Category Archives: libertarianism

NEW COLUMN: TRUMP TAXES

Donald Trump, Individual Rights, Left-Liberalism, libertarianism, Political Economy, Private Property, Taxation

“TRUMP TAXES” is the current column, now on Townhall.com, America’s “top source for conservative commentary.” An excerpt:

….At the risk of offending the crass utilitarians who make up the cattle that is the commentariat, I’ll talk natural rights.

It has become anathema to float the outrageous idea that a man owns the proceeds from his labor, completely, and that whatever government takes from him or her amounts to private property stolen.

It’s considered an equal outrage to so much as suggest that your prime real estate is your body. And that what you do to sustain your corporeal self—the money you make—is an extension of your body and 100 percent yours.

Certainly from the fact that the state skims 30 percent or 45 percent, or some random sum, from your pay—it does not follow that this law is preordained by a higher power.

Neither does it follow that, by virtue of being decided by 535-odd clowns in the Lower and Upper Houses, property confiscated by force—taxation—is sanctioned by the same higher power.

You may also wish to consider that the US government no longer pays for its obligations, but continues to borrow against the future earnings of its people. What is not borrowed by government or counterfeited by the Federal Reserve is confiscated from individual Americans via taxation.

So preventing a thief and counterfeiter from seizing funds that’ll be further misused and misspent is a laudable thing. Moreover, what the state takes from you is fungible—in other words, the government can put your money to use as it sees fit, not as you see fit. It can meddle all over the world, sponsor the importation of refugees who may kill Americans and consume resources you’d rather see spent on America’s own displaced and destitute.

While I’m making mischief, in the context of self-ownership, consider the following:

Liberals insist a woman owns her body. That’s what undergirds their insistence that she may eliminate fetal tissue from within her body.

But if ownership of their bodies is the ethical basis upon which women can choose to abort their babies; why can’t a man or a woman, for that matter—both of whom presumably own their bodies—keep private property accrued through the use of that same body’s labor and smarts? …

… Read the rest. “TRUMP TAXES” is the current column, now on Townhall.com, America’s “top source for conservative commentary.”

Rabbi Hillel The Elder Made Socialistic

Ancient History, Judaism & Jews, libertarianism, Morality, Socialism

As someone who’s fluent in Hebrew, educated in part in Israel at a time when kids learned their Hillel; I can tell the Jewish sage’s most famous quotation, on a presumably American quotation site, has been bowdlerized. The American version has been shortened and socialized.

Rabbi Hillel was a “Jewish scholar and theologian (30 BC – 9 AD).” His sayings always struck me as libertarian. Justice, after all, is libertarian.

Here’s the wrong Hillel a la America:

hillel

The correct Rabbi Hillel:

If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
If I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, then when?

In Hebrew, it’s very musical:

hiller-corrected

A Youth’s Ignorance About Me, Islam & Ground Zero Of Private Property

Islam, Kids, Left-Liberalism, libertarianism, Political Philosophy, Private Property

To my post “Should A Vocal, Veteran Critic Of Islam ‘Conference’ In Turkey?,” the Libertarian Alliance’s Keir Martland offers the response of a patronizing youth, who has not read one word of the (analytical) writing done by this writer regarding Islam, over the years, aforementioned in the rhetorically titled post (aka “The Islam In the Room”).

Keir Martland’s reply can be distilled thus in its “substance” (there is nothing more to it):

“There, there, little woman, you are safe in Turkey. Every Muslim I met in Turkey was nice. The place is safe because I felt safe and say so.”

Well then. That settles it, doesn’t it?? (I said why the place was likely safe for the rest, but not for me.)

In his arrogance and condescension, Martland, moreover, appears to compare me, a longtime anti-war writer (see “The Curious Case Of WND’s Vanishing, Veteran Paleolibertarian” for similar flippancy), to the “bomb them back to the Stone Age” crowd. This, when he’s not deluding himself that an Islamic activist would bother to target him (who??), in the same way the Islamist would target me.

“I never once felt in danger or unwelcome either in Turkey,” Martland promises solipsistically.

A 20-something youth with practically no writings on the topic, Islam (and a condescending attitude toward those who’ve been thinking closely and writing publicly about the topic for ages), has nothing to fear from Islamists. (Surely being a conservative-libertarian should warrant a more realistic self-appraisal? Paleolibertarians are supposed to respect hierarchy, when earned.)

Martland’s flight of fancy is as though I were to imagine that my profile on matters Islam is like that of Robert Spencer or Andrew Bostom. While my political prescriptions, as a paleolibertarian, diverge from theirs considerably (not that Martland has bothered to discern that; he writes about my perspective from studied ignorance); as scholars, they know Islam better than I, are known by the Islamic world and are, consequently, targeted by it.

However, I certainly know how to apply my paleolibertarianism to the realities of Islam, better than this youngster (who’s done none of the work and is clearly ignorant about the “uncharitable views” he imputes to me and pontificates about).

More vapor from Martland:

Even if I did hold such views [presumably as mercer does] I would like to think that I wouldn’t turn down an opportunity to spend a week at the King David Hotel, hosted by a charming Jewish couple, with a hundred of the most radical libertarians in the world.

As he attends a conference informed by private property, the boy still fails to grasp the totally rational reason for my decision not to go to Turkey. Martland shows himself incapable of grasping what should be ground zero for a propertarian: the conservation of one’s prime real estate, one’s life.

Basically, emotion being Martland’s framework, he conflates my not going to Turkey to “conference,” with an insult to Hans Hoppe (whom I love). It totally escapes Martland that the prime consideration for me is making prudent decisions based on conservation of scarce—nay, irreplaceable—private property: my corporeal self.

And Martland, you are radical only in your own MIND. A Golda-Meir zinger comes to mind. It’s a relic from a time when false humility was at least still practiced: “Don’t be so humble, you’re not that great.”

As to Martland’s King David Hotel allusion. It could very well be random, but, to someone who knows the historical baggage, and has lived through a few wars in Israel (as chronicled in the 2003 column, “BETRAYING BRAVE BOYS”), the reference comes off as though our youth has just learned, in his history class, about the blowing-up of the King David Hotel during the British Mandate, and he thinks he can leverage it oh-so cleverly in making a parallel point.

“I understand that you have your views on Islam, just as I might – for supposition’s sake – have uncharitable views about Judaism and the Jews,” Martland intones sanctimoniously (stupidly, too, as he demonstrates zero knowledge about my views, at least he show no familiarity with them in his feelings-based post. And given his penchant for feelings-based woffle, I would not trust Martland to grapple honestly with my views on Islam).

So says a boy with little life experience, to say nothing of experience living in hotbeds of Islam as this writer has (mind you, these days Britain is more dangerous than Israel, where I grew up). So says a youth who’s written practically nothing meaningful about one of the defining issues of the day: the Western State as the enabler of Islam and its fractious faithful.

Also bandied about elsewhere in connection with my post, “Should A Vocal, Veteran Critic Of Islam ‘Conference’ In Turkey?”, is the pejorative Islamophobia. That’s of a piece with the Hillary nomenclature; the Left’s accusations of thought crimes are accompanied with a slew of big words to describe thought criminals. Now libertarians are getting in on the Left’s vile act.

Yes, in a conference about the sanctity of private property, Keir has thought not at all about the corporeal self, the starting point of private property. He then lectures me about “the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists [being] a vile group of cultural Marxists, not some brave freedom-fighters” (not that the two are mutually exclusive, but logic is not Keir Martland’s thing).

This is a common talking point—the Charlie Hebdo characters being leftist scum. It’s old hat. We’re all agreed long ago (probably before our second-hander was born), and, as usual, the aspect was covered in The Charlie Hebdo Hypocrites. Sure. We all hate the Hebdoites (although we do not want them dead; unless it’s life voluntarily taken in suicide). But the aim—mine, at least—is NOT TO END UP LIKE THEM (DEAD).

The cherry on the cake is when Martlan goes off the logical reservation completely. If you can stand the smugness:

I also hope that, if the Mises Institute was to put on a lavish conference in Bible Belt Alabama, hosted by for example Gary North, I would not turn it down for fear of encountering views and people with whom I profoundly disagree.

Not only does Martlan misunderstand whence private property originates (see above), but so, too, does he misconstrue the extension of the argument from self-preservation:

I will not go to Turkey, not because I disagree with Islam, but because, in my assessment, my life is not as safe or protected as it should be (unless the heroic Martlan gets some assault rifle training or hires Pamela Geller’s security detail; how gauche of me).

The comparison drawn between America’s Bible Belt (a hotbed of Christian terrorism) and Turkey I will not dignify. This crap has been given more coverage than it/he deserves.