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Libertas et Licentia

The sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinion of others, to do so would be wise, or even right...The only part of the conduct of anyone, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign. ~John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

Very rewarding week of reading... I've been getting back to my roots as it were, and reading philosophy again. My reading list is below the cut..

The Ego and His Own by Max Stirner If Marx and Engels are God and Angels to the left, Max Stirner is quite possibly the Great Satan of the left. Cynical Anti-statist, radical individualist, and brilliant rhetorician, Stirner may be the only philosopher who makes Nietzsche seem flaccid. The Ego and his Own is taking some time to digest, and I hope to be doing some writing on it shortly. Stirner's conception of political & social structure is creating a sympathetic resonance in me that merits much reflection.

An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. ~Robert A. Heinlein

James Wasserman's The Slaves Shall Serve Meditations on Liberty presents an argument for understanding aspects of current American policy - both foreign and internal - in a manner that is both clearer and calmer than other texts attempting to make similar points: first, that the enforcement and protection of the First Amendment rights is the responsibility of citizens, not of the government. The founding fathers of the United States did not idly follow it up with the Second Amendment, which pertains to the possession of weapons.

I have long held that property ownership requires firearm ownership, and the ability and wisdom to use said weapons: a claim of possession without the ability to enforce it independently of appeal to external authority is utterly hollow. This applies to essential and unalienable rights even more than to property. I should take time to expand on this in the near future, since it pertains very much to my goals for this lifetime, and the creation of the **T***helemic* **A***utonomous* **Z***one*.

On the heels of the Wasserman text, I found it necessary to revisit J.S. Mill's classic essay On Liberty. I've read this book at least twice before, but I suspect that in my early twenties, when I last read it, I had not grappled enough with the world to understand the richness of this text. How deeply fundamental this short book is to the conception of Liberty and the USian discourse of Rights! While I take issue with a number of aspects o Utilitarian thought, as formulated by Jeremy Bentham, James Mill, and John Stuart Mill, the discussion of Liberty, its prerequisites, and the responsibilities of free persons engendered by Utilitarian thought are indispensable tools to understanding the implications of doing one's True Will.