Posts Tagged ‘laissez faire’

Eric Peters throws in the woods again.

Going Deep

June 12, 2012

By

Some friends have been actively talking about their Exit Plans – about getting out of this country before the curtain goes down. While there is still time. They believe the situation to be hopeless. That despite the upwelling of liberty-mindedness among some, the vast majority of Americans are not liberty-minded. That Americans – tens of millions of them – are stupid, unreachable, mean, irrational, authoritarian-minded Babbits and poltroons. People who always speak in “we” – and lust to control others.

Reluctantly, I have to concede the point.

I have had exhaustive (and exhausting) conversations with countless people – some of them probably a lot smarter than I in terms of raw IQ – who just can’t connect the dots.

Or – much worse – don’t care to.

The problem is as much psychological as it is intellectual. There may just be a defective sub-species of human being, homo servilus, who – much like a bee in a hive – is programmed to crave the collective and therefore accepts its corollary – coercion – as the natural and right order of things.

It’s very easy to get these “bees” to reveal their true natures. Their core antipathy to individualism – and its corollary, liberty. Just let them know, for example, that you find sports/celebrity worship disgusting. Or that you don’t subscribe to any particular religious doctrine – or much care what doctrines others subscribe to, so long as they leave you be.

Let them discover that you don’t feel obliged to pay more taxes for “our children” – only an obligation to take care of your own children. Criticize war.

Make a negative comment about cops… .

So, I don’t disagree that jumping ship is probably a smart move. Nonetheless, I’m reluctant to leave the country, for many reasons – high among them just orneriness. This is my country, dammit. I hate the idea of just giving it to … them.

That said, I am beginning to wish I’d “gone deep” when I selected our fallback redoubt. We consciously moved to very rural SW Va. from the Northern Virginia area (near DC) about eight years ago to a great extent to limit our exposure to what’s surely coming. But I am thinking now that we would have been smarter to have moved to rural Idaho or Wyoming or Montana (like Chuck Baldwin did) instead. There are too many Clovers here.

And signs of sprouting continue to worry me.

For example: Several recent “letters to the editor” in our small community newspaper go on and on about how “we” need to raise taxes on real estate so that “our schools” will have “adequate funding.” There is one school – an elementary school in a far corner of the county – threatened with closure because of limited “revenue” and not enough students to justify keeping it open. So the idea was floated to close it and consolidate it with another. “The children” would then get bussed a little farther to their new school. This is an outrage to the parentsites of these children, who believe others should be compelled to provide the necessary “revenue” to keep the old school open for their children.

Everything discussed in terms of “we,” of course. It’s never my children need you to pay for their school.

If I were to speak at a public hearing about this and ask why don’t people who chose to have children bear the responsibility for raising their kids – which includes educating their kids – as opposed to their kids becoming an open-ended claim on the property – on the liberty – of other people who had nothing to do with it… I’d likely be the victim of a mob beating. At minimum, I’d become a community pariah – regarded as “selfish” and “anti-child” (as well as “anti-education”) … because I am troubled by armed men threatening to kill me and take my property so that it may be given to someone else’s kids – kids I’ve never even met let alone had anything to do with bringing into this world. It is no defense, either, that such a policy makes it that much harder for people who’d like to pay their own way to do so.

Other people’s kids take  precedence. Over everything.

It never occurs to these “freedom loving” Americans that freedom can’t exist when you are no longer free to say no to being forced to hand over your rightful property to other people to whom you properly speaking owe nothing – other than goodwill. That if “the children” becomes a justification for theft, then any other reason is just as good a reason.

But don’t dare say it out loud…. these freedom-loving Americans will very quickly show you just how much they actually believe in freedom… including even the freedom to speak your mind, if your mind differs in any meaningful respect from  the parameters of orthodoxical Republican or Democrat parameters.

The only cardinal sin is to commit non-authoritarianism. To state that you don’t want anything from anyone except their respect for your rights – and are willing to extend the same courtesy in return.

It is a thought increasingly foreign to Americans – even here, in a rural southern farming county 35 miles from anything in most places and often a lot farther than that.

Another example:

In our tiny, literally on-stoplight county, the same government that moans about not having sufficient “revenue” for “the children” recently spent probably several thousand dollars painting at least six “pedestrian crosswalks” in town, complete with “safety man” icons imprinted into the pavement plus signage. Apparently, people cannot cross the street unaided here, either. I have no doubt that tickets for jaywalking are right around the corner. Tazerings for the non-compliant.

Signs of the apocalypse.

There is talk of writing zoning laws – which this county has never had – and which will surely mean The End of everything that made moving here worth doing. People will no longer just be able to freely buy and sell their land, to be used however the new owner wishes. There will instead be restrictions on how a lot can subdivided – and what may be “lawfully” constructed on said lot. I can already see a time when BTK-type “zoning enforcement officers” will be knocking on people’s doors, threatening them with onerous fines (and ultimately, county seizure and auction of “their” land) if they don’t mow it, or have too many cars parked on it or a “not approved” shed built upon it… .

Clovers. The god-damn bastards are here now, too.

It only took them eight years to find this place – and ruin it.

It’s entirely possible that nowhere in North America is a safe redoubt.

What happens, ultimately, depends on the character of the people. And the character of the American people – by and large – is one that reflexively defers to authority – willingly, worshipfully. That happily submits to the most despicable degradation if it will “keep them safe.” And which never fails to speak in terms of we.

So, where do the rest of us – the remnant that still believes in I – go to get away from we?

That, friends, is the question of our time.

Throw it in the Woods?

Guest post from Kevin Hayden’s site, TruthisTreason.net.

Source: Kevin Hayden – TruthisTreason.net

Date: May 16, 2012

Original Source: Don Rasmussen Contributor at the Blaze

MEDIA SHOWS NO SIGNS OF UNDERSTANDING THE RON PAUL STRATEGY, SO LET ME EXPLAIN IT

Over the last couple of weeks, the Ron Paul campaign has picked up a majority of delegates in Iowa, Colorado, Maine, and Nevada.  He’s on pace to also pick up the majority of delegates in at least four additional states…and those are just the sure things.  This is all part of a process that actually started over 4 years ago when Paul ran for President and his deputy campaign manager, Debbie Hopper, did yeoman’s work with the grassroots to recognize the intensity and develop this strategy.

The media is now belatedly noticing that this has been happening.  It has already succeeded in taking control of slews of local and county GOP organizations, putting at least seven Paul backers on the Republican National Committee, and completely taking over the party in multiple states…and counting.

The question that much of the legacy media is now starting to ask is “Why?”  As with so much reporting, they then go on to attempt to answer their own question and fail. The supposition has included…

  •     He still thinks he can win
  •     He’s laying the groundwork for Senator Rand Paul in 2016
  •     He wants a convention floor speech
  •     He want to force Romney to make Senator Paul the veep
  •     He seeks to influence the platform
  •     They want to make floor motions about pet issues

The funny thing about this is that these reporters and opinion makers could know the answer to their own questions if they had bothered to listen.  There is no great mystery.  Ron Paul, his staff (Full Disclosure: I’m a former staffer to both Dr. Paul and Campaign for Liberty), his activists, and his backers have been talking about this, writing about this, and meticulously implementing this strategy for years!  Ron Paul himself has been going on national television and discusses this strategy for months!  Heck, they started laying the groundwork by winning local GOP boards and committees in 2008.

The current project for all of those folks is nothing less than to take control of at least 77 seats in the RNC and a majority of state parties. That’s the first step.

They don’t care about floor speeches. This is a revolution. They’re taking the party. Then they’re taking the government so they can eliminate the Federal Reserve, the IRS, the domestic spy apparatus, the military-industrial complex, and every coercive federal power except for those enumerated by the Constitution.

They are doing this because they studied history and learned about the causes of the post-ISI crash in Latin America and the rise of the military dictatorships in the 1970’s. They learned about the Versailles treaty and how it forced the German state to destroy its currency trying to make war reparations, imploding the economy and seeding the ground for the Third Reich.  They learned that the Federal Reserve is a private banking system that has destroyed 97% of the value of the dollar by using inflation to transfer our wealth to a small ruling class. They learned that right versus left is an illusion; a football game for the masses.  They learned that the real battle is and has always been up towards freedom or down towards tyranny.

I was first presented the case of public opinion and the revolutionary war in Ron Paul’s 2008 campaign headquarters. Did you know that only about 10% of the US population actively supported the American Revolution?  The rest of the population was pretty well split.  You hear a lot of talk about “tipping points” from Paul people, often with quotes from the book of the same name or emphasized with Margaret Mead…

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”

Spend a little time with them and you will also likely hear about Eugene Debs. Debs was a socialist. He ran repeatedly for president a hundred years ago, once from prison. Eugene Debs never won a state, but today his entire platform is the law of the United States. Last year, an overwhelming number of Republican congressmen voted to pass Ron Paul’s Audit of the Fed bill after failing for over 20 years. It has already started.

Another common meme is about human psychology. As it goes, even after Kristallnacht (the first coordinated pogrom against the Jewish people by the German state), over three quarters of a million Jews remained in Germany. Why? Because it was just so far beyond their experience that they could not accept that their government intended to kill them to the last child. Would you?

Americans aren’t dealing with what’s coming because we won’t accept it. Tomorrow will always be like yesterday because it always has, right?

You will also hear that if one carries all of our debt obligations out to the life of the loans or programs, we are actually in the hole to the tune of about 105 trillion dollars. That is more money than has been created in the whole sum of human history. You will hear that our debt to GDP ration is over 100% and no country has ever recovered from that condition without collapse or revolution.

Are they radical? Yes, they believe that nothing less than radical action has a chance to change the trajectory and save the country. Ron Paul and the millions that have been inspired and informed by him believe these things, even if journalists and the masses don’t.

Start you education by visiting these top personal freedom and liberty sites.

Hat tip to The Capital Free Press for putting the list together!

This is a ranking of the top libertarian websites based on the number of unique visitors in the most recent month according to the data compiled by Compete. They only compile data for domains and subdomains, so perhaps this list is more accurately described as the most visited libertarian domains rather than websites. It is compiled through calls to Compete’s API, so it will automatically update when they release new data each month. For more information on this list, see the blog post introducing it.

Automating everything means that adding a new website is as simple as plugging a new url into my list, so you have any suggestions for a website to add, please email me at patrick@capitalfreepress.com.

Due to the restrictions on the free use of the Compete API, there is a chance that I could run out of API calls in a 24 hour period (resets at midnight EST). The way that I compile this list and the terms and conditions on the use of their API prevent me from displaying the number of unique visitors for each website in the chart, though that information and more can be accessed via the link I have provided.

Rank Name Website
1 LewRockwell.com lewrockwell.com Compete Site Profile
2 Electronic Frontier Foundation eff.org Compete Site Profile
3 Ron Paul 2012 Official Campaign Website ronpaul2012.com Compete Site Profile
4 Reason Magazine reason.com Compete Site Profile
5 Daily Paul dailypaul.com Compete Site Profile
6 The Cato Institute cato.org Compete Site Profile
7 Ludwig von Mises Institute mises.org Compete Site Profile
8 AntiWar.com antiwar.com Compete Site Profile
9 RonPaul.com ronpaul.com Compete Site Profile
10 Outside the Beltway outsidethebeltway.com Compete Site Profile
11 Economic Policy Journal economicpolicyjournal.com Compete Site Profile
12 Library of Economics and Liberty econlib.org Compete Site Profile
13 The Daily Bell thedailybell.com Compete Site Profile
14 Ron Paul Forums ronpaulforums.com Compete Site Profile
15 Endorse Liberty PAC endorseliberty.com Compete Site Profile
16 Tenth Amendment Center tenthamendmentcenter.com Compete Site Profile
17 Cato-at-Liberty Blog cato-at-liberty.org Compete Site Profile
18 The Freeman thefreemanonline.org Compete Site Profile
19 Future of Freedom Foundation fff.org Compete Site Profile
20 Campaign For Liberty campaignforliberty.com Compete Site Profile
21 The Independent Institute independent.org Compete Site Profile
22 Advocates for Self Government theadvocates.org Compete Site Profile
23 Marginal Revolution marginalrevolution.com Compete Site Profile
24 The Agitator – Radley Balko theagitator.com Compete Site Profile
25 Carpe Diem – Mark J. Perry mjperry.blogspot.com Compete Site Profile
26 Libertarian Party lp.org Compete Site Profile
27 Tom Woods tomwoods.com Compete Site Profile
28 Whiskey and Gunpowder whiskeyandgunpowder.com Compete Site Profile
29 Revolution PAC revolutionpac.com Compete Site Profile
30 Run Ron Paul runronpaul.com Compete Site Profile
31 The Ayn Rand Institute aynrand.org Compete Site Profile
32 Cop Block copblock.org Compete Site Profile
33 Acton Institute acton.org Compete Site Profile
34 Free State Project freestateproject.org Compete Site Profile
35 Adam Vs The Man adamvstheman.com Compete Site Profile
36 United Liberty unitedliberty.org Compete Site Profile
37 Reason Foundation reason.org Compete Site Profile
38 Moment of Clarity – Tim Nerenz timnerenz.com Compete Site Profile
39 Cafe Hayek cafehayek.com Compete Site Profile
40 Downsize DC downsizedc.org Compete Site Profile
41 Free Keene freekeene.com Compete Site Profile
42 The Humble Libertarian humblelibertarian.com Compete Site Profile
43 Laissez-Faire Books lfb.org Compete Site Profile
44 Strike-The-Root strike-the-root.com Compete Site Profile
45 Foundation for Economic Education fee.org Compete Site Profile
46 John Locke Foundation johnlocke.org Compete Site Profile
47 Break The Matrix breakthematrix.com Compete Site Profile
48 BuildFreedom.com buildfreedom.com Compete Site Profile
49 Competitive Enterprise Institute cei.org Compete Site Profile
50 Libertarianism.org libertarianism.org Compete Site Profile
51 Vox Popoli voxday.blogspot.com Compete Site Profile
52 The Institute for Justice ij.org Compete Site Profile
53 OpenMarket.org – The Blog of the CEI openmarket.org Compete Site Profile
54 Freedomain Radio freedomainradio.com Compete Site Profile
55 Institute for Humane Studies theihs.org Compete Site Profile
56 Peter Schiff Show schiffradio.com Compete Site Profile
57 Center for a Stateless Society c4ss.org Compete Site Profile
58 Learn Liberty learnliberty.org Compete Site Profile
59 Young Americans for Liberty yaliberty.org Compete Site Profile
60 Young Americans for Liberty yaliberty.org Compete Site Profile
61 Reason.tv reason.tv Compete Site Profile
62 Free Talk Live freetalklive.com Compete Site Profile
63 The Future of Capitalism futureofcapitalism.com Compete Site Profile
64 Doug Wead The Blog dougwead.wordpress.com Compete Site Profile
65 Libertarian Republican libertarianrepublican.net Compete Site Profile
66 Adam Smith Institute adamsmith.org Compete Site Profile
67 The Capital Free Press capitalfreepress.com Compete Site Profile
68 Bleeding Heart Libertarians bleedingheartlibertarians.com Compete Site Profile
69 Militant Libertarian militantlibertarian.org Compete Site Profile
70 Students for Liberty studentsforliberty.org Compete Site Profile
71 Coyote Blog coyoteblog.com Compete Site Profile
72 Ron Paul News ronpaulnews.net Compete Site Profile
73 Republican Liberty Caucus rlc.org Compete Site Profile
74 Bastiat Institute bastiatinstitute.org Compete Site Profile
75 The Libertarian Standard libertarianstandard.com Compete Site Profile
76 AgainstCronyCapitalism.org againstcronycapitalism.org Compete Site Profile
77 Coordination Problem coordinationproblem.org Compete Site Profile
78 Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom c4sif.org Compete Site Profile
79 realfreemarket.org realfreemarket.org Compete Site Profile
80 Goldwater Institute goldwaterinstitute.org Compete Site Profile
81 Liberty Radio Network lrn.fm Compete Site Profile
82 Ideas – David Friedman daviddfriedman.blogspot.com Compete Site Profile
83 Daily Anarchist dailyanarchist.com Compete Site Profile
84 Stephan Kinsella stephankinsella.com Compete Site Profile
85 NeverTakeaPlea.org nevertakeaplea.org Compete Site Profile
86 Liberty Underground 1787network.com Compete Site Profile
87 Liberty Pulse libertypulse.com Compete Site Profile
88 Peace, Freedom & Prosperity peacefreedomprosperity.com Compete Site Profile
89 Free Advice – Robert Murphy consultingbyrpm.com Compete Site Profile
90 Libertarian Leanings libertarianleanings.com Compete Site Profile
91 Americans for Limited Government getliberty.org Compete Site Profile
92 Liberty Documentaries libertydocumentaries.com Compete Site Profile
93 Liberty PAC libertypac.net Compete Site Profile
94 Taking Hayek Seriously hayekcenter.org Compete Site Profile
95 Liberty Maven libertymaven.com Compete Site Profile
96 Congress Shall Make No Law: IJ’s Free Speech Blog makenolaw.org Compete Site Profile
97 Ron Paul Radio ronpaulradio.com Compete Site Profile
98 LacrosseWatchDog lacrossewatchdog.org Compete Site Profile
99 Bad Quaker badquaker.com Compete Site Profile
100 Libertarian Papers libertarianpapers.org Compete Site Profile
101 Porcupine Freedom Festival porcfest.com Compete Site Profile
102 The Libertarian Patriot thelibertarianpatriot.com Compete Site Profile
103 The Southern Libertarian thesouthernlibertarian.com Compete Site Profile
104 The Tireless Agorist tirelessagorist.blogspot.com Compete Site Profile
105 Liberty Classroom libertyclassroom.com Compete Site Profile
106 Government by Contract governmentbycontract.com Compete Site Profile
107 Freespace – Timothy Sandefur sandefur.typepad.com Compete Site Profile
108 Austrian Dad austriandad.blogspot.com Compete Site Profile
109 JasonPye.com jasonpye.com Compete Site Profile
110 Libertarian Advocate libertarianadvocate.blogspot.com Compete Site Profile
111 Liberty Web Alliance libertyweballiance.com Compete Site Profile
112 Liberty On Tour libertyontour.com Compete Site Profile
113 Libertarian Book Club libertarianbookclub.com Compete Site Profile
114 Run Rand Run runrandrun.com Compete Site Profile

Below is a recent post on Mises Daily by Joel Poindexter. I highly recommend both Mises Daily and Mr. Poindexter. See his blog at EconomicHarmonies.

Joel Poindexter is a student working toward a degree in economics. His writing has been published by the Ludwig von Mises Institute, LewRockwell.com and the Tenth Amendment Center. He lives with his wife and daughter near Kansas City.

Full article below:

In the course of my deployments to Iraq I learned a great deal about economics, though I didn’t realize it at the time. I hadn’t yet been introduced to the Austrian School or a Rothbardian view of laissez-faire capitalism. Looking back, however, I can see quite clearly that in several important areas voluntary systems not only existed in that country but thrived.

My first deployment was to Baghdad, that ancient Mesopotamian city positioned on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. It was there I discovered how, even during the most violent and unstable times, markets can adapt to the needs of consumers and peacefully provide essential services to humanity.

The focus of this article will be on economic provision, rather than the war itself. However, it’s important to note that the following free-market solutions have blossomed in spite of being in the heart of a country ravaged by economic sanctions and all but total war. Not only was the US-led war destructive of the physical means to provide such services; it also destroyed the institutions that delivered them, adding to the difficulty in restoring them.

Utility Services

In the United States virtually all utilities are a service provided by government. Whether they are directly controlled by municipal governments or simply regulated to the point of being creatures of those organizations, relatively few cases exist where the market provides utilities unhindered. Baghdad, however, was not so tightly regulated.

Being the capital city, it is home to all of the major government offices and thus has a priority for electrical power; this was true before and after the invasion. However, after a decade of brutal sanctions, followed by a relentless bombing campaign of “shock and awe,” the socialized infrastructure was entirely unfit to meet demand. The solution arrived at by the Iraqi people was brilliant.

Taking advantage of economies of scale, residents would pool their resources and either buy a large generator or contract with someone who already owned one. Then a mechanic would be hired to maintain the generator, guarding it against thieves and ensuring it was properly fueled. The more clients a neighborhood had, the lower the consumer cost and higher the profits for the owners.

The one flaw in this system was that fuel was supplied by a centrally planned government agency. As might have been expected, shortages were frequent, leading to power outages. Had fuel been freed from the highly politicized and bureaucratic web of government, there’s no doubt an equally innovative and peaceful solution would have arisen to address this need.

Money

Another pocket of freedom that many Iraqis enjoy is in market-based currency, or something similar. After the collapse of Iraq’s government, the central bank no longer issued notes for the Iraqi dinar. At this time the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), which was the US-lead interim government, began a large-scale influx of the US dollar. Between large shipments of currency from the CPA, and the widespread use of the dollar by hundreds of thousands of troops, its supply quickly increased. And while many thought the result would be large-scale abandonment of the dinar, quite the opposite in fact occurred.

B.K. Marcus describes the result here, wherein the dinar actually increased in value and was in many cases the preferred currency by many in the country. One primary reason seems to be that the value of the dinar remained fairly constant, due to its supply being more stable. But other currencies existed, some fiat-based, others springing from the market.

In another account of the market in Iraq, Edward Gonzales described how in the western region of the country, sheep and bottled water acted as money. Their value floated based on the season and relative quantities of one or the other. While I never witnessed trades made with livestock or other commodities, I did see that not just dinars and dollars were used for exchange.

My second deployment was to the Babel province, south of Baghdad, and the Iranian rial was fairly common there. This was particularly true in the Shia towns and neighborhoods, as might have been expected. I was not familiar with the exchange ratios among the currencies, but all were used in trade. It was not uncommon for a man’s wallet to contain two or more of a different states’ moneys, even all three at times.

Defense Services

Perhaps the state’s longest running and most institutionalized monopoly is that of defense. Advocates of limited government will quickly concede that most services ought to be provided in a free market. This provides incentives for firms to compete for market share, thus raising quality while driving down prices. One service that must be provided by the state, according to everyone from socialists to minarchists, is defense of persons and their property.

Even many who claim to believe steadfastly in free enterprise will concede that defense is the sole purview of government. By doing so they implicitly argue that the same economic laws that govern the provision of trash collection are rendered impotent when applied to defending property. This certainly does not hold water theoretically, nor is it true when applied to the market in Iraq.

In most of the country there were multiple layers of government police and military, and martial law had become the norm. Despite (or perhaps because of) the saturation of the market by government defense monopolists, private services were a valuable commodity. In Baghdad, circa 2005, there were 175,000 US troops engaging various guerilla forces. On top of that, the government’s police never bothered with the pretense of scruples and corruption was standard fare. Private security quickly became a profitable enterprise.

It is often suggested by advocates of a free society that, theoretically, defense would be an individual endeavor. So long as individuals are free to own property, goes the argument, they’ll be able to arm themselves for protection. This is largely how it played out in Iraq. Each adult male was permitted to own one AK-47 rifle, for personal defense, and gun ownership was nearly ubiquitous. (This allowance was expanded later to allow shotguns for hunting).

As an added layer of protection, many neighborhoods employed night watchmen. These were typically middle-aged men who were contracted by their neighbors to patrol the streets and defend against thieves. Their teenage sons would often assist, and we came to know the groups well. Some took employment in the markets, hired by the business owners to protect commercial interests. Others were posted near residential street corners, keeping a watchful eye on their clients’ homes through the night.

These were trusted men in the community, who had found a way to earn a living in a ravaged economy by supplying a highly valued service to their fellow man. They did as good or better a job than we did at securing neighborhoods. Recognizing this, we equipped them with infrared lights, indicating they were friendlies, to help protect them from our helicopter gunships and other units passing through the area at night.

Conclusion

In each of these cases, where proponents of the state argue we must have active government involvement, individuals found voluntary, peaceful solutions to their problems. In spite of the failure by both the Iraqi and US governments to provide essential services, such as adequate electrical power and the defense of property, private solutions quickly sprang up among the violence and disorder. Money too was not something that required a government fiat to make trade possible. The market, unhindered by the state, provided a currency by which individuals could exchange with one another.

Copyright © 2012 by the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided full credit is given.