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Posts Tagged ‘Slavery’

Slightly Up From Slavery – Doug Casey’s International Man

Posted by M. C. on November 26, 2021

The US government will prove no more able to deal with a rapidly evolving economy than was the Soviet government. More and more Americans will see the government as meaningless and irrelevant, as serving no useful purpose.

https://internationalman.com/articles/slightly-up-from-slavery/

by Doug Casey

slavery

To eliminate misunderstanding as to what taxes are, it is helpful to define the word “theft.” One good definition is “the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods of another.” The definition does not go on to say, “unless you’re the government.”

There is no difference, in principle, between the State taking property and a street gang doing so, except that the State’s theft is “legal” and its agents are immune from prosecution. Many people do not accept that analogy, because the government is widely viewed as being of, for, and by the people, even though it’s also acknowledged as acting badly from time to time.

Suppose a mugger demanded your wallet, perhaps because he needed money to buy a new car and threatened you with violence if you weren’t forthcoming. Everyone would call that a criminal act. Suppose, however, the mugger said he wanted the money to buy himself food. Would it still be theft? Suppose now that he said he wanted your wallet to feed another hungry person, not himself. Would it still be theft?

Now let’s suppose that this mugger convinces most of his friends that it’s okay for him to relieve you of your wallet. Would it still be theft? What if he convinces a majority of citizens? Principles stand on their own. Even if a criminal act is committed for a good purpose, or with the complicity of bystanders, (even if those people call themselves the government), it is still an act of criminal aggression.

It is important to establish an ethical viewpoint on the matter, even if it doesn’t change your reaction to the mugger’s (or the State’s) demands. Just as it’s usually unwise to resist a mugger, it’s usually unwise to resist the government, which has a lot of force on its side.

That’s not to say it’s easy to swim against the tide. Every year at tax time promoters of big government haul out an assortment of nostrums to sedate the lambs as they are shorn. One of the worst is “Taxes are the price we pay for civilization,” a statement of Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. It is a splendid example of how, if a lie is big enough and is repeated often enough, it can come to be accepted.

Actually, the truth is almost exactly the opposite. As Mark Skousen, economist and author, has pointed out: “Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state is a complete failure of civilization, while a totally voluntary society is its ultimate success.”

Taxes are destroyers of civilization and society. They impoverish the average man. They support welfare programs that anchor the lower classes at the bottom of society. They underwrite a gigantic bureaucracy that serves only to raise costs and quash incentive. They pay for public works programs (once called “pork barrel projects,” but now rechristened “infrastructure investment”) that are usually ten times more costly than their privately financed counterparts, whether needed or not. They maintain programs that cause huge distortions in the economy (such as deposit insurance for banks). And they foster a climate of fear and dishonesty. The list of evils goes on. But the simple truth is that anything needed or wanted by society would be provided by profit-seeking entrepreneurs, if only the tax collector would retire.

Protesting against taxes because they’re a costly or inefficient way of providing services, however, is in good measure futile. It’s like saying that the mugger shouldn’t rob you because there might be a better way for him to get what he wants.

How serious is the tax problem in the long run? I believe it will become less, not more serious, despite the government’s increasingly high tax rates and draconian enforcement measures. The major long-term trend of society is toward decentralization and smaller-scale organizations. The US government will prove no more able to deal with a rapidly evolving economy than was the Soviet government. More and more Americans will see the government as meaningless and irrelevant, as serving no useful purpose.

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, most people have no idea what really happens when a government goes out of control, let alone how to prepare…

How will you protect yourself in the event of an economic crisis?

New York Times best-selling author Doug Casey and his team just released a guide that will show you exactly how. Click here to download the PDF now.

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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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Rejecting the ‘Proposition Nation’ | Chronicles

Posted by M. C. on April 24, 2021

The left’s ‘1619 Project’ and the conservative 1776 Commission both rely on a distorted picture of the American founding.

https://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/rejecting-the–proposition-nation-/

By Brion McClanahan

0421-PROPOSITIONNATION-2

In January, Donald Trump’s President’s Advisory 1776 Commission released its 45-page “1776 Report,” which, according to The New York Times, is “a sweeping attack on liberal thought and activism that…defends America’s founding against charges that it was tainted by slavery and likens progressivism to fascism.” Joe Biden scrapped it the day he entered office, and the report has since been scrubbed from all government websites.   This is perhaps for the best. However noble the intentions of the Commission’s members, their document is a profoundly flawed vision of American history, one that places the Declaration of Independence and Abraham Lincoln at the center of the American experience. That Lincolnian vision is now the accepted “conservative” consensus regarding American history.   American conservatives looking for an intellectual home should avoid claptrap like the 1776 Commission and its intellectual sibling, “The 1619 Project.” They are in reality two sides of the same coin. Both rely on a fantasy about the founding that Lincoln invented at Gettysburg in 1863. Accepting the assumptions behind either view of America is tantamount to a coin toss in which the rules are heads they win, tails you lose.   Trump created the 1776 Commission in September 2020 to combat The New York Times’ “1619 Project,” which paints American history as a story of black slavery and white supremacy. However, his appointments to the Commission led its report down a predictable path.   Trump tapped Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn to head the Commission and appointed 17 other academics and politicians to serve in advisory roles. Vanderbilt University Political Science and Law Professor Carol M. Swain and Hillsdale Constitutional Government Professor Matthew Spalding served as vice-chair and executive director, respectively. Swain’s prior publications focused almost exclusively on race and the dangers of “white nationalism,” including tomes fully in accord with the credo of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Spalding penned the popular We Still Hold These Truths (2009), a book steeped in neoconservative deceit.   Other appointments included Thomas Lindsay, director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, who drafted most of “The 1776 Report,” as well as conservative historian Victor Davis Hanson. While Hanson has recently bemoaned the effects of cancel culture on American history, for years he never found a Confederate statue he did not want removed.    Consider the required reading recommendations for American students from “The 1776 Report,” which include the 1848 Seneca Falls Declaration calling for women’s suffrage, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Stanton looked to the form and substance of the Declaration of Independence in crafting the Declaration, and King asserted that the Declaration and the Constitution constituted a “promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.”   No contemporary of Stanton or King would have confused either for a “conservative.” Stanton sided with the Republican Party during the 1850s because she perceived it as a conduit for reform, and complained loudly of betrayal when it refused to back women’s suffrage following the Civil War. King flirted with communism, and like the academics who crafted “The 1776 Report,” viewed the Declaration’s “self-evident” truth that “all men are created equal” as a foundational promise betrayed by bad actors in American history, mostly from the South.   Not to be outdone by King, the 1776 Commission blames John C. Calhoun for modern identity politics, for the distortion of the true founding principles enshrined in the Declaration, and for the deaths of the 600,000 men who perished in the Civil War. If not for Calhoun, “The 1776 Report” authors seem to suggest, the United States would today be a utopia of free-thinking nationalist egalitarians dedicated to the proposition that “all men are created equal.”   Can you guess who else holds similar views? To name two: leftist Civil War historian Eric Foner and Nikole Hannah-Jones, the lead journalist for “The 1619 Project.” In his book The Second Founding (2019), Foner writes:

See the rest here

Brion McClanahan

Brion McClanahan is editor of The Abbeville Review and the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers (Regnery, 2009) and The Founding Fathers’ Guide to the Constitution (Regnery History, 2012).

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The Cleansing of the American People – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on February 24, 2021

Nature abhors a vacuum. It’s not your oppressor’s fault that you are so oppressable. It is not the oppressor’s fault that you have so little fortitude to hold the line, to storm the breach, to impose your will, to defend your values.

If you do not fill that space as a righteous and steel-spined leader, it will be filled by those who mean to do you harm. Grave harm will befall that person. Children know no better than to be children.

What is your excuse?

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/02/allan-stevo/the-cleansing-of-the-american-people/

By Allan Stevo

40 years he walked them through the desert, this Moses. 40 years. Two generations. Until a nation of slaves who knew how to abide, and perhaps even prosper, under Egyptian slavery, had become a people hardened by the trials of the wilderness and eager for prospering in a land of their own, and to live lives of faith.

Lives of faith. Not lives of fear. 40 years he walked them through the desert feeding them manna as they moaned about how wonderful the agriculture of Egypt was, how pleasant the servitude was, how easy it would be to just turn back. 40 years, until the moaning generations were replaced by those who couldn’t stand the thought of slavery.

41 years they lived under the communist yoke in Czechoslovakia. 41 years, two generations, until the people had become a people able to cast off that government and live lives without that government’s every totalitarian input in every aspect of their lives.

41 years in East Germany (1949-1990). – Details)

40 years in Hungry (1949-1989).

42 years in Poland (1947-1989).

41 years in Romania (1948-1989).

44 years in Bulgaria (1946-1990).

47 years in Yugoslavia (1945-1992).

Some places were worse and longer.

74 years in the USSR (1917-1991).

Other places continue that trial.

62 years in Cuba (1959-present).

72 years in China (1949–present).

73 years in North Korea (1948–present).

There is no intrinsic limit to how long it goes. The limit is on how long it is allowed to go. When a backstop exists, it will come to an end, a backstop of people who refuse to act like a slave any longer, who demand better.

40 years they walked through the desert until a nation of slaves turned into a nation of people who wanted more and would strive for that, doing whatever it took to get it.

How long will the American people walk through the desert?

How long will you walk through the desert?

Because your decision to live a free life is not dependent on anyone else’s decision.

Are you ready for a better life or are you eager to continue the childish antics, the self-infantilizing ways of the slave?

In slavery, yes, you labor under another man’s command, but you need never worry from whence your daily bread comes. You need never concern yourself with that worry or with that risk. You need only grumble from time to time when the bread ration gets too small. The grumble may cause you to risk being whipped. Those are the great risks in life: That you go beg for more crumbs from the table and might take a whipping.

Anyone who has walked a day in the shoes of a free man knows that the risks of life are much greater than taking a whipping from master.

In slavery, you long not for greatness. That’s part of the deal. Master protects you from the pitfalls of wanting greatness. He reminds you, yes, once in a while, an entrepreneur succeeds, but oh how they fail and in such plentiful numbers. 95% of all small businesses go under within 7 years, master reminds you. Is that the kind of failure you want to return to? Or do you want the riskless existence of working in community and having your daily bread guaranteed?

Master reminds you how good it is to fear risk, how liberating it is to not trouble the mind with the possibilities of risk and reward.

You may also have the slave hobbies: Those that feel good and do not edify. The more vile and debasing, the more titillating and corrupting, the more demoralizing and destructive to you, the better it is for master. Be ye children all your days. Laugh and play like children, only with adult bodies. Bodies that can do adult things. Enjoy your lives. You only live once. Life is short. Try anything once. Be ye children and the better it is for master, because children cannot rise up. The demoralized cannot rise up. They have no strength, no fortitude. Demoralization is the process of dispiriting a people by removing morals, customs, ways, traditions.

Oh, how good it is for master.

You might also trade in slave money — that controlled and debased fiat currency, devised to pay all the bills in the most conniving of ways, that lends itself not only to the debasing of the currency, but debasing of all aspects of life. Use the slave money child. It comes with no risk to you.

At least two generations have known nothing but slave money.

Just sit back and act like a child for as much of life as you can, is what master wants you to accept. And so many people confuse that with freedom, but at some point, it stops being possible to blame master for your decisions.  Maybe at 10-years-old, maybe at 15-years-old, maybe at 20-years-old, you can’t blame master or anyone else anymore, by that point, your decisions are on you.

By that point “confusion,” “influence,” “deceit,” “oppression,” “control,” words like these carry little weight when spoken by a person with agency trying to convince others that he is not to blame for his own choices.

Nature abhors a vacuum. It’s not your oppressor’s fault that you are so oppressable. It is not the oppressor’s fault that you have so little fortitude to hold the line, to storm the breach, to impose your will, to defend your values.

If you do not fill that space as a righteous and steel-spined leader, it will be filled by those who mean to do you harm. Grave harm will befall that person. Children know no better than to be children.

What is your excuse?

America is headed towards slavery and can barely find a single righteous man who will rise to lead otherwise.

The allure of carefree daily bread, the allure of childlike nights and weekends of childlike carefree splendor, and in exchange for mere obedience. This is too great an allure for the man who has been demoralized.

And that is why master likes it when you have no morality, no tradition, no customs. That is why master likes it when you won’t commit. That is why master likes it when you have no responsibility, when you have no spouse, when you have no children, when you have endless joy and little more.

Master wants you to have endless joy. What’s so bad about that?

If that sound pretty good to you, perhaps you’re part of the problem.

But the choice is yours.

All you need to do is to take a knee.

You might love the next 40 years. 400 years. 4000 years.

Master will welcome you with open arms.

And if you simply commit to never taking that knee, if you simply commit to never being a man’s slave, then so much more is possible.

Stop that obedience now. The bestselling “Face Masks in One Lesson” by Allan Stevo plots a different course. Read Stevo’s LRC writings, sign up at RealStevo.com, and drop Stevo a note if you need help plotting a different course, but of greatest importance is that you demand better of yourself than the life of a slave. It starts with the face mask. It ends with you being the finest example of human freedom that anyone has ever known. So many need that of you. The only question then is: Will you demand that of yourself? 

Allan Stevo [send him mail] writes about international politics and culture from a free market perspective at 52 Weeks in Slovakia (www.52inSk.com). He is the author of How to Win America, The Bitcoin Manifesto, and numerous other books.

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Taxation and Forced Labor | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on November 28, 2020

The way the example applies to income taxes is obvious. When the government taxes your income, it is taking away the product of hours of your labor. Just as I would be appropriating your labor if I forced you to work several hours for me without paying you anything, the government by taxing your income is seizing hours of your labor.

Moore considers an interesting objection to his argument. If you don’t want to pay income tax, couldn’t you avoid this by working less or for lower pay, so that your income fell below the minimum income for taxation? But why does the government have the right to put you in this unenviable position? Moore considers, in elaborate detail, a number of variations of the case, in each instance concluding that the government acts improperly. These I’ll leave to interested readers to examine for themselves.

https://mises.org/wire/taxation-and-forced-labor

David Gordon

When the government taxes you, it is taking away your money without your consent, and this is theft. This argument is well known, but there is another, though related, problem with taxes on income that you earn. By taking away part of the money you earn, the government is forcing you to work for it. Robert Nozick advanced this argument in Anarchy, State, and Utopia, and what I’d like to discuss in this week’s column is a defense of Nozick’s argument by Adam D. Moore that was published this year in the Southern Journal of Philosophy. It’s especially timely to discuss Moore’s article now, because Moore uses a famous argument by the philosopher Judith Jarvis Thomson, who passed away last Saturday.

Thomson asks us to consider this case: “Violinist: You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. A famous unconscious violinist. He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the Society of Music Lovers has canvassed all the available medical records and found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist’s circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own.” The violinist will die unless you remain hooked up to him for nine months. Do you have the right to detach yourself? Thomson thinks it is obvious that you do. You didn’t consent to the arrangement, and your body isn’t at the disposal of others, even if they need it in order to survive. (Thomson uses her example to defend the permissibility of certain cases of abortion, but that isn’t relevant here.)

Moore varies the example in order to make it more relevant to his own argument. “Where in the original case Thomson has you hooked up for nine months, I will suppose that you are hooked up each day for several hours. Each day, the Society of Music Lovers kidnaps you and attaches the violinist. In five years, the violinist’s kidneys will be healed, and no further kidnappings will need to occur.” Moore says you would still be justified in detaching yourself, because the Society is using your body without your consent. He goes on to present a case of his own in which someone on an island has to work extra hours to support someone else unable to work. Here again Moore says you aren’t morally required to do so. It might be a nice thing to aid the person unable to work, but someone can’t be compelled to do this.

The way the example applies to income taxes is obvious. When the government taxes your income, it is taking away the product of hours of your labor. Just as I would be appropriating your labor if I forced you to work several hours for me without paying you anything, the government by taxing your income is seizing hours of your labor.

Moore considers an interesting objection to his argument. If you don’t want to pay income tax, couldn’t you avoid this by working less or for lower pay, so that your income fell below the minimum income for taxation? But why does the government have the right to put you in this unenviable position? Moore considers, in elaborate detail, a number of variations of the case, in each instance concluding that the government acts improperly. These I’ll leave to interested readers to examine for themselves.

But isn’t Moore’s argument open to another objection? The government isn’t just taking away your hours of labor. It also provides you with benefits. Of course, most government programs are detrimental or at best useless, but never mind that. Moore responds by using another point that Nozick raised. People can’t confer benefits on you without your consent and then demand that you pay for them. “Nozick writes, ‘One cannot, whatever one’s purposes, just act so as to give people benefits and then demand (or seize) payment. Nor can a group of persons do this. If you may not charge and collect for benefits you bestow without prior agreement, you certainly may not do so for benefits whose bestowal costs you nothing, and most certainly people need not repay you for costless-to-provide benefits which yet others provided them.’”

Most readers will already know how to answer the objection that the taxes aren’t imposed by a dictator but are the outcome of a democratic election. You can’t be forced to labor for others, even if your partial slavery is the result of a majority vote.

The rejoinder that I am drawn to at this point is one word: democracy! In democratic societies we vote about how to share the benefits and burdens of social interaction. Everyone gets a vote, and the will of the majority decides the appropriate share of benefits and burdens. The idea is to join together two factors, accruing benefits and democracy, that will justify taxation and redistribution. But, imagine our original Violinist case and add in a small village where the principles of democracy and majority rule have been in place for centuries. After a brief campaign to get out the vote and save the violinist, the village votes unanimously–1 (your vote) to hook you up and begin your daily sessions with the violinist. I warrant that this would be immoral independent of the vote and the benefits.

Moore with great ingenuity responds to a number of other objections, and I’ll mention just one more:

Taxes are justified because citizens agree to them as part of a social bargain. In return for the benefits that society bestows on the fortunate—and by using the goods and services offered by society—these individuals are indebted and agree to this contract…[but] no one has actually signed this social contract. Minimally, for a contract to generate moral and legal norms it must take place in conditions that are fair and where the parties to the contract have enough information. For example, withholding crucial information (the “car” you are about to buy is a shell with no internal parts) or threatening someone (pointing a gun at someone to ensure they sign the contract) would invalidate whatever moral norms that might typically arise in a proposed contract. How would any of this work related to a social contract? Moreover, there may be individuals who simply “don’t use the facilities” so-to-speak. Not only have they not agreed to pay any taxes, but they also do not consume any societal benefits.

We are greatly indebted to Moore for his fine analysis. But we don’t owe him any money for the benefit he has conferred on us, because we have signed no agreement to pay him. Author:

Contact David Gordon

David Gordon is Senior Fellow at the Mises Institute and editor of the Mises Review.

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No, the American Republic Was Not Founded on Slavery | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on October 31, 2020

Thomas Sowell in his highly recommended text Black Rednecks and White Liberals described the intense political environment the founding fathers endured in their quest to outlaw slavery:

William G. Clarence Smith in his intriguing publication Islam and the Abolition of Slavery details the venom leveled at emancipation in Islamic territories: “Asked to give up his slaves in 1861, the sultan of Magindanao replied ‘that he would rather give up his wife and children than his slaves, for lacking the latter he would cease to be a sultan.’”

https://mises.org/wire/no-american-republic-was-not-founded-slavery?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=78690a2aec-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_10_02_06_25_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-78690a2aec-228343965

Lipton Matthews

Journalistic propaganda is a powerful instrument of indoctrination. Without evidence, foul ideas can easily penetrate mainstream discourse. For instance, recently it has become fashionable to posit that slavery is America’s original sin. To sensible people, this is a risible claim, because there is nothing particularly American about slavery. But revisiting the history of slavery in non-Western societies in Asia and Africa would do little to change the minds of America’s critics. A more appropriate strategy would be to contrast the opinions of the Founding Fathers on slavery with those of leaders in other countries. Only after undertaking this task will we be able to judge America.

In a larger historical context, asserting that some of the American founders owned slaves does not make them appear remarkable, because for most of history slavery was a normal institution. Therefore, in retrospect, they are to be seen as the products of a peculiar time. What matters is not that they possessed slaves, but their revolutionary views on slavery during an era when it was universally embraced and their attempts at dismantling the system. 

Thomas Jefferson in the original draft of the Declaration of Independence was exceptionally caustic in his critique of George III for imposing the slave trade on the colonies:

He [George III] has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian king of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where Men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or restrain this execrable commerce. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished dye, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he has obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.

Of profound importance in this statement is that Jefferson capitalized the word men. To historian M. Andrew Holowchak this indicates that “philosophically and unequivocally Jefferson considered Blacks as men, not chattel.” However, such a remonstration of slavery was deleted by the Continental Congress to achieve a compromise with Southern states. Like now, tradeoffs formed a crucial aspect of the political process. Those seeking to berate the Founding Fathers lack a proper understanding of history and politics. Thomas Sowell in his highly recommended text Black Rednecks and White Liberals described the intense political environment the founding fathers endured in their quest to outlaw slavery:

Many who have dismissed the anti-slavery words of the founders of the American republic as just rhetoric have not bothered to check the facts of history. Washington, Jefferson, and others did not just talk. They acted. Even when they acted within the political and legal constraints of their times, they acted repeatedly[,] sometimes winning and sometimes losing….When Jefferson drafted a state constitution for Virginia in 1776, his draft included a clause prohibiting any more importation of slaves and, in 1783, Jefferson included in a new draft of a Virginia constitution a proposal for the gradual emancipation of slaves. He was defeated in both these efforts. On the national scene, Jefferson returned to the battle once again in 1784, declaring slavery illegal in all western territories of the country. The bill lost by one vote, that of a legislator too sick to come and vote. Afterwards, Jefferson said that the fate of millions unborn was hanging on the tongue of one man and heaven was silent in that awful moment.

Contemporary observers fail to acknowledge that the hostile political climate at the time limited what the Founding Fathers could achieve. Moreover, they had to contemplate the most feasible route to abolition. Emancipating slaves, if all legislators agreed, was easy, yet one had to confront the political difficulties one encounters in abolition without a clear plan. In a letter to Robert Morris, George Washington displays his penchant for the destruction of slavery provided that it was guided by a sound plan: “I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it; but there is only one proper and effectual mode by which it can be accomplished, and that is by Legislative authority; and this, as far as my suffrage will go, shall never be wanting.”

But not everyone was a pragmatist. Due to their personal convictions, some patriots were incensed by slavery, and they took personal steps to emancipate slaves. Men like Oliver Ellsworth and Roger Sherman fall into this category. Whereas the will of George Washington stipulated the emancipation of enslaved laborers, Benjamin Franklin liberated his slaves during his lifetime. So far, we have discussed the views of the Founding Fathers on slavery. Now let us contrast them with those of leaders of different societies to determine which positions were more enlightened.

William G. Clarence Smith in his intriguing publication Islam and the Abolition of Slavery details the venom leveled at emancipation in Islamic territories: “Asked to give up his slaves in 1861, the sultan of Magindanao replied ‘that he would rather give up his wife and children than his slaves, for lacking the latter he would cease to be a sultan.’” He continues: “The Sultan of Sulu wrote to the American authorities in 1902, insisting that slaves were held ‘according to Moro law, custom and the Mohammedan religion,’ in that order. Moreover, ‘slaves are part of our property. To have this property taken away from us would mean a great loss to us.’”

Similarly, historian Robin Law reminds us of the militant reaction of the Dahomean elite when the British began pressuring the government to disband the slave trade: “King Glele told British missionary Peter Bernasko in 1860 that ‘war, bloodshed (i.e. human sacrifice) and slave selling had been left to him by his father, he could not avoid them.” Law also notes that the assault on the slave trade “implied the demilitarization of the Dahomian state and this in turn implied an attack on human sacrifice, which in Dahomey was bound up with the culture of militarism.”

The examples provided suggest that slavery underpinned the cultural fabric of several non-Western societies. Furthermore, it is evident that following the abolition of slavery in America its leaders placed pressure on other countries to terminate the practice. So, in a strange sense, we may say that American imperialism helped to topple slavery. Likewise, based on our survey an objective analysis of historical positions on slavery should illustrate that America’s founding fathers were not only more progressive, but exhibited a moral disposition absent in most places. Therefore, in contrast to the utterances of critics, what is distinct about America is not slavery, but rather its strident antislavery ideology despite slavery’s universal acceptance. Author:

Contact Lipton Matthews

Lipton Matthews is a researcher, business analyst, and contributor to mises.org, The Federalist, and the Jamaica Gleaner. He may be contacted at lo_matthews@yahoo.com or on Twitter (@matthewslipton).

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bionic mosquito: Slavery

Posted by M. C. on September 29, 2020

The Saracen slave trade was in full swing, operating on a “near-industrial scale.” Great flotillas of ships, tens-of-thousands of captives loaded for transports to the markets of Africa. The word Saracen had become synonymous with Muslim during these centuries, more specifically describing Muslim Arabs.

Something about Pope John VIII: much of his papacy was devoted to halting and reversing Muslim gains in southern Italy. Unable to gain assistance from the Franks or Byzantines, he strengthened the defenses of Rome.

He was also unable to generate meaningful support from Christians in southern Italy, these Christians having formed alliances with the Muslim invaders and slave traders. Things didn’t end well for John:

http://bionicmosquito.blogspot.com/2020/09/slavery.html

Slavery

Here, in the pile of rubble left where such a haughty villa once stood, was dramatic illustration of how profoundly Italy had slumped from her one-time greatness into impotence and poverty.

This was ninth-century Italy, a few centuries removed from the greatness of Empire. But it wasn’t just impotence and poverty – if only it was merely these. Across vast swaths of Italian countryside, nothing of value remained – the bones picked almost clean, as Holland puts it.  But Pope John VIII put it more directly at the time:

“Behold, the towns, castles, and estates perish – stripped of inhabitants.”

The Saracen slave trade was in full swing, operating on a “near-industrial scale.” Great flotillas of ships, tens-of-thousands of captives loaded for transports to the markets of Africa. The word Saracen had become synonymous with Muslim during these centuries, more specifically describing Muslim Arabs.

Something about Pope John VIII: much of his papacy was devoted to halting and reversing Muslim gains in southern Italy. Unable to gain assistance from the Franks or Byzantines, he strengthened the defenses of Rome.

He was also unable to generate meaningful support from Christians in southern Italy, these Christians having formed alliances with the Muslim invaders and slave traders. Things didn’t end well for John:

John VIII was assassinated in 882 by his own clerics; he was first poisoned, and then clubbed to death. The motives may have been his exhaustion of the papal treasury, his lack of support among the Carolingians, his gestures towards the Byzantines, and his failure to stop the Saracen raids.

Returning to Holland: this slave trading was a real business, the division of labor being quite well developed; savagery, yes, but also a system:

Some would guard the ships, others prepare the irons, others bringing in the captives. Some even specialised in the rounding up of children. The natives too – those with the determination to profit from the slavers rather than to end up as their victims – had their roles to play.

Italian Christians were hunting down their fellow Christians. The city of Amalfi was particularly noted for its role in such actions, exchanging slaves for gold dinars. Naples is also noted. Through this trade, these regions slowly pulled themselves out of the general poverty of the broader region – only at the cost of their souls.

Already in the ninth century, the markets of Naples had grown so bustling that visitors commented on how they appeared almost African in their prosperity.

Amalfi, perched on a cliff, would turn the city into a hub of international trade; merchants from this city could be found throughout the Mediterranean, flush with Saracen gold. As the trade developed, the slavers would eventually receive official backing from the rulers of Sicily. Some Christian leaders would come to believe that these depredations were driven by something more sinister than greed (and I have noted a similar possibility in our time):

Christendom, it appeared to them, was being systematically drained of her lifeblood: her reservoir of human souls.

And as their numbers diminished, the numbers of the enemy would increase. Erchempert, a Benedictine monk of the Abbey of Monte Cassino in Italy, would comment:

“For it is the fate of prisoners of our own race, both male and female, to end up adding to the resources of the lands beyond the sea.”

Profit was certainly the immediate motive; but with official sanction from the rulers, the entire endeavor took on the air of religiosity. The Christian captives were being spiritually disciplined, a jihad – the eternal struggle to spread the faith.

The backwardness of the Christians in southern Italy only proved the idea that God had abandoned these “infidels.” It was the natural order of things that God would send the Muslims to correct the situation.

Many Christian slaves would convert – bringing the prospect of freedom and some measure of dignity; of course, many would not. In addition, free Christians under Muslim rule were forced to pay a tax, a dhimmi. And here lies a real paradox: it was the Muslim states with the largest number of Christians that could most readily afford jihad.

By this time, Muslims would rule over North Africa, southern Europe in both Italy and Spain, and to the borders of Constantinople – all regions that were recently Christian. With the Muslims to the south and southeast, Vikings to the north and west, and Hungarians to the East, this time, perhaps, was the darkest time for Christendom since the earliest Apostolic age.

Posted by bionic mosquito at 12:07 AM

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The Welfare State Did What Slavery Couldn’t Do | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on September 11, 2020

Lawmakers do black people no favor when they advance a narrative that dismisses the importance of the family structure and offers instead dependence on government rather than independence as human beings. As Williams stated, “The undeniable truth is that neither slavery nor Jim Crow nor the harshest racism has decimated the black family the way the welfare state has….

https://mises.org/wire/welfare-state-did-what-slavery-couldnt-do?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=4da83ae339-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-4da83ae339-228343965

The welfare state has done to black Americans what slavery couldn’t do….And that is to destroy the black family. –Walter E. Williams, the Wall Street Journal

On August 14, the Commission on Social Status of Black Men and Boys Act was signed into law. It establishes a nineteen-member panel within the Commission on Civil Rights to examine social problems that disproportionately affect black males.

The act is a conscious response to the death of George Floyd, with the opening section of the bill being subtitled the “George Floyd and Walter Scott Notification Act.” Floyd died on May 25 after a white police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes. Walter Scott died on April 4, 2015, after being shot by a white police officer who had stopped him for a broken brake light. Both have become symbols of police brutality against black males. Invoking them indicates that the new commission will focus on the disparity with which law enforcement and the court system treat black males.

Any spotlight shone on the neglected problem of discrimination against males deserves applause. Higher education is often used to illustrate how far the pendulum has swung from several decades ago, when discrimination against women was rife. A February 1 article in Forbes, “The Collegiate War against Males,” commented on the recent decline in college enrollment. “Most of that fall…is concentrated among men. Between 2015 and 2019…the number of men on campuses declined by 691,643, almost double the smaller fall among women, 348,955. In percentage terms, the male decline of 8.34% was far more than double that among women, 3.18%….In 2015, there were 32% more women than men, but now the differential is nearly 40%.” From family courts to the handling of sexual violence, from protective laws for women to harsh prison sentencing for men, the government unjustly advantages one gender over the other instead of treating all individuals equally under the same law.

The Commission on Social Status of Black Men and Boys is not likely to increase justice, however; it may well damage the cause it seems to champion.

There is reason for skepticism. A DC Commission on Black Men and Boys was established in 2001 by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), who also cochairs the Congressional Caucus on Black Men and Boys. Predictably, Norton applauds the new act, because it “mandates government action to help improve the condition of African-American men and boys.” There are two takeaways from her comment: government will become more deeply involved in directing the lives of black males, and two decades of activity by the first commission has accomplished little.

The government mandate is unfortunate, for several reasons.

Improving the status and safety of anyone is laudable, but a number of problems exist with the bill’s approach. For one thing, social status refers to a person’s standing in a community. It refers to how highly others in society value a person. As long as people are nonviolent, the government has no business dictating what or whom they value. It is akin to mandating what people must think and feel, which is a matter of social control—not justice.

Moreover, the government can elevate the social status of a group only by changing their legal status and treatment. If the change makes all people equal under just law, then it is an improvement. If it elevates one class by harming the status of another class, then it is discriminatory and unjust on its face.

There are two basic ways that government can use the law to influence social status. It can remove any legal entitlements or disadvantages for categories of people and allow the status of each individual to rise or fall on its own. Or it can redistribute status—in a manner similar to redistributing wealth—by extending privileges and opportunities to one group while denying them to another; affirmative action in university admission is an example. The new commission will almost certainly take the latter path. And the disadvantaged category will almost certainly be white males. (Women are unlikely to be disadvantaged, because they are still viewed as “oppressed.”) If the new Commission follows the lead of Norton’s original one, it will make frequent comparisons between the status of black males and white ones as a way to “prove” racial inequity. If this happens, males will be divided into warring groups—black and white—with one category of males benefiting at the expense of the other, with the interests of both in conflict.

Another objection: the new commission tacitly accepts the idea that there is institutionalized racism in America. Although racist individuals and organizations certainly exist, America has overwhelmingly purged its institutions of antiblack bias. Racism is not systemic. In an article entitled Why Social Justice Warriors Battle ‘Institutional Racism,’” the noted black economist Walter Williams, who teaches at George Mason University, speculated on the ill-defined terms institutional racism and systemic racism. He wrote, “I suspect it means that they cannot identify the actual person or entities engaged in the practice….And it is seen by many, particularly the intellectual elite, as a desirable form of determining who gets what.”

On the other hand, a clear-cut misandry or antimale bias does exist in American institutions and culture. This is especially true of white heterosexual males, who politically lack the intersectional “advantage” of being a racial or sexual minority. But the antimale bias also applies to blacks who are disadvantaged simply because of their gender. In fighting this bias, they should find common cause with white males instead of being politically juxtaposed.

Yet another objection to the commission is that its members almost certainly accept “the legacy of slavery” as the cause of any racism in America. This means it will not address the single most powerful cause of black impoverishment: the decline of the black family, for which government bears much responsibility. The black social theorist Thomas Sowell, who teaches at Stanford University, has written extensively on the decline of the black family. In his article A Legacy of Liberalism,” Sowell rejects the argument that current black impoverishment is the residue of slavery or due to inherent racism. He refers to “the legacy of slavery” argument as a reason not to think about the subject or rely on evidence, because it replaces research with an emotional reaction. “If we wanted to be serious about evidence,” Sowell observed, “we might compare where blacks stood a hundred years after the end of slavery with where they stood after 30 years of the liberal welfare state….Despite the grand myth that black economic progress began or accelerated with the passage of the civil rights laws and ‘war on poverty’ programs of the 1960s, the cold fact is that the poverty rate among blacks fell from 87 percent in 1940 to 47 percent by 1960. This was before any of those programs began.”

In his article “The Legacy of the Welfare State,” Williams agreed. “The No. 1 problem among blacks is the effects stemming from a very weak family structure. Children from fatherless homes are likelier to drop out of high school, die by suicide, have behavioral disorders, join gangs, commit crimes and end up in prison. They are also likelier to live in poverty-stricken households. But is the weak black family a legacy of slavery?…Here’s my question: Was the increase in single-parent black families after 1960 a legacy of slavery, or might it be a legacy of the welfare state ushered in by the War on Poverty?”

In another article Sowell answered, “A vastly expanded welfare state in the 1960s destroyed the black family, which had survived centuries of slavery and generations of racial oppression. In 1960, before this expansion of the welfare state, 22 percent of black children were raised with only one parent. By 1985, 67 percent of black children were raised with either one parent or no parent.” The percentage has held fairly steady since then. And, statistically, the parent figure is usually a mother or a grandmother.

Being effectively fatherless can be devastating. The paper “What Can the Federal Government Do to Decrease Crime and Revitalize Communities?,” issued by the US Department of Justice, offered statistics on children from fatherless homes. The children account for:

  • Suicide: 63 percent of youth suicides
  • Runaways: 90 percent of all homeless and runaway youths
  • Behavioral disorders: 85 percent of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders
  • High school dropouts: 71 percent of all high school dropouts
  • Juvenile detention rates: 70 percent of juveniles in state-operated institutions
  • Substance abuse: 75 percent of adolescent patients in substance abuse centers

Lawmakers do black people no favor when they advance a narrative that dismisses the importance of the family structure and offers instead dependence on government rather than independence as human beings. As Williams stated, “The undeniable truth is that neither slavery nor Jim Crow nor the harshest racism has decimated the black family the way the welfare state has….The most damage done to black Americans is inflicted by those politicians, civil rights leaders and academics who assert that every problem confronting blacks is a result of a legacy of slavery and discrimination. That’s a vision that guarantees perpetuity for the problems.”

Author:

Contact Wendy McElroy

Wendy McElroy is a Canadian individualist anarchist and individualist feminist. She was a co-founder along with Carl Watner and George H. Smith of The Voluntaryist magazine in 1982.

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Today and Yesterday – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on September 10, 2020

The poverty we have today is spiritual poverty. Spiritual poverty is an absence of what traditionally has been known as various human virtues. Much of that spiritual poverty is a result of public and private policy that rewards inferiority and irresponsibility. Chief among the policies that reward inferiority and irresponsibility is the welfare state.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/09/walter-e-williams/today-and-yesterday/

By

In matters of race and other social phenomena, there is a tendency to believe that what is seen today has always been. For black people, the socioeconomic progress achieved during my lifetime, which started in 1936, exceeded anyone’s wildest dreams. In 1936, most black people lived in gross material poverty and racial discrimination. Such poverty and discrimination is all but nonexistent today. Government data, assembled by Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation, shows that “the average American family … identified as poor by the Census Bureau, lives in an air-conditioned, centrally heated house or apartment … They have a car or truck. (Indeed, 43% of poor families own two or more cars.)” The household “has at least one widescreen TV connected to cable, satellite, or a streaming service, a computer or tablet with internet connection, and a smartphone. (Some 82% of poor families have one or more smartphones.” On top of this, blacks today have the same constitutional guarantees as everyone else, which is not to say that every vestige of racial discrimination has been eliminated.

The poverty we have today is spiritual poverty. Spiritual poverty is an absence of what traditionally has been known as various human virtues. Much of that spiritual poverty is a result of public and private policy that rewards inferiority and irresponsibility. Chief among the policies that reward inferiority and irresponsibility is the welfare state. When some people know they can have children out of wedlock, drop out of school and refuse employment and suffer little consequence and social sanction, one should not be surprised to see the growth of such behavior. Today’s out-of-wedlock births among blacks is over 70%, but in the 1930s, it was 11%. During the same period, out-of-wedlock births among whites was 3%; today, it is over 30%. It is fashionable and politically correct to blame today’s 21% black poverty on racial discrimination. That is nonsense. Why? The poverty rate among black husband-and-wife families has been in the single digits for more than two decades. Can anyone produce evidence that racists discriminate against black female-headed families but not black husband-and-wife families?

For most people, education is one of the steppingstones out of poverty, and it has been a steppingstone for many black people. Today, decent education is just about impossible at many big-city public schools where violence, disorder, disrespect and assaults on teachers are routine. The kind of disrespectful and violent behavior observed in many predominantly black schools is entirely new. Some have suggested that such disorder is part of black culture, but that is an insulting lie. Black people can be thankful that double standards, and public and private policies rewarding inferiority and irresponsibility, were not broadly accepted during the 1920s, ’30s, ’40s and ’50s. There would not have been the kind of intellectual excellence and spiritual courage that created the world’s most successful civil rights movement.

Many whites are ashamed, saddened and guilt-ridden by our history of slavery, Jim Crow and gross racial discrimination. They see that justice and compensation for that ugly history is to hold their fellow black Americans accountable to the kind of standards and conduct they would never accept from whites. That behavior and conduct is relatively new. Meet with black people in their 70s or older, even liberal politicians such as Charles Rangel (age 90), and Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson (85), Alcee Hastings (83) and Maxine Waters (82). Ask them whether their parents would have tolerated their assaulting and cursing of teachers or any other adult. I bet you the rent money their parents and other parents of that era would not have accepted the grossly disrespectful behavior seen today among many black youngsters who use foul language and racial epithets at one another. These older blacks will tell you that, had they behaved that way, they would have felt serious pain in their hind parts. If blacks of yesteryear would not accept such self-destructive behavior, why should today’s blacks accept it?

Black people have made tremendous gains over the years that came as a result of hard work, sacrifice and a no-nonsense approach to life. Recovering those virtues can provide solutions to many of today’s problems.

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WHY TAXATION IS SLAVERY

Posted by M. C. on September 2, 2020

Now I put it to you that the above description is exactly the reality that you face in relation to government as we know it today. The “I” in the example above is the IRS. It takes away your money by means of coercion, intimidation, and force and gives it to others who claim to legitimize the theft on the basis of majority rule, public benefit, wealth distribution, homeland security, etc., etc., etc. To the extent that the above description is correct, the government is a thieving parasite and you are its host. To the extent that you don’t get to keep the fruit of your labor the government owns it, not you; and to that extent you are a slave.

https://www.titanians.org/why-taxation-is-slavery/
By Robert E. Podolsky

Government is a Criminal Enterprise

I have maintained for some time that taxation is government’s most criminal enterprise and that it is, in fact, a form of slavery. Yet it continues to baffle me that so many people cannot or will not see the obvious truth in these statements and insist on arguing that taxation is necessary to humanity’s well being and that it is not slavery at all. “The greatest good for the greatest number” goes the usual utilitarian refrain…which I maintain is one of the greater falsehoods…for the usual reasons. But since these reasons are so elusive to the greatest number I have decided to explain my reasoning in language that (hopefully) anyone can understand, thus settling this dispute once and for all in the eyes of any reasonable person.

While a whole book might easily be devoted to this subject, it is my intention to present here only a brief treatise on the subject in order to make the information as accessible as possible. I present herein three separate, but not entirely independent, arguments to make my case. I call them respectively:

1. The Property Rights Argument,

2. The Robin Hood Argument, and

3. The Smart Business Argument.
The Property Rights Argument

Property Rights is the one usually presented by libertarians in the manner of the late Murray Rothbard. Unfortunately, Rothbard presupposed that most people would accept intuitively that people own their own bodies. From this assumption he then reasoned that this implied the existence of property rights and hence absolute ownership of whatever the individual might create or produce. While the reasoning behind this argument is correct, few people accept it because it is counter-intuitive. It is counter-intuitive because as children it is obvious to us that our parents own our bodies, rather than we ourselves. When we go to school our teachers appear to own us. And when we grow up and become employees it often seems that our employers own us. We also observe as adults that if we refuse to pay taxes we can involuntarily lose possession of all our assets, thus demonstrating that government has a higher claim than we do to whatever we would like to believe we own. In the midst of such a society it is hardly surprising that most of us are unconvinced that we have any property rights not mitigated by government decree.

So it follows that if indeed we have any property rights worth discussing we will need some other way to discover this fact than simply agreeing with the Rothbard assertion that we own our own bodies. Fortunately there is another avenue of reasoning that we can call upon for this purpose. It begins with the definition of an ethical act:

An act is ethical if it increases the creativity of anyone, including the person acting, without limiting or diminishing the creativity of anyone.

As I have shown elsewhere, this definition is logically equivalent to similar definitions in which the word “creativity” is replaced by “love”, “awareness”, “personal evolution”, or any of a potentially large set of resources that are logical equivalents of creativity. I have also conclusively shown elsewhere that the utilitarian definition defining an ethical act as one that does more good than harm is invalid, and that because of this that it follows by simple logic that ethical ends cannot ever be attained by unethical means no matter who (or how many) benefits from such an act[1].

Now let’s ask the question, “Might it be ethical to steal someone’s possessions, either by force or by deceit?” And the answer is a resounding, “NO!” The scientist depends on her computer. The poet depends on his word processor. The artist needs her brushes and paints. Steal these things from someone and they are rendered less creative. By definition such an act is unethical…bad…evil. It follows logically from this that if we have the “right” to be treated ethically then we must have the “right” to own whatever we are able to acquire without stealing from someone else…and that therefore no one has the right, for any reason, to deprive us of the fruit of our bodies’ labor. By similar reasoning it follows that we do indeed own our own bodies and that any act which abrogates that right of ownership is an act of slavery because it diminishes our self-ownership. If our physical and financial possessions indeed contribute to our creativity, then it follows that the systematic removal of any such resources from our possession is evil and is a form of enslavement. Taxation is just such an act.
The Robin Hood Argument

The Robin Hood Argument is even easier to understand. We begin the discussion with my asking you the question, “Would it be all right with you if I stole your assets?”

And of course your answer is, “No.”

Next I ask, “Would it matter to you whether the theft was by force or by fraud?”

Again you answer, “No.” Then I ask, “Would you care what I did with the money?”

Again, “No.” Then I ask, “What if I gave the money away…would that make it okay?”

Again, “No.” “Suppose I gave half the money to a lot of poor people and they liked it and wanted more. Would that make the theft okay with you?”

Still, “No.” “Suppose all those poor folks elected a bunch of congressmen and I gave the other half of your money to them to spend as they wished. Would that make the theft okay with you?”

Still, “No.” “Finally, suppose those congressmen got together and wrote a piece of paper saying it was all right for me to steal from you and give away the proceeds; and they called that piece of paper a ‘tax law’. Would that make the theft okay with you?”

At this point I hope you have the good sense to continue saying, “No. NO. NO!”

Now I put it to you that the above description is exactly the reality that you face in relation to government as we know it today. The “I” in the example above is the IRS. It takes away your money by means of coercion, intimidation, and force and gives it to others who claim to legitimize the theft on the basis of majority rule, public benefit, wealth distribution, homeland security, etc., etc., etc. To the extent that the above description is correct, the government is a thieving parasite and you are its host. To the extent that you don’t get to keep the fruit of your labor the government owns it, not you; and to that extent you are a slave.

I should say a few words here about how the government steals from you. It does so in three ways. First it taxes you directly by means of income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, parking and traffic tickets, court imposed fines, school and utility district assessments, licensing and registration fees, gasoline, alcohol, and tobacco taxes, etc. Then there are taxes passed on to you indirectly. Most of these are taxes paid by the businesses which make or import the things you buy. Every time the government requires a tariff for the importation of foreign goods or raw materials it requires you to pay more and get less. If your Toyota dealer pays a tariff, then you are paying more for a car than the free market would charge. If you save yourself the added expense by buying a Ford, then in effect your government insists you settle for an inferior product so that Ford can make a bigger profit. This amounts to an indirect tax. Either way value is taken away from you and given to someone else who didn’t earn it.
Hidden Taxes

And finally there are hidden taxes. The most blatant example of a hidden tax is inflation…the illusion of rising prices. Every time the Federal Reserve prints money for the government to spend, the government gets the full value of each Federal Reserve “dollar” printed. But shortly after the money is spent by the government it is absorbed by the economy and the value of every dollar in your bank account is diminished. In effect the government thereby steals the buying power of all of your money without your even knowing that you are being taxed[2].

All in all, if one includes direct, indirect, and hidden taxes, the average American gives up about 50% of their gross income to local, state, and federal authorities by way of taxes. That means that fully half the fruit of your labor is forfeit whether you like it or not. Is it any less odious to be a half time slave than it would be to live as a full time slave? I think not? Slavery is slavery.
Smart Business Argument

The Smart Business Argument starts with a fantasy. Imagine I am a slave owner and you are one of my hard-working slaves whom I use as labor in my agricultural business. They (and you) plant my fields and harvest my crops, which I sell at a substantial profit. My business depends on them. While you may think that slave labor is free to me, the fact is that it is not. Besides the initial purchase of my slaves, I have to maintain them. I feed, clothe, and house them…albeit cheaply, but it’s not free. I pay for whatever medical expenses I decide to invest in their health and I pay for their management, which includes the services of bounty hunters who round them up for me when they escape. I also have to pay for the tools and implements that my slaves use and the seeds that they plant. All in all it’s an expensive operation. What is more, I am limited in the geographical scope over which I can deploy my slaves, so my business is pretty much limited to the acreage contiguous to my home. This limits my profits still further.

Not wishing to remain so limited I consult a savvy business adviser and soon create a labor cartel together with a number of my colleagues. The cartel in turn goes into partnership with the government. Soon thereafter I round up all my slaves to attend a meeting at which I make the following announcements: “As of today your life will be different. Subject to certain rules and conditions, you and all other slaves will hereby be set free. The purpose of the rules is to reimburse me and my colleagues for the investment that we have made in you. When that debt has been paid, you will be completely free for all time. These are the rules:

1. You can live anywhere in the world you wish. As of today you can live in any housing you can afford. You pay for your own.

2. You can do any kind of work you want to do. You will work whatever hours you and your employer agree upon.

3. You will attend school through at least the age of 18 in preparation for your work. You will pay for your schools through taxes.

4. You may own a business if you so desire and are able to acquire the capital needed to start it.

5. You will carry an identification token all your life and through it your income will be tracked. I will know where you are working and for whom. I will know how much you earn and where you bank.

6. Directly and indirectly you will pay me and my colleagues 50¢ out of every dollar that you earn. This will apply toward payment of your debt to me.

7. If you need to borrow additional money and can convince a bank that you are a good ‘credit risk’, money will be created for you with the stroke of a computer key. This money costs the bank nothing to create and represents no risk to the bank, but if you fail to repay it with interest the bank will take away your house, your car, or any other assets you have that the bank required as collateral for the loan.

8. When the government needs to spend more money than it has collected in taxes, it will ‘borrow’ it from the Federal Reserve System which is a cartel of the world’s biggest banks. It will not need your permission to do this, but you and your descendants will be responsible for repayment of the loan. It will simply be added to whatever you already owe [3]. Naturally the value (buying power) of all the money (Federal Reserve Notes) in your possession will steadily diminish as the Fed continues this practice, so of course your debt to me and my colleagues will never be repaid in full.

9. In order to maintain your sense of freedom you will participate in general elections at regular intervals. The majority vote will determine who occupy the positions of elected officialdom. But the rules above will never be changed to your advantage…only to the advantage of the banking and labor cartels that are actually the owners of the whole system (including you). Accordingly, discussion of these rules will never be part of the general debate at election time.

10. The local, state, and federal governments of the United States will be responsible for enforcement of the rules above in keeping with its partnership in the banking and labor cartels. The courts will adjudicate any conflicts that arise; but discussion of these rules will be forbidden in court and any reference to them will be deemed ‘frivolous’ by the courts. In this way the rules become in themselves a form of law more potent and inviolable than the state and federal constitutions and local charters that might otherwise interfere with the working of the rules.”

The rules above are just “smart business” from the viewpoint of the modern slave owner. Costs are held to a minimum. Productivity is maximized. The slaves manage themselves. There are no rebellions to be concerned with. And yet the slaves are easy to manipulate and control using modern methods of scholastic indoctrination and media communication. What a blessing that most of the slaves have no inkling whatever that they are in fact slaves. This fact alone makes the whole system worth whatever sacrifices the slave owners have made to create it, because there are no organized modes of resistance to the system. Even the organized religions don’t protest the half-time slavery imposed on the public. What a deal for the owners of the system!

In Conclusion, I ask you not to feel too badly if you didn’t get it before now…if you didn’t realize that you are a slave. Most of us don’t get it and billions of dollars are spent each year to keep us in the dark about it. By maintaining the illusion that we are not slaves the system’s owners remain free to continue their perpetuation of the system, with the eventual (though not too distant) goal of taking over the whole world. If we don’t act promptly and with vigor that goal will be attained…very probably within your lifetime. As the goal is neared the deceit will become less and less subtle and the limitations on our freedom more and more pronounced. With the exceptions of 1865 and 1920 (emancipation and suffrage) we have had less freedom every year than the year before. This series of books [4] points the way to the only viable solution that I can see to the, otherwise inevitable, outcome of global slavery and the concomitant degradation of the social and physical environments of the world…to the detriment of all…including those who will be world’s rulers. It is a universal characteristic of parasites that, in the end, they destroy their host and with it themselves. Now let’s look at another atrocity – the attacks of 9/11/2011.

[1] See Appendix B of “BORG WARS” by Robert E. Podolsky

[2] See The Creature from Jekyll Island, a Second Look at the Federal Reserve System by G. Edward Griffin,

[3] Fully one half of your direct federal taxes today go to pay the interest on such loans.

[4] Titania™, the Bloodless Revolution by Robert E. Podolsky

Be seeing you

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