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Why The Idea of Government Is Overrated

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On September 11th, 2001, the government failed in it’s one primary job… to keep it’s citizens safe. Then, it used it’s massive failure as justification to grow it’s budget, it’s military, it’s surveillance systems and it’s desire to profit from war. 20 years later, almost to the day, the President of the United States announced his intentions to use the tools and force of this expanded government on millions of peaceful, non-aggressive citizens to force them to receive a vaccine. With such a blatant attempt to trample upon individual rights, it is time to ask: Do we even really need government in the first place? Can a society have law without a government?

Economist Bruce L Benson asked this question in his book “The Enterprise of Law: Justice Without the State.” Others, including Lysander Spooner, Murray Rothbard, and Benjamin Tucker have all explored the concept to one degree or another. Believe it or not, most of the rules we choose to follow in our day to day lives are not rules generated by the state. Rules and laws are simply a matter of behaving in ways that people agree upon. They can come from many places other than the government. Contracts, mutual insurance arrangements, individuals voluntarily interacting, all of these developed through various communities over time. We may also call them norms or customs. The point is that they come from many places, not just the government.

The customs that individuals adopt pre-date authoritarian government rule. We can go back in history and find examples in tribal societies where things were just “how things were done” with no central authority figure mandating the behavior. People somehow got along, they interacted, they traded. It was voluntary. We see a small example of this in modern everyday behavior. People wait in line at the grocery store. They don’t cut in front of other people, if they do it is very rare, they get dirty looks, and other people in the line might speak up and shame the person. The simple peer pressure of others enforces a “law” that says “don’t cut in line.” All of this happens without the state. Without the use of force. Another example happens every time people voluntarily join into a pick-up game of basketball. Certain rules (laws) are agreed upon. “Call your own fouls, are we playing half court or full court? Make it take it…” If the rules are not followed, the game breaks down, does not become as enjoyable for everyone, and perhaps people choose to go play on another court.

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How might this work in application to much more serious issues, such as theft , or even murder? How can these much more serious crimes be deterred without the state? For an answer we must go back in history to a time before the law of Kings, or to what Benson has referred to as “Royal Law.” Prior to Royal law there were mutually agreed upon customs. One such custom was the idea that every free individual had what was considered a “piece.” This meant that the individual had property rights. The individual would have rights to things like their homes, their farmland, their livestock, and other belongings. The custom and the expectation was that everyone recognized one another’s property and respected each other’s individual rights to the ownership of the property.

Just as in today’s day and age of police state surveillance, there were people back then who did not respect these customs or “laws.” Benson explains that these situations were dealt with by communities of free men who formed what can best be described as mutual insurance arrangements. They were called the “tithing” or the “hundred,” essentially they were agreements to cooperate with regards to certain issues. If someone’s cow strayed off their land, the individual could call upon his neighbors, the “tithing” to help him find it. If he was robbed, he could call on his neighbors to pursue the robber. Those in the tithing had agreed upon obligations such as maintaining roads and pathways in the community. This system relied on frequent interactions and reciprocity by all in the community.

If there was a dispute as to whether or not they had captured the right criminal, there was a court system of sorts in those days. The court was not backed up by a King or any government, the court system worked at the “hundred” level. It was made up of representatives of each tithing and they would act as judge and jury. If the offender was found guilty, they might be made to pay restitution. If the offender was unable to make restitution, the tithing would pay it for them and then the offender would be in debt to his tithing (friends and neighbors).

If the individual did not accept the court’s judgement, he would be considered an “outlaw” and would no longer be protected by his community. All of his property would be free game to anyone who wanted it. When you stop to think about it, this isn’t too different from the RICO and asset seizure practices of today’s law enforcement. But I digress.

This system, also referred to as “the man price system” was common practice in most communities. Participants included the common man, the wealthy, and even the poorest people of society. Eventually Kings arose in England. Their origin was not born of a need to make and enforce laws, but they arose for the purposes of fighting wars .Kings started out as warlords and they would eventually claim divine right or some other mandate that empowered them to lead armies. Since wars cost money, the Kings looked for ways to fund their armies. This evolved into restitution for a crime being rendered to the KIng (government) rather than to the victim. This is why today, if a drunk driver hits your car, the drunk driver pays any fines (restitution) to the government and not you. You have to rely on insurance.

Eventually the King’s system of fines resulted in citizens being seen as sources of revenue and this led to a rise in harassment by law enforcement and a reduction in individual freedoms. Over time the system of restitution broke down and was replaced with the rise of the prison system. First prisoners were sent to colonies, such as America and mainly Australia, and eventually they were put in prisons. All of this at a greater cost to the taxpayer as is the case in our modern times.

As our country increasingly becomes a totalitarian police state in service of the prison industry, it might be time for an exploration of restitution practices, private mediation, and other voluntary negotiations. For example, if a security camera in front of my house catches my neighbor’s teenage son smashing my windshield. It is entirely possible that upon showing this evidence to my neighbor, he offers to compensate me for the damage times two if I agree not to press charges. Things like this happen all of the time, but should probably happen more often. What if this type of an approach could be formalized and more frequent? Perhaps America would not have the highest per capita incarceration rate in the world.

The state can only acquire income through the use of force and physical coercion through taxation and it has a monopoly on the defense of individual rights (the military, police, and the courts). As an attractive alternative, private, non-state entities can provide for the protection of individual rights, History has shown that asking the state to secure individual rights is akin to asking the fox to guard the hen house. One can be opposed to the state without being opposed to police protection, courts, the printing of money, mail delivery, and roads and highways. One can oppose all forms of physical coercion, threats, aggression, and the use of force against others and still advocate for the same services the government has a monopoly over. These services can be provided more efficiently through voluntary cooperation and contract by free people operating in a free market.

A system of voluntary exchange to replace the current system of government backed monopolistic force would not necessarily be a utopia. Like anything else it would have its drawbacks and challenges, but participation in such a system would not be the result of submission at the point of a government gun. The rise of private motor vehicle registration services as an alternative to visiting the Department of Motor Vehicles is one small example, dealing with the former is a much more friendly and efficient experience than dealing with the latter. Finally, take the past 20 years as an example. In the name of “Keeping us safe” and “defending our liberties” the government has sent us off to fight in unending foreign wars to no avail, spied on us and invaded our privacy, and now they are forcing us to be injected with a strange genetic therapy. At this point, would exploring an alternative anchored in peace and non-aggression be such a bad idea?

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Elections

Joe Biden Bingo

Here is a tool which could help you to stay tuned on broadcasts featuring our acting president

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Even if you caught only snippets of Joe Biden’s recent press conference, you know that his mental decline continues unabated. It’s unlikely that even a handful of Americans watched the event in its entirety. Who would want to waste their time?

What’s occurring is a national travesty, and it is increasingly evident to larger portions of our population that Joe Biden is being abused as an elder, as he abuses others.

Throughout his 365 days in office, Biden has struggled to pronounce a word and then offers a non-sequitur to what he was originally saying. With regularity he tells stories that are simply false. He refers to his vice president as president. He insults vast segments of the population. He stumbles and stammers repeatedly. He checks his watch, fumbles with his mask, and snaps at people when he doesn’t like a question. And those are the least of his faux pas with audiences.

If you’re having trouble listening to Joe for more than a minute, the tool above might work for you. On the Facebook site, “Best of the Web,” I saw this Biden bingo card. It could help you to stay the course when tuned into other broadcasts featuring our acting president.

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Covid

China; Hidden Dragon, or Paper Tiger

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With all the ongoing issues in America today it might seem superfluous to worry about China. Between crime in the streets, the latest Covid variant, lock downs, forced vaccinations and corrupt at every level of government it might seem we have enough to worry about. But, what if it’s all related and part of a plan? What if we have always been at war with Eurasia but were never informed?

First let’s take a look at militarily how the opponents stack up.  On paper and in total dollars the USA outspends China by more than double. ($738 Billion Vs $252 billion). China has more than five times the number of citizens available for military service. Surprisingly at this time China and the USA are about equal in terms of ground forces equipment. (IE: Tanks, armored fighting vehicles, rockets)  It would appear that our air forces are about equal in numbers but we have double the number of helicopters and China has twice as many fighter aircraft as we do.  In sheer numbers China has the USA out classed in the naval department. America has more aircraft carriers by a factor of 5, but China holds the lead in fast attack frigates, corvettes and a slight lead in submarines.

As for nuclear weapons the USA has a total of 6,500 warheads but only 1,600 are currently deployed. China is a little harder to asses since they are not part of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and do not reveal the total numbers of weapons they have. (For reference Russia has 6,490 warheads down from 40,000 during the height of the cold war. Currently has 1,600 deployed)

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On paper it would seem the two super powers are evenly matched. But let’s not make the mistake most military generals do by fighting the last war. So much of their energy is studying the last conflict, the latest’s one always surprises them. (see Blitzkrieg).  Some of the more forward thinking realize the next war will be economic. Possibly combined with a cyber-attack. Today we are already seeing the probes of our technology driven economy. Most of these come from China. For a listing of these one only needs to go to the Center for Strategic International Studies. (CSIS).

In planning for a global conflict to come it seems the CCP is relying upon the oriental virtues of planning and patience, while the western world is into instant gratification. While the USA exports the virtues of multiculturalism and LGBTQ rights around the world the CCP is investing in roads, bridges, dams, ports and  infrastructure. By loaning money to developing nations at exorbitant rates and requiring Chinese labor and materials they are copying the colonial model sans the hospitals and schools.

Since 2013 China has been following a five year plan (China loves those five year plans) called the Belt and Road initiative. Interestingly announced during a visit to Kazakhstan. The goal is to build a Chinese centered international order. It is also known as the Silk Road Economic Belt, or the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The names are a nod to the historic trade routes to and from the western world to China, popularized by the travels of Marc Polo.  In 2019 a second Belt to road five year plan was instituted to quell the negative press and concentrate on a more “green and sustainable” era. As of 2020 140 of 193 countries and 32 international agencies have signed up.

For some of these countries the BRI turns into a debt trap. When they can’t pay up they are forced to turn over the very projects the Chinese financed. Uganda has turned over its international airport. Sri Lanka has handed over a large port. Djibouti is about to hand over another, adjacent to our largest port in Africa. Zambia is negotiating the turnover of their largest coper mine to help restructure their debt. In spite of all this other countries in South America are signing on to the BRI. Cuba has found another sugar daddy in the CCP’s initiative. Something to keep in mind all these project must follow the China’s National Defense law that mandates civilian infrastructure projects closely related to national defense shall meet national defense requirements and functions and must be surrendered for military use when needed.

North America is not immune to the prospect of “easy” money granted by the CCP. Canada has not signed on to the BRI but has welcomed Chinese investment on several fronts. Mostly in British Columbia and Bunavat. In the United States the CCP hasn’t been lending money but investing. Investing in politicians, Hollywood, Newspapers, News organizations and Colleges. They own internet companies like Tic-Tok, Riot Games, and We Chat. Brick and mortar companies like Smithfield, the Waldorf Astoria and Continental Aerospace Technologies. So much money is invested in American companies that you rarely see any criticism of the Communist countries policies. Global warming, China gets a pass, child labor laws, China need not apologize, slave labor, well what slave labor, and human rights abuses don’t see any there.

So what does it all mean to America and its citizens? As we move closer to China’s social credit system who will stand up and denounce it? The same politicians that accepted enough money to keep them in office? The news organizations that rely on CCP money to keep them afloat? Just look at how many objected to Covid being referred to as the China flu. Speaking of the China flu, what if it was released by China in an effort to destroy the economies of most nations and allow them to take control of strategic ports and airports around the world. Who would stand up if China decides that Taiwan could no longer be tolerated and will be annexed?

It would seem China is a paper Tiger. A paper tiger made of Yen. They have bought and paid for large sections of the United State economy. You could say the same for Europe.  China has ensured that every third world country that is rich in the resources owes a substantial portion of their gross domestic production to the CCP. You don’t need to be a dragon when you own all the paper.

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” – Sun Tzu

“The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.” – Sun Tzu

 

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