Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Self-Ownership Survey SOS

Let's have more political parties! Here's how this experiment works.
  1. Decide whether you Agree/Disagree (A/D) with the 10 arguments in the following Self Ownership Survey (SOS)
  2. Combine your A/D responses in order to create a unique identifier (ID) for your party. Prefix the unique ID with "SOS". For example, here is my party's unique ID... SOSDAAAAAAAAD
  3. Reply to this post with your party's unique ID.
  4. Create a google alert to receive a notification when a new webpage contains your party's unique ID.
  5. Create a facebook page, blog, wikipedia entry, website, etc. dedicated to your party in order to make it easy for other people to find and join your party.
  6. If your party has enough members then vote on a user friendly name. You'll still want to attach your party's unique ID to all relevant pages in order to make them easy to find via google searches/alerts.
Here is the Self Ownership Survey (SOS)...

1. Abortion should be illegal - DNA allows us to differentiate between where your fist ends and somebody else's nose begins. If you invite somebody onto your property it doesn't give you the right to initiate violence against them. If somebody is forced onto your property it still doesn't give you the right to initiate violence against them. (A/D)

2. Consensual slavery should be legal - If you fully own yourself then you should be able to partially or fully sell yourself. You should have the right to sell your labor, your sex, your kidneys and your entire body. You should be able to sell yourself to anybody else for any amount of time as long as you fully agree to the terms of the contract. (A/D)

3. Polygamy should be legal - If you fully own yourself then you should be able to enter into a marriage contract with as many people as you so choose. (A/D)

4. Business owners should be allowed to discriminate. - Your business is your property. You should be able to do whatever you want with your property as long as your decisions do not violate the property rights of other people. If other people disagree with your business practices then they can express their disapproval by engaging in ethical builderism. In essence, business owners should have the right to shoot themselves in the foot if they so choose. If they want to send potential customers and/or potential employees to their competitors then that is their prerogative. (A/D)

5. Drugs should be legal - If you fully own yourself then you should be able to harm yourself in any way that you so choose. (A/D)

6. There should be a licence to procreate - You should have the right to be raised by people who were willing to take, and able to pass, a test based on a Parenting for Dummies textbook. It's a violation of your property rights to be raised by people who do not know the basic nutritional, health, safety, emotional, and educational needs of children. (A/D)

7. Children of any age should be allowed to vote (children's suffrage) - Everybody should have the right, completely irrespective of all other factors, to try and protect their interests. By restricting any individual's right to try and protect their interests we are legitimizing the idea that one person can truly know what's in another person's best interests. If one person can truly know what's in another person's best interests then it's reasonable for congress to take our money and spend it in our best interests. (A/D)

8. Campaign contributions should not be restricted - Everybody should have the right to try and protect their interests. By restricting somebody's right to try and protect their interests you are saying that you know for a fact what's in their best interests. How would you respond if somebody told you that they know for a fact what's in your best interests? Would you believe them? (A/D)

9. Taxpayers should be allowed to directly allocate their taxes (pragmatarianism) - We all have a debt to society but no two people have benefited from society in exactly the same way. Therefore, you are the only one that can truly know how you can best repay your debt to society. Voters should determine the functions of government and taxpayers should determine which functions to fund. (A/D)

10. Taxes should be abolished (anarcho-capitalism) - Your property is an extension of yourself. Nobody has a right to take your property. Somebody stealing one penny from you is as morally wrong as somebody stealing your kidney. (A/D)

What is your party's unique ID? Which SOS parties do you predict will be the most/least popular?

You're welcome to debate the topics...but the primary objective of this experiment is to facilitate finding others who share your same set of views with respect to self-ownership.

Here are some of the forums where I posted this survey...

Here was my original post...If You Don't Own You...Then Who Does?


  1. My only problem with doing that is there is one I can't decide about, and others I think are not applicable. So my "SOS" would look like:

    The reason I am unsure about the consensual slavery thing is that I can imagine a slave changing his mind (due to changing situations) before his term of slavery is complete, at which point it is no longer consensual.

    And, I think the campaign contribution question is irrelevant since campaigns are a feature of The State, which is in need of being abolished.

    And, taxation is theft, and decided how the thief gets to spend your money doesn't change that.

  2. Kent, the "consensual" part in consensual slavery has to do with signing over ownership of yourself to another person. You can't fully own yourself if you can't fully sell yourself. If you fully sell yourself...but then change your mind...it would be the equivalent of theft.

    Personally, I'm a strong supporter of self-ownership...but my pragmatic views on abortion and taxes prevent me from claiming that I'm a proponent of full self-ownership. Therefore, I fall short of ideological consistency.

    Regarding campaign contributions...if there was a candidate running that wanted to abolish the state...would you want the state to limit your contributions to said candidate?

  3. Politic Party?
    Why would more be better?

    Politics is merely the belief that a man can live as a parasite off the efforts of another. Creating another party means you agree with the methodology - you merely debating on who should be the parasite and who should be its host.

    1. Abortion should be illegal.
    Abortion is the use of violence on another human being. The justifications to do so are absolutely no different then the just uses of violence in other cases. Period.
    There are no "special" rights for some people and not for other people.

    2. Consensual slavery should be legal.
    Legal? Why should law be involved at all?
    The problem with this question is the embedded assumption - that all human action is classified into legal/illegal acts. This is a false dichotomy and believing this is DANGEROUS.

    It creates the symmetrical condition that any act that is NOT explicitly declared legal must be illegal.

    Consensual agreement between adults is not a point of law whatsoever. The law has no opinion here whatsoever.

    3. Polygamy should be legal - see #2

    4. Business owners should be allowed to discriminate. - the Right of Association is absolute. You have the right to choose who and who not you wish to associate with.

    5. Drugs should be legal - see #2

    6. There should be a licence to procreate -see #2

    7. Children of any age should be allowed to vote (children's suffrage) - Everybody should have the right, completely irrespective of all other factors, to try and protect their interests.

    There is absolutely no such "right" to vote. Period.

    8. Campaign contributions should not be restricted -
    who cares?

    9. Taxpayers should be allowed to directly allocate their taxes (pragmatarianism) - theft by any other name is still theft.

    10. Taxes should be abolished (anarcho-capitalism) - prohibiting theft, regardless of who exercises the theft, is core to maintaining social order.

    My political party:

  4. Xero
    Therefore, I fall short of ideological consistency...

    I admire your honesty.

    I urge that you to seize the consistency.
    The Universe absolutely prohibits contradictions.

    Man's attempt to manifest a contradiction in direct opposition to the core Natural Law of Nature, creates evil.

  5. Black Flag, I kind of admire your ideological consistency...but I have no room to maneuver in terms of abortion and taxes.

    When are you going to start a blog?

    Have you had a chance to check out Kent's Blog yet?

  6. Xero,


    Step One: express, to the best you can, the position you hold on the topic

    Step Two: To the best you can, reconcile the position with your Core Principle

    Step Three: if a contradiction is exposed, repair it -- not by changing your Core Principle, but by changing your position on the topic.


    But I am negligent that I do not post as often as I must.

    I seem to be vacant on topics to post, but full of opinion on the topics other people post. I am a "work in progress" in this regard.

    Kent and I go back a few years, and is why "Black Flag" has a voice.

    I accidentally ran into an article he wrote a long while back. It was so poignant and powerful, it pulled me to his site and further comments. I followed him around the web, and landed in a few spots to support and add my own comments - and eventually, found my own voice.

    Beyond a doubt, Kent is one of the best articulated freedom fighters on the web.

    He embraces a sense of calm, peace, and acceptance of others while firmly establishing and holding the high ground of freedom and peaceful conversation, dialogue, debate and discourse.

    One of his posts, where he defined "evil" is probably one of the most powerful "ah HA!" moments for me.

    In a simple concept, he underscored the complete essence of human evil:

    "Violence on the Innocent"

    I, myself, tightened the idea to:
    "Violence on the non-violent", and I am confident Kent would not disagree.

    And, I am here because of one of Kent's posts.

    He was impressed by your arguments and thoughts around Pragmatarinaism - very unique, and obviously, very well thought out and considered - though "slightly disappointed" a bit by your compromise to the "providers of violence"

    I am sure he reads your blog with an open mind as I do, even though we may seem to disagree with you "a lot", there is little doubt you grow in the same field of freedom we do and if not our brother, at least our cousin....

  7. Xero,

    This is one of my more pervasive hunting grounds: http://standupforamerica.wordpress.com/

    ..and this is a post of a brief background of me, which I repost here: (split in two)

    I am Black Flag

    When USWep proposed this series to JAC and I, his goal was to baseline his readership within a standard of reason.

    By providing and proving a basis of reason, USWep believed that real solutions for today’s problems of governance could be honestly articulated.

    As one of USWep’s and this blogs more tenacious antagonists, I was honored when USWep and JAC asked for my support.

    They wished me to explain the source of my most annoying and constant questions that strike at nearly everyone’s position. I am, of course, very happy to oblige.

    To further USWep’s goal, JAC has provided a rock solid basis for the need of reason, and some basic tools to apply upon arguments of people whose goal is to influence opinions, decisions and actions.

    For the next part of the posts, USWep, JAC and I thought that a series of dialogues – ‘A Walk’ – with the two or three of us that would highlight some ideas and concepts on which to build such a base, and to restart some of the conversations on this blog from a core, reasoned, center point.

    But before the Walk, I think it is worthwhile for others to understand some of the roots from which we derive our arguments. Perhaps by providing some background of our personal journeys, we can offer some insight on our points of view.

    So, here is my introduction.


    When I was in grade school, I was challenged by a frustrated teacher to learn by myself how to play Chess (“If you’re so smart, figure out how to play the game yourself!” was his response to my questions when I was watching him play Chess with another student during a lunch hour).

    Later that year I ended up winning the school Chess Championship.

    I built my own chess set by hand, and of course read the books on how to play Chess. But no one in my family other than my Dad knew how to play chess, and he wasn’t very good. So, I practiced against myself a lot of the time.

    Since I was playing my perfect opponent (myself); I knew exactly the reason of my own moves; I established chess strategies of position and mobility, instead of mass assault and maneuver. This happened to be particularly successful against my opponents.

    But what else happened was unintended.

    I taught my brain to split into two ‘individuals’, primarily one called “Position” or “P” and another called “Counter-Position” or “CP”.

    These entities in my head continued to serve me well after Chess. And no, I don’t have multiple personality disorder ;)

    P and CP became my very effective companions as a tool to solve almost any problem I encountered. A

    nd of course, they were the tool I used to play around with moral questions.

    The trade of arguments from one position to the other would always boil down to which held the strongest reason and logic. The benefit, of course, is one cannot cheat or lie to one’s self, so the answers without mattering not whether P or CP won, was often very enlightening.

    I have a drive to understand the essence of the Universe.

    By the way, I interchange ‘God’ and ‘Universe’ – to me, they are the same thing, so that will offer some insight to my sense of spirituality.

    Stephen Hawking

    Steven Hawking offered an interesting and compelling view of the Universe.

    Any discussion of what ‘was’ before the beginning of the Universe is moot – it cannot be described in any meaningful sense.

    However, in reaching this argument, he suggested that in the pre-time, an infinite number of ‘attempts’ to create the Universe occurred – and instantly failed as the ‘Natural’ Laws that were created were inconsistent.

    This Universe ‘popped’ into being when the Universe organized itself into a perfectly consistent set of “Natural Laws”.

    He postulated that the reason this Universe exists is because it is self-consistent.

  8. What “Law” makes it so is ours to yet discover – however, we know it is immutable and we know it is consistent and that there cannot exist a contradiction.

    Even the Bible recognizes this.

    In the Temptations, Satan taunts Jesus to leap from a cliff to prove his God as He would not let him fall. Jesus responded, of course, with “Test not thy Lord, thy God”.

    This is a telling passage.

    It offers an idea of what is good and what is evil from the point of view of the Universe.

    If someone who we humans believe is pious, and another who we believe is evil both walk off the cliff, both fall at the same rate and are crushed the same way based on the same Law of the Universe.

    The Universe, therefore, does not attribute the same ‘good or evil’ definitions as Man upon himself.

    So, what is Universal Evil?

    It must be anything that is against the essence of the Universe.

    That is, anything that is inconsistent or in contradiction.

    Though Man as a conscious being can imagine contradictions, it is when Man attempts to realize these contradictions that evil is created.

    So, my P and CP concluded that if in any belief or action was a derivation from an argument that held a contradiction or that was inconsistent, that belief or action must be an Evil.

    Imagine the explosion that occurred when that thought was realized!

    I had rationalized contradictions to be mostly benign when I found it pragmatic to do so.

    Now, it wasn’t benign – it was the root of all human evil!

    I began testing everything, everywhere.

    And nearly every test for which I had previously held as a ‘good’ had its cover blown, and out of it came horrific beasts of evil.

    My own hands were dripping blood of evil rationalizations and justifications that no longer could stand the test of consistency. R

    Real people – innocent lives – had been held in the balance of these hands and by sheer luck, their lives were spared as I barely avoided having to act in the name of the rationalization of ‘duty’.

    I found that almost every source of human self-inflicted suffering came out of an attempt to realize a contradiction.

    I also found that almost every foundation mankind had put into place for itself fell into contradiction or inconsistency.

    My search became frantic. Was there anything that did not hold some inconsistency, some rationalization, some contradiction?

    I found it.

    Now the moment of choice.

    Do I wrap around it my roots of who I am and grow from that point, or do I ignore this terrified journey of self-realization and return back to ‘normal’ life?

    It was the Matrix moment.

  9. ..ok, 3 parts :)

    Black Flag was born in that moment. Everything changed.

    The people who had grown close to me faded away, even family. We gather people around us who are like us, but I had changed.

    Their held beliefs were no longer mine.

    They were in disbelief that I would sacrifice a wealthy lifestyle on a matter of principle – I was being impractical and stupid in their opinion.

    Pragmatism must come first over principle, they said. (Xero, note here!)

    I said principle always must be first, no matter what. I choose that I’d rather be right on the losing side then wrong on the winning side.

    I found myself alone and poor and quite unhappy.

    It is very hard in a pragmatic world to live by principle.

    But I was steadfast. I changed almost everything around me…my job, who I was with, where I lived, what I thought, what I did, how I acted, what I believed.

    Slowly, the world I lived in changed. People who shared like principles found me.

    By avoiding situations and people who held contradictory points of view, I ended up in a different, but very small, community of very principled and honest people.

    My fortune changed – significantly.

    I made my own family.

    My family that faded, returned. And I made a pot load of powerful enemies, too. The latter is inevitable for those who refuse to compromise their principles.

    So there you have it.

    Every spear I throw is an attack against inconsistency and contradiction. All my arguments derive from the Universe, Freedom, Life and Peace – in that order.

    My strategy is simple.

    My tactics are simple.

    My principles are immutable.

    I am Black Flag

  10. Black Flag...you should consider just turning comments into blog posts and then you can link to your blog posts in your comments. That way readers of your blog can benefit from your comments as well.

    If being principled is so hard then how come anarcho-capitalism has so many supporters while only four people recognize the value of pragmatarianism? Tolerance of other people's principles is much much much harder than being merely principled. If tolerance was easy then we never would have come to this country in the first place.

    If your response to that question requires more than 5 paragraphs then you might consider creating a new blog entry to answer the question.

  11. Xero,

    "If being principled is so hard then how come anarcho-capitalism has so many supporters while only four people recognize the value of pragmatarianism?"

    Perhaps because pramatarianism has a serious contradiction - that is, in attempt to defeat evil, you use evil.

    "Tolerance of other people's principles is much much much harder than being merely principled."

    A man who proclaims 1+1=3 needs not be tolerated by reasoned men.

    "...5 paragraphs..." ;)

  12. Black Flag, not sure about your math. You say that the government is evil because of coercion. I'm not advocating that we add coercion to coercion. I'm advocating that we add choice to coercion.

    Now, for some reason you don't think that choice will triumph over coercion. That's the serious contradiction. You say that the private sector is "good" and the public sector is "evil"...but if we give people a choice they won't choose "good" or "evil".

  13. Xero,

    Coercion (violence) is a tool.

    Using violence in defense from your initiation of violence is a just and moral use of violence. Using violence to enforce your Right is a just and moral use of violence.

    Government is EVIL because it INITIATES violence on non-violent people.

    The "private" sector - which I assume you mean "VOLUNTARY ASSOCIATION" is a good - people interact or not on their own decision. This is where your demand of "choice" exists.

    The "public" sector - which I assume you mean the "INVOLUNTARY ASSOCIATION demanded by government" - where people are forced is NOT a choice between good and evil - it is COERCION.

    So to claim a man has a choice where he is forced involuntarily is a contradiction.

    You have choice where you are free to choose, not where your choices are made for you.

  14. Black Flag, in a pragmatarian system you would be coerced into choosing whether you purchased something you value from the public or private sector.

    Do you think, if given a choice, that people will purchase many things...or few things...from the public sector?

  15. Xero,

    Good question.

    By reality of observation, government exists.

    Government exists -at the fundamental core- by the consent of (enough of) the People.

    Therefore, at least some People see some (bizarre, sick) value in government.... all my opinions aside.

    We can spend our retirement years in debating the value of these choices....

    ...BUT, I am compelled to admit that SOME people WOULD purchase few/many things from the "providers of violence", even in an anarchist society.

  16. I think that equating a dogmatic belief in self-ownership with "Abortion should be illegal" is kind of arbitrary.

    I've met dogmatic libertarians who argue from the point of view of the mother, that self-ownership gives her an inviolable right to rule over her own body - she can invite another individual (fetus/baby) into her property, and she can just as well rescind that invitation.
    The fact that the other individual can not survive outside her property is not her fault.

  17. PS: What I'm trying to say is, the debate over abortion is a debate over where life begins (and about which point of view to argue from), not a debate about how strongly the principle of self-ownership holds.

  18. Anonymous, if you ask a proponent of full self-ownership whether they would steal a loaf of bread from a billionaire to save the life of a starving child then if they truly believe in full self-ownership then their answer would be no. That's because for a proponent of full self-ownership property is more important than life.

    Therefore, proponents of full self-ownership shouldn't look at abortion as an issue of when life begins...they should look at it from the perspective of property. Abortion is a really straightforward case of harming somebody else's property. Just because you create a new individual does not give you ownership over that individual. What it does is give you a responsibility to ensure that their property is not harmed in any way.

    So we can see that if somebody leaves a baby on your doorstep then your (in)action towards the baby cannot (in)directly harm it in any way.

    To be clear...as my answers to the survey indicates...I am not a proponent of full self-ownership.

  19. sosaddaaddada

    I was a Libertarian from 2004 until last December when I changed to Republican and took the position of Precinct Committeeman to support Congressman Dr. Cpt. Ron Paul.

    I was an Arizona Delegate at the last two LNC's, and ran for a spot on the Libertarian National Committee last time in St. Louis.

    1. Thanks for participating in the survey. We sure wouldn't run out of topics to debate!

  20. Alright my SOS stands as this:

    Like Kent above, I'm iffy like crazy on the slavery thing. You should be able to sell yourself into slavery, but it's not really slavery for as long as you are willing. When you become unwilling, then wasn't it sort of a different person (the you from before) who agreed in the first place. I can't say I'm the same person now I was before. That kind of idea flys in the face of all contractual agreement, but still, its a hard one to ignore.

    I already have a blogger site: http://derkaiserisput.blogspot.com/
    I'll just count that as my "party"
    I have to say, I agree a lot with both Kent and Black Flag. Xero has some great ideas but I don't think any government is a responsible way to fulfill our debts to society.

    1. If you can't sell something then you can't say that you own it. So if you can't fully sell yourself then you can't say that you fully own yourself.

      It just so happens that in this good book that I'm currently reading...Reason and Persuasion...John Holbo mentions Heraclitus. Heraclitus was the guy who said "No man ever steps in the same river twice".

      So yeah...you're always kind of a different person...but you probably wouldn't claim to be a completely different person if I stole money from you. Maybe I would make that argument. "No no no...I didn't steal YOUR money...I stole money from the guy who longer exists."

      In my argument regarding abortion...I mentioned that while you might change as a person...your DNA always stays pretty much the same.

      Regarding fulfilling debts to society through the government. Pragmatarianism is the only political ideological that doesn't say whether the state is or isn't necessary. My post on political tolerance explains why this is.

  21. Black Flag is pretty close to the money on this one; your stance is rather contradictory and hypocritical.

    1. Abortion should be illegal - If somebody is forced onto your property it still doesn't give you the right to initiate violence against them.

    "It doesn't give you the right to initiate violence." Keep that part in mind throughout this missive. Regarding this question itself, the simple answer is Agree; the complex answer is N/A.

    2. Consensual slavery should be legal - You should be able to sell yourself to anybody else for any amount of time as long as you fully agree to the terms of the contract.

    Building on the previous question, we now add voluntary agreement to contracts keeping in mind that this is considered in the positive. In other words, if a person does NOT fully agree to the terms of a contract but is forced to acquiesce, this is in violation to the inability to initiate violence as stated in question one.

    3. Polygamy should be legal

    The voluntary contract and non-aggression principles as stated above make this moot.

    4. Business owners should be allowed to discriminate.


    5. Drugs should be legal


    6. There should be a licence to procreate

    Here is where your principles seem to be in conflict with one another. If we have already determined that one does not have the capability to initiate violence against another, by which method does the licensing of individuals for procreation occur? If an entity restricts the ability for anyone, regardless of characteristics, to procreate they have committed an act of unwarranted aggression.

    7. Children of any age should be allowed to vote

    Moot. Though there are many unanswered questions about the merits of voting and any sort of system which requires voting impacting the core principles listed in #1 and #2.

    8. Campaign contributions should not be restricted


    9. Taxpayers should be allowed to directly allocate their taxes

    Again, there are unasked questions regarding the ability to tax a person who does not voluntarily agree with the "contract" given by government.

    10. Taxes should be abolished

    This is the logical conclusion of self-ownership and right to voluntary contract.

    I think it would be wise to take a few of Black Flag's suggestions to heart and seriously reconsider a few of your core principles.

    1. I already know that my stance is hypocritical. But that just means that I'm a step ahead of you...because your stance is also hypocritical but you don't even know it.

      You say it should be illegal to kill an unborn child...yet you have no problem allowing a person to procreate who doesn't know that smoking and drinking while pregnant can violate the unborn child's fundamental rights.

      My stance is...it's better for an unborn child to be aborted than to allow him/her to be harmed/abused/neglected by completely inept parents. Forcing prospective parents to get a licence clearly would not guarantee the health/safety of a child anymore than forcing people to get a driver's licence guarantees the safety of pedestrians and other drivers. All it does is help to ensure that anybody who fails a simple exam is not allowed to have another person's life in their hands.

      Regarding taxes...well...I really don't think it's necessary to completely abolish taxes. I agree it's in accordance with the self-ownership principle...but I fail to understand, from the consequentialist perspective, why giving taxpayers 100% control of their own money in the public sector would have NEGATIVE consequences.

      If giving people more control over their own property leads to more coercion...then what's the point of abolishing taxes? More and more of them would just give their money to a coercive organization which would eventually become large enough to have a monopoly on the use of force.

      So I say we give taxpayers a choice how they spend their taxes in the public sector and then take it from there. I mean, if we can't convince our society to give taxpayers a choice how they spend their taxes...then there's just no way you're going to convince society to abolish taxes entirely.