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

Libertarian Woodstock lay before me.  They estimate that nearly 1000 folks attended the festival this year. I got to meet old friends and made new friends.  Boston T. Party and I hung together most of the weekend.  We have been to several events together and use these interregnums to catch up on what has transpired since we last saw each other.  Boston has just published a 15 year revision to Hologram of Liberty (1997) and I urge everyone to get a copy if you are still drinking the Constitutional Kool-Aid or merely wanted to peruse the revised and updated book. In the morning I had a long interview with Ernie Hancock and the usual crossing of rhetorical swords he so enjoys.  I then introduced Angela Keaton for her Talking to Normals about War speech.  She is such a stud and antiwar.com is the first page on the ‘net I visit every morning. I chaired the Resistance and Rebellion panel on Friday afternoon with Adam Kokesh, F. Paul Wilson, Boston T. Party and Pete Kofod (an SF alumnus I dragooned onto the panel).  We had a terrific discussion of peaceful and violent means in historical revolution and what the future may hold.  Wilson wrote the seminal science fiction novel Enemy of the State about the non-violent destruction of an empire at the hands of the fictional LaNague Federation. All videos for these events will be available soon on the internet.
I inaugurated the first of several conversations about secession several years ago.  The first essay is published below and the accompanying essays are linked below that.  Mordor on the Potomac can NEVER be reformed.  You can send good people but they will be sucked into a system of corruption and servitude that is unrivaled in the last thousand years in the magnitude of treasure and blood expended outside of large conflicts.  Buppert's Corollary to Acton's Axiom is that "Power attracts the corruptible and absolute power attracts even worse".   Rare is the ruler in any annal of history whose psyche is not possessed of a severe psychopathy or sociopathy; they rule and seek to do so because they wish to control others ultimately through any means necessary.  Five millennia of chronicled history is unimpeachable - government, whether secular or religious, is the source of ALL slavery and the fount of most violence leading to the abattoirs like Nazi Germany or the USSR.  We are on the road ourselves. The wars we now engage in AfPak, Yemen and Iraq are simply more expenditures of blood and treasure on top of the War on Drugs, Poverty, etc.  The Soviet Union was quite vicious but at least they were honest about their form of government.  We are bombarded by the government/media complex on the freedoms and liberties we enjoy.  What?  The attack on 9/11 and our war on Islam is not a response to their antipathy toward the aforementioned freedoms and liberties.  They have simply reacted to decades of war on the Middle East.  We were told they hate us for our freedoms but that charge is more fairly leveled at our own government. The final deSovietization of these united States will only occur when the American fractures, dissolves, devolves and calves off into the inevitable regional enclaves which have been created already through spontaneous order.  Remember that all the analysts were caught flat-footed when the USSR collapsed in 1989.  It can happen here so you had better prepare for the worst because it is coming.  That is not one Black Swan approaching, it is a flock. The America in the Inland West is significantly different in culture and temperament from the Soviet-lite states of the Northeast.  This country was born in a divorce from the United Kingdom and a secondary revolution in 1860-65 to right fissures that had long been festering and it is time for the country to file for divorce again – from Washington. I spoke on this very topic at the Porcupine Festival for the Free State Project in Lancaster, New Hampshire on Friday, 22 June 2012 as Keynote Speaker.  See:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O28aiatbmuM -BB   "Good Morning, Governor, how might we…" "Mr. President, I realize you are a busy man so let’s get down to brass tacks…we are calling the ball and withdrawing our support of your Administration and the Federal government in DC. Effective immediately, we have coordinated to place all outgoing receipts to the IRS in a caged account here in Boise…" "Governor, you can’t do that…" "Please don’t interrupt while I am speaking as we are from this point onward peers in the family of nations. I hope you have reviewed the diplomatic instruments we sent by courier last night to Department of State which delineates the terms of our divorce." "I did receive those and you have no earthly idea the can of whoop-…" "Please, sir, maintain the decorum of these proceedings so we can move forward to an amicable separation. I give you my personal assurance on the safety and well-being of all Federal personnel we have detained for immediate repatriation to the remainder of these United States. Any non-law enforcement Federal personnel who wish to remain behind will be permitted to do so." "I hope you have thought through the consequences of what you are embarking on." "Mr. President, we have had over two hundred years to give the rulers on the Potomac a chance but that time has expired. Effective immediately, all so-called Federal lands now belong to the nation of Idaho and we will dispose of these lands at our leisure. In the interest of burying the hatchet, we will not seek compensation for the seizure, abuse and tenure of Federal practices on the aforementioned land and call the balance even." "Those are my lands, Governor…"

  ZeroGov: Limited Government, Unicorns and other Mythological Creatures is published and live this morning on Amazon.  It will be available only as an eBook and therein lies a revolution in writing.  No longer stymied and stove piped through the traditional publishing houses, books are taking a plunge into a new frontier that has been maturing since the beginning of the new century.  This is both good news and bad. The good news is that authors will now take home much more than they would over the long term with traditional publishing royalties.  We will also see an exponential increase in the number of books available.  This speaks to the bad news.  There will be an ocean of bad writing, dross and poor thinking on display that has probably not occurred in the millenium that preceded us in the publishing world. It also means that the number of “real” books will diminish as the electronic variant starts to gain supremacy. Mind you, it pains me a bit to see the transition.  I have a library annex on my house filled from floor to ceiling with thousands of books.  I take great comfort to go in there and simply sit with them.  Or I may be writing a new blog posting and reach for a text for an arcane reference I cannot find on the web.  I love the oft-mentioned tactile feel of a real book; the scent of the pages can even bring back memories to the first time I read it.  I have a...

“Yes, you are right -- I am a moralist in disguise; it gets me into heaps of trouble when I go thrashing around in political questions.” - Mark Twain
I majored in Political Science as a youth when I attended college and was completely immune and unaware at the time of just what I was studying and undertaking as a collegial vocation.  I had not even the vaguest notion that when all the familiar layers are peeled back and the countless variations of sub-disciplines are explored, it all comes down to one central principle and no other no matter how hard you rationalize it:  all political systems rely on violence to work, nothing less and nothing more.  Worse yet, they rely on initiated violence and all its subtle and savage applications.  Once you discover that police are the center of gravity and schwerpunkt for the lion’s share of political heavy-lifting, you wonder why an academic shotgun wedding between “criminal justice” and political science has not appeared yet. No other academic discipline has done more to put the gun in the hands of government. And justify it. What inspired this was a conversation one of my readers had with me about his relative who is a Political Science professor at a university (we know they aren’t heteroversities because only one brand of government supremacism is permitted).  His professorial relation was having a tough time getting his mind wrapped around a stateless society and claimed something that stopped me in my tracks.  I am paraphrasing but the claim was that he simply was not interested in the moral and ethical implications of his work.  These notions are anachronistic, bourgeois or intolerable in polite discussion in the faculty lounge unless…it was used as a lever to increase the power of the state.  Then the graybeards in the lounge would nod approvingly as the latest idiotic gibbering from an Occupy Wall Street waif were commented upon or some worthy would talk about the virtue of the people in seeking to have the government step in and regulate the size of fruit or the pressure applied to a man’s groin to search him at an airport. Let’s face it, all universities are public schools in the sense that they are largely subsidized by the state in funding, research, subsidy of student loans and all the other regulatory baggage that makes these schools into the institutions of advanced shambling and idiocy they are today.  Plenty of other observers such as Sowell, O’Rourke and Bovard have penned wonderful bromides about the inadequacy, inefficiency and sheer lunacy of American academia today but few seem to have noticed that for the most part, the political science departments have one charter:  to rationalize violence against their fellow planet dwellers whether the domestic machinations of making governments bigger and better or the more exotic foreign policy shenanigans of making excuses for the global war against brown people and folks who don’t share the “democratic ideal” (Gods help us).

 

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

-  George Bernard Shaw

It’s funny how the official message of the land of the free and home of the brave is the bigger the government the better.  How many times do the bipedal human parakeets on television news squawk about the need for a more stable central government to make all the bugbears go away? How often does this meme haunt any conversation about bringing stability to the Middle East and especially in the countries that the American military is currently occupying and trashing?  Official Washington on both sides of the aisle are always cheerleading the latest government expansion and increase. They don’t know anything else.  Freedom of action without government permission simply does not compute for them.  The bubble of insulating propaganda and self-congratulation puts virtual cotton in their ears.  They are deaf to any concept of a non-police state social arrangement.  Scratch a Republican or Democrat or Green or even a beltway Libertarian and they are either tone-deaf to freedom and liberty at the atomistic level or terrified of the implications for their power. Afghanistan as a very anarchic country really short-circuits the Beltway meme that ALL humans wish to be corralled into tax jurisdictions and looked after by benevolent police states that will fine, kidnap, cage, maim or kill any cattle that don’t comply with the program.  We discovered the same thing in trying to tame Somalia militarily that it was simply impossible to conduct a capitol thrust with overwhelming military power and sue for peace and the Somalis simply are not interested in centralized authority.  The Afghan conflict is the same, unless the US slaughters every man, women and child within its borders and creates an American suburban dystopia with imported humans, no Afghan central government will control anything outside of Kabul.  Instead of wringing our hands over how to solve that problem, why don’t we simply look at what has created such a decentralized and distributed society.  Even when the Taliban were in power, there were sectors of the country no Afghan nationalist could safely go much like the Appalachian mountains or wilder grow areas in the inland mountain West in the US where even today Federal government officials fear to tread. Mountainous terrain and liberty seem to have a moderately causal relationship when we look at the Basques in Spain, Kurds, Chechens and other mountain communities that seem to be able to magically evade central control.
Publisher's Note:  I published this last November and it certainly rings true for the second holiday during the year when we celebrate the use of war and violence to advance the agenda of the American Federal government around the globe.  We are asked to bow our heads in honor of the dead and wounded who gave their service for freedom.  Call me a skeptic.  Individual citizens have never been in graver danger of being fined, kidnapped, caged, maimed and killed by their own government for the most banal of violations or infractions against the imperial power that has wrapped its tentacles around every living soul in the land of the free.  The export of extraterritorial violence does not make a country free, it puts every inhabitant in the hazard as the entire planet has factions enraged, women and children savaged and murdered and entire religious sects chosen for special military attention.   The celebration of Memorial Day should not be about the soldiery, it should be a mass wake and reflection on the untold millions of innocents detained, kidnapped, injured, napalmed, fire-bombed, incinerated, shot, mutilated, tortured and murdered by the barbaric and naked grasping of the American central government for ever-increasing power and control at home and abroad. -BB [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="264"] Dresden WWII[/caption] “Happy Veterans Day and thank you for your service” or “thanks for protecting our freedom.” What!  I hear this familiar refrain again and again every November.  I am appalled whenever this unthinking salutation is proffered. I am a retired career Army officer and like USMC General Smedley Butler before me, I find these sentiments to be hogwash. The only service rendered was to the American political power structure in the dishonorable hands of the Democrats or Republicans; the former, despite their protestations to peace, have gotten America involved in WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Starting with the shameful expropriation of the Mexican territory from 1846-48 to the War of Northern Aggression from 1860-65; the United States went into hyper-colonial overdrive in 1893 in the Hawaiian Islands and has not stopped since. The entire history of American arms on Earth has been a shameful and expansionist enterprise culminating in the first ever post-WWII (the Japanese attack on American territories in the Aleutians during the War to Save Josef Stalin and the minor coastal skirmishes in Oregon) attack on American state soil in 2001 .  I am frankly astonished at the length of time it took for a substantive attack of any kind to be initiated on American soil with the breadth, ferocity and long sordid history of American mischief and mayhem abroad. The sheer number of military expeditions the US has embarked on over time is breathtaking.  One worthy notes there have been 234 military expeditions from 1798-1993.  Another posits 159 instances of the use of United States armed forces abroad from October 1945 through December 2006. “This list does not include covert actions and numerous instances of US forces stationed abroad since World War II, in occupation forces, or for participation in mutual security organizations, base agreements, and routine military assistance or training operations.”

 
“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 Tolstoy
There is the only one true sign of freedom once all is said and done.  You can live in a geographical location or tax jurisdiction (fondly called countries) and you are subject to no law except what you agree to so long as you may opt-out as you wish; that simple, your compliance is not mandatory except where your behavior is initiated aggression through force or fraud. So where exactly is this country?  It does not exist outside the kingdom of conscience. Strip away all the notions of Constitutional protection, action in the courts to beat back bad laws and all the rest of the distractions and misdirection the government places in your cognitive path and you are left with one stark reality:  your refusal. Want to solve the Socialist Security benefit disaster looming on the horizon as a demographic non-funded tidal wave of fiscal despair?  The accompanying Medicare/Obamacare fiscal mayhem?  The insufficient funding at all levels to meet government employee retirement benefits in the coming years?  Recognize the basic human imperative to refuse to comply. I would gladly stop paying Socialist Security and forever opt out.  I would be happy to stop paying property taxes in exchange for zero government services I would use.  I don’t want to pay for government education camps and government libraries.  I don’t want fire services, I would gladly pay for a private subscription service for fire protection much as I pay for car and home insurance (although both would be much more affordable absent government mandates and meddling). This isn’t simply about money; it is about the freedom to choose.  This goes far beyond the book by Milton Friedman; he limited his choices within a government framework.  This extends to every aspect of our lives whether it is consumption of raw milk, undercooked hamburgers or the ingestion of non-government approved home-grown meat and vegetables.  Everything I have just mentioned comes with a penalty, ultimately, of death for the non-compliant in American society.  When the SWAT thugs raid the raw milk warehouse, your refusal to bow and scrape before the “thin black and blue line” may lead to your demise.  Ironically, their desire to get off the government teat, as it were, when it came to dairy consumption crossed the line when the regulatory functions were given the middle finger. I won’t belabor the point that cops are the number one danger to human freedom around the globe and I have covered that in detail before.  I use that to illustrate the point that American freedom is illusory and non-existent.  It is only tolerated as long as the cattle pay the rulers, comply with the Praetorians and don’t stray off the regulatory reservation…ever.
I wrote this earlier and wanted to republish since I will be debating the Articles versus the Constitution tomorrow in Yuma, Arizona at the 2012 Freedom Library Annual Awards Ceremony Debate.  The issue gets more critical year by year because  the Constitution may very well be one of the most clever anti-freedom documents crafted by man in the Western world.  As a result of a crafty and thorough propaganda campaign, a document that purports to support limited government and peaceful human activity has done exactly the opposite in such a gargantuan fashion that one is aghast so many people can still be deluded by the premise and continue to be bamboozled by its promise.  Not only has the document built the largest human cage outside of China and the extant USSR but it has made the inmates think that servitude is freedom and war is peace.  -BB
By rendering the labor of one, the property of the other, they cherish pride, luxury, and vanity on one side; on the other, vice and servility, or hatred and revolt. ~ James Madison "But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain — that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist." ~ Lysander Spooner  
Today, 17 September 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:  
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Articles of Confederation

Constitution

Levying taxes Congress could request states to pay taxes Congress has right to levy taxes on individuals
Federal courts No system of federal courts Court system created to deal with issues between citizens, states
Regulation of trade No provision to regulate interstate trade Congress has right to regulate trade between states
Executive No executive with power. President of U.S. merely presided over Congress Executive branch headed by President who chooses Cabinet and has checks on power of judiciary and legislature
Amending document 13/13 needed to amend Articles 2/3 of both houses of Congress plus 3/4 of state legislatures or national convention
Representation of states Each state received 1 vote regardless of size Upper house (Senate) with 2 votes; lower house (House of Representatives) based on population
Raising an army Congress could not draft troops, dependent on states to contribute forces Congress can raise an army to deal with military situations
Interstate commerce No control of trade between states Interstate commerce controlled by Congress
Disputes between states Complicated system of arbitration Federal court system to handle disputes
Sovereignty Sovereignty resides in states Constitution the supreme law of the land
Passing laws 9/13 needed to approve legislation 50%+1 of both houses plus signature of President
Note that the precept of individual taxation was an end-run against state sovereignty from the very beginning. If the Congress does not wish to violate state sovereignty, then they will simply prey on the individuals in the states. It should be obvious that the AoC was not a recipe for government employees from top to bottom to use the office to enrich themselves so a scheme was afoot to precipitate and manufacture dissent over the present configuration of the central government apparatus which for all intents and purposes barely existed. The AoC was intolerable to a narrow panoply of interests and the Federalist Papers appeared between October 1787 and August 1788 to plead the case for a newer form of "Republic" authored by three individuals: James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton. The British had sued for peace in 1783 and the AoC were still in effect until 1790. Time was ticking to erect the new government apparatus that would strengthen the central government to eventually mimic the very tyranny which caused British North America to put the English Crown in the hazard. The Anti-Federalists rose up in response and provided what I consider one of the most splendid and eloquent defenses of small government penned in our history. When the Constitutional Convention convened on 1787, 55 delegates came but 14 later quit as the Convention eventually abused its mandate and scrapped the AoC instead of revising it. The notes and proceedings of the cloistered meeting were to be secret as long as 53 years later when Madison's edited notes were published in 1840.
"The most common of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind." ~ H.L. Mencken
How does a person come to hold the belief of absolute nonviolence? What about this belief draws people to it? Is nonviolence the logical conclusion of non-aggression? These are the question that I have been asking myself as of late, because there is a growing number of people within the liberty movement who are latching onto the belief of absolute nonviolence. I'd like to explore this idea, and try to lay out an argument as to why I think it is not only wrong, but also dangerous to adopt this belief. One who believes in, and adheres to, the non-aggression principle makes a fundamental moral distinction between aggressive violence, and retaliatory violence. One who adheres to a principle of nonviolence does not make the same distinction. Or, perhaps they do, but they see retaliatory violence as violence nonetheless, and therefore wrong, or immoral, or "against God" or something else. It is important to note here that I will not be discussing  non-aggression and nonviolence from a pragmatic point of view, rather I will be discussing these things from a position of principle. The absolute pacifist paints themselves into a tough philosophical corner. In order to remain consistent they necessarily have to abandon other positions they hold in order to avoid contradictions. For instance, any concept of justice that involves any level of violence must be rejected by one who adopts this belief. It would be a contradiction to advocate for any form of justice that involves capturing and punishing a criminal; any concept of justice that condones the use of physical force to apprehend and contain a criminal must be abandoned. Likewise, any form of government that was not wholly voluntary would also have to be discarded. It may be the case that the entire concept of government will have to be abandoned if it's not absolutely nonviolent. The only form of government that would be possible if the nonviolent position is adopted is autarchy--absolute self government.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="236"] Wounded Knee 1973[/caption]
“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.