Cooperation is Libertarian

One thing I find very interesting, and a little frustrating, is how often people will try to put words in my mouth.

I guess it’s a facet of the straw man tactic.

Recently someone kept trying to say that I was against cooperation; that cooperation is against libertarian principles, so I have to be against it. Even after I explicitly said several times that I think cooperation is a great thing, and I’m completely in favor of it.

Libertarianism rejects cooperation? I’ve never made such a silly claim, nor have I ever seen anyone who understands liberty make a claim like that. It’s completely absurd.

But, because I’m opposed to stealing money to fund government or government “borders”, I must be against cooperation.

And if I am in favor of cooperation, then I must obviously see the “value” of theft and coercion in the name of government.

Yeah, I don’t get that connection either.

Government is the opposite of cooperation. If people willingly cooperate (and there’s really no such thing as non-willing cooperation) there is no need to rob them or to coerce them to do what you believe should be done. That’s not cooperation, that’s slavery.

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Taking The Bait; Abandoning The High Ground

There is no such thing as an “unethical necessity” or “necessary evil”. It’s an oxymoron.

If something is necessary, it can’t be unethical, and if something is unethical it can’t be a necessity. Maybe you can’t see another way, but it’s there. It is never necessary to rape a baby, in other words.

Those who believe in such fantasies have fallen prey to pragmatism.

Yes, I can understand why they do it. Principles are hard. They may not even be safe to stick with– no one ever said doing the right thing was easy, safe, or would result in instant (or eventual) Utopia. But it’s still the right thing.

For some reason, Trump and “immigration” have fooled more people into abandoning principles– and what’s right— than anything I’ve ever personally witnessed. Maybe other things were stronger archation bait in the past, but that must have been before my time.

This would be scary, except that I understand the concept of winnowing grain; to allow the chaff and harmful debris to fly away with the breeze so it doesn’t end up choking you in your food. So I see this as a way to see who’s on the side of liberty, and who was hanging around while it was convenient and easy. Seeing some of those who have chosen to fly to statism at the earliest provocation has been a huge surprise… and a bitter disappointment… to me.

Someone has to stake out the ethical, principled ground. There are plenty of pragmatists and quislings around; that position is well represented. No more of them are needed.

If you approach every problem from the position that statism is unavoidable (or necessary), you’re going to find statist “solutions” to accommodate your statist objections every time. You’ll be blind to real, lasting voluntary solutions when you assume statism. Thus you’ll justify States and all the horrid things which come along with them– while using the inevitable results of statism to show why “we need statism”. You’ll get angry at anyone who points out that your assumptions are flawed.

And that is the unvarnished reality.

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On Motivation

One of the principles that unschoolers live by concerns motivation. It should be obvious to all that motivation borne inside of us (intrinsic), such as when we are pursuing an interest or passion, is superior to forms of motivation that had their origin in a threat (extrinsic). If this is not obvious to you, then consider the child, probably yourself at some point, who works twice as hard to get out of an unchosen obligation than would be required to fulfill the obligation. We’ve all either seen this or done this. I know I have, and I know that my children have, too. When I realize what is happening, I am compelled to reevaluate either what is being demanded of me or what I am demanding of others. I don’t care to use threats to motivate (nor tolerate them), because I believe that doing so is wrong, on many levels. Instead, I should help those I need to do something to find an intrinsic reason to do it. That’s called being a civilized adult, and today’s two cents.

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The Women’s March Stance on Reproductive Rights is All For The Erasure of Fertility, Not For Women

When I think about “women’s rights” and what that means, it isn’t much different than what I think about human rights. The right to life. The right to health, vitality and the opportunity to thrive. The right to happiness, freedom and personal autonomy and sovereignty. The right to resources and information and truth. The right to embodiment and a deeper connection to the universe and self.

Sure, some of that might seem idealistic and super meta, but I don’t aim low. If you know me, you aren’t surprised.

The 2019 Women’s March is coming up in three days and I am seeing women everywhere gearing up to, once again, march and “fight” for their rights (of which I am still confused about those they claim we supposedly don’t have. I am also in disagreement about what constitutes as a “right,” but I digress….).

When I think of many of the tenants of modern feminism, I don’t always hear, “fight for your rights,” so much as I hear, “fight for your right to pick your poison.”

On the Women’s March website under “Unity Principles,” it says the following on reproductive rights:

“We believe in Reproductive Freedom. We do not accept any federal, state or local rollbacks, cuts or restrictions on our ability to access quality reproductive healthcare services, birth control, HIV/AIDS care and prevention, or medically accurate sexuality education.  This means open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion and birth control for all people, regardless of income, location or education. We understand that we can only have reproductive justice when reproductive health care is accessible to all people regardless of income, location or education.”

If the women’s march and Planned Parenthood (one of their main sponsors) platform cared about reproductive freedom, then why do they not include anything about the daily occurrence of obstetrical abuse and violence? Or the reality that obstetrics is inherently violent and rooted in slavery at its core?

What about all the women who are harassed and invaded by CPS for choosing to birth their babies freely in the comfort of their own home without being overseen by a figure with a stamp of authority? No mention of birth freedom. Life freedom.

How come it isn’t mentioned that there are still states that midwifery care is illegal, and mostly unaffordable where it is legal? So being for women means we make “care” affordable and accessible to women who don’t want children (contraceptives and abortions), but we don’t include making care affordable and accessible to women who do?

Or even worse, how it is illegal to call oneself a midwife unless the government has granted you the title, meaning government owns the conditions of birth, and if women do not abide by these conditions then they are at risk for being tormented, interrogated and persecuted. Modern day witch hunts, in essence.

What about advocating for women to rest for 2-3 days when they bleed?

It’s because the women’s march, their platform and sponsors don’t actually care about women’s freedom in regard to their health and life giving abilities. They only care about furthering the modern feminist and Planned Parenthood agenda which includes the erasure of fertility, an abandonment of our hormonal matrix that distinguishes us as women, and sterilization. These components are what helps us further advance in joining the ranks of men and a world dominated by men. Modern feminism, AKA be more like men. The workforce and Planned Parenthood don’t really benefit when women stay home from work and opt out of medical care in order to take their care into their own hands.

For what it is worth, I love men and the roles they offer and provide. I just don’t want to be one. I am different, and offer value in other ways as a woman.

The thing is, and what I want women to know is…..

Women already have all the rights they are fighting for. They have them by virtue of their womanhood. They were given the power by nature to control birth or to terminate it if need be (and abortion is often caused by living in a society run by masculine ideals and values, not a solution to it, but I digress again). What I want women to know is that they don’t need to be wasting energy fighting men to feel autonomous over their bodies. We already are, and we have a vast well of resources and knowledge that is available to us that we have been robbed from by growing up in an industrialized, modern society. We don’t need to be marching on Capitol Hill. We need to march on over to the living rooms of our community sisters and relearn the art of DIY healthcare. It’s really not that hard, trust me, I do it. Not only do I do my own healthcare, but I train second year medical students (I know, how ironic. Another post.) how to perform the well-women’s exam and I’ll let you in on a little secret….

If you’re reading this, you could do the damn thing yourself…..

As much as I see myself as a woman who radically cares for the health and well-being and rights of women, I just can’t get behind the modern, liberal feminist movement that feels so rampant today, precisely because I don’t see that it carries similar values as I do. It touts that it does, but I see it all as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The amount of disconnect between women, their bodies and the foundations of true health in the feminist movement is astonishing. I can’t support women demanding their “rights” for pills (that were invented and created by men) that screw up our hormonal health, (which is inextricably connected to everything else), and is responsible for many deaths.

I can’t cry for free access to a healthcare system that is dominated by the ideas of men and predicated on abuse and the perpetuation of chronic disease. A system that persuades women to part with their breasts and womb in the name of profit. I can’t hoot and holler when they make toxic feminine hygiene products “tax free” that wreak havoc on our bodies.

Like I said, the Women’s March platform mentions access to birth control and abortion, but says nothing (zero!) about a woman’s right to a healthy, physiological, sovereign birth and support around that (with the exception of maternal leave). I only see the erasure of fertility within feminism everywhere I look. Plug it up, take a pill, kill it.

I. Just. Don’t. Get. It. How is it not painfully obvious that (wo)man’s abandonment from nature, and now destruction of nature is what got us where we are today? And in a hierarchy where hu(man) thinks he can dominate that which sustains him (nature), it has translated over to women’s bodies, and feminists have taken the bait, and are now demanding free and total access to a world that was never created in support of their biology. I simply don’t resonate with anything that separates women from what makes them women, or attempts to make our unique, biological functions and gifts a burden that we need to abandon ourselves from.

To my mind, things like top-down, big medicine, hormonal contraceptives (or any pharmaceutical drug), and medicated/technocratic abortions are not components that can help “liberate” women, but rather, they only further exploit women. By no means do I see these as solutions to our problems, but rather, some inevitable outcomes to our deeper distresses.

Last year, I discovered a term called Ecofeminism. I can’t believe I had never heard of this before. It’s. So. Me. Sure, it’s just a label, and why the need to label myself? It’s less about the label and more that I know there are women who see the correlation between the oppression of nature and how that has translated into the oppression of women. Women who get that we are nature and trying to ignore and override it is the true “patriarchy.”

Some tenants and ideas of Ecofeminism are:

  • Ecofeminism uses the parallels between the oppression of nature and the oppression of women as a way to highlight the idea that both must be understood in order to properly recognize how they are connected. These parallels include but are not limited to seeing women and nature as property, seeing men as the curators of culture and women as the curators of nature, and how men dominate women and humans dominate nature.
  • One ecofeminist theory is that capitalist values reflect paternalistic and gendered values. In this interpretation effects of capitalism has led to a harmful split between nature and culture. In the 1970s, early ecofeminists discussed that the split can only be healed by the feminine instinct for nurture and holistic knowledge of nature’s processes.
  • Vandana Shiva says that women have a special connection to the environment through their daily interactions and this connection has been ignored. She says that women in subsistence economies who produce “wealth in partnership with nature, have been experts in their own right of holistic and ecological knowledge of nature’s processes”. She makes the point that “these alternative modes of knowing, which are oriented to the social benefits and sustenance needs are not recognized by the capitalist reductionist paradigm, because it fails to perceive the interconnectedness of nature, or the connection of women’s lives, work and knowledge with the creation of wealth (23)”. Shiva blames this failure on the West’s patriarchy, and the patriarchal idea of what development is. According to Shiva, patriarchy has labeled women, nature, and other groups not growing the economy as “unproductive”.
  • In Ecofeminism (1993) authors Vandana Shiva, Maria Mies and Evan Bondi ponder modern science and its acceptance as a universal and value-free system. Instead, they view the dominant stream of modern science as a projection of Western men’s values. The privilege of determining what is considered scientific knowledge has been controlled by men, and for the most part of history restricted to men. Bondi and Miles list examples including the medicalization of childbirth and the industrialization of plant reproduction.

There are many philosophies within ecofeminism, some are even conflicting just as they are within Christianity or modern feminism. I don’t agree with them all, but ecofeminism is the closest thing I have found that can articulate my personal views of feminism and what true health and empowerment for women is.

If being a feminist means I must support women in their choices no matter what, then I am not a feminist. Often times, supporting women “no matter what,” means watching women fall prey to toxic patriarchal exploitation cloaked in “women’s liberation,” and I can’t (and won’t) sit back and swallow one iota of toleration for something I view as doing so much harm. Which doesn’t mean I’ll jump down your throat about it, either, or even bring it up if we don’t have a relationship built on a lot of love and trust.

If being a feminist mean I think women deserve equal treatment, respect, and pay for the same work (they do) as men or any other human being, then of course, I am a feminist, and quite frankly, who isn’t (with the exception of some assholes)?

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Shutdown Theater: Blame? Why Not Credit?

According to the headline at CNN, “Trump bears most blame for shutdown.”

But according to the CNN/SSRS poll the story is based on, the question asked was “Who do you think is more responsible for the government shutdown?” (emphasis mine).

Those are two entirely different questions. “Blame” is only one variant of “responsibility.” CNN’s coverage of its own poll begs the question by conflating the two, assuming universal belief that the “government shutdown” is a bad thing.

That take ignores a very different viewpoint. Many Americans consider the shutdown a good thing. No, probably not a majority, but enough that they show up on the nation’s newspaper opinion pages and in “man on the street” interviews.

Radical libertarians like me are, unfortunately, a tiny part of the “yay, shutdown!” demographic. We prefer, on principle, to see the government doing as little as it can be made to do. Shut down as much of it as possible for as long as possible!

But there are also Republicans and Democrats who assign responsibility — in the form of credit, not blame — to their own parties or to Congress as such,  presumably one of two principles:

First, the notion that one side is right, that the other side is wrong, and that no compromise is acceptable, on the issue holding up a deal — President Trump’s demand that any spending deal fund his “border wall.”

Supporters of the wall may credit Trump with backbone for refusing any deal that puts off the wall to yet another funding cycle.

Opponents of the wall may similarly credit US Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi with backbone for refusing any deal that funds the wall.

Secondly, notions concerning which branch of government should enjoy primacy. That is, who’s in charge here, Congress or the president?

Supporters of a stronger executive may credit Trump with pushing for power they believe he’s entitled to and a policy they agree with him is correct.

Supporters of a stronger Congress may credit Schumer and Pelosi with resisting executive overreach and trying to counteract this instance of that overreach through Congress’s power of the purse.

While I’m a fan of “government shutdowns” in general, and wish they’d just kind of wander off and forget to open back up one of these times, I agree that these other fights are worth having as well.

Which side will win the current brawl? In my opinion, absent some Hail Mary maneuver (like the “emergency declaration” Trump is publicly pondering), the side which first understands and exploits the phenomenon above.

That is, the side which stops trying to shift blame for the “shutdown” and starts claiming credit for it.

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On Progressivism

Progressivism as a philosophy is about improving the human condition. It brings to my mind the old adage, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” In my opinion, the only way to improve the human condition is to improve the conditions wherein a person may act. It is a false progressivism to believe that this requires government coercion. All that government can do toward the progressive goal is to get out of the way. Progressivism should mean “free action” not “free stuff.” Markets have proven far more capable at improving the human condition than any other mechanism. Progressivism which stays true to its principles fits snugly under the voluntaryist umbrella. It’s too bad that progressives are progressivism’s worst enemies. And that’s today’s two cents.

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