“Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.”

-Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)


So it begins.  The government parasite classes subservient to the political looters in Madison, WI are up in arms because the governor is threatening to make them actually pay for their pensions and benefits.  What has the government workers in lather?  He is trying to take away their socialist collective bargaining rights and wait for it…asking them to pay for part of their pensions and 12.6% of their health care costs.  Egads, a stake in their benefits?  What the unions really need is a stake in their black heart so they can stop exsanguinating their families, friends and neighbors.

Secretary of Education from Idiocracy

California is already providing a warning to others but the economic illiterates that make up the hordes of cast members from the epic film Idiocracy known as government school teachers won’t pay attention.  They are much too busy working very few hours for too much money nine months a year turning the nation’s children into subservient nincompoops incapable of thinking or fending for themselves.

Wisconsin is the canary in the coal mine because this is simply another crack in the edifice.  The wall is going to come tumbling down and tens of thousands of government “workers” are going to get crushed by job loss and worse.

Let’s get this straight, Walker is not firing all of them, which he should do; after all, what better way to take care of budget issues than cashiering the whole lot of government school, police and fire dregs?  Then he could reduce the entire budget appropriately to zero and be done with it.  He can turn out the lights on the state criminal conspiracy called government and illuminate a shining example for the rest of the captive nations laboring under the rotting hand of the central government in DC.

So the wholesale elimination of government schooling will lead to tens of thousands of uneducated youngsters?  What do we have now under the government education system?  A nation of budding inventors and entrepreneurs?  No, these aspirations are universally condemned in government schools.  What you have are shambling mall lampreys tied umbilically to their various electronic devices all of their waking hours having the quality of life only the dead would envy.  The mind laundries the teachers victimize their caged youth in are rather elaborate Marxoid reeducation camps teaching the young acolytes to worship government supremacism, narc on their colleagues and parents and respond instantly and obediently to the droning bells that punctuate their vapid walks through the hallways to the next politically correct dullard whose claim to fame is a teaching degree which has the same utility as a getting a certification in paranormal studies or other such anti-intellectual witchcraft.  Teachers are just as culpable in creating the horrific system of killing self-learning at every turn and making critical thought a crime.  Yes, there is plenty of administrative bloat as evidenced by every function and level of government but the teachers are not innocent victims and cogs in a vicious machine; they are active agents who seek not to educate but to do what they are told in the least time possible.  Whether it is the constant and incessant bleating worship of government in history, the craven idolatry of political correctness or the mass drugging of boys institutionally in the system, teacher are the concentration camp guards and workers who move the system in the evil direction it has taken for over a hundred years.

Want to solve the problem?  Get the government out of education at ALL levels.  Scorched earth and no government teacher left with a government salary – anywhere.

After school, they will then hook up to some electronic drug in their conveyance to the next stop on their journey against reflection and contemplation.  If they are unlucky, the costumed thugs employed by the government may stop them for speeding or for driving while a skin color they should not be.  This could lead to fining, jailing, maiming or killing depending on the mood of the armed tax parasite.  A grief will reverberate throughout the entire family of the [most likely wrongly] accused as the captured subject is dragged through the horrors of a criminal injustice system whose sole function is to determine who gets added to the five million Americans in jail, on parole or on probation in the land of the free.

Just remember that in the fantastical system of government, taxes, debt and borrowing that the entire apparatus is built on one very simple principle:  armed robbery.  Now the government frowns on the privatization of such behavior but the entire rotten and ineffective edifice of the state is quite simply a “gun-run” culture.  Establish a monopoly of violence and maim or kill anyone who refuses to comply with the law of the land imposed by rulers whose psychopathy is unmatched even among the most barbarous serial killers.

So, in essence, unlike the protesters rocking the Arab world right now, all those protesters in the streets of Madison are no different than the ossified elderly Russians miffed at freedom and getting nostalgic for the “good old days” under Stalin and the Soviet Union.  The USSR was a failed but premiere example of a gun-run state but it ran aground on the shoals of its own epic monumental economic stupidity:  government knows best and the individual could not manage their own life…ever.  This is the twisted Marxian vision unacknowledged among the teachers protesting in Madison.   But then again, most teachers are so intellectually vapid and fettered to every political correctness in vogue that they think global warming is real and money comes from trees.

Ah, The Pubic School System...

I hope the teachers get their way and continue their free ride because it will eliminate their jobs that much quicker and possibly usher in a whole new era where being a  government school teacher is not a badge of honor but a mark of shame.  Fire them all…

“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.”

-Gerald Ford

Copyright © 2011 by zerogov.com

I am a self-confessed geardo, so when we got a chance to lay hands on the new (for us) Military Utility Tool (MUT) from Leatherman, we went to work.  Our Village Armorer penned an excellent review after conducting his evaluation.  We are always looking for tools that simply make life better whether for now or in preparation for the massive calamities that the state and government inevitably visit on their inhabitants.

We recently started transitioning from FAL main battle rifle (MBR) platforms to AR platforms in .223 and .308 for a variety of reasons discussed in an earlier Praxis or two.  The MUT was purpose built to serve the AR series of rifles, to include servicing Glocks, our Village standard for sidearms.  It also fits a number of other tasks one would expect from a multi-tool

Skip has done a wonderful appraisal of the tool:

I found the materials used to be above par in comparison to ordinary tools such as wrenches, pliers, and knives, indicating Leatherman researched their materials and even raised their standard as far as the MUT is concerned. The fact that certain parts are user-replaceable demonstrates it is a long-term tool with a lifetime of usage in mind. One of the areas I would suggest to Leatherman is that, like the available bit kit that comes complete with 20 separate bits has a plastic holder, the accessory replacement kit should come in a similar deployable package to make spare stowage simpler for the tactical operator.

He goes on:

Evaluation of the MOLLE sheath is an integral part of the tool for obvious retention and deployment reasons, so I have the most suggestions for both Leatherman and the tactical user in this area. If you added every available option to the Leatherman MUT, even excluding the replacement kit, you will not fit it all in the MOLLE pouch. It would be a waste for the pouch to be expanded to accommodate the options not needed when the immediate action required is the bolt over-ride tool function of the MUT itself. My suggestion is to Leatherman is to encase the replacement kit onto a similar board as the two-part bit kit and making an additional MOLLE pouch available for the three boards for the operator to stow on their three-day pack since these items are normally not needed in an immediate-action bolt over-ride drill. Another option is a tri-wrap pouch that flops down when unlimbered during daily maintenance and cleaning, but is otherwise secured as a support pouch on the three-day pack, similar to some blow-out kits being manufactured today. If Leatherman were really bold, they would get a consensus on the most common cleaning kit carried and incorporate that into their design. My cleaning kits are specific to each gun, so the one in my Bug Out Bag (BOB) has items needed to maintain and clean both my carbine and sidearm. I plan on using a lanyard to secure a spare front sight tool in the small front pouch at some point.

Here is the entire T&E by Skip complete with pretty pictures.

Is it the perfect deployment tool?  No, it certainly has its flaws but the combination of rugged construction, thoughtful design and tactical elegance puts it head and shoulders above what little competition there is for the tool in the marketplace.  I always have a severe problem with the use of Velcro as a fastening device on any tactical gear and this is no exception.

The EOD device option simply allows one to crimp det cord.

It is a bit spendy but you know what they say:  if you have a ten dollar head, you buy a ten dollar helmet. -BB

Notes in the Margin: Every now and again, I run across a blogger who nails it in summing up the absolute peril we are in and on top of that, writes with such flair and mastery of the language that I step back and stare in awe and adulation. Giordano Bruno does just that. –BB

To wit:

This may be a highly distasteful proposition, but just for a moment, I want you to sit back, and imagine that you are a member of the corporate banking elite. You are a walking talking disease ridden power mad pustule who naively believes himself intellectually superior to the vast majority of humanity and above the inherent laws of conscience, honor, and general good taste. You are a villain in the purest sense, in that you not only do great harm to the world, you actually SEEK to do great harm to the world, if only to benefit yourself and your exclusive circle of “friends”; a clan of degenerate blood thirsty sociopaths with delusions of omnipotence that stalk the night like Armani wearing Chupacabra exsanguinating the joy from poor unsuspecting cultures. You are capable of anything, and sadly, you take “pride” in this fact…

You aren’t “rich” in the traditional sense. You aren’t a “Bill Gates” or a “Donald Trump” (I’m beginning to wonder if Donald Trump is even solvent, or if his entire fortune is a special-effect courtesy of NBC). No, you don’t “make” money, you MAKE the money. You are a global financier. You are a central banker. You create the fiat that the rest of the country uses to sustain its fantasy economy. You dominate trade through monopoly and corporate fraud. You control the flow of currency through an economic system using fractional reserve banking, artificially pegged interest rates, and your ever trusty printing press. You put your substantial monetary clout behind BOTH major political parties, and groom presidential candidates to your globalist standards. Any politician who desires to climb the ladder of power turns to you for assistance, not the voting public. You have a tremendous financial stake in every corporate news provider in the country, if not own them outright. You invite their top reporters to posh banquets, give them unlimited access to prominent social figures and high rollers, and fly them to private alcohol addled orgies in the middle of the California Redwoods (I wish this was all made up). Forget responsible journalism, they love hanging out with you, and would probably write whatever you tell them to.

Read the rest: https://neithercorp.us/npress/2011/02/how-to-fake-an-economic-recovery/

Bill Buppert is confirmed for speaking at Libertopia in San Diego, Kalifornia OCT 21-23, 2011.  I would love to meet some of my readers there.  See:  https://www.libertopia.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=6&Itemid=54

Government employee dies at desk and is not discovered until a day later.  A tragedy rather illustrative of the efficacy of the state in accomplishing anything:  https://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktla-dead-at-desk,0,1383236.story

FURTHER UPDATE: Now Bahrain is experiencing a similar uprising. The same article states that Jordanian herders are blocking government roads, and that Saudi activists are seeking political recourse against the monarchy.

UPDATE: Iranian protesters, allegedly inspired by Egypt, have taken to the streets. When I wrote this article yesterday, I had no idea just how quickly the revolutionary fever was spreading. -KL

Revolution has come to North Africa. It’s been nearly bloodless, so far, and it seems to be spreading. Revolutionary thinking has taken root and spread like wildfire at least once in the past, and it’s not impossible to think it might do so in the future.

Egyptian Protestors

During the late 18th century, a dangerous new sort of thinking appeared, associated with the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution. Simply put, this thinking was grounded in the idea that a nation’s people ought to be sovereign, that kings and emperors should no longer decide unilaterally what was best for the citizenry. The spread of this new philosophy resulted in what are termed the Atlantic Revolutions, a series of loosely-connected revolutions which took place on continents bordering the Atlantic ocean: that is, Europe and the Americas.

The most successful of these revolutions were the American Revolution and the French Revolution. Due in part to a geographical separation of the American colonists from their British government, the American revolution left the monarchy intact. Despite years of hard fighting, in absolute terms, the American Revolution was relatively bloodless: most of the men who went to fight returned home, and atrocities were rare. In France, the aristocracy and the people were not so fortunate: the Jacobins imposed a purge known as the Reign of Terror,  the best-known symbol of which is the Guillotine. Revolutionary victories were also won in Haiti, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico, Greece and Belgium.

A map of the locations of the Atlantic Revolutions

A map showing countries which won their independence in the Atlantic Revolutions. Click the image for a larger version.

These revolutions were not merely knockoffs or copycats of the earlier successful revolutions: they were the result of the desire that the people of these nations had to be free of rule by hereditary monarchs. They were the culmination of a long incubation of the desire of the people of those nations to determine for themselves what was right, to have their voices heard as it respected their destinies. They were also caused by overreaching empires imposing similar hardships on their subjects, which made self-determination and reduced tax burdens much more attractive to the revolutionaries. Seeing the success of other nearby revolutions no doubt emboldened these new patriotic republicans, who frequently took inspiration from the victories their like-minded neighbors had won.

A lack of universal success did not derail this pandemic of popular governance, however. In Ireland and the Netherlands, the revolutionaries were not successful. And Tadeusz Kosciuszko, who was a hero in the American revolution and an honorary ‘Citizen’ of the new French republic, failed repeatedly in his efforts for Polish independence: first in defense of a newly-formed constitutional monarchy against foreign powers, then in an uprising against the Russian and Prussian empires,  and finally in an effort to convince Napoleon to bring his Polish Legions to restore their fatherland. Still, the revolutions continued.

We are amid another shift in our intellectual paradigm, one whose magnitude exceeds that of the Enlightenment. The Information Revolution that has accompanied the internet allows for the rapid dissemination of ideas and effective argumentation. Our keyboards are faster than the pens of old, and our electronic transmission of the words that we right far outstrips that which was possible when those words were tied to physical media. We are able to think, learn, and teach as often and as quickly as we wish. Correspondence which once took weeks or months can be accomplished in moments.

Our material wealth, too, has grown much faster than during the industrial revolution. Every one of us has access to an array of powerful vehicles which allow us to traverse the American continent in a matter of hours, with no more exhaustion than our great-grandparents would have felt after a journey of a hundred miles. We spend a tenth of our funds on food, where the generation following the Industrial Revolution spent a third of theirs. We are sheltered in luxury which the kings of yore would deem decadent, and even the poorest of us may be entertained by a magical box full of moving pictures at a moment’s whim.

The Jetsons

All that's missing is the flying cars!

And just as in the late 18th century, the imperial superpowers are buckling under their own weight. The Soviets fell, leaving Russia a pale shadow of the bogeyman who used to scare American children. The European Union is awash in unevenly-distributed debt, and its future as a single organization is uncertain. The US government’s wars bankrupt it abroad, while the several States bankrupt themselves through entitlements and pension payments at home.

We’re free to exchange information, much more than the scholars and intellectuals of the Enlightenment. We’re wealthier and more productive than any human population in ages past. Our governments are overextended and underfunded.

History does not repeat itself, but it is said to rhyme, and we are set to compose another stanza of the poem started over two hundred years ago. One might only hope that these revolutions bear more resemblance to the relatively benign American Revolution than the vengeful French Revolution or the tragedy in Poland. Based on recent events in South Sudan, Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen, optimism would seem to be warranted.

UPDATE: Mubarak has stepped down.

Bill wrote a previous piece on Egypt’s present condition, and what it might indicate for our future on the American continent

Mubarak, announcing his refusal to step down

Earlier today the US-supported Egyptian head of state, President Hosni Mubarak, announced his refusal to resign from that office. His refusal came as a surprise to many, given the overwhelming domestic opposition to his rule. The riots in Egypt continue, and the Egyptian military seems loath to quell the insurrection.

Mubarak’s fortune is secure; he could abdicate to Tel Aviv, leave the rule of the country to another puppet leader, and live the rest of his life in luxury. Instead he insists that he will continue to hold his post until Egypt’s September elections. He won the 2005 election with 88 percent of the vote. Perhaps popular opinion has swung against him during his term, or perhaps these elections do not represent the will of the people. In any case, Mubarak does not presently hold the people’s favor.

Governments cannot govern without the consent of the populace. A government without mandate is a misnamed occupying force, forever at war with the citizens it ostensibly serves. What could Mubarak’s goals for remaining in power possibly be? Why has the US government continued to support his rule for so long?

Mubarak must and will be deposed by his own people. If he abdicates peacefully, more of those people will live. Does he care? What are the differences between Mubarak’s government and ours?

And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.

-Thomas Jefferson

“The principle that the majority have a right to rule the minority, practically resolves all government into a mere contest between two bodies of men, as to which of them shall be masters, and which of them slaves; a contest, that — however bloody — can, in the nature of things, never be finally closed, so long as man refuses to be a slave.”

-Lysander Spooner


Publisher’s Note: I have some very bright readers and some of the responses I get are incisive and pack a powerful intellectual punch.  I had the pleasure of meeting Roy at the Freedom Summit in Arizona in December 2010.  We have since corresponded and found a mutual interest in privatizing the planet.  One of my friends penned a recent essay on the Constitution that drew ire from the usual suspects but also the reflection by Roy.

The Constitution is Evil Incarnate But What Can We Do? by Lee

It is instructive to see that we are pressing the edge of the envelope in acceptable speech on governance and, most important, starting to see the cracks appear in the once almost impenetrable facade of Constitution worship that has permeated the dialog Left to Right in these united States.

These are paradigm shifts and you, dear reader, are at the cutting edge of the greatest revolution in human affairs…ever.  The complete rejection of the state and all of its authority;  not in the fantastical fashion of Marxian historical illiteracy or the libertarian pipe-dream of limited government but the wholesale rejection of the very idea that your life can be ultimately taken or forfeit for failure to obey watchers who are caging and restricting you for your own good.  Freedom has consequences and the state despises ALL of them.

Roy Fox continues:

I find it somewhat humorous and ironic to find comment[ators] on a website entitled Zero Gov defending the concept of government at all, even the false advertised version embodied in the US Constitution. But it’s good to hear those comments, because the last thing voluntaryists should be doing is wasting their time preaching to the choir. Besides, just about every one of us zero gov “extremists” have been there at one point in our lives. But we hope that everyone who believes in libertarian principles will continue to follow them to their natural conclusion, which is anarchy. What it all boils down to is–are your principles strongly enough grounded to allow you to take a leap of faith in your fellow humans? After all, for you to enjoy freedom, you must allow everyone else to enjoy freedom.

With all due respect to the defenders of that “sacred writ”, George Bush was correct when he (allegedly) said that it was nothing more than a G-D piece of paper. There is no such thing as “We the People”. That is a fiction, a mental construct. There are only individuals. There is no “social contract”, since legal contracts are mutually agreed to between two or more people, with due consideration and a full and complete understanding of what goods or services are being exchanged. One cannot bind others to a contract without their consent. And one cannot bind future generations to a contract without their consent. The idea of “collectively” spending money and leaving a debt burden on children and future unborn generations is one of the most immoral concepts ever conceived by the human mind.

Really, there is no “government”, that is only a fiction as well. There are only individual people who make decisions or take actions based on false beliefs that a piece of paper:

  • gives them authority to initiate the use force on their fellow human beings and call it “law enforcement” instead of assault
  • allows them to take the property of others and call it “taxation” instead of robbery.
  • allows them to kill people in faraway lands and call it “war” or “police action” instead of murder
  • empowers them to put people in cages for violating arbitrary rules with no identifiable victim and call it “justice” instead of kidnapping and slavery
  • authorizes them to interfere with free and peaceful trade between individuals and call it regulations”, “treaties”, “legal tender laws” or a hundred other euphemisms
  • grants them the moral authority to teach these lies and other falsehoods to your children and call it “education”

Since each of us has grown up in a world where “government” is assumed to be a universal truth, it is difficult for us to see what life would be like in its absence. Now if one researches, there are many brilliant authors and lecturers who have proposed free market solutions to roads, education, charity, justice, environmental protection and even military defense. But how things would sort out in a world without belief in government is irrelevant. Those of us who believe that civilized life can exist on a voluntary basis are under no obligation to prove how society will operate in an environment of complete liberty. It’s not even possible. Only a truly free market can determine that, and we have never experienced a truly free market in our lifetime. If enough people come to understand the most basic principle that the initiation of force against their fellow human beings is always morally wrong, then we’ll evolve into a healthy civilization grounded on true freedom. If we continue down the path of accepting that “government” is a “necessary evil”, then we will continue down the de-evolutionary path toward a totalitarian police state that we are currently on. When one begins to see the horrific consequences of this false belief in the Constitution, is it really hyperbole to call it “evil incarnate”?

Be prepared, abolition will never get you invited to the most popular parties…

“No attempt or pretence [sic], that was ever carried into practical operation amongst civilized men — unless possibly the pretence of a “Divine Right,” on the part of some, to govern and enslave others — embodied so much of shameless absurdity, falsehood, impudence, robbery, usurpation, tyranny, and villainy of every kind, as the attempt or pretence of establishing a government by consent, and getting the actual consent of only so many as may be necessary to keep the rest in subjection by force. Such a government is a mere conspiracy of the strong against the weak. It no more rests on consent than does the worst government on earth.”

-Lysander Spooner

Copyright © 2011 by zerogov.com

Publisher’s Note: I started this blog under another name, Hezekiah Wyman, almost eighteen months ago on 2 July 2009 two days before the 147th anniversary of the dual Confederate defeat at Gettysburg and Vicksburg in 1863 which doomed the Confederacy and smothered the Second American Revolution in its cradle ushering in the horrific Lincolnian era that sealed the fate of any freedom and liberty in America forever.  The first post was my former (and next to last) LewRockwell essay –“The Enthusiastic Warbride” – which I am posting again today to commemorate the birth of this journal of screeds and jeremiads.

Why would a libertarian write about war?  In 2003, I predicted the inevitable civil war and strife resulting from our destruction in Iraq and Afghanistan and am sad to say I was prescient.  I can write on war as a retired soldier with the perspective of someone who has seen the death and destruction of combat up close and personal.  It haunts you and never leaves you.  It marks you for life.

This is Post Number 200 and I wanted to offer a heart-felt thanks to all my supporters and detractors.  The latter simply stiffen my spine while the former make my heart sing.

I wanted to thank all the close friends and associates who have made this blog better over time, more thoughtful and always encouraged me to write even when I found it difficult to do so.  In the end, a blog can be a vanity project and nothing more.  I am seeking to make this better and more insightful than that.  I want to encourage dissent and even disagreement with me because cross-examination is the engine of truth.

My position on the Constitution, for instance, has found me written out of some “respectable libertarian circles” but I remain steadfast in my belief that the Constitution is not the answer and only a big part of the problem.

2011 is going to see a number of changes and improvements to include a producer who will be helping me make a fortnightly podcast that will be posted to the site.  I am seeking out new writers whose philosophy of ultimate freedom matches mine but providing their own unique perspectives.  I don’t want this to be an echo chamber but make no mistake; ours is the mission to abolish ALL slavery to include tax and regulatory and ultimately, to open people’s eyes to the monstrous fraud that is government.  I want to see Americans rise from the ashes of the inevitable government collapse looming on the horizon taking an oath to NEVER allow it to happen again on their watch.

How can anyone look into their child’s eyes and not make that oath?  You owe them that much. -BB


“War is the health of the State. It automatically sets in motion throughout society those irresistible forces for uniformity, for passionate cooperation with the Government in coercing into obedience the minority groups and individuals which lack the larger herd sense. The machinery of government sets and enforces the drastic penalties; the minorities are either intimidated into silence, or brought slowly around by a subtle process of persuasion which may seem to them really to be converting them.”

-Randolph Bourne

War is the health of the state.  Randolph Bourne arrived at this conclusion near the beginning of the 20th century.  Smedley Butler later wrote in War is a Racket about the baleful special interest vectors that drive us to war.  We hear again and again that we owe our freedoms to the conduct of overseas adventures in other countries whether the wresting of Spanish colonies into our possession or the invasion of Europe during the War to Save Joseph Stalin (1939-45) to the modern era of American armed dominion over the planet.  I would suggest these are poor assumptions.  The next time someone makes one of these specious claims, simply ask them how the defeat of one totalitarian regime while aiding and abetting another noxious regime made America free?  Is the Cold War representative of the halcyon days of American individualism?

Most libertarians agree that the American government is colossal, oppressive and a slayer of freedom and liberty.  There are certainly domestic influences and causes for the enormous growth in the statist tilt of American governance and concentration of power.  The metamorphosis of an agrarian republic birthed in the violent dismissal of British rule to the Sovietized monstrosity we labor under today is the result of both domestic dynamics and the creation of the national security/garrison state to project power and influence overseas.  I would submit that war is the unacknowledged silent partner of the leviathan state.

How does a militarized foreign policy create a less free nation at home?  Let’s begin with a conflict most Americans can name but few can even place a date to:  World War One.  I would recommend Niall Ferguson’s book Pity of War as a signal starting point to rip asunder the veil of historical illiteracy and propaganda that has surrounded that sordid conflict.  Woodrow Wilson, one of the worst and most evil Presidents to grace that august den of thieves in the White House, promised in 1916 to never enter the European conflict and promptly started the machinations to steer us into the conflagration and militarize American society.  The more you learn about Wilson, the more you see he is the point of origin for so much of our national grief.  I have previously mentioned the American Protective League and its un-American activities in stifling, fining and jailing dissidents against Wilson’s war. Wilson also inaugurated the Committee on Public Information which even gave instructions for cartoonists and signed into law the Espionage and Sedition Acts.

Among the many notorious achievements Wilson managed was the Americanization of a fairly decentralized and devolved society.  This was the perennial missing link in formalizing the ultimate project of the Hamiltonian ambition:  the establishment of a permanent central government for whom the individual states were mere agents and bureaucratic subsidiaries.

State and regional pride in the absence of a national highway system and a fairly localized culture dominated the discourse of the then loosely knit united States.  It still took nearly a week or more to travel from coast to coast.  The government in DC did not have the consensus or the reach to influence the minor and major muscle movements that each state and its subset elements exercised and therefore the flavors and nuances of the regions retained localized habits and customs.  WWI ended that with the unifying message of an America in peril from the German threat to European stability and the need to make the world more like America.  In the process, these united States made the same critical error the Confederacy made in the War of Northern Aggression; by centralizing the war effort, any state sovereignty soon was lost to the overweening tendency to dictate top-down command economy nostrums and the resulting loss of subsidiary integrity at the lower echelonments.  For the first time in American history, state-originated troops deployed overseas en masse as American-flagged forces in a unified organization representing the “forces of democracy”.

A victory unprecedented for the statists who now had not only the domestic Progressive bandwagon (thanks in no small part to conservative folk-hero, Teddy Roosevelt) to provide the impetus to expand the role of central government in these united States but the creation of an external threat to forever change the face of the political calculus in the country.  The bond to the individual states had finally been effectively broken and suborned to a national identity established to homogenize and formalize the loyalties of the citizens to their political betters in DC.  1917 marked the birth of the national security/garrison state and the inauguration of the two-pronged domestic and foreign policy nexus to expand the size and reach of central government.

In addition, the central state also managed to soften the other primary target of their will to power:  the family.  Statists have worried through the ages that the bastion of the family was a fortress they could not breech.  Once the state could find a way to penetrate the family unit and influence the outcomes of behavior at an earlier age and replace the parents with the state, ultimate power would be fulfilled.  With tens of thousands of husbands and fathers deployed overseas, unprecedented numbers of women entered the workplace and the state’s tax base found another form of revenue. To wit:

The entry of the United States into World War I greatly increased the need for revenue and Congress responded by passing the 1916 Revenue Act. The 1916 Act raised the lowest tax rate from 1 percent to 2 percent and raised the top rate to 15 percent on taxpayers with incomes in excess of $1.5 million. The 1916 Act also imposed taxes on estates and excess business profits.

Driven by the war and largely funded by the new income tax, by 1917 the Federal budget was almost equal to the total budget for all the years between 1791 and 1916. Needing still more tax revenue, the War Revenue Act of 1917 lowered exemptions and greatly increased tax rates. In 1916, a taxpayer needed $1.5 million in taxable income to face a 15 percent rate. By 1917 a taxpayer with only $40,000 faced a 16 percent rate and the individual with $1.5 million faced a tax rate of 67 percent.

Another revenue act was passed in 1918, which hiked tax rates once again, this time raising the bottom rate to 6 percent and the top rate to 77 percent. These changes increased revenue from $761 million in 1916 to $3.6 billion in 1918, which represented about 25 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Even in 1918, however, only 5 percent of the population paid income taxes and yet the income tax funded one-third of the cost of the war.

The income tax funded part of the conflict despite its relative infancy.  Note the velocity of tax increases in a short span of time and the end of the conflict did not lower the marginal rates significantly.  The fetters to government interference in all aspects of American life were now released and the unlimited state began.  On that day in 1917 when America entered the global conflict, Alexander Hamilton wryly smiled from his august office space in Hell, his dream at last consummated.

The Constitution had culminated in the logical extension of its organizing principle as an enabling mechanism for central government supremacy.  The Constitution is a brilliant document for liberty but the Federalists ensured that a doomsday mechanism was built into the document by empowering the government through an alleged impartial judiciary to have a self-selected stamp of approval on the march for bigger government.  Keep in mind that the Bill of Rights was a reluctant addition to the original Constitution at the urging and agitation of the Anti-Federalists and has acted as a minor roadblock to statist ambition, at best. The American Imperial Age had just slipped into high gear.

The United Kingdom in the 20th century is an historical demonstration project that whatever empire practices abroad, it all comes home to roost and individual liberties are extinguished to satisfy the collective needs of the state.  The lethal cocktail of Fabian socialism and imperial military foreign policy culminated in what is now the late and great corpse of England, both the birthplace and gravesite of the modern Western notion of individual liberty.  Ironically, America up until 1939, retained War Plan Red against the United Kingdom as an active strategic initiative against our alleged ally.

Despite the apparent historic isolationism of the American government during what is referred to as the Interwar Years (1919-1941), the American armed forces were rather busy implementing the weaponized portion of foreign policy especially in the Latin American realm.  This was, of course, prior to the formalization of clandestine regime change in the CIA and its offshoots.  On the eve of WWII, the US Army was numerically ranked well below the world nations in manpower.  RedDR was mostly likely rubbing his hands in glee at the prospect of taking over and controlling what was left of economy at the time after the disastrous attempts at socialism that had ensued and crippled the country in the 1930s.

War abroad has always been the last refuge of the state when all other options have met with failure when seeking to consolidate domestic power. America discovered that the surest path to increased monopoly on power is perpetual war.  Witness the motifs in the War on Drugs, Poverty and Terror and the concomitant expenditure of untold hundreds of billions resulting in the eradication of none of the former but a tremendous increase in government power over citizens.

Whatever you learned in the government schools and university, on the History Channel and the ninety plus years of Hollywood celebrations of American war on the world…you have been lied to.  War is the health and the wealth of the state.

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

– Mahatma Gandhi

Notes in the Margin: Fred Reed is one of the best writers and observers on the political scene…ever.  He has the wit and verve of Mencken & Twain and the knowledge to deeply bolster what are in the end cogent but, in this mortal coil, exotic conclusions like the controversial notion that war is bad and cops aren’t much better.

He just published this gem and here is an excerpt:

“And of course we are herd animals with a formidable tendency to attach ourselves to groups—it doesn’t much matter what groups—and fight other groups. Thus football teams, bowling clubs, political parties, and wars. Patriotism is exactly the instinct that makes people cheer frantically for the Steelers against the Packers, and armies are just Crips and Bloods with more elaborate switch-blades.

All of this I suppose explains why so many are either flatly uninterested in the war or, a la Fox, very interested but without knowing anything about it—where it is, who is fighting whom and why, how the place got that way. Emotionally it is the Bulls vs. the Lakers. Intellectually it is an empty jar.

And yet it remains, or seems to remain, that the public, almost all of it, has not the slightest grasp of the war—and, by easy extension, of anything else outside the borders. When I listen to Bill O’Reilly, I want to hold up a placard behind him, asking his audience: Where is Yemen? What is the capital? Have you read a single book on Afghanistan? Read any book on anything? Heard of Eric Margolis? Can you distinguish Sunnis from Albigensians?

This of course is why the US is not a democracy: a country whose population consists chiefly of baffled gerbils cannot be a democracy in more than form. Instead we have the televangelists of ersatz patriotism shilling for policies of benefit to remote lobbies, while a catastrophically ignorant public shrieks approval. Gorgeous babes on Fox counsel war. The audience roars. Ricky, Ricky, he’s out man, if he can’t do it nobody can. Show your support for Central High. God almighty.”

Read the rest:  https://www.fredoneverything.net/FOXghanistan2.shtml

The following is a comment responding to an earlier guest essay on the Constitution, it is so good I wanted to ensure it gets some attention today in case anyone missed it.  I met Roy Fox at the Freedom Summit in December 2010 and he is truly a man who thinks on his feet and has deeply examined why his philosophy looks like it does.  Please read and enjoy. -BB

I find it somewhat humorous and ironic to find commenters on a website entitled “Zerogov” defending the concept of government at all, even the false advertised version embodied in the US Constitution. But it’s good to hear those comments, because the last thing voluntaryists should be doing is wasting their time preaching to the choir. Besides, just about every one of us zero gov “extremists” have been there at one point in our lives. But we hope that everyone who believes in libertarian principles will continue to follow them to their natural conclusion, which is anarchy. What it all boils down to is–are your principles strongly enough grounded to allow you to take a leap of faith in your fellow humans? After all, for you to enjoy freedom, you must allow everyone else to enjoy freedom.

With all due respect to the defenders of that “sacred writ”, George Bush was correct when he (allegedly) said that it was nothing more than a G-D piece of paper. There is no such thing as “We the People”. That is a fiction, a mental construct. There are only individuals. There is no “social contract”, since legal contracts are mutually agreed to between two or more people, with due consideration and a full and complete understanding of what goods or services are being exchanged. One cannot bind others to a contract without their consent. And one cannot bind future generations to a contract without their consent. The idea of “collectively” spending money and leaving a debt burden on children and future unborn generations is one of the most immoral concepts ever conceived by the human mind.

Really, there is no “government”, that is only a fiction as well. There are only individual people who make decisions or take actions based on false beliefs that a piece of paper:
* gives them authority to initiate the use force on their fellow human beings and call it “law enforcement” instead of assault
* allows them to take the property of others and call it “taxation” instead of robbery.
* allows them to kill people in faraway lands and call it “war” or “police action” instead of murder
* empowers them to put people in cages for violating arbitrary rules with no identifiable victim and call it “justice” instead of kidnapping and slavery
* authorizes them to interfere with free and peaceful trade between individuals and call it “regulations”, “treaties”, “legal tender laws” or a hundred other euphemisms
* grants them the moral authority to teach these lies and other falsehoods to your children and call it “education”

 

Since each of us has grown up in a world where “government” is assumed to be a universal truth, it is difficult for us to see what life would be like in its absence. Now if one researches, there are many brilliant authors and lecturers who have proposed free market solutions to roads, education, charity, justice, environmental protection and even military defense. But how things would sort out in a world without belief in government is irrelevant. Those of us who believe that civilized life can exist on a voluntary basis are under no obligation to prove how society will operate in an environment of complete liberty. It’s not even possible. Only a truly free market can determine that, and we have never experienced a truly free market in our lifetime. If enough people come to understand the most basic principle that the initiation of force against their fellow human beings is always morally wrong, then we’ll evolve into a healthy civilization grounded on true freedom. If we continue down the path of accepting that “government” is a “necessary evil”, then we will continue down the de-evolutionary path toward a totalitarian police state that we are currently on. When one begins to see the horrific consequences of this false belief in the Constitution, is it really hyperbole to call it “evil incarnate”?


Copyright © 2011 by zerogov.com

“Every actual state is corrupt. Good men must not obey laws too well.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson


Once again, a tax jurisdiction is in lather over the cattle objecting to their treatment and fleecing by their rulers.  Egypt is suffering severe unrest that is likely to bleed over into other Arab nations including the ones currently militarily occupied and brutalized by American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The US sponsored Thug for Life, Hosni Mubarak, is a friend of Israel and the recipient of the second highest level of military aid (1.3 billion per annum) from the US to a country we are not overtly occupying.

While Greece and Ireland are most likely harbingers of our economic future, Egypt is a close analog to our political future once the cattle in America wake up from their taxpayer subsidized slumber and realize that their future is much grimmer than the footage they are seeing of Egyptians in the streets.  Egypt has been in a state of emergency since 1981 which, of course, permits the government a carte blanche use of police excesses to control dissent and keep the people in constant fear of detention, torture, maiming and killing.  A common thread indeed with the rest of the governments on planet Earth.

Of course, Al-Jezeera has just been shut down and the internet suffered some blackouts but this is common in countries where the repression and treatment of citizens, if viewed by everyone, would call attention to the inhumanity of the government’s behavior.  It is amusing to see the US State Department scolding its subsidized child in the Middle East for unseemly behavior – once caught in the act.  The government of the US has not, incidentally, been insistent on observing human rights but has been disappointed in the tepid collaboration of the Egyptian government in the prosecution of the unwieldy and brutal War on Terror.

Egypt is acknowledged across the board by a number of indices to be “not free” and “authoritarian” [Editor’s note:  When one looks at the standard definition of authoritarian, no government in existence can escape the moniker].  During the Cold War, it was common practice for the US government to ally itself with other noxious regimes to keep the Great Game in balance but the only reason it appears to continue with the Russian leaving the world power stage is US insistence on creating “friendly” authoritarian regimes in key strategic pockets to serve the US military-industrial complex.  Egypt serves both this function and the reward for being the “house Arab” that pays obeisance to Israel.

Reporters Without Borders ”place[s] Egypt 143rd out of 167 nations on press freedoms”.  There are probably plenty of Washington political salons looking longingly at the suppression of ideas in the country.  Human rights from women to homosexuals to detainees is abominable.

Torture is a national policy used by the Mubarak government and abetted by the united States. While the government denies the allegations, lurid and macabre stories of torture abound:

While detained in September 1996 at al-Muntaza Police Station, Alexandria, Mohammad Badr al-Din Gom’a Isma’il confessed under torture to having killed his nine-year-old daughter, whom he had reported missing in February 1996. When he was summoned to the police station on 1 September 1996, he had expected to be questioned about his missing daughter. However, the body of a young girl had been found which the police claimed was his daughter, and he was accused of her murder. The following day, Intissar ‘Abd al-Galil Gad, Mohammad Badr al-Din Gom’a Isma’il’s ex-wife and mother of their daughter, was also detained and beaten with a stick on her legs. Mohammad Badr al-Din Gom’a Isma’il described to Amnesty International delegates how he was beaten while suspended from a door and subjected to electric shocks, including to sensitive parts of his body.

And:

The most common methods which continue to be reported are electric shocks, beatings, whipping, suspension by the wrists or ankles, suspension in contorted positions from a horizontal pole and various forms of psychological torture, including death threats and threats of rape or sexual abuse of the detainees or their female relatives. Usually victims are blindfolded to prevent them from identifying their torturers.


More:

Police and the SSIS (State Security Investigative Service) reportedly employed torture methods such as stripping and blindfolding victims; suspending victims by the wrists and ankles in contorted positions or from a ceiling or door-frame with feet just touching the floor; beating victims with fists, whips, metal rods, or other objects; using electric shocks; dousing victims with cold water; and sexual abuse, including sodomy. Victims reported that security officials threatened them and forced them to sign statements for use against themselves or their families should they in the future lodge complaints about the torture. Some victims, including women and children, reported that security officials sexually assaulted or threatened to rape them or their family members. Human rights groups reported that the lack of legally required written police records often effectively blocked investigations.


As horrific as this sounds, there are Constitutional safeguards in place but they simply pay lip service to them:

”Any person arrested, detained or [has] his freedom restricted shall be treated in the manner concomitant with the preservation of his dignity. No physical or moral harm is to be inflicted upon him. He may not be detained or imprisoned except in places defined by laws organizing prisons. If a confession is proved to have been made by a person under any of the aforementioned forms of duress or coercion, it shall be considered invalid and futile.”

Like all governments planet-wide, the language is nice but contrary to daily practice.  Constitutions, much like our own country, are used to placate the ignorant and patriotic who are blinded by either fear or misplaced allegiance to a greater entity than themselves.  Giving the lie to one of the primary reasons for the existence for the United Nations, the Egyptian government has signed on to charter after charter:

In addition to prohibiting torture and ill-treatment under any circumstances,(4) Egypt’s obligations under these treaties include taking ”effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture” (Article 2(1) of the Convention against Torture), investigating thoroughly and impartially all complaints of torture or ill-treatment (Article 12 of the Convention against Torture; Article 2 of the ICCPR), prosecuting suspected perpetrators in accordance with international standards for fair trial and punishing those found guilty; (Article 4 (2) of the Convention against Torture) and compensating victims of torture or ill-treatment (Article 14 of the Convention against Torture, Article 2 of the ICCPR).

Egypt ratified the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) on 19 September 1981 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on 6 July 1990.

Under Article 151 of the Egyptian Constitution, international treaties become part of national legislation after they are signed by the President of the Republic, ratified by parliament, and published in the official law gazette.

What good do any of these promises and declarations do when Egypt will simply do whatever it has to do to preserve its exclusive monopoly on force especially with the vile internal security and police apparatuses the US helped to build or look the other way?  Nothing to see here, move along, citizen…

Enter the universal menace against human decency and freedom:  police forces.  The behavior of the police in the recent days during the present rebellion is nothing new in Egypt.  Here are some enticing anecdotes from the annals of Egyptian cops and their greatest hits in 2007 and 2008:

On February 26, police officer Saad Mohamed Mansour reportedly beat and drowned fisherman Ahmed Fayad in Al Manzala Lake. On October 24, Al Mansoura Criminal Court sentenced Mansour to three years in prison and fined him LE 10,000 (approximately $1,800).

On March 24, police officers in Tanta killed Eid Ahmed Ibrahim by driving a police van over the victim, who was trying to prevent the arrest of his brother. An estimated 2,000 villagers protested, accusing the police of deliberately killing Ibrahim. On November 15, Tanta Misdemeanor Court sentenced police officers Mohamed Sadaawi and Ahmed Abdel Aal to three years in prison, ordering each to pay LE 10,000 ($1,800 compensation). The verdict is subject to appeal.

On October 9, a police officer in the town of Samalut allegedly killed a pregnant woman, Mervat Abdel Salam Abdel Fattah, while searching for her brother-in-law on suspicion of theft. The case remained pending at year’s end.

On November 23, a police officer in Aswan, Mohamed Labib, allegedly shot and killed Abdel Wahab Abdel Razeq after apparently entering the wrong apartment in pursuit of a drug dealer. During the demonstrations that followed the killing, an elderly Aswan resident, Yehia Abdel Hamid, died from inhaling tear gas that the police had released. On November 25, the government detained police officer Mohammed Labib for his suspected role in the killing.

Security forces used lethal force against protesters in other instances. On April 6 and 7, security forces killed four protesters during violent clashes between police and protestors in Mahalla el Kubra, a textile town in the Nile Delta. Police used live ammunition, rubber bullets, and tear gas to suppress protests against low wages and price hikes on basic goods. Among those killed was 15-year-old Ahmed Ali Mabrouk Hamada, whom police shot on April 6 in his family’s apartment near Mahalla’s Jumhuriya Square. At year’s end the government had not taken any corrective action to prosecute the police officers responsible.

Also, on November 11, Civilian Security Forces (CSF) killed three Bedouin tribesmen in the North Sinai during demonstrations that followed the November 10 CSF killing of a suspected drug smuggler. The government did not take public action to investigate these killings.

The police structure follows:  The MOI (Ministry of Interior [like DHS in America but more poorly funded but the same idea] controls local police forces, which operate in large cities and governorates; the SSIS, which conducts investigations; and the Central Security Force (CSF), which maintains public order. SSIS and CSF officers are responsible for law enforcement at the national level and for providing security for infrastructure and key officials, both domestic and foreign. Single-mission law enforcement agencies, such as the Tourist and Antiquities Police and the Anti-Narcotics General Administration, also work at the national level.

The documented abuses are immense and we all know that documented abuses are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to police misconduct which, with rare exceptions, are under-reported and, even in America, are usually given short shrift by a mostly imbecilic and obsequious media which loathes criticism of the police at any level.  The government opposition would not be bloodied and beaten and murdered if not for the single guarantors of obedience and oppression throughout recent history: cops.  Do you suppose American cops will act any different if ordered to return “public [government] order”?

It does not take a keen observer to see that the police mechanisms enforcing the “state of emergency” in Egypt under Mubarak’s reign (and arguably under the previous long line of tyrants) have been the fulcrum of oppression without which these riots would not be occurring.  The population has reached a critical mass of exhaustion living under such circumstances and the explosion of unrest has come boiling up.  Sometimes it takes decades like in the USSR and its puppet regimes and sometimes a few days in the Philippines in the 1980s, to vanquish a dictator.  Unfortunately, others are queuing up to take their place as they fall

The repression, torture, economic displacement by socialist nonsense and general eradication of human freedom has doomed Mubarak to join that special band of displaced dictators in exile or death.  It is inevitable now because the genie is out of the bottle and unless a scorched earth policy is employed, leadership will change.

The bad news for America is that what you see on your screens of the protests is coming to a city near you.  It will be just as bloody and unforgiving but far worse for us because we have a far higher standard of living to fall from and a far more lethal regime in DC that will lash out violently when cornered and called out for decades of abuse and economic stupidity.

Government is fear, pure and simple.  Otherwise, you would not obey most of the edicts nor would you be facing the unthinkable economic calamity that awaits America.  Its power is to fine, trap, detain, cage, maim and kill citizens who refuse to comply.  In America, that compliance has cost us our future.

Cairo is a harbinger of things to come here.  Get ready.

“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then.”

-Thomas Jefferson

Copyright © 2011 by zerogov.com

As Bill continues his hiatus, and in the future, ZeroGov will continue to accept guest essays. Essays are subject to editing for mechanics, but not content. If you’d like to contribute, please send your submissions to thirdgun at hotmail dot com and kaiserleib at gmail dot com.

Ask ten people what purpose the government serves, and you are likely to receive ten very similar answers. Government provides for the common defense, they’ll say, or guarantees that society runs smoothly. Perhaps they’ll mention the benevolent safety net that our social programs provide, things like food stamps or public education. Depending on the respondent, they might even mention roads, the internet, or other infrastructure needs. Some might mention conceptual goals like democracy, equality, or scientific advancement.

These are legitimate goals, all of them. People ought not to be subjugated by foreign powers. Mutually beneficial exchanges benefit us all. That the poor do not starve, that children learn to read, that we have access to  transportation and that these words are transported to as if by magic over a distance of many miles – these are good things. Any rational creature, having fully considered the implications of the alternatives, would agree.

The distinction, then, between our non-violent anarcho-capitalist philosophy and the philosophy held by those who believe that we must have Government lies not in the ends we wish to see achieved, but in the means we wish to use to achieve those ends. We do not want to see the poor starve, or the world’s children rendered illiterate. We do not want to return to the days of travel by horse and carrier pigeon. We’d like to have a say in our own destinies, and to see new breakthroughs in all sorts of science.

What we do not want is for a different human being, be he a king or a president, to presume that he knows how society might use our resources to feed the poor, educate the ignorant, or travel from our homes to our workplaces. We do not want Washington to decide what is best for Montana, or for Phoenix to decide what is best for Yuma, or even for 101 Maple Street to decide what is best for 203 Oak Street. We want to achieve the same safety and freedom and betterment that Government falsely promises, but we want to achieve it in our own way, of our own accord.

To conflate opposition to taxation and government oversight with opposition to these other goals is an intellectual trap, one into which we must take care not to fall.

Copyright © 2011 by zerogov.com

The “National” system so called, is in reality no national system at all; except in the mere fact that it is called the national system and was established by the national government. It is, in truth, only a private system; a mere privilege conferred upon a few, to enable them to control prices, property, and labor, and thus swindle, plunder and oppress all the rest of the people.

-Lysander Spooner

I was amused to be at the Freedom Summit in Adam Kokesh’s room in early December with some other friends and at one point one of the fellows was haranguing us about “getting back to the Constitution”.  As if we ever left that wretched compact with leviathan government.  At one point, another worthy said that maybe we should pay more attention to Lysander Spooner.  Indeed.  For plenty of freedom advocates, it begins with Rand or von Mises or Rothbard and a host of other luminaries who saw through the collectivist sham.

For others, Lysander Spooner is the strike of the match.  I was introduced to Spooner through a great book by the magnificent James J. Martin in Men Against the State. Among the several forgotten heroes from the 19th century, Spooner stands as a titan.  He made a rather interesting point concerning the Constitution in that he claimed that no document can bind a man if he is not an active signatory.  You can see where this would be rather problematic for a government and why the concept is roundly condemned in a court system staffed by robed government employees for whom honor and fidelity for justice will be observed as long as their masters approve.

Spooner is the gateway drug for maximum liberty.  If you pay close enough attention to his arguments and patterns of thinking, you come away thinking that the entire rotten collectivist project is not only desperately lacking in intellectual rigor but is founded first and foremost in an evil premise.  The premise of all collectivist and statist projects is initiated violence against ALL humans.  For the system would collapse if the fear of the monopoly of force were not the schwerpunkt of all actions from the enforcement of tax collection and aggression to the most banal of offenses, if one citizen not a member of the nomenklatura got away with it, revolution would follow shortly.

We here in Arizona are obliged to stop at US Border Patrol suspicionless checkpoints to establish citizenship bona fides.  One must answer the question of your US citizenship status or you are detained.  If you simply drive through the checkpoint without stopping and ignore the revenue officer’s flashing lights (you paid for through taxes), you will be subject to maiming or killing if you continue to disobey.  Cops are the clearest explication of what government is in all its naked glory, there is no more compelling example of what is wrong with government. Period.

 

I realize that this violates the Fourth Amendment but when has a mere piece of paper ever stopped a government?  As I have mentioned before, we are as much a nation of laws as Zimbabwe is the premier example of prudent fiscal and monetary policy.  You are a citizen of a nation that officially tortures, kills US citizens without a trial and uses a quaint fiction of democratic consent as the usual suspects drive the economy over a cliff with all the driving experience of a four-year old’s first navigation of a car.  The point is that a nation of laws is a misnomer.  No nation has or is presently not bifurcated with two sets of laws – one for the cattle in the tax jurisdiction and one set for the rulers who manage and administer the feedlot. If you doubt this, find the answers in this pop quiz:

  • In every case of police brutality in which the death of the victim at the hands of the police results, what proportionate criminal finding on the part of the cop(s) implicated is served on the heads of the guilty cops?  Good luck…
  • What American President or Cabinet member has been held responsible for the policies enacted during their tenure that results in the material impoverishment of the nation which would include every administration since Grover Cleveland and many of his predecessors like the vicious proto-Stalinist Lincoln?
  • Take a careful look at the criminal gallery of misfits pardoned by the Presidents when they leave office.  I do thank Gerald Ford for his pardon of Robert E. Lee 110 years later.

Spooner has this whole system pegged and pinned down in the nineteenth century with an aplomb that still leave s one admiring the breadth and depth of his achievement.  Of course, it is not common knowledge because the inclusion of Spooner in the pantheon of accepted American thinkers would quickly show the system for the evil and malignant sham that it is for freedom at the individual level.

Spooner avers on contracts:

To say that the state legislatures have power to declare what the obligation of contracts shall be, or what contracts shall, and what shall not, have an obligation, is equivalent to saying that they have power to declare what the Constitution of the United States shall MEAN. And us this meaning would of course be arbitrary, the legislature of each state separately might declare that it should be something different from what it was in any of the other states – and we might consequently have, in every state in the union, a different constitution of the United States on this point. Not only this, but every state legislature might alter, at pleasure, the meaning, which it had itself given to the constitution of the United States. The constitution of the United States, there­fore, might not only be different in every different state, but it might be altered in each state at every session of the legislature. Such is the necessary consequence of the doctrine, that the state legislatures have power to prescribe or determine what the obligation of contracts shall be, or what contracts shall be obligatory.

He establishes rather elegantly that obligatory contracts can take place between consenting individuals but not imposed on them without their consent.  Most reasonable men would agree to this but the moment the government or the Constitution is intoned, most folks lose their minds and in essence say that, of course, armed men may compel me through the threat of fining, caging, maiming and killing to whatever THEY claim I must do.

On the Constitution (of No Authority):

What was true of our ancestors, is true of revolutionists in general. The monarchs and governments, from whom they choose to separate, attempt to stigmatize them as traitors. But they are not traitors in fact; in-much they betray, and break faith with, no one. Having pledged no faith, they break none. They are simply men, who, for reasons of their own — whether good or bad, wise or unwise, is immaterial — choose to exercise their natural right of dissolving their connexion (sic) with the governments under which they have lived. In doing this, they no more commit the crime of treason — which necessarily implies treachery, deceit, breach of faith — than a man commits treason when he chooses to leave a church, or any other voluntary association, with which he has been connected.

In a fashion matched only by the pen of Murray Rothbard, Spooner makes the clear case for the immorality of fashioning a yoke on later generations without their consent and the concomitant evil and corruption that emanates form governments that practice this more subtle form of enslavement.

Randy Barnett, whose work on the Ninth Amendment is truly groundbreaking and liberty enhancing runs the lysanderspooner.org site at which most of his works are available free of charge.  We should be indebted to Dr. Barnett for doing this valuable service.

There is a three volume compilation of everything Spooner wrote [the staff at Zero Gov will gladly accept a donation of this set if any reader feels generous] but it is rather spendy and Barnett provides a good start electronically.  I would urge all my readers to set a goal for yourself to read Spooner on a weekly or monthly basis and make your way through his canon.  He not only was a great champion of liberty but provided a quite interesting and rigorous lesson in how to think critically on very complex issues and take them apart with alacrity.

As Benjamin Tucker says:  He was our Nestor in the pursuit of liberty; he was truly a weapon of mass destruction against big government, or for that matter, all government.  As abolitionists, we may be in the minority but we will always hail from the moral high ground.

His writing is a muse for freedom and a vital arrow in the quiver of liberty and abolition.

“What was true of our ancestors is true of revolutionists in general. The monarchs and governments, from whom they choose to separate, attempt to stigmatize them as traitors. But they are not traitors in fact; in-much they betray, and break faith with, no one. Having pledged no faith, they break none. They are simply men, who, for reasons of their own — whether good or bad, wise or unwise, is immaterial — choose to exercise their natural right of dissolving their connexion with the governments under which they have lived. In doing this, they no more commit the crime of treason — which necessarily implies treachery, deceit, breach of faith — than a man commits treason when he chooses to leave a church, or any other voluntary association, with which he has been connected.

This principle was a true one in 1776. It is a true one now. It is the only one on which any rightful government can rest. It is the one on which the Constitution itself professes to rest. If it does not really rest on that basis, it has no right to exist; and it is the duty of every man to raise his hand against it.

If the men of the Revolution designed to incorporate in the Constitution the absurd ideas of allegiance and treason, which they had once repudiated, against which they had fought, and by which the world had been enslaved, they thereby established for themselves an indisputable claim to the disgust and detestation of all mankind.”

-Lysander Spooner

Free speech is too dangerous to a democracy to be permitted.

-H.L. Mencken

Political speech is now in the hazard thanks to the homicidal tendencies of a madman who gunned down a Congressman and a number of others folks in front of a Safeway in Tucson, Arizona on Saturday, 1/8/2011.  Mind you, the loon who committed this heinous murder apparently had no political agenda one could put a bead on.  Among his self-described favorite reads were The Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf, sort of a greatest hits ensemble for the government supremacist crowd.  I suspect the usual suspects are rather peeved when this evidence comes out so early and makes them hesitant to pin the political rose if it points in their direction.  Keep in mind that Left and Right in the American polity, the office-holders in America are but a hairs-breadth away from the philosophy in both those tomes.  Both books are paeans to state violence and that is the sine qua non of all governments.

Do you doubt me?

We live in a country that maintains a murderous empire that straddles the globe and kills every day. It employs both occupation forces and robot killers to do the deed and tens of thousands of women and children have been added to the butcher’s bill in foreign lands.  At home, we have an active policy of torture, we bury humans in a prison system outside of the already pathetic Constitutional safeguards and a government that thinks it can kill ANYONE at will.

The same government maintains a sophisticated system of wealth extraction of all its “citizens” (read that as feedlot cattle), makes every CPA and bank a non-funded IRS agent and facility respectively and has erected a multitudinous set of laws that is so vast not even the system understands how to administer it.  To make all of this stick, legions of “law enforcement” personnel are deployed across the land to detain, beat, cage and, on occasion, murder to keep the system afloat.  But that is not enough, on top of all that is a vast intelligence apparatus that has cast Mordor’s eye inwardly upon the land to seek out terrorists and whatever else fits that convenient moniker for cattle misbehavior across the fruited plain.

 

But that is not enough.

Now the rulers of the land are finally able to cast a net over the Internet and all media and haughtily call for rules and edicts to limit or fetter free speech if it threatens them.  Officeholders, that particular breed of psychopath that seek political office, are now starting to bleat in horror for their safety and hoping to translate that fear into another muzzle on the people.

It almost makes one wish the shooter in Tucson had some discernable political compass instead of the madness anyone can read in his actions and his mug shot.  At least then one could discern what his object were but so far he smells like the standard collectivist apologist we have grown so accustomed to seeing.

The state pushes, bullies, steals, thieves, cages, maims, kills and prostrates its citizens at the whim of their every political desire to tighten their death-grip on the smallest facets of our lives.  Every day.

Then one of the cattle pushes back and the state bellows in naked fear and lashes out at the whole of the people to mete out a punishment to all for the sins of a few.  Of course, this is the causus belli for almost every law on the books.

As an aside, we see that it is ordinary citizens once again who thwart an even worse mass murder and the cops, in their habitual role as historians, arrive after the fact.  Anarchy or a stateless society is not a society without rules, it is a society where the citizens can captain their own destinies and protect their neighbor in the absence of the “professionals”. The anarchists won the day again much like they have for other “terrorist” incidents happening throughout the land.  It seems the only lime law enforcement is on mission is when they are provoking the terrorist acts themselves.

We can only hope that Giffords recovers and lives a prosperous and rich life.

Initiated violence is never the answer and it will only get more of the same.  You can not beat the state at its most powerful natural ability:  the capacity to maim and kill without limit.

The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it.  If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth:  if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.

~John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859

Notes in the Margin: Grigg does a far more eloquent exposition on this subject in his latest essay: https://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/2011/01/cult-of-sanctified-violence.html

An excerpt:

Americans were not admonished to observe a moment of chastened silence in memory of the victims of that exercise in criminal violence. This is, in part, because observances of that kind would quickly become tedious: Since 2008, Pakistan — a country with which the government ruling us is not formally at war — has endured at least 250 drone attacks, in which roughly 1,400 people have been killed.

According to the most conservative estimate of “collateral damage,” only a tithe of those slaughtered through drone strikes are “militants.”

Hundreds of civilians have likewise been massacred in the ongoing “surge” in Afghanistan, many of them in nighttime raids by “Special Operations Forces” — that is, death squads — whose behavior is not easily distinguishable from that of Jared Loughner. At least a hundred thousand civilians have been annihilated in the continuing war in Iraq, which was inaugurated for reasons just as delusional as anything that percolated in Loughner’s distressed mind.

For those who worship at the altar of the omnipotent State, mass murder of this kind is an exercise in sanctified violence. In a 2009 interview with Foreign Policy magazine, Bill Clinton — who has repeatedly denounced  “anti-government” speech as a form of criminal sedition — defined terrorism as “killing and robbery and coercion by people who do not have state authority.” (Emphasis added.) What this means, of course, is that “killing and robbery and coercion” by duly authorized agents of the State isn’t terrorism, it’s policy.

Copyright © 2011 by zerogov.com