“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 me." - Leo Nikolayevich TolstoyThere 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.
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 SpoonerToday, 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: 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|
"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
“You might as well expect the rivers to run backward as that any man who was born free should be contented to be penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases.” - Chief Joseph Nez Perce (Nimiputimt)I despise the term Native American and think the use of Aboriginal American is more appropriate. Russell Means told the Federal government the Lakota Sioux were going to secede and we are still waiting. The American Indians are ideally positioned to break away from the US in the most expeditious means possible if they would simply do it. Since first contact in the early sixteenth century, the original inhabitants of the North American continent have been getting a raw deal. Treaty after treaty has been broken and the concomitant trail of tears has been a veritable river. Beset by government largesse that has largely subsidized sloth, alcoholism and slavish dependency on welfare transfers, they are the poster child for how a government can quite literally destroy a sliver of humanity through a dependency that poisons the soul and eradicates any notion of independence. The Lakota are five years running after petitioning the State Department for withdrawal. And so far nothing, so what is a Indian secessionist to do. Maybe they can become North America’s first “returnist” movement trying to advocate for complete divorce and reparations. Reparations is not necessarily the notion of salary and benefits for aggrieved parties as some black elements have advocated for because the term technically means a return or a “making whole” of the parties. In the case of American Indians, they have an originalist claim to large swaths of America while black slaves would legally be advocating for a return to their respective homelands in Africa. A return to that continent may make them less than whole depending on where they happen to land.
Publisher's Note: I met Anthony at Libertopia in October 2011 and was captivated by his speech on the police and the clear and present danger they pose to all humans on Earth and especially in the Untied States. He was kind enough to take the time for this interview. -BB
Why are the police such a threat?
All states are institutions of organized, legitimized violence, and the police are the enforcement arm of these institutions. So police are always and everywhere a threat. In our own time and country, the police have been more than the mundane threat inherent to the nature of government. They have become the occupying army Malcolm X identified, but much worse. The wars on drugs and terrorism have dramatically militarized our police forces. Most laws they enforce are morally bankrupt, most of their techniques are atrocious, and the personnel employed by these forces have tended to become increasingly aggressive and lacking in curiosity. The way they dress—as though about to stage a Third-World coup—should tell you all you need to know. The vast numbers of arrests, the allure of seizing goods through asset forfeiture, the steady erosion of the Bill of Rights, the proliferation of SWAT raids—100 a day in America—and the doctrine that police are virtually immune for their wrongful conduct have all conspired to create a most formidable police state in our land of the free.
How would you suggest the average person take precautions for a police encounter?I don't know what my advice is worth here. I am fairly cowardly around these agents of the state, as they are armed and dangerous and often unpredictable. I would just suggest being polite, not overly subservient but certainly not confrontation. Standing up for your rights, while always moral, is not always wise, if survival is a high priority. It also depends on the type of encounter. All are potentially dangerous, especially today, but you can still get a feel for the cops who are probably less likely to ruin your day or life.
Do you suppose that the institution of police in America has simply been ramping up in violence against the citizenry over time? What is causing the increased brutality that is becoming so commonplace?A large part of it is the drug war. The modern police were born largely in the progressive era and got much worse when they got vehicles, huge departments, fingerprinting databases, jails of significant size, and powerful weapons. But in the last few decades, the drug war has completely obliterated whatever protections of common denizens previously existed. The standards for search and seizure have been greatly compromised, which makes everything else worse, and the huge rise in federal subsidies for municipal police in the forms of military hardware has been particularly pernicious, especially in terms of the police's attitude. They have been taught to look at our cities and towns as war zones, and all of us as potential enemy combatants. Plenty of other laws, like those against "resisting arrest," certainly tip the balance further toward the police state. After the drug war desensitized the American people to invasive police searches, raids, and brutality, the war on terrorism and all that has transpired in the last decade have simply been a mop-up job. So long as we have a large government—with a strong regulatory apparatus and paternalistic criminal code—police state will be with us. The immigration laws and gun laws make the problem much worse. But at root is a cultural issue: Many American people are used to this, support it, or remember nothing else.
How severe do you suppose is the under-reporting of police brutality in America?I think it's a big problem. A YouTube is available showing how difficult it is to file a complaint with the police department. I think the vast majority of brutality against the youth, the poor, and minorities, is never officially reported. For years feminists have said sexual abuse is probably under-reported, and I would agree with their reasoning, but it would seem to apply even more so to police brutality, where the imbalance of power between cops and citizens is far greater than between men and women.
What is SNN?Southern Nationalist Network is a website and multi-media effort which promotes Southern identity and independence. We have made hundreds of videos (which have nearly a million views on YouTube) and a couple dozen podcast interviews (this is a project we started fairly recently). We’ve organized and recorded perhaps a dozen or so secession demonstrations and marches in South Carolina and Georgia. We have a community of several hundred people on Facebook that we started about a year ago. And we also sell stickers, wristbands and T-shirts which promote our message. Since this article is addressed to an audience of liberty-loving people, it should be stated that we use the term ‘nationalist’ to refer to our cultural and ethnic identity. The nationalism promoted on SNN is anti-authoritarian and de-centralist. Most of the people connected with the site have been greatly influenced by libertarian-thinking. Anti-statist intellectuals such as Dr Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Dr Ralph Raico, Dr Murray Rothbard and others have had a lot of influence in Southern circles in recent years. One contribution that we are proud of is our promotion of pro-liberty ideas and Austrian Economics within the Southern movement. This effort is made relatively easy for us as Southern nationalists given the theory and influence of Southern decentralists like Thomas Jefferson and proto-Austrian Southerners like John C Calhoun. This historic basis as well as the work of Dr Thomas DiLorenzo and others at the Mises Institute and the outreach of the late Dr Rothbard have forged a positive relationship between the pro-South and pro-liberty movements. I started a site similar to SNN when I was living in Europe. It began after I made the first pro-South video in my tiny apartment in Madrid. Soon I was making videos on a regular basis and felt like I needed a place where they could be grouped together. This led to the creation of a blog which quickly became a full-blown site. After several years of doing all I could from Europe, I moved back to my native South Carolina where it was much easier to cover events, interview activists and organize efforts. SNN was borne about a year and a half ago as a new and more ambitious version of the old site. Our goal is make the message of Southern nationalism as accessible as possible and present it using all the modern resources available. Thankfully, I’ve gotten a lot of support from people who have responded well to the site. We’ve had orders from all over the world, some generous donations and many people have helped out with articles, podcast interviews, editing the site or working on the technical side of things. Without everyone’s help the site wouldn’t be nearly as good as it is today.
Publisher's Note: My son, Keegan, is a bright and precocious youngster. He is the youngest in our brood at 14 and has some interesting pastimes when he isn’t homeschooling. Among these hobbies is preparedness. We often refer to him as Bert, the survivalist character in the Tremors films with a bunker and a basement full of stuff that Keegan would inventory on a regular basis for free just to be around such riches.Keegan is not only an extremely competent shooter but he loves to spend part of an evening going through his kit, improving things here, removing things there or reevaluating for new scenarios he has dreamed up. He is a connoisseur of the latest military gear and can identify country of origin and era for a wide variety of combat vests, rigs and backpacks he may see in a movie we are watching or correct folks at gun show who have incorrectly identified some of their wares for sale. His geardo instincts run deep just like his Dad. He penned this essay on why and how to stock the most banal and basic of preparedness kits, the three day BOB. This bag is absolutely critical to have for family members tailored to where you live. Ours tends to be tailored to the high desert environment we happen to live in. I hope this starts a lively discussion on the ZG Forum in the Survival Sub-Forum. I also wanted to thank my readers and supporters for the outpouring of help since I severely injured my back in January. I will get aboard the writing train again soon enough.-BB What will you do if the zombies attack? A Bug Out Bag (BOB) is a bag that can keep you alive for three days. The minimalist BOB must include food, water, a fire starting kit, and a knife. The standard BOB is a bit more sophisticated, with an added trauma kit, water purification tablets, and a fixed blade. To make life easier, the ultimate BOB has an added surgical kit, multi-tool, and more. The purpose of a BOB is to survive a massive disaster. There is a reason that BOBs have been around so long. If you don’t have a BOB, do you really want to be the whiny neighbor that asks for food or medical supplies? Let’s start out with a minimalist BOB. A minimalist bag is a compact bag that you can live off of for 72 hours. The light weight of this bag allows you to throw it in with the rest of any gear you might need. Designed to be light, the minimalist bag is made for small people, home, office or car. Here is a list of things that you need: Emergency food rations 6 water bottles about 40 oz. a day (most people will need more, but this will keep you alive) Space blanket Matches (water proof, wind proof)
The argument of the Collectivist seems to be premised on one basic point: an obligation. The excuses may be different for the obligation they claim I have, but this premise is shared by Collectivists of all stripes. The Minarchist and the the full-blown Statist may be vastly different in their theories and practices, but in principle, they are exactly the same. Their arguments reduce to this: I owe something to someone for some reason. The tactic of the Collectivist is to try and cloak their aggression in nobility and morality. They may claim I am obligated to pay for the "rule of law", or I need to help the less fortunate. I have no doubt that they may have honorable intentions, but are they good enough "reasons" for aggression? I'd like to take a deeper look at my so-called obligation. For thousands of years the single Tyrant stood alone and his will was commanded into law. Lysander Spooner had this to say about it in No Treason: "The single despot stands out in the face of all men, and says: I am the State: My will is law: I am your master: I take the responsibility of my acts: The only arbiter I acknowledge is the sword: If anyone denies my right, let him try conclusions with me." A look at the tyrannies of ages past proves Spooner to be correct; tyranny is born with the sword and it is kept with the sword, and with the every swipe of the sword your obligation is born. The aggression of the Tyrant is the midwife of your obligation.“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