American leaders and their loyal media pundits love to sit in judgment of other countries’ election, declaring them fair or rigged according to their seemingly meticulous standards. In fact, the real standard is that the regimes “we” like hold free and fair (enough) elections, while the regimes “we” dislike don’t. What about regimes “we” like that hold no elections at all, like Saudi Arabia? They are forgotten whenever the loveliness of democracy is the topic of discussion.
American politicians love to boast of their nation’s status as the world’s premier “representative democracy,” and to lecture other, presumably less enlightened, countries on the importance of representative political institutions. Going by the numbers (which admittedly don’t tell the whole story), there’s good reason to question whether such preening is justified.
These days it feels like it’s hard for most people to have pleasant social interactions with others who “believe” differently.
Most of the time I have observed people promoting their religion/faith, they aren’t selling the virtues of the ideology. It isn’t promoting scripture, showing the wisdom inherent in god’s word, or anything like this. The way most advertising for religion works is merely the same exact way used by con men and cults, they are capitalizing on your insecurity.
Last week, I reported on two myths about socialism. My new video covers three more.
There’s a time to speak up and a time to observe and collect data. Wisdom is knowing which time it is.
Episode 426 welcomes Shepard the Voluntaryist to the podcast to chat with Skyler on the following topics: knowing Carl Watner intimately and his work at Voluntaryist.com; Watner introducing both Skyler and Shepard to Stoicism; his discovery of Ron Paul, and then Murray Rothbard, Walter Block, Larken Rose, et al; his 10 year career as a police officer, 2 of which were as a prison guard; capitalism versus corporatism; growing up with the Mennonites, but later becoming an atheist; Marc Stevens’ method of challenging state jurisdiction; the wisdom in avoiding the cops; why the BLM protests over the some had the wrong grievance about injustice; a story of a prison inmate getting beat up for flushing a toilet, and how asking about why this happened to a fellow prison guard got him ostracized; why spreading the ideas of liberty, planting seeds, is a very slow process; fun strategies to repel cops; and more.
Episode 418 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following aphorisms written by Jakub Bożydar Wiśniewski: “A good economist believes that his role is to improve the public’s understanding of the market. A bad economist believes that his role is to improve the market’s understanding of the public.”; “A democratic state is a device whereby everyone gets a chance to assert his nuisance value on a social scale.”; “A foolish environmentalist wants to save nature from the greed of the market by exposing it to the tragedy of the commons. A smart environmentalist wants to save nature from the tragedy of the commons by exposing it to the greed of the market.”; “Happiness without liberty is no more possible than wisdom without knowledge.”; “Believing that the state can promote culture is like believing that putting a gun to someone’s head is a gentleman’s offer.”; “A utopian believes in changing human nature. A realist believes in unleashing its potential.”
The conventional wisdom of the last hundred years or so: The US government can and should decide what we may eat, drink, smoke, inject, or otherwise ingest. It can and should kidnap and cage us if we disobey, and if its restrictions kill us with adulterated or unduly strong black market products, it’s our own fault for not doing as we’re told.
Episode 036 looks at two Stoic topics: the first from Epictetus who wrote, “But what is philosophy? Doesn’t it simply mean preparing ourselves for what may come? Don’t you understand that really amounts to saying that if I would so prepare myself to endure, then let anything happen that will? Otherwise, it would be like the boxer exiting the ring because he took some punches. Actually, you can leave the boxing ring without consequence, but what advantage would come from abandoning the pursuit of wisdom? So, what should each of us say to every trial we face? This is what I’ve trained for, for this my discipline!”; and the second from r/Stoicism, a post by Throwawaymykey9000 who started off with, “Whenever you find yourself upset, pay close attention to what false appearance/expectation you had that led to the discomfort. This is how you grow as a Stoic.”