Sunday, May 20, 2018

Americans don't need another war

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for April 18, 2018)

Is Syria worth dying over? No. It would be a tragedy for you to die-- or to kill-- over Syria, North Korea, Russia, or any other country the U.S government is trying to goad into war.

Americans don't need another war in some country which can never be a credible threat to Americans at home. A new money pit, because apparently your money isn't being shoveled into the other U.S. government money pits fast enough to satisfy the military hardware pushers.

I understand some people are very excited about policing the world and spreading "democracy" with perpetual war. I wonder how their democracy missiles work. By spraying Truth, Justice, and The American Way shrapnel with each hellish explosion?

These "compassionate" wars give a new generation excuses to hate Americans. Their problem isn't really with Americans, but with the aggressive, war-addicted U.S. government. The people might not want their tax-stolen money used to create more terrorists abroad, but government gets what it wants.

I know Russians aren't synonymous with the Russian government, the Chinese aren't the same as the Chinese government, and Syrians aren't the Syrian government. Few people are able to see the disconnect between a people and the criminal government which claims to operate on their behalf. For the record, I am not the U.S. government and if you have a problem with them, your problem isn't with me.

People rarely behave so badly as when they group with like-minded psychopaths and call themselves a government. If everyone refused to join them in their psychopathy, they would have no one willing to die or murder to promote governmental interests. Military aggression isn't a good thing; it's never healthy for the people of either country-- not for the aggressors nor for the defenders trying to defeat the invaders. Yet people fall for the propaganda. They always have.

Hermann Göring, Nazi leader and founder of the Gestapo said it like this: "...the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists [sic] for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

Does it work on you? Do you mistake opposition to aggression for "pacifism"?

The regime posing the greatest credible threat to your life, liberty, and property is not in Syria, Russia, or North Korea, but in Washington DC. Are you their willing sacrifice?

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  1. "These “compassionate” wars give a new generation excuses to hate Americans. Their problem isn’t really with Americans, but with the aggressive, war-addicted U.S. government. ... The people might not want their tax-stolen money used to create more terrorists abroad, but government gets what it wants. ... I know Russians aren’t synonymous with the Russian government, the Chinese aren’t the same as the Chinese government, and Syrians aren’t the Syrian government. Few people are able to see the disconnect between a people and the criminal government that claims to operate on their behalf."

    Government rests it's claim to legitimacy on voter turnout. It could not exist without the support of the citizenry. If they did not want their government to bully the world, they wouldn't keep demanding it. Indeed it is the responsibility and fault of each and every statist voting to demand a government that commits genocide as a normal function.

    It can also be argued as the fault of those who do not vote but otherwise support or tolerate the system that violates them as well. (This includes you, Kent, and myself, being tolerant of statism.)

    "The regime posing the greatest credible threat to your life, liberty, and property is not in Syria, Russia, or North Korea, but in Washington DC."

    It's all of them, especially DC. The only way to correct it is to kill almost everyone and break almost everything. ..rebuild and wreck it again in a thousand years. ...because people are stupid.

    1. "The only way to correct it is to kill almost everyone..."

      I beg to differ.

      The question of how to bring about a free society is crucially important, so it's encouraging to see you take the bull by the horns and propose a solution. It's not one that I like, see below, but at least you're trying, which is more than most.

      Firstly, libertarians hold varying views on capital punishment. Some crimes are so horrid that it seems appropriate, yet in my own opinion it's wrong; for once executed, a person is 100% dead - whereas before that moment it's impossible to be 100% certain of his guilt. This is especially so when the State is doing the judging, though I appreciate that in the scenario you propose, that would not be the case.

      Secondly, the devil is as usual in the details. To "kill almost everyone" sounds interesting, but who exactly -is to select the few survivors? how, in other words, is the executioner's list to be compiled?

      We might agree that the doomed include at the Federal level all members of Congress, all Cabinet members, all nine on SCOTUS. Add in a few key bureau-rats, and the total might be close to 1,000. Then at State level, 50 Governors and staffs, 50 bunches of legislators and heads of their departments; perhaps another (50 x 300 = ) 15,000. Do we then add Mayors and Councils of cities and towns? There's a huge number, I'd be hard put to estimate how many. But at least, we're looking at 20,000 people to be lined up and shot, hanged or otherwise liquidated, and that's a great deal of administration even if there were no trials or appeals. Would you do all that work yourself, or would you recruit helpers? If the latter, on what basis?

      "Government", however, really includes a great many more than those people. I estimated not long ago that in the USA about 20 million work directly for all levels of government, plus another 20 million who work indirectly for it; that is, they are employed by commercial contractors but spend a majority of their work time on government jobs. That's 40 million to be killed.

      Lastly there are the very important people who vote for government, thereby perfuming it with a degree of "legitimacy", whatever that is. It's true that they aren't actually needed - they are special to democracies only - but they are even so a source of its power, they are government-believers. All counted, I think the total is about 130 million, or 2 in every 5 or pretty well half of all adults. (You'd exclude children, yes? Up to what age?)

      That's a formidable number of bullets, and a simpler form of execution would be hard to, er, execute because these people live cheek by jowl with honest Americans, who choose not to vote, or work for government in any way; so to nuke a whole neighborhood, or dose it with poison gas, would be far too indiscriminate. It would kill the good guys as well as the culprits.

      So the practical administration of your plan fairly bristles with difficulties, it seems to me.

      Then there is the real killer; so far, that administrative plan assumes the target will not resist; that if they are listed, they will meekly submit to their fate. I know of no precedent for that; I think they will resist vigorously, and note that they have the means to do so. The elected officials and their staffs (the 20 million, above) are especially well surrounded by bodyguards - many of whom boast of their purpose in life: "To Protect and to Serve." To protect government, that is.

      So how, exactly, would you overcome that heavily armed resistance?

      By the way, I do have an alternative solution.

    2. Generally, he advocates killing over 6 billion, so 20 million would just be a stretch before breakfast.

    3. A man who believes he can accomplish good by doing evil is the very quintessential example of an unreasoning man in my opinion. He strikes me as a modern counterpart of the cleric who was finding it difficult to identify the heretic Cather’s he was trying to rout out from the ranks of the obedient faithful and so reputedly instructed his minions:

      “Kill them all! God will know his own.”
      ---- Arnaud Amaury, abbot of Citeaux and papal legate to Innocent III
      July 22, 1209 at Béziers, Languedoc

    4. Yes, that's what Anonymous usually says-- slightly paraphrased-- in these comments: "Kill them all, let God sort them out".

  2. Nice try Mr. Davies. but I expect all attempts to reason with the unreasonable are futile. Does you solution look anything like this?

    "From all these indignities, such as the very beasts of the field would not endure, you can deliver yourselves if you try, not by taking action, but merely by willing to be free. Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break into pieces?"
    ----Etienne de la Boétie, The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude

  3. Possibly you're right, but I'll try anyway.

    Yes, my proposal does indeed relate to de la Boetie's brilliant insight. I don't set too much store by his "Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed", because full freedom depends on everyone else also withdrawing his labor.

    So it incorporates a means of ensuring, in a very few years, that everyone else does exactly that.

    When your expressed attitude suggests you're ready to consider it, I'll explain.

    1. Thanks for the offer but I really don't believe in "full freedom" if that means a society of free people as the majority. I don't think the "majority" really wants to be free or ever has since this necessarily entails the corollary to freedom, responsibility, and that is something the herd has fled from like a mythical vampire from sunlight since this species climbed down from the trees. The only freedom I will ever have or could have is what I arrange for myself as an individual however imperfect or incomplete due to the violations and impositions of society. And that is why I use the excerpt from Boetie "Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed" as an e-mail signature to constantly remind myself of the fact that service to the State is enslavement to me.

  4. That does, certainly, figure. I have a really hard time reconciling a belief that every one has a right to own and operate his/her own life, with a proposal to exterminate all those who disagree.

    We do agree that at present, most people shy away from the responsibility that must accompany freedom. That's why education is prerequisite, rather than extermination.

    Conversely we do not agree that the "only freedom I will ever have or could have" is incomplete or imperfect. There's a valuable sense in which one can feel free right now, knowing that we have that right of self-ownership no matter how much it is violated in practice; but that's a mere shadow of the real thing. Complete freedom is most definitely attainable, and mass murder is not the way to achieve it.

  5. I'm not sure why y'all keep engaging the would-be-mass-murdering-possible-troll.

    re: Etienne de la Boétie, The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude:

    He's mostly right, in our society, and especially in OUR society when we voluntarily associate with those with a tolerable degree of belief in freedom, and shun the rest whenever possible. (see comment above) But, the statist fractional slaveowners do insist on tossing their edicts at us, and some can't be ducked without consequence. I'm going to Hawaii in a week on a family visit, which means flying, which means dealing with the Surrender-O-Thon-Rapey checkpoint folks.

    We don't need a majority to keep those bastards away from power. I'd say a well-armed society of maybe 20% to 30% anarchists would be sufficient to have a fully free society. As Heinlein put it: "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life"

    ... with the corollary, "... and nothing is quite so ill-mannered as someone claiming partially or full ownership of you."

    Congress would behave quite differently if every member would, for a very brief period, have to constantly fear for their life whenever they voted like they do now, because 20% to 30% of the populace would regard such votes as an intolerable aggression that requires the member to back up their acts with their life.

  6. Pardon my ignorance, Mr. McManigal, but asking questions is the only way I'll learn: what is the reason for the "[sic]" in the Goring quote?
    To clarify, I understand the use of [sic] to indicate a term or phrase the person quoting knows to be wrong, but includes for the sake of fidelity in quoting. I just don't understand its use in this instance.
    Thanks for any explanation you may give to help.
    --Tennessee Budd

    1. Because the people he was referring to are not pacifists, they just oppose aggression. They may not oppose the use of force in defense.