I recently read a story about the guy who won this year's Cross Fit challenge. In fact, he's won the competition 3 times. The story headline reads, "Fittest Man On Earth: Cross Fit Champ Rich Froning Details How Faith In Jesus and Tough Love Helped Him Win." There's a link to the article at the bottom of this post.
During a struggle, Mr. Froning told ...<< MORE >>
Greetings everyone, and thank you for coming back to nomorecages.com.
The last 9 months have been pretty crazy for Barry and company... 4 Americans died in an attack on our consulate in Benghazi, he wins reelection, we had the Sandy Hook tragedy, Hurricane Sandy, The Boston bombing, North Korea flexing, the Syria situation, the IRS targeting TEA Party groups... scandal after tragedy, scandal after tragedy...
Before this, we had the revelations of ...
Played: 1107 | Download | Duration: 00:11:00
**To hear the audio, please press the play button directly under the title of the post.
Glenn Beck has been a rising force in the conservative movement over the last 4 or 5 years, culminating with his epic events “Restoring Honor,” “Restoring Love,” and others. Over the last year and a half or so, Mr. Beck has claimed he is “more Libertarian every day,” and is now pleading with libertarians to 'let him in' and join forces for the purposes of spreading the message of liberty to an even broader audience. Many people see issues with this, and are hesitant to take Mr. Beck at his word with regards to his conversion to libertarianism. In fairness, it appears to me that Mr. Beck is beginning to put down roots in the philosophy of Constitutional minarchism, which is highly preferable to neoconservatism, standard conservatism and certainly progressivism, but I, like so many others who have already commented on this topic, am still skeptical.
For full disclosure, I used to listen to Mr. Beck quite frequently. I thoroughly enjoyed his book 'Arguing With Idiots,' and appreciated the message behind his fictional novel 'The Overton Window.' What turned me off to Beck was his staunch support of our interventionist foreign policy, and how he seemed to be in agreement with Ron Paul on about 85% of issues, but dismissed him as a kook for his stance on Israel. I hated that he would discuss the evils of the Federal Reserve, find out Rick Santorum's position on the Fed, and then come out in support of Rick Santorum. These factors, and others like it are why I am still skeptical.
During my transition from libertarian minarchist to voluntaryist, I began to get rather upset with Mr. Beck for his insistence that we sacrifice our "lives, fortune and sacred honor," for Israel. You might think I'm speaking in hyperbole, but if you go back and listen to his pleas for us to stand behind Israel and support them for this reason or that, I believe you'll see what I'm talking about. I understand that this staunch support is largely due to his worldview regarding Israelis as the children of God, and that he sees Israel as our only real ally in an area of the world pretty hostile toward western ideas, including Christianity, and all sects of it.
He made some statements questioning our foreign policy from the financial perspective of ever-increasing debt, and now has finally said that having bases all over the world “just doesn't work,” but he hasn't, that I am aware of questioned American foreign policy from a moral perspective. He also made a rather infamous remark about why he could not be president: he wouldn't hesitate to use nuclear weapons, and would complain, "What do you mean we're out of missiles?"
He is coming around, somewhat. I am encouraged by his chats with Penn Jillette, and some of his recent admissions about foreign policy, the failure of the drug war. and his desire to essentially “live and let live,” in America. Sadly, it's some hypocritical irony that this man is now essentially parroting everything Ron Paul said during the 2008 and 2012 Presidential campaigns, but still says he disagrees with Ron Paul... perhaps it's now only on Israel, which still indicates to me that he wants America to continue being the world policeman to protect Israel- uh, I mean... preserve our national defense. That I am aware of, he has not embraced the non-aggression principle, and hasn't even acknowledged it. I was disappointed that only Jacob Hornberger brought it up with him in their interview as “the moral argument that people have the right to be free,” but Glenn deflected by remarking about society from a pragmatic standpoint, and as an immediate limiting factor: “Society is not ready for that.” Sadly, I agree with him. My foundation for that argument comes from recognition of people's fear of personal responsibility that comes with freedom, and of what other free people may choose to do that these others may disagree with on personal, moral or religious grounds. People are too used to having the government gun to use to prevent others from making such choices about how they live their lives.
Perhaps Glenn Beck is simply more pragmatic than I am, or perhaps he is just in the beginning stages of a transition that will ultimately bring him to view government as evil. Perhaps he has a better perspective on why the masses will never accept the voluntarist philosophy, or perhaps he is as far as he will come with his views about freedom, and the purported need to balance that freedom through the mechanism of government. Perhaps he doesn't believe in the strength or efficacy of arguing for liberty from first principles. I believe you can't really begin to make the argument from anywhere BUT first principles. I mean, why not cut directly to the chase and use the most powerful and simplest argument to help people reconsider their perspective on life, and not just politics or government?
Still, at least at present, it indicates to me that he indeed wants less government, but wants to make sure that our foundational system remains intact... a system based entirely on theft, manipulation, coercion, force and the monopoly on the initiation of violence. Without acknowledgement or acceptance of the non-aggression principle, I'm inclined to believe that, despite his claimed desire for freedom, he wants the government gun in the room to remain right where it is... he just wants different people to have their hands on it more frequently. I find it extremely hard to team up with someone who I know would not hesitate to point that gun at me for simply disagreeing with them, if my moral stance isn't supported by some arbitrary law. I mean, really... laws are simply words with guns. So, can't we put down the weapons already!
Progressivism did not happen overnight in America. 'Luminaries' from America were studying in Europe after the publication of Marx's Communist Manifesto, and it was all the rage in the literati and intellectual circles in Europe for decades after, and perhaps even until today. Those Americans returned to us sharing and spreading these ideas, and they took hold here, too. I would estimate that the progressive mentality was flourishing in our society and educational institutions for a couple of decades before it found its way into public policy, which we began to see with the presidencies of Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. And, arguably it's been downhill for us ever since. So I understand gradualism, and I understand pragmatism. I understand the notion of working together with others to get the ball rolling toward achieving a particular end or agenda. We should indeed be thinking "long ball" with regards to rooting out this destructive philosophy in society and our government. Rothbard would likely agree with Beck, and see Beck as an ally, despite disagreements on certain big issues. But, like Rothbard, I don't want a "little less slavery," or "a little less cancer." Beck seems ready to cut out some tumors and try to make things better, but ultimately stands in the way of us being cured.
I can stand with people trying to starve the beast of government, or trying to shrink it down to something more... manageable, but I would primarily join that crowd simply to expand the potential audience of people who will LISTEN to arguments for freedom from first principles... about government being the source of the cancer, and that trying to obtain political solutions to what ails us is like trying to put a bandaid on the wound of a severed limb. I will continue to call out the immorality of the initiation of violence, the immorality of theft, of murder, of imprisonment for non-violent action in line with people's morals and values... I will point out the hypocrisy of considering theft, lying, murder and manipulation immoral and abhorrent in society, but supporting, and even demanding that the government do these things to us under the 'law', or for the greater good. I will point out that all government seems to be is people voting for a small group of people to have the legal and moral right to do things to us that we all consider to be immoral, unjust and illegal. I will remind people that, by supporting politicians, policies, spending and everything else that government does, they are adding weights to the noose of debt already hung around the necks of the unborn, and that this generational theft is utterly repugnant.
I do not recognize anyone's right to point a gun at me if I am not aggressing against them, or to cage me for disagreeing with them. I do not believe that any group of people can vote to give power and authority they do not have themselves as individuals to any entity of people just because they call themselves government, or because "that's the law." I am tired of living in a society almost wholly constructed upon force, violence, coercion, manipulation, cages and theft. A decrease in these aspects of our society would undoubtedly be a good thing, but if you want to strike at the real root of the problem, you have to get people to see, acknowledge and even hate even the idea of government having a monopoly on the initiation of violence, and then get those people to stand against the immorality of the whole damned thing. Political action may be a means to that end, sure. But in my opinion, real success will only come when we argue from first principles about the immorality of the initiation of force. I believe this is the best chance we have of getting our fellow human beings to see through the fog and lies of statism, and to see how belief in the state, or political solutions... is just another cage.
Played: 1003 | Download | Duration: 00:09:49
I have no right to steal from you. I have no right to take your property, to damage your property, or make any claim on your property. I have no right to tell you how you can and cannot live your life. I have no right to tell you which choices you can and cannot make. I have no right to dictate what you can and cannot consume. I have no right to force you to fund activities which you disagree with on moral grounds. I have no right to make you tell on yourself, to detain you against your will, or to throw you in a cage for making choices in line with your morals or values.
I have no right to prevent you from pursing happiness, to force you into silence, or to criminalize something you might utter. I have no right to spy on you, to read your text messages and emails, or to listen to your private conversations. I have every right to disagree with you, and to voice, write or otherwise express that disagreement, and would be foolish to refrain from doing so. But that disagreement grants me no moral justification for infringing upon your right to say what you will.
I have no right to demand you to or prevent you from providing your children with a religious upbringing. I have no right to demand you to or prevent you from praying, from paying tithes, or worshipping your God however you wish to. I have no right to prohibit or infringe your freedom to go or not go to church, or to associate with others in any way, shape or form.
I have no right to dictate what kind of vehicle you can drive, how big a house you can own, what kind of clothes you should wear, or how much you can earn. I have no right to keep you from behaving like a pompous ass, or from being timid and quiet. I also don't have any right to keep you from remaining uneducated, uninformed, and unaware of what's going on in the world.
Man... there are a ton of rights I do NOT have in our interactions with each other.
In context, it would appear that there isn't much we should be able to forbid through law. A list of generally accepted principles would pretty much suffice for maintaining order and peace in society, if given the chance. I mean, we all believe that murder is wrong. We all believe that theft is wrong. We all believe that rape is wrong, that child abuse is wrong, that poisoning the environment is wrong, and that our individual freedoms are pretty much sacrosanct. If we treat others as we wish to be treated, then any laws that came from adherence to and promotion of these generally accepted norms would be easy to comply with. On occasions where people chose to break from these norms, we wouldn't necessarily have to use cages to punish offenders. Societal revulsion to such acts would result in some pretty nasty penalties for the offender. They may be ostracized from their families and social groups. Businesses may choose to not sell goods or services to them. They may not be able to own a home, or rent an apartment until such time as they made restitution for their offenses.
But, like in so many other aspects of life on earth, we fail to consider the simplest solution. Instead of handling this peacefully with respect to each other's freedom, we ban together and vote to grant the government power and authority to do things to us that we all find morally reprehensible when done by individuals... to steal from us, to shut us up, to spy on us, to kill us, to tell us what we can consume, and force everyone to pitch into whatever the government is doing, even if we find those particular activities to be morally repugnant. This provides the framework by which I believe one of the most egregious forms of child abuse occurs: the indoctrination of children into a statist mentality.
We let the government teach our children a lot, with respect to morality and society. The government subtly exposes our children to the supposed morality of what's called the social contract. I mean, we have to give back, right? Others paved the way for you, so you have an obligation to pave that same way for others, and to continue supporting those who paved it for you in the first place.
Despite there being no law, or anything in writing to detail what the “social contract” is, it is the only contract we are obligated to without our knowledge or consent. We are born into it, receive the purported benefits of what it offers, and are then subject to perpetual theft to pay it back. No other contract is legally enforceable without a person being at least 18 years of age, and having signed the contract indicating that they both read and understand the terms of that contract. But the social contract gets around that. The idea pervades our education system, and it's certainly presumed in nearly all discourse about American society.
I didn't sign any social contract. I wasn't even aware of it until I was an adult. I did not vote for the laws that existed when I was born, nor did I vote for the legislators who codified those laws. That means that conditions of my adulthood were largely determined by people I never met, never had any association with, never voted for, and never received anything from. Now the promises of politicians made almost 4 generations ago are being seen for what they really were: buying votes by putting the debt of today onto the backs of the unborn... the easiest targets... I mean, they can't fight back, after all. Like us, they will be stolen from to pay these costs of yesteryear. And as children they will be taught about this as their responsibility to society. It won't be theft, you see... it will be giving back to all those who paved the way before them. It will be just a part of good citizenship... of being a good American.
Not one child will be taught in school that they were born into financial slavery, thanks largely to the apathy and ignorance of previous generations. No one will produce a social contract for them to read and sign. Not one child will be encouraged to consider the immorality of robbing from the unborn to pay for today. Worse, they will be taught that it is just for them to force their posterity to do the same as simply a matter of course.
Children will be taught that they cannot steal, kill, rape, damage property or infringe on other people's freedoms, but will also be taught that government not only can, but SHOULD do precisely these things to people in the interest of the public good. How convenient is that? In truth, kids will have been royally screwed and stolen from before they were even born, but will be conditioned to believe that this was just, moral and good. It's horrific, and... brilliant. How much more effective is slavery when you teach the slaves from the time their children that their enslavement is just and moral?
Welcome to the world, kid. Sorry about the noose of debt we hung around your neck.
Despite having all the faculties necessary to make itself well, society chooses to remain sick. On one hand we cry out against violence, coercion and theft when individuals remove freedom, steal and murder, but on the other hand we clamor for government to continue stealing, murdering and destroying freedom so we can 'maintain our way of life.' But, our way of life is morally inconsistent, and we are on the verge of financial collapse. When we collapse financially, not if, there will also be a type of collapse in society as well, which the obedient statists will demand the government protect us all from... at any cost. In our fear, we'll demand that our good overlords essentially destroy the last vestiges of freedom, so as to preserve social order. This, of course plays right into the government's hand. I mean... we don't want the slaves getting restless now, do we? Of course not. That's why government teaches children that slavery is freedom, that theft is charity, and that forced altruism is a virtue. It isn't. In this instance, it's child abuse. I thought we did almost everything in our society “for the children”...
The insidious and relentless indoctrination of children into Statism... is a cage.
Played: 1042 | Download | Duration: 00:10:15
If you had cancer, and the doctor came in during one of your visits and he or she said you have less cancer, or that it had gone into remission, you might feel better. Even though the cancer remained, you might be grateful for some small, but measurable improvement. Truth be told, you would rather not have any cancer at all, wouldn't you?
Before I get going, I want to say that I see minarchists and Constitutionalists as allies, despite their desire to return to a Constitutionally-limited, or “small” government.
Minarchists and Constitutionalists are the type who, in my opinion, would be satisfied with removing the majority of tumors, but not eradicating cancer from the body. To a voluntaryist, its like our Constitutionalist and minarchist friends have some kind of Stockholm syndrome with the cancer of government. While I agree that the Constitution is arguably the best document ever written to frame a minimal federal government, it is inherently flawed. Everyone was supposedly equal, according to the Declaration of Independence, and to ensure the protection of our God-given or natural rights, government was instituted amongst us with it's just powers derived from the consent of the governed. Only... fellow human beings, namely women, native Americans and blacks were certainly not equals according to our government, and had no equal protection under the law. And despite the Constitution being there to limit the federal government, government has grown... and grown... and grown.
The adage goes, “If all men were angels we would need no government.” But this government obtains a monopoly on the initiation of violence and is the seat of power for our country, so it makes sense that some of the evil among us would be drawn to that power over others, and work to obtain it for themselves. Now those non-angels are in seats of power, next to people with similar ambitions... they play go-along-to-get-along, and take turns pointing the gun of the state at each other and us to promote and achieve their agendas. People are bad, so we need government to protect us from bad people, who are also present in government that we need to protect us from bad people?
“Well if we'd return to the
Constitutional limitations on government, then that type of stuff
Oh, really? And from whence, pray tell do you garner that insight? If your premise were correct, and the Constitution could prevent Congress or the President from exceeding their Constitutional limitations of power and authority, then how did government ever advance beyond the limitations originally placed upon it?
Constitutional limitations on federal power did little to halt the inevitable growth of the state. In 1798, just 9 years after the ratification of the Constitution, the government passed the Alien and Seditions act, criminalizing the criticism of the government and it's officials. The Constitution failed to protect the protection of freedom of speech under the very first amendment in the Bill of Rights. Under this law, a Congressman from New York was jailed for calling the President a fat ass.
Has the Constitution prevented the US PATRIOT Act? Warrantless wiretapping? Drone aircraft to spy and potentially attack Americans on American soil? Has it prevented Presidents from making war at their pleasure? Did it protect rights to a trial by jury? Habeas corpus? Due process? The right to not incriminate yourself? Our right to keep and bear arms?
So if the Constitution exists now, but the people in government refuse to abide by it's limitations, then what good does the Constitution do to limit the expanse of government? Could it be those bad people you're wanting the government to protect you from have so heavily infiltrated the government as to make the Constitution moot?
What do you believe would happen if the government announced that it was returning to a strict interpretation of the Constitution, rescinding all executive orders and abolishing any existing federal agencies not expressly permitted in the Constitution? I'll be the first to admit that I think things would improve, and dramatically. We might actually get a handle on this debt issue, we could clear federal prisons of non-violent drug offenders, and deal a huge blow to the corporatocracy. But... it would be like cancer going into remission. Even in this dream, we would essentially just be resetting the clock back to 1789. This time however, I think it would take less than 9 years (and probably less than 9 days) for the state to start it's inevitable growth pattern all over again. Businesses would quickly buy up the 'good' politicians we put in the house and senate, and presidential campaign donors would expect a return on their investment when their guy was elected... just like now.
Thus the cycle simply repeats, only this time it would start sooner and grow faster. The crafters of public opinion and political strategists have grown far to skilled in their ability to manufacture both a crisis and it's solution to sell to us, and successfully tell the masses what to believe. It's not like society will have learned to think for themselves as individuals.
So we have to wonder: if we remove the tumors, but leave traces of the cancer, is it reasonable to believe the cancer will not return? Of course not. Thus, the only real choice we have is to completely eradicate the cancer from the body if we expect to get healthy, and to remain that way.
Many will ask: what about national defense? Well, I am not smart or arrogant enough to possibly list all of the potential market alternatives people will develop for any and all government activities and services. Even national defense. Additionally, since my proposition is not dependent upon force, coercion or theft for funding, it kind of automatically takes the moral high ground.
Ultimately, I'm afraid that the reason many of my minarchist and Constitutionalist friends will not unchain themselves from the myth of “good” government is fear: fear of the unknown, and more insidious, fear of what will happen if other free people make choices that they do not agree with. Under government, you can petition legislators to champion social and moral causes you support. Ask yourself: do you actually favor the government gun in the room? Are you willing to have it pointed at you, and to have force initiated on you by others so long as it means that you can use that gun to your own ends on issues you support? Will you use that gun to prevent peaceful people from making choices you don't agree with for personal, moral or religious reasons? If not, then why not get rid of the gun altogether?
Perhaps minarchism is best described as disdain for, or wariness in your support of a state, while maintaining belief that it is necessary. History shows that, despite having a Constitution to severely limit the scope and power of the state, representatives readily employ broad interpretations to those limitations, and use public support to advance their agenda. Usually they tell us whatever they're doing is for the children, the elderly, our security, or even for or our own good. History also shows that the state does whatever it has to to support its growth, and demands the faith of it's believers. It cultivates that faith through it's relationship with the press and media, and provisions of public education. Let us not forget that it always ensures it has a means by which to steal from us to pay for these efforts, and uses the deprivation of liberty from behind the barrel of a gun as the punishment reserved for those who would dare resist that thievery. The government is an immoral parasite. It uses baser human instincts like tribalism to encourage and foster our willful participation in our own slavery. Believing otherwise, my friends... is a cage.