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Jan Helfeld on Socratic Method Interviews, Limited Government, and Why He Isn't an Anarchist

In this episode of the Lions of Liberty Podcast, I welcome in documentary filmmaker and political journalist, Jan Helfeld! Jan describes how and why he first started conducting his interviews using the “Socratic Method”, and what he intends to achieve through them. Jan then explains his philosophy of limited government, and some of the issues he has with the anarchist position. As always, stay tuned in for my post show rant!

Remember, you can subscribe to the show via iTunes or the Stitcher Radio App, and you can even listen to a live stream every Friday night at 7PM EST on Daily Paul Radio!

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Hey Marc, your embedded player is very cpu hungry.

You know how some flash programs or video players can spike your cpu up near 100% and be very cpu hungry? Well I noticed my cpu was near 100%, and the only thing I had running was your embedded player here in this thread.

The embedded player is really neat, I think it is cool that you are able to put the audio right here in the page with us. But just FYI, that player is cpu hungry big time.


Thanks for pointing it out. I'm honestly not sure if more people listen on the embed player or through other means. I"m not really sure what I could do about it, it's just the player that podbean automatically generates code for. Hrmmmmmm

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

I'm afraid Stephen Molyneux

I'm afraid Stephen Molyneux utterly cooked Jan's goose in their debate.

Everything minarchists fear will occur in stateless society already happens in this government filled on, only vastly more dangerous. The only reason we in America don't see this, is because we live in the biggest gang and so we have relative stability living off the wealth of everyone else in the world whose gangs are not quite as deadly as ours.

This is incorrect

The things that can be expected on anarchy don't at all happen in the present system. There wouldn't be enough order or complexity of markets to permit even the technology for drones, etc.

That is the only sense in which anarchism would be less scary, there wouldnt be enough capital accumation and long term production to provide anything beyond muskets or maybe spears.

Well, that's no benefit; tribal war took a higher percentage toll of population anyway.

And you know a stateless

And you know a stateless system of free market capitalism where there is proof of this?

There has never been tried a NAP based society because governments would destroy it before it ever threatened their power and control over our lives. The closer we get to unregulated capitalism, the more prosperity and technology we see arise.

This was one of the first concepts that Stephen successfully destroyed in his debate with Jan. I guess you didn't watch the debate?

Its important to understand there are no volunteerests who are talking about going from 0 to stateless over night, or going from where we are to stateless now.

A volunteerist society is the next stage of human awakening after we have outgrown the mental need to group into massive gangs and feed off the plunder of our neighbors. It can only be possible when humans teach their children the difference between crime, and voluntary interaction. No one has the right to initiate force against another. Period.

Only when and if people understand that any initiation of force against another person which deprives them of life, liberty and property is a criminal act, will we come to understand that governments ARE a criminal organization which cannot exist at any scale without first violating people's rights to property like any bandit who puts a gun in your face and demands your money.

Given the state of our species where even somewhat liberty minded humans cannot grasp this, I don't see much hope for achieving a golden age any time soon.

a stateless system and free

a stateless system and free market capitalism is like an oxy moron or a contradiction in terms.

all capitalistic markets rely on the existence at least a minimal legal order.

no such legal orders exist without elements that violate anachistic principles like NAP.

the fact that you are stuck arguing that there has never been a true free market should alert you to its utopian nature. you sound just like the bearded socialist academics who claim true communism was never tried, idolize trotsky and blame it all on stalin.

"all capitalistic markets

"all capitalistic markets rely on the existence at least a minimal legal order."

You don't need a government for minimum legal order. In fact governments violate the law just to exist. You think this is necessary? For a government, you're right. You can't have the NAP and a government at the same time. You certainly can without a government. A security company which guards a gated community doesn't violate its employer's rights. If it did, it would be fired and a different company would be hired.

The NAP isn't an anarchistic principal. Its the law in a just society. If you violate it, you are a criminal without exceptions. Wearing a badge doesn't give you a license to initiate force. That you actually think you can't have a society unless some have the authority to commit crime against others is a testament to your position.

The reason there is no now, and has never been a lawful society is because society remains under the duress of criminal organizations which you and other people refer to as governments. Mafias who pretend their aggression is "legal" because they are sanctioned by their slaves and who don't know any better because the gangs control education and the spread of information. Or at least; they did.

Voluntary society isn't possible yet. There's nothing "utopian" about it. It simply the end-game result of social order when (if) humans actually follow a system of law where all crime is illegal. It has never been possible in our history, because we, as a species remain far too brainwashed and controlled to recognize crime when we see it. We call things other than what they are. We call mass murder "war." We call child murder "abortion." We call theft, "taxes." We call organized crime, "Government." Humans have a great talent for inventing evasive language to cover up reality. We indoctrinate our children to be subservient to arbitrary authority and believe in the state without real question.

Technology and the spread of information, if not curtailed by the gangs, may eventually pave the way for a lawful society where crime is not sanctioned, but it won't be any time especially soon, certainly not until large portions of the ignorant and inundated older generations of tax-cows die off. If voluntary society wasn't possible, governments wouldn't have always prioritized controlling information and knowledge.

The elite class understand that liberty is the desired state of our species which is why they "always" destroy the pursuit of it and propagandize the glory of the state and other collectivist institutions of arbitrary authority, such as your religion. So long as the majority believe having a shiny badges, or wearing fancy hats with pictures of a deity on them gives you the right to deprive others of their rights, we will always be tax-cows and slaves.

This is the first time in the history of humanity when the free spread of information, and the philosophy of liberty may actually escape the government censor. Therefore, this is the first time in human history when the cry for freedom can go global and a lawful society could actually have a chance of arising. You and those who believe in the false paradigm of gang control and brute force are the obstacles standing in the way of liberty. Hard to say who will win, so far the odds are with you however. That's hardly a surprise. I do think that the NAP is inevitable in the distant future because of advances in technology, but it may be thousands of years before humans outgrow our need to band together into gangs and take resource by force. Of course its equally likely that these gangs will extinguish life on earth in nuclear holocaust first. The tyrant does not surrender power, and like spoiled brats, they will happily sweep the pieces off the board before letting their slaves go free.

I've proven in previous posts that

law and NAP are inconsistent, due to the problem of adjudicating disputes after the fact; arrest, trial and sentence all require a group commit aggression against an individual on the basis of uncertain information, and at a time when the victim is presumed innocent. This argument stands unrefuted, leaving you guys pretty much in the dust.

who said anything about

You haven't proved any such thing, other than a straw man which would have nothing to do with how justice was dealt with in a volunteerist society. Who said anything about arrest? Accusation followed by trial, sure, but when would someone be caged before a trial? There would be no initiation of force until a guilty verdict was leveled. After that, it would be defensive action against a crime committed, not an act of aggression. To cage someone before the guilty verdict would be a criminal act, therefore it would be illegal in a NAP based society. If someone was engaging in dangerous behavior in direct violation of another individual's right to life, they would be dealt with on the spot in accordance with their crime. If not, they would be accused and a trial would take place, whether they chose to attend their trial or not.

I expect most crimes would go like this: Bob is accused of a crime by Ralph. An arbitration company weighs the evidence and gives Bob a chance to defend himself if he chooses. It is in Bob's best interest to defend himself and show up to his own arbitration. He doesn't need to, though his lawyer will almost certainly recommend it.

Bob is found innocent or guilty. Often this will involve a jury as a safe-guard to individual arbitration companies, though perhaps not all would use juries. I can't say. Competing arbitration companies would probably love if Ralph's company handed down an unfair or unjust verdict, because that would be the end of their competition. Every Arbitration company's existence depends utterly on their ability to consistently render just verdicts. Even a single innocent man accused of a crime, or guilty man let off the hook could forever tarnish the company and cost them their customer base.

If Bob is found innocent, he will be awarded remuneration from Ralph to pay for legal costs, time and other damages by the accusation. Ralph knows this, that is why he was very careful about accusing Bob.

If Bob is found guilty, the Arbitration company sets the remuneration amount. If Bob refuses to pay the costs, the Arbitration company will use the means at their disposal to extract the amount by seizing Bob's property or whatever is necessary to re-compensate Ralph and the company. If all else fails, they'll use their preferred defense contractors to extract the amount. Their defense contractor's competitors will be watching, hoping that unjust use of force or a crime is committed so they can discredit and move in on their competitor's business share.

At no point in this process need Bob's rights be violated before or after he is found guilty by a arbitration company and possibly a jury of his peers. If found guilty, he has lost his right (in appropriate measure to the crime) in which case there is no violation, only justice. Under the NAP, the only way you loose your rights is by depriving another of them unjustly. This goes for arbitration companies and defense contractors too.

Counter this with the government system we have now. People, innocent or guilty are arrested by force as if they were guilty. Judges paid off by fascist prisons find people guilty even when innocent for pay-offs. Courts which render careless verdicts face no consequences whatsoever. They cannot go out of business. They become corrupt. The courtroom becomes a house of robbery where victimless crimes are invented in order to rob people for engaging in activities that do not violate anyone's rights.

The "justice" system becomes a protection racket for the mafia government, barring any true justice, but putting fear into the hearts of those who stand against the gang. There is no principal for what is legal and illegal. All law becomes the whim of the elite, who do not follow the laws their slaves are forced too. There is no guiding principal such as the NAP.

The entire system lacks competition, justice or any hope for reform outside of bloody conflict. But worse is the violation of law. In a court of "law" people are denied their right to life, liberty & property when they have never committed a crime against another to deserve it. And you still call it law because its what you've been taught and stubbornly refuse to confront.

If your society is based on the NAP, then when your attack of said system is a violation of the NAP, obviously it is a failed straw man argument. Crime is not tolerated within a society based on the NAP, so if you're assumption of what it would be like includes a violation of rights, you have made a mistake and you should reexamine what you "think" you know about our theories of a volunteerist society based on the NAP. Currently you are making a lot of poor assumptions in order to set up straw men to attack.

Thanks for writing that book for me

Good to see you have conceded that arrest of a presumed innocent is invalid on NAP. Some other anarchists wouldn't concede this, realizing how absurd it is. This means if you and all your neighbors are convinced someone raped a kid, you have to let them leave.

Your problem is you don't realize that the trial and sentence are themselves invalid on NAP, since a bunch of people who weren't witnesses have no jurisdiction to decide anyone's guilt on NAP. Deciding someone's guilt by an arbitrary panel's majority or other consensus is not self defense.

NAP only supports self defense or defense by a third party. It doesn't cover or justify a person making a personal opinion about another's likely guilt or innocence and then claiming the right to harm them on the basis of that individual opinion.

If that was valid, than anyone on the street could say "I think Bob is a murderer" and go shoot Bob.

Unless there is a proper and final jurisdiction, such as a law court or a jury, then everyone is judge jury and executioner. And at the same time, none is justified on NAP.

Think a little and maybe you'll learn something.

Before a arbitration company

Before a arbitration company can render a guilty verdict, overwhelming evidence must be provided. There must be no reasonable doubt of guilt in order to convict. Remember that the accuser faces criminal charges if his accusation proves to be false. He is responsible for paying remuneration to the falsely accused. However, concerning proof; this isn't the dark ages. We no longer rely on 3rd party "witnesses" to convict criminals, or trial by combat or other primitive means of assessing guilt.

The child raper may be free to leave if no one actually caught him in the act, but he isn't going to get far when he is found guilty in short order by an arbitration company who can prove his DNA is all over the victim and can scan his/her brain in order to reconstruct her memory. Who knows what processes would be available and researched by companies whose livelihoods depend on legal perfection. Remember, a single error could result in a company imploding to its competitors. Arbitration companies would be swift by need if they want to please their customers precisely because it would violate the NAP to arrest people before guilt has been proven. Therefore you could expect competitive companies to render verdicts based on conclusive evidence (when it exists) within hours or days.

Unlike governments which are incentivised toward incarceration, arbitration companies are incentivised to deliver 100% just verdicts as quickly as possible. They gain nothing by the guilt or innocence of those accused, and they loose money by dragging out the process. Justice would be swift and sure.


An "arbitration company" can do whatever it wants.

"Overwhelming evidence" in the opinion of whom?

"Reasonable doubt" according to who?

Why would an arb company have access to someone's DNA?

Why wouldn't he get far, he can't be arrested for a DNA sample until already proven guilty...

Are you suggesting arb companies have access to a DNA database of all people?

Are you suggesting people who refuse DNA samples shouldn't have rights-protection?

How can an arbitration panel trust DNA results, they're not scientists, and mistakes and mix ups take place. There is plenty of room for doubt about a DNA verdict.

I'm not an arbitration

I'm not an arbitration company, nor do I specialize in criminal justice. I cannot say what means would be available to arbitration companies to determine guilt. However I can say with reasonable confidence that it would be very much in the interest of competing justice companies to make very sure they deliver swift and sure justice, and so they would certainly develop extremely advanced means of doing so.

If DNA proved to be unavailable for example, perhaps the victim would volunteer to have his/her memory reconstructed in the interests of identifying his/her attacker.

As to whom they are proving it too, it would be to themselves, their clients, and every hawkish competitor just waiting for a chance to discredit them. Most people in a society where we defend ourselves, would have the means to capture evidence of an attacker. There would be a wide variety of methods for self defense easily accessible to most everyone. One of the perks of a defense contractor's services might have to do with this.

Its impossible to say what innovations might occur. What is clear and provable is that competition breeds excellence whereas government monopoly breeds incompetence.


Who decides who an arbitration company is and who isnt?

A super duper arbitration company?

Ad infinitum.

You admit you have no answers, just assume what you want to believe.

Memory reconstruction, good idea. Should work well for murder. And home burglaries

Like talking to a grapefruit.

Who decides who an

Who decides who an arbitration company is? Customers; with their money. More importantly; who decides who "isn't" an arbitration company. Customers; with their money.

Lets reverse this; who decides who a government court system is? Your political masters though you "may" be stupid enough to think your vote plays a part. Of course even if it did, we might discuss the problems with raw democracy.

Who can get rid of said corrupt court system once it becomes a protection racket for the gang? Walls upon walls of human meat smacking into a barrage of bullets and pretty much nothing else. Good plan. Your system is really working out well. How many people are in our government's prison system for victimless crimes now?

I admit that not only can I not, but no human can predict the trillions of micro-economic decisions that occur within a free market every day, which is exactly why central planning always fails. Humans are diverse and brilliant, especially when motivated by personal gain. Do you imagine that humans would not rise to the occasion of filling niches left by the absence of a nanny state? Given that the largest customer base on Earth is the poor, do you imagine that said companies wouldn't try to produce products that are accessible to that massive segment of the population?

In absence of a criminal gang's court system, do you imagine that humans would stop wanting legal protection and safeguards? Do you imagine that with an overwhelming desire for this service, that other humans would not find a way to make a profit while delivering this service? If it was universally understood that theft was a crime, even when its called "taxes" do you think that people would just move into caves and no longer require the basic services we now ask governments to provide?

What do you think the difference between a company and a government is? Both are groups of humans who organize for a purpose. One assumes the right to commit crime with the sanction of idiots, the other holds no illusion that it can violate rights. One can never be removed without bloodshed, the other can go bankrupt and vanish if it fails to provide a service people want. One grows corrupt because of monopoly, the other is held in check by free market competition.

This isn't complex. You either have a society that believes its okay to deprive people of their rights, in which case you wind up exactly where we are today, a breath away from financial collapse and nuclear holocaust, or you do not.

One thing is clear, a free society will only be possible with advanced technology that allows us to communicate globally and achieve transparency. In a pre-internet age, voluntary society is utterly impossible because gangs take control of information and dominate by force. The internet brings the world together, and this trend will get stronger as technology grows. All governments lie about everything for a reason, because the truth sets us free.

That same technology that sets us free, will allow companies to provide every service governments now pretend to provide, but without gross rights violations and outright crime.

I don't understand, are you trying to tell me you are dumber than a grapefruit, or do you mean to say that like a grapefruit, I am very good for you? You would certainly benefit from digesting what I'm giving you. The NAP and the philosophy of Liberty is like fruit and vegetables. Perhaps not as appealing to the weak minded, but certainly more healthy. Statism is like fast food. Convenient since its already here, but the more you eat the fatter, stupider and more disease ridden you become. I suggest more grapefruit and less Big Macs my friend.

The customers

aren't really customers vis a vi force-agencies (armed corporate entities), they may be clients at first, but as thorough dependents without comparable force, there is no mechanism to maintain a competitive, open entry environment in any given territory.

In the real-world market, it is the force-monopolist who prevents one businesses from using violence to put another out of a territory; the force monopolist maintains a free or fair playing field (sometimes, not always) and taxes the product for its service.

In the absence of the force-monopolist, there is no one to maintain/enforce an open, free entry market in security; rather, competing armed agencies will create force-monopolies in their areas and extract rent/taxes from their dependent clients.

You're confusing the dynamics of free markets in nonforce services, maintained and imposed by a force monopolist, with something totally different; a world without a force monopolist is a world where anyone can claim jurisdiction to become a force monopolist in a territory, and there is no appeal or guarantor of any laws or rights.

Yes there is. Competition.

Yes there is. Competition. If you had only one defense contractor, sure. But with many, part of their selling point would be to keep their own limitations in place, as well as keeping tabs on other contractors to insure we don't get any Cobra Commanders.

A defense contractor doesn't start from nothing. They require money to start and operate. They must convince share holders of why they need to purchase X Y or Z. They must have safeguards in place to convince customers why they aren't going to turn into a gang of bandits and start plundering. The moment a defense contractor fails to convince their share-holders and customers that they are not only effective, but safe to the public, they will watch their money supply drain away until they either fix their problem or go out of business.

When you say "real-world" you refer to our artificially manipulated market. However your logic is backwards. It is exactly the force-monopolist that creates violent conflicts between entities wishing to engage in the trade of goods. Look at the drug war. Were drugs legal, and would that drug dealers could use normal legal services to settle disputes, there wouldn't "be" a drug war, much like there is no longer an "alcohol war." It is the force-monopoly, a violation of rights in and of it self who naturally begins to deprive other rights, such as what we can put into our bodies or purchase that inevitably starts the violence by forcing people to operate outside of a legal system.

When it comes to force-based businesses, its important to note that a stalemate is far more effective than a monopoly on maintaining stability. This is the entire philosophy behind the 2nd amendment. The founders understood that a force-monopoly creates a tyranny as the monopolist can bring overwhelming force against its slaves.

However a society based on the notion of self-defense where most everyone is either armed or has resources close to hand for self defense has little to fear from any defense contractor. But really that is insurance only against the rise of a cartel. The fact that there would be thousands of defense contractors all keeping tabs on one another, and unable to monopolize without a government to clear the path would be more than enough check on the growth of any one group into a substantial threat.

In a society without government privileges and monopolies, defense contractors would have to convince customers why they should use their service over their competitors. Any defense contractor who was even mildly close to becoming a threat to the public would undergo a smear campaign from all of its competitors as they try to capture the market and tank their opponent. As is always the case in the free market, competition breeds a better product for a cheaper price as companies strive to be the best. Selling protection is no different than selling anything else.

The argument that defense contractors would eventually take over the world is ironic at best considering that if they did, we'd be exactly where we are now. Governments and perpetual war and slavery with the constant threat nuclear extinction looming at all times. We are living in the worst case scenario, and you're worried about dangers of too much freedom because there might be some violence?

In a free society, it is the individual who is the guarantor of laws and rights. The defense contractor is only a group who is hired to assist in that. Unlike a government, they can be fired at will. A well armed people would form militia at will to deal with rogue defense contractors. The Bundy Ranch is a good example of this.

If this was true

It could and would be happening right now. If the optimal model for rights-defense was in selling services to paying customers, and self-restraining force only in use of rights defense, than it would be these rights defense agencies that would be more powerful than tax-extracting governments.

In reality, when there is no stable legal order, the optimal model is creating zones of political monopoly to remove the uncertainty that prevents commerce and contacts.

In the absence of the force monopolist, competition is not restricted to economic competition, but also involves competition of force, i.e., fighting. The winner/stronger party has no market incentive to self-limit and sell services at cheapest price, but can just extract taxes/rents from the dependents.

That's what actually happens in reality and history, as a result of how humans act in situations of uncertainty and panic. They don't want anarchy, they will never want anarchy, and anarchy will never be a stable condition because the incentive under anarchy is to prevent mass uncertainty and mass unpredictability by the imposition of legal monopoly.

Areas with legal monopoly are naturally selected by their greater productive capacity and commercial output, further strengthening the legal monopoly and its ability to extract more wealth even with a lower tax rate. That's why feudal peasants paid much more for their security from relatively weak landlords, compared to the percentage Americans pay to a massive state, despite it being relatively much more powerful.

When you're mired in uncertain ideological claptrap and dialectic crankery, its always good to refer back to empirical history for guidance.

History does a good job of

History does a good job of showing out how bad governments are, and how they always crush liberty whenever it threatens to emerge. If a truly free society wasn't possible, governments wouldn't place taking control of education and information as their top priority. Every government in the history of the world has had one thing in common. They all want to convince you that they are necessary, because as soon as you realize they are not, the master looses his domination over the slave. No more $10,000 a night hookers, designer drugs and child sex trafficking rings. A free society means "everyone" must follow the same laws. The goal of every power hungry politician is to become above the law so they can do whatever the hell they want to you and the other slaves.

As I've said before, a volunteerist society without a government is "only" possible when a majority of people believe in the NAP as the normal and optimal form of social structure. This may never happen. It certain has never happened before, hence why there has never been a NAP based society. It goes back to an old adage, no government has ever been able to rule against the will of it's people. This includes self-governance. You can't convince people who want a slave master to govern themselves. So currently, freedom is impossible.

If your argument is that the NAP based society will never occur because people gravitate toward gangs who do not respect natural rights for protection; i.e. people believe in trading liberty for security (and inevitably wind up with neither), you are very possibly correct. You're certainly correct today in the age we live in. Like most volunteerists, I only dream of a possible future where the spread of information makes the NAP normal in a future generation who may actually get sick of gang dominance and opt for freedom.

In any society who would be socially advanced enough to base a society on the NAP, the dangers you pose would be unlikely to occur as they would be seen as crime. People will only have a chance at freedom when they understand things for what they are and stop inventing words to mask reality. war is mass murder, abortion is murder, taxation is theft, punishing people for victimless crimes IS a crime, and governments are gangs.

Can you give an example of a free society

that didn't have a government?

I'm glad to FINALLY have an anarchist admit that he is essentially a utopian who REQUIRES a fundamentally different human nature than exists in all of history for his ideas to work.

I feel I've carried my point, and depart the discussion.

As I already said, its

As I already said, its impossible until the majority of humans believe in the NAP. This may never occur. It has NEVER occurred before, in part because the ability for humans to share information and ideas has always been suppressed until the invention of the internet.

I have no doubt that small groups of humans around the world at times have managed to figure out the NAP and then opt for voluntary societies, but were immediately crushed by neighboring governments. A human who awakens to liberty is a threat to every government in the world. freedom is attractive and could spread until people realize they simply don't need gangs and the constant war and theft they bring. That is why it is "always" stamped out in its infancy.

Just look at the way that Democrats and Republican's unite in force to crush libertarians. Its the only damn thing they truly agree on with zeal, they both hate freedom.

The internet and future advances in technology give us a once in a species opportunity to evolve socially beyond the need to form into gangs and murder each other for resources. We have the technology to live in a capitalist society and trade in peace with abundance. However the slave master doesn't want to see his slaves go free, it would mean he'd have to follow law and stop preying on his slaves.

However if you really want to get technical; every society ever will have some form of government, the one I prefer has the smallest possible government; self-government.

This really reduces our area of disagreement.

You admit that anarchism can't be a realistic order until everyone adopts and behaves in accordance with NAP.

The difference we have is whether this is literally possible, given human nature. I think your view is utopian in the sense that it sees human nature as being much more malleable than it is. You think education or a change in ideas can do more than I think it can.

Your belief that that "if everyone adopted NAP, we could have anarchism" is the same as someone who said "if everyone adopted Marxist principles and egalitarianism, we could have communism." Both are completely true. The problem is in the "if everyone did..." They can't.

Human nature is not malleable to the point of permitting either one of them. You would need massive amounts of genetic engineering + selective breeding, social engineering and mind control, to create people who all always behave in accordance with NAP, or in accordance with 100% property egalitarianism, or pacifism, etc.

It's science fiction, and crazy.

I didn't say everyone, I said

I didn't say everyone, I said a majority. Rights are always won on the battlefield by the victor, the non-conformists to the new way are the criminals of society. In the case of the NAP, the criminals are those who refuse to respect the natural rights of others and who initiate force unjustly.

America probably seemed utopian at the time of its founding. Our Republic came close on the heals of philosophers like Bastiat and Locke whose teachings resonated among a people with a rebellious spirit and were widely enough held to be considered the "norm" in America. It took a long time for those ideas to go from "Utopian dreamers" to "normal."

Bastiat and Locke never had the internet. I believe when Tyranny gets bad enough, the next revolution could be global, and it could take liberty all the way. I think that impossible ideas become "normal" thinking if enough children are educated in them. If there is enough information available to reach people. After all, look at what governments have been able to trick entire swarths of the population to think is "normal."

Unlike Communism, Fascism & Socialism, Liberty would actually work. The difference between a generation that accepts the domination of gangs, and one that does not is the very simple knowledge that it is not okay to commit a crime, even if you have a fancy hat or badge. Many people today are already nearly there, they just can't get over that last hurtle. But my children will understand, as will many many others who grow up with the internet being exposed to the ideas of liberty.

That said, "Anarchism" is a misnomer. There is no such thing as an anarchist, and its to volunteerism what "Isolationist" is to a non-interventionist. The term is derogatory and does not apply to those who prefer voluntary society over one based on coercion. Law is present in both places, however in one, the law giver has competition and the laws NEVER infringe on natural rights, and in the other there is monopoly and tyranny where rights are not enforced.

This isn't a human nature question. It is in our nature to serve ourselves and not want our life, liberty and property stolen from us. This is a question of education and ideas. It is a questioning of actualy defining things as what they are. It is teaching people to stop pretending a crime isn't a crime just because it has a fancy name. This is something we can learn as a species, and when 10% of the people do, it will spread and become "normal."

The American revolution

was a regional secession from a pretty weak and tame constitutional monarchy. The England of the following decades wasn't much more or less tyrannical or violent than the America.

Anyway, I see your point of view, but it looks to me like the history of revolutions since the 1800s has been much more about income redistribution and less about protecting property/rights. I guess everyone is free to hope his ideas are covered in the next revolution, but the track records of revolution are generally a temporary carnival of blood, crime and revenge, followed by a return to normal human nature / corruption; some freedom, some oppression.

I still think you're expecting a utopia, no less than those dinosaur marxists who still happen to be alive.

The internet is good for those who use it to learn (tiny %), but other technologies bode ill for liberty.

Anyway, good game.

Yes I wouldn't be putting any

Yes I wouldn't be putting any bets that a libertarian golden age will come in my life time, if ever. However I do think that advances in our technology which will inter-connect our lives and philosophies will inevitably lead to a golden age of volunteerism if we aren't wiped out by governments first.

I strongly recommend reading "The Golden Age" by John C. Wright. Its a sci-fi distopian novel about a far future Volunteerist Utopia built on the inevitability of such a society coming about with the advance of technology. I am pretty versed in this philosophy and I was not disappointed in John C. Wright's very reasonable view of where volunteerism could lead. Keep in mind that it "is" distopian; so its up to the reader to decide if he thinks its worth it.


I really wish I knew someone else who had read them so I could discuss. These books are phenomenal.

Anyway, always fun Bill. I love debating with you.

Looks interesting,


These anarchists really think

These anarchists really think that "Why the hell not?" is a convincing argument.

Ventura 2012

Phxarcher87's picture


more of like a founders why the hell not though. Think about leaving the system and starting over, building a new model. Go across the pond and have total liberty.

James Madison

There's no such thing as an

There's no such thing as an anarchist. They don't exist. Everyone follows law, even if its just the law of the jungle. While its possible to have lawless actions, every human on earth follows some system of law or another.

The difference between volunteerists (or what you might smear with "anarchist") and someone who believes in government authority is we like the institutions who help enforce our rights to have to earn our business by producing an attractive product we are willing to purchase, and to have a market place full of choices to create vibrant competition to insure quality is ever increasing and prices are ever dropping. You who worship the state prefer that one "company" have a monopoly on force, be unable to go out of business due to shitty service, and be able to take by raw force the money they have rather than having to earn it by being competent and providing a useful service.

Utter madness. Competition works in every sector of the economy, and yet there are those who still want to sanction criminal activity and suppress competition for some groups of humans just because they have fancy badges.

There are only two kinds of people; those who believe no one has a right to initiate force against others to deprive them of their rights, and those who do. Of those who believe in crime and force, its just a question of how often and how badly they believe they can violate our rights and initiate force against us. Differing degrees of criminal basically.

Good Stuff

My criminal law professor taught his entire course using only the Socratic Method. He was greatly feared amongst the class as it was the first time most of us were forced to think for ourselves (as we were thoroughly trained what to think via our public school indoctrination). He sure made us look like idiots but it was the best education I had ever received. Also humbling to see how stupid you really are when you think you are smart. I found Ron Paul about the same time I learned to think more critically and the rest is history.