© 2008 Greg Kaiser

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The Libertarian Delusion

The cult of individual freedom must be moderated by the freedom and well being of the rest of the individuals. That is the purpose of community and civilization. It is the meaning of the rule of law. There is no individual if there is no social group. The others define the one. There is no action without reaction. For survival, the well being of all must be placed before the well being of one.

      Libertarianism is a Republican sect for incompletely liberated conservatives.
      Libertarianism is a net designed to catch young conservatives who fall into liberation and other hazards to the establishment.
      The libertarian cult of individuality and individual freedom must be moderated by the freedom and well being of other individuals and that of the community.

      In America, a liberal is a conservative with a twinge of conscience and an uneasy feeling about the damage to the community done by the concentration of wealth perpetrated by the neo aristocrats they work for and whom they must not offend.

January 04, 2008
      The first three words of the US Constitution say: “We the People . . .” If you can find an example of a great thing that was done by an individual working alone, discounting mythological gods and heros, I’ll show you that you are mistaken. No great thing may be done without the cooperation of a community. Our individual, personal and private property must be inviolable. “Unwarranted” [meaning without a court issued warrant] and unreasonable search and seizure are forbidden by the Fourth Amendment. But individual private property consists of that which one has produced or developed or acquired by the trade of that which one has produced and developed. That criteria eliminates corporations or individuals who have acquired great wealth by the work of others. The products of cooperative efforts belong to We the People of the community that produced them. Else, “We” are slaves! Additionally, the harm done to a community by a small hoard of our goods by an ordinary individual is much less than that done by a Giga corporation or the ultra rich individual investors. There is a critical difference in the scale of the harm that excessive property allows its owner to do to others. The measure of evil is the pain and suffering it causes. The “quality” of evil is meaningless. Only the quantity counts.
      Private property, such as your home that you live in, must be differentiated from our common or the community’s property that has been privatized and conveyed to the rich and their corporations, often for much less than its market value. As is the case with absentee landlords, such exploitation of our community for individual profit is parasitic and harmful to our fellowship and commonwealth. The usurpers of power and public property have taken the commons and used our land and capital to dominate US for their personal profit, instead of leading US for our common good. We should be free to secure our accumulated private property in a way we believe will provide for ourselves most efficiently. But the unlimited acquisition and hoards of rich individuals and the corporations they control, are harmful to the community that must cooperate to produce the great wealth. No one can do that much work. Others must work for them. No matter how the work is organized or the workers maintained, the condition of those who do the work, by which others profit, is slavery. Today you can buy all the gold you can afford. But the 80% and growing of US who are suffering by free trade and deregulated corporate rapaciousness are starting to feel that our lives are endangered by the unruly greed of the few. At least those of US who’ve improved our minds to the level of sanity do see great danger to the Human Race, from the greed of the wealthy elites.

      A man named De Beers sold the farm to Cecil Rhodes, for ten thousand pounds. The front man had the backing of international investors. In the 19th century the roughly $50,000 was surely enough to retire on but the investors who own the company that Rhodes founded, and which bears De Beers’ name, made the real money. The geologists and engineers who planned and managed the first South African diamond mine must have been well compensated. I'm sure they were happy to sell their souls just for the opportunity to do the project. But the greatest wealth went to investors who never broke a sweat. I hate to think about the laborers who do the digging and how they’re treated. Worse I hate those who with hubris and patronizing scorn say that by right of birth and merit the workers deserve no more. Worse yet I hate the self serving arbiters of merit. Investors still control the supply of diamonds world wide to keep up the price.
      De Beers* has managed to use their profits to be sure they own more than 50% of the rough diamond market and to develop most new discoveries of adamant. They control the business and own all of the large scale mines. They’re doing it today for diamonds, and Giga Energy for oil, in Angola, Sierra Leone, The Sudan and other African and worldwide trouble spots. "But Chevron is not far from Darfur today. . . . Condi Rice’s Chevron is in neighboring Chad . . ."
African Battleground The market for “Blood Diamonds” and the use of Nigerian troops to secure Chevron’s profits from striking, starving workers, should trouble consciences. Chevron; - October 10, 2007 - The corporations always minimize their evil and disclaim any responsibility for the violence perpetrated to protect their profits. They assure US that it’s terrorists and troublemakers who’re being confronted to preserve our freedom. The freedom to impoverish US and threaten our survival with their unfettered aristocratic greed is the real evil we face. But reactionary forces have ever made the truth politically incorrect.
      Both sides of wars, the thug like military dictators and the rebels, will work for the investors. Rivals merely operate in an environment of ruthless competition. The combatants only fight over who will get to rip off their people to get the local share of the profits - the leavings of the pillaging global corporations. That’s how free market supply and demand work in the real world. So would government regulation make the diamond trade a less efficient and ruthless monopoly? Not while the corporations own our government and the libertarian fraud of Milton Friedman prevails. How does corporate manipulation of supply to match demand and keep up the price of diamonds, or oil for that matter, contribute to the well being of the community? Is one or 500 all powerful corporations, who centrally plan our economy for their benefit, less dangerous than elected representatives, who would put some limits on the greed of the few? The truth is: the profits of investors are the most unnecessary part of the cost of any product, whether its gold, diamonds, food, energy, communications, credit, transportation or anything else. Our government, “of, by and for The People,” is ours in name. The corporations will always belong to and be controlled by a few rich investors.
      Milton Friedman’s libertarian notion of free markets, deregulation, privatization, labor repression, reduction of governments social programs like medicine and education, low taxes and individual freedom and choice for the rich end up defending greed and parasitization, by global corporations and the few elites who own them, and that of the less than 20% who are the sellouts who minister to the neo aristocrats. Conservative/libertarianism laissez faire free market capitalism works for them and keeps the rest of US poor and makes US ever poorer. And free as we really are to buy gold, few of US can because of the glorious free market and the capitalists who have all the money and power. The irony is: without a community to exploit there is no economy. We do the work to make the goods. We buy the leftover goods. They take the profits and all the goods they want. The defense of their freedom to enslave US is insane.
* The company with that name is based in Luxemburg. The wiki is: De Beers

      The "gold standard" is a simple concept that's been convolved with much corruption, going back further than Andrew Jackson's dissolution of the Bank of the United States, which, like the FED, was run by unelected private interests. Connected issues so affected him that Jackson wanted to shoot Henry Clay and hang his own vice president, the original state's rights advocate [of "Nullification" - read pro slavery, anti freedom and bigotry to this day] John C. Calhoun. All of the above claimed to be good guys but none were pure of heart. The economic delusions of Milton Friedman are the closest thing we have to “Nullification” by the corporatist/fascist power elites of our time.
      The growing complex that afflicts our neurotic mass consciousness is too entangled to straighten out with a few words. But succinct and honest concerns compel an answer. I'm working at what I hope will start to chip away at the wall of lies, deception, distraction and misdirection that has been erected by our misleaders to obscure the truth of their greed and corruption from our eyes.
      The “gold standard” is a red herring. We’ve never been forbidden to own gold. Gold jewelry has always been abundant. We couldn’t trade it directly but could get stock in gold funds or mines. If there ever really was a gold standard, it was abandoned when Nixon deregulated the trade. William Randolf Hearst, when he toasted to low grade ore and plenty of it, didn’t seem to mind that the government would buy all the gold he could produce at a fixed price. All this is really retro and largely irrelevant. The current cycle of economic collapse is due in a large part to deregulation of banking and finance that allowed pyramid and other scams, like the sub-prime scheme, to go unchecked. But synaptic linkages, between some fanciful notion of money backed by gold and, incredibly, the fanciful “benefits” of free trade, deregulation and privatization, have been forged by the mass mind control machinery devised by the investor’s abuse and subjugation of news media and academia. Add to that the looting of America through the aforementioned privatization, deregulation, outsourcing and the free trade agreements that lead to hidden inflation, which impoverishes all but a few investors, no matter their nationality.
      The failing of the dollar has nothing to do with the gold standard. That’s happening because outsourcing has stripped US of the ability to make wealth. We have no products to trade, in order to balance the account for those we import. This is the direct result of “free trade”/outsourcing and the deregulation of finance. The FED just keeps writing more bad checks to fund the loans that you and I must take to buy the products that we import. Our money has no value because we make no real goods that others, those from whom we’ve purchased goods with our [fiat] money, may buy. This inevitable fiasco of greed inspired business is the outcome that Milton Friedman should have predicted if his theories that the neo-cons used as rationalization were any good to begin with. That is: the “father of neoliberalism,” Milton Friedman, should have seen this abuse coming and kept his stupid mouth shut.
      Finally, if you want to stash something it should be material and useful. You can’t eat gold. The pyramid scam of finance that we call an economy, like perpetual motion, must fail in the end. It’s only worked for rich investors and the sellouts who minister to them, because of ever increasing debt. They’ve called it growth. Only the money supply has grown but they’ve obscured their debt kite scam with Reaganomic hoodoo statistics. It is predicated on our shrinking ability to produce real wealth of goods that mean low wages and high short term profits. Outsourcing for the short term increase of investor’s profit is a dissipative terminal disease of the economy and a threat to the livelihoods and lives of all decent Human Beings.

      You don’t have to be a billionaire to be free. But unless you have an independent means of survival you’d better be careful about how you exercise your freedom. That goes doubly for freedom of speech. If you say something that offends your boss you can find yourself without a livelihood. Worse, if you can’t afford to buy media space, you’ll lose your job and your voice, because you won’t even be heard by a significant audience. In America we have all the freedom we can afford. But think about it. Riches can’t be accumulated by individuals in a vacuum. It takes a community to create wealth. (Define wealthy as much more than average.) Individuals can hoard the produce of communities. But that’s definitely a zero sum game. The rich are anti social. They don’t care what we the community lose, as long as they gain. To defend their freedom to parasitize the rest of US, in the name of fairness or any other rationalization, has always seemed self destructive to me. We need some social security.

      If social security is insolvent [I know. That segue’s really lame. But bear with me. I think I can bring this back on track.] it’s not because Nixon abandoned the restrictions on the trade of gold and other precious metals. It’s because Republicans/libertarians like Nixon, Reagan and Bush saw all that money coming into the trust fund and coveted it. Their plan to get it worked. They borrowed it and spent it on privatization scams, which invariably end up costing more than the government programs they replace and often initiate. (Homeland Security is a recent example of creating a new program, growth of government, that is primarily a milk cow for contractors.) The rich investors end up with the social security tax we’ve paid plus a lot more and that’s why the social security trust fund is, if it is, insolvent. That’s why America is bankrupt. As Milton Friedman passes out leaflets from his left hand that blame social spending and taxes for our growing poverty, he’s stealing our money with the [military] contracts of privatization that he holds in his right. Is he deliberately evil or is he just a fool? The difference is academic. The evil is the pain and suffering we must endure so that he and his class may be rich and grow ever richer at our expense.
      Economies that follow his formula are invariably “successful,” by the great libertarian Milton Friedman’s own standards. His measure of success is that the profit of investors has increased. The stock market’s still in the clouds. That’s lower than the stratosphere but most of US have already fallen way back down to the ground. The successful super economy of the rich happens only when the majority grow poorer than ever. Milton Friedman’s successful economic shock therapy has always been accompanied by disappearance, torture and death of labor leaders and other progressives. (In America they were merely discredited by a successful propaganda campaign. We were trained to desire the self interest of our masters instead of our own.) The states like Pinochet’s Chile apply the terror, impoverish the people and enrich the aristocrats in their homeland as well as American corporate investors. The latter have done or are doing US with the privatization and outsourcing that have looted and are looting our country. By the way, torture and/or violent shocks, whether initiated or merely taken advantage of [see 911] may not work to get good information or to coerce their victims but they’re great for imposing control and corporate/fascist order on populations. It’s great shock therapy. Naomi Klein's webpage All of a sudden everybody shuts up. Naomi Wolff on Corporatist America
      The price of cheap goods in Wall Mart is the falling buying power of American consumers as good jobs are outsourced. There’s also the reduction of the quality of the goods and lately it’s getting harder to even afford that crap. That’s because the neoliberal, laissez faire, free market capitalist theories of Adam Smith, Milton Friedman and the Chicago School do not work. Less than 20% [and shrinking] of the population are better off since 1970. For the rest of US, our survival is at risk. That’s more than I’m willing to give up to support the freedom and choice of a few rich parasites, who’ve pillaged the Human Race for their individual profit. What they’ve taken from US and rationalized with self serving [and failed] economic theories, perverse morality and a twisted sense of fair play is a threat to our communities and our lives.

      Friedman and libertarianism speak of freedom and choice and private property for individuals but that’s not what most of US get. The truth is that a few are being enriched by exploitation of the community, while the rest of US get a promise of opportunity that can never in our zero sum game be fulfilled. Their freedom to monopolize resources as a group and to have US work to make them richer is the only liberty that can be asserted. And we all have a share. But some pigs are more better than others.
      The problem of rectification is complicated. There is confusion of the personal/individual liberty to engage in genuinely individual economic endeavor, with the operations of corporations and the rich investors who own them. Further, we are misled to believe that a difference in scale is not reflected as a difference in the evil. But truly, the greed of an ordinary individual is less evil because it does less harm to the community, than that done by the rich who operate on a much larger scale.
      The rich are not really individuals who accrue wealth by their own hard work. The wealthy persons property represents the work of a community or large group of people. When more than one person is required to make a thing the production can not be said to be an individual effort. To have great wealth, the rich must have others to work for them.

“The People, United, Will Never Be Defeated!”

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