Tag Archives: Liberty

Ron Paul: Our Peaceful Revolution Will Make Bankers, Crony Capitalists and War Profiteers Suffer!

The young people are the change. They will be the revolutionaries of the next 10-30 years. I am encourage not because I agree with everything RP says but because so few young people are involved and these few seem enthusiastic. (E)

Anarchy is order, whereas capitalistocratic government is civil war

Anarchy symbol - Basic traditional circumscrib...

Image via Wikipedia

by Darian Worden

The prospect of state collapse brings forth worries about a “power vacuum,” an unrestrained state of nature where chaos rules until the strong take over. But chaotic conflict is produced by efforts to seize power and exert power over other people. It is not the rejection of rulership, but the struggle to achieve rulership, that creates deadly conflict. The negation of authority, as advocated by anarchists, does not necessitate the chaotic mess associated with the phrase “power vacuum.”

Anarchy would mean that power is dispersed among individuals who would rather safeguard each others’ freedom than rule over each other. And if power is firmly in the hands of organized people then there is no power vacuum.

In politics, the word power generally signifies the ability of an individual or group of individuals to influence the decisions of others. Authority is an attempt to legitimate the exercise of power to compel obedience or allegiance to the higher ranks. Anarchists reject authority in favor of individual autonomy. Anarchy means that individuals have ultimate decision-making power over their own lives, and the only social arrangements recognized as legitimate are those that are based on consensual cooperation.

When authority amasses and exercises political power against people, it creates conflict. Hence the axiom that “anarchy is order, whereas government is civil war.”

The very concept of having no rulers often encounters fears of a power vacuum — an unsustainable, dangerous situation that can only end in the re-establishment of rulers. But the rejection of authority does not mean that power is up for grabs — it means that power is widely distributed, making it harder for tyrants to usurp.

The practice of anarchism fills society with empowered individuals, diffusing power throughout society so that no authority can take it over. Interactions of free individuals — the everyday pursuit of needs and desires combined with the recognition that mutual respect for freedom is the best way to realize needs and desires — build counter-power. Organizations of social cooperation established for the mutual benefit of participants, not for the power of some at the expense of others, help keep power dispersed in a fashion that safeguards individual liberty. Institutions of authority can be subverted or seized for the purpose of dispersing power.

Certainly, anarchy requires a number of people to accept the idea, but this true of any state of affairs that does not rest on brute force alone. A state can only exist so long as it can muster a significant level of allegiance. Every individual has the decision of whether to obey the decrees of those trying to amass power, or to follow the logic of appeals to disperse power. The creation of dispersed power establishes a basis from which authority can be effectively challenged.

When individuals possess power over their own lives, it means they have no personal power vacuum that tyrants could exploit. Power held by ordinary individuals gives them a greater stake in a functioning society as well as a more effective means of preventing social catastrophe.

The rejection of authority, as advocated by anarchists, does not mean that a nightmare scenario associated with the phrase “power vacuum” is likely. It means the power that authority monopolizes will be dispersed among the people.

About the writer:

C4SS News Analyst Darian Worden is an individualist  writer with experience in libertarian activism. His fiction includes Bring a Gun To School Day and the forthcoming Trade War. His essays and other works can be viewed at DarianWorden.com. He also hosts an internet radio show, Thinking Liberty.

Source: http://lecanadian.com/2011/02/13/anarchy-is-order-whereas-capitalistocratic-government-is-civil-war/


A Mosque, Some Muslims, and a Mob

by C.J. Maloney
by CJ Maloney

Recently by CJ Maloney: Count Our Holiday Blessings: At Least We’re Not Starving

Is it possible The People should ever be their own enemies?

~ Fischer Ames (1805)

Remember the “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy? It took place last summer in New York City when some people – with no sense of how a democracy works – had the foolish notion to build on property they owned an Islamic cultural center to worship God as they pleased. In both Constitutional law and simple humanity they were well within their rights but their proposed location was, unfortunately, just two blocks from where the Twin Towers once stood. Crushed under a wave of populist indignation, the Islamic center has yet to be built.

Admittedly I hadn’t thought about it in some time, and would gather that most New Yorkers hadn’t thought about the “Ground Zero Mosque,” either, since the tabloids stopped telling us to think about it. The angry mobs that once gathered outside the proposed location have taken their pitchforks and torches and run off toward other distractions. (Call of Duty: Black Ops was released, for one.) Now emotions lay at low tide, all is calm. So it’s time to take stock of what it cost us.

The fact that a most basic human right – to worship in peace as you please – came under blatant assault in America, in our greatest, most liberal city no less, is tragic but predictable. This is what you get from nine (and counting) years of living under endless war, breathing the harsh, poisonous air of an increasingly militarized society, and the effects were shown in the tepid defense my great state’s political grandees’ offered in response to this populist rejection of religious freedom.

The political leaders of New York were, with but rare exception, either outright scoundrels or mealy-mouthed cowards. Steve Israel, my local House representative, took a few moments to defend our Constitution in a fuzzy, kind of, sort of way that characterizes those without any spine. “While they have a constitutional right to build the mosque,” he began (and history would be kinder to him had he stopped there), “it would be better if they had demonstrated more sensitivity to the families of 9/11 victims.”

So there we have it. Our Constitution, Israel laments, is too insensitive. Freedom isn’t free, the saying goes, and here Israel is unwilling to pay even the price of hurt feelings. Mr. Israel’s feeble gesture sums up all that New York’s timid Congressional representatives could muster in defense of religious freedom; highlights how bereft our leaders are of any courage to stand up to a howling mob.

The farce deepened as the one politician who came out the hero of this sad tale was none other than the Golden Tongue himself, Barack Obama, a man not exactly known for political courage. “In this country we treat everybody equally and in accordance with the law, regardless of race, regardless of religion. I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there. I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding.” For once I applauded the man and realized I was wrong about one thing – he has read the Constitution.

The entire sad episode of the “Ground Zero Mosque” gave warning that democracy is no bulwark for liberty; it never has been and cannot be. I look at America today and see the wisdom in Bertrand de Jouvenel’s assertion that democracy is “the time of tyranny’s incubation.” (de Jouvenel, 1978, 15) Americans have forgotten to remember that Hitler – who was elected – is not only a symbol of the vile Holocaust but of sweet democracy, too.

Like many of our ancestors these newly arrived Muslim immigrants pinned their hopes on America’s reputation as a nation of law and not of men but found, in this case, that reputation to be far short to its reality. Today, America’s reality starts for the Muslim immigrant as soon as they disembark onto freedom’s golden shores.

Where once our forefathers, upon entry into New York harbor, came up from steerage to gather on the ship’s deck and watch the Statue of Liberty slide by, today’s immigrants come through an airport. What do they think when they first spot a line of freedom-loving Americans, standing meek with shoes in hand and pants around the ankles as surly TSA agents bark orders and jam their hands into our crotch? Do any of them take a moment to think about the lawlessness they had fled and wonder, “Why did I bother?”

Don’t be alarmed, new Muslim-Americans, all you see and hear about you is from what democracy is made! As H.L. Mencken noted long ago, a citizen of a democracy will be met everywhere by “an assumption of his disingenuousness and dishonour.” (Mencken, 2009, 156) So take off your sandals, lift your robe, and wait for Uncle Sam’s frisk.

I don’t claim this anti-Muslim populism to be anything unusual. History tells us that all human societies need a dog to kick. Without exception every race and nationality has been through the ringer at one time or another and, also without exception, every race and nationality has behaved like a beast when given the opportunity to pummel some minority in their midst. Every dog has its day, and every society has its dog. Current dog in America are Muslims within our borders. Native born or no, these poor people now find themselves cursed to be Muslim in a land that doesn’t want them.

James Madison once looked about him at 1774 Virginia and its wave of religious persecutions and exclaimed that he had “nothing to brag of as to the State and Liberty of my country…that diabolical Hell conceived principle of persecution rages among some.” Now, over two hundred years on, some Texas Congressman named John Cornyn declared of President Obama’s defense of religious freedom “the president himself seems to be disconnected from the mainstream of America.” No truer words can be said of 2010 America. Democracy has spoken; The People have made themselves heard. Freedom of religion is conditional upon the mob’s approval, the Constitution be damned.

As things currently stand any Muslim who comes to America in search of freedom is to be pitied – they are like a drowning sailor climbing into a sinking lifeboat.

Sources Cited

Mencken, H.L. Notes on Democracy (Dissident Books, New York, 2009)

De Jouvenel, Bertrand. On Power: The Natural History of Its Growth (Liberty Fund, Indianapolis, IN, 1975)

December 24, 2010

CJ Maloney [send him mail] lives and works in New York City. He blogs for Liberty & Power on the History News Network website and the DailyKos. His first book Back to the Land (Arthurdale, FDR’s New Deal, and the Costs of Economic Planning) is to be released by John Wiley and Sons in February 2011.

Copyright © 2010 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

The Best of C.J. Maloney

Statism Left, Right, and Center

by Murray N. Rothbard

Reprinted from Libertarian Review, 1979

“Left,” “Right,” and “center” have increasingly become meaningless categories. Libertarians know that their creed can and does attract people from all parts of the old, obsolete ideological spectrum. As consistent adherents of individual liberty in all aspects of life, we can attract liberals by our devotion to civil liberty and a noninterventionist foreign policy, and conservatives by our adherence to property rights and the free market. But what about the other side of the coin? What about authoritarianism and statism across the board?

For a long while it has been clear that statists, right, left, and center, have been growing more and more alike – that their common devotion to the State has transcended their minor differences in style. In the last decade, all of them have been coagulating into the center, until the differences among “responsible” conservatives, right-wing Social Democrats, neoconservatives, and even such democratic socialists as John Kenneth Galbraith and Robert Heilbroner, have become increasingly difficult to fathom.

The common creed central to all these groupings is support for, and aggrandizement of, the American State, at home and abroad. Abroad, this means support for ever-greater military budgets, for FBI and CIA terrorism, for a foreign policy of global intervention, and absolute backing for the State of Israel. Domestically there are variations, but a general agreement holds that government should not undertake more than it can achieve: in short, a continued, but more efficiently streamlined welfare state. All this is bolstered by an antilibertarian policy on personal freedom, advancing the notion, for either religious or secular reasons, that the State is the proper vehicle for coercively imposing what these people believe to be correct moral principles.

This coalition of statists has been fusing for some years; but recently a new outburst of candor has let many cats out of the proverbial bag. It all began in the summer 1978 issue of the socialist magazine Dissent, edited by ex-Trotskyist Irving Howe. A lead article by the best-selling economist Robert Heilbroner says flat out that socialists should no longer try to peddle the nostrum that central planning in the socialist world of the future will be conjoined with personal freedom, with civil liberties and freedom of speech.

No, says Heilbroner, socialists must face the fact that socialism will have to be authoritarian in order to enforce the dictates of central planning, and will have to be grounded on a “collective morality” enforced upon the public. In short, we cannot, in Heilbroner’s words, have “a socialist cake with bourgeois icing,” – that is, with the preservation of personal freedom.

An intriguing reaction to the Heilbroner piece comes from the right wing. For years, a controversy once raged amidst the intellectual circles on the right between the “traditionalists,” who made no pretense about interest in liberty or individual rights; the libertarians, who have long since abandoned the right wing; and the “fusionists,” led by the late Frank Meyer, who tried to fuse the two positions into a unified amalgam. Both the “trads” and libertarians realized early that the two positions were not only inconsistent but diametrically opposed.

In recent years, the trads have been winning out over the fusionists in the conservative camp, as the conservatives have sidled up more eagerly to power. Now, Dale Vree, a regular columnist for National Review, takes the opportunity to hail the Heilbroner article and to call for a mighty right-left coalition on behalf of statism (“Against Socialist Fusionism,” National Review, December 8, 1978, p. 1547). He also slaps at the fusionists by pointing out that the “socialist fusionists,” those trying to fuse economic collectivism with cultural individualism, necessarily suffer from the same inconsistencies as their counterparts on the right wing, who have tried to join economic individualism with cultural collectivism.

Vree writes,

Heilbroner is also saying what many contributors to NR have said over the last quarter century: you can’t have both freedom and virtue. Take note, traditionalists. Despite his dissonant terminology, Heilbroner is interested in the same thing you’re interested in: virtue.”

But Vree’s enthusiasm for the authoritarian socialist does not stop there. He is also intrigued with the Heilbroner view that a socialist culture must “foster the primacy of the collectivity” rather than the “primacy of the individual.” Moreover, he is happy to applaud Heilbroner’s lauding of the alleged “moral” and “spiritual” focus of socialism as against “bourgeois materialism.” Vree quotes Heilbroner, “Bourgeois culture is focused on the material achievement of the individual. Socialist culture must focus on his or her moral or spiritual achievement.” Vree then adds, “There is a traditional ring to that statement.” And how!

He then applauds Heilbroner’s decrying capitalism because it has “no sense of ‘the good'” and permits “consenting adults” to do anything they please. Reacting in horror from this picture of freedom and diversity, Vree writes, “But, Heilbroner says alluringly, because a socialist society must have a sense of “‘the good’ not everything will be permitted.”

To Vree, it is impossible “to have economic collectivism along with cultural individualism” or vice versa, and so he is happy, like his left-wing counterpart Heilbroner, to opt for collectivism across the board. He concludes by noting the fusion of “right-wing” and “left-wing” libertarianism, and then he calls for a counterfusion on behalf of statism:

Several mavericks have been busy fusing right-wing libertarianism with left-wing libertarianism (anarchism). If the writings of such different socialists as Robert Heilbroner, Christopher Lasch, Morris Janowitz, Midge Decter, and Daniel Bell are indicative of a tendency, we may see the rise of a socialist traditionalist fusionism. One wonders if America contains any “Tory Socialists” on the right side of its aisle who will go out to embrace them.

The whopping error in that paragraph is that one doesn’t have to wonder for a moment.

The Buckleys, the Burnhams and their ilk have been scrambling for such an embrace for a long time – at least in practice. All that is left is the open and candid admission that this is what has been going on.

A new polarization, a new ideological spectrum, is fast taking shape. Big government, coercion, statism – or individual rights, liberty, and voluntarism, across the board, in every facet of American life.

The lines are getting drawn with increasing clarity. Statism vs. liberty. Us or them.

Reprinted from Mises.org.

Murray N. Rothbard (1926–1995) was dean of the Austrian School, founder of modern libertarianism, and academic vice president of the Mises Institute. He was also editor – with Lew Rockwell – of The Rothbard-Rockwell Report, and appointed Lew as his literary executor.

The Best of Murray Rothbard

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