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Posts Tagged ‘Libertarians’

Why Rothbardians Should Oppose Roe v. Wade

Posted by M. C. on May 23, 2022

By Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

It means that libertarians should cease putting all their judicial eggs in the basket of hoping to get good guys, like Richard Epstein or Alex Kozinski, on the Supreme Court. Far more important is getting rid of federal judicial tyranny altogether, and to decentralize our polity radically—to return to the forgotten Tenth Amendment.”

Like most of us who write for LewRockwell.com, I’m opposed to the Supreme Court’s pro-abortion Roe v.Wade decision. If the leak proves to be accurate and the decision is reversed, I’d be glad. As the great Dr. Ron Paul says, “All who support limited, constitutional government should support overturning Roe. The Constitution does not give any branch of the federal government authority to decide what does, and does not, constitute murder. Therefore, federal courts — including the Supreme Court — have no jurisdiction to decide what the penalty should be for performing an abortion.

Overturning Roe would not create a nationwide abortion ban. Instead, it would return to the individual states responsibility for deciding what, if any, restrictions to place on abortion.

If supporters of abortion ‘followed the science,’ they would have to admit that abortion is the taking of human life. A fetus with a heartbeat is developing, but is also still a human with a right to life.

The Biden Justice Department is supporting efforts to overturn the Texas heartbeat law in federal court. President Biden is also supporting the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of federal funds for abortions. If Biden and Congress are going to use tax dollars to support abortions, then they should allow anti-abortion taxpayers to withhold the percentage of their taxes that would be used to support abortion. The same should go for those with moral objections to America’s militaristic foreign policy that forces US taxpayers to subsidize the killing of innocent men, women, and even children. . . To ensure pro-life Americans are not forced to subsidize abortions — either directly or indirectly, it could be forbidden for organizations that promote or perform abortions to receive any federal funds. Denying federal funds to international organizations that promote or perform abortions might help reduce resentment of the US in other countries.

It is no coincidence that Roe v. Wade came at a time when respect for natural rights of life, liberty, and property was on the decline. Roe contributed to the decline in respect for rights and the rise in public and private immorality. These changes have led to violent crimes, people believing they have a moral claim — that must be enforced by the government — to the property of their neighbors, and acceptance of torture and ‘preemptive’ war. The way to reverse these developments is to restore respect for the inalienable right to life, liberty, and property of all human beings, both born and unborn. The cause of life is inseparable from the cause of liberty.”

Some pro-abortionists, especially so-called “left libertarians,” criticize us in this way. “You claim to be Rothbardians, but Murray Rothbard supported abortion. You are going against Rothbard!” As usual, these phonies have it all wrong. Murray supported reversal of Roe v. Wade. As you would expect, he gives a brilliant argument for reversal.

Rothbard says something few other people would think of. Even if you are “pro-choice,” you should still favor overturning Roe v. Wade. “But even apart from the funding issue, there are other arguments for a rapprochement with pro-lifers. There is a prudential consideration: a ban on something as murder is not going to be enforceable if only a minority considers it as murder. A national prohibition is simply not going to work, in addition to being politically impossible to get through in the first place. Pro-choice paleo-libertarians can tell the pro-lifers: ‘Look, a national prohibition is hopeless. Stop trying to pass a human life amendment to the Constitution. Instead, for this and many other reasons, we should radically decentralize political and judicial decisions in this country; we must end the despotism of the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary, and return political decisions to state and local levels.’ Pro-choice paleos should therefore hope that Roe v. Wade is someday overthrown, and abortion questions go back to the state and local levels—the more decentralized the better. Let Oklahoma and Missouri restrict or outlaw abortions, while California and New York retain abortion rights. Hopefully, some day we will have localities within each state making such decisions. Conflict will then be largely defused. Those who want to have, or to practice, abortions can move or travel to California (or Marin County) or New York (or the West Side of Manhattan.)” https://www.rothbard.it/articles/religious-right.pdf

Many “pro-choice” people oppose reversal because if abortion is left to the state or local community to regulate, then a poor woman who lives in an area where abortion isn’t allowed would have to travel to another area. She might not have the funds to do so, For that reason, they say, leaving abortion up for popular decision is an undue “hardship” on her. Rothbard skewers this so-called “argument:” “The standard rebuttal of the pro-abortionists that ‘poor women’ who haven’t got the money to travel would be deprived of abortions of course reverts back to a general egalitarian redistributionist argument. Aren’t the poor ‘deprived’ of vacation travel now? Again, it demonstrates the hidden agenda of the proabortionists in favor of socialized medicine and collectivism generally”

Murray also opposes forcing taxpayers to subsidize pro-abortionist physicians and counselors. “An unfortunate act of President-elect Clinton was to reverse the Bush policy of not funding physicians who counsel abortions. Leftists cleverly distorted this action as an ‘invasion of the free speech of physicians.’ But no ‘freedom of speech’ was involved. People should be free to speak, but this does not mean they must be shielded from the consequences of such speech. No person, and hence no physician, has a ‘right’ to receive taxpayer funding. Everyone may have the right to say whatever they like, but not the right to say whatever they like and still be funded by the taxpayers. And just as taxpayers should not be forced to fund abortions, neither should they be forced to fund people who counsel abortions.”

As always with Murray, he sees things in their broader context. It isn’t enough to reverse Roe v. Wade, Our target should be the whole system of federal judicial tyranny. “A commitment to radical decentralization means that pro-choicers should give up the Freedom of Choice Act, which would impose abortion rights by the federal government upon the entire country. It means that libertarians should cease putting all their judicial eggs in the basket of hoping to get good guys, like Richard Epstein or Alex Kozinski, on the Supreme Court. Far more important is getting rid of federal judicial tyranny altogether, and to decentralize our polity radically—to return to the forgotten Tenth Amendment.”

The so-called “left libertarians” don’t like Murray’s answer. They aren’t Rothbardians in any sense. We are the true Rothbardians, and we agree with Murray on this vital issue.

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TGIF: True Liberals Are Not Conservatives

Posted by M. C. on May 23, 2022

by Sheldon Richman

As he closed his essay Hayek confessed that since the word liberal had been corrupted, thanks to the French Revolution and other forces, by “overrationalis[m], nationalis[m]” and socialis[m],” it had ceased to a good label for his political outlook, which he shared with Tocqueville and Acton: “What I should want is a word which describes the party of life, the party that favors free growth and spontaneous evolution. But I have racked my brain unsuccessfully to find a descriptive term which commends itself.” 

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/tgif-true-liberals-not-conservatives/

The relevance of F. A. Hayek’s essay “Why I Am Not a Conservative,” the postscript to his important 1960 book, The Constitution of Liberty, is demonstrated at once by the opening quote from Lord Acton:

At all times sincere friends of freedom have been rare, and its triumphs have been due to minorities, that have prevailed by associating themselves with auxiliaries whose objects often differed from their own; and this association, which is always dangerous, has sometimes been disastrous, by giving to opponents just grounds of opposition. [Emphasis added.]

Who among true liberal advocates of individual liberty and free social evolution — aka libertarians — would deny the truth of that observation?

Hayek had European conservatism in mind when he wrote his essay, and for years, American conservatives, who still had affection for true liberalism, hastened to point this out. As Hayek wrote:

Conservatism proper is a legitimate, probably necessary, and certainly widespread attitude of opposition to drastic change. It has, since the French Revolution, for a century and a half played an important role in European politics. Until the rise of socialism its opposite was liberalism. There is nothing corresponding to this conflict in the history of the United States, because what in Europe was called “liberalism” was here the common tradition on which the American polity had been built: thus the defender of the American tradition was a liberal in the European sense.

Later in his essay, he elaborated that “in the United States it is still possible to defend individual liberty by defending long-established institutions. To the liberal they are valuable not mainly because they are long established or because they are American but because they correspond to the ideals which he cherishes.”

But he noted that “This already existing confusion [over labels] was made worse by the recent attempt to transplant to America the European type of conservatism, which, being alien to the American tradition, has acquired a somewhat odd character.” The confusion was compounded, Hayek wrote, when socialists began to call themselves liberals.

Many still suffer from this confusion today. But change has been afoot because the illiberals of the left and right increasingly want no part of true liberalism or the label — and in a way, that’s good. Those on the left who call themselves progressives or socialists don’t like the label liberal (or neo-liberal) because they associate it with the current permanent bipartisan prowar regime beholden to special corporate interests (so we liberals still have work to do), and virtually all conservatives eschew the label because they don’t want to be mistaken for libertarians. That’s also good.

So Hayek’s essay has new relevance for America. Would Hayek have been surprised? He would have distinguished national conservatism from neoconservatism because of the latter’s cosmopolitanism. But how could he embrace as bonafide allies people who view imperialist war as a way to create “national greatness” and social solidarity, as the neocons do? Hayek would have agreed with Abraham Bishop who said in 1800 that “a nation which makes greatness its polestar can never be free; beneath national greatness sink individual greatness, honor, wealth and freedom.”

Let’s look at Hayek’s problem with conservatism. For him, the “decisive objection” is that “by its nature,” conservatism can do no more than slow down the change that progressives have initiated. That’s not good enough: “What the liberal must ask, first of all, is not how fast or how far we should move, but where we should move.” He acknowledged that although the liberal’s differences with the “collectivist radical” are greater than his differences with the conservative, the latter “generally holds merely a mild and moderate version of the prejudices of his time.” Thus “the liberal today must more positively oppose some of the basic conceptions which most conservatives share with the socialists.”

See the rest here

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Are They Really Out to Get Me?

Posted by M. C. on May 17, 2022

by Jeff Thomas

Freedom is not merely a vague historical idea, or an excuse to celebrate with firecrackers once a year; it’s a lifetime pursuit and should be taken on as such. The pilot in question has made an initial stab at it. Hopefully he, along with you, the reader, will make it a central facet of his life’s work.

Libertarians and others who seek to be left alone to run their own lives habitually ask themselves the above question regarding their government.

So, what’s the answer? Are they out to get you? Well, unfortunately, the answer isn’t a simple “yes” or “no.” In fact, it’s “yes” and “no.”

The secret to understanding a government’s intentions is that there’s no unified overall objective, sentiment, or approach to dealing with the private sector. Quite the opposite. With any government, it couldn’t be more fragmented or dysfunctional.

At the very lowest level of any government is the civil service, which is, in any country, a catch-all for all those people who are so lacking in ability and imagination that they’d be unlikely to hold down a job in the private sector. Moreover, their level of motivation is likely to be so low that their dysfunction tends to coincide with extreme inefficiency.

To test this out, one only has to visit the local Department of Motor Vehicles, or a similar agency that does little except charge fees and waste time in order to provide you with a permit, which, were it not required, you could happily do without.

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TGIF: Alito’s Challenge to Libertarians

Posted by M. C. on May 14, 2022

by Sheldon Richman 

Note that Alito uses the term ordered liberty. That’s a concept in the case law, apparently first enunciated in 1937, that “sets limits and defines the boundary between competing interests.” Why must the term liberty be so qualified? Because, he writes, “attempts to justify abortion [and other things –SR] through appeals to a broader right to autonomy and to define one’s ‘concept of existence’ prove too much. Those criteria, at a high level of generality, could license fundamental rights to illicit drug use, prostitution, and the like. None of these rights has any claim to being deeply rooted in history.”

Alito hastens to add that other court-protected rights that are not deeply rooted in history — such as the rights to contraception, interracial marriage, and same-sex marriage — are not jeopardized by his opinion because abortion is unique. How confident can others be about that?

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/tgif-alitos-challenge-to-libertarians/

In his recently leaked first draft of an opinion that would reverse the abortion-rights cases Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito gives Americans a choice between judges who read their personal preferences into the Constitution and judges who recognize only rights that they find “rooted in [our] history and tradition” and deem “essential to our Nation’s ‘scheme of ordered Liberty.’”

Is that it? Neither choice seems an adequate safeguard for individual freedom.

Whether one likes the result or not, Alito’s draft in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization raises important issues apart from abortion. Indeed, he unintendedly draws attention to whether the Constitution can be relied on to protect liberty. Unsurprisingly, Alito is not concerned with rights as a philosophical matter. That’s not his job. Rather, he’s concerned only with constitutional rights — liberties that satisfy criteria making them worthy of protection by the government. By that standard, an otherwise perfectly defensible right might not qualify. That would be left to the legislative process. That’s the constitutional game. The framers understood this, though some libertarians do not.

The Constitution may seem to clearly endorse a general notion of liberty in the 14th Amendment’s due process clause, but does it really? Alito, like other conservatives, thinks not:

Historical inquiries … are essential whenever we are asked to recognize a new component of the “liberty” protected by the Due Process Clause because the term “liberty” alone provides little guidance. “Liberty” is a capacious term. As Lincoln once said: “We all declare for Liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing” In a well-known essay, Isaiah Berlin reported that “[h]istorians of ideas” had catalogued more than 200 different senses in which the terms had been used.

In interpreting what is meant by the Fourteenth Amendment’s reference to “liberty,” we must guard against the natural human tendency to confuse what that Amendment protects with our own ardent views about the liberty that Americans should enjoy. That is why the Court has long been “reluctant” to recognize rights that are not mentioned in the Constitution.

So, Alito writes elsewhere in his opinion, “[G]uided by the history and tradition that map the essential components of our Nation’s concept of ordered liberty, we must ask what the Fourteenth Amendment means by the term ‘liberty’ when the issue involves putative rights not named in the Constitution” — such as a woman’s putative right terminate a pregnancy.

Note that Alito uses the term ordered liberty. That’s a concept in the case law, apparently first enunciated in 1937, that “sets limits and defines the boundary between competing interests.” Why must the term liberty be so qualified? Because, he writes, “attempts to justify abortion [and other things –SR] through appeals to a broader right to autonomy and to define one’s ‘concept of existence’ prove too much. Those criteria, at a high level of generality, could license fundamental rights to illicit drug use, prostitution, and the like. None of these rights has any claim to being deeply rooted in history.”

If that counts as “proving too much,” libertarians would say let’s do it.

Alito hastens to add that other court-protected rights that are not deeply rooted in history — such as the rights to contraception, interracial marriage, and same-sex marriage — are not jeopardized by his opinion because abortion is unique. How confident can others be about that?

See the rest here

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Noninterventionism Is Not Isolationism: The US Government Should Stop Arming Ukraine

Posted by M. C. on May 7, 2022

In his interview with Dave Smith, Colonel MacGregor yearns for “the kind of country that we were a hundred years ago, which in most cases, was interested in intervening to end conflicts, not with military power, but to offer its services as an objective partner, as someone who could bring two sides together and avoid a larger more destructive conflict“ Does this sound like isolationism and lack of compassion for our fellow man?

https://mises.org/wire/noninterventionism-not-isolationism-us-government-should-stop-arming-ukraine

Daniel Martin

Libertarians, liberty-wing Republicans, and other opponents of nondefensive wars are popularly misconceived as having an “every man for himself” approach to both economics and foreign policy. Of course, this is patently false in both cases, but this piece will focus on clarifying the latter.

Local Libertarian activist Roy Minet, who has also written about the former, touched on the popular myth of isolationism in his 2014 LNP article: “Apparently, they call anyone who doesn’t support their various military interventions around the globe an isolationist.” I made this same point in my 2017 piece about how the isolationist label helped kill Ron Paul’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns. This conflation of noninterventionism with “isolationism” continues to squelch and distort the message of antiwar voices … which is particularly relevant given the current events in Ukraine.

The Libertarian National Committee recently sent out a mailer titled “No War with Russia.” It warns of the danger of entangling alliances and lays out a brief history of Russia and the US’s precarious relationship and the role the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has played in it. The prescription is noninterventionism because “when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

A recent article on mises.org further explains how the state, along with its media allies, exhibits a pattern of concocting crises to perpetuate the power of this hammer: “What defines our present condition is how the moral panics are used to rally a civilian army that revels in the demise of the nonconforming opposition…. The Russia-Ukraine War is an easy lightning rod that the government and established centers of power in society can use to demonize Americans who hold the wrong view.”

This “wrong view” is often merely a more nuanced and contextualized view of the situation than what is found in mainstream legacy media. “The answer for why Americans pine for more war is probably complicated, but it’s clear that they generally hold simplistic views of the situation over there.”

Perhaps it is people’s resignation to the idea that the history and context of the conflict are too complicated to grasp that leads them to accept the simplistic narrative they are fed. Consequently, popular virtue signaling seems to be centered around criticism of Vladimir Putin and conceding nothing to him (even if this comes at the expense of Ukrainians themselves). But noninterventionism takes the sensible position that Putin is not our leader and that thus Americans can’t hold him accountable for bad behavior. Conversely, if we at least acknowledge the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s role in provoking this conflict, we can work toward holding our own leaders accountable and press them to create a more diplomacy-friendly atmosphere.

See the rest here

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Leftists Have It Wrong on Rights

Posted by M. C. on February 7, 2022

Not even the crafters of the Bill of Rights believed that. A careful reading of the First Amendment reveals that it doesn’t purport to give any rights to anyone. Instead, the wording states that Congress (and implicitly the rest of the federal government) is prohibited from infringing on people’s right of free speech. 

Thus when the government enacts a law or adopts a measure that infringes on freedom of speech, leftists are relegated to saying, “We understand that you have given us this important privilege but please be nice and don’t infringe on it.” Libertarians, on the other hand, say, “You have no legitimate authority to do that and so stop it immediately or else we will alter you or abolish you!”

by Jacob G. Hornberger

One of the central defects among leftists (that is, “liberals,” progressives, socialists, or interventionists) is their wrong-headed view of the nature of people’s rights. Their belief on this issue is one of the distinguishing characteristics between leftists and libertarians.

Leftists believe that people’s rights come from the government or from the Constitution. As such, they view rights not so much as rights but rather more as government-granted privileges.

Libertarians, on the other hand, believe that people’s rights are endowed in them by nature and God and, therefore, that people’s rights preexist government and the Constitution. We hold that the main purpose of government is to serve as our servant whose job is to protect the exercise of our natural, God-given rights. 

A good example of this leftist mindset was recently expressed in a fundraising letter I received from a leftist group called the Daily Kos. The letter stated that freedom of speech is “one of those rights granted to us in Bill of Rights.” It went on to refer to “our First Amendment rights.”

Not even the crafters of the Bill of Rights believed that. A careful reading of the First Amendment reveals that it doesn’t purport to give any rights to anyone. Instead, the wording states that Congress (and implicitly the rest of the federal government) is prohibited from infringing on people’s right of free speech. 

In other words, unlike American leftists today, our American ancestors didn’t believe that people’s rights come from the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, or from the government. They believed in what the Declaration of Independence stated — that man’s rights come from nature and God and that it is the responsibility of government to protect, not destroy, the exercise of such rights.

We are not just talking about a semantical difference here. The difference between how leftists and libertarians view the nature of rights has profound consequences. 

Given that leftists believe that their rights come from the government, they necessarily put themselves in a position of pleading, or perhaps even begging, that government go easy on them — that is, that government officials give them more latitude in exercising their “rights.” 

Thus, leftists view freedom as living on a leash — they just want the government to let them have a longer leash. What happens when the government begins reining in the leash? Leftists have no principled argument to make against what the government is doing. Since people’s rights come from government, leftists believe, then government can legitimately rein in the leash whenever it wants. 

Not so with libertarians. Unlike leftists, we are not relegated to pleading with or begging the government to treat us nicely. That’s because for us our rights don’t come from government. They preexist government. Government officials are nothing more than our servants whose job is to protect our rights. If they fail or refuse to do so — or if they use their power to destroy or infringe our rights — we have the right to alter or even abolish government and restore its rightful responsibility — the responsibility to behave as our servants whose job is to protect the exercise of our preexisting natural, God-given rights.

Thus when the government enacts a law or adopts a measure that infringes on freedom of speech, leftists are relegated to saying, “We understand that you have given us this important privilege but please be nice and don’t infringe on it.” Libertarians, on the other hand, say, “You have no legitimate authority to do that and so stop it immediately or else we will alter you or abolish you!”

The leftist view of the nature of rights is one reason why you can never count on leftists to protect our rights and liberties. Anyone who wants a genuine defense of our rights and liberties needs to join up with us libertarians. 

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It’s Time to Break Up New York State

Posted by M. C. on January 22, 2022

Some might ask what’s the point of an article about a failed proposal aside from it being interesting. The point was not to talk about the success of the movement, but to highlight that there is a hunger for creative and unorthodox solutions in red America. Tens of millions of people feel the tendrils of leftism and authoritarianism tightening around their throat. They are ready to consider solutions they would have scoffed at just a decade ago.

https://mises.org/wire/its-time-break-new-york-state

Nicolas Gregoris

Neil Sedaka said it best – “breaking up is hard to do”. Ask any 16-year-old and they’ll tell you that’s certainly true, but Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) recently made headlines when she suggested not just a breakup, but a “National Divorce” on social media. Of course, there was the typical incoherent shrieking and pearl clutching from progressives, neoconservatives, and other lizard-people, but there was also general acknowledgement from many regular folks that a “National Divorce” may be the only long-term solution.

We Need to Talk…

It should go without saying that our current political arrangement is not working. 2020 saw not just the Covid-19 insanity, but political violence where people were literally shooting each other in the street. Add to that the disturbing new polling data that revealed 48% of Democrats support “quarantine camps” for those who won’t take the recommended “medical interventions” and it seems like the only solution is to exit this abusive relationship.

But the focus on a national divorce perpetuates the same folly that has plagued libertarians and our allies on the right for years: focusing on the national to the exclusion of the state and local. The title of “county executive” may not be as sexy as “President of the United States”, but if the past 22 months have taught us anything, it is that these local offices matter insofar as they can determine how “normal” and free your day-to-day life is. Rather than talking strictly of a national divorce, we should be advocating small-scale secession as well.

Counties leaving their current states and cities leaving their current counties to join neighboring areas that more closely align with their politics should be a part of popular political discourse. Often the biggest barrier secession movements face is the widely held (albeit ludicrous) belief that our current set of lines on a map are sacred and must be preserved, and anyone who would change these lines in any way just pines for the good ‘ole days when they could own other people as property.

Secession in the Empire State

New York state has always been ripe for secession movements. Extreme political division between Downstate (“the city”) and Upstate (not “the city”) have prompted several movements aiming to split the Empire State in two. The secessionist movement of 1969 saw New Yorkers unhappy that upstate had so much control over their politics at the state level and proposed that New York City become the 51st state. 2003 and 2008 saw similar pushes from downstate citing “paying more than they receive” in taxes.

Talk of separation didn’t stop there. In 2015, the push for breaking up was led by Upstate, rural and red, against Downstate, urban and blue. Upstate has not been represented in state level politics for some time – the S.A.F.E. Act (a slew of draconian gun control laws) passed in 2013, and in 2014 Governor Cuomo banned hydrofracking (an important industry for upstaters).

Upstate New York is also burdened by the absurd regulatory schema implemented and maintained by downstate voters and politicians – case and point, these people are talking about banning gas powered lawn equipment for God’s sake. Many upstaters blame the region’s decaying economy on these regulations.

In other words, upstate New Yorkers are being governed by urban elites – people who not only have completely different values and worldviews but look upon them with disdain and derision.

This should sound familiar to you. The situation in New York is eerily similar to that of the United States as a whole. Comparing the electoral map of the 2020 presidential election and the 2018 New York gubernatorial election (both victories for the ‘Dems) make this abundantly clear – big cities dictate policy to the detriment of everyone else.

Here is the 2020 electoral map (by county):

ng

And here is the 2018 New York gubernatorial race electoral map (by county):

ng

The recent secession movement generated three main proposals: the first was the generic two-state solution; the second involved several counties in the Southern Tier (right above Pennsylvania) becoming part of Pennsylvania. Both ideas ran into an enormous roadblock called the Constitution. Per Article IV Section III, anytime a new state is to be created from an existing state, or parts of one state leave for another state, the approval of both state legislatures and Congress must be obtained. This is a daunting task, to say the least.

The third proposal comes from the Divide NY Caucus and would circumvent the Constitution –in a good way…not a “Commerce Clause” sort of way. There are no constitutional barriers if no new state is being created, so the Divide NY plan would split the state into three autonomous regions – New York (NYC), Montauk (NYC’s immediate suburbs), and New Amsterdam (everything else).

Partition Instead of Secession?

Each region would basically be its own state, responsible for electing its own governor and legislature, as well as dictating its own policies and taxes. But here’s the kicker, “New York State”, as recognized by the federal government, would still exist. The current “governor” would occupy a position akin to that of the Queen of England, but all federal representation would remain the same. There would be no changes to the number of states in the Union or the territory controlled by each state, so Congress is not involved, and since no other state is involved either, the bill would only need to survive one legislature.

Divide NY’s proposal became NY Senate Bill S5416 and dealt with many of the issues commonly associated with secession movements – namely, who would get what. The exhaustive 24-page bill details how the state’s university system, prisons and courts, and roadways would be divided. Sadly, it didn’t make it out of committee, but has been introduced again for the 2022 legislative session.

The proposal isn’t perfect, since it likely means that awful federal representatives like Chuck Schumer and Kirstin Gillibrand would keep their jobs, but virtually all New Yorkers would be better off. Downstate would free themselves from what they perceive as the “free-loading moochers” Upstate, and Upstate would no longer have to answer to the insane hypochondriacs and left-wing ideologues Downstate. But even if it didn’t make everyone better off, man is entitled to self-determination, and that right should be respected and exercised. Period.

Some might ask what’s the point of an article about a failed proposal aside from it being interesting. The point was not to talk about the success of the movement, but to highlight that there is a hunger for creative and unorthodox solutions in red America. Tens of millions of people feel the tendrils of leftism and authoritarianism tightening around their throat. They are ready to consider solutions they would have scoffed at just a decade ago. They are looking for solutions at every level – solutions that the liberty movement had embraced long ago. It might be up to us to spread the message of separation and rebuilding. A message that says, yes, even though mommy and daddy love you very much, they just can’t live together anymore. Author:

Nicolas Gregoris

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The New Deal and the Emergence of the Old Right | Mises Institute

Posted by M. C. on January 15, 2022

https://mises.org/library/new-deal-and-emergence-old-right

Murray N. Rothbard

[This article is taken from chapter 4 of The Betrayal of the American Right.]

During the 1920s, the emerging individualists and libertarians — the Menckens, the Nocks, the Villards, and their followers — were generally considered Men of the Left; like the Left generally, they bitterly opposed the emergence of Big Government in twentieth-century America, a government allied with Big Business in a network of special privilege, a government dictating the personal drinking habits of the citizenry and repressing civil liberties, a government that had enlisted as a junior partner to British imperialism to push around nations across the globe. The individualists were opposed to this burgeoning of State monopoly, opposed to imperialism and militarism and foreign wars, opposed to the Western-imposed Versailles Treaty and League of Nations, and they were generally allied with socialists and progressives in this opposition.

All this changed, and changed drastically, however, with the advent of the New Deal. For the individualists saw the New Deal quite clearly as merely the logical extension of Hooverism and World War I: as the imposition of a fascistic government upon the economy and society, with a Bigness far worse than Theodore Roosevelt (“Roosevelt I” in Mencken’s label) or Wilson or Hoover had ever been able to achieve. The New Deal, with its burgeoning corporate state, run by Big Business and Big Unions as its junior partner, allied with corporate liberal intellectuals and using welfarist rhetoric, was perceived by these libertarians as fascism come to America. And so their astonishment and bitterness were great when they discovered that their former, and supposedly knowledgeable, allies, the socialists and progressives, instead of joining in with this insight, had rushed to embrace and even deify the New Deal, and to form its vanguard of intellectual apologists. This embrace by the Left was rapidly made unanimous when the Communist Party and its allies joined the parade with the advent of the Popular Front in 1935. And the younger generation of intellectuals, many of whom had been followers of Mencken and Villard, cast aside their individualism to join the “working class” and to take their part as Brain Trusters and planners of the seemingly new Utopia taking shape in America. The spirit of technocratic dictation over the American citizen was best expressed in the famous poem of Rex Tugwell, whose words were to be engraved in horror on all “right-wing” hearts throughout the country:

I have gathered my tools and my charts,

My plans are finished and practical.

I shall roll up my sleeves — make America over.

Only the few laissez-faire liberals saw the direct filiation between Hoover’s cartelist program and the fascistic cartelization imposed by the New Deal’s NRA and AAA, and few realized that the origin of these programs was specifically such Big Business collectivist plans as the famous Swope Plan, spawned by Gerard Swope, head of General Electric in late 1931, and adopted by most big business groups in the following year. It was, in fact, when Hoover refused to go this far, denouncing the plan as “fascism” even though he had himself been tending in that direction for years, that Henry I. Harriman, head of the US Chamber of Commerce, warned Hoover that Big Business would throw its weight to Roosevelt, who had agreed to enact the plan, and indeed was to carry out his agreement. Swope himself, Harriman, and their powerful mentor, the financier Bernard M. Baruch, were indeed heavily involved both in drafting and administering the NRA and AAA.1

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TGIF: Rigged Political Language | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on November 21, 2021

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/tgif-rigged-political-language/

by Sheldon Richman

It’s an old trick: gain advantage over others by hiding one’s meaning behind euphemisms and other forms of linguistic camouflage and misdirection. People do this in all walks of life, but politicians make careers of it. If they engage in straight talk at all, it is by far the exception. The journalist Michael Kinsley defined a gaffe as “when a politician tells the truth – some obvious truth he isn’t supposed to say.”

Obfuscation is the currency of politics. Little has changed since Oscar Wilde’s time: “Nowadays to be intelligible is to be found out.”

Libertarians have emphasized this scam for years. When they say that taxation is theft, they offer an illustration. If you threatened to harm people, say, by imprisonment, unless they surrendered some of their incomes each year, you would be prosecuted for extortion, even if you planned to do good works with the money. Punishment would then follow. Politicians do the same thing, except that taxation is not illegal.

When the government orders people to leave their homes so politicians may put the land to other uses, that is also theft. But it is called by the high-sounding term eminent domain. That euphemism adds to the mystique of the state as it reveals what ought to be a repugnant idea: that the government is the supreme owner of all land in its jurisdiction — even in the United States, whose Constitution implicitly embraces that principle. True, eminent domain is not an enumerated power (so much for the doctrine of the limited power), but it is acknowledged indirectly in the clause about compensation in the subsequently added Fifth Amendment. This shows that the framers thought the power to take private property was inherent in the sovereign.

The so-called “takings clause” is an odd part of the Bill of Rights. It proclaims that people have a right to “just compensation” whenever the government violates their right to property. That the government pays what it calls “just compensation” does not make eminent domain alright. What makes compensation just in a normal transaction is that the buyer and seller freely agree to the amount. Since sellers are coerced under eminent domain, no compensation qualifies as just.

If we set our minds to it, we could all find many more examples of political euphemisms. The Department of Defense was once called the Department of War. The term free election disguises the fact that voters choose among politicians under duress: they will be coerced by government policy whether or not they participate in the election. Climate policy ought to be called pro-poverty policy. Trade policy would better be known as crony-reward policy. Government intelligence and military justice … well, you get the idea.

Scanning the recent headlines, I notice that many places are enacting so-called gun-buyback programs. What a euphemism that is. You would think that the only thing that the government could buy back was something that it had originally sold. That’s what back means in such a phrase. But state and local governments don’t sell guns to citizens, so how can they buy them back?

I concede that the recent programs appear to be voluntary, although the money paid (sometimes in the form of grocery gift cards) is taken by force from the taxpayers. So the politicians aren’t even buying back with their own money. In the past, however, buyback campaigns were mandatory, and some favor compulsion today. For example, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton spoke favorably about Australia’s compulsory program. Beto O’Rourke, who sought the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, has called for a compulsory “assault weapons” buyback.

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Equality in Slavery

Posted by M. C. on August 10, 2021

http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2021/august/09/equality-in-slavery/

Written by Ron Paul Monday August 9, 2021
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The Senate Armed Services Committee approved last month a National Defense Authorization Act that includes a requirement that women register with Selective Service on their 18th birthday. If the bill becomes law with this provision included and a military draft is reinstated, women will be forced to join the military, and America will have equality in slavery.

Proponents of drafting women argue that since women can now serve in combat it makes sense to make the draft “gender neutral.”

Some conservatives have made moral arguments against drafting women, saying that women should be able to decide for themselves whether or not to serve in the military. It is certainly true that it is immoral to force women into military service, but that is because it is wrong to force anyone into military service.

Forcing young people, regardless of their sex, to fight, kill, and even die in war is the worst violation of individual liberty a government can commit. Those who support the military draft implicitly reject the Declaration of Independence. How can someone support forced military service and still claim to believe all individuals are endowed with unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

While commonly thought of as a “left-wing” position, opposition to the draft has historically united Americans across the political spectrum. Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater both opposed the draft while running for president. Russell Kirk, the scholar who helped popularize the term “conservative,” opposed conscription.

Some progressives oppose a military draft but support other forms of mandatory national service. These progressives fail to understand that forcing someone to serve the welfare state is just as immoral as forcing someone to serve the warfare state.

Some conservatives join progressives in supporting mandatory national service. These conservatives claim that mandatory national service provides young people a way to “pay back” the debt they owe society. But these are moral obligations owed to families, churches, and communities, not legal obligations owed to, and properly enforceable by, the government.

Libertarians are consistent opponents of all forms of mandatory service. This is because libertarians apply the prohibitions against violence, theft, and fraud to governments as well as private citizens. So, if it is wrong for your neighbors to force your children to mow the neighbors’ lawn, it is wrong for government to force your children to serve in the military or perform any other type of “national service.”

The nonaggression principle is why libertarians oppose taxation, nationalized healthcare and education, and military crusades in the name of “democracy” or “human rights.” It is also why libertarians oppose laws telling people how to raise their children, limiting access to “extremist” websites, telling business owners who can and cannot use what bathrooms on their property, or prohibiting someone from gambling online, smoking marijuana, or drinking raw milk.

Some libertarians urge their liberty movement compatriots to not talk about the nonaggression principle. These “pragmatists” think the focus should be on making the “practical” case for liberty. But those who embrace liberty because it “works” better than statism will make “exceptions” if they think an authoritarian idea like mandatory national service is a more practical way of achieving their political, economic, or social goals. Only those committed to the moral case for liberty can be counted on to defend all liberty at all times.


Copyright © 2021 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

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