The Autonomist's Notebook
The Autonomist's Notebook is a semi-satirical collection of aphorisms, epigrams, and comments on politics, philosophy, and religion. While they exemplifies autonomist thought, they are not meant to be instructive. They are meant primarily for the edification and entertainment of autonomists as pleasant reminders of the clear and essential principles by which we live our lives and which make them worth living.
These are the principles of individual freedom, without which neither human life, in it fullest and noblest sense, nor the fulfillment of its purpose are possible.
The Cost of Freedom
If you want to be free, it will be the most costly and difficult thing you will ever undertake. There are no shortcuts. No other individual or agency, especially not any government, can provide you freedom. You cannot "win" it, you cannot steal or cheat someone else out of it. If in the pursuit of your life what you get comes easy, or by luck, or without great effort, or without a clear complete understanding of how you acquired it, whatever you've gotten, it is not freedom.
You want to know where to begin? It must begin with an agreement with yourself to seek and follow the truth above all other things. Until you hold the truth above all other things, above all feelings, all desires, all allegiances or commitments, you can never be free and are doomed to perpetual servitude to any irrational feeling, whim, or passion to which you are willing to sacrifice your reason and therefore your will. The beginning of freedom is to free yourself from all those emotions, which uncontrolled, are demons which possess and control you, but under your control become your servants, providing you strength, enthusiasm, motivation, pleasure, and joy in every aspect of your life.
(See below for more information about The Autonomist Notebook)
(For a full discussion of the ideas these "notes" suggest, click on, "[Commentary]" beside the title of any section in which the note appears in.)
Admissions of Guilt [Commentary]
- Beware the man who makes broad moral judgments.
- The man who says, "everyone lies sometimes," is a liar.
- The man who says, "everyone steals sometimes," is a thief.
- The man who says, "everyone cheats sometimes," is a cheat.
- Every individual who confesses his life is better with a government than it would be without one, is essentially dishonest, incompetent, unhealthy, unreasonable, or without confidence in his own ability to supply his own needs and live successfully in this world.
- People who need people are parasites.
- Lice need people.
- The expression, "it's only human," is almost always used to excuse some vile or grossly inhuman behavior.
- If, "to err is human," than the stupider you are and the more mistakes you make, the more human you are. By this criteria, our society is very human, but the most human of all are in jail, the asylums, the law offices, governemnt jobs, or teaching in the public schools.
- Just say no to AIDS.
- If there is a terrible disease, and there is some action one can take to insure they never get that disease, and that action is neither dangerous or harmful to one's self or others, why are people opposed to doing it?
- In most cases, AIDS is a self-inflicted disease and its victims deserve no pity. In some cases, AIDS is inflicted on others, such as children. Do not claim to pity these innocent victims so long as you feel anything but contempt for those whose practices make it possible for this disease to exist and be inflicted on the innocent.
- If, beginning tomorrow, men and women never have sex with anyone except their wife or husband, AIDS will disappear from the world in single generation. We can therefore expect AIDS to continue for a long time.
- Question: "But what about the drug addicts that get AIDS form dirty needles?"
Answer: They won't be reading this.
- The purpose of all things is the enjoyment of those who use them.
- The purpose of art is the enjoyment of those that use it. Everything else said about the purpose of art is so much blather.
- The kind of art any individual will enjoy is determined by the kind of person they are. The trite mediocre majority will enjoy trite mediocre art. The exceptional individual cannot enjoy the insipid fare that satisfies the average. He can only be bored or irritated by it. But the art that the exceptional enjoy cannot be enjoyed by the average, because it is too hard. One measure of art is the demand it places on those who enjoy it. The average person will despise great art because it is too difficult. The exceptional will despise the commonplace because it is too easy.
- Many a man that can't direct you to a corner drugstore will get a respectful hearing when age has further impaired his mind. ---Finley Peter Dunne
- So, you only rely on authority when you don't feel competent to make a decision because you don't have enough knowledge about the case. You do feel competent to know who does have enough knowledge.
- The final authority in all choices is your own mind, like it or not.
- The autonomist hates to explain and resents the implication that he must make anyone else understand anything he does. There is a temptation to say an autonomist is someone who goes through life doing things he knows will annoy and irritate others just to annoy and irritate them. An autonomist might do that if he gave rap about what anyone else thinks. He doesn't. That's why the things he does annoy and irritate others.
- Autonomy means self-rule. The autonomist is not interested in changing the world, or society, or anything he is not directly responsible for. The autonomist's primary interest is the truth.
- The autonomist is a fanatical worshiper of the Truth, gladly sacrificing everything else to it and following wherever it leads without reservation. Truth is the autonomist's life. He would gladly die in its defence and he would surely die of anguish without it.
- The autonomist and nature are in total agreement. Nature neither cares about nor gives a moments consideration to anyone's position, feelings, desires, or opinions. Neither does the autonomist.
- "Honest to a fault." You won't ever be accused of that unless you are an autonomist.
- The autonomist is not capable of enjoying anything he has not earned or produced himself. Neither are you. The difference is, the autonomist knows it.
Ayn Rand [Commentary]
- With regard to Ayn Rand's philosophy, there are those who understand her, and those who hate her.
- Some who hate Ayn Rand do understand her. They hate her for the same reason the cockroach hates the light.
- Ayn Rand made mistakes, and it's a good thing too. If she had corrected them, those who only hated her would have murdered her. The evil hate the good, the perfectly good, they kill.
- Capitalism is a bad word because it is inextricably tied up with the concept of government. A free market and property rights under the protection of government is akin to safe chickens under the protection of the fox.
- What you mean by capitalism is free enterprise, but it is not what others mean, and it is the others who are going to keep you from having it, free enterprise, that is. If you want capitalism, what they mean by capitalism, you can have that, so long as you contribute to their campaign fund.
- Every genuinely benevolent person loathes almsgiving and mendicity. ---George Bernard Shaw
- Charity deals with the symptoms instead of the causes. ---Lord Samuel
- When charity meant love it was good. Now it means catering to people's whines, faults, complaints, diseases, perversions, and defects - which is hate.
(See also, Religion, Faith)
- Christianity is the name given to all flavors of religion taught in those organized churches which claim the Bible as their authority, that is, the Bible as interpreted by those churches.
- Christians believe the atonement is payment for sin and that the coin in which the payment was made is the suffering of their Savior. They do not say who it is that collects this payment or why he values suffering so much.
- Christians believe that all their sins are paid for. Most believe that all the sins committed by anyone who ever has or ever will live have been paid for. If some people still go to hell, isn't the payment being collected twice?
- You say your God is a God of love, that He loves the sinner, but hates his sin. Nevertheless, it is the sinner your God sends to hell, not his sin.
- The Protestant reformers criticized the Roman Catholic Church for its indulgences, which allowed the purchase of the forgiveness of specific sins for a specific price. Protestants today believe the atonement is the ultimate indulgence, payment in full for all the sins of everybody for all time. Salvation amounts to giving to anyone who asks for it permission to apply this indulgence to their own account.
- Non-Christians believe God's demands are unreasonable. Most Christians believe this too. They believe God demands a certain standard of behavior which it is impossible for them to achieve. They also believe that God forgives them, not because it is impossible to achieve what He demands, but because they confess their failure.
- If you believe God demands of you what it is impossible for you to achieve, whatever else you are, you are not a child of God. God never demands what is not best for His children. God never allows what is best to be impossible.
- The dominant Protestant theology is sometimes called Calvinism. Calvinism, where it is unique, is actually Augustinianism, which is the dominant theology of Catholicism.
The following analogy describes the essential teaching of Calvinism:
"Salvation" is good and is the thing men ought to seek. But, such seeking is futile, because only God's predestined elect will be saved.
Cookies are good. Suppose a father said to his two small children, "there are cookies on the top shelf of the cabinet. I want you to take some cookies and eat them. If you do not take some cookies and eat them, I will punish you."
At this point, the father lifts one of the children up so he can reach the cookies, which he takes and eats. The Father does not lift up the second child, and the child is unable to take any cookies, therefore, the father punishes the child without mercy for his disobedience.
Except for the fact that the punishment of God is eternal torment, as opposed to a good beating as in the case of the father and child, this is exactly how the Calvinist's God deals with men.
Crime and Punishment [Commentary]
- When dealing with irrational creatures, one can learn how they behave and take specific steps to protect themselves from that behavior. The exception is the rabid animal. This disease interferes with the normal controlling instinct of the animal so their viciousness becomes completely unpredictable. For that reason, the only protection from a rabid animal is to destroy it.
When men become irrational, they loose the ability to choose and behave rationally, but retain volition. Since that volition is not rationally controlled, their viciousness becomes completely unpredictable. For that reason, the only protection from an irrational human being is to destroy it.
- What determines when a human being has become irrational? There is one and only one criteria for that judgment. In all other behavior, there is no way to determine if an individual's behavior is rational or irrational. Until we can read other's minds and experience their consciousness, the reason for other's choices and behavior can never be certainly known. Only when an individual chooses to use force as a means of dealing with other human beings is it objectively certain their behavior is irrational.
- The initiation of the use of force by one human being against another is a declaration, "I am a dangerous irrational animal, no longer fully human and unfit to live in a truly human society."
- If you are harmed in any way, in your person or your property, justice is only served if the person responsible for the harm repairs or restores what was harmed. Everything else is revenge, which is based on the irrational principle of two wrongs make a right.
- When a wild creature, a common product of the government's welfare and public education system, enters some decent working man's home, rapes and murders his wife and daughters, steals his goods, and destroys his home, if, by some extraordinary circumstance, the rapist is then caught, he is put in prison, where he is fed, sheltered, and clothed for the rest of his life with money extorted from the victim. That is called government justice.
- Revenge harms the perpetrator as much as the recipient.
- If you are a victim of fraud, you are not a victim. It is your own fault. Learn from it. Any other course will only cost you more.
- Our criminal system is an organized attempt to produce white by two blacks. ---George Bernard Shaw
(See also, Fraud)
(See also, Government, Politics)
- On all fundamental issues, most people are wrong most of the time.
- As a result of further research, the above is now amended as follows:
On all fundamental issues, most people are wrong all the time.
- The average level of intelligence decreases proportionally with an increase in the number of individuals. The majority is always stupid and the larger the majority, the more stupid it is.
- There is not a single major advance in knowledge, science, or technology, which, if it had depended on a consensus, would ever have occurred. If the majority had its way, the average life expectancy would still be 40, or less, only one in three babies would survive, famine and disease would wipe out a third of the world's population at least every seven years, and you would never have heard of America.
- An election is nothing more than an advance auction of stolen goods. ---Ambrose Bierce
- A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the Public Treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the Public Treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy always followed by dictatorship. ---Alexander Fraser Tyler
- The biggest con game going is the one that guarantees to protect people from fraud. The second biggest is the one that guarantees to protect people from crime. When these cons are successful, the gang that pulls it off is called the government.
- The success of government depends entirely on the degree and length of time it can continue to defraud its victims, which are called citizens. A government can produce nothing and can do nothing, except to harm or threaten. All that a government is given credit for providing is confiscated or coerced from others.
- Government is the great fraud. The most successful politicians are those who have no illusions about the true nature of government and operate accordingly, that is, as consummate con artists.
Freedom and Liberty [Commentary]
- Perfect freedom is being able to think and do whatever one chooses.
- Perfect freedom means one must bear the responsibility of one's choices, enjoying without limit the benefit of his successes and suffering without mitigation the consequences of his failures.
- Perfect freedom is what you would have if you were the only person in the world. The only threat to your freedom is other people.
- Freedom and government are contradictory terms.
- There are only two ways you can lose your freedom: involuntarily, to those who use or threaten the use of force against you; or voluntarily, to anyone who promises you something in exchange for it. Government provides both these ways.
- Most people choose to voluntarily give away their freedom in exchange for some promised security, prosperity, or happiness.
- The promise to which most people sell their freedom is the promise of relief from responsibility for their choices, that is, their lives.
Freedom of Speech [Commentary]
- If you want a free society, it means some people will be offended and others will have their feelings hurt, especially those who do not want a free society.
- What in the world do you think freedom of speech is? It is freedom to say anything. If we are only free to say what will offend no one and only what everyone else agrees with, there is no freedom of speech.
- Evil men intentionally obfuscate the difference between the word "speech" and "expression." When a wild individual enters an office or schoolroom and begins shooting everyone in sight, that is expression. When a person reads the Declaration of Independence aloud to a crowd, that is speech. Those who will not understand the difference deserve to lose all freedom, which their views, if they prevail, guarantee.
- A picture is not speech. A sculpture is not speech. A photograph is not speech.
- If freedom of speech means anything, it means we not only may say anything we want to say but may not be compelled to say anything we do not want to say. This means, if I own a radio or television station, I do not have to broadcast any words I disagree with.
(See also, Democracy, Politics)
- When gangsters compete for territory, the winning gang is called the government.
- The supposed purpose of government is to protect its citizens from crime, foreign invasion, and breach of contract. In fact, no government has ever done any of these things, and never will, because it is impossible. The best that government can do is to come in after a crime has been committed, the country has been invaded, or the contract breached and try to rectify the situation. What it usually does is cause more harm to both the victim and perpetrator, cause greater distruction than the invaders, and cause greater fiscal harm to both parties of the contract, without improving anything.
- A government is an organization that exists for the sole purpose of enabling some people to impose their will and desires on other individuals by means for force.
- A society comprised entirely of honest, competent, productive, healthy, reasonable individuals would have no use for a government. Governments exist because societies are comprised mostly of dishonest, incompetent, unproductive, sick, and unreasonable people.
- All government employees are corrupt.
- Anyone who enjoys benefits from the government is a receiver of stolen goods.
- A government is an organization that claims the right to initiate the use of force against individuals to satisfy its own purposes. An individual that does this is called a thug. A group of individuals who do this are called gangsters, that is, unless they write down their intentions in noble terms and call it a Constitution; then the gangsters are called presidents, senators and congressmen.
- What distinguishes government from all other organizations is its assumed right to initiate the use of force against its citizens to expropriate their property for its own support. A voluntarily supported government is a contradiction in terms.
- All Rulers, czars, emperors, kings, chairmen, presidents, are the basest of men. To believe or expect anything else flies in the face of reason and revelation. At least, that is what the Bible teaches.
- The mistake most people make when dealing with the government is to suppose that it can be dealt with rationally. A government is based on the irrational principle of the initiation of the use of force as a means of dealing with people. To attempt to reason with the government is like reasoning with a pack of wild beasts bent on eating you.
- Generally, the way to deal with the government is the way you would deal with any irrational and dangerous animal: avoid it as much as possible, do nothing to draw its attention to you, (if you don't bother it, it will usually leave you alone). If forced to deal with it, find out what it wants and the cheapest way to satisfy it. As quietly and calmly as possible, meet the demands and move on. It will be so busy looking for new victims, it may never notice you again.
- If you must fight the government, be prepared for a fight to the death, which will almost certainly be yours.
- The government is no more your enemy than the fisher cat that invades your chicken coop is your enemy. The word enemy ought to be reserved for those worthy of it.
- The government is not a rational agency, it is an irrational force that, like the weather, cannot be controlled, but can be dealt with. We do not deal with the weather by reasoning with it, reforming it, or becoming weather activists. The weather will do whatever it does, and government will do whatever it does and nothing you do will change either. There are methods of predicting, at least short range, what the weather is likely to do and taking appropriate measures to deal with it. There are methods of predicting, at least short range, what a government will do and taking appropriate measures to deal with it. Still, there is always some surprise with both. This also can be planned for an dealt with.
- "Without government there would be anarchy and chaos. So!?"
- There is government because most people are terrified of chaos. They prefer the government alternatives: war, corruption, and tyranny.
- Without government there would be anarchy and chaos. With government there is war, taxes, corruption, oppression, coercion, and terror. Maybe you think these things are order.
Gun Control [Commentary]
- Gun Control - Control of those without guns by those with guns. A lot of people are for this.
- Gun Control - Control of those without guns, (who earn their living by their own effort) by those with guns (who confiscate their living from those without guns). A lot of people are for this.
- All gun control is wrong. Anyone should able to purchase, own, and carry a gun without getting anyone's permission, approval. or consent.
- As a result of further research, the above is amended as follows:
Most gun control is wrong. Anyone should able to purchase, own, and carry a gun without getting anyone's permission, approval. or consent, except that no member or employee of any government agency should be allowed to own or carry a gun.
- There is nothing to fear from any citizen carrying a gun, unless he is a member of some law enforcement agency.
- Question: If the police are not allowed to carry guns, how will they stop criminals who have guns?
Answer: The same way they stop them now. Not at all.
- Human life is basically a comedy. Even its tragedies often seem comic to the spectator, and not infrequently they actually have comic touches to the victim. Happiness probably consists largely in the capacity to detect and relish them. ---H. L. Mencken
- Real intelligence requires both seriousness and humor. Seriousness without a sense of humor is a kind of stupidity. Humor without seriousness is another. Politicians, educators, and religious leaders are usually subject to the first kind of stupidity. Those who take anyone in the first group seriously are afflicted with the second. Those in the first group seldom find anything funny. Those in the second group find everything funny, unless it requires them to think.
- The quickest way to destroy real values is to laugh at them.
Intellectual Property [Commentary]
- By what mystic magic does thinking of something first confer the right to use unlimited force to prevent anyone else from thinking those thoughts. Don't tell me you have freedom of thought if men with guns are going to prevent you from putting your thoughts into practice.
- Since when can a potential be property. It is not the idea of a product that is property, it is the product. If two men both discover how to make a light bulb, but only one actually makes light bulbs, only that one has produced property. It makes no difference where they got their idea for light bulbs, whether they thought of the idea independently or one learned it from the other. It doesn't matter who thought of it first or who got to the patent office first.
- Only governments can create coercive monopolies, through regulation or licensing, for example. Every patent is a government guaranteed and coercive monopoly.
- What is property, what is its value, and who owns it? Property consists of tangible goods or products created or acquired through the intellectually guided effort (work) of a man. It's value is determined by the amount of goods or products others are willing to trade for it. The individual who creates the goods or products or trades his own goods or products for them owns them. Although an idea has market value, it cannot be property because it is not tangible. (Services are also intangibles that have market value, and as a subset of services, so is labor. If an idea is patentable, or can be copyrighted, then so should a service, or even labor. That is, the first one to perform a service ought to be protected from anyone else performing that service and the first one to do some kind of work ought to be protected from anyone else doing that kind of work.)
- An idea cannot be property, nor can a collection of ideas, no matter how they are organized, presented, or sold. Books and software are only collections of ideas, in books it's words, in software it's logic functions.
- Patents produce the same results that all Government monopolies produce, an elite group of individuals who produce products that are not affected by the market, because no one is allowed to produce a better or cheaper versions of the product.
- What other kind of property ceases to exist on some arbitrary date set by a government.
- Outside the concept of a government, the concept of intellectual property is an impossibility. Those who understand the nature of government will understand this automatically invalidates the concept of intellectual property.
- The purpose of your life is your enjoyment of it.
- Life consists of what you do, not what happens to you. Things happen to a rock.
- The measure of a life is not how long it lasts, but how much it did. In human terms, it is how much one produced, which means, how much one was able to enjoy their life by their own effort.
- If life is to be enjoyed, we must make it last as long as we can, but we must never lose sight of the fact that it is our enjoyment of life that is its purpose. It is always wrong to sacrifice the enjoyment of life for its extension.
- Joy is the description of heaven. Suffering is the description of hell. To give up a short joyful life for a long life of suffering is to trade a short stay in heaven for a long stay in hell.
- At our current level of medical knowledge, it is quite certain that most of us are going to die. The only thing that is uncertain is when and how. Those who insist we need laws, and as many of them as possible, to protect us from harmful practices for our own good, and to save lives, are really trying to make sure people only die in ways and at a times they consider acceptable. If that were possible, people would do it themselves. The only reason they don't, is because it is not possible. Of course that never deters the meddlers.
- The only way to determine the effectiveness of any government program to save lives is to take a survey 150 years after the program is initiated to count all those still living, who were living at the time the program was but into effect, and whose lives the government has saved.
- All those laws designed to keep people from harming or killing themselves are based on the principle that the way to keep what you do from some day possibly causing you to be unhappy is to begin doing things to make you unhappy right now.
- The opposite of natural is supernatural; all food is natural food, except manna.
- What most people mean by, "natural," is anything that requires no human intelligence to produce. By this understanding, what could be more unnatural than a soy burger or tofu.
- If processing makes food unnatural, the only way to eat naturally is to pull a turnip out of the ground and to commence eating or to walk out into a field and to take a bite out of a cow. Washing, peeling, slaughtering, cutting, cooking, and preserving are all "unnatural" processes.
- Some people want no chemicals in their food. What do they propose to eat? Poems?
- It is unnatural for human beings to eat unprepared food; if you insist on it, avoid eating bears and green tomatoes.
- There is nothing more cruel, more wasteful, more destructive, or more evil than nature, left untamed.
- If cruelty, viciousness, pointless destruction, waste, disease, decay, and filth are your ideals, you are a nature lover.
- The crackpots who regard nature and animals as superior to human beings and more important than any human concern also like to use animals as examples of how humans ought to live. (It is obvious that many of these crackpots take their own advice.) If we take nature for our example, there cannot be anything wrong with the former Soviet method of solving food shortage problems, just slaughter a few million people so there will be enough food for the ones that are left. That is nature's method. Produce millions of sperm, lay thousands of eggs, hatch a few thousand so that one or two will survive. If there is not enough food, simply drown half the population. That is nature's way.
- "Nonprofit" is a gimmick for giving government favor to certain groups and activities.
- Profit: gain, increase, value, benefit.
Nonprofit: loss, decrease, waste, harm
- Non-profit means producing nothing of value, at least not any value anyone would willingly pay for. There is hardly a more obscene name any human action could be labeled with.
- Don't join!
- Those who join organizations do so in hopes of having or enjoying what they could not otherwise have or enjoy. Whatever they gain, however, is at the expense of other members of that organization who will, therefore, have or enjoy less. Of course all the members believe they are the gainers. In the end, they are all losers, and they all have less than they could have had on their own.
- Whatever reason an organization exists, its ultimate purpose is its own existence. Ultimately, every organization places its own existence above any other value, even its supposed purpose, and will do anything it can to survive. (For example, the government.)
- There is nothing that people want to do together or commit themselves to that they cannot do just as well without joining something.
(See also, Democracy, Government)
- All politicians are corrupt.
- There is no such thing as rights.
- The concept of "rights" is very confused. If men are endowed by their Creator with rights, why do we need a government to make sure we get them? We are endowed by our Creator with ears for hearing, and eyes for seeing, and legs for walking, and no government agency is required to make sure we get them. I guess our Creator intended to endow us with rights, but somehow got sidetracked, so now it is up to the government. (That doesn't seem right, somehow.)
- If you must have a concept of rights, here is what it must be: rights are what you have if you are the only person in the world. Then you have a right to do, say, or be anything you want, if you can. You do not have a right to life, only a right to do whatever is necessary to stay alive. You do not have a right to food, clothing, or shelter, but you are free to produce as many of these, or any other things, as you can.
- If you want privacy, keep your mouth and your blinds shut.
Public School Teachers [Commentary]
- "Most teachers are good."
Of course, that depends on what you mean by good. The money teachers are paid has been extorted from people by threat of violence against themselves and their property. The children they teach have been forcibly taken from their parents by the same method. They teach the children what the parents do not want them taught and do not teach them what the parents do want them taught. In a moral society, parties to extortion, kidnapping, and brainwashing are not usually considered good.
- What do you think ought to be done to a person who molests a child in public, then proceeds to rob the child's parents as, "payment," for his services. Molestation of the mind is much worse than molestation of the body.
(See also, Christianity, Faith)
- The God of most religions is amoral.
- The gods of some religions are also immoral.
- It is unsafe to trust the promises of any God who is not subject to the truth. If truth is whatever God says, there is nothing to prevent Him from saying He has revoked his promises.
- The God of the Moslems and most Christians is a murderer and teaches His followers to emulate Him. The God of the Mormons is an adulterer and teaches His followers to emulate Him.
- There is nothing wrong with religion, but every religious organization is evil. Most religious organizations are also dangerous.
- If you belong to a religious organization of any kind and your religious beliefs are taught by that organization, your religion is wrong.
- Choose God over Government. God is willing to rehabilitate anyone, if they choose to be rehabilitated. The government also seeks to rehabilitate. The differences is, government seeks to rehabilitate everyone, whether they choose to be rehabilitated or not. Also, government rehabilitation never works, but God's frequently does.
- Nowhere is the creative genius of man more perfectly exemplified than in the creation of his gods. He is able to take the Scriptures, any Scriptures, it seems, and from them create a God to his liking that he convinces himself and others is the one true God. And once convinced, he and his followers not only feel justified, but righteous jubilation in condemning, excommunicating, and burning at the stake anyone who does not see that their God is the one true God, and they know their God will reward them for it.
- When we were kids we jokingly called school jail. Today, it's no joke.
- If you are serious about getting guns out of the schools, the first thing you must get out of the schools is the government. They have the most guns and have no compunction about using them.
- I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best. ---Oscar Wilde
- "You're just selfish!" The ultimate argument against anything anyone wishes to prevent you from doing. Here is a secret. Whenever someone calls you selfish it's because there is something you have which that person wants but which they have no moral claim to. If you point out it is just as selfish for them to have it, they will claim they don't want it for themselves, their desires are "unselfish," and for others, and it is true. They really do want to give what you have to others. If they are able to cajole or threaten (swindle) the desired thing from you, and do give it to the "needy," guess who will get the credit for being the great benefactor of the needy. That's their secret selfish desire. It makes them believe they are worth something.
- "No man is an island," is a lie. An island is exactly what a man is, what every man is. When someone uses this quote as an argument, be sure he is preparing to invade your island, and if he is successful, the bells will surely toll for thee.
- The real motive behind the freeing of the slaves in America was jealousy. The slaves enjoyed what all Americans could only dream of, and have ever since tried to make a reality - someone to tell them what to do, what to eat, what to wear, and where to go in exchange for freedom from responsibility and guaranteed security.
- The difference between slavery and today's society is that slaves were required to work and produce. What they received from their masters was a portion of what they had produced. In today's society, the slaves are required to produce for the masters who take a portion of what they produce and give it to the true citizens who are not required to work or produce. The true citizens are the recipients of welfare and entitlements.
- I have made it a rule never to smoke more than one cigar at a time. ---Mark Twain
Social Relationships [Commentary]
- The biggest mistake most people make in their relationships with others is the presumption that others are like themselves. While most human beings share some similarities, it is always their differences that are most profound and significant. When dealing with others, it is much safer to presume they do not like what you like, want what you want, believe what you believe, or feel what you feel.
- People mistakenly think the "politically correct" concept of "diversity" being shoved down the gullets of the gullible is a recognition of the essential differences in people. In fact, it is just the opposite. By emphasizing nonessential differences in people, like physical characteristics, cultural preferences, and sexual practices, the essential differences like intelligence, character, integrity, accomplishment, and ability are obfuscated.
- The only proper relationship between individual human beings is as traders, offering value for value. In every other kind of human relationship, someone is a victim of coercion. ---(Ayn Rand, paraphrased)
- Be courteous to everyone. The inferior declare their inferiority by insulting those they perceive to be their superiors.
- Forgive every wrong but never forget a wrong or who did it.
Social Solutions [Commentary]
- There are no solutions to social problems, because, there are no social problems.
There are only individual problems.
- The worst evils ever imposed on mankind are solutions to social problems.
- Though, in fact, there is no such thing as a social problem, if some problems faced by some individuals are nevertheless labeled social problems, there would still be no solution. All problems are caused by people. To solve the problems it would be necessary to change the people.
- The human race, and thus every society, is comprised primarily of lazy, dishonest, ignorant, and superstitious people. No program, no government, no movement, nothing is going to change the human race, or even one individual in it. So long as most human beings are lazy, dishonest, ignorant and superstitious, a truly civilized society is an impossibility.
- In those rare societies that have little coercive government and little accumulated wealth, survival is dependent on each individual's own ambition, integrity, knowledge and effort. Such societies are like star bursts in history, lighting up the darkness of human existence with dazzling displays of progress and individual prosperity, which quickly fades as the advanced society makes it easier for the lazy, dishonest, ignorant, and superstitious to survive, breed, and vote.
- When questions such as, "what should society do about crime," or . "...about poverty," or, "...about education?" the first question that must be answered is, "what is society?"
If society is anything other than the actual victims of crime, the poor, or the uneducated, the answer to all these questions is nothing.
- The golden rule is, "mind your own business." Every social evil begins with someone breaking this rule.
(In classic terms it is, "do nothing unto others, because that is what you would have them do unto you, unless your are an idiot.")
- Everyone is different and everyone is allocated exactly the amount of resources, in terms of time, energy, and ability, required to live successfully. The moment you interfere in someone else's life, or allow them to interfere in yours, both of you have wasted resources necessary for your success, and both of you will fail to the degree your attention is taken away from the requirements of your own lives.
- When one suffers we all suffer is nonsense. When one suffers, we may feel a pang of sympathy, but that sense of joy and relief, "thank goodness it wasn't me," far outweighs any sympathetic discomfort we might temporarily experience.
Superstition (Faith) [Commentary]
(See also, Christianity, Religion)
- There is a difference between faith and superstition. What you believe is faith, what other's believe is superstition.
- There are those who scoff at the school-boy, calling him frivolous and shallow. Yet it was the school-boy who said, "Faith is believing what you know ain't so." ---Mark Twain
- It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. ---Bertrand Russell
- The most costly of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind. ---H. L. Mencken
- What is faith but a kind of betting or speculation after all? It should be, "I bet that my Redeemer liveth." ---Samuel Butler
- Philosophers have a terrible time with the truth. There are all kinds of truth, for them:
In the world of the philosopher, truth is never absolute and reality is full of paradoxes. This is while the philosopher is being a philosopher. When he is a parent, it is a different story. While he proves to the world that truth, in an absolute sense, is impossible to fully comprehend or establish, he expects his youngest children to know exactly what it is and mercilessly punishes them for the slightest deviation from it.
- analytic vs. synthetic
- necessary vs. contingent
- logical vs. factual
- á priori vs. á posteriori
- non-empirical vs. empirical
- Nothing is more dangerous or evil than obfuscation of the truth, especially when it masquerades as kindness, sensitivity, or generosity.
( This is the despicable evil that lies at the heart of "political correctness".)
- A popular way of obfuscating the truth is to gloss over essentials and emphasize non-essentials.
(This is the insidious evil that lies at the heart of "diversity". Essential differences in people, like character, ability, integrity, achievement are ignored while superficial differences, like skin color, ethnic background, gender, idiosyncrasies, and "life-style," [whatever that is] are emphasized.)
- The worst things in life are free. Poverty, disease, and ignorance are the kind of things you get for nothing. Everything of value costs time, reason, and effort.
- There are no conflicts in true values. What is truly good for you can never be bad or harmful to someone else. Nothing is good for you, if it is at the expense of someone else's good. Nothing is good for someone else if it is at your expense.
- There is no such thing as an intrinsic value. Nothing is good or bad in itself. Things are good or bad only in relationship to some purpose or end, that is, only in relationship to beings capable of having purposes and ends.
- If it is not good for you, it is not good.
- Grandma always said, "there will be no end of war 'til all the young men refuse to fight." The young of every generation of Grandma's family all volunteered for the service and, if there was a war, fought in it. Grandma was right, though, and her sons were all stupid.
So, there will always be war, because all young men are stupid and brash. It might help if we stopped calling something that depends on the stupidity of a whole class of people noble, brave, and good, and stopped calling the stupid dead, heroes.
We hope you enjoy The Autonomist's Notebook. We say enjoy, not agree with, because we know very few people will agree with many of the ideas expressed, and most will disagree with the whole lot. Nevertheless, we believe most people can enjoy this page for many reasons: as a challenge to views they have long held without examination, as a stimulus to reason, as a stimulant to their emotions (most likely ire), for some, maybe a laugh or two, and for a smaller number, a rare, "YES!," on discovering the truth they have always suspected or silently believed, here blatantly and unabashedly stated.
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