"Disregard then, reader, my title and my character, and attend only to my arguments. It is in accordance with universal consent that I undertake to correct universal error from the OPINION of the human race I appeal to its FAITH. Have the courage to follow me; and, if your will is untrammeled, if your conscience is free, if your mind can unite two propositions and deduce a third therefrom, my ideas will inevitably become yours." -Pierre-Joseph Proudhon If I were asked "What is the State," and I were to reply "It is slavery," my meaning would be understood at once. The State binds its citizens through force, and through force it compels them to do its will. That the State is composed of citizens does not mean that it has the best interests of citizens in mind; the State has no mind. The State is an arrangement, an agreement of the strong and violent that the labor and productivity of the people ought to be bent and directed with no consideration of their wishes. Like the slave-master, the State demands a monopoly on the use of force, or it ceases to be. This monopoly on the use of force is the only defining characteristic the State possesses. The Kings of yore claimed their rights to rule from God's will, the Democracies and Republics of today from the will of the People, and the modern atheist Dictators from a claim to best understand the common good. These States are unified not in the...

Publisher’s Note: I published this almost two years ago and it still rings true.  I was asked at the Freedom Summit in 2010 after my speech during questions what was the most important tool or consideration for surviving the coming bad times.  Most expect me to expound on G3 (Gold, Guns and Groceries) but I responded that critical thinking was, first and foremost, the most important and vital weapon in the armory.  Nothing even comes close.  Much like the overweening importance of prioritizing skills over equipment, a mind is a terrible thing to waste.  Your lack of skepticism toward the powers that be is what enabled the very walls to be erected in these tax jurisdictions shaped like penitentiaries called nation-states. You live in a civilization whose entire rationalization is based on a few brutal misconceptions among which is that the state must have the power to fine, cage, maim and kill anyone it wishes at will and all your friends, family and neighbors are YOUR property.  If that were not the case, how could the state possibly enable the massive theft of time, resources and property on a daily basis to feed the groaning leviathan that provides all those vital goods and services the government/media complex trumpets triumphantly about daily to include America’s largest export, killing recalcitrant brown people who refuse to submit?   Through the proxy of the state, you have personally signed on to an evil compact that permits, nay compels , the government to act in the beastly and ghastly way it does every day.  All of your socialist and neoconservative friends won’t admit it but you are THEIR property otherwise how would they fund the beasts in DC and its political subsidiaries in the states?  They even have the wherewithal to commit you and your progeny to obligate to pay down future debt leveraged against their future; even though the dimmest economists know it will all collapse in the end (except Paul Krugman whose statist bloodlust knows no bounds). Accept nothing at face value and your life will be richer.  This has nothing to do with formal education or a philosophy degree or allowing others to think for you because they are smarter than you.  No one is smarter than you in your own world because they aren’t…you. Think outside the box and question all authority outside your family.  Your life and the bright future of your children depends on your ability to do the intellectual heavy lifting and figure out that most everything you were taught in the government schools was a lie and that practically anything claimed by the government has one raison d'être: to compel your unquestioning obedience and servitude to the state and to ensure that its existence will always trump yours. -BB
Human progress is furthered, not by conformity, but by aberration. ~ H.L. Mencken
For some time, I have been trying to figure out why the nation and we as individuals are in the fix we are in now. Many reasons manifest themselves. We labor under a government of such monstrous reach and epic incompetence that it makes the Soviets now look like a paragon of efficiency and probity. We suffer under a ruling class that has not simply been a gangster government under Obamunism but has been this way since the defeat of the original Constitution in 1865. With each illegitimate war since 1898, the power of the Federal government has increased exponentially. With each manufactured crisis, liberties and freedoms have withered and died. This is simply the latest and greatest improvement in the ongoing process of our overseers to find emerging ways to increase the output of our slavery. I have alluded before that we live in the country and have occasion to run across orphaned animals. We have horses and chickens and other assorted animals on the Circle A Ranch. My wife happens to be a fantastic gardener and the reincarnation of Dr. Doolittle. We discovered by following the horrid cacophony of rabbit screams three orphaned cottontails, two of which promptly died. My wife is now nursing the survivor and hoping to brighten his life expectancy in this mortal coil. As is her wont, she is an inveterate researcher and proceeded to go on the 'net and search out advice on care and feeding of a rabbit which is not one of our areas of husbandry expertise. What struck her were the countless admonitions to seek government assistance and report it to wildlife "authorities" or the zoo. I look around and converse with colleagues and associates to find my fellow Americans increasingly frightened or unfamiliar with doing anything without someone's permission. Whether at work or play, we:
  • obey speed limits that have nothing do with safety and simply provide revenue to our rulers
  • pay property taxes which inevitably increase the yoke around our necks locally and pay for the intellectual suicide pact call government schooling
  • pay extraordinary sales taxes on local and state purchases to subsidize the countless layers of bureaucracy that choke citizen and business productivity everyday
  • stop locally at a US Border Patrol checkpoint nearly twenty miles north of the Mexican border to be asked if we are American citizens and a visual check of the interior of our vehicles
  • sit idly by while the various levels of government erect observation devices at traffic intersections to increase revenue streams
  • receive property tax bills on our real estate which increase in assessment while market prices decrease
  • are required to have permission from the US Forest Circus or National Park Service to hunt, play or work on lands expropriated by our betters in government
    "Is it advisable for one who is not an expert on economic and social issues to express views on the subject of socialism? I believe for a number of reasons that it is." -Albert Einstein
The above quote is from a paper that Dr. Einstein wrote in 1949, which originally appeared in the Monthly Review and is available online here. The rest of this essay is a libertarian's response, a strong disagreement with his analysis of social reality. Einstein (hereinafter "the socialist") recognizes that there is are distinctions between the methods applicable to the science of Astronomy and those applicable to the study of Economics, and correctly attributes these distinctions to the innumerable and nigh immeasurable factors which govern human action. Scientists attempt to discover the laws which govern the movements of objects under such forces as gravity and electromagnetism, while the Economist's endeavor is plagued by biochemistry and feelings and morality and what the subjects in question might have eaten for breakfast six weeks ago. Planetary bodies and chemicals do not have feelings, morals, memories and upbringings; human beings do, and all these traits are difficult to quantify. Stars and asteroids do not owe their existence to the conquest of contrary stars and asteroids, as do states; solar systems are constructed and spin in their orbits without a thought to property rights or social justice. The socialist government, like a libertarian thinker, espouses the idea that the mathematical tools used to determine the orbits of planets are ill-suited to determining the human pursuits of happiness and sustenance. Nor does it assume that all men are predatory beasts, driven only by our desires for food and fornication; no, idealized socialism recognizes the value of human cooperation, love, devotion and honor. The socialist strives not to better his station, but to better the average conditions of all members of his species. He wishes to overcome the threat of global extinction through war, and to encourage international cooperation and a unification of human efforts for universal wellbeing. It is here that the libertarian view begins to differ from the socialist. The socialist recognizes the same pieces of evidence as does the libertarian; he sees the injustice man does to man, and desires a means of rectifying that injustice. But the socialist believes that government action, supra-government action on a world scale, is the means by which this might best be achieved. He speaks of man receiving a home and a livelihood from the benevolence of society, and does not recognize that man might have accomplished anything constructive by the use of his own hands, save as they serve that society. In the socialist's view, man is not noble in and of himself, but acquires that nobility from his friends and neighbors. Certainly, a man is noble who treats others well, and a group of people is happiest when all members strive together and do not fight.  But the socialist, upon seeing this, concludes that it ought to be the duty of some council of men to govern the actions of others; that all the productive effort undertaken by humanity must be carefully planned by some central power, lest we twiddle our thumbs and end up with too many trains and not enough automobiles or hammers. He recognizes that human effort is inexorably tied to humanity's efforts by the world economy, and based on this he concludes that man must have his course chosen for him, and must not be permitted to choose for himself.
Publisher's Note: I thought I would share this book review I recently did.  I also found this amusing illustrated version of The Road to Serfdomhttps://mises.org/books/TRTS/ Hayek wrote and released this book during the course of the World War II (1944-45).  He had a front row seat to the clash of the collectivist titans from the mild socialism he saw in the West to the national socialism of Germany and the communism of the Russian state. Hayek sought to provide a comprehensive set of principles and observations illustrating why private property not only manages to be the most rational means to allocate economic resources but the one which allows the most freedom to grow and mature.  He makes a compelling argument that the smallest bureaucrat in a statist command of the economy will have much more power to influence society in a negative manner than the most successful millionaire in a free society. His primary thesis is that the power of the state will lead to slavery, misery and poverty. Along with his colleague in the Austrian School of Economics, Ludwig von Mises, he delivered a powerful indictment of the state in two respects:  its inability to rationally behave economically and ultimately the brutal manner in which the state will ultimately treats its citizens once it has the power to tax, regulate and redistribute.  By robbing the individual citizens of property rights and collectivizing either through outright nationalization or through the more fascistic means of taxation and regulation, all citizens are reduced to slavery and serfdom. Hayek says:  “The increasing veneration for the state, the admiration of power, and of bigness for bigness' sake, the enthusiasm for "organization" of everything (we now call it "planning") and that "inability to leave anything to the simple power of organic growth"...are all scarcely less marked in England now than they were in Germany.”(Hayek, 200)  It is interesting to note that outside of Germany and the USSR during the course of WWII, the United Kingdom was considered the most repressive society in the Western world.  Whether this was due to wartime secrecy considerations with the imminent invasion of Western Europe by the Allies or the creeping blanket of Fabian socialism, it is hard to ascertain.
The Middle East (ME)  is on fire with revolution and rebellion against the powers that be.  There is no government in the entire area which has not abused, maimed and murdered thousands if not tens of thousands of its own subjects.  Pardon me, if I refrain from ever using the word citizens since those don’t exist on Earth.  It is simply what governments were built to do no matter how we dress them up in fancy and adoring histories.  The usual suspects in the government-media complex are coming out of the woodwork as the neoconservative-left liberal alliance blossoms to its fullest potential.  Everyone from Faux New to National Pinko Radio to the Collectivist News Network are swooning and throwing rice at the wedding.  The love letters to the Pentagon from the Obama administration could not be more fawning and flirtatious.   Through wars, bombings and the eradication of uncooperative brown people around the globe, the Child President will make the world safe for his own house brand of militant collectivism.  Amid the wreckage of the former mighty American economic engine is strewn old rusted manufacturing sectors, all home-grown means of financial power since the emergence of debt as the ONLY engine of business start-up and prosperity, and the enormous Soviet-style regulatory apparatus that has done its signal best to strangle and emasculate any innovation in the private sector.  Remember that both parties are sworn enemies of small business but maintain cozy relationships with big business.  America excels in one area and one area only, killing.  The national security state that has emerged since the end of the War to Save Josef Stalin has been the only burgeoning sector of employment since the end of the Cold War in 1989.  The Pentagon and the apparatchiks who serve it in the federal government were desperate to find a means to preserve the hyper-power military complex since its usefulness had dwindled to zero when the other Soviet state fell.   After decades of post WWII fiddling, dawdling and plotting to interfere in the domestic self-determination of hundreds of nation-states around the globe, the US had poked one too many Arab nations and earned the blowback it so richly deserved.  On 9/11 in 2001, the blow to the Pentagon and the Twin Towers in New York brought American foreign policy home and gladdened the hearts of legions of government employees and hundreds of military contractors.  A new war was on and the American national security state could now move front and center once again. Fast forward to the present state of affairs in the ME, the hot and cold wars that the US has continued to wage in the Arab nations along with the support of dozens of brutal and corrupt regimes has metastasized into the massive web of rolling unrest, protests and rebellions.  Some are concerned with the planning involved in the protests and how many of these are simply synchronized to occur in all these nations.  Others, such as the US State Department and the endlessly creepy Hillary Clinton are more concerned with ensuring not that justice or honor is served but simply preserving the ability of the American client states and satraps to keep their people fettered and tame while we drain the Middle east of oil and keep the Israelis please with the direction of American foreign policy.  American policy in the region has been nothing more than a long and bloody trail of tears for all the people trapped in the confines of what is essentially convenient US political subsidiaries to make the West safe in their oil consumption so that the Western countries can remain virginal in exploiting their own oil reserves and reducing any free market economic incentives to find new sources of energy.

Publisher’s Note:  As promised, the Village Armorer is continuing his series of evaluation of rescue tools and today we discuss our Village standard for sidearms, the Glock.  We have been carrying and shooting these for nearly two decades and have achieved what is essentially a holy grail in the firearms community:  there is no better solution for a sidearm than the Glock.  Aside from the minor modifications we make, it comes out of the box ready to conduct social work.  I have no desire to get involved in a handbag fight such as the 1911 versus the Glock and any other variations on that eternal dispute.  If you have a High Point or a three thousand dollar 1911, great;  if it serves as your sidearm and satisfies your needs, wonderful and all is well with the world.  There are far more important things to waste electrons on than that particular argument.  For us, the issue is settled. -BB Again, let’s look at manipulation, simplicity, reliability and affordability. The law enforcement community has. About 60% of all law enforcement issues the Glock pistol. It is simple: it has a trigger, slide release (slide stop in Glock vernacular), and magazine release. All firearm safety is internal to the weapon, or the trigger you should not touch until prepared to fire. Torture tests show you will be hard-pressed to find a more durable or reliable gun for the money, that is light to carry, and two spare mags should get you back to your...

Publisher’s Note: Chris has provided us with an insightful original essay on the thorny abortion problem in a voluntary society.  The introduction is heart-wrenching but poignant. I am opposed to all abortions except when the life of the mother is threatened because for a variety of reasons I believe it to be cold-blooded murder of the most innocent among us.  I also come to this conclusion in what I have discovered is an unusual tangent.  I am not a religionist of any stripe and most of my friends and acquaintances that are pro-life draw a Scriptural basis for their belief.  I would add that shunning and shaming of the practitioner and the users of the services of a baby abattoir are useful social prohibitions. -BB
"All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them."
~ H.L. Mencken In my last post I talked about how the free market would be superior to the coercive system we have now. I would like to get a little more specific with how we could apply this to the controversial issue of abortion, but first I would like to tell you a very personal story. A little over 5 years ago I received a call at work. I picked up the phone; it was my son’s babysitter. She was frantic, she informed me my son had stopped breathing, and the paramedics were on the way. I remember the time on the clock was 5:07; I was working late that day. I ran and grabbed the keys off of my toolbox, and drove as fast as I could. The babysitter was a healthy 20 minute drive away. Me being the gearhead that I am, my little four banger was up to the challenge. I don't remember too much of the drive, but I do recall exceeding speeds of 125mph. Here in Virginia farm country, I could drive these back roads blind-folded. I made it there at 5:20. I was informed the paramedics arrived at 5:10. I could see my son in the ambulance. It was crowded in there, but I could see my son’s little arm hanging off of the stretcher, it looked lifeless. Refusing to believe the worst, I was pacing, and praying. A paramedic stepped out of the ambulance with tears in his eyes. He said "I am so sorry, sir, we tried to revive him for 30 minutes". At that moment, it was like someone had just removed my legs. I was on the ground faster than if I would have slipped on ice. I was speechless; I then looked to my right and saw my oldest son, Christopher. His babysitter, Dorothy, was holding him by the shoulders. She was like a second grandmother to my boys, and she loved them both very much. Still unable to use my legs, I waved him over. I held that boy as tight as I could, he asked in his three year old voice: "what happened to David, Daddy?" My son, David Ford, was pronounced dead at 5:39PM Oct 26th, 2005. He was six months old. He passed away quietly in his sleep. The doctors say the cause was SIDS. I am not a woman, so I will never pretend to know what a woman goes through when she has an abortion, but I have buried a child. Very needless to say I am pro-life. I am in favor of all human life in all forms. Whenever I hear about children being harmed, or abortions being performed, it quite literally hurts my heart. I am also a firm believer in the non-aggression principle. I do not believe in the initiation of force, even to stop a woman from aborting her child. In a free and voluntary society, how could these two beliefs be rectified? Government only makes this issue worse by passing laws to regulate it. Not to mention, it uses this very controversial issue to divide us. Have any of you ever noticed how these issues are brought off of the shelf around election time? It seems to me it would be a good way to fund campaigns. The politicians need only to mention this issue, and the money starts rolling in. The pro-choice left and the pro-life right shovel money at these politicians who probably don't give a damn about abortion. As soon as the elections are over, the issue goes back on the shelf. If the government makes abortion illegal, or regulates it heavily, it does not take away the market demand for it. This only pushes women to find "illegal" ways to get abortions performed. These women now risk life, safety, and freedom. Since these abortions will be performed by "criminals" there is no telling how sanitary or safe the procedure will be. Making something illegal does not take away market demand; it only makes it more dangerous. This is why the black market exists. I believe the government is not interested in trying to solve the problem of abortion. Besides, once one has a firm understanding that the government has a monopoly on the use of violence; one quickly comes to the conclusion that the government cannot solve any problem. How could the free market ever respond to such a dilemma? In a society where coercion is not a factor and reaching for the guns of government is not a choice, what can be done? I believe that in an environment where individuals were 100% responsible for their choices, more rational decisions would be made. Without Uncle Sugar around to subsidize pretty much everything, consequences will have to be suffered. Maybe we will once again learn that actions have equal and opposite reactions. Without government around, natural law and the natural application of that law will come back. Perhaps parents will spend more time developing certain underlying principles their children should adhere to. Teaching them that all human life is sacred in all forms. Abortion can't happen if there is no conception. We need to strike at the root of the problem. In order to change society, we need to change minds.
“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.” - One of the tenets of the Western KYFHO Sect
F. Paul Wilson wrote a wonderful science fiction series called the LaNague Federation which posited a future in which a number of planets manage to break away from imperial bondage only to fall into the totalitarian habit themselves causing yet another plot to emerge to break apart that political jail sentence on the inhabitants of the various worlds.  Two planets ion the system manage to remain neutral and not be a part of the imperial system which emerged after the first secession – Tolive and Flint.  The former planet is peopled by a voluntaryist society adopting a more passive version of the KYFHO (Keep Your Fucking Hands Off) Sect while the planet Flint is manned by a more…aggressive village model.  They are what are referred to as the more violence-prone sect of KYFHO with one exception – they never initiate violence but their response to first aggression against them is swift and destructive.  This is not to say the Tolive inhabitants are more pacifist, they simply don’t train to the deadly standards of the Flinters.  When the Flinters are off-world, they are given a wide berth. There is also an interesting vignette from one of the earlier LaNague novels.  There is a food riot in a city on Earth, government caused, of course.  As the thousands of rioters near the Tolive neighborhood, they don’t step in any of the established boundaries and give it a wide berth because even the crowds sense and know from past history that trespass in those Tolive neighborhoods means certain death for all who entered uninvited so the entire mass of rioting humanity flows around the beleaguered neighborhood to prey on a more vulnerable part of the city. We just got finished over the weekend attending a four day tactical handgun course to improve our martial skills.  Grueling and intense, the training showed both strength and weaknesses; we took the appropriate notes and are working to address any shortfalls and adopt and adapt our new skills to improve pre-existing.  The relatively soft existence of modern America makes it easy to fall into the somnambulant trap of acquiescing to the easy flow of modernity and become the shackled and groomed subjects of the state we are today.
Publisher's Note: The staff of Zero Gov is taking tactical training this weekend and Chris has helped us fill the gap to provide some terrific ruminations on freedom and liberty in our absence.  Enjoy! -BB
"There are thousands hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root" -Henry David Thoreau
There are two ways to motivate humans, or any animal for that matter. The carrot or the stick. It's that simple, reward, or pain. Profit or violence. Religion can even be broken down in a similar fashion, heaven or hell, salvation or doom. Providing you believe in hell. I do not personally believe in hell, because I do not believe in using the stick. I have a five month old German Shepherd that I train using reward based training. Now, I am no professional dog trainer, but she has responded very well to this training. She listens very intently to me, because there might be a piece of chicken breast in it for her. Is this wrong? Or, is my dog greedy? Of course not; not only is she not greedy, she does not recoil in fear when a human reaches down to pet her. One has to ask then, why are we still using violence to motivate people, if rewards work so much better? Why is every government on this planet still using force, or the threat of force to provide services? Wouldn't a system based on rewards work better to provide people services? I have had many conversations with statists who get disgusted with me when I even mention market, or reward based solutions to solve problems. I'm always perplexed by this, because wouldn't they be, by default, supporters of violence? I just don't get why people are so afraid of free market based solutions. If you claim to be peaceful, and non-violent, which I'm sure most folk claim, and then you contradict yourself by supporting the current system. I have had people say they can't support the system I propose for many various reasons. Sometimes many are very righteous in their responses. I always ask them, "If my system was based on the violence or the threat of violence would you support it"? The answer has always been no. Of course the follow-up question is "then why do you support this system"?
"If... the machine of government... is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law." - Henry David Thoreau
One Friday summer evening about 5 years ago I arrived home from work to find an arrest warrant in my mailbox. Puzzled as to what this could be, I got pretty worried. I was dirty, and tired from work. I remember it being around dusk, or later which would have put me at work for about 14 hours that day. My wife and I talked about it, and decided since it was Friday, we would wait until Monday morning to figure this out. No sense in sitting in the pokey all weekend. Besides, if it was that important, they know where I live. Monday morning I called my job to tell them I would be late, that there is some kind of misunderstanding down at the sheriff’s office I needed to straighten out. I arrived at the sheriff’s office, warrant in hand. I handed it to the deputy, he checked it out and told me I was in violation of a new county "code" I had an unregistered truck in my driveway that was not covered by a vehicle cover. Speechless, I just stood there as he continued to tell me that since it was such a new "code" it has not received classification on exactly what kind of crime it should be. He informed me it was an automatic class 4 misdemeanor. He said that it wasn't that bad. Yeah, that made me feel better. I was just stunned; the state was trying to turn me into a criminal! He then told me if it was covered by the court date the charges will be dropped. I had a feeling he had said this schtick before. I asked him what would happen if I didn't show up. He told me there would be a warrant for my arrest. Wow! I had to pinch myself! This all started because my buddies truck blew an engine, and I was trying to source him  one to install in my driveway. This particular make and model makes it hard to find a motor. So it sat for a couple of months. The tags died on it and some bureaucrat just happen to be spying on the good people of my neighborhood and happened to see the dead tags. Me being me, I did not want to comply with this madness! But, my wife told me to just do it, so we can get this out of the way. So I covered the truck the day before court, cussing the entire time. And yes I took pictures.