Category Archives: Libertarianism

America’s Seven Political Parties: What They Believe in a Nutshell

Osbert and Vlad were planning their political campaign for the school’s upcoming election.

Osbert: What shall we call our party?

Vlad: Do we really need a political party? Couldn’t we just run as ourselves?

Osbert: No, no. You must have a political party or people won’t know who you are.

Vlad: Well, what do these parties want to do?

Osbert: First, they all want to make things better. The Conservatives want to make things better by keeping things exactly as they are.

The moderate Democrats want to make things better by changing things, but not so much that anybody notices.

The Republicans want to make things better by changing things, but not so much that anybody notices, and only if it benefits themselves.

The Progressive Democrats and Socialists want to make things better by taking everything away from everybody who isn’t a Progressive Democrat or a Socialist.

The Fascists and Communists want to make things better by killing everyone but themselves.

The Libertarians want to make things better by letting everyone do whatever they please as long as they do not assault someone else.

Vlad: We’d better not run as Libertarians. They sound dangerous.

— Paul Grad, enviro-vegan libertarian

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Economics, History, and Polly Sigh: The Fatal Non-Conjunction

One of the very important points that Professor Murray Rothbard makes is the fact that few economists are historians, and few historians are deep scholars of economics (and if so, they’ve usually studied Keynesian economics), and so, in looking at history, the average writer and reader is fully unaware of the importance of certain events. The history book mentions that John Williams became Secretary of the Treasury during James Smith’s Presidency, but the historian fails to note that Williams, the son-in-law of the daughter of the sister of the Secretary of the Treasury, had been a corporate lawyer for XYZ Inc. before appointment, and joined the board of ZYX Corp. after leaving office.

Add to this the fact that few economists have studied Political Science, and,for historians, their studies have usually been confined to Rousseau, Hobbes, and Locke. The intimate connection between political Philosophy and Austrian School Free-Market economics, which, face it, was the economics of the first large Capitalists in Renaissance Italy, has been overlooked.

So, to find someone steeped in political philosophy, Classical Liberal Free-Market economics, and American Economic History, like Professor Rothbard, is extremely rare, although it is obviously absolutely essential to any valid analyses of past history and economics.

In “The Ethics of Liberty”, Rothbard lays out the philosophical basis of the American System of Property Rights, which puts the Individual and his Property above any governmental or collective powers. It is a moral doctrine which says that the means must be pure, that the end does not justify the means, and that no one may aggress against anyone else’s property. This philosophical basis for Capitalism seems to me to be sorely lacking in prominent “Libertarian” or “Conservative” commentators.

For example, rarely do two “Libertarian” or Classical Liberals, or Conservatives, start with the Property Rights argument when approaching any problem. I’ve listened to long discussions by Dave Rubin and many of his guests, or free-market conservatives like Ben Shapiro and Dennis Praeger, and not once do they bring up this rock-solid basis of Property Rights in their discussions. And they seem so shocked at the antics of the Left when the Left’s understanding of economics, history, and political philosophy is so puerile, and its’ ignorance of the Libertarian roots of the American Revolution is vast. The Left’s histrionics are completely predictable as the economic situation worsens under socialism.

Likewise with historians like the British historian, Vernon Bogdanor, or even the venerated Arthur M. Schlesinger — a complete non-understanding of economics which makes many of their historical observations invalid.

So without a simple understanding of the interconnection between economics, history, and political science, it is rather futile to read any of these topics in isolation. Libertarianism can only adumbrate certain main routes to Human Liberation in the political realm, but it leaves it up to those who do not understand the interconnections we are discussing to delineate the minor details and combinations of specific political issues with their adversaries, as in the long-suffering Democrat vs Republican football game.

But without also a deep understanding of the three basic principles of Classical Liberalism or Libertarianism — the Non-Aggression Principle, Natural Rights theory, and the idea of Self-ownership —, there can be no laying of the foundation for an orderly, non-violent society.

— Paul Grad, Enviro-Vegan Libertarian

Tariffs: Another Word for State Theft

Libertarians and Classical Liberals oppose tariffs as an interference in Free Trade. The British Liberal Party in the 19th Century firmly agitated against tariffs as do modern Libertarians.

But tariffs are actually just plain old theft. And that theft is conducted by “The State”, whatever the name of the country or the ruling party in that country happens to be. In essence it is the State interfering in the Free Market and extorting Capital from Capitalists to enrich the coffers of the State instead of the coffers of the Traders. This is an evil and pernicious activity.

There has always been an opposition between the Free Market Capitalists and the State looters, who extort money from the Capitalists by assaulting them through taxes, tariffs, and excise taxes (although the excise tax, especially on pernicious products like tobacco, is the least immoral of all taxes, and was used to fund the fledgling American Republic prior to the immoral income tax). The justification for tariffs is always to “protect” certain favored home country industries in a process not unlike the Mercantilists of the various European monarchies of the past. Monarchs would sell “monopolies” to favored nobles and bureaucrats who formed themselves into “Companies”. The modern day Statists do the same thing by putting tariffs on products to protect their favored client industries which are akin to those mercantilist companies under the monarchies. As you may recall, the American Colonists had some division of opinion with King George over this matter, which caused quite a ruction.

However, what happens when one country imposes tariffs on trade with the U.S., but the U.S. charges no tariffs on its own products? Is that not one way theft? And if tariffs are sauce for the socialist-country geese, are they not also sauce for the Free Market-country ganders that do not charge tariffs?

It sounds like the retaliatory tariffs that President Trump is throwing at various socialist and totalitarian countries are really a matter of saying, if you’re going to ream us, financially-speaking, we’ll ream you back in like fashion.

However, tariffs, whether they’re put on as mercantilist looting mechanisms for the State and their client industries to legally rob the Consumer, or whether they are put on in response to other countries current tariffs, always hurt the consumer. As Rothbard pointed out, it is the size of bank balances held in a country that is the important item. That is, if I can buy a manhole cover from the U.S. for $125 or a manhole cover from India for $50, it is better for the U.S. nation as a whole if I buy the Indian cover and keep the extra $75 in the bank, where it is loaned out to buy capital equipment that increases productivity, rather than if I pay the $125, have a smaller bank balance, and the extra $75 goes to the wealthy owners of the “protected by tariff” U.S. manhole-cover manufacturers’ cartel.

Tariffs strengthen the Leviathan State and weaken the Consumer and the individual Capitalist. Free Trade Capitalism weakens the Leviathan State and enriches the Consumer and the Free Market Capitalist.

That said, tariffs as a form of punitive punishment for the Crimes of Totalitarian Regimes are, to me, no sin. If a country abuses the inalienable Jeffersonian Rights that are germane to any modern democratic Republic or democracy, then I will not object to tariffs on that country’s products and industries. Fascists should not be tolerated in the modern world. Their regimes should be overthrown and undermined by every non-violent means available.

The ultimate solution is for all nations on Earth to abandon tariffs completely, so that any nation that did try to impose tariffs would be viewed by the rest of the world as a looting moral pariah, little different from a gang of highwaymen.

Our first motto should be, “No democratic-elections Republic or Constitutional Monarchy, no trade.”

Our second, “What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.”

— Paul Grad, Libertarian Party of Oregon Gubernatorial Nomineee 2014

Senator Rand Paul’s Attacker Gets 30 Days: A Travesty of Justice

A great and heinous travesty of Justice has just taken place in America. The attacker of a US Senator, Rand Paul, who was grievously injured in the assault and sustaining five cracked ribs, pneumonia,and a lot of physical pain,— that attacker was given a slap on the wrist by the “Unjustice System” in the U.S. There was no “with Liberty and Justice for all” for Senator Paul when the court in effect gave a green light to any Democratic nutcase who wants to assault a U.S. Senator who doesn’t agree with their immoral agenda.

In a previous post I stated that the attacker of a U.S. Senator should get 30 years in Federal Prison without Parole as a deterrent to this very serious crime. I’m sure there are a lot of Leftists in America truly disappointed that this assassination attempt on the most (and only) Libertarian member of the Senate did not succeed.

The Congress must immediately pass legislation making it a Federal Felony of the highest order to physically assault a U.S. Senator, Congressman, or member of the Administration Cabinet.

Only then will Justice be done, and those chosen to serve by the free vote of the American public will not have that choice negated by violent political agitators.

Rene Boucher deserved 30 years in the Pen. He got 30 days. When will we have Justice in America?

— Paul Grad, vegan-libertarian

Ron Paul Was The Reason Trump Got Elected

It struck me the other day, with a pellucid clarity, that the real reason Donald Trump got elected was because Ron Paul had laid the groundwork for his victory through the influence on the electorate that his two campaigns for the Republican nomination, in 2008 and 2014, had wrought.

Ron Paul was the psychological nerve-primer that prepared the American body-politic to accept the Trump offer to run the country. Paul’s infusion of Libertarian ideals and ideas  rekindled the romance that was implied in the Jeffersonian Covenant with Mankind. For once the public had a politician who reminded them that the Republic was not about GDP or full employment or security but rather was about Human Adventure, taking the risk, and chasing the girl that was the Statue of Liberty and whose face used to be incused into the Silver Dollar of the United States of America.

That was before not only the womanization of America, but the womanization of politics.

Before that, Man chased the Woman, be it the girl on the other side of the class, or Liberty extended over a 3,000 mile-wide paradise stolen from the Indians. Since the Indians were only 0.5% of the population, and nobody outside of them mentioned the theft or seemed too bothered by it, the theft was institutionalized — after all, there were treaties, the White Man said. Everything was legal. And not even the Indians were calling for the expulsion of the White Man and his deportation back to the countries of his ancestors, which would be the obvious just solution. Libertarian theory requires at the least the restoration of stolen property back to the original owner. The penalty for theft is paying back twice the amount stolen plus something for the amount of fear or endangerment produced (for example, the fear generated by a child shoplifting a candy bar when the owner isn’t looking would call for far less fear-compensation that an armed robber using a gun).

So Ron Paul’s Jeffersonian alarum calls prepared America to hear a modified version of this philosophy coming from Trump. Trump, for example, scoffed at NATO, put down the FED, criticized the Nipponese whale-butchers for not paying their “fair share” while Americans subsidized the national defense of their extremely wealthy nation, and said “Let’s get along with the Russkies”, all positions from the Ron Paul Political Bible.

We even heard Mises member and perennial Libertarian, Llewellyn Rockwell, supporting Trump as a wild card that might be libertarian, as well as Ron Paul fellow economic-traveler David Stockman going over to Trump, and both bypassing the official Libertarian milquetoast candidate, Gary Johnson, as did Ron Paul.

Additionally, Trump was an unapologetic Capitalist, and obviously, with Ron Paul as a pro-free marketeer, and with the other side blatantly pro-socialist and big government, it was inevitable that a large part of the old Ron Paul support would seep into the vote totals of Donald Trump. And it did.

Another factor was that both Ron Paul and Trump were individualists in that they both went their own way and didn’t fret over what other people thought of them. Ron Paul was known as Dr. No when he was in Congress, often casting the lone “No” vote on a bill that he felt was either unConstitutional or anti-Libertarian. Trump, too, obviously didn’t care very much what people thought of his outlandish, boorish behavior, although in courtesy and refinement Ron Paul and Donald Trump couldn’t be more dissimilar. But they both obviously didn’t give a damn about what others thought of their political stances.

So the verisimilitude of Trump’s message and iconoclasm to that of Ron Paul’s was the factor that led many former Ron Paul supporters, frustrated by Johnson’s feeble campaign, to vote for Trump. And those votes, going to Trump instead of Johnson, were the narrow margin that Trump needed to drive a wedge into the cracked stump of the Clinton campaign, and split it into oblivion. Those votes were the razor thin edge that Trump needed to gain the White House, and possibly change the direction of America.

President Trump ought to say a prayer of thanks every day to the man whose philosophy got him elected: Dr. Ron Paul.

— Paul Grad, enviro-Libertarian

 

Thom Paine on the Difference between the Democrats and Libertarians

Thomas Paine, that doughty blowtorch of the American Revolution, summed up succinctly the  difference between the pathetic Democratic Party and the Libertarian philosophy that founded The Republic.

In his third chapter of “The Rights of Man”, Paine states “Government, on the old system, is an assumption of power, for the aggrandizement of itself; on the new, a delegation of power for the common benefit of society. The former supports itself by keeping up a system of war; the latter proposes a system of peace, as the true means of enriching a nation. The one encourages national prejudices; the other promotes universal society, as the means of universal commerce. The one measures its prosperity by the quantity of revenue it extorts; the other proves its excellence by the small quantity of taxes it requires.”

Though Paine lived a quarter of a millennium ago, he must have been reading all the news since Clinton got elected.

I can just hear the Democrats calling him a Fascist.

Paul Grad, enviro-libertarian

Against Proportional Representation: The Statist Boondoggle

One of the most vile, and most seductive, political ideas is that of proportional representation — the idea that a political party should have as many representatives in government as its proportion of the vote in the general election.

Firstly, this violates the principle of first past the post as the winner. Instead, you vote for a political party, and that party picks the members who will serve in the representative legislative branch of government such as Congress or the UK Parliament. But who is going to pick these representatives? Ultimately a Party hack or a group of them, who will shoo the election over to their favorite fellow-party members. There is no direct choosing of representatives, but only an endorsement of an “in group” who will decide for you who will represent you.

Secondly, proportional representation completely ignores the Libertarians and Independents who are outside of any political party, and registered as non-affiliated voters. How are they to “choose” anyone, since they may be opposed to all political parties, or have a cynical attitude towards such parties based on long experience and observation of the American Political Scene? Proportional representation also flies in the face of Anarchists who want no association whatsoever with any political system or political party. How are they to be represented, since their “religion” forbids them to further Government by voting for it? In a first past the post system, those Anarchists might find someone who represents their philosophy, or they might vote for the candidate who is closer to anarchism. But under proportional representation they are forced to vote for some political party, which of course is an endorsement of government, something completely anathema to their “religion”.

Proportional Representation is touted around joyously as a panacea for impotent government by the various socialist-capitalist melange parties in the US and other developed so-called democracies, as is voting for a second or third tier candidate if your first choice fails to win. But all it guarantees is the election of more Keynesian-economics politicians who have no comprehension of correct Minarchist government and Austrian-school economics, and believe in the philosophies of the major parties in the US and UK, which is to print money, inflate, and pay off the welfare- and military-industrial- tranches in their political populace. Republicans and Democrats, Tory and Labour, they are all deeply corrupt and incorrect in their political and economic beliefs. And that is why both these societies are slowly rotting.

Proportional Representation also leads to fractured parliaments in which coalitions must be formed to pass any legislation, resulting in impotent governments that have trouble passing any significant legislation (or de-legislation in terms of rescinding unjust and anti-Jeffersonian laws).

So no, no proportional representation in your political systems. First-past-the-post is the best in that it forces people to vote for individuals, not vague and inchoate political ideologies.

—Paul Grad, Vegan-Libertarian

California Fire Storms, Texas and Florida Hurricanes: The Price of Logging

As I predicted long ago, the price of the continued deforestation of the West Coast of the United States, as well as massive logging around the globe, would be a catastrophic rise in temperatures that would lead to unstable air masses and intense fires.

But in the face of these predictions, by both myself and the Greens, ineffectual as we have been, the Democratic Governors of California, Oregon, and Washington, who have been in power for decades, have continued to rape the forests in kowtowing supplication to the Republican timber companies, and the Democrat timber-worker’s unions. The environmental terror that Governors Jerry Brown, John Kitzhaber, Kathleen Brown, and the Washington governors, as well as Democratic Senators Wyden and Merkley, and pro-logging Democrat Congressman Peter DeFazio, have unleashed has been sweeping over Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, the hapless Caribbean Islands, and is currently decimating Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino, with thousands of homes destroyed, and possibly hundreds dead (over 100 currently unaccounted for).

When I ran for Governor of Oregon in 2014 as the Libertarian Party of Oregon Nominee, I proposed a 40-year moratorium on cutting of live trees, with some obvious exceptions like diseased trees, or those that posed a danger to human life. Dead trees could still have been harvested, as proposed in Orville Camp’s logical forestry plan which I included in my platorm, and which would have provided both profit and fire safety of local rural Oregon communities.

The reader should investigate for himself how much deforestation of land in these three Democrat-ruled States has occurred during 2005-2015. Recall that John Kitzhaber, served three terms, and had to resign his fourth due to allegations of corruption. Under him, the forests of Oregon were raped. Huge amounts of cancer-causing chemicals, which are banned in Europe, were helicopter sprayed all over the state, near residential communities and structures, so that the spray poisons drifted onto adjacent properties and were breathed in by local residents. And that hypocrite Kitzhaber was a registered medical doctor. It shows you the deep corruption of the Democrat Party, and how dangerous they are to the survival of the planet and yourself.

Now the people of the North Bay as well as the Floridians, the Puerto Ricans and the Texans, are paying the heavy price for their indifference to the environment and politics, and for their continued re-election of, in my opinion, Environmental Criminals like Governor Brown, and the Oregon and Washington Governors. Unfortunately, the Environmental Criminals will never be tried, but will live out their days comfortably on their governmental rich-man’s pensions, mulcted out of the taxpayer’s pockets, and their gold-plated healthcare plans, which will guarantee they live to 100. These politicians trample on Man’s Inalienable Property Rights while letting the Earth be destroyed by their corporate clients.

It is probably too late now for the environment. The tipping point has most likely been passed. Which means that all action is now futile, and we will quickly come to live in a world of survival only.

As they say, “when there is no insight, the people perish”.

— Paul Grad, Vegan Libertarian

Catalonian Independence and the Currency Issue

One issue in the current Catalonian crisis which I have not heard addressed is the issue of currency. Can the Catalans really be independent if they use a Euro which is controlled by the bureaucrats in Brussels and the ECB? Should not the Catalonians be clamoring for their own independent currency if they truthfully want to call themselves free?

It is worth noting that support for Catalan Independence really got going in 2009, when the financial crisis caused by the new soft Socialist-Fascism, which rules in Europe, the US, Aussie and Canada, led to the inevitable financial crises which Austrian School Economics had predicted would occur. The resulting mass inflation of the money supply, in order to bail out the huge corporate banks and insurance companies at the expense of the Individual Capitalist, the small shop keeper, and the lowest paid workers, brought havoc to Spain, and like everywhere else under socialism, led to massive unemployment and underemployment. The word Greece can easily be supplanted by the word Spain or the word America.

So even if the Catalans win their so-called independence from the Spanish Federal government, and I hope they do, they will still be in thrall to the European Central Bank if they continue to use the Euro.

If they issue their own national currency they will certainly soon run into problems with their import-export market, as well as transaction costs every time they want to convert their Catalonian “Gaudis” (as I think they should name their currency), or perhaps the “Barcelon”, to Euros or Yen.

The only solution to this problem, according to Libertarianism, is to issue their own precious-metal backed currency and coins, and to allow alternative currencies to be used as legal tender for all private debts.

Since the corrupt school systems in Europe and the US have been designed over the last thirty years to keep the young completely ignorant of true economic education and the praxeological axioms of the Austrian School of Economics, which apply to all human beings at all times, I doubt very much that the young rebels of Catalonia have given much thought to the currency issue, or to sound money and the economic implications of adopting a fiat monetary system, which is always prone to general inflation.

Since the level of economic understanding is so dismally low in the West, and Keynesian economic brainwashing continues unabated, and rules every major political party in the West except the Libertarian Party (and even that has a huge number of compromisers),  and with the strong Leftist sentiment among the Catalonians, which is perhaps a legacy of the Spanish Civil War, I think they will run into problems on the currency issue.

Given history, I do not think they will succeed, even if they do secede.

—Paul Grad, Libertarian Vegan

Libertarian Revolution in Catalonia: Secession from the Fascist State

The Socialist-Fascist Union, better known as the EU, is finally breaking down, and, in financially-weakened Spain, it has ultimately led to the Catalans’ getting sick and tired of paying in more than they get back from the Fascist State, as well as wanting to democratically control their traditional cultural region.

The brutal and violent response of the Fascist State Police towards these non-violent Gandhian democrats, who only wanted to vote, shows that the scat-house stink of Franco’s Fascism still hovers over Gaudi’s amazing church towers in Barcelona.

Libertarianism generally holds that one weapon in the armory of Liberty is devolution, or the breaking down of huge bureaucratic States into smaller, independent States, which makes it much harder for power to become absolute, and thus corrupt absolutely, as Jefferson, Thom Paine, and Lord Acton taught us it would if left unchecked.

Rothbard points out that this process of devolution of power, if carried through to its logical extreme, would result in the Individual being the only political entity, and this is a valid argument for anarcho-capitalism, a state in which there was no State government, but there was still law, courts, and jails. Most people never reason down to this level, but usually identify themselves in some way with the land mass they inhabit (“their” country), their religion, their specific ethnic group, or some other badge of identification. Others don’t agree with Rothbard, but do agree that a minimal government, that never violates individual property rights (i.e. the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights) is the best form of government.

What these people clamoring for relative independence, like the Catalonians and the Kurds, seem to forget is that,when they finally achieve a State of their own, they are up against the very same problems they had when they were part of a huge federal entity that trampled on their rights, only on a smaller scale. These inevitable problems arise from the very nature of governments and bureaucracies, in which the worst invariably rise to the top. Those “States Rights” advocates in America are in exactly the same position. The governmental bureaucracies of States like California and New York now far exceed the Federal bureaucracies of eighty years ago, so anyone clamoring for “Independence for California” isn’t going to have many fewer problems than if they’d stayed in the Federal Union. And imagine having to convert your “California Dollars” into “Nevada Silveradoes” and then into “Utah Brighams” and “Nebraska Cornpones” as you crossed the continent and had to exchange your currency for a new currency every time you crossed a State border, probably at a 3-5% charge from the bank doing the exchange. And imagine each state having to fund its own army that was confined to its state borders. There are pragmatic advantages to federalism, as well as terrible pitfalls.

Moreover, we can see the disadvantages of “States Rights” when we look at a matter like segregation and the persecution of Blacks in the old South — when a local community, county, or state blatantly violates the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, it becomes necessary for a federal power, greater than the States, to end that violation of Rights, as Kennedy did when he busted the Segregationists by Federalizing the National Guardsmen who had been, up to that point, enforcing the assaults on the Bill of Rights by their segregationist governor.

On the other side of the street, we can see the Fascist tyranny imposed on the American People by the Democrats who have been throwing people in cages for 80 years continuously for owning some cannabis, while they bray about how much they respect people’s rights and how they really care about people. How many millions suffered and died in agony and rotted in prison for decades, because of the rotten Miscreants infesting the Democratic Party and the Democratic politicians who were elected to high office?

Professor Rothbard discusses this problem of devolution when he quotes John C. Calhoun, the Southern segregationist, who made a plea for States Rights and against the tyranny of the Federal Supreme Court, but who failed to realize that he would have exactly the same problems with his own State Government and State Supreme Court.

So one wishes the Catalan Rebels all the best in their fight against the Socialist  police thugs of Rajoy’s rule, but I think they are rather naive in thinking that after Catalonian independence they will not face the exact same problems they faced in the largely Corporate-Socialist Scathouse of Spain, a nation that practices the Abomination of bullfighting. The same problems, that is, unless they adopt a radical free-market capitalism and libertarianism, that places individual liberty as the highest social value, and vigorously punishes any depredations on individual property rights by government.

No pasaran!

-Paul Grad, Vegan Libertarian