Publisher’s Note: The following essay was published two years ago on and still bears examination today.  I sometimes wonder why Spooner and Tucker, et al, are so unnoticed or purposefully ignored by mainstream historians but their message is clearly not in league with what the court historians wish to transmit as a lesson to the population at large. In the end, if enough recognize that ONLY individuals can possess virtue and groups cannot, it may hasten the end of the violent fiction known as government.

Be sure to watch Stefan Molyneux’s brilliant video:

On another note, we are getting ready to unveil a forum for Zero Gov where the preternaturally brilliant readership of the blog can cross rhetorical swords with me or any other member of this happy band of brothers.  I am hoping that it becomes a meeting place to challenge and advance the ideas of freedom and liberty in a post-government world.  We will make the formal announcement in the next week when the forum is officially launched. -BB


“Many politicians of our time are in the habit of laying it down as a self-evident proposition, that no people ought to be free till they are fit to use their freedom. The maxim is worthy of the fool in the old story, who resolved not to go into the water till he had learned to swim. If men are to wait for liberty till they become wise and good in slavery they may indeed wait for ever.”

~ Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800—1859)

We live in tumultuous times that demand close attention to the yokes being placed on us. The US government is seemingly in the throes of a coup that is exponentially creeping and expanding into what was formerly a fairly autonomous province. Every sector and branch of human transactions that are palpable in this mortal coil is now being subject to regulation, taxation or both. With no authority whatsoever, entire swaths of American society are being subsumed under Leviathan state.

What is the authority or color thereof that these alien entities are gobbling up entire patterns of human existence? I have hinted before that the denizens of Mordor on the Potomac act as if their authority is unlimited and their ultimate reach is anything they please. We are witnessing a vicious brew of Sovietization and Mussolini-style state corporatism that will take a revolution to undo. The annals of Western history are full of this kind of grand hubris enabled by consent both willing and silent on the part of the populace. Humans tend to submit to a yoke or collar when invested with fear and anxiety about futures worse than now. The corpse-count in the twentieth century topped 165 million [this number has been revised by Rummel to 262 million]outside of warfare through democide.

These morbid thoughts seem intemperate measured against the apparently “peaceful” measures of Mordor to instill Keynesian stability and save the banksters from themselves with nary a peep of protest from the appropriately red-colored Grand Old Politburo. If you ever had the notion the parties were different, just look at the seamless transition between Bush II and Obama. The only difference between these monsters is skin color because collectivism is thicker than water. Look at the temptation — you step into the cockpit of the Offal (Oval) Office and decades of creeping totalitarian weeds have strangled and mastered practically every facet of American behavior and life. A simple touch of the controls and hundreds of thousands of subsidiary bureaucrats in the Executive agencies somewhat smoothly respond to the yoke to amp up taxation here and increase regulation there and the heady brew of total power starts to go to the President’s head. One can count on a single hand the number of Presidents who took the limitations on their power seriously (Van Buren, Cleveland and Coolidge among the all-stars). As Royce pointed out in his brilliant but underappreciated book — The Hologram of Liberty — that the Constitution was doomed at the beginning by Hamilton’s curse (Burr did not get to him soon enough) and the temptations of George Washington to start the executive imperial ball rolling (witness the Shay’s and Whiskey Rebellions) against state sovereignty.

The most basic building block for compliance to illegitimate authority is fear. Drivers speed but always take caution if a hint of police presence or the increasingly ubiquitous camera systems are in place. Rare is the libertarian who wants to pay taxes of any stripe but compliance is heeded to avoid fines and imprisonment, or worse. We do not obey because it is the core right thing to do when it comes to most government edicts. I don’t harm my neighbor nor do I steal his property because it is against the law but my inner moral compass best exemplified by the Ten Commandments or the Categorical Imperative provides my azimuth for behavior. I want to eliminate the perennial bugbear that the MSM and government schools drill into the populace — righteous and correct behavior only emanates from government coercion to make you do the right thing. Step back and examine that proposition. Can you think of any government initiatives or programs that not only supported perverse incentives but made you much worse off? I will let you ponder your own answers but they are legion. Just think — the entire Federal Register provides the enterprising social science researcher with a gargantuan solution set to the second- and third-order effects of perverse incentives and iatrogenic effect that animates the entire sordid history of government intervention.


“You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot lift the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot establish security on borrowed money. You cannot build character and courage by taking away men’s initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.”

William Boetcker

“Indeed, in a free government almost all other rights would become worthless if the government possessed power over the private fortune of every citizen.”

-John Marshall

I issue a standard challenge to everyone within earshot:  show me one government or nation state which became smaller and smaller over time and increasingly less injurious to the freedom and liberty of individuals.  Again, I hear the bleating of the usual suspects on the alleged Right who claim that new-found respect for the Constitution will set everything right and we will all skip down the yellow brick road of the small government paradise known as America.  I will not belabor the details here for I have covered the Constitution abundantly in both essays and speaking engagements to show it for what it is:  a doomsday machine designed to bring maximum government to bear against a helpless citizenry reduced to bondage to the same document.  It is the great centralizer and grants unlimited power of taxation to the overlords in DC at Mordor on the Potomac.  I have championed the Articles of Confederation in the past but even those documents were flawed but certainly gave smaller government a chance.  In the end, limited government and small government never exist for long before metastasizing into enormous machines built for one purpose:  to extract unlimited obedience on pain of caging, maiming and/or death of all persons living within the acknowledged confines of the taxing jurisdiction known as nation-states.  Nothing less, nothing more.  Politicians are neither statesman nor public persons of noble intent; they are simply a self-selected class of psycho/sociopaths whose only agenda is the monopoly of the power to enforce what I just described.  Despite all the court historians and contemporary mouthpieces who sing paeans to government and the denizens who run it, the agenda remains the same: the destruction of individual direction and volition and the harnessing of the captured citizenry to the whims and will of the rulers.  You have been lied to and civics class in the government education system then and now has been a descriptive mechanism to rationalize yoking individuals into the collective hive of the state.

You cannot have a government without willing or unwilling submission of the subjects to the will of the rulers.  There is no historical antecedent or precedent for a government ever staying within the confines of its originating power.  None.  This speaks to my interpretation of the Western exodus in America in the 18th and 19th century.  The court historians talk about the wide open spaces and the frontier mentality.  This was  certainly a component but the main reason was a desire on the part of those sickened by the liberty-crushing Atlantic Constitutionalists to flee from that document and its strangulation of their freedom bit by bit. I can just imagine the two Celt brothers coming to a screaming halt at the  beaches of California, looking over their shoulders and shouting: “Swim! The Constitution is right behind us!”.  Limited government is a legal fiction, a chimera and a cruel and tempting illusion.  It is the same as a belief in unicorns.  Unless I fasten a narwhal tusk to a most displeased horse’s forehead, they have never existed nor ever will (barring genetic engineering advances).  Judging from the behavior of the elected Tea Baggers in the unholy corridors of power of DC, they should ditch the Gadsden and hoist a unicorn bedecked flag. Political action will never reduce the size of government.  The incentives are so perverse to do otherwise that Buchanan’s Public Choice theories come to the fore with a vengeance.  Buppert’s Corollary to Acton’s Axiom is that power attracts the corruptible and absolute power attracts even worse.

Let’s conduct a quick thought experiment:  Washington said that “[g]overnment is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”  Absent the ability to cajole, fine, cage, maim and/or kill, how can government get the voluntary obedience of its citizens?  Would everyone pay the various levels of extortionate taxes imposed voluntarily?  Would they stop for those flashing lights for a speeding violation if compliance were not mandatory?  For without tax agents and police powers, no government would be capable of exacting obedience from the residents of their taxing jurisdictions.  Without regulatory or tax slavery, a government could not function…at all.  They are based on the threat or actual use of violence against EVERYONE.  Because if one, just one individual, (outside of the DC nomenklatura)  got away with not paying taxes or obeying even the most banal of the tens of thousands of laws imposed year after year by the wise men appointed and elected above us, the system would collapse in weeks or months.

Terrorism is defined by Caleb Carr as politically motivated violence against non-combatants and it just so happens that definition is coincident with government behavior at its root and as observed every day.  The dozens of agencies that have a charters or sub-charters to deal with formal terrorism cannot even agree on what that definition is. The War on Terror is a nonsensical enterprise on so many levels but you would think a sober government analyst would realize an honest government would pursue this to self-eradication.  We all know, of course, that an honest government is an impossibility.

If the sheeple got even a glimpse of the reality that is the mechanism that enslaves them, they may be rather upset that they no control over their own own destinies.

The powers that be are fond of pointing to the worst government abuse historically on Earth and making claims of moral superiority, but in the end, while the Communist and National Socialist governments in the twentieth century may have harmed their respective populations and those they subdued through war, at least, we have the moral high ground.   Of course, this is much like a getting an Underachiever Award at a serial killer convention.  The entire system of governance is based on violence and nothing else no matter how noble it is portrayed or how many rose petals litter the dais of the King.


Government is de facto and de jure a violation of the non-aggression principle.  It is based on initiated aggression and a hopeful monopoly (on its part) on the use of force.  Witness the literal license to kill granted to cops across the fruited plain who rarely are prosecuted for murder where the apparent evidence is overwhelming.  They must be protected because they are the Praetorian Guard that protects the privileges of the rulers to impose their will upon a humbled and frightened population whose right to self-defense against the armed tax-eaters is non-existent.  Government, by its very nature, violates the most primal and almost instinctive edict of human behavior as codified in all the major religions and secular positivist philosophies:  thou shall not murder.  And as Georg Buchan so ably and succinctly pointed out: “[m]urder begins where self-defense ends”.  In essence, government makes war on its inhabitants on pain of death, ultimately, for non-compliance.  No matter how one views it, it is a violation of everything man should hold decent and valued in a civilized society.  Far from “civilizing” peoples, government is a barbarian meme that seeks to establish that Might is Right and any disobedience will be dealt with violently.  Look at the present troubles in the Middle East and see the obedient government-media complex in America cheer-leading the use of force against protesters to restore order.  Think of it.  In Egypt, they receive the second highest foreign aid amount to include armaments next to Israel:  tanks, aircraft, weapons, artillery, you name it.  Why does Egypt have such value and what are they defending against?  They have tanks for the same reason other Third World nations have tanks:  to grind the disobedient into dust when the people rise up against the privations and abuses visited upon them by their governments.

I am often asked what would happen if government disappeared.  Would we not all be in mortal peril?  I am reminded of reading the Wilberforce antislavery debates in the English Parliament in the 18th and 19th century and the absolute terror in those august Parliamentarians of what would happen when slaves were no longer available to provide certain goods and services.  Eventually, chattel slavery did disappear outside of Africa and parts of the Middle East (it remains there to this day) to be replaced by what some may view as a more refined notion of slavery through taxation and regulation.  In the end, slavery and government are wedded as mutually beneficial devices to ensure each others survival.

Americans live in anarchy everyday and should embrace their inner voluntaryist.  If you are a government supremacist, you are neither an abolitionist nor anti-slavery.  The choice is yours and the belief in limited government is no more viable than believing in ghosts or the Loch Ness monster.  Unicorns are a fiction and government thinks and knows that freedom is a fiction.  Speak truth to tyranny and let government know that you know better and that the emperor has no clothes.

Choose. Choose for yourself.

“There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.”

Robert Heinlein

Update: A much more credible looking Anonymous press release indicates that this was most likely bait for a honeypot set by the WBC. I am pleased by this development -KL

“The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.”

-H. L. Mencken

The pastors and parishioners of Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) are not doing God’s work in the world. Were we a society given to dueling, Fred Phelps would find himself quickly outmatched, and the amount of honor in the world would be increased. The WBC consists entirely of the deluded, the greedy, and the evil. Were the men of that congregation to live to search for one another with Geiger counters, I should not be displeased.

money-grubbing Westboro "protestors"

Apparently, God's feelings have changed since I went to Sunday School

The somewhat-organized internet group Anonymous (or, more accurately, a portion of that group) has declared war on the WBC. Were this another group – perhaps, say, one formed specifically to combat the WBC’s actions – that declaration might be laudable. However, in that very same press release, the author refers to Anonymous as the “Voice of Free Speech” –  which would seem to be in contravention to the notion of limiting the activities of these bigots.

The Mencken quote at the top of this post is completely true. Infringement upon the right to speak freely must necessarily begin with restrictions upon speech which is deemed dangerous, subversive, or harmful. Indeed, government restriction of speech would necessarily end there: the definitions of subversive and dangerous would simply have to be expanded. The problem is that once we’ve decided that our rights may be disregarded, it becomes very difficult indeed to regain them. For my part, I do not believe that God hates anyone – even sodomites, warmongers, or people who talk at the theater.

Furthermore, there has already been a rousing, appropriate, admirable and decentralized response to the WBC’s activities. The Patriot Guard Riders, for example, perform a wonderful, non-violent and completely voluntary service in defense of the hearts and minds of the WBC’s targets at funerals. Hemant Mehta over at points to another excellent method for countering the WBC’s protests elsewhere:

This is a picture of gay men kissing

This is a picture of gay men kissing. If ever there was a time and place for PDA, this is it.

As private individuals, the Anonymous members (“Anons”) have the right to do as they please, so long as they do no active violence against the WBC, its property or its members. For my part, I would prefer to see a different tactic undertaken, that which a great many people have chosen on their own, without IT security skills, national organization, or malice: to stand up for what is right, and exercise their own rights to free speech.

The pen is mightier than the sword, and the tongue is sharper. The best way to defeat either is with your own.

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

-Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)

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

Secretary of Education from Idiocracy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ah, The Pubic School System...

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

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

-Gerald Ford

Copyright © 2011 by

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

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

Skip has done a wonderful appraisal of the tool:

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

He goes on:

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

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

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

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

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

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

To wit:

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

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

Read the rest:

Bill Buppert is confirmed for speaking at Libertopia in San Diego, Kalifornia OCT 21-23, 2011.  I would love to meet some of my readers there.  See:

Government employee dies at desk and is not discovered until a day later.  A tragedy rather illustrative of the efficacy of the state in accomplishing anything:,0,1383236.story

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

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

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

Egyptian Protestors

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

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

A map of the locations of the Atlantic Revolutions

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

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

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

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

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

The Jetsons

All that's missing is the flying cars!

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

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

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

UPDATE: Mubarak has stepped down.

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

Mubarak, announcing his refusal to step down

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

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

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

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

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

-Thomas Jefferson

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

-Lysander Spooner

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

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

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

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

Roy Fox continues:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Lysander Spooner

Copyright © 2011 by

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Randolph Bourne

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Mahatma Gandhi

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

He just published this gem and here is an excerpt:

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

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

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

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

Read the rest:

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

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

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

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


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

Copyright © 2011 by

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

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Thomas Jefferson

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