Marxist America

In a country once founded upon Locke’s “Life. Liberty. Property.”, we’ve become a nation shockingly comfortable with policy that is rooted in “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

Among the dying embers of absolute monarchism arose two new political ideologies, both, in their own ways, a response to the autocracy that had been the dominant form of government since the dawn of human civilization. Philosophically, at least, both rejected the idea of privileged political classes that is the hallmark of absolute monarchism and, more or less, sought to level the moral and political playing field between the “common man” and his government.

It is how each ideology addresses the problem of moral and political station of the “common man” that defines them. The first ideology, Individualism, was born from the western classical Liberal tradition of Adam Smith and John Locke. Individualism took the sovereign rights long denied the “common man” by tyrannical monarchs and granted them to the everyone. Rights to their lives, to freedom of action and expression, as well as to property and acquisition of wealth, once reserved entirely to a tiny political class, was granted to everyone.

The second ideology, Collectivism, was born of societies still largely under the thumb of diffuse but deeply entrenched political and religious controls. Beginning with thinkers like Charles Fourier and culminating with Karl Marx, Collectivism saw the sovereign rights possessed by the tyrannical monarchs as the main moral defect of monarchism. In their utopian theory, sovereignty itself is eliminated. The individual’s value is inherent not in himself but comes from the community of which he is a part. Thus ownership is greed. Freedom is hubris. Life is expendable.

These differences between Individualism and Collectivism have been at the heart of the Culture War (as well as numerous actual wars) around the world since the late 19th Century. In America, a country founded unambiguously upon Individualism, it has been tension between these two ideologies that has driven political debate since Theodore Roosevelt through Franklin Roosevelt and beyond. The Culture War in America is ultimately still the same old philosophical battle.

That war, however, is largely over, and Collectivism, not Individualism, has won.

“…Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
-Thomas Jefferson-

That Collectivism has won the Culture War will shock many who believe themselves “right of center“, but the fact of the matter should be obvious. Many of these “right of center” people support government regulating every employment contract, no matter how minor, throughout the United States. They believe government has a role in protecting domestic industries from a global market place. Worst of all, they defend the morally reprehensible systematic confiscation of private property from every worker.

In a country once founded upon Locke’s “Life. Liberty. Property.“, we’ve become a nation shockingly comfortable with policy that is rooted in “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” These people can’t comprehend of a nation without the government injecting itself into the commercial and private contracts of the people, because, wait for it, “what about the needs of society“? On a fundamental but unconscious level, their only question is how much of our “unalienable rights” is really alienable.

Do we, as a nation, believe that two parties have an unalienable right to decide for themselves what a fair and proper contract is without the involvement of “collective society“? Clearly not. Do we, as a nation, believe that it is morally wrong to impose upon our countrymen the cost government that outstrips its revenues every year enough to stop imposing upon our countrymen? Unequivocally not. Do we, as a nation, “prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery” enough to forgo intrusive government regulation and taxation to support agencies that are bankrupting us? Demonstrably, this is no longer the case.

“There are two distinct classes of men –
those who pay taxes and those who
receive and live upon taxes.”
-Thomas Paine-

So Collectivism has won, and positions espoused by voices such as this one you are reading now are accused of being “fringe” and “extremist“, even as we quote directly from the writings of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, George Washington, Thomas Paine, John Locke, Benjamin Franklin, and all of the other Founding Fathers. Is it that vocal voices of Individualism really are “fringe” or is it that Collectivism has crept, inch by inch into the national psyche and finally burrowed deep enough to become the accepted norm in America?

Call me an anarchist, because I believe taxation is theft? Call me an extremist, because I believe the government is always an enemy of the people? Call me a radical, because I believe that I am endowed by my Creator with unalienable rights and demand that my “countrymen” stop alienating them? Call me unrealistic because I retain the Spirit of Resistance necessary to fight for the Individualism of America’s founding? So be it. I’m in good company.

“Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil;
in its worst state, an intolerable one.”
-Thomas Paine-

Liberty is For The Win!


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A Short Word: Guilty As Charged

So I am evil, apparently.

I’m told by the Left that I’m evil, because I don’t believe in failed political and economic fantasies that have provably destroyed the lives of millions of the poor and minorities in the United States alone who have been sold a lie for over a century. I’m told by the Right that I’m evil, because I don’t believe in a tyrannical autocrat who justifies his personal attacks and vile bigotry with flag waving and nationalistic jingoism harking back to the same fascist European imperialism that our grandfathers fought and died to defeat less than a century ago.

I’m evil because I believe that the proper role of government should be leaving you, me, and everyone else alone, and that their hands should be more than full with building roads and securing borders, neither of which they seem interested in doing anymore. I’m evil, because I believe that the government should no more write a check to Goldman Sachs than it should to Solyndra. I’m evil because I don’t believe it should cost $15,000 and 15 years to become a US citizen, limiting the “land of the free” to the world’s elite, while turning our backs on the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free“.

I’m evil, because I believe that who I contract, congregate, contemplate, or copulate with is none of the government’s business, so long as both parties are legally consenting, and no one is harmed. I’m evil, because I believe that the Founding Fathers understood that most people, push come to shove, will abandon rule of law and liberty for autocracy and tyranny, just to feel safe.

I’m not suggesting I’m absolutely good. God knows that I’ve done plenty of actual evil in my lifetime. I’ve done and said things that are both evil and wrong, and that cross I must bear, while I try to give it all to Jesus one splinter at a time. But as far as people saying I’m evil, because I demand to be free?

All I can say to them is molon labe.

Sic semper evello mortem tyrannis!

Liberty is For The Win!


We just checked, and it turns out that fighting for Liberty isn’t free, because it requires time and energy to research, prepare, and propagate this message for you. Please drop just a dollar a month into the proverbial tip jar and become a Patriot Patron. Of course, don’t forget to like, subscribe, and share. Keep this fight for Liberty going! – @LibertyIsFTW

Natural Demand: The Frozen Cage

It is “Natural Demand” that ultimately fuels innovation and incentivizes exactly the type of risk taking that ignited the rapid growth from the late 1790’s through the 1890’s and early 1900’s.

The waning Norwegian winter air was crisp, and the afternoon was sunny and with a few distant clouds, altogether perfect weather for a ski excursion for three medical students. Following a familiar path down the ski slope near a waterfall, one of the doctors, a young woman named Anna Bågenholm, lost her balance and tumbled into the annals of medical history. She fell down the slope and landed on the icy river below. The ice beneath her was several inches thick but had been weakened by the warmer days, and it gave way, plunging Anna headfirst into the freezing waters beneath.

Average body temperature for a human being is 98.6° F. At just 95º F, a decrease of just 3.65%, the body is clinically suffering from hypothermia, causing shivering and shallow breathing. At 89º F, a mere 9.7% decrease of body temperature, the victim begins to suffer from moderate hypothermia, exhibiting increased slowness of breath, dizziness or confusion, loss of coordination or clumsiness, slurred speech, and rapidly onsetting fatigue. At 82º F, a 16.8% decrease of body temperature, the body begins to shut down as it enters severe hypothermia, and the patient may become delirious, suffer memory loss, and finally become comatose, as their heart and brain function slow and ultimately stop.

When Anna’s body hit the water the cold shocked the air out of her lungs, and the current wedged her body between the ice and rocky river bed below. Flailing desperately in the icy water, she found a pocket of air trapped beneath the ice and pushed herself against rocks and gasped in the freezing air. After forty minutes in the icy water, Anna lost consciousness. An hour and twenty minutes later, emergency responders finally managed to pull her limp and unresponsive body from the river.

Anna had no pulse and was not breathing, and rescuers began CPR immediately. By the time Anna arrived in the Tromso University Hospital operating room, she had been clinically dead for over an hour and a half. Nine hours and over 100 doctors and nurses later, Bågenholm was successfully resuscitated, though she remained in intensive care for two months until her organs regained function. She went on to complete medical school and practices medicine today.

“I don’t remember anything about the accident.
 I think that’s really good.”
-Anna Bågenholm-

The sluggishness of our economy is very much like a hypothermia victim, complete with the symptoms of confusion, lack of coordination, and rapidly onsetting fatigue, as the icy chill of government taxation leeches away precious heat. In the last two quarters, the United States economy has struggled at 0.8% and 1.1% in a precipitously declining growth rate since peaking in 2014 at 5.0%. The United States is not alone in this challenge. Just compare the US to the top ten European nations by tax revenue per GDP:

country-tax-revenue-per-gdp
Data from wikipedia andtradingeconomics

In 2015, the United States government seized $1.445 trillion from the pocketbooks of its citizens in 2015, even after refunds, or about 7.79% of the total GDP of around $18.558 trillion. Coupled with roughly $276.7 billion from excise taxes (1.49% of GDP), $338.2 billion from corporate taxes (1.82% of GDP), and $1.015 trillion from payroll taxes (5.47% of GDP), and a total of 16.57% of our economy has been leached out of the economy through federal taxation alone. If we think of GDP is our nation’s economic “body heat”, then at 16.57%, our economic patient would be at the very precipice of severe hypothermia.

The European economies, including the much vaunted socialist Scandinavian economies, are all clinging to the barest margins of growth while burdened by tax revenues per GDP far and above the United States. Could these governments sucking so much from their economies be causing their own chronic stagnant growth rates? The answer to this question is central to the conservative economic theory and remains a matter of debate, but looking at this admittedly limited data subset certainly suggests an answer.

“Those of the left often act as if human beings are just like inert
blocks of wood or like chess pieces that you can move around
on the chess board… but, of course, people react to [taxation].”
Thomas Sowell

Briefly, the theoretical argument can be summarized thus:

1) Taking capital out of the economy and using it for nonproductive government expenses reduces the amount of capital available in the economy.
2) With less capital available in the economy, there is less elasticity in demand driven markets and less tolerance for failure.
3) With less capital in the overall market and less elasticity in demand driven markets, inefficient markets are more likely to be generated than efficient markets, because there is less excess capital to cover risks.
Conclusion: This creates recessionary scarcity, worse risk to reward trade-offs in the economy, and ultimately drives down aggregate growth potential.

In the case of the United States, by laying a relatively heavy tax burden on the private citizen, the government crushes Consumer Demand. While Supply Side Economics has been shown to increase economic growth, the true power of the economy is Demand for products and services presently available and, more importantly, those not yet available. It is “Natural Demand” that ultimately fuels innovation and incentivizes exactly the type of risk taking that ignited the rapid growth from the late 1790’s through the 1890’s and early 1900’s.

It starts when families have excess discretionary income, because they have the ability to spend speculatively, combined with competitive wages and salaries, even lower middle class American families were able to afford luxury and convenience goods such as radios, televisions, vacuum cleaners, dishwashers, dryers, cars, air conditioners, and even family vacations to Europe. They try a new restaurant, or a new expensive lotion, or perhaps a new type of home entertainment technology.

These purchases simply don’t happen, at least not with any consistency, unless families have excess discretionary income, and excess discretionary income only exists if it’s not artificially being “spent” in the form of usually wasteful taxation. It’s only when families are spending speculatively that the risk inherent in new and interesting products is marginal, because the chance to make at least some return on almost any investment is relatively high.

This is a subject that I’ve been wanting to right about for some time now, but the election and other economic and political issues have pushed it to the sidelines. I’ll continue this subject in the following article and demonstrate that there is no replacement for Natural Demand.

Be brave. Be free.

Liberty is For The Win!


We just checked, and it turns out that fighting for Liberty isn’t free, because it requires time and energy to research, prepare, and propagate this message for you. Please drop just a dollar a month into the proverbial tip jar and become a Patriot Patron. Of course, don’t forget to like, subscribe, and share. Keep this fight for Liberty going! – @LibertyIsFTW