Tag: political extremism

The Left’s Epidemic of Political Stereotyping

By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

Just as sure as the existence of Yin and Yang, the existence of left and right goes on. And seemingly, it is only getting worse in modern politics. Both sides of Western politics have become increasingly reactionary. The far right is fueled with hatred of far left-wing culture, going after all things “degenerate.” The far left is merely the other side of the exact same coin, hating all things “traditional.” They are both reactionary groups, and the result of these two reactionary groups reacting to one another is obvious: increased political polarization. Yet, while the far right has many issues, the far left may be more responsible for the destruction of contemporary politics.

When dealing with any social phenomenon, one thing is for sure: nothing is going to be perfect. The human mind has clear limitations, and because of this, it develops heuristics so as to save on thought processing. These heuristics act as mental shortcuts, so when the brain perceives something, it can quickly draw conclusions based on prior thoughts. These mental heuristics extend to politics.

When working in the political space, one must take mental shortcuts so as to reach conclusions, and these mental shortcuts are ideologies. We both self-identify and identify others using these ideological markers so as to easily signal to our potential friends and opponents where we stand ideologically. These take the forms of libertarian, conservative, liberal, capitalist, communist, leftist, etc.

We identify ourselves and others to the same time and mental energy. It is far easier to understand where someone stands politically if they simply label themselves as a “conservative,” rather than explaining the nuances of each and every political view that they have. As the economist F.A. Hayek explained when discussing knowledge surrounding social phenomena: “we group their actions, and the objects of their actions, into classes or categories which we know solely from the knowledge of our own mind.”

When anyone self-identifies politically towards us, the prior knowledge that we have comes instantly to mind. Someone who calls themselves conservative means that we assume they are probably pro-life, pro-gun, and against groups like Black Lives Matter. We then go further to adjust our mental representation of them based on further information that we are given, such as “I am actually a pro-choice conservative.” But from the get-go, political stereotyping is necessary and is usually very beneficial because it gives us a starting point for framing our political friend or foe in our own mind.

But this stereotyping can have a bad side. As Hayek continued, “the trouble is that we can never be sure.” These heuristics are simply heuristics – they will almost never be perfect representations. And more often then we would like, they can be far off from the target. As a 2012 study co-authored by Jonathan Haidt explained, everyone is pretty bad at getting these heuristics right, but the left is especially bad.

By looking at five moral foundations, the study was able to estimate approximately what values political groups hold as a priority. They found that:

Liberals endorsed the individualizing foundations (Harm, Fairness) more than conservatives did, whereas conservatives endorsed the binding foundations (Ingroup, Authority, Purity) more than liberals did. This pattern has been observed across a variety of samples and methods, including self-report measures of (un)willingness to violate the foundations for money, text analyses of sermons in liberal and conservative churches, content coding of life narratives, and facial muscle movements.

The study showed that:

Conservatives were most accurate about the individual-focused moral concerns of either side, and liberals were least accurate. Compared to actual group means of either data set, moral stereotypes about the typical conservative showed substantial underestimation of conservatives’ Harm and Fairness concerns.

Left-leaning individuals are not as capable as constructing and accurate heuristic of their political opponents. This has become increasingly problematic in 2017 and 2018, years after this study was done and published. The majority of the broader left tends to label anyone to the right of them as a “Nazi” and Donald Trump as “Hitler.” This stereotype is expected of a group that underestimates how much their opponents value harm and fairness. If one sees conservatives as fairness-hating empathy-lacking psychopaths against minority rights, then, of course, they would be seen as a Nazi.

Yet these stereotypes are obviously inaccurate. One could compare Trump to Hitler if they made the exception of mass murder of innocents and hatred of Jews. Yet in that case, and charismatic leader is just another Hitler. Trump is pretty far from Hitler, seeing as that there are few similarities. In somewhat ironic contrast, though, the left’s political hero FDR was adored by Mussolini and Hitler just prior to World War 2.

The problem becomes worse when the left decides how one should treat a Nazi. A real Nazi is a problem, clearly, because they are either advocating violent action or engaging in it. A Nazi pattern of behavior should be met with a strong response. Yet left-wingers want to treat right-wingers as they would treat a Nazi, even though the right by-and-large does not follow the same pattern of behavior.

This treatment of right-wingers through a totally inaccurate stereotype has become an epidemic. The left (as well as the right, but for different reasons) needs a reality check. Just as they would tell a straight white male to check their privilege and adjust for unconscious actions, they need to check their own mental heuristics and adjust for unconscious phenomenally inaccurate stereotyping.

We stereotype one another politically because it is impossible to give each and every political character their own fully fleshed out identity in our mind. We need to fix our political heuristics, though, if any meaningful and beneficial political dialogue is ever to come.


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A Wikileaks for Everything?

By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

The entrepreneurs among us tend to really like Uber. Those that want to revolutionize an aspect of the everyday lives of Americans want to “Uberize” one thing or another. Airbnb became the Uber for hotels. Some have created “Ubers” for anything from dog walking to alcohol delivery (even police, but that’s another future article). All we want to do is make the on-demand version of an aspect of daily life. And it is improving the quality of life in developed countries.

The more “Ubers of things” there are, there more time we can save and allocate towards either leisure or more effective endeavors. But when it comes to politics, Uber did not mark a shift. Sure, there has been political controversy over the legality of Uber in different cities, but that is not altering the political landscape.

But there was an Uber of the political space. There was an organization that truly changed the game and set a new standard for strong political change. That organization was Wikileaks. Julian Assange’s whistleblower outlet was guarded behind layers of code and digital securitizations, ensuring that the political sovereign could not take down the site. Wikileaks was responsible for publishing the Bradley Manning leak – a contemporary iteration of the Pentagon Papers. Its guarantee as a way for whistleblowers to get out their information has proven to be extremely helpful to those who wish to watch the watchers.

So politically, instead of wishing to create an “Uber for X” in the political space, what we should aim to do is create a “Wikileaks for X.” The two organizations parallel one another. They both took the tools of the evolving digital world and applied them to issues that they saw. They shortened the distance between an end and a means to a very high degree. Uber took us from “you will wait around to get a cab and you will get frustrated” to “you will wait for your Uber driver that the community has approved to pick you up.” Wikileaks took us from “the Whistleblower will leak if they think they can avoid the powers” to “the Whistleblower will leak because they can now avoid the powers.” Politics was permanently changed.

So that is the political change we must work to see in the world. Instead of hoping, praying, and cold calling so that Gary Johnson might get 5% of the presidential poll, we need to twist the arm of the political and make them hurt. The fact of the matter is that if real radical change – a transition to a world where status-quo biopolitical control – was possible through conventional political means, it would be illegal. Democracy itself to uphold itself. And under the guise of “equality” and mantras such as “we are the government” it ensures that its rule continues.

The French philosopher Jean Baudrillard tells us:

The liberating practices respond to one of the aspects of the system, to the constant ultimatum we are given to constitute ourselves as pure objects, but they do not respond at all to the other demand, that of constituting ourselves as subjects, of liberating ourselves, expressing ourselves at whatever cost, of voting, producing, deciding, speaking, participating, playing the game-a form of blackmail and ultimatum just as serious as the other, even more serious today. To a system whose argument is oppression and repression, the strategic resistance is the liberating claim of subjecthood. But this strategy is more reflective of the earlier phase of the system, and even if we are still confronted with it, it is no longer the strategic terrain: the current argument of the system is to maximize speech, the maximum production of meaning. (Simulacra and Simulation p.84)

Baudrillard tells us that the political system is designed to absorb the blows of radical change. It will absorb the type of libertarian philosophy wants to throw at it. This leaves the party politics of libertarianism two options – they can go the route of Sharpe and Petersen, staying true to their ideas but falling victim to low polling numbers. This guarantees a loss for the self-declared libertarians (party or not). Or it could leave the core of the philosophy behind, nominating people like Johnson, Weld, and even Romney. Either way, the libertarian ideas lose. Even if the party wins.

Party politics will not work because those who wish to change a system from within will ultimately be co-opted by the system itself. Many think that this is not as much of a problem with the system or electoral politics, but rather a problem of the people. Ludwig von Mises told us that a state cannot exist without public opinion generally supporting it. Libertarians such as Larry Sharpe see this as a reason to go after the “hearts and minds” as a means to gain political support.

This supposes, though, that we can change everyone’s political disposition toward strong libertarianism. The American consciousness has made up its mind. The proverbial American We has made up its mind. It is in favor of the democracy that gradually whittles away at our freedoms. This attitude spawned the recent NPC meme; Americans will go along with whatever the greater consensus is. The NPC’s are essentially Nietzsche’s herd, and many may despair at this thought. But it may instead be a good sign.

It means that we do not need to reach a political “critical mass” as libertarians to take down the state. We only need a few that are able to proliferate in a post-political manner. But more on that later.

The system (both social and political) is capable of absorbing criticism. Direct attacks will not harm the state – rather, they will strengthen it. Baudrillard continues later (technically earlier):

All the powers, all the institutions speak of themselves through denial, in order to attempt, by simulating death, to escape their real death throes. Power can stage its own murder to rediscover a glimmer of existence and legitimacy Such was the case with some American presidents: the Kennedys were murdered because they still had a political dimension. (Simulacra and Simulation p.18)

If libertarians were to do the most explicitly and normatively radical thing, they would get guns and attack the state. They would take up rifles and invade local IRS offices. This would create a catalyst, though, for the state to further its biopolitical control. Unless a critical mass of bodies are thrown at the state apparatus (as Lenin did in 1917) this will prove inneffective and only result in more state control. And if we do look to Lenin’s example, the result of that revolution was not freedom, either.

So how does this tie back into Wikileaks? Neither a radical direct opposition nor a politics of speech and elections will bring forth a libertarian future. But Wikileaks couldn’t be stopped. Even though Julian Assange lives cooped up in the Ecuadorian embassy the site lives on, and just as effectively. Wikileaks still gives whistleblowers a safe haven.

Wikileaks manages to not be a hopeless method of political change as I have described. This is because rather than choosing to look at authority as it commits the act, it commits the act regardless of the authority. The whistleblower chooses to speak the truth in spite of the social authority. They move forward with the act because they can. They do it not in direct opposition of the state – not as an attack per se. Instead, they expose the state, ignoring the authority it has. This attitude of “I will move forward with the act regardless of the state’s existence and what they say about the act.”

This is the Wikileaks attitude that will bring forth political change. Creation of more “Wikileaks of X” is what is going to lay out the blueprints for anarchy that the state cannot take down. Wikileaks is not the only example of this attitude. Two of the other shining examples of anarchism in action are the 3D-printable gun and Bitcoin.

The ghost gun and the liberator are weapons that exist not physically but digitally. Sure, there is the gun itself that can shoot and kill living things, but the more dangerous weapon is the digital file. Because of the nature of information on the internet, these blueprints for 3D-printable weapons will exist for a very very long time. If there is still a need for them, they may outlive anyone reading this article. That is real political change – the politics of guns will never be the same. The idea of “gun control” is now analogous to the idea of “gravity control.” You can regulate and legislate all that you would like, but it will still exist. It is an irreversible fact of political life.

Bitcoin may be even more revolutionary. Although the coin itself is facing a tough time right now, they are far from dead. This is because Bitcoin provides a function that we need desperately – a system of trustable payment outside of the state. Bitcoin meets every standard of a “good money.” The blockchain that Bitcoin is built around guarantees that we can trust any bitcoins we have. Even though the price of bitcoin is slowly declining and will end the year lower than it started (which has happened before, no worries), its ideological value is still strong. To exist, there needs to be demand for it. And as long as there is skepticism over state-produced money and that state’s ability to fund itself period, there will be demand for Bitcoin.

These are the “Wikileaks of X” that are changing the world. I said that I would get back to NPCs, so here I am. The majority of the population will just sit there and live in the world that they choose to live in. Not everyone is going to be a Hoppe or a Rothbard or a Satoshi Nakamoto. Very very few will be. Almost nobody. But we don’t need everyone to be a diehard libertarian radical. Less than 5% of the population carried forth the United States’s incepting revolutionary war.

To end the political world as we know it and create a freer future, we need to build more “Wikileaks for X.” These are going to permanently alter political reality in ways that the status quo deems impossible. But we shall not fear the impossible, because Bastiat told us of that which is unseen.

It is far easier said than done, obviously. It requires a very serious visionary to create the politically impossible, but that doesn’t mean that we should give up. Engaging in what seems hopeless may be the only way to a better future. We as radical libertarians must put our full-fledged support behind these visionaries whenever we find one. In addition, none of us should take up the attitude of “someone else may do it.” We should all become Satoshi Nakamoto’s in our own way because the political transformation does not come forth until each of us takes responsibility.


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There And Back Again: My Journey From Marxism To Libertarianism, And Back To The Radical Center

By Jason Thompson | United States

Political opinions are like assholes – we all have one – and for the most part, nobody wants to see or hear yours expressed if it does not validate their own preconceived notions and particular worldview. It just seems so impossible that a person on the “left” could have anything at all in common with somebody on the “right. ” Aside from tremendous failures in communication, there tends to be, and I am speaking from my own personal experiences, an apparent inability to see somebody on the other side of the supposed “spectrum” as truly human. I would go so far as to say that American political culture is diseased.

Echo chambers and political tribalism abound.

I would like to introduce myself. In articles to come, I will do my best to focus on objective reporting of facts and happenings, albeit from a libertarian standpoint, but this right here, folks, is an opinion piece.  It is the story of my own personal experiences and how they have come to shape and define the beliefs and principles that set the stage for a political bildungsroman twenty-five years in the making.

I was born into a working class, mostly Irish family of eight children in the small town of Mount Airy, Maryland. My father is a roofer and a farmer from Southern Virginia. His people were old-school Southern Democrats, and my mother’s people were liberals from Maryland, Western Pennsylvania, and Missouri.  This familial political history has been integral in shaping my own conceptions of identity and the principles and values I hold dear.  Over the years, my principles have largely held steadfast, but the manner in which they have been expressed politically and ideologically has transformed radically.

I used to be a filthy commie.  A God-damned Marxist inspired radical who raged against what I saw as a system which forced my father to grind his bones into the dirt to feed eight children and to scrape by in a world which that crushed the poor while enriching the elite. Little did I know, my father was the ultimate rebel.  He was agorist in every sense of the word.

And I am his son.

I was angry.  I wanted vengeance. And as the saying goes, I was certainly born with a plastic spoon in my mouth.

How could somebody work so hard and find themselves constantly scraping by just to survive? My family members were Democrats. My great grandmother’s sister was the second woman to travel to the USSR after WWII and was on an FBI blacklist during the McCarthy era. How could I not do my forefathers justice by believing what I truly thought would raise the poor out of impoverished misery? My heart was in the right place, but I was trying to build a foundation and ideological home with a hammer and a sickle.

And I wondered why the house I had built kept crashing down under the weight of objective scrutiny.

Marx, Trotsky, democratic socialism, mutualism, George Orwell – these were my political fodder.  I ate it up at the expense of intellectual honesty.  I blogged about it.  I towed the party line. But from a young age, the seeds of entrepreneurship and personal responsibility had been planted, and those two things were crucial in my journey towards libertarianism. The election cycles of 2012 and 2016 pushed me away from the extremes and helped me find a new home in a libertarian-inspired radical center.

Going to a small liberal arts school, I find it amazing that I was not further indoctrinated into the cult of social justice and Marxist lunacy.  Perhaps it was because I was surrounded by truly leftist professors – useful idiots the whole lot of them – that I raged against what I was coming to see more and more for what it truly was – rhetoric and faux outrage not truly grounded in historical or economic analysis.

I started to gravitate towards right-libertarianism and men like Larry Sharpe, Lew Rockwell, and Ron Paul. Gary Johnson’s 2012 presidential run was fundamental in bringing me to what I saw as my new truth. I started delving down the rabbit hole further and further and recognized the myth of true freedom from a tyrannical state in the modern age. I could see that our society had strayed far from the spirit and text of the US Constitution.

I felt vindicated. Here was truth. I was more right than God, but man, did I still have a lot to learn. Fast forward to the 2016 election cycle and I was hooked.  I was a full blown political junkie and I jumped right into the firefight.

I was an ideological soldier fighting my own personal jihad against the system of leftist professors who had lied to impressionable college kids and corporate stooges who had misled the American public. Boy did I alienate a lot of people. Vitriol and political hatred were in the air.  People who I had used to agree with politically at one point, and whom I had considered good people (they were, I was being a pretentious prick), became my ideological enemies in a battle waged on social media.

Slacktivist, Supreme. That was me.

I lost a lot of friends over what I now see was inane bullshit and a failure on my own part to adequately communicate my ideas.  I drove off the people most in need of hearing what I still believe is the truth.

That is when I discovered radical centrism, and began to see that libertarianism may be much more of a centrist ideology than I had presupposed and that a lot of the hatred and vitriol could be extinguished through communication and approaching the issues facing American society from an open-minded pursuit of outreach beyond our base. We accomplish this, as a team, not by abandoning our principles, but by focusing on pragmatism and effective marketing.

Somebody I was in a discussion with last night said “you can be more right than God, but if you don’t communicate effectively than you have nothing.” Our movement is so consumed with ideological infighting by keyboard warriors that the voting public cannot take us seriously.  We argue incessantly over drivel the average American neither has the background nor the luxury to care about, and in doing so push ourselves into smaller and smaller sub-groups to the point that we can’t even compete with the duopoly on major issues facing ALL Americans. We’re all on the same ship piloted by a political elite which perpetuates this false dichotomy between left and right. Even the filthy internet commies.

Divide and conquer.

We are playing right into their hand. We have tightened the yoke around our own necks by failing to see each other as Americans and to effectively communicate our ideas to the wider public.

Someone once said that getting libertarians to agree and to organize coherently is like herding cats. It can’t be done.

Well, I grew up herding pigs, cows, sheep, and goats. I’m good at it.

Now I am going to try to herd cats.

I could go on and on, and my editor is probably going to grill me for writing such a long piece.  But this is my story, and am I being detained?

Politics is the Game of Sexual Assault and Immoral Action. Why Are We Still Surprised When Politicians Fit This Trend?

By Mason Mohon | USA

The castle walls are crumbling, and nobody hiding within them is safe. Inside its walls, every type of immoral and evil degenerate can be found feeding their self-centered desire and exploiting others. This is the castle of the cultural and political elite, filled with popular culture icons, politicians, and bureaucratic pigs who think they’re “all that,” and why wouldn’t they? They beat us. They made it up the ladder by stepping on our heads. They are the snakes who bit us on our heels when we thought we were safe. They are the friends who stabbed us in the back. These methods are the only way the ladder could really ever be climbed, with a few exceptions of course.

I feel as if there is a shadow man exposing people sitting behind the curtain and spinning a wheel of who is going to be ousted for a past of disgusting sexual misconduct next. Roy Moore, George Takei, Kevin Spacey, and Louis C.K. were all exposed in rapid succession, and no matter what strategy they employed things always came back to bite them. Spacey came out as gay in response to his accusations, but that doesn’t make what he did ok. House of Cards is finished and I will be thoroughly surprised and slightly disgusted the next time I see him get a shot. Takei’s coming out card had been played forever ago, though, so he just went for it and blamed the Russians for it. Really? Come on George, own what you did and quit making hypocritical and senselessly unbacked political commentary. Stop shilling for FDR’s clearly destructive New Deal policies and quit trying to justify his imprisonment of the Japanese population. C.K. admitted to what he did without making sorry excuses for his actions.

And on this idea of a “gay card,” I say that because homosexuality is real. Don’t use it as a dodge when your messed up past is revealed to the world. You commodify your sexuality by using it to keep yourself relevant in the game of cultural popularity, and that is messed up. Doing such marginalizes and otherizes those within the gay community. Stop pretending to be any sort of “ally” while using life-defining characteristics as a tool for political gain. It was all in vain anyway, because Spacey’s career is taking hits.

But this article is about politics, is it not? It takes some messed up action to climb to the top of pop culture, but the game is a lot messier in the political world. As allegations came out against both Al Franken and Roy Moore, I was told by friends that both the subreddits of r/The_Donald and r/politics were ablaze with a defense of the member of their ideological camp. Those in Donald’s attempted to make sense of how Al Franken was in the wrong, and somehow Roy Moore was in the right. Politics, a very liberal leaning subreddit, swayed in just the opposite direction. All I have to say is what the hell is wrong with you people? You think you can just write off somebody’s egregious past because they have an R or D in front of their name? That’s messed up. I am officially taking the radical position that sexual assault is wrong in any and all instances, along with clear sexual harassment.

The question still faces us, though. Why does the sleazy perv always find himself at the top of the food chain? That’s a hard question to answer, but it is one worth trying to answer, and a very important one to at least take a stab at. One important thing to take note of is men are built with a drive to reproduce and being in a position of power gives them the idea they can exercise that drive when there is not a consenting response that indicates the drive should be pursued. Men in positions of power like to exercise that power, and that seems to be manifesting itself in ways that are not ok.

At the same time, let us take a look at the political industry itself. Getting elected is a nasty game and not an easy feat, particularly in the case of a national election to the house, senate, or even presidency. Getting there means climbing a ladder, and let us not forget that the ladder of the political system is one that rests on violence. The taxpayer is exploited so that the system may be upheld, and that only provides an incentive to leave the bottom of exploitation and run to the top, reaping the benefits of the exploiter. The politician gets to choose how others live their lives (yes, I know Rand Paul exists, yet he is literally one out of one-hundred). Maybe a politician aspires to change things for the better, but he will always be beaten out by the man who takes the massive paycheck under the table from the corporation he just agreed to lobby for.

The winner will be the one who attacks the opponent viciously. Remember the election between Adams and Jackson? No, you don’t, you were not alive, but you can still read about it. Adams and Jackson resorted to using unbacked accusations to ruin the moral character of the other candidate just so they would look better. The way to win was to ruthlessly attack your opposition. These days, it is done through massive payoffs to news organizations who will target candidates on what they know of the least, or it is done through presidential debates with rigged questions, or they just plain and simple bar you from speaking (remember how little time Ron Paul got to speak in the debates?). The point is, there is no room for nice guys in the political system. To win, you have to lie, steal, and cheat.

This is the system that we live under. Why are we ever surprised when somebody is found guilty of lying, stealing, cheating, or sexual assault when we all give our support to a system that encourages such things? If you want this to stop, quit playing into their system. You don’t know how many more Harvey Weinstein’s are out there, so don’t support their lifestyle by throwing your money into the movie industry. Don’t vote for anyone who may have a background of sexual assault, even if they’re the only choice for your party. What this probably means is not voting for either of the major two parties, but be wary for sickos in the third ones too. It is your responsibility to dismantle this system by removing your service from it. Serve them no more, and they shall fall apart.

Would a Government Shutdown Really be That Bad?

By Ryan Lau | USA

Anyone who has watched or read the news sometime this month is most likely aware of the fact that once again, congressional Democrats and Republicans are unable to agree on a budget. Democrats are consistently pushing for some form of protection for Dreamers, which has since sparked backlash from President Trump. Republicans, on the other hand, seek an increase in defense spending, which has been vehemently opposed and countered by Democrats. Both parties wish to avoid a government shutdown, with a deadline of Friday at midnight to reach an agreement. Ironically, though, the one area in which both Democrats and Republicans generally agree is the one area in which both are wrong. In fact, a government shutdown, contrary to popular belief, would be incredibly beneficial to both the American people and government.

In the event of a government shutdown, all funding for federal programs would come to an immediate halt. An obvious exception exists for branches such as the Post Office, which are self-reliant upon their own revenue from stamps and postage fees for operation. However, the vast majority of government agencies would immediately lose their funding, and this is not a bad thing, as the government will save a considerable amount of money during this process by halting the funding of useless or overpaid agencies. 

As a clear example of this, I first examined the expenditures of the United States National Guard, which has an alleged purpose of protecting our citizens in case of a foreign threat or emergency. The thing is, we don’t have any current foreign threats that require an acting home army. Most of these individuals are already trained for an event that has not occurred in our nation since the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Despite the clear lack of need for such a large force, the federal government allocates no small amount of funding for their archaic and currently obsolete services.

The average monthly wage of a guards-person ranges from $184 for a private enlisting in one weekend of basic drill training, all the way up to $18,936 for an active duty general. For the sake of simplification, I have conservatively estimated the average figure to be roughly $1,000 a month, though the true average is likely far higher. In the event that only half of the 348,156 currently enlisted National Guard members were told not to report to work (it would likely be a considerably higher number than this), the federal government would be saving 174 million dollars in a single month, but each guards-person would still be entirely capable of reporting to his or her full-time job.

Though admittedly a small figure, the National Guard is a tiny fragment of our overall spending. As an example of a larger agency, I will now examine the U.S. Department of Labor. The agency dumps out an exorbitant annual budget of 12.8 billion dollars for services that frankly, are none of the government’s business. If an employer and employee come to a voluntary agreement regarding the terms of the employee’s labor, it is not the place of any third party entity, regardless of their claim to power, to prevent this transaction from occurring, provided of course that it does not infringe upon the Natural Rights of any individual. On the other hand, if an able-bodied adult cannot find labor, it is not the business of the government to support him by forcibly taking money from the more successful. In both scenarios, a voluntarily funded market-driven solution would prove to be adequate and would do so without grand-scale theft.

Now, this aforementioned figure of 12.8 billion dollars also does not include the funding of over 17,000 full-time employees. Thus, not including the employees, a one-month long government shutdown would save over one billion dollars. Factoring in their salaries, this number would, of course, be significantly higher. That’s one billion at least, with nine zeroes, no longer being forcibly taken from the taxpayers in order to fund an inefficient organization, or one billion dollars used to shrink the staggeringly high national debt.

Ultimately, our federal government has a budget of approximately 3.8 trillion dollars for the fiscal year of 2017. When all is said and done, even a one month long partial shutdown, cutting the expenditures of the state by 50%, would save the American people 158 billion dollars. This money could be used in remarkably better places than it is now, and at the discretion of the American consumer, rather than a tyrannical and bloated nation willing to steal and kill to accomplish their allegedly-noble causes.

Though the finances of a government shutdown are a key aspect of its potential benefit, they are not the only one. Most notably save finances, the average American will have a significantly better experience with air travel. Given a shutdown is to occur, air traffic control and airport security staff would still be in place, as they are always hired by the airports themselves, and thus outside of the federal government’s payroll.

Who, then, is federally paid for in an airport? The Transportation Security Agency, with an abysmal record of zero terrorists stopped since its creation in 2001, devours nearly 8 billion dollars in federal funding annually. To make matters worse, dreadfully long lines can add five, fifteen or thirty minutes, even an hour to travel times due to security lines, depending on the airport and the occasion. A temporary shutdown, however, would eliminate these lines, and during the holiday season, families across the nation would be more able to travel without stress, spending more time with their families and less time waiting to be prodded by an eerie metal rod.

Clearly, the verdict is in on a government shutdown. Saving Americans money and protecting their happiness are allegedly in the direct intentions of the government. However, these intentions are clearly ignored. The American people are being stolen from in order to fund obsolete and inadequate services. Regardless of the state’s true intent (which I would venture to guess that nobody can fully explain in this day and age), the fact that a state that formerly protected the rights of the individual has fallen into such disrepair is a calamity. Reversal of this governmental decay, if you will, must be instituted at the earliest possible hour, in order to finally allow the American people to live in peace and prosperity. Thus, it is with no minute degree of irony that I declare: the federal government would best accomplish its goals by suspending its own existence.