The Futility of Political Action - Transcript


0:00 - The Golden Pirates of Incredible Donations
1:21 - The Pursuit of Open and Honest Conversations
3:43 - Overthrowing the State: An Unattainable Goal
5:31 - Reforming Power Structures: Practical Steps
8:29 - The Humbling Experience of Family Reform
10:12 - The Impact of Family Reform on Political Action
11:55 - Start Small: Reforming Local Power Structures
16:33 - The Flight to Jupiter: Unrealistic Ambitions
20:12 - Reforming the State vs. Reforming Family and School
20:50 - Critique of Non-Interventionist Libertarianism
24:40 - The Nature of Government
29:08 - Strategies of the Powerful
33:04 - Urban Budget Crisis
38:14 - The Illusion of Political Change
41:23 - The One-Way Street of Corruption
46:29 - Theory vs. Practice

Long Summary

Steph shares her perspective on the significance of initiating open and honest dialogues within families as a means to reform power dynamics. She stresses the efficacy of focusing on family reform over political activism, citing the difficulty in testing political actions' outcomes and lack of empirical evidence. She urges people to start reform efforts within their families first, engaging in conversations about desires and moral values to effect change at a personal level.

The conversation delves into the challenges of political activism and the accessibility of addressing familial issues. Steph encourages focusing on tangible relationships to test reform theories and lay the groundwork for broader societal transformations. Her message urges listeners to prioritize familial relationships for reform and challenges conventional activism by emphasizing personal empowerment and relational dynamics.

Exploring the impracticality of setting grand goals without addressing personal challenges, the dialogue critiques prioritizing political actions over familial reform. It highlights the limitations of reforming the state due to entrenched self-interest within governmental structures. The discussion underscores the ineffectiveness of political actions in creating substantial changes within systems resistant to reforms threatening personal gains.

The dialogue sheds light on the complexities and resistance faced in reforming government institutions and altering existing power structures. It critiques attempts to privatize essential services and emphasizes the limitations of political actions in making meaningful changes within governmental systems. Real-life examples illustrate the repercussions of past attempts to implement libertarian policies within government bodies, emphasizing the need for realistic approaches to creating change within institutions.

Expressing skepticism about eliminating government through political means, I challenge the idea that pursuing political positions within existing structures will lead to significant transformation. I advocate for enacting change in personal spheres to test theories of reducing hegemonic control, stressing the importance of tangible results in ideological debates. By aligning beliefs with actions in personal relationships and local communities, I propose shifting towards practical implementation and genuine reform efforts for societal change.


[0:00] The Golden Pirates of Incredible Donations

[0:00] Arr, me pretties, how are ya? Me gold pirates of incredible donations. It's Steph, I hope you're doing well. It's some damn time. Ooh, it's my birthday on Monday! Happy birthday to me, I have become free, and I hope you're doing well. It's, uh, oh, I don't know, the 16th or 17th? Tuesday, I'm pretty sure of that, of September 2007.

[0:25] So I wanted to have a quick little chat with the secret, the secret, it is a secret, about one of the things. I've mentioned this in scattered areas before. I wanted to sort of pull it together in a way that is rare, of course, for me, but well worth doing. And there's a reason that I suggest talking honestly with your family. And that reason is not just that I think you should, which, of course, I think you should. And that reason is not because it will set you free, which it very likely will, and so on. But there is a very specific reality or reason as to why I strongly advocate the pursuit of open and honest conversations with your parents.

[1:10] Rather than, say, donating to and giving your left nut or right kidney to Mr. Ron Paul or, or some other such politico.

[1:21] The Pursuit of Open and Honest Conversations

[1:21] And the reason that I strongly suggest talking about your desires and your wants with your family is that so doing, if your family is corrupt, and I'm not even going to go into the percentages of families that I think are more or less corrupt in the modern world, and it's not exactly the fault of parents, they've been betrayed by intellectuals and so on, but, when you try to speak honestly with your family about your feelings and your experiences and what you want and all these kinds of things, and about history and questionable moral instructions and level of detail with regards to moral knowledge and hypocrisies and so on. What you're attempting to do fundamentally in that situation is you are attempting to reform, to reform, I say, a power structure. You are attempting to reform a hegemonic power structure.

[2:19] And by God, when you try to do that with your family, doesn't it just completely take away any desire or fantasy that you might have about the efficacy of doing that with the state?

[2:35] See, I don't want you to waste your time on things that are impossible, right? Like my actions are going to overthrow the state and this and that and the other, right? Because that's an untestable hypothesis, right? I mean, I believe that my $50 donation to Ron Paul is helping to overthrow the state. Well, this is a completely untestable hypothesis, and I don't deal with untestable hypotheses because that's religion. Wherever the hypothesis is not testable, all you can do is rely on faith and just making crap up fundamentally. So I don't deal with that stuff. I deal with the philosophical principles and premises of reforming power structures, of reforming hegemonic power structures. All I mean by that is sort of top-down authoritarian power structures. And there's no need to go chasing after the state and foreign policy and the welfare and the war on drugs. There's no need to do any of that. Because we all have perfect and complete and total access to a hegemonic power structure that we have direct influence over, that we can attempt to reform, which is testable.

[3:43] Overthrowing the State: An Unattainable Goal

[3:44] Yeah, to hell with all of this. Oh, I'm going to vote for this, and I'm going to do that, and I'm going to bring about freedom with referendums, and I've been running around trying to get all these people to vote on X, Y, and Z, and I don't know what effect it's going to have or what effect it's had, but it might have been different, and it might have been better. Maybe it would be worse if I hadn't. All of that shit is just theoretical crap. Untestable nonsense.

[4:04] And then you know you're just dealing with bullshit religious concepts when you deal with this stuff, right? Because people say, well, political action is going to work, see? And you say, well, it's done the complete opposite of working for 150 years. It's like, well, yes, but it could have been even worse if we hadn't done it, right? Then you know that you're just not dealing with a falsifiable phenomenon, right?

[4:27] So, I mean, this is how it works, or rather doesn't work in this realm. No, this is the kind of nonsense that you deal with when you deal with people who are talking about political change, right? It's the old thing. If God grants me the prayer, if God accedes to my prayer, then by heavens, don't you just know that God loves me and exists, right? And if God doesn't accede to my prayer, then don't you know that God works in mysterious ways and it's for the best, that he doesn't give me what I think I want because he knows, right? So there's no falsifiability, as we all know, with this stuff. And it's the same thing with religious... Sorry, it's the same thing with libertarian political activism.

[5:08] I mean, some exceptions. Some people sort of wake up to the non-falsifiability, the no-null-hypothesis thesis of political change. And some people do acquit themselves honorably, and I certainly would say that I might be one of them. I attempted political stuff in the past. So it's a recoverable addiction. prediction, let's put it that way. But it's completely unfalsifiable, of course, right?

[5:31] Reforming Power Structures: Practical Steps

[5:32] And that's what I think can give everyone the right to look at it with a fairly grand degree of suspicion. So if you talk to people about political action in terms of bringing liberty to the world, to people, then they'll always say, well, see, it's going to bring political freedom. And then you say, well, it hasn't for the past 150 years or 2,000 years or 3,000 years or whatever you want to say, it has done quite the opposite. People have become less free.

[5:57] The goal is to bring freedom. Well, wait a minute. Pursuing this course of action has brought less freedom. Well, but if we hadn't done this, things would be even worse, right? So there you know that you're in a situation where somebody's just going to make up some crap to retain their belief, right? Now, these same people, of course, inevitably and forevermore, reject familial action, right? Reject the concept of attempting to reform the family. And you'd think, right? I mean, you'd think that this would be the case, right? You'd think that they would, I mean, logically, if they're really interested in overthrowing that which has dominance over people's lives, that which controls and bullies people, then we would look at something that you actually have effect over, right? That you actually can have some interaction with, some efficacy, some efficiency, some influence. So naturally and immediately, you'd think forevermore that we would look first at the family. And that's why you would test your hypothesis, right? If you are the genius of the the ages, and you have found a way to reform corrupt or hegemonic power structures, then you would start with your own family, right? And again, we're going to assume that the family is somewhat corrupt here and so on, and I think a lot of them are, and again, not entirely the fault of parents, of course, but that's where you would start, right?

[7:10] Right, I mean, if you say, I have a cure for cancer, then somebody would say, well, have you cured cancer in rats? Have you cured cancer, right? And if somebody says, well, I don't do that. All I want is a universal program to inject stuff into people, which I claim, you ask for proof. You ask for proof, especially if somebody says, I can cure cancer with crystals, which clearly has not worked and has made people more sick, like this Kevin Trudeau asshole. hole, right?

[7:37] So when people say, I can cure cancer with crystals, you ask for proof. And you would ask for sort of documented evidence, and you would ask for verifiable and reproducible experimentation and so on, right? And that, of course, since we're really into the scientific method, that's all we're doing here in this conversation. There's no lab wherein we can overthrow a state. There's no lab wherein we can test our thesis about the best way to overthrow a state. So we can't take an empirical approach as far as statism goes. But so what? That doesn't really matter, because we have tons of hegemonic control systems that exist in the world that we have far more influence over than the state, which we can test our theories on. Of decontrolling things, if that makes sense. So we can, of course, start with our family. And that's all what I talk about, right?

[8:29] The Humbling Experience of Family Reform

[8:29] Because it cures you of the desire to use politics to overthrow the state. If you can't even reform your own family. If you can't even reform your own family. So if you had kids, sorry, if you had parents who were sort of mean or bullying or this or that when you were a kid, or cold or abusive or dysfunctional in some way or another, it's almost all families.

[8:53] Then when you become an adult, you have far more power over these people than you ever will have over the state, even if you become the president. You have far more influence, history, control, power over your parents as an adult than you will ever have over the state, even if you become a dictator.

[9:15] And you also, of course, have far more intimate knowledge of your parents than you have of the state. And as an adult child of your parents, you can implement, your reforms in your family immediately, tomorrow, today, now, by calling them up and saying, this is what I was dissatisfied with in the past. This is what I'm dissatisfied with in the present. I would like X, Y, and Z. I would like you to act in a better way, with more integrity, with more kindness, with more this, with more that, whatever. You don't have to push everything off to this otherworldly planet where if some anarchist or radical libertarian gets to be president, right? You don't have to wait for that to figure out if your theories about how to reform corrupt power structures can be implemented effectively. You don't need that. You don't need that. You don't need that.

[10:12] The Impact of Family Reform on Political Action

[10:13] You can work directly with your family right now. Right now. And boy, is that ever a humbling experience. Is that not correct, my friends? So when people come to me, as they always do, and this is, of course, as our good friend Wilt has pointed out, the most oft-asked question in libertarianism. And people come to me and say, well, prove that political action won't work.

[10:39] Well, of course, what that is really a question of is prove how attempting to control a corrupt and hegemonic power structure and turn it to better ends show me that that doesn't work, right? And then I say, well, we certainly have far more influence over our families, our parents than the state, right? Of course, right? Certainly, we can trace the causality of our choices, decisions, and actions, and the reactions of our parents far more infinitely more accurately than we can understand how our interactions affect our parents directly and causally far more accurately than how our political involvement affects the size of government. right? I vote, I held some placards, I hammered in some lawn signs, I handed out some literature.

[11:33] There's no way that you could conceivably trace those actions to have any kind of real effect, or any kind of measurable effect on the size and power of government, right? But you certainly can isolate the variables with regards to your own family, right? You certainly can do that. That, I think, we can recognize is much more practical, right?

[11:55] Start Small: Reforming Local Power Structures

[11:55] So, if you say that you know that politics or you believe that politics will work in terms of reforming corrupt power structures, start small, you know, start with something that's manageable, start with something that's measurable, and attempt to reform the power structure called your family. More influence, more power, more authority, more immediacy, more measurability, more biofeedback, and you can see, you can take those principles. Now, of course, if those principles work with regards to your parents, who are, of course, when you're an adult, who are much more dependent on you, right? See, the state is not dependent on you.

[12:30] So you want to test your theory about overturning corrupt hegemonies on the smallest and least armed and least powerful hegemony that you have, right? That's where you want to test your theory about how your actions can reform a corrupt hegemony. Because when you're an adult, your parents are dependent on you, right? You don't have to see them. Often they're more sentimental than you are, particularly if they've been, you know, not the best people in the world. And so you can go and you can talk to them. And since they're getting older and are getting more dependent upon you, then you can show us all how you can reform corrupt power structures with regards to your own parents.

[13:15] Now, of course, if you can do that, then, of course, if you can sort of sit down with your parents and talk with them and get them to be much better people, right? Right, to apologize for the past, to truly reform in the present and in the future, and to be less abusive and so on, right, then I think that's fantastic, right? Then you've passed a particular hurdle. I've not been able to figure out how to do that, and nobody I've ever talked to who's ever sat down and confronted his or her parents has ever been able to achieve that, but maybe we're all missing something, right? And there's some magic ingredient or some a magic set of words that is going to turn all of this around, and it's going to turn our parents into much, much better people. Nobody's asking them to be perfect people, but to sit down with them and to be able to make them much better people, right?

[14:04] So if you're able to do that, I would be fascinated to hear that. Do let me know what you said and what you did. Let me interview your parents. Let's spread this good news about the fact that we don't have to defoo if we have bad parents or corrupt parents, that we can actually just go and apply this magic source or this amazing sequence of arguments or words that is going to reform them, and we can make them into much better people so that we actually want to spend time with them and so on, right? Share your wisdom and your knowledge in this area, because that would be a wonderful, wonderful gift to give to the rest of the world, to those of us who are not able to find a way to reform even this relatively simple and totally local power structure that we have complete influence over, where our parents are dependent upon us, not armed, and who are not taxing us, who are not profiting from our obeisance, our obedience, our subservience.

[14:59] Now, if you're able to do that, then I think that you've certainly been able to prove that it is possible to reform a power structure which is local, immediate, where you have an enormous amount of power and an influence where those who were formerly in control are now completely dependent on you, and which is not armed and not profiting from your obedience. That's got to be the easiest of them all. That's got to be the easiest of them all.

[15:25] A reason I focus on the family, and there's a reason why those who do focus on reforming their families give up on politics. Because reforming your family is like one-tenth of one-tenth of one-tenth of one-thousandth of one percent of the difficulty of reforming the state. Far more influenced, they're not armed, they don't profit from you, they're dependent upon you, you have immediate biofeedback. And so if you can't reform your family, then you recognize that, that if you can't take a step out of the bed, then you can't jump 500 miles. If you can't do the tiny little thing, then you can't reasonably expect to do the massive big thing, right? It'd be like coming across the Wright brothers in Kitty Hawk. Was it 1906 or 1908? Attempting to fly that plane, right? They say, well, we haven't been able to get this plane off the ground, but what we're doing is planning a trip to Jupiter. And you'd say, well, wouldn't you go for a step first? Like, wouldn't you take this step that's easier and more simple and more local and you have more control over and maybe just get this plane to fly 50 feet, 100 feet? No, no, no, no.

[16:30] No, that's silly. That's got nothing to do with flight, really.

[16:33] The Flight to Jupiter: Unrealistic Ambitions

[16:33] I mean, we're going for the trip to Jupiter. Well, wouldn't you just say that they'd be just lunatics? I mean, fundamentally, if they can't even get the plane off the ground for 50 feet, that they're spending all their time and energy planning a flight to Jupiter? Really? Wouldn't you just be like, okay, I don't even know what to say to you people because it's completely deranged what you're saying. And of course, in reality, we would know that the truth is that they knew damn well that they couldn't get the plane 50 feet off. They were just talking tough about flying to Jupiter, trying to impress people, trying to fool themselves, and trying to avoid the simple reality that they're not able to do, even at a tiny level, what they claim to be in participating and doing and contributing to at a macro level. But let's say that we are going to bypass the family, right? And we're not going to talk about that, and we're not going to try and deal with our parents, because we just figure that's beneath us. That's too easy to change. That's a no-brainer. There's no challenge in that. So we're not going to deal with attempting to reform our family or our parents. What we're going to do, see, is we're going to jump on another bandwagon, and you can try this one. If you have kids, then what you can do is you can try and get your children to change the curriculum in their public school. Lots of things that we can play around with. Lots of stuff that we can do to test our ability to change hegemonic power structures.

[17:57] So is it easier to dismantle the state? Is it easier to get rid of the power structures involved in the state? Or is it easier to get your kid to change the curriculum in his school? But his teacher's not armed, right? Teacher doesn't have a gun pointed at them. The teacher will not lose an income if the curriculum is changed, right? So all you can try and do is get the curriculum within your child's school, and your children can do this or you can do this to become more rational, to start teaching more libertarian principles and concepts.

[18:26] The teachers won't be thrown out of work themselves directly if they end up teaching these concepts, right? So, again, they're not directly armed themselves and so on. And of course, you can measure that by feedback much more quickly, right? So, if you start working to get the curriculum changed to include more pro-freedom, pro-libertarian, pro-rational, pro-philosophical, pro-economic, pro-sensible concepts, you can measure that, right? You can measure that progress. So you can look at the curriculum this year, you can spend an enormous amount of time, effort, and energy working to change that curriculum, and then you can look at that curriculum next year. And you can measure whether or not you've been able to affect that curriculum to become more sensible, rational, logical, and so on.

[19:08] Again, we want local, measurable stuff, where if you have the magical power to be able to reform a hegemony, non-profit oriented, not non-directly violent, where you have much more influence than you do over the federal government. You have much more influence over your local school than you do over the federal government, right? So you just attempt to reform that hierarchy, right? And you put all the time and effort in that you would, right, to support this, that, and the other, to go to rallies, to, I don't know, you put your videos on YouTube, you spend your money, you donate, you work night night and day, tirelessly, to attempt to reform your local school board, right? And if you can do that, that's fantastic. Of course, that's doing much more for liberty than putting a libertarian in charge of the federal government, right? It's teaching children rational and libertarian concepts.

[19:56] Ah, but you see, what happens if you can't do that? What happens when you have more influence, it's more local, it's more measurable, they don't have violence, you're They're not getting rid of their jobs. They don't have violence directly. What happens if you can't do that?

[20:12] Reforming the State vs. Reforming Family and School

[20:13] Say that reforming a school curriculum is more ambitious than reforming your parents, because you have... It's more challenging than reforming your parents, because you have less direct control and so on over them. But it's still a million, million, million, million miles away from reforming the state, right? I think that's fairly safe to say. So can you reform your local school board and get a libertarian curriculum put in? If not, then give up this shit about reforming the state. And just start small. And just start small.

[20:50] Critique of Non-Interventionist Libertarianism

[20:51] So a gentleman named L-I-M-I, Limey, we'll call him, on the board, has been pushing this Roderick Long article. And I'm sure Roderick Long is a fine anarcho-capitalist. He's a professor of philosophy at, I think, Auburn College in the U.S. He's the head of the Molinari Institute. No relation. it's no relation. And Dr.

[21:12] Long has published an article, and I didn't read the whole thing because with all due respect, it just struck me as a bunch of nonsense about reforming the state, right? That we should get involved in political reforms plus do personal stuff and so on. The reason being, and he sort of gave this Superman metaphor, and I'm not going to criticize him for cheesy metaphors. That's definitely pot kettle black situation. But But our good friend Mr. Long posted a critique of non-interventionist libertarianism. And what he said was, he said, okay, well, imagine we're in Smallville and Lex Luthor is driving a big juggernaut that's going to flatten the town. And Superman is talking to Lois Lane and Lois Lane says, you should fly up, Superman, and knock Lex Luthor off the juggernaut and so on and take control of this juggernaut and turn it and this and that and the other.

[22:06] And Superman is then supposed to say, like, according to his interpretation of the non-interventionist anarchic or libertarian doctrines, well, no, I don't want to gain control of that machine because it's a machine that's used for evil, so I don't want to gain control of that machine and spin the wheel on that juggernaut to turn it away from the town because that would be bad and wrong and nobody should have control over that juggernaut and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And, again, with all due respect, it just seemed to me to be the most specious nonsense Because the state is not a machine, right? People. I mean, if you spin the wheel on a machine, the machine is going to turn, right? Unless it's broken. But when you attempt to take away people's livelihood and pride and status, they're going to react very violently, right?

[22:53] The more correct analogy would be that there is a mafia that is terrorizing the town, and Lois Lane is saying to Superman, dude, you should attempt to gain control over this mafia and turn them to good, right? You should attempt to infiltrate this mafia, rise to the very top, and then turn it to good, right? And even if we accept the vague and mad possibility that you could spend years of your life rising through the mafia ranks without getting corrupted and that nobody would ever spot that you were, you know, Superman and so on, if you ever were to get to the top of this violent, brutal gang structure, and then you said, well, we're not going to do any more drug running. We're not going to do any more extortion. We're not going to run prostitutes anymore. We're not going to run any numbers rackets. We're not going to do any shakedowns and so on, and not going to run any gambling. What we're going to do is become legitimate businessmen and give to charity.

[23:57] I mean, seriously, what do you think is going to happen? Seriously, what do you think is going to to happen. Because that, of course, is what is being suggested. Well, people aren't going to say, well, you're in charge, so I guess we'll just do that, right? They're going to say, well, we're not going to obey you, right? We're not going to obey you. And if you rat us out, we're going to kill you. In fact, we'll probably just kill you anyway, because we know that you're not, you've been fooling us this whole time. We're mad at you. And not only are we not going to obey you, we're going to kill you, right? Because the mafia is there to serve the interests of each individual. It's not a big machine with some wheel. The government's not some big machine with a wheel at the helm that you can turn and guide it like a combine harvester or a car or something.

[24:40] The Nature of Government

[24:40] The government serves the needs of every individual. I mean, corrupt needs and gross needs and horrible needs and so on, but nonetheless, it serves the needs of every individual who is a member of that government, right? And they don't join the government because they want to take orders, right? They join the government because they want to profit from the government or because the government has barred other forms of entry into the occupation and so on, right? Like teachers or whatever, it's harder to get a private school position, right? So, if you get in in charge of the government and you say, we're no longer going to do X, Y, and Z, we're going to get rid of the Department of Education or whatever, then you have, I don't know, 100,000 bureaucrats who stand to lose their jobs.

[25:22] Well, are they just going to say, well, you clearly don't want the Department of Education, so we're going to shuffle off quietly into that good night and we're not going to write? If you join the mafia and you rise to the top and then you say, hey, we're getting rid of all the hitmen. But the hitmen are only in the mafia because they want to make money from killing people. Why? If you just say, we're getting rid of this whole department, what do you think is going to happen? A government is an ecosystem of corrupt self-interest, right? It's not a machine that you can just pick and choose in turn and do this, that, and the other way. That's not what the government is. The government is an ecosystem of competing self-interest. There is no leadership, that it recognizes and obeys. If you try and take away the guns from the hitmen, they'll shoot you. And if you try and take away the benefits that accrue to individuals through the government, they will fight you. They are using the government to foster their own illicit self-interest, at worst.

[26:17] So they're not just going to sit there and say, oh, well, you're getting rid of it, well, we won't do anything. It's not a machine that you can turn. Right? The people, right, the hitmen will only vote in, so to speak, will only support a leader who advances their individual self-interest. You understand? If I'm a hitman in the mafia, I want to make more money and I want to kill more people. You've got to be kind of sadistic to be a hitman, right? So I'm only going to support a leader who allows me to follow those ends, to make more money and kill more people. Maybe I'd be happier if I just made more money. But what people don't understand when they look at the government is it's not a top-down hegemony. It's not a dog wagging a tail. It's not somebody steering a car, right? The people only support those leaders who can enhance their illicit income, right? It's a very, very important thing to understand. This is why political action will never work, right? As I've talked about before, it will take about three days to get rid of anybody who genuinely wanted to get rid of the Department of Education. The teachers would all go on strike, the parents would have no place to put their children, and the government would collapse.

[27:32] Simple. And if you tried to get rid of the IRS, then everybody, before you were able to do it, everybody who was prominent in that movement and anybody else who'd ever signed a petition or anybody else that they could track down would get audited with the implicit agreement that if they stopped what they were doing, that their audits would be rescinded. They would no longer be audited. If you try to get rid of the Department of Roads, right? You don't just sign it and everyone goes home. They fight back. So if you try to get rid of the Department of Roads, all they'll do is they'll say that there's emergency road repairs, and they'll shut down all the major highways. And the economy will come to a standstill, and everybody will be screaming mad.

[28:17] And old-age homes will not get their deliveries of food, and people will start to die. You'll be called a murderer, and it will all be called off. This is not a machine that you... Government is not a machine that you can steer. Right? Government is a set of guns, and people only give the guns to those who are going to give them the most illicit gains. And if anybody threatens those illicit gains, they will simply be undermined, attacked, humiliated, destroyed, exposed, embarrassed. And that's it. Game over, right? If you try to privatize the police department, all that will happen is that the police will plant drugs on you, and you will be up on charges, and very bad things will happen to you. If you try to privatize electricity, they'll be rolling blackouts until people say, well, we have to stop this.

[29:08] Strategies of the Powerful

[29:09] Essential to understand that the people who are in the government will use any conceivable strategy whatsoever, including killing people. And I don't mean sort of explicitly, but they're self-righteous and fully confident in their beliefs of the virtue of what they're doing. We see this very clearly, right?

[29:29] I'm not making any of this stuff up. I'm just sort of running my mouth off here. Up here in Canada, in Toronto, we have a budget crisis at City Hall, right? They've been raising taxes, is raising taxes, got all the money on the planet, but all they've done is gone on a spending spree, right? Paid off all their friends. Everybody who's on city council is sickeningly rich. And so now they have to cut back, right? They're running out. They can't tax that much more. People are already fleeing Toronto for the suburbs because the taxes are too high. So what are they doing? Well, they're closing the recreational centers, right? And they're threatening to cut back on the police budget and cut back on public transit. it. All of these things were fully paid for 20, 30 years ago when the budget was like 30% of what it is now. But what they do if they run out of money is they just cut essential services until people say, well, fine, since you've fucking got us held hostage, we'll pay for these goddamn essential services. Although they were all being paid for 40 years ago when the budget was one tenth what it is now. But this is how the government protects itself. Everybody who's in the government will act to maintain their self-interest. You put Ron Paul in office, he is not going to be able to change a goddamn thing. And all that's going to happen is people are going to say, well, see, libertarianism doesn't work. See, this is the danger. The only thing worse than Ron Paul not getting elected is Ron Paul getting elected president.

[30:51] Because what will happen is Ron Paul will be this libertarian guy who says, I'm going to get rid of X, Y, and Z. And let's say he actually gives it a shot. Let's say he actually tries to give it a shot. He says, I'm getting rid of the Department of Education. Well, all the teachers go on strike. Kids end up having to go on so long, and parents lose their jobs, and tax revenue collapses, which means that essential services get cut. And kids end up having to repeat a year. This happened up here in Canada. Somebody tried to take on the teachers' union. Kids ended up having to take a year over again, if I remember rightly, or at least lost half a year. And so, what are people going to remember? They're going to remember that whenever a libertarian gets into office, their kids end up having to repeat a year. Whenever a libertarian gets into office, they get fired or lose income. If he tries to get rid of the roads, oh yeah, man, whenever a libertarian gets into office, we can't use the highways. Economy comes to a standstill, I lose half my income.

[31:42] Lost his job. Whenever a libertarian gets into office, everything goes into the shitter. Let's never ever have a libertarian back in office, right? I mean, there's a reason why Ronald Reagan promised to get rid of the Department of Education and the Department of Energy and didn't touch him. Look what happened to Schwarzenegger, a supposed small government conservative. He's done nothing. Nothing. He's ended up having to bow down to the unions because they'll, I mean, they won't throw you in the river because you're too public, but they'll definitely completely destroy the economy, me, right?

[32:13] So, I mean, there's just no possible way that this is ever going to work, right? You can't get rid of the government through political action. That's why, I mean, again, I'm not making this stuff up. You can look all this stuff up, and this is all stuff that is completely evident for the past 150 years. The classical liberals, libertarians, and anarchists have been trying to use political power to get rid of the state. I mean, the things are hydra. You cut off one head and two more grow. Until you undo the principles at the bottom of it, it's going to continue to grow. But of course, there's another thing that you can do. If you believe that you have the power and amazing ability to reform corrupt hegemonies, all you have to do is join a government union and get it to privatize its services.

[32:58] I mean, do you understand how ridiculous this sounds? Do you understand why I laugh at the people?

[33:04] Urban Budget Crisis

[33:04] And it's not because I think they're dumb, Right? It's just that whenever we talk about these kinds of situations, it's perfectly clear to everyone what a ludicrous suggestion it is. So go and join the postal service, right? And become a mailman or do something like that. And then start working from the inside of the postal service, the USPS or Canada Post or wherever you are. Become a mailman, become part of the union, and run for leadership of that union by saying, hey, I am going to completely privatize the mail and see what happens. I mean, what do you think is going to happen? Seriously, what do you think is going to happen?

[33:47] Seems like too much work for you. No problem. Well, what you can do is you can buy a little farm and you can join the farmer's union and you can then run to be head of the farmer's union or whatever the hell it is. And you can say, well, my goal is to get rid of all agricultural subsidies. I'm joining the farmer's union in order to get rid of all agricultural subsidies. And without a doubt, both in the postal service and in the school example that I gave, and also in the example of the Farmers' Union, there will be people who agree with you. There will be people who want to get rid of all of this stuff. Of course, I guarantee that that is going to be the case. And you will maybe get some support, and certainly some of the consumers who want these things will support you. But seriously, why do you think it is that no libertarian who espouses political action has ever been able to reform, let alone his family, right, or who's been able to reform an institution like a local school curriculum, or a teacher's union or some sort of public sector union, or, you know, to take it even more privately.

[34:55] How about you join a union, say, at your workplace. Let's say you work in a factory, a car, an auto plant or whatever, that you join the union, and you join the union with the express and open statement of saying, I want to get rid of union powers. I want to reduce the powers of this union. There will be some workers, perhaps, who want the power of the union reduced. But, you know, as we know from game theory, right, the people with more to lose are much more active than the people with less to gain. Right? That's why this sort of never works, right? So that's sort of what it is that I'm suggesting, right? And it's the same suggestion that our dear departed friend Harry Brown would make about the people in Washington. Because the people in Washington would say, we can go over to Iraq and we can make this great society and this great democracy, And he'd say, well, great. Washington has the highest murder rate. I think it's down now, but at that time. So why don't you turn Washington into the shining city on the hill?

[35:57] And then you can turn to Washington State, and then you can turn to the Northeast or the Midwest and continue to escalate. But if you can't even do it locally, right, if you can't even turn Washington, D.C. With the right, or at least a similar culture and same language and, you know, shared history and complete control, passive population, largely unarmed, fewer crazy Muslims, if you can't even turn Washington into a paradise, what the hell are you doing trying to turn Iraq into a paradise, right? Right. And so when I talk to people who are very interested in political action, what I will generally do is I will try to point out that there are many, many more immediate labs or circumstances that they can try out their theories of reducing hegemonic power and control through action in the personal sphere. With their friends, with their family and so on. Since drug is a power that politicians get addicted to, there's even an analogy that you could work that is even closer to home, wherein you could, say, pick a drug addict in your neighborhood. They're not that hard to find, or a prostitute, or somebody who's obviously mired in a kind of pretty unhealthy lifestyle, and you could attempt to reform that person, right?

[37:23] Certainly you have, I mean, if you're willing to spend time and money, get an addict into rehab or something like that, or get a prostitute off the streets or whatever, you have the time and money to be able to pursue that, and so you should pursue that. And you should attempt to reform somebody in the here and now where you have more control, more power, more influence, more ability to measure the results of whatever it is that you're trying to do. Start local. Start with what is possible. Start with what you can do. Start with what you can measure. Start with what you can control, with what you have direct influence over. I mean, Jesus Christ, the federal government, give me a break of all of the massive platonic bullshit clouds to pour your promises of change into and your feelings of efficacy and control. What a load of nonsense.

[38:14] The Illusion of Political Change

[38:15] That lightly, and I don't say that because I think that the supporters of Ron Paul and they're just direct enemies or anything like that. It's just that it's the same damn story every single time. It's the same story every single time. Every single time somebody says, I believe that political change is how we're going to do it, or it's a key component, or it's a significant part, or it's any part. And I say, well, which hegemonies have you used this theory to overthrow? Grow. How about your parents? How about your teachers? How about your boss? Assuming you're in a sort of corruptor, right? If you're in the public sector, for sure, right? How about your local school curriculum? How about your local government union? How about your local government? To help with the federal government, work to get elected to your local city council, pull a Clint Eastwood, all right? Need an ordinance to join the government and then try and shrink it. You don't need to worry about the federal government. There are so many more localized hegemonies that you can take on.

[39:15] So what I always really dislike, I never dislike, what do you care about my likes or dislikes? But there's, I think, some principled reasons behind this. I never dislike anybody who says, this is my belief. Even if it's the most nonsensical belief that you can imagine. I'm no problem. We've all had mistaken beliefs in the past and so on. It's not that people believe that politics is a reasonable solution to the problem of state power. I mean, that's fine, right? It's just what happens when people are asked to put their theories to the test, right? See, if you genuinely believe that your theory is valid, then you should welcome the chance to put it to the test, right?

[40:04] Course, have directly influenced it, sorry, directly implemented it in your own life. All right, so if somebody says to me, oh yeah, well, how do I know that your plan or your program increases my personal freedom? I can prove it to you, because you can act on stuff that's going to get you out of unchosen positive obligations today, right now, immediately, and it's going to save you money. So I can absolutely prove to you that my approach to liberty works immediately now Now, with tangible, measurable benefits and results, I've done it myself. I'm not only living proof, but can easily prove it to you. So, that's my approach to the question or the problem of how do you prove this stuff to someone. No qualms, no evasion. Done it, tested it, proven it. Tried to reform my family, tried to reform corrupt business partners, tried to reform, I mean, both parents, extended family, siblings. I've tried to reform hegemonic power structures throughout my life and throughout my world. You can see this on the board. I try to reform people and reason with them. There's a reason that I do all of this, not because I think they're going to change, but I want you to see over and over again how people who are corrupt don't change.

[41:23] The One-Way Street of Corruption

[41:23] Corruption is a one-way street, by and large, particularly when it's pointed out and you continue. When I figured out my own capacity for corruption and worked to change, I was able to change, but I was genuinely unconscious of that corrupt power, my power to exploit others, as I've talked about. When I recognized it, I did what I could to reform the situation and then left it. When I couldn't, I dedicated my life to fighting this kind of corruption. So, I mean, it's not, you know, oh my God, I've been corrupt once, that's it for me, right? But when people are exposed to the testability of their thesis, right? Right, you have one of two choices, right? The most important choices you'll ever make in your life, most important choices you'll ever make in your life is how you handle a flaw in your theory. So, you know, you see Christians, they say, well, God is real because the Bible tells me so, oh, and God is omniscient, and I talk to God, and so you say, okay, well, if God is omniscient.

[42:22] Then the way that we test this is you ask God a question that you could not know the answer to, but which I know the answer to. My mother's maiden name or something like that. And then we can test whether or not you have access to someone, some omniscient thing, right? And then if they say, you know what? I never really thought of that. I guess that is testable. Let's give it a shot. I just kind of assumed it, but, you know, it's perfectly reasonable to ask this question, right? I certainly can't blame you for asking. It's kind of an outlandish claim to say, I have the pipeline to omniscience, so let's test it. Let's test it. It's the same thing when you talk about agnostics who are doing this fence-sitting, right? I can understand it. It seems like an intellectually respectful position to take and to hold. So when you put the invisible iPod test out and stuff like that, if they say, well, you know, I hadn't thought about that. Let me think about it. And, you know, they actually do think about it and get back to you, right, in some alternate universe where this stuff happens. It does happen occasionally, but not often.

[43:17] This is somebody who is in intellectual pursuit of truth and is respectfully trying to understand and is not wed to a conclusion, but to a methodology. I think that these people are perfectly worthy of respect, and I have the most amazing admiration for these people, in my opinion. But 99.9% of the time, people will just make up some bullshit to cloud the question, right? Right? So you say to somebody who says, God is omniscient and I can talk to God. And you say, great. Okay. What was my mother's maiden name? You can ask God. I'll give you a couple of seconds. It shouldn't take any longer than that because he's omniscient. He knows you're going to ask the question, right? You should have it totally ready. And if they say, well, it doesn't work that way and so on, right? That you don't understand and God is not a toy and is not a trick. He doesn't do tricks and blah, blah. It's all this kind of stuff, right? Well, then they're just making up more bullshit because they know the truth and they're avoiding the truth, right? So they know exactly what not to do. If somebody says, God exists and I know it because of this and this and this proof, and you say, okay, well, let's take this proof on the road and let's see how it works. Let's put it to the test. And they immediately avoid that. It's because they know there's no truth. There's no truth in the proposition. So when you say to a Ron Paul supporter who says, or somebody who says, political action will control a corrupt hegemony, corrupt power structure, and you say, great, clearly you must have done this already if you know that it's possible. Show me the evidence you've reformed your family you've reformed your local school board you've reformed your local union.

[44:45] Haven't done any of that, and they don't say, you know, that's true. That's an excellent point. Surely I should run it through something that's smaller, more manageable, more testable before I make the claims about it in something as large and diffuse as my actions versus the federal government.

[45:01] Surely I can at least start with my parents. That's perfectly right. I do have some issues with my parents. I do think that they've missed the boat in certain ways. So let me go and reform my parents and make them better people, and then I'll do something larger and so on, and I'll come back to you, right? I didn't spend 20 years putting my theories into practice to bow down to people who won't put thing one to practice in their premises. I didn't struggle my way through theater school and a history degree and graduate school and beat my head against the wall of people who didn't listen to reason and try to reform people who didn't listen to reason and try to bring a more rational curriculum to a Marxist professor and then go into therapy and try and reform a romantic relationship or two and try to reform my parents and then my brother and then my business partners and try and do, I mean, all of these countless, I didn't do all of that to find that it doesn't work, to then bow down to somebody who just asserts something that's untestable, that they've never tried to implement in their own personal life. Come on. It's embarrassing to see. It is embarrassing to see. Do you know how crappy somebody looks when they assert something as a positive or possible way of doing something, and you ask them for proof that they have achieved with the implementation of that theory, and they try to run you down like you're not supposed to have evidence?

[46:29] Theory vs. Practice

[46:30] You're never supposed to put your own theories into practice. Your theories are for, like, Ron Paul, the Constitution, and the federal government. Not your friends. Not your wife. Not your family. No, no, no. Not your immediate social circle. Not your union. Not the people that you actually have some influence over that you can reform for the better. Not for the local prostitutes and drug dealers and mafia. Mafia. I've yet to meet an atheist who's pro-Rom Paul, who is also supporting a priest who's going to overthrow organized religion, or who has joined the priesthood, or who has joined his local church council in order to get rid of religion. All I'm asking is that you put your own goddamn theories into practice. That's all I'm asking. Stop waffling and talking, talking, talking. Put them into to practice. Show us how it's done. If you know so much that you know how to overthrow the titanic evil of the state. Show us how if you're ready to face off the dragon, you've managed to flick a little gecko off your arm. Is that so much to ask? That if you say you can take down Mike Tyson, Listen, that I asked to look for other fights you've had and won. If you say you can take down, you know how to take down Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali.

[47:59] If you say you know how to take down the heavyweight champion of all time, can I at least ask whether you've beaten up and beaten a fight in Girl Guide Land? Because your parents have much less power over you than the state does. Your parents are to Mike Tyson as a little girl guidance. Sorry, your parents are to the state as little girl guidance to Mike Tyson. Much, I mean, the comparison isn't even close.

[48:29] You know how to take down Mike Tyson? Is it reasonable for me to say, so you're ready for the heavyweight championship of the world? Can you show me how your fight tactics have worked on lesser fighters? Have you at least been able to take down a featherweight? Have you? And if you say, no, I've never had a fight before. I never actually put these fighting tips into practice. And I say, okay, well, if you want to enter the heavyweight championship and bring down the state, can you do me a favor? Can you just go and fight this bantamweight guy? And you're like, Like, no, no, no, no. I don't do that. You know why you don't do it? The reason you don't goddamn well do it is you know you're never going to be in the ring with Mike Tyson. You're just talking. Just talk, talk, talk. Cowardly bullshit talk. Do it with your family. I'm impressed. Do it with a school board. I'm impressed. Do it with a local council. I'm impressed. Do it with a public sector union. I'm impressed. Do it with a state. I'm impressed. I'm behind you. 150% brother. But don't talk tough to me about how you're going to bring down the goddamn federal government and then say, well, I'm not going to confront my mother. I'm not going to confront my mother. I'm all about taking on the U.S. Army. But I'm not about being honest with mom. Please. It's embarrassing. Stop it. Thank you for listening and donating. I look forward to more donations. Don't forget my book, Untruth, the Tyranny of Illusion. I will talk to you soon.

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June 2024

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