Contract Insurance
What is an image?
Atlas Shrugged?
Uninsured Property?
Table of Contents
Responses A-C
Responses D-R
Responses S-Z

A1.  Dear Publisher,

Please quote me the price to place this advertisement in your publication.  Feel free to change the size of my ad to improve its appearance on your page.  Also enclosed is the booklet that I mail to those who respond to this ad.  Thank you, Dave Hollist

A2.  Dear Mr. Hollist, July 21, 1991

Thank you for your interest in...  I have reviewed your advertisement and am glad to see a grass-roots movement in government.  Such a desire for participation is both refreshing and obviously necessary because of the domestic needs of the country.  We would be pleased to offer you advertising at our 12-time rate of $370 per page/issue.  In this manner, the lowest rate will be provided without contractual obligation.  All we will require is prepayment and camera ready copy.  We wish you good luck in the months ahead.  The country needs new leadership.  Cordially, A

B.  Dear David, 7-10-91

I feel that one of the reasons the U.S. has so many political and economic problems today is that so many who run and are elected have a vastly oversimplified viewpoint of the subjects mentioned in your letter soliciting support for nomination.  You evidence that simplicity too.  Taxes are merely symptoms of the cause, the greed you point out.

However, the first nations, and most of those to follow were formed by the strongest man to take over, to GET for himself all he could, as well as keep it.  The Israelites were the first to have a king appointed by an outside source (GOD) at the request of the people.  From that point on, however, your description fits well.

The U.S. is the ONLY nation in history to place the PEOPLE in charge of the government officials, rather than subjecting the people to the government.  The Constitution is NOT really a list of what the government cannot do.  Only a few items prohibit any action.  The entire document tells what government is TO DO, and what it doesn't say can be done, cannot be done.  And that includes the Amendments.

Charley Darwin was wrong, and admitted it before he passed on.  Ayn Rand was a socialist.  You sound like a confused socialist, yourself.  MAMMAL you may be, animal you are not.  I certainly am not an animal, but am a child of God.  Slavery was not eliminated, but had a face lift which made it more acceptable to society.  Slavery still exists today in one form or another, and always will.

While I like your ideas of "NO TAXES", you will never accomplish it in your lifetime by a direct approach, though it may get you elected by fools who believe such an unrealistic approach to political control.  I gain the impression that you do not begin to comprehend the forces at work relating to economy and the "almighty buck".  But then, maybe you DO, and are merely lying to get elected.  (I prefer to believe you are NOT lying.)  Of course, those presently IN office are naive or liars, and were elected by those who DON'T vote as well as those who DO vote!

For the above, brief, oversimplified reasons, I cannot support your bid for nomination, but I wish you luck in your efforts!!  I would suggest careful memorizing of the Constitution, and start with the SIXTH ARTICLE!  The most important!  Sincerely, B

C1.  David Hollist, Alta Loma, CA, July 15, 1992

I am the president of the Objectivist Club at…  Our club is not involved with any sort of publication.  I decline your request for my club or myself to be involved in your campaign advertisement.  I do not think a political campaign should uniquely focus on an 'anti-tax' Libertarian platform.  Rather, politicians should focus on the proper nature and purpose of government from a principled, rational perspective like Objectivism.  The closest politician I can think of today is Bruce Herchenson (although he is a conservative) or Barry Goldwater (from the 60's).

Your campaign material is frankly empty of any clear reasoned definition of the role of government.  I don't think it's practical to use contract insurance for all agreements, as you imply.  And what do you mean, "All uninsured partners lose the use of their common property if they could not agree with each other."  What would happen to the property?

The bottom line is that I think men who properly understand the limited nature of government and its proper role will voluntarily donate to pay for the government.  Of course, some selfless people may not donate anything—but I do not consider that inaction an abandonment of their rights—so they should still be protected by the government.  Men have rights by their very nature—as conceptual beings who succeed by using their minds, not force.  For further—I refer you to Rand's Capitalism—The Unknown Ideal.

I found your 'answers' interesting and original.  But there are blatant errors—like your reliance on emotion as a form of perception.  Our club will have meetings starting again in September.  You are conditionally invited, as long as you do not solicit for your campaign during official club time.  Please contact me further if you are interested.  C

C2.  Dear C, July 20, 1992

Thanks for the invitation to attend your club's meetings.  Even though the condition you stated is reasonable, I prefer written communications in matters of philosophy.  You can find the answer to the question that you posed to me as number nine in the ANSWERS section of my literature, but I so enjoyed your criticism of my ideas that I will return the favor.

Referring to "The bottom line" on page two of your letter, how can people win a share of the market if we voluntarily donate part of our profits for the protection of our "selfless" competitors?  Currently, Americans are forced to pay taxes for the protection of the "rights" of non-profit organizations—with disastrous results.  For us to do it voluntarily would not change the results.  Please reconsider.  With contract insurance, tax-exempt groups would not have as much economic power because they would have to pay their own way.

At the risk of mitigating your criticism, I admire your understanding of the importance of ideas.  Dave 

D1.  Dear David, 8-8-92

Thanks for your packet. opposed to electoral politics and coercive government, it would not be appropriate for us to run your ad.  I am enclosing several recent issues.  Your idea of voluntarily financing governments has been around at least since the 19th Century.  Henry David Thoreau's friend, Charles Lane, wrote a long series of letters in the early 1840's in which he advocated 'voluntary political government.' These letters have been collected and published by me.

The main problem I see with such a program is 1)  that government still maintains its coercive jurisdiction over us and our property; and 2)  over time, history has proven that even the most 'restricted' and limited governments have a tendency to expand their coercive powers.  I have photocopied 1 or 2 pages from the book for you, and it may be ordered on the enclosed form.  Good luck.  P.S. Please send a copy of your advertisement to...  You may enclose a note and tell him that I thought he would find it interesting.  D

D2.  Dear D, August 12, 1992

Thanks for the literature that you enclosed with your response to my ad.  I did mail my literature to...  I so enjoyed your criticism of my ideas that I will return the favor.  Without a government, what would you do if a large group of people tried to rob you?  Thanks again, Dave

D3.  David, 8-17-92

What would a person do if the government stopped providing educational services (public schooling). You would make arrangements to homeschool, arrange for your children to attend private/or church schools, or start your own community school.  If the government wasn't there to provide us protection, a responsible person would do the same - provide for his own protection by hiring night watchmen, guards, joining a community patrol, etc. etc.

Furthermore, does the government really protect us from being robbed?  Sometimes you might argue it does, but if you consider taxation robbery as I do (how can you define it so it differs from taxation - I challenge you to try) the government is the chief robber.  There would still be crime without government (there is plenty with government, too) so I don't claim to have all the answers, but I believe we would have a more moral and more efficient type of protection without it, than with it.  Thanks, D

D4.  Dear D, August 31, 1992

I would like to be your "community patrol" leader.  My point is that whatever I call it, I am building on your concept of community patrol.  Unfortunately, irrational people usually are just rational enough to learn the benefits of specialization and trade, and organize into growing gangs with the power to crush any individual.  In response, rational people have tried to create a system to combat this assault.  I call this system government, but if this sound makes you sick, I will be glad to insert community patrol.  I understand people's anger with government, but when my truck stops running, I do not wish that it had never been invented, nor destroy it, nor rename it—I fix it.  Please reconsider.  In a community with competing patrols, what would you do if two patrols disagreed?  Dave

D5.  Dear David, 9-4-92

How do national governments solve these problems today?  World Wars - is that something that my community patrols should emulate?  I don't think that my community patrols would get the coercive power (derived from taxation) nor the legitimacy to enslave their citizenry, nor be able to resort to military conscription.  Your analogy fails - for me at least - because there is a difference between voluntary protection and the monopolistic, coercive nature of government.

May I suggest you read one to the following books, which might help answer your questions in greater detail.  All deal with the problem you are raising.  Robert Ringer, Restoring The American Dream, Morris & Linda Tannehill, The Market For Liberty, Murray Rothbard, For A New Liberty.  We can continue the correspondence after you have gotten a better perspective on the...position of competing governments.  P.S. I wouldn't do anything.  If they wanted to fight it out (as you are suggesting) at least they couldn't force me to be involved (either by conscription or via taxation).  Sincerely, D

D6.  Dear D, September 11, 1992

I know that my questions irritate some people, but my intent is to understand what they are thinking. Your response reminds me of my brother's:  "Don't bother me, David, the answer is in the Bible."  I hope you never experience the anxiety that he has after years of trying to substitute a book under his arm for knowledge in his mind.

Would not the possibility of a fight breaking out at the slightest disagreement between patrols make a technically advanced society impossible?  Dave

D7.  David, 9-15-92

My time is limited and my aim is not to convert anyone to my way of thinking.  Each person has to convince himself.  If your intent is to understand 'what I am thinking' then read one of the books I suggested, and then raise your questions.  The fact is, no matter what I reply, you have a standard response (eg - your 2nd paragraph above).  You have yet to answer my question:  how would we be any worse off with private defense agencies that couldn't coerce or tax us like nation-states?  Would not the possibility and do not in fact these fights occur in actuality of a fight breaking out at the slightest disagreement between nation-states make a technically advanced society impossible?

Please do not write again til you have understood the free market defense agency argument as found in Rothbard or Tannehill.  I am not using them as 'authorities' but simply as time savers.  D

D8.  Dear D, September 22, 1992

I have read Rothbard.  He advocates hiring a defense company to protect himself against people just like hiring an exterminator company to take care of pests.  But before his system can be implemented, the destruction of all governments is necessary.  And that is the rallying cry:  "Death to all governments!"  And that is what I hear in your literature, which does "convert" some people to hatred and destruction.  I will not write if you do not reply, but maybe you have continued our correspondence because you are tired of tearing things down, and long to build something up.

We live in the first technically advanced society because of our government—not in spite of it.  I am persuaded as to the greatness of government because it is homologous to the immune system of my body, which has proven its effectiveness after billions of years of evolution, but you are a busy man and I will not bother you with facts.  If you are successful in destroying our government without destroying me, I will be glad to work with you in trying to solve the grave problem that we will have with your warring defense companies across our land.  Dave

E1.  Dear David, August 8, 1992

We do not run ads in our newsletter...but we appreciate your interest.  I was glad to see your booklet.  It is quite attractive.  Because of your interest in Objectivism, I thought you might like to see a copy of my speech...  Regarding when a child begins to have memories of his mother, have you ever read The Secret Life of the Unborn Child, by Thomas Verney, M.D.?  Researchers claim that some people have remembered things that happened while they were in the womb.  Sincerely, E

E2.  Dear E, August 13, 1992

Thank you for the literature that you enclosed with your response to my ad.  Would you stop a person from carefully removing a fertilized egg from herself and returning it to her rapist?  Thanks again, Dave

E3.  Dear David, August 19, 1992

Thanks for your August 13 reply.  You asked, "Would [I] stop a person from carefully removing a fertilized egg from herself and returning it to her rapist?"  I'm not sure exactly what sort of information you wish, but here are some thoughts.  First, a suggestion on terminology:  I would say "give" rather than "return." What came from the rapist was his sperm, not the newly conceived child; a zygote is neither an ovum nor a sperm.

Let's suppose, instead, that a woman gave birth to the child on an airplane while in flight.  May we stop her from giving the neonatal child to the rapist, who is on the ground, so long as she removes her carefully from the airplane?  Careful removal may mean the child survives the eviction procedure, but does it necessarily mean the child can be safely transferred?

We could posit a case where the child is conceived in vitro but the mother had intended that another man's sperm be used to fertilize her egg.  The "rapist" may be one of the lab technicians.  Is he able to provide what the child needs to grow?  Some day there may be artificial wombs, which are just as suitable for the child as the mother's body.

But this raises the question of the father's character.  Child custody is often given to the father when the mother wishes to relinquish her parental role.  Would the rapist be a good or an abusive father?  Howard Roark, the hero of The Fountainhead, would probably have made a conscientious father, had Dominique Francon conceived a child when he raped her.  But the presumption probably is against most rapists, and for good reason.

Perhaps, however, what you had in mind is whether the principle of parental obligation applies to women who conceive as a result of rape.  I'm enclosing John Walker's unpublished remarks on pregnancy due to rape and abortion.  Your comments are welcome.  Sincerely, E

E4.  Dear E, August 31, 1992

From your letter of August 19, I interpret your answer to my question as yes.  If you and I are concerned about a "zygote" or anything else, we are free to care for it, even to the extent of inventing an "artificial womb."  But if we force anyone to be part of our plans, we probably will get punched in the nose, or worse.

While freedom of association is necessary for people to live happy lives, the freedom to dissociate from each other is just as important.  Whether a person wants to separate from a zygote, embryo, fetus, child, parent, husband, politician, or rapist is irrelevant—either she is free from those who unilaterally place a claim on her or she is owned by them.  You will never be at peace with people if you continue to advocate the initiation of physical force against them, and your image of helping babies will not change this fact.  Please reconsider.  If you gain political power, when would you allow a woman who is impregnated by a rapist to return to her chosen routine?  Dave

E5.  Dear David, September 7, 1992

Thanks for your August 31 letter.  You had asked previously, "Would [I] stop a person from carefully removing a fertilized egg from herself and returning it to her rapist?"  You said you would interpret my answer to this question as "yes."  Two things come to mind.  First, pregnancy due to rape is not a run-of-the-mill case. I did not give a simple answer, because it doesn't have a simple answer — for either side.  If you tell others I said "yes" to your question, have you given them enough information to grasp the complexities of my position? I think not.

The second is, what one may do, or ought to do, or must do is not necessarily what one would do.  I didn't say what I would do.  One doesn't have to do anything, unless one owes someone something.  In any event, enforcement is subsidiary to whether a particular action is aggression or not.  I have my hands full dealing with the main event.  Do we agree on the pivotal question of whether abortion is homicide?  If we disagree on that, why bring up a subsidiary subject, particularly in exceptional cases that are more complicated than the ordinary?

You also wrote that I "will never be at peace with people if [I] continue to advocate the initiation of physical force against them...."  Why do you say this?  It's not the obligation not to initiate force that divides you and me.  What we differ on is a factual question: who is initiating force against whom?...