Potpourri From the Editor’s Desk
[This page made possible through the work of Diego Julien. Thanks Diego!]
69-1. “The World’s Real Drug Crisis.”
Forget smack and crack. By many orders of magnitude, the most addictive and destructive drug in the world is welfare, government subsidies. Once people are shooting up the dole into their veins, be they Polish workers, French farmers, American greedy geezers, they’re hooked far more than any heroin addict. And any threat to cut off or even diminish their drug supply makes them go berserk. So the Lithuanians and the Poles reject economic freedom and elect communist apparatchiks who promise to spoon-feed them government handouts. So the EC squashes Eastern Europe’s economic hopes with protectionist trade barriers. So any attempt to actually cut the federal budget deficit, much less balance the budget, is completely hopeless because so many millions of Americans want government goodies and don’t want to pay for them.
From: STRATEGIC INVESTMENT, 824 East Baltimore Street, Baltimore, lid 21202-4799. $l09/year
69-2. “A History Lesson”
In 1799 the French Government was in serious trouble, and there was a revolt against the revolutionaries. A corporal from Corsica came along with public support and eventually became Emperor. He then almost became the master of all of Europe.His name was Napoleon. …
In 1922 the Italian Government was in great trouble, and the country was near anarchy. An editor came along, led a march on Rome and formed a new Government. He had the support of the people and announced he would save Italy, His name was Mussolini. …
In the late 1920’s the German Government was staggering under a tremendous war debt, run away inflation and deadlocked political problems. A former Austrian corporal marched to Berlin and gained the support of the people and was elected their leader. His name was Hitler. …
Today, the United States is reeling under impossible trade problems. …We have confiscatory leadership in the White House, and we hear daily lies about the economy. The Press and TV are working overtime to convince us that “all is well” as we stand on the brink of disaster. I fear by the end of this four years of “bad news” the United States may bring forth a “strong” man who could possibly capture the White House. One who thinks he can “save” us. One who fits the above mentioned pattern. History does repeat itself over and over. One may soon come in like a Knight on a White Horse!
DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR???
The America people have no idea of the political strength of the Presidency. This can be increased by the simple issuing of Executive Order -11490 which can be done at his own discretion! In that event the President can totally:
take control of ALL media, sources of power, food resources, transportation, highways, seaports, railroads, waterways, airports, storage, farms, ranches, timber properties, money, banks, civilian work force, activities relating to health, education and welfare and move populations to other localities, and only the good Lord knows what else! The bottom line is that a President CAN do anything he wants to do.
All this is listed in 32 pages of almost 200,000 words in Executive Order -11490! EO -11490 provides for a total Dictatorship whenever the President “gives the word!” Who knows what will happen if we elect a person like this to the White House? One who owes NO ALLEGIANCE to any responsible party, or Congress, or the people, or for that matter to anyone but himself! And, who knows what he would REALLY do with all this power and with our Country???
The wheels are in place, the machinery is in order; all that is needed for an absolute Dictatorship is for the “man” to sign EO -11490 anytime he feels like it!
—Fred Rowe, THE HOUSE OF ONYX, February 1994. Box 261, Greenville, KY 42345
69-3. “The Family vs. The State”
Healthy American families are subjected to the real abuse of state investigations into their structure and character, a special kind of terror unique to the sentimental totalitarianism of late 20th century America.
State schools serve as the primary instruments of scrutiny and indoctrination. From the earliest grades, children are taught by public officials to be suspicious of their parents’ touches and told how to register complaints over parents’ actions with public officials. Federally funded School-Based Multi-Disciplinary Teams enter schools to ferret out “abusing families.” These cadres of social workers and psychologists have the power to examine a family’s source of income, history, living conditions, attitudes, self-image, spousal relations, impulse control, and degree of community involvement. Those falling short of federal standards face therapy, loss of children, and formal criminal charges.
Indeed, it is primarily through the state’s schools that parens patriae continues its drive to displace the autonomous family.
As Princeton sociologist Norman Ryder has conclusively shown, government schools serve as the prime instrument for communicating a “state morality” and a “state mythology” designed to subvert the bonds and sense of continuity of each family. “Families” are allowed to exist only as they become agents of the state, dutifully providing room and board to the state’s children.
G.K. Chesterton explained, decades ago, what was at stake here. “The ideal for which the family stands… is liberty,” he wrote. “It is the only …institution that is at once necessary and voluntary. It is the only check on the state that is bound to renew itself as eternally as the state, and more naturally than the state.”
—Allan Carlson, “Uncle Sam’s Child,” LIBERTARIAN FAMILIST, Winter 1993, Box 4826, El Paso, TX 79914
69-4. “Attempts to Impose Order Lead to Greater Disorder”
Too much law and order brings its opposite. Attempts to create World Government will lead to total anarchy. Examples:
David Koresh’s principal problem, according to one FBI spokesman, was that he was “thumbing his nose at the law.” So, to preserve order, the forces of law and order brought chaos and destruction, and destroyed everything and everyone. To prevent the misuse of firearms by cult members, firearms were marshalled to randomly kill them. To prevent alleged child abuse, the forces of law and order burned the children to death.
Handing out free food in “refugee” camps in Somalia leads to greater numbers of starving refugees because the existence of free food attracts a greater number of nomads to the camps, who then become dependent on free food, and starve when they are not fed.
States in the U.S. favor equalizing wealth distribution. To finance this agenda, more and more states have turned to the lottery, thereby giving away to a few vast sums of cash extracted from the many.
The precepts of (this interpretation) find expression in a number of Oriental philosophies. In the view of this school, what happens in the universe is a fact, and does not merit the labels of “good” or “bad,” or human reactions of sympathy or hatred. Effort to control or alter the course of macro events (as opposed to events in one’s personal life) is wasted. One should cultivate detachment and contemplation, and learn elasticity, learn to go with the universal flow of events. This flow tends toward a balance. This view finds expression in the Tao Teh Ching (Chapter 57, Stephen Mitchell translation):
The more prohibitions you have,
the less virtuous people will be.
The more weapons you have,
the less secure people will be.
The more subsidies you have,
the less self-reliant people will be.
Therefore the Master says:
I let go of the law,
and people become honest.
I let go of economics,
and people become prosperous.
I let go of religion,
and people become serene.
I let go of all desire for the common good,
and the good becomes common as grass.
You don’t fight chaos any more than you fight evil. “Give evil nothing to oppose, and it will disappear by itself” (Tao Teh Ching, Chapter 60). Or as Jack Kerouac said in Dr. Sax, “The universe disposes of its own evil.” Again, the reason is a principle of balance: You are controlled by what you love and what you hate. But hate is the stronger emotion. Those who fight evil necessarily take on the characteristics of the enemy and become evil themselves. Organized sin and organized sin-fighting are two sides of the same corporate coin.
—J. Orlin Grabbe, “In Praise of Chaos,” LIBERTY, March 1994, Box 1181, Port Townsend, WA 98368.
69-5. “Dear Taxpayer”
Whole No. 63 of THE VOLUNTARYIST (August 1993) printed “A Note To The Commissioner” of the Internal Revenue Service dealing with the letter which accompanied the 1992 federal income tax filing package. Now comes another response, appearing in the April 1994 issue of READER’S DIGEST, which concludes:
It makes me long for the good old days when a tax collector didn’t try to sweet-talk you while he was picking your pocket. I suppose, however, in the era of politically correct language, we might as well get used to it: a tax is a fair-share contribution, a tax payer is a customer, and the IRS is a charitable fund.
69-6. “EVERY GOOD NAN IS FREE”
Philo of Alexandria (circa late 1st century B.C. and early 1st century A.D.) is the author of this tract which “deals with that kernel of Stoic ethics, the self-sufficiency of the virtuous man,” and shows “the truth of the Stoic paradox’ that the wise man alone is free.” F.H. Colson, the English translator, points out that the main thrust of Philo’s argument is that “the wise man is free from the domination of the passions,” and that “the wise man is free because he does right voluntarily, cannot be compelled to do wrong, and treats indifferent things with indifference.” This is certainly an early and interesting example of how a philosopher, some two thousand years ago, interpreted freedom as self-control. See PHILO, Volume 9 of ten volumes, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1941.
69-7. “The NAFTA Debate: What Is Free Trade?”
The indisputable fact is freedom is unpopular. Governments are always restraining and punishing people for trying to exchange goods and services.
That’s why Vice President Gore supported NAFTA so strongly. He made it clear that what he and President Clinton really liked about it was its use as a tool of social engineering — a way of imposing their political and environmentalist agenda on nations by holding them hostage, allowing “free” trade as long as they submit to radical environmentalist demands that have the actual effect of stifling capitalism.
Ross Perot’s protests to the contrary notwithstanding, he’s no believer in free trade either. His main objection to NAFTA was that it didn’t go far enough in restraining free trade.
The debate, as freewheeling as it appeared, was very careful to avoid one crucial subject: genuine free trade. In spite of their numerous disagreements, there was one thing both men agreed on: they wanted to control the world.
Free trade is “free trade” — men and women entering freely into economic transactions, locally and internationally, without government interference.
We don’t need a treaty to accomplish that. We don’t even need an “agreement.” All we need to do is repeal the multitude of evil laws restraining trade: tariffs, price ceilings, price supports, subsidies, foreign aid, guaranteed loans, quotas, and restrictions against “dumping.” (On that last item, remember Will Roger’s immortal words: “If the other fellow sells cheaper than you, it is called dumping! Course, if you sell cheaper than him, that’s ‘mass production.'”)
— David Chilton in WORLD, Nov. 20, 1993.
69-8. “Reflections of an Individualist: A Program for Reform”
From time to time, people urge upon me the espousal of some program they are pleased to call constructive. Some say that reform of our monetary system is the one essential of a healthy economic, and therefore social, order; single taxers are convinced that all things evil will vanish with the shifting of the incidence of taxation from production to privilege; for the pacifists, the cure-all is the abolition of war. I have been urged to take up the cudgels for decentralism, while those who see in “world government” the hope for human happiness have tried to press me into their service.
Every one of the proposed reforms has something to commend it in logic, while the sincerity of the proponents makes one wish that they could all be given a chance. The fact remains, however, that each reform rests its case on the goodwill, intelligence and selflessness of men who, invested with the power to do so, will put the reform into operation. And the lesson of history is that power is never so used. Never. I am convinced, on the other hand, that all of the evils of which these earnest people complain can be traced to the misuse of power, and I am inclined to distrust political power no matter who uses it.
The only “constructive ” idea that I can in all conscience advance, then, is that the individual put his trust in himself, not in power, that he seek to better his understanding and lift his values to a higher and still higher level; that he assume responsibility for his behavior and not transfer his personality to committees, organizations or, above all, to a super-personal State. Such reforms as are necessary will come of themselves when, or if, men act as intelligent and responsible human beings. There cannot be a “good” society until there are “good” people.
-Frank Chodorov, ONE IS A CROWD, New York: Devin-Adair Co., 1952, pp. 175-176.
69-9. “Voting Nay Not Imply Consent But It Certainly Confers Legitimacy”
Remember that voting is often a way not of consenting to something, but only of expressing a preference. If the state gives a group of condemned prisoners the choice of being executed by firing squad or by lethal injection, and all of them vote for the firing squad, we cannot conclude from this that the prisoners thereby consent to being executed by the firing squad. They do, of course, choose this option; they approve of it, but only in the sense that they prefer it to their other option. They consent to neither option, despising both. Voting for a candidate in a democratic election sometimes has a depressingly similar structure. The state offers you a choice among candidates (or perhaps it is “the people” who make the offer), and you choose one, hoping to make the best of a bad situation. You thereby express a preference, approve of that candidate (over the others), but consent to the authority of no one.
—A. John Simmons, ON THE EDGE OF ANARCHY, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993, p. 223.
69-10. “A Million Acts of Sacrifice”
In four years of war, the government stopped the manufacture of every item that used the materials needed for building military goods — including metal and rubber and much else. And so there were no new automobiles, radios, appliances, golf clubs, golf or tennis balls and no vacations, because the gasoline ration was only a few gallons a week and air and train travel required a priority hard to get. There was simply nothing much to buy.
But there were soaring new taxes. Difficulties arose when men were drafted into the military services where new recruits were paid 68 cents a day, about enough to buy the soap and toothpaste the army did not give them. And they still owed the tax on their previous year’s income as civilians. With that ridiculous military income, they could not possibly pay the taxes. Something, had to be done. Here, under pressure of war, the withholding tax was born. It is doubtful that without war Congress would ever have voted for a tax so intrusive and troublesome. Because of the withholding tax, the term “take-home pay” entered the language. Had people been forced to count out their taxes in hard cash for some government collector, taxes in such stratospheric amounts almost certainly could not have been collected.
The cost of the war was so high that the top rate eventually went to about 92 percent. It was explained to Roosevelt that his rich enemies would be soaked, even fleeced, beyond their deepest fears. They paid the 92 percent, hated it, but could not escape. It made Roosevelt so happy. Press Secretary Steve Early told me, that once or twice he saw the president spend hours poring over records sent to him from the Internal Revenue Service showing who paid how much.
—David Brinkley, “The 40s,” NEWSWEEK, January 3, 1994, p. 31.
71-1. “So You Say, ‘What Can I Do?'”
“The real answer is to fight for the things you care about. For most Americans, life isn’t executive orders, congressional legislation, agency regulations, or judicial decrees. It’s a helping hand and good neighbors. It’s bedtime prayers and lovingly packed lunch boxes. It’s hard work and a little something put away for the future.”
—Gary Bauer, IMPRIMIS, July 1994.
71-2. “Government Corruption”
“Corruption spreads in direct proportion to the growth in government’s capacity to bestow favors. As governments hand out more subsidies and administer more and more regulations that can break a business two things happen: the givers and receivers of public money come to regard it as their own and come to believe that fudging doesn’t constitute stealing; some of those who bestow and some who seek vital permissions mutually agree on a cash value, or, more bluntly, the size of a bribe. The more favors and permissions lawmakers create, the more corruption. Political machines are built this way.
—George Melloan, “Global View,” THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, August 15,1994, p. A 11.
71-3. “The Cycle of War and State Formation”
“The internal equilibrium of the [state] rest[s] upon the familiar triad of army, taxes, and bureaucracy. Central power… [upholds] military force, which was organized and funded by bureaucracies, which collected taxes that funded both the bureaucracy and the military, both of which in turn enforced tax collection.”
—Bruce D. Porter, WAR AND THE RISE OF THE STATE, New York: The Free Press, 1994, pp. 58 and 114.
71-4. “Public Goods vs. Public Choice”
“Thus private law, whether strictly voluntary or also coercive, has proven itself historically as an effective provider of social order. But the anarchist’s point is not simply that monocentric law is not necessary in order to maintain social order, but more fundamentally that introducing monocentrism into the picture actually decreases social order.
“Advocates of government assume that non-governmental mechanisms for achieving order will be ineffective because of public goods problems—specifically, the problem that unless people are forced to cooperate, each person will have an incentive to free-ride on the cooperation of others without cooperating himself. This argument is often taken to show the necessity of government.
“But if market solutions are beset by perverse incentives caused by public goods problems, governmental solutions are likewise beset by perverse incentives used by public choice problems: monopolies that collect revenues by force are not accountable to their clients, and state officials need not bear the financial cost of their decisions; inefficiency is the inevitable result. Since both systems involve perverse incentives, the important question is: which system is better at overcoming such incentives?
“And here the answer is clear. Under a market system, entrepreneurs stand to reap financial rewards by figuring out ways to supply ‘public’ goods while excluding free riders. Thus the system that creates the perverse incentives also creates the very incentives to overcome them. That’s why every so-called ‘public’ good has been supplied privately at one time or another in history. Governments, by contrast, must by definition forbid competition. Thus governments, unlike markets, have no way of solving their incentive problems. We would be well-advised, then, to buy our law on the market rather than from the state.”
—Roderick T. Long “The Nature of Law, Part I: Law and Order Without Government,” FORMULATIONS, Spring 1994, pp. 10-11. Published by The Free Nation Foundation, 111 West Corbin Street, Hillsborough, NC 27278.
71-5. “A Taxing Thought: Where Has All The Freedom Gone?”
“When we purchase any product we pay numerous DISGUISED taxes. For example, when we buy an automobile, the company that builds the vehicle passes all of its costs onto us, the buyer of the car, to include all taxes paid by the company. This includes social security taxes, workers compensation tax, state unemployment tax, federal unemployment tax, franchise taxes, corporate income taxes, property taxes, etc. The company is responsible for these taxes but we pick up the tab the day we purchase the product. In addition, we pay a sales tax on the entire price of the car, therefore, paying taxes on the tax with money that has already been taxed before we got our paychecks.”
—Robert D. Newcomer, Wooster, OH., “Fourth of July 1994.”
71-6. “When the State Disappeared, Society Continued”
“In the West, the Roman Empire (which continued in the East as the Byzantine Empire) disappeared in 476; and, although many efforts were made to revive it, there was clearly a period, about 900 when there was no empire, no state, and no public authority in the West. The state disappeared, yet society continued. So also, religious and economic life continued. This clearly showed that the state and society were not the same thing, that society was the basic entity, and that the state was a crowning, but not essential, cap to the social structure. This experience had revolutionary effects. It was discovered that man can live without a state; this became the basis of Western liberalism. It was discovered that the state, if it exists, must serve men and that it is incorrect to believe that the purpose of men is to serve the state. It was discovered that economic life, religious life, law, and private property can all exist and function effectively without a state. From this emerged laissez-faire, separation of Church and State, rule of law, and the sanctity of private property. In Rome, in Byzantium, and in Russia, law was regarded as an enactment of a supreme power. In the West, when no supreme power existed, it was discovered that law still existed as the body of rules which govern social life. Thus law was found by observation in the West, not enacted by autocracy as in the East. This meant that authority was established by law and under the law in the West, while authority was established by power and above the law in the East. The West felt that the rules of economic life were found and not enacted; that individuals had rights independent of, and even opposed to, public authority; that groups could exist, as the Church existed, by right and not by privilege, and without the need to have any charter of incorporation entitling them to exist as a group or act as a group; that groups or individuals could own property as a right and not as a privilege and that such property could not be taken by force, but must be taken by established process of law. It was emphasized in the West that the way a thing was done was more important than what was done, while in the East what was done was far more significant than the way in which it was done.”
—Carroll Quigley, TRAGEDY AND HOPE, New York, The Macmillan Co., 1966, p. 83.
71-7. “Power and Deviance in Western Europe, 950-1250”
“When rulers begin to assert themselves, and to create a recognizable apparatus of state, the earliest developments always include the appearance of a hierarchy of specialized agencies for the enforcement of order – judges, police forces, and so on – and law itself becomes coercive, imposing from above a pattern of guilt or innocence in accordance with codes promulgated by the central authority, rather than mediatory, seeking agreement or compromise. Hence the state can be seen … as a monopoly of legitimate violence. The new system of authority will seek to define and assert itself by attacking the old, that is, the family or clan which formerly exercised the power that the state now seeks, and notably by suppressing the systems of feud or vendetta which, in one form or another, generally provided the sanctions on which kin-based systems of order depend. As Lucy Mair put it, writing of Africa, ‘feuding is one of the first activities which colonial governments make it their business to suppress.’ We need no reminder that the same was true of their European forerunners in the high middle ages.
“One aspect of this transition from segmentary society to state is particularly pertinent to our concern. In the ordinary way face-to face communities recognize and regard as criminal only specific injuries to specific individuals or groups. A wrong is identified and dealt with when and if the person who has been injured or his representative chooses to take the matter up by way of the socially approved means of redress. By contrast, as the state begins to emerge its rulers seek to assert and extend their authority by creating what are in effect victimless crimes, offenses against abstractions such as ‘the ruler’, ‘the state’, ‘society’ or ‘morality’.”
—R. I. Moore, THE FORMATION OF A PERSECUTING SOCIETY, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1987, pp. 109-110.
71-8. “Police Blotter – The Power of the Press”
On April 19, 1994 THE WALL STREET JOURNAL published an article about an alleged embezzling bookkeeper who, using numerous aliases, had stolen as much as $2.5 million during the last two decades from numerous small businesses in northern and southern California. Three days later, the paper reported that the owner of a small business in Huntington Beach had read the article and recognized the suspect, who had been working for him as a bookkeeper since February. He contacted his local police and the suspect was arrested.
There is a message for us here. The tax-funded police have been looking for this man for over a decade, and probably would not have found him except for the publicity generated by THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. In the absence of our statist police forces “Wanted Notices” and reports of criminal activity affecting businesses would be given much more attention by mercantile newspapers. There probably would arise newspapers, both local and national, that specialized in searching for alleged crime suspects, and publicizing the rewards associated with their apprehension.
71-9. “Government Spending and the Virtues of the Market”
“It is an extraordinary tribute to the virtues of the free market that, with less than 50 percent of the country’s total resources, the private sector can produce a level of living that is the envy of most of the world.” The foregoing statement is made by Milton Friedman in his monograph, “Why Government Is The Problem” (Stanford University: Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, 1993, p. 12). Friedman supports his statistical claim in a subsequent footnote: “Government spending at all levels, federal, state, and local, in 1992 was about 43 percent of national income. In addition, mandated expenditures plus costs imposed by regulations, tariffs, quotas, and so on in effect commandeer a healthy slice of the 57 percent nominally spent by the private sector. I conclude that the private sector controls less than 50 percent of the country’s total resources.”
71-10. “Gun Control and Property Rights”
In all the recent barrage of words about gun control, there are two things that never seem to be mentioned. The first is that guns are property, just like all of the rest of one’s personal belongings. As Bob LeFevre used to say, “Property is a total concept.” Gun control is a form of property control, i.e., a violation of one’s property rights. Politics and constitutions do not uphold property rights, they only destroy them. When will people learn that their right to their money and their guns rests on the same principle, and that both are threatened by the existence of the State?
The second thing is that all governments need to claim and to exercise a monopoly on the instruments of coercion in society. The most recent agitation for the ban on assault-style weapons is merely a manifestation of this. A recent WALL STREET JOURNAL cartoon (August 23,1994, p. A13) portrayed two Congressional leaders talking to one another: “Of course I favor a national anti-gun law. Who wants armed taxpayers?”
71-11. “‘Thanks A Million’ – An Example of Private Philanthropy”
“Minneapolis millionaire Percy Ross is internationally known for his philanthropic works and likes to encourage others to help solve problems for those in need. He has earned a fortune and a wealth of knowledge during his lifetime and wants to share both before his death. His motto is: ‘He who gives while he lives knows where it goes’.”
The above paragraph was the introduction to Mr. Ross’ column in the SPARTANBURG [SC] HERALD-JOURNAL, August 22, 1994 (C2). Three letters of request for money were printed; Mr. Ross refused one, and granted two. Mr. Ross may be contacted at Box 39000, Minneapolis, MN 55439.
75-1. “The Passport Swindle”
A national passport legitimizes and represents the arbitrary frontier of a particular nation. As property of the government that issues it, this license can be denied for virtually any reason. In essence, it is a control device, used by government to limit the movement of its citizens, and to regulate the entry and exit of “foreigners.”
When you are issued a passport, you are actually giving something up — your inalienable right to “leave any country” and return again, confirmed by Article 13(2) in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In order to travel, you are forced to accept a bureaucratic device designed deliberately to control your movement. In legal terms, such a deceptive inducement to surrender a legal right is called fraud. Thus, if you have such a document, in a sense you have been robbed. To put it plainly, the national passport system is a swindle, the conscious theft of the individual’s right to freedom of movement. In the world of nation-states, claims that citizens have freedom of travel are a hollow mockery. All states collude in perpetuating this fraud, beginning with their use of the word “passport” itself.
Garry Davis, PASSPORT TO FREEDOM, Washington: Seven Locks Press, 1992, p. 59.
75-2. “The Importance of Consent”
There were at least two explanations in the eighteenth century for a government’s right to command. One was authority — naked force, conquest, usurpation, the patriarchal analogy. The other was the consent of the people. …
It was a matter of conferring legitimacy on government. First, consent provided command with general concurrence. …
Second, consent created obligation. Consent “is the parent of all Good Laws, and Just obligation to obey them.” In fact, the Massachusetts House of Representatives argued, “the People must consent to Laws, before they can be obliged in Conscience to obey them.” … In other words, if it were not for the concept of consent, there would be no moral obligation to obey laws, only fear of coercion.
The third element of legitimacy, but a shade different from the last, was that laws received “their binding Force from the Consent of the People governed.” That is,…, the binding force of law depended on the consent of those to be bound by those laws.
– John Phillip Reid, THE CONCEPT OF REPRESENTATION IN THE AGE OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1989, pp. 17-18.
75-3. “Slaves of Choice”
Among attempts to engage the truly voluntary choices of the governed, tax incentives are surely the most effective. Their purpose is to direct the populace into taking certain favored courses and rejecting unfavored ones, and when people take certain of those courses, we can see their subjective opposition dissolve. That is, demonstrated and subjective preferences seem to become harmonized.
For example, under the guise of making taxation fairer and making “cheating” harder, the Reagan revision of the tax laws disallowed certain income tax deductions for parents unless they had obtained Social Security numbers for their small children. There was no requirement that children older than 2 have SSNs; there was merely a price to be paid if they lacked them. Far from protesting, the American public thronged to become eligible for those deductions. The state had created an incentive for its subjects to do voluntarily that which, historically, states have had to use the threat of force to accomplish.
The irony is that during the Carter regime, some in Congress recommended assigning SSNs to newborns as a means of addressing the burgeoning policy problem of illegal aliens. The proposal was rejected almost immediately because its transparent tyranny evoked so much protest. Less than 10 years later the transparent tyranny was occluded. Like the Carter-era proposal, the new tax measure had a semi-benign, reasonable cover, but unlike the earlier proposal there was nothing mandatory about it. It was enforced by the free choice of people trying merely to avoid what they saw as unnecessary expenditures. Thus, parents complied with the plan as certainly as if they had been commanded under threat of reprisal by the priests of Moloch, and the voices of opposition were silenced without a drop of blood being spilled.
—THE LAST DITCH, October 1994, Box 224, Roanoke, IN 46783.
75-4. “The Case for Persuasion: The Mind Cannot Be Forced”
What do we do when we know homeschoolers who we genuinely think are neglecting their children’s educational needs? I see two choices: force or persuasion. Initiating legislation or turning parents over to state authorities falls under the domain of force.
… I contend the only ethical choice we have in these situations is to use persuasion. We provide information, create good examples, and present our convictions persuasively. I also contend that persuasion is the most effective option for the same reason that the State may compel school attendance, but it cannot compel education, which is a different thing entirely. The mind cannot be forced. It must be convinced by reason. …
Can we allow failure in homeschooling? Unfortunately with freedom inevitably comes the freedom to fail. Surely, with the growth of homeschooling we are going to see more homeschool ‘failures.’ But with a failure in homeschooling, responsibility for the outcome is clearly defined and quickly self-diagnosed and self-corrected. Homeschooling ‘failures’ are not forced on anyone else [as are the general failure of the public schools]. A failure is more important to the person who suffers the consequences of it than to someone else; therefore the responsibility for avoiding it is more appropriately placed in that person’s hands. There are many failures in homeschooling, many self-corrections, too … and ultimately some successes. This is our path toward learning. One has to be free in order to find success.
-Christine Tykeson, “Issues and Concerns,” THE INDEPENDENT FAMILY (76 Precita Ave, Moss Beach, CA 94038), October 1994, p. 9.
75-5. “Education, Not Legislation”
I think cultivation of common sense is where we should focus our attention. Parents be aware that your kids have access to information that would probably give you chills if you were to find it in their possession. There’s little you can do about the availability of this info, even if you live in a bucolic community far away from the urban jungle. But take a lesson from bikers who when fighting helmet laws, always say EDUCATION NOT LEGISLATION. In other words no law in the world is gonna keep your kids from getting their hands on drugs, weapons, or dangerous information. But the knowledge you pass along to your kids, that elusive commodity known as common sense, might just keep them from doing something incredibly stupid and harmful. You don’t do your kids any favors by pretending that drugs, weapons, and potentially dangerous information don’t exist. If you find certain materials or information frightening then educate yourself about it and then educate your kids about why they should avoid playing with explosives for instance until they’re old enough to be responsible for their own errors. Don’t jump all over them for being understandably curious, and above all try to behave like YOU have some common sense yourself.
—YOUR FREEDOM, October 1994, Box 54562, Oklahoma City, OK 73154.
75-6. “Nonviolent Resistance and Civilian-Based Defense”
The role of civilian protest and direct action in recent anti-communist revolutions lends a new credibility to the idea of nonviolent resistance. It would go too far to attribute the demise of communism purely to nonviolent resistance. But it was one important and neglected factor in the greatest triumph of freedom in the twentieth-century. Classical liberals should study the lessons that it teaches. In particular, they should learn how freedom may be defended against tyrannical governments. A central lesson here is that even when the government has the weapons, there is something that it cannot seize: the voluntary compliance of its citizens. Without it, maintaining power becomes costly or even impossible. But, as we have seen, governments almost instinctively sense this risk and strive to prevent it from arising. As La Boetie explains, “it has always happened that tyrants, in order to strengthen their power, have made every effort to train their people not only in obedience and servility toward themselves, but also in adoration.” All that is necessary to prevent tyranny is to let the citizenry come to know its own strength. Or, in the timeless words of La Boetie, “From all these indignities [of tyranny], such as the very beasts of the field would not endure, you can deliver yourselves if you try, not by taking action, but merely by willing to be free. Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break into pieces.”
-Bryan Caplan in the HUMANE STUDIES REVIEW, Summer 1994, 4084 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030.
79-1. “What Makes A Country A Police State?”
“In a free country you have a right to be left alone as long as you don’t hurt anybody else. You have a right to live your own life peacefully and enjoy your property, and to be free from government interference.
“In a police state, the government can legally ransack your house; they can come into your business; they can take whatever you own; they can assault you with impunity; they have no accountability. In a free society, government can’t do that. And we’re not a free society any more. People have to recognize that.”
– Aaron Russo, “Russo and Revolution: The LIBERTY Interview,” LIBERTY Magazine, (Box 1181, Pt. Townsend, WA 98368), January 1995, p. 33.
79-2. “Capitalism and Peace”
“In the absence of force, peace and liberty simply exist; they do not have to be created or supported. Capitalism has its beginnings in a condition under which no man can be dispossessed of what he has produced or discovered except with his own consent. In the absence of force, capitalism automatically exists in the same sense that peace and liberty automatically exist.”
– Thomas Nixon Carver, THE PRESENT ECONOMIC REVOLUTION IN THE UNITED STATES (1926), p. 5.
79-3. “Debt and Bankruptcy”
“We also have a problem believing that rescue packages are the correct solution to such financial crises. The problems arise from debt — you cannot go bankrupt if you don’t owe anybody any money. Debt, as we have often said in the past, is like alcohol or narcotics in that it is a mind-altering substance and can be highly addictive.”
—Ian Lamont in YORKTON NATURAL RESOURCES, Feb. 6, 1995. Yorkton Securities, Suite 406, Salisbury House, Finsbury Circus, London EC2M 5RQ, England.
79-4. “Only In America!”
“Unique in the world’s legal systems, any person, American or not, at home or abroad, who participates in any [way], however insignificant, in helping an American citizen or resident to break the law (no matter how trivial), is part of a ‘conspiracy’. This conspiracy is another crime usually considered more serious than whatever is being done. To put it in perspective, if a Frenchman in Paris advises an American to show his contempt for his own government by spitting on the sidewalk in front of the nearest USA embassy, the FRENCHMAN is guilty of a conspiracy to commit misdemeanor. This is a felony under existing USA laws. Under those same USA laws, his (French) home can be raided by USA law officers, and searched. Any of his property can be confiscated by USA agents even if they are illegally in France and even if those USA agents are breaking the laws of France. Further those USA agents can, legally under USA laws, as in the recent Noriega case, legally KIDNAP the Frenchman, and legally torture him on the way back to the USA in order to legally extract a false confession to a more serious crime. Or the kidnappers can legally secure fraudulent testimony to convict. They can legally arrange to have him placed in custody with known rapists and killers, and have him physically and mentally abused by other prisoners and interrogators. And it is all legal (from a USA point of view).”
—Dr. W. G. Hill, THE PASSPORT REPORT, Waterlooville, U.K.: Scope International, 7th ed., 1992, p. 265.
79-5. “The More Legitimacy, The Less The Use of Overt Force”
“[T]he importance of force and force-threat in human behavior is richly demonstrated by the rarity of its use. Living as we do in protected environments, we rarely see anyone manhandled or hear an overt threat. … [E]very social system contains mechanisms, processes, and patterns whose results and often intention is to prevent the outbreak of overt force.
“… Much force appears to people not as a threat of violence, but simply the rules of the game, the obvious reality of the cosmos, to which one must bow unthinkingly.
“…It follows from this orientation that all highly industrialized societies are high force systems, by comparison with almost all societies that have gone before them. No dissident groups of substantial size can hide out and engage in armed resistance, set up a competing regime, or impose a radically different system….
“In general, the widespread use of physical force by the regime or dominant groups in a society is probably negatively correlated with that country’s position on the scale of the force it commands, because the application of overt force tells us that many people in the society oppose the political or social system, and are unwilling to back it by force. …
“… [A] society’s total force is not a summation of the individual capacity to kill, but a function of the social organization of force. Consequently, armed but unorganized citizens may be, and indeed usually are, helpless before the organized might of a tyrant’s army and police, even when these are few in number.
“The force of a free citizenry is not, then, determined by how many guns they possess, but by their collective determination to resist. This in turn is primarily a function of their faith that their fellow human beings will not let them stand against the physical force of a ruler, but will rather risk individual injury to prevent collective injury. Thus, in ranking a citizenry by the force it commands, the question is not so much whether it owns more guns than the government, but whether its members can count on each other for support against encroachments on their freedom. That is the measure of its force. With that capacity, guns can be obtained; without it, guns have historically been of little use.
“… In older terminology, military analysts spoke of the will to battle, an imponderable that has more than once outweighed firepower.
“… One might, then, as a challenge to rulers everywhere, point out that we can in fact test their claim that their system is based on justice and on people’s allegiance to it, by reducing the use of physical force to buttress it. … [T]hat system which requires the least physical force [and threats] would more closely approximate justice than any we now know.”
-William J. Goode, “Presidential Address: The Place of Force in Human Society,” 37 AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW (October 1972), pp 507-519. Excerpts from pp. 511-518.
79-6. “A Consistent Pacifist”
Eileen Egan, a member of the editorial board of THE CATHOLIC WORKER, was mugged on August 30, 1992 on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. It took her a year to recover from her injuries, and to decide to become an “advocate of helping prisoners turn away from lives of crime and violence.” Her outlook remains optimistic, although her attempts to help her assailant have been mostly rebuffed.
“The answer to [the] question [of whether trying to help her attacker has accomplished anything] was quoted by Gandhi from a Hindu treatise, years ago,” she said. “It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results are coming from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”
-Michael Ryan, “I Refuse to Live In Fear,” PARADE MAGAZINE, October 23,1994, pp. 73.
79-7. “Taxes, Taxes, and More Taxes!”
Writing about a small business tax strike in Athens, Greece in May 1995, the editors of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (May 19, 1995, p. A14) noted that the Greek government had passed a law “that independent professionals will pay taxes not according to what they earn, but according to what they could be expected to earn on the basis of criteria such as their occupation, their number of employees, and their place of business.” According to a book review in the same newspaper (July 10, 1995, p. A12) Switzerland imposes an annual wealth tax. Those advocating such a tax in the United States, want it annually imposed in addition to existing estate taxes. Meanwhile, the United States Congress has considered legislating an “exit tax” on the wealth of those Americans whose renunciation of citizenship and emigration abroad are motivated solely by tax motives.
79-8. “Books Received For Review”
Chuck Shiver, THE RAPE OF THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION. Available from Loompanics Unlimited, Box 1197, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Non-voluntaryist, analysis of the violation of rights encountered in American history. Concludes that the “Constitution is just a piece of paper” that provides some mystique and legitimacy to the current political rulers.
Larry Pratt, editor, SAFEGUARDING LIBERTY: THE CONSTITUTION AND CITIZEN MILITIAS. Available from Legacy Communications, Box 680365, Franklin, TN 37068. Fifteen non-voluntaryist essays on the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. Refers to the privately organized rifle movement in Denmark, which traces itself back to the British “National Rifle Association in 1860 [C]ivilian corps of motorcycle-mounted machine gunners … possessed more automatic weapons than the Danish army in 1914 (when they covered the latter’s mobilization).” After World War I, the Danish Parliament abolished the voluntary rifle corps because “it was simply felt that national defense should be the business not of the individual citizens but of the state. In 1937 the corps were disbanded, [much] to their country’s rue on April 9,1940 [p.88].
85-1. “Liberty and Responsibility”
Thus we come to this: that there is no liberty for the intelligent man as an individual, or in voluntary cooperation with others, except in intelligent obedience to the laws of right living. His first task is to know the world in which he finds himself. He must work and he must study. He is not turned out to riot in self-indulgence because he is free; he must conform to the conditions in which he finds himself. He must obey. When he has broken all the bonds of old institutions, of superstition and human tyranny, he wakes to find that he can have no liberty unless he subdues himself; labor and self-control are the conditions of welfare. He must not cry out that liberty is only a delusion and a juggle; he must understand that what liberty properly means for the individual, is intelligent acceptance of the conditions of earthly life, conformity to them, and manful effort to make life a success under them.
—William Graham Sumner, EARTH HUNGER AND OTHER ESSAYS, pp. 168-169.
85-2. “On This Reasoning, You Are Not Dead Until Your Death Certificate Is Issued By The State! (Or you will be legally liable for taxes until the IRS receives your official death certificate)”
Births are reported to the local registrar by the person who was responsible for the delivery of the child: physician, midwife or lying-in hospital, as the Case may be. The usual period allotted for filing the birth certificate is ten days. These certificates are of great significance, since the child has no real legal proof of existence in the eyes of the state without a proper birth certificate. The state archives of birth certificates are constantly consulted to prove citizenship, to prove exact age, to obtain permission to enter schools or to seek employment under the child labor laws of the state, or to determine whether the individual has reached marriageable age, for determinations of old age benefits, social security benefits, and for many other purposes. The person may wish to prove his right to vote, to hold public office, to inherit property, or to obtain a pension. The state may use the birth certificate to prove liability for military service.
The national Social Security Act proved to be a great stimulus to accurate birth certification. Many people had never considered a birth certificate to be of any importance until old age assistance, unemployment insurance, and other ramifications of the Social Security Act demonstrated to them that it was necessary to have this official proof of their existence. Everyone in the United States is now willing to agree that each child born is entitled to proper certification of its birth. If the person who is responsible for filing the certificate does not do so, he should be penalized.
—Wilson G. Smillie, PUBLIC HEALTH ADMINISTRATION IN THE UNITED STATES (3rd ed.), 1947, p. 191.
85-3. “The Slave”
They set the slave free, striking off his chains…
Then he was as much of a slave as ever.
He was still chained to servility,
He was still manacled to indolence and sloth,
He was still bound by fear and superstition,
By ignorance, suspicion, and savagery…
His slavery was not in the chains,
But in himself
They can only set men free…
And there is no need of that:
Free men set themselves free.
—James Oppenheim [Reprinted from Summer 1995 FRAGMENTS, Box 20058, Floral Park, NY 11002]
85-4. “Books Received for Review”
TAKING CHARGE THROUGH HOMESCHOOLING: Personal and Political Empowerment by M. Larry and Susan D. Kaseman (1991: Koshkonong Press, 2545 Koshkonong Road, Stoughton WI 53589,$I2.95 postpaid.) Focusing on the family as the pillar of society, this book shows how to homeschool, as well as how to deal with those forces in our society which see the family as a threat to its power base. The authors point up one interesting inconsistency in the statist philosophy of public education. “Compulsory attendance laws require attendance, not education.” The law can demand the presence of the child, but the law cannot insure that the child learn anything. Parents who have sued the state for failure to educate their children have been unsuccessful. The “courts have consistently ruled that schools cannot be held accountable if children attending them fail to be educated.” (p. 226) Nevertheless, the major justification for compulsory attendance laws is that “the state has a right to ensure that children do not grow up to be a burden on the state.” (p. 221) What a double standard! The public schools cannot be held legally responsible for failure to educate. That failure will result in those children becoming a burden on the state, yet children (and their parents) are threatened with coercion if their children do not attend school.
EDUCATIONAL FREEDOM FOR A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY: A Critique of National Goals, Standards, and Curriculum edited by Ron Miller (1995: Resource Center for Redesigning Education, Box 298, Brandon VT 05733, Tel. l-800-639-4122,$ 21.95 postpaid). The sixteen contributors to this volume oppose the imposition of federal educational standards on public, private, and homeschools in the fifty states. Their focus, however, is far too narrow: no one questions the regulation of education by each of the fifty states. Only one even hints that “the same problems that infect Goal 2000 infect the idea of schooling controlled by local majorities as well.” (p. 130) Nevertheless there is some little spark of voluntaryism in the book. Ron Miller points out that “genuine freedom is only achieved through discipline.” (p. 264) and goes on to quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay “Politics,” “The appearance of character makes the State unnecessary.” Emerson prefaces this remark by pointing out that “The antidote” (to government) “is the influence of private character, the growth of the individual.”
THE NATURE OF CO-OPERATION by John Craig (1993: Black Rose Books, 340 Nagel Drive, Cheektowaga NY 14225) “Co-operation is a social process where people work together [voluntarily] to achieve common goals. Co-operatives are organizations designed to enable people to co-operate in some facet of their lives.” They are based on the principles of 1) voluntary membership and private ownership; 2) one member, one vote, regardless of the amount of capital invested; 3) limited interest on share capital; and 4) return of operating surplus to members based upon their patronage or business dealings with the cooperative.
ECONOMIC FREEDOM OF THE WORLD 1975-1995 by James Gwartney, Robert Lawson, and Walter Block (1996: Available from the Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC 20001, $22.95) This study, ten years in the making, demonstrates that economic freedom leads to greater prosperity. It rates Hong Kong as the place in the world with the greatest amount of “personal choice, protection of private property and freedom of exchange.” The United States is ranked fourth, after New Zealand, and Singapore. Some questions must be raised about their rating format. For example: They pose the following question—”Is it legal (without restrictions) for citizens to maintain bank balances abroad?” (p. 255) They give the United States a perfect score because it permits its citizens to maintain bank balances abroad. Is this correct? Foreign bank accounts must be acknowledged on personal and corporate federal income tax returns. Transfers of certain amounts of cash and certain monetary instruments must also be reported. How can this situation be viewed as “without restrictions”?
85-5. “Saving Your Own: ‘Transforming America'”
“I am convinced that if I saved every ‘at-risk’ youth in America and lost one of my own, I would have failed in my primary mission. I am reminded of the old adage that ‘the family is the original Department of Health, Education and Welfare.’ You and I must raise children of valor who can distinguish right from wrong, truth from lies, and appreciate the nobility of a life of courage, honesty and integrity. Only in this way can we truly secure the future… .”
—Kay C. James, IMPRIMIS, February 1995, p. 7.
85-6. “Two Blades of Grass”
The King of Brobdingnag “gave it for his opinion, that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together.”
—Jonathan Swift, GULLIVER’S TRAVELS. Part II, Chapter 5, Paragraph 5.
85-7. “A Prediction: ‘What’s Going to Happen'”
“In the name of combatting international infectious disease[s], national sovereignty [and personal freedoms] will undergo an assault which will make all previous efforts pale by comparison. Billions upon billions will be raised, spent, and squandered at taxpayers’ expense, measures will be called for and enacted which will restrict international travel of everyone—not just those infected—unless they have a U.N.-issued health card.”
—Larry Abraham, INSIDER REPORT, February 1996, pp. 3-4.
85-8. “Resolved: That an oppressive government is more desirable than no government.”
Winston Elliott and Greg Rehmke of the Free Enterprise Institute (9525 Katy Freeway #303, Houston, TX 77024, Tel. 1-800-884-2189) informed me in late 1995 of the forthcoming Lincoln-Douglas debate topic resolution selected for January and February 1996. Their Economics in Argumentation program includes a bi-monthly newsletter, titled LD SOLUTIONS. The January 1996 issue included the following articles: David Beers, “Is Too Little Government Worse Than Too Much?”; Douglas Casey, “Is Government Necessary?”; Greg Rehmke, “A Day Without Government”; Philip Michelbach, “Government Like Fire…”; Mark Skousen, “Persuasion vs. Force”; Albert J. Nock, “Social Power vs. State Power”; and Carl Watner, “Self-government in the Wild’ West.”
85-9. “Socialism’s Fatal Error: No Private Property”
A recent series of comments in THE REVIEW OF AUSTRIAN ECONOMICS presents the differing views of Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich A. Hayek with respect to the problem of economic calculation in a socialist state. The following remarks are excerpted from Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s “Socialism: A Property or Knowledge Problem ?” (Vol. 9, No 1,1996, pp. 143-149):
“Mises’ well-known calculation argument states this: If there is no private property in land and other production factors, then there can also be no market prices for them. Hence, economic calculation … is literally impossible. Therefore, socialism’s fatal error is the absence of private property in land and production factors, and, by implication, the absence of economic calculation.
“For Hayek, socialism’s problem is not a lack of property but a lack of knowledge. His distinctly own thesis is altogether different from Mises. For Hayek,… it is practically impossible to assemble and process all the actually existing knowledge within the mind of a single socialist central planner.
“[I]t is a non-sequitur to conclude that socialism’s central problem is a lack of knowledge. This would only follow if prices actually were information. However, this is not the case. Prices convey knowledge, but they are the exchange ratios of various goods, which result from the voluntary interactions of distinct individuals based on the institution of private property. Without the institution of private property, the information conveyed by prices simply does not exist. Private property is the necessary condition of the knowledge communicated through prices. But then it is correct only to conclude, as Mises does, that it is the absence of the institution of private property which constitutes socialism’s problem. To claim that the problem is a lack of knowledge, as Hayek does, is to confuse cause and effect, or premise and consequence.”
85-10. “The TV V-Chip”
“The television industry has acquiesced in the rating of its programs and that manufacturers install “V-chips” in TVs so that parents can screen out violent and sexual content in programs.” Like every government program… this new War on TV Violence and Raunch will bring about precisely the opposite effect of the stated goal. Since inception, television networks have had to toe a vague but very real cultural line drawn by average American households.
… With a government-mandated V-chip, networks will be able to broadcast any material they want under the cover of what will become ‘the V-chip excuse.’ If you think TV programs have loose morals now, wait until Clinton’s plan is adopted. Force never achieves a goal in the long run unless the goal is destruction.”
—THE ELLIOTT WAVE THEORIST, March 1,1996, p. 10 (Box 1618, Gainesville GA 30503).
85-11. “Voluntaryism or Anarchy?—An Example of Self-imposed Lawfulness”
When friends from abroad ask Anthony Asseily of Schroder’s Bank, if most people just run wild during the city’s more lawless moments, he likes to tell them the story of his office boy, Munzer Najm, and the telex. During the 1982 siege of West Beirut, Mr. Asseily closed his bank and relocated to London, leaving behind the 32 year-old Munzer—whose job normally consisted of bringing coffee to the bank’s employees and guests— with instructions to watch over the place. As far as Mr. Asseily knew, Munzer spoke only Arabic.
“One day last summer I was setting in my office in London,” recalls Mr. Asseily, “and suddenly the telex came alive. It was Beirut on the line. My first reaction was to ask how the situation was. The answer came back: ‘Not so good.’ Then I said, ‘Wait a minute, who is this on the line?’ The answer came back, ‘Munzer.’ At first I couldn’t believe it. I thought maybe someone had a gun to his head and was telling him what to type. We had a conversation, and eventually I found out that while he was sitting around the bank all that time with nothing to do he had learned some English and taught himself how to operate the telex.” As Mr. Asseily freely notes, his coffee boy could have stolen the bank’s telex and sold it on the street to the highest bidder just as easily as he learned how to use it. There was no one to stop him: no police, no prisons, no courts; virtually all state authority had evaporated. But he didn’t.
To be sure, some people did awful things during Beirut’s worst periods of lawlessness. My own apartment was destroyed last summer when two groups of refugees got into an argument over who would get control of the building. The group that lost blew it up, killing 19 people inside.
But such demented acts during extended periods of virtual anarchy never really characterized the behavior of the vast majority of Beirutis. As the cases of Munzer and so many others demonstrate, “people didn’t just become animals,”… .
When the normal external controls on Beirut society were removed and people were left facing that existential choice of how to behave, the average person did not go out and rob the corner grocery store.
There were two primary reasons for this self-imposed lawfulness. First, since 1975, Beirut has broken up into a mosaic of neighborhoods, each tied together by interlocking bonds of family, friendship and often religion. These personal relations in each neighborhood tended to keep people upright and honest, even in spite of themselves.
The second reason most people didn’t just run wild was that their first instinct appears to have been to do exactly the opposite. Instead of becoming criminal most people became obsessively orderly, organizing every aspect of their lives down to the smallest detail. I always think of the man in my neighborhood who, at the height of the siege of ’82, organized the children on his block into a detail and regularly washed the street with detergent. Israeli planes overhead, guerrillas running around, and he was out washing the street. Not exactly one’s image of anarchy. Even in talking to the people who did good deeds—the real heroes of the summer, like the Red Cross volunteers—one finds that they did not do what they did out of pure altruism, but rather out of a desire to keep structure and meaning in their own private lives.
—Thomas L. Friedman, “Living With the Violence of Beirut,” THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE, July 17,1983, pp. 17-18.
85-12. “Taxes are only a small part of the price we pay for government.”
If history teaches us anything it teaches that where we find liberty and free markets we find wonderful prosperity, and where we find large, powerful governments we find catastrophe. Taxes are only a small part of the price we pay for government. A much larger part is inflations, crashes, depressions, hoaxes and wars. Ever since the invention of the state thousands of years ago humans have been paying this awful price, and all I am forecasting is that we will continue to do so. History repeats…. Political power corrupts. Governments will continue doing to us what they’ve been doing for 6,000 years and, as always, some of us will suffer losses while others profit.
—Richard Maybury, EARLY WARNING REPORT, May 1996, p. 1 (Box 1616-Q, Rocklin, CA 95677).
89-1. “One Nation Under Bigger Government”
The turmoil of Reconstruction was only the Civil War’s most visible legacy. The war had dramatically altered American society and institutions. The South of course would never be the same, but the transformation of the North was also profound and permanent. The national government that emerged victorious from the conflict dwarfed in power and size the minimal Jacksonian State that had commenced the war. The number of civilians in federal employ swelled almost fivefold. A distant administration that had little contact with its citizens had been transformed into an overbearing bureaucracy that intruded into daily life with taxes, drafts, surveillance, subsidies, and regulations. Central government spending had soared from less than 2 percent of the economy’s total output to well over 20 percent in 1865, approximately what the central government spends today. It is hard to decide from which angle that statistic is more astounding: that government spending rose from such infinitesimal lows to today’s heights in four years, or that today federal authorities regularly spend during peacetime as much as they did during the country’s most devastating war.
—Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, EMANCIPATING SLAVES, ENSLAVING FREE MEN, 1996, p. 328.
89-2. “Foundations of the Rights and Responsibilities of Homeschooling Parents”
Some people have suggested that we try to protect parental rights and responsibilities by seeking federal or state legislation or amendments to the federal or state constitutions. However, this approach does not work. Parental rights and responsibilities in education are basic and fundamental and do not come from the government. If we allow the government to pass a law or a constitutional amendment which gives the government authority in education, we will be diminishing the rights we have independent of the state and increasing the control the state has over our children’s education. One of the important lessons of these initiatives is that it is virtually impossible to write a law that protects parental rights in an area that is considered fundamental, such as education and health care, without first requiring that parents assume responsibility. (To be sure, parents are responsible for their children. However, they do not want or need to have the government force this responsibility on them and then check to make sure that they are doing the right thing.) Even more serious, if the government passes legislation that requires that parents assume responsibility for their children, then parents have to demonstrate to the government that they are being responsible by acting in ways that are consistent with the beliefs, standards, and choices of those people who have the most power in our society. Therefore, the government would decide what kind of education and health care will be required, how families would be monitored to ensure that they are complying with the law, and how they will be dealt with if a government official decides that they are not complying. Legislative initiatives supposedly designed to protect parental rights actually diminish basic freedoms that are the foundations of a democratic society. Instead of trying to get legislation passed that would supposedly protect parental rights and responsibilities, it makes much more sense and is much safer to use the basic foundations of homeschooling rights and responsibilities to reclaim and maintain them. We are much better prepared to act to reclaim and maintain our rights if we understand just how strong the foundations are. We need to remember that the right of families to choose for their children an education consistent with their principles and beliefs is fundamental. It is not a favor that is granted to us by school officials, legislatures, or other officials or agencies. People who understand the foundations of their rights and responsibilities act differently when dealing with officials than do people who think their rights are granted to them by laws and officials. We can act more straightforwardly, confidently, and effectively when we understand these foundations. We can also avoid giving the state and large institutions more control over our lives by asking them to protect us through legislation and constitutional amendments. …
It is important that we understand that we have inalienable rights. These rights are not given to us by the state. We should not look to the state as the source of these rights, and we should not give them over to the state.
—Larry and Susan Kaseman, HOME EDUCATION MAGAZINE, May-June 1996, p. 14 (Box 11083, Tonasket, WA 98855).
90-1. “When The People Are Weak, The State Is Strong; When The State Is Weak, The People Are Strong.”
Igor Shafarevich in THE SOCIALIST PHENOMENON (New York: Harper and Row, 1975) notes that the basic principles of socialism—1) abolition of private property; 2) abolition of the family; 3) abolition of religion; and 4) equality, or abolition of hierarchies in society—may be deduced from the single principle: the suppression of individuality, (pp. 200, 262) He quotes a Bolshevik who argued in 1927 that, “From the socialist point of view, it is quite senseless for a separate member of society to look on his body as his own private property, for an individual is only an isolated point in the transition of the race from past to future.” (p. 246)
Shafarevich illustrates these features of socialism by citing from THE BOOK OF THE RULER OF SHANG, written in the middle of the fourth century B.C. by the ruler of Shang province. Kung-sun Yang (better known as Shang Yang) and his disciples recognized that the state and its people were two diametrically opposed forces,… “they are enemies, the one getting stronger only at the expense of the other. … ‘When the people are weak the state is strong; when the state is weak the people are strong. Hence the state that follows a true course strives to weaken the people’.” Shang sought to sever the ties that bound the people together. “The ruler ‘should issue a law on mutual surveillance; he should issue a decree that the people ought to correct each other.’ … Denunciation is tied to a system of extended mutual liability ‘In a well-regulated country, husband, wife and their friends will not be able to conceal a crime from the other without courting disaster for the relatives of the culprit; …’,” (pp. 173-180)
Abolition of property, the family, religion, and class have been constant elements of socialist theory and practice since the time of Plato and Shang. As Shafarevich writes, “People would wear the same clothing and even have similar faces; they would live in barracks. There would be compulsory labored followed by meals and leisure activities. … Passes would be required for going outside. Doctors and officials would supervise sexual relations, which would be subordinated to only two goals: the satisfaction of physiological needs and the production of healthy offspring. Children would be brought up from infancy in state nurseries and schools. Philosophy and art would be completely politicized and subordinated to the educational goals of the state. All this is inspired by one principle—the destruction of individuality or at least, its suppression to the point where it would cease to be a social force.” (p. 269)
90-2. “The Epistemologìcal Basis of Anarchism”
[T]he epistemological basis of anarchism [rests on the refusal to subordinate one’s own rational judgment to the assertion of another consciousness] and its social implementation – individual rights. The corollary of independent judgment is the rejection of any “final authority in ethics.” [S]ince ethics subsumes all of human behavior subject to choice … it is obvious that the quest for a [limited government] is a quest for just such a “final authority” [to resolve the issue of how retaliatory force is to be used in society]. What the case comes down to is simply an understanding of the objectivity of moral principles.
Briefly, my case has been this: either the functions monopolized by government are morally legitimate, or they are not. If they are not, then the State is an immoral institution, since it is performing improper [or morally impermissible] functions.
If, on the other hand, the[se functions] are morally legitimate, then there is no justification for the State’s use of coercion to prevent others from doing the same thing, for the alleged derivation of the government’s power o[ver] retaliation [is] the basic right of self defense and [right of] retaliation possessed by the individual; the justification of the government’s power [is] in no way derived from the (morally) irrelevant question of geographical extent. [It can only be based on the individual’s delegation to the government to act as his or her agent.] Thus, so long as the State uses aggression to maintain its monopoly over physical force in a given area, it is immoral. When it stops and allows others to compete for customers by supplying the same legitimate service[s], it is no longer a State in the sense defined.
—Roy Child, unpublished “Open Letter to Objectivists and Libertarians,” November 30, 1969, pp. 4 and 17.
94-1. “Freedom vs. Liberty”
“Of course, to say we have free will does not mean we can do or have whatever we want. Rather, it means we are free to try to do or to have something, or to behave or think in one way and not another. In this sense, it is important to distinguish between freedom and liberty. Freedom refers inwardly to our moral lives, and outwardly to choosing among alternatives that define our lives. Liberty, in contrast, refers to the physical aspects of freedom, like being in or out of jail, or under- or overtaxed. Strictly speaking, even a man in jail is ‘free’ in this moral, spiritual, and philosophical sense, for although he has lost his physical liberty he is still free to sleep, eat, read, think, consider his actions, alter his own inner moral life, and decide on regret or anger, on penitence or revenge; and if he must meet the hangman, he is free even to decide, up until the last moment of his life, on the most important thing of all, which is the meaning of his entire existence. To sense the difference, imagine yourself in jail and in possession of a crucial piece of information that could result in another person’s [liberty] or execution, depending on whether or not you tell the truth. It’s up to you. In this situation you would have no physical liberty but almost a godlike moral freedom to control the destiny of someone else’s life. So we may lose our physical liberty, our money, our friends—but, unless we are deranged, never our freedom to make moral choices.
“The expression ‘the paradox of freedom’ means that whenever we exercise our freedom we limit ourselves, simply by choosing one alternative over another. And this is the joy of moral freedom. As G.K. Chesterton put it, ‘the liberty for which one should chiefly care is the liberty to bind oneself.’ It is we who ‘hem ourselves in’ by making choices that constrain us. Sometimes the constraint comes from the unforeseen consequences of our prior choices. Nevertheless, we did choose one alternative, and not another, and must live with the consequences or choose to escape them—and then accept the new consequences of our escape. The important point here is that to use our freedom is to limit our freedom in all sorts of ways. For example, we may want two different jobs, but can manage only one. Choosing one eliminates the other. It’s the same in choosing between two equally attractive sports, or future spouses, or cars, or conflicting philosophies. Or choosing to have, or not to have, sex. The glory of our freedom is that by limiting it in one way, and not the other, we define ourselves by our actions. We live and feel our freedom by making positive decisions to say ‘no’ to specific alternatives. At bottom, freedom is the ability to say ‘no.’ It is the only living thing that cannot be taken from you.”
—William Gairdner, THE WAR AGAINST THE FAMILY Toronto: Stoddard Publishing, 1992, pp. 26-27.
94-2. “Loyalty and the Origins of the Welfare State”
“The U.S. federal government paid disability and death benefits to veterans and dependents from the 1780s on, and by 1820, they exceeded all federal civil expenses. They rose to their peak during the second and third decades after each war, then declined. The Civil War extended them into a genuine old-age pension system. By 1900, half the elderly native-born white males received them. In the North and Midwest veterans constituted a vocal 12 percent to 15 percent of the electorate. Membership in their Grand Army of the Republic was 428,000 in 1890, more than half the membership of all labor unions. Military pensions again exceeded all federal civil expenses during 1892-1900, before declining. But from 1882 to 1916 they consumed between 22 percent and 43 percent of total federal expenses. Although the poorer Confederate states had given no pensions, most southern states (meagerly) granted them from the 1890s on. The United States had the first welfare state, a little-known fact, but it was confined to those who had demonstrated loyalty to their state.”
—Michael Mann, Vol II., THE SOURCES OF SOCIAL POWER, 1993, p. 501.
94-3. “The Police State Is Here.”
“As yet, oppression causes no uproar because middle class white people—the majority—approve it, assuming it will only be employed against the Drug Class. What folly! No tyrant builds a police state apparatus unless he intends to use it. No one will be exempt. It is only an accident that as yet your government has only found it necessary in a few isolated instances to use its police state against political dissidents. Under the cover of the war on drugs and racism the police state has been built. Your constitutional protections against government have been destroyed. It has already happened. The police state will deal with political troublemakers next.”
—Franklin Sanders, THE MONEYCHANGER, August 1996, p. 11 (Box 341753, Memphis, TN 38184).
94-4. “Is Tax Evasion A Sin?”
“Is tax evasion a sin? Is it unethical? The arguments that have been put forth over the centuries do not support the position that tax evasion is a sin. Taxation is the taking of property without the owner’s consent, which makes it the equivalent of theft, with some government as the thief. But unlike normal theft, the perpetrator is the State rather than an individual. In addition, the taking is a continuous action rather than a one-time event, which likens taxation to exploitation or slavery more than to theft. The fact that a majority of eligible voters voted to approve a tax in some previous election does not change the substance of the transaction, and the fact that taxpayers receive some benefits from government does not alter the morality of the matter. The fact that those who do not avoid the tax may pay more as a result of others’ evasion does not alter the morality of the act because taxation is based on theft rather than on a moral requirement to pay. While theologians and others have often argued that there is a duty to pay a just tax, the fact is, there is no such thing as a just tax. If all taxes are the taking of property without the owner’s consent, then there is no justice involved, even if some of the proceeds are used for good causes. Theft is wrong regardless of whether the thief uses the proceeds of the theft to distribute food to the poor or to gamble, drink or go wenching. It is the act itself that is either good or bad, not what happens afterward. Rather than regarding tax evaders as sinners, it might be more accurate to say that it is the tax collectors who sin because it is they who facilitate the taking of property without the owner’s consent.”
—Robert McGee, 42 KANSAS LAW REVIEW (1994), pp. 432-433.
94-5. “You Asked Me What A Politician Is?”
“You asked me before what a politician is? The politician is the cement in this crazy house.
We rationalize the irrational. We convince the people that the greatest fulfillment in life is to die for the rich. We convince the rich that they must part with some of their riches to keep the rest. We are magicians. We cast an illusion. And the illusion is foolproof. We say to the people—you are the power. Your vote is the source of Rome’s strength and glory. You are the only free people in the world. There is nothing more precious than your freedom. Nothing more admirable than your civilization. And you control it: you are the power. And then they vote for our candidates. They weep at our defeats. They laugh with joy at our victories. And they feel proud and superior because they are not slaves. No matter how low they sink, if they sleep in the gutter, if they sit in the public seats at the races and the arena all day, if they strangle their infants at birth, if they live on the public dole and never lift a hand to do a day’s work from birth to death, nevertheless they are not slaves. They are dirt. But every time they see a slave, their ego rises and they feel full of pride and power. They know that they are Roman citizens and all the world envies them. And this is my peculiar art. Never belittle politics.”
—Howard Fast, SPARTACUS, New York: Dell Books, 1980, p. 265.
95-1. “Coercivists and Voluntarists”
Coercivists believe that all order in society must be consciously designed and implemented by a sovereign government power. Coercivists cannot fathom how individuals without mandates from above can ever pattern their actions in a way that is not only orderly, but also peaceful and productive. For the coercivist, direction by sovereign government is as necessary for the creation of social order as the meticulous craftsmanship of a watchmaker is necessary for the creation of a watch.
At the other end of the spectrum are voluntarists. Voluntarists understand two important facts about society that coercivists miss. First, voluntarists understand that social order is inevitable without coercive direction from the state as long as the basic rules of private property and voluntary contracting are respected. This inevitability of social order when such rules are observed is the great lesson taught by Adam Smith, Ludwig von Mises, FA. Hayek, and all of the truly great economists through the ages.
Second, voluntarists understand that coercive social engineering by government—far from promoting social harmony—is fated to ruin existing social order. Voluntarists grasp the truth that genuine and productive social order is possible only when each person is free to pursue his own goals in his own way, constrained by no political power. Coercive political power is the enemy of social order because it is unavoidably arbitrary—bestowing favors for reasons wholly unrelated to the values the recipients provide to their fellow human beings. And even if by some miracle the exercise of political power could be shorn of its arbitrariness, it can never escape being an exercise conducted in gross ignorance. It is a simpleton’s fantasy to imagine that all the immense and detailed knowledge necessary for the successful central direction of human affairs can ever be possessed by government.
Society emerges from the cooperation of hundreds of millions of people, each acting on the basis of his own unique knowledge of individual wants, talents, occupations, and circumstances. No bureaucrat can know enough about software design to outperform Bill Gates, or enough about retailing to successfully second-guess the folks at Wal-Mart, or enough about any of the millions of different industries to outdo people who are highly specialized in their various trades.
The coercivist-voluntarist vocabulary is superior to the left-right, or liberal-conservative, vocabulary at distinguishing liberty’s friends from its foes. Support for high taxes and intrusive government is a “liberal” trait. A supporter of high taxes and regulation is also, however, properly labeled a coercivist. But note: no less of a coercivist is the conservative who applauds government regulation of what adults voluntarily read, view, or ingest. Both parties believe that social order will deteriorate into chaos unless government coercion overrides the myriad private choices made by individuals.
Voluntarists are typically accused of endorsing complete freedom of each individual from all restraints. This accusation is nonsense. While they oppose heavy reliance upon coercively imposed restraints, sensible voluntarists do not oppose restraints per se. Voluntarists, in contrast to coercivists, recognize that superior restraints on individual behavior emerge decentrally and peaceably. Parents restrain their children. Neighbors use both formal and informal means to restrain each other from un-neighborly behaviors. The ability of buyers to choose where to spend their money restrains businesses from abusing customers.
A free society is chock-full of such decentrally and noncoercively imposed restraints. Indeed, it is the voluntary origins of such restraints that make them more trustworthy than coercively imposed restraints. A voluntary restraint grows decentrally from the give and take of everyday life and is sensitive to all the costs and benefits of both the restraint itself and of the restrained behavior. But a coercive restraint too often is the product not of that give and take of all affected parties but, instead, of political deals. And political deals are notoriously biased toward the wishes of the politically well- organized while ignoring the wishes of those unable to form effective political coalitions. What’s more, members of the political class often free themselves from the very restraints they foist upon others. Coercively imposed restraints are not social restraints at all; rather, they are arbitrary commands issued by the politically privileged.
—Donald Boudreaux, “Notes From FEE,” THE FREEMAN, August 1997.
95-2. “The IRS Code, The Law & Legalized Duplicity”
The Bob Livingston Letter is by no definition a “tax protest” letter. In the strictest sense, there is no such thing as a “tax protester” because it is an impossibility to be a tax protester with only credit as money in the United States. I fully understand that this statement is not understandable to those who have not studied monetary realism. The term “tax protester” is a creation of the IRS. It is full of design as follows: It implies that everyone by law is a “taxpayer.” For their purpose it is very important to their scheme and propaganda for everyone to think of themselves as “taxpayers.” A “taxpayer” is one who pays taxes and implies that one who is a “taxpayer” is bound by law to pay taxes. The goal of the income tax system is for everyone to become income tax debtors by thinking of themselves as “taxpayers.” The deceit has succeeded beyond all comprehension.
On the contrary, no one is a taxpayer or tax debtor unless they decide to “volunteer” to be one. We make ourselves “liable” by volunteering and making a 1040 return. We do this under duress of propaganda deceit.
Why do we write about the income tax system? We do so because it is a fraud of monumental proportions that induces millions through deceit to sacrifice their substance and their time to this Antichrist beast system. This is a worldwide system and I know no better description of it than to call it modern Mystery Babylon. It is not all of modern Mystery Babylon, but it is without a doubt the foundation of modern Mystery Babylon. Modern Mystery Babylon operates and thrives upon deceit. The IRS income tax system is a masterpiece of cynicism and deception. A true monument to this chicanery would have to be Satan himself. The IRS is fraud in its stated purpose of being a tax collector. It is specifically a consumption regulating agency. It is equally a national information agency identical to the Gestapo.
All modern governments rule by deceit. To rule by deceit, all governments must have an information system on all its people. The IRS is this information system in the United States. But this fact is hidden from the public mind with propaganda which has been developed into the perfect art of massive human manipulation.
The New World order is a present reality founded upon perpetual psychological warfare of all governments against their populations.
Propaganda is not something we can take or leave. It is the constant bombardment of word patterns and thought systems that penetrate the consciousness, chemically rearranging neuron structure. It is an electrochemical stimulus that programs the mind to controlled responses, which we sometimes refer to as “conventional wisdom.” Programmed neurotransmitters in the brain can inhibit mental thought processes as surely as steel bars in a jail can restrain your physical freedoms.
A testament to this mind manipulation is the lawyers and accountants who are mentally victimized by the manipulative language of the tax code and it never ever crosses their minds to inquire beyond their training. The cynical truth is that they all work for the IRS but you pay them. How about this to get sick on?
The dynamics of psychological warfare and authoritarianism are built upon group consciousness. Group consciousness is a mass programmed thought system (conventional wisdom). Stimulus from unconventional wisdom turns off the receptors and – evokes no response at all or evokes hostility.
[Excerpted from THE BOB LIVINGSTON LETTER (February 1998), Box 110013, Birmingham AL 35211, $39 for 12 monthly issues. A recent example of this deceitful propaganda appeared in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, February 17,1998 (A22). Illinois Governor Jim Edgar “vetoed a $500 state income tax credit for parents who use private schools. He claimed such use of ‘public funds for private K-12 education diverts dollars from public priorities.’ The governor needs a course in Taxes 101. Money belongs to individuals until taxed. Allowing people to keep more of their own money isn’t a use of ‘public funds’.”
Another example is Senator Bob Kerrey’s statement: “If all we do is pay attention to IRS abuse…, we’ll miss the importance of making sure the IRS has sufficient power to stop taxpayers who want to abuse other taxpayers— and who want other taxpayers to subsidize their unwillingness to pay taxes.” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, April 22,1998, p. Al])
96-1″An Ancient Chinese Lesson”
[China (1916)] was now divided between the Southern Republic and the war lords who were the rulers in the provinces. How were the people ever to be gathered together again under one flag?
Any other nation would have been destroyed by such civil wars. But the Chinese people are old and their country is vast. While wars were fought in one place and another between the different war lords, yet the good common people in villages and towns and cities went on living decently and working hard. They were civilized people and they had through the centuries learned that if people live decently and work hard and respect each other, then it is quite possible to live for a while without a government and even without police. Policemen, after all, are needed only to protect people from each other, and if there is mutual respect and good behavior people can manage themselves. The Chinese had long ago learned this lesson.
—Pearl Buck, THE MAN WHO CHANGED CHINA (1953), pp. 156-157.
96-2. “The Myth of Political Action”
Political action does not solve problems, it only aggravates them. The enemy of progress is force, and politics is merely the game of deciding who is to use it on whom and to what extent and by what legislative means. This is a game which only the state can win.
“Good people” should not get into politics, they should get out of politics. Their involvement, even for a “good” cause, only makes matters worse. Their participation merely lends respectability to a process which, based on force, is inherently destructive. The solution to our problems does not lie in politics at all, but in counter-politics, and in the voluntary alternatives of a free society.
—R.W. Grant from The League of Non-Voters monograph, THE MYTH OF POLITICAL ACTION, circa 1974-1975.
96-3. “Lysander Spooner on The Injustice of State Law”
Natural justice either is law, or it is not. If it be law, it is always law, and nothing inconsistent with it can ever be made law. If it be not law, then we have no law except what is prescribed by the reigning power of the state; and all idea of justice being any part of our system of law, ought to be abandoned; and government ought to acknowledge that its authority rests solely on its power to compel submission, and that there is not necessarily any moral obligation of obedience to its mandates.
If natural justice be law, natural injustice cannot be made law, either by “the supreme power of the state,” or by any other power; and it is a fraud to call it by that name.
“The supreme powers of states,” whether composed of majorities or minorities, have alike assumed to dignify their unjust commands with the name of law, simply for the purpose of cheating the ignorant into submission, by impressing them with the idea that obedience was a duty.
The received definition of law, viz., that it is “a rule of civil conduct prescribed by the supreme power of a state,” had its origin in days of ignorance and despotism, when government was founded in force, without any acknowledgment of the natural rights of men.
The enactment and enforcement of unjust laws are the greatest crimes that are committed by man against man. The crimes of single individuals invade the rights of single individuals. Unjust laws invade the rights of large bodies of men, often of a majority of the whole community; and generally of that portion of community who, from ignorance and poverty, are least able to bear the wrong, and at the same time least capable of resistance.
—Lysander Spooner, THE UNCONSTITUTIONALITY OF SLAVERY: Part Second (1847), pp. 145-146.
96-4. “Consistent Secessionism”
Anarchists would be sympathetic to the kind of ‘confederacy’ advocated by such men as John Calhoun and other early 19th century American political thinkers, only in that it proposes to strip central government of most of its authority, permitting member states to withdraw from the system if they see fit. However, from an anarchist point of view, Calhoun and his sympathizers were inconsistent, in that they were primarily concerned about maximizing the power of the several states within the Union. Had they been interested in the freedom of the individual unit members, they would also have recognized the legitimate right of the counties to withdraw from states, of towns to withdraw from counties, and of individuals to withdraw from towns.
—Harold Barclay, PEOPLE WITHOUT GOVERNMENT (1982), p. 15.