“Politics is violence laundering. It is concealing the source of violence by channeling threats through an intermediary.” – Davi Barker
The sage Lew Rockwell wrote this piece in 1996, during another one of those tribal conflicts we call federal presidential elections.
It is important reading for those of us who quickly call ourselves ‘libertarians’, accepting the pessimism and hopelessness that hangs on that label. It reminds us that we are part of a proud tradition that has proven its success and popularity worldwide since the Age of Enlightenment, and even back to antiquity: liberalism. Continue reading
Is religion a friend or a foe?
Watching the movie Traitor this afternoon, I gained new insight into the value of religion, in this case Islam. While in a Yemeni prison, the protagonist gives a fellow inmate his rations after a bully had thrown the other man’s rations onto the ground. The bully then confronts the protagonist, telling him “I decide who eats and who starves.” The protagonist fights the bully and his gang alone and, though adept at combat, is overwhelmed. However, other inmates notice his good deed and his daily prayers. The next time the gang confronts the protagonist, the other Muslim inmates come to his aid, and he is left alone.
Don’t accuse me of idol worship, though I’ve been caught wearing a Ron Paul t-shirt from time to time. With the passing of Kent Snyder, the many people who recognize his tremendous contribution to freedom and justice have been filling blogosphere comment boxes with emphatic statements of adoration. This is good. I find the figures in history that have chosen to practice ethics and respect for their fellow man are often the least celebrated, while figures like FDR, Napoleon, and Che Guevara are obsessed over.
Still, one comment gave me pause. This commentator remarked that the best way to honor Kent is to do what he did: work tirelessly for legal respect of individual rights. As a movement, worldwide, the classical liberals have always been vulnerable to weakness of good rhetoric and bad performance. The Girondins lost to the Jacobins because they debated well and organized poorly. The same holds for the UK Liberals losing to Labour. When I attend libertarian functions, I’m often at the receiving end of a long rant about ideas with which I’m quite familiar – but many people are not. You’re preaching to the choir, buddy! How many libertarians wait until their meetup group to let loose the fire burning within? How many have been turned against themselves by the ridicule of statists? Worst, when we are consistently ineffective against the public-school-brainwashed masses, some start to doubt their own beliefs. I think that’s where all the chatter comes from. We are forced to de-program years of slave morality, questioning each and every assumption to see if it stands to reason.
Well, guess what? If you’re still reading this, you’re probably a good enough person. You’re probably more considerate, more righteous, and more intelligent than 9 out of 10 of your peers. So, drop the negative attitude (possibly inherited from the stalled Libertarian Party in the States, which does often lose, but is fighting an uphill battle against a rigged electoral system). Freedom is right. When I read about sociopathy, the disorder characterized by an inability to empathize with others causing sufferers to commit anti-social acts, the characteristics sound eerily similar to those demonstrated by statist politicians. Libertarians are the exact opposite. Our disorder is being too civil, too concerned with the plight of our fellow man. But, you see, that isn’t a disorder at all; it’s a blessing.
Kent Snyder was a great man. Ron Paul is a great man. Mary Ruwart is a great woman. The Koch family are great people. But, as the commentator pointed out, we cannot get caught up in hero-worship. Wear a Ron Paul shirt, donate to worthwhile campaigns, but also, get active: organize a regular get-together among your local compatriots, run for office, write to your newspaper, write a book, learn to use and then carry a gun, organize a march on your state capitol or Washington, apply pressure to everyone and everything that stands in the way of our freedom, and never compromise your ideals. After all, isn’t that what we adore about the aforementioned – they took action, they were relentless, and they succeeded.
As I sit here pondering possible future endeavors, one of which being a libertarian school in New Hampshire, I find the internet equivalent at NH Free Press. TOLFA, or The On Line Freedom Academy, is one man’s plan to bring about the revolutionary restoration of human liberty – a principle that is dying in its traditional home turf. The plan is simple enough: educate our friends and family, on by one, about their own humanity; ask them to, in turn, quit their government or government-contracted jobs; then, have each of them ‘mentor’ one other student through the process. If every person who takes the course refuses to work for the government and puts one other person through the course, then in a matter of years the government will be desperate for labor and hopelessly fighting a rising tide of defiance.
All plans, at the outset, may seem far-fetched, but I believe that what is important is not whether they could work, but whether they should work. This is part of a new generation of pragmatic strategies for advancing the cause of human liberty against political tyranny, with the Free State Project being the other pillar that comes to mind.
We are losing, folks! There is now a Matrix-esque mass of people who couldn’t give two shits if their loved ones are scanned with mm wave scanners – exposing their naked bodies to the prying eyes of TSA rapists.
We are lost, folks! The more intellectual of my friends were depressed by the recent comedy ‘Idiocracy‘ because it hit too close to home. There is no excuse for being a centrist in 2008 North America: we are fast approaching a point-of-no-return on our way to a totalitarian state. It is like being a centrist in Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia – you might feel comfortable, but to anyone with some distance from the sickness of your immediate state, you are complicit in indefensible activities. Our 50 free and sovereign states behave like administrative sub-units of an empire. Some citizens are speaking out, but most are left-wingers begging the central government for their freedom back – and expressing full support for all of the practices that allow empires to exist.
Not since the 1990s have I seen any concrete actions taken against the US Imperial Government. The TOLFA is something, a step. I have begun the course myself, even though I have already spent the last 8 years re-educating myself. If any readers decide to undertake the same, please email me and I would be happy to serve as mentor. Good luck!
The Canadian confederal government and the American federal government have agreed to use each other’s armed forces in the case of civil emergencies. What we are talking about here is domestic deployment of heavily-armed, militarized units in response to the thinnest of emergencies: flooding in Toronto, a tornado in Kansas, a bombing of oil pipeline in Saskatchewan. These are crises, no doubt, but do they warrant military intervention? No, do they warrant military intervention from a foreign force not under the command of your civilian political apparatus?
People of North America, there are big changes being made to the foundation of your civil governance. The books and movies are true; totalitarianism can happen on our shores, and the building blocks are in place. The American federal government is increasingly detached from the control of the states, and the citizenry. When over 70% of the American electorate opposes a war, votes the opposition party into power to end the war, and the opposition party won’t even defund the war, it merely illustrates the utter lack of oversight you – joe citizen – will have over the supra-sovereign military planned under this agreement.
Get upset. This is the time to get upset and revolt. Your governments have gotten away from you. Hamilton is winning. For those not versed in American political history, Alexander Hamilton endeavored to create of our newly freed confederation a unified military-industrial empire. He conspired to replace our Articles of Confederation with the burdensome Constitution that has permitted, or even encouraged, the growth of today’s leviathan. The Canadian provinces have no rich tradition of independence, nor of principled liberty, but they have the inheritance of British culture: the Magna Carta, the English Civil Wars, the Second Treatise on Government, etc. All of this tradition is very tenuous. It requires the study and defense of individual rights in each generation. As we walk further from the American Revolution, the states forget their sovereignty, and the people no longer value the blood shed for their freedom.
As many libertarian writers have said, you do not need to feel debt or guilt; you do not need to put your life on the line (yet); you still have that inheritance, you free men of New Hampshire, California, Wyoming, Ontario, Florida, the Carolinas, Alberta, et al. Stand up in your state. Take back your militia (now nationalized as the National Guard), provide a check on the excesses of your so-called ‘leaders’ because they’re walking all over you with agreements like this.