Larken Rose believes that most people suffer from Mental Malware in the form of a faulty belief system. The biggest faulty belief of all is the belief in government.
Larken Rose believes that most people suffer from Mental Malware in the form of a faulty belief system. The biggest faulty belief of all is the belief in government.
Liberty is not lost overnight. It is lost in degrees. It fades slowly until one day people wake up realize that the land they own, the fruits of their labor, and the integrity of their person is not truly theirs. Liberty is also lost in the name of safety and other noble ideas. In the previews, “Still Mine” shows the determined effort of bureaucrats to stop a man from building on his own land. This is the only thing that bureaucrats can do, stop action by free acting individuals through threat of force. That is their job, that is all regulation agencies do. They reduce freedom. They subjected the naturally free individual to the faceless, soulless bureaucracy.
I, for one, believe in the sacredness of property rights. Actually, I know that these rights exist. They are inherent in nature. No man or government has the right to use force against any individual because they disagree with what that individual is doing with his property.
Below is a short film along the same lines.
You would think people like Hannity would be embarrassed espousing such contradicting views. You would think that conservatives would be embarrassed to listen to such people. When Hannity’s guys in power, the surveillance state is great. When there is a Democrat in office Hannity suddenly develops a conscience. Not that big of a surprise I guess.
The Left loves the NSA. The Left loves the destruction of civil liberties. The Left loves the police state.
O excuse me dear reader, you thought that the left was stood for ideals and truth? You thought it was the Right that believed in violating the fourth amendment and imprisoning people indefinitely? You thought it was the right that enjoyed taping your phones and checking your e-mails? You that with a liberal in office the Patriot Act would be rescinded and our civil liberties would be restored and peaceful responsible government would be return?
I was naïve too once. I thought that president’s Obama’s anti-war base would cause such an uproar in his time in office that there would be no political possibility in hell that Obama could prosecute the previous administration’s wars. Not only has Mr. Obama been able to expand the wars that we have already been fighting but he started new conflicts in Syria and Libya. The left has completely and totally prostrated themselves before the Obama administration. The Democrats reauthorize the Patriot Act year after year and there is not a peep from left. I remember the days when this was considered the most dreaded piece of legislation ever passed through the halls of Congress in the history of America in the eyes of the left but they say nothing now. The use of drones to kill Americans overseas would have caused riots if Bush would have done it but the Left says nothing when a Democrat president does it. It is obvious that modern liberalism stands for nothing. It certainly does not stand for human dignity. Well, actually, maybe it does stand for something, it stands for “total state”. Bennito Mussolini could have written the modern democrat slogan, “Everything for the state, nothing outside the state, nothing above the state.” The state is their religion and the warfare state turns out to be so fun to watch when a Democrat is at the helm! And why not? It only makes sense because any political party that loves state power eventually wants to see it wielded. What is a more true demonstration of the total state than war? What is a more true display of state power than the total surveillance state? We are closer today to George Orwell’s 1984 because both parties both love state power and refuse to hold their politicians accountable in the slightest.
Do you believe in Marxism? Most people would say no but, they should think more deeply about this. The communist manifesto had ten planks that were totally revolutionary and a complete contradiction to the ideas of liberty. Well many of the planks of the Communist Manifesto are part of society today and enjoy wide support from the public. Let us consider what planks have been enacted by American society and why they benefit the communist ideal.
1. One plank was that society needed a central bank. I think that there are many reasons that Karl Marx supported a central Bank. A central bank allows the state to be in complete control of society’s wealth. A free monetary system puts money in the hands of the people. A central bank allows society’s elites to control all wealth. Communism needs such centralization of wealth to operate.
Also, having a central bank, by making credit cheap, would shorten time preferences in society and over time would change the cultural values of society. Jeffery Tucker talks about how an inflationary society leads to social decay and destroys traditional institutions. For communism to rise, it was critical that the old Bourgeoisie values be overthrown. Inflation creates a society that benefits the risk taker over the saver. The impact on society becomes evident as those with a more present orientated outlook in life start to have more success than those who have longer termed, more prudent outlooks on life. The respect for what is lasting and true is thrown out while rampant materialism becomes the norm. Marx knew that a materialistic consumer society, with its old social institutions, such as churches, overturned would be ripe for communism. With social power weakened, the state becomes supreme. Marx needed a powerful state to enact his ideals.
2. Public Schooling. Though public schooling seems like a beneficial social investment, people should pause to think about why the communists were so supportive of it as well. After a little thought, the communist reason should be obvious. Marx wanted to control the minds of society. He needed them inculcated with proletariat ideology. You might be thinking that, “well yeah, so what?” We are not communists, we are not teaching communist ideology to our children. Our education system is as objective as possible. I would contend that many philosophical ideas of the communists have tacitly embedded themselves into the American curriculum. Teachers may not be teaching communism directly or even knowingly but, proletariat/bourgeoisie class struggle is pervasive throughout our history books. In every history textbook, labor is subject to rampant abuse throughout American history and it is only the American state that intervenes to prevent abuse by the industrialists. The whole idea of “exploitation of labor” was an unknown concept before Marx. People were thought of as individuals not classes. Wage rates were considered simple contracts between an employer and an employee. This all changed after Marx, it was now thought that labor was simply given near substance level wages just to increase the profits of the capital owning class. This idea still persists today, even though it has become patently absurd when one can look around and see how the working class has improved their condition over the last one hundred years, even as this completely contradicts Marxist ideology which states that the working class will stay in poverty forever. I could also go into the economics about how supply and demand functions in labor markets the same way as other markets but, you can read it here and here if you want to know more. Simply put, public schools are the brain child of Marx and our public schools today teach Marxist class structure whether in the traditional labor class vs capitalistic class or in the new versions of Marxist class struggle of racial minorities vs racial majorities or the female sex vs the exploitative male sex. These ideas are all Marxist in origin. Whether they are true or not is a topic for another time but, their roots in Marxism are not debatable.
3. A progressive income tax. Once again the idea of the progressive income tax was one of the ten planks of the Communist Manifesto! This was one of the ideas that was so revolutionary at the time that Marx did not put his name on the Communist Manifesto until years after it was published. I find it interesting that those today who want to go to a flat tax are the radicals but, those who support a Marx’s progressive income tax are just good citizens. Is it any wonder that society is in such decay? I guess people think that the progressive income tax exists in the name of equality but, is this really true? Karl Marx certainly preached equality but, did he really mean it? I would contend that he did not. For one, it is estimated the Marx made a very good living from his writings, some estimates being 80 times that of the average German family at the time with no indication that he ever gave any substantial amount to alleviate suffering of the poor around him. He was mostly a drinker and an ideal philosophizer. I think that Marx’s hypocrisy was evident in many ways, one being that he took large amounts of money from businessmen, the very bourgeoisie that he railed against. For more on Karl Marx “the man”, here is a presentation by Gary North. From all of Marx’s hypocritical behavior, I don’t think it is unscholarly not to take Marx’s motives at his word. I think Marx simply wanted to play on the most unsavory of human emotions, mainly greed and envy. He knew that his society would need a new managerial class to rule and an intellectual class to defend the rulers. He simply wanted to uproot the traditional land owning classes and replace them with the kind of class of his own liking. To be honest, I think this is the deep unspoken motive of many of the intellectual supporters of socialism/communism. They want a society that will give them power and a steady income through the state. After all, how can you take such people seriously when study after study has shown that most of them spend such little time or money helping those that are poorer than them. I think they would rather spend their time like Karl Marx did, idly drinking coffee or martinis at there local trendy establishment rather than actually going out and helping the underclass that they claim to care for so much. Then, as today, the idea of equality of wealth and the progressive income tax in particular were simply tools that Marx wanted to use to destroy the Old Order.
So is America philosophically communist? I think the answer is no. Deep feelings of individualism and natural rights still permeate society to such a wide degree that true communism/socialism has failed to take hold. But this does not mean that communist ideology has not made tremendous inroads into American culture. Something to think about the next time you send your kid to mandatory schooling, pay your income taxes, or buy an item with a Federal Reserve note.
Just recently the United Sates senate passed a bill that would allow the military to detain any American citizen indefinitely anywhere in the world, including the United States, without presenting any charges. You read this correctly. The United States military can pluck anyone off the street at will if the president does not veto this bill. So far a wide array of government organizations have come out against this to include the Pentagon and the FBI but, the 60 senators voted for this bill anyway. Many people thought that after the killing of enemy number one, Osama Bin-laden, that such Orwellian legislation would no longer be passed but, I guess this is not the case. We truly live in bizarre times, such legislation is almost unbelievable! Then again, the state of society today would have almost been unbelievable 20 years ago. We really do live in a fantastic age.
I don’t think I should have to go into how monstrous this legislation is. It should be obvious to anyone that this totally uproots the constitution and the hundreds of years of precedent not to use the military to police the civilian population. Instead of focusing on this law that is obviously immoral, I think it would be better to focus on how we got here.
To most lovers of liberty that understand the constitution and the law, this bill is unlikely to surprise them. The eroding of the constitution has been happening for a very long time and no one really seems to care. Children are not taught about natural law in schools and have no idea what it truly means to have a “right.” Most people take their freedoms for granted and never expect the institutions that they have grown to respect to betray them. They are taught that governments are the protectors of liberty but, in reality it is liberty’s major enemy. It can be seen throughout history. When populations are forced into serf like existence, it is usually by their own government, not a foreign power. To expect our country to be somehow unique in all of history in this regard is comfortingly naïve but, is not true, especially when one takes a hard look at our own history thus far. The Federal government deported congressmen in the civil war and used union troops to intimidate Supreme Court justices in the middle of the night. Woodrow Wilson also locked up thousands of people that wrote articles or spoke critically about our involvement in World War I and the draft. FDR locked up thousands of Japanese without charge while allowing German Americans to live unmolested. Though the American people are naturally good human beings, the American government, like any government, often has little qualms about crushing individual liberty if it thinks that it can get away with it. I think part of this is the kind of people that are attracted to government positions. They are not the kind of people that want to work or serve the public but, they want to shape society into their ideal image. They truly think that people are too dumb to rule themselves and must be forced to behave in ways that conform to its rulers ideals.
Another reason that we are here today is because the government over the last hundred years has entered into every sphere of human activity. Slowly the public has become desensitized to government involvement in even the most personal activities. If the government says who you can marry and what you can put into your body, regulate every single economic activity under the sun, and take a cut of every monetary transaction, is it so hard to believe that the government might treat us as their property? If I can’t decide what to put into my own body, is it truly mine? Once you claim that the government has the right to protect you from yourself and violate property rights in every area, it is hard to make the argument that you are still your own person and are entitled to any right whatsoever.
For over a hundred years the American government has also been in charge of education and for over a hundred years the old studies of philosophy, law, and natural rights have given way to simple accreditation instead of learning. The nonsensical idea of appreciating cultural diversity instead of embracing natural law is now the style of education. The public simply does not have the cognitive tools to deal with such assaults on liberty because reason is no longer taught. Children are told what to think, not how to think. Docile consumers are much better than a free thinking public that understands the rule of law.
In more recent times the loss of liberty and the flagrant violations of the constitution have accelerated. The Patriot Act allows roving wire taps and the FBI to search a person’s house without a Judge’s authorization. The TSA is ruthless in sexually abusing old ladies, house wives, and children, while taking pornographic pictures of them. SPC Manning was held for almost a year with no charges being filed. The president has ordered the assassination of an American citizen, an act which also resulted in the death of a sixteen year old, who was an American citizen as well, with no authorization whatsoever. This recent bill is the next logical step of a government that is slowly ratcheting up its police powers. It simply codifies into law what the government has been doing anyway. Hopefully this law is a wakeup call to people telling them where this country is headed. But for those that love liberty, this bill is shocking only in degree, not in kind.
If there ever was anything to the slippery slope argument, this bill is it. I generally don’t like using the slippery slope argument because the incredulity of most people usually just results in them rolling their eyes. But this is a glaring example of how totally true the argument is. If you let the government kill citizens overseas with no charges, one day they will grant themselves the power to lock up citizens at home without charges. Predator drones flying over cities might not disturb some people but, in a few years they might by flying up to people’s windows looking to make sure that you are not doing anything in your house that the government deems a crime. With the list of non-violent nanny state crimes growing everyday, this is truly a scary thought. This is the natural way governments work and when the government starts routinely flying drones up to people’s windows, it is likely most people won’t really care that much, even though we would find it outrageous today. People would have also found the idea of a President assassinating American citizens outrageous during Reagan’s day but, the people today barely raise an eyebrow. We have been headed down this slippery slope for a long time now and I don’t like to think about what the bottom looks like. But if history is any guide, it will be pretty darn scary. Let’s hope we never get there.
Liberty is never taken all at once. It takes years, often decades until one day people start waking up and realizing they are no longer free and have not been for a long time.
Maybe a decade or two from now Americans might wake up thinking the same thing. Maybe liberty is truly the greatest under-appreciated gift in the history of the world. Maybe the constitution’s greatest hour of danger is now.
I wanted to take some time and consider this event and all of its implications. September 30th 2011 is a unique day in the history of America and Western Civilization as a whole. What was done on this day is completely without precedent in American history. Whether you agree with the action or not, an American citizen was assassinated without trial. Many people reading this might think “well yeah, so what, the guy was a terrorist.” This might be true (we don’t know for sure because no evidence has been presented to the public) but, its implications are vast. Let us look at them in order.
1. The Rule of Law: Western Civilization has rested on the idea that no one is above the law. This is where the famous phrase “we are a country of laws, not of men” came from. This is not just a slogan, it means that no man can execute another man, only the law can. This is why in firing squads one man always has a blank, so that no one man is the executioner, the law is the executioner. During the Middle Ages, monarchs were considered the law incarnate by divine right. This meant that a monarch could execute anyone and be perfectly within his right because he had the power of life and death over everyone within his domain. This ended with the writing of the Magna Carta where limits were placed on the King in 1215 AD. Specifically the Magna Carta stated “No freeman shall be taken or imprisoned or dissented [seized] or exiled or in any way destroyed, nor will we go upon him nor send upon him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land” (Magna Carta, sec. 39). Ever since the writing of the Magna Carta, there has always been a court to stand between the state and its citizens but, no more. This action by our chief executive has in effect uprooted 800 years of legal precedent by placing all power of judge, jury, and executioner in one human being.
2. The Constitution: Our President swears an oath to uphold the constitution which clearly states in the 5th amendment: “No person shall be deprived of life without due process of law”. Once again this long held tradition has been completely violated.
3. The Tradition of American Virtue: The United Sates has always been committed to due process with even the most evil of enemies because we are a nation of virtue. In 1945 we tried the most genocidal of Nazi SS war criminals at Nuremberg because “Though we had fought a brutal war, we were determined to act generously to the vanquished. That even applied to the Nazi brass who committed reprehensible crimes against humanity.” We could have taken the Nazi SS officers and had them shot and thrown into the mass graves they made for their victims but, America was committed to doing what was morally right even with the most wicked of human beings.
4. Legal Precedent: The law has everything do with legal precedent. What was done in the past can now be done in the future. Legally speaking, the President has no obligation to present evidence to anybody when killing American citizens abroad or at home. He does not have to present evidence to the media, congress, any court, or even the Intelligence Committee in congress designed to oversee clandestine operations. According to legal precedent, the president can kill anyone as long he has “secret evidence” that only he is privy too.
5. Passion for Liberty: For a republic to survive, its people must have a passion for liberty. Our founding generation would look at allowing the state to violate the most fundamental legal protections as the most disgusting and evil of sins. Patrick Henry once said “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains or slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know what course others may take but, as for me; give me liberty or give me death!” Such passion forged our country but, seems disturbingly subdued today. If a despotism ever does come to the United States, it will not come in violence or uprisings in the streets like in Europe. It will come wrapped in the American flag carrying an apple pie. It will whisper ever so sweetly the age old lie that has been said time and time again for thousands of years, “Give me a little liberty and I will protect you”
6. Why we fight: Every solider that has ever fought has sworn an oath to uphold the constitution. Every American soldier’s first loyalty is to the constitution and the natural rights that the constitution was built upon. We fought two world wars to preserve liberty, not to trample over it. To ignore this, is to make our military a tool of the state apparatus, just like the Kings and Emperors of old. I for one like to think that we fight for ideals, not a modern Xerxes.
The real question it seems is why? Why was this done in the way it was? At least when the CIA killed foreign enemies (non-American citizens) in the past they lied about it because they knew it was against the law. Why not even make the attempt to make it seem legal? Why not strip Anwar al-Awlaki of his citizenship before killing him? Why not present evidence to the secret FISA courts set up in the 70s to deal with foreign spies and terrorists? Why not tell select members of congress with top secret security clearances? Why not have a military tribunal? Why not give some evidence, any evidence what so ever, to somebody… anybody? Lastly… why tell us at all? They could have killed him secretly and kept it classified as has been done with countless other military/CIA operations before but, instead they chose to announce it… why? The answers to these questions might be more disturbing than the assassination itself. Maybe it was done the way it was because there was no evidence to present? Maybe it was done because the chief executive arrogantly knew that he could get away with it with no protest from the public? Maybe it was done precisely to set future legal precedent? I know one thing… this is a bad omen for liberty.
History will remember September 30th 2011. The Rubicon has been crossed.