Basically, there are two factions that exist in the world, when it comes to metaphysics and epistemology. The basic premises they maintain are at odds and determine how they conduct their lives and the conclusions they come to when it involves moral and political issues. They see reality differently—one hundred eighty degrees of difference. This is an attempt to verbalize those reality differences. Reality will dictate the outcome of the battle and a battle it is—an ideological battle. The lists below represent a general list of what most of the groups believe. However, it stands to reason that one cannot predict the beliefs of any one individual of the group. I will call one group Non-Statists or Limited Statists and the other group Statists-Collectivists. It should be quite evident that these opposite ideas demonstrate why there can never be compromise between them.

In reality, the two groups should be divided between Anarchists and Statists but I have used a more general dividing line to give the Limited Statists the benefit of the doubt by categorizing them with the Non-Statists (Anarchists)

 

Non-Statists and Limited Statists

1. Contradictions do not exist in reality

2. Many things are absolute

3. Some things are impossible

4. Theft is the taking of property without the consent of the owner

5. All opinions are not equally valid

6. The law of supply and demand is an absolute, a Natural Law of Human Action

7. Wishing, hoping, praying and a positive attitude cannot accomplish most things

8. The knowledge of basic principles is paramount in order to solve problems on a consistent basis

9. One man’s need does not constitute a moral obligation upon the actions of another

10. One man’s need does not constitute a right to the property of another

11. Truth exists

12. The ends do not justify the means

13. Like all things, Man has a Nature, which must be considered when trying to manipulate him

14. Natural law cannot be violated without impunity

15. Evil does exist

16. Profit is good and necessary for a thriving nation

17. The needs of the individual must never be sacrificed to the needs of the many

18. There is nothing immoral about a person who has much abundance and wants more

19. Taxation is theft

20. Calling slavery by another name will not change the meaning— will not make it freedom

21. Calling theft by another name will not change the meaning—it is still theft

22. Reality is an absolute and cannot be molded according to anyone’s desires

23. According to the courts, the paying of income taxes is voluntary

25. Production is the engine that creates jobs and prosperity

26. Government handouts is not the way to end poverty

27. Heroes: Carnegie, Vanderbilt, Ford, Rockefeller, Gates, Jefferson, Paine, Washington, Hayek, Von Mises, Bastiat, Rothbard, Rand, Galambos, Snelson, Pugsley, Paterson, Reagan, Newton, Faraday, Bell, Tesla, Westinghouse, Whitney, Fulton

28. Freedom is a primary and necessary goal towards attaining a lasting, prosperous, secure civilization

Statists-Collectivists

 

  1. Contradictions do exist in reality
  2. Everything is relative
  3. Nothing is impossible
  4. Involuntary redistribution of another’s property is not theft
  5. All opinions are equally valid
  6. The law of supply and demand is an artificial construct
  7. Wishing, hoping, praying, and a positive attitude can accomplish most things
  8. The knowledge of basic principles is a waste of time and can be discarded with impunity
  9. One man’s need constitutes a moral obligation upon the actions of another
  10. One man’s need constitutes a right to the property of another
  11. There is no such thing as truth.
  12. The ends justify the means
  13. Man has no Nature. He can be manipulated without negative consequences
  14. Natural law can be violated without impunity
  15. One man’s evil is another man’s good
  16. Most profit is evil and must be regulated
  17. The needs of the individual must be sacrificed to the needs of the many
  18. Any person who has much abundance and desires more is greedy and/or evil
  19. Taxation is the coercive taking of property, but it is not theft. It is simply the necessary redistribution of wealth
  20. Calling slavery by another name will make it non-slavery
  21. Calling theft by another name will make it non-theft.
  22. Consistency does not matter
  23. Reality is not an absolute and can be molded according to one’s desires. One way of molding reality is by changing the names given to concepts
  24. According to the courts, the paying of taxes is voluntary but you must pay it
  25. Government is the engine that creates jobs and prosperity
  26. Government handouts is the way to end poverty
  27. Heroes: Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Black Panthers, New Black Panthers, Sinclair Lewis, Charles Dickens, George Bernard Shaw, Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Castro, Chavez, FDR, Pelosi, Obama, Schumer, Holder, Reid, FDR, Lyndon Johnson, Clinton
  28. Freedom is an arbitrary construct made up by those who have, and want to manipulate those who have not. It should be ignored. It is an unworthy goal.
  29. Equality is the primary goal of a civilization

The Republicans, conservatives and limited statists preach items 1-28 but betray those principles when it comes to practice. That makes them inconsistent hypocrites.

The Democrats, liberals and progressives preach items 29-57 (Communo-Fascist ideas) and actually live them through their legislative preferences. That makes them consistent enslavers.

Note: It is evident that there cannot be compromise between the two factions. Both sides believe that compromise would eventually spell the end of civilization. Since all opinions are NOT equally valid, you decide which side is correct.

 

 

Publisher’s Note:  September 17 is the day the serfs in the tax jurisdiction known as America celebrate Constitution Day.  We hear all the usual ill-informed and ahistorical notions celebrating what was in essence one of the most savvy and lucrative political coups in Western history. The Antifederalists were right, the Constitution was an elegant trap to shackle an entire nation to a system to empower the few over the many and the banksters over the entire system of commerce.  The respective states which had signed separate peace agreements with the United Kingdom in 1783 were merely political and inferior subsidiaries to the greater national power emerging in Mordor on the Potomac.  The Constitution created a Soviet style system well before the Bolsheviks were even contemplating such a scheme.  Whenever you hear some of your friends and neighbors extolling the virtues of the Constitution, read them Spooner’s quote and see how they address that particular conundrum.

I republish this annually to do my part to commemorate one of the greatest injuries to liberty you never knew.

You can also see my debate with Dr. Walker-Howe at Freedom Fest in the Media and Interviews portion of this blog. -BB

By rendering the labor of one, the property of the other, they cherish pride, luxury, and vanity on one side; on the other, vice and servility, or hatred and revolt.

~ James Madison

“But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain — that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.”

~ Lysander Spooner

Today, 17 September 2009, is Constitution Day. There will be paeans, abundant commentary and church-like observances of the glories of this document in making us the most blessed nation on planet earth. This essay suggests a contrarian thesis. The Constitution is an enabling document for big government. Much like the Wizard of Oz, the man behind the curtain is a fraud. In this case, for all the sanctimonious handwringing and the obsequious idolatry of the parchment, it sealed the fate of our liberties and freedoms and has operated for more than 200 years as a cover for massive expansion of the tools and infrastructure of statist expansion and oppression. Among the many intellectual travels I have undertaken, this is one of the most heart-breaking I have ventured on. I want to acknowledge the compass-bearers who sent me on this journey: Kenneth W. Royce (aka Boston T. Party) and his seminal book, The Hologram of Liberty and Kevin Gutzman’s Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution. For most of the political spectrum in America, the document represents their interpretation of how to make this mortal coil paradise. Even in libertarian circles, it is taken as an article of faith the Constitution is a brilliant mechanism to enlarge liberty and keep government at bay. That is a lie.

The document was drafted in the summer of 1787 behind closed doors in tremendous secrecy because if word leaked out of the actual contents and intent, the revolution that had just concluded would have been set ablaze again. They were in a race against time and did everything in their power to ensure that the adoption took place as quickly as possible to avoid reflection and contemplation in the public square that would kill the proposal once the consequences of its agenda became apparent. They were insisting that the states ratify first and then propose amendments later. It was a political coup d’état. It was nothing less than an oligarchical coup to ensure that the moneyed interests, banksters and aristocrats could cement their positions and mimic the United Kingdom from which they had been recently divorced.

The original charter of the drafters was to pen improvements to the existing Articles of Confederation. Instead, they chose to hijack the process and create a document which enslaved the nation. Federalist in the old parlance meant states rights and subsidiarity but the three authors of the fabled Federalist Papers supported everything but that. Their intent and commitment was to create a National government with the ability to make war on its constituent parts if these states failed to submit themselves to the central government.

As Austrian economists have discovered, bigger is not necessarily better. The brilliant and oft-dismissed Articles of Confederation (AoC) and Perpetual Union are a testament to voluntarism and cooperation through persuasion that the Constitution disposed of with its adoption. Penned in 1776 and ratified in 1781, the spirit and context of the Articles live on in the Swiss canton system and are everywhere evident in the marketplace where confederationist sentiments are practiced daily. The confederation’s design divines its mechanism from what an unfettered market does every day: voluntary cooperation, spontaneous information signals and the parts always being smarter than the sum A. confederation according to the Webster’s 1828 dictionary is:

  1. The act of confederating; a league; a compact for mutual support; alliance; particularly of princes, nations or states.

I would advise the readership to use the 1828 Webster’s dictionary to accompany any primary source research you may undertake to understand American (& British) letters in the eighteenth century. It is the source for the contemporary lexicon. It is even available online now.

Here is a simple comparison of the two organizing documents:

`

Articles of Confederation

Constitution

Levying taxes Congress could request states to pay taxes Congress has right to levy taxes on individuals
Federal courts No system of federal courts Court system created to deal with issues between citizens, states
Regulation of trade No provision to regulate interstate trade Congress has right to regulate trade between states
Executive No executive with power. President of U.S. merely presided over Congress Executive branch headed by President who chooses Cabinet and has checks on power of judiciary and legislature
Amending document 13/13 needed to amend Articles 2/3 of both houses of Congress plus 3/4 of state legislatures or national convention
Representation of states Each state received 1 vote regardless of size Upper house (Senate) with 2 votes; lower house (House of Representatives) based on population
Raising an army Congress could not draft troops, dependent on states to contribute forces Congress can raise an army to deal with military situations
Interstate commerce No control of trade between states Interstate commerce controlled by Congress
Disputes between states Complicated system of arbitration Federal court system to handle disputes
Sovereignty Sovereignty resides in states Constitution the supreme law of the land
Passing laws 9/13 needed to approve legislation 50%+1 of both houses plus signature of President

Note that the precept of individual taxation was an end-run against state sovereignty from the very beginning. If the Congress does not wish to violate state sovereignty, then they will simply prey on the individuals in the states. It should be obvious that the AoC was not a recipe for government employees from top to bottom to use the office to enrich themselves so a scheme was afoot to precipitate and manufacture dissent over the present configuration of the central government apparatus which for all intents and purposes barely existed. The AoC was intolerable to a narrow panoply of interests and the Federalist Papers appeared between October 1787 and August 1788 to plead the case for a newer form of “Republic” authored by three individuals: James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton. The British had sued for peace in 1783 and the AoC were still in effect until 1790. Time was ticking to erect the new government apparatus that would strengthen the central government to eventually mimic the very tyranny which caused British North America to put the English Crown in the hazard. The Anti-Federalists rose up in response and provided what I consider one of the most splendid and eloquent defenses of small government penned in our history.

When the Constitutional Convention convened on 1787, 55 delegates came but 14 later quit as the Convention eventually abused its mandate and scrapped the AoC instead of revising it. The notes and proceedings of the cloistered meeting were to be secret as long as 53 years later when Madison’s edited notes were published in 1840.

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Along with conservatives, I too believe in small government as opposed to liberals, who believe in big government, or at least their behavior demonstrates a belief in big government.  Thomas Jefferson is famous for writing that “the government that rules best is the government that rules least.”

 The first settlers were specifically aware of the need for small government because their experience of being ruled by big government resulted in tyranny, slavery, poverty, and hardship.  They came to the New World to escape that tyranny.  The Founding Fathers were born 100 years later and were well educated in the history of global tyranny, from the ancient Egyptians through the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations to the monarchies of Europe until the day when they were put to the test of devising a social order that could create peace and harmony. From their study of history they understood the necessity of creating a government that was small.

However, a problem existed at the outset, which still exists today.  What is the dividing line between big government and small government?  What are the definitions of big and small government?  Can they be defined?  Since the only activity that a government can exhibit is the forcible taking or regulation of the property of its citizens for the alleged benefit of society, under what circumstances should government act so that its activity can be considered as small?  I challenge conservatives to answer this question with consistency.  Conservatives, who claim to be freedom lovers, must generically define freedom (and slavery) in a consistent and non-contradictory manner before they can embark upon any political action with freedom as their goal.  Perhaps freedom is not their goal.

It certainly appears to me that as a result of this coming November 2010 mid-term election and as a result of the next presidential election, conservatives will win, take hold of the reigns of government and once again be given the opportunity to “make things right.”

Let’s look at the facts.  During the early years of the existence of our Constitutional Republic we did have “small government,” which lasted for many years.  But now we have “big government.”  How did such a thing happen? Nobody went to sleep on any given Sunday under the rule of small government and awakened on Monday to find himself under the arm of big government.  It crept up on us.  The creeping restrictions on our freedoms was perpetrated by liberals and conservatives alike sometimes with the approval of their constituents and sometime without, each faction believing that they knew what was best for the individual citizen. Conservatives are not innocent of contributing to this predicament of creeping restrictions. Returning to Constitutional limits on government will not hack it. Setting aside all of the other flaws of the Constitution, the Commerce Clause alone, allowed for a multitude of regulatory laws to enslave Americans, so when some conservatives claim to be constitutional conservatives, they too contribute to the involuntary servitude.

When the conservatives grab hold of the reigns of our government this November, and in 2012, they must make sure that they don’t make the same mistakes of the past, or it will be business as usual with the resulting conservative-style slavery, rather than liberal-style.  They must create an atmosphere whereby the real creators of jobs, the private sector, is able to freely function.  To accomplish this, all of their efforts must focus on REPEALING laws and closing government agencies, not passing new laws and creating new government programs and agencies, not reforming laws in order to improve them. That is the only way to decrease spending, get the economy on the road to real prosperity, and get out of debt. They must understand that freedom does not mean that they can pass their own restrictive legislation for the “good” of society.  It is not “creeping socialism” that is upon us, as some believe.  All along it has been “creeping slavery” which must be recognized and eliminated.  It is not “conservative values” that we must rescue from the opposition, but “freedom values.”  They are not the same.  Freedom is an absence — an absence of coercion, an absence of involuntary servitude, an absence of others having control over our lives and property.  Resist the temptation to legislate morality and abolish all victimless crimes.

To quote R.C. Hoiles, the past owner of the Orange County Register, “any time a man has to pay for something he does not want because of the initiating of force by the government, he is, to that degree, a slave.”  He also said, “the man who sanctions (compulsory) public education has no basis for opposing compulsory health insurance.”  The principle is the same for both.

The previous quote, although a necessary thought in the conservative consciousness, is not sufficient.  The quote should have said, “the conservative who sanctions public education; the anti-trust laws; the Federal Reserve System; government ownership of anything including land, roads, utilities, means of transportation and waterways; government regulation of businesses and commerce; government subsidies; government welfare programs; or foreign aid; has no basis for opposing compulsory health insurance.”  The principle behind opposing compulsory health insurance is the exact same principle behind opposing all of the other government interferences enumerated above.

The restated quote above correctly identifies the contradictions held by most conservatives when they do sanction all or most of the above government programs or activities.  Conservatives must no longer rationalize why the government programs and activities they sanction or condone are good for the country, for in the long run those programs and activities are the seeds for the harvest of big government.  Al Capone did not wake up one day as a major criminal.  He managed to perpetrate small crimes with impunity, and then got away with moderate crimes until he became a major criminal. In the same manner, small government interference with the private sector leads to moderate interference until government becomes the major criminal, as it has been for decades under Republican and Democratic administrations and presently exists today.

If the conservatives grasp the reigns of power they must follow the advice given within these few paragraphs so that they can create a society that is bathed in the waters of freedom, resulting in a prosperous, secure and lasting society.  Failing to follow these guidelines will only lead to ruin.

Yes indeed, the seed of big government tyranny is small government tyranny.  So conservatives, especially Tea Party conservatives and Constitutionalists, beware.  Make it smaller than small.  Make it a minute government or better yet, make it a stateless society or else the errors of the past will be repeated. In the final analysis, the seed of big government is government.

 

 

“If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law”
― Henry David Thoreau

Imperial conditioning is the means by which a state through subtle and overt means make obedience to government a habit and sole course of action for citizens.  It may not necessarily be a conscious effort on the part of the state but merely the inevitable outcome of the initiation of aggression on a mass scale.  Absent violence, the state cannot exists.

One can read many of my previous essays on cops to see that they are the foundational element that makes governments work.  Absent the armed praetorians to conduct “law enforcement” (one of the more honest labeling enterprises of government), the state has no engine to uphold its legions of edicts and diktats over the unfortunate inhabitants in the tax jurisdictions.

I just went on a trip overseas.  As usual, every stage of travel within the American borders was awash in a sea of uniformed agents of the state directing one to do this or that on the condition that non-compliance would be most unpleasant.  At one point after my return to the vaunted home of the free, I went through the porno-scanner to save time for a connection we were close to missing to return to Arizona.  When directed to put my hands on my head so that they could get a better view I rendered the appropriate one-finger salute east and west to which one of the unemployable TSA drones said “that is unnecessary” to which I replied then that there is no more fitting tribute to an organization for whom the word unnecessary should be part of the slogan for the blue-shirted shamblers. Of course, this resulted in a punitive grope and rifling of my carry-on bag.  No surprise.  Discretion on their part to harass those who object is part of their charter.  One is supposed to grin and bear every infringement on liberty in the name of national (read government) security.  They are, in fact taken aback, nay offended, when one of the cattle resists or says no.  Much like the ritual at the Border Patrol checkpoint 40 miles north of the border south of Tucson in Arizona where all inquiries are answered with a firm no.

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When using the Socratic jackhammer against statists, it’s usually not more than a couple blows of the anvil before we arrive at what the state actually is–a group of individuals exercising the use of force against other individuals. Ultimately, this is the core of the state’s power; the use of force to maintain its order. This is a trait shared by all governments, from republics and liberal democracies, to totalitarian dictatorships and oppressive oligarchies. At their cores, that is, at the foundations of these differing political systems, the use of force is the fundamental premise upon which their theories are built. Only the degree of aggression, intrusion, and violence is varied from the total state to the minimal state; they are identical twins spawned from the same egg. The nurture may differ, but he nature does not.

From the political scientist to the everyday statist, they share more than just the belief in the use of force; they believe in the use of “legitimate” force. And that is where the statist and the anarchist part ways; indeed that is where the true socialist, and the statist part ways. The definition of the state that is generally accepted among anarchists is that entity that claims for itself a monopoly on the use violence to maintain its order. There may be variations of this definition, but what these differing definitions refer to are the same–a monopoly on violence.

You’ll notice I did not include the use of the term “legitimate” in my definition of the state, because I believe that term is used by statists, in academia and beyond, in a completely arbitrary fashion.  When pressed on what one means when they use the term “legitimate” in their definition of the state, the conversation usually devolves into one big exercise of begging the question.  Here’s what I mean-

How did the state’s use of violence become legitimate?

Through legitimation.

What is legitimation?

It’s the process of making a thing legitimate.

The violence of the state had to go through the process of legitimation; was the process always legitimate?

Well, it is legitimate now.

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“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.”

– Edward Abbey

We just got finished watching the older movie, Red Dawn, the other day and it struck me how out of touch modern American teenagers are to the protagonists in the film.  I get it; the film is homage to hyperbolic patriotism in the fight against a foreign invasion as unlikely as the scenario could be even in the heyday of US-USSR global bipolar disorder.

With three dozen acknowledged insurgencies world-wide and realistically hundreds in reality, these partisan scenarios played out against internecine rivalries for power within or around various nation-states are ubiquitous and overwhelmingly a young man’s endeavor ranging from the prepubescent fighters in the Lords Resistance Army to the twenty- and thirty-somethings that made up the bulk of the fighters in Northern Ireland, Chechnya and Afghanistan among the innumerable ranks of trigger pullers battling for some cause world-wide.

But I have to wonder just how fit the modern American teenager is for this kind of fighting whether initiated by a foreign invasion or the far more likely notion of battling a brutal and repressive regime from DC visited against its own citizens resisting the increasingly totalitarian notions of Potomac America where freedom demands a license and laws are so legion that one can’t walk through a day without violating some obscure Federal statute.

America’s youth seem to be fatally tethered to a need for information which has become so addictive that it is hard to pry one’s children from the phones and computers that shadow, if not dominate, their every waking minute and hour.  One would think that a forward looking mind that has access to the greatest store of knowledge ever in human civilization would render a new golden age peopled by superior thinkers, new inventions and new areas of cognition that would propel us forward into a brightly lit future of unlimited potential.

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My sixteen year old daughter crafted this paper for her first college class and wanted dear old Dad to post it on his blog.  So here I will fill my filial obligation to my spirited young filly.  I am certainly opposed to the death penalty myself because I think no state should have any power to take the lives of its citizens.  It always historically abuses such a prerogative.  Chloe addresses a few other concerns.  The paper is unedited and remains the province of my precocious daughter. -BB

Killing the Killers

            The death penalty is an unprincipled, barbaric punishment that uses words such as “justice” and “retribution” to disguise a painfully vicious crime against the American people.  The risk-taking involved in giving the U.S. government such tremendous power is an unnecessary and foolish action. With large governments comes large responsibility, and that responsibility should not include choosing life and death for its citizens. The death penalty is an immoral and unjustified act of violence and greed. This disturbing law puts the government behind economically because of its ridiculously high cost and politically with its outdated, barbaric act of violence. With such high numbers of convictions, the risk of innocent executions is higher. The common mindset among jurors, a premeditated assumption of guilt, leaves the accused, whether innocent or guilty, without a chance. The death penalty is wrong because it is illogical, immoral, and prejudicial.

The Corruptions of Capital Punishment

There are many faults with the death penalty. Its illogical standpoint results in numerous malfunctions; its immoral mindset teaches Americans that life is undervalued and that the government has the power to take it away if they so desire. The last flaw of the death penalty is its prejudicial view that creates the risk of innocent executions. With its many flaws the death penalty has no reason to exist.

The largest flaw of the death penalty is its illogicality. Though it was thought that the death penalty deterred crime, a recent study proves otherwise. A study done by the Death Penalty Information Center in 1995, says that murderers thinking of  future consequences is 82% inaccurate and the death penalty significantly reducing the number of homicides is 67% inaccurate (“Dispelling the Myths”). If the death penalty is meant to deter crime, and it doesn’t, why does the U.S. still have the death penalty?

Its cost system is nowhere near effective. A study done by the United States Kansas Legislative Post Audit in 2003 discovered that the cost of death penalty cases were 70% more than the cost of the non-death penalty cases, the study also found that the median legal cost of the death penalty cases was $1.26 million whereas the median legal cost of the non-death penalty cases was $740,000 (qtd. in United States. Dept. of Public Advocacy). It puts the United States behind socially, making its politicians seem behind the times. Lastly, by claiming death solves death, they have a clear misunderstanding of the simplest logic.

The U.S. death penalty is a painfully immoral and unjustified act. No matter the opinion, it is common knowledge that morals are extremely strict; many search for the gray areas, but right and wrong are clear. It is wrong to steal a cookie from the jar, it is right to leave the cookie in the jar. It is wrong to kill someone, it is right to let them live. Morals are really to the point. Death, crime, and killing are much more complicated than the intense decision to eat the cookie, or not to eat the cookie. Yet morals are simple, they are the natural instinct, one’s religion, the voice in one’s head called a conscience, it is called many things in many countries and cultures, but everyone knows since they were a small child that killing someone is wrong. So why does the U.S. do it?

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“Even if we are spared destruction by war, our lives will have to change if we want to save life from self-destruction.”

~Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Be happy that the US is spending itself into oblivion on military hardware.  The American military is a colossus in presence, spending and technology and they lack one vital feature, they cannot fight a sustained conflict anywhere.

The spending numbers are deceptive because like all the traditional US budget legerdemain, there are plenty of ways to hide military spending such as the black budgets in the intelligence community, the Department of Energy nuclear programs and the ever burgeoning budget for veterans both retired and medically enfeebled who are starting to take a greater toll on government expenditures.  This would include the aging military retiree population in the Department of Veterans Affairs and the care necessary for all the maimed and crippled soldiers returning from the failed attempt to install an American Caliphate on the Middle Eastern peoples.  When it is all added up, it appears to exceed one trillion dollars which is merely 25 percent of the total budget for the US.

As William Lind and other keen observers of the military industrial complex have observed, the US simply cannot prosecute an effective long term military conflict anywhere on Earth despite the vast resources and hundreds of military bases peppering the globe.  There are a number of explanations for this.

First, the US military is ill-suited to fight the cost effective and localist nature of most conflicts.  There are currently hundreds of small-scale insurgencies and dozens of large-scale insurgencies and revolutionary movements around the globe.  It is a large and cumbersome Second Generation warfare model although the USMC is showing signs of evolving into a genuine Third Generation warfare military engine. Excepting some special operations forces, the US is hopelessly mired in a stalled and ultimately futile effort to master Fourth Generation Warfare.  There are some who claim that if we simply unleashed the forces to maximize their homicidal urges on both combatants and civilians alike, winning in Iraq and Afghanistan could be achieved.  I would suggest that historically more restrictions on targets and surgical means to achieve military goals in these irregular warfare conflicts always give the greatest yield if victory is desired but then again victory has a different flavor in these conflicts as opposed to the WWII model that still permeates the thinking in the Pentagon and the modern US military machine.

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Manners are the lubricant of civilization and so are incentives.  Incentives, whether good or bad, make the world go ‘round.

When drugs are illegal such as the wide variety of illicit hallucinogens proscribed by the rulers in America, they don’t go away.  Prices rise in the black market attracting guerrilla entrepreneurs who emulate government in their use of violence to deliver goods and services.  After all, the government delivers its goods and service at the point of a gun.  Behind the smiling and beneficent face of Uncle Sam is a violent psychopath who will stop at nothing, even your death, to enlist your compliance and obedience.  He cannot brook opting out or refusing because most sane human beings would do the cost-benefit analysis and discover that the goods and services offered by the government are shabby, ineffective or just plain bad for their health.

So the state puts the economic and behavioral permutations of incentives on their head.  If one is a small firm owner, you go out of your way to develop customer relationships that speak to repeat business and a growing clientele of loyal customers.  One tries not to treat family members poorly as an incentive to continue to receive their love and comfort.

Incentives are a means to predict how folks will respond.  A positive incentive would be hotel loyalty programs and great customer service.  A negative incentive would be the likelihood of a burglar surviving a shopping spree on private property in my old haunts in rural northern Idaho.  Not likely.

A perverse incentive is the third way by the state.  The perverse incentive tries its best to encourage sub-optimal behavior to benefit the few at the expense of the many.  It is a means to subdue and force loyalty albeit, a false loyalty from the lash and the fetters.  Innumerable penalties and threats are the lion’s share that leads to the well-trodden path of the statist ladder of obedience – threatening, fining, kidnapping, caging, maiming and killing.

Who in their right mind at the individual level would overspend, always seek a higher credit line, reduced payments and insist that the risks be socialized to their neighbors but all profits be granted to them?  No normal human could achieve this yet that is what the state does with their fiscal house.

Who in their right mind would insist that certain naturally occurring substances must not only be banned but penalized in a fashion that would triple the size of Stalin’s political and criminal gulags at the height of Soviet power in the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Who in their right mind would engage in a protracted and bloody military campaign in their neighborhood on ALL their neighbors to wage war to right a slight by a single malicious blackguard in the community?

America would and does.

Throughout history, governments have pioneered the perverse incentive.  They blackened the good and stymied progress at every turn.  One of my friends claims that the solar system would be colonized by now if the government dysfunctions and pathologies that have enslaved billions and murdered millions had not existed.  Hyperbole, to be sure, but illustrative nonetheless.

Imagine a world where the advancement of civilization is embraced and punishment is viewed as not only punitive but barbaric.

Imagine a world without government.

Publisher’s Note:  I took a stab at modifying the 1776 American Declaration of Independence to present standards of governance and cowardice and discovered that  much would be left out on the cutting floor and severe alterations to verbiage would be necessary to keep the homo sovieticus booboisie in America from filling their pants and gibbering in abject fear at the prospect of freedom with risks and costs not underwritten by their neighbors. I had to erase over half of it and wipe out any reference to any behavior absent government permission. 

The DI continues to be a masterwork of brevity and directness in its promise to sever ties and formalize a divorce.  There is no sizable sector of America today that would even have the temerity to sign it much less live up to it.

So I scrapped that project and found a document more in keeping with the modern 21st century American mood.

Now the Soviet Constitution is something that most Americans can cotton to with the slightest modification in verbiage.  I chose the latest of three variants from 1977.  I have included a link to the original text at the bottom.  All I changed were the descriptors and none of the prospective language.

On another note, in a nation that has institutionalized theft and torture and turned it into rule and color of law, I figured the Supremes would get around to the codification of taxing inactivity which is the secret sauce in the recent ruling.  On page 193 of the infamous recent decsion, Thomas says the most important observation in all the pages of painful and obtuse totalitarian apologia for ObamugabeCare:

“As I have explained, the Court’s continued use of that test “has encouraged the Federal Government to persist in its view that the Commerce Clause has virtually no limits.” Morrison, supra, at 627. The Government’s unprecedented claim in this suit that it may regulate not only economic activity but also inactivity that substantially affects interstate commerce is a case in point.”

The majority in that decision would applaud the Soviet Constitution not that the earlier American version was any shakes when it came to liberty.

Happy Dependence Day, comrades. -BB

 

 

PREAMBLE to the 1977 Soviet Constitution slightly modified to American standards

The Great November Democratic Revolution, made by the workers and peasants of United States under the leadership of the US Government headed by its Presidents, overthrew capitalist and landowner rule, broke the fetters of oppression, established the dictatorship of the voter, and created the American state, a new type of state, the basic instrument for defending the gains of the revolution and for building government intervention and democracy. Humanity thereby began the epoch-making turn from capitalist to government intervention.

After achieving victory in the elections and repulsing free market intervention, the American government carried through far-reaching social and economic transformations, and put an end once and for all to exploitation of man by man, antagonisms between classes, and strive between nationalities. The unification of the American Republics in the Union of American Democratic Republics multiplied the forces and opportunities of the peoples of the country in the building of government intervention. Social ownership of the means of production and genuine democracy for the working masses were established. For the first time in the history of mankind a democratic society was created.

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