By Chris Rossini
We are all born as free and independent individuals. But coming to know and understand what that means has been quite the issue for mankind, to say the least.
Those who attempt to smear advocates of liberty, will often point out that to be free means that you can do whatever you want, to whomever you want, with no restrictions. This is a very amateurish argument, of course.
The truth is we are individuals (which necessarily means we are not omnipotent). Since we are not omnipotent, there are limits to our liberty, and those limits are the person, property and liberty of other individuals!
That's why the ideas of Liberty rest on a solid foundation known as the "Non-aggression Principle." It means exactly what it looks like it means. No one (that is no individual, or group of individuals) has the natural right to use aggressive force against any other individual.
When an individual uses aggressive force, he is acting against his nature, and has taken on the role of a tyrant. We're all free to choose, which necessarily means, we're free to choose to act like a tyrant.
But violence is only justified to ward off an aggressor --- someone who chooses to use violence against you. Violence is justified to protect yourself from those individuals who choose to be tyrants.
A vast majority of people, when reading of such an ethic will agree with it. However, tyrants are crafty. They can twist words with tremendous skill to not only convince people that tyranny is necessary, but oftentimes people will even beg for it!
Take Socialism for example. It rests on the abolition of private property rights, which necessarily means an abolition of Liberty. Seems like a tall order right? Well, socialist propagandists make their utopias sound sugary sweet.
Socialism rests on the use of aggressive force; to take from one in order to give to another.
The 1900's was mankind's 'Socialist Century' and it led to what has been estimated to be 100 million deaths of innocents at the hands of their own governments ... and that's not counting deaths from wars!
One of the biggest, if not biggest, Socialist tyrants was Mao Zedong of China.
What ethic did Mao have?
Jung Chang writes in his book: Mao: The Unknown Story:
In the winter of 1917–18, still a student as he turned twenty-four, [Mao] wrote extensive commentaries on a book called A System of Ethics ... In these notes, Mao expressed the central elements in his own character, which stayed consistent for the remaining six decades of his life and defined his rule.
Isn't that interesting?
Mao's ethic was the exact one that is used to smear advocates of Liberty!
His ethic was "I" and nothing else mattered. There were no natural limits. The "I" of any other individual didn't matter.
Yet, to repeat one more time, the ethic of Liberty and Freedom is explicitly defined by one's relation to others.
Liberty is simple:
- First, do no harm.
- Live and Let Live.
- I'll keep my hands off you and your stuff, and you keep your hands off me and my stuff.
- NO AGGRESSIVE FORCE
One cannot take unethical means and use them to create ethical ends.
Theft can never be virtuous.
The Socialist Century proved that in spades.
Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange appeared before a UK judge to request more time to prepare his case against the US extradition request. Acting more like a Soviet tribunal, the judge went on to deny his every request. He is not allowed to prepare to fight his extradition. Even though Assange has served his time for "jumping bail," the British court ruled that he must remain in prison. His shocking mental and physical condition after being held for months in UK's notorious Belmarsh prison only confirms the UN torture official's assessment that he is being tortured by the US and UK governments. Why? For publishing the truth. The lesson to others is clear: challenge the global US military empire and you will be destroyed.
By Thomas DiLorenzo
[Editor's Note: The following is excerpted from Thomas DiLorenzo's book The Problem with Socialism]
When it comes to something as important as healthcare, the last thing anyone should want is for the entire system to become a government-run monopoly. [...]
In fact, socialist healthcare is based almost entirely on deception. It works this way: patients usually pay nothing (or a minuscule fee) at the point of service, thereby forming the false impression that healthcare is “free.” Because it is “free,” consumer demand for healthcare skyrockets; doctors prescribe hordes of often unnecessary tests, because they are “free” to the patient. The costs of providing healthcare, including everything from nursing to ambulance services, inevitably go through the roof. ... As any freshman economics student should know, declaring anything to be a “free” good or service will cause an explosion of demand, which in turn will ratchet up the costs of providing the good or service.
To cover up these costs, socialist governments typically impose price ceilings on everything from doctors’ visits and salaries to hospital room rates and technology. A price ceiling is a government-imposed price that is below the existing price. The effect is to stimulate the demand for healthcare services even more. Supply never catches up, generating shortages in everything from doctors to MRI machines. Indeed, after the British and Canadians socialized their healthcare industries and imposed price ceilings on doctors’ salaries, there was a massive “brain drain,” as highly educated medical professionals migrated to countries like the United States where they could earn a better living.
Governments always respond to the shortages that their policies created by imposing some kind of rationing. In Britain more than one million people are waiting to be admitted to hospitals at any one time; in Canada, one study found that 876,000 people were waiting for treatments; in Norway more than 270,000 people are daily waiting for hospital admissions and other medical treatment; and in New Zealand, some 90,000 people wait for medical care on any given day.(1)
Canadian patients waited more than eight weeks to see a specialist and then another nine-and-a-half weeks before treatment, including surgery. In New Zealand, the average waiting time for elderly patients in need of hip- or knee-replacement surgery is between 300 and 400 days. Some people in New Zealand waited for two years for their surgeries. (2) [...]
Not surprisingly, those who can afford it seek treatment in other countries, like the United States. This is especially true of Canadians. Those who cannot afford it are simply out of luck. This despite the fact that healthcare socialism is always sold politically as a program to help “the poor” under the mindless slogan of “Healthcare for All.”
(1) John C. Goodman, Gerald L. Musgrave, and Devon M. Herrick, Lives at Risk: Single-Payer National Health Insurance Around the World (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004), 18.
(2) Ibid., 19.
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By Chris Rossini
Americans have been voting for peace candidates for decades. One of the surest ways to become president in America is to promise that you'll put an end to the endless wars.
George W. Bush did it ... Obama did it ... and so did Trump.
Yet, despite the empty promises and Nobel Peace Prizes, neither Bush, nor Obama delivered. They expanded the forever wars with reckless abandon.
While President Trump is still in the thick of it, he has made a very bold move to remove 1,000 American troops from Syria.
The propaganda against Trump's decision has been immense. The desire to keep the endless wars...well, endless...cannot be more apparent.
As the howls continue, please reflect on the following words from Murray Rothbard that were written in a 1968 newspaper column. See if you can spot the parallels from the war propagandists back then, to those of today:
“A lot of people throughout the country are beginning to realize that getting into the Vietnam war was a disastrous mistake. In fact, hardly anyone makes so bold as to justify America’s entrance into, and generation of, that perpetual war.
Americans can desire an end to the forever wars; they can vote for them, and presidential candidates can get elected promising to end them.
The moment a president actually takes a step in the right direction, the propaganda goes into overdrive --- from every single angle.
Are we doomed, as Rothbard wrote to "pour blood and treasure until eternity"?
Will President Trump use his significant step in Syria, to take an even bigger step in the future? Will he actually bring troops home?
The future isn't written yet.
It's easy to be cynical. Trump could be duping Americans. It won't be the first time. After all, if Americans are used to anything, it's lying presidents.
But what if Trump really is different?
Only he knows for sure.
In the end, he'll be judged by his actions alone.
But one can at least encourage him to mean what he repeatedly says:
There's a timeless principle that whatever government touches, it ultimately ruins. Many years ago, government invaded the healthcare industry, along with the blessings of politically-connected corporations. The disastrous results cannot be more obvious. The answer is to rid the industry of government interference. The politically-connected corporations will fight for continued "government regulations," but the fresh air of free markets are the only fix for this gargantuan mess.
Senator Rand Paul joins today's Ron Paul Liberty Report to discuss Washington's war on peace and freedom and his new book, "The Case Against Socialism."
By Jacob G. Hornberger
The chaos arising from U.S. interventionism in Syria provides an excellent opportunity to explore the interventionist mind.
Consider the terminology being employed by interventionists: President Trump’s actions in Syria have left a “power vacuum,” one that Russia and Iran are now filling. The United States will no longer have “influence” in the region. “Allies” will no longer be able to trust the U.S. to come to their assistance. Trump’s actions have threatened “national security.” It is now possible that ISIS will reformulate and threaten to take over lands and even regimes in the Middle East.
This verbiage is classic empire-speak. It is the language of the interventionist and the imperialist.
Amidst all the interventionist chaos in the Middle East, it is important to keep in mind one critically important fact: None of it will mean a violent takeover of the U.S. government or an invasion and conquest of the United States. The federal government will go on. American life will go on. There will be no army of Muslims, terrorists, Syrians, ISISians, Russians, Chinese, drug dealers, or illegal immigrants coming to get us and take over the reins of the IRS.
Why is that an important point? Because it shows that no matter what happens in Syria or the rest of the Middle East, life will continue here in the United States. Even if Russia gets to continue controlling Syria, that’s not going to result in a conquest of the United States. The same holds true if ISIS, say, takes over Iraq. Or if Turkey ends up killing lots of Kurds. Or if Syria ends up protecting the Kurds. Or if Iran continues to be controlled by a theocratic state. Or if the Russians retake control over Ukraine.
It was no different than when North Vietnam ended up winning the Vietnamese civil war. The dominoes did not fall onto the United States and make America Red. It also makes no difference if Egypt continues to be controlled by a brutal military dictatorship. Or that Cuba, North Korea, and China are controlled by communist regimes. Or that Russia is controlled by an authoritarian regime. Or that Myanmar (Burma) is controlled by a totalitarian military regime. America and the federal government will continue standing.
America was founded as a limited government republic, one that did not send its military forces around the world to slay monsters. That’s not to say that bad things didn’t happen around the world. Bad things have always happened around the world. Dictatorships. Famines. Wars. Civil wars. Revolutions. Empires. Torture. Extra-judicial executions. Tyranny. Oppression. The policy of the United States was that it would not go abroad to fix or clear up those types of things.
All that changed with the conversion of the federal government to a national-security state and with the adoption of a pro-empire, pro-intervention foreign policy. When that happened, the U.S. government assumed the duty to fix the wrongs of the world.
That’s when U.S. officials began thinking in terms of empire and using empire-speak. Foreign regimes became “allies,” “partners,” and “friends.” Others became “opponents,” “rivals,” or “enemies.” Events thousands of miles away became threats to “national security.”
That’s when U.S. forces began invading and occupying other countries, waging wars of aggression against them, intervening in foreign wars, revolutions, and civil wars, initiating coups, destroying democratic regimes, establishing an empire of domestic and foreign military bases, and bombing, shooting, killing, assassinating, spying on, maiming, torturing, kidnapping, injuring, and destroying people in countries all over the world.
The results of U.S. imperialism and interventionism have always been perverse, not only for foreigners but also for Americans. That’s how Americans have ended up with out-of-control federal spending and debt that have left much of the middle class high and dry, unable to support themselves in their senior years, unable to save a nest egg for financial emergencies, and living paycheck to paycheck. Empire and interventionism do not come cheap.
The shift toward empire and interventionism has brought about the destruction of American liberty and privacy here at home. That’s what the assassinations, secret surveillance, torture, and indefinite detentions of American citizens are all about — to supposedly protect us from the dangers produced by U.S. imperialism and interventionism abroad. One might call it waging perpetual war for freedom and peace, both here and abroad.
There is but one solution to all this chaos and mayhem — the dismantling, not the reform, of the Pentagon, the military-industrial complex, the vast empire of foreign and domestic military bases, and the NSA, along with an immediate end to all foreign interventionism. A free, peaceful, prosperous, and harmonious society necessarily entails the restoration of a limited-government republic and a non-interventionist foreign policy to our land.
This article was originally published at The Future of Freedom Foundation.
Republicans and some Democrats seem to be settling for heavy sanctions on NATO ally Turkey for its incursion into Syria, with hawks like Lindsey Graham softening his tone over Trump's decision to pull US troops from the line of fire. Do they see the shift in public opinion and are shifting their views? How will sanctions work on Turkey?
By Chris Rossini
It should be apparent to everyone by now that collectivist thinking is running wild and identity politics is en vogue.
You’re supposed to hate Trump because one group says so, or you’re supposed to love Trump because another group says so.
But to the libertarian individual, this means nothing. It really doesn't matter what type of thinking happens to be en vogue.
To the advocate of liberty, there is a simple test when analyzing one's own actions, as well as the actions of others -- Is the action peaceful? Or is coercion being used by one individual against another?
The libertarian believes that no one (including government) has the natural right to use violent force (or to threaten the use of violent force) against anyone else.
If the action is peaceful, or if a politician moves in the direction of peace --- then Godspeed!
If the action is aggressive and coercive, then the libertarian's job is to speak up and point out the error.
Most of the time, when it comes to politics, the libertarian is speaking out and pointing out the errors. Politicians (in modern times) value themselves, and are valued by citizens, by the amount of aggressive force they're able to dish out.
It's pretty pathetic -- especially in what's supposed to be the 'Land of the Free.'
But it is what it is, for the moment.
Rarely do politicians decrease their own powers, repeal their own laws, and pull back from costly and deadly wars. Usually, they perpetuate these aggressive and violent deeds until a severe financial crisis forces them to finally stop.
Economic laws and the market always trump the state.
When the rare opportunity presents itself, and a politician does move in the direction of liberty and peace, it's important for the libertarian to point it out, and praise the action!
It's an extra bonus when a president moves in the direction of peace, either by avoiding or ending wars, or in bringing troops home. Any moves in that direction deserve loud praise.
The reasons are simple to understand --- Empire is priority #1 for politicians and their special interests. Everything takes a backseat to Empire, and it is the biggest 'government program' of them all.
War and Empire are also government at its very worst. War is the most destructive thing in the human experience. Nothing done by any individual, or even group of private individuals can compare to the number of bodies that have been piled up from government wars.
Nothing comes even close.
So when a move towards peace, or even the denting of the image of Empire occurs, the libertarian perks up, and speaks up!
We want more!!
If it's out of Syria today .... let's make it out of Iraq tomorrow .... and out of Korea the next day .... and out of Europe the day after that. Then out of Japan, and Afghanistan, and all of Africa after that ....
All the way until the very last American troop stationed overseas is brought home.
It's inevitable. All Empires go broke.
So let's make it happen now!
Obviously, this is the greatest fear of politicians and their special interests. They unleash propaganda from every angle to prevent that first domino from falling. They have to keep enough American people believing that 1,000 military bases scattered all over the world are necessary. Enough Americans must stay silent about shelling out TRILLIONS of dollars to keep the empire going.
That's big bucks!
If a libertarian praises an anti-Empire action by the president, it does not mean that he/she approves of everything the president has done, or continues to do.
When collectivist thinking runs wild, you're expected to love or hate someone completely.
President Trump has (and will continue) to implement anti-Liberty policies. He is not a libertarian. Those errors must continue to be pointed out by libertarians until he leaves office.
But if Trump so much as removes a single soldier from the endless wars, or Tweets that the endless wars must end, these instances must be praised and encouraged.
There's nothing easier than valuing, advocating and cherishing Liberty. It's simple.
No swamps ... no competing 'interests' ... no lies ... no politics.
Just a simple belief in 'live and let live' .... A simple belief in 'first, do no harm.' ... A simple belief in 'I'll keep my hands off you and your stuff, and you keep your hands off me and my stuff.'
How beautiful is that?