Liberty Winning

Louis XIV had hundreds of servants who prepared him dinner. Today, my supermarket offers me a buffet Louis XIV couldn’t imagine. Thanks to trade and property rights and markets, each of us lives as if we had more servants than kings.

Do I live in an alternate universe?

The media tell me my side is winning.

Salon claims, “We all live in Kochland, the Koch brothers’ libertarian utopia.”

Tucker Carlson says, “Our leadership class remains resolutely libertarian.”

What? Who? Not President Biden.

Biden already spent $1.9 trillion on COVID-19 “recovery” mostly unrelated to COVID. Now, he wants trillions more for an “infrastructure” bill, even though most of the spending would not go to infrastructure. He’s eager to regulate more, too.

Maybe the pundits were talking about former President Trump. He tried to deregulate — a little.

But Trump vilified trade and raised military spending, increasing our debt by trillions.

We libertarians want to reduce debt and believe trade and immigration are good for America. Above all, we believe the best government governs least.

That’s not what I hear from most Democrats and Republicans.

So, how can pundits from both left and right say libertarian ideas are winning?

In a way, we are winning,” answers the Cato Institute’s David Boaz, author of “The Libertarian Mind,” in my latest video.

“Over the past couple of hundred years, we’ve moved from a world where very few people had rights and markets were not free — to a world mostly marked by religious freedom, personal freedom, freedom of speech, property rights markets, the rule of law.”

For most of history, no country had those things. As a result, says Boaz, “There was practically no economic growth, no increase in human rights and justice.”

Kings and tyrants ruled, enslaving people, stealing property and waging wars that lasted decades.

Then, in 1700 “suddenly, limited government and property rights and markets came into the world,” Boaz points out.

The result was a sudden increase in prosperity. Americans now are told that “the poor get poorer,” but it’s not true. Americans are 30 times richer than we were 200 years ago. When America began, rich people were poorer than poor people are today.

“In Colonial America,” says Boaz, “(if) you were traveling and you wanted a place to sleep, you’d go to an inn where everyone shared a bed.”

Benjamin Franklin and John Adams shared a bed on one of their diplomatic missions. They fought whether or not the window should be open.

John Jay, America’s first chief justice of the Supreme Court, complained about “sleeping with strangers and picking up bedbugs and lice,” says Boaz. “It’s not like that anymore because of the increase in wealth.”

Today, at motels all over America, middle-class and poor people have their own beds.

When markets are free and private property is protected, innovation happens in ways that allow ordinary people to live better. Over time, that innovation multiplies. It’s why, today, most of us live better than kings once did.

Louis XIV had hundreds of servants who prepared him dinner. Today, my supermarket offers me a buffet Louis XIV couldn’t imagine. Thanks to trade and property rights and markets, each of us lives as if we had more servants than kings.

We also live longer.

“President Calvin Coolidge’s teenage son was playing tennis on the White House tennis court,” says Boaz. “He got a blister on his foot and the blister got infected, and the health care available to the son of the president of the United States was not sufficient to keep him from dying.”

Few of us notice such steady progress.

The media give us bad news. “They tell us about cancer clusters and coups in Myanmar,” says Boaz. As a result: “We forget the big picture. It’s important to remember the big picture so that we don’t lose it.”

The big picture also includes progress in fairness and decency.

“We’ve moved from ‘some people have privileges that others don’t’ to ‘human rights belong to women and Black people and gay people,’” Boaz reminds us.

“The direction of history has been in the direction of markets, personal freedom, human rights, democratic governance, and that’s what libertarians advocate.”

John Stossel

Police Problems ? Embrace Liberty

Many Americans saw former policeman Derek Chauvin’s conviction on all counts last week as affirming the principle that no one is above the law. Many others were concerned that the jury was scared that anything less than a full conviction would result in riots, and even violence against themselves and their families.

Was the jury’s verdict influenced by politicians and media figures who were calling for the jury to deliver the “right” verdict? Attempts to intimidate juries are just as offensive to the rule of law as suggestions that George Floyd’s criminal record somehow meant his rights were not important.

The video of then-policeman Chauvin restraining Floyd led people across the political and ideological spectrums to consider police reform. Sadly, there have also been riots across the country orchestrated by left-wing activists and organizations seeking to exploit concern about police misconduct to advance their agendas.

It is ironic to see self-described Marxists, progressives, and other leftists protesting violence by government agents. After all, their ideology rests on the use of force to compel people to obey politicians and bureaucrats.

It is also ironic to see those who claim to want to protect and improve “black lives” support big government.

Black people, along with other Americans, have had their family structure weakened by welfare policies encouraging single parenthood. This results in children being raised without fathers as a regular presence in their lives, increasing the likelihood the children will grow up to become adults with emotional and other problems.

Those at the bottom of the economic ladder are restrained in improving their situation because of minimum wage laws, occupational licensing regulations, and other government interference in the marketplace. They are also victims of the Federal Reserve’s inflation tax.

Many progressives who claim to believe that “black lives matter” do not care that there is a relatively high abortion rate of black babies. These so-called pro-choice progressives are the heirs of the racists who founded the movement to legalize and normalize abortion.

The drug war is a major reason police have increasingly looked and acted like an occupying army. Police militarization threatens everyone’s liberty. Black people have been subjected to drug war arrests and imprisonment at relatively high rates.

Those interested in protecting and enhancing black people’s (and all people’s) lives should embrace liberty. Libertarians reject the use of force to achieve political, economic, or social goals, Therefore, in a libertarian society, police would only enforce laws prohibiting the initiation of force against persons or property.

A libertarian society would leave the provision of aid to the needy to local communities, private charities, and religious organizations. Unlike the federal welfare state, private charities can provide effective and compassionate aid without damaging family structure or making dependency a way of life. In a libertarian society, individuals could pursue economic opportunity free of the burdens of government regulations and taxes, as well as free of the Federal Reserve’s fiat currency.

Free markets, individual liberty, limited government, sound money, and peace are key to achieving prosperity and social cohesion. Those sincerely concerned about improving all human lives should turn away from the teaching of Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes, who advocated expansive government power, and, instead, embrace the ideas of pro-liberty writers such as Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard.

Ron Paul, UNZ Review

How Are We Supposed to Cope Living Under Tyranny?

Knowing I’m a therapist as well as a patriot, people write and ask me, “How are we supposed to cope?”

My answer:

You still have your First and Second Amendments rights; your two most important rights. Well, not really. They’re being dismantled, as we speak. But they’re not consistently squashed — not yet. So use your First and Second Amendment rights while you still have remnants of them. And even after they’re gone, be prepared to go underground. Be an outlaw. Do what you have to do — within reason, whatever you consider reason — to exercise them. Remember those rights are inalienable. They are natural — God-given, if you wish. The point is: They are not bestowed by man. They are part of your nature, of your entitlement as a human being, even if the twenty-first century savages we have put in charge smirk at them.

Practically, this means speaking your mind whenever you wish. Don’t be afraid of everything and everyone. Remember that tyrants are afraid. So are your neighbors, family members, cohorts and “friends” who support those tyrants. If someone declares proudly, “I voted for Biden,” I immediately think, “Good grief. What a hollowed out, neurotic, psychologically trashed human being this must be.” They’re afraid because it’s not a state of serenity and mental health that leads one to support tyrants. Only irrational fear could have done that. The people whom you dread offending are not mentally balanced. They can’t be. If they were, they wouldn’t support what’s going on. At least see them for what they are; don’t make them out stronger than they could ever be.

As for the Second Amendment, buy the weapons and ammunition that you believe you need to protect yourself. Do it while it’s still legal. At some point, it will all be illegal. That’s the open purpose of what they’re doing. Again, they’re scared. They have to do this decisively but in an incremental way. They’re afraid of what gun owners will do, if triggered. There’s fear and loathing on both sides here. Don’t worry about breaking the law. Simply worry about not being found out. There’s no moral justification for what’s going on. Morality trumps the law. If you go underground or start manipulating or deceiving in order to get past an immoral, unjust government — that’s a moral triumph, not a shame. I’m not suggesting you must become a martyr or a crusader for any particular cause — even a great cause, such as the cause of liberty. After all — let’s be honest — we have lost the war. The war is really over. There are no elections or candidates on the horizon who can save us. We’re past that point, sadly. Everything going on politically involves a complete dismantling of the remaining freedoms we had enjoyed, at least through 2019.

Beyond these two things — protect and take your First and Second Amendment rights underground — my main advice is: live your life, as best you can. Without politics. I don’t know what the future holds for people, but the America we once knew is now largely a myth. There may be secession in parts of the country, and I’d love to see secession within states, too — counties breaking off from California and New York, for example. But none of that will come without a price. And if we continue to do nothing, that exacts a heavy price too.That’s just where we are. There will be no easy choices.

In some sense, life must go on. Find love, family, romance, intrigue, purpose and self-esteem wherever you can, and as much as you can. Cherish the music you love and the books that embody your highest, most authentic self. Remember art. Remember the classics. Figure out how to secure these in times ahead. You’re no longer living in a free country. Don’t hold your entire life hostage while waiting for a free country to resume. Sadly, most human beings for 99 percent of human history have NOT lived under freedom and liberty. We were the last of a rare few generations who knew what freedom was really like. I will always remember the cities, the airports, the grocery stores, the amusement parks, the openness of towns, the country, suburbs, the public arenas, the restaurants, the shopping malls — none of those things, in my view, will be like they were, not again. COVID was merely the excuse — the first of many — to implement what we now have: a society of conformity, intolerance and obedience. When they call for a “new normal”, these tyrants, they mean it — and they perceive this as a good thing. The sickos who applaud it clearly hated themselves and their lives all along. Those sickos are now in charge. The dystopians — the “Karens” — were in our midst all along, and now they leer in the triumph of their puny, meaningless souls.

Try to preserve the idea and the reality of beautiful freedom for younger people important to you. Keep the images, the feelings of freedom, alive. Those images will remain alive in numerous books, movies and videos, things which will be hard to eliminate. Some of these young people, no doubt, will want to lead the charge for some kind of a restoration of human liberty. That’s probably the best hope.

Michael J. Hurd, Daily Dose of Reason

Good-Bye American Liberty

Yesterday I pointed out that no facts known at this time support a Covid passport. https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2021/03/29/new-yorks-covid-vaccine-passport-makes-no-sense/

The Establishment is not interested in facts and has no need of them. The Establishment has the presstitute lie machine. It creates whatever reality the Establishment wants us to live in.

Nevertheless, some facts are just overwhelming. Consider Florida. Long a retirement state, it is a state with a large proportion of elderly and overweight people. For the past year Florida has not been under lockdown or a mask mandate. The state is wide open. Consequently, one would think that Florida would have the hightest number of Covid deaths per 100,000 population.

But that is not the case. Florida’s 154 Covid deaths per 100,000 is in the middle of the 50 states ranking. New Jersey, a lockdown state, has a deaths per 100,000 almost twice Florida’s at 1.78 times. Lockdowned New York’s deaths are 1.66 times higher than Floridas. Lockdowned Massachusetts and Rhode Island Covid deaths are 1.60 times higher than Florida’s.

These numbers are from the official data. https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/public-health/us-coronavirus-deaths-by-state-july-1.html The conclusion is that Florida, an open state with an elderly and overweight population without dockdown and mask mandates—conditions that according to the medical bureaucrats should have produced the leading high death rate—is in the middle of the pack.

We can safely conclude that lockdowns and mask mandates are pointless. And this conclusion does not take into account the many expert and suppressed opinions that the lockdowns and the masks do more harm than good.

Despite the facts, the corrupt Biden regime, a stolen presidency, is working with private companies who smell the profits to develop vaccine passport systems, which they allege is the only way to return to normalcy. In other words, if you want to get out of jail, you will have to give up your privacy.

Scared people are likely to fall for the propaganda that the passport is a public health measure that will liberate us from lockdowns. But Florida doesn’t have lockdowns or a vaccine passport. Naomi Wolf warns:

“I am not overstating this. I can’t say it forcefully enough. This is literally the end of human liberty in the west if this plan unfolds as planned. Vaccine passports sound like a fine thing if you don’t understand what these platforms can do …

ORDER IT NOW

“It’s not about the vaccine. It’s not about the virus. It’s about your data. And once this rolls out you don’t have a choice about being part of the system. What people have to understand is that any other functionality can be loaded onto that platform with no problem at all. What that means is that it can be merged with your Paypal account, with your digital currency, Microsoft is already talking about merging it with payment plans. Your networks can be sucked up. It geolocates you wherever you go. Your credit history can be included. All of your medical history can be included.” https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/coming-soon-vaccine-passports/

To keep the fear level high the medical bureaucrat who heads the Centers for Disease Control, Rochelle Walensky, preditcted yesterday, based on her feelings, impending doom from a new Covid surge. https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/545375-cdc-director-warns-of-impending-doom-on-potential-new-covid-surge?userid=439965

Allegedly, the US has had 30 million Covid cases. Where does this number come from. It comes from financial incentives to hospitals to report every death as a Covid death—see https://www.globalresearch.ca/hospitals-getting-paid-more-label-cause-death-coronavirus/5709720 — and from running the PCR test at such high cycles that the test produces false positives. In other words, the figure is an orchestrated figure in service to an agenda.

Has the public noticed that this year there has been no flu season? The explanation is that the flu cases have been conflated with Covid cases in order to multiply the level of Covid infection.

A population that is so easily manipulated and scared has no possibility of holding on to liberty. Eighteenth century Americans valued liberty—“give me liberty or give me death.” Twenty-first century Americans evidently do not. Their acceptance of lockdowns proves their readiness for the Gulag.

Paul Craig Roberts, UNZ Review

Two Americas: Texas/Florida vs. New York/California

We live in two Americas. One is the land of Communism; the other is the land of freedom.

In the land of freedom, like Texas and Florida, mask mandates and lockdowns are lifted. Whatever you think of these mandates, they really were intended to be temporary.

In other states, it’s different. In other states, they keep moving the goalposts. “Well, we can’t get rid of lockdowns now. There could be another strain coming. And then there’s the problem of climate change and racism. We have to keep the controls in place.” And expand the controls, of course.

Under Communism, the more the controls on liberty don’t do what they’re advertised to do, the more we’re told: “They didn’t go far enough. We need to double and triple down.”

Under freedom, controls and liberty are viewed as unfortunate, temporary and perhaps — perish the thought — even big, unconstitutional mistakes from the get-go.

On the one hand, it’s good to see there’s still a battle. It’s good to see that we have states like Texas, Florida, Wyoming, South Dakota, South Carolina and a few others. But the bulk of America’s population resides in the states with the biggest and (up until now) most influential cities: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago. Those states are hard, hard Communist. And they’re moving more to the left. Imagine a place where Andrew Cuomo is considered too moderate for the hard left now dominating the entire Democratic Party nationally — and you’ll be thinking of New York. He’s being ousted to pave the way for a true-blue socialist. New York will be as gone as Russia in 1917.

Connecticut is an interesting exception, and could spell trouble ahead for the forces of leftism. That hard blue state is lifting its controls, at least partially. It’s not Texas. But for a blue state to be doing this at all is the opposite of, “We have to double and triple down.” Fauci and Biden (when he’s lucid) are freaking out, screaming about the second wave that will soon be coming. They don’t wish to lose control. They couldn’t care less about anyone’s health. Biden is demented and Fauci has no such excuse; he’s living in a cocoon inside the Beltway. All he cares about is that the vapid hosts on CNN and MSNBC like him.

The battle for freedom and liberty will never end. In a way, we should have always known that. America’s founders understood it. Nonetheless, it’s sad to see it take such a dramatic and all-encompassing turn. People who have lost their freedom in most of the blue states will literally have to fight to gain it back. The Bill of Rights means nothing to their governors and their President — excuse me, their occupation leader. And prepare for Kamala Harris. She’s coming. She’s got the ambitions of a Hitler and a Stalin … with only a third of the brain and none of the finesse.

It’s not going to be pretty. But then again, the never-ending human quest for freedom never was.

Michael J. Hurd, Daily Dose of Reason

Universal Freedom: The Only Hope for Health Care

“Universal Health Care” is the increasing drumbeat of advocates who want Americans to place all responsibility for their health care in the hands of government.

“Universal Health Care” is the increasing drumbeat of advocates who want Americans to place all responsibility for their health care in the hands of government. They say health care needs require us to put aside such considerations as personal choice and individual freedom as outmoded ideology that should be dispensed with. First drop the context of individual rights, private property, and privacy—then the government is liberated to micro-manage every detail of the medical treatment you are allowed to have.

The loss of freedom may be unfortunate in this view, but is necessary because most Americans cannot afford to pay for health care, or even for a significant fraction of the cost. Of course if that were true, the government could not afford health care for everyone regardless of cost either. However those who might be relieved to learn that they are not responsible for the cost of their own health care would soon discover that they have become responsible for the cost of everyone else’s. There is a much higher price than that: a government that pays for all of our health care would inevitably come to think and act as if it owns our bodies. That is a big bill to pay to avoid the difficulty of paying insurance premiums. The talk about a “right” to health care really means that no one should have the right to any health care at all except through the government.

Many of us find paying for health care challenging. Many more have difficulty making it a priority in our spending—often because we think it should be someone else’s responsibility. Some who sincerely make the effort can’t pay for everything they need. Others, especially the young who know they will live forever, choose not to make provision for their health care even if they can afford it. That does not mean we should resort to the government to force others to provide it, or that everyone in the country should be herded into the gray and barren landscape of a compulsory government medical system. The fact that some people are hungry does not mean that everyone should be forced to obtain their food from the government, and be taxed to pay for it. The existence of the homeless should not mean that everyone be forced to find shelter only through the auspices of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

We are told that because we all need health care so badly, considerations such as individual freedom and especially the rights of medical professionals must be over-ridden, even if all physicians must be drafted into government service as if they were property—so their practices can be micro-managed by the medical police. But it is precisely because our health care is so important to each of us that we need to be especially careful to preserve and protect the rights of physicians and other health care providers.

One rationalization of advocates for Universal Health Care is that insurance companies are wasteful and bloated corporate bureaucracies with high administrative costs, but that government health care like Medicare and Medicaid are models of administrative efficiency. This ignores the cost of the more than 100,000 I.R.S. employees who collect Medicare taxes, as well as the tremendous administrative burden to providers of trying to understand and comply with 130,000 pages of Medicare regulations. Yet those regulations have not been effective in preventing billions of dollars in fraudulent payments, as documented in New York Medicaid by several New York newspapers this year. You can save a lot on overhead if you don’t mind pumping out billions of dollars without oversight. The administrative cost of burning money can be quite low. It is not explained how the efficiency of government works for health care and not for the post office. Markets work better than Socialism. One wonders if any of the current health care collectivists noticed the twentieth century as it was going by.

Universal Freedom is the only proper moral and political foundation for health care policy. “Universal Health Care” must be rejected as a government threat to our liberty. American health care must be based on American values.

Richard E. Ralston, Capitalism Magazine

War is the Health of the State, and the Death of Liberty

The United States is the world’s most militarized and belligerent nation. Stating this reality shocks and outrages Washington policymakers. Yet the facts are incontestable, like the sun’s rise.

Last week the Biden administration ordered airstrikes in Syria against Iranian-backed forces. The attack was retaliation for a rocket assault on a U.S. base in Iraq. That event responded to previous US attacks in Iraq, including one which killed several local officials, along with Iranian leader Qasem Soleimani. Alas, the latest bombing won’t stop threats against Americans but will further entangle Washington in Mideast conflict.

The US military should not be engaged in combat involving any of these nations. Yet last week’s action was not unique. A new study from Brown University’s Watson Institute found that between 2018 and 2020 the US backed surrogate forces in combat in four countries, unleashed air and/or drone strikes in seven, engaged in combat operations in eight, undertook military exercises in 41, and participated in military training in 79. All of these were labeled “counter-terrorism” operations.

Washington’s endless “global war on terrorism” has been a notable failure, with ever-increasing terrorist threats attracting ever-expanding military action. US officials obviously have been much better at creating than eradicating terrorism. Which should surprise no one: al-Qaeda arose in response to Washington’s aggressive, militaristic policies, including America’s support for oppressive Arab regimes and Israel’s occupation over millions of Palestinians, military presence in Saudi Arabia, and attacks on Muslim-majority states. Although Americans typically view themselves as innocent Vestal Virgins circling the globe seeking to uplift the world, those suffering under US bombs often violently disagree.

Some anti-terrorism campaigns have morphed into greater conflicts and failures. Candidate Joe Biden joined his predecessor in criticizing these “endless wars,” but appears to be doubling down on America’s role as globocop. Eighteen years after joining his Senate colleagues in voting to back George W. Bush’s misbegotten invasion of Iraq, Biden is strengthening a long-term presence there amid warring Shia and Sunni political factions, Iranian-backed militias, autonomous Kurdish forces, and continuing domestic instability.

Of course, ISIS remains a concern, but it would not exist but for the US invasion, which unleashed sectarian war and spawned al-Qaeda in Iraq, which mutated into the Islamic State. Having helped reverse – ironically, in conjunction with the same irregular forces now blamed for attacking US personnel – the 2014 ISIS conquest of much of the country, Washington should return defense responsibilities to Baghdad. The Islamist group’s ideology and disparate clutches of fighters will remain a problem for several Middle Eastern states, but one that the threatened governments and other regional powers can contain.

In truth, America’s Iraq presence was mostly directed against Iran as part of the Trump administration’s misbegotten “maximum pressure” campaign. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s embarrassing “swagger” could not hide the disastrous impact of Washington’s attempt to force Tehran to abandon its independent foreign policy by starving the Iranian people. Iran’s predictable retaliation further destabilized the Middle East, interrupting Gulf oil traffic, wrecking Saudi oil facilities, spurring Iranian nuclear development, and putting US personnel at risk. Quite an achievement for the Trump administration! Now the Biden administration has expanded unnecessary American military operations to Syria to preserve the unnecessary presence in Iraq.

Worse, Biden appears ready to abandon his predecessor’s agreement with the Taliban providing for an American military withdrawal from Afghanistan by May 1. It took US forces just weeks to oust the Taliban and wreck al-Qaeda after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Unfortunately, Washington spent the next two decades in a forlorn effort to create a friendly, stable, centralized, democratic, and effective government where one never previously existed. It was a foolish effort, impossible to achieve, at least at reasonable cost and in reasonable time.

American officials perhaps could be excused for trying a bit of social engineering in a traditional society long ruled at the village and valley level. However, they cannot be forgiven for squandering lives and money year after year in pursuit of the same fantasy. And for attempting to disguise their manifold failures with propaganda and lies, an effort which continues today.

In fall 2019 the Washington Post published a devastating expose of US policy. Explained Craig Whitlock: “A confidential trove of government documents obtained by the Washington Post reveals that senior US officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable.” It appears that the Biden administration will be the fourth administration to follow this path, rather than fulfill its moral obligation to bring home American forces.

Even more substantial and dangerous are multiple alliances protecting virtually every prosperous, populous industrialized state from every threat, known and unknown: NATO, South Korea, and Japan, most importantly, along with the far less advanced Philippines. Then there are seemingly endless informal guarantees and ambiguous commitments – to Arab and Gulf states, Israel, Taiwan, Australia, Ukraine, Georgia, and perhaps others.

These far-ranging ties bring the US up against nuclear-armed powers, most notably China and Russia, which believe that they have substantial, even vital, security interests at stake throughout the same regions. Moreover, it is America’s globe-spanning presence, as well as willingness to bomb, invade, and occupy most any nation at any time for any reason, which encouraged North Korea to develop and both Iran and Iraq to previously pursue nuclear weapons. If Pyongyang ever uses nukes against America, it will be in response to US actions or threats against the North.

America’s global military presence befits praetorian guardians of an empire, not armed forces of a republic. Conducted in the name of defense, most of these activities have little to do with protecting America – population, territory, liberties, or prosperity. Instead, this massive military presence is designed to promote US military hegemony and economic and political influence. Washington hopes to keep potential competitors weak and even friends mostly helpless and forever dependent on America. The US also expects to engage in social engineering anywhere and everywhere on earth.

This activist foreign policy also constantly spurs expansion of the military-industrial complex. Even today’s fractured and selfish Congress could not easily mulct taxpayers for the benefit of such interests without a security pretext. Patrolling the globe and asserting “vital” interests where none exist, such as last week in Iran, Iraq, and Syria, provide convenient excuses. America’s perpetual warfare state also gives members of the infamous Blob – the complex gaggle dominated by factotums, hangers-on, hacks, sycophants, and other policy parasites – power, purpose, position, prosperity, and prestige. Indeed, it is war, and all that results from conflict, that most gives Blobsters their raison d’etre.

In 2016 Donald Trump’s tirades against endless wars led some Americans to hope that he would break with the bipartisan pro-war consensus. Alas, whatever his personal predilections, he surrounded himself with war hawks who preserved, and sometimes expanded, existing military commitments. His reckless “fire and fury” threats against North Korea and disastrous “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran risked triggering major regional conflicts. And his election-minded truculence toward China increased chances of conflict with that nuclear power.

Barely a month after taking the oath of office, Biden has demonstrated that he, too, remains a captive of the nation’s militaristic status quo. After two decades of mostly unnecessary and stupid wars, Americans deserve to live in peace. Unfortunately, they will have to again wait for a candidate to put their interests before that of Washington’s bipartisan War Party.

Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. He is a former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan and the author of several books, including Foreign Follies: America’s New Global Empire.

Ayn Rand on Liberty

What is the basic, the essential, the crucial principle that differentiates freedom from slavery? It is the principle of voluntary action versus physical coercion or compulsion.

Freedom, in a political context, has only one meaning: the absence of physical coercion.

Needed: A New System

Hope springs eternal for statists. When President Trump was coming into office four years ago, conservatives were filled with hope and optimism that Trump would save America from its deep morass of crises and chaos.

Alas, it didn’t happen. American society is just as dysfunctional as it was when Trump became president.

Now, it’s the liberals’ turn. They too are now filled with hope and optimism that their man — Joe Biden — will save America from the crises and chaos that afflict our land.

It ain’t gonna happen, and the sooner the American people finally come to that realization, the sooner we will be able to get our nation back on the right track — toward liberty, peace, prosperity, and harmony.

The problem is that you’ve got an inherently defective system — the welfare-warfare system under which we live. No one can make it work. No matter who is elected, the crises and the chaos will remain. Tampering with this defective system only makes the situation worse.

Healthcare crisis. Education crisis. Foreign policy crisis. Financial crisis. Monetary crisis. Immigration crisis. Trade crisis. They all will continue under Biden, no matter what he does.

Now would be a good time for Americans to engage in some serious soul-searching and self-examination. What kind of society do they want to live in? If they like the type of crisis-ridden and chaos-filled society in which we live, then they should keep the welfare-warfare state system. If they would prefer a free and normal society, then they should focus on changing systems, not presidents.

Here is the ideal system:

  1. No socialism. Dismantle all the welfare state part of the federal government by repealing Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, farm subsidies, education grants, and every other socialist program that takes money from Peter and gives it to Paul. No more mandatory charity. Leave charity entirely voluntary.
  2. No interventionism and regulation. No more governmental control, management, and regulation of economic activity.
  3. Establish a free-market monetary system. Dismantle the Federal Reserve and repeal legal-tender laws. Let the market determine what money will be used for transactions.
  4. Abolish the federal income tax and the IRS. Leave people free to keep everything they earn and decide for themselves what to do with it.
  5. End imperialism and foreign interventionism. Dismantle the Pentagon, the vast military-industrial complex, the empire of foreign and domestic military bases, the CIA, the NSA, and the FBI. End all foreign interventionism and limit the U.S. government to defending the United States. End the national-security state and restore a limited-government republic. Retain just a basic military force.
  6. End all trade restrictions and immigration controls. Establish free trade and open immigration. Open the borders to the free movements of goods, services, and people.
  7. Repeal all drug laws.
  8. Separate healthcare and the state.
  9. Separate charity and the state.
  10. Separate economy and the state.
  11. Separate education and the state.

This is a system that works. It would bring an end to the crises and chaos that besiege our land. Our American ancestors proved it. This is the system that the American people should restore. This is the system that will bring liberty, peace, prosperity, and harmony to our land.

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.

The Wisdom of Richard Henry Lee

THE recent explosion in the reach of federal government has made limits on federal power once again the central political issue. Unfortunately, ignorance of our founding severely impoverishes that discussion. A good example is Richard Henry Lee.

Lee made the motion calling for the colonies’ independence. He was a leader in the Continental Congresses, including as president. He was elected senator from Virginia, despite opposing the Constitution’s ratification for lacking “a better bill of rights.” Particularly important were Lee’s Letters from the Federal Farmer, an important impetus to the Bill of Rights.

Today, when what the federal government is permitted to do is again central, his arguments merit reconsideration. I can consent to no government, which … is not calculated equally to preserve the rights of all orders of men. A free and enlightened people … will not resign all their rights to those who govern, and they will fix limits to their legislators and rulers…[who] will know they cannot be passed.

[Hope] cannot justify the impropriety of giving powers, the exercise of which prudent men will not attempt, and imprudent men will … exercise only in a manner destructive of free government. Why … unnecessarily leave a door open to improper regulations?

We cannot form a general government in which all power can be safely lodged. Should the general government…[employ] a system of influence, the government will take every occasion to multiply laws … props for its own support.

Vast powers of laying and collecting internal taxes in a government … would be … abused by imprudent and designing men.

We ought not … commit the many to the mercy, prudence, and moderation of the few. National laws ought to yield to inalienable or fundamental rights—and … should extend only to a few national objects.

Men who govern will … construe laws and constitutions most favorably for increasing their own powers; all wise and prudent people … have drawn the line, and carefully described the powers parted with and the powers reserved … what rights are established as fundamental, and must not be infringed upon. Our countrymen are entitled … to a government of laws and not of men … if the constitution … be vague and unguarded, then we depend wholly on the prudence, wisdom and moderation of those who manage the affairs of government… uncertain and precarious.

Liberty, in its genuine sense, is security to enjoy the effects of our honest industry and labors, in a free and mild government. The people have a right to hold and enjoy their property according to known standing laws, and which cannot be taken from them without their consent.

In free governments, the people … follow their own private pursuits, and enjoy the fruits of their labor with very small deductions for the public use. Our true object is … to render force as little necessary as possible.

The powers delegated to the government must be precisely defined… that, by no reasonable construction, they can be made to invade the rights and prerogatives intended to be left in the people.