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.”
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 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
July 8, 2011
July 22, 2011
July 25, 2011
September 6, 2011
September 29, 2011
October 3, 2011
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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 20, 2012
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.
I have had someone called “Silver Account” posting on some of my articles recently. I want to post their comments and my replies, all of which have to do with the Gold Standard and the Federal Reserve. Judging from their chosen username and what they said, I would say they are somewhere slightly to the left of William Jennings Bryan on more than a few issues. That’s just fine by me, home grown American Leftism is usually preferable to most imported varieties, although I have developed a soft spot for mutualists of late.
Comment from my piece Why I Am Writing In Paul And Not Voting For Johnson:
She [a voter quoted in my article] should stay in it [voting this election] and vote for the president [Obama]. Real people know the repubs are being swayed by the racist teabags. Paul has a good idea, but the resultant people elected (repubs) would be a disaster for working folks.The banks would take your houses like in the 1890′s, women and blacks would not be able to vote. And the copper(aka, robber)-barons would be back in charge of owning (stealing) stuff. And the ignorant south would be worse-off than they are now. There would be no subsidies the blue states are giving them.
For Obama? I doubt she would even consider it. If only the Republicans WERE being swayed by the Tea Partiers! All they are doing is using empty rhetoric to get the Tea Party to vote for them. The Republicans were listening to half of what the Tea Party was saying, they would at least have some credibility. But even if they did all of what the Tea Party wanted, it wouldn’t truly be enough in my opinion.
I take it you are referring to the Long Depression (1873-1896) and the ill effects of the hastily adopted Gold Standard? The Gold Standard actually improved the overall economic situation, and this period was the best, economically that the country had ever known. Unfortunately, the implementation of the Gold Standard after so many years of fiat greenbacks made the situation of debtors even worse. This was unjust. But what bimetallists and silverites won’t tell you is that the same thing would have happened with a silver standard or a gold-silver standard, just to a lesser degree.
In any case, no Gold Standard (see this post) should be implemented from on high. Not only does this grant a monopoly to those who already have the most gold, but you may see a repeat of some of the goings on in the 1890s. You are correct on that count. That is why I support competition in currencies. Those whose debts are in fiat dollars won’t be forced into harder to pay off debts because they won’t be forced to use a gold standard currency. Commodity backed currencies will eventually beat out fiat currencies, but ideally at a slow enough rate that debtors in the fiat system won’t have their situation worsened. Everyone wins. No one is pitted against somebody else. Debtors, industrialists, lenders, depositors, etc. It is not a zero sum game.
And the women and blacks statement is absurd. No one jumps all over themselves, disgustingly so, to appease women and blacks more than the Republican party. Real racists and sexists will never have a real voice in the GOP. They can’t afford to be bludgeoned by the Democratic party. Besides, it was historically the Republican party that stood for equal rights for all races and genders, at the same time that they were the party of corporatism and corruption.
And for your information, the robber barons of today are much worse than the ones around the turn of the last century, and they are already in control. Most of the robber barons were monopolists and thugs, but at the same time, they brought many good things to this country, to all classes, races, and genders. Maybe not as good or as cheap as a more free system would have, but still faster than bureaucrats, populists, proletarian revolutionaries, or simply “nobody” could have.
The South is full of ignorant people to be sure, but no more so than most other regions. But you are on shaky ground to label an entire region or its entire population ignorant. The patronizing collectivism inherent in your statement is in fact responsible for most of the ignorance you allude to. Do you know why the South needs subsidies? Because it STILL hasn’t recovered from the Civil War. White and black alike are still suffering from Reconstruction, and exploitation from Carpetbagging Yankees. They are both kept on the two-party plantation. They have both been utterly destroyed by the public school system, in both the segregation and integration eras.
Comment from my piece Let Us Not Be Crucified Upon A Cross Of Gold:
The Fed’s performance since 1991 has been unquestionably superior to its record at any time since 1913. However, the larger, long-run question remains: Can the Fed as an “independent” central bank maintain price stability contrary to the wishes of an executive branch that seeks to use its fiscal powers to manage the federal government’s burgeoning long-term debt?
I am not sure what metric you are using to say the Fed is doing a good job, but I really beg to differ.
From 1913 (actually 1915) to 1917 was the Fed’s best era. This was before they were allowed to trade bonds, which is when the fiat currency really got off the ground.
Its policies from 1917 to 1919 led to two depressions, one lasting from 1920-1921 and the other 1929-1945. This latter Depression was the worse of the two, and obviously worse than anything we have experienced since. Having said this, the Fed’s main role was to trigger it. The length was more the result of the Federal Government’s reaction to the Depression, though the Fed did have something to do with it as well. Keynesians and Monetarists claim that the Fed didn’t expand the money supply enough. They are wrong. While contracting the supply of money would have its own problems, expanding it was what caused the problems in the first place. The best thing to have done would have been nothing, whether by the Federal Reserve or the Federal Government. During this period, the price of gold was fixed. One of the reasons the dollar didn’t collapse in this period is because gold (including that which was stolen from the American public) was used to prop it up.
But because price fixing eventually leads to shortages, this arrangement couldn’t last either. Hence Bretton Woods, which increased the flow of and access to gold. But just as before, this could only last so long. Shortage was still inevitable. At the same time the money supply was increasing. Hence the Nixon Shock.
As if the money supply wasn’t increasing at an insane rate before, taking the dollar completely off of gold only accelerated the process. Now the only thing holding the dollar up is its reserve status, something which coincided with the period between 1945 and now because of the United States’ increased influence after World War Two, which had greatly diminished the other powers.
Fed Policy didn’t really change much in these early years. But as it was no longer constrained by a scarce commodity, it could let lose. We saw the effects of this with stagflation, the dot com crash, and the housing crash. I put it to you that the Fed actions that caused these three things have only gotten worse since 1991, and continue to go down that path.
Price stability is only good in the short run or relative to increased prices. Decreased prices are not evidence of a recession, they are the result of deflation, which is a natural economic trend that has nothing to do with monetary policy.
The debt can not be managed. It can only grow until default. Default will occur whether hyperinflation happens or not. So you either have a default without Fed involvement (the better option) or default with Fed involvement (instead of just “austerity”, it will be austerity AFTER currency collapse).
I have been on a sort of hiatus these last few weeks. I was not able to attend to this blog as I created another one that took up most of my spare time. It’s focus was to possibly bring about any one of four things,
1) Have Gary Johnson and Jim Gray both resign in favor of Ron Paul. Gary Johnson would then get back on the Libertarian ticket as the Vice Presidential nominee. Within about a day I realized that this option was not viable because of the Sore Loser laws. Ron Paul “lost” running for one presidential nomination so he could not legally run for president in several states.
2) Have Jim Gray resign in favor of Ron Paul. This option soon came to the forefront as it maximized support without all the legal challenges and loss of ballot access that would occur were Ron Paul to run for president on a post-primary ticket. The effort had until Monday, September 17th to lobby Doctor Paul to tell the Libertarian Party, Gary Johnson, and Jim Gray that he wanted to be on their ticket. Given that that was today and nothing has happened, it appears that this effort has failed.
3) Have Gary Johnson promise to pick up Ron Paul for a cabinet position. Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of the Treasury, Fed Chairman, what have you. This will be the main focus of my other blog in the weeks ahead. Unfortunately, Gary Johnson has already indicated that he was not likely to do this. There is still time to change his mind and to lobby Ron Paul to accept such an offer, though. This may not even be allowable, so I will be looking into it before I go any further in that direction.
4) Have Ron Paul give an endorsement, preferably conditional, to the Gary Johnson ticket. This could turn out to be the most fruitful option, but quite possibly the least likely given Ron Paul’s seeming commitment to not endorsing anyone. He did endorse all third party candidates in 2008, but that was before he made inroads into the GOP. The progress from these inroads is debatable in my opinion, but I understand why he might be reluctant to jeopardize it.
Having said all this, I stand by my words: I do not plan on voting for Gary Johnson in November. But I would like to qualify those words: Unless Ron Paul is on Gary Johnson’s team. Even then, I would have trouble voting for Gary Johnson, for reasons I will touch on below. A cabinet pick would be the most tempting, followed by a conditional endorsement, and then an unconditional endorsement.
The conditions I would like to see have to do with Gary Johnson’s serious need to clarify several, major points, namely:
Does his pro-choice stance mean he would uphold the Tenth Amendment or ignore/further erode it?
Does humanitarian intervention mean things such as Letters of Marque and Reprisal and Spanish Civil War-type volunteerism or does it mean more undeclared or unjust wars, unilateral or otherwise?
When he says, “end the war on drugs,” does he mean “decriminalize all substances” on the federal level and let the states and individuals decide for themselves, or simply “legalize marijuana, which we can then tax and regulate like we do alcohol and tobacco,” well?
Is his love for liberty rooted, at least partially, in a hatred for injustice and tyranny, or is it more from a utilitarian, the-greatest-benefit-to-the-greatest-number philosophy?
Should the federal government only prosecute and punish crimes actually listed in the Constitution, or just about any crime that may be a real or perceived problem?
Will states be allowed to ignore laws they deem unjust or should the federal government take measures to prevent this, whether through the courts, the legislature, or the executive branch?
Is getting rid of the income tax and replacing it with the Fair Tax part of a broader plan to eliminate all taxes unnecessary to the legitimate constitutional functions of government, or is it an end in itself?
There are other things I wonder about him that are very important, but those listed above are the potential deal-breakers. If he picks the first option in the majority of questions, some being more important than others, I just might vote for him. If he picks the second one in the majority of questions, not only will I not vote for him, but I will continue to be critical of him, being hostile when necessary. Some of these questions have been asked before. But the way they were asked, or the time allotted was not conducive to a meaningful answer.
A lot of conservatives are not too happy about Romney, but they justify voting for him in several ways, most of which are absurd on their face. One of these is that “we will hold him accountable, if he does something we don’t like, we’ll hold his feet to the fire.” This sounds just wonderful. Heck, if I thought it would work, even I would vote for Romney. And I absolutely hate the guy! But anyone with even a cursory knowledge of the Reagan administration, George W. Bush, or the Class of ’94 should reject such folly outright. I say, if you can’t get someone on your side BEFORE the election, cast any thought of voting for them aside. Do not vote for them. Not in the primary, and certainly not in the general election. The same goes for Gary Johnson, which is why I listed the above conditions.
In any case, whether I end up supporting him or not, I do hope Gary Johnson makes it into the debates. I would support ANY third party candidate getting into the debates, even a Communist, because ending the two party monopoly is just as important to advancing the cause of liberty as having a good candidate is. I just don’t think it will happen without Gary Johnson first convincing all (or much more than just “most”) of the Ron Paul vote to support him. 15% is a hard threshold to attain, let alone maintain, especially when most people that might otherwise consider voting for you think getting rid of Obama is priority number one.
My friend Sherrie posted regarding not voting to send a message. I read numerous replies and felt the need to input some additional thoughts I had after reading comments exalting both Ryan and Johnson. I am sharing this to simply answer a few questions asked regarding my thoughts this past week.
Great post Sherrie, whether I agree as most times or disagree as this time.
Firstly, anyone thinking Ryan is a “conservative” either gains all their information at the receiving end of a TV remote control or does not understand the meaning of the word.
Secondly, anyone thinking that Gary Johnson is a Ron Paul clone has been spoon fed a few selected videos and have not taken the time to do the homework. Johnson would not be controlled by Goldman Sachs as are Obama and Romney, but he would be manipulated by lobbyists despite his perceived adherence to the Constitution. Between Obama, Romney and Johnson there should be no doubt that Johnson would be the lesser of three evils.
Finally, what should us disenfranchised voters do? Write in Dr. Paul, choose Johnson or others running third party or just place a vote of no confidence by not voting? We are disenfranchised because unlike the sheep, we will not allow the wool to be pulled over our eyes. We see reality, and it is ugly! The disenfranchised voters can make a statement by their vote only if we come together in synergy and speak as one voice. Personally my plans are to write in Dr. Paul. Either way, we all have a voice, but unless we speak in harmony, in whatever direction that may be, our individual voices will never be heard. Should we choose to do nothing there will be nothing to hear.
I agree with just about everything Chris is saying here. All of it, in fact. Johnson is the lesser of three evils. I personally am not going to vote for Johnson. For starters, I made my decision to vote for Paul no matter what even before Johnson dropped out of the Republican race. I wouldn’t vote for Romney (or Gingrich or Santorum or Bachmann or Perry or Cain) even if Ron Paul was made his running mate. How much less should I vote for Johnson? I do like Johnson. He seems like a sincere enough guy. But he’s a utilitarian*. In my book, even if they are right on most issues, that doesn’t cut it. My conservative side isn’t all that comfortable with his stance on abortion either. Nor do I think him knowledgeable enough to appoint the right kind of people to his cabinet or the courts. Frankly, I don’t even trust most big-wig Libertarians that he listens to/reads. Boaz? Welch? Gillespie? Sorry, they’re all cut from the same cloth, which just so happens to be polyester.
Johnson has proven his ignorance on several things in many an interview. You don’t have to be a genius to get my vote, but I would like to know you at least know most of the basics. Or maybe he does know the basics. Of mainstream, utilitarian libertarianism, that is. I wish I could provide several links to these interviews, but the USB device I was using to keep track of them was lost. Maybe if I find it or feel up to doing my research all over again, I’ll post some of these links and let you decide for yourselves. It’s not that I mind those who plan on voting Johnson. But I hope they are not doing so for the same reasons Democrats are voting for Obama, to keep Romney out, and Republicans are voting for Obama, to get rid of Obama even if it means putting in his clone. Make your vote one of principle, not expedience. If you are voting for Obama, Romney, Johnson, or Paul because you actually agree with them, you have my respect, even if you don’t have my love. If you are voting for them as a merely defensive maneuver, you have my pity. And not a patronizing pity, but pity in solidarity, because your hand may have been forced.
Having said all this, I endorse anyone but Obama and Romney. Protesting the Two Party monopoly (it would be a duopoly if there was any difference between them and they weren’t tied to the same campaign contributors) is a separate issue from voting for your guy. You may not agree with Mickey Mouse. You may even hate the guy. But if you write him in out of protest, you are doing everyone a favor. Please don’t tell me that I should vote for Johnson because some states won’t recognize a write-in for Paul. If a state doesn’t respect your write-in vote, and you are prepared to do something about it, caving and voting for someone you may not agree with, just because it will “count,” is the very last thing you should do. You are simply playing their game. And don’t tell me that I should vote for Johnson because it will lead to a stronger Libertarian Party in the future, because they will receive matching funds if they receive a certain portion of the popular vote. If the Libertarian Party violates its own stated principles to advance them, where does that leave us? This is the entire history of the Republican Party and Democratic Party. Go along to get along and maybe the state will throw you a bone.