Wind Storm Chaos

Well, yesterday was an interesting one on the Blush Family Farm.  John has been out of town six days now (five at the time), and I was already feeling pretty pooped.  While Alianan was napping mid-day I noticed the wind picking up and getting louder and more violent.  Our power flickered multiple times before going out completely.

The power outage stressed me because we have 62 eggs incubating and our incubators are very dependent on electricity to maintain temperature! I also had low batteries in both the ipad and the computer and knew my access to communication was limited.

I covered the incubators in blankets and waited out the power outage inside.  A huge branch broke off a tree out front and man medium sized branches are now hanging in the trees. Glass bottles flew from across the street and broke all over the front, our storage shed in progress collapsed, the garden fencing was damaged, and our swim pool for watering the birds was blown across the yard.

I got some footage of the chickens and peafowl trying to brave the wind.  It was nuts. The ONLY reason I took Aliana out there was because there was no one else home and the birds needed to eat.  I asked her not to leave the barn, and she did not.  Thankfully only property was damaged (and lots of trash blown into our yard from the neighbor’s pile).

 

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Stage Six Anarchism by Justin Frost

Stage Six Anarchism
by Justin Frost

I’ve gone through several stages of metamorphosis to mature into the anarcho-capitalist I am today. In my early 20’s I lived by a set of goodly rules and civilized standards so as to get along with others, and indeed desired to be a good person in my heart, but still I ran into problems defending my position on political and economic issues.
According to Kohlberg’s model I was shifting to Stage Five moral reasoning as I accepted the common standard that I am bound to a social contract. The concept of the ‘greater good’ is something I believed without question as a young adult. In my early college days I was apt to accept the well meaning philosophy that posits that each member of society should live to provide for the good of the whole. “The end of adolescence, from a developmental standpoint, occurs when the young person’s perspective shifts from self-absorption to absorption of… the collective voice of those who define what it means to be an adult in that society or community.” (Taylor, 2000, p.350)
I unconsciously accepted the societal norm of collectivism, an Aristotelian ideology that claims “the community can and properly should make demands on its members and that universal individual rights can be carried too far.” (Noddings, 2012, p.11) At the time this socialist philosophy seemed to be in alignment with my intention to do good for humanity. The idea that “a community’s needs and welfare can, and should… sometimes override individual rights, and a good citizen expects to contribute to the state not simply demand its protection of individual rights,” seemed morally responsible according to the dichotomy of good versus evil I categorized behavior into. (Noddings, 2012, p.11) I believed quite simplistically that selfishness was evil and living for others was good.
Some years ago I fell in with a rabble of liberty activists who enlightened me about the non-aggression principle, a moral stance which asserts that aggression is inherently illegitimate, which serves as the foundational ethic around which peaceful society organizes. (Non-aggression, Wikipedia) The non-aggression principle is a standard that all behavior can be checked against to determine if an act is just or criminal. Before I learned about the non-aggression principle my ethics were disorganized as there was no central rule which I applied to every aspect of my life. Until I took the time to assess how the non-aggression principle applied to my existing moral code I was prone to conforming to the status quo of a statist society. I have come to understand that the NAP is the golden rule around which we can organize a society of responsible individuals free from regulation by the state
By practicing skepticism and questioning everything, especially information from authority, I came to reject many of the beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes that are generally accepted by mainstream society. Through this critical process of reflecting on and assessing my values according to the non-aggression principle I transitioned to Kohlberg’s sixth stage of moral development. “In stage six moral reasoning is based on abstract reasoning using universal ethical principles. Laws are valid only insofar as they are grounded in justice, and a commitment to justice carries with it an obligation to disobey unjust laws. Legal rights are unnecessary, as social contracts are not essential for deontic moral action. The individual acts because it is right, and not because it is instrumental, expected, legal, or previously agreed upon.” (Lawrence, Wikipedia) Developing this level of reasoning I achieved a greater awareness of my self and my role in the world as a sovereign individual.
“Although Kohlberg insisted that stage six exists, he found it difficult to identify individuals who consistently operated at that level.” (Lawrence, Wikipedia) Considering how radically opposed my current views are from mainstream society it is no wonder consistent Stage Six minds are hard to come by. Democracies do not value the absolute sovereignty of an individual, so exercising sovereignty is essentially an act of defiance and usually results in the mob ostracizing those who disagree with the decisions of the collective. The very existence of democracy asserts the group is more important than the individual. The individual is always a minority in a democracy thus has no voice.
Dewey claims that there is no inherent discord between the individual and a democratic state. Dewey’s vision of a democratic utopia inspired much of his philosophy but perhaps his grand scheme didn’t take into account the problems inherent in authoritarianism. “An important objection to Dewey’s work is that he paid little attention to forms of systematic oppression and cultural hegemony.” (Noddings, 2012, p.38) Considering he was concerned about protecting American culture during the rise of National Socialism I’m surprised Dewey was so apt to turn to the mechanisms of government when he seems to put so much value in people’s ability to think independently.
“Dewey insisted that state and individual are, ideally, in a relation of mutual support.” I think it is a rather idealistic concept for a pragmatist to hold so dear.
Dewey tends to blur his concept of state with his concept of society. “A good society treasures its dissidents and mavericks because it needs the creative thinking that produces new hypotheses, expanded means, a larger set of alternatives, and in general the vigorous conversation induced by fresh ideas. The individual, similarly, needs a democratic state in which to flourish; it is therefore in his or her best interest to contribute generously to the maintenance of a democratic way of life.” (Noddings, 2012, p.38)
The state is not society. Through my experiences I have come to understand the state to be a group of people who attempt to exercise a monopoly on force, and thus possess the unjust power to coerce others to do their will at the threat of violence. I didn’t just come across this information one day and suddenly become an anarchist; I saw that the world didn’t work the way I was told. “Thinking begins with the nagging sense that something is problematic, something is unsettled.” (Noddings, 2012, p. 30) I started to see the agenda behind much of my education, and subsequently saw through the outright lies the media and government were telling me. I began to see that the individuals that serve the state are invested in influencing the education of others to produce more believers in statism like themselves. I saw the state as a religion devoted to the worship of authority; a fictional entity that zealots indoctrinate others to believe in. I realized that the state does not exist beyond the coercive interactions between individuals; it is merely a banner distinguishing a privileged class that lives at the expense of productive society.
In the same regard, I have come to understand that society does not exist beyond the peaceful interaction of individuals. Society is not a servant to the interests of the state; furthermore individuals don’t live to serve society. I systematically unlearned what I was taught to believe and rebuilt my entire construct of how the world works based on the non-aggression principle. This fundamentally changed me from socialist thinking to accepting anarchy.
Rejecting statism freed me from a widely accepted and persistent delusion. Now, as an anarchist, I see the world through new eyes. A once powerful and threatening authority figure has been revealed to be a nothing but an old man behind a curtain desperately trying to maintain control. Through my rejection of authoritative knowledge I’m able to recognize that the state is a group of humans that attempts to create an illusion of authority through the oppressive architecture of capitol buildings that tower above comparably insignificant individuals in order to convince us we are merely cogs meant to serve its machinations. With my anarchist eyes I now see public schools for what they truly are; nothing more than churches in which the state’s doctrine is taught every weekday. I unplugged myself from the state’s socialist matrix and found myself pitted against a vestigial institution of slavery that places those who initiate force above those who negotiate peacefully.
I am compelled by principle to disobey unjust laws and organize things as I see fit as I am capable of judging what is right regardless of the decisions of any group or official. The actualization of one’s ability to exercise sovereign decision making is the essence of Kohlberg’s sixth stage of moral development and, in my personal experience, harmonious with the evolution of anarcho-capitalist principles.

Work Cited
Noddings, Nel. (2012). Philosophy of Education. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.
Taylor, Kathleen. Marienau, Catherine. Fiddler, Morris. (2000). Developing Adult Learners: Strategies for Teachers and Trainers. San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass.

Lawrence Kohlberg’s stages of moral development http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohlberg%27s_stages_of_moral_development Wikipedia

Non-aggression Pinciple http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-aggression_principle Wikipedia

Introducing Same Side Entertainment

Sarah Hopkins / Same Side Entertainment
PO Box 9021 North Bergen NJ 07047
(917) 472-9853
info@samesideentertainment.com

For immediate release: Feb. 11, 2013

A new web based resource company focusing on liberty oriented speakers and entertainment debuted this week. Same Side Entertainment will feature a roster of prominent speakers and entertainment, all devoted to the message of individual liberty and freedom.

The new company founded by liberty singer Tatiana Moroz plans to offer a wide variety of services catering to educational and activist organizations, including booking keynote speakers, web promotions and event planning.

“Putting on an event of any size takes a lot of work.  We know this because the staff at SSE has over 50 years of combined experience in doing just that.  SSE is a service to help you ensure a quality event for your group or organization,” John Michaels, SSE’s Business Manager said.

Same Side will also provide a source for activists and liberty organizations to connect with well-known leaders in today’s growing movement for sustainable living, personal liberty, economics, and health freedom.

Keynote speakers on the roster include:

  • Tom Woods
  • Kevin Gutzman
  • Jack Hunter
  • Robert Scott Bell
  • Bob Murphy
  • Michael Scheuer
  • John Bush
  • Tatiana Moroz
  • Jordan Page
  • Bill Still
  • and many more.

For more information, contact Sarah Hopkins at info@samesideentertainment.com.

###

Seeking Liberty in a Collectivist World by Antonio F. Buehler

Few people are raised in households that fully embrace and promote the ideals of liberty. Most people who deem themselves advocates of liberty are really advocates of limited government. Temporarily ignoring that point, those who come to believe they are advocates of liberty often do so through a tortured path of disappointment and disillusionment with the more celebrated political and philosophical frameworks that rely on various forms of coercion to bring about some so-called greater good. The arguments for creating or defending a society that promotes liberty typically fall into one of three categories: (1) utilitarian – liberty is the most feasible or efficient way to bring about the most desired social and economic outcomes in society, (2) rights – a moral society is one in which natural rights are preserved, with liberty being an essential natural right, and/or (3) logic – liberty is the only logically consistent or rational basis on which humans can build society as all other political or philosophical foundations are rife with contradictions. Of the three arguments, the utilitarian one is the most commonly used when attempting to persuade those who advocate for coercive means. The rights argument is the most compelling when effectively employed as few people will admit that they are willing to champion an immoral system. The logic argument should be able to stand alone, however those who use it are often accused of relying on slippery slope arguments and wasting time on hypothetical extremes.

Acknowledging the challenges of embracing the ideals of liberty in a collectivist world that ridicules those who are viewed as too extreme in their defense of liberty, I hesitate to declare that any book that brings people closer to true liberty may be inimical to liberty. At the same time, when such books provide caveats arguing that certain forms of governmental coercion is necessary, thereby discouraging readers from continuing along the path towards a true liberty position (e.g., anarchism, voluntaryism), it is fair to label such work as inimical to liberty. Milton Friedman’s celebrated book, Capitalism and Freedom qualifies.

 

The essence of liberty is to be free from the oppression of government. All governments are inherently oppressive as they use the threat of violence to confiscate from the populace through taxation and to compel certain behaviors or limit the actions of the populace through laws and regulations. If a given government was not oppressive, then all actions of that government would be achieved through strictly voluntary arrangements, rendering that government irrelevant. In short, where there is government, there is not liberty, and where there is liberty, there is no government. One cannot accurately claim to be an advocate for true liberty while simultaneously arguing for the necessity of government to secure that liberty (e.g., Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence). Likewise, one cannot be an advocate for true liberty while arguing that the government is necessary to “protect our freedom” as Friedman tried to explain in the introduction (p.2), or arguing that “government is essential” to determine and enforce the “rules of the game” of the free market (p.15).

 

Given Friedman’s stated acceptance of the misguided notion of the necessity of government, it is no surprise that he spends most of his efforts arguing from a utilitarian perspective, avoiding the rights argument and ignoring the logic argument. While a liberty oriented approach to dealing with the problems of society may produce the most optimal outcomes (e.g., innovation, wealth creation), such justification ultimately gives way to dangerous considerations that threaten liberty. On numerous occasions Friedman argues that it may be acceptable to allow government to take over certain functions in society so that we can have an umpire to settle disputes (p.25), so we can educate children to become contributing citizens (p.86) or so we can protect property rights (p.162). Those who approach liberty from a rights or logic perspective are typically unwilling to accept the aforementioned infringements upon liberty even if it means sacrificing potential utilitarian gains. Had Friedman taken such an approach, not only would his work have warned people about the threat that too much government poses to liberty, but it would have also helped tear down the dangerously fallacious myth that government is somehow an essential component to liberty. Unfortunately, Friedman goes further than simply proposing to sacrifice liberty in Capitalism and Freedom, he directly attacks liberty by stating that the “consistent [classical] liberal is not an anarchist” (p.32).

Friedman, Milton, and Rose D. Friedman. Capitalism and Freedom. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002.

Antonio F. Buehler
Founder & CEO
Buehler Education
C: (512) 785-3767

Antonio of PeacefulStreets.com