Having homeschooled for the better part of 17 years now, I have an abounding amount of thoughts on the subject. Pros, cons, do’s and don’ts, successes and failures. There is a lot to know and many philosophical decisions to be made, not only initially, but continually as my family’s goals and beliefs are honed and sharpened. But there is one thing I know with certainty and never have to question. Homeschooling is the only choice for my children and our family because it has given all of us the tools to think for ourselves, to stand up to an ever increasing totalitarian government with the ammo only a free mind can possess, and to be the champions of the individual against the collective that one day may provide future generations with a hope of true liberty and freedom that we are so greatly lacking today. This is why we homeschool, and if you believe in a free society, you should too.

Think about this for a moment. From kindergarten, even pre-school, all the way through and including college, you and/or your children are controlled at every possible angle. Children are told when to go to the bathroom, forced to read and study subjects they will never use and certainly do not enjoy, forced to accept politically correct agendas such as everyone is equal, (and I mean equal as in everyone learns, and is equipped with the same gifts and synchronized intellectual developments), put in artificial environments and told they are being prepared for life, etc., etc., etc. Do you ever raise your hand to go to the bathroom at your job? Anyone beat you up for your lunch money at the office? Do you only work with your own age or gender segregated in separate office spaces? Usually not. You, as a parent, are forced to accept all kinds of mind laundering that is fed to your kids against your very own principals and ideals. And worst of all, who do you think your children’s role models and examples are? I love kids, but when you put 35 fifteen year olds in a room and stir, it comes out looking like Lord of the Flies. And we think this is a good way to model and mold future citizens? So where do we as a society think that sequestering our children in public daytime education camps prepares them for anything other than a life of conformity. Yes. You can see it now, can’t you? Our government has a plan for our kids, and I for one, don’t approve.

Our government does not want a populace that questions its authority. Free thinkers are dangerous. Homeschoolers are a threat to the Borg and believe me, I want to be that threat. But do you? If we want a society built on freedom, how does locking them up all day long and chastising them for being individualists encourage their own gifts and talents? Our brightest and best entrepreneurs have been allowed to follow their passions to almost the exclusion of anything else. Edison being one of them. I encourage you to think outside the box and decide if you want your child to be whoever they were meant to be, or part of the hive.

I know what you are thinking. But, but, I went to public school and my education was OK. Or, how am I going to homeschool? I don’t know how to do algebra or advanced sciences. How is little Johnny going to get into college? Don’t you have to have a license or a degree to homeschool? Will my kid have any friends? My wife has to work to support our fancy house and two cars; we can’t make those kinds of sacrifices. None of these questions have pat answers. There are so many different ways to homeschool. I could write a book on the how to homeschool my way, and just touch the tip of the iceberg of all the ways to go about it. But the best thing I can tell you is every one of these questions has been asked a million times by over one million homeschoolers in this country, and every single one has figured out not one, but thousands of ways to accomplish an excellent education for their children. You can do it as well.

So if you are still unconvinced, let me inform you with some staggering statistics. Please take note that none of these points are the reason we homeschooled our four children, but I find that for people new to the idea, it gives them great food for thought and can serve as some great ammo for the doubting spouses, family and nosy neighbors.

-Homeschool students who voluntarily, (I love this word voluntarily when it comes to testing), participate in scholastic achievement tests score, on average, 40 points higher than their public school student peers.

-The homeschool students that participate in these tests that live in the states with the LEAST governmental oversight score the highest!

-Homeschoolers do not use public taxes stolen from you to educate their children and give them an exemplary education for a tenth of the cost of public or private school. On average, 500 dollars for a homeschooling kid, and anywhere from 5,000 to 12,000 per public schooler depending on the state. Do you think you are getting your money’s worth?

-Homeschoolers are regularly sought out and accepted at more than 1,000 colleges around the U.S. because their self study habits have been developed from birth and they haven’t been told every day of their life how to think. Therefore, their portfolios can be quite diverse and impressive.

-Studies have shown, (over 15 independent testing services), that mothers without college degrees who homeschool their children turn out kids scoring just as high as mothers with a college education. In fact, mother’s who have a teaching certificate that homeschool, often do worse than mother’s who have no formal teacher training. Imagine that!

-Homeschoolers, as a rule, take much less attention deficit drugs than their public school peers. (Must be the fact that little boys are actually encouraged to run around outside whenever needed instead of being chained down to a desk all day, but I’m only speculating here.)

-71% of homeschoolers continue to participate in their communities and are politically involved compared to 37% of adults who were public schooled.

There are a million good reasons to homeschool. But the biggest for us is, who do you want to be the most influential person in your child’s life? Lord of the Flies? Or YOU! The parent, who knows your child better than anyone else on the planet. Everything else, everything, is secondary.

Let me get you started on an intellectual journey. If you have ever considered it, or at least would like some information on homeschooling, here are some resources to get you started. It’s not easy, there are many hurdles and frustrations, but trust me, if you only read to your children, teach them basic math, writing, and reading skills, took them out into the real world, gave them interesting experiences and get them involved in their neighborhood, and loved them with all your heart, you’ll do better than your local public school at helping them be who they were meant to be. Themselves, accepted and loved, as they are. I find the following very inspirational.

You Can Teach Your Child Successfully  Ruth Beechik

The Three R’s Ruth Beechik

How to Get Your Child Off the Refrigerator and on to Learning Barnier

And the Skylark Sings with  Me  Albert (highly recommended for outside the box thinkers!)

For those who might wish to homeschool a teenager.

The Teenage Liberation Handbook  Llewellyn

Senior High Formula Shelton

These are only the tip of the iceberg. There are so many resources to help anyone through the process of homeschooling that I could publish a book just on the resources available. And there are many good ones out there already. A wonderful book on the perils of public education written by a public school teacher, is Dumbing Us Down: the Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, John Taylor Gatto. If you only read one book on why you should highly considered homeschooling, this is a scathing criticism of how our public education system is systematically and purposefully molding the minds of our young to fit into a totalitarian government controlled society. Wonderful stuff!

All this said, homeschooling is not for everyone. There are definitely people out there who should not attempt to educate their child. But there are so many people who are more than capable of doing so that are turning the raising and educating of their little ones over to people who do not have their child’s best interests at heart. Think about it for just a second and realize what you could do with your kid if you had them for eight hours a day with little distractions, few behavioral problems, and a wide open schedule to take lessons, go to museums, go to parks, play, and better than anything, develop and dive into whatever passion animates their heart. Imagine who they could become if no one was holding them down, forcing them to conform, punishing them for coloring outside the lines. That is true freedom.

 After a seemingly interminable flight from Arizona on Wednesday, we arrived around midnight and crashed in Manchester, NH.  After getting our car in the morning, we drove the 2.5 hours to get to the Roger’s Campground in Lancaster in the fabled North Country in New Hampshire. We arrived at the campground after checking in to our hotel.

Libertarian Woodstock lay before me.  They estimate that nearly 1000 folks attended the festival this year.

I got to meet old friends and made new friends.  Boston T. Party and I hung together most of the weekend.  We have been to several events together and use these interregnums to catch up on what has transpired since we last saw each other.  Boston has just published a 15 year revision to Hologram of Liberty (1997) and I urge everyone to get a copy if you are still drinking the Constitutional Kool-Aid or merely wanted to peruse the revised and updated book.

In the morning I had a long interview with Ernie Hancock and the usual crossing of rhetorical swords he so enjoys.  I then introduced Angela Keaton for her Talking to Normals about War speech.  She is such a stud and antiwar.com is the first page on the ‘net I visit every morning.

I chaired the Resistance and Rebellion panel on Friday afternoon with Adam Kokesh, F. Paul Wilson, Boston T. Party and Pete Kofod (an SF alumnus I dragooned onto the panel).  We had a terrific discussion of peaceful and violent means in historical revolution and what the future may hold.  Wilson wrote the seminal science fiction novel Enemy of the State about the non-violent destruction of an empire at the hands of the fictional LaNague Federation.

All videos for these events will be available soon on the internet.

I gave the keynote speech on secession in the evening and that went rather well with a lengthy question and answer session afterwards.

I have to mention that as a speaker, we were given the red carpet treatment to include a VIP tent with an unlimited open bar where I consumed vast quantities of alcohol throughout the weekend and feel this further clarified and distilled my thinking. The President of the NH Free State Project, Carla Gericke, treated us like royalty.

On Saturday, I chaired the Ethical Anarchy panel with Stefan Molyneux, Dan D’Amico and Ernie Hancock.  Stefan wooed the audience with his crystal clear thinking and sonorous voice (it is almost as if he is classically trained).  Dan is a tattooed and burly economics professor from Loyola that is a tenured individualist anarchist in a major university.  Send more!  Ernie was just as funny and bombastic as always.

More radio interviews in the evening and then we departed for Manchester on Sunday morning. I did make sure to tell the TSA drone not to touch my flashlight when I opted for the security grope.

In the main speaking tent throughout the events they had an ad hoc restaurant that actually had a paleo diet menu so I was able to gorge on all the right things even though we did make our way to a great steakhouse in Lancaster one evening. This is where I discovered that Boston is a dead ringer for Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers films as he entertained us with his eerily close analogs to Mike Myers’ dialogues.

Many folks camped and either simply slept there or had business activities or meetings at their respective campsites.  All manner of mind altering substances were available to anyone who wished to imbibe.

What struck me here was that there was a minarchist minority in a sea of anarchist and stateless adherents.  Carla says that when PorcFest first started the minarchist meme ruled but that is no longer the case.  I suspect that year by year more and more humans are going to understand that the next step in a proper philosophical evolution is self-ownership and the disposal of all manner of slavery.

It gives me hope as an abolitionist that so many are starting to see that being ruled by so few for so little in return for chains and fetters may not be the proposition they bargained for.

My friend Chris mentioned to me that all the campsites for PorcFest in June 2012 were booked as early as September 2011 so if you intend on attending in 2013, it may be prudent to book ahead of time.

Go.  You will be surrounded by like-minded folks for whom freedom is the answer.  They come in all shapes and sizes and flavors of lifestyle.  There was a fork in the road in the early sixties of the last century where the hippies could go left to collectivism or right to individualism.  That culture went left.  This culture is headed in the other direction.

If I am still in the US, I plan on attending next year.

I inaugurated the first of several conversations about secession several years ago.  The first essay is published below and the accompanying essays are linked below that.  Mordor on the Potomac can NEVER be reformed.  You can send good people but they will be sucked into a system of corruption and servitude that is unrivaled in the last thousand years in the magnitude of treasure and blood expended outside of large conflicts.  Buppert’s Corollary to Acton’s Axiom is that “Power attracts the corruptible and absolute power attracts even worse”.   Rare is the ruler in any annal of history whose psyche is not possessed of a severe psychopathy or sociopathy; they rule and seek to do so because they wish to control others ultimately through any means necessary.  Five millennia of chronicled history is unimpeachable – government, whether secular or religious, is the source of ALL slavery and the fount of most violence leading to the abattoirs like Nazi Germany or the USSR.  We are on the road ourselves.

The wars we now engage in AfPak, Yemen and Iraq are simply more expenditures of blood and treasure on top of the War on Drugs, Poverty, etc.  The Soviet Union was quite vicious but at least they were honest about their form of government.  We are bombarded by the government/media complex on the freedoms and liberties we enjoy.  What?  The attack on 9/11 and our war on Islam is not a response to their antipathy toward the aforementioned freedoms and liberties.  They have simply reacted to decades of war on the Middle East.  We were told they hate us for our freedoms but that charge is more fairly leveled at our own government.

The final deSovietization of these united States will only occur when the American fractures, dissolves, devolves and calves off into the inevitable regional enclaves which have been created already through spontaneous order.  Remember that all the analysts were caught flat-footed when the USSR collapsed in 1989.  It can happen here so you had better prepare for the worst because it is coming.  That is not one Black Swan approaching, it is a flock.

 

The America in the Inland West is significantly different in culture and temperament from the Soviet-lite states of the Northeast.  This country was born in a divorce from the United Kingdom and a secondary revolution in 1860-65 to right fissures that had long been festering and it is time for the country to file for divorce again – from Washington.

I spoke on this very topic at the Porcupine Festival for the Free State Project in Lancaster, New Hampshire on Friday, 22 June 2012 as Keynote Speaker.  See:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O28aiatbmuM BB

 

“Good Morning, Governor, how might we…”

“Mr. President, I realize you are a busy man so let’s get down to brass tacks…we are calling the ball and withdrawing our support of your Administration and the Federal government in DC. Effective immediately, we have coordinated to place all outgoing receipts to the IRS in a caged account here in Boise…”

“Governor, you can’t do that…”

“Please don’t interrupt while I am speaking as we are from this point onward peers in the family of nations. I hope you have reviewed the diplomatic instruments we sent by courier last night to Department of State which delineates the terms of our divorce.”

“I did receive those and you have no earthly idea the can of whoop-…”

“Please, sir, maintain the decorum of these proceedings so we can move forward to an amicable separation. I give you my personal assurance on the safety and well-being of all Federal personnel we have detained for immediate repatriation to the remainder of these United States. Any non-law enforcement Federal personnel who wish to remain behind will be permitted to do so.”

“I hope you have thought through the consequences of what you are embarking on.”

“Mr. President, we have had over two hundred years to give the rulers on the Potomac a chance but that time has expired. Effective immediately, all so-called Federal lands now belong to the nation of Idaho and we will dispose of these lands at our leisure. In the interest of burying the hatchet, we will not seek compensation for the seizure, abuse and tenure of Federal practices on the aforementioned land and call the balance even.”

“Those are my lands, Governor…”

“In actuality, they belong to neither of us, sir. On to other business, I have alerted my National Guard forces to establish checkpoints at all the main arterials in and out of Idaho. All National Guard forces deployed overseas will return home in the next 48 hours. I would also caution you on the use of military force to convince Idaho and its citizens to forcibly return to the yoke of the Union. Idaho has a well-deserved reputation as a rather well-equipped state in firearms possession and use. As Yamamoto said, you may find a rifle behind every blade of grass.”

“Are you threatening the president of the United States?”

“No, sir, I am simply making an observation about the hazards of one country invading another.”

“You are land-locked, Governor and wholly dependent on federal subsidy for a great deal of employment and infrastructure in Idaho.”

“No longer, the tremendous tax burden across the spectrum formally imposed in our nation as a subject State in your country is now effectively terminated and we are going to unleash the free market to address all of our former shortcomings as a result of the overarching government supremacism practiced here before. In telephone conversations with my neighboring governors, we are on the verge of Confederation negotiations that will pave the way for Idaho embassies in British Columbia, Montana, Utah and Wyoming. We do intend on opening a consular office in DC as soon as we can ensure the diplomatic baggage containing sufficient weapons assures our safety in the greater DC metropolitan area for our diplomatic personnel.”

“Governor, what Constitutional right do you have to secede from the US?”

“Mr. President, the behavior you have exhibited toward the Constitution has been at best characterized by active neglect and abhorrence for the restraint on governance in the Bill of Rights. I am rather surprised you would resort to assuming the document in any way has weight in Washington, DC. I would suggest my rights extend as far as our ability to throw off what has become a government of occupation instead of cooperation. We resign, sir and wish to go in peace.”

“I will use every measure in my arsenal to force you back into the fold.”

“Mr. President, thank you for the heads-up but we have taken certain precautions to ensure that any rash measures on your part have a disproportionate impact in the DC/Virginia corridor. Please don’t press us on the issue. I would like to offer one more rather moderate important proposal to our future business. These United States as administered by DC are now essentially bankrupt. War on the world, out of control spending and borrowing, debt and deficit, non-funded future liabilities in the tens of trillions and a banking infrastructure rotten at every level has pushed the US to an economic abyss from which it cannot shrink. We will provide you a demonstration project of tiny government, free banking and a formerly enslaved citizenry unleashed to realize their potential with no government interference. We simply wish to go our own way untethered from the Remora Nation DC came to symbolize.”

“Governor, this conversation is over.”

“Good day, Mr. President.”

August 9, 2008

Copyright © 2008 LewRockwell.com

More companion essays followed:

More companion essays followed:

Part II:   https://www.lewrockwell.com/buppert/buppert12.html

Secession Discussion:   https://www.lewrockwell.com/buppert/buppert13.html

Secession in ID, One Year Later:   https://www.lewrockwell.com/buppert/buppert20.html

Secession in ID, Five Years Later:   https://www.lewrockwell.com/buppert/buppert28.1.html

Secessionist Bookshelf:   https://www.lewrockwell.com/buppert/buppert21.html

Suggestions on How We Get There:  https://lewrockwell.com/buppert/buppert23.html

My archives at zerogov.com contain a variety of treatments on secession in addition to those mentioned above.  Enjoy.

 

 

ZeroGov: Limited Government, Unicorns and other Mythological Creatures is published and live this morning on Amazon.  It will be available only as an eBook and therein lies a revolution in writing.  No longer stymied and stove piped through the traditional publishing houses, books are taking a plunge into a new frontier that has been maturing since the beginning of the new century.  This is both good news and bad.

The good news is that authors will now take home much more than they would over the long term with traditional publishing royalties.  We will also see an exponential increase in the number of books available.  This speaks to the bad news.  There will be an ocean of bad writing, dross and poor thinking on display that has probably not occurred in the millenium that preceded us in the publishing world.

It also means that the number of “real” books will diminish as the electronic variant starts to gain supremacy.

Mind you, it pains me a bit to see the transition.  I have a library annex on my house filled from floor to ceiling with thousands of books.  I take great comfort to go in there and simply sit with them.  Or I may be writing a new blog posting and reach for a text for an arcane reference I cannot find on the web.  I love the oft-mentioned tactile feel of a real book; the scent of the pages can even bring back memories to the first time I read it.  I have a certain smug satisfaction that haunts the mind of every compulsive completist when I look at the mass treasure trove of Liberty Fund tomes on my shelves.  I sit at the desk in my library and can almost feel the authors’ conversations from their books and the sense that if I could only read just a few more before I perished.  But I digress.

This is my first book and even more so my first electronic book and it certainly posed challenges in its creation that I will talk about in a future blog post.

The eBook revolution will certainly provide an avenue for those who are philosophically opposed to freedom and liberty to launch fleets of books in the electronic ether that will make the case for government supremacism and the continuation of human slavery but the low cost of entry and relative ease will also allow new voices and thinkers to emerge.  There has always been an institutional resistance outside of the specialty publishing houses to run the presses for the likes of Rothbard and von Mises but no longer. There will certainly be more books available, that is the way the market behaves and rightly so.

I hope my small contribution is simply one of many in the new century vanguard of a literal tidal (title – too tempting) wave of books that will make the case for a new phase in humanity where the government loses its legitimacy and more people finally awaken from their statist fever dream. We can only hope.

Notes in the Margin:  I am currently working on my first novel, The Cancer Club, which will go to my editor, Jamie Chavez, in February 2013 and be published as an eBook after that is complete.

I will be at PorcFest this week in Lancaster, NH and will be a Keynote Speaker on Friday evening, 22 February 2012.  My topic will be:  FSP and Peaceful Secession: Divorcing the State One State at a Time

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

– Mark Twain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am standing by for hate mail.

Sacred cows make the best burgers.

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

 

 

 


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

–  George Bernard Shaw

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–  Calvin Coolidge

 

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

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

Dresden WWII

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afghanistan, now:

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

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

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

Philippines, then:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Gandhi

Firebombing of Tokyo WWII

Copyright © 2011 by zerogov.com


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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  – Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Resist.

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          – Henry David Thoreau

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

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

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

~ James Madison

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

~ Lysander Spooner

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is a simple comparison of the two organizing documents:

`

Articles of Confederation

Constitution

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

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

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

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

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

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

George Washington wrote to John Jay on 1 August 1786:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~ Lysander Spooner

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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