Practical- Google 6/2012 type ‘define’ then the word
- Of or concerned with the actual doing or use of something.
- (of an idea, plan, or method) Likely to succeed or be effective in real circumstances; feasible.
Principle – Google 6/2012
- A fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.
- A rule or belief governing one’s personal behavior.
Even physical laws have exceptions and thresholds. The speed of light changes in different mediums. Water boils at temperatures at different altitudes. Many physical attributes of elements are valid at standard temperature and pressure.
Your principle does not have to be applied everywhere at all times, under all conditions, in all places. To do so would be to advocate a very simplistic view of the world.
I watch in amazement as people do things that are obviously detrimental to their own interests and indeed, even the interest of their group and say that they do it out of principle.
Principles, when unwisely applied, are counterproductive
The USA’s immigration policy has really butt fucked it. The US, originally set up by white property owners for the benefit of white property owners(not saying this was ‘right’), is having an identity crisis. It allowed hordes of unwashed European trash to pour into its borders during the eras of immigration. Many of these people had vastly different political and religious ideas relative to the founding American principles. It continues, to this day, to allow refugees from communist and socialist countries to come in and vote. But, in the interest of free speech and freedom of religion, it allowed socialist and communists to infiltrate its media.
Is it a surprise that someone from a communist or socialist country who moves to another country might support socialist agendas? Is it a surprise that people who are being given free shit will vote the way the people giving them free shit want them to vote?
Cases in point:
Sometimes I go to Youtube.com and type in anarcho-capitalism to see if anything interesting comes up.
I saw a video posted by a kid who was a self-described anarcho-capitalist. He videotaped himself getting pulled over for a ticket. When the officer asked for his license, he said ‘no’. Even the officer laughed. This kids was going to get a misdemeanor because he refused to show an officer his license on a public road. I don’t know what surprised me more, the fact that he thought he was actually ‘fighting the power’ or the fact that he wasn’t dragged out of his car and beaten, then arrested. He had balls of steel, I’ll give him that, but there is a thin line between bravery and stupidity. I mean besides the fact that he taped it… and then posted it on YouTube…and then posted follow up videos about him going to court for it… did he really think staining his record and going to court would change anything?
I see protesters rally and march and get the ever loving SHIT kicked out of them. These people get beaten, tasered, gassed, and at the end of the day they claim they accomplished something. I really can’t understand how getting fucked up accomplishes anything, especially when the other side takes no such losses. To me, this is like saying “I am going to confront the school bully.” Then you go up to him and stand there peacefully while you get pummeled. You then report to your friends the next day “I sure showed him…”
I mentioned before that I grew up in a bad neighborhood. Many times in that neighborhood all you had to do was walk down the street at the wrong time to get fucked up by the police. It is very funny for me to see these lower-middle class white kids literally have to throw themselves on police cars to get the cops attention. They have no idea how good they have it that cops generally ignore them.
Do as I say not as I do
There is a social phenomenon where a person who has followers is able to do the opposite of what they tell their followers to do and still be respected and obeyed.
In politics politicians lie, cheat, steal, gamble, are unaccountable, have affairs, smoke weed and snort coke, fuck hookers, and even get involved in scandals involving murder, usually of prostitutes. Prominent politicians have run prostitutes, have had bribe money in their freezers, and routinely avoid paying taxes on their investments. They do all of this while imposing laws against everything they do on everyone else.
Yet people listen to their speeches about integrity; and chastise non-politicians for the exact same behavior even if it is milder than that which politicians perpetrate.
Get caught driving under the influence of the LEGAL drug alcohol, even when you didn’t do anything, in fact, even if you are parked and just have the keys in the ignition, and see what happens to YOU .
Yet, these motherfuckers (both Bush and OBAMA) openly admit to doing blow and weed, on more than one occasion, which of course implies buying or obtaining it somehow, which of course means, supporting its production and transport… and no one bats a fucking eyelash. At the same time, people are rotting in jail, lives ruined, for doing LESS than what they have openly admitted to doing.
Get a DWI and become a pariah. Brag about doing blow and weed and become the president… HUH?
The vast majority of people who “follow” a religion don’t follow it strictly. A lot of people who call themselves religious selectively choose what principles to follow and to impose on others because they know that many of their religious principles are not practical. Many christians still work on the sabbath, for example, because it is practical to do so.
There is an apparent organized cover up of child abuse by the catholic church. Pedophile priests run rampant among their ranks.
With their leaders fucking kids in the ass, the masses of catholics are still somehow against premarital sex, gay sex, and prostitution.
Never mind the fact that the bible commanded people to give up everything they had and to live poorly, while their church is one of the richest institutions that ever existed.
Even protestant priests, who are allowed to have wives, instill guilt into their flocks. They muff dive on their wives every night giving them three legged turtles and cream pies without shame.
The next day, they unabashedly tell their flocks they should feel guilty when they jerk off.
Somehow all of these churches are anti-drug even though the bible says nothing about drugs.
Somehow christians supported prohibition even though one of their sacraments involves wine. In fact, jesus explicitly commanded his disciples to drink alcohol in his honor at the last supper. And let’s not forget the whole water to wine thing.
Well, apparently this phenomenon is not confined to the arenas of religion and mainstream politics.
Most of the self-identified ancaps that I have spoken to, as well as others in the freedom movement, get their propaganda from similar sources. These sources are popular webcasts on YouTube, popular anarchist and volunteerist philosophers, and popular institutes. You can go on any libertarian or anarchist forum and you will see nothing but quotes and references to these people.
I refer to the men who run and produce books, interviews, and articles for these institutes and webcasts as the ideological leaders of the movement. I should note I use the term movement loosely.
Now, let us analyze how closely these people, the ones all these freedom lovers look up to and model their beliefs upon, align their lives with their principles.
Many of the leaders have a history of starting and working in corporations both large and small. When working for these corporations, many of them were directly involved in bidding for, obtaining, and fulfilling government contracts. That’s tax money in their pockets.
This means that the ones who worked in corporate america or corporate canada had a more direct hand in helping to build the government systems than any of us ever will.
Indeed, one of the most well-known economic institutes is a 501c(3), allowing donations to be deducted from the taxes of donors. Somehow this is OK, but starting a for profit corporation and using it as a vehicle to enrich the members is not consistent with principle?
Paper Money (The Dollar) is Worthless
We have all heard this ridiculous meme. Money is worthless paper. Gold is real money yada yada. OK, in a perfect world I agree. In some other socio-economic system maybe. But not here, and not now.
If money is so goddamn worthless, why are your hands always out for donations? You accept CASH for your books and lectures right?
Many of these people are worth hundreds of thousands if not millions. They are sitting on 401(k)’s stocks and bonds in their portfolios. They have multiple bank accounts insured by the FDIC. Some of them are entrepreneurs in addition to all this. Gee, it doesn’t seem like they really believe that money is worthless. One of the chief proponents of this nonsense ran for senate and failed, and now has a company selling (you guessed it) gold, his own Internet radio show, and some banks in the Caribbean.
I’m sorry, but WHEN MULTI-MILLIONAIRES ARE TELLING ME MONEY IS WORTHLESS, I RAISE AN EYEBROW.
Some of their followers actually believe this shit. I see people running around trying to buy things with gold and silver. Guys…this not practical.
Argue about what the money we use should be based on all day, it’s purely philosophical. In the real world, you need cash or credit to buy cars, clothes, food, property, and services. You will be disappointed when the local shop keepers refuse to take your gold or silver coins. The solution is not to make alternative forms of currency (which is illegal anyway), the solution is to get money and invest it in such a way that eventually you will no longer need to worry about money and/or so that that you are no longer dependent on the system at large.
You need money not only to survive, but to build up any organization. Right now, in this world, in this country, money is the only way you will get what you want. Period. Start earning some, and the more the better.
Government Jobs hurt the economy
Well, we know this is true because government jobs are funded with stolen money. Still, many of the ideological leaders work in, or have worked in public or publicly funded institutions. As stated before, if/when they were in the working world they had no problem getting government paychecks.
Taxes, licenses, fees, fines
Virtually all of these leaders pay their taxes. They pay property taxes, sales taxes, school board taxes, city, county, state, and national income taxes. They might gnash their teeth and speak about how tax evasion is ethical, but they send in a 1040 like the rest of US. Barely any of the webcasters or suits are tax protesters. Tax protesting is not practical and that is why they don’t do it. They also want themselves and their families to be left alone by the police. These reasons are the same reasons why you should pay your own taxes if you feel you will be scrutinized by the IRS and especially if you run a legitimate business.
All of these leaders have driver’s licenses. If they have professional certifications, they took the tests and got the state licenses. They might even be in teachers unions, (as many of these leaders are also college professors) They pay their parking tickets and fines and fees.
They all get groped at the airports, without much protest. To the extent they take their family with them when touring, they watch their wives and daughters get their vaginas grabbed, without protest.
These leaders likely take their kids on long walk through public parks and might even take a dip in the public pools now and then. Their houses are hooked up to public utilities. Some of the older thinkers probably take their social security and medicare benefits. They drive on roads, bridges, and pay tolls. If there was a home intruder or if their houses caught on fire, you bet your ass they’d be calling the police.
Some of the thinkers urge people to ‘defoo’ (sever ties with their family of origin) while keeping close ties to their own family and mourning the losses of their own family members.
Many of these leaders, with some notable exceptions, were Ron Paul cheerleaders. The very same poeple who have read and produced books hundreds of pages long explaining why democracy can’t work were urging people to vote democratically. O-o
Many of these leaders who release their content copyright their shit. These are the very people who instigated lengthy and heated debates claiming IP is illegitimate. Really now. I’m sure if they invented something, they wouldn’t patent it either.
Tactics are determined by conditions present in the environment at a particular time. Rules of engagement change when the enemy has you out numbered outgunned and surrounded.
The things I point out here don’t bother me, per se. I don’t care if an institute has to register as a 501(c ) 3 so it can operate efficiently. So what if someone has a corporate job. I point all of this out to show that for the most part, your leaders already embrace practicality over principle. They are looking out for the well-being of themselves and their family.
They are playing by the rules imposed on them by the state to do the best they can to improve their situation.
The question is: Why shouldn’t you?
Given all this, how can an idea that involves exploiting the existing corporate statutory and tax law, be a violation of any principle? Even if this was somehow the case, the people whose ideas you glorify play by the state’s rules anyway.
Trying to do business without using the banking system, corporate structure, or cash is like fighting mike Tyson or Kimbo Slice blind folded with one hand behind your back.
If the leaders I identified can take practical steps to comply with the current state imposed business structure you can too, and you can do so without feeling like you are betraying your principles because the very people who gave you those principles play ball with the state. Why in gods name should I hold myself to higher principles than the very people producing the propaganda?
One of these well-known philosopher very recently said “morality requires choice”. This very same philosopher has been known to support the concept of volunteerism and non-aggression.
If you care about morality and if you believe that morality requires choice, than it cannot be considered immoral for you to do business according to the rules we are forced to obey. This includes incorporating, getting licensing, and paying taxes.
Even if you choose to impose principles on yourself at all times, principles such as the NAP do not apply in self-defense. If you don’t consider a constant threat of fines, imprisonment, or the devaluing of your currency and the forced obedience to arbitrary laws under penalty of imprisonment or death as an attack then we are using vastly different standards of aggression.
If you do indeed see that we are under constant attack all the time, then everything we do is in defense of ourselves and our property in a very real way. So when you file for taxes and use a tax loophole, it is no philosophical, you are literally protecting some of your property. When you make money, you are increasing your ability to defend yourself.
To me, I am in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany watching prisoners bicker over whether or not its moral to attack guard. I’m saying fuck the morality of the situation, I’d rather we start digging a tunnel to get the fuck out. That tunnel, I think, is group building working towards financial freedom.
It is in one’s best interest to do whatever one has to can to achieve one’s goals. To the extent that these goals require money, power and influence, one should do whatever one can to accumulate the same.
The third part of this series is forthcoming.