Anything peaceful and voluntary.

Archive for October, 2011

21st Century Abolitionists by Chris Dates

Editor’s Note: Chris has a sense of serendipity, and has supplied another insightful essay while Bill and I were occupied at Libertopia. If you’d like to contribute an essay, please email them to kaiserleib AT gmail.com. We may edit your essay for mechanics, but never for content. -KL

“No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.”
~Frederick Douglass

This essay is a follow-up to my last essay that was posted here at ZeroGov. I don’t think I properly got my point across, and I do not want to appear as a man who does not take freedom seriously enough to take the time to explain how it would work. Please allow me this opportunity to explain myself a little further.

I have read many books, essays, and such explaining how the people will have to be shown concrete alternatives to the state apparatus before they have the courage to abandon it. They will have to be shown how they would travel, and not just traveling by automobile, an explanation has to be given for air travel and air traffic control also. They need to be explained how they would receive justice in a free society, or shown examples of how justice has been handled in the past and present absent the state. Certainly the problem of pollution cannot be left up in the air when trying to explain why a free society would be better. These are only a few problems that exist now, and will undoubtedly exist in a voluntary society. Somehow we will have to show working alternatives to every one of these problems before the people throw off the shackles they have placed upon themselves. And this is the reason why we will fail at this monumental task of trying to explain freedom, although our minds are free, our bodies are not. We can build in our heads, but we lack the right to build with our hands.

See the rest:  http://zerogov.com/?p=2371

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Why the Free State Project is Awesomesauce by FSP Prez, Carla Gericke

The FSP is a movement to concentrate 20,000 liberty-loving folks in one place: New Hampshire, or, as I sometimes call it “Nude Hampster.” Others call it “the Shire,” and the coolest of the cool call it the “Six-Oh-Three” (“603” being the calling code for the entire state). In typical anarchist fashion, we may not agree on what to dub our new home, but one thing we all agree on is New Hampshire is where it’s at.

Why there? Back in the day, 2002-ish, a vote–a voluntary vote–was taken and NH won out over Wyoming and Alaska. New Hampshire is a small state with a population of around 1 million. It is consistently ranked the “freest state.” It already has a live and let live culture. It has a port, a border with Canada, beautiful landscape, and hell, the state motto is: Live Free or Die. You don’t get more in-yer-face-mofos-for-freedom than that!

How does the FSP work? Technically, you are supposed to sign a pledge that says if 20,000 other people sign the pledge, we’ll all move to NH within 5 years. More than 11K have already signed up. BUT, again, in typical you-can’t-herd-no-stinking-cats fashion, a bunch of us decided we weren’t going to wait for the paperwork, so we UPPED and MOVED to get this freedom party on the road–and are fully ensconced in the Granite State.

More than 1,000 liberty lovers now call New Hampshire home. We live all across the state, with large enclaves in Manchester and Keene. Some focus on the political process. We even have a voluntaryist state representative–yes, I acknowledge, an oxymoron for the purists, but somehow it works. Some focus on civil disobedience, like holding peaceful 420 celebrations in public–sometimes even inside the state house. Some simply move, integrate into their new communities and live their lives as free as they can–’cos, yanno, freedom is a state of mind!

And that’s what makes the FSP unique: community, a concentrated community of like-minded people. No more lone wolf whackadoodleness just because you believe all human interactions should be voluntary. Now you can be in a pack of that whackadoodleness.

What kind of pack members are we looking for? Productive people from all walks of life. Whether you are an entrepreneur or a creative type, a hippie or a suit-and-tie, what you should be is self-reliant and productive. Joining the FSP is not just an escape route, we are building a movement, a new way of life. We are leading by example, so being exemplary goes a long way. The FSP’s motto is “Liberty in Our Lifetime.” This is no longer a pipe dream, but a growing, thriving reality in the Live Free or Die state.

To learn more about the Free State Project, join me during Libertopia on Friday, October 21 at 2PM in the John Galt Room. To sign up immediately as a participant, visit our website at www.freestateproject.org. Don’t miss our signature events: the Porcupine Freedom Festival (aka Porcfest) and Liberty Forum (registration now open). Questions? Comments? Email me at: president@freestateproject.org.


Fight the Narrative: Breaking the Matrix of Government Supremacism by Bill Buppert

Guest Blogger Notes:  Libertopia begins tomorrow and it is not too late to come and join the soiree.  Speakers, music and the largest conclave of stateless aspirants on Earth in one of the most beautiful places on the planet (excepting the totalitarian-lite political framework of Kalifornia).  We hope to see you there. -Bill Buppert

“All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.”
– George Orwell

We all experience the world through the shared stories and anecdotes that illuminate who we are and where we come from.  Our educations, both formal and informal, drive the worldviews we develop over time.  These are influenced universally by the transmission mediums we listen to or read about.  Whether we are reading books (an increasingly uncommon practice), watching television, interacting on the internet or engaging in conversation with friends and family, all of these activities consistently and irrevocably develop and refine the way we view the world around us.  First and foremost, our language and employment thereof has the most significant impact on us.  I do not want to bother with the noxious collectivist apologias familiar to the deconstructionists like Chomsky and Foucault who profess that literary texts and contemporary conversation are freighted with the various Politically Correct bugbears like race, class and gender which to me is a neat but erroneous substitute for thinking things through.  But they do make an important point:  our language, in this case, English, informs and prejudices cogitation in an unconscious fashion that can short-circuit clear and conscious thinking.

For example, prior to 1860, the use of the phrase “the United States are” was far more common than the post-1865 notion of the “the United States is”.  Mark Twain “observed that the Civil War was fought over whether ‘United States’ was singular or plural”.  Some attribute this to Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve, Professor of Greek at Johns Hopkins University, who wrote in 1909 that “if I chose (sic), I might enlarge on the historical importance of grammar in general and Greek grammar in particular. It was a point of grammatical concord that was at the bottom of the Civil War – “United States are,” said one, “United States is,” said another.”

The genesis of a bloody and, in the end, inglorious conflict may have been a dispute over grammatical construction which informed the consciousness of millions.

The larger point is that a lack of specificity, introspection and careful use of language after a consistent regimen of critical thinking can turn entire peoples into Helot populations subject to the vicissitudes and grasping of their rulers.

See the rest: http://zerogov.com/?p=2278

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Libertopia Festival Oct 21-23 2011 in San Diego
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The Constitution: The God That Failed (To Liberate Us From Big Government) by Bill Buppert

Guest Blogger Notes:  If there is one consistent defense minarchists use to justify a failure to endorse the stateless society, it would be the almost religious adoration for the Constitution and the apparent magical powers it has to defend liberty and hold off big brother.  Here is an essay that provides a modicum of antivenin to cure that particular malady. -Bill Buppert

“By rendering the labor of one, the property of the other, they cherish pride, luxury, and vanity on one side; on the other, vice and servility, or hatred and revolt.”

~ James Madison

“But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain — that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.”

~ Lysander Spooner

Today, 17 September 2009, is Constitution Day. There will be paeans, abundant commentary and church-like observances of the glories of this document in making us the most blessed nation on planet earth. This essay suggests a contrarian thesis. The Constitution is an enabling document for big government. Much like the Wizard of Oz, the man behind the curtain is a fraud. In this case, for all the sanctimonious handwringing and the obsequious idolatry of the parchment, it sealed the fate of our liberties and freedoms and has operated for more than 200 years as a cover for massive expansion of the tools and infrastructure of statist expansion and oppression. Among the many intellectual travels I have undertaken, this is one of the most heart-breaking I have ventured on. I want to acknowledge the compass-bearers who sent me on this journey: Kenneth W. Royce (aka Boston T. Party) and his seminal book, The Hologram of Liberty and Kevin Gutzman’s Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution. For most of the political spectrum in America, the document represents their interpretation of how to make this mortal coil paradise. Even in libertarian circles, it is taken as an article of faith the Constitution is a brilliant mechanism to enlarge liberty and keep government at bay. That is a lie.

The document was drafted in the summer of 1787 behind closed doors in tremendous secrecy because if word leaked out of the actual contents and intent, the revolution that had just concluded would have been set ablaze again. They were in a race against time and did everything in their power to ensure that the adoption took place as quickly as possible to avoid reflection and contemplation in the public square that would kill the proposal once the consequences of its agenda became apparent. They were insisting that the states ratify first and then propose amendments later. It was a political coup d’état. It was nothing less than an oligarchical coup to ensure that the moneyed interests, banksters and aristocrats could cement their positions and mimic the United Kingdom from which they had been recently divorced.

The original charter of the drafters was to pen improvements to the existing Articles of Confederation. Instead, they chose to hijack the process and create a document which enslaved the nation. Federalist in the old parlance meant states rights and subsidiarity but the three authors of the fabled Federalist Papers supported everything but that. Their intent and commitment was to create a National government with the ability to make war on its constituent parts if these states failed to submit themselves to the central government.

As Austrian economists have discovered, bigger is not necessarily better. The brilliant and oft-dismissed Articles of Confederation (AoC) and Perpetual Union are a testament to voluntarism and cooperation through persuasion that the Constitution disposed of with its adoption. Penned in 1776 and ratified in 1781, the spirit and context of the Articles live on in the Swiss canton system and are everywhere evident in the marketplace where confederationist sentiments are practiced daily. The confederation’s design divines its mechanism from what an unfettered market does every day: voluntary cooperation, spontaneous information signals and the parts always being smarter than the sum A. confederation according to the Webster’s 1828 dictionary is:

  1. The act of confederating; a league; a compact for mutual support; alliance; particularly of princes, nations or states.

I would advise the readership to use the 1828 Webster’s dictionary to accompany any primary source research you may undertake to understand American (& British) letters in the eighteenth century. It is the source for the contemporary lexicon. It is even available online now.

Here is a simple comparison of the two organizing documents:

`

Articles of Confederation

Constitution

Levying taxes Congress could request states to pay taxes Congress has right to levy taxes on individuals
Federal courts No system of federal courts Court system created to deal with issues between citizens, states
Regulation of trade No provision to regulate interstate trade Congress has right to regulate trade between states
Executive No executive with power. President of U.S. merely presided over Congress Executive branch headed by President who chooses Cabinet and has checks on power of judiciary and legislature
Amending document 13/13 needed to amend Articles 2/3 of both houses of Congress plus 3/4 of state legislatures or national convention
Representation of states Each state received 1 vote regardless of size Upper house (Senate) with 2 votes; lower house (House of Representatives) based on population
Raising an army Congress could not draft troops, dependent on states to contribute forces Congress can raise an army to deal with military situations
Interstate commerce No control of trade between states Interstate commerce controlled by Congress
Disputes between states Complicated system of arbitration Federal court system to handle disputes
Sovereignty Sovereignty resides in states Constitution the supreme law of the land
Passing laws 9/13 needed to approve legislation 50%+1 of both houses plus signature of President

Note that the precept of individual taxation was an end-run against state sovereignty from the very beginning. If the Congress does not wish to violate state sovereignty, then they will simply prey on the individuals in the states. It should be obvious that the AoC was not a recipe for government employees from top to bottom to use the office to enrich themselves so a scheme was afoot to precipitate and manufacture dissent over the present configuration of the central government apparatus which for all intents and purposes barely existed. The AoC was intolerable to a narrow panoply of interests and the Federalist Papers appeared between October 1787 and August 1788 to plead the case for a newer form of “Republic” authored by three individuals: James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton. The British had sued for peace in 1783 and the AoC were still in effect until 1790. Time was ticking to erect the new government apparatus that would strengthen the central government to eventually mimic the very tyranny which caused British North America to put the English Crown in the hazard. The Anti-Federalists rose up in response and provided what I consider one of the most splendid and eloquent defenses of small government penned in our history.

When the Constitutional Convention convened on 1787, 55 delegates came but 14 later quit as the Convention eventually abused its mandate and scrapped the AoC instead of revising it. The notes and proceedings of the cloistered meeting were to be secret as long as 53 years later when Madison’s edited notes were published in 1840.

The Anti-Federalist Brutus avers in Essay I in October 1787:

“But what is meant is, that the legislature of the United States are vested with the great and uncontroulable powers, of laying and collecting taxes, duties, imposts, and excises; of regulating trade, raising and supporting armies, organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, instituting courts, and other general powers. And are by this clause invested with the power of making all laws, proper and necessary, for carrying all these into execution; and they may so exercise this power as entirely to annihilate all the state governments, and reduce this country to one single government. And if they may do it, it is pretty certain they will; for it will be found that the power retained by individual states, small as it is, will be a clog upon the wheels of the government of the United States; the latter therefore will be naturally inclined to remove it out of the way. Besides, it is a truth confirmed by the unerring experience of ages, that every man, and every body of men, invested with power, are ever disposed to increase it, and to acquire a superiority over every thing that stands in their way.”

The conflict was brewing between the Jeffersonians among the individualists and the Hamiltonian collectivists. The rhetorical lines were drawn and the fate of the nation eventually slid into the camp of the Nationalists.

George Washington wrote to John Jay on 1 August 1786:

“Many are of opinion that Congress have too frequently made use of the suppliant humble tone of requisition, in applications to the States, when they had a right to assume their imperial dignity and command obedience. Be that as it may, requisitions are a perfect nihility, where thirteen sovereign, independent[,] disunited States are in the habit of discussing & refusing compliance with them at their option. Requisitions are actually little better than a jest and a bye word through out the Land. If you tell the Legislatures they have violated the treaty of peace and invaded the prerogatives of the confederacy they will laugh in your face. What then is to be done? Things cannot go on in the same train forever. It is much to be feared, as you observe, that the better kind of people being disgusted with the circumstances will have their minds prepared for any revolution whatever. We are apt to run from one extreme into another. To anticipate & prevent disasterous contingencies would be the part of wisdom & patriotism.”

It appears even the much admired Washington was having none of the talk of independence and wanted a firm hand on the yoke of the states to make them obey their masters on high. Washington’s behavior in the Whiskey Rebellion cast away any doubts of the imperious behavior of the central government a mere four year after the adoption of the Constitution.

Patrick Henry gave the firmest defense of the skeptical posture when he questioned the precarious position the Constitution put to the state’s sovereignty on 5 June 1788 at the Virginia Ratifying Convention (the savvy Founding Lawyers ensured that the process of ratification was sped along by bypassing the bicameral house requirements and simply asking the states to conduct ratifying conventions):

“How were the Congressional rights defined when the people of America united by a confederacy to defend their liberties and rights against the tyrannical attempts of Great-Britain? The States were not then contented with implied reservation. No, Mr. Chairman. It was expressly declared in our Confederation that every right was retained by the States respectively, which was not given up to the Government of the United States. But there is no such thing here. You therefore by a natural and unavoidable implication, give up your rights to the General Government. Your own example furnishes an argument against it. If you give up these powers, without a Bill of Rights, you will exhibit the most absurd thing to mankind that ever the world saw — A Government that has abandoned all its powers — The powers of direct taxation, the sword, and the purse. You have disposed of them to Congress, without a Bill of Rights — without check, limitation, or controul. And still you have checks and guards — still you keep barriers — pointed where? Pointed against your weakened, prostrated, enervated State Government! You have a Bill of Rights to defend you against the State Government, which is bereaved of all power; and yet you have none against Congress, though in full and exclusive possession of all power! You arm youselves against the weak and defenceless, and expose yourselves naked to the armed and powerful. Is not this a conduct of unexampled absurdity? What barriers have you to oppose to this most strong energetic Government? To that Government you have nothing to oppose. All your defence is given up. This is a real actual defect. . . “

The Bill of Rights as we know them today were first introduced by James Madison in 1789 in response to the fears the emerging Constitution caused among the free men in these united States. They eventually came into effect on December 15, 1791. The Federalists were desperately opposed to the adoption of the Bill of Rights being insisted upon by Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson and other skeptics of central governance. As Brutus again so cleverly pointed out in the Anti-Federalist papers #84:

” This will appear the more necessary, when it is considered, that not only the Constitution and laws made in pursuance thereof, but all treaties made, under the authority of the United States, are the supreme law of the land, and supersede the Constitutions of all the States. The power to make treaties, is vested in the president, by and with the advice and consent of two-thirds of the senate. I do not find any limitation or restriction to the exercise of this power. The most important article in any Constitution may therefore be repealed, even without a legislative act. Ought not a government, vested with such extensive and indefinite authority, to have been restricted by a declaration of rights? It certainly ought.

So clear a point is this, that I cannot help suspecting that persons who attempt to persuade people that such reservations were less necessary under this Constitution than under those of the States, are wilfully endeavoring to deceive, and to lead you into an absolute state of vassalage (emphasis mine).”

The Bill of Rights nominations from the respective sovereign states originally numbered near 200 and the Founding Lawyers saw fit to include twelve (the two concerning apportionment and Congressional pay failed to pass) after much bickering especially by the most monstrous worthy of the time, Alexander Hamilton. A brilliant mind coupled with all the political knife-fighting skills needed to dominate the proceedings, Hamilton made sure that the tools of oppression and a financial yoke would be decorating our necks in perpetuity. Small solace can be taken in the aftermath of the duel between Hamilton and Burr on 11 July 1804 in that it took him close to a day to die.

Alexander Hamilton tipped his intellectual hand in a speech to the Constitutional Convention concerning the United States Senate, 06/18/1787 (quoted in the notes of Judge Yates):

“All communities divide themselves into the few and the many. The first are the rich and the well-born; the other the mass of the people … turbulent and changing, they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the first class a distinct, permanent share in the Government … Nothing but a permanent body can check the imprudence of democracy.”

I am no fan of democracy as I see it as nothing more than a transformational accommodation to tyranny over time but one can infer from this quote that Hamilton fancied a class of people more equal than others who would have a disproportionate access to the levers of power over the great unwashed. Again, I am suggesting that the Constitution was a document designed from the beginning as a means to rob constituent and subsidiary parts of sovereignty and subject these subordinate elements to a national framework which made their position subservient to the Federal government. The desire of the Federalists was to install a national framework and cement the structure through the machinations of national banking, franking of a currency and debt creation. Keep in mind that all of the nattering on about the Federal Reserve today is a complaint against a Constitutional Frankenstein monster in its fourth iteration since the other attempts at national banks failed. You can guess who picked up the tab.

The Bill of Rights was finally passed on 15 December 1791 but it was much diluted and purposefully weaker and more ambiguous about the central government’s implied and explicit powers.

The Constitution took effect on 4 March 1789 with 11 states under it and two states not submitting ratification. North Carolina did ratify it when a promise of a future Bill of Rights was assured. Rhode Island refused and was the only state to put the Constitution to a popular vote where it failed on 24 March 1788 by an 11—1 margin. They eventually ratified it.

Hamilton now had the ways and means to make real his storied dream: “A national debt, if it is not excessive, will be to us a national blessing.” The moneyed interests saw the advantage of monetizing the debt. By assuming the state’s debts at the national government level, a means of controlling commerce and taxation became an implied task of the central government. This may have been the first incident of the debtors from the Revolutionary War convincing their Hamiltonian allies that if they had the national government bear the debt and relieve them of responsibility, this could be used as the means to establish the coveted national bank to start the issuance of government currency not to mention the driver for increased taxation.

All the puzzle pieces had finally locked into place. Royce eloquently explains what has transpired in Hologram of Liberty: “To put a ‘gun’ in the hands of the new national government was the primary object, the great sine qua non, of the Constitution. A comprehensive de jure authority of Congress backed with de facto guns.” The Confederation is defeated and the long train of usurpation, centralization and tyranny leaves the station for what has become American history.

Hamilton’s machinations and influence probably single-handedly turned the product of this secret confab into one of the most successful instruments of political oppression before even the creation of the USSR. What makes it even more sublime as a tool of big government is the sophisticated propaganda and hagiographic enterprise which has both spontaneously and through careful planning suborned the public’s skepticism of the nature of the machine erected to control their behavior, which has resulted in an almost religious observance of all things Constitutional. Carefully cultivated over two hundred years, this religious idolatry had certainly fogged the thinking of this writer for most of his adult life. This sleeper has awakened.

Ask yourself this question: have the robed government employees who read the Constitutional tea leaves for the most part defended individual liberty or have they rubber-stamped the exponential growth of power and control of the colossus that sits astride the Potomac?

“Our constitutions purport to be established by ‘the people,’ and, in theory, ‘all the people’ consent to such government as the constitutions authorize. But this consent of ‘the people’ exists only in theory. It has no existence in fact. Government is in reality established by the few; and these few assume the consent of all the rest, without any such consent being actually given.”

~ Lysander Spooner

See:  http://zerogov.com/

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Libertopia Festival Oct 21-23 2011 in San Diego
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Libertopia Needs You!

It has been a pleasure and honor blogging for Libertopia this week.  I look forward to seeing you at the conference in San Diego.  We are at a cross-roads with America on the brink of economic collapse and what emerges from the ashes will be our responsibility to support or fight.  There are no political solutions.  There are only philosophical solutions because ALL political solutions involve a partial or complete surrender of one part of the population to another.  There is no historical precedent otherwise.  Limited government is and always will be an illusion with the same practical implication of belief in unicorns or the Loch Ness monster.

Statesmen are simply politicians who keep the blade concealed in their clothing.

Go to Libertopia: learn to love thy neighbor, practice self-government and get ready for a brand new day.

This is Bill Buppert and if you are reading this, you are the Resistance.

Visit ZeroGov: http://zerogov.com/

 

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Libertopia Festival Oct 21-23 2011 in San Diego
Stay in touch at Facebook  http://Facebook.com/LibertopiaFestival
Follow us on Twitter  http://Twitter.com/LibertopiaFest
Find all details for the festival at  http://Libertopia.org


Occupy Wall Street: The Red Menace Ain’t Dead Yet by Bill Buppert

“The clock of communism has stopped striking. But its concrete building has not yet come crashing down. For that reason, instead of freeing ourselves, we must try to save ourselves from being crushed by its rubble.”

– Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Occupy Wall Street is about conformity and compliance. The males (not men) and women that people the protests are consistently collectivists and apologists for stateviolence with heads expensively filled by overpriced universities with the most economically illiterate and toxic nonsense a state-dominated college education system could produce. Just as fashion is not about individual tastes but mass appeal, the protests are about the Free Stuff Army much as the antiwar protests dwindled to near zero with the end of the draft, the same applies here. As soon as these scholars-in-hock get loan forgiveness for their easily earned degrees, the cries for social justice will diminish except for the professional protestors and the true believers of collectivism whose life mission is to enslave humanity in an even more effective slave state than we have built so far in America. Where did these protestors come from? (more…)


HL Mencken and the Occupation of Wall Street by Kaiser Leib

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

-H. L. Mencken

In the etymological sense, all societies are democracies. No government could remain in power, even with the support of the police and the military, if every citizen were simply to pick up a rock and throw it. Therefore, any government which remains in power has the tacit consent of the people, or at least a plurality of motivated people.

It seems that the American government is losing this tacit consent. The Occupy Wall Street protests and the copycat movements across the country are evidence of that. These protesters are not a majority of the people. They are not a plurality of the people. They do, however, represent one majority opinion: that the nature of the present relationship between government and high finance is intolerable, and must be changed.

The rest of the protesters’ message is unclear, because it is unfocused. Polling would indicate that the protesters want more government regulation, but determining the nature of that regulation would be left to existing powers – leaving us exactly where we are now, albeit with shiny new lipstick on our pig of a financial system. And what of the wars, against “terrorism” and “drugs?” Have those been forgotten, or are the prison-industrial and military-industrial complexes simply a smaller threat to our well being than the undefined greed of the “1%”? (more…)