Points of Power
by Don Cormier
In this article, I will use this definition of freedom: Freedom is a situation in which a person can do anything, limited only by physical conditions and by the intention to refrain from the initiation of violence or fraud against any other person.
A dynamic society in which all members experienced freedom as I define it would be driven by the following five power points:
1. The Power of the Master Mind
A master is an individual who will pay any price to achieve his or her goal, and who refuses to be controlled. A slave is an individual who can be threatened or bribed into surrendering his or her goal. Most of us are mixtures of both archetypes.
One of the characteristics of a "master" mind is self-knowledge. The master knows what he or she wants. The master also knows what to reject.
A master's goals are necessarily selfish in the strict sense of the term, but they are not necessarily selfish in the conventional sense. A master may choose devotion to God, devotion to others, or some other compassionate goal.
Once the goal is known, the master determines what work is needed, and then works diligently toward success. No matter what the situation looks like from the outside, a master never fails because the master is either working on or enjoying success. "Surrender" is not in the master's vocabulary.
Master mind attitudes are characteristic of people who want to live in freedom as I have defined it. When it exists, a free society must be powered by a large percentage of people with such attitudes.
2. The Power of Self-Mastery
The power of self mastery refers to the control or ownership of one's own body within the context of a truly free society. In such a society, self-ownership would be the fundamental property right from which all other property rights would derive, and to which all other property rights would be held secondary.
The power of self mastery would include the right to use one's body in any way, provided that the equal rights of others were not breached. It would include the right to deploy oneself in any voluntary contract.
3. The Power of Free Contracts
A free person can make a voluntary agreement to do something with another free person or with a group of such persons. Voluntary co-operation and free trade would characterize a truly free society, because other arrangements would involve a degree of slavery.
A form of organization harmonious with the free contract vision of society is the partnership. People could contract to form partnership groups, which could interact with other partnership groups. It is likely that individuals could belong to more than one organization. Many organizations with overlapping memberships would tend to prevent any one organization from accumulating too much power.
4. The Power of Self Defense
Any person who can protect you better than you can protect yourself is by definition stronger than you are, and is therefore a potential threat. A free society will encourage people to find means of self defense that do not involve the delegation of defense to allegedly benevolent agents.
In a society where most personal interactions were governed by contracts, most "crimes" would be construed as breaches of contract. The person or persons harmed by such a breach would have the right and responsibility to seek remedy — including, when appropriate, violent remedy.
In such a world, the power of regulation and enforcement would be in the hands of the people as a whole, not in the hands of politicians. The common-law would emerge from the tomb of statute law. As the individual's power of self defense is increased, the danger of being ruled is reduced, and personal freedom as I have defined it is protected.
5. The Power of the Primal Environment
A truly free society would need to function at a technological level that would enhance the power of the individual in relation to all other individuals.
There are various ways to approach the problem. A high-tech way would involve inventions that would increase people's strength or increase their protection from attack. The problem with high-tech ideas is that they would probably be introduced so as to enhance the aggressive power of those who are already indulging in tyranny.
A low-tech way would be for the majority of people to cultivate a lifestyle based on decentralized forms of technology. We already have living examples: the hunter-gatherers who have survived in various parts of Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and the Americas. A full return to a primal way of life may not be feasible, but the modern, western way of life could be dramatically improved with determined steps in the direction of decentralized support systems. For example, intentional communities built around shared power sources, community gardens, or mini-waste treatment plants could enhance the individual without infringing on self-sovereignty.
Through the five points of power, the outlines of a future libertarian society have emerged. It would be a place in which self reliance would be the prime virtue, in which independence would be cherished, and in which personal interactions would be carefully limited by voluntary contracts. It would be a place where the responsibility for self-defense would rest on the individual, but where violence would be tolerated only in a context of self-defense. It would be a place in which power was distributed among the people by decentralizing technology to the greatest possible extent.
by Sam Aurelius Milam III
Consider some facts. I can buy a new music CD player and plug it into my 25 year old Sony stereo, and it will work. I'm not limited to Sony brand CD's, tape decks, record players, or even 8-tracks. Other brands work just as well. I can buy any telephone on the shelf at Circuit City, plug it into Pacific Bell, and it will work. I can use VHS or Beta video cassette players, any brand, with my old GE television and they will work. The reason is because of the compatibility of components through standard interfaces.
I have before me MacWarehouse catalogue volume 35a. Advertised therein (page 20) is the New 1995 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia on CD-ROM. The man at the 800 number assured me that the CD-ROM would easily operate on my Mac Plus if only they sold any CD drives that were compatible with a Mac Plus. The computer is only a few years old, but they don't make CD drives for it. His only advice was to buy a new computer. Should such a supplier of after-market products intended specifically for Macintosh computers be interested in compatibility with Macintosh computers? Maybe that's too much to expect. Maybe computer nerds just naturally have less common sense than audiophiles and the suppliers find them correspondingly easier to fleece. However, you'd think that at least Apple to Apple connections would work. You'd be disappointed if you did. I have before me The Apple Catalog, Late Summer 1993. Advertised therein is the Apple SuperDrive, intended for use with Apple Macintosh computers. The "minimum system requirement" for the SuperDrive is the Macintosh SE. That means it won't work on a Mac Plus which is also manufactured by Apple and is very similar to the Macintosh SE. Such incompatibility within a company's own product line would be intolerable in an industry with astute customers. I'll mention in my own defense that during the early years of Macintosh, when I bought mine, Apple had a different philosophy. Back then, an upgrade path was available that allowed me to upgrade my original 128K Mac all the way to the top-of-the-line Mac Plus. Today, the very meaning of the word upgrade has been perverted. In the past, upgrade meant bring an old computer up to current standards. Today it means replace an old computer with a new one.
When this kind of marketing philosophy is pervasive within the industry, and it is today, then people are forced to buy new computers whether or not they need them. That is, if computer users want to use new software and accessaries, they must discard their old computers and buy new ones. I've heard this justified as capitalism. This is another indication of the inane mentality of many computer users. They don't recognize the difference between a capitalist and a parasite. A capitalist benefits from the benefit that he provides to his customer. A parasite benefits from the misfortune that he inflicts upon his customer. In fact, a parasite converts customers into victims. The computer industry today is being run more by parasites than by capitalists. The parasites get away with it because computer users are apparently too stupid to recognize a scam when they see it. Don't misunderstand me. There's nothing wrong with buying a new computer if you want a new computer. However, if what you want is a new accessory or some new software and you're coerced into buying a new computer in order to get it, that isn't capitalism. It's a marketing scam.
We need to realize that even though the marketing parasites keep telling us that our old computers are obsolete, they're not. They still do the jobs they were originally intended to do. When they were new, they were advertised as the latest and greatest. They're as good now as they were then. A Mac Plus isn't any more obsolete beside a new Macintosh than a Remington .22 rifle is obsolete beside an Uzi. The fact is that not everybody needs or even wants an Uzi. The tool should be appropriate to the job. Accordingly, ammunition manufacturers didn't stop making .22 caliber ammo after the invention of the Uzi. Similarly, suppliers ought not to stop making things for old computers just because there are new computers. When some snide salesman at a computer store sneers at me for using a Mac Plus (and that has happened several times), it doesn't mean that I need a new computer. It means that I need a new salesman.
As new computers keep getting older every year, an increasing number of people will end up using older computers. As the inventory continues to age and the mainstream industry keeps trying to force people to trash older computers, a large and growing market niche is emerging. Here are a couple of product ideas for some enterprising entrepreneur, using my Mac Plus as an example.
I thought you might find the enclosed item of interest. It was originally in the October 24 Wall Street Journal. It is by a member of the U.S. government advocating the administration's plan to internationalize law enforcement.
What is so disturbing about this is that it will eventually allow United Nations tribunals to sit in judgment of American firearms owners. Please note the inclusion of firearms among the proscribed items (as well as explosives, cybernetics and drugs). What this really is about is giving the United Nations an extraordinary power to suppress any dissident movement worldwide by labeling is as "criminal" -- remember, in the majority of the world's countries, there is no right to bear arms. Significantly, while this article talks about the necessity to target "criminals" it ignores violations of basic liberties when committed by law enforcement agencies, as per Waco or Ruby Ridge.
We also need to realize that some of the so-called "international criminals" are in fact legitimate resistance movements fighting against U.S. intervention in their homelands. A good example is the Andean drug cartels, which have been conducting an insurgency in defense of peasant lands against U.S. backed assaults.
lt is clear that the United States government is shifting away from representing the American people and is instead becoming a supranational authority with accountability to no one.
— Joseph Miranda, Managing Editor
Notice that Joseph's fears are entirely supported by Article 6, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, which makes the U.N. Charter a part of the supreme law of the land. The Wall Street Journal article is too long to print here. I'll provide a copy of it upon request to any reader who wants one.
On the Road with Buffalo Hunter
Our traveling correspondent Buffalo Hunter, Buck's brother, recently decided to try out a little roadside cafe that had been highly recommended by a friend. The timing worked out such that he got there just at the breakfast rush. Because of the crowding, Buff ended up seated with a glossy looking woman in a business suit at a small table at the back of the cafe. Buff manfully ignored his misgivings at this development, and perused the menu. Quickly discovering one of his favorite dishes, he joyfully announced, "Wha sheucks, ma'am! Ah believe ah'll just have me some o' that there saw-tayed beeef tongue!"
"Yuk!" announced the polished female, curling her lip in disdain at Buff's accent. "I wouldn't eat something that came out of a cow's mouth! I'll just order some eggs, instead!"
Buck Hunter Shoots Off His Mouth
— Need Some PartsDear Need Some Parts
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