the presence of illegal immigrants in the United States and elsewhere. They seemingly consider them to be less than human, calling them "illegals" with an air of contempt. It also seems that, to them, one of the worst crimes one could commit is the act of immigrating, that is "moving," without permission from the state. Are "illegals" less than human? Is their crime among the worst that can be committed? I give a resounding "NO!" in answer to both questions. In fact, I consider "illegals" to be the best residents a country can have. Here's why.Read the rest of my latest at EVC.

LPL - September 2013 Update

In September 2013, LPL sold 255 books across North America and Europe. Here are the top 5:
26 copies, Our Enemy, the State - Albert Jay Nock18 copies, Principles of Economics - Carl Menger17 copies, For a New Liberty - Murray N. Rothbard17 copies, Bourbon for Breakfast - Jeffrey A. Tucker10 copies, Economic Depressions - Murray N. RothbardLPL's all time top 5 bestsellers are:
559 copies, For a New Liberty - Murray N. Rothbard378 copies, Our Enemy, the State - Albert Jay Nock237 copies, Principles of Economics - Carl Menger126 copies, Great Wars and Great Leaders - Ralph Raico114 copies, Bourbon for Breakfast - Jeffrey A. Tucker

Cultivating Liberty at Home

I believe the biggest impact that voluntaryists can make is within the walls of our homes, among the relationships with our spouses and children. We might be overwhelmingly few in number in larger society, but at home we have a real voice and our actions have real consequences. If we truly value liberty, then we must raise our children in liberty. Cultivating liberty at home requires that we respect our children's self-ownership, abolish parental aggression, and ensure that our children do not develop the close-mindedness that is the usual result of indoctrination.Read the rest of my latest column at EVC.

The Primal Insight: A Question of Needs

Two weeks ago in "Anti-Human Memes and Institutions," I analyzed a number of cultural memes and institutions under the insight of our evolution as a species. This week, I'd like to take a different approach by using this "primal insight" to determine our needs as human beings, from infancy onward. My purpose is not to romanticize or "long for" simpler times, but instead to provide a framework by which we can each individually judge how well our needs and the needs of our loved ones are being met. Such a task is really no small feat. Much research and many books have been written using the primal insight in the areas of childhood development, diet and exercise, and mental well-being. Let's see if we can condense some of that.Read the rest of this week's column at EVC.

The Worst Holiday of the Year

Tomorrow, September 17th, is Constitution Day in the United States. Many will either gather to or independently pay homage to the United States Constitution. This document ostensibly created and gave the necessary authority to the Federal government. It was believed that its predecessor, the Articles of Confederation, created a federal government that was too weak to accomplish anything meaningful. Though the drafters of the Constitution were originally tasked with amending the Articles, and proceeded instead to replace it entirely, that the Constitution went through a ratification process ensured everyone that it did indeed give the requisite authority to the newly formed government. But did it really? Did the new government have proper authority to exercise its delegated powers over the then territorial boundary of the thirteen colonies? After considering a few important facts, I think it's claim to authority is just that, a claim, but one which no one is really bound to honor.

Anti-Human Memes and Institutions

Perhaps one way to begin a conversation on human ethics is to start at the beginning of humanity. Homo sapien, our species, has been around for two hundred thousand years, and our closely-related ancestral species lived as far back as two millions years. For the great majority of their evolution, our primitive ancestors were hunter-gatherers. It wasn't until very recently (in the grand scheme of things, ten thousand years ago) that we adopted agriculture, and there are still hunter-gatherers around today. What can we learn from them about human relations? About property norms? About parenting? About education? About nutrition and exercise? Using the evolution of h. sapien as a guide, we can determine a number of patently anti-human memes and institutions.Read the rest of my column at EVC.

A Living Testament of My Convictions

In my last column of this series, I shared my family culture and its evolution over the last two years. My purpose in doing so was to demonstrate how, in order to change our larger culture, we must first change ourselves. While our actions will have an immediate effect on those we have the most influence over, namely our spouses and children, they will also affect others that we interact with. In order to affect positive change, then, we must continually pose as a living testament to the convictions that we hold.Read the rest at EVC.

LPL - August 2013 Update

In August 2013, LPL sold 263 books across North America and Europe. Here are the top 5:
24 copies, For a New Liberty - Murray N. Rothbard22 copies, Our Enemy, the State - Albert Jay Nock19 copies, Principles of Economics - Carl Menger15 copies, The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality - Ludwig von Mises15 copies, Liberty & Property - Ludwig von MisesLPL's all time top 5 bestsellers are:
518 copies, For a New Liberty - Murray N. Rothbard330 copies, Our Enemy, the State - Albert Jay Nock200 copies, Principles of Economics - Carl Menger118 copies, Great Wars and Great Leaders - Ralph Raico104 copies, The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality - Ludwig von Mises

Prison, Plantation, and Indoctrination Center

Imagine a place where you aren't allowed to leave for certain hours of the day, most days of the week, most weeks of the year; where you aren't allowed to go to the bathroom when you needed to; where you aren't allowed to eat when you want, or even to chew a piece of gum; where your movement from area to area was determined by a loud ring. Also imagine a place where you must labor without pay; where you must perform tasks that others have assigned for you; where your worth as a person is determined by how well you perform those tasks. Now imagine a place where other people have decided what you should think about; what and how much of it you should know; where you are required to memorize certain facts and processes, in order to pass tests that you are required take; where you aren't allowed to question or disagree with the facts or processes being memorized. Can you imagine these kinds of places? I can. In fact, it's quite obvious to me that the first place is a …

My Family Culture

I read recently that, "If you change the culture, you change the people." At first that seemed backwards. Don't we need to change the people, before their culture is changed? But after more thought, I think that if we put the focus on the second word, you, then the rest follows. The only way that you can change a culture is by first changing yourself. Want to get rid of a culture of rudeness to strangers? Start being kind to strangers. Then you can start advocating that others do likewise. What about a culture of punishing children for undesirable behavior? Stop punishing your own children for undesirable behavior, and then advocate that others do likewise. What I would like to share with you is where my family culture is two years after we decided to make some major changes in how my wife and I are raising our children.Read the rest of my latest column at EVC.

Left Libertarian, Right Libertarian

You may have heard about the political philosophy known is "left libertarianism." This philosophy mostly agrees with all of the political left's (progressives, Democrats) complaints and goals about our society, but differs in that its solutions are based on libertarian principles. In other words, "leftist ends, libertarian means." I sympathize much with left libertarianism. I also, however, sympathize much with what we could call "right libertarianism," or "rightist ends, libertarian means." Let's talk about both.Read the rest of my latest column, at EVC.

Department of "Justice"

My latest column is now live. It begins:
What is justice? A seemingly subjective concept. For voluntaryists, justice is being made whole when you've been aggressed against. What is aggression? For voluntaryists, aggression is an unwanted invasion of a property boundary. What is property? For voluntaryists, property is, at least, one's body and personal possessions. For many, property is also what one's body appropriates from a state of nature (movable or immovable), or trades for from other property owners. So in other words, for voluntaryists, justice is having one's property restored to them after it was taken by aggression. Do the various "Departments of Justice" around the world serve justice? Methinks not.

LPL - July 2013 Update

In July 2013, LPL sold 229 books across North America and Europe. Here are the top 5:
28 copies, Our Enemy, the State - Albert Jay Nock22 copies, For a New Liberty - Murray N. Rothbard17 copies, Principles of Economics - Carl Menger13 copies, The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality - Ludwig von Mises9 copies, The Mystery of Banking - Murray N. RothbardLPL's all time top 5 bestsellers are:
518 copies, For a New Liberty - Murray N. Rothbard330 copies, Our Enemy, the State - Albert Jay Nock200 copies, Principles of Economics - Carl Menger118 copies, Great Wars and Great Leaders - Ralph Raico95 copies, Organized Crime - Thomas J. DiLorenzo

Myth and Violence

My column at EVC is now live. It begins:
Non-libertarians are quick to deride libertarians as blaming all of society's ills on government. Many a libertarian do give knee-jerk reactions blaming the state for problems like terrorism, poverty, sickness, cancer, aliens, et cetera. While this can get really annoying, they usually aren't wrong. That they sound like a broken record is unfortunate, but the state, as an institution founded on and held up by violence and the dissemination of myth, really can't do anything good. The ends can't justify the means. While the state is to blame for many societal ills, the state is just a tool. The real fault lies at the feet of those who would use lies or violence to satisfy their greed, envy, and bigotry.

What Would I Do?

My column is now live. It begins:
What would I do, if I lived in a free society, and my neighbor decided to operate a meth lab? What would I do, if I lived in a free society, and my neighbor had kidnapped several women and held them as sex slaves? What would I do, if I lived in a free society, and my neighbor started building a nuclear weapon in his basement? What would I do, if I lived in a free society, and my neighbors wanted to form a government? Ah, the joys of being grilled by statists.

Self-Ownership as Self-Determination

In my latest column, I analyze a few arguments against self-ownership. It begins:
That "self-ownership" is axiomatic or the bedrock of many a libertarian theory cannot be denied. However, there are many libertarians who believe that "self-ownership" as a concept is "bollocks." George Donnelly of Arm Your Mind for Liberty (AYMFL.com) is one such libertarian. In a recent podcast he attempts to lay down the libertarian arguments against self-ownership, but he's left me unconvinced. Here's why.

My Shifting Vistas

My latest column is now live. It begins:
One's worldview as it concerns the political landscape shapes one's angle of skepticism. Claims by governments and political leaders are prejudged for their honesty, intent, and meaning. Likewise, one's homeview (if I may create a word) shapes one's angle of skepticism towards their child's needs and motives. As both my worldview and homeview have changed considerably over the years, I thought I would recount their evolution.

LPL - June 2013 Update

A better June than May. LPL sold 321 books across North America and Europe. Here are the top 5:
53 copies, Our Enemy, the State - Albert Jay Nock35 copies, The Politics of Obedience - Etienne de la Boetie22 copies, The Case for Legalizing Capitalism - Kel Kelly22 copies, For a New Liberty - Murray N. Rothbard13 copies, Economics for Real People - Gene Callahan LPL's all time top 5 bestsellers are:
496 copies, For a New Liberty - Murray N. Rothbard302 copies, Our Enemy, the State - Albert Jay Nock183 copies, Principles of Economics - Carl Menger112 copies, Great Wars and Great Leaders - Ralph Raico91 copies, Organized Crime - Thomas J. DiLorenzo

Violence-Born Independence Day

My latest column is sure to ruffle some feathers. It begins:
As a voluntaryist, my primary modus operandi, even in the case of self-defense, is nonviolence. As such, I have a hard time finding justification for the violence of others, now and in the past. In a few days, the United States will be celebrating it's independence from Great Britain, which occurred in 1776, followed by eight years of violent warfare. That Great Britain used violence to govern the American colonies is indisputable, as all states govern with violence, but was the violence-based revolution by the colonists justified on libertarian grounds?

Choosing Our Authorities

Today's column is now live, it begins:
Anarchy means, etymologically, "no rulers." It does not mean "no rules" or "chaos," despite what so many who (ab)use the word would have everyone believe. Within my heart of hearts, I am an anarchist. It's very simple really. I am an anarchist because I reject the idea that anyone else is a legitimate ruler over me. And more, I reject the idea that anyone else (on Earth or in Heaven, as it were) has any other kind of authority over me. And what if I told you (queue Morpheus), that you have the prerogative as a human being to choose whom you will bow down to?

Secret Surveillance and the Right to Privacy

My column for last week, a bit late I know, begins:
It doesn't seem to me that enough people are truly outraged by the revelations of the National Security Agency's spy program. Too many seem to have a "Well I haven't done anything wrong so why should I care?" attitude. This is very troubling to me. For starters, "done anything wrong" is becoming increasingly versatile, what with all of the millions of laws already on the books and thousands more being created yearly. It's very likely that we all do "wrong" every day. The bigger offense, however, is the aggression that's committed against us by the state's secret surveillance.

Rebuilding My Foundation

My latest column takes on more of a personal matter than this series has done before. It begins:
"Resistance," to the Borg, "is futile." It's also human, very human. Particularly the type of resistance given to the changing of one's beliefs. And by "beliefs" I mean everything someone either thinks is true or knows is true with absolute certainty. Often their certainty is based on a very limited amount of experience, and they don't know what they don't know. Faith, the way I see it, is rational belief on the basis of limited experience. What is believed may ultimately prove false, but without faith one will never do anything. Nobody has experienced everything, and everybody wants to remove their "felt uneasiness." Like resistance, to act on the basis of faith is also human. I have performed religious ordinances and made covenants with others (seen and unseen) on the basis of faith. But I now find myself at a point in my life wher…

The Market is Always Free and Fully Employed

My latest column is now available at EVC. It begins:
Those who adhere to the philosophy of liberty (libertarians, voluntaryists, etc.) are quick to point out that neither the United States nor most places on earth have a free market economy. This is true if we ignore an important qualification for what constitutes a free market. Rothbard defined the (free) market as, "a summary term for an array of exchanges that take place in society. Each exchange is undertaken as a voluntary agreement between two people or between groups of people represented by agents." Thus we can make the argument that the market is always free, and concurrently, always fully employed.

LPL - May 2013 Update

Through the end of May 2013, 254 books sold in the US, Europe, and Great Britain. Carl Menger's Principles of Economicssold the most at 27 copies; followed by Murray Rothbard's For a New Liberty at 20 copies, and Albert Jay Nock's Our Enemy, the State at 20 copies. Of the 254 books that have sold, 192 copies went to the US (dollars), 38 copies went to Great Britain (pounds), and 23 copies went to mainland Europe (euros).

What I Can't, and Can, Control

My latest column is now live, it begins:
Seeing these Congressional hearings or Presidential speeches can make someone batty. Fortunately, I avoid them. What good would they do? Would they "inform" me of something important happening? I suppose, but so would a short news article or two after-the-fact. Why glue myself to the live coverage as if its all that mattered? In reality, it's unimportant because I have no control over it.

What I Know and What I Don't Know

My column from Monday, forgot to share, it begins:
I've found myself getting frustrated lately due to assumptions I've made regarding my convictions, mostly religious. I've gotten ahead of myself and wound up confused and dissatisfied with where things were going. It's time to take a step back and reassess my knowledge banks; to really dig into my mind and categorize everything (okay, a fraction of everything) into two lists: what I know, and what I don't know.

LPL - April 2013 Update

As of the end of April 2013, 135 libertarian and economics books have been made available in large print at LargePrintLiberty.com. LPL ended the month of March 2013 with 135 offerings.

Through the end of April, 285 books sold in the US, Europe, and Great Britain. Ludwig von Mises' The Anti-Capitalist Mentalitysold the most at 33 copies; followed by Murray Rothbard's For a New Liberty at 21 copies, and Walter Block's Defending the Undefendable at 19 copies. Of the 285 books that have sold, 191 copies went to the US (dollars), 65 copies went to Great Britain (pounds), and 29 copies went to mainland Europe (euros).

My progress on the Journal of Libertarian Studies is at a stand-still at the moment. I've made available 11 volumes in large print. I will not be making available regular print as per the agreement with my printer.

Unschooling Ourselves

My latest column is now up, it begins:
Over the last 12 months, I've read a total of 57 fiction books, and I'm on the premier of another 7-book series. I've also read approximately 15 non-fiction books within that same time span, and a countless number of columns, essays, and journal articles. Why am I reading so much? For starters, because I have a thirst for knowledge, which from both types of books I get more than I can retain. But more importantly, I believe that the moment we stop seeking the unknown, our lives become routine and boring. And that's neither what I want for myself, nor what I want to model for my wife and children.

The Meanings of Words

My latest OVP column is now up, on the multiple meanings of words, it begins:
There are words that have one meaning, and then there are words that have many meanings. When it comes to ideas, the latter seems to be the rule. Two people could use the same word and mean two totally different things. I'd like to examine some of those words as a voluntaryist. We'll sort them as "good" and "bad," or pro- and anti-voluntaryist meanings.

My Search For Truth

My latest at EVC is now up, it begins:
Life continues apace. As much as my kids are learning about their various interests, I'm learning about mine. Unschooling, or life learning, is just that. It doesn't begin at school-age, and doesn't end at the onset of adulthood. Learning begins at conception (really) and should continue until your last breath. A phrase I use oft here is "over the last ten years," and that's because that time has been well spent, pursuing what's interested me most, understanding new things, and growing as an individual. I hope to live the rest of my life doing what I've been doing that last ten years. It's been a search for truth. And therein lies both my allegiance and my motivation.

Voluntaryism: One Creed to Unite Them All

My latest column is now up, it begins:
The voluntary principle, that relations should be voluntary, or not at all, separates voluntaryism from other political philosophies in that it matters not the ethics behind some use of force, but in the setting aside of the use of force in lieu of persuasion and other methods of nonviolent action. In other words, voluntaryism can bring together libertarians, anarchists, mutualists, anarcho-capitalists, and left-libertarians under the same voluntaryist creed. Once united under the voluntary principle, their differences become questions for economics and legal polycentrism. What do I mean by that? Let's see.

I Didn't Sign Up For This!

My latest column, from the heart, it begins:
My parenting has evolved considerably over the last two years. Where I'm at now is not where I thought I would be. When my wife and I decided to have kids, I figured that raising them would require a reasonable level of physical discipline, administered in the proper proportions based on their behavioral needs, as well as 5 years of having them with us all day followed by 13 years of dumping them off at school for 8 hours, most of the week, most of the year. In other words, what I signed up for was the type of life I had had, but for my kids. Yes, I wanted their life to be "better," but with the right combination of new gadgets and vacation destinations, sure, their lives could be considered "better." Instead, logical consistency and conscience have compelled me to scrapping all of that in lieu of a truly "better" experience. So I can honestly say that, "No, I did not sign up for this!"

Cypriots and the President's Ability to Kill

My latest column, a shorty, it begins:
There are so many concepts and ideas swirling in my head this week, but nothing with enough concreteness to justify a column's worth of brain dump. So I think I'll jump back to simpler times and instead give my two cents on a couple current events. Let's talk about Cyprus and their thieving government (but I repeat myself) and the power of the US president.

Grizzlies @ Utah's Hogle Zoo

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The grizzlies were extra playful on Friday during our trip to the zoo. The one was working hard to get the others into the water. I only caught 2.5 minutes of it, but they were playing for some time before that and after.

My Road to Liberty Went Through Economics

My latest column is on my journey through economics, it begins:
I understand that many libertarians, including Stefan Molyneux, argue that ethical and moral arguments for liberty are superior to arguing on the consequences of libertarian principles, and that consequentialism should, at least, take a back seat to ethics and morality. I suppose that works for some people, but its not how I became a libertarian. Though my journey of truth seeking began with religion, the fork that went toward liberty had its first stop at economics. I want to share the exact path I took to better understand the economics of liberty. I hope it proves beneficial to others.

My Reasons For Voluntaryism

This week's column is a follow-up to last weeks. It begins:
Last week, I discussed my values as a voluntaryist and how they guided my behavior as both a member of society and a member of my family. This week, and more appropriate for this column, I'd like to discuss the reasons for the values I hold as a voluntaryist. They are many and varied, from the ethical and moral to the consequential. One caveat, I wan't to be careful not to engage in "moralizing." Though I have moral reasons for some of my values, I recognize that morality is largely subjective in nature. Who's to say that my morals are superior to yours? Instead, I'll discuss (what I believe are) the logical consequences of my morals and you can determine how attractive they are.

Voluntaryism as a System of Values

My latest columns is now up at EVC, it begins:
I will own this interpretation, but I think that all voluntaryism really comes down to is a system of values. Looking over the last few years, I can see that what has been the primary mover in my evolution toward freedom are the change in values that I hold. And each change was preceded be a conscious, free will decision to accept some new idea. That's very important; to know that I was never coerced into changing my values. Many of the ideas that I discovered held great intellectual weight for me, but the choice to accept them was completely voluntary. Whether or not I would accept the idea had mostly to do with other, more basic values that I hold, such as truth, justice, and logical consistency. As a system of values, here is what voluntaryism is to me.

LPL - February 2013 Update

As of the end of February 2013, 135 libertarian and economics books have been made available in large print at LargePrintLiberty.com. LPL ended the month of January 2013 with 135 offerings.

Through the end of February, 358 books sold in the US, Europe, and Great Britain. Murray Rothbard's For a New Libertysold the most at 67 copies; followed by Carl Menger's Principles of Economics at 20 copies, and Etienne de La Boetie's The Politics of Obedience at 19 copies. Of the 358 books that have sold, 275 copies went to the US (dollars), 47 copies went to Great Britain (pounds), and 36 copies went to mainland Europe (euros).

My progress on the Journal of Libertarian Studies continues (very slowly at the moment). I've made available 11 volumes in large print. I will not be making available regular print as per the agreement with my printer.

Lamenting a Noble Cause

Check out my column from last Monday, it begins:
When "The Hobbit" came out in theaters, I decided to read the book instead of seeing the film adaptation. In fact, I decided to start with The Hobbit and continue on through The Lord of the Rings. As of this writing, I've completed The Hobbit and Books I through IV of the Rings. I am enjoying the books much more than I enjoyed the movies. The differences between the two are staggering. I highly recommend reading the books. They're much more colorful. The movies put me to sleep, originally. But what I really wanted to write about was a parallel I've noticed between Frodo's burden and my own.

Control is War

My column this week is on control and war, it begins:
War is clearly destructive. Even war fought totally in self-defense is destructive; destructive to life, liberty, and property. Murray Rothbard wrote an excellent analysis of war titled "War, Peace, and the State". I highly recommend reading it. As a voluntaryist, I oppose war on philosophical, ethical, spiritual, and economic grounds. The question I'd like to examine here, however, is "when does war begin?" And I think the answer is "when you attempt to forcibly control someone else without their permission." If so, what are the implications of that?

The Importance of Discovery

My latest column. It begins:
What would life be like without discovery? From the moment we are born, discovery plays a vital role in our development as human beings. We discover our limbs and how they function. We discover our strength and how to wield it. We discover movement, communication, and relationships. I firmly believe that discovery is as important to our survival as is food, water, and protection from the elements. As we age, if we are not continually engaged in discovery, how happy can we really be? How content can we be in life?

LPL - January 2013 Update

As of the end of January 2013, 135 libertarian and economics books have been made available in large print at LargePrintLiberty.com. LPL ended the month of December 2012 with 133 offerings.

Through the end of January, 400 books sold in the US, Europe, and Great Britain. Murray Rothbard's For a New Libertysold the most at 82 copies; followed by Albert Jay Nock's Our Enemy, the State at 35 copies, and Carl Menger's Principles of Economics at 30 copies. Of the 400 books that have sold, 313 copies went to the US (dollars), 35 copies went to Great Britain (pounds), and 52 copies went to mainland Europe (euros, my best month for euros).

My progress on the Journal of Libertarian Studies continues (slowly at the moment). I've made available 11 volumes in large print. I will not be making available regular print as per the agreement with my printer.

Embracing the Moment

My latest column, it starts:
I have recently discovered a major weakness of mine. I have heretofore been aware of it, but justified it on the grounds that I wasn't doing anything wrong. I can no longer lie complacent to this sin and allow my family to suffer its consequences. Mine is the sin of distraction.

The Subjectivity of Good, Evil, and Morality

I tackle the ideas of good, evil, and morality in my latest column. It begins:
I think an often overlooked concept in ethics (at least to my admittedly limited knowledge on the subject) is the subjective nature of "good" and "evil." Along with that, the idea of "objective morality" seems to me to be an oxymoron. What is considered evil by one person may be considered good by another. Likewise, what is considered an immoral act by one may be moral to another. Can good, evil, and morality be objectively defined? I think so, but only in the broader context of subjectivity, or, only relative to the ends being sought by human action.

Coming and Going

I missed this last week, but here's my New Year column for "One Improved Unit". It starts:
What would a column about my personal growth and improvement be without an analysis of the coming year? As cliche as making New Year resolutions is, I have a lot to work on and work towards. Since 2003, I can identify clearly each year the major milestones I made as far as personal ideology and commitments were concerned. I evolved from an agnostic progressive to a theistic voluntaryist in 10 years; from a not-so-eligible bachelor to a husband and father. I suppose I should take some time to look back at 2012, and then look forward to 2013.

LPL - December 2012 Update

As of the end of December 2012, 133 libertarian and economics books have been made available in large print at LargePrintLiberty.com. LPL ended the month of November 2012 with 124 offerings.

Through the end of December, 458 books sold in the US, Europe, and Great Britain. Murray Rothbard's For a New Libertysold the most at 83 copies; followed by Albert Jay Nock's Our Enemy, the State at 44 copies, and Carl Menger's Principles of Economics at 22 copies. Of the 458 books that have sold, 392 copies went to the US (dollars), 44 copies went to Great Britain (pounds), and 22 copies went to mainland Europe (euros). By 100 books, my best month to date.

My progress on the Journal of Libertarian Studies continues. I've made available 9 volumes in large print. I will not be making available regular print as per the agreement with my printer.

Which Shall We Treat, the Problem, or Symptoms?

My latest column is now up at Everything-Voluntary.com. It begins:
Voluntaryists are not pacifists, though they do encourage strategic pacifism on many fronts. In regards to the private ownership of weapons (from clubs to firearms), it is the perspective of this voluntaryist that such a "right," that is, the right to self-defense by any advantageous means possible, precedes all state constitutions, their amendments, and ultimately the state itself. Likewise, the right to say anything one wants to say, be it friendly, libelous, slanderous, or seditious, so long as one has permission of the owner on whose property they are standing when they say it (or write it), precedes the state. Having said that, what's all this talk about gun control and deporting Piers Morgan?