“Never initiate force against another. That should be the underlying principle of your life. But should someone do violence to you, retaliate without hesitation, without reservation, without quarter, until you are sure that he will never wish to harm – or never be capable of harming – you or yours again.”

– One of the tenets of the Western KYFHO Sect

F. Paul Wilson wrote a wonderful science fiction series called the LaNague Federation which posited a future in which a number of planets manage to break away from imperial bondage only to fall into the totalitarian habit themselves causing yet another plot to emerge to break apart that political jail sentence on the inhabitants of the various worlds.  Two planets ion the system manage to remain neutral and not be a part of the imperial system which emerged after the first secession – Tolive and Flint.  The former planet is peopled by a voluntaryist society adopting a more passive version of the KYFHO (Keep Your Fucking Hands Off) Sect while the planet Flint is manned by a more…aggressive village model.  They are what are referred to as the more violence-prone sect of KYFHO with one exception – they never initiate violence but their response to first aggression against them is swift and destructive.  This is not to say the Tolive inhabitants are more pacifist, they simply don’t train to the deadly standards of the Flinters.  When the Flinters are off-world, they are given a wide berth.

There is also an interesting vignette from one of the earlier LaNague novels.  There is a food riot in a city on Earth, government caused, of course.  As the thousands of rioters near the Tolive neighborhood, they don’t step in any of the established boundaries and give it a wide berth because even the crowds sense and know from past history that trespass in those Tolive neighborhoods means certain death for all who entered uninvited so the entire mass of rioting humanity flows around the beleaguered neighborhood to prey on a more vulnerable part of the city.

We just got finished over the weekend attending a four day tactical handgun course to improve our martial skills.  Grueling and intense, the training showed both strength and weaknesses; we took the appropriate notes and are working to address any shortfalls and adopt and adapt our new skills to improve pre-existing.  The relatively soft existence of modern America makes it easy to fall into the somnambulant trap of acquiescing to the easy flow of modernity and become the shackled and groomed subjects of the state we are today.

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Publisher’s Note: The staff of Zero Gov is taking tactical training this weekend and Chris has helped us fill the gap to provide some terrific ruminations on freedom and liberty in our absence.  Enjoy! -BB

“There are thousands hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root”

-Henry David Thoreau

There are two ways to motivate humans, or any animal for that matter. The carrot or the stick. It’s that simple, reward, or pain. Profit or violence. Religion can even be broken down in a similar fashion, heaven or hell, salvation or doom. Providing you believe in hell. I do not personally believe in hell, because I do not believe in using the stick. I have a five month old German Shepherd that I train using reward based training. Now, I am no professional dog trainer, but she has responded very well to this training. She listens very intently to me, because there might be a piece of chicken breast in it for her. Is this wrong? Or, is my dog greedy? Of course not; not only is she not greedy, she does not recoil in fear when a human reaches down to pet her.

One has to ask then, why are we still using violence to motivate people, if rewards work so much better? Why is every government on this planet still using force, or the threat of force to provide services? Wouldn’t a system based on rewards work better to provide people services?

I have had many conversations with statists who get disgusted with me when I even mention market, or reward based solutions to solve problems. I’m always perplexed by this, because wouldn’t they be, by default, supporters of violence? I just don’t get why people are so afraid of free market based solutions. If you claim to be peaceful, and non-violent, which I’m sure most folk claim, and then you contradict yourself by supporting the current system. I have had people say they can’t support the system I propose for many various reasons. Sometimes many are very righteous in their responses. I always ask them, “If my system was based on the violence or the threat of violence would you support it”? The answer has always been no. Of course the follow-up question is “then why do you support this system”?

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“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

One Friday summer evening about 5 years ago I arrived home from work to find an arrest warrant in my mailbox. Puzzled as to what this could be, I got pretty worried. I was dirty, and tired from work. I remember it being around dusk, or later which would have put me at work for about 14 hours that day. My wife and I talked about it, and decided since it was Friday, we would wait until Monday morning to figure this out. No sense in sitting in the pokey all weekend. Besides, if it was that important, they know where I live.

Monday morning I called my job to tell them I would be late, that there is some kind of misunderstanding down at the sheriff’s office I needed to straighten out. I arrived at the sheriff’s office, warrant in hand. I handed it to the deputy, he checked it out and told me I was in violation of a new county “code” I had an unregistered truck in my driveway that was not covered by a vehicle cover. Speechless, I just stood there as he continued to tell me that since it was such a new “code” it has not received classification on exactly what kind of crime it should be. He informed me it was an automatic class 4 misdemeanor. He said that it wasn’t that bad. Yeah, that made me feel better. I was just stunned; the state was trying to turn me into a criminal!
He then told me if it was covered by the court date the charges will be dropped. I had a feeling he had said this schtick before. I asked him what would happen if I didn’t show up. He told me there would be a warrant for my arrest. Wow! I had to pinch myself!

This all started because my buddies truck blew an engine, and I was trying to source him  one to install in my driveway. This particular make and model makes it hard to find a motor. So it sat for a couple of months. The tags died on it and some bureaucrat just happen to be spying on the good people of my neighborhood and happened to see the dead tags. Me being me, I did not want to comply with this madness! But, my wife told me to just do it, so we can get this out of the way. So I covered the truck the day before court, cussing the entire time. And yes I took pictures.

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“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
-Benjamin Franklin

I used to think that quote was true. I was not willing to give up anymore of the very few liberties I have left. I would rather take my chances and live in the woods than graze in the pasture. In order to believe that quote, you have to assume that liberty means you are unsafe, and that the state can provide safety. Well, I just don’t believe that at all anymore. I believe there is a better way, I believe that free market solutions to safety, and security could be superior to the “safety” the state claims to provide.

In the system we have now all kinds of taxes are paid to provide you with so-called security. Taxes, that if left unpaid, could result with armed thugs showing up at your door, and taking you to a cage(or maybe worse). Let us start with law enforcement. First, you have to understand the police have no duty to protect you. They can forcibly extract their salaries, pensions, and benefits from you, in the form of “law” or “code” infractions, but they have no duty to protect. Why would we even look to these thugs for security? They are the ones holding us at gunpoint! Those that don’t think there is a better way are hopelessly lost.

So, what would happen in a voluntary society? Who or what could provide security in this arena? Well, maybe some kind of private security company could provide better service. These companies could offer personal security full time or part time. It could offer security while dad is away on business, or while the children wait at the bus stop. It could offer security to the young bartender driving home late at night. It could offer crime prevention,  and as the market became full of these companies the price for service would become better and better. In the current system, if your rights are violated who is held accountable? Shouldn’t the police be? Why not, you are paying for them! In a free market system, the company that is contracted to provide you security could be held liable to give some sort of restitution.

I read countless stories about trigger happy cops getting off scott free for murder. So, not only are these men taking your money at gunpoint, sometimes they are pulling the trigger.  In a free market system, men would be held accountable for their actions, and would have to suffer the consequences. Basically, you better be sure that you are in the right when the trigger gets pulled. Also, what happens when the cop is found to be wrong? Often times the jurisdiction where the cop resides will have to pay damages. Where does the jurisdiction gets it’s money? That’s right, the taxpayer. Here’s the kicker, if the officer goes to jail, you are paying for that too! Yeah, great system.

OK, lets say in a voluntary system we (as in the individuals residing on this land mass) were under invasion. What would we do then? First, let’s look at this logically. If we had no government, which would mean no regulation, we would have some pretty cool armament! You people think we have cool guns now? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet! So, we would already have 1-up on the enemy. With regulation out of the way, not only can we build ’em, we could use ’em.  Second, with the security theater that was law enforcement out of the way sovereign individuals are taking their security a little more serious. Maybe in this voluntary society, 70% of the country is trained on some kind of firearm. If you were a general, would you send your army up against 200 million well armed marksmen? Not to mention the network of private militias, and private security companies that are charged with the protection of their clients. I really don’t see this as being a big problem, though. One more deterring factor for foreign invasion, these countries will be too busy putting down insurrections in their own countries once their people see the shining example of non-coercive, voluntary society coming from the west.

Liberty and security can live together after all. Security because I can choose what level of security is fit for me; liberty because I wasn’t forced to.

“The pursuit of coercive power over others will someday be universally recognized as a symptom of profound mental illness.”

— L. Neil Smith

Publisher’s Note: We launched the Zero Gov Forum less than a week ago and the response has been overwhelming.  I wanted to thank everyone for the honor bestowed upon us.  On another note, most of the Zero Gov staff will be on the range for four days for a shooting class so posting will be scarce until Monday. -BB

 


I would like to dedicate this essay to my wife, Lilo, who has home-schooled four children and inspired the homeschooling of countless others.

“A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves.”

– Bertrand de Jouvenel

There are many reasons people choose to home-school that run the gamut of the political spectrum from the Left to Right.  I would daresay that most homeschoolers are Christian.  I suspect that far more people homeschool and hail from a right leaning perspective.   We are in the minority as secular homeschoolers who teach from a curriculum of traditional canons in whole texts and mastery of Latin.  We are in an even smaller minority in that we are not neoconservative Republicans cheering on the crusade to make war on the world to make it safe for whatever we have in store for it as a country.

As a family, we don’t seek to replicate government school at home but use the advantage of one on one tutorship to advance learning and make the children more self taught and able to master their own compass in where they want to be in their school career.  While we are sympathetic to certain aspects of unschooling, we remain completely unconvinced that children are competent and capable to know what life skills and learning they require to become free moral agents in adulthood able to captain their own destinies.

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

-H.L. Mencken

Zero Gov now has a forum.  By popular demand and reader emails, we have developed a forum and will be unveiling it today.  The blog has been a terrific vehicle for…a one way conversation.  Mind you, I love the replies and welcome them but the forum will allow readers and editors to be much more interactive. It will allow much more drilling and deep philosophical exchange.

I am hoping that most everyone will channel Socrates and discover that, at times, the questions are more informative than the answers.  We have a variety of boards created and posted now and hope that this will provide the impetus for the creation (or potential elimination) of boards and other areas of interest as traffic and discussions merit.

This is the abolitionist project and we are on the cusp of shifting the paradigm and convincing our fellow humans that ownership of another against their consent is wrong any way you shake it.  As I have mentioned before, Wilberforce started this fight and we will continue the battle against initiated violence and its largest protagonist, government.

I would ask that we conduct ourselves with gentlemanly comportment and keep the insults instead of arguments to a minimum.  We invite every creed and philosophical touchstone into the conversation.

Our tendency is to be non-interventionist freed [sic] market individualists whose influences tend to be Hoppe, Rothbard, von Mises and Spooner so that will most likely be the characteristic meme on the board but I invite the “other” anarchists, minarchists and even government supremacists to come and test your rhetorical mettle. I am hoping this enterprise creates new friends and goes even further to test veracity and philosophical depth of the yen and possibility for a stateless society.

Please visit the forum and see if it suits your fancy.  Be sure to advise us on any recommended changes.

You can access the forum here:  https://zerogov.com/forum/index.php

Or hit the Forum tab at the upper right of the blog.

We will have a drawing at the end of the month from members of the Forum to win a copy of James J. Martin’s seminal book, Men Against the State. The winner will be announced on 1 April 2011.

“People crushed by law have no hope but from power. If laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to laws; and those who have much to hope and nothing to lose will always be dangerous…”

– Edmund Burke

 

Publisher’s Note: The following essay was published two years ago on www.lewrockwell.com and still bears examination today.  I sometimes wonder why Spooner and Tucker, et al, are so unnoticed or purposefully ignored by mainstream historians but their message is clearly not in league with what the court historians wish to transmit as a lesson to the population at large. In the end, if enough recognize that ONLY individuals can possess virtue and groups cannot, it may hasten the end of the violent fiction known as government.

Be sure to watch Stefan Molyneux’s brilliant video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVHpOr5H1PA

On another note, we are getting ready to unveil a forum for Zero Gov where the preternaturally brilliant readership of the blog can cross rhetorical swords with me or any other member of this happy band of brothers.  I am hoping that it becomes a meeting place to challenge and advance the ideas of freedom and liberty in a post-government world.  We will make the formal announcement in the next week when the forum is officially launched. -BB

 

“Many politicians of our time are in the habit of laying it down as a self-evident proposition, that no people ought to be free till they are fit to use their freedom. The maxim is worthy of the fool in the old story, who resolved not to go into the water till he had learned to swim. If men are to wait for liberty till they become wise and good in slavery they may indeed wait for ever.”

~ Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800—1859)

We live in tumultuous times that demand close attention to the yokes being placed on us. The US government is seemingly in the throes of a coup that is exponentially creeping and expanding into what was formerly a fairly autonomous province. Every sector and branch of human transactions that are palpable in this mortal coil is now being subject to regulation, taxation or both. With no authority whatsoever, entire swaths of American society are being subsumed under Leviathan state.

What is the authority or color thereof that these alien entities are gobbling up entire patterns of human existence? I have hinted before that the denizens of Mordor on the Potomac act as if their authority is unlimited and their ultimate reach is anything they please. We are witnessing a vicious brew of Sovietization and Mussolini-style state corporatism that will take a revolution to undo. The annals of Western history are full of this kind of grand hubris enabled by consent both willing and silent on the part of the populace. Humans tend to submit to a yoke or collar when invested with fear and anxiety about futures worse than now. The corpse-count in the twentieth century topped 165 million [this number has been revised by Rummel to 262 million]outside of warfare through democide.

These morbid thoughts seem intemperate measured against the apparently “peaceful” measures of Mordor to instill Keynesian stability and save the banksters from themselves with nary a peep of protest from the appropriately red-colored Grand Old Politburo. If you ever had the notion the parties were different, just look at the seamless transition between Bush II and Obama. The only difference between these monsters is skin color because collectivism is thicker than water. Look at the temptation — you step into the cockpit of the Offal (Oval) Office and decades of creeping totalitarian weeds have strangled and mastered practically every facet of American behavior and life. A simple touch of the controls and hundreds of thousands of subsidiary bureaucrats in the Executive agencies somewhat smoothly respond to the yoke to amp up taxation here and increase regulation there and the heady brew of total power starts to go to the President’s head. One can count on a single hand the number of Presidents who took the limitations on their power seriously (Van Buren, Cleveland and Coolidge among the all-stars). As Royce pointed out in his brilliant but underappreciated book — The Hologram of Liberty — that the Constitution was doomed at the beginning by Hamilton’s curse (Burr did not get to him soon enough) and the temptations of George Washington to start the executive imperial ball rolling (witness the Shay’s and Whiskey Rebellions) against state sovereignty.

The most basic building block for compliance to illegitimate authority is fear. Drivers speed but always take caution if a hint of police presence or the increasingly ubiquitous camera systems are in place. Rare is the libertarian who wants to pay taxes of any stripe but compliance is heeded to avoid fines and imprisonment, or worse. We do not obey because it is the core right thing to do when it comes to most government edicts. I don’t harm my neighbor nor do I steal his property because it is against the law but my inner moral compass best exemplified by the Ten Commandments or the Categorical Imperative provides my azimuth for behavior. I want to eliminate the perennial bugbear that the MSM and government schools drill into the populace — righteous and correct behavior only emanates from government coercion to make you do the right thing. Step back and examine that proposition. Can you think of any government initiatives or programs that not only supported perverse incentives but made you much worse off? I will let you ponder your own answers but they are legion. Just think — the entire Federal Register provides the enterprising social science researcher with a gargantuan solution set to the second- and third-order effects of perverse incentives and iatrogenic effect that animates the entire sordid history of government intervention.

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“You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot lift the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot establish security on borrowed money. You cannot build character and courage by taking away men’s initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.”

William Boetcker

“Indeed, in a free government almost all other rights would become worthless if the government possessed power over the private fortune of every citizen.”

-John Marshall

I issue a standard challenge to everyone within earshot:  show me one government or nation state which became smaller and smaller over time and increasingly less injurious to the freedom and liberty of individuals.  Again, I hear the bleating of the usual suspects on the alleged Right who claim that new-found respect for the Constitution will set everything right and we will all skip down the yellow brick road of the small government paradise known as America.  I will not belabor the details here for I have covered the Constitution abundantly in both essays and speaking engagements to show it for what it is:  a doomsday machine designed to bring maximum government to bear against a helpless citizenry reduced to bondage to the same document.  It is the great centralizer and grants unlimited power of taxation to the overlords in DC at Mordor on the Potomac.  I have championed the Articles of Confederation in the past but even those documents were flawed but certainly gave smaller government a chance.  In the end, limited government and small government never exist for long before metastasizing into enormous machines built for one purpose:  to extract unlimited obedience on pain of caging, maiming and/or death of all persons living within the acknowledged confines of the taxing jurisdiction known as nation-states.  Nothing less, nothing more.  Politicians are neither statesman nor public persons of noble intent; they are simply a self-selected class of psycho/sociopaths whose only agenda is the monopoly of the power to enforce what I just described.  Despite all the court historians and contemporary mouthpieces who sing paeans to government and the denizens who run it, the agenda remains the same: the destruction of individual direction and volition and the harnessing of the captured citizenry to the whims and will of the rulers.  You have been lied to and civics class in the government education system then and now has been a descriptive mechanism to rationalize yoking individuals into the collective hive of the state.

 

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Update: A much more credible looking Anonymous press release indicates that this was most likely bait for a honeypot set by the WBC. I am pleased by this development -KL

“The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.”

-H. L. Mencken

The pastors and parishioners of Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) are not doing God’s work in the world. Were we a society given to dueling, Fred Phelps would find himself quickly outmatched, and the amount of honor in the world would be increased. The WBC consists entirely of the deluded, the greedy, and the evil. Were the men of that congregation to live to search for one another with Geiger counters, I should not be displeased.

money-grubbing Westboro "protestors"

Apparently, God’s feelings have changed since I went to Sunday School

The somewhat-organized internet group Anonymous (or, more accurately, a portion of that group) has declared war on the WBC. Were this another group – perhaps, say, one formed specifically to combat the WBC’s actions – that declaration might be laudable. However, in that very same press release, the author refers to Anonymous as the “Voice of Free Speech” –  which would seem to be in contravention to the notion of limiting the activities of these bigots.

The Mencken quote at the top of this post is completely true. Infringement upon the right to speak freely must necessarily begin with restrictions upon speech which is deemed dangerous, subversive, or harmful. Indeed, government restriction of speech would necessarily end there: the definitions of subversive and dangerous would simply have to be expanded. The problem is that once we’ve decided that our rights may be disregarded, it becomes very difficult indeed to regain them. For my part, I do not believe that God hates anyone – even sodomites, warmongers, or people who talk at the theater.

Furthermore, there has already been a rousing, appropriate, admirable and decentralized response to the WBC’s activities. The Patriot Guard Riders, for example, perform a wonderful, non-violent and completely voluntary service in defense of the hearts and minds of the WBC’s targets at funerals. Hemant Mehta over at friendlyatheist.com points to another excellent method for countering the WBC’s protests elsewhere:

As private individuals, the Anonymous members (“Anons”) have the right to do as they please, so long as they do no active violence against the WBC, its property or its members. For my part, I would prefer to see a different tactic undertaken, that which a great many people have chosen on their own, without IT security skills, national organization, or malice: to stand up for what is right, and exercise their own rights to free speech.

The pen is mightier than the sword, and the tongue is sharper. The best way to defeat either is with your own.

“Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.”

Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)


So it begins.  The government parasite classes subservient to the political looters in Madison, WI are up in arms because the governor is threatening to make them actually pay for their pensions and benefits.  What has the government workers in lather?  He is trying to take away their socialist collective bargaining rights and wait for it…asking them to pay for part of their pensions and 12.6% of their health care costs.  Egads, a stake in their benefits?  What the unions really need is a stake in their black heart so they can stop exsanguinating their families, friends and neighbors.

Secretary of Education from Idiocracy

California is already providing a warning to others but the economic illiterates that make up the hordes of cast members from the epic film Idiocracy known as government school teachers won’t pay attention.  They are much too busy working very few hours for too much money nine months a year turning the nation’s children into subservient nincompoops incapable of thinking or fending for themselves.

Wisconsin is the canary in the coal mine because this is simply another crack in the edifice.  The wall is going to come tumbling down and tens of thousands of government “workers” are going to get crushed by job loss and worse.

Let’s get this straight, Walker is not firing all of them, which he should do; after all, what better way to take care of budget issues than cashiering the whole lot of government school, police and fire dregs?  Then he could reduce the entire budget appropriately to zero and be done with it.  He can turn out the lights on the state criminal conspiracy called government and illuminate a shining example for the rest of the captive nations laboring under the rotting hand of the central government in DC.

So the wholesale elimination of government schooling will lead to tens of thousands of uneducated youngsters?  What do we have now under the government education system?  A nation of budding inventors and entrepreneurs?  No, these aspirations are universally condemned in government schools.  What you have are shambling mall lampreys tied umbilically to their various electronic devices all of their waking hours having the quality of life only the dead would envy.  The mind laundries the teachers victimize their caged youth in are rather elaborate Marxoid reeducation camps teaching the young acolytes to worship government supremacism, narc on their colleagues and parents and respond instantly and obediently to the droning bells that punctuate their vapid walks through the hallways to the next politically correct dullard whose claim to fame is a teaching degree which has the same utility as a getting a certification in paranormal studies or other such anti-intellectual witchcraft.  Teachers are just as culpable in creating the horrific system of killing self-learning at every turn and making critical thought a crime.  Yes, there is plenty of administrative bloat as evidenced by every function and level of government but the teachers are not innocent victims and cogs in a vicious machine; they are active agents who seek not to educate but to do what they are told in the least time possible.  Whether it is the constant and incessant bleating worship of government in history, the craven idolatry of political correctness or the mass drugging of boys institutionally in the system, teacher are the concentration camp guards and workers who move the system in the evil direction it has taken for over a hundred years.

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