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:

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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.

 


Publisher’s Note: My son, Keegan, is a bright and precocious youngster.  He is the youngest in our brood at 14 and has some interesting pastimes when he isn’t homeschooling.  Among these hobbies is preparedness.  We often refer to him as Bert, the survivalist character in the Tremors films with a bunker and a basement full of stuff that Keegan would inventory on a regular basis for free just to be around such riches.

 Keegan is not only an extremely competent shooter but he loves to spend part of an evening going through his kit, improving things here, removing things there or reevaluating for new scenarios he has dreamed up. He is a connoisseur of the latest military gear and can identify country of origin and era for a wide variety of combat vests, rigs and backpacks he may see in a movie we are watching or correct folks at gun show who have incorrectly identified some of their wares for sale.  His geardo instincts run deep just like his Dad.

  He penned this essay on why and how to stock the most banal and basic of preparedness kits, the three day BOB.  This bag is absolutely critical to have for family members tailored to where you live.  Ours tends to be tailored to the high desert environment we happen to live in. I hope this starts a lively discussion on the ZG Forum in the Survival Sub-Forum.

I also wanted to thank my readers and supporters for the outpouring of  help since I severely injured my back in January.  I will get aboard the writing train again soon enough.-BB

What will you do if the zombies attack? A Bug Out Bag (BOB) is a bag that can keep you alive for three days. The minimalist BOB must include food, water, a fire starting kit, and a knife. The standard BOB is a bit more sophisticated, with an added trauma kit, water purification tablets, and a fixed blade. To make life easier, the ultimate BOB has an added surgical kit, multi-tool, and more. The purpose of a BOB is to survive a massive disaster. There is a reason that BOBs have been around so long.  If you don’t have a BOB, do you really want to be the whiny neighbor that asks for food or medical supplies?

Let’s start out with a minimalist BOB.  A minimalist bag is a compact bag that you can live off of for 72 hours. The light weight of this bag allows you to throw it in with the rest of any gear you might need. Designed to be light, the minimalist bag is made for small people, home, office or car.

Here is a list of things that you need:

Emergency food rations

6 water bottles about 40 oz. a day (most people will need more, but this will keep you alive)

Space blanket

Matches (water proof, wind proof)

Medium First Aid Kit  https://www.amazon.com/Coleman-Medium-First-Aid-Kit/dp/B001O39WSS/ref=sr_1_1?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1329327458&sr=1-1

Knife https://www.amazon.com/M-Tech-Fire-Fighter-Rescue-Knife/dp/B0014BDG32/ref=sr_1_5?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1329327381&sr=1-5

(This is my preference. Do your own research and you will find what works for your skill set and your particular need.)

Now with the standard BOB, you can grab and go and be ready for almost anything. This is a bigger pack that can give you the upper hand in a disaster with the added benefit of a trauma kit, more water, a fixed blade, 550 cord, plus other conveniences. People in Japan during the Tsunami could have certainly used this bag. Having a trauma kit could save your life and others. Make sure you pack a little extra medical equipment in case others are in need. With a standard BOB you can aid in an emergency. Many people die in tornadoes in Kansas where there are an average of 55 a year.

Here is a list of what you need in addition to the minimalist bag:

Trauma Kit https://www.amazon.com/First-Aid-Tactical-Trauma-Kit/dp/B003059E4K/ref=sr_1_2?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1329328310&sr=1-2

One Gallon of water

Fixed blade https://www.amazon.com/Columbia-River-Knife-2030CW-Crawford/dp/B002E6T9RS/ref=sr_1_14?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1329328428&sr=1-14

550 Cord

Change of clothes, optional

Water purification tablets

Mess Kit https://www.amazon.com/Light-My-Fire-Outdoor-MealKit/dp/B0013L4EL6/ref=sr_1_4?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1329328530&sr=1-4

Extra socks

Again, these are my preferences. Price was a factor in the ones that I have chosen. Choose according to your needs and budget.

Now let me tell you about the ultimate BOB.  This bag gives you the extra goodies to make life more comfortable in an extreme situation. This bag is the best for the zombie apocalypse. The added benefit of a surgical kit is that when a disaster happens, what if you can’t make it to a hospital? Field surgery is better than death. This bag weighs approximately 25-30 pounds depending. This one will get quite heavy if carried for long periods of time and you should practice hiking with it before you really need it.

In addition to the two aforementioned bag inventories you will need:

2 space blankets

A heavy duty poncho https://www.amazon.com/Swiss-Camo-Weather-Poncho-Used/dp/B004DJ04PU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1329328993&sr=8-2

Flashlight

6 extra batteries (you should standardize such as AA or CR123)

Fishing kit, with line, bait, hooks

Ammo

SAS Survival Handbook https://www.amazon.com/SAS-Survival-Guide-Collins-Gem/dp/0061992860/ref=sr_1_cc_3?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1329328942&sr=1-3-catcorr

These bags are in no way comprehensive for every disaster. Many changes can be made depending on your own preferences. BOBs have been around for a long time. The minimalist bag is light and inexpensive. The standard is a medium bag, not too heavy and has a trauma kit. The ultimate bag has everything you need to survive and more. Being prepared is extremely important to increase your chances of survival. After all, zombies can catch you off guard and you need to be prepared!

 “Liberty, then, is the  sovereignty of the individual, and never shall man know liberty until  each and every individual is acknowledged to be the only legitimate  sovereign of his or her person, time, and property, each living and  acting at his own cost.” ~ Josiah Warren

The argument of the Collectivist seems to be premised on one basic point: an obligation.

The excuses may be different for the obligation they claim I have, but this premise is shared by Collectivists of all stripes. The Minarchist and the the full-blown Statist may be vastly different in their theories and practices, but in principle, they are exactly the same. Their arguments reduce to this: I owe something to someone for some reason.  The tactic of the Collectivist is to try and cloak their aggression in nobility and morality. They may claim I am obligated to pay for the “rule of law”, or I need to help the less fortunate. I have no doubt that they may have honorable intentions, but are they good enough “reasons” for aggression? I’d like to take a deeper look at my so-called obligation.

For thousands of years the single Tyrant stood alone and his will was commanded into law. Lysander Spooner had this to say about it in No Treason:

The single despot stands out in the face of all men, and says: I am the State: My will is law: I am your master: I take the responsibility of my acts: The only arbiter I acknowledge is the sword: If anyone denies my right, let him try conclusions with me.”

A look at the tyrannies of ages past proves Spooner to be correct; tyranny is born with the sword and it is kept with the sword, and with the every swipe of the sword your obligation is born. The aggression of the Tyrant is the midwife of your obligation.

We all remember the part in Braveheart where William Wallace is charged with treason against “his” King. Wallace proclaims that never in his whole life did he swear allegiance to the King, and the response is, “it matters not, he is your King.”
You see, It matters not, you have an obligation of allegiance. The obligation is thrust upon you, and a dissenting opinion would almost surely cost you your life. This is how the Tyrant stayed in power; by crushing dissent and rebellion through ruthless aggression. A gruesome show of force is what maintained the Tyrant’s Kingdom, and throughout history the aggression tended to be thinly veiled in Divinity, but it was always covered in blood.

But these were the ways of the Old World, right? Why would I revisit this bloody past to uncover the source of my so-called obligation? Even though the Tyrant was banished from America long ago, the concept of the obligation lingers on like an infected wound. The banishment of King George from the Colonies did nothing to remove the tyranny of the obligation, but is it the same? Did anything change? Or is it the same old blood-soaked obligation?

We have already established that the Tyrant demanded an obligation of allegiance through the sword, but how can any normal “citizen” still claim I have an obligation in a democratic society? The tyrant’s claim was completely subjective and absolutely false, but there was always the threat of force to back up his claim. As I mentioned, I’ve had many people claim I am obligated in some fashion or another, but what makes their claim true? I’ll give some examples of some of the “reasons” I have come up against in past discussions.

The government has the consent of the governed; I am obligated to follow the “Law of the Land”: I’ve heard this one many times, and it very quickly breaks down circular reasoning when the claim is put up against a little Socratic questioning. The analogy I always liken it to is this: The slave master owns a chattel slave, and this slave gives birth. Does the master automatically have the consent of the child? How is this any different than our situation? Because there is some parchment protected in a glass case that begins with WE THE PEOPLE? Apparently, in the minds of the slaves, this changes the morality of it all, and now it’s not slavery; it’s democracy, the pinnacle of human government. When consent is used in the context of sexuality, we are all very clear on what consent means, but this concept is lost on the masses when used in the context of government. We should be thankful that consent has still retained its original meaning when speaking of sexual matters, otherwise there could be no rape; just a little rough sex.

I am my Brothers Keeper: I have an obligation to help the poor, the elderly, and the sick. I have been in arguments with Collectivists who claim this very thing, and it always makes me think of what Murray Rothbard said:

The great non sequitur committed by defenders of the State, including classical Aristotelian and Thomist philosophers, is to leap from the necessity of society to the necessity of the State.”

The error that is committed by the Collectivist is this: they do not have confidence in the other members of society to do what they imagine to be moral. Since they assume this to be true, they turn to the violent entity known as the State to force others to be their so-called “Brothers Keeper”. These Collectivists imagine themselves to be the stalwarts of society; the defenders of the poor, the downtrodden, and the sick. To them, the ends justify the means. It does not seem to matter to them that in their quest for morality, they engage in immoral means. The Collectivist who advocates for “social justice” commits the same logical error. The State is not society, but the Collectivist looks to the State as the source of social justice. Social justice can only be found in one place, and that place is within society. The State does not know what justice is, because it is founded in injustice; it is founded in immorality and deceit. Putting power into the hands of a few, and excluding them from the morality pool will never deliver justice; it has never delivered justice. It is irrational to expect moral ends from immoral means. This is the reason for the continuous failure of the State, and it will continue until this truth is realized. Sadly, the Collectivists that believe this strongly in the State will not stop until they are shot in the head with bullets they paid for by guns that they advocated for.

It is the Minarchist Collectivist who quite possibly makes the biggest error of all. The cry of the Minarchist is this: if we don’t plan for some sort of defense we will be overran by those who seek to do us harm. I do, at least, understand the position of the Minarchist, because most of them actually fear this sort of thing. They believe without the State, the land mass known as the United States will be invaded by millions of Chinese or Russian troops or some other rabid herd of bad guys. I don’t know if any of that is true, because I can’t get past the massive logical contradiction that is painfully evident, and it is this: in order to guard against the bad guys, the Minarchist must become the bad guy. The argument of the Minarchist always reminds me of what Marc Stevens says:

If the purpose of the State was to protect life, liberty, and property, they wouldn’t be the first ones to try and take it.”

The Collectivist who supports this approach is still a Tyrant, because if you refuse this obligation, you will be dealt with in the same fashion as if you were under tyrannical rule. I will say this about the Minarchist position; I have more respect for the Tyrant’s invading horde, than those Tyrants who claim to be my Countrymen. At least the invading Tyrant does not mask his aggression in Patriotism. Nope,it’s nothing but cold hard steel with this Tyrant, and his obligation is born out of the barrel of his gun, and he is not ashamed of it. The Minarchist cloaks the obligation in pretty pieces of parchment, but a peak behind the paper quickly reveals the same cold hard aggression that the invading Tyrant would use to demand my obligation of allegiance. The Minarchist is so sure of the State solution to defense that he is blinded to other options. The market is more powerful than the State, and if defense is valued by the people, then they will voluntarily pay for it; the market will provide it. The Minarchist has the poison of Collectivism running through his veins just a much as the Communist does. He has such little trust in the market that he is willing to become the thing that he allegedly fears the most; the Tyrant. This is the reason I do not fear the would-be Tyrant across the ocean, I have a Tyrant across the street.

It’s quite possibly the biggest scam ever pullled, Democracy I mean. When the slaves finally demanded that they have the same Divine Right as the King, they should have taken the ring of power and destroyed it in the fires of Mordor, but instead the slaves forged new rings by the billions and passed them them around and proclaimed democracy to be the apex of freedom. To the anarcho-abolitionist, nothing could be worse, because now instead of one despotic ruler, there are billions of them. Here’s the worst part–the Oligarchs who were always in control, bear no responsibility for the mess–now the Collectivist Kings blame each other. It’s a perpetual war of the Collectives, and the Oligarchs sit back and get rich beyond belief, and the slave who falsely thinks the vote has power will keep blaming the collective that he does not belong to. The Ruling class has found a way to retain power, and keep their heads out of the gullotines. Genius.

In closing, I also argue that the Collectivist has an obligation, and that obligation is to keep their guns holstered while trying to figure out how to organize and maintain society. The truth is this; the Collectivist will never, ever, have a good enough excuse for the tyranny of the obligation, because the Collectivist is the one who is choosing to wield the gun, and the anarchist is not. I need no excuse for my claim of an obligation, because my obligation is not backed by aggression, it is backed by reason.

“It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
Sounds like something Anonymous would say

Michael Collins

Ten years from now, you will not recognize a map of North America because of the significant changes in nation-state destruction and creation that will occur after the inevitable economic collapse of the Western world.  Some of those change agents who will usher in the new geography will resort to fourth generation warfare and guerrilla warfare to carve the continent up.  This Other New World Order has some historical analogs that will make the potential spectator or participant in these world shaping events better informed to deal with the undiscovered country ahead.  The Other New World Order shapes change in the opposite direction of the apocryphal New World Order:  where there is one nation, it will create dozens or hundreds. Consolidation and centralization will be the new enemy of the Other New World Order.  In the interest of lending historical perspective to how this will take place, we will examine some worthies through history whose actions and imperatives built civilization locally instead of globally.

Michael Collins (Irish: Míċeál Ó Coileáin; 16 October 1890 – 22 August 1922), the Irish guerilla leader who was largely responsible for removing the English from the Irish homeland after an 800 year struggle was an extraordinary man.  He was a young man whose talent quickly propelled him to the top of the ranks in the Irish resistance after the 1916 Easter Rising that precipitated the eventual divorce of the United Kingdom from the island of Eire in 1922. A civil war started in Ireland shortly after the divorce from the UK and Collins would live a mere four months in a relatively free Ireland before he was murdered by the Anti-Treaty IRA.

After the two Viking ages in Ireland, the Norman invasion established the first British presence in 1169 and the struggle against the English crown began in earnest.  Seven and a half centuries would pass before the Irish republic finally calved off the British Empire in 1922.  There is speculation on Plan Green (Germany) and Plan Kathleen [an invasion of Northern Ireland] (IRA) during WWII on the possibility of yet another English invasion to secure the Irish against German invasion but it is merely an historical interlude in the larger scheme of things.  The British, of course, still held the Northern Ireland province as a fiefdom in the greater kingdom.

Michael Collins was what one could suppose is any government most dangerous adversary.  He was a practical visionary.  Not only did he envision a free Ireland, he had a concrete plan to get there.  Like Samuel Adams and Patrick Henry before him and Giap after him, he blended a unique talent for the political chess game and calculus of violence that would enable the resisters to overwhelm the will and outmatch the ferocity of the British occupiers.  While a contemporary of T. E. Lawrence, they did not know each other but crafted an eerily similar game-plan to defeat their foes.  Collins knew that the “golden hour” for independence and all the planets aligning for the political tectonic shift were on the horizon and he simply had to arrange the events and orchestrate the players.  Those six years between 1916 and 1922 would prove to be the precise moment when the Irish could loose the English fetters that had harnessed their nation for nearly 800 years.

Who was Michael Collins?

Collins worked as a clerk in London from 1906 until he returned to Ireland in 1916. He fought in the Easter Rising, was arrested and held in detention at Frongoch, Merioneth, but was released in December 1916. In December 1918 he was one of 27 out of 73 elected Sinn Féin members (most of whom were in jail) present when Dáil ireann (Irish Assembly) convened in Dublin and declared for the republic. Their elected president, Eamon de Valera, and vice president, Arthur Griffith, were both in prison. Hence, much responsibility fell on Collins, who became first the Dáil’s minister of home affairs and, after arranging for de Valera’s escape from Lincoln jail (February 1919), minister of finance. It was as director of intelligence of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), however, that he became famous. As chief planner and coordinator of the revolutionary movement, Collins organized numerous attacks on police and the assassination in November 1920 of many of Britain’s leading intelligence agents in Ireland. He headed the list of men wanted by the British, who placed a price of 10,000 on his head.

After the truce of July 1921, Griffith and Collins were sent to London by de Valera as the principal negotiators for peace (October–December 1921). The treaty of Dec. 6, 1921, was signed by Collins in the belief that it was the best that could be obtained for Ireland at the time and in the full awareness that he might be signing his own death warrant. It gave Ireland dominion status, but its provision for an oath of allegiance to the British crown was unacceptable to de Valera and other republican leaders. Collins’s persuasiveness helped win acceptance for the treaty by a small majority in the Dáil, and a provisional government was formed under his chairmanship, but effective administration was obstructed by the mutinous activities of the anti-treaty republicans. Collins refrained from taking action against his former comrades until IRA insurgents seized the Four Courts in Dublin and civil war became inevitable. William Thomas Cosgrave replaced Collins as chairman when the latter assumed command of the army in mid-July 1922 in order to crush the insurgency. About five weeks later, while on a tour of military inspection, Collins was shot to death by anti-treaty IRA.

Collins was the right man at the right time in the right historical place.  Absent his strategic brilliance, tenacity and charisma, Irish independence may not have happened.  In the larger schema of history, this became yet another chapter in the long succession of nation creation and destruction that has marched through Western history from it Hellenic roots in ancient Greece.  Not only was Collins seceding from a larger tax jurisdiction but he was creating a wholly independent tax jurisdiction that would go on to become an odd amalgam of capitalism and socialism that would completely collapse economically at the beginning of the 21st century.

Key aspects of his campaign were the careful grooming of auxiliary organizations in the mass base of the greater population, a consistent and wholesale campaign to legitimize Irish independence in the minds of the Irish and his charismatic leadership.

He also employed a savage violence that led to the events of 21 November, 1920 when he effectively killed and destroyed the essential elements and personnel of the UK intelligence organs in Ireland proper. T. Ryle Dwyer, author of The Squad and the Intelligence Operations of Michael Collins quotes Collins:

“My one intention was the destruction of the undesirables who continued to make miserable the lives of ordinary decent citizens. I have proof enough to assure myself of the atrocities which this gang of spies and informers have committed. If I had a second motive it was no more than a feeling such as I would have for a dangerous reptile. By their destruction the very air is made sweeter. For myself, my conscience is clear. There is no crime in detecting in wartime the spy and the informer. They have destroyed without trial. I have paid them back in their own coin.”

Most historians agree this crippled British intelligence operations (Cairo Gang) from this point onward and made the withdrawal of British interests inevitable.  Absent the sophisticated network of spies and informants, the war would be fought blind.  More atrocities in response to this were visited on the Irish by constabulary and military forces and this merely stiffened the spine of the major and minor elements of the Irish resistance.  That same day, British forces fired on spectators at an Irish football match which left seven dead and dozens wounded.

David Leeson in “Death in the Afternoon: The Croke Park Massacre, 21 November 1920” describes part of the aftermath.

“Two military courts of inquiry into the massacre were held, and one found that “the fire of the RIC was carried out without orders and exceeded the demands of the situation.” Major-General Boyd, the officer commanding Dublin District, added that in his opinion, “the firing on the crowd was carried out without orders, was indiscriminate, and unjustifiable, with the exception of any shooting which took place inside the enclosure.” The findings of these courts of inquiry were suppressed by the British Government, and only came to light in 2000.”

The Cairo Gang was responsible for surveilling and torturing a number of innocents and genuine guerrillas and Collins know that making them dead would send a message.  It did.  Fighting would intensify and British response and overreach to the incident would lead to the withdrawal of all British forces in a little over two years.  One can debate the morality and efficacy of assassinating constabulary and military forces but the Irish justified their actions in much the same way one would put down a rabid dog.  There are instances where defensive violence is the answer.  Kirby Ferris provides an interesting perspective on this question:

“Perhaps the world isn’t the way we wish it would be. We all might wish that evil men could be persuaded from their vile behavior with bleeding heart entreaties, a kiss on the cheek, or proper toilet training. But it ain’t that way, folks, Pacifism is a sickness, an actual moral perversity, and dangerous when its effects spread to anyone else beside the pacifist. You may choose to walk to the cattle car, but damn you if you let your children be led up the ramp. You must never allow any group or government to steal your right to exercise armed lethal force in a just situation.”

I certainly consider the Non-Aggression Principle to be a cornerstone of a free society but I do not support nor defend pacifism which to me is a sure road to self-destruction and extinction of your kind.  Ireland had had enough and Collins became the instrument whereby liberation would be granted.

The Irish insurgency in the 20th century is a splendid example of how to do it successfully and the behavior of British forces in Ireland is a textbook example of how to incite one and subsequently lose the fight you picked.

Collins is yet another guerrilla who got it right.  I recommend three books for further reading:

The Path to Freedom: Articles and Speeches by Michael Collins

Michael Collins: The Man Who Made Ireland by Tim Pat Coogan

The Squad: and the Intelligence Operations of Michael Collins by T. Ryle Dwyer

 

 

 

 

Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of Jackals by Jackasses.” ~ H.L. Mencken

I’ve heard many good arguments in opposition to voting. The arguments were so compelling that I adopted the non-voting stance for quite awhile. I mean, it just seemed so natural for someone who doesn’t believe in authority to gravitate towards this position; it seemed like a no-brainier to me. I completely understand that behind every pull of the lever, and in back of every check of the box, lies aggression, or the threat of it. This is problematic for me, because the non-aggression principle is foundational to my philosophy. Therefore, I abandoned the act of voting, and swore I would never vote again.

Along with coming to the conclusion that voting is aggression, I also had other reasons for swearing off voting. I see democracy as nothing more than a perpetual war of the collectives, and I wanted no part in that any longer. In a battle of collectives, the vote is the lowly grunt, and as an individualist, I am much more than that. I own me, I own my labor, I own my property, and frankly, that ain’t up for a vote. That was basically my position, and I held it for a long time, and I defended that position fiercely. However, I try to be as honest with myself as I possibly can, so this means from time to time, I send my own beliefs back through the logic mill to check them for errors. Through internal cross-examination, I believe I have discovered an error within the principled non-voting position. I stated earlier that my property is not up for a vote, and I believe that is where the error lies.

My aim with this essay is to try and lay out a logical and factual counter-argument to the non-voting position. I have found that many of the non-voting arguments appeal to emotion, specifically to pride,which I admit, can have the power to win over many people. But I am the kind of guy who constantly searches for the truth, so I specifically look for these kind of errors, and when I spot them I know I have to tread lightly. I really don’t want to focus on one specific argument, because many good arguments have come from the principled non-voting camp, and if I was to try and refute every point, I would end up writing a book. Rather, I would like to try and strike at the root of these arguments; I will attempt to collapse them at their foundations.  My goal is to focus on the principle, because I no longer consider non-voting a principled position for the anarchist. As a caveat, I will admit, I do find a difference between the statist voter, and the principled anarchist voter, as one could be considered offensive and one could be considered defensive. One is based in the destruction of property rights, one struggles to preserve property rights. I don’t need to tell you which position the statist holds.

The reason voting is even possible is because the position of property rights has been surrendered. This is a fact, and it cannot be argued against. Here are the facts:
1. You own property
2. You surrender it to the state
3. You do nothing

Whether you like it or not, the only principled position there is has already been lost. How you feel about it, or what you think may happen to you, does not matter. This is the reason I have trouble calling the the non-voting position principled, as struggle to find the principle in it. The second you fail to defend your property, is the second that the concept of property rights is sacrificed. The facts of the matter are this:

1. The property you surrendered to the state is used to fund the democratic process
2. This makes voting possible in the minds of the masses

3. This makes individual property right impossible

I’ve heard some say that they are too proud to try and regain lost liberty and property through the ballot box, and I have to wonder why.  If you let them take it in the first place, how is there any room left for pride? I would like to take a minute here to point out my blinding hypocrisy and cowardice. I understand that I do not defend my own property, but this still does not change the FACT that I surrendered it in the first place. The consequences of what would  become of me does not matter, because if you do not defend your property, who will? You have a duty to yourself to try and recover some of your freedom and property. The non-voting stance seems to me to be overwhelmingly altruistic, because an individual is “too proud” to try and recover what they claim is theirs. When we examine the facts, you already surrendered your liberty and property to the state, and now you take no steps to recover your losses, this seems very anti-individualistic to me.

Now, I don’t want anyone to think I am calling for violence or anything crazy like that, all I am stating are the facts. All I am trying to say is that as long as the idea of property rights has been surrendered to the state, voting ought to be done. As long as the only principled stance has been surrendered, no other principled stances can be taken, because that one sacrifice makes it all possible, as it always comes back to property rights.  I am simply saying that we must educate those as to why we vote; why we have to vote. It is a near worthless defensive maneuver and a very crude way to try and salvage some liberty and property, but it can have decent results locally. I am not saying it can or will reverse tyranny, I am only saying that it ought to be used while we try and educate others on the concept of property rights, and how there is no middle when it comes to this idea. It’s all or nothing; either you own your property, or you don’t; either it’s theft, or it’s not. These are the principles that need to be spread. Who cares about a principled non-voting position, time wasted here could have been spent educating others on property rights.  I do not advocate for violence, because I have an understanding of this: as long as the guns are drawn when ideas are born, property rights will never be respected, and without property rights, you are a slave. To advocate for violence other than self-defense is to advocate for the perpetual continuance of human slavery.

Some would say that this is counter productive and would only serve to make the state more efficient, and maybe that’s right. It still does not change the fact that your property is what makes the state possible in the first place. I argue for voting based on the principle of property rights, and I will use the ballot box to try to guard and recover at least some of my property, and if this makes the state more efficient, then so be it. It is not my goal to make the fiction known as the state more efficient, because I understand that there is no state. My goal is to preserve my property. I understand that this is a self-interested position, but so is every other position I hold. Again, here are the facts:

1. There is no state
2. There is only individuals
3. Some individuals claim your property is theirs
4. You surrender your property to these individuals
5. The idea of Individual property rights is lost
6. This means that, factually, your property is up for a vote

Until the idea of property rights is respected; until every individual stands up to the idea of the state and says, “no you can’t have my property.” I will continue to vote, because I understand that my property is funding evil. The non-voting position is not principled, it is a feel-good position that is adopted by feel-good anarchists, because there is no risk in it, and those are the facts. I consider myself an anarcho-abolitionist, because I understand that when all forms of slavery are abolished, the logical conclusion is anarchy. I also understand that it is not the act of voting that makes me a slave, it is the loss of my property rights that enslaves me. Here is the worst part of it, I am the one who enslaves myself, and that is a fact. Every time I hand over my property to the individuals calling themselves the state, I add one more link to the chains I have created for myself, and the chains become a little heavier with each link. I am a slave to the concepts of other individuals, and I have accepted this, for now. This means my pride is already forfeit, therefore any non-voting argument that appeals to emotion is fallacious.  To all of those who believe that the state is nothing more than a group of indivdiuals who claim the monopoly privilege on the use of force, I have a question to ask: would the state relinquish this privilege if everyone stopped voting? Logic tells me they wouldn’t.

I still wait for a logical, principled non-voting argument that is not founded in hyperbolic emotion.

Since there is no such entity as ‘the public,’ since the public is merely a number of individuals, the idea that ‘the public interest’ supersedes private interests and rights can have but one meaning: that the interests and rights of some individuals take precedence over the interests and rights of others.” ~ Ayn Rand