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Greg I'm pretty sure Jonathan could easily market his paintings. Artists can and do come in all different temperaments and personalities. It is the art that matters.

Thanks, Jules.

I actually have a really easy-going temperament, at least with real people/honest people.

Posters here often seem to mistake my bluntness in dealing with poseurs as my being highly emotional. But go back and reread my comments after everyone has cooled down, and I think you'll see that I'm actually pretty level-headed and calm.

It's usually the people opposing me who are blowing gaskets, and often over comments that I've made which are gentler than criticisms that they've made of others.

I think what it really comes down to is the fact that I'm so effective in my criticisms.

J

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The lengthy Preamble on justice has a gigantic hole in the middle of its logic, which my friend Thomas E. Ruppenthal rightly objected to six months ago, while we were filming Inside Wolf DeVoon.

Hahahahahaha!!!

J

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I have been spending a bit of time trying to assemble a coherent understanding of the Laissez-Faire City's failure. It seems to me that the essential undoing of LFC and its connected companies and trust was fraud coupled with negligence. That recipe for failure was seasoned by incompetence in financial bases like proper accounting, and made deadly by top-level embezzlement.

In some analyses the foundation of LFC was doomed to fail -- because of a simple inability to fund its own various expenses from normal income -- and because of the central fraud perpetrated on investors.

The operating capital and real income was provided by a trust which collected units of 'grants' from some 1500 people called Founders. However, over 50 per cent of the units were held by the big guy/leader, who also had private pockets deeper that anyone. He was not afraid to produce fraudulent accounts of 'Founders' when needed to increase incoming.

There were products and promises of products, including a Bitcoin-like currency for private transfers, an online 'bank' that took deposits, a private electronic trading exchange scheme, and a private, uncrackable email system.

The 'bank' pretended to be real and independent of the trust/founder, but deposits went into the equivalent of slush funds -- a commingling of the leader's private business banking, the founding trust, the 'bank.' Though not a true Ponzi scheme, the leader could pay out from the slush something labelled 'return on investment' whenever he needed to pretend the trust generated a profit, and to attract fresh cash. There were no investments as advertised, so the profit was phony. and the 'bank' operation a complete fraud in itself.

As the promises grew for investors, and since the attractants were plausible, operating or strongly promoted, money did flow into the accounts from fresh meat; the big guy had set up the the City Trust and installed a nominal City Clerk and installed a nominally independent Trustee -- a Trustee free to spend and embezzle without scrutiny or oversight. In the final months the money out was whipping out to cover operations and theft, while money in had slowed to a trickle, and the money out to investors and product development faltered and crashed.

LFC never offered real estate for sale, although they had extensive property in Nosara, some leased, some optioned, some owned outright. Headquarters was the leased Nicaraguan embassy compound in the capital city San Jose, next door to the Russians. LFC's "Rand University" (counterintelligence and security compound) and City Club Restaurant and Hotel were nearby, along with multiple leased upscale residential properties.


Where was the property in Nosara that you hung out at after things went kaput? You had described it as a fortress. I am just wondering if it was beach or hill accommodations.

LFC's Head of Security owned a nightclub downtown, which caused an enormous number of problems, including unexplained disappearance of a VIP guest from Italy, unexplained absence of the Head of Security (last seen 4 a.m. fighting with a CIA thug) and a visitor suspected of being Secret Service or Treasury mole staying at the City Club -- when I happened to be O.D. and had to deal with all three.

After LFC dissolved, I lived in Nosara several years with a dozen ex-LFC neighbors, the brightest and toughest.

Keep in mind that Laissez Faire City was primarily a virtual city operating worldwide with PGP encryption. We had several thousand participants and "founders" in Europe, Asia, Gulf States, North, Central and South America.


My reading of stories on LFC suggests that many of the honchos used pseudomyms or aliases. What was the alias/nickname of the Head of Security?

More intriguingly, what is an O.D., or what was an O.D. at the time were one in San Jose?

unlike the characters in Atlas Shrugged's Galt's Gulch, the characters involved in LFC didn't create any wealth in their gulch in Costa Rica. Instead, they fondled and massaged wealth created by others.


2/3 of the dough was paid in by a handful of bankers, names I won't divulge. One of them was like Midas Mulligan, without whom there could not have been a fictional Galt's Gulch. Did we have a John Galt? Yep, in terms of financial engineering and fractals, stuff I never understood. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Orlin_Grabbe


Dough paid in, as I noted above, was not a gift to the head honcho, but since he had the final say on money, and since he 'privately' pumped cash into operations and the 'Trust,' all accounting can show is that trustees (founders/investors) and customers were left holding the bag for any losses. Dough paid in from trusting folks paid for the drinks and meals and accommodation at City Club and the embassy and leisure properties.

The name of the guy in charge of the LFC disaster was a guy called James Ray Houston, who died in prison while serving ten years for a different international internet-based lottery con. He was living in Costa Rica at the time he surrendered to US authorities. I wonder if he was in Nosara.

I would love to read a story of the entire schmozzle as told by Wolf Devoon. Barring that -- since he regards that story as untellable, I'd love to read a story of those years in Nosara.

Wolf has told us that around the crash he was made "general counsel and proxy for the king." UI I think he means Houston (who was also known as Rex Rogers AKA Midas Mulligan).

A certain amount of romantic smoothing and sloughing of the scam's details will be expected from those chronicling the history of the interrelated projects and scams of Laissez Faire City. Wolf says it was "a renegade enclave of freemen, its pioneers hunted, jailed and slandered." How interesting it would be to see the perspective from inside the con.

Edited by william.scherk

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It was nice of you to mention The Freeman's Constitution again.

However, this interpretation is 100% goofy:

Some of the conglomeration of concepts Wolf deals with are: Persuasion (and in a sense culture) is paramount. Retaliatory force is a last resort. Only individuals or their private defense agencies can use retaliatory force. His world is the only attainable one. His ideal world is the only world where a sane person would want to live. The government only consists of a judiciary. And he calls his jurisdiction a city.

Persuasion is never mentioned in the Articles or my comments. Exactly the reverse. Every Article provides for judicially sanctioned use of force, including bills of attainder tantamount to a death sentence for flight to avoid prosecution. Article IV authorizes personal use of force for self-defense or defense of the life of another. Article V is a declaration of war.

No individual or private agency is permitted to use retaliatory force (punish another). The only thing any person is legally permitted to do is bring a complaint to be adjudicated by a court of first instance as provided in Articles I and II.

"My world" (whatever that means?) is not discussed in The Freeman's Constitution. Nor is a government established. Jurisdiction of laissez faire courts is global and perpetual, not tied to geographic territory. Laissez Faire City was not a city. The purpose of The Freeman's Constitution was to articulate the constitutional law of freemen, including those who represent others in courts of law. Election of judges was borrowed from Benjamin Franklin's proposal at the Federal Convention of 1787, a proposal that was ignored in favor of political appointments for life, which produced the bizarre and shameful legal system you have today in the United States -- a political trainwreck with no definition of justice.

How you got so much wrong amazes me.

Perhaps this will clear up some misuinderstandings...

Defects in The Freeman's Constitution

I won't pretend to be an opponent of The Freeman's Constitution, but I am painfully aware that it has multiple and woeful defects. Many are political conundrums unsolvable by law as such.

The lengthy Preamble on justice has a gigantic hole in the middle of its logic, which my friend Thomas E. Ruppenthal rightly objected to six months ago, while we were filming Inside Wolf DeVoon. I merrily defined justice as the armed defense of innocent liberty, and Tom huffed: "Who's holding the arms?"

In truth, I don't know. It probably won't be laissez faire law courts, if they are governed according to Articles II-IV. There is no source of funding provided for the Supreme Court or for law enforcement. Taxation is nixed by Article V as a source of revenue. Laissez faire lawyers and judges certainly aren't going to form themselves into a police squad. As the cynical Scottish phrase explains it, 'Good talkers are nae good doers.' Law clients often consider themselves fortunate if an attorney answers the telephone without charging them $125 an hour to say hello. The entire mechanism of public justice is an expensive, largely formal ritual of paperwork and seemingly interminable delay, until a court order is executed by someone else -- typically, by one of the parties in a case, who waited an eternity to get the legal okey-doke to do something they wanted to do and could have done a lot quicker. I honestly don't know anyone who enjoys lawful due process. I certainly don't, and I never did.

The point of suffering through a courtroom drama is to honor James Madison's epigram of fairness: that no man should be allowed to judge his own cause. That's why lawyers, judges and juries make sense, not only in the specific situation of creating and advancing a new nation of digital freemen, but also in the historical sense that every society in the past faced the same issue and paid similar heed to a tribunal of reasoned inquiry, hoping to supplant unequal, reckless private combat with impartial due process.

In distant and primitive eons, 'law courts' were an ad hoc council of elders around the campfire, or a hearing before the village chieftain. During the Christian Era, bishops decided cases involving lesser mortals (obviously, an embarrassingly dark passage for the rule of law). Ignoring the British and American common law tradition, where adversarial due process evolved into a bulwark of civil liberty, elsewhere in the 20th century, Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Red China, and every tinpot dictator from Bolivia to Botswana made a gesture of some sort to due process and claimed that their kangaroo courts were 'impartial.' Why? — because dictators in particular and men in general never admit to evil. The bloodiest villains always cling to the idea that they're right and just; that their actions, however cruel and horrible, are sanctified by some sort of 'mission' or moral code.

Some of my critics have asserted that the best law is no law, pleading a bald contradiction in terms, as if acquittal was their birthright, a perfect haven of immunity, guarded by an impassable moat. Men are incapable of confessing openly that they want to escape justice. Friend or enemy of due process, we declare with one voice that our conduct is fair and honorable, with malice toward none. The claim is usually false. In simple, 18th century language: Men are not angels. Our protestations of innocence and truth are frequently exaggerated and unwarranted. That's why we need courts of justice, with compulsory production of evidence, cross-examination, and felony penalties for perjury. Men lie. We also remember wrongly, forget, etc. Evildoers should not be allowed to judge their own innocence. Nor is it sane or wise to treat accusation as proof, condemning someone without fair trial of fact.

The need for justice overlays so closely the enterprise of human life that no man can leave the subject unattended for very long. Every article published in this newspaper [Laissez Faire City Times] asks us to consider some grievance involving, at bottom, the want of justice, because men do wrong and lie about it afterwards.

So, I repeat my earlier admission: The Freeman's Constitution is silent on the question of enforcement. Paperwork cannot enforce the decisions rendered by judges or juries. Someone else will have to establish an Executive Branch and, by the grace of right reason, diligently subordinate its police power to the ponderously complicated rule of law.

For instance, it has been announced that MailVault will not transmit child pornography. Good policy. However, it fertilizes a bunch of legal thistles: How do we define 'child pornography'? If email messages facilitate postal or courier delivery of the banned stuff, is that banned, too? How will anybody detect wrongful use of encrypted messages? Assuming detection, what penalty will be levied? —and by whom? Laissez faire law courts can help settle these questions (and hopefully safeguard the rights of those mistakenly or maliciously accused of porno trade), but finally, it's up to the proprietors of MailVault to obey and execute a court order.

The law is mostly voluntary, folks. I acknowledged this openly and emphatically in my essay 'Government Is A Quack Faith-Healer'. If there is to be law and order, you yourselves will be the police of it. The Good Walk Alone was a fair portrait of our enlightened future — two dozen cops for a self-governing city of 40,000 — relying on the civic strength of a free society to mostly police itself, which means: settling your disputes by seeking legal guidance voluntarily from an unarmed judiciary, whose chief weapon is reason.

Why then provide a constitutional judiciary at all? Why not an arbitration service or legal think tank? — or maybe several competing courts since none of them can do a damn thing about enforcement? Again, the Freeman's Constitution is unhelpfully mute on these alternatives, blowing them off with its assertion of global and perpetual jurisdiction, as if nothing else was worth discussing.

Obviously, alternatives should be given urgent consideration. Arbitration is a flourishing component of modern U.S. practice and must be implemented in our digital community as speedily as possible. A legal think tank is a great idea. We certainly need one. And in practical reality, we are surrounded by competing courts (U.S. and Costa Rican in particular). Undoubtedly our lawyers will be required to understand and cope with three totally different legal systems, plus arbitration. Even in my own ears, it sounds rather ridiculous that laissez faire law will someday prevail as the sole and supreme institution of public justice.

Yet, that's what revolution presupposes — that deep, lasting political change is possible and that we can create new institutions, in particular a public legal system without a state, comprised of private law courts whose organization is left mainly in the hands of practicing lawyers.

I know that doesn't sound fair, because it treats law as the privileged domain of those skilled in the art. But if you banned the practice of medicine because doctors dominated its science, I don't think you'd be very pleased with the result. Yes, it's possible to obtain a form of rough justice conducted by laymen, just as you can nurse a head cold with home remedies — but medicine is far more than tongue depressors and aspirin. Amateurs can neither x-ray nor set a fractured pelvis. The law is vastly complicated because the nature of humanity is complex, such that it requires a dozen specialties of legal practice: corporate, commercial, criminal, family, probate, torts, maritime, equity, bankruptcy, trial, constitutional, and political (i.e., national security and legislative matters). My specialty is human rights and constitutional law. I don't know beans about maritime or probate, both of which have huge bodies of case law, full of closely reasoned debates about hundreds of questions that I really don't want to tangle with.

The Freeman's Constitution is a blank page in many respects, because it calls on freedom loving lawyers, young and old, to come forward and build a new practice, as a matter of professional duty. I have no clue what might become, say, the laissez faire law of marriage, divorce, and child custody. What little I established is a fundamental constitutional principle, that every natural person (Mom, Dad, and each of the kids) has the right to petition the courts on their own behalf or to appoint an attorney to represent them. Family law courts will be organized mainly by divorce lawyers and the clients who engage their services. Petitioners always have more power than lawyers, because they drive the whole thing with legal fees and particular (sometimes quite bizarre) causes, with very little pre-ordained constitutional guidance. The basic idea of The Freeman's Constitution is that it empowers many litigants to argue and help adjudicate case law. That's why I commend to your conscience a social compact with a lot of blanks to be filled in, much of its potential justice inert and unknown, unless you and your attorney endeavor to define it.

However, this is not to say that the Constitution is structureless or lacking in substantive content. Article IV is an achievement of historic merit, linking the right to bear arms and the police power. Article V is a declaration of political independence from all previous notions of sovereignty.

I know that some of you wish to use the term 'sovereign individual,' to denote your liberation from the old nostrums of citizenship. I do not demur, except to warn that liberty is not a personal attribute that dies when you die. Only impartial public justice spans many lifetimes and liberties of equally free persons engaged in myriad controversies, of which yours may be the least important, if you seldom sue anyone and commit no crime. The law labors longest and most diligently on behalf of those who rightly seek its protection from those who wrongly think themselves above it.

It is only in the context of revolution that The Freeman's Constitution makes real sense, because it ordains and establishes a higher legal authority than the United States of America (or any other territorial state). Perhaps in 'libertopia' someday, the practice of law will wither away, no longer needed. But for now and the foreseeable future, I remain in awe of a political truth equally certain to your abhorance of 'unnecessary' legal expense:

As we look back over the long story of the nations, we must see that their glory has been founded upon the spirit of resistance to tyranny and injustice, especially when those evils seemed to be backed by heavier force. Since the dawn of the Christian era, a certain way of life has slowly been shaping itself among the Western peoples, and certain standards of conduct and government have come to be esteemed. After many miseries and prolonged confusion, there arose into the broad light of day the conception of the right of the individual; his right to be consulted in the government of his country; his right to invoke the law even against the State itself. Independent courts of justice were created to affirm and enforce this hard-won custom. Thus was assured throughout the English speaking world, and in France by the stern lessons of the Revolution, what Kipling called "Leave to live by no man's leave underneath the law." Now in this resides all that makes existence precious to man and all that confers honor and health upon the state. (Winston Churchill, October 16, 1938)

I realize that The Freeman's Constitution could be twisted and mis-interpreted into the shape of a state. It is an admitted weakness, that its future is utterly dependent upon the character and wisdom of the laissez faire bar. As clients and paying customers, lay freemen wield the market power of democracy, expressed in who they appoint as attorneys. Appoint none and our infant nation will never grow straight and tall, as Dora would say: "With a backbone instead of a wishbone." Ultimately, it is the moral backbone of the many, by their appointment of legal representatives to courts of justice and by separate legislation to govern a powerful Executive, that will determine the surety and stability of our economic infrastructure.

We The People must voluntarily ratify the Freeman's Constitution and pledge to enforce it with every talon and claw. Bankers, investors, and ordinary folks around the world are waiting for us to pick up the sword of justice.

Freemen won't subdue tyranny, or make much of a profit, unless the fiduciary duty of laissez faire bankers is defined and objectively policed with unbiased justice in defense of private title to property.

I know it seems paradoxical: public due process is conducted in open court; how can anything remain private, much less anonymous? Quite simple. Cases are A vs B, and court orders can be issued on a need to know basis. The only facts that should be published in a newspaper of record are: appellate decisions, declarations of bankruptcy, class actions, and the identity of persons convicted of felony.

If a member of the public wishes to attend a hearing or trial court proceeding, they can log on to a filtered version of the official transcript that anonymizes the identity of the parties before the bar, but which names all the lawyers and judges, whose colloquies and instructions are attributed, so that bad lawyers can be disbarred and bad judges removed. My professional colleagues are already accustomed to walking on thin political ice in the glare of hostile scrutiny, every legal word, thought, and deed documented in public records.

Sounds like toss the body, save some parts, and start over. It would make more sense, however, to revise the US Constitution in the context of individual rights and some structural issues.

If you wrote elsewhere about some people being "stripped of their rights," no one ever is except, maybe, by murder. Rights may be denied as in ability to take actions with criminal prisoners, but their rights are still there, just unusable in many ways. If an armed robber sticks me up he is violating my rights, not stripping them from me. Please do not tell us that rights are granted by government. A proper government acknowledges and protects rights. Rights are a human invention, but they rest on human nature, hence they are natural to that extent.

You're whole lexus seems to be a variant of libertarian political theory, but, like most who ID themselves as libertarians, I don't see any general supporting philosophical context.

--Brant

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“The power exerted by a legal regime consists less in the force that it can bring to bear against violators of its rules than in its capacity to persuade people that the world described in its images and categories is the only attainable world in which a sane person would want to live.” (Robert Gordon)



You quote as part of your Constitution a guy who uses the word persuade, Wolf. I agree about one thing. Junk it and start over. What crap.

From TFC: Five or more attorneys, acting on behalf of ten or more natural persons, may convene a court of first instance by electing one of their number to serve as a law judge . . . .
end quote

I am guessing this election would be using the first people to settle in Lazy Fair City. What happens after the first group of cherry picked citizens? What happens when those LESSER folk decide to go there? You know who I mean. Immigrants. People who don’t wanna do what you wanna do. Those lesser folk to work the fields and kitchens of the elites??

From TFC: To make these provisions effective, a majority of the first twenty signatories to this Constitution shall assemble or correspond for the purpose of nominating one or more members of the first Supreme Court . . .
end quote

What happens when rebellious teens come of age and decide the hell with Pop’s friends in high places. Eff the Man!

From TFC: whose appointment shall become effective when confirmed by the Supervisors or Governors or such other style of Representative Body of Founders who are empowered by Laissez Faire City to review matters pertaining to its governance and redress of grievances.
end quote

Oh so there is a legislature that can do squat.

From TFC: The Chief Justice and additional Associate Justices shall be nominated by the Chief Executive of Laissez Faire City, . . .
end quote

Not just the executive but the chief executive who CAN’T do squat. I was going to put ten quotes and write ten comments but I give up. For now. All I will say is that this would become a tyranny. People would buy Justices, lawyers, the police, etc., and those with the most loot would become an oligarchy . . . as always has happened, and always will happen if a territory does not have a Constitution.

From TFC: all such appointments becoming effective if confirmed by a majority ballot of sitting law judges of first instance.
end quote

From TFC: Justices of the Supreme Court and inferior appellate judges shall serve during good behavior or until voluntary retirement and may not be removed, unless impeached by the City's Representative Body of Founders and convicted of misconduct by a majority ballot of law judges of first instance.
end quote

From TFC: Other courts of first instance may hear and adjudicate cases and controversies according to the specialty of practice selected by a majority of the court's attorneys, or hold a general civil session if subscribed by more than twenty attorneys.
end quote

From TFC: From time to time, the Supreme Court may create, regulate, fund, and appoint judges to appellate courts,
end quote

From TFC: The most serious crime of all is abuse of the police power, and the Constitution provides the sternest possible punishment (basically, the death penalty) for willfully and wrongfully denying another person's legal presumption of innocence and right to due process.
end quote


From TFC: Note also that in homicide cases, prosecution made is on behalf of a survivor – a grieving spouse, dependent child, or business associate. "The earth belongs in usufruct to the living." (Jefferson)
end quote


I hope everyone who is interested will consider just those ten points and topics I quoted and then give Wolf his doo. Instead of commenting further, I will stick a letter from Eyal next.

From: Eyal Mozes To: objectivism, Subject: OWL: cultural requirements for a free political system Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 08:24:17 -0500

James Donald's latest message brings up an issue on which I've never seen any extensive discussion in debates about anarcho-capitalism: what are the cultural requirements for a free political system - anarcho-capitalism or a minimal monopoly government - to function and to protect individual rights? Advocates of anarcho-capitalism often beg the question on this issue, when they argue by comparing how anarcho-capitalism would function in a society in which individual rights are universally recognized and respected to how a monopoly government functions today.

James Donald states that anarcho-capitalism would function well in a culture in which "natural law crimes" are "totally uncontroversial", and in which "for ordinary routine crimes there would be no disagreement". To which my question is: in such a culture, why would you need anarcho- capitalism? Why would you need any institutions *at all* for protecting individual rights, whether competitive or monopoly? If there is no disagreement on crime, i.e. everyone with no exception understands individual rights and respects them, then no one would want to commit any crimes, and so protection from crime is not needed; and while there might still be disputes about contracts, so contract arbitration may still be needed, everyone would voluntarily comply with the decisions of any arbitrator that they have agreed to accept, so the use of retaliatory force for contract enforcement would also not be needed. The *only* function that might still be needed for the retaliatory use of force would be national defense.

This is the society Rand described in Galt's Gulch. In Galt's Gulch there is no police, no enforcement of contracts, no protection from crime, because none is needed. The only institution needed to protect individual rights is Galt's screen hiding the gulch from the outside, a form of national defense. The only way to achieve such a society is the way it is done in Atlas Shrugged: hand-pick the people allowed to enter the area, make sure (among other requirements) that all of them understand and respect individual rights before they are allowed to come in, and find some way to make sure outsiders cannot come in without permission. The result, as Rand recognized, is far from an ideal society; its inhabitants are eager to leave it and "go back to the world" as soon as they can; the reason is that any such society would necessarily be very small-scale, with a small number of people and therefore with limited opportunities for productive achievement.

A more reasonable cultural requirement for anarcho-capitalism may be a society in which individual rights are not *totally* uncontroversial, but nearly so; in which a rational philosophy of individual rights is so dominant that there may be an individual here and there who does not respect individual rights, or who believes in Marxism or in "pro-life" or in some other anti-individual-rights philosophy, but such people are so rare that there's not enough of them to organize into a group of any consequence. In such a society individual criminals may exist, but an organized crime organization on any scale could never form, and neither could a Marxist or a "pro-life" organization. I would concede that in such a culture, an anarcho-capitalist system could function effectively (with the caveat that it will have to find some way to handle national defense); but then so would a monopoly government. If individual rights are so universally understood that a "defense agency" that attacks individual rights could never form, then a monopoly government could never be taken over by politicians who try to increase its power, either.

If we consider instead a culture like today, in which the dominant philosophy does not understand or respect individual rights, then *no* truly free form of government can exist. The best that we can hope for politically, without improvements in the culture, is today's US, as the best approximation possible for a monopoly limited government, or today's Somalia, as the best approximation possible for anarcho-capitalism. Of the two, I definitely prefer the US.

But consider a more realistic cultural goal than getting individual rights universally understood and recognized; consider a culture in which a rational philosophy is dominant, and most people do explicitly or implicitly accept and respect individual rights, but there is still a significant minority that do not, that accept some form of religious extremism or other irrational ideology and consequently do not respect individual rights.

This is the sort of culture in which a monopoly limited government could function, and preserve people's freedom in the long term; a population that understands individual rights will quickly remove - by vote if possible, by arms if necessary - any politician who tries to increase the government's powers beyond its proper limits. But an anarcho-capitalist system could *not* function in such a culture. Since there would still be significant minorities that accept anti-individual-rights ideologies, they would be able to form their own defense agencies, arbitration agencies, etc.. So far I have seen anarcho-capitalists, when asked how their system would deal with such anti-individual-rights agencies, give one of three possible answers:

a. Deny that such agencies could possibly be formed, on the grounds that people would be too rational to want to form them; i.e. assume nearly universal agreement on individual rights. This answer concedes my point that near-universal agreement on individual rights is a cultural requirement for anarcho-capitalism.

b. Point out that defense agencies would have a strong economic incentives to compromise rather than get into violent fights. I.e. when these irrational minorities create their own defense agencies, the more rational agencies would have an incentive to compromise with them and allow them to violate their clients' rights rather than get into a fight. This answer amounts to an admission that, as long as individual rights are not almost universally accepted and respected, an anarcho-capitalist system cannot defend them.

c. (a direct contradiction to b) Claim that the more rational defense agencies would attack the irrational ones and force them to cease operations. The problem with this answer is that a "competing defense agency" that can forcibly stop its "competitors"' operations is a monopoly government; so this answer is not a defense of anarcho- capitalism, it is a repudiation of anarcho-capitalism. (This contradiction is present in its most obvious and blatant form in Randy Barnett's "The Structure of Liberty", as I pointed out in my 1998 review; http://www.objectivistcenter.org/articles/emozes_review-structure-of-liberty.asp;
others are less obvious about it because they write less clearly than Barnett, but this contradiction is inherent in any attempt to defend anarcho-capitalism while claiming that agencies that violate individual rights will be stopped from operating.)

In sum, when we look at the cultural requirements for a free political system, the difference between anarcho-capitalism and a limited monopoly government becomes clear. Both have a strong cultural requirement, both would require great improvements in today's culture before they could function to fully protect individual rights. But the requirements for anarcho-capitalism are much stronger, and therefore much less realistic; a limited monopoly government requires that a rational philosophy supporting individual rights be dominant in the culture, but can function even if some significant minority continues to accept an irrational philosophy; whereas anarcho-capitalism requires that a rational philosophy be nearly universally accepted.
end quote

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1. do not tell us that rights are granted by government.

2. You're whole lexus seems to be a variant of libertarian political theory, but, like most who ID themselves as libertarians, I don't see any general supporting philosophical context.

Legal standing is not a natural right, but provided (in this case) constitutionally with the proviso that you have to appear when summoned, since legal standing is a creation of the courts and theirs to define and accordingly to restrict as they see fit. There has to be a serious penalty for contempt. The Freeman's Constitution (if ratified) would provide very serious consequences for failing to appear when summoned, especially flight to evade prosecution of felony with sufficient evidence to establish probable cause

The general supporting philosophical context is the philosophy of law. I conceive law as the profession of justice.

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Jeez, Peter. Now I have to delete some more text, because you're a complete blockhead.

OMG! Not "fighting words" from "Wolf"!

Call Peter "blockhead" in person and you'll have a dramatically new outlook on life!

Heh.

J

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Round 12

QeYIgYg.gif

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There's going to be some fun in the coming rounds.

J

Yep and we reverting to the original boxing rules...

The Queensbury Rules

1. To be a fair stand-up boxing match in a twenty-four foot ring or as near that size as practicable.

2. No wrestling or hugging allowed. <<<<this must be the anti gay rule and a Queen in the title!!

3. The rounds to be of three minutes duration and one minute time between rounds.

4. If either man fall through weakness or otherwise, he must get up unassisted, ten seconds be allowed to do so, the other man meanwhile to return to his corner; and when the fallen man is on his legs the round is to be resumed and continued until the three minutes have expired. If one man fails to come to the scratch in the ten seconds allowed, it shall be in the power of the referee to give his awart in favour of the other man.

5. A man hanging on the ropes in a helpless state, with his toes off the ground, shall be considered down.

6. No seconds or any other person to be allowed in the ring during the rounds.

7. Should the contest be stopped by any unavoidable interference, the referee (is) to name the time and place as soon as possible for finishing the contest, to that the match can be won and lost, unless the backers of the men agree to draw the stakes.

8. The gloves to be fair-sized boxing gloves of the best quality and new.

9. Should a glove burst, or come off, it must be replaced to the referee's satisfaction.

10. A man on one knee is considered down, and if struck is entitled to the stakes.

11. No shoes or boots with springs allowed.

12. The contest in all other respects to be governed by the revised rules of the London Prize Ring.

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1. do not tell us that rights are granted by government.

2. You're whole lexus seems to be a variant of libertarian political theory, but, like most who ID themselves as libertarians, I don't see any general supporting philosophical context.

Legal standing is not a natural right, but provided (in this case) constitutionally with the proviso that you have to appear when summoned, since legal standing is a creation of the courts and theirs to define and accordingly to restrict as they see fit. There has to be a serious penalty for contempt. The Freeman's Constitution (if ratified) would provide very serious consequences for failing to appear when summoned, especially flight to evade prosecution of felony with sufficient evidence to establish probable cause

The general supporting philosophical context is the philosophy of law. I conceive law as the profession of justice.

I don't know what problem this is solving for the subpoena power is well used and entrenched in the present system.

reality> <reason> <ethics (morality)> <politics: (Objectivism)

politics (the philosophy of law): libertarianism

The philosophy of law as such doesn't stand on anything. Libertarianism has no gravitas. Even conservativism wipes the floor with it.

The people who founded this country were all concerned with the nature of man. I've not seen that in contemporary libertarianism. I certainly do not see it in you.

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The philosophy of law as such doesn't stand on anything.

The people who founded this country were all concerned with the nature of man.

Okay, let's think about medicine. Reality > reason > concern with the nature of man. Ditto philosophy of law.

The people who founded this country were lawyers. Its founding principles were common law and equity.

An act against natural equity is void and of no effect. [James Otis]

The earth belongs in usufruct to the living. [Thomas Jefferson]

Common law is necessarily comprehended in the technical phrases

which express the powers given to the government. [James Madison]

There is a passage in the Preamble to The Freeman's Constitution that explains why philosophy of law matters, and why it cannot be deduced from ethics -- whether Objectivist or religious or anything else:

"The philosophy of law is a separate branch of science, independent of ethics. Moral inquiry pertains specifically to the interests, powers, and dilemmas of an individual, epitomized by the question: 'What shall I do?' Legal philosophy addresses impersonal administration of public justice, litigation among parties in dispute, the combined might of a community, and custodial guardianship of certain individuals who are unable or legally prohibited to conduct their own affairs."

I addressed Objectivist ethics specifically in a widely-quoted essay:

"Sadly, a moral principle never reaches beyond itself. Its ethical arms are too short, extending no farther than one man's soul, one man's purpose and lifespan. We have to look elsewhere for political guidance, because the thing at issue is 'a nation of laws and not of men'."

Finally, it amounts to a single legal question. What is justice? I've given a definition that needs to be accepted or contradicted and shown to be wrong. Justice is the armed defense of innocent liberty.

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This discussion demonstrates why any contact with the legal system should be avoided. I treat it as if it was the Plague.

Greg

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Wolf writes:

Okay, let's think about medicine.

This discussion demonstrates why any contact with the healthcare system should be avoided. I treat it as if it was the Plague.

Greg

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There's going to be some fun in the coming rounds.

J

Yep and we reverting to the original boxing rules...

The Queensbury Rules

1. To be a fair stand-up boxing match in a twenty-four foot ring or as near that size as practicable.

2. No wrestling or hugging allowed. <<<<this must be the anti gay rule and a Queen in the title!!

3. The rounds to be of three minutes duration and one minute time between rounds.

4. If either man fall through weakness or otherwise, he must get up unassisted, ten seconds be allowed to do so, the other man meanwhile to return to his corner; and when the fallen man is on his legs the round is to be resumed and continued until the three minutes have expired. If one man fails to come to the scratch in the ten seconds allowed, it shall be in the power of the referee to give his awart in favour of the other man.

5. A man hanging on the ropes in a helpless state, with his toes off the ground, shall be considered down.

6. No seconds or any other person to be allowed in the ring during the rounds.

7. Should the contest be stopped by any unavoidable interference, the referee (is) to name the time and place as soon as possible for finishing the contest, to that the match can be won and lost, unless the backers of the men agree to draw the stakes.

8. The gloves to be fair-sized boxing gloves of the best quality and new.

9. Should a glove burst, or come off, it must be replaced to the referee's satisfaction.

10. A man on one knee is considered down, and if struck is entitled to the stakes.

11. No shoes or boots with springs allowed.

12. The contest in all other respects to be governed by the revised rules of the London Prize Ring.

After further consideration, I'm throwing in the towel. To continue would be to cross over into cruelty.

I've received in private messages information about who and what "Wolf" really is, and, now that I know, continuing to poke him for his vanity and self-aggrandizement would just be too sad.

My apologies to "Wolf" on the issue of his being a filmmaker. I was wrong. He is one, or at least was one.

I won't apologize or withdraw my comments on his "puppetry" though, since the information that I received includes further evidence of his posting under his pseudonym to praise himself under his real name, and/or vice versa. It's all just so pathetic and sad.

I apologize. Sorry everyone. I didn't realize what I was getting into. I had thought that it was going to be yet another fun little excursion into laughing at the standard Objectivishism-inspired self-importance and typical O-ish hubris. I didn't know -- and couldn't have known or even imagined -- that it would be so much, well, less than that. Sorry.

"Wolf" apparently wants the privacy of not revealing who he is or which filmmaking projects he has worked on, so I'll respect that wish and reveal nothing further about him.

J

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You have a strange sense of how not to be cruel. If you owed Wolf anything, it was not to put him on some kind of pity parade. No one on OL, including yourself, and likely your sources, can know he should be some sort of pity object. Not with third-hand information. Maybe second-hand, but that's doubtful in principle. First-hand information? Only Wolf.

--Brant

https://youtu.be/eqd0PE53TEY

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That's that.

Jonathan is Lt. Tibbs and Wolf is the sheriff.

--Brant

both get a pat on the back--at least they did in the movie--and I feel somewhat like an ass for my gas (sin loi!--Brant :o )

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Glad to see J and Wolf put this to bed.

I respect both of them and was not comfortable with the way it was going, hence my attempts to make light of the confrontation.

A...

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My apologies to "Wolf" on the issue of his being a filmmaker. I was wrong. He is one, or at least was one.

[...]

"Wolf" apparently wants the privacy of not revealing who he is or which filmmaking projects he has worked on, so I'll respect that wish and reveal nothing further about him.

That's gracious. Wolf DeVoon is a pen-name, a not uncommon device among writers. See his CreateSpace profile:

About the author:

"Wolf DeVoon" is the pen name of a world traveler, filmmaker, novelist, inventor, business manager and controversial advocate of capitalism. He was a high profile insider and officer of Laissez Faire City in Costa Rica, served as general counsel and proxy for its embattled CEO, and authored The Freeman's Constitution in an attempt to save Laissez Faire City from destroying itself.

The Constitution of Government in Galt's Gulch

Authored by Wolf DeVoon

Comparison of utopian fiction presented in Atlas Shrugged and the actual experience of living in a private community beyond the reach of government. Examines theory and practical real-world aspects of liberty, property, constitutional law and national security in the context of a fully free society. Presents a novel proposal to fund national security by private enterprise that does not rely upon (and has no legal right to impose) taxes. Extensive discussion of property as a moral office of responsibility to advance the general welfare by offering employment. The book is addressed to Objectivists and libertarians, and it offers a new theory of value and virtue that considers individual character, personal ambition, and risk of change. Discussion of constitutional law includes loyalties beyond the law, fundamental rights, due process, and persistent presumption of innocence.

Considering that the Laissez Faire City folks used noms-de-plume or aliases doesn't imply anything sinister (except among the chief fraudsters, perhaps). Wolf has a pretty neat introduction to Laissez Faire City in a 1999 article, "The Midas Touch: Or, A Newcomer's Humble Appraisal of The Difference Between Laissez Faire City and Galt's Gulch."

It can seem a bit exaggerated or tall-tale in parts -- like when Wolf describes a Trump-ish barrier: "thick, reinforced concrete walls rising in tiers on the highest point for a couple hundred miles," but where he says he was deemed "artist in residence" of LFC, we can see how a pseudonym fit in with the ethos of LFC -- all for privacy, anonymity, and keeping the state or other spies out of your business. Knowing what went down in Costa Rica, it was a wise move.

Here is a sample wherein Wolf waxes lyrical:

Most of it was the doing of one man. He doesn't want me to mention his name, so let's call him Midas. I have never before in my life met such a brilliant rascal. If anyone ever deserved to be rich, it's Midas. He is passionately devoted to justice and private liberty, and I have no doubt whatsoever that LFC could not have happened, except for his determination to make real what Ayn Rand made fictionally hypothetical. Midas is a "renaissance man" in the best sense of the term. He hired me, for instance, as an artist-in-residence. My job is to stare out the window at the Pacific Ocean in the lap of luxury for a couple years and write a novel. More writers are coming -- to script movies, internet cartoons, and a continuing drama (soap opera). God knows what sort of production facilities are on the drawing board, because Midas is a seasoned Hollywood producer. Guys like him tend to do things on a grand scale.

There is more good stuff in the article -- a kind of innocence abroad. It made me decide to buy the The Constitution of Government in Galt's Gulch, where Wolf may discuss some of the nuts and bolts of LFC in the day. I am intrigued. I want to know more. Buy the book.

The mentioned "Midas" is, of course, the con-man James Ray Houston, AKA Rex Rogers, who died in prison.

Wolf got close enough to this guy to observe him, be fooled by his cons, be employed by him. It would make a marvelous memoirish tale, the inside take on how the scammer fucked up putative paradise. Wolf was there.

Anyhow, it looks like Wolf's next book Eggshell will tell some of the story I am interested in, the human story, the tragedies and triumphs, the years in Nosara -- the star-crossed utopia of LFC.

Since I can't say I have even one book in me, let alone a single article or slim volume published, hats off to Wolf DeVoon and his alter ego ... he has me where he wants me, wanting more of his writing. I sort of understand why he doesn't answer questions about the nuts and bolts.

Buy the book.

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Anarchist equals fool, conman and crook equals pseudonyms, pen names, aliases and also known as AKA in police parlance.

Except for George H. Smith. He is not a crook. I bought his books and got my money's worth.

So what is Wolf's real name? Sorry, so many people, including him, got conned. I won't say those duped had it coming, but whatever.

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