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Neolithic Mind Toxins: Animals Don’t Vote

Or, if they do, it’s with paw or hoof, tooth or claw

I asked the 20-somethings at The 21 Convention why they would be interested in a one in 300 millionth say in their own affairs and, and, why they would clamor for who’s gonna rule them next. That’s kind of a melange of principle and practical, really, but it’s often not a bad idea to hit a person with the practical first: how’s it working’ out for ya? Maybe you’ll get their attention.

There was a lot more to that part of the presentation, of course, but that will come out in due course when the video is released. During the Q&A, I got predictable questions.

“How how hard is it to go vote; how much time does it take?”

The practical: Too much. And it’s not just the little time and effort it takes to go vote. It’s useless, nothing changes, and most voters spend a lot of time agitating months or even years in advance. It’s a drain on your life that returns nothing if you’re a producer and not a parasite.

The principle: I don’t have a right to even a 1 in 300 millionth say in your affairs and I would not do that to you. In summary, I don’t vote because I have no moral right to, even before the fact that it’s totally masturbatory on a practical level.

Next question: “How about the lesser of two evils?”

Answer: Thank you for pointing out that it’s all evil. I’m not interested in evil. Next.

Anthony, the organizer of the event asked me to clarify, and specifically, about any particular candidates I might judge differently. Well, of course, I immediately mentioned my infatuation with Ron Paul’s campaign and money raising last time around for the next King…er…President.

Sure, admittedly, since nothing will really change, I welcome more rational depth than not. Obama is a commie. W. Bush was an elitist incompetent, far worse than his dad which isn’t saying much, Clinton was a fucking liar of epic proportions and Reagan was a superstar personality who set us off on the greatest federal spending spree since Johnson. Carter is still an embarrassment in every way I can imagine as a man. Ford knew more about baseball than history and Nixon was a general shitbag.

That’s the extent of my personal first hand knowledge. Fuck them all. Why the hell should I vote?

But again, that’s merely the practical. It’s a fucking waste of time and mental energy and you will do well to simply ignore it and channel that energy into life enhancement, entrepreneurship, creativity or whatever else floats your boat or gives you a hardon.

My curiosity is why a human animal would want to subjugate itself to such a process. We’re social animals, but did not evolve in an ant hill or bee hive; we evolved in very small societies where you-animal could account for every other member. And every other member could account for you. Compromise is actually natural in this sort of setting. You compromise all the time in your close social circle and it’s perfectly natural and makes the world go round.

We don’t mind — if we’re rational — lending hand, being generous, charitable, and on and on. But ants and bees are actually quite dumb individually. It is merely the fact of mass collectivization in the billions and trillions that has rendered an insect that collectively, does amazing things.

So that’s what you want? You want to quit being a proud and capable individual animal in exchange for sacrificial insecthood?

Clap, clap, clap.

Be proud, America.

Beyond that, I simply cannot understand the desire to impose my will upon others simply because I can, by chance, happen to vote with the bigger mob.

I’d feel ashamed. Shit, I can even get my non human dogs to feel a sense of shame.

So what’ll be the next Neolithic Mind Toxin? Given events in Norway, I was thinking: defenselessness. We’ll see.

Update: A simple rhetorical question that I recall from USENET many years ago: what if they held an election and no one showed up? It’s rhetorical, so give it your best.

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

162 Comments

  1. Monica Hughes on July 26, 2011 at 22:01

    Awesome post. Gotta pick a little nit on the Hymenoptera. Actually, their actions make way more sense than your average voter, from a biological standpoint. Worker bees (or ants, whatever) “serve the colony” to serve themselves. They share 75% of their genes with sisters whereas they would only pass on 50% of the DNA to offspring if they actually reproduced. (I can go into the math if anyone’s interested.)

    Merely from a standpoint of propagating their own genes, it makes more sense for workers to help raise sisters. So really, they do it for themselves. The queen doesn’t really rule. She’s just a baby-making sucker. Pretty neat.

    Would that humans would be so logical.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 26, 2011 at 22:32

      Leave it to you to put me in short pants.

      I know nothing of bee social behavior as distinguished from ants, only that both are highly collectivist. I’ve been fortunate to hear an NPR bit by a Smithsonian guy who knows everything about ants,p as well as a Sunday morning prog in my hotel in Orlando that was essentially the same.

      Ants ar fucking phenomenal in what they do. And they are actually not only agriculturists, but have selectively bread molds to the point the molds can’t exist outside the hive where they grow on the leaves they cut. It is truly amazing.

      But I’m not an ant.

      • Monica Hughes on July 27, 2011 at 06:10

        No short pants here. My guess is you were listening to EO Wilson. Anyone could be forgiven for thinking that these systems are an example of altruism and collectivism because that’s the words biologists typically use — in particular, EO Wilson who is a socialist environmentalist nutjob who *wants* eusocial insects to be a great example of altruism, socialism, etc. that we can just follow. Anyone will get the analogy nicely but honestly there aren’t very good examples of kin selection (perceived sacrifice to help people less related to you than your own relatives) in biology. Every time we come across an example that supposedly proves that altruism can work, we tend to find some unique genetics that argue against the idea that those organisms are really altruistic, i.e. sacrificial. Honestly, the only example I can really think of where this might be the case is in slime molds which are sort of bridge between unicellular and multicellular organisms ( or a bridge between social and nonsocial?). All the cells live independently, and then at the end of their lives they come together to form a social structure that reproduces. The cells that make up the stalk have to die in order for the cells at the top of the stalk to be dispersed, but as far as we know they’re not highly related to each other. Even here my guess is we’ll find some unique genetics that explains why they do this.

        It’s simply very rare to find organisms that carry out true sacrifice: animal, ant or otherwise. Unfortunately humans are the only that choose to do so, and to do so in such large numbers.



      • Monica Hughes on July 27, 2011 at 06:28

        EO Wilson is brilliant — read many of his books, because I am really into eusocial insects. Just one more thing, and then I’ll STOP TALKING ABOUT FUCKING ANTS BECAUSE THIS IS NOT WHAT THIS POST IS ABOUT, I am sure you are saying in your head. 🙂

        Worker ants share 50% of the queen’s DNA, but 100% of the male’s DNA. So they are 75% related to sisters while only 1/2 related to queen OR their own offspring. So what they do makes perfect sense, and it’s why it evolved at least 11 independent times among ants and bees and wasps and…

        Yet EO Wilson actually does not believe the unique genetics in these haplodiploid insects explain their social structures. This is despite the repeated evolution of the behavior multiple times, and despite that we don’t find this sort of behavior anywhere else in the animal kingdom. So most scientists studying these insect systems come to the conclusion that the genetics HAD to favor the eusociality. Occam’s razor. But not EO Wilson. OH no. He wants em to be doing it because he wants to really believe they actually sacrifice and do kin selection. (Retraction of his previous views.) But the fact remains, you would simply not find such successful animals anywhere else that conducted sacrifice, and ants and bees don’t really, either.

        OK, moving on now, and if I am right, it actually strengthens your case to not be able to find an example of sacrifice in the Animal Kingdom of the Tree of Life, even in seemingly collectivist insects like ants and bees. You have to get to organisms like slime molds for that sort of behavior.



      • Sean on July 27, 2011 at 08:45

        I don’t know about Richard, but I’m finding all this pretty fascinating.



      • Josh on July 27, 2011 at 10:07

        Me too! I’ve always been fascinated by hive insects (although a staunch individualist libertarian myself, go figure lol) but I didn’t not know this. Thanks for posting it!



      • Richard Nikoley on July 27, 2011 at 10:25

        Ditto, Sean. Fascinating, Monica.

        I just like the ant hill and bee hive thing as a metaphor. Perhaps I should start using The Borg.



      • Richard Nikoley on July 27, 2011 at 10:25

        Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.



      • Monica Hughes on July 27, 2011 at 20:53

        The Borg seems like a great concept.

        Seriously, though, from a merely physical perspective of looking down and seeing ants slave away for a “leader” or “the group” the analogy works and everyone gets it. On its face it does appear to be the height of communism: little workers all slaving away as hard as they can for the good of “the collective.” I just wanted to geek out in your comment thread a little. 🙂

        A lot of biologists spend time on this kin selection idea, studying it in all sorts of systems from birds to ants to everything else. It’s a very controversial idea, as biologists search and search for truly altruistic behavior that doesn’t benefit the individual. (The fact they have to search so hard tells you a lot about biology and sadly, biologists.) It would be interesting if altruism really were true biologically, but I just can’t see how a strictly sacrificial gene would be selected for, since those carrying it would die. And if those you are “helping” carry that gene, then it’s not really altruism, is it? So purely biologically, I think sacrifice is going nowhere or if we do find it to some degree, I think it’s got to be an eventual dead end. I read some papers on the math of slime mold genetics and found the idea of pure altruism even in that system unconvincing.

        Of course, humans are beyond all those basic selection pressures now for so many reasons.



      • Richard Nikoley on July 27, 2011 at 21:14

        Intensely interesting, Monica.

        Keep informing us at every opportunity, even if it means a small sacrifice of your time. 🙂



      • Monica Hughes on July 27, 2011 at 21:23

        SACRIFICE!??? SACRIFICE!???

        I will pull out that slime mold paper and link it. Apparently, there are cheaters on the altruistic arrangement in this case, and the altruists have evolved anti-cheater adaptations. In other words, it appears that even in slime molds the altruists will only sacrifice if someone else is sacrificing for them as well. Incredible!



      • gallier2 on July 28, 2011 at 06:36

        You should absolutely read “the selfish gene” from Richard Dawkins. He explains very well how altruism is biological selected for on the “gene” level. The book is excellent but the title is somewhat badly chosen, as the idea is only logical after reading the book.



      • Monica Hughes on July 28, 2011 at 06:43

        Please define altruism exactly as Richard Dawkins uses that term. Then we’ll talk.



  2. Tim Starr on July 26, 2011 at 23:06

    We have regimes where people can’t vote to compare to. Do you find them preferable?

    • Richard Nikoley on July 26, 2011 at 23:43

      What’s your point, Tim, because I’m awful at games.

      • Tim Starr on July 27, 2011 at 00:49

        Would you rather live in a country where you can’t vote, or one where you can vote for multiple parties?



      • Richard Nikoley on July 27, 2011 at 01:00

        Immaterial. It’s not my argument.

        I’m an American, luckily. I understand that.

        And we can do better that to clamor for mob rule.



      • Mild Speculation on July 27, 2011 at 08:49

        Richard, I agree that we can do better, but out of genuine curiosity, how might we go about it? The way we’re headed, a whole lot of awful policies come about that appeal to the uninformed masses, and even worse, a whole lot of policies that come about due to interest groups (ag subsidies, bailouts, etc.). This needs to be changed.

        One serious alternative would be a sort of technocracy where you’d have experts dictating policy in various fields, but there might be the same problems with corruption, and I can’t see many people giving up their right to vote (i.e., their illusion of power) to a handful of Ph.D.’s.



      • Richard Nikoley on July 27, 2011 at 10:32

        “but out of genuine curiosity, how might we go about it?”

        The first step is to stop thinking in terms of “we.”

        I’m not interested in system building, what would “work” (for whom?), or any idealist anarchist utopias. I simply wish to be left alone to take my own chances in the world.

        I’m not interested in imposing my will on others by means of the vote and I’m also not interested in imposing my will on others to force them not to. I simply want no part of any or it. I’m happy to pay my way and take my chances, for better or worse, no guarantees ever.



      • Tim Starr on July 27, 2011 at 09:15

        Before 1965, blacks weren’t allowed to vote in the South. Were those states better off for that?

        Today, in some districts of LA, most of the population are illegal aliens who can’t vote. Are those districts less corrupt?



      • Richard Nikoley on July 27, 2011 at 10:33

        “Before 1965, blacks weren’t allowed to vote in the South. Were those states better off for that?”

        How about I don’t give a shit one way or another?

        Better off for whom?



      • Tim Starr on July 27, 2011 at 11:54

        Better off for you, if you were living there. Your argument implies that America would be better if no one voted. Well, we have data about what things are like when many people in America don’t vote, such as when blacks couldn’t vote in the South, or when voting districts have illegal immigrants as a majority and thus can’t vote. Would you prefer to live there? Your vacation home is in a place where the population is a lot smaller, and the impact of each vote greater. Do you think that has nothing to do with the quality of life there?



      • Richard Nikoley on July 27, 2011 at 12:04

        “Better off for you”

        You know no such thing.

        “Your argument implies that America would be better if no one voted.”

        It’s not the issue. The issue is that I nor anyone else is in a magical position that gives any of us a right to make such a call and impose our view of “better” on everyone else.

        I find the notion that humans are incapable of peaceful co-existence without a cadre of overlords imposing the supposed “will of the people” on everyone by means of force and coercion laughably absurd and sadly pathetic.



      • Tim Starr on July 27, 2011 at 12:23

        Wasn’t saying you’d be better off one way or the other, was just clarifying my question. Would you be better off if more people were ineligible to vote in America today?

        I entirely agree about the collective co-ordination problem of mass change.



      • Richard Nikoley on July 27, 2011 at 12:47

        “Would you be better off if more people were ineligible to vote in America today?”

        Depends on who. For example, women’s suffrage has been an utter disaster in terms of federal intervention and spending. We’ve probably already crossed the threshold where the majority of those who do vote are net consumers of tax & spend, which is of course why the democrats are always so interested in bussing economic illiterates and invalids to poling places.

        I would undoubtedly be better off if the only ones eligible to vote were property owners (male, female, white, black, brown, yellow, RED). Or, perhaps Heinlein’s solution: in order to open the door to the voting booth you have to first solve a polynomial equation.

        There is one valid defense of voting I grudgingly accept, and that is on grounds of self defense.

        [For an update, please see: Lemons to Lemonade Documentary – Ed]



      • Tony K on July 27, 2011 at 14:32

        Self-defense. I was going to ask yuou about that. See you at AHs.

        Tony



      • Kyle Bennett on July 28, 2011 at 16:55

        “Would you be better off if more people were ineligible to vote in America today?”

        Tim, seriously?

        The problem isn’t voting, its that there is something to vote for. That there is a say to be had, not the question of who gets a share of it.



      • Tim Starr on July 28, 2011 at 11:41

        I’m still torn on whether it’s just correlation or causation w/ female suffrage & statism. Female suffrage pretty much coincided w/ Progressivism, the most statist political movement in American history, and was largely based on the desire to preserve WASP hegemony in US electoral politics over the rising tide of Catholic (Irish, Italian) & Jewish immigration, as well as ex-slaves. It also went along w/ alcohol prohibition (Prohibition Party advocated female suffrage, & the WCTU was the biggest 19th-century women’s political movement).



    • ulfr on July 27, 2011 at 09:39

      For myself, I am not against voting. I think it “was” far superior to the alternatives for large artificial societies. But in what now passes for the United States, it is a waste of time. Both political parties are useless at best, evil at worst. Keep voting for the lesser of two evils, pretty soon all you have is evil. We are there. By not voting, I am voting my non-support of the emerging “bread and circus” system that has replaced the USA. They heard the ant collective into the colosseum for cheap spectacle and free bread to divert attention from the fact that the system is dead. Vicious cycle. Nothing gets done, and increasingly as the years pass, nothing will. Time for something new.

      • Richard Nikoley on July 27, 2011 at 10:42

        “I am not against voting.”

        Actually, me either, so long as either: everyone is able to agree ahead of time to be bound by whatever result comes or, the vote is unanimous.



      • ulfr on July 27, 2011 at 11:22

        That makes a lot of sense, and I guess thats how it is more or less in the small societies humans evolved in.

        Something else to think about. For most of human history, when the ability to agree would run out for one reason or another, one was able to find like minded individuals (hopefully) and go find some new place to live (at least the potential was there which is psychologically powerful). That option is pretty much gone now for the first time as regards the whole human race.



      • Richard Nikoley on July 27, 2011 at 11:31

        Yea, or people will go Spiro Agnew on you (“Love it or leave it.”), like they own the place.



      • ulfr on July 27, 2011 at 11:52

        Yup. Well, fuck them. As time goes on, I’m seeing what you say: just leave me alone and I’ll take my chances. I don’t need “protection” from idiot/criminal-created and manufactured problems (good Mencken quote). The more dependent we become, the more we get sucked down the rabbit hole.



  3. Fred Flintstone on July 26, 2011 at 23:40

    Neolithic mind poison?

    I don’t know if Neolithic societies had elections and voting or not, but this post has just reminded me of some of the hilarious uses of the term Neolithic I’ve seen on the Paleo blogosphere, e.g. referring to things like industrial seed oils as “Neolithic Agents of Disease” – as if they were guzzling down industrially processed seed oils back in the Stone Age.

    Note to bloggers: if you’re going to use fancy words like Neolithic, find out what they actually mean so you don’t end up looking foolish!

    • Richard Nikoley on July 26, 2011 at 23:46

      Hey Fred, the Stone Age precedes the Neolithic by at least a coupla weeks.

      • Fred Flintstone on July 27, 2011 at 00:02

        The Neolithic is part of the Stone Age. The clue’s in the name…



      • Richard Nikoley on July 27, 2011 at 00:07

        I guess you didn’t catch the coupla weeks part.



    • Richard Nikoley on July 27, 2011 at 00:12

      I will maintain that Neolithic is an excellent term to describe all that encompasses the last 10k years. It’s reasonable.

  4. Adrian on July 26, 2011 at 23:55

    Good article Richard. I’ve felt the same way for a while and am always amused when people can’t believe I refuse to vote. My answer is, do you want to be stabbed or shot? I don’t fancy either choice thanks.

    That’s at least one thing you Americans have over us in Australia. It’s compulsory to vote here. So not only are they all f**ktards, it’s illegal to choose not to encourage one of the bastards. Awesome.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 26, 2011 at 23:59

      Adrian. Hell, if they make you vote by force, feel free to write out ‘fucktards’ here any time you want. Or any variation.

      It’s what your ancestors fought and died for (irony).

      • Adrian on July 27, 2011 at 01:54

        They’re fucken fucktards.



  5. Sean on July 27, 2011 at 02:06

    Who’s going to be first with the old canard, “If you don’t vote, you don’t have a right to criticize the government”???

    To quote Don Boudreaux:

    But because rights are not created by government – because people are indeed “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights” – the non-voter retains his or her right to speak out in defense of those rights whenever they are assaulted by either private individuals or by government.

    To insinuate that persons who don’t vote have no standing to speak out in defense of their rights and liberties is to insinuate that voting is a pre-condition of those rights and liberties. Such a belief is profoundly contrary to the political philosophy championed by the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 27, 2011 at 03:21

      Sean, you just gave away that you didn’t watch the video.

      For shame. 🙂

      I have personally been saying that if you vote, you have no right to complain and I went over that basic logic with the 21 folks.

      Nonetheless, and elegant argument.

      • Sean on July 27, 2011 at 03:49

        Guilty as charged 😉 Having heard pretty much all Carlin’s standup (several times) I figured I had a pretty good idea of what he would say…

        One of the libertarian economists I follow, I’m thinking Russ Roberts or Steve Landsburgh, argues against voting from a utilitarian economics perspective. Something like the marginal gain in life quality vs the amount of time spent voting is so vanishingly small as to be negligible.



  6. Josh on July 27, 2011 at 02:16

    Great article, but Obama’s hardly a commie, or even a liberal.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 27, 2011 at 03:25

      Sure he is. He’s just a commie in a strange land.

  7. Robert on July 27, 2011 at 03:48

    It’s fun to see all these yeasayers here. I’m sure you all have a great time up in richard’s ass.

    How about being a little critical? Maybe democracy isn’t that great, but sure beats any another system. Do you fancy living in a dictatorship? Because that is what you get with a country full of people who don’t care about democracy.

    • Sean on July 27, 2011 at 04:00

      You forgot to mention Somalia, Robert, and the necessity of government sponsored roadzzz. For shame.

      I don’t agree with Richard on the proper level of government as he’s an anarcho-capitalist (I think) and I’m more of a minarchist. I care a lot about democracy but choosing to vote between two fucking statists who would be happy to wipe their ass with the Constitution, or simply staying home means I’m staying home.

      • R Dunn on July 27, 2011 at 10:32

        This needs to be refined, but here’s my take on a Democracy vs a Republic

        In a Republic everyone has the same rights and the rules are the same for everyone.

        The rules are determined by rights.

        Your rights are the actions and thoughts you can engage in with your property without interference or without interfering with someone else’s property.

        Your property is the the stuff you can do what you want with in your own space.

        To the extent that conflicts arise, the people, the police, and the courts are all on the same page. After all, the police and the courts are just a division of labor among the people. Everyone knows what the rules are and democratically chooses the people who will do the best job at defining, clarifying and enforcing the rules.

        In a Democracy, rights, if they can be said to exist at all, are transient. They are defined by the ruling party. In a Democracy it is assumed that the biggest gang would prevail.

        Democracy at best can avoid a war of physical destruction to person and property.

        So, I would define Democracy as “gang warfare without property damage.”



      • Sean on July 28, 2011 at 04:42

        Interesting stuff, but I’m not sure I see the distinction between democracy and republic on a practical basis. What is the US functioning as at this point? (wait, don’t answer that) There are all these negative rights guaranteed by the Constitution but they have been increasingly eroded as the Constitution has become increasingly irrelevant. I mean, it was written like more than 100 years ago, and stuff.

        At what point, if ever, was there a transition from republic to democracy in the US?

        It is easy to define a Republic as place that respects negative rights and a Democracy as rule by gang, but where does that get us? Where does that lead in real life? How do we transition to this Republic? Definitions are important, of course, but this strikes me as a bit sophistic.



    • Richard Nikoley on July 27, 2011 at 10:07

      “Maybe democracy isn’t that great, but sure beats any another system.”

      Who said I had any interest in any “system.”

      My “system” is a simple one: Leave me the fuck out of your cannibal pot schemes. I have no interest in the human lottery of who goes into the pot and who gets to feast.

      Democracy: two wolves and one sheep deciding what’s for dinner.

      What a fucking pathetic way for a human animal to aspire to live a life. Be so proud.

      • Robert on July 27, 2011 at 14:43

        What if I don’t want to leave you out of my cannibal pot scheme, what are you going to do about it? That’s the whole point of it, if people could live and let live than we wouldn’t need democracy, but guess what…they can’t.



      • Richard Nikoley on July 27, 2011 at 17:16

        “What if I don’t want to leave you out of my cannibal pot scheme, what are you going to do about it? That’s the whole point of it”

        Au contraire. That would be no problem at all. I have guns and know how to use them, with bloodlust delight.

        The real point is that this only happens because of force & coercion by proxy. You’re not going to go around and force people on your own to pay your way or mortgage their life, time and money as an insurance policy on your potential fuckups, incompetence or misfortune.

        Rather, people go into a voting booth and call it a sacred franchise.



      • Robert on July 28, 2011 at 01:59

        That is true and that is why you will never be left alone to do what you want. Not voting isn’t going to change that.

        Since the dawn of civilization nobody has really been free, but at least in our democracy we have it relatively good. You should appreciate that and vote.



      • Richard Nikoley on July 28, 2011 at 08:09

        No thanks, Robert. I would never do that to you.



  8. Trish on July 27, 2011 at 04:14

    While I see your point about presidential elections, it was always stressed to me as a young lass that the most important elections to vote in are local. City council, mayors, Board of Ed (although that doesn’t affect me since I don’t have kids), referendums, etc. Not to say that those running for those positions don’t have agendas or ambitions–many do–but local level politics have more of an impact on day to day life than whatever Congress is fighting about today. Politics on a national level have become frightening to me. To live in a country where Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin are considered legitimate candidates for president? And Obama’s going to have his hands full because all the overeducated white people who’ve never known a day of hardship in their lives and voted for him in 2008 are whining because “he PROMISED he’d do (whatever) and it HASN’T HAPPENED YET OMGWTFBBQ!!!11!1!” And you can’t tell me the main reason the dittoheads froth at the mouth over Obama isn’t because he’s black. We live in a country full of stupid people who have way too much information thrown at them so they flail and vote for whoever Rush Limbaugh or Rachel Maddow tell them to vote for. That’s why I get my news from the BBC.

    • Sean on July 27, 2011 at 04:46

      Oh fuck me, you buy into this race card bullshit? Seriously? Talk about a dittohead.

      And Obama’s going to have his hands full because all the overeducated white people who’ve never known a day of hardship in their lives and voted for him in 2008 are whining because “he PROMISED he’d do (whatever) and it HASN’T HAPPENED YET OMGWTFBBQ!!!11!1!”

      What exactly is knowing a day of hardship in your life? Living in the hood? And what does this have to do with being white? Fuck all this racsim and reverse-racsim and white guilt. I’m guessing you don’t have a problem with Obama’s little Kinetic Military Action in Libya that was never approved by Congress in violation of the Constitution? Naw, that’s just me hatin’ on the brotha.

      • Trish on July 27, 2011 at 18:00

        Wow, Sean, you’ll hurt yourself if you keep projecting like that. My point, which you chose to completely ignore because you saw the word “white,” is that we can all agree this country is circling the shitter–the fault of EVERYBODY, Democrats, Republicans, independents, anyone else who snuck in there–but a shitload of people thought Obama was going to waltz in there, slip everyone the line of bull, and presto! Health care! Balanced budget! Out of Iraq and Afghanistan! Goodbye, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell! All within the first year of his administration! HOPE AND CHANGE YAY!!!! When that didn’t happen, out came the bloggers–like it or not, the vast majority of those being overeducated white people–whining about it. The same whining went on when Clinton was president, just not on such a scale. In fact for me the 2008 election bore so many striking resemblances to the 1992 election it was, as the cliche goes, deja vu all over again. Oh–and just for the record I remember a little dust-up going on in Somalia under Clinton’s watch. Remember, Team America: World Police! (motto: “America, fuck yeah!”). It’s the rare modern president who doesn’t rock out with his cock out showing American Military Strength (TM) when given the chance and Obama’s no different. Nice try if you were waiting for OMG OBAMA WAS LIKE TOTALLY JUSTIFIED!!11! If it hadn’t been Libya, it would have been somewhere else. There’s easy targets everywhere.

        And hardship takes on many forms. Look where we are, on a blog that promotes self-sufficiency. The ones whining the loudest about Obama tend to be fairly young, the first generation of kids who were never allowed (for the most part, exceptions to every rule) to experience failure, frustration, or delayed gratification. Everyone got trophies, there were no losers. If they run into trouble Mommy and Daddy will always bail them out. I deal with a lot of them at my job. I’ve had ostensible adults crying in the bathroom because they didn’t get the schedule they wanted. I’ve seen them punch walls because they didn’t get a promotion they felt that they deserved because they’d been there longer or “I wanted it MORE!” Whines of “it’s not FAAAAIIIIR!” are pretty commonplace. Also, I live in a southern city with a black majority and a large number of cracker Tea Partiers in the suburbs. Damn right race has something to do with it–on both sides.



      • Richard Nikoley on July 27, 2011 at 18:05

        Trish: WORD.



      • Sean on July 28, 2011 at 01:51

        I pretty much agree with what you are saying. I still find the anti-Obama=racism, coupled with over-educated white people schtick annoying. Is America a post-racial country? No, of course not. I don’t think that phrase even makes sense. Is racism ridiculously overused as a bludgeoning tool by the left. Absolutely. I don’t give a shit how many racist crackers you claim to know. And while you are happy to throw around the term cracker, I doubt you’d use the word nigger to refer to black racists or whatever you consider the cracker Tea Partier equivalent. Or maybe that’s just me projecting.

        I’m a bit skeptical about the whiny younger generation stuff. People have been complaining about the younger generation since the beginning of time. I remember reading an intro to a book complaining about youth of the time being a bunch of shiftless slackers. The intro was written in the early fifties.

        Did young voters buy into all the bullshit about hope and change? Yes, of course, that’s the thing about young people, they are optimistic and naive. I was the same way when I voted for Clinton in 1992. Now I’m old and cynical.

        As far as whining goes, what differentiates that from good old-fashioned complaining? The older generation here that grew up under communism complain all the time. It’s a national pastime. They are also tough as hell, of course. People bought into the cult of personality shit and now they are waking up–that’s a good thing. OK, they are often complaining because he isn’t lefty enough and hasn’t saved the world with unicorn tears, but it’s a start. Don’t imbue politicians, nor anyone else, with magical powers, that’s the first lesson to be repeatedly learned by the young.



    • Richard Nikoley on July 27, 2011 at 10:12

      My wife’s side of the family are liberal deems, my side conservative R. When president R does A, B and C, he is excused and defended by my family and condemned by hers. When president D does the exact same A, B and C, the reaction is exactly reversed.

      It’s pathetic.

      • Sean on July 28, 2011 at 01:52

        TEAM RED/TEAM BLUE!!!!



  9. Bea-trice on July 27, 2011 at 04:16

    I’m an American, luckily.

    Does that inclued beeing dumb as fuck or is that only you …

    • Richard Nikoley on July 27, 2011 at 20:38

      “I’m an American, luckily.”

      Yea, the other billions in the world are in such constant peril. Ever lived abroad, like say for eight years in two different countries (as I have)? Billions of others don’t share your sense of chance.

      “Does that inclued beeing dumb as fuck or is that only you …”

      You might want to check your spelling in a sentence that charges another with dumbness, next time.

  10. K on July 27, 2011 at 04:34

    “Whoever puts a man into a position of unjust power–that is, a position of political power–must share responsibility for every right he violates thereafter. ”

    Maybe someday folks will realize this, take responsibility for their own actions, and figure out that voting is an act of coercion.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 27, 2011 at 10:15

      It is an act of coercion, K, and the thing that makes it turn is that people won’t actually go out and commit this coercion directly. They want to sit back comfortably and vote someone else in fancy uniform and edifice do their dirty work for them.

      Everyone wants to live at the expense of everyone else, now.

      And when they complain “that won’t work,” what I hear is ” where are my assurances and guarantees?

  11. rob on July 27, 2011 at 05:54

    It is not a “1 in 300,000,000th” say, that is an illusion.

    If you live in a state that is not a swing state, you have a ZERO say in a Presidential election because of the electoral college. Whoever wins the majority vote in your state gets ALL the electoral college votes in that state.

    Now, you know in advance how certain states will turn out. In the state of New York the democratic candidate will always win the state and thus all of the electoral college votes.

    Therefore, if you are a resident of New York you have ZERO say in who gets to be President, your vote literally does not count.

    Other states consistently vote for the republican candidate, so it’s the same deal except in reverse.

    I live in Florida, which is sometimes a swing state, so it may make sense for me to vote. However if you live in a non-swing state then your vote is literally meaningless, there is no way that New York will ever go to the republican candidate.

    • Monica Hughes on July 27, 2011 at 05:57

      Even if we didn’t have an electoral college, there is no way that Republicans and Democrats will ever differ from each other significantly, so why are we talking about this, anyway?

      • Sean on July 27, 2011 at 06:12

        Ron Paul and Gary Johnson are running as “republicans”! I’m actually slightly optimistic that these libertarians who are getting a bit more mainstream (well Ron Paul at least) can start to bring rampant statism to light to the general public. I know I’m going to regret this slight optimism but I can’t help it.



      • Monica Hughes on July 27, 2011 at 08:45

        I’ll admit that Gary Johnson seems admirable in that he wants to get government out of our lives. I could vote for Johnson or anyone else who admits obvious facts such as “Government doesn’t create jobs.” If in voting for them I know they will work to try to get the government the hell out of my way, great. I cannot and will not vote for Ron Paul. I can’t get over Ron Paul’s stance on abortion. But more importantly than abortion (since it’s so unlikely that voting will result in any change on the abortion matter nationally) I can’t get behind his pacifism and denial of Islamism as a problem. But then, he’s no different than other candidates on this matter, I guess. Which brings us back to my original point.



      • Sean on July 27, 2011 at 10:00

        Ron Paul’s pacifism?

        If by pacifism you are talking about the belief that America shouldn’t be bombing countries that haven’t attacked it, then I’m on Ron Paul’s side. Gary Johnson and most people who label themselves as libertarians are on that side also.

        Does that make me a pacifist? Try fucking with me or any member of my family and see how much of a pacifist I am. Whatever you want to call it, I don’t think America or any other country ought to be playing World Cop.



      • Monica Hughes on July 27, 2011 at 10:20

        Hopefully we can all agree that there has been little to nothing accomplished in Iraq or Afghanistan. My beef with Ron Paul is not that he would bring troops home (if that were to happen it would be fantastic) but that he thinks we are attacked by Islamists, and were attacked on 9/11, because we are interventionist. That’s delusional.

        You may be correct that Johnson has similar opinions. But, see, I really don’t pay much attention to politics, so I wouldn’t be expected to know.



      • Sean on July 27, 2011 at 10:30

        Aha, I see where you are coming from. That makes a lot more sense 😉



      • rob on July 27, 2011 at 11:14

        Re 9/11 imo a lot of people are suffering from “9/11 Fatigue,” which is why you don’t hear much about Rudy Giuliani,
        if your beef with the guy is in regards to the motivating
        factor behind the 9/11 attacks I think you are part of a
        small minority, most people have had their fill of it.

        There is only so much mileage to be had from 9/11.



      • Greg on July 28, 2011 at 16:37

        Delusional? Delusional is to think they just hate us because we’re Rich and Free. I agree 100% with Ron Paul on this and just about everything else. Our government has been intervening in the Middle East affairs since the 1950’s. We (government) build bases on their land, drop bombs on their homes, overthrow leaders that refuse to be our puppets, all in the name of spreading our goodness. You don’t spread your goodwill with a barrel of gun.
        This was all going on before 9/11…please pickup a book.
        Just imagine bombs killing your family and friends….and just imagine thinking that it’s only happening to protect the oil interest. I can’t imagine anyone getting mad over this!!!



      • Tim Starr on July 28, 2011 at 16:57

        Ah, the blowback myth, which predicts too much. America’s intervened everywhere else in the world, too, but no terrorists have ever come from anywhere but the Middle East to try to kill civilians in America. And if you measure the intensity of American foreign policy interventions, the Middle East comes out the lightest. E.g., the most civilians killed by American aerial bombardment have been in Germany, Japan, Italy, Korea, Vietnam, in roughly that order. The worst dictators America’s propped up have Stalin in Europe, Mao in Asia, Mobutu in Africa, and probably the series of military rulers of Guatemala. Yet there’s this mysterious absence of any German, Japanese, Italian, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, Russian, or Congolese terrorists ever trying to kill civilians in the American homeland…



      • Richard Nikoley on July 28, 2011 at 16:59

        I tend to agree with you Greg. It’s classic cause/effect problem. While I understand on the one hand that in many ways we’re talking about 14th century dirt scratching savages, they have a right to that life without our interference. And it’s difficult to escape the fact of the oil. How many dogshit places are there in the world where bad shit happens and we don’t lift much of a finger.

        It’s geopolitics.

        On the other hand, most of those oil fields we discovered and exploited by British, Dutch and American firms.



      • Richard Nikoley on July 28, 2011 at 17:10

        That is a good point, Tim.

        So how about the oil. And, what is the history of the original mineral excavation?



      • Greg on July 28, 2011 at 17:14

        Right, there’s no way anyone could get mad enough to kill an american when they’re whole livelihood has been taken away from them by our gov……that’s impossible because there’s no german, japenese, etc terrorists…. Case closed. Anyone that hates an american is a terrorist.

        Also, I don’t have it at my fingertips but we were messing with Japan before Pearl Harbor.



      • Tim Starr on July 28, 2011 at 17:18

        Angola’s got oil, and we supported UNITA there against the MPLA in the 1980s. No Angolan terrorists ever came to America…



      • Tim Starr on July 28, 2011 at 17:20

        Meanwhile, Japan was minding its own business? I seem to recall something about Japanese occupation of Korea from 1905-45, Manchuria from the early 1930s on… oh, wait, I forgot, it’s only American actions that provoke reactions by others…



      • Greg on July 28, 2011 at 17:22

        Wow, brilliant argument once again…



      • Richard Nikoley on July 28, 2011 at 17:27

        Anecdote: When I lived in Japan I dated a girl who was born there, as were her parents. It was her grandparents who immigrated during the occupation.

        She had a Korean passort. She had never been Korea.



      • Greg on July 28, 2011 at 17:46

        I wouldn’t say it’s just the oil…..company’s that make weapons make a lot of money during war time. Also, the banks make out quite well too…as we go more in debt, the more interest we pay to the Fed Reserve. Last I checked $500 billion, give or take. There’s shareholders behind them as well, as they’re private. These people rule pull the strings…..



      • Greg on July 28, 2011 at 16:49

        And to address your problem with Ron Paul and his stance on abortion….. He’s pro-life which doesn’t bother me even though I’m pro-choice….why you ask? Because he would remove all Federal laws pertaining to abortion and let the States choose they best method of addressing it.



      • Tim Starr on July 28, 2011 at 16:58

        Yes, let’s do. After all, we saw how well that worked back when the Feds let the States choose the best methods of handling race relations, between 1877 and 1965..



      • Greg on July 28, 2011 at 17:20

        Right, and we would go right back to those same laws..



      • Tim Starr on July 28, 2011 at 17:54

        No States would pass laws violating reproductive rights, if only the Feds would let them?



      • Greg on July 28, 2011 at 18:12

        I’d rather have states pass laws then the federal gov, better yet local…..as least I have the chance to move. But they all have they’re problems as you elude to… Today I read a person going to court because he refuses to remove his Ron Paul sign from his own lawn……ridiculous!

        I don’t really like any gov…. I’m for individual freedom and liberty…..do as you please as long as you don’t harm, steal, pollute, etc… Like Richard says, leave me the F’ alone!

        Also, for all of you reading – Ron Paul supports all farmers producing Raw Milk which might win some of you over. 🙂



      • Richard Nikoley on July 28, 2011 at 18:18

        “I’d rather have states pass laws then the federal gov, better yet local…..as least I have the chance to move.”

        I do have to side with Greg over my buddy Tim on this (I’ve known Tim since USENET, circa 1995).

        Yes, Tim does have a strong counter point as regards racial segregation. But how does that differ from the natural process that doomed slavery?Was it necessary to kill 650,000 people in the civil war, or trust economics would go its natural course.

        Tough questions, because live are always at stake anyway.

        I guess I just think that to the extent imposition and force will be employed, the smaller and more local, the “better.”



      • Richard Nikoley on July 28, 2011 at 18:19

        For whom, Richard?

        It’s only fair that I hit myself up with the same question.



      • Tim Starr on July 28, 2011 at 18:26

        Nothing natural about it. De facto slavery was re-instituted after Reconstruction, and lasted until WWII, when the Feds once again began prosecuting violations of Federal civil rights laws that were being violated by convict labor in the South. See “Slavery by Another Name” on this.



      • Richard Nikoley on July 28, 2011 at 18:36

        Tim: Yes, natural, i.e., over hundreds of years. We have hundreds under our belt. This strikes me as a conflation; moving the line. Hell, while all the blacks now in penitentiary for no violent drug offenses aren’t working hard labor, they certainly aren’t free.

        But it certainly charges up a bunch of people who’ve been motivated to fear over non-violent drug use, so their slaves to delusions of “safety,” no?

        The larger issue is that we seem to use lowest sectors on the economic rung (before they ever get a chance to move up) to assuage basic fears and whatnot that tends to serve the advancement of the political mating, both D & R.



  12. R Dunn on July 27, 2011 at 06:02

    I’ve had this quote from Mencken up on the wall by my desk for just about forever –

    “I believe that no discovery of fact, however trivial, can be wholly useless to the race, and that no trumpeting of falsehood, however virtuous in intent, can be anything but vicious.

    I believe that all government is evil, in that all government must necessarily make war upon liberty, and that the democratic form is as bad as any of the other forms….

    I believe in complete freedom of thought and speech – alike for the humblest man and the mightiest, and in the utmost freedom of conduct that is consistent with living in organized society.

    I believe in the capacity of man to conquer his world, and to find out what it is made of, and how it is run. I believe in the reality of progress. I —

    But the whole thing, after all, may be put very simply. I believe that it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than to be ignorant.

    I haven’t been able to come up with a better summary of what I believe.

    Then again, I have been known to engage in hypocrisy.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 27, 2011 at 10:20

      Here’s the Menken quote I recited to those 20-sumthins:

      “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populous alarmed — and hence clamorous to be led to safety — by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

  13. rob on July 27, 2011 at 06:03

    Then there is the role that Iowa and New Hampshire play. If a candidate doesn’t do well in those states he/she is out of the race, so by the time I get to vote the candidate I liked is long gone.

    Who made Iowa and New Hampshire the Kings Of The United States?

  14. Chris on July 27, 2011 at 08:16

    I never get sick of that Carlin bit. It’s always been exactly what I’ve told people when they ask me why I don’t vote.

  15. few on July 27, 2011 at 08:38

    People ‘subjugate’ themselves because they operate as if politics were a discussion with their extended tribe-mates. their behavior would make sense in this sort of paleo-context. not ‘subjugating’ oneself to the tribal ‘rules’/structure (politics) might result in banishment/abandonment, which would likely equal death for the dissenter, within the paleo-context.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 27, 2011 at 09:36

      Good point, few. To be clear, I have no argument against the normal give & take of a human life, social animals that we are. But that should take place in small circles where everyone can account for everyone else.

  16. DancinPete on July 27, 2011 at 09:05

    Hi Richard,

    How do you feel about being involved in local/muncipal level government. As this would probably be the closest model we have to making tribal level decisions.
    I would assume that even Hunter/Gatherers had some kind of mechanism for choosing a leader who would make decisions that affect the group as a whole.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 27, 2011 at 10:36

      “How do you feel about being involved in local/muncipal level government.”

      It’s a mixed bag. If it were small enough were anyone could simply go ring on the doorbell of any of the council members then it would probably be a better deal for most or all of the individuals involved and if not, those for whom it’s not could move onto a place where things did suit their fancy.

      On the other hand, some of the grossest injustices happen on a pretty micro level of governance. Think eminent domain. Think a local police force where one cop can toss you into the system and take over your life on his exclusive whim.

  17. Jeremy Voluntaryist on July 27, 2011 at 09:46

    But. But… Without a violent monopoly on force that steals half our wages we’d have anarchy!

    • Josh on July 27, 2011 at 10:12

      well i sure hope so! lol

    • Richard Nikoley on July 27, 2011 at 10:46

      Ha, Lols, Jeremy.

  18. Brett Lemley on July 27, 2011 at 10:23

    Richard,

    Great post, and I sympathized big-time when you summarized that last few decades of presidents. However, you(and Carlin) are almost completely wrong on the voting/right to complain thing. The election happens every four years(or two, or six, depending) but it’s what happens in between that matters even more. I don’t vote and then wash my hands and say ‘great, now that’s done and I can let this yahoo exercise unlimited power over my life.’ I vote, and then I watch what the yahoo does, and support what I agree with and oppose what I disagree with. I help, I volunteer, I try to get involved, and THAT gives me the right to bitch. If someone doesn’t vote, and doesn’t get involved with the community, then their right to complain is zero.

    Side note: As a big fan of Carlin for many years, his last few outings were disappointing to me. It saddened me to see him rail against ‘the American Dream’ while he was making millions from it, and just generally turn into a grumpy old man. His younger self could’ve done the above bit a lot better.

  19. Hilm3 on July 27, 2011 at 11:03

    Excellent post – has helped me clarified my thinking, as I have been slowly moving in this direction for some time now.

    I vote this is your best post ever! (ducks, runs for cover)

  20. Anthony on July 27, 2011 at 12:13

    Richard, thank you for posting about this.

    To make it abundantly clear, we are very much on the same page. My application of that “page” however differs.

    First, I agree that it is ridiculous and that there is no moral justification for voting to initiate interference — ie physical force — in someone else’s affairs. Mob rule — everyone being a slave to everyone — is outright disgusting, and the worst system of government possible, to any degree, and in any form. It is a shit stain on our history as a species.

    At the same time, I have no problem voting for someone or something that is optional — that does not involve life and death black and whites.

    That I think is where we agree, and where your real beef lies, as does mine. So far as I am concerned and convinced is true, the federal government of the American States has no legal authority to initiate force against any individual unless and until they initiate force first.

    This political philosophy is called declarationism — because it holds the DOI as a supreme foundation to the Constitution of the united American States.

    The DOI of course stating that governments are instituted among men to secure the individual rights of man — meaning no part of the US constitution can be legally interpreted to violate such rights unless an individual forfeits such rights first (by initiating force or fraud against another first).

    In this sense, democracy is useful — for picking an individual to execute such principles and legal documents.

    Democracy however has no valid place in determining — meaning, stepping outside of the bounds of declarationism in our country and union of States — life and death scenarios.

    Involuntary tax
    military slavery (the draft/selective service)
    a fiat money monopoly

    Or anything else that requires government to stick a gun in your face and threaten you with jail, and death if you rightfully defend your life against such offenses.

    ~~~~

    Bottom line, I am with you in that no politician deserves a single second of my time who does not hold such convictions, and is willing to execute them in political office, and return our country to that which made it the greatest on earth and in the history of the world.

    While Ron Paul has his faults, he is such a man, and he will be the first person I will ever vote for in my entire life.

    The lesser of two evils is still a victory for evil, and I am not a man of compromise. The only men worth voting for are the men who understand that voting is a disgusting machine for anything that is not optional — like life and death.

    I’ll repeat myself and state that Ron Paul is such a man, and he is by my judgement, worth our time, effort, and support as a legitimate presidential candidate.

    And to play off your post … if and when he wins, he will be the first real president this country has had in a long, long time.

    A man not only president in title, but in stature, integrity, merit, and spirit.

    — Anthony

    • Richard Nikoley on July 27, 2011 at 12:18

      Thanks Anthony.

      Yes, I have always said that the Declaration of Independence is America’s founding document. It pretty much should have stopped right there.

      I’ll have to snoop around and see what Ron Paul is up to this time around. I kept tabs last time but have as yet not spent a single second on any of it.

  21. Sue on July 27, 2011 at 19:54

    I agree we were better off living in tribes. However, being as we are all accustomed to certain standards and luxuries of western civilization, all our tribes would have to get along if we are to maintain such infrastructures as roads, utilities, technologies, distribution of goods and services, etc. I mean, the tribes will have to communicate and work together …and have rules for doing so, so that no tribe takes advantage …which will eventually bring us back to government! I just don’t see how you get around it, unless you take your tribe off to the wilderness, give up the comforts of western civilization and totally check out. Even if there was no government, the “CEO tribe” would continue to screw you. ~Sue

  22. Richard Nikoley on July 27, 2011 at 20:20

    “all our tribes would have to get along if we are to maintain such infrastructures as roads, utilities, technologies, distribution of goods and services, etc.”

    Something like a ship or airplane from one country docking or landing in another?

    Your know what I worry about? Who’s policing all that activity? It’s almost like there’s not overall government to watch over all the other governments in the world.

    We are internationally, anarchist.

    • Sue on July 27, 2011 at 21:30

      I thought there was a group of men that secretly ran the world? Or was that just on The X-files? But even just within America, if your group wants to do your own thing and fend for yourself, you still have to interact with other groups if you want utilities, goods and services. “Leaders” of each group would be necessary to advocate for their tribes, and keep behavior in order. And the slippery slope begins again.

      I personally think there is so much corruption in every nook and cranny of every system, whether it government or corporate, that we will never see our way out. Maybe humans are incapable of not succumbing to greed and power. But let me know when you head out to the wilderness and go full on Lord of the Flies. I will sign on! (as long as their are ipods and satellite TV for NBA games). 🙂

      • Richard Nikoley on July 27, 2011 at 21:36

        Sue, I happen to think that iPods and TV happened in spite of state domination. I also wonder if we might have gotten to the moon in about 300 AD, had it not been for the Romans finding such an effective mind virus in a parasite carpenter.



      • Monica Hughes on July 27, 2011 at 21:48

        No kidding. Have you seen Agora? Talk about watching ants from space.

        Not historically accurate (I have no problem with this artistic license), but fantastic depiction of just how far religion set us back. Very depressing movie — just a warning for those who have not seen it. To steal a fantastic quote from my friend Joel Marquez:

        “If you had to put Agora in a genre, what would that genre be?
        Historical drama? Biography?
        How about this one?
        Horror.

        The horror genre typically attempts to engender the emotion of terror, accompanied by a hopeless inevitability.

        Or, as an old writing teacher put it, a thriller is where the hero wins, and horror is when the monster wins.

        Agora is an intellectual horror, in which the shambling monster of fanatical Christianity grows in strength until it finally destroys our hero/virtuous maiden/civilized world.

        There is a terrifying power to this monster such that when Hypatia, the last symbol of reason and civilization, is murdered, we can see that it will go on to plunge the world into darkness.
        It’s no surprise, then, that the extent to which you value reason and civilization is the extent to which terror and hopelessness are the emotions you take away from the movie.

        It doesn’t take much to view Agora as an allegory of modern culture.

        Religious fanatics utterly confident in their claims to moral superiority on one hand, and feckless traditionalists with absolutely nothing to offer in response on the other hand.

        Sure sounds like 2011 to me.”



      • Richard Nikoley on July 28, 2011 at 08:22

        Had never heard of that film Monica, so I’ll have to look it up.



      • Richard Nikoley on July 31, 2011 at 08:15

        Saw Agora Friday night. Horror is right. Now I’m interested to look into the true history of matters surrounding Alexandria and its library.



      • Monica Hughes on August 2, 2011 at 16:13

        You can google for the competing views of historians on their blogs: Richard Carrier and Tim O’Neill.

        I have no issues whatsoever with any “artistic license” that was taken with historical fact. The criticisms I’ve read from Tim O’Neill are completely irrelevant to good storytelling with a message, and that message is powerful and relevant to today.



      • Richard Nikoley on August 2, 2011 at 16:19

        I agree, Monica.

        It’s not like we don’t know that:

        – the library at Alexandria was sacked numerous times with grave destruction of original thought.

        – that burgeoning Christianity was politically expedient.

        – that women became a far lesser species.

        – that it took over 1,000 years from the time observers began questioning the Earth centric universe for the heliocentric to take root

        I could probably come up with a few more. Anyone else?



      • Monica Hughes on August 2, 2011 at 16:22

        LOL. Well, historian Tim O’Neill actually thinks life improved in the Middle Ages and has endless criticisms of Agora. He’s also an atheist.

        With friends like that, who needs enemies?



      • Richard Nikoley on August 2, 2011 at 16:49

        Well, fuck that pathetic, parasitic carpenter from Gallilee. Would that he had learned how to be a productive man.



      • Sue on July 27, 2011 at 23:56

        I agree Richard, but then there would still be corporate domination to deal with. I’m still not sure what your utopia looks like, can you describe it? Do you think it is achievable? Do you not think the human mind (even if we took a mulligan) has a built in propensity to invent money, gods and systems of control? ~Sue



      • Richard Nikoley on July 28, 2011 at 01:16

        You must not have read my comments above.

        I don’t deal in schemes, Utopias, what works best or anything or the sort.

        I demand to be left the fuck alone. That’s it. The rest of the world can go to hell in a hand basket and I don’t care.



      • Monica Hughes on July 28, 2011 at 07:32


      • Richard Nikoley on July 28, 2011 at 08:41

        “All of those things require collective action and enforcement by some central agency.”

        Sorry, man.

        Also, read up on Iceland pre central government.



      • Mild Speculation on July 28, 2011 at 07:52

        So you’d be okay with no justice system, no property rights, no common currency, etc.? Or have I misunderstood your point. All of those things require collective action and enforcement by some central agency.

        I’m all for limited government, but you have to draw the line somewhere. We may be animals, but we greatly benefit from many (not all) perks of civilization and I wouldn’t give those up.



      • Nick on July 28, 2011 at 06:04

        Corporate domination without government to prop them up when they fail?



      • Richard Nikoley on July 28, 2011 at 10:42

        “I just sincerely would like to know what “Leave me alone, I will fend for myself” means in the context of a modern American city.”

        The same thing it would mean anywhere. So long as I am likewise leaving others alone and pay my own way, seems like a pretty simple concept.

        “Assuming no government and no big business”

        ‘Leave me alone’ presumes no such prerequisite. It’s as simple as it sounds.

        “…how will enormous enterprises like universities, hospitals, utilities, roads , infrastructure, and any justice system be managed?”

        That’s none of my business. I don’t presume to require anything from anyone else or society in exchange for being left alone.

        However, for clues as to how private delivery of all those things – including justice – might work, see The Enterprise of Law: Justice Without The State by economics professor Bruce L. Benson.

        I encourage you to read all eight 5-star reviews.

        “How would the wealthiest and the most sociopothic (gangs, mafia) kept from assuming power?”

        In what way do you think that’s not exactly the current state? Government, in this context, is merely an euphemism for gang/mafia.



      • Joseph on July 28, 2011 at 07:36

        Great point. Real “free enterprise” means that when you go belly up, your game is over. No bailout from the taxpayers. No prolonged waste of precious resources leading to tear-jerking documentaries and dumb lawsuits from people who think nothing bad should ever happen to them because they once signed some kind of contract with a damn stupid company. Let nature do her thing, and learn to live in a world where there is no such thing as no real risk (because there really isn’t, at the end of the day).



      • Richard Nikoley on July 28, 2011 at 08:25

        I see little difference between Big Corp and the state. People say all the time, well, at least with business, you can vote with your dollars and feet. This is only true for small business. As soon as Big Corps get big enough they use their lobbying power to both create barriers to entry for competition and in many cases, make their products and services virtually mandatory.



      • Sue on July 28, 2011 at 10:32

        I did read every comment Richard. I just sincerely would like to know what “Leave me alone, I will fend for myself” means in the context of a modern American city. Assuming no government and no big business, how will enormous enterprises like universities, hospitals, utilities, roads , infrastructure, and any justice system be managed? How would the wealthiest and the most sociopothic (gangs, mafia) kept from assuming power?
        ~Sue



      • Tim Starr on July 28, 2011 at 11:27

        It so happens that my friend Emily Sandblade wrote a response to this:

        The Top Ten Reasons why the Mafia is better than the state.

        Reason Number 10: The Mafia has a sense of honor. If they say that they will do something, they stick to it. Nobody in the government has a clue what a sense of honor is. If they say that they will do something, you can count on it only if you’re getting screwed.

        Reason Number 9: The Mafia code of conduct is simple and clear, and unfettered by legal doublespeak and millions of regulations.

        Reason Number 8: When competing Mafia families go to war, they don’t kill hundreds of thousands of civilians as “collateral damage.” War is the health of the state, but for the Mafia, it’s bad for business.

        Reason Number 7: Instead of conducting the war on drugs and the American people, the Mafia is perfectly happy to peacefully provide high-quality products to those who desire them.

        Reason Number 6: When you buy protection from the Mafia, you get protection. The Mafia has a good track record for limiting violent crime in the areas that they protect. When you buy protection from the state, you can dial 911 and die.

        Reason Number 5: The Mafia’s protection is much less expensive than the state’s. The Mafia wants ten or fifteen percent of your profits, while the various levels of government will try to snatch at least 40 to 50 percent of your profits.

        Reason Number 4: Unlike the state, the Mafia wants your business to succeed. They know that ruining your business means that you can’t pay for protection. The Mafia imposes almost no regulatory overhead, nor do they require that you waste your time filling out zillions of self-incriminating tax forms.

        Reason Number 3: The Mafia won’t keep you from having a gun to protect yourself and your property. The state prefers that you be disarmed. The Mafia will gladly sell you the means to protect yourself and they won’t bother with a Brady check, either.

        Reason Number 2: The state wants to regulate what you do in your bedroom. The Mafia not only does not want to regulate what you do in your bedroom, they will gladly sell you whatever you need to enhance your enjoyment.

        And the number one reason why the Mafia should replace the state:

        Members of the Mafia have a great sense of style, dress far better than government bureaucrats, and are much easier on the eyes.

        So there you have it. The next time that somebody argues that anarchy results in an increase in organized crime, smile sweetly and tell that person it would be a real improvement over the state.



      • Richard Nikoley on July 28, 2011 at 11:34

        “Reason Number 6: When you buy protection from the Mafia, you get protection. The Mafia has a good track record for limiting violent crime in the areas that they protect. When you buy protection from the state, you can dial 911 and die.”

        As Billy Beck says: “When seconds count, the cops are only minutes away.”



      • Karen on July 28, 2011 at 11:59

        Lightbulbs.



      • Sue on July 28, 2011 at 13:04

        Thank you Richard, that was more helpful and I will check out that book. I do get it philosophically, and myself am an atheist and don’t vote. I do confess I rely on others to provide just about everything I need to survive and would perish rapidly if I had to fend for myself.

        I think the world is gonna be a scary place as Western Civilizations continue to decline and corruption of all kinds becomes more and more insiduous and sophisticated. I’m kind of hoping the Earth just shakes us off like fleas before it all goes to hell. The human adventure of being the first and only species to live outside of natural selection has been totally amazing, but I think maybe it’s not a “happily ever after” kind of tale.
        Thanks for the discourse! ~ Sue



      • Richard Nikoley on July 28, 2011 at 13:22

        “I do confess I rely on others to provide just about everything I need to survive and would perish rapidly if I had to fend for myself.”

        So now we need government for even division of labor?



      • Sue on July 28, 2011 at 13:42

        Richard, It’s not my fault! That is the system I live in and I am reliant on it. I didn’t build the Matrix! If it was a different system, I would be reliant on that. Please forgive me! 🙂

        I’m a single girl, with health issues, living alone, with one small firearm. I’m the first to admit if natural selection was in order, I’d already be dead. But here I am, and I don’t have a self-sustaining farming tribe. So I need the supermarket, the water company, the post office, the gas station, the electric company, the freeway, etc. I needed the police a couple weeks ago when some dude was creeping around my house. And I need my job in a corrupt industry to make money to pay for all that shit. I don’t give a fuck about government, but I need outside resources to protect MY survival. ~Sue



      • Richard Nikoley on July 28, 2011 at 13:49

        “Richard, It’s not my fault! That is the system I live in and I am reliant on it. I didn’t build the Matrix! If it was a different system, I would be reliant on that. Please forgive me!”

        You misunderstood me, I think. It’s undeniable that on our own the very best most of us would be able to do is bare subsistence and most would perish (we are social animals). Humans survive by division of labor, which can be as simple as hunting and gathering or as complex as automobiles, houses, supermarkets and the Internet. My point is that government is unnecessary to this equation and for the vast majority of human history there was no such thing, all while division of labor flourished.



      • Sue on July 28, 2011 at 14:15

        Understood. Well since I don’t think there will be much, if any, change in my lifetime, and since I don’t have kids or believe in afterlife, my plan is to maximize my experience within the existing system and not give a fuck about the poor sods that come after me. Good luck humans! ~Sue



  23. Dave on July 28, 2011 at 07:18

    W. elitist? That sure is the pot calling the kettle black. With no government by the people, even as fucked up as it gets, the people with the biggest guns will rule. Also, you use the word “commie” as though it were an insult…Obama is certainly more on the socialist end of capitalism, but comparing his political philosophy to Marx is a bit of a stretch. All socialism means is that you give a shit about other people and society as a whole, instead of just your own self-interest. You’re a sad, selfish little man who, like most rich people, sees your success as entirely due to your own superiority to the masses, without recognizing the huge role that luck and opportunity played in it. Even your introduction to paleo was due mainly to luck, yet you see yourself as superior to the poor clueless obese you see around you. It’s sad to see someone as old as you and as intelligent spouting Ayn Rand spiritual insect “philosophy.”

    • Joseph on July 28, 2011 at 08:08

      Dave, the problem with giving a shit about society is that you inevitably end up shitting on it. What about my right (as a lower-middle-class, close to being unemployed American citizen) not to take your charity? What about my right to say no to help that I do not want (or have any real use for)? Why make me buy into the Ponzi scheme that is Social Security, when I expect nothing from it, want nothing from it, and think that it does no one any good that we could not do better with something else (like families, churches, communities, real non-profits)? Why hold a gun to my head and make me waste what few resources I have funding crap like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (not to mention all the other stupid, stupid things the government does “for the good of society”)? Why should I see my real power to do some small good diminished by the government’s demand that I serve causes I don’t believe in, handing my hard-earned livelihood over to stuffed suits who are either idiots or crooks (idiots if they think taking my money and borrowing against it to fund the status quo is going to save us all, crooks if they realize this is just old-fashioned highway robbery wearing a disguise)?

      I am actually a kind person. For years I paid 10% of everything I made to a church because I thought it was what society needed. Eventually, I realized I was just pouring cash down a black hole run by (well-meaning) idiots (mostly: there might have been some not-so-well-meaning thieves involved too). Some good came of this: people got jobs, food, new buildings to do stuff with, etc. But it was ultimately not the kind of good I believe in. I quit paying there and started looking for other places to donate, places where I could build up the kind of society I believe in. No harm, no foul. The federal government isn’t so easy to handle. They won’t get their hand out of my pocket when I cease to believe in the lies they tell (whether because they haven’t seen the truth yet or because they like taking advantage of me without my being aware of it). I might like paying more local taxes. My local government actually has some really nice things going around town, programs I participate in and believe in (still). I support private causes that I believe in, too. But the feds insist on taking their cut, leaving me with relatively little to get by on (with a family of four) and hamstringing my ability to create shit that I believe in (as opposed to government shit, which is the most useless of all shit, in my experience, unless you like turning people into helpless fools so that they can be exploited to keep the powers that be fat and happy).

    • Richard Nikoley on July 28, 2011 at 08:28

      “With no government by the people, even as fucked up as it gets, the people with the biggest guns will rule.”

      Is that so. Who do you think is ruling now and how much of a say do you personally have in it.

      It’s tough for me to imagine any ruling scenario that could get any worse than this:

      http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE1.HTM

    • Richard Nikoley on July 28, 2011 at 08:32

      “…without recognizing the huge role that luck and opportunity played in it.”

      Yep, there you go. Had a little opportunity and luck in your life? Well then step right up for your punishment and atonement.

    • Mel on July 28, 2011 at 12:14

      Thanks for this comment Dave, I was going to say pretty much the same thing, but you beat me to it. I was once a devoted Ayn Rand fan, but then, alas, I turned 17. It always amuses me when adults actually discuss her hideous ramblings in serious tones. And her own personal life is even more repulsive…

  24. bionicanna on July 28, 2011 at 09:39

    voting may be useless, but supporting lobbies on specific issues still wields some power. if individualism is taken to the extreme of complete nonparticipation, government loses its healthy fear of the people and the status quo becomes more oppressive. what’s happening with gmo’s, genetic engineering, and small farms regarding food freedom will eventually affect everyone.

    • Nick on July 28, 2011 at 10:07

      The government fears the people? What would your first reaction be if the IRS ever sent you a letter telling you that you need to make an appointment with one of their offices? I can guarantee it wouldn’t be excitement over them being afraid of you.

      Really, I kind of figured that the government already has most of the people eating out of their hands, and they know it too, they have no need to fear us as long as we play along.

      • bionicanna on July 28, 2011 at 10:27

        forgetting for a moment how huge government is, it’s made of individuals, some of whom feel the need to wear bulletproof vests etc. and during an audit, there are subtle ways to affect the decisions of individuals, including fear.



      • Nick on July 28, 2011 at 11:52

        Ok, you are right about that, individual members of the government may be afraid of the actions of a few people, an IRS auditor may be afraid of another person, this is the result of self preservation, not governmental preservation on the part of the individual.

        I really don’t think that this translates into the “fear of the people” that you are talking about. Generally violence against the government are from members of one wing attacking members of the other wing, not realizing that they are all attached to the exact same bird. True uprising against the government as a whole? The government does not fear this as they are fairly sure that they have everyone in hand.



      • Richard Nikoley on July 28, 2011 at 11:56

        The old adage that any government is just “three meals away from revolution” is bunk, given the millions various states have starved to death over the centuries.



  25. Look How Ignorant | Free The Animal on July 28, 2011 at 13:18

    […] 28th, 2011 · No Comments · Principles TweetIn two comments to my Animals Don't Vote post, Dave and Mel pretend to know what they're talking about, but only end up exposing their […]

  26. Jesrad on July 28, 2011 at 14:38

    “what if they held an election and no one showed up? It’s rhetorical, so give it your best”

    This actually happened once in Tamarac, FL. The local politicians were scared shitless.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 28, 2011 at 14:45

      Yes, Jesrad. Far more than _what_ is voted upon is the sanction implicit in the _act_ itself.

  27. Jonathan on July 29, 2011 at 07:38

    I vote, not to force my opinions on others, but to keep there’s from being forced upon me.
    I would however prefer not to vote and have the government do what it is supposed to do and protect my freedom… by staying out of my life.
    Wont happen. Just like those that think “we force the rich to give the poor their money and then everybody will be rich” wont happen. Every attempt to level the playing field ends up making everybody losers.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 29, 2011 at 09:02

      That’s the argument from self defense, Jonathan, which I am sympathetic to.

  28. In on July 30, 2011 at 04:53

    The problem is human nature not necessarily the voting system. Would we be better off without the state? I doubt it, but who knows (I retreat into my agnostic shell..)

    My bigger problem with the system is not that we vote or have an elected government perse – but that the candidates are manufactured by money interests – but of course that is a reflection of weakness of the public (as George says). In any case, I’ll probably vote again, but I doubt it will be for the sort of half baked morally and intellectually inferior self-aggrandizers that the media provides for us to choose from. Vote 3rd party.

  29. scott on July 30, 2011 at 12:47

    Animals don’t use currency, either.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 30, 2011 at 15:39

      Animals don’t rob banks, either.

  30. Primal Toad on July 31, 2011 at 05:27

    Love the post. Really! I am not a fan of politics. Not at all. I never have been. I voted for the first time in 2008 because of how concerned my father was about Obama. And, I was finally old enough to vote.

    I probably won’t be voting in the future because, well, it would steal hours of my time to fully know what the candidates are up to. Aside from that, they enjoy lying. They all make so many promises and never fulfill them.

    We all do this but because one is going to be president we somehow believe them. Bull shit.

    We are trillions of dollars in debt… what the fuck? Maybe any credit is not that great of a thing? I personally don’t really understand it.

  31. […] not have special dispensation from the Rulerz of the "Land of the Free" that Americans anxiously vote into office for the privilege of being ruled by just another animal…they actually have many laws, statutes, […]

  32. Natalie on August 11, 2011 at 07:45

    I was wary of voting even before I became an anarchist. Now, it simply amuses me that so many people still buy into this bullshit. Maybe there was some difference between D & R in the Civil War era, but these days, it doesn’t go beyond slogans.

    Voting only makes sense in voluntary groups. Say, a bunch of friends deciding which movie to see tonight. You don’t like the group decision, you go your own way. Under democracy you’re forced to watch no matter what.

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