Clover and The Fourth Amendment

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A Clover – EPautos’ term for people of the left and right persuasion, who love government force and despise individual rights – wrote the following love note to me in response to a post about Florida cops randomly stopping people and forcing them to submit to an inspection of the contents of their beverage cups (see here for the news story).constitution burning

“Proof Libertarian’s have their imaginary view of the Constitution: the 4A only pertain to private residences. Only a Libertarian thinks a cop needs a search warrant to view the contents of your cup.”

So writes Clover.

Here’s the verbatim language of the 4th Amendment:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

So no, Clover, the Fourth Amendment does not “only pertain to private residences.”

It applies generally.

And more deeply, the Constitution merely acknowledges rights that exist independent of any written document. The Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution as an affirmation, and to make what was then commonly accepted an explicit roster of Thou Shall Nots directed at the government. Each amendment serves as a “line in the sand” forbidding encroachments based on utilitarian arguments.

Back to the Florida story:

The cops aren’t merely “viewing” the cup, as Clover benignly puts it. They are forcibly detaining people and subjecting the contents of their cups to a search.

Clover’s supine embrace of carte blanche searches absent any individualized/specific probable cause because he believes it’s for a “good cause” – and because he believes the state’s armed goons are benevolent massas keeping us all “safe” – is both loathsome and genuinely dangerous.

Which is ironic given Clover’s maudlin concern for “safety.”

If the state’s armed goons can waylay people and search them “just because” (i.e., without any individualized/specific probable cause that would justify suspicion they’ve committed or are about to commit a crime) then there is in principle no limit to their Authoritah over us, other than what Clover and Co. regard as acceptable.

No defined line in the sand beyond which Authoritah may not step.

So, where does it end, Clover?

If it’s ok today to stop/search people’s beverage containers, then why not (tomorrow) search their persons? Someone might be carrying a bag of weeeeeeeeeeeeeeed in his crotch (or her vagina) after all.

No limits. Right, Clover?

The ends justify any means. Just trot out a “good” – however vaguely asserted. It’s an old song, Clover. One that’s been warbled by tyrants and echoed by their enablers for as long as human beings have walked this earth.

If I could, if I had the technology, I’d have every single person who hews to the views expressed by Clover time-traveled to Germany circa 1939. Or Soviet Russia. Or Khmer Cambodia. Or Mao’s China. Then he’d be among friends.

Oh, I know. You’ll eruct that I’m exaggerating.

But here’s the thing, Clover. Principles matter. One thing necessarily leads to the next. Germany did not become Nazi Germany – poof! – just like that, or “because Hitler.”

It happened because the groundwork had been laid for a Hitler.

If the German people (a majority) believed in individual liberty, in the inherent right of each individual to be left in peace, Hitler and the Third Reich would have been impossible. He would have remained an obscure freak ranting on street corners, his name lost to history.

But because his fellow countrymen shared his views – your views – that the individual has no rights that are inviolable, that “greater goods” trump those rights, that “safety” (and yes, he used that term often) justifies almost any measure… Hitler became chancellor and the rest is history.

Ethical (and historical) ignoramuses such as yourself never learn this lesson.

And thus, we are doomed to repeat it.

Throw it in the Woods? 

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  36 comments for “Clover and The Fourth Amendment

  1. Brian
    June 11, 2014 at 11:29 am

    I believe we have inherent rights to privacy and self-defense (among others), but don’t make the mistake of believing that the Constitution or Bill of Rights will protect any of them. Clover may well be right that the 4th amendment only covers you in your house because of this terrible fact:

    Five men in mumus decide what the Constitution means.

    That’s it. Don’t think that what you read on that piece of paper is what the Constitution is now. Over the years, the Supreme Court has “interpreted” the crap out of the thing, and somewhere along the lines decided that it means this or it means that.

    I used to be a big believer in the Constitution. You know, handed down from God through a few amazing men. But now I just see it as what it is: a clever device used by the rulers to control the masses.

    Assert your rights personally and live as a free person. Don’t depend upon a collective to tell you what you can and can’t do. As long as you don’t aggress against others.

    • eric
      June 11, 2014 at 11:34 am

      Agreed, Brian – and, well said!

    • Jason Flinders
      June 11, 2014 at 12:06 pm

      “Five men in mumus decide what the Constitution means.”

      This was not by design.

      The courts were never given the power to make or change law, they usurped that power for themselves and nobody stopped them. The intended job of the courts was supposed to be applying the law as written and intended to the circumstances of the specific case before them, no more and no less.

      Unfortunately one of the design flaws of the Constitution is that there were no checks and balances provided to keep the courts in line. Madison’s belief was that lifetime judicial appointments would make for honest judges, but that obviously did not work out.

      So basically at this point we are screwed. That’s the nature of the State, even if you start out trying to keep it chained down and under control (and I believe the Framers were sincere in that attempt), the disease of government will eventually find ways to escape its chains and spread like an aggressive cancer.

      • eric
        June 11, 2014 at 2:11 pm

        Hi Jason,

        All of this would be much simpler if the non-aggression principle were the basic law of the land. It’s a superb tool for determining whether a given action rises to the level of crime – or not. Has someone been harmed? Their person or their property? If yes – if a tangible harm can be shown – then the person responsible has violated the only law that matters, ethically speaking.

        If not? Then while he may be obnoxious, someone you dislike – you have no right to do him violence, under color of law or otherwise.

        The beauty of genius is that it’s simple.

        And a child could comprehend – and apply – the NAP.

      • liberranter
        June 14, 2014 at 12:15 am

        This was not by design.The courts were never given the power to make or change law, they usurped that power for themselves and nobody stopped them.

        Yup. Even a brief glance at Article III of TGDPOP reveals that the Judiciary is authorized NONE of the powers that it routinely exercises. Big bright red flags should’ve been rsised (and necks stretched) with Marbury vs. Madison, which was judicial coup number one. Sadly, “The People” demonstrated even then that they weren’t paying attention.

    • c_dub
      June 13, 2014 at 1:40 am

      Very well put Brian and agreed. The “constitution” is something a lot of people in the libertarian/anarchist/voluntaryist stub their toe on so to speak. It doesn’t matter. It’s just words on a piece of paper written by men centuries ago. It had no authority or jurisdiction then and certainly not now. I’m sure some here are aware of Spooner’s work and the “constitution of no authority”. Pretty much sums it up.

      • eric
        June 13, 2014 at 6:10 am

        Hi c_dub,

        I threw the Constitution in the woods years ago, when I became aware of its true nature as a document empowering government rather than protecting the rights of the people. The historic fact is the Constitution was intended to gut the rights of the people; it was only as an afterthought that the Bill of Rights was tacked on, to placate the minority who were suspicious of what Hamilton & Co. were up to.

        Full rant here:

        http://ericpetersautos.com/2014/06/13/fix/

        • Bevin
          June 13, 2014 at 6:20 am

          Dear c dub, eric,

          Ditto on 86ing the constitution, any constitution.

          The bottom line is we have to clear out all the preconceptions in our mind about “authority.”

          As Etienne de la Boetie, and more recently Larkin Rose have so rightly underscored, just because a bunch of people got together and wrote down some rules, doesn’t mean diddly squat.

          Nothing gives them the right to unilaterally force us to abide by them. Once they attempt to do that, no matter how good their original intentions might have been, they are no longer on the side of the angels. They have become agents of tyranny.

          The Chimp once blew his stack when an advisor warned him about constitutional violations. He said “Stop throwing the constitution in my face! It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”

          Ironically he was right. Of course not in the way he meant it. He meant he could do anything he damned well pleased to us mere mundanes.

          What Max Stirner, Murray Rothbard and others meant, was that nobody had the right to do anything to anybody else, paper or no paper.

      • liberranter
        June 14, 2014 at 12:22 am

        Very well put Brian and agreed. The “constitution” is something a lot of people in the libertarian/anarchist/voluntaryist stub their toe on so to speak.

        I think most earnest libertarians (small “l”) by now have no illusions about the Constitution. As Eric mentioned earlier, the NAP is a libertarian’s governing ethos and no one who adheres to the NAP as primary natural law will convincingly claim that the Constitution encapsulates its principles.

  2. LGKd
    June 11, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    “Never tear down a fence until you know why it was raised.”
    —Robert Frost
    `

    That’s good advice to Clovers about 4A. That constitutional fence was erected as a fundamental barrier to police-state tactics and feared subjugation of the American people by the new central government.

    But Clovers don’t understand that at all. They view the Constitution as a quaint historical artifact of little value to modern America with its wise , noble, progressive, dynamic government. All that Stalin/Nazi stuff is ancient history and fear-mongering that could never ever happen here. 4A is just an unnecessary technical nuisance to efficient government and public safety– we can always forever trust our government leaders to do the right thing overall with their immense powers– and bad-guys could never ever get control of that government power apparatus. Silly people must have written that 4A text.

    The government public school system “educates” over 90% of Americans. Little wonder then how few people understand even the basics of 4A. Their ignorance of history and government is worse.

  3. Mike in Boston
    June 11, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    When I was a kid most of the movies out then were WWII related; everyone hissed when the Gestapo stooges stop random people and asked to see their “papers please”. Now that generation is dying off, and boobus Amerikanus thinks it’s perfectly fine to be stopped for no reason whatsoever; he’ll be saaaaafe in his internment camp someday. How sick that my Dad’s generation sacrificed themselves for Clovers

  4. MikeFromWichita
    June 12, 2014 at 9:33 am

    IF the beach were private Property, secruity doing cup searches would be no problem…yes? If you objected you would simply go to another beach or stay home….Yes?

    You are free to do that now – stop whining.

    • Me2
      June 12, 2014 at 9:49 am

      You can’t really be that stupid. Can you?

      You essentially just said, “If you don’t want you civil rights violated by armed and dangerous thugs, stay home”.

      What a scary little boot licking police state sycophant you are.

    • mikeLL
      June 12, 2014 at 10:25 am

      I think MikefromWichita is right about the first part: A private beach could have a security force that did inspect containers as a condition of using the beach. If you don’t like the rules then don’t use the private beach. Or similarly, a private homeowner could insist that everyone who enters the house empty out his pockets just to make sure there’s no “contraband” there. Of course no one in their right mind would want to visit such a home, and perhaps not patronize such a beach, and would therefore exercise their freedom of disassociation by finding other friends or other beach owners. In other words, the market would discipline the most intrusive among us. There is no violation of the NAP if one a priori consents to the rules of use.

      But Mike is wrong about alternatives that we have. The state lays claim, illegitimately of course, to all the beaches within its borders. There is no choice to make except the choice to not go to the beach at all, anywhere in Florida and, indeed, practically anywhere in the USA where nearly all beachfront is captured by the state.

      Keep in mind that the amendments are included so as to add a soothing rhetorical salve to a mind that understands that statism and individualism cannot be reconciled and thus leave us in a condition of perpetual conflict. So far, the state is winning the conflict.

      • Bevin
        June 12, 2014 at 11:16 pm

        Dear MikeLL,

        Thanks for that nice clarification.

        Saved me the typing!

        Private is one thing. “Public” so-called is another altogether.

        As I have long noted, the “public sector” is totalitarianism’s thin edge of the wedge. Its mere existence allows the wedge to be inserted and driven in ever deeper, until our entire existence has become “public,” hence subject to collective decision making, and all liberty is lost.

        private = freedom
        public = slavery

        • June 12, 2014 at 11:43 pm

          That explains why monarchy is still the most successful and liveable system.

          It may not make sense that the Queen and Crown own so much property throughout the 53 nations of the commonwealth. But having someone own things is much preferred to noone owning things.

          In the US and USSR, it ends up being a tug-of-war between oligarchs. They just as soon destroy something they don’t own, as let one of their competitor oligarchs gain control of some parcel of public property.

          I don’t know how China works anymore, but it seems like they’ve so far dodged a bullet in regards to “the people” owning so much public property.

          UK, US, and Israel could probably orchestrate the Chinese Oligarchs going rogue at any time they see it prudent to do so.

          That’s why the Chinese have to keep Christians and Muslims out of power, because they too are prone to dipping into everyone’s cookie jar and saying “the Lord says this is mine.”

    • BrentP
      June 12, 2014 at 11:28 am

      The properly conditioned response. Government is becoming a private property owning entity. That is it is morphing from an institution that is to serve the people, created by the people, accountable to the people into one that owns the people.

      One of the completed steps is to convince people of the idea of “government property”. That the government owns property with the same private property rights as any other person, company, or corporation. The difference of course is that the government forces us to pay for it. See, we pay for it, then the government tells us that they make the rules. Obey or stay home.

      Furthermore government has the habit of forcing private owners to impose government rules or it just takes the private property to maintain its monopoly. We can’t have a private beach where the public is invited where the government rules don’t apply. Now a private beach where there are only private doings, those are just fine. After all, these may be owned by the people who own the government.

  5. June 12, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    Woman dies in jail while serving sentence for her kids’ unpaid school fines
    http://www.salon.com/2014/06/12/woman_dies_in_jail_while_serving_sentence_for_her_kids_unpaid_school_fines/

    More than 1,600 people have been jailed in Berks County Pennsylvania alone — the majority of them women — because of similar fines.

    “Judge Dean Patton said he has lost sleep over her death. At the same time, he acknowledged that a short jail stint can sometimes “break the habit” of parents who’d rather party into the night than take their children to school the next day.

    The county started a program a few years ago that gives families 30 to 60 days to keep daily logs of each class and assignment. He estimated that the district truancy rate had dropped more than 30 percent.”

    – If someone should meet a few of these robed heroes at a pizza place and air their grievances, I wouldn’t lose much sleep over it. Whatever it takes to break the habit. It’s time they all start getting the much needed rest they richly deserve.

  6. liberranter
    June 14, 2014 at 12:34 am

    You can’t really be that stupid. Can you?

    He not only can be, but is. KC has been working overtime lately to usurp Clover himself of his throne.

    • Bevin
      June 14, 2014 at 2:34 am

      Dear lib,

      I can see it now.

      MFW, the Gauleiter of Wichita.

  7. Forman
    June 14, 2014 at 2:32 am

    Is that retarded chimp Clover still here? That fucking liberal parasite cocksucker that thinks it owns me?

    • eric
      June 14, 2014 at 5:36 am

      Unfortunately, it is… I let its posts get through every now and then, but only to demonstrate to new readers here – who might be on the fence – the idiocy of coercive collectivists. It’s not merely that we disagree with them. It’s that they’re stark raving stupid.

      Evil, too.

      • Forman
        June 14, 2014 at 6:20 pm

        Collectivists are Terrorist…What else could they possibly be?
        I fucking *HATE* retarded parasitic tribal chimps that think they own me and my earned income…HATE!

  8. Bevin
    June 28, 2014 at 10:40 am

    This just in.

    “Irony” doesn’t begin to describe it.

    Oregon Celebrates Independence Day… With ‘No Refusal’ Blood Checkpoints
    Police rename Fourth of July weekend “No Refusal Weekend”
    by Steve Watson | Infowars.com | June 27, 2014

    During Independence Day weekend, a time to celebrate US freedom and unalienable rights, Americans in Oregon will be subjected to a “blitz” of ‘no-refusal’ blood-draw checkpoints, as part of a disturbing trend that now extends nationwide.

    Local news station KVAL reports that State police are re-naming Fourth of July weekend “No Refusal Weekend”, as part of a crack down on drunk driving.

    Any driver who is stopped by police and refuses to take an alcohol breath test will be subjected to a mandatory blood test either at the scene, at a medical facility, or at the nearest jail.

    Anyone who merely questions the breath test could also automatically lose their license for a year.

    The police say they will liaise closely with prosecutors and judges to immediately obtain “blood draw warrants” in an effort to paint the process up as legal and Constitutional.

    • June 28, 2014 at 3:23 pm

      Investigators at the crime scene
      http://i.imgur.com/6UOCW1S.jpg

      I see here people decrying the evils of those in power. But I maintain there are no people in existence to replace them with that should be put in power over their fellow humans.

      If you’ve been watching Game of Thrones, and considered it critically, you’ve come to the conclusion that even those who hold absolute power recognize its futility.

      What I have in mind, is Daenerys Targaryen’s storyline in the latest episode. Here is depicted a ruler with only the best of intentions, diligently trying to do the right thing. She is the of the highest moral character, and imbued with the greatest benevolence and love of the good.

      Yet even in art, there is brute reality. The honest portrayal of her utter uselessness, should extinguish all pretensions and hope that people still seem to stubbornly cling to.

      Belief in elevating abstractions and constructs over people and thinking it will lead to progress is nothing more than base whim worship. Even should a real life Daenerys come into power, and hold the reigns with the lightest and most loving hand, rule from a throne will fail.

      To hold out hope that government, police, and courts could be helpful for us, if only the good were to wield such thrones of power, is irrational and without any foundation in reality.

      Even in the artistic fiction of Game of Thrones, it is clear that despite the prevalence of such goodness, is still insufficient.

      In Meereen, Daenerys reluctantly grants a former slave’s wish of being sold into slavery again. This man knows no other way to live. Daenerys reluctantly grants his request, allowing him to form a contract with his former master that can last no longer than a year. Her interference in the market, of freeing the slaves, is shown to have never been any kind of solution after all.

      The next citizen brings her the charred remains of his daughter who was burned by one of her dragons. And as a precaution, Daenerys chains her other dragons in the catacombs.

      While the offending dragon Drogon has not returned, she dolefully chains her two other dragons away in the catacombs as a precaution. Reality is shown as far too complex for human plans and the dominion of one over another. Interspecies competition for scarce territory and resources is shown to be far beyond the ken of top down rules.

      All governments and justice systems really have the power to do, is to mutilate humanity. To destroy spontaneous human interactions. To make us far less than we could otherwise be. To reduce this beautiful world, into a mere anthill or beehive of the miserable men in power, giving direction and command to the miserable men in the field.

      Something rationally follows from such revelations. It is reasonable to inquire whether, if we are not bees or ants, that we then have the power and ability to make reasoned, action decisions for ourselves;

      The central question is, whether human beings are self-owners. I only intended to use Stirner as an example of how we can retain our humanity when we give precedence to our own egos.

      Of course he is not a paragon of virtue to be followed. That is the point it seems is being missed. The pile of our own feces, which we all seem programmed to return to. Stirner was just one ego, one set of goals only he knew in complete detail. It matters not if he were good or bad according to some arbitrary standard. The central axiom is that there is no good person that can be followed and emulated as an example. As the righteous authority that can exist, outside of ourselves.

      There is only an assembly of many rational people, rationally trying to do what they want with their lives. Of learning to hear their own egos, and then finding cooperative ways to satisfy these egos and also those around them. For all to self-actualize the goals of these many egos as far as is practicable through spontaneous transaction and interaction.

      To be all that each wants to be, but individually and from the inside. Not from the outside looking at each other as an assembly of people who are a single entity.

      The key question is whether this self ownership maxim is indeed the best way to live. If it were, this means never immediately giving authority to things outside of yourself.

      Self-ownership does not imply that “I” the owner am somehow separate from “myself” as the owned object, but that “I-myself” am integrated as a whole being, self-contained and self-directed.

      What I mean to convey, is being a self owner can’t be simplified or reduced to principles and concepts outside your person, which exist outside of yourself.

      I don’t only mean to merely reject the entire Judeo-Chrisitian code of conduct, but also any and all such “improved” codes of conducts that might be imagined. Self ownership and the NAP must not be looked at as a replacement of codes of living, but as a denial of a single life code as a viable mechanism for living.

      I believe human beings self-owners. But many animals are not self-owners, but rather are members of a hive or herd or pack and function only in that capacity. Being fully human means not encouraging others to artificially emulate such organisms.

      Bees prosper only if they work in a strict hierarchy by instinct; none of them have been observed buzzing around reasoning whether to get honey that day, and where from, and whether to contribute the haul to the hive or to gorge it all himself.

      Wolves have a hierarchy in a pack, again they are hard-wired to behave that way. But humans are as we’ve seen reasoning animals; we figure things out logically and make decisions accordingly and all of that is or can be done independently of what other humans decide. Others’ decisions may affect what you choose, but it’s still your choice.

      What do you think? Is this premise also an axiom – is this something undeniable? I believe it is, but you’ll have to prove this to your own satisfaction, not take my word for it.

      The test of whether a premise is an axiom, is: do I have to assume the premise implicitly, in order to try to deny it explicitly? So let’s try to deny this premise, by saying “No, I do not own myself.”

      Oops! Immediately, there are problems. First, how dare you express an opinion about who owns you, if in fact you don’t own yourself? – you’d have no right even to open your mouth without permission, let alone pronounce a profound judgment!

      And second and even worse, if ownership – the right to decide, to direct, to control – of a human person is not vested in the person himself, then it must be vested in someone else. But who?

      Some other person, maybe. Maybe these ideal humans who never “behave as thugs.” Who never violate in even the slightest way the NAP. Easy for them to do, they don’t really exist, but are only imaginary entities. So should we cede our ownership to these imaginary betters?

      But in that case how did these ideal literary supermen acquire such ownership rights?

      This sounds similar to the nonsense underlying slavery; “owners” bought slaves at the “market”, from shippers who never owned the transported Africans in the first place – they had merely kidnapped them. This was OK, because these human beings before their capture were savage violent thugs.

      By buying and selling them as chattel, we could begin to improve their base imperfect nature. To bring them closer to our arbitrary mental constructs of ideal perfect beings.

      This is the trap we must avoid. That there are good self owning people. And bad people that deserve capturing and caging.

      We have to be consistent and declare the slaves’ self- ownership was being horribly denied in practice, but it was always there anyway by right. So no, you cannot be owned by another person.

      Even if, upon their release, these “slaves” might engage in the most brutish and shockingly violent behavior imaginable. This is what it means to place the highest value on humanities natural state, of pure, unfettered self ownership.

      What if a slave should want to donate himself to his owner? – Is that permissible. No! Why not? – because at the instant of such an attempt to donate oneself, to transfer ownership to another, the property item being transferred would be a self-owning person, which is impossible!

      If one is a self-owner the moment before such a transfer, one is still a self-owning person the instant afterwards, and therefore the alleged transfer would be a total fraud. This is a subtle but important distinction. If you think about it, it has to be so!

      So if not “somebody else” can it be said that every human is owned by some group of persons such as a company or a government – as in “I owe my soul to the Company store”?

      Again we must ask, how exactly was such ownership acquired; and there is simply no answer to that because, as above, it is impossible for even a willing would-be slave to surrender his own ownership of his own person.

      Lastly, might it be that God owns us? – and again – leaving aside the question of whether God exists. Again the answer must be No, for again there is the insoluble problem of transfer, as above; and even if that were somehow solved, for God to acquire ownership rights we’d have to have had them in the first place in order for our donation of ourselves to be valid.

      Also, there’s an extra problem: if it’s argued that God owns everyone anyway by right of creation, then all humans are His slaves and the other human attributes of free will and moral choices and expressions of love are all cruel illusions; we would be mere puppets, no more. But that simply does not fit what we can observe using our senses.

      Notice, this line of logical reasoning is very tight; there is no way out. We have tried to deny the premise that “we humans are self-owners” and we’ve found we must grant its truth even while making the attempt.

      Therefore, the self ownership premise is an axiom. By our very nature as rational humans, each person owns himself; thus, every attempt to prevent us exercising that ownership is an irrational denial of our very nature.

      Just as in geometry, every further axiom and premise builds upon earlier axioms and premises. You can’t skip ahead to a later truth, until you first affirm for yourself the first and most basic truth.

      tl;der here’s the sum of it:
      Because you are a human being, you have an absolute right to own and operate your own life, any way you wish. Period.

      Others can call you names, like selfish, thug, criminal, social darwinist, sinner, and all the rest. Consider their valid points where they exist. But never surrender your right to live your own life any way you wish that doesn’t impair anyone else’s identical right.

    • Bevin
      June 28, 2014 at 8:03 pm

      Dear Tor,

      Re: Game of Thrones and the Daenerys Targaryen storyline

      As you know, I’ve been watching it “religiously.”

      “Here is… a ruler with only the best of intentions, diligently trying to do the right thing. She is the of the highest moral character, and imbued with the greatest benevolence and love of the good… [yet] Even should a real life Daenerys come into power, and hold the reigns with the lightest and most loving hand, rule from a throne will fail.”

      You nailed it perfectly!

      That, to George RR Martin’s immense credit, is precisely the message he meant to convey. The character Daenrys is his vehicle for conveying that profound message about the futility of conventional monopolistic government. Top down governance from a throne of any kind, including the throne in the White House Oval Office, can only do more harm than good.

      As Laozi, the world’s first and greatest individualist anarchist put it,

      Act for the people’s benefit. Trust them; leave them alone.”

      “Stop trying to control. Let go of fixed plans and concepts, and the world will govern itself.

      The more prohibitions you have, the less virtuous people will be. The more weapons you have, the less secure people will be. The more subsidies you have, the less self-reliant people will be.

      Therefore the Master says: I let go of the law, and people become honest. I let go of economics, and people become prosperous. I let go of religion, and people become serene. I let go of all desire for the common good, and the good becomes common as grass.”

      “If you want to govern the people, you must place yourself below them. If you want to lead the people, you must learn how to follow them.”

      “Governing a large country is like frying a small fish. You spoil it with too much poking.

  9. June 28, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    Good stuff as always Bevin! You’ve reminded me I hadn’t read GRRM’s non-blog for quite a while. Having look at his new updates, I was reminded how imperative it is to him to win Hugo awards at Loncon. Seeing the list of nominees for this August, I came across this gem by http://www.tor.com/bios/authors/rachel-swirsky“> Rachel Swirsky. Marred a bit by tedious fealty to a one world agenda of forever closing the bigot spigot, as all nominated writing must embrace some or another agenda, imagine instead its just written to any old typical bloke. This gem being quite short, I’ve included it here in its entirety:

    If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love by Rachel Swirsky

    If you were a dinosaur, my love, then you would be a T-Rex. You’d be a small one, only five feet, ten inches, the same height as human-you. You’d be fragile-boned and you’d walk with as delicate and polite a gait as you could manage on massive talons. Your eyes would gaze gently from beneath your bony brow-ridge.

    If you were a T-Rex, then I would become a zookeeper so that I could spend all my time with you. I’d bring you raw chickens and live goats. I’d watch the gore shining on your teeth. I’d make my bed on the floor of your cage, in the moist dirt, cushioned by leaves. When you couldn’t sleep, I’d sing you lullabies.

    If I sang you lullabies, I’d soon notice how quickly you picked up music. You’d harmonize with me, your rough, vibrating voice a strange counterpoint to mine. When you thought I was asleep, you’d cry unrequited love songs into the night.

    If you sang unrequited love songs, I’d take you on tour. We’d go to Broadway. You’d stand onstage, talons digging into the floorboards. Audiences would weep at the melancholic beauty of your singing.

    If audiences wept at the melancholic beauty of your singing, they’d rally to fund new research into reviving extinct species. Money would flood into scientific institutions. Biologists would reverse engineer chickens until they could discover how to give them jaws with teeth.

    Paleontologists would mine ancient fossils for traces of collagen. Geneticists would figure out how to build a dinosaur from nothing by discovering exactly what DNA sequences code everything about a creature, from the size of its pupils to what enables a brain to contemplate a sunset. They’d work until they’d built you a mate.

    If they built you a mate, I’d stand as the best woman at your wedding. I’d watch awkwardly in green chiffon that made me look sallow, as I listened to your vows. I’d be jealous, of course, and also sad, because I want to marry you.

    Still, I’d know that it was for the best that you marry another creature like yourself, one that shares your body and bone and genetic template. I’d stare at the two of you standing together by the altar and I’d love you even more than I do now.

    My soul would feel light because I’d know that you and I had made something new in the world and at the same time revived something very old. I would be borrowed, too, because I’d be borrowing your happiness. All I’d need would be something blue.

    If all I needed was something blue, I’d run across the church, heels clicking on the marble, until I reached a vase by the front pew. I’d pull out a hydrangea the shade of the sky and press it against my heart and my heart would beat like a flower. I’d bloom.

    My happiness would become petals. Green chiffon would turn into leaves. My legs would be pale stems, my hair delicate pistils. From my throat, bees would drink exotic nectars.

    I would astonish everyone assembled, the biologists and the paleontologists and the geneticists, the reporters and the rubberneckers and the music aficionados, all those people who—deceived by the helix-and-fossil trappings of cloned dinosaurs– believed that they lived in a science fictional world when really they lived in a world of magic where anything was possible.

    If we lived in a world of magic where anything was possible, then you would be a dinosaur, my love. You’d be a creature of courage and strength but also gentleness. Your claws and fangs would intimidate your foes effortlessly. Whereas you—fragile, lovely, human you—must rely on wits and charm.

    A T-Rex, even a small one, would never have to stand against five blustering men soaked in gin and malice. A T-Rex would bare its fangs and they would cower. They’d hide beneath the tables instead of knocking them over.

    They’d grasp each other for comfort instead of seizing the pool cues with which they beat you, calling you a fag, a towel-head, a shemale, a sissy, a spic, every epithet they could think of, regardless of whether it had anything to do with you or not, shouting and shouting as you slid to the floor in the slick of your own blood.

    If you were a dinosaur, my love, I’d teach you the scents of those men. I’d lead you to them quietly, oh so quietly. Still, they would see you. They’d run. Your nostrils would flare as you inhaled the night and then, with the suddenness of a predator, you’d strike. I’d watch as you decanted their lives—the flood of red; the spill of glistening, coiled things—and I’d laugh, laugh, laugh.

    If I laughed, laughed, laughed, I’d eventually feel guilty. I’d promise never to do something like that again. I’d avert my eyes from the newspapers when they showed photographs of the men’s tearful widows and fatherless children, just as they must avert their eyes from the newspapers that show my face.

    How reporters adore my face, the face of the paleontologist’s fiancée with her half-planned wedding, bouquets of hydrangeas already ordered, green chiffon bridesmaid dresses already picked out. The paleontologist’s fiancée who waits by the bedside of a man who will probably never wake.

    If you were a dinosaur, my love, then nothing could break you, and if nothing could break you, then nothing could break me. I would bloom into the most beautiful flower. I would stretch joyfully toward the sun. I’d trust in your teeth and talons to keep you/me/us safe now and forever from the scratch of chalk on pool cues, and the scuff of the nurses’ shoes in the hospital corridor, and the stuttering of my broken heart.

    • Bevin
      June 28, 2014 at 11:49 pm

      Dear Tor,

      I didn’t know Martin had a blog. Or “non-blog.” Now I do however. Thanks!

      George RR Martin may well have elevated GOT to a level of philosophical profundity even higher than JRR Tolkien’s LOTR.

      In LOTR Tolkien essentially illustrated Montesquieu’s addage about “Power corrupts… ”

      In GOT Martin goes further. He illustrates how even when power doesn’t corrupt, it still does more harm than good, therefore the only solution is to take your dragons with you and let people rule themselves, as they should have all along.

      Martin has latched on to an eternal truth. Coercive political power can only undermine the natural harmony and spontaneous order that social and economic forces provide humanity.

      This is the same truth that Chinese anarchist philosophers Laozi, Zhuangzi, Sima Qian, and Bao Jinyan latched onto millennia ago, and Gustave de Molinari, Thomas Paine, Murray Rothbard, and Hans Hoppe latched onto more recently.

      Interesting how both authors dedicate themselves to similar themes, and both have the RR middle initials!

    • Bevin
      June 29, 2014 at 12:03 am

      Dear Tor,

      Just looked up GRRM at Wiki. Confirms what I just inferred a moment ago.

      In distinguishing his work from others, Martin makes a point of emphasizing realism and plausible social dynamics above an over-reliance on magic and a simplistic “good versus evil” dichotomy, which contemporary fantasy writing is often criticized for.

      Notably, Martin’s work makes a sharp departure from the prevalent “heroic knights and chivalry” schema that has become a mainstay in fantasy as derived from the Lord of the Rings series of J.R.R. Tolkien.

      He specifically critiques the oversimplification of Tolkien’s themes and devices by imitators in ways that he has humorously described as “Disneyland Middle Ages”[34] that gloss over or even ignore major differences between medieval and modern societies, particularly social structures, ways of living, and political arrangements.

      Martin is at times considered “the American Tolkien” by literary critics.[35] However, inasmuch as he himself admires and finds inspiration from Tolkien’s legacy,[36] Martin tries to differentiate himself by going beyond idealized archetypes – e.g., the philosophy of “if the king was a good man, the land would prosper” – to delve into the complexities, ambiguities, and vagaries of power –

      “We look at real history and it’s not that simple… In real life, real-life kings had real-life problems to deal with. … You had to make hard, hard decisions. Sometimes what seemed to be a good decision turned around and bit you in the ass; it was the law of unintended consequences… Just having good intentions doesn’t make you a wise king.”.[37]

      Exactly what you were saying about how Daenerys is NOT corrupted by the power she acquires, but even she can’t overcome the problem of top down command economy style rule, which invariably involves the “law of unintended consequences.”

      This was something Friedrich Hayek dealt with at considerable length. The problem of knowledge. Even if one means well, one simply cannot know what everyone’s problems are and solve them for the.

      • June 29, 2014 at 2:58 am

        Yes, I’m going to start reading a lot more about GRRM and works by GRRM. I think medieval, Roman, Babylonian, Laozi and ancient China, and other societies were all valid ways to live. I’d like to see their return or at least significant elements.

        Anyone who claims without reflection that modern society is an improvement comes off as a Clover to my ears. Modern societies nearly all seem to be forcibly imposed, and so are not genuine societies at all.

        Let’s see how Muslims, Christians, urban Polis, multi/national alliances, and other allegedly highly civilized forms fare, when they have to attract and retain productive members, without the use of state force and violent coercion.

        His first Hugo winner: A Song For Lya

        George RR Martin:
        A graduate of Northwestern In Illinois, a Stephen King type, writing stories since childhood, he’s written episodes for the new Twilight Zone series.

        http://www.nndb.com/people/215/000044083/

        Today I learned: After watching the Breaking Bad episode “Ozymandias,” George RR Martin called Walter White a worse monster than anyone in Westeros, and said he would write an even worse character in his upcoming books to correct this.

        http://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/comments/29an40/til_after_watching_the_breaking_bad_episode/

        GRRM quotes on writing
        http://io9.com/5971432/great-quotes-about-writing-from-game-of-thrones-author-george-rr-martin

        GRRM: there are two kinds of writers. There are architects and gardeners. (I am definitely a gardner)

        To oversimplify it. The architects do blueprints before they drive the first nail, they design the entire house, where the pipes are running, and how many rooms there are going to be, how high the roof will be. But the gardeners just dig a hole and plant the seed and see what comes up.

      • Bevin
        June 29, 2014 at 3:55 am

        Dear Tor,

        “After watching the Breaking Bad episode “Ozymandias,” George RR Martin called Walter White a worse monster than anyone in Westeros, and said he would write an even worse character in his upcoming books to correct this.”

        That’s hilarious. One upsmanship in the creation of villainous characters!

        Actually, to be honest, I never considered Walter White a through and through “bad guy.” He was never an Ellsworth Toohey type misanthropist. Rather he was a “nice guy who finished last.” His terminal cancer made him snap, and start down a road of no return.

        In a fit an anger, he made a fateful decision. “No more Mr. Nice Guy!” He swore his wife and children would not be left in debt up to their ears as a result of his medical treatments.

        Re: two approaches to writing fiction

        The former is essentially plot driven. Plan out the arc a character will undergo during a story.

        The latter is essentially character driven. Create a psychologically vital character, and let his character generate his destiny.

        • June 29, 2014 at 4:23 am

          In societies like North Korea, or ameriKa, I think basic concepts like: a good guy, or a bad guy, tend to lose all their meaning. Also, Breaking Bad/Walking Dead, are intended specifically as shots across the bow of the American Ship of State, I believe.

          With a high degree of certainty, I can say the WW character is one of an ensemble of characters which encourage consumer/viewers to increase the frequency and gross dollar value of purchases.

          They’ve got to move those refrigerators, they’ve got to move those color TVs. WW and family will not fail to somehow still encourage purchases of grossly over-hyped and over-branded goods which represent a terrible value for the money.

          It’s dicey financially backing such shows, and making money off these type of shows, because they tend to nakedly spit in the face of every norm and archetype of American consumer culture. But fear not, the market always triumphs.

          unexpected foto of the writer of the Ozymandias episode – universally praised by critics, considered one of the greatest episodes of television ever broadcast.

          encyclopedic article on Moira Walley-Beckett
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moira_Walley-Beckett

          You got to respect writing that tells you your culture is populated with obsolete violent assholes, yet keeps everything so compelling and engaging, you still want to buy, even if by doing so, you tacitly admit that, yes, I am indeed just this sort of an American Asshole.

        • Bevin
          June 29, 2014 at 4:45 am

          Dear Tor,

          In my book, Walter’s brother in law, the DEA agent, was the REAL bad guy.

          He was the living breathing embodiment of a clover, waging a sanctimonious “war against some drugs.”

          Walter White was not guilt free. Not every killing he took part qualified as self-defense. He crossed the NAP line a couple of times if memory serves. But compared to the DEA agent, he was less “eeevil.”

  10. June 29, 2014 at 8:07 am

    A good point that bears repeating.

    Many if not near all so-called modern criminals are created by state interference.

    People need to surrender the provincial belief that in some mysterious way government is “necessary” for the public wellbeing.

    A great tragedy of the American Revolution is that its intellectual founder – Thomas Paine rightly saw that government was “evil, even at its best” but could not think far enough outside the box to grasp that something evil could never possibly be “necessary.”

    The process of indoctrination begins upon entry to government schools, and happens worldwide, and its effect is so very deep that in a large part of modern and supposedly rational society it is still seen as dishonorable to “dodge taxes” or “refuse to fight for one’s country” when called on to do so.

    The government lie is the most seductive, and certainly the most blatant, lie of all. The idea that government exists to “protect” the “people it serves.” As if!

    First of course there was never yet a government that served anyone; it rules, period – the very opposite.

    And secondly it is clearly impossible for any gang of rulers to protect a society against a foreign threat without calling upon members of that society to do the actual fighting!

    This politely overlooks the ugly fact that every American war since 1781 was not defensive, but offensive. The political thugs who provoke the war and sit behind desks directing it are not protecting anyone; only the grunts in uniform do that, and as often as not they are forced into the activity by being threatened with imprisonment or execution if they refuse.

    So now you have let go of the myth, and are starting to grasp the reality. The other, more potent part of the reality about what government is for is power.

    However voters may perceive usefulness in the institution, for the rulers themselves the purpose of government is power and control. All leaders in the Political Arena are hopelessly drunk with power – the sheer enjoyment of directing how other people shall live.

    Government monopolizes certain functions within its domain; like money, “justice”, “education”, postal delivery, and either subsidizing or making war on foreign governments as the fancy takes them.

    If you want such services, you have but one place to go; and the thugs providing it enjoy the sight of you coming to beg. Even worse: whether you want those services or not, government says you will pay for them anyway! Childless couple must pay school taxes, pacifists pay war tax, non-drivers pay for government roads. No businessman can compel non-customers to pay for goods and services they don’t wish to buy; government thugs can. Such power intoxicates indeed.

    What it does not own or monopolize directly, government regulates in order to provide its bureau-rat minions with rush after rush of pleasure as they say to one productive person after another “Do this!”, and then gleefully rejoice as their victims are left no choice but to do as commanded.”

    Regulations permeate business so fully that nobody can possibly read them all in a single lifetime. Take the FDA’s regulation of medicinal drugs. This is one common and terribly damaging example. Such power brings higher highs than any drug they make illegal.

    The solution is to reject and avoid government completely. And find or create market solutions to take it’s place. Free markets are always “right” primarily because they alone fit human nature; they produce enormously beneficial results that greatly exceed government in every way.

    The nearer a society is to a free market, the better it has always prospered, everywhere. There are sound theoretical reasons why that must always be so.

    Freedom is directly correlated with prosperity in terms of income per capita. One can argue over definitions, measures and means of estimation, but the result in broad terms is inescapable.

    All countries where individuals have a higher degree of freedom also enjoy a far better standard of living than those in more restrictive countries.

    The fastest growth in individual wealth in this country unquestionably coincided with the era of greatest personal freedom – the 19th Century. It is truly one of mankind’s most thrilling sagas.

    In 1800 the country had just been established, with a deliberately limited set of governments. The ordinary American was a peasant. A hundred years later, he was a prospering businessman and the country had passed from being an ex-colonial backwater to one of the richest nations on Earth, both in total and per-capita, which more than tripled during that amazing Century.

    During that time there was massive, almost uncontrolled immigration that magnified population fourteen times
    and there was virtually no regulation over the starting, conducting, or licensing of business.

    No government welfare system, nor until mid-1850s any government schooling. There was little or no government control over money supply, there were various coins and systems based on gold and silver.

    Except upon former slaves in the South, no restriction on firearms ownership. Little or no government supervision of health care or drug use. Taxation at a rate five times lower than today (9% of GDP), with no income tax at all.

    The worst event in the 1800s was the “Civil War”, better called the War to Preserve the Union or the War to Prevent Secession.

    In spite of this statist mass murder and property confiscation, we are still living off the intellectual and moral capital of that astonishing 100 year era. It wasn’t a true market society, but it came closer to one than any other had in the history of the world.

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