Sunday, April 4, 2010

Paleo Strength Works For Women Too; and Paleo Kits

Kristen Onesi Liberati pulls some heavy weight, showing women their potential:

Kristen's husband Steve Liberati heads Steve's Club, a Crossfit Affiliate in Camden, New Jersey with a unique mission:

Steve's Club is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization offering young athletes (and non-athletes) of Camden, NJ world-class coaching, community and training techniques used by elite and professional athletes worldwide to help strengthen the foundation of our future.

Specifically, Steve helps at-risk kids grow into productive, positive people through Crossfit training.  I resonate with Steve's message:

 "The greatest discovery any alien outsider could make about Camden is its overriding response to failure: If it didn’t work last year, do it AGAIN this year (and if possible do it MORE). Every year they pass more laws, hire more police, build more prisons, and sentence more offenders for longer periods-all without moving one inch closer to “ending” crime. If it didn’t work last year or the year before that or the year before that or the year before that, but you can be sure we’ll try it again this year, knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that it won’t work this year either. Every year they spend more money on schools, hoping to “fix” whatever’s wrong with them, and every year the schools remain stubbornly unfixed. Spending money didn’t work last year or the year before that or the year before that, but you can be sure we’ll try it again this year, knowing beyond shadow of a doubt that it won’t work this year either. Every year they try to make the criminals go away, and every year they remain with us. We couldn’t shoehorn these criminals back into the “the mainstream” last year or the year before that or the year before that or the year before that, but you can be sure we’ll try it again this year, knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that it won’t work this year either. Maybe its time to TRY something DIFFERENT. Afterall, IF Camden is saved, it will not be saved by old minds with new programs but by new minds with no programs at all."
How fitting that Steve has the surname Liberati -- the liberator!

I would substitute for Camden the name of any "government" and it would remain just as true.  Try this:

After all, IF the U.S. is saved, it will not be saved by old minds with new programs but BY NEW MINDS WITH NO PROGRAMS AT ALL.

New minds realize that programs don't work because they attempt to impose order from top down.  True social order comes from the spontaneous interactions of healthy human hearts and minds, which generate community from bottom up.  The way Steve and the rest of us do it.

The very highest [ruler] is barely known by men.
Then comes that which they know and love,
Then that which is feared.
Then that which is despised.

He who does not trust enough will not be trusted.

When actions are performed without unnecessary speech,
People say, "We did it [ourselves]!"

Tao Te Ching, Chapter 17.

Politicians act as if they have expertise in all aspects of human behavior, economics, health care, nutrition, science, automotive manufacturing, insurance....on and on; they believe and want us to believe that they have qualifications to tell everyone how to do everything from birth to death.  But as Steve points out, their "programs" rarely if ever address root causes, and their abundant failures demonstrate that they don't have a clue how things or people work.  In fact if you trace the loop you will find that their "programs" create the problems, not solve them.

The more laws and restrictions there are,
The poorer people become.
The sharper men's weapons,
The more trouble in the land.
The more ingenious and clever men are,
The more strange things happen.
The more rules and regulations,
The more thieves and robbers.

Therefore the sage says:
I take no action and people are reformed.
I enjoy peace and people become honest.
I do nothing and people become rich.
I have no desires and people return to the good and simple life.

Tao Te Ching, Chapter 57

Obviously few if any politicians are sages, most are goons.  I would call them clever--like a cleaver, good at splitting things apart, as in divide and conquer--but not intelligent or even less, wise.

Take the red pill, and you see their game:  They keep stealing more and more of our time and productivity from us (via taxes),  leaving us less and less capable of caring for our families, friends, and communities on our own.  Even under these circumstances we do our best to help one another, but when half your income goes to the goons with the biggest guns ("government"), you have to keep almost every thing you make for your self and don't have much extra available to help your extended family, friends, or community.  Then the goons say "Look at how evil you masses are, you guys don't care for your own, you need our Programs."  So then they raise taxes and tyranny up another notch with the claim that this will "help" the people.  Taoists saw through the game thousands of years ago:

Why are the people starving?
Because the rulers eat up the money in taxes.
Therefore the people are starving.

Why are the people rebellious?
Because the rulers interfere to much.
Therefore they are rebellious.

Why do the people think so little of death?
Because the rulers demand to much of life.
Therefore the people take death lightly.

Having little to live on, one knows better than to value life too much.

Tao Te Ching, Chapter 75.

Politicians and other misanthropists would have us believe that without their top-down interference in our lives no one would take care of anyone else, that people like Steve don't exist.  They want you to believe that if they didn't "control" your life with their "programs" we would live in chaos, going at each other's throats with machetes.  I can't think of anything more bullshit than this, and I believe that Steve and you also, my dear reader, prove it.  Just look at your life.  Have you not done your best to do more good than harm?  Do you not help the helpless when you can?  Do you not care for children and do your best to support the youth and care for the elders?

Why?  Humans evolved as cooperative creatures engaged in  cooperative hunting and gathering, sharing food, mutual aid in times of need, and mutual protection from predators. Natural selection favored cooperation and devotion to family and friends, and especially the youth and elders who had experience.  Tribes full of people who cooperated and loved children and taught them well certainly had more descendants than tribes full of miscreants who couldn't care less about their children.  Cooperative people not only survived, they thrived, and jerks either had no mates, rightfully got the death penalty directly, or got expelled from the tribe to deal with the wild cats on their own (good riddance and good luck!).

Don't let the misanthropes, the control freaks, the goons and thugs, define you in their own image, as a beast. Stand up and claim your humanity.   You would put their tax and tyranny schemes to shame by naturally living out paleolithic "ethics," if you just let your human nature free and put your intelligence and love into helping your family, friends, and community.

Steve supports the club in part by producing Paleokits:

I bet you'll support them when you see their purpose, because I feel pretty confident you wouldn't read this blog if you didn't have a compassion ten times larger than a politician's cleverness.


Barbara said...

A wonderful post that I'll point others too...AND you can bet I'll be buying some paleo kits as well:)

J. A. Deep said...

I'd been reading this blog as much as I could and somehow mistaken you! I'm grateful for everything you write, but a small favor to ask of you ... if you could please give us more paleo-taoist philosophy?

Is is what you teach? Can you teach this without reprimand by TPTB (those so feared they can only be invoked by acronym). Is there more elsewhere, written by you or others?

Courageous and brilliant, all but vanishing in the face of corporate and regulatory censorship.

Organism as a Whole said...

Your post made me think about our culture. The term "politician" can be replaced with the word "parent" in your post, and it will still sound good.

Parents also act like politicians. They force their children to eat bitter vegetables, which aren't as nutritious as they think. They restrict their children not to eat healthful foods like butter. Parents in this generation believe that children need to be controlled, coerced, and punished.

I'm also a libertarian, and I agree with this post.

Chris said...

Dayum, Don!

That's some freakin' good stuff. I think I need to read it at least 3 more times before I can use it myself (imitation being the highest form of flattery...).

Chris said...

I could not have agreed with you more as you explained your preference for what is essentially local responsibility. We keep sending more and more money to the state and getting less and less in return. It is unfortunate that so many people no longer believe themselves more capable (and therefore more deserving of the bulk of the fruits of their labor) than far removed bureaucrats.

But I found the Liberati quote problematic. The goal of law enforcement is not “ending crime” nor is it the goal of prison. “The law” is supposed to primarily protect me from crime and there is an argument to be made that higher incarceration rates for violent criminals have indeed led to the decline in violent crime. Not an absolute solution to crime, but rather a somewhat successful response in limiting my chances of becoming a victim of violence.

His criticism of school spending is also simplistic and problematic. While I certainly agree that the poor performance of our current K-12 system will not be remedied with even more spending (historical trends demonstrate that spending on American public education is at an all-time high) he seems to overlook the possibility that system wide reform could indeed result in fundamentally more productive schools (e.g. federal mandates and set-asides for vocational training in junior and senior high school).

The problem with contemporary American education is an over emphasis on abstracted self-esteem building at the expense of developing the actual discipline required for academic/vocational success (which THEN results in healthy self-esteem). Alas, a return to high academic standards ALONG WITH vocational training options would go a long way toward curbing crime.

Finally the “Paleolithic ethics” (your phrase) of tribalism are being played out all the time in disgusting ways. Ever been denied something Don because of the color of your skin? Laozi was a member of an ethnically homogenous culture. Your theory of “Paleolithic ethics” hasn’t worked so well in the balkanized history of the world…

Don said...


"Laozi was a member of an ethnically homogenous culture."

Sorry to say, this statement reveals that you don't know much about Chinese history, nor the ethnic diversity of China, nor about the role that Taoist/Confucian expressions of what I called paleolithic ethics played in China's peaceful assimilation of many ethnic groups without any of the virulent racism characteristic of the West.

Chris said...

Hello Don,

Yes, my unfamiliarity with Chinese cultural tolerance has betrayed me here. The notion, "China's peaceful assimilation of many ethnic groups" certainly requires that I revisit my Chinese history studies. Last I checked though, immigrants overwhelmingly move and assimilate Westward. Christian tolerance seeming to have laid the foundation for an ethnic and racial "diversity" that is far more pluralistic and less stratified than the airs of Confucius enjoy. Another example of theory vs. practice I suppose.

I still contend that the “Paleolithic ethics” of TRIBALISM not only include localized caring and concern but institutionalized ethnic-nepotism; suspicion and distrust of "others"; and of course overt aggression. Now if what I'm missing is that you mean "Taoist/Confucian Paleolithic ethics" well then I'm open and interested in such an idea.

I really, really dig your site Don. I am positive that your Primal Wisdom has led directly to improvements in my health and performance this past year and I am deeply thankful for your diligence and generosity.

- Chris C

zach said...

Right on. You'd think a cursory look at even 20th century history would give a reasonable person a rather dim view of government. A reasonable person would conclude that government must be given an extremely small, cramped cage. Alas, because of government "services" like tax funded (i.e., at gunpoint) education, most people are ignorant of history.

Apolloswabbie said...

Don, beautifully written testament to liberty and trusting your fellow man over those who bribe us with our own money in order to gain our votes. Thank you. Paul

Apolloswabbie said...

Don, I've enjoyed this so much I'm posting your link to my blog. Should you or any of your readers care to drop in, at I post daily on libertarian topics.

Don said...

Thanks Appoloswabbie!

Anonymous said...

thank for share, it is very important . ̄︿ ̄

Christoph said...

Hear, hear.

Simon Voggeneder said...

This is a testimonial for liberty shaped in words most powerful and awe-striking.

Anonymous said...

After all, IF the [Camden] is saved, it will not be saved by old minds with new programs but BY NEW MINDS WITH NO PROGRAMS AT ALL.

Check out Beyond Civilization by Daniel Quinn - that's the source of this quote. There's a lot of good stuff like this in it.

Anonymous said...

I love your use of Chinese philosophy. I was especially drawn to this verse: Why are the people rebellious? Because the rulers interfere to much. Therefore they are rebellious.

But I think of this in terms of the responsibility of each individual to stand against authority and demand peace, prosperity or whatever. And clearly good health of mind and body is necessary for this to come to pass.

I'm reminded of the connection between individual fulfillment and activism for a better world that's found in places like We have to take care of ourselves before we can demand that governments change. If the paleo philosophy does this, I am 100% all for it!

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