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.

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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.

 

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.

 

Why do people submit to governments?

One of the most important insights is that all political states, benign or tyrannical, exist on a foundation of popular consent. The state is a coercive, aggressive monopoly managed by a committee of armed parasites. Rothbard’s “gang of thieves writ large”. Governments are populated by the power hungry who consume looted wealth and give us war, murder, disorder, senseless regulations, and victimless criminal statutes instead of voluntary, mutual cooperation. Inevitably any government grows consuming and blocking private production and services until no production is left to deliver on the promises that politicians make. As we approach the point where the promises are impossible to fulfil more and more people will begin to see the fraud.

There is a battle shaping up in the world driven by the ever increasing failure of governments to give the populous the booty that they have promised and instead given them slavery and poverty. On one side we see the forces of archy (statism) which is political rule and authority. On the other side we see its only alternative which is anarchy; the absence of political rule. Some have said that this battle is the battle between individualism and collectivism, between liberty and the state, between freedom and slavery.

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There are only two sides to the question of the state; you are for it or you are against it. It does you no good to try to be in the middle and call for a “small state”. It is true that a small, weak state is better than a strong, powerful one but it is still a gang of thieves writ large. Experiment after experiment tells us that any attempt at a middle ground between archy and anarchy is doomed to failure. It is our job to educate our fellow citizens of the world to the true nature of the state; to turn them into enemies of the state and all it represents.

Roy Childs once wrote:

It is my contention that limited government is a floating abstraction which has never been concretized by anyone; that a limited government must either initiate force or cease being a government; that the very concept of limited government is an unsuccessful attempt to integrate two mutually contradictory elements: statism and voluntarism. Hence, if this can be shown, epistemological clarity and moral consistency demands the rejection of the institution of government totally, resulting in free market anarchism, or a purely voluntary society.

But in general, the people do not realize that there are only the two options. They don’t realize that there is any alternative to having a government at all. Many of our “civil liberties” friends on the left who are aware of the growing draconian nature of the American Empire want to “fix” the government not eradicate it. Why? Why do people agree to be looted and otherwise oppressed by government and its minions? It is that they do not see that there is no way to constrain the power and scope of a government and that they believe in government’s inevitability.

In the 1500s Étienne de La Boétie wrote about this central problem of political theory: Why do people consent to their own enslavement? Why do people, in all times and places, obey the commands of the government, which always constitutes a small minority of the society?

La Boétie observed:

I should like merely to understand how it happens that so many men, so many villages, so many cities, so many nations, sometimes suffer under a single tyrant who has no other power than the power they give him; who is able to harm them only to the extent to which they have the willingness to bear with him; who could do them absolutely no injury unless they preferred to put up with him rather than contradict him. Surely a striking situation! Yet it is so common that one must grieve the more and wonder the less at the spectacle of a million men serving in wretchedness, their necks under the yoke, not constrained by a greater multitude than they…

Governments must have this mass submission to be one of consent or at least resigned acceptance rather than only fear. The government can not use fear alone as that would lead to revolt. Governments once used the Church to convince the people to believe in their rulers, but with the power of the Church on the wane for centuries now, they use ideology supplied by their willing minions in the intellectual class.

… Shall we call subjection to such a leader cowardice? … If a hundred, if a thousand endure the caprice of a single man, should we not rather say that they lack not the courage but the desire to rise against him, and that such an attitude indicates indifference rather than cowardice? When not a hundred, not a thousand men, but a hundred provinces, a thousand cities, a million men, refuse to assail a single man from whom the kindest treatment received is the infliction of serfdom and slavery, what shall we call that? Is it cowardice? … When a thousand, a million men, a thousand cities, fail to protect themselves against the domination of one man, this cannot be called cowardly, for cowardice does not sink to such a depth… What monstrous vice, then, is this which does not even deserve to be called cowardice, a vice for which no term can be found vile enough … ?

La Boétie was opposed to the tyranny of government and to the people’s consent to their own enslavement as do the radical libertarians of today. The central fact that we must teach the public is that the state, any state no matter how ruthless and despotic, rests in the long run on the consent of the majority of the public. Give up on hoping that the state schools or state funded intellectuals will divulge this insight since they are part of the parasitic class themselves. In the words of the sci-fi novel “Dune”, the sleepers must awaken.

Libertarian theorist Lysander Spooner observed:

The ostensible supporters of the Constitution, like the ostensible supporters of most other governments, are made up of three classes, viz.: 1. Knaves, a numerous and active class, who see in the government an instrument which they can use for their own aggrandizement or wealth. 2. Dupes – a large class, no doubt – each of whom, because he is allowed one voice out of millions in deciding what he may do with his own person and his own property, and because he is permitted to have the same voice in robbing, enslaving, and murdering others, that others have in robbing, enslaving, and murdering himself, is stupid enough to imagine that he is a “free man,” a “sovereign”; that this is a “free government”; “a government of equal rights,” “the best government on earth,” and such like absurdities. 3. A class who have some appreciation of the evils of government, but either do not see how to get rid of them, or do not choose to so far sacrifice their private interests as to give themselves seriously and earnestly to the work of making a change.

Some writers call the people “sheeple” or “zombies” because most people are brainwashed to love and adore their state; to love the most vicious predators and threats to society. The State and its loyal flunkies are mankind’s eternal enemy.

Our prime task is one of education. We must teach the people that that the government is the enemy. We must “deprogram” them. We must overcome the propaganda of the state that tells them that there must always be a state of some sort. We must understand that the state rests on the consent of the slaves to their enslavement and then we must teach the slaves this essential truth.

Vice, crime, and Lysander Spooner

The great anarchist Lysander Spooner wrote  Vices are Not Crimes: A Vindication of Moral Liberty in 1875. It is also available in PDF. Lysander Spooner (January 19, 1808 – May 14, 1887) was an American individualist anarchist, political philosopher, legal theorist, and entrepreneur of the nineteenth century.

Spooner is known for his American Letter Mail Company which was so competitive with the government’s Post Office that it had to be forced out of business by the United States government by the raw force of governmental power. Tell that to anyone who says that the Post Office is a “public good” that could not be provided by the private sector.

Spooner started his essay with these words:

Vices are those acts by which a man harms himself or his property.

Crimes are those acts by which one man harms the person or property of another.

Vices are simply the errors which a man makes in his search after his own happiness. Unlike crimes, they imply no malice toward others, and no interference with their persons or property. In vices, the very essence of crime — that is, the design to injure the person or property of another — is wanting.

It is a maxim of the law that there can be no crime without a criminal intent; that is, without the intent to invade the person or property of another. But no one ever practices a vice with any such criminal intent. He practices his vice for his own happiness solely, and not from any malice toward others.

Unless this clear distinction between vices and crimes be made and recognized by the laws, there can be on earth no such thing as individual right, liberty, or property; no such things as the right of one man to the control of his own person and property, and the corresponding and coequal rights of another man to the control of his own person and property.

For a government to declare a vice to be a crime, and to punish it as such, is an attempt to falsify the very nature of things. It is as absurd as it would be to declare truth to be falsehood, or falsehood truth.

Can you imagine the difference that it would make if the US government really believed the above as it once did? The idea that a man was free to do as he pleased as long as he was not committing aggression against another man or his property is a notion that has long gone out of the public consciousness. Can you imagine the difference it would make if the government and the people still believed that “… the very essence of crime … is, the design to injure the person or property of another”?

To believe that a man is free to do as he pleases as long as he does not try to injure another person or his property is the very essence of libertarian philosophy: of libertarian law. Spooner was writing in the 19th century when the USA was in its most “Classic Liberal” phase and still believed in the freedom of its people so his words were not nearly as radical sounding then as they are now.

The obvious major difference that we would see if we followed Lysander Spooner’s sage descriptions and advice on the law would be that the drug war would have to end immediately. That would do great wonders in reducing the police state as well as releasing hundreds of thousands of innocent men and women from prison where they are unconstitutionally held. A great calming effect would be seen over the land if there were no drug laws enrich the drug gangs, fill the prisons, and clog up the courts. Perhaps the police could then look for murderers and other violent offenders as many mistakenly think they do now.

More importantly though, is that we would need to always prove the “guilty mind” of a person, and the harm done to some other person for any crime. That would invalidate the greater percentage of modern “law” in the US Empire. That, my friends, would be a wonderful thing to see!

If you don’t know Spooner or this essay, I encourage you to read him now. It is well worth your time.