Publisher’s Note: Pete at WRSA asked me to complete this interview for him. He has been kind enough to link to my bloviations here at ZeroGov and this is the least I could do. I can entertain any further questions on my blog or at WRSA.
1) Tell the readers about yourself and your experiences.
I’m a retired Army officer who has served a number of tours in neo-imperialist shitpits planet-wide with the Legions and as a contractor. I have a BA in Political Economy and an MA in Asymmetric Warfare (Resistance and Rebellion).
I am the founder of Zerogov.com and have two published books on Amazon with a fiction novel of Fourth Generation Warfare on the horizon called The Cancer Club.
I live in the American Southwest with my wife and the mother of our five children (who keep boomeranging back home).
2) When did you first notice politics?
As a volunteer for Greenpeace in my distant youth, steeped in the misconceptions and naiveté of a system that actually worked to benefit the Helots it farmed on the tax plantations. The rest of my life would teach me otherwise.
3) How did your political thinking evolve over time?
My philosophical and intellectual journey from a mushy post-WWII liberal to a libertarian was greatly influenced when I attended Humboldt State University in the northern reaches of Absurdistan, known to most as California after a stint in the Navy. My formative experiences in the USN would shape the conditions for the transformation anyone in military life can bear witness to. HSU was where you went if you thought Berkeley was too right wing and oppressive. I happened to fall under the academic thrall of two Austrian economists hiding in the basement of the Economics Department. The collectivist nature of the student body and the Sovietized professoriate would go a long way toward forcing a deeper defense of my emerging individualist worldview. This also set me on the path to historical revisionism and a complete deprogramming of all the learned nonsense I had forced into my skull through years of government mind laundries.
Among libertarians, I am a one-digit minority in completely rejecting statist constructs and government as legitimate moral vectors of human relationships. I think the idea of limited government is absurd on its face and deeply flawed in all its assumptions. There is absolutely no historical precedent for it east or west. Politician is just a more neutral word for violence broker, nothing more and nothing less.
The research I embarked on to examine the American Founding forced the realization that the Constitution was a devilishly clever slave document and that the 18th and 19th century abolitionists asked all the right questions but ultimately stopped short of the right answer; I read hundreds of books to include consuming the six volumes of Liberty Fund’s Founders Constitution (which I gave as a gift to Fred who runs the Revolutionary War Veteran’s Association and the Appleseed program to get it off my shelves). Several things really turned me around to include Royce and Spooner but when I read the massive three volumes of the foreign relations between the states from 1775 to 1787 as a preamble to finishing the Anti-Federalist Papers, all the pieces fell into place.
No matter how well-intentioned the document that “binds”, human psychopathy will inform the entire political structure at the expense of the Helots subject to the apparatchiks’ wishes and diktats issued.
How many shelves of regulation are groaning in various government offices across the fruited plain whose touchstone is innocent words like “general welfare” and the “commerce clause”?
I tend to refer to myself as an abolitionist instead of an anarchist because the latter term makes most folks fill their pants in fear and misunderstanding.
I also think my military training, experiences and saturation in the incredibly dysfunctional and sclerotic American and Western war machines showed me the futility of socialism working and the apex factor of war-making in expanding state control over every facet of human transaction. My eyes were forced wide open as a combat tourist around the globe as described earlier.
4) Who do you consider your top five influences in that evolution, and for each, why?
I’m going to make this more accessible by listing intellectual and philosophical influences on my thinking and worldview. If folks read my essays at ZeroGov, they can get hundreds of recommendations for further elucidation in the concepts and brain zephyrs that have shaped my liberty journey.
First and foremost, philosophical Stoicism from Seneca to Epictetus to Aurelius to Shackleton and everything in between, these are the original abolitionists, the true believers and Socratic drillers of human self-government. Again and again, I go back to these foundational thinkers to really divine the fundamental constructs of a just society based on the atomistic individual.
Austrian economics from the early school under Menger to von Mises and even better in Rothbard; a whole crop of new Austrian observers are on the scene to further mine and research all the implications that are playing out in this nadir of human civilization. These are the bright lights that illuminate a path out of the murderous thought-rubble that passes for thinking today in academia and the government-media complex. When matched against the scientific axioms being discovered in chaos theory and complexification, it makes sense at the individual and meta-level. Per economics, keep in mind that all macroeconomics is merely a sophisticated academic rationalization for government intervention and the throttling of individual volition and incentive. For better or worse, I have never finished an Ayn Rand book nor do I break bread with Objectivists.
Libertarian historical revisionism from Lysander Spooner to Harry Elmer Barnes to Jeffrey Rogers Hummel that plumbs history to divine the one golden thread that runs through it continuously: it all comes down to power and the consolidation and expansion thereof through the initiation and aggressive monopoly of violence. It was Gibbon who opined there were only five Roman rulers who retained a patina of humanity in their conduct of the state over the course of seven centuries. Five. The Gods bless Cincinnatus.
Military history and the evolution of irregular warfare; there is no more compact and interdisciplinary pursuit of history and human action than military history. When you tease out all the factors both obvious and sublime, it paints a vivid portrait of how state murder machines behave and why warfare is the health of the state. It also offers hundreds if not thousands of ingenious and mostly unheralded lower register forces in the irregular warfare arena who best these numerically and technologically superior behemoths time after time. I offer the current Middle Eastern troubles for the Western military as Exhibit A that technology may not be the deciding factor in any warfare that is not cosmic in its dimension. For a snapshot, I would urge you to read Arthur C. Clarke’s short story Superiority from 1951.
Finally, the evolution of my secular if innate antinomian attitudes leading to my dismissal of the state as anything more than slavery animates most of my thinking now. Once I shed any pretense of party affiliation or getting misty when a colored rag is flying at half-mast accompanied by bad music, I no longer feel shackled by the fog that is necessary to genuinely feel patriotism or a heart-felt connection to my wardens and zookeepers. I can’t go back from the moral standard I have planted in the ground despite all the Rube Goldberg attempts by the usual suspects to bring back the Constitution or take DC back or any of the other delusional nonsense.
Buppert’s Corollary to Acton’s Axiom is “that power attracts the corruptible and absolute power attracts even worse”. If you wish to rule over others as a statist, you will justify all manner of barbarity: fining, kidnapping, caging, maiming and killing of those who resist the tender assignations of the mandarins of the state.
5) Give us the 2016 State of the Union, Buppert style.
I am a non-voter so I observe the current “race” for the Offal Office with clinical interest but nothing more. I admire Bernie Sanders because he is an unapologetic Stalinist who is nothing more than EVERY US political candidate on truth serum. He is the polar opposite of Ron Paul, a true exemplar of the pro-death religion that is the state idolater. Whoever gets the ring of power for the next four years in Mordor on the Potomac to run the American Necromonger Complex will deliver more of the same but worse. It always gets worse.
More wars will be waged and everything practiced in the Middle East such as biometric identification and surveillance technologies of every stripe will come home and be used against the Helots on the US plantation. The UK is a sterling example of what a defunct empire looks like in the homeland.
It is an open bet on whether technology will favor SLAVFOR or FREEFOR. Some bright spots are the increasing realization on a critical mass of Americans the US constabulary is the bloody end of all politics and that the clarion call for a Nuremberg excuse for all the havoc and murder the American police Orcs visit daily is just the cost of civilization. It’s anecdotal but the increasing number of folks I and my colleagues run into who think that self-ownership may be job one for very human is resonating with larger swaths of the population. And this is not new, American Appalachia and the trudge Westward in these united States were all escape attempts by entire communities to elude the noose of the Atlantic seaboard government supremacists who had penned the ownership deed by the state of American subjects in the Constitution.
Pay attention to the Amish, they have broken the code on eluding government chains in broad daylight via peaceful means.
6) Give us MLCOA and MDCOA for the next 24 months in FUSA?
If only my crystal ball were any clearer than the other soothsayers proffering their nonsense. Economically, the US can’t last forever because it practices the opposite of Gresham’s Law and continues to assume its chicanery can go on forever. All the factors that have been discussed exhaustively on this site will create a perfect storm to murder Mordor.
Stay tuned for police forces ramping up their military tactical regimen and weaponize laws that choke dissent. The saving grace is that cops are overweight and lazy, the latter informing the filling of the pie-hole for the former. They also rely on a legal system that serves them and no one else and think that no one notices. At the Federal level, more than ninety percent of cases are pled and the remainder that go to jury trial, the prosecution complex prevails with similar numbers no matter how slight or fictional the offense(s). This system will see an eventual blowback that will quite literally rock the whole system to its core.
Expect citizen maiming and homicide against the black and blue line to start ramping up. Keep in mind that Dorner as a lone actor froze the entire Orc enforcement complex in California for nearly a month. One.
It will be ugly whether in the next two years or ten.
My upcoming novel, The Cancer Club, when published provides a veritable panoply of scenarios that are illustrative of just how bad it may get for American policing if they continue to treat their charge as an occupation army of the violence brokers in DC. It may also provide some illustrations of what remedy looks like.
Unfortunately, the most likely and most deadly courses of action do not see a peaceful resolution to the current unpleasantness domestically.
7) Is FUSA heading into a police state or intensifying an existing one? Why?
The police state is already in place and in the words of William Binney, a “turnkey totalitarianism”. Much noise and bluster by the usual suspects among the Threeper community and the “conservative” parchment worshippers speaks to the braking mechanism that atomized firearms ownership will be to stop this from happening.
One can go to all the essays I have written on the sordid history of policing and firearms restrictions in America in the past 150 years. How many friends or family do you have who dutifully filled out the necessary paperwork at their local non-funded BATFE field office, the gun store? Happily filling out the liberty-destroying edifice of the Form 4473 and all the attendant registration information.
The police state is alive and well and the subjects happily do the bidding of their wardens from the DMV to the casting of votes for the latest sociopath to take the reigns of power.
8) Do you see any foreign threats here in CONUS as the system devolves?
Historically, if one simply looks at the former USSR, the former Warsaw Bloc countries and the break-up of Yugoslavia, you see no palpable evidence of foreign countries invading these collapsed entities and setting up housekeeping. As the West has discovered in neo-colonial briar-patches in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and the Horn of Africa in this new millennium, this doesn’t end well for advanced nation-states.
Most of what I consider nonsensical fantasizing of a Red Dawn style invasion of a broken America is utter ahistorical rubbish but the military-industrial complex in America and the domestic intervention crowd need their continual train of boogeymen to keep the booboisee agitated and worried.
I see zero foreign threats that hold a candle to the lethal threat of the US government against its own Helots on a daily and existential basis.
9) What should individuals be doing now, in detail?
First and foremost, hone your critical thinking skills and be skeptical of anything you hear from the state or the media. The level of discourse and conversation has declined so rapidly it beggars the imagination. Take the time to actually converse on deep subjects with like-minded folk.
Control your screen fixations and untether from the glass teat by cancelling all cable/satellite and broadcast media subscriptions. I also think that writing makes you smarter and good writing forces you to confront your deepest convictions and flesh them out.
Read books and read them to your children.
Never let any of your children or blood relations attend any government sponsored education activities; educate them at home. If they go to college, make sure they are equipped to keep liberty defensible intellectually at all times.
Prepare for the coming Endarkenment through the acquisition of gold, guns and groceries.
Keep yourself in the peak physical condition appropriate to your age and (dis)ability.
Train with weapons of the type you are comfortable with and get the family involved. Leverage the resources you find at WRSA to learn from folks who have seen the elephant.
Like some at WRSA, I have become rather resistant and intensely dismissive of any of the new-fangled political systems devised by the worthies who comment there or are featured in linked stories and opinion. For me, unless it is the Brotherhood Without Banners, I can’t even feign interest. So be skeptical of any new and improved slave system. And if you choose to engage and the merit of argument gives way to ad hominem attacks, drop it and move on. This life is short enough before we all join for drink and wenching in the Great Hall.
10) Who wins, ultimately – SLAVFOR or FREEFOR?
Individuals always win if they stay true to themselves even on pain of death. Make peace with that. It can’t be defeated.
This may sound morbid but the corpse you leave behind doesn’t have to be compliant to any officialdom much like the apocryphal tale of the Stoic philosopher who was cajoled for a court appearance instead of a Roman emperor and refused. After a number of threats, he simply informed the apex bureaucrat that his body may show up but he can never be forced against his will to do something he refuses to do.
In the end, your alliance with SLAVFOR or FREEFOR is of you own choosing. Fear is a choice and danger is real.