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.

 

The State is a monster

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Voting and electioneering

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Voting as violence against your fellow man

It has often been pointed out that in the American two-party system that we are always being offered a choice between two evils, and people tend to vote for the candidate that represents the lesser of these two evils offered. Many have pointed out that voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil. Do you want to vote for evil? Of course not. But what about voting itself? What if we had a European style democracy with many small parties and there was one that did pretty much represent your political and social views? Would voting be OK then? I answer no. Full disclosure demands I mention that I did vote for the message candidacy of Ron Paul in the primary in Florida. I had to think long and hard about that, but finally decided that the message was so important that a vote for him was a blow against the state. Some say that was a mistake: I remain conflicted over that decision.

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I believe that voting in general represents a participation in violence since elections are one of the methods used to validate and legitimize the violent state. There are other methods of course but voting is one that you are not yet required to do at the point of a gun as was the case in the old communist USSR. In the age of Kings and Queens there was the idea of the “divine right of Kings” that was supported by the Catholic Church and that was participation in evil by the Church as it supported the evil of the nation-state. This alliance has often been called the “Throne and Altar”. Even participation in a lotto to decide the ruler would still be helping to legitimize the outcome of the lotto and thereby supporting the state.

“Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil. Next time, go all out and write in Lucifer on the ballot.
” ~Jarod Kintz

The state is at its root a compulsory political organization that has acquired and maintains a monopoly of violence that is considered legitimate inside some certain geographical area. Force and violence is the very reason for the state’s existence and anyone who leads that state is said to magically acquire some mythical, moral, and legal right to reign down death, destruction, and despotism on the people in that geographical region. Now it does not matter how that leader got his position, he is still the head of the evil state. If you help him gain and retain that position like the priests of old, then you are participating in the evil of the state. For the same reason, voting for any of the supporting cast in this morality play of evil is just as bad as selecting and supporting the chief tyrant.

Consider for a moment the maximum leader of the US Empire who is said to be the most powerful person in the world. He or she may be an idiot, mentally ill, unstable, or being blackmailed by the NSA but he or she is still looked upon as some magic man with all the answers. It is the very office of the president that legitimizes his actions. Why is this?

“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” ~ H.L. Mencken

We work hard to hardwire the children in our government schools to believe that the president has the legal and moral right to employ the organized violence apparatus of the human arrangement called the state. He may use the military, police, CIA, NSA, the Fed, and so on to cause suffering and death, but whatever he does is seen to be “for the best in the long run”. When President Clinton’s sanctions on the people of Iraq killed at least 500,000 children, his Secretary of State Madeleine Albright famously said on national TV that this mass murder was “worth it“. Why was this horrific crime allowed to go unpunished? It is because of the myth of legitimacy of the office of the president and his powers. It is this myth that you help to perpetuate if you vote or help the state in any way. Once someone has the office of the president in the US Empire he or she is vested in the myth, mystique and the moral validation that goes with that office, and he or she can make new laws that validate the agony and slaughter he or she is pouring down on others or just ignore old ones.

It is the supporting of the myth that what the state does is legitimate that makes voting wrong. The state or any of its minions do not magically acquire the right to do things that would be immoral if a private person did them, and yet that is exactly what we teach our children. We extend this idea from the president down to the local cop. We must stop legitimizing the state by word or deed. We must, therefore, not vote.

SITE NOTE: An edited version of this essay appeared last Wednesday July 3rd, 2013 at The Libertarian. For some period of time (until they tire of me) I will have an essay posted at The Libertarian on Wednesdays and that post will be re-posted here in the form I sent to them before any editing on the following Wednesday. Please go to my archive at The Libertarian to see my posts as they appear there.

I did not give any Political Consent to the DC Criminals

Every so often some modern “liberal” claims that I have given my consent to be ruled by the criminal gang writ large called the US Government. I tell you friends, I have most certainly not given my consent to be ruled by those thugs on the Potomac. “But you agreed to the social contract” they yell. No. No I did not. I never signed any “Social Contract“. Hell, I have not even seen such a contract to sign! Such talk of a “social contract” is utter nonsense and propaganda.

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These propagandists have to be talking about implied consent  to this “social contract” since we know that the Constitution which is our basic contract in the US was signed by just a few men (no women) and every one of those people are long dead. It is now over two centuries later and even the grandchildren of these men are all dead.

Did I give any implied consent when I voted a few times? No. I never got to vote on the legitimacy of the regime. And besides that, if you refuse to vote the regime does not then allow you to opt out and pay no taxes or ignore the government’s laws and rules. Try not voting and then smoking dope on a downtown street if you don’t see my point. There is no way to give “consent” if there is no avenue by which one may withdraw his consent or to never give it in the first place.

There are some folks who claim that I agreed to the social contract and the constitution simply because I was born inside the geographical boundaries claimed by the criminal gang in DC. In my youth this sort of argument was seen in the “America, love it or leave it” bumper stickers. This sort of hogwash claims that the government owns me because I was born! No way my friends, no way.

Then there are those who claim because I have generally obeyed the laws and not started a revolution that I am agreeing to the social contract. Nonsense on stilts! The regime puts a gun to my head and I obey to keep from getting shot and you call this agreeing to a contract? No contract law class in the world would call that arrangement an honest and fair contract. There are many laws passed by the criminal legislatures of this land that I obey because the police state would aggress against me if I did not; but that by no means says that I see these laws as legitimate. Hell, even tyrannical, oppressive regimes have the passive acceptance of their people given that they are not in open, armed revolt.

The most common claim that I have agreed to a social contract comes from the modern “liberals” who will say that if I use the government roads or the state’s legal system then I have agreed to be ruled by the criminal gang. But there can be no consent on my part as I have no way to opt out of this arrangement. The state steals more than half the paycheck of the common American and then spends it as the state pleases. If we use the roads we are force to pay for, this is not a voluntary, consensual arrangement. This is being raped and told to like it.

I have heard the modern “liberals” claim that you are a horrible person if you shop at Walmart. These same people support the government’s road system that allows Walmart to compete against the local businesses in every town in America and they support taxing the working man to the point he has to shop there where he can get the most for his money. And yet it is supposed to be the working man’s fault that Walmart is successful. Typical. The problem with most “liberals” is they voice loud and vociferous opinions on things they refuse to study.

“It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.” ~Murray Rothbard

No living person ever gave consent to the current regime in any meaningful way since there is no way to not obey. There in no meaningful choice in the matter. The government is violating our natural rights in an open and blatant manner and none of us is safe from it as long as it is allowed to exist. You have no moral obligation to support the state and I would argue that you have a moral obligation to oppose the state at every turn. Withdrawing your moral support for the regime is critical since public support is the basis of every regime’s power over the ruled. To just resignedly cooperate is to support the bastards. To be fair, it is not just the modern “liberals” or “progressives” who make this claim of “social contract” as the basis for supporting the state. Conservatives do likewise.

The reason that government schools are so crucial to the maintenance of the regime’s power is so that the state can propagandize the citizen from childhood up through young adulthood. The “public school system” is the regime’s most elaborate and effective propaganda operation but it is not the only one. It is one of many.

After all the years of government propaganda called “school” and then living in a society where the mainstream media is a propaganda arm of the regime, it is a wonder we can think at all. (h/t Paul Simon) The candidacy of Ron Paul did a lot to help millions of Americans wake from their slumbers and realize they have been lied to by the state. Our job is to keep that information flowing and help the citizens understand why they need to withdraw their consent to be governed  by this outlaw regime.