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Scott Lazarowitz's Blog Posts

Reactions to My Article on Israel

There was some reaction to my piece on Israel at yesterday, although not as much as I thought there would be. A couple emailers referred to my references to “Jewish State,” and “Jewish Homeland.” I responded to one of them by stating that I wasn’t sure whether the posterity of the “general population” of the people of Israel, or “Palestine,” who lived centuries ago had any claim on that territory based on Biblical writings or based on being a member of a particular religious heritage as opposed to based on actual contracts or property holdings, or the actual heirs to specific properties. And I noted, “were that the case, then, here in America, only the American “Native Americans” and specific families’ heirs, for example, have claims to these American territories, and not the Europeans who came here or their heirs.”

And of course I want to clarify that. I’m sure there are some people who may feel insulted by my comparing the Jewish (and Arab) people of Israel to the Europeans who came to America, or what would later become known as “America,” especially in the context of the Europeans who (more or less) “expropriated” the lands in America away from the indigenous “natives” who were here. Here is my clarification of that (and I’m probably going to get in more hot water): I realize that at various times throughout history the territory now known as Israel had been occupied by Jews, Arabs, Persians, Romans, Babylonians and others. People are going to have to face the fact that, the further back in time history is, the more confused and conflicting various sources and artifacts from those earlier periods become. I think that particular geographical area has undergone so many changes in populations over centuries, it’s difficult to assess just who (or which members of which religion, race, ethnicity, etc.) has the most legitimate claim on any of those territories.

I’d been thinking more in the context of the 19th and 20th Century, mostly. So sue me. My earlier comparison is referring to what I mentioned in my article regarding the European Jews fleeing Russia, Poland and Germany State-imposed persecutions, and settling in Israel, turning what was an Arab majority into a Jewish majority there. That was very much via the powers of the “British Mandate.” So what I’m saying is, majority Arab-owned lands were “expropriated” by the British Mandate to provide for Jewish immigrants, a “forced integration,” as Hans Hoppe would call it (although all those wars and conquests and invasions of those territories by various invaders also initiated “forced integrations.”), just as lands in what was then to become America were “expropriated” by the earlier European immigrants from the indigenous “natives” (or “native Americans”). Of course, as I have mentioned, it is difficult to know for sure just which people of which ethnic or racial heritage were more “indigenous” in the Israel-Palestine region in the earliest times of history.

The Biblical roots or claims based on a religious faith are not sufficient, in my opinion, for future generations’ (especially of an entire religious membership or general population, etc.) for property entitlements. That is why the only way out of the dilemma that the people of that region face is for the Israeli government to decentralize and have cities be independent and free of any centralized authoritarian dictates and control (from not just Jerusalem but from Palestinian Authority and Hamas etc.). That includes dissolving State ownership of property and letting the people who live in Gaza (and Jerusalem, etc.) have ownership rights of the properties where they live—as I mentioned, the Gazans’ should have control over their natural resources.

We can compare that situation to the U.S. For example, the people of Montana and North Dakota should claim ownership rights of their lands under which there exists vast amounts of untapped oil reserves. The states should take control over those lands away from the illegitimately existing federal government by “eminent domain,” and use those natural resources that exist within their own territories for their own purposes, to serve their interests or energy needs, or for exporting as a means of income. The enviro-fascists can go jump in a lake.

Note to Israel (and the U.S.) From an Anguished Jewish American: Decentralize

April 21, 2010

Copyright 2010 (Link to article)

The issues that cause me anguish have been the continuing conflicts between Israeli Jews and Arabs, the threats of Israel or the U.S. initiating a preemptive strike on Iran or Iran attacking Israel, and the Israeli government’s controversial building of new Jewish housing in East Jerusalem. It is difficult to find objective sources of information on the Arab-Israeli conflicts and the territories, which have been homelands to Jews and Arabs for centuries. Further, accusations of anti-Semitism or of being a “threat to security” have been thrown at anyone who criticizes Israel or exposes corrupt Israeli officials, but I, an anguished Jewish American, attempt to analyze these issues objectively from afar.

In addition to the U.S. government’s expansionist policies abroad, the Israeli State’s ownership of lands and its compulsory and monopolistic control over peoples’ lives has been contributing to the Middle-East’s woes for many years. People become corrupt when they are given the power of State, the power of compulsion over others and a monopoly over territorial protection. The current conflicts occur because territories are governed by the compulsory State apparatus of the Israeli government, although the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are also compulsory territorial monopolists. The idea of an entire nation to be known as a “Jewish State” has been a drawback as well, along with dependence on the State’s central planners as “protectors” of the Jewish people. Centralized governments do nothing but intrude into the lives of populations and provoke hostility. The way to peace for Israel is through decentralization.

Some people fear that the East Jerusalem construction projects will harm the neighborhood’s Arab population and further harm relations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. But who is the government, or the State, to be building homes for people, or decide which people can live in which neighborhoods? If the property in East Jerusalem were privatized, it would then be the owner(s) of the property who would decide what gets built and who lives there.

Private ownership of local property in each specific area gives the people who live there control over their neighborhoods, and control over their own lives, and thus would make them more likely to take responsibility for their lives and less likely to act aggressively against neighboring territories. For example, if the Israeli government didn’t interfere with the Gazans’ and others’ right to use their own natural resources, the Gazans could use the resources to support their daily living, or for exporting as a means of income.

A question that is perhaps taboo is whether there should even be a “Jewish State.” Or an “Islamic State,” or a “Christian State” or any territory devoted to people based on a religion. Some have argued that the Jewish people needed a homeland to protect them from persecution. During the mid-20thCentury, because of U.S. state-imposed immigration quotas (and other reasons), many Jews were prevented from entering the United States, and many fled to Israel as a “Jewish homeland.” American “immigration quotas” were state-imposed policies which violated the rights of Americans to freedom of association and contract, the right of families and property owners to accept Jewish immigrants without the State’s intrusions. Instead, a state-imposed “forced integration” brought many European Jews to Israel in the 1930s and ‘40s, eventually turning what had been an Arab majority into a Jewish majority in Israel.

What many people don’t realize is that persecutions have mainly been committed by States, or by people acting as agents of State. Throughout the later 19thCentury and 20thCentury, Jews had been fleeing Poland, Russia and Germany because of the “Pogroms” of the Russian Empire and from the German- and Nazi-initiated Holocaust.

More recently, former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s forcing Israelis out of Gaza and parts of the West Bank in 2005, the “Disengagement Plan,” disrupted the lives of everyone in that territory, Jews and Arabs. It was no different from an “Apartheid Plan.” The state has no such moral authority, and has no moral claim on any land, just as it has no moral authority over any one individual’s life, and the State has no more right or moral authority to engage in “occupation” of certain territories than do private individuals have to trespass on others’ lands. But we should not blame the actions of the Israeli government on the Israeli people, who are not responsible for the actions of their government just as the Palestinian people are not responsible for the violent actions of Hamas.

My Grandma Sylvia was lucky enough to leave Warsaw, Poland in 1912 at age 6 with her family, settling in a very welcoming and much freer New York City. Unfortunately, New York City is no longer that welcoming nor free, as the politicians’ taxaholism and regulatory nightmares have driven many people and businesses out of the city. Mayor Bloomberg reflects the mentality of politicians here and abroad for whom short-term fixes of confiscatory taxation and centralized bureaucratic and police control of the population is the way to solve problems. Centralized government is the real problem in New York, which needs to decentralize into separate, independent cities of Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, etc. Likewise, Israel’s centralized government has defeated the purpose of allowing Jews to have a “safe haven,” as the government’s oppressive policies not only restrict Israelis’ freedom of commerce, freedom of the press, freedom of movement and the right not to be forced to serve the state, but have also provoked Arab discontent and violence against the Israelis.

Rather than having a “Jewish State,” how about having a “free state,” or better, a “free country” of Israel (and the United States)? Follow Switzerland’s example, where much of the “public’s business” is handled at the local (as opposed to federal) level. Hans-Hermann Hoppe has written about the idea of decentralization of nation-states into many independent free cities, particularly in his book Democracy: The God That Failed, and his many articles at and The Mises Institute. In The Rise and Fall of the City, Hoppe goes even further than promoting the independence of individual cities, but individual households as well:

Households must be declared extraterritorial territory, like foreign embassies. Free association and spatial exclusion must be recognized as not bad but good things that facilitate peaceful cooperation between different ethnic and racial groups.

Such a change of decentralization, in addition to privatization and capitalization, is exactly what Israel needs, setting an example for the people of Iran, Iraq, and other countries (and the U.S.) to follow.

Decentralization also reduces the possibility that Israel could initiate a war with Iran. I am also anguished by the Big Government neoconservatives, whose suggestions of bombing Iran have been based on false propaganda. Short-term, present-oriented thinking is a common trait of the American neoconservatives, who have been supporting the U.S. government’s expansion into foreign lands to force transitions from theocracy to democracy among the Islamic states as though that will in some way protect Israel, despite many years of history to the contrary.

Unfortunately, the neoconservatives have a blind religious faith in the power and effectiveness of the State. In clinging to military industrial complex socialism and bureaucracy, the neocons support the U.S. government’s interventions and foreign entanglements with other governments, vicariously playing the role of “do-gooders” in a cops-and-robbers fantasy world in the name of protecting the U.S. and Israel. It is just as immoral to seize private wealth from American Muslims, Christians and Atheists for redistribution to Israel as it is immoral to seize private wealth from American Jews for redistribution to Muslim states such as Egypt, Jordan and Pakistan.

Like the left, the neocons have redefined “patriotism” as meaning not love of one’s country but love of the State, and that is also the prevailing attitude in mainstream Israel. It just seems that the neocons have an inability to engage in actual long-range planning that takes into account possible future consequences of the policies they support, and prefer to identify with that power of armed officialdom, force and monopoly. If one recognizes the neocons’ love of State for what it is, then one can see that they certainly seem to have more support for the Israeli government than for the Israeli people.

Just as the American Anti-Federalists have been the winners of the ideological and practical debate for over 200 years, if there ever were Anti-Federalists in Israel, they’d be right, too. Given that the main causes of civil strife have been centralized States, the real path to peace in Israel and the Middle-East (and the U.S.) is through privatization and decentralization.

“Anti-Government” … Who, Me?

President Clinton wrote an op-ed today regarding yesterday’s anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing, and, as though he was implying a reference to the Tea Party protest movement of today, opined that the “anti-government” types are motivated by “the belief that the greatest threat to American freedom is our government, and that public servants do not protect our freedoms, but abuse them.” The BELIEF that…?? Well, as an “anti-government” type, I must affirm that, yes, the greatest threat to our freedom IS our government!! And not just the government, but the biased media who act as the government officials’ official stenographers. It is THEY who are dangerous and the biggest threats our freedom faces. In fact, the American Founders were “anti-government”!! Presidents Bush (either one) and Obomber wouldn’t recognize the Founders’ concepts  and ideas if they fell over them! (Bush and Obomber have fallen over many things, if you know what I mean.)

Government—or, more precisely, the State—has never been a protector of our liberty. It is the State (particularly the U.S. government) that has been violating our liberty more and more since the Founding, and it is the government that has made us less safe—NOT protecting us! The Government has been the chief trespasser of our property and robber of our wealth. Clinton is nuts, as well as ignorant and corrupt.

And the Tea Party movement’s critics have also been accusing “anti-government” types of being “conspiracy theorists.” When the U.S. Congress rushes through a 2000+ page medical and insurance fascism bill, with all the bribes and back-door deals and rams it into law in the dead of night, that’s not “conspiring?”

If the the gangsters and hooligans in Congress weren’t engaging in “conspiracies” then I don’t know who is! Jeepers! And this guy, Stupak (When I first heard the name “Stupak,” I thought they were talking about the sound a stapler makes.), I wonder what they paid him (or threatened him with) to make him change his mind.

This is what you get when you give an institution any kind of monopoly and especially the power of compulsion over others. Our freedom and our rights to life and liberty were somewhat secured and assured around the time of the American Revolution—and the Founders even came up with a document that recognized that freedom and those rights: The Declaration of Independence, that even described our right to “throw off” a tyrannical government and “abolish it”—but our rights and our freedom began to dwindle as soon as the U.S. Constitution became the law of the land. All the Constitution did was establish the federal government and allow officials of the federal government to have the power of compulsion over us and the power of institutionalized monopolies that forbade fellow citizens from entering particular fields of endeavor that were monopolized by that government, in which case it’s time to be thrown in the hoosegow.

These are the main reasons why I wrote about this November’s elections, or any elections, “More Rearranging of Deck Chairs,” because that’s what these elections are.

Last Fall was when I became familiar with economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s articles and his views, and the concept of the government’s  compulsory territorial monopoly of protection and judicial decision-making, and that’s the time that I did big Edith Bunker impressions, “Oh, NOW I get it!”, etc. I am glad that Prof. Hoppe established his Property and Freedom Society, an organization of mostly “cultural conservatives,” and whose statement of principles includes:

The Property and Freedom Society stands for an uncompromising intellectual radicalism: for justly acquired private property, freedom of contract, freedom of association—which logically implies the right to not associate with, or to discriminate against—anyone in one’s personal and business relations—and unconditional free trade. It condemns imperialism and militarism and their fomenters, and champions peace. It rejects positivism, relativism, and egalitarianism in any form, whether of “outcome” or “opportunity,” and it has an outspoken distaste for politics and politicians. As such it seeks to avoid any association with the policies and proponents of interventionism, which Ludwig von Mises had identified in 1946 as the fatal flaw in the plan of the many earlier and contemporary attempts by intellectuals alarmed by the rising tide of socialism and totalitarianism to found an anti-socialist ideological movement. Mises wrote: “What these frightened intellectuals did not comprehend was that all those measures of government interference with business which they advocated are abortive. … There is no middle way. Either the consumers are supreme or the government.”…..

And I agree with those principles, recognizing the rights of the individual, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the right to freedom of association and freedom of contract. Notice how it also mentions the right to “discriminate.” Under the umbrella of the individual’s right of self-ownership and the right to control one’s own private property, one has a right to associate with (including establishing a voluntary contract with) or not associate with whomever one wishes, and the right not to be forced to associate with someone with whom one does NOT wish to associate with. For example, the 1964-65 Civil Rights Act (and similar laws) applied to both public and private property. It should only apply to public property, including the public transportation, government-owned buildings and facilities, parks, etc. It should NOT include restaurants and other businesses and properties that are privately owned. The owner of private property has a right to include or exclude whomever one wants on one’s own privately owned property, and for whatever reason. If a business such as a restaurant is referred to as a “public accommodation,” it’s still a privately owned business. The more “general public” one’s business deals with, or the larger the business, still doesn’t make it “more publicly owned,” otherwise have the State buy it from the owner. If a Black lady in Roxbury, Massachusetts owns a store or restaurant, and she doesn’t want Whites in there, that’s her right to keep them out. Any forcing of people onto her business or property (by law, police, etc.), against her will, is trespassing. And if she doesn’t want males, or children, or Catholics, it is her RIGHT to say “You can’t come into my business.” And I am not a racist, because I don’t care what people’s skin color is (unlike President Obama, Chris Matthews and others of their ignorant ilk, who are literally obsessed with people’s skin color), but, my point is,  separating private from public property is necessary to understanding what  freedom is all about.

Bottom line: The only one with actual, legitimate “rights” is the individual, who has a right to be free from the aggression of others, in one’s person and one’s property. Unfortunately, the idea of “civil rights” has turned that around to give people the right to force themselves onto or into the business or property of others against their will, and that’s aggression. Aggression is immoral, no matter what. The Civil Rights Act should only apply to public property and government-run functions, NOT private property or businesses.

So, in the workplace, employers (in the private sector) have a right to hire and fire whomever they want and for whatever reason, but laws that were made from ignorance restrict their rights. For example, Boston Symphony Orchestra music director James Levine has had one medical problem after another since he began with the BSO in 2004, and it looks like, because he has been absent so much now, they might terminate his music directorship (although it may not have been so easy for them to do that had he remembered to sign his contract!).

Of course, the violation of freedom regarding the aforementioned situations comes in with the use of armed police to enforce the laws that violate our rights and freedom. A lot of people are very authoritarian and are pro-police. The Obommunists now are the former ’60s anti-police radicals. While the conservative right still approves of using police for this or that, now the left loves the police, as we will see when the peaceful Tea Party protesters will experience just how much those Stalinists President Obomber and Stinker of the House Nancy Lugosi don’t like their authority and control being challenged or protested. At, Will Grigg has one article after another that describes why we might want to question reliance on police as the ones to protect our liberty or safety. Just this week Will had one about the “police looters” at Hurricane Katrina. And yesterday Wendy McElroy had a post about a recent police brutality incident. We have a right to be “anti-government” and protest peacefully, like the Tea Partiers (unlike Bill Ayers who used not only violence but murder as a way to express his protest).

WTKK radio host Michael Graham himself was arrested and thrown in the hoosegow last year because of driving with a revoked license. He said the police officers were civil and cordial which I don’t doubt. Of course, he shouldn’t have even been bothered by the police, and don’t get me started again on the driving stuff. Let me make THIS perfectly clear: Driving is a RIGHT, not a “privilege.” Graham’s freedom of movement and right to go about his business was grossly violated in this incident. Just look at all the stress that these government officials caused him, and I’ll bet it was stressful. All of that kind of thing should not be tolerated in a free society. The police- staters out there just don’t get it.

Another thing about Michael Graham is that he has become a Professor of Campaigning at his new political Candidates School. He teaches people who are interested in running for public office just how it’s done. I don’t know exactly what good that’s going to do anyone, since these elections are Rearranging of Deck Chairs. When his students learn how to run for office, then they will learn how to manipulate their voters into believing that their legislative actions are actually in the voters’ best interests, and then they will learn how to stick legalese and bureaucratese into legislation to get away with more and more theft and trespassing, and that’s how things go.

In fact, just this morning, a lady called Glenn Beck’s show, saying she wanted him to run for president, and gave a list of things “we need in a president.” And Beck said he could never get elected, and he gave some of his suggestions of what we need in a president. Actually, we really don’t need a president. We don’t need to be “led” by someone through life. We need freedom. Each one of us needs the freedom to achieve what we want to achieve in life and lead our own lives, without the intrusions of others. That’s what we need.

You’re Putin’ Me On…

The President of Poland who died in the plane crash today, Lech Kaczynski (same spelling as Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, not that it means anything), was very critical of Putin’s Russia, and communism in general. President Kaczynski was also planning to deploy U.S. Patriot missiles in Poland “in early April,” but I don’t see anything in the news on that. Had they already rescheduled that? Hmmm. This plane crash stuff sounds a little familiar (and a little suspicious).

More War Or Sanctions Will Only Backfire and Kill More Innocents

With the United States government’s quagmires these last 20 years, it appears that President Obama might be initiating war with Iran or sanctions that will only harm the civilian population and not the Iranian government, as has been the case with Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001, but also with Iraq and Kosovo in the 1990s. It seems that too many U.S. government foreign policies end up causing the destruction of other societies and killing innocents, as well as backfiring against the U.S., an unfortunate abandonment of the absolute laws of morality upon which America was founded.

It is doubtful that the Obama Administration would assert that such a policy of war or sanctions against Iran would be targeting civilians. However, while the George W. Bush Iraq-Afghanistan quagmires are still ongoing and fresh in our minds, we must be reminded of how the U.S. government treated the people of Iraq during the 1990s. During the Persian Gulf War (the First U.S.-Iraq war, 1990-91), the U.S. military’s bombing campaign of Iraqi power and water treatment infrastructures  was rationalized as a means of reducing Iraq’s “civilian morale.” The U.S. military knew in advance that such bombing of infrastructure would lead to disease and civilian deaths. The sanctions imposed against Iraq throughout the 1990s caused the withholding of food, medical supplies and the construction equipment needed to rebuild the infrastructure that was bombed. By 2000, the child mortality rate in Iraq had risen significantly, as did the rate of cancer. Some Pentagon and Air Force officials had claimed that the people of Iraq were ultimately responsible for the sanctions and delay in restoring infrastructures, and thus for the resulting deaths and disease, because of the Iraqis’ alleged continued support of their president, Saddam Hussein.

U.S. President Bill Clinton continued the Iraq policy that President George H.W. Bush started in 1990,  and then went on to take U.S. forces into Yugoslavia under pretenses similar to those of the Persian Gulf War.

President Clinton’s bombing of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo war in 1999 was also notoriously responsible for deaths of innocent civilians. Clinton’s stated purpose was to end the alleged Yugoslavian genocide by Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic. The anti-war movement at that time was led by Republicans, and Clinton was accused to have exaggerated Milosevic’s alleged crimes to justify the bombing. Reports of Milosevic’s genocidal actions were found to be amplified accounts of widespread killings, but not genocide. Some critics were accusing Clinton himself of actual war crimes. The U.S.-led NATO bombing of areas used by both the military and by civilians in Serbia was also criticized as one of incompetence.

Some have asserted that Clinton’s bombing campaign was the actual impetus of Milosevic’s expulsion of ethnic Albanians, or “ethnic cleansing,” and that the ethnic cleansing activities may have greatly expanded as a reaction to Clinton’s bombing campaign.

Civilian deaths caused by those U.S. military actions were acts of negligence and recklessness. Current policies such as the CIA’s payments of Pakistani tribesmen to spread transmitter chips are also policies of incompetence, and are contributing to the deaths of innocent civilians, just as are the U.S. drone bombings in Pakistan.

During the 19th Century war between the U.S. government and the Southern States, President Abraham Lincoln’s army set the precedent in America of targeting non-combatant civilians. Such actions were rationalized towards Lincoln’s stated goal of “saving the Union” and largely unstated goal of further strengthening and expanding the U.S. federal government. The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan by the U.S. military towards the end of World War II is an example of government’s egregiously rationalizing the killing of innocents. President Harry Truman’s stated intention was to spare American soldiers’ lives, which was itself an extreme exaggeration. As Truman’s own chief of staff, Admiral William Leahy stated,

It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was taught not to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying woman and children.

The ideologically motivated wars among democracies over the last century have reinforced the trend of citizens identifying with the state more than with family and community, hence their support of the state’s destruction of other societies. The Founding Fathers naively formed a federal monopoly of territorial protection that has enabled such demoralizing societal conditions that could not have happened were the monopolists superseded by private protection markets.

To some people, the United States government has been provoking various elements in the Middle-East for decades with invasive “poking the hornets’ nests” policies, which have elicited Islamic-based terrorist actions against the West. However, for those who feel that such hypotheses “blame America” for terrorism, it is necessary to clarify the separation between the American people and the United States government. Government is a separate, centralized institution of professional career politicians and bureaucrats in and of itself, and it has been the U.S. government that has been intruding in foreign nations and killing innocents, not the American people.

While the abortion issue is unrelated to wars and sanctions, there is a relevant comparison to be made in the context of moral relativism. In an advanced society such as ours, one of the unfortunate rationalizations of the killing of the innocent unborn has been their subordination, their being made to have lesser value as human beings based on their being at a less advanced stage of development.

The U.S. government’s rationalizing, consciously or subconsciously, of its various intrusions into less developed societies abroad may implicitly suggest that those societies’ inhabitants have lesser value as human beings, and implies making such subordination and deaths of others acceptable.

Besides the right to life, among our natural rights as human beings is the God-given right of self-defense. One fatal flaw, however, in civilized cultures has been when the inhabitants of a territory forfeit their defense to be monopolized and politicized by the state.

The Founding of America was based on traditional values of civility and an absolute view of morality that comes from Natural Law or God’s Law, which supersedes the U.S. Legal Code, the U.S. Constitution, the Geneva Convention and International Law. The U.S. government has for many years overstepped its boundaries, and has violated a most important absolute law: Don’t kill innocent people. Surely, there are better, more constructive ways of dealing with Iran than war or sanctions.

Party Poopers

Several times now, Rush Limbaugh has said that we must get rid of all Democrats and elect Republicans this November, even though he knows that the Republicans are just as responsible as Democrats for getting our country in the mess we’re in now. Plenty of Republicans voted for the Wall Street Bailout, the Medicare Prescription  Drug program and other policies that are bankrupting America. Regarding the medical fascism that has now been forced on us,  rather than propose to do what actually will reform the medical system—i.e. repealing all the burdensome and costly regulations, taxes and licensing requirements—Republicans’ alternative proposals for reform were just, as Jacob Hornberger noted yesterday, calling “for a bit less socialism and interventionism than Obama’s plan.” Republicans are as terrified as Democrats of offending various special interest groups and voting blocks and fear losing votes. THAT is what matters: Party Power, NOT our freedom!

One problem in our society is how so many people merge their identity into whatever particular group to which they belong, and in today’s political culture too many people just blindly become an appendage of their political party. We saw that at the CPAC meeting this year, in which the message was, “Beat the Democrats this November and elect Republicans,” not, “Reduce government and get government out of our lives.”

Here in Massachusetts, the propagandists on talk radio promoted Scott Brown despite knowing that his views and his votes in the state senate were for Big Government intrusions. Brown was hardly a “Tea Partier.” If the propagandists were serious Tea Party advocates and serious about restoring our  liberty, they would’ve supported the third party candidate, Joe Kennedy. But electing a Republican was their priority. I think the propagandists were just hoping that if they had gotten Brown in the senate, that he would become the Barry Goldwater-Ronald Reagan Republican they wanted him to become, and not the Bob Dole-John McCain Republican that he is and will continue to be. It was a case of pathological and unrealistic wishful thinking.

In other words, it is unlikely that, if John McCain is successful in winning his party’s primary for reelection over J.D. Hayworth (That means he went to law school.), it is unlikely that Rush Limbaugh and other conservatives would endorse the Democrat in that race and instead would stick with John McCain, with whom many conservatives have nothing but disgust. But McCain is a Republican—that’s what matters.

One problem with so many Americans is their merging the identity of the country, United States of America, with the U.S. government. America consists of the American people. The U.S. government is a separate being, and consists of professional career politicians and bureaucrats, (i.e. nincompoops, parasites, gangsters and dirtbags).

As the power of the federal government has grown these 200+ years since the Founding, and our liberty has dwindled, more and more people have been lured into the magnetic pull of the government’s power, and sucked into the government’s vacuum like a sucking wind tunnel. As people have identified more with the state, they have identified less with family and community (which supposedly was part of the conservatives’ mantra of ”traditional values,” but, alas, no longer seems to be the case). And with that growing identity with the state has been the ever-growing merger with the state of the two major political parties, and the merger into the two parties of most of the individuals who have become dependent on them.

Here are some quotes from George Orwell’s 1984:

I tell you Winston, that reality is not external. Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind, which can make mistakes, and in any case soon perishes: only in the mind of the party, which is collective and immortal. Whatever the party holds to be truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party….

…The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power.


‘We are the priests of power,’ he said. ‘God is power. But at present power is only a word so far as you are concerned. It is time for you to gather some idea of what power means. The first thing you must realize is that power is collective. The individual only has power in so far as he ceases to be an individual. You know the Party slogan: “Freedom is Slavery”. Has it ever occurred to you that it is reversible? Slavery is freedom. Alone — free — the human being is always defeated. It must be so, because every human being is doomed to die, which is the greatest of all failures. But if he can make complete, utter submission, if he can escape from his identity, if he can merge himself in the Party so that he is the Party, then he is all-powerful and immortal. The second thing for you to realize is that power is power over human beings. Over the body but, above all, over the mind. Power over matter — external reality, as you would call it — is not important. Already our control over matter is absolute.’

And, a further quote from 1984 describes how “historical revisionists” think that war propagandists have let the lies of history be told in school textbooks and the mass media over many generations:


‘There is a Party slogan dealing with the control of the past,’ he said. ‘Repeat it, if you please.’

“Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past,”‘ repeated Winston obediently.

‘”Who controls the present controls the past,”‘ said O’Brien, nodding his head with slow approval. ‘Is it your opinion, Winston, that the past has real existence?’

Another thing Rush Limbaugh has said recently is that the Democrat Party is the party of “dependence.” Well, the Republican Party is also the party of dependence in their submission to the military industrial complex and to the state’s monopoly of defense. As economist Robert Higgs has observed regarding “Military-economic fascism,”

…..military-economic fascism, by empowering and enriching wealthy, intelligent, and influential members of the public, removes them from the ranks of potential opponents and resisters of the state and thereby helps to perpetuate the state’s existence and its intrinsic class exploitation of people outside the state. Thus, military-economic fascism simultaneously strengthens the state and weakens civil society, even as it creates the illusion of a vibrant private sector patriotically engaged in supplying goods and services to the heroic military establishment….

And such a defense monopoly, the state’s usurpation of our territorial protection, has enabled the U.S. government to expand its power to other territories, and has permitted politicians to take advantage of the power to serve their own political ambitions, and, especially since 1990 has effected in making our country less protected and more vulnerable. Of course, the main supporters of the military welfare state and U.S. government expansionism will probably not understand such an assertion. Sadly, their view of America is not the view of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

And, as I wrote recently, the Tea Party movement is being sucked into a life of dependence on the Republican Party, which will make the movement essentially ineffective. That is why we have to decentralize the country, let states have their independence and sovereignty back, and either let them handle their own defense and privatize the whole industry of territorial protection.

November, 2010: More Rearranging of Deck Chairs

March 22, 2010

Copyright © 2010 by (Link to article)

You’ve probably heard the expression, “Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic,” which refers to making futile changes to a failing situation. This November’s elections will be such a case of rearranging the deck chairs on Titanic America, because the real problem that needs to be addressed is systemic, and serious systemic changes need to be made.

There will be those who will say, “No, no, don’t say that, we have a chance to win back both the House and the Senate this November!” But these are times that call for a dose of reality. Unfortunately, many people involved with the Tea Party movement seem to have the misguided notion that the Founders’ structure of the federal government is adequate, but that the people in Washington just need to be replaced. However, the Founders’ forming a federal government with centralized power and authority and a compulsory territorial monopoly has been shown to be an immense error. Inherent in such a structure is the violation of property and individuals’ rights to life and liberty, hence America’s steady moral decay over the last century. And inherent in federalism is the violation of state independence and sovereignty.

The elections of 1980, 1994 and 2000 did not reverse Big Government. When Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980, the “conservative” president not only didn’t cut entire cabinet-level departments as promised, he added three new cabinet-level departments. After cutting taxes, a year later Reagan signed what was then to be America’s biggest tax increase. Reagan also signed one deficit-laden budget after another, and during Reagan’s presidency, the National Debt skyrocketed along with all the regulations and bureaucracy he promised to cut.

Following the 1994 “Republican Revolution,” the federal government continued to grow out of control, and, after 2000, the younger President George W. Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” – i.e. more socialist redistribution of wealth schemes – and expanding the military industrial complex only fed Leviathan much more.

As economist Murray Rothbard noted,

…first, left-liberals, in power, make a Great Leap Forward toward collectivism; then, when, in the course of the political cycle, four or eight years later, conservatives come to power, they of course are horrified at the very idea of repealing anything; they simply slow down the rate of growth of statism, consolidating the previous gains of the Left, and providing a bit of R&R for the next liberal Great Leap Forward….

Rothbard and economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe have written extensively on these issues. In his book, Democracy: The God That Failed, Hoppe explains how democratic governments have contributed a great deal to reversing the process of civilization. The real achievements of democracy have been the empowering of some people to legally extract private wealth and property from others, and empowering the political class to use coercion and brute force against others to achieve certain goals.

At the heart of the problem are the temporary nature of democracy and the exploitative nature of a system of compulsion and monopoly. Economically, according to Hoppe, unlike in a monarchy in which the king owns the country’s territory and has a long-term interest in its capital value, in democracies the ruler is a “temporary caretaker,” and

a temporary and interchangeable democratic caretaker does not own the country, but as long as he is in office he is permitted to use it to his advantage. He owns its current use but not its capital stock. This does not eliminate exploitation. Instead, it makes exploitation shortsighted (present-oriented) and uncalculated, i.e., carried out without regard for the value of the capital stock.

Hoppe expands on those ideas:

…a private government owner (a monarch) will want to avoid exploiting his subjects so heavily, for instance, as to reduce his future earnings potential to such an extent that the present value of his estate actually falls. Instead, in order to preserve or possibly even enhance the value of his personal property, he will systematically restrain himself in his exploitation policies…. In distinct contrast… public government ownership will result in continual capital consumption. Instead of maintaining or even enhancing the value of the government estate, as a private owner would tend to do, a government’s temporary caretaker will quickly use up as much of the government resources as possible….

Therefore, a distinct characteristic of government, or “public sector,” activity is lack of incentive and ability in long-range planning, and, because “societal planning” cannot take individual market factors into account, economic calculations are impossible. In the public sector, political calculations are necessary.

For example, in 1990, just after a war initiated by Russia against Afghanistan, and seeing how the people of a territory did not like being invaded and thus the underdog Afghans put up a good fight against the mighty Russians, one might think that then-U.S. President George H. W. Bush would foresee that his invading Iraq (a country that did not attack the U.S.) would have negative long-term consequences for the U.S. But Bush took U.S. forces into Iraq, and increased forces in surrounding foreign lands, at America’s long-term expense. Bush’s son, the younger President George Bush followed in his dad’s footsteps.

Without regard to America’s capital value and actual long-term economic interests, politicians have acted largely on self-interest and short-term exploitation of the system of democratic governance.

Moreover, because of corporate-statism, America has also experienced such short-sightedness and parasitic consumption among America’s business sector. One example of that is the federal government’s October 2008 Wall Street Bailout, which further discouraged long-range planning and productivity of the nation’s most powerful financial institutions.

America is now suffering great economic turmoil while rewarding the short-term, immediate gratification of the Wall Street fat cats. As a major contributor of pervading societal moral decay, the Wall Street Bailout has been an example of activist government redistribution programs that discourage saving, investing, long-range planning and responsibility.

Over generations of electoral rearranging of deck chairs and further expansion of government’s size and power, America has experienced a decline in personal responsibility and traditional values. As a consequence of Social Security, families’ responsibility for the care of their elder members is transferred to anonymous neighbors. President Obama’s threatened government takeover of the entire medical system will make FDR’s New Deal pale in comparison.

Thus, America’s structure of government’s territorial monopoly and legislative rule has turned society from one of natural laws guarding individual rights to one of man-made laws that have allowed citizens to covet others’ wealth and property, and has enabled politicians to rise to the top with proficiency in rhetoric but no abilities in producing anything of actual value to others.

The 2010 delusion of correcting government’s mistakes has already begun with Scott Brown’s recent election to the United States Senate. After having voted for socialized health care and fascist insurance mandates in Massachusetts, and opposing cutting the state income tax, Brown was falsely promoted as a conservative Tea Party candidate. And already the Tea Party movement itself, supposedly one promoting independence and limited government, is being pulled into a life of dependence on the GOP, a party glued to the false security of dependence on centralized Big Government’s monopoly of territorial protection. As author James Bovard observed,

We now have the Battered Citizen Syndrome: the more debacles, the more voters cling to faith in their rulers…. The greater the government’s failure to protect, the greater the subsequent mass fear – and the easier it becomes to subjugate the populace.

One way to prevent a huge societal disaster is by decentralizing, the dismantling of the federal government and letting the states have their independence and sovereignty back.

The total destruction of the United States of America will have been wrought by the U.S. federal government. Instead of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic with more electoral changes, the way to save America will be by decentralization and a return to the sanctity of private property rights, freedom of association and contract, and totally unrestricted free trade and commerce.

ObamaCare Violates Contract and Property Rights

In light of President Obama’s shackling of Americans even further with government medicine that will mirror the old Soviet Union, it is important to understand the differences between the current dysfunctional socialist system and the moral and practical superiority that a free market system would provide. If current proposals for government takeover of health care become law, we will have further collective intrusions against the individual, and both patients and doctors—all citizens—will be serfs of the state. This is part of why people defected and fled from the Soviet Union.

The American Founders saw the difference between private and public ownership of property. The Founders believed in the sanctity and inviolability of private property, and that individuals have inherent, inalienable rights to life and liberty.

Associated with the idea of the inalienable right to life and liberty is self-ownership. Among the individual’s private property rights is the right of ownership of one’s own life, one‘s person and the fruits of one’s labor. Individuals’ right of association and contract includes the right to be free of any government intrusions into private associations and contracts—including the relationship between doctor and patient—and the right to be free of any government involvement in private health matters. Fascists Barack Obama and Nancy Lugosi do not understand this.

In economics, while over time there have been differing definitions of these terms, here are the generally accepted definitions of capitalism and socialism:

  • Socialism is public or collective ownership and control of property and the means of production;
  • Capitalism is private ownership and control of property and the means of production.

Fascism “allows” for private ownership of property but control is seized by the state, and communism is the culmination of gradually increasing socialist policies to the point of complete state ownership and control of its population and property.

In reality, socialism is a system in which some people may use the armed power of government to take wealth and property from others, as well as dictate to people the terms of contracts and use of property.

On the other hand, capitalism is a system that protects the individual’s right of sovereignty over one’s own life and property, and protects the sanctity of voluntary associations and voluntary contracts. No one is forced to associate or contract with anyone else, and no one may take wealth and property from others. Sadly, this system has never been realized in America, or anywhere in human history. Philosopher Ayn Rand referred to capitalism as an “unknown ideal.”

Unfortunately, since the Founding, America has been a “mixed economy,” a system combining some capitalist freedom and some socialist policies.

However, with the socialist aspect of America, the individual and the fruits of one’s labor are essentially owned by the collective, or the community. Whereas in a truly capitalist society, in which intrusions of the individual and private property would violate absolute moral laws against theft and trespass, in a socialist/fascist society such as ours the artificial, man-made organization we call “government” institutionalizes such intrusions.

In the old days, No Trespassing and Mind Your Own Business were common phrases. There was no Social Security number, and there was no IRS demanding personal information that was none of the neighbors’ business. The Founders would not have approved of any of those things, and would have rejected without discussion proposals for a National ID card or fingerprinting! The Founders’ principles of the Presumption of Innocence and The Right to be Left Alone are moral principles.

As part of his Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote, in reference to the British ruler from whom the Founders separated:

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

There has been a common misunderstanding that if a privately owned company is large, then it is less privately owned, and therefore the public has a right to impose arbitrary demands and intrusions on such a company. However, to the American Founders, laws against theft and trespass must be absolute, and individuals with justly owned private property (real estate, material property, business assets, etc.) have an inalienable right to be free of violence, theft and trespass by others. Suggesting that private property rights and freedom of association and contract exist only to a certain extent inevitably leads to making it acceptable to steal and trespass “just a little” in the name of some desired social good. In terms of absolute moral law, however, no well-intentioned end justifies immoral means. That’s moral relativism.

Economist Murray Rothbard wrote in 1994, in reference to then-First Lady Hillary Clinton’s universal health care proposals:

Whereas the free market is a peaceful cooperative place where everyone benefits and no one loses, when government supplies the product or service, every consumer is treated as using a resource only at the expense of his fellow men. The “public service” arena, and not the free market, is the dog-eat-dog jungle.

The problem with starting a business such as an insurance company is similar to any other line of work that is regulated and controlled by government. In fact, it is the regulations, licensure and taxation and other government-imposed restrictions that have made the medical industry so costly. What needs to be done is repealing each and every health- and medical-related regulation and control implemented by the federal government, removing licensure, and getting rid of the FDA and the entire Health and Human Services bureaucracy. Strictly enforce laws against fraudulent insurance company practices and policy holder claims. Freeing insurance companies of costly regulations will make it possible for them to add special programs to help the truly needy. And freedom would enable an individual or group to start a company or charity with the intention of helping others.

And Licensure does not protect patients from bad doctors. On the contrary, licensure protects bad doctors from prospective competitors in that market, just as tenure protects bad teachers in the education area. Any kind of protectionist law that restricts freedom of contract restricts liberty and choices, and creates monopolistic cartels.

With freedom from government intrusions and coercion, medical professionals’ and consumers’ actions will benefit themselves and others, and the private relationship between doctor and patient will remain private.  People who don’t want health insurance shouldn’t be forced to have it. No more government restrictions on pharmaceutical drugs—let Americans be responsible for their own choices. But when you put people in chains and bondage, as our socialist/fascist government has been doing for many years now, the bureaucrats, politicians and special interests are the beneficiaries of wealth that is forcibly expropriated from the citizens.

When government officials intrude in private contracts and associations with the use of force and coercive mandates imposed by the IRS and police, those are criminal violations of life, liberty and property, and should be treated as such.

Citizens should step up their protests against government officials’ poking into the most personal aspects of citizens’ private lives. They might also consider calling their representatives in Washington and ask them to vote against further health care proposals.

Those Resentful Authoritarian Obommunists

The reason why Stalinists Barack Obomber and Nancy Lugosi want to have the armed power of government hijack the entire medical system comes from their class-obsessed resentment of doctors and others who have actual expertise and abilities in medicine and who have achieved success, wealth and status from those abilities while at the same time helping others. Lugosi and Obomber would never have been able to achieve anything in their lives in the private sector, or otherwise without the aid of government-forced redistribution of wealth or other government-sponsored privileges.

Authoritarians such as these Obommunists resent the abilities of human services professionals to serve the needs of others voluntarily—and  certainly more efficiently than any government agency ever could—and who benefit from such services in the non-state-controlled randomness of markets rather than as sacrificial servants of the state that Obomber and Lugosi want them to be.

In my lifetime, I don’t think I’ve seen people as control-obsessed and resentful towards others as these nincompoops. As economist Walter E. Williams noted,

Tyrants denounce free markets and voluntary exchange. They are the chief supporters of reduced private property rights, reduced rights to profits, and they are anti-competition and pro-monopoly. They are pro-control and coercion, by the state.

Who Owns People?

On the Lew Rockwell Blog Saturday, Michael Rozeff started the discussion of who owns people by bringing up U.S. Supreme Court decision Nebbia v. New York, and Justice James McReynolds’s dissent, with McReynolds favoring the right of contract and viewing so-called price regulations as “management, control, and dictation.” Butler Shaffer responded to that in the context of “state ownership of human beings,” and concluded with

…efforts by the state to preserve and promote our health serve the same purpose as a rancher’s interests in caring for his cattle prior to their shipment to the slaughterhouse!

Christopher Manion responded by referring to the subject of state ownership of children, as beginning in America in the 1860s with the start of the mainly anti-Catholic public school movement.

The “civil religion” taught in government schools was designed to neutralize the papist heresies taught in the parochial schools. For the Know-Nothings, Catholic families were not only the competition: they were the enemy.

This reminded me of a post I did in September, regarding the abortion issue,  asking the question, “When does self-ownership begin?” which was a response to a Mises Blog post by Skip Oliva, in which he noted,

Let’s say that, in fact, creation is a source of property rights. Does that mean parents have intellectual property rights in their children? After all, they created them.

In my post, I wrote,

Parents can’t own their offspring, regardless of their labor they exerted  and “tools” they used, because their “product” happens to be another separate, individual human being.

Human beings inherently have natural, inalienable rights, among them the rights to life and liberty. Part of the right to life and liberty is the right of an individual to self-ownership. The right to self-ownership begins when the human being begins. But when does the human being’s life actually begin?

At the time of the  Roe v. Wade decision, the concept of “personhood” was brought up by Justice Harry Blackmun:

“(If the) suggestion of personhood [of the preborn] is established, the [abortion rights] case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment.”

I’ve seen references to “personhood,” “viability,” “sentience,” and “consciousness, “  and I have some questions.

What is the viability of a born baby? If baby is left alone for a particular amount of time, one cannot survive for very long, because at that early stage of development one is dependent on one’s caretakers for feeding. The same can be said of a 2-year-old, maybe even older children, although the older the child, the more able one is to go out and seek food, unless one is locked inside and can’t get out. Is there a difference between the viability of a born individual and an unborn individual (at whatever stage of development)?

What about “sentience” and “consciousness?” How do we know whether or not a two-month-old “fetus” or a 2-day-old “fetus” can have any physical sensation or conscious awareness? If it is important whether or not that individual has sentience or consciousness in considering whether that individual has any right to life and liberty, and self-ownership, then, what about a born human being or a grown adult who has a neurological disorder and has no “sentience” or who is in a “persistent vegetative state” and has no consciousness, but is still “alive” (or can be kept alive via artificial means)?

However, more recently I’ve seen in Murray Rothbard’s Ethics of Liberty, his comments on the abortion issue. Rothbard asks this question:

….when, or in what way, does a growing child acquire his natural right to liberty and self-ownership?

If one has a natural right to liberty and self-ownership, and “natural rights,” as far as I know, means “inherent” in us as human beings (i.e. from conception onward, or just a part of the human being’s “nature”), then how can you “acquire” a natural right to liberty and self-ownership?

Who Is More Evolved?

James Lewis has an article today at American Thinker regarding the National Geographic‘s suggesting that liberals and atheists are more evolved and smarter than conservatives. However, Lewis asks,

Why does (the Left’s) blind “idealism” and its unquenchable power-craving lead to such disastrous results, over and over again? Why does the British medical system have patients parked on gurneys in dirty hallways? Why are their waiting times for life-saving operations so much longer than ours? Why does Prime Minister Gordon Brown advocate using your organs after you die without your permission?

Lewis notes that plenty of people with high IQ can still be dummies, fixed on bad ideas that are impractical (such as President Obama and Speaker Pelosi).

In my opinion, the Left has hardly shown any evidence of “evolution” in intelligence when they continue to push for government policies that do nothing but cause destruction and havoc. And how is “adopting nontraditional social values and preferences,” as the Geographic article suggests, an example of intelligence, or being evolved? Just look at the Left’s continued advocacy of drug use and promiscuous sex. In fact, I would argue that promoting drugs, a behavior of self-destruction, especially among today’s youth, is regressive and goes against evolving. And irresponsible, promiscuous sex is in the category of short-term, immediate gratification, as well as possibly dangerous, and reinforces one’s more immature and regressive impulses. One could argue, contrary to the Left’s assertion that “going with your urges” is a defeat of “repression,” etc., that such behaviors that go against self-control actually work toward repressing emotions and intellectually evolutionary activity. It is the self-control that exemplifies a more evolved human being.

However, regarding Lewis’s reference to the Left’s idealism that leads to failed and counter-productive policies, I must say that such characteristics are among some conservatives as well, particularly “neoconservatives.” I think the real point is that neither “liberalism” in the modern sense nor neoconservatism is more or less “evolved.” Rather, it is statism that is at the root of devolution. And the conservatives’ counter-productive war policies over the last 20 years are my evidence of the devolution from the Right.

The Left’s compulsion to use the State—government—as the means to carry out desired ends is a problem among the Right. The best examples of that are the neoconservatives’ compulsion to depend on the national government and military to protect America’s safety and security, and the conservatives’ sheepish, naive following of immoral policies such as the “Bush Doctrine” and foreign military expansionism. Philip Giraldi at catches the essence of that in his article this week, The Rogue Nation, discussing the use by the U.S. Military of the unmanned drones killing unarmed, innocent, non-combatant civilians in the Middle-East,

….If Iran were operating the drones and bumping off its enemies in places like Dubai you can be sure the reaction would be quite different….

and the idea of our federal government having the power to seize and even kill Americans without trial and without any questioning of evidence against the suspects.

…The death list involves a due process of sorts in that a government official makes the decision who shall be on it based on guidelines but it does not allow the accused to challenge or dispute evidence….

Now, I’m with the conservatives on traditional, conservative family values. Smarter people aren’t necessarily more “evolved.” Plenty of statists and barbarians have been smart people. In my opinion, however, the moral relativism of the Right is just as bad as that of the Left, and what connects the two sides is their dehumanizing of others and their love of The State.