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Bert Posted: Mon, Dec 12 2011 12:19 AM

Maybe this will be a hit or miss, but the low content threads worked out so well why not a low content quote thread?  Can range from any subject to any purpose (quoting Plato to quoting absurd statements from political candidates to something you recently read in a book that stuck out to you), but something that's not common or that can be easily found on the internet (not everything we've already heard from Rothbard or Mises for example).  I'll start.

As we can have no legal knowledge as to who votes from choice, and who from the necessity thus forced upon him, we can have no legal knowledge, as to any particular individual, that he voted from choice; or, consequently, that by voting, he consented, or pledged himself, to support the government. Legally speaking, therefore, the act of voting utterly fails to pledge any one to support the government. It utterly fails to prove that the government rests upon the voluntary support of anybody. On general principles of law and reason, it cannot be said that the government has any voluntary supporters at all, until it can be distinctly shown who its voluntary supporters are.

As taxation is made compulsory on all, whether they vote or not, a large proportion of those who vote, no doubt do so to prevent their own money being used against themselves; when, in fact, they would have gladly abstained from voting, if they could thereby have saved themselves from taxation alone, to say nothing of being saved from all the other usurpations and tyrannies of the government. To take a man’s property without his consent, and then to infer his consent because he attempts, by voting, to prevent that property from being used to his injury, is a very insufficient proof of his consent to support the Constitution. It is, in fact, no proof at all. And as we can have no legal knowledge as to who the particular individuals are, if there are any, who are willing to be taxed for the sake of voting, we can have no legal knowledge that any particular individual consents to be taxed for the sake of voting; or, consequently, consents to support the Constitution.

- Lysander Spooner, No Treason

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Wheylous replied on Mon, Dec 12 2011 10:36 AM

Character is what you are in the dark. - Dwight L. Moody

Only individuals have free will, systems do not. - P. J. O'Rourke

Notice how the idea of collective entitlement is much more popular than the idea of collective forfeiture. Very, very rarely does somebody volunteer to go to jail because the other members of his ethnic group have been running the protection rackets in Brooklyn for decades. - P. J. O'Rourke

"The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money."- Alexis de Tocqueville

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Wesker1982 replied on Mon, Dec 12 2011 10:46 AM

They might as well accuse us of wishing men not to eat, because we object to the cultivation of corn by the State.Bastiat 

 

What would we think of a proposal for the government, Federal or State, to use the taxpayers' money to set up a nationwide chain of public newspapers, and compel all people, or all children, to read them? What would we think furthermore of the government's outlawing all other newspapers, or indeed outlawing all newspapers that do not come up to the "standards" of what a government commission thinks children ought to read? Such a proposal would be generally regarded with horror in America, and yet this is exactly the sort of regime that the government has established in the sphere of scholastic instruction.Murray Rothbard 

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Wheylous replied on Mon, Dec 12 2011 5:51 PM

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. –  Goethe

Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. –  Barry Goldwater

It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence. – Charles A. Beard

Can our form of government, our system of justice, survive if one can be denied a freedom because he might abuse it? – Harlon Carter

I believe that every individual is naturally entitled to do as he pleases with himself and the fruits of his labor, so far as it in no way interferes with any other men's rights. – Abraham Lincoln

First they came for the Jews, but I did nothing because I'm not a Jew. Then they came for the socialists, but I did nothing because I'm not a socialist. Then they came for the Catholics, but I did nothing because I'm not a Catholic. Finally, they came for me, but by then there was no one left to help me. – Martin Niemöller

If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free. – P.J. O'Rourke

Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries. – Douglas Casey

If you want government to intervene domestically, you're a liberal. If you want government to intervene overseas, you're a conservative. If you want government to intervene everywhere, you're a moderate. If you don't want government to intervene anywhere, you're an extremist. – Joseph Sobran

Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else. – Frederic Bastiat

Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? – Thomas Jefferson

War has all the characteristics of socialism most conservatives hate: Centralized power, state planning, false rationalism, restricted liberties, foolish optimism about intended results, and blindness to unintended secondary results. – Joseph Sobran

Taxation of earnings from labor is on a par with forced labor. Seizing the results of someone's labor is equivalent to seizing hours from him and directing him to carry on various activities. – Robert Nozick

The Ten Commandments contain 297 words. The Bill of Rights is stated in 463 words. Lincoln's Gettysburg Address contains 266 words. A recent federal directive to regulate the price of cabbage contains 26,911 words. – The Atlanta Journal

What's *just* has been debated for centuries but let me offer you my definition of social justice: I keep what I earn and you keep what you earn. Do you disagree? Well then tell me how much of what I earn *belongs* to you – and why? – Walter Williams

One of the annoying things about believing in free will and individual responsibility is the difficulty of finding somebody to blame your problems on. And when you do find somebody, it's remarkable how often his picture turns up on your driver's license. – P.J. O'Rourke

Don't do drugs because if you do drugs you'll go to prison, and drugs are really expensive in prison. – John Hardwick

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Wheylous replied on Mon, Dec 12 2011 5:56 PM

When they took the 4th Amendment, I was quiet because I didn't deal drugs.
When they took the 6th Amendment, I was quiet because I am innocent.
When they took the 2nd Amendment, I was quiet because I don't own a gun.
Now they have taken the 1st Amendment, and I can only be quiet. – Lyle Myhr

The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. – Ayn Rand

I am convinced that we can do to guns what we've done to drugs: create a multi-billion dollar underground market over which we have absolutely no control. – George L. Roman

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Neodoxy replied on Mon, Dec 12 2011 6:19 PM

Just popped open the document where I put good quotes from Mises' Theory and History, so all of these quotes are from that book:

 

  • The concept of absolute and eternal values is an indispensable element in this totalitarian ideology

 

  • All branches of big business cater directly or indirectly to the needs of the common man. The luxury industries never develop beyond small-scale or medium-size units. The evolution of big business is in itself proof of the fact that the masses and not the nabobs are the main consumers. Those who deal with the phenomenon of big business under the rubric "concentration of economic power" fail to realize that economic power is vested in the buying public on whose patronage the prosperity of the factories depends. In his capacity as buyer, the wage earner is the customer who is "always right."

 

  • The truth is that the concept of socialism did not originate from the "proletarian mind." No proletarian or son of a proletarian contributed any substantial idea to the socialist ideology. The intellectual fathers of socialism were members of the intelligentsia, scions of the "bourgeoisie/' Marx himself was the son of a wellto-do do lawyer. He attended a German Gymnasium, the school all Marxians and other socialists denounce as the main offshoot of the bourgeois system of education, and his family supported him through all the years of his studies; he did not work his way through the university. He married the daughter of a member of the German nobility; his brother-in-law was Prussian minister of the interior and as such head of the Prussian police. In his household served a maid, Helene Demuth, who never married and who followed the Marx menage in all its shifts of residence, the perfect model of the exploited slavey whose frustration and stunted sex life have been repeatedly depicted in the German "social" novel. Friedrich Engels was the son of a wealthy manufacturer and himself a manufacturer; he refused to marry his mistress Mary because she was uneducated and of "low" descent; he enjoyed the amusements of the British gentry such as riding to hounds.

 

  • Nothing demonstrates more emphatically the temporal limitations on human planning than the venerable ruins scattered about the surface of the earth.

 

  • Education rears disciples, imitators, and routinists, not pioneers of new ideas and creative geniuses. The schools are not nurseries of progress and improvement but conservatories of tradition and unvarying modes of thought. The mark of the creative mind is that it defies a part of what it has learned or, at least, adds something new to it. One utterly misconstrues the feats of the pioneer in reducing them to the instruction he got from his teachers. No matter how efficient school training may be, it would only produce stagnation, orthodoxy, and rigid pedantry if there were no uncommon men pushing forward beyond the wisdom of their tutors.

 

  • The mathematical economists reiterate that the plight of mathematical economics consists in the fact that there are a great number of variables. The truth is that there are only variables and no constants. It is pointless to talk of variables where there are no invariables.

 

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
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Bert replied on Wed, Dec 14 2011 8:26 PM

From Nietzsche's Human, All-Too-Human, Section Eight: A Look at the State.

"Paragraph" 446

A question of power, not justice. For men who always consider the higher usefulness of a matter, socialism, if it really is the uprising against their oppressors of people oppressed and kept down for thousands of years, poses no problem of justice (with the ludicrous, weak question: "How far should one yield to its demands?"), but only a problem of power ( "To what extent can one use its demands?"). So it is like a natural power-steam, for example-which is either forced by man, as a god of machines, into his service, or, when there are mistakes in the machine (that is, errors of human calculation in its construction), wrecks itself and the human with it. To solve that question of power, one must know how strong socialism is, and in which of its modifications it can still be used as a mighty lever within the current political power game; in some circumstances one would even have to do everything possible to strengthen it. With every great force (even the most dangerous), humanity must think how to make it into a tool of its own intentions.

Socialism gains a right only when the two powers, the representatives of the old and new, seem to have come to war, but then both parties prudently calculate how they may preserve themselves to best advantage, and this results in their desire for a treaty. No justice without a treaty. Until now, however, there has been neither war in the indicated territory, nor treaties, and thus no rights, and no "ought" either.

"Paragraph" 473

Socialism in respect to its means. Socialism is the visionary younger brother of an almost decrepit despotism, whose heir it wants to be. Thus its efforts are reactionary in the deepest sense. For it desires a wealth of executive power, as only despotism had it; indeed, it outdoes everything in the past by striving for the downright destruction of the individual, which it sees as an unjustified luxury of nature, and which it intends to improve into an expedient organ of the community. Socialism crops up in the vicinity of all excessive displays of power because of its relation to it, like the typical old socialist Plato, at the court of the Sicilian tyrant; it desires (and in certain circumstances, furthers) the Caesarean power state of this century, because, as we said, it would like to be its heir. But even this inheritance would not suffice for its purposes; it needs the most submissive subjugation of all citizens to the absolute state, the like of which has never existed. And since it cannot even count any longer on the old religious piety towards the state, having rather always to work automatically to eliminate piety (because it works on the elimination of all existing states), it can only hope to exist here and there for short periods of time by means of the most extreme terrorism. Therefore, it secretly prepares for reigns of terror, and drives the word "justice" like a nail into the heads of the semi-educated masses, to rob them completely of their reason (after this reason has already suffered a great deal from its semi-education), and to give them a good conscience for the evil game that they are supposed to play.

Socialism can serve as a rather brutal and forceful way to teach the danger of all accumulations of state power, and to that extent instill one with distrust of the state itself. When its rough voice chimes in with the battle cry "As much state as possible," it will at first make the cry noisier than ever; but soon the opposite cry will be heard with strength the greater: "As little state as possible."

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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I always felt bad for doing this - so here is the full "quote" I butcherd from "Der Einzige und Sein Eigentum" / "The Ego and It's Own"

"I sing because - I am a singer. But I use you for it because I - need ears.
Where the world comes in my way - and it comes in my way everywhere - I consume it to quiet the hunger of my egoism. For me you are nothing but - my food, even as I too am fed upon and turned to use by you. We have only one relation to each other, that of usableness, of utility, of use. We owe each other nothing, for what I seem to owe you I owe at most to myself. If I show you a cheery air in order to cheer you likewise, then your cheeriness is of consequence to me, and my air serves my wish; to a thousand others, whom I do not aim to cheer, I do not show it."

- Max Stirner 

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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Neodoxy replied on Wed, Dec 14 2011 11:31 PM

On the topic of Nietzsche there's one little known quote of his from 'Beyond Good and Evil' that has always really stuck with me:

 

"We are most dishonourable towards our God: he is not PERMITTED to sin."
 
Think about that one for a moment, it has a lot of connotations you can use it in.
At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
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*digs into Kindle's My Clippings*

The fashion of the time is to run to Government boards, commissions, and inspectors to set right everything which is wrong. No experience seems to damp the faith of our public in these instrumentalities. - William Graham Sumner

How can we get bad legislators to pass a law which shall hinder bad legislators from passing a bad law? - William Graham Sumner

we must try to understand the institutional processes that may have produced an observed result before we act on the end result itself. - James Buchanan

The regrets of a prince, for having lost a day, were noble and generous: but had he intended to have spent it in acts of generosity to his greedy courtiers, it was better lost than misemployed after that manner. - David Hume

Were the distinction or separation of possessions entirely useless, can any one conceive, that it ever should have obtained in society? - David Hume

"People kill each other for prophetic certainties, hardly for falsifiable hypotheses." - Peter Berger
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"The truth apparent - apparent to the eyes of all who are not blinded by dogmatism - is that men are perhaps weary of Liberty. They have a surfeit of it. Liberty is no longer the virgin, chaste and severe, to be fought for ... we have buried the putrid corpse of liberty ... the Italian people are a race of sheep."

- Benito Mussolini

The Voluntaryist Reader: http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com/ Libertarian forums that actually work: http://voluntaryism.freeforums.org/index.php
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Student replied on Sat, Dec 17 2011 1:52 AM

A quote from Hayek that I know the Mises fans will love. cool

[Keynes] was the one really great man I ever knew, and for whom I had unbounded admiration. The world will be a very much poorer place without him.

- Hayek

 

Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine - Elvis Presley

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Max Weber quote

"The Rational theory of Price formation not only has nothing to do with the concepts of experimental psychololgy, but has nothing to do with psychology of any kind, which desires to be a 'science' going beyond evderyday experience...the theory of marginal utility and subjective value are not psychology - but rather 'pragmatically based' i.e. they use the categories of end and means"

I

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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Clayton replied on Sat, Dec 17 2011 3:12 AM

"God has chosen that which is the most simple in hypotheses and the most rich in phenomena."

"But when a rule is extremely complex, that which conforms to it passes for random."

- Gottfried Leibniz (courtesy of Gregory Chaitin)

The real truth that dare not speak itself is that no one is in control [of the world], absolutely no one. Now there may be entities seeking control; the World Bank, the Communist Party, the rich... But to seek control is to take enormous aggravation upon yourself because this process that is underway will take the control freak by the short and curlies and throw them against the wall.

- Terence McKenna

Poor, wretched, and stupid peoples, nations determined on your own misfortune and blind to your own good!

You let yourselves be deprived before your own eyes of the best part of your revenues; your fields are plundered, your homes robbed, your family heirlooms taken away. You live in such a way that you cannot claim a single thing as your own; and it would seem that you consider yourselves lucky to be loaned your property, your families, and your very lives.

All this havoc, this misfortune, this ruin, descends upon you not from alien foes, but from the one enemy whom you yourselves render as powerful as he is, for whom you go bravely to war, for whose greatness you do not refuse to offer your own bodies unto death. He who thus domineers over you has only two eyes, only two hands, only one body, no more than is possessed by the least man among the infinite numbers dwelling in your cities; he has indeed nothing more than the power that you confer upon him to destroy you.

Where has he acquired enough eyes to spy upon you, if you do not provide them yourselves? How can he have so many arms to beat you with, if he does not borrow them from you? The feet that trample down your cities, where does he get them if they are not your own? How does he have any power over you except through you? How would he dare assail you if he had no cooperation from you? What could he do to you if you yourselves did not connive with the thief who plunders you, if you were not accomplices of the murderer who kills you, if you were not traitors to yourselves?

You sow your crops in order that he may ravage them, you install and furnish your homes to give him goods to pillage; you rear your daughters that he may gratify his lust; you bring up your children in order that he may confer upon them the greatest privilege he knows— to be led into his battles, to be delivered to butchery, to be made the servants of his greed and the instruments of his vengeance; you yield your bodies unto hard labor in order that he may indulge in his delights and wallow in his filthy pleasures; you weaken yourselves in order to make him the stronger and the mightier to hold you in check.

From all these indignities, such as the very beasts of the field would not endure, you can deliver yourselves if you try, not by taking action, but merely by willing to be free. Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break into pieces?

- Etienne de la Boetie, Politics of Obedience

Power does not flow from the person who issues orders. A command is inconsequential if it is ignored or laughed at. Obedience is the real foundation of misplaced power. It is, in fact, the chain of obedience not the chain of command - the cumulative force of cowardly, compliant citizenry - which allows evil men to take control.

Separated from those who have been trained to obey them, even the most bloody heads of state are hardly more dangerous than a pick-pocket or a mugger. It may be true that we have a demented pack of inbred maniacs running the world ... they are not the ones I fear. I fear the conditioned masses which would put me to death at the drop of a hat if the right order is given. I fear the herd of well-meaning idiots which believe that written law and authority is to be followed at all costs, even at the expense of self-evident morality.

- "StormCloudsGathering", Chain of Obedience (YouTube video)

All those who accept as their starting point the thesis that men's interests are harmonious will agree that the practical solution to the social problem is simply not to thwart these interests or to try to redirect them.

Coercion, on the other hand, can assume countless forms in response to countless points of view. Therefore, those schools of thought that start with the assumption that men's interests are antagonistic to one another have never yet done anything to solve the problem except to eliminate liberty. They are still trying to ascertain which, out of all the infinite forms that coercion can assume, is the right one, or indeed if there is any right one. And, if they ever do reach any agreement as to which form of coercion they prefer, there will still remain the final difficulty of getting all men everywhere to accept it freely.

- Frederic Bastiat, Economic Harmonies (To the Youth of France)

Moreover, as ultimate judge the state is also a monopolist of taxation, i.e., it can unilaterally, without the consent of everyone affected, determine the price that its subjects must pay for the state’s provision of (perverted) law. However, a tax-funded life-and-property protection agency is a contradiction in terms: an expropriating property protector.

- Hans Hoppe, State or Private Law Society (LRC)

Clayton -

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Lachmann on Keynes:

 

AEN: How do you see the relationship of the Keynesians to the Austrians?

Lachmann: Now, this is a bit more difficult because the question arises, "Who now are the Keynesians?" I did notice that a certain economist whom I always thought was a Keynesian has described himself as a nonmonetarist. So, it seems to me, that Austrians and Keynesians have certain things in common. They have a common methodology, which in the case of the Austrians is laid down of course in Mises Human Action. And which I would say so far as Keynes was concerned is expressed as you know succinctly in the famous letter to Roy Harrod of July 16, 1938, that I have quoted several times: "Economics is not a natural science. It has to deal with human purposes." That as it were unites us with the Keynesians as against certain other economists, this kind of subjectivism. What also I take it we have in common is a general interest in the facts. After all, we are living in the same world, and it is assumed we accept that facts matter, a proposition which in Chicago doesn't seem to be so readily accepted. But if we admit that facts matter, then we should be able to establish those facts.

AEN: You mentioned the comment by Keynes in which he made a methodological statement. In fact most Keynesians, at least in the United States, follow a methodology that limits itself to a study of averages and aggregates. Is it possible to see this relationship when, in fact, they for the most part operate with a methodological holism?

Lachmann: I don't know what you have in mind, and then of course the question again arises who is a Keynesian? I would point out, for instance, that in a book like Paul Davidson's Money and the Real World, subjectivism is after all present. I wouldn't know any good examples of what you call methodological holism. The mere fact that someone deals with macroaggregates does not necessarily mean that he is not methodologically an individualist. This was, I think, brought out quite well by Frank Hahn, in his famous critique of Friedman. I would say the mere fact that some economists are interested in macroaggregates does not necessarily impair their methodological subjectivism. It still leaves the avenue open for explaining the phenomena pertaining to macroaggregates ultimately in terms of human motives, as, for instance, Keynes did himself when he tried to split up the demand for money (money as a macroaggregate) into the famous motives. That was an attempt at subjectivism, at least.

 

from this interview:

http://mises.org/journals/aen/lachmann.asp

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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I'm reading Kripke's Naming and Necessity and this made me chuckle.

"It really is a nice theory. The only defect I think it has is probably common to all philosophical theories. It's wrong. You may suspect me of proposing another theory in its place; but I hope not, because I'm sure it's wrong too if it is a theory."

they said we would have an unfair fun advantage

"enough about human rights. what about whale rights?" -moondog
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Bert replied on Thu, Dec 22 2011 10:03 PM

Something more unordinary for this forum.  This is from Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse.

Listen, Kamala, when you throw a stone into the water, it finds the quickest way to the bottom of the water. It is the same when Siddhartha has an aim, a goal. Siddhartha does nothing; he waits, he thinks, he fasts, but he goes through the affairs of the world like the stone through the water, without doing anything, without bestirring himself; he is drawn and lets himself fall. He is drawn by his goal, for he does not allow anything to enter his mind which opposes his goal. That is what Siddhartha learned from the Samanas. It is what fools call magic and what they think is caused by demons. Nothing is caused by demons; there are no demons. Everyone can perform magic, everyone can reach his goal, if he can think, wait and fast.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Bert, have you experienced this n your personal life, cause it sounds like wishful thinking to me, not that I really get what he means.

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It's easy to refute an argument if you first misrepresent it. William Keizer

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Bert replied on Fri, Dec 23 2011 12:15 AM

In a way, yes, and still am.  I sit, I wait, I think, and wonder what's to happen next, but more often lately than before time seems to be pressed heavy against action.  I'm going to be 23 in January, I left school, and I work a low end job - this seems to be of my choosing my sitting, waiting, and thinking.  It usually does not have a large affect on me, but lately I've contrasted my life's "success" or "progress" with others - something I generally don't do, and everyone my age is now graduating college and looking for careers if they don't already have them.  I really have no interest or idea of what career I'd have, besides sitting, waiting, and thinking.  I wonder what's to come, what change is next.

Just as Siddhartha I had a "pilgrimage", it led to some events that led to a rather large change, and in following months a complete fall that led to an "awakening", I feel like I'm waiting on another pilgrimage, fall, and awakening as of lately.  This time it seems to be going against the grain, or the idea of it, because it seems I've chose a rather complicated life by not doing what people typically do.  I guess it's wishful thinking that by my ways I'll come out on top in some way.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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...and everyone my age is now graduating college...

With how much debt? And what acquired skills?

Good luck to you, Bert.

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Bert replied on Fri, Dec 23 2011 12:56 AM

Ha, those are two things that deter me from going back.  Watching people accumulate debt and with that debt not being able to find a job that they are even satisfied with.  I see it too often with friends and family, they went down those paths, and at their age I don't see them any happier.  I find it amusing when I get asked curious questions why I haven't gone back.  One of which seems to be surrounded around the idea that since I don't go to college I don't want to learn - I think I've learned more by my own books and personal experience than what a college could offer (to be honest the only thing that seems appealing about going off to a college is a new environment away from home and pushing your physical body and mind to the limit - I can do that without the debt).  Secondly is the myth that you have to go to college, everyone bought into it and they don't know why.  I've come across many people, even when I was in high school, who planned to go to college with no clue what they wanted to do.  I thought it was a bit foolish.  Seems the people I know who are living rather financially stable on their own chose the most unorthodox and hardest paths compared to others.

Hopefully I do have some luck on my side.

This quote by Leonard Read may be fitting.  From The Free Market and It's Enemy:

Unless a reader shares my premise, he will not respond to my reasoning; nor will it be possible for him to arrive at my conclusions. He may have his eye set on a star I do not see or, if seeing, care nothing whatsoever about. I side with Thoreau on this, "... perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." If the music another hears be fame, or fortune, or power, or ease and retirement, or longevity, or anything less than individual emergence, I leave the reconciliation to those with an itch for reform; it isn't, as they say, my cup of tea.

The reflections which follow are not aimed at swerving anyone from whatever life purpose he may have set for himself. That's his affair, not mine. Instead, these brevities are offered to those whose ideological and spiritual premise approximates my own: that man's earthly purpose is to expand one's own consciousness, as nearly as humanly possible, into a harmony with Infinite Consciousness or, in lay terms, to realize, as best one can, those creative potentialities uniquely his own. The lyrics to the music I hear have a clear refrain: the supreme purpose of life is "to hatch," to emerge, to evolve.

or in a more simplistic manner, to quote Joseph Campbell (a significant influence of mine),

Follow your bliss.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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James replied on Fri, Dec 23 2011 9:31 AM

So long as you are a slave to the opinions of the many you have not yet approached freedom or tasted its nectar… But I do not mean by this that we ought to be shameless before all men and to do what we ought not; but all that we refrain from and all that we do, let us not do or refrain from merely because it seems to the multitude somehow honorable or base, but because it is forbidden by reason and the god within us.
- Julian the Apostate

The purpose of words is to convey ideas. When the ideas are grapsed, the words are forgotten. Where can I find a man who has forgotten the words? He is the one I would like to talk to.
- Chuang Tzu

Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge.
- Laotzi

Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro
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Wheylous replied on Mon, Dec 26 2011 7:46 AM

No tyrannical, miserable government ever rises to power by promising people tyranny and misery

By "pssvr" on Reddit (he might have paraphrased it)

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Wheylous replied on Fri, Dec 30 2011 12:13 PM

Found this:

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Autolykos replied on Fri, Dec 30 2011 12:22 PM

Wow. Sounds like John Huntsman and Adolf Hitler have something in common.

Aaaaaand there goes Godwin's Law. cheeky

The keyboard is mightier than the gun.

Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

Voluntaryism Forum

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Nice quote:

"A Government Big Enough to Give You Everything You Want is Powerful Enough to Take Everything You Have"

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Bert replied on Tue, Jan 10 2012 10:48 AM

Something I made last night from The Power of Myth.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Wheylous replied on Sat, Jan 14 2012 1:14 PM

Started reading The Law and found this absolute gem:

Collective right, then, has its principle, its reason for existing, its lawfulness, in individual right; and the common force cannot rationally have any other end, or any other mission, than that of the isolated forces for which it is substituted. Thus, as the force of an individual cannot lawfully touch the person, the liberty, or the property of 2 The Lawanother individual—for the same reason, the common force cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, the liberty, or the property of individuals or of classes.
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Bert replied on Sat, Jan 14 2012 4:22 PM

You're just now reading The Law?  That entire work is quotable, every paragraph is worth something.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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My The Rational Optimist quote collection from the What are you reading?-thread:

Though we no longer coerce men for their spiritual good, we still think ourselves called upon to coerce them for their material good: not seeing that the one is as unwarrantable as the other.

I find that my disagreement is mostly with reactionaries of all political colours: blue ones who dislike cultural change, red ones who dislike economic change and green ones who dislike technological change.

Merchants and craftsmen make prosperity; chiefs, priests and thieves fritter it away.

The great drive to universal suffrage, religious tolerance and female emancipation began with pragmatic enthusiasts for free enterprise, like Ben Franklin, and was pressed forward by the urban bourgeoisie as a response to economic growth.

By 1500 BC you could argue that the richest parts of the world had sunk into the stagnation of 'palace socialism' as the activities of merchants were progressively nationalised.

The Malthusian crisis comes not as a result of population growth directly, but because of decreasing specialisation.

In that sense, the decline of the Roman empire turned consumer traders back into subsistence peasants. The Dark Ages were a massive experiment in the back-to-the-land hippy lifestyle (without the trust fund).

As they spilled out of their homeland, Arabs brought luxury and learning to an area stretching from Aden to Cordoba, before the inevitable imperial complacency and then severe priestly repression set in at home. Once the priesthood tightened its grip, books were burned, not read.

In the past, when societies gorged on innovation, they soon allowed ... their bureaucrats to write too many rules, their chiefs to wage too many wars, or their priests to build too many monasteries.

China went from a state of economic and technological exuberance in around AD 1000 to one of dense population, agrarian backwardness and desperate poverty in 1950. ...it was the only region in the world with a lower GDP per capita in 1950 than in 1000. The blame for this lies squarely with China’s governments. ... China’s best moments came when it was fragmented, not united.

The greatest beneficiaries of European political fragmentation were the Dutch. By 1670, uncommanded by emperors and even fragmented among themselves, the Dutch so dominated European international trade that their merchant marine was bigger than that of France, England, Scotland, the Holy Roman Empire, Spain and Portugal – combined.

The message from history is so blatantly obvious – that free trade causes mutual prosperity while protectionism causes poverty – that it seems incredible that anybody ever thinks otherwise. There is not a single example of a country opening its borders to trade and ending up poorer.

They could find no evidence that aid resulted in growth in any countries. Ever.

In 1978 China was about as poor and despotic as Africa is now.

the birth rate was more than twice as high in countries with little economic freedom (average 4.27 children per woman) compared with countries with high economic freedom (average 1.82 children per woman)

Wind turbines require five to ten times as much concrete and steel per watt as nuclear power plants, not to mention miles of paved roads and overhead cables. To label the land-devouring monsters of renewable energy ‘green’, virtuous or clean strikes me as bizarre.

Some things are finite but vast; some things are infinitely renewable, but very limited.

The science of ecology has an enduring fallacy that in the natural world there is some perfect state of balance to which an ecosystem will return after disturbance.

Few of the inventions that made the industrial revolution owed anything to scientific theory.

Though they may start out full of entrepreneurial zeal, once firms or bureaucracies grow large, they become risk-averse to the point of Luddism.

we may soon be living in a post-capitalist, post-corporate world, where individuals are free to come together in temporary aggregations to share, collaborate and innovate

Tomorrow’s largely self-employed workers, clocking on to work online in bursts for different clients when and where it suits them, will surely look back on the days of bosses and foremen, of meetings and appraisals, of time sheets and trade unions, with amusement. I repeat: firms are temporary aggregations of people to help them do their producing in such a way as to help others do their consuming.

Yet if innovation is limitless, why is everybody so pessimistic about the future?

I cannot recall a time when I was not being urged by somebody that the world could only survive if it abandoned the foolish goal of economic growth.

The pessimists’ mistake is extrapolationism: assuming that the future is just a bigger version of the past. As Herb Stein once said, ‘If something cannot go on forever, then it will not.’

The premise on which much of the environmental movement had grown up – that cleaning up pollution would prevent cancer – proved false.

Take the year 1830. Northern Europe and North America were much richer than they had ever been. They had enjoyed more than a decade of peace for the first time in more than a generation and they were brimming with novel inventions ... Yet was the mood of 1830 optimistic? No, it was just like today: fashionable gloom was everywhere.

Throughout the half-century between 1875 and 1925, while European living standards shot up to unimaginable levels ... intellectuals were obsessed with imminent decline, degeneration and disaster.

The generation that has experienced more peace, freedom, leisure time, education, medicine, travel, movies, mobile phones and massages than any generation in history is lapping up gloom at every opportunity.

Campaigners ... took precisely the same approach to threshing machines in 1830 as their 1990s equivalents would take to genetically modified crops: they vandalised them.

Some of the vociferous and numerous opponents of the Liverpool to Manchester Railway, which opened that year, forecast that passing trains would cause horses to abort their foals. Others mocked its pretensions to speed: ‘What can be more palpably absurd and ridiculous than the prospect held out of locomotives travelling twice as fast as stagecoaches!’ cried the Quarterly Review. ‘We trust that Parliament will, in all rail ways it may sanction, limit the speed to eight or nine miles an hour.’

Robert Southey ... would have been at home in the modern environmental movement, lamenting world trade, tutting at consumerism, despairing of technology, longing to return to the golden age of Merrie England when people ate their local, organic veg, danced round their maypoles, sheared their own sheep and did not clog up the airports on the way to their ghastly package holidays.

The endless modern laments about how texting and emails are shortening the attention span go back to Plato, who deplored writing as a destroyer of memorising.

the models that predict rapid global warming take as their assumption that the world will prosper mightily, and that the poorest countries on the planet ... will by the end of this century be about nine times as rich as they are today. Unless they are, carbon dioxide emissions will be insufficient to cause such rapid warming.

The Copenhagen conference of December 2009 came worryingly close to imposing a corruptible and futile system of carbon rationing, which would have hurt the poor, damaged ecosystems and rewarded bootleggers and dictators.

"They all look upon progressing material improvement as upon a self-acting process." - Ludwig von Mises
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MaikU replied on Sat, Jan 14 2012 5:20 PM

Lol. to me No Treason is entirley quotable :D and great opening, Bert. I will probably post that quote on my wall on evilbook..

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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Merlin replied on Sat, Jan 14 2012 5:23 PM

EmperorNero:

China went from a state of economic and technological exuberance in around AD 1000 to one of dense population, agrarian backwardness and desperate poverty in 1950. ...it was the only region in the world with a lower GDP per capita in 1950 than in 1000. 

 

Isn’t that crazy!

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
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Wheylous replied on Tue, Jan 17 2012 8:50 PM

Yeah, I'm reading it just now. More good stuff:

 

When, from the seclusion of his office, a politician takes a view of society, he is struck with the spectacle of inequality that presents itself. He mourns over the sufferings that are the lot of so many of our brethren, sufferings whose aspect is rendered yet more sorrowful by the contrast of luxury and wealth. He ought, perhaps, to ask himself whether such a social state has not been caused by the plunder of ancient times, exercised in the way of conquests; and by plunder of more recent times, effected through the medium of the laws?
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Wheylous replied on Tue, Jan 17 2012 8:53 PM

Geez, this is a gold mine!

 

Socialism, like the old policy from which it emanates, confounds Government and society. And so, every time we object to a thing being done by Government, it concludes that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of education by the State—then we are against education altogether. We object to a State religion—then we would have no religion at all. We object to an equality which is brought about by the State then we are against equality, etc., etc. They might as well accuse us of wishing men not to eat, because we object to the cultivation of corn by the State.
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Heather replied on Thu, Jan 19 2012 9:00 PM

If 'intellectual property' was real property, the government would not be interested in protecting it. 

-Mike Peinovich

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tunk replied on Thu, Jan 19 2012 9:14 PM

The rulers in Moscow want all of your lives controlled from one central point. They call it 'socialism,' or 'people's democracy.' You see, in places such as Russia or Mozambique, everything belongs to the central government. All the capital belongs to the central government. So you can also see that the central government is the biggest capitalist and is, in fact, the only capitalist. The people own nothing with which to produce. None of them is allowed 'capital.' [...] What is really happening is that our opponents, while they are screaming against capitalism, would like to be capitalists themselves, only they would not like for anyone else to be capitalists.

~Jimmy Stevens (more)

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“If you see a man approaching you with the obvious intent of doing you good, you should run for your life.”

Henery David Thoreau

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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Bert replied on Sun, Feb 19 2012 2:41 PM

Even the poor student studies and is taught only political economy, while that economy of living which is synonymous with philosophy is not even sincerely professed in our colleges.  The consequence is, that while he is reading Adam Smith, Ricardo, and Say, he runs his father in debt irretrievably.

- Thoreau, Walden

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Bert replied on Fri, Mar 16 2012 1:48 PM

Wherever I found the living, there I found the will to power; and even in the will of the servant I found the will to be master.

That the weaker shall serve the stronger, to that it is persuaded by its own will, which would be master over what is weaker still: that pleasure alone it is unwilling to forego.

And as the lesser surrenders to the greater that he may have delight and power over the least of all, so even the greatest surrenders himself, and for the sake of power stakes - life.

That is the surrender of the greatest - that they face risk and danger and roll dice for death.

And where there is sacrifice and service and loving glances, there is also the will to be master. By secret paths the weaker slinks into the castle and even into the heart of the more powerful - and there steals power.

- Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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