December 2007 - Posts

"Vulgar" Libertarianism and Voluntary Socialism

From what I've been able to gather, "vulgar" libertarianism is a label applied to the tendency of some libertarians, particularly with right-wing sympathies, to defend currently existing property arrangements and corporations as if they came about as a result of a free market process or as if there currently is a free market. That is, vulgar libertarians defend big buisiness in itself regaurdless of any genuine criteria for justice. A vulgar libertarian tends to conflate the difference between property rights and property classes or property titles. In "The Ethics of Liberty", Murray Rothbard made a criticism of utilitarian economists in that they have a tendency to treat currently existing property titles as legitimate without any ethical criteria for justice in property aquisition. Thus, they end up functioning as apologists for the status quo.

Most certainly, the contemporary left makes a conflation of its own between a "free market" and currently existing capitalism. The contemporary left tends to argue that we currently have a "free market", point to bad consequences, and then argue that we need more government intervention. The contemporary right, on the other hand, makes the exact same conflation but uses it for different purposes. The contemporary right tends to argue that we currently have a "free market", deny bad consequences, and defend the status quo on these grounds; at best, justifying current levels of intervention. "Vulgar" libertarians are falling into this same fallacy that the contemporary right ends up engaging in. They are using the theory of a free market to defend the consequences of a non-free market. "Capitalism", as it currently exists, is not a free market. Not a single market anarchist (or "anarcho-capitalist"), insofar as they are consistant, supports "capitalism" as it currently exists.

Libertarians should try to avoid being blind defenders of "the rich" and "the corporations" at all costs. This only feeds the left's mischaracterizations of us as heartless apologists for robber barons. The rich and corporations most certainly do not always achieve their wealth and status as a result of free market means. There is a political apparatus in place that externalizes the costs of corporations, protects them from competition, limits liability and provides a plethora of special privileges. There is a difference between being pro-buisiness as an end in itself and being pro-market. The free market, as a process, may very well be detrimental to some buisinesses, since those who cannot compete lose out. The currently existing corporate structure has skewed incentives and partially restricted competition.

When talking about "the rich" and "the poor", a question behooves us: which rich people and which poor people are we talking about? True, some people get rich by productivity. Others do not. Some get rich by using the state to restrict their competition and give them special privileges at the expense of the tax-payer. True, some people end up poor because of their own bad decisions, such as a lack of saving, excessive consumption, bad spending priorities, and so on. Other people end up poor due to bad circumstances caused by state intervention in the economy. To paint a picture in which all poor people got that way because they are uneducated, unskilled and lazy is unfair. And to paint a picture in which all rich people got that way because they are educated, talented and productive is not accurate by any stretch of the imagination.

As any libertarian who has done the slightest bit of reading on economics surely knows, there are many ways in which state intervention in the economy causes and increases poverty. Inflation devalues our money. Taxation in itself reduces our paychecks and makes us pay higher prices. Protectionism makes us pay higher prices and limits our options as consumers. Welfare, while it might artificially keep some people on their feet, ends up effectively creating stagnation and disincentivizing employment. Corporate welfare does steal from the poor to give to the rich. Minimum wage laws cause unemployment, particularly for teenagers, young adults and entry-level jobs in general. Pointing out how the state's intervention is detrimental to the cause of the poor and average worker can help clear up a lot of confusion and possibly win over some people of left-wing persuasions to libertarian causes.

Another important point to keep in mind is that, in a free market, there is nothing to stop people from voluntarily forming into types of association or organization that could be considered "socialistic". The idea of "libertarian socialism" or "voluntary socialism" initially struck me as nonsensical. While I still do not personally favor it in terms of my preferences for what I'd like to persue in a free market, it has become clear that I cannot oppose it in principle, that I must support the liberty of people to voluntarily organize into unions, co-ops and communes so long as they do not force me into it. Free association and free competition has pluralist implications in that different preferences can be persued voluntarily while peacefully co-existing. No single economic system or mode of organization can be unilaterally and monocentrically imposed.

Socialism can theoretically be compatible with libertarianism to the extent that it is voluntary. Unfortunately, the vast majority of socialists are not voluntarists. They wish to force socialism onto everyone else. Unlike anarchists, who are primarily opposed to the initiation of force and the institution of rulership, socialists are primarily opposed to capital and private ownership. But an anarchist can be a socialist if their socialism is in the context of free association and their socialist system is left to free competition. Indeed, all of the earliest anarchists were socialist types. The socialist movement arguably grew out of the anarchist movement, but went on to merge with the conservatism of the day and become an ideology that supports the state as a means to its ends. But there still are some socialists who are voluntarists.

In reality, it is impossible to actually completely abolish private property. Even in the Soviet Union, private property was still allowed to remain in place to some extent, and it also existed in the arena of black markets. All socialist systems so far have maintained some degree of private property in order to survive at all. Even the system of the socialist anarchists, if put into practise, would maintain private property, even if that private property is commonly held or stolen from its original just owners. While many socialists openly advocate the abolition of private property, the actual substance of what they advocate is no such thing. At best, it is the transferance of private property into different hands. And to the extent that it is transfered from unjust owners to just owners, this is actually perfectly fine. To the extent that it is transfered from just owners to unjust owners, to the extent that it constitutes outright expropriation from legitimate owners, it is a nightmare.

Us anarcho-capitalists (and market anarchists, a term I prefer more) are constantly being cajolled by social anarchists and accused of not really being anarchists. So we have to constantly justify that our philosophy is completely compatible with anarchism and grew out of its tradition. I personally do not like the term anarcho-capitalist because the word capitalist is like a red flag to a bull, especially to traditional anarchists who consider opposition to capitalism to be a core tenet of anarchism. We have to constantly explain that by the term "capitalist" we do not mean "capitalism" as it currently exists or any kind of system of government-buisiness patronage. We are always having to distinguish the difference between a free market and the current system, which people on the left always confuse. We should not err in justifying their claims by actually functioning as apologists for the current system and being shills for currently existing property arrangements and the corporate structure.

Anarchism and Atheism, Theism and Statism

Anarchism and atheism are both defined in negative terms. As general paradimes they do not actually advocate any particular belief or system of organization. They represent the lack of a belief. Atheism is a lack of belief in deities and religions, while anarchism is a lack of belief in governments and political groups. The literal meanings of the words are "without gods" and "without rulers". Both reject the alleged need for these things to exist and go even further in denying that they even exist as anything but concepts inside of people's heads.

While it may be objected that there is a difference between the two in that atheists deny the existance of gods, while anarchists do not deny the existance of governments, rational anarchists in fact do deny the existance of governments insofar as they are concieved of as anything but an aggregation of particular individual human beings. Anarchists are fully aware that the state is not an individual entity in itself so much as a particular organization made up of certain people. It could be said that the anarchist is not interested in abolishing the state so much as abolishing people's belief in the state as a sovereign individual entity and the need for such an entity. For the state is fundamentally based on the ideological support of the populace, albiet in a passive and brainwashed manner. The state cannot be abolished in a meaningful or permanent way without a change in the ideas of people.

Both theism and statism share the belief in a need for a higher authority in order for the world to keep running and make people act morally. They contain a fundamental fear of what may happen in the abscence of governments and gods. In the same way that statists believe that in the abscence of government there would be absolute chaos, theists tend to believe that in the absence of deities, or at least their particular deity, morality ceases to exist and there is nothing to keep the clockwork of the universe running. In other words, both statism and theism share the belief that must society be planned in some way. In a religion, the planner is a diety, while in a political party or statist ideology, the planner is a state.

Religion and statism are also similar in that they bring forth the existance of multiple ideological groups that conflict with eachother, with each group claiming a monopoly on morality and truth. Religious groups have historically battled eachother to the death in the name of what they percieved to be virtue. Likewise, statism, especially as manifested in modern democracy, involves multiple political parties and political ideologies battling for the power of the state in order to force their preferances onto eachother in the name of what they percieve to be virtue. The Hobbesian war of all against all is in fact a description of contemporary political democracy rather than anarchy.

In some ways, polytheism could be said to be somewhat less incompatible with anarchism than monotheism. Monotheism, the belief that there can only be one god, could be thought of as being similar to proclaiming there can only be one government, while polytheism, the belief that there can be or are multiple gods, could be thought of as being similar to proclaiming that there can be multiple governments. Therefore, polytheism could be considered more decentralized and tolerant in a sense, while monotheism is comparatively monopolistic. But of course polytheism still proclaims the alleged existance and need for deities, so the fundamental problem still stares us in the face.

It could easily be argued that organized religions came about directly as a result of attempts by states to control the gullable populations of times past. The Christian religion in particular could be viewed as a construct of the Roman state in order to more easily control the population by uniting them under one religion. The Jewish religion could likewise be seen as an attempt to unite the more decentralized tribes of anchient Judea into one political unit. In either case, the history of the state as an institution is clearly linked at the hip to religion. The most primitive and early rulers were literally thought of as being gods themselves or the descendants of gods. Furthermore, primitive deities in tribal societies were in fact family members who were ritualistically killed and eaten. This may give one reason to pause at the Christian notion of drinking Jesus's blood and eating his flesh symbolically for the communion ritual. Even when this notion and practise had worn threadbare, states used religious beliefs and institutions to bolster their power through the union of church and state. In some respects religious institutions used to be states in themselves.

Even in our comparatively secular modern age, political leaders are often treated almost as if they are gods capable of doing miraculous things. In the same way that religious people may pray to a deity in the hopes of their wishes coming true, political leaders are often looked at as people who can be relied on to do things that private citezens cannot do for themselves. In both cases, people are distracted from taking the responsibility necessary to persue their desires themselves while expecting some higher authority to magically fulfill their desires for them. And when things happen to go their way, they always priase the higher authority for making it happen. Or when they actually do manage to do things for themselves, instead of taking pride for their accomplishments they act as if a higher authority is what made it happen.

To clarify, there are plenty of anarchists who are not atheists and plenty of atheists who are statists. I do not mean to imply that it is impossible for an anarchist to be an adherant of a religion. It would most certainly be self-contradictary for an anarchist to oppose voluntary and non-violent religious expression. But I do mean to imply that there is cognitive dissonance involved in simultaneously holding onto anarchism and theism in one's mind. For it does not make sense to reject the need for human rulers while maintaining that there is a need for a deity to function as a ruler. There is also cognitive dissonance involved in simultaneously holding onto statism and atheism in one's mind. For how can one deny the existance of and need for gods while still believing that there is a need for a state to function precisely as a god and while thinking of the state as a soviereign individual entity in itself?

The Decline of Morality in the West

I believe in objective secular morality, founded on reason and universalism. I think a common mistake is the idea that if we ditch religion, we must fall back on moral relativity. Then the religious people feed on this and get to accuse secular people of being nihilists or hedonists. But I think that an objective secular morality can easily be formulated without relying on an appeal to authority, wether that be an appeal to a deity or an appeal to government. In some ways, I share a lot in common with the philosophy of the Objectivists (Ayn Rand's philosophy), although I think they make some wrong turns and draw some erroneous political conclusions.

I think that morality has declined in the west because we have abandoned reason for secular forms of faith (often political ones). We are not taught to value ourselves. Rather, we are taught to value an endless array of group-identities. Thus, instead of identifying ourselves as individuals we think of ourselves as a part of imaginary collective constructs, such as political groups, races, nations, economic classes, and so on. Out of the crises of meaning brought on by the relative fall of medievalist religion, we have sought meaning in the wrong places. And the persuit of science has unfortunately lead us down a path that leads people to erroneously accept determinism, thus denying free will. We need a new enlightenment.

The philosophy of self-sacrifice (altruism) has been widely accepted in varying forms. But this philosophy is erroneous and destructive at its root. What are the logical implications of universally applying the philosophy that the primary reason for living is to sacrifice oneself for the sake of others? The logical implication is mutual self-destruction. If the purpose of life is to sacrifice it, then in effect life has no real value. So this altruism ends up leading us in a nihilistic direction in practice, to deny the existance of truth and the genuine "self". In place of our genuine identities as individuals, we have identified with archetypes.

The solution, then, lies in the rediscovery of reason and the self. This requires the purging of false collectivist constructs, which obscure who we really are as individuals. While the enlightenment may have lead to the decline of religious absolutism, this does not suffice to solve the problem. Tearing down one false god and replacing it with another is hardly an improvement. In the abscence of hardcore belief in a diety, people have turned to governments to provide the exact same function. The false gods of government and nation-hood must be questioned altogether. Only then will needless conflict and moral deprivation start to subside.

Positive "Rights"

The idea of positive rights is that people have a "right" to be given particular benefits, material resources or services by others. They represent claims of a right to recieve positive benefits from other people, in the abscence of any actual "debt" incurred. They require people to take certain actions with regaurd to eachother. The contemporary notion of a right to healthcare, a right to education and a right to income equality are common manifestations of this.

It is empirically impossible to consistantly apply or enforce positive rights to all people. Imagine that every single person has a positive obligation to provide food, clothing, income security, healthcare, and education for eachother. Not only does the scarcity of resources make this hopelessly utopian, but it is simply physically impossible for each person to exercise their quotal share of control over everyone else. There is no realistic way for everyone to keep continual tabs on eachother as to ensure that they fulfill their alleged positive obligations to serve eachother. Therefore, the attempt to enforce positive rights will always in practise impose a burden on one group to the benefit of another. Positive rights cannot realistically be applied equally. Of course, wether they are attempted to be enforced or not, there will always be some degree of inequality in terms of the material resources people possess, and hence people's alleged positive rights will always be quantatively imbalanced. Any attempt to set it up so that everyone has an absolutely equal quantity, as well as quality, of goods and services will be in vein.

More importantly, however, is that claims of positive rights inherently must violate what is known as "negative rights", which are real rights. Positive rights require that people be forced to sacrifice in order to serve eachother. In short, all claims of positive rights bestow a positive obligation onto everyone to perform particular actions on the behalf of others. This is essentially altruism or forced egalitarianism. Negative rights, in contrast, bestow an obligation for people to abstain from infringing on the free actions of others. They do not require anyone to take any particular action. Instead, they are based on people abstaining from infringing on the free action of others. Negative rights is to be understood as freedom from the violence or coercion of other people. A negative right is a right not to be subjected to an action of another human being, or group of people, such as a state, in the form of violence or coercion. Therefore, positive rights violate negative rights in that they infringe on the liberty of others to not be forced to give to, serve or associate with other people. For example, in forcing someone to give money to someone else, their right to be free from coercion is being trampled upon, for they are being forced to take a particular action to benefit someone else against their will.

If someone has a right of self-ownership, then noone else can legitimately claim control over their bodies. Self-ownership implies that they are free to act without others initiating force or threatening to do so against their person. The alternative to self-ownership is some kind of slavery, even if it's a partial kind of slavery in question. The consistant application of positive rights would imply that everyone is eachother's slave. But as we have previously touched on, it is impossible to consistantly apply it. Therefore, in practise, one individual or group is enslaved to another under a regime of positive rights. If someone has a right to that property by which they voluntarily aquired, then noone else can legitimately claim that property against their will. Property rights implies that they are free to control that which they have justly aquired without others initiating force or threatening to do so against their property or to claim control over it against their will. The alternative to property rights is some kind of theft or coercive usory. The consistant application of positive rights would imply that everyone has a right to steal from eachother. But since it is impossible consistantly apply positive rights, in practise, one individual or group is plundered to the benefit of another.

As has been pointed out by professor Walter Block, the utopianism of positive rights can further be demonstrated by making another distinction between positive and negative rights. Negative rights violations require a human agent. Positive rights violations don't. Suppose that a natural disaster occurs, such as a bad tusnami or hurricane in central asia. Could it be legitimately argued that any negative rights violations occured? Most certainly not - no individual used any aggression or compulsion against eachother. But if one takes positive rights seriously, one could concievably argue that the people's positive rights were violated - afterall, they had no food, adequate clothing, shelter, healthcare or education! This, of course, is not to say that it would not be wise to provide such victims with food and shelter, but the idea of positive rights would lead us to claim that each and every victim of the disaster has an abstract "right" to have others provide certain services, in this case clothing and shelter, even against their will.

A mighty strange doctrine this notion of positive rights is. Someone can be charged with violating someone else's rights when they have not done anything to that person at all, and may have never even met the person in their life. A positive rights violation merely requires that someone abstain from fulfilling some expected positive obligation, even if they are completely unaware of such an excepted obligation. In other words, you are charged with a rights violation for the "crime" of taking no action at all or simply not knowing someone else! But people who are separated by oceans and large land masses must therefore be considered guilty in the extreme according to this view, for they mostly don't really interact with eachother at all. In either case, exploring the notion of positive rights empirically clearly leads us into an endless series of absurdities. More importantly, however, in terms of ethics the concept of positive rights is indistinguishable from a concept of mutual theft and slavery.

The Myth of the Social Contract

One of the most erroneous political ideas is the notion of the social contract. The idea is that the legitimacy of a government is based on a social contract between the people and the government. In America, the constitution is supposed to be our social contract. But since no such "social contract" has ever been an actual voluntary contract among "the people", it cannot be said to have any genuine authority under any common sense standards of justice. None of us ever signed the document (and even when it was drafted, it was only signed by a tiny aristocracy of people). Rather, we are assumed to have implicitly "consented" to it merely for being born within the territory. This strikes me as incredibly unjust. A true contract requires explicit consent. However, the standard view of the social contract is that everyone implicitly agrees to it by simply living under a given government.

The idea of a contract that I never signed that binds me to the authority of the state from birth, is akin to slavery from birth. I never signed no stinking contract. How is it that I am binded by this document for merely being born within the territory? How is it that I am obligated to serve a particular band of men for merely being born within the territory? How can a document be self-enforcing? It cannot, it must be created and enforced by flesh and blood individual men. How can the law rule all on its own? It cannot. The rule of law is a concept meant to, or that at least functions to even without such intent, disguise what is really the rule of men. The state can not be contractual. If such an institution truly is contractual, it ceases to be a state in any rational definition of the word.

The Lockean view of sovereignty essentially boils down to the idea that as soon as the constitutional contract is broken by the government, it is no longer binding and the government therefore no longer has sovereignty. In fact, without realizing it, Locke throws a huge bone to anarchists, because no government in the history of mankind fits the criteria necessary for his social contract. He was indeed denounced by his detractors as being an anarchist, for they quite correctly realized that the implications of his theory of sovereignty would completely delegitimize all existing states. Under common sense standards of jurisprudence, and Lockean principles, the constitution literally is not a binding contract. Furthermore, even if we treat it as having once been binding, the government has long since reniged on its contractual obligations. Therefore, under the classical liberal theory of sovereignty, it (and the government that it spawned) has no legitimate authority.

What about the idea that the constitution gives us our rights? It does no such thing. Rights are natural. You have them regaurdless of wether or not the law recognizes them. If the 2nd amendment was not in the bill of rights, you would still have a right of self-defense. It would not be legally recognized, but you will still have that right. This is the Lockean-style view of natural rights. You have them by virtue of being a human being. Constitutions do not give you your rights, they can only legally recognize them. Rights do not come from governments or laws, they come from human nature itself. All the government can do at best is abstain from violating your rights. In the Lockean view, governments and laws may be instituted in the name of securing these rights, but they are not where they derive from.

Thomas Jefferson said it best: "A free people claim their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate." -- Thomas Jefferson

From a practical standpoint, the constitution already has been shown to not work. It was defied almost from day one and the post-civil-war federal government, and especially the post WWI federal government, essentially has little to no resemblance to the document_ The constitution already has failed, so I don't see the logic in trying the exact same thing again. Clearly, the document can either be interpreted in a manner that implies the opposite of its original intent or meaning, or outright defied anyways. The document was flawed in the first place (not to mention that it was expansive in comparison to the document that preceded it, namely the AOC).

What about the content of the constitution? While it has been argued ad nauseum that it's "original intent" (or, to take a somewhat more strong stance, the "original meaning" of the words in themselves) was to limit the government's powers, the document itself contains plenty of "loopholes" and vague language that can easily be construed (and have been so construed) to grant expansive powers not intended or apparent within the plain language. The "general welfare" clausecomes to mind most of all. It has been used to justify practically anything the government does, for "general welfare" is a loaded, subjective and arbitrary term. Who's welfare, and what exactly is welfare? Who will define this for us? "The supreme court", you answer? What kind of limit on government is this, that it may define its own powers arbitrarily and at whim?

Not only can the constitution not work and has been empirically shown to not have worked, but it cannot be ethically justified to begin with.

How The State Thrives, How The State Falls

Foreward note: inspired in part by "The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse on Voluntary Servitude" by Eteinne De La Boetie.

How the State Thrives

How does the state maintain itself? It is true that to some extent all states initially derive from conquest through devices such as war and land theft. However, once a state has been established, and once many generations have passed, it need not rely on such overt violence in order to maintain its rule. Instead, it relies on the mechanisms of propaganda, of buying out intellectuals and aristocrats within the public, and by providing bread and circuses. Ultimately, the most powerful factor keeping a state in place, once one has been established, is the compliance of the populace, driven fundamentally by ideology. For ideology is a far more dangerous weapon then any guns or bombs. The only thing truly keeping the state in place is the people's ideological support for it and the state's exploitation of any ideologies that they may adhere to.

This does not mean that everyone consents to the government. Indeed, people may have gripes with much of the various things that the government does. However, what keeps the state in place is ultimately people's passive resignation to its existance and their ideological acceptance of the notion that there is a need for one in the first place. They may strongly disagree with many policies of the government, but they have simply been born into the system and have been given the impression since birth that the government is good, necessary and inevitable, and that the only alternative to its rule would be absolute chaos and destruction. For ideological support for the state is fundamentally based on the hobbesian notion that human beings are inherently evil and conflicting when left to their own devices, and therefore they need to be ruled in order for their allegedly inherently chaotic natures to be kept in check.

In short, the state essentially dupes the bulk of the populace into believeing that, despite whatever gripes they may have with it, they benefit from its rule. The state may bolster this impression by providing various public services, ranging from the essential to the trivial and things of mere entertainment-value. In anchient Rome, this took the form of gladiator's arenas and aquaducts and booty for soldiers. Today it may take the form of anything from national healthcare to farm subsidies to federal funding for the arts. This gives the people the illusion that the state is benevolent and giving. Little do the people realize that they are only being given back a small portion of what was initially stolen from them and their ancestors.

The state is more maintainable when its subjects are dependant on it rather then self-reliant. A self-reliant citezen simply has no need to depend on the state for their well-being, and therefore the state has an incentive to create an institutional framework in which self-reliance is discouraged. Consequentially, the state has an interest in maintaining and expanding a class of people who are dependant on it for their very survival. This may be called the welfare class. The state may very well, both purposesfully and by unintended consequences, bring about circumstances that lower people's well being, therefore creating a reason for it to step in and provide relief and security.

In a sense the state thrives and grows based on a cycle of interventionism. That is, the state itself creates a problem, and then uses the problem as a reason to intervene to cure the problem and expand its powers, which then leads to more problems and the cycle keeps repeating itself. It may exploit the oppurtunity in order to blame the problem that it created on some inherent flaw in society so that the rulers can claim that the state's power is all the more necessary in order to fix the problems of the people. Intervention breeds more intervention.

An important aspect of the maintenance of political rule is the collusion between private interests and the state. A small band of individuals from within the public recieve special privileges from the state beyond what the average person can access in exchange for their services and loyalty to the state apparatus. This group forms an intellectual class of apologists for the state's rule, who gain control over the flow of ideas within the society. It creates a symbiotic relationship by which private interests such as religious organizations, the media, buisinesses and unions gain patronage and protection in exchange for their political support. In medieval times this took the form of the union of church and state and the economic system of fuedalism. Today it takes the form of the union of buisiness and state, central banking and union cartels.

In order to thrive, it is important for the state to buy out the intellectuals within a society. For the most intellectual people possess the most potential to challenge its authority, so they must be brought to be on the side of its authority. As Thomas Jefferson very well was aware of, a well educated populace is the most dangerous thing to the state's power. Therefore, the state tried to incorporate as many of the most educated people in a society as possible into its apparatus. Economists, scientists, inventors and technologists are all made as dependant on the state as possible and are employed by it to serve its purposes.

Critical to the state's reliance on ideology for its support in modern times is the provision of public education. For public education provides the state with an indispensible means by which to control the ideas of the people. What better way to create a passively obedient populace then to control their education from birth? Indeed, in public schools children are essentially instilled with a sense of nationalism and are spoon-fed what amounts to fairy tales about their government and leaders from times past. The history and social studies books are predictably written to portray the government in a positive light, and any blunders the government may be responsible for are blamed on the people in some way. And this control even extends to college, where vocational priorities and oppurtunities are predetermined and professors are disproportionately biased.

The state's control of the flow of ideas in a society of course does not stop once one graduates from school or finishes college. In our modern age it extends to the mass media. The state regulates the airwaves. In order to make it into the mainstream media buisiness, one must be licensed, and with the licensing comes a load of requirements for fitting state-determined criteria for content and ettiquiette. While many countries may not have state control of the media to extent that a communist country in which the state literally runs the media itself does, the patronage between the private media buisiness and the state, and the amount of regulation involved, produces a close enough effect.

There is a profound sense in which the state thrives on conflict. There are two ways in which this is true. On one hand, the state thrives by pitting the people against eachother. On the other hand, the state thrives by uniting the people against a common and external enemy. In both cases, the main emotions to be exploited are fear and distrust. Rich are pitted against poor, labor is pitted against capital, religious is pitted against secular, nation is pitted against nation and ethnicities are pitted against eachother. Pick any two opposing personal preferances and there is a potential conflict to be created by the state in exploiting them. Some of the conflict is over patronage with the state, while in other cases it is simply in the name of dominance. This encouragment of conflict functions as a distractionary device as well as a means to get people to support state power in the persuit of such conflicts.

The state is constituted by self-interested individuals just like any other institution. These individuals have every reason in the world to try to maximize their own revenues. However, if a parasite sucks too much from its host, it eventually kills its host, and dies itself in turn. Therefore, some members of the state may try to maintain a balance by which they extract as much as possible from the people while still leaving them with enough to ensure that the plunder can continue. This is of course not to say that these individuals may be particularly good at calculating exactly where the cut-off point is, nor is it to say that there are not individuals who will wrecklessly try to extract as much as possible without any such considerations for sustainance.

Nonetheless, the master politician is he or she who is best able to determine where this point of balance lies. For plunder cannot be efficiently institutionalized unless it is made sustainable, and the state is the very incarnation of institutionalized plunder. It is a protection racket. The art of rule consists of finding ways to keep the plunder repetitive and sustainable. The common criminal pales in comparison to the common ruler. For while the common criminal may manage to plunder their victim once, it is doubtful that they will return to the same victim twice, let alone convince their victim that they are actually helping them and that they are a necessary part of the social order. But the sucessful ruler gets away with this, and much more.

How the State Falls

Based on our understanding of how the state thrives, it behoovs us to understand how the state falls. Afterall, there is no such thing as a permanent institution, and the state is not exempted from this fact. We live in a world of scarce resources with mortal beings and limited abilities. No matter how sucessful a state is at maintaining its rule, one day it eventually falls. One could very well think of it in terms of entropy in that all systems are ultimately reduced to their component parts. One way in which the state falls is merely by following its natural course, which is to say that it drains and damages the source of its supply to the point where it cannot thrive any longer. In a sense, all states seal their own fates by setting up economic conditions that eventually render them helpless. For there are many unintended consequences to the economic meddling that is required to maintain the existance of a state.

Viewed another way, there is a certain social evolutionary inertia at work that makes state control harder and harder to maintain over time. As technology improves and as information spreads and complexifies, it becomes harder and harder for the state to adequately plan anything and the market itself starts to provide functions more efficiently and more cheaply then the state can manage to. The state's provision of services starts to become progressively obsolete over time. No matter what a state may do to try to control a market, the market has its own inertia and a dynamically self-correcting nature that defies all attempts to control it. And as the amount of information in a society intensifies, the ability of a state to control public opinion and the prospects for power remaining centralized decreases.

There comes a certain point where the exploitive nature of the state becomes blatantly obvious to the public at large and the possibility of revolution enters the horizon. The instinct of people to be free can only be bottled up for so long. And information cannot be suppressed completely or eternally. Violent revolution is of course not the only possibility for the fall of states, and it is probably the most risky route that can be taken. But wether violent or not, some sort of rebellion becomes inevitable after a point. Iron curtains cannot be kept in place infinitely. Artificial divisions cannot be indefinitely maintained. Prohibitions can be defied almost as if they didn't exist at all. With enough effort, taxes can be resisted and avoided.

If we accept the premise that the state is fundamentally kept in place by ideology and passive resignation, another way by which the state may fall is by the mass withdrawl of consent by the populace. Mass civil disobedience has proven to be a surpisingly effective strategy for change in many instances. For as soon as people stop believing in the state, it essentially dissapears unless its members wish to resort to overt violence. And if it tries to resort to overt violence in order to maintain its rule, it risks delegitimizing itself even more in the eyes of the populace and facing what amounts to a domestic insurgency of the people, which can be a very tough thing to beat in battle. Civil war and domestic insurgency is hardly a desirable state of affairs for the members of the state.

The withdrawl of consent can also be manifested in terms of competition, even on black and grey markets. If people want to avoid the state schools, they may try resorting to home schooling or private and alternate methods of schooling. If people want to avoid the mainstream media, they may try opening up alternative media organizations and using the internet. If people are displeased with the government's courts, they may start resorting to private arbitration. If people are displeased with the police, they may start relying more on self-defense, engaging in limited forms of vigalantaism or even opening and patronizing alternative institutions for defensive purposes. If people resent ridiculous and archiac laws enough, they may simply start defying them in mass.

Never underestimate the power of a massive withdrawl of consent. It can potentially grind a political system to a hault within days, much in the same way that a massive enough boycott can eventually drive a company out of buisiness. A buisiness cannot survive without customers. And a state cannot survive without participants and dependants. It would be an interesting scenario indeed if on one election day noone showed up at the ballot box, or if large numbers of people decided to simply stop filling out their tax forms, or if soldiers and policemen and bereaucrats simply quit in mass. What a quagmire that would be for the top dogs!

For rulers are reduced to nothing but feeble individuals as soon as obedience is simply denied to them outright and in mass. They only constitute a tiny portion of society. They most borrow the eyes, ears and labor of their subjects to maintain their power. The lone ruler is truly powerless without the complicity of people willing to enforce their will for them. They do not directly enforce anything themselves or pay for anything out of their own pocketbooks. They are quite cowardly individuals. They do not fight their wars themselves. They do not do the paperwork themselves. They do not patrol the streets themselves. They have no more power over you then that which you lend to them by joining their ranks and directly participating in their institutional framework.

And therefore the key to dismantling their power is to simply stop participating in it.

A Defense of Rational Egoism

Defining Rational Egoism

Wikipedia defines rational egoism as follows:

"Rational egoism is the pursuit of one's own, accurately perceived, self-interest. The term may refer either to the philosophical view that it is always in accordance with reason to pursue self-interest (a view closely related to ethical egoism) or to the behavioral postulate that people actually act in accord with their own, accurately perceived, self-interest (a particular version of psychological egoism)."

It goes on to more specifically define Ayn Rand's take on rational egoism:

"Ayn Rand's philosophy, Objectivism, links its rational values directly to egoism. Her book The Virtue of Selfishness explains in depth the concept of egoism. The version of rational egoism defined by Rand consists of the principle that pursuing personal interest is rational, and not seeking personal interest is irrational.

In Rand's view, there is no greater moral goal than achieving happiness. Rational egoism, however, is not an excuse to act on every whim or emotional impulse, because it is irrational to desire what one has not earned. Happiness requires objective principles, like moral integrity and a respect for the rights of others."

The Problem with Altruism

There is much trouble with the idea that one has a positive moral obligation to serve others, while doing things to benefit yourself is somehow an "evil" (this overlooks the fact that one engages in mutually beneficial relations with others and acts of benevolence precisely out of their self-interest; mutual self-interest). If I have a positive obligation to serve others, then those others are effectively my master, and I am their slave. If acting for the interest of my self-preservation and happiness is a sin, then I am effectively commanded to abstain from happiness and sacrifice my life. But the rational egoist does not proclaim that everyone should live in total social isolationism or do whatever they want, all they are saying is that everyone should engage eachother in a mutually beneficial manner out of mutual self-interest.

If altruism was consistantly applied, there would be no human beings left, since everyone would sacrifice themselves to eachother and do nothing for themselves. Altruism as a philosophy cannot be universally applied to all human beings, let alone one human being, unless we consider it a philosophy of mutual self-destruction. A selfless person is one that does not exist. So at the end of the day, while the logical implications of consistantly following altruism are horrid, perhaps the more important point is that there is no such thing as an altruist, since everyone possesses self-awareness (no matter how low-intensity this self-awareness may be) and inherently must act to benefit themselves. I do not know of any single human being in the past or present who acts in a purely self-sacrificing manner to serve others. And I do not know of a single act of genuine kindness or benevolence that is not done out of self-interest on a fundamental level.

The rational egoist does not oppose individuals giving to and helping eachother, what is opposed is the use of force to make people do so against their will and self-interest. What is opposed is parasitism, where one individual or group is forcefully coerced to sacrfice to the benefit of another individual or group. This is the exact opposite of social cooperation: it is the method of theft and phony philanthropy. The rational egoist clearly sees that the best way to benefit people is for them to work together voluntarily in their self-interest so that all parties gain. True philanthropy results from cooperation. If the methods to one's well-intended ends are not cooperative, if they are coercive, then this is not true charity, but rather a destructive act that disintegrates the social order.

The Universalism of Rational Egoism: Harmony of Interests

In short, it is impossible to separate voluntary social interaction or "social cooperation" from self-interest. "Social cooperation" stems directly from self-interest and could not exist without it. One may try to counter the arguements for rational egoism by claiming that people may act in their self-interest in a way that harms or unjustly controls others, but this would not actually be an action in one's self-interest. William Graham Sumner said it best: "If I want to be free from any other man's dictation, I must understand that I can have no other man under my control." Herbert Spencer also understood this when he stated that people respect the rights of others in direct proportion to their respect for their own rights. If one wishes no harm to be done to themselves, as a prerequisite, they must not harm others. This is simply the defacto result of universally applying the principles.

There in fact is no conflict between people's rational self-interest and remaining ethical. In a self-interested sense, I don't harm other people because I realize that it establishes a precedent that will return to haunt me. And my empathy for others stems from my regaurd for myself, so there is nothing contradictary between self-interest and charitable acts either. In either case, if the principle of individual sovereignty holds true, then it must be universally applied to all human beings. And if it is universally applied to all human beings, then each individual must effectively be shielded from invasion/aggression by the other. The non-aggression principle represents this quite well. For the non-aggression principle leaves each individual free to persue their self-interest without infringing on the liberty of anyone else.

Rational egoism and the non-initiation of aggression go hand in hand. The rational egoist does not steal from others because they wouldn't like to be stolen form. A parasite eventually destroys its host, which destroys itself. And the rational egoist is concious of the fact that they can actually benefit more in the long-run through voluntary trade. The rational egoist has no compeling reason to go around assaulting and murdering others who have not threatened their lives or property. They realize that they would be destroying the very social order that benefits them, which will diminish their utility in the long-run. Of course, if people are sovereign self-owners, then in order to be logically consistant the criteria once again applies universally. While the rational egoist refuses to recognize any positive obligations to others, they do not demand such obligations from others either. While they refuse to be enslaved by others, they also do not enslave others.

Rational Egoism Applied: The Ethics of Being a Solider

I reject the idea that soldiers are virtuous altruists who sacrifices themselves for the sake of my freedom. Put in plain, albiet uneasy to swallow terms, a non-drafted solider is someone who is willing to murder for the state. I do not respect this, nor do I find it virtuous in any way. This fact is often obscured with the idea that a non-drafted soldier is someone who is willing to sacrifice their lives for the state (which I find irrational to begin with), but it is never aknowledged that they are people who are willing to take the lives of others for the state as well. Let me make it plain and clear: you have no altruistic duty to sacrifice for me, and I do not want your sacrifice. Nor will I bow down and worshop you.

I empathize with soldiers only to the extent that they are forced into such a position against their will. This is especially true in the case of a draft, which is involuntary servitude and thus unethical at the root. But to the extent that soldiers may willingly choose to murder for the state, I do not empathize at all. This being said, I can relate to the idea that soldiers could be viewed as pawns for the higher-ups, since it is the generals and politicians who ultimately send them off to foreign lands and centrally plan such endeavors. But the old "I was just following orders" precedent will not fly with me. You could very well not follow immoral orders if you have the courage to. That's what takes true courage. There is nothing rational about sacrificing oneself to benefit rulers.

Conclusion

The consistant application of rational egoism may lead to some controversial yet absolutely logical implications. Rational egoism is a commonly misunderstood philosophical position in that it is often miscontrued as sanctioning hedonism and unbridled narcissism, but this is not the case if one actually understands what it means and implies. It should not be confused with the style of near-nihilistic egoism espoused by the likes of Max Stirner. It is not "might makes right". Properly understood, it is a philosophical basis for a voluntary ethic in human interaction. For there is ultimately nothing more rational and more beneficial to the individual then universally applied liberty.

Two Fallacies (Or Three?)

In discussing and debating economic and political issues, there are some rather ridiculous fallacies that are commonly manifested in public discourse. These fallacies are not directed at the content of one's ideas so much as the character of those advocating them, and therefore can be seen as ad hominems. They are misunderstandings or misrepresentations of the character of people who adhere to certain ideas.

One of the most common of these fallacies in political discourse is the accusation that someone opposes a given goal because they disagree with the means that other people advocate towards achieving the goal. This is fallicious because it assumes that there is only one possible means to the desired end in question. In particular, when people get so used to a traditional method of doing things, when it seems to people that this is how it always was and always must be, they tend tend to assume that the given means is the only possible one towards the end in question. This method of looking at the world ends up as a defacto defense of the status quo, for any proposed alternative can be immediately shot down as insane or impossible. And any objection to the currently popular means towards the goal in question is misrepresented as an objection to the goal in itself.

But the fact that I may oppose the compulsory provision of something does not mean that I oppose that thing in itself. What I oppose is not the ends but the use of coercive means towards those ends. I simply do not think that the ends ever justify the means. I am a non-utilitarian or non-consequentialist. This is not to say that I don't care about consequences at all so much as the fact that I view the consequences as becoming irrelevant if the given means towards those consequences is immoral in itself.

To use an example, I oppose the government provision of welfare. A common reaction would be to accuse me of being a heartless *** that lacks empathy for the poor and needy. But this would be a complete misreading of my character and intentions. In opposing government welfare, I am not opposing the act of giving money to the less fortunate in itself, I am opposing the political means towards that end, which is the forced redistribution of wealth by the state through taxation. I fully support any individual's choice to personally give their wealth away to others or to voluntary form institutions to cater to the needy. What I oppose is the means of stealing from anyone else in order to do this. My opposition to government welfare says nothing about my personal willingness to voluntarily give my money away to or give help to poor people.

This fallacy is all over this place in public discussion of economic policy. The great French laissez-faire economist Frederic Bastiat pointed out this very problem over a century ago when he stated the following: "Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain."

Another common fallacy is the accusation that someone personally supports a given goal or preferance because they support someone's freedom to persue that goal or preferance. Or, alternatively, the accusation that someone does not support someone's freedom to persue a given goal or preferance because they do not personally prefer the thing in question. These fallacies are used to imply that people have personal preferances which they do not actually hold in reality, or in the case of the alternative fallacy, that they are authoritarians who wish to impose their whims onto everyone else. One could in theory hold onto all sorts of illogical and horrible personal views yet confine them to a voluntary context. Even such nonsensical ideas such as racism.

To address the initial fallacy equating support for people's freedom to do something with a personal preferance for it, the fact that I support someone's right to engage in a given activity does not necessarily mean that I personaly favor or advocate that activity. As the classic Voltaire saying goes, I disagree with what you say but to the death I will fight for your right to say it. I do not personally support or engage in polygamy, homosexual activity, prostitution, heroine use, gambling or racist speech.

Yet I fully support the freedom of anyone else to voluntarily engage in such activities provided that they do not force me to engage in them myself. This in no way makes me a polygamist or racist coddler or what have you. To paint a picture of me in which I am some kind of active and supporter of these things is an inaccurate assault on my character. My support for personal freedom does not necessarily translate into a personal preferance for whatever activies people engage in with their personal freedom.

In short, I make a clear distinction between that which is immoral for any human being to engage in and that which I do not personally prefer. On one hand, I actually think that ethics should be absolute and universally applied to all human beings. I am am as far from being an ethical subjectivist or hedonist as it gets. On the other hand, things that are mere personal preferances cannot really count as ethics. They are matters of taste or whim.

There are plenty of things in this world that I do not personally prefer. But I do not advocate the prohibition of these things. I personally dislike B.C. Rich guitars. Rap music annoys me. I hate the taste of beer and find drunks to be generally beligerant in their behavior. I never understood how people could appriciate a nearly blank canvas with a dot on it as good art. I find McDonald's burgers to be too small, not particularly tasty and a rip off. I dislike religious beliefs with a burning passion. And if I see anyone doing the Macarena one more time, my head is going to explode!

But you won't ever see me advocating a government ban on any of these things. In economic terms, I can oppose them using my own freedom by simply abstaining from purchasing or funding them, and urging others to do likewise. In social terms, I can oppose them by writting and speaking against them to other people. And on some level at the end of the day I'm just going to have to put up with the fact that not everyone shares my sense of aesthetics. Besides, the world would be boring if everyone were clones.

Democracy is Impossible

There are many good arguements against democracy. The most standard of these arguements is primarily an ethical one: that it is unjust for a majority to be able to vote away the rights of a minority. For if democracy is defined in terms of majoritarianism, it must be dismissed as being inherently incompatible with a universal application of rights to all human beings, since it implies that any larger amount of people can legitimately force their will on any smaller amount of people. This makes democracy nothing but might makes right, cloaked in egalitarian rhetoric. The ethically and logically consistant position would be that if it is wrong for an individual to do X (such as murder), then it is wrong for a group to do X. However, I intend to take a bit of a different approach to argueing against democracy here.

The ideal of political democracy is that of a government controled by the people as a whole. The idea is that by expanding access to the governmental apparatus to everyone, wether that be through voting or through eligibility for holding political office, we will get rid of exploitation of men by men. This is supposed get rid of the special privileges in society, converting everyone into more or less a state of "equality under the law". But this idea is ridiculous. The government is not actually directly controlled by the people. Ownership by the government, in practise, amounts to ownership by an oligarchy, for the people do not in fact directly control the government. The people who actually constitute our government, in practise, are the politicians, bureaucrats, policemen and soldiers. Another related class of people are a small band of private interests who ally with the government for special privileges in exchange for political support. Combined, those are the real, albiet unjust, owners of "public property", which is stolen from "the people" in reality (including workers and the poor in general).

The only remotely good thing that democracy does as a system is get rid of the monarchal king. But this move in itself becomes meaningless and negated by the proceeding steps in the transformation towards democracy. Democracy may indeed get rid of the king, but it replaces the king with a plurality of rulers (which for all intents and purposes can now function as multiple kings). But think about what this actually does. We have gotten rid of the special privilege of the king, and replaced it with a special privilege to an even larger band of men.

Democracy does not get rid of privileged rulers. It replaces a system in which one person is at the top of the oligarchy with one in which multiple people are at the top of the oligarchy. Indeed, democracy does not get rid of oligarchy. A government (no matter what form), by its very nature, is oligarchal, and a government inherently creates a class division between itself and the populace. The political class is those who constitute the government and the individuals who ally with them for privileges (the tax-consumers), and the subject class is those who are ruled by the political class (the tax-payers). What democracy does is allow more people to become part of the political class, and hence it actually expands special privileges.

The theory of political democracy is wrong. The existence of "representatives" in itself drives a wedge between "the people" and "the government", for the control is not direct. This is what distinguishes "participatory" or "direct" democracy from what most people refer to as "democracy" (representative democracy, which is a sham). The theory of control by the people would only be true if we had participatory democracy, and if participatory democracy were actually put into practise, it would be an anarchy because it would have to be based on unanimous consent and direct control. Participatory democracy could not in practise continue being a government. There is no such thing as a government that is directly controlled by all of the people: they would all have to literally be members of it. Such a notion is absurd.

To add some criticism of the effectiveness of voting and political representation: it is physically and logically impossible for a few men in the government to realistically represent all of the people who voted for them or all of the people in the district or state in general. They are individual human beings, they can only directly represent themselves. It is impossible for one man to represent the diverse desires of an entire society, for all of the people within a given society vary widely and conflict in their desires in the first place. It would be impossible for one man or small band of man to even accurately ascertain or predict those desires. This is essentially the calculation or information problem applied to political participation and representation. As a consequence of the information problem, political representatives inherently must impose either their own will or the will of a special interest group onto the masses, even if every single person voted. In short, they must centrally plan in opposition to the desires of "the people".

The introduction of the institution of voting into society does not magically make the government more controlled by the people, nor does it necessarily make it any more voluntary. It first must be established that the casting of a vote in itself need not be one of enthusiasm, but can be one of resignation or as a reactionary mechanism against encroachment by interests that the individual dislikes or opposes. It also must be established that the mere act of voting is not truly binding on any politician. For all intents and purposes, a politician can run on a platform of X, and then do Y once in office (for example, see George W. Bush preaching about the virtues of non-intervention with foreign nations in the 90's and compare it to his actions in the present). One may counter that in four years or so they can get voted out of office, but (1) this is less likely than one may think due to the gullability of the voting populace (2) it does nothing to negate the damage already done in the time that the person does hold office and (3) it does nothing to truly legally prosecute politicians who break their oaths and contracts.

The demographic reality tells us that large chunks of many country's populations simply don't vote. It would follow that these people cannot be said to be "responsible" for things that came about as a result of voting that they did not take part in. One cannot reasonably argue that someone who has never cast a vote can truly be adequately represented. This rather large group of people, the non-voters, are technically pure subjects. But so are most of the people who do vote, because their votes do nothing but bind them. Both the voter and non-voter are binded all the same, for they are still subject to whatever the government decides. The typical voter has simply been given the illusion that they are in a better position than the non-voter. This is not the case - both are subject to the government's decrees against their will all the same.

Even if we do assume that the government can represent voters in any realistic way, we are almost never dealing with true majorities in a democracy. We are dealing with "numerical majorities". The idea that, say, Texas is a "red state" is absurd in the sense that the actual statistics show us something very close to the following: say, 35% of the eligible Texas population voted, and out of that 35% of the eligible Texas population 2% voted for 3rd parties, 15% voted for Democrats and 18% voted for Republicans. Thus, by literally considering Texas to be a "red state", we are projecting a rather small statistic (18% of eligible voters, which is probably 10% or less of the Texas population) into a generalization encompassing the entire population of the state. "The majority" or "the state of texas" is not being "represented". We are dealing with a rather small fraction of its population.

This is why I consider the very idea of political democracy to ultimately be a sham, an impossibility.

The Rational and Individualist Case Against Racism

I'd like to state upfront that I am not an egalitarian, which is to say that I am fully aware of the fact that people are inherently unequal with respect to their mental and physical capabilities as individuals, and I despise the politically correct way in which racial questions are often treated in public discourse. I do not support affirmative action or any attempts to force people of different racial groups to associate with eachother. However, I intend to make a decent criticism and refutation of the ideology of racism itself as well as its goals.

Like all forms of collectivism, racism treats entire groups of people as if they were individual entities in themselves. But only individuals exist, think and act. Responsibility cannot reasonably be assigned uniformly to entire races or abstract concepts. In the same way that the entire caucasian race cannot be blamed for any particular blunders done by certain white people in the past, the entire negroid race cannot be blamed for any particular blunders that certain black people may engage in presently. The notion of ancestral guilt is morally bankrupt, for it assigns moral responsibility to certain individuals who took no part in the thing in question for merely being descended from those who may have engaged in the thing in question. The notion of collective guilt is morally bankrupt, for it assigns moral responsibility to everyone within a given group for the actions of particular individuals within that group.

Racial polylogism is the view that treats different racial groups as having different logical structures of the mind, while simultaneously ignoring the diversity within a given racial group. But in reality, perhaps barring the severely mentally handicapped, there is only one fundamental logical structure of the human mind. Individuals may indeed vary widely in their mental capabilities and how they apply their mental capabilities, but this in no way validates the premise that entire races have different logical structures of the mind than eachother, it only applies to individuals. In other words, even if one could scientifically prove that one race on average has better or worse intellectual capabilities, this essentially has no bearing on the individual members of such groups, who vary among themselves in the first place. And it would do nothing to change the fact that all human beings share the same fundamental characteristics that make them human.

All human beings have a rational self-interest or incentive towards certain basic things, the most fundamental of these being maintaining their own existance and the quality thereof. Each individual is self-aware and possesses the capacity to be rational. The defining feature that sets human beings apart from other animals is our rationality and the expanded capacity for moral choice and knowledge accumulation that it gives us. All people, no matter what their skin color is or any other such unique physical characteristics they may possess, have this capacity to one degree or another. When it comes to this basic capacity, noone, no matter what group identity is attached to them, can be reasonably characterized as sub-human. The biological differences between the races can essentially be reduced to little more than miniscule and superficial physical differences in appearance, and do nothing to counteract the fact that all such people share the same fundamental defining features of being a human.

Racial identity is in many ways an illogical collectivist mindset, for one is identifying themselves with an abstraction rather than as an individual. One is actually sacrificing their genuine identity and unique qualities in order to conform to an ideal and become more uniform with respect to others. Racial identity can lead to the idea that one must act a certain way and that one is entitled to certain privileges merely for being part of a particular group. Treating people differently in terms of rights merely on the basis of what racial identity group they belong to sets up a precedent in which different groups are granted a different set of rights. Thus, racist conceptions of rights may suffer from the fallacy of group's rights just as much as an egalitarian conception does. In practise, the only significant difference between the two is that they place different emphasis on which group gets more rights then the other.

Racists tend to rely on an extreme form of either biological or cultural determinism in order to defend their premises. They assume that one's race uniformly dictates one's ideas and behavior. While cultural marxists may tend to overemphasize nurture in explaining the behavior of people from certain racial or cultural groups, racists may tend to overemphasize nature in their attempts to explain such things. The cultural determinists are somewhat correct in pointing out that people are a product of their environment, although they unfortunately take this view to illogical extremes. But it cannot be denied that there are some biological and cultural differences among the tendencies of individuals belonging to different races. However, racists tend to make the mistake of assuming that correlation equals causation when dealing with statistical data about racial tendencies, and all of their attempts to prove the inherent inferiority of certain races have been debunked scientifically.

Many racists may have an agenda of separatism between races. Some may go so far as to envision a completely ethnocentric culture in which each racial group remains completely hermetically sealed from the other. Unfortunately for the racists, however, this would be counterproductive for them. Even if it were the case that one group is indeed superior to the other, it would still be more advantageous to trade and associate with them than to completely isolate from them. In economic terms, the theory of comparative advantage proves this beyond the shadow of a doubt. Discrimination generally does not benefit the discriminator in the long run, it hurts all parties involved. In economic terms, discrimination is suicidal, because either you're lowing the amount of customers or you're hiring a less qualified worker over a more qualified one, and therefore are accepting lower productivity. Racial discrimination is a suicidal buisiness practise in a modern society.

To add more insult to injury to the cause of the racists, it is physically impossible to have complete social isolation between the races. The history of mankind is in many ways a perpetual history of migrations between territories, and as time passes society naturally, albiet slowly, becomes more integrated. While white pride groups may tend to think of themselves as ethnically pure, in actual fact the history of Europe is full of the intermingling between different tribes, including ones that were originally from places far from Europe. In a profound sense, everyone is a "mut" on some level. The consequences of inbreeding have been shown to be negative, so it may very well be the case that evolution favors racial mixing. In either case, ultimately, racial separatists are trying to accomplish something that is impossible. It is impossible to manage to stop migration of foreign peoples in its track, and it is impossible to economically benefit while persueing a large-scale discriminatory buisiness practise. The movement of people of different ethnicities across land masses and the interbreeding of people of different ethnicities is to some extent inevitable, and will only intensify over time.

In conclusion, racism is not an ideology that has reason or evidence on its side and is ultimately self-defeating.