Are you antiwar?

A young girl once asked me how I came to be so “anti-government”. I told her that I was first anti-war. I had been anti-war all my life — I was born hating war somehow. Reincarnation perhaps? I came to see that only the modern nation State was capable of the industrialized slaughters we call modern war and so I had to turn against the large States. I became what I thought was a “small government conservative” for lack of better terms in those early days. Then I saw that I was really a minarchist as I only wanted a very “bare bones” government. Later I became aware that all governments are sponges soaking up power and just waiting to take its people to war as “war is the health of the state”; and so, I became committed to free-market anarchy.

With the end of my summer and the freedom to write everyday little notes to my good friends on twitter in this forum upon me, I decided to write a few posts about the thing that has always driven my passions. Yes even more than young wymen in modern swim wear I have been passionate about ending these things we call modern armies and the wars they fight.

Back in 1973 with the Vietnam War still raging Murray Rothbard was interviewed by Reason Magazine on the subject of foreign policy. They started with:

Q: Why, in your view, is isolationism an essential tenet of libertarian foreign policy?

That may seem like a very loaded question to the ear of the modern reader since “isolationism” is a very loaded term and “non-interventionism” seems much better, but then, back in ’73, the term was used more simply than today and was just the opposite to “interventionism”. The question might also sound a little odd to some who are not sure that a libertarian society would even have a “foreign policy” unless strict neutrality and free trade with all is a foreign policy. But even with the passage of time, the question remains an important one even if we might ask it with slightly different phrases today.

Anyway, Rothbard answered that question and I quote his answer in part:

A: The libertarian position, generally, is to minimize State power as much as possible, down to zero, and isolationism is the full expression in foreign affairs of the domestic objective of whittling down State power. In other words, interventionism is the opposite of isolationism, and of course it goes on up to war, as the aggrandizement of State power crosses national boundaries into other States, pushing other people around etc. So this is the foreign counterpart of the domestic aggression against the internal population. I see the two as united.

The responsibility of trying to limit or abolish foreign intervention is avoided by many conservative libertarians in that they are very, very concerned with things like price control – of course I agree with them. They are very, very concerned about eliminating taxes, licensing, and so forth – with which I agree – but somehow when it comes to foreign policy there’s a black out. The libertarian position against the State, the hostility toward expanding government intervention and so forth, goes by the board – all of a sudden you hear those same people who are worried about government intervention in the steel industry cheering every American act of mass murder in Vietnam or bombing or pushing around people all over the world.

This shows, for one thing, that the powers of the State apparatus to bamboozle the public work better in foreign affairs than in domestic. In foreign affairs you still have this mystique that the nation-State is protecting you from a bogeyman on the other side of the mountain. There are “bad” guys out there out trying to conquer the world and “our” guys are in there trying to protect us. So not only is isolationism the logical corollary of libertarianism, which many libertarians don’t put into practice; in addition, as Randolph Bourne says, “war is the health of the State.”

The State thrives on war – unless, of course, it is defeated and crushed – expands on it, glories in it. For one thing, when one State attacks another State, it is able through this intellectual bamboozlement of the public to convince them that they must rush to the defense of the State because they think the State is defending them. …

Little has changed since those words were first written. We don’t have a draft anymore, but the sons of the poor often think they have little other choice but to join the military. We have not committed to a full scale land war again as in Vietnam although Iraq was close enough to jog the memory of the Vietnam era vets. The State still tells us that it “is protecting us” by its aggressive foreign policy of antagonizing people all over the world even when it is not murdering their women and children. We have even gotten to the place that we can bomb weddings and funerals to kill civilians and the public accepts that as right and just. We have become Empire.

So what to do? We must educate the young about the horrors of war and we must teach them about morality as that aspect has been lost in the debate somehow. We talk about how productive a given policy or action might be, or how counter-productive it might be, but we don’t seem to be engaging the masses with the simple message that killing people overseas is wrong. Morally wrong. Ethically wrong.  We have killed millions of Children for God’s sake! And women; when did it become normal for a civilized nation to blow up a girl’s wedding as part of an occupation?

I think we fight the State at every opportunity. I voted for Ron Paul and rooted for him in spite of my belief that voting is counter productive because I wanted America to hear his anti-war message. And I admit to harbouring dreams of an anti-war Ron Paul in a debate with the murderous president Obama in a nationally televised venue. Ah, that would be sweet!

My advice to you is to fight war at every step. Preach against it when you can do so effectively. Vote for a man running on a anti-war ticket when you can even if you hate voting. My friends, we will never be free until we stop the carnage overseas. For you own sake and that of your children and their children — fight war.

The first step may well be to preach non-interventionism as a foreign policy as that can be sold to people from the far left to the far right even if they don’t believe in our radical libertarian views. Most people can be shown that spending Trillions on killing people overseas who have never harmed us is not the best use of the people’s money. It is bankrupting us financially and morally. Foreign policy may be a winning first move in the intellectual exercise of convincing others that governments are organized evil.

So what is an Anarcho-Syndicallist?

I was reading tweets the other day and saw a few that made me say to myself, “so what is an Anarcho-Syndicallist?” Wikipedia is real helpful, it says that Anarcho-syndicalism is a branch of anarchism which endorses syndicalism. Well, OK then, so what then is this “syndicalism” thing? Syndicalism is said to be an alternative co-operative economic system that some believe could bring revolutionary change. I am for co-operation, as long as it is voluntary and not coercive, and lord knows I am for change from this horrific status quo we have now.

Wikepedia says of syndicalism:

Syndicalism is a type of economic system proposed as a replacement for capitalism and an alternative to state socialism, which uses federations of collectivised trade unions or industrial unions. It is a form of socialist economic corporatism that advocates interest aggregation of multiple non-competitive categorised units to negotiate and manage an economy.[1]

For adherents, labour unions are the potential means of both overcoming economic aristocracy and running society fairly in the interest of the majority, through union democracy. Industry in a syndicalist system would be run through co-operative confederations and mutual aid. Local syndicates would communicate with other syndicates through the Bourse du Travail (labor exchange) which would manage and transfer commodities.

Replace capitalism? We don’t have capitalism: we have crony-capitalism or corporatism. But let us leave that aside and move on. A form of “socialist economic corporatism”? “Union democracy”?

Syndicalism is also used to refer to the tactic of bringing about this social arrangement, typically expounded by anarcho-syndicalism and De Leonism, in which a general strike begins and workers seize their means of production and organise in a federation of trade unionism …

Uh oh, looks like we have old style socialism dressed up in new cloths. They propose to start by stealing someone’s factory and then running it for themselves leaving everyone else out in the cold. To top it off, they think that “democracy” in running the factory is somehow non-coercive to everyone?

Murray Rothbard once wrote in an article about syndicalism:

Syndicalism, on the other hand – i.e., full worker “ownership” of “their” industries – does not even attempt to achieve a rational allocation of resources. Both the free method of market allocation and the coercive method of central dictation are eliminated. And what is to take their place? In effect, nothing but chaos. Instead of a coordinating mechanism there is now only the chaotic will of groups of brawling monopoloid syndics, each demanding parity and control regardless of economic law.

Does anyone think for one moment that the horse-and-buggy workers would have permitted higher wages in the budding automobile industry? Or have permitted the dismissal of workers? All one need do is to observe the arrogant behavior of unions with monopoly power to know the answer. But the problem lies deeper than bad will on the part of union syndics. The problem is that, even in a community of “saints,” even in an improbable world of meek and altruistic union monopolists, there would be no way for the syndics to make their decisions on wages, employment, or allocation of production. Only a system of market pricing and wage rates, guided by profit-and-loss considerations for market firms, can provide a mechanism for such decisions.

It would appear then that the anarcho-shndicallist is another commie who thinks that the laws of economics were designed by “the man” to keep the masses in their place. So he decides he and a few buddies will replace “the man” and control the masses “for their own good”. (new rulers, same old crap)

If one believes in the Non Aggression Principle, then one has to believe in private property ownership as the basis for a working society. Each person owns her body and the fruits of her labor. One person may hire another (if they are willing) to help her with her business. This hiring does not give the second person ownership in the business unless the contract provided for that. Does the man you hired to mow your lawn now have part ownership in your home?

Professor Noam Chomsky expressed a great deal of worry about the rise of the “right-wing” libertarian movement, concerned that we might succeed in abolishing the State before the State has succeeded in abolishing private property. So who controls (owns) the property? Why committees run by Chomsky and other “better sorts” no doubt. Does anyone remember the committees in the USSR? Chomsky went on to say that anarcho-capitalistism would be the greatest tyranny the world has ever seen. Yes indeed, the tyranny of the individual no doubt.

As I see it; the Anarcho-Syndicallist is no anarchist at all. He is simply a control freak looking to sell communism under a different name.

No sale.

A Love Letter to Ron Paul by Walter Block

Dr. Walter Block was interviewed by Lew Rockwell of about his 400 page new book and the audio interview was posted last Saturday. Dr. Block was a student and close friend of Murray N. Rothbard and has been called “Mr. Libertarian” by many people now that Dr. Rothbard is no longer with us. Lew Rockwell calls him Mr. Libertarian yet once again in his introduction of Dr. Block in the interview.

From the book description from :

… But Dr. Paul is not only running for the presidency of the U.S. His campaign is also an attempt to change the hearts and minds of the more than 300 million people in America, but also the nearly 7 billion inhabitants of the entire Earth. And in this latter quest he has already succeeded, beyond even the most ambitious of hopes of his most fervent supporters.

Walter Block lectures widely on college campuses, delivers seminars around the world and appears regularly on television and radio shows. He has been a friend of Ron Paul’s since the 1970s. Dr. Block is a leading Austrian School economist and an international leader of the freedom movement. Walter Block knows about the fight to liberate young people from the indoctrination that we “must have a State” and that “the State is your friend”. He has been on the front lines of this fight since the 70s. In the first minutes of the interview with Lew Rockwell he said that he wrote the book as his “love letter” to Ron Paul and that Ron Paul had “created more libertarians than anybody in the history of the universe“.

This new book by Walter Block is a book that I will read as soon as I have finished my latest tour though The Ethics of Liberty by Rothbard.

Coincidentally I read an exchange on twitter this morning where people who have converted few, if any, people from full on Statism to libertarianism opine that Ron Paul was, to paraphrase, “doing it all wrong“. It is as if these people have never heard the phrase “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” before. Ron Paul has known for years that just getting people to agree that shrinking government down to the vision of the founders is very difficult. He says in effect that the government should follow its own rules as written in the Constitution at the very least. Sure, he could have preached full on anarchy to the nation in his two runs for nomination: and how would that have worked out? Anarchy is a hard sell to Statists who can not even imaging going back to a government as small as the one in 1950! Ron Paul preached bringing all the troops home from all countries overseas — perhaps he should have added that we should disband the military to boot? That would have been a big seller to the average Joe in the street! (not)

I have been a full on anarchist for decades and believe that the war against the State will not be done until there is no State left. However, I have watched the State grow in power, arrogance, intrusiveness, corruption, and raw evil the entire time. If you think that a president Ron Paul would be little different from president Obama or Romney then we have little to talk about as you don’t live in the same universe as I do. There is almost a zero chance that Ron Paul will ever be president; but his message of reducing government at every turn and in every area is one that resonates with the young people today. If Ron Paul will get them in “the tent” of libertarianism, there are plenty of us to push them on to full market anarchy.

The people who think they could do better than Ron Paul need to get out there and do it!

A Radical Libertarian and the 2012 Olympics

A fellow on twitter opined yesterday that one could not be a “libertarian” unless one was an “anarchist”. That is just not so. The very word “libertarian” was coined to mean “Classic Liberal” since the socialists had started calling themselves “liberals” and had destroyed the meaning of the word. Ludwig von Mises the great Classic Liberal was certainly a libertarian even though most agree he was not an anarchist. Perhaps that fellow was thinking of the class of libertarians sometimes called “Radical Libertarians“. I agree it is hard to imagine a radical libertarian who is not an anarchist politically.

Perhaps the word that best defines our distinction is “radical.” 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. – (M.N. Rothbard)

This writer is a radical libertarian. How can you tell? I hate the State with a passion that will not abate until the State is gone or I am. (most people are betting the State outlasts me) So you can imagine that I view the 2012 Olympics with a large dose of disdain. Don’t get me wrong: I have nothing against sports in general, especially amateur sports. But we are not looking at a worldwide gathering of amateur sportsmen.

The Olympics has morphed into a large, hugely expensive tribute to the nation States involved. It is a political statement. No wonder that many fear some sort of terror attack by some group hoping to hit nations at their very heart. If everyone was an amateur we would see only individuals at the games rather than team members of various nations. It would be wonderful to watch the world’s fastest men and women compete in sprints without them representing some evil government or the other. I agree with one writer who said he thought that the 2012 Summer Olympics had turned into “a $17 billion exercise in militarism, corporatism, surveillance and oppression.”

This may be “over the top” but if the USA and the nations of Western Europe want to have games where they are represented by teams; they should have military units engage in sports such as “night time baby killing from 1 mile in the sky”. I am sure the reader can supply many other such “games”. Perhaps the military units of the various States could engage in combat for the entertainment of their fans around the world. This could give a whole new meaning to the phrase “war games”.

I call on the States of the world to give the Olympics back to the people and stop this nationalistic display that only serves to separate rather than unite the people of the world.

George Orwell and the 2012 London Olympics

I read that the UK government has deployed an extra 1,200 troops to help “protect” the population at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. A lack of confidence in the G4S security firm has given the government an excuse for the use of military forces and so the opening ceremony will provide an estimated 18,200 UK military personnel with another 5,500 troops in reserve just outside the venue.

LONDON — Britain’s government opted Tuesday to deploy 1,200 more troops to protect Olympic venues — a move that reflects a lack of confidence that private security contractor G4S can deliver all it promised for the Games.

The fresh troops come only three days before Friday’s opening ceremony and mean that some 18,200 U.K. military personnel are now involved in some capacity in securing the London Games — dwarfing the 9,500 British troops now in Afghanistan. The decision followed a Cabinet meeting on venue security.

“On the eve of the largest peacetime event ever staged in this country, ministers are clear that we should leave nothing to chance,” Olympics Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in a statement. “The Government continues to have every confidence that we will deliver a safe and secure Games.”

There is talk of missiles on top of residential buildings surrounding the games, drones, poison gas, and all manner of exotic “security” measures being employed against the civilian population in the name of “safety”. The CIA, TSA, and FBI of the USA are lending a hand with spying software and God knows what else.

I have been watching the Olympic Games for decades. We have now reached a level of hysteria and absurdity that perhaps only the great George Orwell could have done justice to. The military is ready to attack in case of some event. Who will they attack? Who will they bomb? Who will they gas? They will attack innocent civilians of course since any madman or terrorist group would not try to pull off an attack dressed in clearly marked uniforms for easy identification.

But the larger question is why does the UK government think that it needs to make this the “the biggest peacetime security operation in Britain’s history”? What has the West done to innocent peoples around the globe so that we expect a counter attack? And would any counter attack by some middle eastern group not be understandable considering the millions of innocent lives that the West (USA mainly) has murdered?

Is it possible that the British government is using this opportunity to ratchet up its control of its own domestic population? Could it be that armed soldiers in the street is just what the government wants the civilian population to get used to?