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Opening the Cage (Part 3 of 3)

(originally launched into cyberspace on 08/26/2007)

(Note: Regarding my last message, don't confuse rights with
abilities. Even when completely justified, having a shootout with
the cops is almost always hazardous to one's health. My prior
message wasn't a suggestion; it was a statement about moral
justification. As long as most people insist on believing that the
collective owns them--via "government"--it will be really dangerous
to be one of the crazies who thinks he owns himself. The other
sheep don't take kindly to those who resist being fleeced.)

Dear Subscriber,

Almost everyone is a part-time collectivist. Most people have a few
things which THEY want imposed on everyone else via "authority,"
but when something they don't like is imposed upon THEM, they get
all self-righteous and indignant about it. Well, to paraphrase (and
slightly mangle) the "golden rule," if you don't want other people
doing it to you, DON'T DO IT TO THEM!

If I go around randomly killing people, others have the right to
stop me by force, not because they own me, but because they own
THEMSELVES, which logically implies the right of self-preservation.
But if I'm not stomping on someone else's self-ownership, NO ONE
has the right to use force to control me. If I want to smoke pot (I
don't), have a rifle (I do), wear women's underwear (I don't), eat
cheeseburgers (I sometimes do), marry an aardvark (I don't), say
nasty things about politicians (I do), or hit myself in the head
with a baseball bat (I've felt like it on occasion, but haven't
yet), no one has the right to forcibly stop me. And calling the
control "law" makes exactly NO difference to whether the control is
justified. If the "government" doesn't OWN me, it has exactly ZERO
right to do a thing to me, unless it's defending someone ELSE'S
self-ownership (in which case, anyone would have the right to stop

"Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent,
it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful
liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits
drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within
the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant’s will,
and always so when it violates the right of an individual." [Thomas

Sadly, people rarely think from principles, so they play both sides
of the fence. Your average "liberal" will holler about his rights
to smoke pot if he wants to, and then turn around and advocate the
robbery of almost everyone in the country, in order to fund things
HE likes (art, welfare, whatever). Meanwhile, the average
"conservative" insists that he has a right to own firearms and
drink his beer, but wants the "law" to forcibly stop someone else
from doing LSD.

"Boo hoo! My rights are being infringed!" Well, if you're
advocating that anyone ELSE'S rights be infringed, serves you
right! If you think it's just fine for the "legal" thugs to kick
down doors, drag people away, and put them in cages, because they
had a LEAF the politicians don't approve of, then when those same
thugs rob and control YOU, don't whine about it. Or, to quote a far
more eloquent expression of the same sentiment:

"No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without
at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck."
[Frederick Douglass]

Sadly, things are discussed in terms of legislation so often these
days that most people have a hard time differentiating between
"That's a bad idea" and "That should be illegal." There are LOTS of
choices people make that are stupid or dangerous (physically or
otherwise)--everything from eating too much junk food, to snorting
coke, to skateboarding, to sitting in front of a computer too much
(that's me), to sleeping around, to watching too much TV, to
drinking too much beer--the list goes on and on. Acknowledging that
you have no right to use VIOLENCE to stop those things is worlds
away from saying you CONDONE such choices. But if you want to be
allowed the responsibility to make your own choices, and you don't
want to be a complete hypocrite (and a fascist), you have to also
allow other people to make choices you think are stupid.

My advice: Treat everyone as if he owns himself. Because he does.
Don't advocate that he be forced, "legally" or otherwise, to do
ANYTHING, except for refraining from infringing on someone else's
self-ownership. And if you do advocate using non-defense force,
don't pretend to believe in freedom; and when you then find such
unjustified force aimed at YOU, you damn well deserve it.


Larken Rose