George Kennan, secret U.S. State Department memo, 1948

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“We have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population…. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreaming, and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world benefaction…. We should cease to talk about vague and unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.”
George Kennan, secret U.S. State Department memo, 1948

The Five Levels of the Economy

I read an interesting article. It said that the economy had five distinct levels: red, pink, white, grey, and black. The red market is the market of legal overt violence, value destruction, and wealth confiscation. The pink market is the market of government-endorsed monopolies and oligopolies of useful services. The white market is legal productive activity. The grey market is activity that would otherwise be legal, conducted off the books. The black market is forbidden activity.

The red market is the market of legal overt violence, value destruction, and wealth confiscation. Wealth can be destroyed directly though violence, or indirectly through waste. Wealth can be confiscated via taxation, regulation, inflation/deflation, the Compound Interest Paradox, and other financial tricks. The red market includes government, judges, lawyers, police, accountants, tax collectors, education, the financial industry, the military industry, and the pharmaceutical industry. Most of these industries are incredibly profitable, and its practitioners are very well paid. The hallmark of a red market participant is someone who does not create wealth, and leeches or destroys the wealth of others.

The pink market is the market of government-endorsed monopolies and oligopolies. Pink market products are useful but expensive. These industries are subject to extensive regulation and have their market position backed up by government force. The pink market includes transportation, energy, telecommunications, television, radio, entertainment, and doctors. These industries actually provide useful services. However, their monopoly/oligopoly position makes them very inefficient. Prices are far higher than they would be in a free market.

Extensive regulation moves industries from the white market to the pink market. The defects in the financial system, taxation system, and government regulations favor large corporations over small ones. Large corporations have an advantage over small businesses because the cost of regulation compliance is typically fixed. Large corporations have an advantage due to government-subsidized artificially low interest rates.

The white market is the market of value creation. This is where most of the productive wealth of society is created. The red market could not exist if it didn’t leech off the white market. The white market includes engineering, manufacturing, construction, agriculture, and food service. A lot of white market activities are leaving the USA, especially manufacturing and engineering. Construction, agriculture, and food service cannot be effectively outsourced. Government subsidies and regulations make construction and agriculture almost in the pink market. The workers in this area make a decent living, but not as great as the red and pink market practitioners.

I’m actually kind of disturbed. When I tried to make a list of white market jobs, the list was surprisingly small.

The grey market is activity that would be otherwise legal, but conducted off the books. For example, you hire someone to mow your lawn, pay them in cash, and they don’t report it as income. Another example is hiring illegal immigrants. Most grey market activity is unskilled, low-paid labor. By avoiding taxation, the effective income of grey market laborers is raised. For example, some poor people can work in the grey market and collect welfare at the same time. Grey market activity tries to avoid detection by the government. Since these activities are otherwise legal, they don’t draw much attention. Someone mowing your lawn is not, by itself, suspicious.

The black market is activity that is illegal. This includes drugs, prostitution, and illegal gambling. Any non-government-sanctioned violence is also black market, such as a gangster-directed assassination. Like the grey market, the black market benefits from avoiding taxation and regulation. However, they’re the direct targets of a lot of the red market. Perversely, the red market likes having a sizable black market, because fighting the black market lets the red market increase its size and influence. The red market tells the white market “We need more resources, so we can crush the black market.” The laws that prevent money-laundering by black market participants are also used against people attempting to work in the grey market. The black market frequently survives by bribing red market workers into ignoring it. All the red market accomplishes is that it raises prices in the black market. That’s greater profit for the black market workers who pay bribes or avoid detection.

The primary distinction between working in the grey market and the black market is the risk level. Grey market activity is much less risky than black market activity. If you grow and sell marijuana, red market enforcers will view possession of marijuana as evidence that you committed a crime. If you hire someone to mow your lawn and pay them off the books, red market enforcers will only find out if the person you hire complains. The person you hire won’t complain because he is also benefiting from tax avoidance. In a grey market transaction, both the buyer and seller benefit from avoiding taxes and regulations; prices are lower and wages are higher. It isn’t too hard to convince someone that mowing your lawn and paying them off the books is acceptable. It’s harder to convince people that growing your own marijuana is no big deal. If you get busted for grey market work, your maximum penalty is probably a fine; the fine may even be smaller than your actual profits. You probably can settle for back taxes owed. If you get busted for black market work, you probably will spend time in jail.

By working in the white market, I’m supporting the red market. Anytime I create something, the red market steals a large percentage through taxation or inflation. The red market enables the pink market to steal part of what I produce via higher prices; their government-endorsed monopolies and oligopolies give them pricing power. What right does the red market have to steal most of what I produce? For example, even if I object to the Iraq war, the very act of working supports the government and its war.

The red market survives because it’s convinced the white market that it’s on its side, even though it’s really the enemy.

A lot of skilled workers choose the red market over the white market. They know that the real power and influence lie with value destruction, not value creation, even though that’s never explicitly stated. There are many more opportunities for a smart person to make a fortune in the financial industry or as a lawyer, rather than doing white market work. A lot of red market workers delude themselves into thinking they’re performing a useful service. The white market is thus cheated out of a lot of talented workers.

The cost of the red market is not just the wealth its steals. The red market also steals talented workers, who are tricked into performing wealth destruction instead of value creation. The red market says “The smart people are working for us. That’s why we’re important.”

It might be a good idea for value creators to leave the white market for the grey market. Currently, the only grey market labor opportunities are for unskilled labor. If enough workers left the white market for the grey market, it would be possible to make a decent living working in the grey market. However, the red market will resist the creation of a sizable grey market, because that would be wealth they could not easily destroy or leech. An established grey market would have an advantage, because its activities could be concealed as white-market work.

The easiest way to make the transition to grey market work is to do a few hours a week. If everybody who’s interested performs a few hours of grey market work per week, eventually there’ll be a critical mass. People would be able to work full-time in the grey market. Some people would have simultaneous white-market and grey-market businesses, facilitating operations. For example, your white market business could show a small profit while your grey market business is incredibly profitable. An alternate monetary system needs to be developed, because there are too many government spying capabilities built into the official financial system. Until the red market collapses, grey market workers will still need to acquire dollars to pay certain taxes and for other purchases.

The primary difficulty is that would-be grey market workers have no convenient way to find people to trade with. People might be willing to risk performing grey market work, if it was done in private and they knew their trading parter wouldn’t rat them out to the red market. The cost of taxation, inflation, and regulation is so high that there’s a tremendous incentive for grey market labor.

(Source FSK Reality blog)

RECENT TRENDS AND DEVELOPMENTS OF IMPORTANCE FOR THE MUSLIMS OF EUROPE –

by Imam Abdalhasib Castiñeira

A speech from the annual meeting of the EMU – The European Muslim Union – in Vienna, Austria on Sunday 11th September 2011

We, the Muslims of Europe, must be aware of our reality, our circumstances, our environment and the changing trends that affect us directly and indirectly. There are recent developments in which one can observe trends that are hostile towards Islam and Muslims, which were not so established a few years ago even during the Bush ‘War on terror’, and definitely not before that.

The trends are apparently inauspicious for Muslims, but upon deeper, more careful examination they reveal a moment in which it is possible to take the initiative, an opportunity to outdo the mediocre society of individualism and frivolity; the historic moment in which we live is fertile ground in which, with Divine guidance, to restore the greatness of the human being and the right time in which to remind our fellow human beings of the basics of human existence, preserved by the revelation but otherwise so much lost in our time: the fitra and the natural condition of the human being.

The massacre in Oslo on the Island of Utoya in the last month of July set alarms ringing across Europe. With the ongoing financial crisis, voters may feel attracted to far right parties, many of which are building support by opposing immigration and stirring up hatred against Muslims.

During the last Eid al-Fitr I attended salat al-Eid at a Mosque in the Northern German city of Rostock. Looking for the location of the Mosque I saw an electoral banner hanging from many street light-posts with the text: KEIN MOSCHEE IN ROSTOCK – No Mosque in Rostock.

This is a new trend, that is spreading throughout Europe, of political parties promoting a policy that is openly anti-Islam:

1. In Norway, the NDL ‘Norway Defence League’ to which the mass-murderer of Oslo and Utoya Island was affiliated for several years.
2. In the UK, the English Defence League, a movement started in the city of Luton that has gained ground in the last couple of years.
3. In the Netherlands, the Party for Freedom of Geert Wilders, the racist, zionist and ferocious defamer of Islam who has called for the ban of the Qur’an. His party gained twenty-four seats in the elections of 2010.
4. In Austria, the Freedom party (FPO) that, together with the Alliance for the Future (BZO), secured the votes of almost a third of the electorate in the elections of 2008.
5. In Russia, there are neo-Nazi groups.
6. In Catalonia, Plataforma per Catalunya (PxC, Plataforma por Cataluña) is an openly racist and anti-Islamic party that has already prevented the construction of Mosques in Badalona and is trying to stop mosques being built in other cities.
7. In Germany, the National Democratic Party of Germany – The People’s Union (Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands – Die Volksunion, NPD), is an extremist right-wing German nationalist party, and was responsible for the banners I saw in Rostock.

The list goes on and on.

The OIC ‘Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’ published a report of 74 pages last May 2011 (we can send it to whoever wishes to study it) about intolerance and discrimination against Muslims, covering from May 2010 to April 2011.

The report of the OIC Observatory on Islamophobia notes three significant developments:

a) a continuation rather than a reversal of trends from the preceding period, reflected in the ban of mosque construction and the use of Islamophobia as an instrument in electioneering.
b) an exacerbation of these trends, reflected in events such as new legislation clearly hostile to Muslims, high profile statements against multiculturalism and the reprinting of the stupid cartoons.
c) a new and growing element of statements from politicians condemnatory of Muslim communities and Islam itself.

There are specific media and websites completely dedicated to promoting unfounded fears, mistrust and rejection of Islam and Muslims.

Using ‘guilt by association’ or ‘collective guilt’, there are groups that use a virulent discourse condemning Islam and promoting discrimination against and harassment of Muslims, in some cases even encouraging violence against Muslims.

In recent months, the political leaders of major western European countries have participated in a chorus of disappointment about the model they call multiculturalism, launching a policy overtly against Muslims.

When during the Reunification Celebration in October 2010, Christian Wulff the German President made positive remarks about the immigrant Muslim population of Germany and their valuable contributions to the development of the German economy and society, he did not expect the negative reaction his words were going to spark. At the end of that month, Chancellor Angela Merkel declared coexistence with immigrant Muslim communities ‘a complete failure’. In February 2011, David Cameron made headlines in the media worldwide by affirming that multiculturalism in Britain, a policy of which the country had been proud for many decades, was ‘a failure’. In the same month, Nikolas Sarkozy, the French president, affirmed that the country had given ‘too much attention to protect the identity of the person arriving and not enough attention to protect the identity of the person who was receiving him’. Even the former Spanish primer Minister, Jose Maria Aznar, lent his voice to this chorus declaring that ‘multiculturalism divides and debilitates western societies’. In his book Germany Dismantles Itself, published in August 2010, and widely publicised by specific powerful media groups in Germany, the former governor of the Deutsch Bank, Tilo Sarrazin, openly criticised Turkish and Arab immigrants in Germany accusing them of being economic parasites, an extremely unjust and biased analysis.

The Muslim communities of Europe are being targeted. We must understand the situation in which we live and where we are establishing our families, our communities and our Deen.

Muslims are instructed by Allah and His Messenger to be steadfast and not be overpowered by fear of the changing circumstances and the growing hostility of their enemies. Allah is sufficient for us. These attacks and this hostility are a test for us, an examination of our sincerity, our patience and our determination.

Another fact that has been proving very decisive in recent times, a continuing phenomenon that is affecting the lives of Muslims and non-Muslims alike deeply, is the financial crisis. The financial crisis is the collapse of a system. In the middle of the continuing collapse of a financial model that cannot be sustained, because it is, as Ezra Pound put it in his Cantos, ‘contra natura’ – completely contrary to the laws of nature, and to the laws of God, the Muslim communities have to excel in conveying our message and in demonstrating it in action. We have now the chance to offer alternatives and solutions to the financial order based on usury. The time is ripe. People of reflection and understanding all over the world are expecting this news. The revival of the lost pillar of zakat, and the practice of halal trade. The restoration of a legitimate means of exchange with intrinsic value. A new economic order where inflation, monopoly and speculation are not permitted.

The matter may seem too big for us but we have the ability to limit the usury power and eventually to dry up the sources of the banking system by abandoning it and turning to the forms of halal trade and economics that are free from usury. The clear and indisputable prohibition of usury in all its manifestations renders the Qur’an, and the message of Islam, enormously important in this time. This is the right moment to remind ourselves and others that Allah has forbidden usury and made trade legitimate, that our Deen is mu‘amalah, not only ‘ibadah, and that ethics must return to the market place.

So, the crisis, or rather the collapse, of the usurious model, represents a tremendous opportunity.

***

In contrast to this bleak picture, a complete set of new trends must be recognised and these are all signs of the real opportunity before us.

All of these signs have been present in this conference:

1. More and more people in Europe are embracing Islam.
2. Young Muslims, second and third generations of the early Muslim immigrants, are becoming educated Europeans, professionals, committed members of their societies and yet proud of their Deen and sure of their Muslim identity.
3. The growing number of indigenous Europeans who have become Islamic scholars of high calibre (Abdal Hakim Murad Winter, Shaykh Abdalhaqq Bewley, Aisha Bewley, Yahya Michot, Abdulghani Melara… ) in western Europe, speaking native European languages as their mother tongues.
4. The Muslim population is growing at a much higher rate than the non-Muslim birth rate in Europe. The most frequent name in the Municipality of Brussels among new born babies during the year 2009 was Muhammad.
5. Muslims and Muslim communities are gradually becoming a natural part of the neighbourhoods and the cities of Europe. Open days in hundreds of mosques and public iftars in many, Muslim cultural activities all over Europe are full of non-Muslims. Public iftars have become a common practice of many municipalities, heads of State and non-Muslim Embassies, including the US Embassy.
6. The increasing number of Muslim institutions with high standards in education, and foundations, publishing houses, humanitarian and relief organisations, as well as some Muslim communities which are models of good management, unity and knowledge. We can cite as examples: the Austrian Muslim community, the Islamic Community in Spain, Islamic Relief, some of the best private schools in the UK, Al Hijrah School in Birmingham, the Karimia Institute of Dr. Musharraf Hussein, in Nottingham, the Islamic University of Rotterdam, the Islamia schools of Yusuf Islam, to mention just a few, and many, many other local Muslim communities all over the continent led by honest and committed leaders.
7. The approach towards Islam, its belief, its history and its cultural achievements has changed in every country and is broadly positive in universities, museums, publications, exhibitions and cultural foundations such as Cambridge University, Legado Andalusi in Spain, the Prince of Wales Trust …etc.

On August 11, exactly one month ago, the whole world was astonished by the voice of a single man, Tariq Jahan, a Muslim from the city of Birmingham, in England, whose son had been killed along with two other young Muslims as a result of ​the riots that swept the UK in Ramadan. Less than 24 hours after the brutal murder of his 21 year old son Harun Jahan, Tariq Jahan, overcoming his grief, affirmed with serenity in front of the cameras his belief in Allah and in the Divine decree and asked everyone to behave correctly, to keep calm and to respect their neighbours. The words of Tariq Jahan showed dignity, manliness and a sense of social responsibility that embodied the self-control and wisdom the Muslims need to show in the present circumstances. This individual embodied the confirmation that Islam in Europe is already a decisive factor of balance and sanity in the present and will play a key role in the future.

Islam will be the ark of Noah, safinatu Nuh, in the times of great confusion and degradation of the society that we are already witnessing.

We the Muslims of Europe must be aware of our strengths, our formidable energy and vitality, and always keep a clear vision of our highest aspirations in front of us. We are the community of the last of the Messengers, the bearers of the last revelation.

The historic role of the Islamic community is clear in the ayat of Surat al Baqara:
وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَاكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا لِّتَكُونُواْ شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ عَلَيْكُمْ شَهِيدًا
In this way We have made you a middlemost community, so that you may act as witnesses against mankind and the Messenger as a witness against you. (Surat Al Baqarah, 143)

This role of witnessing means that the community of Islam must be exemplary. It must set the highest standards of behaviour and performance and be the reference point for others.
This is the historic mission of the Muslims. And it is this very criterion that qualifies the Muslims as the best human community that has ever appeared on the face of the earth.
It is in these moments when we are reminded of the need for unity, and the need to support one another to hold on firmly to our Din and to obey Allah and His Messenger as the formula for success. We the Muslims of Europe must be aware of our reality, our environment and the changing trends. We must recognise our blessings, and remind ourselves of our highest aspirations and have gratitude to Allah.

You are the best nation ever to be produced before mankind. You enjoin the right, forbid the wrong and believe in Allah. If the People of the Book were to believe, it would be better for them. Some of them are believers but most of them are deviators. (Al Imran 3:110 )

***
The Dutch politician Geert Wilders and the Norwegian murderer Anders Breivik are one type, one model of a decaying, marginal minority of Europeans. They represent one trend.

Tariq Jahan, the ordinary Muslim father of Birmingham, embodies the other trend of a growing Muslim reality in Europe, one of gratitude to Allah for the gift of Islam and the many, innumerable gifts of life and the struggle to be a khalifa of Allah on Earth.

To summarise, yes, there are many challenges ahead of us, and we will be confronted by enemies. We must not be naive about it, but they are not our main concern; we are not obsessed by them or the danger they pose. They desire to extinguish Allah’s Light with their mouths (with their discourse of hatred), but Allah will perfect His Light, though the unbelievers hate it. (Qur’an 61, 8)

On the contrary, we recognise the blessings we enjoy and are thankful to Allah for them. Then we look at our shortcomings and our weaknesses and act to put them right.

Our main concern is, on our part, to do our best, look at our own shortcomings and put them right. We do not complain, and we do not fear our adversaries for Allah is our friend. But we must act and struggle with sincerity and with knowledge. Each one of us individually has a task in establishing worship of Allah – ibada, and the mu‘amalat, our transactions – in our selves first, and in our families and communities, individually and collectively.

The presence of Islam in Europe is not, as they want to misrepresent, a danger or a source of problems for European societies. On the contrary, the growing presence of Muslim communities in the cities of Europe is a source of sanity, a healing for decaying European societies. Fresh air to breath, pure water to drink and clarity to see.

Surat At Tawbah 105
Say: ‘Act, for Allah will see your actions, and so will His Messenger and the believers. You will be returned to the Knower of the Unseen and the Visible and He will inform you regarding what you did.’

To Anarchism We Must Go!

SOMETIMES TELLING THE TRUTH makes you seem like a moron or lunatic, at least people tend to think so. This is perhaps the reason anarchists are thought of as lunatics. But the logic is clear: why would you need an army unless to fight wars? Why do the police need guns unless to scare and intimidate the public?

I carefully avoided using the word “march” in the title, though I had thought of using it. Perhaps I have entered into a fallacy, now? But I didn’t want that association with war. With “the troops”, with their horrible, official uniforms, arms, and incitement of murder. I hate war. I hate governments, too. Governments are aggressors. An aggressor, we would all agree, is somebody who tries to control the actions of another; and they do this through force, most often violent; only rarely is the threat of violence not followed up upon. This is true of Governments; but Governments are far worse. Governments enforce their aggressorship through the terrorist organization known as the police. A terrorist organization is a group of people whose job it is to scare people into doing what they want. The policemen and policewomen do this by wearing guns to scare you into obeying them. The police, being linked with Governments (the police is the terrorist arm of the aggressor Governments; they are there merely to ensure that the will of Governments is carried out), are therefore aggressors, too.
People go to prison for minor things. Prison as an institution is as wrong, corrupt, and pointless as those of the police and of Governments. Prison cannot and does not work for the simple fact that recidivism is at an all-time high; in other words, people who come out of prison more often than not end up back there again shortly afterwards. Prisons provide books and educational materials so that criminals can be smarter upon release. Prisons also provide gyms and provide mandatory exercise, so that criminals can be bigger and stronger upon release. Do you see something happening here? To return back to my point of people going to prison for minor things: for example, if a poor man stole a loaf of bread, this would be seen as breaking “the law” (an act of rebellion against the tight rules of Government). For breaking “the law”, he would go to prison. “The law” (I refuse to view it as anything more than a temporary measure; this cannot surely last, for reasons I will go into later), made by Government, also mentions that it is wrong to steal, wrong to kill. The man who stole a loaf of bread because he was poor is sitting in prison. Yet the real criminals are enjoying trips all over the world; the real criminals work in Government, and they sanction theft and extortion through taxes; they sanction murder through acts of war and the army. Some say that the army is necessary to maintain the peace. But why should I continually believe in war to achieve peace? This is wrong, and is self-apparent. Having an army is also likely to increase the likelihood of going to war, too; and it is the countries with the biggest armies that wage the bloodiest wars. The army is nothing more than a factory which trains once-ordinary people that it is okay for them to kill people. “To protect the peace,” or “To help others who need it.” Even if there were no enemies, the army would have to invent some, because otherwise they’d not be able to justify their existence. And, to me, it is by making up so-called threats that forces many people into believing that an army is necessary. “They’ll protect me if we go to war.” But this sounds as if going to war is not a prerogative taken by the army; when, in fact, it evidently is. The army is not interested in protecting citizens like you or me. The army is interested only in protecting its cause, and as I said, does so by creating threats that make people think they need to depend upon the army. Wrong!
The law-making system is supposed to have a sense of justice. Many people do have faith in their law systems, in their courts, in their bureaucracy of bullshit. But, as we already know, governments are aggressors: they want to control all the people who live under their rule. Governments don’t just make law; they are the law. And the police act out the will of Government, necessarily by wearing guns to scare you into obeying them. It is clear, then, that “justice” in relation to Governments really means a wanting to set up and rule over man; necessarily dividing them. This isn’t justice. Justice should be a thing between equals: between those who do not have rulers, and those who do not rule. That the system of today involves rulers, and that it involves those being ruled (the second class is far bigger than the first: a relatively tiny minority rule over a huge majority), isn’t and can never be justice. Even if Governments (“the law”) say that it is what exists.
If anarchism is not on the increase, then party dealignment certainly is. For example, in the UK, in the decade 1950, voter turnout of those eligible to vote in the General Election was higher than 85%. By 2001, 85% had plummeted to 56% turnout of all of those eligible to vote in the General Election. This is just in the UK. Probably most countries that have had for a long time the so-called “gift” of being able to vote have suffered a decline in voter turnout. As I said: anarchism may not be on the increase (there are no statistics for this), but party dealignment certainly is (there are figures, and plenty of them, for this; huge money is made by people who write books about General Elections, and they have all of the statistics required for your knowledge in them). As for those countries where voting isn’t a “gift”, e.g. where it is “forced” upon them, it’s a similar thing. And in any case, any vote for a Government is a vote for enslaving yourself, if, indeed, you vote (or even if you don’t; it is inevitable that, somewhere, somebody will vote to enslave you “on your behalf”; and they’ll call it “democracy”, not “slavery”, because “slavery”, they claim, has been abolished in the West for many years, and is deemed unacceptable; we’ve just got a new system of slavery, which under the guise of ballot-boxes and slips of paper and people rolling around in battle-busses, is apparently a thing that is okay).
Some people consider anarchism to be unrealistic–a “pipe dream”. Some people say that “Governments are necessary”. And so they are!–if you believe it is necessary to make peaceful people do what they don’t want to. As we know, laws exist to make them do so. But laws are pointless; as Ammon Hennacy said: “Oh, Judge, your damn laws! The good people don’t need them, and the bad people don’t follow them, so what use are they?” How are Governments necessary for freedom? They’re not. They’re necessary to coerce, to make you do what you don’t want to. How can laws serve justice? They can’t, because first of all, simply by there being laws, justice is killed and replaced with the same word: “justice” . . . and if the second word sounds phoney, that’s exactly because it is. If anybody can persuade me otherwise, then I’ll give up my right to call myself an anarchist.
The truth is so simple that people tend to overlook it or miss it completely. Armies are pointless. Simply by being in existence, they encourage war. When they’re actually doing something, they’re killing. Governments coerce people into doing what they do not want to do; and they make sure you do it by having policemen and policewomen, who wear guns to scare you into obeying them, enforce their will. People go to prison for minor things, while the biggest criminals (the heads of State, Government) enjoy trips all over the world on chartered jets. These biggest criminals steal from and extort people through taxes, and permit murder through war and having an army; and the voters tell them through their vote that this is okay. I don’t think it is. I am a human being, and I want what is rightfully mine: freedom. I wrote this essay because of that.
by Jamie Poole

Fight against the Terror of the State

To Fight Terror, Fight the State
Posted by David D’Amato on Nov 8, 2010 in Commentary • No comments
Upon entering his guilty plea back in June, Faisal Shahzad — recently sentenced for charges arising from an attempted attack on Times Square earlier this year — articulated the motivation behind his efforts. In what has become a consistent refrain from terrorists, Shahzad drew attention to the US military’s occupation of the Muslim world.

“[T]he drone hits in Afghanistan and Iraq,” he noted, “they don’t see children, they don’t see anybody. They kill women, children, they kill everybody. It’s a war, and in war, they kill people.” Time and again, resolving any confusion as to what propels them toward destruction, terrorists have pointed out “U.S. terrorizing [of] the Muslim nations and the Muslim people,” describing their violence in terms of retaliation.

Fully aware of the practical implications of statements like Shahzad’s, the US government focuses its obscurantism on ensuring that Americans see terrorists as an enigmatic other — the faceless enemy in an us versus them.

This week, the US state enjoyed another opportunity to distort the causal interplay at issue when, as reported by NBC news, “[t]he Yemeni branch of al-Qaida on Friday claimed responsibility for the two mail bombs sent from Yemen …” The White House, eager to capitalize on the foiled attack, swiftly went to work congratulating themselves and the Yemeni government for their “ongoing cooperation,” stoking the fear and beating the drum for the security state.

Even prior to al-Qaida’s Arabian Peninsula branch taking credit for the bombs, the group had kindled the United States’s interest in Yemen. According to the Associated Press, Saudi Arabia’s southern neighbor could see up to $250 million in military aid next year, an increase of almost $100 million over this year’s apportionment. The irony of the plan, bearing in mind what inspires terrorists, is the palpable dissonance between the stated goal of quelling al-Qaida and the likely result of increasing the US dole to the Yemeni regime.

Nothing better serves the recruitment programs or enhances the appeal of groups like al-Qaida than the continued interference of the US, whether in actual military presence or in the dispensation of blood money. The word “terrorism” is itself misleading, representative of the state’s deceptive definitional approach.

In the statist lexicon, the United States, with its state of the art machinery of death, is a righteous force for freedom while the panicky strains of subdued people fighting against occupation are “terrorism.” The methodical devastation of an entire region of the world is regarded as morally legitimate, while a victimized population’s admittedly wrong and misguided attempts at self-defense are rebuked as the maniacal savagery of evil subhumans who “hate us because we’re free.”

The murder of innocents is, of course, always morally abominable, but it is critical that we ask why groups like al-Qaida are so intent on killing Americans. The proper aim of that inquiry, rather than exonerating terrorists, is recognizing that their crimes are a reaction to those of the United States, the premier global terrorist. Our censure of terrorist attacks like those planned by al-Qaida and Shahzad ought to come with a parallel condemnation of the United States’ murder missions, communicating to the rest of the world that we too are occupied by our own government.

This cycle of violence is what the unrelenting slaughter campaign of US military imperialism delivers us — death, replicated over and over for the bonanza of the ruling class. Does anyone really think that Washington cares if civilians die in terror attacks in the United States? They’ll just use those deaths to justify their spying, their killing, their favors to defense contractors, their theft, their rape of everything good and productive in society.

The state itself is a continuing war on humanity, reincarnated in every year, in every moment, since the first conscienceless gang of muggers decided it suited them to set a conflagration to fruitful, voluntary society. To extinguish that fire, we must denounce aggression in all of its forms, not just when darker-skinned people in strange garb lash out against American military colonization.

http://c4ss.org/content/4768

Millions of Petty Tyrants

Column by tzo, posted on November 05, 2010
in Statism Society/Culture Democracy
Column by tzo.

Exclusive to STR

The empirical evidence that power corrupts goes a long way in explaining the inevitable one-way course to tyranny trod by all governments. Having a monopoly on force, corruption within the government monopoly cannot be effectively checked, and growing corruption and its attendant increasing power eventually congeal into absolute power and absolute corruption.

Tyranny.

Kurt Vonnegut turned a slightly more colorful phrase in articulating the association of power and corruption by claiming that human beings are chimpanzees who get crazy drunk on power. It must be pretty heady stuff indeed to be in a position within the U.S. government in which you effectively are part of the controlling mechanism of over 3.8 million square miles and 350 million human lives, not to mention the power projected out over the rest of the entire globe.

The most dangerous aspect of our “democratic” government, though, is the fact that the reg’ler folks are made to feel that they are part of the system. Shareholders, as it were. “We” is thrown around a lot, even when the government seems to be spinning out of control. The situation is rarely articulated as “us versus them,” but rather “we are the government and we are doing it to ourselves,” and “we have to work within the system to fix the system.”

This is an extremely dangerous perspective for the subjects to have, because as the government slides into tyranny, it is encouraged and pushed along by millions of petty little tyrants—a vast multitude of power-drunk chimpanzees.

What should “we” do in Afghanistan? Wow, what a power-tie-wearing question! “We” must decide. It is up to “us.” They are “our” troops. What should be “our” objective?

See what’s happening here? The chimpanzees have been given a powerful intoxicant, and they love it. Oh, look, they want some more!

The citizen, being part of the government, feels that the 3.8 million square mile empire with its 350 million subjects is his to play with. By exiting his mother’s birth canal within certain ranges of latitude and longitude, he has acquired property and innate power over other fellow human beings. Good for him and his kind, and tough luck for the others. The power-drunk chimpanzee slumps down on his couch in his 800 square-foot apartment and is lord over all he surveys through his television set, tuned to CNN.

How are the troops doing? Are illegals trying to get in? Are there people not paying taxes? Why is there salmonella in the spinach? Who needs to get bailed out? Who’s running in the next election?

Important questions requiring his considered opinions.

Isn’t it just mind-boggling amazing? Invite a person from Mexico to your house, and someone in North Dakota has an opinion on it and also has the guns to back his opinion up. Homeschooling children where it is not permitted? Moe from Oklahoma says lock up the parents and take the kids! Busybodies with opinions on all sorts of things that shouldn’t concern them, but it’s “our” country and so “we” have to be involved in everything that happens.

Queens of Hearts residing in every domicile, rendering judgments on events occurring many hundreds of miles away, involving people they never have met and never will meet. The kingdom is large. Off with their heads!

You see? The citizen is not pitted against the government, he is a part of it. And he is willingly a part when he feels that he has a hand on one of the controls that guide Leviathan. Play by Leviathan’s rules, and you, too, can rule. You can join the army of the righteous and fight the good fight against the pot smoking, non-voting, raw-milk-drinking hooligans. Here’s your gun and brown shirt—go git ‘em!

Like the international scene better? Well, you can participate in the killing of hundreds of thousands of brown people in remote parts of the world and suffer no consequences! How can you beat that deal? Power of the gods in your very own hands! What does it matter if you cannot write a complete sentence, read an entire book, or pinpoint on the globe just where those unfortunate brown people with targets on their foreheads live? Willful ignorance in exchange for power, heck, even just for the illusion of power, is a pretty sweet deal, my friend.

Besides, the Average American Citizen is not really responsible for any of the bad stuff his government may be doing. Although he is part of it by way of the democratic process, he is not really part of the stuff he may find reprehensible, right? Or maybe he subconsciously accepts that he is responsible, but also knows he is addicted to the power associated with it, and so cannot or will not admit to himself what he is advocating in exchange for this intoxicating power.

This is not a new mindset. George Orwell saw it and dubbed it “doublethink” in his novel 1984:

“To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself—that was the ultimate subtlety; consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word ‘doublethink’ involved the use of doublethink…”

Let us not forget that fear is the ultimate basis for such a paradoxical mindset, even though other justifications are claimed in order to avoid the admission of cowardice. Justify the actions of the bully and join his gang so as not to receive a bloody pug yourself.

War is peace. Slavery is freedom. Ignorance is strength. And now another: To be ruled over is to rule.

When a democratic nation becomes tyrannical, this is a description of the majority of the population, not just the elected officials. Power-drunk chimpanzees, all. Everyone is tying them on, and it’s a long, lost weekend filled with blackout drinkers. C’mon, another round for everyone!

Wuzzat? Hey, buddy, just love it or leave it pal, OK? Stupid hippie pinko commie. People died so you could be here, so just kiss my red, white, and blue butt.

These chimps have absolutely nothing over the syphilitic, inbred monarchs of old in their deft wielding of might-makes-right wisdom. These newfangled enablers of power who are themselves enabled by their betters with the illusion of power—all are tightly clusterstuck together in a death spiral right on down to the cold, hard ground. The crash will not be pretty, but for now, it’s full steam ahead. It just feels too good to stop.

So pardon me while I leave you now, as I must go and decide upon the proper inflation rate necessary for a healthy economy. It’s not all glitz and glamour running the most powerful empire the world has ever seen, you know. My input is needed on a wide range of issues.

After all, I am large and in charge: I am the government. *Hic*

Millions of petty tyrants
Issuing proclamations.
The mucilage that binds together
democratic nations.

What you do is my concern
And what you own is mine.
If you don’t like the way it works
Then hit the road, Sunshine.

GORDON DUFF: GADAHN CALL TO ATTACK AMERICANS COMES FROM ISRAEL

Click Here to see Original Text at Veterans Today

AL QAEDA SPOKESMAN ADAM GADAHN WORKS FOR THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT, END OF STORY
“Israeli terrorist “clones” are responsible for most hard line rhetoric, threats and, if we investigated closely, have actually recruited terrorists and directly inspired, if not planned and executed, attacks on Americans…Gadahn is part of it, so is Wikileaks”
By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor

CAN GADAHN PULL THIS OFF, THE “NEW AND IMPROVED” 9/11?
A call to arms, demanding Muslims in America and elsewhere begin a terror campaign, was spread around the world. The message, we are told, was found on a “secret website” by an Israeli company who put it in a press release.
There is no evidence any American Muslim has ever been on the website referred to, no American intelligence agency could find it, not the CIA or the FBI or Homeland Security. There was only one way the 300,000 Muslims of Detroit could hear call to terrorism, from an Israeli company that passes on such messages for profit.
Does it create them too? You be the judge.
Let’s look at a possible analogy. If you were to capture a vicious rabid dog in the wilderness and turned it loose in a children’s playground, would you be a terrorist?
This is essentially what is being admitted to.
What is in question, another analogy, is whether you purposefully infected the dog with rabies in the first place. Either way, you are a terrorist.
Adam Gadahn, the “American Taliban,” the lisping, overweight bungler continually calling for the murder of Americans is really named Adam Perlman from a family highly influential in the Anti-Defamation League. The group distributing his threats, SITE Intelligence, contracted to the American government, is run by a former IDF member whose father was executed in Iraq as a Mossad terrorist. SITE Intelligence is the source of the Osama bin Laden tapes long proven to be, not only the wrong voice, but to resemble bin Laden so little as to have become a joke.

Adam Gadahn
Gadahn came on the scene when tapes of Osama bin Laden claiming credit for 9/11 failed forensic examination. They were counterfeits. The CIA’s own version had bin Laden denying any involvement. (See APPENDIX below for official CIA transcript)
This was late 2001 and Americans hadn’t been told that the story about Tora Bora, the many stories about Tora Bora, warlords covering for bin Laden, American troops being pulled back at the last minute by presidential order or the Delta Force being betrayed, were all lies. Osama bin Laden, already dying from kidney failure, was murdered by one of his own men on December 14, 2001.
Pakistan’s ISI had informants there, it was leaked to the newspapers and was widely reported. Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto even announced it in an interview with BBC’s David Frost.
With a 9/11 denial “on the books” and bin Laden dead, there would be no invasion of Iraq, no new leader was “in place” to bring out for the American people, no new “boogeyman.”
The very real conspiracy, covering up the sickening truth about 9/11, the treasonous intelligence doctoring leading to the disaster in Iraq and the upcoming years of building a drug empire in Afghanistan, stealing billions in oil from Iraq, the thinly disguised martial law decrees in America and the planned attack on Iran, was threatened unless, somehow, Osama bin Laden could be brought back to life.
Nearly a decade later, Pakistan’s intelligence chief, General Pasha does everything but scream it from rooftops, when he carefully hints to a dull witted ABC interviewer that bin Laden is dead. Journalist Arnaud de Borchgrave of UPI and Washington Times fame, makes it as clear as possible when he says “Bin Laden is as dead as Elvis.” Even CIA director Leon Panetta confirms there is no evidence of bin Laden since “late 2001.”
With bin Laden dead, it all falls apart, Al Qaeda, 9/11, and the continual accusations made against Pakistan. Still, we hear it. Bin Laden touring Afghanistan or as with last weeks report, “living in luxury” in Iran.
Not only is bin Laden dead but when he was alive, the BBC confirmed that he had absolutely no terrorist organization of any kind, masterminded no plots, controlled no organizations and had no more involvement on the world stage other than, at one time, helping the CIA raise money to fund refugee organizations during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

YouTube – Veterans Today –
Contrary to what has been reported, bin Laden never raised money for weapons. That task was left to Gulbuddin Hikmatyar, the CIA paymaster who received $800,000,000 in US funds. Today we are told Hikmatyar may be in Iran. However, we have verified that he is actually in Pakistan, working directly with the CIA as “go between” with the Taliban, taking an active role in the current talks with the Karzai government. Few in Afghanistan trust Hikmatyar, long a favorite with CIA and Pakistan “hard liners.”
If anything, the myth of Osama bin Laden is actually Hikmatyar. What is said bin Laden did in Afghanistan was always Hikmatyar, CIA “moneyman” and terrorist. Problem is, he is still a CIA moneyman and terrorist, flying on American planes, going on and off American bases but listed with the Department of Homeland Security as one of the most wanted terrorists in the world. The truth, Hikmatyar is seen by the US as their “dealmaker” in Afghanistan, something many in Afghanistan find both frightening and delusional.
Perhaps one of the most frightening issues of the ‘war on terror’ or, more appropriately, ‘the phony war on terror’ has been the use of ‘terrorist clones’ like Adam Perlman, the Israeli actor playing a Taliban leader on videos distributed by Israeli intelligence. The real insanity is that the videos aren’t produced to just fool Americans into rebuilding the coalition of Islamophobics and paranoids typified by the subscribers of http://www.familysecuritymatters.org. Please, visit this website. See if everything on it doesn’t just scream
“Look out, the boogeyman is coming, quick, hide under your bed!”

Things aren’t that innocent. Much of the message is going to the Islamic community worldwide and is reaching people who are angry and looking for someone to blame. Those funding Adam Gadhan, those magically finding his mysterious broadcasts and those distributing them to the world are giving material support to terrorism. They are, in fact, terrorists.
The message they, our friends, you know exactly who I mean, are spreading is clear:
“Attack and kill Americans, not just in Iraq and Afghanistan, but anywhere you can find them in the world. They are the real enemy, not Israel.”

Does anyone wonder why Gadahn never calls for attacks on Israel? In fact, Al Qaeda doesn’t seem to know Israel exists. They never threaten Israel. They never attack Israel. They never even mention Israel, never. All those Osama bin Laden and Adam Perlman, sorry, “Adam Gadahn” tapes have one thing in common.
Israel doesn’t exist. Get the picture? Here is what Perlman, lets be straight about it, his name is Perlman, his family is Jewish, Zionist, and very active in the ADL. This is what he or is it ‘they” are advocating in this statement released yesterday:
“emigrant communities like those which live on the margins of society in the miserable suburbs of Paris, London and Detroit, or are from those arriving in America or Europe to study in its universities or seek their daily bread in the streets of its cities….you have an opportunity to strike the leaders of unbelief and retaliate against them on their own soil, as long as there is no covenant between you and them”

Clear and simple, we are hearing what Israel is telling the world, the Muslim world, is the voice of Al Qaeda. What is Israel, or rather “Al Qaeda” telling us?
Please attack Britain, France and the United States but leave Israel alone.

Detroit has Muslim population of 300,000 yet, the one terrorist attack there was done by a mentally incompetent Nigerian national. Do you remember the “crotch bomber?” Do you wonder why the story disappeared from the news so quickly? When two Detroit attorneys caught airport officials putting the terrorist on a plane, airport officials working for an Israeli company, things fell apart. When Veterans Today discovered from intelligence sources in both Nigeria and Ghana that the boy’s family was not only tied directly to the CIA but the father was a business partner in an Israeli defense firm, it came apart further. When this came out, a news “blackout” fell and the story died.
When the government of Yemen found laptop computers belonging to “Al Qaeda” that showed a clear record of daily contacts with “handlers” in Israel, the story died totally.
The Detroit bombing told us two things:
The vast majority of American Muslims are Americans and have no loyalty to religious extremists or any other country. That is “those other guys.” American Muslims are mostly, not only Republicans but politically active in the party and very conservative.
Terrorists can’t move around the world without help, either visas, real or phony, passports, security”walk arounds” and more. If a grandmother with a knitting needle and an American passport could never, under any imaginable circumstances, get on a plane in Schipol Airport, how did a single male, Nigeria, Muslim, no passport at all…he wasn’t carrying any identification of any kind and, this is the best part, a bomb strapped to his genitals get seated on a plane ahead of the rest of the passengers. Remember, you first have to get into a country with no passport, around immigration, then you have to go through airport security and prove you have proper immigration documents then you are checked again before boarding. Abdul Mohammed, without Mossad help, stood a better chance of winning the Irish Sweepstakes than getting on that plane.
Is that a bomb in your pants or are you just glad to see me?

THE PERLMAN/WIKILEAKS “NON-EVENT”
For years, Perlman, masquerading as a spokesman for Al Qaeda, has put out childish videos, all time to help certain political races, influence arms sales to Israel, or as with yesterday’s treat, to reinforce the Wikileaks fiasco, another attempt to con America. Last time Wikileaks tried to get the US to cut all aid to Pakistan, an act which would have made the war in Afghanistan even worse than it is now, if that’s possible. This one is time to a Wikileak “custom crafted” to blame the world’s ills on Iran, target number one for Israel. As a “three fer,” the New York Times and MSNBC went after Iran for “secretly” buying off President Karzai of Afghanistan.
We knew Karzai was aligned with India and Israel against Pakistan. Now he is “owned” by Iran? How many sides can one person be on?
When I was in Pakistan earlier in the year, Gadahn was said to be hiding in an apartment building in Karachi. The building was stormed, “Gadahn” was captured, a “Gadahn,” not “the Gadahn.” It seems that a “look alike” had been used to leave a false trail, the real Adam Perlman was safe and sound elsewhere, some place with video studios. The individual recruiting real terrorists to kill real Americans with real bombs is a real Israeli, no question about that, and not the first time.
It is also believed that the new “Al Qaeda” operations chief, Adnan Shukrijumah of Brooklyn, New York and Miami Beach is another Israeli creation, a phony terrorist, an actor, much like the phony “bin Ladens” of every shape and size used to scare small children after the death of the real bin Laden in December 2001.

YouTube – Veterans Today –
During comprehensive briefings with Pakistans ISPR, the group that briefs people like, well, Secretary Clinton, it was made clear to me that we were all on the same page, Osama bin Laden is dead. There was much discussion, some of it humorous, as how to let people know. After short discussions on this with ISPR DG General Athar Abbas I was summoned to a “mysterious” meeting.
This was General Ahmed Shurja Pasha, Director General of Pakistan’s intelligence service known as the ISI. During a private lunch with the director, his top aide, Commodore Zafar Iqbal and author Jeff Gates, who was accompanying me on a lecture tour, one of the areas of discussion was dishonesty in journalism. An interview with a very prominent American journalist that General Pasha had held had been falsified. Statements regarding Pakistan and Mumbai were simply invented. This wasn’t the first time I had run into this. A widely published interview between the editor of a Washington newspaper and former ISI Chief General Hamid Gul was similarly fabricated.
When I made reference to the Gul interview in an article, he phoned me. Gul, an editor at Veterans Today, a co-worker and good friend, pointed out that the interview never happened and was entirely made up. Another “famous journalist” with an agenda simply invented a story, had it published around the world, and the real truth would be lost forever. Between video editing, phony interviews and released audio and video tapes of dead or non-existent “terrorists,” the media has ended up being as strong a force promoting extremism and conflict as the real issues, which, frankly, none of us are that sure about anymore.
People like Pakistan’s Imran Khan, who talk about extremism in realistic terms are seldom listened to. How can I prove this? Do you know who Imran Khan is? There is your answer.
IF THESE PLOYS DON’T WORK, CAN WE EXPECT ANOTHER 9/11?
This week, something surprising happened in Australia. In a world where you can’t tun on a television without hearing how crazy people are who question the 9/11 cover story, even though Fox News seems to have changed sides on this issue, what you don’t see are public opinion polls on 9/11. If Bill Maher or Jon Stewart, the “liberal progressives” of American television, with their continual attacks on “the right” show us one thing it is that, no matter how much you may find government a pack of useless liars, the magic “boxcutter and pancaking building” story on 9/11 must be adhered to. Even though those the 9/11 Truth movement blame, the Americans anyway, are you most vile political enemies, when it comes to 9/11, you attack anyone who questions the Bush/Cheney doctrine like a rabid field mouse.
There is a reason for this. The ability to repeat 9/11, contain an investigation, keep press assets focused on a cover story few take seriously anymore, is vital. Without the ability to blow up an American city and blame Iran or an imaginary terrorist group, the “Masters of the Universe” will lose their ability to control the fate of the human race.
Thus, everything we have seen since 9/11 has been done to prepare us for the next 9/11. The last one finished Saddam, looted the American economy and imposed martial law on the United States. Iran and Pakistan still stand. With all the terror warnings, phony stories about imaginary nuclear programs, the threats, the sanctions and even Wikileaks, it all isn’t going to be enough.
America is sick of war and not very likely to believe the media, not anymore. Big problem here, when you attack anyone’s credibility, the Bush administration, Obama, Tony Blair, eventually people begin to question you too.
Watch Wikileaks dribble away into nothing. Watch the news try to pump air into this story and spin it against Iran.
When that fails, maybe it will be time to hide under your bed after all.
APPENDIX

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY FOREIGN BROADCASTING INTERNATIONAL SERVICE:

FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Website of Doha Al-Jazirah Satellite Channel Television in Arabic [FBIS Report] Website of Doha Al-Jazirah Satellite Channel Television in Arabic,independent television station financed by the Qatari Government, which can be accessedat URL: http://www.aljazeera.net, carries at 2011 GMT on 24 September the text of the following letter by Usama Bin Ladin “to the Pakistani people.”
“We hope that these brothers would be the first martyrs in Islam’s battle in this age against the new Jewish crusade that is being led by the biggest crusader, Bush, under the banner of the cross. This battle is one of Islam’s immortal battles.”
“We beseech God to grant him victory against the forces of infidelity and arrogance, and to crush the new crusader-Jewish campaign on the land of Pakistan and Afghanistan.”
“I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States.”
“Neither I had any knowledge of these attacks nor I consider the killing of innocent women, children, and other humans as an appreciable act. . Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children, and other people. Such a practice is forbidden ever in the course of a battle.”
“All that is going on in Palestine for the last 11 months is sufficient to call the wrath of God upon the United States and Israel.”
“Whoever committed the act of 11 September are not the friends of the American people. I have already said that we are against the American system, not against its people, whereas in these attacks, the common American people have been killed. According to my information, the death toll is much higher than what the US Government has stated.
“The United States should try to trace the perpetrators of these attacks within itself; the people who are a part of the US system, but are dissenting against it. Or those who are working for some other system; persons who want to make the present century as a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity so that their own civilization, nation, country, or ideology could survive.”
“They can be any one, from Russia to Israel and from India to Serbia.”
“Then you cannot forget the American Jews, who are annoyed with President Bush ever since the elections in Florida and want to avenge him.”
“Then there are intelligence agencies in the US, which require billions of dollars worth of funds from the Congress and the government every year. This [funding issue] was not a big problem till the existence of the former Soviet Union but after that the budget of these (FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY 180) agencies has been in danger. They needed an enemy. So, they first started propaganda against Usama and Taliban and then this incident happened.”
“Drug smugglers from all over the world are in contact with the US secret agencies. These agencies do not want to eradicate narcotics cultivation and trafficking because their importance will be diminished. The people in the US Drug Enforcement Department are encouraging drug trade so that they could show performance and get millions of dollars worth of budget. General Noriega was made a drug baron by the CIA and, in need, he was made a scapegoat.”
“President Bush or any other US President, they cannot bring Israel to justice for its human rights abuses or to hold it accountable for such crimes. What is this? Is it not that there exists a government within the government in the United Sates? That secret government must be asked as to who made the attacks.”
“Supporting the US act is the need of some Muslim countries and the compulsion of others. However, they should think as to what will remain of their religious and moral position if they support the attack of the Christians and the Jews on a Muslim country like Afghanistan.”
“I have already said that we are not hostile to the United States. We are against the system, which makes other nations slaves of the United States, or forces them to mortgage their political and economic freedom.”
“This system is totally in control of the American Jews, whose first priority is Israel, not the United States. It is simply that the American people are themselves the slaves of the Jews and are forced to live according to the principles and laws laid by them. So, the punishment should reach Israel.”
”The Western media is unleashing such a baseless propaganda, which make us surprise but it reflects on what is in their hearts and gradually they themselves become captive of this propaganda. They become afraid of it and begin to cause harm to themselves.”
“Terror is the most dreaded weapon in modern age and the Western media is mercilessly using it against its own people. It can add fear and helplessness in the psyche of the people of Europe and the United States. It means that what the enemies of the United States cannot do, its media is doing that. You can understand as to what will be the performance of the nation in a war, which suffers from fear and helplessness.”
FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY END OF OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT

Free Banking

Lawrence White on Austrian Economics, Free-Banking and Real Bills
Sunday, October 24, 2010 – with Ron Holland

Dr. Lawrence White
The Daily Bell is pleased to present an exclusive interview with Lawrence White (left).

Introduction: Lawrence H. White is a professor of economics at George Mason University. Prior to position at George Mason, he was the F. A. Hayek Professor of Economic History in the Department of Economics, University of Missouri-St. Louis. He has been a visiting professor at the Queen’s School of Management and Economics, Queen’s University of Belfast, and a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Professor White is the author of The Theory of Monetary Institutions (Blackwell, 1999), Free Banking in Britain (2nd ed., IEA, 1995), and Competition and Currency (NYU Press, 1989). He is the editor of several works, including The History of Gold and Silver (3 vols., Pickering and Chatto, 2000), The Crisis in American Banking (NYU Press, 1993), African Finance: Research and Reform (ICS Press, 1993), and Free Banking (3 vols., Edward Elgar, 1993). His articles on monetary theory and banking history have appeared in the American Economic Review, the Journal of Economic Literature, the Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking, and other leading professional journals.

Daily Bell: Give us some background on yourself.

Lawrence White: I became interested in Austrian economics by reading Murray Rothbard’s, Man, Economy and State in the summer before college. I went to Harvard where they were teaching Keynesian economics but I was already anti-Keynesian and baffled that they were still teaching it. My first job was at New York University and from there to the University of Georgia. In 2000, I went to the University of Missouri/St. Louis and was offered the Hayek chair of economic history. Who wouldn’t want that? I came to George Mason last year to work with good graduate students and it’s keeping me very busy.

Daily Bell: How did you become interested in free banking?

Lawrence White: When I was in college I wrote a paper about an American newspaper editor named William Legget who was one of the more sophisticated thinkers on economic issues in the US at the time. I discovered a piece praising the free banking system of Scotland as the model the United States ought to adopt; he was writing in the 1830s. I had never heard of free banking in Scotland and he made wonderful claims. I didn’t have a chance to investigate it then but when I got to graduate school, I took a course in monetary economics at UCLA from Axel Leijonhufvud and for my term paper I wrote a paper about the free banking system in Scotland. That’s what turned into my doctoral dissertation when Axel encouraged me to expand it.

Daily Bell: What is free banking and why has it been controversial with Austrians?

Lawrence White: A free banking system means a monetary system where private, competitive, unregulated banks are responsible for providing all kinds of payment instruments and intermediation. So generically it means the absence of restrictions on banking and – in other words laissez-faire banking. An implication is banks and not the government will provide currency as well as transferrable deposits. It implies the absence of the central bank and central banks are everywhere in the world today. That’s the big difference from the status quo. F.A. Hayek was somewhat ambivalent — and I wrote a paper about that – about free banking, out of the concern that banks might be inherently unstable pro-cyclically.

Some people questions deny that free banking would or should be allowed to function with fractional reserve accounts. Murray Rothbard was the leader of the point of view that fractional reserve banking ought to be outlawed. He thought the fractional-reserve bank was inherently defrauding the customer. Some of his followers have switched to some other kinds of objections. I don’t hear the fraud argument as often these days, but I do hear the argument that there is something absurd about a fractional reserve generally because it implies that two people are exclusive owners of the same coin; which is I think is the misunderstanding of the arrangement between the bank and its customer. Another objection is that it reduces the value of gold held by third parties, but there are all kinds of changes in the value of your property that come about through market forces, and we can’t outlaw those consistent with properties property rights.

Daily Bell: Do you consider yourself an Austrian Economist?

Lawrence White: Yes. If Austrian means heavily influenced by Ludwig von Mises and Hayek, then certainly yes. And on my CV, you will see that I was part of the Austrian Economics program at NY University and I am now part of the Austrian economics program at George Mason. I was on the committee that wrote and evaluated the Austrian economics field exams. So I don’t think I can deny being an Austrian.

Daily Bell: Is free-banking the freest kind of money association available?

Lawrence White: Well that’s how I think of it. It’s a system based on a free contract without third- party legal interference between banks and customers. Various kinds of contracts are available. The ones we observe historically are the ones that we presume would prevail if free banking were re-established today. So it’s usually described as being based a gold or silver standard, which we saw historically before governments began to interfere.

Daily Bell: The idea is to let the market decide on the amount of reserves?

Lawrence White: Yes, in the sense that there would be competition among banks. Banks have a trade- off to consider between earning more interest and holding more reserves. Holding more reserves makes the bank safer. Being safer may be important for attracting customers. Not all banks may follow the same policy but people will sort themselves among banks according to how safe they think the banks are versus how big a return the bank pays. Most people want a very safe bank, so there is a market force that compels banks to act prudently. Remember deposits would not be guaranteed in a free banking system, so banks have to convince potential customers that they are trustworthy.

Daily Bell: Murray Rothbard believed the Central Bank of England had a role to play in the Scottish experiment. Can you expand?

Lawrence White: Rothbard wrote a review of my first book, Free Banking in Britain. Rothbard argued that the Bank of England, which was the central bank in England, played the central banking role toward the banks in Scotland and that we shouldn’t regard Scotland as a good example of a free banking system.

There were cases in which Scottish banks maintained a credit line at the Bank of England, and but the Bank of England actually cut off the credit line when it was needed, so it acted the opposite from the way a lender of last resort is supposed to operate. In that sense the Bank of England was not providing any protection or privileges to the Scottish bank. In general the Bank of England did not take any notice of what was going on in Scotland and did not supervise or restrict the Scottish system. I think Scotland is a good example of free banking.

Daily Bell: Can you give us a brief history of free banking?

Lawrence White: Numerous books have been written on this topic and I recommend a book edited by Kevin Dowd, entitled, The Experience of Free Banking. There are a dozen chapters and each chapter deals with free banking in a different country. Basically free banking is what arises naturally through market forces until government steps in to try to restrict banking. In countries with restricted banks we by and large see weak banking systems. In England for example, the Bank of England, we see monopoly privileges, which weakens the other banks in the system. In the United States, government restricted the chartering banks and the branching of banks and the note issuance of banks in ways that weakened the banks. By contrast, if you look at countries where banking is the freest – those countries like, say, Scotland before 1844, you have a system where you have large well capitalized banks, well branched, well diversified, very competitive, providing all the payment services and currency.

Daily Bell: Is the American experiment one of free banking?

Lawrence White: The United States had decentralization, but it did not have free banking. That is, state governments rather than the federal government performed the licensing and regulation of the banks. There was a ban on interstate branch banking. So you have to look at each state to get the whole picture. The area of the country that was closest to free banking was New England, where bank charters were given out fairly liberally; in other parts of the US, you had very strict restrictions on banks that created monopoly privileges or weakened banks in other ways. In some states, big government created a state-owned monopoly bank and didn’t allow any other banks. That is certainly not free banking. In the state of Illinois they banned all bank notes; that’s certainly not free banking.

Daily Bell: Could you have a private central bank within a free-banking system?

Lawrence White: That is an interesting question. A former colleague of mine at the University of Georgia, named Richard Timberlake, created wrote a paper on “the central banking role of clearing house associations.” So, we have to define what a central bank means before we can answer whether a central bank would arise within a free banking system. The best I can do is to list the major functions associated with central banking. There isn’t any one defining role of central banking. Some of the major roles are serving as the banker’s bank, regulating commercial banks, serving as the lender of last resort and all of those are things that private commercial bank clearing houses did. So you can think of those clearing house associations in the major cities as private central banks, in the sense that they served as banker’s banks, that is, banks pay each other by transferring money on the books of the Clearing House Association.

The Clearing House Association had membership standards, so in that sense it regulated the capital within a bank; banks had to have a certain amount of capital to be a member of the association and that’s because the members want assurance the other banks in the system wouldn’t default on their obligation. Occasionally in the United States, the Clearing House Association acted as lenders of last resort. They issued more currency when more currency was needed; they expanded the quantity of bank reserves temporarily when there was a temporary shortage of bank reserves during a financial panic. They did all those things. Now they weren’t central banks in two other senses. That is they did not have a monopoly of note issue, which is characteristic of central banks, and they did not conduct the monetary policy. They did not try to control the quantity of money in pursuit of economic growth or low inflation or low unemployment; they did not have a macro economic policy. But in respect to serving the interests of member banks, doing what banks want done on a joint basis, they served as central banks.

Daily Bell: Is it important to back money with gold and silver?

Lawrence White: The answer is yes if you want to have a non-political, self-regulating monetary system. Fiat money inherently is in the hands of the government and not self-regulating. A system based on gold or silver provides self-regulation of the quantity of money, because ultimately the quality of money isn’t going to grow any faster than the stock of gold or silver and that depends on the economics of gold mining.

So it’s market forces that determine the quantity of the most basic money and then it’s the banks themselves based on what the consumers are demanding that determine the quantity of bank- issued money. So it’s market forces that are prevailing both in the basic money and the bank- issued money rather than political influences. If you want a system that is self-regulating rather than politically restricting, yes, it’s important to back it with gold and or silver.

Daily Bell: Doesn’t a private gold and silver standard work hand-in-hand with a private, free banking model?

Lawrence White: Yes. One of the talks I gave as a very young man has recently re-surfaced on the Internet – on free banking and the gold standard. I believe it was 1983 when I gave this lecture. But that was my argument, yes, that the two of them work hand in hand. A private free banking model works when the quantity of reserves is determined by market forces rather than being subject to the whim of a central bank and vice versa. So they do work hand in hand.

Daily Bell: How do modern (mercantilist) central bankers know when they have printed enough money?

Lawrence White: Well it’s a problem for them; they don’t know. In a free-banking system, a bank that printed too much money would start losing its commodity reserves. That’s immediate feedback. Modern central banks don’t have to redeem bank notes with gold and or silver. Thus, they have no decentralized immediate feedback as to whether they have issued too much or too little. The best a central bank can do is look at macroeconomics indicators: the price level, the interest rate, the exchange rates, but those things often give conflicting indications. Central banks also have political pressures to try to pursue multiple inconsistent objectives, so there isn’t any unambiguous feedback as to when they have printed enough money or too much money. It’s an application of the Mises/Hayek argument against central planning that if you don’t have feedback from genuine market prices you are just fumbling in the dark.

Daily Bell: They always print too much?

Lawrence White: (Laughing). There is a chronic tendency to expand the quantity of money under fiat standards. It’s a source of revenue for the government to have the central banking printing money to either give it to them to spend or for purposes of indirectly buying federal government debt and thereby making it cheaper for the federal government to borrow money. So I think there’s a fiscal motive as why you see chronic inflation under fiat standards.

Daily Bell: Why hasn’t free banking caught on in the 21st century? Will it catch on yet?

Lawrence White: Well there are two meanings it your questions could have. One is to catch on intellectually and the other is that governments themselves dismantle restrictions on banking and move toward a free banking. There’s a certain amount of intellectual interest amongst some people. But in America, the Federal Reserve’s influence is very great. Many academic economists who are not Fed employees are nonetheless part-time employees or are consultants or present papers at Federal Reserve conferences.

This is a problem that Milton Friedman identified. If the major employer in the field has a certain point of view, you are not doing your career any good by antagonizing that potential employer. So there’s a tendency to not rock the boat, and the Fed is an enterprise that tries to engage them. The Fed has influence on the terms of the debate. The people who are editing the major journals in academic monetary economics have Fed linkages. They want to remain on good terms with their friends who are in the upper echelon of the Fed. The Federal Reserve Board itself is appointing more and more academic economists as governors, and of course Ben Bernanke was an academic economist before he was Chairman. So there is a kind of “go along to get along” tendency, which means you are not going to see a lot of eagerness to challenge the status quo.

Daily Bell: Is the Internet important in this resurgence of interest in private money?

Lawrence White: That’s a good question. I think one of the things that constrain bank regulations at the margins is the availability of offshore banking. And the Internet makes transferring money to and from an offshore bank account a little easier. So in that sense it helps to put a limit on the restriction of banks. Of course offshore banking is considered a loophole so there’s the battle on their part to try to shut it down.

Paypal, which of course is an Internet phenomenon, was started by a bunch of libertarians who thought they were wanted to come up with a payment mechanism that would compete with the Federal Reserve System. It turns out it was in their interest to make it more of an adjunct; a standard dollar transfer system instead, of creating their own currency. It’s very difficult to create your own currency in a world where people want to be paid with the stuff that they can turn around and spend; it’s a chicken- and or-egg problem. It’s hard to introduce a new currency until you get a critical mass but how do you get a critical mass? There is also E-Gold that provides gold- denominated accounts, transferable from account- holder to account- holder denominated in gold, but they are very small at this point and hassled by the authorities.

Daily Bell: It is true that private banks were the main issuers of paper currency in the United States and Canada a century ago, and were the sole issuers in virtually every country two centuries ago.

Lawrence White: Yes and this sound like a paraphrase of something I wrote. It’s true that the idea of the government issuing paper money only came along after government thought it deserved to get in on the act, or even monopolize the act, which they have done now. But before this happened, private institutions introduced this innovation. We are actually not sure when the first bank note was but sometime in the 1400s in Italy; then it takes off in the 1700s in England in a big way.

Daily Bell: Are private commercial banks more reliable than the current system?

Lawrence White: A system of laissez-faire private commercial banking would be more reliable than the current system. The current system is nominally private and based on commercial banks but the commercial banks are restricted by the government in many ways. I think a fully private system would be more reliable than the current system. The moral hazard problem, government guarantees on nominally private banks, the chickens come back to roost. Eliminating those kinds of guarantees, where everybody lives at the expense of everybody else, would be important in creating a more reliable system.

Daily Bell: Isn’t it true that a central bank enjoys “sovereign immunity” from claimholder lawsuits?

Lawrence White: Well that’s right. In a free banking system if you think your bank is acting in a way that makes it more likely to fail, you move your money across the street to a bank you perceive as safer. In a central banking system if you think your government is about to devalue, you can try to move some of your money into other currencies but it’s hard to move your checking account into another currency if you still want to write checks to people in your domestic economy.

There’s a limit to how much people can discipline the central bank by voting with their feet, and you can’t sue a bank that devalues currency. If they devalue the currency tomorrow, tough luck to you; whereas, under free banking if this note says it is redeemable for a silver dollar then they have to give you a silver dollar. But central banks don’t have contracts with their customers; their customers are captive in that way.

Daily Bell: You have written, “If domestic citizens want high-quality redeemable currency, they are better served by privatization of note-issue than by a central bank dollar peg.” Explain this, please.

Lawrence White: I was writing about developing countries in particular where the local central bank often takes pegs the local currency to the US dollar. In some places, it’s the euro. So the question is can the holders of those currencies rely on ‘the peg’? Can they be sure they are going to get as many dollars tomorrow as they are getting today for each unit of local currency? The answer is they can’t rely on it; they can’t sue the central bank if it devalues. By contrast if those countries would allow private commercial banks to issue dollar denominated currency, then and the courts would enforce those contractual obligations, and then they could rely on the forces of reputation among the competing banks to keep the currencies at par.

Daily Bell: You have written, “State bank notes weren’t nearly as bad as the older accounts make out, and their suppression by the Federal government wasn’t really motivated by quality concerns.” Can you explain this, please?

Lawrence White: That was in reference to the legislation test passed during the US Civil War to provide federally chartered system of banks that would issue what was called a uniform currency. One of the arguments for imposing federal charters and later for suppressing the issue of notes by state chartered banks was that the state chartered bank notes were unreliable and this legislation would provide a more uniformed system of currency.

I think it was a very disingenuous argument at the time. The real motive was the federal government wanted to finance the Civil War. It wanted to force- feed their federal debt to the banks and the way they did that was by saying to the banks you have to have federal debt in order to back your bank notes. They were particularly worried that the new federally chartered banks notes were going to add to the stock of money, together with the state bank notes and cause too much inflation, so they put a prohibitive tax on state bank notes and basically taxed them out of existence.

If the federal government had really wanted to raise the quality of the currency, it would have emulated the Canadian banking system where the banks were allowed to branch nation wide and thereby there was par acceptance nation wide. I think the talk about providing a uniform currency was just talk and it was really a revenue measure.

Daily Bell: Is it true that by the outbreak of the Civil War, sound state bank currencies were the norm?

Lawrence White: Well they were the norm in New England, which I said earlier was most like a free banking system. By and large most of the banking systems had been reformed and many of them had adopted what they called free banking laws, which weren’t laissez-faire but rather freer entry into banking. The notes available in other parts of the country weren’t close to 100 cents in New York or in Chicago.

Daily Bell: Is it true that the counterfeiting of state bank notes was generally less profitable than the counterfeiting of today’s central bank currencies, because private bank notes don’t stay in circulation long?

Lawrence White: I am not sure about the counterfeiting of state bank notes but I do know about the counterfeiting of notes in private free banking systems like Scotland. Namely that it wasn’t a big problem. By the way, this is the subject on which I was called to testify before a congressional committee, the only time in my life. This was at the invitation of Ron Paul back when they were redesigning the Federal Reserve notes and he wanted to insert somewhere into the discussion something about the character of the currency and not just the technical problems of counterfeiting.

Someone on his staff noticed that I my book Free Banking in Britain had this discussion of how counterfeiting was not a problem under free banking and so I came in and explained that to several congressman. (I think there were three in the room.) I said counterfeiting is not just a technical problem. One of the things that eases counterfeiting is how long it is between the time the note is printed and somebody spots it, because if it’s been traded through dozens and dozens of hands, the trail is going to be very cold at that point and it’s going to be a lot harder to trace it back to the originator.

But in free banking systems notes behave more like checks, that is they go into circulation and came out of circulation fairly frequently. Scottish bankers estimated it was about a week on average between the issuing of a note and its return to the clearinghouse. A note would be put into circulation; it would be spent at a shop, and the shopkeeper would take the notes at the end of the day and put them in his own bank. His own bank would sort them out and run them through the clearing system and back to the banks that issued them.

The notes would be under the scrutiny of the banks that issued them and they would be able to spot counterfeiting pretty quickly. The Scottish banks had a policy that if someone came to the counter with a counterfeit note or a fake note, they would accept it at face value, providing the customer could tell them where he or she got it. Then they would go back and trace it to the counterfeiter. the origin.

Daily Bell: Is it true that today’s central bank currency monopolies from government’s appetite for revenue?

Lawrence White: I think that is basically true. If you look at arguments for why the government should issue currency, there are people who’ve tried to argue there is some kind of market failure. Either private issuers are unreliable, and so there endemic fraud and the government can provide a more reliable currency, or there’s some kind of natural monopoly and so the government can more efficiently be the sole currency issuer.

I think there really isn’t any historical merit or empirical content to either of those arguments; I think they are both wrong. So what is left is the revenue motive for monopolizing the issue of currency; it’s a way of generating revenue for the central government and especially it’s a way of raising revenue in a hurry when there’s an emergency need. If you have a government monopoly central bank and are on a gold standard, you suspend the gold standard, if you are not, then issue as much money as you need to finance the emergency expenditures. You can’t do that as directly if the money is in private hands.

Daily Bell: Please comment on Real Bills and how they work.

Lawrence White: “Real bills” are simply the short-term IOUs of firms who are financing real goods in the process of production. For example Joe the Baker might buy flour from a grain mill and pay the miller with a bill that says: “Joe the Baker will pay $1000 in 90 days.” He figures to repay after he’s baked the flour into bread and sold the bread. The miller can either wait for the bill to mature, or he can sell it immediately to a banker, who will discount the bill, that is, pay him something less than $1000, the present discounted value of $1000 due in 90 days. Bills of this sort were an important source of business credit in the nineteenth century, and a major category of assets in a typical bank’s asset portfolio. They had low default risk, low interest-rate risk, and were very easy to re-sell in case the bank needed to replenish its reserves.

The “Real Bills Doctrine” has been important in the history of monetary theory. It is the mistaken idea that if the banking system lends only by discounting real bills, it can’t over-expand. It’s a dangerous idea when applied to a central bank, because limiting a central bank to real bills discounting doesn’t actually prevent it from over-issuing, and following the Real Bill Doctrine will lead a central bank to over-expand money – rather than letting interest rates rise to reach their new equilibrium level – whenever the business demand for credit rises.

Daily Bell: Have you done all you intend to do regarding free banking?

Lawrence White: Oh, I doubt it. There are still so many interesting questions out there. I have students working on research on free banking and I’m working on a paper with George Selgin and a third economist named Bill Lastrapes, which is not directly on free banking but is critical of the record of the Federal Reserve System. It’s connected to the idea that government control of the monetary system has not given us better results. There are lots of historical and theoretical issues that remain interesting to try to examine in more detail.

Daily Bell: What books do you recommend on the topic.

Lawrence White: On the topic of free banking, the Von Mises’ book, Theory of Money and Credit and his book Human Action. Also Adam Smith’s, Wealth of Nations; Barris Vera Smith’s book, The Rational of Central Banking. My books, too, and the books of George Selgin, who was a student of mine, not that I taught him anything. He knew everything before I met him.

Daily Bell: Professor White thank you for being so generous with your time today.

Lawrence White: You are welcome.

There is a wealth of knowledge in this interview, and we are pleased to be able to pro-offer it to those who stop by the Daily Bell. Lawrence White is indeed a gracious and generous man to share his time and knowledge so freely. Once can see that simply by reading his words. He certainly doesn’t duck controversial issues, either. In fact, the issues he addresses lie at the center of an ongoing controversy in the ranks of Austrian Economics. They have to do with whether fractional-reserve (gold and silver) banking is inherently fraudulent. We come down on side of free-markets and have urged that the debate center on letting the market decide – once free-banking is legal again. This seems to us a rational conclusion.

In business, as we have often pointed out, there are many instances where customers are promised fulfillment in one form or another while the business itself does not have requisite supply. Airlines do this all the time with seats, promising too many of them because they know from past experience that not all passengers will show up. Additionally, just-in-time manufacturing relies on ordering certain goods as the contract is signed. Some companies will not make a suit, a car, even a house, until the goods are paid for partially or in full. We can see in many instances that business receives money and yet does not have the promised product in house.

Professor White also does us a service by simplifying the Real Bills debate. The Real Bills debate has raged for some time and his perspective clarified matters in our view. Ultimately, what we come away with is that the market itself can easily sort out these issues. Real bills, fractional reserve (private banking) even private central banks (clearing houses, really) all can likely work (and probably did) within a private environment that uses the invisible hand of competition to discipline the system and separate what works from what doesn’t.

Even though Professor White was doing his best to simplify free-banking issues, they remain complex for most people because they are theoretical constructs and not part of daily life, as they once were. However, (leaving aside Professor White’s fine work) we want to point out that Austrian finance is not an arcane, desolate or indecipherable backwater, or not anymore. The Ludwig von Mises Institute – especially – has helped make Austrian economics available to anyone who wanted to learn about the way the world really works. (And we can acknowledge this even though on some issues, like free-banking, we and others have perceived different solutions.)

Though some of the texts are complex, and some of the issues seem formidable, Austrian economics does NOT rely on econometrics or other fanciful projective analyses to prove its points (or not yet anyway). Additionally, from what we can tell, Austrian economics has not, at least in the 20th century, focused zealous on the microeconomics – an economic discipline that tends in our view to isolate various concepts and thus make the whole more difficult to discern.

What Murray Rothbard (and Lew Rockwell, and even Lawrence White in his own way) have shown us over and over again is that Austrian economics is NOT the property of an academically literate few but the heritage of every thinking man and woman who wants to build a better life and create a better future. We would urge people who want to fully understand how free-markets work to push through the complexities of Austrian economic texts by reading the many simple annotations now available on the ‘Net generally or at the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

Austrian economics is about the heart and soul of human beings. You can apply it to any part of human activity and come away with a better idea of how the world REALLY works. One reason why Austrian economics has succeeded in the 21st century is because it is truly comprehensible to most people, once they start reading the literature (when it was finally available on the ‘Net). Not only is it comprehensible, but it is truthful and shows us how we can live better lives in a communal (free-market) aggregate. Venezuela’s dictator Hugo Chavez, in one of his more memorable quotes, said, “Socialism is love.” He had it wrong. “Austrian economics is love.” And free market. And freedom.

THE INEVITABLE COLLAPSE OF COLLECTIVISM

Where does government get the ‘right’ to take from one individual and give to another?

It has none. A democratic majority or an oligarchic minority are themselves composed of only individuals and have no right to steal from any other individual.

If a group has no right to do such ‘redistribution’ (theft), then by doing so, that group goes against the natural law.

If an individual or group of individuals goes against the natural law and steal from you, then you as a natural person, are obligated by nature/god to defend yourself and to fight against it.

These groups however, know you might go against them, so they offer to give you a ‘cut’ of the stolen loot. This amounts to a bribe, and if you take such bribes and go along, then you yourself are guilty of theft.

How long can such theft go on? It cannot last as people are innately greedy and will continue to steal more and more. Furthermore, thieves are never good at managing wealth. For a thief it is always “easy come, easy go”. They have no respect for hard work and the effort it takes to really create something, so they spend without regard to the difficulty of real production.

Eventually those who work the hardest shall be in shackles to those who can keep them working the hardest. But even that has limits. The fact is, collectivism is an unsustainable concept that always ends in collapse.

2010, Jun, 27 – 1:33 AM
Post by Tyler Jordan

IF YOU’RE NOT AN EXTREMIST, YOU’RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION

Author Kevin Carson;
Originally posted on Oct 14, 2010
@ Center for a Stateless Society

If you follow U.S. cable news and mainstream editorial pages, you’ve probably learned that some arguments don’t have to be answered. They just have to be quoted or paraphrased, with an eye roll, and summarily dismissed.

So you get Keith Olbermann treating suggestions that the federal government might become tyrannical, and have to be disobeyed or resisted, as entertaining lunacy on the same order as David Ickes’ “space lizard” talk. And establishment liberals on CNN give pretty much the same treatment to Noam Chomsky’s views on the corporate nature of American foreign policy.

You see, the critics of federal law enforcement’s tyranny, or of America’s frequently democidal corporate foreign policy, are “extremists.” The unspoken implication is that the way things are represents some sort of mainstream consensus, something that “we as a society agree on,” about the way things ought to be.

If you stop to think about it, the words “extremist” and “moderate” are really meaningless. They classify an assertion about reality based not on its truth value, but on where it lies on the bell curve of public opinion.

But the thing is, the extremists are usually right on the facts. If you don’t know it, it’s only because you’re ignorant.

If you think the anti-government paranoids of right and left are “extremists,” it’s a safe bet you don’t know much of anything at all about the actual historical record of federal law enforcement, the content of legislation like the 1996 Counter-Terrorism Act or USA PATRIOT, or the broad range of “national security” powers claimed by the Executive in the event of martial law proclaimed unilaterally by … wait for it … the Executive.

If you think Noam Chomsky’s a raving anti-American lunatic, it’s a safe bet that you don’t know anything about the role of the U.S. government after WWII in setting up provisional governments staffed by former Axis collaborators, about the things the U.S. government did in Guatemala in 1954 and Jakarta in 1965, about Operation Condor, or about the School of the Americas.

What it comes down to is that the “mainstream consensus” is manufactured — manufactured by the very institutions that depend on it for their survival. One of the most important functions in any society is the cultural apparatus, whose job is to reproduce a population that accepts the system of power as legitimate and as the only natural or inevitable way of doing things. The range of “mainstream” or “moderate” policy proposals, by definition, encompasses only those policies that can be carried out within the existing framework of dominant institutions, by the kinds of people currently running them. Any proposal that requires fundamental changes in the institutional framework or structure of power is, by definition, “extremist.”

You should also bear in mind that the fundamental structure of power itself did not, in fact, come about through a general public consensus in which “we as a society agreed” that things ought to be this way. It came about as a radical change, imposed from above, by the consensus of a small minority of society. The corporate economy that emerged in the Gilded Age was brought about by a tiny minority of plutocrats who exercised unaccountable control of the government. The transformation of the corporate economy into the full-blown managerial state capitalism of the 20th century, likewise, was brought about by a tiny fraction of the population with no real debate in society at large.

American foreign policy throughout the 20th century, right up to the present, has been driven by considerations of these tiny plutocratic and managerial elites. But the average American uncritically accepts a view of the world, absorbed through the media and the publik skools, in which the United States has pursued a foreign policy of promoting “freedom,” “feeds the world,” and has never started a war for sordid reasons of money or power. Far from learning the real nature of the power elite that controls the American corporate state (as described by sociologists C. Wright Mills and G. William Domhoff), the average American learns that our society is governed by some sort of interest group pluralism, in which government shifts back and forth over time between Democrats and Republicans as the majority consensus changes.

If you’re not an extremist, it’s because the cultural reproduction apparatus is doing its job. As George Carlin put it in his “It’s a Big Club and You Ain’t in It” routine (unfortunately there’s no way to quote it at length and still get this printed on a newspaper op-ed page), the “real owners” of America need a population that’s just smart enough to keep doing their jobs — but too stupid to look at the man behind the curtain.

Just Say No!

Column by Paul Hein.

Exclusive to STR

It is interesting to read what St. Augustine had to say about what we now call government:

A gang is a group of men under the command of a leader, bound by a compact of association, in which the plunder is divided according to an agreed convention. If this villainy wins so many recruits from the ranks of the demoralized that it acquires territory, establishes a base, captures cities and subdues peoples, it then openly arrogates to itself the title of kingdom, which is conferred on it in the eyes of the world, not by the renunciation of aggression, but by the attainment of impunity.

One is tempted to paraphrase the poet: When plunder doth succeed, none dare call it plunder.

Indeed, the plunder has become so common, and the plunderers so smug and self-confident, that their predations are taken for granted, and the thieves themselves treated with extraordinary deference! It is something akin to the Stockholm syndrome. You encounter the same mugger at the same spot every day, and eventually establish a sort of bizarre relationship with him—-even, eventually, thanking him for not taking more. When you are given the opportunity to replace him with another mugger, you vote for the incumbent—sticking with the devil you know, unless his opponent offers to share more of his loot with you.

What brought these thoughts to mind involves the bailouts and other forms of stimuli now being inflicted upon us. I have not counted the times when some pundit on television has bemoaned these extravagances, saying something like, “And our children and their children will have to pay for all this,” or “pity the poor taxpayer, who must pay for all this,” but they must be legion. Wait a minute! What do they mean, “HAVE to pay for all this,” or “MUST pay for all this?” If productive Americans accept the idea that they must accept financial responsibility for government largess to its cronies, then what can be the objection to the bailouts?

How refreshing it would be to hear those same pundits who bemoan the absurdity of government bailouts bemoan with equal logic and passion the idea that we, the people who produce this country’s wealth, can be saddled with the debts of strangers! I assume they fail to notice the injustice of it because it has become so common that, as St. Augustine pointed out, the hapless victims have become subdued and demoralized, and the thieves, now well-established and empowered, have assumed the roles, if not the titles, of nobility.

When you think about it (and wouldn’t it be wonderful if people did!), you can only be struck numb with amazement. Can you go into a store, order thousands of dollars worth of goods, and then tell the clerk to send the bill to assorted strangers? Obviously, you cannot do such a thing, and, in fact, it would probably never even occur to you to attempt such a preposterous act. Yet your elected “representatives” do it regularly, with impunity, spending not thousands, but billions, based upon the power which, we are told, we have delegated to them, although in fact they somehow gave themselves the power they use.

But not to worry! Everything is entirely legal and above-board. Overlook, please, the fact that the plunderers themselves write the “laws” which enable them to plunder! While you’re at it, overlook as well the fact that when existing laws might hamper their activities, those laws are disregarded. Indignant victims could sue, of course, but the issue would be settled in a court owned and operated by your opponent, with one of his gang–with a vested interest in the outcome–on the bench. All entirely legal, of course!

So: what to do? One could learn a lesson from the experience of Prohibition. Massive civil disobedience overwhelmed the rulers, although in that instance, the massive disobedience involved the public doing something it wanted to do–drink alcohol. True, today’s public no doubt wants to hold onto its earnings, but merely being allowed to retain a portion of those earnings, by a government much more powerful than that of Prohibition, satisfies many. It’s that Stockholm syndrome, again.

Perhaps state legislators might be persuaded to question how the states (and the citizens thereof, of course) can be made parties to the debts of the federal government that is, after all, to be the servant of the people and the states. State government is closer to the people, and, perhaps, less intimidating than the federal government. If the states still consider themselves sovereign, how can they stand by while the residents of those states are impoverished by the federal government? Somebody call the sheriff!

Simplest of all, surely, would be the simple “I’ve had enough” uttered by the poor, beleaguered citizens. It wouldn’t take a majority of fed-up victims to put the fear of the voter (they don’t fear the Lord) into the houses of Congress.

A few days ago I saw a TV news program showing thousands of people lined up to get applications for federal housing assistance. What they wanted, of course, was to use the government to obtain your money for their benefit. They didn’t seem at all ashamed of their demands, and the reporters at the scene found nothing remarkable about it except the large numbers at the turnout, which reflected, they said, the sad state of the economy. Unfortunately, they didn’t equate the sad state of the economy with precisely the sort of activity being documented.

If the tax-feeders can congregate in the thousands to demand more benefits from the productive, surely the productive can do the same thing to demand that the plunder cease!

KNOW YOUR CREATOR!

http://www.yantaru.com

WHO IS ALLAH?

“Allah” is the exclusive and greatest name of the one God that the great Prophets Abraham,
Noah, Moses, the Messiah Jesus, and Muhammad all worshipped, served, and invited others to
obey. Allah is neither body, nor mind, nor spirit; neither a man nor a woman; neither male nor
female; neither black nor white; and neither confined nor defined by time or space. We refer to
Allah using “He” and “Him” only because He has referred to Himself using these masculine
pronouns in His revealed books not because He is male. Nothing is like Him; and He hears and
sees all things.

Know (may Allah guide us and you) that Allah (glorified and exalted is He) is one in His
dominion and the Creator of the entire universe, the Heavenly Throne, the Heavenly Chair, the
heavens, the Earth, and all that is in them. All creatures are subdued by His absolute power.
There is no atom that moves except with His permission. There is neither any manager of
creation nor partner in dominion along with Him. He is the Living, the One who Sustains and
Administers all creation, and neither drowsiness nor sleep can overcome Him.

The Knower of the Seen and Unseen, nothing in the heavens or the Earth is hidden from Him.
He knows all that is in the land and sea. Not a leaf drops except that He is aware of it. There is
not a seed buried in the darkness of the ground, or anything moist or dry except that He has
recorded its existence in a Clear Book.

He encompasses all things with His knowledge and He knows their exact number. He is the Doer
of what He pleases and Able to bring into existence whatever He wills.

To Him alone belongs the dominion and absolute independence from others; to Him alone
belongs utter power and eternal permanence; to Him alone belongs praise and glorification; and
to Him alone belongs the most beautiful names.

There is none who can avert what He has predestined, or withhold what He has freely given. He
does whatever He wants in His dominion. He rules in His creation however He wills, He does
not hope for any reward nor fear any punishment.

There is no right that He owes, nor any judgment upon Him, so every blessing from Him is but
generosity and every punishment from Him is but justice. He cannot be questioned regarding
what He does but we shall be questioned.

His existence preceded creation. He has neither “before” nor “after”, neither “above” nor
“below”, neither “right” nor “left”, neither “in front of” nor “behind”, and neither “all-ness’’ nor
“some-ness”.

And it cannot be asked regarding Him, “When was He?” or “Where is He?” or “How is He?” He
creates all beings and controls time. He neither needs time nor space.

His reality cannot be grasped by deluded imaginations, He cannot be understood by the intellect,
He cannot be limited by the mind, He cannot be envisioned by the soul, He cannot be conceived
by the imagination, He does not conform to your understanding, and He cannot be comprehended
through thought and contemplation. He is exalted beyond having any likeness or equal. There is
nothing like Him; and He is the All-Hearing and All-Seeing.

KNOW YOUR CREATOR!

Statism Taxes

Column by Jake Roundtree, posted on October 14, 2010
in Statism Taxes

Exclusive to STR

The view of the government as the savior of mankind, the organizer of society and the progenitor of morality, is in present times “profoundly integrated into the depths of our consciousness” (Ellul, 216). Keen observers, since Nietzsche, have recognized the overwhelming degree to which citizens of the West are afflicted with what we can call a “political mentality.” This disorder dulls the mind, immobilizes the spirit and narrows the vision of its host. Effectively, it makes men into submissive creatures, ignorant of even the possibility of alternatives to a politicized life. Every issue, no matter how personal, is raised to the level of politics. Today in the West we find that the state has succeeded in its total conquering of man by infiltrating every aspect of his character. Rousseau famously recognized that if the state is to ascend to ultimate authority, it must train its subjects from an early age to “consider their individual selves only in relation to the body of the state, and to see their own existence only as a part of its existence” and only then “may they finally come to identify themselves . . . with the greater whole” (Social Contract, 2.7: 163). In our age, public education, mass media, public intellectuals and government officials function as the shapers of the minds of citizens.

Nevertheless, many men in the West are not merely passive political subjects; they are impassioned defenders of state power; they religiously believe that the state is the ultimate source of all justice and that it is an omnipotent force capable of cleanly transforming society into a Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. If the state is tasked by its faithful to “immanentize the eschaton,” then it must be reflexively believed by nearly everyone that providing the state with its means of existence is a moral imperative. This translates to the belief that everyone who earns an income or has some level of wealth is obligated to pay taxes unless the state beneficently grants him an exception. Such a widespread belief is the legitimating source of the state’s power to viciously punish and morally condemn tax evaders. In fact, the masses, fully imbued with the spirit of equality, are thoroughly convinced that anyone who deviates from the uniform code of ethics founded on equality is an enemy of justice and is deserving of harsh treatment.

The mass-man, blinded by the mystical vision of the state, believes that civilization is a gift from the state and thus taxes are what all citizens owe in exchange. For the mass-man, people who refuse to pay taxes are refusing to sacrifice for the public good, are challenging the very essence of the mass-man’s world-vision, and are leveling an assault on the social order. It is even claimed by many that tax evasion is tantamount to stealing from the public.

In the masses’ equalitarian vision of the world, there is no room for individuality; the individual is denigrated as a pariah, which can be seen in the vitriolic attacks the masses and their leaders regularly make on profits, wealth and capitalism. The individual is deemed the most immoral character in our society, because he is unwilling to develop the highly exalted virtue of obedience; instead he follows his own conscience and will. The envious hatred of individuals is so strong that those who commit the crime of benefiting financially from improving the human condition are regularly sacrificed on the altar of the state in a process called “progressive taxation.”

These beliefs concerning the moral imperative of paying taxes are so widespread that even those few who do not believe in either the myth that “the state is god” or that the state is necessary are too terrified to openly defy the state. Those who do evade taxes do so in a very clandestine manner, in order to ensure that they are not punished by the full force of public opinion, as embodied in the state.

“Free Market Capitalism” is an Oxymoron

Posted by Kevin Carson on Jul 17, 2010 in Commentary

It’s pretty much standard for the chattering classes — both liberal and conservative — to refer to something called “our free market system,” also known as “free market capitalism.” To the extent that the right-wingers at Fox and CNBC or on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal advocate some purer form of “free markets” in contrast to the existing economy, what they mean is essentially the present model of corporate capitalism without the regulatory or welfare state.

But the form taken by the existing capitalist system that we live under owes precious little to free markets. From its beginnings in the late Middle Ages, it has been shaped by massive and ceaseless intervention and enforcement of privilege — much of it breathtakingly brutal — by the state. To adapt a phrase from Orwell, the past has been a boot stamping on a human face.

The state played a central role in creating the defining characteristic of capitalism as we know it: the wage system. Had free markets been allowed to develop peacefully, with the peasant majorities remaining in control of their land and with free access to the means of subsistence, labor markets would likely have taken a much different form. Employers would have had to compete with the possibility of self-employment, available to the vast majority of the population. But thanks to Enclosures and similar land expropriations over a period of several centuries, the majority of the population was turned into a landless proletariat totally dependant on wage labor for its subsistence.

As if this weren’t enough, the British state imposed totalitarian social controls on the working class in the early days of the Industrial Revolution to reduce the bargaining power of labor. The Laws of Settlement, for example, acted as a sort of internal passport system, forbidding workers to leave their parish of birth in search of better terms of employment without permission. The Poor Law authorities then came to the rescue of employers in the underpopulated industrial North, by auctioning off laborers — cheaply — from the parish workhouses of London.

Over a period of several centuries the European powers brought most of the Earth under their subjection and imposed similar land expropriations and social controls on the peoples of the Third World, and looted the mineral resources and raw materials of most of the world.

A wide range of thinkers, from the free market anarchist Lysander Spooner to the Marxist Immanuel Wallerstein, have pointed out historic capitalism’s continuities with feudalism. Capitalism, as a historic system of political economy, was really just an outgrowth of feudalism with markets grafted in and allowed to operate in the interstices to a limited extent.

The state also played a central role in the rise of corporate capitalism from the late 19th century on. The railroad land grants created a single national market in the U.S., externalizing the costs of long-distance distribution on the taxpayer, and led to industrial firms and markets far larger than would otherwise have existed. Patent law and assorted regulations passed during the Progressive Era served to cartelize markets under the control of a handful of oligopoly firms.

In the twentieth century, the state played a growing role in absorbing the surplus output of overbuilt industry or guaranteeing an overseas market for it. The leading industrial sectors were state creations: the automobile-highway complex, civil aviation, the miliitary-industrial complex and outgrowths like miniaturized electronics and industrial automation.

The neoliberal economy of the past twenty years is overwhelmingly dependent on the draconian enforcement of “intellectual property” law. The dominant sectors in the corporate global economy — software, entertainment, biotech, pharma, agribusiness, electronics — are all almost entirely dependent for their profits either on “intellectual property” or direct subsidies from the state. The central function of the U.S. national security state since WWII has been to make the world safe for corporate power through the overthrow of unfriendly governments.

Both the statist right and the statist left, for their own reasons, equate the “free market” to corporate capitalism, and promote the myth that corporate capitalism as we know it is what would naturally have emerged from a free market absent state intervention to prevent it. The statist right want to defend the legitimacy of big business, and the statist left want to make you think you need them to defend you against big business.

But the exact opposite is true. Big business has been a creature of the state from the beginning. And genuinely free markets would operate as dynamite at the foundations of corporate power.

And that’s exactly what those of us on the free market left want to do.

Nanny State

It can be a very effective technique in debate to take your opponent’s statement and reword it to make your own point. Steven Landsburg shares with us what he would have written if he had been the writer for a New York Times article on New York State’s proposed minimum wage law for nannies (emphasis added):

New York state may soon become the first state to restrict employment opportunities for nannies.

The state Senate passed a bill this week that would prohibit New York’s approximately 200,000 household workers from accepting any position that does not include paid holidays, overtime pay and sick days.

Opponents say the step will bring unnecessary hardship to thousands of women—and some men—who have found employment because of labor markets that operate freely, except for constraints imposed by the federal minimum wage.

Yes, if only they wouldn’t pass this minimum wage law, we could get back to the free market. As Kevin Carson might say, “Jesus, vulgar much?”:

Vulgar libertarian apologists for capitalism use the term “free market” in an equivocal sense: they seem to have trouble remembering, from one moment to the next, whether they’re defending actually existing capitalism or free market principles. So we get the standard boilerplate article arguing that the rich can’t get rich at the expense of the poor, because “that’s not how the free market works”–implicitly assuming that this is a free market. When prodded, they’ll grudgingly admit that the present system is not a free market, and that it includes a lot of state intervention on behalf of the rich. But as soon as they think they can get away with it, they go right back to defending the wealth of existing corporations on the basis of “free market principles.”

[…]

See, laborers just happen to be stuck with this crappy set of options–the employing classes have absolutely nothing to do with it. And the owning classes just happen to have all these means of production on their hands, and the laboring classes just happen to be propertyless proletarians who are forced to sell their labor on the owners’ terms. The possibility that the employing classes might be directly implicated in state policies that reduced the available options of laborers is too ludicrous even to consider.

In the world the rest of us non-vulgar libertoids inhabit, of course, things are a little less rosy…

…the general legal framework (as Benjamin Tucker described it) restricted labor’s access to its own capital through such forms of self-organization as mutual banks. As a result of this “money monopoly,” workers were forced to sell their labor in a buyer’s market on terms set by the owning classes, and thus pay tribute (in the form of a wage less than their labor-product) for access to the means of production.

Charles Johnson understands the effects the state has on the labor market:

government-imposed distortions of the markets in labor, capital, land, and ideas (inter alia) artificially constrain opportunities for people to make a living for themselves, distorting the labor market to keep disproportionate power in the hands of a small and privileged class of rentiers. Without those market distortions, a law against paying workers $4 an hour would matter about as much as a law against selling pork-chops in Mecca — objectionable on principle, but mainly negligible as a strategic matter, due to a dearth of identifiable victims.

But none of this is to imply that I disagree with Landsburg about the destructiveness of the minimum wage. I’m nuanced like that. Charles again:

But as long as those coercive distortions are substantially in place, we do have to keep in mind how bosses will predictably react to additional coercive counter-distortions that are piled on top to correct for the predictable effects of the first distortion, without actually changing anything about the root causes. And with the predictable patterns of reaction in mind, and their current position of power within the labor market, I don’t think we have to turn into a bunch of vulgar Friedmaniacs or Misoids to agree with them that the effects of keeping, or worse, raising legally-enforced price floors on labor are going to be generally quite destructive, and most destructive to those who need most badly to find a place to sell their labor…

…in spite of fact that the anti-minimum-wage argument has mainly been promulgated with a vulgar libertarian tone, the thing for left libertarians to do in response is not to kick it back down to the bottom of the priorities ladder, but rather to take it up themselves and re-conceptualize the debate — to treat minimum wage laws and the rest of coercively protective labor legislation as of a piece with government licensure cartels, zoning laws, the health and building codes favored by the Public Interest and Private Property Values racket, etc., as an integral part of the corporate liberal system of coercive power, which coercively ratchet up poor folks’ fixed costs of living while coercively ratcheting down their opportunities to scratch up a living.

So, yes, Steve, it ain’t a good thing. But can’t we say so without also saying completely ridiculous things like “except for constraints imposed by the federal minimum wage,” labor markets “operate freely”?

Why Obey

You ought to obey because you are forced to. Hobbes.
You ought to obey because you have promised to. Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and other believers in the Social Contract.
You ought to obey because it is in your interest. Plato, Hobbes, Bentham.
You ought to obey because it is in the general interest. Locke, Rousseau, Mill, Green.
You ought to obey because it is you who are giving the orders. Hobbes, Rousseau, Bosanquet and other believers in the General Will.
You ought to obey because God wants you to. Mediaeval writers.
You ought to obey because the Sovereign is God’s anointed. Absolute Monarchists.
You ought to obey because the Sovereign is descended from someone who had the right to be obeyed. Legitimists.
You ought to obey because your government exemplifies the highest point yet reached in the spiritual development of man. Hegel. This can hardly be true of all governments.
You ought to obey because your government has history on its side. Marx. Again, this may not be true of all governments.
You ought to obey because you ought to obey. Some English moralists.
You ought to obey because it is tradition
You have no obligation to obey. Anarchists.

To Reduce Them Under Absolute Despotism

http://ncc-1776.org/tle2010/tle568-20100502-02.html

The smirky caller asked, “You really believe Barack Obama is a socialist?” He went on to assert that the President is pro-business, a capitalist.

The show’s host—amazingly, one of talk radio’s Big Three—stuttered and stammered inarticulately, never really answering the caller’s question, until he was finally rescued by the next commercial break. The fact is, even if he’d known exactly what socialism is, and how to spot it in the people all around you, he wouldn’t have dared to say so, because Republicans, conservatives, have a dirty little secret.

Just like Barack Obama, they are socialists, too.

I don’t know whether anybody tries, these days, to teach school kids about such things. I was in grade school at the beginning of the Cold War, and I was the son of an officer in Strategic Air Command. Herbert Philbrick (look him up) was very big back then, as was a little book called What We Must Know About Communism, by Harry A. Overstreet and Bonaro Wilkins Overstreet. You can still find it at Amazon.com.

Despite several years spent reading extensively about communism, for school and on my own, and studying the lives and works of self- described socialists like H.G. Wells and George Bernard Shaw, I remained as ignorant as that radio talk show host, and for a very good reason: not one of the “experts” I was reading had any clearer an idea what socialism is than I had. Most of them still don’t, to this very day.

Once you get past all the mystical gobbledegook of the Hegelian Dialectic—inserted as a smokescreen, to elevate common thievery, rape, and murder to a level of nobility—what you saw then, what you still see even now, is a boring and inaccurate economic definition, of socialism, all about who gets to own and control “the means of production”.

Economics is, at best, a secondary or tertiary concern to folks who think about such matters. It is necessarily a product, in the proper order of things, of a whole lot of thinking that has to come before it. You must begin with metaphysics—which tries to answer the question, “What is the nature of reality?”—or better yet, you can start with epistemology, which asks us, “How do I know what I know?”

Between epistemology and economics, there’s ethics, which asks the question, “What is the good?” or, more pertinently, “What should I do?” The order in which you approach this is critical. If you try to base your ethics on your economics, you’ll end up organizing Death Panels.

It is the ethical definition of socialism that’s critical here—and dangerous to conservatives. Socialists believe that the needs and wants of society are more important than the rights of the individual. (Individualists will argue that there is no such thing as “society” in an ethical sense, since it consists of nothing more than individuals.)

“Society” can also be defined as “the group” or “the collective”, manifesting itself in various different ways, as your community, your race, your school, your fraternity, your military unit or the military in general, your corporation, your union, your party, your government, your nation, your family, your lodge, or your church, each claiming to be, in some sense, larger than the individual and for that reason more important.

To socialists, who are inclined to perceive other people as bees or ants, eternally and unquestioningly loyal to hive or hill, size matters. And yet when you examine all of these august entities closely, and observe that they are comprised of nothing more than the individuals who make them up, such a point of view becomes absurd and pathetic.

A word about family. Of all the groups that sometimes claim to own your life, family is the hardest to defend your individual sovereignty from. For the most part, we love our families. Although there are occasional exceptions, not everyone experienced a terrible childhood or suffered nightmarish parents, the way it’s often portrayed on television.

Our first job in life is to grow up, achieve autonomy, make our own decisions without regard to whether our parents may approve or not. If we have the right parents, they’ll want us to do exactly that. At the other end, as parents, we owe it to our kids to help them along the same path to independence, even if it’s sometimes difficult or painful.

As a husband and father, what I do with my life remains my choice. While I would willingly give my life to protect my wife and daughter, this doesn’t mean that they own me or that they have more rights—as a group—than I do. It simply reflects their inexpressibly high value to me. Among billions of husbands and fathers, I am obviously far from alone in this outlook. And in the natural world, where the operating system is evolution by natural selection, it makes good sense.

Individual family members share with one another freely, without regard to the ability of any one of them to pull his own weight. (For a surprisingly long period after she was born, my daughter was unable to deliver newspapers.) That’s just the way it is, and the way it has to be. I believe it was Ludwig von Mises who pointed out that socialism is a misguided attempt to apply what happens in the family to society at large, an attempt that usually ends in privation and violence.

But I have digressed.

Go back and look over that list of things that you’re expected to give your loyalty to and even sacrifice your life for. Over the centuries, they’ve learned to make it all sound wonderful and noble. However when you begin to see these institutions as nothing more than bunches of individuals, each with no more rights in the natural world than you have (and no extra, or bonus rights miraculously obtained by claiming to be something other than what they are, nothing more than a bunch of individuals), they start to look like tribes of cannibals or vampires, eagerly anticipating the tasty sacrifice of another deluded victim.

And when you suddenly notice that, of all these institutions—community, race, school, fraternity, military, corporation, union, party, government, nation, family, lodge, church—more than half are treasured by conservatives, their dirty little secret is exposed by the hot, bright light of the truth: your rights, provided they exist at all, come in a distant second to the needs and wants of these aggregations.

Conservatives—Republicans—are socialists.

True, they may desire to hold you down atop the stone altar and cut your still-beating heart out with an obsidian knife for a set of entirely different reasons—national security, Judaeo-Christian traditions, “common” decency—than the liberals or “progressives” or Democrats do, but to you, the important part is cutting your heart out with an obsidian knife, not whatever excuse they may offer for doing it.

This is why, no matter which political party happens to be in power, ordinary people—whose thinking and hard work maintain this civilization each and every day—never seem to get an even break with regard to their individual liberty or holding onto the fruits of their labor. It’s why the late philosopher Robert LeFevre referred to Democrats and Republicans as “Socialist Party A” and “Socialist Party B”.

Never forget that it was a Republican, Abraham Lincoln, who freed not a single, solitary slave, but merely nationalized slavery in the form of income taxation and conscription, who presided over the violent deaths of 620,000 Americans to preserve a political abstract, to retain his political and military power, to enrich his mercantilist friends, and to suppress the basic human right of an entire region of the country to associate—or disassociate—with whomever they wished.

Never forget that it was a Republican, Richard Nixon, who imposed wage/price controls on what had been a relatively free economy, kept an enemies list, and quit when his minions were caught in a criminal act.

Never forget that it was a Republican, George W. Bush, who created the massively unconstitutional Department of Homeland Security, the no-fly lists, pushed through and signed the Constitution-shredding USA Patriot Act, plunged the country into two unnecessary wars, and created trillion-dollar deficits surpassed only by those of Barack H. Obama.

When we are forced to obtain and carry national identification, it will be Republicans who did it, in the name of eliminating illegal immigration.

Vote for the socialist of your choice.

As with any other socialist culture, “some animals are more equal than others” in Sovietized America. Its elected nomenklatura in the House and Senate are paid between $165,200 and $212,100 every year, can look forward to pensions considerably larger than most of their constituents’ salaries, and enjoy endless additional privileges and benefits.

Socialists, every one of them.

Let’s talk about fascism. When it became obvious as early as the 1920s that socialism doesn’t work—the instant it’s adopted, the economy heads for the toilet, people begin starving, and leaders, self-convinced that their failures are caused by stiff-necked, selfish bastards who refuse to become New Soviet Man, start putting people up against a wall and shooting them—a modified system was devised under which, instead of owning the means of production, government allows the productive class to believe they own them, while it controls them through regulations and siphons off the profits as taxes.

Other common names for fascism are “crony capitalism”, “state capitalism”, “corporate socialism” and “mercantilism”. Sometimes members of the mercantile class become partners with the state and, in certain circumstances, even end up controlling it. The whole thing looks like a different system than ordinary socialism until you apply the ethical definition. What’s more important in a fascist society, the needs and wants of the group, or the rights of the individual? As Mr. Spock once famously observed (in the original James Blish novel Spock Must Die), “a difference that makes no difference is no difference.”

Or was it the other way around?

Fascism, then, is a variety of socialism, nothing more, nothing less. The genuine opposite of fascism is a completely voluntary society.

Completely.

Voluntary.

That means no coercion of any kind is tolerable. No censorship. No zoning. No conscription. No taxation. Government deserves no more money than it can raise with bake sales. Anything else involves setting the value of the individual’s rights at something less than the needs or wants of the group. Or as Robert LeFevre put it, “To any extent that you have a ‘public sector’, to that extent, you have socialism.”

When the State fails we have each other

by Darian Worden

16 Mar 2010

Statists say that people can’t be trusted to interact with each other without someone lording over them. They view the state as a solution for inevitable problems of human relations. In reality people often work with each other, without rulers, to solve the problems created by rulers and statists.

Recently the number and size of homeless encampments has risen dramatically, creating scenes reminiscent of Great Depression era Hoovervilles—shanty towns named for the first president to administer over the Depression, Herbert Hoover.

Austrian School economists including Murray Rothbard have chronicled the government policies that led to the Great Depression. The short of it is the Federal Reserve greatly increased the supply of money, lowering interest rates and encouraging a boom of unsustainable investments. This led to a bust when it had to be paid for and the money supply was contracted.

Of course, a system designed to safeguard power and privilege through force, favoritism, regulation, and outright theft and murder is bound to get caught up at some time.

Herbert Hoover, a progressive with a history of supporting government intervention, believed that government should be an active player in economic recovery. His administration raised taxes, tariffs, and subsidies, and pushed for the creation of government programs and industrial cartels.

This of course failed. Government cannot create wealth, but can only redistribute it. And since government responds to the political pull of the powerful interests it serves, not to the demands of numerous actors of the market, it will disrupt, rather than encourage the creation of wealth.

If government can’t save us, who will? We will save each other through mutual aid, solidarity, and other enterprising activity.

House sharing is one response to rising housing expenses. Just having access to a solid structure and indoor plumbing can greatly increase living quality. One organization that works to connect people who need housing with people who are willing to share space (often to help meet expenses) is HomeSharing, Inc., which has operated in New Jersey for over 25 years. Craigslist and similar networks now connect people for whatever housing arrangements they might work out.

Free economies built from the ground up can enable more choice and accountability than the state-controlled economy. And they will enable people to be less vulnerable to the failures of state capitalism. Connecting with people via the internet and face-to-face communication can make this a viable option. Some opportunities include barter networks (including those that involve commodities like DelValley Silver), Really Free Markets where people give and take items as they want, local gardens, and the numerous examples of free exchange found in Kevin Carson’s Center for a Stateless Society paper “Society After State Capitalism” [.pdf].

When people do things without asking permission, they might break laws. But mutual aid and solidarity can be used as weapons against authority. Working around the system to alleviate the problems it creates can build a strong position to challenge the system from.

“Counter-economics” is a term coined by Samuel Konkin to describe the economics of acting counter to the establishment. He advocated trading risk for profit to build non-coercive underground markets. Eventually organizations forming in these markets would be able to overcome the state, as the loss of economic control and popular support severely weakened state power.

Counter-economics is most useful as a strategic concept when it is not described as simply doing what is counter to the state’s commands (a reaction to the state), but is instead seen as actively building an economy that helps people live counter to authority. It is the economic basis for networks of free individuals resisting the imposition of authority.

Practicing solidarity and mutual aid can make the counter-economy a more attractive choice than the state-controlled economy. If you need help becoming autonomous then other people, knowing it is in their interest to include more people in libertarian action, will help you.

This is better than the statist system, in which most people are at best just another file for some bureaucrat trying to get through the day, another annoyance for some cop trying to do his job, another resource for some politician looking for glory—and at worst a target for thugs with government privilege or trash to be removed when in the way.

Liberty and solidarity can help people flourish better than statism and authority. When people assist each other without some lord stealing from them and giving only commands in return, the aid is mutual.

Darian Worden is an individualist anarchist writer with experience in libertarian activism. His fiction includes Bring a Gun To School Day and the forthcoming Trade War. His essays and other works can be viewed at his personal website. He also hosts an internet radio show, “Thinking Liberty”, on PatriotRadio.com.

when you ‘work hard and play by the rules,’ the house wins

From here

Generally speaking, people tend to break down into two broad categories when it comes to “the rules.”

There are the people who view “the rules” as something made as a well-intentioned, good faith effort, by “society” or “all of us,” so that “we can all get along together”; it follows that “we all” have an obligation either to follow the rules “we all” live under, or to change them.

And then there are people like me.

I just don’t understand the rules-trusters. It’s not that they’re necessarily bad people.

Some of them are probably just Type-A authoritarians like Archie Bunker, people who think society will degenerate into “anarchy” if we don’t all unite under the alpha-males and defend the in-group’s mores against out-groups and internal rebels.

But most of them probably just come from positive family backgrounds that have predisposed them toward trust and generosity. It’s people like this who read “Why Mommy is a Democrat,” and think society is just like a big family where the rules are there to keep us all happy and safe and make sure the same person doesn’t always grab the last drumstick off the plate.

In a society made up entirely of genuinely consensual associations, with rules actually made by voluntary members, this trusting and generous attitude would be entirely appropriate—just the sort of personality type needed to keep things going.

But society isn’t a big family, with government as Mommy. Government is run by people who rig the game to make sure they can take the drumstick off the plate every time.

You frequently hear, in this age of soccer mom politics, complaints that people “work hard and play by the rules” and still get screwed.

Well, of course people get screwed when they work hard and play by the rules. Who do you think is making the rules? You might as well complain that you don’t get rich in Vegas when you play by the rules of the house.

The only people who get rich playing by the rules are the people who make the rules. And just look at the people sitting around the table, the people who make the rules you live by: the “too big to fail” banks; the RIAA, MPAA and Microsoft; Cargill and ADM; Merck and Pfizer; Boeing and McDonnell Douglass. Do these look like people who want you to get rich playing by the rules? No. They want you to play by the rules, while they get rich.

You’ll succeed by working hard and playing by the rules about as fast as an Egyptian slave would have got to be Pharaoh by working hard building a pyramid.

There’s an old saying about the definition of a liberal, as opposed to a radical: a liberal is someone who thinks the system is broken and needs to be fixed, whereas a radical understands it’s working the way it’s supposed to.

A scene in Freedom, by Daniel Suarez, reminded me of that. Most of the debate on torture in the mainstream press revolves around whether it’s a “mistake,” because of allegations that it doesn’t “work” as a way of extracting confessions. A character in Freedom, known only as The Major (his real name was classified) put the debate in perspective.

The Major was a thirty year veteran of America’s dirty little wars, representing the people who own the world, the real government you never read about in the civics textbooks: finance capitalists, torturers, death squads, narcotraffickers, and all the people we mentioned above sitting around that little table making “the rules.” In the scene, The Major was preparing to torture a member of the kind of decentralist resistance movement that John Robb likes to write about: local economies of soil-intensive horticulturists, micromanufacturers and renewable energy, organized through a global darknet.

As his assistants bustled about readying their pliers, snips and cauterizing torches, The Major held forth in good cheer on the real purpose of torture: of course torture is useless for extracting information, he said. No one here is so naive as to believe otherwise. But it’s quite useful for terrorizing subject populations. You mutilate people, break them, and release what’s left of them into the general population as a warning sign written in flesh and blood: “This is what happens when you resist.” If you torture a thousand people, you can keep five million working quietly and obediently, with their heads down and mouths shut, doing what they’re told and not asking questions.

A liberal who doesn’t think the system is working, doesn’t understand what it’s supposed to do.

Kevin Carson is a research associate at the Center for a Stateless Society, contemporary mutualist author and individualist anarchist whose written work includes Studies in Mutualist Political Economy and Organization Theory: An Individualist Anarchist Perspective. Mr. Carson has also written for a variety of internet-based journals and blogs, including Just Things, The Art of the Possible, the P2P Foundation and his own Mutualist Blog.

Feminism is Key to the “Making of a Slave”

Feminism is Key to the “Making of a Slave”

November 4, 2009

by Henry Makow Ph.D.

When a reader tipped me to a talk delivered by a slave owner in 1712, entitled “The Making of a Slave,” I decided to compare past and present.

Past methods of enslavement were highly sophisticated, and closely resemble modern feminist social engineering.

Willie Lynch was a British slave owner in the West Indies. He was invited to the colony of Virginia in 1712 to teach his methods to slave owners there.

He advised slave owners to foster division, “fear, envy and distrust for control.” Pit young versus old, light skinned versus dark skinned and most importantly, male versus female.

In a section called “The Breaking Process of the African Woman,” he advocated shifting her dependency from the African male to the slave owner. This is achieved by beating and humiliating the male in front of the female. Then, beating the female if she doesn’t get the message. This instills a kind of frigidity.

“We reversed nature by burning and pulling a civilized nigger apart, and bull whipping the other to the point of death, all in her presence. By her being left alone, unprotected, with the male image destroyed, the ordeal caused her to move from her psychological dependent state to a frozen independent state. In this frozen psychological state of independence, she will raise her male and female offspring in reverse roles.”

“For fear of the young male’s life she will psychologically train him to be mentally weak and dependent, but physically strong. Because she has become psychologically independent, she will train her female offspring to be psychologically independent. What have you got? You’ve got the nigger woman out front and the nigger man behind and scared. This is a perfect situation of sound sleep and economic.”

She will teach her female offspring “to be like herself, independent and negotiable (…we negotiate her at will.)” She will raise her “nigger male offspring to be mentally dependent and weak, but physically strong, in other words body over mind.”

“We will mate and breed them and continue the cycle. This is good and sound and long range comprehensive planning.”

Sound familiar? We recognize these patterns in the US Black community, and, thanks to the hidden agenda of feminism, increasingly in the White.

AVOIDING SELF CORRECTION

“Willie Lynch” starts to sound like the Cabalist author of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

“By reversing the positions of the male and female savages, we created an orbited cycle that turns on its own axis forever..” But “our experts” warned us of the danger that the mind might correct itself “if it can touch some substantial historical base.” They advised us to “shave off the brute’s mental history and create a multiplicity of phenomena of illusions, so that each illusion will twirl in its own orbit, sometimes similar to floating balls in a vacuum.”

I haven’t heard our society described better. Our collective identity (race, religion,nation and family) is being systematically erased and replaced by air. “To achieve world government, it is necessary to remove from the minds of men their individualism, loyalty to family traditions, national patriotism and religious dogmas…” G. Brock Chisholm, psychiatrist and co-founder of the World Federation of Mental Health.

Lynch goes on to promote interracial breeding so the slaves are different shades of color befitting different levels of labor “and different values of illusion at each connecting level of labor.”

“Cross breeding niggers means taking so many drops of good white blood and putting them into as many nigger women as possible, varying the drops by the various tones that you want, and then letting them breed with each other until another cycle of color appears as you desire.”

In Orwellian fashion, Lynch concludes by stressing the importance of creating a new language befitting slavery. “We must completely annihilate the mother tongue of the new nigger…”
Again sounding like a Cabalist, he says, “language is a peculiar institution. It leads to the heart of a people. The more a foreigner knows about the language of a country the more he is able to move through all levels of that society. Therefore if the foreigner is an enemy, the country is vulnerable to attack or invasion of a foreign culture.”

For example, the slave should learn the term “hog pen” but never “house.”

CONCLUSION

Some people think this speech is apocryphal. The language has been modernized. Was the term “nigger” used in 1712?

However, Blacks seem to think the speech is genuine. It is on many Black websites.

The point is that we are being socially engineered to be slaves in much the same way as Blacks were, and by the very same people.

The modern female has been “frozen psychologically” and now depends on the slave owner (government, corporation) for her security. The modern male is emasculated, strong in body but not in mind, grateful to be allowed to serve a master, often a woman.

Related–Makow “The Cabalist Plot to Enslave Humanity”
http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=8081

Tolerance is a Guise for Social Engineering

Jews in the Slave Trade

From Gareth in South Africa:

I’m a “Coloured” male from South Africa and my forefathers also come from history of slavery and colonialism. Ours is the best example of pitting different skin tones, male/female against each other.

I’ve been following your site for a few months and recognized that ‘they’ are basically trying to achieve with white people what was done to us through slavery. I see many white men maybe disillusioned with white women because of the effects of Feminism opt to go for coloured women. Maybe cause they feel they getting an old-fashion traditional wife. What they don’t know is that they’re getting the same “psychologically frozen” and “independent and negotiable” woman. The coloured woman opts for white males because her psychological dependancy on “the slaveowner” and ineffectiveness of coloured men.

From what I read, the same is happening in America with African American females and white men. I believe the objective in creating this interracial union is to destroy language and culture because the woman of color and their off-spring will adopt the her white male’s culture/customs and forget her own. This is how many indigenous cultures (including my own) were diluted around the world, by colonial men raping/marrying indigenous women after their own indigenous men has been rendered ineffectual.


Just to give you an outline of us ‘coloured’ people here in South Africa. We are basically the result of a mixture between colonial men and indigenous and slave women imported from Asia and other parts of Africa.

Those ‘Lynch methods’ were very much employed amongst us. The result of it all is that we are a “nation” with no cultural identity (because of our extensive mixture), no socio-economic or political foothold. We are like a political whore being passed around, putting our trust in every and anyone accept ourselves.

I suspect that this is what the Illuminati has in store for everyone. The destruction of culture, race and religion as you’ve outlined in your articles. But ours is a classical example of it if you want to study and see it first hand. Strides are being made forward though and we are positive about our future. Many are rediscovering their previous cultural identities.