Category Archives: Voluntarism

Stefan Molyneux’s Noble Failure Definitively Explained: Why Universally Preferable Behavior is not a System of Ethics

Scattered within Stefan Molyneux’s voluminous monologues and conversations are references to his “defense of secular ethics” which he has organized into a formal work he calls “Universally Preferable Behavior” (UPB). I have taken issue with UPB before on this blog, but my arguments have never fully satisfied me.  But neither has UPB ever fully satisfied me either.

The more I thought about it, something continued to feel off…specious, about his arguments, yet for all my articles, I still struggled to put my finger definitely on the problem. For a while I was content to let the issue go, satisfied that I had rebuffed enough of Stefan’s ethical system to at least cast a reasonable doubt as to its rational consistency.  Still, the more I listened to Stefan and the more he promoted UPB to the various viewers and listeners of his podcast and YouTube channel, I felt compelled to put the issue to rest once and for all.  Stefan seemed (and seems) so confident that UPB is the answer to the problem of secular ethics, and yet the more he talked, the more confident I became that there was something seriously wrong with it. His arguments sounded reasonable, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that he was missing something crucial…that he was, as Sallah said to Indiana Jones, “digging in the wrong place”. So I put my nose to the grindstone, determined to root out the issue once and for all.

Here I go.

Stefan, a self-admitted atheist, argues, rightly, that atheistic philosophies inevitably boil down to hypocritical scientific determinism. He then also rightly points out that before atheistic philosophies can be considered fully legitimate, let alone provide any real value to humankind, they must address the problem of scientific determinism nullifying morality by removing will.  Because without will there is no moral choice.

Stefan attempts to correct this discrepancy by providing a “defense of secular ethics” through his own system, Universally Preferable Behavior (UPB).  He gives us, as he says, an ethical system “without God”.  Which is weird because what he really means is “without Authority”, because “God’s ethics” are the ethics of a supreme Authority which possesses the infinitely superior power to compel human behavior by force.  Interestingly, though, this ethic is adopted by ANYONE who concedes that the State is a legitimate means of organizing human behavior, as the State is such an authority.  Which naturally includes both those who hold secular beliefs and those who are religious, as anyone can see by merely perusing a cross section of the population of almost any nation on earth.

Stefan’s fundamental defense of his secular ethics is rooted in the following example: Stealing isn’t stealing if you WANT to be stolen from.  Stealing, he says, is not a mutual agreement.  Therefore, it cannot be preferred by all parties.  But, conversely, the voluntary exchange of property IS, and thus voluntary exchange of property IS a universally preferred ethic.  Of course, this argument also works if we substitute “theft” with fraud, murder, rape, etc., because “property” rationally includes one’s truth and one’s body, and this is how the example of theft can be extrapolated to apply to volition vs non-volition as the essence of ethics, which is implied by UPB. Stefan asserts that he’s successfully argued an ethic without God, because we can use pure human reason to prove that theft cannot be ethical because it cannot apply to all individuals at all times.  Corollary to this, voluntary exchange of property has simultaneously been proven to be ethical because it DOES apply to all individuals at all times.

But has Stefan really argued successfully for a UNIVERSAL ethic here?

No, he hasn’t. And here’s why:

Now, it is true that I cannot WANT you to take my property without permission because giving permission—which is implied by “wanting”—and not giving permission is a contradiction in terms.  The operative concept in Stef’s example is not really “theft”, then, but “permission”.

You see, the concept of theft inherently assumes the existence (reality) and legitimacy (morality) of private property.  The fact that I cannot WANT you to steal from me doesn’t have anything to do with theft, in particular, at all.  “Theft” is merely one of virtually any activity you could use in Stef’s example, because when I say that I cannot want you to steal from me I’m merely saying that I cannot give permission for a thing and NOT give permission for a thing at the same time.  I cannot both give you permisssion and not give you permission to mow my lawn, or to sell me a teapot, or to offer me a cookie, or to tell me your favorite color.  In other words, Stefan makes “theft” the primary issue and sews a whole Ethic out of it, when the primary issue is really the implied contradiction in “desired theft”—the inability to want and not want/to give permission and not give permission at the same time.  “I want you to take without permission that which can only be given with permission” is not a root of Ethics but merely a contradiction in terms. Period.

The very claim that “I want you to steal from me” implies that the speaker assumes that private property exists, and thus he must ALREADY accept it as legitimate.  You see, if I say that I think theft should be ethical I’ve already implicitly contradicted myself by legitimizing  private property through my very use—and thus corollary acceptance of its meaning—of the concept of “theft”.  Through the concept of theft I concede the existence and legitimacy of private property, thus OBVIOUSLY I cannot also claim that theft should be ethical.  That is, I’ve already conceded, by calling theft by its name, that it is UNETHICAL by tacitly admitting the existence of private property.  The contradiction of desired theft, is, as I stated above, the contradiction of “giving permission” whilst simultaneously “not giving permission”.  Desired theft is nothing more than the contradiction that says private property isn’t private.

There is nowhere else to take the idea of “desired theft” beyond the contradiction. The contradiction is its own end.  By definition contradictions are circular and thus nothing can be inferred.  You cannot formulate an entire ethical system from that which is meaningless. All you can do is simply point out its meaninglessness. The fact that theft cannot be universally preferred is not an ethical claim but merely the stating of the obvious fact that it is a contradiction in terms to say that both private property AND theft are moral.


Not stealing can only be a universal ethic if we accept the existence and legitimacy of private property. But if we don’t, then the “universally preferable behavior” of not stealing is meaningless.  If I reject the existence and legitimacy of private property then there is no such thing as an ethic of “not stealing” because according to my philosophy there can be no such thing as stealing in the first place.

What Stefan is arguing is simply that private property exists and thus has legitimacy, and thus is ethical, and in HIS SPECIFIC philosophical context theft MUST be unethical and illegitimate in order to be rationally consistent TO the philosophy as a whole. Which is fine, but again, this point holds no relevance for those who reject private property. UPB is not a rebuttal of divine ethics, it is really an obvious and unremarkable commentary on his own personal ethical beliefs and implicitly appealing to a metaphysical premise he never explains.  Those who believe that God fundamentally owns everything and IS everything don’t believe in private property.  They don’t have any real frame of reference for theft, so they don’t care that it’s an ethical contradiction in Stef’s personal belief system. In other words, Stefan’s “universally preferred willful value exchange” cannot possibly be preferred by those who do not concede the existence of private property. And this is why universally preferable behavior is not in fact universally preferable. It’s only CONDITIONALLY preferable. It depends on your metaphysics.

Now, the problem isn’t that Stefan’s implicit claim that private property exists is necessarily false, the problem is that he extracts an ethic from a metaphysical assumption that must be accepted BEFORE the ethics can then be said to be universal.  That is, the problem is with the use of the term “universal” to describe an ethic that is only universal to people who concede the same metaphysical premises Stefan does. To call your ethics UNIVERSALLY preferable without first proving your metaphysics is to implicitly demand that people accept your metaphysics before you’ve actually proved them. This smacks of arrogance.

Further, it’s uneccesary and presumptuous AND contradictory to refer to your ethics, or anything about your philosophy at all for that matter, as universal. If your metaphysics are truly consistent then your ethics are true. Nothing else should be said. Period. I mean, Universally Preferable Ethics implies a Universally Preferable Reality,  because you don’t get ethics without metaphysics first. But Universally Preferable Reality is simply another contradiction in terms…on top of the arrogance. “Reality is Universal” is redundant, and thus the universal ethics stemming from this universal reality then are also redundant. So, if reality is universal (redundancy) and thus the ethics are universal (redundancy) then preference is impossible (contradiction). Any way you slice it, it doesn’t work.

To conclude: Stefan’s argument isn’t really that theft is unethical, but that private property EXISTS.  But “private property exists” is not an ethical claim, it’s a metaphysical one.  And believe me, “Universally Preferable Reality” is an entirely different ball of wax…not to mention an inherent contradiction. In summary, Stefan is digging in the wrong place. He’s thinks he’s rooting around in ethics when he is really in the land of metaphysics.

Metaphysically, though, I can tell you that Stefan is no closer to any sort of universal truth than he is to a universal ethic with UPB.  Because if he was, he would not be appealing to a contextual assertion about the nature of reality stated as a contradiction in terms in defense of an ethical system with a redundant title.


Feeling Free is Not Freedom: The size of the cage doesn’t matter

It doesn’t matter how the State makes you feel, it only matters what the State MAKES you. There is no difference in terms of real, actual repression between the citizen of a free republic and the citizen of an autocracy.  Indeed, for the one who desires to be truly, rationally free, freedom is infinitely out of reach in both contexts.  I find it failed reason and false hope to suggest or assert that one is closer to freedom simply because he is in larger cage.

And further, a premise is a premise.  And by that I mean that if we presume that man, by his very nature, needs governing in order to act in ways that are efficacious to his prosperity—which means that absent governing he will not prosper, which means inevitably he shall die unless he is COMPELLED to moral behavior—then we are saying that man, by nature, cannot efficaciously exercise his own will.  Which means that he simply cannot be free…at all.  ALL his actions MUST only occur under the umbrella of legal governing Authority. His very existential, not to mention social, context must be FORCED upon him, and within these boundaries are all his choices confined, which limits and constrains them ENTIRELY to the will of the Authority.  The size of the cage is irrelevant.  A cage is a cage; and since the cage implies absolute ownership and control of what is inside, there can be no freedom whatsoever within its dimensions. Though the edge stretch to the the sun, one’s every step is utterly defined by its boundaries. And they aren’t boundaries of human identity, but of Authority.  There is a world of difference between not being able to flap your arms and fly to the moon because your natural identity as a human being precludes it, and because the Authority forbids it.  And there is a world of difference between flying to New York because your natural identity as a human being enables it, and because the Authority allows it.

Both the republic and the autocracy, by their very existence, concede the premise that man MUST be governed.  For to say that he need not necessarily be governed begs the question “Is government a better choice?” But by its nature government cannot understand such a question. Government, being Authority, and absolutely so, (as there is no efficacy to Legality, the root of all association under government, absent the force of the State) has no frame of reference for its own absence. Add to that the fact that the question, once government is given legitimacy by simply asking it, is entirely irrelevant.

Government and choice, you see, are mutually exclusive ideas. To entertain government at all, even as a mere abstraction, they would HAVE to be. From the frame of reference of government, if the individual possessed the ability to discern between good and evil and act accordingly (exercise choice), he wouldn’t NEED government in the first place. That is, the very existence of government implies that man needs it; and if man needs it then the question of whether or not it’s better for him is moot.

So, both the republic and the autocracy organize individuals according to the premise that individuals require governing. The mere aesthetic differences in how that premise is observed is of no value to freedom qua freedom (freedom that is ACTUAL, and rationally consistent).  For both approaches are specifically designed to affirm, not contradict, the premise.  Men MUST be ruled.  And if that is the primary epistemological and ethical root from which society is spawned then there is simply nowhere for freedom to exist.  Freedom qua freedom is an impossibility therein.  Freedom cannot give rise to what it is not; and Authority—the State—cannot recognize, let alone accommodate, that which denies its very existence. In other words, you don’t get freedom from government, and you don’t get government from freedom.

Authority, by Assuming Man Can Obey, Destroys Him: the State as an Example

One of the worst feelings in the world is the dread you feel in the pit of your stomach when you hear about some new political candidate who thinks  the State is the righteous track to some ethereal and impossible utopia.

Immediately the anxious waves of “what ifs” crowd my brain. ‘Oh my god,’ I think. ‘The hellscape we can expect if THAT person gets elected.’ And on I go, understanding all too well how my literal life could be in the hands of a person who holds objectively false ideas and philosophical premises, the error of which guarantees that I will in some measure, always more, never less, be sacrificed to those ideas. And it really doesn’t matter the political affiliation, though I understand that some candidates hold ideas more ostensibly rational than others.

Why doesn’t it matter?

Because merely the belief that ruling other human beings is a rational and noble enterprise to be pursued is proof that the ideas which they would like to lay upon their fellow man, when applied, always increase both dependency and misery, and death.

In fact, come to think of it, it’s pretty much a daily occurrence where some number of the governed die at the hands of government policy/action, be it war, or law enforcenent, or willful negligence such as we see in the arenas of immigration, foreign policy, healthcare or other social services; political propagand…heck, abortion funding alone could fill a thousand cemeteries.

Death, you see, is a corollary to rule. It simply must be. In fact, we all at least tacitly accept this as a necessary and perfunctory function of the State–to dole out death in the interest of social cohesion. After all, what is the practical root of the rule of law? To force compliance to the collective moral standard….choice is irrelevant. Authority commands, it does not ask. And to force the life of man is to presume to own it. That is, man’s life is not really his own. This we understand, all of us, on some level.

To sacrifice men to a specific external moral standard (the Law) and ultimately to a given collectivist ideology (all governments are metaphysically collectivist by nature) is what WE demand of government…lest we are tempted to ignore the log in our own eyes, so to speak. To rule is to force. And to force is to kill, fundamentally. So killing is always a necessary and unavoidable part of ruling. If the government is not killing (under the auspices of the Law, we hope, but sometimes not), then we understand it’s not doing its job. Individuals are by definition self-willed. Otherwise they aren’t individuals, they are just things. Their obedience then must always be compelled, because WILLFUL compliance is choice, not obedience.

But can’t we choose to obey?

There is no such thing as freely choosing to obey. Choice is simply not obedience, period. I understand that this is unfortunately not intuitive in a culture that is driven ultimately by fear of punishment mixed with the political artifices of “rights”, and not the wisdom of true morality. I know we, particularly as Americans, love to think of ourselves as self-governing, and therefore willfully, autonomously obeying our authorities, but the fact is that a greater oxymoron than “self-governing” does not exist. To govern self BY self is a contradiction in terms. You are either convinced by reason to freely act in a certain way or you are compelled by threats of punishment to act in a certain way. One is choice and the other is obedience. And government can only recognize the latter.

Choice acts utterly in service to the Self; obedience disregards Self and concedes an outside moral and epistemological standard, like the Law. Since individuals cannot BY the Self disregard the Self…cannot BY the Self truncate or limit or end the Self, because the Self is absolute (I’m speaking metaphysically here–foundationally, not figuratively as in “self-control”, or “self-discipline”), then the Self must on some level accept death in the service of Its obligation to obey the Law; which really means to obey the State. And if you think that death does not manifest literally and frequently, as a function of man being ruled, then you are either asleep, incapacitated, or mad. The government must kill men in order to rule them, because men–and this is the real kicker–CANNOT REALLY obey, and I mean literally, at any level. Obedience is an abstract idea. It does not exist empirically.

And yes, all obedience of which you are thinking right now in objection to my claim I promise you is entirely figurative.

Men are entirely moved by their own will, you see, as conscious, self-aware moral agents. Since their actions are FROM themselves, absolutely, then they can only be ultimately TO themselves, absolutely. Every action is by the Self and thus is in service to the Self. And this makes literal self-sacrifice impossible because one cannot by his Self destroy his Self. And since obedience is at root the sacrifice of the Self to authority–the limiting or ending of the Self–it contradicts man at the level of his root nature.

The point of the State, though, is to compel obedience. But since man cannot ever truly obey, calls for obedience are really calls for death. Therefore, practical, normal, daily application of government ends up manifesting a matter of working out which men will die at any given moment in order to maintain and maximize State rule without eliminating all men and thus contradicting governement by leaving the State with no one to govern. That is, government cannot sacrifice all men because then it doesn’t RULE anyone. And a government which doesn’t rule isn’t government (though, the death of all men is the inexorable march, which Government at root cannot halt because death is a LAW unto itself in this paradigm; so it either destroys everyone eventually or some pointless revolution where death is resisted with more death happens and resets the whole process ala the Matrix). But it cannot destroy NO men because to rule men necessarily means to kill them, since ruling is compelling obedience and man, being utterly self-willed, is incapable of obedience in any way that can satisfy the Law, which is THE collectivist moral standard, and exists wholly outside of man, which is why he must ultimately be forced to it. Since the Law is wholly moral, man, then, is wholly immoral. Thus, they are incompatible, and the result is that man must die. Therefore, the whole of government is really the destruction of man, which manifests itself usually in a drawn out process where the inevitability and necessity of the death of all mankind is mitigated by various contradictory policies about “rights” and “freedom” and “elections” and “representation” implemented in the ironical interest of keeping government from self-destructing due to the inherent irrationality of its root ideological premises. But make no mistake, a government which is killing is a government which is doing its job. It’s simply an unfortunate fact of the underlying philosophical principles.

Please understand that this is not a blame game; I’m not pointing fingers at “bad guys”. I’m not calling for any action beyond the acceptance of the simple, de facto rational processes to which thinking creatures are obliged. I have no interest in offering “practical” solutions, quite frankly. I have no ambition to solve the problems bad ideas cause in societies en masse. It’s not my bag. I wouldn’t even know where to begin. Plus, I’m way too cynical. Reason is the beginning and end of what motivates me. My only point is that ideological and philosophical root premises WILL see themselves through to their logical conclusions. Death and rule are corollaries. This is simply the objective case, period; illustration of this truth is the only objective to which I am dedicated.

The Difference Between Representative Government and Autocracy is Experiental, not Fundamental

The difference between an autocracy and a representative democracy is like the difference between a slave master who lets you do nothing you want to do, and one who lets you do something or things you want to do.

So, which one is better?


The answer may not be so obvious as you might think. We’d want to say the latter, but is it really? Well, yes and no.

Of course being allowed to do some things which please you is technically, and even practically, tangibly, and viscerally preferable to being allowed to do nothing which pleases you. But the point on which I want to focus is that whatever it is you do, when you’re doing it because someone else is letting you do it, you are of course acting entirely under the auspices of someone else’s authority to command you to act. You fundamentally act as a function of the will of another. Period. When you are governed (or ruled…the difference is semantic, not fundamental) all you do is in essence at the pleasure of someone else. And the hard, unpleasant truth of this then is of course that you aren’t really doing what you want to do, but what they want to do, as your behavior is ipso facto a necessary extension of their Authority, which is inexorably corollary to their will. And this means that you’re behavior is fundamentally an expression of them, not you.


Think about it. It’s perhaps not immediately accessible, but it’s a point worth grasping.

Now, to the individual, an agent of himself, who by nature expresses himself according to his own will, this is practical death.  It is the rejection of the Self (e.g. You qua You), which means the metaphysical erasure of the individual human being. And this results in an inevitable social psychosis, where the sacrifice of the individual to the State, whether overt or tacit, via the ostensible morality of social justice (common good, necessarily subjectively defined), results in the fundamental inability of individual denizens to see themselves as the natural, rational root and reference of what is both true and good. This is brought about by the perfunctory collectivization of the individual which happens when the individual is governed along with a number of others (that is, ANY State; ANY government); and it’s worth pointing out that this collectivization is fundamentally the subordination of the rational and the objective (the individual) to the fundamentally irrational and the subjective (the collective–the Nation, the Common Good, the Workers, the Volk, the Zeitgeist, the Ideal, etc.). In tandem with collectivization is the ipso facto moving of the moral (or ethical–we can interchange them here) standard away from the Individual to the Law (and they are mutually exclusive). One’s moral obligation becomes obedience to the Law rather than the choice to act in service to the sanctity of the Individual (obedience precludes choice by definition). Consequence for moral violation becomes punishment (an irrational consequence) by the State rather than the Self-defense of free people (a rational consequence).

In such a context individuals will see themselves as decidedly indistinct and ultimately superfluous products of intangible abstractions, like as I said the Nation, or the People, or even–and this may surprise you– the Laws of Nature, which have no practical, tangible, empirical essence, or any relevance distinct from those objects they are said to govern (control; which means create, though this fact is never admitted), or the Divine Will…it could be just about anything really, because these are merely semantic variations of the root collectivist metaphysical premise which perpetually and inexorably defines and rules the subconscious mind of a governed (ruled) people. Once people accept that they are not fundamerally of themselves and do not fundamentally exist to themselves, they, under the artifice of “freedom” in, say, a representative democracy, will naturally gravitate towards whatever collectivist flavor they happen to find appealing. And this suits the ruling classes just fine, whether they know it consciously or not, because for whatever else it might mean, it necessitates that the people never question the foundational premise of all governed peoples: they have no root Self, and therefore their existence is only possible via the control of some outside authoritative force. And what’s more obviously authoritative  than Government? Government, we are led to understand, is the natural social and political effect of the infinite determining Cause…be it God or be it Nature, etc. etc.. And now you know why there are so depressingly and embarrassingly few sociopolitical Voluntarists (“anarchists” you might say, though I despise that label). Because collectivism has so many shiny and fetching and complex and colorful varieties, and individualism only has, well…you. Lol.

Once the collectivist metaphysical premise has been conceded (and entirely synthesized) people wake up every day willingly accepting that life is in every way and in every context the inexorable march of Death…of the inevitable nullification and eradication of their minds and independent persons. Which they are told are illusions, but don’t really feel like it; and this is why Death is so terrifying and why people never talk about it. It just is and must be, we are told, like the State, and so the terror and emotional anguish that its felt contradiction wreaks are perfunctory aspects of its “truth”.  So the thinking goes: why compound this with debates which challenge assumptions? Why compound anguish with uncertainty? And this is another reason why there are so very few Voluntarists. They must reject the assumptions undergirding…well, everything. Of Being itself. To get there is a hard and naturally lonely road, filled with those of all ideological pedigrees who will hate you and wish you’d just shut up, and those who claim fealty to ancient insufficient philosophies who will call you everything from a fool to a commie to a pantheist to a peddler of solipsism. And who really wants to walk that road? Not. Many.

At any rate, what happens as a consequence of this broad social Stockholm Syndrome (to the collectivist metaphysical primary) is a boiling and fetid cauldron of collective mendacity, idolatry, psychopathy, narcissism, suspicion, ignorance, hate, fear, and violence, which necessitates from the ruling classes ever increasing control and deception. But I must add that I do not fault the ruling classes directly for this; for they, too, are human, and have been suckled on the Ideal by which they govern. I do not hate them, and I do not loathe them, and I do not ascribe to them  any necessary overt evil intentions. For as they say ’round Buenos Aries, it takes two to tango. Remember, it was the Jewish people that demanded God give them a King. So, in some sense ironically, I admit that we are all in this together. Even the rulers are ruled by their ideas.


Why Government as a Rational Entity is a Delusion

Is government a necessity? Does man’s survival depend upon its establishment and Authority? That is, is it necessary to man’s existence? Is man doomed to extinction in an orgy of rudderless morality and practical insufficiency without it?

Thats crazy, we would say (well…most of us). We understand at least implicitly that people precede government. And after all, governments are made and established by people. We understand that to say man cannot exist without government and yet it is man which establishes governement is a contradiction which cancels them both.

Furthermore, if man is inadequate to existence–to life and survival–in and of himself, and therefore needs the coercive power of government to BE his sufficiency for him then this obviously implies that man is a naturally self-defeating, self-canceling agent, possessing inherent fatal shortcomings. But if this is true then no man among us could ever possibly be in a position to establish, organize, and operate an institution which exists specifically to redress man’s inherent fatal shortcomings.

The answer then to the question, “Does man need government?” is effectively null. It amounts to a zero sum. It’s a pointless question. That is, the question implies a contradiction that makes the whole thing entirely moot.

So then let’s formulate an ostensible rational premise from the knowledge that the question of man needing government isn’t a thing at all. It’s not a question of need because it simply cannot be a question of need. Man precedes government and government is a product of man. So “need” doesn’t comport, period. If man needed governement, then man could never have existed in the first place. Our new premise then, since man cannot need government, is: man chooses government because it’s better than not having government. And by “better” we mean more beneficial to the perpetuation and prosperity of man’s life. Man can survive without government, but with government the quality of life is, relatively speaking, much better. Government is efficacious, is what we mean, relative to no government.

This premise you’ll hear often when you bring up this subject. And I submit that the people who attempt to argue this codswallop are people who do not want to admit object dependency upon government, but simultaneously wish keep their anarchy flags furled. They want their cake and to eat it, too, but that’s not how it works. That’s not how it can work. You don’t get to be both free and not free. So far, contradiction has found no practical place in object reality as far as I’m aware.

The fact is that whether government is better than no government, or vice versa, is a red herring…a distraction, intentional or not, from the real issue:

Once it becomes clear that man cannot need government then we must admit that government is a choice. The issue isn’t whether government is better than none, it’s that at root the establishment of it must be, in fact, optional.

So what?

Government by its endemic and necessary nature and purpose is Authority, and Authority is force. And force by definition is incompatible with choice. This means that government by its very intended nature is not optional, it is compulsory. It is coercive. As far as the government is or can be concerned, you don’t get the option of no government.


Because it’s government!

And because it’s government it can never accept or even entertain the idea of no government. And thus, no matter how benevolent a government may seem, the only relationship an individual (the citizens) can have with an institution that specifically exists to collectivize him and compel his behavior against his singular nature is that of constant friction. There can only be total freedom or total control. Any middle ground is merely war (I don’t mean literal violence…I mean two competing philospohies with entirely different premises, conclusions, and objectives). Government being Authority and the arbiter then of Truth and Morality (via the Law) through force, has no frame of reference for a reality with no government. It can never, not will never, accept the idea that its existence is optional. Period. Full stop.

And thus we have contradiction number two. Man must choose to establish government, but government cannot recognize that it is a choice.

And the contradictions explicated in this article reveal why government cannot work, will never work, and must forevermore be doomed to inevitable despotism and dystopianism. A peaceful government is an oxymoron, and a delusion.

What’s all the Fuss About?: The de facto chaos of a society under Law

The political violence (mostly on the left) you see on the news every night is merely a perfunctory iteration of the Hegelian dialectic…used necessarily by collectivists of all stripes throughout the world over the years: create chaos–manage the chaos towards the desired outcome.

Now, when I say “collectivists”, I don’t simply mean the various iterations of socialism (Marxism, Fascism, cultural leftism…which is just Marxism with the “classes” loosely categorized by race). I mean anyone who believes that the social and/or economic interaction of human beings can rationally and efficacious be dictated in any measure by violence or threats thereof.  That is, anyone who believes that the State, which is at root purely force (for without the ability to violently punish those who do not submit to its authority, there is no State, period), can possess any legitimate role in the rational existence of humanity.

Whether you know it or admit it or not, you are a collectivist. You assert that individuals can and should be legitimately subject to a common moral code–which is nothing more than a collective identity, where they are bound to others not by choice but by force–that is, without their consent. For the very existence of government in any measure implies forced compliance. And force is mutually exclusive of choice. By definition.  There is no way to produce a free society by obligating at gunpoint individuals to codefied, collective behaviors. Period. The contradiction destroys reason; and since human freedom is reasonable, it must necessarily destroy freedom.

And minarchists, this means you, too.

You are either a voluntarist or you are a socialist; an individualist or a collectivist. There simply is no in between.

As long as social contract exists under the auspices of government power (i.e. obedience to Law as the highest moral value; thereby transferring the moral reference from the individual to the Law…which is really just the government, because absent the supremacy of state power (violence) the Law has no practical jurisdiction and therefore is irrelevant)…yes, as long as social contact exists under the auspices of government power, society will only ever be chaos controlled by the coercive violence wielded by a few over the many.

The fight for power and the necessary increase in governmental jurisdiction implied by the premise (that man needs government to survive his own existence…that absent someone to FORCE his obedience to an abstract, subjective set of codified values (the Law) man cannot exist) means that eventually the whole system collapses into pit of madness and blood. Then the few bleary-eyed survivors rebuild and start the whole process over again.

And that’s what the fuss is all about.

Welcome to the matrix.

And you thought it was just a movie.

The State Cannot Recognize You Outside of Its Power to Control You: Why Freedom and Governement are mutually exclusive

You cannot disseminate morality, which is predicated upon choice, through rules…or, more specific to this article, the formal codification of rules, the Law. This is because the Law, being what it is, and referencing its own definition, demands obedience. In other words, the Law doesn’t care about choice; it’s irrelevant. And this is because the Law, again being what it is, and again referencing its own definition, doesn’t give you a choice. It can’t give you a choice. It can’t give you a choice to obey or not without contradicting itself. “Obey or else” is only ostensibly a choice; but it simply does not qualify as a legitimate one. Disobedience is met with punishment; and punishment is in fact corollary to forced compliance. And forced compliance cannot by definition integrate choice. Because the only “choice”, when all the semantics and hypotheticals contradict themselves out of the equation, is “do it or die”. And that’s not a choice; and if you think it is…you’re a monster, and shouldn’t be within a thousand miles of another human being.


The forced compliance endemic to the Law means that you either obey it or you get hurt.  Be it incarceration or separation from your property or death (which is what the State always prefers, believe it or not…because a dead man is the only good man; you’ll get it in a minute). What this means at root is that you never fundamentally get to act on your own absolute behalf. Your actions are always under the auspices of the Law. Meaning you either act in obedience to the Law or you are subject to acute pain (as opposed to the general psychological torment, conscious or unconscious, of a context where all actions are a function of what you are allowed to do by a small group of people weilding the apical and supremely ferocious violence of State). Choice is irrelevant; a non-issue; lacking any efficacy whatsoever. You never, ever genuinely get to be you. Your expression of yourself is utterly defined and therefore infinitely limited by your implicit and sacrificial obligation to the Law, carried out by the State. And this is why the Law cannot create a moral society. The Law inoculates man against choice, which destroys man’s ability to act freely. Which means man cannnot act morally. Which means he cannot be moral. Which means that the Law, existing specifically to ensure a moral social context, must inevitably destroy humanity. There is therefore no such thing as man’s prosperity, peace, or freedom according to the Law. Which means that these things cannot and will not be produced in any context where the Law and the State exist. Never. Because should the Law and the State produced these things they would not be the Law or the State. A duck does not give birth to a tree; and there are no candles made of water. The State does not bring freedom to the people it owns! The State, being tasked with establishing the Law, cannot recognize the individual; it must possess him. That is, it must consume him. Which is to destroy him…in order to make him good. This is a contradiction.

The Law and the State are, practically speaking, the forced behavior of man…making the individual an extension of themselves–that is, doing ONLY those things the State orders on behalf of the Law (eventually resulting the the annihilation of the people when it realizes that this is impossible). Therefore the Law, and the State do not recognize any action by the individual qua the individual. The individual then, in the True and Rational and fundamentally metaphysical sense, is invisible. He will not be seen by them.

He cannot be seen by them.

The Fallacy of Codifying Ethics, Which Elevates Them to Morality; and the Related History of Man

I submit that Morality cannot be codified; it is ontologically endemic; it’s a function of the Self qua the Self. Morality cannot be put into a list and then applied to humanity collectively. And this is because morality, being a function of the Individual Self, is absolutely and fundamentally individual.  And it is indeed absolute…for you are nothing if not YOU, and utterly so (meaning it is impossible to quantify You…to make your ONE and ONLY knowable frame of reference for all reality a matter of parts). Morality observed and understood rationally demands that the individual, in his singular existential context, be viewed as the Moral Standard.

All this being true, morality is therefore automatically and categorically contradicted when codified. Once listed, it is removed from the individual, placed beyond his true and objective experience and reality and becomes nothing but a set of abstract rules which then attempts to define and contextualize all individual experience into a single collective category: the Law. And just like that man’s moral worth is no longer a function of himself and his own unique experiences and relationships; relationships where he honors the morality of other men by treating them with the same respect and sanctity with which he rationally should be treated…as a matter of choice, NOT threats, making violations of his fellow man TRULY immoral and himself TRULY guilty. Instead it becomes a function of obedience to the Law. And since obedience is fundamentally not a choice, because demands of obedience promise punishment for disobedience, which taken to its logical conclusion means the right of an Authority–always established specifically to force compliance to the Law–to destroy those who do not obey, then choice is removed from the individual’s existential equation. That is, once morality is a function of force and not choice, it is no longer morality by definition. You see, if one acts under the threat of death, then they are not choosing to act; they are acting as merely a necessary matter of course, invoking no more volition than they do when breathing or sweating.  For there is no such thing as a choice between death and life, because there is no true choice between nothing and something.

So the Law, in an effort to create a moral society, does the exact opposite. It strips man of his individuality, which is his entire and self-evident frame of reference for ALL things and ALL reality, which thus nullifies choice. And once man cannot choose to do good then he cannot do good at all, ever, because morality and choice are corollaries. And if man cannot do good then there is only one thing that the Authority (which always means the State, because Authority and State are corollaries, too), which is specifically tasked with manifesting GOOD, can do with man.

Annhiliate him.

And here then we have this equation:

Morality = Law = State = violence to compel Man to Law = death of man = death of Law = death of State

And this is the self-nullifying progression of collectivist ideology upon which ALL governments are based.  Notice that it demands the death of man in favor of absolute, and absolutely abstract, Authority, as the practical application of the Moral Standard: the Law. Morality, and thus the entirety of the worth of man, becomes a function of the degree to which he is sacrificed to the Law, which is (as corollary) his sacrifice to the State. Naturally then the greater the degree of sacrifice the closer he is to moral perfection. Inevitably then man is, in the latter stages of a given State’s evolution, sacrificed absolutely–his greatest moral accomplishment being his death, by the State, in order to completely satisfy the Law (and, yes, Jesus Christ is an apt example of this: His death was ultimately a POLITICAL one, no matter what mystic pablum the church spins for you). The Law thus, in the real and rational sense, is merely violence against man for the sake of violence. This is because once there are no more men left to destroy the Law becomes moot. For without the blood of man in which to bathe what is the Law? After all, the Law is not for itself, but for man…the Law for itself is a contradiction in terms.

So…the purpose of the Law is to morally perfect that which it must annihilate. (Find the contradiction in any idea and you will find the evil.) And when the consequences of attempting to implement such rank and pernicious hypocrisy collapse under the weight of years and years of contradiction disguised as regulatory and electoral “fixes”, the few traumatized and stumbling, delirious and starving survivors slowly come together and resolve to rebuild…and invariably start the whole process over again.

Humanity…when shall we ever learn?

Any Honest King Will Keep His Wormtongue and Kill His Conscience

Only in fantasy stories do kings wake up and cast off their Wormtongues. This is because Wormtongue is the reality of the innate and necessary corruption of Authority–the compelling of behavior by “legal” violence, despite the most noble of rulers and their noble  intentions.

You see, in reality, it is Wormtongue who speaks the truth to the King; and it is the King’s conscience which lies. A “good King”–that is, a truthful and honest king, who is consistent with the metaphysic which demands Authority to compel obedience to Law–will abide Wormtongue and banish love.

Is this good, rationally speaking? Of course not: but again, it is good IF we accept the axiomatic definition of Man which necessitates the idea that it is appropriate to govern him. And by “govern” I mean: organize his behavior, specifically his interactions with himself (men and women associating with others), by codifying moral behavior (Law), and thus moving it outside of its only true and natural source, the individual, and thereby making morality utterly abstract and thus utterly subjective as far as man is concerned, and thereby necessitating an Authority–be it a King or any other incarnation of State Violence (that is, the State, period), even “democratically elected public officials” (and by the bye, a greater example of raw, meaningless, subjectivity you’ll not find anywhere than those words)–whose authority transcends any real rational integrity, and who fundamentally exists for the sole purpose of using force and threats to cause the obedience of the denizens.

And what is this definition of man?

It is that he is not him Self. He is not “I”. “I” is an illusory existential frame of reference–a lie–which, by its inexorable and infinite hold on him, makes him unable to perceive the Truth: which is that he is, in fact, nothing at all. That he qua he (he as Individual), is really an infinite collection. He is the group, yet never OF the group. He is “race”, or “class”, or “sex”, or “nation”, or “church”, or “minority”, or “underprivileged”, etc.. The individual is the group; which contradicts his individuality, and thus demands that it be sacrificed by the Authority into the collective “reality.”

And so I say again, any honest King, with even the slightest apprehension of just what the fuck his whole point is, and whether he admits it to himself or not, understands that he is Violence to men, and literally nothing else. He IS the force which compels everyone and everything into the collective Ideal. He is The Efficacy of the Ideal…of the Utopia…of the Collective Paradise. And thus, he IS the very Ideal itself. And this being true, it is his duty to incessantly invite Wormtongue to stifle whatever compassion he may be tempted towards. For to deny the raw and unfettered subjugation and sacrifice of men is to deny the Ideal, and thus deny himself.

There is no such thing as a King with a conscience. Any such King admits, whether he knows it or not, that he is a fraud, and that sooner or later, the kingdom MUST collapse.

And it will.

It will.

The “Law” is a Null Concept in any Context

To explicitly (as in communism and Islam), or implicitly (as in our own democratic system and Christianity) claim that man’s morality is a function of obeying the Law (which necessarily demands of man his property and time, to be taken not asked for, as we can clearly see ) is to claim that man’s natural state is Evil. For it says that man’s sole moral purpose is to subordinate the very thing that separate’s him from the beasts, and makes him man: his conscious will.

Further, if the Law is what makes man good, then of what use is the Law to man or man to the Law? For the implicit or explicit claim is that man, himself, alone, is utterly evil; and therefore how can what is good, the Law, make man good if man is utterly evil?

It can’t. Because absolute evil is by definition exclusive of what is good. It cannot be made good without contradicting itself.

Therefore, if man can be made good by the Law–his obedience thereto–then man is, himself, NOT actually evil. It is impossible that he should be in any way labeled an immoral creature at the natural level without ALSO nullifying the Law as a rational moral standard. And if man is not an immoral creature at the natural level then his morality is not a function of the Law, but a function of his nature–of himself. And this too nullifies the Law as any rational moral standard.

Any attempt then to create a moral society by obligating man to the Law will fail. Because an idea which contradicts itself (e.g. that morality = Law) cannot exist.