In a recent article, Robert Higgs made the argument that socialism is pretty much dead, and that fascism is instead the dominant economic policy on the globe. As far as I’m aware, this is my first exposure to Higgs, and I must confess: I’m not impressed.
First, it should be readily observable to all people that fascism and socialism are related, in the same sense that an orchestra maestro entails mastery of the musical pieces; fascism is the conductor’s mastery, and socialism is mastery of the song. It’s possible to be a master of the song without being a master conductor, but it’s not possible to be a master conductor without being a master of the song.
In classic logic terms, all bloops are bleeps, but not all bleeps are bloops.
This is because socialism is an economic policy, while fascism is what we would call governmental policy. It’s true that “fascism” is a notoriously difficult idea to pin down, and a lot of people mistakenly attribute “nationalism” as one of its primary tenets, but that’s a misattribution, a result of people focusing more on words than with the essence represented by those words. State supremacy is the hallmark of fascism. Through most of human history, this would have manifested as nationalism and the notion that the nation is the greatest; in more modern times, it manifests primarily as globalism, and the notion that a global government would be the greatest. However, regardless at what level the fascist pledges their allegiance (whether to the nation or to the globe), the primary hallmark is the same: the state that is in charge is supreme.
Everything within the state. Nothing outside the state, nothing beyond the state.
— Benito Mussolini
Socialism is an idea that prescribes state ownership of capital. To explain this, we must clarify the difference between capital and a consumption good. A consumption good is one that does not increase in value, one that, under normal conditions, only decreases in value (i.e., is “used up”). A consumption good is something that is used and ultimately discarded, and is not an investment. Televisions, cell phones, food, clothing, gasoline, and other similar items are consumption goods. Socialism absolutely allows for individuals within the socialist society to own consumption goods. Even the most diehard socialist isn’t going to advocate a system where Bob, having run out of toothpaste, can enter your apartment and help himself to yours. In the socialist apparatus, consumption goods regularly pass into ownership by consumers, where they are consumed, and the state merely creates, assigns, and hands out these consumption goods.
Capital, on the other hand, is held entirely by the state. Houses, land, vehicles, manufacturing plants, and similar items are the property of the state, and the state uses this capital to create the consumption goods and dole them out to the citizens. The state owns the toothpaste manufacturing plant and provides one tube a month to each citizen, in other words, and once that toothpaste is handed over, it’s generally considered that citizen’s toothpaste. The state doesn’t really care what happens to consumption goods, because they are consumption goods–even if Bob hoards all of his toothpaste and attempts to sell it on the black market, it’s just not going to give him enough capital to seriously challenge the state. Besides which, it has an expiration date–the day is coming that the toothpaste will be without any value at all.
When we discuss “private property” under the ideas of capitalism, we are not saying that individuals have the right to own consumption goods–this right is a given, and even the most adamant socialist isn’t likely to challenge it. Instead, we are saying that individuals have the right to own capital. Individuals have the right to purchase items that will generate a return on the investment, that will produce wealth. Under capitalism, an individual can purchase the glass, copper, gold, plastic, and whatever else is necessary in order to produce phones, which are then sold as consumption goods to other individuals for money, thereby creating a return on the investment. This model is obviously successful, and obviously creates a net benefit to society as a whole: some people get the phone, and one person is rewarded for their investment with more money.
But it’s not my intention here to point out that capitalism is better.
In fact, the requirement that individuals be allowed to own capital is in the name: capitalism. We could easily call socialism consumptionism, in fact, because it restricts the individual’s ownership of property solely to consumption items–to the phones produced, to the toothpaste, to the gasoline, to the food, and never to the facilities, rigs, or farms where these things are produced. Instead, everything of real value that can have labor added to it in order to increase that value belongs to the state.
Five hundred acorns are of very little value to me, after all. However, by adding my labor to them (by planting them, nourishing them, and watering them), I can turn them into 500 trees of considerable value. This is the essence of capitalism: taking a resource, investing in it, and seeing a return on those resources. In the socialist order, one would still be allowed to own acorns, in most cases, but the state would claim the trees as soon as they were grown, and would fine and arrest the person who planted them.
Socialism is state ownership and control of capital property.
Fascism is state control of pretty much everything, including capital property. The state cannot be supreme if it does not control the means of production (i.e., capital). This is why every fascist government that has risen has also been socialist, from Mussolini’s Italy to Hitler’s Germany to Kim Jong Un’s North Korea. Strangely, in his article, Higgs stated that North Korea is one of the few socialist nations in the world today. I have to marvel that this popular thinker doesn’t understand what he’s talking about, because socialism absolutely dominates the globe. In fact, North Korea is one of the few fascist nations in the world today, where the state openly controls everything from education programs to capital.
Similarly, we in the United States are much more fascist than we’d like to realize, and we’re entirely socialist. No American is allowed to own capital; the ownership of all capital is ultimately the American Government. In a capitalist order, a person purchases a house and the land around it, and then it’s theirs–it belongs to them, and they can do whatever they want with it, because they are the owner. This is not the case in the United States. In the United States, the person has an enormous list of things they are not allowed to do with the property, must petition for the right to do countless things that they supposedly have the right to do, and then must pay rent each year to avoid having the property taken away from them. Paying property taxes to the government in order to avoid having the government take the property away is not in any sense different from paying a bank note to prevent the bank from taking the property away.
Why should the government get money from you each year, just because you own a house and the land around it? It’s not the government’s house or land, is it? By inserting themselves into this process, lining up outside of your property with guns and soldiers and demanding that you hand over money or they will forcibly remove you, the state has usurped your ownership of the home and made itself the owner. We can use all the doublethink and cognitive dissonance we like, but the fact remains that this affair is known as “renting,” and not “owning.”
This is similarly the case for whatever manufacturing facility you own. Not only are you required to pay duties on thins that you import, but you must pay the government a portion of your profits regularly, because, if you don’t, they will take the manufacturing facility away from you. And, of course, you can’t just build a manufacturing facility in your backyard; you must acquire permits, many of which are exorbitantly expensive, and rely on getting the government’s permission for you to use “your” property in the way that you want in the first place.
This, to Robert Higgs, is “private property.”
It would be no different if I came by your manufacturing facility once a month with armed goons and demanded a cut of your profits for “protection,” and made it clear that, if you didn’t pay, you would have an “accident” that would end with one of my people being installed as the owner of the facility. This is what the state does now, today, in 2017 Common Era, in the United States. The idea that this arrangement constitutes “private property” is demonstrably false, and has been demonstrated as so.
If that was your house, you could burn it down. If that was your house, you could add a wing without getting permission from the government. If that was your house, you could install your own septic tank. If that was your house, you could dig an enormous hole and create a pond. If that was your house, you would not have to pay someone each year in order to prevent it from being taken away from you. Instead, it is the state who decides whether you can have permission to add a wing, it is the state who decides whether you may install a septic tank (“No, you cannot, but you can pay $1,200 to this guy who paid us $3,000 for his license to do it.”), and it is the state who ultimately owns the property, who must receive a payment from you regularly, on top of all these other considerations.
The thing about ownership is that it means I can do whatever I want with my property.
Compare the ownership of capital in the United States–as most obvious in regard to houses–to the ownership of consumption goods. I can do whatever I want with the Linksys WRT54GL that I’m looking at. I can write my name on it. I can install DDWRT firmware. I can put it on whatever subnet I want. I can take it outside and smash it to pieces. I can unload sixteen 12 gauge shotgun shells into it. I don’t have to ask anyone’s permission, and I don’t have to pay anyone each year for the “privilege” of owning it. It’s mine.
That difference is critical to understanding the current state of the world. No, Mr. Higgs, socialism is not on the decline. It’s more powerful than ever, and more dominant than ever. If we do not take back the right to own capital, free of government regulations, government mandates, and government threats of theft, then the problems we face can never be fixed.
And all of this is without even getting into Intellectual Property, eminent domain, civil asset forfeiture, and the millions of regulations that bear down on us every single day. Anyone who looks at this state of affairs and calls it “private property” is severely confused. After all, both socialism and capitalism feature the ownership of consumption goods. As such, the ownership of consumption goods cannot be a deciding factor in whether a society is capitalist or socialist–as it is contained on both sides of the equation, it is reduced:
Private ownership of capital + private ownership of consumption goods = Capitalism
State ownership of capital + private ownership of consumption goods = Socialism
Anyone can see that “private ownership of consumption goods” has nothing to do with it, and must be subtracted from both. What we’re left with is that “private ownership of capital = capitalism” and “state ownership of capital = socialism.” Seeing as Fascism is state dominance over everything, from medicine to education to capital to consumption goods (because, for obvious reasons, if the state manufactures the only toothpaste in existence, then the state controls who has toothpaste and who doesn’t, as opposed to capitalism, where a person who has pissed off Colgate can still purchase Crest).
Fascism is also alive and well, although the state that people want to be supreme over everything has moved up one level, for the most part, to globalism instead of nationalism. This is why I once made the point that national fascism is easier to defeat than global fascism, while I explained my support for Brexit and America leaving NATO and the United Nations. Although viewed as contentious, that statement is actually an obvious extrapolation of how local governments are easier to influence than federal ones. It is much easier to get my city council to do what I want than it is to get the federal government to do what I want, and much easier to get the federal government to do what I want than it is to get the world government to do what I want. There is also the reality that world government soldiers from Uganda and New Guinea will face no real hardship oppressing people in California, while soldiers from California will face some internal difficulty oppressing people in Arkansas, and soldiers from Tate County, Mississippi will face considerable internal strife oppressing the people of Tate County. Local > distant, in every conceivable way.
However, that fascists today are roughly evenly split between nationalism and globalism is of no concern. They want state supremacy either way. The global fascists simply want to create a higher level of government to be supreme and enforce their desires. In that way, the globalist fascists are more fascist than the nationalist ones. And, yes, there is a strong correlation between those who want a powerful world government that can dictate national policies and those who openly desire socialism; yet, even among the national fascists, there is a strong tendency for the state to control different aspects of people’s lives (marriage, sexual identity, drugs, whatever). The globalist fascists simply want to create a Big Joker, because they don’t like how the nationalist fascists have the Little Joker.
The other day while reading the news, I stumbled across a particularly revealing peace on USA Today that was shared through the Rational Review News Digest, wherein the author discussed that Democrats could not rely on “preventing the government from getting anything done” as a tactic, because the core of the liberal philosophy is that the government should be doing stuff.
The author obviously has a point. Stalling the government, and even shutting down the government, is a tactic that works for conservatives and Republicans because, at least in the uninformed public eye, Republicans are the party that doesn’t want the government doing stuff in the first place. Republicans want a small government that doesn’t do much, so being a wrench in the gears that prevents anything from getting accomplished is a means to that end. As for what Republicans really want, I’ll put it briefly by saying that if Republicans actually wanted small government, then I’d be a Republicans. Republicans are totally fine with a big government that enforces socially conservative policies, such as giving the state the authority to tell people what gender they are.
It’s almost perplexing that we could even reach this point in the United States of America, a nation founded by people who said things like:
“Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil.” — Thomas Paine
“The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.” — Thomas Jefferson
“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America [the government] cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States. ” — Noah Webster [Not really about evil government, but critically important nonetheless]
“[T]he general government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws: its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all the members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any.” — James Madison [also only tangentially related, as the Federal Government was not designed to be the all-powerful Hindu god with a thousand omnipotent arms]
“I own I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.” — Thomas Jefferson
There’s no point in continuing to source quotes from the American Founders; we all know that they founded the Federal Government under the principles of classical liberalism–the government should exist to protect the lives, liberties, and right to pursue happiness of its people. It was founded on the idea that we would not be subjects of the government but that it would be our subject–a tool to be used not to oppress with an energetic government but to protect the liberty and property of the people:
A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.
Yet this flies in the face of modern liberalism, an ideology that embraces social welfare in extreme ways, up to and including the notion that health care–the product of the labors of doctors, pharmacists, and biochemists–is a human right. It is an appalling idea. To suggest that health care is a human right is to suggest that doctors, pharmacists, and biochemists are slaves, and that we have the right to take the fruit of their labors and force them to labor for us. We may or may not be willing to reimburse them, but this is hardly of relevance considering that even American slaves were “reimbursed” with food and shelter. Reimbursing someone is of no consequence to the discussion, whether you pay the slave $1 an hour or $100 an hour. It is not the wage that denotes slavery but that one is forced to do it and has choice removed.
This is where the liberal uses the term “wage slaves.” In most senses, this is as asinine as it sounds. No one is forcing anyone to get a job and work for a wage. Someone is not forcing a person to get a job and earn money; something is, and that “something” is universal attrition itself, that an organism starves and dies if it does not secure for itself something to eat. Taking issue with being “forced” to get a job in order to buy food and have a place to live is to take issue with existence for creating hunger in the first place. If one did not “have” to get a job, then one could go out and hunt for food, or start a farm. In this case, the person is not a “wage slave,” but becomes a “food slave.” Their apparent master is no longer a corporation but nature itself.
“It isn’t fair, though!”
No, it isn’t. This is a characteristic of the universe and existence, however, and is not a characteristic of human society. As such, it is not something that human society can fix, no matter how much energetic government oppression it uses. Equality means that one is allowed the opportunity to succeed; it does not mean that one is guaranteed to succeed.
All that said, it’s obvious how we ended up in this position. First, we were sold a series of promises that turned out to be horrifically inaccurate and, more often than not, total lies. Take the United States Post Office as an example, because it’s a great example. Indeed, excluding the military, every single federal institution to which we can point serves as a beautiful example of something that started with the highest of hopes aiming to fulfill wonderful promises and failed spectacularly. The military, of course, is the government’s sole success. This is not a coincidence.
Anyway, there are two types of buildings that always stand out, no matter where in the country you go. Here in Mississippi, we have a lot of churches. I mean… We have a lot of churches. More than you’d think from that statement alone. Between my house and the nearest town of 10,000, there are at least six churches that I can see easily during the commute, and that’s a distance of five miles. This trend holds true in every direction, though rural areas tend to drop to about two churches every five miles. There are churches everywhere, and they are almost always the nicest buildings in the vicinity.
The second type of building is the government building, and how interesting is it that they are so similar in appearance? Rather than crosses on its side, the government buildings have large, brass government seals and other official symbols. In any part of town, the nicest buildings are almost guaranteed to be the churches and the government buildings.
For churches, this makes total sense. The whole concept of the church originated with the cathedral, a place of worship specifically designed to be an engineering marvel, a place to which a person could go to feel awe and majesty. Despite what many of my fellow atheists want to believe, religion and Christianity aren’t going anywhere any time soon, and, whether religious people are right or wrong, the churches provide crucial roles to both individuals and societies, and certainly have played a role in shaping human morality. Something else churches have, in addition to believers, is money. Lots and lots of money. It is common for atheists to object to the grandiose buildings as wastes, but the majesty of the buildings is a key part of the entire concept, and it isn’t a waste unless a church does something stupid like Mt. Zion Baptist did when they built a new, “more modern” church for their congregation that consists mostly of elderly people and where their place of worship is literally a basketball court, even though they had a perfectly good, and substantially nicer, building a quarter of a mile away.
My grandmother and father attend that church, and that whole thing was a boondoggle that someone has kept very well-hidden. The main worship area–I forget what it’s called–literally is half a basketball court, with a basketball goal that retracts upward toward the ceiling. As far as I know, no one has ever played basketball there. It has the distinct impression of being a second-hand building, something the church bought for cheap and repurposed, where it once had been some sort of athlete thing. There’s no carpet; it’s a gym floor. Yet this building was custom-built by the church for the church…? It’s also a mostly steel building, while they have a very nice–it’s probably the nicest church in the county, honestly–brick building within viewing distance of the new one. Something really weird happened with a lot of money, and someone scrambled to cover it up. No doubt.
Banks could be added to this list, as well, as certain banks are designed the same way. The bank is a place where you put your money. People want their banks to be big, wealthy, secure, and nice. No one wants to deposit their money into the Bank of Falling Apart Hovel. Churches use the same general tactic–people don’t really want to worship at Church of Falling Apart Hovel, unless it’s a community church, but then it’s more a community thing anyway… Either way, a random visitor wouldn’t attend Church of Falling Apart Hovel. And then we have government buildings, surreptitiously playing the same psychological tricks.
Like the churches and the banks, these are buildings that want you to believe in them. They fly their obscenely large flags and emblazon their walls with enormous brass seals, while oddly large dedication plates are placed near the door. The building is designed to make one feel awe, to stir up feelings of patriotism and loyalty, which we are allowed to identify with personally by claiming its successes as our own. “Yeah! That’s my government! That’s my building!” This misplaced sense of pride mixes with the intentionally conjured awe, something we become accustomed to and stop noticing, but which we can readily see children doing. Those feelings don’t go away just because we grow up. Deep down inside, we’re still impressed and proud of our majestic government building.
Behind the lustrous veil of the church and the bank, there is something substantiating those feelings. A bank with lots of customers and lots of money, and a church with lots of members and lots of money. The bank is backed by its clients while the church is backed by its believers–to say nothing of the belief itself and whether the church is backed by something even greater. Yet behind the shiny mask of the government building is horror.
Bankruptcy, inefficiency, waste, disgruntled employees, an absolute lack of accountability, and a maze of red tape and bureaucratic nonsense. When FDR ratcheted up the fascism several notches with the New Deal, we were sold an empty box that was elegantly wrapped in the most beautiful of Christmas wrapping papers. Strangely, this is something that even liberals are aware of, as this Guardian article clearly alludes to.
This era ushered in a series of sweeping changes that redefined the American Government, taking us out of the world of liberty where individuals solved problems and into the world of fascism where the government solves problems. The difference is night and day.
I will never tire of calling attention to IEEE, an independent body of technology experts who have prescribed standards and specific protocols for all manner of electronic technologies. The 802.11 set of protocols is the reason that you can connect any model of phone by any manufacturer using any carrier to any wireless access point running any firmware made by any manufacturer that is connected to any modem made by any manufacturer through any ISP and have Internet access. This is something that today we take for granted, but it actually represents one of the most astounding achievements in humanity’s history. It would be impossible to convey all the variables, but if you’ve ever tried getting two electronic devices that weren’t designed for each other to actually function together, then you might be able to appreciate the magnitude of this accomplishment. And yet IEEE is completely voluntary. It is not a government, and no one is required to follow its standards and protocols.
Compare the marvel of email–something else we take for granted–to the mess of the United States Post Office, and ask yourself this simple question: Why didn’t the Post Office invent email? This question is absolutely critical, and it’s one that every person who believes that “Government action can improve people’s lives” needs to seriously consider. The United States Post Office’s entire existence is about communicating messages from one person to another. Here is an interesting article about the USPS’s relationship with email, and it’s worth a read. Liberals should particularly note that the USPS initially tried to implement an email system they called E-Com. Yet the USPS didn’t innovate and create this marvelous, instantaneous, and efficient message delivery system; furthermore, when they went “Me, too!” their system sucked and isn’t known to anyone today.
Now look over this stupidly long list of Post Offices that were built under FDR. This should come as no surprise, of course. The same promises by the same man with the same administration and same “noble intentions*” gave us the Social Security Administration, a mess that quickly proved to have been an outright lie. Today people recoil at the very idea of abolishing Social Security, as though we would let our elderly starve, despite the fact that humanity managed to get along pretty well without the Social Security Administration for hundreds of thousands of years.
We were sold snake oil, and it’s a myth that many people continue believing today. The question we must ask, then, is… How? How did this happen? How did a nation founded by people who expressly stated as the core of their philosophy that government is freaking evil twist into this nation of people who genuinely believe that “government action can improve people’s lives?”**
* Debatable. Autocracy and Fascism did not rise only in Italy, Germany, and Japan. It rose worldwide, including in the United States, and it manifested here as the New Deal. It’s worth nothing that, for all practical purposes, Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini also offered their citizens a New Deal. The Soviet Union called theirs the Five Year Plan. We called ours the New Deal. Hitler called his the Neuordnung–translated to “New Order.”
Despite how it breaks so many rules of writing, the above point is crucial enough that I’m going to continue the article here, rather than above.
It should come as absolutely no shock that 1953 saw the true rise of the Department of Education, not long after the many schemes of FDR began falling apart. It would take many, many years for the full breakdown of the systems to occur, requiring ever increasing amounts of money to keep them going. People are resistant to huge changes and will put up with a lot of bullshit before they do anything about it. A woman might not leave her abusive, alcoholic boyfriend until the third time he’s broken one of her bones and put her in the hospital. The list of grievances the colonies had with the British Empire fills several pages of the Declaration of Independence, and many of them are pretty serious. In 2016 the American Government dropped more than twenty-six thousand bombs in seven countries. We tolerate a lot of shit that we shouldn’t tolerate, and so we were always going to give the many New Deal programs plenty of time and opportunity to straighten themselves out.
That all became unnecessary with the rise of the Department of Education and state control of virtually all school systems. I’ve written a little bit about the school system here in the United States. Unfortunately, there’s no better way to be written off as looney than to say that we’ve all been brainwashed to worship the state, but… we’ve all been brainwashed to worship the state. However they did it, they planted these ideas there. I certainly don’t ever remember being taught in school that the government protects us from rape gangs, murderers, constant civil wars, faction wars, and “OMG, Mad Max!”
But that idea certainly came from somewhere, and it’s ubiquitous throughout the country. I doubt you were ever straight up told this, either. But compare it to the actual founding principles of our nation–that government is evil and, by its very nature, oppressive and tyrannical. Yet you will find very, very few Americans who don’t believe that government is generally a force for good. Go to any random Q&A site–or Quora–and look for questions about whether government is necessary or good. For every one person pointing out, for reasons identical to those given three centuries ago, that the state is an institution of evil, there will be five or ten who allege that the government is a force for good.
No one bats an eye at this guy’s certifiably wacky statement that “government action can improve people’s lives.” It’s just taken as a given, by nearly every American–Republican and Democrat. Republicans hover in a state of denial about it, but they, too, share the conceit. The only thing that almost all these Americans have in common is that they were brought up and educated by the government, with government-approved textbooks, by government employees, according to government standards, and thereby given government-approved information.
Oh, sure, we learned that the Founders said that government is evil, and that liberty is good. That’s where things get so weird. Because it’s not our government that is evil, is it? No, the founders in their infinite wisdom managed to create the only government that wasn’t evil, and it’s “all those other governments” that are evil. It’s like the rock band that says “All record labels are evil… except the one that signed us!” Believe it or not, that’s a common attitude among up-and-coming rock bands. “Our label is totally not evil,” they say. “We got lucky and found the one good one in this huge sea of evil ones.”
And that’s how we came to this mess today–decades of this idea that because the founders knew the government was evil, they took steps to create a government that wasn’t evil–all because, in their writings, it doesn’t seem any of them bothered to point out, “Hey, yeah, that whole ‘government is evil’ thing…? It applies to this government we just created, too. Yeah, it’s evil, too.”
Sure, the early Americans needed arms, but that was to protect themselves from the evil British Imperial government! We don’t need guns, tanks, landmines, grenades, assault rifles, jets, and SAMs to protect ourselves from our government, because ours isn’t one of the evil ones. Ours is the one good one floating in the huge sea of evil ones. “Government” doesn’t stop being evil just because it’s our government. It’s still evil.
I’m an anarchist, and I would never make the case that the government is a necessary evil. But that is the bare minimum that any rational adult should be willing to accept. This nonsense that the government can improve people’s lives? It flies in the face of the very essence of what government even is: oppression. Government is evil. Republics are evil. Federalists are evil. Democracy is evil. Saying “We can tolerate this little evil to stave off this even greater evil” is precisely the reason that we’ll be saying “President Trump” in eight more days. It is precisely the reason we allowed our lesser evil fascism to rise, so that we could fight off the greater evil fascism that Hitler and Mussolini, and then Stalin, represented.
It is time we returned to the simple fact that was first noticed more than three hundred years ago, and it is something we need to apparently etch into stone so that we never, ever forget it and never, ever again give rise to generations of people who think that, despite all evidence and logic to the contrary, government can somehow be a force for good…
In a shocking turn of events that I honestly didn’t see coming, a few weeks ago I received a letter from the Internal Revenue Service telling me that I had about ten days to pay them an absolutely ridiculous sum of around $2,000. Why? I honestly couldn’t tell you. Based on what the letter says, I’m assuming it’s a mistake on their end, but it’s not like it makes very much of a difference, does it? Right and wrong are meaningless in this matter; if right and wrong mattered, then under no circumstances would someone put a gun to my head and tell me to give them two thousand dollars. With right and wrong discarded long ago, it’s irrelevant who is actually right.
If the IRS checks and insists that I owe them this money, then I have two options:
Pay them this ridiculous sum.
Go to prison.
O’er the land of the free… and the home of the brave…
I received this letter shortly before the Thanksgiving holiday, and I attempted to call the IRS, only to be told that they were too busy and that I needed to call back. That’s well and good, except I work the same time the IRS is open, so there aren’t a ton of opportunities for me to call them and find out what the hell is going on. 2014 was a simple year, as far as my taxes are concerned–I worked for Harrah’s as a slot tech, filled out a 1040EZ, and that was it. You can’t screw up a 1040EZ–it’s like Paint By Numbers. Yet somehow “changes to my W-2” mean I owe them a figure that is about 1/4 of what I even made last year.
This is a shitload of money we’re talking about. It may not be for everyone, but that’s half of my Move to Vegas money. With my car currently in the shop–again, this time with a busted fuel injector, busted intake manifold gasket, and busted head gasket–it’s not like I’ve been adding much to the savings account through the last two months, but it will be a cold day in hell before the IRS gets that money.
Honestly, it will be a cold day in hell before the IRS gets this money from me period, regardless of what they say.
What’s really amazing about this is that the IRS has my income records. They know as well as I do that $1,979.60 simply isn’t going to happen. If it was that or jail, I could probably pay $400~ without it absolutely bankrupting me and leaving all my bills unpaid, but they should know better than that. I’m not just bitching, though. I am going somewhere with this, and I am making a few different points. This one being that the IRS, better than anyone else–other than myself–knows exactly how frankly impossible it is for me to pay that amount of money. So what the hell do they want from me?
Meanwhile, President Elect Donald Trump isn’t paying that much, right? I don’t know, because I never pay any attention to the candidates’ taxes or income.
I knew this was going to happen. Not because I did anything wrong, but because rumors began circulating of threatening letters from the IRS sent to everyone who hadn’t purchased insurance, and that certainly included me. I have an exemption that means I don’t have to purchase health insurance, which is good because I’m young and in great shape, have no health issues, and no need of health insurance; since no companies are offering rates that a young, healthy person like myself can find agreeable, I am not purchasing health insurance.
Through the last few months, I’ve been expecting to get one of those letters. Instead, I got one of these. And I am almost positive this has something to do with the Affordable Care Act.
Our government is in debt for twenty trillion dollars, a figure so large that not even the most insane mathematician can wrap their mind around it. Our government is absurdly broke whether it harasses me and imprisons me over this paltry figure or not. Moreover, I don’t owe the government this money. I don’t. The government proclaimed that I owe it this money, and because it controls the courts it can have a judge rule that I owe it this money. So let me paint this little picture for you.
I’m going on about my life, working and trying to move to Las Vegas where I can put my degree to use, be transgender in peace, and live out my life happily. I’m a relatively normal, law-abiding citizen. One day I get a letter from the IRS telling me that I owe them two thousand dollars, which is to me a very large amount of money. I contest it, but the IRS insists that I do owe it and that I have to pay it; if I don’t, I’ll be arrested for contempt of court or tax evasion or some other charge. Even under the best of circumstances, I can’t come up with that kind of money. I’m arrested and thrown in jail.
How is that not among the most fucked up things ever?
While you’re going on about your life, I’ve got paperwork that says you owe me $2,000. You insist that you don’t owe me that money, but I take you to court. At court, the judge agrees with me and tells you that you have to pay it; if you don’t, you’ll be arrested. Unable to pay, you are then arrested.
This is the true nature of the state, and I’d be becoming an anarchist right now if I wasn’t one already. This… is… ridiculous.
It’s like, “Damn. I knew the state was a group of predators robbing, killing, and kidnapping people, and I’ve long been speaking out against that–and now this group of robbing, killing, kidnapping predators have turned their attention onto me. Shit.”
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Let’s not be unclear or ambiguous about this. It is the government’s Mission Statement to protect the lives, liberties, and happiness of American citizens. And rather than doing that–rather than protecting us from all manner of wicked humans we are told are lurking in the shadows, eager for the destabilization of the government so that they can rob, kill, and kidnap us, my very own government is declaring that I owe it a debt, and will use the existence of that “debt” to rob, kill, and/or kidnap me.
Any pretense of government goodwill falls utterly apart in this scenario. Just who in the hell do they think they are? They passed a law that said I had to pay them, invented some magical figure that I can’t possibly pay, stated that I owe them that large figure, and will rob, imprison, or kill me to get it. This is our government. This is the American government.
This vicious group of thieves, kidnappers, and murderers who have sworn to protect me, who managed to work up a twenty trillion dollar debt ostensibly in my name, have now turned their hungry eyes onto me. They don’t exist to protect us; they exist to predate us. Here are all the possible relationships to the government you can have:
What I mean by “no one” is that the government is mostly leaving you alone. It’s not sending you threatening letters and telling you that you owe them a giant chunk of cash. You will never be under the government’s protection because the government doesn’t exist to protect you. It will leave you alone–probably if you bow to every arbitrary demand that it makes–but it will never protect you. It will either victimize you or leave you alone.
A lot of people like arguing against anarcho-capitalism by saying, “What’s going to keep me from robbing you, kidnapping you, whatever, since I’m rich and have better weapons than you?”
Do you see what an asinine question that is? There are good people out there who would protect me from you if you attempted to kidnap me. It happens every single day; we’ve got entire groups of people who dedicate their lives to stopping that kind of behavior. Yet who is there that can protect me from the IRS? What’s going to keep the government from robbing me or kidnapping me? Who even can come to my defense when the government sends its soldiers to take me hostage and kidnap me for not being able to pay its extortion fees? There is no one stronger than the government, and definitely not stronger than the American Government.
The ultimate warlords, the ultimate thieves, the ultimate kidnappers. That’s our government.
And if they decide that I owe them this money, there isn’t a goddamned thing that anyone can do about it.
I’d take my chances against you any day, if the alternative is to take my chances with the “benevolence” of the government.
I wasn’t quite of voting age when Al Gore lost the 2000 election to George W. Bush. Actually, I was barely even a teenager, but that also made it my first “real” election. In 1996, I would have been too young to have any concern or interest in paying attention to what the adults were talking about, but around 2000 I was at least watching the news. What an introduction to American politics–an election that seemed to just drag on and on, with everything down to a single state and a relatively thin vote margin.
That’s nothing like what we have today.
I don’t recall any attempts to force recounts in 2004, 2008, or 2012, though I do remember the secession petitions that came online almost as soon as they were made possible by the Obama Administration. I also recall the Obama Administration’s sickening response to the petitions–that the founders intended the union to be perpetual, as though what dead people wanted when they decided things two hundred years ago must dictate our lives today. This was actually the moment when I realized how stalled our “liberty education” was.
Of course, prior to that, all I’d heard was that we lived in a democracy, and my high school civics class didn’t even come close to approaching anything important. We went over all of U.S. history–laboriously and methodically, as we had a teacher who calculated five pages of reading per day, no excuses, so that the entire book was covered through the year–and we glazed over the system of governance: it was something about federalism, something about checks and balances, something about a republic, and something about democracy.
What did it all mean?
They were just empty words, far removed from anything relating to our daily lives and personal experiences. We were, of course, not brought up in anything that resembled a democracy or a republic; in our actual lives there was no Constitution, and certainly no checks and balances. We were carted from one tyrant who was judge, jury, and executioner, to another, and told all the while that all of this was taking place in some glorious system where our rights were respected. Well, not yet, but one day–once we turned 18! Then our rights would be respected!
Except it wasn’t really that simple. It wasn’t just “turning 18.” You had to both turn 18 and leave high school, one way or another, and move out. For me, “turning 18” was the last of those three gates through which I stepped, thanks almost entirely to the tyrannical behavior of both my parent/legal guardian and the school. We don’t like to think about it, but we have terribly warped ideas about children and rights here in the United States, almost to the extent that children are considered the property of their parents.
One of the central themes of Dancing in Hellfire is that most people aren’t very well equipped to be parents. I’ve seen this far too often, and not just from my own parents. I’ve never met a parent who didn’t say “I put my child’s needs first–that’s all I care about.” Yet in my personal experiences, I’ve never found that to be true. Invariably, what the parent puts first is the emotional itch that the child is scratching for them. I think more consideration should go into people’s thoughts before they choose whether or not to have children, and I think that conscious acceptance that this is the end of your life would do people a lot of good. Because that’s true–once you have a child, your life is over; your dedication must be wholly to your child’s life.
Anyway, that’s not the way we treat children here in the west. We treat children like property. Parents can take away their child’s possessions, invade their privacy, restrict their communication and rights. Parents can assign whatever arbitrary rules they like and inflict virtually any punishments they want. The parent is judge, jury, and executioner, a tyrant who dictates what can and can’t be done, and this is the child’s first lesson in “rights” and “freedom.”
See? I can’t even make a statement like that without people thinking I must be joking. I most certainly am not.
We know that those first ten years are critical in forming a person’s ultimate worldview. Without getting into the Nature versus Nurture argument, American parenting is basically the finest example of a victim going on to become a bully that we would ever need. It should come as no surprise that most people who support spanking were themselves spanked. It’s rather similar to how my grandmother had no choice but to force fundamentalist insanity onto me–she was herself a victim, and she was victimized to the extent that she didn’t know what else to do but pay it forward. ‘Round and ’round we go; the cycle never ends.
Then we’re plucked out of our homes and told that we have to go to this thing called school. This is something I remember very well, and I also wrote about it in Dancing in Hellfire, because I hated school. It made absolutely no sense that I was brought into this world and then–“Oh, hey, by the way, I hope you liked those first five years of fun. Now you have to go to this horrible, boring place seven hours a day almost every single day for the next thirteen years.”
I was given no choice in the matter, but damn did I try to force one, especially after the separation. No one was able to give me a single good reason why I had to go to school, but my mother insisted that I had to. Of course, it didn’t take too long to learn that she had no choice in the matter, either. She wasn’t the one who was forcing me to go to school. Something called “the government” was.
Soon as you’re born, they make you feel small
Giving you no time, instead of it all
Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all
Working class hero is something to be
They hurt you at home and they hit you at school
They hate you if you’re clever, and they despise the fool
They’re so fucking crazy you can’t follow their rules
Working class hero is something to be
When they tortured and scared you for twenty odd years
Then they expect you to pick a career
But you can’t really function you’re so full of fear
Working class hero is something to be
They keep you doped with religion, your sex, and TV
You think you’re so clever and classless and free
But you’re still fucking peasants as far as I can see
Working class hero is something to be
There’s room at the top, they are telling you still
First you must learn how to smile while you kill
If you wanna be like the folks on top of the hill
Working class hero is something to be
Of course, Lennon was a communist, but… he’s not wrong. That is the way we do things.
And what do we find at school? More arbitrary rules that must be obeyed. And if you are accused of breaking a rule, there is no trial–there is only the teacher, for a small enough infraction, and the principal. Regardless of which you face, they are judge, jury, and executioner. Break the rules during Civics Class for Maximum Irony.
There were plenty of rules that I broke, especially during high school. I had a really bad habit of smoking on campus and speaking out loudly against the new uniform policy. Generally, I was a troublemaker, but there were a handful of teachers who would have defended me as far as they were able, because I was a straight A student. I didn’t do half the crap they accused me of, but it never mattered–a lesson I learned as I sat in In-School Suspension, accused of smoking because some teacher “saw smoke” where we were standing, though the reality was just that it was freaking cold outside. They didn’t find as much as a lighter on me, but it didn’t matter.
“Guilty By Accusation,” proclaimed the kangaroo.
Such a minor and trivial thing, but it doesn’t stop there, does it? No, because a woman was just arrested while waiting on a ride because the cop thought that “she looked like she was soliciting prostitution” and the woman had prior arrests for prostitution. Just as they accused and found me guilty–Double Jeopardy if ever there was such a thing–so did they accuse her and find her guilty. She knew just as I did that it didn’t matter what we said–what I said about smoking or what she said about waiting on a ride.
“Guilty By Accusation,” proclaimed the kangaroo.
So from the time we’re born, we have cognitive dissonance imposed on us. The adults tell us about some magical world far removed from our everyday experience. It is a wondrous place, where the state can’t just do whatever it wants, where trials are fair and seek only justice, and where our rights are respected. It is Sugarcandy Mountain, for all intents and purposes, and our parents and teachers have taken over the role of Moses the Raven. Of course, they offer another Sugarcandy Mountain on top of that, in most cases–no matter how bad this life is and no matter how badly we humans screw up everything by lying to one another about what reality actually is like, it’s okay, because when we die there is another Sugarcandy Mountain waiting on us.
And that’s what it is–we’re constantly waiting for Sugarcandy Mountain. When we’re kids and teenagers, it’s that magical age when we’re out of school and out of our parents’ home, out on Sugarcandy Mountain at last where our rights are finally respected and we’re finally given fair trials by a jury of peers, where “guilty” means more than “stands accused.” And this delusion works–for a while.
It works until you’re arrested in your neighborhood while waiting on a ride.
It works until you’re standing thirty feet away from your car at two in the morning while five police cars swirl around you, searching your vehicle, shining lights in your face, and demanding to know whether you’ve been drinking–even when you haven’t had a drink since like 2014. It works until you’re a homeless schizophrenic man being beaten to death by cops while you beg and cry out for your father to help you. It works until police unload bullets into your back while you flee their psychotic violence and then plant their taser on you. It works until police from 19 states bear down on you and strike you with water cannons in freezing temperatures.
Because we’re not on Sugarcandy Mountain. And as long as we delude ourselves into thinking we are, we will never remove the boots from our necks.
Western society is schizophrenic, and not in any light-hearted way. There are two diametrically opposed threads running through society today that absolutely refuse to forge a compromise, and we’re seeing it manifest in strange ways. First, there is the reality that neo-liberalism won the culture war. There is no doubt of this, and, prior to Trump’s victory, the majority of liberals were aware of it. It was the Liberal Redneck, after all, who said, “This is our world now, and you’re not getting it back.”
What characterizes this liberalism? It is socialistic/fascistic in nature; of this, there can be no doubt. Huge swathes of the western population look upon capitalism as deprecated, antiquated, selfish, and morally wrong. To them, capitalism isn’t just a remnant of bygone eras; socialism is progress. They tie this directly to what they consider social progress–divisiveness, burning the heretical witches, and moving the goalpost when no one was looking from equality to oppression. This is exemplified most clearly in the anarcho-communist, which I’ve often joked is an anarchist who drank the SJW kool-aid. So far, that assessment has been spot-on. I’ve yet to meet an AnCom who wasn’t guzzling gallons of SJW kool-aid.
On the other side is the rise of what we are calling populism, and that’s as good a term as any. This has given us Brexit, Donald Trump as President of the United States, and, the way it is looking, a soon-to-be far right Italian government. But can we take a moment to bask in the knowledge that it was a leftist who wanted to repeal the parts of the Italian Constitution that were specifically meant to diffuse power and prevent another Mussolini from rising? Let us just be thankful that his proposition of “Let’s remove some of these checks and balances that we instituted in order to prevent the total control of fascism” was rejected by Italian voters and that Renzi has now resigned.
Is there a clearer picture than that?
Fascism is what we face. I know these liberals don’t like to hear it, because they don’t know what fascism is and therefore accuse everything they don’t like of being fascism, and it doesn’t help that fascism isn’t really clearly defined, but…
It’s basically a socialist government where the state is supreme. It wasn’t terribly long ago that I saw some idiot write an article where he specifically stated that Hitler wasn’t a socialist. No, I’m not kidding. It was some idiot at Ranker. At least the fools who say “Democratic socialism is totally different from national socialism” aren’t so deluded, ignorant, and misinformed that they don’t think Hitler and the National Socialist party weren’t socialists.
The ties between socialism and fascism are so obvious that they’re frequently call the same thing. Indeed–they are one and the same in practice, for a fascist government must be a socialist one (“Everything in the state”), and a socialist one must be a fascist one (since economics, as Thomas Paine wrote, “…when considered as the fruit of many years’ industry, as the reward of labor, sweat and toil, as the widow’s dowry and children’s portion, and as the means of procuring the necessaries and alleviating the afflictions of life, and making old age a scene of rest, has something in it sacred that is not to be sported with, or trusted to the airy bubble of paper currency,” is the result of day-to-day life, control of the economy becomes, by extension, control of everyday life).
Then we have on the other side modern populism.
There is a devout nationalist tendency among the modern populists, which is a clear antagonist of the neo-liberals’ preference for globalism and a worldwide state. Except it’s not nationalistic in the classic sense–for the most part, the modern nationalists don’t want to dominate other countries and subjugate them as the 20th century nationalists did. Modern nationalists stand somewhere between non-interventionism and limited interventionism–they are okay with war, but only insofar as they are confused about what precipitated those wars. In the case of American wars, of course, America caused them.
See, the nationalists of the 20th century hated Russia on principle. Whether this was due to Cold War propaganda or nearly constant fearmongering, who can say, but one way or another previous nationalists held that Russia was the greatest symbol of evil and had to be destroyed. Although modern nationalists do flirt with that mentality a bit in regard to Muslim nations, they don’t view all Muslim nations like this. However misinformed they are, it’s not Muslims or Muslim nations they hate, but groups like ISIS.
The nationalism we see today is more like a rejection of globalism and an attempt to return to national sovereignty. Most of the people I know who supported Trump also support the U.S. withdrawal from the United Nations. I suspect the same is true for many of the Brexit advocates, and many of the far-right Italians.
Because the neo-liberal has tied globalism, social justice, and socialism together into a single, unified package called fascism (and yes, such a package is called fascism), they are no longer able to separate out individual pieces of this trilogy. To them, it is a triangle; if you remove a single piece, the entire thing stops functioning. It is so tangled together that I don’t believe that they are still able to differentiate the three.
So if you reject one part of this, or two parts of this, they think you must be rejecting all three parts. If you reject globalism in favor of this weakened nationalism, and if you reject socialism in favor of this socialistic pay-for-play/privatized profits and socialized losses that we mistaken call capitalism, then they think you must also be rejecting the social justice aspects. I’ll try to cut that sentence down a bit by reframing this mess of an economic system we have that is not capitalism as simply “interventionism.” I don’t approve of that term as an economic descriptor, because I think “socialism” works very well as a descriptor, even if we aren’t fully socialized yet, but whatever.
If you reject globalism in favor of nationalism, and if you reject socialism in favor of interventionism, then they understand you to be against social justice as well. This is how nationalists have had all manner of insults heaped upon them: sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic misogynists and all that. In their minds, socialism is inseparable from the globalism, which is inseparable from the social justice, which is inseparable from the socialism, much as I say that peace is inseparable from love which is inseparable from liberty which is inseparable from peace.
In this great divide, I land on the side of the nationalists and interventionists. I am not their ally, but I am an enemy of globalism and socialism. I’ve written extensively about the failures and stupidity of socialism. But the nationalists are wrong, too. The nation isn’t the end-all-be-all of sovereignty; the individual is. In this sense, the nationalists are every bit as fascist as the globalist–the only difference is what level of state they want to bow to, with it reigning uncontested and always right. Like the people you see interviewed who take the side of the cops in the DAPL protests. “Well, I believe the cops over the protestors.”
I don’t believe any of them.
Similarly, interventionism is a broken economic model.
But before we can pull sovereignty back to the level of the individual, it must be pulled back away from the globalist-level, and that’s not too much of a problem here in the United States. We already don’t listen to the UN. Hell, in a lot of ways we are the UN. This rift is playing out here in a different way, though, with the liberals wanting a strong federal government that dictates over all fifty states, and with conservatives generally wanting a weak federal government and for the states to rule themselves.
Considering how unhappy a lot of people were with Obama’s presidency and how unhappy a lot of people are with Trump’s presidency, the solution is obvious–the answer is obvious. Globalism doesn’t work. Federalism doesn’t work. There is no One Size Fits All government that will make everyone happy. There is a divide in the world–a divide that will never go away, no matter how much closer we get to egalitarianism. People have different worldviews, and that will always be the case. In fact, psychology specifically suggests that it will always be the case.
If you take any ten people and try to propose a solution to any problem that will make them all happy, you will probably not succeed. The more people you try to impose that solution on, the more likely you are to make someone unhappy. When you have three hundred million people, you are guaranteed to make a large chunk of them–about sixty percent, evidently–some degree of unhappy.
We should stop trying to get our way, and start working toward peace. In order for there to be peace, there must be liberty. Don’t tyrannize others. Individualism must defeat fascism, but first nationalist fascism must defeat globalist fascism.
…because they allow ignorant people to directly voice their opinion, no matter how ignorant they are, and have exactly the same impact on the situation as people who aren’t ignorant. Now, based on what I’ve said so many times about the failures of direct democracy, I need to point this out: an informed and educated person would not vote on a ballot initiative about which they were ignorant. Look, if you put on the ballot an initiative that we would expand fracking, I would gladly abstain from voting, because I know nothing about the issue.
A lot of people wouldn’t abstain. A lot of people would vote “Yes” because “fracking means oil, and oil is good.” A lot of people would vote “no” because “fracking is bad for the environment, and that’s bad.” Well, I’m sorry, but if that’s the extent of my knowledge on the subject then I simply don’t feel qualified in voicing an opinion.
Many people would be surprised by this newfound humility, but it’s not newfound at all. Sure, it often seems like I think I know everything. This is because i tend to discuss subjects that I know about, and I tend to avoid subjects about which I know very little or nothing. I would say that I have studied a wide enough range of subjects to be able to say whether or not I’m ignorant of the subject, and that’s where the Dunning-Kruger Effect kicks in. See, most people have no idea how ignorant they are.
Earlier today, I saw Will Coley, former Libertarian Party Vice Presidential candidate, say that he doesn’t “believe” in the Big Bang Theory, and he went on to say that the idea was invented by the Catholic Church as a method of explaining Genesis.
Well, no… That’s not true. Science isn’t something to believe in or not believe in; it’s something to accept or to deny. It’s not a matter of belief but a matter of bowing to the facts. It’s far beyond me to get into all the nuances of the Big Bang Theory and the overwhelming amount of evidence that supports it, but a simple Google search will yield a person all the information they need to make an informed opinion. And I will be adamant about this: there is an enormous difference between an informed opinion and an ignorant one. For example, Coley’s remark about the Big Bang being invented by the Catholic Church is wholly incorrect. The person who first proposed the theory was a Jesuit priest, but he was also a physicist, and was most certainly not doing the work of the church. His work, like Galileo’s, was very much at odds with the church.
At any rate, it’s absurd to accept some parts of science while rejecting the rest, at least on issues that haven’t been politicized into oblivion such as global warming. There are politics involved in the Big Bang Theory, or in the Theory of Evolution, and both theories are as airtight as General Relativity. They are widely accepted for a reason, and the DNA evidence alone would be enough, even if there were no fossils whatsoever, to confirm the theory of natural selection and changes over time.
This won’t stop the influx of people who say that evolution suggests “a tornado would tear through a junkyard and create a Boeing 747,” though. It won’t change the mass of people who say that “Yeah, God said ‘Bang!’ and then it happened.” It won’t change the minds of the people who believe the universe is 6,000 to 10,000 years old. C’est la vie. I’m not trying to change minds. If they want to reject the theory of evolution in favor of their religious beliefs, that’s fine, but I would demand that they stop taking antibiotics, vaccines, and other treatments that are products of biology, since modern biology is inseparable from evolutionary theory. I would demand that they stop using their cell phones, the Internet, and their televisions, since all of these things work only because of satellites that orbit the Earth thanks to our understanding of Einstien’s Special and General theories of Relativity, both of which are tied very much to the Big Bang. If you want to argue that the scaffolding doesn’t work, that’s fine–but to be consistent, you must say that the building built from the scaffolding doesn’t work, either.
But most of these people–Coley among them, I would bet–have no idea what evidence supports the Big Bang Theory, but that won’t stop most people from having an opinion on it one way or another. I was stunned a few years ago, when I remarked to my sister that I found the evolution of snakes to be fascinating, and she replied, “You know I don’t believe in evolution, right?”
I was stunned. What do you mean, you don’t believe in evolution? Evolution doesn’t need you to believe in it. Evolution is a reality of life in our universe; accept it or not, but belief has nothing to do with it at this point. The knowledge is there; the information is there. And I will adamantly insist that her rejection of evolution is not in any sense on the same solid ground as my acceptance of evolution. Mine is built from facts, from having read The Selfish Gene and The Extended Phenotype by Richard Dawkins, and biology is still my weakest area. If there was a ballot initiative asking if we should do “some imaginary thing” to purposely “affect evolution in some specific way,” I would readily abstain from such a measure, because I know nothing about it.
I’m Going Somewhere With This
If there was a ballot initiative stating that we would install 8 GB of DDR5 memory into every computer owned by the government, I would gladly vote against the initiative. I can imagine the arguments of everyone in favor of the initiative. “DDR5 is so much faster!” the headlines would go from the pro-upgrade crowd. “It’s common sense, and 8 GB will be a huge upgrade. There’s no reason not to! We’ve run the cost, and we can make it happen for $85,000!”
“Yeah,” I would say, “but probably 97% of the motherboards in use by the state won’t support DDR5. You won’t be able to just pop it in there. If you do somehow make it fit, you’ll fry the RAM, and probably the motherboard. To make this work, you’d have to upgrade all the motherboards, too, which means upgrading CPUs, as well. Since Windows still uses the Hardware Abstraction Layer, you won’t be able to just throw a hard drive into a new motherboard, new CPU, and new RAM–even if the old hard drives are SATA, which I doubt they would be, since they’re probably old and use IDE, which the newer motherboards won’t support–it won’t boot, and you’ll have to do a full backup of all files, reformat onto a new compatible drive, then move the files back over. It’s nowhere near as simple as just slapping two sticks of RAM into a desktop and watching it take off in speed.”
This is because I know technology. I make a living working on technology and making it do the things that I want it to do. In the end, from this ballot initiative–which would almost certainly pass–we’d end up with a ton of RAM sitting wasted in a storage room somewhere while we waited for Motherboard+CPU Initiative to pass. Suddenly an $85,000 price tag became a $1,850,000 price tag.
We all begin ignorant about a subject–completely ignorant. Through the course of life in western society, we pick up bits of knowledge from all over the place, and we establish a kind of limited knowledge in all sorts of subjects, but that knowledge isn’t always reliable. Like my sister above, who would characterize evolution as “a monkey giving birth to a human.” Anyone who gets their knowledge from her gets bad information, and they may view her as a trusted figure, in which case they wouldn’t question her. Then, years later, when someone came along and contradicted that information, they would already be invested in her and what she told them, and so they’d be much more likely to stick to her explanation of things.
My church told me routinely that this is what evolution was. One year, around the third grade, they actually did one of those stupid skits, where there is a gorilla at the family dinner. “Grandpa,” they called him. It was a full attack on evolution, telling all of our young minds that evolution said that somewhere along the way some gorilla gave birth to a human. These trusted authorities–these people who we had been told to trust and who we did trust–lied right to our faces, perhaps knowingly; at the very least, they perpetuated bullshit that they had been told by an authority figure and never looked into themselves.
As another example, my nephew firmly believes that Jesus lives in the clouds, because that is what they told him at church. We know this one was a lie, because no adult in their right mind believes that Jesus lives in the clouds. For fuck’s sake, we’ve been beyond the clouds. People go beyond the clouds on a daily basis. We know beyond the shadow of any doubt that there is no one living in the clouds or on the clouds. Yet my nephew has been consistently told this by authority figures at his church. When I told him it wasn’t true, showed him pictures of the clouds and the Earth from space, and showed him that no one was living up there, it changed nothing. They’d already won. They planted the idea, and his trust in them kept his mind shackled to that lie. They knowingly lied to my nephew. It was this that caused me to challenge them–a challenge they ignored, by the way.
I told them that I would debate them. The topic? The existence of a god. I told them they could pick any twelve members of their congregation to act as the judges, and that they could enlist up to five people–church members or not–to argue on their side, and that I would debate alone. If I won, then they would refrain from teaching anything spiritual until the children reached 8 years old. If they won, I would attend their church every Sunday for a year. You lie to my nephew and we’re going to have problems. I don’t care if they want him to believe in a god. But I will not let them lie to him to accomplish that.
They ignored my challenge, and I understand why. The similarities to Elijah and the priests of Baal were too much for them to ignore, except… in this scenario, I was Elijah. I didn’t choose 12 as the number by accident, after all. It’s a debate that I couldn’t have won. Convince 12 devout church-goers that their pastor hadn’t made his case that there is a god? I could never have won. However, if they accepted such weighted terms, then they lost from the start, even if I didn’t convince the judges. To show their faith, they would have no choice but to turn the tables and let me pick the 12 judges.
Sorry to digress onto that.
Another area that I know pretty damned well is economics. I might not be able to calculate the market interest rate based on data you feed to me, but since I have no interest or desire to do such a thing it’s never a skill I’ve bothered to learn. I think the bank providing the loan should do that calculation, not the government.
Recently, Washington voted to increase its minimum wage from $9.47 to $13.50 an hour, the bloody fools.
These people, almost none of whom know anything about economics, voted on a measure to substantially interfere in their state’s economy. This is the reason that democracy is stupid. It gives control of the ship to people who have never navigated a ship, people who don’t know how to read a map, people who don’t know how to hoist a sail, people who have never used a sextant, and people who have no freaking idea what a rudder is or why the sail is triangular. If you came to me on a 17th century ship and asked me if we should turn the sail east or west, I wouldn’t have any freaking idea what to tell you other than “Dude, ask someone who actually knows about it.”
Somewhere along the way, we forgot how freaking ignorant we are. This is where the Dunning-Kruger Effect kicks in, because a person can’t be ignorant while understanding that they’re ignorant. With weak general knowledge on a subject, a person usually thinks they have a pretty good handle on it–enough to vote “Yes” on a measure to raise the minimum wage, a decision that will have enormous ramifications for the state’s economy. Hubris is what it is.
See, in order to know how little you know about a subject, you must know a little bit about that subject. That’s the conundrum. To understand how little you know about physics, you have to understand how deep and complex the subject is.
As exposure to a subject increases, confidence decreases, until one is exposed enough to begin grasping the subject.
This is why you should always be weary of people who are confident about what they’re saying, especially if they can’t back it up. I’ve backed up my economics statements. Check them out here and here. There’s a huge disparity, though, between the confidence of an expert and the confidence of a layperson. I will never say that I’m absolutely right–about anything. I constantly allow for the possibility that I’m wrong. In the past year, I’ve been wrong several times. My confidence got put to the test recently on Quora, and I was put in a very difficult position of arguing myself against two actual economists, and I’m proud to say that I held my ground–primarily because they weren’t reading the question correctly.
However, anyone who is absolutely convinced that we should raise the Minimum Wage… Ask them why. Their answer will always be the same. “Because… blah blah… cost of living… yada yada… living wage… blah blah…” Basically, it is an emotional appeal. The danger of emotional appeals, though, is that the emotion is used to propose and support one single solution and precludes the possibility that the emotion can be expressed with any other solution. Take for example government welfare.
I think it should all be ended. All of it. “Social safety net?” It’s called family. And, yes, this is from someone who has no family to fall back on. What do I have? Friends. Where my family has horrifically failed me, friends have always come through, particularly my colleague. When my sister kicked me out for being transgender, I had very few places to turn with such short notice. It was my colleague–who I would certainly call “pretty much family”–who found me a place to stay. That opened up an entirely different set of problems, of course, but things happen.
The common reply, of course, is, “So you want people to go homeless and starve to death.”
Um… No? I don’t think I said that. I think that people who care about you should bear the burden of helping you, not random strangers who don’t get a say-so about it. Your mom can kick your ass and make sure you’re getting a job, not sitting around on the couch and watching Ricki Lake. I can’t. The government can’t. Your mom isn’t going to let you sit there for 18 months while you do nothing and bring in no income. The government will let you, because the government can’t really stop you. Is that so bad? That instead of putting a gun to my head and forcing me to “help” you–while you do God only knows what with the “help”–you would have to turn to family and friends? I don’t want you to die, but… I don’t know you. I’ve got my own problems to deal with without adding yours to them.
But their emotion–that sympathy that people shouldn’t go homeless and starve–is tied to their favorite solution: government welfare. Because the emotion is tied to the solution, their minds become warped until they can no longer fathom any other solution appeasing that emotion.
And just like that, their emotion becomes public policy, especially when ballot initiatives are put forward. “People should have a living wage” becomes tied to “the minimum wage should be increased.” To them, that’s the only possible solution without denying people a living wage. So if you’re against an increase in the minimum wage, they have no choice but to conclude that you don’t think people should have a living wage. To them, it’s one and the same: increasing the minimum wage scratches their emotional itch, and they know of no other way to scratch it; they don’t think anything else can scratch it.
To make matters worse, we are dealing with matters where emotion has no role to play. I’m sorry; it simply doesn’t. Just like emotion has no role to play in calculating how much hydrogen we need to launch a rocket into space, so does emotion have nothing to do with economics. You can’t feel your way to the truth; emotions blind and lead astray. This is very much a Nietzschean thing to say, but I have no issue with emotions, and I think they have tremendous value. However, it is imperative that we define a scope for our emotions. We cannot allow our emotions to run unchecked, determining social policy, determining economic policy, and determining governmental policy. They will lead us into disaster, every single time.
Emotion is not a valid pathway to scientific truth.
And it is a scientific truth that you cannot just raise the Minimum Wage and have everything hunky-dory. It will be a disaster. First, only locally owned businesses will put in the effort to increase prices. The locally owned daycares, gas stations, etc. They will raise prices to mitigate the losses.
Disconnect: Greedy Fatcats Making Millions!
The people who advocate raising the Minimum Wage think that there are business owners all throughout the country who are just raking in obscene amounts of money while paying their employees peanuts. While it’s not really your or my business what private contract the employee and employer into it, there’s something to be said about refusing to shop at a place that doesn’t pay its employees fairly. However, it’s simply not the case that business owners are making tons of money and hoarding it while their employees feed on scraps. In most cases with local businesses, owners are still full-time employees working 70+ hours a week and doing everything from management to recruiting to human resources to supervising. Anything that needs to be done that an employee is not explicitly hired to do, the owner has to do. The buck stops with them, after all. It’s a tremendous responsibility and burden, and they deserve ever penny they get for it. If you don’t like it, then open up your own. It’s honestly not that hard or expensive.
So what I would say “most” of these people pictured is that the business owners would simply make less money. Instead of making a salary of $600/week for the 70+ hours of difficult, stressful, exhausting work they do, these people figured they would instead make $400/week and would pay the increased wage out of their own money. But “their own money” doesn’t usually exist, and if you increase their payroll by 33% across the board, you’re going to have a disaster on your hands. I know budgeting–personally and commercially–and an increase of 33% to an expense as major as employee wages will bankrupt you faster than anything else.
So those increased wages aren’t coming out of the profits that are already there, because, in most cases, the profits aren’t big enough to cover a hit like that. Ten employees working 40 hours a week at $9.46 is $3,784.00 in wages. Every week. At $13.50 an hour, it is $5,400 in wages every single week. If the owner is on a $600/week salary, then even if the owner worked for free they wouldn’t be able to make up that difference; they’d still be nearly a thousand dollars short.
So they have a number of choices.
A. Cut Hours
Suddenly they have 280 hours to apportion to their employees each week, instead of the 400 they had. If they can afford $3,784 each week in wages, then this covers 280 hours. The owner has decided here not to fire anyone, so instead everyone has their hours cut from 40 hours a week to 28. This makes them part-time employees and causes them to lose a fair number of benefits in a lot of cases. It certainly lowers the standards at the business, which is very bad if it’s a daycare. There are, on average, 2 employees fewer at work at any given time, so there are fewer employees overseeing the same number of kids.
Probably should have thought this MW increase through before voting on it, huh?
This is the other route, and the one people are most likely to take, especially since customers aren’t going to happily eat a 33% increase in their own prices to cover the increased Minimum Wage. We’ll come back to that, though. So with 280 hours allotted, it’s an easy call: three employees have to go. Bye, Felicia. Three people fired from their jobs because of the increase to the Minimum Wage. This will happen quite a lot, since it’s the easiest and quickest solution without pissing off clients and without dealing with complaints of other employees about hours being cut.
Probably should have given it just a little bit of thought before voting to increase the MW, eh?
C. Increase Prices
This is the final route, and the one that is second-most-likely to happen. Indeed, it’s already happening. Just think about it. If the daycare charged $100 per kid before, they have to charge $133 per kid now to cover the additional wages. In fact, they have to charge even more than that, because all of the suppliers that the daycare gets its necessary materials from will likely raise their prices. The bottom line on the business just got a lot higher, and there’s nowhere else for the business owner to get the money.
The Government Should Help With Childcare Costs!
Said one parent:
“I feel the state needs to be helping a little more,” said Larson. “It would be nice if parents didn’t have to spend a majority of their paychecks for childcare.”
You fucking moron.
I can’t be nice about this.
The government should rob everyone else to give me money to pay for the daycare costs that I increased by making the stupid decision to vote yes on increasing the Minimum Wage which caused daycare costs to increase to the point that I couldn’t afford them.
You made this bed. Now lie in it.
Hey, lady! If you don’t want to spend a majority of your paychecks on childcare, how about don’t vote for an increase to the Minimum Wage that will increase your childcare costs? Hm? How about that? Government is not the answer. How many messes do we have to make before we figure that out?
“Oh, we made a mess by using the government to interfere with the economy. Maybe the government can fix the mess by stealing from everyone and giving me their money. And then maybe the government can do something to fix the mess that is caused by stealing from everyone and giving me their money. And then maybe the government can fix the mess that it caused when it tried to fix the mess caused by stealing everyone and giving their money, which was supposed to fix the mess the government caused by interfering with the economy. And then maybe the government can fix the mess that it caused when it tried to fix the mess that it caused when it tried to fix the mess that it caused by stealing from everyone and giving their money, which was supposed to fix the mess the government caused by interfering with the economy. And then maybe…”
I mean, really? How about you just stop?
How about you just stop trying to fix messes with the government and instead take the time to research the messes and think about a solution rationally? You want to know the way out of this mess you’ve made in Washington? It’s not stealing from people without kids to pay for parents who didn’t think shit through. You have no right to steal from other people, and the fact that you’d even suggest that as a possibility is appalling. How dare you claim to be on the side of empathy and morality when you want to rob people as a way of cleaning up a mess that is entirely of your own design?
Abolish the minimum wage.
There’s no other way.
The more you increase it, the more “solutions” from the government you will need to fix the last mess you made, and the more government “solutions” you’ll need to fix the mess the government made when it tried to fix the last mess you made. It’s a neverending cycle of government intervention and screw-ups, with the government getting more power and more control every step of the way without ever making anything better. It only makes things worse. It has never made one solitary thing better.
Except our ability to kill people. I’ve got to give them credit on that. The government has absolutely improved our ability to kill people.
You’re like a madman who had the government burn your house down for you because, for some reason, you thought that having them fill it with gasoline and throw a match in it wouldn’t burn the house down–who the hell knows why, Dunning-Kruger presumably–and now you’re asking the government to come in and use its napalm to put out the fire. That’s the government in a nutshell: using napalm to put out fires.
Yes, I do think the average person is too stupid to determine what wage all employers should pay their employees. In fact, I’d go further and say that everyone is too stupid to determine what wage all employers should pay their employees. That is a matter that only the employer and the employee can answer, when the employer makes an offer and the employee makes a counter-offer. They’re the only people who know their situations well enough to be able to answer those questions. I certainly think the average person is far too stupid to know whether a minimum wage should be $3 an hour or $13 an hour.
This is why I’m an anarchist: I have a very low opinion of the average person. Not to brag or anything, but I am a card-carrying MENSA member. I’m a pretty smart chick, with an IQ estimated to be between 150 and 172. I think the average person is too dumb to make their own decisions, let alone make the decisions for everyone, and that’s what this entire system of the state allows. It allows some moron in California who doesn’t even know why he dislikes Donald Trump to attempt to impose a Hillary Clinton presidency onto me, out of sheer ignorance and stupidity. You’re goddamned right I have a problem with that.
The solution, though, is what Plato got wrong. Plato envisioned a world governed by the wise, by philosophers. Liberals, it seem, envision the same sort of world, given how they want to curtail democratic processes and impose their ways on everyone, believing themselves to be intellectually superior to everyone who disagrees. They’re all wrong, though. Yes, Plato, too. The solution isn’t a refined government led by people who are wise, because the unwise person has no idea that he is unwise, and will not have a terribly difficult time convincing the unwise that he is wise–see President Elect Donald Trump.
I’m sure we could come up with some sort of new system of government and new electoral process that, for a while, ensures that only the wise are elected. It would ultimately fail, though, and I don’t like the inherent arrogance of it. Moreover, for anyone who is truly wise, the idea of taking power and ruling over others is anathema.
The solution is to keep these people from making decisions that affect freaking everyone. Duh. If you want to open a company and promise your employees a minimum wage of $15/hour, guaranteed 40 hours a week, with a 401K company match and health insurance, then you go right ahead. You and the people who work for you will go out of business very, very quickly, and it will only affect you and the idiots who sign up with you without giving it enough thought. You have every right to do it, though. But if you want to take that horrendously stupid idea and force everyone to do it… Yeah, then there’s a problem.
Don’t force your economically ignorant decisions onto everyone. The ramifications will be enormous.
Abolish the Minimum Wage. Let employers and employees determine how much their labor is worth. It has nothing to do with you. And if you don’t think an employer is reimbursing an employee fairly, then you can do a few things. You can boycott that company, or you can chip in and donate to the employee. Those are your options. Anything beyond that is using the state to order people around like they’re your slave or something and have to do what you say.
So you have a stupid idea one day. It happens. Give the stupid idea a shot. Maybe it will work out. But don’t you dare force everyone to adopt your stupid, unconsidered, asinine idea that is demonstrably going to create more problems and never solve any.
I don’t enjoy it because of the passive aggressiveness of it, or because of how Mike Pence must feel every time he receives a “Thank You” note from Planned Parenthood. It has nothing to do with that. I love it because it is real world proof of exactly what we libertarians and anarchists have been saying for years: If you stop funding these places with tax dollars, then ordinary people will pick up the slack and voluntarily contribute to the causes they care about.
So now that Planned Parenthood’s federal funding is threatened, that is exactly what we see, with donations coming in en masse as American citizens who support Planned Parenthood want to fund it. It’s beautiful, and it’s exactly what libertarians said would happen if the federal government stopped funding it. We never said it would have to close down. We said that you shouldn’t be able to take my money and give it to a charity that you support and that I don’t.
I actually do support Planned Parenthood, but that’s not the point.
The point is that you have no right to take my money and give it to an organization that you support. If you support Planned Parenthood–great! More power to you! Open up your wallet and support them. If you don’t support them, then more power to you! Don’t open up your wallet and support them. Imagine how you would feel if your tax dollars were going to the Westboro Baptist Church. You’d be outraged, wouldn’t you? “Those people stand for everything I stand against, and my money is going to fund them?”
That’s how many Americans feel because their tax dollars are going to Planned Parenthood. You support the organization–as do I. They, however, don’t. They are as repulsed and disgusted by Planned Parenthood as you are by the Westboro Baptist Church. You shouldn’t be forcing them to support your pet organizations, and they shouldn’t be forcing you to support theirs.
And now that federal funding of Planned Parenthood is being threatened, Americans are coming out of the woodwork to do what they should have been doing all along: donating their own money to a cause they support, not forcing the government to take everyone’s money to support their cause.
See how it’s not the end of the world for Planned Parenthood?
The state and its funding is like a crutch. We’ve been leaning on it for such a very long time that we’ve forgotten that our leg healed a long time ago, and that we no longer need it to walk. There may have been a time when the state was necessary and when we needed the government to fund these services–I would dispute it, but I’m not going to discount the possibility. That time, however, has long since passed. So here’s what you do.
Stop funding Planned Parenthood through the government.
Let those people keep that tax money instead.
Let individuals who want to support Planned Parenthood take those extra dollars they saved and donate them to Planned Parenthood.
One thing bothers me, though–why haven’t these people been funding Planned Parenthood all along? Well, the answer is obvious: they had the crutch, so they didn’t have to carry their own weight. They could rely on the government to do it for them, so they didn’t have to accept their responsibility to put their money where their mouths are. “You mean you want me to donate my money? But… But the new iPhone just came out! No. No, I’m sorry. I just can’t. I’m going to instead have the government rob you and use your money to do it. You can just use your money to get the new iPhone next month.”
As I wrote recently, though, forgiveness is the true start of progress, and I’m not going to beat these people up for using the state as the expression of their moral values instead of opening up their wallets and making the statement themselves. I’m just glad to see it’s finally happening. We have a real world example of exactly what we libertarians have been saying for decades: none of these organizations will vanish if you stop funding them with stolen money.
Now take what we’re seeing, extrapolate the information, and apply it more broadly. Yes! That’s exactly right! We can stop federally funding everything! There’s no need for the federal government to fund NASA. What ordinary person wouldn’t send a few bucks to NASA for the exploration of the universe? Not to mention: why isn’t NASA patenting and selling its technologies to fund itself, as CERN does? We don’t need the Department of Education–what parent out there wouldn’t donate some of their money to the school? I know lots of parents who take part in all of their school’s fundraisers on top of the taxes.
With Democrats becoming anti-war and suddenly seeing the value of a restrained government again, it’s true that Trump might inadvertently do more for the libertarian cause than even Ron Paul did. Now perhaps they’ll see the value of the free market. So do it, Pence. Do it. Don’t back down. Pull all federal funding from Planned Parenthood.
And I will do a dance as Americans throughout the country open up their wallets to do what they should have been doing in the first place: contributing their own money to a cause they support, instead of having the government rob me to pay for the cause they support.
Do it, Pence. I dare you. I double-dog dare you.
And that is why you won’t.
The very last thing you and the powers that be want is for the American people to realize that federal funding actually isn’t necessary, and that we can handle things just fine through voluntary contributions. You would do more to undermine the fascist state than probably anyone since 1913. Suddenly people all throughout the country would wake up and realize that the federal government is not necessary for any of this, that the federal government only gets in the way, that the federal government only contributes to waste and inefficiency, and that it’s morally wrong to let the federal government rob people to pay for our pet causes.
I’ve seen a lot through the last day or so about how people–meaning liberals–are preparing for the absolute worst. And I mean that: the absolute worst. They firmly believe that LGBT people and black people are about to be rounded up and thrown into death camps. Stop. Read that sentence again. They actually believe that. They truly believe it’s going to happen, just like I truly believe the sun is going to rise tomorrow.
Their connection to reality is… how shall we say… a strained relationship.
These are the people who have been saying for months that Trump is LITERALLY Hitler, after all. Evidently, they weren’t just being retards who didn’t know what “literally” meant. They knew what “literally” means, and they meant it literally. According to their worldview, Trump might as well have been wearing a swastika during his acceptance speech.
So I’ve written a message for libertarians. I’ve written a message for liberals. This is my message to conservatives.
These people are terrified. I spent most of yesterday enjoying their laughter and mocking them, and it was great. 10/10 would do it again. But only some of them were worth laughing about. Some of them had genuine fear. Many were faking fear, like this one:
She wasn’t really feeling the emotions that she appeared to be feeling. She was posturing, feigning to feel. Of course, she truly believes that she was feeling those emotions, but my 4 year old nephew would tell you that he was really feeling sad and mistreated when his mom told him that he couldn’t have a candy bar. There’s a dead giveaway to that video–and here’s the link in case that doesn’t work.
There are no tears.
That’s right. The girl’s eyes are completely dry.
Why would anyone upload themselves having a genuine emotional breakdown anyway?
No, this was posturing and pretense. We might as well call it virtue signaling, except it had more nuance than that. Think of her exactly as you would the 4 year old child screaming and causing a scene in the aisle because his mother told him that she wouldn’t buy him a candy bar. That is what this is. This is the result when you have a generation of people whose parents bought them the candy to make them stop crying–they learned that crying and pitching a bitch fit works, so it is what they do when they don’t get their way. Universities have been bowing to it. Their parents bowed to it. Now they are trying to make their Biggest Nanny, the government, bow to it.
The reality check for those people is going to be glorious, and I eagerly await it.
However, that isn’t the end of it. Only the people who are posturing–only the people crying crocodile tears–are worthy of our laughter and mockery. They are worthy. Don’t get me wrong, and I’ve enjoyed it as much as anyone, while I didn’t even vote for Trump and would legitimately rather die than vote for him or Hillary.
Some people, though, have simply been so brainwashed by the media and liberal elites that they genuinely believe this shit is going to happen. So hellbent on winning the election, the media and liberals did everything in their power to beat Trump, including twisting his words and lying outright. Trump saying that he could shoot someone and his supporters wouldn’t care became “Trump Advocates Murder!” Trump saying that women let him have sex with them became “Trump Brags About Sexual Assault!”
Here’s a podcast I did regarding the media’s repeated allegation that Trump refused to disavow white supremacist groups.
If you’ll listen to the podcast, then you’ll notice very quickly that Trump did, in fact, disavow such groups as soon as he was given something to rebuke. He rebuked and disavowed David Duke the moment he learned of the endorsement–literally the moment he learned of it. Then he had to deal with the media for weeks saying that he refused to disavow Duke. It was insane, propagandic, bullshit brainwash.
But the liberals swallowed it completely, because the liberal media and Democratic Party told them it was true.
Recently, I argued with a Hillary supporter who said that Wikileaks has ties to Russia, and in the very same comment she said that she couldn’t believe that Hillary was a criminal because there wasn’t enough evidence. Not only is this profoundly biased and aggressively stupid, but it gives us an insight into the minds of the people we’re dealing with.
“The media or my party said it? Then it must be true. Conservative media or the Republicans said it? Then there’s not enough evidence to support it.”
She would deny this adamantly if we challenged her on her obvious bias, yet there it is, on full display, for anyone who cares to look. Of course, there is absolutely no evidence that Wikileaks has ties to Russia. This is an allegation that Democrats–who once cheered for Assange as he took on the Bush Administration–have begun spouting only because they are the ones who are being hurt by it. No one has ever put forward any evidence at all to back the claim. Repeat: no evidence at all. It’s not a matter of “not having enough” evidence. It’s a matter of not having any evidence.
This Hillary supporter would have us believe that she is interested in truth, and so she will only accept claims that have evidence to support them–but that’s obviously not the case, or she would reject the assertion that Wikileaks is connected to Russia.
As I wrote about yesterday in my message to them, liberals have divided the United States into “straight white Christian men” and a coalition of “everyone else.” In order for their coalition to work–no, in order for their coalition to even exist–those divides must be of consequence. They want sexual orientation to matter because they need it to matter; their coalition is dependent upon it. After all, if lgbt people don’t band together and vote democrat, then Democrats lose a lot of votes. What to do then? Make sure that sexual orientation matters.
I’ve talked about it extensively. They see the world in terms of Either/Or. They live in a world of black and white, of false dichotomies, of allies and enemies. If you are not an Ally, then you are homophobic, but you are most certainly not “straight.”
Their worldview excludes straight people from existence. If you are straight, then you are an Ally or homophobic, depending on your relationship to the LGBT community and your position on LGBT equality/rights/whatever.
To them, there is Us, and there is Them*.
And, from their point of view, “Them” is a group of hateful neo-Nazis just waiting to launch death camps to kill all the gay people. That’s seriously how they view the world, because you’re not “with” them. That means you must be against them.
They do believe in the liberal elitism bullshit, where socialism is the only ideology that isn’t for selfish assholes, where everyone who isn’t a Hillary supporter is a privileged piece of shit, a racist, misogynistic homophobic islamophobic xenophobic. They truly believe that, because that’s what they’ve been told.
It’s on you now, to show them that this isn’t the case. It’s your responsibility, Conservatives, to show to all the liberals out there that you are not Nazis, and that you do not wish any ill will upon them, that your interests do not have to violently clash with theirs. If you do not meet this responsibility, then Death Camps For Conservatives is what we need to worry about, because they are out there, right now, attacking people, burning buildings, rioting, and inflicting violence.
These are the same kind of people who gleefully say that they think people who disagree with them should die.
“Death to all who oppose me?”
“Death to all who disagree?”
Aren’t those, you know… kinda Nazi-ish?
Yes, they are. And he is not alone. I’ve been talking about it for a very long time. They are convinced of their own self-righteous Quixotic quest against the straight, white, Christian men, and they are okay with using violence to achieve their goals. They will be elected again. Make no mistake about it, conservatives. You will not hold Congress and the Oval Office indefinitely.
If you fail to uphold your responsibility here, then you will find that people like Harrison up there are back in power. And we already know they’re okay with you dying.
And they’re the ones afraid of death camps?
So here’s what you do, conservatives. Stop gloating. I know how hard that is. Believe me. I do. Stop gloating and stop relishing victory.
Instead, make it a point to tell your LGBT, Muslim, black, Hispanic, and female neighbors that you do not support any violence being done to them, because they truly believe that you do. It’s what they’ve been told, and they believe what they’re told–as long as their side is the one saying it.
Briefly, To Liberals
I’m an openly transgender resident of Mississippi.
If they come with death camps, I’ll be among the first to die.
I watched CNN bend over backward to avoid calling the state of Pennsylvania, even though Trump had a lead of 70,000 votes and 99% of precincts had reported in. After doing the math, it seemed that the remaining 1% would likely contribute around 20,000 votes to the totals, and that even if all of them went to Hillary Trump would still be ahead. They also neglected to call Michigan. When they finally called Minnesota, I went to bed. Something happened last night, though, that was tremendously fascinating.
Do not EVER forget that the media gave Hillary an 85% chance of winning yesterday.
Do not forget that, do not let it slide, and do not forget to factor it into your considerations moving forward.
From the start, from the moment Trump announced his campaign, the media has refused to take him seriously. First, there was “no way” he would be a serious contender. Then there was “no way” he could win the GOP Primary. Then there was “no way” he could beat Hillary. Over and over again, for a year and a half, all we’ve heard is that there is “no way” Trump can win.
Then he won.
In my tiny little circle, I blasted Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight for being on the wrong side of the data. It was disgraceful to watch. He began with virtual certainty that Trump wouldn’t win, and every single day he changed his number slightly. He didn’t see Trump winning until Cruz dropped out, and much of the media joined him. Virtually the entire media apparatus arrayed against Trump, twisting his words, taking him out of context, and lying outright about him. Trump saying that women let him do things has been routinely called “sexual assault,” to the point that a lot of liberals seem to no longer understand that if a woman lets a man do something, then it is not sexual assault.
This was how liberals reacted every time Trump opened his mouth:
This election was a thorough and complete repudiation of political correctness, censorship, thoughtcrime, safe spaces, emotions over free speech, and the astounding liberal arrogance that conservatives have been dealing with for decades. At each step of the way, liberals and the media only became more and more arrogant, until finally Trump’s supporters were “largely uneducated whites…” “largely uneducated whites…” “whites without college degrees…”
Well, I’ve got news for you, liberals.
There are not that many white people without college degrees to give Trump a victory.
But will you change your tune?
No. A CNN correspondent only doubled down last night, pulling the equivalent of this:
Yes, this is PRECISELY why liberals lost.
Why Did Hillary Lose?
She didn’t. Trump won.
We need this to be very, very clear. It does not matter one bit how many people disliked Hillary. It did not matter at all how many scandals she had, or how overblown they were. Hillary did not lose these states because she lacked enough votes; Trump won these states because he had more votes. There is a subtle, but extremely important, difference. Trump won because people voted for him. Period. End of story, end of discussion. That is solely the reason that Trump won. Absolutely nothing else could have allowed Trump to win. Once more, Trump won because people voted for Trump.
Why Did People Vote For Trump?
That is the important question, and the answer is not going to be one that liberals like to hear.
People voted for Trump because they’re tired of having women call them misogynists if they don’t bow and lick the toes of women. People voted for Trump because they’re tired of being called homophobic because they are straight and choose not to associate with LGBT people. People voted for Trump because they’re tired of being called racist because they want to control immigration. People voted for Trump because they’re tired of being called Islamophobic because they noticed a not-hard-to-see correlation between Islam and terrorism. People voted for Trump because they’re tired of hearing about Black Lives Matter in a nation where more than 50% of people killed by police are white. On this last one, I will keep it brief and say only this.
95% of people killed by police are men. Does this mean that police are inherently sexist? Does this mean that we need a Female Lives Matter movement? Does this mean we need a Male Lives Matter movement, to change it so that only 50% of people killed by police are men? Because it’s true–95% of people killed by police are men, and men make up only 50% of the population. Yet we know without even thinking about it that a Male Lives Matter movement would be absurd, that it’s a matter of record that men are more likely to commit violent crimes than women.
We had a presidential candidate call 25% of the population “a basket of deplorables,” no doubt alluding to their being racist, misogynistic, and homophobic. Can you even imagine the fallout if Trump said that black people–who comprise about 13% of the population–are deplorable? Just think about that for a moment. What would happen if Trump said that? There is zero chance he would have won. And no, he didn’t “pretty much say that anyway.” Trump has never said anything that came close to being so overtly bigoted. Yet Hillary said it, and liberals mostly just shrugged. “Yeah, they are,” said the arrogant liberals, sneering down their noses at the conservatives who dared have different values.
They don’t live in our big cities where they can be educated and properly indoctrinated.
They’re racist, even though most of them live in states where they co-exist alongside higher percentages of minority communities than most liberals even understand.
They’re homophobic because they’re icky Christians.
They think abortion is murder.
They’re so backward.
They’re so ignorant.
Why would you consistently say this about such a large portion of the population? Why? There’s only one reason, as Trae Crowder said in his video:
This is our world now, and you’re not getting it back.
You didn’t listen.
You were sure. You were convinced that this is your world now, and that conservatives couldn’t take it back. You were convinced of your own righteousness. “We are on the side of justice! Of Equality! Of compassion! We are right, by God! We are objectively, certainly, absolutely right! They must be forced to go along with us! They cannot be allowed to believe what they want!”
Don’t believe me?
Here is a liberal proudly saying that he is totally okay with forcing conservatives to go along with liberal values, whether they like it or not. If you want to see my long history of combating this tyrannical mindset, then click the “faux progressivism” tag at the bottom.
These are the reasons I said that Trump would win, and I outlined them over the course of the last year.
You didn’t listen.
You told me I was wrong.
You divided the country into Us and Them and then accused Them of being divisive.
You have been ridiculing, mocking, and deriding conservatives for the better part of two decades, calling whites, Christians, and men backward, racist, homophobic, hateful, spiteful, power-hungry, oppressive, xenophobic, sexist, misogynistic.
Because you thought you could get away with it.
You thought they couldn’t get the numbers together.
Everyone knows the demographics.
Everyone knows that white people won’t be a majority much longer. Everyone knows there are more women than men. Everyone knows Christianity is on its way out, at least as a factor in political policy. Everyone knows that LGBT acceptance is on the way. Everyone knows that a person of any color can do anything–literally become the President of the United States. Everyone knows that none of these trends are going to reverse.
You thought it was your world and that conservatives couldn’t take it back. You thought you could oppress them all you wanted and that they couldn’t fight back. You thought you had won. You looked at the numbers and celebrated:
With our coalition of women, black people, Hispanics, LGBT people, and Muslims, we far outnumber the straight, white, Christian men! They’ll never win another election! Mwa ha ha! We can do anything we want! Fuck them!
This is, of course, why it was so critical that you attempt to brow-beat everyone in one of those groups into voting for you. You need that coalition, because you know that none of those groups are enough alone. So you lied. You cheated. You spit on everyone. You demanded total obedience. You turned people into heretics if they dared not toe the party line. If anyone dared speak out, you destroyed them. I stopped being an individual; I was an LGBT person to you, and that meant I was a Democrat and would vote for Hillary. You need that, because if we dare identify as individuals instead of these miscellaneous characteristics that do not define us, your coalition of people based on those meaningless characteristics falls apart.
It’s why you need sexual orientation to matter. No matter how much you say that sexual orientation shouldn’t matter, you need it to matter. If it doesn’t matter whether or not someone is LGBT, then they won’t be part of this group that identifies as LGBT. And if they’re not part of that group, then you’re not going to be able to brow-beat them into giving you their vote. You need LGBT people to unite into a group, because you need to claim their votes, and for this you need sexual orientation to matter–if it doesn’t matter, then they would LGBT people untie into a group? They wouldn’t, just like there’s no Magic: The Gathering Fanclub voting bloc, because being a MTG fan isn’t a place where the lines have been drawn. So you need all of these lines. It’s why you say shit like the people above. You need the lines drawn, and you need to twist everyone’s arm until they bow to your demands.
Don’t believe me?
How many posts have you seen that says anyone who doesn’t vote for Hillary is voting for white privilege? I’ve seen people say that voting 3rd party means you’re a privileged asshole.
Yes. I’m a broke transgender atheist living in Mississippi born to a family of murderers and drug addicts. Tell me more about how privileged I am.
These are the reasons you lost, liberals.
Your sheer, unbridled arrogance.
Surely you see how arrogant you are, and how arrogant the media is. If not, here’s this to help: https://anarchistshemale.com/2016/10/01/liberal-monoliths-manifest-destinyy-v2-0/
The media doesn’t get it.
Last night, CNN’s pundits said that Trump supporters adopted the moniker of “deplorable” and called themselves “proud deplorables” because of “how ridiculous” it was.
No, you arrogant fool.
They did it because of how arrogant it was.
It’s rather like when dumbass statists call me an idiot. Being called an idiot by someone who is stupid is, for me, a compliment of the highest order. I’d be more alarmed if such people thought I was smart. This is how the Trump supporters felt. They’d be more alarmed if Hillary and liberals didn’t think they were deplorable.
“They’re deplorable” makes a clear Us and Them divide. “They” are deplorable. Obviously, this is a divisive statement, then.
This put Trump supporters on one side and Hillary and her supporters on another. It’s like the Nazis saying that the United States is deplorable. Like, “Oh, really? Well, good! I want you to think I’m deplorable, because you’re a disgusting maggot. The last thing I want is for you to like me.”
And the media and liberals simply don’t get it.
They don’t seem to be able to understand that their shit really does stink.
They firebomb Republican offices, attack free speech, demand segregated housing, shut down interstates, attack Trump supporters physically, and mock them–sexists, misogynists, homophobes, islamophobes, racists… They attack, attack, attack.
And they’re so convinced of their own self-righteousness that they are incapable of seeing how fucked up they are being.
But they are being fucked up.
Liberals, you are being fucked up. And your arrogance, your conviction that you are on the side of righteousness and justice as you commit horrific acts, as you sneer condescendingly down your nose at all the “racist, homophobic, islamophobic, xenophobic misogynistic deplorables” is precisely the reason you lost.
This election, you lost the House of Representative, the Senate, and the Presidency.
And what have you done?
You have doubled down on your arrogance!
Yes, this is PRECISELY why liberals lost.
Instead of saying “You know what? This is our fault for being arrogant, condescending, insulting, and vicious toward a YUUUUUGE section of the population. We need to stop being hateful, vicious, spiteful bigots because these people dare have different values than we do. We need to step down off our high horses, because we just got our asses handed to us across the board,” you instead crank the arrogant, condescending vitriol up a notch. Look at this terrible shit!
“Fuck you, white America. Fuck you, you racist, misogynist pieces of shit.”
You racist, sexist bitch.
You cannot end racism with racism.
You cannot end sexism with sexism.
You cannot end orientationism with orientationism.
You cannot end divisiveness with divisiveness.
Middle America has had enough of the arrogantly divisive bullshit. Clearly. They spoke loudly and clearly last night.
Liberals, last night America spoke.
It’s time for you to shut the fuck up and listen.
By the way, no, Laci. That is most certainly not “textbook Fascism.” Please learn what fascism is before you use the word.
It strikes me as very distressing that we can treat blacks, hispanics, LGBT people, and women as unified, monolithic voting blocs who speak, act, and move with a single voice, rather than as individuals with their own beliefs, hopes, and desires. It’s even more alarming because Republicans are frequently criticized of being intolerant of all of these groups, while all of these groups scream that these characteristics shouldn’t matter, and while liberals are clearly the ones treating everyone who categorizes one way or another as though they are a resource to be tallied on the page.
I sit in shock every single time I read it. Yesterday morning while scrolling through my News Feed, I found a friend of a friend asking whether transgenderism and homosexuality were mental illnesses. Indeed, he repeated the question today. Each time, the answers were filled with almost supreme stupidity–a stupidity matched only by Shit Kyle Wagner Says. Yet, none of the comments or posts on the linked page are dumb enough to warrant their own article. None come anywhere close to being as supremely insultingly and offensive to such a raw degree as the inane spiel I linked above and that I’ll type out here for those who can’t load images:
It’s fascinating to me that the vast majority people [sic] I see advocating voting for a third party, rather than Hillary, are straight, white, and predominantly men. There’s a reason why women, racial minorities, and members of the LGBT community are overwhelmingly in support of Hillary. Voting for her is the only way to ensure our own liberty, and in some cases our lives.
You do NOT get to call yourself an Ally to the LGBT community if you don’t vote for her.
You do NOT get to call yourself an Ally to the Black, Hispanic, and Muslim communities if you don’t vote for her.
You do NOT get to call yourself a Feminist if you don’t vote for her.
Voting 3rd party for the General Presidential Election is literally throwing your vote away. Your “protest” vote does nothing to help any 3rd party, because that’s not how the Electoral College works. Vote Green Party or Libertarian at the local and state levels, where the change you’re looking for can actually take root [bold emphasis added].
Voting 3rd party in this election is saying that your personal outrage at her “scandals” or your anger at Bernie losing, is more important than the rights and lives of women, LGBT people, and the Black, Hispanic, and Muslim communities.
Voting 3rd party is an insult to me, and everyone else who will have to fear a Supreme Court that Trump chooses. The radically conservative Supreme Court he’s promising to deliver could undo decades of social progress, and could last for decades to come. If he delivers on his campaign promises, LGBT rights, women’s rights, the safety and security of the Black, Hispanic, and Muslim communities, is all at stake.
Trump WILL win if the liberal base gets divided. And it will be YOUR fault.
But I get it. You “can’t stand” Hillary. That’s totally more important than all of the people you’re putting in danger.
Good god, it’s so supremely arrogant, entitled, and offensive. I’m genuinely not sure where to start.
Notice, though, that the post specifically precludes the possibility that any black person, Hispanic person, Muslim, or LGBT person could somehow not support Hillary. You can’t call yourself an Ally, but can I still call myself Transsexual, if I don’t vote for Hillary? Can black people still call themselves black if they don’t vote for Hillary? Can Muslims still call themselves Muslims?
Oh. No. We can’t still call ourselves these things we might be: http://www.infowars.com/wow-african-american-reporter-called-race-traitor-by-hillary-supporter-presidential-debate-coverage/
You’re a “race traitor” if you’re black and don’t support Hillary. I imagine that I’m an insult to the LGBT community for not supporting Hillary. I’ve been told that before, specifically because I wouldn’t march in lockstep with the rest of the LGBT community screaming about the evil, offensive Christians while licking the feet of the Muslims who hate you far more than Christians do.
You are a totalitarian, authoritarian piece of shit demanding absolute obedience and compliance with what you want, and calling people traitors and enemies if they break the stride of your Liberal Supremacy March.
I have no love for Trump. In fact, I can’t stand Trump. But you people are constantly screaming about how much like Hitler he is while you undergo the exact same bullshit that Hitler did.
I cannot stand you. You are the worst kind of human being, so thoroughly convinced of your own self-righteousness and moral supremacy that you cannot see the moral atrocities you commit in the name of that self-righteousness and arrogance. I recently remarked that you and the liberals like you are doing nothing more than continuing the Manifest Destiny as set out by Andrew Jackson–and, don’t worry, I’m going to explain this remark. Your arrogance is supreme and knows no bounds. Everyone must bow to your compassion, your wisdom, your rightness. And if they don’t–
Well, there’s always the Bastille.
Recently the entire nation of Canada purportedly banned members of the Westboro Baptist Church from entering. I’ve got friends on Facebook celebrating this and remarking how much they love Canada. I’m sure you would totally agree, in fact. But I’ve got some bad news for you, sunshine–this is not what you’d expect to see… If you are cheering for how Canada is refusing to allow members of the WBC to enter their country while condemning Trump for saying the exact same thing about Muslims, then you are a vile and disgusting hypocrite. Just because one is your pet religion and the other is not–when the reality is that, on average, Muslims are far more hostile toward LGBT people than even the Westboro Baptist Church.
It’s been a long time since a member of the Westboro Baptist Church shot up a club and killed 49 people in Orlando, you piece of shit.
One of the funniest thing about a Trump presidency is the people who say that he hates India and China because he wants to work out deals that are in the best interests of the United States, and that he’s not going to put Indian or Chinese interests first in his negotiations. People act like he’s basically declaring war on them. We have this idea that it’s bad–it’s awful–if we put American interests first. Why?
Are you seriously naive enough to believe that India doesn’t put India’s interests first? That China doesn’t put China’s interests first?
Of course you’re not. You know that India puts India first. This is why your position is one of such arrogant. You have the position that the Indians are incapable of looking out for their own best interests against our glorious awesomeness, that the Chinese are incapable of looking out for their own best interests against our marvelous and benevolent might. We have to look out for their best interests, rather than our own, because they’re too stupid to refuse a deal that isn’t in their own best interests. We have to put Iran’s interests first in our nuclear agreement with them because they’re too dumb to say “No” to a deal that isn’t in their best interests, thereby demanding that we draft a better one.
You let India worry about India. India doesn’t need you, Glorious Whitey, looking out for it.
You are showcasing White Man’s Burden through and through. It has morphed, somewhat. It is now more like White Person’s Burden, but it’s the same thing. All these poor brown people–whatever would they do without us protecting them and putting their interests first? They would never survive, the silly barbarians. Because we’re just so great, so powerful, so unstoppable that if we dared put our own best interests first–even for a second–we would steamroll them right out of existence without a whimper from them.
How can we not see this in the spiel I posted above?
It’s specifically targeting allies of these various groups. It lays out the stakes: “Their very lives will be in danger! The lives of women, blacks, hispanics, LGBT people, and Muslims! TRUMP WILL DESTROY THEM ALL and the women, blacks, hispanics, LGBT people, and Muslims couldn’t possibly stand against Mighty Whitey!”
Fuck you, you racist, arrogant piece of shit.
You are not superior to me.
You are not superior to any black person. Black people do not need Mighty Whitey as a goddamned savior.
Muslims don’t need you to be their goddamned savior.
Hispanics don’t need you to be their goddamned savior.
LGBT people have gone so far past equality and into oppression of religious people that I’m not even going to address that, you narcissistic idiot. I am a resident of the state of Mississippi, and I am transgender. I have lived a life of such horror, discrimination, and grotesque abuse that I’ve literally written a book about–look for it to be in stores pretty soon. And I can tell you this: Hillary is not going to do one tiny fucking thing to help people in that situation, and neither will Trump, and you know what else?
You want to know what will help transgender kids who grew up in the circumstances I grew up in? Not legislation. Not oppression. Not laws. A simple book telling them how to survive, telling them that they can survive. Not you in all your sanctimonious brow-beating to support your candidate who quite clearly wants war with Russia.
What a fantastic idea, of course. We love everyone else so much that we want a war with Russia!
I would rather die than vote for Hillary. I would. If you put a gun to my head and told me that you would pull the trigger if I didn’t support Hillary, I would not hesitate to tell you to pull the trigger. And I can prove it–I do live where my life is in danger. It’s a reality that entitled maggots like you cannot understand, comprehend, or even fathom. I sleep with a loaded shotgun on the headboard of my bed because I know–I know–that the next time someone pulls into my driveway in a drunken rampage at 3 in the morning, no amount of laws will protect me.
Click that link if you want to know why laws, voting, legislation, and police have almost no bearing to my life, and will never change that need to sleep with a loaded gun within arm’s reach. You are insane if you think that any law will protect me.
I haven’t said nearly everything that I want to say. I assure you that I’ll be revisiting this later today, or tomorrow, so stay tuned for that. I’ll give it a separate post, though. The fallacious position this person spouts cannot be allowed to stand by any reasonable person, and I will not allow it to.
I’ll summarize this: The crap we’re discussing can easily be summarized this way:
If you don’t march in lockstep with me, then you are a heretic.