Qs & As
As time passes, we expect to see a pattern of questions that TOLFA students pose to their Mentors and get reported. The more frequent of them will be shown here, with offered answers.
If you have a question, please
- First, search the Segment in which it arose, to make sure an answer was not overlooked
- Check the Q&As here, keyed to that Segment by its number
- Then, ask your Mentor
Qs & As are listed here in sequence of the Segment # from which they arose:
Entrance #3 #7 #18
All pagesQ: On an interactive page, I made my choice of answer and then tried to look at some others - but there was no response. What's going on?
Throughout TOLFA, many pages offer interactive questions with multiple choice answers. The student is encouraged to look at all the options, after choosing his own. Unfortunately, some browsers offer a box "prevent this page from creating additional dialogs" and if you check it, you'll be prevented from seeing those others. Bad idea - but it's not a fault in TOLFA, it's a quirk in the browser and so (we thought!) cannot be eliminated.
Instead, simply NEVER CHECK THAT BOX, if it appears.
Or if you should accidentally do so, REFRESH THE PAGE from your TOLFA CD or from tolfa.us if it's still up.
UPDATE: that problem was resolved in Fall 2014, so you'll see that message only if you're using an older copy of TOLFA. So (assuming tolfa.us is still up and running) take the opportunity to download an up-to-date copy.
EntranceQ: I'm already a market anarchist. Why do I need to work through all this detail?
There are two answers.
1. If you really are familiar already with what TOLFA teaches, you'll certainly enjoy reviewing its 18 segments. Perhaps you'll progress more quickly than some, but if you don't find it a pleasure perhaps your premise is mistaken. And in that case, start now and don't hurry!
Hint: one thing a great many freedom-seekers miss is the intellectual necessity of a free society. It's not just a "nice to have" or "one opinion among others" - it's the only world-view consistent with what human nature actually is. Not many libertarians, for example, have grasped that yet. So do not hurry over TOLFA's first few Segments. It's vital, not just to reach the "right" conclusion, but to follow the irrefutable steps of reasoning that lead to it. Everyone comes to TOLFA with opinions already in place - some right, some wrong; the point is to learn to reason logically from fundamental, undeniable premises through to rock-solid conclusions.
2. You'll know from the Home page that the purpose of the Academy is to teach the entire population about the irreconcilable contrast between freedom and government, so that everyone wants the former and stops working for the latter - so ending its existence. After graduating, you will be asked to bring one of your friends a year and help him or her through the course. Therefore, sharing that purpose, you'll need to know quite well what it says and how it says it.
Q: Why isn't there a "closing" examination as well as one for entrance; one with grading and approval, so that the graduate knows he has succeeded?
A: Good question; several reasons. First, when after a few years TOLFA has millions of members, it would be impossible for any central panel of graders to get the job done; note the growth algorithm from which in its final year TOLFA could see a hundred million people graduate! Alternatively if the job were assigned to mentors (every graduate becomes a mentor) the extra workload might well dissuade some from undertaking that vital task. Second, any student should be able to test himself, using the (more than 100) Questions & Answers encountered in the 18 Segments. And third, the idea of the Academy is to end controls on individuals, not to introduce new ones. Ultimately, free people will pursue their own interests.
Finally, in one sense there already is a closing exam: it's a decision point, shown towards the end of the course as you'll find. It invites a commitment. If the student makes that commitment, (s)he is entitled to graduate and print a Diploma. If he will not, he won't want to graduate anyway.
Segment 3: What Markets DoQ: How would a free market handle prejuduce?
A: Rather easily, and far better than it's ever been handled before. Remember from Seg 3 that in a free market society, all interactions between humans are by explicit agreement - they are voluntary, there is no obligation to make any.  So: suppose one person nurses an irrational prejudice (and all prejudices are irrational, because by definition the position is pre-judged - fixed before facts are examined and reason exercised) and refuses to trade with a willing partner because his skin is dark or his nose is bent or his gender preference is unusual or his accent is foreign or his hair is red, etc. Then of course there is no transaction, so both lose. The willing customer (or job applicant, etc) loses an opportunity, but the bigot loses the money he could have made from the deal (profit on a sale, or from employing the labor, etc.) The bigot has decided that in his scale of values it is better for him to enjoy his prejudice and live poor. Fine! His choice!
However, we also saw that a free market is competitive - there are other players, competing with the bigot. Some (or all) of those will not share his prejudice and will be happy to trade with the person he despised. When one does, and again as we saw, both of them win.
Prejudice may therefore continue to exist, but it will automatically bring its own cost; and that will necessarily, over time, motivate all to reconsider their prejudice.
Contrast that with the record of government force! Take the example of Blacks in America. First, government's laws forced any back into slavery who managed to escape. Then one group of governments reversed policy and killed over half a million people in a war fought partly (though not primarily) to end slavery. Then the defeated governments found ways to write laws to prevent the freed slaves taking a full part in society. Then a later government imposed laws that forced races to integrate, often against their will, and caused a fresh round of bitterness. And so the prejudice remains even today. Force never works. Freedom will.
Segment 7: Tax & SpendQ: Is it a good idea to refuse to pay taxes?
A: Since all tax is theft and since all of it is used to create massive havoc, poverty, suffering and death, there's an excellent moral case for such refusal. Further: there used to be an apparently bulletproof way to avoid paying the biggest (the Federal Income Tax) and to make use of it might have undermined the FedGov's revenue stream and snowballed into a huge tax rebellion that would have hastened the day it falls apart.
Unfortunately, while that is in full accordance with the written law, it's no longer bulletproof. Its designer was Irwin Schiff, and he's now in prison until 2016. Therefore, the income tax joins all other kinds of tax (those that are written into law - eg sales, property tax) as being unavoidable without an unacceptable level of hardship.
So, refusal really falls into the same category as protest demonstrations - very cost-ineffective. When TOLFA's "Mentor" system has done its quiet work, by some time in the 2020s, all taxes will accompany government into the ashcan of history - whether legalized or not.
Segment 18: Getting ThereQ: I have a hard time believing that one-on-one replication can end the State.
A: First, check the requirements for terminating the State and introducing a free-market society:
- The State must be denied essential resources, for it will never volunteer to vanish
- Every member of society must understand what a free market is, and so desire it
That second is sometimes overlooked. Without evidence, it is assumed that if somehow government is caused to collapse, a free market society must result. Not so; it's true that a free market is the natural form of human society, but people's understanding has been badly damaged. They have been falsely taught that Uncle will care for them, that "someone else" owes them a living. If Uncle disappears, they will try to get him back; and a whole slew of slimy politicians will quickly oblige. Often, in history, when one government collapses in chaos (eg after revolution or military defeat) a worse one takes its place.
So the objective can be met only when those two conditions are satisfied. TOLFA satisfies them both. No other known plan for achieving freedom comes close to doing so; the question is therefore upside down.
It does so as follows:
- Every participant acquires a thorough understanding of freedom and government
- Every graduate is asked to mentor at least one friend through the Academy per year
The first of these prepares students well to live and prosper in a free society, and also causes the graduate to find alternative employment, if currently working for government in some way. Nobody with an available alternative can work every day in an organization he despises. Accordingly, as the number of TOLFA graduates grows, government is deprived of employees.
The second of them leads as we saw on the growth page to an exponential expansion of the number of graduates and so of the number of government employees who quit. In the final few years of that expansion there will be nobody left to work for it; the State will therefore terminate.
TOLFA's two aspects of thorough re-education and one-to-one replication will solve a problem that defies any other known solution - and it does it peacefully, without need for the loss of a single drop of blood.
Q: I've graduated! What do I do next?
A: Re-read Segments 17 and 18!
The essential things are to bring one friend a year to the Academy and guide him through it, and to resign any government job you may hold. The first of those causes exponential growth, and the second causes the evaporation of government.
Otherwise, nothing is needed. TOLFA is indispensible - nothing else will do that job - and sufficient; it could, if need be, do that job alone. Just enjoy a normal quiet life, and prepare to live in freedom. Anything extra you want to do, to publicize the merits of a free society, is obviously good and helpful; but there's no necessity. Raise a family, make money, do not aggress, keep your head down, do some worthwhile reading. That's it!
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