Tag: logic

Morality Should Not Determine Legality

By Ian Brzeski | United States

For many people, morality is relatively subjective. To some, sex before marriage is a sin, and to others, it is perfectly reasonable. Some people love taking drugs, and others are appalled by them. People of all kinds differ in their values on these issues and on many others such as access to guns, homosexuality, and prostitution. Whether or not committing a particular act falls under someone’s values, everyone should realize that committing victimless “crimes” should not be punished by the state.

What are Victimless Crimes?

In essence, a victimless crime is a “crime” under the law where there is no identifiable victim. It is performed when no other person or party is involved in the action taking place beside the perpetrator or consenting adults. Consuming drugs is a prime example of a victimless crime. The only party that person would potentially be harming in that act alone would be himself. He or she willingly chose to engage in this act; thus, there is no victim. The same goes for that person when they engage in obtaining the drugs through consensual means. These means include joining into a contract with his “dealer.” The two adults here both agree on terms in this exchange. The dealer provides the drugs, and the consumer provides a means of exchange for his desired goods, presumably money.

Freedom of Choice

Locking people up like caged animals for committing victimless, nonviolent crime is complete nonsense. It does not matter what a person’s morality says about drugs. One could think that they are awful and downright immoral, but that does not change the fact people can do as they please as long as no other person is harmed or brought into unwanted affairs. Those people, out of their own free will, chose to engage in that exchange and then go on with their lives as they please. Nobody was hurt, and everything was purely consensual. Fundamentally, it is not that much different than going out and buying groceries.

If you do not like drugs, don’t do them. Nobody forces you to take them, and if somebody does force you, then that is a crime in itself as it takes away your freedom to make those decisions for yourself. Just as people want the freedom to decide to say no to drugs, others should also have the freedom to take drugs without fear of being imprisoned by the state. It is inconceivable to think that drug abusers belong in a prison cell. Drug abusers need help, not prison time.

While incredible amounts of funding have gone towards decreasing drug use, the drug addiction rate is the same as it was about 40-50 years ago. Instead of spending over a trillion dollars in incarcerating these people, spending should be focused on helping these addicts. Portugal decided to do this about 17 years ago, decriminalizing all drug use and focused their spending on rehabilitation for drug users. At one point, about 1% of Portugal’s population were drug abusers, and now that number has been halved.

The same decriminalization practices should be used for prostitution, pornography, owning guns, and any other victimless crime. If you do not like any of these things, then don’t partake in them- it’s as simple as that. Not to mention that decriminalizing and accepting all of these would make them safer. No more back alley pimps who abuse and drug their prostitutes to make a quick buck. No more sketchy and untrusting drug dealers who may lace their products. No more massive cartels as the majority of their products would be legally imported in the country; thus, losing the majority of their funding. Everything listed here would run as a legitimate business which would then promote competition, naturally making these businesses safer. Interdiction on all of these things is no different from the prohibition of alcohol, and we all know how well that went.

Legalization in Amsterdam

I recently went to Amsterdam where marijuana, certain psychedelic drugs, and prostitution are all legal. The prostitution is all kept in one sector of the city, known as the Red Light District. The Red Light District was bustling with people and seemed as if it were just another business center. These businesses are basically “forced” to care for the health of their laborers as they would have an incentive to because it would be horrible for business if one of their workers had some disease such as an STD. One could find drugs anywhere, but nobody is forcing others to take them. If you want to smoke a blunt, then you can, and if you do not want to, then you do not have to.

The overall cleanliness of the city was surprising. One would think that by allowing drug use and prostitution, the city would be pretty dirty, but that is not true in the slightest. Homeless people and garbage on the streets were not to be found, at least from my experience. Amsterdam has experimented with decriminalizing some of these victimless crimes, and it seems to be going pretty well for them.

Victimless crimes are not real crimes. People should not be punished for doing things that do not harm others or their property, and we must put an end to decades of government control over people’s choice of how they treat their bodies.


Get awesome merchandise and help end the media duopoly by donating to 71 Republic on Patreon, which you can find here. Thank you very much for your support!

Featured Image Source

Advertisements

You Libertarians Benefit From the State!

By. Joshua D. Glawson

We hear it all of the time. “You, Libertarians, benefit from the State!” “Ayn Rand received social security checks.” “You use public roads, public schools, and benefit from the rest of society.” “Well, that’s the price you pay to live in a civilized society.” The erroneous attacks continue one after the other.

The common logical fallacy here is called a ‘tu quoque’ argument, also known as an ‘appeal to hypocrisy.’ According to Webster’s Dictionary, this means “a retort charging an adversary with being or doing what he criticizes in others.” In other words, if someone criticizes something, and the other person responds, “Well, you do it, too,” this is a logical fallacy. It simply does not address the concern or topic at hand. Instead, when a person uses this appeal to hypocrisy, they are attempting to negate the argument by attacking the person rather than the issue. It is very similar to an ‘ad hominem’ logical fallacy.

The contention Libertarians hold is that government should not do many of the things it now does. This assertion does not disagree that people benefit from statism, it simply addresses the issues of varying topics. For example, many Libertarians attend public schools. When they argue that taxes should not pay for schools, this does not mean that schools should not exist. Libertarianism proposes that education should be privately funded by families, charities, religious institutions, companies, etc. When Libertarians attend public schools now, it is because they are taking advantage of the system that they were coerced into and forced to pay taxes to. Why should questioning a system necessarily mean one is no longer allowed to be a part of it?

The benefits of statism are comparable to that of thieves that feed their families and pay other businesses. It is a system that advocates positive liberty. This means that everyone must support it, and it will allegedly thus benefit everyone, too. Libertarianism repudiates this concept, and instead proposes negative liberty. Negative liberty means that it costs others nothing and one is free to go about their life, as the ideology condemns coercion.

It is very common that critics of Libertarianism conflate the terms “society” and “state.” They see these as interchangeable, or one in the same. As a correction, “society” is the free association of peoples out of spontaneous order. On the other hand, the “state” is the coercive power over the people.

It is out of human nature that people wish to freely associate and trade with others. People benefit and progress by having societies. They advance mankind’s ability to freely speak, trade, and live with fewer worries than they would without others. When people begin to impede on the lives, liberties, or properties of others, there is a shift from free association to dogmatic statism. The existence of a state should be only to protect the lives, Liberty, and property of its citizens, and nothing more.

When these naysayers of Libertarianism suggest that Libertarians want to benefit from society and not pay into it, they misconstrue the basic principles of Libertarianism while concurrently mixing “state” with “society”. There is no price to live in a civilized society. In fact, the wording itself indicates that people live “civilized,” meaning the respect for other individuals, and within “society,” meaning a voluntary association of people. So, suggesting there is a price to act civilized and to voluntarily associate is a contradiction.

The Libertarian position is that individuals are to be free as in the philosophy of negative liberty. They are to freely associate and trade, and through this, prosperity and peace will emerge. People benefit from society, but can live freely without association with others if they so choose. Positive liberty and statism harm society by crushing individual Liberty, justice, and society itself.

To make it very clear, Libertarians cherish society. Society implies freedom of association and holds individual liberty fundamental to human existence. Furthermore, Libertarians advocate for the most crucial characteristic of a just system, personal responsibility.

“With great Liberty, comes great responsibility.”


Featured Image Source

Thinking like a Socialist: The Leftist Paradigm

By Austin Anderholt | United States

“Never argue with stupid people. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

-Mark Twain

A good long discussion can solve many political debates. In my experience, even the most liberal, pro choice, anti gun leftist can come to terms with the most pro life, gun owning, anti gay Christian fundamentalist with a long enough discussion. In fact, I believe debate can settle all political issues; all of them, except one. Capitalism or socialism?

Every capitalist I’ve talked to seems to ask why those “stupid commies can’t just understand economics” and every socialist I’ve talked to seems ask “Why are those capitalist pigs so greedy?” They simply cannot understand eachother.

To understand this bizarrely strong divide between economic ideologies, we must understand how a debate works. Almost every single political debate follows a structure:

There is one resolution, “X” and there are two positions. The positive argues that “X is true” and the negative argues that “X is false”. For example, one resolution in the abortion debate might be that “Abortion is murder.” The pro life positive might argue that “The resolution ‘Abortion is murder’ is true.” and the pro choice negative might argue “The resolution ‘Abortion is murder’ is false.”

This form of debate can follow every political issue, except the age old “Socialism vs. Capitalism” debate. Why? Because left and right think on an entirely different paradigm in this argument. There is no “Should we have X?” because under socialist ideology, leftists demand that “Healthcare is a right!” and that “I worked hard, so I get my share!” The entire ideology of leftists will dismiss dissent as evil and intolerable.

This idea of entitlement comes from not a bad argument, but no argument, replaced by emotion.

For example, the idea that “How hard I worked should determine how much I earn” is absolutely preposterous to not only a capitalist, but a rational thinker. I read a lot of books about business, and in many of these book, always one of the main differences between a rich mindset and a poor mindset is that “Rich people know that output determines how successful, they will be, while poor people assume that because they worked hard, they will earn a lot.”

This mindset between rich and poor can be seen not only in socioeconomics, but in left and right economic theory itself. One of the foundational principles of leftism is the labor theory of value. This theory states again that “How much I earn should be determined by how hard I try rather than how hard I produce.” Again we see that this is absurd. If a man is to build a business without breaking a sweat, the free market is totally justified in rewarding him more than a man who works extremely hard only to fail. As rational thinkers, we know that without the evil rich businessmen that provide our jobs, healthcare, and services, society would cease to exist.

Moreover, we simply cannot reward people for being unproductive. A great example of this was the collectivization of farms in the early days of the Soviet Union. Rather than letting the free market reward successful farmers with the income to buy more land or hire more people (which would lead to more effective farming) Soviet leftists rounded up successful peasants as “kulaks” and murdered them by the millions. They then rewarded the poor, unsuccessful peasants with more land. This resulted in huge famines of course. Killing the only productive members of an economy and replacing them with unsuccessful failures is doomed to fail.

However, leftists don’t care about what’s doomed to fail. Leftists will never debate this issue with logic and reason. They are more moved by the sad image in their heads of the “poor homeless people” than by statistics that prove socialism is what makes people poor and homeless. This is what makes the debate between capitalism and leftism so impossible. The debate is happening on two totally different paradigms. The capitalist paradigm follows reasoning and evidence, while the leftist paradigm follows emotion.

Libertarian Political Activist Turned Congressional Candidate – Jeffrey Blunt

Jeffrey Blunt has been a political activist for Libertarianism since 1998. Since then, he has run nine campaigns and is a firm believer that it is time to be blunt with the American public and it is the time for a major third party to enter the national conversation.

Keller: Being a congressman in no easy task. What inspired you to run for office?

Blunt: I first ran in 1998 because there was no opposition to the long-term incumbent in the district I lived in at the time (District 21, TX). I thought the voters deserved a choice.

Keller: You are pursuing election as a Libertarian. In your own words, what is a libertarian?

Blunt: Libertarians are advocates for freedom. The belief that we should be free to do as we please, as long as we don’t harm others.

Keller: It is unlikely that the Libertarian Party will take a majority in Congress and if elected you may be a lone voice on Capitol Hill. What do you hope to bring to the national dialogue? Expanding the scope of the previous question, what three policies define your campaign for Congress?

Blunt: I would consistently fight for less government, lower taxes, and greater individual freedom.

Keller: The War on Drugs has increased in severity after the Trump Administration assumed the White House and appointed Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. Where do you stand on the Drug War and will you take any steps to end it?

Blunt: The War on Drugs has been a costly failure. Aside from failing in its purported goals, the “War on Drugs” itself is responsible for a large percentage of the violence in our streets as drug dealers fight over turf. I am working for an immediate end to the insane “War on Drugs.”

Keller: What is the key to winning your election? If someone wanted to get involved with your campaign or the Libertarian Party how would they do so?

Blunt: The key to winning is convincing people to support greater freedom and less dependence on government. Both major parties support the growth of the Federal government. Only the Libertarian Party offers an alternative. Those who want to help with my campaign or any other across the state or the nation can sign up to volunteer at http://www.lptexas.org/ (Texas) or www.lp.org (National).

Keller: Are there any final remarks you have for the readers?

Blunt: Don’t feel that you have to settle for the “lesser of two evils.” If you believe in more individual freedom, less government, and lower taxes stand up for what you believe in. Vote Libertarian!

I would like to thank Jeffrey Blunt for his time. If interested be sure to get involved by visiting the Libertarian Party of Texas website.

Bring Back Liberty – Nickolas Wildstar for California

By John Keller | United States

Nickolas Wildstar is a Wisconsin native who moved to California in 1999. After over a decade of office work, he is pursing the mission to “Bring Back Liberty to California”. To achieve this aim, Wildstar is currently running to be the next governor of California. 71 Republic’s John Keller spoke with Mr. Wildstar about his ideas and the campaign:

Keller: What inspired you to pursue political office?

Wildstar: Most of my inspiration to run for office has come from being moved by the wisdom of Dr. Ron Paul. His 2012 presidential campaign opened my eyes to the benefits of having a limited government that doesn’t operate on debt, and returning the power of governance back into the hands of the people where it belongs.  Being a black man, my life experience already included first hand abuses by police officers and the justice system, as well as economic inequality and other difficult circumstances stemming from statist policies, so when the Occupy and Anonymous movements came along, I got involved in community activism and protesting in the streets to demand change. Learning from Ron Paul and others seeking to elect him about how constitutional government was intended to hold official abuses in check, was the last bit of encouragement I needed to excite me to seek to become a public representative myself.  

Keller: In your words, what is libertarianism and why is it the right choice for California?

Wildstar: Libertarianism to me is an individual’s peaceful expression of their natural right to live freely and without restriction. As with classical liberalism, freedom is the heart of its value. While this traditional American sentiment is widely cherished, California is a special reflection of that since it is home to one of the most diverse and multicultural populations and largest entertainment industry in the country. People from all walks of life come here to live, start their careers and businesses, and pursue their dreams, because this is a state where they can come true. But it’s quickly becoming a nightmare for many, which is why I am fighting to bring back the principle of liberty and restore California’s promise as a place where you can be free to live out your dreams.

Keller: What encouraged you to run as a libertarian? What attracted you, and what should attract others, to the message of liberty?

Wildstar: From all of the face to face discussions I’ve had with people while campaigning throughout the state, I’ve come to find out that not many of them have a clue what liberty even means anymore, and this is mainly due to their being conditioned to believe that whenever a problem arises, there needs to be a government solution. I used to suffer from the same belief, and I’m sure there are people reading this who think some level of authoritarianism is needed. This very thought enslaves the mind. As people forget what is possible with freedom and lose the ability to dream, it results in restrictions that prevent innovation, creativity, ingenuity, and evolutions that advance humankind. We The People are not at liberty to act outside of the box anymore, and this is because a small minority are desperately working to keep the masses asleep. It’s time to wake up to the real world we’re living in and break out of the controlled existence into which we’ve been shackled. With liberty as the cornerstone of politics, there would be respect and protection of personal property and choices. There would be no taxes collected under threat of violence. There would be no mass incarceration. From how you work, to how you play, to your health and financial decisions, to the risks you take, to what you do with your own body, you would be allowed the autonomy that America’s founders, at their best, intended you to have. Only politicians who are committed to refusing to use the power of office to boss other people around and impose their own agendas, can make this happen, which is why Libertarians are best suited for the job, because they’ve been preaching this for years! If I were elected as a Libertarian governor, shackles would start coming off. People would still be free to sit there like they were chained to a post and had to wait for someone else’s permission or assistance in order to be able to do anything! I’m all about choice. But I believe most people would look and see the new freedoms around them and be attracted to experience a bit of it.

Keller: Recently a study was released that showed, when factoring in cost of living, California is the state with the highest poverty rate – despite spending the most money on poverty relief and welfare programs. As governor, what will you do to fix this issue?

Wildstar: I’d change the laws to let people help each other directly, instead of doing it through government. Good ideas don’t require aggression. The establishment gubernatorial candidates all want to keep taxing you and most of them want to add new taxes for one thing or another, but they have no viable plans to stop tax money being wastefully spent, misappropriated, and countless of politicians being caught red handed stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from public funds. If elected governor, I would immediately seek a completely independent and transparent audit of the state’s finances so the people of this state can see exactly where all of their tax dollars have been going. Reduce the personal income tax to 0% and end the double dip taxing of businesses. Reduce the property tax to zero and eliminate zoning laws to make buying or renting a home truly affordable again. I would also reduce the regressive sales tax to 7% statewide, so that the cost of everyday goods and services can be lower than ever before. With these reforms, more ordinary people will have the means to help themselves instead of relying on government, and Californians will be more ready and able to do their part to help the smaller number of less fortunate members of our communities who remain in poverty.     

Keller: The Trump Administration has declared a virtual policy war against California. How will you balance federal mandates and the need to govern California as a sovereign state?

Wildstar: By upholding the United States Constitution and incorporating federalism. California is one of the few states in which state tax money funds the majority of federal programs. Taxpayers in this state are being bilked by the Feds for much more than they are getting in return. Our state economy could easily be healthily revived were this line of credit cut off and would serve its residents best in the long run. Whether it’s the recreational use of marijuana or peaceful individuals migrating here from every corner of the world, the people of this state deserve a governor who will protect their rights as residents. My goal would be to end the subservient relationship with the federal government, and meet any actions reducing federal support or spending in California as punishment for exercising local control and upholding state law, with an equal response to reduce support and cooperation with the federal government. Washington D.C. needs to stay in Washington D.C.

Keller: In regards to the policy war, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has expanded the Drug War. Where do you stand on this issue?

Wildstar: It’s sad how the “War on Drugs” is still being waged on people despite decades of data proving it has done more to hurt more innocent people than to protect them from dangerous threats. I support decriminalization. People should never be incarcerated for victimless crimes. I’d advocate for such legislative changes here in California, and would defend the people of this state from any outside enforcement of law within state borders. Peaceful adults should be left to take responsibility for their own choices whether it be smoking marijuana, taking prescription drugs, or eating certain foods. Government should not be the nanny for grown human beings. We are capable of making our own decisions and our bodies belong to us.       

Keller: What three policies are most important to you to be implemented should you be elected to the governorship?

Wildstar: The majority of my agenda of getting the power back to the people would consist of seeking to reverse current policies which have harmed Californians and damaged the state as a whole. For a long time the practice of taxing and spending has been done without the people of the community who fund these efforts having any individual say in the matter. I would seek to change that so there would be no more surprise raids on your pocketbooks. One top priority for me would be putting measures in place to prevent taxation without representation. No one who cannot vote in a jurisdiction should not be required to pay taxes there. That was one of the fundamental principles of the Revolutionary War. Another priority would be ending welfare for the insurance industry by eliminating requirements to purchase insurance for things like cars, homes, and healthcare. A third top priority of mine is police reform. Removal of policies like the “Police Bill of Rights” would make police officers more accountable and restore honor to their traditional role as heroes and pillars of our community.   

Keller: If someone is interested how can they get involved with your campaign or the Libertarian Party?

Wildstar: Any way you can contribute right now is much appreciated. This campaign is a team effort, with many of the key campaign staff roles, like campaign manager, media coordinator, etc., being filled by multiple volunteers. The more dedicated people who are willing to jump in and lend a helping hand the more successful we can be! Even if you cannot get directly involved, talking with people about my campaign for governor in person and on social media gets that buzz going that will help make me a household name so I can be more effective at spreading the libertarian message and building the freedom movement. Most importantly at this time, with a $4000 filing fee due March 7th, I’m in need of donations! Libertarian candidates don’t get much funding and I myself am not a rich man so please do give what you can even if it’s only a few dollars, so I know you appreciate me being out there promoting what we stand for and want that to continue. To make a donation to my campaign, visit my website Wildstar2018.com. If you believe people have the right to live as they choose so long as they do not initiate force or fraud against others, please also become a member of the Libertarian Party and come to the state convention in Long Beach this April where you can vote to endorse me. I also encourage you to get involved with your local party chapter. You can support their activism and attend local meetings whether or not you are a member. Like the system of federalism I’m seeking to restore, the Libertarian Party is made up of affiliate parties in each state which are independent from the national Libertarian Party. You can join the California LP at LPC.org, and the national Libertarian Party at LP.org.

Keller: Do you have any final remarks for the readers?

Wildstar: There are many more things I would love to talk about and share with your readers like jury nullification, the common law tradition and how the courts have gotten away from it to the detriment of liberty, the whole fiat currency house of cards, etc., but doing some of these topics justice would take more space than we have here. I encourage curious readers to do their own research. This Matrix of a world we live in has a lot of interesting rabbit holes! But if you decide to go exploring down any of them, try to keep your eye on the big picture. We are at a critical time in history. Events are accelerating, and rapid technological advances have the potential to give us a brighter future we can scarcely imagine. But if we don’t stand up and resist government control, these changes could also take us down the road toward a police state. We must stop this from happening, and realize the possibility of freedom without undergoing the suffering of chaos and war. If we can successfully stand up for our rights using the democratic system today, flawed as it is, our future won’t have to involve battling to overcome increasing poverty and inequality, diminishing opportunities, or tyrannical control. It’s up to us today to bring about the necessary shifts that will liberate our nation and spare future generations’ untold agony and hardships. Vote Libertarian and be the pioneers of a revolution that will show the world what a constitutional republic looks like can be. Together we can do it, and we will!

I would like to thank Nickolas Wildstar for his time in conducting this interview. If you would like to get involved or want to have further dialogue with him please visit Wildstar2018.com.