Pro-Crime People

You can’t be pro-police and anti-crime. If you say you are, you’re lying.

I see this delusion all the time. People support the largest organized crime gang in existence– the Blue Line Gang— and pretend it’s because they hate crime. That makes no sense whatsoever.

If you are pro-police you are pro-crime.

Sure, maybe you choose to be violated by the members of this crime gang instead of being violated by the members of a competing crime gang, but I don’t see that as a plus.

Freelance gang members are generally seen as fair game during any attack. Shoot one and you might not be punished.

But shoot a Blue Line Gangster in self-defense and the power and violence of the government religion will be brought down on you.

People who support police are supporting crime. Much worse crime than that supported by any other crime supporters. When they claim otherwise they have zero credibility.

Speaking of the religion of government, have you seen this powerful video?

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Pigeons Do One Thing Right

A few days ago I saw a small flock of pigeons flying beside the road. All the pigeons were the same standard pigeon color, except for one. He was light brown with white wings– beautiful, for a pigeon.

The different pigeon was still part of the flock. He wanted to belong. The others were fine with him belonging. Because he wanted to belong to the flock he didn’t make an issue of his difference. He didn’t demand special treatment. He didn’t demand his own “space” because he was different. He didn’t segregate himself.

The others didn’t make an issue, either. They weren’t trying to drive him away or leave him behind. It didn’t seem as if any pigeon noticed any difference.

They were all just pigeons going about their pigeony business.

Pigeons have an advantage over humans in at least one area. They don’t have religion (including of the political kind) to artificially divide them. Because of this advantage, they don’t come to believe that any pigeon which is capable of pigeoning is somehow a lesser pigeon. They don’t believe any other pigeon owes them anything or should be responsible for them. They all find their own food. No pigeon feels guilt because of it’s color or pattern.

Yes, a different pigeon may attract predators. That’s just nature. If it happens, it sucks for that pigeon, but it’s not the other pigeons’ fault.

There is still some safety in numbers, even if you’re different, as long as you don’t single yourself out and turn the flock against you.

I’ll fly beside you as your equal, as long as you don’t turn into something else and try to become predatory.

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What Does it Mean to Live Free?

It’s hard to own every choice and respect others enough to expect the same from them.

It’s easy to lazily slip into appeals to duty, what’s “normal”, guilt, or shame instead of relying entirely on mutual exchange of value.

If I’d like my wife to come on a walk with me, I can change my tone of voice to imply I’ll have hurt feelings if she doesn’t. I can say, “I always come on walks with you!”. I can try to make her feel weird, like other normal people go on walks. I can appeal to the fact that we’re family, and imply that she owes me a walk because of it.

All of these can be effective. But they’re lesser versions of the person I want to be. I don’t want to make choices in my life based on these things. Why should I ask her to? I want to live free and I want to treat her as a free person.

This forces me to get creative. It forces me to create value. It forces me to have a strong sense of self. I’ve got to ask her to join me in a way that makes it in her unmanipulated interest to say yes, but in a way that makes clear she can freely say no.

It doesn’t mean I have to hide my feelings. It’s the opposite. I can’t allow myself to hide my motives and desires under layers of false reason. Living free and treating others as free people forces honesty.

Humans are good at adding layers of justification and passive aggression to our words and actions. Pretty soon, it’s impossible to identify our own desires. Denying yourself the use of manipulative tactics forces you to come to terms with your thoughts and feelings. Why do I want her to go on a walk with me? How much do I value it? Why might she value it? What could make it more valuable than her alternatives?

It sounds cold and mechanical when broken down like this, but in practice it’s clean and true. It’s so much better than vague entreaties layered with ambiguous emotional consequences.

This is just one small part of living free. But it changes everything. Never accepting the role of victim. Never believing anyone owes you anything, or you owe anyone anything (except what you’ve freely agreed to). These force you to treat each interaction as between free people.

It forces you to break the shackles of your own bullshit.

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Robin Grille: Natural Born Bullies (15m)

This episode features an audio essay written by psychologist Robin Grille in 2007, which comprises Chapter 24 of Everything Voluntary: From Politics to Parenting, edited by Skyler J. Collins and published in 2012. He explores the origins of bullying. Purchase books by Robin Grille on Amazon here.

Listen To This Episode (15m, mp3, 64kbps)

Subscribe via RSS here, or in any podcast app by searching for “voluntaryist voices”. Support the podcast at Patreon.com/evc or PayPal.me/everythingvoluntary.

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Don’t Make a Politician Your Leader

It was once a common theme in science fiction humor for a flying saucer to land in front of witnesses, with little green men coming out to say: “Take us to your leader.”

If this happened to you, to whom would you take them?

Do you have a leader, and if so, who?

Most people seem to think of a politician in this case — perhaps a president — but who in their right mind wants to follow a politician? Why would they?

It’s similar to the mistake of looking to politicians as role models. No one who seeks political power is worthy to be your role model.

If you mistake a politician for a leader you will be led astray. You’re better off on your own, even if you don’t know for sure where you’re going. Your own mistakes will not be as disastrous as the mistake of following a politician, even under the worst case scenario.

Politicians rarely lead. Their normal approach is to rule. If you doubt this, refuse to “follow” where a politician tells you to go. If you’re allowed to take your own path without punishment, then perhaps the politician was also a leader. If, instead, threats of government violence result from your independence, you aren’t dealing with a leader, but with a ruler.

You don’t need a leader most of the time, if ever, and you never need to be ruled. You know your own life better than anyone else. Why follow someone who doesn’t know where you need to go? Especially a person who probably can’t even run their own life very well, as seems to always be the case with politicians, much less run everyone else’s life successfully.

A leader will be on the front line when a threat is faced. Not hiding behind wave after wave of cannon fodder, nor sitting in an office getting reports and sending orders. If they send you into danger while they stay safe, facing nothing more deadly than the risk of losing the next election, they are not a leader.

I’ve never seen a politician I would want as my leader. You may feel differently. I wouldn’t forbid you to follow whoever you like, nor force you to follow someone you didn’t want to follow. I ask the same in return.

So if little green men ever walk up and ask you to, “Take us to your leader,” I hope you’ll respond with, “That would be me. What can I do for you?”

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The First Rule of AIPAC Is: You Do Not Talk about AIPAC

Washington’s political establishment went berserk when US Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) publicly noted that US-Israel relations are “all about the Benjamins”  — slang for $100 bills, referring to money shoveled at American politicians by the American Israel Public Affairs Group (AIPAC).

Omar was accused of antisemitism — immediately by Republicans, shortly after by members of her own party — and bullied into apologizing. She may or may not be prejudiced against Jews,  but even if she is, that wasn’t her real offense.

Her real offense was  publicly mentioning the irrefutable fact that many members of Congress take their marching orders from a foreign power’s lobbying apparatus (an apparatus not, as required by law, registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act), at least partly because those marching orders come with promises of significant donations to those politicians’ campaigns.

AIPAC itself doesn’t make direct donations to political campaigns. But AIPAC and other pro-Israel lobbying groups like Christians United For Israel punch well above their weight in American politics, largely by motivating their supporters to financially support and work for “pro-Israel” candidates in general elections and help weed out “anti-Israel” candidates in party primaries.

By the way, “pro-Israel” in this context always means “supportive of the jingoism of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party,” and never “supportive of the many Israelis who’d like peace with the Palestinian Arabs.”

One AIPAC supporter  alone, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, spent $65 million getting Republicans elected, including $25 million supporting Donald Trump, in 2016.  But that $25 million was only put into action after Trump retreated from his early position of “neutrality” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, publicly prostrated himself to AIPAC in a speech at one of its events, and pronounced himself “the most pro-Israel presidential candidate in history.”

But: We’re not supposed to talk about that. Ever. And it’s easy to see why.

If most Americans noticed that many  members of Congress (as well as most presidents) are selling their influence over US policy to a foreign power, we might do something about it.

For decades, howling “antisemitism” any time the matter came up proved an effective tactic for shutting down public discussion of the “special relationship” under which Israel receives lavish foreign aid subsidies, effective control of US foreign policy in the Middle East, and lately even state (and pending federal) legislation requiring government contractors to sign loyalty oaths to Israel’s government.

The Israeli lobby’s power to prevent that discussion seems to be slipping, however. Why? In part because the lobby’s money and political support, which used to be spent buying both sides of the partisan aisle, has begun tilting heavily Republican in recent years, freeing some Democrats to not “stay bought.” And in part because the newest generation of politicians includes some like Ilhan Omar who aren’t for sale (to Israel, anyway).

Decades of unquestioning obedience to the Israel lobby has drawn the US into needless and costly conflicts  not even remotely related to the defense of the United States. We’ll be better off when the “special relationship,” and the corruption underlying it, ends.

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