Dear Readers: Brian Wright passed away in early 2023; he now lives forever in our hearts. A lifelong defender of liberty and nonviolence, Brian wanted his websites kept active so readers may enjoy his prolific columns, book & movie reviews, tributes, and evolving thoughts over the past decades. ~Rose Wright
Some ruminations on how panarchy can be made to work in the real world
In part 1 of this column I began from a local Republican convention where a couple of the customs—the invocation and gratuitous friendliness nod toward Israel—got me to thinking that there surely must be a better way for human beings to deal with their political needs (than to spend copious time working to elect public officials by majority vote, who then, together, exercise a comp- ulsory monopoly over providing an ever expanding range of services, whether you want these services or not). Unlike the normal marketplace, an individual cannot simply choose something else or opt out entirely. Again, the analogy to ordering breakfast is apt:
First of all, let’s assume that what I truly want for breakfast is on the menu. Go down to my local Kerby’s or Leo’s coney islands or regular coffee shop: virtually anything I want will be on the menu somewhere… and if it isn’t the owner will work with me, say, if I want salmon with my eggs. It may just cost a little more. Okay, then let’s contrast that with a system where if I want something, a majority of the patrons have to want that same thing before I can have it. Aliens in a space ship looking down at this kind of breakfast system would say to one another, “Boy, these humans are majorly retarded.”
Thus democratic politics in a coercive, compulsory government system means that in the neighborhood of zero persons get the government services they would freely choose, nor do they obtain the public officials (elected by ‘everyone’) they would prefer to provide these services. It’s all a bizarre, horrendously complicated and time-consuming process that no one in his right mind would spend a minute on, were it not for the fact that the actions of these officials can seriously eff up beyond recognition the lives of you and your loved ones. Continue reading →
Novi, Michigan. It came on suddenly, triggered I think by the invocation—in this WASPish crowd, always a nod to the Christian God—that meandered to an end by stating how we should always cherish our great friend, Israel. What?!
First—and I’ve felt this way about virtually all of the Republican meetings I’ve been to since becoming a precinct delegate roughly two years ago—what’s an invocation of faith in ‘God’ doing at a political meeting? This is America, where people’s religious beliefs are their own business so long as, “they neither break my bones or pick my pocket,” as our great sage and secular saint Thomas Jefferson put it.
Second, what is the state of Israel doing in a Christian invocation? Is the speaker trying to ward off accusations of excluding Jews? If so, why not say, let’s be nice to Jews… not let’s be nice to Israel? Then if we’re invoking kindness toward Jews, why not Muslims, Buddhists, humanists, and Great Pumpkinists? Which leads to the obvious conclusion that it’s best to dispense with religious observances in secular gatherings of this nature. If you want to solemnize the occasion, lead a moment of silence. Continue reading →
The other day when I received the public-domain story with the punchline “Welcome to the Republican Party,” I simply couldn’t leave it alone. We all know about big-government “Republicans in Name Only” (RINOs), and it isn’t the least bit funny how they posture as advocates of liberty. Then you have the Dems, who have given up posturing as anything except Stalinistas. The only snappy (and truth-based) repartee I can find comes from the libertarian neck of the woods. — bw Continue reading →
What a thrill it was to be able to point with assuredness to the notice that small-l libertarian presidential candidate Ron Paul would be appearing on the Jay Leno Show 12/16/2011 (which, fittingly, is Boston Tea Party Day). As a Boomer who remembers the NBC predecessor Tonight Show starring the inimitable Johnny Carson, I still hear the booming voice of Johnny’s announcer Ed McMahon opening the show: H-E-E-R-R-R-E-‘S JOHHNNNY! Well, on Friday Night, Johnny became Ronnie, Dr. Ron Paul that is. Continue reading →