Posts

Showing posts from 2015

BOOK RELEASE: Unschooling Dads

Image
I am proud to announce the release of my latest book, Unschooling Dads: Twenty-two Testimonials on Their Unconventional Approach to Education! Found here.
“This is an important book. I'm glad you have it and are about to read more. It will help make many children's lives wonderful. When the parents relax enough to see the wonder in their children, then their own lives will improve. As each life is made richer and more peaceful, the family grows lighter, and happier.” – Sandra Dodd, from the Foreword.

By current standards the world over, unschooling is a radical educational practice based on radical philosophical concepts. Should children really be given the freedom to pursue their own academic interests? The unschooling dads who have written for this book answer that question with a concerted “YES!” Discover their reasons for choosing this most unconventional of approaches to education for their children. $14 Paperback, FREE for Kindle, ePUB, MOBI, and PDF!


Skyler.

The Voluntaryist Vision

What does the voluntaryist see when his values and principles have been realized in larger society? What does the voluntaryist paradise look like? Here is my version of the voluntaryist vision, beginning in the home with the family.Read the rest at EVC.

Might Makes Rights

All rights are property rights, so says libertarian philosopher Murray Rothbard. But property rights are the result of the use of either force or reason eventually leading to the emergence of customary law (norms and conventions), so says amateur voluntaryist philosopher me. In other words, might makes rights. Let me explain.Read the rest at EVC.

Persuasion, Reason, and Markets

Those who desire to see the grip of statism released from our world, the abolition of coercive monopoly government, to be replaced by a peaceful and rulerless social and legal order, must decide for themselves how best to achieve it. Unless we are to be discovered as hypocrites, it is my opinion that we anarchists must embrace tools and strategies consistent with our ends, a peaceful and rulerless social and legal order. That is, we must embrace persuasion over force, reason over aggression, and free markets over control.Read the rest at EVC.

The Monopoly on Crime

The difference between the state and an owner of private property is often made fuzzy by anarchists of the collectivist tradition. They see those who claim private property beyond what they personally occupy and use as a form of statism, and on that ground incompatible with anarchism. I think the difference can be explained as the state claiming and enforcing a monopoly on the provision of law and order, and by extension, a monopoly on crime. Let me explain.Read the rest at EVC.

Monopoly and the Free Society

One of the criticisms that voluntaryists receive is that in a free society, what's to stop someone from obtaining a monopoly on the provision of a good or service? If there's no central anti-trust regulator, a business could use all sorts of tactics and schemes to secure for themselves a monopoly in the market. Is this a valid criticism? Not really.Read the rest at EVC.

What are Principles For?

So much has changed in my life since I became an adult all those many years ago, I've had a lot of experience with the concept of "principles." I thought I'd put down my thoughts on what principles are and what they're for. Here goes.Read the rest at EVC.

LPL - June 2015 Update

In June 2015, LPL sold 408 books across North America and Europe. Here are the top 5:
139 copies, Profit and Loss - Ludwig von Mises29 copies, For a New Liberty - Murray Rothbard15 copies, Boundaries of Order - Butler Shaffer13 copies, Principles of Economics - Carl Menger14 copies, Our Enemy, the State- Albert Jay Nock LPL's all-time top 10 bestsellers are:
For a New Liberty - Murray RothbardOur Enemy, the State - Albert Jay NockPrinciples of Economics - Carl MengerEconomics for Real People - Gene CallahanThe Mystery of Banking - Murray RothbardFascism vs. Capitalism - Lew RockwellThe Politics of Obedience - Etienne de la BoetieProfit and Loss - Ludwig von MisesGreat Wars and Great Leaders - Ralph RaicoBourbon for Breakfast - Jeffrey Tucker

Justice under Voluntaryism

People care about justice. Even criminals care about justice when they find themselves the victim. When people feel that they've been wronged, they desire to be made right, which can take the form of revenge, or getting even, or making their wrongdoer pay. What does justice look like under voluntaryism? Let's have a look.Read the rest at EVC.

Whites are Racist, Blacks are Violent

Race has not only been a topic of discussion around the nation lately; it has also been a topic of discussion within my home. My children have become acutely aware of race and where they fall on the spectrum of "color." Technically, they are half Caucasian and half Hispanic of Mexican descent, but visually, they are whiter than I. The only clue of their Hispanicness is their dark brown eyes and fluent Spanish. Seeing and hearing them speak fluent English, one would not guess that their mother is Mexican. In any event, race and racism have been topics in my house. My children are trying to make sense of these things. My fear, however, is that they may be getting at least two messages that I wish they rather not get. Those are that whites are racists, and that blacks are violent.Read the rest at EVC.

Immigration and Voluntaryism

Many hold a passionate view on immigration, by which I mean the immigration of peoples across national borders. Not so much, if any, is their passion for in-nation immigration. What is the voluntaryist view on immigration, you ask? Let's find out.Read the rest at EVC.

An Attempt at a Universal Ethic VI: Answering Objections

This series has been a delight to think and write about. I admit that I was a bit apprehensive at the beginning to get into this, but having done so it has been a weight lifted from my shoulders. In this final part I answer twelve objections that I received and hope my responses are sufficient. This will likely be a topic to occupy my time in the future, and I welcome all interested thinkers to give me their input on any part of this series. We can only grow by considering the strengths and weaknesses of any argument. Let us proceed.Read the rest at EVC.

Property under Voluntaryism

We live in a world of scarcity. There is a seemingly infinite amount of demand for a seemingly finite amount of resources. The same resource can't be used at the same time by different users. If it could, then the concept of "property" would never have arisen. As it is, scarcity creates the possibility of conflict, and so people who value peaceful coexistence with one another will allocate resources in a conflict-reducing way. How would this process look under voluntaryism? Let's see.Read the rest at EVC.

Rulers vs. Leaders

An oft-tackled question by anarchists is on the difference between rulers and leaders. In general usage, the difference seems clear, but there are some exceptions. Just what is the difference between rulers and leaders, and why should we care? Let's see.Read the rest at EVC.

An Attempt at a Universal Ethic V: Integrating Alternatives

Having presented my ethic and used it to make sense of the seemingly subjective nature of morality, the phenomenon of moral outrage, and demonstrated its universality, I thought I would look at a few alternative approaches to ethics. My goal in this part is to determine and demonstrate their integratability with my ethic. It should be noted, that I take only a superficial look at each alternative, summarized as accurately as possible according to my current understanding. As well, I do not claim that this is a complete list of alternative approaches to ethics, these are just the ones of which I am most familiar.Read the rest at EVC.

LPL - April 2015 Update

In April 2015, LPL sold 391 books across North America and Europe. Here are the top 5:
48 copies, For a New Liberty - Murray Rothbard32 copies, Our Enemy, the State- Albert Jay Nock23 copies, The Politics of Obedience - Etienne de la Boetie19 copies, Principles of Economics - Carl Menger15 copies, Economics for Real People - Gene Callahan LPL's all-time top 10 bestsellers are:
For a New Liberty - Murray RothbardOur Enemy, the State - Albert Jay NockPrinciples of Economics - Carl MengerEconomics for Real People - Gene CallahanThe Mystery of Banking - Murray RothbardFascism vs. Capitalism - Lew RockwellThe Politics of Obedience - Etienne de la BoetieBourbon for Breakfast - Jeffrey TuckerGreat Wars and Great Leaders - Ralph RaicoEconomic Thought before Adam Smith - Murray Rothbard

An Attempt at a Universal Ethic IV: Universality

Universality is an important component of any moral philosophy worth its salt. If an ethic can't be universalized, then it does no good, as it doesn't apply to everyone. I hope to show that the ethic as described in part one is not only universalizable, but when formulated as a maxim it approaches universal law. And further, not only a universal law for humans, but for all of animalkind in the rest of the universe.Read the rest at EVC.

An Attempt at a Universal Ethic III: Moral Outrage

Moral outrage is an interesting phenomenon. We see people experience it for any number of reasons, and often contradictory. What is moral outrage, exactly, and when is it experienced? And more, how does it fit with the ethic as described in this series? Let's find out.Read the rest at EVC.

An Attempt at a Universal Ethic II: Subjective Identification

Every person and every culture that exists (or has existed) seem to have their own ideas on what constitutes ethical and unethical behavior. How do I explain this apparent phenomenon in light of the ethic I introduced in part one? If ethics seems like a subjective determination, how do I claim objectivity? I do that by separating moral standing from identification. Let me explain.Read the rest at EVC.

An Attempt at a Universal Ethic I: Introduction

Morality and ethics is a contentious area of philosophy, but I don't think it needs to be. Rather, if we peel away the layers upon layers of religious and philosophical obfuscation, and return to original meaning, what we find is a very simple and basic conception with incredible explanatory power. In the following six part series, I will define objectively morality and ethics, give both abstract and particular examples of ethical and unethical behavior, demonstrate the acceptability of qualifying ethics, explain why morality and ethics seem to have a subjective quality, make sense - in light of my definition - of the phenomenon of moral outrage, attempt to universalize the ethic and integrate alternative moral philosophies into my framework, and finally to offer answers to the best objections I have heretofore received and will no doubt receive along the way. This is seemingly the most ambitious thing I've ever done, but if I don't try it will continue to occupy my mind …

Why Negotiate with Children?

Learning to live with others can be challenging. When their attempts to meet their needs interferes with our attempts to meet ours, conflict may ensue. This is no less true between adults as between adults and children or children and children. If one values peace and cooperation over strife and domination, he must learn the art of negotiation. And just as importantly, he must teach it to his children.Read the rest at EVC.

LPL - March 2015 Update

In March 2015, LPL sold 399 books across North America and Europe. Here are the top 5:
64 copies, For a New Liberty - Murray Rothbard28 copies, Our Enemy, the State- Albert Jay Nock27 copies, Economics for Real People - Gene Callahan20 copies, Principles of Economics - Carl Menger15 copies, The Politics of Obedience - Etienne de la Boetie LPL's all-time top 10 bestsellers are:
For a New Liberty - Murray RothbardOur Enemy, the State - Albert Jay NockPrinciples of Economics - Carl MengerEconomics for Real People - Gene CallahanThe Mystery of Banking - Murray RothbardFascism vs. Capitalism - Lew RockwellBourbon for Breakfast - Jeffrey TuckerThe Politics of Obedience - Etienne de la BoetieGreat Wars and Great Leaders - Ralph RaicoEconomic Thought before Adam Smith - Murray Rothbard

Evidence of Jurisdiction

There is, or should be, a presumption of innocence when we are accused of breaking the law. The prosecution has the burden of proof to show, factually, that we've done what they're accusing us of doing. Does proof begin at our actions? Actually, no. It begins at the law itself. Let me explain."Read the rest at EVC.

Voluntaryism among Other Philosophies

Voluntaryism is the philosophy based on the voluntary principle, that all human relations should happen voluntarily or not at all. In my opinion, this principle, like all principles, is only valid when it creates a self-imposed obligation on how one should behave toward other humans. As a voluntaryist then, my primary commitment is to voluntary human relations, meaning, all other considerations like acceptable property norms or the justified use of force are secondary. Here I want to examine a few other philosophies that have attracted me - libertarianism, anarchism, nihilism, stoicism - as they relate to voluntaryism.Read the rest at EVC.

Spanking is Always Unnecessary VI: Divine Mandate

Many religious people, Christian and not, consider the practice of spanking to be divinely mandated. They'll quote scriptures or popular religious leaders in the attempt to support that belief. If you believe without a doubt that spanking is required by your God, then you likely won't care what I have to say. That's fine; feel free to skip to the end. For everyone else, perhaps we can shed some perspective on things.Read the rest at EVC.

Spanking is Always Unnecessary V: Respect and Obedience

Raise your hand if you want respectful and obedient children. What a magical place it would be if our children were to obey our every command and never show even a hint of disrespect toward us! On second thought, while perfectly respectful and obedient little robots would be nice, I'm not sure I want my children as such happy slaves (an oxymoron if there ever was one). Rather, I think their respect and obedience would mean more to me if I knew each was a genuine, thoughtful show of love as their caretaker and confidant. Will spanking and punishments get me there? I don't believe so.Read the rest at EVC.

Spanking is Always Unnecessary IV: Discipline and Toughness

It is said that we live in a cruel and heartless world. To send our children out into that cruel world as innocent, fluffy bunnies would be like pulling the trigger of the gun pressed against their temples ourselves. How many people sincerely believe this? That without "discipline" to teach them safe behavior and the requisite "toughness" to defend themselves, they'll fall prey to the legions of predators that won't hesitate to pounce on them the moment they cross the threshold. How does any caretaker ever let their child out of their sight? And even more baffling, how are there any children anywhere? What a pessimistic, nay, cynical view of the world, completely unsupported by the facts. Do children need spanking- or punishment-based discipline? Do they need their caretaker to toughen them up through violence? Let's see.Read the rest at EVC.

Spanking is Always Unnecessary III: Hurting Themselves or Others

It might seem logical to cause a child pain in order to teach him what pain feels like, so that he'll refrain from hurting himself or others. Unfortunately, when a caretaker intentionally hurts his child, he's doing far more than teaching him what pain feels like, as well as ignoring the alternatives to teaching him to be safe and to keep his hands to himself. I'll explore both scenarios to see why spanking is unnecessary.Read the rest at EVC.

Spanking is Always Unnecessary II: Preventing Misbehavior

Many parents justify their use of spanking and punishments as a way to prevent what they perceive as misbehavior. They believe that children won't learn to behave properly if their misbehavior is not met with undesirable consequences. Children dislike being hit, so it's believed that children will cease behaving improperly in order to avoid getting hit. Let's put aside any empirical evidence on the effectiveness of spanking for this reason, and instead focus on why it's unnecessary.Read the rest at EVC.

EVC: Building a Culture of Liberty VI: Moral Outrage

Here we are at the conclusion of this series. I began by defining several important concepts, each of which I've used here and there, except for moral outrage. (Alright, I used it once.) That is the topic of this final installment, and the culmination of my thesis on how to build a culture of liberty. Let's go.Read the rest at EVC.

Spanking is Always Unnecessary I: Introduction

The practice of spanking children in particular, and child punishment in general, was abandoned in my family in August of 2011. We've never looked back. Sure my children have had their hard moments, but I've managed to find better ways to help them through than with spanking or time-outs. In every case, I either found and dealt with the unmet need that caused the problem, or failing that, got them through their trouble with empathy, compassion, and humor. I am now completely unconvinced that spanking, or any punishment of children, is ever necessary. So I thought I'd write this six-part series examining the reasons people give for these deplorable practices, with emphasis on the worst form of child punishment, spanking. Let's begin!Read the rest at EVC.

LPL - January 2015 Update

In January 2015, LPL sold 541 books across North America and Europe. Here are the top 5:
84 copies, For a New Liberty - Murray Rothbard34 copies, Principles of Economics - Carl Menger29 copies, Economics for Real People - Gene Callahan24 copies, Our Enemy, the State- Albert Jay Nock17 copies, Chaos Theory - Robert Murphy LPL's all-time top 10 bestsellers are:
For a New Liberty - Murray RothbardOur Enemy, the State - Albert Jay NockPrinciples of Economics - Carl MengerThe Mystery of Banking - Murray RothbardEconomics for Real People - Gene CallahanFascism vs. Capitalism - Lew RockwellBourbon for Breakfast - Jeffrey TuckerGreat Wars and Great Leaders - Ralph RaicoThe Politics of Obedience - Etienne de la BoetieEconomic Thought before Adam Smith - Murray Rothbard

Must We Seek the Divine?

The last time I wrote about my religious beliefs, I said that I was starting over, "rebuilding" my foundation. I intended to get to the bottom of whether or not God exists, and journey forward from there. Two interesting forks occurred along the way. I thought I'd take a moment to share them.Read the rest at EVC.

Building a Culture of Liberty V: Agorism

"Agorism is a libertarian social philosophy that advocates creating a society in which all relations between people are voluntary exchanges by means of counter-economics, thus engaging in a manner with aspects of peaceful revolution." So says Wikipedia. What is counter-economics? According to the father of Agorism, Samuel Konkin, "the study or practice of all peaceful human action which is forbidden by the State." I think agorism is a much broader concept and practice than was ever suggested by Konkin, and a necessary foundation to building a culture of liberty.Read the rest at EVC.

Building a Culture of Liberty IV: Radical Unschooling

As shown in the previous installment, schooling is an extremely poor practice for building a culture of liberty. Parents who've begun building that culture at home through attachment and positive discipline will find schooling to be a major counter-productive step in the socialization and enculturation of their children toward liberty. Instead, such parents should educate themselves on the philosophy known as radical unschooling. Not only does it meet the psychological and intellectual needs of children better than schooling, but it's also the best way to continue building a culture of liberty.Read the rest at EVC.

Building a Culture of Liberty III: Schooling

Schooling is the typical next step in a person's life, and the socialization that occurs in school is quite ill-suited to building a culture of liberty. That's the intent, actually. Modern schooling was founded in Prussia as a means to socialize children into the acceptance of state authority (always illegitimate) and a life of subservience to parents, opinion makers, educators, bureaucrats, and bosses. The brilliance of schooling in this regard was not lost on the rest of the world's ruling class. It quickly spread to every country on earth. Today, schooling is touted as a child's right and necessary for becoming a functional adult. But everything about school is antithetical to building a culture of liberty.Read the rest at EVC.

LPL - December 2014 Update

In December 2014, LPL sold 636 books across North America and Europe. Here are the top 5:
154 copies, For a New Liberty - Murray N. Rothbard27 copies, Our Enemy, the State- Albert Jay Nock26 copies, Economics for Real People - Gene Callahan22 copies, The Mystery of Banking - Murray N. Rothbard21 copies, Notes on Democracy - H. L. Mencken LPL's all-time top 5 bestsellers are:
For a New Liberty - Murray N. RothbardOur Enemy, the State - Albert Jay NockPrinciples of Economics - Carl MengerThe Mystery of Banking - Murray N. RothbardEconomics for Real People - Gene Callahan