THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 354, February 12, 2006
"...merry mob of mercantilist mass murderers..."
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Mr Russo forwarded this review of his new movie from the Internet Movie Database
Well, the title as it is, I saw the film America: From Freedom to Fascism tonight in Tucson, Arizona. From the moment it begins it is gripping, informative and down right scary! The viewer comes away with an understanding that as good as we might be in our day to day lives, we are all targets of a runaway government, intent on exerting it's power and expressing it's willdespite the law.
Particularly chilling is the interview with a Virginia Beach, VA family whose homes and business were raided by the IRS on mere unsubstantiated accusations; the victims of Police State authoritarians. Another interview with a former IRS Commissioner who, now a high-powered D.C. attorney, can't seem to make the connection between Supreme Court decisions on the Constitutionality of the Income Tax and how the IRS regards 'voluntary compliance' with a law he's unable to articulate. Flustered, the commissioner ends the interview abruptly and asks Russo to leave.
Russo is a bulldog as he prowls halls of government trying to get someone to just show him the Law that says a working citizen in the United States owes an Income Tax, or just to acknowledge prior Supreme Court rulings on the subject. Clips of press conferences and television interviews and news cuttings reveal obfuscation, saber rattling and threats but not one answer that clearly defines the Law, the statutes or the Tax obligations of American citizens.
Aaron Russo has created a compelling and troubling documentary that indeed gives the impression that America has already moved from Freedom to Fascism (and defines the terms so the viewer can decide for themselves).
The film is in the final stages of post-production and upon completion will be entered at Cannes in May. It is sure to make the headlines there and open more than a few eyes. This film will make an impact on the viewerIt's up to the viewer to then make an impact on the state of affairs in American government.
via Aaron Russo
Thank you for publishing the letter about Steve Kubby. I continue to be outraged by the war on some drugs, the vicious thugs who refuse to recognize individual and state sovereignty, and the entire post-Lincoln fiasco of socialism, empire, and warfare.
It seems clear to me that there are no workable political solutions. The various state initiatives on medical marijuana were good, well-meaning, and in most cases well-written laws, and I would have welcomed relief from oppression from that direction were it successful. However as the cases of Peter McWilliams and Steve Kubby clearly illustrate, the political process failednot only under the current neo-fascist Republican administration, but also, as you'll recall, under the pseudo-communist Democrat administration of Clinton. (As I recall, Peter was a victim of the Clintonistas.)
When I say that there are no political solutions that would work, I also mean to indicate that there are no legal or judicial solutions. (It may be that the supposed evidence of mescaline in Steve's case was manufactured, but as the many inmates of Texas penitentiaries now languishing in prison because of evidence manufactured by the Houston police lab, it is a long and tedious process to appeal on any groundsthe right to a speedy trial having been one of the many casualties of the wars on drugs, poverty, freedom, and various other countries.)
It should also be clear that secession and war are political solutions, and that I don't think those would work, either. That isn't to say that I would be against states seceding. I think it is time that many of the Western states consider that option, as the State of Arizona has indicated it would under certain conditions. However, it seems likely to fail as a course of action, not only because the national government would again vindictively oppose and punish such sovereignty seeking states, as they did 143 years ago, but also because the states are unlikely to be any more freedom-oriented in the emergency (the seceding Confederate states having been the first to suspend habeas corpus, impose a draft, impose income taxes, impose price controls, issue worthless fiat money, and otherwise run roughshod over individual freedom). Or, to use a rock lyric to cut to the quick, "The men who spurred us on, sit in judgement of our wrongs, they decide and the shotgun sings the song....Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."
As well as war, which is an unworkable political solution so long as the American people remain content in their illusory prosperitythe American Revolutionary War was in the final decade of a sixty year global economic depressionit seems clear that, however tempting to some the idea may be, any campaign of direct action against the sort of judges craven enough and cowardly enough to murder Steve Kubby or Peter McWilliams, or the hundreds of others in like circumstances, would also be unworkable. Mind you, a bit of selective vandalism and such might be fun, but it would only strengthen the resolve of the ruling class and cause them to make spectacular examples of a few activists. Or, in the event those in power became truly desperate, they would encourage and support actual terrorists to enter the country and do very extreme damagegoing so far as to grant visas, prevent pursuit aircraft from going supersonic, and allowing terrorists onto civilian airlinersin order to create a substantial tragic loss of life.
Again, not to put too fine a point on it, Clinton did so in 1995 and Bush in 2001, unless you prefer to believe the official cover-up versions of these events.
There remain, however, a large number of economic actions one may take which would, I think, yield both immediate and practical benefits to the individual as well as speed the demise of the overall system of oppression and control. The economic actions I would suggest people examine and pursue come under the heading of free market money. There are now several currencies competing directly with the Federal Reserveless System, including the LibertyDollar.org, e-gold.com, GoldMoney.com, Pecunix.com, 1MDC.com, and many others. These currencies in most cases offer jurisdictional arbitrage so that the data on your transactions are not necessarily stored in the USA, and the gold and silver involved are not either, in all cases.
Further, there are legitimate structures for almost anyone to use for the purpose of avoiding taxes. In most states, for as little as $25, you may form a non-profit organization to pursue any activity that is lawful for non-profit groups to pursue. Doing so allows you to avoid state sales tax, income tax, and even gain tax deductibility for gifts to the charity. As well as domestic charities, a large variety of foreign or offshore corporate, partnership, and limited liability enterprises are available for the pursuit of activities that are by their nature profit-seeking.
In the Internet age, in the global economy, it is not necessary to have property, factories, or activities exclusively within the USA, where they may be subject to taxation, regulation, and confiscation. Since the state has clearly declared war on the people, it is time that the people made their resources scarce. It is not necessary to resist violently, nor is it a good idea in most cases, but since the state has now declared itself your enemy, you should do whatever is in your power to avoid giving aid and comfort to them.
These ideas are not obvious to everyone. Many people don't understand how the dollar has become, since 1971, completely uncoupled from precious metals. Many people don't understand how to form a domestic not for profit organization, how to keep its activities within the law, or how to form offshore corporate entities for fun and profit. Free market money is an idea that Nobel economist Friedrich Hayek came up with in 1976, and nobody did anything with until 1996. In the last ten years, it has really grown rapidly, and earlier this year BusinessWeek magazine made it clear that the powers taht be are unhappy about the fact of monetary competition.
Thirty years ago, Hayek wrote that the only way to save civilization is to remove the issue power of money from government. I believe he was correct. And, to help other people see the opportunities in this new free market money industry, I've recently formed a consulting firm with many friends from all over the world. You'll hear more from me about Vertoro.com in coming days. (Our site launches on 13 February!) Meanwhile, I discuss some of these ideas in my newsletter at Indomitus.net.
Ken, it is always a pleasure to read your magazine. You do an excellent job. In the next few weeks, I plan to send you a large number of articles and essays for publication, and not a few advertisements as well. If we do nothing else, keeping open this critical line of communication within our community seems vital.
As I mentioned in my earlier missive regarding Mr. Kubby's sad fate, it is not my view that there are any political solutions to current problems. The idea of working within the system, or even voting for the lesser of the various weevils, is not, in my view worth the effort. I've written extensively on the Madness of Voting, which essays are available to anyone who does a quick search.
(In solidarity with Neil's concerns about Google, I just performed a Yahoo search on the terms:
+"jim davidson" +"madness of voting"
and my essay is the only link that returns. Yahoo is, sadly, not likely to be any better in China than Google.)
However, Linda Cirincione's specific plea for help for Dr. Ron Paul against some Sinatra-by-marriage Hollywood twit-Republican cut out of the Govenator's cloth happens to come at a time when I am quite down on Ron Paul as any friend of freedom. I may be wrong, and would certainly like to be corrected if so, but as I understand it, Dr. Paul's position is that no woman has sovereignty over her own body.
If I understand what I've read about his views correctly, it is Dr. Paul's idea that women should be expected to register with the government whenever pregnant so that the unborn child is protected. I am certainly of the opinion that a human being's life begins at the very moment of conception. I am also of the view that taking a life is criminal unless it is done to protect life, liberty, or property.
Naturally, the upshot of this view of mine is that if a woman has an unwanted guest in her home or in her womb, she must be regarded as free to choose to use whatever powers in her command, including up to deadly force, to remove that trespasser from her property whenever, in her judgement, that is the best thing to do.. If that trespasser in her womb is a rapist's penis or an unborn child, it remains her womb, her property, and if the choice is not entirely left to her, then there is no freedom and there is no property for anyone. I take a very binary view of this issue, and I think Dr. Paul's view is non-zero (in a world that should have as close to zero government as possible).
It is certainly not my view that killing would be necessary if free market conditions were to prevail. Most women, I gather from various sources, would be delighted to end their pregnancy without ending the life of the unborn child, were that possible. As your author Wendy McElroy has noted, it may become possible to transplant an embryo or fetus into another womb, or to grow a fetus to term in vitro, or in some artificial wombboth of which technologies would develop if the market were left to itself.
Michael Badnarik has also approached me about support for his campaign for Congress in Austin. I'm very prone to contribution, and give a lot of money to various things in which I believe. But, I don't believe in voting. There are a lot of tools available that work, and I see no reason to encourage people in doing coercive, violent things, like voting, when it obviously doesn't workfor the many reasons I've elaborated upon elsewhere.
Reply from Linda Cirincione
Yes, I am concerned about the position that Ron Paul has taken on abortion. I have always been a staunch supporter of a woman's right to freedom of choice and I will continue to support that position. What a woman chooses to do with her body is none of Ron Paul's business... or anyone else's.
However, at the moment, he is one of the only representatives working towards maintaining the remainder of our freedoms. Bush has loaded the Supremely Corrupted Court & they will probably overturn Roe vs. Wade the next time it comes up, no matter what you or I or Ron Paul might think. So his opinion in this area will have a minimal effect.
Will I continue to work towards ensuring that women have access to abortion services no matter what the Court or the Congress Critters do? Definitely, even if that means helping to raise funds so that women can go to another country where the freedom to obtain an abortion still exists...
I do understand the position of giving up on voting and not wishing to waste money on unproductive activities. I would not personally waste money on a presidential campaign or any other that a 3rd party currently has no chance of winning. But in this case, both libertarian candidates do have a very good chance of winning.
I have near zero expectations for the government, but will keep trying anyway wherever the smallest chance develops to change things (even though I think the only real hope for the country is to fracture into multiple smaller countries). And I applaud those who are taking alternative paths to get a message of freedom out to the public, as Aaron Russo reportedly has done with his new movie "From Freedom to Fascism".
And if there ever comes a time when Ron Paul does vote to use the force of government to coerce women into registering when pregnant, then I will work just as hard to see that he loses his seat in Congress.
Reply from Jim Davidson
It is well that you support a woman's right to reproductive freedom, to property in her own body, and to sovereign control over how her body gets used, and by whom. It is curious that Dr. Paul's position is in complete conflict with your own, yet you continue to support him. I gather that he is one of those "lesser of two weevils" that Russell Crowe's character spoke about in that film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.
In my view, that's not good enough. If the choice is between Satan or Beelzebub, then my choice is: none of the above. I won't vote, because voting is a poor way to take choices, because of the limited selection of choices, and for the other reasons that I've written about in the past. And I won't send money to a candidate who doesn't represent freedom for everyone. Ron Paul is certainly no such freedom enthusiast.
> However, at the moment, he is one of the only
First off, he's not the only one; second, representatives don't represent me; third, my freedom is mine to defend, not his; fourth my evaluation of his work in Congress is that he has accomplished nothing. He won't even attempt to hold hearings on, say, the Federal Reserve Act, because "they won't let me." And what if he did build a majority in Congress out of rag tag fugitives for freedom, or whatever he's got available? Then he would erect a Stalinist, intrusive state demanding the registration of every woman's pregnancy, and examining the contents of every toilet flush for early miscarriages, if one examines what he's said about the topic of abortion in my view.
Why should I trade one Stalinist for another?
> Bush has loaded the
Well, frankly, good. Roe versus Wade was a bad decision which went to extreme and unconstitutional lengths to eviscerate state sovereignty. It has led to the idiotic situation of today where the "only hope" for individual liberty is a narrow majority of men and women who wear bathrobes to work. You'll excuse me if I think the previous situation, where individual states set different laws and people were free to move about to choose the jurisdiction of their preference might have been better. For one thing, it would seem to have led toward more research in this field.
> So his
We agree on something. Ron Paul's opinion has minimal effect. No majority in Congress listens to him, and nothing he says changes very much. Therefore, Ron Paul is mostly harmless. He does very little harm to the Stalinist police state erected by the Democrats and exploited by the Republicans. He doesn't very much in defiance of the all-powerful state. So, since he has minimal effect, why is it that you think I should send some of my hard-earned gold grams his way?
> Will I continue to work towards ensuring that women
Gosh, jurisdictional arbitrage for reproductive liberty. What a great idea. You would be aware, then, that you had that in this country before Roe v. Wade, and the Supremes usurped tremendous power to do away with that very situation. And now women have to cross an international frontier rather than a state line if they want a change of venue. Intriguing.
> I do understand the position of giving up on voting
Of winning what? Of winning elective office? And accomplishing what, as a result? Ron Paul has won his races for Congress year, after year, after year, after year. I've followed his progress closely. During his tenure in Congress, the USAPATRIOT Act and many other unconstitutional items of legislation have been approved. Sure, he's been the lone vote against a number of these acts, but so what? We have less freedom today than we did the first time Ron Paul was elected to Congress. So, again, what has he done to earn my support? Nothing.
I don't care who wins the Super Bowl next year, I don't care who wins the election this November, and I don't care who wins a seat in Congress. I care about my freedom, my personal liberty, and I don't need another jerk in Congress to help with it. Show me that these men winning elections means that every American is immediately more free, and you have my attention. Show me that they'll be in Congress, leeching off the tax payers and sending free mail to people in their districts, while occasionally whining about liberty, and I'm bored.
> I have near zero expectations for the government,
Well, I applaud your clarity of thinking in this area. I certainly agree that the government won't serve the cause of freedom. I am baffled by the idea that there is even the smallest chance with Ron Paul in Congress. All the people I've met at Ron Paul's birthday parties (and I've been to more than one) seem to believe that they are part of a great political movement that matters, that has some prospect of actually changing something. They aren't, and they don't. They are part of a fringe group that has no political power and their efforts are misdirected at things that don't bring about any change to the power structure.
How would electing Ron Paul, or Michael Badnarik (an even better man, in my view) to Congress do anything to bring about the triumph of state sovereignty? The USA Empire is not going to break into smaller countries by itself. It has no inclination to be less of a totalitarian dictatorship now than it did when Abraham Lincoln was running things. If you think what the USA government has been doing in Iraq or Afghanistan or Haiti or any of a hundred other countries is bad, please recall that the USA government cut its teeth doing those exact same things in Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas with its military occupation of the South.
> And I
I like Aaron Russo. He's a brilliant filmmaker. I think he does wizard things with a camera and a microphone. I could listen to him all day. And I never sent him a dime for his presidential candidacy, and I won't ever vote for him. But, you mention an interesting film title, and I'll see what I can do to buy a ticket to see it, or buy a copy of it when it arrives on DVD.
> And if there ever comes a time when Ron Paul does
Well, okay, then. It is well that you have standards.