Hot Air Day is upon us. On July 4 hot air will spew forth all over the country as dignitaries deliver homilies to our “freedom and democracy” and praise “our brave troops” who are protecting our freedom by “killing them over there before they come over here.”
Not a single one of these speeches will contain one word of truth. No speaker will lament the death of the US Constitution or urge his audience to action to restore the only document that protects their liberty. No speaker will acknowledge that in the 21st century the Bush/Obama Regime, with the complicity of the Department of Justice, federal courts, Congress, presstitute media, law schools, bar associations, and an insouciant public have murdered the Constitution in the name of the “war on terror.”
As in medieval times, American citizens can be thrown into dungeons and never accounted for. No evidence or charges need be presented to a court. No trial is required, and no conviction.
As in tyrannies, US citizens can be executed at the sole discretion of the despot in the Oval Office, who sits there drawing up lists of people to be murdered.
Protestors exercising their constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of speech and freedom of association are attacked by armed police, beaten, tasered, tear-gassed, pepper sprayed, and arrested.
Whistleblowers who report the government’s crimes are prosecuted despite the statute that protects them.
Connor Boyack wrote a profoundly insightful essay on the proper role of government, and how both liberals and conservatives think freedom means being able to use badges and guns to keep people from doing things you don’t agree with.
Libertarians recognize that laws must be based on nothing more than “punishing injustice,” as Bastiat wrote. Jefferson put it more succinctly: “But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.”
Jefferson went on to explain that he referenced the limits of others’ equal rights for a specific reason. “I do not add ‘within the limits of the law,’” wrote Jefferson, “because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.” In other words, not all laws are legitimate, and many directly violate “rightful liberty.”
Herein lies the distinction between the individual liberty championed by libertarians, and the statism supported by all other political ideologies, including conservatism. Driving the wedge between these differing views even further, one of the radio hosts claimed that society would altogether cease to exist “if you got rid of law and law enforcement.” Addressing such a general statement as this first requires analyzing the moral justification of what law is being discussed. As Bastiat further stated, “We must remember that law is force, and that, consequently, the proper functions of the law cannot lawfully extend beyond the proper functions of force.”
If the law entails punishment for murder, fraud, rape, robbery, vandalism, or other clear violations of one’s life, liberty, or property, then libertarians absolutely support actions to “punish injustice” and seek retribution for that aggressive act. Defensive acts in response to another’s aggression are a proper function of force, and are therefore a proper function of the law.
But if the law is a mandate which prevents a business owner from selling a beverage to a consenting adult who wishes to purchase and consume it, then libertarians rightly recognize that that law has no legitimate justification, and is thus not worthy of support. Imposing a fine upon or incarcerating a person who engaged in this consensual, peaceful act is not a proper function of force, and therefore is not a proper function of the law.
One problem with getting government to ban things you don’t agree with is that eventually the people you don’t agree with get in charge and start banning the things you agreed with.
It’s similar to this story, where liberals love environmental laws, until those laws get in the way of the things they want to build.
That “badges and guns” phrase I used earlier? I got it from this essay by Gary North on how conservatives think “free trade” means having people with badges and guns decide with whom you can or cannot commerce:
I have never had any illusions about persuading people who trust in the creativity of badges and guns. The universal trust in state power in every area of life is an extension of what I call the power religion. It is the religion of every empire.
The defenders of mercantilism have a religion: the religion of state worship. They do not believe that individuals acting in their own self-interest by trading with each other in order to benefit themselves are reliable sources of innovation, exploration, and creativity. They believe that the free market is an incomplete organization. They believe that there must be a sovereign judicial entity which provides guidance, by which they really mean coercion, in directing the flow of scarce economic resources. They believe that bureaucrats are trustworthy, that politicians act in the interest of the people. They believe that the state is a reliable source of economic wisdom, correct understanding of the future, correct understanding of the present, and is therefore the proper agency to equate supply with demand.
Just wondering – if those bureaucrats and regulators are so good at understanding supply and demand and market forces, why aren’t they making a fortune in the market instead of making a meager salary preventing other people from doing so?
I often dream of taking over a small foreign nation somewhere and turning it into a modern-day Constitutional capitalist republic where businesses can thrive, privacy rules, and the government just plain leaves you alone.
If this trend continues, I think that country would really do well!
How much would it cost to buy Tuvalu?
Just think — if the North Vietnamese communists were anywhere near as oppressive as our government, McCain might never have come home!
“What can the people who are being held be told is the longest they are subject to detention?” the judge wanted to know.
“I’m not sure what can be told to them,” Boyle responded.
He insisted the detained non-citizens who have been determined to be enemy combatants have no constitutional rights. “Their only connection to this country is to a desire to attack it,” he said.
Here’s an idea – how about if we just declare the entire world a “detainment center” and leave everyone alone where they are?
Every Sunday, I read a few pages from the book Prophets, Principles, and National Survival. It is a compilation of quotes from leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, on the condition that the person was speaking in their official capacity as either an apostle or member of the First Presidency.
So it is more than a simple book of opinions or patriotic statements – these are prophetic warnings or commandments from the leaders of the LDS church… which is why I enjoy it as pleasant Sunday reading.
Today, I came across this, quoted from the September 2, 1961 issue of Church News. Ezra Taft Benson wrote:
While we might effectively bridle or destroy every so-called Communist within our borders, we shall not vanquish this political virus, and its common forerunner, state socialism, so long as people are determined to achieve security through state-imposed materialistic schemes rather than through righteous living and wholesome activity as free men.
The road we’re traveling in much of the free world today is, “the road to Socialism, insolvency and surrender” ….
Never in recorded history has any movement spread its power so far and so fast as has socialism-communism in the last two decades. The facts are not pleasant to review. Communist leaders are jubilant with their success. They are driving freedom back on almost every front.
Yet in spite of this shocking achievement of God-less communism our citizens here in the U.S. seem lulled away into a false security….
Let us not be lulled away into false security. Let us not become misguided dupes of whic there are many throughout the free world. It is estimated that in the U.S. for every actual Communist who is maneuvering and pulling the strings behind the scenes, there are 100 to 1,000 completely misguided Americans who are not Communists, but who are being used to help the Communist cause. Some will support co-existence with Communism as something we will have to learn to live with…. Others will say there is no danger in socialism — in policies that would weaken and destroy our private enterprise system. Socialism, they say, has no relationship to Communism.
It is my conviction that the paramount issue today is liberty against creeping socialism. Collectivized socialism is part of the Communist strategy. Communist dupes and left-wingers use every strtegism to make socialism sound appealing and seem inevitable. Their aims for the U.S. include greatly expanded wasteful spending, higher and higher taxes, increasingly unbalanced budgets, wild inflation followed by government controls over our economy and lives, greater centralization of power in Washington and so on ad infinitum.
We will never win our fight against Communism by making concessions to socialism.
I bolded in the second-to-last paragraph for emphasis, because we can plainly see those goals have been accomplished over the last 50 years. They have had setbacks – such as when Regan reduced the top tax rate from 70% to 50%, and cut it again a few years later — but on the other hand, we now have Obamacare, and the new doctrine that the federal government can regulate economic “inactivity” — your non-participation in interstate commerce — and force you to purchase products you do not want, or fine you for not engaging in commerce, and the fastest-growing sector of the economy is government.
Hopefully, this trend will reverse before the nation completely collapses and the ignorant, greedy masses demand a government that promises equality and fairness but delivers corruption and oppression.
Those who advocate socialism as a misguided method of caring for the poor see often only two options: plunder people against their will, take their livelihood, and let bureaucrats dole it out, or let poor people die. For whatever reason, they believe that if a person does not want his hard-earned wages stolen — whether by plain theft or by legal plunder — he does not care about others and wants them to die.
But there are many other options, and again, the leaders of the LDS church reminded us of the best option just a few months ago. In a talk called Providing in the Lord’s Way, Dieter F. Uchtdorf discussed providing for the poor and needy, and how it differs from the world’s way. This is the method I personally support – voluntary donations, given of my own free will and used honestly to help the needy.