Archive for the ‘ Libertarian Thought ’ Category

I’m a narcissistic cultist

The point they unwittingly made is that the Free State Project is largely comprised of narcissistic individuals who are incapable of consideration for those who live outside of their cult.

Susan the Bruce

Wow. Ironic. All the other testimonies were their own theatrics, pulling on the heart strings, making emotional-bleeding-heart pleas for taxpayer’s money, in other words, the legalized plunder from others.

“My life story is so much worse than yours that I deserve, no, in fact, I am entitled to your money.” Heck, one guy fell off a skyscraper. He deserves my money. Wheel barrels full of money.

So pathetic and exploitative were their performances, these people had no shame bringing out their own mentally-disabled children, bring them in front of a room full of people, point at them, and tell the committee and all there to hear how worthless and incapable they are, how they will never amount to anything, never overcome their struggles, never make anything of themselves, and can only survive on the government dole. Seriously. That level of dependency was a disgusting sight to see.

In any other circumstance, my heart would go out to these struggles. The pains of life can be heavy. I know it. But to see these “my life is so hard, so unfair, give me your money” was vile. To parade your mentally-disabled children, who had no idea why they were trotted along to sit through a totally boring hearing, to be used as props to get free money is pathetic.

“Incapable of consideration?” Ha! Does Susan not realize for every dollar given to one of these children or their parents is a dollar taken forcibly from someone else and their child? Every dollar taken is a dollar not used for how someone else best sees fit. A dollar lost to someone’s education. A dollar lost to someone else’s health concerns. A dollar to help someone else’s aging grandmother. Government merely redistributes wealth making their decisions, not on who “needs” or “deserves” it most, but purely on political grounds and power. You really think they care? Well they might, if show you them how influential your voting bloc is. Kind of a perverse rational for distributing funds, no? Talk about a lack of consideration. How is it inconsiderate when there is thievery happening, out in the open, in front of me?

And you know what? I take no issue with people who live on food stamps and use government services, and take as much welfare as is available. We cannot remove government out of our lives completely. They have infiltrated ever living pore of human interaction and society. If we simply refused to involve ourselves with anything government has touched, we would surely die. That’s how much power and influence they have taken over our lives. So, yes, fine, take welfare, because the government has significantly monopolized what used to be church services, changed our culture deeply, and diverted what should be our own personal responsibility and cause to take care of each other, to instead be managed, handled, and determined by bureaucratic committees, their lobbyist friends, and people engaged in unions, voting blocs, and collectivist group-think. Democracy truly is a dying giant.

To perpetuate this system of mutual plunder and sickening dependency made me feel absolutely no qualms to punk that hearing, to punk anyone who thinks this is ethical behavior. In fact, our speeches, even though taken straight out of the movies, were absolutely fitting among the rest of the testimonies.

We’re just better actors.

About That Rand Paul

You know, I heard about Rand Paul’s filibuster from a friend’s text. Without any context, at all, my immediate reaction to such a message is to always disassociate myself from Rand. He is no libertarian, even though, sadly, he has become a mainstream symbol for it. Ironically, he, himself, disapproves of such a label.

But then I saw on C-SPAN what was happening, and it was amazing, thrilling, epic, heroic. I wrote that night:

I can’t stand Rand Paul, and I doubt his sincerity most of the time, but defending the 5th amendment, and getting mainstream press for it, over Obama’s assassination program is heroic.

It was refreshing to see this happening. The American public barely knows about, and, when they do know, cheers the ever increasing dictatorial powers the executive branch has acquired since 9/11. And yet, you know something is up, when insane, warmongering people like Charles Krauthammer and Rush Limbaugh are cheering alongside libertarians. That make so sense … like, at all!

But then, you start reading these reports coming in — reports saying this filibuster was “no accident,” but was approved, beforehand, by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, with Jesse Benton, known liberty backstabber and opportunist as Rand’s and Mitch’s go-betweener — the guy whom threw Ron Paul’s grassroot supporters under the bus; the guy now running Mitch McConnell’s reelection campaign. And then, you realize the GOP is in disarray, no thanks, in part, to the god awful treatment Ron Paul supporters got during the Republican primaries. And, finally, when you think about the memo Eric Holder replied with to Rand Paul’s question:

It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: ‘Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?’ The answer to that question is no.”

Obama killed  Abdulrahmani, a 16-year-old American in Yemen, with no due process, in a country we are not at war with, but have been bombing, while he was at a barbaque. I can only assume this kid, while American, but not being on American soil and/or “engaged in combat” obviously justifies his killing, and is in no way inconsistent with Eric Holder’s memo. Lies. Lies. Lies. William Grigg has it right when he wrote:

What Holder is saying, in substantive terms, is that the President does have the supposed authority to use a drone to kill an American who is engaged in “combat,” whether here or abroad. “Combat” can consist of expressing support for Muslims mounting armed resistance against U.S. military aggression, which was the supposed crime committed by Anwar al-Awlaki, or sharing the surname and DNA of a known enemy of the state, which was the offense committed by Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdel. Under the rules of engagement used by the Obama Regime in Pakistan, Yemen, and Afghanistan, any “military-age” male found within a targeted “kill zone” is likewise designated a “combatant,” albeit usually after the fact. This is a murderous application of the “Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy,” and it will be used when — not if — Obama or a successor starts conducting domestic drone-killing operations.

Holder selected a carefully qualified question in order to justify a narrowly tailored answer that reserves an expansive claim of executive power to authorize summary executions by the president. That’s how totalitarians operate.

With that much wiggle room, Eric Holder’s memo is unsatisfactory. Nothing actually productive nor fruitful happened to stop the encroaching war powers of the President. Yes, the filibuster, itself, was exhilarating, and the drones program was brought to the limelight (finally!), and you did get to find out who your real friends are (politicians don’t count), so, really, what was this about?

This was a power play, a power shift in the party, with assholes like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio riding on Rand’s coattails, smelling which way the wind is blowing, to get the anti-government, Ron Paul supporters back under the Republican wing, to get legitimacy back on Rand’s side. It was a brilliant political move. But for what? We know Rand has no real interest in liberty.

Maybe, just maybe, Rand Paul is watering down the libertarian message, capitulating to the war party, the Israel lobby, and singing his little jig, doing his little dance, just only to get the power he needs, to become the next President, so he can end the warsbring all the troops home, pardon all nonviolent drug offenders from prison, and end five Fed Departments, just like his Dad would …

I’m holding my breath. This is Reagan déjà vu.

Reagan Déjà Vu?

An Open Letter to Libertarians: Don’t Be Fooled By Rand Paul by Robert Wenzel, reprinted from EPJ.

 

Dear Libertarians,

There is a big difference between Ron Paul and Rand Paul that appears to be missed by many. Ron Paul was not hungry to be president of the United States. If he would have been hungry, he would have booted his grandson in-law and that entire gang out early on in the primaries when it was clear they were positioning themselves not to advance Ron Paul and liberty, but to advance their own careers. Ron Paul just wasn’t that hungry to do that and be president. He was satisfied getting the libertarian message out. [empahsis mine]

Rand Paul is different. It appears that he wants to be president. Wanting to be president changes a man, wherever they start off from. [emphasis mine]

This was Rand at the start of his political career, on the Federal Reserve and  Bilderberg.

After Rand settled in, this is what Rand did when questioned about Bilderberg.

Rand also enthusiastically endorsed elitist loser Mitt Romney. Remember this?

If you want to become president, you have one thing in mind, you need to get to 50.1% If you hold libertarian views and run on those views you are not going to be president. I dare anyone to run on completely libertarian principles and believe they are going to win. Go ahead. Tell voters you are in favor of legalizing heroin and LSD. Tell them that the U.S. government should default on its debt and relieve taxpayers of the burden. Tell them you want to end welfare and food stamps. Tell them you want to end the DEA, TSA, FDA, DOE, FAA, SEC, CFTC and the rest of the government alphabet soup agencies.

Tell them you want to end medicare. Tell them you don’t want to fight Muslims, or anyone else, anymore. Go ahead, see how far you are going to get. As I have stated before, there is nothing wrong with running, as long as you stick to principles and lose. It can be a method of spreading libertarian views. Winning, given the current voter climate, is when you become suspect.

Rand Paul is about winning. [emphasis mine]

Every time I point out Rand moves that are away from liberty, I get emails and comments telling me I am too  harsh on Rand. I received many again today because of this post (Scroll down to the comments).

What these commenters are looking at are Rand’s pro-liberty stances, i.e. he says he is against raising taxes and for cutting government spending. Whoopee, that would have been great if he stopped there and been consistent, but he didn’t stop and that is the problem. He isn’t going to get himself in much trouble with the masses in moving towards 50.1% by being against higher taxes–and just saying this, this early in the 2016 race, helps make him stronger with his libertarian and Tea Party base. But notice what else he said. He said he would be in favor of reforming the tax code, in response to a question about closing loopholes.

As Joe Salerno pointed out:

Republicans condemn them as major barriers to the implementation of a more business- and investor-friendly flat tax.  Even free market economists oppose tax loopholes as inefficient and “non-neutral” to the market economy’s allocation of resources–as if there existed an optimal pattern of coercive redistribution of income from productive, private taxpayers to parasitic, political tax-consumers  that was neutral to the market.

Salerno then pointed out what Mises said about loopholes:

Needless to say Ludwig von Mises, who never took his eye off of  the larger politico-economic issue of capitalism versus socialism,  freedom versus statism, did not share the modern aversion to tax loopholes founded on baseless economistic concerns about “ efficiency” and “tax neutrality.”..

[Mises said] “Capitalism breathes through those loopholes.” [emphasis mine, I just like this quote]

The issue shouldn’t be about reforming the tax code. It should be about lowering taxes, right from where they are now. When Rand talks about tax reform, he is talking code to his new supporters, Bill Kristol, Jennifer Rubin and the like. They all know that tax reform always ends up raising taxes. It did under Ronald Reagan and it sure as hell would under the crew now in Washington. Rand also mentioned “saving” social security, in the video clip at my earlier post.

This isn’t the first time “libertarians” were all in on “saving” social security. Here’s Murray Rothbard on the last time ”libertarians” and Republicans teamed up to “save” Social Security:

We should also say a word about another of Ronnie [Reagan]’s great “libertarian” accomplishments. In the late 1970’s, it became obvious even to the man in the street that the Social Security System was bankrupt, kaput. For the first time in fifty years there was an excellent chance to get rid of the biggest single racket that acts as a gigantic Ponzi scheme to fleece the American taxpayer. Instead, Reagan brought in the famed “Randian libertarian” Alan Greenspan, who served as head of a bipartisan commission, performing the miracle of “saving Social Security” and the masses have rested content with the system ever since. How did he “save” it? By raising taxes (oops “premiums”), of course; by that route, the government can “save” any program. (Bipartisan: both parties acting in concert to put both of their hands in your pocket.)

Rand also commented that, under his supposed lower tax scheme, the economy would grow quicker and result in even higher revenues for government. How is this small government thinking? [emphasis mine] Can you imagine Ron Paul ever saying, “Well my plan will be good because it might increase government revenues even more.”

In the clip, Rand also talked about making the Republican Party a bigger party. Just how is he going to do that? By an outreach program promoting more libertarian views, in conjunction with John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and John McCain? Oh yeah.

Bottom line: Watch more than the libertarian talk from Rand, he will use it when he can and when it won’t hurt him going into 2016. Watch Rand on the edge, where he can be hardcore libertarian like his father or be signalling to the Republican establishment. [emphasis mine] As we get closer and closer to 2016, it will be easier to spot Rand support moving toward intrusive government measures, that’s the only way he will get anywhere close to 50.1%.

And don’t think Rand is going to snooker the elitists and then become libertarian when he becomes president. [emphasis mine] The elitists don’t like those kind of games.

They sit you down when you have a reasonable chance of winning and tell you what they expect, and you better not cross them. Ask former presidential candidate Gary Hart, he was going to do a movie about “The Talk.” Guess who shut that movie idea down.

No libertarian is going to get elected president until a lot more people start thinking favorably about libertarianism. As I said, libertarians can run for office, if they want, but only if they speak principle and lose. It is the Rand Paul types that are dangerous. They will cast themselves as libertarians, but at the same time, to get elected, they will talk increased government interventionism  by promoting “tax reform,” “saving” social security and other sneaky interventionist moves.

As Rothbard put is about the last “savers” of social security:

The way Reagan-Greenspan saved Social Security is a superb paradigm of Reagan’s historical function in all areas of his realm; he acted to bail out statism and to co-opt and defuse any libertarian or quasi-libertarian opposition.

Let’s not let it happen this time, in any shape or form, with any expansionary government proposals or plans, by anyone. Let’s stay principled and call out politicians who are hungry to get elected and veer from the liberty message–even Rand Paul. Liberty shouldn’t be co-opted by anyone, in anyway at anytime. [emphasis mine] The only way Rand would ever get elected president in the current environment is if he bows to the elitists and he becomes their tool. The only value he is to us then is to point out, as an object lesson, how he veers from true libertarian principle.

Yours in liberty,

Robert Wenzel

I Was A Bankster In The 4th Grade

This is an excerpt from a great podcast from Radiolab called “Morality”. The whole one hour special should be heard, but I was kind of blown away from this segment. Between comparing human brains to adolescents, and seeing how a child’s sense of morality develops, you soon see how, very naturally, it can all go fubar.

A young girl, Amy O’Leary, tells her story when she and her 4th grade class played a simulation game called “Homestead” — a mix between Dungeons n’ Dragons and Monopoly™. The game’s concept: You are a Western settler, randomly assigned a plot of land, and each day you get a “fate card,” a luck of the draw, dishing out misfortunes and serendipity, from winning a prize at a festival to your mule dying. There’s a map divided in equal sized land plots. You get to raise crops, trade land and property, elect town officials, start a business, deal with taxes, and there is a constant money supply of, literally, Monopoly™ currency.

Amy, by fate, acquired the “center of town” plot. With that happenstance, she formed a company, and persuaded her other classmates to trade their land, which are growing profitable crops, in exchange to live in town, where all the “cool kids are at,” and a flat $50 bucks, a minuscule percentage, from the profits reaped from the sold crops. Seriously. These kids, as Amy describes, “sold themselves into a very low wage kind of slavery situation” because all the cool kids had a place in town.

Then as part of the formation of the company, all services, supplied by members of the company to others outside of it, had higher prices. Price gouging. Slumlording. Monopolized trade. Once she realized, with all the money coming in, with a very Deist-non-interventionist teacher, that no one could track the company’s finances, she flooded the market with outside Monopoly™ currency from her home and devalued the currency. Everyone’s money went to shit. She inflated and destroyed the currency! When confronted by a handful of students, and asked by her teacher, “What are you going to do about this?” She replied, “Nothing.” Fascinating!

 

 

Don’t Vote

 

 
 

But what effect does voting have? It gives them what they need most: a mandate. Nonparticipation helps deny that to them. It makes them, just on the margin, a bit more fearful that they are ruling us without our consent. This is all to the good. The government should fear the people. Not voting is a good beginning toward instilling that fear.

- Lew Rockwell

That Gut Feeling

Do You Hate the State? by Murray Rothbard, reprinted from lewrockwell.com.

 

I have been ruminating recently on what are the crucial questions that divide libertarians. Some that have received a lot of attention in the last few years are: anarcho-capitalism vs. limited government, abolitionism vs. gradualism, natural rights vs. utilitarianism, and war vs. peace. But I have concluded that as important as these questions are, they don’t really cut to the nub of the issue, of the crucial dividing line between us. 

Let us take, for example, two of the leading anarcho-capitalist works of the last few years: my own For a New Liberty and David Friedman’s Machinery of Freedom. Superficially, the major differences between them are my own stand for natural rights and for a rational libertarian law code, in contrast to Friedman’s amoralist utilitarianism and call for logrolling and trade-offs between non-libertarian private police agencies. But the difference really cuts far deeper. There runs through For a New Liberty (and most of the rest of my work as well) a deep and pervasive hatred of the State and all of its works, based on the conviction that the State is the enemy of mankind. In contrast, it is evident that David does not hate the State at all; that he has merely arrived at the conviction that anarchism and competing private police forces are a better social and economic system than any other alternative. Or, more fully, that anarchism would be better than laissez-faire which in turn is better than the current system. Amidst the entire spectrum of political alternatives, David Friedman has decided that anarcho-capitalism is superior. But superior to an existing political structure which is pretty good too. In short, there is no sign that David Friedman in any sense hates the existing American State or the State per se, hates it deep in his belly as a predatory gang of robbers, enslavers, and murderers. No, there is simply the cool conviction that anarchism would be the best of all possible worlds, but that our current set-up is pretty far up with it in desirability. For there is no sense in Friedman that the State – any State – is a predatory gang of criminals.

The same impression shines through the writing, say, of political philosopher Eric Mack. Mack is an anarcho-capitalist who believes in individual rights; but there is no sense in his writings of any passionate hatred of the State, or, a fortiori, of any sense that the State is a plundering and bestial enemy.

Perhaps the word that best defines our distinction is “radical.” Radical in the sense of being in total, root-and-branch opposition to the existing political system and to the State itself. Radical in the sense of having integrated intellectual opposition to the State with a gut hatred of its pervasive and organized system of crime and injustice. Radical in the sense of a deep commitment to the spirit of liberty and anti-statism that integrates reason and emotion, heart and soul. [emphasis mine]

Furthermore, in contrast to what seems to be true nowadays, you don’t have to be an anarchist to be radical in our sense, just as you can be an anarchist while missing the radical spark. I can think of hardly a single limited governmentalist of the present day who is radical – a truly amazing phenomenon, when we think of our classical liberal forbears who were genuinely radical, who hated statism and the States of their day with a beautifully integrated passion: the Levellers, Patrick Henry, Tom Paine, Joseph Priestley, the Jacksonians, Richard Cobden, and on and on, a veritable roll call of the greats of the past. Tom Paine’s radical hatred of the State and statism was and is far more important to the cause of liberty than the fact that he never crossed the divide between laissez-faire and anarchism. [emphasis mine]

And closer to our own day, such early influences on me as Albert Jay Nock, H. L. Mencken, and Frank Chodorov were magnificently and superbly radical. Hatred of “Our Enemy, the State” (Nock’s title) and all of its works shone through all of their writings like a beacon star. So what if they never quite made it all the way to explicit anarchism? Far better one Albert Nock than a hundred anarcho-capitalists who are all too comfortable with the existing status quo.

Where are the Paines and Cobdens and Nocks of today? Why are almost all of our laissez-faire limited governmentalists plonky conservatives and patriots? If the opposite of “radical” is “conservative,” where are our radical laissez-fairists? If our limited statists were truly radical, there would be virtually no splits between us. What divides the movement now, the true division, is not anarchist vs. minarchist, but radical vs. conservative. Lord, give us radicals, be they anarchists or no.

To carry our analysis further, radical anti-statists are extremely valuable even if they could scarcely be considered libertarians in any comprehensive sense. Thus, many people admire the work of columnists Mike Royko and Nick von Hoffman because they consider these men libertarian sympathizers and fellow-travelers. That they are, but this does not begin to comprehend their true importance. For throughout the writings of Royko and von Hoffman, as inconsistent as they undoubtedly are, there runs an all-pervasive hatred of the State, of all politicians, bureaucrats, and their clients which, in its genuine radicalism, is far truer to the underlying spirit of liberty than someone who will coolly go along with the letter of every syllogism and every lemma down to the “model” of competing courts.

Taking the concept of radical vs. conservative in our new sense, let us analyze the now famous “abolitionism” vs. “gradualism” debate. The latter jab comes in the August issue of Reason (a magazine every fiber of whose being exudes “conservatism”), in which editor Bob Poole asks Milton Friedman where he stands on this debate. Freidman takes the opportunity of denouncing the “intellectual cowardice” of failing to set forth “feasible” methods of getting “from here to there.” Poole and Friedman have between them managed to obfuscate the true issues. There is not a single abolitionist who would not grab a feasible method, or a gradual gain, if it came his way. The difference is that the abolitionist always holds high the banner of his ultimate goal, never hides his basic principles, and wishes to get to his goal as fast as humanly possible. [emphasis mine] Hence, while the abolitionist will accept a gradual step in the right direction if that is all that he can achieve, he always accepts it grudgingly, as merely a first step toward a goal which he always keeps blazingly clear. The abolitionist is a “button pusher” who would blister his thumb pushing a button that would abolish the State immediately, if such a button existed. [emphasis mine] But the abolitionist also knows that alas, such a button does not exist, and that he will take a bit of the loaf if necessary – while always preferring the whole loaf if he can achieve it.

It should be noted here that many of Milton’s most famous “gradual” programs such as the voucher plan, the negative income tax, the withholding tax, fiat paper money – are gradual (or even not so gradual) steps in the wrong direction, away from liberty, and hence the militance of much libertarian opposition to these schemes.

His button-pushing position stems from the abolitionist’s deep and abiding hatred of the State and its vast engine of crime and oppression. With such an integrated world-view, the radical libertarian could never dream of confronting either a magic button or any real-life problem with some arid cost-benefit calculation. He knows that the State must be diminished as fast and as completely as possible. Period.

And that is why the radical libertarian is not only an abolitionist, but also refuses to think in such terms as a Four Year Plan for some sort of stately and measured procedure for reducing the State. The radical – whether he be anarchist or laissez-faire – cannot think in such terms as, e.g.: Well, the first year, we’ll cut the income tax by 2%, abolish the ICC, and cut the minimum wage; the second year we’ll abolish the minimum wage, cut the income tax by another 2%, and reduce welfare payments by 3%, etc. The radical cannot think in such terms, because the radical regards the State as our mortal enemy, which must be hacked away at wherever and whenever we can. To the radical libertarian, we must take any and every opportunity to chop away at the State, whether it’s to reduce or abolish a tax, a budget appropriation, or a regulatory power. And the radical libertarian is insatiable in this appetite until the State has been abolished, or – for minarchists – dwindled down to a tiny, laissez-faire role.

Many people have wondered: Why should there be any important political disputes between anarcho-capitalists and minarchists now? In this world of statism, where there is so much common ground, why can’t the two groups work in complete harmony until we shall have reached a Cobdenite world, after which we can air our disagreements? Why quarrel over courts, etc. now? The answer to this excellent question is that we could and would march hand-in-hand in this way if the minarchists were radicals, as they were from the birth of classical liberalism down to the 1940s. Give us back the antistatist radicals, and harmony would indeed reign triumphant within the movement.

The State is in no sense required by the nature of Man

 

 

 

h/t Robert Wenzel

Harry Browne on Child Labor

The late, heroic Harry Browne on child labor:

 

Child labor was disappearing in America by the end of the 1800s. The first federal child labor law was passed in 1938. Government didn’t end child labor, technology did.

In the early 1800s, farm families needed every member of the family to work long hours just to stay even. When the Industrial Revolution began, children went to work in factories because they were more productive there, their hours were shorter, and they could contribute more to their families. As technology improved, it became possible by the end of the 1800s for one person to produce enough to support an entire family – and child labor no longer was necessary.

Before you boycott companies that use child labor in foreign countries, ask yourself what will happen to the children if those factories are closed down. Will they go into prostitution or stealing? They are working in the factories because they have to – to help support families who can’t survive , as we can, with just the adults working. They are choosing the best alternative available. Take away that alternative and they will have to turn to something worse.

 

P&G Owns Me — No, Not Really

It is difficult, most of the time, to explain the difference between corporatism and capitalism. So much so that “bleeding heart” libertarians distance themselves from the word “capitalism” to get on the left’s good side. Below is a map, that is circling around the lefty circles of the internet, visually implying the “power of corporations.” I circled the products I, currently, regulary buy. Apparently, I’m a fan of several products offered by Procter & Gamble. Heck, I must have voluntarily accepted enslavement by P&G, while doing some extra slave work — hey I have P&G bills! — at Johnson&Johnson and Nestle.

What is amazing is the number of products that are not in my life. From the looks of it, I regularly use 10 products out of 350 – 400 displayed. That means ~97% of the items displayed I do not use. And I’m not, purposefully, avoiding these products because the largest international corporations produce them; I ain’t a socialist or an Occupier! So, how much power is that when I can live my life, comfortably, and avoid these “nefarious” companies? There is choice. I do not eat Taco Bell. I do not eat Fruit Loops. Nor am I forced to eat them.

As for the products I do use. Well, I like them. How can you live without a Swiffer? No, seriously. What’s better than an Oral-B toothbrush at that price? I do benefit from these products. There is a market and we do have the power to decide whom we trade with. That is what a voluntary relationship looks like. Do we really have that same freedom with a government? If we are so scared of these corporate “cartels” and monopolies and the apparent “false choice” they provide, we must consider, first, the institution that has, by definition, a monopoly on violence — the government.

A monopoly on violence is more likely to create dangerous consequences than, say, a monopoly on chocolate. And it is a monopoly + compulsion. I am forced to associate with the US government, and they determine the rules of the relationship. I cannot opt-out. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is trying to close the borders and make it more difficult for me to leave. And if I try to leave, there are some countries I cannot go to — Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Cuba — because either a) the US is bombing them and my standard of living would decrease somewhat(!) or b) ridiculous sanctions are imposed and I’d have to renounce my citizenship. Even, currently, if I wanted to live abroad, I’d have to pay the US government taxes on my income. I cannot escape my relationship with the US government without innately becoming a criminal. But we are “concerned” about 10 companies, of which, I easily do not buy their products.

Nonetheless, this map is not a map of the free market. It is a map of crony-capitalism/corporatism. A feature of a free market is free-entry. That means competition is dynamic, and if a company reduces its product quality and raises prices, it is easy for a new firm to enter the market to compete. The government, through subsidies, IP enforcement, and regulations destroys free-entry.

Most of the time such laws are written by the current lot of successful firms to stifle competition and keep their successes, such as ObamaCare — a disgusting example of insurance company influence. License and permit requirements reduce competition, such as taxi medallions. Monsanto uses IP and the courts to stop local farmers from replanting seeds on their own farms. Corn subsidies tilt the scale in favor of the oligarchs in the agro-industrial complex. Then there is the blatant bailouts. The consequence is the consolidation of power because up-and-comers cannot compete with, essentially, government-backed companies. New companies cannot afford to meet regulation requirements, and subsidies keep prices down for the top market winners. In this way, an oligarchy is formed.

In a free market, there is a dynamic relationship. There is no perfect, constant number of firms that need to exist. Sometimes a single firm does, actually, successfully provide its goods to the satisfaction of its customers; other times, it can be countless firms. The key feature — it is dynamic. Look to the internet to see it in action (the closest thing we got to a free market), although ISPs — AT&T, Cox — are examples of corporatism, given geographic monopolies a century ago, and protected by the FCC.

Another interesting feature is the majority of these companies are part of the agro-industrial complex. Not only, as stated earlier, are they supported by various subsides, these corporations work directly with the government to promote public “health solutions” and propaganda — ergo, more profits in their pocket. Karen De Coster describes this relationship:

Government is always in the business of creating and exacerbating crisis, and so governments partner with phony charity fronts and corporate state powers to distort the facts with sham statistics and spread the fear mongering. These food insecurity stats are being used to show how people need additional food subsidies to “nudge” them out of that category. This article is based on a report released by an organization, Feeding America, which sounded might suspicious and very quasi-governmental. I wondered who the sponsors or partners of this organization would be, and it took me a whole sixty seconds to turn up all of the usual suspects: ConAgra Foods, Kellogg’s, Kraft Foods, Nestle’s, PepsiCo, and General Mills.

More welfare, more food stamps, and more “defeat hunger” programs mean more food sales, more market power, and more government alliances for these mega-corporate state giants. Meanwhile, there exists the hunger-obesity paradox. That is, the fact that some of the poorest people are the most obese because of the low-quality processed foods and fast foods on which they consistently feast. [emphasis mine]

In a free market, the state is no savior. Companies cannot go to the government, and through taxation and wealth redistribution, and all covered in propaganda — violence, in other words — get, in return, unjust profits. And more so, if you go bankrupt, you go bankrupt. Goodbye.

And finally, the reason I can avoid 97% of the map so easily, and not associate with what is supposed to be the largest corporations in the world, is because I live the paleo lifestyle. I do not eat carbs except what I get from fruits and vegetables. I do not eat junk food. There is increasing amounts of evidence we are supposed to eat lots of fat, including saturated fat. There are flaws in the lipid hypothesis, but government still enforces the wrong, not-updated information, the status quo:

Dr. Rosch’s colleague, a Swedish physician by the name of Uffe Ravnskov, is author of the book The Cholesterol Myths and spokesman for the International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics. At the same conference, Dr. Ravnskov stated that “autopsy studies have shown there is no association between the degree of arteriosclerosis in the arteries and cholesterol concentration in the blood, taken either shortly or immediately after death,” and also noted that the anti-cholesterol campaign — known as the lipid hypothesis — is so powerful because “there is prestige and money at stake.”

For more on the agro-industrial complex and the pharma-industrial complex, I suggest reading Karen De Coster. And go ahead and watch Food, Inc. It is a lefty film, and the documentary does correctly identify the symptoms of the agro-industrial complex, but there is no understanding how much the government is involved in propping these corporate players up.

While the relationship between these companies and the government is vile, it is the government that has the tool of violence. There are ways, still, so far, to avoid these companies, and choices we have when it comes to whom we trade with. There is even an agorist movement. Sadly and scarily, more voluntary associations are daily becoming less “legal.”


This Is The Internet

Excerpted from the documentary Imagine: John Lennon (1988), below is an exchange between John Lennon and a reporter. Under a white sheet, John discusses “bagism.” This is why the message of freedom and peace can spread in the age of the internet.

This is another peace protest by the way.

Why in the bag?

Because we believe is total communication, that means if we have something to say, or anybody has something to say, they communicate and not confuse you with what color your skin is, or how long your hair is grown…

How long is your hair grown?

Aha, you have to guess. It is not important, it’s only what I’m saying here, what we’re here for, all we say is give peace a chance.