What is liberty and why all laborers should demand it over socialism or communism

The core pretense to liberty is that you own yourself.

That is you own your body and the fruits of its work.

  • If those fruits are sweet, then you enjoy the sweet fruit of your labor.
  • If those fruits are bitter or rotten, then you wallow in the fruit of your labor.

Understanding that, you will understand that it isn’t just buyer beware, it is seller beware. That is, you could, without knowing any better, undersell yourself. Oops. So as the seller, you got both the bitter and sweet fruits. Learn from it, and do better next time. However the buyer also has the same risk. He could accidentally over pay for the goods or services, then oops.

If I am paid to make a painting, should I get paid every time that it resells?

(legalese calls that royalties. I call it sponsored thuggery.) If I had in my contract that the painting would only be produced if the buyer promised royalties to me on its sales, and every consecutive sale thereafter. Then yes, I would be due that royalty. However, if that isn’t in my production or sales agreement, then no I shouldn’t. Simple as that.

Believe it or not, that is why when you buy software, you are buying a license for the software, not the software itself. You generally have no rights to the source code, or to make changes. Which is why I like the Free Software Foundation. Free, as in you can see the source code, not free as in you don’t need to pay for the license.

When you are violating software license, you are violating a contract. When the government gets involved, that means that they are treating a civil contract issue as a criminal issue. I cannot tell you how many ways that is wrong. Violating a contract should NEVER be considered a criminal issue. 

If I get paid to make a street, and upon completion, retire, should the users of that street be required to take care of me for the remainder of my life?

Only if the land holder of that road has that clause in the labor agreement that the two of you signed, and the land holder made that a stipulation to the people he allowed to use that road.

The problem here is that people assume that we owe them because they existed before us, even though they were paid for that labor. If I buy a cup from you, how many times do I have to pay you for that cup until we are even? Why would I have to keep paying you, just because you helped me once? How about my heirs to that cup? If they received that cup from me, why do they have to pay for it to the original person again and again?

Some person has three children. The children grow up and have profitable lives, but are cut short due to some circumstance. Do I owe that person anything? What if  their children never did business with me, do I still owe them anything? What if the children were paid in full before their departure, do I still owe their parent anything? What justifies owing the parent anything?

However, I contribute regularly to people who need help. Not because I owe them anything, but because I exercise the liberty to do so. I like helping people. Even when I hide that it is me doing the work, I get the satisfaction that I helped someone that needed it. Because I help people should I be required to do so, or should I be the one to make the decision to help?

There was a guy who worked all his life and he is hungry and homeless, we owe him a home and food don’t we?

Do we? Did he work for you or me? Was he paid for his labor? Why do we still need to pay for him? Should he be out in the street? No. However his hunger and homelessness is the fruit of his life. Am I morally required to help him? Nope. Would I help him, it depends. I know a few panhandlers that have used panhandling as a means to live off of me and my soft emotions. However, there are several people who really do need help; to them, I help. Should I be forced to? No, it is between you and your standards to decide how altruistic you want to be.

Think of it this way, If you come up to me and ask me to help that man, I may evaluate the situation, then ask you to do so instead, or I may help them. If you come up and demand that I help them, then I would say why, and would probably say screw off, unless there was a really good reason. If you tried to force me to help him, then I would defend myself. If you hired someone to force me to help him, I would probably still defend myself.

Lets see what that looks like from the government standard.  Scenarios:

  1. Someone determines that person A cannot work, or raise money for themselves. That someone raises money for them through volunteerism, and all goes well, no one should be upset.
  2. Someone determines that person A cannot work, or raise money for themselves. That someone gets several other people together and passes a law of the land which forces all of us to contribute to person A.
    1. Some people are fine with this and pay their mandated contribution.
    2. Some people are resistant to this, and wait for a scary warning that pay or else.
    3. Some people hold off until gun wielding thugs arrive, and state, “Pay or be Caged”.
    4. Some people resist the gun wielding thugs, and get the warning, “Surrender, or be killed”.
    5. End of story.

So story 1 is morally correct; this is all volunteerism. Story 2 is government mandated thuggery. This is obviously a crime. I cannot think of a single situation where this isn’t a crime.

I want to start a business, shouldn’t I register it with the government?

What have we learned so far? Government is a means to force you to work under someone else’s rules for things you may not agree with. Registering for a business is the same as paying for a protection racket against the government that you are registering your business with.

If you start a business in an area that requires a permit, then you are acknowledging their legitimacy to deny you the right to do equitable exchange of business with other people. If there are people that want to exchange money, goods, or services with me, why do I need to register for permission to do so? What is this protecting, or what service is the government providing that is helping me?

Its the roads and schools man! You know Roads and schools have been built by private practice for a long time. All schools, even open enrolment ones, could easily be privatized. If parents don’t like what the school is teaching, then pull their kids out of it, put them in another, or home school. NY City’s roads were all privately built at one time. The local businesses were the ones to build them, to take care of their customers. However government took them over, through some false altruism of the owners, and now we have massive abuse of the tax dollars, and we are being held ransom to the note of “We need this money to repair the roads”, with the unspoken sub-note of “though we will never put that new tax money to the roads”.

You know that the whole toll road principle was a private ownership of road principle. Lets look at how this ownership has been implemented, and you can tell me which one is least amoral.

  1. Land Owner A decides that he can make money by allowing people to drive through the middle of his property. So he builds a road, and charges enough that people are getting enough value that they don’t go a different route.
  2. A road is either hijacked or abandoned, a new squatter decides to charge people passage.
    1. If he is going to move on once the people decide to not put up with these shenanigans then he charges high enough to collect before he runs.
    2. Otherwise, if he wants to stay for a long time, he treats the road as if it is private property, and charges an equitable price to maintain the road, and turn a profit, until the real land owner decides to take action.
  3. The government claims ownership of a bit of land, without actual reason of authority, just assumption. Forces the people to finance the building of the road, if one doesn’t exist, then forces people to pay to use the road by toll or tax.
    1. If the tolls don’t raise the money over the collection fee, then they hit is up on tax, forcing the people to pay again for a road that they financed.
    2. If the financing is paid back to the government, then the government may decide to make the road free, but the people will be taxed for maintaining the road, so it is never free.

So… Which of these are morally objectionable? It is funny that the criminals of story 2 seem to be less dishonest than the government does.

What is the real job of government then, if it isn’t to provide goods and services?

Just the nature of that question put shivers down my back. Why would any tyranny provide a good or service, except to find new ways to put you under their enslavement?

Also, isn’t the whole goods and services the whole bases of individual needs? Why in the hell would government want to provide an individual need. Nope, it will try to make a one size fits all, shrink-wrap and screw it up, then force us to pay for it in more taxes.

But, lets actually answer the question. Government should be a temporary necessity, by volunteer association, for the purposes to fixing a specific problem that is greater than a single persons resources. That is, a person comes in to lay claim to the property and God given rights of your neighbors. You rally against them, choosing who you decide to coordinate the actions against this invasion. You coordinate the resources that you volunteer against the invasion, and once the invasion is over, you disperse peaceably. Probably after a well deserved celebration, and time of mourning. Maybe the invasion isn’t another person or group, but a natural disaster, there is nothing stopping you from gathering a group for that too.

See, in these examples, there is a government, but it dissolves as soon as its use is expired. Its existence is fully based on volunteerism, and when everyone is done with the task at hand, it has outlived its usefulness and simply disappears.

But government protects us from fraud and destructive practices of larger organizations, doesn’t it?

Really? Since when? Lets see, Taco Bell food poisoning, Tarp, Enron, Solindra, Drug tampering, etc. Government protects us from nothing.

Hell even cops these days, who cannot seem to respond faster than 5 minutes, would rather we be subjected to criminals while waiting rather than defending ourselves. If schools were filled with armed teachers and students, then when a mass gunman comes in, they may get a couple of shots off, but then there would be no doubt that the only thing left after that would be a grease spot on the floor.

Or lets looks at the protection of freedom, we go to war more times than our global neighbors, and our allies on the ground are many times our enemies from other battlegrounds. Just look at the details of Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Libya, etc. You want peace in the world, stop invading other countries, and start selling goods and services to them.

Lets look at another aspect of that “Protection” that you so want to have. Can you truly have a monopoly without force? If I could continually undersell my competition for a quality good or service, then yes. However, if someone discovers how to compete with me, then I will start losing business, and will have to compete. The notion of a private monopoly is preposterous. Microsoft’s monopoly was a collection of contracts with their customers, making them a sole vendor for certain goods. Guess what? THATS A CONTRACT. If it isn’t equitable to have it, drop the product and compete.

However, basically all cable providers, and wireless providers, have many monopolies. Companies set contracts with cities to limit the cable lines to be only their brand. Well that monopoly can only be breached if another company bypasses the city and installs on private property. However that cannot be done because of the case above “I want to start a business”. Sorry, property owners do not have the right to say what goes on in their property anymore, so we have local government mandated monopolies.

Lets go further, Why are the services that require licenses so expensive. Well they require licenses. This means that competition is regulated by the people who have the license, because they are generally the ones who write the regulations for the legislators.

Lets get a quick snapshot of where we have other monopolies:

  1. Policing – There are companies that are first responders, which have worked with courts to deputize private company employees for policing. However, for the most part, policing is a state ran monopoly. So we have to pay the highest wages possible, and in many cases are not allowed to defend ourselves or our neighbors.
  2. Adjudication – try to hire a private judge for a felony. Even if both parties agree on a judge, it is not permitted. I suspect that judges would be forced to provide fairer judgments if they knew that bad judgments could lose them all of their business going forward.
  3. Border defense – We are so good as border defense that we have our government spying on us to try to capture those who they let through. Or they let through people because it is against union, or some elected officials, position to stop their future supporters.
  4. Taxation – You cannot have enough hired thugs and accountants to lay claim to your property, and then force it from you.
  5. Banking – Yes, to be a recognized bank, you have to buy into another bank, or the federal reserve, and become part of the problem. Yay.

How do you explain income inequality, and how these wealthy people are not happy?

Ya. That is my favorite bait statement. If I have the money to grow a business, and negotiate payment with other people who decide that they would like to work for me, why wouldn’t I want to make more than those working for me? I don’t have to, but why wouldn’t I? Lets go further, if I have a job that requires nearly no skill, why would I want to pay top dollar for that job, unless there is a labor shortage?

Lets flip the coin. If I want to work for a company, but have no skill, where in my wildest imagination do I believe that I could contribute to the company enough to justify the same pay as someone who has more skill.

Lets flip again. I’m the owner, but I don’t work there, I entrust it to people to manage for me? Don’t you think I am going to want someone to manage this that I can trust? Don’t you think that this trust should come at a cost? Don’t you believe that there is a major risk that the manager is taking which should be compensated for? Or how about the owner, who all of us employees are effectively playing with his money, until a negotiated sum of it is paid to use in the form of wages. Shouldn’t the owner want to minimize his risk, and maximize his return so he can mitigate threats to his business? Mind you, threats are both internal and external. Some are intentional or accidental, while others are completely unavoidable as an earthquake.

So where do you put making too much money in this? At what point are you paying too little? Shouldn’t paying too little be at the point where no one will take the job? If someone takes the job, and complains that they are not making enough, who’s fault is that? That means that the laborer is overvaluing their job for their skills. Go find a job that values your skills more. If there are none, then maybe you need to get the skills, so that your own value goes up.

Don’t tell me you cannot. I have a high school diploma, and a technical school diploma. The technical school diploma was a waste of time. I haven’t used it at all. Hell, my high school diploma is also a waste of time due to the nature of the depreciation of quality from high schools. So I have a couple of useless diplomas and still taught myself how to write software, to the point where I am considered a highly valuable asset to the industry. That is how you do it. I borrowed and scrounged computer equipment over the time span of a few years, and now you can buy one that is magnitudes more powerful than mine was, for less than that smart phone that you are carrying around. And all of the necessary development tools are free now. Not to mention that the knowledge on how to use them is also free. Yay Free! Now get out there and stop working as a broom pusher, or a burger flipper.

Lastly when were you appointed the police of happiness? The constitution even recognizes that people are unhappy, because it is there for the protection of the pursuit of happiness, not happiness itself.

But I cannot seem to get ahead, not matter what company I work for, when I can actually get hired?

Lets break this down. You must have worked at more than one company, and experienced the same problem… maybe you should look internally. You apparently have an attribute about you that lowers your value to the companies that you are applying to, to the point where you, or they, decide you need to leave.

And if you are having a hard time getting hired, either the market that you are applying into has a labor surplus, or that attribute of yours is so absolutely blatant that the potential employers just cannot ignore it.

Time to take a personal inventory, and see if there isn’t some changes you can do to either raise your value, create your own business, or pick an industry where you have a higher demand. Bottom line: TAKE ACTION, but don’t burden me with your weakness, rather find the strength to overcome your weakness. It is there. There are too many success stories for it to be luck. Luck does not strike that many times.

Summary:

If I haven’t convinced you to seriously consider dropping the notion that established government can solve problems, then I hope I have at least planted the seeds that you can reduce the existing government and restore our liberties.

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4 Responses to What is liberty and why all laborers should demand it over socialism or communism

  1. samlomas1 says:

    Can we really let so much depend on the generosity of people who have categorically shown that they have nothing but their interests at heart? From policing, health care, charity and immigration – so much would depend on private companies not acting in their own self-interest in order to have a society not marked by poverty crime.

    Furthermore, your model of the Labour market is incredibly simplistic – there are many more things at play than “what are my skills? will they pay me enough?” – what if you live in an area of the country where a company has an effective monopoly on employment opportunities – your choice is then to work for less than you’re worth, or starve. What about people from disadvantaged backgrounds – are they inherently worth less because of the lack of opportunities available to them? What about misconceptions – e.g. that a woman’s labor is worth less – private companies did little to rectify those, as they allowed them to pay women less. When you’re negotiating with global companies, Labour has very little power – and thus wages are driven down.

    You also stumble upon the crux of the issue when you assert that the things that helped you develop your skills are so widespread now that there no excuse not to try and improve yourself. This ignores the fact that many more people HAVE developed their skills – by going to universities etc. – and are now working menial jobs because their skills are oversupplies. Perhaps it’s fine to pay people a pittance when they have no skills, and are working an unskilled job – but what of those who did everything the government, media and corporations tell you to do, only to find that everyone else did as well? We’d all (I hope) accept that having a better educated society benefits us all – so why do we condemn these people to poverty, and say it’s because that what they’re worth?

    • Brian Dead Rift Webb says:

      Can we really let so much depend on the generosity of people who have categorically shown that they have nothing but their interests at heart? From policing, health care, charity and immigration – so much would depend on private companies not acting in their own self-interest in order to have a society not marked by poverty crime.

      That is the point. It wouldn’t be by generosity. It would be to have a safe environment so you can do business at your work and home. If I want people to visit my business I must provide security enough to motivate my customer to trust that they can shop there. Same with home. Low budget, I defend my own home. High budget, I pay someone to defend my own home, and maybe share expenses with my neighbors, if they want the same security that I have.

      Furthermore, your model of the Labour market is incredibly simplistic – there are many more things at play than “what are my skills? will they pay me enough?” – what if you live in an area of the country where a company has an effective monopoly on employment opportunities – your choice is then to work for less than you’re worth, or starve.

      How do they have a monopoly? If they have an armed force of thugs enforcing a monopoly, then the people rise up and overthrow that force as if they were invaders or leave. If their movement is restricted then this is enslavement, and we are no longer discussing liberty.

      Is it because no one can produce cheap enough to compete? A company that can produce that cheap in all product markets is fantasy, or fully automated robotics. If robots, then there would be nearly no staff to speak off, and they would have to be specialists. So in a non-fully automated environment, then you may be back to where there is a labor surplus for your skills, and it is time to change skills, or apply to a market of jobs that have a higher demand.

      What about people from disadvantaged backgrounds – are they inherently worth less because of the lack of opportunities available to them? What about misconceptions – e.g. that a woman’s labor is worth less – private companies did little to rectify those, as they allowed them to pay women less. When you’re negotiating with global companies,

      I am surrounded by hearing impaired, and people who have been fighting debilitating injuries or medical illness. How did they cope? The found markets that their limitations don’t have major impacts in. For the hearing impaired friend, he is also a software engineer. For my hearing impaired cigar smoking acquaintance, he is a day trader, who also writes about day trading. For another, he is an engineer, focusing on user interfaces for user with disabilities. Another is a manager and handyman as at retailer. If you are ever in Southern California, I would love to be able to introduce you to these people. Then I have friends who are paraplegic, or dyslexic. Hell, even I’m dyslexic, fat, high blood pressure, pre-diabetic, two bad knees, one bad ankle, back history, head to toe arthritic, and I found that I would rather work in an industry of my choice than to seek support from other people. This isn’t about luck, it is about refusing victimhood, and doing what is right. It is about seeking solutions rather than wallowing in despair or weakness. You are responsible for what you plant in your mental soil. So you can reap the results of your fruit of thought.

      It is true that some women get paid less. Part of that was from labor statistics which show women taking more time off then male counterparts. Also in other studies that show women generally don’t apply to the same jobs do at the same ratio. How many men do you see applying to work at the perfume counter at Macy’s? Or women applying to sell tools at Sears? Tools have a higher profit margin than most perfumes, so the pay is higher, or should the business lose money in every bottle of perfume they sell? Remember, prices are set by what the market is willing to pay.

      Skilled labor wages have increased in the US in spite of global economies. What has driven down US economy has been the various levels of government that have demotivated job creation and growth, Remove the obstacle and see the return of jobs.

      Labour has very little power – and thus wages are driven down.

      Really? Unions are a form of governance that has very successfully driven wages high enough that some companies have closed their doors than to lose money. The problem is blind unions, that is ones that ignore an owner’s value in their company, are the ones that cause jobs to disappear all together. Also most union members over pay for their union. A union is only needed for the duration of a contract negotiation, after that, like every other governing body, let them dissolve.

      You also stumble upon the crux of the issue when you assert that the things that helped you develop your skills are so widespread now that there no excuse not to try and improve yourself. This ignores the fact that many more people HAVE developed their skills – by going to universities etc. – and are now working menial jobs because their skills are oversupplies. Perhaps it’s fine to pay people a pittance when they have no skills, and are working an unskilled job – but what of those who did everything the government, media and corporations tell you to do, only to find that everyone else did as well? We’d all (I hope) accept that having a better educated society benefits us all – so why do we condemn these people to poverty, and say it’s because that what they’re worth?

      So the market saturated during the time that the student was in school. Well, that is exactly why one of my degrees is completely useless. I started school too late to get the full benefits of my degree, because at graduation, years later, the jobs had moved to South America and Asia, and I still had to pay off my student loans. My solution wasn’t to complain about my education being worthless, but to change it so that I would have value.

      Remember, I opened with you are responsible for the fruits of your actions. If you listen to bad advice, then you get bad fruit. If you give bad advice, hopefully the people who listened to you the first time will learn to ignore you, or be skeptical of you in the future. Don’t be sheep to people in the media.

      What you are nearly suggesting is that I should be enslaved to cover your mistakes for listening to bad advice. If I am a teacher, I am at risk of being enslaved because you won’t pay for my class that you could not make money in. If I am a fellow worker, then I am enslaved to cover the cost of your education. If I am an employer, then I am enslaved to make sure I pay you must more than what your labor is valued at to me. So which enslavement are you advocating?

  2. Aniroula says:

    Reblogged this on Aniroula and commented:
    I find it really convincing…

  3. Brian Dead Rift Webb says:

    From my comment on Reddit. Note that this was a counter post against someone who believed that I didn’t cover the economic side of socialism and communism, or the morality of the violation of Non-aggression principle. I liked the challenged in their comments, so I had to copy my reply. Mind you, I did enjoy their criticism. It was well thought out.

    Here is a link to the Reddit discussion: http://www.reddit.com/r/Libertarian/comments/21jv0n/i_am_a_socialist_why_should_i_be_libertarian/

    Here is a copy of my post:

    Sounds to me like I failed to make clear that I was addressing the governmental centric -ism, rather than the economic -isms.

    Because these terms have gotten so intermingled, in the context of non-aggression, I have started using volunteerism, and communal volunteerism, over socialism and communism as economic terms.

    However, when looking at the definitions, clearly documented at http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-the-difference-between-socialism-and-communism.htm You can see that both of these will probably fail by nature, unless you violate NAP. The big difference in the economic purity of these is between the two economic forms that communism, as referenced in the article, does assume politics too. However, how can you judge need or ability without some level of governance, or judgement. As soon as you add a governance, or qualifying judicial mechanism into the community, you now have a government. How many generation will go by before that government fails? Who will serve, and what is their reward? If they are not compensated, then why would they serve? If no one serves, then how will you know that you are not getting screwed by your neighbor? If someone does serve, how do you know that they are not playing favoritism? Or that the judgement is not skewed by a solid presentation? There is no valid way that this could work without violating non-aggression principle.

    I will concede that this is a nice philosophy, but it fails the smell test, in that it will not work for long, before there is corruption in the system.

    How long will it take for a group of people to feel screwed by their neighbor for under producing, or over consuming, because he claims that he has greater need, but can only produce a little?

    This is why I don’t address this as socialism, and communism, as an economic debate, it just never exists in the real world without some level of NAP violation. Rather if you are going to be altruistic enough to help those who product less, or have a greater need, then this should be at an individual decision.

    Find a community that has a leader that is do wholly beloved by his community that there is no corruption, I will find corruption. Find a community that prospers that commonizes all labor production, and I will find you cheats.

    There is always a weak link, there is always someone who takes the short route, there is always one who games the system. It is part of being human.

    So the concern that I am not addressing this as an economic review may have some merits. The issue of the title not fully reflecting the content, I learned my titling tricks from Huffington Post, and LA Times, so there is blatant room for change. (“SUV drives off of bridge”, so the truck committed suicide? :] )

    I am not sure why this article should address why I should address in this article “actions involuntary necessarily “should” not happen”. The pretense of the article and site is that non-aggression is moral. Mostly because that seems very self evident to me. So if I am to address that, then that is a whole new article, rather than more information on the existing one, and one I may just write, because it sound like fun to do.

    As for the article being examples, well that comes from my narrative style, which comes from being an N-type dyslexic. Yay me! Which is why I don’t get frustrated with criticisms. They are just evidence that I am either missing content, or not being clear. So in this, I am grateful for your feedback.

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