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Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Freedom’

No, We Don’t Need a Government Post Office | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on August 24, 2020

Any time any activity is preempted, all thought as to how it would be conducted by free and self-responsible people is deadened.

An example…mail delivery. Our postal system is a socialistic institution….Its record? As all users know, a dramatic increase in rates, enormous deficits mounting annually, and service deteriorating rather than improving.

Observe the effect of this pre-emption: no intelligent thought of what this type of communication would be like among a free and self-responsible people.

There are many among us…without the slightest idea of what the freedom alternative would be. Why this blindness as to the results of freedom? The answer is: the actions of free men are quite impossible to foresee!

https://mises.org/wire/no-we-dont-need-government-post-office

The US Postal Service has recently made a comeback in the headlines. Not only has the red ink it has long bathed in gotten deeper, but now it has become embroiled in mudslinging over vote-by-mail issues, such as people failing to get the ballots mailed to them and possible delays in processing election results, using that to make “new and improved” monetary bailout requests, with politicians and letter carrier unions attacking any cutbacks in service, even down to dropping underutilizing drop boxes.

With the Postal Service’s massive and unsustainable losses, what is striking is that even with a new reformer in charge, there is virtually no consideration of abandoning the USPS’s monopoly on first-class mail, allowing rivalry from private providers to reveal the services and prices market competition could offer. Not only does competition have a long record of success in countless products and services, but history shows it is not impossible in postal services. As Adam Summers has written,

Several private mail entrepreneurs sprouted up from about 1839–1851. While they were eventually shut down by the government, they proved that private mail delivery was possible. And the competition they provided forced the government to drastically reduce its prices in the process.

Summers brings up an important question: What so blinds us to even the possibility of allowing postal competition? He is not the first to ask that question. Leonard Read, wellspring of the Foundation of Economic Education and tireless advocate of “freedom philosophy,” wrote about the postal monopoly several times, starting more than half a century ago. The current mail meltdown makes it worth revisiting his understanding. Consider his insights from “Pre-Emptors: Agents of Destruction” in Comes the Dawn (1976) and “Causes of Authoritarianism” in Why Not Try Freedom? (1958):

Any time any activity is preempted, all thought as to how it would be conducted by free and self-responsible people is deadened.

An example…mail delivery. Our postal system is a socialistic institution….Its record? As all users know, a dramatic increase in rates, enormous deficits mounting annually, and service deteriorating rather than improving.

Observe the effect of this pre-emption: no intelligent thought of what this type of communication would be like among a free and self-responsible people.

There are many among us…without the slightest idea of what the freedom alternative would be. Why this blindness as to the results of freedom? The answer is: the actions of free men are quite impossible to foresee!

It is one thing to believe that competition affords more efficient service than does a monopoly. Indeed, this very belief is implicit in the arguments of government officials who refuse to permit private delivery of mail: the U.S. Postal Service couldn’t stand the competition; someone else would do it more efficiently and at less cost to the customer.

But as long as the monopoly is coercively maintained, there is no legal way to prove that the cost of performing an identical service would be lower under competition—or how much lower. Nor can it be proved beyond doubt that competitive private enterprise would indeed perform precisely the same services now available through the Postal monopoly.

But this is the whole point of anyone who believes in the blessings of competition as the most efficient way to provide the goods and services customers are willing and able to pay for. Such faith must concede that no one knows or can know in advance just the form in which the postal service would emerge and develop were everyone free to devote his own ingenuity and time and scarce resources toward serving the ever-changing demands of willing customers in a free market.

If all those changing conditions could be foreseen by any one individual, there is no logical reason why he could not make socialism work. But that is the whole case against socialism and for competitive private enterprise: the unknown is not foreseeable or predictable with certainty; conditions change, and freedom affords us the best possible chance to cope with those changes.

If one believes the Postal monopoly should be abolished, it is in part because he has witnessed miraculous market developments in the delivery of items other than mail.

Take voice delivery. How far could the human voice be delivered prior to the beginning of the Bell system…[now] the miracle of the market—around the earth…at the speed of light….Those who find this not particularly amazing are nonetheless reluctant to entrust the delivery of mail to the unhampered and unpredictable ingenuity of a free and self-responsible people!

Why this fear to try—this lack of faith in the potential wonders that might be ours? There are at least two reasons: (1) we cannot foresee the unknown and, thus, we are not attracted to the unimaginable, and (2) the moment a miracle is wrought, we take it as much for granted as the air we breathe….We no longer give it a second thought.

Years ago, I observed that no person knows how to make such a “simple” thing as an ordinary wooden lead pencil. Yet, that year, we made 1,600,000,000 pencils in the U.S.A. Were we to grasp this single miracle of the free market, we would know that there is not a person who knows how to operate a postal service.

Why, then, does the Free Society work its wonders? Why, when no one knows how to make a pencil, do we have such a proliferation of goods and services?…ideas by everyone are free to flow!…Ideas configurate and show forth in everything from billions of pencils to jet planes.

But most people fail to generate ideas on activities that have been pre-empted.

As the belief grows that coercion is the only practical way to get things done…belief in the competence of man acting privately, freely, voluntarily, competitively, cooperatively declines. As the former increases, the latter decreases.

In the U.S.A., for example, government has a monopoly of mail delivery. Ask citizens if government should do this and most…will reply in the affirmative. Why? Simply because government has pre-empted this activity for so many decades that all enterprisers have ceased to think how mail could be delivered were it a private enterprise opportunity. Indeed, most of them have come to believe that private enterprise would be wholly incapable of effective mail service.

Yet, I note that each day we deliver more pounds of milk than mail. Further, milk is more perishable than a love letter, a catalogue, or an appeal for funds…the delivery of milk is more prompt and less costly to us than is the delivery of mail.

I ask myself, then, why shouldn’t private enterprise deliver mail? Private enterprise delivers freight.

But, no; my countrymen have lost faith in man’s ability, acting freely, to deliver letters…men who do such fantastic things have lost faith in themselves to do the simple chore of letter delivery.

Today, even the massive, ongoing failures of the US Postal Service and the new political attention being drawn to it seem unable to overcome a pervasive blindness to the potential of competition to benefit Americans. That vindicates Leonard Read’s insight that not only are the ideas and the benefits that freedom can create often preempted by government, but that people can, as a result, lose the belief that a free society can do those things that have been coercively crowded out. And, in his ominous words, “A decline in faith in free men and what they can accomplish results in a rising faith in disastrous authoritarianism.”

The current postal situation offers a chance to rethink what many have been lulled into taking for granted. Not only is real competition a valid alternative, despite our inability to know in advance precisely what it would look like, but if the history of freedom is any guide, it would be far superior.

Author:

Gary Galles

Gary M. Galles is a professor of economics at Pepperdine University. He is the author of The Apostle of Peace: The Radical Mind of Leonard Read.

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As COVID-1984 Accelerates, Bill Gates Blames “Freedom” For Spread of the Virus – Activist Post

Posted by M. C. on August 24, 2020

Bill Gates then went on to praise China’s authoritarian response and said, despite the fact that people’s rights were violated, China’s response was really amazing!

This is right out of the 2010 Rockefeller Lock Step document that laid out a scenario for a world of tighter top-down government control and more authoritarian leadership.

Freedom – Gates has more than one vaccine for that.

https://www.activistpost.com/2020/08/as-covid-1984-accelerates-bill-gates-blames-freedom-for-spread-of-the-virus.html

By Spiro Skouras

Recently, Bill Gates gave an interview to the Rothschild partially owned Economist. In this interview, Gates was asked about how he views the U.S. response to the outbreak. His reply was…

Aside from the high ‘risk money’ the US ponied up for vaccine research and development, he think the U.S. is doing a poor job overall.

Gates proceeded to directly blame the poor response on lack of preparation, but also freedom. Yes, Bill Gates blamed our freedoms for the spread of the virus.

Bill Gates then went on to praise China’s authoritarian response and said, despite the fact that people’s rights were violated, China’s response was really amazing!

This is right out of the 2010 Rockefeller Lock Step document that laid out a scenario for a world of tighter top-down government control and more authoritarian leadership.

In this video report, we examine how we seem to be living out a scenario very similar to a Rockefeller Foundation document from a decade ago.

We also explore several examples of how what was initially considered to be basic, fundamental freedoms are being erased in response to this current crisis.

At the end of the day, one must always ask … who benefits?

The covid-19 pandemic will be over by the end of 2021, says Bill Gates
https://www.economist.com/international/2020/08/18/the-covid-19-pandemic-will-be-over-by-the-end-of-2021-says-bill-gates

Rockefeller Lock Step Document
https://norberthaering.de/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Scenarios-for-the-Future-ofTechnology-and-International-Development.pdf

Bill Gates: US fumbled coronavirus response because ‘we believe in freedom’
https://www.foxnews.com/health/bill-gates-us-masks-freedom

You Can Be Jailed If You Refuse Coronavirus Vaccine Says US Attorney
https://greatgameindia.com/jailed-refuse-vaccine/

No jab, no JOB: Bosses demand the right to sack their workers if they refuse to get a coronavirus vaccine
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8647255/No-jab-no-job-Bosses-demand-right-sack-workers-refuse-coronavirus-vaccine.html

When Teachers Call the Cops on Parents Whose Kids Skip Their Zoom Classes
https://reason.com/2020/08/17/teachers-zoom-classes-parents-child-services-coronavirus/

Australia Order To Remove Children Page 33
https://www.legislation.sa.gov.au/LZ/C/A/COVID-19%20EMERGENCY%20RESPONSE%20ACT%202020/CURRENT/2020.7.AUTH.PDF

Michigan College Will Digitally Track Students’ Movements At All Times
https://freebeacon.com/campus/michigan-college-will-digitally-track-students-movements-at-all-times/

Vaccines mandatory for all Texas students, even those learning virtually
https://www.ksat.com/news/local/2020/08/05/vaccines-mandatory-for-all-texas-students-even-those-learning-virtually/

States have authority to fine or jail people who refuse coronavirus vaccine, attorney says
https://www.10news.com/news/local-news/states-have-authority-to-fine-or-jail-people-who-refuse-coronavirus-vaccine-attorney-says

New York City will set up checkpoints to enforce quarantine for travelers
https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2020/08/05/new-york-city-will-set-up-checkpoints-to-enforce-quarantine-for-travelers-1305021

HERE IT COMES: BILL GATES AND HIS GAVI VACCINE ALLIANCE LAUNCHING AI-POWERED ‘TRUST STAMP’ COMBINING A VACCINE AND DIGITAL BIOMETRIC ID IN WEST AFRICA
https://www.nowtheendbegins.com/bill-gates-gavi-vaccine-alliance-mastercard-truststamp-biometric-digital-identification-combined-with-vaccine-west-africa/

New COVID-19 restrictions will be needed for anti-vaxxers
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/new-covid-19-restrictions-will-be-needed-for-anti-vaxxers-20200616-p55330.html

CDC-Promoted Training Materials Say: Quarantine CHILDREN of Sick Parents
https://nationalfile.com/cdc-promoted-training-materials-say-quarantine-children-of-sick-parents/

Scott Morrison walks back mandatory coronavirus vaccination comments
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-19/pm-walks-back-mandatory-coronavirus-vaccination-comments/12575600

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Free states: radical decentralization; the war for hearts and minds « Jon Rappoport’s Blog

Posted by M. C. on June 17, 2020

Enforced and fake togetherness dissolves like sugar in water.

—As I started to wake up, I wondered, is this a good dream or a bad dream? A voice said, “Decentralization of power is good, but you can’t control how it works out. If you could, YOU’D be the central power.”

Suddenly, I was standing outside my house in the dark night.

There was somebody out there. I couldn’t see who he was.

He spoke. “Don’t let them take everything away. You have no idea how many of us there are. We’re not going to let this happen.”

https://blog.nomorefakenews.com/2020/06/16/free-states-radical-decentralization-the-war-for-hearts-and-minds/

Dedicated to my friend and compatriot of many years, Robert Scott Bell

by Jon Rappoport

It all starts with the IDEA of the germ. Once people buy the idea and the story, everything follows. The planners build the story of the germ for a hundred years, so it transmits fear, and then one day they use it to spring the trap.

Fake pandemic. Real slavery.

The truth is, we’re far stronger than any germ or any tale about a germ.

Dozing off thinking about the tale and the trap and what it’s brought to our door, I had a dream. Went something like this—

“South Carolina is happy to report the stunning success of our new treatment law. As you know, three years ago, we certified a bill allowing ANY healing method to be practiced on consenting adults, for any condition, so long as that method was not overtly destructive. The result? A flood of practitioners and patients moving to our state. Our economy has nearly tripled in size. We are awash in new prosperity…”

New York: “Curfews must be more drastic. Only protesters and rioters will be permitted on streets after 2PM. We are issuing four color codes. Green, blue, yellow, and gray. They tell you when you may appear in public to pick up your food for the month at our government-dispensing canned goods centers. State income taxes are hereby raised to forty percent of gross earnings. All churches are permanently closed. Stop moving to South Carolina. If you do, you can never come back…”

“Nevada is announcing a new form of state money. Anyone who moves here will automatically be given four thousand dollars in casino chips, and a free hotel room for seven weeks. Masks and social distancing are forbidden. Vaccination is entirely voluntary. Anyone forcing a vaccine on another will be buried up to his neck in the desert, his face smeared with honey…”

Oregon: “The marijuana state is now entirely collective. No more private residences. Everyone must live in a commune of at least 60 persons. In each commune, the profits from growing pot will be equally divided among all members. No guns are permitted in the state. To achieve our goal of the cleanest air in the nation, cars are allowed on roads only between the hours of 7-9AM and 4-6PM. Trucks loaded with weed may move product at all hours. Come live with us.”

Maryland: “Our state is run by a consortium of mega-corporations and intelligence agencies. Everyone works for these organizations. There are no small businesses. Move here. You’ll be guaranteed a job after four weeks of training. Housing included. Stop fighting the Man. We are the Man. Free vaccinations.”

California: “Have you always yearned to be a Communist? Come to Cal. We’ve got Stasi, KGB, real-time satellite surveillance covering every inch of the state, as well as free Snitch Training. Unlimited immigration from all countries. We care. We have zero unemployment. Everyone works for the government. Are you wanted for offenses in other states or nations? No background checks. Warning: selling off-the-books black market items without paying sales tax is punishable by death.”

Idaho: “Free market economy. Make and sell just about anything. No state taxes. Gun rights guaranteed. All property is private. No welfare. Our cops only care about two offenses—encroaching on another’s freedom, and selling overtly harmful products. Public education is canceled. Only home and small community schooling are allowed. Want to make your own way? Idaho is the place for you.”

Illinois: “We are now a monarchy. As the hub for all street drugs distributed throughout the US and Canada, our king is chosen by the Sinaloa Cartel. Our police forces are gangs. We have disbanded our court systems. Personal and business protection is for sale. If you want to ‘live the life,’ move to Illinois. Free ballet lessons.”

Wyoming: “It took a long revolution to expel the former state government. In our free market economy, two prominent industries have emerged—hydrogen-powered car manufacturing/refitting, and water turbines for energy production. Our sales are soaring. Through state taxes agreed upon in a recent state referendum, we are financing research into several suppressed methods of energy innovation. Every citizen must own a gun, and must receive training in how to use it. Don’t move here expecting a free ride. Career criminals from other states—don’t even think about it. We’ll find you and root you out.”

New Jersey: “Our new state motto is ‘Graft, Gossip, and Waste Management.’ Our highway tolls are the highest in the nation. We are on permanent lockdown. If you want to pretend you’re important and have no credentials of any kind, move here and join us. The southern half of the state is being built out as one giant hospital complex, to treat and house those from the northern half. Free health coverage. Wear a badge of honor for each medical or psychiatric diagnosis.”

Massachusetts: “Aside from hospitals and Harvard global money laundering, our largest industry is selling rewrites of history to colleges. The American Revolution never happened. John Adams was an ambulance chasing personal injury lawyer. Thoreau was a petty criminal, fishing without a license. Plymouth Rock was once a popular form of cocaine trafficked along the east coast…”

Within two generations, New York and California turn into patchwork quilts of sparsely populated farm land and urban hell holes.

A declared woo-woo pandemic in one state is nothing more than a joke in another.

Enforced and fake togetherness dissolves like sugar in water.

—As I started to wake up, I wondered, is this a good dream or a bad dream? A voice said, “Decentralization of power is good, but you can’t control how it works out. If you could, YOU’D be the central power.”

I fell back asleep.

I was standing on a street corner in a city. In the distance, buildings were burning. A crowd marched toward me, broadcasting waves of fear.

They stopped moving. A platform rose up and a speaker in a mask fiddled with a mic stand. Silence.

“This is our place,” he said. Calm voice. “Just remember, it’s free.”

He looked over at me. He lifted his mask for a second, then put it back.

It was Mao Zedong. Chairman Mao. He told the quiet crowd, “I’ve got money. Rockefeller money. You understand, right? We’re going to start over. We’ve got important friends. We’ll use them and keep them safe for a while. In the new Republic, everything is free. You work for it, but it’s free. You don’t get ahead on your own. That’s over. You’re my troops. We’re burning down the northeastern United States and taking the land.”

Silence.

“It’s freedom,” he said. “Forget all your old causes. Forget why you came here. It doesn’t matter anymore. We’re new. We’re finally getting justice. You know what justice is? Rice. Growing rice. That’s all. Everyone works. Everyone bends over and works, from the lowliest drug addict to a fat old Congresswoman, to the President, everyone works the soil, and admits their guilt. Their sins. After six generations, their descendants can be raised up. They’ll be clean. No taint left. That’s the new world. That’s what you’ve been fighting for. No more privilege.”

Suddenly, I was standing outside my house in the dark night.

There was somebody out there. I couldn’t see who he was.

He spoke. “Don’t let them take everything away. You have no idea how many of us there are. We’re not going to let this happen.”


 

 

 

 

 

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The Truth About America: Why We Are Not a Racist Nation – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on June 12, 2020

What the black community needs at this time is not more protests, money or government programs. What it needs is a moral rebirth and a return to the values of personal responsibility, conscientiousness, studiousness, discipline and honest work. This is where the real problem lies and unless it is addressed and faced squarely, the black community will never escape the pathologies and difficulties it is presently struggling with.

As far back as 1965, Daniel Patrick Moynihan warned that the destruction of the black nuclear family would have ruinous economic and social consequences for the black community. When Moynihan was writing his famous report the black illegitimacy rate was 25 percent. Today it is three times higher.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/06/vasko-kohlmayer/truth-about-america-why-we-are-not-a-racist-nation/

By

“Racism in America is not the exception – it’s the norm,” read a headline from the British Guardian the other day.

“2 viruses — COVID and racism — devastate the black community and threaten America’s stability, declares an ABC News piece.

“Not just George Floyd: Police departments have 400-year history of racism,” headlines an USA Today article.

“We need to tackle racism, and we’ve never really dealt with it,” asserted a protester at one of the many rallies that have taken place in recent weeks.

A great deal, indeed, has been recently said from many quarters about the alleged oppressiveness and racism of American society. Even though these denunciations have been delivered in impassioned voices and accompanied by much violence, there is one problem with such claims: They are not true. The opposite is actually the case.

The fact is that there is no institutional or systemic discrimination against black people in American society. Contrary to the assertions we hear today, in the last half a century America has gone into untold lengths to support and assist its black community. During this time, American society has launched countless programs and initiatives and spent hundreds of billions of dollars aimed specifically at uplifting the African American demographic. The support that the black community receives from American society comes in every form conceivable: legislative, financial, educational, commercial, human, material.

To ensure that there is no systemic or institutional discrimination, America went so far as to implement affirmative action and racial quotas in education, employment, government contracts, housing and other areas of life. This means that our laws and codes of conduct grant more protection, privileges and guarantees to colored people than they do to their white counterparts. So eager and willing has America been to elevate its black minority that it actually subjected the majority to reverse discrimination. To redeem itself and correct a legacy of past discrimination, the United Sates has bent backwards to advance its black population. The amount of resources, protection and goodwill that America’s black minority receives from our society is completely unprecedented in the annals of world history.

Nowhere in the world do black people enjoy more freedom and greater financial, employment and educational opportunities than they do in the United States. This is the reason why so many black people from all over the globe seek to come and live in this country. Such great are their numbers that we can only accept a tiny fraction of those who wish to live here. If America was such a racist and oppressive nation, why would they want to come so badly?

The reason they want to come is because they know that America treats black people well and that nowhere else in the world black people have it as good as they have it here. When black people whose vision has not been distorted by the demagoguery of the so-called civil rights leaders look at America they see freedom and opportunity. They look at America and they see a society that displays immense generosity and good will toward its black population. They look at America and see a country that has recently awarded the most coveted, powerful and prestigious job in the world – the presidency of the United States – to a black man. And this not once, but two times. Would a racist nation ever do something like that?

Conversely, we do not hear stories of African Americans leaving this “racist” “oppressive” country and then returning with tales of lands where black people lead better lives of more freedom, affluence and dignity. Have you ever heard such a testimony? Let us see one country in the world that is more generous and caring towards black people than this one. Let us find one nation where black people receive more freedom and protection than in the United States of America. Tellingly, we cannot find a single predominantly black country where its citizens enjoy more rights and affluence than the black people in the United States. Isn’t it paradoxical that the United States treats its black people better than black nations treat their own? The immense lengths – involving both effort and treasure – into which this society has gone to help and accommodate black Americans are surely worth pondering. In a healthy society, this would draw at least sporadic expressions of gratitude and appreciation.

If truth be told, African Americans are the most favored and legally privileged demographic in American society. Enjoying the benefits of a host of protective measures and mechanisms incorporated into the fabric of our societal existence, African Americans are neither systemically oppressed nor are they institutionally discriminated against. An eye-opening expression of this took place last week during the “anti-racism” protests in Washington, DC. There a local black woman by the named Nestride Yumga confronted a group of protesters promulgating their stock racist slogans against this country (watch here). In the course of the exchange, the woman chastizes a white protestor:

“You say blacks are oppressed. I am black and I am not oppressed. I am free!… Stop forcing on people to accept that they are oppressed… You are forcing a rhetoric into their minds which is not true… Shame on you, I am free!”

Standing in front of them with outstretched arms, Nestride’s words have a stunning effect that leaves the startled demonstrators groping for a reply. The impact of her utterance is so powerful, because what she says is so obviously and undeniably true. Unlike rioters and protestors we see shouting untruths from our screens, this young black woman truly speaks truth to power. And what a power hers is. Turning toward the black members of the crowd, she excoriates them, “You guys are not oppressed. You are lazy, that’s all it is. Go get jobs, work!”

Blindsided by this unexpected petard of stark truth, the dazed demonstrators weakly attempt a couple of hollow clichés and some heckling by way of response. Hit with such a healthy dose of reality, they are unable to mount any kind of coherent answer. The black woman’s reproof rips off the cloak of righteous falsehood from their faux cause and they stand there exposed, clutching pitiably to the shreds of their specious lies. Befuddled and confused, they pack up their protest paraphernalia and decamp. As they retreat, the intrepid lady sends them on their way with her last salvo “you guys have been cowards.”

But what about the issue of the systemic police brutality against black Americans, the latest example of which we just witnessed in the lamentable death of George Floyd? It has been repeatedly demonstrated, however, that such incidents are actually very rare and not a manifestation of pervasive racism in our law enforcement. As Tucker Carlson notes, in 2019 ten unarmed African Americans were shot dead by police officers in the United States. Nine of them had serious criminal records. On the other hand, less than two weeks ago on May 31, 18 black people were murdered in the city of Chicago by mostly black criminals. More black people are thus shot and killed by black people in one day in one city than they are killed by the police across the United States in one whole year. The talk that we sometimes hear of the police committing “black genocide” is absurd beyond belief. As Theodore Dalrymple points out a “policeman is about fifteen times more likely to be killed by a black man than to kill a black man.” And most of the small number of black men killed annually by the police are dangerous felons who are killed in the process of committing a crime.

Moreover, more white people are shot by the police than black people, and likewise more white people die in arrest-related incidents than black people. The narrative that the police routinely rounds up innocent peaceful black men in the streets is a complete myth that no one in their right mind can believe, not least black people themselves. According to Pew research, more than half of black Americans have “a lot” or at least “some” confidence in the police. As a point of comparison, less than one third of the American population approve of the way Congress is handling its job. In other words, far more black people have confidence in their local cops that we have in our elected representatives in Washington, DC. Most upright black Americans want our law enforcement and government officials take a strong stance against lawlessness no matter by whom it is perpetrated. The latest evidence of this is Donald Trump’s record approval rating among likely black voters in the wake of the riots. Tellingly, Donald Trump has been one of the few government figures who has not pandered to the looting mobs.

***

The question, then, is: Given all the financial, legislative, educational and human resources that have been poured into the black community over the decades, why is the black community not thriving? Why, after all these years of immense effort and investment, is the black community still plagued with so many troubles and difficulties?

The answer is not racism, police brutality or discrimination. The reason why the black community is so troubled is the moral breakdown that has corroded its large portions, especially those of the inner cities.

Data shows that more than seventy five percent of black babies are born to single mothers. And from those 25 percent who are born to parents who are married fewer still grow up to adulthood with both of their biological parents present. This means that the majority of young black people grow up in broken or dysfunctional homes. In any racial demographic that by itself would be a problem with catastrophic consequences. And the statistics are, indeed, devastating. Consider some of the following facts. Children from fatherless families are five times more likely to grow up in poverty and commit crime. Children from father-absent homes are nearly three times more likely to carry guns and deal drugs than those living with their fathers. They are also nine times more likely to drop out of school. Worse yet, young people from broken families are 20 times more likely to go to prison.

As far back as 1965, Daniel Patrick Moynihan warned that the destruction of the black nuclear family would have ruinous economic and social consequences for the black community. When Moynihan was writing his famous report the black illegitimacy rate was 25 percent. Today it is three times higher.

Sadly, the destruction of the black nuclear family has been to a great degree effected and facilitated by government which creates incentives for this by providing cash payments and an array of benefits to single mothers. “The steady expansion of welfare programs can be taken as a measure of the steady disintegration of the Negro family structure over the past generation in the United States,” wrote Moynihan in the conclusion to his paper.

The black writer and thinker Larry Elder recalls a story of some years ago when he interviewed Kweisi Mfume who was at the time president of the National Association for the Advancement of the Colored People (NAACP). In the course of the interview, Elder posed this question: “Between the presence of white racism and the absence of black fathers which poses the bigger threat to the black community?” Without any hesitation, Mfume replied, “the absence of black fathers.”

Bad as it is, for so many black children growing up in broken, dysfunctional families – a situation which greatly diminishes their prospects in life – is not the end of it. Most of them also live immersed in a culture and mindset that makes it virtually impossible to pursue happy and meaningful existence. It is truly regrettable that black street culture promotes and celebrates the grosses of human traits and forms of conduct. Sexual promiscuity, illegitimacy, violence, instant gratification, drug abuse, indolence and crime are celebrated and held up as if they were some virtues. On other hand, those who by studiousness, uprightness and work ethic try to escape the bleak and hopeless existence that such a view of life inevitably engenders are accused of “acting white” and derided as Uncle Toms and Aunt Annas. How absurd. Those who make such derisory statements seem to imply that living an upright, diligent and conscientious life is a racial trait that should only be displayed by white people.

What hope can there be for young people growing up in broken homes – which are often negligent and abusive – while being submerged in such a toxic culture? We see the tragic result of it in the looting mobs that are vandalizing and burning American cities today. The pandemonium they have unleashed is not the consequence of white racism or police brutality. It is the inevitable outcome of the illegitimacy, broken culture and moral decline that has unraveled the moral fiber of large swathes of the black demographic.

What the black community needs at this time is not more protests, money or government programs. What it needs is a moral rebirth and a return to the values of personal responsibility, conscientiousness, studiousness, discipline and honest work. This is where the real problem lies and unless it is addressed and faced squarely, the black community will never escape the pathologies and difficulties it is presently struggling with.

Be seeing you

 

 

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What Freedoms? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on May 27, 2020

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/05/laurence-m-vance/what-freedoms/

By

Another Memorial Day has come and gone, although it is still Military Appreciation Month. Evidently, having three military appreciation days already (Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Veterans Day) was not enough so “Congress designated May as National Military Appreciation Month in 1999 to ensure the nation was given the chance to publicly show their appreciation for troops past and present.”

Memorial Day, which did not become an official federal holiday until 1971, is supposed to be a day to honor American military personnel who died while in service to the country.

Honor them for what?

Fighting unjust wars?
Serving Uncle Sam?
Going where they had no business going?
Making widows and orphans?  Dying for a lie?
Being the world’s self-appointed policeman?
Fighting senseless wars?
Engaging in offense instead of defense?
Neglecting and sacrificing their families?
Invading other countries?
Dying for a mistake?
Creating terrorists, insurgents, and militants because of U.S. military interventions?
Killing and maiming millions?
Fighting undeclared wars?
Drone strikes that regularly miss their targets?
Helping to carry out a reckless, belligerent, and meddling U.S. foreign policy?
Fighting unnecessary wars?
Taking sides in civil wars?
Dying for the military/industrial complex?
Killing civilians and excusing it as collateral damage?
Following immoral orders?
Occupying other countries?
Unleashing sectarian violence?
Destroying foreign industry, culture, and infrastructure?
Being pawns of the U.S. government?
Bombing wedding parties?
Committing torture and atrocities?
Keeping overseas brothels in business?
Being duped?
Dying in vain?
Being a global force for evil?
But they died defending our freedoms!

Okay, let’s say that they did. Let’s say that in spite of all of the above, they still managed to die while defending our freedoms.

But what about current members of the U.S. military? On Memorial Day, Armed Forces Day, the Fourth of July, and Veterans Day, during Military Appreciation Month, and every other month and day of the year we are expected to honor military personnel for defending our freedoms and thank them for their service.

What freedoms?

The freedom to attend a sporting event?
The freedom to take one’s children to a playground?
The freedom to go to an amusement park?
The freedom to sunbathe on the beach?
The freedom to go to a concert?
The freedom to have a yard sale?
The freedom to attend church?
The freedom to assemble in a group of more than ten people?
The freedom to get a haircut?
The freedom to eat inside a restaurant?
The freedom to sit on a park bench?
The freedom to be closer than six feet to another person?
The freedom to go to a bar?
The freedom to open a “nonessential” business?
The freedom to have a wedding or funeral?
The freedom to go outside without having to wear a mask?
The freedom to make “unessential” travel?
The freedom to visit a sick relative in the hospital?
The freedom to go to a zoo?
The freedom to go to a movie?
The freedom to work out at a gym?
The freedom to take a drink from a water fountain?  The freedom to try on clothes in store dressing room?
The freedom to take a cruise?
The freedom to ride a skateboard at a skate park?
The freedom to have a normal life?

Where is the U.S. military? I thought military personnel were defending our freedoms?

Why aren’t U.S. military personnel opening up stores, malls, parks, playgrounds, water fountains, zoos, gyms, bars, restaurants, park benches, barber shops, amusement parks, concert halls, arenas, stadiums, race tracks, beaches, churches, skate parks, cruise terminals, dressing rooms, and movie theatres? I thought they were defending our freedoms?

Why aren’t U.S. military personnel invading and occupying state legislatures and governor’s mansions and restoring our freedoms? I thought they were defending our freedoms?

U.S. military personnel are doing what they always do: whatever Uncle Sam tells them to do. They don’t defend our freedoms. They don’t support and defend the Constitution. They don’t secure our borders. They don’t guard American shores. They don’t patrol American coasts. They don’t watch over American skies. They don’t defend the country. They don’t protect Americans from credible threats. They don’t serve the country. They don’t fight “over there” so we don’t have to fight “over here.” They are too busy traveling the world, meeting interesting people, and then bombing, maiming, and killing them if the government tells them to.

 

 

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Freedom’s Final Resting Place – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on May 19, 2020

All it takes, of course, is the caveat of Individual Responsibility. Having no one to blame is a giant step most are unwilling or unable to make.

So the cycle of human nature is complete: The Masters need the Slaves and the Slaves are OK with that. Freedom only becomes attractive when Slavery gets ugly. As long as one can trade work, time, life for a Happy Meal, Super Bowl and Big Screen TV, life is Good! Carry on…

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/05/brian-wilson/freedoms-final-resting-place/

By

The political soap opera has reached Jump The Shark proportions. The clear reality of the police state and the ballet of the characters supporting and advancing it is too far along for critiquing, much less even attempting to warn a somnolent citizenry. You know how cranky children get when they don’t “get their nap out” or, even worse, when they don’t get their way. It’s beyond time to switch from Instructively Advising to Outright Condemnation. At least the latter has a morally cleansing effect. Alas, the human race continues to disappoint.

The upside, tho, is the wellspring of sustainable observations that support the concept of Anarchy as the final resting place for Freedom. Self-governance, the absence of laws and burden of man-made external force is as close as anyone will be able to approach Perfection. All it takes, of course, is the caveat of Individual Responsibility. Having no one to blame is a giant step most are unwilling or unable to make.

But from a purely political perspective, the Ds and Rs have thoroughly demonstrated the inability of Man to govern Man. Call it ‘Human Nature’, ‘Imperfection’,’ Bullshit-On-A-Stick’…labels are only required to wrap up the definition with easily-stored names. Libertarians – as a party – are the side-show to the center ring of the political circus that comes to town every 4 years, with those foreplay-to-quickie “mid-terms” in-between. The Libertarian Party is a summary of libertarian contradiction. Like the Ds and Rs, they have constructed an unsustainable “platform” even their Party does not support (except to talk show hosts and Letters To The Editor). I don’t know which is more laughable: the LP struggling to get a million votes nationally or a million dollars in campaign donations. Then there is the insurmountable Political Establishment, the suffocating Bureaucratic Machine and the unanswerable challenge: “If I vote for you, the Democrat will win.” And that doesn’t even address the conflict of the Non-Aggression Principle, the cornerstone of Libertarianism, which creates the next embarrassing question: How does a Libertarian hold an elected office that relies on the initiation of the Force of Government? The only answer is: Can’t (unless he wants to swell the ranks of the Dead Hypocrites Society.

And that leaves Anarchy as the Last Alternative Standing for those looking for a personal governance track to run on. You are your own President, King, Ruler for Life! Your welfare is your concern. Your life is yours to live, love, spend, waste as you wish. The only Don’t is initiating force against another – unless, of course, you want to up the ante on the “waste your life” option listed above since your violation of another’s right to live in similar anarchistic freedom will likely cost you yours. How simple and perfect is that?

Mutual cooperation if desired…mutual respect as a logical extension of everyone’s desire to live peacefully and be left alone, free from the initiation of force requiring one to live the way another decides. Anarchy is the only hope for the majority of humans. Or maybe not the “majority”. Maybe the majority will be satisfied being “cared for” by those who just can’t resist telling others how happy they would be if they just did “it” their way. In return, They will give Them the security of bondage to an imposed standard, like discipline for children; the security of enforced boundaries beyond which they cannot be trusted to be self-sustaining much less self-disciplining. So the cycle of human nature is complete: The Masters need the Slaves and the Slaves are OK with that. Freedom only becomes attractive when Slavery gets ugly. As long as one can trade work, time, life for a Happy Meal, Super Bowl and Big Screen TV, life is Good! Carry on…

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Freedom Still Matters, Even in the Midst of a Virus | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on April 8, 2020

Protecting our lives and our liberty is a responsibility that is not simply delegated to the government—we still retain it. It is important to remind people of the benefits of a free society during and after this pandemic.

https://mises.org/wire/freedom-still-matters-even-midst-virus?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=b2a0e2ec5a-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-b2a0e2ec5a-228343965

On Friday, Pope Francis delivered a special sermon to pray for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, the depressing scenery of the deserted St. Peter’s Square on the rainy night matched the words of the Holy Father:

Thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities; it has taken over our lives, filling everything with a deafening silence and a distressing void, that stops everything as it passes by; we feel it in the air, we notice in people’s gestures, their glances give them away. We find ourselves afraid and lost.

The image of the “plague” crucifix added a special gravity to this prayer, as the unusually high mortality rates in Italy and especially Lombardy have made the disease seem like a modern plague. Some of my friends there intentionally did not travel to their home cities in fear of infecting their elderly parents and have spent the last four weeks isolated in their rooms. Regardless of our political views, all of us wish for a quick end to this situation. However, as a lot of us devote most of our attention to the “defeat” of the coronavirus, we pave the way for the unrestrained authoritarian measures of our governments.

There’s Little Public Resistance

Most of our government officials have not enforced these measures on their own initiative against a people that completely rejects the curbing of their civil liberties. On the contrary, some politicians feared that they might be seen as as too weak for not supporting lockdowns enough. Make no mistake, there is widespread public acceptance of the restrictions imposed by government, as, for example, the surging approval ratings of the Bavarian minister president, the first in Germany to impose strict measures, show.

This panic policymaking could easily be the basis for a modern form of unlimited government. As Lord Acton remarked:

Whenever a single definite object is made the supreme end of the State…the State becomes for the time inevitably absolute.

Right now, public health, which has already been a popular topic among the modern absolutists, is that single definite object. Politicians and wannabe politicians in the affected Western countries complain about how the health system is not capable of handling this exceptional situation because the government has not spent enough money, and they call for more spending, more taxes, and more debt to fund it. There are more contagious diseases than the novel coronavirus, so why not use the emergency powers to protect against them? The public will be susceptible to these points. COVID-19 might prove to be a similar catchword to “9/11” or “Bataclan,” that can always be invoked to expand the power of the state over the lives of its citizens.

It is important to be aware that the current government interventions are legitimated by the voters. Fear and the desire to abdicate some individual responsibility, which comes with the choice whether to change my lifestyle or not, have been important fuels for this havoc.

Pope Francis framed his sermon around Mark 4:37–41:

And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

The Holy Father notes that we find ourselves in the situation of the disciples, caught off guard by a disaster. And, naturally, in times of crisis, people look to their leaders. The leader of the disciples was Jesus, whom the wind and the sea obeyed. However, our leaders do not have his divine powers, and forgetting that there are limits to what single men and governments can achieve might create a modern absolutism of governments whose powers are assumed to be godlike. Only individual adaption to this new situation will be able to create a sustainable solution. For that, we need our civil liberties and the freedom to make choices for ourselves. Protecting our lives and our liberty is a responsibility that is not simply delegated to the government—we still retain it. It is important to remind people of the benefits of a free society during and after this pandemic.

 

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What Would Rothbard Say About the COVID-19 Panic? | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on March 30, 2020

In Rothbard’s view, citizens and taxpayers have the right to use public streets. Governments are not justified in restricting movement on their streets, because in fact the street is not even the just property of the state:

as a criminal organization with all of its income and assets derived from the crime of taxation, the State cannot possess any just property. (1982, p. 183) 

In short, the state has no right to determine who can use public streets and who cannot. A curfew is a blatant violation of private property rights and cannot be justified.

Rothbard provides a second example for his claim that no one can be forced to help others. This example is about an epidemic and, therefore, is worth quoting in full:…

https://mises.org/wire/what-would-rothbard-say-about-covid-19-panic?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=57a3e07dc6-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-57a3e07dc6-228343965

Murray Newton Rothbard died on the January 7, 1995. What would “Mr. Libertarian” say today about the government measures against the corona epidemic?

As a response to the epidemic, Western governments have infringed upon private property rights to an unprecedented degree in peace times. They have expropriated and confiscated medical equipment and material, they have taken control of private health companies and hospitals, they have decreed the forced closure of private businesses, such as private kindergartens, schools, universities, or retail stores. They have even ordered the closure of private parks and gardens. Moreover, they have severely restricted the freedom of movement.

What can be said about these measures from a libertarian point of view? Can they be justified?

Regarding the freedom of movement, it could be argued that most streets are government property and that the government has the right to restrict freedom of movement on its streets in order to protect the health of its citizens. Indeed, the public ownership of streets is a problem from a libertarian perspective. Streets should be private. If streets were private, the owners would decide who could use them and under what conditions. As Rothbard puts it in The Ethics of Liberty (1982, p. 119):

In the libertarian society…streets would all be privately owned, the entire conflict could be resolved without violating anyone’s property rights: for then the owners of the streets would have the right to decide who shall have access to those streets, and they could then keep out “undesirables” [in our case people suspected of being infected with viruses] if they so wished.

In other words, in a libertarian world private street owners would decide which streets would remain open, to whom, and under what conditions.

Yet we live in a world where the majority of streets are public. However, even with public streets Rothbard´s verdict is clear. Discussing the case of a McDonald’s restaurant opening and residents protesting the gathering of its customers on the streets, Rothbard writes:

as taxpayers and citizens, these “undesirables” [the customers] surely have the “right” to walk on the streets, and of course they could gather on the spot, if they so desired, without the attraction of McDonald’s.” (1982, p. 119)

In Rothbard’s view, citizens and taxpayers have the right to use public streets. Governments are not justified in restricting movement on their streets, because in fact the street is not even the just property of the state:

as a criminal organization with all of its income and assets derived from the crime of taxation, the State cannot possess any just property. (1982, p. 183)

In short, the state has no right to determine who can use public streets and who cannot. A curfew is a blatant violation of private property rights and cannot be justified.

In a libertarian world with private streets and private businesses, the owners impose the rules. In the case of an epidemic, they may close their property completely to the public. Or they could invite people conditionally to their property. For instance, they could limit the number of people who can access it. They could require tests before entering the property or declare that entering is at their own risk. They could also impose certain conditions, such as an age restriction or the required wearing of masks and gloves.

Let us discuss the other restrictions that have been implemented in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic, such as the required closing of bars, hotels, and other shops. Politicians’ argument in favor of the closures is the following: out of solidarity with the rest of the population, especially with the elderly, people should help bring the rate of infection down, because otherwise many people will die due to the limited capacities of the public health systems and the lack of provision for such an epidemic. People staying at home, confined to their houses, would save lives. They would thereby help others. And as people cannot be expected to help others and stay at home voluntarily, the state has the right to enforce a confinement that saves lives.

Now, the essential ethical question is the following: is anyone allowed to use violence in order to ensure that people will help their fellow men? Can the use of coercion to make people help others be justified?

Rothbard´s answer to this question in The Ethics of Liberty is unequivocal:

it is impermissible to interpret the term “right to life,” to give one an enforceable claim to the action of someone else to sustain that life. In our terminology, such a claim would be an impermissible violation of the other person’s right of self-ownership. (1982, p. 99)

Note that for Rothbard and libertarians in general, the concept of “rights” is purely negative. Rights protect the radius of a person’s action that no one else can interfere with using aggressive violence. Property rights demarcate the area in which an individual can act freely.

Rothbard continues:

No man can therefore have a “right” to compel someone to do a positive act, for in that case the compulsion violates the right of person or property of the individual being coerced….As a corollary, this means that, in the free society, no man may be saddled with the legal obligation to do anything for another, since that would invade the former’s rights; the only legal obligation one man has to another is to respect the other man’s rights. (1982, p. 99)

If that is not enough evidence, Rothbard gives two examples to argue that no one may use violence to make someone help another person. First, he discusses an example provided by Friedrich A. von Hayek. In this example there exists a “monopolist” owner of water in an oasis. Rothbard points out that the owner has the right not to sell the water to customers. The owner is within his rights in reserving the water for himself and cannot be forced to help thirsty people by selling the water:

The situation may well be unfortunate for the customers, as are many situations in life, but the supplier of a particularly scarce and vital service is hardly being ´coercive´ by either refusing to sell or by setting a price that the buyers are willing to pay. Both actions are within his rights as a free man and as a just property owner. The owner of the oasis is responsible only for the existence of his own actions and his own property; he is not accountable for the existence of the desert or for the fact that the other springs have dried up. (1982, p. 221)

Let us apply this reasoning to the current situation: the owner of a business has the right to open it. The owner of a garden has the right to use it and the pedestrian has the right to walk on the street. They are only responsible for their own actions and their own property and not for the existence of the coronavirus or for the fact that government hospitals are mismanaged.

Of course, it is a different case if someone knows that he is infected and opens his business with the intention of infecting and doing harm to the customers. This would be criminal behavior and defensive violence, such as closing down the business by the threat of force, would be justified. But how do we know that the opening of the business is really an act of aggression on part of an infected owner?

As Rothbard point out, the burden of proof is on the people using violence:

the burden of proof that the aggression has really begun must be on the person who employs the defensive violence. (1982, p. 78)

We only know if someone is a criminal when he is convicted. Until people are convicted they must enjoy all the rights of innocents, such as being allowed to leave their houses or open their stores. As Rothbard (1982, p. 82) reminds us, “they are innocent until proven guilty.”

Rothbard provides a second example for his claim that no one can be forced to help others. This example is about an epidemic and, therefore, is worth quoting in full:

Suppose that there is only one physician in a community, and an epidemic breaks out; only he can save the lives of numerous fellow-citizens—an action surely crucial to their existence. Is he “coercing” them if (a) he refuses to do anything, or leave town; or (b) if he charges a very high price for his curative services? Certainly not. There is, for one thing, nothing wrong with a man charging the value of his services to his customers, i.e., what they are willing to pay. He further has every right to refuse to do anything. While he may perhaps be criticized morally or aesthetically, as a self-owner of his own body he has every right to refuse to cure or to do so at a high price; to say that he is being “coercive” is furthermore to imply that it is proper and not coercive for his customers or their agents to force the physician to treat them: in short, to justify his enslavement. But surely enslavement, compulsory labor, must be considered “coercive” in any sensible meaning of the term.

If the physician cannot be forced to help during an epidemic, then a fortiori a normal citizen cannot be forced to help either. It is certainly possible that one could help others in these times by staying home, by closing businesses, or by donating medical equipment. Yet forcing people to stay at home, closing their businesses, and expropriating medical equipment are violations of property rights. They are crimes, plain and simple. No one has the right to confine another (innocent) person to his house or oblige him to close his business.

The argument that central planning through confinement or other forms of violence would save lives is also highly problematic, because it ignores the problem of economic calculation. These infringements of private property involve (subjective) costs that cannot be calculated and compared to the benefits in a nonarbitrary way.

For instance, being confined to one’s own four walls, with the corresponding lack of physical exercise, will lead to increased cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, strokes, and thromboses, among other things. Moreover, the psychological burden of being locked up is immense. The psychological strain can cause divorces and break up families; traumatization and depression are created. Domestic violence and child abuse are expected to surge. In sum, some people may die due to these infringements of private property; others may be saved.

Moreover, the economic havoc created by these measures is potentially devastating. It is true that there would have been an economic crisis anyway due to the distortions created by monetary policy. The epidemic is only the trigger of the crisis. Nevertheless, the crisis is made  harsher by the government infringements on private property rights. If people are not allowed to produce, because they cannot leave their homes or open their businesses, production falls.

Business owners who see their lifetime achievement destroyed by the political reaction to the virus could suffer heart attacks, fall into depression, commit suicide, or become alcoholics. Similar consequences may await workers who become unemployed due to the political measures.

Furthermore, the standard of living will fall as economic activity is suffocated by the confinement. There will be less goods and services available to maintain, let alone improve, quality of life, because these goods will simply not be produced. And if the economy of the Western world collapses, the West will buy less goods and services from poor countries. The living standard will therefore also fall in the third world, where it may mean the difference between life and death for many. In general, poverty means reduced longevity. Rich people tend to live longer than poor people.

But that is not all. Governments all over the world are advancing on the road to serfdom, controlling their populations and increasing their power relative to the private sector via increased public spending and new regulations. According to the “ratchet effect,” defined by Robert Higgs, government power usually increases in crisis times. However, when the crisis recedes, government power is not reduced to its initial position. Thus, the long-term victim of the government intrusion may be liberty. More socialist regimes may be instituted. And in these regimes life expectancy is shorter. The greater the power of government, the lower will be the quantity and quality of life ceteris paribus. For instance, the capitalist West Germans had a life expectancy that was about three years longer than that of their East German counterparts.

It is, of course, true that government coercion may increase the life expectancy of some people in the short run. Enforcing confinement in an epidemic is only one example. There are other possibilities. The government may prohibit smoking, or subsidize fruits, vegetables or sports classes. It may use tax revenue to improve the medical treatments of the population, thereby increasing life expectancy.

Yet, how much artificially increasing of public health is enough? For instance, how much of GDP should be spent on healthcare? Five percent, 10 percent, 50 percent, or 90 percent of GDP? Certainly spending more might increase life expectancy. But how can the government official know the correct percentage?

Similarly, how much of GDP shall be sacrificed in an epidemic by more or less drastic confinement measures? Shall 5 percent, 10 percent, 50 percent, or 90 percent of productive activities stop in order to slow down the propagation of the virus? There is no nonarbitrary way for a central planner to decide these matters. All government measures come with costs that cannot be quantified.

There is only one alternative to the arbitrary central planning of government, with its violation of private property rights. This alternative is the libertarianism, the alternative that Murray Rothbard always staunchly defended: the voluntary decisions of private property owners.

 

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The Power of Self-Ownership | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on November 4, 2019

If you don’t own yourself you are not free.

https://mises.org/wire/power-self-ownership?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=fe55b60ca0-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-fe55b60ca0-228343965

As every reader of Murray Rothbard knows, the principle of self-ownership stands at the basis of libertarian thought. Each person is the owner of his or her own body. If we add a principle for homesteading land and natural resources, we can without much trouble get to an anarcho-capitalist society. But even on its own, the self-ownership principle rules out the welfare state. You cannot be compelled to labor for someone else, even if the other person “needs” your labor more than you do.

You would expect Marxists to brush aside self-ownership as bourgeois apologetics, and for most part they do. G.A. Cohen, a Marxist who taught political theory at Oxford University, was an exception. In his book Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Equality (Cambridge University Press, 1995), he says that he finds self-ownership intuitively plausible:

In my experience, leftists who disparage [Robert] Nozick’s essentially unargued affirmation of each person’s right over himself lose confidence in their unqualified denial of the thesis of self-ownership when they are asked to consider who has the right to decide what should happen, for example, to their own eyes. They do not immediately agree that, were eye transplants easy to achieve, it would then be acceptable for the state to conscript potential eye donors into a lottery whose losers must yield an eye to beneficiaries who would otherwise not be one-eyed but blind.” (p. 70)

As Cohen rightly notes, your right to your own body outweighs commonly used socialist principles that mandate redistribution. You are entitled to keep your eyes even if the fact that you have two working eyes is a matter of genetic luck and even if a blind person “needs” an eye more than you do. (You could still see with one eye but he cannot see at all.)

Cohen must now confront a dilemma. He finds self-ownership prima facie plausible. But self-ownership rules out the welfare state, and even worse, is a big step toward a fully free market society. What can he do to escape the dilemma?

Two courses of action suggest themselves. He might admit self-ownership, but deny that it leads to free-market capitalism. Alternatively, he might claim that, in spite of its surface plausibility, self-ownership ought to be rejected. It is the latter tactic that he adopts. He readily acknowledges that self-ownership rules out the welfare state.

Cohen says that the force of self-ownership really derives from something else. We have a strong belief that it is wrong to interfere with the integrity of someone’s body, and this, he thinks, is different from self-ownership. He asks us to imagine that everyone is born with empty eye sockets. The state implants two eyes in everyone at birth, using an eye bank it owns. If someone lost both eyes, wouldn’t we oppose an eye lottery to remove forcibly one eye from a sighted person to help the blind person? But in the example the state owns all the eyes. Cohen concludes that our real objection to an eye lottery in the actual world is not that it violates self-ownership but that people have a right to bodily integrity.

The “suggestion arises that our resistance to a lottery for natural eyes shows not belief in self-ownership but hostility to severe interference in someone’s life. For the state need never vest ownership of the eyes in persons.” (p. 244)

A defender of self-ownership can readily acknowledge that it would be wrong to remove someone’s eyes in Cohen’s science-fiction case. All he needs to preserve his principle is the fact that you own your eyes adds to the moral badness of making you enter the eye lottery. Bodily integrity and self-ownership supplement each other: they do not compete for our allegiance, as Cohen seems to think. The fact that Cohen had to resort to a bizarre example to try to escape self-ownership shows its power. Once you think about it, self-ownership is hard to reject.

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706a7-rothbard2bmurray

Murray Rothbard

 

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War Is the American Way of Life – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on July 16, 2019

“We used to wonder where war lived, what made it so vile. And now we realize that we know where it lives… inside ourselves.” ~Albert Camus

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/07/gary-d-barnett/war-is-the-american-way-of-life/

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“Kill one man, and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a god.” ~Jean Rostand– Pensées d’un biologiste

How has a nation that boasts of being a bastion of freedom and liberty become the most prolific killer of on earth? This question will immediately enrage most Americans, and not in any moral sense of remorse for the innocent victims around the world, but due to a false sense of exceptionalism and backward patriotism.

To do any legitimate study of U.S. aggression would take one back to the very beginning, but the past 120 years have seen the continued slaughter of innocents as a normality of the American way of life. I say this because the masses have for the most part supported this indiscriminate killing, and lauded those responsible for the carnage. There were of course dissenters from this norm, but in the end, they were mostly marginalized or worse. Those who do not tow the line of the military today are in many cases ridiculed. And given that every major event, especially sporting events, display 300 foot U.S. flags, military jets, and military personnel ad nauseam, including the recent presidential spectacle, a parade dubbed the “military show of a lifetime,” the devotion shown by the spectators is nothing less than unadulterated worship…

“Kill them all, and you are a god.” Is that how the term God is on our side came into vogue in this country? Is this notion the impetus for public justification for mass murder? Worship these days, at least in this country, has moved away from the devout, and been replaced as reverence to the state. Many churches in this country now pay homage to the military and its troops, the very ones committing murder in their names. Contradiction and hypocrisy at this level belies logic and sanity.

Soon after the birth of the Revolution, the U.S. began warring against its own people, including the Indian tribes, and has continued the war policy ever since that time. When one speaks of American history, the single constant over the past  243 years has been war. War against the American Indians, dissenting American citizens, its neighbors, and most of the rest of the world has been nearly continuous. This is not a country that should any longer be known for exceptionalism or freedom, but for war and aggression. The United States as a nation is the most brutal killing machine that has ever existed, and is continuing to kill around the globe…

What should be evident is that the U.S. and its military have been responsible for tens of millions of deaths due to its wars, its violent aggressions, and its sanctions. No other nation on earth has ever been responsible for such carnage, and no other nation has caused such widespread suffering. How many have really been wounded, disfigured, or harmed by war, chemical weapons, sanctions, and total destruction of infrastructures at the hands of the United States? How many have been displaced, and lost their families? How many continue to live with the horrors of war?…

While American citizens are preoccupied with their smart phones and their Facebook page, and languish over fake racism, gender identity, agenda driven “climate change,” and robotic sex, much of the rest of the world lives in fear. That fear is justified, and is due to U.S. aggression that is ever present and never ending.

A better way is to end war and seek peace. In order for this to occur, the general population must have an awakening, an awakening based on humility instead of arrogance, love instead of hate, harmony instead of divisiveness, and patience instead of indifference. This will require individual thought and individual action, and a mass separation from the political state. A revolution of sorts is vital if societal catastrophe is to be avoided.

“We used to wonder where war lived, what made it so vile. And now we realize that we know where it lives… inside ourselves.”
~Albert Camus—Source/Notes: Carnets: 1935-1942 (1963 edition)

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Historical Photos: WW2 American Propaganda Poster ...

America said NO.

 

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