Monday, January 23, 2017

Why I Am Not an Anarchist

By Zach Bush

There is no shortage of reports and videos of acts of violence amidst the various events centered around the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017. I have seen everything from breaking windows, starting fires, sucker-punches, brawls, and even read a report of someone getting shot. Pundits have labeled these incidents as acts of anarchy. This has led to anarchists of the Libertarian/anarcho-capitalist variety to argue that these violent protesters are not “true” anarchists and therefore the branding is incorrect and misleading.

So, who is correct, the reporters or the Libertarians/anarcho-capitalists?

Anarchy is the combination of the Greek prefix an (not or without) and the suffix Archy (rule or ruling). Thus, anarchy means without rule.

Now, one would think that something as straightforward as without rule would not leave much for argument over whom a “true” anarchist is. However, the Wikipedia entry for anarchism shows that there is no shortage of hyphenated forms of anarchism. While each sect of anarchism has its own preferred socio-economic ideals, all of them share one common thing: rules. Whether it be anarcho-communism, anarcho-syndicalism, or anarcho-capitalism, they all, in direct contradiction to the meaning of anarchy, insist that men must arrange themselves per their ideal economic system.

The anarcho-capitalists, as well as most Libertarians, refer to their one rule as the non-aggression principle (NAP). According to the NAP, no man has the right to initiate acts of aggression towards another’s person or property. A society that adheres to this principle can therefore have no violence and is often referred to as the voluntary society, or voluntaryism.

I didn’t begin to consider political philosophy until I was 18-years old. I found myself tending to agree with the Republicans on some issues and the Democrats on others so I considered myself to be an Independent. Throughout college I didn’t put much thought into it, despite minoring in American Politics. It wasn’t until I had a well-paying Co-op (i.e. a paid internship) and my first experience having a significant portion of my income going to the state and federal government that I began to consider politics more deeply. Some of my coursework led me to the Cato Institute and my acceptance of Libertarianism, specifically of the Milton Friedman variety. The economic crash of 2008 revealed the flaws of Friedman’s monetary theories which led me to Libertarianism in the mold of Ron Paul and Ludwig von Mises, often referred to as min-archism. It wasn’t until my discovery of the works of Murray Rothbard that I came to consider myself as an anarcho-capitalist, rejecting the State in its entirety.

About four years later, I stumbled upon the writings of Robert LeFevre and his essay, “Autarchy vs Anarchy.” For the first time, the internal contradiction of anarcho-capitalism (and all hyphenations of anarchism) had been highlighted. LeFevre reasoned that the correct term I had been searching for is autarchy, meaning self-rule. The beauty of the term is that the non-aggression principle is implicit and it disassociates from other philosophies of anarchism, removing any confusion. Most importantly, as opposed to anarcho-capitalism, it doesn’t force capitalism (or syndicalism, or communism, or socialism, etc.) upon global society. Rather, it allows for everyone to organize themselves under any economic system they see fit because if I agree that I can only myself and you agree that you can only rule yourself, then I cannot rule you and you cannot rule me (note: I’m aware the unlikelihood of every person on Earth accepting this principle, that’s outside the scope of this article). Autarchy, therefore, is the philosophy of peace, freedom, and responsibility.

The reporters and pundits are, therefore, absolutely correct to label the instances of violence as acts of anarchy because a proper anarchist does not abide to any rules. Taken to its logical conclusion, anarchism abdicates itself from self-control because to control yourself would require you, at the very least, to rule yourself. Anarchism, therefore, is the philosophy of violence, slavery, and irresponsibility.

For the years that I embraced the philosophy of anarcho-capitalism, I rejected claims that anarchy breeds chaos and violence because I was ignorant of the internal contradictions of my dogma. I encourage all that wish to maximize peace, to carefully consider their philosophies and actions to see if they are at odds with the belief that all mankind should be free. I encourage you to embrace autarchy.

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Electoral College

By Zach Bush

20161219-01: Mistakenly listed New Hampshire as not having a "winner-take-all" method. Correct to Nebraska. 

Every four years there is a renewed interest in the Electoral College of the United States. The wake of the 2016 presidential election has been no different.

The general complaints go like this: candidate X lost the popular vote but won the electoral vote, therefore the Electoral College (EC) is bad. The structure “prevents the tyranny of the majority” when it benefits you, it’s “antiquated” and “outdated” when it produces a result you do not prefer.

This year marks the first time, in my admittedly limited experience, that the losers are openly calling not for an abolishment of the EC, but to utilize it to achieve the result that they prefer. They do so on the basis that the original intent of the EC was to prevent the election of a tyrant.

I will therefore address the following claims:
  1. The Electoral College prevents less populated states from being ignored by the candidates, thus requiring the candidates to consider their points of view when developing their platform. In other words, this prevents a tyranny of the majority over the minority. A similar form of this argument pits the interests of cities versus the interests of rural districts;
  2. The Electoral College was put in place to prevent the election of an unqualified person or a tyrant.
To do this, I will examine each claim from both a theoretical (i.e. intent) and practical (i.e. does it actually do what is claimed).

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Transform your body: phase II - make a plan

In the previous post I discussed the important step of making clear goals. This post will deal with how to make a plan that will achieve your desired goals. The question you must answer first is: do you want to be a sugar-burner or a fat-burner?

[A|2012/12/07] - Removed almond butter from recommended fats. Added peanuts, almonds, cashews to fats to avoid due to high Omega-6 and phytic acid content.
[B] - Debunked standard assumption that it takes 3500kcal to burn 1lb of weight.
[C|2012/12/10] - Added section on why sugar burners are always hungry.
[D] - Edited Axiom 3.


  1. Your body can use three different fuels; fat, glucose and keytones.
    1. fat is the preferred fuel for aerobic (i.e. low exertion) activity and provides ~9kcal/g
    2. glucose is the preferred fuel for anaerobic (i.e. high exertion) activity and provides ~4kcal/g
    3. the brain can use glucose or keytones for proper function
  2. There are two sources of fuel; internal (i.e. endogenous) and dietary (i.e. exogenous).
    1. gluconeogenesis is an endogenous process which uses fats and proteins to produce glucose and keytones
    2. ketosis is an endogenous process that allows the brain to run primarily on ketones and lower glucose levels
  3. There are two hormones that control storage fuel into/out of the cells; insulin (storage input) and glucagon (extraction).
    1. carbohydrate raises insulin, protein raises insulin and glucagon, fat has little effect
    2. if insulin > glucagon --> fuel into cells
    3. if glucagon > insulin --> fuel out of storage
    4. [D]insulin can direct fuel into cells for immediate or for later use (storage)
  4. Fuel has three primary storage sites; muscle, liver and fat cells.
    1. glycogen (i.e. stored glucose) is stored in muscle and liver cells
    2. triglyceride (i.e. stored fat) is stored in fat cells (i.e. adipocytes)
    3. glycogen storage is limited to ~400-500g
    4. triglyceride storage is dependent upon the # fat cells you have
    5. **it is possible for glucose to be stored in fat cells and vice versa**
  5.  Water is required to store fuel.
    1. 3g of glycogen : 7g of water (i.e. 9g:21g)
    2. 9g of triglyceride : 1g of water

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Through the eyes of a non-voter

Things can get pretty lonely for non-voters in the months leading up to a major election. Irregardless of why they choose not to vote, the fact remains they are still a minority and often the target of discriminatory attack (e.g. Chris Matthews). Personally, I can attest that this experience, while difficult, provides an opportunity to better empathize with all different types of minorities.

Empathy is not synonymous with sympathy. Sympathy acknowledges pain. Empathy understands pain. To empathize with someone you must have either shared an experience or be able to put yourself in another's shoes.

For some, the inability to understand why someone chooses not to vote leads to outright emotional attacks and, in rare cases, physical assault. I would like to offer the following thought experiment (inspired by the closing arguments from A Time to Kill) to those who cannot understand why myself, and thousands of others, choose not to participate in elections.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Your "right" to vote and a note about the Founding Fathers

I realize that this post is a bit late as most have already voted and key states pretty much decided. This post is intended to challenge people to reconsider what they are implicitly doing when they cast a vote. I highly doubt this will change anyone's actions tomorrow or 2 or 4 years from now. If I can influence one person, perhaps they can influence another.

Before reading this post I urge you to read the essay A Way to be Free, by Robert LeFevre. It truly changed my life and I think it could change yours as well. I do not think I could write anything better and I will not try. I will keep my argument as concise as possible.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Transform Your Body: Phase I - Set Your Goals

I believe that I possess the tools of knowledge, experience, and theory to help most people reach their desired goals. The problem, in my experience, is that most people never think about what their actual ends are.

Ask most people you see working out at the gym and some typical responses are:
  • I want to look good naked
  • I want to be strong
  • I want to be functional
  • I want to be healthy
At first glance these look like great goals, goals I'm sure most people strive for. All of them, however, contain a fatal flaw; they all reference subjective values. Who do you want to look good naked for? What do they define as good? How much weight, in what movement, do you consider strong? Which movements are functional? What function are you trying to perform? What is healthy? Are you referring to overall wellness or results from a blood test? Ask these questions and you the response will often be vague, if you get any at all.