THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 576, June 27, 2010
Mercantilism is the same thing that we now call "fascism"
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One of the most pervasive illusions the general population has about those who abhor the coercion of government, is that "we" don't want to be held accountable, by law, for the results of our actions. The fact that individual liberty comes only with full recognition of individual responsibility seems beyond many people's ability to grasp.
I blame the popular image of "bomb-throwing anarchists" and the sad phonetic similarity between the words "libertarian" and "libertine".
In response to El Neil's "Corporations, Mercantilism, and Capitalism", [in this issue] some folks might be tempted to say that without limited liability there would be no investment: That it is only through the granting of "limited liability" that people will buy shares of a company on the open market, generating not only money for the company, but also the important and flexible price system we know as the Stock Exchange.
This objection is easily answered.
There is no reason why a company must sell "shares" of itself other than the laws that make it work that way at the present time. Most people who get their information by watching TV news or reading the New York Times do not understand just how tightly regulated the financial and stock markets are. Even if it's never said out loud, the impression is always that any problem is the fault of "insufficient regulation". Otherwise they might have to explain how the myriad of existing regulations still didn't stop whatever it was that went wrong, and I'm convinced the reporters and talking heads just don't want to take the time to do that.
Without those laws, a firm can sell "bonds" instead. These bonds would confer no "title", no "voting" or other privileges of owners, yet the firm can still generate capital through initial sale, demand through dividends, and the price system of confidence and information on a "Bond Exchange".
In fact, it's already done now with government bonds, which are nothing more than promises of future taxes in return for capital now.
So the bond holder enjoys all the same benefits of being not personally liable for actions of the firm as they do now with limited liability, since they are not "owners" at all.
And the firm's owners, as El Neil implies, will restrict themselves to actions in which they have real expertise, if for no other reason than that they are far less likely to make mistakes that way and incur liability! The days of the International MegaCorp would be over, replaced by local, responsive firms that may affiliate through reciprocal agreements, but who would be in much better positions to respond to changing circumstances and demands.
How could anyone other than a currently vested interest object to that?
I don't think it's the weapons. After decades of being pro-gun in the "gun control" (more correctly, victim disarmament) debate I am beginning to think it really isn't about whether one personally owns weapons.
Before I get tarred and feathered by every pro-gun reader of this article (or at least the ones who know my home address) let me explain. For years jurisdictions with laxer gun control laws have enjoyed the blessing of having lower crime rates than those with stricter. In fact it seems that the number of murders, robberies, rapes, kidnappings, and so on goes up every time gun laws become stricter. Since it seems weapon laws are honored more in the breach than otherwise (Talking to people from the interior of Mexico makes it seem as if ownership of full auto AK's is as widespread as it is forbidden by statute) this relationship can't be about who owns guns.
So why are you more likely to be a victim of violent crime (or forced to resist an attempted violent crime) in areas with strict gun laws? If it isn't the weapons what is it?
Perhaps it is the belief that people have the right to resist crimes against their persons and property. Perhaps in areas where this belief is supported crime is low. But where people are viewed as sheep to be guarded by the authorities or preyed on by criminals and submit to both without resistance crime is high. From Castle Doctrine laws to laws making resisting attempted mugging as big an assault as the mugging, laws pretending to govern the right of people to defend their life, liberty and property and own the tools for doing so reflect the cultural values of the ruling class.
So it isn't the guns that keep the crime rate down but whether it is believed people should be proud, independent and somewhat dangerous wild beings. It isn't the absence of guns but whether people are viewed as two legged sheep to be shorn and robbed that engrosses the crime rate. Since governments and ruling classes tend to range from mildly to hellishly tyrannical, weapons laws merely reflect how much they view their subjects as wild and free or tame and enslaved.
In the end, religious rhetoric notwithstanding, shepherds are predators preying on their sheep. If people are defined as proper prey for the rulers is it not predictable that they will be perceived as proper prey for criminals? If a government expresses this belief with strict weapons laws is it not predictable that crime will rise proportionately?
Is it not predictable that gun control laws will always fail to reduce crime?
So it isn't the guns, it's the belief that people should have the right and the necessary tools (and therefor an absolute right to own those tools) to defend themselves that reduces crime.
An email I have sent to McAfee sales dept:
If Norton also supports this bill, I will find someone else. If all the corporate entities are snuffling for a cut of gov't pie (by limiting competition, most likely), I'll go open source.
P.S.: Come to think on it, isn't the Constitution the law that the government has to obey? I mean, what else is it? "The people" don't have to obey it. We obey the laws passed by the gov't. We think of the Constitution as a check against legislation, but it is, it seems to me, a set of laws the government must follow (to be legitimate). But who enforces government obedience to the law of the Constitution?
[There are free firewall and antivirus softwares from www.comodo.com that work well for Windows users -- Editor]
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MacDonald v. Chicago
Between the time this letter is written, Summer Solstice 2010 and the End of June the US Supreme Court is supposed to rule on whether or not the 14th Amendment extends the 2nd Amendment to the States. I was taught that one of the reasons (or as others claim pretexts) for passing the 14th Amendment was that Southern States were denying Black people the right to own guns after the War of the secession. In other words it was intended to extend to Black Americans, and by implication all persons residing in the US, the protection of the 2nd Amendment. This is what is taught in 7th Grade Texas, History, 8th grade US History in Texas, and 11th grade US History in Texas when studying Reconstruction, at least by honest teachers and/or teachers who bother to use their textbooks.
To a Texican it seems obvious that the Supreme Court will rule in MacDonald v. Chicago that the 14th Amendment extends the 2nd Amendment to the States and therefor per Heller requires the states to respect people's right to keep and bear arms as an individual right. I'd use the colloquialism "It's a no brainer," but as a matter of fact I expect to see a lot of brain power used. I expect to see great creativity demonstrated by judges driven by an ideological commitment to hoplophobia to demonstrate that just because the 2nd and 14th Amendments say something doesn't mean they mean that thing. I also expect that the majority opinion supporting the extension of the RKBA to bind the states will be as weasel worded and mealy mouthed as possible and thus water down the effects of a pro RKBA ruling.
For those of you getting preview copies of this John Stossel will be running an installment on his show on Fox business on Thursday 24 June dealing with the issue of gun control, probably from a pro gun slant, but ya never know.
To which Ken Valentine replied:
If the 14th amendment "doesn't apply" to the Second Amendment, the 9th amendment DOES!
Wikipedia Entry: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sean_Gabb
Buy these novels by Richard Blake:
A Friendly Warning
The following is published for the edification and entertainment of persons who share many if not all of my ideals. Some will undoubtedly be enlightened, some will react with disdain, hopefully all will be amused. I consider this a warning to those to whom it is addressed, though given the venue it is being published in perhaps it is more like the discussion by the convicts in the 1955 version of We're No Angels of who is to warn the visiting auditor not to open the snake's cage and why.
You view yourselves to be America's ruling class and sit in the halls of power. You have passed or caused to pass legislation on a variety of issues that violate the US Constitution, the document that empowers you and/or your minions to hold office. You argue that it's only a matter of amending or reinterpreting the Constitution and your legislation will be acceptable.
Perhaps this is so. those who wrote the Constitution allowed that it was imperfect and included instruction on how to amend it. However, on matters of free speech, immigration, the rights of the accused, family relationships, weapons ownership, the use of drugs and other issues the laws you passed have caused more suffering than the problems you claimed to address, and often the policies used to enforce these laws have also caused unnecessary suffering. When called down on this you frequently responded by making you pretended legislation crueler and more oppressive.
You have resisted calls to repeal these unjust laws. You have resisted calls to at least reform these laws to lessen the suffering and injustice they cause. You have refused to curb the abuses by your jackbooted thugs in the enforcement of these laws. You have threatened with impoverishment and lawsuit those state and local officials who seek to correct the suffering you have caused.
You have incited fear and bigotry in the hearts of the people to justify this pretended legislation, then sought to punish the people for succumbing to these baser passions.
If not wise you are cunning and aware of your own self interests. Surely you can see the wreckage you call on yourself. There is yet time to save yourselves and save the American people the trouble of overthrowing you by force. Look to the cities in Mexico that are committing suicide as a result of decades of corruption and tyranny. See how already some of this nation's great cities are headed in that direction.
In the end these are your choices, embrace, or at least respect the freedom of America's people. Or prepare for the days of the sicarii and the daggers next to your corpses.
Don't opened the cage, he whispered softly to the man in the next room.
On 24 June 2010 John Stossel ran a segment on his show on the issue of gun control (he's pro gun by the way.). He was relatively neutral in letting both sides get their opinions in but was clearly pro gun.
He concluded by pointing out that ultimately the RKBA isn't about self defense from criminals but rather to make sure that the people were armed to resist misuse of power by the Big G (okay, so it is about self defense from criminals).
Stossel is only being shown once on Thursday now instead of twice, and that at 10:00 pm Mountain, Midnight eastern. Stossel proclaims he is a libertarian. Can you say DVR?
Oh Yeah: Besides Stossel on Fox Business, Penn and Teller have "Bullshit" on Showtime on Thursday night. A celebration of reason, even if you don't always agree w/them.
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