Friday, February 28, 2014

Five Libertarian Ideas #9 - Libertarian Culture, War, and Howard Stern

Libertarian culture
Gradually we're building up our LIBERTARIAN CULTURE. We've got books and books galore on politics, economics, history, and theory. We've got novelists like Garet Garrett and Rose Wilder Lane. We have movies like Atlas Shrugged 1-3 and Copperhead--even musicians like Jordan Page, Golden State, and Aimee Allen.  Now let's share these gems with others and create a demand for the free market to supply more #libertarian culture. –2/18

Tribute to a fallen citizen-soldier
While doing on-location research on the Mariposa Indian War, I found the grave site of 2LT Skeane S. Skeenes, who was one of the first soldiers killed in the war.  Regardless of one's opinions on the Indian Wars, appreciate the fact that Skeenes was a volunteer, a citizen soldier, doing what he honestly believed was good and right. Appreciate the fact that he died in service and never saw his mother again. Rest in peace LT. –2/18

A Ukrainian protestor braves the fire to guard the defenses

Ukraine verging on civil war
Looks like Ukraine's on the verge of civil war. What we see here is over 2 decades worth of PISSED OFF. When the USSR dissolved, most former SSRs transitioned to a market economy and de-fanged central government very quickly. This wasn't the case in Ukraine, where standards of living haven't gone up as high as other eastern European countries, and Ukraine until now has effectively remained a Russian satellite. –2/19

Howard Stern
The liberty movement NEEDS to reach out to Howard Stern ASAP. His admission to having voted for Democrats and Republicans both, and his refusal to back Democrats again because of "gangsterism" tell me that he's politically homeless and on the right wavelength to connect with our libertarian worldview. –2/21

Chapo Guzman arrested
Chapo Guzman, the world's # 1 drug lord, was arrested a few days ago in Mexico. While it's a symbolic victory, it won't end the civil war. In Colombia they busted the 4 big cartels, resulting in cocaine being continued by 300 independent producers. Today in Mexico, the Sinaloa Cartel's militias are still at war with the Zetas paramilitary army. –2/25

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Ukrainian protestor image by Mstyslav Chernov and used via CC BY-SA 3.0 license.

[VIDEO] Libertarian ASMR

What is Libertarian ASMR?

A little over a year ago I stumbled onto a genre of videos for “ASMR.”  The acronym stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, which is the sensation you get of zoning out, or getting chills, or tingles on the back of your neck, or you just plain melt in relaxation after staring at a pattern or hearing certain soft tones and sounds.  ASMR is an excellent medium for stress relief by taking on a state of mind similar to meditation.

A scientific explanation describes ASMR as

a neologism for a perceptual phenomenon characterized as a distinct, pleasurable tingling sensation in the head, scalp, back, or peripheral regions of the body in response to visual, auditory, olfactory, and/or cognitive stimuli. The nature and classification of the ASMR phenomenon is controversial. Tom Stafford, a professor at the University of Sheffield, says, "It might well be a real thing, but it's inherently difficult to research.

ASMR is wildly popular and there are hundreds, perhaps thousands by now, ASMRtists making videos on YouTube.  More than a few dozen of these quasi-meditation artists have enjoyed millions of views and tens of thousands of subscriptions.  ASMR is obviously a growing subculture.

For those in the ASMR community not familiar with libertarian philosophies, libertarian economist and philosopher Murray Rothbard describes the concept as such:

The fundamental axiom of libertarian theory is that no one may threaten or commit violence ("aggress") against another man's person or property. Violence may be employed only against the man who commits such violence; that is, only defensively against the aggressive violence of another.  In short, no violence may be employed against a non-aggressor. Here is the fundamental rule from which can be deduced the entire corpus of libertarian theory.
I’ve argued for a while now that libertarians need to inject libertarian ideas into popular culture.  In light of this, I thought it would be a valuable venture to bring libertarianism to the growing world of ASMR.  I’ve made the first of what will be a series of videos where the viewer can listen, relax, and take in libertarian ideas.  This is a way for not-yet-libertarians to explore ideas perhaps outside their comfort zones but in a warm and positive manner, free of heated debates and nasty arguing.

Please like the video and subscribe if this is a project you believe in.  Furthermore, our foothold into this popular sub-culture will be stronger if other libertarians join me.  Libertarian and paleo-conservative women are needed as well; female ASMRtists are much more popular [and successful] at this than males, and they’ll be more successful with swaying people in favor of free markets, sound money, and voluntary association.  We’ll need to adopt successful strategies for winning as many new minds for liberty as possible.

Frankly, I’m incredibly excited to be able to branch out into new artistic directions and make my small contribution to expanding and strengthening libertarian culture.

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Quote about ASMR courtesy of Wikipedia. ASMR infographic courtesy of Expression College blog "That ASMR Feeling." YouTube video property of this blog owner.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Self-government is Not the State

One concept I've slowly been exploring is the idea of government versus the idea of the state. In the theoretical libertarian anarchy, government may still exist via self-government of communities or entities in which membership is voluntary. Self-government is not the same as the state.

When you boil "self-government" down to its purest, basest form, it all comes down to the individual and his decisions to self-regulate. If a confederacy of individuals decided to ban together and all voluntarily self-regulate according to the same standards, and collaborate for projects and ventures without collective theft, then there is true self-government without there being a state.

Just because the state has hijacked the label "government" as a euphemism does not mean voluntary self-government equals the state. If the self-governing association is 100% voluntary and if the state is coercion embodied, then voluntary self-government is not the state.

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Artwork by Libertatis in the public domain

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Five Libertarian Ideas #8 - Liberty Movement a house divided

Anarchists and Minarchists
I consider myself a conservative libertarian, which I suppose could be the same as a libertarian minarchist. Other conservative libertarians might be anarchists who think it's not quite time for the state to go away, while the full anarchist libertarians are waiting for the rest of us to make the final conversion. Once you go libertarian, the "left" and the "right" simply become varying degrees of communism and fascism. I can tell ya that most an-caps are cool people. Anyone who automatically gets hostile just hearing that you're "minarchist" has gone where we can't follow: past reality, into a mental state where pure theory replaces reality. –2/3

IP and plagiarism
It's hilarious when people copy and paste my status updates instead of doing the Facebook share. Folks, just because we don't believe in IP doesn't mean direct plagiarism is okay...... –2/7

Organized religion and atheism equally threaten liberty
I've seen the infighting between libertarians and am not pleased. Organized RELIGION as just as big a threat to the liberty movement as is militant ATHEISM. Christendom was a death sentence of thousands in Reformation-era Europe, as was Reason a death sentence in revolutionary France and Russia. When dogma pollutes principles from EITHER direction, "life" and "liberty" become empty rhetoric. –2/10

Liberty: A house divided
The liberty movement is MUCH more divided than the standard "left" and "right". Leftists and neocons tend to agree with each other far more often because each group follows its standard line of dogma, hardly ever thinking for themselves to seriously question the prevailing dogma. In the liberty movement, people really do think independently, which is why we have lots of libertarians disagreeing on many details. Despite this, WE SET ASIDE THE SMALL STUFF TO WORK FOR THE BIG PICTURE. –2/13

Denouncing Lincoln on Facebook makes you look like a bigot
They've got a point. We need to keep in mind that, despite what we know, Lincoln is still one of the most beloved leaders in American history. Instead of just bashing Lincoln, come up with other 1860s Republicans, or even Southerners, who were anti-slavery but pro-liberty (in a libertarian context)...  If we do it tactfully, like saying, "Honestly, I've learned some things about Lincoln that kind of made me lose respect for him" then we may make inroads. If we jump out and just start shouting "LINCOLN WAS EVIL!!!" then please see [the title heading for this idea]. –2/17

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U.S./Tea Party flag image in the public domain.