Brownshirts Rising?
By Philippe Gastonne - September 11, 2015

Donald Trump went from clown to contender in a mere 30 days. He is now polling in at 30% among Republicans, a 12-point spread from Ben Carson who is #2. Trump still loses next to Hillary by 2 points, but her nomination is not secure.

A race of Sanders vs. Trump would be quite the sight, straight out of the 1930s. It's the Reds vs. the Browns all over again. My own sense is that the Browns could win this. Then we have a serious problem. As much as we loathe the establishment, it could be worse.

It's time libertarians get serious about realizing that there exists such a thing as Brown-shirted socialism. It masquerades as patriotism. It seeks national greatness. It celebrates the majority race and dehumanizes the other. It is violently protectionist. On cultural matters, it is anti-leftist ("politically incorrect"). It is unapologetically authoritarian.

Even given all this, we are mostly mystified by it. It doesn't strike us as a coherent ideology. It seems like a string of bad policy ideas (and some not terrible ones too) rather than a real political tradition. This is because we, as libertarians, are well-schooled to fear the socialist left but have little preparation to understand the threat from the other side. –, Sept. 4, 2015

Political mavens tell us polls are mostly meaningless this long before an election. I certainly hope so. As Jeffrey Tucker says in today's excerpt, the current data point to a seriously problematic outcome next November.

Nascent authoritarianism has long simmered just beneath the surface of American culture. We see it in the cloying reverence for anyone wearing a uniform, whether military, police, firefighter or Boy Scout. "Thank you for your service," say the same Baby Boomers who, when they themselves were of draft age, preferred to tune in, turn on and drop out.

We see it also in the blind approval of U.S. military strikes against anyone, anywhere, for any reason. A large segment of the population neither knows nor cares whether the wars launched in their name and with their money will secure anyone's liberty. The mere fact that fellow Americans are killing foreigners with different skin tones is reason enough to cheer.

We also see the authoritarian instinct in the assumption that successful business leaders become so through the "free enterprise system." Like good social Darwinists, people believe that the best ideas always prevail in competition and those who have those ideas deserve their rewards. That much is true – but it misses the fact that our state of regulatory democracy reduces competition and often prevents great ideas from progressing beyond dream stage.

Engaging in these behaviors does not necessarily make one an authoritarian, but it means that on some level he has accepted the premises that lead there. That acceptance can lie dormant for years, even decades, waiting for a catalyst to activate it.

Tucker says that Donald Trump is that catalyst. Intentionally or not, Trump has tapped into a long-hidden sentiment within the electorate. A forgotten tribe now has a chief. Where he will lead it, and whether the tribe will stay loyal, is not yet clear. If Tucker is right, we are on the Road to Serfdom.

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  • Bill Ross

    “Political mavens tell us polls are mostly meaningless this long before an election”

    and, they are not after the polls are closed and “ahem”, counted?

    the “hanging chads” resulting in judicial decree of presidential winner / loser was a bit too obvious

    the pretense of choosing YOUR flavor of statist predator still leaves YOU prey…

    as to the brownshirts, a little history lesson regarding the social / economic factors resulting in “Birth of the Nazis”, if common knowledge should (displaying my ignorant optimism) energize the civilized to push-back:

    or, more comprehensive

  • Bolt Upright
  • Bill Ross

    piss off

    • Breathe, Bill, breathe… it’s just a robot sent by Big Pharma to cause your blood pressure to rise so you’ll need their meds 😉

      • Bill Ross

        Hah! Stress (mostly imaginary, a product of uncertainty) evaporates and passes through like a water off a ducks back. Adapted many intellectual lifetimes ago, to use it just as any other resource:

        “I will not fear.
        Fear is the mind-killer.
        Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
        I will face my fear.
        I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
        And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
        Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

        Bene Gesserit, litany of fear, Dune, Frank Herbert:

        does make you wonder though. Is social / economic stress partially a marketing plan for pharma?

        I’m not paranoid (heightened awareness), honest, THEY are out to get me:)

        not many know: the dominant pollutant in Great Lakes is pharmaceutical, tranks and anti-psychotics.

        • Praetor

          Yes, they definitely wish you to poison yourself. But, there are people who are partial to brownies for stress and high blood pressure relief. Just saying!!

          • Bill Ross

            some, to release the grip of imposed reality, just slightly, to ponder alternate possibilities and speculate on what ifs, and which road less traveled should be taken in the next course correction. Also, just sayin.

          • Praetor

            And to mottle through and do nothing!!

          • Bill Ross

            yep, many “wastes of skin”

        • straight shooter

          They’ve found it in the Pacific as well. I’m sure it’s
          in most every large body of water in and around the US.

    • Bolt Upright

      Take me to your leader

      • Bill Ross

        that’ll be me

      • Hey you

        What’s a leader? Haven’t seen one for about 90 years.

  • HampMac

    I’m afraid that we have already arrived and are currently living in Serdomville…

    • Bill Ross

      should that be an “f”?

      • HampMac

        Yes, thank you.

        …currently living in Serfdomville…

      • john cummins

        or an “i” Sirdomville

        or an “i” and “u” and “b”: Sirdumbville

  • Jahfre Fire Eater

    I don’t see how Mr. Tucker can be so optimistic about libertarians making drastic changes in their self-righteous political self-marginalization no matter what threat looms. He knows enough of them, for sure, but he seems not to understand them at all.

    As Murray Rothbard pointed out, if the value of an action cannot be derived from actual consequences of the action then the individual actor must value the ACTION over the OUTCOME.

    Most politically futile libertarians value their political futility more than any outcomes it is likely to produce.

    • Bill Ross

      Hah, here is the INEVITABLE REAL outcomes between the spectrum of tyranny “winning” and liberty being tolerated:

      natural law determines which outcomes are tolerable to reality (obey rules of life, or extinction):

      and, REAL libertarians seek an end to politics, rationalizing, attempting to force a one lifestyle fits all (suppression of freedom = diversity) outcome.

      You did get the politically futile aspect correct

  • Bill Shevick

    God bless Jeffrey Tucker for speaking out against these horrible Nazis. I will remain faithful to the ideals of Anarchy no matter how small our numbers become.

    We will always be able to find safe havens provided by people like Jeff Berwick in freedom countries such as Chile and Mexico. We only need to get off our butts and invest in them.

    • Bill Ross

      Nope. Islands of peace and prosperity attract predators like moths to a flame. Stand YOUR ground.

      • Bill Shevick

        Violence is NOT the way. Fighting is exactly what the Nazis want.

        • Bill Ross
        • Diocletian

          Violence as an act of self-defence, as a retaliatory act against those who have initiated the violence, is indeed the way to deal with Nazis and other statists.

          Serve them the death that they seek to serve you, a death that they richly deserve.

          Their choice to aggress begs for it !

    • Slight correction: He is not providing any safe havens. Regardless, each of us can create our own safe haven and no genuine anarchists are looking to a “leader” to provide one to invest in. But then, as an anarchist you know that.

      • ‘…no genuine anarchists are looking to a “leader”…’
        Not necessarily true. Leaders can be beneficial under certain circumstances.
        Trick is, if leaders are chosen, then these mutual agreements should be entered freely and exited at will.
        What anarchists are not looking for are rulers.

        • Indeed. And, I wrote “not looking to a ‘leader’ to provide a safe haven,” emphasis intended to be on “provide.” I meant, more generally/figuratively, that we each create our own safe havens. A “leader” can provide a property and even a structure that defines expectations within that property, but whether that is a ‘safe haven’ is determined by each individual who is participating (willfully). Nonetheless, thanks for making that distinction.

  • Dan Overholtzer

    Understanding cultural differences and wishing to maintain one’s own culture in the face of mass, forced immigration appears to you as demonizing the invading culture. That’s propaganda–not analysis. If you don’t love your own children more than you love the neighbor’s kids there is something seriously wrong with you. If you think so little of your own culture that you are willing to watch it become a political minority then you are a cuck. Self-hatred is sick.

    • Philippe Gastonne

      Actually, a better example of propaganda is when one claims most immigrants from a given country are rapists when all available data shows no such thing. Such statements have nothing to do with maintaining one’s own culture. Their purpose is to attract political support by inspiring hatred. Letting one’s children see one accept and propagate lies is not the way to love them.

      • Dan Overholtzer

        Without pursuing a definition of propaganda, it doesn’t take an authoritarian to see that floods of voters from left-leaning countries do not a libertarian paradise make. At least that leaves gated communities in Columbia.

        • Philippe Gastonne

          First of all, the flood has stopped. Net immigration to the US of Mexican-born people, including illegals, has been net zero or negative since 2010. They are leaving the US faster than they are entering.

          Even if there were a flood, the flooders will not be voters unless/until they gain citizenship, which will not be soon if ever. At best they can hope to gain influence when their children with birthright citizenship reach 18. But by then the children are thoroughly enculturated as Americans. They might even vote Republican, but not when all they hear from that party is that their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles are thieves and rapists.

          I do not expect voters of any origin to create a libertarian paradise, or to flee to Colombia. As others have said in this thread, we can find liberty wherever we are. It is a state of mind, not a place.

          • Dan Overholtzer

            The larger the ethnic population, the less the pressure to acculturate and the greater the requirement that the whole accommodate minority divergence. Legal immigration is more than sufficient to Balkanize the polity. The resultant lowest-common-denominator culture is evident in the current campaign to marginalize the historical record.

            Conflating Trump’s rhetoric with the motivations of his supporters is a misdirection when no candidates are willing to discuss limiting legal immigration; as is conflating a stable population of Mexicans with the rapidly growing populations of a half dozen other ethnicities. Many understand the globalist program of ethnic diversity in formerly white countries as an attack on the nation-state and on geographical rootedness, itself. Many are aware of the creeping implementation of Agenda 21 and the Jewish-led push to triple immigration rates. To us Trump’s only attraction is that he moves Overton’s window. If authoritarianism is the only alternative to technocracy then I guess I’m an authoritarian.

  • Richard Broberg

    Bringing back the draft would change a lot of attitudes.

    • Bill Ross

      Nope, too high a risk of the grunts not being stupid. Better to create and use economic collapse as a recruiting method.

    • Praetor

      Yes, right, more strife, more rotten attitudes, more poor will die, and these poor will not have chosen to die, for the tyrants of destruction. Bring back the draft, PLEASE, stop with the hatred of your fellow man, draft them to go die for what, get-a grip on yourself, war is not the answer. Fiat Empire needs to go!!!!

    • ron17571

      I agree. Now it’s something fought by others. People don’t care. War is assnine anyhow. How many years in Iraq and Afganistan? At how much per day? For what. Syria is most likely next. WW3 with Russia seems to be what the psychopaths in power want.
      Maybe Trump would figure the cost versus benefit and decide against some of this. Hillary seems clueless and would continue with Obama’s stupidity.

      • straight shooter

        Trump wouldn’t be “deciding against” anything. All presidents, regardless of party,
        work for the psychopaths in power you refer to. And their goal is as you say. Democrat or
        Republican matters not at all. This is why aggressive military and foreign policy never abates,
        regardless of who’s in the WH.

        In Trump’s case, it’s hard to tell if he’s doing the usual grandstanding or whether his
        narcissism is so toxic that he actually believes he can fix anything unilaterally. The sad
        thing is, so many Americans are taken in by his phony populist bluster.

        • Bruce C.

          I think it’s because they hope that he can change things unilaterally. Furthermore, they sense that he can because of their support, and if he has their support he will be able to. Don’t over estimate the “other side”. The way to win in negotiations is to use your opponents beliefs against them. One of the greatest benefits is that Trump could enter a field of inveterate politicians and bureaucrats who – and make no mistake think politically almost exclusively – can be “played like violin”. You may doubt that because you’re not accustomed to such stupidity, but it’s out there, especially in Washington.

          • straight shooter

            “Don’t over estimate the other side?” Seriously?

            I’m not sure you understand that our system is a corporate-fascist oligarchy with puppet theater representing the illusion of choice. The last time any US President attempted unprecedented unilateral change was JFK, and that didn’t work out too well. Hasn’t been attempted since and won’t be again any time soon.

            But even on your own terms, this has absolutely nothing to do with “stupidity” of bureaucrats in Washington, which is irrelevant when it comes to the efficacy of a President having his way on the national and global stage. The irony of even having to argue that for me is that IMO Trump is actually one of the least intelligent candidates ever to run–especially emotionally. Notice how he constantly belittles others for being stupid, while he’s always the smartest guy in the room–about everything. Meanwhile, his narcissism ensures every issue is framed through the meme of “how you treat me, how you treat me,” how you treat me,”ad nauseam. Hallmarks of a man not smart enough to know he’s not that smart–and that’s a dangerous man.

          • Bruce C.

            It’s a fascinating discussion. The more criticisms I here about Trump the more intrigued I become. The outlying question is, if not him then who? I don’t mean to scare young children and pets, or even you, but that’s the existential fact. Would you prefer Marco Cassik ? John Fiorina?, Ben Christy? Okay, I’ll stop.

            I’m not sure that you understand that the “corporate-fascist” oligarchy that you respect are mouth-breathers themselves. Do you have any real-life anecdotes to share that suggest otherwise? Just because dumb, desperate people have been guided down the rat hole doesn’t mean they’re that formidable.

            Let’s go with your opinion that Trump is the dumbest candidate to ever run for the Presidency. I love it already, because that means the erroneous standards of previous failures can now be adjusted for. Let me ask you something, if a candidate IS the smartest guy in the room, what should he say about the others? The “how you treat me” theme is purely business. He’s referring to the Republican National Committee (RNC) who are some of the vilest a-holes you’ll ever meet. He basically holds their fortunes in his hands, which they hate. If he goes third-party then they (the Republican party) loses. That’s true no matter the outcome. Obviously if the Dem candidate wins, but also if Trump wins as a third-party candidate, and even if a Rep. candidate wins because they will have no mandate. (And what mandate do they even profess?)

            No one knows how Trump will really play out, but I continue to believe that he will do what he thinks is best for the country and will not be significantly persuaded by outside influences. I could be totally wrong in which case he’ll be no different than anyone else.

          • Bill Ross

            just a random thought regarding intelligence vs mundanes, based on my far too extensive experience with judiciary in the matter of my divorce. Despite all the facts and law being totally in favor of my position, judges were in terror of my intelligence and, acted as if I was attempting to manipulate them and consistently decreed (rule of man) contrary to fact and law.

            Neglecting the social engineering aspects of divorce courts (destroy the family institution, a competing social / economic organization to the nanny state), I think it is as simple as this:

            What you don’t know can kill you and, I had long ago rejected manipulation as an effective long term method of goal seeking. Judges, in their highly fraudulent environment could not conceive that an honest person without a selfish agenda can possibly exist. Those intelligent enough to actually have gone beyond selfish interests, to have a conception of respect for other individuals / viewpoints, “do not compute” to these mundanes.

            In fact, I think judges are unnaturally selected for this and other control freak traits.

          • Bruce C.

            Yeah, the word “dumb” is not very precise. Usually what I mean when I say that is the people tend to be shallow and materialistic and if not for their power wouldn’t get very far. People can be very insecure also, which can make them suspicious and defensive. Judges want to see themselves, and be seen, as the most intelligent in the room, having graduated from mere trial attorney level. Having to show respect for judges is not a fun thing to do (one of many reasons to stay out of the legal system if possible.) It’s actually pretty scary. They also make a lot of mistakes/oversights, which sometimes can go your way but it’s dicey.

            I totally understand your frustration with not being “visible”. It’s really insulting when people assume that you’re lying or deceitful or have ulterior motives, etc. when there is evidence to the contrary (even if it’s just your own words). At best they might just concede that your naive and foolish. It’s maddening.

          • straight shooter

            Couple of quick things. As far as a preferred candidate, I have none at this time, and am actually considering not voting for the first time ever. I will say, though, seeing Biden on Colbert the other night was refreshing, as he did show some humanity. Will he run? Would I vote for him? Does it matter? Don’t know.

            Also, please don’t infer that I “respect” the fascist oligarchy–I certainly do not. I’m simply more aware of their existence than some others seem to be, and it does very much frame my worldview. Their existence is pretty much impossible to quantify in terms of relative intelligence, and again, power and control are the issues, not a battle of wits.

            I also disagree with your ascribing Trump’s “how you treat me” to ‘business.’ I believe the opposite–THAT is in fact the real Trump–from a personal level, carrying over into his rhetoric. Harshest words for everyone else, yet obsessed by any slight.

            Trump won’t ever do “what’s best for the country” any more than the rest of them, and his populist message is every bit as phony. He’s got traction for one reason only–he’s NOT a politician. Not nearly good enough on its own and a pretty sad state of affairs.

          • Bruce C.

            Biden might be entertaining as well. There’s a reason he’s called “Crazy Joe,” he’s America’s “class clown.”

          • Diocletian

            Trump is a “pretty sad state of affairs” qua businessperson.

            He is certainly no true practitioner of laissez-faire capitalism//free-enterprise.

            He is a crony “business” man, just as his father was.

          • Diocletian

            ” I could be totally wrong in which case he’ll be no different than anyone else.”

            You are indeed wrong. Look closely at Trump’s political philosophy. It is prima facie pure statism. No different, fundamentally, from that of any of his competitors for office.

          • Bruce C.

            Why then do you think the “truly known” statists of every ilk are against him?

            It will be interesting to see how he handles the Pope next week.

      • Bruce C.

        I’ve read this before, “WW3 with Russia”, I don’t sense/get that. Explain?

      • Gary Tedder

        Donald Trump is not politically correct and he is willing to talk about Problems that need to be fixed. We have a number of problems created by the Federal Government. The out of control immigration of ILLEGALS has to be stopped. We do not need cheap labor when 93 million workers are unemployed. Twenty-nine hours a week is not a full time job, but allows Employers to avoid paying benefits. Barack has started a WAR on American Soil and is priming a Civil War. Herds of Muslims are by-passing our legal immigration system. He is encouraging Blacks living on the Welfare System with unlimited free time that blame White People for all of their problems to create civil unrest. White Policemen are now Targets for random violence. The ‘knock-out game’ is a Barack approved violent assault on random innocent and defenseless white people by young black males. AMERICA needs a Leader to spend his energy on the American People, we are close to losing AMERICA. G.T.

    • Marten

      War is big business for the USSA…Indoctrination is at the heart of your slavery

    • Diocletian

      Given the reality that a draft implies that people are government property–slaves–I hope that it would stimulate an attitude to defy it and fatally shove back anyone who tried to enforce it !

  • It’s nothing more than just another thinly disguised conflict between the two primary types of socialism promoted and perpetuated by governments :

    1] communism
    2] fascism.

    Fascist brand socialism is now apparently “in vogue” with the zombie masses, while it’s imagined opposite, supposedly “softer” communism, is “out” as having failed miserably.

    And so it goes [ the “argument” never ends].

    As persons such as Von Mises and Rothbard et al have consistently pointed out, fascism is a [relative to communism] slightly more economically “successful” system superficially, short term, although in the long run it is no more “successful” than its ” left” counterpart and imagined enemy, “communism” . [I say “Imagined” because Hitler himself is known to have attributed large parts of his fascist socialism to Marx.]

    Two sides of the same coin , “collectivism”, “socialism” or whatever you want to call it.

    Just another stupid distraction to see through/past……. or not :-).

    Regards, onebornfree

  • 2prickit

    Just how many minutes out of an individuals’ waking hours is its attention absorbed by the incessant noise and appearances, passively attentive—is that possible?—of which its object is subjective persuasions and illusion. Illiteracy is the curse of these times. [Compare, the absence of popular piped music in a bank, to that “music” heard when shopping; it is everywhere!] I asked an acquaintance employee of Lowe’s about the considerable volume of the “music “while seeking his assistance there in the plumbing supplies department, and he said “What?” “What music?” So, it’s just me that it follows, wherever I go. But, happily I do go, presently, without any consideration to the ilk’s of the professional politician or a wannabee, newebee to that class of people. The results of that class, yes I do profile, will appear soon enough.

  • apberusdisvet

    Trump lost me when he called Snowden a “traitor”, when, in actuality, Snowden may be the greatest patriot since Patrick Henry.

    • Bill Ross

      or, part of a larger calculus, to manipulate us to gawd knows where. Don’t think homogeneous, think warring factions among powers

    • straight shooter

      Well since Trump’s analytical acumen is roughly equivalent to that of an 18 year-old
      boy on steroids, you can expect his extreme, over-simplified, under-informed position
      on everything all the time.

      However…you bring up a subject far more interesting. I believe Snowden (Snowed ’em) is a multi-agency project, a completely created, packaged false-flag whistleblower actor, with requisite documentary–released, naturally, through mainstream media. The mission? Aww, just the usual stuff–same old same old–disinform, instill fear and anxiety, assert dominance. Rinse, repeat.

      Must get old for them after awhile but we keep falling for it. Although as false flags go, mounting a phony covert-leak hero scenario was probably a barrel of laughs.

      • I agree with your evaluation of Snowden. Assange as well.
        It’s been shown that people act differently when they know they’re being watched.

  • Darquius

    Sharp insight, and good history lesson, Phillipe. One in a million, said Rothschild, to see the hidden motivation and theft of will of action when also highway of social order. If you own that highway, existing laws don’t matter to you.
    I hope, as you must also (or you wouldn’t take time to write and risk expose), more people may understand there is little difference in left and right long term: it is about tyranny vs. liberty. It isn’t zero sum ‘us vs. them’ game in business that gets us in so much trouble, as knowing for sure it is the only game to prosperity, which just ain’t so.
    Liberty is like love, we gotta give it, to get it. (Our U.S. government gives our neighbors the opposite – war to compel prohibitions and require permissions with binding contracts – i.e. slavery.) Was there an unreported coup in U.S. ?
    Many smart and caring but tyranny blind folks could as you suggest, become Quisling minions by not seeing this, within very short time now, unless first they take time to think about it.
    The painful thoughts causing most PSTD, is realization of what ‘I did” and how much pain -and resulting anger- that impacts the environment you live in. I don’t wish that kind of inward anger on anyone.

    Thank you.

  • Bruce C.

    “Political mavens tell us polls are mostly meaningless this long before an election. I certainly hope so.”

    Okay, so who would you rather be the next President? Do you really think that any of the other candidates have any upside potential? If you don’t like the status quo, and/or you don’t believe the status quo can be changed anyway by anyone, then why not wing it and vote for Trump? I’ve always proclaimed that he has the most upside potential and would be no worse on the downside.

    I admit he sounds like an authoritarian and he sounds like he believes in the traditional American institutions of a strong military (the best defense is good offense) and the rule of law, and my guess /hope is that he would not be beholden to the MIC and would challenge the Supreme Court from the POV of an American citizen. I may be totally, pathetically wrong about that, but I see absolutely no chance of any other contender being any bolder.

    Now, about this “brown shirt” business being an unfamiliar foe of libertarianism, I don’t think so, unless the authoritarianism seeks to enforce libertarian values. That could be freaky. Maybe the real challenge of libertarianism is that it fleshes out what that would look like, and how we might get there.

    • Philippe Gastonne

      I still hold to the preference I expressed here on June 15: that we have no president at all.

    • Diocletian

      What is it about your psychology that has you persistently believing that YOU must have a leader ??

      Are you so spineless, so cowardly that you believe that you must have–or worse, believe that you deserve–an overlord ?

      You own yourself; therefore, you have the right to be free to govern yourself. Assume the responsibility for doing so, in every aspect of your entire adult life, rather than sloughing it off onto a POTUS or some other psychopath in government.

      As for Trump, he is a statist, like all of the others running for office. Voting for the lesser of the two or more evils still leaves one voting for evil.

      Grow a pair, and do not vote for evil. Do not pander to it, or intellectually or financially support it.

  • Herr Schmidt

    God forbid we get someone who will act in the interest of working and middle-class white people. Protectionism is actually a good thing, but libertarians will never realize that because all they want to do is import cheap plastic crap from China.

    All this talk about not respecting people in uniforms. What would a libertarian nation look like? Would everyone just hate the cops (or hired guns of private defense insurance agencies or whatever the heck?) I’m not sure how a society is supposed to function if people are supposed to view police, soldiers, firefighters, boy scouts (those evil bastards!!) with contempt.

    I’m sorry, but I just don’t see how electing someone who will enforce our immigration laws is going to lead us down the road to serfdom. I miss the days when libertarians actually understood that mass immigration and liberty couldn’t co-exist.

    • Philippe Gastonne

      I did not suggest anyone show contempt for police etc. I criticized the unthinking worship of them. There is a difference between respecting someone who serves your community well, and giving mindless adulation to all those who serve the state, simply because they serve the state.

      • Herr Schmidt

        Except that no one worships police. Yeah, people think it’s bullshit when #blacklivesmatter types whine about a cop shooting a guy who was trying to kill him, but that doesn’t equal mindless adulation.

        • Beg to differ, Herr Schmidt. Review of the comments following any story on the ‘net about the need for police to be held accountable will prove otherwise. There is a stomach-churning level of “cop/military adulation” going on among the US public. Add to that the number of people driving around with some form of “I support my local police” bumper stickers and it becomes downright horrifying.

    • Diocletian

      Autarky, to which protectionism leads, is a destructive situation to both individual and economic freedom.

      In a libertarian society, those who are hired to protect will be respected so long as they use firearms for that purpose. If they initiate violence, they would be shot dead like rabid animals, as they deserve to be, for they would have earned it by their aggression.

      Terminate the welfare state–by civil war, if necessary, and the numbers of immigrants would significantly drop, for many of them have a misguided sense of entitlement and come in order to live like parasites at the forced expense of others. Terminate it also for legal residents and citizens also, for they, too, have no valid right to the stolen money that funds it.

      • Herr Schmidt

        Protectionism does not lead to autarky. That’s like saying food stamps lead to communism.

        Who is going to shoot the hired guns dead if they initiate violence? If you have the capability of killing the people you hire to protect you, why bother hiring them in the first place?

        Though, I agree with dismantling the welfare state or at least barring immigrants from receiving welfare. The idea that you can just hop over the border and live off our tax dollars is ludicrous.

  • InspectorGeneral

    Jeffrey Tucker just another neocon. C’mon guys, you can do better than that…

  • Blank Reg

    Whatever speeds up the collapse, I’m OK with it. America’s oldest socio-political tradition is to do everything the hard way. The power elite will never give up what they have, and see reason. It will take a complete economic and political collapse to get them to let go. Then we’ll have to rebuild from scratch. So if that’s going to have to happen anyway, I say, get it over and done with as quickly as possible. Hitler’s rise and fall lasted 12 years. Germany today is stronger than ever. Let the Federal government die. We’ll all be better off in the long run.

  • Phil Lawrence

    I was happy to read this article until I got to the baby boomer part. Then I realized….this guy doesn’t have a clue. 57,000 dead doesn’t sound like “dropping out”. Are you a millennial that’s had it so rough? Been lied to? You poor boy. If we were in the same room together I’d tell you to sit down and shut up cuz you got a good talking to coming. You’re not alone in this. You need to educate yourself. You almost sound like a progressive: shooting your mouth off before loading your brain.

    • Philippe Gastonne

      I am missing your point. I said nothing about those who served in Vietnam honorably. They certainly did not “drop out” and were not the object of my statement.

      It is a fact that many millions of boomers avoided the draft with student and medical deferments (for example, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Dick Cheney). For those who avoided service in their own youth to decades later praise those in a new generation that did serve is perverse.

      If it matters, I am a veteran and a boomer myself.

      • RJ O’Guillory

        As I read the essay…and I arrived at the point where baby-boomers are mentioned, I was also side-tracked by the idea that the writer was “calling out” a specific generation of Americans. To the contrary…I don’t think baby-boomers have…”dropped out”…at all. And, in comparison to previous times in history…(slaughter of native people, awareness and action taken about corruption, etc.)…we BB’s have TRIED to historically influence how people look at corrupt government, rather than simply accept it as our ancestors did. Many BB’s are seriously damaged people, and have had to…(in spite of relatively prosperous financial times)..fight for their survival in ways previous generations never envisioned. The prior generation of American Parenting…(the baby-boomer’s parents)…with their belt-across-the-back, wash-your-mouth-out-with-soap, degrade, humiliate or “abuse at will” style of parenting left a huge scar on the American Psyche. Much of the drug & alcohol abuse of the BB Generation was seeded in their upbringing….from the tension and violence that occupied so many homes…and to the booze, beer and smoking abuse that went on as a daily example of…”life is short, so be a narcissist”. The fact that we have not yet been victorious over the dark powers that are attempting to enslave us…that continuing battle does not mean that an entire generation has dropped out, perhaps as much as they have held themselves in reserve for when the true battle for our liberties is initiated? On a personal level, I’ve always been saddened by the lack of care or concern for our natural rights and liberties by those around me…but many of those people have barely been able to care for themselves, let alone be aware of the bigger picture. However, as you continue to see the world around you decline into purposeful anarchy and destruction, we “tin-foil-hat” folks seem to be getting less and less resistance. Perhaps…like 4th Generation Warfare…the BB’s last stand is just around the corner…but that doesn’t mean that some have not been in the trenches all along.

  • davidnrobyn

    I tend to think that Gary North is right when he says that the betting sites are much more accurate than the polls. Their track record is way, way better than polling sites. When people have their own money on the line, it clarifies matters remarkably. And the betting sites have Hillary as the next POTUS.

    • Bruce C.

      Yes, and remember Warren Buffet said the same thing (“I would bet money on it…”). There are some powerful forces that want her in to seal the deal on the US. If she doesn’t get indited for some fairly serious charges about her private server then watch out. The “Justice” Department has just announced that it was okay for her to delete her private emails because they were private.

  • beaker55

    I once thought Philippe Gastonne possessed a moderately keen intellect. Guess I was wrong.

  • rahrog

    We’ve been on the road to serfdom for quite some time. The road is paved by the fascist ruling class with central banking, fractional reserve lending, and fiat currency. Whomever the next president may be is irrelevant. America has already devolved into a fascist state. SECEDE…SECEDE…SECEDE!!!

  • Frederic Freeload

    An interesting analysis.however,theoretical and somewhat ominous… The direction Trump is leading his followers in may not seem politically correct but it is reflective of the sentiment or furor ( spirit ) of the people… Trump is nothing more than the crucible to ignite and motivate the masses…

    • And the goal of igniting and motivating the masses?

      • Bill Ross

        bonfire of the vanities? Nero burning Rome, to make it “better”.

        • Frederic Freeload

          I welcome any other Idea that would bring about the change of direction this country is going in, short of an out and out revolution… NERO was insane and america is burning right now because our leaders are insane..

          • Bill Ross

            Is anyone voluntarily “following the leaders”, apart from pawns coerced by them?

            Nope, we have rulers (wits corrupted by absolute power corrupts, absolutely), as was Nero and, yes, they are INSANE and, so are we, to the degree we tolerate their crimes against peace and division of labor (civilization)

          • Frederic Freeload

            The tolerance will soon turn to in tolerance just take the pulse of the masses today as it applies to Trump and then close your eyes think back to the mid 1930s when another man captured the furor ( spirit ) of the people… These are very dangerous times for the status quo and very exciting times for those who have had enough…Nero is in the white house today and he is setting this nation on fire with rampant spending and bringing invading armies of immigrants into this once blessed nation… If liberalism survives this decade I will be surprised…

          • And not just “another man” in the 1930s… Palmer Raids, etc. come to mind, as well.

      • Frederic Freeload

        CHANGE this corrupt,sick deviate governance to something that will resemble a normal and forthright culture… Trump is not putting this passion in the heads of the masses he is merely verbalizing a sentiment that has been frustrated by a culture that is bankrupt and has foisted its ways on the masses…

    • Fred

      A mob is a monster, with heads enough! but no heart, and little brains – Benjamin Franklin

      • Frederic Freeload

        That was then … This is now … The same Ben Franklin told a waiting crowd outside of the continental congress hall ” We have given you a republic if you can keep it ” … That crowd new what he meant … this crowd doesn’t and for that reason they are willing to be lead as was demonstrated when they voted for the lying community organizer …

        • Fred

          “This time it’s different.”

        • Fred

          Trump – 2015
          “Cleanse America of the illegal immigrants and Trump would make America great again.”
          Hitler – 1935
          “Cleanse Germany of Jews and Hitler would make Germany great again.”

          Tomorrow Belongs To Me – (Sorry, commercial at beginning)

          The Sirens sing so sweetly . . . Be careful what you wish for.

  • Boomergirl

    I see Trump as a white Obama. Both tout change. One mentions racism and the other illegal immigration. We only understood a little of what Obama meant, so how much more than just immigration do we understand of Trump’s motivations?

    • Frederic Freeload

      Your comparison is incongruous … Trump built a business …Obama the community organizer says it belongs to all of us… Trumps credibility is defined by the deals he signed and lived up to … Obama has no credibility he is a liar and a fraud… Trump is rich in America and he knows that if this government is allowed to continue there will be nothing for any of us …. Obama wants that and has worked tirelessly destroying the very fabric of this nation and has succeeded in dividing us one against the other while flooding this nation with people who hate us.. Wise up … there is no comparison..

    • Umberto Indicci

      Exactly. A “white Obama” in asymmetrical fashion.

    • Bruce C.

      I disagree that “we only understood a little of what Obama meant…”

      The problem was, and may still be, that people differed on whether his intentions would be “good.” The fact that he was re-elected proves that, because by then “everybody” knew what he was about. There was no more speculation.

      • Boomergirl

        Obama was re-elected for several reasons, but at much lower numbers than the first time he ran. Republicans lost at much lower numbers because of the abysmal candidate they had. Romney had to steal about 800 delegates from Ron Paul in order to win on the first ballot, alienating over 2 million Ron Paul Republican supporters who refused to vote for Romney. Paul was the only candidate in most polls that was beating Obama. The GOP did a very stupid thing in not taking that seriously in order to win. It’s not just the goodness of the candidate but which candidate can actually win over the competition. Paul had the support of the majority of the 40% of registered Independents that any candidate running needs to have now in order to win. the 30% of registered Democrats vs the 28% of registered Republicans each need Independents to win. In 2012 the many Independents I know either voted for Obama again as a known evil, or voted for other candidates besides Republican, or didn’t vote at all because they were fed up with the electoral process and didn’t care which candidate won.

        • Bruce C.

          So what do you think will happen this time?

  • Q46

    ‘It’s time libertarians get serious about realizing that there exists such a thing as Brown-shirted socialism.’

    Ahem. The Brown Shirts were a section of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei aka National Socialist German Workers Party aka Nazis.

    Socialist? The clue is in the name.

    National Socialism and Mussolini’s Fascist Party were just sects of Socialism which disagreed with the Communist and Marxist interpretation.

    It is time everybody realised Fascism/Nazi were/are NOT Right wing, but Left wing.

    Checklist: opposed to capitalism; for homogenised State to ovecome social division; command and control economy; State co-option of business and finance; collectivism with the individual interest subordinate to the interest of the community.

    Yes, yes a few difference but compare Catholicism with Methodism or the Baptists, for example, then say one or the other is not a Christian religion.

    • Boomergirl

      The traditional political line used to be

      Total government on the extreme left, no government on the extreme right, and as one moves to the left is Republic, then Democracy, then Liberal, then Socialism, and as we move to the left is Fascism, Communism, and all the other total government forms.

      The fallacy that there are extreme right wing wackos is untrue as presented because the extreme right is anarchy, not the force necessary to try to control. Such beliefs normally want the government to take charge of whatever issue to stop anything they see as immoral. Such tactics were supposed to be accomplished by each state to run it as the citizens of each state see fit because their state government is closer to the electorate. There will always be “wackos” in every political persuasion, but to blame that on “rightwing” is illogical, as extreme leftwing wackos also exist, as Nancy Pelosi has proved time and again.

  • Umberto Indicci

    As long as Trump stays Repug, all is well.

    • Bill Ross

      Republican? Known quantity, already have our lumps from these political hypocrites. If they were serious, Ron Paul would be president, dismantling the system.

      Repugnant? Now, that is truth I can believe in.

    • Bill Ross

      wow, what credibility, upvoted yourself.

      perhaps not. What is lacking is individual and collective expression of self-interest, unfettered by emotion such as: terror

      • Umberto Indicci

        I often up-vote my own stuff, as long as it is basically mine,
        and consider it a signature. Most humility is phony.

        • Hey you

          Up (or down) voting could best be left as a reader’s expression. And, no; much humility is genuine because many people have no choice.

  • FEEuser

    One sentence in particular that you wrote really stands out for me: “Nascent authoritarianism has long simmered just beneath the surface of American culture.”

    I believe that you are quite right about this. Ever since Alexander Hamilton’s partial success in hijacking the federal government with his unnecessary “Department of the Treasury,” “Bank of the United States,” and other legal legerdemain which locked Americans into a politically centralized straightjacket, this country has been on the road to serfdom.

    Actually, we could go back even further in time and talk about the mercantilism of the British Empire, which Americans thoroughly imbibed right down to their cultural bones, no matter the friction between the Brits and Americans in the Revolution.

    In fact, one could argue that Americans never really gave up completely on mercantilism, and were, therefore, susceptible to Hamilton’s siren song about the desirability of extensive federal controls over the American economy.

    Subsequent events in American history do not inspire confidence that American elites have given up on the mercantilist/centralized, i.e., totalitarian, model of civilization. On the contrary, they are more addicted to this destructive mode of life than ever before.

    • Hey you

      This could be a problem. However, it seems that a breakup of the federal system is baked in, so secessions are more likely than are continuation of the USA federal grip on us.

      • FEEuser

        Hey you, you have the gift of understatement.

        But, yes, I totally agree that “a breakup of the federal system is baked in.” Being an irrational, destructive, and essentially impossible political/economic system, it’s just a question of when. The “USA” is, and has ALWAYS been, FAR too large and complex a set of peoples, geography, human action, and markets, infinitely complex, in fact, for any set of bureaucrats to presume to “manage” it in a rational way. Either MARKETS will rule with individual human action reigning supreme, or a criminal subset of psychopaths will rule through coercion and violence. The two systems are now colliding in a fight over the control of information and of our reality. No need to elaborate on which is the more desirable way of life.

        However, here’s ANOTHER idea which just might put us back ahead of the curve where we belong. It has occurred to me from time to time that the power elite has ALREADY SECEDED from us! How’s THAT for contrarian thinking? Anybody who doubts this should search “Black Budget,” or “UFO Budget” on the Internet. Also, watch the videos of Catherine Austin Fitts, Richard Dolan, Dark Journalist (Daniel Liszt), Joseph Farrell, and Jim Marrs. They all are onto this general theme big time, though, as far as I know, none of them has advanced the specific, contrarian idea of power elite secession FROM THE PEOPLE.

        In sum, I strongly believe that the power elite wants to “divest” itself of a LOT of members of the human race because they regard them as “superfluous.” Robots and eventually, androids will do most of the work, a few humans will be left for specialized tasks and amusement of the power elite. That doesn’t leave much room for the bulk of the human race, does it? Still, this bleak power elite future is, by no means, “inevitable”; people have much more power to determine their fate than they think. Resistance is growing, and the Internet Reformation is leading the way. There is also some indefinable “wild card” which changes things at unexpected moments, the factor of uncertainty, unpredictability, and spontaneous order.

  • dsaulw

    Let’s not forget Jerry Brownshirt, governor of CA, who recently signed into law SB277 eliminating personal belief exemptions to vaccination, for those seeking to attend public school, private school, or day care.