ABOUT TOM WOODS

Thomas E. Woods, Jr., is the New York Times bestselling author of 12 books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History and Meltdown (on the financial crisis). A senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Woods has appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, FOX News, FOX Business, C-SPAN, Bloomberg Television, and hundreds of radio programs... (Read More)



The Tom Woods App


Let’s Abandon the Constitution, Says Professor

1st January 2013      by: Tom Woods     

No, not because it cedes too much power to the federal government. Surely that opinion would not be allowed in the New York Times.

Anticipating objections, I agree with the Spoonerite criticism of the Constitution, but in what follows I am acting as a historian and a logician evaluating claims.

Georgetown University’s Louis Michael Seidman writes in the NYT:

“Our obsession with the Constitution has saddled us with a dysfunctional political system, kept us from debating the merits of divisive issues and inflamed our public discourse. Instead of arguing about what is to be done, we argue about what James Madison might have wanted done 225 years ago…. Imagine that after careful study a government official — say, the president or one of the party leaders in Congress — reaches a considered judgment that a particular course of action is best for the country. Suddenly, someone bursts into the room with new information: a group of white propertied men who have been dead for two centuries, knew nothing of our present situation, acted illegally under existing law and thought it was fine to own slaves might have disagreed with this course of action. Is it even remotely rational that the official should change his or her mind because of this divination?

The issue is not what Madison would have wanted. The point is that republican government is premised on the idea of consent. The people consented to the interpretation of the Constitution that was presented to them in the ratifying conventions. If in the interim no formal change in the Constitution has been forthcoming from the people, then the understanding that was presented at the ratifying conventions must be presumed to stand. Otherwise, professors at Georgetown University could impose their own preferences on the public instead.

As even Alexander Hamilton put it, “Until the people have, by some solemn and authoritative act, annulled or changed the established form, it is binding upon themselves collectively, as well as individually; and no presumption, or even knowledge, of their sentiments, can warrant their representatives in a departure from it, prior to such an act.”

Back to Seidman:

Constitutional disobedience may seem radical, but it is as old as the Republic. In fact, the Constitution itself was born of constitutional disobedience.

So two wrongs make a right?

No sooner was the Constitution in place than our leaders began ignoring it. John Adams supported the Alien and Sedition Acts, which violated the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech.

But because there was a First Amendment (and a Tenth Amendment; you didn’t expect Seidman to mention that it was also on Tenth Amendment grounds that dissidents objected to the Alien and Sedition Acts, did you?), it was easier to criticize Adams. The government isn’t even following its own rules, people could say.

Thomas Jefferson thought every constitution should expire after a single generation.

Not true. He mentioned an idea similar to this exactly one time, and then, when its logical problems and impracticalities were described to him, never brought it up again.

He believed the most consequential act of his presidency — the purchase of the Louisiana Territory — exceeded his constitutional powers.

In this he was virtually alone among his party, members of whom assured him that the treaty power included the power to purchase additional territory.

Seidman then lists a bunch of examples of presidents who disobeyed the Constitution. This is supposed to amount to an argument for doing so now. Couldn’t it just as easily be an argument for deciding, once and for all, to abide by the principles of republican government and actually obey the Constitution? Surely we wouldn’t say that the Soviet Union’s long list of atrocities became more legitimate over time because of customary practice.

The fact that dissenting justices regularly, publicly and vociferously assert that their colleagues have ignored the Constitution — in landmark cases from Miranda v. Arizona to Roe v. Wade to Romer v. Evans to Bush v. Gore — should give us pause. The two main rival interpretive methods, “originalism” (divining the framers’ intent) and “living constitutionalism” (reinterpreting the text in light of modern demands), cannot be reconciled.

They cannot be reconciled. That is true. Could one of them be right and the other wrong? This possibility Seidman does not consider. In which of the ratifying conventions were the people told that they would be governed by judges’ subjective decisions as to how the Constitution ought to be adapted to “modern demands”? Nowhere. Therefore, this theory is at odds with republican government, and thus the existence of competing theories does not mean that application of constitutional principles to current issues is a hopeless task. It means some people are right and others wrong, as in any other field of endeavor.

Note, too, how Seidman describes originalism with the word “divining,” as if in order to figure out that most decisions were intended to be left to the states we would need tea leaves, Tarot cards, or sheep entrails.

Our sometimes flagrant disregard of the Constitution has not produced chaos or totalitarianism; on the contrary, it has helped us to grow and prosper.

One might cite the incarceration of the Japanese, the sedition decisions after World War I, and other obvious cases, or even the civil-liberties problems of today, but “helped us to grow and prosper”? FDR, who scarcely even pretended to follow the Constitution, gave us the slowest recovery from a depression in U.S. history. The post-Civil War growth in the U.S. economy was the most robust ever, and most Americans can barely name two of the presidents from that period.

This is not to say that we should disobey all constitutional commands. Freedom of speech and religion, equal protection of the laws and protections against governmental deprivation of life, liberty or property are important, whether or not they are in the Constitution. We should continue to follow those requirements out of respect, not obligation.

So it would be better not to have written rules for government in these cases, and just rely on our wise leaders’ good judgment? If we’re going to have a federal government, I’d rather have explicit rules governing its behavior, since when it violates those rules an important pedagogical moment presents itself to us: see, the thing won’t even obey its own rules. What does that tell you about this institution?

The president would have to justify military action against Iran solely on the merits, without shutting down the debate with a claim of unchallengeable constitutional power as commander in chief.

Seidman has been a constitutional law professor for 40 years (which explains a lot), and he actually thinks the issue of presidential war powers is debatable, or that it’s the Constitution that is causing our problems when the president asserts robust powers over foreign policy. He is saying that if only we could get the Constitution behind us, we could have a discussion about this issue. To the contrary, it is the Constitution and the whole testimony of American history through the mid-20th century that stand against the president. See my treatment of presidential war powers.

OK, that’s all I can do.

Unlearn the Propaganda!

  • http://twitter.com/apereport ApeReport

    Thanks for the recap Tom. Seems being a Constitutional Professor doesnt lead to the things you would hope.

  • kirk

    since we are so altruistic today and human nature has been repealed, it is obvious we no longer have any need for a constraining document. after all, our betters have adequately revealed over time they and they alone are capable of doing so much better than we, the trolls, are at running our lives.

    conclusion: we do not need a constitution.

    now for the oceanfront property in kansas i have for sale…

  • Randall S

    My biggest beef with this detestable essay is this line: “Our sometimes flagrant disregard of the Constitution has not produced chaos or totalitarianism; on the contrary, it has helped us to grow and prosper.” I haven’t seen a lot of growing and prospering lately, so exactly what is he referring to? Oh, he must be referring to our government growing, our government employees (and their favored friends in industry) prospering. Come to think of it, if you consider this essay to be directed at crony capitalists, banksters, and his fellow political class-mates it makes perfect sense.

  • chris

    Gee, isn’t that mighty convenient of professor Seidman ? If he were proposing to void the constitution and start defining our governing principles all over again, that would certainly have its merits. But he doesn’t really want to do anything even remotely close to that. He wants to start from where we are right now, and then proceed to remove even the semblance of a governing principle, which the constitution barely still provides.

    Brilliant comment, Tom: “Otherwise, professors at Georgetown University could impose their own preferences on the public instead.” In revolutionary times, it’s exactly these creeps, who see themselves as pragmatists, who would become the Robespieres. (This is probably the first salvo in Obama’s upcoming proposals to bypass the 2nd amendement in light of the Sandy Hook tragedy.)

  • Liberty classroom student

    Let’s abandon the 16th amendment to the constitution

  • Liberty classroom student

    Yep think of that other former constitutional law professor now occupying the White House

  • Bryan

    I can’t seem to recall a time when I ever signed anything or voluntarily consented to the government’s coercive appropriation of my property or the fruit of my own labor. How is it that nobody questions the immorality of an apparatus foisted upon us without our consent by people long since dead that consigns us forever to the status of indentured servants or simply milk cows?

  • Anonymous

    We as a nation need a government, period. Abolishing government is not in anyone’s interest.

    Amending the Constitution should be done. For example, in the case of freeing the slaves (slavery was very wrong), it should be done on the basis of freedom for the people and not tyranny as most of these socialist professors always expound.

    You don’t need to be anyone’s milk cow, the current tax system was implemented in the past 100-years. It wasn’t always like this and the nation moved forward with a strong economy (not so at all currently), that should be abolished as that is what has caused you and the rest of us to live like milk cows.

  • Anonymous

    Law professors comprise the most despicable class of parasites in society. Aside from the handful of independent thinkers among them, most simply marinate in the privileges of their government monopoly and repay the Holy State with books, articles and writings which are no less than hosannas to the central state and the monsters who run it.

    Of course a 40-year constitutional law professor has concluded that the great “leaders” [not surprisingly, his word] should have carte blanche to divise a “considered judgment” as to what is “best for the country.” His entire extistence is based on State privileges! These are the absolute worst, most arrogant, most unthoughtful, least original “intellectuals” that exist. And most of them are unwitting fascists (like this one, calling to replace the constitution with the “considered judgment” of John Boehner and Barack Obama. Yes, swell idea: “Give me liberty, or give me…er…Rick Santorum’s considered judgment!”).

    The only reason people like this get to make a couple hundred grand a year for a 25 hour work week, indoctrinating poor fools who enter these thieving, fraudlent, predatory re-education camps called law schools is because elite Progressives decided to form bar associations a hundred years ago to keep the scum out and their fees up. It’s ironic how anti-establishment men like this think they are when it comes to loosening the arcane shackels of Madison, and those old white slaveholders from the 18th century, and yet their whole livlihood is owed to an established, unquestioned order of the ABA/law school monopoly, and the central state (as it were, our “leaders”).

    By the way, I think it would be exceedingly more difficult for a citizen to “divine” the (unstated and unknown) “considered judgment” of his “leaders” than it is to “divine” the express (often written, transcribed and memorialized) reasoning of the constitutional conventions. Leave it to the faux-scholarship of statist law professors to neglect this obvious counter-point.

  • Anonymous

    Law professors have prospered handsomely as a result of this flagarant disregard. He’s mistaking his own prosperity with prosperity in general. People suckling on the State tend to do that.

  • Agent P

    In my view, Mr. Seidman’s argument here is simply a cleverly packaged offer of support for more Centralization. With regard to his comment about ‘following requirements out of respect, not obligation': Since when did men ‘respect’ each other for any length of time without a set of rules or standards above themselves, before one imposed his rule upon the other – by way of Force…?

    And if you really wanna go deep, I contend that this piece of his is yet another thinly veiled attempt at removing the presence or obligation to a higher authority other than ourselves within our governing institutions, if you get my drift. In other words, we’ll do just fine governing ourselves out of respect, as long as it is YOU that respects those in Power… That’s how Marxism works.

  • D Bro

    I’ll go out on a limb here and agree with getting rid of the Constitution then we have no federal government. They will have no legal right to collect one cent of taxes so they will cease to exist and all the crap they are into like the private federal reserve bank. States will have to negotiate with each other. We can work it out. Bring back the Articles of Confederation?

  • BrianDrake

    You see Bryan, your consent isn’t necessary. JiminyWay’s unsubstantiated assertion that “we as a nation need a government, period.” (“we” Jiminy? Got a turd in your pocket?) trumps any need to obtain your consent. If you do not consent to what JiminyWay wants, that’s too damn bad, he’s going to get it anyway.

  • BrianDrake

    Tom,

    “Anticipating objections, I agree with the Spoonerite criticism of the Constitution, but in what follows I am acting as a historian and a logician evaluating claims.”

    And yet, your rebuttal embodies a point of a view quite contrary to Spooner, actual history, or logic.

    “The point is that republican government is premised on the idea of consent.”

    Absolute nonsense that doesn’t hold up to logical scrutiny or history, as Spooner aptly demonstrated. Not one form of evidence trotted out to support the claim of “consent” holds up to any honest investigation.

    “The people consented to the interpretation of the Constitution that was presented to them in the ratifying conventions.”

    Absolutely non-historical. Unless if by “the people” you mean a very very small percentage of people alive then. Clearly, this small minority did not provide consent in any legally binding way (as Spooner so clearly spells out) nor did they have the authority to consent for those alive at the time who did not agree, or for any future persons.

    “Alexander Hamilton put it, “Until the people have, by some solemn and authoritative act, annulled or changed the established form, it is binding upon themselves collectively, as well as individually; and no presumption, or even knowledge, of their sentiments, can warrant their representatives in a departure from it, prior to such an act.””

    “The people” again? No such thing historically or logically. And this quote seems to just invoke some religious nonsense that we are all collectively bound by the decisions of a minority long dead unless we engage in some superstitious religious ritual. Nonsense. Nor are there any “representatives” that Hamilton is referring to (see again Spooner).

    “Couldn’t it just as easily be an argument for deciding, once and for all, to abide by the principles of republican government and actually obey the Constitution?”

    Sure, but that would then just be another specious argument since the very foundational concepts of republican government and the Constitution are logically incoherent.

    I remain solidly unconvinced there is ANY value in those who have “seen the light” pretending for the sake of argument that the light doesn’t exist. You don’t correct error with more error. Unless you can refute Spooner, I fail to see how one can read “No Treason” and ever again engage in the same sophistry he so ably exposes. The Constitution is a worthless, vile scrap of paper. A massive con. Countering bad arguments for unlimited government with bad arguments for unlimited government (which is what any pro-government argument is; including all Constitutional arguments) just discredits you.

    I don’t buy the “strategy” rebuttal either. Yes, obviously tact and patience can be used to slowly acclimate the indoctrinated to the truth. But you do that by giving them truth, bit by bit (as opposed to overloading them all at once). Not lies and lies and lies and then some truth. These arguments about the Constitution that intentionally ignore the Spooner critique are still at their heart falsehoods. How do you gain credibility by spreading falsehoods?

  • http://tomwoods.com Tom Woods

    I’m a historian. Seidman is making historical claims. They are false. They rest on false premises. I can shout “Spooner” at him all I like, and he won’t even understand what I am saying. I want to show that on his own terms, he is incoherent and wrong. It is a separate issue to then say, let’s look at the question entirely outside his terms. We can do that, but as a historian I want to meet a fellow historian on common ground.

  • BrianDrake

    Clearly you realize I’m not invoking Spooner out of an appeal to authority so to conclude I’m insisting you shout “Spooner” at anyone is disingenuous Obviously it is Spooner’s arguments I’m referring to and those can and should be used because they are valid. And they’re timelessly logical and thus don’t need any appeal to ideology or philosophy other than honesty, which is the only common ground people can take if they want truth.

    When you rebut errors with “the people consented”, you are simply replacing one error for another. Please explain how being a historian has anything to do with this. If you mean by “historian” one who simply parrots what has been written by others about history, then, you’re correct; “History” tells us that “the people consented”. But if you mean history as in what actually happened, then you know that is false. So why would you invoke something that is false?

  • http://tomwoods.com Tom Woods

    He is making claims about the Constitution. I am saying those claims are divorced from the republican theory within whose confines the Constitution was debated. And of course I am not saying that you meant I should literally shout the name “Spooner” at him. I meant that someone like this can’t even conceive of arguments like that. I am showing that on his own terms, he is incorrect.

  • Anonymous

    “If you do not consent to what JiminyWay wants, that’s too damn bad, he’s going to get it anyway.”

    Find in my comment where I even came close to mentioning anything to do with socialism, taxes, the stealing of peoples’ property, etc.

    “(“we” Jiminy? Got a turd in your pocket?)”

    Your insulting comment is typical of many replies on the Internet.

  • BrianDrake

    First, the “turd in your pocket” comment is just a familiar, colloquialism when someone presumes to speak for others by proffering their own opinion under the banner of “we”. The full “quote” is “Who is this ‘we’ you keep speaking on behalf of? I only see you. What, is there a turd in your pocket?”; the “turd” being an irreverent reference to the imaginary entity concealed on your person for whom you also speak for (otherwise, you clearly would be restrained to speaking in the personal). It wasn’t meant as an insult per se. But I apologize for taking too familiar a tone and using a saying you may be unfamiliar with.

    My initial criticism though stands. You say “we as a nation…” and yet I wonder how you’ve come to speak on behalf of 300+ million people. I don’t remember authorizing you to speak on my behalf. A less arrogant, and more accurate phrase would be “I am convinced that I want a nation with a government” since you can only truly speak on your behalf (barring some legal representation contract you can produce which gives you authority to speak for those mentioned within).

    “Find in my comment where I even came close to mentioning anything to do with socialism, taxes, the stealing of peoples’ property, etc.”

    Bizarre request since I did not myself use any of those terms. Some really clever sophistry there my man. Some sort of red-herring/strawman hybrid. Perhaps the coining of “the JiminyWay fallacy” is in order?

    But more to the point, this is a clear example of the false thinking I am critical of. You associate the comment “if you do not consent…he’s going to get it anyway” with “socialism”, “taxes”, and “stealing of peoples’ property” and then mentally distance yourself from those terms. “I’m not a socialist, so clearly that’s a false accusation!” (btw, you are so totally a socialist dude – military/police socialism doesn’t get some sort of pass because they’ve got cool looking costumes)

    Let’s look, however, at what transpired. Bryan said he never consented “to the government’s coercive appropriation of my property or the fruit of my own labor”, and clearly he does not do so now (nor do I). Yet rather than addressing that claim, you roll straight past him and say “We” need a government. “Abolishing government is not in ANYONE’s interest.”

    Well clearly, Bryan IS saying that maintaining government (territorial monopoly of final decision making) IS NOT IN HIS INTEREST, otherwise, he would consent! What kind of arrogant blowhard presumes to speak for an imagined collective interest in direct contradiction to the EXPLICITLY STATED interest of another individual?! The most an honest, non-psychotic person could say is “well, I personally consent” and then recognize that YOUR consent can ONLY bind YOU. Thus, if YOU want to subjugate YOURSELF to a monopoly of final decision making, YOU are free to do so. YOU have no AUTHORITY to CONSENT for SOMEONE ELSE.

    And yet that is your position. “We” need government. It’s not in “anyone’s” interest to abolish a monopoly of final decision making.

    How about being a polite, decent human being, and recognizing that whether you like it or not, we don’t agree with your stupid idea of monopoly decision making (it really is stupid) and you have NO RIGHT to force it on us?

    So yeah, sorry about the turd comment. Clearly I impugned your character…

  • Anonymous

    “If you do not consent to what JiminyWay wants, that’s too damn bad, he’s going to get it anyway.”

    Yes, it would seem that I misread the meaning above.

    I do take the criticism of the word “we”, I should be using “I” as my comments are my own, I shouldn’t be perceived to be talking for anyone else.

    “(btw, you are so totally a socialist dude – military/police socialism
    doesn’t get some sort of pass because they’ve got cool looking costumes)”

    Really? I am a socialist now, because I believe in the rule of law? And I am a socialist intend on stripping people of their money and property because in my reply I clearly gave you that vibe with this statement:

    “You don’t need to be anyone’s milk cow, the current tax system was
    implemented in the past 100-years. It wasn’t always like this and the
    nation moved forward with a strong economy (not so at all currently),
    that should be abolished as that is what has caused you and the rest of
    us to live like milk cows.”

    I clearly am making an argument for the type of taxation we currently live under. Right?

    And because I believe in a military for defense and a police force that is accountable to the people.

    You got me. I am closet socialist.

  • http://TheInterventionistParadox.wordpress.com/ Bharat

    “Our sometimes flagrant disregard of the Constitution has not produced
    chaos or totalitarianism; on the contrary, it has helped us to grow and
    prosper.”

    Didn’t he start with an example of Adams throwing people in jail for criticizing him [Adams]? Umm…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kelly-Jordan/653048689 Kelly Jordan

    At BrianDrake – you are, of course, technically correct in pretty much everything you say. Yet you still come across as an absolute douche.

    So, instead of trying to show everyone how absolutely brilliant you are by telling everyone how absolutely stupid they are for believing there is any form of consent by “the people” inherent in our form of government, why don’t you lay out your (no doubt) brilliant course of action for the citizens of this country?
    What is your end game, oh wise one? Scrap the Constitution and allow anarchy; the strongest survive? Have a full vote on our current system of government by all 300+ million citizens, so that it can now (in your eyes) have “legitimacy” after over 200 years of its being in effect? And don’t try to weasel out of it by saying, “hey, I’m just pointing out that no one actually consented – we’re all living an illusion!” If you’re going to be quick to point out how dumb everyone else is, give use your specific solution to the issue or STFU and get back to work.

    Personally, I would say that over 200 years of full participation IN this Republic counts as consent. You can’t, obviously, consent as a child – because you don’t know “the rules.” If you decide to stay on as a citizen of the U.S. pretty much any time after, say, 25 years old or so (to pick an arbitrary age where you SHOULD damn well know better), then you know “the rules” or “the game” or “the con” or whatever you want to call it, and you consent. You’ve traveled here, bought property here (any property – a bike, a car, a home, a dog), availed youself of the schools here, voted here – you’ve consented. People have been doing it for well over 200 years.

  • BrianDrake

    “I clearly am making an argument for the type of taxation we currently live under. Right?”

    There goes that JiminyWay fallacy again. When did I say anything about “the type of taxation…”?

    Socialism: The state (often stated as “the public”, but who’s fooling who?) ownership of the means of production.

    Generally, ALL states own the means of production because for a state to be a state, it must be the institution with the monopoly of final authority for a given territory. Final authority is the functional definition of “ownership”. Where you have a state, any “private”ownership is nominal only. The state has the final say, and thus the state is the (asserted and functional, though not just) owner. Thus even though the state may allow (THEY allow, because THEY own) private individuals to claim and act as owners of the means of production, the truth is the state is the owner, and thus all states are socialist.

    Specifically, by even the most minimal (i.e., has only existed in theory) definition of the state’s supposed purpose (cuz it’s apparently “douchey” to point out that its only purpose, ever,is theft and enslavement and thus those who advocate it are murderers and robbers, or “useful idiots”), the provision of national defense and domestic policing are services monopolized by the state. I.e., they are explicitly provided via socialism. The state may choose not to overtly assert “ownership” of the bullet factories, but they do overtly “own” the armies/police, which are directly the “means of production” for these specific services.

    Consider it this way, if I told you I advocated that the government should provide everyone in the country equal protection from hunger, regardless of their ability or willingness to pay, most people would rightly recognize that as socialism.

    Swap the term “hunger” with “foreign invasion” or “domestic criminals”. Why does this change the conclusion?

  • Anonymous

    You are trying to label me a socialist and I don’t agree with that label at all. I am libertarian who believes in the need of a government, a limited one, but one nonetheless. I have come to this conclusion because I have dealt with way too many douchebags in my life to understand the need for governing rules; as little as possible.

  • BrianDrake

    JiminyWay – does it bother you at all that you haven’t offered a single counter-argument to mine? I broke it down in very clear terms. If I’m wrong, you should be able to point to holes in my logic, or offer counter-evidence/argumentation.

    Instead, you simply respond with the equivalent of “nuh uh!”.

    If I were in a discussion and had nothing in rebuttal, that would make me incredibly uncomfortable. I would want to find counter-arguments, or if none could be found, I would have to concede the point and then alter my position to reflect that new understanding. This isn’t hypothetical. It’s happened plenty of times and that’s how I’ve arrived at my current ideology.

    You advocate military/police socialism. That makes you a socialist. I’m not “trying to label” anything. I’m clearly, logically connecting what you advocate with the correct name for that. If that bothers you, change what you advocate.

    You advocate a small minority of men be given a monopoly of final authority over other men who have not consented. That is called slavery, the anti-thesis of liberty. Liberty is self-ownership, not ownership by an oligarchy (look up the iron law of oligarchy before you contest my assertion that even “limited governments” are oligarchies – ALL states are oligarchies). Since you don’t advocate liberty, I fail to see how your claim to be a libertarian has any validity. I can call myself a martian until I’m blue in the face; doesn’t make it true.

    What’s worse is that you come to these advocacies through absolute ignorance. A humble, moral person does not vociferously advocate a position they have no knowledge about. It’s ok to lack knowledge. It’s not ok to use that ignorance as your justification for advocating the violation of the consent of others.

    You’ve got nothing to lose but ego in admitting you’re wrong and denouncing your advocacy of enslaving others. You don’t have to become a libertarian, per se. Just stop advocating anything (in this topical area). It’s ok to say “I don’t know”. What’s stopping you?

  • Anonymous

    Total anarchy is an illusion. And I wouldn’t want to live in that world, or agree with what you label me, a socialist “slave master.”

    You also make it sound like I have no idea what I believe as though I haven’t read about anarchism and the other “pie in the sky” philosophies. Well, I have and I don’t agree with them.

    A real world example, I have a small property, I had a war with some of my neighbors, some of them were cutting my wire fence to place their horses on my property. Even though I have included no police (by choice) in the matter and have handled it on my own, I have no guns (even thought I agree with the right to own a gun), they do own guns. I am not dead because there’s a government and rule of law that keeps my neighbors in check. In an anarchist world I see things going totally different, and this has been my experience with many people in life, this isn’t “pie in the sky” nirvana philosophy but reality.
    I can give many other personal reasons why I think a small government for rule of law and common defense is needed, but I will not.

  • BrianDrake

    I’m done with you JiminyWay. Seriously man, take a hard look at yourself. You do not demonstrate any critical thinking skills. Perhaps you are belligerently unwilling, but I rather suspect it is because you unable that you do not directly address any of my points with actual counter arguments. Instead, it’s the same pattern of red-herring, straw men, begging the question. I don’t know your educational background, but I’d be willing to extend some sympathy that you’re simply the sad product of the state schooling system and thus a victim for having your critical thinking ability intentionally hobbled by a system of forced “education” designed by Prussian social engineers in the 19th century. If so, I feel bad for you. Or perhaps not. Like I said, I don’t know your educational background.

    But it’s not too late. The Mises academy offers some great classes on history, economics, and logic (I’d start with that if I were you. Being able to reason is an important fundamental that sadly many people lack). Same with Tom Woods’ LIberty Academy (so I’ve heard). If you want to develop your mind, there are options. But the first pre-requisite is humility and an ability to simply say “I don’t know” rather than a knee-jerk reaction to advocate violating the consent of others from your ignorance and the resulting fear that ignorance causes.

  • Anonymous

    Knee-jerk reaction?

    I like the way you place labels on me and even go so far as to even call me belligerent and lacking in education.

    I am fan of Mises, Tom Woods, Lew Rockwell, and a few others.

    But wait… if I don’t endorse everything I read, and is put before me, I lack critical thinking? You mean I shouldn’t have my own thoughts on the matter? Wait… doesn’t that go against your condemnation of me as a product of the public school education system? (A system which, by the way, I think also needs to go.)

    Why am I not surprised? You did after all label me a socialist “slave master.”

    You see the knee-jerk reaction is coming from you. I gave you a real life example of my argument. Sorry I didn’t give you a “theoretical” model expanding several comments.

    According to you,”[I] advocate a small minority of men be given a monopoly of final authority over other men who have not consented.” Again, this is your knee-jerk reaction as I have not made the case for a “small minority of men” to have control over the rest, far from it. And the idea of this non-consent is one of the silliest arguments I have ever heard. This is not the first time I have heard of such.

    Problem is you are all about theory. I know for a fact that life doesn’t work the way you think it should. Just because you want anarchy and think that this will make everyone all of a sudden decide to go easy on their fellow man, to me it is just “pie in the sky” thinking.

    Kelly Jordan (also commented) wants to know what your ideas for your societal nirvana are. I know exactly what you are going to say and I suspect he does, too. As I have heard and read your arguments, many times, from places such as Free Talk Live. This idea of anarchy, I didn’t buy it from some over there, either. It must be my public school education. You know, that one that according to you I swallowed hook line and sinker.

    “I’m done with you JiminyWay.” Frustrated?

    Technically speaking, we can all find some measure in any political label to call them socialists. But we all know what is implied with the common label of Socialist, and under that definition I am far from one.



Find me on Google