This is a blog post rendition of my 1-hr presentation at The 21 Convention in Austin, TX in August, right after I gave a 20-minute abbreviated version of same at the Ancestral Health Symposium, 2012, in Boston, at Harvard University School of Law.


Shorter Jeffrey Tucker: Anarchy Begins at Home


Earlier this month I wrote this post: The Clamoring Over a Ruler of the Devolved. It stands at 162 comments so far, but here’s one by me (edited a bit).

“But my question is how does it work? I see a few fundamental problems with having NO government.”

Work for whom? You see fundamental problems—for unspecified whoms—at not having an agent of force commanding dominance and such. I don’t. You seem to come from this weird perspective that anarchy is just another system imposed upon people, just as some call atheism a religion.

It’s no system at all. It’s the absence of a central system. What happens in anarchy? EVERYTHING happens. So the smart people, as social beings, gravitate to social interaction that works best for them in a give & take, trade, mutual protection scenario.

Planet Earth is itself an anarchy. Point me to the one, central, world government.

This was after a number of exchanges with my interlocutor, and here’s what he said about that comment.

This is thoughtful. I still think it has limitations and holes. but to me it’s the most poignant thing you’ve said.

It got me to thinking. I’m always about one mind at a time, by which I mean: expanded thinking—i.e., no guru, no authority. Think. Really think. But I’m also about birds & stones (a Basque uncle and I once killed somewhere between 50-100 quail in one fell swoop—but not with stones—that he cooked up later). I decided to do a series. It’s in 9 parts and this is the first.

Paleo Epistemology and Sociology

Fancy, eh? That was the title. Let’s deal with the fundamentals, first.


Knowledge exists on a spectrum just like a lot or most things. I’m interested in quality of knowledge.


No, it’s not really all about “rugged individualism.” Rugged individualism really only exists as a sort of “ideal,” because a democratic society is so good at breeding leeches and other parasites—who goes into the cannibal pot, who gets to feast—and so it’s a push back of sorts. We are social animals. We can potentially survive on our own with our big brains, even in extreme environments, with sufficient knowledge. But who wants to do that except the outlier unsociable? …No wine bars. So the problem or issue is: how to enjoy and prosper from the best social humanity has to offer, while convincing people that such bounty is the province of individuals pursuing their own values and trading them, and not the parasitic State?

…How about if we consider epistemology (knowledge, and quality thereof) in a social context?


Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Let me help. I had to look up “doxastic,” too: of or relating to belief. So, humans believe a whole lot of different things, a lot of it shit. It’s on a spectrum, a distribution. I’d say most of what they actually believe and more importantly, really act upon, must be valid with respect to the natural reality (in spite of protestations to the contrary); otherwise, you’d be confronted with a valid objection: why are we here? Other animals don’t get away with many fuck-ups.

Humans are unique in their ability to believe and proclaim one thing, whilst acting in a way that belies such belief (if “heaven” is so great and you really believe you’re going there, then blow your brains out!). Then again, there’s always the cannibal pot. Some must take it as a nice Jacuzzi.

This whole presentation really began with me thinking about quality of knowledge, juxtaposing a Paleo basis vs. a Neolithic basis in such. Let’s look at my take on the Paleo quality of knowledge.


1,000 Words

This is the self-sufficient realm. In spite of it, humans persevered and for whatever reasons, crowded out Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal. If I had to bet, in spite of not really knowing for sure, I’d bet it’s because we developed more social interaction or, in a word or few, developed a far higher capacity to love, adore, protect, and guard our particular values. Just a speculation, but those other creatures had more time on Earth than us, and they never got beyond stone tools—while we’ve gone to the moon and back. Love and passion are non specific, while they can be wholly specific. I think that accounts for a lot. I think it’s a sort of social animal coming full circle, wringing everything possible out of that synergy…from the grandmother you adore to the wife you caress, to the children you nurture. It’s beautiful from top to bottom and wall to wall and for most, seems pretty natural. Question: dysfunctional government housing projects where the State was grandma, grandpa, mom & dad, all in one? It’s not just a failure. It was and is, to the the extent it remains, a holocaustic abomination as to the very idea—much less ideal—of humanity.


If you have to live in a small social group, how important—to you—might it be what the sun rise looks like from day to day, and what it might portend for your chances of getting more food for you and the social structure that supports you and that you support in kind?


Where are those animal tracks going? From where did they come, and why? Fire, flood, predators? You see, this is about the highest quality of of knowledge and integration possible in the Paleolithic, and why we owe them a solemn nod. They never—could not ever—deal in bullshit. Survival depended upon noticing really real things and figuring out what it meant for them in terms of potential food or potential danger in the context of survival…without universal health care, pensions, unions, affirmative action, laws, statutes or regulations. They survived, populated the globe in various mass migrations over eons—from equator to pole, sea level to high altitude—and managed it all without a “president.”


“Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.” In eight years in the Navy—roughly half spent at sea—this is probably the most bankable rule of thumb I ever learned…and in the form of a slogan, no less.


Friend, foe, trading partner…or perhaps a mate for my daughter or son?




Storm clouds. Just imagine that for millions of years our ancestors never had contractor-built shelter. Yet, they survived. They never voted—at least amongst 300,000,000 other people. Most probably, in tight nit groups, everyone could tell what needed to be done to survive. They hadn’t yet conceived of the notion of “prosperity” at the expense of other people—via a 3rd party hired thief for a vote—they’d never have to face in person.

Best for last in this part.


How much can you know in Quality?

I dunno. Millions of people tuned into the presidential debates, one and two…and three just last night (I watched the SF Giants kick ass). I’d venture to say that nothing those millions heard in all three debates even comes close in terms of quality of knowledge to what can actually be known with a close, experienced analysis of those paw prints in the snow.

I’ll leave you with that. Google about tracking animals and you’ll see what you can really know in terms of quality. At AHS11, Frank Forencich did his presentation and put up animal tracks and called it the dawn of epistemology or something like that. I never forgot it.

My point in this was to give you a small sample and example of what true quality of knowledge is reality all about. We know it was pretty damn good, simply because we’re here!

In the next part, I’m going to contrast that in a similar graphic exposition—with rude commentary—about the absolutely horrific basis of most neolithic knowledge and how it is just not quality, for the most part.

…We owe our lives to outliers who pursue quality knowledge nonetheless.

Part 2 of 9 coming up.