“Yes, you are right — I am a moralist in disguise; it gets me into heaps of trouble when I go thrashing around in political questions.”

– Mark Twain

I majored in Political Science as a youth when I attended college and was completely immune and unaware at the time of just what I was studying and undertaking as a collegial vocation.  I had not even the vaguest notion that when all the familiar layers are peeled back and the countless variations of sub-disciplines are explored, it all comes down to one central principle and no other no matter how hard you rationalize it:  all political systems rely on violence to work, nothing less and nothing more.  Worse yet, they rely on initiated violence and all its subtle and savage applications.  Once you discover that police are the center of gravity and schwerpunkt for the lion’s share of political heavy-lifting, you wonder why an academic shotgun wedding between “criminal justice” and political science has not appeared yet.

No other academic discipline has done more to put the gun in the hands of government. And justify it.

What inspired this was a conversation one of my readers had with me about his relative who is a Political Science professor at a university (we know they aren’t heteroversities because only one brand of government supremacism is permitted).  His professorial relation was having a tough time getting his mind wrapped around a stateless society and claimed something that stopped me in my tracks.  I am paraphrasing but the claim was that he simply was not interested in the moral and ethical implications of his work.  These notions are anachronistic, bourgeois or intolerable in polite discussion in the faculty lounge unless…it was used as a lever to increase the power of the state.  Then the graybeards in the lounge would nod approvingly as the latest idiotic gibbering from an Occupy Wall Street waif were commented upon or some worthy would talk about the virtue of the people in seeking to have the government step in and regulate the size of fruit or the pressure applied to a man’s groin to search him at an airport.

Let’s face it, all universities are public schools in the sense that they are largely subsidized by the state in funding, research, subsidy of student loans and all the other regulatory baggage that makes these schools into the institutions of advanced shambling and idiocy they are today.  Plenty of other observers such as Sowell, O’Rourke and Bovard have penned wonderful bromides about the inadequacy, inefficiency and sheer lunacy of American academia today but few seem to have noticed that for the most part, the political science departments have one charter:  to rationalize violence against their fellow planet dwellers whether the domestic machinations of making governments bigger and better or the more exotic foreign policy shenanigans of making excuses for the global war against brown people and folks who don’t share the “democratic ideal” (Gods help us).

So let’s test the thesis.  Go to the American Political Science Association website and look for conference papers and I want you to find a paper that does not imply and infer initiated violence in the abstract (I would not wish to ask anyone to read these things) for non-compliance with a government law, initiative or edict.  In other words, I am positing that the right to refusal is the ultimate liberty as I have discussed before as long as one is not harming another.  What you will find is all kinds of pithy observations, sophisticated hypotheses and prettily worded justifications for non-consensual mechanisms or small groups of folks to command obedience from all they survey or said miscreants and dissenters will be fined, kidnapped, caged, maimed or killed depending on the severity of their refusal or temerity to disobey.

The Juris Doctorate (JD) or law degree is a closely wedded organism to the Political Science discipline in that the legal excesses of America such as the death penalty, unlimited and atomistic surveillance, torture and countless more barbarisms perpetrated by the government everyday find a rich intellectual lodestar to justify the anti-civilizational imperative that is the state.  For every Nozick or Block in the academy, there are legions of government supremacist scholars and intellectuals who leave no stone unturned to advocate for violence by the state against the hapless denizens within its borders and without. Sowell is fond of saying the largest population of Marxists on Earth are in American universities and he is right but that is simply one of the collectivist menagerie that inhabits the schools.  There are the Lincoln hagiographers and neoconservative Trotskyites and Straussians who make a vocal minority of alleged right wing opinion in the universities but they are actually simply a branch off the giant oak of violence advocacy that is the entire political science discipline.  Even the self-named Peace Studies sub-discipline is rather pointed about threats and war as a means to either bring or establish peace.  And, in the end, imposing government structures based on initiated violence.

Political Science is no more a science than sociology or psychology and the other “social[ist] science” disciplines mired in hard science envy for certitude and empiricism. Every university should have an altar and evening entrails reading at government erected Trofim Lysenko Memorials to add some magic and mystery to their undertakings.  Political science is the military wing of Lysenkoism.  It is a vast raft of intellectual rationalization for initiated force and violence against individuals and huge swaths of humans to make them obey the fever-dreams of collectivism that fire the minds of political scientists everywhere.  As Professor Rummel, one of the few anti-violence political science practitioners on earth has pointed out, democide or death by government has murdered hundreds of millions of humans outside warfare in the twentieth century alone.

I have often wondered how cops would be incentivized if their everyday job behavior could cost them their jobs and all future livelihood for the rest of their lives if their perennial abuses were not socialized over the taxpayers in their towns and cities for their bad judgment and violence against civilians.  By extension, would it not be intriguing if all the collectivist fetishists in the American academy had to actually live in the societies they advocate for and had to live in isolated colonies for a long period of time under the rules they advocate?  You want government provisioned health care?  Then go to Cuba for a year or live in a hermetically sealed colony with some of your faculty lounge confreres and see how that goes for you.  All voluntary, of course, I would never be as presumptuous as a political scientist to impose violence on my neighbor nor consider them my property.  The possibilities are endless.

I am standing by for hate mail.

Sacred cows make the best burgers.

“The evils of tyranny are rarely seen but by him who resists it.”
– John Hay

 

 

 


“A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.”

–  George Bernard Shaw

It’s funny how the official message of the land of the free and home of the brave is the bigger the government the better.  How many times do the bipedal human parakeets on television news squawk about the need for a more stable central government to make all the bugbears go away? How often does this meme haunt any conversation about bringing stability to the Middle East and especially in the countries that the American military is currently occupying and trashing?  Official Washington on both sides of the aisle are always cheerleading the latest government expansion and increase.

They don’t know anything else.  Freedom of action without government permission simply does not compute for them.  The bubble of insulating propaganda and self-congratulation puts virtual cotton in their ears.  They are deaf to any concept of a non-police state social arrangement.  Scratch a Republican or Democrat or Green or even a beltway Libertarian and they are either tone-deaf to freedom and liberty at the atomistic level or terrified of the implications for their power.

Afghanistan as a very anarchic country really short-circuits the Beltway meme that ALL humans wish to be corralled into tax jurisdictions and looked after by benevolent police states that will fine, kidnap, cage, maim or kill any cattle that don’t comply with the program.  We discovered the same thing in trying to tame Somalia militarily that it was simply impossible to conduct a capitol thrust with overwhelming military power and sue for peace and the Somalis simply are not interested in centralized authority.  The Afghan conflict is the same, unless the US slaughters every man, women and child within its borders and creates an American suburban dystopia with imported humans, no Afghan central government will control anything outside of Kabul.  Instead of wringing our hands over how to solve that problem, why don’t we simply look at what has created such a decentralized and distributed society.  Even when the Taliban were in power, there were sectors of the country no Afghan nationalist could safely go much like the Appalachian mountains or wilder grow areas in the inland mountain West in the US where even today Federal government officials fear to tread.

Mountainous terrain and liberty seem to have a moderately causal relationship when we look at the Basques in Spain, Kurds, Chechens and other mountain communities that seem to be able to magically evade central control.

James Scott wrote an interesting book on this very subject in The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia; an able survey but a different book in the hands of an academic like Murray Rothbard.  Very few academics have the intellectual frameworks to even visualize a stateless world much less bear the brunt of criticism and ostracism they would suffer in the cloistered university community where collectivism is a religious pretext in all conversation.

The US central government may well be the most powerful unitary government in the history of man, even the Chinese governments throughout the centuries never had the totality of control and obeisance to a police state that the US government commands domestically and abroad. So it seems like a natural and likely response to all world affairs through its foreign policy that the advocacy of strong central government goes without saying.  Despite mountains of evidence to the contrary as far as liberty, justice and efficacy, it can behave no differently;  like asking a lion to become an herbivore through choice or a cop not to abuse authority.  It simply does not work that way.

And as we have seen in all imperial adventures, whatever the empire practices abroad, it will come home to roost.  Why are drone aircraft and biometrics identification systems being championed by the US government at home? Why is there an emerging and comprehensive full impact surveillance of all human transactions on American soil subject to police scrutiny and the “legal” system?  This does not simply appear out of thin air or yet another “national security” state knee-jerk reaction to the latest threat.  Government supremacists cannot think outside of the hermetically sealed box they think in.  Their moral imaginations are stunted to such a grotesque degree that all human freedom of any kind is always suspect and subject to regulatory control or outright prohibition.  Look at the breath-taking hubris of Comrade Bloomberg in New York City limiting the size of drinks or the signing of an open carry gun law in Oklahoma that requires a license to do so which infers police inspection of your papers.  When it comes to freedom and liberty, government supremacists are the flat-earth advocates of today much like wearing a fashionable T-Shirt that reads Stop Plate Tectonics…Now!.

Acton said that “power corrupts” and Buppert’s corollary to Acton’s axiom is that power attracts the corruptible and absolute power attracts even worse.  These are the professional politicians and their bureaucratic familiars that run the cogs and wheels of the state.  They cannot think outside a box of absolute power and control through violence of everything and everyone around them.  It is all they envision thence the exports of the only thing they know.  Death does not ride a pale horse, it arrives dressed in the platitudes of government politicians and commissars who are single minded in their mission and focused on a simple, and for them, plausible goal: total obedience from all they survey and command.

For a country that prides itself as a beacon for liberty, it has evolved into Patient Zero spreading the contagion of big government planet-wide and blackening freedom and liberty wherever it makes contact.

“We pay too little attention to the reserve power of the people to take care of themselves. We are too solicitous for government intervention, on the theory, first, that the people themselves are helpless, and second, that the government has superior capacity for action. Often times both of these conclusions are wrong.”

–  Calvin Coolidge

 

Publisher’s Note:  I published this last November and it certainly rings true for the second holiday during the year when we celebrate the use of war and violence to advance the agenda of the American Federal government around the globe.  We are asked to bow our heads in honor of the dead and wounded who gave their service for freedom.  Call me a skeptic.  Individual citizens have never been in graver danger of being fined, kidnapped, caged, maimed and killed by their own government for the most banal of violations or infractions against the imperial power that has wrapped its tentacles around every living soul in the land of the free.  The export of extraterritorial violence does not make a country free, it puts every inhabitant in the hazard as the entire planet has factions enraged, women and children savaged and murdered and entire religious sects chosen for special military attention.

  The celebration of Memorial Day should not be about the soldiery, it should be a mass wake and reflection on the untold millions of innocents detained, kidnapped, injured, napalmed, fire-bombed, incinerated, shot, mutilated, tortured and murdered by the barbaric and naked grasping of the American central government for ever-increasing power and control at home and abroad. -BB

Dresden WWII

“Happy Veterans Day and thank you for your service” or “thanks for protecting our freedom.”

What!  I hear this familiar refrain again and again every November.  I am appalled whenever this unthinking salutation is proffered.

I am a retired career Army officer and like USMC General Smedley Butler before me, I find these sentiments to be hogwash.

The only service rendered was to the American political power structure in the dishonorable hands of the Democrats or Republicans; the former, despite their protestations to peace, have gotten America involved in WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Starting with the shameful expropriation of the Mexican territory from 1846-48 to the War of Northern Aggression from 1860-65; the United States went into hyper-colonial overdrive in 1893 in the Hawaiian Islands and has not stopped since. The entire history of American arms on Earth has been a shameful and expansionist enterprise culminating in the first ever post-WWII (the Japanese attack on American territories in the Aleutians during the War to Save Josef Stalin and the minor coastal skirmishes in Oregon) attack on American state soil in 2001 .  I am frankly astonished at the length of time it took for a substantive attack of any kind to be initiated on American soil with the breadth, ferocity and long sordid history of American mischief and mayhem abroad.

The sheer number of military expeditions the US has embarked on over time is breathtaking.  One worthy notes there have been 234 military expeditions from 1798-1993.  Another posits 159 instances of the use of United States armed forces abroad from October 1945 through December 2006. “This list does not include covert actions and numerous instances of US forces stationed abroad since World War II, in occupation forces, or for participation in mutual security organizations, base agreements, and routine military assistance or training operations.”

Good God, if I were a Martian who landed on Earth ten years ago and found myself attending government schools, to include college, and watching television for any additional cultural education,  I would not be aware of any of this.  The constant drumbeat emanating from the State is the Orwellian chorus about America making the world safe for freedom and liberty and never using force abroad except in self-defense.  The history proves otherwise.

America, next to Rome in the Western world, ranks as one of the world’s most aggressive nation states when one examines the evidence.  A country sheltered from the tempestuous and constant warring on the European continent by one ocean and the turbulence in Asia by another ocean yet it simply cannot mind its own business nor resist the temptation to maim and murder abroad for expansion of political power and control whether for mercantilist or colonial aspirations.

One can even see that the brutality practiced by American soldiers abroad is not recent but a long-standing tradition.

Afghanistan, now:

All told, five soldiers were charged with killing civilians in three separate episodes early last year. Soldiers repeatedly described Sergeant Gibbs as devising “scenarios” in which the unit would fake combat situations by detonating grenades or planting weapons near their victims. They said he even supplied “drop weapons” and grenades to make the victims appear armed. Some soldiers took pictures posing with the dead and took body parts as trophies. Sergeant Gibbs is accused of snipping fingers from victims and later using them to intimidate another soldier.

He also pulled a tooth from one man, saying in court that he had “disassociated” the bodies from being human, that taking the fingers and tooth was like removing antlers from a deer.

Sergeant Gibbs said he that was ashamed of taking the body parts, that he was “trying to be hard, a hard individual.” But he insisted that the people he took them from had posed genuine threats to him and his unit.”

Philippines, then:

“Like many of their officers, American troops also showed incredible callousness toward the Philippine civilian population.  A man named Clarence Clowe described the situation as follows in a letter he wrote to Senator Hoar.  The methods employed by American troops against civilians in an effort to find insurgent “arms and ammunition” include torture, beating, and outright killing.

At any time I am liable to be called upon to go out and bind and gag helpless prisoners, to strike them in the face, to knock them down when so bound, to bear them away from wife and children, at their very door, who are shrieking pitifully the while, or kneeling and kissing the hands of our officers, imploring mercy from those who seem not to know what it is, and then, with a crowd of soldiers, hold our helpless victim head downward in a tub of water in his own yard, or bind him hand and foot, attaching ropes to head and feet, and then lowering him into the depths of a well of water till life is well-nigh choked out, and the bitterness of a death is tasted, and our poor, gasping victims ask us for the poor boon of being finished off, in mercy to themselves.

All these things have been done at one time or another by our men, generally in cases of trying to obtain information as to the location of arms and ammunition.

Nor can it be said that there is any general repulsion on the part of the enlisted men to taking part in these doings. I regret to have to say that, on the contrary, the majority of soldiers take a keen delight in them, and rush with joy to the making of this latest development of a Roman holiday.[16]

Another soldier, L. F. Adams, with the Washington regiment, described what he saw after the Battle of Manila on February 4-5, 1899:

In the path of the Washington Regiment and Battery D of the Sixth Artillery there were 1,008 dead niggers, and a great many wounded. We burned all their houses. I don’t know how many men, women, and children the Tennessee boys did kill. They would not take any prisoners.[17]

Similarly, Sergeant Howard McFarland of the 43rd Infantry, wrote to the Fairfield Journal of Maine:

I am now stationed in a small town in charge of twenty-five men, and have a territory of twenty miles to patrol…. At the best, this is a very rich country; and we want it. My way of getting it would be to put a regiment into a skirmish line, and blow every nigger into a nigger heaven. On Thursday, March 29, eighteen of my company killed seventy-five nigger bolo men and ten of the nigger gunners. When we find one that is not dead, we have bayonets.[18]

These methods were condoned by some back at home in the U.S., as exemplified by the statement of a Republican Congressman in 1909:

You never hear of any disturbances in Northern Luzon; and the secret of its pacification is, in my opinion, the secret of pacification of the archipelago.  They never rebel in northern Luzon because there isn’t anybody there to rebel.  The country was marched over and cleaned in a most resolute manner.  The good Lord in heaven only knows the number of Filipinos that were put under ground.  Our soldiers took no prisoners, they kept no records; they simply swept the country, and wherever or whenever they could get hold of a Filipino they killed him.  The women and children were spared, and may now be noticed in disproportionate numbers in that part of the island.[19]”

And countless incidents small and large in between from the only nation state in the Western world that not only endorses the use of torture but makes it an official means of projecting power abroad.

I have often remarked that cops are the only reason freedom and liberty is and has been in the hazard in America, and unfortunately, the same standard applies for military power abroad.

The only just war is one fought to defend one’s own soil from invasion.  There is no other.  Every other conflict reeks of statist opportunism and yen to expand tax jurisdictions and the power to rob others of their wealth and resources.  Some may mistake this for a pretense of the Left.  Not only do the progressives and the collectivists in America have a rich history of cheer-leading wars such as WWI and WWII but they also wish to employ military-style violence domestically to achieve their government supremacist dreams.

The notion that foreign wars and entanglements are wrong still emanates from a sparsely populated philosophical quarter that has no majority presence in the academy or the government–media complex.  It is a true voice in the wilderness.  That voice has one signature message:  you cannot thank a veteran for your freedom because they have actively done nothing more than endanger its very existence.  In fact, American military power abroad (and increasingly, at home) has made civilians more unsafe than they have ever been.  The threat not only emerges from aggrieved victims of American brutality abroad but a government desperate in bad times to ensure that not one dollar of military expenditures is reduced.  America is now a national security garrison state.  Think about that the next time you take a flight.

Veterans don’t need gratitude but a self-realization on their part that the machine they worked for was never an engine for liberty but a device whose single purpose was aggrandizement of American political power at home and abroad.  And that political hammer always extinguishes liberty and never expands it.

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

– Gandhi

Firebombing of Tokyo WWII

Copyright © 2011 by zerogov.com


“Laws are rules, made by people who govern by means of organized violence, for non-compliance with which the non-complier is subjected to blows, to loss of liberty, or even to being murdered.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  – Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy

There is the only one true sign of freedom once all is said and done.  You can live in a geographical location or tax jurisdiction (fondly called countries) and you are subject to no law except what you agree to so long as you may opt-out as you wish; that simple, your compliance is not mandatory except where your behavior is initiated aggression through force or fraud.

So where exactly is this country?  It does not exist outside the kingdom of conscience.

Strip away all the notions of Constitutional protection, action in the courts to beat back bad laws and all the rest of the distractions and misdirection the government places in your cognitive path and you are left with one stark reality:  your refusal.

Want to solve the Socialist Security benefit disaster looming on the horizon as a demographic non-funded tidal wave of fiscal despair?  The accompanying Medicare/Obamacare fiscal mayhem?  The insufficient funding at all levels to meet government employee retirement benefits in the coming years?  Recognize the basic human imperative to refuse to comply.

I would gladly stop paying Socialist Security and forever opt out.  I would be happy to stop paying property taxes in exchange for zero government services I would use.  I don’t want to pay for government education camps and government libraries.  I don’t want fire services, I would gladly pay for a private subscription service for fire protection much as I pay for car and home insurance (although both would be much more affordable absent government mandates and meddling).

This isn’t simply about money; it is about the freedom to choose.  This goes far beyond the book by Milton Friedman; he limited his choices within a government framework.  This extends to every aspect of our lives whether it is consumption of raw milk, undercooked hamburgers or the ingestion of non-government approved home-grown meat and vegetables.  Everything I have just mentioned comes with a penalty, ultimately, of death for the non-compliant in American society.  When the SWAT thugs raid the raw milk warehouse, your refusal to bow and scrape before the “thin black and blue line” may lead to your demise.  Ironically, their desire to get off the government teat, as it were, when it came to dairy consumption crossed the line when the regulatory functions were given the middle finger. I won’t belabor the point that cops are the number one danger to human freedom around the globe and I have covered that in detail before.  I use that to illustrate the point that American freedom is illusory and non-existent.  It is only tolerated as long as the cattle pay the rulers, comply with the Praetorians and don’t stray off the regulatory reservation…ever.

It strikes at the heart of what freedom actually is.  At its most basic and stripped down level, it is elegantly and brutally unsophisticated; freedom and liberty is the imperative be left alone and not forced to comply with anything you don’t consent to.  Are there negative consequences and sad outcomes as folks choose to do stupid and counter-productive endeavors?  Absolutely.  Freedom is messy and perilous and on occasion, lethal.  Most of my neighbors and acquaintances therefore insist that people with the power to fine, kidnap, cage, maim and kill be empowered to protect us from our stupidity and imprudent decisions.  Most of my neighbors think of their own neighbors as their property, otherwise, who in their right mind would consider the institutionalization of force imposed through administrative fiat or majoritorian tyranny?

This has led to the prison planet we now inhabit and the abridgement of the one true notion of self-ownership that no man should be able to impose.  Whether it is the nefarious machinations of the local Home Owners Association (HOA) as they employ the state as a violent proxy to keep the grass trimmed or the thoroughly evil complex of imperial extermination of brown people around the planet that disguises itself as foreign policy in DC, we live in a world made wrong by compliance.

This is not about the black-clad property-destroying adolescents who soil the name of anarchy or the Occupy Wall Street Marxoid cretins whose idea of freedom is a larger global police state.  This is not about the Tea Party that requests permission to put tea bags in the Mirror Pool in DC.  None of these folks are interested in the ability to opt out of government compliance.  They are all wholly owned subsidiaries of the government compliance complex, they wish nothing more than a nod from the rulers to practice their kind of obedience and craven submission and impose it on every human within striking distance.

If we distilled the essence of freedom down to one singular and crucial element, it is no more than the right of refusal.

Resist.

“What is peculiar in the life of a man consists not in his obedience, but his opposition, to his instincts. In one direction or another he strives to live a supernatural life.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          – Henry David Thoreau

Publisher’s Note:  Kaiser provided a link to a science fiction short story that illustrates the virtues of this essay: https://www.abelard.org/e-f-russell.php

I wrote this earlier and wanted to republish since I will be debating the Articles versus the Constitution tomorrow in Yuma, Arizona at the 2012 Freedom Library Annual Awards Ceremony Debate.  The issue gets more critical year by year because  the Constitution may very well be one of the most clever anti-freedom documents crafted by man in the Western world.  As a result of a crafty and thorough propaganda campaign, a document that purports to support limited government and peaceful human activity has done exactly the opposite in such a gargantuan fashion that one is aghast so many people can still be deluded by the premise and continue to be bamboozled by its promise.  Not only has the document built the largest human cage outside of China and the extant USSR but it has made the inmates think that servitude is freedom and war is peace.  -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, 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.

The Anti-Federalist Brutus avers in Essay I in October 1787:

“But what is meant is, that the legislature of the United States are vested with the great and uncontroulable powers, of laying and collecting taxes, duties, imposts, and excises; of regulating trade, raising and supporting armies, organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, instituting courts, and other general powers. And are by this clause invested with the power of making all laws, proper and necessary, for carrying all these into execution; and they may so exercise this power as entirely to annihilate all the state governments, and reduce this country to one single government. And if they may do it, it is pretty certain they will; for it will be found that the power retained by individual states, small as it is, will be a clog upon the wheels of the government of the United States; the latter therefore will be naturally inclined to remove it out of the way. Besides, it is a truth confirmed by the unerring experience of ages, that every man, and every body of men, invested with power, are ever disposed to increase it, and to acquire a superiority over every thing that stands in their way.”

The conflict was brewing between the Jeffersonians among the individualists and the Hamiltonian collectivists. The rhetorical lines were drawn and the fate of the nation eventually slid into the camp of the Nationalists.

George Washington wrote to John Jay on 1 August 1786:

“Many are of opinion that Congress have too frequently made use of the suppliant humble tone of requisition, in applications to the States, when they had a right to assume their imperial dignity and command obedience. Be that as it may, requisitions are a perfect nihility, where thirteen sovereign, independent[,] disunited States are in the habit of discussing & refusing compliance with them at their option. Requisitions are actually little better than a jest and a bye word through out the Land. If you tell the Legislatures they have violated the treaty of peace and invaded the prerogatives of the confederacy they will laugh in your face. What then is to be done? Things cannot go on in the same train forever. It is much to be feared, as you observe, that the better kind of people being disgusted with the circumstances will have their minds prepared for any revolution whatever. We are apt to run from one extreme into another. To anticipate & prevent disasterous contingencies would be the part of wisdom & patriotism.”

It appears even the much admired Washington was having none of the talk of independence and wanted a firm hand on the yoke of the states to make them obey their masters on high. Washington’s behavior in the Whiskey Rebellion cast away any doubts of the imperious behavior of the central government a mere four year after the adoption of the Constitution.

Patrick Henry gave the firmest defense of the skeptical posture when he questioned the precarious position the Constitution put to the state’s sovereignty on 5 June 1788 at the Virginia Ratifying Convention (the savvy Founding Lawyers ensured that the process of ratification was sped along by bypassing the bicameral house requirements and simply asking the states to conduct ratifying conventions):

“How were the Congressional rights defined when the people of America united by a confederacy to defend their liberties and rights against the tyrannical attempts of Great-Britain? The States were not then contented with implied reservation. No, Mr. Chairman. It was expressly declared in our Confederation that every right was retained by the States respectively, which was not given up to the Government of the United States. But there is no such thing here. You therefore by a natural and unavoidable implication, give up your rights to the General Government. Your own example furnishes an argument against it. If you give up these powers, without a Bill of Rights, you will exhibit the most absurd thing to mankind that ever the world saw — A Government that has abandoned all its powers — The powers of direct taxation, the sword, and the purse. You have disposed of them to Congress, without a Bill of Rights — without check, limitation, or controul. And still you have checks and guards — still you keep barriers — pointed where? Pointed against your weakened, prostrated, enervated State Government! You have a Bill of Rights to defend you against the State Government, which is bereaved of all power; and yet you have none against Congress, though in full and exclusive possession of all power! You arm youselves against the weak and defenceless, and expose yourselves naked to the armed and powerful. Is not this a conduct of unexampled absurdity? What barriers have you to oppose to this most strong energetic Government? To that Government you have nothing to oppose. All your defence is given up. This is a real actual defect. . . “

The Bill of Rights as we know them today were first introduced by James Madison in 1789 in response to the fears the emerging Constitution caused among the free men in these united States. They eventually came into effect on December 15, 1791. The Federalists were desperately opposed to the adoption of the Bill of Rights being insisted upon by Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson and other skeptics of central governance. As Brutus again so cleverly pointed out in the Anti-Federalist papers #84:

” This will appear the more necessary, when it is considered, that not only the Constitution and laws made in pursuance thereof, but all treaties made, under the authority of the United States, are the supreme law of the land, and supersede the Constitutions of all the States. The power to make treaties, is vested in the president, by and with the advice and consent of two-thirds of the senate. I do not find any limitation or restriction to the exercise of this power. The most important article in any Constitution may therefore be repealed, even without a legislative act. Ought not a government, vested with such extensive and indefinite authority, to have been restricted by a declaration of rights? It certainly ought.

So clear a point is this, that I cannot help suspecting that persons who attempt to persuade people that such reservations were less necessary under this Constitution than under those of the States, are wilfully endeavoring to deceive, and to lead you into an absolute state of vassalage (emphasis mine).”

The Bill of Rights nominations from the respective sovereign states originally numbered near 200 and the Founding Lawyers saw fit to include twelve (the two concerning apportionment and Congressional pay failed to pass) after much bickering especially by the most monstrous worthy of the time, Alexander Hamilton. A brilliant mind coupled with all the political knife-fighting skills needed to dominate the proceedings, Hamilton made sure that the tools of oppression and a financial yoke would be decorating our necks in perpetuity. Small solace can be taken in the aftermath of the duel between Hamilton and Burr on 11 July 1804 in that it took him close to a day to die.

Alexander Hamilton tipped his intellectual hand in a speech to the Constitutional Convention concerning the United States Senate, 06/18/1787 (quoted in the notes of Judge Yates):

“All communities divide themselves into the few and the many. The first are the rich and the well-born; the other the mass of the people … turbulent and changing, they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the first class a distinct, permanent share in the Government … Nothing but a permanent body can check the imprudence of democracy.”

I am no fan of democracy as I see it as nothing more than a transformational accommodation to tyranny over time but one can infer from this quote that Hamilton fancied a class of people more equal than others who would have a disproportionate access to the levers of power over the great unwashed. Again, I am suggesting that the Constitution was a document designed from the beginning as a means to rob constituent and subsidiary parts of sovereignty and subject these subordinate elements to a national framework which made their position subservient to the Federal government. The desire of the Federalists was to install a national framework and cement the structure through the machinations of national banking, franking of a currency and debt creation. Keep in mind that all of the nattering on about the Federal Reserve today is a complaint against a Constitutional Frankenstein monster in its fourth iteration since the other attempts at national banks failed. You can guess who picked up the tab.

The Bill of Rights was finally passed on 15 December 1791 but it was much diluted and purposefully weaker and more ambiguous about the central government’s implied and explicit powers.

The Constitution took effect on 4 March 1789 with 11 states under it and two states not submitting ratification. North Carolina did ratify it when a promise of a future Bill of Rights was assured. Rhode Island refused and was the only state to put the Constitution to a popular vote where it failed on 24 March 1788 by an 11—1 margin. They eventually ratified it.

Hamilton now had the ways and means to make real his storied dream: “A national debt, if it is not excessive, will be to us a national blessing.” The moneyed interests saw the advantage of monetizing the debt. By assuming the state’s debts at the national government level, a means of controlling commerce and taxation became an implied task of the central government. This may have been the first incident of the debtors from the Revolutionary War convincing their Hamiltonian allies that if they had the national government bear the debt and relieve them of responsibility, this could be used as the means to establish the coveted national bank to start the issuance of government currency not to mention the driver for increased taxation.

All the puzzle pieces had finally locked into place. Royce eloquently explains what has transpired in Hologram of Liberty: “To put a ‘gun’ in the hands of the new national government was the primary object, the great sine qua non, of the Constitution. A comprehensive de jure authority of Congress backed with de facto guns.” The Confederation is defeated and the long train of usurpation, centralization and tyranny leaves the station for what has become American history.

Hamilton’s machinations and influence probably single-handedly turned the product of this secret confab into one of the most successful instruments of political oppression before even the creation of the USSR. What makes it even more sublime as a tool of big government is the sophisticated propaganda and hagiographic enterprise which has both spontaneously and through careful planning suborned the public’s skepticism of the nature of the machine erected to control their behavior, which has resulted in an almost religious observance of all things Constitutional. Carefully cultivated over two hundred years, this religious idolatry had certainly fogged the thinking of this writer for most of his adult life. This sleeper has awakened.

Ask yourself this question: have the robed government employees who read the Constitutional tea leaves for the most part defended individual liberty or have they rubber-stamped the exponential growth of power and control of the colossus that sits astride the Potomac?

“Our constitutions purport to be established by ‘the people,’ and, in theory, ‘all the people’ consent to such government as the constitutions authorize. But this consent of ‘the people’ exists only in theory. It has no existence in fact. Government is in reality established by the few; and these few assume the consent of all the rest, without any such consent being actually given.”

~ Lysander Spooner

 

“The most common of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind.” ~ H.L. Mencken

 

How does a person come to hold the belief of absolute nonviolence? What about this belief draws people to it? Is nonviolence the logical conclusion of non-aggression? These are the question that I have been asking myself as of late, because there is a growing number of people within the liberty movement who are latching onto the belief of absolute nonviolence. I’d like to explore this idea, and try to lay out an argument as to why I think it is not only wrong, but also dangerous to adopt this belief.

One who believes in, and adheres to, the non-aggression principle makes a fundamental moral distinction between aggressive violence, and retaliatory violence. One who adheres to a principle of nonviolence does not make the same distinction. Or, perhaps they do, but they see retaliatory violence as violence nonetheless, and therefore wrong, or immoral, or “against God” or something else. It is important to note here that I will not be discussing  non-aggression and nonviolence from a pragmatic point of view, rather I will be discussing these things from a position of principle.

The absolute pacifist paints themselves into a tough philosophical corner. In order to remain consistent they necessarily have to abandon other positions they hold in order to avoid contradictions. For instance, any concept of justice that involves any level of violence must be rejected by one who adopts this belief. It would be a contradiction to advocate for any form of justice that involves capturing and punishing a criminal; any concept of justice that condones the use of physical force to apprehend and contain a criminal must be abandoned. Likewise, any form of government that was not wholly voluntary would also have to be discarded. It may be the case that the entire concept of government will have to be abandoned if it’s not absolutely nonviolent. The only form of government that would be possible if the nonviolent position is adopted is autarchy–absolute self government.

I think it is a non-sequitur to make the jump from non-aggression to the position of absolute nonviolence. I am of the opinion that these beliefs are spawned from two completely different principles. Non-aggression does not presuppose nonviolence, as the person who holds the belief in non-aggression will violently defend the self, while the person who adheres to the belief in nonviolence will not. A person who has chosen to defend themselves using retaliatory violence necessarily believes that their own life is of higher value than a belief in nonviolence. The belief in absolute nonviolence presupposes that the concept of nonviolence is greater than the value of one’s own life. Non-aggresssion is a belief that is founded in the self, and absolute nonviolence is altruistic. This is why I claim it is illogical to jump from one belief to the other, because they are based upon two principles that could not be farther apart from each other. Any person who makes the illogical jump from non-aggression to nonviolence demonstrates a  profound misunderstanding of the principles involved. I believe that even the doubt of self defense would exhibit that same misunderstanding.

Yet, I claim this is exactly the jump that some are making. I think the focus is being placed on the wrong thing. It is true, that, in some cases, nonviolence is a perfectly reasonable tool, and I believe that these particular instances are being mistaken as nonviolence being the correct principle in all cases, but that is a clear error in reasoning. It is important to remember that one who adheres to the non-aggression principle will defend themselves because their ultimate goal is self-preservation. As I mentioned before, non-aggression is premised on the self, and if there is an instance where utilizing retaliatory violence will endanger the self, then, rationally, it ought to be abandoned in that case.

One of my favorite parts in the movie, Rob Roy is the scene where the MacGregor Clan is contemplating on what to do about the feudal landlord thugs who destroyed their home and property. Rob Roy comes to the conclusion that it is more reasonable to not retaliate, because he fears the retribution from the retaliation will be swift and ruthless. He understands that everyone is still breathing in and out, and that property that is lost can be regained except for the self, once that is lost, it’s lost forever. I would like to expand further on this point, because I think it cuts right to the heart of the matter. In this movie scene, Rob Roy demonstrates that even the concept of personal property is not of higher value than one’s own life. One cannot recreate and rebuild if one is not alive.

Where else might retaliatory violence be a bad idea? When one is faced with overwhelming odds it may be reasonable to abandon the use of violence. I don’t think I need to give many examples of this, as I’m sure you, the reader, can think of many instances where you may be out manned, out gunned, out witted, or just simply out classed. Many people in the liberty movement believe that armed resistance to an oppressive government is not the right solution–and I happen to agree with them–but this instance should not be mistaken for nonviolence being universally true. There are many differences between resistance to a rogue government, and resistance to a petty thug.

There is a vast epistemological difference between the actor performing under what they believe to be legitimate government authority, and the actor who has actually chosen to become a thug. The thug is the one who is conceptualizing evil, and bringing it into existence. This may not be the case for the government actor. Even though the end results may mirror each other, the two actors are operating under very different premises. One is bringing evil into existence by way of premeditated thought, and one is bringing evil into existence by following orders.  This is precisely why the use of reason may still be wielded on the government actor with some positive result; they have not yet crossed over into the dark side. There is still hope that there is a human being inside of that mortal coil.  This is why nonviolent resistance to a violent government may be effective. Think about it: Would you nonviolently resist if you knew  the person you were facing was acting out of pure evil? Is it reasonable to do so?

Here is a quote from Martin Luther King that touches on this subject…

“When, for decades, you have been able to make a man compromise his manhood by threatening him with a cruel and unjust punishment, and when suddenly he turns upon you and says: ‘Punish me. I do not deserve it. But because I do not deserve it, I will accept it so that the world will know that I am right and you are wrong,’ you hardly know what to do. You feel defeated and secretly ashamed. You know that this man is as good a man as you are; that from some mysterious source he has found the courage and the conviction to meet physical force with soul force.”

(Martin Luther King, Jr. — “Why We Can’t Wait”, 1964, chapter 2, “The Sword That Heals”, p. 30)

Would it be reasonable for one who believes in absolute nonviolence to utilize this same tactic against the home invader in the middle of the night? I do not think so. The home invader has made the conscience decision to carry out this act, and has prepared himself physically and mentally to carry out this crime. This example is light years apart from the government actor who is carrying out orders he perceives to be legitimate. The reason that non-aggression is adopted as a principle and not nonviolence is because the goal is to keep on living with their own life being the highest value.

The person who adheres to the non-aggression principle does not paint themselves into that same philosophical corner the absolute pacifist does. The libertarian will adopt whatever they believe to be the most reasonable choice in any given instance. Some of you may be thinking, “but that’s pragmatic!” No, it’s not, because non-aggression is but a tool for the deeper axiom of self-ownership. This is why the self-owner can use the tools of non-aggression and nonviolence interchangeably, because their axiom is their own life. I cannot say that about the person who adopts the principle of absolute nonviolence as they necessarily believe that there is something greater than their own life, and that is false to fact.

In my opinion, it is dangerous to let this type of thinking creep its way into the liberty movement. When a person desires liberty, what they mean is they desire liberty for themselves. The desire to have liberty in one’s own life drives that individual to advocate that all other individuals also have liberty. The adherence to nonviolent resistance–even at the cost of ones own life– is premised on the idea that there is some greater cause that exists out there other than one’s own life and happiness. This is the exact idea that Statism is premised on. That there is a “greater good” out there, and the individual may have to be sacrificed in the pursuit of this concept. I, the individual, reject this type of thinking, and I believe it is up to the individualists in this movement to defeat this type of altruistic, collectivistic thinking wherever it pops up–even within our own ranks.

“No man is free who is not a master of himself.” ~ Epictetus

Wounded Knee 1973

“You might as well expect the rivers to run backward as that any man who was born free should be contented to be penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases.”

–  Chief Joseph Nez Perce (Nimiputimt)

 I despise the term Native American and think the use of Aboriginal American is more appropriate. Russell Means told the Federal government the Lakota Sioux were going to secede and we are still waiting.  The American Indians are ideally positioned to break away from the US in the most expeditious means possible if they would simply do it.  Since first contact in the early sixteenth century, the original inhabitants of the North American continent have been getting a raw deal.  Treaty after treaty has been broken and the concomitant trail of tears has been a veritable river.

Beset by government largesse that has largely subsidized sloth, alcoholism and slavish dependency on welfare transfers, they are the poster child for how a government can quite literally destroy a sliver of humanity through a dependency that poisons the soul and eradicates any notion of independence.

The Lakota are five years running after petitioning the State Department for withdrawal.  And so far nothing, so what is a Indian secessionist to do.  Maybe they can become North America’s first “returnist” movement trying to advocate for complete divorce and reparations.  Reparations is not necessarily the notion of salary and benefits for aggrieved parties as some black elements have advocated for because the term technically means a return or a “making whole” of the parties.  In the case of American Indians, they have an originalist claim to large swaths of America while black slaves would legally be advocating for a return to their respective homelands in Africa.  A return to that continent may make them less than whole depending on where they happen to land.

The tribes need to take the initiative and stop the intruders by waging a soft revolution that refuses to accept any poisoned subsidy on reservation land and take some of the following steps:

  • Federal Reserve Notes would longer be accepted as currency and only conversion to hard specie currencies like minted silver, gold or composite value currency could be used
  • Take gambling to the next level and declare that the IRS is no longer welcome on tribal land and all winning by even US residents will no longer be considered winnings taxable and no proof of winnings would be provided to the Federal government and all winners would be paid in cash only
  • Immediately declare ALL federal law null and void and unenforceable on penalty of arrest and confinement for all remaining Federal and State agents on tribal land.  Give them 48 hours to leave or swear allegiance to the local tribal entity
  • The tribes can send a bill to the IRS insisting that four hundred years of estimated taxes have been calculated and they would expect remuneration for penalties and interest paid to put teeth to the notion of kicking the Feds out
  • Declare that American firearms laws have no force in tribal boundaries and build the greatest small arms industry America has seen since before the infamous 1934 National Firearms Act that started the choke-hold on American firearms ownership in these united States
  • Build an all volunteer Army within the confines of every reservation by eradicating ALL gun laws and encouraging the possession of any infantry arms any of the world’s armies employ on the battlefield
  • Decriminalize all drugs and declare international/national zones non-aboriginals can come to imbibe in their drug of choice
  • Seek diplomatic ties with other nations and insist on a seat in the United Nations similar to the consular activities of the extant Palestinian movement.  China would be very interested in pursuing formal recognition to plant seeds of division in the American body politic
  • Use gambling proceeds to finance spot rebellions and flash protests throughout the US
  • Institute the shunning and non-fulfillment of services to any Federal employees on tribal land so they can’t order a meal in a restaurant or find a hotel room
  • Insist on the repatriation from US jails of all aboriginal American inmates to include Leonard Peltier
  • Offer economic citizenship and passports to any American citizen (non-aboriginal) in order to provide a service for any American who wish to renounce their US citizenship (except for death, this is the only way to get the IRS out of your your affairs)
  • Minimize or liquidate the size of government by reversing vote incentives in congressional bodies e.g., ten percent of the vote would be necessary to lower or eradicate taxes or laws and super-majorities would be necessary to increase taxes and regulations

ALL nations are born in divorce and secession from other imperial or dying nation-states.  It is the natural ecology of governments around the world as they create unsustainable hothouses of dependency and oppression that inspire the orchids of liberty that briefly spawn.  I say briefly because the fire of liberty and freedom is usually quickly extinguished by the weed of rot and tyranny we call modern government.

There are less than one percent of the US population that is recognized as aboriginal but the reservations are everywhere.  These are potential hotspots that can flash into rebellious and seditious fiefdoms to complicate matters for the Federal government.  One could only hope that these secession movements would spark the other movements that blossoming across the nation in Hawaii, the South and the Inland Northwest.  Even Vermont.

If any interest group in the US has a more vested interest and legitimate complaint than the aboriginal Americans to leave the tentacled and fatal embrace of the US government, it is the Indians.  May they prosper and see the light that the path to prosperity is not the government dole from an alien occupier but self-determination and freedom in the sphere of the city state or better yet, no state at all.

“This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there’s a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They’re gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I’m asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they’ll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave.”

~ Captain Malcolm Reynolds (Firefly)

Publisher’s Note:  I met Anthony at Libertopia in October 2011 and was captivated by his speech on the police and the clear and present danger they pose to all humans on Earth and especially in the Untied States.  He was kind enough to take the time for this interview. -BB

Why are the police such a threat?

All states are institutions of organized, legitimized violence, and the police are the enforcement arm of these institutions. So police are always and everywhere a threat. In our own time and country, the police have been more than the mundane threat inherent to the nature of government. They have become the occupying army Malcolm X identified, but much worse. The wars on drugs and terrorism have dramatically militarized our police forces. Most laws they enforce are morally bankrupt, most of their techniques are atrocious, and the personnel employed by these forces have tended to become increasingly aggressive and lacking in curiosity. The way they dress—as though about to stage a Third-World coup—should tell you all you need to know. The vast numbers of arrests, the allure of seizing goods through asset forfeiture, the steady erosion of the Bill of Rights, the proliferation of SWAT raids—100 a day in America—and the doctrine that police are virtually immune for their wrongful conduct have all conspired to create a most formidable police state in our land of the free.

  How would you suggest the average person take precautions for a police encounter?

I don’t know what my advice is worth here. I am fairly cowardly around these agents of the state, as they are armed and dangerous and often unpredictable. I would just suggest being polite, not overly subservient but certainly not confrontation. Standing up for your rights, while always moral, is not always wise, if survival is a high priority. It also depends on the type of encounter. All are potentially dangerous, especially today, but you can still get a feel for the cops who are probably less likely to ruin your day or life.

Do you suppose that the institution of police in America has simply been ramping up in violence against the citizenry over time?  What is causing the increased brutality that is becoming so commonplace?

A large part of it is the drug war. The modern police were born largely in the progressive era and got much worse when they got vehicles, huge departments, fingerprinting databases, jails of significant size, and powerful weapons. But in the last few decades, the drug war has completely obliterated whatever protections of common denizens previously existed. The standards for search and seizure have been greatly compromised, which makes everything else worse, and the huge rise in federal subsidies for municipal police in the forms of military hardware has been particularly pernicious, especially in terms of the police’s attitude. They have been taught to look at our cities and towns as war zones, and all of us as potential enemy combatants. Plenty of other laws, like those against “resisting arrest,” certainly tip the balance further toward the police state.

After the drug war desensitized the American people to invasive police searches, raids, and brutality, the war on terrorism and all that has transpired in the last decade have simply been a mop-up job. So long as we have a large government—with a strong regulatory apparatus and paternalistic criminal code—police state will be with us. The immigration laws and gun laws make the problem much worse. But at root is a cultural issue: Many American people are used to this, support it, or remember nothing else.

How severe do you suppose is the under-reporting of police brutality in America?

I think it’s a big problem. A YouTube is available showing how difficult it is to file a complaint with the police department. I think the vast majority of brutality against the youth, the poor, and minorities, is never officially reported. For years feminists have said sexual abuse is probably under-reported, and I would agree with their reasoning, but it would seem to apply even more so to police brutality, where the imbalance of power between cops and citizens is far greater than between men and women.

How do we break down the dangerous and sycophantic relationship between the media and the police?  There is a dangerous hero worship of even the most thuggish behavior.

The media are in bed with the state. At times, the media are worse than the state itself! The Hutaree militia folks, persecuted by the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s office, were treated like dangerous terrorists all over the mainstream media. A federal judge just threw out the conspiracy charges. The fact that conservatives assume the media are hard on the police doesn’t help, since it encourages more slavish support of the police state in fear of looking too biased in the other direction. How can this be changed? The same way the media’s love of the welfare state and warfare state can be changed—new media, the internet, breaking the corporate-state stranglehold on public opinion. There’s no easy answer.

I have often observed that cops are the number one threat to liberty in America.  Without the police, no law whether just or unjust could be enforced.  What do you think?

Of course you are right. Police and other law enforcers are the ones who ensure that we have tyranny, by keeping us in line and caging those who don’t obey. There is no totalitarianism without police. There is no socialism, either. Not only is most of what the police do immoral in its own right, and almost all of what they do conducted in an immoral manner—they are the principal guardians of the regime. As far as I’m concerned, you can raise my taxes, ban guns, and abolish the right to private property, but if there are no armed agents to enforce these edicts, we will be free.

How do you feel about the distinction between mall/private police and statist cops?  Is there a linkage with the blanket immunity granted to statist cops and their brutal performance on the job?

Absolutely. Private police are imperfect specimens doing a tough job that can’t be done perfectly all the time. But although they far outnumber government police, how often do we hear about them abusing their power? It happens, but rarely. They are held responsible. They are serving customers and communities rather than the state. George Zimmerman’s shooting of Trayvon Martin, seemingly done in the name of private security, has inspired a whirlwind of scandal and attention. I don’t think we know what happened there. But had Zimmerman been a cop there would have been far less outrage. He would have said he was attacked and that would have been that. I am not crazy about the extent of the mob mentality involved in the reaction to the shooting. But it does tell us something: People don’t like what they perceive to be injustice. Government police have a license to commit injustice every day.

Should we disarm the police?

It’s the only kind of gun control I’m comfortable with discussing. So long as we have cops—if we have to concede that much to the state—I would simply say: the police should have no legal rights that the rest of us don’t. This includes in what kind of weapons they can carry. If they can have battle rifles sitting in their car, I should be allowed to as well. I don’t like the idea of saying anyone can’t carry a gun, but perhaps there should be restrictions on what the police can carry, as opposed to the rest of us. If they really need to arrest someone, maybe they can get non-police to help in the endeavor. It’s an interesting thought experiment, but it will not fly in the United States, of course.

Do you suppose with NDAA, the increasing domestic use of UAVs and the war on drugs that police abuse will only worsen over time?

Yes. The war on terrorism has been infecting all our localities, and now with drone surveillance underway, we have to wonder what is next? Drone shootings against citizens? It sounds crazy now but 20 years ago, descriptions of today’s airports and the powers the president claims would sound have sounded crazy. I think the police state will continue to get much worse before things get better.

What future project(s) is Anthony Gregory contemplating now?

 I’m wrapping up my first book on habeas corpus. I’m doing a few other scholarly works, contemplating my future scholarly career, and mostly writing blogs and articles. The Independent Institute is where I do most of my pro-liberty work, but I have other venues as well. I hope soon to begin a new book project soon, and maybe—just maybe—some anti-state music videos over the next year or so. We’ll see.

Anthony Gregory is Research Editor at the Independent Institute and is currently writing a book on individual liberty and the writ of habeas corpus.

He has written hundreds of articles that have appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, San Diego Union-Tribune, Washington Times, Dallas Morning News, Salt Lake Tribune, Sacramento Bee, Tallahassee Democrat, Albany (NY) Times Union, Portland Oregonian, Raleigh News and Observer, Florida Today, Bellingham (WA) Herald, Modesto Bee, East Valley Tribune (AZ), Contra Costa Times, and many other newspapers; as well as in Human Events, Counterpunch, The American Conservative, Alternet, Antiwar.com, The Independent Review and the Journal of Libertarian Studies.

He also regularly writes for numerous news and commentary web sites, including LewRockwell.com and the Future of Freedom Foundation. He earned his bachelor’s degree in American history from the University of California at Berkeley, giving the undergraduate history commencement speech in 2003.

See:  https://www.independent.org/aboutus/person_detail.asp?id=506

 

 

So I have come up with a list of dream research initiatives I would love to see answered.  This is just the start and I would love to entertain others that I may have overlooked.  I will start a thread on my forum for folks to add to.  See:  https://zerogov.com/forum/index.php?topic=1526.0 -BB  

1.  How many innocents and non-felons are maimed and killed by police every year?  We are already aware of the phenomenally low fatality rate for cops on the job.  How many of these victims are those who have allegedly violated the “officer safety” meme that literally gives all cops a license to kill?

2.  How many government toll roads continue to charge fees and tolls for roads already paid and direct the funds to non-road spending?

3. If 95% of all stop signs in the US were made into yield signs or eliminated altogether, what would be the true impact on safety?  Bonus question:  How many times have you ever witnessed cops come to a full stop at a stop sign?

4.  What is the true impact of speeding laws on safety and why is that most speeding tickets are given on highway arterials and most accidents occur in cities under 35 MPH?

5.  Suppressors (devices that reduce or eliminate the noise a weapon makes) are highly regulated in the US yet have zero connection to crime according to FBI statistics.  In both Europe and places like New Zealand, it is considered good firearms etiquette to employ a suppressor if you can to reduce the noise pollution and are relatively unregulated.  Why are they so highly regulated in the US?

6.  If the NRA and other gun organizations are so intent on protecting and expanding firearms freedoms, why don’t they seek to dismantle the 1934 National Firearms Act (NFA) and the 1968 Gun Control Act (GCA) and the 1984 McClure-Volkmer Act?  The repeal of these three laws would greatly reduce the US government’s ability to prosecute its decades long War on Guns.

7.  Is there a causative link between the 1934 NFA and the steep loss of American supremacy in weapons innovation for the both the private and military market?

8.  What is the impact and ramifications of the price model of elective plastic surgery on reforming the health care system and getting the government out?  Hint: all government health care programs and subsidies like that of the college/university system in the US cause terrific inflation in price and cost in addition to the irrational economic allocation that always attends central planning and Sovietized economic models.

9.  How many American politicians from the local to Federal level have literally gotten away with crimes that unconnected taxpayers would have to serve time for?

10.  How many terminally ill patients has the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) condemned to death  with a bureaucratic prohibition on experimental drugs which are fast-tracked beyond the years (or decades) long process of ordinary over-regulation?

11.  The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has promoted a sugar- and carbohydrate-laden diet for decades that has literally condemned millions to obesity, disease and death yet not one bureaucrat or official has been held responsible. Why?

12.  Since America’s founding, how often has the national government practiced pre-emptive aggression?

13.  Is there a linkage between Woodrow Wilson’s American Protective League and the various snitch and informant programs initiated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)?

14.  The abolition of government involvement in education has obvious resonance with those who wish to have a free society.  The US alone wastes almost one trillion dollars on the Sovietized government education system that produces illiterati in the millions.   To truly measure the impact in fiscal terms in one particular sector, what is the total cost of the absolutely unnecessary use of the “Yellow Bus” system to shuttle the unfortunates to and from the reeducation facilities?

15.  Does any transit system in America sponsored by the government pay for its usage through rider fees alone?

16.  Can unions survive without the proxy use of government coercion?

17.  How many private security and “mall cop” entities have been involved in the maiming and killing of civilians?

18.  Is there a relationship between a rifle culture, mountainous terrain and military resistance to consistently repel or deny invasion?

19.  What is the total body-count for extraterritorial wars conducted by either the US or the USSR during the twentieth century?  Which nation is the leading planetary killer?

20.  What country is not born of secession or divorce from a larger political entity?  By what means, peaceful or violent?

21.   In order to maintain law and order in the US, the local constabulary must be willing to escalate the most minor violations to death if compliance is not forthcoming.  If a seatbelt violation occurs, the degree of non-compliance on the part of the citizen has historically led to instances of maiming and killing on the part of cops, is that just?

22.  How severe is the under-reporting or absence of reporting of police brutality and violence against citizens in the US?

23.  How has the US Constitution worked as a mechanism for a free society by creating one of the largest and most intrusive governments in the history of the world?

24.  Why are most news organizations in the US guilty of a severe government supremacist bias both institutionally and at the individual journalist level?

25.  Why is there no formal sanction or prosecution of prison rape in the US penal system from top to bottom?

 

 

Publisher’s Note: I first become acquainted with Michael’s work several years ago with his Southern Nationalist Network site.  Here was a young man who elegantly and powerfully defended the Southern tradition.  He spoke with an evident deep reading of the history that is the true south and not the superficial and specious nonsense that passes for cultural observation of the South in the popular media.  I was intrigued by his comprehensive apprehension of the most subtle cadences and reflections that makes the South…southern.  He simply gets it right.  I have also indulged Michael in retaining many of the English spelling conventions he so adores when he crafts the essay or thoughtful article.  Enjoy. -BB

 What is SNN?

Southern Nationalist Network is a website and multi-media effort which promotes Southern identity and independence. We have made hundreds of videos (which have nearly a million views on YouTube) and a couple dozen podcast interviews (this is a project we started fairly recently). We’ve organized and recorded perhaps a dozen or so secession demonstrations and marches in South Carolina and Georgia. We have a community of several hundred people on Facebook that we started about a year ago. And we also sell stickers, wristbands and T-shirts which promote our message.

Since this article is addressed to an audience of liberty-loving people, it should be stated that we use the term ‘nationalist’ to refer to our cultural and ethnic identity. The nationalism promoted on SNN is anti-authoritarian and de-centralist. Most of the people connected with the site have been greatly influenced by libertarian-thinking. Anti-statist intellectuals such as Dr Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Dr Ralph Raico, Dr Murray Rothbard and others have had a lot of influence in Southern circles in recent years. One contribution that we are proud of is our promotion of pro-liberty ideas and Austrian Economics within the Southern movement. This effort is made relatively easy for us as Southern nationalists given the theory and influence of Southern decentralists like Thomas Jefferson and proto-Austrian Southerners like John C Calhoun. This historic basis as well as the work of Dr Thomas DiLorenzo and others at the Mises Institute and the outreach of the late Dr Rothbard have forged a positive relationship between the pro-South and pro-liberty movements.

I started a site similar to SNN when I was living in Europe. It began after I made the first pro-South video in my tiny apartment in Madrid. Soon I was making videos on a regular basis and felt like I needed a place where they could be grouped together. This led to the creation of a blog which quickly became a full-blown site. After several years of doing all I could from Europe, I moved back to my native South Carolina where it was much easier to cover events, interview activists and organize efforts. SNN was borne about a year and a half ago as a new and more ambitious version of the old site. Our goal is make the message of Southern nationalism as accessible as possible and present it using all the modern resources available. Thankfully, I’ve gotten a lot of support from people who have responded well to the site. We’ve had orders from all over the world, some generous donations and many people have helped out with articles, podcast interviews, editing the site or working on the technical side of things. Without everyone’s help the site wouldn’t be nearly as good as it is today.

   What does the culture and history of the South and the Confederacy have to do with today?

The Confederacy lasted for only a short period of time in Southern history. As Dr Michael Hill, the president of the League of the South, has stated, ‘For the last four centuries we have been becoming Southerners.’ We have always been culturally distinct from Northeasterners and other North American cultural and ethnic groups. We were shaped by different settlement patterns, a different climate and terrain as well as different ideological and social influences. That said, the 1860s were obviously very important for Southern identity. In South Carolina it is estimated that a quarter of the men of military age were killed by the Federal Government. Nearly all our major towns were burned to the ground (Sherman sent some forces to burn my town down but a small Southern cavalry detachment saved the town). Our State which had been among the wealthiest societies in the world in 1860 was reduced to a conquered and impoverished land – all because our ancestors attempted to practice what Thomas Jefferson referred to in the Declaration of Independence as the ‘unalienable’ right of self-determination. To understand the South today one must understand this history. Since that time one social experiment after another has been forced upon the people of the South. Much of our identity today grew out of this experience of resisting outside manipulation and exploitation of our society.

Some people refer to SNN as a ‘neo-Confederate’ site. I don’t see it that way. We do publish many stories which relate in one way or another to the 1860s (especially given that this part of our heritage is constantly under attack), but our goal is not to bring back the government of the Confederate States of America. As Southern nationalists we look at the full scope of Southern history over the four centuries of our existence. We even trace it back beyond this, exploring the Anglo-Celtic origins of Southern culture. The heritage side of things is just one aspect of the site and by no means all we do. The bulk of what we do is try to de-legitimize the US Empire and make our message relevant to people today. But we are inspired by our heritage and the great heroes of our past. It’s impossible not to be inspired by such men of virtue and natural nobility as Robert E Lee, Thomas Jackson and Jefferson Davis. These were men who would have been exceptional in any time and place. Their character and resistance to outside domination will hopefully continue to inspire future generations of Southerners far into the distant future.

Around the world there is a movement towards self-determination and de-cen0tralisation. The centralized, one-shoe-fits-all approach to the problems we face today has obviously failed. The colossal government in Washington, DC is probably the best symbol of that failure. Its destructive influence at home and around the globe is a major moral issue of our time and one that motivates my work. If the US Empire is to be broken up, the most logical basis for a post-USA system to replace the current ‘propositional nation’ is one based on real connections people have with one another. Here in the South we have our own culture, heritage, identity and traditions. We were once a self-governing nation of our own. With the power of Washington, DC removed from our lives, Southerners could again govern themselves and control their own affairs. I see the Southern nationalist movement then as part of a broader, world-wide trend of self-determination, de-centralization and resistance to tyranny.

   If I just arrived on Earth and used the mainstream media to envision and learn about the South, past and present, what would I learn?

Nothing positive. On television and in the movies today Southerners are the butts of all jokes. We are the one group left in society which it is still politically and socially acceptable to attack. Even in Southern schools children are taught that their ancestors were traitors to America and were evil slave owners. In pop culture Southerners are routinely depicted as toothless, inbred, uneducated, hateful and stupid. This relentless assault on our people, culture, heritage and identity has taken its toll. It is common in the business world for Southerners to hide or eliminate their accent so as to be seen as more ‘intelligent.’ Southern symbols which once were everywhere in Dixie are far fewer these days. So-called ‘civil rights’ groups regularly sue or agitate to eliminate our flags, monuments or other symbols of our identity and heritage from public display. Southern identity in any positive sense is continually down-played or denied. In place of our own identity and tradition we are offered the choice of militant US nationalism (which is ironic since the ‘propositional nation’ is one of the clearest examples in history of a non-nation) or empty universalism that copies the latest pop fads.

The attempt to make the traditional Southerner into a Nazi-like symbol is a relatively new thing. Until the 1960s there was still some respect in American culture for the South despite our history of opposition. When one contemplates the enormous gifts in areas of literature, art, music, sports, political science and military science that the South has given the world the hateful stereotype that has been imposed upon us makes absolutely no sense. For example, imagine the United States or even the world without George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Mark Twain, William Faulkner or Elvis Presley. Imagine the world without such cities as New Orleans, Savannah and Charleston. Imagine American cuisine without Southern cooking. What would be left apart from fast food? This is the irony of America, that despite (or perhaps due to) the North’s urbanization, industry and crowded population, a disproportionate amount of the authentically native culture in the United States comes from the rural areas and small towns of the South.

What do you think is the origin of the animus that comes from contemporary academia and the popular media when it comes to the South?  Why is there such naked contempt and hatred?

The crusading spirit of the North combined with Southern resistance to changing Northern values explains a lot of the hatred. If we think of New England and the greater North as a progressive civilisation and the South as a classical civilisation that is a good starting point to understanding an antagonism that could be traced back to the cultural, religious and political roots of conflict which gave rise to the English Civil War. By the early 1800s there was a well organized media campaign in America against Southerners. At that time wealthy Southern planters were the primary targets whereas today it’s poor (especially rural) Southerners who are the main targets. The old cultural and religious issues became more overtly economic as time passed. As linguist MacDonald Aston King writes in his book Yankee Babylon on page 341, ‘During the antebellum period of American history, the North began to fear the South as posing a threat to its commercial interests and general way of life. The North created from his fear an anti-Southern credo which caricatured the South in simple fashion as a land of slaveholding aristocrats.’ Some speakers and pamphleteers in New England openly called for violence against Southerners. People like John Brown put their rhetoric into action, attacking people in Virginia and Missouri. The point is that it’s easy to trace the hatred against the South back to the early days of US history. The political union of competing civilisations was essentially the source of the bitterness. The South has been the most traditional-minded part of the United States and the most resistance to the changing values and ideas that arose in New England. Just like today when it comes to disagreements between the United States and Syria, Iran or whatever country the US media and government claim must be attacked, it’s not enough to merely state one’s disagreement. Rather, the enemy must be demonized and denied his humanity. The struggle must be presented as one between the forces of progress and goodness and those of backwards evilness. We Southerners are all too familiar with this narrative since our symbolic function in the US Empire of today is as the un-progressive, backwards ‘other’ – the foil of the Yankee in the Northern understanding of history.

How do you address the conflation of all things Southern as unfathomable evil?

Anyone who has had the unfortunate experience of attending a US university understands the mentality of the people who hate the South. Ask a sociology professor what she thinks of White men or of Southerners in general. Attend one of her classes and listen to her sneer anytime she speaks of us. Ask anyone in the humanities what they think of the traditional South. Their hostility to us is generally undisguised. I attribute it to the bizarre moral foundation of the Leftist world-view which exists throughout the Western world today. Right-wingers like to cast themselves as moral people but in reality it is the Left that is consumed with morality. Of course, it’s not the traditional morality of the Christian West but rather a strange Christian-replacement theology.  In their hierarchy of evil we sit near the pinnacle as the antithesis of all they hold dear. The South, which has resisted every one of the progressive moral crusades in US history, is a symbol of backwardness to them because it refuses to get behind whatever radical fad is being pushed at the moment. As a rooted people who culturally (if not ideologically) reject the universalist and propositional fantasies upon which the US today is built, we are the boogey-men they tell stories about to frighten each other. More readily available than the Boers of South Africa, we can be pointed at and denounced with great self-righteousness. So long as the traditional South persists, we will undoubtedly be the ‘enemy’ of modern America. I for one am proud to be their enemy.

I am proud of my Southern roots and mourn the loss of what would have bifurcated the nation in the nineteenth century into two nations.  I discovered during my travels around the world to various hotspots and troubled regions that the Stars and Bars are a global symbol of resistance to tyranny.  Why do you think the Confederacy inspires such devotion overseas and so removed from its time in history?

In my experience foreigners generally have a better understanding of US history than do Americans. They generally have a better grasp of the big ideas at play in US politics and society. They can often see our symbols more clearly from a distance than people can here at home. The foreigners I have known understand the Confederate flag to be the symbol of a people who wanted to be independent and boldly resisted invasion. They also understand that it has since been embraced as the cultural symbol of the South. The cultural influence of Southerners through things like rock ‘n roll, NASCAR, country music and Southern cooking has been enormous around the world. Just as the St Andrew’s Cross is the symbol of Scotland, so too is the Southern Cross the symbol of Dixie. I think it’s that simple for most foreigners. If only it were that simple here as well.

  How do you address the inevitable racism question?

My most typical reaction these days to this question is to point out that ‘racist’ is simply a slur the Left uses for anyone who disagrees with them. Sadly, even the Establishment Right has embraced this sort of language, often making the charge that ‘The liberals are the real racists!’ I think it has lost much of its power due to attempts to label practically everyone with this term. I look forward to the day when this word no longer holds any power to silence discussion or cause people to cower in fear.

The hypocrisy of the South’s enemies on this issue has been widely exposed by those such as Dr Dilorenzo and Dr Rothbard. Numerous articles and even whole websites have been dedicated to this subject. I doubt I could add anything here to the discussion and would prefer to avoid the appearance of being grouped in with the sort Establishment Rightists mentioned above.

The South is hardly the only society in history to have ever had an economy based in part on slave labour. Most Western societies had slavery at one point or another. Even today slavery continues to thrive in several African countries. Nor is the South the only society to have ever had struggles between ethnic and racial groups. This is quite common in multi-ethnic and multi-racial societies. However, we are not treated as are most societies. When it comes to demonising cultures, we are certainly treated differently than are other societies. I think that history shows this is because the charges support the political goals of the elites. In the name of ‘fighting discrimination’ power can be further centralised in Washington, DC and what local autonomy still survives can be attacked and destroyed. It serves the interest of centralisers and ‘progressives’ to promote the stereotype of Southerners as ‘evil racists.’

My view is that radical de-centralisation is the best answer to the race issue as it is the best answer to most political issues. It is my hope that in a future free South the various historic cultural and ethnic communities can live in harmony by controlling their affairs independently from outside interference or centralised rule. Both forced-segregation and forced-integration can be eliminated, as Dr Hans-Hermann Hoppe wrote about in his great work Democracy – The God that Failed. Conflict can thus be minimised.

Give me a reading list of your top five books that best explain and illustrate why the South is Southern and how that is a civilization to emulate and admire.

MacDonald King Aston’s book Yankee Babylon would be a wonderful starting point for those who want to delve into the great differences at the root of the conflict between the traditional South and modern America. This is not a study of Lincoln’s war or recent political history but rather of the civilizational differences that arose from two distinct cultural and ethnic groups that were unwisely united in a political union.

Southern By the Grace of God by Michael Grissom is a nostalgic look back at the more traditional South of recent memory and a general defence of Southern culture and identity. This book was hugely influential in the birth of the modern Southern nationalist movement.

The South Was Right! By Donald and Ronald Kennedy was also extremely influential in the re-birth of Southern nationalism. The authors were founding members of the League of the South. This book of theirs is a spirited defence of Southern identity and the right of secession as well as an attack against Northern imperialism.

Grady McWhiney’s Cracker Culture: Celtic Ways in the Old South was another influential book in the re-borne Southern nationalist movement. Unlike other books which tend to focus on the legal or moral right of secession, McWhiney’s book focuses on the ethnic and cultural nature of the South which made it distinct from New England and the Midwest. Southern circles tend to emphasise the enormous contributions of the Ulster-Scots, Scots and other Celtic peoples in building the South.

Jefferson Davis’ The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government is a must-read for those interested in the history of the 1860s from a Southern point of view. As president of the Confederate States, Davis had a perspective on the War unlike that of anyone else. This two-volume set first lays out the Southern position on States’ rights and secession. It then goes chronologically through the events of secession, the formation of the Confederacy and the War which followed. Most interesting to me are the speeches which are included as well as nuggets of insight on the nature of the Southern people and our civilisation. The reader will undoubtedly come away with a better appreciation of these things as well as of the character of Davis himself.

What are your thoughts on the inevitable break-up of these united States and the idea of peaceful secession?

I welcome it. The fall of large, multi-national empires is generally a positive thing. As Robert Barnwell Rhett, ‘The Father of Secession’ and an early Southern nationalist, said in 1860, ‘The Constitution of the United States was an experiment. The experiment consisted in uniting under one government different peoples, living in different climates, and having different pursuits of industry and institutions. …The experiment has failed.’ I think that Rhett’s words are even more obviously true today than they were in 1860. Liberty has been severely curtailed. Massive demographic change is being used as a political and social weapon by elites. US warmongering has become normalised. A more Third World-like social stratification is replacing a once largely middle class society. Political, monetary and economic powers have been highly centralised within a few institutions in that bureaucratic hell-hole on the Potomac. Every aspect of our lives is regulated and most of our activities are recorded and watched carefully by authorities. Beyond these things, the rot of US mass culture is nauseating and unfortunately is being spread around the globe to more healthy societies thanks to the enormous power of the US Empire today. While there is still good to be found in the daily lives of many people or the unique cultures which make up the United States, there is nothing good left about the political system. The sooner it is eliminated and power is de-centralised, the better. It certainly is to be hoped that the elimination of the US Empire can happen peacefully. We do have examples from history of multi-national regimes such as the former Czechoslovakia splitting into their component national parts peacefully. We even have a recent example of a giant, multi-national world power (the former USSR) splitting up in a mostly peaceful manner. So there is hope. Even the most totalitarian empire can be brought down (sometimes peacefully) when enough people reject the legitimacy of the regime. Given the militarisation of US police, the government’s view of ‘the homeland’ as a battlefield and the ever-increasing number of competing groups and violence between these groups here I am not optimistic about the prospects that we can achieve liberty and independence entirely peaceful. However, I work towards that goal every day. The more people who come over to our side and reject the legitimacy of the regime, the better are our prospects for the peaceful elimination of the Empire.

Where is SNN going from here?

In the near future we will continue producing videos, podcasts and articles which advance a pro-South, pro-liberty message. We will cover Southern nationalist, educational and cultural events. We are also working on bringing on board some more writers for the site. We’re also working to organise a video conference (which will be recorded on DVD and put on YouTube as well) with leaders and intellectuals in the Southern movement focusing on the foundations of Southern nationalism. This might take several more months to put together. In the long term our plans are on a grand scale. It is my desire to build a professional-quality video studio (we have been collecting audio and video equipment over the last five years or so but could do much more if better facilities were available). This will allow us to produce a regular video program of the sort that I think will eventually eclipse the pro-Establishment ‘news’ programs on television. My dreams are much bigger than this. SNN is already at the centre of building a modern Southern nationalist movement and taking our message to the people. I see this as a multi-generational project for the survival of Southern people and culture, productive opposition to the US Empire and the eventual establishment of a free and independent Dixie.