this i believe.

I believe that profit is not a dirty word, and “making money” is not a low or dishonorable motivation. The desire to make a buck is what has driven progress throughout history. I believe that commerce, the voluntary exchange of goods and values, is the best motivator for peaceful cooperation, and that the restriction of commerce promotes strife and poverty.

I believe that my life is my own. I am no one’s property or sacrificial animal. I have a right to exist for my own sake, and I don’t have to be ashamed of it. I do not exist to be numbered, counted, categorized, stamped, herded, and milked. I am not a cog in a machine, a sheep in a herd, or a number on a census.

I believe that taxation is equal to forced labor. I believe there is no moral or practical difference between taking the wages of a day or a week from a person to pay for a schoolhouse, and ordering them at gunpoint to spend a day or a week building that schoolhouse directly.

I believe that property rights are the basis for all other rights. If I am not free to dispose of the fruits of my labor as I see fit, all other rights are meaningless. Those who deny property rights cannot claim to be defenders of individual rights.

I believe that the term “individual rights” is a tautology. Rights can only ever be individual.

I believe that there is only one proper role for government, and that is the protection of individual rights. I also believe that no government in history has ever limited itself to that role.

I believe that my neighbor has the right to worship God, Allah, Vishnu, Odin, the Great Pumpkin, or any other deity. I have the right to worship all of those gods, or none of them, and neither of us has the right to force our beliefs on the other. That includes trying to make me live by the tenets of your faith under the guise of “majority rights”–one man’s pork dinner, bourbon, or steak is another man’s abomination, sin, or blasphemy. Worry about your own standing with your deity, not mine.

I believe that a crime without a victim is no crime at all. If an action doesn’t violate another’s person or property, no crime has been committed.

I believe that thoughts can never be a crime, nor can they be an excuse for a more severe punishment. I believe that beating a person because you want their wallet is every bit as despicable as beating them because you don’t like the color of their skin.

I believe that no group has rights beyond those of any of its individual members. There is no magic or alchemy that gives a mob special rights that trump the rights of the individual.

I believe that democracy and majority rule are not automatic mandates for anyone. Without a properly constrained government, fifty-one percent of the tribe can vote themselves the right to pee in the cornflakes of the other forty-nine percent. A tyranny of the majority is still a tyranny.

I believe that any economic system that isn’t centered around rational self-interest is fatally flawed. No amount of altruism or appeals to charity will motivate a man like the prospect of making money for himself.

I believe that forced charity is no charity at all, and forced virtue cannot claim credit for itself anymore than a eunuch can claim credit for chastity.

I believe that it is not my right or obligation to raise and educate your children, nor is it your right or obligation to raise and educate mine.

I believe that it is none of my business what goes on in my neighbor’s bedroom, nor is it any of his business what goes on in mine, as long as no one’s right are violated. Bugger a goat for all I care, as long as it is above the age of consent.

I believe that you cannot have a right to anything that necessitates a financial obligation on the part of someone else. You have a right to life, liberty, and honestly acquired property, not to any sort of monetary or material thing. The former merely requires your fellow citizens to leave you alone; the latter requires them to work for you free of charge.

I believe that it is the height of ignorance to judge an individual not by their actions, but by their ancestry, gender, nationality, religion, dietary preferences, or the melanin content of their skin.

I believe that emotions are not substitutes for facts when it comes to describing and understanding reality. Wishing something to be something other than what it is won’t make it so, no matter how many people wish for it.

I believe that the most effective way to ruin something is to put the government in charge of it. I also believe that the most effective way to corrupt a religion is to mix it with government.

I believe that the desire to become President should automatically be a disqualifying factor.

I believe that anyone in favor of “free” government services has no understanding of economics.

I believe that patriotism isn’t measured by flags or bumper stickers, but by your willingness to defend the rights of someone with whom you disagree completely and profoundly.

I believe that freedom of speech especially extends to unpopular or repulsive speech. Popular and uncontroversial speech does not need protection; dissent does.

I believe that the IQ of a crowd is the IQ of its least intelligent member, divided by half. I do not believe in the wisdom of the masses–intelligence is not an additive quality, but force is, and the threat or application of force is the only tool available to any crowd.

I believe that I am the only person qualified to run my life, that I have the absolute right to be my own master, and that no amount of laws and Constitutions ever written can grant me that right or take it away.

This I believe.

Advertisements

42 thoughts on “this i believe.

  1. Asphyxiated Emancipation says:

    Marko,
    Fantastic. I agree with you 100%, as usual…

  2. Mark says:

    Knocked it out of the park as usual, old man.

  3. comatus says:

    Another mainstream media credit for Major Caudill, USMC (Ret).

  4. Windy Wilson says:

    Actually, shouldn’t it be, “bugger a goat for all I care, so long as it’s your goat“? After all, animals cannot make contracts or promises, which is what consent is all about.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Marko for president!!!

  6. bob r says:

    Marko for president!!!

    And not wanting the job is not enough to get you out of it ;-).

  7. Mark says:

    What the last two commenters said. Hey, if we have to drag you kicking and screaming into the Oval and tie you to the chair, that means you’re perfect for the job!

  8. perlhaqr says:

    I believe that the IQ of a crowd is the IQ of its least intelligent member, divided by half.

    Half? I always figured it was “divided by the number of people in the crowd”.

  9. Mr. Fixit says:

    Well written.

    Mr Fixit

  10. SpeakerTweaker says:

    You write a powerful word, sir.

    In this case, you are fatally flawed, however.

    Given what you think of large groups, you have an uncanny ability to rally others to your cause.

    😉

    tweaker

  11. unwelcome wayfarer says:

    ouch, I stumbled across this drivel on Reddit…pathetic.

    The thing that troubles me the most is that you don’t seem to be embarassed to be spouting off like this.

  12. gmcraff says:

    This is the most appropriate word in response:

    Amen

  13. Anonymous says:

    So did you submit it to NPR? Have espoused the desire tenet for years.

  14. ColtCCO says:

    Bravo, Major Caudill.

    😉

    You have the gift, and I can’t disagree with a single word. I wish I’d ever put it half so well.

    ColtCCO

  15. Scaramouche says:

    Of course.

  16. Bob says:

    Very well written, and I agree with most of what you wrote. I do not agree with what you said about wanting to be President.

  17. Tam says:

    unwelcome wayfarer said…

    ouch, I stumbled across this drivel on Reddit…pathetic.

    The thing that troubles me the most is that you don’t seem to be embarassed to be spouting off like this.

    Unsurprising, coming from someone who no doubt believes in fluffy bunnies, bullshit, and the right to the fruits of others’ labors.

  18. Mugwug says:

    Damn skippy, well said.

  19. Cybrludite says:

    unwelcome wayfarer said…

    ouch, I stumbled across this drivel on Reddit…pathetic.

    The thing that troubles me the most is that you don’t seem to be embarassed to be spouting off like this.

    I believe that my neighbor has the right to worship God, Allah, Vishnu, Odin, the Great Pumpkin, or any other deity. I have the right to worship all of those gods, or none of them, and neither of us has the right to force our beliefs on the other. That includes trying to make me live by the tenets of your faith under the guise of “majority rights”–one man’s pork dinner, bourbon, or steak is another man’s abomination, sin, or blasphemy. Worry about your own standing with your deity, not mine.
    I believe that it is the height of ignorance to judge an individual not by their actions, but by their ancestry, gender, nationality, religion, dietary preferences, or the melanin content of their skin.

    So, Unwelcome Wayfarer, you’re admitting to being some sort of bigot, then?

  20. Will says:

    So, un-way, you like to make personal attacks, instead of properly disagreeing/debating by arguing specific reasons for your position.

    Now the question is: are you unable to articulate your thoughts on the subject because they are simply feelings/emotions, or are you just unwilling to support your statements with reasoned discourse?

    I can’t speak for Marko, but I’d say: put up, or shut up.

  21. Blackwing1 says:

    Marko:

    Nicely written. A concise summary of libertarian philosophy.

    About the only thing I’d say is that I believe these things in about the same way I “believe” in gravity. People can ignore these axioms at their own risk. All of them stem from the single premise, the sanctity of the rights of the individual.

    It is this premise that the collectivists of every stripe (whether communist, socialist, Fascist, or Democrat) are trying desperately to stamp out of existence.

  22. Jeff says:

    Beautifully articulated. But its flaw is the same as those Socialist/Communist and other collectivists plans that you decry: it fails upon translation to reality. You despise taxation, but support a government. I have yet to see one that can function without the other. Certainly, if every person took to heart these ideals it could happen, but most people do not. They want to freeload, participate as little as possible while taking as much as they can. I say the same to some of my communist friends, the idea of a world where everyone gets a fair share, and the government is a benign entity that protects us and guides is is ideal, but it will never happen. Regardless of the system in place, there will always be those that will abuse it to increase their power, those that suck from its teats without contributing, and the few selfless individuals who give all in support of an ideal that is not acknowledged by those who lead.

  23. Kevin says:

    An excellent Thanksgiving essay. (Envy, envy, envy.) I bet this one gets read on the air, too.

    Linked! And thank you!

  24. Anonymous says:

    AMEN, Brother. Marko for President!!

  25. Matt G says:

    I’ve been meaning for some time to write an entry for This I Believe, the remake of Edward R. Morrow’s old piece.

    Heinlein wrote one, about 50 years ago, you know. Read it and listen to it read by the man here.

    This is a good self-proclamation, Marko.

  26. Gewehr98 says:

    So does that mean the author is a “Big L” libertarian, or “Little L” libertarian?

    Sounds kinda Star Trek/Ferengi to me, all about the profits.

  27. Marko says:

    No, it’s not “all about the profits.”

    It’s all about self-determination.

    Profits are just a nice side effect of being able to keep what you earn.

  28. Anonymous says:

    [b]Beautifully articulated. But its flaw is the same as those Socialist/Communist and other collectivists plans that you decry: it fails upon translation to reality[/b]

    Jeff,

    What is the barometer by which you measure success or failure to an ideal? If it’s 100% then everything is a failure but would that mean that “capitalism” by the way Marko sums it up is on equal footing as Communism?

    Complete respect for “individual” rights by a govt might never happen but we’ve done a helluva lot better in this country by having that as our goal as opposed to a society like the USSR where only the collective is thought to be of value. Having any govt, even an extremely limited one, might not be ideal, but I’ll take that over one based on the “greater good” any day.

    cb

  29. joated says:

    Well said.

  30. Ambulance Driver says:

    “Unwelcome Wayfarer.”

    Heh. Never has there been a more apropos name for a troll.

  31. BlueNight says:

    “…I have the right to worship all of those gods, or none of them, and neither of us has the right to force our beliefs on the other. That includes trying to make me live by the tenets of your faith under the guise of “majority rights”–one man’s pork dinner, bourbon, or steak is another man’s abomination, sin, or blasphemy. Worry about your own standing with your deity, not mine.”

    I agree that nobody should ever try to force (use threats of violence or economic punishment) conversion between worldviews / religioons / theologies. Don’t forget, however, that free discussion and debate are not force, and that if a certain religion accurately depicts the universe and its Creator, attempting to convert through rational means is morally acceptable.

  32. og says:

    Nicely put. I like that some anonymous fu**tard, cowering behind his mom’s computer, came by to criticise it.

    I dont’ think a goat can consent. Not any of the goats I know, anyway.

    “I believe that taxation is equal to forced labor.”

    Actually, I believe taxation is theft, pure and simple.

  33. Matt says:

    Hell yes.

  34. The Freeholder says:

    He shoots! He scores!

  35. Jim Sullivan says:

    I only wish I could have put it like that.

    You’ve made my blog list, Marko.

  36. Mark says:

    You can believe all you want, unfortunately the people that have power over you do not believe as you do.

    Sadly, you *do* exist to be numbered, counted, categorized, stamped, herded, and milked and are a cog in a machine, a sheep in a herd, and a number on a census.

    However, that does not mean you should not continue the struggle. With enough people speaking out for basic rights such as these, its is possible we may once again achieve some measure of them.

  37. Stephen Rider says:

    “You despise taxation, but support a government. I have yet to see one that can function without the other.”

    Actually, Jeff, he despises income tax — that is, the direct taxation of labor. There are other ways to fund government, such as the FairTax.

  38. Stephen Rider says:

    Correction: I was making a distinction that he did not. He did in fact say: “I believe that taxation is equal to forced labor.” Not income tax, but tax.

    That is a little to flat for reality, unless you are perhaps an anarchist.

  39. Budro says:

    I gotta agree with Jeff and Mark; this all sounds so reasonable until you consider people like Jeff Skeling (Enron CEO), David Duke (KKK Grand Wizard), Jerry Falwell (TV evangelist), and many many other people that intrude on other peoples lives. Then what?

    I used to be an anarchist until I realized that one function of government is to protect the little people. Since I’m not rich or powerful nor do I know anyone rich or powerful, I’m one of the little people.

    I’m currently reading a book about Sacco and Vanzetti. It’s interesting to look back from our comfortable times how bad and chaotic this country was not so long ago. How did it change — the government imposed regulations and laws.

  40. clericjester says:

    Is truth relative or absolute?

    The latter meaning there is only one truth which we are all seeking, discovering or ignoring.

    Or is all truth relative? Meaning each one of us is responsible only to our own personal belief system. (By the way, if one prescribes to this, one must also consent the notion that “If an action doesn’t violate another’s person or property, no crime has been committed,” is a personal, and therefore quite relative, belief.)

    If truth, and therefore right from wrong, are relative, than the creepy guy who lives in a van and wants to date your eleven year old daughter (who happily agrees) is well within his rights to do so. Who are you or I to force our beliefs on the two of them?

    This is a serious question and I hope to hear from you.

    Please understand, I have already made up my mind on the subject. My aim is not, however, to force my beliefs on you or anyone else.

    I have faith in Jesus Christ and put my trust in the Bible which says all of us need salvation, which requires only repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

    Having said that, as a student of the New Testament Bible, I have never found such pure, devasting logic anywhere else. So far, I have been given a satisfying answer to every question (there are many) or doubt (they run deep) I’ve ever had.

    It seems everything He’s created is woven together so flawlessly, the more I learn, the more amazing God becomes to me.

    I would like you to challenge my faith with all your might, if you are so inclined. It’s for real. Jesus Christ is the only one I’ve ever met even remotely worth following. I would give my life for him.

  41. Alchemist says:

    Pure genius.
    I shall be adding this essay and all your others to the required reading list for my children.
    When they are older we shall home school them for we believe, as you do, that it is not my right or obligation to raise and educate your children, nor is it your right or obligation to raise and educate mine.

  42. Ken says:

    Saw your Op Ed titled “Why the gun IS Civilization” in a Dillon Blue Press catalog in Sep ’07 and finally re-read it and saw your internet site address and all of the other firearms related Op Eds. After reading “this i believe”, I believe you may be interested in an author by the name of John Eldredge. Suggest you check out his writing, you would probably like it a whole lot.

Comments are closed.