Tag: laws

3 Times Anarcho-Capitalist Private Law Has Worked

By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

Everything is scarce. Time, space, human bodies, and all resources are limited. For each of them, there is a finite amount. Because of this finite amount, there are bound to be conflicts over who gets to use what. There will be conflict over who gets to use a piece of land or use a resource.

The greatest way to avoid this widespread conflict is a system of norms that aim to reduce conflict. A societally accepted private property norm that ensures that I own my body and my property can help in avoiding conflict. If the people in my community agree that my house is mine and my body is mine, they recognize that they are not allowed to enter without my permission or use my resources without my consent.

A system of widely accepted private property norms is what allows for peace to prevail. But what if the community does not accept these norms? It does not matter that I am the first user of a piece of property if nobody recognizes it as mine. If one is able to trample my property and steal my belongings without society caring, property doesn’t matter and peace it out of the question.

This is the problem that people often see with Anarcho-Capitalism. They believe that because there is no monopolized enforcer of property rights, then there is no chance at peace. Violence will prevail and a Hobbesian hell will ensue. Even libertarians have this problem with Anarcho-Capitalism. They think that property rights and individual freedom are important, but they do not believe that it is a sustainable model without a government minorly infringing on rights so as to provide protection.

The question must be posed, then: could private law work? Could we ensure that there is enforcement for property rights without a state? The theory behind this is well established, but even then it is hard to buy because the layman does not see examples of its success in the real world. We do not have exposure to private law, so we don’t think that it is possible for it to exist. The aim of this article is to establish the theory and then to look at how the theory has manifested in the real world.

The Economics of Private Law

First, we must ask the question of why bother? Why should we care about the private production of law and defense in the first place? Can we not just remain with the status quo? Libertarians, and especially Anarcho-Capitalists, respond with a resounding “no”. The status quo, especially in America, is unacceptable. The United States overtaxes and has a plethora of regulations that hold bad economic freedom and productivity. On top of that, we have various laws in the United States that trample on basic civil liberties, from the War on Drugs to the mass surveillance state. In addition to the economic and social lack of freedom, America has become an empire that reaches its talons across the Earth. We pillage smaller countries under the guise of counter-terrorism so as to satisfy our own interests.

As Lew Rockwell explains:

[T]he reason we focus on these issues in the first place is that we realize the State cannot be reformed. The State is a monopolist of aggressive violence and a massive wealth-transfer mechanism, and it is doing precisely what is in its nature to do. The utopian dream of “limited government” cannot be realized, since government has no interest in remaining limited. A smaller version of what we have now, while preferable, cannot be a stable, long-term solution. So we need to conceive of how we could live without the State or its parasitism at all.

The state cannot exist without monopolizing on violence and using it. To engage in any project, it must first take money from the population at the threat of force. From the very beginning, this is a moral atrocity. Because of this failure to live peacefully from the get-go, humanity needs to look for an alternative to state control. Because of this, we will explore the ideas of some libertarian economists and legal theorists who have explored possible alternatives.

Robert Murphy and Privatizing Law

Robert Murphy, also known as Bob, is a senior fellow at the Mises Institute who has been researching the ins and outs of private law for years. He believes that the market system could provide a system of law and order far better than a government can. Year after year he has given a lecture at the libertarian youth conference, Mises University, titled “The Market for Security.”

Of course, not all of the ins-and-outs of a market system of private law can be covered by a 40-minute lecture, so that is why he wrote his book Chaos Theory, which is a collection of essays that focus on private law and defense.

Within a private law society, contracts would dictate the bounds of a relationship between two people. An employer would make employees sign that they would not steal company assets, and embedded within the contract would be the stipulation that if they did steal, their method of repayment would be determined by a pre-determined arbitrator.

Unfair arbitrators would be discriminated against because firms and individuals that embedded them into their contracts would lose business. The fairest and nonbiased arbitrators would win out in the end due to competition on the free market.

Murphy then continues to explain the utility of insurance companies in the realm of arbitration:

It would be the same way with all torts and crimes under the system I’ve described. An insurance company would act as a guarantor (or co-signer) of a client’s contracts with various firms. Just as a bank uses experts to take depositors’ money and efficiently allocate it to borrowers, so too would the experts at the insurance company determine the risk of a certain client (i.e., the likelihood he or she would violate contracts by stealing or killing) and charge an appropriate premium. Thus, other firms wouldn’t have to keep tabs on all of their customers and employees; the firms’ only responsibility would be to make sure everyone they dealt with carried a policy with a reputable insurance agency.

A system of insurance agencies would ensure that the victims of violations of property rights would be immediately compensated. In the status quo, justice is a matter of placing people in a cage, which does nothing to help the victims. According to libertarians, though, justice is a matter of compensation. A thief should have to return the stolen goods and compensate the victim for lost time and psychological distress. A murderer should be forced to pay an inordinate sum of money to the family of the victim.

People would be far less likely to engage in business dealings with someone who has not paid insurance premiums. They would be skeptical of the fact that this person is not ready to pay for any damages to property that they engage in. Robert then goes into many of the objections and questions that people have about such a system, which I will not cover in this article. The intention of this section was to outline what Murphy’s prediction of a system of private law would look like. The answers to his objections are in Chaos Theory, which is linked for free both above and here. Chances are if you have a disagreement with this system, he has addressed it.

Hans-Hermann Hoppe and Property Insurance

Hans-Hermann Hoppe, in his book Democracy: The God That Failed, described that he believes that defense of property is the same as insurance. He cites past thinkers such as Rothbard, Molinari, and the Tannehills as evidence that he is not alone in this stance. All of these libertarian theoreticians have posited such a theory, which gives it credibility and a literature base that makes it worth considering.

Economically, it makes the most sense for insurance companies to take charge of protection of property. An individual pays a premium to the insurance agency, and in exchange, the company will protect the individual assets of the customer. The customer is incentivized to be nonaggressive and take their own precautions when it comes to self-defense. The installation of security or a firearms training course could possibly lower the premiums. A track record of harassing defenseless people and inciting conflict would raise one’s rates or possibly have them removed from the system altogether.

Like any other business, the insurance company must serve its consumers. Once a dues-paying consumer’s property is damaged/stolen, the company would be contractually obligated to find the perpetrator and compell them to compensate the victim. The company would want to do this in the most efficient and easy way possible, while still ensuring that they get their job done. Security cameras would become popular because of the possible insurance premium bonus. An insurance company that is slow at its job or did it in a costly manner would lose business to competitors.

Insurance companies seek to turn a profit, so they would incentivize customers to take every precaution possible so as to not have their property stolen, invaded, or damaged. This is because whenever damages occur, the customer costs the company resources in terms of investigation time and the manpower to take back compensation. Because of this, insurance premium bonuses may be procured for anyone who takes various safety precautions.

If a situation arose where the insurance company was attempting to collect damages from a perpetrator who claimed that they are not the violator, and that perpetrator is insured by another agency, what happens? Would a war between two insurance companies occur? Of course not, because war is costly. It is a budgetary black hole that only government wastes its time and resources on. Instead, the insurance agencies would go to a third party – an arbitrator. They would agree to one with a track record of not being biased, thus ensuring a constantly improving quality of arbitration. Arbitration agencies that were found to have secret ties to a certain insurance agency, or even ruled in favor of a certain agency suspiciously often, would go out of business because of suspicion or outright discovery of fraud.

Hoppe goes on to cover a few more of the intricacies of such a system, but above I have detailed the bare bones of the system and shown what would probably happen in a couple of situations based on economic incentives. Hans Hoppe’s system is one that incentivizes responsibility, quick justice, and perfectibility in law.

David Friedman and Private Arbitration Enforcement

In David Friedman’s book The Machinery of Freedom, he describes what he sees as the market solution to the problem of property enforcement. The core problem that he sees with private arbitrators (when compared to government courts) is their lack of ability to enforce a decision if one of the clients decides that they will not abide by the ruling.

He explains that all arbitration agencies would be forced by the market to remain completely honest. In the status quo of government courts, the incentive for honesty is shaky. A publicly appointed judge may rule in favor of those he likes and against those he does not. Along with the fact that many judges are appointed to life terms, the system insulates him from the consequences of his actions because regardless of what he does taxpayer dollars will flow into his pocket. Private arbitration agencies, on the other hand, are subject to the sovereignty of the consumer. Word of a dishonest arbitrator would spread quickly, and the arbitrator would go out of business.

There are two ways in which Friedman explains that a private arbitrator could ensure that clients would abide by its decision. The first is a contract in which both clients pay a sum that equals the highest possible damages. The arbitration agency holds onto this to ensure that both parties abide by the ruling. Once the ruling is made, the money is paid back to the rightful owners, with any damages paid out in addition. The arbitration agency takes a cut for their services.

The second method is a system of credit ratings. Client firms that enter arbitration would have a credit score. Client firms that fail to abide by the ruling would then be subject to a blacklist, meaning that they do not know how to play fair. Other firms and individuals would be very skeptical of firms with low credit ratings that have ended up on the blacklist. This would cause dishonest and cheating firms to lose clients and customers, ultimately resulting in financial demise.

The Empirics of Private Law

A true market lacks any central planning. It is the culmination of many individual actors seeking to satisfy demand in order to make a profit. This process leads to a plurality of products in each area of the economy, and in a completely free market society, this would also mean that there is a plurality in the types of defense goods produced. This plurality is also indicated by the fact that none of the theoretical standpoints that have been showcased above have been in 100% agreement.

All of the above economists have disclamed at one point or another that the market is unpredictable. The economists cannot predict the future, and they realize that. Because they cannot, they only attempt to draw rough sketches. They have pencil drawings of what Anarcho-Capitalist law and order could look like. The market, though, has given us a few complex paintings, which have shown us that this anarcho-capitalist system of governance is viable.

The Technology Age

The advent of the internet has allowed for an entire space to be carved out independent of the control of the state. This example is not as much of a historical account as the other real-world examples. This means it is more subject to skepticism than the other examples, which are purely historical. That is why this example is first: so that we may save the best for last.

The internet is not a physical place. The act of traveling through the internet is very distinct from traveling in the real world. The digital realm has properties completely alien to our present reality, but that does not mean that it isn’t real. It especially does not mean that it is not important and that there is no value in it. People can own property on the internet (and this is not limited to intellectual property). The site you have that is run by a server is yours, even if it just exists on the internet. Digital payment processes, although they are rooted in real-world offices, take place in the digital space.

Exchanges can be made online. Contracts can be secured. Confidential information can be sent back and forth between individuals or groups. Because of the vast amount of value that can be gained from a digital world, there is a risk that it may go wrong. Malicious individuals may take advantage of the non-physicality of it and violate the rights of others for their own personal gain. Hackers may breach digital walls to get to information or wealth. On top of all of this, the internet itself is independent of any governmental boundaries. This means that it needs to find its own methods to enforce its own property norms.

PayPal’s system of arbitration is one way in which the internet has managed to resolve conflicts between parties in a way that results in the rightful owners ending the day with their money. This is especially important because the internet allows for the possibility of anonymity. Because of this, companies (such as PayPal) will verify identities so as to keep clients honest with one another. In addition, what is to stop a PayPal user from claiming that a legitimate transaction was fraudulent and avoiding payment for a deal?

This is why PayPal has developed its own form of private dispute resolution. First, PayPal lets the clients see if they can resolve the conflict independently. If they prove incapable, PayPal itself will step in and resolve the conflict on behalf of the clients. They will open up their own investigation and make a ruling. This allows for fair payments to prevail and cheaters to be excluded from the system, thus ensuring the rightful owners keep their money.

The development of blockchain technology allows the internet to go even further in its insurance of fairness. Bitcoin’s birth came with a technology that removed the need for trust from the equation altogether, thus removing the need for identity independent of the blockchain. A completely decentralized ledger prohibits anyone from faking a blockchain system. In addition, it prohibits a strongman from climbing to the top and taking advantage of people. Digital systems that run on blockchain are experiencing the anarchy of the online world at its full force. It does not require leaders, coercion of any kind, or even trust.

The Chieftans of Iceland

Iceland was settled by Norwegians in 870 AD, and in 930 the Icelanders held an assembly to agree on the common law of the land. Their law was the same as Norway’s, with one exception: they did not feel that they needed a king. Instead, the Icelandic system was organized around chieftains.

Originally, these chieftains were entrepreneurs who would establish local temples. These local temples were the rights of the chieftain, and they were also private property. The chieftain had the authority to sell, lend, or inherit this property. It was voluntarily attained and voluntarily maintained.

According to David Friedman, these chieftains, through their estates, would protect the property of those who voluntarily submitted to their authority. Law would be determined through suits between people belonging to different chieftains’ estates. The subjects, known as thingmen, were not citizens, though. Their obligations to the chieftains were only what was mutually agreed upon.

The “government” of Iceland during this time had one government employee – the lawspeaker. This lawspeaker would preside over the law and give legal advice, but did not dictate what the law was and how it should work. He was elected through popular vote.

When one sued another, the defending party, if found guilty, would have to abide by the decision. If they refused, they would be socially ostracized and physically removed. If they further refused to leave after violating the law of the land, the victim could exact revenge without consequences.

One objection to this system would be that a strongman could defend himself properly and avoid having to ever pay damages, but the system had a solution to this too. A claim on damages was property, though. If one was not sufficiently powerful to take down the violator, they could sell the right to the damages. Thus, they are compensated, and a more powerful party now has a profit motive to exact justice.

But how long did it last? Longer than the United States has. As Friedman explains,

These extraordinary institutions survived for over three hundred years, and the society in which they survived appears to have been in many ways an attractive one.

This system was superior to ours for two reasons. The first is that it did not begin with state coercion so as to fund the methods of law enforcement. This meant that the enforcement of property through a sovereign was done in an ethically superior way. The state of affairs in Iceland was better than ours, ethically speaking.

Furthermore, it was decentralized. In the contemporary United States, the law is decided based on the popular vote of those in the House and Senate. The standards set by said law are arbitrary. One can call in as many experts as they want, but the end result will ultimately be detached from real experience. Decentralized law (like that of Iceland) on the other hand is developed as the sum of many cases over time. The judges and jury can decide on what is reasonably justified in the more difficult cases. This provides a solution to the oft-cited criticisms against libertarianism that forces the Non-Aggression Principle into justifying quite awful things (as seen by the previously popular “AnCap Memes”).

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein is a very small principality nestled in the mountains of Europe. It neighbors Austria and Switzerland and is only 25 kilometers long. Its population is just under 40 thousand, but it is also the richest per capita country in the world. It seems like a nice little place with nothing too notable. But what sets Liechtenstein really apart from the rest of the world is its governmental style. Prince Hans-Adam, the current monarch, says the following towards the beginning of his book The State in the Third Millenium:

I would like to set out in this book the reasons why the traditional state as a monopoly enterprise not only is an inefficient enterprise with a poor price-performance ratio, but even more importantly, becomes more of a danger for humanity the longer it exists.

Liechtenstein is in anarchy. The reigning government is barely a government at all because it does not fit the minimum standards of what a government actually is. It is not a monopolist on the territory that it owns and it is not a monopolist on the production of defense. Every single town and household in the country has the right to secede. At the same time, it is legal to create a defense company that competes with the government’s production of defense. There is, however, no demand for non-governmental protection because the de-monopolized state does such a great job of it.

The country has a monarchical government, yet it has many democratic elements. There is a parliament with 25 members, yet the prince has the authority to either dissolve the parliament or veto their decisions. At the same time, popular referendums also keep the monarchy in check. The prince has no power to veto a referendum to dissolve completely the princely house.

Liechtenstein is probably the freest place on earth and is also one of the wealthiest. One may object that their system could not be implemented on the scale of the United States, but why keep it on such a scale? The monarchy of Liechtenstein operates in a way analogous to a business. Businesses have to grow and find their right size. They have to push their boundaries amidst competitors doing the same thing. The U.S. doesn’t need to turn into Liechtenstein, it needs to dissolve into many Liechtensteins.

* * *

Anarcho-capitalism is usually not taken seriously because of the supposed lack of solutions to the question of defense. This is what makes the difference between an anarchist and a statist. This article hopes to serve as both a theoretical first step and a proof of concept for the private production of defense. The first half discusses competing theories, each of which the reader can look deeper into, while the second half looks at the real world manifestations. Using the information that has been supplied here, the reader should be primed to engage in extensive research down the right avenues.


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Although Beneficial, Vaccination Should Be Entirely Voluntary

indri Schaelicke | United States

Undoubtedly one of the greatest medical innovations in human history is the invention of the vaccine. The science of vaccination was first seriously pioneered by Edward Jenner in 1796, when he noticed that milkmaids who had caught cowpox before became immune to smallpox later. To test his theory that humans could develop immunity, Jenner took pus from a milkmaid with cowpox and put it into a cut in the arm of an 8-year-old boy. Six weeks later, he inoculated the same boy with smallpox, observing that he did not catch smallpox. Based on his findings, he was able to develop the first vaccines.

Are vaccines actually safe?

Two centuries later, and vaccine technology has advanced incredibly. Vaccines are much safer than during Edward Jenner’s time when patients were deliberately cut and treated with the disease using potentially unclean equipment. There are many standards doctors are held to when administering a vaccine that did not exist 200 years ago. Immediate allergic reactions that can be treated with common medications occur in fewer than one in a million cases. So just why do people believe that vaccines are dangerous and may even cause Autism?

Misinformation makes it very difficult for parents to separate fact from fiction. Sites such as vaclib.orgageofautism.com, sanevax.org, among others, peddle their anti-vaccine propaganda, often riddled with scientifically inaccuracies and falsities to uninformed parents in an effort to push their agenda. These organizations take advantage of parents’ innate desire to do what is best for their children.

A common fear among parents is that vaccination increases the risk of autism. The idea became popular after a 1997 study by British Surgeon Andrew Wakefield was published in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet. The study suggested that the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine was at fault for the increasing rates of autism in British children. After careful examination by peers and experts, the study has been discredited for the multitude of serious procedural errors, undisclosed financial conflicts of interest, and ethical violations. Wakefield lost his medical license and the study was retracted from the publication.

Despite the glaring issues with the study, the hypothesis was taken seriously. Several other major studies were conducted, seeking to verify the conclusion he had drawn. None of these follow up studies found a correlation between any vaccine and the increased likelihood of developing autism. While the true cause of autism remains unknown, recent research provides evidence that autism develops before a baby is even born and can receive vaccinations. Several studies have observed symptoms of autism in children before they have even received the MMR vaccine. The conclusions drawn by these studies overwhelmingly indicates that vaccination and autism disorders have little to no causation relationship.

Based on the reasoning that vaccination carries a very low risk of seriously harmful side effects, many pro-vaccine advocates argue that vaccination should not be mandatory. However, there is no greater threat to personal liberty than a government mandate that certain substances be consumed.

Freedom means choice

It is crucial to realize that every law is enforced at the threat of violence. The branches of government work together to create and enforce the law- the legislative branch, with the consultation of the massive government bureaucracy, crafts the laws that govern the nation. However, laws are no more than words on a piece of paper until they are backed by force. The executive branch of any government is tasked with executing the law, meaning that when it is broken, the police will initiate force and arrest the person.

If refusing to receive a vaccination is a criminal offense, it authorizes the use of violence against those who are simply choosing to preserve their own bodily autonomy. Can freedom really exist if choosing not to ingest a substance is met with aggression by government?

While vaccination should not be made a legal obligation, businesses and school districts should be able to require being vaccinated of their students and employees. In this way, a sort of contract is created between the two parties. In the business example, the company is allowing the employee to work for compensation, so long as they are vaccinated. If the employee does not agree to these terms, they are voluntarily forgoing the opportunity to earn income. In a world where government mandates did not dictate how we are allowed to use our bodies, voluntary interactions would ensure that the natural rights possessed by every individual, including the right to bodily autonomy and individual sovereignty would be respected.


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Interview with Open Carry Texas Founder CJ Grisham

Indri Schaelicke | United States

I had the amazing opportunity to interview the founder and current president/CEO of Open Carry Texas, CJ Grisham. We discussed the organization’s goals and feats so far, as well as some of the current gun-related issues in the news today.

Schaelicke: What is Open Carry Texas? What is your Mission Statement?

Grisham: Our purpose is to: 1   Educate all Texans about their right to carry in the State of Texas; 2   Condition Texans to feel safe around law-abiding citizens that choose to carry; 3   Pressure elected officials to repeal restrictive and unconstitutional gun legislation; 4  Foster a cooperative relationship with local law enforcement in the furtherance of these goals  with an eye towards preventing negative encounters, while defending our rights.

Schaelicke: What was your motivation for creating this organization?

Grisham: On March 16, 2013, I was falsely arrested for the lawful carry of a firearm and the NRA refused to help me with my case. It was that moment where I realized that Texas needed an organization to defend our gun rights more aggressively and unapologetically. I also realized that our gun laws were too restrictive for law abiding citizens. At the time, we were one of only six states that banned open carry of handguns.

Schaelicke: What do you do to achieve your agenda? Do you hold events or lobby for specific legislation?

Grisham: We held rallies, encouraged people all across the state to openly carry their rifles since that was legal, and then lobbied our legislators to pass less restrictive gun laws like open carry and campus carry.

Schaelicke: Do you view gun control as being pushed for by both parties, or is only one responsible for the drastic reduction in American gun rights?

Grisham: To some degree, both major political parties are responsible to some degree for gun control legislation. Without a doubt, the Democrat party is more offensive to gun rights, but the Republicans are very good at caving to them to appear compromising. When the Republicans compromise, it means we lose more liberty and rights.

Schaelicke: Why do gun rights matter to you, both personally and as an organization?

Grisham: Personally, gun rights matter to me because as a combat veteran, I’ve seen what happens when the populace is disarmed. Government is capable of doing whatever it wants. Additionally, I have a fundamental and inalienable right to life, which means I have a fundamental and inalienable right to protect that life. Gun rights are the great equalizer between predator and prey. As an organization, it’s important because defending rights on a larger scale matter. We can accomplish more when we come together as a common cause and goal.

Schaelicke: Obviously, running such an organization requires large amounts of funding. How is Open Carry Texas financed?

Grisham: We don’t require large amounts of funding because we have no overhead. No one in Open Carry Texas is paid and we don’t have physical offices. We are a truly grassroots organization. We are funded through donation from supporters, typically between $2.23 to $30.06 per month. We do not have any major sponsors or donors outside of those individual donors. Every year, we also hold a raffle to raise money for our operations. When we need to purchase a big ticket item, we’ll also hold a crowdfunding effort to do so. If we don’t have the money, we don’t do it. So far, we’ve been able to raise money for all of our needs.

Schaelicke: Does this financing method present any challenges to the organization, or is it promoting its growth?

Grisham: It’s definitely difficult because we never know exactly how much we have from month to month. Our donors come and go. We circumvent this problem by paying most of our bills (internet hosting, website, email, insurance, etc) in five-year increments. We are looking into growing the organization through a paid membership that will allow us to hire a full-time employee, but that is resource and time consuming.

Schaelicke: What is the biggest struggle OCT has faced and overcome so far?

Grisham: Learning how to handle media and understanding optics of our events. When I started OCT, I just assumed people understood what we were fighting for and underestimated how the media loves to twist and distort facts. We were frequently presented in a much different light in the media compared to the reality on the ground and we were a little slow in adapting to a way of countering that. Once we realized how to control our own narrative, things have gone much smoother.

Schaelicke: Is your work specifically related to second amendment issues, or do your efforts concern other civil rights?

Grisham: We are a civil rights organization focused on the 2nd amendment. However, we also fight against violations of our 1st and 4th amendment rights which tend to coincide with our activism. For example, in order to push our agenda, it’s important we be able to exercise our 1st amendment right to protest and seek redress from government. As we exercise our 2nd amendment rights, it’s also important that we protect and defend the 4th amendment right to be free from illegal searches and seizures. So, we educate our members about when they are required to get licenses for protests and when they don’t; when they have to provide their identification or not resist a search. It’s also important that they understand the scope of their 5th amendment rights when being questioned.

Schaelicke: What is OCT’s proposed solution to ending school shootings? Why is this the best proposal out of the many out there?

Grisham: There is no single solution to ending school shootings. However, there are ways to greatly reduce them, beginning with controlling entrances and exits at schools. We support allowing teachers and administrators who choose to do so to arm themselves in self-defense and defense of their students. We fight to end all gun free zones so that our schools are hardened targets. Even hardened targets get attacked, but with much less frequency than soft targets, like gun free zones. We also need to re-introduce gun safety training into our schools. This doesn’t mean we train kids to fear guns, but to respect them by teaching them how to safely handle them as well as the consequences of handling them irresponsibly. If we take away the fear aspect, we regain the respect aspect.

Schaelicke: Why should people care about gun rights?

Grisham: Because if people pay attention to history, societies that are disarmed are much more turbulent and violent. When a society is armed, government is held in check and is less likely to become tyrannical. We gained our independence from tyranny because of the right to keep and bear arms. We overcame slavery because of the right to keep and bear arms. Gun rights ensure that we are capable of being responsible for our own safety instead of having to rely on government to do so for us. Police cannot be everywhere at once and don’t prevent crimes; they merely respond to them. It is incumbent upon us to be our own first line of defense against violence.

Schaelicke: The work of Defense Distributed, the company famous for selling the code to produce 3D printed guns, has caused many to question the legitimacy of working within the framework of existing laws. Is there a degree of moral or pragmatic right in breaking the law to secure gun rights?

Grisham: Nothing Defense Distributed did broke any laws. We don’t support breaking any laws, provided they are constitutional, at which point people need to assess the risk/benefit gained from ignoring unconstitutional laws.

Schaelicke: If someone would like to get involved in pro-gun activism, how can they do so?

Grisham: They can go to www.opencarrytexas.org or their local, grassroots gun rights organization and sign up to learn more. They can join us at our events, follow our social media, or help us through other forms of activism like sending emails or making phone calls. Additionally, they can financially support organizations like ours who are fighting hard to protect the rights so many have died to protect.

Schaelicke: Is there anything you would like to share with the readers that you have not had a chance to speak about so far?

Grisham: More than anything else, the 2nd amendment is about self-DEFENSE. The use of force is NEVER legitimate when used in the offense, but is always right in defense of it. Modern society is no more or less dangerous than other times in history; the difference is simply the means of creating danger. I and Open Carry Texas never condone violence except in self-defense. We believe that to lower violent crimes, our justice system needs to be drastically overhauled. Prison should be a place where no one wants to go, but today’s prisons are practically resorts where people go and will be fed, clothed, housed, and taken care of. Instead of having cable TV, crunchy peanut butter, and other niceties, prison should include hard labor and sentences should fit the crime. Then, once a person has served their time, all rights should be restored so that they can be re-integrated into society. The problem we have is that criminals get out of prison and our society treats them as criminals the rest of their lives. They find it hard to get jobs that allow for advancement in quality of life. Many people find that the only way they can survive is returning to illegitimate sources of income – crime. If we don’t fix our justice system, we will never fix the violence problem in our country. We also need to stop coddling kids and pretending that there are no losers. Kids need to grow up understanding disappointment and that not all people are created equally. No one is special and everyone has different talents – some have none. This will teach kids to deal with emotions like sadness, anger, and defeat more productively instead of resorting to violence. We need to teach more conflict management.


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We Could Survive Without Speed Limits

By Indri Schaelicke | United States

Our lives are full of constant reminders of the great control the government has over them. Laws regulate what we can consume, listen to, and do with our own property. Government has eroded our personal liberties systematically over the past hundreds of years through the erection of massive bureaucracy that nullifies liberties with a stroke of a pen, and one of the heaviest restrictions is on the speed at which we drive.

Local and state government executive branches have arbitrarily set limitations on the legal speed at which one may drive on certain roads or portions of roads. This clearly violates our right to use our own property as we wish, so long as we do not harm others.

Government, enforces every law at the threat of violence. By setting speed limits, the state indicates that they will use aggressive force to enforce it. And, if the people don’t comply, the situation will only escalate. Police may first give tickets or minor arrests. However, if you resist them, which they have every right to, they may add a felony charge of resisting arrest. Ultimately, if you continue to attempt to live your life freely, the state may kill you, in an extreme case. Yes, that’s right. The state is willing to kill you over how fast you drive.

Without a doubt, then, the speed limit is highly immoral. But speed limits, in addition to being immoral, are also ineffective. Police give out about 41 million speeding and traffic tickets each year. Of course, far more people than that speed in any given year, as well. Speed limits, thus, do not fully accomplish their goal of causing drivers to slow down. If they did, far fewer people would be speeding, but this is not the case.

Rather than using its coercive power and forcing people to pay fines for minor violations such as speeding, the state should instead remove all speeding laws. No, the streets will not suddenly turn to pure mayhem. Rather, the threat of prosecution by parties that suffer damage caused by a reckless driver will be enough to keep everyone’s speeds at a safe level. People will drive at a speed that they know they can be safe at, which may vary from person to person. If they don’t, and they cause an accident, their wallet will start to hurt after paying damages. One mistake such as this should be enough to teach that lesson.

The state claims to have created speed limits to keep roadway users safe. The truth is, though, that the speed that is safest for each driver to drive at is subjective. Each of our various experiences have influenced our driving skills, and no two people can claim identical experiences. So, no two drivers are going to have the same skill level. Why, then, should the state apply a uniform standard of safe speeds? While some drivers may be able to drive a highway at 80 mph and be safe, other, less experienced and more cautious drivers may only be able to navigate it at 60 mph. It does not make sense to set the limit at 65 mph, because the limit is too high for the skills of the 60 mph driver, and too low for the 80 mph driver.

The truth is, speeding is a victimless crime. Driving at a higher speed than legally permitted does not in fact harm anyone, so it creates no victim. There is only a victim when a person damages somebody else’s person or property. Speeding laws only create revenue and allow the State increased control over our everyday lives. The few alleged benefits of speeding laws, including a weak, overgeneralized argument for safety, simply do not outweigh the great threat that they are to our civil liberties.


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California Leftists Want To Control How You Eat

Indri Schaelicke | United States

In an effort to promote the local restaurant industry, the city of San Francisco, California is considering adopting a new law that prohibits employees of large tech companies from eating in cafeterias on their campus. The proposed law will achieve this by banning companies from maintaining on-site cafeterias, forcing employees to bring their own food from home or leave the corporate campus to get lunch. Proponents say that enacting this legislation will help the restaurants in the area, which have lost business as companies build on-site cafeterias, to recover and thrive again.

While this move seeks to help small businesses and restaurant workers, it may, in fact, hurt them. Jobs in catering and cafeteria service tend to pay more than those in traditional restaurant settings. Ending jobs in this industry could limit upward mobility in the world of entry-level restaurant jobs.

Companies first started building cafeterias in their buildings in an effort to boost worker productivity. If employees can cut down their lunch break, simply by eliminating a long round trip drive to lunch, they can spend more time working and networking, something that all companies seek to promote. If the proposed legislation passes, workers will be made to take time away from their work habitat which could stunt social enterprise.

Driving off campus decreases the time workers have to be productive and imposes extra costs. Employees will have to spend money on gas and overpriced restaurant food, at a time when the cost of living is already so high. The high volume of employees leaving work to go to lunch will no doubt worsen existing traffic issues. Twitter’s location alone has over 2000 employees, and although the ban only impacts future workplaces being built, imagine the amount of congestion if 2000 employees all descended upon the city at the same time to eat lunch. Forcing people to leave work and eat is not only immoral but will worsen existing traffic.

The fact that the ban only applies to the building of workplaces in the future means that companies will have a hard time starting up or even expanding in Silicon Valley. Businesses will not be able to build new workplaces that have cafeterias on site, which is a huge blow to businesses. Companies offer free on-site lunch as a perk to potential employees, and if they cannot offer this, they cannot attract workers. It is in this way that this ban limits future growth.

The success the proposal has had thus far is concerning as it is a classic example of one group trying to take the rights of the other. Restaurants are trying to take away the right of private property owners, in this case, tech companies, from engaging in whatever business practice they choose to on their own property. It is no business of the state to determine what someone can do on their own property, so long as it does not cause harm to their life, liberty or property. This proposed ban is a direct attack on the principles of private property rights and should not be adopted.

This is just another example of the strangulation that California legislatures have placed on the open market. This past week, Santa Barbara passed a law that will outlaw plastic straws. Along the West Coast of California, the grip of government is becoming ever tighter. Great effort must be made to save whatever shred of liberty is left if totalitarianism is to be avoided. Knowing California’s disdain for liberty and lack of respect for individual rights, it is unlikely that much will be done to stop it.


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