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.

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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.

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.

The Classic Liberals and their mistake

In his book “For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto” Murray N. Rothbard gives us a little history of the Classical Liberals of the 17th and 18th century. He wrote the following:

The libertarian creed emerged from the “classical liberal” movements of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in the Western world, specifically, from the English Revolution of the seventeenth century. This radical libertarian movement, even though only partially successful in its birthplace, Great Britain, was still able to usher in the Industrial Revolution there by freeing industry and production from the strangling restrictions of State control and urban government-supported guilds. For the classical liberal movement was, throughout the Western world, a mighty libertarian “revolution” against what we might call the Old Order — the ancien régime — which had dominated its subjects for centuries. This regime had, in the early modern period beginning in the sixteenth century, imposed an absolute central State and a king ruling by divine right on top of an older, restrictive web of feudal land monopolies and urban guild controls and restrictions. The result was a Europe stagnating under a crippling web of controls, taxes, and monopoly privileges to produce and sell conferred by central (and local) governments upon their favorite producers. This alliance of the new bureaucratic, war-making central State with privileged merchants — an alliance to be called “mercantilism” by later historians — and with a class of ruling feudal landlords constituted the Old Order against which the new movement of classical liberals and radicals arose and rebelled in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

The Classical Liberals sought to overturn the Old Order and level the playing field for all people to the extent that they could, which meant that the State was to be kept extremely small and its tax revenues were to be kept as small as possible. The classical liberals saw that taxes enabled the State and gave it power over the people and they knew that power corrupts.

I once saw a list of beliefs of those of us who urge voluntary cooperation. This list is also a fairly good description of what the Classical Liberals were urging in the 17th and 18th century.

  1. Private ownership of property; not only of personal possessions but also of land, homes, natural resources, tools, and capital goods;
  2. Contracts and voluntary exchange of goods and services, by individuals or groups, on the expectation of mutual benefit;
  3. Totally free competition among all buyers and sellers — in price, quality, and all other aspects of exchange — without ex ante restraints or burdensome barriers to entry;
  4. Entrepreneurial discovery, undertaken not only to compete in existing markets but also in order to discover and develop new opportunities for economic or social benefit; and
  5. Spontaneous order, recognized as a significant and positive coordinating force — in which decentralized negotiations, exchanges, and entrepreneurship converge to produce large-scale coordination without, or beyond the capacity of, any deliberate plans or explicit common blueprints for social or economic development.

The above list is essentially the Classical Liberal vision of laissez-faire capitalism and it is essentially the librarian view as well. The problem is that the list allows for the State in the view of a Classical Liberal. This is the idea of a “night watchman” state where the government is constrained to a few well defined and necessary duties. The government of the US started out just that way under the Articles of Confederation but look at how short a time it took to see power accumulate at the center. After just nine years of the Articles of Confederation we saw the enactment of the present Constitution and then centralized power really took off. From a “night watchman” start, we now have a central government with seemingly unlimited power to do as it pleases. Many recognize that we live in a police state now.

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I have seen many people try to put a date on where America really went wrong. A favorite is the war between the states which meant that no state could secede from the union and “vote with its feet” any longer. Others say that it was WWI and the emergence of Empire by the US. Still others blame the reaction to the great depression by Franklin D. Roosevelt. I reject all the various guesses as to where we went wrong. I think that the new nation went wrong by forming a government in the first place. There was no way to write down some rules on a piece of paper that would constrain power-seeking men over time. Sooner or later the new government would grow teeth and bite the people. History is a testament to my view.

After centuries of experience most people continue to believe that “all good things flow from the compassionate nature of government.” Has the record of the actions of governments in the 20th century not shown us the true nature of the beast?

I am convinced that the Classic Liberals have been on the right path, but they need to recognize that the state is far too dangerous to ever make use of. We need to let people interact via mutual free-will consent. People will need protection since men are not Angels, and so private companies will arise to offer that protection to their customers. The free market can provide anything that the state claims to provide — and without pointing a gun at your head to make you buy it.

Radical Libertarians — What do we want?

A friend asked me the other day, “what in the hell do you people really want?” I promised a short answer and today I feel like providing it. Note; the emphasis is on a short answer. So many great thinkers have gone on at length about how real world libertarianism might work and there are complete books on every aspect of the issue: I only want to tell you what I think we radical libertarians want, not go into a long proof of how it would all work.

First, we ask that we not be the innocent victim of aggression. This is summed up in that old saying, “live and let live”. As long as I am not attacking you or your property then you should not be attacking me in any way. I don’t steal your stuff so why do you send armed men to take my stuff and abuse me if I decide to smoke a weed or drink big sugary soft drinks? (disclaimer: I don’t do any drugs — legal or not) Why does everyone think my city government has the right to demand I pay tribute (get a city permit) before I can put a new door on my house? Hell, I did not need the damn door until the city cops failed me and someone broke my old one. So I had to pay the thief, the city, and the door supply house! A damn ring of thieves.

I don’t want the state or its minions meddling in my life. I read recently that Tennessee will be investigating women to see if they took any illegal drugs during their pregnancy and may well take the child if they think there was any drug use. However, taking doctor proscribed dangerous drugs would be just fine apparently. I know from my years of experience that parents are often not ideal and some kids have a bad home life — but does the state own the children? I say the state does not.

“All we ask is to be left alone by those who would control or meddle; to live our lives as we see fit, harming no innocent person as we do. We will deal with any aggressors we encounter ourselves without asking to be “rescued” by other aggressors in silly suits. It is the only civilized way to live.” ~ Kent MacManiga

But the state sure does think they own the children. Take the horrifying story of a family who had their children kidnapped by the government after they took one child to the ER on the orders of their family doctor over a cut on his tongue. The state was not satisfied to steal just one kid; they took them all. A maddening tale of abuse by the state.

Another of the uncountable aspects of “meddling” by the state is that the state has made it illegal for many people to find work. By enacting various laws governing minimum wages, minimum age, and multitudes of requited employer paid expenses we have made millions of young men unemployable. I started with my first job at ninety cents an hour and I probably was not worth even that low wage. I worked in a processing plant and learned a lot about responsibility — much more than school ever taught me. In a way, I should have paid them the ninety cents an hour. I am lucky they did not think of it!

All the young men sitting around unable to get work due to the laws and regulations of the state are angry. They are on the “pipeline to prison” and they can be very dangerous to “normal” citizens. In a radical libertarian world they would be able to find work and earn money — and learn from the experience.

There is no case that can be made for the state (always in the guise of “society”) meddling in my choice of what drugs I choose to use or anything else I choose to do that is not an aggression against others. There is no case to be made that money should be stolen from one party and given to another party at the point of a gun; no matter if that theft is done by a private individual or by employees of the criminal gang writ large that we call the state.

I can hear my friend now: “get to the point Stoval; what the hell do you want?” I want a society where no man or group of men may aggress against the person or property of anyone else. I want a world were the initiation of the use or threat of physical violence against the person or property of anyone else is not legal. Aggression is synonymous with the state so I want no state. I want free people to cooperate by mutual voluntary agreement without the use of force or fraud being involved.

Do we need a state to be protected from “bad guys”? No. Let the private sector produce “protection agencies” and insurance agencies to protect people. Besides, people could protect themselves a hell of a lot better if the state did not make owning guns illegal in most instances. And armed populous along with a laissez-faire economy would go a long way to making for a polite society.

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

I guess in the end, I just want people to be free.

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Government lies and the Sony hack

[Update — see: Sony Hack – Likely Inside Attacker Found – Obama Claim Discredited]

Sony Corporation, with offices in California, has been hacked. Several terrabytes of data were copied off its internal networks and some of it was shared with the world via file sharing sites on the internet. Some of the corporate executives had e-mails exposed that have been very embarrassing for the corporation. We have been told that the main reason for the hack attacks was a new comedy movie about killing the leader of North Korea. We have been told by countless news articles that the North Korean state is behind these attacks. As it turns out, there was a lot other data such as social security numbers and payroll data taken. These items might well be of high value to hackers.

The hackers seem to have not needed anything more than tools that were well known and in the public domain. It is also known that Sony was not the best in the world at corporate security and they had been hacked before. With a little inside information and skills held by hackers worldwide, any small group of hackers could well have pulled off this cyber crime. They seem to have used servers in Bolivia, China and South Korea as part of this plot, and that incriminates North Korea in what way? There is no public information as of this time that even indicates a State sponsored this crime, much less that North Korea specifically did.

Now we have the US Empire crying that this crime is a “national security matter”. How is e-mails by Sony executive being made public, to their embarrassment, a national security matter? Now the security of a private entertainment company is “national security”? Ah, where is H.L. Mencken when you need him?

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” ~ H.L. Mencken

Apparently it is the Obama administration’s position that accusing the state of North Korea of having done the hack is the only rational conclusion. They don’t see, apparently,  how private hackers might have done this for private financial gain. North Korea has denied any involvement with this crime, but the Empire continues to accuse them via the lapdog press anyway. The FBI and Sony say they have no evidence for such a claim but the White House claims mystical knowledge it looks like.

We have the editors of the New York Times editors claiming that North Korean hackers, seeking revenge for a silly little movie, stole millions of documents and released all to the world. The NYT has always been a reliable lapdog for any aggressive administration, Democratic or Republican, when they were busy demonizing another country and looking for the need for “regime change”.

So, how does the New York Times know that these were North Korean hackers? The same way they always know it is the fault of some new enemy that we can go to war with. Much like they knew that Saddam had “weapons of mass destruction” or that North Vietnam attacked our ship in the Gulf of Tonkin — they just know. Mysticism I guess.

The most bizarre thing about all this is that it makes no sense to satirize Kim Jong-un and North Korea as they are already a major joke in the world. Besides, the silly little movie was a ripoff of an older one by the boys who do “South Park”. Team America: World Police has already been done! So why the hack? I suspect private hackers of taking advantage of Sony’s lack of security and the Empire’s need to demonize other countries to keep the populous willing to shell out Trillions for “defense”.

In this country the default position of anyone who has been paying attention is to not believe whatever the US Empire says. The Empire may occasionally mess up and tell the truth but if the government issues a statement saying that the sun rises in the east, then I would advise you to get up at dawn and see for yourself before you believe them.

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