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Month: December 2010

The WikiLeaks Critics’ Pathological Obedience to the State

By Scott Lazarowitz
December 6, 2010

(Link to article at Strike the Root)

The most recent example of the sheeple’s State-obedience has been the response among many politicians and news media blabbermouths and scribblers to the latest WikiLeaks release. The documents show the utter ineptness of our government officials who have no idea what they’re doing, and the documents also show the bureaucrats’ crassness and attitude toward foreign leaders.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin had written on her Facebook page that WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange has “blood on his hands.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that the document release “threatens our national security.” And U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) said that Assange should be charged with espionage and that the release “is worse even than a physical attack on Americans; it’s worse than a military attack.”

Do we need any more proof that F.A. Hayek was right when he asserted in his book, The Road to Serfdom, that the worst get on top? And by “worst,” I mean morally and especially intellectually.

Now, when I listen to these people – and I try not to, believe me – I can’t help but conclude that it is just imbecilic for Sarah Palin to assert that Assange has “blood on his hands” merely by exposing the incompetence and buffoonery of government officials. One would think that the one with “blood on his hands” would be George W. Bush, who started both the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq, and both based on either lies or propaganda, or both. Whoever starts wars has blood on his hands, and worse, when starting the wars was clearly based on deception and, even worse than that, for self-serving political reasons – in Bush’s case, to get himself reelected.

It is unfortunate that so many people don’t learn from history, and can’t see into the long term. People just don’t seem to comprehend that the U.S. government’s very policies of interventionism and territorial expansionism are really what have been undermining Americans’ security. Much of what we have been suffering now – an out of control federal government and its intrusions abroad that motivates the inhabitants of those foreign territories to retaliate, and a “War on Terror” police state run amok – is the result of the Elder President Bush’s first Iraq war, also totally unnecessary and based on lies and propaganda, that included the intentional destruction during the 1990s of Iraqi water and sewage treatment facilities that led to surges in cancer and child mortality rates and an even angrier Middle Eastern and Muslim population.

And Julian Assange has blood on his hands?

It is especially unfortunate that the American Fourth Estate – the Press – have abandoned their role and responsibility in challenging the status quo and the assertions put forth by government bureaucrats, whether it’s regarding the government’s assertion of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, or regarding the government’s ramming through Congress a new health care bureaucracy and mandates without debate. The Press have joined Main Street America in what has been an emotional, mystical worship of our centralized federal government as a god that can’t be questioned.

But the American people, in their passively believing the lies of government leaders, and in their allowing policies of institutionalized dependence to be put in place (such as the New Deal’s Social Security system, LBJ’s Medicare, etc.), have unwittingly fostered a system in which they remain children their whole lives, economically, and especially emotionally and intellectually.

Human rights advocate and antiwar writer Arthur Silber has written about the theme of obedience to authority that is instilled in many children who continue their obedience to authority into adulthood, and who merely transfer their internalized parents’ authority onto others later in life (such as political leaders). Silber makes much use of the work of psychologist Alice Miller. Silber notes,

By demanding obedience above all from a child (whether by physical punishment, by psychological means, or through some combination of both), parents forbid the child from fostering an authentic sense of self. Because children are completely dependent on their parents, they dare not question their parents’ goodness, or their “good intentions.” As a result, when children are punished, even if they are punished for no reason or for a reason that makes no sense, they blame themselves and believe that the fault lies within them. In this way, the idealization of the authority figure is allowed to continue. In addition, the child cannot allow himself to experience fully his own pain, because that, too, might lead to questioning of his parents.

In this manner, the child is prevented from developing a genuine, authentic sense of self. As he grows older, this deadening of his soul desensitizes the child to the pain of others. Eventually, the maturing adult will seek to express his repressed anger on external targets, since he has never been allowed to experience and express it in ways that would not be destructive. By such means, the cycle of violence is continued into another generation (using “violence” in the broadest sense). One of the additional consequences is that the adult, who has never developed an authentic self, can easily transfer his idealization of his parents to a new authority figure.

And while such authority figures can often include one’s professor, doctor or boss, as the size, power and influence of the State have grown dramatically over the past century, so have the phenomena of the dependence on, idealization of and obedience toward the authority figures of the State, such as police, soldiers, elected officials and especially presidents.

Contrary to that self-destructive idiocy, the Founding Fathers believed that always questioning the State’s authority is vital to preserve our liberty. But 200 years after the American Revolution, Americans have developed a dangerous blind obedience to the State. Unfortunately, many Americans are very childlike in their idealization of and blind faith in our agents of the State, no matter how much the State continues to lie to them and abuse them.

As libertarian author James Bovard pointed out,

We now have the Battered Citizen Syndrome: the more debacles, the more voters cling to faith in their rulers. Like a train engineer bonding with the survivors of a train wreck that happened on his watch, Bush constantly reminded Americans of 9/11 and his wars. The greater the government’s failure to protect, the greater the subsequent mass fear — and the easier it becomes to subjugate the populace. The craving for a protector drops an iron curtain around the mind, preventing a person from accepting evidence that would shred his political security blanket.

Such a phenomenon takes shape early in life. Oftentimes a parent will use emotional manipulation, deception or physical punishment – and, in some cases, sexual abuse – as a means of suppressing the natural expressions and feelings of the child, and to coerce the child into obedience, a scheme that Alice Miller refers to as poisonous pedagogy. And Silber quotes Miller on that:

Poisonous pedagogy is a phrase I use to refer to the kind of parenting and education aimed at breaking a child’s will and making that child into an obedient subject by means of overt or covert coercion, manipulation, and emotional blackmail.

The poisonous pedagogy of statism and collectivism has institutionalized the sacrifice of the individual, one’s rights and one’s liberty to serve the collective needs of the community, and to obey the will of the State, the community’s hired guns. A telling example of such poisonous statism has been the TSA’s totalitarian policies of “security” at America’s airports, in which travelers have two choices: go through the X-ray scan that causes radiation and is a cancer risk, as well as being a virtual strip search that creates literally pornographic nude images of someone, images that can be and have been saved; or be intimately frisked by TSA workers which includes the “groping” of one’s private parts. And to the disappointment of libertarians there have only been a few complaints about such humiliations and violations of the Fourth Amendment. Most of the passive sheeple remain silent and obedient. “It’s for your own good,” some say, including the “liberal” ladies of the TV show, The View, who seem to think that those who are complaining have sexual “hang-ups.”

Many on the left associate a pedagogy of repressive child-rearing, sexual forbiddance and intolerance with conservatism and religion. However, there can also be repressiveness on the part of those who think of themselves as “liberal” and who advocate sexual “openness,” especially with children. But such a pedagogy can be even more repressive toward children, in a well-meaning yet destructive effort to prevent a child’s later denial or repression of sexuality, in ways that involve over-stepping of physical boundaries that are sexually intrusive of the child. Such attitudes and behaviors have been prevalent for many decades and also play a role in the roots of invasive policies by governments.

Apparently, a scientist who was involved in the development of the TSA X-ray scan had in 2006 offered DHS officials a software fix in which images couldn’t possibly violate a passenger’s privacy. But when I read that the scientist’s offer was turned down by officials, I saw red flags everywhere, and heard alarms going off. “Warning! Warning!” as the little robot on Lost in Space would shout. When the federal government wants to keep the technology in place that can save nude images of any citizen, and refuses to put something simple in place to remedy that situation, then one must conclude that sinister motivations underlie the bureaucrats’ intentions.

As Dr. Miller has noted, a parent’s use of physical intimidation as a means to control the child, stifle the child’s natural intellectual questioning of the status quo, and make the child obedient is all too common. Miller has written about Adolph Hitler’s repressive upbringing by a pathologically domineering father, particularly in her book, For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence, and elsewhere. Miller writes:

…by totally denying his pain, his feelings of powerlessness, and his despair–in other words, by denying the truth – Hitler made himself into a master of violence and of contempt for human beings. The result was a very primitive person, incapable of any empathy for other people. He was mercilessly and constantly driven to new destructive acts by his latent feelings of hatred and revenge…

Now, it is not just the neoconservative warmongers who show repressed anger and lack of empathy in their supporting the wars abroad that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis since 1990 and killed many innocent Afghans since 2001, as well as literally have destroyed those two countries. But such destruction and lack of empathy has been exhibited by plenty of people on the left, in their repressive economic policies and intrusions that have extremely destructive long term effects on society, as well as from the left’s highly profitable and murderous abortion industry.

It is sad that so many people prefer to be obedient and believe what their authorities tell them. The Founding Fathers knew that such a blind trust in government was dangerous and that the State must always be viewed with suspicion, and distrusted. The more centralized and powerful a government, the more dangerous it is. The Founders’ big mistake was their Constitution that gives the federal government a monopoly in territorial protection. Without the necessary pressures of competition in the business of security, the agents of the State will abuse the monopoly, and deliberately provoke foreign elements as a means of expanding the power of the State to satisfy the monopolists’ own craving for more power. Another mistake the Founders made was allowing the State – federal or local – to have the power of compulsion over others, and allowing bureaucrats, police or soldiers to be above the rule of law, which, ipso facto, undermines the rule of law.

The U.S. government’s intrusions, trespassing and mass murders abroad for decades and their natural blowback are what have most undermined the security of Americans. All WikiLeaks has been doing is exposing our government bureaucrats for what they are, and the State’s crimes for what they are.

Rather than being obedient sheeple, and rather than prosecuting or murdering Julian Assange and censoring WikiLeaks online, and rather than allowing virtual strip searches and sexual molestation at the nation’s airports, we need to protect ourselves from our government. And that means not only putting a stop to our government’s crimes, but ending centralism altogether, like the former Soviet Union did.

Continue to Expose the Crimes of the State, and Restore Our Freedom!

The coincidences between U.S. happenings and goings on in Israel never end. This situation with WikiLeaks and its latest release that exposes nincompoops like Hillary Clinton, and with neocon nudniks like Sarah Palin asserting that Julian Assange has “blood on his hands,” is very similar to the situation in Israel. A young female Israeli military clerk named Anat Kamm burned classified military information to CD as well as made copies of material in print and released that material to a Haaretz newspaper reporter, Uri Blau, who used the material to report on the military’s alleged crimes. In the words of Ms. Kamm,

There were some aspects of the IDF’s operational procedures in the West Bank that I felt should be public knowledge…

…When I was burning the CDs I kept thinking that history tends to forgive people who expose war crimes…

Kamm is not charged with espionage on behalf of another government, but she is charged with compromising Israel’s security. It’s very similar to the current situation with WikiLeaks. The Israeli media by and large is the propaganda organ for the government and military, just as our Fourth Estate here in the U.S. has become with the U.S. government. Thomas Jefferson is throwing up in his grave right now over this.

The Haaretz reporter Uri Blau had been in hiding in London, but had recently come forward for interrogation, but I don’t know whether or not he’s been charged.

But as British journalist Jonathan Cook put it,

During her conscription, Kamm copied possibly hundreds of army documents that revealed systematic law-breaking by the Israeli high command operating in the occupied Palestinian territories, including orders to ignore court rulings. She was working at the time in the office of Brig. Gen. Yair Naveh, who is in charge of operations in the West Bank.

Blau’s crime is that he published a series of scoops based on her leaked information that have highly embarrassed senior Israeli officers by showing their contempt for the rule of law.

In other words, the two are really accused of embarrassing government officials, and exposing their transgressions, just as Julian Assange and Bradley Manning are accused of with U.S. officials. But while this was initially going on several months ago, you just wouldn’t believe the hatred and venom toward those two Israelis in comments sections of various Israeli newspaper articles and opinion columns.

The worse of it, in my opinion, has come from Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick, who also has some things to write this week about WikiLeaks.

Make no mistake about it, the ongoing WikiLeaks operation against the US is an act of war.

Only a fool could actually think that Julian Assange’s releasing information that the American people have a right to know about what their government has been doing on their behalf could be an “act of war.” A fool, or someone who is so absorbed in the power of the State, so mindlessly mystical of the State and its military that any act by someone that is in the slightest way challenging of the State’s authority and integrity (which is not difficult — what integrity?) is to the State and its apparatchiks an “act of war.”

Glick also refers in that column to Kamm and Blau that Glick feels should be investigated for “treason,” yet it is our treasonous governments whose decades-long campaigns of aggression provoke people in other countries and have gravely backfired against us Americans, as well as against Israelis.

The reason for that is the mistake of the people assigning to their government a compulsory monopoly in territorial protection. Monopolists who have the power of law and order on their side, and whose mandate legally restricts others from providing a service of protection, will abuse such power and that is what we have seen repeatedly for a century or more. As Hans-Hermann Hoppe has noted,

The recently ended twentieth century was characterized by a level of human rights violations unparalleled in all of human history. In his book Death by Government, Rudolph Rummel estimates some 170 million government-caused deaths in the twentieth century. The historical evidence appears to indicate that, rather than protecting life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness of their citizens, governments must be considered the greatest threat to human security…

Hoppe has also noted the inherent nature of democracy and compulsory government in which the ruling monopolists will abuse their power as the initial aggressors in state-upon-state conflicts:

What appears to be standing in the way of peace and civilization, then, is above all the state and democracy, and specifically the world’s model democracy: the United States. Ironically if not surprisingly, however, it is precisely the United States, which claims that it is the solution to the quest for peace.

The reason for this claim is the doctrine of democratic peace, which goes back to the days of Woodrow Wilson and World War I, has been revived in recent years by George W. Bush and his neo-conservative advisors, and by now has become intellectual folklore even in liberal-libertarian circles. The theory claims:

  • Democracies do not go to war against each other.
  • Hence, in order to create lasting peace, the entire world must be made democratic.

And as a — largely unstated — corollary:

  • Today, many states are not democratic and resist internal — democratic — reform.
  • Hence, war must be waged on those states in order to convert them to democracy and thus create lasting peace….

But what was some kind of quest to force democracy down other countries’ throats had really become a crusade for U.S. government hegemony all over the world. Hoppe also brings up the Soviet communists’ crusade to spread communism in the East, in which the Soviet Union engaged in military conquest of other territories who were impotent in fighting back.

…For instance, no war broke out between the end of World War II and the end of the 1980s, i.e., during the hegemonic reign of the Soviet Union, between East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Estonia, Hungary, etc. Was this because these were communist dictatorships and communist dictatorships do not go to war against each other? That would have to be the conclusion of “scientists” of the caliber of democratic-peace theorists! But surely this conclusion is wrong. No war broke out because the Soviet Union did not permit this to happen — just as no war between Western democracies broke out because the United States did not permit this to happen in its dominion….

… In any case, however, the result of the crusade to make the world safe for democracy was less liberal than what had existed before (and the Versailles peace dictate precipitated World War II). Not only did state power grow faster after the war than before….

Moreover, empirically democracies are anything but stable. As indicated, in multi-cultural societies democracy regularly leads to the discrimination, oppression, or even expulsion and extermination of minorities — hardly a peaceful equilibrium. And in ethnically homogeneous societies, democracy regularly leads to class warfare, which leads to economic crisis, which leads to dictatorship….

According to democratic-peace theorists, then, it would seem that we are supposed to war against foreign dictators, whether kings or demagogues, in order to install democracies, which then turn into (modern) dictatorships, until finally, one supposes, the United States itself has turned into a dictatorship, owing to the growth of internal state power which results from the endless “emergencies” engendered by foreign wars.

Hoppe has suggested that a free market system of private protection agencies and insurance firms would better and more efficiently protect a greater number of inhabitants of a population than the current protection racket run by a corrupt monopolistic regime. It would not only be more practical, but would be moral, by not restricting the inherent rights of individuals, rights that are recognized by the Declaration of Independence, AND would prevent the never-ending growth of an oppressive, tyrannical, totalitarian government as we have in our society right now. Hoppe notes,

Because they are not subject to and bound by contracts, states typically outlaw the ownership of weapons by their “clients,” thus increasing their own security at the expense of rendering their alleged clients defenseless. In contrast, no voluntary buyer of protection insurance would agree to a contract that required him to surrender his right to self-defense and be unarmed or otherwise defenseless…

…with regard to foreign relations, because states can externalize the costs of their own actions onto hapless taxpayers, they are permanently prone to becoming aggressors and warmongers. Accordingly, they tend to fund and develop weapons of aggression and mass destruction. In distinct contrast, insurers will be prevented from engaging in any form of external aggression because any aggression is costly and requires higher insurance premiums, implying the loss of clients to other, nonaggressive competitors. Insurers will engage exclusively in defensive violence, and instead of acquiring weapons of aggression and mass destruction, they will tend to invest in the development of weapons of defense and of targeted retaliation….

And to conclude, It is our duty as a people to restore and preserve our freedom, and that means it is vital to continue uncovering the truth about what the State really is. “The truth shall set you free.”

On the LRC Blog, Lew Rockwell is quite succinct:

As Ron Paul notes, “In a free society, we are supposed to know the truth. When truth becomes treason, we are in big trouble.”As Ron has also long noted, the American State claims the right to know every single thing about us: every dime we earn and spend, every phone call we make or email we send. To track our movements. To know what we are teaching our children. To ascertain our shower head and toilet tank. Now even to see all of you naked or feel you up. And a million and one other insanities, indignities, and outrages. Every single aspect of life is within the State’s jurisdiction, or so it claims.

But for us to know anything about the State, aside from its propaganda, is treason. That is, of course, because the State is a criminal enterprise that depends on our consent. The more we know about its murders, its looting, its lying, the less willing we are to consent, to be good little robots, indeed, to worship it as a god, which is always its ultimate ambition, pharaonic Egypt being its ideal.

Pledge allegiance to this gang? No thanks.