More In Common With Religious Conservatives Than Libertarians And Anarchitsts

I am an anarchist, philosophically. I do not believe in any imperative for a State, or a government that runs it; and I certainly reject the political philosophy that holds to the existence of some “social contract” (that’s really in competition with and contradicts the political philosophy of natural rights). And yet, the politically oppressive, rights-violating state is the given, and it has been for a long time. Still, when I look around, I usually—especially lately—find myself on more common ground and more in league with the generally religious, conservative, Republican right and classically liberal “right.”

What gives?

Well, first of all, when I got into all this way back in 1990, a wise man once told me that the problem with many libertarians is that if you scratch them deeply enough, you find a totalitarian. It’s sort of an east meets west thing. Look at some of the rhetoric in use leading up to the Castro takeover way back. PGL: Pretty Good Libertarian. And, of course, Marxism was supposed to usher in an anarchist utopia where there would no longer be need of state or government and in many ways, the modifier Anarcho-Capitalism is explicitly designed to resolve this aparent ambiguity and draw a distinction away from Anarcho-Syndicalism (basically, commies).

Anyway, there are many forms of libertarian I have encountered over the many years. Here’s a very brief bullet-point rundown.

  • The “Randians” or Objectivists. While they reject libertarian anarchism and are statists, the principles they espouse can nonetheless be employed to argue for anarchy. But my biggest problem with them is that for so long as I have known them, what they care about most is pro-abortion and anti-religion. Way to go. Win friends and influence people.
  • The Libertarian Party. It’s a contradiction in terms. Silly and ridiculous.
  • The Consequentialists. These are those who tend to dismiss or ignore philosophical principles in favor of economics-based arguments (Chicago School, Austrian School, etc.) as a means of finding common ground amongst those who find principles important, and those who do not. It’s actually a tent of reasonable size. The Reason foundation and magazine is generally here, as are dudes like Friedman, Sowell, Rothbard, and hosts of others. It’s easy to be there because principles don’t really matter and so in the end, it largely reduces to getting naked in public and smoking dope (yes, I’m being facetious).

That’s all just a general, broad brush without tons of thought or analysis put to it. And, there’s plenty of crossover. Reason, for example, loves to champion the joke of the Libertarian party, and then employ principles when it comes to criticizing Trump policy that would employ the force of government to undo bad that was done via the force of government. Of course, two wrongs do not a right make, but as I wrote yesterday, it’s time to at least minimally make distinctions between tax-theft used to haul in immigrants who vow to kill us and change our general culture and society, spending billions to indoctrinate kids into “social justice,” pay people not to work or advance, pay people lavish retirements at the end of a 30-year bureaucratic make-work scam…and spending those spoils on bridges, roads, walls, pipelines, etc.

Is that goofy, silly, macho-man American Pride such a bad thing, compared to the androgynous alternative?

What I find most to my dislike over some years now is the nihilism, which I chalk up to frustration. I recognize it because I was there, and had to root it out of myself. It’s rooted in a misplaced longing for so-called cosmic justice. The Darwin awards on steroids. When you find yourself rooting for failure, for collapse, for civil war—just desserts and on and on—it might be time to reevaluate, in my humble opinion. Hate for humanity in general, is not healthy.

Odd, I know, coming from me, since so much of my schtick is rather curmudgeonly, bordering on misanthropy. But I think I’m better at it, now, and I channel an old saying from my fundamental Baptist upbringing: hate the sin, love the sinner...only for me, it’s hate the stupidity, help the stupid.

And it’s an important difference. If I do say so myself, my health, diet, food, and fitness blogging in over 2,500 posts since 2008 is testament, I think, to a desire to help people more than it is to make myself feel good by exposing their errors and stupidity. Most of us are smart, and stupid too. It just depends on the subject. Have a little patience and grace. Try to put at least as much oomph into solutions or better outcomes as you do cheering just failure and hoping for collapse.

Societal, cultural, and economic collapse—while offering a modicum of schadenfreude-like satisfaction to the “right-thinking” intellectual elite—is a bitch and there is no guarantee you’re not going down the shitter too. But I kinda see that level of suicide-like wishing often enough. ‘This shit is so fucked up—me with my great job, nice house, car, and vacations—because I See Stupid People, that I’ll burn it all to the ground just to feel right. Me and my principles.’

I see none of this in the religious or the conservative right. I see the exact opposite. In terms of the Jews, Christians, and Protestant Christians that form the mainstay of religion in America, I see religious culture that in fact, and owing to the 1st Amendment, lives in relative peace with the state. Curiously, many of them put faith and family ahead of state in their philosophical hierarchy, while at the same time, engage their ideas into the political process in a peaceful, procedural way…kinda like how it was intended.

They are more in league with their faith-based communities and families than with the state, but adept and conscientious enough that so long as they have the reasonable freedom to pursue their shared values in their loved and cherished communities, they’re fine and will do what’s necessary to preserve that protected way of life for themselves and their children.

This is the root of their conservatism. And I have come to better understand it, now applaud it, and am happy to conservatively support it.

This way of thinking began in primitive fashion back in about 2011 or so, and I was chewing on it so much that I proposed a presentation for AHS12 at Harvard that would deal with some of it. It was couched as a talk on epistemology from an evolutionary perspective (what is the quality of your knowledge?), but I still had not yet made the connection, nor made proper distinctions in the realm of religious faith.

It would be a bit different if I did that today.

I think it can be argued that in many ways, my term “Anarchy Begins At Home” is best promoted, championed, and conserved by the peaceful, wholesome value, religious folk of America.

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. Hap on March 4, 2017 at 13:32

    There is nothing new under the sun. I’m very pleased to read this post….an intellectual summary of life (so far)lived and in a state of introspection/presumptions and assumptions reexamined as the facts roll in. Your last post preasaged this one with added benefit of being very entertaining. Can’t beat that.

    Don’t be overly righteous OR overly wise. Why destroy yourself? Solomon

    If there isa single principle to guide me in understanding the new Trump approach, the above would definitely apply as the good is only the enemy of the perfectly stupid. Alas, politics is the art of the possible…..which is to say…of the Deal. If so….we who have perpetually suffered under the grand ideologue of statism could be in reasonably good shape.

    At least we have the lead back in our bullets.

  2. thhq on March 4, 2017 at 14:07

    Two good reads when you have the time

    Robert Remini’s series on Andrew Jackson, along with his one-off on Henry Clay. Almost everything pertains to the current political situation. Were California to attempt nullification, the Federal response would probably pattern what happened when South Carolina attempted it in 1832. And Remini doesn’t fawn over Jackson the way Schlesinger did in Age of Jackson.

    C.V. Wedgewood’s series on the English Civil War. In a lot of ways this is the template for the American Revolution. Cromwell is particularly interesting, as an archetype for leaders from Washington and Bolivar to Hitler and Napoleon. Protestantism is highly schismatic, creating a combination of utter chaos and central unity at the same time. The English Civil War demonstrates a skilled leader’s ability to assemble fearsome military power out of this chaos – witness Drogheda and the invasion of Scotland as examples.

    The nonconformist Protestant chaplain Richard Baxter observed at the time that English Puritans and Scottish Presbyterians had common beliefs, so when they killed each other in battle they could meet again in heaven on the same day.

    • Hap on March 4, 2017 at 15:36

      How quaint….

      Perhaps the should have tried harder for earlier reconciliation?

    • thhq on March 4, 2017 at 16:02

      It was not possible. The Scots had sheltered the devious Charles I. By the time Cromwell was finished there was a unified Commonwealth, the predecessor of the United Kingdom. Ireland got the worst of it.

    • thhq on March 4, 2017 at 16:10

      Charles I lost his head, so he didn’t fare any better than the Irish. He was Protestant but of the high-church-Anglican-suspect-of-catholic-sympathies faction. The replacement of the monarchial government via regicide portended the French and Russian revolutions.

      Another excellent period show is Wolf Hall, with Mark Rylance playing Thomas Cromwell, about 100 years before the Civil War.

    • thhq on March 9, 2017 at 15:34

      A statement of Scottish nationalism, by Robert Burns

      “But English gold has been our bane
      Such a parcel of rogues in a nation”

  3. Ivan Janssens on March 4, 2017 at 14:38

    One mistake: Rothbard was not a consequentialist, but deontological libertarian. For him the non-agression principle was paramount and he was harshly critical of consequentialists like Friedman.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 4, 2017 at 15:29

      Point taken. But he is used and quoted quite a lot by the consequentialist Austrian economics fans, right?

  4. BabyGirl on March 4, 2017 at 15:02

    I quite enjoyed that, seeing as how I am your resident Fundy Fan!

  5. poop monster on March 4, 2017 at 16:05

    Too deep for me. I look at much more simply: if it puts food on my family’s table and doesn’t threaten our freedom, I like it. If doesn’t, I probably won’t like it. Simple. Trump’s kind of simple – which I like.

  6. Dan on March 4, 2017 at 16:11

    I must admit I fall into the category of wanting a Zombie apocalypse to wash the statists away. Ironically biblical. Lately I have lots of time to ruminate a bit on this doing chores and we are already there, the statists are in their hell and I am watching from 30 000 feet.

    Recent local example. Average Joe Statist pays his taxes all his life thinking he can get the best of health care when he needs it. Oh wait, we have a waiting list of 300 people to see an orthopedic surgeon down here, and he just got fired because he was trying to get shit done and didn’t fit the box of a bureaucrat so they fired him over “values”.

    The free market anarchist and entrepreneur in me knows there are market solutions available now, let alone what we might have had if the gov got out of the way, but statists are gonna state and Joe Statist wants to believe the lies and be angry now because he has to wait years for surgery. “Fucktards”…

    Couple this with ABDada constantly pushing forward a message of abundance, a man finds it no matter what the state or other people do, no excuses, ever and I think I can reconcile. If you think for yourself you are always (at least) one step ahead.

    I was raised by an evangelical single mum, consider it child abuse but I survived. Now I look at the churches they go to, its feminist hellholes. Gone are the Joel Salatin type christian conservatives around here.

    My sister divorced a devoted husband and father and went straight to church (ironically called elevation church) for empowerment and validation for her poor decision making and she gets it in spades.

    I have found peace of sorts, its early though coming to this epiphany so I am mostly writing this to come back to it in the future and see where I ended up.

  7. Paul on March 4, 2017 at 18:12


    The first taste I had of “recalibration ” in myself years ago stemmed from a foundational problem I found with reconciliation.

    I was sitting at a table of people overly identified with social justice (gender, race, poverty etc), pious idealism and engaged in the pursuit of eastern guru transpersonal enlightenment sipping expensive bottles of red wine on a deck overlooking the ocean and “embracing” multiculturalism and sustainability by eating a vegan organic curry.

    The hatred and contempt that we as a group felt against people (aka conservatives) with differing thoughts on family, gay marriage, feminism, cultural relativity, drug harm minimisation and heaven and hell coupled with the intellectual superiority of the group just did not gel.

    Why were we all so hell bent on tearing down a world that had provided this incredible possibility for us? What the fuck would we replace this with? As I drove home, I was left wondering what was so fundamentally wrong, ignorant, and brutal about me as a man that was hidden and unconscious due to my inherent insensitivity, lack of self-awareness and lack of understanding about my patriarchal privilege?

    Enter the world of personal growth. After digging into this stuff for years, many in fact, on the couch in psychoanalysis, in groups where the voice and rage of the most marginal was supported and where I had gay black men screaming at me and other white heterosexual men because of stolen generation issues, brutal gay and racist bashing and so on. I walked with a group of transvetites down mainstream suburban streets in Australia and felt the fear of being bashed that they feel each and every day for being themselves. I really really tried to uncover the basic sin I had been told about.

    At the same time I saw the happily married men who like big fast cars, football, are who were loved in their 1950s “masogonist” family division of labour, as dumb, stupid and unenlightened and bigger dicks than me because despite the hatred I had learned was my birthright I was trying to understand why I deserved the hatred.

    I really get the validity of different lenses (aka cultural relativism) and ideas to reveal blind spots in ourselves and to offer counterpoints of alternative thinking. The beauty of the conservative right is they bring to account the people that employ these sames lenses and argue for keeping a foundation that despite its pros and cons has provided a framework that enables this thinking to take place.

    Without blogs like this, and without diving into the works of people like Sam Harris I would not have questioned the validity of these positions I had come to accept.

    I get your landing point. I don’t over identify heavily with either the left or the right nor do I think that the world needs to burn to hell. I have simply stopped identitying exclusively on the far left, especially regressive left politics.


    • pinkface on March 4, 2017 at 18:34

      I like organic vegan curry and I like big fast cars. Shove that in your corn pipe and smoke it.

    • Paul on March 4, 2017 at 18:55


      Congrats to you on completely missing the above point of my post and personalising my comments as if they were about you.


    • Richard Nikoley on March 5, 2017 at 15:20

      Nice, Paul. Whatever it takes, always question and always ask yourself to explain to yourself why you think and judge as you do.

      And always judge. Always. There is no better way for getting an idea as to whether you are right or wrong than to take a judgmental position.

  8. sassysquatch on March 5, 2017 at 05:50

    The one constant in life is change. Things change, opinions change,
    bodies change, health changes, and philosophies change.

    Personally, I think your experiment of living in Mexico, brought about
    much of your current station in life. Much of it to the better.

  9. Drew C on March 5, 2017 at 06:13

    Really well thought out, probably one of your best pieces. I agree and can relate to much of what you are saying.

  10. Bret on March 5, 2017 at 21:24

    “pay people lavish retirements at the end of a 30-year bureaucratic make-work scam…”

    That one made me LOL. In no small part because it is SO. DAMN. TRUE. Hits close to home, given my current occupation (counting the months until the commitment expires).

    You tied it all into a nice bow there, Richard, and a lot of observations make sense now. A year and a half ago, you were as hostile towards religion as anyone could be (verbally, at least). I’m glad you’ve found value in these people, without necessarily joining them in their cult weirdness. I feel I am in a similar place myself.

  11. poop monster on March 6, 2017 at 00:12

    Richard, you might like this Steve Hughes clip. He turns the whole gay/hetro juxtaposition on its head. Also note how cleverly he uses the PC bullshit to expose their prejudices. I do not think all will get it, but I know you will. Here it is:

    • Richard Nikoley on March 6, 2017 at 07:42

      Ha, yea, had seen it. He’s funny.

      Ever seen his bit on PC and being offended?

  12. arthur on March 7, 2017 at 02:41

    I like your blog very much and usually your posts about nutrition are very well researched but this time i dont think you did your homework;)
    Im not from USA therefore i dont care for a Trump or Clinton, but examples of “libertarian” ideology you gave are really limited and not even fair.
    First you didnt even mention Rothbard who really is a father of modern libertarian ideology.
    Ayn Rand didnt even want to call her libertarian, some of her ideas are usefull but there are poeple like Konkin (with his agorism idea),Hess or Nozick.
    Most important idea and value for libertarians is personal freedom and private property.Those are “natural laws” and any other laws especially human made shouldnt ever be violating them.
    Ofc it makes some problems (abortion,children status etc) but its more because of moral and cultural obligation we are imprinted since childhood.
    Reducing libertarian ideology to abortion or exhibitionism isnt fair.
    Problem of most people who face real libertarian ideology is that it shoscks with its conclusions – you dont need goverment for police, you dont need goverment for courts or army.
    Freedom and responsibility for your action is core of liberal ideology.

    Conservatists dont really value freedom, they value only freedom which meets their criteria.
    Thats huge difference because you never know with what conservatis will come up.
    You cant make anal sex in Alabama is it really “freedom”?;)

    • Richard Nikoley on March 7, 2017 at 08:04

      This was not my principal point, Arthur, which is why I wrote:

      “That’s all just a general, broad brush without tons of thought or analysis put to it. And, there’s plenty of crossover.”

    • Richard Nikoley on March 7, 2017 at 08:06

      Plus, I did in fact mention Rothbard.

  13. Woodchuck Pirate on March 7, 2017 at 07:02

    “Anything But Freedom” is the mantra of the human male across the globe.
    “Anything But Freedom” is the mission of the deep global state.
    “Anything But Freedom” can squelch the fear of feeling alone.

    Don’t get uppity stupid demand “Anything But Freedom”.
    Self-enslaved surrendered to the abstraction of debt.
    Self-castrated exchanged, green paper embossed “faith and credit”.

    “Anything But Freedom” is the mantra of the human male across the globe.
    “Anything But Freedom” is the mission of the deep global state.
    “Anything But Freedom” can squelch the fear of feeling alone.

    “Anything But Freedom” is a mushroom cloud.

    Goodbye. My final post.

    Woodchuck Pirate
    aka Raymond J Raupers Jr USA

    • poop monster on March 7, 2017 at 07:20

      “my final post”?? What’s up Woodchuck?

    • Richard Nikoley on March 7, 2017 at 12:56

      “Goodbye. My final post.”

      That you had to write that speaks volumes to me.

    • poop monster on March 7, 2017 at 22:15

      I still do not understand the “Good bye. My final post” comment. Enlighten me kind sir.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 8, 2017 at 10:55

      “I still do not understand the “Good bye. My final post” comment. Enlighten me kind sir.”

      What in the muther fuck is wrong in your brain, shit head?

      The man said “My Final Post,” and now you endeavor, not once, but twice, to entice him to forego his oath for your exclusive benefit.

      I’ve never been impressed with a single post you’ve ever popped up (never value add, always entitlement like a girl) and I’d happily trade you going away to have Woodchuck back.

  14. Zer on March 7, 2017 at 15:13

    The “Chicago School” is not libertarian. “Classical liberal”, “neoliberal”, whatever, still statist.
    In the words of Walter Block:

    The nihilism, pessimism and condescension you may have detected in some libertarians and anarcho-capitalists does not invalidate the NAP.
    Feel free to throw the principles away and team up with the religious right, why should anyone care? How is that an argument about anything?

    Please remove that T in the article title!

  15. edster on March 7, 2017 at 18:16

    Richard, something you might get some lolz from, Scott Adams just tweeted it. “People got upset. There was a guy two rows in front of me who was literally holding his head in his hands, and the person with him was rubbing his back.”

  16. hap on March 7, 2017 at 20:48

    Not withstanding Theology, the categories of persons you mention some affinity ..”.find myself on more common ground and more in league with the generally religious, conservative, Republican right and classically liberal “right.””….attempt to organize their personal conduct around some coherent notions, and recognize the restraints in action that are put in place to guarantee some peaceful order. This seems logical

    The Left has become more Totalitarian and Nihilistic than just about any movement on the Right. No restraint is implied for anything and is not pursued as virtue. I suppose this is how the Libertarian down deep is a tyrant. I guess the militant Right is anarchistic, but they are not embedded in the culture like the Left.

    I am still a bit confused about the First Amendment……strictly read, it just forbids the Federal government from establishing or favoring a particular religion (for presumed political purposes), from abrdiging freedom of speech with respect to criticism of government, or any other attempts by government to limit protest (assembly) and redress grievance by petition.

    Not being a legal scholar I am not sure how the courts expanded all this to include what is generally accepted today… just about anything said/written about anybody anytime any place (except of course on college campus or other sacred spaces where Liberals abide) where the innocent require protection.

    I am certain someone will wipe away my ignorance.

    • Paul on March 9, 2017 at 22:42


      I read a book years ago called the myth of male power. It was intriguing to me to see that more workplace legislation had been written to protect women from harassment in a very brief period of time than had ever been written to keep men from dying through physical danger in the workplace. Having worked in large scale data mining and analytics where all data I see is now assumed to be bullshit unless proven otherwise I took it on face value at the time.

      I think in Australia legal courts have played a critical role in making changes via trial to an impotent combative incompetent stream of governments, left and right to examine and change social justice issues.

      I think as human beings history shows that time and again we are capable of organizing ourselves as a group in a way that truly fucks ourselves over.

      When we start with the premise that everyone deserves freedom from things like violence and other horrific destructive actions it becomes obvious that certain people who are different from the main group can be subject to a higher frequency of these actions.

      Words can lead to suicidal ideation and suicide and years ago, despite being quite shit house as a counsellor I talked quite a few kids down off ledges, from jumping in front of trains etc due to verbal bullying.

      I am truly fucking confused about how to navigate this. I truly am. I find myself full of rage when I hear about kids, women and old people being physically and verbally abused where you see the aftermath from years of it in their eyes.

      Physical violence for men is horrific yet society ignores that as much as 20% of DV is women on men and that when me bring and report the police are sent to the house on the presumption he is lying and or is the perpetrator.

      The outrage to any and everything and the entitlement to having a safe place, the right to not be offended and the right to kill and maim due to being offended means somewhere the pendekim has gone horribly wrong.

      To me, I judge myself on how well I treat others more disadvantaged than me with genuine needs (my rules around this) and how little I weild a tonne of rage to an ounce of pain.


    • Paul on March 10, 2017 at 00:21

      Apologies Hap,

      Post written on a cracked eye phone and poorly proofed.

      Please read between the obvious mistakes (-:

  17. Sarah on March 8, 2017 at 10:35

    -Started life as a moderate Catholic school girl
    -Let myself get brainwashed into being a liberal professional victim (ie feminist) in college
    -Had great disdain for religious conservatives and the oppressive traditional family structure
    -Started working, paying taxes, having kids and noticing that handouts and affirmative action caused more problems than they solved. Also noticed that religious conservatives seemed more likely to have their shit together than my liberal social justice warrior friends.
    -Mid-life crisis at 30 resulting in turning in a religious conservative
    -Got my shit together.

    The end.

  18. hap on March 8, 2017 at 12:37

    I’m kinda worried about woodchuck…..”final post”? However, I support the concept of living honorably….and he teed it up.

  19. hap on March 8, 2017 at 12:39

    -Got my shit together.

    Sarah….congratulations….not the end. The beginning.

  20. Richard Nikoley on March 8, 2017 at 12:45

    “I’m kinda worried about woodchuck…..”final post”?”

    See, I don’t get this at all. I’ve read all of his 81 comments here over the years.

    I’ve never worried about him at all and if he says he’s done here, then it’s a decent bet he means it and he doesn’t care what you think about it.

    Your concern and worry fall on ears quivering a bit from belly laughter.

  21. hap on March 8, 2017 at 13:14

    Your concern and worry fall on ears quivering a bit from belly laughter.

    You got it…..

    • Richard Nikoley on March 8, 2017 at 13:36

      Poop is fucking annoying. If he’s not berating me because I don’t post according to his preferred schedule, he’s berating a commenter who simply signaled his intentions.

      Notice he never writes more than about a sentence. He’s a worthless, value drain parasite, who never gives, but chides everyone always for not giving him more. Troll.

  22. James Cotter on March 14, 2017 at 18:27

    enjoyed your video presentation, nicely done brought for a clarity on the subject I was looking for

  23. John Venlet on March 15, 2017 at 07:41

    Still, when I look around, I usually—especially lately—find myself on more common ground and more in league with the generally religious, conservative, Republican right and classically liberal “right.”

    Richard, I am surprised it took you so long to arrive at this conclusion, and I wonder if your total disdain for Christianity and individuals who profess to be Christians, which you often articulated in your posts here and at your old blog, may have been detrimental to your ability to understand that the majority of Christian individuals truly have no interest in forcing their views/opinions upon you. Granted, there does exist an minority of Christian individuals who would like nothing better than to force their ideas of God and Christian living upon you, but the majority of Christian individuals have no interest in this forcing their God views upon you, nor in erecting a theological state. Shake the dust from their feet and all.

    Anyway, I was intrigued by your admission, and wanted to drop a comment on it.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 15, 2017 at 09:05

      Ha dude, it is so delightful to hear from you, bubblehead.

      You do recall that when I started this blog in November of 2003, I had seen only a few other blogs and thanks to Billy Beck, yours was one.

      To the subject, I simply bet wrong. I found no particular value to religion given a passably rational society moving forward. That turned out not to be the case, and for two reasons: the rise of Islam by whatever cause, and the left’ embrace of it.

      So, I’m essentially forced into aligning with the conservatives, the right, and the westernized forms of religion,

      Make sense?

  24. John Venlet on March 15, 2017 at 09:37

    So, I’m essentially forced into aligning with the conservatives, the right, and the westernized forms of religion,

    Make sense?

    Richard, while your current alignment adjustment makes sense, what does not make sense is any admission that you were essentially “forced” into said alignment. Rational and considered thinking, at least as I contemplate on it, should have brought you into such an alignment some time ago, not force.

    I never had any qualms in admitting my Christian world view while actively blog posting, and in a long ago post I admitted to liking my atheist friends a lot, and valued, in large part, their ideas regarding liberty, the very limited role a state should play in individuals’ lives. You, Billy, S wan, Kennedy, to name a few, back in 2001, were, to me at least, voices speaking sense in this endarkening world, which I greatly appreciated.

    It’ll be interesting, I think, to see where this alignment may take you, and whether or not the alignment will hold. My best to you.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 15, 2017 at 10:33

      By essentially, I meant by my own intellectual honesty. IOW, I “forced” myself.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 15, 2017 at 10:38

      BTW, on a fun note, have been living at a former vacation home as permanent residence for nearly a year, 4,200 ft in the Sierras.

      Lots of water flows up here, so took up a bit of fly fishing. Amazing how the gear has changed since I was a kid.

  25. John Venlet on March 15, 2017 at 11:15

    Glad to hear you’re occasionally chasing trout, along with exercising your intellectual honesty. That’s pretty much all I do (chase trout), nowadays, rather than blogging. It’s not that I’ve nothing to say, it’s just that the trout are far more interesting to me, and more rewarding.

    You’re correct that the gear has changed amazingly, and while I appreciate some of these changes, I find that I go more old school gear every year.

    Waters are thawing hereabouts, and though I sometimes wade the winter streams, I spend more time at the vise in the winter tying up feathers and fur for use when the mayflies take flight once again in the Spring.

  26. lampoon on April 11, 2017 at 15:02

    I am interested in whether, and to what extent, you agree or disagree with either of the following two statements:
    1. The belief that equality and liberty, however unlimited, are compatible is the basis of all anarchist theories, and liberalism is merely a watered-down version of this.
    2. Liberty, if not restrained, leads to inequality, and equality, if rigidly carried through, must lead to loss of liberty.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 11, 2017 at 18:01

      Well, for #1, there is no such thing as equality in nature anywhere you look, even if you can see the forrest through the trees.

      Every organism on Earth is unequal to every other organism, minimally in small ways, and plenty of big ways. Even in tight nit families, there is no equality.

      Of course, what egalitarians always really mean is: equality in terms of certain categories and particulars that happen to be important to them (such as income, quality of life, etc.). In terms of anarchy, I’m a “bottom-up” anarchist where most others have mixes of utopian fantasy (the commies, like anarcho-syndicalists) and voting your way into it (American libertarians).

      Anarchy begins at home. It’s an individual creed whereby you interact with agents of force as little as possible and strive to live by voluntary exchanges of values.

      I pretty much agree with #2, with the caveat that I don’t see liberty leading to inequality as a problem, but nor do I think it’s the cause. Nature breeds inequality. Kinda the basis of evolution.

      Some make it, some don’t. Only the strong survive.

      About cover it?

  27. lampoon on April 12, 2017 at 07:11

    Thank you for the thoughtful reply. Interesting that you dismiss equality, and not just as an important moral principal. You seem to argue that because equality does not occur in nature (nature, red in tooth and claw), the pursuit of it in society is unnatural and at best futile.
    Liberty, defined in its negative sense, is the ability of a person to act and speak without interference, so long as that person does not interfere with another’s liberty. Without equality as a moderating value, aren’t we left with absolute non-interference? The qualifier of non-interference with another would vanish. There would be no “equal protection under the law.”
    How, then, would your ideal society function? I have a hard time envisioning it other than as dystopic chaos – we are all blacklaws and the devil take the hindmost.
    I think the fundamental question in political philosophy is, why should anyone obey anyone else? Assuming no a priori constructs, it boils down to two reasons: coercion (force) or opinion.
    If n=1 absolutely, then systemic coercion goes away. I suppose systemic persuasion is still possible, but I am dubious that would overcome individual coercion. To assume so strikes me as utopian fantasy. Is that really the kind of world you seek? It seems to me that dismissing equality entirely is dangerous and ultimately dysfunctional, just as dismissing liberty entirely is dangerous and ultimately dysfunctional.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 12, 2017 at 14:04

      “Without equality as a moderating value,…”

      Stop right there.

      I’ve been at this since 1992 and I never miss a smuggled in premise.

  28. lampoon on April 13, 2017 at 07:37

    My apologies for the lack of clarity. Your disagreement, I think, is with the assumption that equality is a moderating factor on liberty. Perhaps constraining or limiting would have been a better choice of words. Statement 2 in my initial comment was intended to establish agreement (or not) with the concept that liberty and equality are inherently conflicting values, that more of one necessarily means less of the other. If one believes that equality has zero value, or that there is never a justification for constraining liberty, then the statement is meaningless. I do not know whether that reflects your views, and I try hard to avoid ascribing opinions to others that are not their own. For my part, I believe equality does have a significant value, though liberty is far more important. Equality’s role is akin to an hormetic.

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