Thursday, June 30, 2011

We’re In Charge Of Our Own Awareness

The End Times
by Robert C. Koehler article link
June 30, 2011 | CommonDreams

“All the evidence shows that we are nearing the end of man’s tragic experiment in independence from God.”

Wow, I thought. They get it. And suddenly I felt a burst of solidarity with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The words are from one of their tracts, which was given to me because I have this passion for talking about God — a wild glee, almost, for stepping up to The Big Serious and wrestling theology with the neighborhood proselytizers.

There are other ways to express the urgency of our situation, leaving God out of it. An eco-conscious soul might warn that the human species must reconnect with indigenous wisdom and the circle of life. But no matter. What strikes me is the growing recognition, in so many quarters, of the unsustainability of our global culture and the need for, and inevitability of, profound change.

Indeed, it’s more than mere “recognition” — it’s a primal disorientation. The culture of moneyed interests, war and techno-diversion, which is global in scope, is killing us at the same time that its media apologists, and the anonymous experts and authorities they quote, reassure us that everything is fine and under control.

I think the Christian End Times movement (the message of my Jehovah’s Witness tract), the growing buzz over the Mayan calendar prediction (we shift into a new age on Dec. 21, 2012 . . . you can even order end-of-world mugs and T-shirts) and the science-based urgency of climate-change warnings all emanate from the same rawly intuitive sense: An unprecedented planetary shift is under way, which we can aggravate and perhaps turn into Armageddon if we continue ignoring our own thoughtless contributions to the situation.

“All the evidence shows that we are nearing the end of man’s tragic experiment in independence from God.”

Here’s another way this thought gets put:

“The world’s oceans are faced with an unprecedented loss of species comparable to the great mass extinctions of prehistory, a major report suggests today. The seas are degenerating far faster than anyone has predicted, the report says, because of the cumulative impact of a number of severe individual stresses, ranging from climate warming and sea-water acidification, to widespread chemical pollution and gross overfishing.”

Thus began an article last week in the U.K.’s Independent by environment editor Michael McCarthy, on the recently issued report of a panel of leading marine scientists convened in Oxford earlier this year by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

The human contribution to oceanic dead zones is significant:

“. . . new scientific research suggests that pollutants, including flame-retardant chemicals and synthetic musks found in detergents, are being traced in the polar seas, and that these chemicals can be absorbed by tiny plastic particles in the ocean which are in turn ingested by marine creatures such as bottom-feeding fish.

“Plastic particles also assist the transport of algae from place to place, increasing the occurrence of toxic algal blooms — which are also caused by the influx of nutrient-rich pollution from agricultural land.”

And then there’s the Las Conchas fire, one of several wildfires now tearing across the state of New Mexico. The blaze has already forced the evacuation of thousands of people in Los Alamos, home of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, a vast complex housing much of the nation’s nuclear weapons research.

But not to worry. A Reuters story assures us that — what else? — everything is fine: “Explosive materials on the laboratory’s grounds are stored safely in underground bunkers made of concrete and steel, as well as earthen berms,” according to a spokesman for the lab (and not simply the lab, but the entire military-industrial status quo).

The story abandons us in a state of feel-good pseudo-security, not bothering to report the technical concerns of environmentalists, e.g.: “One (concern) is the fact that over six decades the Lab has blown up a lot of uranium and depleted uranium in dynamic high explosives experiments in the general area in front of the fire,” according to an update from New Mexico’s Nuclear Watch blog, quoted by former lab scientist Subhankar Banerjee. “We don’t know to what extent the shrapnel or debris has been cleaned up and could possibly be aerosolized.”

Speaking of the entire nuclear industry — both the weapons- and energy-production components — which is reeling from environmental disasters from Japan to Nebraska to New Mexico, Harvey Wasserman writes: “We know only two things for certain: Worse is yet to come, and those in charge are lying about it — at least to the extent of what they actually know, which is nowhere near enough.”

In a sense, “those in charge” is all of us. We’re in charge of our own awareness, and we can remain in denial or grope, individually and collectively, for the wisdom that will help us face, and survive, whatever is to come.

© 2011 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Robert Koehler is an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist and nationally syndicated writer. His new book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound is now available. Contact him at or visit his website at

CommonDreams home page


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Passivity in the Face of Widespread Corruption

Mugged then Shot
by Linh Dinh article link
June 29, 2011 | CommonDreams

“The United States has been a leader in the multinational effort to end bribery and corruption in international business practices."
--Website of The U.S. State Department

If absolute power corrupts absolutely, why shouldn’t the United States be the most corrupt (and corrupting) country on earth? We’re number one! In America, each politician can be bought and absurd sums of money are routinely misallocated or missing altogether, with nary a peep from the complicit media. On the foreign front, America’s modus operandi is to bribe every dictator, and the ones she can’t bribe, she’ll undermine, overthrow or bomb back to Jesus. In exchange for this bribe, which can be disguised as loans or “foreign assistance,” said dictator will allow America to loot his country in perpetuity. If you don’t believe me, just strip any tinpot dictator and you’ll surely find “CIA” tattooed on one ass cheek, with a (pretty good) portrait of a recent U.S. president embossed on the other. Lovers always leave a mark, they often say. Sometimes it’s not a dictator, per se, but a dominant party that’s America’s hushed puppy. In any case, rapacious trade deals and unpayable loans are the bane of countless client states orbiting Washington.

Domestically, American corruption has been institutionalized as campaign contributions and lobbying, but that’s only the open, legal part. Perhaps these practices are allowed to trick us into thinking that American corruption only goes so far, but who really knows what goes on in the labyrinthine backrooms, basements and dungeons of Washington? In any case, us lumpen Americans are “represented” by millionaire politicians who are lint deep in the pockets of the fattest banks and corporations. The American politician is thoroughly corrupt, often from grassroots level, but the degree of venality and sanctimonious hypocrisy increase as he approaches Washington DC, that beautiful cesspool of martial madness.

No candidate who’s not heavily pro big business, overtly or covertly, can have any chance of being elected to national office. He won’t be funded, nor will he be seen on television. It’s not a democracy when all candidates are vetted beforehand, and only millionaires can be chosen by other millionaires and billionaires. In this setup, the average citizen doesn’t matter, as his vote or canvassing for a favorite are only charades designed to make him feel good and involved, as if his opinions and advocacy matter, but whatever he does, it won’t prevent the election of yet another tool who’s corrupt, pro war and pro big business, at the expense of all else. But don’t despair, all you earnest partisans, for even when your candidate does lose, the other guy, one who’s hardly different than your favorite man, wins! Those who voted for McCain, for example, got pretty much all of his policies through Obama, so it’s a win, win, lose, lose situation, see? Emblematic of this farce is the fact that American tax payers are even asked to contribute three bucks a year to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund. Though stuffed with cash from Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Raytheon, etc., our candidates still panhandle from poor schmucks whom they will soon rip off anyway.   

American politicians may differ on personal and ethical matters such as school prayer, gay marriage and abortion, but on all the major, lucrative issues affecting the military industrial complex or big business, they are remarkably uniform. Our senators and congressmen also behave like trained seals when it comes to Israel. Witness the 29 standing ovations a packed House gave Netanyahu recently. Whether Democrat or Republican, each was terrified to be caught sitting as his colleagues jumped up and barked.

Your rep sure knows who his daddy is, and it ain’t you, sucker! The primary job of the American politician, from Obama on down, is to spin and disguise an endless series of corporate and military crimes he’s enabling. Which brings us to the Pentagon. No other governmental organ is more gluttonously corrupt. The Pentagon’s main function is not defending America but to bleed this country dry to enrich Halliburton, Lockheed/Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and the rest. Over and over again, the Pentagon has put hundreds of thousands of Americans in harm’s way, just so its masters can make a handsome profit. To feed these insatiable ogres, the Pentagon is willing to destroy American itself, and it is doing so, right now.

Beside bloody business as usual, billions of dollars often go missing from the Pentagon cash register without any explanation whatsoever, and in 2001, Donald Rumsfeld even admitted that $2.3 trillion had disappeared, which he blamed on sloppy accounting. So it’s not thievery or corruption, but merely inept arithmetic. Tamping down this scandal, the mainstream media seemed to agree.

But perhaps we do have a math problem. We are a people who clip 25 cent coupons, drive (an SUV) a mile to save a buck, register with subtle satisfaction the missing penny from a $19.99 price tag, yet these stolen trillions leave us unfazed. One reason for this, I think, is that American corruption is not experienced directly, face to face, as it is in many other countries. Most Americans have never been browbeaten and shaken down by a corrupt cop, clerk or judge, so we can pretend that corruption doesn’t hurt us. Washington has also been waging wars without raising taxes, so it’s no skin off my back, many Americans are thinking, but our bellicose policy overseas is certainly bankrupting the homeland, even as it increases our insecurity in future blowbacks. The constant hike in our money supply, devaluing our dollars, is also a form of hidden taxation.

Another reason for our passivity in the face of widespread corruption is the state of our media, which routinely hype trivial stories while suppressing much greater outrages. Thus, the money John Edwards spent on his mistress, a million dollars provided by two private donors, was discussed for a week by television and newspaper “pundits,” but no one is concerned about the $1.5 million of tax money wasted each time Washington fires a Tomahawk missile at Libya. How many thousands have been launched so far in this three-month war? No one knows, and no one seems to care about the real flesh and bones on the receiving end of those weapons. “Bad guys” deserve to die, and so do “collateral damages.” Even as they mug us, our masters speak to us as if we’re morons. As they gobble up the entire world and everyone’s future, we get to nibble on catch phrases and slogans

Like Pavlov’s dogs, Americans have been conditioned to salivate at the sound of a home run, a Lady Gaga’s burp and the promise of hope and change comes election time, but when that fat, familiar hand reaches into our wallet, yet again, we feel nothing. We’re cool and blasé until it’s our turn to receive the pink slip, be evicted, then having to curl up in our car or on cardboard.

Interviewed by Stud Terkels, retired congressman C. Wright Patman said in 1970, “A dictatorship could spring up here over night, if this country got so bad. If another Depression came, we’d have a revolution. People wouldn’t take it any more. They have more knowledge. The big ones, they’d be looking for somebody that’d have the power to just kill people, if they didn’t agree. When John Doe begins to get up, they’d just go down and shoot him.”

I’m not sure that we have more knowledge, but with a presidency that can wage wars without congress or popular approval, and that can imprison or kill any American citizen without due process, a dictatorship is certainly here. Ditto, that Depression.

In a productive economy, corruption is less glaring because there are so many legitimate ways to enrich oneself, but in an increasingly non-productive one, such as what we have now, corruption becomes the primary means to riches. As we starve and kill each other, the mega corporations and their servants, our politicians, will continue to fatten themselves through their access to power.   

In a ghetto with no stores, only drug corners, any bling-bling dude steering a loud Hummer is viewed suspiciously (or with admiration), so in this nation of fewer and fewer factories, save those that make bombs, tanks and high-grade weapons, who are our biggest death pushers and pimps, and what should we do about them? 

Linh Dinh is the author of two books of stories, five of poems, and a just released novel, Love Like Hate. He's tracking our deteriorating socialscape through his frequently updated photo blog, State of the Union.

CommonDreams home page


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The New Thirty Years' War

The New Thirty Years’ War
The Energy Landscape Of 2041
by Michael T. Klare article link article link
June 27, 2011 | Countercurrents | TomDispatch

A 30-year war for energy preeminence? You wouldn’t wish it even on a desperate planet. But that’s where we’re headed and there’s no turning back.

From 1618 to 1648, Europe was engulfed in a series of intensely brutal conflicts known collectively as the Thirty Years’ War. It was, in part, a struggle between an imperial system of governance and the emerging nation-state. Indeed, many historians believe that the modern international system of nation-states was crystallized in the Treaty of Westphalia of 1648, which finally ended the fighting.

Think of us today as embarking on a new Thirty Years’ War. It may not result in as much bloodshed as that of the 1600s, though bloodshed there will be, but it will prove no less momentous for the future of the planet. Over the coming decades, we will be embroiled at a global level in a succeed-or-perish contest among the major forms of energy, the corporations which supply them, and the countries that run on them. The question will be: Which will dominate the world’s energy supply in the second half of the twenty-first century? The winners will determine how -- and how badly -- we live, work, and play in those not-so-distant decades, and will profit enormously as a result. The losers will be cast aside and dismembered.

Why 30 years? Because that’s how long it will take for experimental energy systems like hydrogen power, cellulosic ethanol, wave power, algae fuel, and advanced nuclear reactors to make it from the laboratory to full-scale industrial development. Some of these systems (as well, undoubtedly, as others not yet on our radar screens) will survive the winnowing process. Some will not. And there is little way to predict how it will go at this stage in the game. At the same time, the use of existing fuels like oil and coal, which spew carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, is likely to plummet, thanks both to diminished supplies and rising concerns over the growing dangers of carbon emissions.

This will be a war because the future profitability, or even survival, of many of the world’s most powerful and wealthy corporations will be at risk, and because every nation has a potentially life-or-death stake in the contest. For giant oil companies like BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Royal Dutch Shell, an eventual shift away from petroleum will have massive economic consequences. They will be forced to adopt new economic models and attempt to corner new markets, based on the production of alternative energy products, or risk collapse or absorption by more powerful competitors. In these same decades, new companies will arise, some undoubtedly coming to rival the oil giants in wealth and importance.

The fate of nations, too, will be at stake as they place their bets on competing technologies, cling to their existing energy patterns, or compete for global energy sources, markets, and reserves. Because the acquisition of adequate supplies of energy is as basic a matter of national security as can be imagined, struggles over vital resources -- oil and natural gas now, perhaps lithium or nickel (for electric-powered vehicles) in the future -- will trigger armed violence.

When these three decades are over, as with the Treaty of Westphalia, the planet is likely to have in place the foundations of a new system for organizing itself -- this time around energy needs. In the meantime, the struggle for energy resources is guaranteed to grow ever more intense for a simple reason: there is no way the existing energy system can satisfy the world’s future requirements. It must be replaced or supplemented in a major way by a renewable alternative system or, forget Westphalia, the planet will be subject to environmental disaster of a sort hard to imagine today.

The Existing Energy Lineup

To appreciate the nature of our predicament, begin with a quick look at the world’s existing energy portfolio. According to BP, the world consumed 13.2 billion tons of oil-equivalent from all sources in 2010: 33.6% from oil, 29.6% from coal, 23.8% from natural gas, 6.5% from hydroelectricity, 5.2% from nuclear energy, and a mere 1.3% percent from all renewable forms of energy. Together, fossil fuels -- oil, coal, and gas -- supplied 10.4 billion tons, or 87% of the total.

Even attempting to preserve this level of energy output in 30 years’ time, using the same proportion of fuels, would be a near-hopeless feat. Achieving a 40% increase in energy output, as most analysts believe will be needed to satisfy the existing requirements of older industrial powers and rising demand in China and other rapidly developing nations, is simply impossible.

Two barriers stand in the way of preserving the existing energy profile: eventual oil scarcity and global climate change. Most energy analysts expect conventional oil output -- that is, liquid oil derived from fields on land and in shallow coastal waters -- to reach a production peak in the next few years and then begin an irreversible decline. Some additional fuel will be provided in the form of “unconventional” oil -- that is, liquids derived from the costly, hazardous, and ecologically unsafe extraction processes involved in producing tar sands, shale oil, and deep-offshore oil -- but this will only postpone the contraction in petroleum availability, not avert it. By 2041, oil will be far less abundant than it is today and so incapable of meeting anywhere near 33.6% of the world’s (much expanded) energy needs.

Meanwhile, the accelerating pace of climate change will produce ever more damage -- intense storm activity, rising sea levels, prolonged droughts, lethal heat waves, massive forest fires, and so on -- finally forcing reluctant politicians to take remedial action. This will undoubtedly include an imposition of curbs on the release via fossil fuels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, whether in the form of carbon taxes, cap-and-trade plans, emissions limits, or other restrictive systems as yet not imagined. By 2041, these increasingly restrictive curbs will help ensure that fossil fuels will not be supplying anywhere near 87% of world energy.

The Leading Contenders

If oil and coal are destined to fall from their position as the world’s paramount source of energy, what will replace them? Here are some of the leading contenders.

Natural gas: Many energy experts and political leaders view natural gas as a “transitional” fossil fuel because it releases less carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases than oil and coal. In addition, global supplies of natural gas are far greater than previously believed, thanks to new technologies -- notably horizontal drilling and the controversial procedure of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) -- that allow for the exploitation of shale gas reserves once considered inaccessible. For example, in 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) predicted that, by 2035, gas would far outpace coal as a source of American energy, though oil would still outpace them both. Some now speak of a “natural gas revolution” that will see it overtake oil as the world’s number one fuel, at least for a time. But fracking poses a threat to the safety of drinking water and so may arouse widespread opposition, while the economics of shale gas may, in the end, prove less attractive than currently assumed. In fact, many experts now believe that the prospects for shale gas have been oversold, and that stepped-up investment will result in ever-diminishing returns.

Nuclear power: Prior to the March 11th earthquake/tsunami disaster and a series of core meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex in Japan, many analysts were speaking of a nuclear "renaissance," which would see the construction of hundreds of new nuclear reactors over the next few decades. Although some of these plants in China and elsewhere are likely to be built, plans for others -- in Italy and Switzerland, for example -- already appear to have been scrapped. Despite repeated assurances that U.S. reactors are completely safe, evidence is regularly emerging of safety risks at many of these facilities. Given rising public concern over the risk of catastrophic accident, it is unlikely that nuclear power will be one of the big winners in 2041.

However, nuclear enthusiasts (including President Obama) are championing the manufacture of small “modular” reactors that, according to their boosters, could be built for far less than current ones and would produce significantly lower levels of radioactive waste. Although the technology for, and safety of, such “assembly-line” reactors has yet to be demonstrated, advocates claim that they would provide an attractive alternative to both large conventional reactors with their piles of nuclear waste and coal-fired power plants that emit so much carbon dioxide.

Wind and solar: Make no mistake, the world will rely on wind and solar power for a greater proportion of its energy 30 years from now. According to the International Energy Agency, those energy sources will go from approximately 1% of total world energy consumption in 2008 to a projected 4% in 2035. But given the crisis at hand and the hopes that exist for wind and solar, this would prove small potatoes indeed. For these two alternative energy sources to claim a significantly larger share of the energy pie, as so many climate-change activists desire, real breakthroughs will be necessary, including major improvements in the design of wind turbines and solar collectors, improved energy storage (so that power collected during sunny or windy periods can be better used at night or in calm weather), and a far more efficient and expansive electrical grid (so that energy from areas favored by sun and wind can be effectively distributed elsewhere). China, Germany, and Spain have been making the sorts of investments in wind and solar energy that might give them an advantage in the new Thirty Years’ War -- but only if the technological breakthroughs actually come.

Biofuels and algae: Many experts see a promising future for biofuels, especially as “first generation” ethanol, based largely on the fermentation of corn and sugar cane, is replaced by second- and third-generation fuels derived from plant cellulose (“cellulosic ethanol”) and bio-engineered algae. Aside from the fact that the fermentation process requires heat (and so consumes energy even while releasing it), many policymakers object to the use of food crops to supply raw materials for a motor fuel at a time of rising food prices. However, several promising technologies to produce ethanol by chemical means from the cellulose in non-food crops are now being tested, and one or more of these techniques may well survive the transition to full-scale commercial production. At the same time, a number of companies, including ExxonMobil, are exploring the development of new breeds of algae that reproduce swiftly and can be converted into biofuels. (The U.S. Department of Defense is also investing in some of these experimental methods with an eye toward transforming the American military, a great fossil-fuel guzzler, into a far “greener” outfit.) Again, however, it is too early to know which (if any) biofuel endeavors will pan out.

Hydrogen: A decade ago, many experts were talking about hydrogen’s immense promise as a source of energy. Hydrogen is abundant in many natural substances (including water and natural gas) and produces no carbon emissions when consumed. However, it does not exist by itself in the natural world and so must be extracted from other substances -- a process that requires significant amounts of energy in its own right, and so is not, as yet, particularly efficient. Methods for transporting, storing, and consuming hydrogen on a large scale have also proved harder to develop than once imagined. Considerable research is being devoted to each of these problems, and breakthroughs certainly could occur in the decades to come. At present, however, it appears unlikely that hydrogen will prove a major source of energy in 2041.

X the Unknown: Many other sources of energy are being tested by scientists and engineers at universities and corporate laboratories worldwide. Some are even being evaluated on a larger scale in pilot projects of various sorts. Among the most promising of these are geothermal energy, wave energy, and tidal energy. Each taps into immense natural forces and so, if the necessary breakthroughs were to occur, would have the advantage of being infinitely exploitable, with little risk of producing greenhouse gases. However, with the exception of geothermal, the necessary technologies are still at an early stage of development. How long it may take to harvest them is anybody’s guess. Geothermal energy does show considerable promise, but has run into problems, given the need to tap it by drilling deep into the earth, in some cases triggering small earthquakes.

From time to time, I hear of even less familiar prospects for energy production that possess at least some hint of promise. At present, none appears likely to play a significant role in 2041, but no one should underestimate humanity’s technological and innovative powers. As with all history, surprise can play a major role in energy history, too.

Energy efficiency: Given the lack of an obvious winner among competing transitional or alternative energy sources, one crucial approach to energy consumption in 2041 will surely be efficiency at levels unimaginable today: the ability to achieve maximum economic output for minimum energy input. The lead players three decades from now may be the countries and corporations that have mastered the art of producing the most with the least. Innovations in transportation, building and product design, heating and cooling, and production techniques will all play a role in creating an energy-efficient world.

When the War Is Over

Thirty years from now, for better or worse, the world will be a far different place: hotter, stormier, and with less land (given the loss of shoreline and low-lying areas to rising sea levels). Strict limitations on carbon emissions will certainly be universally enforced and the consumption of fossil fuels, except under controlled circumstances, actively discouraged. Oil will still be available to those who can afford it, but will no longer be the world’s paramount fuel. New powers, corporate and otherwise, in new combinations will have risen with a new energy universe. No one can know, of course, what our version of the Treaty of Westphalia will look like or who will be the winners and losers on this planet. In the intervening 30 years, however, that much violence and suffering will have ensued goes without question. Nor can anyone say today which of the contending forms of energy will prove dominant in 2041 and beyond.

Were I to wager a guess, I might place my bet on energy systems that were decentralized, easy to make and install, and required relatively modest levels of up-front investment. For an analogy, think of the laptop computer of 2011 versus the giant mainframes of the 1960s and 1970s. The closer that an energy supplier gets to the laptop model (or so I suspect), the more success will follow.

From this perspective, giant nuclear reactors and coal-fired plants are, in the long run, less likely to thrive, except in places like China where authoritarian governments still call the shots. Far more promising, once the necessary breakthroughs come, will be renewable sources of energy and advanced biofuels that can be produced on a smaller scale with less up-front investment, and so possibly incorporated into daily life even at a community or neighborhood level.

Whichever countries move most swiftly to embrace these or similar energy possibilities will be the likeliest to emerge in 2041 with vibrant economies -- and given the state of the planet, if luck holds, just in the nick of time.

Copyright 2011 Michael T. Klare

Michael T. Klare is a professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College, a TomDispatch regular, and the author, most recently, of Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet. A documentary movie version of his previous book, Blood and Oil, is available from the Media Education Foundation.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Greatest Criminals Ever Seen?

Now, as Money Power erodes and the ability to promote fear-based dominant social themes declines, we can see the strategy for what it was. As the tide runs out, we can view the ruins. We think we can see how it occurred. Such speculations, unfortunately, are discouraging and ultimately horrifying. Were the Western powers-that-be actually BEHIND the savagery of the Soviet Union and of Hitler's Germany and finally China with its genocidal Great Leap Forward? Did they plan to CREATE the world wars of the 20th century in order to trigger global governance from the chaos?

Greatest Criminals Ever Seen?
by Staff Report article link
June 27, 2011 | The Daily Bell
Interconnectedness Dooms Nations and Their Arbitrary Borders ... Nations are understood to be free to do what they perceive they must to defend "interests." The present orders – erroneously called the international "system" – are designed to defend and, if possible, maximize the interests of the system's fractured collection of parts. Systems – biological or social – that lack effective feedback loops do not survive. Slow adaptors fail in any evolutionary and competitive environment. This is also the case with world orders. – Epoch Times

Dominant Social Theme: The unwinding of nation-states is inevitable and modern history proves why.

Free-Market Analysis: The Epoch Times is a publication of the Chinese, anti-communist movement called Falun Gong. It recently carried an article entitled "Interconnectedness Dooms Nations and Their Arbitrary Borders" that we want to examine today. The article is notable for its boldness and forthright statements about a "new world order."

We've noticed the Western elites seemingly behind the conspiracy of one world government are starting to use a blunter rhetoric; this article is evidence of this trend. It endorses concepts long ridiculed as "conspiracy theory."

Bo Ekman, founder and chairman of the Tällberg Foundation, wrote the article. It apparently first appeared in a post at the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization on May 31. In further tracing the provenance after writing our analysis, we saw the article was picked up and posted elsewhere as well, not just as Epoch Times. It seems to have achieved some popularity, though Tällberg is a somewhat mysterious entity – to us, anyway. A fairly elaborate website makes clear the Foundation is devoted to globalism.

The Tällberg website is well put together and appears to have significant support. Ekman himself exudes confidence in this article. He seems certain of where the world is headed and sees a one world order as almost pre-determined. Opponents of such, he notes, do not fully account for the inter-connectedness of the modern world.

The present world-order embodied by the patchwork of the UN, the IMF, the WTO, the EU, NATO, the ASEAN, the G20, OPEC and many more is based on the principles of national sovereignty, non-intervention and mind your own business. Globalization, however, evolves by dissolving state barriers, in effect a process of denationalization.

His larger point is that the current system of nation states is not a stable one. He compares it to Newton's mechanistic worldview and explains that the Newtonian world-as-a-clockwork model is behind the West's assumption that the futures of nation states are calculable and predictable. He believes this scientific model still influences people's ideas about politics.

Ekman then rehearses the mainstream historical narrative of how we came to this place in time. He makes the point that as the certainties about the divine rights of kings subsided, the concept of the nation state itself as a kind of divinity emerged. This new perspective supported the evolving Age of Enlightenment with its emphasis on the perfectibility of societies designed by scientific and technological experts.

He runs quickly through the next hundred years, mentioning Napoleon, the Napoleonic Wars and the post-Napoleonic world created by the Vienna Congress and how that world order came to its end with World War I and 20 million deaths. This was followed by the "naivety" of the 1919 peace treaties negotiated in Paris, which eventually crushed "U.S. President Woodrow Wilson's dreams about a world built on the principles of nations' democratic self determination."

Instead of Wilson's dream, the world got renewed war, an outcome of cruel "European egotism, rising fascism and American isolationism." Nonetheless, with war a reality, "U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt gathered trusted members of his administration within a week after the December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor attack. He asked them to start thinking how to organize the peace after victory."

Roosevelt's foresight led to a brand new economic system that emerged from the Bretton Woods conference, Yalta and Potsdam, etc. The signing of the UN Charter in San Francisco in 1945 was another element of what Ekman himself calls the "new world order." He then mentions the Nuremberg trials, which "set standards for crimes against humanity."

He sees the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed December 10, 1948, as a fundament of globalism, introducing a "common value base for human behavior." Slowly, he writes, governance started to adapt to the rapidly increasing interdependence and ever-deepening complexity of human affairs.

The rest of the narrative is aimed at describing the fall of the West – and of the nationalist model. "Fast, massive technological transformation and a shifting center of gravity ended the certitude of Western dominance." The economic crisis of 2008, coming on the heels of this trend, reveals the outline of this brave, new world while highlighting the failures of the old.

There is much insecurity in the world today, he points out. There is doubt about whether natural resources will feed consumption; investments seem uncertain; the security of a population soon to number more than nine billion is surely at risk. It is imperative that old ways of thinking must give way to a sense of interconnectedness and flexibility. Here is his conclusion:

The present order is bound to fail, as predictably as its predecessors failed. The deficits fuel the dynamics of the bottom-up revolutions of the Mid-East and Northern Africa. Stagnation proved not to equal stability. A long period of harsh adjustments is in store for Europe, the Arab world and the U.S. The breaking of a system will be followed by the codification of the new.

The next will follow on the "breaking of nations," to borrow a term from EU diplomat Robert Cooper. Required for a new order is a practical platform for providing fundamental social and physical needs of people— empathetic solidarity, freedom, justice, equality, security, and respect, eternal parts of the human spirit and nature. The platform would secure sustainability, defining duties and rights in securing ecosystems and creating a global order to deal with interconnected systems and interdependent global issues.

In the last and main purpose lies limitless hope. In preparing for a new world order, we must ignore warnings about the end of the world and instead imagine 9 billion well-educated, creative cooperating humans. That is a promise of hope, not threat. We need leadership of the whole, not of fragmented interests. Fellowship must be based on the wisdom of the interest of the commons.

It is an alarming article to us because it seems to establish a new historical narrative, one we have never seen before that justifies the immanence of world government. In fact, from our perspective, it's a little like reading a condensed version of Animal Farm with a Newtonian overlay.

The irony of the situation is that the actual solution for humankind is exactly opposite to the one that Ekman proposes. The hope for humanity is to return to small, disconnected environments competing with one another. History shows us that such a paradigm provided the best and happiest sanctuaries, where culture and technology flourished. If an environment became too oppressive, people could move elsewhere, often nearby, without disrupting their families and lifestyle.

We can see this playing out historically. Always, the basis for what modern history sees as "great" civilizations were smaller, individual ones: the Seven Hills of Rome; the Greek city states; the city states of the Italian Renaissance; the 13 states of America, etc. In each case, mainstream history confuses (purposefully?) the results with the cause. The initial greatness was not empire but the separateness that PRECEEDED empire.

Why does Ekman, then, believe that a single world government would prove benevolent and hopeful? Why does he, a grown man with an understanding of life and how people interact, believe that a "new world order" would be anything but an invitation to the bloodiest genocide the world has ever seen?

Ekman is purveying a dominant social theme in our view, one that contains its own faux-reality. Ekman will express it no matter what. In fact, the people he so admires apparently seek a kind of genocide, though in some cases they call it population control. In any event, the current Anglosphere elites have made it clear that they want massive population reduction.

One of the results of a new world order might be the ability to put this final solution into practice. The public rhetoric is one of benevolence and concern; the private rhetoric involves methodologies of clinical extermination. 

Human history is relatively old. Tribal and clan formulations were stable enough to last for thousands of years. What Ekman casts as the inevitable unwinding of the system of nation states is an artificial phenomenon, a promotion, where certain results are made to look inevitable.

He pays special attention to the 20th century because it was in this century that the current elite conspiracy reached its height. As we have pointed out, the 20th century was the one where Money Power almost entirely had its way. The impact of the Gutenberg Press had finally been mitigated and controlled. The mainstream media was apparently entirely manipulated by Western powers-that-be.

One could conclude – and we are increasingly tempted to do so – that the 20th century was an exercise is what a DB feedbacker just recently called Directed History (a term perhaps preferable to Conspiratorial History).

The Directed History of the world in the 20th century was all about setting up the basics of global governance. This government, inevitably, would be run out of City of London with its appurtenances in Tel Aviv and Washington DC. It was to be implemented via fear-based dominant social themes.

The evidence revealed to us during the process of the Internet Reformation seems to make these patterns obvious. The Communist Revolution, as we know now from historical evidence, was partially funded by Wall Street, as was Hitler's rise to power. The Treaty of Versailles that horribly penalized Germany and arose from World War I was supposedly a "mistake," but why should we believe it?

No, these accords were likely designed to create another war – World War II. Hitler, perhaps, was created to wage it. After World War II came Bretton Woods and the architecture of the "new world order" evident for anyone to see. Along with an economic new world order came a political one. The results of Yalta and the meetings of Winston Churchill, FDR and Stalin split the Western world in two and produced the Cold War.

Churchill was shocked by how FDR yielded to Stalin. But isn't this faux-history? Churchill was an insider, too. Was it merely a case of "good guy-bad guy" on a global scale? Just as the Paris accords created World War II, so the agreements reached at Yalta created the Cold War. Austrian economist Murray Rothbard was possibly correct. The Cold War was a charade.

Perhaps it was all a charade. The fall of democratic China and Mao's long march to communist power. Was this too in some sense accommodated by Western elites? This is in keeping with the way Money Power likes to work: thesis, antithesis ... synthesis. 

The USSR was the antithesis of the "free" United States, and now with the fall of the USSR, we are in the synthesis stage where the US is absorbing a good many of the authoritarian traits of the former Soviet Union. Exactly the same sort of occurrences have taken place in China which has on the surface become more "free market" though how much of this really credible is anybody's guess.

If things go according to the evident plan, soon there may be little difference between the Chinese, Soviet and American systems. Every aspect was predicted by George Orwell, the elites' brilliant and peculiar amanuensis.

What do we make of this? Here's one conclusion, assuming the above version of Directed History is accurate: The impossibly wealthy banking families of the Western world, along with their corporate, military and religious apologists and enablers, are perhaps the greatest criminals ever known. They participated in a century of looting, bloodletting and war with the justification that they were building something better ... 

Now, as Money Power erodes and the ability to promote fear-based dominant social themes declines, we can see the strategy for what it was. As the tide runs out, we can view the ruins. We think we can see how it occurred. Such speculations, unfortunately, are discouraging and ultimately horrifying. Were the Western powers-that-be actually BEHIND the savagery of the Soviet Union and of Hitler's Germany and finally China with its genocidal Great Leap Forward? Did they plan to CREATE the world wars of the 20th century in order to trigger global governance from the chaos?

Certainly, as regards such worldwide governance, the Anglosphere elites set up the necessary systems at Bretton Woods and in Turtle Bay. This much (and more) is incontrovertible. And now, again, in the 21st century the powers-that-be are apparently – deliberately – creating chaos around the world to usher in its formalities via CIA sponsored youth movements and "color" revolutions – see AYM.

Why believe any mainstream meme? What is shocking as REAL history gradually reveals itself via what we have taken to calling the Internet Reformation, is the seeming utter ruthlessness of the modern conspiracy when it comes to establishing the building blocks of their globalist enterprise.

In possibly supporting the Soviet Union, Hitler's Germany, Chinese Communism, two World Wars and the Cold War, Money Power was responsible – if we agree with the seeming truth-telling of the Internet – collectively, for the murders, displacements and impoverishment of hundreds of millions.

Conclusion: Here, then, is another fundamental question: If the elites do manage to achieve a new world order, do we have any illusions that there will not be bloodletting that will make the 20th century look moderate? Or that their paid apologists will not seek to justify it and even rewrite history to make it seem palatable and necessary? 

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Christ Is Our Collective Right Of Existence


Friday, June 24, 2011

A Way To Be Free

A Way To Be Free
by Robert LeFevre article link article link
April 10, 2011 | LewRockwell | The Center For Self Rule

The following is an excerpt from the Epilogue of Robert LeFevre‘s autobiography A Way To Be Free which was written towards the end of his life.  It is his personal reflections on the cause of liberty after a lifetime in pursuit.

What have I learned as a result of my experiences?

I have learned that man-made government is man’s great enemy.  Further, my own experiences with the Freedom School, and then with Rampart College demonstrates that a man-made government is not necessary.  There, in those beautiful foothills of the Rampart Range in Colorado, we lived without government “protection” and “services” to the degree possible at this time.  “Degree possible” denotes my own limited ability to create conditions outside and separated from government at any and all levels.  Doubtless, others will come along having more ability who will be able to move further in this direction than I can.

The new frontier, waiting to be conquered by man isn’t a continent, or even the vast reaches of space.  Were a new location to be found – were it possible to achieve colonization of some planet other than Earth – a flight to take up residence would be an escape, a way of temporizing with the real frontier.

Today’s frontier challenge comes from the mind.

It is absurd to suppose that all will see this, or prepare to cope with it.  Nor is it necessary.  No frontier has ever demanded that everyone cross the barriers.  Nor has there ever been a guarantee that those who do cross it will find paradise.  Indeed, there is no guarantee whatever.  Doubtless many wrong avenues will be followed.  Predictably, some persons will fail and even die in making the attempt.

But the future of our species beckons in that direction.  Human beings are going to have to learn to live in a society that is not ruled by man-made government.  This was not always true, but it is true now.  Relocating with the same philosophic baggage in tow will produce the same errors we are struggling with now.

At this juncture, the argument of the unthinking invariably surfaces.  “Every human being is capable of performing evil deeds,” it will be said. And this is true.

“We cannot afford the evil that human beings are capable of inflicting on their fellows.” This is also true.

“It follows, therefore,” say my opponents, “That we must have a government capable of restraining those who would perform these evil deeds.”

Then in a burst of generous condescension, my adversaries exclaim:  “You would probably be correct, LeFevre, if men would somehow behave themselves properly.  But they don’t.  Clearly, if men were good, government could be abandoned.  But human nature won’t change.  And, therefore, we must have a government to impose by force upon all, so that those evil doers are captured and punished, either on a local scale or world-wide.”

I believe I have stated the position of my adversaries fairly.  There is invariably the same oversight.  If we have a government, it will be human beings who will be hired to restrain the evil in others.  Who are these persons who will be hired, either by popularity contests or by direct application?  They will be just as human and as much disposed toward evil as those to be restrained.

If people are capable of committing evil deeds, then the people occupying the offices of government will be cut from the same cloth.  They are evildoers, too.  There is not a single shred of evidence that they will be otherwise.

If men are capable of committing evil actions, granting them power over others makes evil actions certain.  But there is a difference.  When men in government commit an evil act, they are legally shielded from the consequence of the act.  If ordinary people, endowed with neither rights nor powers over our fellows, began to behave on a daily basis the way the people in government behave, then the world would be in flames.  We would have a reign of terror in which ordinary people went from house to house, took what they wanted, and proclaimed that their “need” justified their performance.

As a matter of fact, that is what we are beginning to experience, and we call it “terrorism.”  But all that is happening is that small groups of persons – noting what governments have done since they were devised – have set themselves up to emulate their political masters.

The frontier of the mind is a frontier that decries terrorism from all persons, not merely from those without legal protection for the violence they inflict.

If a band of armed men with the latest devices for mass murder raid an opposing country, we wait to learn who sent them.  If they are the minions of some state, we applaud their bravery.  If they are acting independently of government, we call them terrorists.

But if we care to be honest, it is the nature of an act that makes it one of terror, not the name of the sponsor.

There was a time in man’s history when such actions may have been necessary and even fruitful.  When man lived in a state of barbarism, governments were the barbaric answer to every problem.  Kill or be killed, was the rule.

This was at a time when the best techniques for murder centered on the athlete.  They benefited the man strong enough to wield a sword and skillful enough to shoot an arrow, or even a bullet.  The people who risked life and limb in these contests was limited by the size of the armies of the respective combatants.

That age has passed.  Our technologies have marched in the direction of peace, while our politicians continue to gird for war.  Now we have the equivalent of death rays (the laser) and an explosive potential so vast that we talk calmly of wiping out a hundred or more cities at a time.

Our athletes today train for football, basketball, and other spectator sports.  And mean little men cower in bunkers far underground, pushing buttons.  The same motivation grips them that mastered Genghis Khan or Torquemada.

“We are the ‘good guys’!” they proclaim.  “Those other guys are ‘bad’.  For the triumph of ‘good’ we must kill them or they will surely kill us!”

Or, they say:  “We must teach them our catechism so they see the world and Creation as we do.  Since our way is good and all others evil, we are doing ‘good’ if we inflict our wills upon them before they inflict their wills upon us.”

Then a further and presumably conclusive argument is offered.  “We know that those other guys are bad because of what they have done.  We are merely evening the score!”

Will the government that has never cast a stone please stand up to be identified?

I have spent my life as a crusader. I love my country, which love begot my efforts when I saw what I took to be an alien philosophy encroaching on the concepts set forth in the Declaration of Independence.  I am still enlisted in that crusade.

But as I labored to restore the dream of freedom and independence of our ancestors, I realized that the American government in its actions, was much an enemy of freedom and independence as any other government on earth.

In the name of freedom, it enslaved us and made us dependent upon it.  In the name of protection, it committed such actions of intervention and violence throughout the world that other people see it as a danger of vast proportions, thus increasing the risk we all face.  To cloak its behavior in benign garb, it performed various acts of alleged generosity; it used the money it had wrested from the toiling, perspiring workers by force.  It punished success and rewarded failure.

There is something else I learned as well. Freedom cannot be imposed; it must be earned.  It will not arrive with the blare of trumpets and the sound of marching boots.  I cannot make you free, much as we both might approve.

Real freedom will come quietly when the idea of liberty so dominates the informed mind that the individual blessed with those thoughts begins to act in accordance with the principles of “live and let live.”

The merit of human existence is found in human variation, not in cloning.  The thrill of achievement comes because an individual learns to excel, not because he blanks out his individuality and makes himself part and party of the group.

This means that, in a total sense, we will never have a free society.  We will, instead, have free individuals who strive within a culture where non-freedom continues to lurk.  It is our own nature, as human beings, which we must conquer, not the nature of others. The job must be performed one by one.

Why do I see a free society in a total sense as an impossibility?  Because we were not all born at the same moment and will not all live in the same way with the same values.  Some of us are younger and some older than others.  Some of us have had more experience.  We are not all endowed with equal potential for wisdom or restraint.

Freedom is not a goal that can be achieved; it is the necessary means to all other goals.

In the final analysis, all governments consist of human beings.  We have nothing but people with which to work.  To imagine the human beings calling themselves “government” are endowed with the ability to achieve goals which persons outside of government could not achieve, is to ascribe mystical or divine powers to government.

Where is the evidence to sustain such a conclusion?

I am told that government is necessary for us to have highways and roads.

Governments do not build roads using equipment, natural resources, and manufactured products.  Government does not provide any of these things.

I am told that government provides the money with which to pay for the people and the equipment and the products used.

But the government has no money of its own.  All that it has it wrests from those who earn money by productive effort.  If this were not true, government would immediately halt all taxation.  If government halted all taxation, then it would cease to exist.

In short, people provide roads.  In the interest of justice and fair play, those who use the roads should pay for them and those who do not use the roads should not be required to pay for them.

I am told that we must have government in order to adjudicate disputes.

Government does not adjudicate anything.  People do all the adjudicating that is done.

There are only four possible outcomes of every dispute.  You win; you lose; you compromise; or, you keep disputing.  There are no other possibilities.  It does not require a black robe or a high bench to discern the reality of disputes or their settlement.

Disputes will have to be adjudicated.  Government is not needed – people are.  A judgment is as good as the wisdom within it.  The black robe cloaks the lack of wisdom.

I am told we must have government in order to protect society.  I marvel at the “protection” government provides.  There is hardly a spot on earth that hasn’t been torn up and damaged by war – a government exclusive – or by roving bands of terrorists who make their own private wars as they emulate governments, or seek to set up one of their own.

I do not see government protection.  Each government treats certain other governments with favoritism, thereby awakening the cupidity of some and the envy of others.  Government converts the world into an armed camp, in which human beings stand guard so that other human beings won’t attack.  But the only reason for wanting to attack is the existence of the other government in the first place.

When war comes, people are drafted and shot at in order to protect the government that created the tensions that led to the war.

Government cannot even protect its own politicians.

Two recent Presidents escaped assassination attempts, not because they were well protected, but because their assailants were inept.

The last time a President was assassinated, it occurred in broad daylight on a busy street in front of crowds of people.  The government investigation created a continuing dispute as to how many people tried to kill President Kennedy, which one did kill him, and why.

Meanwhile, a man was arrested and accused of the crime.  While the alleged villain was in a police building, surrounded by government protection, he was gunned down in front of a national television audience.  We call this protection?

A policeman is only an armed guard.  An armed guard is as effective as his skills make possible; whether he was hired by the government or not has little to do with those skills.

In short, whatever protection is possible can be and has been provided by people.  Government has merely provided a mystique.  It suggests that by granting a group of persons a license to steal, beat up, and murder others, society will be protected.

The final argument is that if the laws are stern enough – if the police are granted total power, are armed, and stationed at frequent intervals on the street – then crime will cease.  Particularly if the courts back up the police in their accusations.

Were such a procedure to be followed, freedom would cease and every urban center would be no more than a prison.  But even this would not stop crime.  In support of that last conclusion, might I suggest that an examination of the incidence of crime occurring inside prisons be undertaken.  There, in a confined area, with armed guards in sight of everyone, we have one of the largest and most persistent recurrences of every crime known to man.

I could go on with one illustration after another; but cataloging governmental failures is not necessary.  The reality we confront as a result of human nature stands starkly before us all.

There are three points that must be looked at now.  Each stands in the way of our maximizing human well being.  They may even stand in the way of human survival.

One is human gullibility.  What we want is a world in which crime never appears.  That is impossible to achieve as a totally free society.  It will never occur.  A few moments’ serious reflection should show that there would always be someone who is angry, maladjusted, emotionally upset, or sadistic.  Some of those persons will, at the same time, be cunning and clever.  Crimes will occur.

But we are gullible.  When a politician announces that he will achieve what we want if we grant him more power, we grant him that power.  He will not achieve it, because such an achievement is contrary to the reality with which we must deal.

But our gullibility, our belief in centralized power, now administers the coup de gras to our reason.  If we shift the problem to the shoulders of government, then we can shift responsibility.  And that is what we want.  We can put the problem out of our minds.  When a crime occurs, it is now the other fellows’ fault.  So we authorize the government to commit crimes which, were we to do them, we would be criminals ourselves.  So we change the meaning of words.  A crime committed against a criminal is no longer a crime.

The second point we must consider has an equally fallacious base.  It is the assumption that, to improve human well being, we must all act together.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

First of all, we will never all act together.  That is contrary to human nature.  If human history tells us anything, it tells us that human beings do not agree.  There are a half dozen major religions in the world and at least half a hundred interpretations of those religions.

There are scores of philosophies and thousands of explanations of practically everything.

Human beings do not yet universally agree that there is a right or a wrong, that two and two add up to four, that the world is round, or that human beings cannot fly.

I have met thousands of human beings.  I have never yet met a man totally capable of handling his own affairs.  We all make mistakes.  Our species falls far short of the perfection of which we like to dream.

But I have reached one conclusion that has to stand.  While no human being can manage his own affairs perfectly, he will handle the affairs of others with less effectiveness than he handles his own.  Most believe the contrary, demonstrating that we believe according to our fantasies, not according to reality.

And now a third point.

Like children, we want to “even the score.”  We want vengeance and retaliation.  We want restitution from, and punishment inflicted upon the wrong doer.

That is the glowing ember of hate that keeps governments alive.

To achieve vengeance, retaliation, to command restitution, and to punish others demands the ability to injure human beings.

My opponents at this point can be heard on every hand.  “Why don’t you think he deserves to be injured?  Look at what he did?”

I carry no brief in favor of the criminal.  That is why I carry no brief in defense of those in government.  Setting a thief to catch a thief doubles the amount of loot stolen.

“But look at all the evil deeds that have been committed!” I am urged; “Do you want those villains to ‘get away with it?’”

My answer is:  “They already got away with it or they would not be criminals.”

Nor am I comforted by those who say to me:  “you’re right, LeFevre.  And government is wrong.  So we will set up private agencies of retaliation and restitution (which will be called ‘protection companies’.)  Then, when we go after the criminals and force them to repay or we will imprison or kill them, we will be doing ‘good’ since people will voluntarily pay for our services.  Taxation can be dispensed with.”

Any agency that carries out the public will to commit violent acts upon other human beings – whether authorized by legal federal or by sponsors putting up the funds – is, by its actions, a form of government.

Government is nothing more than a group of people who sell vengeance and retribution to the inhabitants of a limited geographic area at prices made  possible by force (either monopolistic or competitive) and charge by those who carry the guns.

So the cry continues:  “Let us even the score.  Then, we can have peace.”

Let us see about, “evening the score.”

The United States was, to a large degree, wrested from the prior inhabitants by force, trickery, or both.  To “even the score,” this land must be returned to its former owners.

I do not condone what happened and I cannot deny it.  But the fact is that those persons performing the trickery and imposing the force are all dead.  The wrongs perpetrated cannot be made right.  Many of us who live here now are the descendants of some of those persons.  Many others are not.  But long before the first European settlement appeared on these shores, those holding the terrain stole the same resources from each other.

If we are to be fair and honest, the effort to “even the score” must go beyond returning the land.  Those of us here have produced nearly everything we have from this same land.  Since the land must be restored, if follows that all that has been gained through it must also be returned to the original owners.

That would mean that every non-Indian in America must be pauperized.  Sure, you would not want to see the thief gain at the expense of those he has wronged?

Such a procedure is clearly absurd.  We don’t know precisely who was wronged, or how much and how many have gained thereby.  What is done is done, however wrongly.

Consider some of our more current exploits.  Consider the bombs we have dropped in Europe, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.  That has to be made right, too.  Whatever was taken must be restored.

It is impossible.

How about the state of Israel?  It was wrested from the Palestinians with the concurrence of certain modern governments including our own.  Why?  The claim was that it had originally been the land of the Israeli.  True enough.  After they had wrested it from the Canaanites.  And before that?  The Canaanites were taking it from each other.

The human race, through its various governments, is facing its past and endeavoring to make the past less bloody than it has been.  To do so, we must shed more blood.  Our present is filled with gore and our future has become aproblematical.

The amount of human life and treasure expended on taking care of the past is destroying the present and putting the human future into eclipse.  All in the name of “getting even.”

Goethe was never more wise than when he said:  “Let the dead past bury its dead.”

When I recite these facts to those who listen, many respond:  “You may be right, LeFevre.  Peace is better than war.  As soon as I got my vengeance, my restitution, whatever is coming to me or mine, we can stop.”

On that basis, governments will never stop.  Their furnaces are fired by human hatred and the lust from vengeance – the desire to “get even.”  This is the human malady.  It is the father of terrorism and the mother of the modern state.

War is the luxury of barbarism, a luxury that civilized life cannot afford.  It comes down to you and me in a very personal way.  Have you ever been wronged?  I have.  Indeed, if you have managed to absorb much of the foregoing, you have the story of some of the times I have experienced injury at the hands of others.

I am told constantly that the desire for vengeance is an unavoidable characteristic of our kind.  It has become a characteristic, but it is not inevitable.  Infants are not born with a thirst for vengeance.  They learn it.  Let them be taught something else.

The truth – and I have tried to tell it – is that I, too, have wronged others.  I haven’t intended to.  Nonetheless, it has happened.

If we care to be honest, few of us can claim no wrongdoing.  Presuming, of course, that we have matured enough to attend school.

I find that I am ignorant in many ways.  But I do have some competence.  I have the ability to develop skills and to earn a living.  I am capable of earning enough so that my family and I can eat with some regularity.

I have not done this perfectly, as a reading of my story demonstrates.  But I have been skillful enough to feed myself and my loved ones fairly well.

There is no way that I have the ability or skills to feed society.  I’m not that effective.  Neither are you.

Further, I have been able to earn enough to clothe myself and my loved ones (not always as we might have wished), but I’ve done a fair job, despite my mistakes.

But, I’ll tell you what I can’t do.  I haven’t the skills or abilities to clothe society.  Neither do you.  You may be able to do a better job than I’ve done.  It may be that some of you have fallen short, in which case my compassion goes to you.

But you can’t clothe society, either.

And the same can be said of housing.  Like me, you can do a fair job.  Sometimes you may find shelter in a hovel, a cave, or under a bench.  And possibly you’ve done well enough to live in a mansion with every comfort and convenience.  But there is no way that anyone can house society to its satisfaction.

The same is true of protection.  Efforts to food, clothe, house, and protect society are exercises in futility.  And when government is called upon to do those things, government can’t do it either.  What it does is wage financial war upon the productive and pass inadequate funds over to those less productive (for whatever reason), while keeping the lion’s share to “administer” the “program.”

The net result is injury to the poor by helping to create gullibility, dependency, and injury to those less poor by making them more poor.

Is the human situation hopeless?  Yes, it is, if we continue to depend on government.  But that is something we don’t have to do.

For example, there is one crime I can absolutely prevent from occurring.  My own.

I cannot prevent you from committing a crime, if you make up your mind to do it.  The government cannot prevent it, either.  But I can see to it that I don’t commit a wrongful act.

I might add that this is not an easy task.  I am as prone to anger as any.  I cry out against inflicted pain and injustice.  I know and understand the emotion that can engulf anyone and make him yearn to inflict an injury on another person.

Also, if I have injured another inadvertently, I can come forward and try to make things right.  It isn’t easy.  But it can be done.

Sooner or later, we must reach the conclusion that government is obsolescent, if not already obsolete.  Will everyone agree?  Of course not.  You cannot control what others may think, and neither can I.

But you can make a beginning.  You can decide to support yourself and to provide your own food, clothing, and shelter.  Yes, even to provide your own protection, as a result of your own efforts.  You cannot do it perfectly because you and I are not perfect.  But you can be effective to a large degree.

Some will do a better job than anything I could possibly achieve.  Some may not do as well.  But you’ll do a better job of it when you believe in yourself than when you become dependent on politicians and expect them to do it for you.

How can one individual assist in maximizing human well being by advancing the cause of liberty?  His first task is to learn his true nature.

1. Each of us has the ability to think and act as he pleases.

2. Each of us controls his own energy.  We do it wisely or foolishly, but we do it individually.  We may act on the advice or the command of others.  Or we may decide not to.  Our own energies remain under our individual command and control.

3. It follows that I cannot make you free; I can earn my own freedom by controlling myself instead of trying to control others.

4. What steps do I take when I wish to be free?

5. I free myself from dependency on others when that dependency is created or maintained by force.  Since there is no way that I can survive without the help of others, I will always be dependent to some degree.  But I can depend upon the voluntary support others provided when they willingly buy my goods or services.  If I have to compel them to buy my goods or services – either directly at the point of a gun, or indirectly through governmental avenues – then I am acting in a way that is counter-productive and anti-freedom.

6. Having recognized this point, I break off all relations with government.

* I will make no contribution to any political campaign or political party.
* I will endorse no issue and no candidate.
* I will not vote.
* I will de-register and refuse to participate in government-sponsored proceedings of any sort.
* I will not run for office, nor hold a political job even if asked.
* I will patronize those persons and firms that have the least to do with government.
* If a firm or individual is heavily subsidized by the government, I will have nothing to do with it; it is an arm of the State.
* I will not ask for government help, guidance, advice, money, or emolument of any kind.
* I will accept no government check for Social Security, welfare, injury, pension, or for any difficulty I may be in. I will solve my own problems.
* I will set  my own standards in such a way that I impose on no one.
* I will injure no one for any reason.
* I will be as generous and helpful to others as my ability makes possible.
* I will live up to every contractual agreement I voluntarily enter into.
* I will, therefore, take great care to only enter into those agreements that are worthy of fulfillment.
* I will be true to the highest and best within me, committing no act of theft, dishonesty, or violence against any other human whatsoever.

The foregoing are the rules.  How many will follow them?  Predictably, very few.  That is why human society is in such upheaval.  What I have set forth isn’t popular.

But it is factual and in harmony with the reality that is man.

The fact that I do not participate in government at any level and in any way does not cause the government to cease to exist.  Should you reason your way through the human morass and decide to emulate the non-participation procedure, government will surely continue.

That, in itself, should cause rejoicing.  The recommendations I have set forth provide a method that will be as gradual as the dawn of intellectual integrity.  That is as it should be.  Any other procedure will contain a reaction, a backlash that can destroy any temporary gains.

By employing the method of logic and learning, no one is coerced into accepting an unwelcome or a misunderstood objective.  He advances toward freedom and a free society exactly at the speed and to the degree that he is prepared for it.  That is the only way it can be done.  It will not be popular because we have been nurtured on the hopes of panaceas and quick political solutions.  But it is the only way that will never have to be repeated.

Today the world is sick with the greatest social disease of all.  It isn’t herpes or syphilis.  It is, in fact, a pagan faith in the State.  Around the world, terrorists are operating under the noses of various governments, often aided and abetted by those same governments.

We will move toward a free society, one by one.  We will never achieve a free society in the sense that we can finalize the process.  The price of freedom is eternal effort aimed at achieving self-control and self-mastery.  We do not achieve this by controlling others.  We move toward achievement when we learn to control and govern ourselves.  Freedom is self-control, not license to impose on others.

It has taken a lifetime to learn this.  I am grateful that I have lived.  I am even grateful that I have made mistakes, yet continued to live so that I could learn more.  Man learns by trial and error.  Few of us learn much of anything by success.

I am also grateful that some across this great country of America agree with at least some of my conclusions.  They are out there now, quietly minding their own business, improving their own performance, raising their own standards, and willfully imposing on none.

At the moment, man knows too much and understands too little of what he knows.  But the answer you seek for is in your self.  There is no logical “other place” for it to be.

The Center For Self Rule is an educational organization established for the purpose of advocating the philosophy of Autarchism or “belief in self rule”. Advocates of the philosophy are autarchist (from Greek, “one who believes in self rule”), while the state in which everyone rules themselves and no one else is called autarchy (from Greek αὐταρχίαautarchia, “state of self rule”). Autarchy includes but is not limited to: self-rule, self-ownership, self-government, self-sustenance, self-control, self-mastery, self-reliance, self-defense, rational self-interest, self-improvement, self-esteem and personal responsibility.

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