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Extremist Music, Take Two!

(originally launched into cyberspace on 04/18/2007)

Dear Subscriber,

Well, it took all of three minutes to exceed my free bandwidth for
people to upload my song (as some of you found out the hard way).
Luckily, I just figured out how to pay a bit to give me unlimited
bandwidth for a month of uploading. (Wow, how pathetic is that?: a
musician paying to have other people hear his stuff.) Anyway, it
should work now. So let's try this again...

http://www.lookimrich.com

Search for "Larken Rose," click on what it finds, go to "Audio,"
and you'll see the song "Think." Click on the little triangle to
start playing it. (It's in MP3, so you'll need something that plays
those, though these days 95% of computers come with that anyway, I
think). Hopefully this time it will actually work.

Sincerely,

Larken Rose
www.larkenrose.com

[ June 27, 2007, 03:23 PM: Message edited by: 3rdEar ]

What Works

(originally launched into cyberspace on 04/08/2007)

Dear Subscriber,

When I first started looking into this thing called "anarchism"
(society without "government"), most of the discussions I found
revolved around the question of what "works." Lots of people could
see anarchism as a utopian ideal, but didn't believe it could
"work" with the obviously imperfect human race. Others insisted
that a purely voluntary society would "work" far better than a top-
down, micro-managed "governed" society, notwithstanding the
stupidity and/or malice of the common folk.

Unlike many anarchists, however, I did NOT arrive at my political
beliefs by becoming convinced that "anarchy" would work better than
government, any more than I decided that Christmas would "work"
better without Santa Claus. And unlike some, I do NOT advocate that
"government" be overthrown or abolished, any more than I advocate
that Santa be overthrown or abolished. Christmas "works" because
the big people KNOW that Santa isn't real, so they don't sit around
waiting for him to make things happen. Similarly, my goal is not to
overthrow or defeat a non-existent mythological being, but to have
people realize that the being is completely fictional, and to act
accordingly. (No, I'm not saying the buildings, the jackboots, and
the guns aren't real; I'm saying the "authority" is not, and
without that, the gang is only a gang, not a "government.")

I said I'd eventually explain the name of this mailing list, and
now I will. The initials "T.M.D.S." is an abbreviation of the title
of a book I've been working on for years, titled "The Most
Dangerous Superstition." And what is that superstition? It is the
belief in "authority." In upcoming messages, I'll explain why the
concept of "authority" (and "government") is a self-contradictory
impossibility. Again, I don't just mean it's a bad idea, or that
there is a better option; I mean that "authority" is 100% a
HALLUCINATION. It does not exist, cannot exist, never has and never
will exist. If humanity ever gets around to understanding that,
we'll all be a lot better off. We'll still often be imperfect,
impatient, irrational, irresponsible, inconsiderate, and
occasionally malicious, but we will nonetheless eliminate at least
90% of the injustice that now occurs on this planet. If you find
that hard to believe (as I did for a long time), I hope you at
least keep reading.

Sincerely,

Larken Rose
www.larkenrose.com

The Real Purpose of "Government"

(originally launched into cyberspace on 04/07/2007)

Dear Subscriber,

Time for another simple line of reasoning which leads to a fairly
disturbing conclusion. Once again, the challenge is not
comprehending something complex; it's letting something painfully
simple drill its way through the many years of indoctrination we've
all had.

Most people agree that there are many kinds of unjustified, immoral
force (a.k.a. violence), and a few kinds of justified force (mainly
defensive). When a mugger swipes a little old lady's purse, that's
bad. When a guy tackles the mugger to get it back for the little
old lady, that's good. No doubt we could bicker endlessly about the
"gray areas," and where we think the dividing line between moral
force and immoral force is, but for this point, you don't need to
use MY measure of what is or isn't justified. Use your own. But for
now I'll use an example that most of us would agree upon.

The mugger has the ABILITY to take the purse by force, but does not
have the RIGHT. The little old lady, on the other hand, has the
RIGHT to use defensive force to stop the purse-snatcher, but she
may not have the ABILITY. However, everyone ELSE has the right to
use force on her behalf, either to be nice or because she pays them
to (e.g., if she happens to be a rich little old lady with a
bodyguard).

The context of the use of force is what determines whether it is
moral or not. The little old lady's right to use force doesn't come
from who she is, or from legislation. The right to use defensive
force, to protect person or property, is an inherent right that
every human has. No one had to give it to her. Likewise, the force
used by the mugger is unjustified and immoral, not because of who
he is or because "the law" says so, but because it's an
infringement upon the little old lady's inherent rights.

So far, this is pretty basic stuff. But one little step of logic
exposes something pretty disturbing. If the little old lady, and
every one of us, already has the RIGHT to use defensive force
(though we can bicker about where exactly to draw the line), then
we have the right to have someone else use such force on our
behalf. That's what private security guards and bodyguards are:
people hired to exercise the right of self-defense on behalf of
someone else. We as INDIVIDUALS have the right, so we can delegate
it to anyone we wish, without the need for any "law" or special
"authority."

So, what DO we need "government" for? What DOES require
"legislation," if not inherently justified force? Simple: people
use statutory "law" to exercise inherently IMMORAL force--which
they as individuals do NOT have the right to use--to achieve
desired ends. They want "free" stuff, and since they can't take it
by force from their neighbors without unpleasant consequences, they
have "tax collectors" and "government programs" do it for them.
They want the poor cared for, or a military funded, or any number
of other "programs" carried out, but they don't have the right to
FORCE their neighbors to fund those things, so they ask "authority"
to do it. They want certain vices and habits forcibly combated,
even though those behaviors do not constitute force against anyone
(e.g., drug use, prostitution, gambling, etc.). The average citizen
has no right to forcibly interfere with those, so they want
"government" to do it instead. In short, people want "government"
to use force in situations where average people have NO RIGHT to
use such force. (I hope most people on this list are already aware
of the fact that EVERY "law," no matter how much rhetoric and
euphemism it's hidden under, is a threat, backed up by the ability
and willingness to use force.)

So here is the punch line, which is glaringly self-evident, but is
vehemently denied by the vast majority of people. Read it a couple
of times carefully, to let the meaning sink in.

"Government" is the addition of IMMORAL force (unjustified
violence) into society.

And people wonder why "government" corrupts everything it touches,
and why it doesn't fix the problems of society. Hint: you can't
IMPROVE society by adding more UNJUSTIFIED VIOLENCE into it. (Duh.)
It doesn't get any simpler than that, but the millions upon
millions who have been thoroughly indoctrinated into the worship of
the state--and I sadly confess to having been one for a long time--
will come up with all manner of explanation, rationalization, and
justification to try to make the insane sane. No election, no
constitution, no legislation--NOTHING can alter that simple fact:
the entire purpose of "authority"--the ONLY reason people want it
to exist--is to exert violence (under the guise of "law") which is
INHERENTLY IMMORAL AND UNJUSTIFIED. They don't need it for anything
else.

For those who would deny that, I make this simple, unilateral
pledge: I will never initiate force against you, or advocate that
anyone else do so. I will use force, and advocate force, only when
used in defense of person or property. Care to make that pledge as
well? If so, you'll have to first give up your belief in elections,
and constitutions, and legislation, and democracy, and authority,
and government, since all of those are nothing more than excuses to
use inherently immoral violence.

(I warned you this wouldn't be your average political discussion
list.)

Sincerely,

Larken Rose
www.larkenrose.com

Indoctrination 101

(originally launched into cyberspace on 03/22/2007)

Dear Subscriber,

Most of us have experienced that odd phenomenon of learning a new
word, and then having it pop up all over the place. (This is really
about perception: we just don't notice it everywhere until we know
what it means.) Well, since finishing my book, "How To Be a
Successful Tyrant," I feel as if I'm constantly seeing examples of
the exact tactics I describe in the book, sometimes even using the
exact WORDS the book uses. (Hmmm, maybe the politicians bought it.)
Just about every time I read a story in the paper, or hear a
talking head on the TV, I feel like shouting "Yeah, like that! A
fine example of pro-tyranny indoctrination!"

Well, someone sent me something I just had to mention here. It is
an expose on one of the most powerful and essential ingredients to
any totalitarian regime: thought control via indoctrination. AFTER
you watch the trailer (if you can) on their web site, read the
following excerpts, which are from my "Tyrant" book. But first,
visit www.indoctrinate-u.com .

(Incidentally, if you stay on this list long enough, and do lots of
cutting and pasting, you might be able to reconstruct my entire
book from the excerpts I quote, without having to buy the dang
thing. But for those of you who want to do it the easy way, you can
get it pre-assembled for $17, including shipping, by going to the
www.tyrantbook.com web site.)

Now, on with the excerpts. See how well they match what the
documentary is about. Remember, this book is addressed to the
aspiring tyrant:

- ----------< begin quote >-----------

The two primary means by which the proper indoctrination can be
delivered are: 1) the "education" system, and 2) the media. The
education system includes everything from pre-school to college.
....
Almost as important as getting your message out is getting it out
in such a way as to give the impression that the message is not
coming from you. The peasants perceive it very differently when
you suggest that your power should increase, and when an apparently
objective "concerned citizen" suggests the same thing. ...

One effective method of propaganda does not deal with what is said
but with what is NOT discussed. The range of opinions the peasants
are exposed to has an enormous impact on what they will perceive as
reasonable. Peasants have few ideas of their own, so if they are
exposed to only two "different" views, BOTH of which support your
plans for control, they will almost certainly think only about
WHICH pro-tyranny viewpoint they like better, rather than being
original enough to decide that neither of the presented viewpoints
makes sense.
"In the United States, the majority undertakes to supply a
multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who
are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their
own." [Alexis de Tocqueville]

The peasants must feel they have a choice of what to believe, so
the message must look like a "debate" instead of a sermon.
However, the "debate" should be so limited that anything even
approaching an anti-tyranny opinion must be seen as outside the
realm of rational debate.

"The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to
assure uniformity, but the one that removes awareness of other
possibilities." [Alan Bloom]
....
You should constantly spread the message that anyone who opposes
your plans is either an idiot, evil, or both. A "rebuttal" as lame
and substance-free as "You can't really believe that," coming from
someone who appears to be informed and intelligent, can make most
peasants back down from their true beliefs. Demeaning and
insulting an idea may not make all the peasants change their minds,
but it will make most refrain from voicing the opinion themselves.
After all, who wants to announce an opinion that "those in the
know" say is stupid? And when hardly anyone feels self-confident
enough to state the "unapproved" belief, hardly anyone hears it
being stated, and as a result everyone concludes that hardly anyone
holds that belief.
....
In addition to belittling the opinions of your opponents, be sure
also to frequently demonize those who hold those opinions. The
moment you question people's motives, they will almost always shift
to defending themselves instead of arguing their original point.
Someone who opposes your attempts to become an enforced "charity"
monopoly (via forced wealth redistribution) should be accused of
wanting the poor to starve. Those who oppose your take-over of the
health care industry should be accused of not caring about people
who get sick. Those who oppose peasant disarmament should be
accused of not being concerned about crime. Those who don't want
to be extorted by you should be portrayed as "greedy" and not
wanting to pay their "fair share."
....
Peasants don't like to think for themselves. They like to be told
what to think, after which they feel "informed" because they can
spout back the tripe spoon-fed to them by their betters. That is
what so-called "experts" are for: to tell the masses what they
should think. ... It is amazing how an utterly idiotic message can
be persuasive if the messenger appears credible and knowledgeable.
"Today we are delighted to have in our studios Professor Eugene
Wellington Horglesnunkle, Ph.D., M.D., A.B.C., to give a
nonsensical and long-winded explanation of why government should
control more aspects of our lives."

- -----------< end quote >----------

I'm not sure exactly what all the folks at www.indoctrinate-u.com
believe in, and I'm so "fringe" that it's almost a statistical
certainty that I would disagree with whatever the politics of the
makers of the film might be. However, in their objection to thought
control disguised as "education," I'm with them all the way. It's
nice to see things like this and Aaron Russo's "America: Freedom to
Fascism" ( www.freedomtofascism.com ) getting a little contrary
viewpoint out there, despite the whining of the state-worshipers.
(Notice that on the www.indoctrinate-u.com web site there is a way
to request a screening of the movie in your area, which I've
already done.)

Though it's included above, I'll end this message with one of my
favorite quotes. It's gruesomely accurate, and painfully relevant
in modern America:

"The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to
assure uniformity, but the one that removes awareness of other
possibilities." [Alan Bloom]

Sincerely,

Larken Rose
www.larkenrose.com

So Simple, So Disturbing

(originally launched into cyberspace on 03/21/2007)

Dear Subscriber,

Sometimes very simple questions can cause profound cognitive
dissonance. Here is a series of very simple questions I like to
pose to people at random, especially if I want to make their heads
explode. (For the record, my head was long ago exploded by these
simple concepts, so I'm not claiming superiority here.)

1) Can you delegate to someone else a right which you don't have?
For example, if you don't have the right to punch me in the nose
(just for fun), can you GIVE the right to do so to someone else?

The answer is self-evident: no, you can't. If it's bad for you to
do it, you can't make it good for someone else to do it, whether it
be murder, assault, theft, vandalism, etc. If it's immoral for YOU
to do something, how could you possibly have the ability to make it
moral for someone ELSE to do it?

2) Can TWO people delegate a right that neither of them has? For
example, if TWO of you want me to be punched in the nose (but
neither of you has the right), can you GIVE a third person the
right to punch me? What if 50 of you wanted it? How about a million
people?

Again, the answer is pretty obvious: no, the NUMBER of people who
want to do something bad doesn't make it into something good;
numbers cannot create the moral RIGHT for someone to do something.
And note, I'm talking about moral justification, not mere ability.
Almost everyone is ABLE to punch me in the nose--especially if
there are a million people who want my nose punched--but that's not
the same as having a moral RIGHT to do so. It doesn't matter how
big the group gets: if NO ONE in the group has a right to do "A,"
then they can't give that right to someone else.

Up to this point, most people follow along without much protest.
The answers seem patently obvious to almost everyone. However, if I
add a third, equally simple question, it sends most people into a
philosophical crisis:

3) If people cannot delegate rights they don't have, where did
"government" get the right to do what it does?

Sure, a few "laws" are just the exercising of rights we all have:
the right to defend yourself (or others) against thieves,
murderers, invaders, etc. We have the right of self-defense, so--if
we feel so inclined--we can delegate that right to someone else.
But consider how many so-called "laws" are things which you and I
would never dream of doing on our own, because we know we don't
have the right.

For example, do you personally have the right to demand money from
your neighbor, just because you want it? Do you have the right to
imprison him for smoking a leaf you don't approve of? To take his
money for driving his car without your permission? To tell him what
he can eat, where he can live, who he can work for, who he can
hire, who he can fire, how he can run his business, what he can
sell? And do you have the right to put him in a cage if he chooses
to disobey any arbitrary command you care to fling at him? If YOU
don't personally have the right to play intrusive control freak,
how did those in "government" get the right to do it? Who gave it
to them?

At this point, many people jump to the popular excuse of necessity.
"We NEED to have government doing those things, or there would be
.... ANARCHY!" That's nice, but it doesn't answer the question: from
whom did they get the right? Based on the self-evident answers to
my first two questions, they didn't get the right from YOU, or from
any of your six billion neighbors (none of whom have the right
themselves). So, where did it come from? A piece of parchment? A
magical voting booth? If we mere mortals didn't give them the right
(and we didn't), who or what DID?

We talk about "representative" government. What does that mean? If
someone really "represents" me, he may do only what I may do. For
example, I could authorize my "representative" to do business for
me. I could do it myself, but I allow him to do it instead. What I
may NOT morally do, however, I cannot authorize him to do either.
To be a "representative" just means acting on someone else's
behalf. If I have no right to do a particular thing, it should be
painfully obvious that someone "representing" me doesn't have that
right either.

So, upon whose behalf are the federal "representatives" acting? If
YOU don't personally have the right to "tax" me (and you don't),
neither does your "representative." How, then, did we reach a point
where almost everyone accepts as indisputable doctrine that our
"representatives" have rights that WE DON'T? On its face the idea
is absurd, and yet 99.9% of the country unquestioningly accepts it
as a given.

I'm going to stop there for now, because I have found, after doing
this little mental exercise with dozens (if not hundreds) of
people, that those few simple concepts are enough to stir up some
serious turmoil in the minds of 99% of the people who consider
them. Why? Because those few simple, obvious answers very plainly
lead to a conclusion that scares the existential heck out of most
people. It's so scary, in fact, I won't even say what that
conclusion is ... yet.

Sincerely,

Larken Rose
www.tyrantbook.com

[ March 21, 2007, 10:44 AM: Message edited by: 3rdEar ]

Principles versus Mush

(orignially launched into cyberspace on 03/20/2007)

Dear Subscriber,

What are the fundamental philosophical principles of the Republican
party? I don't mean the window-dressing and the rhetoric; I mean
what is the foundational basis for the party's existence? Put
another way, what is the Republican party's ultimate view on
government's proper role in society? What is the ideal system they
want?

If you're having trouble finding an answer, it's because there
isn't one. The Republican party has ABSOLUTELY NO underlying
principles. Not a one. (To be fair, I'm speaking now of the
politicians rather than the voters, some of whom actually have
foundational beliefs.)

In fact, there are very few political positions that are based upon
actual principles. Two, to be exact:

1) Pure collectivism, whether under the banner of socialism,
communism, fascism, or the euphemism "democracy," has an underlying
principle: EVERYTHING should be the property of the collective
(which ends up meaning the government), and the collective has the
right to forcibly control the behavior of all individuals. Okay, so
it happens to be an insane, horribly destructive principle, but at
least it's a principle.

2) Libertarianism is based on the idea that the only proper use of
force, whether by "government" or anyone else, is to defend against
force or fraud committed by others.

So what is the underlying principle of the Republican party? Do
they, for example, believe that you have a right to keep what you
earn? Of course not. When they talk about "tax cuts," there is NO
principle involved. They are NOT saying that what you earn belongs
to you. They are saying that, as your masters, they would choose to
LET you keep a little bit more than other politicians might. In
other words, they are running on the concept of "I'm a nicer master
than that other guy." And they pat themselves on the back for it.

The politicians of both parties believe, quite obviously, that it
is completely at THEIR discretion how much of your earnings they
will ALLOW you to keep. That is what "taxation" is: THEY decide how
much they get, and how much you get. You have no say in the matter.
(If you think your "vote" counts as having a say in the matter,
read on.) In principle, there is NO difference.

People are really bad at being objective: seeing a situation
without bias. We see things based on what we already know, and what
we're accustomed to. And politicians make the most of that fact.
How hilarious is it that the Republican party still wears the label
of "limited government," when it advocates that around HALF of what
everyone earns be taken by force by the government? It's only
because someone else is suggesting a slightly higher level of
wealth confiscation that by comparison the Republican party can
pretend to be pro-freedom. (The fact that that ploy works is
embarrassing.)

How can something be called a political philosophy if it doesn't
have an ideal? How do you know what direction to go if you don't
have an ultimate goal you're aiming at? "I don't know where I'm
going, but I'm going the right way." Huh? Here is what an actual
principle looks like: I am against carjacking. I don't want ANY of
it. I don't want to reduce it by 3%. I don't want to regulate it. I
don't want it inflicted only on "the rich." I don't want to put a
cap on it. I don't want to slowly phase it out (or in). I don't
want carjacking "reform." I don't want more efficient carjacking,
or a more customer-friendly carjacking. I want it STOPPED,
completely. Because, in PRINCIPLE, it is wrong.

Most people now acknowledge that voting consists of choosing the
lesser of two evils. So whose brilliant idea was it to give us two
EVILS to choose from? If everyone decides what SHOULD be from the
starting point of what IS, instead of having fundamental beliefs
and basic principles, you're just redecorating a poop cake. Such
worthless, superficial discourse is exactly what those in power
want you to think constitutes "reasonable" discussion. You can
discuss WHICH thief's hand to have in your pocket, or WHICH
jackboot to have on your throat, but don't you dare suggest that NO
ONE should be doing that.

Allow me to quote myself:

- ------------< begin quote >-----------------------------

These days the most popular illusion of "peasant power" is the
voting booth. Open resistance has been averted numerous times by
offering the peasants a choice between Tyrant A and Tyrant B.

"A man is no less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new
master once in a term of years." [Lysander Spooner]

No matter how many times the people are stomped on, harassed, and
oppressed by "elected" tyrants (usually taking turns, as one tyrant
is replaced by another), the vast majority of the peasants will
continue to fall for the idea (pushed by you, of course), that
another "election" is their only civilized recourse to any
government-imposed injustice they see.

"Perhaps the fact that we have seen millions voting themselves into
complete dependence on a tyrant has made our generation understand
that to choose one's government is not necessarily to secure
freedom." [F. A. Hayek]

People would think it insane to have an election to choose a
carjacker or bank-robber for their town. The only difference
between that and choosing a "ruler" comes from the now deeply
ingrained assumption that having a ruler is necessary and essential
to society (a delusion you [speaking to the aspiring tyrant here]
should reinforce constantly). The question must always be WHICH
person or group of people should have the power to rule everyone
else; the question must never be WHETHER anyone should have such
power.

"We vote? What does that mean? It means that we choose between two
bodies of real, though not avowed, autocrats. We choose between
Tweedledum and Tweedledee." [Helen Keller]

If the peasants accept the assertion that someone must rule them,
their thoughts and efforts will revolve, not around preserving
their own freedom, but around deciding whom they should surrender
their freedom to. America gives a fine example, showing that a
people who violently resisted a relatively low level of oppression
from King George III would later fail to resist a dramatically
higher level of intrusion, control, extortion and general
oppression imposed by "elected" tyrants.

- -------------< end quote >---------------------------

The above is from my recently released book, "How To Be a
Successful Tyrant"
( www.tyrantbook.com ), which is just what it sounds like: a how-to
manual for aspiring tyrants. (I sure hope the common folk don't get
their hands on it, or the methods described in the book might not
work anymore.)

So the point here is not really to bash a particular party (though
that's always fun), but to introduce the concept of PRINCIPLES,
something nowhere to be found in "normal" political debates. And I
don't mean vague, politician-rhetoric non-principles like "I'm for
lower taxes." Lower than what? How low? Fifty percent? One percent?
Zero percent? Is there a PRINCIPLE involved, or are you just
playing with window-dressing?

The reason I call this the "anti-political" list is because it will
NOT be about tinkering with the symptoms of our twisted, insane
system. We will be digging underneath all of it, to see what is at
the heart of ALL "acceptable" political discussion. And then we
will consider some UNacceptable ideas.

Sincerely,

Larken Rose
www.larkenrose.com