“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.  

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. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="320"] Apparently, God's feelings have changed since I went to Sunday School[/caption] 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...

“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. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="279"] Secretary of Education from Idiocracy[/caption] 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.

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...

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.

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. 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.

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 [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="307"] Mubarak, announcing his refusal to step down[/caption] 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...

"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.-BB 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...

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.
"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.

As Bill continues his hiatus, and in the future, ZeroGov will continue to accept guest essays. Essays are subject to editing for mechanics, but not content. If you'd like to contribute, please send your submissions to thirdgun at hotmail dot com and kaiserleib at gmail dot com. Ask ten people what purpose the government serves, and you are likely to receive ten very similar answers. Government provides for the common defense, they'll say, or guarantees that society runs smoothly. Perhaps they'll mention the benevolent safety net that our social programs provide, things like food stamps or public education. Depending on the respondent, they might even mention roads, the internet, or other infrastructure needs. Some might mention conceptual goals like democracy, equality, or scientific advancement. These are legitimate goals, all of them. People ought not to be subjugated by foreign powers. Mutually beneficial exchanges benefit us all. That the poor do not starve, that children learn to read, that we have access to  transportation and that these words are transported to as if by magic over a distance of many miles - these are good things. Any rational creature, having fully considered the implications of the alternatives, would agree. The distinction, then, between our non-violent anarcho-capitalist philosophy and the philosophy held by those who believe that we must have Government lies not in the ends we wish to see achieved, but in the means we wish to use to achieve those ends. We do not want to see the poor starve, or the world's...