The feud has to do with their respective stances on intellectual property, but seems to have spilled over into very petty nitpickery of late. Tucker criticizes IP as monopolistic. Wenzel defends it as no different than private property. I think that economics* and Natural Law Theory are on Tucker’s side and that Wenzel, like most anyone on at least one issue, has his blinders on. In a related debate between Kinsella and Wenzel, I see the same thing going on. My comments touch on this a little, but also briefly on the distinctions between Anti-IP Natural Law anarchists (Tucker, Kinsella, Hoppe), Pro-IP Natural Law anarchists (Rothbard and Wenzel), and certain minarcists (in this specific case, the Theonomist, Gary North, but for other minarchists that support IP, look to the Objectivist school of Ayn Rand, and for minarchists that despise IP, start with this wonderful article), as well as the similarity between Rothbard’s “Pro-IP” views and certain later Rothbardians’ “Anti-IP” views. This similarity resides in their agreement that the human will trumps contracts. So, technically, even Rothbard was Anti-IP where enforcement of copyrights as contracts amounted to “voluntary slavery.”
Well, this blog has been registered at WordPress.com for one year now. It took a while to get it off the ground, but it hit the ground running. (How’s that for a mixed – and contradictory – metaphor, by the way?) Click here to learn more about the blog, and here to learn a little bit about it’s author.
Not bad for an amateur one-man team, right? Well, its the readers that are more to thank. Without them there really is no point in writing.
I stand by those words.
He’s denied the label technocrat already, and I suppose that’s not what he “is”, its just a likely outcome of some of his ideas. It is worth noting that experts should certainly govern their own fields and fields have their own terminology and their own rules. It does not follow, however that their is a strict separation from the other sectors, spheres, and fields, nor that the rules and terminologies by which they are governed are wholly, or even mostly unrelated to those that govern other sectors, spheres, and fields.
Legal Positivism is the best description and the easiest to prove besides Canadian.
Utopianism and Totalitarianism are not really a subjective terms, but I suppose there are nuances.
Nihilism is the hardest charge to make stick, so I am willing to modify it to moral relativism, but that aspect of things is not my primary focus.
Canadian was sort of a nationalistic dig on my part, but I don’t harbor any ill-will towards my brethren to the North, I just like to give them a hard time.
And Socialist, much like technocrat, is not necessarily what he portends to be, but just another outcome of his political philosophy.
I’ve noticed an uptick in the hits on this piece, as well as related posts, and have been paying attention to the search terms. I really hope Barry drops by one of these days and attempts to refute an attempted refutation. I do always enjoy picking his brain and honing my skills. Barry has been one of my better whetstones. It’s nothing personal of course, he has just been one of the most willing to engage and I welcome and encourage that. So if it Barry himself stopping by, I ask him to stay a while and unload his thoughts. Or if it is someone who knows Barry, I ask you to pass this challenge along. We could discuss a few things. It doesn’t have to be Ron Paul, the election is over.
Regardless of whether he accepts this challenge or not, and I won’t judge his actions one way or the other, I want him to know I still have a few more things to say to him, as promised. Look for them in the coming days and weeks.
I went and voted yesterday. I did everything I said I was going to do. Big deal. That’s an hour of my life I’ll never get back. But I suppose it was all worth it for two reasons.
First of all, what was on the ballot. I got to write in 7 people. The rest of the candidates I voted for were all Republicans or nonpartisan. Except for one Libertarian for Clerk of the Montana Supreme Court. And I suppose the ballot initiatives needed an up or down vote as well, despite their imperfections.
Second. Although those scoundrels didn’t give me an “I Voted” sticker like they usually do, I did get a free pen out of the deal.
Well, sort of. I may have actually “liberated” it from the voting booth. But before you accuse me of voter intimidation or theft, let me state a few things:
I have done this before. At the primary election. I got a black pen with a blue grip on it. I just wanted it so I could someday tell my grandchildren “I voted for Ron Paul in the 2012 Primary with this pen.” Same goes for the pen I individually reappropriated yesterday, except this one had a red grip. Yes, I wrote in Ron Paul with this pen.
There was another pen in the booth so its not like I prevented someone else from voting.
Democracy is basically theft, so I was just returning the favor. And I drove on a taxpayer-funded road on my way to the taxpayer-funded voting location (an indoctrination center), so I’m already guilty of plundering the Egyptians. What harm does one more small offense cause? Besides, I take pens from all sorts of private sector locations all the time. On the other hand, I think they encourage that. Kind of a perk for customers and free advertisement for the business.
Red pens and blue pens…You think maybe there was a subliminal message?
And no, I am not a black bloc anarchist. But I just couldn’t resist the obvious parallels. As pathetic as they are.
The fifth of November
The gunpowder treason and plot.
I know of no reason
Why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.”
That was technically yesterday (Mountain Standard Time), though I when I started this piece I hadn’t gone to bed yet. Today is officially election day. This post is intended to bring a few things to everyone’s attention. Many people already know these things. Some don’t. Either way, as usual, I will put a little of my own spin on it.
First on the election.
On the presidential elections (I still have not voted yet today, but I think I will make it to the polls before they close), voting doesn’t really effect the election outcome unless you are in a battleground state. So I hope most people will be voting their consciences. Voting, however, does send a message, and that message for each voting block is the same REGARDLESS of the outcome. What I mean by this is, if you support someone but vote for someone else, odds are that not only will that vote have no effect on the outcome (unless, as I said, it is a tight race) in terms of who the next president is, but you are also keeping people from knowing what you truly believe. Voting to send a message therefore has much more of an impact than voting to put someone in power.
And now, the rest of the post on ongoing and attempted takeovers of the liberty movement by 1) Occupy Wall Street (this was only a minor and unintended offense on their part), 2) the rank and file of the Tea Party (originally a good thing, but now more or less synonymous with the GOP), and 3) the Kochtopus (who in my conspiratorial mind own Jesse Benton, Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, and a good portion of many Republican, Tea Party, and Libertarian groups, organizations, and individuals, though I do not allege that everyone employed are receiving funds from the Koch Brothers is automatically a blind tool).
407 years ago this night was the Gun Powder plot where a group of English Catholics attempted to Assassinate James I of England. All religious considerations aside (I am not a Catholic), it was an act against oppression and thus a tradition has come down to us today, mainly in England, to celebrate the anniversary. I won’t go into any details about how the Fifth of November, AKA Guy Fawkes Day is traditionally celebrated, but I do want to call attention to the man it was named after. But not the historical man because that is fairly boring. It is to the fictionalized, mythologized, romanticized, and later Hollywoodified version that I will point you. Guy Fawkes is a Robin Hood-like hero in these later accounts, and much the same he has captured many hearts and minds. Like Robin of Loxley, he stands against the existing order, the status quo, and evades the unjust authorities, but perhaps unlike him, the whole idea of tyranny. What more could I ask for?
We’ve all seen the Guy Fawkes masks, the ones that come from the movie V for Vendetta. The first people that used them as activists, perhaps to the surprise of many, were in fact Ron Paul supporters. Not the hackers group Anonymous, and not the Occupy Wall Street movement. Just like with the Tea Party movement.
Speaking of Anonymous, Guy Fawkes, and Ron Paul, check out this “leak” and the video below.
Ron Paul raised $4.3 Million on Guy Fawkes Day in 2007. Why a similar money bomb didn’t occur in 2011 is probably due to former Campaign Manager Jesse Benton’s fear and loathing of anything resembling disorder or fringe or passion.
Most Ron Paul supporters had their suspicions of Jesse Benton. Some smelled a rat early on. Other reserved judgement until it was too late.
Adam Kokesh was one in the former category. [Warning: Foul Language!]
He regarded Jesse Benton and Campaign for Liberty (under Benton’s leadership at the time) with disdain from early one, at first for what seemed to be personal reasons, but later what turned out to be a dead-on instinct.
This all reminds me of an historical episode that occurred between another Jesse Benton, and a man who might be considered Ron Paul’s role model against the Central Bank, President Andrew Jackson.
Campaign for Liberty was perhaps the first real Tea Party organization, although in a sense Dick Armey’s Freedom Works (2004), the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity (2004) Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform 1985), and the Koch Brothers’ Citizens for a Sounds Economy (1984) all deserve honorable mention.
Even Murray Rothbard can be said to have had a role, albeit a small one.
And speaking of Murray Rothbard and the Kochtopus, I suggest you read some of these links I have done many hours worth of research looking for. I have read a number of them myself. There is some really juicy stuff in there. And it should be required reading for any liberty minded person worried about the corrupting influences to be found in politics, even in the libertarian movement. I don’t know entirely what to make of it all other than that the Koch brothers have done many great deeds for which they should be praised, but all for what appear to be the wrong reasons, reasons, which have also caused them to do a great deal of more sinister things. Perhaps enough to outshine their more praiseworthy endeavors. They are corporate fascists and elitists no less than George Soros and Warren Buffet. They just have a different strategy. Perhaps the most clever and dangerous.
May 28, 2007
March 25, 2008
April 22, 2008
May 12, 2008
October 22, 2008
January 2, 2009
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August 28, 2009
March 30, 2010
April 22, 2008
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August 4, 2010
August 30, 2010
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January 26, 2011
January 27, 2011
February 2, 2011
February 3, 2011
February 6, 2011
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February 24, 2011
February 26, 2011
March 2, 2011
March 10, 2011
April 22, 2011
May 6, 2011
May 9, 2011
July 3, 2011
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July 22, 2011
July 25, 2011
September 6, 2011
September 29, 2011
October 3, 2011
October 13, 2011
November 6, 2011
November 16, 2011
January 1, 2012
January 31, 2012
February 16, 2012
March 1, 2012
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April 11, 2012
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April 24, 2012
April 27, 2012
July 7, 2012
August 17, 2012
August 30, 2012
Two Additional Links I can’t put in the chronology:
One of the most interesting things (and there were many) I garnered from reading these is the Kochtopus’ love for Central Banking, despite their roots in Austrian Economics. Evokes memories of Alan Greenspan. And why the Koch Brothers put stock in Herman Cain. And why Rick Perry was derided by so-called conservatives when he called Ben Bernanke a traitor. And why their oh so brief ally Ron Paul is so hated by them and theirs anymore.
And it reminds me further of several graphics I have seen floating around on the various End the Fed sites and blogs. A stream of consciousness post like this would be seriously remiss without tying everything together with a few related images.
Do I need to spell out the connection?
Hydra/Kraken/Squid/Octopus/Kochtopus/Leviathon/Federal Government/Federal Reserve/National Bank/Petrodollar/Koch Industries/Corporations/Military Industrial Complex/Fascism Hello?!?!
Please don’t think I’m going all occult on you or anything (I do admit that I came across some pretty dubious sites looking for some of these images). I just really like mythology and history and metaphors and analogies.
Barry Germansky: “That’s [That the United States is a Democracy, that the American People can tax their brethren for any purpose whatsoever, that the Government itself has inherent rights to the wealth of its citizens] what the Constitution says. That obviously leaves a lot of room and it was wise for the founding fathers to do this [Author a document, pursuant to Rousseau's general will theory, that allows a majority to lawfully coerce and tyrannize a minority], it leaves a lot of room for the people to implement new programs as they’re needed in future years. Obviously, how could they know the future? They couldn’t.”
Henry Moore: First of all, the Constitution need not specify which body or agency may or may not be created by CONGRESS (not the people). For it says in Article Two, Section Two, Clause Two, of the President, “He shall have power,…by and with the Advice and Consent of the senate, [to] appoint…all…officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law…” While I agree that this is by no means a restriction upon the Federal Government as represented by the Authority of the Executive and the Consent of the Senate ONCE a department is created by LAW (i.e., the majority of the legislators, in a word, CONGRESS, and not THE PEOPLE). It is, however a restriction in the sense that a LAW, that is required to meet CONSTITUTIONAL muster, must be passed by BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS, and signed by the President (his signature DOES NOT represent a final “vote”, in his supposed role as “chief legislator”, a myth perpetuated by many and unfortunately condoned by CONGRESS in their cowardly refusal to rein in the UNCONSTITUTIONAL Executive Orders and departmental regulations; but rather it is a symbol of his willingness to ENFORCE or EXECUTE that LAW, which is his ONLY domestic prerogative apart from appointing Judges and Department heads and Cabinet members, and the utilization of STATE militias, as enumerated in the Constitution, when their calling forth has been provided for. Just because certain restrictions in regards to certain powers that have been usurped by the Executive Branch are not specifically mentioned by name, does not mean that the Executive Branch may rightly exercise those powers.) in his capacity as executor or enforcer of the LAW. The Constitution was written to place restrictions on the Federal Government and was ratified by the several States under those auspices. This, in theory, is a contract between the people and the states as well as the states and the federal government and as such is enforceable by Contract Law, the jurisdiction of which is authorized for the courts.
If we do only look at the part of the Constitution that I have just quoted as giving virtually or actually unlimited departmental powers (including the creation and empowering of the FDA and the DOEd, with all their trappings) to the Executive Branch and the Federal Government, which we might presume by default were it not for knowledge of the Federalist Papers, the Anti-Federalist rebuttals, English Common Law, the Ratification Debates, and the enforceable promises made to some among the ratifying states; on its own, then it becomes necessary, in order to inform the ignorant, to placate the doubtful, and to fetter those that strive for political power, if the intent is indeed to place a restriction upon the latter, to have more on this subject to work with beyond US Constitution Art. II, Sec. 2.
Exhibit No. 1: The Ninth Amendment to the Constitution, an original addendum, utilized by Madison in his Bill of Rights (a requirement by some of the states, especially heavily anti-Constitution Virginia). The text, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”, were it to be properly examined, would yield this interpretation: The Federal Government has absolutely no authority whatsoever to ignore the rights of the people, that they retain, that were not specifically mentioned. What are these “rights”? Anything that is retained by the people as their Natural Right that has some continuity from their traditionally perceived rights and that do not infringe upon other rights enumerated or retained. Examples would include “acquiring and possessing property”, “pursuing happiness and security”, “reforming, altering, or abolishing, in a way conducive to the public welfare, any government acting contrarily to its intended purpose”, and “deciding, by Jury, the facts and the Law, in any case brought before a Court of Law”. These rights can not extend to “exclusive or separate entitlements to emoluments or privileges from the community, apart from consideration of a service rendered to that community” and preserve the criterion of “no infringement of the rights of others” at the same time. Could it not be, that in absence of any other plausible reason for adopting an Amendment such as the Ninth, that, perhaps, it was meant to keep Congress from, willy-nilly, enacting certain regulations or regulatory agencies that place restrictions, prohibitions, and limitations upon the rights retained by the people? This may still seem rather vague. What we know so far as I have thus written is that the Congress might actually have the authority to create unspecified agencies provided they do not violate unspecified rights. This will soon be modified by our examination of the Tenth Amendment. Before we do that: Who gets to decide which unspecified rights are Natural and which “rights” infringe upon those that ARE Natural? How can these riddles be solved? We can either take the writings of George Mason and Patrick Henry for granted, consult other written accumulations of Free Thought, or examine the facts. What are the criteria for determining which rights are to be retained, and which are to be thrown by the wayside? As mentioned before, whether or not it (the so-called “right”) infringes on other rights already enumerated or determined to be retained. This is a more objective process than most give it credit for. Simply put, any “right” that uses the FORCE of Law to Plunder the Life, Liberty, Property, or Security of one man and bestow them upon another, must be excluded from the retainment of Rights by the People. It is no “right” at all because it conflicts with the free exercise of actual rights. To consider them both a “right” would be an obvious contradiction. See Frederic Bastiat’s classic, and short, work, The Law. I can not recommend it enough.
Exhibit No. 2: The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, a close cousin to the Ninth. As written, “The Powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”, means that if a power is not mentioned in the Constitution, however general or specific, the Federal Government shall NOT exercise that power, NOR enact or enforce laws claiming that power. And, unless that power is forbidden to the States by Article One, Section Ten, the States are on level or higher grounds with/than the People to implement or use such power. To think of this power only in terms of law is to falsely believe that “rights” are granted by Government (instead of merely secured by it, as confirmed by the Declaration of Independence) and that Governments do not derive their legitimacy from the Consent of the Governed (the opposite of which is not incompatible with the belief that they derive their basic authority from and are ordained by God). One must think of it in terms of both law and the absence of law. Both limitations and allowances. Both artificial restrictions and Natural Rights. So, if we consider the relationships amongst the following: Federal, State, [Local; not mentioned in the constitution because States have their own constitutions which may enumerate or retain the notion of localities and municipalities], and We the People; in an indirectly hierarchical way, we see that the Federal Government regulates Foreign Affairs, and Commerce BETWEEN the several States, and NOT States’ internal affairs or noncommercial State-external affairs. Likewise, that the States’ Governments regulate noncommercial State-external affairs and their internal affairs, without violating powers granted to localities and municipalities enumerated in State constitutions. Localities and Municipalities may have their own levels of regulating certain activities without violating the constitutions they are accountable to (though they might end up violating the rights of the people they are answerable to). And finally, that the People are free to do those things that do not violate any of the constitutions or constitutional laws. The only way an individual can overstep his bounds in regards to Federal Law are if they counterfeit, commit piracy, treason, and offenses against the Law of Nations. Any restrictive law written not to define or punish these crimes is an unconstitutional law as per Article One, Section Eight, Clause Eighteen, among others. Depending on which state they may reside in and what powers are granted to that state in its constitution and what laws are passed in compliance with that constitution, the people may or may not be free to eat, drink, or inject whatever they care to, apart from where it may violate local and municipal ordinances. They may also buy and sell these things, without actually having violated a Constitutional Federal Law, some illegally created ‘Food and Drug Administration’ notwithstanding. Likewise, the people are free to educate or be educated in the manner they see fit for themselves or their children, apart from violations of constitutional state laws and local and municipal ordinances, which may or may not allow or prohibit any or all of the following: state schools, charter schools, private schools, home schools, self education, or no education. No ‘Department of Education’ is necessary, let alone Constitutional. The Constitution cedes to the states (or rather, the states don’t cede to the Constitution) the power to have their own inviolable constitutions, which, whether they establish the state as the highest authority and decisive entity within that state’s educational system or lack thereof, or not, are violated by the DOEd. This is not just a mere violation of the of the state’s constitution or the rights of the people as acknowledged by either the state or US constitutions or retained by them, but also a violation of the US Constitution which allows for the inviolable state constitution (with a GUARANTEE of a Republican form of government in Article Four Section Four, and of State Sovereignty in Article Four, Section Three, and the Tenth Amendment) in the first place.
Possible counter claims you might entertain: The General Welfare Clause and the Supremacy Clause. I do not disparage these, but in the greater context of the United States Constitution, they may by no means be used to construe that the Federal Government may violate any other part of the Constitution seemingly upholding the letter and the spirit of these two clauses. Plain and simple.
It is not up to “the people to decide what they want” using the coercive power of government. I should not have to describe to you what would happen if it were. Say what you will about the philosophy of Anarchism, whether socialistic or capitalistic. It has or appears to have its own merits. But it would be a fool thing to deny that such a system is incompatible with a society under the supervision of a government, whether Republican or Despotic, Free or Paternal. Either the government must be removed (as advocated by the Anarcho-Capitalists and others) or inadvertently eaten away from within (as unwittingly advocated by the more juvenile of certain so-called Anarcho-Socialists). The former understand what Polybius understood. The latter will utilize the bread and circuses tactics of old, ignoring the lessons of history. Assuming they sincerely want to improve society, which seems to rarely be the case. It was established long ago (by Polybius, most notably, but others before him) that the Direct Democracy you advocate easily and naturally degenerates into Ochlocracy. Demagoguery and sycophancy know no bounds under such a system. People are given their welfare checks and their food stamps and their subsidies and their waivers and their favors and are then told to shut up, somewhat justifiably. The ones that would speak out are marginalized. The remainder, usually the self sufficient working class, are then told to fear some monster in the very air that they breathe (smog? acid rain? asbestos?) or across the ocean in some tyrant’s palace (Saddam Hussein? Moammar Qaddafi?) or hermit’s cave (Osama bin Laden? Ayman al-Zawahiri?).
A Constitutional Amendment enumerating a Democratic Referendum to pass laws would be needed in order to anachronistically make your assertions correct. As if the Seventeenth Amendment did not go far enough. The people may indirectly decide things through their representatives on many levels, through elections and through petitions. They may also (as in the Tenth Amendment) decide to do with their own lives (and, apart from their children’s, no one else’s) on an individual level, their decisions having no direct consequences for their neighbors or fellow citizens. As priorly noted, you describe a direct democracy. But, what our system really is and was intended to be, is a Democratic republic, wherein only someone or entity that is actually vested with such power may impose and enforce a law upon “lesser” elements within their jurisdiction. Even if you were right, it does not fit with the two examples you gave. The people did not have anything to do with the implementation of the FDA or DOEd or any number of other inefficient and unconstitutional bureaucracies. For the sake of the argument, I will give you the benefit of the doubt and (as your next sentence inadequately seems to allude to) assume you meant “the people’s representatives”, and not just “the people”, since the former are the ones that created such agencies, rarely having been influenced by “the people”, but rather, by special interests, unions, the executive Branch, and the representatives’ own flawed ideologies.
And no, the government (specifically Congress) does not have the “right” to “take tax” and “appropriate the funds”. They currently have the power to do so, GRANTED by the Constitution and CONSENTED to by the governed. THAT is what the Constitution (GRANTED) and the Declaration of Independence (CONSENTED) actually say. This authority may legitimately be revoked by the People. Taxation is theft. There is no fundamental difference.
We discussed this topic at length towards the beginning when referring to Article Two, Section Two, Clause Two, and again sometime after.