Monday, September 14, 2009

Helot on Wheels

What an unalloyed blessing it is to live under a government describing itself as a constitutional republic!

Unlike undisguised tyrannies of various flavors, the government ruling us often -- but not always -- briefly pretends to defer to the written document from which it derives a set of limited, revocable powers, before its enforcement and judicial personnel dispense with those limitations altogether and inflict whatever atrocities they choose on the rest of us.

Sure, the outcome isn't materially different from what we'd experience if we lived under an absolute monarchy, or any of a number of dictatorships. But ours is the singular privilege of knowing the specific constitutionally protected "unalienable" rights that are being violated by the government that blights our society.

Cue Lee Greenwood: "I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free" -- a phrase that must qualify as one of the most puerile, "clap for Tinkerbell"-style acts of self-delusion ever recorded.

The U.S. Constitution and the constitutions of the various states purportedly offer ironclad, black-letter protection against unreasonable searches and compelled self-incrimination. Yet any American who operates an automobile may be stopped at any time by a uniformed tax-feeder and compelled to undergo a blood test -- if the donut-grazer in question affects to believe that the driver is intoxicated, whether or not there is evidence to support that belief.

Witness the case of Jamie Lockard, a 53-year-old resident of Lawrenceburg, Indiana, who was stopped last March on suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI). A roadside Breathalyzer test determined that Lockard's blood alcohol was under the legal limit.

Since incriminating Breathalyzer results are regarded as infallibly conclusive for the purpose of securing a conviction, a negative result offers immediate exoneration -- correct?

One would think so. And one would be wrong.

You see, Officer Brian Miller, being not only a hero (they're all heroes, don't you know) but something of an oracle, just knew Lockard was drunk, despite the reading on his otherwise infallible device. So Miller obtained a "warrant" from a complaisant judge (a warrant being a permission slip from one government agent to another authorizing the violation of a citizen's rights) that authorized the kidnapping of Lockard for the purpose of forcibly extracting bodily fluids -- blood and urine. The former was drawn by a needle. The latter was siphoned from Lockard's body through the forced insertion of a catheter.

Those tests both confirmed what the initial roadside test had demonstrated: Lockard was, for purposes of the law, as sober as Carrie Nation. So the matter ended here -- correct?

Of course it didn't. Because Lockard had, in some unspecified and ineffective way, protested Officer Miller's actions, the uniformed pest vindictively charged him with "obstruction of justice" -- meaning that Lockard had the temerity to be legally sober and to maintain his innocence while undergoing the criminal indignities inflicted on him by Miller and his partners in official crime.

"He [Miller] took it too far," complained Lockard after filing a lawsuit in protest of his treatment. "He thought he could do whatever to me... that he wanted to."

Unfortunately, under what our rulers are pleased to call the "law," Miller is objectively right, even if the Constitution says otherwise. The prevailing assumption, as recently expressed in a Washington state supreme court ruling, is that by obtaining a driver's license an individual gives "implied consent" to searches of both his vehicle and person, and that refusal to do so constitutes revocation of the "privilege" of driving.

A year and a half ago, Dallas-area police announced that the Memorial Day and Independence Day holidays would be "no refusal weekends," during which officers would deal with "a suspect who is arrested on suspicion of drunk driving does not voluntarily submit to a breathalyzer or blood test" by asking a county judge "to immediately approve a search warrant to draw blood...."

Texas state law
supposedly prohibits police from forcibly extracting a blood sample except in cases where an accident has occurred involving serious bodily injury. However, the most recent Texas state appeals court ruling on this subject pronounces, with the smug, hypocritical piety of a philandering priest, that this provision doesn't really recognize the right of an individual to refuse a blood sample.

This is because the implied consent law actually permits the taking of blood without a warrant or explicit consent, because this is "another method of conducting a constitutionally valid search.... It gives officers an additional weapon in their investigative arsenal, enabling them to draw blood in certain limited circumstances even without a search warrant." In substance, that statement means that any invasion of an individual's person is "constitutionally valid" if the government says so.

Naturally, a search warrant nullifies the protests of the victim of a compelled blood test, since it would be issued based "on `the informed and deliberate determinations' of a neutral and detached magistrate'" -- for instance, the officious gavel-fondlers who rubber-stamp every warrant request, sight unseen, made by a cop during a "no refusal weekend."

All of this is the noxious fruit of a diseased tree -- namely, the whole system of licensure governing the "privilege" of operating a motor vehicle. This is among the nastiest versions of the familiar trick in which government redefines a right -- in this case, freedom to travel, which is recognized in Anglo-Saxon Common Law at least as far back as Runnymede -- into a revocable "privilege."

What this means in practice is that traffic police are distant but unmistakable kindred to the Krypteia, a cadre of bully-boy secret police who were authorized to lurk at roadside to prey on the enslaved Helots, plundering and killing them at will.

Accordingly, the moment any of us steers a car onto a public street or highway, he becomes a Helot on Wheels, as it were.

An increasing number of police are permitted to draw blood themselves, rather than suborning competent medical professionals into criminal assaults on citizens under clinical conditions. With the support of money extracted at the gas pump, the federal government is actively abetting this practice -- which began in Arizona and Texas about a decade and a half ago -- through a special program training policemen to act as "officer phlebotomists."

Nampa, Idaho, an otherwise pleasant and attractive community of about 80,000 people, is afflicted with a federally subsidized pilot program in which ten officers have been authorized to draw blood from motorists who refuse a breath test. Not surprisingly, this program -- through which several dozen people have been assaulted so far -- is abetting unhealthy appetites on the part of the "elite" officers who have gone through the training.

When he pulls up alongside a driver, Officer Daryll Dowell admitted, he finds himself "looking at people's arms and hands, thinking, `I could draw from that.'"

The advertised purpose of the phleboto-officer program is to induce unwilling people to submit to breathalyzer tests -- which, as we've noted, are not considered definitive if they provide an exculpatory result. And as with every other policy that involves the violent imposition of force by police on citizens, the primary concern here is officer safety, not the well-being of the victim.

According to Nicole Watson, an instructor from the College of Western Idaho who trained Nampa's "officer phlebotomists," police "will draw blood of any suspected drunk driver who refuses a breath test. They'll use force if they have to, such as getting help from another officer to pin down a suspect and potentially strap them down...."

A helot displays the Krypteia's handiwork: Arizona resident Brian Sewell, who resisted when ordered to undergo a roadside blood test, displays some of the injuries he received when the police assaulted him with a Taser.

If all else fails to subdue an individual who refuses to permit this bodily violation, police can always deploy their preferred implement of punitive torture, the Portable Electro-Shock Torture device (PEST, more commonly called a Taser). That's what happened to Arizona resident Brian Sewell in May 2007. Officers demanded a blood draw after the motorist failed a field sobriety test. They didn't even deign to offer Sewell the option of a breath or urine test. When Sewell, who has a deathly fear of needles, refused to cooperate, he was repeatedly shot with a Taser, leaving scars that were visible weeks after the attack.

James Green, a resident of Pinal County, Arizona, was forced to undergo a needle stick by an inept Sheriff's deputy despite the fact that the traffic stop occurred within walking distance of a hospital. Two maladroitly administered needle sticks later, the officer had claimed his sample -- and left Green with an infection that lasted for months, causing him to miss work.

"Protected"? Nope -- infected: James Green, who fell into the hands of a particularly inept and sadistic cop, displays the infection he received from a needless roadside blood test.

This isn't surprising: Traffic enforcement officers are not medical personnel. While they are given rudimentary first aid training, they are not competent to conduct blood exams and aren't bound by Hippocratic ethics.

In fact, their primary mission is not to protect the public, but rather to extract revenue from it:
Police-generated revenue is how, in the words of one prominent law enforcement contractor, the governments that hire police officers get a "return on investment."

After many decades of metaphorically bleeding the public, police are now permitted to do so literally. At some point, one can hope, the public is going to start returning the favor.

Be sure to tune in for Pro Libertate Radio on the Liberty News Radio Network, 6:00-7:00 PM Mountain Time (7:00-8:00 PM Central).

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Dum spiro, pugno!


GunRights4US said...

I suspect that we most definitely WILL be returning the favor shortly if things continue as they are. Perhaps that's the small silver lining of the coming black cloud of economic collapse; a balancing of the books so to speak.

TJP said...

I invite those who have to time to go and read Texas law. I did not long after the "no refusal" story broke, and I was surprised to discover exactly how refusal works in that state.

There are certain things a suspect may do that allegedly allow an officer to employ violence in order to extract results on his blood sugar meter. One such condition is a suspect's refusal to take the test.

See, you refuse the test, now you have to take the test. And if you don't refuse, you'll be taking the test.

Anonymous said...

Our 25 year old son was detained whilst walking to the grocery store for a bit of breakfast one Saturday morning after parking his vehicle and walking up to his buddy's apartment to see if would join him. No, his friend wanted to sleep a bit longer.

Our son was not in his vehicle when he was detained.

An officer stopped him on the sidewalk to ask if our son knew anything about a suspect who might be living in the apartment building. "No," he did not.

Apparently, our son had been drinking the night before and the officer caught a whiff. He asked that our son consent to a breathalyzer. "No, he would not."

He was arrested on the street and hauled to the nearest hospital where a nurse drew the blood. He was barely over the allowable blood alcohol level. (Sometime after this outrage, the lawyer we found for our son told us he knows ND State Congressmen who drive around town every weekend with much higher blood alcohol levels.)

Unfortunately, our son was too embarrassed to tell his parents and didn't understand that he could have challenged the whole ugly incident within a 10 day period had he filled out the right forms and sucked up to the right bureaucrats. He pled 'not guilty' to the DUI charge.

By the time we got wind of it, he was locked into a 'new' program in which he was required to show up at the Sheriff's Office every morning between 7 & 9 and every evening between 7 & 9 or go to jail until his court trial. If he was an iota over the limit, he would go to jail. Things just went downhill from there.

By the time we found a lawyer, our son had been going in twice a day, seven days a week for two months and had missed one appointment. He then had a warrant issued for his arrest. His court date was moved from 4 months after the original arrest to a date far distant into the future, NINE months after the initial arrest!

Of course, people will plead to just about anything when they see their lives constricted by endless coils of red tape. The lawyer talked the judge and our son into a "Reckless Driving" plea.

Everyone but our son benefitted financially from all this. The breathalyzer program required payment morning and evening for the privilege of being 'tested'. Then there was the lawyer's substantial fee, the court costs, the fines for 'Reckless Driving" of a car that had been parked in an appropriate parking space, the cost of reinstatement of a driver's license, and the increase in insurance premiums.

I think this nonsense is a form of revenue generation which preys upon the most vulnerable and least able members of society to fight for their rights. The legal process are awash with court approved extortion.

Anonymous said...

Once again great article! Keep pouring on the heat. Eventually it will, figuratively speaking, burn this rotting decrepit Empire right to the ground.

liberranter said...

Interesting comments on an article addressing Idaho's decision to allow "phlebotocops" at the cop website (OK, sorry, that's Note that the majority of comments submitted by self-confessed tax parasites in response to the article are negative, the key concern being not that what porky is being ordered to do is unethical or unconstitutional, but the danger that porky puts himself in by exposing himself to needles and blood (we could only HOPE that there's such a danger, but unfortunately the odds of porky jabbing himself with a needle contaminated with hideous blood-borne pathogens are disappointingly slim). Note the one cop (MIV in FL) who regurgitates the obligatory "driving is a privilege, not a right" canard.

Kent McManigal said...

I posted about this very subject on my Examiner column last night. It is so hard to write about this without using words that would get me fired. Or targeted by government.

Sans Authoritas said...

Draw your lines, gentlemen.

Anonymous said...

I don't disagree with you often Will, but Nampa is the fecal orifice of Idaho. When I was growing up here we used to call it the armpit of Idaho, but I personally feel it deserves a lower anatomical reference.

The cops there have a nasty habit of shooting suspected perps - being washouts from CA's sewers. And everyone knows Canyon County is run by a bunch of inbred mormon bureau-rats who are 25 years behind the world around them.

Sic Semper Tyrannis

isaac stanfield said...

Will, if cops could read you'd be in big trouble by now.

Anonymous said...

Estados Unidos de America:
El Imperio de Mierda

(It just sounds better in Spanish.)

Anonymous said...

Forcibly penetrate me to obtain blood or urine and you have raped me. That is a violation of the HIGHEST LAW........ lets hope that never happens.

liberranter said...

Forcibly penetrate me to obtain blood or urine and you have raped me. That is a violation of the HIGHEST LAW...

Absolutely true, but since neither cops nor their judicial enablers obey or otherwise hold themselves accountable under the law, such reasoning, however flawless, fails as a practical defense mechanism.

Anonymous said...

Liberanter... I had to comment on the bone headed musings over at that site. It simply was too much to bear.

I'd like to know which town Anonymous' son was strong armed. When someone uses the word "whilst" it gets my attention.

TJP - The more I hear of the absurdities in Texas, as in other parts of the country, the more I mourn any expectation that the currently fashionable secession movement there will produce anything of note. I've told good buddies there time and again that there are more cowboy boot and hat wear'in socialists there than you could hit with a scatter gun.

Will, good turn of the words "Helot on Wheels" Funny! And I have to say there are good and bad with Nampa. Some parts are wonderful while others are downright scary. Though reading about this absurdity and how its being "taught" by CWI I'm saddened by it all.

Anonymous said...

SST - I've been going to the local Libertarian "philosophical" breakfasts once a month in Nampa. If anything its a great time to commiserate and share a good laugh about the absurdity all around us. I believe one of the senior members there actually works with the Caldwell city board or something. Don't quote me. He can tell you time and again the frustrations. What people here need is more than shots across the "commenting" bow or letters to the editor and these get togethers at least put a voice and face to what would otherwise be cyber silence. Its also comforting to know you're not "crazy".

kirk said...

The more the power elite, through their shills in the MSM, decry talk of a police state, the more numerous are the actions of an unacceptable nature on the part of the cops. From a rhetorical perspective: Are we crazy? or, are they liars?

Those of us who believe in God, our Second Amendment right as well as all our other constitutional rights, want the rule of law adhered to and returning servicemen have been declared right wing terrorists by the same power elite that insist there is no police state, despite what our "lying eyes" tell us. Again, from a rhetorical perspective: Are we crazy? or, are they liars?

In the end, we have what we have because a majority favors such, either by action (working to assist the state) or inaction (the apathetic). Unless and until this way of being changes, there will only be an expansion of leviathan.

From a cynical perspective (is there another given what is around us?), perhaps we should all hope for even more significant spending increases on the part of govt. This will hasten the day when the checks will be sent out, but, unlike before, will buy nothing. At that point, something will be done. I do not think it wise to hope for the majority of citizens to do anything on their own, instead needing prodding to move. A truly worthless currency would get their attention AND make them move.

Anonymous said...

I noticed today the Idaho "Spaceman" (a.k.a. the Idaho Statesman) ran an article about this on-line today. The comments were almost 100% against the policy at least amongst those I read.

Consent of the governed - my a@@. Then again, We have become a welfare state where our 'so called' legislators will belly up to the tax trough for any entitlement. Almost humorous in retrospect, Idaho was one of the last states to adopt 21 age limit and the 0.08 standard until the threat of withholding fed hwy funds changed the political resolve.

Money turns spines to jello apparently.

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Anonymous said...

"I'd like to know which town Anonymous' son was strong armed. When someone uses the word "whilst" it gets my attention."

Bismarck, Norh Dakota

Anonymous said...

It's really hard to know where to comment on a story like this. I guess we can all take a little comfort in knowing how the good people of England felt in the days of the Norman occupation, where a relatively free society found itself drowning in the rules and regulations of an oppressive people who owed their loyalty to a distant king. Let's face it, the cops owe their loyalty to the fed gummint now, not to the people, what with all the "homeland security grants" going out.

And here's a good wad of spit in the direction of all the companies who support these "public safety efforts." Go f--- yourselves, Motorola and anyone else who makes highway robbery easier.

When the law doesn't apply anymore, when it's inconsistent and up to the whim of those who enforce it, when you're breaking it and you don't even know it, everyone is an outlaw, whether you like it or not. My friends and family wonder why the last thing I want is a cop in my rearview. They don't understand they're one cop's bad day away from losing thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to the extortion...err...justice system. In fact, they're lucky if all they lose is their money.

"Public safety" my butt. But hey, it's okay as long as politically connected corporations get their bailouts and Congress gets their pension, the rest of us can keep on paying "protection money" in the form of taxes. We aren't anything but serfs in the eyes of these people and if we're going to be made outlaws because of nothing we've done, then we all need to start thinking like outlaws from here on out.

Anonymous said...


Watch it with the Mormon comments. Your IQ is showing.


Anonymous said...

"Watch it with the Mormon comments. Your IQ is showing."

Being a 'Mormon' out here in North Dakota, I have to say we aren't ALL inbred, but having also lived in Utah for a spell, I understand where he might have some questions about global 'awareness'.

Anonymous said...

"When the law doesn't apply anymore, when it's inconsistent and up to the whim of those who enforce it, when you're breaking it and you don't even know it, everyone is an outlaw, whether you like it or not."

And that's just the way they like it- your ass is grass anytime they choose.

Don Robertson said...

It's one thing to find fault with what the constabulary have morphed into -nationwide. It's quite another to claim any understanding of the phenomenon.

At one time in western civilization, there were leaders that were actually admired and respected, -and, oddly enough-, -for what they did while they were rulers, -not just during an election campaign filled with fibs and greater lies.

The world has been dumbed-down.

It's noteworthy that it's a process that has been going on since at least the 1750s, and likely -since long before that.

It's difficult to account for, other than to say the added complexity of societies made of greater populations have distracted all of us away from our potential to be sentient, compassionate, moral beings, -and forced us all to become much more like mere sentient automatons -whose meager mental powers have been focused more on survival skills, than intelligence gathering.

It's too bad too, because the world is truly a marvelous place, were anyone today to find the time to admire it with both eyes looking forward, -as opposed to how most people currently do it, with one eye askance, peering back over their shoulder in a contorted fashion like some hideous mental hunchback -to see who or what is sneaking up on them now, -or- getting ready to pass them in the -breakdown- lane.

The cops are dinks. But, we're all dinks too. Knuckle dragging has never quite been bred out of the human species. I know. I'm Scottish by lineage.

There's this illusion too many suffer, that it is possible to perform so many of today's complex tasks with some moral efficacy.

It's an illusion though. There are no good cops. And none of you would make a good one either.

So then, the problem has thus reduced itself to the question, Why are there so many cops trying to do this impossible thing? -be a policeman.

The answer is complex enough to dodge it here to keep an already long post from getting too much longer.

Let me just say, there are as many jackass cops as there are -because the human population of the world demands there be that many jackass cops.

Were men to approach the restraint of their sexual desire the same way women do, the world would be populated by the likes of children fathered by Phillip Garrido and Josef Fritzl.

The female sexual instinct has everything to do with having children. -And quite generally speaking, they have -just as many as they want, -with whomever they want.

Someone had to say it, and my hand was up -before I realized what I was getting myself into.

Get a grip on it, girls.

Due to the situation of the world, a lot of you are giving birth to these incorrigible cops, or, -if none of your offspring are taking up that seemingly nefarious career, your offspring are helping to create a population that -demands all these incorrigible cops.

The U.S. currently has the same population size as India had in 1905, and of that China had in 1860.

All these children are cute when babies. But -like puppies- they turn into big dogs that must be fed, housed, educated and policed.

It's possible to say, "There's no population problem." But, even if you say it, one must question, -When will the population be large enough for you to notice the smell of all these burly, out-of-control cops we're starting to see everywhere?

Don Robertson
Limestone, Maine (-further north than even northern Idaho)

Anonymous said...


I grew up in this area in a small town. I know how the mormons run things in this part of the country - especially in small towns. Hell, every time a new school is built around here anymore an lds temple goes up across the street (personally I think they should be under the same distance requirements as porn peddlers). So I have pretty good first hand knowledge of their conduct.

If you aren't one of them they're a backstabbing lot, and if you are one of them you can be mayor of Boise and get caught wacking your meat in your car outside your secretary's house at 4 a.m. and they'll circle the wagons around you (btw, that's a true story for those outside Idaho).

And I'll match IQ's with you anytime.

MoT - I'd like to know more about the libertarian philosophical breakfasts.

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Sans Authoritas said...

Don, good post. I think this will touch on part of the reason cops are usually criminal thugs:

During the time of the first American Revolution, some of the people who lived in Rutland, Vermont, opined in a resolution, "A regular standing army . . . will be principally composed of the refuse of society, who are destitute of property, and whose idleness and dissipation denies them existence in any other way."

In other words, they work for the State, because one doesn't need any particular skills to do so. All one needs is the ability to obey commands. Like a dog. When one is led to believe one's violent actions entail nothing but "protecting people," and much of the populace is similarly brainwashed, one becomes a hero in one's own estimation, no matter how much the policeman/soldier may deny he feels that way.

The State will almost always offer its enforcers a higher rate of pay than they could achieve in the free market. This phenomenon robs productive people of their resources and higher wages for themselves. These are sound reasons be very angry about their leeching off the body of productive society.

-Sans Authoritas

Don Robertson said...


I have a serious problem with identifying the state as the source of any problem.

How so? -The state does not exist.

What exists is what you, or I, or anyone else thinks of -as the state, and nothing more.

There is no collective consciousness that can define the state for all of us.

Clearly, none of our individual impressions really exists, and in fact, all those impression will leave this world with each of us -as our time comes and we expire.

Even more to the argument that the state does not exist, is this seemingly ubiquitous notion that the state is a thinking, conscious entity, which could have reasons or a rationale, -faulty or otherwise. It just ain't so.

So then, what is the state?

Our purpose in any of these discussions is to be cogent, -and- we clearly are not on that path speaking of the state as if the state exists -like a pillar holding up a goldfish bowl in which we all might freely swim?

The state apparently is nothing more than a figurative worm that drills holes in our brains -making each of our thought processes faulty -as we try and perceive the reality that really does exist all around us.

Think of it. If we each have this notion of something that does not exist, how can we talk about what does not exist with each other, and make any sense of any of it -as we contrast our own necessarily faulty perceptions against the infinite-infinite complexity of things-that-do-not-exist, like the state.

So, yes -and- no.

I would still have to hold that these incorrigible cops (who have their own impressions of what the state is they -and they think they represent)... -these incorrigible cops are merely a symptom of our -selves, since they only exist for each of us, -as we perceive them, to wit, as a component of a none-existent state.

Now, again step back -out of your easily riled human form -and observe from the immortal-fly-on-the-wall perspective.

It is clear, human beings are vastly confused about what they think -is possible to exist, and, what -they can be- or -how they can be affected- within that falsely perceived existence.

Again from that distant view-

There can be no good cops, because there really is no state that could possibly voice any cohesive direction to anyone concerning exactly how to be a good cop.

And more so, -in all our personal ideals, -made up of our individual perceptions of our ubermensch-selves- none of us individually thinks there should be a cop that can grab us by the scruff of the neck, and drag us down to the police station for any reason.

And that's the truth.

In a state of nature, (which always has existed) we would thwart the rascal who laid hands on us -or our loved ones.

So, when we go out the doors of our individual conscious safe-houses, there are monsters, dragons and vampires out there.

Some of them where blue uniforms and purport -that they represent something they refer to as the state.

Be careful.

It's a wonderful world, but a dangerous one too. This is not at all like watching television.

Sans Authoritas said...

Don Robertson,

The State certainly exists, in the way that evil exists: as a privation of a due good. In the case of rape, the missing and due good is the consent of one of the parties involved in intercourse. Does rape "exist?" Surely.

The State is a mental illness: the belief in the idea that you have the right to initiate violence against your fellow man. Thuggery, murder, robbery, rape, and the like, are the physical manifestation of this mental illness.

When badgethugs tell people their violent actions represent "the State," they're absolutely correct. But I am not a part, a cog, or a working mechanism of the State. I don't believe in its morality, but I would be a fool if I denied the physical manifestations of the mental illness that is the State.

-Sans Authoritas

Don Robertson said...


If the state exists, and can be mentally ill... Where is its mind? How does it express itself so it might be diagnosed? Through the police? Would anyone consent to have their mental state diagnosed by the examination of another?

The state does not exist.

We all have this idea of what the state is, but each of these ideas is different, -far too different to give a good description of anything cohesive we could identify as something we all recognize.

"Thuggery, murder, robbery, rape, and the like, are the physical manifestation of this mental illness."

Well, no. These things are human traits and conduct, and they do not represent the actions of the state, -simply because the state cannot act, -again, because the state does not exist.

I will grant to you, that there are those who think they are acting in the name of the state when they commit these atrocities.

But they are not the state.

No one can reach out and touch the state, and say, Here it is!

We each consent in our mental creation of the world -and- by admitting the existence of the state, -we empower it within the fabricated fantasy in which we live.

And we further empower the worst offenders among those who are acting with this notion -that they are acting at the behest of the state. Caesar might ask for everything. But the state asks nothing.

In our internal worlds -(the only we will ever know)- there is no categorical objection to committing these atrocities, -either in the name of the state -or otherwise.

This is the state of nature.

It is these very -gray distinctions made about when and where to draw the moral line, -created in part by the convoluted complexity of a belief system that is essentially created ad hoc for us and by us, that gives all of us a moral relativity we must contend with.

Secular morality can be far more distinct here.

Relative morality can be portrayed best as an outgrowth of religious ideas, -especially in western thought.

Secular morality might say, -it is okay to commit any of these acts, as long as the primary edict (and its consequential implications) of a rigorous secular morality is observed.


Don Robertson said...

Religion -generally- has no base cause, or primary moral edict. Defining religious moral edicts are a myriad of often conflicting ideas.

Religion might say, murder is immoral, as is rape, and homosexuality, or eating meat on Friday.

It is this lack of cohesion in moral edicts that gives rise to the moral relativism that makes it possible for all the social discord of the world to exist.

Everyone would always act morally, were they to know how. None do know how.

These problems also give rise to the idea that the state exists, as it exists, with the intention of affecting the often confusing and conflicting moral relativism that is an outgrowth of (among other things) religious ideas.

We are asked to walk in the shoes of another man.

Of course, it's not that simple.

Everything is a religion, a belief of sorts, each belief being substantiated by an underpinning-animism required to substantiate every fundamental idea of all humanly possible belief systems.

But let me demonstrate how secular morality is more deeply rooted than anyone's religious beliefs.

Hypothetically speaking-

If you are attached to a machine that is momentarily going to kill -either you, -or, the rest of humanity, -depending on the setting of a switch -within your reach- What is the moral choice?

Secular morality -as it turns out- reaches far deeper than any religion. In fact -most religions posit a moral proscription for suicide.

Regardless, -the moral choice seems obvious to all but the most perplexed religious ideologue, but not you, Will.

This is the sort of choice so-called "good cops" make every day. Their choices reflect their willingness to cut relative moral corners to affect their own personal relative morality.

From outside their minds, we see it as a crock. From inside their minds, standing in their shoes, it's a much tougher call.

Of course there is no excuse for their conduct, -from the outside. From the inside, of course there is no other choice but than to rough up the hoods and the punks on their beat.

No one believes in the law. And this is especially true if you're a cop (a judge or a lawyer) who has seen the law perverted too many times to have any belief in it.

But blaming human problems on a non-existent state is no solution, even if it makes for something most will agree with.

The state does not exist.

Anonymous said...

"Bismarck, Norh Dakota.... Anon"

Oh, blimey! And to think I wanted to take a gander at ND sometime in the future. Well, maybe it has something to do with the proximity of the state capital seeing as its right there, same as here in Boise. What is it about the seats of power drawing like to like? I wonder.

SST - If you want more info just drop me an email from my profile. I just realized I didn't have that turned on. Maybe that explains my lack of spam which is never a bad thing.

Don, I was just reading your comments and thought of something. You could even take it as a pun. It goes like this:

The "State" is a state of mind.

Anonymous said...

Don Robertson writes - "How so? -The state does not exist."

The state does exist as one of the many ideologies - or ~ism's if you prefer - that claims sole legitimate use of force. It is comprised of it's adherents and those who willingly submit to it's demands. So yes, it does exist though not as a single entity but rather as a collective of like minded individuals and those cowed to the demands it imposes.

As an aside, and I don't know why this didn't occur to me earlier - I wonder how our "My hat blew off and it's only Jack Daniel's in my cope ossifer" governor Otter would have felt about being strapped down and having his blood drawn when he got his DUI. Then again he was married to JR's daughter at the time so that one vanished into the memory hole.

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Don Robertson said...


"So yes, it does exist though not as a single entity but rather as a collective of like minded individuals and those cowed to the demands it imposes."

No collective has a consciousness. Even a library is mute.

Like-minded furthermore is an illusion.

We cannot know what like-mindedness would appear like.

One can make an observation, and say we perceive like-mindedness, but all that is only in your own head.

The like-mindedness we perceive, furthermore -from the inside of each of those individual minds- would be so utterly disparate, it would make categorical the infinite-infinite nature of the differences between one mind and the next.

No. The state does not exist.

We each have our individual conceptions of what we refer to as the state. But as it does not exist -definitively or, in any real sense, we cannot speak or even think about it cogently enough for our disparate conceptions of it to have any efficacy when we compare and consider the unlikeness of our conceptions of the state.

We can only think and speak about the infinite varieties that something that does not exist -can come in, instead. It is meaningless this exercise in our belief in something called the state, which does not and CANNOT exist.

Does the state exist for a tree? A bird? Does the state Israel or Iran exist half way across the globe? No.

Only the people who come to our attention that claim they represent these states exist.

You cannot fight city hall. This idiom points out the problem, recognized well for each of us perhaps a century ago or more.

And still we tramp on incogently discussing the state as if it exists.

No. The state does not exist.

Of all the people we deal with that think they represent the state, we each need to discover they represent only themselves.

They may act as they do because they think they represent the state, but our only defense against their hubris is to view and treat them as if they represent only themselves.

This attitude is inherent to the often presumed meaning behind the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence -as they are commonly interpreted, -that the state, any state, cannot take away our inalienable rights.

Why? Because states do not exist.

If states do exist, they are nearly immortal.

Is this what those who believe in the state are referring to? Are they referring to modern day Greek gods that are nearly immortal?

No. The state does not exist, any more than Zeus or Aphrodite exist.

If we have no rights, none can be taken away.

We have no rights, but one, to walk away from a dangerous situation.

That is our natural right.

That is our natural right in the state of nature.

Saying the state exists, is like saying numbers exist.

Some people who think numbers are real things too. Those people who think numbers are real things, generally do not understand numbers very well.

I think they envision numbers walking around holding hands and singing "Pop Goes the Weasel".

The state is like that, like numbers. Neither the state or numbers say anything that is in any way definitive about reality.

We can discover a meaningless infinite complexity that does not exist in things that do not exist.

The state does not exist.

dixiedog said...

If the state exists, and can be mentally ill... Where is its mind? How does it express itself so it might be diagnosed? Through the police? Would anyone consent to have their mental state diagnosed by the examination of another?

The state does not exist.

Mr. Robertson, why precisely do you adamantly claim that the State, as it were an admittedly abstract entity I'll assuage, does not exist? That's somewhat analogous to claiming that "wind" does not exist, yet its effects are concretely detected by our senses. The term "government," itself an abstract concept, makes its presence known by the individuals (police(wo)men, bureaucrats, politicians, meter maids, et al) who collectively act in unison, on its behalf. Ergo, its burdens are certainly felt - either through ones pocketbook (via shakedowns, recurring taxes/fees, etc.) via implicit force or through being arrested and incarcerated via explicit force - by individuals across any geographic region "the State" (aka "the Leviathan") in question claims rulership over.

I find it difficult to believe that you really are that thoroughly befuddled by the most simple kind of abstractions. To make this already simple particular abstraction dunce-proof, government ≈ "the State". Is it clearer now?

We all have this idea of what the state is, but each of these ideas is different, -far too different to give a good description of anything cohesive we could identify as something we all recognize.

Why do you repeatedly say it doesn't exist and then turn right around and say we all have different ideas about what "the State" is. If it doesn't exist, then logically one wouldn't bother to even entertain the various ideas of what this nonexistent "thing" is, I would think. They would ALL be meaningless and irrelevant if I believed it didn't even exist in the first place.

Well, no. These things are human traits and conduct, and they do not represent the actions of the state, -simply because the state cannot act, -again, because the state does not exist.

First, I'll say upfront that I believe that individuals are responsible for their own individual acts and behavior they alone decide to carry out, irrespective of whether they're affiliated with "the State" or not as I've said here in this space many times myself in the past.

Sometimes I tend to think Will really does believe people cannot resist and can only simply be as "automatons" when they are in the employ of Leviathan. They have no working mind, I would suppose, and simply "follow orders" without any conscious thought to the morality and/or legality of "the order" in question.

I disagree.

IF the people in its employ possess a genuine moral compass that's in good working order they'll obey/disobey an order on that basis and not on simply whether it's deemed "legal" or "illegal." Ramon Perez, who Will has profiled in a past blog post, was one fine example.

Granted, many folk who are buried within and embraced by Leviathan's fleshy folds generally don't possess a genuine moral compass and, ergo, simply obey/disobey based on mere legality/illegality or not even that if the humanoid giving the order(s) in question hails from a sufficiently "vital organ" within Leviathan.


dixiedog said...


Nonetheless, that doesn't mean they're unable to act in the right way, by some force field, real or imagined, it simply means that they look at job security or, in extreme cases, life itself as a higher priority than doing what's morally right. Politicians are fine examples there.

However, all that said, these acts do also represent the actions of "the State," in addition to a given individual, when the act(s) in question are "legal" dictates of "the State" and naturally the moral relativists in its employ, who do simply "follow orders," will perform said action(s) without skippin' a beat. Oh I almost forgot, you don't believe "the State" exists. That, then, begs the question: what god do these folk follow who do this "thuggery, murder, robbery, rape, and the like?" Also, how can these be human traits if there exists a self-evident "secular morality" you seem to think is much more succinct and less vacuous than an absolute morality given to us by a higher, Supreme Being?

I'm confused. Perhaps, you can shed a bit of laser light on this interesting concept of self-evident "secular morality?" That's the epitome of moral relativism. Human-created "morality" is purely arbitrary, by necessity, since it's main theme is "I'm responsible to no one" and is smothered in self. They've replaced the real God with themselves or (I know you hate to "hear" it) "the State."

dixiedog said...

BTW, Will, I've started listening to your radio program (via webcast) as I now have time to since it's now broadcast from 8PM-9PM EDT. However, the last two evenings' broadcasts have been suddenly cut short mid-sentence and the intermission music started playin' at ~8:50 or so. Are you aware of that? Maybe, it's only the webcast that has this problem, but I'll be sure to check it tonight and see if the same thing occurs again.

Don Robertson said...

"Mr. Robertson, why precisely do you adamantly claim that the State, as it were an admittedly abstract entity I'll assuage, does not exist?"

This, -as obvious as it no doubt seems, -is the brilliant question of the day. Thank you, Dixie. I'm glad we've finally come this far.

I am adamant the state does not exist -first, -and obviously, because it DOES NOT exist, and until long after the cows come home I can prove it, is the point.

But more to the point of your question, I am adamant about the non-existence of the state because -I am in a better position than anyone else to affect the changes everyone sees as necessary -when I state the obvious and undeniable fact, that the state does not exist.

When I hear anyone going on and on about the state, I personally hear a perverse sense of un-reality that is EXACTLY HALF the problem.

Such assertions lend not just credibility (there are two sides to every story) to the notion that the state exists, it also adds credibility to the actions of those who think they are acting at the behest of the state, (which cannot ask for anything, as I already pointed out).

You must grasp, my argument is just as annoying, if not more so, for those who believe they are acting at the behest of the state, as it is for those who revel in pointing out the supposed faults of the non-existent state.

This difference is, I take away from both halves of the equation and deliver each to the reality, that the state does not exist, -and that, what this boils down to is, -you're all on your own in this world.

And, Dixie, you are indeed correct in your assumption that the wind does not exist either.

The entire world in every human mind is made almost entirely of universal forms and ideas. The only worlds we can talk about are forced into the constraints of language, which is entirely universal forms and ideas.

None of these worlds any one of us experiences really exists anywhere in reality, except in our minds.

"[...] many folk who are buried within and embraced by Leviathan's fleshy folds generally don't possess a genuine moral compass and, ergo, simply obey/disobey based on mere legality/illegality or not even that if the humanoid giving the order(s) in question hails from a sufficiently "vital organ" within Leviathan."

This is the idea of Utilitarianism in a nutshell, -that individuals are all so morally inept, the only thing we are capable of, is working to aid the (fallacious) collective consciousness personified in the time-and-history-molded state, -which of course, does not even really exist.

So the utilitarians, starting Jeremy Bentham were wrong-headed automatons who lacked any possible free will, and would have made of humanity busy bees or ants in their ideal -or Utopia.


Don Robertson said...

One can disagree all they want with Jeremy Bentham who thought dedication to the non-existent state the highest moral calling.

In so doing, they too are chasing fairy tales. Show me the open door to free will, I say.

I can show you, and I will show you.

We are not bees or ants, nor are we the dolphins, whales or the Chimpazees.

We ARE sentient creatures, as are they, but we also have a moral sense, if no one here yet has been made aware of how it works, exactly as it can be made to be understood.

"I'm confused [about morality]."

That's good. You prove my point succinctly when you state you are confused about morality.

You apparently did not flunk my moral test about being attached to a machine that momentarily is going to kill either you or the rest of humanity, depending on the setting of a switch within your reach -and- what would be the moral choice?

So, then... Dixie, are you still with me? If so, how do you justify your choice in that moral test?

Trust me. I have the answer.

It's an exquisitely simple concept I as a philosopher only stumbled across in 2006. It is the answer to Kant's 200 year old conjecture about the Categorical Imperative, and a succinct statement of morality.

I am not the genius many purport to be, or just as wrongly purport to admire in others.

I am just a guy, casually interested in philosophy, who discovered the most important discovery -in the history of all human discoveries, -bar none.

And I state here unequivocally, I just got lucky.

So, Dixie, or anyone else, how did you justify committing suicide in my hypothetical moral test?

I don't mean to tease. I will tell you my discovery. I have discovered the wellspring of everything that is moral. I have discovered that which adequately prioritizes all moral reason, as succinctly as clockwork.

I have discovered the moral imperative of life.

And for those who lick their empirical chops just dying to get a shot at me, I will go yet another step further.

The moral imperative of life is categorically true. The is no exception to it.

Morality as it turns out, is exactly like that switch in my hypothetical example, it either points to our morality and free will, or it does not.

Everyone here believes in their free will, do they not?

But you also each would proclaim, that you would always act morally, were you to know how.

I will teach you all how to be moral, sentient beings that can exercise human free will for the first time in the history of humanity, -if you are not too afraid to listen and learn.

I am not the devil.

Sans Authoritas said...

"I will teach you all how to be moral, sentient beings that can exercise human free will for the first time in the history of humanity, -if you are not too afraid to listen and learn.

I am not the devil."

You know, a lot of cult leaders have made that claim throughout the millenia. Pythagoras, Marcion, Carpocrates, Arius, Joachim of Fiore. Us simple folk will just stick with Jesus, thanks.

Unless you have cookies. Do you have cookies? Nevermind. I'll still stick with Jesus.

-Sans Authoritas

Anonymous said...

Don Robertson wrote:

"No collective has a consciousness. Even a library is mute.

Like-minded furthermore is an illusion."

When I read your comment the statement from "V" in the movie "V for Vendetta" kept popping in to my mind - (paraphrasing as it's been awhile since I watched it) "You cannot kill an idea".

If like-minded were truly an illusion, then it would be unable to have any force other than peer pressure - but, in the world we live in, like minded does indeed exert a force that cannot be denied.

Therefore, the state does exist as is manifest by the force it exerts on those of the collective mindset choose to on those it perceives in it's domain.

It only ceases to exist when the subjugated are willing to make the personal sacrifices required to undermine the ideological resolve of those supporting the ideology to be willing to change the ideology of the collective.

To kill the state means to kill an idea, an ideology. That does not mean that all that is done has been bad, but it has gotten to the point where it does far more harm than good - and thus the state and the ideology, must die.

Unfortunately, those who cling too tightly to the ideology will probably have to die with it, or at least a sufficient portion that is no longer a threat. Therein lies the conflict with non-aggression, the ideological influence is so diffuse in society that cannot be 'surgically' extracted.

A fairly superficial response to a very good question - I know. It is a topic that would require many hours of exploration to reach an understanding.

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Anonymous said...

As a bit of an afterthought on my most recent comment to Don Robertson . . .

As a thought experiment, let's apply the scientific method to the question of whether the state exists (in a somewhat frivolent Friday evening fashion).

Hypothesis: the state does exist


1) the state has physical structures that can be measured. Certainly we needn't look too far wherever we may be to see the edifices of it's physical presence.

And we have over 700 military bases throughout the world so one could argue that yes it does have a quantitatively measurable component in that respect.

2) the amount of effort extracted from those in it's domain can be measured in terms of the effort extracted (normalized to dollar$).

3) the number of non-adherents confined can be measured. The number and percentage of amerikans incarcerated by the state exceeds that of an nation (ideology) on the planet.


1) it influences the environment that it occupies. I think the anecdote of seeing a cop with a radar gun and it's psychological effects on those in the 'in the beam' speaks for itself.

2) it determines land use in it's domain

3) it extracts perpetual fees for land ownership in it's domain

4) it grant's 'privilege' to use resources that have been paid for by the use of taxation.

These just to name a few, please embellish if so inclined (and no doubt the list will become immeasurably long - as Will is no doubt grateful, albeit in an ironic way, as it provides an endless reservoir of material in which to explore and write about).

The point is the existence of "The State" is measurable, and it is predictable for those who have read history.

Just some musings on a Friday night.

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Don Robertson said...

I am disappointed. This discussion has taken a turn into a carnival of statements that grasp for some common obfuscation.

Will no one here venture to explain their choice in the hypothetical moral test I have twice now provided?

Thanks, and no thanks. I await a cogent answer. And no, I will not be baited. But, my patience is limited, and as you can see from the picture of myself I have provided, my time is indeed limited. Make use of it, or I will be gone.

I stated, "I am not the devil," because as some experience the confusion they feel upon confronting their moral selves -they find they are focusing on with revealing acuity, because I focus upon it- leads some to question -that I might be the devil.

I am not. Nor am I a genius, or anything more than someone you might meet in the street. I am someone just truth as best as I have come to know how. Having found one possible path toward truth, I seek to travel along that path by sharing what I have found -while groping in my own darkness.

I am a philosopher. I know better than to blaspheme. I cannot prove there is no God, and nor would I wish to.

I have gone to great and ultimately powerfully successful lengths -elsewhere- to prove it is our moral duty to support all religious freedom to believe -as best as we all can, -because it provides a diversity of life so essential to our human appreciation of our lives, -there is a moral prescription for all of us to support this aspect of our human diversity, -specifically to preserve it for the future.

Yes, our discussion has taken a sharp turn, but I hope without tossing all the passengers out of the coach of this discussion and onto the pavement of their blind, intolerant and ultimately lazy ignorance.

Stand up, and be counted as sentient beings! Again, if you get up off your lazy ass, I will teach you to be moral and exercise your free will. It's about time, isn't it?

The state does not exist any more than any Greek god ever existed. The state, the concept of it, is a self-enforcing delusion, an almost all-encompassing mental trap, and one, I am trying to teach each of you to rise above, -so we may all together finally bring it to heel with our free will -and put it into its proper perspective.

Overcome your common confusion and baseless fear -and answer my question. How do you come to your choice in the hypothetical moral question I have posed for you.

ihbf said...

This is from Albert J. Nock’s Our Enemy, the State, described as his “Classic Critique Distinguishing ‘government’ from the ‘state:’”

“He [Thomas Paine] proceeds then to show how and why government comes into being. Its origin is in the common understanding and common agreement of society; and ‘the design and end of government,’ he says, is ’freedom and security.’

“[Government and State] are so different in theory that drawing a sharp distinction between them is now probably the most important duty that civilization owes to its own safety. Hence it is by no means either an arbitrary or academic proceeding to give the one type the name of government, and to call the second type simply the State. The positive testimony of history is that the State invariably had its origin in conquest and confiscation. No primitive State known to history originated in any other manner. On the negative side, it has been proved beyond peradventure that no primitive State could possibly have had any other origin. Moreover, the sole invariable characteristic of the State is the economic exploitation of one class by another. In this sense, every State known to history is a class-State.”

dixiedog said...

Don, I think by denying the existence of the state, and believing that assertion wholeheartedly, you are inescapably and inadvertently enraptured by it. How is that possible, you may be thinking? Well, because if you really ponder it a devotee of Utilitarianism requires Leviathan's assistance, if such constructs as churches are to be disdained, in the grand scheme of things to be truly effective in ever accomplishing "the greatest good for the greatest number of people" by necessity.

Of course, then we're presented with the prospective dilemma of how "good" is to be defined. See, because precisely how and on what basis "good" in ones mind is defined is really the stickler when one has aspirations of doing "the grandest deeds for the most people." Ergo, I get nervous when powerful folk decide to operate purely on a utilitarian basis.

If not Leviathan or the church, who or what can come the closest to providing that ideal? I believe the church has to step up to the plate, and does in many ways, but as the church withers, in the West anyway, the State is the other alternative that is taking (or has taken in many cases already today) its place, again by necessity.

The problem with that should be self-explanatory ;).

You apparently did not flunk my moral test about being attached to a machine that momentarily is going to kill either you or the rest of humanity, depending on the setting of a switch within your reach -and- what would be the moral choice?

So, then... Dixie, are you still with me? If so, how do you justify your choice in that moral test?


So, Dixie, or anyone else, how did you justify committing suicide in my hypothetical moral test?

In this simple, contrived example it would be a no-brainer for me, but probably not for the reason(s) you have in mind. I'd choose for it to take my life rather than all of humanity, but in this case it's not really suicide since somebody had to forcefully attach me to the machine in question in the first place.

Suicide is in essence "murder of self" without consciously and forcefully linking it to others lives in the process, like the extermination of all humanity to it, a key difference. And the core reason I'd choose myself over the rest of humanity is because I value others' right to life over and above my own when they have no viable choice in the matter as your example implies. The fact that the Utilitarian and Christian mind vaguely align in this particular example is merely a sidebar note only.

Everyone here believes in their free will, do they not?

But you also each would proclaim, that you would always act morally,
were you to know how.

We would not always act morally, precisely because we have a (limited) free will and, most significantly, tied in with the fact that the human heart is desperately wicked. We have the free will to allow the Holy Spirit, who resides within believers, to live His life through us or we can choose not to. He doesn't force the matter since He wants us to love and obey Him by choice.

And yes, Don, I know you likely didn't wish me to wax religious, as the world would define it, but philosophy and religion are congruent in so many respects that one can't be discussed and/or debated without the other ;).

ihbf said...

A web site has a list of U.S. military interventions from 1890-2008 called From Wounded Knee to Iraq: A Century Of U.S. Military Interventions. This is incredible. There are 142 interventions, the same countries over and over. These are the first ones on the list plus a couple off Events in the West. We are doomed and damned and cursed with a curse.

1890, Sitting Bull murdered in confrontation at Standing Rock Reservation. In South Dakota, 300 Lakota Indians massacred at Wounded Knee.

1890, ARGENTINA, U.S. Troops protect “interests” in Buenos Aires.

1891, CHILE, Marines clash with nationalist rebels.

1891, HAITI, Troops, Black revolt on Navassa defeated.

1892, IDAHO, Army suppresses silver miners’ strike.

1893 (-?), HAWAII, Troops, Independent kingdom overthrown, annexed.

1894, CHICAGO, Troops, breaking of rail strike, 34 killed.

1894, NICARAGUA, Troops, month-long occupation of Bluefields.

1894-95, CHINA, Marines land in Sino-Japanese War.

1894-96, KOREA, Marines kept in Seoul during war.

Don Robertson said...


I must compliment you on your adept juggling of these ideas. Of course, we have differences in what we are trying to say, but you have not in the least abrogated the sense I am in the right place, at the right time.

First, I did not say we would always act morally, as you seem to take from my statements. What I meant to impart is, we would always choose to act morally, were we to know how and aware of the choice we are making.

We do not generally know how to act morally in any succinct sense.

I only discovered the moral imperative (again -quite by luck) in 2006. It may take a thousand years before humanity can fathom the depths of what the moral imperative means.

The moral imperative gives rise to a new knowledge set, one far more succinct than any empirical (scientific) knowledge can provide.

The rules of logic and discovery -for Categorical Knowledge- have yet to be written entirely. This is part of my chosen task as a philosopher.

So, I give you the moral imperative of life, simply -from one man to another, seeking to point toward a path where truth might be found.---

The moral imperative of life is to live a life that detracts not at all from the lives available to those who will follow us into this world.

The moral imperative is all too easy to agree with. It is pleasing. But its meaning is far more complex than any quick examination of it might indicate.

It conflicts with our empirical way of thinking, entirely.

It also subjugates and constricts our cherished humanitarian instinct.

It turns the Golden Rule into a selfish expression of personal gratification, when it is written absent the preeminent notion of the moral imperative of life.

How so?


Don Robertson said...

The Golden Rule says, Do unto others -

The moral imperative says, BEFORE you do unto others, -do for the future, what you would have had the past do for us.

The moral imperative says, -it is a selfish instinct we placate when we feed starving Africans in their desert surroundings -because- if we -consider and contrast- the view of the moral imperative that commands us to first inspect the likely result of our humanitarian efforts, to see if we will not in fact make the lot of those desert Africans worse -by providing food for a population explosion that will help create and leave many more stranded, starving, and suffering Africans in the desert of the future -when the food aid we can provide today -runs out.

The moral imperative also forces us to ask, WHO (if anyone) has the right to gamble -when the wager of such a gamble -is going to include some possible detriment to the future? WHO can do that, morally?

All science is such a horrific gamble in this sense. We live in and amongst the ubiquitous scientific failures of the past.

The evidence is all around us of what we have wrought.

Especially when we add the sure philosophic notion of the infinite complexity of the Universe to the background and backdrop for all our scientific experimental understanding -all these gambles that threaten the future -seem immoral.

According to the moral imperative -it is even immoral to accumulate scientific knowledge that can be misused by the future. -It will be misused, because that is our human nature.


When critical of mind, it is all too easy to find fault with the moral imperative too.

Let us focus here. You have a critical mind. We all do.

I have proposed that the moral imperative is categorically true. That it is true without any possible exception. This makes it an impossibly big target not to hit. But no one has yet shown the moral imperative is not categorically true.

This leads to some strange new moral edicts that are unfamiliar.

But, for argument's sake, let us see if you (or anyone) can provide an example where acting within the constraints of the moral imperative -can be immoral, -or-, (and this is the categorical kicker), -if there is an example where we can act outside the constraints -and still be acting morally.

I am driving at giving everyone a better sense of what Categorical Knowledge means, as it is different from empirical (scientific) knowledge, -and how the logical constructs of this new knowledge set has again upset the tables in the temple of all our thought processes.

Thanks for accommodating the discussion- I promise, we will tie back into and get back to a discussion about the non-existence of the state before we end the discussion.

Sans Authoritas said...

Don Robertson,

There's nothing selfish about taking care of your own needs first. If you tried to take care of everyone else's needs solely, you would die. And so Jesus did. As Fulton Sheen said, he was the only person who came into this world with the purpose of dying. The rest of us are born to live.

There is nothing "selfish" about helping another person. As individuals, it is impossible for us to perform an act without having the act have some relation to ourselves. That is not "selfishness." We are called to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Can you find fault with such an idea?

Don Robertson wrote:

"The moral imperative also forces us to ask, WHO (if anyone) has the right to gamble -when the wager of such a gamble -is going to include some possible detriment to the future? WHO can do that, morally?"

Life is a gamble, Don Robertson. Walking down the street is a gamble. Driving your car is a gamble. The question at hand is not "possible detriment," it is "does the possible good of this action outweigh the risk of possible detriment?" I realize you are not advocating this, but I will point out that living life in fear of possible detriment is more detrimental than any possible detriment, including death itself.

As you say, Don Robertson, the State, as an entity, does not exist. The State is an evil. Evil does not exist in itself. It only exists in relation to the good, in the way that a shadow "exists" as an absence of light. The State of which we speak is the institutionalized physical manifestation of the evil idea that one may legitimately initiate aggression and violence against one's fellow man. We don't keep the violent manifestations of evil ideas in existence by recognizing the evil of those ideas. We combat the violent manifestations of evil ideas by pointing them out to people, and offering better ideas to them.

-Sans Authoritas

Don Robertson said...


First you're not following the line of discussion closely enough to allow a cogent response to your assertions. You have brought to bear a point I again -might attempt to exhaust here.

"The question at hand is not "possible detriment," it is "does the possible good of this action outweigh the risk of possible detriment?" I realize you are not advocating this, but I will point out that living life in fear of possible detriment is more detrimental than any possible detriment, including death itself."

First of all, and I have covered this well enough already, the Universe is infinitely complex.

"Infinitely" means we have little ability to ferret out a viable solution to any of these problems proactively.

It is the solutions of the past, that are the focus of every major complaint concerning all our problems in the present.

That much is sure about the results of those who would continue to try to make life better. There is nothing better than life, and the more we put it at risk, the more detriment we are causing.

That someone would come along and say, "I have the key to solve the problem, and all we need to do is to ..." Well, -if they are not advocating ceasing to do something, they're doubtlessly like so many other advocates of the past that led us along the well-worn human path of folly.

Even the perpetrators of 9-11 were individuals like yourself, ready to do something to affect some necessary solution -they had in mind.

Environmental-scientists are readying to address failings of the climate they see manifest in our technological society, -with yet more technological gambles perfected with their own scientific knowledge sets they have labored to assemble -that describe exactly how to destroy the world as best as they can figure out.

You might see something eerily wrong in this approach. When I point out the environmentalists' folly, I generally follow it waving my index finger about one ear in a circle, while singing, "Cuckoo! Cuckoo!"

And yet you say, "[...] living life in fear of possible detriment is more detrimental than any possible detriment, including death itself."

Really? Is it really?

Look, Sans, you're a bit of a loose gun in this world. But you serve a good point here.

There are plenty of things that could happen that would be worse than fear, or -moral gratitude- for the chance at life, as I would express it.

Life is like a party, Sans. Enjoy yourself. Don't wreck it for everyone else. That's your basic moral duty. Be a gentleman, and try not to pick fights with the other guests.

And -whatever you do, have some moral respect for those who are coming to -the party of life- after we all leave.

They shouldn't have to wallow in the destruction caused by some aggravated and itchy-scratchy need to do something to prove someone had no fear of doing whatever it was -but mostly because it isn't going to affect them while they're alive!


Don Robertson said...

To act regardless the consequences of our own obvious inability to perceive of all the consequences of that which we may want to do, is simply reckless and lazy, even barbaric -while we have this new categorical avenue of research available to us -that might serve us better in making our moral choices.

Again, Sans, the Universe is infinitely complex. That's a given -and impossible to refute.

We do not have the mental horsepower to approach comprehending completely even a small fractional part of this astonishing Universe of ours.

And honestly, we are here for such a short period of time, during which time we spend most of it goofing-off, or napping, it's not likely any of us is going to become even modestly omniscient in the near term interregnum of our turn at interim-genius either.

There are a lot of geniuses in the world, Sans, and they are responsible for the majority of the completely wrong theories and conjectures. And the self-professed geniuses of the world are responsible for 100% of all the wrong results -exactly because they are supposedly smart enough to know better -and tell the rest of us, what they should know better.

But they do these things because they haven't a clue about their moral responsibility to the future, because they're reckless hotheads, or because they are seeking fame of some sort, or, perhaps just a smile from some pretty girl with golden curls?

I'm just saying, we all have a responsibility to the future that outweighs our desire to alleviate our own discomfort in the present.

Also, -the examples are countless, but by-in-large, every scientific solution creates tenfold the problems the original scientific solution was originally meant to address.

Your intention to tell me, your solution, or solutions, the ones that come out of your scientifically-trained mind, have more efficacy than bothering to figure out what Categorical Knowledge is first, just isn't going to fly.

It is not just lazy. It is arrogant and selfish to ignore the impact the all-too-predictable mistakes will likely have on the future.

That future soon enough will be the present -and full of complaints like yours, and likely fuller with the complaints -about the loose guns we have today trying to make the world better a better place, -regardless that the evidence is -they will only make matters worse -without at least some categorical knowledge to act a restraint to their solution-trigger finger.

If something is categorically true, it cannot be ignored, unless we would wish to make the same mistake over and over again due to our intentional ignorance.

So go back and read my post and accept the challenge of trying to disprove the categorical nature of the moral imperative of life.

Once everyone that task is met with defeat, I will then explain to everyone where all our other knowledge, including our religious beliefs, fit into the scheme of things in an epistemological sense.

It's a far rosier picture than the picture painted by the schema of our scientific heritage.

One thing is sure. If we are not going to detract from the future by our own lives, we need to protect all diversity, -including all religious diversity.

Diversity of every sort is one of the most cherished attributes of our existence. And as such, we have a moral duty to protect all diversity.

Homogenizing the world into some common scientific view has been demonstrated by the recent history of the last few centuries -to be an utterly immoral mistake.

I believe in free will. I believe we can pull back away from this scientific view by exploring Categorical Knowledge for clues to our existence, -before we go one inch further on the scientific path that seems so hostile to any human future.

AvgJoe said...

Will, this is not a post but an email to you being I have no address to send you an email. If you remember Cam Hall who was involved in the crash that killed a family, the Perfects. The happened at Beacon Light and 55. The wife and mother of the five week old baby that was killed is the daughter of a good friend of mine and in fact Steve Wood is the pastor of my church.
Cam Hall set up the crash so Lasinka (spelled wrong I'm sure) would hit Tony Perfect's car which was parked in the waiting lane in the center of the road to pull into the north bound traffic.
The Ada County police knew it was a set up by Hall and were moving in that direction. The president of BSU stepped in and got the state police to take over the case. In fact the black box in the pick up that hit the Perfect's car recorded the last five seconds of information. The truck was doing 97 mph and was on Hall's bumper but the state police said that Hall may not have been speeding.
Want a real story this is one and I'm sure Steve would have no problems allowing you to talk with Wade Woodard his lawyer in dealing with this case. Talk about evil allowing a baby killer to walk and in fact play football in Canada after serving only ten days in the county lock up. Some how BSU football players seem to be royal in the valley.
If you want to go with this one you can reach steve at steve at zona dot com.
Best to you and yours Will.

Sans Authoritas said...

I'm not a consequentialist, nor am I an idealist, Don Robertson. Like Richard Weaver said, "Ideas have consequences." I don't believe that whatever I believe becomes true because I believe it. I believe in a universal moral law, binding all men, and that men do not create the moral law, but merely recognize the moral law to a greater or lesser extent. I also believe that a set of physical laws exists, and that no matter what you believe, those laws remain in force. I've never been one to repeatedly smack my head against a brick wall and claim that maybe in some alternate universe, hitting your head against a wall doesn't hurt, or that perhaps slaughtering innocent people is not contrary to the universal moral law over in the Opposite Universe.

I never proposed that we should not fear doing evil. I proposed that we should not fear doing what we prudently and rightly perceive as good for fear of what potential evils may result.

We should treat others well in our respective lifetimes. We should be good stewards of the planet, in order that future generations may not be harmed by our actions. I never claimed the contrary, though you appear to have perceived me as making that claim.

As for an "infinitely complex" universe? The universe, as a physical entity, is not infinite. Hence, it cannot be infinitely complex. Only God is infinite. And He is infinitely simple. The "world of the forms," or what we today might call the moral and physical laws, have their existence in and of God, but they are not God.

Human beings whom he created enjoy a share in the infinite. It is an infinity in which I hope we all get to participate once our body-soul composites have separated. And thank goodness this happens. This universe gets a bit cramped for our souls. I need some elbow room.

-Sans Authoritas

Sans Authoritas said...

Don Robertson wrote:

"That someone would come along and say, "I have the key to solve the problem, and all we need to do is to ..." Well, -if they are not advocating ceasing to do something, they're doubtlessly like so many other advocates of the past that led us along the well-worn human path of folly."

Ceasing to do something? When it comes to human behavior, we should not "cease" to do something, but we should do more of something. For example, we do not merely want a cessation of murder, we want people to fill their lives with respect for human life so they do not murder. Cessation indicates creating a void where there was action.

As I said before, evil is the privation of a due good. It is a lack. If the due good is present, there is no privation. We don't want people to abstain from doing things, we want them to do things more fully. We don't want people to be less evil, we want them to be more virtuous. You could tell someone, "Stop lying," but what you are ultimately saying is "Tell the truth," which is a positive thing. When you say, "We should stop doing foolish, evil things," you are ultimately saying, "we should do wise, good things." This is because evil is not a thing to do. Evil is only done negatively, in relation to a positive good. Murder is an act encompassing a lack of respect for innocent human life. Rape is a sexual act that has a lack of consent of one party, and therefore a lack of respect for the positive dignity of a fellow human.

-Sans Authoritas

Lemuel Gulliver said...

Hey Will,

I think you have solved the energy crisis! Just hook some of these gasbags up to a windmill and we could generate enough electricity to run all of North Dakota for the next twenty years.

I gave up reading about halfway down. Felt like I was wading through the Okefenokee Swamp.

What was it you were complaining about again? Oh yeah, thugs controlling our lives.

Now, THAT's a problem.


PS: Will, If you recall, when Obama was elected, I sent you a private sending saying, "Ignore the bluster of the Russians threatening to place missiles in Kaliningrad. It's all Kabuki theater for the engagement of the voters. The Russians love Obama, and he them, and they will all kiss and make up as soon as their respective electorates have digested the story of how tough their man is." You remember that? Was I right or not?

I also told you the Russians hate the Jews. (It's mutual, and has been for about 400 years.) Bibi Netanyahu & Co's recent secret visit to Moscow was not voluntary - they were summoned there to receive a tongue-lashing and a threat: That if they continued trying to scapegoat Russia as a supplier of missiles to Iran, (by hijacking Russian ships bound for Libya on the high seas preparatory to murdering their crews and loading captured Russian missiles on board,) as a means for Israel to justify bombing Tehran, Russia would take drastic steps, which might include supplying Iran with things the Jews would not like them to have. Believe it or not. (Just like Ripley's.)

I'm going to send you something else I just heard, but not for publication, since it names names.

Don Robertson said...


"I never proposed that we should not fear doing evil. I proposed that we should not fear doing what we prudently and rightly perceive as good for fear of what potential evils may result."

You force my point about the need to acknowledge and thoroughly explore Categorical Knowledge by this wrong-headed assertion of yours.

Not only should we not fear Categorical Knowledge, embracing Categorical Knowledge is the only path by which any of us might "prudently and rightly perceive" any worthy moral course.

As philosopher however, when any imperfect human intellect, as all of ours are, -cites Gods in an attempt to rain down upon any thread of discussion the common fallacy of human-made hail, fire and brimstone of some suggested human omniprescience -being brought to bear from the tips of his own fingertips tapping away at his computer keyboard, I am appalled at the carnival nature of the pretender to the greatest throne of all.

Do you, like Caesar, mock reality and claim to speak as God, Sans? Does God speak directly through you?

I think you owe everyone here an apology for your blasphemy. These are the sort of presumptions made by those who would say they represent the state. They are presumptions like the vile Utilitarian Jeremy Bentham would make, that he knows what God wants all of us to do and believe.

It is a stretch too far to sustain in any discussion worth considering, for each of us knows all too well, -neither the state or you are embodied with the omniprescience of God.

You fall from a greatest of heights in your blasphemous misdeed when you state, -that God could not make reality infinitely complex. You know what God cannot do, Sans? Well, golly, Sans.

If that is true, you should tell everyone what God cannot do. Pray tell us all what God cannot do -in all the infinite complexity that -that must necessarily include, -if your assertion is correct that only God is infinite, and of course as a consequence -God could not make the Universe infinite...

You have massively stumbled over the crux of your own argument -right where your much more common human sense of being a superman led you.

The phenomenon of the Ubermensch, the SuperMan cape that is dragged about -behind all of us -must be overcome if anyone is going to think and express themselves cogently.

If I am not mistaken, no one knows what God cannot do, Sans. And I think I am not mistaken.

Each of us knows what humans cannot do, however.

Continued ----

Don Robertson said...

Humans cannot overcome their human nature, and especially the widespread, irrepressible moral gall to think they can let loose cannonballs through the air, and that these cannonballs might do God's will.

You come here to say that you understand perfectly well (among many other things) how far cannonballs fly through the air, how the trajectory of a cannonball can be plotted, and the force with which your cannonballs will land, and even -where your cannonballs will land.

And I am saying, "Yes, Sans. And I have been -over there- where you are intending to land your cannonballs, -and there are children playing over there -right where your cannonballs are going to land.

And what I am saying is that -no matter where you toss your your infernal cannonballs on this earth -there are children playing at the party that is life.

These children deserve not to have the party spoiled by someone who professes to know how to shoot cannonballs.

I am saying this as a categorical truth, and I am further saying, stop lobbing your cannonballs, because you haven't studied well enough the effect -of knowing how to lob cannonballs- upon humanity to consider doing so immoral a thing.

I am even saying, stop studying how to lob your scientific cannonballs. It is a vile and immoral thing to leave create libraries of such knowledge for the future and the possible, likely and even inevitable misuse, as human nature is ever so prone to the misuse of knowledge.

And if that's you toying with the human genome, you can stop doing that too, -for the very same reason.

No one knows the effect, the unforeseen negative consequences, -of knowing how to toy with the human genome- will reap upon the unsuspecting world of humanity.

The infinite complexity of the Universe describes for all of us exactly how the door of scientific discovery will create and unleash an infinite variety of weapons of mass destruction, and an infinite variety of -accidents of mass destruction- too.

We both can list the history of these accidents. I can demonstrate how these accidents have progressively gotten more devastating as science has "progressed".

In light of what humanity has learned about science, the moral course for all of us is to explore Categorical Knowledge.

Science is dead.

Sans Authoritas said...

Don Robertson, I can honestly say that at this point, I have nearly no idea what you're talking about. You seem to be saying that I am some sort of scientific progressivist, believing that science can accomplish anything. That ain't the case. I'm not one of those people who believe we can live forever, so long as we bow down before the idol of SCIENCE and cleanse our bowels with W.K. Kellogg's Amazing Health Cereal and purify our humours with Graham's Vitality Biscuits (especially efficacious at expeditiously evacuating the black bile! 23 skidoo!)

Science is a tool, like a gun. You can use it to slaughter people, or save people. Science shows us what we can do, not what we ought to do.

I've never advocated toying with telomeres to make us live longer or healthier, and I’m not a eugenicist. As far as I know, no one else here is, either. Not for nothing, but you seem to be ignoring what people are saying, and insist on projecting your own ideas of what they believe onto them.

-Sans Authoritas

Don Robertson said...


It's good to hear someone deny they're less than wholly scientifically oriented.

However, such an unrequited denial does not address the problem that to view science as merely a tool, is a virtual surrender to what is an immoral belief system.

When I read such a statement, (that science and its discoveries are just -tools) I wonder how the person saying it would react if I said, eugenics is merely a tool, or, weapons of war are merely tools.

One of the common fallacies that came out of the Enlightenment, is that science is amoral, and that we all have the right to academic freedom.

I warned everyone some time back, that the moral sense common in our society is barbaric and unrefined. And that the moral imperative would provide an insight that would shake some ideas free from the tree of supposed knowledge.

Let me provide yet another example.

This example goes to the notion that science is amoral, and that we each have an inalienable right to our academic freedoms.

I love that -Enlightenment- word, "inalienable" but I do not endorse most of the notions surrounding it.

So, here we go hypothetically: -Were I a scientist, that made a discovery, -a simple breakthrough in scientific concepts that altered my scientific perception and opened a new avenue of discovery-, a breakthrough that made possible the very easy and very cheap construction of a device that would destroy the world, -Would it be immoral for me to post my discovery on the Internet?

This is -of course- a rhetorical moral question. And -what we can learn from it comes from acknowledging, -this is what every scientist in the world is looking for, just such a breakthrough, to impress his friends, his colleagues
and his similarly composed scientific acquaintances.

It's not just the use of such a device that is immoral. We know from our common study of human nature, some jackass would make such a device.

It is also the publication of the discovery of such a device that would be immoral.

And, it further is also -the search- for such a device that is immoral, if we accept the undeniable condition of an infinitely complex reality that can provide an infinite number of such devices, -if we look for them.

Scientists are no different from any other group of jackasses on the planet.

Almost everything about our approach to proactively shaping reality is scientific today.

It is ALL immoral.

Now, consider this greater stretch of an imagination.

What if I could discover some biological, political, psychological or social truth -that if this truth were simply uttered into a young woman's ear, -it would immediately cause her to very seriously commit suicide? We can even consider that such an utterance might even cause a large percentage -if not all women- to commit suicide.

There are such things. And they too are immoral.

What I am trying to do is to broaden the spectrum of what we consider to be immoral by focusing on a more distant horizon of truth, human truth, which is all that we can consider in a reality we accept as being infinitely complex, and well enough out of the reach of our utterly insufficient contemplation.

Clearly, what some would say is their academic right, I consider to be utterly immoral.

I am so appalled by those who claim an unfettered academic right, -I have since come to the conclusion that merely to claim academic freedom is an immoral stance.

There are some things human beings are not equipped to deal with -and these things exist in the complex reality in which we all exist.

Don Robertson said...

A cat has got everyone's tongue -apparently. We've either gone over our limit, their heads, or put them all to sleep.

I'll give it one more try, tying this discussion back into the notion I began asserting, that the state does not exist, and that such a stance is the only possible way to address the problems cited by this article, an increasingly intrusive and abusive class of individuals that think they are licensed by the state to do the obscene things we read about, and that are becoming increasingly frequent in our society.

It is from the time-accumulated notion these abusive individuals have in their view of the world about the scientifically established cultural superiority of their supposed state, that they take to reinforce the idea of their non-existent license to do what they do.

It is similarly part of the hubris-license of every individual that declares and conducts war, tortures or invades the body of another or their privacy -with a license they would say came from their state, -but which actually only comes from their view of a state that clearly does not exist.

Political scientists of every ilk have too many fallacious assumptions they would agree upon -for any of their assertions to have any real relationship to the one reality that actually does exist.

This is easy to surmise in light of the infinite complexity of the Universe, and how that sure notion couples with yet a larger infinity that can only be imagined -when we let people ramble on about things that do not exist.

We are willing dupes then.

Our minds are finite, if complex.

Reality is infinitely complex by comparison.

Our minds have a sometimes movable but limited range in every expression, observation, or experience.

That limited range is best observed as we consider our fallible memories. It is seemingly easy for us to fill in the blanks.

The inherently limited range of expression, observation and experience is why our memories fail to conjure an exact reality for our perception.

This same inherently limited range of expression, observation and experience is also why our dreams do have every appearance of reality.

It is as if we had a deck of fifty-two playing cards fulfilling the entire range of all our expression, observation and experience. The seemingly infinite variety we experience in life is due to however many hands we are dealt with just such a limited number of these same cards.

Life is played out then with just the same fifty-two cards over and over again, but with no two card-hands seemingly ever dealt exactly alike.

Shuffle the deck all you want.

But unless we deny the existence and change the nature of the card game we all so incongruently play, we will make no human progress.

Human progress can only be measured in our success at discovering the open door to free will.

We all want to be free. We all also want to be moral.

So few will ever be either.

Best, Folks- Enjoy, -but don't trash the place.

Anonymous said...

Don, I'm afraid you're hijacking a thread where it would be wiser to simply put up your own blog to espouse this philosophy. Just suggesting.

LG... You are so correct about the Russian theater going on. But isn't it interesting, nay prophetic, that the drums beat louder and faster with "new and improved" revelations of EVIL Iranian existential threats and machinations while the white knights in DC and Tel Aviv plan on riding to our rescue.


Same tune. Same rhythm. The warmongering plagarists are costuming up and getting ready for another act in this our sad bloody play.

Have You Had Enough Yet? said...

"The U.S. Constitution and the constitutions of the various states purportedly offer ironclad, black-letter protection against unreasonable searches and compelled self-incrimination. Yet any American who operates an automobile may be stopped at any time by a uniformed tax-feeder and compelled to undergo a blood test -- if the donut-grazer in question affects to believe that the driver is intoxicated, whether or not there is evidence to support that belief."

Yet almost no one ever even questions the legality of the so-called government requiring private people to have a driver's license to operate their private cars on the public roads or the legality of requiring private owners to register their private cars. This is the first abuse/crime of the so-called government, not the subsequent abuses following "traffic stops." Why not check into this huge and universally-accepted abuse? Does anyone dare? Wouldn't everyone be surprised to find that all the statutes for such regulations apply only to commercial drivers and vehicles, which term, "commercial," is very narrowly defined and does not include private cars used privately.

Anymore, I have a hard time sympathizing with victims of abuse by cops when they willingly signed up for it when they registered their cars and acquired a driver's license.

Let's go to the root of the problem first, eh?

Anonymous said...

If the 'state' doesn't exist, then the armchair philosopher's presuppositions -there's too many to count- of 'society' and 'class', by his own criteria, also cannot exist; nor does any other collective group for that matter whether that entity purports to possess perceived authority or not. But apart from the existentialist perspective, an essentialist would hold that these collective bodies and arrangements do exist somewhere in the universe (small 'u', I'm not a pantheist).