IDEOLOGY AND ETHICS SURVEY
Additional Commentary and References
||Should covert operations require more rather than less civilian oversight?
||One perspective on an ethical issue:
An opposing perspective on the same ethical issue:
|Yes, the modus operandi resembles
|No, evil foreigners outside U.S. laws re-
||organized crime and is very dangerous
require rough handling, other standards
|Long run national security means be-
We must preemptively strike terrorist
||ing a good neighbor, not secrecy
suspects without normal evidence to win
|Lack of oversight is tyrannical and of-
At home we must maximize constriction
||ten cover for forms of corruption
of civil liberties just to make sure
Sample argument: Covert operations, for all intents and purposes, are almost identical to the modus operandi of organized crime. Military actions bear unfortunate resemblances to serial mass murder. Don't be fooled by the James Bond and John Wayne movies. If anything, we require extra civilian continuing oversight and control over these potential cancers, not less. We need maximum disclosure through national media. In the long run, real national security has to do with being a good neighbor in the world community. It involves the ability to produce valuable things that other peoples around the world want to voluntarily buy from us so that they come to respect our productive values and have more commerce with us. This is no different than the need to be a good neighbor in your own neighborhood. American foreign policy must never focus upon throwing our weight around, which in the long run tends to create more enemies than friends. Rather, the real business of America is to conduct open and fair business dealings. It involves the creation of innovative, quality products. American neo-con leaders have arrogantly cast aside this policy that worked so well for this country in the 19th century. The CIA and Mossad have been heavily involved in the global drug trade and other corrupt dealings that create the very enemies that American military forces are later sent in to suppress. The neo-cons are turning America into a garrison state, and as such America is headed for an imperial implosion very similar to the historical experience of the Spanish and Roman empires and former Soviet Union. Last, but not least, there is overwhelming evidence that dual-loyalist Zionist neo-cons and their Israeli compatriots staged 9-11 as an inside job to create the pretext for wars for Israel and the suppression of critics of Israel at home. Therefore America's real enemies are already inside the gates as foxes guarding the hen house. Their real goal is not the defense of freedom but rather a total coup de etat against the Constitution to serve their own interests. Time to focus on America's domestic problems rather than go abroad in search of bogus monsters to destroy.
|. . .
Sample argument: America is fully justified to use preventive aggression and regime change as conscious foreign policy tools. The world has become a very bad neighborhood filled with evil, terrorist leaders. They envy our freedoms. They are willing to risk American full-scale retaliation by killing freedom-loving Americans in sneak attacks. Therefore, we must smell evil-doer suspects where they hide behind bushes and hit them first before they can harm us. This is particularly true of countries such as Iraq and Iran that do not yet have nuclear weapons. It does not apply to a country such as North Korea that can already hit back with nukes. Unless America attacks potential evil-doers first who lack nuclear weapons, we must believe that they will eventually come over to America and battle us in our streets. Then they will be like Third World illegal immigrants who are already battling our police as a consequence of negligent border policies with Mexico. Rather than enforce immigration laws, the Establishment tells us that it is making us more secure by constricting our civil liberties under the Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act, National ID card, and other Orwellian legislation. To promote democratic values abroad, our leaders use "extraordinary rendition" and torture. There is strong evidence our government is also "saving" Americans from terror by killing them in false flag operations related to the JFK assassination, Oklahoma City bombing, and 9-11. It has also openly killed them at Ruby Ridge and Waco. We might conclude that the U.S. Government can kill its own citizens and constrict their civil liberties because unlike North Koreans, they lack nuclear weapons to defend themselves against their own government. Our government has even used mercenaries and active duty soldiers to confiscate privately owned firearms in New Orleans after the Katrina disaster, leaving citizens unable to defend themselves against looters. It has resorted to vote fraud in important elections. This is how our Establishment shows the world that it is firmly committed to defending human rights and fighting terrorism. The ways of the Federal government can be mysterious, to be sure, but nevertheless as good Americans we must keep the faith. It is not for us to question why.
Last updated 23 Nov 2007 by William B.
Ever since the September 11, 2001 attacks,
which in the opinion of Mike Piper (and myself)
by the Mossad, we have seen a major increase in
secretive government that employees extraordinary
measures. These measures rang from clamp
downs on civil liberties to the use of secret
As one very specific example of government arrogance
in the summer of 2007, please see "Peter
DeFazio and the Portland Nuke."
Capt Eric May wrote:
An effective grassroots movement is growing
in Oregon, and it has pushed Congressman DeFazio in the right
direction. Early summer anxiety by his constituents concerned
him little, as he then issued assurances that all was on the
level with pending federal terror exercises, and the recently
enacted National Security Presidential Directive 51, which
allows Bush to establish a dictatorship if there is a catastrophic
natural event or terror attack.
DeFazio's assurances didn't convince his constituents, though,
and soon they didn't even convince him. Just to make sure that
everything was on the level with NSPD-51, he asked to see the
secret annexes of the document. This was his right as a member
of the House Homeland Security Committee, and in his 20 years
in Congress he had never been refused access to classified
There's a first time for everything, though. After initially
granting DeFazio permission to check into NSPD-51, the White
House reversed itself on 7/18/07, and refused to let him take
a look. Friday, DeFazio, along with House Homeland Security
Committee Chairman Bernie Thompson and Oversight Subcommittee
Chairman Chris Carney, sent a letter to the White House. In
it, they demand the access so far denied DeFazio -- or a written
explanation as to why access has been refused -- by Thursday.
This is the day before Congress -- and Congressman DeFazio
-- recess and return to their home districts to answer emphatic
Portland has more than a prayer if it and the rest of Oregon
keep up the pressure on their local, state and national leaders.
At this stage of the Bush regime and its terror-driven global
war, there's no shame in conspiracy theory, since it's the
only theory that offers consistent, coherent answers to our
growing secret government and its terror policies.
of the current national media discussion about covert operations
and the need for secrecy gets bogged down in the minutiae
"bad guy" scenarios. The danger of this approach
is that too dependent on very imaginative and paranoid hypothetical
"war game" scenarios that justify big pork contracts
special interests. Quite often these scenarios are based
upon disinformation or fevered imaginations. They typically
pay too little attention to the broader social and political
picture. They also tend to carry the implicit assumption
that government should be more concerned about what is good
for itself rather than the people it purports to
Although superficially this may look like a
centralization vs decentralization issue, I framed this question
as an ethical issue based upon a very simple
honest people can live with perpetual
openness. In contrast, criminals generally require perpetual
Hence, when a government requires perpetual secrecy,
particularly in peacetime, that right there is
a strong indicator
that we could be dealing with a fundamentally criminal government
--a government that must be replaced by honest citizens.
I agree with libertarians that the burden is upon government
to prove to the people that it
it not criminal, and that it is not wielding its power
in an irresponsible and self-serving manner, before
grant it special
In my mutualism vs. parasitism article, I explain
why it is often very difficult to distinguish between the modus
operandi of intelligence operatives and criminals.
All of this creates
a very fertile environment for genuinely criminal people
to worm their way in and rise to the top. This in itself is
important reason for oversight by honorable civilians
over intelligence operations.
Reconciling criminal traits within
Another important perspective necessary to understand criminality involves
taking honest occupations that are loaded with criminal traits, and figuring
out how to distinguish them from criminal occupations loaded with criminal
A prime example of an "honest" or "patriotic" occupation
that is loaded to the teeth with criminal traits is spy work. An intelligence
agent must perpetually engage in deception to maintain a "cover." This
includes planting false flags to disguise operations. Since the most valuable
intelligence is typically human intelligence, he needs a good nose for smelling
ways to recruit others to betray their countries without giving himself away.
(An acronym I once heard in a lecture given by an FBI agent to identify the
most common motivations for treason is SMICE,
or Sex, Money, Ideology, Compromise, and Ego. These motivations can also
be applied to other types of criminals.)
How do we distinguish spies from criminals?
Well, quite frankly sometimes there is not much of a difference.
described in By Way of Deception: The Making
and Unmaking of a Mossad Officer and The Other
Side of Deception by former Mossad Agent Victor
Ostrowsky require some severe mental strain to try to make
a distinction in this area. However, Honorable
Men by former CIA Director William Colby suggests
that making the distinction is possible. "Patriotism" and
obedience to a higher authority or a social purpose higher
than ones own ego comprise at least one crucial distinction.
There are many useful occupations and roles in society that
tend to reward what might be considered "criminal traits" when taken in isolation.
As some examples, most sales organizations in America want individuals who
are shameless about approaching strangers and are extremely motivated to become
a "unique Number One." The same holds true for people who hold math
and science or Olympic competitions. An infantry officer in time of war necessarily
has to be coldly manipulative in the way he tactically deploys troops and expends
lives. A political dissident who defies tyranny may have to endure considerable
social isolation. He may have to figure out what has gone wrong with the society
with the same cold emotional detachment that a bank robber needs to figure
out how to pull a successful heist. This trait might also apply to the analytical
methods used by scientists. As some further examples, an entrepreneur who wants
to implement a business plan that brings a break-through invention to market
probably craves excitement. Hollywood actors and actresses affect different
personalities than their "normal" personalities (that is, if there
is such a thing as "normal" in Hollywood). As a final example,
diplomats, brokers, lawyers, negotiators, and politicians hardly wear their
their sleeves when they put out feelers, hide their weak cards, and bluff
in the process of trading off concessions in negotiations. However, it is
true that not all lawyers and politicians are criminals.
An excellent work that documents in great detail
an extremely cozy relationship between the Mossad, elements
of the CIA, and the leaders of organized
crime in America is Final
Judgment: The Missing Link in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy by
Michael Collins Piper.
Covert operations are typically state-sponsored
activities, and the federal government itself can become fertile
ground for criminal
infestation. In my centralization vs decentralization article,
I discuss the
start playing evil games to parasitically feed
off the people, and where the highest levels of government
fertile ground for the rise of complete sociopaths.
(This is a very lengthy extract.
Please skip down to "It Gets Even Worse With Ponzi Government"
if you want to stay directly on the criminality theme without
exploring deeper sociological and political background):
Why saying "More Government
is Good" is like saying "Greed is Good"
"Government" has unfortunately
become a secular religion for most Americans. They
have been deeply indoctrinated to believe that activist
has inherent moral virtue. One of the leading early
culprits behind this trend was "King
Lincoln," who said in 1838 that the Constitution
and the laws of the United States had to become the ‘political
religion’ of the American nation. This, despite
the fact that Lincoln himself was an atheist, and promoted
the financial interests of his own political faction
even if it meant risking an unnecessary war that got
Americans killed. (More on this later).
One can even find this sentiment in a book such as The Constitution
of the United States by Thomas Norton, first published in 1941,
which dissects the Constitution line by line. Norton's interpretations are
framed by the assumption that America needed more efficient central government
in 1787 compared to what it had under the Articles of Confederation. According
to Norton, the Constitution was designed with checks and balances to prevent
excessive power grabs and self-dealing as leaders go about more efficiently
guiding the country.
Implicit in Norton's discussion is an underlying belief in a need for energetic political
leaders. For all intents and purposes, people who want more "efficient" government
oversight also want more "energetic" and "activist" oversight
This reminds me of the character played by Jimmy Stewart in Mr.
Smith Goes to Washington (1939). Most American movie audiences
tend to be very sympathetic towards Stewart's extremely energetic, if not
utterly dramatic character. While it is true that Smith opposes a corrupt
Senator who seeks to make millions in kickbacks on a pork barrel dam project,
it is also true that Smith himself energetically pushes through a government
program to create a camp for boys in his home state. Hence, this Frank
Capra movie classic lauds energetic government involvement in social
programs so long as it does not involve kickbacks.
Thomas Jefferson voiced a totally different attitude when
he said, "In
questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but
bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution." Furthermore,
when Jefferson received correspondence about a Constitutional Convention
to be held in 1787 to create a "more energetic government," Jefferson
responded that the last thing he wanted was a "more energetic" Federal
Despite all of this, most people might think Jefferson
was merely being "cautionary." In
fact, these comments were barely the tip of a libertarian iceberg once
espoused by sizeable group called anti-Federalists. (I
revisit them again later in
my discussion of
libertarian racial nationalism).
Frank Capra's scripting of Mr. Smith as a folksy, populist
politician also stands in opposition to another well-established
American folk hero. In his
famous "Sockdolager" speech,
Davy Crockett argued before his fellow Congressmen that there is so much
money available in the private sector for charitable purposes that the
government, with all of its fiercesome coercive powers, has no business
muscling on making
Looking deeper below the water line
of the libertarian iceberg
An excellent "religious deprogrammer" to help
explain the full early American libertarian iceberg below
the waterline is Dr.
Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Professor of Economics at the University of Nevada,
Las Vegas. As mentioned earlier, he is the author of Democracy:
The God That Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy,
Democracy and Natural Order.
According to Dr. Hoppe, government is inherently negative in nature. The
healthier a society becomes, the more it should make government irrelevant.
Instead of making government more energetic and efficient, the priority should
be to simply make it go away.
First, we need to look at government's real function in
our society. According to libertarians, one good working
definition of government throughout history
is it consists of whoever happens to be the monopolist on the use of
force in a given territory. George Washington once summed
it up when he said, "Government
is force. And force, like fire, is a fearful servant and a terrible master."
Force, or coercion, is the negation of the voluntary relations
we seek to maximize in an ideal society. When voluntary
cooperation breaks down, and
individuals and factions can no longer mediate their differences on a
private level, they typically call in the government to
use force through its courts,
police, and military. Force implies the real or threatened destruction
of lives and wealth. Hence Dr. Hoppe claims that it is
more accurate to say
that what government really produces relative to the private sector are "bads" (or
negative things) rather than "goods" (or real wealth).
Dr. Hoppe raises a provocative question. Whereas we understand
how it benefits us to have the private sector compete in
a free market to produce "goods," do
we really want to see the same level competitive excellence devoted towards
producing "bads?" Do we really need to see the "best and brightest" vigorously
compete with each other in "social democracy" to sell us more
government programs, which are inevitably followed by more taxes and
A look at early American history gives us an important libertarian baseline.
We need to ask how much of our government added since then consists of a
slick sales job by professional politicians and special interests, as compared
to the lessor amount of government that we probably really need. In other
words, to what extent can we compare the taxpayer to a healthy dog, and professional
politicians and special interests to swarms of fleas?
Dr. Murray Rothbard, in his history of colonial America, described how most
farming communities in 18th century Pennsylvania had virtually no government
at all by modern standards. Part of the reason was benign neglect. The ruling
British government and its pack of attendants, to include lawyers, professional
politicians, and bureaucrats, were across the ocean. Many of them viewed
the colonials as basically a bunch of bumpkins barely eking it out battling
the wilderness. Nothing of particular interest.
However, while "out of sight and out of mind" for nearly a hundred
years, this "bumpkinland" grew into the size of regular European
country. Meanwhile, it still had almost no government by European standards.
Nevertheless, the colonists did not seem to be missing anything. In fact,
in the absence of government, they seemed to be quite a bit happier and
Then the British Government started to wake up and notice a fat economy ready
for mercantilist trade policies and tax harvesting. The precipitating event
involved the heavy expenses it incurred fighting the French and Indian War.
The Crown started wondering why colonists should not help foot the bill.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the healthy tax dog saw the swarms of
government tax-collector fleas coming its way and resisted. That, in a nutshell,
is what started the American Revolution.
In the first decades of the new American republic, before it served as a
Darwinian petri dish for breeding its own particularly virulent strains of
homegrown political parasites (not surprisingly the the worst types evolved
from lawyers, financiers, and professional politicians), Americans enjoyed
great success in keeping government at bay. Dr. Ralph Raico points out in
his lectures on classical liberalism that when French observer Alexis DeTocqueville
visited America in the 1830's, he noted that his native France had about
ten times as many bureaucrats with nearly the same population. Similarly,
when the Russian anarchist Mikhail Bukhanin arrived in San Francisco in the1850's
after fleeing Czarist police, he commented that he had nothing to offer Americans,
because as far as he could see they were already living in his idealized
state of anarchy.
Americans communities seemed to exemplify what the nobel laureate economist
Friederich Hayek called spontaneous order. Pioneer groups quickly
organized all the social services they required on a grass roots level without
any central direction. Most Americans belonged to numerous volunteer organizations,
such as charities, fire departments, courts, juries, sheriff's deputies,
and political affairs councils. They handled everything privately, and given
their limited resources, they were amazingly effective.
Early America also exemplified another important aspect of the spontaneous
order concept, namely that it ran itself as a complex
system from the ground up without central planning.
Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo's book How Capitalism Saved America describes
how Americans did a much better job creating roads, railroads, and canals
with private investment than through government programs.
Most people have this notion that as economies and societies get bigger,
they require more centralized command and control. Friederich Hayek argued
that in many ways the opposite is true. He observed that once economies achieve
a certain level of complexity, they must be run
by decentralized decision nodes, and cannot be
competently run by central planners. The information inputs and complexities
are simply too overwhelming to be handled by humans in central planning positions.
There are too many complex interactions at different levels. Furthermore
it is impossible to gather enough accurate ground-level information in all
areas to make rational decisions. Indeed, in regard to a free market where
prices automatically adjust according to supply and demand, this also functions
as a highly decentralized information system and clearing house.
Please recollect at the beginning of this article the example provided by
William S. Lind. To be successful at maneuver warfare, even Adolf Hitler's
armies had to operate on a decentralized level. Some of his top commanders
such as as Erwin Rommel were famous for literally living out of their squad
cars where they could always remain close to the front lines and quickly
react to events as they unfolded in real time.
An important reason why America enjoyed steady solid economic growth throughout
most of the 19th century, apart from the high genetic quality of its underlying
population and the relative absence of Zionist parasitism, was due to the
fact that America remained highly decentralized. It did not suffer from many
forms of imposed order found in Europe, which typically did more harm than
good. An area called complexity theory that
deals with this phenomenon is also very compatible with the "Austrian" or
laissez faire schools of economics.
I would personally interject here my own interpretation
that all of this was simply a continuation of a much older
story. The white population was
overwhelming Anglo-Saxon, who are a Nordic/Indo-European people. Other
whites in America during the 19th century tended to be
Celtic, who are very similar
to Nordics on all levels. One sees plenty of evidence of "spontaneous
order" with these peoples going back to ancient and even pre-historic
times, whether it involves Norsemen who settled Iceland, the Oscian and
Sabine tribes from Germany that helped found the Roman Republic, or ancient
and Dorians who swept down from northlands and settled ancient Greece.
Northern European temperamental traits, which tend to focus upon individual
and creating things of real value, set the tone for America up until
the late 1800's.
We can look at parts of Norway, Scotland, Iceland, and other northern European
countries from the Middle Ages back to prehistoric times and see how people
lived in dispersed, self-sufficient communities where the largest political
organization was usually the extended family or clan. There was no real central
government by modern standards.
Every so often I come across passages that allude to republican
tendencies in pre-Christian Europeans. One example is on
p 70. of The End of Kings: A History of Republics and
Republicans, where William Everdell writes about the
pre-Christian Roman conquest of Switzerland.
The Swiss have no Caesars of their own. They were conquered
once by an alien Caesar, Julius himself, in 58 B.C.,
and were ruled by his successors until A.D. 401. The
symmetry is pleasant, for it was the defeat of the Helvetii
in the Alpine passes that began Julius Caesar's military
career. The career, in turn, made it possible for Caesar
to destroy the Roman Republic and inaugerate a millennium
of monarch to which the Swiss would eventually become
the only exception. Nor did the Helvetii lose ingloriously.
Like most barbarian tribes then (and the Romans themselves
before Romulus) the Helvetii were strongly opposed to
the permanent hereditary rule of one man; so strongly,
in fact, that in the very face of Caesar's advance they
deposed and executed their greatest war chief, Orgetorix,
because he had tried to make himself king.
Unfortunately detailed historical records about many northern
European societies did not begin to appear until after
they were Christianized. Medieval christian leaders tended
to be political centralizers and economic monopolists,
often in the name of the forceful conversion of the heathen.
Their scribes tended to interpret social phenomenon according
to their alien Jewish religious ideology.
One good example of an adverse impact was medieval France, where Christians
discouraged bathing, supported heavy-handed Kings, exerted thought control
through a confessor system, and where the Church itself gobbled up control
of much of the land. According to an article that appeared in the American
Atheist, living standards among the common people in France
dropped below Neolithic times.
Iceland is a fascinating example of a northern European society that remained
quasi-pagan, politically independent, and largely avoided the full brunt
of Christian totalitarianism. Icelanders functioned normally within a quasi-anarchistic
republican system for many hundreds of years without any real class structure
or permanent government bureaucracy.
In many ways the settlement of early America was a "back to the future" exercise
where northern Europeans shook off the encroachments of government and
state-allied church apparatuses that had begun in the
Medieval period. Part of this revolt
began in Europe with the Protestant Reformation, which promoted church
government decentralization and individual interpretation
of scripture. In the American
wilderness, their reversion towards their ancient European indigenous
type took an extra step.
There was once an age in European evolutionary history when Stone Age white
people probably wore buckskin just like the American frontiersmen who came
later. In many ways, white people were much freer and happier back then when
they functioned in smaller wilderness groups on a racially and culturally
cohesive tribal level. The works of the late great British anthropologist
Sir Arthur Keith are worth reading to get a better sense of all of this.
Unfortunately early American pioneers were not aware of their real anthropological
roots on an intellectual level. Many of them carried Bibles. These scriptures
not only failed to educate them about authentic Indo-European traditions
of scientific thought, republican theory, and rational ethics espoused by
ancient Greeks and other whites, but they also focused the attention of American
pioneers on alien ancient Jewish tribal traditions rather than upon their
own indigenous ancestral values. There was clearly some subtle brainwashing
and theft of heritage taking place here. Despite all this, American pioneers
in the wilderness still felt instinctively that they were experiencing something
that was very natural and wonderful to them.
As another very critical political point, these Northern European peoples
always tended to take free speech for granted since ancient times. Free speech
basically meant that people applied the same kind of logical analysis that
went into rotating crops on farmland or building a boat to brave the North
Sea into openly keeping track of whether or not their political leaders kept
their agreements and did things that made sense.
The Roman writer Tacitus remarked that virtually all able-bodied men in ancient
Germanic (Nordic) society were armed. If you did not carry a sword or spear,
you were simply not regarded as a real man. They were often expected to draw
their weapons and duel for honor under rules of chivalry when dishonest men
tried to cheat them. The idea of making a living by deceiving people, or
by living a double life where one continually swallows and perpetrates lies,
or by never daring to say what one really thinks while suffering under arbitrary
and devious men in power, was very alien to them. All of this was not foreign,
however, to Jewish supremacist infiltrators who moved into America in the
late 1800's to foist a central bank, usurp national media, and more recently
undermine our civil liberties by exploiting 9-11 to promulgate war for Israel.
It bears repeating that many libertarians are quick to emphasize that the
Articles of Confederation and the subsequent United States Constitution and
Bill Rights did not give any rights to anyone,
rather they simply circumscribed the ability of government to take away our
rights. I would add to this that these documents circumscribed the ability
of government to suppress behavioral tendencies that early Americans and
their ancestors had expressed for tens of thousands of years. The American
Revolution was fundamentally a libertarian revolution in which Americans
tried to make governmental intrusions go away so that they could get back
to their normal affairs. It was not some kind of new political rights revelation
handed down to them from the clouds.
Back to Dr. Hoppe
Let me return to Dr. Hoppe. Incidentally,
I need to point out that he is an anarcho-libertarian. Such
folks tend to refrain from racial analysis. In contrast,
I am tilted towards libertarian racial nationalism. I say
this just so that you do not confuse his views with my own.
Another key idea emphasized by Dr. Hoppe is the importance of a sense of
caretakership. When people lack a sense of long term investment in their
own society, this is the same as saying that they have a short time preference
in economics jargon. They tend to be greedier and feel a need to plunder
as much as they can as soon as they can.
"Democracy" will not necessarily save such people. In fact, it can
add fuel to the fire. Dr. Hoppe notes that with the rise of "social democracy" throughout
Europe after World War I, politicians began to aggressively promise more
social spending and regulation in order to make a name for themselves and
Since they were only allowed to stay in office for a limited number of terms,
they knew that excessive social spending and regulation would inevitably
get passed on to someone else after they left office. Their excesses would
become someone else's problem.
Not surprisingly, government as a share of GDP expanded from the 5-10% of
GDP range where it had remained throughout much of the 19th century to over
40%-50% of GDP by the end of the 20th century. This was true of most governments
in Europe as well as the governments of the U.S. and Canada.
Dr. Hoppe refers to social democracy as "publicly owned government," and
contrasts it with monarchy and oligarchy, which he calls "privately
owned government." In a privately owned government, its leaders
know that they can pass on their political estate to their heirs, and
to have a much longer time preference and sense of caretakership.
Dr. Hoppe makes the really interesting point that a
country with a stable, constitutional monarchy might
really be a libertarian society in disguise.
Consider if the monarch and his cabinet are content to act within traditional
bounds and never show an urge towards tyranny. Imagine that their government
is content to refrain from increasing regulation, taxation, or spending
above 5% of GDP. Clearly, the remaining 95% of the economy
is fairly free to do
as it pleases. People in the private sector may enjoy vastly greater
property rights and real political freedoms compared
to people who live in a "social
democracy" that has taken over 40% of the economy and continually
burdens people with new regulations.
I am not advocating that we install a constitutional monarch here in America.
We already have our hands full dealing with a de facto unconstitutional version
named King George W. Bush. However, I believe that Dr. Hoppe is correct about
the importance of the variables of time preference and caretakership in influencing
political as well as economic behavior.
Later on I will discuss republicanism as a defense against for tyranny, and
discuss why many libertarian
racial nationalists believe that maintaining racial homogeneity can help
preserve a sense of long term caretakership for common genetic interests
within a republican system. For the moment lets stay with the anarcho-libertarian
line of reasoning.
It Gets Even Worse with "Ponzi" Government
It is bad enough that government bureaucracies tend to grown on their own
like cancers. Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo, author of How Capitalism
Saved America and The Real Lincoln,
describes how government can get even worse by degenerating into a big ponzi
scheme. I think that it is important to spend some time explaining Dr. DiLorenzo's
views, since we see forms of ponzi government everywhere in America today.
In addition, Dr. DiLorenzo provides important insights regarding a critical
juncture point in American history.
For the un-initiated, the "Ponzi scheme" comes
from the 1920's racket where Charles Ponzi solicited
funds from investors, claiming he would give them a portion of the in-excess
of 400% he was supposed to make on an international postal redemption
scheme. Rather than invest the money, he paid part
of the funds to himself and sent
another part back to investors as "dividends." Since the money
was not invested in anything that achieved a real return, the ponzi game
continued as long as the scam operator could provide convincing fake
investment reports and continually find new investors to contribute more
We can see how Charles Ponzi's game was unsustainable. Nothing productive
got added to the system, while he continually extracted funds for his own
use. We can also see how the spread of his unsustainable approach throughout
America's financial system could ultimately lead to total system collapse.
According to Dr. DiLorenzo, Abraham Lincoln publicly
confessed that the central platform of his career was
to promote the "Whig program" of protective
tariffs, public works, and a central bank This was a centralizing program
of special privilege initially championed by Alexander Hamilton and later
upheld by Henry Clay. An excellent overview article is "The
Real Henry Clay: The Corrupt American Architect of Mercantilism and
Abraham Lincoln never deviated from Clay's so-called "American System" during
his entire career. It was his central purpose. In contrast, he waffled back
and forth on the slavery issue, despite his image today as "The
As some examples of waffling back and forth on slavery
and broader racial issues, Lincoln once voluntarily
defended a Kentucky slave owner who sought
to retrieve his runaway slave who had fled to Illinois. During the Lincoln-Douglas
debates in southern Illinois, where Lincoln played to a large population
sympathetic to the South, Lincoln claimed that Negroes were unfit to
serve on juries and could never be the full equals of
whites. Shortly after he
became President, Lincoln supported the original 13th Amendment, which
guaranteed slavery in the South, provided that the South
agreed to stay in the Union
and pay the new high tariffs. Lincoln also openly advocated repatriating
blacks to Africa, and defended his Emancipation Proclamation as a ploy
to appeal to anti-slavery liberals in Britain and hence
help prevent Britain
from entering the war on the side of the Confederacy. However, as Sam
Dickson points out in his brilliant article "Shattering
the Icon of Abraham Lincoln," while it is true that Lincoln
spoke out of both sides of his mouth, the general trend of his career
was to the
left, so we can at least credit him with consistency as an abiding leftist
on social issues.
But let us get back to the "Whig program" from
which Lincoln never wavered. The problem with this kind
of program is that in the hands of irresponsible
demagogues, it can foster an unvirtuous cycle of corruption that can
ultimately destroy a limited republic. It can send government
spiraling along the path
towards a spendthrift and ultimately bankrupt Jacobin government, which
describes what we have come to at present.
As a first step of this political ponzi system, the political hack opportunistically
hunts for unethical business operators who are happy to offer under-the-table
kickbacks to the politician in return for his ability to pass pork legislation
so that the police power of the state now supports their products against
free market competition and forces patronage at higher prices.
Getting back to my discussion about the fundamental difference between the
voluntary nature of most business transactions and the involuntary nature
of government taxation, here is a case where the proverbial soap, automobile,
and toothpaste manufacturers want to figure out ways to get government agents
to threaten to blow your head clear off if you do not patronize their products
at higher prices. Meanwhile, the political hack gets a kickback for creating
laws that compel this patronage, while you the consumer get soaked.
Somehow I just do not think this is the kind of thing that America's Founding
Fathers had in mind.
The happy hunting grounds in Lincoln's era for finding crooked businessmen
willing to pay big kickbacks in return for state-enforced patronage lay in
three main areas:
a) industrialists who benefited from
high protective tariffs,
b) contractors who benefited from government-funded public works projects,
c) bankers who benefited from central bank bailouts.
Let me interject here some qualifications
based upon my own personal views. I believe that business
interests are entitled to legitimate political representation.
In addition, there can be some strong and valid nationalist
arguments for protectionist tariffs, particularly when
faced with a compelling need to create, jump-start, or
revitalize certain strategic industries.
However, anarcho-libertarians are correct that if certain
protectionist measures are left in place for too long,
they tend to adversely distort free markets,
corrupt politicians, and can spoil the competitive edge of domestic industries.
Therefore genuinely patriotic nationalists realize that protectionism
is heavily "contra-indicated" medicine that
must be applied sparingly and with great wisdom and
Expressed differently, you may need to put the patient on the operating table,
but you dare not leave him unconscious with his body opened up and on life
support for too long. Protectionist measures should be generally removed
after they have done their job helping certain industries achieve critical
We should also note that a protectionist tariff is nothing more than an excise
tax on international trade. In the long run, all taxes are bad. All taxes
transfer resources from the more productive, entrepreneurial, and decentralized
private sector to the more politicized, bureaucratic, and centralized government
sector. In other words, taxes shift economic resources to the government
where they tend to get wasted.
This is not to say that tariffs are inherently evil. Income taxes are worse,
because they involve collecting private information on individuals. Estate
taxes are worse, because they double-tax income. Domestic excise and property
taxes are worse because they tax property ownership and internal commerce.
In contrast to all of this, tariffs may have the slightly redeeming quality
that they can force segments of American industry to make long term reinvestments
in American plant and equipment rather than export jobs and infrastructure
overseas. Admittedly, having to force Americans to invest in fellow Americans
reflects a pretty sad state of affairs, but when we are hemorrhaging most
of our industry and skilled jobs, even medicine with bad side effects may
be better than none at all.
Most 19th century politicians viewed tariffs as a least bad form of taxation.
During this period the U.S. Governments drew most of its income from tariffs
and land sales. The government generally refrained from levying personal
and corporate income taxes in peacetime. Therefore, a genuinely patriotic
libertarian nationalist favored tariffs only to the extent that he is very
serious about eliminating all other types of taxes.
In contrast to responsible nationalists, the political hack is out to install
protectionist measures every place he can in order to jingle his personal
cash registers. This gun for hire also likes to leave protectionist measures
in place indefinitely as permanent cash cows for both himself and his corporate
cronies. He could care less about the long term impact on free markets, consumers,
industrial competitiveness, or anything else. He is only out for himself.
When Lincoln ran for office, he was clever enough to pose
as a folksy populist who cared about the electorate first,
and not as someone working for the
kick-back. However, according to Dr. DiLorenzo, Lincoln pulled many self-dealing
pork whoppers. A major political "fixer" in his state, he helped
relocate the state capitol at tremendous cost to Illinois taxpayers in
order to benefit only a few business supporters. He also helped locate
of the transcontinental railroad near some land that he owned. Awarded
his own private rail car by a big rail road company, Lincoln become wealthy
a lawyer representing big railroad interests. His legal work for common
people was mere window dressing by comparison.
The tariff racket
Raising tariffs in America beyond a certain point in Lincoln's
era was especially irresponsible and dangerous given that
South Carolina made a very serious
secession threat following the 1828 "Tariff of Abominations." Despite
this, Lincoln campaigned hard for the Morrill Tariff of 1861, which initially
pushed the average tariff up to about
36.2% compared to the 18-20% rate that had been the norm in the 1820's.
Back in those days, tariffs in the 10-20% range might be considered "normal," whereas
tariffs over 40% might be considered hostile acts. Lincoln's high stakes,
pork-oriented, political brinkmanship poker game blew up in his face
and precipitated the War Between the States that got 640,000 Americans
With only a third of the U.S. population, the South paid about two thirds
of the tariffs. A huge portion of the Southern economy involved exporting
cotton directly to Europeans. The most profitable and uncomplicated way to
carry on volume trade with the Europeans was to exchange Southern cotton
for European manufactured goods, and then back haul these goods to America.
The increased tariff rate to 36.2% significantly reduced what Southerners
could net out for their cotton sales both at home or abroad.
In contrast, many Northern industrialists could not compete very well against
English manufacturing. They benefited by keeping European manufacturers out
of the U.S. market by forcing consumers to pay higher prices for their tariff-protected
goods. These industrialists were Lincoln's primary political constituents.
Many intelligent observers understood all this at the time. In fact, even
Karl Marx, who admired Abraham Lincoln's leftist tendencies, observed that
the War Between the States was first and foremost a war fought over the tariff
issue and not slavery.
The public works racket
Many 19th century American leaders viewed public works projects as a scam
because the private sector generally built roads, canals, and railroads much
more efficiently than government-sponsored programs. In fact, according to
Dr. DiLorenzo in How Capitalism Saved America,
public road-building programs got such a bad reputation for their corruption
and inefficiency across America that by 1860 most state legislatures outlawed
No doubt this comes as a shock to most contemporary Americans, who are conditioned
to associate ordinary road and Interstate highway construction with government
grants. Maybe this really shows how much we have been conditioned to tolerate
corruption and inefficiency without knowing it.
Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, and many
other early American leaders vehemently opposed the creation
of a central bank, and this was not because they were ignorant,
archaic, or smoking dope. I have already discussed how
the ability of central banks to issue fiat money can be
very dangerous. As Voltaire once remarked, fiat money always
returns to the intrinsic value of paper, which is zero.
Putting fiat money in the hands of politicians and private
bankers is like locking alcoholics in a liquor store.
The same is true, incidentally, of a fractional reserve banking system that
goes hand in hand with central banking. This allows banks to loan out money
they create out of thin air based upon a certain percentage of funds held
as deposits. Expanding fractional reserve ratios can create all kinds of
opportunities for self-dealing and aggressive lending. It also contributes
to more extreme economic cycles as banks go through aggressive credit expansion
and contraction cycles. Later I explain how the fractional reserve excesses
heated up in 1913 once America got its permanent central bank.
Another major negative behind the existence of a central bank is the way
it serves as a lender of last resort. While it may sound barbaric in the
short run, in the long run it is much simpler and more honest to allow local
banks to fail. This approach is much more likely to punish bank officers
who screw up, and simultaneously quarantine bank problems on a local level.
During most of the 1800's, when America had no central bank, the failure
rate averaged no greater than 1-2% a year. Most Americans found this manageable
by diversifying where they held their deposits. Also, they did not suffer
when they buried their gold-backed money in their back yards or stuffed it
in mattresses. The dollar was worth 50% more in 1912 than it had been a hundred
In contrast, central bank bail-out of crony banks means that reckless and
incompetent banks survive and prosper, while overall system risk continues
to accumulate at the central bank level. Ultimately the entire economy may
become vulnerable to a blow-out. As one example we face today, rather than
reform the financial system after the Long Term Capital Management melt-down
of 1998, the Fed has continued to bail out banks which have now accumulated
derivatives amounting to something over twenty times the size of the U.S.
economy. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has also declared publicly that he is
prepared to inflate the dollar without limit, and as of March 2006 discontinued
reporting M3. All of this is very scary. More on all this later when I discuss
Vincent LoCascio's excellent book Special Privilege.
What-me-worry so long as I can deal,
We need to get a sense about how the political hack helps to spread corruption.
Once the public gets conditioned to accept more government interventionism,
it becomes a smaller step towards social democracy where the public corrupts
itself by accepting ever more social welfare programs. Now instead of working
to get kickbacks from narrow business interests, the demagogue works to get
kickbacks from the under classes who he buys off by spreading pork to them.
In reality, the demagogue is stirring up forms of financial civil war and
Once one uses the coercive power of government to redistribute
wealth, in essence one group of citizens is using government
to raid the pocket books
of other groups of citizens. Whether it is done discretely behind the
scenes with IRS forms, or done in a crude manner by government
troops with fixed
bayonets (or French Revolutionary pitch forks and pikes) — in the
final analysis it is all pretty much the same thing.
James Madison once wrote that there has never been a democracy that did not
murder itself. Once government becomes Santa Claus to both special business
interests and the general public, it becomes hard to take back the pork.
If anything, pressure continually builds in the opposite direction to provide
ever more pork and ever more special privileges. Major portions of the public
lose their self-sufficiency and become emotionally and financially dependent
on Big Brother government. They become ever more willing to vote for more
government to try to solve the problems created by government in the first
place. The nonproductive and dependent sector of the economy steadily grows.
Meanwhile, growth in government squeezes out increasing portions of genuinely
competitive, private entrepreneurial infrastructure.
It is the competitive private sector that can survive and thrive without
special privilege that creates most of the real jobs and wealth. As the productive
sector steadily shrinks, and the nonproductive sector steadily grows, we
can now clearly discern a full blown and ultimately self-destructive parasitic
From Ponzi Government to Evil Government
Ponzi government, as bad as it is, tends to be
relatively passive. It thrives in the gray zones where people
either do not know or do not care about long term vs. short
term tradeoffs in public policy issues. While it is indulgent
and morally permissive, it is usually not violent and bloody.
Unfortunately, if not arrested in time ponzi government can turn into evil
government. For people who study the true history of America, we have already
had a fair taste of this since the Abraham Lincoln dictatorship. This is
a situation where the government goes out of its way to artificially manufacture
violent crises and kill people to simultaneously justify its existence as
a protector and deflect blame from its own failings
In extreme cases, such as in the French Revolutionary Reign
of Terror, the Bolshevik Revolution, or the Cambodian killing
fields, government engages
in mass butchery. However, most evil governments try not to go quite
this far since it can undermine their tax base and seriously
erode their public
image. It is more typical for evil governments to try to hide their fingerprints
by engaging in such games as "protection racket," "agent provocateur," "blame
shifting," and "wag the dog" operations.
Games that Evil Governments
The protection racket
A classic example of a "protection racket" involves a gangster
who hires a hood to vandalize a store. Then the gangster approaches the store
manager to sell him his protection services from hoods in return for a cut
of his business. This is true parasitism at play. Nothing of economic value
has been created, and in fact the negative "make work" activities
degrade real economic progress.
We may be experiencing an example on a major national
political level in America today. Many American libertarians,
such as Dr. Paul Craig Roberts,
claim that America had no legitimate reason to invade Iraq. Sadam Hussein
had no ties to Al Qaida and he had destroyed all his weapons of mass
destruction. In addition, there were too many unanswered
questions about 9-11, which I
link to in my "Critical Issues" section. Therefore, the overblown
threat presented to Americans to justify increased aid to Israel and
increased expenditures for the military-industrial complex and a newly
of Homeland Security constitute a large-scale protection racket.
A more complex variation on the political protection
racket can be played with the old political game
of "divide and conquer." Here is how
it works: Find two factions that have money and simmering hostility.
Use agents provocateurs to stir up trouble between
them into open warfare. Then
sell armaments and defense consulting advice to both sides. Make good
money as you watch people destroy each other.
A good example is provided in By Way of Deception by
former Mossad Agent Victor Ostrowsky, where the Mossad provided training
to both government forces and Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka. He tells the story
where troops from both sides happened to be undergoing training in Israel,
and someone goofed in the scheduling and had them on the same military base
at the same time. Ostrowsky said that the Israeli instructors had some tense
moments when both groups were engaged in physical training one day on the
same athletic field, and were running towards each other with a fence between
them. Fortunately they did not recognize each other as they passed by.
Sometimes this game can be combined with another
game called "reductionism." Here
is how it works. First, find one side with money, and another side that
is a potential threat. Use agents provocateurs to
stir up open warfare. Work
with both sides. The fact that you are not making money from either one
or both sides is counterbalanced by the fact that
you like seeing each side
destroy each other. Ostrowsky talks about how the Mossad played this
game between Christians and Muslims in Lebanon. As
another example, in French
history Cardinal de Richelieu of Three
Musketeers fame was famous for the way he ruthlessly played
his real or perceived enemies off against each other, often providing covert
aid to each side. He kept hostilities simmering behind the Thirty Years War,
which completely ruined his perceived rival Germany.
A slick version of the agents provocateurs game is to attack yourself. Since
ordinary honest people find it difficult to fathom government leaders who
can sink so low that they are willing to kill their own people and destroy
their own buildings, crooked leaders can blame the attacks on their enemies
and frequently get away with it. This blame game gives them a justification
to go into a warlike mode, which in turn can give them further justification
to suppress civil liberties, stifle dissent, and aggrandize their power base.
In my Critical
Issues section I discuss the strange anomalies behind the Oklahoma City
bombing and the likely controlled demolition World Trade Center Tower collapses.
Many thinking Americans believe that the Oklahoma City bombing was not only
intended to falsely discredit the militia movement in America, but also act
as a dress rehearsal for 9-11. They also believe that 9-11 was fabricated
to falsely blame Arab militants and create a pretext for America's invasions
of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Wag the dog
In the "Wag the Dog" game, government starts
hyping perceived threats to a crisis level in order
to deflect attention from problems on the home
front. . This phrase comes from a fictional movie based on a widely held
public opinion that President Clinton ordered some cruise missile strikes
against alleged Al Qaeda sites in Afghanistan and increased air attacks
on Iraq in an effort to deflect attention on the
home front. He faced impeachment
over what he got caught doing on the carpet of the oval office with his
Jewish intern Monica Lewinsky.
When "Wag the Dog" involves creating a war somewhere, it often
gives political leaders an excuse to clamp down on dissent at home. Both
the U.S. and Israel have basket case economies, and their leaders may require "wag
the dog" to not only to deflect attention, but also to try to save
face if either or both economies go into hyperinflationary meltdown.
Rather than secrecy, centralization, and suppression
as answers to social and political problems, I explain why
political decentralization and openness may be a better long
as a remedy
Libertarians are quick to point out that
unscrupulous gamesmanship seems to correlate with increasing
size, power, centralization, compartmentalization, and levels
of management in government. Few Americans grasp that the same
problems and solutions that apply to excessive business centralization
can also apply to government.
The vast majority of universities teach macroeconomic theory
that justifies a busybody central bank, big government
intervention, and corporate central planning.
This theory is disconnected from microeconomic theory and business realities.
In fact, in his lectures, the late Austrian economist Dr. Murray Rothbard commented
that while "microeconomic theory is in good shape," in contrast, "macro
economic theory is screwed up."
We can find numerous historical examples where political secession has been handled
in a calm, peaceful, and mutually successful way.
Earlier I mentioned how America's mother country, Britain,
decided to handle her other "children" after
the American Revolution. By granting Canada, New Zealand,
and Australia complete autonomy, these countries have reduced
of government and have become more responsive to their own internal needs.
At the same time, they have enjoyed favored trade relations
with the mother country
and have rallied to her defense in time of crisis.
Sometimes after growing up, leaving home, and becoming self-sufficient, the children
can help the parents in return.
Another good example involves the Scandinavian countries. Dr. Lothrop Stoddard,
in his classic work Racial Realities in Europe, talks
about how Norway demanded independence from Sweden in 1905. At first the Swedish
leaders considered armed invasion, since Norway had only half Sweden's population.
Contrary to some popular stereotypes about Nordic berserker rage, Stoddard points
out that these Nordic leaders in actuality showed tremendous level-headedness
and sensibility. They decided to let Norway go peacefully. Stoddard observed
that this level-headedness and chivalry is all too often absent in other places
in Europe, particularly the Balkans.
Today Norway and Sweden are the best of friends on many levels, proving that
political secession can be reversed over time and replaced with warm friendship
on many different levels of sovereignty. On many economic levels, Norway and
Sweden act as if they are still the same country. A Norwegian citizen can cross
over into Sweden and work in any job, and vice versa. Both countries also cooperate
on a national strategic level. As one example, I am aware that both Norway and
Sweden shared the cost of hollowing out the interior of a mountain to store strategic
I personally think that the policy of peaceful secession rather than forcing
unity at all costs was good for both countries. For starters, they are both relatively
small countries, and could hardly have afforded a war that might have turned
into a very costly fratricidal conflict. Secondly, the secession helped bolster
the distinctive Nordic national identity and pride of each country.
Prior to the demand for independence, Norwegian nationalism got a shot in the
arm from the unearthing of Viking ships in burial mounds. Norwegian nationalism
and consciousness of an ancient shared heritage has helped to provide a check
against excessive Swedish cosmopolitanism which in turn has helped to preserve
the Swedish national identity.
For all the problems that Norway and Sweden are suffering today from Third World
immigration, to include the complete takeover of certain Scandinavian towns by
dark aliens, the swamping of the welfare system by swarthy hordes, and the ten
to one hundred fold increase in rapes of Nordic women in various multiracial
areas, I believe that the problems would be only that much worse today if Sweden
had kept Norway united through military conquest and then saturated the Norwegians
with anti-national, integration propaganda. The anti-nationalistic poison that
the Swedes might have dumped on Norwegians to forcefully integrate them into
their society would have ultimately blown back on themselves.
There are other examples of peaceful secession between
Nordic countries worth mentioning. In 1945 Iceland asked
Denmark for independence. Denmark responded
by basically saying in effect "God bless you and good luck," and
even sent a naval destroyer to return to Iceland from its national archives
manuscripts of medieval Icelandic sagas. Similarly, Sweden has historically
been respectful of Finnish requests for more autonomy.
One might argue that secessionism has actually been fairly normal and even desirable
in the history of Nordic and closely related Celtic peoples, to include Dutch
secession from the Spanish Empire, and periodic bouts of Scottish and Irish secession
from the British. One might argue that the way the South was handled just before,
during, and after the War Between the States was tragic, vicious, and abnormal
by many historical standards, and has provided a basis for many of the major
problems we face today.
The U.S. Government has granted independence to the Philippines, but in the current
political environment it is hardly likely it will consider granting peaceful secession to
Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, the South, or any other state or region.
Although the War Between the States originally started
over very legitimate Southern grievances regarding tariffs
and state's rights, Lincoln deliberately entangled
these issues with the slavery and white vs. black racial relations issue to
create a horrible neo-Jacobin ideological mess. The United
States became the only major "civilized" country
in the 19th century that was incapable of resolving its slavery problem in
a peaceful manner. France, England, Brazil, and others
did it peacefully, but America
had to destroy half the wealth of the South and kill 640,000 of its finest.
I would invite the reader to visit the King Lincoln archives
at www.mises.org as
well as more of my own commentary related to this topic in my History Reinterpreted