Skip to content

Month: February 2010

Kinsella and Hoppe: Decentralize and Privatize

Stephan Kinsella posted this article, Legislation and Law in a Free Society, last week at the Mises Institute. In the article, he discusses the idea of the need for decentralizing law and judges, which would correct the errors inherent in our system of legislated law.

….there is much more certainty in a decentralized legal system than in a centralized, legislation-based system. When the legislature has the ability to change the law from day to day, we can never be sure what rules will apply tomorrow….

And Kinsella discusses the idea of time preferences:

….. When time preferences are lower, individuals are more willing to forgo immediate benefits such as consumption, and invest their time and capital in more indirect (i.e., more roundabout, lengthier) production processes, which yield more or better goods for consumption or for further production. Any artificial raising of the general time-preference rate thus tends to impoverish society by pushing us away from production and long-term investments……

And the problems inherent in central planning:

…The widely dispersed, decentralized character of knowledge and information in society simply makes it too difficult for centralized legislators to rationally plan the laws of society….

Because legislators cannot possibly know all the information throughout all of society that comes from each and every individual in society, they are “more likely to be influenced by lobbyists and special interest groups.” Hence the need for decentralizing law systems.

Because of so many centralized, legislated, “artificial” laws upon laws upon laws that no one could possibly keep track of, it is impossible for anyone to avoid breaking one law or another. And this is a situation that can cause lawlessness and chaos, and, most of all, a decrease in liberty and independence.

….. when legislation is thought of as the primary source of law, citizens become more accustomed to following orders, and thus become more docile, servile, and less independent…

Kinsella calls for legal codes to be privately, rather than legislatively, written, and “focus primarily on common-law developments.” In privately written law, judges can “ignore the lapses in the codifier’s reasoning,” and Kinsella calls for a “judge-found law” rather than a legislated legal system.

In a related, archived article from 2006, The Idea of a Private Law Society, Hans-Hermann Hoppe notes the inherent flaws in a democratic system of laws and government’s monopoly of territorial protection and judicial decision-making, and gives the idea of “Private Law.”

….First, every person is the proper owner of his own physical body….

….Secondly, every person is the proper owner of all nature-given goods that he has perceived as scarce and put to use by means of his body, before any other person….

….In the third place, every person who, with the help of his body and his originally appropriated goods, produces new products thereby becomes the proper owner of these products, provided only that in the process of production he does not physically damage the goods owned by another person…..

….Finally, once a good has been first appropriated or produced, ownership in it can be acquired only by means of a voluntary, contractual transfer of its property title from a previous to a later owner….

…Only private property makes it possible for all otherwise unavoidable conflicts to be avoided; and only the principle of property acquisition by acts of original appropriation performed by specific individuals at a specific time and location makes it possible for conflicts to be avoided from the beginning of mankind on…..

….. In order to maintain law and order, it is necessary that the members of society be prepared and equipped to pressure anyone who does not respect the life and property of others to acquiesce to the rules of society. How and by whom is this enforcement of law and order accomplished?…..

Hoppe notes that the common answer, unfortunately, is to turn to the state to resolve that.

….the state is an agency that exercises a territorial monopoly of ultimate decision-making. That is, it is the ultimate arbiter in every case of conflict, including conflicts involving itself, and it allows no appeal above and beyond itself. Furthermore, the state is an agency that exercises a territorial monopoly of taxation. That is, it is an agency that unilaterally fixes the price private citizens must pay for its provision of law and order….

Hoppe notes that when government has a monopoly in ultimate judicial decision-making, “justice will be perverted in the favor of government.”

….Predictably, the definition of property and protection will be altered continually and the range of jurisdiction expanded to the government’s advantage. The idea of eternal and immutable law that must be discovered will disappear and be replaced by the idea of law as legislation – as flexible state-made law…..

And with government’s power to expropriate private wealth and property, “As a tax-funded life-and-property protection agency, then, the very institution of government is nothing less than a contradiction in terms.”

And Hoppe has written elsewhere, it should be noted, that “the U.S. Constitution is itself unconstitutional,” in that many of the directions and functions the Founders gave to the various governmental apparatus in their Constitution directly violate the natural, inalienable, God-given rights that individuals have as human beings, as recognized in the Founders’ Declaration of Independence.

Economically, as Hoppe notes, given an institutionalized, legally protected and compulsory monopoly of territorial protection, the agents of government will maximize their income (via compulsory taxation) and minimize their production of protection.

In sum, the incentive structure inherent in the institution of government is not a recipe for the protection of life and property, but instead a recipe for maltreatment, oppression, and exploitation. This is what the history of states illustrates.

However, in a democracy such as ours,

….democratic equality before the law is something entirely different from and incompatible with the idea of one universal law, equally applicable to everyone, everywhere, and at all times….

We have now, not natural laws that are absolute (i.e. “don’t kill,” “don’t steal,” “don’t covet your neighbors’ stuff,” etc.), but legislated laws, as mentioned above in the Kinsella article, in which exploitation of others is instilled into everyday life. And the short-term, immediate gratification desires of special interests supersede long-term, economic calculations which can only be possible in a free market society.

These are ideas and solutions that Dick Cheney, who spent his entire adult life feeding at the public trough, and John McCain (same), or Harry Reed and Nancy Pelosi would never understand.

Just step back and take a look all around our society, and see how the legislative process and government’s monopoly of protection and jurisdiction has been used by the ruling class to subjugate and enslave the rest of society. The ruling, government class has merged itself with the criminal class (i.e. robbers, rapists, extortionists, embezzlers, trespassers, coveters, treasonists, traitors, counterfeiters, mobsters, etc.).

There is this attitude, especially this year, of, “if we could only get the right guy in there, then things will change…” (Yeah, like the ghastly Scott Brown, yech!) However, history has shown that with each election, such as with Reagan in 1980, the 1994 Republican Revolution, etc., it has only been a rearranging of the deck chairs on the Titanic.

And Hoppe’s solution to this problem?

….The solution lies in a private law society – a society where every individual and institution is subject to one and the same set of laws! No public law granting privileges to specific persons of functions (and no public property) exists in this society. There is only private law (and private property), equally applicable to each and everyone. No one is permitted to acquire property by any other means than through original appropriation, production, or voluntary exchange; and no one possesses the privilege to tax and expropriate. Moreover, no one in a private law society is permitted to prohibit anyone else from using his property in order to enter any line of production and compete against whomever he pleases.

More specifically, in order to be just and efficient, the production and maintenance of law will have to be undertaken by freely financed and competing individuals and agencies….

And Hoppe explains in the aforementioned article how that would be achieved.

Killer Whales, Technology Addiction and Talk Radio

I listened to the radio talk shows just a little today, and they’re already getting me going. Michael Graham was discussing the killer whale who killed a Sea World worker. Apparently, this particular whale already killed another person in 1999! If that’s the case, then the family of the whale’s victim definitely has a law suit there. I hope the family soaks Sea World for every last penny that place has. Perhaps criminal charges are in order. If you own an animal, and it kills someone, bye-bye killer animal right there! And while Graham was right about the “animal kooks,” he’s not right when he says animals don’t have “feelings,” or emotions. Of course they do. Have you seen a dog tied to a post outside a store while the owner is inside? Some of those dogs are calm, cool and collected, while others are so miserable and anguished and literally crying like a child! How can any rational person actually say that those dogs aren’t “feeling emotions”? I’m sure that Graham’s fellow WTKK talk host Jay Severin, who has about ten or twenty dogs now, doesn’t treat his dogs that way. But I agree that animals don’t have “rights.” Only humans have rights, which are individual rights, among them the rights to life, liberty and property, etc. Animals are the property of the people who own them. If other (i.e. “lower”) animals had “rights,” then you’d have to arrest Frank Purdue, or Jim Purdue, and Roger Berkowitz.

And on Laura Ingraham’s show, Dr. Ingraham was interviewing Dr. Robi Ludwig, a psychologist, and they were discussing “technology addiction.” Some people are literally addicted to their cell phones and iPods and other things, and it’s breaking up marriages and causing other troubles. I agree that it’s important that families reserve time such as the dinner hour for “quality time” together. It’s important that parents talk to their kids about what the kids learned in school, if anything, and where they were and what they did after school. Kids really need to know that their parents are interested in what’s going on with them. And parents need to have some backbone and lay down the law about turning the cell phones and TV off at dinnertime! And Dr. Ingraham was absolutely right when she challenged Dr. Ludwig who mentioned something about her kids with iPods at age 7 and 10: kids that young should not have iPods, nor cell phones and a lot of that other stuff. Teenagers shouldn’t have cell phones either! Unless they have a part-time job. Kids and teens have too many distractions and waste so much time on the cell phone and texting. No wonder the college freshman dropout rate is so high now. Kids enter college knowing nothing about English and Math, but they do know a lot about TV shows and (c)rap music. That’s a shame.

If or when the government gets its grubby paws on the Internet, that will turn the Internet into a piece of crap, just as government turns everything it touches to crap.

I’m glad the Boston area is going to get another talk radio station soon—it’s good to have alternatives to listen to, because I’ve been listening to NPR a lot more in the mornings ever since WTKK reduced Don Imus’s hours. (No offense to Jim and Margery; they’re very nice people.) Apparently, WXKS AM-1200 begins in April and will add Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck to the Boston area. Hannity is a big risk, given that WTKK and WRKO both had him on but with no luck in the ratings. I don’t think Glenn Beck has been on in Boston except on WRKO Saturday evenings. It’s possible the new station might grab Rush Limbaugh away from WRKO—if that’s the case then WXKS should do okay. Gone are the good old days of genuine quality talk radio, with Jerry Williams, Gene Burns and David Brudnoy, when WRKO was #1 in the ratings for years throughout the 1980s.

Big Pharma-Big Government Complex and the Texas Governor’s Race

Here is Karen de Coster in a post at the Lew Rockwell blog yesterday, on the Big Pharma-Big Government Complex:

….the pharmaceutical companies, once upon a time, had a semi-honorable quest to cure diseases and improve the quality of life for the very ill. That all went away with the proliferation of the almighty state and the growth of profit-seeking special interests that wished to manipulate political channels to curry favors and serve their own profitability.The revolving doors between Big Government and Big Pharma were built upon a corrupt foundation. Along came the modern Patent State and a ginormous web of governmental health agencies whose purpose was to empower their compadres in the quasi-governmental pharmaceutical industry and make personal health a public-collective issue, with the rules being set by so-called established experts and “trusted” advisors in the medical-pharmaceutical community.The powerful propaganda machine created by the government-Big Pharma alliance has the job of lying to the citizenry, and making them dependent on their products and services by creating and selling sickness. This grows the governmental public health sector and empowers the public-private sector alliance. The result is political power, profits, and job creation. This consortium of health tyrants re-define the parameters of sickness so that, eventually, we are all a high risk for some potentially disastrous health debacle, and thus we become lifelong patients.

Remember about thirty years ago, when Merck’s CEO Henry Gadsden told Fortune magazine that it was a shame that the company’s products could only be limited to “sick people.” As cited in the book Selling Sickness: How the World’s Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies Are Turning Us All Into Patients, by Ray Moynihan and Alan Cassels:

Suggesting he’d rather Merck to be more like chewing gum maker Wrigley’s, Gadsden said it had long been his dream to make drugs for healthy people. Because then, Merck would be able to “sell to everyone.”

Karen had a similar post in September and informed us of the activities of pharmaceutical giant Merck and its HPV vaccine Gardasil, that several states want to make mandatory for teenage girls to receive against their will and against the will of their parents. One major controversy in that issue was the lobbying that Merck did with Texas Republican governor Rick Perry, as mentioned in Karen’s post.

….at the time, Perry had a former chief-of-staff, Mike Toomey, who was a lobbyist for Merck. And Perry’s then chief-of-staff’s mother-in-law, who was a state legislator, was the state director of an organization called Women in Government, which was bankrolled by Merck….

This week’s primary in Texas ends on March 2nd. Sen. Kay Bailout Hutchison and private citizen, non-professional politician Debra Medina are challenging Perry for the Republican nomination for governor. Medina is the true conservative, who opposes the government’s forcing people to have a vaccine against their will, and who is the true “Tea Parties” candidate. Unfortunately, she was recently smeared by talk host Glenn Beck, who has ties to Rick Perry, in addition to Beck’s radio boss’s status as a big Perry campaign contributor.

On Political Opportunists and Talk Radio Shills for Statism

The recent smear of Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina by talk  host Glenn Beck is now of no surprise to me, and is really part of the whole picture that includes the recent election of statist-socialist-fascist career politician Scott Brown to the United States Senate. As Beck did his hatchet job on the only genuine “tea party” candidate Medina, it appears, especially given Beck radio cohort Pat Gray’s connection to incumbent governor Rick Perry, that Beck’s true allegiance is not with the tea parties and their push to hold government accountable for its excesses, but with the statists who have been abusing the powers of government (like Perry and the other Republican candidate Sen. Kay Bailout Hutchison).

This connects with the Scott Brown election and how the local Boston area “conservative” (but not really) talk hosts, especially Jay Severin and his WTKK comrade Michael Graham, were man-crush statist shills for Brown, in probably the most sickening two months of talk radio in this area. Brown, who supported RomneyCare fascist mandates which created a whole new Big Government bureaucracy and who opposed cutting the state income tax, in 2008 voted for a “Northeastern States Cap & Trade” law. According to the Boston Globe,

“Reducing carbon dioxide emission in Massachusetts has long been a priority of mine,’’ Brown said in a news release at the time. “Passing this legislation is an important step . . . towards improving our environment.’’

Brown’s response to that issue during the recent campaign was that “We were sold a bill of goods.” Well, I don’t buy that. Given all of Brown’s past support for this and that statist and socialist law and regulation, he really believes that more government mandates and regulations will solve everyday problems. This is what I’m getting at as far as his political opportunism is concerned. Brown, with the support of his lovey-dovey Boston talk hosts, has become expert at the art of rhetoric and knowing how to manipulate “voter anger,” just as Glenn Beck has. If you really think that Brown is a “tea party” guy, then you must think that John McCain, Arlene Specter and Orrin Hack are, too.

Could Beck’s real motivation in his tea party involvement be more for his own opportunism rather than genuine support for Americans’ questioning government’s actions? (Medina believes it’s important that people exercise their right to question the government, resulting in her being smeared by Beck as a “truther.”)

And I don’t believe Scott Brown’s “anti-abortion” rhetoric either. He is pro-choice and supports Roe v Wade. And one thing that discredits the tea party movement is support for these counter-productive military expansionist policies of the US government, i.e. war mongering. That is what Brown really supports, because, like the other conservatives including Glenn Beck, he doesn’t understand that it’s the US government’s intrusions in these foreign lands for many decades that has been eliciting Middle-Eastern hatred towards the West and the US  in particular.The actual sole purpose of the military socialism and expansionism on foreign lands is to exalt and glorify the state. It is for the state, the whole state and nothing but the state. As Justin Raimondo wrote recently,

In wartime, the State rears up in all its malevolent magnificence, like a great dragon snarling fire, and those who fall down and worship – out of instinct – are natural servitors of power, thrilling in its visible execution, and vicariously enjoying every enemy death as if it were his personal handiwork.

And, as James Bovard wrote regarding the mid-19th Century American “Civil” (sic) War, and the brutality and barbarism of the Northern Army against the Southern Secessionist States,

The more ruthless the Northern armies acted, the more exalted federal power became. For many, the greatness and sanctity of the federal government was confirmed by the fact that the government possessed the power to burn Southern cities, destroy Southern crops, and starve Southern families.

The more the politicians used government power to destroy, the more government power itself was exalted as the greatest curative. Lord Acton, writing in England in 1862, observed of the American war: “Whether the Northern Government succeeds or fails, its character is altered, and its power permanently and enormously increased.” An 1875 article in the American Law Review noted: “The late war left the average American politician with a powerful desire to acquire property from other people without paying for it.” The tragic mistakes, blunders, and crimes of politicians led to a war that resulted in a vast expansion of the power of the political class.

WTKK talk show hosts Jay Severin and Michael Graham are both former political strategists. They are obsessed with politics (and not philosophy, not history, not ethics, etc.)—every problem must have a political solution. If only we can get the right guy in there, THEN everything will be better. Of course, everything got better after the 1994 Republican Revolution, and everything got better after Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980, and….so much for that argument.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post on Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s article, Natural Elites, Intellectuals and the State, in which Hoppe described the “natural elites” as those who have achieved their status and influence and “natural authority” by means of their own talents, abilities and wisdom. The state, in contrast, is of professional career politicians (like Scott Brown) and bureaucrats. The state’s authority is not natural; the state’s authority is artificial, and its politicians and bureaucrats (at least 99% of them) have not actually produced any product or service of actual value that others would voluntarily pay their hard-earned money to have. Government “work” is “easy money.” It’s easy to use the armed power and coercive force of government to put a gun to citizens’ heads and order them to fork over their money. Making a living by producing something of value to be traded voluntarily with others, maybe not so easy. Goldman Sachs, Dick Cheney’s Military Industrial Complex, the entire Kennedy clan, and Scott Brown: easy money, more power and control over other people’s lives, “artificial elites.”

And the reason that these talk show hosts and other “conservatives” would belittle Ron Paul during the 2008 presidential campaign was NOT because of Paul’s foreign policy views. That was a facade. It was because Paul was the only uncompromising anti-statist candidate. In fact, it was so important to Severin and Mark Levin to hate Ron Paul’s anti-statism that they had to refer to him as “RuPaul,” who is a drag queen and has nothing to do with politics or economics. But, Severin and Levin have to take their love of state and regress themselves with it back into their pubescent middle school years. It had to do with their contempt for someone’s communication of the substance of liberty, as opposed to the superficial rhetoric of liberty that is a facade covering up their true love of the state, their worship and idolatry of state power, state authority and state control.

We are faced with nothing but professional career politicians and opportunists who hijack the words and philosophy of freedom and prosperity but continually vote for fascism and socialism, and professional communicators who use the rhetoric of liberty but are shills for politicians and government power. Because of the shills of statism and their control freakishness in politics and their love of military socialism and expansionism, they have brought us a fascist like Barak Obama and a racist idiot like Sonia Sosomaybe on the US Supreme Court.

In his book, Democracy: The God that Failed, Hans Hoppe predicted that a system that gives an institution, government, a monopoly of anything, including of territorial protection and ultimate judicial decision-making, and which is compulsory and no one within the territory may opt out, is a system doomed to fail, socially, culturally, and especially, economically. Hoppe predicted that, like the Soviet Union’s collapse in the late ’80s-early ’90s, the US was equally doomed to collapse. The book was published in 2001.

Further Comment on Debra Medina

To follow up on yesterday’s post on the smear against Texas gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina, I have done quite a bit more research on this whole subject. Medina is a genuine “citizen candidate” who supports conservative American family values, the right of people in a state to have independence from the federal government, the right to bear arms and the right of citizens to question and protest their government just as the American Founders did. I do not believe that she is a “9/11 truther,” but that she honestly believes that there’s a legitimate reason for people to investigate the facts as the 9/11 Commission had done, given the US government’s past, such as with Iran-Contra, Waco, Watergate, and current events, and the list goes on and on and on.

This smear started by people who had heard Medina interviewed by Alex Jones, a known “conspiracy theorist.” It is yet another “guilt-by-association” fiasco, in which, people have concluded that, because Medina appeared with Alex Jones, therefore…etc. And those are the people who emailed Glenn Beck and motivated him to ask Medina those 9/11-related questions. I can’t find anything on the Internet that indicates that she spoke about that issue in the past.

Michael Medved did the same thing with Ron Paul, as far as, “just because Paul appeared on the Alex Jones Show, therefore….”etc.  It seems to me that the people who seem to just have some gut feeling that it’s “unpatriotic” or “un-American” to question the state, as apparently does Medved, and Beck as well, are those most likely to smear people who stand for the rights of the individual and who sincerely believe that blind obedience to the state may itself be un-American.

Of particular interest is that, within an hour after the Medina interview with Glenn Beck the Rick Perry campaign had already begun robo-calls accusing Medina of being a “truther.” Also, apparently Beck and his radio show cohort Pat Gray have ties to Rick Perry. To me, this is suspicious.

A similar government-reform-minded woman Republican was also the victim of smear tactics: Sarah Palin.

More Smears Against Tea Party Candidates

Glenn Beck interviewed Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina. If you read the transcript, you’ll see that she gave very intelligent answers to his first several questions. Then he asked her if she’s a “9/11 Truther,” a question she was obviously not expecting, and her answer was evasive. However, people who are not professional politicians, as are Medina’s primary opponents Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, are not used to being asked questions obviously intended to give them a “kook” status based on their having non-state-idolizing views. Medina later issued a statement clarifying her answer, but in the dirty, slimy world of politics, that won’t be good enough.

(I am not a “9/11 Truther,” but I do believe that the Bush Administration, the Clinton Administration and the elder Bush Administration have at least some culpability in the various factors leading up to 9/11, particularly in their use and misuse of the US government, intentionally or unintentionally, that effected in provoking elements in the Middle-east for many years.)

Medina has attracted a lot people whose sentiments are with the “tea parties,” as well as those whose sentiments are open to ideas of secession and nullifying federal dictates, and people who have a general distrust of government. Certainly, Glenn Beck is known to have his own distrust of government and his own “conspiracy theories,” especially regarding the “Goldman Sachs-Government Connection.” Beck has many times referred to the American Founders and their distrust of government. Government officials are the least of people to be believed in any given situation.

Government is the only institution that exists based on two main aspects:

  • Government is a monopoly of territorial protection and jurisdiction. People are restricted by law, enforced by armed police, from going to a prospective competition of government  for protection and settling disputes. For example, the Catholic Church can’t prevent people from going to another church or choosing a different denomination—it can’t monopolize its services or sermons. And the ACLU can’t have a monopoly in being an advocate for civil rights, and can’t prevent people from turning to a different group to act on their behalf (which is pretty much required these days, if you know what I mean).
  • Besides its monopolies, government is the only institution that may use compulsion against others.

Economists Murray Rothbard and Hans-Hermann Hoppe have written about and discussed these ideas extensively. Because of government’s monopoly and ability to use compulsion, it inherently attracts the least honest among us to its employment. In every instance, the monopolist ‘s status handicaps consumers, and because the monopolist has no competition, his price will be higher and the quality of service lower. Government’s and government officials’ ability to plunder and otherwise violate the citizens’ rights to life, liberty and property is reinforced by government’s power of compulsion and involuntary taxation. This line of occupation attracts those who are skilled at demagoguery, and, yes, lying. Government must be distrusted.

Hoppe on Political Economy of Monarchy and Democracy; and “Natural Elites” and Intellectuals

Two articles to be discussed here, one posted by the Mises Institute and another one from 2006.

This past week, the Mises Institute, and LewRockwell.com, posted a lengthy article by economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Political Economy of Monarchy and Democracy. In this article, Prof. Hoppe discusses the difference between private (monarchical) and public (democratic) ownership of government, their

  1. Comparative Economics,
  2. The Transition from Monarchy to Democracy (1789-1918),
  3. Exploitation and Present-Orientedness
  4. and Concludes with the idea of “Natural Order”

Given that a monopoly of territorial protection and jurisdiction by either monarchy or democratic rule causes a rise in cost and decline in quality of those monopolized services, among other negative consequences,

….when democratic rule has finally exhausted its legitimacy, the problem faced will be significantly more difficult than when kings lost their legitimacy. Then, it would have been sufficient by and large to abolish the king’s monopoly of law and law enforcement and replace it with a natural order of competing jurisdictions, because remnants of natural elites who could have taken on this task still existed. Now, this will no longer be sufficient. If the monopoly of law and law enforcement of democratic governments is dissolved, there appears to be no other authority to whom one can turn for justice, and chaos would seem to be inevitable. Thus, in addition to advocating the abdication of democracy, it is now of central strategic importance that at the same time ideological support be given to all decentralizing or even secessionist social forces; that is, the tendency toward political centralization that has characterized the Western world for many centuries, first under monarchical rule and then under democratic auspices, must be systematically reversed….

Prof. Hoppe also makes reference to “natural elites,” which he explains further in this 2006 article, Natural Elites, Intellectuals, and the State. In that article, Prof. Hoppe discusses the origins of the “state,” how it came to exist, and the differences between “natural elites” and the state-promoting and state-sponsored elites. The “natural elites” are the ones who have achieved status through natural talents and abilities, characterized by “wisdom and bravery,” and who

possess natural authority, and their opinions and judgments enjoy wide-spread respect,….with long-established records of superior achievement, farsightedness, and exemplary personal conduct that men turn with their conflicts and complaints against each other. These leaders of the natural elite act as judges and peacemakers, often free of charge out of a sense of duty expected of a person of authority or out of concern for civil justice as a privately produced “public good.”

What primarily characterized the formation of the “state,” Hoppe suggests, was the monopolization of those very functions of judge and peacemaker. Economically,

From the moment when a single member of the natural elite successfully monopolized the function of judge and peacemaker, law and law enforcement became more expensive. Instead of being offered free of charge or in exchange for voluntary payment, it was financed by a compulsory tax. At the same time, the quality of law deteriorated. Rather than upholding ancient private property laws and applying universal and immutable principles of justice, a monopolistic judge, who did not have to fear losing clients as the result of being less than impartial, would pervert the existing law to his own advantage.

Prof. Hoppe then discusses the role of intellectuals in monarchies and in the rise of democracies, and points out that the majority of intellectuals at the time of transition from monarchies to democracies did not recognize that the problem with society and justice under monarchical rule was with the rulers’ monopoly of justice and law; rather, the intellectuals promoted keeping government’s monopoly, but just replacing the monarch with “the people” in a democracy. However,

To the intellectuals, this meant by them, as the people’s spokesmen.

Prof. Hoppe explains the economic consequences of the transition of monarchical monopolies to democratic monopolies, the rise in governmental expenses from about 5% to 50% of the GNP, and the rise in government employment from about 3% to 20% of total employment, and the monarchs’ commodity money of gold with an increasing purchasing power that shifted to democracies’ fiat paper money with a steadily decreasing purchasing power.

What happened to the “natural elites” as democracy began and evolved?

The fortunes of the great families have dissipated through confiscatory taxes, during life and at the time of death. These families’ tradition of economic independence, intellectual farsightedness, and moral and spiritual leadership have been lost and forgotten. Rich men exist today, but more frequently than not they owe their fortunes directly or indirectly to the state. Hence, they are often more dependent on the state’s continued favors than many people of far-lesser wealth. They are typically no longer the heads of long-established leading families, but “nouveaux riches.” Their conduct is not characterized by virtue, wisdom, dignity, or taste, but is a reflection of the same proletarian mass-culture of present-orientation, opportunism, and hedonism that the rich and famous now share with everyone else.

The fate of intellectuals, thanks to the evolution of democratic rule, is that of state-apologists, claims Prof. Hoppe. In my own opinion, this isn’t just leftist intellectuals, but the right-wing, war supporting “intellectuals,” who are as much statist and promoters of statism and socialism at the expense of liberty and property as are the leftists.

There are more propagandists of democratic rule around today than there were ever propagandists of monarchical rule in all of human history.

And Hoppe continues with the alleged “free-market” intellectuals of Milton Friedman and his ilk, who support a central bank, paper money and the welfare state in general (the very aspects of democracy that are playing a major role in destroying  Western civilization). And Hoppe is critical of the Newt Gingrich “Republican Revolution” of the 1994 elections, with “Revolutionary” Gingrich nevertheless praising the New Deal and civil rights legislation that have destroyed private property rights and freedom of association and contract, the very values that were promoted and advanced by actual Revolutionaries in the late 18th Century.

What kind of a revolution is it where the revolutionaries have wholeheartedly accepted the statist premises and causes of the present disaster? Obviously, this can only be labeled a revolution in an intellectual environment that is statist to the core.

Hoppe describes the importance of morality, which is lacking in today’s intellectuals, and ways to counter the pro-state intellectuals of both  left and right, with an anti-intellectual intellectualism, and with courage, and with hope:

Fortunately, the ideas of individual liberty, private property, freedom of contract and association, personal responsibility and liability, and government power as the primary enemy of liberty and property, will not die out as long as there is a human race, simply because they are true and the truth supports itself.

Saving Is Necessary During Tough Times

I link to a news story in the previous post about President Obama’s multi-trillion dollar, deficit-overflowing budget. Especially during a time of great economic depression as we are living through now (except for those at Goldman Sachs, etc.), to deliberately submit a budget with deficit spending is, as Frank Sinatra and Jack Jones might say, Irresponsible! In fact, Congress should make the deliberate submission of a budget with deficit spending by a president an impeachable offense. When we have the kind of economic collapse that we have now, that was caused by government’s actions, the key to recovery is saving, NOT spending, and certainly not deficit spending! What are those people down there in Washington, nuts? Of course, if Washington eliminates the income tax and capital gains tax, then immediately everyone would benefit. Businesses would be hiring again, and creating new jobs and expanding and investing, and citizens would have more (of their own money to begin with) to spend, save or invest. But that just makes too much sense for the hacks, imbeciles, nudniks and nincompoops in Washington.

What the average folks should do now is save, especially when the economy is only going to get worse this year. Do you really need that new car? If the car you have is not causing you any trouble, you might put off getting a new one for another year or two. And do you really need that big screen TV? No, you probably don’t. It is best for now to assume that the economy will get worse, and plan ahead accordingly.

Here is some unsolicited advice for young people who will graduate from high school this year, and their parents. You might want to consider putting off college for a year or two, and get some kind of an income. There’s nothing wrong with that. And for those who plan to attend college now, you might want to consider some of the less expensive schools. Do employers now really  care if your résumé includes “Harvard,”  “Yale,” or a state college? Is that expensive college really worth the price? I don’t think so. In fact, I’m sure there are plenty of employers out there who may take a pass on a prospective employee whose résumé includes “Harvard,” given that 99% of the Harvard faculty are total Marxist Obommunists. (lol, MOST college faculties are that way!)

And on the issue of college room and board, a great way to save money is to go to a local college and commute from home. I know, I know, I’m a big advocate of independence, and believe that kids need to become independent especially by age 18. However, one can make a good case for not paying the extra $1,000s that it costs to live in a dorm, given that dorm life is not at all better now than when I was in college 25 years ago–in fact, it might be worse now, with all the partying and drinking and not enough studying. No wonder the college dropout rate is so high (besides another cause being the terrible preparation for college performed by the government-run schools ). There are many pros and cons to both living in a dorm and living at home during college. The biggest reason to consider living at home, even for just the first one or two years, is saving money.

The Inalienable Right To Secede

February 1, 2010

Copyright © 2010 by LewRockwell.com (Link to article)

During the time of President Obama’s State of the Union address, it was noted that HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan was Obama’s “Designated Survivor.” This is a perfect example of how a government-monopolized defense system is actually a threat to the security of all Americans. If a catastrophe occurs in Washington, panic and vulnerability would spread across America, a result of an entire population compelled by force to be dependent on a centralized authority for their protection. Another catastrophe is the economic one that Americans have been suffering, due to the federal government’s monopoly in the production and distribution of money, thanks to President Abraham Lincoln and his War on Independence.

Within the inalienable rights to life and liberty, as recognized in the Declaration of Independence, is the right to independence. People have a right not to be compelled to be dependent on the federal government’s monopoly of territorial protection and jurisdiction. If people within a particular territory have a right of independence and a right of self-determination, then they have a right to secede from the federal “union.” This is reinforced by the Declaration of Independence, which states that “it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” And Thomas Jefferson later noted, “…If any state in the Union will declare that it prefers separation….to a continuance in the union….I have no hesitation in saying, ‘let us separate’…”

While some say there is no such constitutional right to secede or nullify federal law, and others argue that the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the US Constitution protect such states’ and individuals’ rights, there is a higher law that takes precedence over Constitutional law, namely Natural Law, which governs our natural, inherent rights as human beings, as noted in the Declaration of Independence.

Further, given that the US Constitution is a “contract,” its terms are legally binding to all who reside within the US territories whether or not they voluntarily consented to participate in such a contract. 19th-century entrepreneur Lysander Spooner observed that the Constitution’s contractual obligations are to those who signed such a document, and applied to the people living at the time, and cannot possibly apply to people living in future generations. And, Spooner notes,

…. only a small portion even of the people then existing were consulted on the subject, or asked, or permitted to express either their consent or dissent in any formal manner. Those persons, if any, who did give their consent formally, are all dead now…. It is not only plainly impossible…. that they Could bind their posterity, but they did not even attempt to bind them…. the language neither expresses nor implies that they had any right or power, to bind their “posterity” to live under it. It does not say that their “posterity” will, shall, or must live under it. It only says, in effect, that their hopes and motives in adopting it were that it might prove useful to their posterity….

The mid-19th-century war waged by President Abraham Lincoln against the peacefully seceding Southern States was an important time. However, it is necessary to rectify the myths associated with that war, such as Lincoln’s purpose being to “end slavery.” In fact, an important motivation behind the Southern States’ peaceful secession was Lincoln’s tariffs against the South that protected Northern industries, and Lincoln’s main concerns were not freeing slaves, but his protectionist tariffs and, more importantly, to force the Southern States back into the “union.” Further, Lincoln expanded the government’s monopolies upon which all Americans were compelled to be dependent, such as replacing hard money with fiat paper money, something against which Thomas Jefferson and others had warned, and driving a stake into the heart of banking competition.

Much of America’s current economic slavery and depression are tied to Lincoln’s actions. To Lincoln, expanding the size and power of the federal government and further handcuffing the masses was worth the clinging US government’s campaign of violence and barbarism against civilians that contradicted internationally recognized mores. While the Founding Fathers were forced to use war to secede from tyrannical British rule, Lincoln used war for the opposite purpose.

Besides his oppressive use of taxation, Lincoln’s other economic achievement–and it’s also not a good one–initiated the monetary bondage of the citizens by the federal government, violating the people’s right of free exchange and trade, which includes the right to choose one’s means of exchange that isn’t monopolistically produced and distributed by the government. Not only should Americans secede from the federal government, but they should secede from invasive, dictatorial federal monetary policy. (US Rep. Ron Paul’s bill to repeal the legal tender laws and allow for competing currencies begins to correct this.)

Economist Murray Rothbard is quite blunt about the true nature of taxation and the government’s constitutionally assigned compulsory territorial monopoly:

Taxation is theft, purely and simply….and is therefore indistinguishable from theft, it follows that the State, which subsists on taxation, is a vast criminal organization far more formidable and successful than any “private” Mafia in history…. (the State) prohibits the free competition of defense and decision-making agencies within a given territorial area – prohibiting the voluntary purchase and sale of defense and judicial services… the State is an inherently illegitimate institution of organized aggression, of organized and regularized crime against the persons and properties of its subjects. Rather than necessary to society, it is a profoundly antisocial institution which lives parasitically off of the productive activities of private citizens…

Within our inalienable rights to life and liberty is the God-given right of self-defense. However, a centralized federal government which monopolizes territorial defense is a violation of the peoples’ right of self-defense. People have a right of self-defense and a right to not be held in bondage by the state for their protection or for any reason.

Besides the states seceding and providing their own defenses, another alternative is a privatized, free market in defense that would allow competition among defense agencies, especially in the context of totally repealed weapons laws. The quality and efficiency in defense services would go up and the price would come down, as in any endeavor in any free, civilized society. For example, after 9/11, the people of Manhattan or indeed the owners of the World Trade Center would exercise their right to contract private agencies and private warriors to investigate, retaliate against and eliminate Al Qaeda at its roots, including involving specialized risks in foreign territories. Assuming there would be no invasive, dictatorial US governmental restrictions interfering with such efforts, the private contractors would probably have done the job more quickly and efficiently than the government, which not only still hasn’t done the job, but has only made things worse. Had the government been a private agency, its contract would have been terminated years ago, and many of its authorities would now be in jail.

As economist Gustave de Molinari noted,

…(the consumers of competitive protection agencies) “would be careful not to allow themselves to be protected by men who would unscrupulously attack the persons and property of their rivals…. Just as war is the natural consequence of monopoly, peace is the natural consequence of liberty.”

The nation states of the Soviet Union learned their lesson, that central planning and government monopolies violate individual rights and cause dysfunction, economic stagnation and corruption. Either the US states ought to secede from the federal government’s control, or we ought to consider eliminating the federal government altogether and let the people have their freedom and independence. It is the people’s inalienable right to secede, just as it was the Founders’ inalienable right to secede from British rule.