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.

How to advance the cause of liberty

“Better to die fighting for freedom then be a prisoner all the days of your life.”
― Bob Marley

We are coming up on another election cycle. This one will be the first one in a while that does not have Ron Paul somehow involved in a race someplace. Ron Paul had an ideology and message the last time he ran for the nomination for president that many young people found very attractive. Ron Paul seemed to tap into some sort of energy source when he ran, but he is now out of the running and I don’t see anyone on the horizon that comes close to supporting the ideas of the Classical Liberals as Dr. Paul did.

As I write this, millions of people throughout the world are in opposition to the dehumanizing, oppressive, violent, and destructive essence of the governmental systems we see around the world. The fascist corporate-state systems that are exploiting human beings for ends that serve the overlords are causing an awakening among the downtrodden — especially the young. Peace and liberty is the natural state of affairs that mankind aspires to. Private property ownership and respect for the inviolability of the individual are qualities that people around the world are coming to demand out of their existence.

Those of us who are drawn to the ideas of libertarianism or anarchism are in agreement that we don’t know exactly how things would work in a free world. We have some ideas and can make some educated guesses, but free men and women will remake the world in ways that I can hardly image. When someone asks “who will build the roads” I always like to answer that I don’t know exactly but at least the State will not be killing you or other innocent people and that seems far more important to me.

As we move forward from this point in time, we have an opportunity to show others that the state does not work for the masses but rather against the masses. The news reports from all over the world show us governments brutalizing, impoverishing and enslaving their own populations. At the same time, we see alternative schools, private roads, private security firms, and other examples of the market providing non-state solutions that are far better than the coersive brutality of the state.

I think that the best way to promote liberty is by your own personal behavior. Be the free man your philosophy calls for and let that encourage others to live the libertarian philosophy. Now I realize that the state keeps us enslaved, but I am referring to living as close to the non-aggression principle as current conditions allow. Always look to individuals for solutions and not the state. Don’t think that we will ever be able to free mankind from politics by using politics — you just can’t use evil means to accomplish good ends.

There are all kinds of approaches people might take to further liberty.  We can use peaceful demonstrations against the brutality of the state. We could run for public office like Ron Paul did and use that campaign as a platform to spread the ideas of peace and liberty. Some will try writing op-eds or blog posts. Others might write books. Whatever people try, we should support those efforts that are consistent with furthering the cause of liberty. I feel that as long as efforts are consistent with the N.A.P. then we should be supportive rather than critical. I am of the view that running for political office is counter-productive but I did applaud Ron Paul in his runs for president due to the message he was spreading via his campaign. He succeeded in raising the conscious awareness of millions of people so that they began to see the state for the vicious racket that it is and that was well worth the whole effort. But even so, I warn those who think electoral politics can aid us to not be fooled by the many candidates that will talk “libertarian” to get your vote. Ronald Reagan talked “get the government off your back” a lot, but in the end he built up the power and brutality of the government with every move he made.

As we think about advancing libertarian principles, let us remember that the statists are easy targets since the statists must defend the horrific track record of the states around the world. We have generations of evidence that statist programs grounded in socialistic central planning lead to poverty, brutality, misery, and are utter failures from the perspective of the common man. Even regulatory systems can now be understood to be nothing more than a cover for industry-desired cartelism and corporate welfare. The failure of keeping the state from controlling the economy has led to bankruptcy of entire civilizations. The state is the civilization killer while the free individual working with others in mutual, voluntary cooperation is the civilization builder.

The state leads to a deeper bankruptcy than just in material terms. The state leads to moral bankruptcy as well. Those who use the power of the state to aggress against innocent people are damned by their actions and can not possibly be moral human beings. All the minions of the state are party to the wars, brutal police-state practices, torture, spying, and all the rest. The state is an institutional order that has no moral foundations at all — it is built upon raw aggression. The state will always treat its human subjects as mere assets to be exploited on behalf of the purposes of the state itself.

We must do what we can do to further liberty and freedom, and we must encourage others who are doing likewise. As another election cycle approaches remember that voting for “a good candidate” is not the answer. The problem of politics will not be cured via politics.

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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?

The constitution and our rights

I have tweeted the following Lysander Spooner quote to friends on Twitter (in modified form due to length) on many occasions. It may be one of his all time best quotes.

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

And to think that Spooner never lived to see the age of Obama and the NSA!

Lysander-Spooner-Quotes-5One 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.

I believe in natural rights as did Murray Rothbard. We have certain rights that are inherent due to our humanity, and they can be summed up by simply saying we have the right not to be the victim of aggression. We might argue a bit over what, exactly, those inherent human rights are and how best to enforce said rights, but we must believe that natural rights predate the state and its constitution or we are believing in “rights” that are really just privileges bestowed by the state at its whim. After all,  if men can bestow “rights”, then they are not rights at all, because they can just as easily be taken away.

The right to life and liberty in our time is most often threatened by the state — the very institution that so many think is supposed to protect our right to life and liberty. They think that if only we would just “follow the constitution” that everything would be just fine again in this country. But how does one expect the state to be constrained by a piece of paper that it enforces itself? Has it ever really followed the constitution in all matters? Have all men and women in the USA ever been protected from the state?

Ron Paul did run a magnificent campaign for the nomination of the GOP by calling for the nation to follow the constitution in countless matters where the state is presently not following the constitution. In doing so, he was calling for an end to our overseas empire, and end to the drug war, and a drastic downsizing of the central government of the US. For this he was attacked and marginalized on many occasions by the “leaders” of our nation-state.

The simple fact is that the U.S. constitution is not a document that will “protect our rights” even if we follow it as it was written. After all, consider this part from the constitution:

Article 1; Section 8

1: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

2: To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

3: To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

4: To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

5: To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

6: To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

7: To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

8: To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

9: To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

10: To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

11: To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

12: To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

13: To provide and maintain a Navy;

14: To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

15: To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

16: To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

17: To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;–And

18: To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

That part by itself puts lie to the belief that the constitution limits the power of government.

But the main problem is that the constitution in no way supports the non-aggression principle. The NAP says that we may never comment aggression against someone who has not first attacked us. We may never use force, fraud, or intimidation against the innocent to get what we want and yet the U.S. constitution authorizes just that.

If we ever are to live in peace and prosperity, free from the coersive force, fraud, and theft of the state then we must come up with a system that does not have as its very foundation the monopoly use of force to control the population. One would think that is obvious to even the most dense and propagandized person in the country.

We must work to create a voluntary society where men are free to interact with each other in voluntary cooperation; and the U.S. Constitution is a roadblock to that goal not a pathway to it. Stop worshiping the constitution, it is not worthy of veneration.

Unending national emergencies and the nature of the state

The unending national emergencies of the present age are the natural outcome of the doctrine that the President has near-dictatorial powers during and emergency. Even the U.S. Supreme Court recognized the danger of using emergences to give tyrannical power to the Executive and the court derided Lincoln’s theory of supposedly constitutional dictatorship by saying in Ex Parte Milligan (1866):

“The constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and peace, and it covers with its shield of protection all classes of men, at all times and under all circumstances.  No doctrine involving more pernicious consequences was ever invented by the wit of men that any of its great provisions can be suspended during any of the great exigencies of Government.”

Even the Supreme Court in those days understood that if politicians can get away with declaring themselves dictators under the guise of a “national emergency” then there would be a never ending series of such emergencies. And what emergency is greater than war? Thus we have in the present day a never ending “war on terror” along with a series of other “wars” like the one the plant food CO2, the one on people using whatever drug they choose, and government’s new war on privacy.

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

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The main hobgoblin of our present time is no longer the “evil empire” of the USSR as it was in my youth, but rather the “evil” Muslim and his so-called “desire to destroy America” (as if we were not already doing a bang-up job of it). Or at least that is what we are told over and over by the State and its minions. I am told that Disney World in Orlando, Florida would be ashes if it were not for our military killing innocent men, women and children in far away lands. Yes indeed, they would mount camels that can swim and cross the Atlantic and invade the USA. Horrors!

Government today has grown far too strong, interventionist, and invasive to be remotely safe for the people. There are no longer any citizens in the modern world, rather, it seems that there are only subjects to be ordered about, looted, and brutalized. The state consists of a gang of men and women exactly like you and me except they live by looting those who can produce to give to those who are parasites while taking a healthy cut themselves.

The most dangerous man to the US government is the one who is able to think things out for himself, like Edward Snowden did. These people can put aside the current myths and taboos to think rationally and then they inevitably come to the conclusion that the State is a gang of thieves writ large just as Murray Rothbard said years ago. These men will try to change the situation if they have the temperament and guts for that sort of thing, or they will try to spread discontent among those who do have that temperament. Either way, the discontent is growing and the state will fall before long. Ed Snowden and his NSA revelations did more to undermine the legitimacy of the State than most anyone in memory.

Modern Americans tend to regard the State as a quasi-divine, selfless organization from which all good things in life flow. The State by its very nature can not give you loving care as it was build to use force, fraud, and intimidation to loot the masses for the benefit of the few. It is know for demagogic appeals to the masses to frighten them for votes. Many individuals do need guidance from experts, but going to the state is like seeking advice from your wife’s lawyer in a nasty divorce case — it will always lead to a bad end.

It is absurd how many people think they are served by a coercive, demagogic apparatus when it exists to further its own. The ruling elite and their loyal minions will use fear, an endless series of imaginary hobgoblins, propaganda, and myth to keep you in line. The murder of millions and millions of innocent men, women, and children in country after country just to keep you subservient is the nature of the state.

You may test the hypothesis that the State is largely interested in protecting itself rather than its subjects in a manner first suggested by Murray Rothbard. Do this by asking: which category of crimes does the State pursue and punish most intensely—those against private citizens or those against itself? It is obvious that the state punishes crimes against itself far more often and far more harshly than crimes against mere people.

It is time to withdraw your consent to be governed by such an evil entity as the state.