Friday, December 6, 2013


by James Craig Green
As I get older, I no longer care so much about how my ideas may be perceived by other people, though I enjoy lively debates and criticisms of my beliefs (when respectfully courteous). Call it maturity, insanity, or just plain, old-fashioned dementia or delusion... it is where I am now in my life. I wouldn't be twenty again if I could.
It never ceases to amaze me that so many people - especially Americans - still see the STATE, or some other coercive, monopolistic, wealth-destroying GOVERNMENT as some kind of savior.
Government is, BY FAR, the most addicting and destructive narcotic ever invented. By comparison, Bernie Madoff and other private criminals were pikers... Amateurs really... compared to the STATE. In fact, it was only after private financial interests and victims of Madoff had repeatedly, without success, tried to get him charged with multiple crimes of fraud, that the STATE finally consented to prosecute him, after it was too late for his victims. He stole about $65 million from his victims, and pissed it all away.
How ironic that most people seem to trust the STATE to catch criminals, when the STATE itself is the biggest one of all. One of my most treasured mentors is Thomas Sowell, who said...
"It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay
for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think we can
afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a govern-
ment bureaucracy to adminster it."
Republicans and Democrats argue over a very small portion of the federal government's ON BUDGET spending, while the most significant portions of government spending (entitlements) enjoy ongoing, hardwired increases, completely on automatic pilot, without any need for ongoing, endless debates in Congress. This protects duplicitous (i.e., ALL) Congressmen and women against having to be seen as voting against them - not even small, silly, trivial reductions. Are you beginning the get the picture???
AND now, the secret of all secrets even your parents never knew - REPUBLICANS grow government faster than DEMOCRATS... At least, after Roosevelt but before Obama. It's just that my conservative friends (including most of my relatives and all my ancestors) have actually taken the hook, line and sinker LIE that Republicans are for small government and free markets.

I don't mean ALL Republicans necessarily believe in growing the State - only a majority of those elected to federal office. Only a small MINORITY in most Congresses ever have been, at least in the last Century:
                           (CLICK GRAPH TO ENLARGE)
I originally published this graph in 2009, later updated in 2012, on my blog, LIBERTY ALUMNI DISCUSSIONS. It graphs government spending AND public debt, which I created in early 2009 (shortly after OBAMA was elected). In other words, both major political parties are screwing all of us BIG TIME, contrary to what the well- meaning but completely neutered, so-called LIMITED GOVERNMENT conservatives have to say. Today, a black President has most of them shaking in their boots so as to not be called racist... a trump card that no other President in history was able to play.
Combine that with Obama's upbringing by a Marxist mentor (FRANK MARSHALL DAVIS) and other radicals like terrorist Bill Ayers, with unique, anti-American influences at every turn of his young life, well... you know the rest.
There... I've said it. Think what you like. Now, back to the main issue...
See my November 2012 blog post to see this article in which my government spending/debt graph was first published:
The Republican Party, ever since its creation just in time for Abraham LINCOLN to become America's first Dictator, has ALWAYS been a big government party - but they just believe in DIFFERENT government subsidies than Democrats, and both promote special favors from government to themselves and their friends. The complicity with Democrats that modern Republicans display - allowing KING BARACK the FIRST to get away with turning our Facist state (which he did not create ) into a Socialist one is more than criminal... it is TREASONOUS.
Read Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution, and see if you agree. If you can stomach it, also read Article II (Congress), Section 8 for most of the limited but approved duties of Congress. You won't find most modern government agencies there, which comprise the bulk of federal government spending. Keep in mind that the Federal Reserve DID NOT change the Constitution, unlike the 16th Amendment's Income Tax in the same year (1913).
Besides LINCOLN, who were the other America Dictators?  Simple - WILSON, both  ROOSEVELTS, JOHNSON (58,000 dead in Vietnam without any tangible reason), NIXON (my Commander-In-Chief during the Vietnam War), and before-the-fact Nobel Laureate, savior of the whole human race... OBAMA. Others might be included, but these are my all-time list of SEVEN FREEDOM DESTROYERS. Each had in common an extraordinary ability to sway, intimidate, defraud and cajole large majorities in Congress.
To put it simply, separation-of- powers is no longer a real feature of American politics, though it's still right there in the Bill of Rights (first TEN Amendments, never changed).
My dear conservative friends won't like my inclusion of LINCOLN, but he was responsible for more American lives lost needlessly - By Far -than any other President. There were better ways to eliminate the uneconomic practice of slavery than some Americans murdering 600,000 others. Like most wars, that one was completely unnecessary for all it accomplished (or didn't). We can't change history, but we can learn from it and do better.
I have a simple, but not-so-easy solution to this dilemma of a runaway Congress:  Pass a Constutional Amendment abolishing the election of INCUMBENTS. In my opinion, only this refrorm could likely work to break the chronically-destructive cycle of LIFETIME POLITICAL CAREERS. Few will vote for freedom if the addictive power of decades-long political careers and the hyper-wealth they bring is not fixed.
Absent this reform, we'll just have to wait until the next crash destroys the economy from a lifetime of fiscal irresponsibility enjoyed by both major parties. Frankly, I think this latter,  WORST alternative is the most likely way government will ultimately be reduced.  But, without something this fundamental, government will simply grow until the STATE becomes so SOCIALIST instead of FASCIST, that its control of the economy is largely broken.
When I was running for Congress as a Libertarian twice in the 1980's, I was always confronted with the criticism, "...But we don't want to get rid of the GOOD ones (politicians). I didn't have the presence of mind or understanding then for a good answer, but I do today... EVERY MEMBER OF CONGRESS IS CORRUPTABLE, and will become so when the dull-normal people, or Worse, the geniuses who get elected to Congress can MAKE LIFETIME CAREERS and lucrative retirement packages for a few terms in Congress. This unsavory incentive corrupts the uncorruptable, or at the very least, keeps principled people like the Ron Pauls of the world (Yes, there are more than a few) chronically irrelevant in Congress. The beast will NEVER reform itself, because it is too lucrative a profession to entice many REAL government-limiters. The incentives are all too anti-freedom, anti-limited government, and too anti-AMERICA in the way the Founders saw it.

The MARKETS that create all wealth are repeatedly reviled, rejected and demonized by too many Americans educated in government schools who "drank the Kool-Aid," lacking the mental tools to see the idiocy of Today's Government-Gone-Wild.

When a thief (government) steals money from those who earned it (taxpayers) and gives half of it to those who didn't (moochers), most Americans seem to say or think... "AW, How Compassionate."

What they should say is, "SHIT, there goes another wealth-destroying, money-losing, corrupt lie and fraud."
WELCOME to (Nixon-Ford-Carter-Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush)-CARE. Without the others, Obama would have been just another Chicago gangster thug/pimp.
Every one of these (some even exalted) demagogues continued the insanity of his predecessor. AND, each and every one of them grew government when they had the help of at least one part of Congress (House or Senate). EVERY public official in the entire US (not just Congress, President, Judges and State legislatures) TAKES AN OATH to uphold and defend the Constitution, which is by far the greatest government-limiting tool ever created by any government. Unfortunately, it has been ignored by all three branches of government for AT LEAST a Century.
Many of the idiots in Congress think the three branches of the federal government are the President, House and Senate. You should read Article I (Congress), Article II (President) and Article III (Supreme Court) to make yourself much, much better informed and smarter than the 535 idiots who call themselves CONGRESS. (If you attended public school, I hope you won't be offended by my reminding you that the HOUSE has 435 members, and the SENATE has 100). They represent only ONE branch of federal government. If your confused, re-read Article III above.
Government CONSUMES wealth; it does not PRODUCE it, EXCEPT AT A FINANCIAL LOSS to the economy. For every government program for which you can name, more money is LOST than is gained by its beneficiaries. This is exactly why the Founding Fathers promoted the virtues of private property protection, a DEFENSIVE military (not one like ours that seems to be primarily a jobs program for Generals or other warmongers, or to tell other countries how they  should run their societies).
If any part of this makes sense to the small minority of you who will notice it, you MIGHT enjoy being further corrupted further by the following: 
Have a GREAT day, year and life, what's left of it. Our screwed up society will NEVER change enough by voting, but it will change, because it has adopted hook, line and sinker the conservative and liberal PROGRESSIVISM that has destroyed the Founders' dreams  long before you, I, or OBAMA was born... which is completely unsustainable in the long run. Unfortunately, John Maynard Keynes said in response... "In the Long Run, We are All DEAD," which  seems to inspire more American politicians than ever to take the anti-Founding-Father concept of unlimited government focusing on the Fascist-toward-Socialist model. Unfortunately, Karl Marx is alive and well in America.
You might think I am a pessimist, but I am not. Although we have a long, long road on which things are going to get worse, eventually, they will get better, for one simple reason I have been writing  about for decades... THE HUMAN SPIRIT always finds a way, especially in this special, unique place we call AMERICA, which even to my Canadian and Mexican friends, means the United States of America.
Get busy living, or Get busy dying... (credits to the movie SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION).

Saturday, November 16, 2013


By James Craig Green

Cafe Hayek posted the following article about the Obamacare debacle - especially the President's deceitful handling of it - on November 15, 2013:

11-15-2013 CAFE HAYEK Article

I especially liked the question by Major Garett, followed by Obama's long-winded non-response:


Q: Thank you, Mr. President. You say, while the law was being debated, if you like your plan you can keep it. You said, after the law was implemented or signed, if you like your plan you can keep it. Americans believed you, sir, when you said that to them over and over.

Do you not believe, sir, the American people deserve a deeper, more transparent accountability from you as to why you said that over and over when your own statistics published in the Federal Register alerted your policy staff — and, I presume, you — to the fact that millions of Americans would in fact probably fall into the very gap you’re trying to administratively fix now? That’s one question.


With respect to the pledge I made that if you like your plan you can keep it, I think — you know, and I’ve said in interviews — that there is no doubt that the way I put that forward unequivocally ended up not being accurate. It was not because of my intention not to deliver on that commitment and that promise. We put a grandfather clause into the law but it was insufficient.

Keep in mind that the individual market accounts for 5 percent of the population. So when I said you can keep your health care, you know, I’m looking at folks who’ve got employer-based health care. I’m looking at folks who’ve got Medicare and Medicaid. And that accounts for the vast majority of Americans. And then for people who don’t have any health insurance at all, obviously that didn’t apply. My commitment to them was you were going to be able to get affordable health care for the first time.

You have an individual market that accounts for about 5 percent of the population. And our working assumption was — my working assumption was that the majority of those folks would find better policies at lower cost or the same cost in the marketplaces and that there — the universe of folks who potentially would not find a better deal in the marketplaces, the grandfather clause would work sufficiently for them. And it didn’t. And again, that’s on us, which is why we’re — that’s on me.

And that’s why I’m trying to fix it. And as I said earlier, my — I guess last week, and I will repeat, that’s something I deeply regret because it’s scary getting a cancelation notice.

Now, it is important to understand that out of that population, typically, there is constant churn in that market. You know, this market is not very stable and reliable for people. So people have a lot of complaints when they’re in that marketplace. As long as you’re healthy, things seem to be going pretty good. And so a lot of people think, I’ve got pretty good insurance, until they get sick, and then suddenly they look at the fine print and they’ve got a $50,000 out-of- pocket expense that they can’t pay.

We know that on average over the last decade, each year premiums in that individual market would go up an average of 15 percent a year. I know that because when we were talking about health care reform, one of the complaints was, I bought health care in the individual market, and I just got a notice from the insurer they dropped me after I had an illness or my premiums skyrocketed by 20 or 30 percent; why aren’t we doing something about this?

So part of what our goal has been is to make sure that that individual market is stable and fair and has the kind of consumer protections that make sure that people don’t get a rude surprise when they really need health insurance.

But if you just got a cancelation notice and so far you’re thinking, my prices are pretty good, you haven’t been sick, and it fits your budget, and now you get this notice, you’re going to be worried about it. And if the insurer is saying the reason you’re getting this notice is because of the Affordable Care Act, then you’re going to be understandably aggravated about it.

Now, for a big portion of those people, the truth is, they might have gotten a notice saying, we’re jacking up your rates by 30 percent. They might have said, from here on out we’re not going to cover X, Y and Z illnesses. We’re changing the — because these were all 12- month policies. They — the insurance companies were no — under no obligation to renew the exact same policies that you had before.

But look, one of the things I understood when we decided to reform the — the health insurance market, part of the reason why it hasn’t been done before and it’s very difficult to do, is that anything that’s going on that’s tough in — in the health care market, if you initiated a reform, can be attributed to your law. And — and so what we want to do is to be able to say to these folks, you know what, the Affordable Care Act is not going to be the reason why insurers have to cancel your plan. Now, what folks may find is the insurance companies may still come back and say, we want to charge you 20 percent more than we did last year, or we’re not going to cover prescription drugs now. But that will — that’s in the nature of the market that existed earlier.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


by Morris and Linda Tannehill
(Introduction and excerpts by James Craig Green)

This was one of the most important books I ever read. The Tannehills capture the radical, anti-statist principles of individual freedom exemplified by the American Revolution. Better yet, the modern libertarian movement was not so focused on eliminating monarchy - addressing issues the Founders couldn't imagine - so the Tannehills' classic (1970's) was profoundly important to me during my libertarian epiphany in the seventies and eighties.

I suddenly realized I was a libertarian in 1980, though I had been positively influenced by Roger MacBride of Virginia in 1976 - Libertarian for President, when I decided NOT to vote. I had voted for Richard Nixon in 1968 and 1972, but by the mid-seventies I was already disgusted with politics. I joined the Colorado Libertarian Party in 1980, then started reading Murray Rothbard, Robert LeFevre, Ayn Rand, John Locke, Ludwig von Mises and countess others. This changed my life more than anything else I had ever known.

I recently acquired a newly-published copy of this book, which except for copyright date and credits, is an exact reproduction of the original. I congratulate Cobden Press and Laissez-Faire Books for returning this outstanding classic of freedom principles to the forefront. I like to think of this book as very much like the sentiments of America's great founders, had they lived in the Twentieth Century.

You can download the 175-page book in PDF format from the Mises Institute here: 

OR, if you want a clean, handy perfect bound printed version, you can order the commemorative paperback from Laissez Faire Books, for $10.95, plus shipping.


This blog post includes excerpts below from the first paragraph or two of each chapter. I would encourage anyone interested in human freedom to buy copies of this, read it, and if you like it, buy copies for your friends.


CHAPTER 1 - If We Don't Know Where We Are Going...

If we don't know where we are going, chances are we won't get there.

Our world is increasingly disturbed with dissatisfaction. Myriads of people on every continent are whispering or shouting or rioting their discontent with the structures of their societies. And they have a lot to be dissatisfied with - poverty which increases instep with increasingly expensive anti-poverty programs, endless heavier burdens of taxation and regulation piled on by unmindful bureaucrats, the long death-agonies of meaningless mini-wars, the terrible iron-fisted knock knock of secret police...

Youth are especially dissatisfied. Many long to turn the world upside down, in hopes that a better, freer, more humane society will emerge. But improvements in man's condition never come as a result of blind hope, pious prayers, or random chance; they are the product of knowledge and thought...

CHAPTER 2 - Man and Society

In all of recorded history, men have never managed to establish a social order which didn't institutionalize violations of freedom, peace and justice - that is, a social order in which man could realize his real potential. This failure has been due to the fact - that thinkers have never clearly and explicitly understood three things - namely, 1- the nature of man, 2- what kind of society this nature requires for men to realize their full potential, and 3- how to maintain and achieve such a society

Most self-styled planners and builders of societies haven't even considered that man might have a particular nature...

CHAPTER 3 - The Self-Regulating Market

Government bureaucrats and their allies among the currently influential opinion-molders have made a practice of spreading misinformation about the nature of a free market. They have accused the market of instability and economic injustice and have misrepresented it as the origin of myriads of evils from "poverty" to "the affluent society." Their motives are obvious. If people can be made to believe that the laissez-faire system of a free, unregulated market is inherently faulty, then the bureaucrats and their cohorts in the classrooms and editorial offices will be called in to remedy the situation. In this way, power and influence will flow to the bureaucrats... and bureaucrats thrive on power.

The free-market system, which the bureaucrats and politicians blame so energetically for almost everything, is nothing more than individuals trading with each other in a market free from interference. Because of the tremendous benefits of trade under a division of labor, there will always be markets...

CHAPTER 4 - Government - An Unnecessary Evil

Because the weight of governmental power has such influence on the structure and functioning of any society, ideas concerning social organization have typically centered on the structure of the proposed society's government. Most "social thinkers" however, have taken government as a given. They have debated over the particular form of government they wished their ideal societies to have but have seldom attempted to examine the nature of government itself. But if one doesn't know clearly what government is, one can hardly determine what influences government will have on society...

Government is a coercive monopoly which has assumed power over and certain responsibilities for every human being within the geographical area which it claims as its own. A coercive monopoly is an institution maintained by the threat and/or use of physical force - the initiation of force - to prohibit competitors from entering its field of endeavor...

CHAPTER 5 - A Free and Healthy Economy

Imagine a feudal serf, legally bound to the land he was born on and to the social position he was born into, toiling from dawn to dusk with primitive tools for a bare existence which he must share with the lord of his manor, his mental processes enmeshed with fears and superstitions. Imagine trying to tell this serf about the social structure of Twentieth Century America. You would probably have a hard time convincing him that such a social structure could exist at all, because he would view everything you described from the context of his own knowledge of society. He would inform you, no doubt with a trace of smug superiority, that unless each individual born into the community had a specific and permantly fixed social place, society would speedily deteriorate into chaos.

In a similar way, telling a Twentieth Century man that government is evil and, therefore unnecessary, and that we would have a far better society if we had no government at all, is likely to elicit polite skepticim... especially if the man is not used to thinking individually...

CHAPTER 6 - Property - The Great Problem Solver 

Most social problems which perplex national leaders could be solved fairly simply by an increase of the amount of property owned. This would entail the equally important, general recognition that ownership is and must be total, rather than merely a governmental permission to possess and/or manage property so long as certain legal rules are complied with and "rent" in the form of property taxes is paid. When a man is required to "rent" his own property from the government by paying property taxes on it, he is being forbidden to fully exercise his right of ownership. Although he owns the property, he is forced into the position of a lessee, with the government as landlord. The proof of this is if he fails to pay the taxes the government will take the property away from him...

In a governmentally controlled society, the unrestricted enjoyment of property ownership is not permitted, since government has the power to tax, regulate, and sometimes even confiscate (as in eminent domain) just about anything it pleases...

CHAPTER 7 - Arbitration of Disputes 

Whenever men have dealings with each other, there is always a chance for disagreements and disputes to arise. Even when there has been no initiation of force, two persons can disagree over such matters as the terms and fulfillment of a contract or true title to a piece of property. Whether one party to the dispute is trying to cheat the other(s) or whether both (or all) are completely honest and sincere in their contentions, the dispute may reach a point where it can't be settled without binding arbitration by a disinterested arbiter. If no mechanism for such arbitration existed with a society, disputes could only be resolved in violence in every situtation in which at least one person abandoned reason - man's only satisfactory means of communication. Then, that society would disintegrate into strife, suspicion, and social and economic breakdown, as human relationships too dangerous to tolerate on any but the most limited scale.

Advocates of "limited government" contend that government is necessarsy to maintain social order because disputes could never satisfactorily settled without a single, final court of appeal for everyone and without the force of rules to compel disputants to submit to that court and abide by its decision(s)...

CHAPTER 8 - Protection of Life and Property 

Because man has a right to life, he has a right to defend that life. Without the right to self-defense, the right to life is a meaningless phrase. If a man has a right to defend his life against aggression, he also has a right to defend all his possessions, because these possessions are the result of his investment of time and energy (in other words, investments in part of his life) and are, thus, extensions of that life.

Pacifists deny that man may morally use force to defend himself, objecting that the use of physical force against any human being is never justified under any circumstances... Having made this assertion, they offer no evidence... but merely treat it as an arbitrary primary...

CHAPTER 9 - Dealing With Coercion 

Throughout history, the means of dealing with aggression (crime) has been punishment. Traditionally, it has been held that when a man commits a crime against society, the government, acting as an agent of society, must punish him. However, because punishment has not been based on the principle of righting the wrong but only of causing the criminal "to undergo pain, loss, or suffering," it has actually been revenge. This principle of vengeancy is expressed by the old saying, "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," which means: "When you destroy a value of mine, I'll destroy a value of yours." ...Because destroying a value belonging to the criminal does nothing to compensate the innocent victim for his loss but only creates additional destruction, the principle of vengeance ignores, and in fact opposes, justice.

When an aggressor causes the loss, damage, or destruction of an innocent man's values, justice demands that that the aggressor pay for his crime, not by forfeiting a part of his life to "society," but by repaying the victim for his loss, plus all expenses directly occasioned by the aggression (such as the expenses of apprehending the aggressor)...

CHAPTER 10 - Rectification of Injustice 

Since aggression would be dealt with by forcing the aggressor to repay his victim for the damage caused (whenever the use of force was required), rather than by destroying values belonging to the aggressor, the free market would evolve a reparations-payment system vastly superior to and different from the present governmental prisons.

If the aggressor had the money to make his entire reparations payment immediately or could sell enough property to raise the money, he would do so and be free to go his way with no more than a heavy financial loss....

Assuming the aggressor could not make immediate payment of his entire debt, the method used to collect it would depend on the amount involved, the nature of the aggression, the aggressor's past record and present attitude, and any other pertinent variables...

CHAPTER 11 - Warring Defense Agencies and Organized Crime 

Some opponents of a laissez-faire society have contended that, because a governmentless society would have no single, society-wide institution able to legitimately wield superior force to prevent aggression, a state of gang warfare between defense agencies would arise. Then (as they argue), brute force, rather than justice, would prevail and society would collapse in internecine conflict. This contention assumes that private defense service entrepreneurs would find it to their advantage, at least in some circumstances, to use coercive, rather than market, means to achieve their ends. There is a further, unstated assumption that governmental officials would not only prevent coercion but would themselves consistently refrain from initiating force (or that the force they initiated would be somehow preferable to the chaos it is feared would result from an unhampered market).

The second of these assumptions is obviously groundless, since (as was shown in Chapter 4) government is a coercive monopoly which must initiate force in order to survive, and which cannot be kept limited. But what of the first assumption?...

CHAPTER 12 - Legislation and Objective Law 

It has been objected by advocates of government that a laissez-faire society, since it would have no legislative mechanism, would lack the objective laws necessary to maintain social order and justice. This is to assume that objective law is the product of the deliberations of some legislative body, and this assumption, in turn, springs from a confusion about the meaning and nature of law.

The adjective "objective" refers to that which has an actual existence in reality. When used to refer to the content of one's mind, it means ideas which are in accordance with the facts of reality. Mental objectivity cannot be "apart from the human mind," but it is the product of perceiving the facts of reality, integrating them in a non-contradictory manner into one's consciousness, and, thereby, reaching correct conclusions...

CHAPTER 13 - Foreign Aggression 

Many people ask, "But how in the world would a laissez-faire society deal with aggression by foreign nations, since it would have no government to protect it?" Behind this question are two unrealized assumptions: first, that government is some sort of extra-societal entity with resources of its own - resources which can only be tapped for defense by the action of the government - and, second, that government does, in fact, defend its citizens.

In reality, government must draw all its resources from the society over which it rules. When a governmentally controlled society takes defensive action against an aggression by a foreign power, where does it get the resources necessary to that action? The men who fight are private individuals, usually conscripted into government service. The armaments are produced by private individuals working at their jobs. The money to pay for these armaments and the pittance doled out to the conscripts, as well as the money to pay the salaries of that small minority comprising the other members of the armed forces, is confiscated from private individuals by means of taxation. Government's only contribution is to organize the whole effort by the use of force - the force of the draft, taxation, and other more minor coercions, such as rationing, wage and price ceilings, travel restrictions, etc. So, to maintaing that government is necessary to defend a society from foreign aggression is to maintain that it is necessary to use domestic aggression against the citizens in order to protect them from foreign aggression...

CHAPTER 14 - The Abolition of War 

A few hundred years ago, the devastation of periodic plagues and famines was unthinkingly accepted as a normal and inescapable part of human existence - they were held to be either visitations from the indignant God or nature's means of wiping out "excess population." Today, in spite of the volumes of frantically hopeful talk about peace, many people accept the necessity of wars in the same unthinking manner; or at least they feel that wars will be necessary for the rest of foreseeable future. Are wars an unavoidable part of human society? And if not, why have all the years of negotiations, the reams of theories, the solumn treaties and unions of nations, and the flood of hopes and pious prayers failed to bring peace? After all the talking, planning and effort, why is our world filled with more brutal and dangerous strife than ever?

War is a species of violence, and the most basic cause of violence is the belief that it is right or practical or necessary for human beings to initiate force against one another - that coercion is permissible or even unavoidable in human relationships. To the extent that men believe in the practicality and desirabilitiy of initiating force against other men, they will be beset with conflicts...

CHAPTER 15 - From Government to Laissez Faire 

The prospect of real freedom is a laissez-faire society is a dazzling one, but how can such a society ever be brought about? Through the decades, government has silently grown and spread, thrusting insidious, intertwining tentacles into nearly every area of our lives. Our society is now so thoroughly penetrated by government bureaucracy and our economy so engangled in government controls that dissolution of the State would cause major and painful temporary dislocations. The problems of adjusting to a laissez-faire society are somewhat like those facing an alcoholic or heroin addict who is thinking of kicking the habit, and the difficulties and discomforts involved may make some people decide that we'd be better off just staying as we are.

It is naive, however, to assume that we can "just stay where we are." America, and most of the rest of the world, is caught in a wave of economic decay and social upheaval which nothing can stop. After decades of governmental "fine tuning," our economy is now so distorted and crippled that we have a tremendous and ever growing class of hopeless and desparate poor... Government attempts to to aid them,... merely make the situtation worse.... As the poor see their lives becoming increasingly miserable in spite of all the political promises of help, their resentment must grow more violent...

CHAPTER 16 - The Force Which Shapes the World 

But a discussion of how government could be dismantled and how free men could then build a laissez-faire society out of the pieces still doesn't answer the question, "How do we get there?' Politicians are politicians because they enjoy wielding power over others and being honored for their "high positions." Power and plaudits are are the politician's life, and a true politician will fight to the death (your death) if he thinks it will help him hold on to them. Even the gray, faceless bureaucrats cling to their little bits of power with the desperate tenacity of a multitude of leaches, each squirming and fighting to hold and increase his area of domination. How can we successfully oppose this vast, cancerous power structure? Where can we find a force strong enough to attack, undermine, and finally destroy its power...?

...Throughout history, the vast majority of people have believed that government was a necessary part of human existence... and so there have always been governments. People have believed they had to have a government because their leaders said so, because they had always had one, and most of all because they found the world unexplainable and frightening and felt a need for someone to lead them. Mankind's fear of freedom has always been a fear of self-reliance - of being thrown on his own to face a frightening world, with no one else to tell him what to do. But we are no longer terrified savages making offerings to a lightning god or cowering Medieval serfs hiding from ghosts and witches. We have learned that man can understand and control his environment and his own life, and we have no need of high priests or kings or presidents to tell us what to do. Government is now known for what it is. It belongs in the dark past with the rest of man's superstitions. It's time for men to grow up so that each individual man can walk forward into the sunlight of freedom... in full control of his own life!

Friday, April 5, 2013


(original post May 2011)

By James Craig Green

Today, the size and scope of American government have grown far beyond the design of the Republic’s founders. It tries to be everything to everyone - intervening in everyone’s lives for the common good or public interest. This forceful elevation of the collective over the individual has produced nothing but false hope, tyranny and unsustainable debt, undermining the markets and property rights that prevented or limited them before. In short, government, producing nothing without destroying something else, is eating America alive. The best proof for this is 16 TRILLION dollars in admitted public debt, much of it owed to foreign banks, plus another 50 trillion in unfunded liabilities for future government promises like Social Security and Medicare (See: Baby boomers are retiring, reversing their decades of positive contributions.

The American Republic began with limited size and scope to prevent it from becoming what it is today. Unlike the democratic French Revolution that produced the Reign of Terror, the guillotine and the Emperor Napoleon; the American Revolution was based on respect for the individuals and their property rights that produce the wealth all collectives need. Ignoring or minimizing property protection has been a common theme of every government, including the federal government of the U.S. It is now a bloated, destructive monster, spending almost 50% of GDP for the first time since WWII - an eightfold increase in percentage over the last century, without including the costs of its oppressive mandates. Today, it conspires against America, promoting its self-serving illusion of security over freedom while waving the flag to cheering millions addicted to its "free" lunches.

The U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights have been largely ignored or re-interpreted by all three branches of government, to appease every special interest that can package itself with the magic words, public interest. Presidents, congresses and courts have destroyed the Founders' dreams.

A Different Animal

Today’s American government has made important things like protection and dispute resolution trivial -- confused and diluted by an endless growth of new laws each year to appease every whim of the collective mob. The People, a phrase never or vaguely defined, encourage legislators and their friends to create huge unearned advantages (jobs, contracts, handouts, economic restrictions) for some over others, by force of law.

The law has become a hammer instead of a shield.

Some may agree with the inherent problems of today's government, but may be cautious to support fundamental changes too rapidly or too sweeping in their scope. However, today's unprecedented and unstable economic conditions beg you to consider the following:

1. Most Americans feel they are entitled to your money, and need only vote to get it - unlike the work ethic that existed before the New Deal and other government welfare programs.

2. Government should be limited to people and property protection; NOT guaranteeing jobs, insurance or success. It cannot protect your property by giving it to others.

3. The next economic crash will again be sudden and unexpected. No political action can prevent it, despite false promises from Republicans and Democrats. Words are cheap.

4. Prudence suggests a backup plan for those who still believe the economy is fixable by politics, with a soft landing. This is not your grandfather's; nor Founders' America.

5. Creating alternative networks and institutions that do not depend on government may become essential if pessimistic scenarios occur. Do you believe Obama's projections?

In 1917, the Soviet Union was created to implement the ideas of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto that took Europe by storm after its publication in 1848. The Soviet Union eventually failed from its forced collectivism, but not before starving and murdering tens of millions of its citizens and relegating others to lifetimes of poverty and tyranny. As a lifelong, card-carrying member of the American Communist Party once told me, Communists believe the means of production should be owned by the Public.

A Silly Little Word

There it was, stripped naked for all to see - that awful, nebulous little 6-letter word that encourages people to excuse, and celebrate, their destructive tendencies without accepting responsibility. It is that word - public - that allows the plunder of innocent people for any grand, stupid, fantastic, or destructive purpose without blaming anyone. This silly little word is why public interest is a euphemism for tyranny, public servant for parasite and public property for socialism. Almost half the land in the U.S. is owned by government, with the remainder taxed to provide a cash cow for any and all public purposes. By this measure alone, America is already HALF socialist, sacrificing essential people and property protection for too many subsidized, free-riding voters. Read the Communist Manifesto to see where progressive taxation came from.

Forceful collective action, like any lynch mob, disguises and minimizes the responsibility of each individual. This allows Democrats and Republicans to constantly grow government for the benefit of their friends, despite rhetoric to the contrary. Too many of your fellow citizens, perhaps yourself, depend on this insane collective gang bang for their livelihoods. It gets worse each year, now seeming likely that only economic collapse will stop government's cancerous growth.

Ultimately, this process will reverse itself, but not because you voted for or against someone, or promoted some public policy, or fought against a tax increase. It will happen because a sizeable minority of productive people, at great risk to themselves, with the most rare and difficult kind of courage (opposing the majority) will take back their lives and choose not to support, excuse or placate this bloated monster. At this critical time in its history, America desperately needs people like Thoreau, Gandhi and Rosa Parks more than the self-absorbed politicians who pimp for your vote so they can continue to increase government every year. Read Thoreau's Civil Disobedience.

Like so many others, American government has learned to promise endless prosperity without effort or responsibility. To break this destructive cycle, we must build new institutions that help us instead of hurt us – from the ground up, not from the top down, which has always been tried and has always failed. The U. S. Government is repeating the same mistakes of the Roman Empire and the Soviet Union, and its economy will collapse for the same reason – you can’t consume more than you produce forever. Today's unthinkable will be tomorrows necessity.

It’s long past time for Americans to take back their lives, property and dreams from a fog of collectivism and the lies that are public interest, public service and public property.

Government is the great fiction by which everybody expects to live at the expense of everybody else - Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)


by James Craig Green

I've been blogging about two years now.
Most of the following - my favorites - are about the government BEAST destroying America to the most resounding applause and PUBLIC praise:

Adam Smith's Dismal Science (Mar 2011):
(MALTHUS' BLUNDER, Great Myths of the Great Depression and the illogic of a
century of overblown government regulation, while blaming markets)

Science = Deduction + Induction (May 2011):
(Why SCIENCE can never be settled... please stay with it; you'll be rewarded)

Private Property, Public Plunder (May 2011)
(Private Property PRODUCES ALL the wealth that Government consumes and wastes)
The Problem With Democracy (Jun 2011):
(VOTERS in a Democracy overwhelm producers, like in the ROMAN EMPIRE and today's Post-Peaked WELFARE STATES)

DON KIRKLAND on The Gap Between Rich and Poor (Mar 2012):  (Excellent Summary of GOVERNMENT-GONE-WILD by my Best Friend)

Junkie Nation (Dec 2012):
(More on the WELFARE STATE and Government Junkies voting for a living)

How to Cook a Golden Goose (Jan 2013)
(Crony Capitalism of the Welfare State; Bush & Obama = Hoover & Roosevelt)

THE LAW by Frederic Bastiat - highlights (Feb 2013):
(THE BEST FREEDOM BOOK EVER - what Government should -- and should not do)

CONSENT of the Governed (Mar 2013):
(DEMOCRACY IS DESTROYING AMERICA - and the Founders' Limited Republic)

Friday, March 15, 2013


by James Craig Green

Fifteen years before the Bill of Rights was added to the U.S. Constitution in 1791, the foundation of the American Republic was built on the most radical idea in human history – that government exists to serve people - not the other way around. This idea was brilliantly stated in the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776:

Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed

CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED are the four most important words in American History. Although other governments have paid lip service to the people, none has been formed from scratch, without the remnants of monarchy or other old tyrannies, based on this principle. Unfortunately, the principle of consent has been so widely confused and corrupted that today, it is no longer believed to be required by many Americans. This lack of explicit consent by citizens is one reason why government today is so large and invasive, regulating virtually every aspect of human behavior, as an abusive parent dominates his children.

America’s Forgotten Courage

On July 4th, 1776, a handful of brave men openly committed high treason to pledge - in their words ...our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor to the cause of liberty. The Declaration of Independence was the most important and unique political document in human history. It did not form a new government, but simply rejected an existing one. 56 Americans signed the Declaration of Independence. It is rumored that John Hancock, first to sign, used a large, sweeping script so King George III could read it …without his spectacles.

According to the Founders Almanac (Heritage Foundation, 2002), seventeen of the signers served in the military, five were captured by the British during the war, some were killed, several had to move their families repeatedly, many donated large sums of money never repaid and eleven had homes and property destroyed. THESE, my friends, were patriots - unlike the Red and Blue demagogues who pimp for your votes today.

Remnants of Liberty’s Past

American governments today promise to give their most favored citizens - and others - almost anything, for “free.” Of course, government largesse is not really free. Someone else has to pay for every dollar you receive from government – after it skims half for itself. Gullible voters continue to participate in the charade of political elections, in which candidates selected by powerful elites compete to see how much of other people's money (forced by threat of imprisonment) they can promise to their constituents, which now don't even have to be citizens. The most honest word for this is plunder.

Political elections pretend to demonstrate control of government by the people, but one vote in 60 million or so every few years is trivial compared to the daily influence that lobbyists and other power brokers have on legislators and other government officials. Government by the people today is actually government by special interests, whose private wants are sold to a gullible public as needs. All you have to do is say your private want is in the public interest, and politicians of every stripe will stampede to sponsor a bill in your behalf. The trouble is, this also works for every petty tyrant who wants to control every aspect of your life, or force you to pay for his failures. After an income tax was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1894, the Constitution was amended in 1913 to allow it (16th Amendment). 

The Big “D”
The word democracy comes from the Greek demos, meaning people, and kratien, meaning rule. Literally, democracy means people rule. Today, however, democracy is a smokescreen to perpetuate the false idea that citizens control government. To the chagrin of thinking and productive people everywhere, the most democratic governments in the world today are controlled by self-absorbed special interests, who successfully manipulate public servants into believing their selfish agendas are somehow in the public interest. As a card-carrying member of the American Communist Party told me in 1985, communists believe the PUBLIC should own the means of production. No clearer statement of the reality of modern politics in so-called democratic states was ever made. It is not citizens who control today’s governments, but lobbyists, who seduce your favorite politicians and their minions for the 364 days in the year you are NOT voting. The idea that pulling a lever in a voting booth once every two, four, or six years by one out of five people to elect a public servant is citizen control of government is preposterous. BUT, it is widely believed and promoted by those educated in government schools to conform, not think. 

It’s not democracy that creates prosperity, but freedom's productive commerce.
The false promises of democratic government today are prosperity without effort, freedom without responsibility and security without risk. America, the cradle of liberty, has become the most shining current example of lynch-mob collectives, led by dictatorial demagogues from the Roosevelts, to Nixon, to Obama. It was Republican President Nixon (my Commander-in-Chief) who unconstitutionally - without serious challenge - removed the last bit of gold backing from the dollar in 1971.
Galt's Gulch?

John Galt, the heroic figure in Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged,” figured the producers, workers and thinkers of the world could bring governments, tyrants and agencies to a halt by simply withholding their services. As America continues its destructive path of seemingly endless consumption while inhibiting production, this may soon be more realistic than you ever imagined.

Until Americans and other hard-working, independent and productive people of the world can legally say “NO!” to the funding of government, they will not be free, independent or “democratic.” In case you were educated in government schools like most of us, you may not realize that America's founding was not based on democracy, except for the House of Representatives. The Constitutional Republic founded in 1787, modified by its Bill of Rights in 1791, was a Republic, not a Democracy. This means government limited to certain listed powers granted to it by the sovereign people, who retain all rights not granted to government by the U.S. Constitution. This concept was lost long before your grandparents were born, though it is still right there, unchanged, in the Bill or Rights... especially Amendments IX (nine) and X (ten). Not one word of the Bill of Rights (first ten Amendments) has ever been changed.

Today, it is the height of arrogance, duplicity and insanity that the President and every member of Congress, plus all other federal and state officials, take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, while they implement unconstitutional programs faster than ever before. It would be funny, if it were not so ironic - and tragic.

As the unfunded liabilities of the federal government continue to bankrupt it, the Founding Fathers' vision of the American Republic has been almost completely lost. About 40% of every dollar spent by the federal government today is borrowed. America transformed itself from the world's largest creditor, to the world's largest debtor, in a few decades.

Only by returning to government with limited powers focused on protecting its citizens instead of plundering them, will the productive spirit of the American Revolution return to its rightful place in history... and posterity. Until then, the worst among us will continue to abuse the U.S. Constitution, produce more and more unconstitutional laws, ignore the rule of law and continue America's century-long march down the road to fascism, toward its cousin socialism.

In 1850, one of my favorite freedom thinkers in history - Frenchman Frederic Bastiat, published a little book called THE LAW. I have said many times, and continue to believe - that American government today is hopelessly corrupt, violent and oppressive, because it has lost the original vision of its Founders.

I hope you will read THE LAW to better understand the point at which a government - like the one begun in America more than two centuries ago - goes beyond its legitimate purpose (to protect people and property), to turn precious liberty into tyranny, as it has today. This happens once the government and a minority of its citizens discover that it is cheaper and easier to petition government for special favors (Always at the expense of others by force), instead of promoting policies that either benefit all, or are left to the private sector which produces ALL wealth.

“Make government what it ought to be, and it will support itself.”
-Thomas Paine


Sunday, March 10, 2013

BONNER: The Core of American Liberty

Introduction by James Craig Green

Today, I subscribed to Bill Bonner's Diary.

I can't remember when I became aware of Bill Bonner (more than a decade ago), but I remember a few years ago buying his book, EMPIRE OF DEBT, an expose' of the American Empire, which long ago replaced the American Republic created by America's Founding Fathers.

Bill explicitly allows his articles to be reproduced on blogs, with appropriate links to his online newsletter.

I begin with the following article, which originally appeared at:


Bill Bonner founded Agora, Inc in 1978. It has since grown into one of the largest independent newsletter publishing companies in the world. He has also written three New York Times bestselling books, Financial Reckoning Day, Empire of Debt and Mobs, Messiahs and Markets.

His free daily e-letter Bill Bonner’s Diary of a Rogue Economist is your gateway to Bill’s decades of accrued knowledge about history, politics, society, finance and economics. Sometimes funny, sometimes frightening – but always entertaining and packed with useful insight, Diary of a Rogue Economist can help you make sense of the complex world we live in today.

Friday, 08 February 2013 10:20

Founder Bill Bonner

I've been at the beck and call of rich men all my life. But I'll be damned if I'll be at the beck and call of every son-of-a-bitch with a 3¢ stamp.

– William Faulkner on losing his job at the Oxford, Miss., post office

One of the rarely cited advantages of having money is that you're less beholden to others who have it too. The more you have, at least in theory, the more you can ignore the other fellow with it, and go about your business. Nor need you drink the same cocktail or rush to the same mall so you can outfit yourself in the same duds.

In short, with a little capital of your own you can do what you want.

And the fellow who said "money can't buy happiness" has apparently not read yesterday's New York Times:

Broadly speaking, the data now indicate that as people get richer, they report getting happier too. Though it's not quite that simple.

Justin Wolfers, an economist at the University of Michigan who helps advise the U.S. government on happiness statistics, told me that poor people in poor countries are not unhappy simply because they don't have wads of cash. They are more likely to have fewer choices, more children who die in childbirth and other grave problems. And while wealthier nations are generally happier, there is no evidence, Wolfers says, that an artist would be happier if she became a hedge-fund trader.

The Importance of Capital

But we're talking capital, not cash flow. The trouble with cash flow is that it doesn't spring ab ovo from nowhere. It comes to your hands from the greasy mitts of someone else.

If they don't keep the cash flowing, you may not have any. Unless you're a government employee or a tenured professor, a job is just a job. You serve at the pleasure of others. If you give them displeasure, they can cut off your income.

Capital is different. If you have enough of it, you don't have to work for anyone. You can go fishing, pick your teeth and maintain unpatriotic opinions.

Capital frees you from politics too. According to the most recent numbers, nearly half of U.S. households now rely on other people's money for some or all of their income. They are beneficiaries of one or more of the feds' transfer programs. Money is taken from others; it is transferred to them, as if to a getaway car.

The feds even have the chutzpah to give the recipients of this stolen loot an electronic card called the "Independence Card." Independent is exactly what these people aren't. Instead, says Charles Hugh Smith over at, they are like feudal serfs.

"The core of American liberty is widespread private ownership of property," he writes. If you want to be free you have to have your hands on the "means of production." Otherwise, you've got to learn to bend.

Imagine that you have zero equity in the house you own, Hugh Smith suggests. How free are you then?

Or imagine that you need to buy a house and need a mortgage. The mortgage market is almost 100% controlled by the feds. How free are you?

The Rise of "Neo-Feudalism"

Hugh Smith does not mention it. But imagine that you rely on the feds for unemployment benefits, food stamps, healthcare or Social Security. Are you a free man? Or a serf?

Smith says we live in a condition of creeping "neo-feudalism." A few people own a lot of property. Most own very little. His attention is focused on housing, where he believes the feds are quietly taking more and more property out of private hands and putting it in the hands of rich, concentrated elites.

He's probably right about that. But it seems to us that even more neo-feudalism is taking place right out in the open – where large groups now depend on the feds... and on Fed's EZ money... to maintain their current standards of living.

Balance the federal budget? Stop the Fed's printing presses? Let interest rates rise to a normal level?

Forget it. The serfs can't afford it.


Bill Bonner


Wednesday, February 27, 2013


This page is Craig Green's selection of excerpts from each of his
15 blog posts covering Frederic Bastiat's THE LAW, based on the
1998 version from the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE).

Keep in mind that Bastiat wrote this two years after Karl Marx'
Communist Manifesto (1848), which was in the process of taking
Europe by storm.

The title of each of the following excerpts is a link to the blog post
from which it was taken, but I recommend reading this entire summary
before reading the 15 more detailed posts comprising THE LAW.

Excerpts from Frederic Bastiat's 1850 masterpiece THE LAW:


If every person has the right to defend—even by force—his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right—its reason for existing, its lawfulness—is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force—for the same reason—cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.


Men naturally rebel against the injustice of which they are victims. Thus, when plunder is organized by law for the profit of those who make the law, all the plundered classes try somehow to enter—by peaceful or revolutionary means—into the making of laws. According to their degree of enlightenment, these plundered classes may propose one of two entirely different purposes when they attempt to attain political power: Either they may wish to stop lawful plunder, or they may wish to share in it.


When, then, does plunder stop? It stops when it becomes more painful and more dangerous than labor. It is evident, then, that the proper purpose of law is to use the power of its collective force to stop this fatal tendency to plunder instead of to work. All the measures of the law should protect property and punish plunder.


It must be admitted that the true solution—so long searched for in the area of social relationships—is contained in these simple words: Law is organized justice.

Now this must be said: When justice is organized by law—that is, by force—this excludes the idea of using law (force) to organize any human activity whatever, whether it be labor, charity, agriculture, commerce, industry, education, art, or religion. The organizing by law of any one of these would inevitably destroy the essential organization—justice. For truly, how can we imagine force being used against the liberty of citizens without it also being used against justice, and thus acting against its proper purpose?


Here I encounter the most popular fallacy of our times. It is not considered sufficient that the law should be just; it must be philanthropic. Nor is it sufficient that the law should guarantee to every citizen the free and inoffensive use of his faculties for physical, intellectual, and moral self-improvement. Instead, it is demanded that the law should directly extend welfare, education, and morality throughout the nation.

This is the seductive lure of socialism. And I repeat again: These two uses of the law are in direct contradiction to each other. We must choose between them. A citizen cannot at the same time be free and not free.

...When law and force keep a person within the bounds of justice, they impose nothing but a mere negation. They oblige him only to abstain from harming others. They violate neither his personality, his liberty, nor his property. They safeguard all of these. They are defensive; they defend equally the rights of all.


When a politician views society from the seclusion of his office, he is struck by the inequality he sees. He deplores the deprivations which are the lot of so many of our brothers, deprivations which appear to be even sadder when contrasted with luxury and wealth. Perhaps the politician should ask himself whether this state of affairs has not been caused by old conquests and lootings, and by more recent legal plunder. Perhaps he should consider this proposition: Since all persons seek well-being and perfection, would not a condition of justice be sufficient to cause the greatest efforts toward progress, and the greatest possible equality that is compatible with individual responsibility? Would not this be in accord with the concept of individual responsibility which God has willed in order that mankind may have the choice between vice and virtue, and the resulting punishment and reward?

But the politician never gives this a thought. His mind turns to organizations, combinations, and arrangements—legal or apparently legal. He attempts to remedy the evil by increasing and perpetuating the very thing that caused the evil in the first place: legal plunder. We have seen that justice is a negative concept. Is there even one of these positive legal actions that does not contain the principle of plunder?


Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all.

We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.

The Socialists Want to Play God

Socialists look upon people as raw material to be formed into social combinations. This is so true that, if by chance, the socialists have any doubts about the success of these combinations, they will demand that a small portion of mankind be set aside to experiment upon.

... All that the people have to do is to bow to leadership.

Now listen to the great Montesquieu on this same subject:

To maintain the spirit of commerce, it is necessary that all the laws must favor it. These laws, by proportionately dividing up the fortunes as they are made in commerce, should provide every poor citizen with sufficiently easy circumstances to enable him to work like the others. These same laws should put every rich citizen in such lowered circumstances as to force him to work in order to keep or to gain.

Thus the laws are to dispose of all fortunes!

Here again we find the idea of equalizing fortunes by law, by force.


If it is true that a great prince is rare, then is it not true that a great legislator is even more rare? The prince has only to follow the pattern that the legislator creates. The legislator is the mechanic who invents the machine; the prince is merely the workman who sets it in motion.

... But suppose that the legislator mistakes his proper objective, and acts on a principle different from that indicated by the nature of things? Suppose that the selected principle sometimes creates slavery, and sometimes liberty; sometimes wealth, and sometimes population; sometimes peace, and sometimes conquest? This confusion of objective will slowly enfeeble the law and impair the constitution. The state will be subjected to ceaseless agitations until it is destroyed or changed, and invincible nature regains her empire.


All people have had laws. But few people have been happy. Why is this so? Because the legislators themselves have almost always been ignorant of the purpose of society, which is the uniting of families by a common interest.

Impartiality in law consists of two things: the establishing of equality in wealth and equality in dignity among the citizens. . . . As the laws establish greater equality, they become proportionately more precarious to every citizen. . . . When all men are equal in wealth and dignity—and when the laws leave no hope of disturbing this equality—how can men then be agitated by greed, ambition, dissipation, idleness, sloth, envy, hatred, or jealously?


While society is struggling toward liberty, these famous men who put themselves at its head are filled with the spirit of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They think only of subjecting mankind to the philanthropic tyranny of their own social inventions. Like Rousseau, they desire to force mankind docilely to bear this yoke of the public welfare that they have dreamed up in their own imaginations.

This was especially true in 1789. No sooner was the old regime destroyed than society was subjected to still other artificial arrangements, always starting from the same point: the omnipotence of the law.


Once and for all, liberty is not only a mere granted right; it is also the power granted to a person to use and to develop his faculties under a reign of justice and under the protection of the law.

And this is no pointless distinction; its meaning is deep and its consequences are difficult to estimate. For once it is agreed that a person, to be truly free, must have the power to use and develop his faculties, then it follows that every person has a claim on society for such education as will permit him to develop himself.

...Thus, again, liberty is power. Of what does this power consist? (Of being educated and of being given the tools of production.) Who is to give the education and the tools of production? (Society, which owes them to everyone.) By what action is society to give tools of production to those who do not own them? (Why, by the action of the state.) And from whom will the state take them?


The strange phenomenon of our times—one which will probably astound our descendants—is the doctrine based on this triple hypothesis: the total inertness of mankind, the omnipotence of the law, and the infallibility of the legislator. These three ideas form the sacred symbol of those who proclaim themselves totally democratic.

...What is the attitude of the democrat when political rights are under discussion? How does he regard the people when a legislator is to be chosen? Ah, then it is claimed that the people have an instinctive wisdom; they are gifted with the finest perception; their will is always right; the general will cannot err; voting cannot be too universal.

...But these organizers desire access to the tax funds and to the power of the law in order to carry out their plans. In addition to being oppressive and unjust, this desire also implies the fatal supposition that the organizer is infallible and mankind is incompetent. But, again, if persons are incompetent to judge for themselves, then why all this talk about universal suffrage?


The law is justice—simple and clear, precise and bounded. Every eye can see it, and every mind can grasp it; for justice is measurable, immutable, and unchangeable. Justice is neither more than this nor less than this.

If you exceed this proper limit—if you attempt to make the law religious, fraternal, equalizing, philanthropic, industrial, literary, or artistic—you will then be lost in an uncharted territory, in vagueness and uncertainty, in a forced utopia or, even worse, in a multitude of utopias, each striving to seize the law and impose it upon you. This is true because fraternity and philanthropy, unlike justice, do not have precise limits. Once started, where will you stop? And where will the law stop itself?


...Away, then, with quacks and organizers! Away with their rings, chains, hooks, and pincers! Away with their artificial systems! Away with the whims of governmental administrators, their socialized projects, their centralization, their tariffs, their government schools, their state religions, their free credit, their bank monopolies, their regulations, their restrictions, their equalization by taxation, and their pious moralizations!

And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.

Prepared by James Craig Green -