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The Foreign Policy We Need | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on August 7, 2020

Trump has shown that conservatives aren’t necessarily eager to go to war, even if they remain entirely too trusting of Republican presidents who want to take them there—including the current occupant of the Oval Office under the wrong set of circumstances. That is a good first step, but it is far from sufficient. Conservative restrainers must stop being passive observers in a foreign policy debate Trump and their libertarian allies have already joined. It’s well past time for a conservative foreign policy of peace.

Restrainers on the right must stop being passive observers in a debate Trump and their libertarian allies have already joined.

Sen. Rand Paul (Gage Skidmore), President Trump (U.S. Coast Guard) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (Gage Skidmore)

Four years after the once unthinkable election of a Republican president who called the Iraq war a “mistake,” America still needs a genuinely conservative foreign policy of realism and restraint.

Hegemonists and hyper-interventionists are being challenged for the first time in two decades, perhaps as never before in the post-Cold War era. The folly of their never-ending, no-win wars is evident to voters, prime-time cable news hosts, diplomats, academics, even the veterans and active-duty soldiers who have fought in them. A new generation of conservative thought leaders is coming of age that turns the thinking that prevailed under George W. Bush on its head, yet the Right is still underrepresented in the fight against the hawkish dead consensus and the GOP’s governing class lags well behind.

There is a progressive critique of U.S. foreign policy that is gaining adherents, even if the Democratic Party nominated a conventional liberal hawk to challenge Donald Trump for president of the United States. Joe Biden represents the death rattle of the fading New Democrat politics of the 1990s, with its ever-present fear of being seen as less ready to go to war than the Republicans, a cry of electoral desperation and a reluctance to go into a competitive general election with an overtly socialist standard-bearer. Biden is himself responsive to trends within his party, including on matters of war and peace, even if he is too likely to appoint to critical national security positions the same set of officials who ruined Barack Obama’s foreign policy. Bernie Sanders’s team of relative realists is more likely to be the party’s future.

But there are millions of Americans for whom the progressivism of 2020 does not even claim to speak. Tulsi Gabbard’s fate—she won some delegates in American Samoa, and was kept off the debate stage as voting drew closer—shows that the modern Democratic Party prioritizes wokeness over war. Left-Right “transpartisan” coalitions can accomplish important things together, as the congressional resolution demanding an end to the war in Yemen shows. They have also become inherently unstable under Trump, who is an asset to making antiwar arguments to conservatives but anathema to liberals.

There has also been considerable resistance to the neoconservative hegemony that dominates Republican foreign policy thinking, making it possible once again to vote in good conscience for a GOP presidential candidate without the reservation that the installation of a center-right commander-in-chief will inevitably lead to a repeat of the Iraq war or worse. But much of this pushback, welcome as it is, comes from libertarians. The American political coalition that is more skeptical of statism, and has been since at least Ronald Reagan if not Barry Goldwater, needs to be reminded that war is as likely to end in failure or produce unintended consequences as any other government program. Too often, Republicans treat the Pentagon as an honorary member of the private sector and exempt its endeavors from the scrutiny they would apply to bureaucrats of any other stripe. But federal employees actually do a better job of delivering the mail than delivering democracy to the Middle East.

Libertarians have done yeoman’s work in turning the neocon foreign policy monologue of the 2000s into a real dialogue. Especially invaluable has been the contributions of two families, the Pauls and the Koch brothers. When the history of early 21st century conservatism is written, their names will be at least as important as the Kristols and Podhoretzs. But at the present time, libertarianism does not appear to be a governing philosophy that can win a national election and therefore seriously contest for control of U.S. foreign policy. The younger generation of conservatives who reject interventionism run amok should not be forced to choose between prudence in immigraton policy or foreign affairs, an endless repetition of a Reagan economic program better suited to the 1980s than 2021, or going abroad in search of monsters to destroy in pursuit of imaginary WMD and equally fictitious democratist fantasies, based on ideas that were terrible then and now, this time covered in a veneer of focus-grouped populism.

Yet the new national conservatism has produced exactly one reliable populist Republican politician who has shown a willingness to vote according to Trump’s foreign policy campaign promises when the going gets tough: Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida. The foreign policy of Sen. Josh Hawley remains a work in progress, though a potentially promising one; Sens. Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio remain as hawkish as ever, however Trumpian they have become on other issues. Rep. Walter Jones, who arrived at antiwar conservatism from a non-libertarian starting point, is dead. Rep. Jimmy Duncan is retired. This is a smaller group than the handful of libertarian Republicans standing athwart the neocon war machine yelling stop.


Trump himself bears a great deal of responsibility for this unmet challenge. He has largely delivered the foreign policy of second-term George W. Bush, an improvement only over the first-term variety, though he seems a great deal less pleased about it. He has cycled through defense secretaries and national security advisors, but the endless wars have not yet come to an end. The most important former Trump official and ally who has moved in the right direction on foreign policy is Jeff Sessions; the president is actively campaigning against his return to the Senate. He has not started any new wars, but he has risked escalating some old ones—and, most dangerously, fanned the flames of tension with Iran.

That doesn’t mean Trump’s better instincts on foreign policy have been meaningless. Without them, the Qasem Soleimani killing earlier this year could have easily metastasized into a full-fledged Iraq-style war with Iran. He would not have sacked John Bolton, whom he should never have hired in the first place. He has kept the debate over the U.S. presence in Afghanistan and Syria from fading into the background as falling bombs become ambient noise. He has eroded ISIS’s gains without massive new deployments to the Middle East and has stopped short of fighting every side of the Syrian civil war. Trump has also laid bare many of the leftist assumptions that undergird contemporary neoconservatism and sent prominent neocons, whose muggings by reality had apparently worn off, back to their ancestral homes in the Democratic Party.

What Trump hasn’t done is implement a new foreign policy that differs sufficiently from that which gave us the tragedies of Iraq and Libya or create a new talent pool of qualified federal officials who could help a future Republican president do so. With the possible exception of Gaetz, he has not even put the Republicans most aligned with his preferred foreign policy in the best position to succeed him. What does it profit us to move some troops around in northern Syria only to wind up at war in Iran, or to lose Jennifer Rubin as an intermittently conservative blogger at the Washington Post only to gain a President Nikki Haley?

Trump’s biggest positive contribution, like that of TAC founding editor Pat Buchanan before him, is to demonstrate that there is a real constituency for a different policy within the Republican electorate. To be sure, some of it had to do with their credibility with grassroots conservatives and GOP-aligned demographics. It was difficult to caricature Trump or Buchanan, like Jim Webb across the aisle, as uninterested in American national security or interests. They were not, hysteria about Russia or Iraq notwithstanding, “unpatriotic conservatives” in the eyes of rank-and-file Republicans. They were seen as unimpeachably pro-American.

As antiwar conservative Fox News host Tucker Carlson explained it in another context, the American people do care if the president keeps them safe. “You can regularly say embarrassing things on television,” he said. “You can hire Omarosa to work at the White House. All of that will be forgiven if you protect your people. But if you don’t protect them—or, worse, if you seem like you can’t be bothered to protect them—then you’re done. It’s over. People will not forgive weakness.” Trump in 2016, like Buchanan in 1996, passed that test in Republicans’ eyes in a way that a liberal George McGovern and most libertarians never could. Ergo Trump sits in the Oval Office while McGovern lost 49 states and the Libertarian Party has never won more than 3.3 percent of the national popular vote.

But it wasn’t just the messenger. The message was a fundamentally conservative one, even if not the stereotypical saber-rattling Republican argumentation. The United States is a great country, but not an embryonic United Nations.

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The Greatest Political Strategist in History – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on July 20, 2020

With this laborious introduction out of the way, let’s begin.  The political strategist of whom I am speaking is Antonio Gramsci.  Malachi Martin summarizes the importance of Gramsci, in his book The Keys of this Blood:

…the political formula Gramsci devised has done much more than classical Leninism – and certainly more than Stalinism – to spread Marxism throughout the capitalist West.

What is that formula?  Gary North explains: Noting that Western society was deeply religious, Gramsci believed that…

…the only way to achieve a proletarian revolution would be to break the faith of the masses of Western voters in Christianity and the moral system derived from Christianity.

Religion and culture were at the base of the pyramid, the foundation.


The year 2020 is not passing quietly.  We are witnessing events unthinkable even a few months ago: keep your anti-social distance, wear a mask when entering a bank, follow the arrows on the floor of the supermarket, all sporting events cancelled, homeschooling – even for university students – is approved by all corners of government and society.  Most relevant to this discussion: pot shops, liquor stores, and abortion clinics are essential, churches during Holy Week are not.

Add to this the protests – more specifically the riots.  Police told by government officials to stand down.  Those who intend to defend their lives and their property are the ones judged – by the media, and potentially by government prosecutors and courts.  Oh yes: protesting and rioting wards off viruses – no need for masks.

What, of all of this, is directly relevant to you?  Why did I feel it appropriate to change the topic of this lecture in the last days?  We are living through massive cultural changes.  While culture always evolves, in the last several decades the changes have been revolutionary – and I use that term purposefully.  These changes are aimed right at you and those who sat in your place over the last decades.  The purpose is to create soldiers for the revolution.

What I hear of college, and it also is true in business and government, are stories of various cultural indoctrinations – made ever-more intense given the pretext for these recent riots.  Politically correct speech to include even compelled speech, cancel culture, self-flagellation, a fight for the gold medal in the oppression olympics.  If you disagree with any of this, you are a fascist.  To further cement this indoctrination, a requirement to take classes that tear down Western Civilization – even saying those two words in anything other than a scornful tone could be costly.

There is a purpose behind this, a strategy.  Events that we have been living through recently are not spontaneous or random.  This is not accidental.  These events are the result of a political strategy designed to strip us of our liberty.  It is an insidious strategy.  It is also very effective.

Whether knowingly or not, those carrying out this strategy are using the playbook of the most successful Marxist thinker in history.  Given the damage this strategy has done to the freedoms of the West, I consider him to be the greatest political strategist in history.

And this is what I would like to discuss.  Before beginning, I must give you fair warning on two points: First, much of this Marxist playbook sounds an awful lot like the wishes of simplistic libertarians – libertarianism for children, as a good friend once labeled this.  I will come back to this point more than once.

Second, there will be a lot of discussion of western tradition and culture in this lecture.  Inherently this will include Christianity.  But if you want to understand the enemy’s playbook, then this cannot be avoided.

Now, I know many libertarians push back hard on this topic: Christianity is unnecessary for liberty, in fact it is an enemy to liberty.  I will only ask that you keep in mind: the most successful Marxist thinker in history believed that Christianity is the enemy of communism; it’s what stood in the way of communism’s advance in the West.  For now, I ask that you stay open to the possibility that he was right – because, when I look around me today, he sure appears to have been right.

With this laborious introduction out of the way, let’s begin.  The political strategist of whom I am speaking is Antonio Gramsci.  Malachi Martin summarizes the importance of Gramsci, in his book The Keys of this Blood:

…the political formula Gramsci devised has done much more than classical Leninism – and certainly more than Stalinism – to spread Marxism throughout the capitalist West.

What is that formula?  Gary North explains: Noting that Western society was deeply religious, Gramsci believed that…

…the only way to achieve a proletarian revolution would be to break the faith of the masses of Western voters in Christianity and the moral system derived from Christianity.

Religion and culture were at the base of the pyramid, the foundation.  It was the culture, and not the economic condition of the working class, that was the key to bringing communism to the West.  To be fair to Gramsci, he didn’t start this ball rolling; the West was doing a fine job of damaging its cultural tradition.

One can point to elements of medieval Catholicism, the Reformation and Renaissance, the Enlightenment (as I have previously discussed), and postmillennial pietist Protestants (as Murray Rothbard so clearly demonstrated), as all contributing to this destruction long before Gramsci hit the scene.  But without these cracks in the armor, Gramsci would never have been successful.

What is our current condition relative to Gramsci’s objectives?  I could speak to the destruction of the family, the loss of all meaningful intermediating governance institutions, the absurdity of a good portion of what passes for university studies today, especially in liberal arts and humanities – all of which are symptoms of the crumbling of the ultimate target at which Gramsci aimed.  We have, this year, been given indisputable evidence as to the success of his political strategy, in the response by Christian leaders to the coronavirus.  Just as one example, from Kentucky:

When I asked [Bishop John Stowe of the Catholic Diocese of Lexington] what he would say to a pastor planning Easter worship, he was blunt: “I would say it’s irresponsible,” he said. “It’s jeopardizing people’s lives.”

I know we live in a fact-free world, but was it ever wise to believe that we were facing the Black Death?  In pre-modern plagues, did Christian leaders act this way?  The simple answer to both questions is no, yet we have churches closed during Holy Week.  I cannot think of a better symbolic representation of the destruction of Christianity in the West.  Such is the success of Antonio Gramsci.

Who is Antonio Gramsci?  He was an Italian Marxist (more accurately, an Italian communist), writing on political theory, sociology and linguistics.  His work focused on the role that culture and tradition plays in preventing communism from spreading through the West.

Gramsci was born in 1891 and died in 1937, the middle of seven children.  Hunchbacked, either due to a malformed spine from birth or a childhood accident, it is not clear.  One of the stories has him falling from the arms of a servant down a steep flight of stairs.  Though his family gave him up for dead, his aunt anointed his feet with oil from a lamp dedicated to the Madonna.  Ironic.

Continuously sickly, until the age of fourteen a coffin for him was kept at the ready in his bedroom.  His father was thrown in prison for political cause and his mother, somehow, kept the family alive.

Prior to leaving Sardinia for Turin and university, he was a nationalist – Sardinia for the Sardinians.  Upon arriving in Turin, he came upon the automotive factories of Fiat.  It was here that he found the class struggle: workers and bosses.

World War One made this clear: half a million Italian peasants died, while the profits of industrialists rose.  He left university and began writing.  He founded a newspaper: L’Ordine Nuovo, The New Order, with its first issue delivered on May Day 1919.  He was a founder and leader of the Communist Party of Italy, and a member of Parliament.

With Parliamentary immunity suspended by Mussolini, he was sent to prison.  Several years later, a prisoner exchange was proposed by the Vatican: send Gramsci to Moscow in exchange for a group of priests imprisoned in the Soviet Union.  Mussolini put a stop to these negotiations in early 1933.

It was during his time in prison when he wrote his famous Prison Notebooks, describing the contents as “Everything that Concerns People.”  It comprised over 2,800 handwritten pages.  Twenty-one of the notebooks bear the stamp of prison authorities.  Given the risk of censorship, he used bland terms in place of traditional Marxist terminology.

Though completed by 1935, these were only published in the years 1948 – 1951, and not in English until the 1970s.  By 1957, nearly 400,000 copies had been sold.

Suffering from various heart, respiratory and digestive diseases, he was eventually transferred to a prison hospital facility.  On April 25, 1937 – the same day that he received news that he would be released – he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died two days later.

Through his notebooks, he introduced several ideas in Marxist theory, critical theory, and educational theory.  Most important was the idea of Cultural Hegemony, which was the unifying idea of Gramsci’s work from 1917 until he died.

Cultural Hegemony: Why hadn’t the Marxist Revolution swept the West by the early twentieth century?  Gramsci suggested that capitalists did not maintain control simply coercively – as Marx would describe it – but also ideologically.  The values of the bourgeoisie were the common values of all.  These values helped to maintain the status quo, and limited any possibility of revolution. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Death Wish of the Anarcho-Communists | Mises Institute

Posted by M. C. on July 17, 2020

If there is one thing, for example, that anarcho-communism hates and reviles more than the State it is the rights of private property; as a matter of fact, the major reason that anarcho-communists oppose the State is because they wrongly believe that it is the creator and protector of private property, and therefore that the only route toward abolition of property is by destruction of the State apparatus.

The fact that the abandonment of rationality and economics in behalf of “freedom” and whim will lead to the scrapping of modern production and civilization and return us to barbarism does not faze our anarcho-communists and other exponents of the new “counter-culture.” But what they do not seem to realize is that the result of this return to primitivism would be starvation and death for nearly all of mankind and a grinding subsistence for the ones remaining.

Murray N. Rothbard

[This article first appeared in the Libertarian Forum, January 1, 1970.]

Now that the New Left has abandoned its earlier loose, flexible non-ideological stance, two ideologies have been adopted as guiding theoretical positions by New Leftists: Marxism-Stalinism, and anarcho-communism.

Marxism-Stalinism has unfortunately conquered SDS, but anarcho-communism has attracted many leftists who are looking for a way out of the bureaucratic and statist tyranny that has marked the Stalinist road.

And many libertarians, who are looking for forms of action and for allies in such actions, have become attracted by an anarchist creed which seemingly exalts the voluntary way and calls for the abolition of the coercive State.

It is fatal, however, to abandon and lose sight of one’s own principles in the quest for allies in specific tactical actions.

Anarcho-communism, both in its original Bakunin-Kropotkin form and its current irrationalist and “post-scarcity” variety, is poles apart from genuine libertarian principle.

If there is one thing, for example, that anarcho-communism hates and reviles more than the State it is the rights of private property; as a matter of fact, the major reason that anarcho-communists oppose the State is because they wrongly believe that it is the creator and protector of private property, and therefore that the only route toward abolition of property is by destruction of the State apparatus.

They totally fail to realize that the State has always been the great enemy and invader of the rights of private property.

Furthermore, scorning and detesting the free market, the profit-and-loss economy, private property, and material affluence—all of which are corollaries of each other—anarcho-communists wrongly identify anarchism with communal living, with tribal sharing, and with other aspects of our emerging drug-rock “youth culture.”

The only good thing that one might say about anarcho-communism is that, in contrast to Stalinism, its form of communism would, supposedly, be voluntary. Presumably, no one would be forced to join the communes, and those who would continue to live individually, and to engage in market activities, would remain unmolested.

Or would they?

Anarcho-communists have always been extremely vague and cloudy about the lineaments of their proposed anarchist society of the future. Many of them have been propounding the profoundly anti-libertarian doctrine that the anarcho-communist revolution will have to confiscate and abolish all private property, so as to wean everyone from their psychological attachment to the property they own.

Furthermore, it is hard to forget the fact that when the Spanish Anarchists (anarcho-communists of the Bakunin-Kropotkin type) took over large sections of Spain during the Civil War of the 1930s, they confiscated and destroyed all the money in their areas and promptly decreed the death penalty for the use of money. None of this can give one confidence in the good, voluntarist intentions of anarcho-communism.

On all other grounds, anarcho-communism ranges from mischievous to absurd.

Philosophically, this creed is an all-out assault on individuality and on reason. The individual’s desire for private property, his drive to better himself, to specialize, to accumulate profits and income, are reviled by all branches of communism. Instead, everyone is supposed to live in communes, sharing all his meager possessions with his fellows, and each being careful not to advance beyond his communal brothers.

At the root of all forms of communism, compulsory or voluntary, lies a profound hatred of individual excellence, a denial of the natural or intellectual superiority of some men over others, and a desire to tear down every individual to the level of a communal ant-heap. In the name of a phony “humanism,” an irrational and profoundly anti-human egalitarianism is to rob every individual of his specific and precious humanity.

Furthermore, anarcho-communism scorns reason, and its corollaries long-range purpose, forethought, hard work, and individual achievement; instead, it exalts irrational feelings, whim, and caprice—all this in the name of “freedom.” The “freedom” of the anarcho-communist has nothing to do with the genuine libertarian absence of interpersonal invasion or molestation; it is, instead, a “freedom” that means enslavement to unreason, to unexamined whim, and to childish caprice. Socially and philosophically, anarcho-communism is a misfortune.

Economically, anarcho-communism is an absurdity. The anarcho-communist seeks to abolish money, prices, and employment, and proposes to conduct a modern economy purely by the automatic registry of “needs” in some central data bank. No one who has the slightest understanding of economics can trifle with this theory for a single second.

Fifty years ago, Ludwig von Mises exposed the total inability of a planned, moneyless economy to operate above the most primitive level. For he showed that money-prices are indispensable for the rational allocation of all of our scarce resources—labor, land, and capital goods—to the fields and the areas where they are most desired by the consumers and where they could operate with greatest efficiency. The socialists conceded the correctness of Mises’s challenge, and set about—in vain—to find a way to have a rational, market price system within the context of a socialist planned economy.

The Russians, after trying an approach to the communist moneyless economy in their “War Communism” shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution, reacted in horror as they saw the Russian economy heading to disaster. Even Stalin never tried to revive it, and since World War II the East European countries have seen a total abandonment of this communist ideal and a rapid move toward free markets, a free price system, profit-and-loss tests, and a promotion of consumer affluence.

It is no accident that it was precisely the economists in the Communist countries who led the rush away from communism, socialism, and central planning, and toward free markets. It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a “dismal science.” But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance. Yet this sort of aggressive ignorance is inherent in the creed of anarcho-communism.

The same comment can be made on the widespread belief, held by many New Leftists and by all anarcho-communists, that there is no longer need to worry about economics or production because we are supposedly living in a “post-scarcity” world, where such problems do not arise. But while our condition of scarcity is clearly superior to that of the cave-man, we are still living in a world of pervasive economic scarcity.

How will we know when the world has achieved “post-scarcity”? Simply, when all the goods and services that we may want have become so superabundant that their prices have fallen to zero; in short, when we can acquire all goods and services as in a Garden of Eden—without effort, without work, without using any scarce resources.

The anti-rational spirit of anarcho-communism was expressed by Norman O. Brown, one of the gurus of the new “counter-culture”:

The great economist von Mises tried to refute socialism by demonstrating that, in abolishing exchange, socialism made economic calculation, and hence economic rationality, impossible…But if von Mises is right, then what he discovered is not a refutation but a psychoanalytical justification of socialism…It is one of the sad ironies of contemporary intellectual life that the reply of socialist economists to von Mises’ arguments was to attempt to show that socialism was not incompatible with “rational economic calculation” — that is to say, that it could retain the inhuman principle of economizing. (Life against Death, Random House, paperback, 1959, pp. 238–39)

The fact that the abandonment of rationality and economics in behalf of “freedom” and whim will lead to the scrapping of modern production and civilization and return us to barbarism does not faze our anarcho-communists and other exponents of the new “counter-culture.” But what they do not seem to realize is that the result of this return to primitivism would be starvation and death for nearly all of mankind and a grinding subsistence for the ones remaining.

If they have their way, they will find that it is difficult indeed to be jolly and “unrepressed” while starving to death. All this brings us back to the wisdom of the great Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset:

In the disturbances caused by scarcity of food, the mob goes in search of bread, and the means it employs is generally to wreck the bakeries. This may serve as a symbol of the attitude adopted, on a greater and more complicated scale, by the masses of today towards the civilization by which they are supported…Civilization is not “just here,” it is not self-supporting.

It is artificial…if you want to make use of the advantages of civilization, but are not prepared to concern yourself with the upholding of civilization — you are done. In a trice you find yourself left without civilization. Just a slip, and when you look, everything has vanished into air. The primitive forest appears in its native state, just as if curtains covering pure Nature had been drawn back. The jungle is always primitive and vice versa, everything primitive is mere jungle. (José Ortega y Gasset, The Revolt of the Masses, New York: W.W. Norton, 1932, p. 97)


Murray N. Rothbard

Murray N. Rothbard made major contributions to economics, history, political philosophy, and legal theory. He combined Austrian economics with a fervent commitment to individual liberty.

Be seeing you



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bionic mosquito: Reflections

Posted by M. C. on July 13, 2020

I suggest we start by reducing the number of laws on the books – eliminate all laws against non-violent offenses. Second, demilitarize; almost every department has SWAT teams and the like that are supplied like military invaders of Afghanistan.

After that, we can talk about defunding the police.

A few items rattling their way through my brain. Time to get rid of these.


We have seen statues come down, statues not only of slaveholders (which would require the removal of most statues around the world of anyone born before around 1830 and a few born since), but statues of those who worked to free slaves and those who were slaves. The point isn’t slavery; the point is history.

As many have noted, and I have recently written about, a nation without a story is not a nation. This is the endgame of removing all statues – more accurately, removing the symbols that reflect the history of the nation. Who does this benefit? If we can judge by the people who are tearing down the statues, it doesn’t benefit what might be described as civil society.

I have done my own share of tearing down statues, so to speak. Call it revisionist history. My contribution is meager compared to many who have done the same. I wonder: what is different about what I have done compared to what is done when statues are torn down?

I guess I would say: my work was with the aim of exposing false narratives in our history, of giving some evidence in history that would alter the narrative. It strikes me that such work can only help strengthen the nation by placing its history on firmer footing; it can strengthen the nation by properly reflecting on and recognizing its past sins.

But is this just rationalization on my part? Is this not what today’s (physical) revisionists would say?

This got me to thinking: a nation whose official historical narrative is compiled of many lies might inherently be headed down the road of its statues being torn down. Building a narrative of lie upon lie merely opens the door for those who wish to question the foundation – and rightly so, it seems to me.

We read in Proverbs 19: 5 “A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.” Perhaps tearing down statues is America’s comeuppance for building one false narrative on top of the other.

Anyway, returning to my question: what’s the difference of the work I have done vs. the tearing down of the statues today? I guess I can say my work was in search of truth – open to someone revising what I described; the physical revisionists are only able to tear down, regardless of narrative: slaveowner, slave trader, abolitionist, or slave. It is a task solely of destruction, with no attempt at leaving truth in its wake.

Such as these are not facing history honestly. I guess, ultimately, this is the difference of my work and theirs. Whether I am furthering truth or not is the task of the next revisionist to decide. But approaching it honestly? I believe so.


Why didn’t I cheer on CHAZ or CHOP or whatever name they wanted to use? Three years or so ago, Catalunya was voting on secession. I wrote then, and have written since: cheer on every opportunity for secession; if those in the seceding group do not wish to secede, then support their secession from this group.

So, why not cheer on CHAZ? What’s different? I guess I can answer it with a quote from Jeff Deist, writing at the time of the vote in Spain:

For libertarians, self-determination is the highest political end. In political terms, self-determination is liberty. In an ideal world, self-determination extends all the way to the individual, who enjoys complete political sovereignty over his or her life. The often misused term for this degree of complete self-determination is anarchy.

So, first there is the question of self-determination.

In an imperfect world, however, libertarians should support smaller and more decentralized governments as a pragmatic step toward greater liberty. Our goal should be to devolve political power whenever possible, making states less powerful and easier to avoid. Barcelona is less ominous than Madrid. The Legislature in a US state is less fearsome than Congress in Washington DC.

It seems correct to me – ever-smaller levels of government bring governmental leaders closer to the community, and give those in the community more opportunities to find a situation better suited to their preferences. But this only works to advance liberty if the higher governmental institution does not continue usurping life and property from those who have now seceded. So this is a second consideration.

But then we have this line:

Street gangs are bad, but they can be avoided in ways Uncle Sam cannot.

So, why did I not cheer on the street gang in Seattle as I did the secessionists in Catalunya? I guess for a few reasons – and I suspect Deist would concur: first, it is not clear that there was any “self-determination” by those who lived and worked and owned businesses in the district on this matter; from what I can understand, it was kind of the opposite. Maybe I am wrong one this.

Second, the higher levels of government didn’t leave those inside alone: still obligated for taxes, still obligated to the laws (well, not the armed thugs, but those whose homes and businesses were destroyed). The only way that these people were left alone was in the only function the higher entity owed them: defense of life and property.

Which brings me to the third reason: until we come to a stateless society, should we not expect those in government and authority to do their jobs? By “jobs,” I don’t mean spying and flying drones over wedding parties and the like. I mean protect life and property – the only proper role of a government if there is to be a government. This clearly didn’t happen in Seattle. In fact, it was the opposite.

Those looting and destroying were left free by the government that was supposed to protect from such thuggery. Imagine what would happen if a private citizen-victim of these looters did the government’s job in the stead of those who had the obligation. This defender of his property would have been the one sent to the gallows.

So, I guess my point is this: this event in Seattle was no secession. It was a militarized invasion, with those responsible for defense abandoning their duty while leaving illegal the possibility of defense by those whose property and lives were jeopardized. Which brings me to…

Pulling the Plug

Would libertarians be happy with pulling the plug on the existing state structures, confident that freedom would then ring – that eventually things would work out? Working through this question in the past is one of the reasons I concluded that a proper cultural foundation is necessary before one can consider anything like liberty – or consider anything like pulling the plug.

If I was a resident in the CHAZ district of Seattle, I suspect I would feel even more confident of this view than I did before.

And, Finally…

In the absence of my free ability to properly defend my property (as all legal risk and all laws are against those who will do so), and in the absence of my ability to secure the services of a private and competing defense agency (which would be cost prohibitive for many reasons and would also open me up to the liabilities of a criminal), what are we to do with today’s police? Defund them? Spit on them?

I suggest we start by reducing the number of laws on the books – eliminate all laws against non-violent offenses. Second, demilitarize; almost every department has SWAT teams and the like that are supplied like military invaders of Afghanistan.

After that, we can talk about defunding the police.

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5 Things I Learned Debating the Harvard Prof Who Called for a ‘Presumptive Ban’ on Homeschooling | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on June 28, 2020

by | Jun 21, 2020


It’s not just about homeschooling.

On Monday, I debated the Harvard professor who proposes a “presumptive ban” on homeschooling. Thousands of viewers tuned in to watch the live, online discussion hosted by the Cato Institute. With 1,000 submitted audience questions, the 90-minute webinar only scratched the surface of the issue about who is presumed to know what is best for children: parents or the state. Here is the replay link in case you missed it.

Last week, I outlined much of my argument against Harvard Law School professor Elizabeth Bartholet that I incorporated into our debate, but here are five takeaways from Monday’s discussion:

While this event was framed as a discussion about homeschooling, including whether and how to regulate the practice, it is clear that homeschooling is just a strawman. The real issue focuses on the role of government in people’s lives, and in particular in the lives of families and children. In her 80-page Arizona Law Review article that sparked this controversy, Professor Bartholet makes it clear that she is seeking a reinterpretation of the US Constitution, which she calls “outdated and inadequate,” to move from its existing focus on negative rights, or individuals being free from state intervention, to positive rights where the state takes a much more active role in citizens’ lives.

During Monday’s discussion, Professor Bartholet explained that “some parents can’t be trusted to not abuse and neglect their children,” and that is why “kids are going to be way better off if both parent and state are involved.” She said her argument focuses on “the state having the right to assert the rights of the child to both education and protection.” Finally, Professor Bartholet said that it’s important to “have the state have some say in protecting children and in trying to raise them so that the children have a decent chance at a future and also are likely to participate in some positive, meaningful ways in the larger society.”

It’s true that the state has a role in protecting children from harm, but does it really have a role in “trying to raise them”? And if the state does have a role in raising children to be competent adults, then the fact that two-thirds of US schoolchildren are not reading proficiently, and more than three-quarters are not proficient in civics, should cause us to be skeptical about the state’s ability to ensure competence.

I made the point on Monday that we already have an established government system to protect children from abuse and neglect. The mission of Child Protective Services (CPS) is to investigate suspected child abuse and punish perpetrators. CPS is plagued with problems and must be dramatically reformed, but the key is to improve the current government system meant to protect children rather than singling out homeschoolers for additional regulation and government oversight. This is particularly true when there is no compelling evidence that homeschooling parents are more likely to abuse their children than non-homeschooling parents, and some research to suggest that homeschooling parents are actually less likely to abuse their children.

Additionally, and perhaps most disturbingly, this argument for more state involvement in the lives of homeschoolers ignores the fact that children are routinely abused in government schools by government educators, as well as by school peers. If the government can’t even protect children enrolled in its own heavily regulated and surveilled schools, then how can it possibly argue for the right to regulate and monitor those families who opt out?

Of all the recommendations included in the Harvard professor’s proposed presumptive ban on homeschooling, the one that caused the most uproar among both homeschoolers and libertarians was the call for regular home visits of homeschooling families, with no evidence of wrongdoing.

In my remarks during Monday’s debate, I included a quote from a Hispanic homeschooling mother in Connecticut who was particularly angry and concerned about imposing home visits on homeschooling families. (According to federal data, Hispanics make up about one-quarter of the overall US homeschooling population, mirroring their representation in the general US K-12 school-age population.) She made the important point that minority families are increasingly choosing homeschooling to escape discrimination and an inadequate academic environment in local schools. She also pointed out that, tragically, it is often minorities who are most seriously impacted by these seemingly well-meaning government regulations. Writing to me about Professor Bartholet’s recommendation, she said:

“To state that they want to have surveillance into our homes by having government officials visit, and have parents show proof of their qualified experience to be a parent to their own child is yet another way for local and federal government to do what they have done to native Americans, blacks, the Japanese, Hispanics, etc in the past. Her proposal would once again interfere and hinder a certain population from progressing forward.”

Anyone who cares about liberty and a restrained government should be deeply troubled by the idea of periodic home visits by government agents on law-abiding citizens.

Despite the landmark 1925 US Supreme Court decision that ruled it unconstitutional to ban private schools, there remains lingering support for limiting or abolishing private education and forcing all children to attend government schools. Homeschooling is just one form of private education.

In her law review article, Professor Bartholet recommends “private school reform,” suggesting that private schools may have similar issues to homeschooling but saying that this topic is “beyond the scope” of her article. Still, she concludes her article by stating that “to the degree public schools are seriously deficient, our society should work on improving them, rather than simply allowing some parents to escape.”

The government should work to improve its own schools, where academic deficiencies and abuse are pervasive. But it should have no role in deciding whether or not parents are allowed to escape.

Some advocates of homeschooling regulation suggest that requiring regular standardized testing of homeschoolers would be a reasonable compromise. In her law review article, Professor Bartholet recommends: “Testing of homeschoolers on a regular basis, at least annually, to assess educational progress, with tests selected and administered by public school authorities; permission to continue homeschooling conditioned on adequate performance, with low scores triggering an order to enroll in school.”

During Monday’s debate, I asked the question: By whose standard are we judging homeschoolers’ academic performance? Is it by the standard of the government schools, where so many children are failing to meet the very academic standards the government has created? I pointed out that many parents choose homeschooling because they disapprove of the standards set by government schools. For example, in recent years schools have pushed literacy expectations to younger and younger children, with kindergarteners now being required to read. If they fail to meet this arbitrary standard, many children are labeled with a reading deficiency when it could just be that they are not yet developmentally ready to read.

Indeed, as The New York Times reported in 2015: “Once mainly concentrated among religious families as well as parents who wanted to release their children from the strictures of traditional classrooms, home schooling is now attracting parents who want to escape the testing and curriculums that have come along with the Common Core, new academic standards that have been adopted by more than 40 states.”

A key benefit of homeschooling is avoiding standardization in learning and allowing for a much more individualized education. And it seems to be working. Most of the research on homeschooling families conducted over the past several decades, including a recent literature review by Dr. Lindsey Burke of the Heritage Foundation, finds positive academic outcomes of homeschooling children.

There are very few movements today that bring together such a diverse group of people as homeschooling does. Families of all political persuasions, from all corners of the country, reflecting many different races, ethnicities, classes, cultures, values, and ideologies, and representing a multitude of different learning philosophies and approaches choose homeschooling for the educational freedom and flexibility it provides. Homeschoolers may not agree on much, but preserving the freedom to raise and educate their children as they choose is a unifying priority. In times of division, homeschoolers offer hope and optimism that liberty will prevail.

Reprinted from FEE.

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Rioting: Everyone Has Lost Their Minds – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on June 2, 2020

Somehow we’ve come to live in a world in which obvious moral truths are now expressions of right-wing extremism.


From the Tom Woods Letter:

Some libertarians tell me: there’s no such thing as left and right; this is a made-up distinction meant to divide us.

Not so, and I can prove it.

I can tell the difference with one question.

“Are rioting and looting wrong?”

One side will say yes. The other will give you a speech. Works every time.

(Michael Malice has a similarly formulated question, unrelated to riots, which inspired mine.)

Remember how we were supposed to be terrified of three dozen right-wing extremists with no funding and no foothold in media, entertainment, or academia? And the left were just “anti-fascist” activists innocently pursuing justice?

Seems pretty dumb today, doesn’t it?

(It seemed pretty dumb then, too.)

The left — and plenty of libertarians, to their profound shame — can’t seem to decide between two ways they want to spin what is currently happening:

(1) Riots are the language of the unheard, and we should try to understand people participating in them even if we (rather tepidly) disapprove.

(2) It’s outside agitators spurring the riots, so we shouldn’t blame the peaceful protestors.

But if riots are basically understandable, why this rush to assure me that they’re being instigated by outsiders? Didn’t you just tell me this is an understandable if unfortunate display by the unheard? Pick one!

I’ve devoted numerous episodes of the Tom Woods Show to the problems with police, and I’ll be linking them all on one page when tomorrow’s episode (#1664) with Eric July comes out.

The police are a monopoly with all the drawbacks we normally admit are the result of monopolies.

I’ve never understood the conservative devotion to the police. They’re for “limited government” and claim to detest 90+% of what the state commands. But the enforcement arm of the state and its commands? Why, that’s awesome and to be saluted!

And in tomorrow’s episode we’re going to list nine specific things that would make a serious dent in police misconduct of all kinds, from the trivial to the gruesome.

But not for a second am I going to look for reasons that terrorizing people and destroying unrelated property is in any way an understandable response to a political grievance, or put a “but” in my statement — as in, “Looting is bad, but….”

I am hearing plenty of this: look, sure, it’s bad that some people are destroying businesses and stealing what other people worked for, but they’re really angry. On some level you have to sympathize with them.

Nope. I don’t.

“I have suffered; therefore, other innocents should suffer” — which of the saints lived by such a monstrous code?

If your child is mistreated and takes his frustration out on my child by randomly beating the hell out of him, I will not gaslight my child by explaining that what happened is sort of understandable on some level.

Screw that.

Somehow we’ve come to live in a world in which obvious moral truths are now expressions of right-wing extremism.

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Four things only libertarians can see about COVID-19

Posted by M. C. on April 7, 2020

What is unseen are the variety of harms that occur because people have been denied freedom of association and movement.

Second, don’t overlook the harm caused by government actors.

No matter the doomsday scenario, it’s hard to imagine a single governor (or president) outsmarting millions of people.

The Principle of Human Respect is a natural, cause-and-effect relationship. If I rob you at gunpoint, your happiness decreases. Social harmony and prosperity are diminished too.

A new form of political correctness has spread, like a virus, across the fruited plain. Libertarians are taking heat – getting angry responses for criticizing governors who have used the spread of COVID-19 to issue edicts that shutter businesses and impose martial law-like schemes.

coronavirus covid-19 libertarians politics

Still, libertarians find they cannot keep quiet. Their philosophy of self-government is forged in an understanding of consequences. Libertarians are the only members of society who can see – even foresee – the following four things about the State’s edicts and regulations…

The seen and the unseen

First, libertarians can visualize the Unseen.

What is seen is that which is obvious to us. In the present case, it’s easy for us to see the way the virus is spreading and how the healthcare system is overrun in Italy.

What is unseen are the variety of harms that occur because people have been denied freedom of association and movement. Politicians are using wartime powers and preening before TV cameras. There will be short-term and long-term effects stemming from their actions. Nearly everyone, especially the regime media, is overlooking these costs.

The proper way to analyze this situation is to take all of the effects into account.

Libertarians are just like you; they’re sheltering and practicing physical distance. But let’s be clear, not everyone has that luxury. There’s no way that a governor could anticipate, let alone solve all of these sticky issues. Edicts are “one size fits all.” Each person understands their unique situation better than a politician in a distant capitol could. There are many scenarios to consider. Here’s a sampling…

  • Right now, families are trapped in a home with an abuser. Perhaps the abuser’s workday was a time of relief, or the victim’s school or work was an escape path to safety.
  • Suicides will increase during the crisis.
  • Addiction will worsen because the sense of purpose or even mere interruption that occupational work provides has been stolen away.
  • Businesses that were operating on a thin margin will fold, crushing dreams, resulting in unemployment, and even reducing supply. Supply reductions will fuel price increases for all of us.

Notice State failures

Second, don’t overlook the harm caused by government actors. For example, Donald Trump’s aides were afraid to give their reelection-minded boss any bad news until it was too late. And the sudden, jarring, gubernatorial edicts have caused fear, uncertainty, and doubt – provoking shortages.

In a libertarian world, reliable tests would already be for sale! And if the tests were universally available, the crisis would’ve been far smaller and Americans would be back to work.

There are two reasons tests are not already on the market.

  1. Political suppression of information. If they had gotten the signal earlier, then entrepreneurs, inventors, and existing businesses would’ve started delivering tests by now. We know there was sufficient time because a handful of U.S. Senators were briefed in January. After seeing the impending crisis, they sold off their stocks.
  2. Ironically, regulations are supposed to make us safer. What they do instead is create barriers which increase delays and costs. Frequently, the innovator realizes that no action is profitable, choosing not to invent (another unseen effect). The FDA has been in the way of tests getting to market.

Wisdom of the crowd

Third, self-government is the best solution to the Knowledge Problem. No matter the doomsday scenario, it’s hard to imagine a single governor (or president) outsmarting millions of people.

No matter how brilliant the governor and his or her advisors are, he or she lacks the capacity to win a problem-solving contest against tens of millions of people.

Worse, political acts are prone to cause injuries (which tend to be unseen and unreported). The miracle of “stuff” arriving on our store shelves involves millions of micro-decisions. Sudden edicts have replaced that. Shortages result because the governor deploys unanticipated force. Consider…

Restaurants who planned menus suddenly have too much food. Grocery stores, who thought people would be at restaurants, find that they have new customers instead. The restaurant owner takes a bath.

Even with nearly-empty shelves, stores need to make sure they don’t over-order in response. Grocers know these effects are temporary, but they don’t know when they will end. They don’t want to end up like the restaurants, stuck with too much stock on hand. Uncertainty prevails. Shortages will remain a problem until governors back out of the equation.

Human respect

Fourth and most important of all, is the matter of Human Respect. The libertarian uniquely recognizes that everyone seeks happiness and that no one person can make everyone happy.

The Principle of Human Respect is a natural, cause-and-effect relationship. If I rob you at gunpoint, your happiness decreases. Social harmony and prosperity are diminished too.

Since this is a principle, even governors cannot violate it. Bans and edicts are ultimately enforced by armed men and women. These are not acts of persuasion; they are threats to achieve a desired result. When anyone, be they a criminal or your governor, coerces another human being, they never increase happiness. And in the present situation, the bans have obviously decreased social peace and material prosperity.

The damage to prosperity is already so obvious that no one is contesting it.

And before the governors started acting, we had peaceful cooperation. Most people were already practicing physical distancing. We also witnessed allegedly greedy corporations voluntarily sacrificing many millions of dollars. To prevent the spread of COVID-19 the NCAA closed events to the public. Then, the NBA suspended its season and Disney closed its parks. Like falling dominoes, tons of businesses followed.

AFTER that, governors forced the holdouts to close. Libertarians began raising important questions like the four you’ve just reviewed. They’re getting accused of wanting to clog hospitals and increase the death toll. Therefore, consider the role politicians are playing. Are their acts increasing harmony or did they introduce new divisions into our society?

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I Endorse ‘OK, Boomer,’ And So Should You – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on November 26, 2019

If you want to be right-wing, knock yourself out. But don’t be dumb-guy right-wing, speaking and thinking in slogans that sound like they were hammered out in the boardroom of a D.C. marketing firm.


Tom Woods Show

From the Tom Woods Letter:

So the youngsters are using “OK, boomer” as a dismissive retort these days.

The reference is to the generation born roughly between 1946 and 1965 — though the set of beliefs I personally associate with the phrase is not confined to people from that age group.

I’ve seen some libertarians (and of course conservatives) object to this.

Why, these youngsters should respect authority!

But you know what?

No matter how the expression is being used in practice, in principle it’s a great idea that I wholeheartedly endorse.

And yes, I will of course lose subscribers today. (I’ll live.)

Boomers should be exercising some kind of leadership role today, as our elders. They should be giving us something to look up to.

Instead, even the Boomers who consider themselves cheeky and anti-Establishment just repeat slogans and talking points handed to them by talk radio or the Heritage Foundation.

(Boomerism as I conceive of it is more a set of ideas than it is an age range.)

With every possible resource available to them online at the push of a button they’re still thinking in 1980s Republican Party platitudes?

They’re still portraying presidents they like as heroic defenders of Jesus?

They’re still worked up when people object to the Pledge of Allegiance? They still haven’t encountered anyone or anything that makes them wonder about “one nation, indivisible” as an American principle?

They’re still comparing American soldiers to Jesus Christ?

They still use the expression “my president”?

They’re still saying, “If you won’t stand behind the troops, feel free to stand in front of them”?

After all the police abuse, which takes a multitude of forms, they’re still repeating slogans with all the sophistication of a third-grade book report?

So no, I won’t be shedding any tears if we have a dismissive response to this contemptible intellectual laziness.

If you want to be right-wing, knock yourself out. But don’t be dumb-guy right-wing, speaking and thinking in slogans that sound like they were hammered out in the boardroom of a D.C. marketing firm.

Be seeing you

A Baby Boomer's Belated Blog to George Will | HuffPost





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What Is It That Libertarians Don’t Get about the Military? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on September 17, 2019


I expect to get negative responses from conservatives when I write articles about the U.S. military. I don’t expect to get them from libertarians.

In response to my recent article, “Should We Honor Military Personnel?,” I received e-mails from two libertarians. Perhaps there were others. I never assume that everyone who contacts me after I write an article for is a libertarian. One, not everyone who reads LRC is a libertarian. I myself, a libertarian, read many conservative and liberal websites. And two, many times my LRC articles are reposted by a variety of websites. I never know if someone read my article on LRC or some other website.

Both libertarians who wrote me took issue with the basic premise of my article: military personnel who actually defend the country like they are supposed to shouldn’t be honored any more than a cook at Waffle House. I didn’t address the issue of honoring military personnel who don’t actually defend the country like they are supposed to. My position on that has been consistently and vehemently negative since I began writing about the warfare state after the United States invaded Iraq…

What is it that libertarians don’t get about the U.S. military?

Here are ten things about the U.S. military that I have mentioned scores of times over the years in my articles about the U.S. military:

  1. The U.S. military is the president’s personal attack force.
  2. The U.S. military doesn’t defend our freedoms.
  3. The U.S. military carries out a reckless, belligerent, and meddling U.S. foreign policy.
  4. The U.S. military goes places it has no business going.
  5. The U.S. military kills people it has no business killing.
  6. The U.S. military engages in offense, not defense.
  7. The U.S. military fights unjust and immoral wars.
  8. The U.S. military bombs countries that were no threat to the United States.
  9. The U.S. military creates terrorists, insurgents, and militants because of its actions.
  10.  The U.S. military is a global force for evil.

These ten things are more than enough.

No member of the military should be honored no matter where or why he “served.” Individual soldiers should be blamed for the misdeeds (and they are not perceived; they are real) of the military because (1) individual soldiers joined of their own freewill and (2) individual soldiers are the ones who commit the misdeeds. The fact that they took an oath to defend the Constitution means nothing if they don’t actually defend it. No soldier should have to be sent away from his family for extreme lengths of time or prepare himself mentally, emotionally and spiritually to lay down his life if necessary. Not if he was actually engaged in defending the country against real threats instead of fighting foreign wars.

The huge embarrassment to libertarianism is for anyone who calls himself a libertarian to honor U.S. military personnel just because they “served” when, even in their best state, they should not be honored any more than a cook at Waffle House.

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Immigration Tyranny and Cruelty Come Home – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Posted by M. C. on May 16, 2019

Not all Libertarians favor open borders. Some of us believe no border, no country.

We already have a mans of legally entering the US. Flawed though it may be.

Some Libertarians believe that if there is a job or some sort of private support waiting it is OK to make a home here. Otherwise taxation and theft of private property is the result (ie taxation and government using otherwise public and/or private land and property to house and support illegals).

The arrest of the lady helping people in distress – that is simply a AGW (armed government worker) who is either/or low on his quota and exercising his power. I am betting on a power play.



I can’t help but wonder if what has happened to Theresa Todd will cause conservative-leaning libertarians to abandon their support of immigration controls, the system of immigration central planning, cruelty, and tyranny that both conservatives and progressives have unfortunately foisted upon our land.

Todd lives in West Texas. One night she was driving down a highway when she was flagged down by three young Central American migrants — Carlos, 22, his brother Francisco 20, and their sister Esmeralda, 18.

The three of them had fled El Salvador years ago and had been living with an aunt in Guatemala. Two of Carlos’s friends had been murdered by Guatemalan gangs and a gang leader wanted Esmeralda to be his girlfriend. The three of them decided to flee to the United States. They entered the U.S. by crossing a remote desert.

When Todd encountered the three, Esmeralda was suffering from starvation, extreme dehydration, and infected wounds from cactus spines and rhabdomyolysis, a grave illness that sometimes leads to kidney failure. According to William Kitts, the local sheriff in Jeff Davis County, Texas, where the incident took place, Esmeralda would have died if Todd had not stopped to help her.

And Todd did stop to help, a decision that has ended up costing her immensely. Why? Because while the three migrants were sitting in Todd’s vehicle as she began making telephone calls, a deputy sheriff drove up and then immediately summoned the Border Patrol, who proceeded to arrest not only the three migrants but also Todd herself.

Todd hasn’t yet been formally charged and there is still a possibility that federal officials will think twice before prosecuting her, especially since the 53-year-old woman serves as both the city attorney of Marfa, Texas, and the county attorney of Jeff Davis County. If she is charged, the likely offense will be “harboring” illegal immigrants, which is a felony.  A conviction would likely result in the revocation of her law license.

That’s what Todd gets for stopping to help those three young people, one of whom was on the verge of death.  As she put it,

I honestly don’t feel like I ever did anything wrong: I stopped to help some kids. It’s been pretty transformative for me, to be perfectly honest. To have devoted my life to public service, and then to be Mirandized, detained and investigated as if I’m a human smuggler. The whole thing was really, really, very surreal. It was like a “Twilight Zone.”

At the risk of belaboring the obvious, under a system of open borders, which is the system that we libertarians favor, Carlos, Francisco, and Esmeralda would not have been entering the country by crossing a lonely and dangerous desert…

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La-Raza-Founder (1)

…from the USA


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