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Scott Lazarowitz's Blog Posts

Abe Lincoln’s Legacy: Leviathan’s Bondage of All Americans

April 23, 2011

© 2011 LewRockwell.com (Link to article)

With the 150th year of the start of the American “Civil War,” it is necessary to point out that, not only was it not a war to “free the slaves,” but a war to force seceding states back into a union involuntarily, and a war to strengthen the federal government’s economic control over the people.

For whatever reasons the Southern States had to secede from the “Union,” they had an inalienable right to secede. All people have a God-given right to associate or not associate with others, voluntarily. If the people of a particular territory want to separate from a federal union of states, they have every right to separate, just as the Founding Fathers had a right to separate from British rule.

No institution or authority has the right to compel any individual or group into association or contract involuntarily. To believe that the federal government had any moral right to force the people of the seceding states to return to federal association involuntarily is to believe that some people with armed power have a right to claim ownership and control of other people, pure and simple.

The argument that the association of states within the federal union is based on some sort of contract – the U.S. Constitution – is misleading, because the people living in 1861 who had been compelled to abide by the contract did not actually participate in the forming of terms and the signing of the contract. People of later generations are not in any way bound to the terms of any contract agreed to by previous generations. 19th Century individualist and entrepreneur Lysander Spooner explains that further in No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority.

To bind future generations to a contract to which they themselves did not agree or sign is itself a form of enslavement, just as the politicians in Washington currently continue to enslave future generations with debt.

What Lincoln’s war to compel people into association involuntarily did was literally to reverse the American Revolution. In the Revolution, people fought to free themselves from the tyranny and enslavements of King George III and his British dictatorial regime. The Revolutionaries fought for their independence.

In contrast, Lincoln’s war effected in compelling the people of the Southern States back into centralized control over them by federal bureaucrats, and further empowered the centralized authority in Washington. Lincoln’s war had nothing to do with “freeing slaves.”

Economically, two important moves by Abe Lincoln to further strengthen the federal government’s control over the American people were the National Banking Acts and legal tender laws. The National Banking Acts gave Wall Street – in collusion with the federal government – the power to coordinate inflation (despite the then-nonexistence of a federal central bank). And legal tender laws force Americans to use only government-issued currency as their sole medium of exchange. These two restrictions on Americans’ right to voluntary exchange and voluntary contracts – including the right to provide free competitive banking to consumers and the right of the people to control and use private property as they see fit – were at the heart of Americans’ monetary bondage and government-imposed schemes of redistribution-of-wealth from lower classes to the wealthy from which we continue to suffer.

Lincoln’s Bank Acts and legal tender laws were the precursors to the Federal Reserve and its valueless paper “notes” that Americans are compelled by law to use for exchange. The Fed’s money printing benefits the earlier receivers, the financial and banking elites, and causes the later receivers of the “notes,” lower- and middle-class Americans, to deal with the higher food, clothing and energy prices caused by the Fed’s inflationary policies. This government-mandated scheme literally enslaves those on fixed incomes and of the lower economic classes – through their extra labor – to serve the increasingly rich, politically-connected corporatists.

And during Lincoln’s presidency was the first time the U.S. government imposed a federal personal income tax, including on “any professional trade, employment, or vocation.” That income tax was repealed but the income tax returned with a vengeance in 1913.

It was so important to the federal government bureaucrats to permanently institutionalize the compulsory labor amongst the citizenry to serve the federal government, that the Washington politicians had their income tax become a part of the U.S. Constitution!

Many people scoff at the criticism of the income tax as a form of “involuntary servitude.” But that would have to be because they just haven’t given it much thought, or it’s because they work for the government.

First, part of the income tax is a seizure of some of the earnings of one’s labor. That is the government’s demand that one does a certain amount of labor to serve the government. Second, income tax on investment dividends or capital gains on property sales is a way of government bureaucrats to confiscate a portion of property rightfully belonging to the individual receiving a profit or earning on investment. It is the way for government bureaucrats to steal others’ wealth or property, in the same illicit manner that the Federal Reserve’s inflation allows the government-banking cartel elites to steal from the lower classes.

Compulsory Federal Reserve “notes,” legal tender laws, the income tax, forcing Americans to do extra labor to serve the government – all these policies reinforce the government’s ownership of the individual. One’s labor is primarily owned by the government now, one’s employment associations and contracts are all under scrutiny and supervision by the government.

There are no more voluntary relationships in America. The individual does not own one’s private contract with an employer or employee – the government does. And the individual does not own one’s association or contract with one’s doctor or patient – the government owns the doctor-patient relationship, especially cemented by the dictatorial ObamaCare.

And these perversions of society have permeated all levels of society now, in the collective’s ownership of the individual, and in the individual’s serfdom under federal, state and local governmental regimes.

A most recent example of how government employees subjugate their non-government neighbors was in Wisconsin. The teachers’ unions have been actively protesting to strengthen their power to expropriate more of Wisconsin taxpayers’ earnings to fund the teachers’ overly extravagant benefits and pensions – enrichments that their counterparts in the private sector could never possibly get in the actual free marketplace.

And anti-competition protectionist legislation and regulations also shackle potential start-ups and make business extremely difficult for existing small business owners, to protect the profits of established firms, and to protect Big Business.

In New York City, for example, if an individual has a car and wants to provide a taxi service, he must now pay an average price of $607,000. On a fundamental level, if the individual really owned his life and his car, he would have a right to put the sign, “TAXI,” on the car and drive in the city and offer people a ride for a fee, and it’s no one else’s business. But the city’s real interest is in protecting established cab companies, by locking out those in need of a job, particularly among the lower-class, from that potential opportunity to provide for themselves. This kind of protectionism has especially affected inner-city minorities.

Minimum wage laws are also an egregious example of how the government prevents people, especially teenagers and especially minority teens, from even having a job in the first place. Employers who can’t afford to pay a worker the government-mandated minimum wage simply eliminate those jobs. As Future of Freedom Foundation President Jacob Hornberger pointed out,

Which is better: working at $1 an hour and learning a trade and a work ethic and watching how a business is run or being prohibited from working at all?

But there is another important factor involved here. Not only does the minimum wage lock poor, inner-city black teenagers out of the labor market as employees, it also prevents them from opening up businesses to compete against the already-established, well-to-do businesses run by white people and others.

In other words, the minimum wage serves as a government-granted privilege to already established businesses, protecting them from competition, including from poor, inner-city black teenagers.

“Liberal” policies such as minimum wage are literally shackling Americans and preventing them from prospering. And now, college students are “debt serfs.”

The “Civil War’s” reverse Revolution institutionalized the government’s enslavement of not just black Americans, but all Americans. We are all serfs of the State.

There are many other examples daily of Lincoln’s legacy in government’s directly treating the people like slaves and prisoners. With the TSA, if an individual does not want to go through the airport X-ray scanner – out of a legitimate concern that such radiation exposure increases one’s risk for cancer – or if an individual does not want his child to be sexually molested by degenerates, and if the individual wants to instead leave the premises, he is apprehended, detained and questioned by TSA agents or police.

The pervasive mentality that the government owns the individual and one’s property was immensely strengthened by President Lincoln’s unwillingness to let people be free, in his war against seceding states in general, and from his institutionalized economic enslavements.

Unfortunately, the average American does not seem to grasp the idea and importance – the inalienable right – of nullification: the right of the people to nullify intrusive laws that violate one’s person or property.

As Leviathan continues to enslave us, with the thefts of taxation and Federal Reserve, the dictatorial commands of regulations and the wars on drugs and terrorism that continue to crush our civil liberties and right to due process, we must begin to withdraw our consent to each and every law, regulation, tax and policy that violates our persons and property and our livelihoods.

President Abraham Lincoln’s war against seceding states was to put the states in further bondage of the federal regime’s total authority, as well as constrain all individuals to the collective’s will and to the State.

The Founders had a Revolution for their independence and freedom. Lincoln reversed that Revolution, and is time to reverse Lincoln’s Revolution-reversal, through peaceful, voluntary, non-violent non-compliance, secession and nullification.

Pay Your ‘Fair Share’ of Taxes – to Fund State-Ruination of Society

April 21, 2011

(Link to article at Strike the Root)

As another Tax Day comes and goes, and as Congress debates which drunken-sailor spending bill to pass – the Republican drunken-sailor bill or the Democrat drunken-sailor bill – and as they debate whether or not to raise the Debt Ceiling (as though we don’t already know the answer), and as America continues on the path toward total destruction, perhaps now is the time to really question just how legitimate the current taxation scheme really is.

I hear from several people in the news and opinion media, and from Barack Obama, that some people aren’t paying their “fair share” in taxes.

Author James Bovard has this article at the Washington Times on how the U.S. government spends the tax dollars it seizes from Americans. For example, the IRS enforcers are out there to make sure that you pay your “fair share” in tax dollars for:

A consultant’s study on how a state education bureaucracy can covertly lower the passing score for standardized tests to create the illusion of complying with the No Child Left Behind Act…

Bribes to two Afghan tribal leaders to sway them to publicly endorse an anti-corruption drive.

A federal grant to hire an extra policeman to write 900 speeding tickets in Boise, Idaho.

A National Endowment for Democracy grant to a Third World political party to enable its members to hire Washington consultants to teach them how better to con voters…

A Drug Enforcement Administration raid on a Los Angeles medical marijuana clinic, including the cost of handcuffing and booking 10 cancer patients.

While the items Bovard points to are factual, there may be just a bit of a lampooning aspect there. But Americans really ought to understand exactly where their tax dollars have been going, because, as generations have allowed the U.S. government to siphon their earnings with the threat of jail (i.e., legal robbery and kidnapping), the moral hazard in that legalized plunder in and of itself is greatly amplified by the immoralities having been committed by the U.S. government with the stolen loot.

Obama and the left assert that Americans are not paying their “fair share” for, what, “services”? Like national security? Through the government’s coercive taxation, Americans paid for President George H.W. Bush to invade Iraq in 1990-91, which was not a defensive war, but a war of offense, of aggression against a country that was of no threat to the U.S. In that war, the U.S. military intentionally destroyed Iraq’s civilian electrical, water and sewage treatment facilities, forcing the Iraqis to use untreated water throughout the 1990s. Bush and President Clinton’s subsequent no-fly zones and sanctions prevented the rebuilding of that infrastructure, which all led to widespread diseases such as cholera, typhoid and cancer. By 2000, at least 500,000 civilian Iraqis had been killed by these actions that Americans’ taxes paid for. The ensuing anti-Americanism caused by all this was spread throughout the Middle East, and was on Osama bin Laden’s list of reasons for his (supposedly his) September 11th, 2001 attacks.

And then Americans have been paying for a U.S. government-caused mess in Afghanistan for the subsequent decade up to now, drone bombings and other U.S. military and CIA-led aggressions spreading to Pakistan, killing more and more innocent civilians every day, leading to more anti-Americanism and more terrorists being recruited.

Americans’ taxes have also paid for a totally unnecessary U.S. invasion, occupation, and further destruction of Iraq since 2003, a war based on lies and propaganda, for oil and for political reasons. That unnecessary war that George W. Bush started also caused the needless deaths of 5,000 American military personnel, in addition to the deaths of hundreds of thousands more innocent Iraqis, and, needless to say, even more anti-Americanism throughout the Middle East.

Because of the incompetence of the “defense” bureaucrats, their corporatist revolving-door schemes of the military-congressional-industrial-complex, and the government-controlled monopoly of national security socialism, and the U.S. government’s outright provocations overseas rather than leaving others alone like they are supposed to do (morally speaking), Americans are less safe, and less secure. Americans are clearly not getting what they are paying for.

You would think the “conservatives” would understand this.

And Americans’ taxes are also paying for drug socialism, known as the War on Drugs, in which the federal government wants to dictate to private individuals what they may or may not ingest in their own bodies. Such policies have for many years been creating black markets, causing more drug pushers and traffickers to be created, people who have been profiting at the expense of weak individuals who become dependent on chemicals. This drug socialism has corrupted many more law enforcement agents than would otherwise be corrupted, and has given police the power to commit theft at whim with “asset forfeiture,” without due process that the thieving State’s victims have a right to have.

Your taxes are literally paying these government agents to steal from innocent citizens. Do you feel that you’re getting what you’re paying for yet? And is Obama really justified in raising taxes even further, claiming that some Americans are not paying their “fair share”?

And look how well the compulsory Social Security system and Medicare schemes are doing, as funded by your tax dollars. Raise the taxes even more and try to “reform” a fraudulent scheme whose chickens have come home to roost.

What was going on in the heads of Americans who actually supported FDR’s schemes in the first place? Hmmm. Would the 1929 Crash and the Great Depression have even occurred if there were not a Federal Reserve and the 1913 income tax?

With the Federal Reserve and legal tender laws, Americans are compelled by law to use the U.S. government-issued “dollar” (devalued by 95% since 1914) as their sole medium of exchange. Americans are literally forced to use a near-worthless piece of paper – backed by nothing of actual value – for money. Further, for every instance of monetary expansion, with The Bernank’s QE money-printing schemes (or merely adding zeros to the numbers), there are further inflationary effects, which force Americans to have to purchase more expensive necessities, such as food, clothes and gas. Your tax dollars fund the process of the Fed and its money-printing and the salaries of the employees of this socialist scheme. Is it worth it?

If only more Americans actually knew that, without the Fed, without government intrusions into private economic matters, and with competing currencies backed by gold or something else of actual value, and without socialist governmental intrusions into production, employment and other business matters, and without government-protected cartels in the economy, all prices would probably come down, more people at all economic levels would be able to afford the necessities, and more people would have jobs and the economy would be booming. Any economic downturns would probably not be “serious” as long as the State kept its criminal nose out of people’s private matters. And any economic downturn would be self-correcting, because all Americans would have the freedom to act in accordance to what their individual needs would be – central planners be damned. And the business of everyday life wouldn’t be funded by coercive taxation – only by voluntary exchange and the cooperation of the society’s natural order.

And the problems in Americans’ security are caused by the government’s central planners and the federal government’s obstruction of the people’s right of self-defense. There could not possibly be a “fair share” of any individual’s income or assets stolen by bureaucrats that could make anyone actually “safer.” Compulsory monopoly, central planning, and the collectivization of security attract the real bad guys to those positions of compulsory State monopolies and centralized armed force.

No, the economic and security problems in society are not caused by “greedy businessmen” and the rich not paying their “fair share.” The problems are caused by greedy control-freakish socialists, corporatists, government-monopolists and otherwise parasites of the State.

Our Cultural Decline Is Related to Collectivization

The Philadelphia Orchestra will be the first major American symphony orchestra to file for bankruptcy, which, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, some people have been saying is not necessary.

“I think it was unnecessary,” (Players committee chairman John Koen) said. Management “has not turned over every stone – they haven’t gone to any donor outside their comfort zone – to get the broad-based support other orchestras have. I know of players who are considering auditions for other orchestras, and I hope that we will not lose the great orchestra we have. If we do, what is the point of all this? Who would care about funding a second-rate orchestra?”

Subscriber Terry Champion noted,

If we lose individuals like [oboist Richard] Woodhams, [clarinetist Ricardo] Morales, [cellist Efe] Baltacigil, and [violinist] Juliette Kang, I shall think twice about renewing my subscription. I mean, what would be the point? We are not just talking about orchestral morale but audience morale.

Our culture used to value the classics, in music and literature as well as art, because it has been those classics that had widely been viewed as having genuine, deep meaning and value, in their expression of feelings, ideas, and so on. There is a reason why orchestras repeatedly perform Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, as well as Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra.

But now, many in society just don’t value classical music any more, and it’s not because there “isn’t enough government funding” for music programs in the government-run schools. Present generations just aren’t encouraging the next generations to listen to classical music. And because of this cultural decline, classical music just isn’t marketable anymore. Since the early 2000s, I stopped getting classical CDs at record stores, because those stores just don’t have them anymore! Zilch.

I think it’s just another sign of how American culture has been going downhill, coinciding with the collectivization of our society. Throughout the past century, the family in America has gone from responsible and self-sufficient to dependent and struggling, economically. The family consisted of parents with children, in which only one parent had to work to provide for the whole family, the entire family sat at the dinner table together and ate together and were social with one another.

But the more collectivized and socialized America became, the more the government usurped the people’s right to care for themselves, the more dependent on government more people became, the more both parents were forced to work just to make ends meet, the less time parents have with their kids, the less social people have become. Now, it’s after-school day care, “latch-key kids,” social networking (with anonymous others), texting gibberish and nonsense, lack of any real communication, and an extremely dysfunctional society. Thanks to going from being a localized and individualized society (that coincided with growth and prosperity, and progress), to being a collectivized and centralized society (that coincided with societal decline and impoverishment).

But it isn’t entirely a dependence on a government that has usurped people’s right to care for themselves and encouraged such isolation and breaking up of families. As Gary North notes today, everyone is dependent on someone or something whether they like it or not, such as being dependent on a salary. Many people are dependent on private pensions through their work, which I think is a mistake.

Some of the musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra are extremely opposed to the bankruptcy, as they claim it would jeopardize the funding of their pensions. In my opinion, people should not rely on an employer to provide them with their long-term retirement funding. This is because many people change jobs several times in their adult lives. It’s all a part of our society’s general discouragement of individuals’ taking care of themselves and their own futures, independently of their relationship with employers.

If you are young, in your teens or twenties, or if you are parents of youngins, consider starting private retirement accounts now, so that you won’t be dependent on employers for your future livelihoods. We know you won’t be depending on government-run “Social Security” in the future, because it will not exist. (We can only hope.)

In the old days, families actually took care of their elderly members. When Dad retired, he and Mom would actually live at home with their adult children and their families. Extended families took care of each other. They didn’t use the armed force of government to force their neighbors to provide for their own elderly family members. That is what Social Security redistribution-of-wealth schemes do. Now, because of that fraudulent scheme, we have a detached family structure in America, elderly people are scared to death that the government is going to take away their livelihoods and starve them to death. Families who are responsible for their elderly members would not do that.

In an article by Friedrich Hayek, posted yesterday at the Mises Institute, Hayek noted,

Agreement about a common purpose between a group of known people is clearly an idea that cannot be applied to a large society which includes people who do not know one another. The modern society and the modern economy have grown up through the recognition that this idea — which was fundamental to life in a small group — a face-to-face society, is simply inapplicable to large groups. The essential basis of the development of modern civilization is to allow people to pursue their own ends on the basis of their own knowledge and not be bound by the aims of other people.

As centralization and collectivization (and militarization) have grown in America throughout the past century, people in general have become less responsible and less “mature.” College is now a joke, a babysitting facility for the kids to extend their adolescence, party with drugs and booze and start their alleged “adult” lives already being in debt with student loans. Cultural activities of actual substance had become less appreciated and less encouraged, and Americans have instead turned to superficial distractions in daily life. Children do not practice the piano or read books — they, and the adults, watch TV. And independence and personal responsibility have been greatly discouraged.

American society has become one in which people actually buy houses knowing that they don’t have the assets or the income to actually afford it. Because people have a credit card, they think that represents unlimited amounts of cash, and so they spend, spend, spend and put themselves into debt like they are just crazy, irresponsible zombies. And what are people buying? Big expensive TVs? To watch what? Crap? And do people really need all those little electronic gadgets like iPhones and so forth? I have none of those things, and I’m glad. Just how much TIME do people spend adjusting and configuring all these little devices, as well as using them? I think 2011 America has also become the biggest time-wasting society ever! It’s pathetic.

The “entertainment” culture spends as much time concerned with American Idol as it does with meaningless presidential campaigns that begin as soon as the previous one ended. In fact, presidential campaigns are now nothing different from American Idol. After all, look who was elected in ’08.

So I believe that our culture — especially as regards to the arts as well — is reflecting on this detachment, collectivization and disillusionment.

Perhaps Bill Gates and Steve Jobs can donate some large amounts of cash to the struggling Philadelphia Orchestra. (But will they? Nah, they’ll be busy donating to the Democrat Party. That’ll do it!)

More on Ayn Rand

All the talk about Ayn Rand recently, because of the release of Part 1 of the new film version of her novel, Atlas Shrugged, has really brought back some memories. Now, as I mentioned in this post, I didn’t read the entire Atlas Shrugged, mostly because I just don’t read fiction — I’m a non-fiction guy. But I have read a goodly amount of her other non-fiction writings, including her shorter “pamphlets,” such as The Fascist New Frontier, a comparison of John F. Kennedy’s proposals and policies with those of European fascist governments.

And I recall another similar one to do with Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, but I can’t remember what it was called, maybe the Great Fascist Society. I no longer have any of those, unfortunately. And also, there was one that discussed the doctor as being a slave of the collective, or of the State. I can’t even find a reference to that particular one on the Internet, although that had been a continuing theme in several of Rand’s works.

And I also no longer have the audio cassettes that I had decades ago of Ayn Rand’s lectures from the “Ford Hall Forum.” Those were probably the most enlightening lectures I had ever heard. Here’s a good one from 1961: “America’s Persecuted Minority: Big Business.”

I was never part of the “Ayn Rand Cult,” but my thinking was influenced by Rand, as far as recognizing the rights of the individual, the right to own and control one’s own life, and the right to be free from the aggression of others. And also as far as recognizing the dangers of collective power over the individual, and the dangers of the State.

But Rand sure made her point of how modern society has enslaved doctors, through socialized medicine, in Capitalism, the Unknown Ideal and in her fiction, particularly Atlas Shrugged. Of course, it will only get worse with ObamaCare.

Here is a quote from Capitalism, the Unknown Ideal provided by a website called The Independent Individualist:

Businessmen—who provide us with the means of livelihood, with jobs, with labor-saving devices, with modern comforts, with an ever-rising standard of living—are the men most immediately and urgently needed by society. They have been the first victims, the hated, smeared, denounced, exploited scapegoats of the mystic-altruist-collectivist axis. Doctors come next; it is precisely because their services are so crucially important and so desperately needed that the doctors are now the targets of the altruists’ attack, on a worldwide scale.

Because doctors apparently provide a “service” that is supposedly vital to a society (but not nearly as much as is often claimed), the society that has become so collectivized such as ours has claimed ownership of the doctor’s medical practice, his business and livelihood, and has made the medical doctor literally a slave of the State. That is why, because of that perverted aspect of society and its socialization of medicine, that especially ObamaCare is driving many American doctors out of the business and to an early retirement.

I’m sure that many websites and bloggers have been quoting from Atlas Shrugged recently, but here is an important oft-quoted passage of Dr. Hendricks speaking:

I quit when medicine was placed under State control some years ago,” said Dr. Hendricks. “Do you know what it takes to perform a brain operation? Do you know the kind of skill it demands, and the years of passionate, merciless, excruciating devotion that go to acquire that skill? That was what I could not place at the disposal of men whose sole qualification to rule me was their capacity to spout the fraudulent generalities that got them elected to the privilege of enforcing their wishes at the point of a gun. I would not let them dictate the purpose for which my years of study had been spent, or the conditions of my work, or my choice of patients, or the amount of my reward. I observed that in all the discussions that preceded the enslavement of medicine, men discussed everything—except the desires of the doctors. Men considered only the ‘welfare’ of the patients, with no thought for those who were to provide it. That a doctor should have any right, desire or choice in the matter, was regarded as irrelevant selfishness; his is not to choose, they said, but ‘to serve.’ That a man’s willing to work under compulsion is too dangerous a brute to entrust with a job in the stockyards—never occurred to those who proposed to help the sick by making life impossible for the healthy. I have often wondered at the smugness at which people assert their right to enslave me, to control my work, to force my will, to violate my conscience, to stifle my mind—yet what is it they expect to depend on, when they lie on an operating table under my hands? Their moral code has taught them to believe that it is safe to rely on the virtue of their victims. Well, that is the virtue I have withdrawn. Let them discover the kind of doctors that their system will now produce. Let them discover, in the operating rooms and hospital wards, that it is not safe to place their lives in the hands of a man they have throttled. It is not safe, if he is the sort of man who resents it—and still less safe, if he is the sort who doesn’t.

Beyond merely the resentment of good doctors who do not like being made slaves of the State, and who will thus leave the profession because of ObamaCare, those who do not mind being servants of the State, who like the idea of dependence on government to take care of them and their livelihoods, and who are more easily bendable to the will of government bureaucrats, are the ones who will be attracted to medicine, and thus the quality of the doctors and of medical care will fall.

Another reason for the decline in quality of medical care will be because the doctors’ and nurses’ pay will be determined by the government bureaucrats, and not by markets. As economist Yuri Maltzev wrote,

Irresponsibility, expressed by the popular Russian saying “They pretend they are paying us and we pretend we are working,” resulted in appalling quality of service, widespread corruption, and extensive loss of life. My friend, a famous neurosurgeon in today’s Russia, received a monthly salary of 150 rubles — one third of the average bus driver’s salary.

The idea that the doctor has been made to be a slave of the State, while is accurate, is a bit too harsh an assertion for many people to hear or take seriously. Many people prefer to think of the doctor as a “servant to their patients.” But I like what Ayn Rand said in response to that, that the doctor and patient are “traders”:

Doctors are not servants of their patients, they are traders like everyone else in a free society and they should bear that title proudly considering the crucial importance of the services they offer.

Some Commentary on Ron Paul

One of the criticisms I had of Ron Paul during the 2008 presidential campaign was that, when he referred to the causes of terrorism and that most recent terrorist acts against the U.S. were directly in response to U.S. foreign policy (according to the terrorists themselves), Dr. Paul would use the collective pronoun “we,” as in the terrorists are over here because “we’re over there,” because “we” have had hundreds of military bases on the lands of foreign peoples for decades, etc. Well, I’m not over there, and most Americans are not over there. And I’m not responsible for the government’s bureaucrats’ acting invasively and aggressively against foreigners especially since World War II.

I think that Dr. Paul’s use of “we” in his criticisms of a territorially invasive U.S. government foreign policy causes many people, particularly on the right, to perceive his criticism as being toward America, our country itself, because that is how I hear those conservative talk show hosts’ interpretations of Dr. Paul’s views.

For example, when I hear Sean Hannity take a call from a listener who is critical of what the bureaucrats and politicians of the U.S. government have been doing, Hannity is constantly responding with accusations that the caller is “blaming America,” and Hannity repeats that several times, “blame America, blame America,” as though Hannity is incapable of distinguishing between our country (America) and the U.S. government (a group of hacks, imbeciles, parasites and gangsters — except for Ron Paul, of course).

I know that Ron Paul is quite capable of distinguishing between the two, between our country and the government, because he knows they are two entirely different things. It would be helpful, if Dr. Paul is going to run for president in 2012, that he would be more careful in his communicating of his criticisms of U.S. government foreign policy. Because, already he has a lot of “staunch conservatives” agreeing with him in his criticisms of the overreach and intrusiveness of the U.S. government, such as with ObamaCare and other social programs and entitlements, and with Obama’s expanding executive powers and bureaus and “Czars,” etc, and his criticisms of the TSA, the Federal Reserve and bank bailouts.

It should be even easier this time around for Dr. Paul to win over many on the Left who are anti-war and who don’t like Obama’s warmongering and civil liberties violations. But Dr. Paul can win support of more conservatives if he clarifies his views on foreign policy, and that it is not our country of America that has been provoking foreigners to act against us in retaliation of trespasses on their lands, but, more accurately, it has been the U.S. government that has been acting intrusively against foreign peoples for many decades, and for reasons not having anything to do with our national security, but solely for political purposes, for control and hegemony on foreign lands.

Instead of referring to “we” have been on foreign lands and provoking, he needs to refer to “the U.S. government,” or “the federal government,” or “our government” has been… and so on. I think that clarifying things like that can be helpful to his listeners and viewers, prospective supporters and voters, in really understanding what Dr. Paul is trying to say.

Further, Dr. Paul should consider bringing up the oil aspect of the government’s hegemony and foreign intrusiveness. Why does our government force us to be dependent on foreign oil? We need to forbid our government from getting in the way of Americans’ right to explore for and use natural resources on their own lands, whether federal bureaucrats like it or not.

The Planned Chaos of National Security Socialism: Time to Give the Central Planners a Dishonorable Discharge

April 15, 2011

© 2011 LewRockwell.com (Link to article)

With Peace Prize Laureate Barack Obama’s new war of Orwellian peaceful violence in Libya, this is yet another reminder of why socialism and central planning in security is a bad idea. The conservatives who are the most outspoken opponents of “socialism” are the true socialists: It is they who cherish national security socialism, the public or State ownership of the means of production in national security, a central-planning monopoly in territorial protection.

Americans and foreign peoples have suffered time and again because of the moral hazard of any form of socialism, from what Ludwig von Mises would call socialism’s “planned chaos,” in this case the planned chaos of socialized national security. The State’s inherently immoral and counter-productive scheme of usurping a people’s right of self-defense has allowed the State to be responsible for the most egregious crimes against humanity, especially in the American “Civil War,” in two World Wars, in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and other parts of the world.

And now Libya. Some are already predicting that Obama’s war in Libya will backfire, with a possible Gaddafi revenge attack similar to the Lockerbie bombing in 1988. Given that socialists and central planners tend to not learn from history, this Obama Libya war looks like another textbook study of planned chaos, similar to George W. Bush’s Iraq.

Former President Bush’s planned chaos in Iraq had effected in the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, widespread destruction of the country, and the establishment of a repressive, pro-Iranian Islamic Sharia Law in Iraq.

Even further than merely a Gaddafi revenge attack against the U.S., Obama may possibly be arming Libyan rebels including members of al Qaeda, a stated enemy of the United States especially since 9/11.

And Syria and Mexico may be next on the list for the inept security socialists.

One only needs to step back and view the history of America’s security blunders in a broad sense. For example, if America did not have a centralized national security monopoly in Washington, and instead allowed open competition in the field of security and required that all individuals follow the rule of law, would President Wilson have risked entering the U.S. into World War I, especially knowing that the War was already ending with treaties already in the works? Would President Lincoln have waged war against the Southern States, targeted thousands of innocent civilians and destroyed entire cities, had there been actual legal and market-based financial consequences applied to Lincoln for such aggressions?

Government bureaucrats, holding a monopoly in territorial protection and lacking incentives to improve performance, do not tend to pay attention to past mistakes and are not held accountable for their transgressions.

Some further questions to ask include these: Would the U.S. government’s agents of the Pentagon or CIA have deliberately radicalized Muslims in Afghanistan during Afghanistan’s 1980s war with Russia, had the U.S. government actually paid attention to the consequences of its CIA-led coup in Iran in 1953? Those consequences were the decades of Iranian anti-Americanism, the 1979 Iranian Islamic Revolution and the taking of American hostages in Iran.

Also, would the U.S. government have initiated wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq in the early 2000s had its monopolists learned from the consequences, throughout the 1990s, of their first war in Iraq of 1991?

Why do the Washington security monopolists repeatedly make Americans less safe with schemes of intrusions and provocations abroad? One possible explanation is the inherently flawed nature of any central planning monopoly.

The comparison of government provision of national security to a hypothetical private security provision may sound absurd to some people. However, it is necessary to point out that, instead of being an economically sound system, the current government monopoly is a political system, in which congressmen and senators’ reelection campaigns (and campaign finances and contributions) are a part of the equation, along with the federal government’s uncoordinated defense bureaucracy and the politically-connected private-sector military contractors.

The current centralized national security monopoly is without competition and profit/loss motives to genuinely provide the most efficient, high quality service at the lowest cost to the consumers. Under the current socialism, the real motive turns into a “breaking windows” scheme to justify an ever-increasing bureaucracy combined with its corporatist colluders.

To illustrate those points, one can study economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s comparison of America’s democratic public ownership of a centralized government to the monarchies of the past. Unlike a monarchy in which the king owns the country’s territory and has a long-term interest in its capital value, in democracies the rulers are “temporary caretakers”:

(The) 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 further notes:

…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….

The system of government monopolies, funded largely by coercive taxation and a central bank’s creation of money without genuine value, inherently encourages the irresponsibility of deficit-spending and public debt. The scheme also does not impose punishments for the temporary caretakers’ domestic or foreign aggressions with their misuse of governmental apparatus.

In economic terms, because of government bureaucrats’ lack of competitive incentives and profit/loss motive, government’s central planners cannot take individual market factors into account, making economic calculations impossible. Government monopolists engage in political calculations rather than economic ones. And government’s central planners seem as incapable of understanding the morals and ethics of civil liberties and property rights in foreign relations as they do in domestic policy. Hence, the “planned chaos” and blowback of each and every fiasco of the U.S. government’s national security socialism scheme.

Because of this socialist government monopoly in territorial security and armed force, the bureaucrats act more in their own political self-interests and have tended to act more aggressively, because there are no punishments of their aggressions and short-sightedness. In contrast, there would be punishments, economic and legal, applied to private industries who engage in acts of fraud or deceit (e.g. going to war based on lies, fabricated information and propaganda), trespass on the property of others (e.g. placing military bases and stationing troops on other countries’ territories despite the objections of those territories’ populations), or cause deaths of civilians and destruction of property.

Last year’s Washington Post series, Top Secret America (Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4) on this scheme informed Americans about how the current national security socialism has turned into a tax-redistributive racket. (And it did so by the turn of the 20th Century, no less.) As more private industries became connected with the State, their profiting from other Americans’ labor and productivity via the redistributive apparatus of taxation has replaced the principles of private property rights, economic freedom and the rule of law. The U.S. government’s provocations abroad have become justifications for the continued expansion of the parasitic military-industrial-complex.

And in the past several decades especially, Washington’s “security experts” have repeatedly demonstrated that their schemes have more to do with the expansion of the State than with the protection of 300 million Americans. The central planners have turned to extremes – such as, in their TSA, their PATRIOT Act and other policies that have grossly damaged individuals’ rights to due process and presumption of innocence – rather than face the truth that it is the U.S. government’s intrusive and violent foreign policy that has provoked terrorism against the U.S.

The apparatus of the State’s socialization and monopoly of territorial protection has provided a structure of power over others. Unfortunately, that power seems to attract those with less moral character but with more desire for that power, and with a lack of inhibition to exercise that power. The system has encouraged the agents of the State to become increasingly aggressive in their use of governmental apparatus to wield that power, as they have zealously seized on opportunities to expand the size and power of the State especially through their demagogic manipulations of the public’s fears and anxieties. Private security firms could not do that, for they must act under the rule of law.

For example, in 1990, former President George H.W. Bush used the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait as a means to further expand the U.S. government’s military and other government apparatus in the Middle East. There were also questionable corporate special interests, such as Henry Kissinger’s Kuwait connection, involved in Bush’s 1991 Persian Gulf War against Iraq, a country that was of no threat to the U.S. The propaganda campaign that was used to persuade the American people to support the war was extensive. 12 Years later, Bush’s son George W. Bush also employed a major propaganda campaign to convince the American people to start another war against Iraq.

Governments, with a monopoly over territorial security, have also employed false flag operations as a means of manipulating the fears and anxieties of their countries’ inhabitants, for the purpose of further expanding their State apparatus and power.

Even now, with President Obama’s continuation and expansion of the Bush wars overseas, the U.S. military bureaucrats have become even more zealous in their attempts to justify further expansions of the U.S. government abroad, despite their constant failures and ineptitude. Now, they have been illegally employing the use of psy-ops, or “psychological operations,” on U.S. senators to get congressional support to increase troops and funding for the failing wars.

Psy-ops are generally used on foreign government agents or diplomats to influence their emotions and decisions to become favorable to one’s own ends. Psy-ops are often used on the enemy during times of war; given that the senators being targeted in those operations represent the American people, it gives the appearance that the U.S. government perceives Americans as the enemy. This is usually what happens when a government – through its monopolistic power – grows in its size and power, and its existence becomes more self-serving.

The zeal of U.S. government officials has been exposed now in broad daylight, in their treatment of PFC Bradley Manning, the Army soldier accused of leaking thousands of classified documents exposing alleged U.S. war crimes and U.S. diplomatic incompetence and buffoonery. None of the leaks are said to have posed a threat to any U.S. soldier overseas or to Americans in the U.S. The military has been holding Manning for months in isolation, employing extreme psychological distress, as well as forced prolonged nudity. As I have mentioned, only sick degenerates would treat another human being that way. The officials are really using Manning as an example, a means of threatening others who may consider heroic whistleblowing acts.

Throughout the past century we have seen one example after another, one senseless war after another, millions of deaths and ruined lives, of how the socialist monopoly of national security and its planned chaos have gone against our security, as well as against our freedom and prosperity.

In 19th Century economist Gustave de Molinari’s comparison of government-monopolized security and the private production of security, Molinari noted,

Under the rule of free competition, war between the producers of security entirely loses its justification. Why would they make war? To conquer consumers? But the consumers would not allow themselves to be conquered. They would be careful not to allow themselves to be protected by men who would unscrupulously attack the persons and property of their rivals.

If private security firms used their armaments, coercion against others and deceit for the purpose of acting aggressively against neighbors or foreigners (for reasons other than “defense” of their clients or fellow territorial inhabitants), that would land them in jail. In fact, because of the invasiveness, enslavements and trespasses inherent in all forms of socialism – not just national security socialism – there logically could not be actual rule of law. Can anyone seriously claim that the U.S. government has been acting under the rule of law?

In fact, we have seen, time and again, how the central planning monopolists of the State are continuously rewarded for their failures, and for their crimes as well.

There need to be legal and competitive incentives to ensure the efficiency and productivity of any service to others. Why? Because of human nature. There need to be market-oriented punishments for failure to achieve, such as bankruptcy and termination of employment or contracts. And there need to be legal punishments applied to those who criminally misuse armed forces. Otherwise, if failures and crimes are allowed to continue without punishments, that is ipso-facto rewarding those failures and crimes, a consequence inherent in a compulsory monopoly in which the citizenry are forced to patronize the one provider of a service – in this case, that of territorial protection, or national security.

For further information on the private alternative to national security socialism, please read No More Military Socialism by Murray Rothbard, Foreign Aggression by Morris and Linda Tannehill, The Private Production of Defense (pdf) by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, The Myth of National Defense (pdf) also by Hoppe, and The Myth of Efficient Government Service by Rothbard.

But for those who are still skeptical of the notion of privatization of security, and who are not as concerned as I am regarding the growing intrusiveness of the State and its hired guns into our lives and liberty, perhaps an acceptable alternative could be decentralization. Eliminate the U.S. federal government’s centralized monopoly in territorial security and allow each U.S. state to control its own self-protection. Doing so would reduce the possibility that any one state would aggress against others, or against foreigners, for such aggressions would be met with harsh punishments from surrounding states. Additionally, with renewed independence and sovereignty, each state’s inhabitants would be better able to “vote with their feet,” which, given the one monopolistic choice we currently have with Washington, most Americans are not able to do.

Finally, there are those who are concerned that without a centralized National Security monopoly in Washington, that it would be easier for foreign governments to invade the U.S. But those are unfounded fears. If, for example, China were to invade the U.S. with the goal of occupying and taking over America, a likely scenario given how indebted the U.S. is to China and increasingly less likely to pay what is owed, most Americans would readily take up arms to protect themselves, their families and their properties. This situation, however, can be easily avoided by ending the Federal Reserve’s compulsory monopoly in the production of money and allowing for competing currencies, and outlawing Congressional deficit-spending and public debts.

Could Chinese Ghost Cities Be a Possible Place for Americans to Live?

Israel Curtis posted this video of China’s ghost cities and malls that are a result of the Chinese government’s central planning on the Mises Institute blog. I was amazed to see just how extensive a communist country’s own “shovel-ready stimulus project” could turn out to contain such emptiness, the empty stores and malls and empty apartment buildings. They have several cities in China just like the one being highlighted in the video, Zhengzhou.

64 million vacant apartments? But I just can’t understand how a country that has been struggling with an “over-population problem” for several decades (to such an extent that the government forces a one-child-per-family policy, enforced with mandatory abortion etc.) could have so many vacant housing units, and such empty malls and stores, especially given how, supposedly the Chinese economy has been booming. Booming for the businessman, that is, as far as Chinese finance and investment professionals go. But not the average citizen, who, according to the video narrator, earns approx. $6,000 per year (if I heard that correctly).

One item of information the narrator gave was that many of the housing units are prospective individually-owned condo units, that are way too expensive for the average Chinese citizen to afford. Perhaps the Chinese government foresees some kind of huge economic boom in the years ahead that will benefit the majority of the Chinese. Perhaps they see rich (and not-so-rich) Americans getting so fed up with what the U.S. government is doing to America that Americans are seeing China as a good alternative place to live.

Here is that video:

Romney Starts 2nd Losing Presidential Campaign

Socialist goofball Willard “Mitt” Romney has started his next failed presidential campaign, and, frankly, I still can’t figure out what’s wrong with him. He says he wants to “put America back on a course of greatness with a growing economy, good jobs,” etc.

So how is Romney’s becoming president going to “grow the economy” or create “good jobs”? Don’t tell me he is yet another politician who has that “fatal conceit” that Hayek was talking about, the arrogance and hubris that central planners have in their believing that, if they are given governmental powers of coercion and compulsion, they will make the economy better and enrich others.

Willard, why don’t you actually start a business in the private sector that actually will provide jobs, as well as provide a service or goods to others?

Unfortunately, some people are more attracted to positions of political power than have genuine yearning toward the principle of actually serving or helping others. Politics or principle — Willard chooses politics. Like Obama, Bush, McCain, Palin, Clinton, etc.

No, Willard, electing you as president will help America’s economy and prosperity no better than electing Obama has done. Willard has already said that he approves of the Federal Reserve’s monetary monopoly and the federal government’s compulsory power that forces all Americans to have to use the one government-issued currency, no matter how much the dollar has lost its value and continues to crash. Willard also approves of government-controlled health care and mandates and other socialist programs, as well as the counter-productive wars on drugs and terrorism. The government’s own foolish policies on drugs and terrorism have been increasing the occurrences of those activities, not decreasing them. Willard supports unprovoked war waged by the U.S. government against foreign peoples, and the killing of innocents and destruction of other countries that go with it.

I can’t believe how many people I have heard now in the past few days on local Boston talk shows here, saying that no way would they vote for Romney again, especially now as we suffer the effects of his socialist economic distortions in the medical care area via RomneyCare and its expensive mandates and intrusions.

Given that the biggest issue for many Americans for 2010 was ObamaCare — and getting rid of it — you would think that Willard would see that he is unelectable primarily because of the “RomneyCare” that he shoved down our throats here in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts.

The Real Romney:

In cahoots with Ted Kennedy to shove socialist medical care down our throats:



Snubbing a medical patient in typical coward politician fashion, refusing to answer a question about drug legalization:

Protecting Ourselves From the State

April 11, 2011

(Link to article at Strike the Root)

Every now and then, I learn of yet another new aspect of the State’s institutionalization of violence throughout what used to be a much more peaceful society in America. But thanks to the government-run schools, whose sole purpose is to indoctrinate the children to love and be subservient to the State, and thanks to a culture dependent on staring at the boob-tube for its daily hypnosis, we have allowed the State – especially the federal government – to grow to an enormous and dangerous extent, in which if we are to survive, we had better concentrate on stopping that out-of-control Leviathan.

To begin with, I am anguished by an article in this week’s Newsweek, The Military’s Secret Shame, describing how male-against-male sexual assault is now rampant in the U.S. military. According to the article, 50,000 male veterans had been diagnosed as suffering from “male sexual trauma” last year. However, the problem involving female sexual assault victims in the military is also rampant.

According to the Newsweek article, among U.S. military soldiers, “male-on-male assault…is motivated not by homosexuality, but power, intimidation, and domination. Assault victims, both male and female, are typically young and low-ranking; they are targeted for their vulnerability.” Verbal and physical attacks now reported include those in which the assailants are throughout the chain of command, by soldiers against their fellow soldiers, as well as by superior officers. In one incident, for example, “a group of men tackled (a soldier), shoved a soda bottle into his rectum, and threw him backward off an elevated platform onto the hood of a car. When he reported the incident…his platoon sergeant told him, ‘You’re the problem. You’re the reason this is happening,’ and refused to take action. ‘You just feel trapped’…”

In another incident, according to the Newsweek article, a soldier “was gang-raped in the barracks by men who said they were showing him who was in charge of the United States. When he reported the attack to unit commanders, he says they told him, ‘It must have been your fault. You must have provoked them.’”

Now, if you are a commanding officer in the military and you were confronted by a soldier with such a complaint against other soldiers and you replied in the aforementioned manner, then shame on you. That kind of response by a military officer, supposedly in charge of a unit whose purpose is to “protect and defend” their fellow Americans, is a cowardly protection more of criminals than of fellow citizens. I have heard a few conservatives – those who blindly defend the military, anyway – refer to the Left as “criminal coddlers,” but it appears that the criminal coddlers are also in our military. I would go so far as to say that, not only should soldiers and officers who commit acts of physical assault against others be criminally prosecuted for those crimes of assault, but their commanding officers who ignore the complaints and who protect the assailants should be prosecuted for acting as accessories to those crimes.

In reading those responses by superior officers, “You’re the problem,” “It must have been your fault,” “You must have provoked them,” I am hearing mindless robots, hypnotized zombies in a trance. It is as though they had been given some sort of Military Instruction Manual in which the first instructions are, “The State is good,” “The soldier is bad, and needs to be disciplined, for his own good,” “Always obey authority,” “Submit,” “Yield to the power of the group,” and so on.

At least, that is how it sounds like our “warriors” are behaving. But these behaviors are truly un-American, certainly not ways that perhaps Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine would behave. Truly American principles include respect for the rights to life and liberty of the individual. Even within any police or military, it would be a truly American principle – and the law should reflect this – that one may not use aggression against the persons and property of others. In other societies, however, such as Iran, Saudi Arabia or Venezuela, for example, the use of aggression against otherwise peaceful individuals is institutionalized in their laws or public policies, whether it be based on their religious principles, such as Sharia Law, or based on communistic policies that violate individuals’ persons and property.

But in America, in which violence now seems to be so part of the culture and within the military ranks, it’s just barbaric, and sick, and there’s no excuse for it. Should we be surprised to hear of military “Kill Teams,” etc., in which soldiers have been shooting and mutilating innocent civilians abroad and being celebrated by their fellow soldiers? Just how pervasive is this sick behavior within the ranks of this institution that we think will defend us when we’re attacked? There was one soldier within the notorious “Kill Team” unit who was shocked at the indifference amongst the unit toward the lives of their victims, and noted, “I talked to someone and they told me this stuff happens all the time…everyone just wants to kill people at any cost….” And, he wrote that, “The Army really let me down when I thought I would come out here to do good maybe make some change in this country I find out that its all a lie (sic)….”

There is an even more troubling aspect to all this. When seeing that Libyan leader Col. Gaddafi had turned his military against protesters, rebels and civilians, as well as other leaders doing the same thing in other countries such as in Bahrain, some commenters have suggested that such tyrannical violence could never happen here in the United States.

However, there already is precedence of that in America, so those who say “It can’t happen here” are incorrect. As economist and historian Thomas DiLorenzo has noted, during the mid-19th Century War to Prevent Southern Independence, President Abraham Lincoln’s army murdered hundreds of military conscription protestors in the North, and

“Lincoln illegally suspended the writ of Habeas Corpus and imprisoned tens of thousands of Northern political critics without any due process; shut down hundreds of opposition newspapers…censored all telegraphs; rigged elections; imprisoned duly elected members of the Maryland legislature along with Congressman Henry May of Baltimore and the mayor of Baltimore; illegally orchestrated the secession of West Virginia to give the Republican Party two more U.S. senators; confiscated firearms in the border states in violation of the Second Amendment….”

And all that was in addition to Lincoln’s army and its co-conspirators murdering tens of thousands of innocent, unarmed civilians, mostly in the South.

More recently were the U.S. government’s siege and murders at Ruby Ridge, and the U.S. government’s mass murders at Waco in 1993. And of course, there are the countless murders and assaults by local police departments against unarmed, innocent Americans on a daily basis. And due to the increasing militarization of local police, we really ought to be concerned, especially given how commonplace it is that military veterans, including those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, are joining police departments.

It seems that what used to be a genuine loyalty among Americans to our families and our country, and to the values of peace and liberty that were prevalent at the time of America’s founding, has gradually turned into a loyalty to the State, especially to the federal government. This blind loyalty and obedience to the State, in which the loyalists look the other way when authority figures act abusively against their own people, is at the heart of growing perversions within our society and our culture.

But given the rampant militarization and growing police statism in our society, this is the time that we will really need those courageous members of the police and military who are not afraid to act disobediently toward their superiors, especially if given orders to act violently against their fellow Americans. We must encourage those who are actually brave enough to stand up to authority to protect us from the government.

As Jacob Hornberger, President of the Future of Freedom Foundation, has noted,

“Historically, governments had misused standing armies in two ways, both of which ultimately subjected the citizenry to tyranny. One was to engage in faraway wars, which inevitably entailed enormous expenditures, enabling the government to place ever-increasing tax burdens on the people. Such wars also inevitably entailed “patriotic” calls for blind allegiance to the government so long as the war was being waged…

“The second way to use a standing army to impose tyranny was the direct one — the use of troops to establish order and obedience among the citizenry. Ordinarily, if a government has no huge standing army at its disposal, many people will choose to violate immoral laws that always come with a tyrannical regime; that is, they engage in what is commonly known as “civil disobedience” — the disobedience to immoral laws. But as the Chinese people discovered at Tiananmen Square, when the government has a standing army to enforce its will, civil disobedience becomes much more problematic…”

For those who think it is absurd that the government could ever turn against the citizens here in America, we already have those occurrences as part of our history. So when we are faced with not just an economic downturn but a crashing, defunct dollar, hyperinflation and widespread unemployment, impoverishment and food riots, and martial law, then that will be the time to be concerned about our own military and local police turning the guns on us. Now should be a good time to question the legitimacy of a standing army in the first place. For the past century, the U.S. military has been used not as a defense against foreign invaders on our shores and borders, but as aggressors, as the president’s own personal army, from Wilson’s “making the world safe for democracy” to Bush’s crusades in Iraq and Afghanistan to Obama’s reckless destruction in Pakistan and Libya. These statist presidents have made a mess of things, and if there were no organized military at their disposal, they couldn’t have caused so much worldwide damage.

But what are some ways out of this, ways for us – those of us who just want to live our lives peacefully – to prevent our persons and property from getting abused and violated by people who would brutally kill and mutilate unarmed civilians at whim, who would gang rape their fellow comrades for the sake of exercising their lust for power? In fact, how could we possibly expect those with assigned armed officialdom and authority to protect us from criminals and foreign invaders if the officials show themselves to be harmful even to each other? We certainly can’t rely on the State for protection after all, given that these are agents of the State. There isn’t even anything that the “good” agents of the State, such as Ron Paul, can do, because the population in general has become such obedient defenders of the State and its violence, and the political class and its army of bureaucrats – military and otherwise – have become just too entrenched.

One way to prevent the possible horrors that, if the current trends continue, are inevitable, is through secession. The states need to secede from the federal government and declare their independence and sovereignty. I know there are some who believe that such attempts toward independence would merely replace federal government control with state government control, in which our lives and property would still be under the territorial compulsory control of state government. However, once the people of the states have unshackled the oppressive tyranny of the centralized federal regime in Washington, they can then work to get rid of their state’s government, and give cities and towns more local independence and sovereignty, and so on.

Unfortunately, the above possibility still does not seem to be a possibility, because too many people are fixated on trying to get the agents of the State to do the seceding, such as through state legislatures drafting one useless secession legislation after another. Such a prospective way toward freedom is just not realistic.

What is necessary is for the inhabitants of these U.S. territories to engage in non-compliance in the way of non-violent civil disobedience. The most necessary acts of civil disobedience will be those members of the police and military to not follow orders by their superiors, orders of actions that such officers know deep down are immoral and that they know they should not obey.

Other acts of civil disobedience that may be necessary in the possible coming days of the federal government’s crackdown on our liberty include acts in the medical area, in energy and in the judicial area.

Private doctors and patients, clinics and insurers, and other medical providers need to totally disregard all arbitrary federal and state laws and regulations that violate their inalienable rights of voluntary contract and medical privacy. The more that government has intruded into our medical matters, the more tyrannical it has become.

The people of the states, especially private land owners, need to ignore all environmental and energy-related federal and state laws and regulations, and begin exploring for natural resources for their energy needs. Obviously, the compulsory dependence on government’s control over our energy needs was never a good idea. The federal government continuously acts aggressively abroad, provokes foreigners, and will no doubt cause another oil embargo against the U.S. These imperialistic military campaigns are what have fueled the aforementioned growing sickness of rape and barbaric behaviors within the military, as well as the militarization of local police departments.

Also, private citizens need to set up their own private judicial decision-making services, as described in economist and philosopher Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s Private Law, as an alternative to the current self-serving, State-mandated judicial monopoly.

If Barack Obama, U.S. governors and local authorities send the military, National Guard and police after such non-violent yet civilly-disobedient, peaceful Americans, these violent authoritarian actions should be seen as the true criminal actions. It is certainly not criminal when peaceful citizens engage in voluntary associations that harm no one. Except that such good people are not showing obedience to the State, and that’s the bottom line.

It is for all these reasons that Americans needs to work on persuading their members of local police forces, as well as local military vets, of the true, criminal nature of the State and why they – the local police and military agents – should themselves disobey orders given to them by the government.

General Petraeus to CIA?

NPR is reporting rumors that Gen. David Petraeus is being considered to replace Leon Panetta as head of the CIA, while Panetta is rumored to replace Bob Gates as Defense Secretary. If Petraeus is to be the next CIA chief, Jim White at Firedoglake commented to look for Petraeus to “once again wipe his failure-laden slate clean and jump onto the drone bandwagon.”

In a piece of about a year ago, President Petraeus?, Antiwar.com’s Kelley Vlahos wrote on the general’s schmoozing and politicking amongst fellow Big Government travelers, such as at an AEI appearance in 2006 that also included Dick Cheney, Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz (when Wolfie wasn’t screwing around with World Bank diplomatic floozies, that is). Vlahos noted,

Thanks to “Team Kagan,” AEI’s Bill Kristol and Charles Krauthammer, and a battery of sycophantic pundits and mainstream journalists, Petraeus’ lack of authentic exceptionalism has been transformed into an unshakable “warrior-scholar” persona with his own “legacy” – the Petraeus Doctrine, an updating of old counterinsurgency practices of questionable long-term efficacy, which numerous subordinates and civilian devotees, not just the general, had a hand in engineering. Never mind that the “success” of the doctrine as played out by the Iraq Surge was derived mostly from the super-concentrated use of superior firepower and the bribing of 90,000 Sunni insurgents to stop fighting U.S. forces…

Vlahos quotes International Relations Professor Andrew Bacevich describing Petraeus as a “political general of the worst kind.” Bacevich critiqued Petraeus as having reduced the troop levels in Iraq following the “surge” in 2007 for political reasons, having more to do with pleasing Congressmen getting ready for reelection bids than practical or moral reasons to withdraw troops. And Vlahos also referred to Petraeus’s self-description as a “Rockefeller Republican.” (Yech!)

Thanks to Bush’s Iraq and his Gen. Potatoes, and the Iraq debacle that was started for solely political reasons, Iraq has descended into an Islamic State under repressive Sharia Law and has lost half its Christian population (so far), particularly from the recent massacres. As Bishop Ignatius Metti Metok noted, “Before the change of regime seven years ago, we didn’t have massacres like this.”

So now Petraeus might be head of the CIA? Hmmm. When’s the last time a CIA guy was elevated to U.S. president … I can’t remember.

America Needs to Decentralize – Immediately

I’ve heard Ron Paul state maybe a few times in interviews that, while the U.S. government needs to end the welfare/warfare state (and “welfare” implies the inclusion of Social Security, that Dr. Paul explains is merely another entitlement program and not an “account” or “insurance“), it should end the welfare state gradually so as to reduce any pain and suffering that might be experienced by those who are currently dependent on the government. Well, I disagree with that.

First, Murray Rothbard addressed whether to phase out such entitlement programs or “phase in” freedom and more free market alternatives, in his critique of the Soviet Union’s process of gradual decentralization following the Cold War and the gladly-anticipated end of the Soviet Union. Rothbard suggested, “Do not phase in” the freed markets, and I believe this wise advice can apply to the ending of all welfare state programs including the Social Security and Medicare programs, and the private earnings and wealth that is forcibly taken from the citizenry to fund such a scheme, and the opening up of freedom to allow private entrepreneurial and charitable retirement fund organizations to operate. But because of how extremely painful it is for bureaucrats to let go of their power bases and fiefdoms, it is just not a good idea, morally and economically, to phase in the freed markets:

It is, again, generally accepted that free markets must be arrived at quickly, and that phasing them in slowly and gradually will only delay the goal indefinitely. It is well known that the giant socialist bureaucracy will only seize upon such delay to obstruct the goal altogether…

Holding back, freeing only a few areas at a time, will only impose continuous distortions that will cripple the workings of the market and discredit it in the eyes of an already fearful and suspicious public. But there is also another vital point: the fact that you cannot plan markets applies also to planning for phasing them in. Much as they might delude themselves otherwise, governments and their economic advisers are not in a position of wise Olympians above the economic arena, carefully planning to install the market step by measured step, deciding what to do first, what second, etc. Economists and bureaucrats are no better at planning phase-ins than they are at dictating any other aspect of the market.

To achieve genuine freedom, the role of government and its advisers must be confined to setting their subjects free, as fast and as completely as it takes to unlock their shackles. After that, the proper role of government and its advisers is to get and keep out of the subjects’ way…

There is another reason to quickly return to freedom, besides the impracticality of gradual desocialization, and that is because of the inherent immorality involved in such schemes including Social Security, that involves not only the forcible taking of private earnings but the government’s forcing all Americans to participate in such a scheme. Even more immoral than forcing everyone to participate is that the scheme itself is a fraud, promising or at least implying that workers will “get back what they paid into the system.” As we can see now, the young workers now whose paychecks are being siphoned will not get a dime back when they retire. (That is why it is up to them to begin their own retirement savings and investment accounts now, to prepare themselves for their future!)

When people recognize that a scheme is immoral, involving theft, fraud and coercion, it is morally necessary to end that scheme forthwith. To knowingly continue such criminal schemes (and theft, fraud and coercion are crimes) would be to continue immoral behavior. The fact that something is institutionalized throughout the entire society via its central government makes it no less immoral.

But if Social Security ended, those who currently are dependent on it should not worry, as Jacob Hornberger explained, as the Social Security taxes would also end (and we would need to end the income tax, which is also not only theft but the very definition of “involuntary servitude,” as well as the capital gains taxes and other forms of collectivized theft of individuals’ property and their businesses), and that would free up Americans ability to care for their elderly family members. That is the more honest and aboveboard way of a society’s going about everyday life.

The politicians in Washington who constantly say they “won’t touch Social Security” do so not because they are genuinely concerned for their constituents’ lives and welfare –believers of that fantasy might be interested in buying the Brooklyn Bridge — no, these pols and hacks care about one thing and one thing only: their life-long parasitic careers feeding at the public trough and their next elections. They are spineless, gutless wonders who are afraid to lose votes.

These are the people who are literally drawn to the sick scheme in Washington like magnets. Friedrich Hayek wrote about how the “worst get on top:”

Just as the democratic statesman who sets out to plan economic life will soon be confronted with the alternative of either assuming dictatorial powers or abandoning his plans, so the totalitarian leader would soon have to choose between disregard of ordinary morals and failure. It is for this reason that the unscrupulous are likely to be more successful in a society tending toward totalitarianism….

He must gain the support of the docile and gullible, who have no strong convictions of their own but are ready to accept a ready-made system of values if it is only drummed into their ears sufficiently loudly and frequently. It will be those whose vague and imperfectly formed ideas are easily swayed and whose passions and emotions are readily aroused who will thus swell the ranks…

And Hans-Hermann Hoppe wrote about “Why Bad Men Rule“:

Since man is as man is, in every society people who covet others’ property exist. Some people are more afflicted by this sentiment than others, but individuals usually learn not to act on such feelings or even feel ashamed for entertaining them. Generally only a few individuals are unable to successfully suppress their desire for others’ property, and they are treated as criminals by their fellow men and repressed by the threat of physical punishment….

(However)…by opening entry into government, anyone is permitted to freely express his desire for others’ property. What formerly was regarded as immoral and accordingly was suppressed is now considered a legitimate sentiment. Everyone may openly covet everyone else’s property in the name of democracy; and everyone may act on this desire for another’s property, provided that he finds entrance into government. Hence, under democracy everyone becomes a threat.

Consequently, under democratic conditions the popular though immoral and anti-social desire for another man’s property is systematically strengthened.

And this scheme we have here, since Day 1 of the United States of America, has caused so many millions and millions of people so much misery, and it will never ever end, except in total collapse and huge suffering, by many more millions and millions of people. That is because, contrary to the daydreaming of those in their never-never land fantasy world, this centralized bureaucracy scheme in Washington can never be “reformed.”

The U.S. federal government is the one single institution most responsible for the downfall and impoverishment of the United States of America. America needs to remove this entire parasite and its shackles — or we’re all literally finished as a society.

Challenging Long-Held Assumptions About Israel and Zionism

It is time once again for me to write about Israel and Zionism, after reading some particular blog posts today. I hope to not lose too many readers, this time, but, if people really want peace in Israel, it is never too late to challenge long-held assumptions related to Israel and Zionism.

Unfortunately, there are many people who get their information from the mainstream American news media who get their information from the Israeli news media who merely are the propaganda mouthpiece for the Israeli government. There are many people in America who, if you asked them to describe in one word the Israeli Palestinians, they would say, “terrorists.” This despite the fact that most of the Palestinian population of greater Israel are just regular people trying to live their lives. A tiny fraction of the Arab population are hostile to the Israeli Jews, but a larger percentage of the Israeli Jewish population are hostile to the Arabs there.

We don’t really hear about these facts, certainly not from our brain-dead news media. But it could be that, here in America, the Israel First crowd and the Islamophobes have made themselves much more openly transparent, this may be the beginning of finally at least questioning many Americans’ and especially the U.S. government’s blind allegiance to Israel. Philip Weiss gives some indication of that from his recent experiences on some college campuses.

But in Israel, according to Ynet News, a recent study on the opinions of Israel’s Arab and Jewish teens and young adults showed that 46% of Israeli Jewish teens support revoking Israeli Arab’s basic political rights in Israel. If this is true, where are these kids getting these racist, hostile attitudes? From their parents? From the Israeli government? From the Israeli media?

Also in the poll, only 14% of the Israeli Jewish youths view democracy as an important national goal, while 26% viewed Jewishness as an important national goal.

It is no surprise to me that 93% of the Jewish youths views the IDF with complete trust, and that 60% of the Jewish youths preferred “strong leadership” over the rule of law, and, when asked how they feel about Arabs, 25% of the Jewish teens responded with “hate.” Not good.

SUNY Buffalo Political Science Professor emeritus Jerome Slater presented this article on his blog: The Jewish State Controversy: Can Zionism Be Reconciled With Justice to the Palestinians?

Slater includes some historical notes, and divides Zionists into rightwing Zionists, liberal-left Zionists and centrist Zionists. And he reviews some of the issues involved in the justifications for Zionism, geographically and politically, as well as the Biblical justifications. He notes that some people cite the Balfour Declaration, but that the Declaration also states that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” (Perhaps the Israeli Jewish youths should read the Balfour Declaration.)

Slater discusses the various possible solutions to the Arab-Israeli conflict, but he does note that, regarding the formal creation of the current state of Israel in the 1940s, “given the unavoidable injustice to the Palestinians, though, it might have been possible for Israel to have mitigated that injustice in a number of ways, particularly if it had refrained from ethnic cleansing and allowed the creation of a Palestinian state.”

Slater considers himself a Zionist, although a “disillusioned” one. In that post, he noted,

Israel is here to stay and almost certainly it will continue as a predominantly Jewish state, whether or not it is formally acknowledged as such. Not only is that a fact of life, but it is a legitimate fact of life: in light of 2000 years of antisemitism it cannot be said that there is no longer a need for a Jewish state, principally but not solely to serve as a refuge for Jews who may find themselves in desperate straits into the future.

I agree with David Samel, who responded to that post by Jerome Slater, that Slater “concedes that this unfairness, which has taken the form of dispossession, military occupation and inequality, has been egregious and intolerable, but argues that it theoretically could have been kept to an acceptable level and could possibly be reduced to such level in the future. I think there are some serious flaws in his analysis that deserve attention.” And Samel continues from there.

Following the response by David Samel, Jerome Slater responded to Samel’s response.

Well, I have written here several times now on the issue of Zionism. To me, it is fine if collectivists want to create a homeland for people who share the same religious or ethnic heritage in whatever territory they wish, as long as they are peaceful, and as long as they honestly acquire whatever lands they need for such a project. But, as Murray Rothbard noted, the acquisition of the land of Palestine by the Zionists was a matter of conquest, not by voluntary association and voluntary contracts. Additionally, the displacement of thousands of Arabs that was essentially ethnic cleansing to make way for the newcomers, and the subsequent abuses, theft of Arab-owned lands, and State-institutionalized discrimination against the territory’s own indigenous population, have tarnished Zionism, and, I think, permanently so.

If only the Zionists were not extremists, and did not insist on Palestine and only Palestine as the new place to be the homeland for the world’s Jews. But that is what they insisted on, and based solely on the mystical emotionalism of Biblical scriptures. There is also this collectivist notion of Jews as the “chosen people” that I very much do not agree with because, in my opinion, NO ONE individual or group is or had been selected by God to be “chosen” or “special.”

We are all God’s children and with equal value, in my opinion.