Liberty and Democracy

 


Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of Jackals by Jackasses. — H. L. Mencken


Ambrogio Lorenzetti's Allegories of the Good and Bad Government, commissioned six and a half centuries ago, in 1338, to remind the city fathers of Sienna of their duties, is still to be seen today. Good Government is dominated by a throned figure representing the commune, flanked by the Virtues. Bad Government is ruled by Fear, whose scroll reads: "Because he looks for his own good in the world, he places justice beneath tyranny. So nobody walks this road without Fear: Robbery thrives inside and outside the city gates." "It is utterly ridiculous to see any connection between the high capitalism of today — as it is now being imported into Russia and as it exists in America — with democracy or with freedom in any sense of these words. Yet this capitalism is an unavoidable result of our economic development. The question is: how are freedom and democracy in the long run at all possible under the domination of highly developed capitalism? Freedom and democracy are only possible where the resolute will of a nation not to allow itself to be ruled like sheep is permanently alive." — Max Weber, quoted in From Max Weber (ed. H. H. Gerth & C. Wright Mills)


An American Coup

"[A] mere demarcation on parchment of the constitutional limits of the several departments, is not a sufficient guard against those encroachments which lead to a tyrannical concentration of all the powers of government in the same hands."  — James Madison (1788)
 
 ... unless the government fears and despises the people but is ruthless enough to attempt to deceive the people with big lies and to suppress opposition by force and the use of modern technology — then tyranny might linger on some ... but only some.

"I want for our country enough laws to restrain me from injuring others, so that these laws will also restrain others from injuring me. I want enough government, with enough constitutional safeguards, so that this necessary minimum of laws will be applied equitably to everybody, and will be binding on the rulers as well as those ruled. Beyond that I want neither laws nor government to be imposed on our people as a means or with the excuse of protecting us from catching cold, or of seeing that we raise the right kind of crops, or of forcing us to live in the right kind of houses or neighborhoods, or of compelling us to save money or to spend it, or of telling us when or whether we can pray. I do not want government or laws designed for any other form of welfarism or paternalism, based on the premise that government knows best and can run our lives better than we can run them ourselves. And my concept of freedom, and of its overwhelming importance, is implicit in these aspirations and ideals." — Robert Welch, "My Concept of Freedom" (1964)


The United States of America is sometimes described as "the epitome of a free society".  But when you can be jailed for years for smoking a joint (or snorting a line of coke) in the privacy of your own home, when you can be denied boarding on a domestic flight because you are on some "homeland security" watch list, when your house can be stolen from you by the government because your son stashed a baggie in the attic, when you can be declared to be a "terrorist" and locked up because you took part in a non-violent anti-government demonstration, when the mere possession of a "controlled substance" (whether or not planted on you by crooked police) is enough to ruin your life and the lives of your family, when the police can search your home without a warrant and without informing you, then it is ridiculous to claim that the U.S. is a free society.  It is more accurately described as a crypto-fascist state — meaning that it's a fascist state but that this is carefully hidden from most people (more easily done if most people do not want to know); no jackbooted torchlight parades, just the complete dominance of state power over civil liberties and the natural rights of citizens.

In the U.S., despite the rhetoric and propaganda, a ruthless and authoritarian federal government has come to trample on the natural rights of the people, and many citizens, especially those that do not belong to the racial majority or do not fit in to the corporate-capitalist model of society, are imprisoned for victimless "crimes" and lose both liberty and property.  Far from being a model for the world of a government of a free people the government of the U.S.A. is in effect a fascist dictatorship, such as the world has not seen openly since the 1930s.


On the eve of the U.S. presidential election 2000 one had to wonder:  When are the majority of the citizens of the U.S. going to wake up to the fact that their government has been hijacked by big business, the military and organized criminal syndicates (principally the CIA and the Mafia) and that their "democracy" is just a sham?  A minority (soon to be a majority?) already know this, and don't bother to vote at all.

A Coup d'Etat in a Pitiful Third-World Country

Excerpts from the U.S. Supreme Court Decision

So now, after a genocidal mass murderer (Eisenhower, Germany, 1945-49), a used-car salesman and warmonger who caused the deaths of millions of people (Nixon, Vietnam and Cambodia), a vicious former B-grade movie actor who financed death squads (Ronald Reagan, Central America) and a CIA spy chief who showed only contempt for the American people and for the U.S. Constitution (George H. W. Bush) we finally have as President of the United States a psychopath (or as some would prefer to describe him, a sociopath), who has in his entire life achieved nothing by his own efforts (it was all handed to him by his daddy and his daddy's friends in high places) and whose only distinction is that he managed to become a state governer, presiding over 152 executions including the execution of the mentally handicapped — George W. Bush.

The United States has now for nearly four years been led by a "born-again Christian" whose main interest is baseball, whose mental shallowness is breathtaking, who is oblivious to the important issues of our time, concerned only with venting his anger on those he sees as his enemies, George W. Bush; and by former Pentagon head and Big Oil man Dick Cheney, upon whose knee the puppet George W. Bush sits and who actually mouths the words that Bush appears to utter, though occasionally Bush manages to come out with something of his own, as in:

"If this were a dictatorship it would be a heck of a lot easier; just so long as I was the dictator." — George W. Bush, Washington DC, 2000-12-18, letting the cat out of the bag and revealing the utter contempt for the American Republic and the U.S. Constitution that he learnt from his daddy.

The corruption of the government of the United States is now nearing its dismal completion.

"And so one of Secretary [of Defense] Rumsfeld's first tasks will be ... to develop a strategy necessary to have a force equipped for warfare of the 21st century." — George W. Bush, Washington DC, 2000-12-28, revealing the Bush government's intention to wage war in the not-too-distant future, even if they're still "not so sure who the they are".

Columbian "narco-guerillas" perhaps? But Columbia requires a bit of preparation. Iraq is right at hand. Dubya ordered his first military action within four weeks of taking office (ya just couldn't wait to play soldiers, couldya George?). Carrying on Daddy's unfinished business from 1990. Of course, like the so-called Gulf War, it's all about oil (a subject of great interest to the Bush family). The long-term U.S. goal is obviously to control Iraq's oil. The only question is how they plan to get it. The destruction of Iraqi society (otherwise known as genocide) through the use of sanctions is what the U.S. has been attempting so far. But apparently that is too slow for the Bush camp; it inclines more to the use of violence.


Now, after September 11, 2001, we have been informed that "they" are "international terrorists", and Bush's "21st century warfare" has now been brought to us as the War on Terrorism.


As we enter February 2002 Bush retains a huge approval rating (if we can believe the polls, which is far from certain). What is depressing is not so much that Bush has bombed Afghanistan relentlessly (killing more Afghani civilians than American civilians were killed in the September 11th attacks), has installed a puppet government in Kabul willing to provide the U.S. with its long-sought oil pipeline, has announced his intention to use the U.S. military to attack Iraq, Iran and North Korea in the next act of his campaign to establish a new Thousand-Year Reich, and has placed the United States under de facto military rule but that so many (so-called) Americans actually approve (if they do) of what this lying, stupid, fascist traitor is doing in the name of freedom and democracy.


The American imperialists are now at the peak of their political power (it's all downhill for them from now on). They are ready to pull out all the stops in their plans for attaining control of the entire Earth and are ready to let loose their troops, rockets, tanks, missiles, "smart" bombs and even their nuclear weapons on any country or organization that gets in their way. Do you think the rest of the world is going to roll over? Not bloody likely. We are headed Into the Dark, and, as the writer says, the day will be a long time coming.

A Prayer for America

And how about a prayer for the workers in poor countries earning a couple of bucks a day for products sold at high prices in America? How about a prayer for the millions in Africa who go to sleep hungry most nights and have to cook with polluted water? And maybe a prayer for all the small farmers being forced off their land by competition from big agri-business (keen to feed us Frankenstein foods)? And a prayer for all the Americans who are now unemployed because their jobs were shipped overseas? And a prayer for everyone whose lives will subsequently be blighted by the direct and indirect consequences of America's current and future military aggression against the rest of the world? Will we ever live to see Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell and others put on trial for their war crimes? Hermann Goering and his war criminal cronies never thought they'd face justice either.


On September 11th, 2001, we were subjected to a horrendous assault. However, in spite of our collective sorrow and the usual tortoise pace of our congressional leaders, in a record-breaking forty-five days later the US Patriot Act I became law. From that moment on church, political and social activities could be monitored without knowledge; private phones in private homes, cell phones, public phones can be tapped and no one know; business owners must release their private business documents upon demand; librarians must respond to requests of reader's book selections and if they dare to inform the individual in question they risk imprisonment. Our homes can be searched without a warrant; our bodies subjected to searches without any warning; we could be arrested and denied legal counsel or family refuge. — Norma Sherry, Freedom is Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose


I have read not only the first PATRIOT Act but also the second one, which has not yet been totally made public nor approved by Congress and to which there is already great resistance. An American citizen can be fingered as a terrorist, and with what proof? No proof. All you need is the word of the attorney general or maybe the president himself. You can then be locked up without access to a lawyer, and then tried by military tribunal and even executed. Or, in a brand-new wrinkle, you can be exiled, stripped of your citizenship and packed off to another place not even organized as a country — like Tierra del Fuego or some rock in the Pacific. All of this is in the USA PATRIOT Act. — Gore Vidal in Uncensored Gore


No more is it a question of trying to get ahead in this society. This society is broken. It is time to forge a new world, not based on domination, exploitation and war. We must stop regarding the idea of revolution as merely an abstract concept, and realize that a functioning, purposeful revolution is the only way most of us are going to survive. Otherwise the certainty of slavery for 90 percent of the world's population is unavoidable ... — John Kaminski: What Do We Do?


We stand now at a momentous fork in the path of human history. One road, the one we are on, is paved with gold. To proceed down it means more of the murder, tyranny and exploitation that have become the hallmarks of the history of our species. The other path is pure dirt, and, believe it or not, leads to ourselves, and a renewed understanding and appreciation of the relationship between ourselves and the planet that sustains us. — John Kaminski: The Race to the Rainbow Bridge


It is only a matter of numbers, of people acting honestly with conscience. And if you choose to believe in a benevolent creator, don't you think it's time for you to help rescue his reputation from all these fools in black cassocks who continue to support all this needless killing in his name? — John Kaminski: The Mirage of the Miracle


Tell me true, noble citizen. What are you going to do when they come for you? When the judges pronounce you a terrorist for participating in a peace demonstration and revoke your citizenship, what will you do? If you're a good boy, they may put you on probation for life and let you work in a McDonald's, or maybe Wal-Mart. — John Kaminski: The Next Steps


Defrauding America

Defrauding America

This website is about deception, greed, coercion, coverups, conspiracy, false imprisonment, misinformation, murder and much, much more. The goal is to make people aware of the extent of widespread corruption in American government today.

Democracy may be subject to hijacking by unscrupulous interests, but should we blame democracy or rather the unscrupulous interests themselves?

Daniel Brandt: Along Came the Transnationals

In their relentless pursuit of power and profit, the transnational corporations of today are debasing the social and economic fabric of cultures worldwide.

An article from the April-May 1997 issue of Nexus magazine.

Look 'fair' or end it quick?

No matter who wins the presidency, Gore or Bush, the bosses will still control the cops, the courts, the military, the media and the entire economy. No majority vote for a bourgeois candidate is a victory for the workers and the oppressed.


"There is an amazing amount of ignorance and stupidity in this country."
      — American citizen returned temporarily (early 2001) to the U.S. after many years away.


The U.S. Constitution

Since John Stuart Mill published On Liberty, his ideas have inspired a school of political philosophy known as "libertarianism", of which Encarta '95 says:
The doctrine of libertarianism stresses the right to self-ownership and, by extension, the right to private ownership of material resources and property. Advocates oppose any form of taxation and favor a laissez-faire economic system. The doctrine was espoused by American anarchists in the 19th century. Libertarianism reappeared in U.S. political thinking in the 1970s, representing an assertion of individual liberty in the face of growing government involvement in all aspects of life. The Libertarian party was founded in the U.S. in 1972. Since then its candidates have run for political office, including the presidency, in all 50 states, but it has not won enough adherents to be a major political force.
As stated in some of the articles cited above, a republic is a society in which government is based upon a written constitution which derives its authority from the consent of the governed, and a derivative legal system, to which both governed and government itself are subject. The constitution is the supreme law of the land, and in a republic the government cannot institute a law which conflicts with the constitution (a fact often forgotten, it seems, by U.S. senators — particularly those who voted in 1995 for the Communications Decency Act).

But we have plenty of examples in the present U.S. legal system of laws which are repressive, intolerant, unjust, immoral, predatory and just plain ridiculous. An obvious example is the law which criminalizes the use of cannabis (marijuana and hashish) for recreational, spiritual and even medical purposes. Since cannabis has been used for thousands of years for its beneficial psychoactive and medicinal properties, and has been shown in many U.S. medical studies to have no adverse effects on users, this law is one of the stupidest laws ever passed by the U.S. Congress, and demonstrates that the real intent of Congress is not to protect the people's rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but to impose upon them a crushing authority which restricts not only their freedom of action but also their freedom of thought and freedom of spirit.

But if republicanism is the best form of government, are we not obliged to obey this stupid law? Clearly not, because Americans no longer live in a republic. Moreover, the law is unconstitutional (and therefore invalid) according to the 9th and 10th Amendments (see the Bill of Rights) since the U.S. Constitution nowhere gives the federal government the right to restrict what consenting adults may do in the privacy of their own homes. (For a more general statement of this position please see Harry Browne on the 10th Amendment.)

The American republic has been hijacked and has been turned into a tyranny by means of the ruse of majority-rule democracy. The solution is a re-affirmation (and an improvement) of the original Constitution and the Bill of Rights by means of a constitutional convention, as called for in the above-cited New Declaration of Independence. All laws inconsistent with the principles of liberty, as presented and established by reason by John Stuart Mill in On Liberty, must be nullified (though it is perhaps not necessary to hang those who were responsible for passing them).

The viability of a republic depends on the voluntary assent by the people, generation after generation, to the constitution of that republic and to the laws passed which implement its intent. A legal system will earn the respect of the people only if it first respects their freedom, their dignity and their ability and right to decide for themselves what is best for themselves. A new constitution, if it is to be the basis of a viable republic, must be based upon libertarian principles. If not, those whose freedom is infringed upon, either by the constitution itself or the laws passed to implement it, will surely object (perhaps violently), and social discord, repression, disruption and dissolution will follow.


As is well-known to all Americans who have attended to sociopolitical developments in the U.S. in recent years with any degree of intelligence, the American government has de facto abrogated the Constitution. In particular the executive branch has arrogated to itself powers which it is in no way granted in the Constitution, and has in fact assumed dictatorial powers. Central to this process has been FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency, created and empowered by a series of executive orders). This abrogation of the Constitution was actually carried out by means of the Act of 1871, and the encroachment of the corporation legally known as THE UNITED STATES upon the rights and liberties of Americans has been done gradually over the years so that this development has escaped the attention of most Americans.


Once the American people understand that they have been robbed blind and that the money they thought was being used to run the government is actually being funneled, in a manner that would make Enron's frauds seem paltry, to the vaults of a few private banking institutions, the people will wake up and join the million man petition for a redress of grievances. The power is with the people, but unless the people use that power it remains dormant. We haven't awoken enough people to their proactive power as the respiratory system of the Constitution and the government. In order to make the government submissive to the will of the people, the people must be educated.

— Citizen Spook, WE THE PEOPLE v. US - Re: Judge Sullivan's Decision — An Open Letter To The "We The People Foundation".


Some, however, have argued that the U.S. Constitution confers no authority upon the U.S. government (which is basically a cabal of thieves and murderers). The most well-known exponent of this view is Lysander Spooner. See his

NO TREASON
No. VI
The Constitution of No Authority

(Also here and here.)  Thus that scumbag George W. Bush may be mostly correct when he said (or is claimed to have said) of the Constitution: "It's just a goddamned piece of paper!"


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Gun Control

A desire to disarm the people is a sign of a government that believes it may one day have to keep its people down by use of violence (well, actually, the U.S. government already does this). Anti-gun laws do not make the world safer for ordinary people, for those who would use guns to rob and intimidate people know that (when gun ownership is prohibited) law-abiding people are normally unarmed — quite helpful to the would-be muggers and thieves, no? As for multiple murders, so conveniently used by governments (at least three recently) as an excuse for enacting yet more stringent anti-gun legislation, just reflect that someone who killed twenty people would probably not (if people were generally free to carry guns) have killed more than a few of them before someone else would have shot him.

And if you don't think that the U.S.A. is under the control of an organization prepared to use whatever force is necessary to maintain its control over the people then take a look at: Recently added links:



Separation of Church and State

If you are a fascist you believe that the purpose of the state is to maintain and enhance its power (and those of its functionaries), perhaps under the banner of the glory of the nation (backed up by such propaganda as "Manifest Destiny"). If you are a libertarian you believe that the purpose of the state is to maintain and enhance the opportunities of citizens to live productive, meaningful and satisfying lives, and to protect them from those who would restrict these opportunites and the liberty of the individual in general. This web site supports the libertarian view.

The state does not (or rather, should not) exist to further (or to restrict) the interests of any particular interest group. All organizations wish to further their interests, and this includes religious organizations, such as the Catholic Church and the Church of England, but the state has no business in helping them do so (or in suppressing them). Religious organizations, like all other organizations, must obtain support from citizens on the basis of their own merits. If citizens don't have much spare cash to donate to their favored religious organization it's probably because the state extorts from them as much as it can.

If a religious organization merits financial support then let it make its case and find out whether potential donors agree. It should not be funded (with the aid of its cronies in government) from a pool of money obtained from citizens by extortion.

And did you know that in England (even in this day and age) Christianity is still the official state religion? Gor blimey mate! Less 'ope not fer bloody long!

And just as governments should not sponsor religious organizations, so also they should not attempt to control them. Religious belief is a matter for individual conscience. One may think that, e.g., most of Catholic (or for that matter Protestant) religious doctrine could only be believed by someone who is insane, but someone who wishes to believe this doctrine must be held free to do so, and governments have no right to restrict the teaching or activity of any religious organization (so long, of course, as the liberties and rights of people are respected by those organizations).


Among the provisions [of the "Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003"] ... are measures on the deportation of aliens who are suspected of being linked to foreign revolutionary groups which have been labeled as terrorists, mandatory pretrial detention for terrorism suspects, warrants against non-citizens even when a target can't be tied to a foreign power and enhanced penalties for threats or attempts to use chemical or nuclear weapons. ...

But critics warn that the proposed law is aimed against the entire U.S. population, not a minority of Arab immigrants.

The proposal, they say, would grant the government the power to strip citizenship of native-born Americans and deport them without any evidence of wrongdoing, even though this would be contrary to the Constitution.

It would also allow for secret arrests, secret trials and secret torturing of "suspects." Habeas corpus, Americans' most sacred right, would be eliminated.

— John Tiffany, American Free Press, 2004-09-26: Patriot Act II: Final Piece of Police State Puzzle Ready


The Incompatibility of Democracy and Capitalism

In September 2014 Anonymous posted the following comment on The Saker's blog:

A democracy is a system of government in which not only the voice of the people is heard but the interests and wellbeing of all citizens are paramount. The existence of classes poses a serious problem for democracy, since classes presuppose contradictory interests in different parts (the different classes) of the society. But capitalist society is premised on class—diametrically opposed interests for owners and workers, the exploitation of labor for investors’/employers’ profit. Hence, as a former student has said, "The agenda of capitalism is to … downgrade skilled worker ..., [create a] willingness to work for lower wage ...," deny sustenance to single parents, and so forth. That is a remarkably anti-democratic agenda!

Capitalism is based on a power hierarchy in which investors/employers control the lives of those who work to create profits (capital). (Refer back to Parenti's little book: Democracy For the Few, Chapter 2.) But democracy proposes that each person shall be an autonomous individual engaged in a common endeavor to create the greatest possible advancement and self-expression of all persons. Capitalism is individualistic. Democracy is communitarian, i.e., it seeks to strike a balance among individual interests. Capitalism seeks benefits for a few based on the exploitation of the many. Democracy requires that people come together to decide what is in the best interests of the community as a whole, regardless of class-based or individual interests.

A fully functioning political democracy could not tolerate a capitalist economy. The power elite knows this, which is why the U.S. government has tried to subvert democracy in every country in which U.S. capitalists have tried to exploit resources and labor (see Parenti, chapter 10). A country in which the people as a whole actually make decisions about their common destiny would, of course, not permit such exploitation. "Democracy subverts capitalism": it works on diametrically opposed principles of the value of human life and the worth of collective decision-making. The power elite does not have to take the same extreme steps in the U.S. because, as Domhoff explains throughout his book (and Parenti concurs in chapter 18 and the chapters on bureaucracy, the media and elections), it has already taken control of the "democratic" forms of the political system and has reduced political culture to mere "consumption" of the ideology of individualism and consumerism.


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