Selling Freedom to the Indoctrinated?

I began this blog years ago to be able to answer people that I encounter on Twitter. After all, Twitter is hard to use for any real debate as you only get a few words per tweet. On Twitter it is sometimes easy to be misunderstood or not be able be get your point across with all the nuances and caveats that any realistic position entails. For a long time now I have not had the time to engage people on Twitter along with the time to write about it. Well, today I have both.

The debate that prompted this post was among libertarians and/or anarchists. We find the state to be tyrannical, brutal, unnecessary, and evil. There are many ways to say this, but we did not talk about the nature of the state, what liberty is, our interpretation of the non-aggression principle, or how people would live in a world without the state (government) ruling us. We talked about “normal people”; those that don’t hate the state. Why the hell can’t the man in the street see that it is the state itself that causes most of our problems?

It was asserted that those who could not see that the state is evil and should be done away with were “willfully ignorant” of the truth. I took exception to that statement. It is not that I have never said words similar to that myself — we all get irritated at the statists and their state-worship; but I don’t think it is right to blame the victim of the massive pro-state propaganda that we live in for the outcome of so many thinking the state is the “protector” of all that is good and decent.

It is my opinion that the state and all its paid minions have used massive propaganda to sell the idea that the state is necessary to civilization. The state has deluded the populous into believing that mankind’s biggest enemy is the entity that brings him the benefits of modern civilization. I will delve into how this came to be in another post, but today I only assert that the state has, in fact, been very successful in making the average citizen believe that the state is benevolent, necessary, and inevitable. And for those who don’t buy all three of those things — the idea that the state is inevitable, evil or not, is almost universal in the world today.

I assert that we can not blame the victim of this near universal delusion. A modern man is born into a society that overwhelmingly believes in the inevitability of the state. A young person is more apt to question gravity itself than to question the state. A young person is apt to know no one at all who questions the state. He is apt to go though school without being exposed to the ideas of anarchism: real anarchism based on the non-aggression principle. A person is apt to have little exposure to the ideas of the principled radical anarchist. Many are ignorant of the truth of our enemy the state, but I don’t buy that they are “willfully” ignorant. I believe that most people are programed by society to believe the big lie that we need the state and so must put up with it.

Is that non-exposure their fault? No, it is the fault of the state and its minions — and those of us who know the truth. We must work harder to get the word out. One reason that I was in favor of Ron Paul’s message candidacy for the presidency was that he talked to a lot of young people about freedom and liberty. He planted seeds that have grown and will continue to bear fruit. I can’t hope to equal Ron Paul’s impact. I can only hope to enlighten my readers and my students. Regardless, I will continue to work for the demise of the state. I will re-dedicate myself to write more; even when so few read these posts. After all, I can only do what I can.

i-believe-that-all-government-is-evil

Can we be optimistic given that the state has such power? After all, they “school” the child in state worship in the “public” schools. The state has great allies in the main stream media, corporations, academia, and the churches.

Can we be optimistic? To answer, I note that a couple of years ago I mentioned that Murray Rothbard pointed out that before the 18th century in Western Europe there existed an identifiable Old Order called the Ancien Régime. It was feudalism marked by “tyranny, exploitation, stagnation, fixed caste, and hopelessness and starvation for the bulk of the population.” The ruling classes governed by conquest and tricking the masses into believing that it was “divine will” that the Kings should rule, plunder, and enslave. The Old Order was the great and mighty enemy of liberty and for century after century it appeared that the Ancien Régime  could never be defeated.

We know better now. The Ancien Régime is dead and gone and no one claims that God gave Kings the divine right to rule over others. The classical liberal revolution that triumphed in the 18th century (in the West at least) overthrew the Old Order. Well, we can win again and next time we will know not to allow even the seed of the old order to remain. We must root out the idea of the old order root and branch. We don’t face as hard a task as the original classical liberals did in the 1700s for we now know that it can be done.

I think we have reason to be optimistic. We know that the American Empire can not last and that it is so over extended that the end will come soon. We must do our best to educate the “common man” on the type of society that should replace the present evil. That is our job.

EPA as evidence against the state

I was reading this roundup of climate related news items when I stumbled over the following item about the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency.

Environmentalism Gone Mad: Retired EPA researcher and environmentalist, Alan Carlin, brings up certain disturbing issues about the EPA. EPA conducted a study on DDT and found no compelling evidence that ordinary use of DDT is harmful to humans. Yet, administrator Ruckelshaus banned DDT, claiming that it may cause cancer. The ban and subsequent government and environmental group activities resulted in tens of millions of preventable deaths from malaria, mostly in poor countries. Carlin estimates the number of deaths to be about 50 million. The World Health Organization estimates that, today, about 500,000 die from malaria every year. This ban illustrates that one cannot assume the activities of the EPA or environmental groups are for the benefit of human health.

It is interesting that it almost always seems to be retired workers who are willing to blow the whistle on a government agency’s wrongdoing; and there are not many of those people either. Edward Snowden was not retired but look what happened to him.

I followed the DDT debate from the beginnings decades ago to the complete ban. The scientific facts that I looked at convinced me that the EPA was wrong as was the entire movement to ban DDT, but that is not the point of bringing it up at this late date — after all, the 50 million dead people can not be helped now. The thing that caught my eye was the fact that the agency itself could find no compelling evidence against DDT but the administrator of the EPA banned it anyway claiming it causes cancer. He saw no need to present evidence since he had none and he represented the government — obey you peasants.

I read this horrific example of the EPA and the government perverting science just days after I read the following headline:

EPA head: We don’t need to justify our regulations with data

It seems that the current EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy took a drumming  when she refused to be part of any release of the ‘secret science’ her agency uses when drafting new regulations. She refused to release data on which her agency’s  regulations are based which is anti-science in the extreme. Sounds just like the DDT debacle.

If the above were not bad enough, I also read the following from the Wall Street Journal on how the EPA plays the court system to “win” even when it loses:

Editorial, WSJ, Jul 6, 2015

http://www.wsj.com/articles/stopping-epa-uber-alles-1436124275

SUMMARY: Even though the opponents of EPA’s questionable anti-coal, mercury regulations were victorious in the Supreme Court, the EPA significantly damaged the US electrical generation system. “In 2011, the year the EPA proposed the anticarbon mercury rule that the Court has now ruled illegal, some 1,500 fossil-fuel-fired electric units were in operation. Only about 100 have not already closed or complied at a cost of billions of dollars.” The challenge to those states filing against the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, requiring another 30% carbon reduction, on average, from the states, is “the snail’s pace of the judicial process in response to new rules lends de facto immunity to whatever the EPA wants to do, even if the conclusion is another legal defeat that arrives too late to make a practical difference.”

 

In other words, the EPA can do just as it pleases and the EPA does do just that. This sort of thing goes by the name tyranny when we see it in foreign countries. I suspect that you can see it is tyranny here as well. Did you really think the EPA was just about “protecting the environment”? Power corrupts.

shutter_epa

As I have pointed out over and over in posts here over the years; the state is not your friend. The best you can hope for is the you don’t get tortured today. Perhaps the state is occupied with others and will leave you alone today. As Rothbard pointed out long ago, “the government does not in any accurate sense “represent” the majority of the people.”  In fact, the government is the people’s biggest enemy as today’s lesson from the EPA demonstrates.

Does the Constitution allow mandated veganism?

I was reading some tweets on Twitter and saw one person who is of the opinion that if we just followed the Constitution as written then we would be free as a bird. A bird in a cage perhaps, but the Constitution allows most anything. I remembered that a few years ago The National Review pointed out:

During oral arguments before the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on the constitutionality of Obamacare’s health-insurance mandate, the Obama administration’s lawyer, Beth Brinkmann, was asked whether a federal law requiring all Americans to eat broccoli would be constitutional.

“It depends,” she replied. But she could certainly envision cases where it would be.

That makes her only slightly less certain than Supreme Court justice Elena Kagan, who was asked the same question during her confirmation hearings. Kagan, who will help decide the fate of Obamacare’s mandate, had no doubts that a broccoli mandate would be constitutional.

As you can see we have Federal judges that can see no limits to governmental authority at all and are very willing to state that opinion publicly.  Now if the Court believes that a law could make you eat broccoli, then what would be unconstitutional about a law that mandated total veganism? To take this just a little bit further, if the central government has the power to mandate that you not eat meat, what is the limit to federal power? Could the federal government mandate cannibalism? (see Soylent Green)

Logic dictates that there really are no limits imposed by the constitution. We have moved from a tiny representative republic to an Empire that is governed by a false type of democracy. I say false democracy because we can’t really trust the voting results. As Stalin said long ago, “it does not matter who votes, what matters is who counts the votes”.

We can move past the idea of trying to get an honest count in the voting results anyway. Democracy is just mob rule and the madness of mobs is a well known topic. Do we really want to live in a nation where 51% of the people could tyrannize the rest? Can we have a vote where we decide to euthanize everyone over 70? The constitution would not prevent it.

Now just because the constitution does not prevent anything the federal government wants to do does not mean you will never see the Supreme Court hand down rulings that seem to say that the federal government does not have the power to do this or that. All you are seeing is that the Court plays politics also and is swayed by the public opinion of the day — or the opinion of the elites of the day. These opinions also make the deception of the constitution look more real and fools the low information citizen.

A central question in political philosophy is the question “be who owns you?” Does the state own you? Can the ruling elite do with you as they please? Are you a slave to the state or to popular opinions?

The primary social evil of our time is lack of respect for self-ownership rights. It is what underlies both private crime and institutionalized crime perpetrated by the state. State laws, regulations, and actions are objectionable just because the state is claiming the right to control how someone’s body is to be used. ~ Stephan Kinsella

Modern Americans seem to think that slavery to the State is somehow any better than the old time slavery to another man. Slavery? Slavery you say? Yes.

Modern Americans are subject to the whims of the political fads of the times. The ruling elite and public opinion can change and things that used to be legal and common become illegal and horrible. Just think, when I was a kid my mother really used to let me go outside all day and play. I was all over a very large subdivision and in the woods behind the subdivision. Today mother would be arrested and lose her kids for what was a natural thing in the 60s.

The constitution is no protection at all. How could it be? The state itself decides what the constitution says; so there is not way that that piece of paper limits the state.

The state and our future

I have been watching American presidential elections since Kennedy beat Nixon in 1960 in an election that was probably really won by Nixon and stolen in Chicago. Of course no one cares now who really won that election and I doubt that history would have been much different if Nixon had won that year — other than the CIA would not have needed to assassinate Nixon for going soft on wars.

In the years since 1960 I have watched a government grow in size, power, scope, intrusiveness, and in raw brutality. The US state in 1960 would never have publicly admitted to torture, much less publicly defended the practice. But the growth of the US government over time did not start in ’60. Consider the following quote from decades before:

 “Government today is growing too strong to be safe. There are no longer any citizens in the world there are only subjects. They work day in and day out for their masters they are bound to die for their masters at call. Out of this working and dying they tend to get less and less.” H.L. Mencken

Law Professor Butler Shaffer once wrote:

“The central premise of much of my writing over the years has been that the psychopathic nature of the political establishment has reached a critical mass.”

It seems to me that the US central government has now reached a critical mass of corruption, cronyism, brutality, and raw evil.

The definition of the “state” that I have often seen is that entity that enjoys a monopoly on the legitimate use of force or violence within a given geographical territory. The USA is now claiming the right to use force throughout the entire world, and I don’t know how that will turn out given that other nations see the Empire as an overbearing bully. One thing we know is the the state, the USA in particular, depends on the regular exercise of using force and violence both inside its borders and outside its borders. It is easy to see the meaning of Randolph Bourne’s observation that “war is the health of the state.”

As we approach yet another presidential election, we have to ask ourselves if we really think that the outcome will change our future all that much. Given that the neocons have pretty much taken control of foreign policy in both parties, and they intend to keep us forever attacking some forever changing “enemy” that we “must” destroy to “keep our freedoms”. What freedom? The freedom to obey the state?

Consider the surveillance by the State of its own people as outlined by Edward Snowden. Consider the government’s control over eating habits, health care, schooling of the young, the rise the nanny state, and the fact the government asserts total ownership over the children. Consider that one mother was arrested for letting her kids go play in the public park that was across the street from her house. Oh my!

The state has increased its control and domination of the people with the increased militarization of police. They now have tanks, armored troop carriers, battlefield weapons, drones, and military helicopters. Who knows what all they have that we don’t know about? The police also have assumed the powers of an occupying army. They pull no-knock SWAT raids, they torture, they put people into prison without trials, they steal people’s assets, and there appears to be no real accountability. They police claim to be protecting us from “the bad guys” but it is the police that are the psychopaths and murdering bad guys.

This monstrous police state that is the USA started out as a “night watchman” small government in the style that the Classical Liberals thought would be constrained and controlled by the Constitution. I think we can all agree that the USA is in no way bound by the constitution — it is all in the interpretation you see. And who gets to interpret the constitution? Why the state itself gets to interpret the constitution. The failure of the experiment in a minarchist government does not seem to have registered on my minarchist friends. They still seem to think that some “night watchman” government can be instituted without it gaining ever more power over the people as time goes on. Nothing as blind as those who will not see.

The next election? It will have no more meaning than the babbling of an insane man who is talking to his imaginary friends. We can root for the “best candidate” if we want; after all I always have a favorite in the World Cup matches; but there will be no real difference in the two candidates running. It was once observed that if voting made a difference then it would be against the law. I hope you don’t think that observation was just humor.

Our future depends on the people waking up to the fact that the state is our enemy. We must educate people in the libertarian philosophy of the non-aggression principle. The modern state is only a few centuries old. We can overcome the modern state and find a way to live in peace without a tyranny brutalizing us at every turn. We can live stateless, and really that is our only path forward if we hope to survive and prosper.

Educate yourself, and then be willing to educate others that want to learn. It is our only hope.

 

Democracy is a Fraud

The founders of the U.S. were clear that they did not believe in “democracy”. In our modern system of “democratic” government you are allowed to vote but it does not make any real difference. No matter the outcome of the election, the power elites will get their way. Everyone gets to vote but all that does is to help ensure the compliance of the populace who are enslaved but think themselves free.

“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable…”
H.L. Mencken, Prejudices: Third Series

The modern American democracy is dangerous to personal freedom. American democracy erodes the people’s understanding of natural rights and freedoms. I have seen every presidential race since Nixon and the winner does not make any real change in the course of the state. There has been no abatement in the growth of tyranny and cruelty by the state.

The State in the US has convinced almost the whole of the population that organized theft is the way to go rather than voluntary economic actions. The very idea of the non-aggression principle now seems foreign to most Americans.The government in America has merged the bureaucratic state with the large corporations; and that was called corporatism by Benito Mussolini. In other words, the American State is a fascist state. The corporate State will always end up enslaving its people. A small example is that a mother was recently arrested for allowing her children to play in a park across the street from her house by themselves. The State asserted its ownership of the children.

It is often claimed that governments (states) were originally established to protect the people’s freedoms. But it always turns out that the state works to gain ever more control over their citizens. The state becomes an overbearing tyrant. This is always true, but we never seem to learn from history. The whole idea that we need a government to take care of us is a false notion and a delusion. These supposed “protectors” have led to nothing but death, destruction, slavery, misery, and all the other evils the state brings.

In the United States, the instrument that controls almost everything, or at least tries to do so, is the State (the central government mostly). This power of the state is acknowledged even by those who love democracy, and they mistakenly believe (or falsely claim) that this great power is somehow controlled or at least shared by “the people”. The main way that “the people” are supposed to control the power of the state is by one of the two main political parties in the United States. One party is the Democratic Party which is the party of socialists. The other party is the Republican Party which is the party of fascists. Note that there is very little difference between socialism and fascism which may explain the old line that “there is not a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties”. The two parties agree on virtually all of the fundamentals of totalitarianism starting with the belief in the supremacy of politicians, bureaucrats, and “experts” over the “the people”; and that the only good citizen is the obedient citizen. This is today’s  American Democracy.

While various minions of the state exercise their power over individuals like a school bully, they do not control the ship of state. Only a handful of the most powerful private citizens have any real say-so in respect to the large issues. These very rich and powerful men and women run the “democracy” and it is but illusion that “the people” control the state. Ordinary citizens naively believe they can fight the status quo though various action groups or getting involved in politics but they only contribute to the show that fools the populous into thinking that they are free when, in fact, they are slaves to the state. Some groups, giving the appearance of serious dissent, give “the people” hope that progress toward a more just society is possible and they thereby help the ruling elite even as they appear to be fighting them.

H.L. Mencken observed that the best teacher is not the one who knows most but the one who is most capable of reducing knowledge to that simple compound of the obvious and wonderful. I believe that “best teacher” in my lifetime was Murray Rothbard. Read Rothbard and grow wise as to the nature of the state.

Anarchists: are we pacifists or not?

Leo Tolstoy wrote many novels, but he also wrote the non-fiction “City of God is Within You“. (1894) I would like to consider the idea of pacifism verses defense against aggression based on Tolstoy’s ideas in this very short post today.

Tolstoy’s book in large part deals with nonresistance to evil. Here is the money quote from chapter 10:

The champions of government assert that without it the wicked will oppress and outrage the good, and that the power of the government enables the good to resist the wicked.

But in this assertion the champions of the existing order of things take for granted the proposition they want to prove. When they say that except for the government the bad would oppress the good, they take it for granted that the good are those who are the present time are in possession of power, and the bad are those who are in subjection to it. But this is just what wants proving.

The good cannot seize power, nor retain it; to do this men must love power. And love of power is inconsistent with goodness; but quite consistent with the very opposite qualities:  pride, cunning, cruelty.

Without the aggrandizement of self and the abasement of others, without hypocrisies and deceptions, without prisons, fortresses, executions, and murders, no power can come into existence or be maintained.  . . .

. . . ruling means using force, and using force means doing to him to whom force is used, what he does not like and what he who uses the force would certainly not like done to himself. Consequently ruling means doing to others what we would not they should do unto us, that is, doing wrong.

… But ruling means using force, and using force means doing to him to whom force is used, what he does not like and what he who uses the force would certainly not like done to himself. Consequently ruling means doing to others what we would we would not they should do unto us, that is, doing wrong.

This non-resistance to violence and aggression principle is the main one that Tolstoy advocated in his book and one that later Gandhi used to liberate India from the British.

The argument is that since the good cannot or will not wield power then only the evil men will do so whether or not you have a State. Since having a State just magnifies the power of the evil men, then not having a state is preferable to having one. The many who claim we need the State for protection from the evil men ignore the utter magnitude of the actual existing violence and oppression practiced by governments all over the world right now. The wicked will use the awesome power of the state to amplify their oppression of the innocent. The hazards of the bullies in government far outweigh any hypothetical benefit that one might conjure up. In fact, I have rarely read a better reason to have no state at all than that offered up by Tolstoy in the above quote.

Those of us who follow the non-aggression principle argue that it is immoral as well as unwise to ever commit aggression against the innocent; but we believe we are morally justified in retaliation against anyone who launches an unjust aggression against us. I don’t think Tolstoy would disagree with that moral right; but he would argue that Christ forbade it. I suspect he would also argue that it is unwise to use violence to resist.

What are we modern anarchists to do? First, I believe that there are definitely times when retaliation is warranted and advisable, but there are times when non-aggression is the better policy. Gandhi’s use of non-violent resistance in India may be the prototype movement where violence would have been a disaster while non-violence was a definite winner. I would argue that the modern anarchist should not embrace pacifism but rather view total non-violence as a tactic that might well be the best route in a given situation. I recoil at the idea of announcing to the evil among us that they may oppress us in any manner they so choose without them fearing any repercussions.

If I find that in the next life I am told that I was wrong to ever resist evil by force, I’ll certainly ask for forgiveness — but until then, I expect to defend myself and my family if attacked. (where it is prudent to do so of course)

 

 

The Crucial Question of Liberty

Murray N. Rothbard was one of the finest minds of the 20th century and helped to resurrect the freedom movement seemingly single-handedly. He wrote in 1977:

I have been ruminating recently on what are the crucial questions that divide libertarians. Some that have received a lot of attention in the last few years are: anarcho-capitalism vs. limited government, abolitionism vs. gradualism, natural rights vs. utilitarianism, and war vs. peace. But I have concluded that as important as these questions are, they don’t really cut to the nub of the issue, of the crucial dividing line between us. …

And what did he come up with as the crucial question that we must ask of ourselves and of those who claim to be our allies? His answer was this: “Do you hate the State?”.

There runs through the works of Rothbard a deep and pervasive hatred of the State and all of its works. He saw, as I do, that the State is the enemy of all mankind. Everywhere I look I see problems caused or made worse by the State. I view myself as a “radical” in the same way that Rothbard viewed himself and the reliable members of our liberty movement as radicals.

… Radical in the sense of being in total, root-and-branch opposition to the existing political system and to the State itself. Radical in the sense of having integrated intellectual opposition to the State with a gut hatred of its pervasive and organized system of crime and injustice. Radical in the sense of a deep commitment to the spirit of liberty and anti-statism that integrates reason and emotion, heart and soul. …

The sense of being in total and absolute opposition to mankind’s greatest enemy, The State, is a defining characteristic of my worldview. Anyone can see that means that I was truly a big fan of Rothbard back when he was alive and writing.

For those of us who have seen that the State is our enemy, the question naturally arises as to what are we to do about it. The radical libertarian thinks of abolishing the State just as the State is always thinking of us as slaves to be used and abused. We do not think in terms of “making it a little bit better” as that just does not work. We don’t think in terms of “Ron Paul as president would fix everything!” as it is no use to use evil to attempt to do good. As radical libertarians we must take every opportunity to cut back the size and scope of the State in whatever way we can. And we must never, ever look to the State to solve our problems — that is to deal with the Devil.

We must try to convince our minarchist friends that there is no way to constrain a State. If you allow a weak, laissez-faire State then sooner or later it will become a tyranny. Want proof? Look at the history of the United States starting with the Articles of Confederation up until the present day. It is the story of a weak, laissez-faire central state becoming a tyranny.

Rothbard once asked:

Why should there be any important political disputes between anarcho-capitalists and minarchists now? In this world of statism, where there is so much common ground, why can’t the two groups work in complete harmony until we shall have reached a Cobdenite world, after which we can air our disagreements? Why quarrel over courts, etc. now?

The answer is that if they were radicals and were fighting the State as the mortal enemy of mankind then we could work with them, but in the end they support the existence of the State and only disagree with Statists over the size of the beast.

murray-rothbard-enemy-stateNothing has changed since the 70s other than the State has continued to grow in size, scope, and intrusiveness. We are spied upon to a degree that would have astounded even George Orwell. We are subject to all manner of impoverishing rules, mandates, laws, taxes, and threats from the power mad ruling class and their puppet masters behind the scenes.

George Orwell painted a picture of a State that seeks the total and absolute exercise of raw power. The State demands blind, unquestioning obedience and allegiance to the all mighty central government. All independent or skeptical ideas are treason and subversion. This picture that Orwell painted in his novel 1984 is being played out to some degree or the other in every country on the planet Earth. Why? Because mankind is trapped in the fallacy that the State is a necessary evil. It is not necessary at all — but it is evil.

Purge from your mind any idea that the State can be tamed or put to good use. It is evil.