My Wish

Sharing wishes with strangers makes a powerful emotional statement.

I agree. So for my contribution to the Daily Post’s photo challenge and discussion of the week, here is my photo and wish…

So many people argue that freedom is unworkable, impossible- but I think it’s really the thing that works best. It has been proven to be the best system for increasing the quality of life for the most people in every society that has tried it- (USA before we gave it away, Hong Kong, Singapore are just a couple of recent examples).

Like John Lennon sang, Imagine!

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace, you
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need
PS- I took that gorgeous photo on a recent trip to Zanzibar, the scuba diving was fantastic!
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Walk the Line- Live and Let Live

 

Today’s prompt from the Daily Post…

Have you got a code you live by? What are the principles or set of values you actively apply in your life?

I don’t usually think too deep about that kind of thing. But after I thought about it again, in response to the prompt today, I realize that yes, I really DO have a code I live by.

That code is simple:

LIVE AND LET LIVE

I’ve always thought that philosophy would make the world a MUCH better place if more people would live that way.

I thought when I was growing up I was alone in my thought processes. For so long, it seemed that everyone else around always thought for some strange reason that someone else (god, family, state, etc.) had some sort of ‘right’ to dictate how others should live their lives.

It was very encouraging for me to learn a few years ago that there are actually a lot of other people who think the way I do. Who believe in the philosophy of liberty and value freedom for all (actually, Americas’ founding fathers thought the same way and tried hard to form a government that would protect our rights to live this way- too bad their vision has been totally destroyed in only 200 years).

I only found out about the libertarians when my local Texas congressman Ron Paul was running for President as a Libertarian. It was SO nice to find that there were other people I could talk to who actually agreed with me. 🙂

(On most things- or at least the basic principles. Of course, if you’ve ever been in a room full of libertarians, you’d never believe that since we can argue for hours over the minute details of some proposal.)

But, the BASIC principals are not really an issue.

Self ownership: YOU own your life! No one else!

Everything else comes out of that most basic principle. Things like personal responsibility, honesty and respect for others. Everything comes together in a very sensible, ethical way for people in society to live. Each person is free to chose how to live their own lives in the best way possible for them (live according to their own values), taking into consideration their personal circumstances, and remember that they’re free to do whatever they choose as long as they don’t hurt anyone else while doing it (and, that they’re responsible for their own choices/actions!). That brings up a biggie.

There is also the non-aggression principle. Here is a good explanation of that by Dr. Mary Ruwart…

QUESTION: What is the libertarian “non-aggression principle” (or “non-aggression axiom”)?

MY SHORT ANSWER: Libertarianism is based on a single ideal, the non-aggression principle, so libertarian rhetoric tends to be remarkably consistent.

Libertarians oppose the initiation of force to achieve social or political goals. They reject “first-strike” force, fraud or theft against others; they only use force in self-defense. Those who violate this “non-aggression principle” are expected to make their victims whole as much as possible.

This “Good Neighbor Policy” is what most of us were taught as children. We were told not to lie, cheat, steal, not to strike our playmates unless they hit us first. If we broke a friend’s toy, we were expected to replace it.

Most of us still practice what we learned as children with other individuals, but we have grown accustomed to letting government aggress against others when we think we benefit. Consequently, our world is full of poverty and strife, instead of the harmony and abundance that freedom (i.e., freedom from aggression) brings.

Simply put, libertarians take the non-aggression principle that most people implicitly follow in their interactions with other individuals, and apply it to group actions, including government actions, as well.

You might have heard the Libertarian Party (LP) referred to as the “Party of Principle.” This is because the LP bases its programs and policy positions on the non-aggression principle.

Yeah, I really DO believe in these principles and yes, I do live by them.

If I haven’t gone too far off the deep end for you, and you’re interested in learning more, try taking the quiz (that’s why I keep it as a sticky first post on my blog). Check out the links in this post, or try the Advocates for Self-Government or the International Society for Individual Liberty, they’re both full of good information and more links to other resources for the liberty movement around the world.

Have you ever heard of libertarians before? Do you agree with these principles? If you don’t mind me asking, why or why not?

(Yes, I am hoping to start a discussion here). 🙂

 

Universal Subjectivism: An Ethical Theory for the 21st Century

Universal Subjectivism: An Ethical Theory for the 21st Century

This looks like a very interesting book. I haven’t read it yet but the review in Utne Reader makes me want to try and find a copy.

I read the review and of course I agree, it would be a wonderful thing to stop all suffering. I just don’t know how to accomplish that.

The author suggests that it would be simple to just pass a law and we could stop factory farming here and so end so much suffering. I totally agree, factory farming is really a sickening situation, horrible for the animals. But how ‘simple’ would it be for us to stop it?

First of all, I’m not sure it would be simple even to pass a law like that. Our political system here is SO screwed up. Our politicians pass laws every day, THOUSANDS of pages long, they never read them, no one understands them, special interests get their little favors hidden inside somewhere, we all have to wait until the shit hits the fan to find out that maybe SOMEBODY should have READ the bills BEFORE they passed them into ‘law”!

We’re fighting Obamacare right now because of that exact same situation. Our agriculture lobby is pretty powerful too. As powerful as the insurance/pharmaceutical/medical lobby? I don’t know. I DO know they would not want to have their profits hurt even a teeny tiny bit! They’ll fight tooth and nail, spend millions of dollars to riddle whatever law comes up with benefits to them and detriments to the rest of us. That is how our politics works now a days! They ALWAYS find a way to screw the little guy! 😦

Besides the fact that it would be a huge political issue, MY objection to the whole factory farming thing is: would it REALLY be possible to feed everybody (without destroying even more of our land and resources)? I have seen SOME things that suggest that localized, organic type farming can be just as productive, even MORE productive than factory farming, (Farmaggedon-film- was one if I remember right). It just seems so hard to believe. I would really need to learn a lot more before I’m totally convinced that is true.

The author makes the point that people starve every day tho there is enough food to feed the population of today. I would agree with that, most of the people who are starving today are in that situation because of POLITICS and not because there isn’t enough food around. Corrupt and greedy ‘rulers’ find ways to work the system to benefit themselves and their cronies and screw everyone else! The issue is getting the food (or other aid) to the people who need it. Best way to solve that problem is to get rid of politics! Get rid of ‘rulers’!! They’re nothing but thugs wearing suits!

I have to admit, I really don’t want to change my lifestyle. I’m not a vegetarian now and I don’t really want to be one. I don’t want to learn to eat worms or insects either. I travel every chance I get and I don’t want to stop doing that either. So, OK, I am not very ethical according to this author, at least according to what I can get out of the intro to the book in the review. I don’t feel bad about it. I don’t think reading the book will make me change my mind.

How in the heck are we going to get everyone to change their mindsets to this kind of ethics? That question alone makes me want to get hold of the book and find out the authors ideas. I am curious to see what other people propose to solve these sorts of problems. I can’t imagine it ever happening by choice. I have a feeling people will eventually be using force, like they say about climate change, we don’t have time to THINK about the proper kinds of solutions, it’s time for ACTION. Same old, same old here. 😦

As usual, MY solution to the issue of suffering is the same as it is for almost every other issue… start using some BIRTH CONTROL!!!!! We sure as hell can feed 9 million people on this planet a LOT easier than we can 9 BILLION!!! We MIGHT even have some land/water/resources left over for some of the OTHER creatures on the planet if we would use our big heads instead of our little ones for a change!

To me, that would involve a whole lot less suffering for everybody. I mean, really, how hard can it be to just take a pill every day? or a depo shot every 3 months? Everybody that can have a kid, gets ONE. Maybe that policy would even encourage people to appreciate their kids for a change. 🙂

Let the people who can’t have one adopt one that is already here on this planet (instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on artificial insemination, etc). Oh, you want your own genes? Too bad, life’s not fair, it’s YOUR problem, don’t expect the rest of the world to pay just to indulge your FEELINGS. If you have the big bucks to pay for the procedure all on your own (NO insurance should cover these procedures!), then fine, maybe we’ll consider an exception if you’re some kind of genius (maybe). Instead of giving incentives to HAVE kids, give incentives to NOT have kids!

Just do the same thing as China did, establish a one child policy (must CONVINCE people of the need- NOT force them!). It shouldn’t be THAT hard. After all, most people have been convinced that people caused global warming and they’e only been spouting that story since what, the 80’s?

After a while, the population will eventually start shrinking, human suffering will lessen (and animal suffering along with it) and we can start solving the REST of the problems we have created here, such as starvation, medical care, education, engaging and fulfilling work, improving the condition of our land/water/air, maybe even make a dent in climate change. 😉

Anarchy: The Basis for a Civilized Society, Part 2

Anarchy: The Basis for a Civilized Society, Part 2 | Laissez-Faire Bookstore.

Here’s the second part of the post I put up last night about Crispin Sartwell and his book Against the State.

The main part of the book is spent in destroying the classical arguments for the State, from thinkers like Hobbs, Locke, Hume, etc. Then he takes up the discussion of why anarchy?

There are plenty of reasons, not least of which, it has worked in the past and still works right now all over the world (example: bowling leagues, ‘invisible hand’ of the market, etc). That is the argument from utility. The other argument is from morality. 

Is it better to argue for anarchy from utility or from morality? I agree with him that the moral position is better.

I think its pretty basic that (non masochist) people don’t want to have violence used against them. People are naturally OK with the Golden Rule. I think that’s a pretty good starting place for society. In fact, I think that’s pretty much the ONLY rule we really need to live in any society. 

Sartwell talks about Lysander Spooner as a good person to refer to. Another writer/philosopher he talks about is Josiah Warren and his book The Practical Anarchist.

I would add Ayn Rand, her writing explained the reasons to value your self very simply. Try her book The Virtue of Selfishness. It’s very short. 😉 Self ownership is the basis for how I think humans should relate towards each other. Society is made up of individuals (duh). A strong, vibrant society is impossible without strong individuals who make it up. The only other alternative to self ownership is slavery and I will never agree with any form of slavery. 

I hope more people start thinking about things like this, instead of just swallowing whatever they’re told in school or on the TV. It’s pretty important. If we don’t have any kind of basis, any foundation, any principles, then how can we expect our society to last? Like a house with a damaged foundation, it will fall down sooner than one with a strong one. 

Our country was based on principles very close to anarchy. We had a VERY limited government, it was a minarchy. Now, we have a bloated beast of bureaucracy and it rules every tiny little detail of our lives.

I can’t count how many times people tell me that if I don’t like the government, I can move to Somalia where they don’t have one. OK, I’m not really up on the details of Somalia but I’ll give you my take anyway…

Somalia is only fighting over WHO is going to be in charge, not that there will or won’t be somebody in charge. So it’s not a stateless society at all, it’s a society with a competition of states. State is defined as the monopoly of the use of force. 

So, Somalia is not a place to go if I don’t like government, it has an overabundance of them and will have to wait for the dust to settle and somebody wins. There’s no place on Earth that I’m aware of that has NO government, if there was, I would absolutely take them up on that and go there asap! 

Anarchy: The Basis for a Civilized Society

Anarchy: The Basis for a Civilized Society | Laissez-Faire Bookstore.

In an interview with Crispin Sartwell discussing anarchy and his latest book Against the State, Chris Mayer digs into the questions of what’s really so wrong with anarchy?

I’d really like to know. I agree with them that the left-right paradigm is a big mistake (a scam). All it does is divide us into warring parties and allows the people who really run things free latitude to do whatever they want while we’re distracted.

The reason I posted the Worlds Smallest Political Quiz (https://captjillsjourneys.wordpress.com/2013/08/19/worlds-smallest-political-quiz/) as a sticky at the top of my blog was to get people to take the quiz and hopefully find out they might not really be what they’ve been labeled as. That there are other options out there other than just Democrat (left/liberal) and Republican (right/conservative).

It’s a real shame that our media has been taken over by the corporate world and so we never manage to get any real information about the choices we have during elections. Thank goodness for the internet. 🙂

We ALWAYS have more than just the Democrats and Republicans to choose from! We just have no way of finding that out until we see the other names on the ballot (if like most Americans, you get your information from the major media, TV, etc). By that time, it’s too late to make any kind of informed choice, so most people will vote for the same-old, same-old for no other reason than familiarity.

I’ve been a libertarian since I first heard of them. I’ve been fighting city hall since I was a kid. I believe in the principle of SELF ownership. I’ve always questioned authority and I find myself doing even more of that lately.

Who the hell says they’re authorities? Why?? How come the ‘authorities’ constantly screw things up yet still get treated as the best choice there is????  What makes them any better than the rest of us??? Why in the hell should somebody I’ve never even met who has NO idea what my life is like get to make ANY decisions about MY life????

OK, so maybe now I’m becoming an anarchist, even more than a libertarian. They are very close philosophically. I think its worth thinking about more. I definitely think the system we have now which is basically a corporatocracy (run by corporations)  is terribly wrong and we need to get rid of it asap!

I don’t really think any sort of democracy is much better. Look what’s happened to our country since we all started acting like it’s a democracy (it’s NOT, it’s a Constitutional republic!). Democracy is really just 2 wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner. So who wants to be the sheep??

I don’t! Do you?