“If a thousand men were not to pay their tax-bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State to commit violence and shed innocent blood. This is, in fact, the definition of a peaceable revolution, if any such is possible.”—Henry David Thoreau
“All of us have heard this term ‘preventive war’ since the earliest days of Hitler. … A preventive war, to my mind, is an impossibility today. How could you have one if one of its features would be several cities lying in ruins, several cities where many, many thousands of people would be dead and injured and mangled, the transportation systems destroyed, sanitation implements and systems all gone? That isn’t preventive war; that is war. … I don’t believe there is such a thing; and, frankly, I wouldn’t even listen to anyone seriously that came in and talked about such a thing.”—Dwight D. Eisenhower
“The world has not prepared for the future. During the 1950s, people used twice as much oil as during the 1940s. During the 1960s, we used twice as much as during the 1950s. And in each of those decades, more oil was consumed than in all of mankind’s previous history. World consumption of oil is still going up. If it were possible to keep it rising during the 1970s and 1980s by 5 percent a year as it has in the past, we could use up all the proven reserves of oil in the entire world by the end of the next decade.”—Jimmy Carter, April 18, 1977
“Socialism, like the old policy from which it emanates, confounds Government and society. And so, every time we object to a thing being done by Government, it concludes that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of education by the State - then we are against education altogether. We object to a State religion – then we would have no religion at all. We object to an equality which is brought about by the State – and we are against equality, etc., etc. They might as well accuse us of wishing men not to eat, because we object to the cultivation of corn by the State.”—Frederic Bastiat, The Law
“The first lesson of economics is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”—Thomas Sowell
They may refer to themselves as ‘constitutionalists’ or ‘freemen,’ which is not necessarily a connection to a specific group, but, rather, an indication that they are free from government control. They follow their own set of laws. While the philosophies and conspiracy theories can vary from person to person, their core beliefs are the same: The government operates outside of its jurisdiction.
So anyone claiming to be a ‘constitutionalist’ is now to be monitored by law enforcement. Yeah, I think Ron Paul needs to be arrested. Oh, and here’s the kicker:
One prevalent sovereign-citizen theory is the Redemption Theory, which claims the U.S. government went bankrupt when it abandoned the gold standard basis for currency in 1933 and began using citizens as collateral in trade agreements with foreign governments.
So, now, anyone who thinks that abandoning the gold standard was wrong may be under suspicion. While the language this FBI memo uses is ambiguous on certain things, the danger comes from the fact that most law enforcement officers aren’t going to comprehend it entirely, leading them to monitor free-thinking individuals as a threat to the United States. What a joke. If you didn’t think our government was out to limit its critics, think again. One last quote from this ridiculous memo:
The FBI considers sovereign-citizen extremists as comprising a domestic terrorist movement…
“A republican, or free government, can only exist where the body of the people are virtuous and where property is pretty equally divided; in such a government the people are the sovereign and their sense or opinion is the criterion for every public measure; for when this ceases to be the case, the nature of the government is changed, and an aristocracy, monarchy, or despotism will rise on its ruin. The highest responsibility is to be attained in a simple struction of government, for the great body of the people never steadily attend to the operations of the government, and for want of due information are liable to be imposed on.”—Centinel, The Anti-Federalists
“The course of government is attended with an insensible descent to evil, and there is no reascending to good without very great efforts.”—Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu
“The principle that the majority have a right to rule the minority practically resolves all government into a mere contest between two bodies of men as to which of them shall be masters and which of them slaves; a contest that, however bloody, can, in the nature of things, never be finally closed so long as man refuses to be a slave.”—Lysander Spooner, No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority
While reading up on the War of 1812, a small fact caught my attention: Britain was the largest importer of American goods leading up to the war. Drawing a comparison to today, I was reminded that America is the largest importer of Chinese goods. In the meanwhile, our exports have dropped significantly, and we end up with an annual net loss in trade. We all know that Britain ruled the world at one point but their role has greatly diminished in the last century. America became, and today is, the most powerful country in the world. But are we following in Britain’s footsteps? I believe that the answer lies in the understanding of consumption economics, and the role of central banking in this phenomenon.
The consumption possibilities curve (above) shows us that investments increase only when consumption decreases, and vice versa. For a good portion of American history, the people believed in savings. They understood that savings grant investment opportunities, and investments lead to progress. This is where the banking system also came in. As savings increased, banks would lower interest rates and signal to the industry that if they build/produce, the savings will help in consumption. Conversely, when savings were low, the banks would increase interest rates, as the success of a company would be risky when people didn’t have the money to buy their products. This is how a free market works in terms of consumption and investment, and it’s something Americans experienced for a good portion of their history. However, this changed with the establishment of the Federal Reserve, America’s central bank.
Central banks were tried a few times before the Federal Reserve, but were highly opposed by the likes of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, amongst others. Jefferson blasted James Madison for signing into law a central bank, as he saw it as one of the most corrupt organizations used by monarchists to subdue people. And he was right. Though they didn’t last long in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, the Federal Reserve is coming up on a hundred years, and has been responsible for every single recession since its inception, and, the kicker, the Great Depression. Even Ben Bernanke, the current Chairman of the Federal Reserve, admitted that Milton Friedman was right about the role the Fed played in the Great Depression. But of course, he’s not about to walk away from his cushy job with no oversight or accountability whatsoever. He just said they’ll get it right next time. Oy vey.
See, the problem with central banks is that they completely screw up the way free markets are supposed to work. The biggest way they do so is by artificially lowering and raising interest rates. Going back to the consumption-possibilities curve, when savings are low (either because consumption is high or productivity is low), investments disappear. There isn’t any money to lend, and so banks raise interest rates to signal the markets that it’s a risky time to start a new endeavor. However, the central bank decides that people must consume more to stimulate the economy, and so they extend lines of credits beyond what should be warranted. They either produce more money (printing or electronically), or they insure bad loans. The result is a confused market. The producers ramp up production, but the shelves are left stocked, and their goods never move. This throws the market in a tailspin until the politicians decide it’s time to give the people money, via tax breaks or incentives, to go buy the goods that shouldn’t have been produced in the first place. Unfortunately, that’s not enough, and another side-effect from the misunderstanding of this ever-booming economy takes place.
Credit cards. If production is constantly going, and people are supposed to keep buying to ‘stimulate the economy’, they will end up overextending themselves. It’s no wonder that in 2008, the average savings of an American was -10%. Yes that’s a minus sign. They spent ten percent more than they made. This only gets worse as the average family goes into debt for nearly four months out of the year to pay for Christmas gifts. The people end up working paycheck to paycheck just so they can consume. Instead of saving and building capital to do what they truly desire, they work thirty, forty, fifty years in a job they loathe. This has raised a generation of youth that look to the state to provide as much for them as possible. The recent Occupy Wall Street movement was an example of that. They wanted their student loans tossed so that they could spend their money elsewhere. In fact, it gets worse. Now, these very people believe the state should provide them with jobs. And young people, in droves, are starting to work for the government. On average, there are twice as many government employees in a state as there are workers in manufacturing or agriculture. And the numbers are growing. All the while, they don’t realize that the government isn’t self-sustaining, and that private industry is required to pay even those paychecks. But I digress.
The Fed has created an ever-consuming populous, and thus enslaved them to a perverted understanding of ‘the economy’. It’s become this unsatisfiable beast that must be fed constantly unless you want the world to collapse around you. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. The economy is the people. It’s the people who buy and sell. It’s the people who invest or consume. It’s the people, not a cog that needs fixing. People have hopes, they have dreams, and they have fears. When people are afraid, they will cut down consumption. But the government tells them that they must keep this up, unless they want things to get worse. The truth, however, is that there is no short-term solution to a dip in the economy. The world is constantly changing, and along with it so do the markets. Cutting consumption is an appropriate response to those changes, lest we find ourselves in a never-ending spiral. I believe that Britain’s strong central banking played its part in the decline of the empire, and I believe the same is happening in America today.
The sad thing is that the founding fathers fought against this - the oppression of the people. Yet today, we have an oppressed population that is deluded into believing it’s free. America is no longer the land of the brave and the home of the free. It’s the land of the timid, and the home to slaves. We’re heading down the same path Britain did, and unless we change our mindset about consumption economics, we will not be able to avert the coming fiscal disaster. The Fed must go, and we must return to competitive and sound money. We must restore unto Americans the freedoms they’ve lost, and to do that, we must elect people that understand economics, not simply a few catchwords here and there. A return to free markets will restore that freedom, and bring back the atmosphere that helped America rise to the top as Britain fell away.
“But whoever seriously considers the immense extent of territory comprehended within the limits of the United States, together with a variety of its climates, productions, and commerce, the difference of extent, and number of inhabitants in all; the dissimilitude of interest, morals, and policies, in almost every one, will receive it as an intuitive truth, that a consolidated republican form of government therein, can never form a perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to you and your posterity, for to these objects it must be directed: this is kindred legislature therefore, composed of interests opposite and dissimilar in their nature, will in its exercise, emphatically be, like a house divided against itself.”—Cato, Anti-Federalist Papers
“As Patrick Henry pointed out at length during his address to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, checks on power could be of no avail unless they accounted for self-love. Checks merely written into the Constitution would be useless, because only virtuous political officers will abide by them.”—Joseph Sobran, The Anti-Federalists
“Do what we may to inject health into our ailing economic order, we cannot make it endure for long unless we can bring about a wiser, more equitable distribution of the national income.”—Franklin D. Roosevelt
“All that has happened is that the public has adjusted to incoherence and been amused into indifference. Which is why Aldous Huxley would not in the least be surprised by the story. Indeed, he prophesied its coming. He believed that it is far more likely that the Western democracies will dance and dream themselves into oblivion than march into it, single file and manacled. Huxley grasped, as Orwell did not, that it is not necessary to conceal anything from a public insensible to contradiction and narcoticized by technological diversions. Although Huxley did not specify that television would be our main line to the drug, he would have no difficulty accepting Robert MacNeil’s observation that “Television is the soma of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.”—Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death
“Let us consider, instead, the case of Iran during the drama that was called the “Iranian Hostage Crisis”. I don’t suppose there has been a story in years that received more continuous attention from television. We may assume, then, that Americans know most of what there is to know about this unhappy event. And now, I put these questions to you: Would it be an exaggeration to say that not one American in a hundred knows what language the Iranians speak? Or what the word “Ayatollah” means or implies? Or knows any details of the tenets of the Iranian religious beliefs? Or the main outlines of their political history? Or knows who the Shah was, and where he came from?”—Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death
“Even on news shows which provide us daily fragments of tragedy and barbarism, we are urged by the newscasters to “join them tomorrow.” What for? One would think that several minutes of murder and mayhem would suffice as material for a month of sleepless nights. We accept the newscasters’ invitation because we know that the “news” is not to be taken seriously, that it is all in fun, so to say. Everything about a new show tells us this - the good looks and amiability of the cast, their pleasant banter, the exciting music that opens and closes the show, the vivid film footage, the attractive commercials - all these and more suggest that what we have just seen is no cause for weeping. A news show, to put it plainly, is a format for entertainment, not for education, reflection or catharsis.”—Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death
“What sense would it make to classify a man as handicapped because he is in a wheelchair today, if he is expected to be walking again in a month, and competing in track meets before the year is out? Yet Americans are generally given ‘class’ labels on the basis of their transient location in the income stream. If most Americans do not stay in the same broad income bracket for even a decade, their repeatedly changing ‘class’ makes class itself a nebulous concept. Yet the intelligentsia are habituated, if not addicted, to seeing the world in class terms.”—Thomas Sowell
“Liberty is lost through complacency and a subservient mindset. When we accept or even welcome automobile checkpoints, random searches, mandatory identification cards, and paramilitary police in our streets, we have lost a vital part of our American heritage. America was born of protest, revolution, and mistrust of government. Subservient societies neither maintain nor deserve freedom for long.”—Ron Paul
“I get to my God through Christ. Christ to me, is a man of peace. He is for peace. He’s not for war. He doesn’t justify preemptive declared war. I strongly believe there is a Christian doctrine of Just War and I believe this nation has drifted from that, no matter what the rationals are, we have drifted from that and it’s very, very dangerous and I see in many ways being un-Christian. And to justify what we do in the name of Christianity I think is very dangerous and not part of what Christianity is all about. Christ came here for spiritual reasons not secular war and boundaries and geography. Yet we are now dedicating so much of our aggressive activity in the name of God, but God - He is the Prince of Peace. That is what I see from my God, and through Christ, I vote for peace.”—Ron Paul
“The nature of all fiat currencies is to be competitive, with each currency group looking for an advantage in trade, and more importantly, an advantage in debt relief for the governments that issue these currencies. Fiat currencies are designed to be depreciated over time.”—Morris Hubbartt
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”—Albert Einstein
“It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.”—Murray Rothbard, Making Economic Sense
“If every attribute of God were a distinct member, holiness would be the soul that animates them all. Without holiness, God’s patience would be an indulgence to sin; His wrath a madness; His power a tyranny. His holiness gives decorum to them all.”—Stephen Charnock
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”—Steve Jobs (R.I.P.)
“But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case it is unfit to exist.”—Lysander Spooner, No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority