“The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.”

– H.L. Mencken

The two primary reasons most people want government to exist is for protection and advantage.  When I say most people I am excepting that smaller group of people who actively seek to rule others;  the socio- and psycho-paths among us who have a deeper need and selfish interest in championing the furtherance and expansion of government.  The yen for protection speaks to the fear most folks have of being unsecured in their safety and existence and the mistaken assumption that their subsequent surrender of their right to defend themselves will make them safer.  The advantage speaks to the need to have some external entity play umpire and ensure that everyone conducts themselves by a “consensual” playbook which of course leads to gaming of the system exemplified for example by preferential treatment codification in law for special interests.  We know that neither of these ever ends well for the individual historically.  There may be other tangential reasons but these two elements comprise the lion’s share of the twisted rationalizing that passes for thought on why government should be the overweening and powerful monster it is today.  Government is the gateway drug to mass tyranny.  Please spare me the soliloquies of “limited government”, an ahistorical chimera if ever there was one.  There is simply no historical record, Eastern or Western, of the existence of one.

One hears even the most committed government supremacists prattling on about the inadequacies of this policy or that and the often comedic second order effects and unintended consequences of the implementation.  The government authored crises tumbling over one another until you hear intellectual giants like Ghoulsbee (sic) over the weekend mewling about the necessity to increase the debt ceiling or the economy will collapse.  Deja vu.  Somewhat like a person or company insisting that their already unmanageable credit line be increased or doubled or they won’t be able to meet their obligations.  If we don’t flatten the Earth immediately, it will continue to be round.  You will note that demonstrable proofs or historical case studies verifying the substance or utility of this notion are not entertained.  The Keynesian game is up and its bankruptcy there for everyone to see but the believers think that with enough heel clicking and wishful thoughts, their caustic economic illiteracy will become reality.  This is what ALL non-Austrian  economists have come to;  nothing more than court apologists for what can only be termed bad alchemy heavily laden with the polar opposite of any critical thinking whatsoever.  This is also a result of the meme that is currently in vogue that there are human structures and creations “too big to fail”.  This is, of course, a fatuous and silly notion; for governments are designed from the beginning by their very structural necessities to be self- destructive mechanisms that not only cause irreparable harm to themselves over time but grind untold millions of lives into dust and ruin in their path.

Much like the Monolith Monsters in that delightful 1950s B-Movie, government grows and grows until it collapses under its own weight and contradictions (note that Marx got that one sideways, again).  The historical record is strewn with massive corpse count after corpse count of attempts by well-intentioned government supremacists to build the shining city on the hill time and again.  From Mesopotamia to Rome to modernity, the most flawed and morally handicapped men rose to Olympian heights granted with God-like powers on the monopoly of violence and coercion that is the hallmark of ALL governments to despoil, deprive and deny men their liberty and their lives.  Of course, the magisterial histories written over time have always given grand stories of the trials and tribulations of the great men overcoming obstacles to the imposition of organized crime and violence on the masses.  There have some minor aberrations in this history like the Magna Carta and the Declaration of Independence but these were made null and void within several generations of their acceptance or adoption.  The Constitution being the most proximate example of liberty extinguished in a generation.  Merely statistically insignificant speed bumps in the continual steamrolling and abolition of individual volition in favor of a collectivist zeitgeist.

Individual liberty is an historical aberration and that is an unfortunate fact.

Take heart, for there have been individuals in history who have stood athwart this seemingly unstoppable monster and found ways to injure it or impede its progress such as Wilberforce or the Anti-Federalists, both of whom deserve your closer attention.  There are actually legions of others who have contributed in smaller ways such as Lysander Spooner and the individualist anarchist brain trust in 19th century America, the filial progeny of Milton Friedman (certainly not Milton who gave us some of the gravest injuries to liberty in the 20th century) and the emerging Austrian David against the collectivist Goliath.  I can put it no more eloquently than Lysander Spooner did in his letter to Grover Cleveland in 1886:

“To say, as the advocates of our government do, that a man must give up some of his natural rights, to a government, in order to have the rest of them protected the government being all the while the sole and irresponsible judge as to what rights he does give up, and what he retains, and what are to be protected — is to say that he gives up all the rights that the government chooses, at any time, to assume that he has given up; and that he retains none, and is to be protected in none, except such as the government shall, at all times, see fit to protect, and to permit him to retain. This is to suppose that he has retained no rights at all, that he can, at any time, claim as his own, as against the government. It is to say that he has really given up every right, and reserved none. . . .

It is especially noticeable that those persons, who are so impatient to protect other men in their rights that they cannot wait until they are requested to do so, have a somewhat inveterate habit of killing all who do not voluntarily accept their protection; or do not consent to give up to them all their rights in exchange for it.

If A were to go to B, a merchant, and say to him, “Sir, I am a night-watchman, and I insist upon your employing me as such in protecting your property against burglars; and to enable me to do so more effectually, I insist upon your letting me tie your own hands and feet, so that you cannot interfere with me; and also upon your delivering up to me all your keys to your store, your safe, and to all your valuables; and that you authorize me to act solely and fully according to my own will, pleasure, and discretion in the matter; and I demand still further, that you shall give me an absolute guaranty that you will not hold me to any accountability whatever for anything I may do, or for anything that may happen to your goods while they are under my protection; and unless you comply with this proposal, I will now kill you on the spot,” — if A were to say all this to B, B would naturally conclude that A himself was the most impudent and dangerous burglar that he (B) had to fear; and that if he (B) wished to secure his property against burglars, his best way would be to kill A in the first place, and then take his chances against all such other burglars as might come afterwards.

Our government constantly acts the part that is here supposed to be acted by A. And it is just as impudent a scoundrel as A is here supposed to be. It insists that every man shall give up all his rights unreservedly into its custody, and then hold it wholly irresponsible for any disposal it may make of them. And it gives him no alternative but death.

If by putting a bayonet to a man’s breast, and giving him his choice, to die, or be “protected in his rights,” it secures his consent to the latter alternative, it then proclaims itself a free government, — a government resting on consent!”

Spooner is experiencing a renaissance of sorts and I am happy to make my own small contribution to that.

We are truly living in an age when so much information is available and all the tools of liberation are at our disposal that the government has to work doubly hard at maintaining that the emperor is properly attired.  This is one reason they cling to the stranglehold they have over ALL government education in America and monitor and encourage the government-media complex to contain the “proper reading” of reality as we know it.  This is also why you see the dramatic push for more government intervention in the internet with the demise of the old media titans in newspaper, radio and television.  The internet is a true bottom-up revolution in mass communications as evidenced by the tiny audience that deigns to read my scribbling.

 

The total and apparently synchronized destruction of the Western way of governance is underway regardless of the efforts of these failed machines to reckon a course to safety.  Greece was a bellwether and the inevitable collapse of the Western remnant is underway despite the best efforts of the Marxoid Key[ne]stone Kops at the helm.   It is rather amusing in a morbid way to watch our worthies in the US Federal government ignoring every possible avenue that expands individual freedom in a futile bid to preserve their rotting and dissolving feedlot system in the tax jurisdiction handily referred to as a nation state.

From this mess, we will see either a resurrection of more of the same or enough folks will finally wake up and see that government has always been the reason for their destitution and deprivation and not a bulwark against it.

Do your part, citizen: resist the state.

 

Notes in the Margin: I was a guest on Marc Stevens’ No State Project on Saturday 1/8/2011.  See:  https://marcstevens.net/

“That no government, so called, can reasonably be trusted, or reasonably be supposed to have honest purposes in view, any longer than it depends wholly upon voluntary support.”

-Lysander Spooner

Copyright © 2011 by zerogov.com

Kaiser pens a great blog over at https://kaiserleib.com/blog/.  He is also a senior editor over here at Zero Gov.

He worries over some of the implications of the non-aggression principle which is central to the thinking of ethical anarchists and abolitionists everywhere.  He raises a number of prickly observations that should concern philosophers of liberty.

While I abide by the non-aggression principle, a bothersome problem has always been how you respond to acts veiled in violence but championed on the grounds of the greater good like taxation.   Taxation is acknowledged by folks in my small circle to be an act of theft which by extension is an act of aggression but the response must be tempered proportionate to the offense.  Stack on all the other daily and eternal attacks by the state on the individual and a clear state of war against the individual is in play.  That is the distillate, when does our characterization of that aggression precipitate a violent response on the part of the individual?  Should that be entertained as a possible solution or is Gandhian-style non-violent non-compliance the answer?  Will the violent reaction by the state against the latter lead to the former response on the part of individuals?



One has to examine whether this aggression is rationalized by the victim to avoid the implication of having to respond to stop it.  Do individuals really want to resort to violence to right this obvious wrong?  One can even characterize this refusal to resist as an act of moral cowardice and I am guilty as charged.

I do think there is some insight from Butler Shaffer on the issue of violence. To wit:

“One can no more advance liberty through violence than he can regain sobriety by embracing an alternative brand of alcohol. The state is a system that enjoys a monopoly on the use of violence. It is no answer to this destructive menace to introduce a competitor who employs the same means and seeks the same ends, namely, to construct society on the principle of the power to compel obedience to authority.”

Shaffer also has some provocative thoughts on property where everything is property and that predetermines responses.  Should a man be shot for stealing a loaf of bread?  I think not.  Should he be caught and restitution demanded?  Absolutely.

What if a private enterprise came to you and said that you will surrender 60% of your income (the aggregate of American taxation) on pain of fines, caging, maiming and death for non-compliance?  That would be an act of war.  This is the discomfiting and ultimately biggest question.  The state considers this piracy on the high seas and naked theft in the private sector, yet it is the very model for the way their business is conducted.

This is certainly one of those thought experiments where far more questions than answers rise from the effort of trying to discover what course of action to take. -BB

Justice’ refers generally to the concept of moral rightness, and the administration of punishment when that morality is breached and wrong is done. I believe that restitution for the wronged is the purest and best form of justice that is available. While it may leave the wronged party dissatisfied, it does him more good than to harm, imprison or kill the offender.

Sometimes, restitution is impossible, or at least impractical. Not all things are directly replaceable by money, and some one-of-a-kind objects may be declared priceless. Human life, of course, fits this criterion. Injuries are amenable to compensation in some senses, but not in others – a man with a broken back may be compensated for lost wages, but it’s difficult to say what quantity of money is “fair” to repay his lost quality of life.

Not all wrongdoers have the capacity for restitution, either – a thief with poor work ethic, no job skills and no funds in reserve would be hard-pressed to make meaningful restitution to the victims of his thefts, for instance. A drunk driver may be unable to make restitution if his actions destroy another driver’s vehicle, regardless of the damage to life and limb. Setting fire to the Mona Lisa would not much damage the French government, but it would not be a crime for which the rest of humanity could be properly compensated, either – the cost of restitution would be difficult to determine, and most likely exceed the arsonist’s means many times over.

See the rest:  https://kaiserleib.com/blog/?p=206

 

A policeman is a charlatan who offers, in return for obedience, to protect him (a) from his superiors, (b) from his equals, and (c) from himself. This last service, under democracy, is commonly the most esteemed of them all. In the United States, at least theoretically, it is the only thing that keeps ice-wagon drivers, Y.M.C.A. secretaries, insurance collectors and other such human camels from smoking opium, ruining themselves in the night clubs, and going to Palm Beach with Follies girls…Here, though the common man is deceived, he starts from a sound premise: to wit, that liberty is something too hot for his hands—or, as Nietzsche put it, too cold for his spine.

– H.L.Mencken

Not until 1829 did the United Kingdom officially inaugurate the use of police forces with law enforcement powers.  This may have dovetailed nicely with van Creveld’s assertion that emergence of the state as we know it today was coincident to the creation of a large bureaucracy to give the King eyes and ears to stretch his control of the realm.

Formal police departments were created in 1838 and 1845 respectively in Boston and New York City and even these early states of police development in these united States were plagued by corruption as Grigg has so ably documented for us.

There were attempts to professionalize the police forces starting in the 1920s but even these started to surrender early to the inevitable corruption in the nexus of swimming with criminals and the invariable temptation by the government to pass an avalanche of population control measures disguised as laws to fence in and micromanage the behavior of individuals and groups.  Whether the huge cavalcade of malum prohibitum laws passed, rules to empower the national security garrison state or the erection of legal barriers to competition, the mission of police quickly spun out of control to embrace every possible human activity.  The storied notion of a police state quickly metastasized into the present state of America today.  While all of us are subject to being caged for the rest of our lives on trumped-up charges that no reasonable man can apprehend even outside the Kafkaesque world of terrorism jurisdictions, the sheer profligacy of laws on the books begs the question of how to defend yourself against an assault by the state without very deep pockets and competent legal counsel to fight the infinite resources of the state.

It takes years for the wheels of justice to creakily come around to indicting and ultimately punishing the armed tax-eaters even when they shoot innocent civilians in cold blood, if held accountable at all.  The combination of the militarization of Mayberry and the spread of no-knock warrants to the terrorism venues in the 2000s and the ratcheting up of the drug war have led to the terrifying society we live in today.  Police work is one of the least dangerous professions in the world today yet the costumed agents of the state are the most lethal government instrument in every American city.  The legions of stories of police brutality are so numerous that a library could be created documenting the incidents.  The police have become so brazen because they quite literally have a license to kill if one were to examine the punishments meted out to misbehaving police officers in departments across the land.  Paid administrative leave, reemployment at competing departments and very little sentencing for misbehavior unless it becomes too obvious an embarrassment such as the Katrina incident mentioned above.

While initially the patina of the pursuit of true criminality was the object of police forces and their supporters, this quickly turned onto a curious regime of thug worship and absolute obedience to these officers of the law.  That is why the American gulag system today is three times the size of the peak population of the Russian gulags under Stalin when one considers the Americans on probation, parole and in cages.  Most of these confined Americans are in on non-violent drug offenses or political crimes like gun paperwork violations or the participation in consensual crimes like blackmail, gambling or prostitution.

There are mountains of original research available for an academic entrepreneur who wants to make their mark.

  • How many times have resisting arrest offenses been committed by folks with no criminal record nor a history of violence?
  • How many shooting incidents involving police have been justified by the force employed?
  • How many innocent civilians have been maimed or killed in no-knock warrants on the wrong address?
  • Why should ordinary Americans be brutalized by the police for non-violent offenses?
  • Why are non-lethal means so often lethal in application whether through tasing, strangulation or other means?

The list is endless and the police apologists are out in force constantly speaking to the fine upstanding young men and women putting their lives in the line.  What ridiculous propaganda.

We have reached a tipping point in America where every member of every American family is a potential victim of the armed tax-eater colossus astride the population.  I penned an essay several years ago calling for the reduction and elimination of ALL police forces in these united States because we simply cannot sustain the risk against our remaining freedoms with these armed government bureaucrats growing in power with every year.

Police forces yesterday and today are the primary means the state uses to reduce and consume what freedoms we have left.  There is no other institution outside of tax collection agencies that has the breadth and scope of power to turn the whole nation into a very large jail cell.  Do you really think that nice young man with the buzz cut and bloused combat boots who stops you for a traffic violation does not have the potential to maim or kill you and get away with it?  If you do you are naïve.  Traffic law is all about revenue and nothing more and nothing less.  If it were about safety, why not simply assign insurance points for bad drivers instead of fining them? Because the fines are the entire reason they do what they do.  The speed camera debacle in Arizona put the lie to the government droning about safety.  The cameras did not reap the revenue expected, in no small way due to brave civil disobedience on the part of the drivers, and the entire system was eliminated.  But I thought it was about safety?  Police are empowered to forcibly remove your blood on the roadside in the state of AZ to test for blood alcohol content.  Exsanguinations indeed.  You read that right; the armed tax-eaters here can extract your blood AGAINST your will at a traffic stop, for a thought crime, because that is what drunk driving is.  It is an industry much like the seatbelt laws; yet another pretense to pull over drivers and see if there is an opportunity to either enhance revenue and/or put another citizen behind bars for an undetermined amount of time.

Fred Woodworth has been publishing a journal call The Match out of Tucson, AZ for over forty years and he has column in there call “Who the Police Beat”.  He has been sounding the alarm on police brutality for that entire time and the reading is hard to digest when you read incident after bloodthirsty incident of maimed and killed people brutalized and worse at the hands of the police.  They are out of control and they are the starkest indicator that any patches of freedom left can be erased overnight.

Many have sounded the call that the military is increasingly the greatest threat to ordinary Americans but the cops are.  They will obey and do what they are told.  Why else would you see incident after sickening incident of women severely brutalized at the hands of the police?  These are only the reports that surface in the news and there most likely are plenty of incidents that simply go unreported.

It is time to stop the idolatry and hero worship of one of the worst offenders to the shredding of human liberty.  I would submit we don’t even need line officers at all.  How often do the cops actually stop crimes in progress?  How often do they arrive at the scene after the crime has been committed?  How often are the incentives for maltreatment of civilians codified in their procedural rules?

In my worldview, of course, no government police functions would exist.  Period.  All would be handled by private Dispute Resolution Organizations (DRO) and David Friedman has even gone so far as to illustrate quite convincingly that the incentives are so perverse in government policing that it should be razed and eliminated entirely.

Peace officers used to have a charter to pursue criminality and most notably malum per se laws but those days are long gone.  I have outlined in detail before the absolutely insane raft of laws in America that has made everyone a potential criminal.  Don’t believe me?  Try traveling by air or refuse to stop for the flashing revenue officer in your rear view mirror.  Watch what happens.  We have quite literally become hostages to the police state.  No one is out of danger.

Again, I am not calling for police reform or better protections for citizens or revamping the criminal justice system, I am calling for a wholesale elimination of the entire system from cops to the corrupt court system with the robed government employees to the penal colonies that dot the landscape.  I am calling for an armed citizenry unrestricted in weapons choice and employment against initiated aggression.

So until the day arrives when we are liberated from the horrific occupation of the thin blue line, quite literally the largest street gang in America, how do you protect yourself?

Know your rights. Never, never, never talk to the cops.  They quite literally do not know the law and the system coddles their ignorance by piling on charge after charge if they are intent on getting you caged.  Watch the ACLU video on Flex Your RightsAlan Korwin has written a brilliant book that all of us who tote guns everywhere should read and has a unique approach to the Miranda warning.  Always refuse a search. Period.

Get competent with firearms and carry. Call 911 and die.  Never call 911 because you are simply inviting a fishing expedition.  Cops are historians and detectives even more so.  Your protection is up to you and the cops have no legal duty to protect you as an individual.  You are on your own and when they arrive they will most likely accost you.  Get competent with empty handed martial arts especially very effective zero to sixty defensive arts like Haganah.

Know a competent defense attorney ahead of time.   It pays to hire the very best and it is prudent to shop now before you need them.

Record the cops’ behavior if the opportunity arisesSunshine is a fine antiseptic for misbehavior on the part of the armed tax-eaters and they hate it.  There is plenty of technology for both video and audio recording.

Work to convince people that freedom is an obligation that does not require we be yoked by armed tax-eaters who are a far greater threat to average Americans than any criminals.

I don’t hate cops, I simply don’t need them.

“The police cannot protect the citizen at this stage of our development, and they cannot even protect themselves in many cases. It is up to the private citizen to protect himself and his family, and this is not only acceptable, but mandatory.”

– Jeff Cooper

Copyright © 2010 by zerogov.com

“Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable.” – George Orwell

I was chatting with my sainted bride at breakfast this morning and she related to me that she had heard a story on National Pinko Radio discussing the forced evacuation of Times Beach, MO during the Christmas season in 1985.  Two thousand residents excepting one elderly couple left.  God help the elderly couple today for they would have probably been tased or shot for their refusal to abandon their own property at the government’s pleasure.  In the brief quarter century since then, the government has become quite a bit more militarized at home.  Allegedly, for the first time since the Founding, an entire town had been forcibly evacuated outside of wartime, with merely the clothes on their back.  Apparently, the EPA had discovered high levels of dioxin which forced an immediate evacuation.  Imagine waking up on Christmas Eve and seeing government employees in ridiculous spacesuits standing in your yard and forcing you to leave immediately.  Or else.

Times Beach, MO

There is no doubt that dioxin is poisonous in quantity and harmful to humans but the heavy-handedness of the government in addressing the problem is typical and yet again, the germination of the problem in Times Beach was a result of a subcontractor spreading waste oil on dirt roads to quell a dust problem after he had contracted to disposing of waste from a facility charged with manufacturing Agent Orange during the American Vietnam conflict, Hoffman-Taff which leased to NEPACCO.

Again, we discover yet another germination of problems in America with government’s obsession with waging war.  I have written in the past on the increasing militarization of American society accelerating with the entry into WWI in 1917 and the unique synthesis of fascism and a national security state that has led us to the juncture we are at today.  We are waging war on four known fronts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen and involved in countless unacknowledged mischief around the globe in the War on Terror ( a critically misguided euphemism if ever there was one) stacking up enemies faster than we can maim and kill their wives and children.

I suspect that there is a doctoral thesis or two here to examine how sustainable the American economy is without the warfare state.  The enormous increase in defense expenditures (and the appropriate slice of the DOE, intelligence community and Fatherland Security tangentially related to the Pentagon activities) has warped any reasonable calculation of the crowding out of private capital and peaceful investment.  I am constantly in awe of the lefty collectivists whose abhorrence of war can evaporate overnight when one of their own gets in the White House.  The economy has been in the virtual thrall of government planning for so long that the combination of the monopoly money scrip issued by the FED, massive resource mismanagement, regulatory warping of unfettered market decisions and the crushing tax burden on the productive classes is leading to the final act in the American parabola.  We are on the downward slope and the financial apocalypse will be worthy of the demise of the other great empires that have crash landed in the refuse of their own epic mismanagement and corruption.

I don’t have the answer but my economic antennae tell me that we have been sating ourselves at the War Trough for so long that it has permanently warped our ability to have an economy built on peaceful exchange on two levels:  in the respect of unfettered markets and the production of non-war related goods and services.  One merely has to read von Mises and Hazlitt to realize that the glazier is wearing a uniform.  I often wondered that if the government ever got wind of Hazlitt’s “broken window” fallacy, they may in the best style of the odious and tyrannical Paul Krugman, propose we destroy one American city every year to provide a rebuilding project for the masses.  Who knows, maybe they could riff on the dioxin excuse used on the poor town of Times Beach.

I happen to live in one of these national security bubbles in southern AZ where the local military installation is the heart of the economy and its demise would make the area virtually unlivable because everything and everyone depends upon the base for their material living.  We are almost immune to the rampant and deepening unemployment embroiling the nation.  This may be one of several hundred such burgs throughout the US not to mention the gargantuan military-industrial sector proximate to Mordor.   When the inevitable collapse of the currency or whatever other economic Black Swan befalls us happens, these pockets of apparent prosperity will dry up and blow away.  This present Depression is unique in that all the factors that will deepen it and expand the misery are being followed to the letter by the rulers in DC:

  • Keynesianism rules the intellectual roost
  • Spending cuts are institutionally impossible
  • Federal Reserve policy exacerbates weakness in the diminishing fiat currency
  • Decision-makers still think anything Krugman says is credible
  • The war on the world continues unabated
  • Forced wealth redistribution continue through the tax system and spending programs
  • The regimist house economists continue to wage a viscous war against small businesses

If an enemy of these united States wanted to set in motion a program of savage self-destruction, they would elect these rulers we have now and allow the system to maul and flog itself into a maelstrom of bureaucratic suicide.  We take such pride in being the exceptional nation that we have failed to look closely in the mirror and see the imperial etching and scarring of Rome on the cratered visage in the looking glass.  All imperial powers die and our morbid self-deception about imperial behavior has merely caused us to find another name for our self-murder.

Imagine a country that was non-interventionist with the wealth and resources of America.  What would happen if the enormous tribute we paid through taxation, regulation and misplaced resources of time and wealth were used for peaceful purposes?  Would that production of peaceful goods and services in essence speak to the need to pursue paths of non-violence in the way we live every day?  Has the unique brand of warfare/welfare state that is America permanently scarred most folks thinking to such a large extent that the moral imagination to consider peaceful cooperation with neighbors is out of the question?

If you don’t live in a homeowners association, find a friend who does and you will find that even the most banal of human activities – home ownership – has a tremendous amount of threatened violence built into it.  If you refuse to comply with their many demands, they have the ability to levy fines enforced by the proxy of state violence leveled against your refusal.  We travel to other end of the spectrum and you cannot read the news without discovering that we have killed more women and children with robot aircraft.  Everyday.  If a foreign power were doing that to your neighborhood, would you submit (yes, I see all the emphatically nodding heads on readers in the American Northeast but your culture is distinctly more Soviet and submissive than where I live in the American Southwest)?  Would this make you want to emulate that country?

We are a nation that has been at war for so long, we do not know anything else.  Except for a relative quiet period from 1932-41, we have been bayoneting the planet since 1890.  From China to Russia to every port in between.  The exceptional nation is built on not minding its own business and insisting on micromanaging everyone around it.  The United Kingdom is a perfect example of Buppert’s Rule of Empire:

“Whatever an empire practices abroad, no matter how noxious the policy, will eventually be used at home with a vengeance.”

I went to an antiwar rally last month at which there was a counter-demonstration by the usual suspects in the conservative realm with their “We Support the Troops” mantras, it happened to be smaller than the leftish contingent opposing the War on Terror (or Terrible People or Evil or Life or whatever it may be right now).  I found the sentiments of the lefty folks curiously bipolar in that they wanted to cease violence abroad but were happy to champion their socialist nostrums which are the real forms of domestic violence.  Several of them sported T-Shirts which sported a slogan reading:  Say No to Torture.  The counter-demonstrators made fun of these slogans.  Consider what I just said.  It belies a tacit agreement that the torture and physical or psychological maiming of other human beings is fine.  That is where our virtue barometer has fallen.  If one follows a timeline from birth (abortion) to torture to the death penalty, you can see that the people have a complicit agreement that their government may forfeit their lives at will and they will sign off on it as long as they are not the subject of such violence themselves.  If that is not a component of evil, I do not know what is.

We are one of the first empires in history that insists that all economic gain be negative in return but the primary mission of the empire appears to be to sustain a bloated and ineffective military hyper-power presence around the globe.  Whether it is the Navy’s emerging readiness difficulties afloat, critical manning shortages in the volunteer force or the dead-end programs which abound throughout DoD, the paradigm is in big trouble.  Programs which at times have multimillion dollar awards to the companies call “cancellation fees”.  One can treble the budget of all these government agencies and within a couple years they would be back at the trough begging for a new infusion of cash.  This is the nature of bureaucracy as von Mises instructed years ago.

“The bureaucrat is not free to aim at improvement. He is bound to obey rules and regulations established by a superior body. He has no right to embark upon innovations if his superiors do not approve of them. His duty and his virtue is to be obedient.”

So now we have the worst of both worlds:  a militarized state with a will to rule the world and the creeping red carpet of violence starting to spill over into the homeland.  I am not speaking to the “global terrorist” threat but the domestic terrorism practiced by the government on a daily basis whether the all too familiar police abuses or the increasing surveillance on every human transaction in America.  Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn tells us that “ [a] state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.”

Not to worry because on the one hand, all empires collapse of their own outlandish weight and excess but on the other hand, the death paroxysms can be a threat to every man, woman and child living in the country.  Take heart in the fact that all empires collapse and dissolve.

I know I tend to prattle on about the likes of Wilberforce and Spooner but those two worthies provide us with the vision to know that what may not be today can be tomorrow and again, we owe it to our children.

Give peace a chance.

“For peace is not mere absence of war, but is a virtue that springs from, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice”

– Baruch Spinoza

Notes in the Margin: I will be on the Peter Mac show on 12/29/10 at 1900-2000 CST and we will be discussing defense issues and future privatization.

I also ran into the keenest four minute video that clearly explicates why government is wrong at the most base level.  See:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGMQZEIXBMs

I have updated and annotated the Media and Interviews page to make it easier to navigate.

Copyright © 2010 by zerogov.com

Gary Tyler

The conviction reached in the greatest sham trial these united states have ever known remains intact. It may remain intact forever, or nearly so. This is despite a complete lack of physical evidence, testimony given by witnesses all of whom later recanted, and long-term public outcry.

The convict is a man named Gary Tyler, and his case may be the most prominent example of government racism in the 20th (and now the 21st) century.

In 1975, two decades after Brown v. The Board of Education, Destrehan High School was to be integrated. The tensions resulting from this activity resulted, as might be expected, in fights between students. This prompted the school’s administration to cease the day’s indoctrination activities and send the black students home. Their bus was attacked by more than a hundred whites upset about the integration. One of them, a thirteen-year-old boy named Timothy Weber, was shot and mortally wounded. The police chose then-sixteen Gary Tyler as the victim of their “investigation,” and at that moment, his fate was sealed.

The investigation of Weber’s death found no gun in the black students’s bus or on the ground outside; perhaps the prosecution would have us believe that Gary Tyler threw the bullet with his hands. Tyler was beaten (that is, tortured) by the police in an attempt to force him to confess. Other witnesses, too, reported police intimidation.

The dishonorable subhuman David Duke of the KKK arrived in Destrehan, ostensibly to bring security in to protect white citizens against violence. I assert that he may have had ulterior motives for visiting, and implore the reader to draw his own conclusions.

Gary Tyler was tried as an adult and sentenced to death by electrocution. He was saved from this fate only because Louisiana’s capital punishment law was declared unconstitutional in 1977, and he was sentenced again, this time to life in prison.

Tyler’s case was appealed and his conviction overturned. The state appealed that appeal, and had him convicted again. In 1989, the Louisiana Board of Appeals ruled in favor of a pardon, but the spineless Republicrat governor Buddy Roemer declined to pardon him, fearing that such an act would cost him reelection. (He lost anyway, coming in third behind fellow loser David Duke and the alliteratively-named former governor and perennial racketeer Edwin Edwards.) Since then, his cause has been championed by journalists, celebrities, and organizations like Amnesty International.

Gary Tyler’s plight is not unheard of. It ought to serve as a rallying cry for all those who oppose the oppressive nation of the government (in)justice system. It ought to cause riots in the street, not occasional protest songs and news articles. Every democratically elected Louisiana Governor since 1975 (representing the will of their people, remember) should be publicly shamed for their failures to pardon him.

Bobby Jindal

Above: this man should pardon Gary Tyler.

There is no conclusion to this essay, no call to action or argument. I have proven no thesis, and convinced you, reader, of no new philosophical idea. If anything, this is an illustration of one more government clusterfuck, one more unintended consequence of the state. There may be many more such clusterfucks in the legal system; many more men, black, white, or azure may rot in prison despite their innocence, their cases kept out of the public eye by obscurity and misfortune rather than fault of their own. Some may disagree with me as to the legitimacy of most modern laws, but I’ve yet to meet anyone who publicly favors holding in cages for life persons who’ve broken no laws. If there’s a possible state-sponsored solution to this institutional evil, I’d love to hear it.

“Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look
upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest.”

Mahatma Mohandas K. Gandhi

To a certain extent, Gandhi is one of the intellectual patron saints of this blog and it is only appropriate to let him introduce the latest installment in the Village Praxis Series.  I would like to thank Hillary Clinton for inspiring the title and intent of this series but in the spirit of her entire life, we employ the opposite meaning that would make that female variant of Josef Stalin blanch.  As a collectivist extraordinaire, she is philosophically wrong in most everything she speaks to and has ghost-written for her.  Therefore, in a twist on Orwellian Doublespeak, we wish to ensure that the Village in this case takes the initiative to make a U-turn and go in the opposite direction from Clinton’s totalitarian vision in her book, It Takes a Village.

Skip L. is done with the Ama-gi guide he put together for our village reformation project.  He has done a thorough examination of our needs here that would make Boston T. Party proud.  As with most of these kinds of evaluations, they tend to be climate and topography specific.  Our present location is in the high desert at approx 1600 meters with mountain peaks approaching 2500 meters on occasion.  Climate is certainly mild compared with the north Idaho climes we are formerly accustomed to.  While our winter nights can reach freezing temperatures, it is rather rare to have blustery days below 60 degrees Fahrenheit during the day even during winter. On the other end of the scale, it is rare to have more than one week out of the year with temperatures exceeding 100 degrees.

In the desert where we live, this is not the Sahara and we have plenty of low height vegetation that will prick, prod and sting you if you mess with them and the same applies to the local fauna among which the vipers tend to be the most unpleasant but the designer saw fit to attach warning devices on them.   The ideal camouflage for our environment tends to be Multicam or British Desert DPM although one of my lads has discovered that the old Gulf War I “chocolate chip” pattern is especially useful here.   Mind you, depending on the threat profile, the goblins may have access to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or man-portable thermal imaging which may obviate any camouflage you may employ.

I have some slight disagreements with Skip on his guide but they are merely nitpicks in an otherwise masterful guide.  Skip used the noxious term reconstruction in a positive sense and that is regrettable for those of us who hail from Confederate households (the Confederacy is not a region but a state of mind).

The weapons systems we adopted or are in the process of leveraging are designed for one rather simple task which becomes complex over time and distance:  to increase our immediate defensive envelope from one meter to a potential of  1600 meters using various tools in the quiver.

Skip and I developed the sidearm philosophy with a single guiding purpose which is one pistol family with slight variations in attributes but identical in functionality.  There will be endless debates on the efficacy of the 1911 versus the Glock and I wish to offer this one olive branch:  we have chosen and trained on the Glock with the modifications noted in the Praxis but if you or your village has mastered a different handgun system, great.  Thank you for not outsourcing your self-defense to a proxy (government) which in the end will turn it on you.  This suits our needs and yours may be different.  Skip uses the term concealed carry and I have since started using the term discreet carry because language unconsciously informs our thinking and I am not trying to hide anything nor do I like the implication.

When we first started examining rifle choices over a decade ago, we went to the FN-FAL platform as the primary for ourselves and our family members and both evolving technology and genetics forced a complete reevaluation of that decision.  We have since started moving to an AR platform based .223 and .308 system for matching the ubiquity and availability of weapons and training and adopting the lesser .223 cartridge for the family members who will NEVER field a .308 in any configuration.  Hence the decision to change platforms;  again, I cannot quibble over Skip’s recommendations except to add that a three-point sling is preferable to a two point and the addition of a Viking Tactical Loop Sling is vital to increased accuracy for the shooter especially the .308 platforms.  You will also note that as heretical as it may appear, we have not jumped on the gas piston technology and are still going with the direct impingement systems due to emerging drama over accuracy issues with the gas piston systems.

I am also hopeful that we will find a Tactical Latch that will not ventilate your sternum every time you go on a long yomp with it.

Please note that all the prices are subject to change in the Praxis but they are there as a relative guide.

I will let Skips’ recommendation for a pistol PDW/CCW speak for itself.  That is the only significant philosophical departure he and I have in the entire Praxis and I will not be adopting it.  I do think it may have an ideal “Michael Collins” deep carry urban rig utility but I am still a skeptic.

Skip and I also thought long and hard on the adoption of the Hard Target Interdiction Rifle (HTIR) and settled on the caliber of .338 Edge and he provides a great guide map on how to get there. The goblins own the Close Quarters Battle (CQB) environment but as history and our present difficulties in the Middle East show, the competent infantry half-kilometer rifleman will rule the roost and the ability to stretch that envelope to 1600 meters is even better.  Mind you, a curious combination of genetics and your willingness to train will be required to achieve any degree of mastery in the 800 meter plus combat environment and does it well.  I would contend that there are only a very small percentage of active riflemen who are even capable of this.  Not only is there a tremendous financial investment of nearly 10k per rifle when one factors in the training and ammunition and rebarreling necessary to master the system.  This is where the costs may be prohibitive in both money and time to become expert in a rather arcane skill set.

Per Skip’s recommendation on mission sets, I would offer that consideration be given to Level III versus Level IIIA armor for ballistic protection if you choose to not get Level IV.  I would also recommend that you consider that purchase now instead of later because it is only a matter of time before the rulers consider the private ownership of armor to be beyond the ken for them.  These bundles of kit also imply a tremendous amount of homework to see what fits your personal profile and the area of the country you live in.

One can infer from even a casual glance that this is not for the financially faint-hearted nor for folks pressed for time they can allocate to proper training.  It is one thing to have the kit for any enterprise you embark on but it is quite another to become competent with it.  The occupation dissenters in Iraq and Afghanistan are giving the world’s hyper military quite a difficult time with primitive but effective weapons technology because they have taken the time to train and acquaint themselves with their tools to include their hometown advantage.  Training is the most valuable resource you have when it comes to weapons, period.

Here at ZeroGov, we do not endorse a pacifist philosophy which appears to be a sure road to extinction.  We are opposed to ALL initiated violence on principle but endorse the use of elective (dueling) violence and defensive violence to protect village and kin from aggression.  Like the Free State Project, our mascot is the porcupine which is only harmful if messed with.  F. Paul Wilson gave us this from THE SECOND BOOK OF KYFHO [Keep Your F**king Hands Off] (Revised Eastern Sect Edition):

Never initiate force against another. That should be the underlying principle of your life. But should someone do violence to you, retaliate without hesitation, without reservation, without quarter, until you are sure that he will never wish to harm – or never be capable of harming – you or yours again.

Imagine a world in which individuals or cooperatives would react in that fashion to any violent government intervention in their lives; before long, government would be resting comfortably in the dustbins of history where they belong.

Remember, weapons and their associated kit are only a small part of the preparedness profile necessary to be ready for what government has created – a big bloody mess with unintended consequences all over the place.  America will be an amusement park ride for the rest of its short-lived history remaining.  Your ability to care for your family and let them prosper in the coming bad times is your mission and if you leave it to the authorities, you are wrong.

Here is the link to the Praxis.

My friend Nathan C sent this terrific critique of the Guide:

1. Plug in Glock handle may make it harder to remove mag if stuck.

2. Extended slide release not so important if people learn to not use them at all. It is better to grab the slide and rack it.  I never use that little mag release thingy [very useful in wounded defender drills, actually indispensable]

3. DMR 5.56 is great, I run a 16″ Recce.  I am still supersonic out to 800 yards so that is what my range is in my opinion.  The 77 gn bullets hit the steel so hard at 800 they disintegrate.  Imagine being hit by a .22 LR going 1100 fps second that weighed 77 gr. The DMR you show would have another 200 fps, so supersonic range is out to 900 or so I think. It is important people know that they need a fast rate of twist to shoot 77 gn smk, at least 1 in 8 but I run 1 in 7 twist.  I have been promoting the Recon 5.56 as a standard caliber/rifle in my circle. I know that 308 is the caliber of choice amongst preppers, but I got my reasons.  Compatible magazines, parts and ammo just seem like such a great idea. I was also led down this path by Marcus Luttrell’s book.

4. Optics are essential and you are missing out if you never had the chance to shoot a scope whose knobs and reticle both speak the miliradian language.  MOA is a dinosaur that will be extinct in the next 20 years.  Get in now on the ground floor of Mil/Mil and be seen as pioneers. Other nice features are zero stop, 1 or 2 turn knob, front focal plane and variable power. SWFA has a 3-9 power that fits most of these criteria for a paltry $500 (demo) I have their 10x and am very impressed with it.  Unfortunately it is not illuminated.  Personally I like US Optics and Nightforce the best but expensive for sure.  I have been driving a 1.5-6x USO for a few months now and I am very impressed.

5. The Harris bipods are much better with the notched legs and the “pod-lock.” [Versapod is even better]

6. I have read quite a few neg reviews on the Newcon rangefinder. I am leaning toward the Swaro or the next step up is the Vectronix I think. For under 800 yards the Leoupold is OK.  I am a little embarrassed to admit I don’t own a good rangefinder right now.  I will soon fix that though.

7. I have an Eliseo tube gun chassis on order that I think is a good way to go. 20 MOA rail, AI magazine compatible, and Rem compatible for around $700.  I hope to have this up and running as a 308/260 Remington switch barrel in the next few months.

8.  I know you guys have put a lot of thought into this and I appreciate it.  I hope one of my ideas will bring you at least mild amusement.

9. In the future I will attempt to lure you to the dark side of suppressor ownership and to the dark realm of the 300 AAC Blackout formerly known as 300 Whisper.

What can hide muzzle flash, soak up recoil, confuse the zombies into looking for you where you are not, make your weapon much quieter, and entice timid people into having fun at the range? Sssshhhh.

10. I once asked a friend of mine whether or not he was worried that the authorities might not come one day and confiscate his weapons, as he had many suppressors and machine guns (all legall).  He was an Oathkeeper and a Ranger.

He said simply, “Oh, I’ll be long gone before that.”

I guess he had drawn a line in the sand, and dared them to cross it.

Notes in the Margin:

I found a bootlegged copy of my speech at the Freedom Summit on 5 DEC 2010 on the “The End of America: the Coming deSovietization of These united States”.  You will find it here:

I will post a cleaner copy as soon as it becomes available.

“There exists a law, not written down anywhere, but inborn in our hearts; a law which comes to us not by training or custom or reading; a law which has come to us not from theory but from practice, not by instruction but by natural intuition. I refer to the law which lays it down that, if our lives are endangered by plots or violence or armed robbers or enemies, any and every method of protecting ourselves is morally right.”

— Marcus Tulius Cicero

“I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.”

-H.L. Mencken

Why does this site exist and what will you get out of it?  Every blog is something of a vanity project and a catharsis for thinking out loud and this suits both for me.  Aside from writing a book, a blog is a legacy that may last far longer than I do.  Nothing really disappears from the Internet and I am certain there are folks in the government who are always interested in maintaining a watchful eye on blogs such as mine because they represent the most direct philosophical threat to their very existence.

In an earlier phase of my intellectual development, I had been seduced by the heady siren song of limiting government which sounds like the most viable solution but on closer examination is the most silly of chimeras.  There is no historical precedent in the Western world throughout its entire history of a government birthing from calving off another or rising out of the ashes of extinction of the previous regime and containing themselves within the confines of power originally set forth at their germination. None.  There are plenty of empty promises and proclamations of purity but the usual suspects will be self-selected to seek to rule others;  most of whom are socio- or psychopathic.  Politics is nothing more than the nationalization of human transactions where the converse is the complete privatization of the planet; the latter is the charter of this blog.  Nationalization is the government seizure (there is no polite term) of a product, service or behavior.  This can happen with something as mundane as the circumference of grapefruit to something as epic in scope as the forfeiture of health care or the use of the innumerable malum prohibitum laws on the books.  For those who take a longer view of history, it becomes abundantly clear that governments in their life stages until their eventual deaths which are inevitable rarely seem to calculate second- and third-order effects of their meta-behaviors.  I always presume that while good intentions may be the standard apologia for the lion’s share of government action and behavior, this is simply an intellectual smokescreen with the same vapidity of hate crimes, hiding what is the nature of government which is the threat or use of violence against anyone or anything which either refuses to comply or pay the assessed tribute.  One should never measure a government’s behavior by its intent but the fruits of its actions.  And that is bitter fruit indeed for the totality of human history.  It is almost as if we have been in a fever-dream surrounded by inmates in a vast prison state which has effectively through indoctrination trained people to consciously think that harming others through fining, jailing, maiming and killing is the only blueprint for any possible society.  Think of that, a near consensus among thinking human beings that the only way to organize a just society is through terror.  Terrorism is the use of politically motivated violence against non-combatants or innocents in a kinder parlance.  One might say that the Global War on Terror which has exponentially increased the size of government has been pointed in the wrong direction.

We have friends and relations who enjoy boasting of law and order.  The tough guys who pronounce that the latest police beating was warranted and the prison rape the men will endure while caged for their sentence is perfectly justified for their crimes even if the offense were as banal as a paperwork violation, avoidance of taxes or an infraction against the tens of thousands of law no normal human could comprehend much less have an awareness of.  Remember that it is all about the law and not the human context because context is totally absent from government calculus.  It is part of its power.  I have mentioned before that every American is subject to indefinite detention in the alleged justice system the Federal government and its subsidiary political elements known as states have erected.  It is another tool in the arsenal of democracy that is the fancy name for mob rule subject to the kakocrats at the top of the system.  The government has been successful beyond their wildest expectations in creating a captive and occupied population from which they derive both their material succor and the sophisticated means to bully and control tens of millions of humans. The government must erect these officious and brutal means of suppression otherwise the small percentage of liberty minded folks who chafe at living on a feedlot and having their lives micromanaged would set a very bad example for the rest who would take notice of the people who elect not to abide by the system.  As with the likelihood of secession looming ever brighter, once the first person is allowed to opt out of the government confines, a stampede will commence that will be unstoppable.  This is why the IRS is invested with such formidable power to fine and cage recalcitrant taxpayers.

America has conducted a brilliant government campaign to put the state at the top tier of idolatry and the family and individual volition at the bottom.  This has been a two-tiered assault.  The government makes it very inconvenient to fight its depredations as an individual and ensures that the education system is kept in a tight orbit around government supremacism.  Most of my readers have attended some college and have seen first-hand the absolute monopoly of the government supremacist mindset among faculty, administration and student alike. When one suggests that non-violence may be a preferable building system for a peaceful society instead of the enslavement of government, one is almost universally scorned.  Is it not interesting that all the fevered anti-war rhetoric from the “left” has disappeared since the election of the latest scoundrel to the Presidency?  The collectivism permeates the American academy with very little exception and this from doyens in the humanities and social “sciences” whose jobs may belabor 8-12 hours per week unless they have paid teaching assistants available. The rest of the time certainly is not used to practice critical thinking but to sharpen the same weak-minded rationalizations of the academy to justify the ultimate goal of extinguishing every private aspect of human life.  They prettily dress the rhetoric is high-minded humanitarian goals but in the end they are the intellectual equivalents of prison guards in their moral imaginations.

And then we have the mooing from certain sections of the feedlot about the sacred Constitution and returning to our roots to regain our liberties.  Fat chance since the germination of that document gave us the leviathan we labor under today.

Here is a thought experiment for you:  the next time you have a convivial discussion of politics or society with your friends and family, tell them to see if they are capable of conducting the discussion without advocating the initiation of violence on their fellow humans.  See if the conversation about politics will in any fashion examine alternatives to inherent violence and compulsion.  While I despise the false front of Left and Right which are simply degrees of collectivism, you will notice that even the “peace” advocates tend to embrace the use of force domestically and the “hawks” tend to glory in the killing of humans around the globe.  Yet, it is hard to distinguish between them anymore especially since the latest occupant of the White House, despite a rather elegant Leftish pedigree, is indistinguishable in his actions from his neoconservative/socialist predecessor.  The government program of indoctrination has been so thorough that most will be speechless and unable to communicate because government is not about the noble ideas of securing rights or ensuring liberty but the cardinal opposite.  In its most naked and unadorned form, it is simply a cop.  Invested with all we have come to expect from that particular class: a base viciousness with no limit whatsoever in the ability to cage, maim and kill for crimes that would not exist within the realm of common sense or decency.  Killing in the name of love, indeed.

I plan on embarking on a quixotic and scintillating quest in the near future to explicate why cooperation and non-violence (except in response to initiated violence) are the preferable and virtuous way to order a society.  This may be a Sisyphean task but a necessary one.  We owe it to our children to offer a better future and not a more comfortable (for now) prison cell.

“A government that can at pleasure accuse, shoot, and hang men, as traitors, for the one general offence of refusing to surrender themselves and their property unreservedly to its arbitrary will, can practice any and all special and particular oppressions it pleases. The result — and a natural one — has been that we have had governments, State and national, devoted to nearly every grade and species of crime that governments have ever practised upon their victims; and these crimes have culminated in a war that has cost a million of lives; a war carried on, upon one side, for chattel slavery, and on the other for political slavery; upon neither for liberty, justice, or truth. And these crimes have been committed, and this war waged, by men, and the descendants of men, who, less than a hundred years ago, said that all men were equal, and could owe neither service to individuals, nor allegiance to governments, except with their own consent.”

– Lysander Spooner

Notes in the Margin: I am looking for original essays that explain why roads, law and a myriad of other “public” goods and services must be privatized.  Please note that my use of the word privatized does not mean the contracting out of a service by a government entity but the complete divorce from any government grasp or reach.  It will be published under your name and I reserve the right to edit for grammar and spelling but not content.

Scott Horton interviewed me for antiwar.com recently.  You will find it here:    https://antiwar.com/radio/2010/12/13/william-buppert/ Please be sure to add comments if you please.

Copyright © 2010 by zerogov.com

Row, Citizen!

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

– H.L. Mencken

My friend, Skip, and I have known each other over a decade and he is one of the smartest technical weapons minds around.  We have often shared a tactical symbiosis between his gunsmithing skills and my gun handling aplomb.  I have mentioned him several times and he is the honorary Weapons/Kit Technical Editor for Hezekiah Wyman which has now been reflagged as ZeroGov and he is the inspiration for the occasional Village Praxis Series we run which will make a more frequent appearance in the realm in the near future.

He is fond of penning annotated and comprehensive equipment lists for the Village as we adapt to the emerging needs predicated by the mischief Mordor offers us every day.  Frequent readers of this site are aware that the economic perfect storm and fiat currency collapse is inevitable which makes any self-respecting man reflect on what he needs to do to provide for the family in grid-up or grid-down doomsday scenario.  We all know that there is a storm on the horizon and there is NO remedy for the current cavalcade of calamities that is running down the tracks toward us.

So sometime in the next week I will publish Skip’s latest opus on basic kit especially in light of the recent local Village refit for the AR platform.

Don’t panic, just get ready.  Fear is the mind-killer and we simply have to assume that the political and physical landscape of America is going to change in a big way.  In ten years, you will not recognize what is below the Canadian border and what is above the Mexican border.  It will be brand new.  There will be pockets of every political stripe throughout the land.  The Northeast will most likely to devolve into a Sovietized totalitarian economic basket-case and the Inland Western states will form confederations that will experiment in a variety of smaller and non-government polities and the remainder of the nation will fill in everything in between.  For the first time since the dark day that the Constitution smothered the land in 1791 with unlimited taxation and central planning, genuine unfettered economic opportunity and freedom will emerge in fragile seedbeds around the country.

We have to channel the Flinter.

The planet Flint was an imaginary planet in F. Paul Wilson’s magnificent LaNague Federation books.  It was a non-aligned member in a broad system of Earth-like planets that refused to cooperate in the ordinary extortion scheme that passes for governance on the off-worlds.  What distinguished it from other worlds was the insistence that while the Rothbardian Non-Aggression Axiom was observed, the planet bristled with a population that was schooled in the open hand and weaponized arts to such a huge extent that they were a tremendous deterrent to both invasion and the emergence of government on the planet; quite literally an anarchist Sparta (unlike the near communist Sparta of old).  Switzerland, although rapidly devolving its defensive sensibilities is a near-analog for the philosophical structure to include the cantonment for political decentralization.

It is time to become a Flinter nation even if it is simply your family or close friends or community. It is time to unlearn all the foul and evil propaganda drilled into us since childhood to accept that elections can authorize the jailing of your neighbors as long as 51% agree, that the theft of that same neighbor’s wages to transfer to someone else through force is righteous and that, ultimately, the maiming and killing of hundreds of thousands of your planetary neighbors will make you safer (what?).

It is time to understand that violence has a place only in self-defense, for pacifism is a sure recipe for enslavement and worse.

So teach your children well and salute the flag they are flying for the end is nigh.

Assange is a canary and the knives are out because the government is on its last legs even though it intends on going out in style at other people’s expense.  But then again government is always at other people’s expense.

Notes in the Margin:  ZeroGov is up and many thanks to Kaiser L for his extraordinary efforts in inaugurating this new chapter in the blog.  We are still tweaking the look and should be complete in the next week.  I do think the reflagging makes the intent of the blog rather unambiguous.  I will be accepting contributions if they fit the mood and mission of the blog so I am putting out the call for writing talent.  I retain all rights to edit for grammar and spelling but will never alter a contribution’s content.  The mission is simple:  initiate a sea change in people’s view of government;  in the inimitable words of Marc Stevens :  “Should a service or product be provided at the barrel of a gun?” This is the new abolition project; we seek to abolish ALL slavery.  William Wilberforce sets the tone:

“So enormous, so dreadful, so irremediable did the Trade’s wickedness appear that my own mind was completely made up for Abolition. Let the consequences be what they would, I from this time determined that I would never rest until I had effected its abolition.”

Copyright zerogov.com 2010

Bill at the Sierra Vista Anti-War Rally (Armed, Of Course)

I just got back from the Freedom Summit and the Small Arms Review (SAR) Gun Show in Phoenix over the weekend.  We spent the entire day SAT at the SAR show and it was huge.  We got to lay hands on dozens of new weapons and kit.  Wonderful.  A good time was had by all and my speech on Sunday appeared to be well-received but I paled in performance when Stefan Molyneux took the stage at noon.  He may the new libertarian/anarchist rock star of the twenty-teens and his podcasts are apparently the most distributed of their type in the world.  All of these speeches will be available on freedoms-phoenix in the near future and I will post them as soon as they become available.

The non-statist/anarchist/abolitionist/voluntaryist meme is the major trend in the conference.  The limited government advocates are becoming as rare as hen’s teeth.  Four of the speakers on Sunday (including myself) were self-professed “zero government” advocates.  Much as secession was a four letter word ten years ago, the anarchist trend in thinking is gaining traction in the liberty community and may be the mainstream in the next ten years.

Marc Stevens was a speaker who really drove the point home with the rather simple but elegant observation that services rendered at the point of a gun may not be as virtuous as we suppose.  The cattle in the feedlot are starting to realize that their very purpose is the fulfillment of material sustenance and labor for the parasite/looter classes that provide the entire foundational support for a system that robs from Peter to pay Paul for no better reason than that they can get away with it.  I am fond of saying that macroeconomics is nothing more than the sophisticated academic rationalization of government intervention in the economy and the same applies for the entire academic field of political science which, in the end, is nothing more than a sophisticated philosophical apologia for the use or threat of violence against non-compliant individuals in a society.

We all realize that the government cannot allow you leniency when you break the myriad laws they pass nor shirk taxes and tribute to the very organization that enslaves them.  This is far worse than chattel slavery because it is a slavery that seeks to make the chained thankful for their fetters and constantly ask for more.  Government is nothing more than the human condition in a fetal position begging to be told what to do with a total absence of initiative to do anything outside of that construct.  The idea of a total absence of the state and its attendant violence TERRIFIES most of mankind because the conditioning has succeeded beyond the wildest expectation of the socio/psychopaths that people the political ruler and bureaucrat classes.   The statist white noise that is the media and the education axis around the globe has crippled people’s abilities to think for themselves and impoverished their moral imaginations.

I am going to channel Stefan’s brilliant keynote speech on Sunday and paraphrase a keen question he posed.  Stop attempting to prove why private enforcement mechanisms in medieval Iceland were a great way to mimic how to do so today.  Stop finding odd historical examples of liberty prevailing over statism.  Turn the rhetorical device around.  Urge whomever the government supremacist is you are talking to to explain to you, a new visitor from Mars with no knowledge of how Earth works, to explicate how roads are provisioned or why wars occur with such frequency or how a war on a person’s ability to alter their own consciousness are a betterment for mankind.  Ask them to explain why freedom is not superior to central planning and government violence.  Whether a neoconservative or a communist or a socialist or an environmentalist, have them walk you through why their system of collective governance is always superior to individual volition and independence.  Tug at their moral defensibility and find out why the abolition of self-ownership is a virtuous position.

I mentioned in my speech that the number one skill to master in the coming bad times is critical thinking;  thinking about thinking to improve your thinking through better thinking.  That is all it is.  Certainly you will have to master fallacies, the fundamentals of logic, Adler’s notion of reading books and casting a skeptical eye on everything, especially authority.  Government thinking is always shallow otherwise the entire system would not simply be based on the application of brute force from caging to torture to death.  Leverage that weakness.

William Wilberforce almost single-handedly broke the slave trade in England with his unique idea that a man’s self-ownership was a critical facet of being fully human but he did not complete his Herculean task.  He managed to shame most of the Western world into abandoning chattel slavery but this was simply one factor of government.  The rulers at the time saw there was no way to stem the tide of moral indignation (there is hope for us) and had to devise newer and more subtle means of enslavement.  Chattel slavery had been a planetary institution for more than five millennia and it was accepted universally with a milder variant in serfdom.  The other forms of servitude through regulatory and taxation regimes became the substitute for the chattel form.  The dawning of the industrial age had started to shatter the efficacy of chattel slavery since the perverse incentive structures (“You pretend to pay us and we will pretend to work”) precluded any provision of labor beyond raw material extraction. Admittedly, this did not prevent the communists from trying to reinvent the idea. The rest is history as universal education for the masses became job one for industrialized nations to condition and shape the populations into cowed (pun intended) masses being milked for the benefit of their respective authoritarian systems.

And here we are.

Stefan made a funny but profound comment during his presentation.  He was talking about the silliness of the notion of aliens invading earth and making war on it because governments would not be able to master interstellar space travel because they are…governments.

I would offer a tiny sliver of evidence to speak to the government’s ability to crush individual innovation and lose a technical edge.  America led the planet in the field of automatic weapons and machine guns until 1934 and then the edge fell off never to be regained again.  No more garage tinkering or innovation in the marketplace.  What happened?  The National Firearms Act was passed in 1934 which essentially nationalized the industry and restricted possession to the “only ones” and the affluent. Innovation and technology quickly tailed off and we had to import the lion’s share of technology to compete with the rest of the world.  As a philosophical porcupine, I am always interested in the latest weapons advances to make me safer.

The whole idea of no government is an alien concept to most it takes considerable effort to digest but the idea of self-government becomes attractive over time.  I plan on spending a fair amount of 2012 exploring and teasing out the intricacies of mankind’s evolution beyond servitude to others without their consent in my writing as Nero fiddles in Mordor.

Notes in the Margin: Hezekiah Wyman will officially close as a website effective tonight this week (Kaiser’s note: delay is my fault!) and in the morning a new dawn will emerge with the birth of zerogov.com.  The site will be reflagged and slightly improved.  My wife will even smile upon me because I have finally developed a website “where everyone can spell it” and find it.  Hezekiah’s spirit of defiance and expertise in liberty’s teeth will continue to be a muse for the scribbling here.  So, essentially, while a cosmetic change will occur, the substance and tenor of the site will remain the same;  the examination and pursuit of a stateless society in which humans will be the captains of their destiny and not cattle on a feedlot posing as a tax jurisdiction.  I will also start accepting guest postings on occasion if germane to the mission at hand, if interested, email me.


Notes in the Margin: I spoke at the Freedom Summit in Phoenix, AZ on the weekend of 3-5 December 2010 and here is a précis and brief introduction to the topic.  The speech is available in Media and Interviews on the site.   I am pessimistic about the survival of the present political apparatus formally known as the United States of America.  It is crumbling by every measure and unsustainable on its present course.  I don’t write this as a hopeful missive but as a cautionary tale written before the sad event. Most of these tales are written after the devastation has occurred.  You have a unique opportunity to be ready when our Wall collapses.  You can be ready for it and not caught without warning.  The mental and spiritual preparedness is up to you; I highly recommend you consider G3 – gold, guns and groceries because you will surely need them.  Your children don’t have to say a word; you know what you owe them. -BB

The principle, on which the war was waged by the North, was simply this: That men may rightfully be compelled to submit to, and support, a government that they do not want; and that resistance, on their part, makes them traitors and criminals.  No principle, that is possible to be named, can be more self-evidently false than this; or more self-evidently fatal to all political freedom. Yet it triumphed in the field, and is now assumed to be established. If it really be established, the number of slaves, instead of having been diminished by the war, has been greatly increased; for a man, thus subjected to a government that he does not want, is a slave. And there is no difference, in principle — but only in degree — between political and chattel slavery. The former, no less than the latter, denies a man’s ownership of himself and the products of his labor; and asserts that other men may own him, and dispose of him and his property, for their uses, and at their pleasure.

– Lysander Spooner

I am often accused of hyperbole when I compare the America of 1917 with the Russian Revolution starting in the same year.  While I think all governments are kakocracies, these models tend to be among the worst.  Buppert’s Corollary to Acton’s Axiom is that power attracts the corruptible and that absolute power is even worse.  I contend that Lenin and Wilson were in the virtual starting blocks to race to create the perfect Soviet state.  Lincoln also shares a great deal of credit for the direction that Wilson steered the course for he wrote the preamble to put us all on the plantation.  Both countries flirted with free markets in one fashion or another for the first years of the 1920s.  Lenin tried a market liberalization program of in the New Economic Policy in 1921 to make up for the disastrous early consequences of War Communism.  The rapid central government planning led to the problems any thinking man assumes will happen when you put the government in charge of anything – shortages skyrocket and quality plummets.

Woodrow Wilson was President from 1912-20 and his yen for government control manifested itself in the pursuit of an income tax, anti-trust policy and the entry of America into the other unnecessary war, WWI.  In addition to WWI, this Democratic President also ramped up military action in Latin America.  Wilson went on to try to strangle the competitor revolution in Russia in the AEF to Siberia but ultimately failed.

Force — Force to the utmost; Force without stint or limit, the righteous and triumphant Force which shall make Right the law of the world and cast every selfish dominion down in the dust. —

Deranged mass murderer Woodrow Wilson explains his philosophy of government, April 6, 1917.

The scientific concept of dictatorship means nothing else but this: Power without limit, resting directly on force, restrained by no laws, absolutely unrestricted by rules. —

Deranged mass murderer Vladimir Lenin, agreeing in principle with Wilson.

One can say that the only positive thing to come out of the Wilson regime was the appointment of Supreme Court Justice James C. McReynolds.  With the end of Wilson’s reign of Presidential terror the magisterial reigns of Harding and Coolidge saw a ringing in of freedom once again and then the Hoover administration re-energized the Soviet temptation in the American Executive and it has not slowed down since.

What is a Soviet?  Soviet is the Russian word for council or harmony; it became the universal parlance for a heavily centralized state in the 20th century.  According to the legend in US government schools, they were the main enemy but in essence, what were the differences between the governing philosophies of the two nations?  They both relied except for a brief interregnum in the US from 1920-28 on a heavily regulated and centralized bureaucratic state emanating from a capitol region (DC and Moscow respectively).  Whether under the flags of Keynesianism or Marxism, both used the government and its planners as the schwerpunkt of all above-ground economic activity.  Now mind you, the body count under the more indelicate ministrations of the USSR were quite a bit more bloody-handed but the impetus especially under the Soviet-inspired administration of ReDDR of Marxian mischief made itself manifest across the fruited plain.   His Vice President, Henry Wallace, was quite the socialist dimwit.

The American government, whether through careful planning or serendipity, started to look to Mussolini-style state corporatism as a means to milk the cow and control it at the same time. Taking a cue from the National Socialists and Benito’s Fascists, the successors to Roosevelt started to use the central state to vertically and horizontally control corporate behavior through regulation and taxation.  It appears that the heavy-handed tactics used by the Marxist-Leninists may have been a bad fit for most Americans while a plea for national security and fairness would be a clever proxy to outright nationalization. Every President since Coolidge has expanded and dwarfed their predecessors in the creation of the American Leviathan state; even the wrongly sainted Reagan failed to reduce one program and expanded the scope and size of the acknowledged Federal budget to monstrous proportions.  What Abbott and Costello are to comedy is what Marx and Keynes are to economics and so we have the political theater of the Republicans and Democrats posing as different ideologies when in reality their shared aspirations are one:  the continued expansion of central government control into every human transaction.  Both parties are certainly war-like if a glance at the 20th century is any indication.  The current Clown Posse in the WAFL (War Against Freedom and Liberty) House may be a different party from the Busheviks but the tenor and shape of all policy is the same;  endless expansion and limitless intrusion into people’s affairs. I was going to claim ours is rather bloodless but when you see the vicious increases in cop on citizen brutality and the latest security theater antics of another Clown Posse called the TSA in addition to the countless maimed and killed in our campaigns overseas, you get an idea our innocence may be oversold.  In 1989, the other central planning model folded but thanks to the Wilsonian variation on the lunatic antics of a centrally and politically managed fiat currency, America has managed to buy some time at the bar.  The tab is starting to edge into the astronomically insufferable and economically nonviable but the party continues on the Potomac.  Keyne’s animal spirits have truly prevailed in the fifth century Rome that got a new lease on life in DC.

As I mentioned, some of the brutal aspects of the Russian regime have certainly not been entertained in the West but not for want of trying such as the American Protective League during WWI and the Bonus Marchers beat-down in 1931.  We certainly do not have an analog to the Ukrainian terror famine in the 20th century but the aboriginal Americans could make a robust case for the 19th century.

One curious yet ominous analog is the Gulag systems.  These were not merely for political prisoners but all manner of convictions ranging from petty theft to murder along with the odious Malum prohibitum diktats government is so fond of.  America is now home to the highest per capita prison population on Earth in the Land of the Free.  The peak prison population in the gulags in the USSR was 1.7 million in 1953 under Stalin (TIME’s Man of the Year – twice) and we have the honor of matching that or trebling that if we count probation and parole.  It has increased tremendously just in the last half century along with a commensurate rise in what is essentially the bane of every free society – professional police forces.

Mind you, it is not as if the economic system the West chose was inferior to the Russians despite the learned prognostications of the eminent economists, Robert Samuelson and others, who through the 1980s thought the Soviet system of production would outstrip America because of his hostility to free markets. To wit:  “[T]he Soviet economy is proof that, contrary to what many skeptics had earlier believed, a socialist command economy can function and even thrive.” Samuelson was not alone and the idolatry of central planning in both politics and economics was and is a majority position in academia and the chattering classes.  One sees it today with the adoration in the Obama administration of admitted Communists who even get positions of authority.  I find that in an abstract way one could be at the dawn of the twentieth century and make a case for communism and socialism since they were relatively immature systems from the perspective of being tried on a grand scale.  But to be an advocate of central planning whether socialism or communism today is tantamount to being a subscriber to a system of galactic serial killing not to mention egregious economic illiteracy. As a matter of fact, membership in the Communist Party or related activities is no longer a prohibited act to get a security clearance in the US government.

The bottom line is that the two Soviet systems ran on a parallel course for awhile but the American course veered on a more fascistic and less socialist model than our friends in the East.  The only distinction being instead of direct nationalization vis a vis British Airways or the BBC or Aeroflot, the US adopted a regulatory regime that through a combination of top-down management and confiscatory taxation gave the illusion of commercial autonomy but married big business to big government.  Armentano proved conclusively that monopolies cannot exist if the government does not erect legal barriers to competition so the big businesses use government as a proxy to bludgeon the newcomers.  Why does the US Chamber of Commerce consistently behave in a non-capitalist fashion? The powers that be determined that more productivity through regulation and taxation and the massive reeducation efforts in the government school systems would enrich the expansion of government more than the heavy-handed Russian model.  With total taxation for individuals in America approaching sixty percent plus of income when all the factors of property, sales, income, excise and corporate taxes are figured along with the myriad of regulatory regimes that distort real prices, America certainly approaches the horrific levels of tax theft imposed on our betters in Europe.  The corporate tax rate is actually paid by all the consumers as an added business expense imposed by the government; another indication that a VAT is another tax on top of other…taxes.  It is ironic that more proximate the country to Russia, the lower the tax rates and that Russia has significantly lower tax rates than the US at 24 and 13% respectively for corporate and personal income tax rates.

The big question is when will our collapse occur?  All empires fall and all fiat currency regimes fail over time.  Productivity tends to decline when perverse incentives like all government behavior in the marketplace prompts folks to ask the Russian question:  “You pretend to pay us and we’ll pretend to work.”  We are in the midst of an economic perfect storm with the debt, deficit, non-funded transfer payment obligations, massive subsidy of sloth and irrational allocation of economic resources without a price signal (that would be ALL government programs) coupled with a death-wish for the world through our refusal to mind our own national business and the growing planet-wide rage to get us out of their lives.

There were NO senior analysts in the US or NATO intelligence organs who predicted the fall of the USSR in 1989.  Save one:  Robert Conquest, but he was no intelligence analyst.  He was one of the few sober Russophiles and Kremlinologists who had not been seduced by the Communist idea (along with the millions of political dissidents and émigrés to the West during the 20th century).  He knew that the combination of a massive and intrusive police state, central planning and intrusive control of every aspect of life would inevitably lead to spectacular collapse.  We are there and they are us.

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So, yes, these united States are Soviet-lite and it is time for a change.  And that change is coming and the elites, rulers and innumerable apparatchiks in government positions across America are in for a rude awakening.  I hope that none of them share the fate of the late ruler of Romania but, on occasion, even insulated rulers reap what they sow  There will be tough times ahead for everyone and let’s hope that the crisis temper of the collapse of the Mordor Republic on the Potomac does not spur the people to replace it with a system that is just as violent, mendacious and venal as the last one.

The American people, North and South, went into the [Civil] war as citizens of their respective states, they came out as subjects … what they thus lost they have never got back.

– H.L. Mencken

Copyright © 2010 by hezekiahwyman.com