People vote for too many things.
Mostly they vote to take things from other people – either their property or their freedom of action. Each election in modern America is for all practical purposes a no-reserve auction of other people’s stuff. Vote for me, says The Candidate – and I will give you some of their stuff. Or something even worse: Vote for me and I will force them to do This or That.
It is never phrased quite so honestly, but this is the essential character of what goes on. Everything is up for bid. There is no off-limits. No “not for sale at any price.”
Apparently, the idea doesn’t appeal to most Americans anymore. Most Americans view their fellow man with proprietary interest.
And they, he.
But the vote is just a mechanism. A tool. It is neither good nor bad in itself. It is people who are bad. Envious, malicious, vengeful, controlling people. Or simply ignorant people. Give them the franchise and nature will take its course.
Envious, malicious people vote for wealth transfers to themselves – theft by process, rendered lawful. You have more and I have less. Give me more.
Voters with the itch to control their fellow man – but lacking the courage to do so directly – get proxies to do it for them, via the ballot box. It makes them feel good without requiring them to confront the nature of the thing – and of themselves. People who would never in a million years march over to their neighbor’s house and knock a cigarette from his lips will self-satisfiedly vote to have someone else do it for them – never stopping to consider that they have just given license for their neighbor to exact revenge using precisely the same method.
The simply ignorant, in their naivety, vote for laws that seem to them humane and “liberal”- never following the sequence of events down the line, to the unfriendly end of the gun that will impose their “humane” and “liberal” policies. Or, if they are “conservatives,” for laws they may genuinely believe will “keep us safe.” Likewise never following the thought-chain to its necessary conclusion. Never realizing what they’ve just endorsed and how it will inevitably be used in ways they may not like very much at all.
But the franchise is itself morally neutral. Like a gun. A gun can save a life – or take one. The gun itself is neither good nor bad. It is the hand that wields it – and the mind that controls it.
And it is the minds of millions of Americans that’s at the root of our predicament. Minds that have been molded (twisted) by great historical forces, embodied by a few very specific persons:
Abe Lincoln taught Americans to fear the government. He laid waste to the South as an object lesson: Washington’s authority is unassailable – and eternal. The union, at bayonet-point, forever. Like a bad marriage from which there can be no escape save death.
Prior to the war, most Americans still held to the curious notion that government existed by their leave. It was their mere representative, charged with a few specific tasks and no more. When this representative exceeded its mandate, it became immediately illegitimate – a tyranny. The Southern states took this literally, attempting to withdraw on the principle that legitimate government exists by consent only – and what was being done to them by the rapidly growing Leviathan in DC was being done manifestly without their consent and very much against their will. Hence, they exercised their right as sovereign states to withhold consent – and to sever the relationship. To depart.
Abe educated them.
The principle of unlimited federal supremacy was established at Appomatox. The formerly sovereign states (plural) became little more than fiefdoms ultimately owned – because utterly controlled – by the “monarch” in Washington. The formerly free people of the several states became citizen-subjects of the United States (singular) – subject to its universal authority. Oh, they were allowed to vote. But never given a choice.
Millions of Americans, though beaten on the field, still denied the right of Washington’s rule in their hearts – where they remained free in spirit, at least. They resented the new massa in Washington – regarding him (rightly) as a usurper, a tyrant, a fiend. It was understood they were ruled by force – and very much without their consent.
Roughly four score and seven years later came FDR – and another pivotal moment in the changing (the warping) of the American mind. FDR taught browbeaten Americans to love the government. To look upon it as a benevolent source of Manna (source of the Manna always left unspoken). Hard times? Bad luck? Washington can “help.” Over the ensuing decades, this became institutionalized – leading us to the present debacle of annual, every other year and every fourth year auctions presided over by the most loathsome characters imaginable – politicians – made possible by an increasingly loathsome – because degenerated – mob.
Up for bidding: The property of your fellow man – including even his physical person. And as he bids on you, you in your turn bid on him.
The auctioneer, meanwhile, collects his commission.
Until enough people to make a difference recover their moral sense – and decline to partake – these auctions will continue. More, they will increase in rapacity as the crowd loses all scruple and demands everything – which it inevitably will. Because nothing is off the table. Then, of course, there will be nothing. At least, not for the screeching crowd. Everything will have been consumed – and not one of them will have a rightful reason to complain. He who victimizes cannot object to being victimized in turn.
And the auctioneer? He’ll end up owning everything – including you and me.
Throw it in the Woods?
Well said, Eric. And the “auction” has simply accelerated in scale and peril; the stakes have grown ever higher.
How 2020 and 2021 have made look halcyon the days of 2012. Our fellow Americans have voted, in one way or another, to remove our very faces, and pollute our blood with the cloned proteins of a bioweapon.
Oh, Frabjous Day.
What do you mean by: “And they, he.”
It’s pretty straightforward.
Some chilling words of one of “the parasites that be” written around the time the American Revolutionary War peace terms with Britain were being finalized.
“Let us consider that arbitrary power has seldom, or never, been introduced into any country at once. It must be introduced by slow degrees, and, as it were, step-by-step, lest the people should see it approach. The barriers and fences of the people’s liberty must be plucked one-by-one, and some plausible pretenses must be found for removing or hoodwinking, one after another, those sentries who are posted by the constitution of a free country for warning the people of their danger. When these preparatory steps are once made, the people may then indeed, with regret, see slavery and arbitrary power making long strides over their land; but it will be too late to think of preventing or avoiding the impending ruin.”
Philip Dormer Stanhope, Fourth Earl of Chesterfield, 1779.
What’s left? Maybe “Gee . . . I wish I’d said that.
Just saw a pic of Hillary using the potentially dangerous drug ethyl alcohol. Wonder if there are any pics of her using other drugs when she and Bill were presumably lovers in college.
Hmm… wonder whatever became of Monica? Bet she coulda had lots more fun with an eloquent old tattooed biker.
Tinsley Grey Sammons
Sure Tinsley–if you’re into the whole slap-a-thigh, ride-the-wave-in type of thing.
And Clinton’s sloppy seconds. Eeeww.
I stopped collecting scalps long ago.
I’m torn between three alternatives…
Don’t vote at all…And register my disapproval for the whole rigged system.
Vote write-in for Ron Paul…This let’s me maintain my inner integrity which is important to me.
Vote for Obama…And let the whole place go.
Voting for Dr. Paul is simply the right thing to do.
The fact that Dr. Paul will not be elected is proof that elections alone will never salvage the American Ideal expressed with uniquely incomparable eloquence in the Unanimous Declaration.
Frankly, I would rather see every deliberately deceiving statist dead than to see a single Individual caged for possession of heroin* or any other drug of personal choice.
Tinsley Grey Sammons (1936 –)
*As though beating around the bush might be more acceptable, most of today’s spiritually castrated Americans wimp out and almost ashamedly refer to the legalization of pot. I could puke every time some asshole begins with “I don’t do drugs but . . . “. Or even worse, “They ought to legalize pot cause it’s not a hard drug.”
I assure all that for an alcoholic experiencing delerium tremens it does not get any “harder”.
At this juncture, there’s just no reasonable reason to support the war on (some) drugs. The moral hypocrisy and the practical failure are so obvious – have been so obvious for decades – that to continue to throw people under the bus for such “offenses” as partaking of arbitrarily illegal drugs (the throwing done by people who partake of the legal ones) is an outrage against both decency and common sense.
But it appeals to the moral fetishes of control freak, small-minded Americans.
I know a guy who is an educated professional and politically “conservative.” He’s also religious. I’ve had numerous discussions with him about the war on (some) drugs. This guy likes his beer. I’ve asked him how he can be comfortable with a system that would threaten me with lethal violence merely for having/smoking pot (not that I do, just for the sake of argument) yet leaves him n peace to drink his beer… “it’s different” is the answer I get. How? Drugs ( the arbitrarily illegal ones) “cause crime.” Really? How? “Well, drug dealers are criminals…” Isn’t that because what they do is illegal? And isn’t it a little odd for you to demand the pot smoker be arrested merely for possessing/smoking because someone down the line, out of his control and who he probably never met and doesn’t know, committed some act of violence? Isn’t that like me saying you ought to be arrested because the guy who drove the delivery truck that brought your beer to the store went home and beat his wife? Should beer (and wine and hard liquor) be illegal because appx. 30,000 people die in “alcohol-related” car crashes every year? How about the “social costs” of alcoholism? Have you ever heard of a pot overdose? How about a pot smoker getting violent and picking a fight at a bar? How many fights are lubricated by alcohol every Friday night in this country? Why no moral outrage? Aren’t you “contributing” to and “enabling” all this mayhem by consuming alcohol? No? Then why do you favor harassing the (arbitrarily illegal) drug user on the same idiotic basis?
“I’m still not comfortable with legalization… (arbitrarily illegal) drugs are different…..”
Folks still refer to legalize when they should be calling for repeal. Legislators can create and repeal statutes. They cannot “legalize” anything.
Whatever is not forbidden by law is legal. Reverse that and EVERYTHING is illegal prior to legislated permission. I don’t know who came up with legalize but s/he did a great disservice to the Idea of Liberty and Justice for all.
Excellent point, Tinsley – semantics matter – duly noted for future reference!
All drug prohibition has done for us is force prices for these commodities so high that it becomes sufficiently profitable to risk incarceration and even death to bring them to market. Plus, it is now billed as a “War on Drugs” so the very idea in almost everyone’s mind (but especially the cops and drug dealers) is armed combat. The Queen Bitch herself even admitted that there is too much money in the illegal drug trade to “legalize” it (http://reason.com/blog/2011/02/07/hillary-clinton-we-cant-legali).
From what I’ve read California couldn’t get their referendum passed (or would that be reeferendum?) because so many of the northern Californicators stood to lose a fortune if free market competition hit their main cash crop. I’ve even seen it alleged that some of the sheriffs up in those parts even protect the growers because they’re the only people providing jobs and keepin the local economies going. I read an interview with a crusty old tattooed up biker lookin’ dood (here’s to you Tinsley) up in Massachusetts who’s been growing for decades. He said he hoped they never “legalize” it, because it would ruin him.
Hell, who knows how many “black ops” from brushfire wars to regime changes the Narcotrafficantes at the CIA have funded with blow and smack, all without congressional approval or even awareness. They know they can’t stop recreational drug use any more than they can stop prostitution. They obviously don’t give a shit about public health or they wouldn’t force vaccines on our kids and servicemen and poison our water with sodium fluorosilicate. So, for those of us that are still capable critical thought, this whole drug prohibition fiasco must serve a useful purpose for Leviathan or several. Like maybe an excuse for warrantless searches, the police state and the arbitrary arrest of anyone they want out of the way. Yeah Tinsley, I’m with you; outright repeal is the answer. But at best we’ll get “legalization” because they’ll still want to tax the shit out of it just like booze. The state, just like Big Paulie is going make damned sure they get “their cut” one way or the other.
It seems foolish for TPTB not to give the masses some sort of theater wherein Ron Paul’s ideas are tried and then fail and they reluctantly and profitably march onward with the devils they say we need.
Intrade, which has been running over 90% accurate lately, forecasts a 61% chance that Obama will be re-elected.
It also sees a 61% chance the Individual Mandate will be overturned by the Supreme Court.
Litmus Test for Candidates
My Litmus test for a candidate consists of a single question: If you are elected will you openly work for the repeal of Drug Prohibition. If the respopnse to that question is anything other than a simple YES you know that you are dealing with a statist asshole or an ignoramus unworthy of office. Waste no more time with that person.
Occasionally I get a pester call asking for a donation to some State Trooper or other Law Enforcer charity. I always respond with the following: I will in no way support any persons who are a part of government until Drug Prohibition is repealed on the grounds that it is unlawful. After that, the end of the conversation is usually only a click away.
Note the fact that America’s Founding Documents are simple and they contain no blathering.
Tinsley Grey Sammons
The unpopular war on drugs exposes the blatant lie that we are still a Republic.
The American Republic was a new, improved type of socialism. It claimed to be able to replace the old type of dictatorial socialism with a new libertarian type.
Since our Republic has devolved into a Democracy, there is only the false choice of Republican or Democrat dictatorial socialism, not what the founders originally envisioned.
There are two types of Socialisms
One is communistic, the other solidaritarian.
One is dictatorial, the other libertarian.
One is metaphysical, the other positive.
One is dogmatic, the other scientific.
One is emotional, the other reflective.
One is destructive, the other constructive.
Both are in pursuit of the greatest possible welfare for all.
One aims to establish happiness for all, the other to enable each to be happy in his own way.
The first regards the State as a noble priesthood of a special essence, the product of a sort of divine right outside of and above all society, with special rights and able to exact special obediences; the second considers the State as an association like any other, generally managed worse than others.
The first proclaims the sovereignty of the State, the second recognizes no sort of sovereign.
One wishes all monopolies to be held by the State; the other wishes the abolition of all monopolies.
One wishes the governed class to become the governing class; the other wishes the disappearance of classes.
Both declare that the existing state of things cannot last.
The first considers revolutions as the indispensable agent of evolutions; the second teaches that repression alone turns evolutions into revolution.
The first has faith in a cataclysm.
The second knows that social progress will result from the free play of individual efforts.
Both understand that we are entering upon a new historic phase.
One wishes that there should be none but proletaires.
The other wishes that there should be no more proletaires.
The first wishes to take everything away from everybody.
The second wishes to leave each in possession of its own.
The one wishes to expropriate everybody.
The other wishes everybody to be a proprietor.
The first says: ‘Do as the government wishes.’
The second says: ‘Do as you wish yourself.’
The former threatens with despotism.
The latter promises liberty.
The former makes the citizen the subject of the State.
The latter makes the State the employee of the citizen.
One proclaims that labor pains will be necessary to the birth of a new world.
The other declares that real progress will not cause suffering to any one.
The first has confidence in social war.
The other believes only in the works of peace.
One aspires to command, to regulate, to legislate.
The other wishes to attain the minimum of command, of regulation, of legislation.
One would be followed by the most atrocious of reactions.
The other opens unlimited horizons to progress.
The first will fail; the other will succeed.
Both desire equality.
One by lowering heads that are too high.
The other by raising heads that are too low.
One sees equality under a common yoke.
The other will secure equality in complete liberty.
One is intolerant, the other tolerant.
One frightens, the other reassures.
The first wishes to instruct everybody.
The second wishes to enable everybody to instruct himself.
The first wishes to support everybody.
The second wishes to enable everybody to support himself.
The land to the State.
The mine to the State.
The tool to the State.
The product to the State.
The other says:
The land to the cultivator.
The mine to the miner.
The tool to the laborer.
The product to the producer.
There are only these two Socialisms.
One is the infancy of Socialism; the other is its manhood.
One is already the past; the other is the future.
One will give place to the other.
Today each of us must choose for the one or the other of these two Socialisms, or else confess that he is not a Socialist.
The central thust of this commentary and title are ON TARGET. Our problem is NOT that we have too few voters participating in a corrupt process. The problem is that we have too many ignorant and immoral people seeking to have government steal on their behalf and too few people who understand American history or how our system and Constitution are supposed to work. My commentaries on VOTING RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES makes the same point:
The Framers specifically sought to prevent the TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY that is inherent in democracies; the Constitution defines a republic, but we discarded and abandoned that form of government many decades ago beginning with Lincoln and moving forward through FDR and LBJ. Now a welfare/warfare State is firmly entrenched in D.C. We have implemented political slavery, tax slavery and debt slavery and the game is on to see who can out-loot the other.
Keep it simple. Enforce Unalienable Rights and see what happens.
The root of the problem in the minds of these Americans, including myself is the following: The 887 English words ending in -ism.
Lets take two, Christianism and Nationalism. Francis Bellamy, the writer of the Pledge of Allegiance was both. These as well as equalism or patriotism are the problem.
By ceasing to be a nationalist, socialist, equalist, and so on, you can begin to build something voluntary and real in its place.
The blue print is as follows:
The deadline of this pro-forma ultimatum is 11-3-2012.
A notice to all rulers by force and their allied federal reserve funded monopolists and capitolists (note spelling, i.e. crony force proxy) legions which remain in service to the aforementioned rulers.
I pledge no allegiance
To your flags
Of your various institutions
Or to the legal fictions
For which they stand
And tolerance for all
Commencement of Operation 11-4-2012.
“Empty Babushka” – A Schedule for Discarding the World Dolls.
Be advised – any current monopoly of force – that failing to secure satisfaction or exemption of Item I above will result in this schedule of actions below. I advocate disavowal, isolation, impoverishment, and starvation of all
1 the capitolist associations .
2 the supranational bodies, united nations, alliances, treaties.
3 the states and territories
4 the counties, regions, and districts
Cessation of Operations
Will occur when mitigation, amelioriation, or conciliation has occurred, I advocate a
1 break down metro areas into precincts or zipcode size bodies
2 a new voluntary uniting of like minded groups into provider partnerships
Self-limitation of Operations
1 There will be no initiation of force against any person or persons
2 There will be no acceptance of spoils from disbanding or defunct collective force authorities
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Generous words Emma but the Golden Door should have been barred a century ago.
Today America has huddled masses of its own. The U.S. Population is presently about 310,000,000* and still growing fast.
Tinsley Grey Sammons (1936 –)
*More than double the population in 1945 following a war in which 400,000 Americans died, supposedly for the sake of Unalienable, i.e., Human, Rights. When I see the mindless specimens grazing in the aisles of a Walmart today, I wonder if it was really worth it.
Tinsley, I don’t have to wonder. If the *D.C. crowd had kept their imperial noses out of “WW I” while it was still a typical European brush fire, in all likelihood it would have burned itself out. Germany would not have been faced with onerous reparations, Hitler would have remained an unknown beer hall blow-hard and “WW II” would have never happened. So quite the contrary, “it” certainly wasn’t worth it and we should have stayed out of WW II along with every “conflict” and “police action” since.
But the elite believe in the golden rule: He who has the gold makes the rules. And they are more than willing to send some of us off with rifle and bayonet to impose their will and secure their interests with full knowledge that some of us will die; not them. Like the little tin-horn dictator in Shrek, that’s the one sacrifice they’re willing to make.
*DC = District of Criminals
Yup: WWI had reached a stalemate prior to U.S. intervention. And the U.S. intervened because British and Wall Street (same thing, really) financial interests were facing huge losses (while U.S. munitions-makers, farmers, etc. stood to make a huge profit). Had the U.S. not intervened, there would have been a brokered peace of some sort as all sides were exhausted by 1917. A more reasonable peace would have ensued. Germany probably would not have gone psychotic as a result of 20 years of having their faces rubbed in shit, as happened after Versailles. Hence, no Hitler.
It’s a tragedy – and we’re still feeling the effects of it today.
The Uncle I Never Knew
Pfc Paul Sammons from Gibson GA was killed in action in Belleau Wood in July 1918. He was nineteen, a blue eyed, rosy cheeked Redneck Boy with protuding ears and freckles, killed by his German cousins who probably would have preferred not to have done the killing.
I wonder if it was quiet on the Western Front the day Uncle Paul died?
Tinsley Grey Sammons
I think you’ve got it surrounded. The “Christmas Truce” of 1914 made it clear how the Soldiers themselves felt about killing each other. Entire units had to be transferred to resume the war.
Erich Remarque’s ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT is as relevant and telling today as it ever was.
Tinsley Grey Sammons
It’s not my original thought, of course – but there’s a good reason why they draft 18-year-olds to fight their wars. Eighteen year-old males, especially, want to be regarded as men, and as part of a group. They crave adventure and have no real concept of death, theirs or anyone else’s.
Wars ought to be fought by 40-year-olds. Especially by the 40-year-olds (and older) who declare them.
We have these neighbors,(And I know this must be some kind of setup by the Obama Dictatorship), Who moved in right next to us a few months ago. They are not americans, they are from another Country. I think they are either Akbanian, Polish, or Italian. But they never speak english. The are always blabbing away in their language. Their kids are real monsters. They are watching everything we do. And ever since they moved in they have been reporting us to the city. The city will come knocking at our door up to ten times a week saying we had a complaint, and its always the same people; them. even if some passerby throws a bottle in our drive way, the call the city right away and complain about it. We are getting tired of them. I know this is some kind of set up of trap. These Rats are trying to provoke us into attacking them so the Government could come in and exterminate us. They are the cheese on the mouse trap. If we do anything to defend ourselves against these people they Goverment Flyswatter will get us. I know because I could feel in my spirit what is going on here. And I am willing to bet any amount of money Obama put these people there to harass us. I am not going to attack them. Instead I am going to post their address so everyone will know where a few of the Rats are.
Sorry about the misspellings, I proof read this before I sent it. So these mistakes are computer generated.
To quote Jack Nicholson:
Most everything today is a lie or disinformation designed to keep people running in the wheel of life as it is depicted to them by the establishment powers… They run the SHOW, or at least they think that they do. Learn to think outside of the box.
I agree! “Most everything today is a lie or disinformation…” The question is how do we cancel the show?
If the Internet fails, the [evil] show will go on.
Tinsley Grey Sammons
They’re desperate to neuter the internet, but I think it’s too late.
I like the Daily Bell’s idea that we’re seeing the Internet Reformation; it’s a process, not an event. They tried very hard to suppress and sidestep the Gutenberg Press, but it brought them down anyway.
I’m heartened by the vigorous response to SOPA/PIPA, ACTA, and other internet-censoring bills. This is an issue that people get, and probably the first one they’ve succeeded in heading off…so far.
When reading this, I was struck by the absence of the “transfer of wealth” going “the other way.” The primary function of government in the USA has always been to protect the “haves” from the “have nots” (see notes of the Constitutional convention). This has not changed. Yes, there are “welfare” programs which steal from the exploited middle-class and give to the more-exploited underclass, but those pale in importance and scope to the corporate-welfare schemes which protect the “rights” of the super-rich to impoverish the underclass. The money going “back” to the underclass is a pittance and only serves to “stabilize” the situation – i.e. no “bread riots” – so the exploitation of the many (middle and lower classes) by a tiny few can continue unabated.
Why waste our energy going after the tiny transfers of wealth instead of the Koch brothers, Gates, Rockefellers, and their ilk??
All forms of wealth transfer are equally noxious. We’re not going to make any headway until people stop defending their form of wealth transfer while critiquing someone else’s.
On taxes: Dunno about you, mang, but proportionately, I pay about a third of my income in taxes – 15 percent of my gross goes to SS and that’s just for openers. Then there’s federal, state and property taxes. Then all the everyday taxes – from sales taxes to motor fuels taxes to taxes on the phone bill, utility bill and so on.
If you combine all these taxes, the burden on many middle class people is in the neighborhood of 40-50 percent.
Do I resent “the rich” because of this? No. I resent the people who use the government to take my money – regardless of the why.
No one – rich or poor – has any right to use the government to take my property, or yours.
That’s the issue here –
Eric, although I have received SS checks since 1998 I cannot counter your argument. After fourteen years there is simply no way that what was taken from me during my working years could equal what I have received so far.
My only defence is to point out that Government made me an offer that I could not refuse. I now insist that Government continue living up to its legal obligation.
I do believe that according to the Law of Cause and Effect if Unalienable Rights are respected, justice will prevail.
Tinsley Grey Sammons
*Na Myo Ho Renge Kyo. The Chanting Nichiren Buddhists refer to it as: Devotion to the mystic Law of Cause and Effect through sound.
I am sympathetic to older/current retirees because, for the most part, they were very effectively conned (and of course, they had no choice as regards “contributing,” either). Now, they’re old – and beyond their working years. Or at least, they typically can’t find work they can do that pays the bills. So, they’re dependent – and unlike say a 22 year-old on welfare, they’re also helpless.
But the buck’s got to stop someplace. So I personally won’t have anything to do with SS – if it even exists when I am eligible to receive benefits in appx. 25 years. I have planned accordingly. I believe others – younger workers – have the same obligation. It sucks that we’ll end up footing most of the bill, but if it means we can end this pernicious system of intergenerational parasitism and bequeath liberty to future generations, then it will have been worth it.
Haven’t thought of Nichiren in 20 years.
The Diamoku is good mantra to chant. It brings pride of lion while surrounded by alley cats, animal control freaks, and during dangerous herding into government animal shelters.
What should be ended first is a complex question.
Once upon a time there was no welfare. At that time the robber barons and other insiders were seen for the evil that they are. Now there are masses of people who get a cut of the game.
It’s these masses that defend the principle of theft that the big insiders use. The underclass has become their weapon. And the insiders are invisible to most people. They started the government schools, the welfare, and all the rest as tools of control.
It’s rock and hard place.
The way out is to get people to see that it is all theft.
I guess I’m not ideologically pure as a libertarian or anarcho-capitalist. I wrote a defense of democracy, which I guess blows my cover.
The truth is I like democratic forms of self-rule in small groups. I’d even argue that even in functional extended families, where there’s a real dependence between members, you see a kind of natural democracy form, with the caveat that the family leaders with more money have a greater say in how it gets spent. Wise rulers still listen to the young men of the clan even if they don’t always follow their counsel.
Where modern democracies have really failed is in assuming anything can be put to a vote, and that the result of the vote is automatically binding. Abortion is a subject that should never have been put to a vote. Gay marriage is an example of something the State should have no say in at all. Nobody should be telling me what kinf of health insurance I should be buying, or that I should be buying it at all.
But democracy is fine when your a group of homeowners trying to decide if your going to pave the road next year or just through another 10 tons a base on it.
It’s about letting other people live the way they want when they want so long as they aren’t harming others or engaging in fraud. Your preference is no less valid than that of anyone else. It should work well with others of the same preference.
There are billions of ways if not infinite ways that people may choose to organize themselves. The problem of the state is that it rules by force. Once we learn to live under voluntary agreement amongst ourselves the better off humanity will be.
I agree Brent. But it’s important to realize the State rules by force because it doesn’t have agreement and can’t ever have it when it’s made up of so many people and claims such a broad jurisdiction. We can make the population smaller or the jurisdiction smaller and democracy could work.
We might all agree on a general Constitution but abortion? Gay marriage? Health insurance? Not a chance. I don’t think we’d agree on those things at a State level. So what happens? Laws get enacted by whoever has the money to buy media, congress persons and senators. Then they pull out the guns and make people obey. That’s our system.
What we have now isn’t representative government and it can’t *ever* be representative government as long as its so big and tries to assert power at such a low level. The federal government shouldn’t be involved in almost all the stuff it does. Same goes for the State. It’s not democracy that’s a bad idea, it’s how it’s used.
The principle of democracy – majority rules – strikes me as inherently evil. There is no sanctity of the individual; nothing that may not be done to him or taken from him, provided a majority votes to do so.
TJ and co. considered democracy vile for exactly this reason.
The family analogy doesn’t work because that’s parents and minor (dependent) children. Parents are authoritarian by necessity. Dad’s house – dad’s rules. But once you’re an adult, Dad no longer has any right to decide for you what sort of clothes you’ll wear, how late you can stay out and whether you can listen to Twisted Sister on the radio. He can give you his opinion – but he no longer has the right to compel you to behave one way or the other. Well, unless you’re still living in his house, that is!
The evil of majority rule was understood by our Founders and they weren’t in favor of direct democracy, instead giving us a constitutional republic, which we abandoned in less than 100 years. The Constitution was supposed to limit what people could vote on at least at the Federal level, to some extent the State. Lincoln was the most egregious earlier violator of that principal with his Emancipation Proclamation. I’m not supporting slavery, but its important to recall that the Constitutional amendments that made slavery illegal were adopted *after* the civil war, Lincoln had no legal grounds to abolish slavery or prosecute a war against the South.
So it isn’t Democracy that’s the problem, its the failure of our citizens to honor and enforce the laws in our governing documents. No law is effective if its widely ignored and never enforced. We ignore the laws that protect us from tyranny in favor of enforcing the ones that serve it. That’s not a failure of democracy, it’s a failure of the people, as you say in your by-line. I honestly think it was the Civil War that ended America and things have gotten much worse since.
Bottom line: Some things should be “off the table” as regards voting. No one, for example, has any moral right to vote himself a material benefit to be taken out of the hide of an unwilling victim. No one has a moral right to force another man to alter his behavior or restrict his choices in any way whatsoever – unless his behavior/action causes a specific, demonstrable harm to others.
A proper constitutional republic would have the above as its fundamental legal doctrine. Its only authorized power would be to keep the peace – that is, to deal with people (or groups and so on) that breach the peace by causing a demonstrable harm to specific victims. The only things properly subject to a vote, therefore, would be the election of the people needed to administer the above.
There would obviously be some tricky things to deal with – such as national defense and how to fund it. I suspect it could also be done on an entirely voluntarist basis, too.
If there’s a legitimate threat to the country, for example, I suspect most citizens would voluntarily stand ready to help defend the country – either themselves, physically or via monetary contributions. During peacetime, I suspect most citizens would be willing to freely contribute to the local militia, etc.
Unjust wars of aggression such as the ones the US has engaged in since 1861 are the ones that require coercion – conscription, taxation, etc.
Scott don’t sell yourself short; you’re a fine libertarian, I think you’re just subconsciously uncomfortable with its full embrace.
You point out that not everything is up for a vote, with fine examples–gay marriage and mandatory insurance.
Your discomfort with those is well-placed; they’re reprehensible infringements on unalienable, intrinsic human rights–the right to associate freely, contract freely, and dispose of one’s property–which comes from one’s labor–freely.
Those are hard-core libertarian concepts.
What you’re supporting is what a Republic is supposed to be–democracy with boundaries. You can vote, so long as what’s at stake doesn’t violate inborn human rights.
Your homeowners voting on a road example is libertarian, too; I’m assuming no-one is going to forcibly extract the payment from the dissenting homeowners who don’t want to pay to pave the road…simply disallow them from using the paved sections for which they didn’t pay.
Actually, the road example is real and we didn’t even stop the people who didn’t want to pay from using the road. There were enough of us that wanted it even if there were a few that didn’t, so we paved it anyway.
I probably shouldn’t admit that, it might encourage the wrong kind of behavior but in the end I don’t think it matters. If I find myself surrounded by tax eaters I’ll move, and really that’s what a person who deliberately doesn’t pay his fair share of something he intends to use anyway is; a tax eater without a tax system. He’s a person of low moral character. Unless you want to draw a gun on those people, you sell your land as soon as you can and find a better neighborhood. The alternative is repugnant.
True. Could the alternative be simply a public notice posting. Any man who deliquently owes another man or the system a debt can be publicly displayed in a journal of record.
A serial tax eater would be seen as an unsavory sort who voluntarily accrues a type of bad debt. This person would have a low “libertarian score” and eventually become a persona non grata, peacefully excommunicated from the community.
Spot on Tor. We just call it “shunning” around here. They don’t get invited to parties and we never lend them tools 🙂
YES! That’s exactly how the “ratings agencies” in a totally voluntarist system would work. Everyone would belong to a rating agency; or at least, everyone who wanted to transact with people who didn’t know them personally.
If your ratings sucked–you’d shystered people, you were unreliable, etc–fewer and fewer people would risk contracting with you.
Eventually you’d be shunned; and that’s much more effective than the revolving-door system of petty crime and “justice” that’s evolved today.
In fact today, it’s in the State’s interest to have criminals roaming the streets. It lends some justification for the police state and Incarceration Inc.
I don’t think the problem is voting or even democracy. The problem is the shear size of the State.
Democracy works for small groups but when you get much bigger than what I’d call a town it doesn’t work at all. Democracy can barely survive at a county level most places. Once you get to the point that you have little or no chance of ever even meeting all the members of an electorate, you lose any hope of being able to identify with them.
I live in a county of about 300,000 people spread out over 700 square miles. I’ve lived here at least part time for the past 35 years and there are plenty of places in it I’ve never seen. People put initiatives on the local ballots to restrict property owners in districts I’ve never been to, asking me to decide. Why? I don’t know the people who live there. I don’t have any interest at all. I don’t vote on things like that but I’m kind of rare, most folks read ballot blurb, make some sort of snap decision without even asking themselves if its any of their business, and fill out the form. It’s really easy to start voting to take the property of people you don’t know and will never meet if you’re even a little corrupt, and once you do it, it’s even easier to to it again.
I think that’s the problem. Democracy is OK, big government isn’t. Even a republican system fails on a scale bigger than a few tens of thousands.
What is Democracy but a bunch of mentally retarded/infantile parasites voting for the violent terrorist that promises to steal for him. Obamaggot is the rational outcome of Democracy…So what are you complaining about?
“Referring to politicians as “Leaders” is like referring to rapists as “Lovers”.”
Leaders are not rulers and rulers are never leaders.
Anyone who demands submission at gunpoint is a thug, irrespective of their leadership qualities!
There are “nice” thugs like Obama – and “mean” thugs like Stalin. But they are both essentially the same animal. Do as I demand or I will have you beaten, caged – even killed. I will take your property and your freedom.
Dress it up however – that’s the reality.
Although most dissidence is focused on money, the real key to salvaging the American Ideal is Enforced Respect for Unalienable Rights. Accomplish that and the rest will naturally follow.
Never mind the damned ballot, victory will go to those who control respect for the legitimate Law of the Land. The People must regain lawful control of the administration of justice. At this writing an unlawful Legal System has supplanted the genuine Law of the Land.
Ask yourself why there are more than a million juris doctors in America with expensive law schools graduating thousands more every year.
Tinsley Grey Sammons
“Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.”
“Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.”
-H L Mencken
….That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends [life, liberty, pursuit of happiness], it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness……
This is the right to revolution. It is given by God and no government can’t take it away. Our founders believed in it. We, sadly, do not.
A well regulated Militia [of the people, not the government], being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
…against ALL enemies, foreign and DOMESTIC….
Guns rights, they’re not for hunting. They are for overturning oppressive regimes that arise domestically. Get it straight.
At the time of the Founding only those citizens that were land owners were allowed to vote. They had skin in the game.
Today close to 50% of our citizens pay no taxes. So why should they be allowed to vote?
The problem isn’t the vote as such – it’s that the vote can be used to legally steal people’s property and deny them their rights.
However, as a Band Aid, I tend to agree. It might be a worthwhile reform to advocate: In order to vote, you cannot be a net tax consumer.
It annoys me to no end that my vote to keep what’s mine carries no more weight than the vote of the asshole who votes to take what’s mine.
That’s a myth. 50% of American’s don’t pay taxes? Are you kidding me? There’s more taxes than you can shake a stick at. Dozens of them. If someone owns a cell phone they pay taxes. If someone has cable television they pay taxes. Most states have a sales tax. If someone drives a car they pay taxes to register it and propel it down the road. If someone owns real property they pay taxes. This myth that 50% of American’s don’t pay taxes persists in the media and is pure scat. This line of thinking is just a tool to divide and conquer. Carve out classes of people and make them worth less. And try and make those that “pay taxes” more noble than those that don’t.
What the pundits are talking about is income tax and to the notion that 50% don’t pay them I say great! Let’s work on freeing the other 50% of this immoral act. The 16th appendage to the constitution was one of the worst things that has every happened to this country along with the federal reserve act. It’s no coincidence that these two acts happened with a couple of years of each other.
Linking the right to vote to paying taxes is clearly insane. So, let’s say someone decides to not have a mortgage or debt and lives within their means. They pay cash for everything and create as few taxable events as possible and don’t accept money from the state. They should be penalized for not paying taxes by not being allowed to vote? That isn’t just insane it’s pure stupidity.
Good stuff, David!
And of course many of the most inescapable taxes are extremely regressive. On the small end, the motor fuels tax. It hits the low-income worker who pretty much has to drive much harder than the rich DC influence peddler. Or, the tax on real property. The old person, who lives in a modest, long-ago paid-for home… in an area where they local political thugs keep jacking up the assessments. Etc.
The bottom line is we all pay too much in taxes – because virtually all the government does is illegitimate. I can make a case for one legitimate function: keeping the peace. And even here, a compulsory tax should not be needed. Most people would see the value of peacekeepers and voluntarily contribute – just as most people buy other things they value. This would serve as a natural check on abuse in the same way that being free to buy or not by any other thing acts a check on poor service (or bad product).
It’s only when you have no choice in the matter that you take what they give you, like it or not – at whatever price they decide to charge.
That’s actually a pretty good synopsis of government!
Gee Eric, do you mean only impose voluntary taxes (or at least avoidable ones) like imposts, excises, duties and tariffs? Now where have I read that before…
You can’t do that because then you’d have true growth in productivity and individual wealth, the masses would be far better off and a lot less uncontrollable. Next thing you know, people would want sound money too! Besides (in their slanted worldview) a system like that would leave “less” for Warren Buffet, George Soros and the Goldman Sachs gang (because they’d actually have to compete). What’re you thinking dood?
I know, I know!
But, we’re awakening others – and they’re beginning to know, too.
“Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods”
The worst thing about living in a Dumocrazy is that everyone around you is a psychological mugger who want to put you in a cage for not wanting to be mugged. Dumocrazy is for violent and bratty primitive monkeys – aka, Clovers – aka, Tribalist/Collectivist Socialists – aka, Statists.
I just started reading “Beyond Democracy” by Karel Beckman and Frank Karsten, it appears that some of you have already absorbed the message.
(Choosing to be Ruled by a Lesser Evil)
Half-measures avail us nothing but disappointment and suffering in the end. Philosophically, when faced with two evils it is probably best to choose neither. When faced with two good things, whenever possible choose both.
Human nature being what it is, a winning candidate for office will not consider himself an elected lesser evil; instead, if he even bothers to care he will conduct himself as though those who elected him support his agenda, however unlawful it might be.
Regardless of the possibility of gaining some temporary advantage for myself, I cannot violate my own conscience by encouraging those who are intellectually dishonest or downright wicked.
The lesser-of-evils vote has resulted in the two major parties becoming virtually indistinguishable in their actions – they are in fact near-identical factions seeking control of an enormous economic turf. Once they are in office, they sleep with the enemy by routinely engaging in what is referred to euphemistically as “bipartisanship”.
The lesser evil is still evil.
Consider the cumulative effect of choosing the lesser evil for half a century and a dozen presidential elections. In the very early days of car making, when automobiles were fabricated and assembled by hand, there was a problem called error-creep. As the machine was assembled, the fabricate-’em-as-you-assemble-’em method never quite resulted in parts that fit uniformly, so, they had to be modified. The modifying continued until there was an increasingly serious misalignment of modified parts that had to be laboriously dealt with in order to complete the assembly.
Like the semi-cobbled cars with their awful error creep, American regimes du jour, and the factions that they serve, suffer from evil-creep. So severe is evil-creep today, that it has all but nullified the Bill of Rights . . . unpardonably alienating certain unalienable rights. The consequences of evil-creep have become so dreadfully un-American, that it is unlikely that anything less than a Philosophical Renaissance or a bloody revolution can restore America to it’s former philosophical righteousness.
For me to vote for what I know to be merely a lesser evil is an insult to my common sense, and my hard earned critical thinking skill as well. Faced with such a dilemma, I’m
convinced that it is simply best not to vote. Perhaps someday None Of The Above will appear on every ballot, thereby making it possible for one who is politically disenchanted to vote his conscience. –Snipped from THE FORSAKEN PROMISE by Tinsley Grey Sammons
I was never one of those people who voted for the lesser of evils. If someone didn’t represent my values I wouldn’t vote. Then about ten years ago I stopped voting altogether. It became clear to me that voting was a way of offering my consent to be governed, something I no longer wished to do. Voting is a mechanism of giving away our power to someone else. Even in a representative government how in the world can one person represent the interests of thousands, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of constituents all with a different agenda?
I’ve had people say to me – “well, if you don’t vote you can’t talk about the issues.” Let’s see, show me where in the constitution (as if it really matters any longer) that free speech is contingent upon voting. That’s ludicrous. For those that say I’m obligated to vote in order to speak freely I would say – “if you vote you forfeit your right to complain about the outcome.”
This charade that takes place every two years, four years, six years…all it is is kabuki theater meant to give the population the illusion that they have some measure of control. Nothing could be further from the truth. When I look at the candidates that inevitably rise to the top they are nothing more than charlatans. Also, to be honest, I think they are all endowed with a kind of psychosis. Anyone who thinks they can or are capable of leading a nation of three hundred plus million independent people is an entree short of a blue plate special. It’s pure narcissism.
That said, it will be interesting to see how this election cycle goes. One of the talking heads said the other day that “this election will be a referendum on President Obama’s policies.” Really? I think it will be a referendum on the American people.
“this election will be a referendum on President Obama’s policies.”
Another reason that is funny is because GWB,Obama, & Romney have the same policies.
Amerikan politics aren’t going to be changed democratically; the electorate no longer have access to the political process. Regime change in the US will happen the same way it happened in the USSR if we’re lucky– the system will go painfully bankrupt.
What happens after that will be important.
Some thoughts on voting and freedom to choose I’ve collected recently;
“If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal” Emma Goldman
” ‘Democracy’ is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance” H.L.Mencken
(when I was a kid we still were taught,and called it a “republic”)
As for the ‘either/or’ system..
“When faced with choosing the lesser of two evils..choose neither” G.K.Chesterton
I’m opting out as fast as I find the tools. (I’m still open to fair trade between individuals)
Eric–this is your best-written and most observant article yet.
Excellent work, sir; it is a pleasure to read.
God knows I have enough inspiration…
If two people claim ownership of my wallet because they out-vote me…I will kill at least one of them.
Phuk your Democracy.
1000 years from now when conscious beings look back thru history for the stupidest animal that ever walked earth – No doubt they will conclude that the stupidest animal ever was the Taxpayer.
Hopefully, in a thousand years, they’ll think of taxation the same way we think of slavery today.
Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. —First Amendment
Only fear born of ignorance can delay Man’s libertarian destiny. Right of assembly must be respected if man is to cross the abyss that separates what he is, from what he is to become.
Woodstock failed to discredit the myth of violent, drug-crazed people. Today, alarmist fictions are propagated by the favored factions with more rabid fervor than ever, but one need only follow the money trail to discover why there is a relentless War on Fun.
Those unforgettable 60s were a fun-filled reactionary happening that failed because it
had neither a philosophical goal nor the strategic focus necessary to achieve that goal. The symptoms of the unlawful government power disease were attacked without isolating the political and financial pathogens responsible for it. Appearing to be protest just for the hell of it, the Youth Rebellion of the Sixties lost its passion for justice when America’s Armed Forces left Vietnam.
During the Sixties, young Americans stumbled onto America’s libertarian roots but they mistakenly believed in the invulnerability of constitutional American liberty. Consequently, they failed to recognize the significance of their discovery. Their failure to convincingly re-secure their unalienable rights left the way clear for encroaching oppression. Sadly, many of today’s statists are descendants of Flower Children. Even more sadly, many surviving Flower Children have become hypocrite statists with age.
But what about anarchy?
When members of the favored factions warn of anarchy, what they are really saying is this: It is better that you continue to acquiesce in the established abuse of power rather than risk the irresponsible abuse of freedom that might follow in its absence.
But it is not anarchy per se that the Favored Factions fear. The Favored Factions fear an ignominious end to their profitable status quo. Anarchy is a virtual fiction of the imagination since new government rises quickly from the ashes of old. What should be feared most are the crisis-makers. Crisis-makers are deceivers who manufacture fears in order to profit from the very fears that they themselves have manufactured.
Sacrificing principle to expediency always brings government eager to impose profit-generating excesses. Those who presume to save us from ourselves are systematically alienating our unalienable rights to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. –Snipped from THE FORSAKEN PROMISE by Tinsley Grey Sammons
I think the freedom movement of the 60’s was intentionally sabotaged by the Nazis imported into the OSS/CIA via Operation Paperclip.
The CIA new about LSD long before the hippies did. I’m convinced they subverted the movement by promoting drugs and debauchery in place of the original anti-establishment message. It discredited the entire movement in the eyes of conservative Americans, who otherwise might have been brought on board.
Very clever movement; in concert with Operation Great Wurlitzer, a master stroke.
Thanks, Mr. Bernays. Rot in hell.
“Knew” not “new”. Sorry. “K” is sticky on my keyboard 🙂
I lost my capital “I” for a week after spilling some coffee on the keyboard….!
There was also a good book, “The Politics of Heroin in South East Asia”, detailing the use of that drug as a counter-revolutionary tool on the west coast during the late 60’s.
I think that when Vietnamization of the War began, thinking they had showed government who is boss, the then young Americans against the War got haircuts and simply became a part of so-called society. The Statist’s quickly re-emerged and continued to capitalize on making bad law.
At the time I was simply a horny opportunist in my thirties who realized that owning a motorcycle and having a steady supply of recreational drugs was an excellent way to acquire sexual favors from the females. Having never owned a white sportcoat with a pink carnation and having never learned to dance it was a great time for me.
While living within walking distance of New Orleans’ French Quarter I enjoyed my Last Hurrah. Would that I could relive the experience.
Tinsley Grey Sammons
Eric, I seem to remember that in a previous column you suggested we refuse to participate in the charade of voting. Is my recollection correct? Is that still your recommendation?
I think most of us can generally agree that “the problem” is a bloated, inefficient, power grabbing federal government.
What is “the solution,” and how do we make that happen?
The government depends on the lie that it operates with our consent. By not voting (when there’s no freedom option) we withhold consent. If enough people do so, the illegitimacy of the system becomes too obvious to cover up. It is exposed for the tyranny it is.
Right now, about half the eligible population votes in a presidential election – so the winner typically wins with about 26-28 percent of the 50-something percent of the eligible vote. It’s already a minority-government! A quarter of the eligible population imposes its will on the remaining three quarters.
The more obviously illegitimate the system becomes, the harder it becomes for it to maintain control – even when it resorts to outright brutality. That’s not sustainable in the long run.
We just have to keep chipping away at it….
I imagine they will eventually start requiring people to vote. First they’ll make it a requirement to have government aid and if that doesn’t get the numbers high enough they’ll get more forcible about it.
Eventually it will be like the soviet union, iraq, and countless other countries where the dear leader is elected by 99.9% of the vote. Remember in the 1980s when we were supposed to laugh at the obvious tyranny behind such results? Anyone else notice how this isn’t done any more?
This mess goes deeper than being an American problem; it’s a human problem.
Man’s social nature is both his greatest strength and greatest weakness.
And the desire, the hard-wired NEED, to be accepted by the group produces situations that people attempt to justify with such phrases as, “I was only following orders.”
Democracy appeals to that herd instinct.
I was not one of the popular kids growing up, and after viewing how some of them acted toward their fellow man, I became convinced that if something was really popular, there was probably something wrong with it, maybe on a quantum or other not-so-obvious level.
Who knows, maybe the aristocrats of 18th Century Europe were ultimately correct when they scoffed at the idea of farmers and blacksmiths ruling themselves.
America was said to be a Great Experiment of sorts. Maybe one thing we’ve learned from that experiment is that a free people and a government that has the power to make new laws is ultimately too unstable a combination to endure.
And a Representative trying to buy Joe Sixpack’s vote with a highway project isn’t helping things.
“democracy” suffers from the same problem as “monarchy” a small group of people ruling over everyone else. The rest is just time preference. Monarchy has a longer time preference because kings and queens want to pass the state down to their children. Democracy has a short time preference because someone will only be power as little as two years and thus creates a get it while the getting is good mentality.
The idea of using violence to order society and the idea of the state is what must go away if humanity is to thrive and survive on geological time scale.
Chris that touches on something I’ve thought for a long time:
Stop making new laws, period. In fact, start with Common Law. Codify it concisely, enunciating the core principles of “do unto others…” and “no victim, no crime”.
And then stop. No more laws. Period. There should be no such profession as “legislator”, just “judge” (or in my perfect anarcho-capitalist solution, “arbitrator”).
Alternatively–sunset all laws. Every law comes with an expiration date no longer than five years; except perhaps for the original common law. Make the bastards fight to renew them.
Yeah, methylamine, I’ve been playing with these ideas for years now, ever refining and philosophizing. I have a few.
1 – Establish a new nation with a State that can enforce and interpret the original set given to it, but can neither add to nor subtract from. A State without a legislature.
2 – Establish a new nation where only certain citizens are allowed to vote, based on certain criteria.
3 – Establish a new nation with a Constitution that is written from the perspective of eliminating as much ambiguity from the language of the law as possible.
As elegant as the prose of the Founding Fathers is, it’s too poetic and dependent on high literacy to be of value in today’s culture.
Hey Chris –
Remember this one?
Or, perhaps, eliminate the state and replace it with nothing.
Yes I do!
It’s been in my iPod for years!
Right on Methyl. I would add, not just a sunset clause for all new laws, but no omnibus measures either. Each law, bill or resolution should only be allowed to deal with one particular issue; nothing else added as a rider. No law’s actual text should be allowed to exceed one legal sized sheet of paper, with 10 pt. type and 1″ margins. No legalese or custom defined words allowed either. When you got it down to the point where any layman could read and understand each piece of legislation, not many would pass. And the shear number of individual laws would bottle-neck congress for decades. We’ve seen what “congressional action” has done to us. I’d say congressional inaction would be vastly more desirable condition to keep them in.
On top of all that I would say we need one federal representative for every 50,000 citizens which would amount to about 6240 representatives. Now we are at a ratio of 1 representative for every 717,241 citizens; our individual voices are drowned out in the noise of our neighbors’ voices. At this point, the anarcho-capitalists would argue “That’s adding more government, not less!” But I would counter that if we put congress back close to it’s original representation ratio at the founding, we’d soon have third, forth, fifth and who knows how many more parties to pick from. Actual viable alternative choices would appear at the national level. A whole lot more congress-critters would not only create a much more competitive environment and make winning the office by average folks more like, but would also dilute the inbred gene pool of 435 insiders that are currently “giving us the business” instead of attending to our business. It would be a lot harder to form “coalitions” and gridlock would be the order of the day.
I realize it seems counterintuitive that more representatives (not senators, bureaucrats or judges, just reps) would be the route to less government and more Liberty. But on the surface and in the same vain, it would seem that more guns in the hands of the public would equal more crime, not less. But we have overwhelming statistical evidence to the contrary in the latter case. If each of us had a federal “gunslinger” that was more accessible, I strongly suspect we’d see similar results.
Or we could base elections on voting for the guy who wants the job LEAST.
I think that was Mark Twain’s idea…
Chris, that sound’s like a good plan but…if the guy tell’s you he wants the job the least of all the candidates yet he’s running for office, that makes him the epitome of a politician: A bald faced liar. You’d have drag some poor bloke out of his living room kicking and screaming at gun point to be sure he wasn’t interested in the job. Wouldn’t that violate the libertarian non-aggression principle?
I’m kind of joking.
I’m referring, of course, to those of us with little or no desire to run the show being in positions of power.
In effect, a built in check-and-balance.
@Chris “I’m referring, of course, to those of us with little or no desire to run the show being in positions of power.”
As I was saying, you’d have to put a gun in one of our faces…. 😉
That’s a better idea you have Boothe, getting back to the original representation, but I think your trying to fix a system that wasn’t ever designed to to work on this scale and won’t ever be able too.
6,240 representatives? 300 million people? That isn’t a democracy. Nobody but corporate interested get represented that way. It ends up being exactly what we have now with more players (at what, $200,000/year before perks?). It’s an oligarchy.
Unpardonably, those who realize that Unalienable Rights apply only to the Individual are a pitiful few. The American Ideal expressed with incomparable eloquence in the Unanimous Declaration is beyond the understanding of enough adult Americans to bring it to fruition.
I don’t own a flag and I don’t bother to watch the fireworks on the Fourth of July* but I damned well do understand the concept of Unalienable Rights.
Tinsley Grey Sammons (1936 –)
*Nor did I ever bother to display the three near meaningless ribbons that I was entitled to wear. I find the crap that adorns the uniforms of those who have never been anywhere near the violence of combat downright laughable.
I remember Jacob Hornberger(Future of Freedom Foundation) telling me the same thing back in the mid-90’s.
From what I understood, the whole system would collapse sooner in this manner. (Which means it can be replaced by something better)
Do you think it is ok to go and vote against local tax levies? Sometimes on those issues, a single vote makes a difference.
When I go to vote on local issues, I don’t pay attention to the national ones. For example tweedle dumb may be running against tweedle retard for a senate seat, I don’t even cast a ballot for that.
When there’s a real choice, sure, I vote!
I thought it was tweedle terrorist running against tweedle psychopath….What else could politicians possibly be? Ron Paul is wasting his time.
Re: Mr. Lincoln’s Unlawful War
The Industrial Revolution had already doomed slavery in America and the Western World. Sadly Mr. Lincoln’s war killed more than 600,000 mostly young White Men and maimed countless more. Amputees who had not cuccumbed to infection were legion.
The insane Civil War ended legal slavery, but was it really worth the terrible cost since slavery was already doomed by technology, machinery, and petroleum? Even worse, the Civil War exacerbated a natural enmity that simmers to this very day.
Why were so many White Men willing to kill their White Brethren? I doubt that they had a passionate desire to free Black slaves on moral grounds. So then, what were they really fighting for? Hell, they probably wouldn’t have cared had they arose one morning to discover that the entire Black Race had disappeared from the face of the earth.
Yank: Why are you fighting us?
Reb: Because you are here.
At least the Confederates had a justifiable reason to kill Yankees.
Tinsley Grey Sammons (1936 –)
Roughly ten percent of the Union army was black, and about twenty-five percent of white soldiers were born on foreign soil.
Many came from German states in the wake of the failed efforts to unify those states into a greater Germany and brought their centralist sentiments with them.
Lincoln forged his new nation on the backs of soldiers who didn’t know or care how contrary to our traditions their actions were.
You have to wonder how many of those black and foreign soldiers would have served if they could have afforded the $300 required to buy your way out of the draft like Teddy Roosevelt’s daddy, Theodore Sr. did. There were probably a very few that joined up for ideological reasons. But most of the volunteers on the federal side were probably in it for adventure, “glory” and spoils more so than any moral compunction. I have spoken with altogether too many young men in the last few years that were enlisting to “go shoot some ragheads” (or simply to get training for a job when they got out). When I pinned the former down on why they were going to kill brown people half way around the world, their response has typically been to “fight terrorism” because of “9-11”. Much more than that with respect to the nationalities of the terrorists, international politics or even geography, they do not seem to know. But more than a few have seemed very enthusiastic about what amounts to nothing more than hunting the most dangerous game animal: Man. Knowing the timelessness of human nature, I would strongly suspect that mid 19th century youths that volunteered for the federal army, did so for a similar reason; to go shoot Johnny Reb, someone who had never done a damned thing to them.
Lincoln forged his new nation on the backs of soldiers who didn’t know or care how contrary to our traditions their actions were. –That One Guy
Exactly. Too bad John Wilkes Boothe failed to survive long enough to write a book or at least an essay.
Too bad he didn’t act four years earlier, too.
Sic semper tyrannis–the best ever Die Hard-esque parting line.
When under the pretext of fraternity, the legal code imposes mutual sacrifices on the citizens, human nature is not thereby abrogated. Everyone will then direct his efforts toward contributing little to, and taking much from, the common fund of sacrifices. Now, is it the most unfortunate who gains from this struggle? Certainly not, but rather the most influential and calculating.
Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.
People are beginning to realize that the apparatus of government is costly. But what they do not know is that the burden falls inevitably on them.
Law cannot organize labor and industry without organizing injustice.
― Frédéric Bastiat
Was willst du, butter oder Kanonen? –Josef Goebbels (The rat faced runt to was instrumental in sending both physically and morally superior human specimens to kill and die. (Hopefully the White Man’s insane fratricidal wars have ended for ever.))
We are rapidly becoming Chattel (Slave) Property of the entity know as Corporate United States of America. There is actually no way out. This will happen no matter what. The good news is, its not going to last very long.
There are Communist going around right now attacking people, telling them they never worked a day in their lives. Who are these tools? For one thing its nobodies business how anybody conducts their own life. and for another thing its my life and I’ll do what I damn well please. If I want to work for profit, then save and invest I’ll do that. If I want to work in a spiritual way and help others I’ll do that. Who are these damn People? Who do they think they are going around telling other people how to live their life? They need to clean up their own back yard first; if they ever can. Do they want us to work for them in a sweat shop for five cents an hour? They can go fuck themselves, I would rather be dead. They are going to have to kill me. Because I will not volunteerily live under Communism. They are forcing that on everybody. It would be better to be dead than to be subject to such tyranny.
Well said. I share your passion. However, the reality is that the elites have figured out that communism is ineffective for what they want to do. So what we have now is fascism 2.0. Deep down Odumber and his ilk know (even Ayers and those psychos) that if the government were to actually own and run things, we would have chaos and huges lines waiting to get into GUM (Soviet store) and the failing English coal industry before Thatcher. As a result, we have a politically correct race hustling Mussolini running things. At least Mussolini could get the trains to run on time. Obdumber cannot even get through a speech without a gaffe and he has not a clue about the Constitution even though he taught it. Maybe he will go to one of his beloved 57 states and end up on an episode of “Disappeared.” Such fantasies I have.
The system congealing into place is much more subtle – and thus, effective – than old-style obvious authoritarianism.
People are allowed the legal fiction of property ownership – though of course they control virtually none of “their” property. And its continued “ownership” is almost always conditional on paying endless rent to the government for the privilege
They are also provided the opportunity to vote – and thus, given the illusion of consensual government.
PS: I loved this line: A “politically correct race hustling Mussolini.” Top drawer!
The USSA: Cultural Marxism meets Economic Fascism. Mandarins and Cronies agree: Tastes great, less filling.
You would rather be dead?
They can arrange that.
This business of “Oh no, the evil corporations” is getting tiresome.
Yes, I get that crony capitalism is what people are protesting (at least I hope it is), but remember that corporations can’t agitate for favorable laws without The State to provide those laws.
The State is the enemy here, people. Not corporations.
If people hate corporations so much, then they should stop buying food, living in houses or apartments, watching television, driving cars, shooting guns or wearing clothing. Because all those things are made by corporations.
Not its not the Corporations unless the Corporations become the Government. Then we have a problem. You are right it is the Government not the private sector. I just wanted to correct that.
I’m not saying your sentiment is entirely wrong.
But when I see and gear the Occupy Wall Street people screaming about bankers, and unionists whining about CEOs and the endless, partially-justified complaining about multinationals buying Congressmen, I want to put something through a wall.
Just like everyone else, I saw Robocop. But I know that movie was made by a European socialist who hated capitalism, and OCP was a grotesque caricature of a big company.
I could see a conversation between historians in a thousand years going something like this:
“Remember, people in the West in the late 20th and early 21st Centuries were taught to hate corporations.”
“For God’s sake, why?”
“In order to make them useful idiots for their society’s Coercive Utopians. The problem arose from the fact that the corporations themselves behaved disreputably enough to make the criticisms of the Coercive Utopians seem plausible.”
The legal creature that is a corporation is an institution like a state. It operates much like a state. It in many ways mimics a state.
Large corporations being fundamentally political institutions often result in conditions where sociopaths rise to the top and time preferences are short.
Now in a true free market this wouldn’t be so bad. Such corporations would simply extinguish themselves. The problem is their natural ally, the state.
The corporate system as it is designed is rightfully disliked, it should be disliked, but it is a self correcting problem in a liberty based society. Corporations run by short time preference sociopaths burn out quickly and the world is rid of them. Their assets are recycled. But this isn’t a liberty based society.
Which brings us to the primary problem of many people. They are too lazy to do the work to figure out the cause and effect. They react emotionally to a little information. Hence the result of using the state to solve the problem of some corporations using the state. What to us simply looks insane.
BTW, many of society’s “Coercive Utopians” are the one’s on top of the crony capitalist system, in control of the largest corporations. The company town is their idea of utopia.
You are wrong.
Your government, a corporation, sanctions those corporations. The whole thing is a carry-over of mercantilism where preferential treatment was given by a government (or the crown) to certain businesses. In a free market, free of government, there would be no corporations. And you know what? Someone would still supply food, houses or apartments, TV, cars guns, clothes…
Today the fashionable term is “Public/Private Partnership”. The term that was used for “mercantiism” in the mid-20th century was “Fascism”.
We need to quit being the strawman and get out of the matrix. How is it even possible to do that when they’ve got you by the balls?
Don’t forget NGO’s (Non-Governmental Organizations) like Fannie May and Freddy Mac, those pillars of the financial world who brought us the Greater Depression.
There seems to be a fairly large number of young folks waking up to the true nature of our current system; hence their fervid support of Ron Paul. And it appears quite a few older people are energized by this and taking a stand as well. Just like it was prior to the war of federal aggression, the sides are forming. It will be interesting to see how it plays out if they don’t get their man into office. I suspect many will rally behind Rand. But I fear that this will be irrelevant if the “Occupy” movement’s “spring riots” take root. Some level of martial law (at least in the cities) will have to be imposed and elections could even be suspended until the “crisis” is over. Based on the “war on drugs”, the “war on terror” and even the “war on poverty”, no “worthwhile cause” ever dies. And once the infrastructure is in place to consume our wealth there are plenty of parasites standing by to put it “the system” to use.
We are also seeing an escalation of race baiting at the onset of this present crisis. Whether it’s the New Black Panther Party calling for “action”, the media spotlighting the Trayvon Martin case while ignoring the Morvin Andre funeral shootings, or Obama-philes decrying as racist any who dare challenge the Constitutionality of Barry Soetoro’s presidency, the game is oppression and the fix is in. As Gerald Celente so aptly put it (concerning the Goldman Sachs hostile takeovers of Greece and Italy) it’s banksters holding the reigns of collapsing national economies saying “I want my money.” And they’ll happily take our dockyards, railroads, utilities and natural resources (real wealth) while we fight amongst ourselves along racial, economic, religious and political lines; anything to keep us distracted.
I hope and pray that enough people wake up to the scam that we can run the banksters out of town tarred and feathered on a rail. But the longer I live, the more cynical I become and suspect that the masses will be herded off willingly to the shearing shed as usual “for their own protection.” And when the smoke clears “the usual suspects” will still be behind the curtain and remain in charge. I think it was David that wrote in another post that he intends to leave as small a footprint as possible. I think that’s a wise decision. As you pointed out Eric, a man with nothing to lose is dangerous. But a man who appears to have very little to take is unappealing. I don’t want to be that doctor or lawyer at the edge of town in a 6000 sq. ft. McMansion driving a new Mercedes when the golden hoard’s EBT cards quit working that’s for sure.
Well said. Real wealth in not found in fiat currencies. What is happening in Greece is just a delaying action by the bankers in Germany, France, etc. to give the bankers enough time to (get rid of/ deal with) the losses they will take from Greece. Other EU countries may follow in Greece’s footsteps. The bankers do not want to be left holding the hot potato (bad loans) and would rather see someone else take the loss.
Money myth exploded
Very well considered and composed Eric. Betcha Bastiat would agree with you.
Were it my place to do so, other than to replace lawful with legal I would change nothing. There is an ethical element in lawful that is often criminally absent in legal.
I see hopeful signs. Like just after you shoot some ether into an old lawn mower’s carb throat. It kicks and chuffs… and might just fire!
Funny you mention Bastiat. The first thing I did after reading the article was post a Bastiat quote. Then I read your comment. Something about his article must bring him to mind.
Bastiat’s works are an essential addition to the Libertarian Library . . . especially THE LAW. I reread it and refer to it often.
Interestingly, the very best Libertarian material can be downloaded free. In my opinion, the Unanimous Declaration is the best of all. But sadly, few Individuals among the flag waving multitudes who ooh and ahh while watching Fourth of July fireworks have taken the time to study and consider that incomparable work. Most of them probably believe they are actually free*.
Tinsley Grey Sammons (1936 –)
*Even after their brat has been busted for possession of pot.
Quite right Tinsley and Brad; I too saw the correlation between Bastiat’s “What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen” and Eric’s excellent piece. It’s very easy for the recipient masses to justify legal plunder of their neighbors if they will not look beneath the veneer of presently passes for civilization. When I attempt to explain the basics of money and the free market to young folks, I put it this way “Would a young woman rather have a real gold ring or a gold colored paper ring?” Almost invariably they say real gold, of course. This opens the door to ask them why we would feel exactly the opposite about money. When you give them a brief history of how the transnational banksters stole all our real money and left us holding a bag full of worthless paper, you’ll see the light come on.
But I know plenty of educated, intelligent people in my age group that should know better, but are utterly resistant to the truth of fiat currency, monetary / credit inflation and expansionist government. The typical response is “Well I can take that paper money to the store and buy a candy bar with it, but they don’t take gold” (which unfortunately is pretty much true). Oh I expect you could get a cashier to take a $5 gold eagle at face value, but they’d want to give change in FRN’s and the smart ones would pocket the gold and put a paper fiver in the till. My point is that the masses, for the most part, are short sighted consumers with no real appreciation for true wealth. Consequently, they place little value on their own prolific and easily acquired “stuff” and even less value on their neighbors stuff. What they do is covet when they see that someone has more stuff than they do and like spoiled toddlers, stamp their feet, cry “it’s not fair! gimme!” without regard for the time and effort productive people trade for the level of prosperity they enjoy.
As Tinsley so aptly points out they confuse what is legally allowed with that which is ethically or morally right under natural law; which amounts to nothing more than codified and organized lawlessness. This is the reason why we see the government that was once charged with protecting our lives, Liberty and pursuit of happiness, now working overtime to take them from us.
Actually this cashier often takes pre 1964 dimes and quarters out of the till and replaces them with federal reserve notes.
Toldev, not only is that smart and very observant on your part, it is also living proof of Gresham’s law. When the government overvalues “bad money” smart people store up (gasp…dare I say hoard) the “good money.” You probably already know this, but 1965 through 1970 Kennedy halves are 40% silver and well worth culling as well. For those of you interested, http://www.coinflation.com has a lot interesting info on American coinage and what has happened to its value.
Well, I hope the handful of comments I’ve sprinkled around would earn me the chance to do a bit of self promotion here. If you run across any older foreign coins I actually wrote the book on the subject of junk coins. As far as I can tell the only one ever written.
People still use them? I’ve been looking for them in circulating change since I was kid and never found a single one.
I feel your pain Brent. I’ve found a few here and there over the years, but for the most part I think cashiers and bank tellers cull them pretty efficiently. I suspect that most of the silver that ends up in circulation these days is because some uninformed youngster gets into grandpa’s coin collection and “appropriates” some candy and soda pop money. To a kid “it’s just change.”
Back in the nineties I used to withdraw rolls of halves at my local bank every pay day. I’d go through them, cull the 40% Ag coins and redeposit the rest. One of the tellers sweetly asked me what I was up to and like a dumb-ass I told her. The next time I went in to pick up some halves I was informed they were no longer able to provide them to me. Hmmmm. Point being, if you try this don’t tell the bank employees about it. And in retrospect, it would probably be better when you’re through to deposit them in a different bank or just spend them.
I was in a convenience store once when the clerk held up a $20 bill and said “Hey I think this is counterfeit!” The manager came over, snatched it from her hand, said “This one isn’t,” and gave her a twenty from his own wallet. The “counterfeit” was a 1927 gold certificate. He made out BIG TIME!
Ah, sweet! I’ve been drooling over one of those gold certificates at the shop where I buy silver.
I carry around a silver quarter and a Kennedy half-dollar. I also have two Zimbabwean banknotes, issued six months apart; one is for 500,000,000 Zimbabwean dollars. The later one? 100,000,000,000,000 (that’s one hundred trillion).
If I get a monetary conversation started I pull out the silver quarter and ask people what it’s worth; a little more than a gallon of gas. Then I whip out the Zimbabwean “money” and lay down the fiat-currency explanation.
It’s an eye-opener, and surprisingly it works well on people who’ve never had silver money–pretty much anyone under sixty. There’s just something about holding precious metals–their weight, the ring when it’s dropped, its luster–that makes it feel like real money. Which, it is.
Awesome Methyl, I love it! Sometimes I carry a silver eagle for the same purpose. I’ll have to pick up a couple of those Zim notes (there are probably a few left that haven’t been used to wipe with yet) and add that to my “real money” repertoire. Thanks!
When I was a kid, really small, I remember my grandfather showing me gold and silver certificates. This was in the early-mid ’70s. I haven’t see one since.
You can buy those Zim notes on Amazon in mint condition:
Zimbabwean 100 Trillion notes
What really feels like real money is a double eagle.
Get a “cleaned” one or similar where it can be handled outside of a case without reducing the value.
20 peace or morgan dollars is one thing, this $20 gold piece is another.
silver certificates at some point had to be turned in for their silver or they became simply collectors’ items. This is why most no longer exist. People got their silver. A small vial of silver shot.
I have a $5 gold coin, it is the size of a nickle, i inherited it from my mom who inherited it from her dad (who didn’t give it up when FDR confiscated all the gold from the hands of the populace). My grandfather carried it in a key chain piece that was designed to hold 8 nickles (for parking meters and bus fare), it is still in that key chain and so are Grandpa’s nickles. And it will likely go to my eldest child at my demise (provided I don’t need it to buy food someday).
Envy, coercion, violence, robbery, slavery, murder. Democracy makes everything good.
Voting is the problem and should be confined to juries and private affairs.
For those of us who wish and do live a free life of voluntary exchange with our fellow man the state will always be our enemy no matter what form it takes or how limited it is at at any time. The state, really the people who run it claim monopoly rule over a certain geographical area, and of course they
claim the right to rule over all who live there whether the latter likes it or not; and to force those living there to support them, as we all know. Voting in a democratic state such as ours is simply voting to replace one group of dictators with another, with the added incentive that anyone, even you!, can become one of the rulers.
Self-government in this society is pure Madison Ave rhetoric. Self-govt. means (to me) no rulers and no ruled, rather a society of political equals who get what they want from each other, including traditional govt. services, by means of voluntary exchange.
As one author has stated succinctly, democracy is the god that failed.
The detail of the jury must be added to deal with the bullies. They will always be with us so in order to be free we must vote. This is the only occasion in which I can discover that voting is needed. In self defense. As far as war is concerned if you don’t fund it it tends to be small and a free people is very expensive to rule over. I don’t see how a free people could agree to go to war any way.
It is funny that so many people here believe that it is better for smart voters to determine how you live than for dumb ones. How can their solutions be any less stupid. They still have an information problem. Only you can possibly have the most up to date and relevant information and only you have to pay for your decisions. Smart voters don’t exist. Voting is emotional.
Dr. Hoppe delivered my red pill as well.