Archive for the ‘anarchy’ Tag

A Dangerous Temptation   Leave a comment

Image result for image of rape of the mindBeing a high civil servant subjects man to a dangerous temptation, simply because he is a part of the ruling apparatus. He finds himself caught in the strategy complex. The magic of becoming an executive and a strategist provokes long-repressed feelings of omnipotence. A strategist feels like a chess player. He wants to manipulate the world by remote control. Now he can keep others waiting, as he was forced to wait himself in his salad days, and thus he can feel himself superior. –The Rape of the Mind

Posted October 26, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Anarchy

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Rape of the Mind   Leave a comment

Image result for image of rape of the mind“… The development of a kind of bureaucratic absolutism is not limited, however, to totalitarian countries. A mild form of professional absolutism is evident in every country in the mediating class of civil servants who bridge the gap between man and his rulers. Such a bureaucracy may be used to help or to harm the citizens it should serve.

It is important to realize that a peculiar, silent form of battle goes on in all of the countries of the world — under every form of government — a battle between the common man and the government apparatus he himself has created. In many places we can see that this governing tool, which was originally meant to serve and assist man, has gradually obtained more power than it was intended to have.

… Governmental techniques are no different from any other psychological strategy; the deadening hold of regimentation can take mental possession of those dedicated to it, if they are not alert. And this is the intrinsic danger of the various agencies that mediate between the common man and his government. It is a tragic aspect of life that man has to place another fallible man between himself and the attainment of his highest ideals.” –The Rape of the Mind

Posted October 24, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in books

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Anarchy Saturday   1 comment

Image result for map showing how many states are GOP controlled 2017I edge toward anarchy after I listen to PBS on Friday evenings. I do it to see what the progressive liberals think and it convinces me every time that progressive liberals are statist totalitarians who really want to enslave society to their lock-step policies.

Last night on Washington Week, some pundit was talking about how the Democrats in Congress are talking about impeaching President Trump, but are debating whether to do a “grand bargain” in which Mike Pence is allowed to remain a figurehead president, but some of them really feel they should install someone more to their liking.

They are openly discussing overthrowing the constitutional form of democracy we have operated under for 140 years and they think it’s a good thing.

I didn’t vote for President Trump, but I don’t think we had a good choice and when two major parties offer two deeply flawed candidates to an electorate that has been brainwashed to believe they have to vote for either the blue or the red candidate, this is what you get.

Image result for image of us civil war 21st centuryTrump has had the audacity to do some of the things his constituents wanted him to do., taking steps to dismantle some of the government structure that is strangling our economy and our freedoms. How dare he listen to those idiot hicks out there in the rural districts! That’s paraphrasing Mark Shields from PBS News Hour. David Brooks had the sense to couch it in partisan terms … that’s Trump’s constituency, but then he agreed with Mark that it was bad governance. According to him, President Trump should be taking his advice from the elites in Washington just like every other president has had the good sense to do since the Deep State killed John Kennedy for hinting he might stand up to them. I can’t believe I just typed that. I have resisted that “conspiracy theory” since college, but I’m seeing the evidence for it every day now that the press has actually admitted the Deep State exists. The same thing happened to Reagan when he spoke to a nation weary of government about dismantling the greater part of the State. Reagan lived and he stopped talking like that. Although he did some good after that, but he really wasn’t the president people elected him to be.

Image result for map showing how many states are GOP controlled 2017But the very fact that the media is now talking about the “Deep State” says libertarians are impacting this culture. You never heard anyone in the media talk about it other than to call it a “conspiracy theory” before Comey paraded in front of Congress and pulled the curtain back on a world most of us suspected existed.

The sad thing is that the progressive liberals and a fair number of progressive “conservatives” are embracing the Deep State as the great salvation of the country as embodied in the government they want. They’re going to bring down the illegitimate presidency of Donald Trump and then they get to install whichever dictator they want.

Yes, dictator, because anytime the democratic process (ameliorated by republican principles) is overthrown, whoever is installed at the head of state is a dictator because they have not been chosen by the people according to the rules that are in place. Gerald Ford was a dictator … a nice dictator without any power, but still a dictator.

Mike Pence would not be a dictator at the outset because he was at least selected by the constitutional election process. He’d have to ignore the will of the people who elected him to be deemed a dictator. So, of course, the left doesn’t want to allow the constitutional succession because they know who elected Mike Pence and it is unacceptable to them that those ignorant rural hicks should have a voice in government. Forget that to bypass him or to turn him into a figurehead with no power is a violation of the constitutional democratic process.

And yet that is openly discussed now on PBS.

Yeah, we’re in a civil war where we hurl ideas at one another instead of bullets. There are two ways this will go. Either we peacefully choose to loosen the ties that bind us or we start shooting at one another. I vote for Option #1.

Why do I think the country will choose Option #2 eventually?Another thing I saw on display last night was the absolute rage the urban dwellers feel toward the rural districts for not doing things “the right way”. Why aren’t they listening to their betters? We must get rid of Trump before the rural districts hand him a second term and permanently change the world.

Another thing I saw on display last night was the absolute rage the urban dwellers feel toward the rural districts for not doing things “the right way”. Why aren’t we listening to their betters? We must get rid of Trump before the rural districts hand him a second term and permanently change the world.

Yeah, that’s how people felt about Obama and you told us we were hysterical. We shouldn’t be afraid of the President 49% of the country voted against turning the country into Europe without the advice and consent of Congress and against the will of half the voters. We were told to wait our turn, but to know that conservativism was over, that we would never have a voice in national politics again because the country had finally gotten “smart” … as if $22 trillion in debt and the surveillance state was a great idea. How was that any different than now with Trump? The Teaparty got together in parks (with appropriate permits) and waved signs, trying to be heard (and utterly ignored by the Obama administration except to be ridiculed) and the culmination of that was the red tidal wave that has swept the country. Take a look at the election map that shows how many

How was that any different than now with Trump?

The Teaparty got together in parks (with appropriate permits) and waved signs, trying to be heard (and utterly ignored by the Obama administration except to be ridiculed) and the culmination of that was the red tidal wave that has swept the country. Take a look at the election map that shows how many states are under Republican leadership. The districts are rising up against the Capital and they’ve done it peacefully through the constitutional system.

How dare they! The districts can’t be in charge. We’re not smart enough to rule ourselves. Just send your resources and your young to the elite urban areas and shut up, sit down and accept that are betters are permanent in charge now.

This government is illegitimate not because someone unacceptable to the elite has won the presidency under the constitutional election system. It is illegitimate because it doesn’t ask individuals if they even want to be part of it. Nobody asked me if I wanted to pay an income tax. Nobody asked me if I wanted to support US military aggression across the globe. Nobody asked me if I wanted to curtail my ability to heat my home by being party to the Paris Accords. Nobody asked me if I wanted the State of Alaska to own the mineral wealth under my land. Nobody asked for my agreement on a myriad of restrictions that affect my life every day.

But I’m expected to act as if I agreed to those restrictions. If I don’t, I will be jailed or face other negative consequences. I’m expected to march to the polls every four years and vote my conscience and then see those who win (whether I voted for them or not) continue to institute policies that more and more restrict my liberty and my ability to support myself without government “assistance”. And I’m not the only one who thinks this is an illegitimate way to organize a society.

We see that right now in the violent hysteria of the leftists marching in our streets. They object to the changes that are occurring because they lost an election. We saw that when the Tea Party was peacefully protesting Obamacare, terrified of what happens when you hand government the power of life and death when we know how truly inefficient government is at everything else.

So, today, I’m ready to (PEACEFULLY) blow up the whole system and not really start all over again. Let people decide for THEMSELVES how they want to live. The blue zones will, if they mind their own business, quickly discover that the doings of the red zones don’t affect them at all so long as they agree to the terms of exchange for our resources.  They can get together with their neighbors and reform a government to their liking and periodically elect their own dictators according to their principles. They don’t need the rural districts to do that.

The red zones, divorced from the tyranny of the federal government, would probably mind their own business because that’s how they have tried to conduct their lives anyway. We’ll figure out how to build our own roads … we already have people here who know how to do that. Maybe we can still cooperate with one another in dealing with the greater world.

Let’s all go our own way and stop this madness before the blue zones decide to crush the red zones and we decide to fight back.

 

Who Will Build Roads If Not Government?   1 comment

An argument is often made that if you did away with government, you would have no roads, or very poorly maintained roads with expensive tolls because private industry wouldn’t take care of them. BS!

Image result for image of alaska marine highway

There is money to be made in moving stuff around, so roads (and other means of transportation) would still exist, just funded by the people who want and use them.

Consider Alaska, which has a unique transportation system because 80% of our communities are not accessible by road. Thus, the State of Alaska operates the Alaska Marine Highway System and Federal Highways treats it like a highway for funding purposes. The argument is made that, should the State of Alaska stop operating the AMHS, the communities that currently rely on it would have no access to the outside world. BS!

Image result for image of coastal transportation, incLast week, AMHS announced that the Tustumena was delayed at the Vigor Ketchikan Shipyard for two months. The Tustumena services the Aleutian Islands in the summer and takes a beating in heavy seas, which it is designed for. The delay was due to the discovery of additional extensive steel wastage in the engine room and necessary repairs. It is anticipated the Tustumena will return to service departing Homer at 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 18.

AMHS staff explored several options to fill the transportation void resulting from the Tustumena delay. Safety was the highest priority, so utilizing the Tustumena was not an option. The use of another AMHS vessel was not viable without the risk of a more widespread and disruptive service outage both in terms of passenger disruption and financial consequences for individuals and for the marine highway system.

The Alaska Marine Highway System announced today that Coastal Transportation, Inc. will assist AMHS customers impacted by the delay of the M/V Tustumena. Coastal Transportation, based in Seattle, will carry cargo on an “as able basis” from Homer and Kodiak, to Aleutian Islands destinations, at the same cost AMHS charges. Unfortunately, Coastal Transportation is prohibited (by law) from carrying passengers.

Image result for image of coastal transportation, inc

AMHS customers attempting to rebook their cargo with Coastal Transportation should let Coastal Transportation agents know they are displaced AMHS customers to ensure they receive the AMHS rate.

Coastal Transportation transports cargo to communities further out on the Aleutian Islands all the time. This isn’t a hardship or something special really. It’s just making a few extra stops along its route. Why doesn’t it stop in those communities now?

  • AMHS services those communities at a subsidized rate so there’s no profit in it.
  • Coastal Transportation is prohibited from transporting passengers.

 

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 242 airports, 10 ferries serving 35 communities, more than 5,600 miles of highway and 731 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. Coastal Transportation transports cargo to hundreds of coastal communities. Yutana Barge Lines transports cargo to hundreds of Yukon river villages. Outfitting their ships to provide for passengers (once the legal ban has been removed) would take time, but it wouldn’t be impossible.

Image result for image yutana barge linesSo tell me again why transportation would not be available if the AMHS ceased to exist?

Now transfer that to the roads and you see why it’s a silly argument. Roads will exist and be maintained so long as there is commercial value in connecting communities. The differences would be in quality and the quality would likely be improved. A business would not stand for owned-infrastructure (roads) that fall apart every five years when there is technology available (and in long-term current use in Scandinavian countries) to build highways that last decades.

I used to be a skeptic about needing government to build and maintain roads. It was one of those areas where I couldn’t whole-heartedly agree with my anarchist friends. But this press release, which wasn’t intended to have this effect, has opened my eyes. If a commercial enterprise can substitute for the AMHS for a while, it can replace it and do a better job.

Interview with Wolf DeVoon   2 comments

Today’s interview is with Wolf DeVoon, who I met through the radio program Patriot’s Lament, where the topic was not his fiction, but his writings on the constitution and libertarian thinking. Tell us something about yourself. 

 

Wolf Devoon Author PicI started in a small Rust Belt village, got out as soon as I could, went to the nearest big city. Not very good at paying bills. Married four times.

 

At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I wrote and produced a class play in 3rd grade. Wanting to become a writer was never a goal as such. I got beaten into it, more or less, when I realized that I wasn’t going to make it as a film director. I wrote screenplays in the 1980s, some of them work-for-hire, others on spec, worked on and off as a film editor, freelance film & TV director, kept at it doggedly until the mid-90s. Then one day I found myself in a cubicle at Disney, spending Mickey’s money to transfer other people’s movies to home video, and it was over. They say when a great director dies, he becomes a cameraman. I became a writer instead, started a novel.

 

Tell us about your writing process.

I start with a character in a difficult situation, a vague idea of where it’s going, but it seems to unfold in unexpected ways. I wrote an essay about it, spoke of it as a temple with its own mad logic of dramatic necessity – and I’m incapable of doing anything else when I write, until it’s finished, writing every day for months.

 

 

What is your favorite genre … to read … to write?

 

I admire Scott Fitzgerald, read him and marvel, but Chandler and Hammett shaped how I see the world — a lone wolf who survives by the skin of his teeth, because he knows what makes people tick. For fun, I re-read Robert Louis Stevenson. I write a genre that I call “bang-ow, with sex scenes.” Not hardboiled pulp, although a lot of people die. The foreground is always an adult romance.

 

 

What are you passionate about?

 

Wolf VALOR COVER 600px (1)That’s a tough question. When I started as a teenage filmmaker, I loved the smell of raw stock. I got lucky in Hollywood, had a brilliant mentor who taught me how to direct actors, and there’s a special sort of exaltation in an editing room, to make the screen come alive. There was a sign in the Australian Film Academy that said: When the shooting stops, the filmmaking begins. That’s how I build scenes in a novel. Words became my raw stock and action and sound.

 

I love that metafor. What is something you cannot live without?

 

Truthfully? I haven’t been lovingly touched in years. It’s killing me.

 

 

When you are not writing, what do you do?

 

Promote my books, read financial news, do physical work. I spent a year clearing land and supervising construction of a house. Took a long time to clean up, do finish carpentry. At the moment I’m staring at a blank future, nowhere to go and nothing to do, except write.

 

 

Ooo, the infamous blinking cursor. Have you written any books that made a transformative effect on you? If so, in what way?

 

My latest was a real breakthrough. Previous books took every ounce of my energy. ‘A Portrait of Valor’ was easy to write, but I went through a dozen boxes of tissues, cried my eyes out in triumph and tender admiration for Chris and Peachy.

 

 

Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?

 

Life on life’s terms. That’s the short answer. When seconds count, the police are doing something else, unable to save life or stop a bad guy.

 

 

So true! What sort of research do you do for your novels?

 

‘Mars Shall Thunder’ required a lot of technical research, architectural design, utility engineering, maps, etc. ‘A Portrait of Valor’ needed place-name and spelling verification. I asked an FBI pal to read the draft of a chapter for authenticity, and she suggested certain weapons that a professional killer would carry.

 

 

So it varies. If someone who hasn’t read any of your novels asked you to describe your writing, what would you say?

 

There are better writers.

 

 

Do you have a special place where you write?

 

Desk, keyboard, ashtray, coffee pot, music, a place to lay down. Alone. It’s always been that way from the beginning. There had to be a room no one else enters. ‘A Portrait of Valor’ was written in a small tin barn. Years ago, one of my first projects was written in a tack room, 6V lantern on a hook over a manual typewriter.

 

 

 

Sounds atmospheric. Do you find yourself returning to any recurring themes within your writing and, if so, are you any closer to finding an answer?

 

The answer is slightly embarrassing. The goal of my work is to show that freedom matters, that people have to act, come hell or high water, win lose or draw.

 

 

Are you a plot driven or character driven writer? Why?

 

Ray Chandler gave me permission to forget about plot (although I like intrigue, action, seemingly hopeless predicaments). Believability is a matter of style.

 

 

Do you write from an outline or are you a discovery writer?  Why?

 

I try to plan, always need to see where it’s going, yet two-thirds is discovery. The business of writing is forcing characters to discover what matters, and it’s usually not what anyone expects. None of my people remain unchanged. It was drilled into me by critic Bill Kerr (How Not To Write A Play). Show the transformation on stage. There is no drama unless we see someone transformed. Very difficult to predict that in advance. It has to be discovered as the characters move and grow.

 

 

Absolutely. What point of view do you prefer to write, and why?

 

I’ve settled on first-person for a series with Chris and Peachy.

 

 

Do you head-hop?

 

Yes – and got complaints from editors I pitched. When Chris goes to prison, I jump to Peachy first-person (“Mrs. Blount’s Chapter”) because she has all the interesting obstacles and decisions to make.

 

In previous stories, I’ve used third-person, first-person, head-hopping, at times a sort of blurt heat / image / mind fire, to render great passion. Worse: commentary on the human condition, to say: Look at this, see what it means.

 

 

I’m going to drop you in a remote Alaska cabin for a month. It’s summer so you don’t have worry about freezing to death. I’ll supply the food and the mosquito spray. What do you do while you’re there and what do you bring with you? If you’re bringing books, what are they?

 

Laptop, solar charger, tools. Tender Is The Night, The Fountainhead.

 

 

Talk about your books individually.

 

FIRST FEATURE (2007)

autobiography, subtitled ‘A Rake’s Progress in Downtown Gomorrah’

my first, perhaps best literary work, written 1988, revised 2004

 

LAISSEZ FAIRE LAW (2007)

a collection of essays, evolution of my thought on liberty and justice

In prison, I vowed to do something about government. It took 25 years.

 

THE GOOD WALK ALONE (2007)

16-chapter serial fiction written for Laissez Faire City Times

main character is a female cop, homicide investigator, warrior

 

MARS SHALL THUNDER (2008)

first draft 1998, rewritten and tightened 2002

Harry and Laura destroy a colonial paradise

 

THE CONSTITUTION OF GOVERNMENT IN GALT’S GULCH (2014)

compares utopian fiction and real-world experience

 

AN EGGSHELL ARMED WITH SLEDGEHAMMERS (2015)

https://www.amazon.com/Eggshell-Armed-Sledgehammers-Wolf-DeVoon/dp/1532984243

collection of essays, satire, anecdotes, and dream fiction

 

ROCK AND ROLL REST HOME (2016)

anthology of silly stories

 

A PORTRAIT OF VALOR (2016)

http://www.lulu.com/shop/wolf-devoon/a-portrait-of-valor/paperback/product-23015202.html

detective novel

 

RUBE (to be published posthumously)

memoirs

 

 

Was it your intention to write a story with a message or a moral?

 

Hot water seeks its own level. It’s possible to find each other, mate for life, unquestionably worthy of each other, destined to love, price no object.

 

 

 

 

 

What do you want readers to think or feel after reading one of your books?

 

That they lost awareness of author, text, typography – immersed in story.

 

 

What influenced your decision to self-publish?

 

No choice.

 

 

If you have experience with both traditional and indie publishing, compare the two.

 

In 1990 I co-authored a reference book that sold well, 6,000 hardcover and 4,000 paperbacks, with foreign rights revenue and a Simon & Schuster offer, quite a lot of publicity, book signings, good reviews in library journals, radio interviews.

 

Self-publishing is no money, no publicity, no sales.

 

 

There are people believe that traditional publishing is on the ropes, that self-publishing is the future. Do you agree? Why?

 

It works for some authors, especially celebrities, fantasy/horror, thrillers.

 

 

What do you find to be the greatest advantage of self-publishng?

 

None.

 

 

Conversely, what do you think self-published authors might be missing out on?

 

Distribution, chain bookstore sales, radio and TV chat shows, bestseller lists

 

 

With the number of self-published books increasing by such a huge rate, it is really difficult for authors to make their books stand out. How do you go about this?

 

I can’t and don’t. A few people know my work.

I Own Myself … sort of   8 comments

Image result for image individuals own themselvesThis is the rock solid foundation of liberty. Each individual owns themselves. This is why rape and murder are wrong because they violate the private property of the victim. I am my private property and you are yours.

That is how liberty works. I have the right to act in my own best interests. I may voluntarily help others from my surplus, but I cannot force my neighbor to contribute to the cause and they cannot force me to contribute to theirs.

This is the basis of liberty, which is so rarely practiced today. I don’t actually own myself anymore because my neighbor can obligate me to provide for her care by the confiscation of my income. In liberty, I own myself. In US democracy, I am a slave to my neighbor.

I’m looking for readers who would like to argue this point. Go!

 

Why Do People Drive Like Idiots?   6 comments

This is Brad.

For the last few years I’ve owned my own business operated out of our house, which meant I keep my own hours. While Lela is driving to work in the morning, I’m drinking coffee at my leisure and catching up on the news online. I generally schedule appointments later in the morning and often, since my company repairs houses, my customers prefer late afternoon and early evening. Unlike the refrigerator repairman, I don’t schedule you for sometime today, expect you to hang out at home all day, and then not show up. I like repeat customers. Therefore, I’ve mostly missed rush hour traffic for about three years.

Image result for image of the 12 Steps applied to distracted drivingExcept that Lela’s car is currently broken and until I either acquire the skills to fix it (doable, but it was the flywheel not the starter and flywheels look complicated) or save the money to take it to a mechanic (more realistic for a flywheel), I’m driving her to work in the mornings. We don’t do debt anymore and we try not to dip into the emergency fund for non-emergencies (which this really isn’t), but I’m tempted just so I don’t have to be on the road with all the idiots.

Yes, idiots! There’s the guy talking on his cell phone and drinking coffee while weaving in and out of traffic going 60 in a 45 mph zone. There’s the woman barreling through the school zone at 40 (school zone speed limit is 20 with 30 being the limit at either end.) And this private school’s administrative offices are on the other side of the streets, so the chance of a kid popping out at you … fairly high. I don’t know … is there some new prestige I’m unaware of in having a manslaughter conviction on your record?

There’s the dozens of people who rush to red lights! Why? You know they’re red, right? I mean, you could slow down like I do and just roll through them when they turn green. Do you think you get extra points for waiting in line puking exhaust into the air?

Or maybe they just want a moment to all look obsessively at their phones so that when the light does turn green, I have to wait for them to come back to reality and start moving again, usually slowly enough so that most of the people behind them can’t make it through the light. Did you even notice the mama moose and calf who walked right in front of us this morning? You might want to keep those crosswalks clear.

Then there’s the people who are so busy looking at their phones while they are actually driving that they are surprised by the red light, slam on their brakes and turn sideways as they are sliding up on our trunk. Did I mention that I try to roll up on red lights so they turn green while I’m still in motion? This morning I managed to stay ahead of a potential accident, but really, folks … are you so addicted to a screened device that you can’t set it aside while you’re driving? If that be the case, I think we can modify the 12-Step programs for you. You clearly have become powerless over your screened device.

If I were dictator for a day (what am I saying, a day wouldn’t be enough!) I would force everyone to do it my way. Lela is a great admirer of anarchy and she sees a certain beauty in how traffic functions without rulers because everybody (sort of) follows the rules. I’m not buying it. I would gladly become the higher power that brings distracted drivers back to sanity. There needs to be a traffic dictator … someone to take the phones out of everyone’s hands and force them to look around them, someone to teach everyone to take their lead foot off the gas pedal as they scream up to a red light. Someone to say “Hey, look at the moose! Yes, the moose that is right in front of you. You know, the several thousand pounds of muscle and bone that could come crashing through your windshield and decapitate you if you hit it? Hello! Are you paying attention?” Trust your higher power. This is for your own good and the good of society.

Image result for image of cop car with computer in middleYeah, me as anyone’s higher power is a little … laughable … ludicrous … frightening? The fact is, I only feel like I want to be the traffic dictator for a little while every morning after I interact with idiots. I don’t see beautiful functional anarchy in traffic. It makes me skeptical that anarchy could work at all in society. I like my own freedom. I feel I use it well and treat others with respect, but clearly I made that woman who roared around us this morning angry because I didn’t run over the old Eskimo fella who was crossing against the light. I’m pretty sure SHE wanted to force both of us to do things HER way.

And, hey, people at the 4-way stop! I know this is an anachronistic practice – stop signs — but honestly, the guy on the left gets to go first in Alaska, which was why I was gesturing for you to go. Really, I wasn’t trying to trick you so I could rev up my engine and smash into you while you were in the intersection. I just wanted you to go so the other idiot could go so that I could go. See, it really could have worked that way … if you’d trusted me.

And yet, Lela would point out that, despite the fact that there are so many idiots on the road, we pretty much all manage to get to work basically on time without dents in our vehicles because the vast majority of drivers more or less follow the rules … without any active rulers. Would we do better if there were actually traffic dictators?

I doubt it. I was going the speed limit on my way home, enjoying the lack of traffic now that most of the workers are toiling in the hive, and a cop passed me in the left lane. He didn’t seem to be going anywhere crime-related, but I noticed he had a screened instrument mounted to the dash to his right. He sailed right through that red-almost-turning-green light that I rolled through (as it turned green) and then slammed on his brakes to not go through the next yellow-turning-red light.Distracted driving much?

So if the rulers violate the rules, how can they claim to have the ruled’s best interests at heart?

Just some morning commute thoughts for the day.

Introducing Bastiat’s “The Law”   Leave a comment

I read a lot, but I had somehow not read Bastiat’s “The Law” until a few years ago when I started listening to Patriot’s Lament. I read “That Which is Seen and That Which is Unseen” back in college, but Josh reminded me of it and after I had reread it, I discovered “The Law.” I highly recommend it. When I finished my survey of “Economics in One Lesson” I wanted to continue the educational love, and this seems so appropriate to the time we live in today.

Frédéric Bastiat’s classic essay, “The Law.” was first published in 1850 by the great French economist and journalist. It is a clear a statement on the original American ideal of government, as proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence — that the main purpose of any government is the protection of the lives, liberties, and property of its citizens.

Bastiat believed that all human beings possessed the God-given, natural rights of individuality, liberty, property. These three gifts from God precede all human legislation. Yet, writing in the late 1840s, Bastiat was alarmed to see how the law had been “perverted” into an instrument of what he called “legal plunder”. Rather than protecting individual rights, the law was increasingly used to deprive one group of citizens of their inherent rights for the benefit of another group, and especially for the benefit of the State itself. (When I use the word “State” here, I mean the government at all levels). Bastiat condemned the legal plunder of protectionist tariffs, government subsidies of all kinds, progressive taxation, public schools, government “jobs” programs, minimum wage laws, welfare, usury laws, and more.

Bastiat’s warnings of the dire effects of legal plunder remain relevant today. The system of legal plunder, even within a system of democracy, “will erase from everyone’s conscience the distinction between justice and injustice”. He saw that the plundered classes would eventually figure out how to enter the political game and plunder their fellow man. Legislation will never be guided by any principles of justice, but only by brute political force.

Bastiat also forecast the corruption of education by the State. Those who held “government-endowed teaching positions” would rarely criticize legal plunder because it would affect their bottom line.

Bastiat believed the system of legal plunder would greatly exaggerate the importance of politics in society. He recognized the unhealthiness of this because it would encourage even more citizens to seek to improve their own well-being not by producing goods and services for the marketplace but by plundering their fellow citizens through politics.

Bastiat anticipated what modern economists call “rent seeking” and “rent avoidance” behavior, referring to the phenomena of lobbying for political favors (legal plunder), and engaging in political activity directed at protecting oneself from being the victim of plunder seekers.We see this today in the steel industr’s call for high tariffs on imported steel while at the same time, industries that use steel lobby against high tariffs on steel. There’s a high opportunity cost involved in these conflicting efforts – the more time, effort and money that is spent by businesses trying to manipulate politics rather than producing goods and services. Thus, legal plunder impoverishes the entire society despite the fact that a small part of the society benefits from it. Yes, Hazlitt had read Bastiat too.

In reading “The Law”, I marveled at how prescient Bastiat was in describing the statists of his day which bore such striking resemblance to the statists of today and the era in between. The French “socialists” of Bastiat’s day espoused doctrines that perverted charity, education, and morals. Bastiat pointed out that true charity does not begin with the robbery of taxation.

Socialists want “to play God,” Bastiat observed, anticipating all the future tyrants and despots of the world who would try to remake the world in their image, whether that image would be communism, fascism, the “glorious union,” or “global democracy.” The socialists of Bastiat’s day wanted forced conformity; rigid regimentation of the population through pervasive regulation; forced equality of wealth; and dictatorship. This made them mortal enemies of liberty.

“Dictatorship” need not involve an actual dictator. According to Bastiat, all that was needed was “the laws,” enacted by a legislature, that would achieve the same effect: forced conformity.

Bastiat wisely pointed out that the world has far too many “great men,” “fathers of their countries,” etc., who in reality are usually nothing but petty tyrants with a sick and compulsive desire to rule over others. The defenders of the free society should have a healthy disrespect for all such men.

Bastiat admired America and pointed to the America of 1850 as being as close as any society in the world to his ideal of a government that protected individual rights to life, liberty, and property. There were two major exceptions:

  • chattel slavery
  • protectionist tariffs.

Frédéric Bastiat died on Christmas Eve, 1850, and did not live to observe the convulsions that the America he admired would go through in the next fifteen years, with ongoing collateral damage for more than a century following. He probably would not have admired the US government’s military invasion of the Southern states in 1861, the killing of some 300,000 citizens, and the bombing, burning, and plundering of the region’s cities, towns, farms, and businesses. He would have rejected it as inconsistent with the protection of the lives, liberties and properties of those citizens as promised by the Declaration of Independence. Had he lived to see all of this, he most likely would have added “legal murder” to “legal plunder” as one of the two great sins of the US government.

He would likely have viewed the post-war Republican Party, with its 50% average tariff rates, its massive corporate welfare schemes, and its 25-year campaign of genocide against the Plains Indians as first-rate plunderers and traitors to the American ideal. He would have objected to the usurpation of individual rights by the collective force as the US government sought to impose its will around the world during the 20th century in the United States. He’d have wept for us over what our government has become in the 21st century.

Knowledge is power. We can’t fix what’s wrong until we understand what is wrong. Bastiat foresaw where we were headed 160 years ago.

Law Perverted

How Is the Law Perverted

Risks of Universal Suffrage

Anarchic Christmas   Leave a comment

This is Gary Kinghorn’s interpretation, filtered through an anarcho-capitalist lens, of the birth of Jesus. It has a lot of truth as well as some mistaken views, not the least of which is an apparent failure to realize Jesus was God Incarnate.

But, for the good parts, I am posting it for your consideration. Jesus did indeed point to a heavenly hierarchy that stood well above the government of Rome and even the Temple. But Jesus never said we were to be without rules, living in chaos. He revealed that there was a greater, more just, more sane government with God as King than anything Man had created. It was not a government-less society that Jesus pointed to, but a society ruled by God with humans in voluntary association through Jesus Christ. An anarchist society would eventually have difficulty remaining anarchist and peaceful outside of a submissive relationship with God. Lela

 

When Jesus was born, the world was not so different than the western world today.  Rome was the New World Order of that era. Julius Caesar had crossed the Rubicon decades earlier, and Augustus Caesar had been emperor/dictator for almost 25 years. Rome had become a failing welfare state whose legions relied on exacting tribute from citizens in exchange for benefits in the form of social services. Rome had gone from a free republic to an empire, while starting down a long path of debasing its currency, the known world’s reserve currency. A once independent and self-reliant society had become self-indulgent, apathetic and subject to the will of the dictators, who called themselves “Fathers” and the benefactors of the people.

Rome did not conquer Israel, but was invited in to administer a dispute between two brothers over who should be king. Rome was the world police force of the day, and by appealing to Rome, Israel fell under the tribute of the Pax Romana excise tax and mutual obligations in exchange for Rome keeping the peace of a pending civil war.

“The hand of the diligent shall bear rule, but the slothful shall be under tribute.” Proverbs 12:24

Image result for picture of jesus overturning tablesUnder Pharisee and Roman influence, Israel had become a vast welfare state with people looking to the government to take care of them, as in the days under Egyptian and Babylonian captivity. People were committing the sin of coveting thy neighbor’s goods, while electing benefactors to provide for their needs under the Roman system of Corban. Long gone was the system of government set up under Moses that depended entirely of free will offerings to support the needy, distributed by a system of charitable ministers that served the welfare needs of the society.

Jesus came along to lead his followers out of this ungodly Roman system, preaching an alternative form of government. He spoke of a jurisdiction outside of the Roman state, based on the perfect law of freedom, outside the tyranny of men who would rule over their brothers and neighbors. He unified the early Christian church in a system of charity, hope and respect for the rights of each other, requiring that each person love thy neighbor as thy self in a system of mutual, not governmental support.

Jesus baptized people out of the welfare system established by the Romans and Pharisees and into the charitable system administered by the apostles. The Roman citizen ID stone that was part of their Corban was replaced with a white stone from the Jordan River laid upon the altar signifying the person’s baptism into the free Church society.

The ministers of the early church were to be servants of the people and administer the free will offerings of the community. They were required to take a vow of poverty to ensure they did not abuse their administrative privileges or siphon off the collective treasury. They took vows of celibacy to ensure they did not create heirs that could be entitled to the charitable contributions they ministered over.

Jesus was showing a way to unentangle people from the captivity of the social contracts they had made with the state of Rome and Judea, and the tribute and obligations they had become snared by. He proclaimed to call no man “Father”, as they called their Roman benefactors, but stated that “thou Father art in heaven”. The perfect law of freedom indicated that man’s unalienable rights stemmed from God and nature, and not governments of men. This was a system of anarchy, by strict definition, without the complex system of tribute that led to the decadence and decline of society, and the corruptible force of the state to back it up.

The early Christian church was not persecuted for their belief in a different God or a Kingdom in Heaven, but for their opting out of the mutual taxation system and seeking to live apart from the kings and overlords, the gods many, who demanded their tribute. Governments have no inalienable rights to rule over men. They obtain lawful authority through the consent of the governed. Understanding how that consent is obtained and granted is the key to understanding liberty and your own political status. Anarchy is merely that lack of imposed government, and the seeking of your own independent jurisdiction. According to Brother Gregory Williams, the term “Republic” actually stems from the pre-Caesar words “Libera Res Publica” (Free from things Public, i.e. heavy government). Starting with Augustus, they dropped the “Free” part. (http://www.newswithviews.com/Gregory/williams117.htm)

Having created his government-less society, Jesus  took on the Pharisees, essentially a political party at the time, who had passed an ordinance requiring the temple tax be paid or face the judgment of a civil magistrate of the Judean government. These taxes flowed into the government’s treasury within the temple whether it served the people or not. The central treasury that held the government funds could be abused by a greedy population or a corrupt bureaucracy.

The moneychangers required the temple tax to be paid in the denarii, and took their commissioned cut of the currency conversion for the people to worship. When Jesus overturned the tables of the moneychangers, he was really threatening the powerful elite’s ungodly way of life. This final insult could no longer be tolerated.

When brought before Pilate, Jesus declared, “My Kingdom is not of this world”. The word “world” was written kosmos in the original Greek, which is defined as “orderly arrangement”, “order” or “government”. What Jesus was really saying was that his Kingdom on this earth was not a part of the government of Rome, and explicitly not within their jurisdiction to rule over him. And Pilate generally agreed that he had no jurisdiction over Jesus’ Kingdom of non-government. Jesus had taken the Kingdom from those who would suppress and subject the people in sloth and servitude, and entrusted it to His loyal followers who were leaders in a Kingdom that set men free in spirit and in truth. Anarchy indeed.

The Pharisees appealed to Rome to get rid of Jesus, but Jesus would not appeal to Rome for protection. Had He appealed to Rome, he would have compromised the sovereignty of His Kingdom on earth.

Today, most of us find ourselves under slothful tribute to an emperor and a system that is not for our benefit. We have coveted our neighbor’s goods in a vain pursuit of “free” health care, education, welfare, unemployment benefits, social security and government protection. We have traded our inalienable God-given rights through social contracts both implied and explicit. Our churches are not ordained by God, but are 501(c)(3) corporations granted status by the state. As we head into this Christmas week, and into what is certainly going to be a volatile 2012, we are going to need to dig down deep and find that anarchist in all of us, with a little more loving thy neighbor as thy self to boot.

Posted December 25, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Anarchy, Uncategorized

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Review of Transformation Project   Leave a comment

Becky Akers reviews Transformation Project.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/transformation-project/

Front Cover LAWKI no windowLela Markham is one of my favorite writers living in one of my favorite places, Alaska; LRC’s readers may remember her as the Christian with whom I discussed anarchy and the Bible. So I announce with great pleasure the publication of two of Lela’s novels, Life As We Knew Itand Objects in View. They inaugurate her new apocalyptic series, the “Transformation Project.”

In Book 1 (Life As We Knew It), a nationwide terrorist attack destroys the major cities of the United States and brings the federal government to its knees. (Yeah, I already love it, too!) Cut off from food, communications, electricity and news, the small rural town of Emmaus forges its own plan to cope with the disaster. A resident who previously ran for mayor as a fiscal conservative must now decide whether to impose martial law on his neighbors or remain true to his principles. Meanwhile, he and his sons wrangle with well-meaning statists, out-and-out dictators, and thugs.

objectsinviewBook 2 (Objects in View) picks up the story when the citizens of Emmaus emerge after taking shelter from nuclear rain. Their world looks relatively unchanged–until their technology fails, looters steal their medical supplies, death threatens livestock critical to their survival, and what’s left of the federal government demands their crops and the imposition of martial law.

What inspired Lela to write apocalyptic fiction from a libertarian perspective? She says novels that predict widespread chaos after a catastrophe dissatisfy her, especially because their solutions to Armageddon glorify the State. She wanted to explore how libertarian values might work when government disappears. “What if we didn’t try to force everyone to get along and do things in a set fashion?” she asks. “Why do we assume that would lead to widespread chaos? Maybe it would lead to pockets of chaos with widespread peace. But wait, this world contains some mighty corrupt people bent on having their own way, so maybe it’s not as simple as that and the transformation of American society will be turbulent. This series is really about the struggle to decide if a few people are going to be in control of everyone or people will get to decide for themselves how best to live.”

Lela plans to release the series’ third book in 2017, so fans should feel free to devour Life As We Knew It and Objects in View now!

Posted October 22, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in book promotion, Uncategorized

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