How About Slavery of Animals?

A guy — Jeffery Quick is his name — via a longtime friend, on Facebook, just recently asked what I consider to be a very probing question. It goes not only to “Health Care” — which is really only Drug Companies, HMOs or any “well administered” or private concern hospital — but public policy in general.

Public Policy in General. Everyone seems to have their pet booty.

If you have a “right” to make me pay for your health care, how come you don’t have a “right” to make me pick your cotton?

You know what? It’s an insanely simple and profound question and that’s the beauty of it. Doesn’t it almost invite you to blank out reality?

I’ll relish the silence in comments, content with the sound of crickets. Or, I’ll deal with mass equivocation.

Your choice.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Billy Beck on July 20, 2011 at 22:52

    To me, a big part of how effective that question is, is in its temporal compulsion; Matt’s question is in no way invalid because of its abstraction, but the thing is that Jeffrey’s question brings that abstraction into immediate focus through a debate that is currently commanding the nation’s attention.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 20, 2011 at 23:13

      Just so, Billy.

      Look, over the years we’ve all seen amazingly astute argument.

      That’s not American, anymore, eh?

      I guess this is the best we can do. A slogan.

      Could be energizing. Not holding my breath.

      Theft is meth.

  2. Chris Tamme on July 21, 2011 at 05:52

    The U.S. policies concerning healthcare are destroying healthcare in this country. CMMS put in their wonderful pay for performance at 80% compensation so not only are our taxes paying for healthcare but our private insurance is making up the difference in compensation. Now there is the RAC which is now simply taking money from hospitals for care given. Still in this messed up situation charity care is given freely and hospitals are doing business as usual.

    Of course in the end there wouldn’t be an issue with the uninsured if the U.S. would establish actual diet recommendations that would make you healthy instead of sick. Let’s get out of bed with big food and stop subsidizing their business so they can sell us cheap poison instead of food.

  3. PK on July 20, 2011 at 22:09

    I wouldn’t put mandatory labor that benefits the government (or a lobbied benefactor of their choosing) out of the question. We already have jury service (and jury sequestering!!!) and a military draft history. And a government that thinks mandatory broccoli purchasing would be constitutional.

  4. Matt Perry on July 20, 2011 at 22:11

    The question doesn’t go deep enough. How about:

    If you can confiscate a portion of my wealth for ANY purpose, how come you can’t make me pick your cotton?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m willing to pay to pay for defense and infrastructure, etc… but the ‘willing’ part is the key – No one asked if they could use my money to “cure” the millions of Americans who destroy their health by following horrid dietary advice.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 20, 2011 at 22:41

      Matt, yes, but the elegance of the question is in its prescient simplicity, in my view.

    • Sean on July 20, 2011 at 23:31

      Constitutionally, there’s a huge difference between levying taxes for defense and forcing someone to purchase something (or work in some manner).

    • Richard Nikoley on July 20, 2011 at 23:37

      Principally, there’s no difference.

      Let me put it this way, Sean. If there are not men enough to see to their own fucking survival by either taking up arms and marching, or, through means of division of labor and me ponnying up loot, then I would feel lost and would simply have to take my chances going forward in the whole devolution of the thing.

      Take it to base, Sean. Nobody owes you a fucking thing. Given that, how do you survive qua human, qua animal?

    • Sean on July 21, 2011 at 00:31

      I haven’t explored the first principles anarchist viewpoint that much, because I find it rather pointless. Maybe I’m just being intellectually lazy. What is the point arguing what an acceptable level of government is when we all agree that what is happening now is wrong, wrong wrong (for the same reasons)?

      I don’t think of politics or ethics as a science. My take on ethics, and politics is sort of an offshoot of ethics, is innately practical. People will go through all sorts of mental gymnastics to justify axioms in their ethical paradigm such as slavery (or socialism, or veganism), anyway, so what’s the point?

      Not that there’s no point arguing against veganism or socialism, I just think there’s little point in arguing for or against the first principles of these things. I eat a paleo-ish style diet, ultimately, because I like meat and I believe it is what we are evolved to eat. Similarly, I am against socialism because it goes against human nature and it is always going to be extremely wasteful to ignore all the information in an economy in the Hayekian sense in favor of a top-down structure.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 09:33

      I long ago stopped arguing “acceptable levels of government” because, to whom?

      I simply demand to be left alone to take my own chances.

    • John T. Kennedy on July 20, 2011 at 23:57


      No one asked you to pay for defense either. They don’t ask.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 19:08

      JTK, old buddy, no idea why you got caught in my spam folder but both comments are up.

      Lovely to see you over here.

  5. Michael on July 20, 2011 at 22:23

    Jeffrey Quick? Now there is a blast from the past. I think Mr. Quick was once a member of the native nutrition yahoo group back in its glory days when Chris Masterjohn, myself and a whole host of others now scattered around the web hung out there.

    As to your question, I seem to recall some ancestors of mine (on my dad’s side – mom’s side of the family never knew slavery – free people of color they called them) having to do exactly that (pick cotton). 🙂

    But indeed, the question is simple and profound all at once. And you already know how I would answer it.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 20, 2011 at 22:44

      Michael, you are long my black guy touchstone for rational live life, no grudge, go forward, but stop innovating slavery.

  6. Sean on July 20, 2011 at 23:11

    Fucking commerce clause, biatch! We’re gonna build a communist utopia based on the commerce clause.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 20, 2011 at 23:25

      Seaan, love you buddy and you know that, but that does not get close to the principle of the matter.

      Commerce Clause = Mere Convenience.

      The Supremes are lifetime appointees who have very long ago forgotten any remote notion of reading plain English and telling the King and his bi-cameral court to go fuck themselves.

      And that’s just the pragmatic part. Don’t get me started on the principles, of which the US Constitution does not speak to.

      The Declaration of Independence is America’s original founding document and it needed to STOP there.

    • Sean on July 20, 2011 at 23:56

      Yeah, I’m much more of a minarchist (coined as a denigrating term). I’d like to see the Constitution enforced and a return to some less intrusive form of government. Ultimately, though, no piece of paper is going to help when people voluntarily relinquish their rights. I see an eerie resemblance between the last years of the Roman senate and the current congress’ relinquishing of their constitutionally-mandated role to the president (repeat after me, Kinetic Military Action).

      Of course, I long ago voted with my feet. Not that things are any less socialist here (although in many ways I feel much less constricted than in the US), but it’s someone else’s screwed up government 😉

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 01:31

      Ok, Sean, but I lay claim to no government. You and I? We’re just resigning and submitting as best suits our outrage.

    • Sean on July 21, 2011 at 02:53

      If we could ever manage to roll back government intrusion to the point where it was, say, 100 years ago (thanks to magic unicorn tears), then I’d start to think seriously about what level of government intrusion is ideal. You are probably right, none. As it is, I’d simply like to see the Constitution and the negative rights therein, be enforced.

      Let’s start by cancelling the War on Drugs, the War on Terror (so far, there are no airport gropings nor rape-scanners in Europe, Zeus be praised), the War on Poverty, the War on Obesity (avoid fat, eat more heart-healthy carbs) and the War on Libya that was never approved by Congress. Again, we’re talking magic unicorn tears…

    • Laurie D. on July 21, 2011 at 06:23

      No airport gropings in Europe??? My daughter was “groped” twice in the Paris airport before we left for the U.S. and our bags were opened and groped through as well. Maybe they are just groping pretty young women.

      In London Heathrow, we both had to go through the full body scan machines. I found the security at airports in London and Paris to be even more extreme than here.

    • Sean on July 21, 2011 at 06:43

      I haven’t flown that much recently, but my experiences in Europe have been much less fascistic than in the US. Heathrow sucks in general, I’d advise any international traveler to skip it if at all possible. I haven’t encountered any rape-scans in Europe so far.

      I guess my actual point, about cancelling the idiotic War on Terror was lost on you?

    • Chris on July 21, 2011 at 07:00

      I was (gladly) felt up by a good looking woman in Heathrow, of course maybe that’s because I made a sarcastic comment about being checked for the tenth time.

      Jokes aside, I sort of agree with Sean.

      If you’ve ever traveled into and out of India regularly, their airport security is WAY more intense than ours. Annoying as it is; there is a pat down process but they get no where near as invasive as the US. The military men and women who do the pat downs only check pockets and then use a handheld scanner on you. Surprisingly it’s 20 seconds long and painless.

      Now, my experience with skipping the backscatter/jibbly bits machines was another story. I asked to be excused, got escorted to someone who was going to check me. All this after a minor spectacle of, “This guy didn’t want to do it!” Which was repeated for at least a dozen others after me. Anyhow, I got the fastest pat down ever. How? Being from the SF Bay Area all I to do was play with his homophobia: “Hey you look kind of cute.”

    • Sean on July 21, 2011 at 07:41

      I haven’t flown this year (we drove to Croatia) but the worst experiences I’ve had in Europe were in Germany and England, two very Americaphile countries. Thanks for making fascism acceptable again, oh land where I was born.

      Flying to Barcelona was always a cakewalk, even though Spain actually experienced a terrorist attack, unlike Germany. Chalk it up to laziness but I like the Spanish cops attitude, that it’s all kind of a joke.

      I fucking hate the War on Terror and all the incursions on Civil Liberties that have been justified in its name.

    • Michael on July 21, 2011 at 07:41

      Sean, you must mean Western Europe. Eastern Europe is groping and scanning their butts off.

    • Sean on July 21, 2011 at 09:14

      Michael, I live in so-called “Eastern Europe”, or Central Europe, and I’ve not experienced any extreme groping and scanning but I’ve not flown in almost a year.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 10:29

      “If we could ever manage to roll back government intrusion to the point where it was, say, 100 years ago (thanks to magic unicorn tears), then I’d start to think seriously about what level of government intrusion is ideal.”

      I’d probably just shut up and suck it up at that point. Fat chance.

    • Michael on July 21, 2011 at 14:27

      Sean, it could be that those rather good looking women wanted an excuse to touch and look it at me. The lady in Kiev was certainly staring long and hard at my x-ray photo. Must have been the extra 2 inches I acquired losing all that weight. 😉

      The very attractive young lady in Moscow took a more hands on approach. 😛

    • Sean on July 22, 2011 at 01:45

      Michael, I’m sure that was it. An extra two inches is nothing to be sneezed at 😉

      But Russian and Ukraine are special. Having a screwed up bureaucracy is their national pastime (“Eto Rossija”–this is Russia–is their response to it all). They make up for it by having ridiculously beautiful women (although I still think Czech women are better looking on average).

    • Laurie D. on July 22, 2011 at 05:35

      No, condescending ass, your “actual point” wasn’t lost on me. But if you are going to back up your point with overarching statements like “so far, there are no airport gropings nor rape-scanners in Europe, Zeus be praised,” at least make them factual. There are plenty of scanners and airport gropings in Europe. By the way, your “actual point” is spot on.

    • Sean on July 22, 2011 at 06:12

      Laurie, I’m glad to see you don’t feel the need to be childish in order to score some cheap points.

      My point, which you managed to concede in the most petty manner possible, still holds.

    • Laurie D. on July 22, 2011 at 06:54

      As does your condescending assholeness. Congratulations.

    • Sean on July 22, 2011 at 08:03

      I’m pretty sure assholeness is not a word. But you did manage to spell condescending correctly. Congratulations yourself.

    • Michael on July 22, 2011 at 14:46

      Yeah, incredibly beautiful (and waves and waves of them) until they hit about 35, then all the recent “westernization” of their diet becomes quiet obvious, especially in the Ukraine.

      But if they are a special case, then the US is totally lost, because the worst groping for me has definitely occurred on US soil. Still, “screwed up” and “bureaucracy” in the same sentence is a redundancy no mater what gov’t you are talking about.

    • Sean on July 23, 2011 at 10:03

      I’ve noticed young people here in Prague developing more of a ‘wheat belly’ than when I first came here. Merely anecdotal of course, but I think stomachs were a lot flatter 15 years ago.

      My experiences flying are also merely anecdotal. I totally agree about bureacracy, but it’s not just the bureaucracy that’s the problem in the US but the increasing erosion of civil liberties as the TSA grows in scope and power, and the increasing acceptance of this by the populace. Scary and depressing stuff.

    • Michael on July 25, 2011 at 14:27

      My anecdotal observations is that it is the proliferation of industrial oils, the spread of McDonalds, and the fact that commercial chicken and pork, especially in the Ukraine, are their primary sources of meat

  7. John T. Kennedy on July 20, 2011 at 23:15

    I don’t see anything special about the question. In practice the answer will be:

    “Who says we can’t make you pick cotton?”

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 19:10


      Shhhhsh. A statist was supposed to come to that realization.

      You’re spoiling all my fun. 🙂

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 19:12

      John Kennedy just differentiated the principle from the quotidian practical. Get it?

  8. William on July 21, 2011 at 00:21

    “how come you can’t make me pick your cotton?”

    Oh, but can’t they?

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 01:33

      The former is literteral and the latter, metaphorical. The rub is the principle.

  9. Chris on July 21, 2011 at 16:14

    After reading about a couple mission trips, one to peru and the other to mexico, I have to say in the immortal words of Warren Buffet “We all have won the genetic lottery.” No matter what the condition of this country is it is far better then the majority. Count your lucky stars I know I do.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 16:22

      Chris, that poont is in no way lostt on me. I’ve travelled the world and lived 8 of my years abraod: 5+ in Japan and 2+ in France.

      Yet I returned here.

      But I also think America is as much an ideal as it is a geographic boundary with an imposing state.

      America exists all over the world. That’s what I always say. Do you get what I mean by that?

    • Sean on July 22, 2011 at 02:11

      I left 15 years ago and never looked back. Well, that’s not true, we actually lived in the States for a year in the middle. But I take issue with this genetic lottery crap. There are worse places to live, but there are plenty of better places also, depending on what you are looking for. That’s not to say I can’t be a nationalist when some pseudo-intellectual eurotrash starts ripping on my homeland. I’m actually a lot more pro-America now than when I left.

      Also, Warren Buffet is a statist prick who gets plenty of corporate welfare in the form of things like the Estate Tax.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 22, 2011 at 04:38

      Buffet is a disgrace to wealth. An embarrassment to America.

    • Chris Tamme on July 22, 2011 at 04:58

      He is something else but it always comes back to me that I might not have the life I have if I was born in any other country. I grew up knowing that if I want something to go out and get it, nobody was going to give me anything. Now I think that I has changed in a lot of places. I have looked at many places to live and I have found none better for opportunity.

      I always try to learn something from everyone.

    • Sean on July 22, 2011 at 07:11

      Chris, I’m planning to raise my son in the Czech Republic. I wouldn’t do this if I thought I was cutting off his opportunities or making some sort of compromise. As an American citizen and a native English speaker, these opportunities will always be open to him, but I’m skeptical they will be worth pursuing.

    • Michael on July 22, 2011 at 15:11

      Actually Chris I don’t think that is true. The are certainly many places around the world today that are better than the US, just as there are places which are worse. I’m actively planning on moving to one of the better places. Opportunities abound around the world, it just depends on what you want and what you are willing to give up in order to pursue them.

  10. fearsclave on July 21, 2011 at 03:36

    It feels pretty wierd to be applying Paleo logic in the economic sphere, but what did paleolithic humans do, back in the cave at the end of the day, with the meat they’d killed and the other food they’d gathered? I’m thinking that the “tax rates”, in terms of product of labour shared with the rest of the tribe, of the top hunters and gatherers, was probably pretty high, if current hunter-gatherers are anything to go by. And the ones who didn’t contribute some labour and personal risk to defending other group members from the sabertooth tigers probably weren’t very popular.

    Sadly, these days, we’re living in groups much, much, much larger than evolutionarily optimal, and the means of persuasion these groups use to ensure distribution of the meat are a bit more coercive than the sort of pressures people hogging food in hunter-gatherer groups experience.

    Mind you, mapping the economic relationships of a hunter-gatherer band to modern nation-states’ taxation arrangements is like calling a Big Mac a freshly blackened slice of mammoth liver done over a fire while the beast is being butchered…

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 09:51


      As I’ve been saying for a long time, we evolved to account for the values and actions of 30-60 other people. We did not evolve as ants or bees, but that’s what the Queens coerce us into.

    • fearsclave on July 21, 2011 at 16:48

      No disagreement there. I find, though, that one way of reconciling myself to life in the top tax bracket is telling myself that if I were staggering home to the cave under my own weight in meat and covered in gore to the tips of my hair after a long and exhausting day’s hunt, I’d be giving away most of my kill to feed the rest of the tribe anyhow.

      It’d be nice if I could direct the modern equivalent of my kill to my real tribe as opposed to millions of my fellow, er, citizens, but hey. This is not a perfect world, thanks to those bloody neolithic farmers…

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 18:38

      I’ve been all about principle in this debate, fearsclave, but you raise an important practicality. Statism and collectivization crowds out charity and good will.

  11. Tilden on July 21, 2011 at 04:46

    i have always found this idea to be pretty whack.
    There are certain community-wide advantages to being apart of a country.
    these include infrastructure, transport, defence, as well as law enforcement. if you are willing to agree that this is nessessary, then it follows that it is in the communities interest for people to be looked after when they are ill.
    i don’t really see how you can separate health care from defence and infrastructure.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 09:59

      “There are certain community-wide advantages to being apart of a country.”

      To whom?

      “i don’t really see how you can separate health care from defence and infrastructure.”

      I don’t.

  12. Noon on July 21, 2011 at 04:47

    unsubscribe…this website has become super shitty lately b/w your being an adulterer, talking about you fucking your wife at 2AM, and now this…zzz…i came here seeking nutrition/fitness advice not debates that sound like they come from an 8th grader who read his first non-mandatory history book, Howard Zen? Aynn Rand maybe? the point is, debates like this = FUCKING BORING!!

    • Sean on July 21, 2011 at 05:29

      Where’s the debate? All I see is some anonymous troll whingeing.

      If you want to be fit the first thing you need to do is wash that sand out of your vagina.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 10:00

      Hey Noon

      You’re a pussy.

    • Jasen on July 21, 2011 at 15:54

      I doubt Noon’s wife will fuck him at 2 am or any other time of the day and I suspect he’s jealous. On another post I suggested a reader go to his local pharmacy and purchase some Vagisil. You should do the same. This is Richard’s blog he can write whatever he wants. If you don’t like it or find no value in it you are free to go elsewhere.

  13. Be on July 21, 2011 at 05:50

    GREAT comparison! It perfectly describes what is wrong with socialized medicine and our declining “empire”. Noon may not like it but it absolutely applies to a paleo lifestyle which was as close to a pure anarchy as we will (or should) ever see. However I do believe in some valid functions of a government: national defense, civil defense, contractual protection and this one may rub many the wrong way but I think the government should protect the environment (in a rational manner). It is more than a coincidence that a disproportionate number of us are libertarian (small “l”). People willing to doubt dietary conventional wisdom will doubt all conventional wisdom (well most of us anyhow). I will invoke the traditional approach of free thinkers to Noon’s comments – if you didn’t recognize that this post was political after reading the first sentence and move on then shame on you – you represent those that bitch about banning stoopid shit from TV, video games and other media. Keep rocking the boat Richard – make waves!

  14. scott on July 21, 2011 at 06:52

    Would you feel better if they called it a tax?

    • Be on July 21, 2011 at 10:05

      That’s a foul 3 letter word that you should banish from your lexicon!

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 10:06


      No. I don’t do euphemism.

  15. Abe Connally on July 21, 2011 at 07:48

    What if you are not willing to pay for “defense” (ie invading sovereign nations, killing 1 million Iraqis over the last decade, etc)?
    No one asked if they could use my money to murder hundreds of thousands of people, either. After all, “defense” spending out numbers health spending by a large margin, making up more than 60% of annual spending. The point being that everyone will always disagree with how funds are being spent.

    Evolutionarily speaking, humans evolved with small, local government systems. And actually, they were quite socialist in nature. Private property was non existent, and the motto truly was “no member of the tribe left behind”. Man existed for a long time with this type of social organization.

    Things start to change when governing goes beyond the local level, and all sorts of issues rise up, like why are my taxes being spent to teach Intelligent Design in Texas schools? We find that no system of government or social organization scales very well without the inherent disadvantages scaling as well.

  16. Kim on July 21, 2011 at 08:56

    Abe, I don’t know where you get your #’s, but defense spending is nowhere near 60%! Entitlement spending far exceeds defense by more than 2-1. Medicare, SS, Medicaid and welfare programs eat up over 55% of budget while defense is less than 20%. In fact, in spite of recent increases, defense spending is at historical lows. Although you are entitled to your opinion, you don’t have the right to misrepresent the truth.

    • rob on July 21, 2011 at 09:31

      I have been paying for my future SS and Medicare benefits for 40 years now, to the extent they are entitlements they are entitlements that have been bought and paid for.

      Military spending is nothing more than an enormous welfare program for defense contractors and the people who are actually in the military, who often have nothing else going for them … you don’t become a grunt in the Army because you are overly bright … but for our ridiculous military spending these people would have to be on the unemployment dole or in prison.

    • Be on July 21, 2011 at 10:08

      You are NOT paying into an annuity for Social Security! That is the FDR fraud! That money is not only long ago spent but it is all rolled up into the deficit! Say good bye to retirement unless you are already taking my tax dollars from my children!

    • Kim on July 21, 2011 at 11:47

      Correct. All of these entitlement programs are pay-as-you-go. The so-called SS trust fund is a joke….nothing more than IOU’s. When SS was started, there were 13 workers for every retiree. Today there’s less than 4 and by the time I retire, 2. A huge house of cards that will be folding lest something is done. Also, when the program began, the average person only live less than 2 years from the date of their first check. Today, they live up to 2 decades. An 85 year old who has collected benefits for 20 years receives more in one month than they contributed in several years of work. I know because I have seen actual SS Statement of Earnings for my clients and most contributed as little as $50 PER YEAR during the 50’s and 60’s. The average person who retired in 1985 would get back 3.7 times contributions if a man and 4.4 times contributions if a woman. A total disaster waiting to happen. And it is.

    • Kim on July 21, 2011 at 11:48

      Your loathing of the military has been duly noted.

    • Abe Connally on July 21, 2011 at 12:04

      Kim – 55% of the BUDGET is allocated to those programs (maybe), but ACTUAL spending, Military is beyond 60%. Military going over budget is a regular thing. And the military also gets $$$ in other ways. It is not all in the Department of Defense budget item.

      Military budget for 2011 is $965B so far. That’s the Dept. of Defense Budget ($653 billion), the military portion from other departments ($150 billion), and an additional $162 billion to supplement war on terror. You can expect the actual spending to exceed those amounts.

      18% of total spending is past military costs (pensions, health care for veterans, etc), another 36% is current military, including funds for the wars. That doesn’t include any costs from things that pop up, like Libya, etc or Drug Wars abroad, or CIA wars, etc.

      We currently spend more for our military than for any other military in the history of the world. It’s a $1 TRILLION per year to maintain that Military.

      It is estimated than a minimum of 50% of the debt stems from military spending.

      That’s the truth.

    • Abe Connally on July 21, 2011 at 12:23

      For 2008, Social insurance and retirement receipts (SS tax) – $900 B. Social Security Spending – $617 B. That’s a $283B surplus on social security.

      Social Security is not adding to the deficit or general spending.

      That’s the truth.

    • Kim on July 21, 2011 at 13:05

      Gee, we could twist the numbers anyway we want. I got mine from the CBO and GAO, btw. Would you mind citing your sources? In either case, I cited actual dollars spent….not allocated, not budgeted or requested.

      In 1962, defense was 49% of spending, today it’s 14%. Total entitlements were 16% of spending in 1962 and 55% today. So where are most of our tax dollars really going? I may not like being at war, but I recognize the military as a necessary function of government (sorry Richard). But I don’t see wealth-transfer programs as consistent with the founders ideals. And frankly, we wouldn’t even need much of a military if we could get the stupid anti-gun zealots off our backs and allow every citizen their right to defend themselves against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic.

  17. Erica on July 21, 2011 at 09:17

    As someone who lives in the UK and therefore lives under the obviously crushing yoke of socialized medicine, what on earth are you on about?! It’s not a profound and probing question, it sounds more like a thinly veiled excuse for selfishly not wanting to pay your taxes, with a sizable chunk of thinly veiled racism mixed in. It is quite simple though, I’ll give you that.

    There are many profound problems with public health policy in the US and the UK. This question goes to the heart of absolutely none of them. You’re conflating two completely separate issues and making a purely ideological stand that works against the very ideals your previous posts lead me to believe that you want.

    The collusion between big business, big pharma and government is the problem. A free at the point of delivery health system actually works against that collusion because the government will need to (and have the bulk buying power to) negotiate lower prices for health care. If the government holds the purse strings, then they really don’t want people to get sick because it costs them more and they’ll bring in legislation to curtail the crap producers get away with sticking in our food, instead of just wasting money on healthcare initiatives that aren’t actually fixing the core problems. (Leading to ultimately, smaller government directed at the right places). Private health care companies want you to get sick, in fact they need you to get sick because that’s how they make money, and so they pay politicians campaign contributions to encourage them to vote the way they want they want them to so no actually useful legislation gets passed. Private health companies need everyone to get sick and then buy their drugs, as discreet individuals paying overinflated prices for them. Then the big food producers play the game too, many of whom are part of the same multi-nationals who also own the insurance companies and have a massive stake in the diet industry too. Having a health system that everyone pays into and without vested business interests corrupting it is the only way to fix the problem of our collective health. Having the opposite system IS the problem. You really don’t want to pay just a little, not even if it’ll help break this corrupt, cozy little system? Forget even about the inherent goodness in helping your fellow human beings, it’d be properly sticking it to the man.

    It’s since they’ve been trying to privitise our health service over here that people have been getting fatter and sicker. It’s since they brought a “free market” into the system thirty years ago that things have been going down hill over here. Our governments have been trying to emulate your country’s model for health care (and now inviting McDonald’s in to draft our health care policy!)… and that’s making people sick. We’ve seen the timeline over here. Under universal health care people were well, lifespans were improving, etc… start privitising it/relaxing food legislation/promoting solutions that don’t actually work and people start getting fat and sick.

    The government can over step their mark, and they absolutely should be called out whenever they do that, but us paying our taxes and receiving services that can be negotiated for with our collective buying power is the best logical use of resources. That’s not slavery, that’s wisely pooling our resources and we all benefit when we do that. It’s just like the cow buying thing that’s so popular in the paleo community. It’s cheaper and more efficient to group together and buy a whole cow than it is for everyone to pay separately for a few cuts at a time. If you can make me pay for your cow…

    But maybe all this is asking too much of you. You’re feeling better because you apparently have enough money to pay for this diet of real food and for any medical bills you might incur through falling off that hang glider of yours, so basically screw everyone else because you’re not willing to put actual money where your mouth is. For 60 years your government (all parties) has been telling you that socialism is a bad thing, but I thought you didn’t trust government. So why exactly are you believing them?

    • Sean on July 21, 2011 at 09:32

      Its all the fault of Big Business and Big Pharma, they want us to get sick so they can reap our tears. Let’s outlaw private enterprise for the sake of the fucking children!

      Why argue about the principles of government intervention when we have these statist bootlickers in the extreme majority?

    • Erica on July 21, 2011 at 09:58

      Who wants to outlaw private enterprise? I’m a capitalist, but we are the government. We are supposed to be the State. That’s why I’m pro the state. I’m pro us actually being represented. But that state has been sold out to big business who are getting it all their own way and you fix that by re-dressing the balance a bit in the other direction. I’m not against big business, I’m just against them running the state that I pay my taxes into for their own profit. Our elected reps should be running it on our behalf, not on theirs. It’s what I literally pay them to do, not protect me. I don’t want one or the other to be dominant. I want half and half. That’s the government intervention argument we should be having, about where that dividing line should be not whether it should exist at all. Government intervention is not inherently a bad thing when we (all of us) are the government.

    • Be on July 21, 2011 at 10:15

      I take exception to :”Government intervention is not inherently a bad thing”. It is! It always has been – always will be.

      If “we” the people ask for it we should severely limit its application. NEVER trust your elected official to do more than their self interest suggests – to be re-elected.

    • Erica on July 21, 2011 at 10:56

      We have universal healthcare in the UK. It has literally saved my brother’s life , my mum’s and several of my friend’s too. I’m pretty grateful that we got what we paid for with our taxes. We also have streetlights and roads and rubbish collection and public parks and a police force and an army. All of these things are government intervention. Are you arguing against all of those? That these are all bad and should stop immediately? Not one of them is a good thing?

      My parents are actually Hungarians from Romania. They left Communist Romania in the 70’s, risking their lives to do so. They suffered from excessive government intervention. We do not. Not in the UK and not in the US. Thing’s aren’t looking great, but excessive government intervention really isn’t our biggest problem. Although some of the ways they’ve been intervening is part of problem. It’s just not so black and white.

      Your last point is really depressing to me. We should be able to trust our elected officials to be acting in your interests (or democracy is basically dead) and that’s my point exactly. The system has become corrupt, but the basic idea of the system is sound. It has to be, or you’re arguing against democracy itself. Reforming campaign law so they they’re not bound to paymasters in big business would be a good first step.

      Ooh, awesome aside: I just got home and my latest blood test results were waiting for me. After 7 months eating a low carb/high fat largely paleo diet, I’m no longer considered to have metabolic syndrome and my numbers are all looking pretty damn good for everything else. 🙂

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 11:01

      “All of these things are government intervention.”

      Yes they are, though “intervention” is certainly a nice cuddly word for it. It’s just another in a whole host of euphemisms we use to describe what government does when if a person or private group did them, we’d actually call them what they were (force, theft, coercion, brutality, murder, etc.)

      “Are you arguing against all of those?”

      Of course. I don’t ascribe magical powers to anyone, including government. I’m arguing against government, per se. Every last microgram of it.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 11:03

      “or democracy is basically dead”

      One can only hope.

      “Democracy” is yet another cuddly euphemism to describe what is essentially two wolves and one sheep deciding what’s for dinner or, who goes into the cannibal pot, and who gets to feast.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 11:05

      “but the basic idea of the system is sound”

      To whom?

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 11:07

      “Ooh, awesome aside: I just got home and my latest blood test results were waiting for me. After 7 months eating a low carb/high fat largely paleo diet, I’m no longer considered to have metabolic syndrome and my numbers are all looking pretty damn good for everything else. :)”

      That _is_ awesome. No overuse of that word here.

      Good thing you accomplished that totally anarchistically.

    • Erica on July 21, 2011 at 11:14

      It sounds like you’re against representative decmocracy, in which case fair enough. It’s an easily corruptable system. I’m actually in favour of sortition. Aristotle called it the only real form of democracy.

    • Erica on July 21, 2011 at 11:21

      lol, this minor rebellion against orthodoxy isn’t anarchy. I buy my food in supermarkets and on the internet paid for by money I get from my job with a large American corporation and I get there in my car fueled by petrol obtained from a war zone that my country helped create. I should get my mum on here. She’s the anarchist in the family. She put her life on the line for her principles. I just eat a bit old fashioned.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 11:24

      I’m against anyone asserting that they represent me.

      I’ll give you this: I could swallow democracy, so long as anything but a 100% unanimous vote was null and void.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 11:28

      Yes it is, Erica, unless you are conceding that you are totally helpless without the state force and coercion.

      Anarchy is a state of mind.

    • Erica on July 21, 2011 at 12:43

      I obviously wouldn’t describe it as force and coercion, well not all the time 🙂 but we live in this world with its structures and many of them are invisible to us because they just happen around us. Some of those things are bad but many of them are good. Most of us wouldn’t survive if they were taken away, even though we can dream that we could. But if they were gone would that life of struggle actually be better than this one? Anarchy is a lovely theory, but I’m not sure I want to live in that world. This one can be horrible enough but humanity unrestrained by the veneer of civilsation and all out for themselves? Doesn’t sound fun. We built this world over thousands of years to get away from that life of constant hardship. We wanted more than that so we constructed support networks of community and then government. Yes, without the structures we would be free, but to do what? Starve like the folks in Somalia if the crops fail? For everything we’d gain, I’m concerned about what we’d lose. It’s a lovely dream to be free and unrestrained but that’s not the story of human history. We always end up exploiting each other and enslaving each other one way or another. I’m a woman; we have a certain history of being considered commodities. Anarchistic free trade scares me a bit. 🙂

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 13:24

      “I’m not sure I want to live in that world.”

      I would never compel you to.

    • Be on July 21, 2011 at 17:29

      Damn straight! I argue against ALL intervention. If government intervention is so fucking great why did your parents leave a communist state? YEA for good blood work!

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 10:39

      “it sounds more like a thinly veiled excuse for selfishly not wanting to pay your taxes”

      Oh, my. Totally my mistake.

      Taxes, _all_ taxes, are robbery. Every penny, ever and no, I don’t want to “pay [my] taxes” (euphemism for theft, ransom to keep your ass out of jail, etc.) and I don’t want you or anyone else to pay them either. If we lived in a rational society, the first person who ever tried to impose a tax would have summarily been gutted.

      Does that raise veil enough for ya?

    • Erica on July 21, 2011 at 11:07

      I can sympathise with that position. If we could go back to a system before money that might actually be a logical position. A bartering system wouldn’t need taxes and would be a far nicer world in many ways. Unfortunately most of us live in this world, where events have moved on and we’re trying to make do with what our ancestors have created for us. In this world money matters and how we pay for things matters. But you just stick your fingers in your ears and go “lalala I wanna live totally in the past”.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 11:19

      “If we could go back to a system before money”

      Money was invented by traders (probably the Phoenicians, 1500 BC), not by the state. You don’t need a mob or fiat currency to recognize a medium of exchange.

      It’s simply just another theft by government, arguably the largest one ever, though the state is also the largest murderer ever too.

      “In total, during the first eighty-eight years of this century, almost 170,000,000 men, women, and children have been shot, beaten, tortured, knifed, burned, starved, frozen, crushed, or worked to death; or buried alive, drowned, hung, bombed, or killed in any other of the myriad ways governments have inflicted death on unarmed, helpless citizens or foreigners. The dead even could conceivably be near 360,000,000 people. This is as though our species has been devastated by a modern Black Plague. And indeed it has, but a plague of Power and not germs.”

    • Erica on July 21, 2011 at 11:33

      I see what you’re saying. It wasn’t an invitability that we end up with nation state or with tax as a funding method. But what I’m saying is I don’t see tax itself as the problem. The problem with it goes back to what your country fought my country over. Taxation without representation. Tax itself is a neutral concept, it’s how and why it’s applied that makes the difference. Historically it’s been applied both for bad and for good. It’s basically the concept that we can achieve more if we work together than if we work alone. We could work alone, but why make life harder for ourselves by going it alone?

      But we’re not going to agree, are we? 🙂

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 11:36

      “Taxation without representation”

      That’s distinction without a difference. What difference does it make which band of thugs steal from you in order to pay for their values?

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 10:41

      “There are many profound problems with public [] policy.”

      And the biggest of all is that there is such a thing to begin with.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 10:42

      “but us paying our taxes and receiving services that can be negotiated for with our collective buying power is the best logical use of resources”

      Logical to whom?

      Use to whom?

      Best to whom?

    • Erica on July 21, 2011 at 11:10

      Did you not read my cow analogy? If one person cannot afford a cow alone, they buy it between several of them… because that’s more efficient than each paying way over the odds for individual cuts of meat, and you go straight to the source, rather thas buying way down the chain. It’s called economies of scale. It’s smart consumerism.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 11:22

      “If one person cannot afford a cow alone, they buy it between several of them”

      I’m dealing in principles.

      The issue is not the cow, nor fish or chickens. The issue is that everyone decides their values for themselves and acts on those values themselves, trades with whom they want on terms that are exclusive to the trading partners and the business of no one else in the world, regardless of what products and services are being traded and as well, the medium of exchange is up to them as well.

  18. rob on July 21, 2011 at 09:24

    The “defense” thing is total bullshit, we could argue endlessly about the purpose served by our military, which is 40x bigger than any other military in the world, but the idea that it exists to defend us is insane … defend us FROM WHOM????

    The argument that taxes levied for defense are somehow different than taxes levied for welfare projects is silly … the U.S. military IS a welfare project, the biggest one on the planet.

    • Kim on July 21, 2011 at 11:58

      Your hatred of the military has not gone unnoticed.

    • Abe Connally on July 21, 2011 at 12:05

      and your warmongering hasn’t, either.

    • Kim on July 21, 2011 at 13:07

      Ad hominem attack, completely unsubstantiated.

  19. Tony on July 21, 2011 at 09:30

    Policy and (U.S.) government? Ha! A mask and predatory interests. Why focus on the mask?

  20. Keoni Galt on July 21, 2011 at 11:04

    I’m a capitalist, but we are the government. We are supposed to be the State.

    Hah! Thus Erica demonstrates the ultimate purpose of “DEMOCRACY.” The illusion that mob rule means the Government is under control of the people.

    The reality is DEMOCRACY is the means of dividing and conquering the masses to benefit the elite power structure who use their corporations, trust funds and tax exempt foundations to purchase political influence while leading the masses to believe they had a hand in creating the current reality.

    Erica, you may not understand US Politics, but understand this – the TARP bailouts were one policy most average people here opposed – liberal and conservative alike. If this were truly a Government for the people, by the people, the bailouts to the Big Bankers would’ve never happened.

    It’s no coincidence that both a Republican Pres (Bush) and a Democrat Pres (Obama) signed off on those bailouts. Government for the people, by the Bankers is more like it.

    Our current system is a corporatist/fascist state. “Democracy” is the mask concealing this reality from the average voter.

    WE are not the Government.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 11:10

      “Our current system is a corporatist/fascist state.”

      This is what I call an unflinching identification of reality.

    • Erica on July 21, 2011 at 12:55

      TARP was a stupid idea. It was corruption mascerading as Keynes. What we all needed was real infrastructure investment, not a crappy attempt to prop up the illusionary banking system. In many ways you’re fighting the wrong fight by addressing this to me. I am a Keynesian but I totally agree that our current system is a corporatist/fascist state. I merely disagree with you on how to change that. I still have some faith in democracy as best of all possible worlds because the alternatives are worse. I do agree that current “democracy” is no such thing, on either side of the pond. I’m involved with the Electoral Reform Society in UK and trying to do something about that.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 13:25

      “the alternatives are worse”

      For whom?

  21. David Csonka on July 21, 2011 at 11:19


    What is your take on a “potluck dinner” in regards to the idea of personal property or effort being given up to be incorporated into communal property, for the enrichment of many.

    One person or group may benefit more than others from the potluck dinner, maybe because they don’t normally have access to such variety of food. Conversely, somebody with more resources might actually eat better normally on their own.

    How do you feel this analogy relates (or doesn’t relate) to the taxation problem and communal property managed by government?

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 11:26

      “How do you feel this analogy relates (or doesn’t relate) to the taxation problem and communal property managed by government?”

      I’ve been to many potlucks in my time.

      I don’t recall ever being forced to attend one or, have my dinner taken to one while I was barred participation.

    • David Csonka on July 21, 2011 at 11:34

      Would society become hideously inefficient if every person had to opt in to citizenship upon turning 18? After all, you were grandfathered (well fathered more accurately) into the system by your parents by the novelty of being born here.

      If you could retroactively revoke this status, and disavow the benefits and requirements provided by citizenship, would you do so?

      Do you think it would be preferrable for society to allow an opt in /opt out model such as that?

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 11:39

      “Would society become hideously inefficient”

      That’s a question of utility, to which I always ask, to whom? I never concede to quibble over which form of coercion would “work better.”

      “If you could retroactively revoke this status, and disavow the benefits and requirements provided by citizenship, would you do so?”

      I’m always willing to take my own chances in all things, all the time, no exceptions. That what a human animal is supposed to do, for better or worse, no guarantees.

      “Do you think it would be preferrable for society to allow an opt in /opt out model such as that?”

      Whose society?

    • David Csonka on July 21, 2011 at 11:50

      “Whose society” – Quite obviously the one you participated in until such time that you decided you no longer wanted to be a part of it.

      Like vaccination, most people are involuntarily opted into such a social program, and receive the benefits and risks inherent to it.

      Is there value in considering a system where every person must decide to opt in or opt out of the framework of services provide by modern society? Choosing to opt out after you’ve already benefited from much of the system is kind of lame though, isn’t it?

      If anything, you should blame your parents for enrolling you into citizenship before allowing you to decide if you wanted to partake in the program.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 12:09

      “the one you participated in”

      You say it as though I had a choice in the matter. “Society” in this context is merely another in a long list of cuddly euphemisms. Nobody would stoop to describe mom & pop’s protection money taken from the til by Vito and Vinnie each week the “society they participated in.

      “Is there value in considering a system where every person must decide to opt in or opt out of the framework of services provide by modern society? ”

      Not to me. Look, whenever someone alludes to whether something would “work,” I hear “assurances and guarantees.” There ought be no such thing that does not involve contractual or other voluntary relationships between willing individuals. Or, if you wish to use some portion of your values to give guarantees and assurances to other individuals or groups you care about, nobody is going to stop you. But you don’t have the right to coerce such guarantees and assurances from others for your benefit to that of others.

      “blame your parents for enrolling you into citizenship ”

      They did no such thing. They copulated, waited nine months, had a baby. It was nobody else’s business then and it’s still nobody else’s business now.

    • David Csonka on July 21, 2011 at 12:25

      If your parents acquired a birth certificate for you then I would say they did in fact enroll you into citizenship.

      They had plenty of choices, like giving birth in the wilderness, or moving to the rain forest, or a different country. But no, they chose to give birth to you here, using the facilities and services provided here, and acquired for you (I’m assuming you have a BC) a birth certificate.

      Up until such time that you decided this society was inept, you continued to utilize and benefit (or not benefit) from the services it provided. All that time you could have hiked into the woods or up into Canada or something to avoid this, but you remained here.

      To deny patronage to a system after having already made your fortune (within it) and thus can feasibly provide all necessary services through your own means (after leaving it) strikes me as incredibly shortsighted.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 13:19

      “a different country”

      Spiro Agnew _always_ eventually comes up.

      Written just like you own the place.

    • David Csonka on July 21, 2011 at 13:31

      I actually don’t even know who that is, I was just speaking from my own mind. I suppose I’ll go wikipedia Spiro Agnew now.

      Anyway peace out. I probably lingered here a little longer than I should have, these kinds of conversations always seem to leave a hint of animosity bubbling under the surface. Kind regards – DC

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 13:36

      I doubt Wikipedia will tell you that the ex-vice president of the United States (under Nixon) was the one to coin the phrase “America, love it or leave it.” Like he owned it.

      Its the same principle at work as when someone suggest you go live in the wilderness if you don’t like being coerced and stolen from in the normal course of living your own life.

    • Joseph on July 21, 2011 at 12:19

      A country of 300 million people is hideously inefficient. It is an abomination that should never exist, anywhere. If it does exist, it should do as little as possible (with nothing being the best it could do, since it cannot help but be an ignorant oligarchy mismanaging resources with which it is not immediately or meaningfully connected).

      I think a lot of the problems we talk about here would be greatly mitigated if US states were more like countries. The more powerful local politics become, the more you see a melding between what real people actually want, and what their “representatives” provide. My “representatives” in the federal government barely know I exist: they certainly couldn’t care less. My “representatives” in state government know enough to send me emails and talk about issues that actually have some meaning for my life (state industries, farming laws, etc.). My “representatives” in local government are guys whose houses I can visit. They have faces that I have direct access to. If they screw me over really bad, everyone will know about it and there will be egg on somebody’s face. Without challenging the premise that government is mostly a waste of time, I think it becomes less of a waste as we empower people closer to real life (i.e. local government). In my dream world, I wake up one morning to discover that the US has turned into a collection of various versions of Switzerland. I wouldn’t be sorry if we lost all (or at least most of) the federal government. (Maybe it could stick around as a nominal decoration, with a bunch of actors playing dress up the way the British monarchy does.)

    • Branch Warren on July 21, 2011 at 16:36

      So we should be more like the E.U.? Yeah that’s working out really well right now isn’t it.

    • Joseph on July 22, 2011 at 05:00

      We are currently going broke like the EU. We might as well model our state(s) on the most successful pieces of it (small republics focused on local communities) instead of the least successful (compare our spending program with that of Greece).

    • Paul on July 24, 2011 at 06:46

      switzerland doesn’t belong to the EU

  22. Keoni Galt on July 21, 2011 at 11:24

    Yup, but I cannot take credit for making this observation.

    Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power. – Benito Mussolini

    Look no further than the appointment of big agribusiness executives to the USDA and FDA, who are the agencies behind the creation of travesties like the Food Pyramid that tells everyone to make the majority of their diets food produced by Big Ag to achieve ‘health.’ That is precisely the kind of “merger” Benito was talking about.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 11:32

      Ayn Rand correctly identified the distinction between socialism and fascism. Socialism is state ownership and control of property and means of production and fascism is state control via state created corporate entities.

      There should be no such thing as corporations, as currently constructed. There would effectively be no difference between a corporation and a partnership is for one thing: state protection against personal liability.

  23. Joseph on July 21, 2011 at 12:03

    It is all a game of rhetoric to me. Ever since the agricultural revolution and the ensuing population explosion (that continues), the oligarchs have had their hooks in the masses (who serve them as a matter of course, because the relationship is what maintains the status quo that everyone depends on except a few hermits). But we don’t like calling a spade a spade: it makes the rulers feel like fascist pigs and the ruled feel like bacon. So we come up with different words and customs to mask slavery, making it more palatable for everyone. (Today that seems to mean that a living wage–whatever that is–and rights to stuff–whatever that means–justify the masses’ being at the beck and call of the oligarchs.) Every time enough people see through the rhetorical charade, we readjust the words (sometimes throwing a war into the mix for good measure), create new, “acceptable” methods of slavery (minimum wage; outsourcing; illegal labor) and play dumb until things reach a boiling point again (at which point we rinse and repeat).

    When I first realized this as a young idealist, raised to love the United States of America (and her Constitution hand-delivered to Sarah Palin’s founding fathers by holy FedEx), it was pretty crushing. I was angry. (Some days, I still am.) But I realized pretty quick that there is really no point getting mad. No point calling your congressman. No point writing diatribes. No point fighting abstractions like injustice, terror, etc. That just agitates everyone (slaves and masters alike) who depends on stuff being the way it is (and they respond by defending the status quo even more violently, a status quo which they glorify with all kinds of words like “freedom,” “democracy,” “new world order”). The best way to fight is to shut up, make something beautiful on your own, and have fun with it (which may or may not involve sharing it with other people: often, they are really just as glad as you are to be left alone). Richard likes flying hang-gliders. When I think about him flying, my outlook on the world improves (seriously), and it seems to me that life really isn’t as black and white or open and shut as the crazy ideologues in politics (and religion too) want it to be. It is incredibly relieving to me to think that somewhere out there, a man looks at the whole mess that is the USA today, says “Fuck it!” and leaps out into the open air.

    The animal connection is important, too. Animals don’t waste time wondering about the conceptual limitations of freedom: they move, they eat (when they can), they itch, they scratch. A three-legged dog doesn’t go around demanding insurance money from other dogs because it had an unfortunate run-in with a lawn-mower. It just keeps on moving, bouncing along so fast sometimes that you wonder how the injury really set it back. If someone takes care of an injured animal, it may be grateful, but it doesn’t demand care as some kind of absolute right. It couldn’t care less about rights: it expresses its emotions honestly and authentically. As an idealist, however, I was always trying to feel the right things (as opposed to what I really felt), a futile exercise which taught me some bad habits: if you ignore pain long enough, it will go away, but the injury persists until you deal with it. I could not process a lot of my personal injuries, because my idealistic worldview had no place for just acknowledging feelings (the first step toward actually learning how to control one’s mind effectively). I was the domestic dog who needed a muzzle (an ironclad ideology) because I didn’t know diddly-squat about managing my own temper (never having dared to learn). Whatever its crimes, the slave-state has not taken away our ability to learn how we feel and effectively master those feelings (without domesticating them to the point of self-destruction, which was kind of where I was headed). We still possess the tools we need to be authentically human animals.

    I am slowly coming to think that the best approach to government is to ignore it as much as possible. Maybe that is why I like Richard’s blog. It is one of the few places online (or anywhere) where I can think about human interaction outside the craziness that ensues in most modern political discourse, where I am supposed to align with this or that mafia for reasons that are rhetorically bulletproof and historically pathetic. (Everyone talks like his mafia is saving the world and conveniently ignores the fact that it is also screwing us all over, himself included.)

  24. Rosemary on July 21, 2011 at 13:14

    Adulterer? WTF?! Did I miss something?

    Oh, and I’m assuming corporate welfare is bad, too?

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 15:27

      Yes, corporate welfare – another euphemism – is bad too.

      There was never any adultery. He’s lying.

  25. Josh on July 21, 2011 at 13:34

    The anecdote always used to deride socialized healthcare is a stereotypical sloth who doesn’t take care of his/her body, etc… And though that is many times the case, the opposite exists as well. I have a friend with a terrible seizure disorder who maintains excellent fitness and diet. As a waitress, she isn’t able to pay for the extensive treatment that is required (as these extreme seizures will result in death or severe dementia if not treated) and socialized healthcare will save her life. To help her and people like her, I’m happy to donate a portion of my wealth, if I end up also helping some lard-asses whose shitty health is there own fault, I can live with that.

    I get the anti-public health care angle from those who wish to live entirely off grid, not use roads, public schools and things like the fire dept., but for anyone who is willing to be taxed for a public service this seams, to me, to be a highly justifiable one. Also, though in it’s current proposal we’d be stung with pay for the aforementioned land-whales, I wonder if the notion would get more support if the focus was on preventative medicine and priority was given to those who didn’t squander it.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 13:40

      “To help her and people like her, I’m happy to donate a portion of my wealth”

      Then why do you need to be compelled? Whose stopping you?

      I too know people I’d help out, and have. So?

    • Contemplationist on July 21, 2011 at 21:18


      Not sure if you are interested in reading more about health care, but HERE is the most comprehensive, fact-based, non-BS analysis (with solutions) done from a non-fascist, non-socialist perspective. It is simply remarkable.

      One of the facts that Carson the author brought up was how the working class and poor people banded together VOLUNTARILY and contracted with the neighborhood doctor and dentist for a couple day’s wages per month with no intermediaries of a dozen bureaucracies – either public or “private”.

      Here is a story from 2009 where the meddling cocksuckers in the State Insurance Department barred a doctor from offering flat fee services to uninsured people

  26. Josh on July 21, 2011 at 14:29

    Though I have donated directly to her cause, I don’t have nearly enough income to cover her costs. If everyone in need had a rich buddy to turn to, that would be great but it is not the case.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 15:19

      Ever heard of charities, Josh?

      Because that’s exactly what it would be.

      As Rand once wrote and I’m paraphrasing, the issue isn’t about giving a dime to a baggar (this was the 50s, so 10 bucks today, given the state theft of value through inflation of fiat money) — or gathering and pooling to charitably help someone out — it’s that the misfortunes and incompetence of others is held as a mortgage on your life.

    • Josh on July 21, 2011 at 18:22

      Charities are unfortunately prone to the same corruption that governments are – you know that.

      If the government is to provide any tax funded service to its people why not health? Without ones health the rest of the services can not be utilized.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 18:48

      “Charities are unfortunately prone to the same corruption that governments are – you know that.”

      What’s new? Can you name a corrupt individual? What are you going to do about it? Withold any and all support, perhaps, or do you need that spelled out. Seem ps kinda obvious.

      Try doing that with taxes and regulations.

      There’s your distinction, if you’re honest.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 18:51

      “If the government is to provide any tax funded service to its people why not health? Without ones health the rest of the services can not be utilized.”

      Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean anyone to think I had the slightest regard for massas. “Government” is another in a very long list of euphemisms. So is “tax,”

  27. Josh on July 21, 2011 at 14:32

    Another point, and forgive me if I’ve missed something. I feel that many of the comments, my own included have deviated from the core point of the query, wrapped up in the politics of the examples. Are we essentially trying to ask “If the government can have a say in any aspect of our lives what is stopping them from having complete control of it?”

  28. Noah on July 21, 2011 at 14:41

    Are you interested in paying me back the money taken from me to pay your military salary?

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 15:25

      What, you want me to retroactively be your slave, Noah?

      This is not the issue. There is nothing principally wrong with a lot of the services that government provides – except the general incopentance of the way most of it is done, vis-a-vis how a business serves customers or it gets no revenue. It’s in one part the silly notion that such services can’t be done any other way coupled with the fervor by which everyone attempts to live at the expense of everyone else.

  29. Rosemary on July 21, 2011 at 14:55


  30. Branch Warren on July 21, 2011 at 16:34

    The question has an equally simple answer. Paying your healthcare is making me “pick your cotton”. But you know what? Your picking mine too. It’s called equilibrium. This is why we need a single payer system for all.

    P.S. Cotton was one sided….this is not.

    The end.

    • doug on July 21, 2011 at 16:57

      So no one is a slave as long as everyone is a slave?

      That’s not a very good answer.

      Also cotton wasn’t one sided…The slaves got free housing, food, and healthcare!

    • Be on July 21, 2011 at 17:34

      Are you freaking kidding? Will you be MY slave? I’ll feed you and give you a shack out back. I’ll even send you to the doctor to protect my investment. Send me your email and you can be mine! BTW I hope you like getting raped too.

    • doug on July 21, 2011 at 17:50

      Um yeah that was kidding…In fact your comment was my point though I hadn’t even thought about the rape part…maybe I should have just left it at the “No one is a slave as long as everyone is a slave” comment.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 18:35

      That’s the logic of collectivism and it’s old news.

      I’m an individualist. The only way you anothers get away with this is by proxy of the vote. You don’t actually have to come to my house and try to force me to pay.

      Because if you did, I would gleefully slit your throat and we’d have liver for dinner.

      Now go fuck off.

  31. Rosemary on July 21, 2011 at 17:50

    I can understand most of what you’re saying. At least you’re not one of those obnoxious Objectivists.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 18:45

      I’m a Rand fan, but I’ve never worshipped her and I would not vote for her for public office. Then again, I don’t vote and when asked, I say NOBODY should be President.

  32. Josh on July 21, 2011 at 18:24

    I’ll bet the slaves who picked cotton would find our bitching about public healthcare a bit insulting…

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2011 at 18:54

      That’s right, Josh. There’s no disputing that getting part of your life stolen from you is marginally better.

      It’s probably more efficient too.

      Be Proud.

  33. Bullseye? « The Quick and the Dead on July 24, 2011 at 19:20

    […] that seems to have made me Famous, with all the brightest lights of the wookiesphere reblogging and retweeting it. While one can always take pride in a well-turned phrase, I’m not all that […]

  34. Jeffrey Quick on July 25, 2011 at 17:27

    Well, if y’all are going to make me an Internet legend or sumpin’, let’s get the quote right: “If you have a “right” to make me pay for your health care, why don’t you have a “right” to make me pick your cotton?”. Very clearly they CAN make us buy healthcare AND pick cotton, given enough firepower and that most of us are pussies who would rather live than die. It’s an important distinction. Being forced to pick somebody’s cotton seems clearly wrong, because only some people were were subject to that. But if being sold down the river to an overseer’s lash were as racially neutral as Obamacare is, that still wouldn’t make it right.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 25, 2011 at 17:39

      Noted and appropriately edited, Jeffrey.

      Thanks for pointing it out.

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