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.

 

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.

Lysander-Spooner-Quotes-5

The building tyranny

On occasion I have referred to the US Empire as a police state and have received complaints that we are nowhere near a police state. This morning I was reading an article by the always wonderful Fred Reed when I read the following paragraphs.

NSA spies on us illegally and in detail, recording telephone conversations, reading email, recording our financial transactions, on and on. TSA makes air travel a nightmare, forcing us to hop about barefoot and confiscating toothpaste. The police kick in our doors at night on no-knock raids and shoot our dogs. In bus stations we are subject to search without probable cause. The feds track us through our cell phones. Laws make it a crime to photograph the police, an out-and-out totalitarian step: Cockroaches do not like light. The feds give police forces across the country weaponry normal to militaries. Whatever the intention, it is the hardware of control of dissent. Think Tian An Men Square in China.

And we have no recourse. If you resist, you go to jail, maybe not for long, not yet anyway, but jail is jail. Object to TSA and you miss your flight. They know it and use it. The courts do nothing about this. They too are feds.~ Fred Reed

There is much, much more to the story of course, but those two paragraphs (tip of the iceberg that they are) tell us that the Empire is now a police state and that it is getting more totalitarian by the day. It was just this past week that my wife was complaining that some mother got arrested and put in jail because she had a spoon in her purse. Mothers have all sorts of things in their purse and a spoon is one of the things that could easily be in any mother’s purse. (especially if her young are still toddlers) Arrested for what? For having “drug paraphernalia” of course. The most horrible thing is that her public defender wanted to plea bargain her straight to jail. What a wonderful system, eh?

policestateusa

We have SWAT teams everywhere and they are raiding people’s homes as if they were in a war zone in WWII. I read that SWAT teams are even serving court papers via military style reads these days. This fact alone should tell you that we live in a police state that is growing in power and arrogance all the time.

And yet, I read “conservatives” who claim that we need to vote in Republicans next election cycle to “put things right”. What in the hell are those people drinking? The Republicans are every bit as guilty as the Democrats of setting up the control freak nanny state. The “war” between the two parties is every bit as real as the “war” between two professional wrestlers on TV. It is all for show my friends, all for show. And all to get you distracted from the fact that the US Empire is totally out of control.

I read “progressives” who claim that all is well except for the Empire’s foreign policy. May the gods have mercy on progressives — they are so stupid that they can’t see that they have been supporting “humanitarian” military interventions since the early 1900s. The progressives want to see a totally powerful central state so that the central government can make everyone do just as they think people should act. The Republicans want the same — except people should be forced to act as Republicans think they should rather than what Democrats want. Both sides want to “run the world”.

We are caught between two sets of idiots. May the gods have pity on us.

Another example of the building tyranny is that there is always unwarranted secrecy by the central state. There are still sealed and secrete papers concerning the assassination of John Kennedy for god’s sake. What is up with that? Kennedy died in 1963! And I read that ever since the Boston Marathon bombing, the FBI has been intimidating, harassing, and silencing friends and acquaintances of the Tsarnaev brothers. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyers are having trouble getting anyone to talk to them according to recent court documents. It seems that no big national “terror” event is ever handled with the transparency that one would expect of a free country — it is always handled as if the state itself was in on the event. (and maybe they are in some of them)

Cops are stopping people in their cars and robbing them if the people have any cash — to the point that the Canadian government recently warned its citizens not to carry cash if they visited the US. Cops are killing “suspects” in the street on a regular basis but they have immunity. They are trained in military tactics and they make full use of their training.

If you have any delusions that we live in a free country rather than a police state, then you have not been reading the news at alternative news sites across the net. Turn off you TV and stop reading your mainstream newspaper. Turn off the propaganda and take a look at what is going on in this country right now.

The state is your enemy.

 

 

Lies of the Regime

Often when I contemplate the lies of various regimes around the world, both now and in the past, I become confused by how badly all those lies play out. The stories and myths seem concocted by middle school kids barely paying attention. Often the lies are concocted to lead a country to war against some innocent people, but often the lies are just banal and trivial.

U_S_S_R__Flag_Wallpaper_by_Neozuki

As I was pondering the lies of the state, I stumbled over the following quote in my travels over the internet. I can’t remember where I saw the quote so apologies to whomever I should give credit to.

“In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.” ― Theodore Dalrymple

Please remember that there is precious little real difference between the communist system and the crony capitalist system (or “corporatist” as Mussolini liked to use) that has become the standard in the world today. All states sooner or later assume dictatorial control over their subjects. (yes, subjects and not citizens) So this theory is that the state’s lies are even better if we are forced to believe them even when they are so very infantile and unbelievable. This fits in with many other descriptions of the state and its common methods.

I like the comparison between Mr. Dalrymple’s ideas and those of George Orwell in the quote by a high party official in 1984 that I wrote about some time ago. A member of the Inner Party tells Winston Smith:

“The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others were cowards and hypocrites. They never had the courage to recognize their motives. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. How does one man assert his power over another? By making him suffer. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. In our world, there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement – a world of fear and treachery and torment. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever.” ~1984

In both quotes we see that the ultimate goal of the state is the infliction of pain, suffering, and humiliation upon the unfortunate subjugated people. The state is our enemy as Albert Jay Nock pointed out to us long ago. But it is not just that the power mad control freaks want your obedience, they want you utterly humiliated and enslaved. They want you to be dehumanized.

Murray Rothbard pointed out in his famous essay Anatomy of the State that the state is the “organization of the political means”; it is the systematization of the predatory process over a given territory. The state seeks to dominate, subjugate, and loot the human sheep they see as existing for that very purpose.

Considering the above, how can anyone believe that there is any form of the state that is not evil? Even the nation-state with the smallest power will grow stronger every day, just as the U.S. government did, and in the end dominate the populous in the manner foretold by Orwell or demonstrated in the communist dictatorships of the past.

The state is your enemy. The state is the eternal enemy of mankind. Remember that even when you can see through the simple-minded lies of the state it is still winning if you must remain silent about those lies. You must speak out when and where you can.