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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.

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

America No More…

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After watching with over a hundred others the newly released movie, Civil War, I left the theater stunned, and I was not alone. Was it a good movie? Just a deeply unsettling one! Could it really happen? You don’t even want to imagine it! But with Biden’s assault on America continuing and Trump reemerging as the favored GOP candidate, the American division is growing. More and more citizens are getting angrier as their standard of living is in jeopardy and illegals are getting benefits citizens can only dream of.

Spoiling the movie’s plot is never appropriate, but when Western forces from Texas, Florida, and even California take on the elected President, the country is left in a civil war. We watch as desensitized media professionals cover the death of hundreds of American citizens. To the film’s media, the war is just a once-in-a-lifetime story that deserves to be captured one picture at a time. After all, it’s the media’s job. They are just feeding citizens what they want—blood, gore, winners, and victims. What would happen if America descends into such chaos? This movie provides one disturbing view, one that, God help us, must never happen.

One thing is clear, when a country loses trust in its leader’s ability to preserve their cherished freedoms and ensure equal treatment under the law, even insurrection seems somehow possible. That is a nightmare no American should have to entertain, but more and more Americans seem to be losing hope in the future of our country. They don’t trust elections. Many don’t even like the Presidential choices presented to them.

The Founding Fathers valued freedom enough to unleash a revolution against the greatest power at the time. Enough citizens joined them in securing what most at the time believed impossible, independence. Yes, insurrection hatched our beloved America. Belief in equal rights and freedom are powerful forces that have always driven patriotic Americans to action.


Even with our differences, most Americans believe in property rights, voting rights, law enforcement to keep us safe, freedom of speech, and personal responsibility. Unfortunately, more and more Americans feel these values are in question, and they are not sure America can be saved!

Many Americans no longer even believe that elections will produce a lawful winner. They don’t trust the voting machines. They want paper ballots that can be counted. They don’t believe multiple days are needed. Hasn’t one day of voting always been enough? They want required IDs and signed mail-in ballots. They fear ballot harvesting is just another name for ‘manufacturing” all the votes you need to ensure a fraudulent victory. Are American fair elections no more!

Many no longer believe that the enforcement of law is fair and sure. While former President Donald Trump has been charged with multiple “crimes,” President Joe Biden’s similar actions aren’t even charged. Hunter Biden’s influence peddling with money set aside for the “Big Guy” are not even covered in the mainstream media. The Dept. of Justice is quick to charge Trump, but with the Bidens, we hear nothing but crickets. People who commit crimes are being let go instead of being held accountable. Is American law and order no more!

Under President Trump, our border was finally more under control. Under Biden, his open border has been continually flooding our country with illegals from around the world. They come expecting benefits at the expense of taxpaying citizens. Illegals overwhelm services in our urban areas. Legal immigrants had to wait years to enter and are fuming at this invasion of illegals rushing to the front of the line and expecting to be accepted, supported, and allowed to become citizens. Is America’s secure border no more!

We thought in America, your home was your castle. If you work to buy the home of your dreams, you were sure that your property rights were secure in a community that you loved. But today, squatters are taking over vacant homes and fending off owners who want them to leave their property. Illegals are being told to come to America, find an empty home, and move in. In the name of equity, governments are rezoning the suburbs and requiring the building of low-income housing where it is not wanted. Are America’s property rights no more!

Do you believe America is lost? Do you believe nothing can reverse this march to chaos? Do you believe that it is time to buy your own guns to protect your family when the government won’t? Is a civil war coming? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you are in danger of losing the optimistic attitude that has characterized Americans for two centuries. This is our country. This is not the time for surrender. It’s time to fight to preserve America the best way you can—vote for candidates who promise to preserve the rights you value most.

Your vote does matter. There are no perfect candidates, but the party positions make a difference in this critical election. If you want law and order, secure borders, fair elections, property rights, and a return to personal responsibility, there is only one party to support. Vote for every GOP candidate you are given the opportunity to support, or it may very well be America no more!

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Biden wants to tie Israel’s hands

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After Iran launched an extensive drone and missile attack against Israel, Iran’s president vowed to completely destroy Israel if it proceeds with a military response. In plain language, Israel is not allowed to react as any other country would after being attacked. That seems to be the opinion of many world leaders, including Joe Biden.

That’s like saying that the US had no right to retaliate after Japan’s attack on December 7th. This absurd policy applies only to Israel. If Iran launched missiles against the US, imagine what we would do in response. (Of course, with a wimp in the White House, there is a good chance that we would do nothing.)

On the evening of 13 April 2024, Iran launched hundreds of deadly missiles against various sites in Israel. Iran’s attack was presumably in retaliation for an Israeli strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus. Israel’s justification for its attack is that the Iranian consulate has been the center for Iran’s terrorist activities throughout the Middle East. The consulate “did not have diplomatic immunity,” according to attorney Alan Dershowitz, “because it was not being used for diplomatic purposes; it was being used to plan military attacks against Israel.”

With assistance from the US, the UK, neighboring Jordan and other nations, Israel successfully intercepted nearly all the missiles and drones. Despite the lack of damage, Iran’s intent clearly was to inflict serious harm. Iran underestimated Israel’s ability to defend itself. Now Iran’s president Ebrahim Raisi has vowed to completely destroy Israel if it proceeds with even the “tiniest invasion” of Iran.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country would be the one to decide whether and how to respond to the Iranian attack, brushing off calls for restraint. “The state of Israel will do whatever is necessary to defend itself,” Netanyahu said. “Everything is on the table right now,” said a source in the Israeli government. Israel possesses an impressive range of high-tech weaponry, including nuclear weapons and F35 fighter planes that can overwhelm Iran’s outmoded air force.

“Iran declared war on Israel by sending more than 300 bombs in Israel’s direction, aimed at civilian as well as military targets in Jerusalem and other locations,” said Alan Dershowitz. “As a matter of law and morality, Israel is entitled to respond to this act of war by overwhelming, even disproportionate, force against Iranian military targets.”

Biden has not supported Dershowitz’s argument. Instead, he has “sent a clear message to the mullahs that there would be no consequences for their rogue actions,” said Lisa Daftari, a leading Iranian-American expert. “What we are seeing is a manifestation of weak policies and the ayatollah’s correct read on American foreign policy.” Biden’s policy, said Yaakov Katz, a leading Israeli security expert, “does not work and the world’s strategy of diplomacy and sanctions is not effective. The world needs to shift gears and change the way it has tried to confront Iran.”

Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe agreed that the Biden administration’s tepid policy has emboldened Iran. “Joe Biden’s reaction to that hit in Damascus sent a message to Iran and to the rest of the world that the US was not with Israel, that the US was reluctant to support Israel on this. And I think that emboldened Iran. And as one of the former intelligence officials in Iran said to me, with friends like Joe Biden, Israel doesn’t need more enemies.”

Biden has warned Israel not to take action, said Alan Dershowitz. “Biden wants Israel simply to proclaim victory and not respond appropriately. This will only encourage Iran to take further military action against Israel either directly or through its numerous proxies,” Dershowitz warns. “If the [Iranian] regime felt endangered, it could attack Israel with its nuclear weapons, as it has threatened to do. That is an important reason why Iran’s potential nuclear arsenal should be destroyed before it can be deployed.”

“This is the time to act,” Dershowitz concludes. “Iran has provided Israel and the United States with a complete legal and moral justification for destroying its nuclear weapons program and for beginning the process toward regime change. If we do not act now, it may be too late.”

Ed Brodow is a conservative political commentator and author of two No. 1 Amazon Best Sellers, AMERICA ON ITS KNEES: The Cost of Replacing Trump with Biden, and THE WAR ON WHITES: How Hating White People Became the New National Sport.

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