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?
US troops left northern Syria in a hurry in the past 24 or so hours, but Beltway warnings of a "power vacuum" that will allow ISIS to take over have been proven wrong. With the US out of the picture, the Kurds are not facing genocide, but instead have made a deal with Assad to reintegrate into the Syrian army and resist the Turkish incursion. Meanwhile, the Russians are said to be patrolling the no-man's land between Syrian and Turkish forces while working on a peace agreement. Getting out of stupid wars has once again proven to be a huge benefit to the US, not a disaster!
By Ron Paul
When President Trump Tweeted last week that “it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous endless wars,” adding that the US would be withdrawing from Syria, Washington went into a panic. Suddenly Republicans, Democrats, the media, the think tanks, and the war industry all discovered and quickly became experts on “the Kurds,” who we were told were an “ally” being sent to their slaughter by an ignorant President Trump.
But it was all just another bipartisan ploy to keep the “forever war” gravy train rolling through the Beltway.
Interventionists will do anything to prevent US troops from ever coming home, and their favorite tactic is promoting “mission creep.” As President Trump Tweeted, we were told in 2014 by President Obama that the US military would go into Syria for just 30 days to save the Yazidi minority that they claimed were threatened. Then that mission crept into “we must fight ISIS” and so the US military continued to illegally occupy and bomb Syria for five more years.
Even though it was the Syrian army with its Russian and Iranian allies that did the bulk of the fighting against al-Qaeda and ISIS in Syria, President Trump took credit and called for the troops to come home. But when the military comes home, the military-industrial-Congressional-media complex loses its cash cow, so a new rationale had to be invented.
The latest “mission creep” was that we had to stay in Syria to save our “allies” the Kurds. All of a sudden our military presence in Syria was not about fighting terrorism but rather about putting US troops between our NATO ally Turkey and our proxy fighting force, the Kurds. Do they really want us to believe that it is “pro-American” for our troops to fight and die refereeing a long-standing dispute between the Turks and Kurds?
It was a colossally dumb idea to train and arm the Kurds in Syria in the first place, but after spending billions backing what turned out to be al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria to overthrow the Assad government, Washington found that the Kurds were the only willing boots remaining on the ground. While their interest in fighting ISIS was limited, they were happy to use Washington’s muscle in pursuit of their long-term goal of carving out a part of Syria (and eventually Turkey) for themselves.
We can never leave because there will be a slaughter, Washington claimed (and the media faithfully repeated). But once again, the politicians, the mainstream media, and the Beltway “experts” have been proven wrong. They never understand that sending US troops into another country without the proper authority is not a stabilizing factor, but a de-stabilizing factor. I have argued that were the US to leave Syria (and the rest of the Middle East) the countries of the region would find a way to solve their own problems.
Now that the US is pulling back from northern Syria, that is just what is happening.
On Sunday the Kurds and the Syrian government signed an agreement, brokered by the Russians, to put aside their differences and join together to defend against Turkey’s incursion into Syrian territory.
Now “our Kurdish allies” are fighting alongside the army of Syrian President Assad – who we are still told by US officials “must go.” Washington doesn’t understand that our intervention only makes matters worse. The best way to help the Kurds and everyone else in the region is to just come home.
By Thomas DiLorenzo
[Editor's Note: The following is excerpted from Thomas DiLorenzo's book The Problem with Socialism]
The first American settlers originally adopted communal or socialized ownership of land and property. As a result, most of them rather quickly starved to death or died of disease.
When the first pilgrims arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, in May 1607 they found incredibly fertile soil and plentiful seafood, wild game, and fruits of all kinds. Despite all of this, within six months all but thirty-eight of the original 104 Jamestown settlers were dead, having starved.(1) Two years later, 500 more pilgrims arrived in Virginia, transported there by the Virginia Company, and a shocking 440 of them died from starvation or disease. This became known as “the starving time,” described by one eye witness: “So great was our famine, that a savage we slew and buried, the poorer sorte took him up againe and eat him; and so did divers one another boyled and stewed with roots and herbs.”(2) This man also remarked that the cause of the starvation was “want of providence” and “industrie” and “not the barenness and defect of the Countrie, as is generally supposed.”(3) In other words, the problem was lack of effort, not a lack of resources.”
The essential problem was that all of the pilgrims were indentured servants who had no financial stake in the fruits of their own labor. All that they produced went into a common pool to be used to generate profits for the Virginia Company as compensation for transporting them to America, and to support the colony. Working harder, longer, or smarter produced no additional benefit to anyone because the system that was set up was essentially agricultural socialism and everyone was compensated the same regardless of individual effort. The absence of property rights in the land, and of any link between effort and reward, destroyed the work ethic of the pilgrims, just as it always does in any socialist society, whether that of the Jamestown pilgrims or that of the former Soviet Union. Historian Philip A. Bruce wrote of the Jamestown pilgrims that the men idled over their tasks or refused to work altogether, and men who were known to be young and energetic by nature were “derelict.”(4)
In 1611 the British government sent Sir Thomas Dale to serve as the “high marshal” of the Virginia colony. Dale noted that the surviving settlers were healthy and spent much of their time playing games and other vigorous activities. He immediately identified the source of the colony’s problem as the system of socialized land ownership. Consequently, he determined that each man would be given three acres of private land from which he was only required to pay a tax of two-and-a-half barrels of corn to the Virginia Company. Everything else was his to keep or sell.
The Jamestown pilgrims then began to prosper. Each man realized that by loafing or shirking, he was paying the full cost of such behavior in the form of lost profits. At the same time, everyone realized that increased effort led to increased rewards. As historian Matthew Page Andrews wrote, “As soon as the settlers were thrown upon their own resources, and each freeman had acquired the right of owning property, the colonists quickly developed what became the distinguishing characteristic of Americans—an aptitude for all kinds of craftsmanship coupled with an innate genius for experimentation and invention.”(5)
The private property system that replaced agricultural socialism in the Jamestown colony was quickly expanded so that each settler who paid his own way was given fifty acres of land, and by 1623 all land had been converted to private ownership. Capitalism replaced socialism and the pilgrims thrived.
The same tragic mistake of adopting agricultural socialism was made in the Massachusetts colony where about half of the original pilgrims who landed in Cape Cod in 1620 were dead within a few months. Fortunately, the leader of the Mayflower expedition, William Bradford, recognized the problem:
“For the young men that were most able and fit for labour and service, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense. The strong, or man of parts, had no more division of victuals and clothes than he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. . . . And for men’s wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc., they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could many husbands brook it. (6)
Socialism was the root cause of the starving pilgrims in the original Massachusetts colony. Bradford recognized this and, like his Virginia predecessors, decided to abandon agricultural socialism and allow private property ownership. In his own words, it was decided that the pilgrims of Massachusetts
. . . should set corn for every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; in all other things to go on in the general way as before. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, for present use . . . and ranged all boys and youth under some family. This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted. . . . The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability. . . .(7)
By 1650 privately owned farms were as predominant in Massachusetts as they were in Virginia and elsewhere in the colonies, and the American economy began to thrive and prosper. The institutions of private property and free markets led to a burst of entrepreneurship and wealth creation. By 1776 the young American economy was a hundred times larger than it was in the 1630s, and Americans had already become among the most affluent people in the world. (8)
(1.) George Percy’s Account of the Voyage to Virginia and the Colony’s First Days,” in The Old Dominion in the Seventeenth Century: A Documentary History of Virginia, 1606-1689, Warren M. Billings, ed. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1975), 22–26.
(2.) Ibid., 28.
(4.) Philip A. Bruce, Economic History of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century (New York: Macmillan, 1907), 212.
(5.) Matthew Page Andrews, Virginia, The Old Dominion, vol. 1 (Richmond: Dietz Press, 1949), 59.”
(6.) William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620–1647 (New York: Knopf, 2002), 116.
(7.) Ibid., 120.
(8.) Jeremy Atak and Peter Passell, A New Economic View of American History (New York: Norton, 1994), 50.
Neocon tears last week over the plight of the Kurds has turned to furious anger with news that yesterday a deal was inked between the Kurds and the Syrian government. Syrian Arab Army forces are rushing into formerly Kurd-held areas to stave off a Turk incursion into Syrian territory. The Kurd/Assad alliance is the end of "regime change" for Syria and the end of one of the dumbest US interventions in history. How long till US troops are fully vacated from their illegally-held posts inside Syria?