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The good and the bad, the big dogs and the small, the thinkers and the doers among libertarians and on the "Right" – you can encounter them all in The Daily Bell's exclusive weekly interviews. Indispensable.
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GREAT JOB, DAILY BELL
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Axiom 2: Promote Human Action and Free-Market Thinking
January 15, 2013
Editorial By Ron Holland
How To Restore the West: Axiom 2
"Human action is purposeful behavior." – Ludwig von Mises
Contrary to politically correct elite propaganda and indoctrination, only a small percentage of the population has the capability and desire to initiate purposeful individual action. When individuals make a choice to act based on a value judgment with a definite end result in mind this is known as human action. Whether or not the result comes about as expected depends on many known and unknown factors, including market forces, timing and the action responses, if any, by others. Still, this human action is a display and triumph of the will of an individual in contrast to actions forced or motivated by others.
In a perfect world each of us should be free to choose our actions with the understanding that every action can have positive, negative or no consequences. But the sad reality is that the world is full of bad people out to murder, steal, rape and pillage and not all of them, certainly, are in positions of power and authority.
Where outside regulations are needed to protect the public from evildoers, previously religion and now more and more corrupt government and legal systems have performed this role. While many of my anarchist friends might disagree, in today's world rules and regulations – some enforced by government, and on occasion by fair judiciary and honest law enforcement officials – are a necessary function of government, preferably carried out at the state and/or local level.
While it is true that the only legitimate function of government is to protect individuals from fraud, breach of contract, theft and aggression, and we therefore require a federal military, local police and law enforcement and a government court system, there is often a misrepresentation of threats and therefore wrong solutions suggested. For example, few would question the need for a strong military defensive posture to protect the US from foreign military invaders and genuine terrorist attack, yet our major threat today is from our own government, not foreign invasion.
Except for 9/11 – and probably no one will ever know what really happened there beyond the obvious conclusion that the government's official version is wrong – the only attacks against the US were the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which Roosevelt knew about beforehand and welcomed to get us into World War Two, and the British invasion and burning of Washington, DC during the War of 1812. Otherwise, the US has been relatively safe from foreign attack. All productive Americans have far more to fear from Washington than from any real or faked advisory of impending danger from foreign shores.
Given the most realistic threat to US citizens is actions taken by the US government, what can ultimately protect Americans from Washington? First of all, the Constitution and Bill of Rights are now dead and toothless, regardless of the best of intentions back in 1787. Initially an attempt to restrain the establishment of a powerful central government, the original legitimate central government set up by our founding fathers, The Articles of Confederation, was replaced by the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Reinstituting a state militia and military, loyal first to the citizens and government of an individual state and secondarily to the Washington federal government, would offer significant protection to the citizens of a state. Note that National Guard units in every state can be "nationalized" in an instant and control taken away from the state or governor, to be transformed into a federal force. Presidents Kennedy and Johnson federalized National Guard units during the time of civil rights strife to insure states' rights were in name only so that the states had no military forces to defend their rights.
Did you know that the US Armed Forces have been almost unique in the world since the War Between the States by not having regional or local units recruited from specific states or geographic areas? This has been done to make sure state military units would not withdraw from federal control in the event of another federal invasion against citizens and states that wanted to leave the union or that might refuse to fire on or act against their neighbors. As a former member of the military, I am very familiar with the fact that soldiers can be shot, court martialed or imprisoned for failure to follow whatever orders come down from above, meaning from Washington, DC.
To rectify this situation, the individual states first need to reconstitute independent state militias outside the National Guard, which can be federalized.
Secondly, every American should own a handgun or shotgun and, if experienced, an assault rifle and be properly trained in how to use it. The day may come when you and millions of other Americans will be forced to defend the right to own firearms for defensive purposes. More bullets and firepower are always better than less.
Third, the productive citizens of each formerly sovereign state need to educate the public and promote a return to state sovereignty, reinstitute the right of nullification and incorporate direct democracy and referendums at all levels of government to augment citizen control.
Finally, although the free market is best at determining price and economic efficiency, everything about free-market thinking involves the consent of both sides in a transaction or action. All government force, such as mandatory licensing, product approvals by one corrupt government agency or another, price controls or currency, debt or market manipulation and regulation, is unethical and illegitimate. Free citizens should always engage in transactions and decisions where consent is present.
Whether the law approves of a transaction or action between adults is meaningless and generally, government or other monopoly third-party intervention using force, fines, penalties or other forms of coercion is counterproductive and harmful to the parties involved. Therefore, we must always oppose government intervention when possible and stay away from those out to force fascist controls and practices on a formerly free society. This is, of course, difficult in America's economy where controls, mandates and revenue extortion are everywhere but it is important to conduct ourselves in as free a manner as possible.
The next axiom published in this series, "How to Restore the West," will be number three: Work For A Return to Legitimate Confederation Government. From this point on, all axioms will be specific, concrete recommendations rather than theoretical and philosophical in nature.