The State is a monster

As I go through life, I continually meet people who are convinced that having a state (a monopoly government) in charge of everyone’s life is the only way that mankind can exist, or at least exist in a society. They agree with me that there are countless, literally countless, examples of the state, via its paid agents and minions, harming perfectly innocent people in various ways. I contend that the state is an attack on society and not the protector of society. I contend that the state is a monster.

Robert Higgs make makes a powerful argument for why the state is a monster:

Lest anyone protest that the state’s true “function” or “duty” or “end” is, as Locke, Madison, and countless others have argued, to protect individuals’ rights to life, liberty, and property, the evidence of history clearly shows that, as a rule, real states do not behave accordingly. The idea that states actually function along such lines or that they strive to carry out such a duty or to achieve such an end resides in the realm of wishful thinking. Although some states in their own self-interest may at some times protect some residents of their territories (other than the state’s own functionaries), such protection is at best highly unreliable and all too often nothing but a solemn farce. Moreover, it is invariably mixed with crimes against the very people the state purports to protect, because the state cannot even exist without committing the crimes of extortion and robbery, which states call taxation (Nock 1939), and as a rule, this existential state crime is but the merest beginning of its assaults on the lives, liberties, and property of its resident population.

Of course there are so very many “conservatives” and other dreamers who holler that we need to “follow the constitution as written” and then everything will be just wonderful. Well my friends, we have been trying that for almost three hundred years and that path has not worked out for us yet. Lysander Spooner nailed the problem a long time ago:

“But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain — that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.” ~ Lysander Spooner

There are many sites on the internet that chronicle injustice and wrongdoing on the part of the state and its evil minions. I could spend all day just providing links to various outrages, but there is little need of that if you are interested because there are people doing that all over the place. Just today I read this post by New York defense attorney Scott Greenfield at his blog on legal matters. Mr. Greenfield is not an anarchist or even a libertarian as far as I can tell. He even wrote a post once about how many “good cops” there are. And yet his legal blog is a daily chronicle of the brutality, injustice, fraud, abuse, and lies of the American court system.

“Our constitutions purport to be established by ‘the people,’ and, in theory, ‘all the people’ consent to such government as the constitutions authorize. But this consent of ‘the people’ exists only in theory. It has no existence in fact. Government is in reality established by the few; and these few assume the consent of all the rest, without any such consent being actually given.” ~ Lysander Spooner

The American system is a horror. Every four years there is the huge battle between the two political parties who promise that if they win then the country will be “fix” and life will be great for all. The political class and their hired henchmen seek to control every part of your life down to what you think. The political class sucks the lifeblood out of the society and feeds on it like a deranged vampire bat, and yet they claim they are “protecting” you. It reminds me of the witch hunters of the early days in this country who killed hundreds of innocent women “for their own good”.

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We are coming into the presidential election season (about two years long) and there will be all sorts of pundits telling us that the world will go to hell if so-and-so wins. Others will tell you that their favorite will fix all the evils of the country and that it would be an outrage if you do not vote for their candidate. This is all just empowerment for the brutal, tyrannical state. The monster is made stronger by the illusion that the people have some choice in how the state runs and who is in charge. A change in presidents has no more effect on the course of things than a change in Mafia Don does for that crime syndicate. In fact, we should just be more honest and change the title from “president” to “Syndicate Don” or perhaps “Boss of bosses”. (King of kings is already taken)

Laws, rules, edicts, regulations and all the rest are not the great equalizing efforts the rulers and their paid minions preach to us about. No matter what they claim in their obedience classes in public schools, the edicts of the state are not mutual and voluntary cooperation — but rather, they are the whim and dictates of the ruling class who enslaves you. Laws and regulations are vehicles to enable the police to serve and protect the ruling class not the mundane citizens. Laws, regulations, edicts, and all the rest serve to legitimize the daily war on individual freedom and liberty that is the very nature of the state.

The state is a monster that seeks to brutalize you. That is a fact you must deal with.

 

Voting and electioneering

There are only two ways in which a society can govern itself. One way is by force while the second way is by voluntary cooperation. These two methods of societal governance are mutually exclusive. Just as you can not have a “voluntary tax”, you can not have mutual and voluntary cooperation with a gun aimed at your head. The state is that entity that uses guns and other brutal means to coerce your actions. And that brings us to politics.

We are headed into another election cycle and there is already talk of what candidates the two parties will select to run against each other in the 2016 election for president. I see some people I follow on Twitter claiming that the Republicans need to “win” so that we can “save” the country. Utter horse manure.

There is no amount of electioneering or correct voting going to save us. It does not matter if Mrs. Clinton wins or loses other than we would have to listen to that lying old crone whine about things from “the bully pulpit”. No one can save the U.S. from its bankruptcy. No candidate can save the U.S. from the brutality of the militarized police, the murders by SWAT team home invaders,  or the invasion of privacy by the NSA and other agencies. Politics and voting will not save you from the horrors you see around you and read about at your favorite web sites. It was the voting booth that got us were we are at now!

Do I mean there is no politician that will try to save us? Yes, that is what I am saying. In spite of the fact that some candidates may be marginally better than other candidates, there are none that will save you. The politician must finance his campaign, and that means he will promise to steal (taxes for example) from one set of citizens to give to others. We are talking plunder here. Politics is about plundering those that produce in the market to fund those who want to live by the power of force and coercion.

What about those politicians that tell us what we want to hear?  The politician will make promises to the voter that he knows he will never keep. The politician lies to the voter all the time. Remember that Ronald Reagan continually talked about “getting government off your back” as he increased the size of government year after year. Lies? Am I accusing the political class of telling lies? The most successful politicians are not hindered by having moral principles. They have no qualms about telling the voters they will protect them and their property as they plan the confiscation of their property in order fund their agenda and to pay off their cronies.

Will any politician enact a decent foreign policy and try to bring peace to this war weary planet? Surely you jest. Our children are taught and indoctrinated to respect and give allegiance to a state that bullies, tortures, and murders people around the world. Our foreign policy is that of a brutal, amoral empire that murders innocent men, women, and children every day. The empire also performs similar acts of violence and coercion against its own people. We call that “law enforcement” and we are propagandized from birth to the grave to “respect” the militarized police.

Do you really think that your vote for president in 2016 will change anything? Do you think Rand Paul will cure it all perhaps? The best you can hope for is that a strong, moral, libertarian-leaning candidate might slow the progress towards totalitarianism to some small degree. Do you want to violate the non-aggression principle by voting just to make the progress toward dystopia take an extra few years?

Voting is not the answer. Voting for our rulers got us into this mess in the first place. It is time to stop participating in the State’s ceremonies.

“To replace one set of power-seekers with another affects the distribution of the political loot. It does not stop the looting.” ~ Gary North

As we come into the 2016 election cycle, you may favor one candidate over the next. You may think that one bastard is less evil than the other bastard. But it is still true that the lesser of two evils is still evil. Don’t expect the political process to somehow, by magic, produce good.

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The Commandments of Rational Debate

Various similar lists of the 10 commandments of rational debate have been posted thousands of times on the net, and today it is my turn to post a list of commandments. Keep in mind that the list concerns rational debate and not rhetoric.

1. Do not attack the person or his character, but only the argument itself. (“Ad hominem”)

2. Do not misrepresent or exaggerate a person’s argument in order to make their argument easier to attack. (“Straw Man Fallacy”)

3. Do not reduce the argument down to only two possibilities. (“False Dichotomy”)

4. Do not claim that just because something has occurred before something else then it must be the cause of the second thing. (“Post Hoc/False Cause”)

5. Do not argue your position by assuming one of its premises is true. (“Begging the Question”)

6. Do not claim that because a premise or argument is popular then it must be true. (“Bandwagon Fallacy”)

7. Do not argue that because of our ignorance at this point in time that your claim must be true or false. (“Ad Ignorantiam”)

8. Do not assume “this” follows “that,” when there is no logical connection. (“Non sequitur”)

9. Do not appeal to an outside “experts” to claim support. (“Appeal to Authority”)

10. Do not claim moral authority as support for your argument. (“Moral high ground fallacy”)

Here is a link to the list of logical fallacies at Wikipedia.

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In scientific debates and political debates alike we should strive to remain logical and truthful at all times. In political debate we should look at reality and human nature and not at some Utopia that we dream of. With both Austrian Economics and Rothbardian political analysis we strive to understand reality and so logical debate is valued over emotional sputterings.

Learn the fallacies and learn to spot their use by others.

What you owe to the state

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What do you owe to the United States of America just because you were born here and are a citizen?

“Nobody is born with a mandatory obligation to invisible lines on a map. Our fundamental obligation is to ourselves, our families, and the people that we choose to let into our circles…not to a piece of dirt that’s controlled by mob-installed bureaucrats.” ~ Simon Black

The biggest problem with any state is that it is the one institution that we allow a most peculiar exemption from all of the moral laws that guide us in our dealings with one another. We all know that the world is a very complex place with billions of people reacting to each other every day. We can not predict all of the ramifications of our various actions and so we have moral rules to guide us all. We have a deep sense of what is right and what is fair as we observe individuals dealing with one another in their daily affairs. Do I have any right to impose my will on my neighbor, who is doing me no harm?  Of course not! And my neighbor has no right to do me harm as long as I do not aggress against him — not even if he joins with a majority and passes a law that says he may do so.

The state is not some magical entity but it is simply an organization of individual human beings. There is no reason to believe that “the end justifies the means” for the state when it is morally wrong for the single individual or for non-state groups. If we set out to do things “for the greater good” believing that the ends justify the means, then we may realize to our horror that we have ushered in great evils. Recall that the definition of “ironic evil” is the evil that good men do as they try their best to do good. It is a law of nature and a close cousin of “the law of unintended consequences”.

The state is nothing more than a group of men and women running a criminal monopoly that uses force, fraud, and coercion to make everyone else to buy services from them. Even if they are correct and their old document that you or I never signed, called the Constitution, gives them permission to rob and brutalize the population, does that give them to moral right to do so? Of course not. They have a monopoly on interpreting and applying the constitution which they claim is a contract, but I never agreed to that contract and there is no impartial court to go to with contractual disputes anyway.They enforce the constitution with bullets.

Ideas are the motive power that produces human progress (or lack of same) and shapes the world. Ideas are more powerful than armies. This is why the state spends so much effort propagandizing us to get us to believe they have some rightful monopoly on the use of force and that only the minions of the state can decide what everyone must do, say, and think. Government employees think they are an elite class; above everyone else. Their wishes and opinions become the law while our wishes become crimes without prior approval by the state. The laws of the state are a club to beat the population and not a shield of protection. As long as the American people continue to believe in the idea that their most formidable enemies are terrorists from distant lands or other countries rather than their own government here at home they will continue to lose freedom and wealth to the very entity they so wrongly believe exists for their protection.

Historically criminality was seen to mean that both intent and at least one victim was required, but today criminality means whatever the minions of the state say is not allowed. We all have a clear idea of what it means when one party commits aggression against another’s person or property and that is easy for everyone to understand, but no one can keep up with the millions of capricious and conflicting rules and regulation of the state. The state’s millions of rules and regulations means that each of us is a criminal in some way and the state could use some aspect of its millions of regulations to trip us up any time government minions choose to do so.

There is no state rule, regulation or economic calculus that can replace each individual’s plans for his daily needs and desires. The man left to freely make is own decisions is the best man for that task and there are no free men without self-ownership. The state is the largest stumbling block to the people’s welfare that there has ever been, so why do we think we owe anything other than our animosity to the very group who does us the most damage?

What do I owe the criminal state? Nothing, other than a lasting hatred for its uncountably many crimes against men, women, and children.

The U.S. and its useless constitution

Long ago we were taught in government schools that the U.S. was set up to be a Republic. But we were also taught that the U.S. is a democracy. Well which is it? Does it matter? The elite ruling class, i.e. the overlords, want to keep you confused on the issue of “republic” vs. “democracy” as well as ignorant of what the constitution actually says.

ron_paul_poster_flyer_by_the_russianThe difference between a republic and a democracy is critical is seeing how the U.S. became the mess that it is today.

In a republic the people vote for representatives who operate the government according to rules set forth by the whole people in a document called a constitution or some synonymous term. The republican government is supposed to be limited in scope and power to things like defense, keeping the peace, and justice.  It is the primary duty of the elected officials in a republic to oversee the enforcement of the rules stated in the constitution and not to be forever making new laws and rules. New laws and rules may be enacted as needed as situations change over time but they have to conform to the rules, regulations, and powers set forth in the founding document called the constitution. Sometimes the constitution itself would need to be changed by the whole of the people to address changing situations; and that process should be spelled out in the original constitution.

In a democracy the people also vote for representatives to operate the government but in a democracy there is little to no constraint outside public opinion on what rules, laws, and actions the representatives take or enact. In a democracy sometimes the people themselves get to vote on laws and actions to take. There is little or no protection for the marginalized or hated in society — the state is unconstrained in its actions. The ancients knew that a pure democracy was not a thing the common man should ever hope for as it offers no protection from mob rule.

In the U.S. it is said that the constitution is open to interpretation and not fixed in meaning. So if the constitution is open to interpretation then naturally every president’s administration will interpret it to their advantage. Now if every administration interprets the constitution differently then it has no fixed meaning but rather many different, conflicting meanings. If the constitution has many different, conflicting meanings then it has no real meaning at all. Obviously the U.S. has become a democracy without constraint rather than a republic constrained by a written constitution that seeks to restrict the state to a small set of powers and legal actions.

In my last post I wrote:

One of the most disappointing things in political discourse is to hear so many claim that the constitution if followed “as it was written” would “guarantee our rights”. This is almost as bad as those who think that the American constitution grants us our rights in the first place. ~Stoval

The simple fact is that there can be no “meaning” of any written words without “interpretation” of those words. (ask your local English teacher) As long as the state itself does the interpretation then it should be obvious that the state’s minions will seek to interpret the document to mean whatever the minion needs to empower the state in whatever action it seeks to take at that point in time.

A friend, Henry Moore, wrote to tell me that he disagreed with me on my view of the constitution in a post (see here) he had put up at about the same time as my last one. After reading it over, I don’t think we disagree all that much. After all, I posted “The Constitutionalism of Ron Paul” a while back agreeing with Ron Paul that we would be far, far better off if we could get the state to follow its own rules as plainly written in the constitution. And so, I also agree with Henry Moore that it would be great if the government of the U.S. would follow its constitution on matters like the second amendment found in the Bill of Rights.

But my friends, while the tactic of demanding that the state follow its own rules is a worthwhile endeavor, I can not see any state constrained by any piece of paper for very long at all. It is the very anatomy of the state itself to commit aggression against its own citizens. The very nature of the state is that of the few preying on the many; sucking the lifeblood like some mythical vampire.

As I have written before, the main problem with the constitution is that it is in conflict with the non-aggression principle.The constitution supports aggression against the citizens: forcibly taking some people’s rightful positions and property to give to other people and that is just for starters. But if we are to seek to use the constitution itself against the present police state, the best tactic is to use the nearly forgotten and never followed 10th amendment to the constitution seeking to use the state you live in to protect you from the central government in D.C. Of course, you are on your own seeking protection from your local state!

All in all, I think making the government follow the constitution is a good tactic but I tend to think it is far too little and far too late. I wager an honest survey would find that the majority of Americans don’t even know what is in the darn document, much less how it was interpreted back when it was written. Who says government schools are not working?