Utah Liberty Alliance seeks to be the voice of anarchism in Utah. We publish articles and media that give an anarchist perspective to issues and events that affect Utahns, make our work free to share and republish without permission, and submit op-eds to publications throughout Utah. If you can write and want to raise awareness and inspire action in the Beehive State, please submit your work to us using one of the following methods:
- Register for an account at utahliberty.org/register. You can write and submit your article using our platform, after which it will be published after approval by the editorial staff.
- Submit an article without registering at utahliberty.org/contact. Although it is not required, we suggest you include some valid way to contact you (email is fine) in case we have questions about your submission.
- Email your work to email@example.com.
Aside from op-eds, we welcome other articles, poetry, photos, art, music, podcasts, or any other medium whereby the message of anarchism may be conveyed.
Help tear down hierarchy in Utah and bring liberty to those who thirst for it!
Okay, I heard it from the horse’s mouth on Radio From Hell this morning: Salt Lake’s Ronald McDonald House does not receive government funding. Since part of Utah Liberty Alliance’s strategy for promoting statelessness is advocating private alternatives to State welfare, I strongly recommend researching and supporting this organization. I’ve heard nothing but good things, and they get a dollar from me every time I get a McRib (far too often!). In addition to accepting donations, they also have a lot of great volunteer opportunities that enable you to work directly with those in need.
On July 5, 2011, Kelly Thomas was beaten to death by police officers in Fullerton, California. No legal action was planned, and no local media outlets would touch the story — until local bloggers got involved. Their efforts resulted in the first murder charge against a police officer in Orange County history.
Traditional media no longer effectively serve their primary purpose as government watch dogs. The importance of keeping a camera handy and having the courage to record public officials cannot be overstated in these times.
If you see or record State officials (police officers, elected representatives, etc.) engaged in unethical, corrupt or destructive behavior, and local media won’t touch your story, consider Utah Liberty Alliance your resource for getting the word out.
When it rains, it pours.
I have been assailed over the past few days by those who excel at inspiring others to inaction. You know who I’m talking about. They’re the folks who tell you how stupid your diet is when you tell them about it. They’re quick to point out how pointless your passion for music is because there will always be someone better than you, and you will never become rich and famous. They’re comfortable in their cynical position that, yes, the world is a horrible place, but it always has been and always will be, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
In the words of a discerning and practical gentleman from the TV series Firefly, “Forgive my rudeness. I cannot abide useless people.”
Specifically, I have been told that my message — voluntaryism, the abolition of the State, and its accompanying activism — is “too radical.” I have been told that, in order to be successful, I need to “tone it down.” I need to “exercise moderation” and “learn to compromise.”
It’s true: if I water down my message and make some compromises, I may have success. But what will I succeed at? Becoming an accepted member of the vast and popular community of impotent and conventional groups that fade into the gray of the status quo? Those who suggest that moderation and compromise lead to success do not understand my goals.
“Moderation in all things is not a virtue because it would seem to justify moderation in commitment,” Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the LDS Church once explained to its members. “That is not moderation but indifference. That kind of ‘moderation’ runs counter to the divine commands to serve with all of our ‘heart, might, mind and strength’ (D&C 4:2), to ‘seek . . . earnestly the riches of eternity’ (D&C 68:31), and to be ‘valiant in the testimony of Jesus’ (D&C 76:79). Moderation is not the answer.”
I have also been told that my goals are too lofty, the challenges insurmountable, the work to achieve them futile. I find it humorous that such people are willing to take the time and energy to attempt to convince me that my effort is futile. They are willing to use their limited time on this earth to drag others down to their comfortable level of inactivity, but not willing to use that time for anything noble or great.
I could sit and list a million reasons why I shouldn’t do what I do. I could construct a compelling argument for doing nothing. I could use my talents to persuade many individuals to abandon their hopes and dreams, and I would be very successful with all of this. I could even make it my life’s work. But I choose not to. I cannot imagine the horror I would face on my death bed, looking back at all the festering mold I had grown in mankind, how I had ground the aspirations of my fellow beings to dust.
When I leave this world, I want to be able to report that I left it better than I found it. I may not have single-handedly eliminated the most evil institution the world has ever known, but I will have convinced and empowered a great many to continue that work. I may not have ended the War on Drugs and made the world safe for my children, but I will have planted that seed in the minds of as many individuals who will hear. I may not have brought about the end of taxation and secure the right and control of the fruits of my children’s labor, but I will have brought humanity one step closer.
Need I go on? I have only one life to live, and it is half over. I no longer hear “I can’ts”. Forget that. I have work to do and a very short lifetime in which to do it. I do not have time to entertain and tolerate the poisonous words of nay sayers and non-contributing zeroes. The “you can’t change anything so don’t even try” market is saturated. I have found my niche in the market of liberty, and business is good. To all who would drag me down: Leave me the hell alone. You are no longer worth my time.
The great economist and libertarian activist Ludwig von Mises adopted as his personal motto in life, “Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito.” It means, “Do not give in to evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it.” This has come to mean much more to me lately as the debilitating chains of apathy and negativity have recently sought to quench the flame in me. I’ll no longer abide it.
A blog post has been making the rounds lately with renewed interest (most likely in response to all of the mind-numbingly vapid Republican debates the media have subjected us to) that calls on those who “do not like taxes or government” to stop using 102 things “provided” by taxes and government. The items on the list include such things as Medicare, the military, emergency services, utilities, public transportation, etc.
Although the sentiment expressed in this post easily falls under argument by dismissal (if you don’t like it then leave it), I want to use it to demonstrate another, equally pervasive fallacy: denying the antecedent. The form of this fallacy goes something like this:
If P, then Q.
Therefore, not Q.
Here is an example of this fallacy in use: “If you give a man a gun, he may kill someone. If he has no gun, then he will not kill anyone.” This argument is not valid because the conclusion does not follow from the premises under all circumstances. In the example above, a man can kill someone through innumerable means and methods. He could use a knife or a blunt object or even his bear hands.
Statists are fond of employing this fallacy in the following form:
The State does x; therefore, without the State, there would be no x.
You can substitute x for pretty much anything. “The State makes roads; therefore, without the State, there would be no roads.” “The State provides police services; therefore, without the State, there would be no police services.” “The State manages a judicial system; therefore, without the State, there would be no judicial system.”
You can see how ridiculous this argument is when you substitute x with some essential thing society manages to provide just fine without the State. Take food, for example. We cannot live without food. Imagine we lived in a nation where the food industry was socialized. Voluntaryists in such a nation would advocate for the elimination of the State, and opponents would cry, “The State provides our food! Without the State, there would be no food!”
Statists may here interject, “Yes, we make our own food, but it is safe because of State regulations. It is produced safely because of State labor regulations. It is delivered to grocery stores using State-funded transportation systems.” I hope we can all see the same fallacy at work here. The statist has assumed that, without the State, there would be no safety or labor regulations or transportation systems.
One last thought about the aforementioned, infantile blog post: always remind statists where taxes come from. Each time you hear them say that taxes “provide” something, ask them what provides taxes. The State does not actually “provide” anything. They confiscate it from the labor and ingenuity and exchange of those of us it hypocritically forbids from engaging in the same confiscatory behavior. If taxes truly were “good” and desirable, the State would not only allow but encourage all to engage in it. But of course this cannot happen, because someone has to produce what is taken.
A fellow Redditor gave me some inspiration when he came up with his “libertarian welcome pack.” It’s nothing more than a handful of links to short YouTube videos that explain some basic principles of libertarianism in simple terms.
The usefulness of this cannot be overstated. When you’re introducing a friend to libertarianism, such introductions can quickly bring your friend up to speed on what it is you advocate, weeding out a significant amount of misunderstanding. Also, the brevity of the media reduces the likelihood that your friend will become bored and lose interest.
I think most libertarians have those certain videos, articles, books or speeches that were “Aha!” moments for us in our own philosophical paths. When a great deal of communication and activism occurs online in our day and age, I believe that developing our own welcome packs and sharing them with curious friends, family members and acquaintances can be an invaluable part of our advocacy. Here’s mine:
- The speech that finally made me cross over from liberalism to conservatism was Ezra Taft Benson’s “The Proper Role of Government”
- The book that finally made me cross over from conservatism to libertarianism was Ron Paul’s The Revolution
- The book that finally helped me abandon statism and adopt anarcho-capitalism and voluntaryism was Murray Rothbard’s For a New Liberty (html | pdf | mp3 | epub)
- The Philosophy of Liberty
- George Ought to Help
- The Social Contract: Defined and Destroyed in Under 5 Minutes
- “Society Without a State” by Murray Rothbard
- “The Reluctant Anarchist” by Joseph Sobran
- Fundamentals of Voluntaryism
I invite our readers to share your own welcome packs in the comments section of this post.
Our team of (currently) five has been discussing our strategy and focus areas. For our strategy, we have decided to adopt a two-sided approach. Read more >>
Utah Liberty Alliance seeks to bring about a free society through journalism and activism, starting right here at home.
Recent Forum Posts
In development: Utah Copwatch (utahcopwatch.org)
posted in forum Incubator by Dallin Crump on August 14, 2012 at 1:09 pm
In development: Utahns for Privatized Education (u4pe.org)
posted in forum Incubator by Dallin Crump on April 30, 2012 at 1:54 pm
Utah juror information
posted in forum Incubator by Nicholas Hooton on April 30, 2012 at 8:56 am