“One day you will take a fork in the road, and you’re going to have to make a decision about which direction you want to go. If you go one way, you can be somebody. You will have to make your compromises and … turn your back on your friends, but you will be a member of the club, and you will get promoted and get good assignments. Or you can go the other way, and you can do something, something for your country and for your Air Force and for yourself. … You may not get promoted, and you may not get good assignments, and you certainly will not be a favorite of your superiors, but you won’t have to compromise yourself. … In life there is often a roll call. That’s when you have to make a decision: to be or to do.”                                                                                                                 -COL John Boyd

John Boyd did the intellectual heavy lifting after WWII to offer a new strategic paradigm to orchestrate warfare and deeply analyze why the larger nation-states would have increasing challenges that neither technologies nor big budgets would solve.  This essay will configure a Boydian lens over the current American conflict in Afghanistan in general and examine the green-on-blue violence phenomenon in detail to illustrate how the insurgent forces have commandeered the operational level.  Green-on-blue violence is the instantiation of hostile action against allied forces by indigenous coalition forces.

John Boyd was a visionary and much maligned defense intellectual who pioneered a number of theories and grand strategic suggestions which were almost counterintuitive to the accepted precepts and nostrums of the classical and neo-classical military philosophers and thinkers who had influenced the post-WWII Western vision of how military organizations train and fight.  He was the polar opposite of celebrated but fatally flawed modern strategic thinkers like Herman Kahn and John Von Neumann.  He realized that the future fight and the evolution of warfare would still be ultimately reliant on people and not technology.

Boyd discovered and pioneered the modern Air Force combat fighter pilot methodology and contributed in deeper philosophical waters with an examination of how to build cost effective fighting organizations, prescient predictions of new (due to historical amnesia by the West) modes of conflict such as Fourth Generation Warfare and was one of the key innovators in designing the F-15 and F-16 fighter aircraft.  One of the peculiarities of Boyd the man was that he did not write books and most of his intellectual legacy has been written by others. What makes Boyd even more interesting, if not enigmatic, is he is rather hard to pin down for a legacy in the pantheon of modern strategic thought except through his followers and acolytes.

Boyd always emphasized dynamism in thinking and the willingness of large and small organizations to adapt to emerging changes and threats.  Purpose and not merely process were driving attitudes that imbued his work and thinking; a purpose to react in conflict in a fashion that would gain advantage by striking weakness or leveraging surprise.  Nothing Sun Tzu would find scintillating or irregular.

Boyd then extrapolates these seemingly ordinary nostrums into human decision cycles.  His prognostication on the Observe, Orient, Decide and Act (OODA) Loop provides an elegant explanation on the way humans do their everyday business and wage war.  His influence has spread far beyond the war-room to the corporate boardroom. As with all intellectual contests, he has his share of detractors who find him shallow, derivative or unoriginal.

Colin S. Gray describes as eight attributes of the American approach to strategy. [1]  While Gray hails from an ultra-Clausewitzian school of strategic thought and has on occasion taken a dim view of Boyd, they happen to agree on these approaches and why most are pathologically wrong-headed.

  • America tends to practice a severe indifference to history and consistently seeks to fight the last war won.  It will adopt new means of warfare such as “Shock and Awe” or effects based operations (EBO).  The quick collapse of the Iraqi armed forces in 2003 saved the American forces from experiencing the humiliating and instructive defeat of the Israeli Army when they employed EBO and airpower against Hezbollah and had both their army and national reputation severely mauled in the process.
  • The engineering style and the technical fix fascinates American policymakers but tends to create a temporary panacea instead of a long lasting legacy program or menu of policies that matures over time and, more important, adapts over time.
  • The American political culture has tremendous difficulty supporting Long Wars because of an institutional impatience due to the political cycle and low tolerance for casualty figures that start to balloon out of control.
  • An American blindness to cultural differences causes frequent mirror imaging in policy making that cause fits and starts in military campaigns, and increases the difficulty of information operations with the mass base during the prosecution of conflicts and occupations.
  • A continental weltanschauung hinging on the unique American maritime position often induces a strategic deficit disorder to consider the wide-ranging effects of executed policy options.
  • An indifference to strategy in the traditional sense has long been something of an American tradition.  Animated by American exceptionalism, the country has often thought it may be immune to historical trends and precepts of Western strategy if it simply tried hard enough.
  • The resort to force, belated but massive tends to be a response that the military practices on a consistent basis.
  •  An active evasion of politics seems to flesh out much of American military action abroad and the last few years in the wars fomented after 9/11/2001 have seen much foreign policy and its concomitant military action come to ruin through this action.

Boyd, was above all, a synthesist who drew from a long history of strategic thought and considered one of the pillars of advantage to be capability to compromise a threat decision cycle before it could even initiate action.

A Boydian assessment of the green-on-blue violence in Afghanistan would most likely appreciate the enemy decision to compromise the decision cycle of friendly forces and create an indefinite postponement of the critical notion of handing over power to the indigenous forces to create an exit strategy.  By foreclosing on an exit strategy, the threat realizes that the longer the occupation remains in place the more alienated and agitated the mass base will be for the occupier.

“In recent days, rogue Afghan security forces have killed six servicemen from the NATO-led military coalition, pushing the number of such fatalities past 50 in a single year for the first time. The death toll highlights one of the biggest challenges facing the coalition as it nears the end of its role in Afghanistan’s war.

These killings, known as “green-on-blue” or “insider attacks,” have increased substantially within the past two years, accounting for14% of coalition casualties in 2012. Though statistically small compared to the numbers of IED-related (roadside bomb) deaths, these attacks have a significant impact on the coalition’s mission in Afghanistan.

 The two provinces burdened with the bulk of green-on-blue attacks are Helmand and Kandahar. It is no coincidence that these areas are where the Taliban are strongest, and where the country’s highest levels of opium poppy cultivation help fund the insurgency.” [2]

Whether the violence is sponsored at a higher level by Taliban forces who are infiltrating these provocateurs into the ranks or, worse yet for Allied forces in the occupation, these are spontaneous incidents or lone wolf attacks, the results are the same: a permanent trust breach that will ripple through the entire force structure.  Despite nearly eleven years of occupation, the US forces barely own the road networks outside of Kabul much less the more remote regions next to Pakistan.  One finds this eerily reminiscent of the debacle the Soviets were enduring while they attempted to pacify the country.  It even harkens back to the difficulties the dozens of German Wehrmacht divisions attempting to pacify mountainous Yugoslavia in WWII.

“The perception of occupation rests on two main factors: (1) that Western forces are in Afghanistan to support a corrupt and illegitimate central government in Kabul, and (2) that Western forces are willing to impose harm on Afghan civilians to achieve their aims” [3]  The green-on-blue violence is a direct result of the this occupation as evidenced by the suicide bomber trends Pape describes in his book throughout the world.

Assuming the Taliban or a number of disparate rebel organizations opposed to the US occupation are behind this, it infers that these forces have hijacked and compromised the high-level decision cycle of the Allied forces at the operations level.  If so, what strategic advantage would this afford the anti-occupation elements in Afghanistan (and by extension, Pakistan)?  The operational level uses subsidiary tactics to fulfill a strategic vision.  In this case the end-state is to drive the occupation forces out of Afghanistan permanently.  Lind sums it up nicely:

“Having set a realistic strategic goal, we next must understand what strategy is. Col. John Boyd, America’s greatest military theorist, defined it as a game of connection and isolation. We want to break the Taliban’s vital connections while strengthening our own.

As is widely recognized, the key to both is Pakistan. That country is the Taliban’s enabler. Break that connection, and the Taliban would be greatly weakened. In turn, most observers know that we need to strengthen our own connection to Pakistan. In strategy, geography counts.” [3]

The operational construct of the resistance in Afghanistan is far more sound and prone to success whether unwittingly or by design by compromising the decision cycle of the US military forces in Afghanistan than anything the Allies can throw against it. Again, defense intellectuals and US policymakers tend to diminish the operational and tactical IQs of their opponents and the American track record of definitive victory since the end of WWII speaks volumes to the wisdom of this hubristic and ultimately wrong-headed view. Lind’s notion of connection and isolation is so basic it almost becomes a natural inference yet American forces consistently get these associations wrong and monkey-wrench their own perceptions of who is fighting whom on the ground.

In the end, the Americans will follow the Soviets and British into the same trap the Afghans have so ably set for every invader.

 Bibliography/ Sources

[1] Gray, Colin. Modern Strategy.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.

[2] Sajjan, Gohel. “Afghanistan: Green-on-blue attacks show there’s no easy way out.” CNN. https://www.cnn.com/2012/09/18/opinion/opinion-afghanistan-green-on-blue/index.html (accessed October 18, 2012).

[3] Pape, Robert, and James Feldman. Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2012.

[4] Lind, William. “How To Leave Afghanistan.” The American Conservative. https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-to-leave-afghanistan/ (accessed October 18, 2012).

Works Consulted

Bassford, Christopher. “Tip-Toe Through The Trinity or The Strange Persistence Of Trinitarian Warfare.” clausewitz.com. https://www.clausewitz.com/readings/Bassford/Trinity/Trinity8.htm (accessed March 20, 2012).

Bousquet, Antoine. The Scientific Way of Warfare: Order and Chaos on the Battlefields of Modernity. New York: Columbia University Press, 2010.

Ford, Daniel. A Vision So Noble: John Boyd, the OODA Loop, and America’s War on Terror . Charleston: CreateSpace, 2010.

Hammond, Grant. The Mind of War: John Boyd and American Security. Washington, DC: Smithsonian, 2004.

Lind, Michael. Maneuver Warfare Handbook (Westview Special Studies in Military Affairs). Boulder: Westview, 1985.

Luttwak, Edward. Coup d’État: A Practical Handbook. Boston: Harvard, 2002.

Luttwak, Edward. The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire: From the First Century A.D. to the Third. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 1979.

Osinga, Frans. Science, Strategy and War: The Strategic Theory of John Boyd (Strategy and History). Florence: Routledge, 2006.

Pape, Robert. Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2006.

Richards, Chester. A Swift, Elusive Sword: What if Sun Tzu and John Boyd Did a National Defense Review?. Washington, DC: Center for Defense Information, 2003.

Richards, Chester. Certain to Win: The Strategy of John Boyd, Applied to Business. Bloomington: Xlibris, 2004.

Safranski, Mark. The John Boyd Roundtable: Debating Science, Strategy, and War. New York: Nimble, 2008.

Van Creveld, Martin. Fighting Power: German and U.S. Army Performance, 1939-1945. Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2007.

  “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

A couple of years ago my Service Manager came to me with what he thought was a fantastic idea. He was planning to take all of the production hours from the shop, combine them, and then split the hours evenly among all of the mechanics in the shop.

My reaction? Instant face palm.

For those of you who don’t know, auto mechanics are generally paid on the “hours” they produce. We call it flat-rate. Here’s a brief explanation on how it works. Let’s say your vehicle needs a front brake job. You, the customer, paid $250 for the job, but the mechanic is paid 2.5 flat-rate hours. The mechanic is paid the same flat-rate 2.5 hours regardless of how long it takes them to do the job. If the mechanic can get the job done correctly in one hour, they still receive 2.5 hours of pay. This is still the case even if it takes them longer than 2.5 hours. You get the idea. The hours a specific job will pay will vary with the difficulty level. For mechanics, this is a blessing and a curse. For talented mechanics, it’s a great way to make a comfortable living, especially in high volume shops. This is the system that is most widely used by automotive shops, dealerships and independents.

From the brief description above, you can see that this system is set up to motivate and incentivize the individual mechanic to work smarter and faster. My goal every day as a mechanic is to “turn” 1.5 hours for every hour I’m actually at work. This would mean that I would be working on my next vehicle while still getting paid on the last vehicle. That’s really the goal of any flat-rate technician. The faster a mechanic is able to get the vehicles in and out, the more money they will make. This is beneficial for both parties in the employer and employee relationship. The employer doesn’t necessarily pay the mechanic on hours clocked, only hours turned. There’s been days where I’ve been at work for 10 hours, but I’ve only made 3 hours. When there isn’t vehicle on my lift, I’m not getting paid. The overhead  costs of employing a flat-rate mechanic tend to be relatively low. Also, the employer knows that a mechanic is less likely to slack off and just leave a car sitting in their bay all day long. The manager knows that the mechanic would be wasting their own time as well as the company’s time. This system is beneficial in many other ways, like the promotion of study and education in the field, but that’s not really the focus of this essay. To this point, I’ve just tried to establish a basic understanding of the mechanic’s pay scale. From here, we can move on and I will show you why I did the face palm in the meeting with my manager.

I voiced my dissent to his newly proposed plan, along with a couple of other team leaders, but to no avail. This was a man with an idea, reason be damned. Although, he did make a somewhat coherent case for his position, I will at least give him that. This was a time when the manufacturer I was working for was having a hell of a time building a decent vehicle. Engine, wiring, transmission, and braking system problems were rampant. This was also on top of very involved mass recalls that took hours per vehicle. The diagnostic work that some of these vehicles demanded was well above the skill level of many of the mechanics in the shop, but they were well equipped for routine maintenance. His plan was to put the team leaders and the senior techs in charge of all of the heavy diagnostic work, recalls, and other “shit work”, while the less experienced mechanics knocked out all of the maintenance and routine repair work, or what mechanics call “gravy”.

The experienced mechanics were not very happy about this plan. There is very little money to be made in warranty diagnostic and repair, and recalls. This means that their paychecks would immediately take a hit. My manager knew there would be an instant revolt against this seemingly unfair plan. This is where he confidently said his plan would work. By combining all of the turned production hours, the senior mechanics wouldn’t have to worry about doing the “shit work” all day, because they would still be getting paid on the “gravy” the younger mechanics were turning out. After his explanation, he had gotten quite a few guys to support his position, but I still knew it was doomed to failure; I suspected a rapid failure at that.

The plan was put into action, and the flaws in the system were seen almost instantly. Part of the reason my manager did this was because he thought it would “free up” more mechanics for light repair and maintenance work. It did leave more mechanics open for work, but the maintenance and repair jobs that used to be accomplished by the senior mechanics were taking the less experienced mechanics twice and three times as long. It seems the seniors weren’t only faster at heavy repair.  Flat-rate mechanics generally keep track of their turned  hours on a daily basis. It’s prudent to do this, because mistakes are made from time to time, and if you don’t watch out, you’ll lose out. As a team leader, I kept track of all of my team’s hours. I knew exactly how many hours the people on my team could turn. I knew the strengths and weaknesses of everyone on my team. I saw a drop in production hours in just about everyone on my team. Mechanics were now taking lunch when they never used to. More smoke breaks were being taken. People who I knew could produce good, fast work just weren’t doing it anymore. Aggregate monthly shop production hours began to drop.

The total number of hours can be divided up into groups, and more closely examined. General repair and maintenance may account for 70% of the hours, while warranty repair may account for the other 30%. We noticed a drop in both of these categories. On top of the younger mechanics generally being slower at their jobs, they also did not possess the experienced eye of the senior tech who could spot that torn bushing, or quickly find an A/C problem, or could recall the specific timing belt service intervals of the vehicles that came through the door, etc. It’s basically the difference of going over the vehicle with a rake and a fine-tooth comb, and since all of the repair and maintenance was going to the less experienced, lots of potential labor was being missed.

I also noticed that everyone began watching everybody else. Instead of the individual relying on themselves to work and make their own living, they were relying on others to make their paychecks. What this means is that there was a whole bunch of mechanics focused on the wrong thing. Instead of focusing on their work, they were focused on the guy next to them. Even though my manager combined the groups into one big hive(what he called a super-group), the team leaders retained their lead positions which meant they were still fielding complaints from the mechanics. Here was #1 complaint–“This is bullshit, I know he can work faster than that.” I heard that daily, and the thing about it is, the complaining party was usually right, and it could be proven. Occasionally, a fight would almost break out, because some techs were working harder and getting paid less, and some were working less and getting paid more. This is because some of the mechanics in the shop were never cut out for flat-rate work, and they were now dipping into the good mechanic’s pocketbook. They were enjoying the wealth redistribution.

And that was my primary objection the entire time.

I remember confronting one mechanic, because it was very obvious that his production hours had dramatically fallen off. He was a 15 year veteran at this stuff, and I knew he was a very capable technician. I asked him what was up, and he told me, “well, I’m doing all I can.” He was one of the techs who was working hard, but being paid less, and it was really wearing him out. His incentive to work and earn more had been sapped. It’s like someone took a bite of his carrot and then put it back in front of him; it’s not so appealing when someone else has been chomping on it. He could no longer directly see the fruits of his labor. His labor was taken from him, mixed with everyone else’s labor and then returned to him. Most of the time it was less–sometimes much less–than what he was used to.

This was the main reason for the drop in aggregate production hours. Mechanics were abusing the wealth redistribution plan. The mediocre producers were producing less, and the morale of the top producers took a complete nose-dive resulting in a drop in their production levels. The minor problems certainly played a role in the decrease of production, but this plan was doomed from its creation. The fundamental error in this theory is the same fundamental error found at the core of the collectivist philosophies that champion wealth redistribution. It’s the fundamental error of not treating a thing as it is; not treating a human as a human; not treating an individual as as individual. I thought this story was interesting, because it shows how wealth redistribution could not be harmonized within a group of sixteen men. It is a utopian fantasy to think it could ever be accomplished on a much larger scale. It is a micro scale experiment in socialism that ended in utter failure.

There is one difference in the story I have just told and the situation you now find yourself in. The mechanics in this story could have walked out at any time if they did not agree with the philosophy and policies.

You can’t.

To require conformity in the appreciation of sentiments
or the interpretation of language,
or uniformity of thought, feeling, or action,
is a fundamental error in human legislation —
a madness which would be only equaled by requiring all men
to possess the same countenance, the same voice or the same stature.”

-Josiah Warren

Basically, there are two factions that exist in the world, when it comes to metaphysics and epistemology. The basic premises they maintain are at odds and determine how they conduct their lives and the conclusions they come to when it involves moral and political issues. They see reality differently—one hundred eighty degrees of difference. This is an attempt to verbalize those reality differences. Reality will dictate the outcome of the battle and a battle it is—an ideological battle. The lists below represent a general list of what most of the groups believe. However, it stands to reason that one cannot predict the beliefs of any one individual of the group. I will call one group Non-Statists or Limited Statists and the other group Statists-Collectivists. It should be quite evident that these opposite ideas demonstrate why there can never be compromise between them.

In reality, the two groups should be divided between Anarchists and Statists but I have used a more general dividing line to give the Limited Statists the benefit of the doubt by categorizing them with the Non-Statists (Anarchists)


Non-Statists and Limited Statists

1. Contradictions do not exist in reality

2. Many things are absolute

3. Some things are impossible

4. Theft is the taking of property without the consent of the owner

5. All opinions are not equally valid

6. The law of supply and demand is an absolute, a Natural Law of Human Action

7. Wishing, hoping, praying and a positive attitude cannot accomplish most things

8. The knowledge of basic principles is paramount in order to solve problems on a consistent basis

9. One man’s need does not constitute a moral obligation upon the actions of another

10. One man’s need does not constitute a right to the property of another

11. Truth exists

12. The ends do not justify the means

13. Like all things, Man has a Nature, which must be considered when trying to manipulate him

14. Natural law cannot be violated without impunity

15. Evil does exist

16. Profit is good and necessary for a thriving nation

17. The needs of the individual must never be sacrificed to the needs of the many

18. There is nothing immoral about a person who has much abundance and wants more

19. Taxation is theft

20. Calling slavery by another name will not change the meaning— will not make it freedom

21. Calling theft by another name will not change the meaning—it is still theft

22. Reality is an absolute and cannot be molded according to anyone’s desires

23. According to the courts, the paying of income taxes is voluntary

25. Production is the engine that creates jobs and prosperity

26. Government handouts is not the way to end poverty

27. Heroes: Carnegie, Vanderbilt, Ford, Rockefeller, Gates, Jefferson, Paine, Washington, Hayek, Von Mises, Bastiat, Rothbard, Rand, Galambos, Snelson, Pugsley, Paterson, Reagan, Newton, Faraday, Bell, Tesla, Westinghouse, Whitney, Fulton

28. Freedom is a primary and necessary goal towards attaining a lasting, prosperous, secure civilization



  1. Contradictions do exist in reality
  2. Everything is relative
  3. Nothing is impossible
  4. Involuntary redistribution of another’s property is not theft
  5. All opinions are equally valid
  6. The law of supply and demand is an artificial construct
  7. Wishing, hoping, praying, and a positive attitude can accomplish most things
  8. The knowledge of basic principles is a waste of time and can be discarded with impunity
  9. One man’s need constitutes a moral obligation upon the actions of another
  10. One man’s need constitutes a right to the property of another
  11. There is no such thing as truth.
  12. The ends justify the means
  13. Man has no Nature. He can be manipulated without negative consequences
  14. Natural law can be violated without impunity
  15. One man’s evil is another man’s good
  16. Most profit is evil and must be regulated
  17. The needs of the individual must be sacrificed to the needs of the many
  18. Any person who has much abundance and desires more is greedy and/or evil
  19. Taxation is the coercive taking of property, but it is not theft. It is simply the necessary redistribution of wealth
  20. Calling slavery by another name will make it non-slavery
  21. Calling theft by another name will make it non-theft.
  22. Consistency does not matter
  23. Reality is not an absolute and can be molded according to one’s desires. One way of molding reality is by changing the names given to concepts
  24. According to the courts, the paying of taxes is voluntary but you must pay it
  25. Government is the engine that creates jobs and prosperity
  26. Government handouts is the way to end poverty
  27. Heroes: Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Black Panthers, New Black Panthers, Sinclair Lewis, Charles Dickens, George Bernard Shaw, Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Castro, Chavez, FDR, Pelosi, Obama, Schumer, Holder, Reid, FDR, Lyndon Johnson, Clinton
  28. Freedom is an arbitrary construct made up by those who have, and want to manipulate those who have not. It should be ignored. It is an unworthy goal.
  29. Equality is the primary goal of a civilization

The Republicans, conservatives and limited statists preach items 1-28 but betray those principles when it comes to practice. That makes them inconsistent hypocrites.

The Democrats, liberals and progressives preach items 29-57 (Communo-Fascist ideas) and actually live them through their legislative preferences. That makes them consistent enslavers.

Note: It is evident that there cannot be compromise between the two factions. Both sides believe that compromise would eventually spell the end of civilization. Since all opinions are NOT equally valid, you decide which side is correct.


Publisher’s Note:  September 17 is the day the serfs in the tax jurisdiction known as America celebrate Constitution Day.  We hear all the usual ill-informed and ahistorical notions celebrating what was in essence one of the most savvy and lucrative political coups in Western history. The Antifederalists were right, the Constitution was an elegant trap to shackle an entire nation to a system to empower the few over the many and the banksters over the entire system of commerce.  The respective states which had signed separate peace agreements with the United Kingdom in 1783 were merely political and inferior subsidiaries to the greater national power emerging in Mordor on the Potomac.  The Constitution created a Soviet style system well before the Bolsheviks were even contemplating such a scheme.  Whenever you hear some of your friends and neighbors extolling the virtues of the Constitution, read them Spooner’s quote and see how they address that particular conundrum.

I republish this annually to do my part to commemorate one of the greatest injuries to liberty you never knew.

You can also see my debate with Dr. Walker-Howe at Freedom Fest in the Media and Interviews portion of this blog. -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 2009, 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


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

See:  https://www.lewrockwell.com/buppert/buppert29.1.html


Along with conservatives, I too believe in small government as opposed to liberals, who believe in big government, or at least their behavior demonstrates a belief in big government.  Thomas Jefferson is famous for writing that “the government that rules best is the government that rules least.”

 The first settlers were specifically aware of the need for small government because their experience of being ruled by big government resulted in tyranny, slavery, poverty, and hardship.  They came to the New World to escape that tyranny.  The Founding Fathers were born 100 years later and were well educated in the history of global tyranny, from the ancient Egyptians through the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations to the monarchies of Europe until the day when they were put to the test of devising a social order that could create peace and harmony. From their study of history they understood the necessity of creating a government that was small.

However, a problem existed at the outset, which still exists today.  What is the dividing line between big government and small government?  What are the definitions of big and small government?  Can they be defined?  Since the only activity that a government can exhibit is the forcible taking or regulation of the property of its citizens for the alleged benefit of society, under what circumstances should government act so that its activity can be considered as small?  I challenge conservatives to answer this question with consistency.  Conservatives, who claim to be freedom lovers, must generically define freedom (and slavery) in a consistent and non-contradictory manner before they can embark upon any political action with freedom as their goal.  Perhaps freedom is not their goal.

It certainly appears to me that as a result of this coming November 2010 mid-term election and as a result of the next presidential election, conservatives will win, take hold of the reigns of government and once again be given the opportunity to “make things right.”

Let’s look at the facts.  During the early years of the existence of our Constitutional Republic we did have “small government,” which lasted for many years.  But now we have “big government.”  How did such a thing happen? Nobody went to sleep on any given Sunday under the rule of small government and awakened on Monday to find himself under the arm of big government.  It crept up on us.  The creeping restrictions on our freedoms was perpetrated by liberals and conservatives alike sometimes with the approval of their constituents and sometime without, each faction believing that they knew what was best for the individual citizen. Conservatives are not innocent of contributing to this predicament of creeping restrictions. Returning to Constitutional limits on government will not hack it. Setting aside all of the other flaws of the Constitution, the Commerce Clause alone, allowed for a multitude of regulatory laws to enslave Americans, so when some conservatives claim to be constitutional conservatives, they too contribute to the involuntary servitude.

When the conservatives grab hold of the reigns of our government this November, and in 2012, they must make sure that they don’t make the same mistakes of the past, or it will be business as usual with the resulting conservative-style slavery, rather than liberal-style.  They must create an atmosphere whereby the real creators of jobs, the private sector, is able to freely function.  To accomplish this, all of their efforts must focus on REPEALING laws and closing government agencies, not passing new laws and creating new government programs and agencies, not reforming laws in order to improve them. That is the only way to decrease spending, get the economy on the road to real prosperity, and get out of debt. They must understand that freedom does not mean that they can pass their own restrictive legislation for the “good” of society.  It is not “creeping socialism” that is upon us, as some believe.  All along it has been “creeping slavery” which must be recognized and eliminated.  It is not “conservative values” that we must rescue from the opposition, but “freedom values.”  They are not the same.  Freedom is an absence — an absence of coercion, an absence of involuntary servitude, an absence of others having control over our lives and property.  Resist the temptation to legislate morality and abolish all victimless crimes.

To quote R.C. Hoiles, the past owner of the Orange County Register, “any time a man has to pay for something he does not want because of the initiating of force by the government, he is, to that degree, a slave.”  He also said, “the man who sanctions (compulsory) public education has no basis for opposing compulsory health insurance.”  The principle is the same for both.

The previous quote, although a necessary thought in the conservative consciousness, is not sufficient.  The quote should have said, “the conservative who sanctions public education; the anti-trust laws; the Federal Reserve System; government ownership of anything including land, roads, utilities, means of transportation and waterways; government regulation of businesses and commerce; government subsidies; government welfare programs; or foreign aid; has no basis for opposing compulsory health insurance.”  The principle behind opposing compulsory health insurance is the exact same principle behind opposing all of the other government interferences enumerated above.

The restated quote above correctly identifies the contradictions held by most conservatives when they do sanction all or most of the above government programs or activities.  Conservatives must no longer rationalize why the government programs and activities they sanction or condone are good for the country, for in the long run those programs and activities are the seeds for the harvest of big government.  Al Capone did not wake up one day as a major criminal.  He managed to perpetrate small crimes with impunity, and then got away with moderate crimes until he became a major criminal. In the same manner, small government interference with the private sector leads to moderate interference until government becomes the major criminal, as it has been for decades under Republican and Democratic administrations and presently exists today.

If the conservatives grasp the reigns of power they must follow the advice given within these few paragraphs so that they can create a society that is bathed in the waters of freedom, resulting in a prosperous, secure and lasting society.  Failing to follow these guidelines will only lead to ruin.

Yes indeed, the seed of big government tyranny is small government tyranny.  So conservatives, especially Tea Party conservatives and Constitutionalists, beware.  Make it smaller than small.  Make it a minute government or better yet, make it a stateless society or else the errors of the past will be repeated. In the final analysis, the seed of big government is government.


“If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law”
― Henry David Thoreau

Imperial conditioning is the means by which a state through subtle and overt means make obedience to government a habit and sole course of action for citizens.  It may not necessarily be a conscious effort on the part of the state but merely the inevitable outcome of the initiation of aggression on a mass scale.  Absent violence, the state cannot exists.

One can read many of my previous essays on cops to see that they are the foundational element that makes governments work.  Absent the armed praetorians to conduct “law enforcement” (one of the more honest labeling enterprises of government), the state has no engine to uphold its legions of edicts and diktats over the unfortunate inhabitants in the tax jurisdictions.

I just went on a trip overseas.  As usual, every stage of travel within the American borders was awash in a sea of uniformed agents of the state directing one to do this or that on the condition that non-compliance would be most unpleasant.  At one point after my return to the vaunted home of the free, I went through the porno-scanner to save time for a connection we were close to missing to return to Arizona.  When directed to put my hands on my head so that they could get a better view I rendered the appropriate one-finger salute east and west to which one of the unemployable TSA drones said “that is unnecessary” to which I replied then that there is no more fitting tribute to an organization for whom the word unnecessary should be part of the slogan for the blue-shirted shamblers. Of course, this resulted in a punitive grope and rifling of my carry-on bag.  No surprise.  Discretion on their part to harass those who object is part of their charter.  One is supposed to grin and bear every infringement on liberty in the name of national (read government) security.  They are, in fact taken aback, nay offended, when one of the cattle resists or says no.  Much like the ritual at the Border Patrol checkpoint 40 miles north of the border south of Tucson in Arizona where all inquiries are answered with a firm no.

One reason these enforcement drones are so incensed when a mere mundane refuses the easy compliance they expect is that so many do comply with bad laws, it is rather unusual for one of the subjects to get uppity.  Sometimes it ends badly and lethally as Mr. Grigg has so expertly and poignantly pointed out to us.

The biggest head-scratcher of all is the notion that violence and theft will never be tolerated in the behavior of mundanes but absent both of these tools, the cops much less the state could not exist. The virtue of zero aggression and embracing the non-initiation of force is a principle embraced by most ethical individualist anarchists and abolitionists.

Most folks have become so inured to the state of nature that they live in that they accept that police practice of terrorism is simply the way of the world for them to retain their freedom and safety.  Quite simply, two pillars must be established to keep these systems afloat:  they must be able to instill fear through the threat of fining, kidnapping, caging, maiming and killing anyone who refuses to comply with the whims of the system.  The second, and arguably more important pillar, is to convince the populace that not only is this the way of the world and the only way but that we must eventually find a way to put a happy face on it.  So we see large public spectacles like the 2012 Grand Old Politburo Convention in Tampa, Florida where thousands of drones not only pay obeisance to the police state but insist on more of the same and the additional burden of paying for their enslavement out of their own earnings.

The state is very savvy when it comes to the manipulation of convenience in the service of slavery.  There are ways to poach people’s time in a fashion to influence their selection of state means versus private means.  It is much easier to go through the porno-scanner instead of submit to a grope and be threatened with missing one’s plane unless you and yours submit to sexual assault.  It is much easier to get the government library card and have your internet usage monitored and recorded than finding a wireless system available that has even a modicum of privacy.  It is much easier to go to the grocery to purchase FDA approved death food than sneaking around to procure raw milk or fresh vegetables without a government stamp of approval.  It is much easier to pay for your local property tax that funds the government schools that are quite literally churning out huge populations of unreflective and shambling drones whose sole notion of reality is largely electronic and virtual.  It is much easier to present your “government issued” ID than dare to defy the authorities by refusal.

Like critical thinking, protection of individual sovereignty is hard work.  Your refusal is the foundational stamp of individual liberty. It is the state’s primary job to ensure that you never practice or acknowledge that.  Think about it, if you can simply refuse to comply with anything you suppose violates your self-ownership, the government would not have a leg to stand on, therefore they move heaven and earth not only to guarantee your compliance but to condition a willingness on your part to not only embrace evil but endorse it in all its bejeweled and patriotic awful beauty.

While most self-professed anarcho-capitalists and individualist libertarians (the Objectivists are a noxious and curious hybrid of collectivist libertarians but then again, all minarchist libertarians are in that camp de facto and de jure) are aware of the nature of this deal with the devil, most subjects in the American tax jurisdiction are proud of their fetters and will quite literally put their neighbors in jail who scoff or refuse to comply and applaud the wheels and machinations of law and order.  They will even go so far as to approve of their maiming and death at the hands of the police because” they got what they deserved” for not being respectful or compliant with authority.

The recent abduction and detention of Brandon Raub in Virginia speaks to the next step in the Orwellian process of putting a happy face on official tyranny and violence.  Like so many things in the old Russian Soviet system, the Americans are trying to improve upon the tried and true totalitarian tools employed by that extinct regime.  Raub became ensnared in the American variation of psikhushkas, the Soviet inference that resistance to the state may have a psychiatric component.  This may be a ramping up to begin a new conditioning regime to introduce the notion that resistance to government oppression and tyranny may be signs of mental illness.  Raub may be part of a demonstration project to “shop” the idea that resistance to government is not only against the law but may betray a nascent psychological condition.Remember that this is the same government in the DHS that monitored the opposition to its snitch program it developed. In the end, the government goal is to pilot your Weltanschauung in the direction they approve of and no other.

The state needs a conditioning regime that is intergenerational and self-replicating which is why the government in the US desires such detailed control of the school system from pre-school through graduate studies in universities.  Why do you think the government schools have cops innocently named School Resource Officers?  The entertainment industry does the same thing.  Even when portraying “corrupt” cops, good cops save the day.  Huh?

So imperial conditioning makes the government work.  The only refusal they will countenance is the admission that your self-ownership is sacrosanct.  They refuse to believe it.

“I heartily accept the motto, “That government is best which governs least”; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe — “That government is best which governs not at all”; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient.”
― Henry David Thoreau

When using the Socratic jackhammer against statists, it’s usually not more than a couple blows of the anvil before we arrive at what the state actually is–a group of individuals exercising the use of force against other individuals. Ultimately, this is the core of the state’s power; the use of force to maintain its order. This is a trait shared by all governments, from republics and liberal democracies, to totalitarian dictatorships and oppressive oligarchies. At their cores, that is, at the foundations of these differing political systems, the use of force is the fundamental premise upon which their theories are built. Only the degree of aggression, intrusion, and violence is varied from the total state to the minimal state; they are identical twins spawned from the same egg. The nurture may differ, but he nature does not.

From the political scientist to the everyday statist, they share more than just the belief in the use of force; they believe in the use of “legitimate” force. And that is where the statist and the anarchist part ways; indeed that is where the true socialist, and the statist part ways. The definition of the state that is generally accepted among anarchists is that entity that claims for itself a monopoly on the use violence to maintain its order. There may be variations of this definition, but what these differing definitions refer to are the same–a monopoly on violence.

You’ll notice I did not include the use of the term “legitimate” in my definition of the state, because I believe that term is used by statists, in academia and beyond, in a completely arbitrary fashion.  When pressed on what one means when they use the term “legitimate” in their definition of the state, the conversation usually devolves into one big exercise of begging the question.  Here’s what I mean-

How did the state’s use of violence become legitimate?

Through legitimation.

What is legitimation?

It’s the process of making a thing legitimate.

The violence of the state had to go through the process of legitimation; was the process always legitimate?

Well, it is legitimate now.

You see, the Statist’s use of the term legitimate in their definition is question begging, because the premise relies on the conclusion to make itself true. Sloppy logic such as this also leaves the statist open to a very slippery slope. What about successful revolutions? Are they now the wielders of this legitimate use of force? What if a new regime is successful in overthrowing the current government? What about chattel slavery, wasn’t that also legitimate? This is when legitimation enters back into the conversation. One thing I’ve noticed when debating statists is the term legitimation is used synonymously with the term conquered, because as long as the people accept it, it’s legitimate. The state is, quite simply, a group of terrorists who’s actions are now seen as being legitimate, because the people have just accepted this violence as part of their lives. This is also what the statist sees as “consent”. Choosing not to fight a successful terrorist group should not be considered consent, in the same way as if a woman stops the struggle and finally gives into the rapist’s demands is also not consent.

A slippery slope, indeed.

The rationalizers of political violence would have us believe that this violence is as constant as gravity, or tectonic plate shift, or the laws of thermodynamics, or any other law that could be classified as a “natural law”. The state apologists try to convince the unwashed masses that the state’s power must be taken as a given, and that a value judgement must not be hung on the monopoly of violence. The individual is encouraged to go to the polls and vote for the politician who most accurately reflects their personal values, but they must not apply these same values to the system of violence itself. The developers of this new “science” would see it as irrational to apply ethics to the state’s violence, just as it would be irrational to apply ethics to gravity. They believe they have been so clever as to forever expel ethics from human action by calling their study a science. Well, I’ve got one question for you-

Is gravity legitimate?

In the statist’s own definition they include the use of the term legitimate. Why? If it is the case that the state’s monopoly on the use of violence is as constant as gravity, then why even employ use the term legitimate in the definition? Why not just call it like it is–a monopoly on the use of violence? I’ll tell you why. With all of their ivory tower educations, and elitist thinking, they have been unsuccessful in separating ethics from human interaction, even in the context of government. They must use arbitrary terms like “consent”, and “legitimate” to mask their aggression. They rely on the those they seek to control to be irrational and illogical. And make no mistake, it’s not about the helping the poor, or stopping wars around the world,  or the money–it’s about the subjugation of an entire population, and they use the political scientists to rationalize it for them; it’s about control. It’s a morbid dance–political science and the state–because one necessarily relies on the other.

In the context of human interaction, the ethical argument will always reign as king. They will try and convince you that they have risen above such silly things as ethical considerations, but the truth is they haven’t. This is evident in their own language, and their language is meant to confuse, not inform in the way that the hard sciences have been developed. They will try and pull the standards of the hard sciences into their pseudo-science, but it’s not going to fly with me. You’ve got to get up a little bit earlier in the morning to fool this blue-collared boy. They’ve tried to strip you of your rationality, don’t let them strip you of your humanity.

Class dismissed.


“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.”

– Edward Abbey

We just got finished watching the older movie, Red Dawn, the other day and it struck me how out of touch modern American teenagers are to the protagonists in the film.  I get it; the film is homage to hyperbolic patriotism in the fight against a foreign invasion as unlikely as the scenario could be even in the heyday of US-USSR global bipolar disorder.

With three dozen acknowledged insurgencies world-wide and realistically hundreds in reality, these partisan scenarios played out against internecine rivalries for power within or around various nation-states are ubiquitous and overwhelmingly a young man’s endeavor ranging from the prepubescent fighters in the Lords Resistance Army to the twenty- and thirty-somethings that made up the bulk of the fighters in Northern Ireland, Chechnya and Afghanistan among the innumerable ranks of trigger pullers battling for some cause world-wide.

But I have to wonder just how fit the modern American teenager is for this kind of fighting whether initiated by a foreign invasion or the far more likely notion of battling a brutal and repressive regime from DC visited against its own citizens resisting the increasingly totalitarian notions of Potomac America where freedom demands a license and laws are so legion that one can’t walk through a day without violating some obscure Federal statute.

America’s youth seem to be fatally tethered to a need for information which has become so addictive that it is hard to pry one’s children from the phones and computers that shadow, if not dominate, their every waking minute and hour.  One would think that a forward looking mind that has access to the greatest store of knowledge ever in human civilization would render a new golden age peopled by superior thinkers, new inventions and new areas of cognition that would propel us forward into a brightly lit future of unlimited potential.

Not so much.

If we were to harness the endless dithering about bowel movements or online gaming marathons and turn it into energy, we would have no need of any other terrestrial fuels to light up the planet.  I remember talking to one shambling shibboleth of sloth who told me in five years of gaming World of Warcraft, he logged an entire human year playing.  A year!  Good God.

This electronic renaissance has accomplished just the opposite, it has ushered in the most lethal and effective device yet known to man to harness every man to feudal state of being and every woman to the notion that her sin qua non is the  incessant broadcasting of her most banal daily activities and constant concern for the appearance of her photographic life on the wall of various virtual town halls where immediate satisfaction and the sharing of formerly idiotic behavior is the hallmark of a fulfilling life.

No state or government could have engineered such an ingenious device to enslave minds and distract humans from doing anything but…dithering.  Shut off the internet connection at any government facility with the armies of drones shuffling virtual paper from one inbox to another and the exodus from the physical facilities are amazing to behold.

Given the nature of this transformation from homo sapiens to homo insipid, we see an evolution toward sloth and servitude, not advancement of knowledge and the pursuit of ever more productive ways to serve our fellow man in the market.

These are not the qualities of fighters.  As much as the mall ninjas and violent gamers like to brag about skills, when the shots ring out and they are zombified in their haze of Condition White, they will be nothing more than targets playing the age-old game of whack-a-mole that has been littering battle zones with corpses for centuries.  As Heraclitus taught us two and a half millennia ago:

” Of every One-Hundred men, Ten shouldn’t even be there,
Eighty are nothing but targets,
Nine are real fighters…
We are lucky to have them…They make the battle,
Ah, but the One, One of them is a Warrior…
and He will bring the others back.” 

 There are southern and inland western youth in America who still hunt, shoot and otherwise pay homage to the martial arts (beyond the repetitious Asian arts that play at defense and fail in the end with the honorable exception of Krav Maga and Haganah).  The subculture of the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) practitioners and their fans encourage me but an increasing large slice of that following are falling into the silly hero-worship and geeky fandom of professional wrestling.  There certainly is a tactical sub-culture in the US but the majority are kit-geeks who collect more than perfect and are making a sizable profit in sales for the largest waist size in “operator” pants outside of Mexico [I know from personal experience the tactical obesity of Mexican constabulary and armed forces].

Look around, not only are Americans obese and out of shape; they take pride in their lack of self-sufficiency and American teenagers are rarely unconnected unless forced to do so.  Their primary predilection in their waking hours is the addictive updating of the banality of what passes for their existence.  They read but they don’t read books nor do they take the time to do what is the most basic first step in cognition and reflection, stand still, concentrate and think.  War-game solution sets, extrapolate outcomes and puzzle out second and third order effects.  It is not happening and it may form a fatal national amnesia that will make them putty in the hands of any political opportunist who can readily manipulate an unreflective people whose notion of virtue is learned not from Socrates and Seneca but Jersey Shore and JZ.

They cannot defend themselves much less fight for a virtuous course that will put their safety (or internet connection) in the hazard.  No invasion is necessary because the surrender has already occurred.

Teach your children well.



“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.”

Friedrich Nietzsche