November 13th, 2013
This week we’re joined by our old friend and local Austin author, Tom de Lorenzo.
The three of us discuss how women fit into libertarianism and anarchism. We essentially consider the fact that many modern laws and regulations have been put into place to protect women and other minorities. True libertarians and anarchists contest these laws on the basis that government simply can’t dictate moral values, but others contest these laws simply because they’d prefer to continue subjugating the very people they’re designed to protect.
Jad also spends a few minutes explaining the Free State Project to Tom and Kevin.
Speaker 1: Does the NSA collect any type of data at
all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?
Speaker 2: No, sir.
Jad: Hello, and welcome to the JK podcast,
an anti-authoritarian philosophical endeavor recorded in Austin, Texas. We draw
our topics from the entire scope of the human experience with central connecting themes
focused on the grand ideas of liberty, humanity, and equality.
Kevin: The JK Podcast is hosted by Jad Davis and Kevin
Ludlow. Welcome back to another episode. This week, we’re joined by
our old friend and local Austin author, Tom DeLorenzo. The three of us discuss
how women fit into libertarianism and anarchism. We essentially consider the fact
that many modern laws and regulations have been put into place to protect women and
True libertarians and anarchists often contest these laws on the basis that
government simply can’t dictate moral values, but others contest these laws
simply because they prefer to continue subjugating the very people they’re
designed to protect. Jad also spends a few minutes explaining the Free State
Project to Tom and I.
Jad: It’s like a realization
that’s slowly happening that women are human beings. I think for a long
time people would be like, “isn’t it odd that” – actually what
would happen is – and I’m gonna throw all three of these groups into one
kind of super group, but actually lots of groups, comic book, video game, atheists,
skeptics, libertarians, all those categories are just constantly bemoaning the fact
that women are not part of their activities. At the same time, any woman who gets
anywhere near those activities is immediately harassed and or intellectually
Jad: On occasion, someone would say
something, make some note of like, “well I think probably the reason that there
is not more women is because XYZ”, but the conversation never went anywhere
because no one really cared and it just seems like about a year ago is when it happened
with the atheists and like Richard Dawkins ended up on one side, and this blogger ended
up on the other side – a female blogger – you know, where he was basically
like, “look, women all over the world are just getting burned and raped and
whatever, and all that happened to you is some guy creeped you out in the elevator at
four in the morning, so get over it”, or whatever like Richard Dawkins got
engaged at that level and then just last week, Tom Woods who is a fairly prolific
author, really good economist, and – actually maybe he’s a historian
– but you know, historian economist guy who writes tons of stuff and I like all
of the stuff he writes. But he jumped in against somebody who was basically
saying you know, “libertarians can tend to be sort of dicks and tend to make
generalizations about women that they can’t grasp these concepts intellectually,
and that’s why they’re not part of these conversations”, and then
dismiss them from the conversations because they can’t grasp these conversations
intellectually in their opinion.
Jad: So anyway, just kinda got to the level
where the sort of big wigs of the libertarian movement are getting dragged into this
conversation, which I think is just fascinating.
Kevin: I’ve not been watching that as much. I’ve
seen a bunch of comic strips pop up on the web about people kinda parodying the
situation to other topics so just getting women involved in something, and then of
course the second they get involved making sure that you tell them that you know more
than them – which I’m certain that I’m guilty of as well, so
Tom: I heard something from – I was in a Google
hangout and Stephanie Murphy was there talking about this subject. Are you
familiar with her?
Jad: Yeah, it’s [?] therapy?
Tom: You know, she kind of said that it’s kinda
typical that she kinda runs into problems with people and I don’t know, it’s
almost like you characterize the libertarian crowd kinda like the Dungeons and Dragons
crowd, somewhat a – if you can be stereotypical – kind of a socially inept
group of people, males who just I don’t know –
Kevin: There’s a lot of that.
Tom: I have a hard time communicating and really
haven’t interacted much with girls perhaps and I don’t know, I don’t know if
that’s just an over generalization[?] or a fair –
Kevin: Well I think one thing that does it is which is why I always
point to the engineering world when I’ve made these points before is that
it’s typically, it involves a lot more maths and sciences and things that are
intangible to the mind, so it’s philosophies and things like that which tend to
draw a person versus – that doesn’t draw the really gregarious, outspoken,
wealthy business man typically and those are the guys who are better at the social
standing and the engineering types are probably for lack of empathy because
that’s how engineers often are is because they’re basing things in reality,
so you don’t have to worry about hurting somebody’s feelings or what have
you, but incidentally are probably poor communicators – huge generalization also
– but –
Tom: Well sure, and it’s almost like the geek
stereotype. So is there some real correlation between people who are very good at
school and being socially a little less developed than some other people? You
know, I don’t know, is there a tradeoff that happens?
Kevin: I would say intuitively, for sure. I would imagine
that there are studies to back it, I don’t know but I mean for sure, the nerdy kid is
usually not the most popular kid, but the tables eventually turn because he becomes
more successful in the world as most engineers do get to enjoy at some point.
Tom: I also asked this question of someone that striked
a root – well you know, what I noticed as I looked at all the names of all the authors,
she was like the only female name there up in the top, [?], she has like fifty some
articles and I actually asked her why do you think that’s the case that
you’re the only one?
And she had the perspective that you know, women are – and see, I can lay it
on her, this is not me making this statement – women are more kind of caring and
nurturing and that’s what they’re more interested in and they kind of gloss
over maybe what the details are of how someone gets helped, they’re just looked
to help people you know, and that’s what the state loves that we all need to help
each other and that’s a real kind of nurturing idea and maybe women or many
people – maybe especially women – might tend to gloss over the how is it
really being funded part.
Jad: Sure, yeah.
Kevin: Well I mean that’s actually a pretty good point too,
Tom. I mean, there’s a natural – well I mean, that’s kinda the
basis of the anarchism libertarian side, right – is kind of a natural survival of
the fittest even though that it taken terribly out of context when people talk about
it, but it does still apply ultimately and maybe that’s what it has to do with,
maybe that’s less appealing to the female spectators of it, just seems like a
very non-nurturing sort of thing which I think biologically, women just are more
nurturing than men are typically.
Jad: Yeah. Well I guess a large part
of it too is it seems like a large part of the argument, like Tom Woods’ argument
was that there can be gender differences, right? He’s saying that you know,
women – and I think he was using the Myers Briggs or I can’t remember which
one of those it is, but the one that’s like introverted, this is extroverted,
feeling versus whatever, judging –
Kevin: Myers Briggs.
Jad: – and he was basically saying women
score here on the Myers Briggs, and men score here, so clearly men have a
predisposition towards like you were saying, fields like engineering, economics,
mathematics because they’ve got this introverted or whatever the thing was on the
Myers Briggs. It’s interesting to – I think that the interesting
divide is between people who have an idea of this immutable – sort of the
immutable nature of human beings – even people who are aware and constantly
trying to analyze the structural institutions that create human behavior,
So for all of female history as they’ve basically been the property of men,
the way you teach a woman to survive – a child, a female child to survive and the
way she naturally – well, the ones that live – will tend to be continually
trying to sense the emotional state of the people who are in power right, of the
patriarch or whoever that is right, dad or whatever.
Jad: And then they’re passed off to a
stranger at age fourteen or sixteen or whatever, and then they’ve got to try to
gauge this person’s emotional state all the time and survival and happiness kind
of depends on their ability to tell what mood this person is in and what this person
wants to have done and that sort of thing, right? And so and that’s part of
what female socialization is even now whereas – and this is [?], obviously
something that’s been written about quite a lot.
So you know, little girls are taught to share and be nice, little boys are taught to
compete and win, and so the question is does the Myers Briggs measure something that is
innate, or is it the fact that everyone who assumes this is the national difference
between boys and girls and therefore raises their children, boys and girls differently
is the result of that and I think that’s kind of – like I said with the
Richard Dawkins and Tom [?] – it seems like the assumption is that a rational
world, a Godless world, a governmentless world will between men and women will look
pretty much the same as it does now, it just won’t have the superstition or the
you know, or the government or whatever, but otherwise, the interpersonal relationships
will be maintained the way they are, whereas I think the more radical view is that
freed women will be in a lot more pure-like relationship with men and a lot less you
know, being protected by and nurtured by men.
Tom: Well now do you think that that dynamic of being
more dependent and more oppressed – for lack of a better word – would go
away in a stateless society? How much of that is due to government and how much
of that is due to men kind of imposing their physical strength over women?
Jad: Right. Well and that’s
kind of – I’m kinda thinking the long way around – but that’s
kinda my thought and I’ve expressed this before that that’s the reason
there’s not that many women libertarians is because the message they’re
hearing is, “we’re tired of the state interfering with our relationship
with women”, you know? Like back in the – 30 years ago or whatever I
could have you clean my house, cook my food you know, bear children for me until you
died, and then I’d get another one of you that was younger you know? But
now there’s all these laws and [?] I can’t marry anyone under sixteen
anymore and – I don’t think this is a conscious thing, but I think what say
women who would otherwise be liberty minded who are say pro-choice or anti-war, or
I think part of it is because the way it’s portrayed, but for whatever reason,
they sense that libertarianism is essentially the desire to cut them off from the part
of the patriarchy that helps them and put them entirely under the part of the patriarch
that is you know, that historical traditional tribal patriarchy of the male husband,
the whatever – that’s kinda what I – and it doesn’t really fit
though with the other things, with like you know, comic books, or with atheism or
whatever, it doesn’t quite match up, so I think it’s more than that for
sure but that’s certainly something that is a hurdle in the libertarian world, I
Tom: So do you think they view the government as a kind
of a protector?
Jad: Well I think you can make a pretty
good case that historically it has been. I mean, I’m not saying that the
case is necessarily the truth, but I think you can make a pretty good case that yeah
you know, government says you can’t beat your wife, otherwise you could.
The government says you can’t have child brides or whatever, otherwise you could
putting aside all the other mechanisms by which that could be managed or whatever,
that’s I think the picture of the world that you know, somebody who’s
against libertarianism on principle is, that’s kind of what the picture
they’re painting of it.
Tom: Right, because all the significant women’s
rights that they have gained, or legal rights, the right to vote you know, well the
government did that for us in the right to work and get equal pay. I mean you
know that’s –
Kevin: I was gonna say I think the core layer is just with women by
definition of the way government is setup, they are a minority population even though I
think there’s a slight majority of them but nevertheless, you should be able to
look to other minority populations to see the exact same thing, right, f what
you’re saying holds water.
Tom: And that’s what I kinda have in mind.
I was going to bring up the subject of African American folks in the libertarian
movement and I’m gonna venture to guess from my perspective, it seems like
there’s a smaller percentage and again, you might tie that to a population that
might be more dependent on government mindset and is a little more uncomfortable about
losing it because you know again, it was slavery until the government ended it, you
know? So you know, getting put back into a society where you’re a minority
and there’s no protection, again I think the perspective is that the government
is important because it’s become more of a source of dependency, I don’t
Kevin: Yeah, I don’t know if I would be as comfortable using the
word dependency as so much just as a marketing gimmick, right? I mean it appears
that A, B, and C has happened and I know you guys both know that, but making the
distinction in this case that they are the ones who have the big sign that says the
government is who freed the slaves which is it true?
I mean I guess so, but they keep that distinction, which is obviously a lot more
complicated than that if people didn’t want it to happen, it wouldn’t have
happened clearly and on and on, I think you can make that case for many of these laws
that come into play and obviously their all contrary to general libertarian philosophy
because the initial philosophy just says well you shouldn’t be able to do that to
people in the first place, so it’s unnecessary to have additional rules on top of
Tom: Right and of course since we’ve always
– not always – but for time in memorial we’ve had government, and so
the fact that slavery existed means that government enforced it, which means they
created the problem, maybe more than you know, society created it and then of course
they come up with the solution.
Kevin: Yeah, that’s actually a really good point to I mean,
I’ve seen a bunch of little memes going around about that right now regarding the
whole fiscal cliff thing. You know, congress patting themselves on the back for
allegedly averting it, but you know, nobody wants to talk about – well wait a
second, you assholes created it in the first place so, add to your point Tom, you
can’t allow slavery to exist in your society and then the second somebody says,
“well that might be wrong”, then pass a law and [?] it and then say that
you’ve been the good guy all along I mean, that’s the absurdity to
government in the first place I guess.
Tom: And what about socioeconomic classes and
libertarianism? Do you think that this is skewed towards poorer middle class or
rich? Is there an absence of one of those you think in comparison to others?
Kevin: I think that’s interesting. I think in fact, I
would go so far as to say that socioeconomic class is probably a much fuzzier line to
find than minorities, or women, or whatever the case may be because I think you start
getting into level of education and things like that which clearly – the Tea
Party for example is a glaring example. The Tea Party decided that it was a
libertarian organization, and for my money I’m pretty sure it’s not,
I’d be happy to have you guys argue against that.
I know when it started and I was happy to kinda be involved with it, with the whole
Ron Paul movement in 2007, it consisted of those people but it of course very quickly
devolved into just this amalgamation of anybody that wanted something different and of
course, along those socioeconomic lines, I think you’d find that a lot of those
people were – I think they’d have a hard time classifying themselves as
libertarians, or you would have a hard time anyway.
Tom: Yeah, and when I say libertarian, and anarchist,
or voluntaryist really, you know, someone who’s taking it to the point where
they’re at Ron Paul or beyond. I mean that generally – to take a
simplistic view – you might think that rich people are not gonna be on board with
that because they’re in the system and they’re succeeding and they
don’t see the problem, and yeah, you mentioned education levels and I don’t know
if that’s a plus or minus as far as being of the mindset of being
libertarian. I mean more education just may make it harder for you to get
Kevin: Well I think – I watch a lot of South Park.
South Park does a good job – it’s kind of a reoccurring joke in a few of
their seasons is the, “they’re gonna take our guns.” If
you’ve ever heard that line, they kinda do it over and over and there are all
these hicks that are saying that, but I think that’s where – going back to
the marketing again – you find people who fall prey to that, who are allegedly of
that libertarian mindset, but only for one particular reason. They take one
libertarianesque stance to say they should be able to own guns and therefore they are
now part of that club which is why it’s kind of a weird thing to have a
libertarian party in the first place right, because it’s really just kind of a
set of guiding principles, not really a – they don’t really have defined
laws and rules.
So anyway, I ‘m just saying I think a lot of people come from that, so as far
as the socioeconomic class, I think it becomes pretty mixed because I’ve heard
very wealthy people get involved, but wealthy people that I know be involved on that
side of it. But then I’ve just also seen very undereducated and probably
fairly underprivileged individuals who are the guys on the street yelling,
“they’re gonna take our guns”, and so they’re part of that same
club. So I would tend to think it’s a little bit more mixed, but I don’t
Jad: Yeah, no I agree with everything you
guys have been saying pretty much as far as the breakdowns go and stuff. Like I
said, I thought it was just interesting. I think the thing that I would like to
highlight is that I think it’s great and I think it’s interesting and
wonderful the conversation is happening. I think it means that there is at least
a critical mass that’s been you know, there’s a critical awareness of the
situation I think that essentially, it can’t be rolled back. The
conversation is going to happen now and prior historically, it just kind of gets shut
down pretty quickly so I’m happy to see it occurring.
Kevin: Sure, I would too. You know, a really interesting
group – just thinking about it – would be the homosexual population.
That’d be a real interesting one for it I think because again, libertarian
movement couldn’t be any more truly supportive of that particular subgroup of
people and by some irony, obviously the republicans are strongly opposed to them, but
the democratic party – as I wrote in my book – certainly hasn’t
really done anything for their favor either so it’s interesting though. I
would think many of those people given more liberal values would tend to turn away from
libertarian ideals, but another interesting group to kind of examine in that sense.
Jad: Yeah. There’s an example
of this dynamic in New Hampshire, which – do you know about the Free State
Project, Kevin? Have you heard about that?
Kevin: I’ve heard of it, I don’t know much about
Jad: The broad outline is the idea was to
get a lot of people who are all you know, “liberty minded” to move to New
Kevin: Oh, [?] people mass.
Jad: Yeah, so you could have political
influence and whatnot. But so there’s a fair number of people up there and
the main thing that I think – or at least as far as people outside of New
Hampshire are aware of – they’ve just produced a tremendous amount of
media. And so there’s these two guys that have a show called Flaming
Freedom and they’re just gay, and they have this show and it’s a really
good show but there’s a person in their community that owns a church that like,
went up and bought a church and just started his own religion or something like that,
but he won’t allow gay people in the church or something along those lines.
So it’s just interesting to hear that they’re both you know, both of them
are anarchists, right?
So it’s interesting to hear how they hash those things out and they do, they
actually have dialogue and things happen in a way that they wouldn’t happen in a
political society because the political society of course, either side of that debate
or argument or whatever it is is a hook by which a politician could come in and instoke
[?] that feeling of resentment or entitlement or whatever, and by keeping the dialogue
from happening horizontally is able to gain political power.
Jad: Does that make sense?
Kevin: Yeah, and I think we’ve talked about that before
Jad: Probably. Damn my short term
Kevin: No –
Tom: It almost seems like politicians are like bookies,
you know? They wanna get that 50/50 mix going.
Jad: Yeah, no you’re totally
Tom: They wanna balance it, they don’t want
everyone to think one thing or the other, they want to split everybody down the
Kevin: Yeah, no I mean, that makes perfect sense from their –
for a power grab, that’s the good way to do it. Yeah, no that does make
sense what you’re saying, Jad and I ‘m trying to think what we compared
that to once before, but there was one recording that we did where we actually were
talking about those exact lines how politicians play that middle of the road thing so
they can kinda control both ends of the spectrum. I mean, but –
Jad: Right. Well and it allows there
to be an indefinite fissure, right? I mean, they can milk that thing for 30, 40
Jad: – and then like you said at the end,
find a majority feeling and then offer up a “solution” and I think
that’s kind of what’s happening with the LGBT community is it’s
gotten to the point now where like 60%, 70% of people are like, “I don’t
really care, I’m totally fine with it”, so now it’s time for the
political process to be like, “oh, well then we’re going to lead the way to
freedom for these people and” –
Jad: – “make them a part of our
society by passing these laws.”
Kevin: Right, nevermind the fact that it’s been illegal for
the last you know, however long.
Jad: Exactly and yeah, entire political
careers have been made on the backs of just that one single emotion from a small group
of people you know, usually by people who end up being closeted homosexual themselves,
which is the most interesting part of it.
Kevin: Quite a bit of that actually, that’s interesting.
Jad: Yeah. Oh, but anyway so I would
recommend that podcast if you ever listen to – if you ever have free time to
listen to one, Flaming Freedom and I think the guy’s name is – oh, now
I’ve forgotten it – but Flaming Freedom, it’s a really good show.
Kevin: Let’s look it up, we’ll make sure we get it in
here, The Flaming Freedom Podcast, bringing the flame to freedom. The hosts are
Dale and Neil.
Jad: Dale, that’s – and he
actually is a cartoonist and he’s got his own blog that – it really, like I
said, really good cartoon.
Tom: I think I know which Dale you’re talking
Jad: That’s what’s funny about
this, again, if you – Tom and I kind of swim in this water a little bit more
probably – but like there are like nine things that each of those people do, so
there’s like 400 or 1,000 anarchists up there, but every one of them has a blog,
five radio shows, three podcasts you know, so you can’t – if you go hopping
from links to links, you’re about 50% of those sorts of sites and that sort of
media content originates from New Hampshire, it’s pretty amazing.
And that’s where we leave it for this episode. Thanks to Lee Caffey and
Chris Baton [Sp?] for providing us with quality sound engineering and editing, we
wouldn’t get far without them. Hosting services are provided by City Core,
LLC. Our graphical caricature was provided by our friend, Sayeed Mod Badril
Hisham [Sp?] in Malaysia, and transcription services are provided by Deidra Alexander
of Galaxy Creative Media.
If you have any questions, comments, ideas for a show, or just wanna say hello, we
love receiving email. You can find Jad at www.Jad-Davis.com, and you can find Kevin at www.Kevin-Ludlow.com. Thanks again for tuning
in, and we’ll be back with another episode soon.