Liberty Forged

the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own. ` Nock

Posts Tagged ‘lao-tzu’

Breaking the Law of Virtue, or not?

Posted by Jesse on March 9, 2009

Lao Tzu writes:

Why are people starving?
Because the rulers eat up the money in taxes.
Therefore the people are starving.

Why are the people rebellious?
Because the rulers interfere too much.
Therefore they are rebellious.

Why do people think so little of death?
Because the rulers demand too much of life.
Therefore the people take life lightly.

Having to live on, one knows better than to value life too much.

Part 57 [Conquer with Inaction] states:

Do not control the people with laws,
Nor violence nor espionage,
But conquer them with inaction.

For:
The more morals and taboos there are,
The more cruelty afflicts people;
The more guns and knives there are,
The more factions divide people;
The more arts and skills there are,
The more change obsoletes people;
The more laws and taxes there are,
The more theft corrupts people.

Yet take no action, and the people nurture eachother;
Make no laws, and the people deal fairly with eachother;
Own no interest, and the people cooperate with eachother;
Express no desire, and the people harmonize with eachother

And on “Doing nothing” we find:

Lao Tsu taught that all straining, all striving are not only vain but counterproductive. One should endeavor to do nothing (wu-wei). But what does this mean? It means not to literally do nothing, but to discern and follow the natural forces — to follow and shape the flow of events and not to pit oneself against the natural order of things. First and foremost to be spontaneous in ones actions.

In this sense the Taoist doctrine of wu-wei can be understood as a way of mastering circumstances by understanding their nature or principal, and then shaping ones actions in accordance with these. This understanding has also infused the approach to movement as it is developed in Tai Chi Chuan.

Understanding this, Taoist philosophy followed a very interesting circle. On the one hand the Taoists, rejected the Confucian attempts to regulate life and society and counseled instead to turn away from it to a solitary contemplation of nature. On the other hand they believed that by doing so one could ultimately harness the powers of the universe. By ‘doing nothing’ one could ‘accomplish everything.’ Lao Tzu writes:

The Tao abides in non-action,
Yet nothing is left undone.
If kings and lords observed this,
The ten thousand things would develop naturally.
If they still desired to act,
They would return to the simplicity of formless substance.
Without form there is no desire.
Without desire there is tranquillity.
In this way all things would be at peace.

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What is libertarianism?

Posted by Jesse on October 20, 2008

Some will say it is unrealistic. But whats so unrealistic about the non aggression axiom? Some will say it is unfeasible. What is that supposed to mean? Is it unfeasible to have a set of laws that are designed to protect individual rights?

These protests fall short of any kind of real debate. Where is the education to be found?

I know that libertarianism is real because I practice it everyday. It is a political philosophy that I can practice in my daily life. It is individual, not collective.

Sure, libertarianism is a political theory, to be sure. And there is no rule book the likes of which a collectivist political theory would have. It is much more simple with room to explore and invent.

As my brother pointed out, “If one were to reduce Ron Paul’s platform to it’s simplest form, it foundation rests on the idea of property rights and contract.”

Rothbard claims that the first intellectual libertarian was Lao-Tzu. This does satisfy my personal thoughts when reading up on Taoism, the Way. My book, Tao Te Ching, begins its preface as the most “terse and economical of the world’s great religious texts.” How fitting.

Frederich Bastiat “Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.””

Robert Heinlein “No intelligent man has any respect for an unjust law.”

Learned Hand “Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it.”

Edward Abbey “Government: If you refuse to pay unjust taxes, your property will be confiscated. If you attempt to defend your property, you will be arrested. If you resist arrest, you will be clubbed. If you defend yourself against clubbing, you will be shot dead.”

Lord Acton “Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end. It is not for the sake of a good public administration that it is required, but for the security in the pursuit of the highest objects of civil society, and of private life.”

John Quincy Adams “The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men.”

Ayn Rand “There can be no such thing, in law or in morality, as actions forbidden to an individual, but permitted to a mob.”

Pope John Paul II “Where self-interest is suppressed, it is replaced by a burdensome system of bureaucratic control that dries up the wellsprings of initiative and creativity.”

Murray Rothbard “The basic axiom of libertarian political theory holds that every man is a self-owner, having absolute jurisdiction over his own body. In effect, this means that no one else may justly invade, or aggress against, another’s person. It follows then that each person justly owns whatever previously unowned resources he appropriates or ‘mixes his labor with’. From these twin axioms–self-ownership and ‘homesteading’–stem the justification for the entire system of property rights titles in a free market society.”

Etienne de la Boetie “Books and teaching more than anything else give men the sense to comprehend their own nature and to detest tyranny.”

Albert Jay Nock “The State, both in its genesis and by its primary intention, is purely anti-social. It is not based on the idea of natural rights, but on the idea that the individual has no rights except those that the State may provisionally grant him. It has always made justice costly and difficult of access, and has invariably held itself above justice and common morality whenever it could advantage itself by so doing.”

“There are two methods, or means, and only two, whereby man’s needs and desires can be satisfied. One is the production and exchange of wealth; this is the economic means. The other is the uncompensated appropriation of wealth produced by others; this is the political means.”

Thomas Paine “The most unprofitble of all commerce is that connected with foreign dominion. To a few individuals it may be beneficial, merely because it is commerce; but to the nation it is a loss. The expense of maintaining dominion more than absorbs the profit of any trade.”

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