Culture of Peace 0003: The Right Way to Approach Jury Duty

In this episode, I’m joined by Bob Smilie.

Bob works with the Fully Informed Jury Association to inform jurors of their rights. The power you have when on a jury may surprise you!

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Culture of Peace 0002: Kratom, a New Player in the World of Cryptocurrencies

For episode two, I’m joined by Josh van Noord, a developer for a new cryptocurrency called Kratom.

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Quick Thought Experiment: States Versus the Federal Government

If you think the federal government is superior to the states, let’s do a thought experiment!

You use your resources to have a new house built.
You wait patiently.
Your brand new house is ready!
You order a security system and have professionals install it.

But then, you make it very clear to the installers: You want them to make up the codes to get past the security system, and to not give them to you. After all, they worked hard setting up the alarms and cameras.

The house and its contents now effectively belong to the security company.

See the problem?

Culture of Peace 0001: Economics in an Online World? Liberty Minecraft

For our first episode, I’m joined by Nathan Dempsey, founder of Liberty Minecraft.

Minecraft is a wildly popular computer game. As such, you might think there is nothing meaningful to be gained from its study.

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Culture of Peace 0000: My Perspective

This show is all me! Now that I’ve released four episodes, I wanted to take a step back.

Who am I? Why start Culture of Peace? What perspective do I bring to the table?

Those are the questions I seek to answer in this episode. It’s a little about me, and then a lot about anarcho-capitalism. I delve into a lot of the most prevalent objections, tackling them from a moral perspective. There’s also a couple of juicy quotations! If this is your first show, please continue on–the best stuff definitely in later episodes.

Note: This episode went live on May 5th, 2018. The “published on” date displayed on the website is incorrect, in order to get this episode to show up in its proper place on the episode list.
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Indocoin Wallet and CPU/GPU Mining Guide

What is Indocoin?

Indocoin (IDC) is a cryptocurrency similar to Litecoin and Dogecoin, originally launched in 2014. It is currently extremely easy to mine, which makes it an attractive option for those of us who missed out the explosion in price of several other coins. It is a relatively unknown coin currently, which will hopefully change with more mining, more users, and more transactions. To read up on the coin’s launch, visit the BitcoinTalk thread. Now that you’re intrigued, let’s get your wallet set up and start mining!

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On Saving Humanity in One Fell Swoop

I consider myself a trusting person.

However, with time and experience, I have learned to always be extremely suspicious of those claiming to have an easy, one-size-fits-all solution to a problem plaguing humanity. Let’s walk through an example.

“All of the nutrition needed by humans can easily be made into a powder. It’s cheap to produce. We could end world hunger!”

This is the cry of the technocrat. “Submit yourself to reason,” he commands from his ivory tower, wielding his elite tower guards. “It is for your own good.”

There are a number of problems with “solving” world hunger in this fashion.

How does this nutritive powder taste? If it is unpalatable, who will voluntarily pay for it? If no one will pay for it, how will this solution be funded? If by taxation, is this not a sick irony–paying for something undesirable by stealing money and redistributing it to a company that cannot make a profit on its own merits?

How will it be distributed? For this approach to solve hunger globally, it must be applied globally. This means the heavy hand of the state is involved. How many factories should be constructed, and of what sizes? What locations should they occupy? Governments fail spectacularly at answering these types of questions. Soviet breadlines, anyone?

How will it be produced? This is follows from the previous question. Depending on the raw materials needed, how do we ensure a consistent supply of these inputs? Does the sudden shortage of one factor of production mean that humanity as a whole is suddenly cast into the merciless void of starvation?

The list could continue on like this for a long time indeed. The technocrat will no doubt have very scientific explanations for how to solve each of these in turn. This leads us to the most fundamental flaw with the entire approach: humans are not homogeneous. You and I are not factors in an equation, equally serviceable in the machinations of grand and terrible governmental enterprises. We are men and women with widely varying tastes, cultures, and ideas.

Money is the great unifying force by which these many preferences can co-exist. A one-size-fits-all solution is not needed. We may all specialize in what we are good at, and receive money in return. Money can be traded for that which we desire. In this example, it allows us to shop for calamari, bean sprouts, canned cranberry sauce, potatoes, ice cream, and and endless list of other things. We buy only what we desire to buy.

Viewed in this light, grocery stores are the unappreciated miracle in every city. The preferences of millions are satisfied, and all that the market asks is that you do something to help your fellow humans in return. Earn money–both you and your employer are better off for the trade. Spend money–both you and the store are better off for the trade.

4 Ways to Make Real Progress Toward Liberty

This post is adapted from an excellent conversation with a dear friend, via Facebook. He originally asked about term limits, which are extremely low on my list of priorities. In response, he asked for my top four.

#1 is self-improvement.

Learn, learn, learn, learn, learn. Then, learn some more. The curricula taught in schools, both public and private, is practically worthless. It’s worse than knowing nothing about history–it’s wrong history. Worse than no economics–it’s wrong economics. Without going into much detail on these particulars, let me just say that a person who spends 10 minutes a day studying a the works of a figure like Murray Rothbard can run intellectual laps around a clown with a PhD in economics like Paul Krugman. You can and will become a force to be reckoned with and respected, simply by making the decision to invest your time in self-study of these topics.

To quote the great H.L. Mencken: “The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.”

#2 is State nullification of federal laws.

There is an extremely strong historical, logical, moral, and even constitutional case to be made for this approach. I can give you a broad overview if it interests you, but the best reference on the subject is Tom Woods’ book, simply titled “Nullification.” This is notably different from the other three items on the list, in that it requires large-scale organization to make it happen. However, I think the evidence is clear that begging politicians to “repeal Obamacare” or “streamline the tax code” never manifest themselves in ways that are beneficial from the perspective of States’ rights. Working at the State level requires far less manpower and money than trying to influence things like the presidential election, and yet people always seem to shoot for the least attainable goals. This is my answer to that.

#3 is to ridicule and ignore the ruling elite.

It’s a great thing to be critical, but even better is to make a laughing stock out of them. Make the political class the butt end of every joke. Craft and share hilarious tales of government ineptitude. Then, when they demand your respect, ignore them. Sit down during the pledge of allegiance. Stay home on election day. Gather up all of the pomp and the circumstance and kick it back in their faces. Consent is the one thing that keeps them in power. For great reading on this, try “The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude,” written in 1553 by Etienne de la Boétie. It’s free on mises.org.

#4 is to share your intellectual journey with others.

Make videos, start a website, write articles, speak at small events. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Force yourself to go toe-to-toe with their ridiculous arguments. It will strengthen you to press onward. This step also has the great benefit of building your social circles. I can’t even begin to tell you how many friend requests I’ve gotten just from taking these things head-on.

So, there’s a top 4. The list somewhat presumes that you are a radical, but take it for what it’s worth. If you are curious as to why this list is not more like a set of policy prescriptions, my answer is simple. There is an endless sea of well-researched papers published by massive think tanks like the Heritage Foundation. Does anyone care? No. I’m not an extensively credentialed D.C. satellite group like that, so my opinion is correspondingly even less appreciated by those who write legislation. Besides, my entire position is that no one should be writing legislation at all. This all goes back to point #3 on the list. Rulers can only rule with consent. If you withdraw your consent, you’ve already done more than the vast majority of people who devote their lives to politics.

One more quote: “The state is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else.” – Frédéric Bastiat

When we realize how genuinely insane that prospect is, we start to see the state for what it is: organized crime.

The Thing You Cannot Say in Public

You know, I’m glad our choices for President of the United States are so blatantly terrible.
 
It’s about time some people started to realize the truth: It doesn’t matter who wins.
 
No matter how much hysterical screaming is hurled at you from friends, family, and coworkers, it doesn’t matter.
 
This is The Thing You Cannot Say in Public, and yet, you know it’s true.
 
Trump’s policies would be different in tiny ways from Hillary’s. That’s true. But the entire system remains intact, no matter who sits in the Oval Office. The State, as an organization, is wholly unfazed by your voting. It doesn’t care. You are nothing in face of Leviathan.
 
Your mind may tell you that voting is a waste of time, and that it changes nothing. But we get caught up in the television ads. The radio ads. The latest polls. The debates. The water cooler conversations. The flag waving. The ritual of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at public events. The singing of the National Anthem. The bumper stickers. The yard signs. The banner ads. The smartphone games. The fundraising mailers. The talk radio shows. The local political party meetings. The scandalous comments. The opinion pieces about the scandalous comments.
 
It is inescapable. Why? The State depends on the fact that your emotional defenses will wear away before Election Day.
 
“But we can’t let Trump win!”
 
“But we can’t let Hillary win!”
 
Listen to yourself, and then listen carefully to me.
 
No matter how many times you play Chess, and no matter who you play it with, the game is the same. Chess is a war game. You can play quickly or slowly. You can play in silence or engage in a lively volley of insults. Your pieces can be plastic, glass, stone, or anything else. Chess is still a war game.
 
You can switch sides every time you play, but the game is the same. Chess is always war. Chess does not care what team wins. If you want peace, you have to play a different game.
 
No matter who you vote for, the winner is always the great enemy of mankind: The State.