Lew Rockwell at the Ron Paul Festival in Tampa

Historian and all round good guy Thomas Woods reported that the kids at the Ron Paul Festival in Tampa got up and cheered for Lew Rockwell of LRC.com when he was introduced by Tom. Dr. Woods claimed that some were shouting “Lew!, Lew!, Lew!”. Now think about that for a minute. That is amazing. Rockwell’s speech can be heard here.

Lew Rockwell tried to explain why the young people flocked to Ron Paul in the 2012 campaign. He called Ron Paul the “anti-Politician” for telling the truth, educating, and not promising goodies from the federal gravy train. This speech is one of the more anti-establishment speeches I have heard at a political gathering in a long, long time and yet it was restrained and optimistic. Rockwell used the rhetoric of the anarchist who seeks to bring the government down.  I encourage you to listen to the speech by clicking on the above link if you have not already done so.

As the GOP convention nears, we ask “now what?” The answer is simple. Educate yourself in Austrian economics, Classic Liberalism, history of the defeat of Classic Liberalism, market anarchy, the rise of libertarianism in the 20th century, and the strategy of overthrowing tyranny. Read all you can, especially Murry Rothbard, Ludwig von Mises and Walter Block. Make sure you know what you are talking about. Then spread the word. Reach a few people or reach a lot of people — keep trying.  And never stop till you drop.

The government rests on the people’s belief in its legitimacy. Attack that belief until the masses withdraw their consent to be brutalized by the ruling class. That is the way to freedom and liberty. You must become an enemy of the State.

The State and the decline of our society

Anyone who has paid the slightest attention to our society (and all the West) over the last century will come to the conclusion that society has been degenerating at an ever accelerating pace. The math geeks call it an “exponential curve” I believe. The facts are not in question but the reasons for those facts are in question. It is the main question.

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The modern American is certainly in possession of far more consumer goods than his/her counterpart of, say, the 1930s. We have stunningly more advanced technology and our accumulation of facts in the science and engineering sector makes the man of the 30’s look positively backward.  Even our poor live with things that the rich in the 30’s could only dream of. One can have fresh fruit and vegetables from foreign lands during the winter here for example. Even the poor children are running around with “smart phones” that the sci-fi writers of the 30’s could hardly imagine. But today’s society is much more crude, rough, coarse, brutal, violent, and witless. The country is morally bankrupt and the ethics of Americans approximate the worst examples ever imagined in science fiction literature or in dystopian novels by the great writers.

In the 30’s during the Great Depression the people were far less criminal that those of today. The idea that theft is OK was just not something that the poor of the 30s believed. The 30’s were far more safe than today. One could safely walk the streets of any city in the US — large or small. Not so today.

As our people degenerated into animalistic barbarism, the State was growing in power. During the last century the State has co-opted science by funding our researchers to the point that they can hardly imagine doing science without government grants flowing into their labs. The State long ago co-opted the education of our young. The public schools pound the primacy of the State into the minds of our young from “pre-Kindergarten” on. The high school student has learned that enjoyment of his physical drives is the whole of life — all else is done to maximize his own pleasure: and that comes always at the expense of others he is told. The American’s indifference to all but the physical appetites can be stunning. (even as they pretend it is otherwise on Sundays)

The American family is in such a sorry state that everyone from the far left unto the far right sees it and looks for answers. The intervention of the State via the welfare-state and intrusive laws is hardly ever mentioned by the chattering class of so-called intellectuals. How could they pin the blame on their master the State?

We have “news outlets” that are nothing but propaganda outlets for State power. Never think that “journalists” are interested in “liberal” or “conservative” as more than a pose — they are interested in raw power. They worship power.

We have become Empire; destroyer of worlds and cultures. The middle east is aflame and in ruins compared to what it was 100 years ago when Britain and the US hardly knew of the vast oil wealth there to be plundered. Our neo-mercantilist system demanded that we control the region because we could not see that the people there would be happy to sell us oil. What else would they do with it? No, we just had to destroy the hopes and dreams of the people there and support monstrous dictators like the Shaw of Iran.

As the State grew in power, the society went into decline. Society is the voluntary cooperation of millions of people who cooperate for the good of themselves, their family, and people in general. It is in man’s nature to cooperate with others to help ensure his own survival and well-being. From the individual to the family to all our organizations and endeavors we see: The State is the Society-Killer.

For the good of humanity and the good of our children; the State must be vastly reduced in size if not done away with altogether.

Our task and “The Law of Group Polarization”

There was an article at The Corner which gave me something to think about. The author linked to a study from 1999 by Cass Sunstein which appeared in the Harvard Law Review entitled “The Law of Group Polarization” and was later Published in the Journal of Political Philosophy, 2002. The thesis appears in the abstract and is simple:

In a striking empirical regularity, deliberation tends to move groups, and the individuals who compose them, toward a more extreme point in the direction indicated by their own predeliberation judgments. For example, people who are opposed to the minimum wage are likely, after talking to each other, to be still more opposed; people who tend to support gun control are likely, after discussion, to support gun control with considerable enthusiasm; people who believe that global warming is a serious problem are likely, after discussion, to insist on severe measures to prevent global warming. This general phenomenon — group polarization – has many implications for economic, political, and legal institutions. It helps to explain extremism, “radicalization,” cultural shifts, and the behavior of political parties and religious organizations; it is closely connected to current concerns about the consequences of the Internet; it also helps account for feuds, ethnic antagonism, and tribalism.

Near the end of the article itself we see:

One of the most important lessons is among the most general: It is desirable to create spaces for enclave deliberation without insulating enclave members from those with opposing views, and without insulating those outside of the enclave from the views of those within it.

In that light and considering the Asch conformity experiments of the ’50s, think of the general masses of people who are surrounded by all kinds of people who say that there must be a government and that our government is the best possible one despite all its faults. (if they see any faults) Since most grow up believing that the State is nessacary for civilization to exist, they then become very hard to reach by mere logic and example alone. This makes our job all the harder!

Think of the millions that Ron Paul reached in spite of the obsticles to doing so; and think of the fact that he reached the younger crowd. Perhaps the younger people are still flexible enough to look at all sides and do a little thinking. I certainly hope so.

Murray Rothbard believed that education of the masses was not enough to win the day. He believed that we would also have to work through the political process (whatever that means) in addition to all our other efforts. I suppose that the example of Ron Paul teaches us that politics can be used in self-defense. I remain conflicted on this point since how many Ron Pauls come along in a generation?

Anyway, to those who look to use the political system I say good luck. I will be staying home on election day, but I will not belittle your free-will choice whatever it may be. We need to fight for liberty and freedom in whatever way we think has the best chance.

May the gods bless all our effforts.

Wired Magazine and “Apocalypse Not” by Matt Ridley

Matt Ridley has an article in Wired Magazine on the environmental scares of the past decades called “Apocalypse Not: Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Worry About End Times“.

‘From SARS to mad cow disease to acid rain to ozone holes, the environmentalists cannot resist the temptation to invoke apocalyptic prophesies to scare the public witless’

This is an article you need to read. Click on the link and review a little history.

Over the five decades since the success of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in 1962 and the four decades since the success of the Club of Rome’s The Limits to Growth in 1972, prophecies of doom on a colossal scale have become routine. Indeed, we seem to crave ever-more-frightening predictions—we are now, in writer Gary Alexander’s word, apocaholic. The past half century has brought us warnings of population explosions, global famines, plagues, water wars, oil exhaustion, mineral shortages, falling sperm counts, thinning ozone, acidifying rain, nuclear winters, Y2K bugs, mad cow epidemics, killer bees, sex-change fish, cell-phone-induced brain-cancer epidemics, and climate catastrophes.

This article is a great history lesson about the environmental scares of my lifetime. Each one even more scary that the last. I would recommend doing a little Internet research on a few of them after you have read the article if you are not familiar with a particular scare. It can be utterly fascinating to see what was predicted and what came to pass.

The small point I would like to make today is that these scares are interesting in general besides the specific doom and gloom predictions. In my lifetime these scares always called for drastic government action on an unprecedented scale instead of the “repent to God” answers of the distant past. One could be forgiven for asking why.

The reason is clear. Those behind these scares have a collectivist vision that most people should have rejected after horrific results of the 20th century socialist experiments. It does not take a lot of reading about the hells built by Stalin and Mao to understand that collectivist action by force leads to pain and misery. But what if the very survival of humanity itself demanded collectivist action at the point of a gun? Well now; then the State Worshiping collectivists would have something to sell to the masses. And so; you see that they are green on the outside and red on the inside — watermelons.

In modern times, science is done by large groups with big budgets provided by the State. Big Science then gives the State answers which tell us that we need the State to be all powerful to “save us”. Science now takes the place of the theologian of the past telling the masses that salvation lies in obedience to the elite masters.

Not all men and women who are called “scientist” are practicing honest science. Remember that at all times.

 

Ron Paul and the Non-Aggression Axiom of Libertarianism

Even the most die-hard fans of Ron Paul must by now admit that he will not be the GOP nominee for President of the USA. That is not big news by this point in time; but the man is still the leader of the “liberty movement” and one of the reasons is that he is the leader is that he has supported the non-aggression axiom solidly throughout his public career even if he might use other language at times in referring to that bedrock principle.

Walter Block once wrote:

The non-aggression axiom is the lynchpin of the philosophy of libertarianism. It states, simply, that it shall be legal for anyone to do anything he wants, provided only that he not initiate (or threaten) violence against the person or legitimately owned property of another. That is, in the free society, one has the right to manufacture, buy or sell any good or service at any mutually agreeable terms. Thus, there would be no victimless crime prohibitions, price controls, government regulation of the economy, etc.

If the non-aggression axiom is the basic building block of libertarianism, private property rights based on (Lockean and Rothbardian) homesteading principles are the foundation. For if A reaches into B’s pocket, pulls out his wallet and runs away with it, we cannot know that A is the aggressor and B the victim. It may be that A is merely repossessing his own wallet, the one B stole from him yesterday. But given a correct grounding in property rights, the non-aggression axiom is a very powerful tool in the war of ideas. For most individuals believe, and fervently so, that it is wrong to invade other people or their property. Who, after all, favors theft, murder or rape? With this as an entering wedge, libertarians are free to apply this axiom to all of human action, including, radically, to unions, taxes, and even government itself.

Ron Paul is leading a movement of people who mostly seem to understand that aggression is wrong and that the biggest aggressor on planet Earth in our times is the US government. We can all agree that we need the help and support of anyone who is opposed to the brutal US Empire as it presently exists.

The question becomes, “how do we provide for liberty in our times?” The old time conservatives (old right or paleo-conservatives) think that reducing the central government to its role as outlined in the Constitution would do the job. But it did not do that job the first time! And the state and local governments are all out of control also. What about the draconian laws and taxes at the local level? Don’t get me wrong; I would love to see the US government return to doing only the functions it did in the first century of its existence and no more: but that is not enough. I love that the “old right” is on our side, but they are not radical enough to do the whole job.

What about “libertarians”? There are many people who call themselves “libertarian”. Some who call themselves “libertarian” are, unfortunately, just beltway power seekers who want lax drug laws. Some are principled libertarians who believe that government can be controlled and we need government to provide for “public services”. These people would be the intellectual descendants of the Classic Liberals who built this country. The modern “classic liberals” come in all flavors and are united mainly by a deep suspicion of government power. They can be inconsistent at times but they love liberty.

The true “libertarian” is one that takes the non-aggression axiom to its logical conclusion and sees that market anarchy is the only solution for our human condition. We need no ‘rulers’ ordering us about.

In the end, our strategy must be to start as many people as possible on the road towards believing in voluntary cooperation. If they don’t see life without government at first — well, they are still our friends and allies. The path from propagandized statist to market anarchy supporter can be a long and winding road. The key is to get them to take that fist step.