Worse Than Zero: The American Tax Burden Exceeds One Hundred Percent By Bill Buppert

Publisher’s Note: Just a note that I quote Reagan for one of his few sober thoughts on economics because while he talked a good game, he was no more fiscally conservative than any of the Presidents following Eisenhower and succeeding him in office in 1989. I will give Reagan his due for reducing income tax rates from a high of 70% to 28% but no closer to zero than my comfort zone for taxation. Eisenhower managed to reduce government spending per GDP by two percentage points, not Reagan who spent absurd amounts of other people’s money and popularized deficit spending for the voter mobs. I highly recommend The Great Deformation by former Reagan advisor David Stockman for a fairly thorough analysis of the fiat currency and bankster chaos that has consumed the American economy for the better part of a century. I don’t agree with all of Stockman’s conclusions and his continuing faith in the “right” regulatory regime is quaint but illusory in application. -BB

“You can’t tax business. Business doesn’t pay taxes. It collects taxes.”
― Ronald Reagan

Taxation is theft and the acquisition of other people’s resources with a velvet glove backed by a mailed fist. It is simply one of the many ways in which the state brutalizes and impoverishes its tax cattle on a daily basis. Despite the government-media complex insistence that the tax rate in America is tolerable if not fair, anything above zero is morally wrong if the robbed don’t agree implicitly and consensually to the mugging for whatever fantastic services the state proclaims it provides.

The French aren’t the only ones to achieve a 100 percent tax rate, they’re just more blunt about it.

So I want to destroy a myth, I want to show you through sheer numbers and data that the state in America has a tax rate that exceeds 100% to which the normal American having had a proper government education will insist that is impossible.

I’d like to excise some of the population that is obviously at this point. Now the tax rate for incarcerated Americans is exactly 100% since their lives have been stolen in total. The tax rate on certain targeted marijuana businesses in the US under IRS code 280E are taxed in excess of 80% (some approaching 100%).

“I believe that the feds extend the drug war through 280E,” said Cornelius. “If (the federal government) can’t put them out of business legally when voters are mandating these businesses to move forward, it’s very easy to put them out of business financially. A lot of times, instead of paying a tax rate that should be 30 to 40 [percent], they are paying rates between 80 or 90 percent. I even have a client right now that is paying more than 100 [percent] effective tax rate.”

Apart from the sheer moral hazard and absolute immorality of the aforementioned cases, I would suggest that all Americans pay an effective tax rate that exceeds 100% even though that beggar’s belief and rational thought but we are talking about the government.

Direct taxation in America on the Helots residing within and without the US and its territories is enormous and takes on many tangential impacts. “The United States is the only country that taxes its citizens’ worldwide income, even when those citizens live indefinitely abroad.”

An ordinary US subject will pay Federal, state (43) and/or city income taxes, property taxes, excise taxes, sin taxes, sales taxes, Socialist Security, Medicare, unemployment and corporate income taxes. I have given a brief overview of most progressive taxes and there are regressive taxes like the gasoline tax that the Feds are gnashing their fangs over since prices have gone down and they were foolish enough to assign a percentage of price instead of flat fixed levy.

Then there are the death taxes to pay a gratuity to the state(s) per the required death levy once the owner has assumed room temperature and you are taxed once again on monies that have already had taxes stolen from the whole. This tax is 18-40% on previously taxed assets.

Of course, there are the beloved sales taxes. “As of January 1st, 2014, 5 states (Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon) do not levy a sales tax, while California has the highest state tax rate at 7.5%.” Now, the New York City local sales and use tax rate is 4.5 percent. City and state sales tax combined is 8.875 percent, so your mileage may vary. The five states with the highest average combined state-local sales tax rates are Tennessee (9.45 percent), Arkansas (9.19 percent), Louisiana (8.89 percent), Washington (8.88 percent), and Oklahoma (8.72 percent). These do not include the additional imposts added on by municipal and county predators, which make the total approach 10%.

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Shop Class as Soulcraft: A Review by Bill Buppert

 I previously highlighted the importance of a survival library and plenty of readers chimed in on the need for real hands-on experience and training as a necessity to having the knowledge to set the flame to the candle as it were. Matthew Crawford gave us a glimpse of the importance of that. -BB

It seems that during every shift in the fundamentals of industry, there has been an intrinsic reaction on the part of man to protect the older forms of production as a means to alleviate the perceived threat of the looming change. One example would be the original saboteurs, who were so named by throwing their wooden clogs, or sabots, into the gears of automated looms. Another example would be the arts and crafts movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which sought to provide the newly minted white-collar industrial manager with a weekend outlet via the manual arts.

There is a familiar sneer and condescending attitude of white-collar workers on blue-collar “hands-on” professions that don’t demand formal engineering credentials. The office and knowledge workers have the mistaken impression that no problem solving nor cognition are necessary to achieve these “dirty-hands” task yet these very men are the ones who will not only survive and persevere but may possess the heterodox knowledge necessary to muscle through difficult times whether mundane or apocalyptic.

Much like thrift stores are capitalism’s savvy answer to rational recycling, blue-collar workers may be the ultimate conservationists and environmentalists in a way no current envirus can even envision in their beggared imaginations freighted with collectivist fantasies of government supremacism.

The latest entry into this tradition is Matthew Crawford’s Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work.  Crawford’s work is a serious philosophic examination of the value of the manual trades, specifically those who build and repair material things. Crawford has serious credibility both as an academic, with a PhD in Political Philosophy from the University of Chicago, and as a mechanic since he owns and operates Reclaimed Vehicle Fabrication Laboratory in Richmond, Virginia. Crawford’s theses is that as the American economy rapidly shifted from manufacturing to nebulous “knowledge work”, we began a sort of cultural schizophrenia, where consumption and the management consultant’s definition of “creativity” replaced skill with tools and a certain level of mechanical competence and experiential knowledge about how things worked.

He is publishing a new book this year called The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction available on 1 April 2015.

Crawford’s work first appeared in an essay in The New Atlantis Magazine. Since Mr. Crawford can summarize his points better than I could, here is a brief excerpt:

“A decline in tool use would seem to betoken a shift in our mode of inhabiting the world: more passive and more dependent. And indeed, there are fewer occasions for the kind of spiritedness that is called forth when we take things in hand for ourselves, whether to fix them or to make them. What ordinary people once made, they buy; and what they once fixed for themselves, they replace entirely or hire an expert to repair, whose expert fix often involves installing a pre-made replacement part.

So perhaps the time is ripe for reconsideration of an ideal that has fallen out of favor: manual competence, and the stance it entails toward the built, material world. Neither as workers nor as consumers are we much called upon to exercise such competence, most of us anyway, and merely to recommend its cultivation is to risk the scorn of those who take themselves to be the most hard-headed: the hard-headed economist will point out the opportunity costs of making what can be bought, and the hard-headed educator will say that it is irresponsible to educate the young for the trades, which are somehow identified as the jobs of the past. But we might pause to consider just how hard-headed these presumptions are, and whether they don’t, on the contrary, issue from a peculiar sort of idealism, one that insistently steers young people toward the most ghostly kinds of work.”

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Rekindling the Flame After the Collapse by Bill Buppert

I am an incurable bibliophile who has a substantial library holding. I even had a library annex in my former house at the Circle A Ranch.  Once we acquire new digs here in Arizona I will be making a more portable solution by building an outbuilding with floor to ceiling bookshelves that is air-conditioned. The coming Endarkenment is surely a signal to start accumulating a non-electronic portfolio of texts and tomes that sustain you and yours in the approaching of Ragnarok. 

As a nod to my acceptance of the electronic publishing revolution in book availability (my own book is Kindle only on Amazon), I have a rather large portable library that goes everywhere with me on my wonderful Kindle DX; I have entertained getting a new Kindle Paperwhite and loading it with survival and self-sufficiency tomes and tucking it into a Maxpedition admin pouch with a solar battery charger.

Nonetheless in a grid-up or grid-down scenario, this may be useful but will be a worthless paperweight in an EMP event.

I started this journey in my techno-hippie days with the Whole Earth Catalog. That project still resonates with me. I wish some ambitious entrepreneur would revise and update that project. I also wish the entire CoEvolution Quarterly/ Whole Earth Review were available on digits.

Jerry Pournelle wrote Lucifer’s Hammer in 1984 and many significant books have been published since then that may be added to the list. I welcome reader’s comments and suggestions for additions to the list.

I would add the revised 54 volume Great Books of the Western World, not the horrific 60 volume successor, the Harvard Five Shelf of Books and the innumerable military manuals that have become available digitally over the last decade like the Engineering Data books, Ranger Handbooks and FM 7-8 (Light Infantry Platoon and Squad). The first two sets can found dirt-cheap on the used market.

Some other resources can found in this post at the Long Now Foundation.

One of my readers has alerted me to the utter uselessness of post 1940s Merck manuals that are simply drug dispensation instructions. If you are trying to complete this “bucket list”, be cautious what you purchase. More to follow on a proper medical library for FREEFOR.

The list is long and encyclopedic but it speaks to the innumerable invisible infrastructures that make our lives rather effortless…for now. It literally echoes in eternity -BB

Bucket # 1

Standard Handbook for Civil Engineers, Frederick S. Merritt, Second Edition, McGraw-Hill 1976

Tubular Steel Structures: Theory & Design, M.S. Troitsky, Arc Welding Foundation, 1982

Design of Welded Structures, O.W. Blodgett, Arc Welding Foundation, 1966

The Engineer’s Handbook Illustrated, Arthur Liebers, Key Publishing, NY, 1968

Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems Manual, EPA, 2002

Smoley’s Parallel Tables of Logarithms & Squares for Engineers, Architects and Students, C.P. Smoley, 1965

Bucket # 2

Gear Cutting Practice: Methods of Producing Gears for Commercial Use Including Wartime Data Supplement, Fred Colvin & Frank Stanley, McGraw-Hill, 1943

Punches and Dies: Layout, Construction and Use Including Wartime Data Supplement, Frank Stanley, McGraw-Hill, 1943

Turning and Boring Practice, Modern Machine Tools and Methods Used in Representative Plants, Fred Colvin & Frank Stanley, McGraw-Hill, 1943

Jigs and Fixtures, Fred Colvin & Lucius Haas, McGraw-Hill, 1943

Steam Power Plants, Philip J. Potter, Ronald Press, 1949

The Home Mechanic’s Handbook: Encyclopedia of Tools, Materials, Methods and Directions, Various Authors, D. Van Nostrand, 1945

Strength of Materials, Alfred Pourman, McGraw-Hill, 1937

Home Plumber’s Bible, Ramesh Singhai, McGraw-Hill, 1978

Electric Motor Repair, Robert Rosenberg, 1946

Interior Electric Wiring and Estimating, Albert Uhl, Arthur Nelson and Carl Dunlap, American Technical Society, 1947

Electrical Wiring: Residential, William J. Whitney, Wiley and Sons, 1979

Practical Electrical Wiring: Residential, Farm and Industrial, H.P. Richter, McGraw-Hill, 1947

Bucket # 3

The Backyard Builder, Edited by John Warde, Rodale, 1985

Residential Carpentry, Mortimer P. Reed, Wiley & Sons, 1980

Essential of Drafting, James D. Bethune, Prentice Hall, 1977

The Homeowner’s Book of Plumbing and Repair, K.W. Sessions, Wiley & Sons, 1978

Complete Encyclopedia of Stitchery, Mildred Graves Ryan, Doubleday, 1979

The Practical Handyman’s Encyclopedia (3 volumes of 22 total)

Bucket # 4

The Timber Framing Book, Elliott and Wallas, Housesmith, 1977

Book of Bikes and Bicycling, Dick Teresi, Popular Mechanics, 1975

Readers Digest Complete Guide to Sewing, 1976

Readers Digest Back to Basics: How to Learn and Enjoy Traditional American Skills, 1981

Readers Digest Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual, 1973

Reader’s Digest Practical Problem Solver, 1992

Earl Proux’s Yankee Home Hints, Yankee Books, 1993

Yankee Magazine’s Make It Last by Earl Proux, Yankee Books, 1996

Whittlin’, Whistles and Thingamajigs, Harlan G. Metcalfe, Castle, 1974

Bucket # 5

Basic Construction Techniques for Houses and Small Buildings Simply Explained, United States Navy, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Dover Press, 1972

Tools and How To Use Them, Jackson and Day, Wings Books, 1992

The Homestead Builder, CP Dwyer, Lyons Press, 1872/1998

Carpenter’s and Builder’s Library: Millwork, Power Tools and Painting, John E. Ball, Audells, 1976

Carpenter’s and Builder’s Library: Tools, Steel Square, and Joinery, John E. Ball, Audells, 1978

Carpenter’s and Builder’s Library:Builder’s Math, Plans and Specifications, John E. Ball, Audells, 1978

The Practical Handyman’s Encyclopedia (10 volumes of 22 total)

Bucket # 6

The Practical Handyman’s Encyclopedia (9 volumes of 22 total)

Architectural Drawings and Light Construction, Second Edition, Edward J. Muller, Prentice Hall, 1976

Freshwater Fishes, Lawrence Page and Brooks Burr, Peterson, 1991

Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs, George Petrides, Peterson, 1972

Bucket # 7

Piloting, Seamanship and Small Boat Handling, Charles F. Chapman, Hearst Press, 1966

McClane’s Standard Fishing Encyclopedia and International Angling Guide, Editied by A.J. McClane, Holt-Rinehart, 1965

The Complete Book of Canoeing and Kayaking, Paul Fillingham, Drake, 1976

The Annapolis Book of Seamanship, John Rousmaniere, Simon & Shuster, 1989

Heat Engines: Steam, Gas, Steam Turbines and their Auxiliaries, J.R. Allen and J.A. Bursley, McGraw-Hill, 1910.

Architectural Graphic Standards, G.G. Ramsey and H.R. Sleeper, Wiley & Sons, 1962

The Metal Trades Handbook, R.G. Garby and B.J. Ashton, Jasper, 1985

Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians, J.L. Behler and F.W. King, Knopf, 1979

Bucket # 8

The Way Things Work, An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Technology, Volume One, Simon & Schuster, 1967

The Way Things Work, Volume Two, Simon & Schuster, 1971

The New Way Things Work, David Macaulay, Houghton-Mifflin, 1998.

Logan’s Medical and Scientific Abbreviations, Carolynn Logan & M. Katherine Price, Lippincott, 1987

Complete Book of Athletic Taping Techniques, J.V. Cerney, Parker, 1972

Basic Carpentry, John Capotosto, Reston, 1975

The Procedure Handbook of Arc Welding, 12th Edition, Lincoln Electric Company, 1973

The Encyclopedia of Common Diseases, Prevention Magazine, 1976

What Herbs are all About: A Basic Primer Outlining the Practical Uses of Medicinal Plants, J.J. Challem & Renate Levin-Challem, Keats, 1980

Bucket # 9

English Bread and Yeast Cookery, Elizabeth David, Biscuit Books, 1977

The Doctor’s Book of Home Remedies, Editors of Prevention Magazine, Rodale, 1990

Gardening for Food and Fun, USDA Yearbook, 1977

Grass, USDA Yearbook, 1948

Crockett’s Victory Garden, James Crockett, Little-Brown, 1977

Complete Guide to Sewing, Reader’s Digest, 1976

Advanced Home Gardening, Miranda Smith, Creative Homeowner Press, no date

Pastures for the South, George H. King, Creative, 1954

Fruits for the Home Garden, Ken & Pat Kraft, Morrow, 1968

The Best Gardening Ideas I Know, Robert Rodale, Rodale Press, 1974

The Best Gardening Ideas I Know, Robert Rodale, Rodale Press, 1978

Bucket # 10

The Wise Garden Encyclopedia: A Practical and Convenient Guide to Every Detail of Gardening Written for All Climates, Soils, Seasons and Methods, Ed. by E.L.D. Seymour, Grossett & Dunlap, 1970

Betty Crocker’s Kitchen Gardens, Mary Mason Campbell, Scribners, 1971

Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor’s Guide to Good Health, D.C. Jarvis, M.D., Henry Holt, 1958

10,000 Garden Questions, Volume One, Ed. by F.F. Rockwell, Doubleday, 1959

How to Treat Yourself with Chinese Herbs, Dr. Hong-Yen Hsu, Keats, 1980

Ferns of Alabama by Blanche E. Dean, Southern University Press, 1969

Today’s Herbal Health, Louise Tenney, Woodland, 1983

The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, Organic Gardening Magazine, Rodale Press, 1978

The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control, Ed. by B.W. Ellis & F.M. Bradley, Rodale, 1992

An American Herbal: Using Plants for Healing, Nelson Coon, Rodale, 1979

Stalking the Good Life, Euell Gibbons, McKay, 1971

Earl Mindell’s Herb Bible, E. Mindell, Fireside, 1992

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Generations of War in the New Century by Bill Buppert

 

“The enemy will pass slowly from the offensive to the defensive. The blitzkrieg will transform itself into a war of duration. Thus, the enemy will be caught in a dilemma: He has to drag out the war in order to win it, and does not possess, on the other hand, the psychological and political means to fight a long, drawn-out war.”

– Robert Taber, The War of the Flea

The DoD and the Army have now inaugurated yet another iteration of the constant doctrinal battle to balance irregular warfare and conventional warfare. Since the beginning, the US armed forces have struggled to deliver on a force concept that could do either or both well. As William Lind has pointed out eloquently, the US and western powers have enunciated the generations of warfare, but failed to deliver on advancing through the sequence or even gleaning the wisdom they hold.

There are four generally accepted generations of warfare, and the succeeding generations that provide grist for the mill among the defense intellectuals and military-industrial illiterarti who constantly tilt at the next big thing. For the purposes of this introduction, we will stick to the four generations commonly accepted.

First Generation Warfare began at the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 where a convention of European armies and heads of state decided a civilizing residual of warfare should formally prohibit the engagement of non-combatants in warfare throughout the continent. This, of course, did not obtain in the planetary battlefields these European powers would fight on in pursuit of broader imperial colonial portfolios for their respective empires. The implication was to conventionally engage armies force on force with limitations and prohibitions on the destruction of civilian persons and property where possible. The armies of Lincoln would abandon this concept wholesale in 1863, and the two hundred years preceding would be filled with identifiable ignorance or willful neglect of the concept.

Second Generation Warfare would see the paradigm of fixed attrition conflicts come to the fore, with the mightiest stalemates occurring on the European continent during WWI, but with hints of the mode of conflict evident during the American Civil War in the first three years of the conflict.

Third Generation Warfare would see the maneuver conflict in both the direct and indirect application start to appear with greater frequency, starting with the nineteenth century. The German combined arms blitzkrieg concept borrowed heavily from a variety of previous influences. The German General Staff even studied the cavalry maneuver practices of Jeb Stuart and Nathan Bedford Forrest in the American Civil War to operationalize speedy applications of the direct and indirect approach. The direct approach would usually entail the probing of weaknesses on a broad front and capitalizing on these for thrusts through the unitary body of an enemy. Liddell-Hart’s indirect approach would leverage flank and rear attacks in rapid exploitation. Erwin Rommel would go on to use both to devastating effect in the early African campaigns of the Wehrmacht in WWII or, more accurately, the War to Save Josef Stalin..

This is not to say that these Third Generation events did not take place in ancient times. One can suppose that all amphibious operations, whether successful or not, are by nature Third Generation.

The twentieth century saw force multipliers in two aspects for maneuver warfare that former commanders of the ages did not have to the degree the world beheld in this last century. Man portable communications, training and rehearsal for the combination of various military disciplines into a cohesive and adaptive whole, revolutionized the operational and strategic aspects of war in the second half of the twentieth century. The Germans showed hints of this in 1918 but operationalized maneuver doctrine at the theater level to an extent no Allied forces matched until 1944.

Fourth Generation Warfare, for the purposes of this discussion, has two primary elements that may or may not attend each other. This is the irregular fight on the other side of the conventional spectrum, and the role of the non-state actor in warfare.

This last is the fight that has occupied the Western military mind for the past quarter century and caused the extraordinary investment in experiments in unconventional conflict and counterinsurgency. All of which have failed as the US and the West expended trillions of dollars in the SW Asian theater in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and Libya, without quite Grokking the importance of indigenous rebellion and how it becomes a perpetual motion machine for maintain seditious momentum, the critical importance of the mass base as a fulcrum, and the unsurprising lack of adaptation on the part of the West when faced with multiple fronts of threats and enemies who seem to subside and resist in a continual wave that confounds the best minds in the American military.

Robert Taber explains this brillaintly from the vantage point of 1965. Not much has changed:

“Whether the primary cause of revolution is nationalism, or social justice, or the anticipation of material progress, the decision to fight and to sacrifice is a social and a moral decision. Insurgency is thus a matter not of manipulation but of inspiration.
 
I am aware that such conclusions are not compatible with the pictures of guerrilla operations and guerrilla motivations drawn by the counterinsurgency theorists who are so much in vogue today. But the counterinsurgency experts have yet to win a war. At this writing, they are certainly losing one.
 
Their picture is distorted because their premises are false and their observation faulty. They assume–perhaps their commitments require them to assume–that politics is mainly a manipulative science and insurgency mainly a politico-military technique to be countered by some other technique; whereas both are forms of social behavior, the latter being the mode of popular resistance to unpopular governments.”

These are the generations in a nutshell, and library shelves of neglected and unread articles and weighty tomes on these subjects have (had) shelves groaning under the weight or in more modern times, tens of millions of digits in the blogosphere devoted to it.
Part of this miasma is the strategic deficit disorder that has stymied American and Western supremacy since the collapse of the bipolar world meme in 1991. This, of course, is shifting again as an eerily familiar bloc of antagonist nations is forming around a renewed Sino-Russian rapprochement and other countries uneasy with the military bullying and blustering of the American state. COL John Boyd, the discoverer of the OODA Loop and one of the most brilliant minds in Western strategic thought, distilled strategy down to two distinct arenas from whence everything else portends: alliance and isolation. The US, and to a lesser extent NATO nations, has used a keen technological edge as a substitute for martial mindfulness and elegance of craft in both conventional and irregular encounters.
Though most suffer from institutional amnesia and historical bureaucratic inertia, some defense observers are calling the ball and proclaiming that the resistance forces in both Afghanistan and Iraq have achieved a strategic stalemate if not victory over the latest Western military interloper. And the response from the more benighted intellectuals is a call for a return to American conventional savvy in the scheme of arms.

What has been called AirLand Battle and then Full Spectrum Operations has become Unified Land Operations (ULO) to better prepare the American forces that have allegedly been mired in unconventional operations for so long they have lost their conventional edge. From a Third Generation perspective, this is true. Both Bill Lind and I agree that excepting naval operations in WWII, especially in the Pacific Theater of Operations, no maneuver concept at the strategic level occurred despite protestation to the contrary. During the entirety of the conflict in WWII, four-fifths of all German Order of Battle was oriented against the main enemy in the East, the USSR.

The American armed forces have been a Second Generation conceptual war machine since the American Civil War, and not much has changed. I was raised on the FM 7-8 Infantry Squad and Platoon, which was replaced by an even bigger manual in the 21st century. A casual observer of the fight in the Middle East in this century by American arms would suggest that the printing presses should stop publishing such nonsense and simply issue a laminated 3×5 card to every infantryman that reads simply Call for Fire.

There is very little grasp or leveraging of light infantry maneuver and the application of the indirect approach except for the ubiquitous applications of thousands of rounds of munitions to eliminate one human threat. The Taliban and the Haqqani Network and hundreds of resistance organizations scattered throughout Afghanistan have thrived and multiplied under the debt carpet-bombing of trillions by the Western military industrial complex to crush a rebellion that is still alive and well. Exhibit A is the evaporation of the very expensive post Hussein Iraqi army at the hands of the road-borne light infantry threat of the IS or ISIL. In itself, an unexpected send order effect of arming and training guerrillas to harry the Syrian dictator. A dozen years and trillions of dollars in American mentorship, and the vaunted Iraqi army folds under the slightest pressure as it is hollowed out by irregular Fourth Generation forces.

As an aside, it would be wrong to assume that these generations of conflict have a sequence of evolution. Can different generations be contemporaneous or occur independent of one another? Of course they can. The historical examples abound. One can surmise that Napoleon was not defeated by Wellington at Waterloo in 1814 in a Second Generation fight without considering the importance of the French and Spanish harrying and raids on Napoleon’s lines of communication throughout the conflict, which significantly weakened what Napoleon could bring to bear in the end at Waterloo. This was most certainly the confluence of Second and Fourth Generation methods that led to wholly unexpected consequences. One can look at the littoral conflict at Bletchley Park trying to break the German Enigma code celebrated in the recent movie on Turing, The Imitation Game.

American arms and the military machine emanating out of DC have a curious reputation. Vaunted as the most powerful and technologically sophisticated military on Earth, yet consistently bested by irregular forces in all but the instance of the brief and strategically limited Gulf War in 1991. Yet even that war was simply a harbinger, like WWI of WWII, of worse things to come.

This provides a framework for the intellectual deep dive in future essays on the implications of Fourth Generation Warfare.

Think American arms are the historical equivalent of the Terminator? Think again.

“Yet the hokum of enlightened counterinsurgency generals who turn failed wars around by making their armies fight them better simply won’t go away.  The hokum helps to prolong the fantasy that American wars in foreign lands can always be made to work as long as the “professors of war” at the graduate level are put in charge.  Sadly this is a recipe for perpetual conflict.”

– COL Gian Gentile, author of Wrong Turn: America’s Deadly Embrace of Counterinsurgency.

 

Close But No Cigar: The State is Terror by Bill Buppert

“It is the greatest truth of our age: information is not knowledge.”

– Caleb Carr

Barak Obama is a facile and Machiavellian intriguer of the highest order. I will leave to others in the commentariat to discuss his bona fides for President, his abhorrent collectivist notions of governing and all the other platitudes that point to a creature that has provided the planetary if not historical model for the dangers of the Peter Principle. He is a man out of his depth, which may be anything beyond a minor city council position, and even that would be a stretch.

His keen narcissism keeps him wandering through ironic swamps without realizing he is soaked through. Recently, his teleprompters gave yet another interminable and meandering speech on “violent extremism,” rich in historical ignorance and laced with rhetorical nonsense befitting a man who can speak for hours and not say a word of any consequence. The National Socialist and Communist bloviators of old don’t hold a candle to the verbal hypocrisy and magniloquence this man spews without communicating anything but the status quo.

I have insisted this is Bush’s fourth term and this latest milquetoast broadside does nothing more than confirm that. I suffer through these speeches and, thanks the Gods, I never had such a feckless and talent-less professor chain me to a classroom to listen to such drivel for a semester much less four years.

If Obama does anything morally right, it will usually be by mistake and not design.

In his usual doublespeak, he continuously weaves over the line but never reaches the target.

“By “violent extremism,” we don’t just mean the terrorists who are killing innocent people. We also mean the ideologies, the infrastructure of extremists –the propagandists, the recruiters, the funders who radicalize and recruit or incite people to violence. We all know there is no one profile of a violent extremist or terrorist, so there’s no way to predict who will become radicalized. Around the world, and here in the United States, inexcusable acts of violence have been committed against people of different faiths, by people of different faiths — which is, of course, a betrayal of all our faiths. It’s not unique to one group, or to one geography, or one period of time.”

His protestations ring hollow; fine words and empty promises. The faiths are irrelevant and the modes of operation are the key. Ask any aboriginal American.

This is much like Hitler criticizing the brutality of the communist regime in the USSR or vice versa. This is the same administration that complains about the incineration of a Jordanian pilot and then glibly justifies the drone attacks and indiscriminate bombings that have characterized aspects of the robot war in the conflicts in the Middle East. Apparently, the drones are equipped with water balloons and party hats that they drop as a deadly payload instead of incendiary devices.

The international community and the West has wrestled with the definition of terrorism for decades because it just tread a very delicate path. Simply, terrorism is politically motivated violence against innocents and combatants. The US Department of Defense (an ironic sobriquet in itself) defines it as “the unlawful use of violence or threat of violence to instill fear and coerce governments or societies. Terrorism is often motivated by religious, political, or other ideological beliefs and committed in the pursuit of goals that are usually political.” You’ll note the graybeards in the DoD are very specific in the use of the term lawful because government is the self-satisfied arbiter of lawful terrorism. Absent the terrorist methodology, no government on earth or in history would last a day. Governments and the state invest themselves with right to initiate, threaten and commit violence against the entire populace in their respective tax jurisdictions.

Let’s conduct a thought experiment: if IS (or ISIS or whatever today’s new version is) wore US police uniforms and conducted their daily savagery in that mufti, would they be the subject of the White House broadsides and misdirection? If the IS wore Western style military uniforms and gave lip service to the laws of land warfare and international codes of conduct yet proceeded apace with this barbarism, would the Offal Office be up in arms, as it were?

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Why I Fight for a World Without the State by Bill Buppert

Publisher’s Note:  Max V over at his site published this broadside this morning against his tactical competitors in the training industry. He kindly asked that I make mention of his post over there. Along the way he assumes I write to him in this post. He is mistaken. My site has the curious sobriquet of ZeroGov for a reason. I take no sides in the competency debate and hear nothing but great things about his training. He and I have a gentleman’s disagreement on what should transpire after the SLAVFOR are defeated.

What’s curious is that no matter what minimalist or nil approach one takes to the state in mindset, it will have little bearing on the coalitions formed to dispose of the Main Enemy which is central government. Neither Constitutionalists nor abolitionists make better guerrillas. If abolitionists are wrong and all the ideas are rubbish, one shouldn’t concern oneself with their notions. A close reading of the Anti-Federalists will show the growing alarms and skepticism at the embryonic forms of the Constitutional national government even before it flowered into the totalitarian orchid it grew into after the Second American Revolution in 1861.

Brutus: “History furnishes no example of a free republic, anything like the extent of the United States. The Grecian republics were of small extent; so also was that of the Romans. Both of these, it is true, in process of time, extended their conquests over large territories of country; and the consequence was, that their governments were changed from that of free governments to those of the most tyrannical that ever existed in the world.”

I am simply hoping this is not a redux of the Irish Rebellion in 1922 where socialist fought socialist to defeat the other side and install socialism. In the end, quite literally, I simply want no part of anyone’s government. I wish Max nothing but peace and prosperity. -BB

“I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.”

-H.L. Mencken

Why am I in the Brotherhood Without Banners? Why does this site exist, and what will you get out of it? Every blog is something of a vanity project and a catharsis for thinking out loud, and this satisfies both for me. Aside from writing a book, a blog is a legacy that may last far longer than the author. Nothing really disappears from the Internet and I am certain there are folks in the government who are always interested in maintaining a watchful eye on blogs such as mine, because they represent the most direct philosophical threat to their very existence.

In an earlier phase of my intellectual development, I had been seduced by the heady siren song of limited government, which sounds like the most viable solution, but on closer examination is the most silly of chimeras. There is no historical precedent in the Western world, throughout its entire history, of a government calving off another or rising out of the ashes of extinction of the previous regime, containing themselves within the confines of power originally set forth at their germination. None. There are plenty of empty promises and proclamations of purity, but the usual suspects will be self-selected, seeking to rule others; most of whom are socio- or psycho-pathic. Politics is nothing more than the nationalization of human transactions, where the converse is the complete privatization of the planet. The latter is the charter of this blog. Nationalization is the government seizure (there is no polite term) of a product, service or behavior. This can happen with something as mundane as the circumference of grapefruit, to something as epic in scope as the forfeiture of health care or the use of the innumerable malum prohibitum laws on the books.

For those who take a longer view of history, it becomes abundantly clear that governments in their life stages, until their eventual and inevitable deaths, rarely seem to calculate second- and third-order effects of their meta-behaviors. I always presume that, while good intentions may be the standard apologia for the lion’s share of government, action and behavior, this is simply an intellectual smokescreen with the same vapidity of hate crimes; hiding the nature of government which is the threat or use of violence against anyone or anything which either refuses to comply or pay the assessed tribute. One should never measure a government’s behavior by its intent, but the fruits of its actions. And that is bitter fruit indeed for the totality of human history. It is almost as if we have been in a fever-dream, surrounded by inmates in a vast prison state which has effectively indoctrinated people to consciously think that harming others through fining, jailing, maiming and killing is the only possible blueprint for society. Somewhat like the bird who has lived in a cage all its life and still hasn’t figured out what wings are used for. Think of that, a near consensus among thinking human beings that the only way to organize a just society is through terror.

Terrorism is the use of politically motivated violence against non-combatants or innocents. Absent the very existence of terrorism, bullying and a daily violation of the Ten Commandments, no government can exist. One might say that the Global War on Terror, or whatever words the Western military-industrial complex has used to re-flag it, has exponentially increased the size of government and has been pointed in the wrong direction.

We have friends and relations who enjoy boasting of law and order. The tough guys who pronounce that the latest police beating was warranted, and the prison rape the men will endure while caged for their sentence is perfectly justified for their crimes, even if the offense were as banal as a paperwork violation, avoidance of taxes or an infraction against the tens of thousands of laws of which no normal human could know or comprehend. Remember that it is all about the law and not the human context, because context is totally absent from government calculus. It is part of its power. I have mentioned before that every American is subject to indefinite detention in the alleged justice system the Federal government and its subsidiary political elements, known as states, have erected. It is another tool in the arsenal of democracy that is the fancy name for mob rule, subject to the kakocrats at the top of the system. The government has been successful beyond their wildest expectations in creating a captive and occupied population from which they derive both their material succor and the sophisticated means to bully and control tens of millions of humans. The government must erect these officious and brutal means of suppression, otherwise the small percentage of liberty minded folks who chafe at living on a feedlot, and having their lives micromanaged, would set a very bad example for the rest who would take notice of the people who elected not to abide by the system. As with the likelihood of secession looming ever brighter, once the first person is allowed to opt out of the government confines, a stampede will commence that will be unstoppable. This is why the IRS is invested with such formidable power to fine and cage recalcitrant taxpayers.

America has conducted a brilliant government campaign to put the state at the top tier of idolatry, with family and individual volition at the bottom. This has been a two-tiered assault. The government makes it very inconvenient for individuals to fight its depredations and ensures that the education system is kept in a tight orbit around government supremacy. Most of my readers have attended some college and have seen first-hand the absolute monopoly of the government supremacist mindset among faculty, administration and students alike. When one suggests that non-violence may be a preferable foundation for a peaceful society, instead of the enslavement of government, one is almost universally scorned. Is it not interesting that all the fevered anti-war rhetoric from the “left” has disappeared since the election of the latest scoundrel to the Presidency? Collectivism permeates the American academy with very little exception, and this from doyens in the humanities and social “sciences” whose jobs may belabor 8-12 hours per week, unless they have paid teaching assistants available. The rest of the time is certainly not used to practice critical thinking, but to sharpen the same weak-minded rationalizations of the academy to justify the ultimate goal of extinguishing every private aspect of human life. They prettily dress the rhetoric in high-minded humanitarian goals, but in the end they are the intellectual equivalents of prison guards in their moral imaginations.

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The Other American Revolution: Cops as Armed Leninists by Bill Buppert

“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy?”
Mahatma Gandhi

I have spent many years writing and railing against the police state with far more competent observers like William Grigg providing a veritable cornucopia of evidence showing why police and American policing is an existential threat to any individual liberty it gets near.

Here and now, the police authorities in the US pose a similar threat to individual liberty that the British military regulars did in North America before 1775. The “redcoats” are now bluecoats.They mean to force all societal change at the point of a gun, no less than the Marxist thuggery that authored planet-wide hell-holes in the 20th century.

These are the Jacobin vanguard and the Communard revolutionaries in new garb. When some of the National Socialists held their heads in shame at the conclusion of the War to Save Josef Stalin to proclaim that “orders were orders” did not necessarily absolve the dishonor of what they had visited on their countrymen; this same notion is the instant response by any serving cop in America. We don’t make the law we enforce it. These are the same men that would have gone after runaway slaves, maimed and killed illegal alcohol distillers and simply done what they are told. That they are held as heroes by the government-media complex tells you exactly the moral compass of the news parrots and the state they fellate on a daily basis.

Cops will do what they are told and they will kidnap, cage, maim and kill you depending on the level of resistance of the Helot assaulted. Police in America are the revolutionary vanguard of a violent state power emanating from DC that will stop at nothing to rob, regulate and, if necessary, murder anyone who defies the law. Anyone. They murder men, women, children and animals with alarming frequency and get away with it. Few face the music as a mundane would if charged with a similar crime.

In essence, it is a Federalized police force to the lowest level granted special immunities and protections for doing the state’s dirty work. While there is a secret police functionality in America with the intelligence community providing data it instructs to be laundered for pursuing arrests and convictions, the not-so-secret police continues to behave as a paramilitary occupation force across the fetid plain.

The trifecta of officer safety, qualified immunity and police unions have combined to create the toxic environment every American suffers in now. The Nuremberg Defense has become the primary reason for all American policing; while Germans hung by the neck until dead for this absurd moral agnosticism, the police are lauded as heroes and sage protectors by the American media that fellates them on a daily basis and provides excuses for the barbaric behavior that they practice daily.

The American concept of policing has become perhaps the purest representation of Marxism in the West with the attendant virulent Leninist attitudes that adorn the armed government employees’ sense of self. The Russian and Chinese concepts of Marxism created some of the largest corpse-piles in recent history. These government supremacist bastions relied on might is right and the “rule of law” in a fashion that brought both to their logical conclusion.

I have always been amused by the likes of the diminishing but overfed hordes of autoworkers and teachers and other union employees who did everything in their power to prevent capital from doing its best and always running to the government’s skirts for protection. These unions have done enough harm by contributing to the decades long mediocrity of automotive manufacturing in the US and the en-stupidation of entire generations of young minds respectively. What would happen if they had been armed and given a hunting license by the government to quite literally get away with mayhem?

Enter the police union. Cops are state thuggery in the flesh and the pointy messy end of all government regulations and programs.

Immoral means can never yield moral ends yet this is the daily modus operandi of the government. This is the precise calculus that informs one of the most inflated and over-rated notions in western history, the rule of law. The rule of law within government confines only applies to non-government employees since the praetorians and imperial bureaucrats are immune to this rule.

If you doubt that, take a look at the emerging surveillance and national security state. But one does not have to look that far. Look at your local “law enforcement’ entities preening and waddling around your local burg. These normally obese uniformed thugs literally have a license to maim and kill. They are always held to a different standard in case after case and even in the prison system if they find themselves on the other side of the cage bars are usually granted separate privileges. They investigate themselves.

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Will the Last Capitalist Please Turn Off the Lights When You Leave… by Bill Buppert

“Under a Communist Party Government, South Africa will become a land of milk and honey.”  

-Nelson Mandela

What is a private business? It is a method of trading products and services for wealth to generate profits to enrich the owners and workers in the enterprise and additionally seed the investment, growth and expansion of the business.

What is the business of government and politicians? To earn wealth and establish punitive control over individual transactions with no merit whatsoever; in other words, to employ the monopoly powers of violence to enrich the few at the expense of the many.   Bastiat said it more eloquently but there it is. Politicians love to project an image of stately dignity and honorifics for the terrific and self-sacrificing service they do. The deception is blatant and they are no more than thieves wrapped in expensive state regalia with armed guards to protect them from their victims. Those victims they have not mentally turned to eunuchs already through the insidious ministrations of television, government education and the soothing bastardization of the language to manipulate the sheeple, are waking up to the sheer audacity of the heist that has been called the state. Turning the Bolshevik idyll on its head, it speaks to the true nature of government and governance.

Hence some examples of the government “business model”:

What is American-Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) return on its investment of approximately 15 million per annum in memberships and grants? About 2.77 billion taxpayer dollars plus the special dispensation granted by the DoD and other government agencies for grants and giveaways (30% of the acknowledged US foreign aid budget). Of course, we all know that per Federal Election Commission (FEC) v. Akins, et al., AIPAC is not a political organization so it is not required to file the onerous minutiae required for political lobbying even though they have five or six registered lobbyists and a host of espionage allegations.

What is the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU)? Both of these fetid organizations would have no reason to exist if the Federal Government weren’t there to provide the backdoor trough from which they rob the taxpayer. Unsurprisingly, a tremendous amount of socialist and communist influence permeates both ACORN and SEIU. Along with the radical Apollo Alliance and the Tides Foundation, they helped craft the monstrous stimulus bill which further bankrupted what is increasingly a zombie economy in these united States.

What do the aforementioned organizations have in common? As with countless other entities in America and around the world, they would not be here except for the existence of the state. The government is the parasite and these are the looters and tax-eaters that live upon other’s production and sweat equity. These are the government analogs of organized crime, muggers and other miscreants whose sole purpose is to thrive off of other members of the community at the point of a gun. Politicians are very well-heeled and equipped highwaymen who are a menace to peace and prosperity throughout the world as history has ably demonstrated. These are simply the latest group of sociopaths and their enablers who maintain that man should not be free but under harness and micromanaged for their own good.

They have even developed a sophisticated academic rationale and industry to provide the apparent intellectual rigor to justify the rapine and murderous behavior that government creates and endorses as it merrily destroys all that is good in the world and replaces it with the hordes of shambling and compliant shells of humanity that shuffle off to work every day to pay their taxes so they feed the Machine. When you consider the tax burden just in America, it almost rivals Denmark and France. I think the graphs and charts once finds on the internet are deceptive because they don’t address the aggregate tax burden (federal, state, local, excise, corporate, etc). As I have pointed out before, when all is said and done, Americans pay nearly 60% of their income in taxes once all Federal, state and lower echelonment taxes are accounted for not to mention the impossible task of putting a dollar figure on the mountains of regulation that impede and strangle business every day. Far greater than the estimated 10% of labor the medieval serfs were yoked with. The universities and major news organs are choked with vine-ripened apologists for statist excess and murder. Whether it is the “right-wing” talk radio celebrities popping the bubbly for more strangers killed overseas or the massive “left-wing” herd of apparatchiks on the news media mewling benignly about the efficacy of more laws and restrictions on human behavior, the message is the same: more government power moves us ever closer to perfection of humanity in this mortal coil. They seek the same enigmatic creature: Homo Sovieticus.

You have to hand it to the self-described socialists and communists like Bernie Sanders, at least he is honest (even though I think all collectivist thought is a form of intellectual drunkenness) in who he is instead of mouthing platitudes about safety, the children and national security to disguise their unbridled lust for power and control over others. At least he has the fortitude to precisely describe his albeit child-like reverence for the state without resorting to the intellectual gymnastics of the usual suspects in the media.

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We’ve Come This Far… by Scott Thompson

Publisher Note: On occasion I will publish something like this that I don’t completely agree with but it knocks the intellectual cobwebs about in the tiny corner of abolitionist intellectual circles that pepper the global commentariat. The abolitionist punditorcracy tends to be a small microscopic sliver of the human conversation. I count Scott as a personal friend and he have pretty much journeyed down the path to statelessness together. This flirts with the undercurrent of the thick versus thin libertarian debate raging in those circles; I have yet to come to a solid conclusion of what camp I may be in philosophically. -BB

Dear Abolitionists, Voluntaryists, and Anarchists,

I want you all to look down into the “Rabbit Hole” and think about the journey you’ve made thus far. Are you staring into a dark abyss or are you standing at the bottom with your feet held firmly to the ground? For many it’s easy to settle your feet on some firm footing because it seems reliable, stable, and logical. That may mean you have found that the great evils of the world are monopolized by the government and you’re preparing for the Great War that lies inevitably ahead. I want to offer another opportunity to descend further into the abyss and discover another face of the enemy below, a much more sinister and frightening one that enslaves our very being. The good news is, I believe this Behemoth can be slain with our love, emotions, and empathy, something that costs us all nothing except time.

The Behemoth has a name, it’s Kyriarchy. Kyriarchy is the social system that holds all oppressive systems in place: government, religion, racism, sexism, etc.¹ Most individuals discount the very existence of this beast, but pretending the beast isn’t there does not mean you aren’t perpetuating its goals, feeding its ego, and aiding its success. It’s actually almost unavoidable that you are aiding and abetting the great beast every day. Once you are bitten by the beast, its toxins bury deep in your cells, your behaviors, and your neurons.

Enough metaphors now though, let’s systematically and concisely descend into the details and discover:

1.  Egocentric vs. Sociocentric

Pure egocentricity offers an individualistic approach to problem-solving behaviors, but it lacks the acknowledgement of the sociocentric elements of society that also guide our behaviors and desires. The terms individualistic and collectivist may come to mind here and I know that one is much more digestible than the other for most of you, but do not discount the powers of both. To live a purely egocentristic lifestyle is to forget that your fellow humans, animals, and Earth have great bearing on your motivations. To live a purely sociocentric lifestyle is to forget that your fellow humans are all different. The secret here is balance; you need to know that you need others and others need you and that is OK. This concept is relatively easy to comprehend and accept for most, but the next step of understanding is where most people lose their ability to accept connections and accept responsibility. Remember, a balance of egocentric and sociocentric views will serve you best in abolishing slavery.

2.  Feminine and Masculine

This is one of the great Instillusions of all time and it is baked into our very being, coded into our evolving brains, and buried deep into our history and cultures worldwide. The concepts of Feminine and Masculine destroy our very identities when we accept them as credence. They represent a fable given to our previous generations that have been passed on to destroy our spirit and set the foundation for control. Masculine is a term that is associated with being male, having strength, anger, power, and logic. Feminine is a term that we associate with Women; it is associated with vulnerability, acceptance, and emotions. We tend to exhibit both of these qualities whether we exist as males, females, or pan-genders. Men talk to their children and mates with affection, emotion, and vulnerability and Women can assert themselves with anger and logic just as well as Men can. The point here is to understand that by adhering to these Instillusions you are perpetuating a form of gender slavery that is damaging to yourself, your children, your mates, and to all those around you. It is slavery for the mind and it leads to slavery of the body. The next section will discuss how the social uses of masculine and feminine terms enslave the body…

3.  Men vs. Others

This is probably the deepest and darkest part of the “Rabbit Hole” that I have found yet because it is so pervasive and the consequences are so damaging. If you are a man and you look around you’ll see the world catering to you. The world is built in your eye and for your pleasure. Contrarily, the world is made up of “others” who are not Men and must struggle to gain resources that Men are able to obtain with must greater ease. This does not necessarily mean that Men are stealing from others, attempting to monopolize resources, or trying to make life harder for “others”, but this is where Men must accept the idea. All resources are finite; therefore, if Men have greater access to resources because of their social standing, they inherently have privilege. That same privilege is borne out of historical privilege, which allowed Men to own property long before any of the “others.” To say that the small victories of “others” mean that they are suddenly on equal footing as Men is to believe in naivety as a means of understanding reality. You start life above and they start life below. It is a difficult concept to swallow, but until you do, you will not understand the levels of slavery that exist around you. It is not the path of least resistance to fully understand.

If I have asked you to swallow some serious red horse pills already, then this one may choke you up: Women are not property. Women do not exist to serve you, your pleasures, or your shortcomings. Open our eyes to the world that Women see. Women see oppression way beyond what you see from the government. Most Women still feel as objects owned by the world around them. They see a world that objectifies them to pieces and parts meant to serve your pleasure. Asses, boobs, legs, and whatever other parts have been thrown in your face to remind you that Women are your playground. A pair of Underwear that my wife just purchased the other day touted the slogan, “His style, your fit.” The local Target Women’s underwear department had pictures of half-naked Women in their bra and underwear sets, while the Men’s section had just a few pictures of some fully-clothed Men. Over 25% of Women have been a victim of sexual assault today.² We still find the existence of dowries that make young Women an economic liability for families, so Female infanticide is still a common practice worldwide.³ Sex trade is the second largest industry in the world, next to the drug trade. Although these are only a few examples, there is a strong trend here that I wish was more difficult to ignore than it seems. Objectification is a dark and dangerous facet of Kyriarchy that Men most often choose to ignore, but it is the primary source of the most grotesque and terrible slavery we witness today. Objectification removes the human element of Women and “Others,” allowing Men to hold the Power of ownership over them without the responsibility of emotions, empathy, and love.

Emotions are the great enemy of our time it seems; logic prevails and emotions are cast aside. The more we discard emotion; however, the greater the empathy-gap becomes. Our Men are limited to emotions of anger and sometimes sadness. We tell our sons to “Buck up and be a man!” We might even tell them, “Stop being a pussy or I’ll give you something to cry about.” The truth is, these kinds of phrases and advice emotionally constipate our boys and allow them only a small spectrum of their emotions and feelings. They stunt their emotional growth and understanding of their selves. What else besides the societal norms do they have to determine their own identities? How do we expect to help our children find harmony, happiness, and peace when we don’t allow them the capacity to feel outside a small spectrum of emotions?

What did your father tell you to do with your emotions? How old were you? What did you do with them and where did they go?

If your commitment to abolishing slavery is true and honest, then stop desperately hacking at the branches. It doesn’t discount the terror that government causes, but it gets you closer to the roots. If you have doubts about the validity of these concepts, I invite you to remember how others fight you against informing them of the evils of government. Do they fight your theories because they don’t exist or because they refuse to accept that they exist?

We’ve come this far, let’s not allow ourselves the comfort of stagnation. I love each and every one of you for the battles you wage on slavery; you are true heroes. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Scott Thompson

References and Links

¹ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyriarchy

² http://www.ncadv.org/files/Domestic%20Violence%20StylizedGS%20edits.pdf ³ http://www.gendercide.org/case_infanticide.html

Hold Death Dear and the State Will Vanish by Bill Buppert

“Life is slavery if the courage to die is absent.”

– Seneca

Fear is the mind killer.

I just finished a four-part series on Stoicism with Brett Veinotte at the School Sucks Project. We covered plenty of ground but I wanted to tease out what I think is something rarely if ever discussed. The Stoic values inform a mindset that is distinctly libertarian. One might even say the state of mind shares a deep kinship with abolitionism. In fact, some of the Stoic philosophers were slaves themselves. The Stoics paint a broad and useful road-map to live a good life and joyous existence on their own terms.

Stoicism is not as popular today as then because it takes work to be a virtuous Stoic and the foregoing of present consumption for future return is not exactly a hipster vision of living in society today. These hard decisions tend to militate against affluence and find happiness and tranquility in less material well-being than more.

The exploration of Stoicism takes a lifetime to contemplate and master. I‘d like to visit a narrow aspect of it and the concomitant relationship to ultimate freedom. This is the Stoic view of death and the advancing of individual refusal and the withdrawal of consent. If fear is the mortar of all statist government then compliance and obedience is the brick. These two components strip the statist conceit to its essence: the employment of immoral means to achieve moral ends, an impossible calculus but the simple equation that all government lives and dies by. The state threatens and employs violence to build society; absent these means it would be out of business in an hour. At its core, the state must practice slavery to get the tax cattle to do as they are told. It is the antithesis of civilization and the highest form of mob rule. It is, in the end, a death cult.

So if that were the case, how would the government handle tens of thousands of subjects who simply refused? I am not referring to homicide or suicide bombers. They willingly employ violence to bring yet another murderous framework into being. How would they respond to a 21st century satyagraha campaign that did not seek to replace the government but dispose of it and stay rid of it? How would they cajole the unwilling to participate in any of their murderous schemes?

The government would kill them, of course. Alexandr Solzhenitsyn tells us that “[a]ny man who has once proclaimed violence as his method is inevitably forced to take the lie as his principle. These are the twin pillars of the state to guarantee its existence.

And what of it, what would happen then? The state would expect the smoking corpses left behind would serve as object lessons to the rest of the tax cattle and instill a level of fear that would force compliance. This is the single historical knot that binds all collectivist governments from communism to socialism to the sclerotic soft fascist entities throughout the West. Every statist conceit is based on the simple notion that you force humans through ultimate threat of death to comply with the legion of schemes that give government power.

How do you cut the knot? The Stoics have some answers whether the abolition of slavery was their object or not.

One of the greatest strategic minds to grace the geo-strategic stage after the War to Save Josef Stalin concluded was USAF Col. John Boyd. He had many interesting things to say and discovered the OODA loop among other things. He distilled strategy to an elegant yin-yang that simplifies library shelves of overwrought and wrong-headed strategic thinking: strategy is all about alliance and isolation to be effective. The Stoics riff off this elegant construction very simply. Epictetus tells us: “All philosophy lies in two words, sustain and abstain.”

You either submit or defy. The middle course will always benefit the former and the acceptance of death as a certitude will inform the latter.

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