A Conservative

A Conservative.

WHY I AM ONE

The bizarre bohemian bilge that plagues conventionally left-wing schools of thought, whether from Marx or Rawls or Chomsky, is just not for me. For the most part anyways. Since I’ve become more (this is an understatement; I have gone much farther than, say, Glenn Beck) of a libertarian (a classical liberal while socialists are usually just reverse reactionaries), I’ve learned to make some exceptions. This has tended to be more on the level of semi-reluctant tolerance than on that of open-armed embrace. Continue reading

Ron Paul’s Farewell Speech

Ron Paul’s Farewell Speech.

Farewell to Congress

It was my opinion, that the course the U.S. embarked on in the latter part of the 20th Century would bring us a major financial crisis and engulf us in a foreign policy that would overextend us and undermine our national security.This may well be the last time I speak on the House Floor. At the end of the year I’ll leave Congress after 23 years in office over a 36 year period. My goals in 1976 were the same as they are today: promote peace and prosperity by a strict adherence to the principles of individual liberty.

To achieve the goals I sought, government would have had to shrink in size and scope, reduce spending, change the monetary system, and reject the unsustainable costs of policing the world and expanding the American Empire.

The problems seemed to be overwhelming and impossible to solve, yet from my view point, just following the constraints placed on the federal government by the Constitution would have been a good place to start.

How Much Did I Accomplish?

In many ways, according to conventional wisdom, my off-and-on career in Congress, from 1976 to 2012, accomplished very little. No named legislation, no named federal buildings or highways—thank goodness. In spite of my efforts, the government has grown exponentially, taxes remain excessive, and the prolific increase of incomprehensible regulations continues. Wars are constant and pursued without Congressional declaration, deficits rise to the sky, poverty is rampant and dependency on the federal government is now worse than any time in our history.

All this with minimal concerns for the deficits and unfunded liabilities that common sense tells us cannot go on much longer. A grand, but never mentioned, bipartisan agreement allows for the well-kept secret that keeps the spending going. One side doesn’t give up one penny on military spending, the other side doesn’t give up one penny on welfare spending, while both sides support the bailouts and subsidies for the banking and corporate elite. And the spending continues as the economy weakens and the downward spiral continues. As the government continues fiddling around, our liberties and our wealth burn in the flames of a foreign policy that makes us less safe.

The major stumbling block to real change in Washington is the total resistance to admitting that the country is broke. This has made compromising, just to agree to increase spending, inevitable since neither side has any intention of cutting spending.

The country and the Congress will remain divisive since there’s no “loot left to divvy up.”

Without this recognition the spenders in Washington will continue the march toward a fiscal cliff much bigger than the one anticipated this coming January.

I have thought a lot about why those of us who believe in liberty, as a solution, have done so poorly in convincing others of its benefits. If liberty is what we claim it is- the principle that protects all personal, social and economic decisions necessary for maximum prosperity and the best chance for peace- it should be an easy sell. Yet, history has shown that the masses have been quite receptive to the promises of authoritarians which are rarely if ever fulfilled.

Authoritarianism vs. Liberty
During my time in Congress the appetite for liberty has been quite weak; the understanding of its significance negligible. Yet the good news is that compared to 1976 when I first came to Congress, the desire for more freedom and less government in 2012 is much greater and growing, especially in grassroots America. Tens of thousands of teenagers and college age students are, with great enthusiasm, welcoming the message of liberty.If authoritarianism leads to poverty and war and less freedom for all individuals and is controlled by rich special interests, the people should be begging for liberty. There certainly was a strong enough sentiment for more freedom at the time of our founding that motivated those who were willing to fight in the revolution against the powerful British government.

I have a few thoughts as to why the people of a country like ours, once the freest and most prosperous, allowed the conditions to deteriorate to the degree that they have.

Freedom, private property, and enforceable voluntary contracts, generate wealth. In our early history we were very much aware of this. But in the early part of the 20thcentury our politicians promoted the notion that the tax and monetary systems had to change if we were to involve ourselves in excessive domestic and military spending. That is why Congress gave us the Federal Reserve and the income tax. The majority of Americans and many government officials agreed that sacrificing some liberty was necessary to carry out what some claimed to be “progressive” ideas. Pure democracy became acceptable.

They failed to recognized that what they were doing was exactly opposite of what the colonists were seeking when they broke away from the British.

Some complain that my arguments makes no sense, since great wealth and the standard of living improved for many Americans over the last 100 years, even with these new policies.

But the damage to the market economy, and the currency, has been insidious and steady. It took a long time to consume our wealth, destroy the currency and undermine productivity and get our financial obligations to a point of no return. Confidence sometimes lasts longer than deserved. Most of our wealth today depends on debt.

The wealth that we enjoyed and seemed to be endless, allowed concern for the principle of a free society to be neglected. As long as most people believed the material abundance would last forever, worrying about protecting a competitive productive economy and individual liberty seemed unnecessary.

The Age of Redistribution

This neglect ushered in an age of redistribution of wealth by government kowtowing to any and all special interests, except for those who just wanted to left alone. That is why today money in politics far surpasses money currently going into research and development and productive entrepreneurial efforts.

The material benefits became more important than the understanding and promoting the principles of liberty and a free market. It is good that material abundance is a result of liberty but if materialism is all that we care about, problems are guaranteed.

The crisis arrived because the illusion that wealth and prosperity would last forever has ended. Since it was based on debt and a pretense that debt can be papered over by an out-of-control fiat monetary system, it was doomed to fail. We have ended up with a system that doesn’t produce enough even to finance the debt and no fundamental understanding of why a free society is crucial to reversing these trends.

If this is not recognized, the recovery will linger for a long time. Bigger government, more spending, more debt, more poverty for the middle class, and a more intense scramble by the elite special interests will continue.

We Need an Intellectual Awakening
If it’s not accepted that big government, fiat money, ignoring liberty, central economic planning, welfarism, and warfarism caused our crisis we can expect a continuous and dangerous march toward corporatism and even fascism with even more loss of our liberties. Prosperity for a large middle class though will become an abstract dream.Without an intellectual awakening, the turning point will be driven by economic law. A dollar crisis will bring the current out-of-control system to its knees.

This continuous move is no different than what we have seen in how our financial crisis of 2008 was handled. Congress first directed, with bipartisan support, bailouts for the wealthy. Then it was the Federal Reserve with its endless quantitative easing. If at first it doesn’t succeed try again; QE1, QE2, and QE3 and with no results we try QE indefinitely—that is until it too fails. There’s a cost to all of this and let me assure you delaying the payment is no longer an option. The rules of the market will extract its pound of flesh and it won’t be pretty.

The current crisis elicits a lot of pessimism. And the pessimism adds to less confidence in the future. The two feed on themselves, making our situation worse.

If the underlying cause of the crisis is not understood we cannot solve our problems. The issues of warfare, welfare, deficits, inflationism, corporatism, bailouts and authoritarianism cannot be ignored. By only expanding these policies we cannot expect good results.

Everyone claims support for freedom. But too often it’s for one’s own freedom and not for others. Too many believe that there must be limits on freedom. They argue that freedom must be directed and managed to achieve fairness and equality thus making it acceptable to curtail, through force, certain liberties.

Some decide what and whose freedoms are to be limited. These are the politicians whose goal in life is power. Their success depends on gaining support from special interests.

No More ‘isms’

The great news is the answer is not to be found in more “isms.” The answers are to be found in more liberty which cost so much less. Under these circumstances spending goes down, wealth production goes up, and the quality of life improves.

Just this recognition—especially if we move in this direction—increases optimism which in itself is beneficial. The follow through with sound policies are required which must be understood and supported by the people.

But there is good evidence that the generation coming of age at the present time is supportive of moving in the direction of more liberty and self-reliance. The more this change in direction and the solutions become known, the quicker will be the return of optimism.

Our job, for those of us who believe that a different system than the one that we have had for the last 100 years, has driven us to this unsustainable crisis, is to be more convincing that there is a wonderful, uncomplicated, and moral system that provides the answers. We had a taste of it in our early history. We need not give up on the notion of advancing this cause.

It worked, but we allowed our leaders to concentrate on the material abundance that freedom generates, while ignoring freedom itself. Now we have neither, but the door is open, out of necessity, for an answer. The answer available is based on the Constitution, individual liberty and prohibiting the use of government force to provide privileges and benefits to all special interests.

After over 100 years we face a society quite different from the one that was intended by the Founders. In many ways their efforts to protect future generations with the Constitution from this danger has failed. Skeptics, at the time the Constitution was written in 1787, warned us of today’s possible outcome. The insidious nature of the erosion of our liberties and the reassurance our great abundance gave us, allowed the process to evolve into the dangerous period in which we now live.

Dependency on Government Largesse

Today we face a dependency on government largesse for almost every need. Our liberties are restricted and government operates outside the rule of law, protecting and rewarding those who buy or coerce government into satisfying their demands. Here are a few examples:

  • Undeclared wars are commonplace.
  • Welfare for the rich and poor is considered an entitlement.
  • The economy is overregulated, overtaxed and grossly distorted by a deeply flawed monetary system.
  • Debt is growing exponentially.
  • The Patriot Act and FISA legislation passed without much debate have resulted in a steady erosion of our 4th Amendment rights.
  • Tragically our government engages in preemptive war, otherwise known as aggression, with no complaints from the American people.
  • The drone warfare we are pursuing worldwide is destined to end badly for us as the hatred builds for innocent lives lost and the international laws flaunted. Once we are financially weakened and militarily challenged, there will be a lot resentment thrown our way.
  • It’s now the law of the land that the military can arrest American citizens, hold them indefinitely, without charges or a trial.
  • Rampant hostility toward free trade is supported by a large number in Washington.
  • Supporters of sanctions, currency manipulation and WTO trade retaliation, call the true free traders “isolationists.”
  • Sanctions are used to punish countries that don’t follow our orders.
  • Bailouts and guarantees for all kinds of misbehavior are routine.
  • Central economic planning through monetary policy, regulations and legislative mandates has been an acceptable policy.

Questions

Excessive government has created such a mess it prompts many questions:

  • Why are sick people who use medical marijuana put in prison?
  • Why does the federal government restrict the drinking of raw milk?
  • Why can’t Americans manufacturer rope and other products from hemp?
  • Why are Americans not allowed to use gold and silver as legal tender as mandated by the Constitution?
  • Why is Germany concerned enough to consider repatriating their gold held by the FED for her in New York? Is it that the trust in the U.S. and dollar supremacy beginning to wane?
  • Why do our political leaders believe it’s unnecessary to thoroughly audit our own gold?
  • Why can’t Americans decide which type of light bulbs they can buy?
  • Why is the TSA permitted to abuse the rights of any American traveling by air?
  • Why should there be mandatory sentences—even up to life for crimes without victims—as our drug laws require?
  • Why have we allowed the federal government to regulate commodes in our homes?
  • Why is it political suicide for anyone to criticize AIPAC ?
  • Why haven’t we given up on the drug war since it’s an obvious failure and violates the people’s rights? Has nobody noticed that the authorities can’t even keep drugs out of the prisons? How can making our entire society a prison solve the problem?
  • Why do we sacrifice so much getting needlessly involved in border disputes and civil strife around the world and ignore the root cause of the most deadly border in the world-the one between Mexico and the US?
  • Why does Congress willingly give up its prerogatives to the Executive Branch?
  • Why does changing the party in power never change policy? Could it be that the views of both parties are essentially the same?
  • Why did the big banks, the large corporations, and foreign banks and foreign central banks get bailed out in 2008 and the middle class lost their jobs and their homes?
  • Why do so many in the government and the federal officials believe that creating money out of thin air creates wealth?
  • Why do so many accept the deeply flawed principle that government bureaucrats and politicians can protect us from ourselves without totally destroying the principle of liberty?
  • Why can’t people understand that war always destroys wealth and liberty?
  • Why is there so little concern for the Executive Order that gives the President authority to establish a “kill list,” including American citizens, of those targeted for assassination?
  • Why is patriotism thought to be blind loyalty to the government and the politicians who run it, rather than loyalty to the principles of liberty and support for the people? Real patriotism is a willingness to challenge the government when it’s wrong.
  • Why is it is claimed that if people won’t or can’t take care of their own needs, that people in government can do it for them?
  • Why did we ever give the government a safe haven for initiating violence against the people?
  • Why do some members defend free markets, but not civil liberties?
  • Why do some members defend civil liberties but not free markets? Aren’t they the same?
  • Why don’t more defend both economic liberty and personal liberty?
  • Why are there not more individuals who seek to intellectually influence others to bring about positive changes than those who seek power to force others to obey their commands?
  • Why does the use of religion to support a social gospel and preemptive wars, both of which requires authoritarians to use violence, or the threat of violence, go unchallenged? Aggression and forced redistribution of wealth has nothing to do with the teachings of the world great religions.
  • Why do we allow the government and the Federal Reserve to disseminate false information dealing with both economic and foreign policy?
  • Why is democracy held in such high esteem when it’s the enemy of the minority and makes all rights relative to the dictates of the majority?
  • Why should anyone be surprised that Congress has no credibility, since there’s such a disconnect between what politicians say and what they do?
  • Is there any explanation for all the deception, the unhappiness, the fear of the future, the loss of confidence in our leaders, the distrust, the anger and frustration? Yes there is, and there’s a way to reverse these attitudes. The negative perceptions are logical and a consequence of bad policies bringing about our problems. Identification of the problems and recognizing the cause allow the proper changes to come easy.

Trust Yourself, Not the Government

Too many people have for too long placed too much confidence and trust in government and not enough in themselves. Fortunately, many are now becoming aware of the seriousness of the gross mistakes of the past several decades. The blame is shared by both political parties. Many Americans now are demanding to hear the plain truth of things and want the demagoguing to stop. Without this first step, solutions are impossible.

Seeking the truth and finding the answers in liberty and self-reliance promotes the optimism necessary for restoring prosperity. The task is not that difficult if politics doesn’t get in the way.

We have allowed ourselves to get into such a mess for various reasons.

Politicians deceive themselves as to how wealth is produced. Excessive confidence is placed in the judgment of politicians and bureaucrats. This replaces the confidence in a free society. Too many in high places of authority became convinced that only they, armed with arbitrary government power, can bring about fairness, while facilitating wealth production. This always proves to be a utopian dream and destroys wealth and liberty. It impoverishes the people and rewards the special interests who end up controlling both political parties.

It’s no surprise then that much of what goes on in Washington is driven by aggressive partisanship and power seeking, with philosophic differences being minor.

Economic Ignorance

Economic ignorance is commonplace. Keynesianism continues to thrive, although today it is facing healthy and enthusiastic rebuttals. Believers in military Keynesianism and domestic Keynesianism continue to desperately promote their failed policies, as the economy languishes in a deep slumber.

Supporters of all government edicts use humanitarian arguments to justify them.

Humanitarian arguments are always used to justify government mandates related to the economy, monetary policy, foreign policy, and personal liberty. This is on purpose to make it more difficult to challenge. But, initiating violence for humanitarian reasons is still violence. Good intentions are no excuse and are just as harmful as when people use force with bad intentions. The results are always negative.

The immoral use of force is the source of man’s political problems. Sadly, many religious groups, secular organizations, and psychopathic authoritarians endorse government initiated force to change the world. Even when the desired goals are well-intentioned—or especially when well-intentioned—the results are dismal. The good results sought never materialize. The new problems created require even more government force as a solution. The net result is institutionalizing government initiated violence and morally justifying it on humanitarian grounds.

This is the same fundamental reason our government uses force for invading other countries at will, central economic planning at home, and the regulation of personal liberty and habits of our citizens.

It is rather strange, that unless one has a criminal mind and no respect for other people and their property, no one claims it’s permissible to go into one’s neighbor’s house and tell them how to behave, what they can eat, smoke and drink or how to spend their money.

Yet, rarely is it asked why it is morally acceptable that a stranger with a badge and a gun can do the same thing in the name of law and order. Any resistance is met with brute force, fines, taxes, arrests, and even imprisonment. This is done more frequently every day without a proper search warrant.

No Government Monopoly over Initiating Violence

Restraining aggressive behavior is one thing, but legalizing a government monopoly for initiating aggression can only lead to exhausting liberty associated with chaos, anger and the breakdown of civil society. Permitting such authority and expecting saintly behavior from the bureaucrats and the politicians is a pipe dream. We now have a standing army of armed bureaucrats in the TSA, CIA, FBI, Fish and Wildlife, FEMA, IRS, Corp of Engineers, etc. numbering over 100,000. Citizens are guilty until proven innocent in the unconstitutional administrative courts.

Government in a free society should have no authority to meddle in social activities or the economic transactions of individuals. Nor should government meddle in the affairs of other nations. All things peaceful, even when controversial, should be permitted.

We must reject the notion of prior restraint in economic activity just we do in the area of free speech and religious liberty. But even in these areas government is starting to use a backdoor approach of political correctness to regulate speech-a dangerous trend. Since 9/11 monitoring speech on the internet is now a problem since warrants are no longer required.

The Proliferation of Federal Crimes

The Constitution established four federal crimes. Today the experts can’t even agree on how many federal crimes are now on the books—they number into the thousands. No one person can comprehend the enormity of the legal system—especially the tax code. Due to the ill-advised drug war and the endless federal expansion of the criminal code we have over 6 million people under correctional suspension, more than the Soviets ever had, and more than any other nation today, including China. I don’t understand the complacency of the Congress and the willingness to continue their obsession with passing more Federal laws. Mandatory sentencing laws associated with drug laws have compounded our prison problems.

The federal register is now 75,000 pages long and the tax code has 72,000 pages, and expands every year. When will the people start shouting, “enough is enough,” and demand Congress cease and desist.

Achieving Liberty

Liberty can only be achieved when government is denied the aggressive use of force. If one seeks liberty, a precise type of government is needed. To achieve it, more than lip service is required.

Two choices are available.

1. A government designed to protect liberty—a natural right—as its sole objective. The people are expected to care for themselves and reject the use of any force for interfering with another person’s liberty. Government is given a strictly limited authority to enforce contracts, property ownership, settle disputes, and defend against foreign aggression.

2. A government that pretends to protect liberty but is granted power to arbitrarily use force over the people and foreign nations. Though the grant of power many times is meant to be small and limited, it inevitably metastasizes into an omnipotent political cancer. This is the problem for which the world has suffered throughout the ages. Though meant to be limited it nevertheless is a 100% sacrifice of a principle that would-be-tyrants find irresistible. It is used vigorously—though incrementally and insidiously. Granting power to government officials always proves the adage that: “power corrupts.”

Once government gets a limited concession for the use of force to mold people habits and plan the economy, it causes a steady move toward tyrannical government. Only a revolutionary spirit can reverse the process and deny to the government this arbitrary use of aggression. There’s no in-between. Sacrificing a little liberty for imaginary safety always ends badly.

Today’s mess is a result of Americans accepting option #2, even though the Founders attempted to give us Option #1.

The results are not good. As our liberties have been eroded our wealth has been consumed. The wealth we see today is based on debt and a foolish willingness on the part of foreigners to take our dollars for goods and services. They then loan them back to us to perpetuate our debt system. It’s amazing that it has worked for this long but the impasse in Washington, in solving our problems indicate that many are starting to understand the seriousness of the world -wide debt crisis and the dangers we face. The longer this process continues the harsher the outcome will be.

The Financial Crisis Is a Moral Crisis
Ultimately, the people have to decide which form of government they want; option #1 or option #2. There is no other choice. Claiming there is a choice of a “little” tyranny is like describing pregnancy as a “touch of pregnancy.” It is a myth to believe that a mixture of free markets and government central economic planning is a worthy compromise. What we see today is a result of that type of thinking. And the results speak for themselves.Many are now acknowledging that a financial crisis looms but few understand it’s, in reality, a moral crisis. It’s the moral crisis that has allowed our liberties to be undermined and permits the exponential growth of illegal government power. Without a clear understanding of the nature of the crisis it will be difficult to prevent a steady march toward tyranny and the poverty that will accompany it.

A Culture of Violence

American now suffers from a culture of violence. It’s easy to reject the initiation of violence against one’s neighbor but it’s ironic that the people arbitrarily and freely anoint government officials with monopoly power to initiate violence against the American people—practically at will.

Because it’s the government that initiates force, most people accept it as being legitimate. Those who exert the force have no sense of guilt. It is believed by too many that governments are morally justified in initiating force supposedly to “do good.” They incorrectly believe that this authority has come from the “consent of the people.” The minority, or victims of government violence never consented to suffer the abuse of government mandates, even when dictated by the majority. Victims of TSA excesses never consented to this abuse.

This attitude has given us a policy of initiating war to “do good,” as well. It is claimed that war, to prevent war for noble purposes, is justified. This is similar to what we were once told that: “destroying a village to save a village” was justified. It was said by a US Secretary of State that the loss of 500,000 Iraqis, mostly children, in the 1990s, as a result of American bombs and sanctions, was “worth it” to achieve the “good” we brought to the Iraqi people. And look at the mess that Iraq is in today.

Government use of force to mold social and economic behavior at home and abroad has justified individuals using force on their own terms. The fact that violence by government is seen as morally justified, is the reason why violence will increase when the big financial crisis hits and becomes a political crisis as well.

First, we recognize that individuals shouldn’t initiate violence, then we give the authority to government. Eventually, the immoral use of government violence, when things goes badly, will be used to justify an individual’s “right” to do the same thing. Neither the government nor individuals have the moral right to initiate violence against another yet we are moving toward the day when both will claim this authority. If this cycle is not reversed society will break down.

When needs are pressing, conditions deteriorate and rights become relative to the demands and the whims of the majority. It’s then not a great leap for individuals to take it upon themselves to use violence to get what they claim is theirs. As the economy deteriorates and the wealth discrepancies increase—as are already occurring— violence increases as those in need take it in their own hands to get what they believe is theirs. They will not wait for a government rescue program.

When government officials wield power over others to bail out the special interests, even with disastrous results to the average citizen, they feel no guilt for the harm they do. Those who take us into undeclared wars with many casualties resulting, never lose sleep over the death and destruction their bad decisions caused. They are convinced that what they do is morally justified, and the fact that many suffer just can’t be helped.

When the street criminals do the same thing, they too have no remorse, believing they are only taking what is rightfully theirs. All moral standards become relative. Whether it’s bailouts, privileges, government subsidies or benefits for some from inflating a currency, it’s all part of a process justified by a philosophy of forced redistribution of wealth. Violence, or a threat of such, is the instrument required and unfortunately is of little concern of most members of Congress.

Some argue it’s only a matter of “fairness” that those in need are cared for. There are two problems with this. First, the principle is used to provide a greater amount of benefits to the rich than the poor. Second, no one seems to be concerned about whether or not it’s fair to those who end up paying for the benefits. The costs are usually placed on the backs of the middle class and are hidden from the public eye. Too many people believe government handouts are free, like printing money out of thin air, and there is no cost. That deception is coming to an end. The bills are coming due and that’s what the economic slowdown is all about.

Sadly, we have become accustomed to living with the illegitimate use of force by government. It is the tool for telling the people how to live, what to eat and drink, what to read and how to spend their money.

To develop a truly free society, the issue of initiating force must be understood and rejected. Granting to government even a small amount of force is a dangerous concession.

Limiting Government Excesses vs. a Virtuous Moral People

Our Constitution, which was intended to limit government power and abuse, has failed. The Founders warned that a free society depends on a virtuous and moral people. The current crisis reflects that their concerns were justified.

Most politicians and pundits are aware of the problems we face but spend all their time in trying to reform government. The sad part is that the suggested reforms almost always lead to less freedom and the importance of a virtuous and moral people is either ignored, or not understood. The new reforms serve only to further undermine liberty. The compounding effect has given us this steady erosion of liberty and the massive expansion of debt. The real question is: if it is liberty we seek, should most of the emphasis be placed on government reform or trying to understand what “a virtuous and moral people” means and how to promote it. The Constitution has not prevented the people from demanding handouts for both rich and poor in their efforts to reform the government, while ignoring the principles of a free society. All branches of our government today are controlled by individuals who use their power to undermine liberty and enhance the welfare/warfare state-and frequently their own wealth and power.

If the people are unhappy with the government performance it must be recognized that government is merely a reflection of an immoral society that rejected a moral government of constitutional limitations of power and love of freedom.

If this is the problem all the tinkering with thousands of pages of new laws and regulations will do nothing to solve the problem.

It is self-evident that our freedoms have been severely limited and the apparent prosperity we still have, is nothing more than leftover wealth from a previous time. This fictitious wealth based on debt and benefits from a false trust in our currency and credit, will play havoc with our society when the bills come due. This means that the full consequence of our lost liberties is yet to be felt.

But that illusion is now ending. Reversing a downward spiral depends on accepting a new approach.

Expect the rapidly expanding homeschooling movement to play a significant role in the revolutionary reforms needed to build a free society with Constitutional protections. We cannot expect a Federal government controlled school system to provide the intellectual ammunition to combat the dangerous growth of government that threatens our liberties.

The internet will provide the alternative to the government/media complex that controls the news and most political propaganda. This is why it’s essential that the internet remains free of government regulation.

Many of our religious institutions and secular organizations support greater dependency on the state by supporting war, welfare and corporatism and ignore the need for a virtuous people.

I never believed that the world or our country could be made more free by politicians, if the people had no desire for freedom.

Under the current circumstances the most we can hope to achieve in the political process is to use it as a podium to reach the people to alert them of the nature of the crisis and the importance of their need to assume responsibility for themselves, if it is liberty that they truly seek. Without this, a constitutionally protected free society is impossible.

If this is true, our individual goal in life ought to be for us to seek virtue and excellence and recognize that self-esteem and happiness only comes from using one’s natural ability, in the most productive manner possible, according to one’s own talents.

Productivity and creativity are the true source of personal satisfaction. Freedom, and not dependency, provides the environment needed to achieve these goals. Government cannot do this for us; it only gets in the way. When the government gets involved, the goal becomes a bailout or a subsidy and these cannot provide a sense of personal achievement.

Achieving legislative power and political influence should not be our goal. Most of the change, if it is to come, will not come from the politicians, but rather from individuals, family, friends, intellectual leaders and our religious institutions. The solution can only come from rejecting the use of coercion, compulsion, government commands, and aggressive force, to mold social and economic behavior. Without accepting these restraints, inevitably the consensus will be to allow the government to mandate economic equality and obedience to the politicians who gain power and promote an environment that smothers the freedoms of everyone. It is then that the responsible individuals who seek excellence and self-esteem by being self-reliance and productive, become the true victims.

Conclusion

What are the greatest dangers that the American people face today and impede the goal of a free society? There are five.

1. The continuous attack on our civil liberties which threatens

the rule of law and our ability to resist the onrush of tyranny.

2. Violent anti-Americanism that has engulfed the world. Because the phenomenon of “blow-back” is not understood or denied, our foreign policy is destined to keep us involved in many wars that we have no business being in. National bankruptcy and a greater threat to our national security will result.

3. The ease in which we go to war, without a declaration by Congress, but accepting international authority from the UN or NATO even for preemptive wars, otherwise known as aggression.

4. A financial political crisis as a consequence of excessive debt, unfunded liabilities, spending, bailouts, and gross discrepancy in wealth distribution going from the middle class to the rich. The danger of central economic planning, by the Federal Reserve must be understood.

5. World government taking over local and US sovereignty by getting involved in the issues of war, welfare, trade, banking, a world currency, taxes, property ownership, and private ownership of guns.
Happily, there is an answer for these very dangerous trends.

What a wonderful world it would be if everyone accepted the simple moral premise of rejecting all acts of aggression. The retort to such a suggestion is always: it’s too simplistic, too idealistic, impractical, naïve, utopian, dangerous, and unrealistic to strive for such an ideal.

The answer to that is that for thousands of years the acceptance of government force, to rule over the people, at the sacrifice of liberty, was considered moral and the only available option for achieving peace and prosperity.

What could be more utopian than that myth—considering the results especially looking at the state sponsored killing, by nearly every government during the 20th Century, estimated to be in the hundreds of millions. It’s time to reconsider this grant of authority to the state.

No good has ever come from granting monopoly power to the state to use aggression against the people to arbitrarily mold human behavior. Such power, when left unchecked, becomes the seed of an ugly tyranny. This method of governance has been adequately tested, and the results are in: reality dictates we try liberty.

The idealism of non-aggression and rejecting all offensive use of force should be tried. The idealism of government sanctioned violence has been abused throughout history and is the primary source of poverty and war. The theory of a society being based on individual freedom has been around for a long time. It’s time to take a bold step and actually permit it by advancing this cause, rather than taking a step backwards as some would like us to do.

Today the principle of habeas corpus, established when King John signed the Magna Carta in 1215, is under attack. There’s every reason to believe that a renewed effort with the use of the internet that we can instead advance the cause of liberty by spreading an uncensored message that will serve to rein in government authority and challenge the obsession with war and welfare.

What I’m talking about is a system of government guided by the moral principles of peace and tolerance.

The Founders were convinced that a free society could not exist without a moral people. Just writing rules won’t work if the people choose to ignore them. Today the rule of law written in the Constitution has little meaning for most Americans, especially those who work in Washington DC.

Benjamin Franklin claimed “only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.” John Adams concurred: “Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

A moral people must reject all violence in an effort to mold people’s beliefs or habits.

A society that boos or ridicules the Golden Rule is not a moral society. All great religions endorse the Golden Rule. The same moral standards that individuals are required to follow should apply to all government officials. They cannot be exempt.

The ultimate solution is not in the hands of the government.

The solution falls on each and every individual, with guidance from family, friends and community.

The #1 responsibility for each of us is to change ourselves with hope that others will follow. This is of greater importance than working on changing the government; that is secondary to promoting a virtuous society. If we can achieve this, then the government will change.

It doesn’t mean that political action or holding office has no value. At times it does nudge policy in the right direction. But what is true is that when seeking office is done for personal aggrandizement, money or power, it becomes useless if not harmful. When political action is taken for the right reasons it’s easy to understand why compromise should be avoided. It also becomes clear why progress is best achieved by working with coalitions, which bring people together, without anyone sacrificing his principles.

Political action, to be truly beneficial, must be directed toward changing the hearts and minds of the people, recognizing that it’s the virtue and morality of the people that allow liberty to flourish.

The Constitution or more laws per se, have no value if the people’s attitudes aren’t changed.

To achieve liberty and peace, two powerful human emotions have to be overcome. Number one is “envy” which leads to hate and class warfare. Number two is “intolerance” which leads to bigoted and judgemental policies. These emotions must be replaced with a much better understanding of love, compassion, tolerance and free market economics. Freedom, when understood, brings people together. When tried, freedom is popular.

The problem we have faced over the years has been that economic interventionists are swayed by envy, whereas social interventionists are swayed by intolerance of habits and lifestyles. The misunderstanding that tolerance is an endorsement of certain activities, motivates many to legislate moral standards which should only be set by individuals making their own choices. Both sides use force to deal with these misplaced emotions. Both are authoritarians. Neither endorses voluntarism. Both views ought to be rejected.

I have come to one firm conviction after these many years of trying to figure out “the plain truth of things.” The best chance for achieving peace and prosperity, for the maximum number of people world-wide, is to pursue the cause of LIBERTY.

If you find this to be a worthwhile message, spread it throughout the land.

 

Remember, Remember! and Don’t Forget: Just Who is Co-Opting the Liberty Movement?

Remember, Remember! and Don’t Forget: Just Who is Co-Opting the Liberty Movement?.

“Remember, remember

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.

https://cdn.anonfiles.com/1351956247586.pdf

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.

The New Boston Tea Party – Murray Rothbard

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.

1969

Libertarian Cover for the Corporate State by Murray N. Rothbard

1980

The Clark Campaign: Never Again by Murray N. Rothbard

1981

http://mises.org/journals/lf/1981/1981_01-04.pdf

Konkin on Libertarian Strategy – Murray N. Rothbard – Mises Daily

Samuel Edward Konkin III “Reply to Rothbard”

http://mises.org/journals/lf/1981/1981_06-07.pdf

1993

WHY THE PRO-NAFTA HYSTERIA?

May 28, 2007

Conference on Austrian Economics and the Firm « Organizations and Markets

March 25, 2008

How Libertarian Is the Kochtopus? « LewRockwell.com Blog

April 22, 2008

The Kochtopus vs. Murray N. Rothbard by David Gordon

May 12, 2008

The Kochtopus vs. Murray N. Rothbard, Part II by David Gordon

October 22, 2008

The Board Game of Libertarian Public Policy

January 2, 2009

Tyler Cowen: Statist, anti-Rothbardian agent of the Kochtopus | TIME.com

March 2, 2009

The Kochtopus and Power « LewRockwell.com Blog

March 6, 2009

‘Libertarian’ Hero « LewRockwell.com Blog

August 28, 2009

Cowenian Second-Bestism Smackdown

Good for Pete Boettke « LewRockwell.com Blog

March 30, 2010

Koch Brothers Fund Trey Grayson’s Campaign « LewRockwell.com Blog

re: Koch Brothers Finance Trey Grayson’s Campaign « LewRockwell.com Blog

April 22, 2008

The Kochtopus vs. Murray N. Rothbard by David Gordon

April 16, 2008

‘Reason’-Funder To Host Cheney « LewRockwell.com Blog

August 4, 2010

Radical Roots of Libertarianism by Samuel E. Konkin III | JustLive

August 30, 2010

The Billionaire Koch Brothers’ War Against Obama : The New Yorker

In Defense of the Kochtopus by Justin Raimondo — Antiwar.com

August 31, 2010

Austrians Again « LewRockwell.com Blog

September 3, 2010

David Koch Attacks Alan Grayson « LewRockwell.com Blog

September 15, 2010

“Who’s Funding This?!”

October 25, 2010

Good for the Cato Institute « LewRockwell.com Blog

November 24, 2010

Liberty Central: Repo’d by the Koch brothers? | Smart v. Stupid

November 26, 2010

Libertarians Against the Regime by Justin Raimondo — Antiwar.com

January 26, 2011

Koch Brothers Feel the Heat In DC, as Broad Coalition Readies Creative Action to Quarantine the Billionaires Gathering in California Desert | Alternet

January 27, 2011

‘Koch Brothers Trot Out Ed Meese To Defend Them’ « LewRockwell.com Blog

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Koch Brothers Trot Out Ed Meese to Defend Them

Koch conference under scrutiny – Kenneth P. Vogel and Simmi Aujla – POLITICO.com

February 2, 2011

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Koch Brothers Hire Arnold Schwarzenegger’s PR Operative

February 3, 2011

More Adventures With the Kochs « LewRockwell.com Blog

February 6, 2011

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Americans for [Koch] Prosperity

February 9, 2011

Monetary Policy Hearing Today: Ron Paul Versus the Kochtopus | Next New Deal

February 24, 2011

Why the Evil Koch Brothers Must Be Stopped: They Support Drug Legalization, Gay Marriage, Reduced Defense Spending | Peace . Gold . Liberty

February 26, 2011

Wisconsin, Reason, and the National Conversation

March 2, 2011

On Koch Supported Herman Cain by Robert Wenzel

The Koch Bros. Love Herman Cain & Hate Ron Paul | Peace . Gold . Liberty

March 10, 2011

Murray Rothbard on the Kochtopus by David Gordon

April 22, 2011

Gary Johnson: Caveat Emptor by Justin Raimondo — Antiwar.com

May 6, 2011

The Proto-Koch « LewRockwell.com Blog

May 9, 2011

Utah Court Strikes Blow for Free Speech, Dismisses Trademark and CFAA Claims Against Political Activists | Electronic Frontier Foundation

July 3, 2011

The Caravan Keeps Rolling « LewRockwell.com Blog

Their Master’s Voice | Lew Rockwell’s Political Theatre

July 8, 2011

Koch Brothers to Democrats: Stop Asking us For Money

July 22, 2011

Koch Bros. for Higher Taxes (on Their Competitors) | Lew Rockwell’s Political Theatre

July 25, 2011

Do the Koch Bros. Own Bachmann, Too? | Lew Rockwell’s Political Theatre

September 6, 2011

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: HOT: Mother Jones Releases Secret Koch Brothers Tapes

September 29, 2011

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Oh Geez, Charles Koch Advised Friedrich Hayek to Sign Up for Social Security

October 3, 2011

Update: Austrian economics program denied at Loyola New Orleans

October 13, 2011

Could a Tea Party Occupy Wall Street? by Addison Wiggin

November 6, 2011

That 3rd Koch Brother | Lew Rockwell’s Political Theatre

November 16, 2011

MF Global and the Koch Bros. « LewRockwell.com Blog

January 1, 2012

From Vienna With Love: The Kochtopus Warms Up to Ron Paul

January 31, 2012

What’s wrong with the Cato institute? | Peace . Gold . Liberty

February 16, 2012

“History of the Libertarian Movement” by Samuel Edward Konkin III | Left-Liberty.net

March 1, 2012

Kochs launch court fight over Cato – Mike Allen – POLITICO.com

Koch Brothers sue Cato Institute, president – Think Tanked – The Washington Post

Cato says Koch engaged in “a hostile takeover” of the think tank – Think Tanked – The Washington Post

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Billionaire Koch Brothers Sic Super Lawyer on Widow

Koch Bros. Sue Ed Crane, Cato Institute « LewRockwell.com Blog

The Kochs vs. Cato : The New Yorker

March 2, 2012

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Will Lew Rockwell Show at the Next Meeting of the Cato Board?

The Volokh Conspiracy » Koch v. Cato

The Cato Putsch | The American Conservative

March 3, 2012

‘Cato Putsch’? « LewRockwell.com Blog

Brad DeLong: Ed Crane and the Cato Institute vs. the Kochtopus!

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Beltarians versus WaPoists on Koch-Cato

The Volokh Conspiracy » Koch v. Cato — A View from Cato

March 4, 2012

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Murray Rothbard Haunts Koch-Cato from the Grave

Justin Raimondo on the Latest Cato Broadside « LewRockwell.com Blog

Bob Wenzel on the Lineage of the Cato Shares « LewRockwell.com Blog

March 5, 2012

Libertarian Ed Crane Decides to Act Like a Liberal. Will It Destroy the Cato Institute? | RedState

Koch Brothers, Worth $50 Billion, Sue Widow Over $16.00 of Nonprofit’s Stock » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

What Goes Around Comes Around by Skip Oliva

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: What It Takes to Get Big Support from the Koch Brothers

CATO: From Libertarian to Republican? | The American Conservative

March 6, 2012

Is It Charles Koch’s Moral Duty . . . « LewRockwell.com Blog

Charles Koch Makes a Good Point by Thomas DiLorenzo

Cato and the Kochs | The Moral Sciences Club | Big Think

March 7, 2012

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Where’s LewRockwell.com?

March 8, 2012

Charles Koch: I Am Not Backing Down « LewRockwell.com Blog

Koch vs. Cato — A Guest Post by Brink Lindsey | Bleeding Heart Libertarians

The Battle for Cato « ThinkMarkets

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: MIT Prof: The Kochs Will Not Takeover the World

March 12, 2012

Cato’s Amazing Hypocrisy as It Battles the Kochtopus » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

March 19, 2012

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: For the Neocons, It’s Crane over Koch

March 22, 2012

Robert Lawson on Koch ‘n Cato « LewRockwell.com Blog

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: David Koch Gives Ed Crane an Employment Review

March 26, 2012

Family Feud | The Weekly Standard

April 11, 2012

Judge Napolitano Visits Cato

April 16, 2012

The Libertarian Challenge to Charles Murray’s Position on Property Rights and Homesteading by Walter Block

April 20, 2012

Digging the Hole Deeper « LewRockwell.com Blog

Independent and Principled? Behind the Cato Myth | The Nation

April 24, 2012

How Not To Change America’s Politics: Set Up a Public Policy Think Tank by Gary North

April 27, 2012

The Think-Tank Mentality by Skip Oliva

July 7, 2012

» Lessons from the UVA, Cato Wars Kleptarchy

August 17, 2012

The Paul Ryan Selection: The Koch Brothers Get Their Man – Roger Stone: The Stone Zone

August 30, 2012

Plutocrat David Koch Not a Libertarian « LewRockwell.com Blog

Two Additional Links I can’t put in the chronology:

Kochtopus

Interview With Samuel Edward Konkin III

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.

Some Goings On In Iowa City

Some Goings On In Iowa City.

A friend of mine in the Liberty movement, a software engineer named Aleksey Gurtovoy brought these to my attention. The first one is an election day issue. That’s November 6th. I offered to help spread the word. Any readers in Iowa? Regardless, you should all check these out. It’s these kind of things that really count. Local issues. And no doubt these are coming to a town near you. That is if they haven’t already come while you were sleeping.

Vote NO on new JAIL in downtown Iowa City

As a rule, I advocate voting no on any new government spending, I don’t care what it is or what its for. I would be surprised if anyone who valued their own labor thought differently. But I guess they do exist. The informed ones are known as special interests. The uninformed ones are known as marginal voters.

And when, in addition to being something no one can afford, the new expense is for something that does more harm than good, there’s all the more reason to vote against it.

Effort to ban red-light cameras in City draws ACLU support | TheGazette

I’m no big fan of the ACLU. Mainly because civil libertarians are too broad and impure a faction. Now, I’m a civil libertarian, but too often that’s where their love of liberty stops, the civil realm. There are more civil libertarians out there that reject economic freedom than those that support it. How else would a silver-tongued demagogue like Obama be elected with 53% of the vote?* But politics makes strange bedfellows. As it does in this particular case. And I suspect that the Iowa ACLU is far less detestable than the national one or the California one as well.

Nonviolent offenses aren’t crimes. It’s simple, that’s all there is to it. Installing a red light traffic camera, in addition to being a waste of time and a distraction from far more heinous crimes, is tyrannical. The last thing the police state needs is another tool it can use to further its powers and trample our rights. Now I’m not saying that this is the end of the world. It pails in comparison to many other issues. But the principles are the same. You still think this is a petty issue? Tell that to the men who threw off King George III because they had to pay a little extra for tea and paper.

*Well, there is another good reason and that is that the Republican Party is a failure. Obama was a referendum on Bush and McCain as much as anything else.

Tea Party Heroes Ron And Rand Paul Make For A Bitter Brew; First Response

Tea Party Heroes Ron and Rand Paul Make for a Bitter Brew; First Response.

The following is the first paragraph of Barry Germansky’s op-ed Tea Party Heroes Ron and Rand Paul Make for a Bitter Brew, from earlier this year, interspersed with my rebuttals from within the last few days.

BARRY GERMANSKY: Ron and Rand Paul advocate a form of free market libertarianism that is not only highly contradictory in nature, but is falsely appropriated by this father-son duo in an attempt to hail their extremist ideology as a fixture of the United States Constitution.

HENRY MOORE: Ron (but it seems no longer Rand) Paul’s brand of libertarianism is not only not contradictory, it is wholly compatible with the Constitution. That is not to say that his ideology is the only one compatible with that document, but that in and of itself it neither contradicts the Constitution nor its own principles in attempting to adhere to the Constitution.

You see, Ron Paul is a firm believer in the Non-Aggression Principle. Say what you will about this being a contradictory concept, such that adhering to it is impossible without somehow violating it. Any example of this given will still include an exercise of one choice over another. Ron Paul is also a gradualist, someone who believes in reform as opposed to revolution, secession, or asceticism. The gradualist that adheres to the NAP does so because to him the other options either require or are likely to lead to some initiation of force. Whether this is true or not may depend on various factors, but even if gradualism ends up being an incorrect premise, it is not impossible to act on it without violating the NAP. Revolutionaries, secessionists, and “ascetics” that adhere to the NAP do so because to them, the option of slow reform leaves the coercion in place too long. To them, it is better to be done with it (either through violence, a declaration, travel, or personal self-discipline), even at the risk of causing a violation the NAP, than it is to risk never getting rid of something else that is a greater cause of those violations because gradual reforms against it might be overturned. Once again, it is not inconsistent to adhere to both gradualism (or one of the others) and the NAP if there is no intention to cause a violation of the NAP, even if one does occur.

Part of Ron Paul’s gradualism is his adherence to the original intent of the United States Constitution. Simply the fact that his preferred economic system is not mentioned by name and described in detail in the Constitution is not enough to render it unconstitutional. The Constitution was suggested, proposed, debated, written, debated further, amended, signed, adopted, ratified, and made law not to impose any one economic system on the states comprising the Union, but to provide a basic framework within which laws apply equally to all citizens (the definition of which, unfortunately, did not include slaves and untaxed indians). States were free to trade with each other as well as with nations outside of the Union. Commerce was regulated in the sense that it was made regular, i.e., not impeded by any one state’s economic protections. Individuals were intended to be left alone by the Federal Government in the original rendering of the Constitution.

Such a Constitution is compatible with any number of nation-wide or state-particular economic systems, provided that interstate Commerce was not made irregular. The Constitution allows for things such as war, tariffs, public works, endowments, debt-financing, standing armies, and even quasi-monopoly status in currency. Ron Paul denies none of this, but most of these things also happen to be his greatest foes. The reason he can do so and remain a Constitutionalist is because, while these things are allowed for, they most certainly are not mandated. Also, even these unlibertarian things that may actually be constitutional in and of themselves, can be done in unconstitutional manners, either because they do not follow the legal prescriptions in the Constitution to the letter, or because they violate the spirit of the text, usually by trampling on enumerated rights found in the Bill of Restraints (Bill of Rights). So, even when something is technically constitutional because of what it is, e.g., a post office, it may not be constitutional in the way it is established or the things that it does, e.g., through mandates that stomp out competition, as was done to Lysander Spooner and his competing postal service in 1851. Free-market libertarianism is NOT incompatible with the US Constitution. A brief examination of the document and its sources/inspirations (thisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthis, and this) will show this.

BARRY GERMANSKY: Far from representing the individual as they pride themselves in doing, the Pauls endorse big businesses and neglect every other facet of human thought other than economics.

HENRY MOORE: Ron Paul is not one to do things in a prideful manner. He is human, he misspeaks, he makes jokes, he gets angry. But a humbler man in American politics I challenge you to find. The fact that he is not so boastful as a typical Republican, and not so beguiling as a typical Democrat has drawn as many people to him as his ideology has.

There is no political ideology more conducive to the individual than “libertarianism,” of which there are as many variants as there are adherents. Pure libertarianism, in theory, is voluntaryism. There is no individualism outside of voluntary interaction. That is not to say that people are coerced into being individualistic, for communal/collectivist societies can also be formed voluntarily. It all comes down to preference. And no economic theory is inherently individualistic or collectivistic. Any that claims to be is not an economic theory, but a political ideology. Economics is primarily about observations. Austrian Economists often do advocate a pure free market, but this is because they are also libertarians, not because Austrian Theory is synonymous with Libertarian Theory. It is therefore possible to be an Austrian and a statist. An Austrian simply accepts certain premises about how the economy does work. For example, he might understand that certain economic interventions cause distortions yet still advocate for those interventions for one reason or another. Fortunately most Austrians are indeed libertarians.

Human Action, that is, voluntary and spontaneous action on the part of individuals is the centerpiece of Austrian Economics. In the aggregate it organically aligns resources, capital, and labor to the needs and desires not only of society as a whole but of the individuals that are its constituent pieces, including, yes, those entrepreneurs who rise to the top through their own ingenuity and industry. The subjective theory of value, wherein near-rational individuals, rather than uninformed, ignorant, or malign bureaucrats, regulations, and monopolies (which owe their status to the state, not the market) determine the prices which optimize productive capacity and allocation of resources to those sectors to which they are needed, is also highly individualistic. Unlike state/corporate fiscal, regulatory, or monetary price fixing. The Austrian Theory has also come a long way in exposing the effects of coercion and planning that libertarians would say are negative.

The free market is all at once the most democratic and the most meritocratic economic system. Every person has some say so long as they have something to offer, their labor, their knowledge, their skills, their services, their property, their assets, their resources, their working capital, their savings, their pocket change. The most ingenuous and industrious have even more of a say.

Ron Paul does not blindly endorse big business, for he understands that much monopolistic and corporate control is indeed antithetical to the free market. Most monopolies are the result of some officially recognized status or favor granted, not market forces. Those “monopolies” that do arise in the market are often temporary and exist only so long as they do indeed provide the best services at the lowest cost. When the state subsidizes corporations, protects them from competition, or picks who to grant permits and licenses and charters to, only then do monopolies commonly occur and last, and are their deleterious effects made manifest. But to say that all big business got that way by disenfranchising the individual, small business, or society, rather than through recognizing a niche and providing a valued service, is the utmost of economic ignorance. The notion that utilizing a competitive advantage is somehow exploitation is a purely moral judgement that has nothing to do with whether the system actually benefits society in the long run, which is a greater test of its economic and moral worth than that which is immediately seen, the rich getting richer.

BARRY GERMANSKY: It is through their reliance on the free market as an umbrella paradigm that their views on different societal sectors become distorted.

HENRY MOORE: And the free market is not a paradigm. That would be like calling a void an object. The free market is not the presence of a societal model, it is its absence. And that is because it caters to individual choice, rather than imposing a specific set of rules. It does not posit, it negates. It creates no distortions, as all occurrences within it lead to exactly what they are supposed to. Trade, consumption, saving, investing all interlock in varying degrees according to the free and near-rational decisions of the individuals involved. Any apparent distortions are nothing more than fads or reflections of actual needs, not miscalculations made by experts who adhere to the Broken Window Fallacy. I can not say it enough: Individuals make their own decisions in the free market. Again, there is no paradigm to scape-goat for perceived distortions because each person determines their own way. Individual responsibility is not a paradigm! Alignments are not distortions. Resources, capital, and labor are allocated to where they are most desired, when, where, and in the way that they are desired. A voluntary system of exchange is not to blame for the mistakes of irrational or misguided actors.

BARRY GERMANSKY: The Pauls cater to naïve utopian ideals, in which all humans are as perfect and bland as numbers on a page.

HENRY MOORE: The Pauls do not envisage any form of Utopia. Utopians seek to eliminate all the sorrows and trials of the world without consequence. People who seek a system, in this instance, a free market, but do not claim it will solve all the world’s ills, are clearly not utopians. People who acknowledge that the flaws in any given system are not caused by the system itself, per se, but human nature, are clearly not naive. As I have said before: you could hand mankind the most flawless model for governing society imaginable, yet, because man is not perfect, he would still manage to spoil it!

Humans are not seen as bland. They are all seen as full of potential and free to reach it. There is nothing boring or common about someone who creates things, either for himself or for others, and then uses this advantage to increase both his living standard, whereby he can enjoy life the fuller, and his productive capacity, whereby he can create bigger and better and more numerous things. A system that makes people out as mere pieces of information would be a system that forces them all to use the same unit of exchange, judges their worth with strange letters and numbers, charges them fees based on their ability to make the world a better a place, and then spends that money on things that supposedly promote the “general welfare,” even where it obviously does not, and even where he finds those things being bought immoral or unnecessary.

BARRY GERMANSKY: Since economics is the language of the free market, economics becomes their only lens on society as a whole.

HENRY MOORE: As you no doubt know, economics is not a language, nor is it somehow exclusive to the free market. It is, quite literally, the study of household management, from the Greek oikos, “house” and nomos, “custom.” Does it get any less impersonal and detached than that? While many “economists” tend to muddle things by drawing strict lines between the micro and the macro, and graphing boring charts with boring statistics and formulae, it is a huge mistake to separate economics from other “sectors,” for it indeed covers virtually everything. Name some things people find relevant to their lives that have nothing to do with either where they live or how they live and you will have described a “sector” that can be efficiently managed without considering the factors of production (supply) and consumption (demand).

BARRY GERMANSKY: These Tea Party poster boys have a giant kettle of political poison and are spewing it across the American landscape.

HENRY MOORE: You are right about one thing, however. Ron and Rand Paul are indeed Tea Party poster boys. Ron Paul held the first modern day Tea Party, admittedly a fundraiser more than a protest, on December 16th, 2007. It was the 234th Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, and the funds raised topped all previous 24 hours in presidential fundraising history, coming in hot with a whopping $6.04 Million. After he suspended his campaign on June 12th, 2008, Ron Paul used some $4.7 Million in campaign surplus (most campaign’s go into debt) to create what should be considered the very first Tea Party organization, Campaign for Liberty. Campaign for Liberty and its affiliate, Young Americans for Liberty were among the chief organizers of Tax Day protests up to a month before Rick Santelli’s amazing rant went viral via Drudge.

The Tea Party has since been co-opted by everyone from Grover Norquist, to the Koch Brothers, to Glenn Beck, to Paul Ryan, to Newt Gingrich, to Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann, all of whom have been on good or cordial terms with Ron Paul at one time or another, but none of whom are near as principled or consistent in their beliefs or actions.

Part Six Of My Response To Ron Paul Hater Barry Germansky

Part Six Of My Response To Ron Paul Hater Barry Germansky.

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.