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.

 

Government lies and the Sony hack

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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A Call for a Return to a Non-Interventionist Foreign Policy

The original American foreign policy of the USA in the first decades of its existence was one of non-interventionism. The idea was to trade with all nations and stay out of all squabbles between other countries. The policy was strict neutrality much like the Swiss have followed since 1815; always ready to defend against invasion but never ready to invade another people’s territory. The old idea of non-interventionism in foreign policy as been a dead letter issue in the USA for generations now. Advocates of America’s modern foreign policy of interventionism, as well as most common citizens, believe that World War II occurred because America returned to its policy of “isolationism” after World War I and that is said to prove that the USA needs to police the entire world.

The first thing to understand is that “isolationism” is not the same as non-interventionism and the term “isolationist” is used mainly as a slur to stifle debate on foreign policy. The USA has engaged in trade and otherwise interacted with other countries throughout its history. The USA has never been a “closed” society like the modern North Korea. Non-interventionism simply means that a country minds its own business and does not use force or coercion to make other countries do its bidding.

The second thing is that many today argue that our failure to adopt the Versailles Treaty and to join the League of Nations allowed Hitler to come to power. They then claim that the “appeasement” of Great Britain and France led Germany to launch WWII. If the USA had been true to the non-interventionist foreign policy of its founders and had refused to enter World War I then there would not have been the horrendous end to the war that the USA’s entry caused. There would have been a negotiated treaty in 1917 as all parties to the war were exhausted and tired of conflict. There would have been no harsh Versailles Treaty forced on Germany and that means there would have not have been the great discontent in Germany that provided the fertile ground for the German Nazi Party and its leader Adolf Hitler.

Additionally, If the war had ended in 1917 with a negotiated truce and then treaty, there would have been no successful Russian Revolution. The great evil that was totalitarian communism would have not appeared on the world scene. Think about that one for a while. There would have been no successful birth of Communism.

If the USA had followed its founder’s non-interventionist policies then there would have been no World War II. There are those would would argue otherwise, but Winston Churchill himself believed that the USA should have stayed out of WWI. It was reported by the New York Enquirer in August of 1936 the following that Churchill claimed the following:

America should have minded her own business and stayed out of the World War. If you hadn’t entered the war the Allies would have made peace with Germany in the Spring of 1917. Had we made peace then there would have been no collapse in Russia followed by Communism, no breakdown in Italy followed by Fascism, and Germany would not have signed the Versailles Treaty, which has enthroned Nazism in Germany. If America had stayed out of the war, all these ‘isms’ wouldn’t to-day be sweeping the continent of Europe and breaking down parliamentary government, and if England had made peace early in 1917, it would have saved over one million British, French, American, and other lives. ~ Winston Churchill

We can not go into the past and change the actions of the USA, but with millions upon millions of deaths caused by our failure to follow a non-interventionist policy we should at least learn from what happened. When we take action, even with the best of intentions, the law of unintended consequence comes into play. In the modern era the USG has kept its military forces in the middle east and now there is death and destruction all over the region. There is rebellion in the air and peace is nowhere to be found in the region. Coincidence? Of course not, it is the logical outcome of the invasion by the USA of so many countries in the region.

The USA must drop its ambitions to rule the world and it must stop intervening in places that it has no business in. I would like to see the breakup of the USA into smaller regions, but even if that is not in the cards we must work to stop the military/industrial/political complex from setting the world on fire with war.

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Ron Paul’s run for nomination in retrospect

A twitter exchange among several fellows that went on for days made me decide to interrupt my schedule a bit and do a retrospective on Ron Paul’s run for the presidential nomination in the GOP. This is just answering a few of the complaints that were raised, as a real and in-depth look at Ron Paul awaits a historian someday.

ron-paul-revolutionI can recall that many people said that Ron Paul could not be any good for the liberty movement since he was running for the Republican nomination. What? Did these people think the Democrat Party is any better for liberty? Besides, there was a sitting president on the Democratic side while the Republican side was wide open. Oh, he could have run third party you say? He did that once. You can not be heard in the USA at all running as a third party candidate except in ultra rare circumstances and no third party candidate is invited to the presidential debates.

Some say that as a politician that Ron Paul is not an anarchist. Really? We can only support anarchists like ourselves? Give me a break! Very few in this country will listen to a politician who says he is an anarchist. Even worse, it would be hypocritical of a fellow who is an anarchist to run for any office. But is he a libertarian? Certainly, if one believes what I wrote here. Consider what Jeffery Tucker once wrote:

“I’m interested in only one thing: progressive reductions of the role of all government power in people’s lives all the way to zero if possible. Whatever brings that about, in whatever sector it happens, and whether it happens slowly by steps or all in one fell swoop, I’m for it. I really don’t care who or what makes a contribution to this end or how it comes about, so long as it is ethical and it actually achieves the aim of human liberation, the mother of all progress, order, and higher civilization.” ~ Jeffery Tucker

Jeffery Tucker’s statement leaves a lot of room for Ron Paul’s brand of “follow the constitution first in all matters” style of rhetoric. But is he a radical libertarian? I don’t know, but he has hung out with anarcho-capitalists of the Rothbardian persuasion for decades. Who a man hangs out with usually says a lot about him.

The question was raised, “did he do any good for libertarianism or did he do harm?” I believe that million of young folks became aware of the liberty movement and the ideas of libertarianism due to Ron Paul’s campaign. Surely we don’t want to hide our lamp under a basket do we? We have done entirely enough “fussy little seminars about municipal waste” and we have to move on to radicalizing the population.

Now some don’t like a few of Ron Paul’s stances on various issues and somehow think that only their own beliefs are “the libertarian belief”. Hogwash. Nonsense on stilts. Balderdash!

The “immigration issue” was raised and it was claimed that one issue meant Ron Paul was no libertarian and was “hurting the libertarian cause”. As Murray Rothbard pointed out on numerous occasions, private property rights answers any immigration question in a libertarian society. But we don’t live in anything resembling a libertarian society: we live under a domineering, brutal, interventionist government. Ron Paul’s immigration stance is what he thinks should be done under present circumstances. I am opposed to any national boundary lines, but I am also opposed to inviting others here just so the tax money looted from us can go to pay for their welfare and other “entitlements”. How many Democratic Party voters do you want to pay to come here anyway? Why not stop all welfare entitlements and then see how many want to come to this police state?

Can his position on immigration mean that he is not libertarian? Oh good grief. Heifer Dust! What about his wanting a non-interventionist foreign policy where we leave other countries alone and bring all our troops home to our own country? I think that is the most libertarian policy position of any politician during my lifetime. But his “end the FED” is also a real libertarian issue since the FED helps to fund the military/industrial complex as well as loot the population via planned inflation.

Ron Paul made the case for smaller government, people keeping more of their own money by lower taxation, less government intervention in health care, and all the rest. Ron Paul also was lauded by many “on the left” for his stanch defense of civil liberties in this country. Ron Paul was also against the “drug war” and his policy would reduce the prison population by a great amount. How can these messages not help our cause?

The third rail of libertarianism was mentioned on twitter. What about abortion? Did Ron Paul not come out against abortion? Why yes, the baby doctor did say that he opposed abortion and he believed that abortion should be decided at the state level or lower. But there should be no single “libertarian line” on the issue anyway. I once wrote that I disagreed with Murray Rothbard on the abortion issue. Murray was wrong on that one. It happens to us all at times.

Ron Paul’s message was one of smaller government and laissez-fair free markets. He exposed the classical liberal line that was the philosophy of the founders of the country. He did not preach anarchy; but then again, how many of you think that the average government propagandized man in the street is ready to hear radical anarchy right now? First we must get him to understand the classical liberal view and then nudge him even further.

The road from state worshiping minion to principled voluntaryist is a long one, and Ron Paul’s message put many people to walking in the right direction. How could that do anything but help?