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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/15813/life-without-our-wise-overlords/

Life without Our Wise Overlords

February 25, 2011 by

The book is not about the need to cut the budget. Well, sure, the budget would be low to nonexistent if people adopted the views I defend here. But my aim is far more ambitious than that. I am inviting the reader, step by step, to rethink the view of government and society he has imbibed since childhood. A tall order, to be sure. But I’m throwing everything I’ve got at it. FULL ARTICLE by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

{ 56 comments }

Deefburger February 25, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Thank You Tom. Once again you have brought clarity to a very muddy sea of propaganda and influence.

I would like to point out that the tea partiers are for the most part good “Christian” conservatives who are a bit conflicted between the power of government and the Christian ideology. There is a clear answer to their conflict: The ten commandments.

The first three deal specifically with positive rights, and are aimed directly at the institutionalized powers your work is railing against. This is perfectly aligned if you interpret those first three commandments as commandments against the institutionalization of power.

Those commandments insist on there being no power between the self and the creator. This means government power and the necessary “first use of force” that must be employed by the institution against the natural, god-given rights of the populous. The last commandments deal with the natural negative rights held by all and are the basic inalienable rights of a free and just society.

Nobody I know of has made this connection before, but I think the time has come for those interested in liberty to compare them to what is now considered Rothbardian anarchy. In this light, Rothbard’s ideas are in line with Christian ideology.

I would also like to warn that government, without power, is more akin to Authority rather than Power. Authority has as it’s base the knowledge of the field, a valuable commodity, and is tolerable as a government, so long as there is no power to compel or coerce. The NIST is probably the only institution left in the United States that qualifies as a legitimate government authority.

This is an important point when arguing to take down government. It is an example of how and why government can and should exist. It is a bridge between those who rail against the power but recognize the importance of authoritative institutions that have real value to society.

Kings and potentates are ok if they have no teeth. True power comes from voluntary association, not from force or institutionalization per se. Authoritative bodies of governance then become not wielders of power, but instead protectors of systems of thought and knowledge ONLY! When they fail to provide adequately, they can be instantly replaced by new free associations and institutions.

Government without positive rights is truly representative, because the representatives themselves do not gain power that they did not have before election, simply because there isn’t any. The first three commandments back up this claim, and the “lightning strike” from “God” or the creator is really the reality stepping on the unfounded and unnatural positive rights. The warning from the bible is clear, no other power than the power of the creator himself is tolerated in the creator’s world, so no positive rights institution ever lasts for very long. Your book is an excellent illustration of the fallacy of positive rights power and it’s effect on the world of man.

Thanks again!

Joe February 25, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Tom,
Thanks again for sharing your insights. My only comment would be on the Tea Party. I have attended two tea party rallies in the state of Idaho. After talking with people who have attended these rallies I find it hard to put them into any specific category other than they want smaller government. I don’t think there really is a tea party as in the same vein as the republican or democratic party. I think you described accurately the type of person attending these rallies. The people are a conglomerate of ideas and believes. They understand that something needs to be done with government and they are looking for answers. I found it amusing that a person at one of the rallies had a sign that said, “where is John Galt.” I had several people say to me “who is John Galt.”
So yes there is a fertile field to be sowed with the tea party activists. They are finally fed up with the BS and know there is a better answer. That better answer I hope is the Mises/Rothbard path to sanity.

Daniel Hewitt February 25, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Congratulations on the new book, Tom. I know you likely did not choose the title; to be honest it sounded somewhat ho-hum to me, and I didn’t think too much about the book. But now that I know what it’s all about, I’m looking forward to getting my hands on this book and reading it.

Lee February 25, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Great work and I look forward to reading it. You’re developing into quite a prolific author! I hope there is a media blitz regarding this on major networks and news outlets. The title and content appear interesting enough to have mass consumer appeal.

Lee February 25, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Unless I’ve developed another personality I’m not aware of, we seem to have an identify problem here. I approve of the comment but I didn’t, as far as I know, make it.

Lee February 25, 2011 at 7:14 pm

You too????

RTB February 28, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Tech Support!…Tech Support!!!!

Deefburger March 1, 2011 at 10:33 am

@Lee and RTB

If you guys aren’t joking, I hope you have notified the webmaster! I had an account hijacked at ABC and I did NOT like what they posted in my name and I cannot get back in to the account to change it.

Jim February 25, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Sounds good, can’t wait to read it. And hopefully introduce it to my next Tea Party meetup, where so far I’ve been the only person who doesn’t believe that ending the wars is “cutting and running” and that we “have to support the troops” because control of southwestern Asia is in our “national interest”. I haven’t given up hope on them yet : ).

Bruce Koerber February 25, 2011 at 2:35 pm

“Rollback” The Propaganda And Tyranny!

History is a major part of the propaganda that each one of us has been taught by the State, the beneficiary of that propaganda. That is one of the reasons Tom Woods is able to lead the fight against the myths, the fears, and the superstitions that paralyze our opposition to the injustices and tyranny of the State. Tom Woods is a brilliant historian and he speaks truthfully, without the academic arrogance and self-importance of the bribed ‘keeper’s of the State’s history.’

Rollback shatters the myth of the benevolence of the State.

The fact is that the State came into existence as result of the violation of the Covenant of Muhammad. His Revelation was to bring nationhood to human civilization but the usurpers of His Covenant rejected Ali despite his being appointed as the guardian of the Faith of Muhammad by Muhammad Himself.

The lower nature of the human beings, deprived of the Spirit of God, seized upon the spirit of the Age – nationhood – and being misguided by a satanic ego-driven nature formed the State!

What a vile thing the State is! No doubt it will take all of our effort to purge the State from the consciousness of humankind. It is what will destroy humanity at the macro and micro and ethical level, otherwise.

Deefburger March 1, 2011 at 10:42 am

@ Bruce,
You definitely have the spirit down, but don’t mistake the state for Satan or the people in it for demons. They are your friends and family.

Dump the positive rights, not the humanity of the persons involved with it. The only “satanic” things happening are happening because people are mistaken, not evil. Evil comes from malis, and very few make that mistake.

Don’t confuse anger and frustration and confusion for satanic conspiracy. To do so throws fuel on the fire and YOU are now one of them. There is no conspiracy, only the logical outcomes of the creation of rights that do not exist and their use.

Charlie Virgo February 25, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Good to have you back at Mises, Mr. Woods! I went to a tea party rally last year and am going to another tomorrow (Ron Paul will be there) and it’s interesting to see the variety in beliefs. Some of them are little better than Democrats. That said, any one who is willing to attend a rally about smaller government is ok in my book.

Jim P. February 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm

A break? Who said you could take a break?

I enjoyed Rollback very much and learned a lot from it. This and Nullification are both badly needed books written at exactly the right time. So thanks for that. The world could use 100 more Tom Woods.

Capn Mike February 25, 2011 at 7:21 pm

There was a time when I said to meself “Geez, I wish I could take a course with that guy [TEW]”
Well thanks to Mises Academy I did (the depression thing).
Signin up for the March class.
I think Tom SHOULD take a break and just teach us hungry students for a while!

Ansury February 25, 2011 at 9:35 pm

The issue I have with Tom’s latest books (not Meltdown) is a silly one but it’s for a good reason – the cover pages. Putting anything remotely ‘Obama related’ on the cover with a critical title makes anyone with Democrat sympathies have a knee jerk reaction and instantly judge the book. Although it’s not a partisan book in that sense, it LOOKS like one, so it’s not for their consideration. It’s frustrating enough that I’ve stopped bothering to leave such books out (conversation starter) at work because I know it won’t get the same neutral reaction as a cover like “Meltdown”, or “How Capitalism Saved America”. I know it probably helps attract sales in other ways, to the partisan anti-Obama crowd, but only targeting 50% of the nation may not be the best educational strategy. Maybe a second edition with a less controversial cover is a good idea?

Horst Muhlmann February 28, 2011 at 2:49 pm

I don’t think Tom has any say in that regard.

Another angle to add to your criticism of the cover is that the book will be considered “obsolete” on January 20, 2013.

Libertarian jerry February 25, 2011 at 10:33 pm

1st,Let me congratulate Tom Woods on striking another blow for the cause of Liberty. A step by step reasoning why liberty works better for a society than government coercion ,put together in the form of a book,goes along way to winning people over to the Libertarian ideal. With that said,let me state that after many years of trying to “rollback” the tide of collectivism that is sweeping over America, I have to admit that it has been a losing battle. The problem is that the amount of “net tax” consumers in America outnumber the people who want to be free of government intervention in their lives. Sure Liberty works better than Socialism. But try and tell that to 50 million Food stamp recipients,45 million Social Security Recipients, 29 million Welfare Recipients,the millions on Unemployment Compensation,the millions receiving college aid,the millions in HUD assisted housing plus the millions of government employees who work directly or indirectly for government etc.,etc. Lets face it ,the Political Class outnumber the Economic Class in America. They also usually out vote the Economic Class. It is true,”some people work for a living and other people vote for a living.” That fact is,I am sorry to say, that “you could no sooner teach or train the Political Class to be productive,than you could train a maggot to be a vegetarian. The situation has gone too far down the road to serfdom.

Deefburger February 26, 2011 at 10:19 am

@Libertarian Jerry

The classes of people who depend upon government largess will loose their beliefs in that largess from the bottom up. Trickle down economics may not work well to bring wealth to the base, but the end of the road to serfdom trickles up rather suddenly and forcefully. Take Wisconsin for example. The first thing on the table when the largess begins to run out is the benefits of the lowest classes of serfs. The last to feel the pinch is the politically connected classes, and then the banking class. Theses last two don’t generally fall without a fight. Their absolute belief in their absolute power to command and benefit the populous will be held on to for dear life. They will alienate everyone they once “protected” and still claim ownership of the eventual recovery from the collapse of the institution of power itself. Look at Libya, and the speech about “fighting to the death for Libya”. They will continue to see themselves as heroes of the nation as they suck the last drops of wealth and prosperity out of it, and spend their last bullets protecting the “country and the nation”.

It’s not a pretty sight, but the politics of servitude never are. The division between the elite classes near the political/banking sector and the serfs is growing rapidly, and this is a sure indication that the end of this run of make-believe power is about to come. A very different view of politics and security will come to those who are currently comfortably numb in their state jobs and with their welfare checks. My hope is that they wake up and shake off the notion that a different power will do a better job next time. No power raised by man to serve man has ever resulted in anything but servitude to the power itself. If, in the end, when and if it really does come, I would hope we can refrain from creating another power to replace the one that just died.

My prayers are for people to trust in each other and to forget about creating powerful seats of government. The hardest part about freedom is believing that you have it. The easiest part about servitude is the creation of a master and forgetting about your own freedom when you do. Every institutionalized power ever created was created to serve the people. All of them, in the end, are shown to have only served themselves, via the power given to them by the people, who suffered their mandates and dictates until the demands were unsustainable. This cycle is evident in every form of government ever created for as long as history has been kept. The reason this cycle happens is that it begins, every time, with a belief that an institution must exist, that holds special powers that men do have have in the natural state of humanity, and that this power has the right to the first use of force. It is justified by the intent to protect and serve the populous-at-large.

Give any one a singular right to power over others in this way, and the downfall of the nation sometime in the future is assured. No matter what structure the government or how carefully balanced it appears to be at the outset, the power vested in it is the source of it’s eventual collapse. No matter how many “regular people” are voted into those seats of power, no matter how good they may be or how holy or pious, no matter what their ideology or religion, no matter how chaste or saintly, the seat of power itself will corrupt them. They will be called upon by those who put them there, the serfs themselves, to wield the sword and the staff and make betterments and prosperous campaigns.

The ten commandments came from a guy in the deserts of Egypt sometime around 3000+ years ago. He’s not the only one to come to grips with the relationship between God and man, and man and government. 3000+ years you think would be enough for a people who are smart enough to get to the moon and back! But this insane belief that handing power over an entire nation to another human being is an instant creation of greatness for “the greatness and good of all” is somehow going to work this time, after 3000+ years of failure is unscientific in the extreme.

Positive rights DON’T WORK!!!!! They have been tried and examined and crafted expertly for millennia, literally, and have NEVER yielded a lasting prosperity for anyone. Success cannot be found by changing the form of the mistake. In the case of power, success is NOT using it in the first place. It’s much like an addictive drug in this sense. You can pretty it up all you want, mix it up with whatever you want, paint it up in any way you want, but once you accept it, you loose.

The moment you create a positive right for anyone and call it government, you have lost all of your freedom and all of the freedom of everyone who follows you. You just won’t know it’s been gone from that point on until the end. Maybe your children or your children’s children will learn the truth, in the end, but it will become very apparent, very suddenly when it comes.

Joe February 26, 2011 at 11:54 am

@Deefburger,
My I suggest the article on this website by Frank Chodorov, “Human Nature and the Perfect Society. I believe Frank answers a lot of questions and with brilliant insight. This article blew me away for his grasp of human nature and how we have come to this point in our evolution.

Deefburger February 26, 2011 at 12:40 pm

@Joe

Excellent read, thank you. “The will for freedom comes before freedom.” I would add to this “…and after it was already had and lost.”

Have you read Lao-Tzu?

29
“Do you want to improve the world?
I don’t think it can be done.

The world is sacred.
It can’t be improved.
If you tamper with it, you’ll ruin it.
If you treat it like an object, you’ll lose it.

There is a time for being ahead,
a time for being behind,
a time for being in motion,
a time for being at rest,
a time for being vigorous,
a time for being exhausted,
a time for being safe,
a time for being in danger.

The Master sees things as they are,
without trying to control them.
She lets them go their own way,
and resides at the center of the circle.”

What he is saying here is that there is no power to improve the world. One must allow the world to happen, not force it to happen. The use of positive rights necessitates the use of force, and this will not have the desired effect in the world. Free markets are only free when they are allowed to be so. Free people are only free when they allow themselves to be so.

This passage is much like Ecclesiastes 3 in a way. I think the basic spirit of thought is the same.

Jacob Steelman February 26, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Tom is right – it is not enough to be against something in theory. What people want are proposals as to what to do about it. Rolling back government is that proposal, not political proposals for re-arranging the deck chairs on The Titanic. I suspect the Tea Party participants are as I was almost 50 years ago – Goldwater conservatives with inconsistent views on less government eg. much less government and much less taxes but tacit tolerance for government’s moral intrusions and military defense. Hopefully Tom’s book will do for Tea Party members what Leonard Read’s libertarian book Accent on the Right did for me in 1967 when libertarianism finally provided me a consistent political philosophy and what the Mises Institute and lewrockwell.com has done for me in the past 5 years – remove the inconsistencies of my limited government libertarian philosophy as only Rothbard can do.

James Gunderson February 26, 2011 at 5:54 pm

I have been reading more diverse lit of late and articles on the MISES web site. I will be buying your book in near future as an aid in my attempts to re-educate myself and fellow victims of public education. Thanks for your efforts.

F. Beard February 26, 2011 at 5:59 pm

The separation of money and state Thomas Wood

Is this what you really wish? But as long as we have shall a state it will use money. Whose then should it use? Yours? Mine? Some other’s? All?

No. As long as we have a state then it should recognize only its own fiat as money not someone’s favourite shiny metal, for instance.

But here is what should be separated: that government money is de facto legal tender for private debts when it should only be de facto legal tender for government debts.

If the Austrians are truly for liberty in private money creation then good but if not then they are in favour of a subtle form of fascism, government recognition of what should only be a purely private money form, PMs.

But further, If the Austrians are for government recognition of PMs then they are for government support for usury since PMs require usury to generate a return. And ultimately they are for fractional reserves too if history is a guide.

Anthony February 27, 2011 at 12:22 am

Enough about usury already.

Interest is a necessary outgrowth of the fact that people prefer present goods to future goods. Mises deals with the topic very nicely in Human Action… time preference is a necessary part of human action and it makes interest necessary. I am sorry that this does not concur with your interpretation of your holy book, but no amount of wishful thinking or manipulation of markets can ever actually eliminate interest.

F. Beard February 27, 2011 at 7:13 am

Interest is a necessary outgrowth of the fact that people prefer present goods to future goods. Anthony

False. Common stock as money requires no borrowing or lending much less at interest.
Conventional money is an unnecessary intermediary between capital, hence interest (usury) is unnecessary too.

I am sorry that this does not concur with your interpretation of your holy book, but no amount of wishful thinking Anthony

The Scripture is plain enough. The wishful thinking is on the part of those who wish to loot wealth rather than earn it.

or manipulation of markets can ever actually eliminate interest. Anthony

Actually, it is the usury class that depends on market manipulation. One way or another, via government privilege, we are all forced to borrow a government enforced monopoly money supply.

However, the solution to usury is not to outlaw it but to remove all government privilege for it. That means that PMs or any other purely private money form must NEVER be recognized by government as money.

Deefburger February 27, 2011 at 11:06 am

@Anthony and F. Beard–
Bastiat dealt with interest very well. Scripture bans it’s use, or more to the point, it’s misuse. So does the Koran, and the Tao-te-ching.

But there is an “interest” mechanism for PMs and other commodity monies that does not involve usary, it’s called deflation.

Most of the arguments I’m reading here are using some form of power as a starting point for argument. This approach results immediately in a “power struggle”. For instance, power is the use of a positive right, and so let’s identify where those are:

Fiat Money – positive right to print money to the exclusion of all others.
Fractional Reserve – same as fiat money.
Taxation – positive right to take money from anyone.
Legal Tender – same as fiat money
Legislation – the vehicle for the expansion of the positive rights.

In a free society, legislation would be only a means to codify in the law those forms of decision/circumstance that have proven to be fair and just in the courts, where the law meets the people. This is like voting for a new chapter in a science book, not a declaration of positive right. Legislation is a formal guide and framework, like the government itself, not a decree or mandate. If you think this has no value, think of the standards bodies that maintain standard weights and measures, as well as procedures, language, definitions etc. These are the legitimate purposes of a toothless and benign limited government.

The Military is another form of organization and standards. The founding fathers referred to this as a Regulated Militia. Regulation in their minds meant order, not control or force.

Now if you consider the need for “investment” where money is concerned, then you need to consider the basis of the need before you apply it to new or changed conditions. If fiat money is “Rolled back” and we are using sound commodity money(minted privately to government maintained standards), then the need to have an interest bearing investment is no more. We have gotten into the habit of assuming that our money must be invested or it loses value and that is a result of fiat money creation, not a fact of life and nature. In a sound money system, the increases in production and productive capacity result in lower prices over time, and this means the sound money is gaining value in direct responce to the increases in the society at large. We have been trained to accept the opposite, with the “growth” coming from the positive rights holders, the Central Bank, and the rises in prices this causes.

Stocks are not money. They are legitimate means of raising capitol and realizing profits losses on part ownership of a company. But once again, the fiat money system we are familiar with has bent our minds to consider them as “savings and investment”,
They are a gamble unless you know the business and can know what to expect from that businesses operation

As for taxes, there is no reason not to have them if the government applies them equally to all. Taxes are easily dealt with in an institution that has no other purpose than to maintain standards. It takes next to nothing to fund a limited government with no power. It takes everything you have to fund a powerful government.

augusto February 27, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Your definition of fiat money as positive right to print money to the exclusion of all others doesn’t seem correct. You can have fiat money in a competitive system. One wonders why anyone would accept it, but exclusivity is certainly not a defining characteristic of fiat money.

Deefburger February 28, 2011 at 9:42 am

In order for any Fiat Money to have a value in the society at-large, a positive right must be established by the state to support the printing of excess notes, otherwise the notes and their condition of excess is legally a fraud. It is fraud any way, but it’s the positive right to do it that makes it seem to work for a time.

So the right to print money from thin-air in excess of reserves is a positive right to the exclusion of all others. Other wise anyone would be able to print their own or even copy the notes of another and make claims against reserves.

When examining rights and power, it is necessary to do a complete tear-down of the system to see where each right is and how it is obtained. Any power “granted” by the state is a positive right. Natural rights, negative rights, are inherent in your being. Printing money is a negative right. Using it AS money once printed is exclusive to the bank granted the positive right to do so.

Oklahoma Libertarian February 27, 2011 at 6:58 am

“But further, If the Austrians are for government recognition of PMs then they are for government support for usury since PMs require usury to generate a return.”

LOL. Austrians are not “for government support” of anything.

Also, opposing usury is just plainly idiotic. If you’re interested in joining us in reality, there’s still plenty of room. :-)

F. Beard February 27, 2011 at 8:48 am

LOL. Austrians are not “for government support” of anything. Oklahoma Libertarian

No, you got that wrong. I used to think so too till I read this by Gary North:

“The government does have the right to establish the form of money that citizens must use to pay their taxes. The government should limit itself to a statement regarding the weight and fineness of the tax coins. If private enterprise produces coins that meet these standards, the government must accept such coins as valid for the payment of taxes. The government lawfully controls the form of taxation; but it should not have any power to monopolize the production of coins. Governments have always asserted this authority, and they have always done so to the detriment of liberty.” Gary North from http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north895.html

If Mr. North had his way then we would all have to obtain gold to pay our taxes. That amounts to
government sanction for a shiny metal, gold. Furthermore, since gold is a non-performing asset, it must be lent at interest to obtain a return or hoarded in expectation of risk-free appreciation.

Also, opposing usury is just plainly idiotic. Oklahoma Libertarian

What is idiotic is to conflate liberty with a shiny metal.

Sione February 27, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Beard is a money crank who supports the notion of massive bouts of inflation for his bail outs and funny money scams. He suffers from the conceit of thinking he possesses an omniscience which qualifies his wee ego to jerry-mander up a delusional scheme to be implemented upon all others by compulsion. Consider, for him to operate his dirty litle rort it absolutely requires powerful central government to force its implementation upon all persons. What Beard neglects to explain is that he’d need to be in the position of weilding considerable force and deploy it against all others in order for his rort to be erected among men (fortunately the old fart has no chance ever of acquiring that sort of power). Hardly libertarian, this guy lusts for a huge governmental apparatus with his particular delusions at the heart of it. He’s a wannabe ayatollah.

A major issue for Beard remains his refusal to even consider reading the basic works of Austrian School economics. Hence he has little or no understanding of the subject of economics whatsoever. Had he developed any serious knowledge of the subject he’d soon realise his schemes are corrupt. He’d have found out exactly why they’d fail had he’d actually bothered to study the basics of the subject and read Mises explanations regarding exactly the type of nonsense he’s promoted.

Note that when challenged on his failure to read Von Mises, Beard boasts of his aversion to Mises on the basis of a low racism and dishonourable bigotry. Mises was a Jew and Mises was an “agnostic” one at that. That is the sum total of the reasoning that Beard has put into his rejection of Von Mises and the Austrian School of Economics.

Like all turds, Beard is best flushed and forgotten.

Sione

F. Beard February 27, 2011 at 2:32 pm

A major issue for Beard remains his refusal to even consider reading the basic works of Austrian School economics. Sione

Actually, I have read a good amount of Murray N. Rothbard, de Soto, and a few other Austrians. I used to be an Austrian myself till I perceived that wrt money many of the Austrians are gold-bugs. To the extent they favour government recognition of gold as money then they are fascists too. Please excuse me if consider any further reading to be a waste of time. Being a gold bug is forgiveable; being a fascist is not.

Note that when challenged on his failure to read Von Mises, Beard boasts of his aversion to Mises on the basis of a low racism and dishonourable bigotry. Sione

May the Lord of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob judge between thee and me in this regard. I read the Old Testament EVERY day. And while you follow an agnostic Jew, Mises, I read a believing one, Moses.

Like all turds, Beard is best flushed and forgotten. sione

Since you slander me untruthfully, I solemnly warn you that it is liars who will be flushed — into a lake of fire: Revelation 21:8 (New American Standard Bible)

But why be hateful? All I insist on is liberty in private money creation while many of you insist that PMs be granted special privilege. But that is absurd! Will you conflate liberty and justice with a shiny metal?! Did not earlier idolaters do the same with God? Is there much difference since God is just and desires liberty for His Creatures?

El Tonno February 27, 2011 at 2:36 pm

“To the extent they favour government recognition of gold as money then they are fascists too. Please excuse me if consider any further reading to be a waste of time.”

Out you go.

augusto February 27, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Gary North is not “the austrians”. Gary North is “an austrian”. And why do you assume that the mere calling of someone “austrian” makes him omniscient and infallible?

Libertarian jerry February 26, 2011 at 8:54 pm

DEEFBURGER….Your comments ,on this blog,although wordy, are with a worldview that I agree with. But I as a man who has lived a rather long life and experienced directly and indirectly the attitudes and emotions of most of the strata of life,from rich to poor,from worker to owner and everything in between I must say that 90% of the people out there are either non political or have a very narrow political view based mainly upon their environment,their upbringing, their education and their exposure to the Main Stream Media. The lust for power is as old as mankind. Most people look after their own economic interests. The Elites,behind the scenes know this too well. This is why they allow people who produce nothing to live off of the people in the Economic class who create the wealth. The Elites also allow the productive Economic Class to keep just enough of their production as to not complain and revolt. It is really a delicate balance that the Elites have learned to control over the Centuries. America was founded by men who wanted to break away from the British Elites and set up an independent republic free from British Merchant Monopoly. However,over time,gradually the Anglo/American Elites reestablished their control. So our nation degraded from a Republic to a Democracy to a Mobocracy to a Welfare State to Bankruptcy and finally to a Police State. Unfortunately, I find that no matter how much we explain,cajole,or write about it Liberty has been lost in America. After over 50 years of being a political activist I find,in the end,that it is best for me to look out for myself and my family and to sadly watch the ideal of America fade away in the sunset of our Republic.

Oklahoma Libertarian February 27, 2011 at 7:01 am

“Most people look after their own economic interests.”

While I hate to be the unsolicited puritan, everyone looks after their own economic interests. For some, that just means the pursuit of some scarce good other than cash: art, leisure time, children, prestige, awards, a sense of fulfillment, etc.

Deefburger February 27, 2011 at 12:36 pm

@Libertarian Jerry

You are correct in your assessment of power and the decline. Very well said too I might add. However, it is here that we must maintain our faith in God and Nature, especially Human Nature, and it is a test worthy of Job!

Take heart. All of us here are at least considering the finer points of Human existence and our next great future, and all of this in the light of a major global decline. The test of faith is in our hands and our hearts and our minds. If we keep talknig about it, testing it, and examining it, in the way Tom and others are in their books, and we are here in these discussions, then perhaps we can transcend the historical tendencies and arrive at a place of lasting freedom.

It takes an enormous faith in Humanity and Nature, whether you are Christian, Jew, Muslim, Taoist, Buddist, Hindu or whatever, to see a bright future for freedom. It takes enormous strength of character and principal to test our ideas and ideologies and apply them daily to our circumstances. But I write to bring understanding and clarity when and where I can, and I try to do my part in this way, as small as it is, to bring about the peace and prosperity that freedom regained can provide. The more I talk to people, the more we understand each other, and the closer to the goal we all get.

Have faith!
Most people are mostly good most of the time (My Motto), If this were not true, we would not have evolved, or even survived to have this discussion! In addition, we are now witnessing the realization of the end of the latest incarnation of power, and this time it’s global. Never before in human history has the end of a system of power faced a total loss. Never.

Have faith.
People are good. Egyptians showed us humanity at it’s best. Our Muslim brothers and sisters there did a remarkable job of illustrating to the world how peace loving people can raise their own power and defeat Tyranny. They will probably have to do it again sometime soon, as they only called for the removal of a man, not the removal of an institution of power or the closing and removal of a fiat bank(s).

But as things continue to change, as the circumstances continue to divide the elites from the people, the obviousness of what you said will become, well, more obvious!

Remember that Job’s friends had many practical reasons for him to question his faith. But in the end, it was Job who prevailed. As Libertarians we face a similar dilemma. Have faith in your fellow-man and let go of the idea of power and positive rights. Evangelize that idea and you can do so without fear of losing any heavenly or earthly reward. And there is ample support in all the major faiths for this around the world. Freedom from oppression is the freedom from positive rights, and anyone can find meaning for that in their faith.

Read the other Books of Faith, or at least find someone who has and discuss where in those texts the ideas of Liberty are codified. That is common ground for all God’s children and it has never been more important than today in all of human history that we do so. I do, and the more I do, the greater my faith in Humanity. That gives me strength! I find myself getting closer to God not further away. And I’m an Agnostic!!!

If you are a Priest, or a Rabbi, or an Imam, find others in your area of other faiths and discuss Liberty. As a basis, use Positive Rights, and Sound Money, Tolerance, and Compassion as a starting point and the connections between the ideals will become clear. We have much to teach each other and little time to get it done.

Deefburger February 27, 2011 at 1:34 pm

I want to add this thought, that people only seek power when there is an institution that holds it. If no such power exists, and law does not allow it, then there is nothing there to gain, and so no ambition to acquire “more”.

We see the struggle of people to gain power because power is available from and in the institutions that hold it. It is not our nature, but our circumstances that lead to this.

Deefburger February 27, 2011 at 3:01 pm

@F. Beard
“But why be hateful? All I insist on is liberty in private money creation while many of you insist that PMs be granted special privilege. But that is absurd! Will you conflate liberty and justice with a shiny metal?! Did not earlier idolaters do the same with God? Is there much difference since God is just and desires liberty for His Creatures?”

The Austro-Libertarian view of PMs is not that of “Special Privilege” but simply an acknowledgment of the special place among the natural elements and their utility as a commodity money. Don’t confuse the special privileges of government with a desire for what we know works as sound money. ANY commodity substance is allowable in a free market society, and gold and silver tend to be the best commodity solutions.

Idolatry is not about the gold, but about the belief in power beyond man within an artifact not God. You may have confused the gold for the idol.

Wanting to use PMs as money is NOT Idolatry. It is practical. Idolatry would be coining an official coin, and then using special privilege to make it the defacto money. Debasement will likely follow by adding value to the coin that doesn’t exist by stating that the IP on it makes it worth more, by belief and/or law, not by its natural weight or content of metal.

The problems come from the special privileges of men (positive rights) not the substances of God’s creation (gold, silver, etc.). The placement of belief in power in inanimate things is Idolotry, not the stuff the things are made of or the form those things are given.

@Sione

Please refrain from flaming here. It serves no purpose except to anger and deride.

Sione February 28, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Deefburger

Derision is exactly appropriate in regards to Beard and the low fraud he promotes. The guy has been banging on and on about nonsense that has been demonstrated as false on several threads now. He repeatedly smears fundamental aspects of Austrian School economics and refuses to read any of Von Mises for reasons of his own racism and religious bigotry. Reading Mises would soon have demonstrated to him that his scheme is wrong (and that’s without getting into the immorality of it). Rather than continuing to put up with such knavery my preference is to express contempt, and yes, derision, for the disgusting Beard and the sewerage he pushes.

Be aware of is that economics is not derived from religion- economics is irreligious. Beard is an example of basing an economic system on false premise. In his case he attempts to employ a religious mythology to erect justification for a scheme that would defraud other people on a vast scale. The attempt is made from a basis of an arbitrary belief which remains unavailable to enquiry or rational examination.

Mises strived over a lifetime to explain why delusional fantasies of the type Beard expresses are dangerous frauds and completely immoral. Had Mises been listened to at the time, had the promoters of economic degeneracy been derided and rejected as they should have been, matters would be a lot better presently. Pardon me while I direct derision towards a promoter of a criminal fraud. I have no problem with the expression of derision for such a one and neither should you.

Sione

Deefburger February 28, 2011 at 1:44 pm

I appreciate your point about derision, but the points he thinks are valid are held by many believers and very few of the truly faithful. Taking them calmly and rationally head on is helpful to those who find themselves conflicted but without an agenda.

I do battle with him to reveal the truth, not to hurt him or to demean him. “Tu Ne Cede Malis”

Sione February 28, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Deefburger

Fair enough. Best of luck in battle then, although I fear you are likely to be disappointed with him.

Sione

Libertarian jerry February 27, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Throughout my entire life weird people always find me. F Beard has to be one of the weirdest.He must be a troll. How do they always find me?

F. Beard February 27, 2011 at 6:56 pm

I don’t recall addressing you. Are you a so-called “libertarian” who supports government recognition for gold as money?

FLJohn February 28, 2011 at 8:14 am

This article has convinced me to buy the book and the earlier one. I am one of those former conservatives that has gone libertarian. (Actually, I was libertarian all along but didn’t know it.) I am glad that you mentioned the Free State Project http://www.freestateproject.org. The FSP group is making progress and has helped me to transform ideas into action.

F. Beard February 28, 2011 at 10:22 am

In order for any Fiat Money to have a value in the society at-large, a positive right must be established by the state to support the printing of excess notes, otherwise the notes and their condition of excess is legally a fraud. Deefburger

The over-issue of fiat money problem is solved with genuine private money alternatives. Under those conditions, over-issue of fiat ONLY hurts the government and those who depend on its money; government workers, government contractors, SS recipients, the military, etc. The rest of society, the private sector, would BENEFIT from fiat over-issue since it would make paying taxes easier.

As usual, the solution is LIBERTY. PMs are not required in the least.

Deefburger February 28, 2011 at 11:30 am

@F. Beard

“The rest of society, the private sector, would BENEFIT from fiat over-issue since it would make paying taxes easier.”

So you are solving one positive rights “problem” (taxation) with another positive right (fiat money creation) and calling it a better solution than the natural solution of NOT creating special privilege and using naturally occurring PM money?

You stated earlier “May the Lord of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob judge between thee and me in this regard. I read the Old Testament EVERY day. And while you follow an agnostic Jew, Mises, I read a believing one, Moses.”

If you really read your scripture and understood it, you would know that the use of “differing weights” is forbidden. Fiat money is a form of differing weights. It is the creation of a money medium that does not maintain equal value over time or even between transactions. It is “inflating” constantly even if it does so at different times and to varying amounts. It is unstable and unnatural and is an abomination.

The Austrian view of money is totally consistent with scripture. Your view is not. I suggest you read the Ten commandments again, and you also should read Proverbs 20:10

It’s not what is measured that is abominable, it’s the way it is measured. It is “differing weights” that is abominable. What you suggest is not a view supported by scripture, or by reason. Liberty is lost the moment a positive right is implemented. That act is against the first three commandments because it raises a power before God and between God and man that is not natural to his creation. It is a power of a positive right that is not given by God himself to all his children, but instead is reserved to only some, the rights holders. The freedom, the Liberty itself is lost the moment the positive right is created.

PMs are not required for Liberty. But a sound commodity money IS, and PMs supply that need naturally, no matter the form they are given, so long as the weights and measure of them are consistent. That consistency must be maintained by all who trade for there not to be an abomination before the Lord.

Over-issue of fiat money, private or otherwise is a false measure of value, a differing weight.

F. Beard February 28, 2011 at 11:52 am

So you are solving one positive rights “problem” (taxation) with another positive right (fiat money creation) and calling it a better solution than the natural solution of NOT creating special privilege and using naturally occurring PM money? Deefburger

Government is FORCE ( 1 Samuel 8:4-22). There is no avoiding that. Thus fiat is the ONLY honest form of government money. However, that money should only be legal tender for government debts, not private ones. Otherwise, we allow the force of government to favour private interests such as gold miners and usurers. That is fascism.

As for honest weights and measures, the only promise fiat should make is that it shall be accepted for government debts.

The solution to the money problem is separate government and private money supplies as Matthew 22:16-22 hints at.

Deefburger February 28, 2011 at 12:55 pm

@F. Beard

Government is force only if it allowed to be forceful. That is your first and fatal flaw. You accept government above yourself and between yourself and your God and then try to fix the problem by assigning more force, by use of proclaimed money and more proclaimed rules.

By admitting government any force over your existence, you place government between yourself and God and deny your personal relationship with your God. You assume that government has a right to force that you do not. You are by this act guilty of the Idolatry you rail against in your other arguments. Government and it’s default power is the idol you accept without question.

Ceasars likeness on the coin in Mathew 22:16-22 is a debasement of the sound money by ceasars proclomation (positive right) to coin smaller coins at equal value (debasement via IP also positive rights).

Jesus told them basically to give the debased currency back to him who issued it.

Samuel 8:4-22 …” 18″Then (N)you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but (O)the LORD will not answer you in that day.”

Samuel told them straight up that they will regret the raising of a King. That is the creation of a positive rights institution in the person and the throne and is forbidden.

So like Samuel I say to you ” 22The LORD said to Samuel, “(S)Listen to their voice and appoint them a king.” So Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.”

You can have your king if you want, but the day will come when you don’t want him anymore. That day your prayers will not be heard, or answered.

F. Beard February 28, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Government is force only if it allowed to be forceful. deefburger

Say what?! Government by definition is force. I could stop right now in my refutation as far as any serious libertarians are concerned.

That is your first and fatal flaw. You accept government above yourself and between yourself and your God and then try to fix the problem by assigning more force, by use of proclaimed money and more proclaimed rules. deefburger

Actually, I seek to limit government by restricting its fiat to government debts only.

By admitting government any force over your existence, you place government between yourself and God and deny your personal relationship with your God. deefburger

I admit the facts of reality; that government exists. Given that fact, the problem is then to limit the damage it does, not co-opt it for private interests. As for my relationship to God, He commands that we “do justice” not privilege shiny metals and usury.

You assume that government has a right to force that you do not. You are by this act guilty of the Idolatry you rail against in your other arguments. Government and it’s default power is the idol you accept without question. deefburger

No. The problem with some gold bugs is they seek to co-opt the power of government for their shiny metals and by extension for usury. I seek to allow genuine private money alternatives. That means that NO private money forms such as PMs be recognized by government.

Ceasars likeness on the coin in Mathew 22:16-22 is a debasement of the sound money by ceasars proclomation (positive right) to coin smaller coins at equal value (debasement via IP also positive rights). deefburger

Caesar’s money was ultimately backed by force, his power to tax. It’s silver content was superfluous. Furthermore, that coin could have been nearly pure silver, not that it matters, except to you perhaps.

Jesus told them basically to give the debased currency back to him who issued it. deefburger

Government money is the only money that should be acceptable for taxation else we allow private counterfeiting of government money. It does not matter if gold or silver is used for the counterfeiting.

Samuel 8:4-22 …” 18″Then (N)you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but (O)the LORD will not answer you in that day.”

Samuel told them straight up that they will regret the raising of a King. That is the creation of a positive rights institution in the person and the throne and is forbidden.

So like Samuel I say to you ” 22The LORD said to Samuel, “(S)Listen to their voice and appoint them a king.” So Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.”

You can have your king if you want, but the day will come when you don’t want him anymore. That day your prayers will not be heard, or answered. deefburger

We already have government. If we wish the Lord to relieve us of it then we should aim for justice and liberty not special privilege for shiny metals and by extension, usury.

Keep reading the Bible, I suggest. It promises this:

Heed instruction and be wise
and do not neglect it.
Proverbs 8:33-34

F. Beard February 28, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Actually, I seek to limit government by restricting its fiat to government debts only. FB

Correction. Government fiat should be legal tender for government debts only. Obviously, people should be free to use it if they wish and some would have to be bought on the free market to pay taxes. However, free market exchange rates would prevail at all times to preclude an inflation tax.

Deefburger February 28, 2011 at 6:30 pm

@F. Beard
“Heed instruction and be wise
and do not neglect it. Proverbs 8:33-34″

Battle over. You do great at quoting scripture but fail to understand what you have read. That is the behavior of a blind believer not the truly faithful. I was hoping for a real argument of faith but all you can deliver is your own dogma. I have nothing more to offer you, and I pray for soul. Good day and God Bless.

F. Beard February 28, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Battle over. deefburger

Well if you insist on quitting.

You do great at quoting scripture but fail to understand what you have read. deefburger

If you only knew how pompous you sound.

That is the behavior of a blind believer not the truly faithful. deefburger

Your conceit drips.

I was hoping for a real argument of faith but all you can deliver is your own dogma. deefburger

No, my authority is Scripture. Yours is an agnostic Jew?

I have nothing more to offer you, deefburger

Apparently so.

and I pray for soul. deefburger

Thanks! And thanks for the debate such as it was.

Daniel February 28, 2011 at 10:29 pm

The minarchist x anarchist debate would be enlightening to you, sir

The comments actually taught us that both minarchists and anarchists want the same thing: to associate freely. Some of these associations could be referred to as “governments” but none of them would be a government as we know it nowadays: it would be a voluntary association like any other, which couldn’t impose itself on you and which you could disassociate freely.

This the idea of removing “the state” from government, where it would cease to be a forceful monopoly and would become a service like any other.

And like DB says, it would bring about a state of affairs where a “government” would exercise “true” authority that arises from it having proven itself in service to its customers, not power which it uses to kill, enslave and indoctrinate our children into being slaves themselves.

Perhaps your ideas are more of an answer to the question “how would we transition to a stateless society?”

Daniel February 28, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Back in ’08, when I was still a neocon and McCain voter, I still couldn’t stand Dick Morris. He has weasel written all over him.

F. Beard March 1, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Perhaps your ideas are more of an answer to the question “how would we transition to a stateless society?” Daniel

Bingo! A return to government recognition of gold as money begs for a retrace of history to back where we are or probably worse.

I have no objection at all to PMs as purely private money forms. But then, I would bet, the PM enthusiasts would discover that government privilege is a necessary ingredient to a successful PM based money.

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