Thomas Paine, Liberty's Hated Torchbearer
As the 18th century's most
influential political pamphleteer, Paine's reputation was born with the American
Revolution he was largely responsible for creating, and he wanted to spend his
last years among people with whom he shared a passion for liberty.
Pens for Hire, Cheap
No one traveling in hostile
country should ever be without reliable protection. When the territory in
question is intellectual, it always helps to have the aid of fighters who've
been there before. In fact, two of the most seasoned pros are yours for only the
cost of the effort required to understand their arguments. Fortunately, these
straight-shooting writers have made that cost minimal.
I'm speaking of Thomas Paine (1737–1809) and
Frederic Bastiat (1801–1850).
Hamilton's Counterfeit Capitalism
confirms that hands-off is the only effective and humane approach to a bust, and
to prosperity generally, while hands-on brings ruination, why do governments
today consider every option but free markets? Look back to the founding and the
baneful influence of Alexander Hamilton. His influence has been highly
detrimental to the majority who live outside the rarefied reality of national
When Is a Voter Truly Sovereign?
There may be as many different preferences for president as there
are voters, but only one person will win. Voters who prefer someone else or
non-voters who prefer no one at all must endure the election results -- for
years. If the political methodology were imported to the market, everyone in
the country would end up wearing one size, style, and brand of shoes, even if
their choice was to go without them.
Not to Worry, They're on Our
three months from now either Obama or McCain will be the president-elect.
Should we be concerned? Not whatsoever. Here’s why:
Are You a Deathbed
From what I
can gather, Hackworth and Paine had this much in common: They saw the world with
their own eyes. They were surely wrong about some things, perhaps many things,
but their loyalty to reality was seldom breached. Their gods were facts and
logical argument, not authority.
Ron Paul's Revolution
Ron Paul not only believes in the power of
freedom, he is the only candidate I’ve heard explicitly oppose the philosophy of
statism. And if we can go by a man’s record, we have to believe he means it.
To get us moving in the right direction, he offers a few recommendations...Full
The Root of
"Money had been removed from the people and placed in the care of politicians.
And political money didn't require the expense and labor of mining ore. It
required only ink and the will to print. Thereafter, there would be no such
thing as a scarcity of money."
The State Drops Its Mask
“Sometime during your school years, you
were told the State’s basic function is to protect you from domestic and foreign
aggression. Therefore, it was only logical that we needed complete control of
the military, police, and courts. What saints do you know personally who could
be trusted with such power? And how do you think the people who have this power
are going to fund these policing functions? Through voluntary trade on the
market? Why should they mess with production and exchange when all they have to
do is nudge you with a gun? No matter how you package it, taxation is theft –
it’s the systematic predation of private property – and theft is a crime. But
since we’re the State, we’re more than mere criminals. We’re a monopoly of
Crisis Is the Health of the State
The attitude of turning our worries over to government prevailed, and now,
as bodies are collected, we witness federal officials playing their hand, giving
us spinning press conferences, bureaucratic stonewalling, a growing military
occupation, and a craven Congress writing fat checks without cutting spending,
starting with a $50 billion appropriation to FEMA for what President Bush
considers the 'heck of a job' it’s doing."
It Has Happened
When England under their
George III tried to muscle the American colonies into servitude we threw off our
overseas masters and attempted to institute a government with enough checks on
its power that we would always be able to say, 'It can’t happen here.'
Yet, it has. We now have the debt-ridden, corrupt, wasteful, elitist,
special-interest-driven empire that we repudiated in 1776.
Congress Runs the
Being ready to kill is not the
same as killing, though. And here’s where our testing gets a little
sticky. Phase II calls for splitting you into two groups. We’ll
scribble down a dozen or so pious reasons and toss them in a helmet, then pull
one to serve as a cause so you’ll feel like the killing you do is more than
Think Outside the
Yet, your vote is very important to
the government. The more votes it has, the easier it can claim legitimacy.
Voting is your way of blessing the institution of government itself.
The president of the country lies and no one seems to care. They don’t even
care that he pokes fun at himself about the lies. He and his comrades lied
before, during, and after the war, which so far has killed over 600 Americans.
Impeach him? Not a chance. He’ll probably get re-elected.
Support the Anti-Party!
At the very least, the Anti-Party would get people to think about the coercive
nature of the state and how the act of voting sanctions legal aggression. If
the party attracts enough members, it would also deny legitimacy to election
Don't Vote, Not
Even for Martha
Stay home during the
primaries. Study monetary theory and American history instead of watching the
political conventions. Avoid the polls in November. Don’t give your next
As cons go, withholding ranks
as one of the greatest, but it’s not in the same league with central banking.
Withholding can’t hide from the fact that it’s a form of plunder. Not so with
central banking. It has the reputation of being the backbone of our economy, the
engine of our prosperity.
the S Words
Individuals are to the state what cattle are
to the slaughterhouse – by moral design. The sacrifice isn’t an unfortunate
necessity, it’s an expression of our 'noblest' virtue. If there aren’t enough
wars to keep American youth busy, then send them to clean up the parks or police
the ghettos – send them anywhere, but make them serve the State.
Come to the
State as a Child and be Saved
Americans need to accept the full horror of government betrayal or pay the
Prosperity as Their Prey
produce jobs, wealth, and rising standards of living. Governments undercut
market processes; they produce nothing. Most government today is organized
crime elevated to a position of social respectability. Heavy taxation, along
with central bank inflation, provides the sweetener that attracts the flies to
Be Run Like a Real Business?
I have a proposal. Why don't we stay within constitutional limits
for a change and let each of us take ownership of the wealth we produce? Instead
of giving us nominal tax cuts, government will be obliged to sell its services
on the market. We'll voluntarily fund it to do what we want it to do, and no
more. Otherwise, the pack of thieves inside the Beltway will continue their orgy
until we're flat on our backs.
Spitting on Our
Government is too big, bureaucratic,
and turf-conscious to protect us. We’ve seen it fail too many times, most
shockingly on Black Tuesday. If we’re truly interested in security and
honoring the 9-11 dead, we need to bring it back under constitutional control –
or get rid of it altogether and have the market provide its vital functions.
As long as we tolerate any government
at all, the state has no business promoting any religion. Nor should the
state be involved with education. If enough people want schools to include
a particular slant on history, Christian or otherwise, the market will fill the
need. The free market lets us choose; the state chooses for us.
I, Politician, run a huge wealth-transfer and war-making
operation. I achieve legitimacy through controlled elections and the systematic
corruption of culture. Take away my revenue and my power goes with it, as well
as my incentive to mess in politics.
Your Money or Your
Life: Why We Must Abolish the Income Tax
There’s nothing like crisis to expand
state power, and there’s no crisis like war. Thus, it is no surprise that
an income tax was first proposed during the War of 1812, and then not one, but
six income tax bills passed during Lincoln’s war.
Violent Intervention in the Economy
Clearly, without the ability to tax and inflate, the State would either cease to
exist or be forced to rely on voluntary funding. People opposed to State
policies should take this simple truth to heart.
Thomas Paine on War
Paine’s reply was Rights of Man,
which eventually earned him an absentia conviction of seditious libel in
England. Though parts of it delve into welfare and social security proposals,
there is much in it that libertarians can treasure.
A Guru's Advice to
a Presidential Hopeful
And lastly, your greatest
reward -- the military’s glowing performance will raise the esteem for
government in general. If you can pound the stuffing out of some hapless Third Worlders,
the sky’s the limit -- you can do anything. The economy’s lagging?
Send in the Marines, ha-ha. A war winner can do no wrong.
Freedom Begins at Home
When the war was over, Washington surrendered his commission to a feeble
Congress and retired for a short while to private life. A different man would
have taken over the government. While we listen to the Iraq war reports and hear
the word "freedom" spilled forth, let's remember that we once knew that freedom
begins at home.
Our Anti-Laissez-Faire Society
Laissez-faire is based on the premise that a man’s life and property belong to
him unconditionally, that he is an end in himself, not a means to the ends of
Lady Liberty a Terrorist?
At the Statue of Liberty
dedication ceremony on October 28th, 1886, President Grover Cleveland said: "We
will not forget that Liberty has here made her home; nor shall her chosen altar
It was, and we're paying for it.
How to Pull the
Plug on Big Government
The Administration expects war protesters, but imagine how they'd react if a
million people marched on Washington to demand an end to the Fed and a return to
the gold standard.
Thomas Paine on Government and War
"[War] serves to keep up deceitful expectations which prevent
people from looking into the defects and abuses of government." [Rights of
Man, Part Two]
What Killed the
"With a new Court and
printing press money to fund a compassionate government, the people received
countless benefits, except for another world war, a succession of lesser wars,
unfathomable debt, devalued currency, deplorable education, and so on. The new
Court blessed the Social Security Act. The new Court said the National Labor
Relations Act was just fine. In fact, the new Court said just about anything
the government did was fine. The government was no longer restrained by archaic
laws. The people had won."
Triumph of Equality
We were no longer the target of envy. Mediocrity, like the state, was
everywhere. Government had finally realized mankind's ultimate dream: equality.
Brother Wants YOU
The brilliant among us see
slavery as the solution to security. All they ask is the state threaten us
sufficiently to adopt their ideas.
Government seems to deserve a
failing grade for its 9-11 response, until we look more closely at what it's
doing to us. If it's true we were attacked for our prosperity and freedom, then
government's strengthening our security every day it's on the job.
countries slavery died with little or no violence. But when a new American
president took office in 1860, rather than fight for peaceful emancipation, he
baited the South into a long and devastating war in what could be described as
an anti-American Revolution. When the war ended, states rights and the
Constitution were among the seriously injured
Capitalism's Pillar: Self-Responsibility
Our welfare system tells us we
are not responsible for our lives. Our legal system tells us we are not
responsible for our actions — getting away with murder has never been easier.
Big Business: Number One Enemy of Capitalism
Business gave us the beginning
of the leviathan state of today. The government they wanted to shake hands with
now has them paying A-list lobbyists to stave off their extinction.
Nullifying Civil Disobedience
today should give thanks we don't live in colonial times. Back then we would be
surrounded by traitors who had serious grievances with the law, especially the
part that taxed them.
Government — Please Give Us More!
We pay a price by not studying history more
critically. Our founders caged government because they knew how dangerous it
could be. The horrors of today and the century just ended have proved them
right, but not enough of us are getting their message.
Memo to Aspiring Politicians
It cannot be overstressed: In
a political system where legislation is bought and sold, money rules.
The Two Political Labels that Matter
As Ludwig von Mises observed over a half-century ago, we have essentially two
choices in politics, and need only two labels: freedom or slavery, laissez faire
Trade: the Enemy of Special Interests
Free trade is the enemy of special interests that run to the government for
protection. These groups throttle us with harmful legislation because of largely
Encarta Capitalism: Why Bill Gates Needs Help,
No doubt the Encarta
article would receive high marks from Mr. Gates' antitrust tormentor, Judge
Thomas Penfield Jackson. But if the founder of the Redmond giant wants to
present capitalism without the standard falsehoods and omissions, he should
consider hiring someone who understands the subject.
When two people cheat, the
guilt falls on them. When 28 people cheat, no one's really to blame
The Infidel's Ultimate Weapon
Such [an immense tutelary] power stupefies a
people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and
industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd." --
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
of Office? Kerns' Tribute to Congress
"It is error alone that needs
the support of government. Truth can stand by itself."
— Thomas Jefferson
Be Damned: Altruism Feeds on Freedom
Compassion is an emotion--sympathy for the suffering of others, often including
a desire to help. Altruism, by contrast, is a creed, a moral code, in which
service to others is considered a duty.
America's Worst Enemy
People will eventually learn that in
allowing the government to run their lives, it's ruining them instead...They
will see that their abnegation has become America's worst enemy by making
government an unaccountable brute that threatens their very existence.
Finance Reform: Liberty's Latest Cure?
While government has the power to run our lives, there will always be
favor-seekers and mounting abuse. We need to take away that power. We need to
restore the Tenth Amendment and return our lives to their rightful owners.
Signs In D.C. Need Ten Sides
We could take up a
collection to swap out the octagonal stop signs in Washington, D.C. and replace
them with decagonal signs--to remind Congress they have very little to do in
their capacity as lawmakers, by virtue of the Tenth Amendment.
Big Brother: How the Court Deep-Sixed the Tenth
If we let sacrifice be our moral ideal,
we've given government the means of enslaving us, and liberty, to the extent it
exists, will be by permission, rather than right.
The trick is to destroy capitalism while keeping the slaves rowing. If you
don't do it, your opponent will.
Many Christians acknowledge the destructiveness of government intervention in
business but somehow believe all will be rosy if the state uses its gun to back
their religious preferences.
Our No-Spine Zone
Pols who lead by polls, who cold-shoulder friends and glad hand the enemy, who
discourage criticism and curtail our liberty, surrender their right to be
trusted. Instead of Cipro, they should look into getting a spine.
The Con of
organization has done more for the federal government than al Qaeda. What other
group could free it of so much restraint?
Who are We?
If we want a moral society we have to kick government out of our lives. The
heart of moral behavior is the acceptance of self-responsibility and the absence
of compulsion in human relations. Our government today violates both these
Modern Moralists Condemn Terrorism But Don't Ask Them Why
They condemn the terrorists on
the grounds of extremism, a euphemism for acting in accordance with beliefs.
Our founders were extremists¾they
were willing to die for their liberty. Though some of them were Christians, it
was the shining light of rational individualism that served their moral purpose¾that
all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among
those rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
How to stop worrying and love April 15th.
Tyrants and Grow Your Own
And what it
doesn't involve is the government, at least not in the meddling, bleeding sense.
Speaking Safely on Political Issues - A Guide for the Confused
I offer the following guide
for those Americans who may be asked to speak on political issues, but are
confused about what to say.
Close Enough for Government Work
But bin Laden might take martyrdom further than we
imagine. In leading us to believe he commanded the attack, he may be feeding us
one last lie. Give us what we'll take as a confession -- just in time for the
holidays. Let the unbelievers perish in their delusions, we don't deserve the
truth. And look at the boost it will give his jihad, by helping to conceal the
ones responsible. May Allah be blessed.
Outlawing Cause and Effect: Big Brother Running Amok
A citizenry demanding to be pulled from the brine
by the ones who dumped them there will never be rescue
Support the Liberty Bill Act - And Put the Constitution on Our
We won't have restraint in government until more
people understand the
Constitution. Having it on our dollar bills is a good way to remind us of
The Virtue of Profit - We Won't Survive Without It
Most people want more laws enacted to keep
businesses from influencing politics. What we need, though, is to repeal laws
-- keep anyone from securing special favors from our elected officials.
Doing Battle with a Hydra
One can hope a private management firm will resolve
the charity debacle soon, but the issues of government eavesdropping and Islamic
political ascendancy require our individual vigilance.
The Buck Stops With Us
We, as citizens, are responsible for protecting our
way of life. We can't delegate that job to anyone, least of all the government.
Voices "A" is "A"