Liberty Forged

the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own. ` Nock

Archive for February, 2008

Stagflation! Must be that strong economy…

Posted by Jesse on February 29, 2008

The problem with “debt monetization”

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Outstanding Statement to Bernanke

Posted by Jesse on February 27, 2008

This is what a leader is supposed to do.
A leader is not supposed to micromanage every aspect of human life.
A leader is supposed to lend guidance. Set examples and preach principle.
This is what Ron Paul does.

Below is Ron Paul’s opening statement

Ron Paul is right! Bernanke concede the point!

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Who’s lying and why?

Posted by Jesse on February 26, 2008

we know ron paul is for the people. he is not lying. why not vote for him?

still don’t believe me? listen to the CIA’s Head of the Bin Laden Unit

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Fascism in America, (or will it be Socialism?)

Posted by Jesse on February 26, 2008

John T. Flynn’s classic work from 1944 on how wartime planning brought fascism to AmericaThe American Right long ago slid into the abyss.
Be sure to see Rockwell’s two latest articles:
The Frightful Face of Stimulus
It’s true that confidence in the economy is waning. But the response by Washington so far has done nothing to inspire optimism. The more they do, the greater the fears grow. There is a Victorian story about a creature who wonders why everyone is running from him, until he sees a reflection of his own frightful face. It is time for the whole of Washington to look in the mirror.
Ron Paul Has Already Won
Ron Paul’s bid for the U.S. presidency ranks among the most heroic anyone has ever undertaken. We live in emergency times, with a choice between forms of socialism or fascism. The parties’ leadership have embraced this decrepit old model, despite all evidence of the bankruptcy of statism. Ron alone dared pose a challenge. His bid has also been the most unusual in modern history. Its main energy has come not from a political machine, but from millions of volunteers, most of them young and most of them exposed to new political and economic truths for the first time.

In that sense, and in addition to garnering more primary votes than any libertarian candidate in American history, Ron has accomplished precisely what he set out to do. He has re-founded the libertarian movement on a principled basis, liberated the ideas of peace and free enterprise from monopolistic control, exposed the political apparatus for the fraud that it is, and laid the groundwork for a future flowering of liberty.

This is a follow-up article to The Reality of Red-State Fascism
Triumph of the Red-State Fascists
by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
[February 26, 2008]

Every Republican I’ve spoken to is mystified that John McCain has sewn up the Republican nomination. For his entire career, he has been more statist on both domestic and foreign policy than even the typical Republican. He has been considered a “liberal,” and not in a good sense. He doesn’t share any of the values that are said to make up the Republican consensus on economics or culture or religion. His personal baggage is heavy and a mile long. He had no dedicated constituency within the party.

Of course I’m not talking to the run-of-the-mill Republican. There are vast hordes of these people” who have never read a book and vote only by the most sordid political instinct known to man. McCain is their candidate. It comes down to one thing only: the simple-minded, unthinking impression that he is a war hero and, more than anyone else, has what it takes to smash the evil foreign peoples who want to kill us. In short, he appeals to the militaristic, nationalistic impulses of the base Republican base.

The real question is why that one issue would trump every other concern alive among Republicans. How is it that imperialist nationalism has come to trump every other issue?

Murray Rothbard used to tell the story of speaking to conservative and Republican audiences in the late 1950s and early 1960s. There would be large groups gathered for various talks on economics and politics. He would give a lecture on the problem of price controls, or protectionism, or high taxes. People really liked what he had to say. They would clap, and learn from his lecture.

Then he would sit down. At some point in the course of the conference, the appointed anti-communist speaker would rise to the podium. He would decry the evil of Russia and its atheistic system of government. He would call for beefing up nuclear weapons and hint darkly of the necessity of war. He would end with an apocalyptic statement about the need for everyone to completely dedicate themselves to eradicating the communists by any means necessary. No talk of limiting or cutting government; quite the opposite.

So how would these people, who clapped for Murray, respond to the warmonger? Insanely, wildly, uncontrollably. They would stand and scream and yell and cheer, getting up on their chairs and putting their hands together high in the air. The applause would go on for five minutes and more, and the speaker would be later mauled for autographs. His books would sell wildly.

Meanwhile, poor Murray would stand there in alarm. How could these same people cheer both a call for liberty and a call for empire, and, most notably, give their hearts over to the maniacal nationalist while being merely polite to a call for the same liberty that had led this party to oppose FDR’s domestic and foreign-policy? It was experiences like these that led him to write the most important dissection of the Republican party ever to appear: The Betrayal of the American Right. It is here that Murray engages in a deep, soul-searching look at his own role in red-baiting in the 1950s. He had hoped to use the anti-communist movement to educate people about the need for freedom.

“It is clear that libertarians and Old Rightists, including myself, had made a great mistake in endorsing domestic red-baiting, a red-baiting that proved to be the major entering wedge for the complete transformation of the original right wing,” writes Murray. Instead of supporting freedom, the anti-communist movement ended up acculturating Republicans to the imperial mindset. The moral priority of crushing a foreign government trumped every other issue.

At the same time, the libertarianism of the GOP’s domestic agenda was supplanted by a belief that “big government and domestic statism were perfectly acceptable, provided that they were steeped in some sort of Burkean tradition and enjoyed a Christian framework.” Fiery individualism and radicalism were replaced by a longing for a static, controlling elite of the European sort. Liberty was washed away.

That was fifty years ago. Today the same priorities abound on the right: first, nationalism and empire, and, second, longing for order in the domestic area. The switch from anti-communist militarism to anti-Islamic imperialism was not difficult. They took a chapter out of Orwell, and merely changed the name of the enemy.

All of this laid the groundwork for McCain. Each Republican presidential contender has been worse than the last: Nixon and Reagan felt the need to endorse some libertarian themes in their campaigns, and even the two Bushes used limited government and anti-big government rhetoric. But that has evaporated, replaced now by the most virulent jingoism combined with domestic statism.

Many of my Republican friends criticize McCain as a leftist. I can see the point. But we ought not be too quick to believe that all forms of anti-libertarian ideology are leftist. We need to recognize that there is a form of non-leftist statism of a very distinct kind. It is not socialist in the traditional sense. It believes in a corporate state, combined with protectionism and belligerence in foreign policy. The right-wing predecessors here are Mussolini, Franco, and Hitler, and the name of the ideology is fascism.

For more on this, see John T. Flynn’s As We Go Marching. He listed some points of the fascist program. It is a form of social organization “in which the government acknowledges no restraint upon its powers,” is managed by the “leadership principle,” and in which “the government is organized to operate the capitalist system and enable it to function – under an immense bureaucracy.” In fascism, “militarism is used as a conscious mechanism of government spending,” and “imperialism is included as a policy inevitably flowing from militarism.” “Wherever you find a nation using all of these devices,” he wrote, “you will know that this is a fascist nation.”

Republicans are prepared to push this agenda, altered to fit the American political context, in this election. Their number one tactic to retain power is impugning the patriotism of Barack Obama. It seems like a puzzle, but an opinion piece by William Kristol in the New York Times offers a clue into the basis of the Republican campaign. He first makes a big deal out of the fact that Obama used to wear an American flag pin on his coat, but now no longer does so. He drags this up as if to accuse him of disloyalty to the American cause.

It is hard to imagine a more brainless and low-level tactic than to harp on such things. It compares only to the periodic campaigns by Republicans on the issue of flag burning, as if whether a person burns a privately owned flag has any bearing at all on the well-being of the country. But then Kristol goes further into the depths of depravity by attempting to paint Obama’s wife as guilty of treason for saying that she is proud of America “for the first time in my adult lifetime.” By citing these words, he is implying that she is an America hater.

Now, what buttons is Kristol trying to push here? It is the now familiar fascist theme: loyalty to the nation state and its wars must be the first and only test of worthiness to serve in public office. Folks, this is a cloud no bigger than a man’s hand that is very likely to mutate into a full storm. Sad to say, the Republican faithful, the same people that were stupid enough to vote for McCain, will probably go for it.

How I recall those heady days of the 1970s, when everyone said that the move of the neoconservatives into the Republican party portended a raising of the intellectual level. Quite the reverse. These people are taking things straight into the gutter, where they had already been tending since the late 1950s.

His follow previus article
The Reality of Red-State Fascism
by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
[December 31, 2004]

Year’s end is the time for big thoughts, so here are mine. The most significant socio-political shift in our time has gone almost completely unremarked, and even unnoticed. It is the dramatic shift of the red-state bourgeoisie from leave-us-alone libertarianism, manifested in the Congressional elections of 1994, to almost totalitarian statist nationalism. Whereas the conservative middle class once cheered the circumscribing of the federal government, it now celebrates power and adores the central state, particularly its military wing.

This huge shift has not been noticed among mainstream punditry, and hence there have been few attempts to explain it – much less have libertarians thought much about what it implies. My own take is this: the Republican takeover of the presidency combined with an unrelenting state of war, has supplied all the levers necessary to convert a burgeoning libertarian movement into a statist one.

The remaining ideological justification was left to, and accomplished by, Washington’s kept think tanks, who have approved the turn at every crucial step. What this implies for libertarians is a crying need to draw a clear separation between what we believe and what conservatives believe. It also requires that we face the reality of the current threat forthrightly by extending more rhetorical tolerance leftward and less rightward.

Let us start from 1994 and work forward. In a stunningly prescient memo, Murray N. Rothbard described the 1994 revolution against the Democrats as follows:

a massive and unprecedented public repudiation of President Clinton, his person, his personnel, his ideologies and programs, and all of his works; plus a repudiation of Clinton’s Democrat Party; and, most fundamentally, a rejection of the designs, current and proposed, of the Leviathan he heads…. what is being rejected is big government in general (its taxing, mandating, regulating, gun grabbing, and even its spending) and, in particular, its arrogant ambition to control the entire society from the political center. Voters and taxpayers are no longer persuaded of a supposed rationale for American-style central planning…. On the positive side, the public is vigorously and fervently affirming its desire to re-limit and de-centralize government; to increase individual and community liberty; to reduce taxes, mandates, and government intrusion; to return to the cultural and social mores of pre-1960s America, and perhaps much earlier than that.</strong>

This memo also cautioned against unrelieved optimism, because, Rothbard said, two errors rear their head in most every revolution. First, the reformers do not move fast enough; instead they often experience a crisis of faith and become overwhelmed by demands that they govern “responsibly” rather than tear down the established order. Second, the reformers leave too much in place that can be used by their successors to rebuild the state they worked so hard to dismantle. This permits gains to be reversed as soon as another party takes control.

Rothbard urged dramatic cuts in spending, taxing, and regulation, and not just in the domestic area but also in the military and in foreign policy. He saw that this was crucial to any small-government program. He also urged a dismantling of the federal judiciary on grounds that it represents a clear and present danger to American liberty. He urged the young radicals who were just elected to reject gimmicks like the balanced-budget amendment and the line-item veto, in favor of genuine change. None of this happened of course. In fact, the Republican leadership and pundit class began to warn against “kamikaze missions” and speak not of bringing liberty, but rather of governing better than others.

Foreshadowing what was to come, Rothbard pointed out: “Unfortunately, the conservative public is all too often taken in by mere rhetoric and fails to weigh the actual deeds of their political icons. So the danger is that Gingrich will succeed not only in betraying, but in conning the revolutionary public into thinking that they have already won and can shut up shop and go home.” The only way to prevent this, he wrote, was to educate the public, businessmen, students, academics, journalists, and politicians about the true nature of what is going on, and about the vicious nature of the bi-partisan ruling elites.

Read the rest of this article here..

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“Change” is rhetoric. Revolution is change.

Posted by Jesse on February 24, 2008

The Year of the Insurgents
Barack Obama, Ron Paul, and the new politics of protest

Back in December, I said this election year would be characterized by the collapse of the alleged “front-runners” – i.e. presidential candidates favored by the pundits and the Beltway know-it-alls – and so it has come to pass. Barack Obama has upended the supposedly inevitable Hillary, and the GOP electorate, too, has humbled those formerly exalted as “major” candidates. What explains this inversion of expectations, as I put it last year, is the rise of a new politics in this country:

“The paradigm that best describes what is happening on the ground in Iowa, New Hampshire, and beyond, isn’t ‘right’ versus ‘left,’ ‘Christianism’ versus secularism, or red-versus-blue state mindsets, but populist demands for change against our hidebound, insular, arrogant elites in the media as well as in government. And no issue has underscored the growing chasm between the people, on the one hand, and the Washington-New York axis of power, on the other, than the war in Iraq. The intersection of the war, as an issue, with the growing populist rebellion against the status quo portends a revolution.”

John McCain and plenty of conservatives – especially the neocons – are now deriding Obama as a purveyor of platitudes, whose rhetoric recalls Gertrude Stein’s opinion of her birthplace, Oakland, California: “There’s no there there.” But of course there is a there there – and it’s called Iraq.

Obama has become more outspoken in his opposition to the Iraq war as the campaign has progressed, and not only that but has denounced the “mindset” among our rulers, and the leaders of both parties, that led us into that trap to begin with. This has legitimized his standing as the outsider in the year of the insurgents, and given heft to his soaring rhetoric, which, you’ll note, is often delivered in terms of an anti-interventionist riff, such as in this very substantive speech laying out his foreign policy vision for America.

Yet it’s hard to please some people, especially antiwar people on the right – and there are more of them than you might imagine – when it comes to Obama’s candidacy. Here is Daniel Larison, a paleoconservative writer – and blogger-in-chief over at The American Conservative, who has also posted at the Antiwar.com blog – warning explicitly not to be fooled by the alluring siren song of Obama-ism:

“Given the rather grim prospects for antiwar voters this election, it is understandable why many look to Obama and think that they have found someone they can trust. But this is a mistake. It isn’t that Obama is wrong on Iraq, but that he has happened to be right about it basically in spite of his own foreign policy views.”

Read the rest here.

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