Potpourri From the Editor’s Desk
[This page made possible through the work of Diego Julien. Thanks Diego!]
52-1. “The Church and State Have More in Common with Each Other than with the Market Place”
“State and church, although arch-enemies over long periods of time in the annals of civilization, have more in common than either does with the economic realm—the common butt of both religious and political condemnation for its alleged crassness and egoism. And it is a fact that in the succession of power that forms the greatest single pageant in Western history, the state has succeeded the church in the detailed and minute custodianship of the individual. The state for a long time in history was obliged to wear the mantle of other, more respectable institutions. Thus the patriarchal state of yore, followed by the religious or divine-right state. But since the eighteenth century, the state has walked on legs of its own, and in so many respects has taken over once-ecclesiastical functions.
In Western Europe, throughout the Middle Ages, the majority of Europeans lived cradle-to-grave lives in the church. There was no aspect of life that was not either actively or potentially under the ordinances of the church. Birth, marriage, death were all given legitimacy by the church, not the state. Property, inheritance, work conditions, profits, interest, wages, schooling, university admissions, degrees, licenses for professional practice, workdays, holidays, feasts, and commemorations, all were subject not to secular but to ecclesiastical governance. The Middle Ages represented the height of ecclesiastical absolutism. That particular absolutism has vanished in the West —though not of course in other parts of the world, beginning with an Iran— but no vacuum has been left. Much of modern European history is the story of the gradual transfer, as it were, of ecclesiastical absolutism to monarchical and then democratic-nationalist absolutism. Medieval man was so accustomed to the multitudinous ordinances of the church governing his life that he didn’t even see them. That is more and more true today of modern man, democratic man.”
-Robert Nisbet, THE PRESENT AGE, 1988, pp. 55-56
52-2. “Voluntaryism at Work”
From time to time, I read about individuals or groups of people who are at work solving what they perceive to be some of the world’s problems. They may do this as volunteers, on a non-profit basis, or they may operate a profit-seeking business. In either case, what distinguishes their efforts from others, is that they don’t run to their local, state, or federal government to get help. In what used to be the American Way, they see a problem that needs their attention, and they go to work, lessening or removing it.
The following two examples have come to my attention, and I thought they were worth mentioning in THE VOLUNTARYIST. If you are aware of other voluntary, problem-solving efforts at work, please send me a brief description of their activities.
During the 1970s, Sharon Jackson of Denver, Colorado, began her own personal rescue program—for horses. With the help of her husband, Steve, and friends Jill and George Pratt, who operated G and J Lazy P Stable, they began accepting needy, abused, abandoned, or injured horses and finding them new homes. By 1989, The Colorado Horse Rescue volunteers, as Sharon’s group became formally known, was processing almost a dozen horses a month. There has been such an outpouring of interest and assistance that a state-wide network of about 100 volunteers has been established, including people who help with everything from hauling horses, to mucking out stalls, to bookkeeping. Rescued horses are kept at about 50 private barns and pastures. Half-a-dozen businesses provide feed and supplies whenever necessary to save a horse, or the Colorado Horse Rescue’s bank account. And several vets donate medical treatment at reduced rates. Horse groups, such as the Colorado Draft Horse Association, and several Denver-area horse clubs, are highly supportive.
-adapted from THE WESTERN HORSEMAN, June 1990
“Norm Emanuel—Guru of Tire Recycling”
“America’s scrap tire problem will be solved—and perhaps faster than many people think—and Norm Emanuel intends to be a major part of that solution. The owner of Emanuel Tire Co. in Baltimore not only believes that, he’s obsessed with the idea. He is without question the guru of tire recycling in the U.S.
“Emanuel is one of an elite few in the country who take scrap tires on a large scale and make money disposing of them. While others talk about scrap tire recycling, he has been doing it for 30 years. What does Emanuel believe it will take to get rid of the mountains of tire throw-aways. ‘Hard work! Hustle! Private enterprise’!”
He has been processing scrap tires since 1957, and shredding them since 1979. Emanuel has operated his business without a dime of help from the public sector, and claims he is the reason that the Baltimore area has no scrap tire problem. He disposes of more than four million scrap tires a year that are collected by a network of 30 small businessmen in five states and the District of Columbia. He encourages his “collectors” to pick up tires from service stations and individuals. They charge a dollar or more per tire, and Emanuel pays them 50 cents to take the tire off their hands.
“That’s free enterprise at work,” says Emanuel. “The best and most efficient way to clean up any community is to make it possible for people to dispose of tires at a profit.” He does this by inspecting and sorting out the tires. Some end up as casings for recaps, others are sold directly to used tire dealers. The balance are processed through an “awesome” machine that Emanuel has designed and operates. Called a “granulator,” it reduces a tire to two-inch tire chips, and removes the bead wire in the process. The tire chips are then sold to businesses who burn them for fuel.
—adapted from MODERN TIRE DEALER, Mid-April 1990
52-3. “The Savings and Loan Fiasco: A Lesson from 19th Century Wildcat Banking”
“Wildcat banking never existed because of freedom, but became possible only through and by the use of the law-making power of the state. Did anyone ever hear of dishonest banking being conducted without a charter from the state? There is not a man in the world with knowledge enough to form an intelligent conception of the banking business who does not know that it is not possible for people doing business with a bank to have any security except such as is afforded by the intelligence and integrity of the banker. And that the only effect of legislative attempts to strengthen the security of banks is to impair their usefulness, thereby weakening instead of making them stronger. With freedom, there would be bad banking, of course, but evils of that kind would soon be corrected and would be of small concern compared to the benefits to be derived under such conditions. Men of honesty, and with reputations acquired by honest methods of banking, would soon come to the front; no dishonest banker could long compete with a banker who was honest. Under present conditions there is no opportunity for moral considerations to have any force; it is only necessary to make people believe that bankers comply with the law, thereby giving the dishonest banker an advantage over those who conduct their banks honestly and in strict accordance with sound banking principles.”
-A.W. Wright, in ELECTRIC ENGINEERING, July 1896
The Customer Company, whose principal subscribes to THE VOLUNTARYIST and who operates a large chain of convenience stores in California, has been printing messages on its paper shopping bags since the Fall of 1988. The first editorial on a bag (hence, the term—bagatorial) was “Don’t Vote, It Only Encourages Them, “on one side, and Bob LeFevre’s “Abstain from Beans,” on the other.
Approximately three-quarters of a million bags are printed for each message, and numerous other statements have been printed in the ensuing years. The following voluntaryist message, written by your editor, was printed on one of their most recent runs of bags.
Neither Ballots Nor Bullets!
By Carl Watner
America’s most powerful polling booth is the cash register. There’s a vote that really counts.
When you make a purchase at a Food or Liquor store, you make us a little bit stronger. It’s a vote for us over our competition. Choices are made and lives are changed by the decisions you make while shopping.
Think how this differs from the government polls. The government asks you to vote occasionally. If your choice loses, tough luck. You’re bound to live by the results. If the whole process turns you off, tough luck. You have no choice but to deal with the government. If they pass a law, you have to obey it. If they demand a tax, you have to pay it. Then, to add insult to injury, they tell you that what they’re doing is “the will of the people.”
Where Are The Real Elections?
With us, you have a choice. You can vote every day in hundreds of different ways. In our stores, you have plenty of choices (soda or beer? Pepsi, Coke or It’s a Cola? Some of each?) If you don’t like our store, you can go to a lot of other places, or you can decide not to shop at all. If we raise prices, you can tell us we’re crazy and you can go somewhere else.
Those products that you buy and the places at which you shop prosper. Those that you ignore tend to wither away. The more you spend, the bigger and stronger the business becomes. When the business gets so big and proud that it stops caring about getting your vote, quality suffers—and you can take your business elsewhere.
After the shopping-election is over, our stores give you value for money You can take the purchase home and enjoy it. After the political election, what do you have? Promises?
Plus, your shopping-vote comes with a money-back guarantee. Try doing that with your vote at the polls! The government would suffer moral bankruptcy! Think of the returns Nixon and Carter would have had!
You Are a Self-Governor
The economic marketplace is all about self-government. You govern your own life. You make choices about when to get up, what to eat, how to budget your money, where to live, and what to do. The majority doesn’t decide this for you. This is how millions of people live together in peace and prosperity.
When the government steps in, things are thrown out of whack. Every day, the government becomes more involved in our daily lives. Only more self-government and less political government will get us moving in the right direction again. After all, what can the government do that you and I, or voluntary groups of us can’t do? Fight wars? Collect taxes? Maybe those things shouldn’t be done anyway.
Some cry, “But the government has to pay for such-and-such.” Where does all the government’s wealth come from? From you and me and all the other millions of people who produce it daily. The government possesses no magical powers to create wealth.
You Can Make a Difference
If we live honestly and assume the responsibility of caring for ourselves and our families we have no need for the ballot box. This quiet way of changing society is non-violent and apolitical. We each labor in our own garden, doing our best to present society with an improved product: ourselves. Focus on making yourself better as an individual. Don’t waste your time waiting for everyone else to become better as a group. As individuals improve, the improvement of society will take care of itself. You are the key to a better world.
Well, what do you think? Write us at FOOD & LIQUOR, P.O. Box 886, Benicia, CA 94510
52-5. Proclaim liberty throughout the land, and to all the inhabitants thereof…
The following letter was published in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, Sept. 27,1990, in commemoration of the Jewish New Year. The essence of the message, which is that “Freedom is self-control,” is a major voluntaryist theme.
“Dear People, I offer you a gift. I hope you will accept it. Linked with the gift is a burden. I hope you can handle it.
My gift is freedom.
It means that each of you can do just about anything — say anything, use, build, or destroy anything within your grasp.
But wait — I’m giving this gift to all of you, every woman, man, and child, every race and every nation.
Ah, you see the difficulty: if all of you are to be free, each of you will have to put limits on your own actions— otherwise you’ll wind up with misery, crime, chaos, and tyranny. Everything you make will be broken; every place you go will be dangerous. Only a few will be free,’ and they’ll really be enslaved to their greed and their fear of everyone else.
That’s the burden linked with the gift: self-restraint.
I’m asking a lot of you. You have to make freedom work.
If unbridled greed is accepted as success, it isn’t working. If the earth is poisoned and its resources depleted, it isn’t working.
If people are treated as sex objects, it isn’t working.
If racial and ethnic hatreds are countenanced, it isn’t working.
If people turn to drugs and alcohol, it isn’t working.
If people cheat because everyone cheats,’ it isn’t working.
And if it isn’t working, the responsibility to fix it belongs to everyone of you. Unless all of you use your freedom with restraint, everyone’s liberty will weaken and die. No one can be free alone.
This isn’t going to be easy. But it will help if you remember that the world doesn’t revolve around you. It will help you remember who gave you this gift.
(The 1990 High Holy Day Message of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Reprinted by Permission.)
“Truth is immortal, despite the defeats that it seems to suffer along the way. Truth has a power that is no respecter of persons, nor of the numbers of persons who may at any time be in darkness about truth. Truth has a power that cannot be touched by physical force. It is impossible to shoot a truth.
“The lover of liberty will find ways to be free.”
—F.A. Harper, from the conclusion to LIBERTY: A PATH TO ITS RECOVERY (1949)
54-2. “Those Who Said ‘No!'”
David Kitterman, a 1989-1990 Einstein Institution Fellow has published (NONVIOLENT SANCTIONS, Spring 1991) research which reveals that there are “at least 100 documented cases of German soldiers, policemen, or members of the SS refusing orders to kill Jews, other unarmed civilians, or POWs” during World War II. “no one of these Germans was killed for refusing orders and few suffered serious circumstances.” Most used nonviolent tactics by simply refusing to carry out their orders. “Others protested to their superiors, which was especially effective when police or army units not under the direct control of the SS were asked to assist. A few cited damage to their emotional, psychological, or physical health. Others refused on grounds of conscience, religion, or moral scruples. Still others asked for transfer or feigned madness.”
What consequences did the resisters suffer? Most expected to be shot or at least imprisoned for refusing to obey orders. In about one-third of the cases the resisters received verbal or written reprimands, were transferred to a combat unit, or demoted in rank. In only eight percent of the cases were there serious consequences, such as a court martial. The rest of the resisters “suffered no negative consequences.”
The stories of these heros who said “No!” reaffirm that even under the most trying and dangerous circumstances individuals can overcome their fear, indoctrination, and peer pressure and maintain their own integrity. And often the cost is far less than compromising and violating their own moral principles. As this research shows, it was possible to stand up to the Nazi military machine; it was possible to say “no.” Our own actions and energies are inner directed, no one can make us do anything against our will, even if they threaten or coerce us. This is one of the reasons for the success of nonviolent resistance, and why we should never give up hope, even in the face of overwhelming odds. “One man plus the truth is an army.”
54-3. “BACKWOODS HONE MAGAZINE”
“… For people who value their independence!” That is how publisher/editor Dave Duffy describes his magazine. It is written “for people who value personal independence, self-sufficiency, and the planet on which they live. It offers ‘how-to’ articles on owner-built housing, alternative energy, gardening, health, selfemployment, country living, and other topics related to a selfreliant lifestyle.” Yearly subscription of six issues is $17.95; a single issue costs $3.50. Write Box 3620, Ventura CA 93002.
The September/October 1991 issue carried a review of THE VOLUNTARYIST, and the following doggerel:
This is the grave of Mike O’Day
Who died maintaining his right of way.
His right was clear, his will was strong.
But he’s just as dead as if he’d been wrong.
—Anonymous Rhyme (20th Century)
A highly recommended publication for those of you who live beyond the city streets and sidewalks.
54-4. “The Anumeralist”
“The Anumeralist” is a new publication that is available from Box 2084, norristown, Pa. 19404. It is a spokesman for “those who believe it is wrong to call ourselves—to be compelled to call ourselves—by a serial number.” It opposes the use of Social Security or Taxpayer identification number, which has become a compulsory requirement of the 20th Century American State. The IRS requires that every employee have such a government identification number. Even the Amish, who are exempt on religious grounds from paying Social Security tax are required to have a number. Send $1.00 for a sample copy.
54-5. “The Power of One”
Fred Holden, author of TOTAL POWER OF ONE IN AMERICA (Phoenix Enterprises, Box 1900, Arvada, Co. 80001), recognizes that “freedom is self-control.” Once you have self-discipline, he argues, “you are in control. You are free because you have achieved freedom with responsibility.” (p. 110) He says we must “do right voluntarily”, not because the law tells us to do so, but because it’s right. “You can tell it’s the right thing because it often seems inconvenient, time-consuming, and a sacrifice of time and energy. You can tell after you’ve exercised discipline, because you feel good and you’ve grown by doing what you did and how well you did it.”
Although he argues the need for electoral politics and limited government, he has written a wide-ranging book about how to build a better you, from understanding economics, increasing personal production and savings, to aerobic exercising and eating a more healthy diet. Back of it all is his Power of One Oath: “I am one. I am only one. But I will do, what one can do. He quotes Dorothy James to the same effect.
” ‘Your task-
To build a better world,’ said God.
I answered, ‘How?
The world is such a large, vast place,
So complicated now.
And I so small and useless am.
There’s nothing I can do.’
In his great wisdom said,
‘Just build a better you.’ ”
In examining tax rates, both on business and individuals, Holden unwittingly illustrates the totalitarian nature of our “democratic” society. In 1986, over 103 million federal tax returns (mostly joint returns) were filed. This represented about 80% of the population. But the federal portion of our taxes is only about 25% of our total tax burden. There are state, local, and innumerable indirect taxes that overburden us. “This analysis shows taxes took 59.5% from the average American family, well over half its earnings!” This is an astounding figure, to say the least.
By way of conclusion, consider the implications of the following quote, found in Holden’s book. (It also helps explain why the total burden of taxation is so high.) It was reprinted from Theodore Lowi’s book, INCOMPLETE CONQUEST: GOVERNING AMERICA. “The essential purpose of government is to maintain conquest. Conquest never ends; it only changes form.” And one of the forms it has certainly taken in the United States is nearly complete subjugation of the individual to the taxing power of the State.
55-1. “New Brochure Available”
The lead article of Whole No. 40 was titled “The Fundamentals of Voluntaryism.” It has now been reprinted in an attractive threefold brochure, suitable as a handout or introductory explanation of the philosophy of voluntaryism (though perhaps only for those already acquainted with libertarian ideas. I would appreciate suggestions for the text of another brochure suitable for those not already familiar with the general framework of our thinking.)
For a copy of the new brochure, please send a large (No. 10) SASE and one 29 cent stamp to THE VOLUNTARYIST.
55-2. “The Discipline of Peace”
The following letter appeared in the SMALL FARMER’S JOURNAL, Summer 1990 (Box 2805, Eugene, Oregon 97402)
The events of the past year in Eastern Europe have shown us —even though we should have had the sense to realize it years ago— that only a true market, willing buyers transacting with willing sellers, is the way to go to feed the world’s ever-growing population. And of course what applies to feeding that population applies as well in supplying shelter, clothing, and yes, even education.
So much for the practical aspects. As far as the ethical aspects are concerned, any improvement in the next century will require that each of us learns, and practices, a genuine “discipline of peace.” Which means of course that we all will have to stop the truly violent practice of using the political apparatus to take things from the Joneses and award them to the Smiths.
This is a tough discipline, but it is what it is, and there’s no way around it. By all means, practice charity both as an individual and in conjunction with our neighbors! But force takings? No way! No matter what the rationale, we have learned that the Divine Authority of the Sovereign —even when that sovereign goes by the grandiose name of The People— is not a suitable doctrine for life among peaceable individuals, nor among a citizenry where all persons have equal responsibilities for their own wellbeing.
Best regards, John M. Simons
Sheffield, VT 05866
55-3. “Is Liberty Too Extreme?”
The following excerpts appeared in FREEDOM DAILY, September 1990 (Box 9752, Denver, Colorado 80209). The article was written by Richard Ebeling, the Ludwig von Mises Professor of Economics at Hillsdale College in Michigan.
“To be reasonable, the free society must avoid extremes, and it does so through the diversity of free men that it both permits and fosters. It restrains the practice of ‘extreme’ personal behavior because it imposes costs and consequences upon everyone who practices them —loss of economic opportunity, social ostracism by those who are repelled by it. And it teaches the advantages of moderation— courtesy, good manners, tolerance and ‘socially acceptable’ conduct.
“In other words, the free society, accepting human nature, nudges men toward better behavior rather than compels it. It teaches rational and moral conduct through reason and example. It fosters compromise by demonstrating the personal costs of being too extreme in one’s personal actions. And it raises the ethical conduct of the society by the discovered advantages of personal improvement through time.”
55-4. “SHORT TAKES”
by Tom Case (1228 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115)
Consider how hard it is to change yourself …
…and you’ll understand what little chance you have of changing others.
Give a man a fish and …
…you will feed him for one meal. Give him a fishing rod and he will be hungry constantly.
Somebody once said …
…being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell someone you are, you ain’t.
The things that are wrong with …
…the country today are the sum total of all the things that are wrong with us as individuals. —Charles W. Tobey
Being in politics is like being a football coach. You have to be smart enough to understand the game, and dumb enough to think it is important. —former Senator Eugene McCarthy
There is one difference between the tax collector and a taxidermist—the taxidermist leaves the hide. —Mortimer Caplin
55-5. “Carl Menger on ‘The Natural Development of Money’ “
“The origin of money (is) entirely natural. … Money is not an invention of the state. It is not the product of a legislative act. Even the sanction of political authority is not necessary for its existence. Certain commodities came to be money quite naturally, as the result of economic relationships that were independent of the power of the state.”
– in THE PRINCIPLES OF ECONOMICS (New York: New York University Press, 1976), p.26l.
55-6. “In the Free Market People Make Choices for Themselves.”
All socialist systems “have one characteristic in common: They are systems of coercion. They interfere with the freedom of people to act on their own behalf. … In a very real sense, the free market is not a system at all; it is the absence of a system. No one is coerced into producing a particular product or paying a specific price.”
-Mark Skousen, ECOMOMICS ON TRIAL, (Homewood: Business One Irwin, 1991), p.224.
55-7. “Out For Blood”
INSIGHT, April 29, 1991 reported the story of Colleen Griffin, who was paid $50 each time she gave blood plasma. She had dutifully listed that income on her 1988 tax return, but the IRS is not satisfied with its take. The IRS claims she must not only pay income tax on this money, but that Griffin is subject to the 15.3 percent payroll tax on self-employed people. Selling blood is a business!
At the same time, the WALL STREET JOURNAL cites the rates for federal estate taxation. “Although there’s generally no limit on assets left to a spouse tax-free (the spouse’s estate pays the tax when he/she dies), for other beneficiaries anything over $600,000 in an individual estate is subject to federal estate tax at rates ranging from 37% to 55%. Many states also impose their own taxes.” Who says the tax men are not out for blood?
56-1. “Consider the Source”
“When government tries to serve as a parent or a teacher or a moral guide, individuals may be tempted to discard their own sense of responsibility, to argue that only government must help people in need. If we’ve learned anything in the past quarter century, it is that we cannot federalize virtue. Indeed, as we pile law upon law, program upon program, rule upon rule, we actually can weaken people’s moral sensitivity. The rule of law gives way to the rule of the loophole, the notion that whatever is not illegal must be acceptable. In this way great goals go unmet.”
—President George Bush At the University of Michigan Commencement on May 4, 1991. Quoted in the WALL STREET JOURNAL, May 10, 1991.
56-2. “Custom vs. Law”
“For custom rises out of the people, whereas law is forced upon them from above; law is usually a decree of their master, but custom is the natural selection of those modes of action that have been found most convenient in the experience of the group. Law partly replaces custom when the State replaces the natural order of the family, the clan, the tribe, and the village community; it more fully replaces custom when writing appears, and laws graduate from a code carried down in the memory of elders and priests into a system of legislation proclaimed in written tables. But the replacement is never complete; in the determination and judgment of human conduct custom remains to the end the force behind the law, the power behind the throne, the last magistrate of men’s lives.”
-Will Durant, OUR ORIENTAL HERITAGE, (1935, pp. 26-27).
56-3. “On the Outbreak of the U.S. Civil War”
“You cannot conquer ideas with bullets.”
-Wendell Phillips, April 9, 1861.
56-4. “On Snakes and Roses”
“Good ends cannot be attained by evil means. This is because the end pre-exists in the means, just as in the biological field we know that the seed of continued likeness pre-exists in the parent. Likewise in the moral realm, there is a similar moral reproduction wherein like begets like. This precludes the possibility of evil means leading to good ends, any more than snakes can beget roses.”
—F.A. Harper, in “Morals and Liberty” from THE FREEMAN, July 1971.
56-5. “Free Or Easy”
“A free action is by no means synonymous with an easy action: freedom deprives a man of the comfortable support of ready-made decisions imposed from without, which save him the pains of an inner struggle; it leaves him naked in the sight of his conscience, burdened with the unshared responsibility for the consequences of his actions, which no kindly authority can conceal or disguise. The joy of being the sole author of his actions is inseparable from the torment which preceded it: both alike are equally elements in his spiritual progress.”
—Guido de Ruggiero, THE HISTORY OF LIBERALISM (1927, p. 354).
56-6. “Chains on the Brain”
In a “Profile” of Polly Williams (“the architect of Milwaukee’s first-in-the-nation school voucher program”) in INSIGHT Magazine of August 26,1991, Ms. Williams concluded that the 20th Century descendants of slaves “no longer have chains on (their) ankles; the chains are on (their) brains now.” Specifically, she was referring to the “Great Society programs, which … imprison blacks by robbing them of motivation and dignity.” Her remarks are reminiscent of LaBoetie’s “Discourse on Voluntary Servitude,” available from The Voluntaryists for $7.95 postpaid.
56-7. “Private Property in Land: A Historical Observation”
“Take away the right of private property in land, and you introduce, as an infallible consequence, tyranny, slavery, injustice, beggary and barbarism; the ground will cease to be cultivated and become a wilderness;… . It is the hope by which a man is animated that he shall retain the fruits of his industry, and transmit them to his descendants, that forms the main foundation of everything excellent and beneficial in this world; and if we take a review of the different kingdoms of the globe, we shall find that they prosper or decline according as it is acknowledged or condemned: in a word, it is the prevalence or neglect of this principle which changes and diversifies the face of the earth.”
-Francois Bernier, VOYAGES, I, Amsterdam, 1710, pp. 313, 319-20, translated by Archibald Constable as TRAVELS IN THE MOGUL EMPIRE (Oxford: 1934, pp. 234, 238) and quoted in Perry Anderson, LINEAGES OF THE ABSOLUTE STATE, London: NLB, 1974, pp. 399-400.
56-8. “Freedom Is a Two-edged Sword”
“But true freedom is a two-edged sword. The freedom to succeed automatically requires the freedom to fail. Take away the latter and you have destroyed the former.”
—Warren T. Brookes, “Have We Seen the End of Banks?” DURRELL JOURNAL OF MONEY AND BANKING, May 1991, p. 19.
56-9. “Think About It a Minute!”
“Shakespeare, Leonardo da Vinci,” Galileo, Newton, “and Benjamin Franklin never saw a movie, heard a radio, looked at a television or a VCR. They had loneliness and knew what to do with it. They were not afraid of being lonely because they knew that was when the creative mood in them would work.”
56-10. “Our Brave New World”
“As political and economic freedom diminishes, sexual freedom tends compensatingly to increase. And the dictator (unless he needs cannon fodder and families with which to colonize empty or conquered territories) will do well to encourage that freedom. In conjunction with the freedom to daydream under the influence of dope and movies and the radio, it will help to reconcile his subjects to the servitude which is their fate.”
—Aldous Huxley, “Foreword” to BRAVE NEW WORLD, (New York: The Modern Library, 1946, p.xiii).
56-11. “Back Issues Galore!”
Each issue of THE VOLUNTARYIST results in a pile of extra copies. If you have a legitimate use for a quantity of back issues, please write. Advise how many copies you could use and state your purpose in requesting them.
57-1. “Compulsory Social Security Numbers”
The use of identifying government numbers is “in and of itself dehumanizing. A human being is reduced to a number. This is like that scene in ROOTS where Kunta Kinte is whipped into giving up his name. The analogy is exact — when Africans were unloaded from the slave ships a numbered plate was hung around their necks to identify them at the auction block. The Nazis used this, too. In the camps a name was nothing — the only thing that counted was the number tattooed on the prisoner’s wrist.” The end result of our use of numbers is the same — the dehumanization of man.
-Wynn Schaible in THE ANUMERALIST, Box 2084, Morristown, PA 19404
57-2. “Tax Avoidance 100 Years Ago”
“I’m aiming to go far West in the spring,” he said. “This here country, it’s too settled-up for me. The politicians are a-swarming in already, and ma’am if’n there’s any worst pest than grasshoppers it surely is politicians. Why, they’ll tax the lining out’n a man’s pockets to keep up these here county-seat towns! I don’t see nary use for a county, nohow. We all got along happy and content without em.
“Feller come along and taxed me last summer. Told me I got to put in every last least thing I had. So I put in Tom and Jerry, my horses, at fifty dollars apiece, and my oxen yoke, Buck and Bright, I put in at fifty, and my cow at thirty-five.
“Is that all you got?’ he says. Well, I told him I’d put in five children I reckoned was worth a dollar apiece.
” ‘Is that all?’ he says. How about your wife?’ he says.
” ‘By Mighty!’ I says to him. ‘She says I don’t own her and I don’t aim to pay no taxes on her,’ I says. And I didn’t.”
“Why, Mr. Edwards, it is news to us that you have a family,” said Ma. “Mr. Ingalls said nothing of it.”
“I didn’t know it myself,” Pa explained. “Anyway, Edwards, you don’t have to pay taxes on your wife and children.’
“He wanted a big tax list,” said Mr. Edwards. “Politicians, they take pleasure a-prying into a man’s affairs and I aimed to please em. It makes no matter. I don’t aim to pay taxes. I sold the relinquishment on my claim and in the spring when the collector comes around I’ll be gone from there. Got no children and no wife, no-how.”
—Laura Ingalls Wilder, THE LONG WINTER, New York; Harper & Row, 1940, pp. 112-113.
57-3. “100 Per Cent”
They are afraid of the old for their memory,
They are afraid of the young
for their innocence,
They are afraid of Marx,
They are afraid of Lenin,
They are afraid of truth,
They are afraid of freedom,
They are afraid of democracy,
They are afraid of Human Rights Charter,
They are afraid of socialism.
So why the hell are WE afraid of Them?
—By the punk group Plastic People of the Universe.
57-4. “Political Obligation”
“But there is no part of the world today in which a human being can confidently escape from the presumption of political subordination. The state of nature may subsist, for some purposes, between the jurisdictions of particular modern states, but nowhere, not even in the unappropriated polar territories or the far recesses of the great common of the oceans, is there habitable space on earth which lies simply beyond the jurisdiction of state power. Virtually everyone in the modern world, accordingly, is claimed as subject to political obligation.”
-John Dunn in POLITICAL THEORY TODAY, David Held (ed.), Stanford University Press, 1991, p. 23.
57-5. “R.I.P. Sam Walton”
“In the process of making Sam Walton rich, American consumers did something else: They impoverished many of his competitors. Every dollar spent at Wal-Mart was $1.25 not spent at Sears, Kmart, J.C. Penney or another large chain. Perhaps more important, it was $1.50 not spent at local, small businesses. Small businesses, unable to take advantage of Wal-Mart’s economies of scale, sought to keep Wal-Marts from their communities. The everyday low price strategy employed by Wal-Mart would drive them out of business. But let’s get cause and effect straight: Wal-Mart never put anybody out of business. American consumers did.”
—David Laband in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, April 9, 1992, p. A14.
57-6. “Callia Rose”
My wife, Julie, and I had a difficult time picking a name for our third child (and first daughter) who was born at home on February 24, 1992. After receiving numerous rejections from me, Julie finally said to me, “How about Callia?” It sounded different, and checking an unabridged dictionary, I found it was derived from the Greek kalos meaning beautiful. Rose was chosen for Rose Wilder Lane, friend of Bob LeFevre, author of DISCOVERY OF FREEDOM, and daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder (author of the LITTLE HOUSE series). So just a day before she “arrived”, we had a name for our soon-to-be born daughter, Callia Rose Watner.
57-7. “Law Enforcement and Morality”
“The policing of sexual morality (or any kind, for that matter) is always necessary, but it is best done at the only level of society that can really do it: family, relatives, friends, associates. The natural power of affective ties creates its own code of behavior. We are much more afraid of disgrace in the eyes of those who know us and love us than we are of anything the law can do.
“The law can’t possibly control adultery and other vices, which do indeed have serious and often disastrous consequences. But they can be discouraged by social pressure, and social pressure can only come from those people whose approval we want and need, because their approval is hard to separate from our own self-respect.
“Shame is more powerful than weaponry in making society cohere, and recent experience should teach us how helpless the state is in governing people who are beneath shame. The force of the state can only supplement the prospect of disapproval that keeps most of us in line. People feel shame in proportion as they have strong social bonds; and when there are large numbers of rootless people, there is not much anyone can do to prevent lawlessness.”
—Joseph Sobran, in “Sex, Family, and the State”, THE FREE MARKET, April 1992.
57-8. “Electoral Politics vs. Education and Example”
“The way to move society on its axis is not to play politics. It is to persuade teachable people to think as you do. And the best way to do this is to be a good personal living example of the philosophy you hope to spread.”
—John Chamberlain, in “The Case for the Free Market”, THE FREEMAN, November 1964, p. 56.
57-9. “So — There Ought to Be a Law! — A Contrarian’s Point of View”
“There ought not to be a law. Coercion doesn’t make anyone do anything. People who obey laws don’t need the law to tell them right from wrong.”
—”Words for 1992″ from The Customer Co., Box 886, Benicia, Ca. 94510.
“(The) authority of the State depends upon essentially the same principles as in the case of ordinary organizations. (It rests upon the consent and co-operation of the governed.) … Authority lies always with him to whom it applies. Coercion creates a contrary illusion; but the use of force ipso facto destroys the authority postulated. It creates a new authority, a new objective, which is granted when the force is accepted. Many men have destroyed all authority as to themselves by dying rather than yield.”
—Chester I. Barnard, “The Theory of Authority,” in THE FUNCTIONS OF THE EXECUTIVE, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1938.
57-11. “A Call for Information — House Destroyed in Skaneateles, New York!”
The following article appeared in INSIGHT Magazine on January 13, 1992, pp. 26-27. In order to confirm this report and gather additional information, I have made repeated efforts to contact Rhoda and Roger Scott; James Ò’Shea, Planning and Zoning attorney for Skaneateles; and the local newspaper — all to no avail. If any readers in the Syracuse, New York area or elsewhere are familiar with more details, please contact the Editor of THE VOLUNTARYIST.
After Rhoda and Roger Scott’s home in Skaneateles, N.Y. burned down in 1982, the couple built their dream home on the site. The $370,000 house covered nearly 11,000 square feet, and included a three-car garage and an indoor swimming pool. In July 1984, the Scotts were served with a notice of violation of the town’s zoning laws because their house was too big for the lot and the pool and garage weren’t listed on the permit application. Last month the down demolished the Scotts’ home.
Skaneateles Town Supervisor Charles Major says as far as he’s concerned, the demolition of the house ends the seven-year dispute with the Scotts, which has cost the town close to $200,000. The fight was “too costly, there’s no question about that,” says Major.
Rhoda Scott says, “We got a permit; without a permit we wouldn’t have started the house.” The zoning officer who gave that permission is dead and the town doesn’t have a record of it. A state appeals court ruled in September 1990 that the house was too large and ordered the Scotts to either tear down the house or bring it into compliance, but the Scotts refused. On Sept. 3, 1991, the State Supreme Court fined the Scotts $100 a day until they left the home with their belongings, and found them in contempt of court.
Rhoda Scott was arrested on that charge in November and jailed for two days. She says her husband turned himself in later and also spent time in jail.
Skaneateles spent $64,000 for moving the Scotts’ belongings, storing them in three trailers and hiring an excavation crew to level the house. “We have a lien for the $64,000 on the property to get those costs back, ” says Major.
Rhoda Scott says, “I would truly die for this cause. I think it is such an outrageous infringement on anyone’s liberty that this is truly an act of Nazi Germany.” The Scotts plan an appeal in federal court. Roger Scott’s law firm in Syracuse, which advertises help with building construction law and zoning law, couldn’t save his home, points out Eagle-eyed Shame Spotter Leon Jessie. C.F. Reed also alerted INSIGHT to this item.
Meanwhile, the house is gone, Major says the foundation was torn out and the ground has been seeded.
57-12. “Diversity Yes — Coercion No!”
“Never place all your eggs in one basket. To do so is to invite someone to take control of the basket and to empty its contents.” What works with financial portfolios should surely apply to governmental affairs. Allowing one coercive government to monopolize a given geographic area places it in the powerful position of “controlling all.”
—Paraphrased From Richard Epstein’s column, “Rule of Law,” THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, April 22, 1992, p. A19
58-1. “On Moving the World”
Every so often, an event occurs that stands as a monument to the continuing struggle for human freedom and serves as a reminder to all who work for liberty that even when success seems farthest from reach, they can make a difference. Whether it is the Boston Tea Party, the storming of the Bastille, the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, or the assault on the Berlin Wall, such events are a vivid reminder that man has an undying desire to be free.
Of all these, however, there is one event that will stand alone as the simplest and yet most profound reminder not only of the universal desire for liberty but also of the power of a single individual. This event occurred on June 5, 1989, one day after the Chinese government massacred thousands of its own citizens in Tiananmen Square. As a column of tanks rolled down the ironically named Boulevard of Heavenly Peace, a lone man ran into the middle of the street and stood in front of the lead tank, preventing the entire column from moving. For one brief moment, the age-old historical struggle between the individual and the state was crystallized into the image of this one man standing perfectly erect, staring straight ahead, with the gun turret of a tank pointed at him. It is said that the quest for freedom is the struggle between the armed state with its ultimate resort to the power of a gun and the individual with often nothing more than his principles to defend him. Never before has one event so perfectly represented this struggle before the world, and never before has the power of principle and the impotence of force been more perfectly communicated.
To those who fight the daily battle for liberty on even the smallest, most inconspicuous, and sometimes apparently the most meaningless level, the actions of this man in Beijing should serve as an inspiration and a reminder that, though a single individual may seem powerless to change anything, the greatest success must always begin with some one who is willing to stand up and fight for what he believes. Where, after all, would the world be today were it not for the first American patriot who resisted British rule, the first Frenchman who stood up against the ancien regime, the first person who refused to comply with the Nazis’ plan to murder every Jew in Europe, or the first East European who demanded his freedom in the worst days of Communist tyranny?
At the time, it may have seemed to all of these people that they were engaged in a hopeless exercise, that the resistance of one man is nothing compared with the military and political power of a state. They acted not because they knew that they would win, for victory was far from certain, and not as part of a mass struggle against tyranny, for they were, at least initially, quite alone. They acted because they knew they were right, because they wanted to be free, and because they hoped that by taking a stand they would inspire others to do the same. History, of course, proved them correct in the long run — acting alone they not only inspired others but eventually proved victorious. The undeniable lesson of history is this: One person, backed only by the strength of his convictions, can make a difference; one man can change the world.
—Douglas Mataconis, George Mason University School of Law (Reprinted from THE FREEMAN, September 1991).
58-2. “Three Theses”
“The arguments which I have made up to the present time lead me to make as a summary, and with very little elucidation, three theses. They are very simple. … They are these.
“(First) Government — all government — has a tendency to extend itself, if it can, at the expense of the lives, property, and liberty of the members of society. … Government has nothing of its own. It lives like a vast growth on the life of society. …
“All acts of government are coercive. If it were not so, it would not be government. Governmental acts carry penalties. They are backed up by the police power. They are not mere counsel and advice; they would not be laws if they were merely that. A law is not a law unless it is enforceable. Law threatens you with the police or jail. All acts of government are coercive.
“(Second,) When government extends itself, it does so by becoming dictatorial, now, here again, I have much history to support me. Rome, Philip of Macedonia, Alexander, the later Medici, Russia, Germany, Italy, and Spain today.
“And the tendencies are at work in the United States. We see that in precisely the measure that our government takes on new functions, power is concentrated in Washington in the same degree; and that in just the measure that government undertakes to regulate our whole life, the President becomes more and more the general manager of the United States.
“So, as government, therefore, develops into the economic state, liberty goes out of the window. Freedom cannot survive in a planned society or a collectivist society. …
“Finally, as government grows, society weakens — for government eats the heart out of it, and many times has absolutely exhausted it. Progress in society has been created by unique men. Progress is impossible without freedom to think and speak and create. You cannot have any of these freedoms where you have only one plan, and that the official plan. …
“Show how far any nation has gone along the road that we are all travelling, and I will show you just how far its degradation of culture, of freedom and the standard of living, have gone. …
“So, materially, culturally, spiritually, politically, in just the measure in which our government grows, men become little and of no account, and the responsibility is taken away from them by the bureaucrats and the politicians.
“So I sum up: Governments today are destroying the patrimony of their states. …
“(G)overnments are destroying the liberties of mankind.”
—Everett Dean Martin, SOME PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL BEHAVIOR, Mew York: American Bankers Association, 1939, pp. 25-34.
58-3. “Be As Private As You Can”
“The proper course of action, it seems to me, is not to row the ship and man its pumps, but to abandon it. Don’t bail; bail out! Become as truly private as you can, which simply means have as little to do with government as possible. Decide how far you will allow yourself to be pushed before you push back. Realize who your enemies are, even if they seem bland and friendly. Learn what you can about techniques of resistance, and share them with us and others. This is a fertile field for research, but the results may be disappointing. What if we learn that no captive people have ever regained their freedom without enormous suffering and bloodshed? Well, let’s try to be the first!”
—The Bulletin of the Monetary Realist Society, Box 31044, St. Louis, MO 63131, March 1992.
“These are the masters who instruct us without rods and ferules, without hard words and anger, without clothes and money. If you approach them, they are not asleep; if investigating you interrogate them, they conceal nothing; if you mistake them, they never grumble; if you are ignorant, they cannot laugh at you. The library, therefore, of wisdom is more precious than all riches, and nothing that can be wished for is worthy to be compared with it. Whosoever therefore acknowledges himself to be a zealous follower of truth, of happiness, of wisdom, of science, or even of the faith, must of necessity make himself a lover of books.”
-Written by Richard deBury in 1344 more than 100 years before the invention of printing and later published in 1474. Reprinted from the THE LITERATURE CATALOG OF THE LEGION FOR THE SURVIVAL OF FREEDOM, 188½ Newport Boulevard, #183, Costa Mesa, CA 92627.
58-5. “On Voting And Post Offices”
If we can vote to choose our stamps, then why can’t we vote to choose our Post Office? If I can pick between a thin Elvis and an older, fatter King, then why can’t I choose a slimmer, leaner version of the service delivering my mail? The U.S. Postal Service is neither the cheapest nor most efficient in the world; it’s only the biggest. It’s a monopoly that always seems to increase rates and decrease service. Allowing private industry to enter the first class mail market would create competition, which in turn would increase efficiency and lower costs. But sorry folks, it won’t bring Elvis back to life.
The Elvis vote is being called “democracy by mail, ” but I say let’s go one step further — democracy in the mail. Let me choose my stamps and my delivery service.
—Tracie Sharp of The Cascade Policy Institute, Portland, Oregon
58-6. “Never Assume Anything”
Brian Martin, a social scientist at the University of Wollongong, Australia, and a subscriber to THE VOLUNTARYIST, has recently written a book titled STRIP THE EXPERTS. To challenge “the experts” is often considered heresy.
Yet it can be done. The experts are vulnerable in a variety of ways. You can dispute their facts. You can challenge the assumptions underlying their facts. You can undermine their credibility. And you can discredit the value of expertise generally. The weakness can be probed and relentlessly exploited.
Published by Freedom Press, 84b Whitechapel High Street, London El 7QX, England.
64-1. “Self Help”
It may be of comparatively little consequence how a man is governed from without, whilst every thing depends upon how he governs himself from within. The greatest slave is not he who is ruled by a despot, great though that evil be, but he who is in the thrall of his own moral ignorance, selfishness, and vice, nations who are thus enslaved at heart can not be freed by any mere changes of masters or of institutions; and so long as the fatal delusion prevails, that liberty solely depends upon and consists in government, so long will such changes, no matter at what cost they may be effected, have as little practical and lasting result as the shifting of the figures in a phantasmagoria. The solid foundations of liberty must rest upon individual character, which is also the only sure guaranty for social security and national progress.”
-Samuel Smiles, SELF-HELP, 1859.
64-2. “Family Values vs. Permissiveness”
“In today’s America we live in the most permissive society since Nero’s Rome.”
—Robert Bartley, Editor, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL September 3, 1992, p. A10
64-3. “Use What Talents You Possess”
Edward Everett Hale wrote the following Credo for The Lend A Hand Society. It is a good reminder that “The woods would be very silent if no birds sung except those that sang best.”
I am only one,
but I am still one;
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do something that I can do.
64-4. “SOCIAL SECURITY: Lies, Myths and Reality”
The above is the title of a new book (131 pages) by James Turk, and is available from Greenfield Books, Box 4682, Greenwich, Conn. 06830 for $15 per book postpaid. This book gives a complete overview of the federal government’s balance sheet, and predicts that interest on the national debt will soon approach 30% of the federal government’s income. It reminds us that no debtor can continue to borrow and borrow forever. A bankrupt government and rotting currency are the historical prescriptions for tyranny and dictatorship.
64-5. “SEND IN THE CLOWNS”
Richard James has penned an irreverent attack (38 pages) on our electoral system and campaign politics. His attitude is neatly summed up by a quote from H. L. Mencken appearing on the first page:
The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government, they have only a talent for getting and holding office. Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can’t get and promise to give it to them, nine times out of ten, that promise is worth nothing. The tenth time is made good by looting A to satisfy B. In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is sort of an advance auction of stolen goods.
Available from Micro-Publishing Associates by sending $5 for shipping and handling to 3402 Palo Verde Circle, Camarillo, CA 93012.
64-6. “Self-Help Is the Best Help”
“There is a strange spirit abroad in the times. The whole people is hugging the delusion that law is a panacea. Whatever the ill or the wrong or the ideal, immediately follows the suggestion— enact a law. …
“What can be the result of this tendency but the softening of the moral fibre of the people? When there is an unwillingness to accept responsibility for one’s life and for making the most of it there is a loss of strong, red-blooded, rugged independence and will power to grapple with the wrong of the world and to establish justice through the volition of those concerned.
“Many of the things for which many are now deludedly demanding legislative regulation should and must be worked out by those concerned. Initiative, aggressive conviction, enlightened self-interest, are the characteristics that must be dominant among the people if the nation is to make substantial progress toward better living and higher ideals. Legislation can not secure these characteristics… .”
—Samuel Gompers, THE AMERICAN FEDERATIONIST, Vol. 22 (1915), p. 113.
64-7. “Nonviolent Resistance in Nazi Germany”
In the September 1992 ATLANTA MONTHLY, Nathan Stoltzfus published an article entitled “Dissent in Nazi Germany.” His work, based on years of research in Germany and its archives, reveals that nonviolent resistance can some times be successfully implemented against even the most ruthless dictators. Stoltzfus focuses on three nonviolent protests.
In early 1943, almost two thousand Jewish men, who had been married to Aryan spouses and previously exempted from being sent to concentration camps, were interned in Berlin. Many of the men’s wives staged a week-long vigil and protest, demanding the release of their husbands. Even though Gestapo headquarters was close by, and the protesters could have easily been shot, Joseph Goebbels eventually ordered the Jews released. His action was affirmed by Heinrich Himmler.
The “mother’s revolt” in mid-1941 was an explosive civil disobedience action by devout Catholics who were reacting to a Bavarian decree that all crucifixes be removed from the district schools, and that the usual school prayers be replaced by Nazi slogans and songs. In the face of noncooperation and public indignation, Catholic mothers initiated a strike against the schools, refusing to send their children to classes, and large public demonstrations were staged against the “godless ” regime. Adolf Wagner, Bavarian minister of education, had to rescind his orders.
While this was happening in Bavaria, a well-known Catholic bishop, Clemens August Von Galen, was protesting the Nazi policy of euthanasia. “In July and August of 1941 Von Galen preached three blistering sermons from his pulpit in Munster-Westphalia against the lawless power of the Gestapo, warning his congregation that no one was safe from arbitrary arrest and punishment, and that, according to the logic of a program that sacrificed those who were of no obvious productive use to the war effort, that the state could soon be administering euthanasia to wounded soldiers at the front as well as to cripples, the old, and the weak.” Public opinion favored Von Galen, and although euthanasia was not officially terminated, it was slowed down and made considerably less visible.
Stoltzfus implies that nonviolent action could have probably prevented the Nazi holocaust. He would agree with Martin Luther King, Jr. who said that “if Protestant and Catholics had engaged in nonviolent direct action, and made the oppression of the Jews their very own oppression, and had come into the streets beside the Jew to scrub the sidewalks, and had Gentiles worn the stigmatizing yellow armbands by the millions, a unique form of mass resistance to the Nazi regime might have developed.”
65-1. “Freedom of Charity”
This 30 page monograph was written anonymously. It is the story of rebellion against forced charity and the welfare state. “Freedom of Charity means you can not force me to give” or to contribute to causes that someone else dictates. Like Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience, Freedom of Charity means keeping the State out of these private matters.
The plot involves two “Charity Terrorists,” who, in order to garner media attention, cause an electric power interruption and blackout the stadium where the Super Bowl football game was to begin. Their second act of resistance results in a widespread electrical blackout on the East Coast and coincides with the income tax filing deadline. They present the public with three manifestos, explaining their opposition to coercive charity. Soon the Freedom of Charity movement takes on a life of its own, as others join in support.
The author writes that “a welfare tax is fundamentally different from all other taxes that give us something in return.” The author fails to realize that all taxation is theft. Hence, it doesn’t make any difference whether the taxpayer gets something in return not. True voluntaryism opposes all taxes because of their coercive nature. Although I would not describe this as a voluntaryist tract, it is well worth its cost of $2.98, postpaid. Orders may be sent to WRB Press, Box 587, Cottondale, FL 32431.
65-2. “Natural Law vs. Political Statute”
“The nomos of the ancient Greeks and the Roman jus were the universal rules of human conduct, quite a different matter from what nowadays we call ‘law’, a sad commentary on the degradation of the term. The ‘law’ in the modern sense is whatever the representatives of the majority in Congress or in the state assemblies find politically expedient to enact. So it is against the law to smoke a Cuban cigar, and a double ‘crime’ to do so in a nonsmoking area of a restaurant or train. …
Since the ‘law’ is no longer a universal rule of human conduct, but rather what the casual majority in power says, the modern individual faces some very tough moral and ethical decisions.”
—Carlos Ball, “Zoe Baird,” THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, Jan. 22, 1993, p. A10.
65-3. “Californians Wish It Was So!”
“In speaking of the government of California, I must say it is the most free and easy government perhaps on the civilized globe. No Taxes are imposed on any individual whatsoever. I saw nor heard of no requirement for Road Labour, no Military tax, no civil department to support, no Judiciary requiring pay and in every respect the people live free. You may support Priest or not at your pleasure and if your life and property are not Quite so safe as in some other countries you have the pleasure of using all your earnings.”
—James Clyman, “California in 1845,” CALIFORNIA HISTORY (1926), p. 258, cited in Dee Brown, WONDROUS TIMES ON THE FRONTIER, (1991, p. 145).
65-4. “Creative Justice”
Just before hearing a case in frontier Oregon, the judge summoned the opposing lawyers into his chambers. “I have a problem,” he told them, “last night the plaintiff sent me $200 to decide the case in his favor. Then this morning the defendant sent me $300 to decide in his favor.”
“Under these circumstances,” asked the plaintiff’s lawyer, “are you going to return the $200 to my client?”
“No,” said the judge. “No, I figure I’ll just give $100 back to the defendant, and then we’ll try the case on its own merits.”
—Dee Brown, WONDROUS TIMES ON THE FRONTIER, Little Rock: August House Publishers, 1991, p. 139. B9
66-l. “On the Origin of the State”
Somebody in prehistoric times invented government and thereby added taxes to death as tribulations mankind could not avoid. It is hardly clear that we are better off for it.
Anthropological research has shown that government grew out of conquest, especially the conquest of peaceful settlements by nomadic warrior tribes. The nomads learned that slaughtering a farm village for its meager possessions is much less profitable than enslaving and taxing it. This meant that a few of the nomads had to settle among the villagers to keep an eye on them and pretend to look busy. Presumably once a year at harvest time they extracted their tribute at spear point, skewering a few malcontents who resisted or cheated on their form 1040.
Later, the rulers learned to pose as gods, settle local squabbles and hand out favors, to make the system look better and keep their subjects in line. They also invented writing and bookkeeping to record their deeds and tax rates, which was the beginning of history. But the system remains essentially unchanged, as Albert Jay Nock gleefully reminded us in OUR ENEMY, THE STATE. It is still in the tribute business, although nowadays we have more sophisticated terms for it, such as “bracket creep” and “revenue enhancement” and “tax reform”. …
The trouble is, we don’t think about the nature of government, the government which imposes taxes. Its actions affect us daily, and we think a lot about those. But its underlying nature is as invisible to us as water is to a fish. We accept it as something we are born into, that is there, that has always been there, that will always be there. This mute and unquestioning acceptance is a victory for the state and all its pretensions.
-George Roche, ONE BY ONE, Hillsdale: Hillsdale College Press, 1990 pp. 140-141
66-2. “Voluntaryism in Practice”
Dr. Robert S. Jaggard has sent me a sample copy of the billing form used in his office. It demonstrates how he practices “private medicine” in an age of collectivist health care.
Robert S. Jaggard, ND
Independent Practitioner, Private Medicine
10 E. Charles St., Olewein, Iowa 50662
Phone (319) 283-3491 ID Mo. 42-1246681
(Type in patient’s name and address in this space)
PLACE OF SERVICE is at the office unless otherwise specified.
TIME listed is approximate number of minutes devoted to this service for this patient by Dr. Jaggard. FEE listed is that amount agreed upon by the patient and Dr. Jaggard as the proper payment for this service. No real or implied contract exists between Dr. Jaggard and anybody else but the patient.
DATE TIME SERVICE & DIAGNOSIS FEE
I have NO fee schedule. I use no “code numbers”. I use plain language that the patient understands. I do my best for the individual patient. ALL of my patients are Private Patients. Each private patient pays me the amount that the private patient decides is the proper amount to pay me for this service for this private patient on this occasion. I make suggestions, but the final decision as to the value of my service is up to the individual private patient. The amount of payment is listed in the right-hand column as the FEE. When this is paid, then that item is marked, “Paid”, and dated, and that is the receipt.
If patients have private insurance, they can use this statement (or receipt) to submit THEIR claims to THEIR insurance company. Patients understand up front that I have NO contract with any insurance company, and I am not part of THEIR insurance contract, and it is up to the company to pay THEM in accordance with THEIR contract with THEIR company. My ONLY contract is with the patient.
Patients who have been trapped in the government tax-paid programs (such as “medicare” and “medicaid”) are frankly told, up front, that I am NOT part of those political programs, because they do NOT allow the doctor to serve the patient, and they do NOT give the patient or doctor any right to make any choices in regard to treatment. Patients are informed that I will give them medical service at “no charge”, but, I can NOT help them get any money from “medicare” or “medicaid”. The big sign hanging in the office front window says, “PRIVATE MEDICINE”. There is a sign on my front desk that says, “I Am NOT a Government Doctor”. My policy has been (and still is) well publicized in the local newspaper.
I do NOT have to follow the “medicare” rules because I am NOT part of their program, AND, neither are my patients. My service is available to patients at “no charge”, so there is no possibility of reimbursement from medicare (or supplemental insurance), so, there is no reason to fill out a claim form. Also, my service is NOT “medically necessary”. My service is helpful, and sometimes lifesaving, yes, but, “medically necessary” is a political term that has no relationship whatsoever to scientific medicine. I have NEVER certified ANY care as “medically necessary”. Since there is “no charge”, and, it is not “necessary”, my service is not involved with, and is not part of, the “medicare” program.
To those patients who have Part B of Title XVIII, I explain that my service is available at No Charge, and, any money they pay me will NOT be reimbursed in any way by “medicare” or their supplemental insurance company. Patients who appreciate my service for them give me money to help pay the office expenses. I help them. They help me. We deal with each other in peace and honesty. We enjoy freedom together.
66-3. “Conquest By The State”
The following excerpt is taken from the “Introduction” to THE ECONOMIC RAPE OF AMERICA by Frederick Mann. This and other literature is published by the Free America Institute, 2430 E. Roosevelt #998-Vol, Phoenix, Az 85008. Its purpose is to provide opportunities to individuals and groups to promote freedom at a profit. Write for more information.
From history we may conclude that a nation or a people can be conquered by one or more of five methods—or any combination of these methods.
The most common has been conquest by war. In time, though, this method fails, because the captives hate the captors. Eventually the captives rise up and attempt to drive out the captors. Much force is needed to maintain control, making it expensive for the conquerors.
A second method of conquest is by religion, or manipulation of religious belief, where people are convinced they must give their captors part of their earnings as “obedience to God.” Such a captivity is vulnerable to philosophical exposure or by overthrow through armed force, since modern religion by its nature lacks military force to regain control once its captives become disillusioned.
Political Ideology is the third method of conquest. Compulsory state education is the foundation. Children are forced into schools where moral and political values are subtly imparted. Submission to authority. The law of the authority is absolute and must be obeyed. The discipline of the clock. The state controls what shall be taught and who shall teach it. Implement a federal school lunch program, so children will learn that big daddy government is the great provider.
The fourth method is “legal conquest”—the legislative, judiciary, police and penal systems. Article I, section 8 of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress “the power to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by the Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.” A political party, or a coalition of interests can get effective control of Congress. Meanwhile the Supreme Court, year by year, chips away at undermining the protections ostensibly provided by the Bill of Rights.
The fifth method can be called “economic conquest.” It takes place when a nation or a people are placed under “duty” without the obvious use of force or coercion, so the victims never realize they have been conquered. “Duty” is collected from the victims in the form of “legal” taxes. The victims are led to believe that they pay for their own good, for the good of others, or to protect all from some enemy. The captors become the “benefactors” and “protectors” of the victims.
The first method—conquest by war—tends to be swift. The other methods can be applied gradually —almost unnoticeably— over long periods of time. Small, incremental changes. Generally, the captives show little opposition, because they seldom see any military force arrayed against them. Their religion may be left intact; they have freedom to speak and to travel, and they seemingly participate in the “election” of their rulers. Their government, it seems, implements “the will of the people.” Without realizing it, the victims are conquered. The instruments of their own society are used to transfer the fruits of their productive labor and their wealth to their captors, until the conquest is complete.
66-4. “Two wrongs do not make One right!”
“The worst part of the whole tax-thy-neighbor system is that it is so addictive — it feeds on itself. When much of our money is taxed away, we feel cheated and lose all our moral qualms about getting to the trough ourselves, one way or another, to get it back. That’s only fair, isn’t it? I understand perfectly, but no, it isn’t. All we are doing is resorting to the same bad means that cheated us in the first place. It is precisely this that gives overweening government its strongest hold on us. But two wrongs still do not make a right. Someday we must learn to say no to what is not ours, even if we have been cheated.
“On a national scale I do not have any answers for this unholy addiction to other peoples money. From a historical view, it is a fatal disease that has brought down many a rich and proud civilization before us. On a personal level, the answer could not be more obvious. Just say no. Let us be the cheated, if it comes to that, but not the cheaters. It is we who must lead and who must do what needs doing. Nobody else can, least of all the government. It’s that simple.”
—George Roche, ONE BY ONE, Hillsdale: Hillsdale College Press, 1990, pp. 137-138.
66-5. “Young Bill Clinton”
Mr. Clinton’s third grade teacher aroused young Bill’s interest in “world history and politics when (he) taught (his) course in the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. …At the end of the course, Little Willy stood up and said that if he had been emperor, Rome wouldn’t have fallen.”
-from THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, January 6, 1993, p. A10.
66-6. “Start Small, Start Now!”
“Charity begins at home. Yet people don’t realize this. They feel if they want to volunteer they have to go through United Way or a hospital or go into a big organization. No. …It’s up to us in each individual community to help each other.”
-Betty Flood in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, January 4, 1993, p. A8.
66-7. “The Fight for Truth”
Dr. Robert Conquest delivered a speech entitled “Has the Lesson Been Learned?” in San Francisco at a dinner held in his honor by The Independent Institute on July 7,1992. He described the last half century of the Soviet regime as “falsification on an enormous scale. History, production figures, census results, were all faked. But even more demoralizing, the whole sphere of thought was controlled and distorted. The inhumane and continuous pressures of the state demanded of all minds their acceptance of a fantasy of happiness and belief. The struggle was above all a fight for truth. It was a struggle against terror and oppression, but it was above all a fight against lies.” Reading these words reminded me of Erich Fromm’s discission of “truth” and “reality.”
The basic question which Orwell raises is whether there is any such thing as “truth.” “Reality,” so the ruling party holds, “is not external. Reality exists in the human mind and nowhere else…whatever the Party holds to be truth is truth.” If this is so, then by controlling men’s minds the Party controls truth. In a dramatic conversation between the protagonist of the Party and the beaten rebel, a conversation which is a worthy analogy to Dostoyevsky’s conversation between the Inquisitor and Jesus, the basic principles of the Party are explained. In contrast to the Inquisitor, however, the leaders of the Party do not even pretend that their system is intended to make man happier because men, being frail and cowardly creatures, want to escape freedom and are unable to face the truth. The leaders are aware of the fact that they themselves have only one aim, and that is power. To them “power is not a means; it is an end. And power means the capacity to inflict unlimited pain and suffering to another human being.” Power, then, for them creates reality, it creates truth. The position which Orwell attributes here to the power elite can be said to be an extreme form of philosophical idealism, but it is more to the point to recognize that the concept of truth and reality which exists in 1984 is an extreme form of pragmatism in which truth becomes subordinated to the Party.
It is one of the most characteristic and destructive developments of our own society that man, becoming more and more of an instrument, transforms reality more and more into something relative to his own interests and functions. Truth is proven by the consensus of millions; to the slogan “how can millions be wrong” is added “and how can a minority of one be right.” Orwell shows quite clearly that in a system in which the concept of truth as an objective judgement concerning reality is abolished, anyone who is a minority of one must be convinced that he is insane.
—”Afterword” by Erich Fromm to George Orwell, 1984, New York: New American Library, 1962, pp. 263-264.
68-1. “From The EPISTLES Of Seneca”
“You ask what freedom is? It means not fearing either men or gods; it means not craving wickedness or excess; it means possessing supreme power over oneself. And it is a priceless good to be master of oneself.”
68-2. “Tracking The Children — Another Step Toward A Totalitarian State”
Federal legislation is being drafted which provides free vaccines to every child (2 years or younger) in the U.S. “The bill would make the federal government the sole purchaser of childhood vaccines. …To help insure that all children get their shots, the bill would also set up a national immunization tracking system and give grants to states to establish immunization registries.” Children would have to be registered at birth, and records kept of their immunizations. Parents who refused to register their children and /or see that they received vaccines would be guilty of “child neglect.” (Source: Hilary Stoug, “Shalala to Unveil Legislation for Free Childhood Vaccines,” THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, April 1, 1993, p. B6.)
68-3. “H. L. Mencken: On Liberty”
“I believe that liberty is the only genuinely valuable thing. I believe it is better to be free than not to be free, even when the former is dangerous and the latter safe. I believe that the finest qualities of man can flourish only in free air—that progress made under the shadow of the policeman’s club is false progress, and of no permanent value. I believe that any man who takes the liberty of another into his keeping is bound to become a tyrant, and that any man who yields up his liberty, in however slight the measure, is bound to become a slave.” (“Why Liberty?” THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE, January 30,1927 and reprinted in Mayo DuBasky, THE GIST OF MEMCKEN, Metuchen: The Scarecrow Press, 1990, p. 381.)
68-4. “Freedom To Choose: Let’s Fight Fraud With Freedom”
“(S)uppose the laws governing health-care practices” and medical licensing were changed. “Would fraud increase?”
“I doubt it. If the amount of fraud did increase, however, so would the amount of truth, since the current laws restrict them both. And since quality tends to survive in an open marketplace, I would wager that the net effect of freedom would be an overall increase in truth. And health.
“We, of course would be required to discern. But what of it? We’re required to discern anyway. And since the current laws restrict information, we’d probably discern more clearly, if we had (more) information to do it with.
“And in our discerning, we would have to come grips with the conflict between natural healing and conventional medicine. This would be open competition now, with no privileged position granted to one or the other. Which would win? My guess would be neither. And both. Because winning isn’t the point. The point is to be free to choose, and to have information to choose with. From freedom, I predict, would come balance, with each of the principles settling into its place — natural healing for chronic illness and general health, with medicine reserved for those acute and traumatic conditions where it truly saves lives.”
—Dean Black, Ph.D., HEALTH AT THE CROSSROADS, Springville: Tapestry Press, 1988, p. 115.
68-5. “What Should We Do?”
“We should begin to recognize the criminal motives of central government. It is nothing more than organized crime. It is certainly not a benevolent institution for the good of the people. We should educate our families to see the truth of the political events near us and around the world. And, if our children will do the same in each succeeding generation, truth and freedom will grow exponentially. Thus the numbers of people who can see the … (truth) will grow with each succeeding generation. And, each generation will reach millions of others who will come to see the light. Eventually the beast will starve and die!
“This we will do by starting right now with our own families! Our families will grow into communities. And our communities will populate the land.”
-Ben Williams in THE AMERICAN CHRISTIAN, June-July 1991, p. 7.
68-6. “Power And The Mandate To Rule”
“The strongest are still never sufficiently strong to insure them(selves) continual mastership, unless they can find the means of transforming force into right, and obedience into duty.”
—Jean Jacques Rousseau, THE SOCIAL CONTRACT, 1762, reprinted New York: Harper Publishing, 1957, pp. 8-9.
68-7. “Freedom And Prosperity”
“(L)iving standard is not measured by how many physical things you have, but by how free you are to achieve your values. If you are by yourself, starving on an island, you have the maximum living standard you can achieve on that island because no one can prevent you from achieving a value. But if you live in a luxury home in the United States, and are forced to pay taxes and obey rules and regulations and laws, you do not have the maximum living standard that you could achieve there, because your values are being frustrated. You could better achieve your values if your rights were not being violated. That is the connection between freedom and prosperity. …
“It is true that freedom to achieve values may not necessarily bring happiness — like the starving man on the island — but neither do physical things. Let me give you an example. Who is happier? An Arab harem woman who has every luxury known to man, but is really only a slave, or a poor farmer’s wife, who has little more than the love of her family? Besides, you are much more likely to be able to acquire physical things if you are free— hasn’t the failure of socialism demonstrated that?”
—Matt Stone, ON THE STEPPES OF CENTRAL ASIA (1992), pp. 91-92. Available for $10.95 postpaid from Spooner Press, Box 1165, Grand Island, NY 14072.
68-8. “The Road to Freedom”
The “resort to government ‘solutions’ always seems to me a giveaway that something wrong or dishonest is involved. In freedom, persuasion — not coercion — is the way to get one’s ideas across, and the only way. Imposing them by law denies to others their liberty, their dignity, their right to their own opinions. It is in fact, an act of contempt toward them and an act of pride in oneself — a claim to know better than we what is best for us.” …
“Ideas, not armies, rule the world. We believed too easily that tanks, barbed wire, secret police and instruments of thought control and totalitarian power were decisive and that slaves could never be free. The events of the last several years have proved us wrong. It was false belief, not barb wire, that enslaved. In the end, the wire was cut and the Iron Curtain broken by simple human choice, not arms. Those who had been trapped behind the barricades said, ‘Enough!’ and were free.”
-George Roche, IMPRIMIS, July 1993.
68-9. “More Thoughts on Government”
“Could the American Association of Handicapped Persons (if there is such an organization) demand that your business install facilities for the handicapped? Obviously, no. Could General Motors, powerful though it may be, demand that the local Burger King hire a specific number of people of certain races? Again, no. The thought is laughable, isn’t it? Yet no one laughs when the United States (federal government) makes such demands, and threatens punishment for failure to comply! You see the assumption is that you owe service to the government. What other assumption could there be?”
—from The Bulletin of the Monetary Realist Society, December 1992
68-10. Politics in the Raw
The principal political activity of the European Middle Ages for more than half a millennium “was the division of people into gangs of armed thugs who fought each other constantly, or at least within the fighting season, with the booty being women, slaves-serfs, and land. Here was politics in the raw.”
—John Oyer, “Anabaptists, the Law and the State,” PROCEEDINGS OF THE MARPECK ACADEMY, March 23, 1985, Washington, D.C., p. 12.
68-11. “Ominous Parallels”
It may be that some of our older readers will remember Jan Valtin’s WWII book, OUT OF THE NIGHT. It told in appalling detail what a no-knock policy meant in Nazi Germany, and how the abuses of the Geheimstaatspolizei (Gestapo) lead to the disappearance of people, finally abject fear and a steady retreat of the body politic into the woodwork.
The ACRES U.S.A. editor attended an Oklahoma meeting recently, both as a speaker and as an observer. The main speaker for the evening was Kurt Donsbach, the internationally recognized nutritionist who has formulated many wonderful and valid products for the health trade. His successes have irritated the uppity-ups of the sickness business no end. For years, the bureau people who serve the makers of coal tar derivative drugs shadowed Donsbach relentlessly much like a latter day Jean Valjean. On May 12, they struck.
With drawn guns, the Neanderthalers invaded Donsbach’s office, and held the staffers at bay for hours. They loaded out inventory for their book burning exercise, seized computers, discs and office machines, and in general demolished the business. Flushed with this victory, the FDA operatives then trashed the physician’s home, seizing research volumes and nutritional literature from around the world. Bank accounts were next to tumble into the hands of these defilers of the Constitution. When the invaders left, Donsbach had a few bucks in his pocket, hardly more than car fare home.
There were no arrests. There were no charges.
One lone man stood up in that meeting. He was born in Germany at the start of the Nazi era. He came of age by the time the war ended. During that era he saw a no-knock policy demolish human freedoms, exactly as described in OUT OF THE NIGHT, a book that man never head of.
“You people,” he said, “think there is something different about the United States. You see Waco and this man’s abuse as a somewhat different Germany, but I tell you there is no difference. This is exactly the way the Gestapo did things. They murdered, and your agents murder. Next people will start disappearing. Nazi Germany in its early days, and the United States today are carbon copies of each other.” The gentleman sat down to stunned silence.
Unfortunately, Janet Reno cannot hear, and the House and Senate cannot hear. As of old, the neo-Nazis are lionized as they go about their work. And the rest of the people shudder in silence, or live openly on borrowed time.
One certainty remains. There will be no shortage of Nazi types for the ever-expanding openings.
—ACRES U.S.A., August 1993 (Box 9547, Kansas City, MO 64133, $20/yr.)
68-12. “Almost Useless”
According to the leftist weekly LE NOUVEL OBSERVATEUR:
“If politics were to disappear, nine tenths of the useless occupations that it spawns would disappear with it. …The real secret is that power is useless. Its capacity to do evil is almost limitless. Government can prohibit, oppress, imprison, torture, starve and kill. For that, it has soldiers, police, judges, officials and ministers. But its capacity to do good is almost nil.”
-David Rich, MYTHS OF THE TRIBE, Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1993, p. 205