The Reality of Things

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“Food for Thought” is an original column appearing sporadically on Tuesdays at Everything-Voluntary.com, by Norman Imberman. Norman is a retired podiatrist who loves playing piano, writing music, lawn bowling, bridge, reading, classical music, going to movies, plays, concerts and traveling. He is not a member of any social network, nor does he plan on becoming one. Dr. Imberman has written a fantastic Christmas song which he had professionally recorded as a demonstration record. He is looking for a publisher, or A & R man, or record producer to listen to his song. It deserves to be a permanent member of the portfolio of familiar and favorite Christmas songs. Archived columns can be found here. FFT-only RSS feed available here.

I am not a Democrat. I am not a Republican. I am not a Liberal, Conservative, Libertarian or Independent. My credo is that ALL forms of coercion and the threat of coercion—theft, rape, force, fraud, kidnapping, the purposeful infliction of bodily harm—are evil acts no matter who or what organization inflicts the coercion. The perpetration of coercion for a good intention is just as evil as for a bad intention since it creates victims. Politicians are the prime perpetrators of coercion in a society since they, with the sanction of the populace, inflict the most coercion. It should be evident that my doctrine is a doctrine of peace and all doctrines that sanction and condone its opposite are doctrines causing class warfare, domestic warfare and international warfare—note the state of the country and the world.

The most evil politicians are those presently in office since they are in the position to inflict, and actually do, perpetrate the most harm to a society. Right now, July 20, 2016, president Obama and his administration are the most evil and the most destructive of society. Once a new president takes office, he or she and the new administration will then become the most evil and destructive. So if I criticize Obama I am not picking just on him. The time will come when the next administration will be in office and receive my wrath. My disdain is universal and equal towards all sides of the aisle. I’m an equal opportunity critic and display no favorites and show no mercy towards political action. There is no such thing as good coercion. All coercion is evil and must be recognized as anathema to the well being of mankind.

So when I criticize liberals, I do so with vehemence and bitterness. Their coercive policies are the cause of the ills of society. In like manner, I criticize conservatives with the same vehemence and bitterness. They too are the cause of the ills of society. Both factions are birds of a feather. Both think that their form of coercion is good coercion. It makes no difference if you (yourself) can’t figure out how to fashion a society of peace after castigating the ideology of coercion. The first step towards the salvation of mankind is to do away with coercion. If the people of the country would simply abandon the ideology of coercion, in time, harmony, prosperity and peace would follow as surely as night follows day. Once people are actually free to exchange, create and associate, the amount of peace and prosperity that will be unleashed upon the world will make the past progress of mankind seem to have grown at a glacial pace.

Where do you stand on this issue? Are you a victim creator? Do you favor coercion or do you favor only voluntary exchanges among people? If you favor coercion, no matter how limited, you should not complain when its effects backfire against you or your loved ones. The backfiring is already in progress. The evidence is seen in the increase in the number of victims amassing on the planet.


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If the Shoe Fits, Wear It

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“Food for Thought” is an original column appearing sporadically on Tuesdays at Everything-Voluntary.com, by Norman Imberman. Norman is a retired podiatrist who loves playing piano, writing music, lawn bowling, bridge, reading, classical music, going to movies, plays, concerts and traveling. He is not a member of any social network, nor does he plan on becoming one. Dr. Imberman has written a fantastic Christmas song which he had professionally recorded as a demonstration record. He is looking for a publisher, or A & R man, or record producer to listen to his song. It deserves to be a permanent member of the portfolio of familiar and favorite Christmas songs. Archived columns can be found here. FFT-only RSS feed available here.

It’s an accepted idea that friends wish each other well—that they want to see good things happen to each other—that they want no harm to come to each other. Friends respect each other’s property, don’t advocate that their friends be shackled, kidnapped, extorted, plundered, raped or threatened and feel joy when their friends do well in life.

So you claim to be my friend. You believe that you behave very kindly and benevolently towards me. However, what goes on behind the scene is a story of utter hypocrisy.

Behind my back you sanction the most horrendous acts to fall upon me. You support and encourage theft in the form of taxes, kidnapping (if you favor a draft), theft of my home (if you favor eminent domain), loss of my freedom of choice (if you favor government regulation), plunder of my savings (if you favor fines and taxes). You condone all kinds of harm to befall me in the name of some indefinable mystical benevolence. You even try to stifle my freedom of expression in the name of “political correctness.”

And to make matters worse you encourage and support the idea that if I refuse to follow these preferences of yours, I should either have my life savings confiscated and/or be incarcerated, and if I don’t like being incarcerated and therefore attempt to escape the place in which you incarcerated me, I should be shot or killed using your preferred method of killing.

Look at yourself and tell me that it isn’t so. I know all of your excuses. I heard them hundreds of times. “The well-being of the few must be sacrificed for the good of the many.” “How else can a society function without coercion?” “Although it may harm a few, we only have good intentions to help the downtrodden.” “Why do you want more when you have enough?” “You must break an egg in order to make an omelet.” “The selfish desires of the rich must be thwarted in order to support and raise up the poor.” “One man’s need constitutes an obligation upon the actions and property of another.” It’s the picture painted of the society in the novel 1984, by George Orwell.

What my friends refuse to look at is the fact that I am one of the few being sacrificed, I am the one being coerced, I am one of the eggs they want to break. I don’t wish or act in any way to force such egregious harm upon my friends. To assuage their consciences they think to themselves that all of us are in the same predicament and that is supposed to make it right and easy to swallow.

A dictionary definition of the word “enemy” reads as follows: “One feeling or displaying hostility or malice toward another—a hostile force or power—member or unit of such a force—something having destructive effects.” Don’t tell me that you don’t feel malice towards me so therefore you shouldn’t be thought of an enemy. The harmful acts you inflict are acts of hostility. It’s more dangerous than the harm that is inflicted maliciously because when it is perpetrated in the name of love and kindness, not only is it praised by the masses as acts of altruism, it’s seldom recognized for the evil that it is.

It seems that the definition of the word “enemy” fits the thinking and activities of my “friends.” My “friends” are members of the voting force that brings these destructive effects upon me, and my loved ones. My “friends,” if the shoe fits, wear it, and feel ashamed.


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A Prediction About The Fate of Healthcare in America

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“Food for Thought” is an original column appearing every other Tuesday at Everything-Voluntary.com, by Norman Imberman. Norman is a retired podiatrist who loves playing piano, writing music, lawn bowling, bridge, reading, classical music, going to movies, plays, concerts and traveling. He is not a member of any social network, nor does he plan on becoming one. Dr. Imberman has written a fantastic Christmas song which he had professionally recorded as a demonstration record. He is looking for a publisher, or A & R man, or record producer to listen to his song. It deserves to be a permanent member of the portfolio of familiar and favorite Christmas songs. Archived columns can be found here. FFT-only RSS feed available here.

Now that State-run or State-controlled healthcare has become an accepted premise by both sides of the political aisle and by most of the populace, the future of health care is easy to predict.

America has taken the advice of Nancy Pelosi and passed the Obamacare legislation in order to “see what’s in it” and brother we sure found out. So it needs either improvement or it needs to be replaced. The Left, if it remains in power, will look for ways to improve its disastrous faux pas so it will pass more stringent legislation resulting in a worsening of the situation and greater tyranny. The Right will try to repeal Obamacare and replace it with their “new” form of healthcare. If they fail to repeal it they will be forced to join the Left and also attempt to improve it. However, no matter which form it takes, doctors will remain employees of the State resulting in greater dissatisfaction amongst the entire profession. Be aware that under a socialized medicine system, it’s not medicine or healthcare that is being socialized. It’s doctors and hospitals that are involuntarily being made employees of the State—no choice. As more and more doctors drop out of the system and as more and more inefficiency results in poor medical care and medical mishaps, the State will then pass legislation whereby the State will pay for the education of all doctors in order to control the situation and entice more people to go into the medical profession to replace those who have left. After all, who can resist “free” medical education? Of course all this “free” medical care and “free” medical education will come with a cost—a great cost.

The final result will be a one-payer healthcare system—a State-run, State-controlled, State owned system, which is what the Left wanted in the first place. Presently, the wealthy in foreign countries run to the USA for their serious medical care. Once America has a one-payer system there will be no place to run. Be aware, you tyrants of the Right. In the long run, your healthcare system will be worse than what we have gotten from the Left. It’s too late for the Right, even if it wanted to make our healthcare system voluntary, since its members and the majority of the population want coercion to rule the practice of medicine. The Right will give its new coercive and non-voluntary system a name that has the word “free” or “voluntary” in its title in the same manner that unaffordable Obamacare has the word “affordable” in its title. But be sure that the Right’s version will be just as enslaving as Obamacare, if not worse. In the future, America’s healthcare system will be one massive, bureaucratic, corrupt, inefficient and dangerous Medicaid program. What a future!


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Sociology is Finally a Science

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“Food for Thought” is an original column appearing every other Tuesday at Everything-Voluntary.com, by Norman Imberman. Norman is a retired podiatrist who loves playing piano, writing music, lawn bowling, bridge, reading, classical music, going to movies, plays, concerts and traveling. He is not a member of any social network, nor does he plan on becoming one. Dr. Imberman has written a fantastic Christmas song which he had professionally recorded as a demonstration record. He is looking for a publisher, or A & R man, or record producer to listen to his song. It deserves to be a permanent member of the portfolio of familiar and favorite Christmas songs. Archived columns can be found here. FFT-only RSS feed available here.

If we were living between 287 B.C. and 212 B.C. and up to that period in history no one had been able to explain why some items sink and other items float in water and they all believed that nobody will ever figure out why, and I told you that I know a scientist named Archimedes who knows the explanation, would you say to me “it’s impossible, he couldn’t have solved the problem?” Would you be willing to listen to the man who discovered it and listen to his explanation? It probably would depend upon your intellectual curiosity.

If you were living between 1564 and 1642 and up to that point in history it was believed by all people, especially the noted scientists of the day, that heavy objects fall faster than lighter objects and I told you that I know a scientist named Galileo who can prove that they fall at the same rate in a vacuum, would you be willing to listen to him? Or would you say, “that is impossible, everybody knows that they fall at different rates, depending upon their weights. Even Aristotle said so?” I guess it would depend upon your intellectual curiosity.

If you were living between 1564 and 1642 and up to that point in history it was believed by all people, especially the noted scientists of the day, that the moon is a perfect sphere (completely smooth) and I told you that I know a scientist named Galileo who can prove that there are mountains on the moon because he observed those very mountains by looking through a new device called a telescope and saw it with his own eyes, would you look through his tube or would you think to yourself, “I don’t have to look through his tube because it is a well-known fact that the moon is a perfect sphere.” I guess it would depend upon your intellectual curiosity.

If you were living on December 18, 1903, a time when it was fully established by the noted scientists of the day that it was impossible for man to fly and I told you that I know two bicycle mechanics named Wilbur and Orville Wright, who flew just yesterday, would you say it was impossible along with the other scientists of the day? What would it take for you to believe it? I guess it would depend upon your intellectual curiosity.

Question: What is your standard of impossibility?

Most people’s standard of impossibility is “if I can’t figure it out, it can’t be done, so I guess I’ll have to favor the consensus or the status quo,” especially if it involves social problems. Therefore, as in the examples above, if I told you that many scientists have discovered WHY we find ourselves in the present social mess and HOW to build a society of peace and prosperity based upon the same scientific principles used by Archimedes, Galileo, and the Wright Brothers, would you say, “that’s impossible”? In the meantime, the philosophy of Coercionism accepted by most people is devastating our country. Let’s see, why would anyone believe that science cannot be applied to the social realm and therefore we must continue doing the same thing that we have been doing for the past 6 thousand years of recorded history?

One usually comes up with the argument that “in the social realm we are dealing with people’s emotions and irrationality and you can’t apply science to that aspect of human life”. Wasn’t that, a priori, the same kind of popular argument during the time of Archimedes, Galileo, and the Wright Brothers used to refute their claims? Wasn’t it the emotions and irrationality of other people that stood in the way of believing the truth offered by those geniuses during their time? Yet today, in spite of the useless, mystical, emotional and irrational negative arguments of the past, it is presently understood and accepted why things float, that there are mountains on the moon and how man can fly? It is believed and understood today in spite of the emotions and irrationality of others. In addition, one should stop looking at the irrational emotions of others and focus upon their own minds. Let the irrational others go their own way and suffer the consequences. It is true that most people tend to be emotional in their judgments, but that does not make their judgments correct, nor is it an argument favoring the fact that the new idea can’t work. In fact, those who claim that something won’t work based upon the emotions and irrationality of others expose themselves as being as emotional and irrational as the very people they are accusing of being emotional and irrational.

Voluntaryism is the science of applying voluntary actions towards solving mankind’s various problems. It’s the only way we can extricate ourselves from the quagmire and failure of political action.

Well, today, when it is believed by almost everyone, that science cannot be applied to solving mankind’s most urgent problems and I told you that there existed an astrophysicist named Andrew J. Galambos (now deceased), and a scientist named Jay Stuart Snelson (now deceased) and many other expounders of Voluntaryism who have successfully applied the scientific method into developing The Science of Voluntaryism, would you say, along with almost everyone else, “everybody knows it is impossible, it can’t be done?” Would you at least be willing to listen to them or would you take the same position taken by the skeptics of the past centuries? I guess it would depend upon your intellectual curiosity. In this case, it would also depend upon another factor. Have you come to the conclusion yet, that it is evident that political solutions, from both sides of the political spectrum, have been given over a two and a quarter-century chance in America, and are failing miserably? Have you observed the waste, corruption and retrograde domino effects of political action—Republican or Democrat? Have you wondered why the problems of poverty, homelessness, economic instability, declining standards of education, increasing crime, healthcare, threats of war, dirty environments, energy shortages, high prices, ad infinitum, still exist?

If I have stimulated your interest, please go to http://www.suscivinst.com, click on the word, “store” at the top of the page, on the next page, scroll down almost to the bottom and click on “click here for the first three sessions on YouTube at no charge.” Once you are in YouTube you will see a square that reads “V-50, Session 1.” Click on it and the first lecture will begin. When it’s finished do the same with sessions 2 and then 3. Once you hear all three sessions I can’t imagine how you will not be motivated into purchasing the entire course as I did.

Listen to the first three free sessions and decide for yourself if you wish to purchase the entire course. It is offered on a “satisfaction or your money back” guarantee. If you decide to purchase the course please be aware that the CDs are playable only on an MP3 player, such as that found on your computer or a separate MP3 player. Some automobile CD players play MP3s and some do not. You can also subscribe to taking the full course online without having to bother with the physical CD disks. If my mind is a value to you, I want you to know that I have sat through the course 5 times over the past many years and find that I learn more from it each time I hear it. It will take you along an intellectual journey beyond your expectations.

The following sites are also available that will supply you with additional information about the Science of Voluntaryism.

www.everything-voluntary.com
praxeology.net/molinari.htm
www.economicnoise.com
www.thedailybell.com
www.wendymcelroy.com
zerogov.com
voluntaryist.com
www.lewrockwell.com


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Voluntaryism 101: A Simple Explanation

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“Food for Thought” is an original column appearing every other Tuesday at Everything-Voluntary.com, by Norman Imberman. Norman is a retired podiatrist who loves playing piano, writing music, lawn bowling, bridge, reading, classical music, going to movies, plays, concerts and traveling. He is not a member of any social network, nor does he plan on becoming one. Dr. Imberman has written a fantastic Christmas song which he had professionally recorded as a demonstration record. He is looking for a publisher, or A & R man, or record producer to listen to his song. It deserves to be a permanent member of the portfolio of familiar and favorite Christmas songs. Archived columns can be found here. FFT-only RSS feed available here.

When considering inter-human relationships, there are only two methods of behavior— in principle. This applies whether the relationship is between two individuals, between groups of individuals or even masses of individuals. They are Voluntaryism and Coercionism. Those who believe in Voluntaryism are called Voluntaryists and believe that all interactions should be voluntary or consensual, while Coercionists believe unwittingly, that all or most interactions should be performed under duress or coercively, under the direction and supervision of the State.

All values, such as money, houses, cars, food, clothing, love, friendship and property in general, can be obtained either voluntarily or coercively. There is no third alternative. The history of the world is replete with examples of coercive acquisition of values resulting in financial turmoil, riots, killings, theft, war and chaos. Coercive behavior continues to this day, and will continue unless there is a paradigm shift in the ideology of the masses.

Voluntaryists believe that all exchanges between individuals or groups of individuals should be, as the name implies, voluntary or consensual, while Coercionists use the methods of force, fraud, theft and duress. Most Coercionists believe in a mixture of voluntary and coerced interactions as is seen in most of the countries of the globe. In the USA coercionists are constantly embattled amongst themselves over which interactions should be allowed to be voluntary and which should be coerced and to what extent. (“Allowed to be voluntary” is a contradiction in terms.) Such battles are the essence of politics and the cause of domestic turmoil and riots and wars between nations. Politics can be defined as the constant battle between factions of Coercionists, whereby each faction, Left-wing or Right-wing, wants their extent and form of coercion to prevail.

Although all Coercionists use a variety of methods to be effective, such as the threat of or the actual use of theft, plunder, robbery, extortion, duress, kidnapping, rape, force, and fraud, they can be divided into five distinct groups. First and most powerful are the legal coercers—the State or Government, from the President down to the various bureaucrats and office workers. Because they are “legal” they maintain an air of respectability. Second are those businessmen who pose as free market capitalists but who use the power and force of government to gain special favor and special treatment in order to compete. They are cohorts in the legal apparatus of coercion. Such men do not deserve to be called free-market capitalists. An example are those bankers and businessmen who convince the State to bail them out of financial trouble, or men like Bernard Madoff who bilked thousands of people of their life’s savings. Third are those groups involved in organized crime—the Mafia, Cosa Nostra, Russian Mafia, Chinese Triads and other ethnic criminal factions. Fourth are the individual criminals as bank robbers, store robbers, vandals, rapists, thieves, kidnappers and bullies. Fifth are the voters, who select those who are in charge of the coercive apparatus of the State. Fraud is the method of choice used by the State to coerce the voters into accepting almost any kind of the other types of coercion inflicted by the State. Once the State (legal coercers) withers away, the remaining four groups of criminals will easily be handled through the ingenuity, creativity and productiveness of free individuals.

Voluntaryism is equivalent to peace. In fact, when all exchanges are voluntary, peace becomes a natural consequence. Voluntaryism is also a moral and benevolent position. On the other hand, Coercionism promotes war and war-like conduct since coercive action creates a victor and a victim resulting in emotions such as hate, anger, resentment and desire for revenge. Coercionism is the immoral position, engendering hostility and class warfare.

Voluntaryists believe that when dealing with others, they should strive to make the outcome a Win-Win situation. Coercionists, sometimes knowingly and sometimes unknowingly, always create Win-Lose situations, where if one side wins, the other loses. In fact, all coercively enforced transactions, whether they demand action or prevent action, are Win-Lose situations by definition. There is no rational position that can be taken that accuses a Voluntaryist of being mean-spirited. By embracing coercive behavior, it is the Coercionists who are mean-spirited when they advocate the application of the various coercive laws upon the public. Coercionists can’t seem to understand that it is they who are creating the hostility and war between the various classes in society.

By definition, Republicans, Democrats, Liberals, Conservatives, Independents and small government Libertarians are all Coercionists, believing that their particular method and degree of coercion will create a prosperous and peaceful society. However, as previously described, Coercionism spells hostility and war—not peace. Most Conservatives fall back on the Bible and the Constitution as their excuse to support coercion since both documents gives the State the power but not the right, to coerce, thus abrogating the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Liberals embrace the argument, “the ends justify the means” right out of the Communist Manifesto, but also embrace the Constitution to excuse their degree of coercion, thus abrogating those same rights. Both treat their political beliefs like a religion—on faith. The only abrogation Voluntaryists wish to see is the abrogation of the State through peaceful means.

Coercion exists in many forms. When Voluntaryists point out coercive acts to Coercionists, the latter deny it while some do agree that it’s coercion but that it’s “good” coercion. (See previous article entitled, “Good Coercion vs Bad Coercion”.) How can “good” and “coercion” be bound together as a concept? It’s like calling a geometrical form a square circle. If it’s coercion or duress, it’s either by physical force, threatened physical force, fraud, theft, rape or kidnapping. (Self-defense is not coercion). Surely those means are not “good.” In fact they are immoral. When a hoodlum coerces protection money from the corner grocer it’s considered by most as criminal and immoral, especially when the hoodlum carries out his threats for non-payment. Demanding payment is an example of threatened harm, while punishing the grocer for non-payment is an example of direct physical force. However, when the State does the very same thing in the form of taxes, Coercionists take pride in the act and never consider it to be the same extortion as when the hoodlum does it. Why—because it’s in the Constitution or because it will be used for a “good cause”. The “good” cause argument is sophistry. One can use the same argument to excuse a bank robber who uses the stolen money to build an orphanage for orphaned children or a killer who kills and removes the victim’s heart so that it can be used in a heart transplant for a child. Crying that taxation is voluntary is useless. Ask most people if they would pay taxes if it were not in fear of punishment. Most would respond in the negative. Even those who responded in the affirmative would eventually stop paying as they observed that the rest of the population was not participating.

Many individuals will never be convinced that Voluntaryism will work because, as some of them have told me, they don’t trust anyone. They have a very negative and dark opinion of mankind, as if Man is born evil. (Although Original Sin is a Catholic concept, many non-Catholics believe that Man is born mean, evil and untrustworthy, which is the non-Catholic version of Original Sin.) They falsely believe that greed is evil. Their concept of a greedy person is anybody who has “enough” but continues to strive for “more.” However, they fail to define “enough.” Of course, what they fail to realize is the contradiction between their professed belief and their support of the coercers (politicians), since the coercers they support are people and therefore are greedy and should not be trusted either. They see only the dark side of what they believe to be human nature because for decades they have been living in a world of institutionalized coercion alongside of a coercive economic system called State Capitalism. They fail to see that it’s the institutionalized coercion that is the cause of the evil character flaws that they observe in others. So they conclude that free men can’t be trusted to rule themselves and they would rather cast their lot with the State coercers. What an insane reasoning process. The truth is the exact opposite. It is the rampant institutionalized coercion that is responsible for the very character flaws which they abhor and mistrust and instead they should embrace the ideology of Voluntaryism. “Nature has not saddled humans with coercive character traits; rather, humans have saddled themselves with coercive paradigms of causality,” wrote Jay Stuart Snelson in Taming the Violence of Faith (p. 138). They also never consider that since they choose the side of the State coercers, some day the State may coerce them into a situation of involuntary servitude out of which they can never be rescued. It can expose its ugly head in many ways, such as, devastatingly high taxation, internment camps for minorities or even for dissenters like me, extreme unemployment, equalization of results laws, equalization of profits laws, abolition of private schools, laws against all religions except the official State religions, or laws that mandate that people must share their home with others, as has occurred in many Communist countries. These events are not far-fetched, as history will attest. There is no law of nature that can prevent it from happening here in America. When one casts his lot with a den of thieves don’t expect a moral outcome. Eventually you will become a victim yourself.

The economic system that rules America is actually what is called State Capitalism, where the State, is the new god. Backed by the gun, it rules the roost through its various rules, regulations, favoritism and taxation. Under such a system all live by permission. Those who condemn Capitalism, which is actually State Capitalism, have much to complain about, since the State’s coercive capitalistic mechanism is responsible for all of the evils of which they complain.

The economic or financial system under Voluntaryism requires a new name since Capitalism (really State Capitalism) has become synonymous with inequities, greed and evil. For the purposes of this article let’s call it Voluntradism which is a combination of Voluntaryism and trade. I define it as a system of coercion-free voluntary exchange whereby buyers and sellers are free to bid for products and services or free to abstain from bidding for those products and services, where the ownership of private property and freedom of choice is sacrosanct. By now the reader should see that Voluntradism is a peaceful system that can harm no one—where the consumers are the bosses. When all exchanges—economic, social, inter-personal, religious—are voluntary, social contentment and peace prevail. So let’s remember to think of the term Capitalism as State Capitalism, which is synonymous with government protectionism, force, fraud and theft and think of Voluntradism to be synonymous with coercion-free interaction, peace and harmony.

Most of the time, whenever a private coercer avoids penalties for perpetrating a true crime, the coercers in charge of the State mechanism have either sanctioned it, overlooked it or were too inefficient to prevent it or prosecute it. Jim Crow laws were State-sanctioned laws. Often, due to some insane State law, a business may try to get around the law in order to survive, so they “cheat.” Then the State administrators vilify those “cheating” businessmen in the media and prosecute them in the courts, while in reality they are just seeking out freedom to survive. The very misbehavior of which the businessmen are being accused should never have been against the law in the first place.

For example—and this is just one example—in the nineteenth century, factories in England were subject to a new law, which taxed each window. Before the tax was imposed factories supplied the workers with a sufficient amount of lighting and fresh air. Once the tax was imposed the owners found a way to avoid the tax by eliminating most of the windows. Of course the owners were subjected to all kinds of public ridicule for such greed and were accused of purposely and with malice of forethought, placing their workers in a hostile environment. The public almost always falls for the lies expounded by the State. The reputations of entrepreneurs and industrialists have been tarnished over the centuries for simply trying to survive the wrath and malevolence of the State’s insane laws, rules and regulations like that example.

Most “crimes” (the breaking of a law) should not even exist because most activities that are considered to be crimes by the State are not crimes in reality. They’re manufactured crimes by those in power in order to maintain greater power and control over all of us. Think of what a proper crime is. It’s an interference with private property. There’s a reason why almost everybody become stirred to anger against individual acts of murder, robbery, rape, theft, kidnapping and fraud. It’s natural to feel that such acts are an anathema to the survival of all people. We don’t need a law or the Bible to tell us that it’s wrong. Even the perpetrators know it’s wrong. However, the State apparatus also creates “white collar” and “victimless” crimes and manufactures all kinds of malevolent stories about those who transgress and the rest of the gullible population falls for the fraud.

“Conquest by plebiscite and cooptation differ from military conquest only in the sense that the former are bloodless and volitional. The result is the same. The victims sanction their own servitude and then cooperate in their own regimentation and exploitation. Ideally, the only violence that occurs in politics in the normal course of affairs is to truth and logic. Physical violence is concealed under the rubric of “rule of law” administered by the so-called criminal justice system.” – Alvin Lowi

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” – H.L. Mencken

One of the great travesties of justice, where a government-created crime was invoked, involves the Alcoa case in 1937. Alcoa produced a superlative product at a price that people were willing to pay so that all competitors could not match their excellence and pricing. The Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 was invoked against Alcoa. After spending million of dollars defending itself and after battles in many different courts, and after printing 40,000 pages of records and 10,000 pages of exhibits and transcripts weighing 325 pounds in 480 volumes with an estimated word count of 15,000,000, Alcoa lost for the “crime” of being a monopoly. Here is what Judge Learned Hand said in the decision: “[Alcoa] insists that it never excluded competitors; but we can think of no more effective exclusion than progressively to embrace each new opportunity as it opened, and to face every newcomer with new capacity already geared into a great organization, having the advantage of experience, trade connections, and the elite of personnel.” In other words excellence and efficiency have become a crime. In fact any price charged by a seller can be considered by the authorities to be a crime. If a price is too high it’s against the “price gouging” law. If it’s too low it’s against the “unfair competition” law. If it’s the same as all of the other sellers it’s considered collusion, which is also a crime and of course, if the company is so efficient that others cannot successfully compete, it’s considered a monopoly, which is the worst crime of all. All that is needed for charges to be brought up against the perpetrators is a complaint brought about by a competing entrepreneur who is failing due to his own inefficiency.

People believe that in order for a businessman to prosper he must be doing something immoral and use as an example the “immoral” cutthroat competition used by the so called “robber barons” of the past. They have been taught in school that the successful businessmen of the past like Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie and Cornelius Vanderbilt attained their wealth by exploiting workers. However, they offer no definition of “exploitation,” or “cutthroat competition.” Too many people think of exploitation as the condition that exists when workers labor for an employer for a salary. In other words, simply “laboring for a salary” is exploitation, which comes right out of the Communist Manifesto. Exploitation has become a pejorative word. How does that make the employer evil? If employers actually beat their workers or forced them to labor involuntarily, exploitation would not be the correct appellation. I would call it assault, which in a voluntary world would be handled by the justice system. Competition has no pejorative meaning although the government authorities have inserted the word “cutthroat” before the word “competition” in order to insight anger. In fact, the public, upon hearing the term “competition,” automatically thinks of it as “cutthroat competition,” this giving it an evil or mean-spirited connotation. It means that competing businesses lower their prices in order to obtain a larger share of the market. It creates a consumer’s paradise when businesses lower their prices in order to compete, even if some businesses are driven out of the market place. No business has the divine right to endure, including the various banks and automobile manufacturers that have been bailed out of their impending failures by the State. Remember that “bailout” is a euphemism that simply means that the taxpayers have to pay for the failures of those entrepreneurs and bankers.

Most of the famous industrialists of the nineteenth century were born extremely poor, but with great intellectual abilities. They didn’t invent or create poverty, since poverty is a natural condition of all life. They helped cure poverty for millions of people by creating jobs. Where the average person sees no opportunity, these great benefactors of mankind saw opportunity and were willing to take extreme risks that most of us are not willing to take. Nobody should deny them their profits and amassed fortunes. They are the true humanitarians of our society. The “robber barons” of the past did more for the human race than all Mother Teresa types combined.

People who worship the political (coercive) method of solving society’s most urgent problems believe that profit, although necessary for a business to survive, must be limited via the coercive mechanism of the State, especially if the profits are indefinably “excessive.” That mistrust is firmly imbedded in the minds of most of the population. They mistrust all monopolies, even natural monopolies. They don’t see the difference between a natural monopoly (a business that supplies the consumer bosses with products or services that are so excellent and affordable that no other business has been able to compete with them, but is still not prohibited from trying) and a State-granted monopoly. A State-granted monopoly is a business to which the State grants monopoly power and by law (coercion) prohibits any other person from competing against them. They don’t see the contradiction when they mistrust all natural business monopolies while they have faith in the coercive monopoly that the State maintains on the activities of all of us, and then they don’t understand that the problems about which they complain came into being, because of the very State monopoly they support.

Voluntaryists are not conservatives, liberals, libertarians or independents. We are non-statists, and non-voters for the simple reason that all State activities involve the use of or the threat of the use of force against some individuals for the benefit of others. We don’t recognize the legitimacy of the State. We are law-abiding people who don’t support violent overthrow of the State, since violence is not part of our philosophy. Our basic philosophy can be found in what we call The Non-Aggression Pact or Principle. Simply stated—“never coerce, force, rob, commit fraud against another person or group of persons.” You can see how such a belief is not political (it’s neither left nor right). It suggests a benevolent course of action, promoting win-win exchanges.

One should be able to see now that in a Voluntary Society, people are truly free and in a Coercive Society, people are actually slaves to each other and especially to the coercive leaders and the system.

While it’s true that the different factions of Coercionists prefer different means of coercion, they all have the same hidden agenda. That agenda is what places all of them in the same category. Their main agenda is to preserve Coercionism. They are all “Preservationists.” Every year, in November, those Coercionists who want to be the leading coercers encourage the masses through advertising and campaigning, to choose them as leaders. Their mantra is, “no matter to which side of the political spectrum you belong, it is your duty, right and privilege to pull a lever and make your choice.” That mantra is spoken not only by the politicians, but also by the media, the teachers and professors, the unions, and almost every citizen. Once that mantra is implanted and accepted by an individual, he/she becomes a signed, sealed and delivered preserver of the status quo—a fellow “Preservationist,” and an unknowing participant in class warfare and the hoax.

Throughout the ages the lines that have been drawn between the various political factions have been lines of false alternatives, i.e. the Left vs. the Right, the Democrats vs. the Republicans, the Whigs vs. the Tories, the employers vs. the employees, males vs. females, unions vs. non-unions. In many cases, the claims that the Left and the Right have against each other are real. However, because most of the dissatisfactions and inequities of our society came about through coercion, trying to fix them through more coercion is insane. Presently, since the coercive “left” passed National Healthcare legislation, the coercive “right” will attempt to repeal it. If they are successful, the coercive “right” will replace it with their own form of coercive National Health legislation. Incidentally, the present administration vehemently denies it when the “Affordable Healthcare Act” is called a Socialist scheme by the opposition. The defenders of the act call it a free enterprise law because it gives more choices to a vast number of people. Such a claim is proof that its defenders have no idea of the meaning of “free enterprise.” In addition, there is an entity that is totally overlooked and forgotten by both parties—the physician. Everyone overlooks the fact that the new healthcare act has made a government employee of every physician. If that isn’t socialism I don’t know what is.

All of the classes in society belong on the same side of the line since they are all Coercionists. On the other side of the line lie the Voluntaryists. The only true alternatives are Coercionism or Voluntaryism, not left vs. right and not more Statism, as professed by liberals vs. less Statism, as professed by conservatives. It’s important to understand that just because a Voluntaryist is against a law that provides a free service or a free product to someone in need, does not mean that he/she is against that person having that service or product. I want the homeless to be sheltered and the starving to have food and the sick to have healthcare and the poor to be rich and the ignorant to be intelligent and live in a society where equality is at its maximum. However, the State sponsored coercive mechanism is the underlying cause of all of those social problems since it steals from one group and gives it to another group or gives special privilege to one group at the expense of other groups. Isn’t it reasonable to conclude that since coercion is the cause of those problems it can’t be fixed through more coercion? Individual charity is a noble act but charitable giving under duress is still coercion. It’s Coercion that has created the ills of society that we are now witnessing.

Suppose it had been an everyday occurrence for centuries that the State supplied shoeless people with shoes. Then one day someone suggested that it’s not the job of the State to supply shoes to the shoeless. The public would be up in arms. They would cry, “what? Are you denying shoes to the shoeless? How and where would they get shoes? Are you proposing that they go shoeless? You sir, are mean-spirited.”

Once the stealing and fraud reaches the tipping point, all hell will break lose. The signs and symptoms of the disease called Coercionism (it is a disease) are around us everywhere but the public is blind to it—shootings, raping, lootings, property transgressing, foul language, unemployment, fear of monetary crises, poverty, homelessness, religious intolerance, vandalism, starvation, intense feelings of insecurity, fear, irresponsibility and the threat of war are increasing at the fastest pace in history. Yes, there is a correlation between those ills of society and Coercionism.

Just like Isaac Newton partially unified the physical sciences, scientists exist today and have existed in the past, who have unified the social sciences through the marvel of Voluntaryism, but the philosophy has to be spread throughout the land. Since we Voluntaryists are committed to abstaining from the initiation of any form of coercion, the only way we can spread the word is through education, which is what I am doing when I write this article. The basic message is that Freedom and Voluntaryism is the only path out of the quagmire into which the human race has dug itself and it all must start with the individual.

Chose—the enslavement, insecurity and eventual devastation caused by coercive Win-Lose interactions or the security, freedom and everlasting peace of Win-Win interactions—Voluntaryism.

It’s not the intent of this essay to demonstrate the cause and effect relationship between all of the ills of society and Statism (Coercionism) or how a voluntary society would function under freedom. That involves a deeper study of the subject of Voluntaryism. The information is available online for those who are interested. Two URL addresses where one can find this free information are Everything-Voluntary.com and Voluntaryist.com. They both contain a wealth of information on the subject. One of the early books about the subject was published in 1870 and is entitled, No Treason, by Lysander Spooner (1808–1887). The entire book can be found for free here.

Another fantastic source of information is the set of the V-50 CD recordings available here. On the top of the page, see the word “store” and click on it. Scroll to the bottom where you get to the section called V-50. It’s a full course of over 35 hours of lecture material and Q & A sessions. I listened to it 5 or 6 times, sometimes when it was presented live and sometimes on the CDs I bought. Click on “buy”. It can also be found on Amazon. Purchase, listen and learn. Be a cause for good instead of evil.


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Derivatives Explained

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“Food for Thought” is an original column appearing every other Tuesday at Everything-Voluntary.com, by Norman Imberman. Norman is a retired podiatrist who loves playing piano, writing music, lawn bowling, bridge, reading, classical music, going to movies, plays, concerts and traveling. He is not a member of any social network, nor does he plan on becoming one. Dr. Imberman has written a fantastic Christmas song which he had professionally recorded as a demonstration record. He is looking for a publisher, or A & R man, or record producer to listen to his song. It deserves to be a permanent member of the portfolio of familiar and favorite Christmas songs. Archived columns can be found here. FFT-only RSS feed available here.

Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Detroit. She realizes that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize her bar. To solve this problem, she comes up with a new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later. Heidi keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers loans).

Word gets around about Heidi’s “drink now, pay later” marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Heidi’s bar. Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in Detroit. By providing her customers freedom from immediate payment demands, Heidi gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages. Consequently, Heidi’s gross sales volume increases massively.

A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognizes that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets and increases Heidi’s borrowing limit. He sees no reason for any undue concern because he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as collateral! At the bank’s corporate headquarters, expert traders figure a way to make huge commissions, and transform these customer loans into DRINKBONDS. These “securities” then are bundled and traded on international securities markets.

Naive investors don’t really understand that the securities being sold to them as “AAA Secured Bonds” are really debts of unemployed alcoholics. Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb – and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation’s leading brokerage houses.

One day, even though the bond prices are still climbing, a risk manager at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Heidi’s bar. He so informs Heidi. Heidi then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons. But, being unemployed alcoholics — they cannot pay back their drinking debts.

Since Heidi cannot fulfill her loan obligations she is forced into bankruptcy. The bar closes and Heidi’s 11 employees lose their jobs. Overnight, DRINKBOND prices drop by 90%. The collapsed bond asset value destroys the bank’s liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community. The suppliers of Heidi’s bar had granted her generous payment extensions and had invested their firms’ pension funds in the BOND securities. They find they are now faced with having to write off her bad debt and with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds. Her wine supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had endured for three generations, her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 150 workers. Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multi-billion dollar no-strings attached cash infusion from the government. The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, nondrinkers who have never been in Heidi’s bar.

Now do you understand?


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