Friday, December 10, 2010

The Canon Of Individual Sovereignty

Greetings once again.

In the essay titled "What Is Freedom?", mention is made of a small set of foundational principles upon which all free living amongst each other is based. I wrote that sharing a common political basis does not entail a morbid lockstep mentality wherein people are forced to live a one-size-fits-all life. Quite the contrary, all that is required is the acceptance and practice of a very small set of fundamental propositions that allow for expansively broad avenues of choice in how one may live. Likewise, those principles impose vanishingly few restrictions that all reasonable people will recognize as rational and obvious.

Our goal here shall be to derive those principles and elaborate upon them in some detail in order to paint what will hopefully be a clear, complete, rational, and truthful picture of the foundations of Freedom and Personal Liberty. This set constitutes what I call the "Canon of Individual Sovereignty" and is comprised of three Cadinal Principles which, were people to live by them, the universe of human affairs would find itself vastly improved.

The one assumption that may be said to underpin these principles is that of equal claims to life, what most people would refer to as "equal rights". This supposition, when considered carefully, is the only one of this sort that makes any sense, particularly when viewed in contrast to its negation, which would assert that people do not have equal right, which is to say equal claims, to life. The assertion of inequality means that the claim to life is different for some people in relation to others. Such an assertion leads to quite a shopping list of very thorny questions whose answers either do not exist or are painfully unsatisfying. For example, if our claims to life are not equal, in what ways are they not? Whose claims are greater? Even if one set of claims is not "greater" than another in any objective sense, they are still different. Given such a difference, who decides who enjoys one set and not another? Upon what basis is the determination made, and who establishes the standard of judgment?  As the typically unsatisfying answers to such questions are made by those supporting such a position, new questions arise endlessly.

The results of rejecting the assumption of equal claim are inelegant, arbitrary, and so very obviously false as to merit no further consideration. Yet, the exercise of raising and answering such questions in demonstration of these truths is indispensable as a device whereby one learns through first hand experience, rather than on blind faith and rote.

Compare that with the opposite proposition, that all people hold equal claims to life. The litany of problem-laden questions never arises, which is one of several indicators that this is, in fact, the correct and sufficient case.

Behold, then, the Canon.

The Canon Of Individual Sovereignty

The natural and self evident status of each Individual Man is that of a Sovereign Being. This truth is particularly important where questions and considerations of the Individual’s existence with and about his Fellows arise, for if he is alone, there is no other to trespass upon him. Man’s sovereign status derives directly from a single fundamental postulate that is at once both elegant and intuitively obvious such that little analytic consideration is required in divining its truth value.  Once accepted, this single assumption leads promptly and axiomatically, to the Body of Principles that apodictically demonstrate and enshrine the complete basis by which One arrives at a more complete Truth. This premise, the Cardinal Postulate, states:

        0. All men hold equal Just Claims to Life.

It serves well to note the reference to “Just” Claims. Whereas, Men may endeavor to confabulate all manner of arbitrary claims upon Life that are of an ill-reasoned and therefore unjust and illegitimate nature that at times borders on the idiotic, there exists a small set of Claims to Life that are just, proper, and are shared equally by all People. A Just Claim, being a Right, the equal Just Claims to Life held by All are otherwise referred to as their Equal Rights.

From the Cardinal Postulate follow the Cardinal Principles of Just Claim.  Behold:

The Principle of Self Ownership. 

        1. Each Individual holds sole and absolute Title to his Life

The Principle of Freedom of Action.

        2. The absolute right to freely think and act in accord with one's own Will

The Principle of Private Property

        3. The right to freely acquire, keep, and dispose of Property

There exists but a single fundamental restriction by which All must abide.

The Cardinal Prohibittion:

        -1 No One may trespass upon  the Equal Rights of Others

Do what Thou wilt, but trespass not upon thy Brethren. No man may own another.  No man may exercise ownership rights upon another nor may he act in a manner tantamount to this.  No man may command another, save by the explicit permission of those over whom he commands.

Thus Endeth the Canon.

What Does It All Mean?

In short, it means that free people are entitled to live as they please, free from interference from anyone, especially members of that often villainous mob to which we refer as "government".  Furthermore, it means that no free man is to be governed in any way whatsoever.  So long as one causes no material harm to others, they are free to do whatever they wish, even if the doing brings harm to oneself.  Freedom of action under will, coupled with the single responsibility not to trespass against others; that is what it means to be truly free.
Governance is only for those who refuse to govern themselves in accord with the basic principles of freedom.  Governance should come into play ONLY after a violation of someone's rights has occurred or while it is occurring.  Instead, we have government interfering with our choices on a daily basis.  It reaches far into our lives, yet so few appear either to notice or they simply accept it as proper for whatever the reason.

Freedom is exhilarating and scary as hell all at once.  It allows for perfect freedom of choice but holds each of us accountable for those we make.  The question facing us today is whether we want real freedom or the gilt cage of pretty slavery, living  at the pleasure and deign of others as we lie to ourselves, calling it "freedom".  Each and every one of us must make the decision as to what it is we really want.  Each of us will make it, whether explicitly or by default.  The question there for each of us is how shall we be heard, by standing tall and making our wills known with strength and clarity of spirit and purpose, or by skulking in the shadows in avoidance of even that much responsibility for ourselves?

What shall it be for you?  What legacy is it that you wish to leave your grandchildren and their posterity?  Freedom is strength and slavery is weakness, yet today pretty slavery is peddled by those in power as freedom.  But if you read the good works of people dedicated to the ideas of true freedom, including those found here, you will have no excuse for choosing ignorantly.  My only admonition to you is the warning to take all due care considering your choice and be very circumspect of that for which you wish because there are no free lunches anywhere in this world to be had.  They do not exist, and therefore you are behooved to regard with great suspicion men bearing gifts.  Everything has its price and no matter how you may  try to avoid paying, pay you shall.  The only question there is what, exactly, are you buying?

Until next time, please accept my best wishes.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Right To Education

 A poster on the Ron Paul Forums asked the following questions regarding a recent Right To Education law passed in India and against which many of the schools have issued complaints.  The law basically says that even private schools shall now be required to reserve 25% of their space for local (read poor) students and shall not be able to do any screening for admissions; nor will the schools be able to exercise any disciplinary action over such students, according to the article that was quoted, though no cite was given.  There are, however, plenty of pages on the issue, this being one of them.

The following captions the original post along with my responses.
Originally Posted by prmd142 View Post

Hi, I'm an Indian and a regular reader of this forum. I'd like input from you (not as Americans - I know nonintervention and stuff, but as libertarians) on this issue.

Where I stand:
How can the government interfere with how private schools are run! As if government run public schools were not pathetic enough. Is this what democracy means? There is a huge population (in other words, large number of votes) in India which is poor or worse. Government guarantees them admission to private schools with no strings attached in return for votes. There is no political party which will stand up against right to education bill, coz who doesn't want to come to power! The debate between parties is never whether right to education is right or wrong but how should it be implemented. The working middle class will now have to pay for these people's so called 'right' to education. Is there any way the middle class can protest when they do not have as many votes.
India, like most of the rest of the civilized world, is headed for disaster precisely because of this sort of thinking and its attendant behavior. Mark my words on this.

I would also point out that "right to education" does NOT equate to the right to be provided with an education. It only means a right to access as one's means may allow. So if you come from a poor household and have not the means to send your children for an education, you are shit out of luck. That is another ugly little truth about the seemingly cruel nature of life, but its unpleasant face makes it no less true. Furthermore, just because that truth may strike one as cruel and unfair, it does not follow that it is indeed so. Going further still, it is not within the right of one person to impose his will upon another simply because he perceives some injustice. That is the root of all the social evils of the world - a mob forcing its will upon the rest because they believe that it is for the greater good. Since when does initiated force and robbery serve the good, and where is it established that the "greater good", assuming it can even be determined, is the arbiter of the legitimacy of "state" monopolized force?

Can the will of the majority overrule the basic rights of others?
Depends on the basis of your question. In terms of moral principle, no. In terms of actual practice, of course, because most people are morally bankrupt and are therefore willing to apply illegitimate force upon others or tolerate third party application of such force. This is especially true if the outcome benefits them at the expense of others, which is to say that many people are more than happy to accept "free" gifts.

Furthermore, the answer depends in part on the political system in question. In failed states such as the Soviet Union, the central government could do whatever it wanted to whomever it wanted any time it wanted for any reason it wanted to the degree it wanted and by the means it wanted or at least by that which it could get away. Arbitrary rule, which lies at the very core of the definition of "democracy", is the cornerstone of tyranny. That the rule may be by majority rather than some vanishingly small minority adds no legitimacy; nor does it alter the fact that it is tyranny of the purest form. It is, in fact, tyranny of the highest caliber attainable because the fact of the majority will masks it ever so effectively and otherwise renders it resistant to question because it is the "will of the people". This grand nonsense carries with it great persuasive power in large part because for most people the fallacy is too subtle for them to comprehend, much less to identify. Add to this the shrieking that results in the wake of any questioning of the legitimacy of mob-imposed despotism and one finds that such systems tend to be very capable of maintaining that particular status quo.  The fatal factor in such systems appears invariable to lie in economics.

Is India a democracy? The USA is not. It is a constitutionally limited republic, which is supposed to mean that no matter how large a majority may be, they cannot in principle violate the rights of even a one-man minority. At least we have principle on our side.

If no, then why is democracy so popular?
Because people are, generally speaking, terminally ignorant of what "democracy" is, due in large part to the endless campaigns of propagandized deceit to which they are subjected by those in "government" and whose stolid and unwavering support the media provide.  They are told that democracy is rule "by the people", rather than the king or dictator.  The key factor of arbitrary and capricious will of the majority in violation of the natural rights of the minority is never brought up, and thereby the great mass of political consumers, unable or unwilling to think critically on an analytical basis, are rendered content with, and proud of the fact that "they" rule the nation.

Is there no political system which will protect rights at any cost?
Sure, but such systems depend almost exclusively on the moral fabric of the population. There is no formal system that can do as you ask without the active participation and material support of the people under which such a system ostensibly operates. One may draft the most perfect constitution imaginable but if nobody will abide by its principles and the dictates that follow therefrom, it is effectively nonexistent. Tribal cultures existed for thousands of years wherein the right of each individual was never to be questioned. It is the advent of that abstraction called "the state" in any of its many forms including the ancient monarchies and theocracies, that bore human freedom away on the winds of destruction into the hands of slavery, perdition, disease, and misery. Once the first individual or group thereof convinced the rest that he or they stood above the them, Pandora's box was effectively pried opened and the world would never be the same. At that moment the days of humanity's natural and proper state of individual freedom became numbered. Welcome to the paradise of "civilization".

Sunday, August 1, 2010

American Conservative Talk Media

Once again I forward a response I made to a query in another forum.  For posterity.
Originally Posted by Howard_Roark 
I don't really know what to make of Alex Jones. On one hand he is a libertarian and a very well-spoken advocate of a lot of libertarian principles. On the other, he seems to be a deranged raving conspiracy theorist who is spreading paranoia and is totally out of touch with reality.
Nor do I much of the time. Alex Jones says many things with which I agree. He speaks some profound truths, then he gets all sounding like a good candidate for the rubber room. He is part of the MSM [edit: Main Stream Media], much as he may rail against it, so I do not trust him on that basis alone. Nobody gets into mainline slots like that without "approval". He may be personally genuine on some level - maybe even on all, but he is then being "handled". He may be on to some very significant truths - it seems this way in some cases. But his raving discredits him and I find it difficult to believe that a man with so large an audience would not be intelligent enough to realize how he compromises his credibility with these modes of expression. Less believable still is that he has nobody on his staff that recognizes this and advises him to get his feet on the ground.

One other point I believe is key here is that I believe "they" believe (and perhaps rightly) that the truths Alex Jones puts out there, as well as all his libertarian posturing, poses no threat to their hegemony. Those like Jones in fact provide great benefit to the elite in that it reinforces the mistaken perception that there is some shred of freedom remaining to us and that these beacons of truth (in the minds of some) offer proof that there is hope for our freedom. Depending on the end game in mind, this may be the perfect thing for the elite because it keeps people always in "it's coming soon" mode in their thoughts.

Ever listen to Beck? That ninny raves on and on about how "its coming". What a load of shit. It ain't coming folks - it's here. Now. Right now, this very minute. If he were to say that, to speak this truth, would it not demand immediate action on our part to save ourselves from the destruction that is upon us? Action is what they do not want, but rather material indolence. Let the proles think all they want if they must, just so long as they lift no finger. I believe these shows ensure just this because they lead people to believe that someone is doing something.

Let us not be gratuitously kind to ourselves - Americans are some of the politically laziest and most stupid people in the world. And do not let the seemingly big number of clued-in people in places such as this forum deceive you into thinking it is otherwise. I have lived all over these United States and it has been my habit to have very broad social circles. My acquaintances range from rocket scientists and true geniuses to street whores, criminals, housewives in curlers, and the homeless. I have sampled a very broad cross section of the American population. There are all kinds of very intelligent and well clued-in people here [USA]. For each one of those, I would estimate there must be close to 50 completely clueless ones. That is the sad truth of my experiences with folks over the last 30 years.

We have come to believe all manner of inexcusably unacceptable bullshit. On top of that, we have fallen into the terminally bad habit of wanting someone else to do our dirty work for us - to wit, our "representative" government and state-run schools where we have placed our balls in the hands of complete strangers, fooling ourselves into believing that they will serve our best interests while we pursue more important issues, like that next line on the mirror. We have fucked ourselves more royally than most people could possibly believe and even fewer would be able to accept. Were they to, they would simply implode - they would go catatonic and would sit in one place until starvation took them. Yes, it really is that bad and we should stop fooling ourselves.... but I digress.

While I'm on it, Beck is really so full of shit, but he is fairly subtly so and I can well see how most people would miss the problems with many of the things he says or that his statements presuppose. His rants sound like patriotic libertarian material, but if you listen and carefully analyze what he really says, he sounds to me like a screaming statist. The same with Neil Boortz, Hannity, etc. The only ones who don't seem completely full of shit are the guys on Freedom Talk Live (and they fuck up routinely in terms of reasoning) and Phil Valentine (though I have not been listening to him long enough yet to get a good feel for who he really is). There is also another guy to whom I have listened only twice... Joe somethingorother... he seemed pretty cool, but it is difficult to say on one or two hearings.

Jones and the others may be examples of the age old game of mixing truth with distortions in order to paint convincing but highly misleading pictures. That is what I most strongly believe about these figures. Part of the evidence that leads me to this suspicion lies in what they do not say. I see no convincing arguments from them about how the Fed must be dissolved, as well as the IRS (though IRS gets far more airplay than the Fed). How about dismantling the public school system? Another sacred cow they don't touch. These prime targets for our wrath and demand are ignored. Again I find it difficult to accept that nobody on their staffs are aware of these issues. I must, therefore, conclude that these issues are being purposely ignored, which means the people in question are either not what they appear or they are simply too stupid to be otherwise trusted.

One needs to be very circumspect in evaluating such public figures. Oh, and while we're at it, the intro to Beck's radio slot refers to his show as the fusion of information and ENTERTAINMENT. Now folks, call me crazy (I've been called worse), but that smacks of rubbing the truth in the noses of people too stupid to figure out that they are being taken down the garden path. Beck is just that - he is an entertainer. IMO anyone taking him seriously in a holistic sense is making a very grave mistake.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Missing Link In Normative Government

For many, the term "normative" may be foreign, yet they almost certainly know that to which it refers.  When we speak normatively, we speak of what we believe ought to be, usually in terms of some ideal we employ as a standard of judgment.  "People ought not murder each other" is a normative statement.  In contrast, a positive statement is one of pure observation of what is.  "People sometimes murder each other" is one example of such a statement.

When we speak normatively about "government", we are asserting our opinions about how it ought to be in terms of its structure, granted powers, and the behavior of those holding governmental positions, particularly where elected officials are concerned.  There has been much written about this over the centuries, some of which has been very insightful.  Despite the volume of work that has been produced on theories of government, governmental designs, and the large body of commentary on official behavior handed down to us through the ages, humanity has done an appallingly poor job of learning from the mistakes it has made in specifying those designs and responding to the endless litanies of documented governmental failure and abuse that almost universally characterizes the behavior of government officials in the modern nation-state.  A significant error of these architects and chroniclers has largely lain in their substantial failure to establish complete and correct normative models and standards by which governments should be designed and implemented, and the behaviors of their operating officials judged and punished where appropriate.

For the past several centuries the various forms and instances of human government of the type we currently refer to as "the state" have proven themselves failures without notable exception.  Here, the term "state" is effectively synonymous with "empire" in the sense that, as was the case in the days of antiquity, governance is based upon the threat and application of force to compel behavior.  The main difference between then and more modern times (say, the past 500 years) is that the concepts of individual human rights had not yet been well developed and widely accepted.  Therefore, there was no standard by which rulers could have been widely judged as having acted beyond morally justifiable limits.  In some sense it could be argued that this lack of knowledge excuses the rulers of old, for they often knew nothing else but the standard of absolute authority and in most cases, tyranny, that the presumption of divine authority conferred, fostered, and served to reinforce.

The advent of the penning of documents such as the Magna Carta, as well as the advent of the European Renaissance with the attendant rise of "science" and the manifold revolutions in human thought brought an end to the era of excusable ignorance by rulers, at least on that continent and later in the New World.  Despite this, the everyday reality of the governed man changed with deplorable paucity.  The single and relatively shining exception to this general condition lay in the establishment of the United States of America, where the form of governance that was established signified a quantum departure from all previous forms, wherein the fundamental assumptions laid in diametric opposition to those of the governments of virtually every other nation-state on the planet at the time. But even that significant alteration in the design of human governance has proven inadequate to the task to which it had been set based on the understandings held by the Founders regarding the individual and his place in the scheme of human affairs.  The Constitution of the United States, a work of significant creative genius, suffers from a litany of readily discernible flaws, some of which fall into the category of those discussed here.

Two complementary characteristics which governments of "state" commonly share are the grossly inadequate specification of proper sanctions to be imposed upon those officials who wantonly or negligently violate the rights of others in the discharge of their official duties, and their enforcement.  This discussion shall deal with the former only, the latter being left perhaps for another day.  By the close of the eighteenth century, human history had provided oceans of examples of the endlessly recurring problems relating to the behavior of  persons who had assumed mantles of power over the people of nations throughout the ages. As bright and presumably forthright as the Founders were, and as great a feat of creative genius as was their new Constitution, replete with its revolutionary view of governance and the primacy of the individual over "the state", they nevertheless failed to sufficiently take heed of the lessons of history when considering the normative basis for designing their new confederation.  Some may balk at this assertion or even take offense at it, but the outcome of their efforts as embodied in the manifold troubles the nation now faces establishes it as a truth that is in part attributable to their architectural shortcomings and missteps.

Modern state governments, regardless of their particular form, all share certain characteristics to a greater or lesser degree.  Before going any further, we should become clear on what "government" is, that we may continue on with clarity and precision, which are the necessary elements required for a sufficient and proper understanding of the concept.  "Government" is nothing more than a set of conceptual conventions that are either agreed upon by a group of individuals, are forced by one group upon another, or a combination of the two.  There is no material reality to "government" just as in the case with "the state".  There are only those individuals who work alone or in concert with others to operate according to the dictates of "government" as they exist on paper (usually expressed as "law"), and often to the degree and manner to which they can get away with interpreting or otherwise ignoring those dictates to suit their personal and group objectives even when the actions taken pursuant to those interpretations violate the spirit of the law and, more importantly, the rights of the individual.  This is a fundamental aspect of government that must be paid its due respect and be fully grasped by anyone interested in the truth about "states", their attendant "governments", and the consequences of these modes of official individual behavior.

One of the universally present characteristics of modern government is the establishment of at least two classes of citizen: civilians and governors, which in practice readily translates directly into "slaves and masters" of various types and degrees, all idealistic language of rights and righteousness to the contrary notwithstanding. This stratification establishes those who are in charge and those who are to toe their lines.  While the lines in question are often seemingly reasonable in theory, in practice they are usually expressions of pure barbarism and tyranny.  Respect for the rights of the individual exists mainly on paper and in practice only where it is either convenient to the masters or where the slaves wield sufficient power to force the issue in their rightful favor.

There is, however, a circumstance relating to the structure of such governments that stands out most prominently, yet receives next to no sensible attention by those who would implement a new government or by those over whom such governments ostensibly preside, the greater truth being that in reality that they rule.  This circumstance centers upon the most notable absence of the lack of meaningful designs, implementations, and enforcement of a body of well-structured and complete specifications of standards of behavior of government officials and the suitable forms and degrees of punishment for those who fail to uphold those standards, either through intent or through negligence. 

Part of the reason for this appears to stem from the basic set of perceptions that most people seem to hold with respect to "government".  One of the false presumptions is that government actually exists in and of itself, a belief that is demonstrably and provably false in much the same way as is the case with "the state".  What this presumption serves to do is create a false sense of substance in the mind of the individual holding and accepting it.  Note that such an individual need not necessarily like it or agree with it, but most often regards it as an immutable fact to which one must resign himself because there is no getting around it.  How ironic it is to find that in such cases the jailer need build no prisons, for each inmate has done it for him, the work being of the utmost quality.

With such a false presumption underpinning the perceptions and belief systems of the individual, the power of those assuming authority over him is enhanced immeasurably.  The set of false inferences and conclusions that follow from the acceptance of, and belief in this single, innocuous looking, yet devastatingly powerful psychological device is large, somewhat varying between individuals, and universally debilitating.  For example, accepting "the state" and "the government" as actual, extant entities with material realities of their own lends a credibility to these grand lies in precisely the manner of Marshall McLuhan's "the medium is the message".  The significance of this cannot be overstated, nor can the importance of dispelling these lies and bringing the light of truth to those who suffer from this particularly destructive form of psychological derangement.  That we give credibility at all to "the government" as anything other than a group (or mob) of individuals acting in accord with some interpretation of a set of what are probably arbitrarily enacted dictates is tantamount to pulling the trigger of a gun pointed at our own heads.  We doom ourselves by this method on the belief that there is no choice.

If we dispense with the belief in the material reality of government and state, what remains?  Groups of people telling other groups of people what to do or not do, most often based on the arbitrarily constructed mandates enacted by some other group of individuals and for which the executives reserve the right to violate the natural rights of the individual up to and including taking his life away through acts of brutal violence.

Dispensing with these false beliefs alters one's apprehension of the truth dramatically and in so doing many new truths follow most naturally from the resulting altered state of awareness.  The relevance here is that one of the truths which becomes evident is the centrally important need for a set of cleary specified, complete, and correct rules that define the standards of behavior for individual public officials in their capacities as agents of "government", and the penalties for failing to comply with them in full measure.  When one realizes that all government officials are nothing more than ordinary people discharging ordinary duties in service to their fellow citizens, the tacit mystique of super-human "state" and "government" authority instantly dissipates into the aether and reveals itself as false nonsense.  Being so freed, one is then able to properly regard such people and their roles - to see and understand that such people have been vested in the sacred trust of their fellows and that violation of that trust constitutes the paramount of all possible criminal acts.

That being the case, reason then demands that such people be held to a higher standard of behavior in the discharge of those duties and that when one violates the trust, the penalties must therefore be harsh and without mercy or pity such that all other agents of the "public good" are given the most stern warning against trespassing upon the rights of their fellows either through intent or negligence.  More than any other citizen, the feet of the government official must be held to the fire fueled by the standards of behavior in order that they should quake with fear at the prospect of willfully or negligently causing harm to those to whom they take an oath to serve and whose rights they swear to protect.

Where are these standards to be found?  In the United States Code? If they are there, they are not made in any way apparent to the "ordinary" citizen, either in the letter and spirit of the law, or in its application against those who trespass upon their fellows.   Yet when the "civilian" so trespasses, he is most often called rapidly to account for his actions and, barring sufficient defense, made to pay the price in prison.  How is it that we allow the likes of the police to brutalize us with impunity?  We are assaulted in the media with an endless barrage of tales of government officials committing the most heinous crimes against us while rarely being called upon to account for their actions, and even more rarely being made to atone with prison time and economic restitution.  If this situation does not merit close attention and a demand for substantive correction, then which one does?

The normative specification of governmental structure and function needs to be perfected by adding the full set of strict rules defining proper action as well as that for rightly punishing those who violate the rights of peaceable citizens who act within the boundaries of their rights.  If the role of governance is to serve "the people", then why is it that they most often trespass upon them?  Why are they not placed and kept on severely foreshortened leashes such that anyone acting in the capacity of a government official will not be even remotely amenable to paying the price of violating their fellows?  This is the normative mode of thinking that must be established in the minds of men such that tolerance of what has proven to be the typically hubris-laden and contempt-logged behavior of government officials falls to zero.  All violations of one's rights by others must be viewed and dealt with in such a manner and degree that people, regardless of their stations in life, will be utterly dissuaded from considering such acts as even the most remote possibility.  And when this comes to pass, non-governmental people will also come to respect their public servants more fully.  On the balance, the results will produce a condition far closer to freedom and greater prosperity for all.

Friday, July 23, 2010

This a response I gave to the statement someone posted on another site:

"Once again the state reveals its true nature."
No. Individuals reveal their true nature when empowered by the fictional entity called "the state" to which most people surrender their sovereignty, freedom, and rights. There is no such thing as "the state", for it has no material reality of its own. "The state" is nothing more than an idea, the lines of which most people toe in mindless obedience and which are nothing greater than the machinations of other individuals, whether working alone or in concert to attain some goal at the expense of others.

"The state" is the King's new clothes. That's right kiddies, the king is naked as a buck and has been from day one. There has never once existed any naturally inherent and self-extant authority in the hands of any king or "state". The only authority that has ever existed is that to which the mindless, unthinking mass of ignorant and lazy humanity has acceded or that the swords of those calling themselves "the state" have taken by brute and criminal force. It is all a shell game - a great steaming pile of festering lies and outright threats against your very lives.

What if "the state" were replaced by the old Italian Mafia? What would be different? Nothing but the label - but were it the Mafia, people would be more likely to identify it for what it is: a mob of thugs assuming power and authority by the threat and application of force against the rest pursuant to whatever goals might be at hand. So why, then, are so many people so utterly and terminally blind that they cannot come to the same realization when "Mafia" is erased and "the state" written in its place?

"The state" is the modern replacement and equivalent of "god" from the days when that mob calling itself "the church" ruled men. As unavoidable change made itself felt in the world such that even the repressive hand of the nearly omnipotent church could not prevent it - as "science" and invention revealed even unto the ignorant certain readily demonstrable truths that brought the unquestionable into question, those in power were  threatened with the loss of position and therefore needed a new gimmick - a new lie that, just as "god" had served them for so long, would also serve. The main requirement would be that it possess the character of being unquestionable, thereby rendering it practically unassailable. "The state" became that lie and for the past 500 +/- years it has increasingly done just that. "The state" became the new "god", only far more impregnable, far more credible, and the people fell for it, hook line, and sinker as they continue to do to this very day.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS "THE STATE" save that which floats about within the confines of peoples' skulls. If you doubt this, then prove me wrong. Demonstrate the existence of "the state". Show that upon which a man may place his hand and say "this is the state, yes". Try it. I dare each and every one of you to try. If I had any money, I would post a reward - a large one too - for anyone demonstrating the material reality of "the state".

Better start harvesting the clues quickly folks, because time is now pretty short and it is precisely in these small and most often overlooked details that the greater truths slip past us. We are now at a threshold and once crossed, chances are next to zero that we will be able to make it back in our lifetime. Think about that awhile - do you really want to spend the rest of your life in a world even Orwell couldn't have dreamt up? That is precisely where we are heading - we're, in fact, at the doorstep, knocking to be let in. Consider all this carefully before deciding what you will do or not do.

If you want liberty, you have to get your heads out of your shorts and get back to the very bottom-most basics of sense and sensibility. Without that, you are all wasting your time. Drop the bad habits and start thinking for once about what it is you are really saying. Question your most basic assumptions and modes of expression. Chances are you will find plenty to correct if your intent and analytical abilities are there. Otherwise, fess up and stop wasting your time so you can return to the important things in life, like, the toot, and fast foods. Life is short.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The BELL: A Practical Philosophy For Abiding Liberty

Consider humanity in the context of its history.  Consider the utterly consistent uniformity and predictability of the patterns of political thinking and action - of those universal cycles of decay following what is usually a period of relative prosperity and peace - what we often call a "golden age".  Every formal empire, every state has fallen; not a one has lasted.  Sumer, Akkad, Babylon, Egypt, Athens, Rome, the dynasties of China, and so forth have all come to ignominious ends.  These results, more commonly than not, have followed more from the progression of these predictable patterns in human thought and behavior than from external threats.  In most cases we are able to discern a very clear pattern of degenerative change in the minds, and hence the acts, of both the governed and the governors such that a nation's fall into self-annihilation becomes a readily predictable event.

It is the change of mind that makes this fall not only possible, but inevitable, for any given mode of living cannot be sustained if the baseline standards for that mode are not maintained.  Those standards exist in but one place: mind.  They exist within us, but unlike books, we are ephemeral beings whose accumulated knowledge of lifetimes vanishes unless it is passed on to subsequent generations through training and education, which in turn is often affected through various traditions.  This is one of the reasons we have books, yet those physical repositories are not sufficient for the preservation of standards of thought and behavior that preserve one's way of life.  The correlative factors of attitude and practice (habit) are equally essential and serve as mutually reinforcing elements with education and training.  Each supports the others.

Though many people possess an inborn sense of liberty, without explicit training in that mindset and what the concept means in a broad and complete fashion, it becomes a long shot that any given individual will cultivate an ability to articulate and assert that sense into a practically applicable  and sustainable way of life.  It  is even less likely that a group of such individuals will come to such realizations and capabilities, and it is furthest from likelihood that a nation will do so, as history bears out in a sickeningly endless litany of failed states wherein human misery and death have been the rule and where peace and prosperity have been the rarest of exceptions.

We see that training is one of the keys to an explicit knowledge of liberty, which is most likely to lead to an attitudinal bent and the corresponding will toward the same.  The problem here is not the establishment of such training, for that is an academic exercise.  Rather, it is one of the maintenance of that habit and the will to perpetuate the drive to liberty for all people such that it spans the generations unabated, and in fact takes on ever stronger cementation within the nation's fabric through the minds and daily deeds of each subsequent generation regardless of the material conditions in which they find themselves, whether in wealth or poverty, ease or hardship, for they are morally wealthy, healthy, and strong in any event.

It is that failure to maintain such a drive that has resulted in the obliteration of empire upon empire, state upon state.  This becomes the inevitable conclusion when the waning of that drive is coupled with the inversely proportional strength of the drive and ability of certain groups of individuals to band together and declare themselves masters over the rest, after which their greed for booty and the mad lust for control drives them to plunder and murder their way through the ages for as long as they are able.

Humanity's problem, then, with respect to the long term maintenance of personal liberty and thereby the free and prosperous nation, is summarized in the question of how does one best ensure that successive generations will know what we know and live what we live at the most basic levels far into the future - that they will know of, understand, and choose liberty over slavery in a dance of perpetual and deliberate choice through time?  The only solution that seems viable is the approach employed by the abidingly successful religions, for they appear to be the singular sort of cultural institution that has been successful in spanning generations.  There is, however, the question of choosing the set of beliefs and this very problem has been a root cause of, or at least served as the justification for, waging war since time immemorial.

A possible answer to this dilemma of need versus too many and often violently conflicting and seemingly arbitrary choices of belief is the adoption of a universal secular "religion" (acutally quasi-religion) we shall call the "Bell".  Bells have a long history as clarions of good and welcomed tidings, as well as the sentinel's alert to danger.  It is therefore fitting that we tie the concepts, practices, and habits of individual freedom and rights to this icon of all that is good and worthy of our value.  Such a "religion" would stand apart from theologies in that it is not a religion at all in the traditional sense, but more a mindset that enjoins, encourages, and guides us in treating and applying the principles and issues of personal liberty in a manner analogously to that of the world's abiding religions.  It departs from traditional religion in that all of its tenets and practices derive through reason rather than being arbitrarily posited as articles of faith.  These tenets would axiomatically and apodictically follow from the acceptance of the single baseline premise that all human beings are created as equals.  If one accepts this as true, then the whole of the body of moral law that follows from it does so in a most self-evident and irrefutable manner.  This corpus of axiomatic principles constitutes the philosophical nucleus of The Bell and forms the foundational basis from which the practical elements of this belief system  derive.

An advantage of this approach is that the Bell need not conflict in any way whatsoever with standing religious traditions as the latter are based in articles of personal faith and the former in unbreakable reason.  The only circumstance wherein conflict may arise is when some given tenet of a theology implies or even explicitly demands the initiation of force against people in order to impose some condition upon them against their assent, an intolerable and unallowable act according to the precepts of the Bell.  One example of this might be a belief in "compulsory charity" (clearly an oxymoron, but some folks will not let that get in the way of fine tyranny) wherein it is assumed that force may be justifiably employed to compel someone to "give" to some other, ostensibly "more needy", party.  Humanity already has far too much of this going on, so the adoption of a universal secular quai-religion such as the Bell could only serve to improve this circumstance.

On the other side of that coin, adoption of the Bell may be attractive to many people of the various faiths because the more universally accepted and practiced it is, the stronger are the assurances that individuals and communities will be free to observe their respective faiths without interference.

The Bell may be said to be the universally applicable and secularly derived practical religion of Liberty, and in this sense it is a true religion in that it is based on the faith in the truth of reason and the freedom that derives from it.  It is the most fundamental set of beliefs we may adopt because it provides the basis for the possibility of the practice of other systems of belief without the need to murder each other to prove points or to usurp.  It sweeps away all monopolies of belief and with them the ready ability to justify the initiation of force against peaceable and rightfully acting citizens because the population at large will be sufficiently imbued with an attitude of absolute and unbending intolerance of anyone attempting to interfere with the rightful actions of others by virtue of the proper knowledge of our rights and the single basic obligation we each hold to each other: respecting the sovereignty of every man.

Imagine a nation where those who attempt to so much as hint of trespassing upon the rights of men are met with broad, vigorous, and unequivocal condemnation.  Imagine people who respond with irresistable material  non-equivocation against a usurper such that others with similar notions, no matter how vauge or well intended, are given endless pause to reconsider the prudence of their thoughts.  The concepts and principles comprising the Bell  would serve as the primary foundational standard by which all human interaction would be based.  Any act not in accord with those principles fails to meet the broad and lenient standard and is therefore prohibited in accordance with the pricniples in question and the dictates that derive from them.  The Bell forms the absolute moral basis for determining the legitimacy of human behavior.  They are few, simple, and universally derived through pure reason and based on the single premise that all men are created as equals.

In a future post, the structure and elements of the Bell shall be derived and from that beginning we will work our way through the chain of higher-level derivations to what hopefully will prove to be a complete and correct body of principle upon which humanity may base and judge their lives as well as those of others.

Until then, please accept my best wishes.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The "State"

Today's entry shall focus upon “the state”.  But as has been the habit thus far, let us first consult the dictionary for the relevant definitions of the term.  These from a contemporary online source:
            state: - noun
1.  a politically unified people occupying a definite territory; nation.
2.  (sometimes initial capital letter) any of the bodies politic which together make up a federal union, as in the United States of America.
3.  the body politic as organized for civil rule and government (distinguished from church).

And perhaps more significantly, from the Samuel Johnson dictionary of 1785:

8. Civil power, not ecclesiastical

9. A republick ; a government not monarchical.
"They feared nothing from a state so narrow in compass of land, and so weak, that the strength of their armies has ever been made up of foreign troops.C

16. The principal persons in the government

17. Joined with another word, it signifies publick.
a."I am no courtier, nor versed in state affairs: my life hath rather been contemplative than active" - Bacon
b."Council! What’s that?  A pack of bearded slaves, the scavengers that sweep state nuisances and are the greatest."
c."I am accused of reflecting upon great states-folks." - Swift

For completeness sake, let us include definitions of “republick” and “publick” from the same 1785 dictionary:

Republick - noun
1.      Commonwealth.  State in which the power is lodged in more than one.
2.      Common interest; the publick.

Publick – noun
1.The general body of mankind or of a state or nation; the people.

Notice that in every definition the term “state” refers to either an abstract concept or to individual people.  In not a single case does “state” refer to anything that stands on its own or with a reality apart from that of individual human beings.  As we shall see, this point holds a singular and central significance regarding the truth about “the state” and should be understood and borne in mind by all people interested in freedom and individual liberty.

Given the preceding definitions, it shall be the goal to demonstrate that current notions of “the state,” as commonly held by people and employed by those wielding political power, is a pure, yet very dangerous fiction that has been foisted upon the people and has served mainly to diminish individual freedom and the prosperity of the individual, his communities, and the nation as a whole.  No doubt some readers will already be looking askance at the very notion of labeling “the state” in such a manner, but as Voltaire once observed:

“It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.”

It may have served better to use the term “the ignorant” in place of “fools”, but delicacy was not always Voltaire's strong suit,.  In any event, if one is to accept a condition of existence imposed upon them by others whose moral authority to do so is questionable or absent, it should at least be done with a proper recognition of that which is being accepted, why, what the results are, and by whom or what it is being asked, or more likely, imposed.

There is also the quote attributed to Frederic Bastiat, who keenly observed:

            “The state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else.”

Such sage observations, once substantially common opinion, have largely fallen away from the awareness of the great body of those we call “the people”.  We shall come to see why in short order.

Freedom and servitude are not the same things; they are in fact diametric opposites and should never be confused.  This is where Voltaire's acerbically couched observation reveals one of the saddest truths about human behavior: people will often accept a “dog” as a “fish” and deadly poison as vital sustenance at the command of any perceived authority for the sake of fooling themselves into believing something which, were they not to accept it, would by reason dictate their refusal.  Rebellion against even the most absurd demands of “the state” is generally regarded as too frightening or inconvenient to undertake.  The attendant conflict of conscience is usually too much for individuals to tolerate, causing them to respond by receding into various states of self imposed deception, which serve as lubricants and cushions, enabling them to accept that which would otherwise be clearly unacceptable, were truth and reason allowed to run their course.

Cowardice and lassitude are not, however, the sole causes for accepting a situation that might otherwise be resisted.  Good old fashioned ignorance, often instituted through the instrument of misinformation and miseducation, is perhaps the most common basis.  It can hardly be claimed that the American people are mainly cowards or lazy.  Quite the contrary, they are on the whole very courageous and industrious people, as well as warm, kind, friendly, and generous; all these almost to a fault in many cases.  And yet, most Americans live in a state of servile bondage imposed upon them by “the state”.  Not only do these people accept such artificially imposed circumstance, many of them revere it, to use Voltaire's characterization, and would defend those who have imposed it upon them even unto their own destruction to preserve that to which they have acceded and to which huge emotional and psychological investments have often been made.

When considered from a distance, such seemingly absurd behavior quickly leads one to ask, “why?”  Why would an individual or population, any individual or population, accept conditions imposed upon them that were in any way detrimental to their own welfare, happiness, and general quality of life by their peers?  One answer, as noted in the previous paragraph, is cowardice and lassitude, but as stated above, the more common cause is ignorance or miseducation, often the product of intentional acts of deception by those in whose interest it stands to ensure a compliant populace.  If one does not know that their water is laced with poison, what reason do they have not to drink it down eagerly when they thirst?

This leads the honest man to the need for a close and careful examination of the causes of such misapprehensions of truth, which are great in number and would require many large volumes to address sufficiently.  The purpose here, however, is to focus on one of the centrally significant instruments of misinformation used by the culprits who would ultimately see to the subjugation of every human being on the planet while labeling it far less unattractively.

In order to set the scene properly, we must first make explicit a tidbit of truth that many people sense only tacitly:

The interests of those exercising political power are most often in conflict with those over whom the power is exercised.

Such conflicts are not always diametric.  The interests in question, in fact, most often lay at some minimally opposing angle to each other such that the collision between them is perceived by the governed as insufficiently significant to warrant exerting effort against it save, perhaps, some initial complaining, after which the point is usually ceded to the governors.  This is most carefully orchestrated so as not to arouse the strong and possibly violent dissent of the governed.  At the very least, in America it is arranged and executed in order to best guarantee reelection to office for as many cycles as possible.

Equally significant, such action is not necessarily the product of deep, dark conspiracies where the explicit intention is to subjugate and destroy.  Rather, it is most likely the product of those well-intentioned people who are so steadfast in their certainty that what they know is best for all, that they are therefore morally authorized to force their designs of universal salvation, order, and progress upon the people, usually exempting themselves at the same time.  Furthermore, they do so with the material ability at their disposal, as well as the willingness to destroy those who pose credible opposition to them.

Bearing in mind this conflict of interest between those governing and the governed, the demand and expectation that people do as the rulers command, no matter how absurd, comes under some scrutiny particularly when labels such as “governor” and “governed” are used, which connote no inherent differences between the classes, save arbitrarily defined relative positioning that connotes no inherent authority of the one over the other.  Even relatively uninterested people understand that “governors” are human beings just as they are, sensing no inherent station of superior moral authority.  Average people understand that there is no well-reasoned basis for one standing above another with regard to the authority to command people, especially where violations of the latter's civil rights are in question.  This truth poses very real practical problems to those who wish to rule without the inconveniences of notions such as equality, civil rights, due process, and limitations on their power.  Such problems require eminently practical solutions and the ruling elite have devised one that, as we shall soon see, works fabulously well for them.

In ages past, the solution to the highly inconvenient notion of individual “equality” (a staple concept in tribal life, by the way) was to sell the masses on the notion of a “divine” ruler.  The notion of the divinity of a human as separate and superior to all others incorporates as part of its very fabric the idea that such an individual is inherently superior to the others and thereby entitled to what practically amounts to unlimited authority.  Such individuals were magically endowed with characteristics above and beyond that of all other men so as to confer to them superior rights and thereby the absolute and unquestionable authority to command and dispose.

This concept worked well enough for thousands of years whereby the lives of countless individuals were corralled and most often delivered into the hands of misery and destruction in accord with the whims of a select few.  History abundantly illustrates that the stewardship of the interests of the governed has most often been carried forward in eminently questionable fashion, judging by the overwhelming body of examples of the caprice and crimes of small numbers of people whose tenures as “divine” rulers produced, as a rule, endless bloodshed, poverty, suffering, and general misery for those over whom they exercised power.

A major hitch for the ruling classes came with the Renaissance, which may be argued to have inevitably led to the “discovery” of the scientific method, which in turn paved the way for technological advances in thought, method, and material, which further began to expose the “divine right of kings” for the utter fraud that it is.  Later, the “Enlightenment” saw quantum advances in human thought, further exposing the fraud of divine rule under which countless people had suffered and ignominiously died for thousands of years.

Initially, rulers attempted to retain their deep investment in the institutions of divine rule through threats and applications of force in the face of the ironclad results of proper science, but in time it became clear that the tide was turning away from their favor and the futility of their efforts became apparent.  The rulers slowly began to realize that another approach was required if their hegemony was to be preserved.  To what better solution could they have arrived than to co-opt the very science that threatened their positions and make it work for them rather than against?  This is precisely what was done and one of the single greatest advances in despotic rule came as the result of this adaptive shift: the concept of “the state”.

Though morally neutral in character, the notion of “the state” lends itself at least equally well to the establishment and maintenance of tyranny as it does to free living.  The neutrality of the concept, having been altered in a subtle and fundamental way, enabled it to be used so as to most fully serve the purposes of despotic rule.  This key shift came when the concept was (largely tacitly) imbued with the characteristic of a material reality of its own.  One may have to think about that awhile and with some care before its significance becomes apparent.  The truth about “the state” is that it exists in one place and manner only, as a concept within the confines of the human brain.  That is it.  There is absolutely no other reality to its existence. 

One may be tempted to protest, pointing to a city such as Washington DC and proclaim that “the state” holds abundant material reality.  Yet those people would be sadly and gravely mistaken in that they misidentify buildings, equipment, badges, titles, and words written on paper, etc. as “the state” rather than as nothing more than a collection of material items, ideas, and agreements gathered together and employed as instruments for the purposes of discharging certain functions of governance.

“What is the difference?” one may ask.  The difference is fundamental because in accepting an implicit, unsubstantiated assertion of the material reality of “the state”, one then positions themselves only a tiny fraction of a step away from accepting other equally false and even more absurd and dangerous characteristics as part and parcel of it.  For example, people speak of “states' rights” as if “the state” were an individual imbued by birth with civil rights.  “States” are ideas with no inherent material reality.  How can an idea have rights?  It would be sooner acceptable that one's kitchen sink had rights, for at least one can reach out and touch it.  Yet people have been taught to accept the insubstantial reality of “the state”, albeit tacitly, as a living entity possessing not only a material existence separate and apart from the people, but also opinions, feelings, interests, plans, possessions, and most significantly, rights just as do individual human beings.  But who can touch “the state”?  Upon what can a man lay his hands and say “this is the state” and not be in absolute, wholesale error?

To anyone in disagreement, the challenge may be made: demonstrate the absolute material reality of “the state” such that it is placed before the world for all behold and lay hands upon.  Demonstrate the existence of “the state” as separate and apart from the people whose very existences convey that of “the state” to succeeding generations.  Demonstrate the seat of the so-called “interests, desires, and the rights of “the state”.  Demonstrate where “the state” exists unto itself apart from the existence of the very individuals who make up “the people”.  Is it not the apex of irony that those whose very existence lends “the state” its only claim to exist are the ones against whom its power and authority are turned to the erosion and destruction of their rights, freedoms, prosperity and even their lives?  Anyone demonstrating a separate and standalone reality of “the state” will be the first to have done so in the history of humankind.                                                                                              

If reason and truth have thus far failed to convince, then try a thought experiment where one waves his magic wand and for some period of time, perhaps 1day, every human being on the planet, save the waver, disappears as if they had never existed.  Where, then, shall he find “the state”?  Nowhere.  Why?  Because “the state” never existed in the first place, save as an idea that provided the conceptual framework upon which a set of behavioral conventions was hung, and according to which people would comport themselves pursuant to notions deemed beneficial to each and every individual living under its duly constituted authority.  And be clear that such granted power and authority can only be considered as “duly constituted” when every it serves every individual citizen equally and only while fully respecting and demurring to their inherent rights.

In a free society, the set of conventions we call “the state” is granted but the smallest handful of narrowly specified powers pursuant to the legitimate roles they are to fulfill in service to all the citizens.  Those roles of universal benefit to the people include the guarantee and enforcement of respect for individual civil rights[i] the administration of justice, the promotion of the general welfare[ii], the common defense, and the enforcement of contracts.  Beyond this small set there is precious little else that could be offered in the way of “services” that would in fact serve every citizen or to which anyone could reasonably claim entitlement.  Therefore, one is by virtue of their inborn rights and the attendant status as an equal with their fellow citizens, entitled to have their rights guaranteed and protected by one means or another.  We have chosen law and a duly constituted authority of “the state” to so guarantee and protect those rights.  One is not, however, entitled to having “the state” provide them with a yacht, should the citizen desire one.  The citizen is, however, entitled to acquire that yacht as the legitimate application of his talents and abilities will allow, without interference from any third party.  Our nation is rife with interference by “the state” in the private affairs of the citizens and it must be stopped if our freedoms mean anything to us.

Let it be understood that nearly all “state” enforcement power ultimately boils down to the ability to take the lives of citizens with impunity.  This fact cannot be overstated and it should be considered carefully until it is fully understood.  For those not seeing it, consider any trivial situation where an individual wholly refuses to cooperate the state.  The example of a parking ticket may prove illuminating.  A citizen is issued a parking ticket, which he refuses to pay for some reason.  Eventually a bench warrant is issued and he is arrested during a traffic stop.  The citizen’s continued refusal to “cooperate” will ultimately result in the application of physical force.  Further refusal will see an escalation in violence that, if continued, ultimately results in the death of the citizen.  Death for a parking ticket?  That is the universal logical conclusion underlying the position of the authority of “the state”, and in no case will that citizen's death have been about the parking ticket, which is an incidental triviality.  The citizen will have been murdered by a "government" goon squad under the imprimatur of "the state" because he refused to obey even the most trivial command.  The message there is clear: thou shalt not disobey the state lest thy destruction be visited upon thee.

In the 1936 science fiction classic “Things To Come”, the character known as “The Boss” openly reveals the fraudulent, corrupt, and violent sham-nature of “the state” as commonly practiced around the world.  When pressing Dr. Harding after his refusal to cooperate in the manufacture of fuel and poison gas for the “air force”, The Boss lays it out on the table most unequivocally when he says:

        “The Combatant State is your father and your mother, your only protector, the totality of your interests. No discipline can be stern enough for the man who denies that by word or deed.”

Later in the same scene he declares:

        “You are conscripted. You are under my orders now and under no others in the world. I am the master here! I am the State.”

--> In another exchange, this time with the protagonist, John Cabal, The Boss asks:

“What Government are you under?”

To which  Cabal responds:

“Common sense. Call us Airmen if you like. We just run ourselves.”

That last bit about “just run[ing] ourselves” is the single greatest affront and outrage any man could commit in the eyes of “the state”, for it suggests the position of central importance they occupy may be something less than people believe it to be.  That, of course, cannot be tolerated in any way or measure, necessitating that the notion and all others even remotely like it be eliminated from the thoughts of the people such that in their minds they constitute cardinal sacrilege and heresy.  The one thing above all others of which the state must convince everyone is that without it, they are lost.

And so we see the truth about “the state” as commonly practiced - the grandest shell game ever contrived and set into motion - that it is nothing more than an individual or mob acting under the charade of a mere word, whose purported authority renders them immune from accountability for their actions regardless of whether they are moral or corrupt and whose envelope of powers is almost universally expandable to allow for the wholesale violation of human rights.  The only reason this turns out to be the case is because enough people buy into the lie of the material “state”, possessing morally superior authority over its very creators.  Those who give life to “the state”on the presumption that it will serve their best interests at all times consent to its operation even when it involves their own destruction, that of their progeny, and of posterity in general.   There is absolutely no reasoned justification that any “state” should be empowered to rob, beat, imprison, persecute, murder, or otherwise violate the rights of “its” citizens.  There is no rational basis for the agents of such crimes not to be held accountable as criminals, whether those who issued the orders, or those who participated in their execution.

Yet, so many people either believe that the crimes of “the state” are morally acceptable, necessary expedients to some “greater good”, or simply unavoidable.  Such belief can only be characterized as the apex of folly and insanity, as well as intellectual dishonesty and lassitude, particularly for those people who claim to believe in the concept of equality among people.  For them, it is so much more the flight from truth and reason, so much more violent a contradiction in, and a nonsequitur of, logic and justice to claim the belief while idly accepting the crimes of a select few who flash the imprimatur of “the state” while lifting the peoples’ wallets, cutting their throats, or throwing them into prison cells.  If we are all equal, then on what morally legitimate and properly reasoned basis does one arbitrarily-constituted group of individuals come together and impose restrictions and mandates that violate the rights of others, employing violence to force compliance?  Equality and the violation of natural rights cannot coexist in even the smallest measure.  Something has to give, and most often it is human rights that do so.

Another example of how the concept of “the state” is falsely bestowed with human characteristics may be drawn from legislative bodies, the courts, and prosecutors' offices who so often speak of the “interests”, and most absurdly the “dignity” and “rights”(!) of “the state” as if it worked in an office and went home at night to its wife and children.  Preposterous!  The only material reality even remotely related to “the state” is the collection commonly called “the people”.  If anything materially existing could be called “the state”, it is each and every individual, just as we are “the government”, another entity whose material reality has been falsely forwarded by those in power and accepted by an electorate largely ignorant on, or otherwise disinterested in the point.  We are the closest thing to material reality that “the state” shall ever possess and “we” do not exist as a mono-bloc, sentient entity, but only as a collection of individuals who have come freely together to act in common in certain narrowly defined and strictly limited ways while always retaining our rights to dissolve those associations and covenants with equal freedom.  Not a single one of us may claim the moral right to violate the rights of our fellows, yet that is precisely what we do when we allow "the state" to act as such an instrument of violation and denial.  Consider carefully, then, where that leaves the guilt laying.

As long as one believes that “the state” actually exists separately and in material reality, possessing human, or rather superhuman characteristics entitling it to govern at its pleasure rather than our own and most often according to whim rather than within the limits of powers granted it by individual human beings and pursuant to respect for the natural law, there is little possibility of being able to limit “the state”, much less fundamentally alter its conceptual structure, far less still to dissolve it.  That group of people claiming to represent “the state” will always respond with chicanery and violence to protect, maintain, and if possible expand their powers to rule.

What we have demonstrated here is that “the state” is in no way real beyond its status as a concept.  References by individuals to “the state”, specifically its human-like or even superhuman qualities, characteristics, and most ridiculously its “rights” as cited by those in positions of power and others to justify the violation and denial of individual rights, are without exception made in grave error.  We now see that as a concept, “the state” provides nothing more than a framework within which people go about their daily lives.  This framework is important to free living, but it is not materially real and therefore carries with it no moral authority to deny or disparage the natural rights of men.  The framework and its trappings, in order to be just and morally legitimate, must fully respect and defer to the rights of the individual in all ways and cases; anything other than this is corrupt by definition.  The conventions of “the state” are supposed to provide us with behavioral guidelines pursuant to the ostensible goal of coexistence while remaining free to live our individual lives according to the dictates of our consciences, even when our choices are potentially self-destructive and stupid.

In other words, the purpose of accepting and complying with these conventions is to serve the individual citizen and not to rule him, especially in violation and denial of his rights as a freeman.  “The state” derives its limited powers from the consent of the individuals that comprise the body of “the people” and as such cannot legitimately exercise powers beyond those limits.  Yet “the state” routinely assumes and exercises power far beyond its grant.  “The state” continually trespasses upon the private property of the inalienable rights of the individual with ever greater claims of entitlement to act.  People, in the main, sit idly by and allow ever deepening incursions onto the property of their individual civil rights, effectively ceding those rights to those who have no authority to trespass upon them.  This is due in large part to the misguided acceptance of the bald-faced and wholly absurd lie that “the state” is an actual entity possessing superhuman characteristics including rights that entitle it to engage in all manner of arbitrary and immoral acts.

It will better serve the people of the United States if they acquire truthful knowledge about “the state” as we have begun uncovering it here.  Develop and cultivate the mental habit of always bearing the truth in mind and never accepting or otherwise falling for the implied assertion that “the state” possesses a separate reality that stands on its own, apart from humanity; apart from you.

It will further help the cause of individual freedom to openly challenge all the tacitly assumed characteristics of “the state”, especially those that imply sentient qualities such as “dignity”, “interests”, and especially “rights”.  Challenge law makers, administrators, and so-called “enforcers” at every level and opportunity and apply your own power of force to compel them to explain themselves when you see their actions to be unjust and in violation of rights and of reason.  Force them to demonstrate how law and their actions comport themselves in full and uncompromising compliance with the natural rights of men and, secondarily, the Constitution, accepting no “double-speak” responses.

Cultivate your own powers of reason and hone them with others of a similar mind, developing your views and arguments such that the opinions, arguments, and justifications of those who would and do violate inborn rights embarrassingly dissipate before the world’s eyes when placed under the withering lights of truth and reason.  Be upon them relentlessly until either such time as they comply with what is morally correct, resign their offices, or unwisely go on the offensive against you; but never allow them even the slightest quarter to avoid you, ignore you, or serve up to you anything but well reasoned whole-truth in their responses to your rightful demands, for it is you whom they serve and not the other way around.

As dangerous as coming under the ire of “the state” may seem, there is safety in numbers and no matter how hubris-filled a given agency or agent may be or how willing they may be to bring you to harm, they will by no means be able to harm large bodies of citizens without incurring a significant risk of harm to themselves.  People must learn and cultivate new habits to actively, smartly, courageously, fiercely, and tirelessly hold all government personnel and their agents fully and strictly accountable for their actions and opinions in discharging their duties of service to “the people”.  Such actions and opinions must fully accord with, respect, defer, and demur to the Natural Rights of men, which is the centrally prime element of legitimacy to which any individual donning the mantle of government may lay claim to legitimacy in their discharge of office.

Make their offensive behavior a risk-laden proposition for them, fraught with danger and high cost.  If they are willing to apply unjust and possibly even lethal force in the violation of yours or your neighbor’s inborn rights, you must be ready to respond accordingly and without hesitation, equivocation, quarter, or mercy, for such people commit or threaten acts of war against the rights of man and this must never be tolerated in the least measure.

Raise up the interests of your neighbors’ rights equally with your own, because to idly suffer the violation of one man’s natural rights and liberties is to give tacit assent to have one's own violated.  You need not agree with what your neighbor does, but you should be very interested in his right to do it.  S. G. Tallentyre summed up Voltaire’s attitude on this very point:

            “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Voltaire well understood that where rights are concerned, your fellows’ interests are indeed your own and yours, theirs.  Bear in mind that the violation of any right for any reason is always arbitrary no matter how the targets are chosen and justified, and no matter how “reasonable” they may seem on the surface.  Given this, when one accepts the violation of anyone’s rights for any reason whatsoever, he opens the door for the destruction of his own.  This is a truth that cannot be escaped and it will be wise for all people to carefully consider it.

Call all government personnel to account for their actions and reject all justifications that assert “the state” and “the law” empower them to act criminally in violation of human rights.  Corner them such that they are unable to retreat into those false defenses and force the light of truth and reason upon them before the eyes of the widest community possible, exposing their crimes for all to witness.  Demand this accountability of all government employees from the local dog catcher all the way up the ladder to the President of the United States.  Demand it with the authority of the employer over the employee, the citizen over the civil servant, and be prepared to take necessary material action against those who evade, avoid, or ignore the moral and lawful mandate of Natural Law.

Finally, be aware that the lies about “the state” as being materially real and possessing the attributes of a living and sentient being are similarly posited with respect to other conceptual entities including “government”, “the law”, and “society”.  For example, how often does one hear “society has the right to…”?  Like “the state”, “society” possesses no rights whatsoever, nor does “government”, nor “the law”.  “Society” is nothing more than a word labeling a collection of individual human beings living in some proximity to each other and perhaps holding some agreed-upon association with each other.  It has no rights, fears, desires, interests, plans, possessions, mind, opinions, soul, or authority as such.  It only has its members, and those only by the consent of each individual.

Until the day comes that people disabuse themselves of these brazenly asserted and dangerously false notions, they will continue to accept the ever mounting assaults upon their rights.  Unless this circumstance changes, the day will come when one's ability to exercise his in-born rights shall have been extinguished from the earth in favor of the assumed and arbitrary powers of a small group of other, merely mortal human beings as they disparage the rest, all the while hiding like the Great Oz behind the curtain of that fiction we call “the state”.

[i] The only kind there are.
[ii]  Not provision of