Transcending Politics

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Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
Transcending Politics

October 20, 2016
Hot Springs, VA

Just as the technology of printing altered and reduced the power of medieval guilds and the social power structure, so too will cryptologic methods fundamentally alter the nature of corporations and of government interference in economic transactions… And just as a seemingly minor invention like barbed wire made possible the fencing-off of vast ranches and farms, thus altering forever the concepts of land and property rights in the frontier West, so too will the seemingly minor discovery out of an arcane branch of mathematics come to be the wire clippers which dismantle the barbed wire around intellectual property. Arise, you have nothing to lose but your barbed wire fences!” – Timothy C. May

The S&P closed out Wednesday at $2,144. Gold closed at $1,270 per ounce. Crude Oil closed at $51.72 per barrel, and the 10-year Treasury rate closed at 1.75%. Bitcoin is trading around $630 per BTC today.

Dear Journal,

Today is little Maddie’s birthday! I still remember, two years ago to the day, witnessing her first breath of life. I can see it in my mind’s eye just a clearly as I see the computer screen in front of me. She has become a fantastically sweet and clever young lady in two years time, and her father’s cup runneth over with pride and joy.

Due to scheduling constraints, we actually celebrated her birthday on Tuesday. A few months back I asked Madison what she wanted to do for her birthday. “I want to ride Leo the horse!”, she responded without hesitation. So that’s exactly what we did. Continue reading “Transcending Politics”

Ten Things To Do Instead of Voting

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Click here to get the Journal of a Wayward Philosopher by Email

Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
Ten Things To Do Instead of Voting

August 4, 2016
Hot Springs, VA

Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.” – H.L. Mencken

The S&P closed out Wednesday at $2,163. Gold closed at $1,364 per ounce. Crude Oil closed at $41.08 per barrel, and the 10-year Treasury rate closed at 1.54%. Bitcoin is trading around $584 per BTC today.

Dear Journal,

Election season is now in full swing here in the U.S. – much to the agony of those of us who believe in human liberty, voluntary association, and participatory networks.

Once again the intelligentsia have convinced people that their future hinges directly upon the outcome of the next presidential election, and inevitably we non-voters are denounced for lack of patriotism by the 40% of the population who still place their faith in the voting booth. Naturally, our first reaction is to stand up for ourselves and explain our position:

“The essence of politics is coercion and, if necessary, violence…”, we attempt to explain in vain. Continue reading “Ten Things To Do Instead of Voting”

Politics is Already Dead

submitted by jwithrow.politics is already dead

Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
Politics is Already Dead

October 14, 2015
Hot Springs, VA

The S&P closed out today at $1,994. Gold closed up at $1,187 per ounce. Oil closed at $46.59 per barrel, and the 10-year Treasury rate closed at 1.98%. Bitcoin is trading around $252 per BTC today. My attention is currently focused heavily on the gold sector in the equities market. Many gold stocks were beat up and left for dead, having fallen 90% from their previous high. This sector has steadily traded higher over the past few weeks, including a brief pull-back, potentially indicating the gold sector has formed a bottom. Has the next gold stock bull cycle begun? It could be a big one.

Dear Journal,

Little Maddie celebrates her first birthday next week! Wife Rachel has been hard at work planning the party. She has been very busy picking out decorations, sending out invitations, putting together a food menu, picking out outfits (Madison’s and her own), getting her hair cut, wrapping gifts, cleaning the house, ordering her husband to clean the house, and acquiring all necessary items from the store. I notice a twinkle in Rachel’s eye as she talks about the birthday celebration with excitement. Madison couldn’t care less.

With wife Rachel in frantic planning mode, I take the time to savor the onset of Autumn here in the mountains of Virginia. As the leaves slowly transform into majestic shades of yellow, orange, and red, I casually work to stack wood in the garage and get kindling ready for winter. I sit and enjoy a Harvest Pumpkin Brew as the early Autumn breeze gently blows fallen leaves down the gravel driveway. Soon we will take Maddie to the pumpkin patch, and we will purchase apples from the local orchard to make Apple Cider. What a glorious season!

In my previous journal entry, I suggested that technological advancements were rendering many established institutions obsolete. I want to build on that suggestion from a slightly different angle today. Continue reading “Politics is Already Dead”

Why Politics Fail

excerpt from The Left, the Right, and the State by Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr. :Illustration: Truth and Lie

The logic of the market is predicated on the pervasive and glorious inequality of man. No two people have the same scales of values, talents, or ambitions. It is this radical inequality, and the freedom to choose our own lot in life, that makes possible the division of labor and exchange. Through money and contracts, markets allow us to settle differences to our mutual advantage. The result—and here is why people call the market miraculous—is a vast, productive system of international cooperation that meets an incomprehensibly huge range of human needs, and finds a special role for everyone to participate in building prosperity.

Now, to politics. The system of voting is designed to replicate the market’s participatory features. In fact, it is a perverse distortion of the market system. In markets, you get the goods you pay for. If you don’t and there’s been a violation of contract, you have legal recourse. In voting, people are not actually purchasing anything but the politician’s word, which is not only legally worthless; he has every incentive to lie to produce the desired result.

Politics take no account of individuals. You and I are merely tiny specks on the vast blob called “the American people,” and what this blob “thinks” is only relevant insofar as it accords with a political agenda advantageous to the state and its friends.

You think you are voting for tax cuts. Instead you get secret tax increases and perpetual increases in spending. You think you are voting for smaller government. Instead you get ever more government intrusion. This is because it is not the voters who are managing the system. It is well-organized interest groups who feed at the trough managed and owned by the state. Thus there is a vast gulf that separates the average voter from the politician’s real day-to-day interests.

The spectacle of elections grows more absurd every year. We are asked to cast ballots for people we do not know because they make promises they are under no obligation to keep. What’s even worse, the voting gesture is pointless on the margin. The chances that any one vote (meaning your vote) will actually have an impact are so infinitesimally small as to be meaningless.

In markets, entrepreneurial talent means the ability to anticipate and serve the needs of the buying public. In politics, success means the ability to manipulate public opinion so that enough fools (so regarded by politicians) reaffirm the politician’s power and glory. It takes special talents to do this—talents not cultivated in good families.

If American politics were characterized solely by voting and the products of voting, the system would be loathsome enough. And yet the corruption runs deeper. The real power behind Leviathan is wielded by a vast, unelected army of bureaucrats who fancy themselves specialists in the pseudoscience of public policy. In their minds, the only role for the citizenry, treated as a homogenous blob, is to conform or suffer the consequences. Gone are the cooperation, peace, and genuine diversity of markets. Instead, we experience brute force.

Intellectuals specialize in dreaming up grandiose tasks for government that would be doomed to fail even if perfectly implemented. And yet the most obvious criticism of all government schemes is that they must all be mediated by this corrupt system called politics.

How different is this system from the one envisioned by people like Patrick Henry and George Mason? They hoped to erect a wall of separation between society and government to protect the people from being manipulated by cunning political forces. Indeed, the best of the American revolutionaries hoped for a society free of politics, a society free of any visible signs of government. Albert Jay Nock was right to characterize the state, democratic or not, as a parasite on society. Like a plague bacillus, its only successes are from its own point of view.

The Emerging Cultural Shift

submitted by jwithrow.cultural shift

Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
The Emerging Cultural Shift

January 23, 2015
Hot Springs, VA

The S&P opened at $2,056 today. Gold is still at $1,296 per ounce. Oil is back down to $46 per barrel. Bitcoin is hanging around $233 per BTC, and the 10-year Treasury rate opened at 1.82% today.

Yesterday we examined the cultural shift towards top-down authoritarianism that occurred in America during the 20th century. We also observed a promising new cultural shift beginning to emerge; this time away from politics and towards non-coercion and free markets.

Mind you, the emerging cultural shift is still quiet and small so few people are aware of it at this time. It is also non-uniform in nature which is somewhat foreign to our way of thinking about culture in modern times. We are accustomed to thinking along the lines of hard-coded doctrine that must be accepted, believed, and adhered to. Everyone must agree on the specific bullet points handed down to them: If you are “conservative” then you must agree on these issues; if you are “liberal” then you must agree on these other issues; if you are “green” then you must agree on these issues, and so forth.

The emerging cultural shift does not fit into that top-down paradigm – it is more holographic in nature. The shift is comprised of many different ideas, views, and philosophies that sometimes overlap in certain places and other times overlap in different places. The hologram is held together by one underlying sentiment: non-coercion. The individuals who make up this emerging shift share the understanding that it is neither right nor necessary to force your ideas upon others. The old “Do unto others…” philosophy is making a comeback. With this mindset firmly in place, individuals are free to come together in those places where they overlap and they are free to diverge in those places where they do not overlap.

Everyone wins.

R. Buckminster Fuller once said: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

Guess what? The emerging cultural shift renders the current paradigm based on politics obsolete. Politics is nothing but a tool used by one group to force other groups to conform against their will. This is a win-lose model; politically connected groups win and all others lose. Politics is the almighty dragon within a top-down societal model; it is the shunned cockroach within a decentralized holographic model.

To some the holographic model sounds unrealistic. They just can’t fathom a community without a leader or a November without an election. They are like the Israelites in the book of Samuel who asked for a king to rule over them – they just couldn’t envision a better way. And who’s to blame them? For most of recorded human history people have identified with hierarchal institutional structures.

But the highest ‘entity’ in society is not the institution, it is the individual. All humans operate individually; there is no getting around that fact. Humans can choose to cooperate with one another but that is always an individual choice. All individuals are endowed with an indomitable will and they are left with the decision to either use their will or to subvert it. Institutions specialize in convincing individuals to subvert their own will for the benefit of the institution.

The emerging cultural shift is gaining steam for two reasons: ethics and economics.

Most of us are taught some variation of “love your neighbor as yourself” in our youth but we can very clearly see that this ideal is at odds with our authoritarian societal model. Political institutions litter the face of the Earth and they each subject individuals to all manner of taxes, regulations, mandates, restrictions, licenses, tags, identifying documents and they back these edicts with the threat of force and imprisonment. Sometimes these political institutions compete with each other and resort to violence as a resolution. Other times these institutions collude with each other to further enrich the ruling class at the expense of the public. It’s very difficult to expect individuals in society to exhibit a sound code of ethics when political aggression rules the day.

Further, most of us fundamentally understand we must produce before we can consume; there is no such thing as a free lunch as the old cliché goes. We also understand that if we consume less than we produce in the present then we have a surplus. That surplus can either be saved for future consumption, invested to increase future production, or it can be given to a neighbor in need. Each of these surplus scenarios is a win for both the individual and for society.

Our authoritarian society makes it extremely difficult for individuals to create a surplus, however, because it skims roughly 50% of individual production off the top via taxation. We are taxed on all income earned, all investment gains, all real estate owned, all vehicles owned, all gas purchased for those vehicles, all food and goods purchased, and any inheritance received. The political institutions then destroy all of the surplus skimmed from individual production on warfare, welfare, political favors, and unsustainable public works projects. This is why government buildings are always and everywhere the most prestigious buildings in existence – they are built with stolen money! To add insult to injury, the most powerful of our political institutions have not been content with their portion of the skim so they have borrowed massively against the production of future generations to enhance their spree of warfare, welfare, political favors, and public works. Such economic activity destroys capital and creates a net deficit which is a tremendous loss for both individuals and for society.

Free, innovative, entrepreneurial commerce creates an economic surplus while political intervention, aggression, and redistribution creates an economic deficit. Surpluses enrich while deficits impoverish. Factor in the ethical implications and the choice is clear, is it not?

More to come,







Joe Withrow
Wayward Philosopher

For more of Joe’s thoughts on the “Great Reset” and the paradigm shift underway please read “The Individual is Rising” which is available at The book is also available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions.

Election Day

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Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
Election Day

November 4, 2014
Hot Springs, VA

The S&P has risen to $2,009, gold has dropped to $1,167, oil is down around $77, bitcoin is at $328, and the 10-year Treasury rate is checking in at 2.33% today.

Looks like gold is still sitting on the clearance rack begging to be purchased. Gold jewelry would be a great Christmas gift this year! Just be sure to negotiate the price down significantly from whatever the price tag says. Did you know there are still cultures out there that store their wealth in gold jewelry? People in places like India and China must not have gotten their central bank’s memo: gold is barbaric, government paper currency is civilized. (Pay no attention to all of those pointless wars that were financed by government paper currency.)

Speaking of civilization, it is Election Day! Election Day affords every American the opportunity to honor that great tradition known as voting by rushing off to their local polls to support whichever Joe, Bob, or Dick (or Hillary) has promised to fix all that ails us and to move us forward. I am not sure exactly why all of us need to be moved forward but this apparently isn’t open to inquiries. It is every American’s right and responsibility to participate in our fine electoral process else be called a “commie”.

But you know… not everyone is quite so enthusiastic about voting. Let’s give some of the dissenting voices a hearing for a minute:

“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.” – Benjamin Franklin

“If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.” – Mark Twain

“Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.” – H.L. Mencken

“It makes no difference whom you vote for – the two parties are really one party representing four percent of the people.” – Gore Vidal

“It’s not the voting that’s democracy, it’s the counting.” – Tom Stoppard

“No matter who you vote for, the government always gets in.” – Neil Innes

“The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don’t have to waste your time voting.” – Charles Bukowski

“Perhaps the fact that we have seen millions voting themselves into complete dependence on a tyrant has made our generation understand that to choose one’s government is not necessarily to secure freedom.” – Friedrich Hayek

“In politics we face the choice between warmongering, nation-state loving, big-business agents on one hand; and risk-blind, top-down, epistemic arrogant big servants of large employers on the other. But we have a choice.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb


Come to think of it, nothing ever seems to change no matter which bobble head gets elected. No major legislation gets repealed entirely; at best it gets replaced by something equally as draconian with twice as many earmarks in it. At worst even more legislation is dumped on top of the steaming pile that already exists. There’s never a sincere effort made to reduce the size and scope of government or to even curtail spending increases. There’s never a sincere effort made to shore up the run-away welfare state that has bankrupted the government nor is any effort made to reel in the out-of-control warfare state that constantly runs amok in search of dragons to slay.

Side note: Microsoft Word suggests that I correct the previous sentence. It has underlined “has bankrupted” in green and suggests that I change the phrase to “has not bankrupted”. I guess Microsoft thinks I am over-analyzing the severity of the situation and thus will be voting its little heart out today.

As for me, I think I will side with P.J. O’Rourke on this one: “Don’t vote, it just encourages the [jerks].”

I see it as matter of personal responsibility: I am responsible for the well-being of myself and my family – government has no role to play whatsoever.

More to come,






Joe Withrow
Wayward Philosopher

For more of Joe’s thoughts on the “Great Reset” and regaining individual sovereignty please read “The Individual is Rising” which is available at The book is also available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions.

The Secret Appeal of Politics

By Paul Rosenberg,

The Internet is full of stories about politicians acting badly and doing the opposite of what they promised. Talk radio is full of the same things, all day, every day. Even around office water coolers, almost everyone will admit that politicians are liars and thieves.

Given all of this, it’s rather bizarre that people still believe and obey the bums. If we knew such things about a neighbor, would we continue to take them seriously?


Yet, for some reason, politicians get a permanent pass on anything stupid they do.

The first reason for this is simply that most people have been bamboozled. They were taught that government is necessary and that without it, we’d all be ignorant savages, eating whatever few berries and roots we could scrounge… that without government nothing would be built, nothing invented, and nothing taught.

That’s all propaganda, of course, paid for by the people it praises. But, it’s what we were all taught and it’s hard for people to let it go, no matter how stupid it is.

The second reason is that people are afraid. We all know why.

None of that, however, is what I want to cover today. Instead, I want to look at the subtle reasons why people can’t let go of “politics.” These reasons are very powerful, but they lie beneath the surface and are harder to identify than self-serving, government-funded BS.

Reason #1: I Can Blame Anyone but Me

Somehow, people all across the West have become pathologically afraid of blame. It probably began as a corrosive fear of hell: If I’m to blame for anything, I’ll go to hell, and that must be avoided.

But be that as it may, this fear of blame allows political parties to provide a highly desirable service: They help you assign all blame to others. If you like the Red party, you can always affix blame to the Blues and not to yourself. If you’re in the Blue party, you can lay all blame onto the Reds.

It’s actually an elegant scam. The Blue v. Red show lets everyone avoid taking any blame onto themselves, while the big machine keeps right on running.

This fear of blame is ridiculous, of course: We’ve all made mistakes. What matters is correcting them and not repeating them. But if we pretend we never make mistakes, nothing gets fixed and the problems continue.

This neurotic avoidance of blame puts politicians in wonderful position – they don’t actually have to solve anything, and any blame is deflected to their evil opposition.

Reason #2: It Makes Me Feel Brave at No Expense

Politics lets us pretend that we’re fixing problems at no expense, save talking. Actually doing something is not required. Politics empowers our mere words to generate powerful results.

At least that’s what people want to believe. It’s the easy way out. You never have to get up and act. You never have to take a real risk. No blood, no sweat, no tears.

This is just another scam, of course: The politicians continue do what they want, and the people keep right on believing, even though their words seldom generate any real results.

All they need to do is keep you in the game. So long as you keep hoping that your words will affect the future, they can do whatever they please.

The alternative would be taking responsibility onto yourself and acting on your own. Gain would require pain… precisely the thing that people want to avoid.

So, instead, they keep believing that politics will magically turn complaints into results, and they remain tied into the system, no matter how badly it fails them.

Reason #3: It Makes Me Feel Noble at No Expense

Politics lets you pour charity onto the targets of your choice, without any personal expense. The magical money pot in the capital city dispenses it, and you feel no pain.

It doesn’t matter what your target of choice is, by the way. For some, it’s “the less fortunate,” to others, it’s people on another continent. It really doesn’t matter, aside from the fact that it makes you feel good to help people and that you never have to put your hand into your own pocket.

Again, this is clearly a scam: The money comes from ourselves (in ways we don’t think about), from others (those super-rich people), or, primarily these days, from generations yet unborn in the form of state debt.

But, those are things that can be ignored, and politicians are always quick to help us ignore them.

Paul Rosenberg

[Editor’s Note: Paul Rosenberg is the outside-the-Matrix author of, a site dedicated to economic freedom, personal independence and privacy. He is also the author of The Great Calendar, a report that breaks down our complex world into an easy-to-understand model. Click here to get your free copy.]