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America in
Chains

PEACE, FREEDOM, PROGRESS, AND PROSPERITY March 25, 2009

By now, it should be pathetically obvious to anyone and everyone
– except the politically brain-dead, and the media — that the cause
of America’s current economic disaster, exactly as it was with the
Depression eighty years ago, is central control and command of the
economy.

It’s very simple: when millions of individuals are free to direct
their own economic lives, some of them will soar, some will only break
even, and some will flub their way back from the boardroom to flipping
burgers.

As human beings, each of us has a right to _try_ to succeed.
Nothing can — or should — be guaranteed. The right to fail is
equally important. As a species, we seem to learn more readily from
our failures than from our successes. Failure is a basic right that
must never be denied to anyone, especially bankers and Wall Street
tycoons.

Or politicians.

Randolph Bourne was wrong: _crime_ is the health of the state.

But I have digressed.

Overall, the millions that comprise a nation will thrive, as this
country once did (for the most part, and with regrettable exceptions),
in the days before the poison of political power began to suffuse its
deadly way deep into the arteries, veins, and capillaries of American
civilization.

On the other hand, if a single individual or organization — a
king, a dictator, Congress, the Federal Reserve — has the power to
make decisions for everyone, then a single mistake (vastly easier to
make when it isn’t your own life, fortune, or sacred honor on the
line) will shake the entire culture, damage it, perhaps even destroy
it altogether, as seems to have been the case with many ancient
civilizations.

The key to preventing this kind of calamity is individual liberty.
With freedom, you can accomplish anything; without it, you can
accomplish nothing — except, perhaps, to die in poverty, misery, and
squalor.

What we find ourselves on, at the present moment, is the cusp of a
decision. Shall we find our way back to the outlook and attitude that
once made us great, and promised to make us greater, or simply roll
over, turn our toes up, and leave it to insectoid archaeologists, five
million years from now, to wonder what a Frisbee or a Hula-Hoop was
for?

If we decide to go on living, as individuals, as a culture, as a
species, then our first task must be to end this unnecessary crisis
quickly, rid ourselves of the unsavory things that caused it, and go
back to being a species that is ultimately destined for immortality
and the stars. A good first step, I believe, is to read one of the
very first speeches I ever wrote and delivered, which can be found
here:

http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2008/tle497-20081214-04.html

Keep in mind that the speech is over thirty years old, and, in its
present form, it was rewritten to promote an idea — the Covenant of
Unanimous Consent — that may or may not be germane to what I’m saying
here.

Pay attention, instead, to what I say happens in an economy that
has shed the blight of parasitic central command. The remedies that I
suggest could pull us out of this Depression — which even Ron Paul
says may last as long as fifteen years (and which will _never_ end as
long as government controls the economy) — in just a few months, and
set the stage for a new Renaissance of peace, freedom, progress, and
prosperity.

Workers of the world, unite. You have nothing to lose but your
socialism.

Read it, then come back here to talk about it. If there’s enough
interest, I’ll rewrite it once again to speak of individual liberty in
more general terms. We can then use it to counteract the disgusting,
vicious lie that it was too much individual liberty that caused this
mess.

In the meantime, please remember that you can’t fool people into
wanting to be free, despite what many purely political libertarians
seem to believe. Nor can you force them to be free — that’s one of
many things that are wrong about this nation’s foreign policy. And, as
somebody once said, you can’t reason people out of something they were
never reasoned into. If they don’t truly believe in individual rights,
no amount of preaching or bullying will help them to change their
minds.

Instead, think of freedom as gift: give it to your neighbor, give
it to yourself.

That’s important, so I’ll say it again: think of freedom as gift:
give it to your neighbor, give it to yourself.

Comments

1. Topics about Economy » Archive » PEACE, FREEDOM, PROGRESS, AND PROSPERITY - March 25, 2009

[...] Sales Evolution placed an observative post today on PEACE, FREEDOM, PROGRESS, AND PROSPERITYHere’s a quick excerpt…of America’s current economic disaster … and command of the … economy. It’s very simple: when … once made us great, and promised to… [...]

2. T.Mike Curry - March 25, 2009

An excellent article! And very much on the mark.

What I worry about is what I call the “happy herd” syndrome– so many people who are able to live their lives without being overly troubled or concerned, that they feel no need to voice their opinions or objections to what is going on. A happy herd is a quiet herd. And like the wild herd whom the trapper fed daily — slowly each day piece-by-piece building a fence around the area where he fed the herd — the herd eventually found itself trapped in a fenced field and completely at the mercy of the trapper. These people do not take the time nor have the inclination to object to the increased central control and “management” which history has proven does not work.

As for libertarians, I also worry that our own nature may work against us. We don’t want to mess around with other people lives. We don’t want to impose liberty limiting rules, regulations, or bureaucracies on others. We are by nature happy to let others live their lives as they will, so long as it doesn’t harm others or damage their property. This leads many libertarians, in my opinion, to be too passive when it comes to taking the actions needed to thwart a growing steam-roller of government sidling nearer and nearer to fascism or socialism. More libertarians need to become active. Voice their opinions. Speak to their friends, their associates, their colleagues. As annoying as it is we have the current political system we are in, so we must voice our opinions and objections to those politicians. Vote for libertarians. Participate in our local communities and be heard.

When I speak to people I know (and many who I don’t know but speak to anyway) I am always surprised at the number of times I’m told, “Wow, that’s pretty much what I’ve always thought too! I just didn’t know there were a lot of other people that thought that way too.” They may not say those exact words, but it is the essence of their response.

Gee. I just meant to say “Great Article, Neil !”, but I guess you got me inspired.

3. Topics about Peace » Archive » PEACE, FREEDOM, PROGRESS, AND PROSPERITY - March 25, 2009

[...] The White Tea Room placed an interesting blog post on PEACE, FREEDOM, PROGRESS, AND PROSPERITYHere’s a brief overview…set the stage for a new Renaissance of peace, freedom, progress, and … prosperity. Workers of the world, unite. You have nothing to lose but… [...]

4. al perez - March 25, 2009

We have the modern cell phone, the fax machine, the home computer, the internet as we know it, dvd players/recorders, and dozens of other ubiquitous electronic tools that were made available to us at low prices through letting the market do its thing without government interference.
We have a wider variety of foods and medicine because of what free market possibilities survive in those industries, not because of government and corporate intervention.
Technically my wife and daughters should not exist as they are of “mixed race” (light skinned Hispanic and Filipino) that existed because of anti miscegenation laws when my wifes grandparents married (fortunately we latinos never paid attention to such nonsense) . I used to keep a pit bull, a much maligned and often outlawed breed. I own a high capacity plastic framed pistol with a built in safety lock (something to offend everyone).
I’m not saying my life is perfect, but every good thing in it comes from being free.
Freedom works. This is not a matter of opinion, it is a fact. Many of the economic failures we face now are the consequence of trusting ways to get around free market realities by relying on government intervention. Many of the restrictions we face in our personal lives come from being overly trusting of the government to enforce our rights instead of diligently exercising them and defending them ourselves.
We can not argue or deceive or force our neihbors to be free. All we can do is be free and allow the laws of natural selection to favor us and destroy our opponents genes and memes.
Of course, evolution is a slow process. Then again we have all eternity to win

5. Eli - March 25, 2009

We can do one thing more as well… build the memes for success. Deliver them to the public not only in stories, as Neil does, but in all media and modes. We need those folk songs, plays, poems, but also tv shows, comics like at Big Head, and in the oral tradition as well. And, lucky us, we live in the DIY age of podcasts, vidcasts, youtube and self publishing. Do it people, talk about it, show it. Create a Utopia a day and get it in front of a hundred people. Eventually people will want their immortality, their hovercraft, and their starship as much as we do. If we do it right they’ll know freedom is the vehicle to get them there.

6. Phillip Hackenberg - March 26, 2009

The disintegration of the United States will be the best-documented in history.

7. al perez - March 28, 2009

While it is tempting to succumb to pessimism, re-read Jubal Harshaw’s advice to Mike in _Stranger in a Strange Land_. Liberty works better than unfee systems.
Live as a free person and over time you will prosper. Find like minded people to work with and you will prosper together. Meanwhile masters and slaves will slowly starve due to the inefficiency of their system. We will have moe and healthier kids who will reproduce more efficiently.
That is in fact what is going on all the time. Masters try to use force to get around this, but between intelligent resistance, their own inefficiency, and sometimes the inappropriateness of force as a solution, they will fail. Their slaves who survive this failure will have to learn how to be free or die because they have no masters to take care of them.
The only question is how to keep the body count down, not from casualties caused by armed struggle, but from the failure of their maladapted life strategy killing off the masters and slaves and the difficulties the rest of us have maintaining the tech level we need to survive and flourish.
Darwin’s theory works. Let it work.

8. Ward Griffiths - March 29, 2009

Al, at the moment the best plan for finding like-minded people to work with is the Free State Project. Spread across the continent, free people can’t do squat. In New Hampshire a full percent (yeah, I know one percent ain’t much, but it’s early) of the state Assembly are immigrant members from the FSP. Which of course says a lot about the locals who voted them in. (2006 elected one, 2008 he was reelected and three more joined him, I hope to be there to vote in the 2010 election [I won't be running, there's a two year residency requirement, plus I'll be busy with my restaurant]). But of course, I won’t be an immigrant. My mother’s family has been there since about the time of the Salem trials (I’m not sure if there is a connection, Gram was “Baptist born and Baptist bred and when I’m gone a Baptist dead”, but her church attendance was sporadic). I spent my high school years there (moving from a Los Angeles summer to a New Hampshire winter at 15 in 1970), living with Gram in Laconia (Mom and my sisters [and most of my sisters' spawn] are in Manchester [a major reason I avoid that city], two of my nephews are in Southwest Asia). New Hampshire is a nice friendly place. Some folks think the state is too “white”. My late uncle is the reason that there is a blip on the NHPI column in the census records (my aunt is from Micronesia). And I got a gagload of nieces and nephews (and grands) who can choose between black and hispanic when they fill out paperwork. (Baby sister married a “Puerto Rican” born in Harlem and the children from his former marriage to a somewhat darker lady came along — all beautiful and so are their kids). The folks in New Hampshire are tolerant unless government is involved (and yes, the band along the border with Taxachusetts is increasingly a fifth column in the wrong direction — they moved up to escape the taxes but they want the “services” they had before).

Everybody dies. Eventually. In the meantime, who breeds? I didn’t.

Darwin does the job. It’s a long expensive process. Watch the movie “Idiocracy” or read Kornbluth’s “The Marching Morons” to see how things might go. Too many “Darwin Award” nominees spawn first. (And I include members of my own family — just because we’re multicultural/multiracial doesn’t mean that most of my relatives aren’t as dumb as stumps — it would be a lie to claim my mother didn’t raise no fools).

If this post is a bit rambling, well, I’ve had a couple of beers. My father’s family evolved incredible livers and the tendency to destroy them any way they could. (My fathers breed were _not_ welcome in New Hampshire in the old days, the Welsh were slightly behind the Irish when it came to acceptance in the parts of the US without major coal deposits).

9. al perez - March 29, 2009

Darwin ‘s principals apply to memes as well as genes.I’m not sure but I think running my kin out of the country is a requirement for third world nations to qalify for UN membership. We have no choice but to be patriotic Americans, I think this is our last stand. we have no choice but to be free, we get into too much trouble under any other system.

You don’t have to have kids to breed successfully, spreading the love for freedom is memetic reproduction. Help spread the love of freedom and a thousand years from now your children acrosss the stars will memorialize you.

10. LindaC - April 12, 2009

Ward -

I looked into NH when I was part of the FSP, but did not feel that libertarian-lite was enough. I found that some interesting people were going to Wyoming (& checked out the state), but those going there were a bit more into religion than I am.

Then I checked out Montana, met a few people when I visited & decided to move there. I’ve been in SW Montana for almost 2 years now & feel that there are more “real” libertarians (& independents) here than anywhere I’ve lived (5 other states), visited or investigated.

We are still a minority, though, so could use a few more good people. ;-)

11. Dennis Lee Wilson - April 13, 2009

“…one of the very first speeches I ever wrote and delivered, which can be found here:

http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2008/tle497-20081214-04.html

Keep in mind that the speech is over thirty years old, and, in its
present form, it was rewritten to promote an idea — the Covenant of
Unanimous Consent — that may or may not be germane to what I’m saying here.”
———————–
There seems to be a large amount of focus amongst Libertarians on what is wrong with our culture (on the verge of boring repetition) and not enough (at least not enough for ME) focus on the wonderful solutions that the Covenant of Unanimous Consent creates or CAN create. (Supersedure Zones, for instance. WHY they are desirable and HOW they can be setup and utilized). This is similar to the phenomenon observable amongst Objectivists; namely that the “leaders” who SHOULD be creating and populating Galt’s Gulches–and writing about the reasons WHY and HOW–are completely oblivious to the value of doing so.

The current USA culture is beyond redemption. Creating independent “Gulches” (by whatever name) is a viable way to prepare for the pending collapse which, by all measures, will be of historic proportions. These independent zones of liberty are the nucleus of what will replace the collapsed culture. Ideas regarding HOW they could and/or should be created would provide valuable insight and information to those who chose to pursue that route.

Dennis Lee Wilson
Signatory

12. Breast lift surgery verses natural methods - April 24, 2009

Breast lift surgery verses natural methods…

Breast lift signals sagging breasts from being overweight too long or from breast-feeding. It’s time to see how the natural solutions like enlargement pills play up against the breast lift. It might even surprise the skeptic….

13. Ward Griffiths - April 28, 2009

Linda, I do love Montana, though my favorite place there is Yaak, the farthest northwest named inhabited place in the state. I suspect that one of your neighbors is my old friend Elias whom I’ve known since the third Liberty Round Table Conclave.

But Montana already has a supply of adequate chili cooks. New Hampshire has a shortage, and I think I can make a profit filling that hole in the market. And I do have deep roots there, though that first winter was hard when I went to live with Gram, going straight from a Los Angeles summer to a Laconia winter. I adapted (one extremely frostbitten ear later).

14. Lloyd - May 8, 2009

I had read “The Gallatin Divergence” when it first published; in fact, I checked the spelling of “gallatin” against the spine as I typed that first clause. Clicked on the link to your speech, Mr. Smith; very well-written and I’m certain as well-delivered. Also, very inspiring.

Other than our own inertia, there is one basic roadblock on the way to freedom: the willingness of our masters to use any means to keep us their slaves. There is nothing these folks will not do in order to gain, keep and increase their power over the rest of us. But, as President Jefferson wrote, “The Tree of Liberty must, from time to time, be refreshed with the blood of tyrants and of patriots.” No catastrophe, per se, enroute to freedom, but we’ll wade through a river of blood getting there. More than 50% of the voters in America are convinced that the current president is … well, nearly .. the Messiah; the Prophet of Heinlein’s “Revolt in 2100″ novel, minus the explicitly fundamentalist Christian trappings of course. Between being demonized in the minds of those who are convinced they are already free – by virtue of today’s media having signed on entirely to support of this new regime – and their willingness to be ruthless in their exercise and maintaince of power, there doesn’t seem much liklihood of a peaceful transition to freedom. Just as the state wasn’t going to “wither away” in the Marxist fairy-tale, neither are those with the state’s power going to simply slink off into obscurity in today’s world. From the trick of pre-emptively demonizing one’s opposition, I venture to guess that preventative arrests and imprisonment as well as the odd “shot while resisting arrest” is the next noticible step. *sigh* And I just retired from all that, too. Oh, well, as my Dad used to say when I said I was tired, “You can rest in your grave, son.” Mean old …. but there it is.

15. Ward Griffiths - May 9, 2009

Lloyd,

From youth I always wanted my obit to be “missing and presumed”, but for almost 20 years I’ve come to accept that it will probably be “shot while resisting”.

16. al perez - May 22, 2009

if you’re going to ruffle the authorities feathers remember there are three things you should have located, back doors, fast transport, and the nearest borders