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Do not give in to Evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Polygonal Battlespace: Who Isn't A Collectivist?


Having played a bit in the public outcry space since the Atlanta Tea Party on April 15, 2009, the same question has been repeating over and over in my mind:

Who here actually believes in and accepts the exercise of individual freedom?

As I reluctantly engage in local and state grassroots politics, I am struck by the huge number of folks who phrase the current crisis in terms of the Obama Administration and the 111th Congress.

Bluntly -- I call horsesh*t.

And no, I also don't start the clock with GWB and the Congresses of the first decade of the 21st century, despite Medicare Part D, No Child Left Behind, the Patriot Act and the $4.899 trillion dollar increase in Federal debt from 1/19/2001 through 1/20/2009.

The situation is far more grave than that.

To demonstrate my point, how many readers support:

- The progressive income tax?
- Local property tax assessments to fund government schools?
- Medicare?
- Medicaid?
- Social Security?
- Unemployment "insurance" payments?
- Reinstitution of the draft in times of national emergencies?

This list of collectivist schemes at the local, state, and Federal levels could go on and on, but I think you see the point.

Americans have been consenting to and/or actively supporting the establishment of the collectivist Leviathan since at least FDR's first administration. For an excellent contrarian's history on how the foundations for today's crises were laid in the Thirties, please read Flynn's The Roosevelt Myth; see also this background article on Flynn.

And to be candid, the right time for the armed constitutional restoration movement was seventy-five years ago, not after three generations of so-called Americans have been hatched and raised to see programs such as those above as normal.

This "fellow citizen" problem is non-trivial.

It's one thing to dump well-deserved scorn on the race-baiters, the wealth redistributionists, the watermelon enviro-maniacs, the MSM stooges, the Muslims, the Communists, the Nazis, and the remainder of the usual suspects.

It's another thing altogether to realize that one's spouse, parents, children, and business/social acquaintances are largely part of the OpFor -- largely passive to be sure, but nonetheless at least implicitly supportive of theft-by-force schemes, especially if they benefit by or are dependent on same.

As I noted in a comment over at Washington Rebel:

Would you agree/disagree with the following:

The “state” is the vehicle by which foes of individual freedom have
- institutionalized their social preferences (in the face of default by supporters of IF) and
- seek to impose those preferences upon all?

I ask not to engage in freshman bull session navel-gazing, but instead in hopes of defining the proper target of resistance.

I mistrust folks on the nominal right side of things almost as much as I do the Bolshies. Too many Tea Party types are of the belief that socialism that benefits them is OK because they have counted on it.

I keep coming back to “you can’t make me, unless you are willing to kill me – and I will fight back” as the basis for righteous resistance.

Or phrased alternatively — those who seek to impose their will by force on others are the enemy, regardless of the color flag they fly or uniform they wear.


The three hard facts with which I am dealing are these:

a) The means of civil engagement urged here by Spartacus are dominated by those who have used that mechanism for the past 70+ years to abridge the Constitution, expand government in all areas and at all levels, and to institutionalize theft-by-force as a way of life;


b) Those wrongs have been and continue to be perfectly acceptable to the bulk of our fellow Americans, who now see the continuation and expansion of those programs as a matter of life and death; and


c) Most of those collectivist sympathizers/collaborators see themselves as either righteous citizens (e.g., the "Greatest Generation", the "Boomers") or aggrieved parties (e.g., slavery reparations supporters, "we were here first" ethnic activists), and hence are beyond the reach of rational discourse about property rights and constitutionally-limited government. 


In other words, I was dead wrong in estimating the OpFor here at under three million.

Actual aggregate domestic OpFor -- including Looters, Moochers, and Opportunists from each major party, plus dependents of each -- is likely well in excess of 70% of the voting American public.

For those of you keeping score, the voting American public in the 2008 Presidential election was 125 million.

If I am anywhere near right, the use of peaceful political means to fix the current situation is therefore almost certainly magical thinking.

Do your own arithmetic.

Engage in the political process if you deem it worth your time.

But please -- be coldly realistic about the potential for success by the electoral route.

Your life may depend on it.

36 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"To demonstrate my point, how many readers support:

- The progressive income tax?
- Local property tax assessments to fund government schools?
- Medicare?
- Medicaid?
- Social Security?
- Unemployment "insurance" payments?
- Reinstitution of the draft in times of national emergencies?"

NONE of the above.

This is a tremendous educational challenge. for example, how many self styled "patriots" demand that someone else recite that magical incantation, the "pledge of allegiance" without the most basic understanding of its history or that of the accompanying Bellamy salute?

Or don't recognize that a piece of multi colored cloth has been used to usurp support for personal freedom?

Or believe a "war on drugs" is just & reasonable?

Or believe we must attact others to "preserve freedom"?

Or believe in the mythical "compact between generations"?

Just got to get to the truth of the matter.

October 5, 2010 at 1:11 AM  
Blogger Nate said...

This post sums up my thoughts exactly. I was having a discussion with my little brother and he is still of the mindset that we can vote ourselves out of this mess(ah the optimism of youth!) I was trying to explain to him that its coming, no matter what team wins in nov. I sent him this link, because you say it much better than I can.
Also thanks to you I started a vigorous physical fitness regiment and my tribe is starting as well.
Keep your powder dry and your hatchets scoured.
Nate

October 5, 2010 at 1:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most Americans could not tell you the difference between a "duty", an "impost" or an "excise". Nor could they be bothered.

As for "apportionment" well, the class welfare gang has them all cheering for the "rich to pay their fair share."

Nor do they understand what the actual definition of "income" is.

With the progressive income tax the entire hierarchy has been turned on its head.

While I am about quoting some monumental rulings by the Supreme Court here are a couple more worthy of your review:

Hale -v- Henkel (1906)
201 US 43 @74-75
"....Individuals power to contract is unlimited....corporation is a creation of the state....and its power is limited by law."

Brady -v- U.S. (1970)
397 US 742
"Waivers of rights must be voluntary, knowledgeable, intelligent acts, done with sufficient awareness of the likely outcome."

Burks -v- Laskar (1979)
441 US 471
Jurisdiction not challenged is presumed to exist.

...but don't take my word for it. spend some time at your local law library and do the research....think about it.

KPN3%

October 5, 2010 at 2:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Actual aggregate domestic OpFor -- including Looters, Moochers, and Opportunists from each major party, plus dependents of each -- is likely well in excess of 70% of the voting American public."

You wish. Try around 90-95% when it comes down to nut cutting time. You didn't factor in the spineless, the passive-aggressive types, commie soccer moms, or the seemingly normal people I work with who don't have a problem with the rest of us being forced to pay a bit more so the wealth can be spread around. And yes, a co-worker said that to my face. To add insult to injury, I live in a supposed "conservative leaning" area.

October 5, 2010 at 2:23 AM  
Anonymous LMWatBullRun said...

The reason that John Galt wanted to cause the collapse of the People's Republic of the USA, in Rand's "Atlas Shrugged," by withdrawing all of the productive people so that they could no longer be looted, was to allow the collectivist status quo to destroy itself.

Statistics were not germane to that novel, but it seems clear that Rand, vice Galt, postulated the death of a very large number of people in the collapse of civilization she fictionalized.

My own guesstimate is that an economic collapse of the US could kill from perhaps 25% to as much as 90% or more of the present population. Carrying capacity is a function of technological capability, which is in turn dependent upon the aggregate philosophical capability of the people in the culture. When tribalist philosophy becomes predominant in a culture, technology will degrade to the tribalist level. Carrying capacity will degrade not linearly but geometrically; there are a number of very nonlinear functions interacting with one another at play. This is a fancy way of saying that there will be a tipping point, it will happen more quickly than you expect, and once things tip there will be no stopping it.

Atlas Shrugged is worth a re-read, and Baugh's "Starving the Monkeys" plays a riff on that theme. Faugh's book is somewhat disjoint, but is worth the time to read it.

The reality is that the embedded memes that make up the entitlement branch of collectivism are, for the large part, not going to be challenged until they don't work any more, at which point a civilized discussion of morals and ethics will be pointless. Certainly there will not be the sort of wholesale examination of basic principles on most people's part, and the symbolic cannibalism seen heretofore (redistribution of wealth) will likely become literal, once the wealth runs low, and the food shipments stop.

October 5, 2010 at 2:32 AM  
Anonymous T.L. Davis said...

I have been struggling for a long time about the moment of ignition. Like you, I think it should have happened a long time ago. I'm still trying to figure out the Constitutional authority for the Civil War.

Having said that, I'm just waiting for the tyranny to present itself at my door, or the guns to start popping in the distance. It is inevitable.

October 5, 2010 at 3:06 AM  
Blogger daniel said...

Add to those numbers the fact that so many liberty minded folk are of the "Jon Galt-Pacifism" school of thought and wouldn't involve themselves in anything resembling armed restoration effort.

The state has a vested interest in promoting pacifism within its opposition. If the opposition is content to sit it out thinking they're "starving the beast," all the while following every last law thrown at them, then that part of the opposition is easier to deal with. Control 'em and let them believe in fairy tales about the welfare state collapsing into minimized government.

October 5, 2010 at 3:08 AM  
Blogger FeminizedWesternMale said...

"If I am anywhere near right, the use of peaceful political means to fix the current situation is therefore almost certainly magical thinking."

This is the money quote. You are absolutely correct and all of the facts and percentages are available to those few who are interested enough to find out.

Being a part of the political process at this point is a matter of building friends, networks, and influence for the accelerating hollowing-out of the USA. It is the Christian/Western/white/Constitutionalist (whichever Tom-Tom you beat) form of jihad, taqqiyah and finally, asabiyah.

see http://mindweaponsinragnarok.wordpress.com/2010/08/11/mindweaponizatio/

October 5, 2010 at 3:16 AM  
Blogger Pat H. said...

It started long before F. Roosevelt, but he escalated the progressive/fascist schemes further than anyone before his time.

Twentieth century progressive/fascists:
T. Roosevelt
W. Wilson
H. Hoover
F. Roosevelt
H. Truman
D. Eisenhower
J. Kennedy (arguably least p/f in the post WWII period)
L. Johnson
R. Nixon
G. Ford (a caretaker p/f)
J. Carter
R. Reagan
G. H. W. Bush
W. Clinton
...and you know the rest.

My rash statement for the evening: The US government hasn't defended America since the War of 1812 and even that one was avoidable.

October 5, 2010 at 3:22 AM  
Anonymous Justin said...

I'm reading The Real Lincoln by Thomas DiLorenzo.

When did it start? It goes way, way back.

The answer could be secession, the right to which the states were assumed to hold up until Mr Lincoln's war.

I don't know about all the why's and wherefores, I just know that it's hopelessly confused at this point. "Conservatives" take theft of property at .gov hands as a natural state of things.

Fixing this system from within this system is a lost cause. Sure, vote if you will, but don't think you're doing anything other than picking the next person who will steal from you and mandate your life away.

October 5, 2010 at 6:43 AM  
Blogger Johnny said...

Nailed it.

October 5, 2010 at 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Billy Beck said...

"Add to those numbers the fact that so many liberty minded folk are of the 'Jon Galt-Pacifism' school of thought and wouldn't involve themselves in anything resembling armed restoration effort."

This, to me, is a very interesting aspect of the "Atlas" phenomenon: for all the attention that anyone has paid to the character of Ragnar Danneskjold, That Woman might as well have never devoted a single word to him. Nobody got it. At all.

October 5, 2010 at 11:23 AM  
Anonymous Kerodin said...

The Collectivists arguably lost the Constitutional debates, though they took a major step forward in their efforts with Marbury v. Madison. It's been advancing ever since, sometimes in a creep, sometimes in bigger chunks.

I do contend that the moral high ground is maintained by Patriots who still pay respect to the political, non-violent tools of governance, in particular, the vote. Of course Collectivism can not be rolled back in a single election cycle, and may well be lost entirely through that vehicle because Patriots have been too inattentive for too long...but it is the height of hypocrisy to advocate the restoration of Constitutional Principles while ignoring the mechanics of the Constitution and rushing directly for Second Amendment remedies.

You do not lose anything by voting, in fact you honor the concept that Man is capable of governing himself. If you can't stand your choices on the ballot, accept that you have at least a small bit of responsibility in that matter, and write-in a name.

And at the end of the day, when the economic reality short-circuits non-violent means of our course-correction, the Second Amendment is still at hand.

When the next chapter of American history is inked into textbooks, it will be better for posterity if we are able to honestly say: "We neglected our duty for too long, we let the other guys use and abuse the system for too long while we failed to pay attention. But before the SHTF, we used the First Amendment at Tea Party rallies and in the blogosphere, we were exercising every non-violent means of saving the republic right up until the moment when we had no choice but to use our last remedy by picking up our rifles..."

That is the moral high ground, and we owe nothing less to the Principles we advocate.

Sam
III

October 5, 2010 at 1:14 PM  
Anonymous Rollory said...

"Actual aggregate domestic OpFor -- including Looters, Moochers, and Opportunists from each major party, plus dependents of each -- is likely well in excess of 70% of the voting American public."

I've said essentially this in other places.

Local property taxes are a big one for me. You don't own land, you're renting from the state. But try broaching that subject. "But we need the money! It pays for schools! You don't hate children, do you?" Of course they have it exactly backwards; sending kids into those places is the worst thing for them.

Until people once more accept the habit of thought of taking responsibility for themselves and their own families - or someone enforces upon them the necessity of doing so - this can't be resolved.


Oh - as for the draft, if there was a "nation" worthy of the name and worthy of defending, yes. This ain't it. Is the correct answer to that supposed to be "no"? I don't believe it is possible to have a nation that can defend itself WITHOUT a draft at times. What we have right now is morphing into the paid professional soldiers who are distinct from the population at large, and therefore not necessarily loyal to the nation as it actually is, as opposed to their paymasters and those who give the orders. That's not a situation with a long-term future.

October 5, 2010 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

None of the above for me either. I understand the angst. What I will never understand is why some want to eliminate so many allies, and why some want a circular firing squad. We will not get everything we want. We should certainly try for it, but not abandon the cause for want of perfection and satisfaction. Human nature will make attaining perfection immpossible.

October 5, 2010 at 1:42 PM  
Anonymous EDSG said...

I believe that your guesstimate of around 70% is accurate. However, I believe that 90% of that 70% is in the ducking category. As in ducking and shitting bricks, scurrying for a dark hole with no food, water, arms or hope. Dead within two weeks, less if they are seen in sunlight.

That leaves us. That is the real question; whom defends leviathan vs. whom defends family against leviathan's defenders.

October 5, 2010 at 1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It takes time to wake the "conservative" monolith. I was once a part of it. I to thought robbing from one landowner to give to another's child for education was a righteous act. However, through proper education, via blogs like yours, the Ron Paul Revolution, and patriot radio shows, I have since run from that twisted, hypocritical, and indoctrinated stance that I once possessed. I now am a political activist. As things get worse, many of the collectivist in the "conservative" mass will become more involved, more educated, and thus change their ways as well. --- I once read "The Law" by Frederick Bastiat, now I pass it out -- to conservatives that think, like I thought.

Let freedom ring.

October 5, 2010 at 3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

".but it is the height of hypocrisy to advocate the restoration of Constitutional Principles while ignoring the mechanics of the Constitution and rushing directly for Second Amendment remedies"

WHO is ignoring Constitutional Principles? The Constitution imposes no requirements on citizens whatsoever.

It bears repeating:

"Today, when a concerted effort is made to obliterate this point, it cannot be repeated too often that the Constitution is a limitation on the government, not on private individuals; that it does not prescribe the conduct of private individuals, only the conduct of the government; that it is not a charter for government power, but a charter of the citizen's protection against the government."
--Ayn Rand

October 5, 2010 at 5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Who here actually believes in and accepts the exercise of individual freedom?"

Only the libertarian-anarchists. Many of the rest of the readers seem to be Republican do-gooders who are unintentionally working for Leviathan.

"To demonstrate my point, how many readers support:"

Tax-funded police, courts, armies, roads...!

"It's another thing altogether to realize that one's spouse, parents, children, and business/social acquaintances are largely part of the OpFor -- largely passive to be sure"

Passive my behind. Many are brimming over with Envy, and they'll turn you in just to see you taken down. Others are church ladies, and they'll turn you in just because you aren't following the rules. They are active scouts, not passive. Passive would mean they keep their mouths shut when they see something they disagree with.

"Actual aggregate domestic OpFor -- including Looters, Moochers, and Opportunists from each major party, plus dependents of each -- is likely well in excess of 70% of the voting American public."

And thus the Muslims across the ocean are militarily irrelevant to America's internal problems.

"For those of you keeping score, the voting American public in the 2008 Presidential election was 125 million."

And 90% of German adults voted to make Hitler dictator. In 2012 perhaps the American voters will make Hillary President and Chancellor, she has both the brain and the will to use it. http://www.catb.org/esr/writings/anarchist.html

"Or phrased alternatively"

How about: "it is wrong to hit people to get what you want". Very deliberately phrased like something you'll tell a five year old. It is the response you lead with when someone asks you a political question. No, you will not wargame how to take the candy from the kid over there, because it is wrong to hit people to get what you want.

There were lots of tax protest movements during the lesser depression in the 30's. I think an income tax strike has a chance of snowballing through the middle-class OpFor you describe, because few want to think of themselves as the only suckers paying tax.

October 5, 2010 at 6:02 PM  
Anonymous TPaine said...

- The progressive income tax?
- Local property tax assessments to fund government schools?
- Medicare?
- Medicaid?
- Social Security?
- Unemployment "insurance" payments?
- Reinstitution of the draft in times of national emergencies?

I'm 63 years old, and I support none of the above. I AM collecting SS simply because I had no say in the money they stole from me from the time I was 15 until I turned 62. And so I want my money back, and I will continue to take it without any guilt until such time as the govt. goes tits-up and the till runs dry.

It's today kids who have been taught to think hat the govt. owes them everything, and when there is nothing left for them in a few more years, they'll be the ones going greek in the streets.

Me? I'll be dead before too long, and I hope I die in my sleep, not like the screaming, shouting passengers in my car.

October 5, 2010 at 8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TPaine:
It's not your money you are getting, that was spent long ago, it's the money stolen at gunpoint by those still in the workforce, making you an accomplice to the armed robbery since you benefit from it.

As far as going Greek in the streets, why shouldn't they? As the victims of the Ponzi scheme our system has become they'll want some redress, and since you certainly didn't stop it, they'll hold you and everyone else they can think of responsible.

October 5, 2010 at 9:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"[W]e used the First Amendment at Tea Party rallies and in the blogosphere, we were exercising every non-violent means of saving the republic right up until the moment when we had no choice but to use our last remedy by picking up our rifles..." Sam III

It is all but hopeless--preaching to people with two deaf ears, but there seems to be no reasonable alternative. Anybody who "jumps the gun" in an effort to speed up the restoration is morally indistinguishable from someone who strives to suppress the patriot movement.

MALTHUS

October 5, 2010 at 10:36 PM  
Anonymous Kerodin said...

WHO is ignoring Constitutional Principles? The Constitution imposes no requirements on citizens whatsoever.

Anon 5:53,

I would say that there are many patriotic Americans who stayed home in 2008, rather than vote for John McCain. That is ignoring the Constitutional principle of citizen involvement. There are many people on the Right who have thrown their hands up in frustration and avoided the process.

While electing McCain would have only been a slightly slower rate of decay for the republic, we would probably have a bit more time before D-Day had he been elected.

As to the Constitution imposing requirements upon Citizens: You are correct that the document was meant to be a set of restrictions upon Government. But there is most certainly an implicit responsibility upon every Citizen to actively oversee Government and to stand up against those who would be Masters. That is why we are in this mess today - too many people for too many generations did not stand up and stop the Collectivists.

Now it is our mess.

Sam
III

October 6, 2010 at 12:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rollory writes: "I don't believe it is possible to have a nation that can defend itself WITHOUT a draft at times."

Given that belief, who are you trusting to impose a draft against the expressed will of the people? Who are you trusting to END that draft? If you allow "emergencies" to suspend the rules, then politicians will declare there to be constant emergencies. When in the last 50 years has America not been at war somewhere?

October 6, 2010 at 2:30 AM  
Anonymous LMWatBullRun said...

Daniel said:"Add to those numbers the fact that so many liberty minded folk are of the "Jon Galt-Pacifism" school of thought and wouldn't involve themselves in anything resembling armed restoration effort."

'Fact'? What fact is that? Most of my friends are at least loosely Libertarian/ rationalist in outlook, and the majority of those shoot. Some of the shooters are dedicated competition shooters.

The percentage of firearms owners who are criminally ignorant of the philosophy of freedom on which this country is founded is FAR greater than the percentage of libertarian intellectuals who are avowed pacifists. I would much rather have an intellectual absolutely committed to the war for freedom with moderate skill at arms at my side, than a whiz bang of a shot who doesn't really know why he's fighting. Actually, I'd rather have both, but it's much easier and less risky to start with the right attitude and instill the right technique than the reverse.

If you refer to "Atlas Shrugged," as Billy Beck points out you must have skipped the part where Danneskjold pirates the welfare state, or the part where Dagney, Rearden, and others rescue Galt, killing the guards in the process. Or the part where Hank Rearden is ready to kill a policeman. Rand, a pacifist? Oh, HELL no!

"Trouble rather the tiger in his lair than the sage amongst his books, for to you kingdoms and their armies are mighty and enduring, but to him they are but toys of the moment to be overturned by the flicking of a finger."
-Chinese proverb quoted by Dickson and Kipling, among others.

Someone who truly understands the nature of this conflict, and is willing to speak out and teach others about the evil overtaking us is a weapon of far greater effect than a skilled rifleman, and if properly employed can make the rifleman's job easy. Remember, gentlemen, this is first and foremost a war of IDEAS. As long as we don't lose that fight, we still have a chance.

October 6, 2010 at 3:13 AM  
Blogger Concerned American said...

BullRun:

Pretty sure that Billy Beck was saying that Ragnar, his tactics, and his strategic objective is usually omitted from discussions of Rand and her works.

And please tell me that you haven't come across the zealous libertarian who, despite said zeal, just never seems to be able to translate any of their lofty ideas into concrete action -- even peaceable, legal action.

One other point about Ragnar -- he didn't wait for permission from some claimed higher authority to commence his campaign of pillage, piracy, and sabotage.

He just acted.

October 6, 2010 at 3:51 AM  
Anonymous Rollory said...

"Given that belief, who are you trusting to impose a draft against the expressed will of the people? Who are you trusting to END that draft? If you allow "emergencies" to suspend the rules, then politicians will declare there to be constant emergencies. When in the last 50 years has America not been at war somewhere?"

This is a fair point.

I don't say it's a complete solution. I just think things will fall apart faster without the institution of a draft. I don't believe that enough human beings, completely free to choose on their own, will decide of their own free will that yes THIS particular threat is immediate enough and pressing enough that yes it requires ME to go risk my life. The tendency will be, it's not here yet, someone else can worry about it. That's the human thing to do. We aren't always rational and rarely have complete information, and in the case of emergencies that DO require a draft to deal with, erring on the side of non-force means the nation gets picked apart piece by piece and then it's too late.

Also - and this is more relevant to the immediate situation - the paid soldiers (who chose the profession of their own free will) who get tasked with dealing with such things become estranged from the population they are protecting, while the population loses the habit of military action in self-defense.

Have you seen the recent news story about the woman who went jet-skiing with her husband on a lake on the Mexican border, and they got shot at, and the husband died? It's not the first such border murder and won't be the last - there are entire border zones that are essentially abandoned by law and order, where the drug gangs and people smugglers operate with impunity. Why is our military not responding to this situation? Part of it is because they (the military command and the administration) know they don't _have_ to - if the military doesn't go in, nobody else is going to do anything about it, for a long while anyway. The population is not in the habit of being a military, and is just sitting back letting things happen and meekly asking from time to time if anything's going to change. When every able-bodied adult male has experience with weapons and has been trained to kill people who are trying to kill him, whether or not he wanted to learn it, well, that puts the question of when and where the fighting starts somewhat outside the control of the politicians - and this is a good thing.

It would be nice if it wasn't necessary - if people could be trusted to keep liberty once they had it, and to retain the same willingness to oppose unjust government with force that the colonists had. The history of the USA seems to disprove that. People get lazy. The colonists lived on the edge of a howling wilderness populated with (at least some) bloodthirsty savages. The draft didn't need to be a formal institution then, because mere existence under those conditions enforced the exact same lessons. Now, we've domesticated all that - but we still need _something_ to teach us about the hard edges of life, because they still exist in the human soul. People can not _want_ to know about it or react to it, but that's not enough to make it go away.

October 6, 2010 at 6:10 AM  
Anonymous Rollory said...

Hm, rereading the question, I should clarify: I support a draft in the sense that it is always on. Not just periodically in times of emergencies. I mean every man joins the military, as long as he's not completely physically incapable. This isn't the same thing as the draft as it has been known in the USA, where it's a "temporary" emergency - in that case, the question of ending the emergency is indeed highly relevant (and it is one the USA has failed to solve; states of emergency declared for WW2 and various crises since have never ended). Apologies for any confusion.

October 6, 2010 at 6:30 AM  
Anonymous LMWatBullRun said...

Ideas without action are worthless. Action without ideas to direct it is horrifically dangerous.

Concerned American, you are correct that there are intellectuals who call themselves libertarians or objectivists who have not allowed themselves to think about the logical progression of the present 'endarkenment' or how this progression will affect them. I know of some such, but count very few of them as friends.

This sort of intellectual cowardice can best be combated by asking Ken Royce's question- "OK, you say you are a libertarian, and you are working to reverse over a century of creeping statism by working within the system. What is your backup plan? Are you personally prepared to demonstrate to the looters, moochers and their thugs what the men of the mind are capable of when they go to war? Follow your thoughts and ideas to their logical conclusion, and take the appropriate action!"

Remember also that numbers don't tell the tale. The biblical parable of Gideon's band is worth re-reading, too.

October 6, 2010 at 12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"and in the case of emergencies that DO require a draft to deal with"

That's a circular argument. If you are trying to decide what happens if there never is a draft, you can't assume the result you want to prove is true.

"erring on the side of non-force means the nation gets picked apart piece by piece and then it's too late."

I think you've made an oversimplification mistake in your military analysis. Suppose a nation had a large percentage of the population who were like most German Jews -- pacifist against genocide in practical effect if not by considered choice. Suppose there was no internal political strong man promising certain death if they didn't face likely death from the external enemy. Suppose the external enemy beaches the landing craft and starts invading. What happens?

On the edges of the country, the pacifists get killed or enslaved by the external enemy. The patriots fall back because they are too small of a percentage of the population to hold ground -- the area conquered is too logistically nutritious to the invader. As the enemy works its way in, the percentage of patriots goes up. Maybe the patriots invite the enemy to kill the pacifists first as a PR measure. The ultimate outcome is far from clear or determined. How is this situation different than the 3% fighters, 10% fighter sympathizers, 33% tories, 33% uncommitted in the American revolutionary war?

"We aren't always rational and rarely have complete information"

And in the best possible arrangement, neither is the domestic strongman whom you want to forcibly impose a draft. Six billion heads worldwide are still better than a few thousand at the king's court. Much more likely, the king is juiced by playing the Great Game in the Middle East, with the patriots as both tin soldiers and tax cows. Meanwhile the bankers clean up by loaning enough money to every king to keep the Game exciting, and the taxes rolling in to pay interest on their loans. The possibility of "political failure" (aka political success) is hugely more likely than the possibility that Appalachian mountain types will not be willing to defend their homes from the foreign invader.

"I support a draft in the sense that it is always on. Not just periodically in times of emergencies. I mean every man joins the military, as long as he's not completely physically incapable."

That could turn out like Switzerland, but it's much more likely to turn out like Sparta or various flavors of militant Germany or Russia. Or perhaps American inner-city gang territory. Yeccch.

October 7, 2010 at 6:00 AM  
Anonymous Rollory said...

" you can't assume the result you want to prove is true."

Ok, you're right. There's several questions tied up in this: the morality of the draft is one. I have absolutely no objection to anyone who says that it is slavery. That is the truth. I have the impression that is the basis of its inclusion in the OP's list of unacceptable collectivism.

A different one is the simple experimental question of a nation can exist for the long term without ever needing to resort to it. At the risk of being called "pragmatic", this one is more interesting to me. For example -

"On the edges of the country, the pacifists get killed or enslaved by the external enemy. The patriots fall back"

First of all, this is exactly what the Mexicans are doing to the USA right now, and what the Muslims are doing in Europe. Even _if_ it ends up being eventually reversed, I do not consider the rapes and murders to be an acceptable price for avoiding a draft.

More generally, it is not a strategy that would work against, say, Stalin's Red Army. Nor, for that matter, for nearly any country against the Wehrmacht. It did not work for India against the Muslims. You can say "Afghanistan!" and "Yugoslavia!" and I answer, what would the Romans do? The Romans would dust the place with anthrax and be done with it. Guerrilla movements work when two conditions apply: 1) the guerrillas have help from an outside source, 2) the invader doesn't really, really want to win. You can say "Vietnam!" and I point to the fact that every single invasion from the north was defeated right up to the point that the US Congress decided to stop funding and left its so-called ally flapping in the breeze. You can say "1776!" and I point to the fact that Burgoyne and Howe and Cornwallis were members of the Whig political party - roughly equivalent to putting John Kerry, War Hero, in charge of the surge in Iraq.

Trading land for time works when you have a major military-industrial powerhouse that can be mobilized. If you are going to depend on that mobilization to be purely voluntary, you need to start off much more powerful than the invader, so that even after losing significant chunks of the country (to both invasion and apathy of the "I'm sorry, I really can't, XYZ at home is just more important to me right now" sort), what is left - the part acting on a purely voluntary basis - must still be stronger and capable of defeating the invader.

Drafts exist because this tends not to be true. Invaders act because they honestly think they are stronger than the sum total of the potential opposing forces. Often, they're right.

(continued, was too long)

October 7, 2010 at 5:03 PM  
Anonymous Rollory said...

Now, you can argue that "necessity" does not justify immorality, and therefore a draft _should_ not be implemented based purely on moral and ethical grounds. I have absolutely no objection to people who feel that way setting up their own country and living by that principle. I would not choose to live there, because I would not expect it to have much of a future - maybe a bright and happy one in the short term, but I am absolutely certain it would come to an end sooner than a country that did not make that choice.

The question of trusting the leaders is an entirely separate one. If you don't trust your government _at_ _all_, it's not your government, it's something you're at war with. Any government is bad if the rulers are foolish. Any government is good if the rulers are wise. A major point of republic over monarchy is to remove the single point of failure of an insane king, and another is to get the wisdom-of-crowds benefit - but if the king could be trusted to be libertarian in his economic policies, generally hands-off and uninterested as regards people's day-to-day lives, enforcing a simple and consistent legal code, and focused on a strong defense but unambitious beyond the borders, that government would be just as good as a republic that arrived at the same policies after lots of voting. When the republic's rulers - the political class, and the people voting for them - become foolish, the government goes bad and becomes untrustworthy just as completely as when the playboy prince inherits the crown.

If you assume the rulers are ALWAYS going to be bad, there is NO system of government that can compensate for that. (Cue the anarchists - "Yes, exactly!") I don't remember which of the founders it was that said that the Constitution was intended for an educated and moral people and was "wholly inadequate for any other", but we can see today that he was right.

October 7, 2010 at 5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"On the edges of the country, the pacifists get killed or enslaved by the external enemy. The patriots fall back"

First of all, this is exactly what the Mexicans are doing to the USA right now, and what the Muslims are doing in Europe.


I think that's exaggerated too much. The Southern US border is not being redrawn on the map, and the region does not look like Atlanta after the civil war burned it. The Mexican flag is not flying on any of the US border towns city halls.

"Even _if_ it ends up being eventually reversed, I do not consider the rapes and murders to be an acceptable price for avoiding a draft."

How did you reach the conclusion there is only one way to respond to the rapes and murders by illegal immigrants on the Southern border, and that one way is the draft? A simple and obvious possible response of Southern border homeowners to home invaders, which avoids the slavery of the draft, is for the homeowners to capture or shoot them. But homeowners can't get away with doing that today because a criminal gang puts them in jail. This criminal gang is the problem. Making this criminal gang stronger by agreeing they can do draft-slavery is backward.

Let's imagine that it's WWII, and FDR is shot for treason by US army generals when he attempts to keep Pearl from preparing for an attack. Pearl is not bombed, the US does not enter WWII. Eventually, the Wehrmacht puts landing craft on US beaches. You're claiming that the US population won't fight this invader effectively, unless forced by a draft? I don't find that convincing. Are you claiming that the Japanese admiral(?)'s opinions about 'awakened a sleeping giant' and 'a rifle behind every blade of grass' assume a draft is in place to make them true? In the historical record, were these comments made before a US draft was started?

"Any government is good if the rulers are wise."

This is disproven by the Economic Calculation Problem, wikipedia has a good writeup. Doesn't matter if the government is composed of wise saints, it is still evil, and messes things up by its very existence. The possibility that government can be good has been disproven.

October 8, 2010 at 6:06 AM  
Anonymous Rollory said...

"The Southern US border is not being redrawn on the map"

On the map. Yet. Odoacer gave lip service to the suzerainty of the Emperor in Constantinople too.

"Eventually, the Wehrmacht puts landing craft on US beaches. You're claiming that the US population won't fight this invader effectively, unless forced by a draft? "

There are several different assumptions you're making here that aren't justified.

First of all, neither Hitler nor the Japanese would have attempted such an invasion under the circumstances you describe, any more than the Russians did, for precisely the reason you mention. Instead they might have tried for a cultural victory, which the Communists at least partially achieved - or at least something to soften the eventual resistance. Which is in fact exactly what happened. My claim is that the institution of a draft - consistent and mandatory military training for every able-bodied adult man - would help defend against such things, and inculcate attitudes and habits that would retain precisely the mentality and behavior that made an invasion of any sort not worth doing - whether it be landing craft on the beaches, or the migration of a disproportionately poor and criminal class out of a neighboring dysfunctional land. You don't need tanks to take a place over, if the people living there don't fight back.

Second, you are imagining the USA in all its wide expanse and unity and comparative cultural uniformity as being something constant, and judging the draft based purely within that context. That's wrong. If the draft is wrong here, it should be wrong everywhere; if it's not wrong everywhere, it isn't always wrong here. France in WW1 would have had no chance of holding the Germans back without a draft. Finland did not stop the Soviets based purely on volunteer efforts.

October 8, 2010 at 6:40 PM  
Anonymous Rollory said...

Even in the specific case of the USA, there's no reason to believe in its constancy. I'm not talking about the USA in particular as a candidate for a draft for several reasons: first, as a nation-state, I see it as having degenerated past the point of deserving any particular loyalty from the posterity for which it was supposedly created. Second, the internal divisions are starting to sharpen - rural interior vs urban coast, southern redneck vs northeastern liberal, white vs nonwhite, christian vs not, and so on. Most of these tend to follow the same dividing line, others are appearing that don't - Latino gangs displacing black gangs from LA and elsewhere, Muslims in Dearbornistan, the stranglehold of south Asians on the IT industry in at least certain regions, the Chinese in some places on the west coast, and so on.

This is not a "nation" anymore. It is an empire: a huge expanse of territory containing a multitude of peoples who do not necessarily have much in common, even among the remaining majority whites. Libertarianism and traditional American attitudes toward guns are not necessarily common among many of these groups. Right now they're all mostly playing nice with each other, because the central power has the force to punish disruptions that threaten it. There's no reason to think that will last past the inevitable weakening of that power and the ongoing relative shrinkage of the founding population.

Empires break apart, it is their nature. What arises in the aftermath will not have the same geographic and population advantages that the USA had. So there is no point in assuming that as the background for decisions like a draft.

"The possibility that government can be good has been disproven."

So you would argue against any government at all?

Not saying it's crazy or anything like that, just want to be clear. If that is your position, then we don't have much to talk about - go do it, make it happen, and show me the results. I don't say it can't be done, but I don't know of a case where it has been and resulted in something I would like to live in.

If not, then "least bad of a set of unavoidable evils" is, relative to the other options, "good".

October 8, 2010 at 6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Instead [overseas invaders] might have tried for a cultural victory, which the Communists at least partially achieved - or at least something to soften the eventual resistance. Which is in fact exactly what happened."

It's not the Germans/Japanese/Mexicans/Muslims/Russians who have been busy writing positive PR for collectivism for the last hundred years in all major American media outlets; it's the English.

"My claim is that the institution of a draft - consistent and mandatory military training for every able-bodied adult man - would help defend against such things, and inculcate attitudes and habits that would retain precisely the mentality and behavior that made an invasion of any sort not worth doing"

Or it could amplify the leader principle/fuhrerprinzip and produce Good Germans/Sound Americans. The likely side effects of your proposed therapy are worse than the disease. The bigger risk is political failure (aka political success), and you aren't controlling it.

"If the draft is wrong here, it should be wrong everywhere;"

I agree, moral principles are to be applied equally to all humans.

"So you would argue against any government at all?"

Yes. It is wrong to hit people to get what you want. If the French or the Finns or the German Jews can't figure out they should resist extinction by other groups of humans, then it is their Darwinian fate to be eaten. I'm not saying it is right that they should be eaten, I am saying that if you keep yourself disarmed in a really bad neighborhood, what do you expect to happen? My sympathy is limited.

"go do it, make it happen, and show me the results."

Running the mafia out of town does seem to be the only option.

October 9, 2010 at 7:05 AM  

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