Author: Casey Ward

The Free Market will Advance Space Exploration

Casey Ward | United States

“We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.”-Carl Sagan

The U.N. Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUS) has written many laws and treaties, but all they do is show how little governments understand about space. While the intentions are typically well-meaning, such as Article I and II declaring that space is free for the exploration of all nations and that space objects are to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes. It is also stated under Article IV that no weapons of mass destruction are permitted in outer space. No matter how well intended these treaties are they are ignorant of basic science, and we can see this with a grain of sand and some math. Theoretically, a grain of sand could destroy the earth if you put 2.23×10^34 watts of energy into it, that’d be enough force to create a blast of 2.24×10^32 Joules, roughly equivalent to 6,612 Tsar Bomba, the largest nuclear bomb ever built. Of course, that is next to impossible, but the science is clear, force equals mass times acceleration, thus, any object or ship could be of mass destruction if it crashes into earth.

All law is arbitrary and set for what is the popular opinion, which becomes even more difficult with larger populations. Furthermore, space exacerbates the cultural and legal issues we already face today. A major part of the law is enforceability, the vast void of space making it pointless to try hunting someone down, for example, a colonist on the moon has “illegal” drugs. Trying to regulate a society on the outskirts of our solar system or even outside of it, with the estimated population of humanity and the area we inhabit rising, the future of legal systems seems uncertain. Today we have a complex and confusing legal code. In the near future, this must be simplified for humanity to keep any resemblance of a coherent culture.

Space presents great opportunity for human expansion. Space makes it impossible to govern someone since there’s no point to writing a law for someone that you could never get to in your lifetime, or theirs. If we assume that humans will continue to develop life extension technology they could just run indefinitely as discussed earlier. On top of that the society would advance at different rates and in different directions, making it even harder for politicians to make laws since they don’t know what to ban nor from whom. Who then would bear the high cost of colonizing planets or building rotating habitats? In the past and even still today that has fallen upon governments but more and more private firms are setting their sights toward the sky. SpaceX is the most notable with their plan to get to Mars starting in 2022 and have people colonizing the red planet by 2028. Other significant space firms are Virgin Galactic who is trying to build a fleet of spacecraft, Obayashi Corporation who launched two satellites to survey for the space elevator they are trying to engineer by 2030, and Planetary Resources who is planning asteroid mining missions. From the looks of it, the future is best left to the free market to colonize space, and rightfully so.

Even Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is getting into the race with his company Blue Origin, he also predicts a population of over 1,000,000,000,000 people in the near future comparing the private space race to the explosion of the internet. And just like the internet, experimentation was started by the government but as soon as the free market took hold it exploded with innovation, wealth creation and, most importantly, bettering people’s lives.


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It’s Time for All to Oppose the State Consistently

By Casey Ward | United States

What’s the difference between a minarchist and an anarchist? Six months. The joke may be hilarious, but it is not always true. Many people continue to claim that they want smaller government. However, with the long arm of the law transgressing further upon our rights every day, this entire country should be outraged. Almost everyone is, to some extent, but not enough.

The issue lies in our selective outrage. Most of the modern Democrats argue for social freedom (with exceptions) while modern Republicans lean towards more economic freedom (with exceptions). At the same time, most support government monopolies over industries like police, legislation, and the military.

The question everyone should be asking is why: why do we allow government endless power? Often the answer is because people never knew any other way. In 1860, Abraham Lincoln became president; less than a year later, he started a poorly justified war and used his presidential power to enact the first federal income tax in order to fund it. This was a disastrous precedent. Lawyers and Congressmen often uphold the decisions of the past for fear of losing confidence in their future rulings. However, just because something happened once, does not mean that that something was right or reasonable.

A Dangerous Future

Nonetheless, from that day forward, presidents have acted as if the government’s power is plenary. In Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.’s book, “Against The State: An Anarcho-Capitalist Manifesto”, he goes back to the Great Depression and explains how even after it, FDR’s endless social programs remained in place. These may have looked life-saving at the time, but now, social security is overbearing. It even threatens to enslave the future with debts they never incurred.

The Disasters of Social Security and Regulation

As a result, many politicians call social security “the third rail”. If you touch it, you’re dead. Or, at least, your political career is. This is simply kicking the can down the road, but politicians and Americans alike seem to be able to live with.

To add a degree of relatability to the government’s market interference, examine a study by the Journal of Economic Growth that details these effects. This study details the frightful reality that government cripples GDP per household. Without added regulation since 1949, the study estimates, the average 2011 figure would have been an exorbitant $384,857, nearly four times higher than the recorded $107,857. Clearly, the economy has many more regulations now than then. Going back even further to fewer regulations, this figure would only increase more.

Future Hopes

Even with the 81,000 pages of regulations added in 2015 alone, the hope of a free society is not completely gone. As Thomas Paine said, “Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” So we shall work in the direction we know is right. After all of the alphabet bureaucracies are revoked and regulations nullified, maybe then we will see that individuals are efficient enough to make a more prosperous world. Finally, this may give ourselves deserved credit and end the reliance on an ever-watchful state. 


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Life is Tragic but Free Health Care is Malevolent

By Casey Ward | United States

We live in a world where existence is suffering and health is one of the main factors. As a result, many believe in a bitter dichotomy: make health care a human right or let nature harm the ill and injured. However, this is not the case, as market health care systems can still provide valuable services. But regardless, when nature takes its course the result is merely tragic. On the other hand, free health care is malevolent, as it violates bodily autonomy and property rights.

Life is Full of Tragic Events 

When tragedy strikes, it may be hard for people to cope, but there are ways of coming to a point of acceptance. Many lives today are increasingly chaotic, with tough relationships between friends and family. Tragedy, though, can bind a group of people at their weakest time, bringing unexpected newfound strength. Of course, nobody is suggesting that tragedy is a good thing for society, or that we should welcome the death of those without health care. Quite the opposite is true, and again, market-based health care has done wonders for the country to save lives. This is not always possible, though, and despite the awful finality of death, there can be a subsequent community benefit.

When Tony Dungy lost his son in a tragic suicide, the Indianapolis Colts rallied around him. After years of detachment, they started to believe in his coaching style. They started to do better as a team and ended up winning the super bowl just two years later. While he was dealing with the death of his son, the teammates confessed that while other “teams” were just a group of guys who work together, they had become closer, an actual team.

Of course, trading in that camaraderie and the ring for his son back would be an easy move for Dungy. The value of human life is indisputable and infinite. But everything happens for a reason, and actually, some others did see self-improvement stemming from the tragedy. One player who despises hugging, not having hugged his own children in a decade, gave the coach a long hug to symbolize the connection they now held.

Life is tragic, and there is almost no way to extinguish tragedy. But if we commit malevolent acts, life can become miserable, unbearable even.

The Alfie Evans Mistreatment

That is exactly what happened in the case of the toddler Alfie Evans. Alfie started showing “seizure-like” motions and was rushed to the hospital. After over a year on life support, the doctors decided to save resources by pulling the plug and letting him die. The issue is that the pope had offered to fly the family to Italy and pay for treatment, so the family appealed to the British courts for permission.

However, when Judge Justice Hayden was confronted with the decision he said “The sad truth is that it is not. With little, indeed no hesitation, that I reject that.” The judge and doctors claimed that his brain was too far degraded to make treatment worthwhile.

But in the past, we have seen people with extreme mental disorders still have a meaningful life. For example, we look towards E.P., the patient who suffered from amnesia after damage to several key structures in his brain. If someone who can’t even remember where the kitchen is in his own home could still have a good life with his wife and kids while making great strides for science, who knows what could have come for the life of Alfie Evans? However tragic his life may have been, E.P.’s wife said he would have been extremely happy that his struggle made a difference in how doctors treat other people. That is all he expected in life, and he got it.

Free Health Care is a Scam

When people take the personal autonomy away from you, they claim to own you. This is exactly what happens under government-run “free health care.” In Canada, you can go get help for anything whenever you want. So, people go to treat minor illnesses and injuries constantly. This should be good, however, the price is far too high.

Wait times have increased by 177% since 1993, with a median wait of five months between referral and treatment. The system actually affects patients with life-endangering conditions the most, which is backward and absurd. Cancer treatment should always come before managing the flu. But according to Heritage.org, the Canadian monopoly often does not operate this way. It appears that free health care does not give much freedom to live.

“If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.”- John Stuart Mill

Even when judges and doctors in the U.K. agree, they do not have the power to say who lives. This is especially true in the Alfie Evans case, where the government was not going to pay a penny. As tragic as the entire situation is, these decisions are up to individuals and families. Free health care did not save Alfie Evans, and would not have done a thing to save Tony Dungy’s son. It is ineffective, malevolent, and far worse than the worst of accidental tragedies. 


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Post-Scarcity is Utopian and Unattainable in Society

By Casey Ward | United States

In today’s world of identity politics, there are many views on how the world should be run. During this debate, however, scarcity is often ignored when calculating the opportunity cost of different policies.

Scarcity and Post-Scarcity in the Modern World

The best example of ignoring scarcity in our time is universal healthcare. Essentially, the supply of healthcare is less than the demand for it. While we all agree that everyone should have access to healthcare, the fact remains that we cannot provide such a system without violating someone else’s rights.

This means that the only way universal healthcare can actually work is if we lived in a post-scarcity society, which will likely never happen. Since the universe, as far as we know, is finite, we cannot have infinite resources.

Scarcity, Capitalism, and Communism

However, if we factor for scarcity, it becomes clear that communism vs capitalism is a fool’s choice. If you boil it down, the main desire of communism is that the workers collectively control the means of production. In a free market system, individuals privately own the means of production in search of a profit. Capitalism is naturally voluntary, and over time, lowers prices to all individuals. On the other hand, when universal healthcare forces the creation of price ceilings, the market is thrown out of equilibrium. This, as a result of scarcity, creates a shortage.

Take, for example, medishare or any other voluntary cooperative. It is jointly run by its members in order to reach a mutual goal. With a group incentive of paying off medical bills, each individual is able to thrive. Yet, they do so without giving up their rights.

On the other hand, coercive social programs offer no incentive for success. For instance, the state prohibits people on disability from having another income source. By providing a service, but requiring no contribution, government cannot cover the demand with enough supply. The same is true with all modern safety nets. Social security costs more than what is being put in, and thus, supply cannot cover demand.

Is Post-Scarcity Possible?

Anarchists often leave out this important factor of scarcity as well. This is why Elon Musk’s utopian post-scarcity anarchism will never work. Post-scarcity is not achievable since it neglects two very important and rather scarce items, time and energy. Both are vital to our life, but neither are infinite. 

We all seek a longer life and yet extending our life is painstakingly slow. The few results we do see are miniscule, compared to the age of the universe. Even if we did find the cure to our mortality, we would die. It would just come at the eventual day when the stars burn through their fuel, leaving us without energy.

“When I can build anything I want whenever I want it, there’s no real point in using force to maintain control over a surplus.” -Human Iterations

Post-scarcity solving the need for a surplus, (as Iain M. Banks describes in his series called “The Culture”) is Musk’s eventual utopian goal. However, this simply will never occur, even in an immortal world. If someone knows that the universe is dying, they would stockpile materials to prolong the inevitable a little longer.

At the end, that would nullify any post-scarcity attempts. Without a doubt, the two most important things to our survival are going to disappear. All ideologies must address scarcity, but how we do so could change the world. The choice comes down to the market. Do we allow nature to take its course and seek an equilibrium? Or, is it justifiable to allocate some resources to benefit a group of people at the expense of others? Only the former recognizes the equal rights of all.


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How Far Will Government Go to Try to Reduce Gun Violence?

By Casey Ward | United States

These days there are more states than ever adopting arbitrary gun laws. Essentially, these only make people feel better, rather than actually saving any lives. Amidst all the discussion, one thing is missing. How far are gun control advocates willing to go to enforce these laws?

To fuel the discussion with those willing to create more legislation:

  1. Do you support gun control and how much?
  2. What is the purpose of gun control?
  3. How do you think that those weapons would be confiscated?
  4. How many out of the 55,000,000 gun owners are you willing to kill in order to enforce these laws? 

When answering the first question, most will say assault weapons are bad without even defining what an assault weapon is. The problem here is that when given vague wording, it is on purpose to slip in more restrictions without contest. The average restrictions supporter would describe an assault weapon as “full auto” even though full auto is next to impossible to get right now, so unless you have $10,000+ just for stamps and other legal fees.

The next most common restriction is bump stocks.  Then, there are mental health and the terror watch-list restrictions. In both of these, many harmless individuals are listed due to a false positive in the system. It is also worth noting that poor mental health does not mean someone is violent. Depression and anxiety are the two largest mental illnesses in America, yet seldom cause violence towards others. Still further are laws regarding those with restraining orders Mental health, the terror watch list, and restraining orders completely violate due process, effectively making them guilty until proven innocent.

In response to the second, question gun control advocates will likely claim restrictions are to reduce gun violence. Along with all of the school shootings in today’s media, there is also some conjured up belief that banning guns will magically make kids stop killing each other. This simple is not the case. Using Australia as a counterexample, it is clear that violent crime does not fall when the state creates more laws. 

Typically, the proposed method to confiscate these guns is through some sort of voluntary buy-back. However, if it fails, policemen with guns will have to fill the role of enforcer. People will not just hand over their weapons, as proven in New Jersey, Denver, and Massachusetts. Sending the police to someone’s home is considered attempted murder, but where is the line? Is it only attempted murder when kids online do it Does it count when adults proclaim something illegal and beg armed killers to do their dirty work?

Surely, many are willing to use gun violence to stop gun violence. Thus, the veracity of trying to stop gun violence goes out the window. Though this is perhaps the most ironic instance of police coercion, it is far from the only one. Every new law requires an increase in coercion to enforce it. Ask these questions and see, is it really worth the lives that will inevitably be lost?


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