By Chris Rossini
The reality of human life is that we're all one-of-a-kind and perfectly unique individuals. No one else can see the world through our own eyes, and no one can interpret what we see exactly like we do individually.
There are no carbon copies when it comes to human beings. Even identical twins are superlatively unique individuals. As such, we each have our own unique personalities, as well as our own opinions, likes, dislikes and preferences.
But it has long been a utopian ideal for some to rebel against this natural and unalterable uniqueness. There has been an intense desire to attempt to turn individuals into carbon copies of one another; to force people to have the same opinions and preferences...to force people to think alike.
This utopia is most often sought by those who desire power, and who yearn to be authoritarians. They imagine that it would be much easier to rule a bunch of carbon copy human beings than to rule individuals who are aware of their uniqueness and natural liberty.
This authoritarian aim obviously cannot come to fruition, but it can cause a lot of confusion and misery for people that get wrapped up in it.
Purity tests are the logical outgrowth of this collective mentality. The purity test starts small and then snowballs into an avalanche. If taken to the extreme, purity tests can leave a person totally immobilized; not knowing what he/she can think, say, or do.
Individual liberty and freedom of exchange are the antidote to purity tests.
For example, I like to drink Starbucks coffee, even though I disagree with the political positions that Starbucks takes. If I were to put Starbucks to a libertarian purity test, I would have to stop drinking their coffee.
But I choose not to do that.
I do not believe that Starbucks (or the people that work there) have to be like me. They're unique individuals. They can't be like me, nor can I be like them.
When I receive my coffee from Starbucks employees, I do not survey them to see what religious beliefs they hold, what sexual preferences they have, or what political opinions they currently hang onto.
Likewise, the Starbucks employees do not quiz me either. I do not have to fit some pre-conceived mold in order to exchange with them. My opinions are irrelevant to them.
Instead, I hand them my money and they hand me their coffee. We then peacefully go our separate ways.
This is Liberty, free markets, private property, and the division of labor in action.
It makes purity tests totally irrelevant.
But (some will say) what if Starbucks uses my money to finance the campaigns of people that I disagree with vehemently? What if they give the money that I handed them to Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren?
Shouldn't I stop buying their coffee?
Of course not!
It's not my money they are giving away. It's their money.
What if, after I sell my house, the new owners redesign my old kitchen, or put new paint up in my old bedroom?
Should I not sell them my house?
It's their house!
It's not my house anymore!
When I sell my money to Starbucks, it's not mine anymore. It is the property of Starbucks and I have no say as to what Starbucks does with their own property. They can donate it to Bernie Sanders, even though I strongly oppose Bernie's ideas, and that's none of my business.
Who I donate to is my business.
Sanders and Warren will never get a dime from me.
So, purity tests would not only deprive me of the coffee that I love, but would ultimately shrink my life down to bare subsistence.
I love to attend professional sports games, despite the fact that they are militarist propagandists and I am anti-war and believe in a non-interventionist foreign policy.
I watch Hollywood movies, despite the fact that they lace them with over-the-top propaganda. I just ignore the propaganda and enjoy the movies.
Many of the actors that I watch are in another universe when it comes to political ideas. But I enjoy their acting nevertheless.
Life is not politics....Life flourishes despite politics.
Liberty is the recognition of uniqueness. It is the acceptance that people are different, and the best way for different people to interact with one another is through peaceful exchange, and not through force.
It's unfortunate that far too many are seduced into using force, and thinking that they can billy-club everyone else into compliance.
But people are naturally free.
Rebellion is in our nature.
I can't imagine trying to billy-club people into accepting their natural liberty. I would be swarmed with rebellion!
The best choice for a libertarian is to speak the ideas of Liberty. Some will believe....others will not. That's how it works with unique individuals.
The foundation of Liberty is "First, do no harm."
What a great foundation to build an individual life upon.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reversed US policy on Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. While long considered illegal in international law, Pompeo has declared them "legal," citing the need to "advance peace."
By Ron Paul
Lost in the media’s obsession with the impeachment circus last week was Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s testimony on the state of the economy before the Joint Economic Committee. In his testimony, Chairman Powell warned that when the next recession inevitably occurs, the US Government’s over $23 trillion debt would prevent Congress from increasing spending to revive the economy.
Powell also said that the Fed’s current low interest rate policies would prevent the Fed from using its traditional methods of increasing the money supply and further lowering interest rates to jump-start economic growth in a recession. Hopefully, Powell is correct that when the next recession hits the Federal Reserve and Congress will be unable to “stimulate” the economy with cheap money and new spending.
Interest rates are the price of money and, as with all prices, government manipulation of interest rates distorts the signals regarding market conditions. Artificially low interest rates lead to malinvestment and the creation of bubbles. Recessions are a painful but necessary correction that allows the economy to cleanse itself of these distortions. When the Federal Reserve and Congress try to stimulate the economy, they introduce new distortions, making it impossible for the economy to heal itself. Fiscal and monetary stimulus may temporally create the illusions of prosperity, but in reality they merely create another bubble that will eventually burst starting the boom-and-bust cycle all over again. So, the best thing Congress and the Federal Reserve can do to help the economy recover from a recession is nothing.
Powell is the latest Federal Reserve Chair to warn of the dangers of government debt, which is ironic since the Federal Reserve is the great enabler of deficit spending. Government manipulation of the value of money allows politicians to hide the true costs of their warfare and welfare. This is why throughout history governments have sought the power to dictate what is and is not money and determine the value of the monetary unit. Today’s central bankers are the heirs of the medieval kings who shaved off the edges of gold coins, then ordered the people to pretend that shaved coins were just as valuable as unshaved coins.
Instead of shaving gold coins, today’s central bankers facilitate the growth of government by purchasing government securities in order to keep interest rates—and thus the government’s borrowing costs— low. The Federal Reserve’s interventions enable the expansion of government well beyond what would be politically palatable if politicians had to finance the entire welfare-warfare state through direct taxation or borrowing at market interest rates, which would increase interest rates for private sector borrowers, lower growth, and increase unemployment.
Since the creation of the Federal Reserve, the US dollar has lost over 96 percent of its value. The Federal Reserve-caused decline in purchasing power is a stealth tax. This inflation tax does not affect the financial elites—who receive new money created by the Federal Reserve before the Fed’s actions have diminished the dollar’s purchasing power—but has hurt middle-and-working class Americans whose purchasing power is continuously reduced by the Federal Reserve. The inflation tax is not just the most hidden, but the most regressive of taxes.
The Federal Reserve is responsible for the growth of government, the loss of liberty, the rise in income inequality, and the boom-and-bust economic cycle. All those who support liberty, peace, and prosperity should join the effort to audit and end the Fed.
A new report by Brown University's Costs of War Project now estimates that by the end of fiscal year 2020, the US will have "spent" $6.4 trillion on a global "war on terror" in which more than three million people have died. And what do we have to show for it? And what will happen when payment is actually due (i.e. the Fed can no longer hide the costs by printing money)?
By Jacob G. Hornberger
The U.S. Constitution states:
Article 1, Section 8
1. The Congress shall have Power …
5. To coin Money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin….
6. To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting … current coin of the United States.
Article 1, Section 10
The intent of the Framers could not have been clearer. The Constitution clearly and unequivocally brought into existence a monetary system based on gold coins and silver coins being the official money of the United States.
Notice that the states are prohibited from issuing “bills of credit.” What are “bills of credit.” That was the term used during that time for paper money. The Constitution expressly prohibited the states from publishing paper money and making anything but gold and silver coins official legal money.
What about the federal government? The Constitution didn’t expressly prohibit it from emitting “bills of credit” like it did with the states. Does that mean that the federal government was empowered to make paper money the official money of the United States?
No, it does not mean that. In the case of the federal government, its powers are limited to those enumerated in the Constitution. If a power isn’t enumerated, then the federal government is automatically prohibited from exercising it.
Therefore, it was unnecessary for the Framers to provide for an express prohibition on the federal government to make paper money the official legal tender of the nation. All that was necessary was to ensure that the Constitution did not empower the federal government to issue paper money.
The powers relating to money that are delegated to the federal government, which are stated above, expressly make it clear that gold coins and silver coins, not paper, were to be the official money of the country. That is reflected by the power given the federal government to “coin money.” At the risk of belaboring the obvious, one does not “coin” paper. Paper is published or “emitted.” It is not coined. Coins are coined.
The provision on counterfeiting also expressly confirms that the official money of the United States was to be gold coins and silver coins. The Framers didn’t provide for punishment for counterfeiting paper money because there was no paper money. They provided for punishment for counterfeiting “current coin of the United States.”
Add up all of these provision and there is but one conclusion that anyone can logically and reasonably draw: The Constitution established a monetary system in which gold and silver coins were to be the official money of the United States.
The power to borrow
That’s not to say, of course, that federal officials could not borrow money. The Constitution did give them that power:
Article1, Section 8
1. The Congress shall have Power …
2. To borrow money on the credit of the United States.
When the federal government borrows money, it issues debt instruments to lenders, consisting of bills, notes, or bonds. But everyone understood that federal debt instruments were not money but instead simply promises to pay money. The money that they promised to pay was the gold and silver coins, which were the official money of the country.
And in fact, that was the monetary system of the United States for more than a century, one in which gold coins and silver coins were the official money of the American people.
It is often said that the “gold standard” was a system in which paper money was “backed by gold.” Nothing could be further from the truth. There was no paper money. The “gold standard” was a system where gold coins, along with silver coins, were the official money of the country.
Monetary debauchery and destruction
It all came to an end in the 1930s, when the Franklin Roosevelt regime ordered all Americans to deliver their gold coins to the federal government. Anyone who failed to do so would be prosecuted for a federal felony offense and severely punished through incarceration and fine if convicted.
In return, people were give federal debt instruments, ones that promised to pay money. But since the money was now illegal, the debt instruments were promises to pay nothing. That’s reflected by the Federal Reserve Notes that people now use to pay for things.
Roosevelt’s actions were among the most abhorrent in the history of the United States. In one fell swoop, he and his regime destroyed what had been the finest and soundest monetary system in the history of the world, one that contributed mightily to the tremendous increase in prosperity and standards of living in the 19th century.
What is also amazing is that Roosevelt did it without even the semblance of a constitutional amendment. To change a system that the Constitution established requires a constitutional amendment. That is an arduous and difficult process, which is what the Framers wanted. Roosevelt circumvented that process by simply getting Congress to nationalize people’s gold.
The result of Roosevelt’s illegal and immoral actions regarding money and the Constitution? Moral, economic, and monetary debauchery, which has entailed almost 90 years of plundering and looting people through monetary debasement and devaluation to finance the ever-burgeoning expenses of America’s welfare-warfare state way of life.
The solution to all this monetary mayhem is go further than the Framers did: Separate money and the state entirely, in the same way that our ancestors separated church and state. Terminate all government involvement in money, including by ending the federal government’s central bank, also known as the Federal Reserve. Establish a free-market monetary system, one in which people are free to choose their own media of exchange. That would go a long way toward restoring liberty, peace, and prosperity to our land.
This article was originally published at The Future of Freedom Foundation.
It's almost impossible to find a kernel of truth in the Empire of Lies. As is always the case, the outlook from the Federal Reserve is sunshine and rainbows. The President has the same erroneous view. But ignoring the biggest bubble that the Fed has ever created will not make it go away.
President Trump again swore yesterday that the US was in Syria to take its oil. Even as his staff scrambles for a more legal justification for the presence of US troops in the country. Meanwhile a new conservative veterans group is lobbying Washington with a simple demand: Bring Our Troops Home! Who will come out ahead?
By Liberty Report Staff
As Washington seizes up in impeachment fever, Hong Kong and Bolivia (among others) go up in flames. Washington's foreign policy is creating chaos worldwide while the kangaroos are holding court on Capitol Hill.
By Chris Rossini
A utopia is an imagined place in which everything is perfect.
One can say that the universe we live in is perfect. Whether it's the movement of atoms, solar systems, protons or galaxies --- everything happens by natural law and with perfect precision.
We're able to observe and discover this precision. We can explain it to ourselves with words, numbers and symbols. We can learn the natural laws with sciences like mathematics and physics, among many others.
But one cannot say that living and conscious individual human beings are perfect. For we are not mechanical or automations.
Instead, we all arrive as a blank slate and ignorant of our world and even ourselves. We choose our thoughts and our actions are purposeful.
In other words, we are all naturally free.
The well-learned men who authored the Declaration of Independence stated that this is "self-evident." Our natural freedom is not bestowed on us by other individual human beings. This was a revolutionary statement during their time (and for many people, it still is today). But the authors of that document were correct.
Since we all come into the world as blank slates and ignorant, it means we are not omnipotent and all-knowing.
Since we are not omnipotent and all-knowing, it means we can never be perfect. No matter how much we learn, there is always much more to learn.
Since we can never be perfect, it means we must err and make mistakes on our journey through life.
Since we must make mistakes, it means any ideas that imagine making human individuals perfect is utopian.
Now, take a look at mankind's history. It is littered with countless tales of individuals trying everything imaginable to make humans perfect.
There have been monarchies, and theocracies, and democracies, and technocracies, and corporatocracies, and republics, and parliaments, and houses and senates.
There have been dictatorships, and shared dictatorships, and military dictatorships.
There have been secret governments, and secret societies, and deep states, and private councils, and powers behind the throne.
Power has been sliced-and-diced into every imaginable combination, and then repeated over...and over.....and over.....and over............and over.......................
Total power and the desire to turn everyone into mechanical automations that do nothing but obey is (by far) the most deadly mental disease to ever exist.
It's a mental disease because errors and mistakes are built-in to the individual human life scenario.
When we err, we can learn from it and choose to never make the error again. The experience is completely private and individual. No other individuals (or algorithms) can replace our private climb up the staircase of life.
While total power over human life is utopian, a society of total Liberty most certainly is not.
The ideas of Liberty mean that no one (yes, NO ONE!) should use aggressive force against anyone else. Do what you want, but do no harm to another person or their property.
A person's freedom is limited only by another person's freedom.
The moment one person uses aggressive force against another, he or she has chosen to act like a tyrant.
Tyranny has proved to be a popular choice for many people, both throughout history and even today. But it's a choice, which means there is another option.
Total Liberty is yet to be chosen.
At least in recorded history, it has never been done.
That doesn't mean it can't be done.
It certainly can. It just has to be chosen.
While we don't have the life expectancy to wait around for everyone else to choose Liberty, we can make the choice for the only life that we have the ability to live and experience --- Our own.
We can't change others, but we can change ourselves.
While the story of tyranny continues to repeat itself, and while the next scheme to make humans into non-humans is cooked up, we can individually adopt the ideas of Liberty for ourselves, and then let others know about them.