Saturday, June 25, 2011

Constitutionalists are fond of mocking the myth of democracy, likening it to mob rule. "God's law trumps man's law," they'll say, if they're inclined to a Judeo-Christian view of natural rights. "The Commandment is 'Thou Shalt Not Steal,' not 'Thou Shalt Not Steal Except By Majority Rule.'" Then they'll turn around and defend the Constitution, which even under a narrow reading (whose?!) authorizes the Congress under a litany of pretexts to violate the people's rights to life and property. In other words, "Thou Shalt Not Steal Except to Fund the Few and Enumerated Powers of the Federal Government as Stipulated by Article 1, Section 8." Who can mock that?


Sunday, June 19, 2011

The State is "all bad" precisely because it is that entity within society claiming the right to do unto us that which we are barred from doing unto each other, as Rockwell incisively points out. It owes its very existence to the exemption it carves for itself from the natural law. Thus, the question at hand is not libertarianism's "romantic infatuation" with the invisible hand; it is statism's utopian attachment to the iron fist in the velvet glove.

It is the statists, moreover, who "compartmentalize" sin. Self-interest and unfettered greed go "all the way up" to those who claim to be exempt from it.

Society isn't "all good and all natural." But since individuals within society don't claim for themselves the rights the State claims for itself, the incidence of societal disorder tends to be sporadic and its ramifications localized. State disorder, by contrast, is as ubiquitous as the air we breathe. Not only do we accept it as as a fact of life--the price of civilization (such as it is); we cease to recognize its intrinsic criminality.

Does the State otherwise prevent some societal disorder? Surely it must, if only by accident. The issue is whether it prevents more than it preserves.


Here's the problem. George Weigel, the novus ordo Catholics, "acquisitive" Protestants, godless secular humanists, liberals, conservatives, neoconservatives, statists of all stripes and, yes, too many trad Catholics conflate society with the State. But society preceded the State and exists apart from the State. Indeed, society exists despite the best efforts of the State to thwart its spontaneously ordering ways.

Here's how natural-order anarchist and trad Catholic Lew Rockwell defines the State:

“What is the state? It is the group within society that claims for itself the exclusive right to rule everyone under a special set of laws that permit it to do to others what everyone else is rightly prohibited from doing, namely, aggressing against person and property.”

This says it all. The State steals and extorts ("taxes"). It claims eminent domain. It enslaves ("conscripts"). It commits mass murder (wages "war"). It lies and kidnaps ("incarcerates"). Small wonder St. Augustine likened this protection racket to a band of robbers.

The Social Kingship of Christ is one thing. Christians are rightly called to proclaim it. But why on earth should they give a rat's behind whether the brood of vipers infesting the banks of Potomac proclaims it?


"Whoever thinks they can resolve everything with bombs is mistaken."
~Bishop Giovanni Martinelli of Tripoli, Libya

Where does this so-called man of the cloth get off uttering such blasphemies? Does he dare question the efficacy of the American state's humanitarian bombing campaign? Perhaps its proclamation of the Social Kingship of Christ will quiet his fears!


Saturday, June 18, 2011

In discussing inalienable rights, one must take care to differentiate between what is and what ought to be. When John Adams says we have "rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws," he means they ought not to be repealed or restrained. Operationally, however, they are routinely repealed and restrained. Armed thugs, whether freelance or on government-payroll, do take away our "inalienable" rights--to life, liberty, property, free speech, religion, etc.--by threatening or inflicting violence on those of us who try to exercise them.

Adams himself signed into law the Alien and Sedition Act, thereby repealing Americans' right to criticize their government in sensory-sensual space-time, as Robert Anton Wilson tagged the here-and-now. Americans may well have retained the right in some Platonic realm. The fact remains they risked great bodily injury up to and including death if they presumed to exercise that right under the territorial monopoly of force we call the Adams administration.

That's the paradox as I see it. What "is" conflicts with what "ought to be." We can withdraw our consent to be governed. We can free our minds, recognizing the State for Rothbard's "band of criminals writ large" that it is. The insight in itself is worthwhile.

Nevertheless, if you evade its taxes or resist its edicts, the State may well sic its agents on you. You may get away with it. But the threat remains. You risk fine, imprisonment, tasering, a head-bashing or worse. That's the reality.


We grow tyrannical fighting tyranny. The most alarming spectacle today is not the spectacle of the atomic bomb in an unfederated world, it is the spectacle of the Americans beginning to accept the device of loyalty oaths and witchhunts, beginning to call anybody they don't like a Communist. -E.B. White, writer (1899-1985)

E. B. White’s quote fairly oozes irony--surely unintended in one so clearly immersed in the Big Lies of his day. Is the “spectacle of the atomic bomb” any less alarming in a federated world? Quite the contrary! The forging of political unity among disparate states renders those at the helm more, not less, dangerous. Centralization is just another word for conquest.

It's a truism in politics: only the most ruthless rise to the top. Creating arbitrary enemies, and forging shifting alliances to thwart those enemies, helps catapult them. Meanwhile, their claque of court intellectuals impute the loyalty oaths and witch hunts to the frightened masses.

Nowadays, they don’t call “anybody they don’t like a Communist.” They call them "jihadis" or "terrorists," erstwhile allies in their Cold War against the Communists, who themselves had been allies of the Federated States in the Hot War against Hitler. But all that goes down the memory hole: Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

His problem? You mean my problem with him? Only this: Lincoln was the classic Humanitarian with a Guillotine (as Isabel Paterson characterized the type). He loved humanity in the abstract but was murder--literally!--on the flesh-and-blood variety.

All of America's great leaders--Wilson, FDR, O-Bomb-A--have patterned themselves after him. They know terrorism transmogrifies into Benevolent Butchery when enlisted in the service of Uplift. An Overriding Public Interest (e.g., liberating Mohammedan women from their burqas) sanitizes the most mind-boggling atrocity (e.g., dropping 2,000-pound bombs on Afghani wedding parties).

Stated intentions, however disingenuous, mean everything. As Vonnegut might say, "And so it goes."


Saturday, June 11, 2011

In criticizing NATO leaders for not spending enough on their own defense, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates fails to see the big picture. Europeans' assessment of risk differs markedly from his own. Why would they spend more money on the U.S. nuclear umbrella when they believe (not unreasonably, in my view) that it puts them in harm's way?

Gates' point is moot and probably just for show anyway. U.S. elites and movement (good word for them, "movement") conservatives won't let Europeans assume responsibility for their own defense. They know what's good for Europeans better than do Europeans, and they have no problem sticking U.S. taxpayers with the bill for it. Movement conservatives are "pro-American"!

They know Europeans didn't take the Nazi or Soviet threats seriously in the 20th century, neither are Europeans taking the terrorist threat seriously in the 21st. The U.S. "pulled their bacon out of the fire" before and the U.S. will do it again! More empire, more entanglements, more budget-busting "defense" spending! The U.S. is a Nanny-State Globocop!