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Month: September 2010

Don’t Repeat History with Iran: Long-Term Disasters Result from Political Short-Sightedness

Besides the American founders’ moral and wise advice to avoid “foreign entanglements,” or collusions between the U.S. government and foreign governments, there are practical reasons for avoiding wars. One big reason is all the blowback against America that decades of the U.S. government’s intrusions abroad have been causing. If nothing else, an analysis of America’s past century of wars and interventions, and recognizing their destructive long term consequences, should be enough to finally stop the vicious cycle. Those who appreciate the messages of history will oppose war against Iran.

The U.S. government is empowered with territorial protection and defending 300 million Americans against foreign invasions and attacks. But the U.S. government’s own interventions, invasions and violence abroad have resulted in making its own population more vulnerable to aggressions and hostilities.

Just look at the controversy over Imam Feisal Rauf’s wanting to build an Islamic community center two blocks away from the former World Trade Center site, known as “Ground Zero.” Rauf has stated that the U.S. government’s intrusions and violence abroad are responsible for many more deaths of innocent Muslims than Al Qaeda is responsible for the deaths of innocent Americans, and that the U.S. government has culpability in the September 11th attacks because of an invasive foreign policy in the Middle East having been provoking Muslims in those territories.

On his radio show, Sean Hannity has been repeatedly playing those statements by Rauf, and implying that the statements are incorrect. Hannity and likeminded pundits seem to view as “anti-America” and “pro-terrorist” anyone who recognizes exactly what the terrorists themselves have been saying as far as their actual motivations for their terrorism – those motivations being the U.S. government’s intrusions in the Middle East for 60 years. It is unfortunate that some people’s faith in their government can be so sheepish that they just cannot see the immoralities that their government has been committing for decades.

U.S. Government Interventionism in the Middle East

I’ve written about these events several times recently, but they are important and relevant to today’s problems, such as the CIA’s overthrow of Iran’s Prime Minister and the U.S. government’s supporting the subsequent Shah’s murderous dictatorship that led to the 1979 taking of American hostages in Iran, and there have been further U.S. government intrusions and interventions that have done nothing but provoke hostility and rage among the Middle-Eastern Muslim population for 60 years now.

The U.S. government’s actions in Iran in the 1950s ultimately led to the imposition of repressive Sharia Law in Iran that continues to this day. Similarly, the U.S. government’s 2003 invasion of Iraq and subsequent manipulations in that country has now led to the same thing: repressive Sharia Law in Iraq.

The U.S. government had also been expanding its size and power across these Middle-Eastern territories, with hundreds of military bases that it has no moral right or constitutional authority to be doing. These occupations are considered to be intrusions into the holy lands of millions of Muslim inhabitants of these territories.

The most significant point of the intrusions into these Middle-Eastern territories, in my opinion, was the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War of then-President George H.W. Bush, which involved the destruction of civilian electricity, water and sewage treatment facilities, while the subsequent  sanctions led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, as well as increased cancer and infant mortality rates. These facts of history are important to reiterate because these events further inflamed anti-American sentiment throughout the Middle East during the 1990s leading up to the September 11th attacks in 2001.

It is unfortunate that Sean Hannity and others can’t understand what Imam Rauf is saying as far as U.S. government culpability in 9/11 and continued Islamic anti-Americanism from the Middle East. Sadly, Hannity and many others just can’t comprehend the possibility that their government could possibly commit immoral acts. (Unless it’s the Obama regime doing it, that’s different!)

A Century of Repeating History

The futility of the last 9 years of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, also Pakistan and Yemen, has shown how the U.S. government is repeating its own mistakes, at the further disservice of the American people, as evidenced by a whole century of U.S government interventions, intrusions and especially wars abroad, all of which have backfired against the U.S.

According to Jim Powell of the Cato Institute, and author of Wilson’s War, How Woodrow Wilson’s Great Blunder Led To Hitler, Lenin, Stalin And World War II, President Woodrow Wilson’s taking the U.S. into World War I not only made World War II’s intensity and destruction possible, but had destructive results for the Middle East as well. Powell notes that

If the United States had stayed out of World War I, there probably would have been a negotiated settlement, and the Ottoman Empire would have survived for a while. The Middle East wouldn’t have been carved up by Britain and France. But as things turned out, authorized by League of Nations “mandates,” British Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill was determined to secure the British Navy’s access to Persian oil at the least possible cost by installing puppet regimes in the region.

In Mesopotamia, Churchill bolted together the territories of Mosul, Baghdad and Basra to make Iraq. Although Kurds wanted an independent homeland, their territory was to be part of Iraq. Churchill decided that the best bet for Britain would be a Hashemite ruler… During the 37 years of the Iraqi monarchy, there were 58 changes of parliamentary governments, indicating chronic political instability. All Iraqi rulers since Feisal, including Saddam Hussein, were Sunnis. That Iraq was ruled for three decades by a sadistic murderer like Saddam made clear how the map-drawing game was vastly more complicated than Wilson had imagined.

And President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, under shady circumstances, had entered the U.S. government into World War II, the war among collectivist regimes, as economist Richard Ebeling notes:

In this assortment of “allies” and “enemies,” the advocate of liberty could find no champion. The “bad fascists” were busy at work in their death camps in Poland and Germany. The “good fascists” were busy at work firebombing civilian targets all over Germany and raining mass destruction on the Japanese. And the “well-intentioned” communists in the Soviet Union were busy charting their course to subjugate Eastern Europe and vast stretches of Asia, as the next steps to world Marxist victory.

These mid-20th Century conflicts among peoples and their collectivist governments – governments empowered at the expense of liberty and human rights – were made possible by the unnecessary extension of World War I by Wilson. While in the short term Wilson’s entering World War I led to a defeated Germany, had Wilson not entered the war and Germany been victorious, as Jim Powell notes, Germany “would have had a hard time holding their empire together because of all the rebellious nationalities, the same nationalities that figured in the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian and Russian empires. Most likely outcome of a German victory: costly civil wars ending in German collapse.” Wilson entered the war despite the peace treaties in the works up to 1917, and because of Wilson the Treaty of Versailles that was signed was utterly hostile to Germany and her future, thus paving the way to Hitler and Nazism.

So one can assert how illicit actions, the abandonment of the principle against “foreign entanglements,” and using aggression and wars as means of socialist central planning have destructive consequences: Wilson’s interventionism was a contributor to the rise of Hitler and Stalin, Churchill’s interventionism and socialist planning was a contributor to the rise of Saddam Hussein, the CIA’s 1953 Iranian coup and the U.S. government’s propping up the Shah of Iran was a contributor to Iran’s subsequent repressive Islamic regime (and Israeli insecurity), and the two Bush presidents’ wars in Iraq have led to Iraq’s current repressive rule under Islamic Sharia Law, as well as the mess that is Afghanistan.

The socialist central planners George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush had asserted that their interventions and intrusions in other countries’ business would have some kind of positive benefit for the U.S., when in actuality, because such intrusions violated the sovereignty (as well as liberty and property) of those foreign peoples, the long-term effects of such intrusions and trespassing is backfiring and causing worse problems for the U.S.

In a speech before a Future of Freedom Foundation conference in 2008, former New York Times foreign correspondent Stephen Kinzer, author of Overthrow and All the Shah’s Men, made this astute observation regarding the U.S. government’s intervention and war in Vietnam:

Now why did we decide we couldn’t tolerate Ho Chi Minh as president of the united Vietnam? It’s because we thought if we allow this election to go forward you’re going to have a united Vietnam under a communist leadership. Instead of accepting that, we went to war, we lost 58,000 American lives, something like a million Vietnamese were killed, a country was ravaged, and our country was psychologically disoriented forever. And what was the end result? A united Vietnam under a communist leadership, the same result that we could have had in 1956 without any bloodshed.

And the saddest or most pathetic aspect of this is that having a united communist Vietnam actually isn’t so bad for us. We’re getting along with them. Now, we don’t particularly like them, but we’re trading with them; we have an embassy. It’s not so bad.

It should be quite clear to any objective observer how history is constantly being repeated. A federal government with a monopoly in territorial protection upon which the population is compelled to be dependent gives that compulsory government overwhelming power. Given human nature, it is no wonder that the politicians in charge have deliberately caused or provoked hostilities with other governments.

Before being so critical of Imam Rauf, Sean Hannity and others need to stop being so self-centered and ought to look at the U.S. government’s destructive socialist interventionism more closely. People whose feelings are hurt by an Islamic center or a mosque near “Ground Zero” need to recognize the thousands of “ground zeros” in Pakistan and Afghanistan in which many families have lost loved ones from U.S. government bombs and drones – innocent civilians murdered for no good reason.

The inhabitants of Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan don’t like their fellow innocent civilians murdered by foreign occupiers or by CIA remote-controlled drones, just as Americans didn’t like their fellow innocent civilians murdered on 9/11.

And the ones whose view of Ground Zero as “sacred” territory need to understand how the U.S. government’s hundreds of military bases on Muslims’ holy lands has affected many of those Muslims so deeply that it has actually motivated some of them to strike back. And as Gen. Stanley McChrystal was quoted by a recent Rolling Stone article to have said, “for every innocent person you kill, you create 10 new enemies.”

So for this past century, the U.S. government has taken upon itself to be the world’s policeman, to fight other countries’ wars, to “spread democracy” onto foreign lands and fix other people’s problems. But the actual outcomes of such interventionism have gone against America’s interests (except for the Wall Street fat cats, of course).

I know it’s an old cliché, but it really is the case that, in the words of Spanish-American philosopher and writer George Santayana, “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Or those who haven’t learned the lessons of history, thanks to government-run education, will repeat it. Many of our government leaders repeat history either because they don’t know their history, or they do know, but are willing to repeat it anyway for the sake of short-term political gain. Americans need to remember their history as they contemplate war against Iran.

Rand Paul’s Compromises vs. Uncompromising Libertarianism

Justin Raimondo has an article about GOP senate hopeful Rand Paul (son of Ron Paul). Regardless of whether or not the younger Dr. Paul has in the past opposed the Iraq war and has said, correctly, that 9/11 was “blowback for our foreign policy,” when I read that Rand Paul has had meetings with warmongering neocons like Bill Kristol and AIPAC flunkies as far as how he can please them, I, too — with apologies to Patrick Henry — smelt a rat. Raimondo makes a good point that it might not be a good idea for one to schmooze with those who have worked tirelessly to smear one’s father, as Kristol et al. have done to the elder Dr. Paul.

It’s also not particularly honest to call oneself “libertarian” when one has been open to compromise on perpetual wars abroad and saying that starting a war against Iran or nuking Iran is not off the table. So, as opposed to labeling himself “libertarian,” Rand Paul’s labeling himself the “Tea Party candidate” is probably more appropriate, given that many people in the Tea Party movement — at least the Sarah Palin-Glenn Beck wing anyway — support endless and pointless war, endless State-killing of innocent human beings and destruction of whole societies abroad.

To be libertarian really means not just advocating Liberty but uncompromisingly so, because the principles of Liberty are the principles of the Founding Fathers: individual rights (among them the rights to life, liberty and justly acquired property), private property, freedom of association and voluntary exchange — an important aspect of those principles being freedom from aggression, particularly State-imposed aggression. You can’t be an advocate of those principles and at the same time approve of State-imposed killing of innocent human beings, such as in Pakistan, Afghanistan and soon, Iran.

Further, to be an actual libertarian in principle, one has to object to false depictions of libertarianism as being an amoral philosophy of “anything goes,” and “I can do what I want (even if it intrudes on others),” but instead pronounce that an advocacy of libertarianism and the principles of Liberty have a moral foundation. The morality behind the principles of Liberty is absolute: Don’t kill innocent human beings, don’t steal, don’t trespass. These are uncompromisable moral principles of Liberty, and Bill Kristol, Glenn Beck et al. probably wouldn’t have a clue as to what I’m talking about. And frankly, I’m not too sure about Rand Paul, either.

And with all that today, on LewRockwell.com Jeff Tucker has this article regarding how civilization was advanced not by governments, but by freedom. The Founders believed in being civilized and moral people, and that is why they intuitively distrusted government, and knew that the one institution that is most hostile toward civilization is the State. We have seen that especially in the past century, from Wilson’s War to the Bush Wars, from FDR’s fascism-socialism to Obama’s nincompooperism.

Rand Paul’s schmoozing with AIPAC and neocons like Bill Kristol tells me this: anyone who is willing to appease those whose main role in political action campaigns and journo-propagandism is not just the push for but the glorification of State aggression is no friend of Liberty, and no libertarian.

The Choice Between Two Americas

 September 22, 2010

(Link to article on LewRockwell.com)

Here is a comparison of two Americas. The first one is our current America, a country whose federal government is based on a Constitution that gives the government powers it shouldn’t have, and gives the government various monopolies it shouldn’t have, and allows agents of the State to have the power of compulsion over others that no one should have, all of which have led to the grief we now face on a daily basis. The second America is much closer to what the Founding Fathers envisioned and what anyone who loves and desires Liberty would want. Like Greece and other countries, America must make a choice.

Our Current America

For the first time in history, many Americans are experiencing “downward mobility,” in which a whole generation is worse off than the previous generation. Contributions to that phenomenon include the State’s taking away much of one’s earnings and of profits that businesses make, the Federal Reserve’s monopolistic dictatorial control over our money and its devaluing the dollar we are forced to use, and the stealth tax called inflation.

Other contributors to our downward mobility include the domino effects of taxes, regulations, mandates and bureaucratic red tape that result in businesses not expanding and jobs being cut, as well as the further repercussions of irresponsible Keynesian economic policies of id-pleasing short-sightedness.

But we also have less liberty, because the State intrudes into every aspect of daily life. And we are less safe because our federal government has used its military to intrude into the territories of foreign nations, thus provoking the inhabitants of those nations to retaliate against America.

In the current America, so much time in the daily life of the average individual is stolen away by government, as the individual is forced to spend hours upon hours deciphering the tax code of the day, as well as other technically complicated aspects of the bureaucrats’ demands.

Our current America also has a particular kind of mentality, in which too many people view the superficial qualities of someone like skin color as important, while ignoring the importance of someone’s abilities and achievements. It just seems that the famous maxim of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,” has been reversed by decades of LBJ Great Society/Obama Affirmative Action programs and attitudes. Most recently, as conservative columnist Thomas Sowell noted, Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty was defeated in his reelection bid despite the fact that his policies and appointments have resulted in lower violent crime rates and higher local schools’ test scores, because of “racial patronage and racial symbolism” preferred by the majority of DC’s voters.

The fact that so many college and job applicants are rejected because they are not of a preferred racial or ethnic minority, despite their academic or otherwise achievements, is just one of many factors that are also stressing out Americans.

And people are stressed out because of what government bureaucrats are doing to them. Many are depressed, frustrated, fearful and anguished, particularly those who have lost their jobs because of the intrusions that government bureaucrats have inflicted into private economic matters. At a recent CNBC town hall meeting, a black woman who is chief financial officer of her company, and who voted for President Obama, told Obama of her disappointment in the lack of change for the middle class that he had promised during his campaign. Of course, Obama gave his trademark smiley face during her question as though he was watching an episode of Saturday Night Live, and his response to her consisted of his typical career bureaucrat mealy-mouth answer, basically, “Don’t worry – be happy.”

And at the same forum, a recent law school grad asked if the American Dream is dead for him. Of course the American Dream is dead. These professional politicians and bureaucrats killed it, with one law after another, one policy after another, accomplishing nothing but destroying businesses, causing more unemployment and stifling economic growth. The State crushes everything that gets in its voracious, parasitic way.

Now that we have summarized our current America, here is the second choice, the Free America:

The Free America

In the second America, the one of liberty that the Founders envisioned, money would not be monopolized by the government. Competing currencies would exist, and there would be no Federal Reserve. People would have a choice, which is their right to have. And there would be no government control over banks, whose success or failure would be based on the free market. Individuals take responsibility for their decisions. Government would be forbidden by the people to take advantage of those individuals whose fortunes might be lost by failed banks, and charities would be in abundance to help those who need it. And any congressman or senator who attempts to force banks to lend to unqualified applicants would be arrested for intrusions into the private bank owners’ right to freedom of association and contract.

In this free America, there would be no government-compulsory taxation. That is because the people of this free America recognize the rights of the individual, including the right to the fruits of one’s labor. The Founders believed that any taking of an individual’s compensation for labor, or any taking of any individual’s justly acquired wealth or property is theft, pure and simple. And the people of this free America would never approve of the State’s demanding information of private individuals where they work, who their employers are, how much they earn, or how much they pay employees or who works for them.

In the second, free America, the people would not permit the State to demand private information such as what profits private businesses or property owners earn on sales or trades, and the people would certainly not permit the State to demand a “take” on the profits. If the State is assumed to be representative of the people, and “the people” consists of you and your neighbors, then one’s neighbors cannot possibly have any moral or legitimate claim on any profits you make on the sale of a property, or of goods and services. And any information regarding those private contracts is no one else’s business – any attempts to intrude into those private contracts will be considered trespassing, theft or general public nuisance crimes and subject to severe penalties.

In the second, free America, same-sex marriages could not be outlawed. That is because the people of this society recognize that individuals have a right to establish private, voluntary contracts with others who are mutually agreeable and consenting. What kind of private contracts one has with others and the terms of the contracts are nobody else’s business.

Some people believe that the State must have the power to protect traditional “social institutions,” such as marriage. However, the preservation of traditions and social institutions is not the role of the State, but of private individuals, organizations, communities and the church.

In free America, the State would play no role in any people’s marriages. There would be no such thing as a marriage license, because if individuals’ private relationships and contracts are none of their neighbors’ business, then they are none of the State’s business.

In the free America, all relationships, associations and contracts are voluntary. No individual is permitted to have any power of compulsion over another. That is the only way to have a civil society. Any compromise of that rule compromises the notion of rights, the individual’s right to life, liberty and property, and the right to be free from the aggression and intrusion of others.

In free America, the relationship between doctors and patients is entirely private, and no government official is permitted to have access to any private medical information. And also in the free America, more people would be in better health, because they would be encouraged to be responsible for themselves and take care of themselves. The emphasis would be on individual responsibility and not dependence, and the State may not force an insurance company to cover someone who engages in risky behaviors. Employers would also be discouraged from providing health coverage, because that also creates more dependence, and further discourages individual responsibility.

And if there are employment unions, they are not permitted to force employers to pay employees more than what the market demands. Those who are dissatisfied with their compensation are free to seek other employment.

There would also be no government-run schools. Freedom of education means no State intrusion in the individual’s learning.

In free America, only acts in which an actual victim exists are considered crimes. If there is no victim, then an act is not a crime, as Laurence Vance and Walter Block and have noted. And there certainly would be no “war on drugs,” because the people understand the mistakes of 1920s Prohibition, and realize that the individual has to be responsible for the consequences of one’s actions or one’s irresponsible behavior. Punishing victimless acts tells people that they need a nanny state to protect them from themselves. Sorry – not in this free America.

And also, without a war on drugs, the people of Arizona and Texas especially would be safer, because there would be nothing to incentivize Mexican drug cartels because there would be no profits for them, no reason for lowlifes to push drugs on America’s youths or others, and there would thus be no drug cartels moving northward into Arizona and Texas that is now making Arizonans and Texans less safe. And, as the Future of Freedom Foundation’s Jacob Hornberger noted,

The drug-war violations of privacy and civil liberties would disappear, along with one of the police’s favorite excuses for harassing citizens. No more asset-forfeiture, no more cash reporting requirements, no more planting drugs on innocent people. Indeed, no more drug-war bribes to government officials…

(And drug decriminalization would) restore a core aspect of human freedom to our land — the right of human beings to ingest whatever substance they want without being punished by the state for it.

And, as far as the defense of the free America is concerned, the people would also recognize that giving an institution such as the State a monopoly in territorial protection while outlawing competing protection agencies is immoral, impractical and counter-productive. It is counter-productive because, given compulsory monopoly power in territorial defense, bureaucrats will abuse that power, as the more honest historians have exposed. We would have had no American involvement in Korea or Vietnam and no U.S. government invasions against Iraq had we not had the government protection monopoly that we have had. There would have been no U.S. entry into World War I, and because of that there probably would not have been a World War II, or at least not such a lengthy and destructive one, nor would there have been such a repressive and destructive Soviet Union, because Woodrow Wilson’s World War I interventionism was a major contributor to the rise of Hitler and Stalin.

Some people might ask, “Well, how would Americans protect themselves from Islamic terrorism directed against the U.S. without a centralized national defense in Washington?” My contention is that there wouldn’t be Islamic terrorism directed against America in the free America, because the current Islamic terrorism directed against America is in response to all the intrusions by the U.S. government in Middle-Eastern and Asian territories for the last 60 or 70 years, a region over which the U.S. government has no legitimate authority nor sovereignty.

The federal government’s monopolizing the business of protection for 300 million Americans, and forbidding competing protection agencies from doing business, violates the inherent right of the territory’s inhabitants to protect themselves from the aggression of outsiders. One of our rights as human beings is the right of self defense.

For those reasons, and for the reason that no individual’s inherent right to defend oneself may be violated by anyone at any time, in this free America, “Gun Control” would be unheard of.

Conclusion

If such a free America, based on the sound principles of individual liberty, private property and freedom of association, seems too “utopian,” then at the very least, we should get rid of the federal government. Murray Rothbard suggested we can “repudiate the national debt,” and he gave advice on how (and how not) to desocialize, and Lew Rockwell has this 30-day plan.

There’s no reason why we can’t just have a country, United States of America, consisting of the various independent, sovereign states, and not have a federal government. (Actually, that was the original intent of the Founders!) If you need something as a symbol in a central location called “federal government,” then make it solely ceremonial but with no actual power. There’s no legitimate need for a centralized federal government with power.

For those who think there can be any compromise between those two Americas, the truth is that any attempt at compromise leads to the first America, our current state. That is because, what has been compromised has been individual liberty, private property rights and freedom of association, a natural result of giving a centralized authority compulsory power and monopoly.

Those rights are absolute rights. Either the individual has an inherent right to one’s life and liberty – the right to be free from the aggression of others – or one does not. Either one has an absolute right to the fruits of one’s labor and to one’s justly acquired wealth and property, and the right to defend them against aggression, or one does not.

The current America is one of Keynesian, socialist centralized economic social and defense planning, in which the government directs everything by force of gunpoint, as opposed to the freedom of the second America, in which individuals, families and businesses plan their own lives, and government is forbidden to intrude into anyone’s private personal or economic matters, and competing protection agencies have an actual competitive incentive to protect their fellow Americans.

The choice should be a no-brainer.

A Suggestion for Sarah Palin

It appears that, after her candidacy for the Republican renomination to the U.S. Senate having been defeated by challenger Joe Miller, incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski has decided to run in the November election anyway as a write-in Republican candidate. This is yet another example of how some people are so addicted to the aphrodisiac of State power, they will do anything to remain inside the beltway. You will have to drag Murkowski out of DC kicking and screaming, apparently. Like most of the parasitic inhabitants of DC, Murky is a typical representative of the bureaucratic version of a heroin addict.

Sen. John McCain is another example. McCain has been oozing in Washington for many, many decades, literally a fossil attached to the side of the Russell office building where he spends his time siphoning from America’s producers while scheming up new ways to compromise America’s prosperity and security.

McCain was endorsed for reelection in the Arizona Republican primary by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, obviously out of loyalty, given that her ideologies are much, much closer to those of J.D. Hayworth, McCain’s primary opponent. McCain won his renomination bid, but I have a suggestion for Sarah Palin. Palin ought to withdraw her endorsement of McCain, and instead endorse the Libertarian Party candidate, David Nolan. Palin should do this because, despite her recent statements regarding the importance of GOP victories this November and a GOP majority in Congress, she has also made clear her belief in moral values and should show that her love for America is greater than her loyalty to a political party.

I have already written about how getting Republicans into office has done no good, from the Reagan tax increases that reversed the economic benefits of the Reagan tax cuts, to Reagan signing every bloated budget Congress gave him and adding whole new bureaucracies, to the 1994 Republican Revolution doing nothing but spending recklessly and increasing the size and power of the federal government, to George W. Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” expanding the size of the U.S. government at home and abroad, leading to the current collapse of the economy, as well as the destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan.

George Washington (who?) had a disdain for political parties. His party was no party. In his Farewell Address, Washington stated,

…Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy…

…Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

I mentioned Sarah Palin’s apparent belief in moral values. I believe that John McCain has no real sense of moral values, and one main example can be found in his laborious and concentrated effort to cover up evidence of hundreds of Vietnam vets being left behind in Vietnam while others returned home. As Sydney Schanberg notes in that linked article, the mainstream press never really had any interest in covering that issue during all these years of cover up. Had there been any reporting on this story, it is doubtful McCain would have even won the Republican nomination for president in 2008. I am assuming that Sarah Palin hasn’t read the lengthy article linked in this paragraph, because I assume that, if she had read it, she would not have endorsed a character as loathsome as McCain.

Sarah Palin should seriously consider withdrawing her endorsement of McCain, and endorse Libertarian candidate David Nolan. The people of Arizona actually do have a real choice in November for U.S. Senator. Now, as far as I’m concerned, America is being destroyed by the federal government. There never was a need for a centralized bureaucracy and military Leviathan in Washington, and getting rid of the federal government completely and letting the states have their independence and sovereignty back will be the only way to save America. However, as long as we have a federal government and a House of Representatives and Senate, then at the very least we should get people in there who actually understand the values of limited government and decentralized control, and who have actual experience in the business community. The Republican Party has shown for many, many years that they do not understand these basic American values.

For me personally, I am not a Libertarian Party member, nor do I particularly care about any political party or politics, and frankly, I share Lew Rockwell’s contempt for politics in general, and would prefer that, if there must be a president (which we do not need), I see nothing wrong with Ron Paul (who will be 77 in 2012), or, even better, Jacob Hornberger. And I also have some disagreements with Nolan, but they are minor.

Sarah Palin has nothing to lose and everything to gain by endorsing Nolan rather than McCain, as Nolan is solidly in favor of reducing the size and power of the federal government, believes strongly in our right to bear arms and our right to self-defense, and wants to restore our civil liberties and the right of presumption of innocence and due process, as well as repeal ObamaCare and repeal the new Dodd financial regulatory bureaucracies. And also, unlike McCain who has spent his entire adult life feeding at the public trough, Nolan has spent four decades working in the private sector.

While McCain brought her into the national spotlight and advanced her public career by choosing her as his 2008 presidential running mate, Sarah Palin needs to recognize how thoroughly hideous McCain is, and she needs to completely detach herself from him. Withdrawing her endorsement of McCain and instead endorsing David Nolan is something Sarah Palin should seriously consider.

UPDATE: David Nolan died on November 21, 2010.

The State Disables the Good and Enables the Bad

Wendy McElroy has this post on the “militarization of society in North America,” Systematically killing the good within people, about a “bad cop” and a (morally) “good soldier.” Society is “killing the best within people by rewarding the worst.”

…There can be many reasons why good people do not stand up in the face of injustice, brutality, and lies. One of them: the system constructed on the deceit of providing “security” will destroy them without batting an eye. This is nothing new. Police brutality and military atrocities have been present for as long as those institutions have existed but they now run rampant. What we are seeing now are the results of having systematically stripped away the true “protections” that ordinary and decent people have against their own governmental institutions — protections like due process, transparency, bans on torture, criminal charges that apply to authorities as surely as to ‘civilians’…

And, while he took a break from his usual Archie Bunker anti-Muslim ignorance and paranoia, Michael Savage on the radio was describing a murder trial currently under way in Cheshire, Connecticut, in which two ****** invaded a home and brutally raped and tortured a woman and her two young daughters followed by setting the house on fire, and killing all three. During this time, the severely beaten and tied up husband was kept in the basement, until he escaped to outside. Before the rapes, beatings, fire and murders, the mother was actually driven to the bank by the two scum, to withdraw a large sum of money, at which time she told the bank teller to call the police. Throughout the episode, the police arrived at the house, but they cautiously set up a “vehicle perimeter” outside because they didn’t know what was going on inside.

Remember everyone, cops’ safety is first and foremost above everything else, not the citizens’ safety. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear enough of Michael Savage’s discussion of this to know whether or not he addressed the issue of gun control and self defense. I think he concentrated on the after-the-facts of what to do to the ***** who allegedly committed the crimes. Typical of short-term thinking, immediate-gratification oriented people like Savage who respond emotionally to something afterward, but don’t really concentrate on the societal root causes of situations.

This ties in with what Wendy McElroy was discussing in her post. What we have in America now is a mysticism of the State, especially its armed protectors of the State, the police and military.

Because we have allowed the State to monopolize “public protection” and “defense,” in which the agents of the State are allowed to be above the law, allowed to break the law, are given the power of compulsion over others, and, given human nature, those State powers will and are being abused. That’s what happens with the compulsory monopoly of the State.

The police have been harassing innocent, harmless individuals, and letting the violent criminals get away. This has coincided with the anti-self defense mentality in America, in which the innocent citizen has been disarmed by the State, and the agents of the State have control over who is armed and who isn’t, and have let their armed status go to their heads as the armed agents of the State continue to assault and murder and get away with it, just like other criminals.

In a truly healthy society, rather than relying on dumb, neanderthal bureaucrats to “save” the family mentioned above, the family — all citizens — need to be encouraged to be armed (and not just with guns, but baseball bats and clubs, too), and if a home invader intrudes into your home, blow his brains out, and ask questions later. The lesson here should be a matter of personal responsibility, in which people need to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions.

And by that I don’t mean catching those ****** and putting them on trial and sentencing them. I mean, if punks are considering breaking into someone’s home against the will of the residents, it is the punk’s responsibility to know that (in the healthy and free society mentioned above) there is a very good chance that the residents will blow his brains out, and when he thinks about the 99% chance that that will occur, he will decide against breaking into the home. It’s that simple. Relying on organized, bureaucratized “public protection” agents to come to your rescue after your home has been invaded is no good. And please spare me this “police presence” crap as “prevention.” The police spend their time at Dunkin’ Donuts, that is, when they aren’t spending their time harassing, stealing from, beating up, tasing and murdering innocent citizens, or dealing and pushing drugs.

What we have now is an overly armed police and a disarmed citizenry. It should be the other way around. Arm the citizenry and disarm the State!

Sarah Palin, Massachusetts, Primaries and Principles

First, the People’s Republic of Massachusetts. It appears that Democrat Suzanne Bump has won her primary for state auditor, despite concerns of “things going Suzanne in the night.” Bump’s Republican opponent will be Mary Connaughton, who pronounces her own name in her own commercials as CONN-uh-tin. Despite hearing her commercials on all these stations in the Boston area over and over, “Rush Radio” talk show host Jeff Katz has a promo for his show in which he interviews Connaughton, referring to her as Mary Cuh-NAUGHT-n, and WBZ newscaster Don Huff did the same thing. Honestly, don’t people listen anymore? She says her name on her own commercials. I don’t know. But whenever I hear Katz’s promos mispronouncing the name as Cuh-NAUGHT-n, I’m reminded of Ralph Kramden calling for his buddy Ed Norton. For those of you under forty, Ralph Kramden was a loud, grumpy bus driver played by Jackie Gleason on The Honeymooners.

But back to Massachusetts politics, before getting on with the national scene. Former Democrat party chairman and former AIPAC President Steve Grossman won that party’s nomination for state treasurer. However, I have a feeling that the local press won’t cover his recent activism for the Iran Divestment Bill, that will end up costing Massachusetts taxpayers millions and further strain the state pension funds, according to Jeff Klein at Mondoweiss. The Israel Lobby pushed for war in Iraq, and is now pushing for more anti-Muslim ethnic cleansing and destruction in Iran.

____________________

I’m glad that Tea Party- and Sarah Palin-backed Republican Christine O’Donnell won her primary for the U.S. Senate in Delaware, despite her many flaws, neocon warmongering, and questionable financial irregularities. The most important message that professional politicians like O’Donnell’s Republican opponent Mike Castle need to get is that the laws and policies that Establishment politicians have been making are destructive of America’s freedom and prosperity, and that means we need to get rid of Establishment politicians. Senators Lisa Murkowski, Bob Bennett and Arlene Specter have gotten the message.

Even more important, we have seen how out of touch the entire Establishment Republican leadership is, as Senator McConnell’s and Rep. Boehner’s endorsements of Establishment pols and snubbing of Tea Party candidates have shown. And now we can see further contempt by the Establishment for Tea Partiers as O’Donnell’s primary opponent Mike Castle refuses to endorse O’Donnell.

It appears that now, however, Republican leaders such as Republican Senatorial Committee chairman John Cornyn are getting the message and now financially supporting O’Donnell. But, despite even their financial support of an unelectable Tea Party conservative from leftist Delaware, the Republican Establishment’s loyalty remains — and will always remain — with The Establishment. That is, centralized, Washington DC power and control, for that really is what drives these professional politicians and bureaucrats. They love power and control, as much as the professional Democrat politicians.

But sometimes they slip, such as in Rep. Boehner’s appearance on TV Sunday, in which he stated, in his possibly supporting Obama’s tax increase for the wealthiest of Americans,

If the only option I have is to vote for those at $250 and below, of course I’m going to do that. But I’m going to do everything I can to fight to make sure that we extend the current tax rates for all Americans.

And since that appearance, spin, spin, spin, as a panicked Boehner attempts to run for cover:

“I said Sunday about five times that I want to extend all of the current tax rates,” he said, when pressed about whether he’s open to just extending the cuts for those who earn under $250,000.

What Sarah Palin and the Tea Party movement need to do is divorce themselves completely not only from the Establishment but from the Republican Party. Palin et al. need to realize that there is really no difference between the Democrats and the Republicans. They are both statist parties, in that both parties love the State and do not have a clue as to the actual principles upon which America was founded, those being private property, freedom of association and, as the Declaration of Independence recognizes, that each individual has a right to be treated equally under the law, that each individual has an inalienable right to life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and the right to be free from intrusions by anyone into one’s life, one’s person or property, the right to be free from aggression against oneself, and the right to freedom from theft and trespass.

And I speak of Sarah Palin because she is very popular in the Tea Party movement, not implying that she is the leader of the movement. But I think she needs to seriously consider abandoning the statist GOP, which will never ever change no matter your wishful thinking to the contrary, and the Tea Party movement needs to consider starting a third party.

However, even that won’t do very much good in the long term. In the final analysis, people need to realize that what has been destroying America has been the federal government, and that the real change that needs to be made in America is getting rid of the federal government. Centralization, particularly centralization of compulsory territorial monopoly government, just doesn’t work. It doesn’t work practically, and morally it is inherently flawed because forcing a population of 300 million to be dependent on centralized bureaucrats for territorial protection violates the people’s right of self defense and self protection, and it gives the worst amongst us the power to take advantage of that power for their own political ends.

As most of the Founders agreed, at least most of the Anti-Federalists, let the states have their independence and their sovereignty. The Anti-Federalists were skeptical of a strong, centralized national government. They thought it would be dangerous. Over 200 years of history have proven them to be right. “But if we didn’t have a federal government, how would we protect ourselves against Islamic terrorists?” My response: It is because we have a strong federal government, a compulsory territorial monopoly in “defense,” that has caused those politicians who are attracted to that power to abuse it, and to deliberately provoke those inhabitants in the Middle East over the last 60 years, which is what has motivated some of them to commit terrorist acts against us. The absence of a federal government would have prevented that. It’s that simple.

The people of the states have a right to their freedom that the centralized bureaucratic parasites — from FDR to Cheney, from Lincoln to Obama — have been stealing away, and the only way to stop them from that theft of freedom is by getting rid of them and getting rid of the federal structure that enables their parasitism and their crimes.

Capitalism and Freedom

Philosopher economist historian Sheldon Richman has this excellent article Capitalism and the Free Market, on the Future of Freedom Foundation’s website, in which he continues with his argument from a few months ago against using the word “capitalism” to describe free markets. He notes how prominent economists and mainstream journalists use the phrase “capitalist” to describe America’s economic system with their implying “free markets,” as they blame the so-called “free market” system for the current economic downturn.

Richman points out that we have no free market system. If you want to describe America’s economic system as “capitalist,” then you need to clarify that by being more specific with the description “State capitalist” or “crony capitalist” system, but to say that we have a “laissez-faire” capitalist system is just inaccurate. Because of business-State collusions (such as in national defense and defense contractors, Big Pharma-FDA etc., Big Medicine-Kathleen Sebelius/Zeke Emanuel/ObamaCare, etc.), the system in question is better described as State capitalism, not “free market” capitalism.

And it is also not accurate to describe “capitalism” as with its generally accepted mainstream definition: private ownership and control of property and the means of production. At least, that’s how I have been defining it. Richman notes,

But a capitalist is not one who advocates capitalism in the way that a socialist is one who advocates socialism. He is rather one who owns capital. A capitalist can be a socialist without contradiction.

It is also useful to bear in mind that the word was not initially embraced by free-market advocates; that was apparently a 20th-century phenomenon. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word “capitalist” came first and was used pejoratively in the late 18th century. Of course, Marx used it and related words as condemnation. But it was not only opponents of private property who used the words that way. Most notably, Thomas Hodgskin (1787–1868), a free-market liberal and Herbert Spencer’s mentor, preceded Marx in this usage. By “capitalist” he meant one who controlled capital and exploited labor as a result of State privilege in violation of the free market.

Richman describes the history of the use of the word “capitalism,” and notes how throughout much of capitalism’s history, it has mostly involved State interventionism into private economic matters, with compulsory State powers used for the elites who enmeshed themselves with the State, benefiting from the State’s land grabs and confiscatory taxation, as well as the interference by the State into various trades and commerce activity, and the elites benefiting from State-created monopolies. (Of course, King Lincoln was especially devilish in that area, as he waged war against the South primarily for the purpose of protecting his favored Northern industries, especially in his home state of Illinois.) Economist Murray Rothbard points out that there is little difference between this State capitalism and mercantilism:

There is very little difference between state monopoly capitalism, or corporate state capitalism, whatever you want to call it, in the United States and Western Europe today, and the mercantilist system of the pre-Industrial Revolution era. There are only two differences; one is that their major activity was commerce and ours is industry. But the essential modus operandi of the two systems is exactly the same: monopoly privilege, a complete meshing in what is now called the “partnership of government and industry,” a pervasive system of militarism and war contracts, a drive toward war and imperialism; the whole shebang characterized the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The really key difference is that they didn’t have a gigantic P.R. apparatus; they didn’t have a fleet of intellectuals trumpeting to all and sundry the wonders of the system: how it promotes the common good and the general welfare, how this is Liberalism In Action. They said, “We’re out to shaft the public and we’re doing it!” They were very honest in those days.

But now, Chris Matthews and Andrea Mitchell et al. are the P.R. apparatus for the Obommunist leftist State agenda, David Frum and Andy McCarthy et al. are the P.R. apparatus for the warmonger-military industrial complex State agenda, and they, with their Big Gun Statists Cheney, Obama et al. have been saying, “We’re out to shaft the public and we’re doing it!” Murray Rothbard knew what he was talking about!

Sheldon Richman concludes his article by noting,

Thus those who call today’s system “capitalism” cannot be said to be misusing the term. Advocates of the real free market therefore would be well advised to avoid using it to describe their preferred social system.

Now, I did a post a few months ago on Sheldon Richman’s argument against using the word “capitalism,” and I felt there was nothing wrong with using that word to describe “private ownership and control of property and the means of production,” but now that I am better informed about the history behind the creation of that word, I’m not too sure. In my post then, I suggested “voluntarism” and “privatism” as substitutes for “capitalism” to describe free markets, laissez-faire. “Laissez-faire” means “to let be,” let people be free from intrusions, or, in the case of social economic matters, free from State interventions and State intrusions.

“Market liberalism” is probably the best phrase, because, to me, to “liberalize” means to make free. And here I mean free from intrusions and aggression. People have a right to be free from the aggression and intrusions of others. That is why we have laws against trespassing, against theft, and so on. This is why the Fourth Amendment specifically notes (I’m paraphrasing) a “right to be secure in one’s person, papers, houses and effects.” If individuals have the inherent right to life and liberty, as the Declaration of Independence declares, that means that one has a right to one’s person and property — one’s life — be free from the aggression and intrusion by one’s neighbors — and IT OUGHT TO BE THE CASE! that the right of one’s person and property be free from aggression and intrusions BY THE STATE!!

I’ll be more specific here: Take ObamaCare. Please. What Obama, Pelosi and all the other State fascists and communists want is for the State to completely control what goes on in the doctors office, the doctor’s examination and tests of the patient, the billing procedures, ordering the doctor’s office what kind of medical equipment to use (and which State-connected companies to provide it!), what insurance companies people may or may not use etc. It should be called ObamaFascism — these people are nothing but little dictators (as well as ignoramuses, parasites and racketeers — we really ought to throw them in jail for racketeering, and that’s no exaggeration!). In other words, they oppose freedom.

What these miserable wretches really are are communists, in which communism is State ownership — not just control, but ownership — of property and the means of production. One of the most important means of production is the people. They want State ownership of the people as well as industries and resources.

But individuals have an inherent right to have voluntary associations and contracts with doctors and insurance companies or hospitals, have a right to trade whatever and however much they want with whomever they want who provides a service they need, based on mutually beneficial agreements, and NO ONE — no third party — has any moral right to use the armed power of government to intrude in those matters! I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: If our medical matters are none of our neighbors’ business, then it’s none of the State’s business!

And we have a right to own our own lives and a right to our freedom. Tell the State to get lost!

The Twin Towers and Their Evil Eminent Domain Roots

The rebuilding on the site of the former World Trade Center 9 years and counting after the September 11th terrorist attacks has been slow. It appears that two of the main elements that have been holding things up have been bureaucrats and battles between victims’ families and leftists/”anti-war zealots” etc. on what kind of memorials to have on “Ground Zero.”

Had those properties been privately owned, you can bet your sweet bippy the whole area would have been completely rebuilt long ago. But the problems with the rebuilding are because the government-run Port Authority owns the property, as is the case with every other government-run entity or function.

Gary North in 2003 brought up the actual history of the World Trade Center: “The Twin Towers began with acts of legalized theft.” Eminent Domain.

It all started with those great freedom-loving Americans, believers in the ideals of the Founding Fathers, the Rockefellers.

No, I’m just being sarcastic. The Rockefellers, in this case then-NY Gov. Nelson Rockefeller and his brother David Rockefeller. It is a sad case of eminent domain, 1960s government confiscation of private property, with politically connected parasites destroying the lives and businesses of small business owners and entrepreneurs, so that some bureaucrats can play with their new properties like little girls play with their little dollhouses. It was a central planner’s dream come true. As Gary North notes,

The Twin Towers project was a combination of four crucial factors: (1) David Rockefeller’s desire to raise property values in lower Manhattan; (2) Gov. Nelson Rockefeller’s appointees, who controlled the Board of the Port Authority; (3) taxpayers’ credit, which was used to underwrite bonds to build the Twin Towers; (4) exemption from all New York City building codes and taxes….

The Twin Towers were conceived in the sin of eminent domain and leased in the iniquity of state ownership. They became symbols of state capitalism, towering emblems of technology and tax exemption.

And North quotes at length from a City Journal article with the details:

Virtually every important consideration in developing the World Trade Center had nothing to do with business and everything to do with politics. Costs, which the public would ultimately have to pay, mounted rapidly. To get New Jersey’s backing for the project, for example, the Port Authority agreed to take over the financially strapped Hudson tubes that brought many New Jersey rail commuters into Manhattan (today, it’s called the Port Authority Trans-Hudson, or PATH, train). The World Trade Center development thus extended the agency’s state-capitalist reach beyond real estate into mass transit. The final cost of the twin towers, as usually happens with publicly financed projects, swelled far beyond initial estimates. Supporters of the development had low-balled those estimates to win public support.

Since the World Trade Center originated as government’s idea of what lower Manhattan needed, rather than as what the market really called for, it’s no surprise that it misfired commercially….

Rather than attracting new firms to New York, as its planners thought it would, it drew tenants from other lower Manhattan offices, driving up vacancy rates throughout the area. With the towers still unfilled, New York State moved nearly all its Gotham offices into them, becoming the center’s biggest tenant. Similarly, the Port Authority moved many of its own offices there…

Such deal-making, with the public footing the bill, guarantees inefficiency, since there’s no free market in place that – by rewarding good work and disciplining bad – would pressure administrators to hire the right people for the right jobs and make sure they worked hard…

So, the Twin Towers really weren’t symbols of actual capitalism, actual free markets and private property, the principles upon which America was actually founded and that the Founding Fathers believed in. The World Trade Center towers were symbols of State capitalism, that is, State confiscation of property and wealth, in which it is the politicians, hacks and bureaucrats doing the wheeling and dealing, not only with the property that their bureaucracies stole from private citizens but not even paying the same taxes that their neighbors have to pay (which is already immoral enough).

All these arguments over memorials and rebuilding would not be happening if the property in question were not publicly, or, more accurately, State owned. We need some kind of Constitutional amendment or law — or something — that clearly states: “Separation of commerce and State!”

The Real Story Behind the Story of the “Ground Zero Mosque” and other items

Robert Wenzel has this post bringing up the possibility that the CIA might be behind the NY “Ground Zero mosque” controversy in order to foment “right-wing hate” toward Muslims, such as being a means to get stronger support for extending the current unnecessary and counter-productive wars and build up support for attacking Iran, a country that never threatened the U.S. and hasn’t done anything to Israel.

And Philip Weiss has this post on the funding for the mosque opposition campaign. I wonder how foaming warmonger Frank Gaffney would react to hearing that his beloved CIA might be behind the whole “Ground Zero mosque” funding and Imam Rauf.

But I have a further theory. I wonder whether the Mosque controversy is in the news at this time, as being heavily emphasized by the MSM, with the deliberate cahoots of Imam Rauf and company, yes, to foment “right-wing hate,” but as a means of affecting millions of November voters who are somewhat sympathetic to the Tea Party anti-incumbent movement, but, while still being on the fence, when seeing all the (deliberately manipulated by the media and Rauf, and political strategists behind the scenes) “right-wing hate,” will then decide against voting Republican and still vote for their usual Democrat.

I think my theory stated above does have some legitimacy, given how Democrats have manipulated elections particularly in primaries, such as going into the Republican primaries to nominate John McCain, and in ’96 doing the same thing to nominate the other fossil, Bob Dole. (Of course, Republicans are not strangers to that kind of manipulating either, given Rush Limbaugh’s self-destructive Operation Chaos to deliberately nominate then-apparent lightweight Barack Obomber, to avoid a President Thunder-Thighs Rodham, which we’ll eventually get anyway.)

The Coming Famine and Food Freedom

George Noory interviewed Julian Cribb, author of The Coming Famine: The Global Food Crisis and What We Can Do to Avoid It. Cribb believes there will be a worldwide famine by around 2030, because of increased demand for food and increased shortages of water, agriculture and fuel. Part of his agenda includes promoting genetically engineered (GE) food crops, and that also may include promoting various members of the biotech industry. According to Lucy Sharratt of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network,

Recently, the biotech industry tested the eco-PR waters with articles arguing that genetically engineered crops should be accepted in organic agriculture (GE is currently prohibited in organic farming), a move that stands as testimony to the growing strength of organics and the coming showdown between organics and GE where only one will survive.

They seem to be pushing biofuels as well. Julian Cribb will be the keynote speaker at the Agricultural Biotechnology Industry Conference (September 12-15) in Saskatchewan. Another issue that is related to the coming food shortage crisis that Cribb has been emphasizing has been climate change, but he doesn’t really seem to be stressing any kind of World Government. And it doesn’t seem as though he’s some kind of genetic engineering corporate shill. Cribb’s main emphasis is really more to convince people to change their diet and eating habits, which they should do whether or not there will be a worldwide famine in 20 or 30 years. Sharratt continues,

At best, genetic engineering is a distraction that diverts resources and attention away from the real solutions; the worst-case scenario is that it actually destroys the possibility of creating those real and long-lasting solutions. The more we rely on high-tech solutions, the more we place ourselves at the mercy of those corporations that own and sell them. Faris Ahmed of USC, Canada’s oldest development agency, argues, “Most of all, food sovereignty is about making choices that will keep land, resources, and food production practices in the hands of those who know their landscapes best: farmers.”

I like that phrase: “food sovereignty.” Mmmm. It’s so….libertarian.

But I don’t know about Sharratt’s conclusion, “The future of food relies on the level of control in the hands of farmers while the success of the biotechnology industry fundamentally requires eradicating that control.” Can’t we have both local farmers with control and a successful biotech industry?

On his own website, Julian Cribb elaborates quite a bit on what he’s trying to say about his prediction of famine. One problem with his thinking is, as he notes,

On top of the scarcities of land, water, energy and nutrients the world’s farmers are driving into a huge technology pothole.

This is the result of decisions by national and regional governments worldwide, by aid donors and academic institutions, to slash resources for agricultural research and extension over four decades.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to understand the inherent nature of governments, national and local, which is the governments’ siphoning of capital that would otherwise be used for food crops and crop materials and technologies, as well as for research and development, and the governments’ constantly increasing burdensome regulations and intrusions into the food producing industry. But Cribb does point out something important:

Global funding for agricultural research, public and private, is estimated to total around $40 billion.

There is a stark contrast with the $1500 billion the world now spends on weapons.

Now, I don’t know how he arrived at those figures, but the point is well made, especially with the U.S. government needlessly and wastefully funding the military machine for no good reason whatsoever, except to redistribute the wealth to the corporate welfare parasites, and take control over the Middle East.

If we fail to secure the world’s food supply, governments in many countries may collapse under the onrush of people fleeing regional sustenance disasters.

Yes, let the governments collapse. That will create the needed resurgence of Liberty and prosperity.

Every nation will face heavier aid and tax burdens and soaring food prices as a result.

Well, there will not be heavy tax burdens if the governments collapse, will there? Less government, no taxes, more capital, more food production, lower food prices. Got it?

However, Cribb’s best advice:

abolish all trade barriers so food production can go wherever it is most efficient…

You betchya. But he also suggests to pay farmers a “fair price.” Now, I don’t know if he’s implying some kind of government-imposed farmer “minimum wage,” or if he means through the system of free exchange. Perhaps he should read some Mises and Rothbard.

Economist Bryan Caplan explains in his “Concise Encyclopedia of Economics” entry on Communism, how the communists seized control in Russia at the end of World War I, using violence, terrorism and mass starvation, and how collectivism created food shortages:

…communist revolutions triumphed only in heavily agricultural societies. Government ownership of the means of production could not, therefore, be achieved by expropriating a few industrialists. Lenin recognized that the government would have to seize the land of tens of millions of peasants…

The mechanism of Stalin’s “terror famine” was simple. Collectivization reduced total food production. The exiled kulaks had been the most advanced farmers, and after becoming state employees, the remaining peasants had little incentive to produce. But the government’s quotas drastically increased…

In the capitalist West, industrialization was a by-product of rising agricultural productivity. As output per farmer increased, fewer farmers were needed to feed the population. Those no longer needed in agriculture moved to cities and became industrial workers. Modernization and rising food production went hand in hand. Under communism, in contrast, industrialization accompanied falling agricultural productivity. The government used the food it wrenched from the peasants to feed industrial workers and pay for exports. The new industrial workers were, of course, former peasants who had fled the wretched conditions of the collective farms…

That’s correct. Collectivism or statism is not the way to prevent famine, because that’s actually a main contributor to it.

Big Government Socialist Republican Wants Governorship

One of the talk radio hosts in Boston was talking about the Massachusetts gubernatorial race, and stated that if incumbent Gov. Deval Patrick (D-Pepperland) wins, then that is a guaranteed tax hike for 2011. Jeepers, these people never learn, do they? (I think he was smoking something.) Given that the Republican is Charlie “Big Dig” Baker, who loves RomneyCare, I’m sure that you can count on a Gov. Charlie Baker to raise those taxes, like Mitt Romney did when he was governor. These people I listen to on the radio here were so psychotically in love with Scott Brown and promoted him as a “conservative” and  “Tea Partier,” despite knowing that he was a RomneyCare guy who opposed cutting the state income tax.

Neither Charlie Baker nor Scott Brown have an understanding of how government interference with the medical marketplace is what has caused the entire medical system to go downhill, and that RomneyCare fascism has done nothing but distort the natural pricing mechanisms that occur based on individual circumstances among doctors, health organizations, patients and insurance companies.

Given his incompetence involvement with the Big Dig and his lack of understanding of the medical system’s problems, Charlie Baker is going to be another tax-and-spend Republican Massachusetts governor (but only if independent Tim Cahill drops out of the race — otherwise, Gov. Patrick wins reelection), because Baker — like most other politicians — doesn’t understand that the whole system of “public governance” is inherently flawed, and because he will eventually oppose eliminating all the waste in government and cutting taxes because he won’t risk offending special interest groups (like unions, etc.).

Even though Jill Stein is a Green/Socialist, I might vote for her, because she’s a nice person, and the only non-politician in the race, and an actual private sector professional (physician) who has actually provided something of actual value to others. I’m so sick of professional politicians.

Massachusetts gubernatorial elections have not had a Libertarian (someone who actually understands the concepts of markets, civil liberties, voluntary exchange and private property rights) in the race since 2002.

The State’s Role in Global Disorder

While filling in for Rush Limbaugh a few days ago, Mark Steyn said,

The danger in the message Obama’s speech sent to the world is that this is a country being led by a president who does not understand America’s role in guaranteeing global order in the world today.

What do you mean by America’s role in “guaranteeing global order”? Can Mark Steyn refer to any statements by the Founding Fathers that America is responsible for “guaranteeing global order”? Can he point to where the Constitution authorizes the U.S. government to “guarantee global order”? I don’t think so.

If anything, the use (or misuse) of the U.S. government apparatus as a means to “guarantee global order” has caused global chaos. I don’t know what it is with these globalists and internationalists who really believe that America is responsible to fix the rest of the world’s problems — really, they mean the U.S. government is obligated to do so. In actuality, these neoconservatives with their delusions of grandeur God Complex and their love of the State (as we clearly saw in Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin’s preachfest last week) have done nothing but destroy the rest of the world with their military aggression, from Iraq starting in 1990 to Afghanistan, and economically with their Federal Reserve as they continue to also destroy America. The neoconservatives are not really that different from communists (as Gary North pointed out today), in their love of always expanding government and collectivist State control over the individual. As Robert Wenzel pointed out yesterday, regarding “Basel III global banking capital regulations,”

…When implemented, it will, over time, result in a lower standard of living on a global level for nearly all and greater separation between the super-wealthy tied in with global governments, and the rest of us…

The highly technical Basel III rules are all about driving bank money, on a global scale, away from making what banks would consider prudent investments and forcing them into investments into often highly questionable paper such as sovereign debt and Fannie and Freddie paper…

It is nothing but a huge power grab directing money to governments and the elite. Further, since it drives banks to buy extremely risky debt, it will result in making the global banking system more unstable, and set the stage for a huge global inflation, when governments will be forced to bail out these bad investments by printing more money.