Tag: logic

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.”

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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.

A Voice of Liberty – Brandon Reiser for Congress

By John Keller | United States

Brandon Reiser is a proud father of two, volunteer, and a business leader in his community. He hopes to bring his knowledge in leadership, and his ability to mentor, to the American people by being elected to Congress for California’s 48th US House District.

What inspired you to run for office?

Reiser: I saw that the two old parties had lost sight of the values that my constituents care most about. It was time for me to take real action, instead of just complaining about how neither of the two old parties represent the people. I also attended a Libertarian conference and heard the call to action that we need candidates running at all levels to grow the party. I knew it was my time to get off the couch and run for office.

What is liberty and why were you attracted to the message of libertarianism?

Reiser: Liberty is being able to live your life without interference from the government. Government should not be hurting people or taking their stuff as they are today. I left the Republican party because I felt they had lost sight of the values that I care about most. Libertarianism and the LP best represent my belief that you should be able to live your life as you choose.

You are running for office in a democratic state. What is your message to Democrat voters and Republican voters that feel disregarded?

Reiser: I’m in a very blue state, but in a historically very red district that is evolving. In 2016 President Trump basically tied with Clinton while 6% of the vote in my district went third party. Dissatisfaction with both parties is quite high in my district. My message to both Democrats and Republicans is that there is a better option. I’m also proposing real solutions that folks from all ends of the political spectrum can get behind. I frame my solutions with real life stories to make it human, to make it real for people. That’s appealing to folks who want to see progress and are tired of the two old parties who do nothing to help people.

Recent studies and reports have found that California has the highest poverty rate in America when factoring in the cost of living. What is the solution to the poverty crisis the people of California, and in America, are facing?

Reiser: Poverty in my district and the surrounding areas is also on the rise. There isn’t one solution that solves all roads to poverty, but I’d start by addressing the root causes. Ending the War on Drugs and implementing solutions that create a healthy job market would be two ways that we can begin to prevent folks from falling into poverty.

Many current politicians and both parties claim a monopoly of understanding on the Constitution. What is your take on those try to monopolize, or even manipulate, the Constitution to gain political power and the ‘moral high ground’?

Reiser: Well, many elected politicians today are hypocritical when it comes to the Constitution. I always chuckle when Democrats reference “upholding the Constitution” as part of the ongoing Russia investigation, and then in the next breath demand universal health care. My two cents is we need to do a better job educating the American public. Be inclusive, use simple language and start with solutions that improve on the status quo. Don’t try to offer perfect with overly ideological solutions. Offer specific, better solutions that are rooted in freedom and are constitutional.

The War on Drugs has been raging for over thirty years. What are your thoughts on this war?

Reiser: The War on Drugs has just been a war on the American people. It’s tragic how many lives have been ruined by the War on Drugs. I’m an advocate of the Portuguese model to address addiction and treat it as the health issue it is.

Although Libertarians believe fewer laws and government is better, what bill would you introduce first or like to see passed?

Reiser: I’ve long said passing DACA through the legislative process and protecting Dreamers would be my first order of business. If this current Congress can address that, then next up would be a focus on ending the war in Afghanistan and bringing our troops home from bases overseas.

Interventionism has come to dominate American policy in Washington – both foreign and domestic. This is proven by the recent threats of nuclear war with North Korea and H.R. 4478 (FISA) vote. respectively. Is this a major issue to you?

Reiser: Absolutely. Globally, we must stop considering ourselves the world’s police force and stop the failed nation-building campaigns we’ve engaged in. The United States provoking global warfare has only led to the loss of life and destruction of nations with the American taxpayer writing the check.

At home, the government has also overreached through surveillance without a warrant. I’d instantly join Senator Paul and Congressman Amash in support of repeal of FISA 702. I’m hopeful the Nunes memo that exposed rampant abuse of surveillance powers will be a wake-up call for Americans and reform can happen.  

A platform is important to voters. What three policies and stances define the Reiser for Congress campaign?

Reiser: I stand for limited government, person and economic freedom and common-sense solutions everyone can get behind. My top priorities are to deliver immigration reform, end the war in Afghanistan, get government out of the student loan business, promote free-market policies to lower the cost of healthcare and end the War on Drugs.  

The American system of governance was designed with checks and balances. With an ever-expanding Imperial Presidency, what will you do to ensure check and balances function properly and effectively?

I will be a vocal advocate of the Constitution. Particularly states’ rights and ensuring each branch of government is held to their powers granted by the government. The main thing I will be able to do will hold the House floor and demand we uphold the Constitution. And, believe me, I can stand and talk for a long time! It’ll make headlines and hopefully continue to wake up the American public.

Do you have any final remarks to the readers, supporters, and potential voters?

Reiser: I’m running to win. My race is probably the best opportunity the Libertarian Party will have to get a Libertarian elected to Congress in 2018. The California open primary and top-two system is playing out very nicely for my campaign. Democrats are going to hopefully split the vote in my race and enable me to get into a heads up general election versus a flailing Republican incumbent.

I would like to thank Brandon Reiser for his time. Be sure to visit www.brandonreiser.com for more information!