Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
The Best Plan: No Plan
By Larken Rose
Suppose you were given the task of coming up with a master plan to make sure that everyone in this country, all 300,000,000 or so of us, had enough food to eat. It's all up to you!
The first obvious question would be, "What do I have to work with?" You would need to know what resources would be available to you, what powers you would have, and so on. For example, if you had to work with what you now personally own, you wouldn't have a prayer. So how much of OTHER people's money would you be given for the project? And, if you're going to plan and manage the thing, you'll need control over all sorts of things, including all the farms, lots of trucks or trains to distribute food, all the buildings, equipment and personnel for distribution locations, and so on. Try to imagine what the price tag would have to be on such an endeavor. But even if you had all the money in the world, could you do it? Do you know enough about how everything works, and could you solve all the problems that might arise?
No. You still wouldn't have a prayer of making it work. Neither would any other individual, no matter how educated, knowledgeable, or wise. (When you think of centralized control of food production, think of the bread lines in Soviet Russia.) In short, the assigned task CAN'T BE DONE, not by you or anyone else, because no person has all the knowledge required to plan, organize, or carry out such a complex, massive operation.
Luckily, no one's trying to (in this country, anyway). But if even your best effort--or the best effort of any other person--would fail, and no one's even TRYING, why aren't we all starving? In short, we have a huge excess of food in this country, with a huge variety of products at an amazingly low price, at many thousands of locations across the country, precisely because there is NO "master plan."
But isn't that terrifying? There is NO centralized scheme to feed us all! No one is being forced to produce any food, or ship it anywhere. There is NO guarantee that YOU will have anything to eat tomorrow! No one is making sure we all have food! AAAAH!!!
So why do we? Why do we have, not merely enough food to survive (which by itself is an impressive accomplishment), but a huge variety of high-quality, low cost food, even in places hundreds of miles from where most kinds of food can be grown? There wasn't even a big, centralized, concerted effort TRYING to make that happen. So what made it happen?
A guy in Florida, who figured out a new way to keep bugs off his oranges, made it happen. But not by himself. A guy who started a little trucking company in Texas, who figured out how to make things run just a bit faster and more efficiently, made it happen. But not by himself. A farmer in Iowa, who put in the extra time to cultivate that extra field, made it happen. But not by himself. MILLIONS of individuals, not governed or guided by any central plan, most of them not even aware of the rest of the picture, made it happen. But if there was no master plan making them all do what they do, and making them all work together in harmony, what could possibly have made it all work?
Simple: the quest for PERSONAL GAIN. The amazingly complex arrangements, intricate organization, ongoing adaption and problem solving, all come from what is often termed "greed." (This is nothing new to those familiar with "Austrian" economics.) The self- interest of millions of individuals, most of whom know only their tiny little piece of the big picture, is capable of doing what no centralized plan ever has, or ever could.
But let's suppose you had all those people under your command. Let's suppose you could boss them around, and let's suppose they would all gladly obey. You STILL would do a horrendous job of things. (Don't feel bad; anyone else would, too.) You wouldn't know the best route for the trucker to take, or what time of day he should drive. You wouldn't know the best time to plant and harvest corn, or how to rotate the crops most efficiently. There would literally be MILLIONS of choices to be made, and in almost every case, you wouldn't have the first clue about the right way to do anything.
In a free market, each person's bottom line creates a constant incentive for each person to figure out and make better choices. The economics phenomenon known as "the market" quickly and automatic corrects most errors. But if YOU were making all the choices, and everyone below you was just blindly following orders, it would be a complete disaster. How much wheat should go to Chicago, as opposed to Orlando? Does Los Angeles need more corn than Detroit? How could you ever hope to answer every question about how much crop each farm will produce, how fast it will get to somewhere else, how much is needed there, and so on? Of course, you could always "delegate," by giving some other busy-body a smaller number of questions that he couldn't answer correctly either. Then you'd just have a bigger bureaucracy, with similar horrible results (and more opportunity for corruption).
Actually, there is ONE way you could accomplish the stated goal, but it's really radical. You could address the nation, and boldly proclaim, "I don't KNOW how to make everything work! Figure it out for yourselves!" In other words, you could advocate ANARCHY--a complete ABSENCE of a central plan, a total departure from the whole idea of centralized planning and control. In other words, you could do NOTHING, and achieve an infinitely better result than you could have accomplished any other way.
Americans have outstanding examples of how this works, in lots of different areas (food production, transportation technology, information technology, and so on). Nonetheless, there are still areas of life in which most Americans are terrified of the idea of NOT having things centrally managed and controlled (defense and road-building being two common examples). But the laws of economics don't CHANGE from one industry to another. Human nature doesn't function one way when it comes to roads and another way when it comes to cars. The arguments showing how idiotic it is to have "government" managing food production can be applied just as well to show how idiotic it is to have "government" managing ANYTHING.
Nonetheless, we now have millions of people discussing what centralized, authoritarian, forcibly-impose "plan" might fix health care. Last week the discussion was about which centralized, authoritarian, forcibly-imposed "plan" might fix the economy. And next week there will be some other crisis--real or imagined--for which the politicians will propose yet another "master plan."
If you think ANY centralized plan can make "health care" work, you don't understand human nature or economics. If you think ANY centralized plan can protect people from crime, you don't understand human nature or economics. If you think ANY centralized plan can lead to a prosperous country, you don't understand human nature or economics. In short, if you think that having a small group of people FORCIBLY CONTROLLING everyone else will ever make society better, you don't understand reality. And if you're scared to death of the alternative, especially when it's called "anarchy" (oh, heavens!), you need to grow up.
The next time you visit the local grocery store, take a good look around, because you'll be standing in ANARCHY!
(Actually, thanks to the myriad of "regulations" and "taxes" that interfere with food production and distribution in this country, what you see is really what voluntary interaction can achieve, even with a huge number of obstacles thrown in its way.)
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Using U.S. Census data, a team of geographers from Kansas State University have plotted man's fall from grace in a unique way, creating color-coded maps showing the degree to which the seven deadly sins have taken root in cities and states across the nation.
The Las Vegas Strip claimed the No. 1 ranking for greed. The highest scores for the other deadly sins -- lust, greed, gluttony, sloth, wrath, envy and pride -- tended to congregate in the coastal areas, whereas southeast Minnesota and the rest of the Midwest were covered, map-wise, in a more virtuous blue rather than wicked red.From WIRED Magazine
"We're gluttons for infographics, and a team at Kansas State just served up a feast: maps of sin created by plotting per-capita stats on things like theft (envy) and STDs (lust). Christian clergy, likely noting the Bible Belt's status as Wrath Central, question the "science." Valid point—or maybe it's just the pride talking."
CLICK HERE for the full color maps and slideshow
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Friday, October 09, 2009
This Saturday, Oct. 10, 2009, from 3-5 pm cst Larken Rose on the No State ProjectLarken Rose's New Video
he will be discussing solutions to "government", how to get to a voluntary society. Larken is an unapologetic anarchist and the author of three books,
How to be a Successful Tyrant, Kicking the Dragon, and his latest, The Iron Web, Larken's website is http://larkenrose.com.
The show is live from 3-5 pm cst at http://americanfreedomradio.com and you can join us by calling (512) 879 - 3805.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Your Religion Stinks!
Lots of people seem to think that it's good--or at least possible--to keep religion and politics separate. Trouble is, they're both mostly about how other people should be treated, and they almost always conflict. Maybe people try to keep them separate just so they don't have to come face to face with their own internal contradictions and hypocrisy.
Lots of people consider themselves righteous, moral, devout folks, and take pride in how religious they are. I have one simple question for such people: "Do you advocate my enslavement?" They always say no (which is rarely true), and then they usually wonder why I would ask such a thing.
The reason I ask is because their faith and loyalty to "government" usually completely dwarfs, and renders useless, their belief in what they call their religion. If they piously live by the rule of "thou shalt not steal"--except when they're advocating that the state forcibly confiscate wealth from almost everyone they know (via "taxation")--what good is their "religion"? The fact that they don't commit the robbery themselves, but instead beg to "authority" to do it for them, doesn't make them noble; it makes them thieves and cowards (instead of just thieves).
Let me make this perfectly blunt. (If this doesn't offend most people who read it, they weren't reading carefully enough.) If you advocate that "government" treat your neighbors in a way that you wouldn't treat them yourself, you are what's wrong with the world. If you are a Republican or a Democrat (or anything in between), your "religion" is worthless, empty window-dressing. You advocate theft, assault, harassment, terrorism and murder. Of course, when you support such things, you use euphemisms to describe them, such as "taxation," "regulation," "law" and "war."
Even I have to cringe when I say such things, because the statement applies to most of the people I know, even most of the people I like. But friends don't let friends advocate evil. When statist friends and family express horror at what the federal extortion machine did to me and my wife, I don't usually have the heart to say what I should: "Who do you think put that monster there?" Every Republican and Democrat supports a system of massive, forced extortion, which wears the label of "taxation." They may differ on how much it should steal, and how the stolen loot should be spent, but they all believe that "taxation" can be legitimate. And "taxes" are not a request; they are a threat of violence. Therefore, all statists--even the ones I like personally--advocate widespread forcible robbery of hundreds of millions of people.
My wife and I were wrongfully imprisoned and economically almost wiped out by the system that all statists advocate. So when statist friends express sympathy for what Tessa and I went through, I have to bite my tongue not to say, "Why? It was your belief system that put us there."
(There is one possible philosophical "loophole" in our particular case. We didn't actually break the "law," because by the extortionists' own rules, we didn't "legally" owe the "tax" that we didn't pay. So I suppose a statist could say, "Well, if you had actually owed it, then I would have been glad that you were locked up for not complying, but you didn't actually owe it, so I feel bad that you were imprisoned." In other words, they sympathize with us based on a "technicality," not based on a principle.)
Interestingly, I don't think it would ever occur to any of our statist friends that they should feel the slightest shred of responsibility for what was done to us. Ironically, the Republican voters we know seem happy to blame the "pro-tax" leftists for what happened, even though my wife and I were both robbed and wrongfully imprisoned by a "judge" appointed by George Bush and a prosecutor appointed by Bush, with the help of an IRS Commissioner, a Secretary of the Treasury, an Attorney General, and the local U.S. Attorney, all appointed by Bush. Lots of our friends voted for the very monster that stomped on us, and yet they see no connection whatsoever between their actions and what happened to us.
When I see churches trying to get more followers, or otherwise spreading their message, I think, "What's the point? You still advocate that I (and everyone else) be robbed and controlled, so why should I give a damn [pun intended] about what you call your religion?" To put it as bluntly as I can, if what you call your "religion" doesn't stop you from advocating the theft, assault, harassment, terrorism and/or murder of millions of innocent people, then your religion stinks.
Saturday, October 03, 2009
By Tim Wingate
This is a well documented booklet. However, it is difficult to substantiate his seeming anecdotal claims with his sizable “Sources” list as he does not use any footnotes or chapter designations. To his credit his listings contain substantive references including an informal bibliography, web links and periodical sources.
His writing style is much like his spoken style. He incites and provokes, needles and cajoles the reader with emotionally laden terminology and appeals to an emotional response; while claiming it to be a reasoned rational reaction. It is actually a short “book” as the line leading (the vertical spacing between sentences) is for a larger font size than the one used, putting fewer words on each page and therefore using more pages. Also, one third of the book is a reprint of Thomas Paine's original pamphlet Common Sense. Thus giving it a deceptively larger appearance.
In its essence it is just another compendium of what is wrong with America from his newly nonpartisan position. Many other compendiums have been circulating from more astute authors for sometime now. (Lysander Spooner, Albert Jay Nock, Herbert Spencer, Ayn Rand, Ludwig von Mises, Leonard Read, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Carl Watner, James Bovard, , Dr. Edwin Vieira Jr., Dr. Robert Altemeyer, Dr. Ron Paul, to just name a few from a much larger list spanning two hundred years.) However, due to Mr. Beck's public podium his message may reach and strike a responsive chord with more of America's dumbed down masses than a more erudite treatise.
The glaring problem with this “book” is on the first page. He writes, “In 1776, Thomas Paine's words sparked a revolution. Today, a new revolution of thought begins right now, with you.... You might find yourself wondering what can be done to change our nation's course. I lay out several options, but I want to be clear that none of them include violence. Thomas Paine and his fellow revolutionaries shed their blood so that future generations would have access to weapons immeasurably stronger than muskets or bayonets: the weapons of democracy...”
Through out his book he uses the language of revolution. However, he wants to pacify it and turn it into a fist-shaking, foot-stomping plebiscite tantrum. Herein is the fault. You cannot compare a potentially future American revolution to the former American War for Independence without the possible use of violence. Several thoughts on this follow.
First, to ascribe the appellation “revolution” to the American War for Independence is to take the “British” point of view of the legitimacy of British rule rather than the legitimacy of independence. Second, I am sure by their subsequent writings that "Thomas Paine and his fellow revolutionaries" did not consider their blood shedding to be some kind of secular propitiation or substitutionary atonement for any future use of physical force to protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness from an infringing government. Furthermore, there is always violence used by one or all factions in a regime change. Third, the use of “democracy” as a weapon implies the use of force, in reality or by threat, by the majority against the minority. The only difference is that the minority, by “democracy,” agreed to their suppression in perpetuity via an implied social contract thus legitimizing the use of force against them and renaming it “police action” or “anti-terrorism.”
On page 106 he states, “...do the things you feel...”
Really Mr. Beck? Just demonstrate populist discord and the “rulers” will change their tune?
On page 107 he quotes Mr. Paine's conclusion, “...until an independence is declared, the Continent will feel itself like a man who continues putting off some unpleasant business from day to day, yet knows that it must be done, hates to set about it, wishes it over, and is continually haunted with the thoughts of its necessity.”
It seems to me that the founders heeded Mr. Paine's warning and made such a declaration resulting in the conflagration wherein most of the signers were held to their pledge of “our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” Furthermore, he goes on to claim that his words like Paine's “find their roots” in Common Sense.
Really Mr. Beck? If this is true and he wanted to follow and imitate the example of the founding fathers then why has he not joined the We the People Congress
If we take Mr. Beck at his word and accept his implications as literal then he is saying the American people should treat the Federal Government as old England was treated by the 18th century Continental Congresses. Mr. Paine's work sparked a Declaration of Independence which sparked a violent war for control over land, resources and people. You cannot mince, parse or mollify the words of revolution by comparing a philosophical, or as he wrote, “a new revolution of thought,” to a violent one.
Therefore, in conclusion let us address this “elephonkey” or “donkyphant” in the room. Is America ready for a “revolution"? Have the lines of philosophical differences been so well articulated that people can make an informed decision whether to chose between an uncertain future of an insurgent guerrilla war for independence against the FedGov or for the limitless limitation of freedom and “on-growing” burden of the Federal corporatist police-state leviathan?
Does his target audience (based upon his assertive description in the Introduction it appears to be middle class married men with children, struggling to make ends meet,) actually have the backbone and where-with-all to declare and defend an actual new declaration of independence? Does he? Or, as this writer suspects, is this just another opportunistic endeavor to stir up impotent resistance and controversy to sell books and garner viewers?
If you really want to know what is going on apart from the propagandist pablum spewed by the corporatist organs of the state then check out the sources below. Buckle up, bolt your socks to your shoes and get ready for Matrix like red pill revelations.
If you want the real philosophy of Liberty then look up the authors mentioned in paragraph three rather than his list on pages 110 and 111.
Furthermore, since he is wildly popular with the Repubicrats, copy this review and include it with copies of his book before you hand them out to friend and family, thereby giving them the means to a meal along with his appetizer.
Glen Beck started a “9.12 Project” referenced on page 109. He lists 9 Principles and 12 Values that one should share with others. See, http://www.the912project.com/the-912-2/mission-statement/.
On his web site he also says what the purpose is; “This is a non-political movement. The 9-12 Project is designed to bring us all back to the place we were on September 12, 2001. The day after America was attacked we were not obsessed with Red States, Blue States or political parties. We were united as Americans, standing together to protect the greatest nation ever created.”
Why 9.12? Why recreate a the wheel or as in this case replace the existing wheel with a downsized spare? Why not emphasize and encourage what the founders already established? Or would that be too revolutionary?
In 1776, fifty-six men signed the Declaration of Independence declaring that, “We hold these truths to be self-evident…”
What truths were “these truths”?
The whole of the Declaration of Independence and the instituted governments of the United States of America rest upon only 5 Truths. The signers of the Declaration of Independence believed that those who supported these 5 Truths were good people and supporters of freedom.
However, those who opposed the 5 Truths were against liberty as agents of dictators, tyrants and despots. Which one are you? Do you believe in the 5 Truths?
Truth 1. All people are created equal.
Truth 2. All people created equal are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. (No commentary was given about the nature of, or, who this “Creator” was believed to be. However, the previous paragraph declares that people have “separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitles them.” Therefore, it can be inferred based on the common beliefs of the day that the implication was from a general “Christianized” worldview with an Enlightenment influence.)
Truth 3. Only by the consent of the created equal people with endowed certain unalienable rights, governments are formed to secure those endowed certain unalienable rights and derive their powers only from the consent of the equal people endowed with certain unalienable rights.
Truth 4. When any form of government becomes destructive of those endowed certain unalienable rights of the equal people, it is the “Right of the People” created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights to replace that government with one that will secure those, endowed certain unalienable rights of the equal people.
Truth 5. When it becomes evident that a form of government has a design to reduce the equal people with endowed certain unalienable rights under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such a government.
Make no mistake in thinking that this is a light matter. We as a nation are approaching a fork in the road together.
There are those among us who believe that “government” is the source of rights and liberty. They are the modern day Tories, the royalists, and believers in the divine rights of kings. Only today their “king” is the Government.
We have almost come full circle in our experiment in liberty from where we started.
an out of control constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary government that reduced its loyal citizens to property of the State,
a constitutional representative government that distorts words and meanings in the Constitution thereby reducing the people to property of the State.
True American Patriots still believe in the 5Truths of Freedom
To embrace these truths by believing in them and living by them is to be an American patriot, honoring the men and women who fought and died for liberty.
To infringe or alienate these truths by action or accepting government’s actions is to dishonor the patriots who have lived and died for us.
On which side do you stand?
(a)The promise of tranquil security by intrusive government, mouthing words of liberty while taking away rights by regulation forcing you to give up your “fair share” of freedom for privileged benefits that rest upon you as chains of control?
(b)The 5Truths and the certain human rights endowed to an equal people that must not be infringed by your countrymen in your service in government leaving you to live the “animating contest of freedom” in liberty while pursuing the happiness of responsible self-ownership?
“If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” - Samuel Adams