Monthly Archives: September 2013
Zak Smith, one of my followers, made the case in response to my last post that hardly anyone would watch the video I placed as a challenge to the people of the Liberty Movement who believe in the Constitution. I take his point, so in order to encourage people to watch it, I’ve selected a few of Lysander Spooner’s best quotes from the video. The video is at the bottom.
“The number who actually consented to the Constitution of the United States, at the first, was very small. Considered as the act of the whole people, the adoption of the Constitution was the merest farce and imposture, binding upon nobody.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/l/lysandersp537773.html#ks43XLKoXUc6mHM5.99”
“When a man says he is building a house for himself and his posterity, he does not mean to be understood as saying that he has any thought of binding them, nor is it to be inferred that he is so foolish as to imagine that he has any right or power to bind them, to live in it.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/l/lysandersp537744.html#xslxvvBgz0SVdmhL.99”
“Any number of scoundrels, having money enough to start with, can establish themselves as a ‘government’; because, with money, they can hire soldiers, and with soldiers extort more money; and also compel general obedience to their will.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/l/lysandersp537746.html#pERvjd6R0ixyMGfW.99”
“The secret ballot makes a secret government; and a secret government is a secret band of robbers and murderers.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/l/lysandersp537748.html#z5JH0bG4J4VwTfRf.99”
“If any man’s money can be taken by a so-called government, without his own personal consent, all his other rights are taken with it; for with his money the government can, and will, hire soldiers to stand over him, compel him to submit to its arbitrary will, and kill him if he resists.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/l/lysandersp537756.html#2hQKJUVK7sos6tzY.99”
“But this theory of our government is wholly different from the practical fact. The fact is that the government, like a highwayman, says to a man: ‘Your money, or your life.’ And many, if not most, taxes are paid under the compulsion of that threat. The government does not, indeed, waylay a man in a lonely place, spring upon him from the roadside, and, holding a pistol to his head, proceed to rifle his pockets. But the robbery is none the less a robbery on that account; and it is far more dastardly and shameful. The highwayman takes solely upon himself the responsibility, danger, and crime of his own act. He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit. He does not pretend to be anything but a robber. He has not acquired impudence enough to profess to be merely a ‘protector,’ and that he takes men’s money against their will, merely to enable him to ‘protect’ those infatuated travellers, who feel perfectly able to protect themselves, or do not appreciate his peculiar system of protection. He is too sensible a man to make such professions as these. Furthermore, having taken your money, he leaves you, as you wish him to do. He does not persist in following you on the road, against your will; assuming to be your rightful ‘sovereign,’ on account of the ‘protection’ he affords you. He does not keep ‘protecting’ you, by commanding you to bow down and serve him; by requiring you to do this, and forbidding you to do that; by robbing you of more money as often as he finds it for his interest or pleasure to do so; and by branding you as a rebel, a traitor, and an enemy to your country, and shooting you down without mercy, if you dispute his authority, or resist his demands. He is too much of a gentleman to be guilty of such impostures, and insults, and villanies as these. In short, he does not, in addition to robbing you, attempt to make you either his dupe or his slave.”
“The ostensible supporters of the Constitution, like the ostensible supporters of most other governments, are made up of three classes, viz.: 1. Knaves, a numerous and active class, who see in the government an instrument which they can use for their own aggrandizement or wealth. 2. Dupes—a large class, no doubt—each of whom, because he is allowed one voice out of millions in deciding what he may do with his own person and his own property, and because he is permitted to have the same voice in robbing, enslaving, and murdering others, that others have in robbing, enslaving, and murdering himself, is stupid enough to imagine that he is a “free man,” a “sovereign”; that this is “a free government”; “a government of equal rights,” “the best government on earth,” and such like absurdities. 3. A class who have some appreciation of the evils of government, but either do not see how to get rid of them, or do not choose to so far sacrifice their private interests as to give themselves seriously and earnestly to the work of making a change.”
“In truth, in the case of individuals, their actual voting is not to be taken as proof of consent, even for the time being. On the contrary, it is to be considered that, without his consent having ever been asked, a man finds himself environed by a government that he cannot resist; a government that forces him to pay money, render service, and forego the exercise of many of his natural rights, under peril of weighty punishments. He sees, too, that other men practice this tyranny over him by the use of the ballot. He sees further that, if he will but use the ballot himself, he has some chance of relieving himself from this tyranny of others, by subjecting them to his own. In short, he finds himself, without his consent, so situated that, if he use the ballot, he may become a master; if he does not use it, he must become a slave. And he has no other alternative than these two. In self-defense, he attempts the former. His case is analogous to that of a man who has been forced into battle, where he must either kill others, or be killed himself. Because, to save his own life in battle, a man attempts to take the lives of his opponents, it is not to be inferred that the battle is one of his own choosing. Neither in contests with the ballot — which is a mere substitute for a bullet — because, as his only chance of self-preservation, a man uses a ballot, is it to be inferred that the contest is one into which he voluntarily entered; that he voluntarily set up all his own natural rights, as a stake against those of others, to be lost or won by the mere power of numbers. On the contrary, it is to be considered that, in an exigency, into which he had been forced by others, and in which no other means of self-defense offered, he, as a matter of necessity, used the only one that was left to him.”
The so-called Liberty Movement is getting more and more attention from the Mainstream Media, but unfortunately for the Liberty Movement and those involved, there is far too much garbage associated with it. For instance, one section of the Liberty Movement believes that the Federal Reserve is a privately owned corporation, another section believes that today’s banking system was created by a Jewish Conspiracy, etc., etc..
One very big problem with the Liberty Movement is it’s absolute refusal to denounce, or separate itself from, the racists who’ve thrown their hats into the ring. They usually respond with some nonsense like, “Well, Liberty appeals to many people.” Does it really? Are the people who say this really so stupid as to believe that racists want liberty? Take this for example if you don’t believe me. Read this and tell me with a straight fact that racists want Liberty.
The latest example (to come to my knowledge) is a movement called, “Truckers to Shut Down America.” This is a group will will be going on a three day strike (Oct. 11-13, 2013) in order to send a message to Washington. Well, here’s just part of what they want.
“It does not matter if a million or 50 roll through DC in this effort. Congress will listen to We the People. Which is remove Obama from office for crimes of treason and misdemeanors. We want Congressional hearing on Benghazi and Seal Team 6. Louis Learner [sic] put in jail. No amnesty, remove all Muslims in our government that do not uphold the Constitution. Remove Eric Holder from office for crimes against the people and the Constitution. Last but not least is Fuel prices.”
I’ve underlined the important part in this poorly worded nonsense. Why he mentioned MUSLIM government employees who don’t uphold the Constitution instead of saying, “Remove all government employees that do not uphold the Constitution.” is beyond me. It would seem to me that their purposes would be better served with the latter quotation, because the group of government employees that you would be targeting would be far larger.
This brings me to the single biggest problem with the entire Liberty Movement, and that is their insistence on “Restoring the Constitution.” These people treat the Constitution as if it were a document sent down from God encased in The Holy Grail. I have a direct challenge to these people who believe that the answer to our problems is the Constitution. Listen to the entire video below, and tell me that what we need is the Constitution. While you say the Constitution is a document of freedom and liberty, I say that the Constitution is a document condemning everyone in America to servitude and should be abolished as quickly as possible.
The government never grows tired of making people’s lives harder than they otherwise need to be, and if the every day struggles of paying the bills and putting food on the table weren’t hard enough, the government, through the wisdom of our enlightened bureaucrats decides that life must be harder on all of us. You would think people would get tired of this, eventually. You would think that workers would eventually rise up in revolution against these malicious attacks, but they cheer it on.
What is this latest assault on workers that I speak of? I’m speaking of course with regards to the government’s recent crackdown on companies hiring illegal immigrants. According to the Wall Street Journal (9/13/13) under the heading, “New Hunt for Illegal Workers”:
“The U.S. government has launched a fresh crackdown on employers suspected of hiring illegal immigrants by notifying about 1,000 business across the country in recent weeks they must submit documents for audits. The so-called “silent raids” are the largest since July 2009, according to immigration attorneys, and weren’t publically disclosed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that conducts such inspections.”
In other words, the government is going to force no less than 1,000 different businesses across the country, businesses that are working peaceably and are producing goods/services of value, to go through the pain (and expense) of preparing special documents for audits, in order to target a given group of workers who are doing absolutely nothing wrong.
Those who are more emotional are quick to scream in response, “THEY’RE ILLEGAL!!”, illegal by what standard? “They didn’t go through the immigration process!!” Good for them. The immigration process is, in fact, nothing more than useless paperwork. It proves nothing, it contributes to nothing. It is nothing more than an added cost that the public must pay for, and the cost comes in more than just the cost of paying bureaucrats to process all the paperwork. As Ludwig von Mises keenly pointed out, “There cannot be the slightest doubt that migration barriers diminish the productivity of human labor.”
The reason this is so is obvious; migration barriers hamper the division of labor by diminishing the capacity for labor to go from one area to another.
Thanks to our campaign of Nationalism, so-called “illegal” immigrants are denounced as lazy asshats with a bloated sense of self-entitlement, who pollute our communities with drugs, and rob/kill the otherwise natural citizens. This characterization of undocumented workers is entirely unjustified, and has no factual basis for it in the least, but that won’t stop the die-hard Nationalists from believing in it. Many people denounce this as racist, but this isn’t racist in the least; denouncing all Mexicans as the above would be racist, but you can plainly see that isn’t what’s happening here.
To make matters worse, the die-hard Nationalists consistently try to use economics to justify this nonsense. They try to saw for instance that “illegal” immigrants are taking our jobs. A quick glance at the immigration and job situation thoroughly discredits this idea.
They try to say that “illegal” immigrants are expensive to the tax payer because the tax payer has to bear the costs of healthcare, education, and other benefits that I… just don’t feel like listing. This statement on its own is fair enough, but in reality they are no more expensive that the other people being covered. If the government wasn’t offering these free services in the first place, would the undocumented still be expensive to the tax payer? Of course not, because then the individual would then be paying for his own healthcare, education, etc.. If anything, the undocumented are really doing you a favor; they are highlighting the absurdity of offering these free programs in the first place.
They try to say that “illegals” are bringing in diseases that we had previously wiped out or just weren’t here to begin with. They say that this is so because “illegal” immigrants don’t go through the health screening that “legal” immigrants go through. To thoroughly discredit this idea, you need only ask yourself, “How do you collect evidence for this claim when “illegals” rarely go to hospitals and are rarely caught by the government?” For more information on this, click here to be taken to a page hopelessly destroying the Nationalist (or Nativist if you prefer) myths on immigration.
I just can’t help but wonder when the people at large are going to get sick and tired of the constant lying, the slandering, the pandering to emotions, etc., etc.. For what immigration is supposed to look like, I refer you to some of the finer work that Milton Friedman has done.
I had planned on not writing anything else on economics, but MarxistMax’s terrible arguments against supermarkets has been nagging me for quite a while yet. MarxistMax starts right off of the bat with an explicit moral condemnation of supermarkets.
Quote from MarxistMax: “It was 1964 when the first supermarket opened its doors in Britain. It signaled the end of the independent grocers, and the beginning of a five decades long parade of glutton and consumerism. Involving an erosion of social fabric and community values, a destruction of local centers of commerce and a concentration of wealth in the hands of a select few.”
What social fabric or community values could possibly be eroded by having cheap food readily available? Not only does he not define anywhere what he means by social fabric or community values, terms which in this context are so vague that they can literally be interpreted to mean anything, but he doesn’t even elaborate as to how large quantities of cheap food erode these social fabrics or community values away.
This attack on consumerism goes back to his idea that competition is bad; that it is inherently wasteful, that it gives rise to dog-eat-dog, that it encourages people to not care about social values (vague as hell), etc., etc.. It is from this that he draws his moral condemnation of consumerism, and it is because of this condemnation that he fails to understand the situation at hand. This is further re-enforced by a statement he makes later in the blog.
Quote from MarxistMax: “Spreading wealth more equally gives people power over their buying choices, and generally makes the economy much more democratic.”
Just some technical details here; first of all, it is impossible to have more or less power over a given buying choice. To have more power over a buying choice would be to create theft, and to have less power over a buying choice is to eliminate it as a buying choice. But again, no new information about these supposed community values or social fabrics.
Actually, if anything, an abundant supply of cheap food strengthens community/social values. The reason is obvious; since people on the whole are having to spend less on food, they have more money in their pockets to pursue their cultural interests, i.e., music, art, literature, etc., etc..
MarxistMax’s arguments are, objectively, from every conceivable viewpoint, terrible.
By the way, a quick announcement here: I am now on Twitter. If you wish to follow me there, you can find me at @KennethPruitt5.
I’ve had a lot of projects going on in my head here lately. I had an analysis of the movie A Time to Kill (1996) planned out, I had a critique of the latest bit of nonsense from MarxistMax all drawn out and ready to go, but in this time period, I’ve come to realize something; hardly anyone cares.
My interest in economics (and initially politics) has sharply isolated me throughout the years, and to show you how badly this has happened, let me tell you a true story:
When I wrote my book, “The Little Book of Economic Myths and Fallacies”, I wrote it with the full knowledge that it would never sell a single copy; in fact I lost money when I wrote it because I was handing out free copies at my personal expense. The reason I wrote it was simple; I’ve had so many people tell me over the years that I don’t try to connect with people, that it’s not healthy to be so anti-social, so I decided to write this book to show these people how I think, how I perceive the world, etc.. It was an attempt at reaching out, so to speak.
Who were the main recipients of these free copies that I handed out at my personal expense? Immediate family members and a select few friends, basically the same people telling me all of this other nonsense. Despite their boasts of how proud they were that I had written a book, not only could they not be bothered to buy a copy themselves, they couldn’t even be bothered to make a genuine effort at reading it. In fact my father, who boasted that I am the only one in the entire family tree to ever write and publish a book, told me point blank, in no uncertain terms, “Son, no one cares about this stuff.” Negative criticism I can deal with, but no criticism at all?
I later realized that my studies in economics has caused me to see the world in a different light from everyone else; it has enabled me to interpret with a kind of clarity that very few people have, even amongst the elderly. But then I find out that hardly anyone cares about economics. You have to understand my frustration, which some of you no doubt will find to be unbelievably childish. People are just so satisfied watching television, forming their own little misinformed opinions that they just don’t care about economics, or anything that clashes with this initial perception of reality for that matter.
Quite frankly, I’m tired of all of it. I’m sick of reading about economics, I’m sick of trying to deal with these people that just don’t give a rat’s ass, I’m just all-around tired, and to that end, this is my farewell address. I will not be making anymore posts, nor will I be making any further attempts at interacting with people on this basis. All of my videos on YouTube of me talking about this stuff will be taken down, and I’m not going to focus on anything besides monotonous, irrelevant BS, like video games.
My last post was an extremely scathing analysis of progressivism, and it has upset some people; namely MarxistMax. Let’s just jump right into this.
He first attempts to reprimand me for referring to himself and his contemporaries as cancer, saying that the best times of human civilization have been credited (by whom?) to progressivism, while the most horrid times have been credited (by whom?) to conservatism. This reprimand, coming from MarxistMax, is rather strange. He knows me well enough to know that I don’t care for the conservatives anymore than I care for the progressives, and in fact I have a post dealing with conservatism in the same way I dealt with progressivism in the works.
He then admits what I knew for a fact MarxistMax would admit; namely, that “For Profit” food and water production is exploitation. The reason I knew this is simple; MarxistMax, contrary to his progressive counterparts, is actually consistent. MarxistMax, because he is a Marxist, is more than prepared to make that statement, but progressive counterparts, who believe that we should have private ownership of the means of production, don’t believe this to be true at all. Not one progressive has denounced American food companies for exploiting people’s hunger or thirst; instead they have chosen to denounce Americans for their eating habits.
MarxistMax goes on to say that he will always view it as exploitation that, “For Profit companies control our subsistence. you shouldn’t be able to buy life.” And right after he says that, he says this:
“His second point covers the living wage, with rambling intensity which makes it difficult to read and even more difficult to process. The first half of the argument regards the economic mechanics of the Living Wage, which I would be lying if I said I understood.”
I would like everyone who’s reading this now to notice something about the two quotations above, and that something is this; the two quotations are imperishably linked to one another. MarxistMax does not understand economics (or else my economic treatment of the Living Wage wouldn’t have been difficult for him to process), and because he doesn’t understand economics, he insists on pursuing this idea of exploitation. My economic treatment of the Living Wage shouldn’t have been difficult to process at all. All I did was show how businessmen think when unexpected expenses are suddenly thrown onto him by the government.
This statement by MarxistMax compels me to remember a quote that I heard long ago, though I don’t know from where or who said it; “To not understand your opponent’s position is to not understand your own.”
But, there is a silver lining to this cloud; MarxistMax is on the edge. He may not realize it, but when he says that he will always consider “For Profit” production to be exploitation, he’s talking to himself far more than he’s talking to me. I of course know that since he is a Marxist, he will consider any sort of profit to be exploitation, and I don’t see any sort of real argument as to why For Profit production is exploitation anywhere in his post.
I have a challenge for you, MarxistMax, but before I challenge you, I want you to watch This video of President Obama making the very contradiction that you said no progressive has made.
Now then, my challenge to you MarxistMax is simple. I believe you are in self-doubt regarding your own philosophy of economics, but I’ll give you a chance to prove me wrong. All you have to do to prove me wrong is to read this book cover to cover, and once you have read that book cover to cover, come back to me and tell me that you still see the world in the same light that you do.