The Greek default isn’t total, yet. Perhaps it won’t be. But more defaults, across Europe and the rest of the world, are an inevitable consequence of modern banks’ and governments’ twisted corruption of capitalism.

Modern capitalism is built on the idea of investment: that by stockpiling more resources than are immediately needed and dedicating those resources to productive tasks instead of consuming them, you can end up with more resources. This works very well, and has been the policy of every Homo sapiens sapiens who bothered to plan past his next meal. Capital accumulation allowed us to progress past our hunter-gatherer roots, although we didn’t have a name for it at the time.

The concept of capital accumulation leads directly to the idea of lending. If you have more resources than you can effectively employ, you might as well lend those resources to someone else, so that he can use them to go produce even more. In exchange for this loan, you expect to receive your resources back, plus a share of those the borrower has produced.

Once you’re comfortable with the idea of lending, another concept might occur to you: that of fractional reserve banking, the backbone of modern finance. In fractional reserve banking, depositors lend their money to a bank, which then lends it back out at interest. This works because the depositors will not, presumably, come to the bank en masse and request the full return of their deposits. There is a tacit understanding that depositors will at some point have access to the funds they’ve put in the bank, just not “right now.”

Fractional reserve banking is hugely important. It makes credit much more accessible, which allows entrepreneurs to do things like discovering the Americas and founding small businesses. Unfortunately, this easy credit market also makes it very attractive for governments to take on impossibly huge obligations in order to win short-term political victories. Governments issue bonds in order to fund these obligations, which are purchased mostly by banks and investment funds. Greece funded their citizenry’s early retirement pensions and short work hours on such bonds; their tax revenues were not and are not nearly sufficient to maintain that standard of living.

Now, if it were possible to make good on these loans, the problem would be restricted to Greece. The Greek people’s standard of living would fall and that would be difficult for them. Unfortunately, there is no way the Greek government can repay what they owe; if the required austerity measures were implemented, the Greek people would simply tear the country apart, form a new government and repudiate the debt, leaving the lenders holding the bag. This is a huge problem for the European Union, of which Greece is a member state. Therefore, the wealthier and more responsible EU members (most importantly Germany) will make further bad loans to Greece, prolonging the problem but cushioning the blow, at least in theory.

If it works – if the partial default makes it possible for the Greek government to meet its obligations, and the lenders are compensated under the new terms – this still only solves the problem for Greece. A number of other EU nations, notably Ireland and Spain, are still similarly troubled – and the Germans only have so much excess capital to share. How long will the wealthier nations of the EU carry the poorer nations? What would be the fallout if they were to stop?

The best solution, perhaps the only solution, is to allow the lenders to deal with the consequences of their bad loans. Greek debt was a bad risk to take, and those who took it should not have their losses socialized.

In any case, we in the united states have the advantage of seeing this unfold from afar. We can learn the difficult forthcoming lessons by watching the European situation unfold, rather than facing our own states’ forthcoming defaults without any reference. The question is whether we’ll pay attention to those lessons.


“Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
– P. J. O’Rourke

The alleged debt crisis is at the top of the news now.  The usual suspects in Mordor on the Potomac are proclaiming that if they do not leverage the unborn into further debt they will be unable to fulfill their fiscal and fiduciary obligations to a wide variety of parasites and looters at the government trough ranging from pensioners to killer robots.

I would submit to you that there should be no limit on the government’s debt ceiling.  None.  It should be unlimited.  It is illusion and misdirection to think that any entity which can simply force assets and wealth from a captive population would think these limitations important except as a good, if insincere, public relations campaign with the host they are draining.  Within the next six months, these united States will achieve a signal triumph:  an alleged national debt that is equal to the established consensus on the amount of the GDP.  We are presently at 95 percent of that goal and rising.  Russia is at 19 percent and China is at 11 percent.  Even communist countries know better. Mind you, I didn’t mean to besmirch the communist idea in front of the chattering classes as they may find that disturbing since that is their philosophical touchstone for economic prosperity.  Much like a demonic telethon to enslave young and unborn generations to enormous debt obligations, the good ship USS Leviathan continues to happily navigate toward these dangerous fiscal shoal waters.  I say alleged debt because we are all certain the government cooks the books and hides spending it wishes not to reveal, therefore future financial historians may discover evidence of the real debt as they poke and prod the ruins of a former global hyper-power in North America.

Non-funded obligations approaching anywhere from 60-115 trillion dollars loom in the future as the demographic tsunami of pending entitlements crashes on the shores of the Potomac.  Some estimate this as high as 202 trillion dollars.  A slight grasp may be entertained by realizing that there are two trillion seconds in 64,000 years.  In reality, this bespeaks one devilish conclusion:  not only is the Federal government NOT too big to fail but it should have failed decades ago.  What the usual suspects and the punditocracy fail to grasp is that the government has reached such gargantuan and unmanageable proportions, its failure is inevitable.  The entropy of imperfect information used on such a large scale and steered by the kakocracy that is the American political class and the shambling bureaucratic masses employed by the State will end in history’s largest collectivist car crash.

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Peter over at Western Rifle Shooters turned me onto this.  Codevilla wrote this scintillating short essay on why Obama is who is and why Communism is far from a dead letter.  I always enjoy Codevilla, he is a thoughtful and clear-headed writer.  I caution anyone to carefully pick and choose what you read at the Claremont Institute which is the world headquarters for Lincoln hagiography and idolotry & ground zero for Straussian Trotskyists.  It is ironic that they would publish an essay critical of someone so close to their own ideological pedigree as Obama.  -BB

In sum, Barack Obama grew intertwined with the narrow, self-referential left side of the American Left. They helped one another believe they had come up the hard way, as underprivileged but brilliant, square-jawed tribunes of the common man. Their common problem, however, is that their agendas are antagonistic to people unlike themselves, and that they cannot keep from showing their contempt for the common folk in whose name they would ride to power.

Since the days of Karl Marx’s First International a century and a half ago, this very human opposition between socialist theory (egalitarianism) and socialist reality (oligarchic oppression) has bedeviled the Left. Marx laid the problem bare in his “Critique of the Gotha Program” (1875). Lenin dealt with it honestly and brutally in What Is to Be Done? (1902)—the foundational document of Communism. By acknowledging that the Communist Party is not the common people’s representative, but rather its “vanguard,” Leninists were comfortable with a party responsible only to itself and to history, a party that openly demanded deference from the humans whose habits it forcibly reshaped. Communism’s undeniable horrors forced the New Left to disassociate itself from What Is to Be Done? and once again to pretend that its socialism was neither oligarchic nor coercive, that somehow it was on the side of ordinary folks. This is a much tougher sell in the 21st century than it was in the 19th. Contemporary socialists try to explain away the common man’s suspicion of them as harbingers of oligarchy, corruption, and coercion by resorting to jargon (e.g., “false consciousness” and “socio-economic anxiety”). But that is ever less convincing. This is why the movement argues so strenuously with itself about whether and how much it should dissimulate its agenda.

See: https://www.claremont.org/publications/crb/id.1852/article_detail.asp

 

Government is a death cult. It is the most profound mechanism outside of planetary extinction events to rid the globe of human beings.  There have certainly been disease vectors like the plague in medieval times that wiped out significant parts of Europe but even that can be attributed to human volition to a certain extent.

Since the first agricultural communities attracted the government predator’s eye thousands of years ago and led to the tax accountancy records Charles Adams first pointed out to us.  Hunter gatherer communities were quite a bit more difficult to pin down and cage within the confines of a tax jurisdiction.  Tax jurisdictions are the center of gravity for governments to germinate and expand their nefarious enterprises.

Whether the murderous paroxysms of violence in the endless wars created by tax jurisdictions dressed in fancy bunting and flags in ancient times or today have more advanced killing machines, the mission is the same.  Peter McCandless is fond of saying that a government will ultimately kill you for non-compliance of a seatbelt violation if your lack of obedience and insistence on resistance continues and escalates.

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Publisher’s NoteThis is my son’s first post.  He is currently waiting to start his MS program in Mechanical Engineering this fall in our beloved Idaho.  I am proud to say that it was my son that ushered me down the path from minarchism to anarchism.  I know that fathers are known to exaggerate but Kyle is an intellectual force of nature and I prize his insights and out-of-the-box thinking.  I look forward to many more contributions in the future. -BB

This is an address to the libertarian-anarchist movement.  If you remain unconvinced of the merits of a stateless society, if you insist that even some problems can only be solved with violence, please move along, continue your daily routine. This is not for you.

Part I: To Achieve Freedom, We Must Build It

For as long as I have been a libertarian, the movement has exhibited a common theme.  We spend an enormous amount of energy attempting to convince people of the merits of a free society.  We argue, plead, and beg people, like a cheap whore on a Las Vegas street corner, to understand that freedom is the only ethical and effective solution to our problems.  It is – without a doubt. The godfathers of our ideology have indisputably won the argument for freedom.  Spooner, Bastiat, Mises, Rothbard, [David & Patri] Friedman, I salute you.

But the problem is, this is all we do.  We work tirelessly to convert people to the cause.  Let me be very clear: we are failing by an enormous margin.  Sheep are walking off the public school assembly line at a much faster rate than we are converting.  Yet just like philosophers, we stand idly by pleading our neighbors to accept our beliefs.  What do libertarians think will happen if we are able to convert a majority of the world population?  Will a free society suddenly appear as the state collapses around it?  If Ron Paul is elected president, will the majority of the population suddenly accept freedom as it is thrust upon them?

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“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.”

-Gerald Ford

There seems to be a growing number of individuals, and groups of individuals in this Country who think healthcare is a “human right”. Maybe I am a little perplexed on just what exactly a “human right” is, but I’m pretty sure it shouldn’t take two humans to produce one human’s “human right”. I am always left scratching my head as to how this “human right” would work without enslaving a human to produce this “human right” for another human. Hmmmm….

Maybe the humans that are demanding such a right be afforded to them are under the impression “their” healthcare is just “out there”. Maybe these humans just think when they come bursting through the hospital doors that whole teams of medical professionals are anxiously awaiting their arrival, free of charge, of course. Or, if not free of charge, it’ll be paid for somehow. How? Well, the Government will pay for me, damn it! It’s my human right! The medical professionals will get paid what the Government deems appropriate for services rendered, besides those rich doctors (who have spent most of their lives educating themselves) charge too much anyway. It’s time the Government stepped in and took charge of this situation; it’s gotten rather out of hand. Sadly, most of the inflated prices we see doctors charging are caused by the Government.

I want to make sure everyone understands what they are demanding when they demand such “human rights” as healthcare. Those who demand this be a right necessarily demands that another human is to be their slave. Sure, it might not be the kind of slavery we all learned about in school, chattel slavery, but it is slavery nonetheless. It is only different in degree. Those who advocate this human right believe the Government should have the power to say “you will treat this human, and this is what you will receive for compensation.” Of course, this program would be backed up by the gun, as all other Government programs are. Any doctors who are dissenters would quickly find themselves either fined, jailed or killed. All in the name of someone else’s healthcare. If this be the case, why wouldn’t the patient carry his own pistol into the doctor’s office and demand services at the barrel of his gun? Oh, that’s right, because THAT would be illegal, but there are ways to remedy this moral dilemma. Vote for it.

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“More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginning of all wars – yes, an end to this brutal, inhuman and thoroughly impractical method of settling the differences between governments.”
– Franklin D. Roosevelt

Poor RedDR, he could not even follow his own advice.  Politics and politicians are awful.  It comes down to nothing more elegant than one group of humans having violent control of another.  They are nothing more than harvesters.  Contrary to the tens of thousands of tomes devoted to everything from statecraft to diplomacy to election theory to praise singing for the Constitution; when stripped of the patriotic gore and bunting, politics is the institution of threats of or actual violence to force people’s obedience.  It is nothing nobler than that.

Intellectuals often describe the taxonomy of these relationships as a Left to Right spectrum.  Like the word ‘unconstitutional,’ that spectrum has no descriptive quality whatsoever.  What is the difference between a neo-conservative and a National Socialist?  How is the “conservative” George W. Bush different from the “Marxoid” Obama? Some have characterized Obama’s performance in office as Bush’s third term!  They all have one goal in mind:  the consolidation of coercive power to compel people to obey or face fines, jail, maiming or killing.  There is nothing elegant or even civilized about government, it is quite simply an implementation of the idea that might makes right.

A far better descriptor of the competing world views is collectivist versus individualist and the prefix of non-interventionist and interventionist.  In this world, I would be a non-interventionist individualist.  The lion’s share of all political creeds tends to be interventionist collectivists from the traditional Left to Right.  Excepting the blink of Harding and Coolidge in the 20th century, the American Presidency has been the Western bully pulpit for steadily increasing collectivization of human life.

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Publisher’s Note:  I am a college graduate but I think the present course of higher education and the hundred years leading up to it has done nothing more than be a mass processing plant to produce specious justifications for government supremacism and churn out legions of shambling and unreflective automatons programmed for submission and obedience to government coercion.  Most folks in college today should not be there and only two colleges in America are not extensions of the Federal government:  Hillsdale (although the vicious brew of neoconservatism and military jingoism has blinded its adherents to freedom) and Grove City College.  Neither accepts any Federal aid.  All the rest are satellite campuses of Mordor on the Potomac.  The Ludwig von Mises Institute has been the closest thing to a liberty campus out there but no formal nor accredited curricula exists.  Now ISU is attempting to establish a virtual and real campus to plant the seedbed of liberty and build a sophisticated intellectual framework to ensure freedom is not extinguished in the 21st century despite the best efforts of the “best and the brightest”.  A difficult task indeed. -BB

Individual Sovereign University is not part of any one movement, or any one group of people. It is the ultimate open-source educational tool where you determine what you want to learn or teach and we will find you teachers, students, and as needed, sponsors. We see to pioneer networking being used not only as a social tool, an activist’s tool, but also as a way to connect learners with those that have knowledge they are seeking. Where appropriate, we also connect teachers and students with sources of funding, including businesses that want trained individuals for future jobs. We also engage our scholars in original research which we publish.

What are the goals of the Individual Sovereign University, and why is a “university” the correct structure for achieving them?

1. The primary goal is to show people how to teach and how to learn without intrusion from any organization, or group of people. All peoples from the youngest to the more aged adult learners and teachers can create the opportunity to use our de-centralized and global platform to share their knowledge. Through the great many mean that the technology available today allows.

2. A secondary goal is to provide authors with opportunities to give away their written works while continuing to be paid for, e.g., teaching classes. We know that the structure of the publishing industry is changing, and that the cost of reproduction has fallen to essentially zero. Authors are beginning to wonder if they can personally survive the transition from the old style of publishing to the new. By providing a publishing service, Individual Sovereign University expects to show new business models to authors, and thus to the industry.

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“It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder.”

~ Frederic Bastiat

I had business to attend to all week in Richmond, VA. I live west of Fredericksburg, just past the Wilderness Battlefield. Ironically, I live off of the Constitution Highway. Those who read my work might find that a bit funny. I take mostly back roads that wind me through the Old Dominion, until I eventually get dumped out on to I95. Any Virginian knows in the morning, I95 is jammed packed from DC to Richmond, there is just no way around it.

While sitting in traffic just outside of the old Confederate Capitol I saw something very disturbing. A Virginia State trooper had backed his vehicle out of the way of an on-ramp where commuters were trying to merge onto the busy Interstate. The going was slow on the merge, and cars were at a complete stand still. There, this Trooper was standing at the end of the on-ramp checking license plate registration, Virginia State safety inspection, and personal property tax stickers. The congestion on I95 was quite heavy this particular morning so I had the opportunity to witness this fascist spectacle for probably five minutes.

Virginia State requires that the safety inspection sticker, and the county tax sticker be installed in the lower middle section of the windshield, and the vehicle registration stickers are attached to the license plates. As vehicles were trying to merge, this Trooper would inspect the license plate and then snap his head up to look at the windshield. The whole situation was surreal; he seemed to be more machine than man. His movements seemed robotic, the movement of his head seemed almost hydraulic; up, down, up, down; compliant, non-compliant. I think that is probably what he was “thinking”. The only thing missing here was robo-cop. His face was emotionless; when a vehicle approached that was not in compliance, he would snap his arm out to his side and point the vehicle over. His motions were crisp, almost like they were programmed into him.

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“Fortunately,” he said, “that’s hardly a representative sample of American Law Enforcement, thank God.”

“How many bad apples does it take to spoil a bunch?” I asked.

From there, the conversation turned to the philosophical; absent our present justice and law enforcement system, how would we guarantee our safety from the evils of the world? This was as non-productive as may be imagined, and because my friend is a reasonable man, we agreed once again to disagree.

So I ask you, dear reader. How many bad apples does it take to spoil a bunch? How much infringement upon our rights, how much overstepping constitutional authority, how much outright brutality are we willing to tolerate from our designated protectors before it’s just not worth it any more?

In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, firearms were confiscated by the New Orleans Police Department. This was an isolated incident, and the New Orleans PD does not represent American Law Enforcement in general. Most city police are dedicated and noble and would fight to protect the rights and lives of citizens.

During the Virginia Tech massacre, the equipped and trained officers did not enter Norris Hall until Cho had killed himself, frustrated by a barricade that students erected to keep him at bay. Officer safety is paramount, and it would have been dangerous for any one officer to enter the building in the presence of an active shooter without backup.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, tasked with preventing federal offenses related to firearms, encouraged firearms to be illegally sold and distributed to known criminals, resulting in the death of at least one Border Patrol agent and countless other human beings. But the present ATF is not representative of federal Law Enforcement agencies in general, and these abuses will die with that bureau.

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