Take a look at this:
Stephan is a great thinker, but it seems that what he cannot do is empathise with other people.
While he is sipping coffee in his house in Canada, Hillary Clinton and Obama are at this moment concocting another lie / pretext to unleash mass murder on people, namely Iran:
Canada, which he funds with his taxes by his own admission, will no doubt be a part of this criminal act.
Should Ron Paul become president before they are able to launch this mass murder, he will be able to prevent it.
For this reason alone, Ron Paul should be supported. Its all very well sitting in the safety of your own home in the empire, and paying taxes to support it, complaining that Ron Paul doesn’t want to dismantle the state, while your money is being used to kill Iranian children.The most pressing matter on the table is will it be more mass murder or not. In the short term, stopping the mass murder of millions of Iranians is more important than wether or not you can eliminate the State with the power of the State.
If Stefan himself and his daughter were facing annihilation at the hands of Hillary Clinton, I am sure that his attitude would be quite different, because it is his daughter’s life that is going to be wiped out, or not, depending on the election of Ron Paul.
Marcus Aurelius, Claudius and the other ‘good emperors’ legitimised the idea of empire. It is argued that these good emperors are actually bad in the long run, because they restore faith in the possibility that the State can be made to behave. We understand this. What we also understand, which Stefan apparently does not, is that mass murder by the American empire is real, and more of it is imminent.
I look at the mass murder of other people in the same light as if it were being done to me and my family. This is the difference between people who have empathy for others and those that do not. We are in an emergency situation, where if Ron Paul is not elected, millions of people will die. This is not the same sort of ‘national emergency’ where a State has to mobilise to do harm – its quite the opposite.
All the other things that Ron Paul promises to do, rid us of the Department of Education, and everything else he wants to do and will do are irrelevant.
Stefan only offers straw man examples of national strikes and civil unrest as reasons why the State cannot eliminate the State, but once again all of this is irrelevant to Iranians who are about to be wiped out with his money. Furthermore, any attempt to eliminate the State, no matter who initiates the programme, is going to cause its clients and cronies to revolt. Is there a scenario where the dependent, the corrupt, the inured are not going to fight back? This is fallacious (straw man) thinking.
On the one hand, Stefan says that we should not wait for the slavery to end. He gives the example of the cotton pickers, and the questions the people at that time asked, “how is the cotton going to be picked?”. He explains how the combine harvester and internal combustion engine, two incomprehensible technologies which made slavery irrelevant as a source of horsepower, and how if you were to describe these inventions to the people back then, they would say you are insane. The same thing is true of this video. Stefan is saying that people will riot; the old, “there will be blood in the streets” argument against change. He even trots out the, “who will deliver the mail” argument. Of course, none of this actually matters, by his own words, the only thing that matters is that slavery ends. The problems will work themselves out in a free society.
If the postal workers go on strike, FedEx will deliver the mail. If the teachers go on strike, the parents, freed from Federal control of their schools will hire new ones. There is an answer for every one of his objections, and as he himself explains, there are answers that we cannot even imagine that will emerge spontaneously out of the vacuum left by the partially dismantled State.
These objections simply do not pass muster. Fear of the future is a very strong deterrent to change. It is irrational and unfounded, and it seems, used by both the proponents and detractors of Libertarianism.
The tough personal work that Stefan talks about should include not paying for mass murder. You can talk all you like. Talking is good. While you keep paying for the bullets, the guns that should be ‘put down’, the mass murder continues unabated. Deriding people for begging the state, while at the same time, allowing that same State to steal from you and freely admitting it, “because you do not want to get into trouble” makes the derision sound a little hollow. Rather than belittle people, pull funny faces and castigate people for having no pride, why not lead by example and refuse to finance the war machine? There are many people:
who are doing precisely that, at great risk to themselves, having correctly determined that passive consent to the war machine is what keeps it oiled and killing. Ron Paul will pardon all of these people by the way, along with all those imprisoned for non violent victimless crimes. The war tax resisters have the ‘balls’ that Stefan is asking others to demonstrate that they own. These are the people who are ‘living freedom’, by not allowing their money to feed the State.
I need not point out that Ron Paul wants to abolish the income tax, so that the theft of the State (to that extent) would be eliminated.
Praxeologists understand that man prioritises his needs to reduce his unease. Mass murder makes me uneasy. The number one priority is that this is stopped. Ron Paul is therefore at the top of the list of imperfect solutions to stop this hideous crime.
Once he has dismantled the international infrastructure of the empire, we can then point blank refuse to take part in anything the State cares to try and impose. For certain, such a tactic would be far more likely to succeed with Ron Paul as president, rather than, say, Mitt Romney. Or Hillary Clinton.
We reject the, “whole stinking evil pit of the State”. We understand the good emperor problem. What we are unwilling to do however, is wait seventy years like the Soviets did to get rid of their empire, only to find that someone else is now in charge of the rusted and decaying apparatus of the State. We are not willing to wait for the illiterate masses to wake up, while millions of people are being blown to bits and hundreds of millions injured, poisoned, abused and displaced while taxpayers sip coffee in the heart of the empire.
‘Staring people down’ sounds very much like ‘speak truth to power’; its meaningless, it isn’t even a strategy. Ron Paul, for all his faults, has an explicit, examinable, detailed strategy. In this strategy, he will immediately prevent the unjustifiable violent deaths of millions of Iranians, by using his power as commander and chief of the armed forces. This is something worth supporting, even if that support is only in word and not expressed in a vote or a donation. There is nothing ’embarrassing’ about preventing mass murder.
Freedom is indeed a multi generational project. It is not going to happen overnight. It is very probably going to be dismantled over time. Ron Paul is starting this, and someone else will finish it. Anyone who has some actual, concrete strategies with deliverables to offer, by all means, offer them. We live in an age where everyone can publish and share ideas, tactics and strategies. What is needed are tactics and strategies that have discrete goals and deliverables, not more calls to demonstrate and wooly meaningless catchphrases.
Finally mockery of the billions of religious people who all power the State is not a very good idea, when you are trying to convince people that Libertarianism is desirable and viable. One the one hand, Stefan says that images of riots will put people off of Libertarianism, on the other, the most popular philosopher on the internet regularly disparages, mocks and denigrates the religious; if you really believe that the simple people out there can be so easily swayed against Libertarianism by a few images, surely it is not a good idea to mock their deeply held beliefs, which make them turn away from the truth you are offering?
No one is perfect. I think Stefan, despite his views on the value of supporting Ron Paul, and his attacks on the religious, does a very good job of explaining the complicated (to the brainwashed) ideas of Libertarianism in simple language. What I have done here is use his video as a foil. I support Stefan and his work. I spread his videos, when I agree with their content… and when I do not.
And there you have it!