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Faux Independence

Sorry to rain on your picnic, but America will never be a free country until hot dogs and buns come packaged in equal numbers.

So I must speak out.

It’s probably good they have holidays like this, in a bread and circuses kinda way. Religion isn’t the only placating, pacifying opiate of the masses.

Patriotism is second.

When it can be said by any country in the world, my poor are happy, neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them, my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars, the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive, the rational world is my friend because I am the friend of happiness. When these things can be said, then may that country boast its constitution and government.

― Thomas Paine, Rights of Man

I quote another founder; but unlike Paine, a slaveholder.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

It’s the only meaningful official American document, and it precedes the actual formation of the United States—somewhat distinct, though folks conflate the two all the time. Even that founding document is mostly a load of crap, easy to tear apart on moral grounds—just as Lysander Spooner tore apart the Constitution on both moral and logical grounds (No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority).

The true problem with the United States is that it has few critics of its foundational basis. I say that it’s quite no surprise that America is a fucking wreck now, because its foundation is such a flawed sham. Slaveholders waxing on about human freedom and independence. There should never be a reconciliation or “historical context” about any of it. They owned other people.

A good country, that does not make. Look around.

They were unqualified and thus, America is a fucking mess.

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Via Wikipedia:

The Constitution of the United States was drafted in 1787, and included several provisions regarding slavery. Section 9 of Article I forbade the Federal government, from banning the “importation” of persons that an individual state’s laws considered “proper to admit” until January 1, 1808, though a tax of ten dollars each was allowed. Article V prohibited amending those portions of Section 9 before 1808. By prohibiting Federal banning of the slave trade for two decades, Article V effectively protected the trade until 1808, giving the States 20 years to resolve this issue. During that time, planters in states of the Lower South imported tens of thousands of slaves, more than during any previous two decades in colonial history.

As further protection for slavery, the delegates approved Section 2 of Article IV, which prohibited states from freeing slaves who fled to them from another state, and required the return of chattel property to owners.

In a section negotiated by James Madison of Virginia, Section 2 of Article I designated “other persons” (slaves) to be added to the total of the state’s free population, at the rate of three-fifths of their total number, to establish the state’s official population for the purposes of apportionment of Congressional representation and federal taxation. This increased the power of southern states in Congress for decades, affecting national policies and legislation. The planter elite dominated the southern Congressional delegations and the United States presidency for nearly 50 years.

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Are Americans not the most brain-dead in the world, $17 Trillion in debt, and they’re still spending capital as though they just saved the world from Hitler and and an Emperor born of the sun.

Laf. America used to be 10 in the world for a while, in terms of economic freedom. Now it has slipped to like 14. Yea, laf at those commie-ass Democrats all you like, but flag-waving republicans are just as fuckatarded.

Finally:

The Once and Future King: The Rise of Crown Government in America. Saw a short interview the other day with Frank Buckley, George Mason University law professor, and had to look into the book. It’s just so up alleys and I hope it become relevant. Still trying to decide whether to get it in hardcover or Kindle, but I suspect the former. If you do listen to that 5 minute interview, you just may get a sense that this is a very thoughtful man and you’d do good to take in what he has to say. I know I am.

Here’s the description:

This remarkable new book shatters just about every myth surrounding American government, the Constitution, and the Founding Fathers, and offers the clearest warning about the alarming rise of one-man rule in the age of Obama.

Most Americans believe that this country uniquely protects liberty, that it does so because of its Constitution, and that for this our thanks must go to the Founders, at their Convention in Philadelphia in 1787.

F. H. Buckley’s book debunks all these myths. America isn’t the freest country around, according to the think tanks that study these things. And it’s not the Constitution that made it free, since parliamentary regimes are generally freer than presidential ones. Finally, what we think of as the Constitution, with its separation of powers, was not what the Founders had in mind. What they expected was a country in which Congress would dominate the government, and in which the president would play a much smaller role.

Sadly, that’s not the government we have today. What we have instead is what Buckley calls Crown government: the rule of an all-powerful president. The country began in a revolt against one king, and today we see the dawn of a new kind of monarchy. What we have is what Founder George Mason called an “elective monarchy,” which he thought would be worse than the real thing.

Much of this is irreversible. Constitutional amendments to redress the balance of power are extremely unlikely, and most Americans seem to have accepted, and even welcomed, Crown government. The way back lies through Congress, and Buckley suggests feasible reforms that it might adopt, to regain the authority and respect it has squandered.

I don’t care what happens to America. I don’t hope shit hits fan, but I suspect it will, eventually.

My #1 focus is getting myself to a freer country in the next 3-5 years.

My dream is to die a non-American.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

32 Comments

  1. Steve on July 4, 2014 at 18:39

    Seems people that complain about ‘the government’ dictating how they live have never asked to speak with ‘the government’, or when they agreed to letting ‘the government’ do so. It also seems the same people claim to be or own a name, and assume that when someone refers to the name or ‘you’ that it’s them being referred to, and not just the name.

  2. MeThinks on July 4, 2014 at 18:44

    Kinda funny that you indict America as being unworthy via a Paine quote, and then a couple of moments later claim that America is a load of crap because it’s built on a faulty moral foundation. You’re right that the moral foundation of America is wrong, but it’s the exact same moral foundation that inspired Paine to write that passage. Can’t have it both ways, Richard: either America sucks because it’s not an altruistic paradise, or it sucks because it’s too much of one (which means that in reality it’s actually a hell).

    Now I know you’ll say that Paine’s error was that he believed in government per se – that (anarchism’s idea of) the free market would have ironically achieved precisely what most of it’s opponents desire – but that’s just silly. Do we have, today, more government than in Paine’s day (post-Revolution), or less? Less, actually. Because, in practice, there’s no longer a constitution, so everyone is equal. Equally entitled to a shot at screwing over everyone else. In other words: today we have an altruistic “paradise” (read: hell). On paper, because of special interest groups, “the poor are happy”, no one is “ignorant or distressed”, “beggars don’t exist”, “the aged are not in want”, not are “taxes oppressive.” It’s great, huh? Anarchy – built on an altruistic foundation.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 5, 2014 at 06:28

      You misinterpret Paine’s quote. Can you think of another way (2 actually) it can be taken?

  3. Brett Legree on July 5, 2014 at 02:09

    “My #1 focus is getting myself to a freer country in the next 3-5 years.”

    Don’t come to Canada, it isn’t much better these days.

    • Dan on July 5, 2014 at 17:22

      Ditto Australia

  4. Goodstuff on July 5, 2014 at 02:13

    The more people there are the fewer freedoms there will be.

  5. Goodstuff on July 5, 2014 at 03:27

    #fuckarounditis!

  6. OC Sure on July 5, 2014 at 07:08

    A good rain. Great interview with Buckley. Wish it was longer.

  7. Henk on July 5, 2014 at 07:44

    Some say that true freedom can only comes from within.

  8. Wade on July 5, 2014 at 12:17

    As in all cases of denial, people participate in this fiction because of the psychological comfort that can be gained by refusing to see the truth.

  9. Daniel on July 5, 2014 at 15:04

    With regards to anarchy, I have a question: what’s to keep a bunch of psychopaths from forming their own Private Defense Agency, being completely legitimate at first with very low prices to attract low-income customers, and then abducting their clients and use them as slave labor?

    • Richard Nikoley on July 5, 2014 at 15:25

      Absolutely nothing that hasn’t stopped the US and its police forces from effectively doing the same.

      On the bright side, at least people will harbor no illusions.

    • Wade on July 6, 2014 at 18:59

      +1

      Daniel’s fears have already been realized. With the false sense of protection from some parchment (Constitution) and loads of doublespeak, many people can’t see right before their very eyes.

      Love seeing Spooner’s “No Treason” mentioned here. A sample from the appendix:

      “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.”

    • Daniel on July 7, 2014 at 11:36

      You haven’t responded to my concern. You will get no disagreement from me about today’s U.S. government being coercive. However, as I pointed out with my example, your proposition of an anarcho-capitalist system is flawed at the fundamental level. When each individual in a society, included those that make up private “defense” agencies, has an unlimited choice of the use of force, it is anything but freedom of coercion that results.

      As many anarchists point out, documents like the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, in themselves, are just worthless pieces of paper. It is the IDEAS from which these documents are derived that are so important and that shape our society. Unfortunately, one of the moral aspects of these documents, i.e., altruism, is incompatible with a truly free society. When you have a society that has a proper moral foundation for freedom, i.e., rational self-interest, you will not have a coercive government. The psychopaths will have no control.

    • Daniel on July 7, 2014 at 12:06

      *freedom from coercion

    • Richard Nikoley on July 7, 2014 at 12:59

      “your proposition of an anarcho-capitalist system…”

      Laf.

    • Daniel on July 7, 2014 at 13:08

      Ok, perhaps I was jumping the gun by assuming you were an anarcho-capitalist. Do you support a system where there are competing private defense agencies and dispute resolution organizations? If not, what kind of system do you favor? It is not my intention to be adversarial. I just take ideas very seriously.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 7, 2014 at 14:01

      “support a system”

      I do not support “systems” that are not 100% unanimous amongst 100% of participants 100% of the time.

      I’m an anarchist. Just an anarchist. I haven’t a care in the world how people arrange their affairs socially, so long as they leave me out of their schemes to live at the expense of other people.

      Why is this so difficult to understand? Very nearly all of my dealings with all people are on a voluntary basis and if it were not, I wouldn’t deal with them.

      Don’t know what to tell you. I don’t make designs on utopias and none of it interests me in the slightest.

    • Daniel on August 3, 2014 at 07:22

      Your system of everybody being left alone is a utopia. It presupposes that all human beings are completely rational at all times and that no one ever imposes force on anyone else. Seeing that there are people that are irrational and would love to kill you and steal your stuff, there must exist an entity that would protect you from the threat of such people. Your stance is merely you blanking out to reality.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 3, 2014 at 10:03

      I didn’t say that, Daniel, so you’ve torn down a nice strawman of your own making in your blanking out of my long held position.

      No where have I said “system,” nor “everybody.” That is not anarchism.

      What I do say is leave me alone. And I am taking steps to leave to someplace where I can actually be very free by comparison. Previously this would have been impractical for a number of reasons but now, I can make the same money anywhere in the world with a laptop and WiFi.

      I’m not trying to save the world, merely reach one mind at a time and all it requires is for any individual to simply not buy into one jot or tittle of the State fraud and scam. Ever.

      Let the rest of the world go to hell and laf when it does. Like I always say, I hope to see Armani suits in soup lines in America in my lifetime. I’ll be on a quiet beach near the equator, with popcorn.

    • Daniel on August 4, 2014 at 05:41

      Okay, so you’re shrugging. I can respect that. Best of luck.

  10. Harriet on July 5, 2014 at 17:24

    My mother watched the growth of Nazism with interest when in her 20s. I’ve been watching the gradual destruction of US values and increase in controls against the people. The statistic about police killing 5000+ vs terrorists 33 is horrific when put in the context of the armoured vehicles and all the associated paraphernalia that goes with authoritarian government.

    I think you have left it late to think about leaving. Most countries it was easy to enter are making it much harder to move to now. I will be interested to hear further about where and when you might move.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 5, 2014 at 18:43

      A nice lady retired American, mid 60s to early 70s came to our garage sale today. Nice, healthy looking. Like how she was dressed too, in flip flops and loose clothing.

      She retired from America, lived in Belize a few years, now Bali, loves a lot.

    • Harriet on July 6, 2014 at 17:29

      Bali can be lovely, but Indonesia can be very complicated legally. Their process of law can be distinctly odd from a foreigners perspective. We currently have an Australian guy in prison when his motor cycle going 5 kph was hit by one going 40 kph. The dead person’s family doesn’t even blame him but he can be held for 40 days without charge or anything he can do.

      If you love travel then time in overseas countries can be great. Those of us who don’t can find the cultural demands more than we want to handle.

      Re Dan’s comment about Australia. Yes we are going down the same track as the US, but we are years behind and our culture may make the process different. At the moment its a good place for us. however we are making sure our grandchildren keep their two passports and possibly get a further citizenship for the future.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 6, 2014 at 17:48

      I’m looking into German citizenship. My dad came here in ’52, naturalized in ’57, I was born in ’61.

      Simple matter if he was still a German citizen at the time of my birth. Looking into it.

    • michael goroncy on July 7, 2014 at 16:43

      I say Yo! Richard
      I was born in Germany in 1949 and emigrated to Australia in 1950.
      Parents Russian/Polish.
      A few years ago I emailed the German Consulate regarding a passport.
      Received a reply in German…..I don’t ‘SpeckinDeutch’ …gave up, and that was the end of that.
      Half hearted attempt anyway.

  11. Anand Srivastava on July 6, 2014 at 23:14

    I don’t think we can have a just federal government. The problem is that very few people think long term.

    The only real solution is to have a government formed using a fractal formation. With a small local association, that selects associations of associations, and going further up.

    for example you have a local council of people living in a community say 2000-6000 people. This would be small enough that people will care who is elected and what they do. Most of the economic power should be concentrated into these small units. These units would collect taxes and build internal roads and roads connecting to other similar units, take care of communication, education, health care, security (if needed) etc.

    Next you have a higher level say 50-200 of such units selecting one person from among the local council. This higher council would collect taxes from the lower councils and would build bigger educational institutions, building larger road networks to bigger councils, health care, security etc. They will also provide support to weaker councils, so that they can have minimum facilities.

    Similarly upward.

    The topmost level would in addition set standards of governance, education, etc. They would fix individual tax rates, but would not tax them directly. They would by necessity be involved with the external affairs. They would setup institutions to provide training to the security forces used by the local councils. Best of the security people would move up to the higher levels and would be deployed in areas where more are required. But they would be paid directly by their lower councils. The power of money will need to be minimized at the center.

    There is a reason why we need to have a single tax structure for the whole country. If this is not done, richer communities become richer, as they need lesser taxes and the richest people move to those communities. Also this would be an incentive to help the weaker communities to be brought up, because as they grow richer, tax rates can be reduced. Financial Auditing will have to be done by the lower levels of the higher levels rather than the current top down approach. Obviously a richer community will collect a lot more tax, which can be passed down to the weaker communities, with auditing being done by the richer communities to make sure that the money is used properly. Since the money to the security guys (stationed in the weaker communities) will also be provided by the richer communities, they will have more control as to how the money is utilized.

    There would definitely be a whole lot of details that need to go into this basic framework, but I am sure this would be the most logical framework for a good government.

    Unfortunately it is very difficult to build something like this. Whenever a new political system is built, the builders want to control the whole country. Some think that only they can do good, others need the power. I am not sure when this kind of government would develop anywhere.

    I am not against government. I just don’t see a possibly good government structure anywhere. Switzerland, I think is the closest to this ideal. I think US had a similar structure, before Abraham Lincoln undermined the power of the states. Unfortunately before that all people where not equal in the eyes of law. The change was good for the slaves, but not for the US as a country.

    • Daniel on July 7, 2014 at 12:18

      I have just one question: by what moral standard does a group of people have the right to take my stuff at the point of a gun?

    • Jon McRae on July 8, 2014 at 07:44

      The moral standard that is backed with more guns

  12. Chris on July 9, 2014 at 18:23

    Patriotism is first. Religion is second.
    Statism is the religion of choice for most people today.

  13. steve W on July 11, 2014 at 23:31

    Your social philosophy is based on traditional Anglo natural law/rights. The rest of the world is highly hierarchical, aristocratic, Big Man loving. Invite non-Anglos and low and behold what do we have: a low-trust, authoritarian police state. The inertia of that 17 (more like 50) trillion in credit is a balmy salve based on the credit of our English fathers.

    How white is Arnold…

  14. Shameer M. on August 27, 2017 at 19:56

    “My #1 focus is getting myself to a freer country in the next 3-5 years.”

    Question is, where would that be? List is shrinking

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