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Milton J. Madison - An American Refugee Now Living in China, Where Liberty is Ascending

Federalism, Free Markets and the Liberty To Let One's Mind Wander. I Am Very Worried About the Fate of Liberty in the USA, Where Government is Taking people's Lives ____________________________________________________________________________________________ "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Tolerance in the face of tyranny is no virtue." -Barry Goldwater-

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

When Capital Is Nowhere in View - Jeffrey A. Tucker - Mises Daily

This is a wonderful piece of writing and I suggest it as must read if you have spare time. Link below.

The existence of grinding poverty in Haiti will be impossible to overcome since it is the completely rotten central government that has created this environment and this tragedy can only end when the central government and its authority is eliminated(note here that I say elimination not change of). Governments function not only to adjudicate rights and provide services that only a government can provide but also create an environment where the fruits of people's labor flow to the individual themselves. Governments are charged and must support, as the United States founding fathers contemplated, the natural rights of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness (originally protection of individual property) in order for the people of a nation to prosper.

As this writer communicates, in Haiti (as well as what I observed in Africa when I lived there) governments are nothing more than vehicles for those in power to enrich themselves through the use of the ruling law. If one is successful in these kind of places, one can be assured that some level of government, whether it is the lowly local policeman or up to the national leader, that these people will make the fruits of a successful person's labor and accumulation of capital their own through coercion or thuggery.

There are tragic lessons to be learned in Haiti and African nations where governments there loot the product of their own people's labor. I see similar sitiation developing as the tentacles of this evil have gripped and now embedded into the social fabric of the United States as evidenced by those in political positions thinking that they are entitled to the product of other's labor and wealth....
The answer has to do with the regime. It is a well-known fact that any accumulation of wealth in Haiti makes you a target, if not of the population in general (which has grown suspicious of wealth, and probably for good reason), then certainly of the government. The regime, no matter who is in charge, is like a voracious dog on the loose, seeking to devour any private wealth that happens to emerge.

This creates something even worse than the Higgsian problem of "regime uncertainty." The regime is certain: it is certain to steal anything it can, whenever it can, always and forever. So why don't people vote out the bad guys and vote in the good guys? Well, those of us in the United States who have a bit of experience with democracy know the answer: there are no good guys. The system itself is owned by the state and rooted in evil. Change is always illusory, a fiction designed for public consumption.

"The state strikes only when there is something to loot."

This is an interesting case of a peculiar way in which government is keeping prosperity at bay. It is not wrecking the country through an intense enforcement of taxation and regulation or nationalization. One gets the sense that most people never have any face time with a government official and never deal with paperwork or bureaucracy really. The state strikes only when there is something to loot. And loot it does: predictably and consistently. And that alone is enough to guarantee a permanent state of poverty.

Now, to be sure, there are plenty of Americans who are firmly convinced that we would all be better off if we grew our own food, bought only locally, kept firms small, eschewed modern conveniences like home appliances, went back to using only natural products, expropriated wealthy savers, harassed the capitalistic class until it felt itself unwelcome and vanished. This paradise has a name, and it is Haiti.
Tyranny takes many forms but the end result is almost always the same. It creates poverty, it creates a government centric connected class of wealthy and it is all allowed to exist through the 'legitimate' function of government. These governments have overstepped their useful functions and now are using coercion and threats to strip value from its citizens for what they or some other group of people deem to be important. It shows that without strong boundaries to government functions and constraining counterbalancing forces, governments tend towards tyranny and self interest. Even Marxist Black Liberation Theology recognizes the evil of government as Rev. Wright preached; Governments lie, governments change and governments fail. I add that governments steal and governments take what is not rightfully theirs.

From lessons learned and actions to be taken in order to mitigate the risks associated from governments that overstep their legitimate functions are as follows;
First, do not allow governments to seize individuals property for any purpose excepting those that governments are solely capable of such as national defense. Even in these legitimate functions, we have to be diligent that resources used are limited even for these legitimate purposes;

Second, that we recycle government. In other words, we break it down to nothing and rebuild it to ensure liberty. The founding fathers created the constitutional convention to do just this. But also, the people have the power to eliminate overly enthusiatic intervention by governments;

Third, arm yourself and your family. Governments will be unable or unwilling to to take what is not rightfully theirs if they think that people will resist. Americans have the right to arm themselves not just to defend oneself against intruders to their property or safety but also arm themselves against a government tyranny;

Fourth, those that are inclined, are able to work within the system to effect the necessary elimination of unwanted government intervention. Others, outside of the system, need to resist government in every form sometimes even against legitimate functions.

Governments that have overstepped their legitimacy, I argue, have no legitimacy in anything that they do. One has to be steadfast in one's resistance to creeping government intervention. One must not allow and are obligated to resist even those interventions that appear to be worthy if they fall outside of government portfolio of obligations since rarely do governments limit themselves to such simple interventions. All that governments do has to be resisted excepting those functions that clearly fall into the legitimate portfolio of government functions.

When Capital Is Nowhere in View - Jeffrey A. Tucker - Mises Daily


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