THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 367, May 14, 2006
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I read Renata Russell's recent letter (Hi, Renata!) to you with great interest. As you know, I am a longtime advocate of completely open borders and of demolishing the welfare-warfare state.
As a consequence, I've been suggesting that, rather than annexing Mexico outright, as Renata proposes ("can of worms" hardly says it adequatelylook at the well-deserved problems this government's having in Iraq and Afghanistan), we simply offer U.S. statehood to any Mexican state that ratifies the Bill of Rights by a two-thirds majority.
I guarantee that this will start brushfires for the Mexican governmentwhich solidly supports La Reconquista and opposes individual rightsthat they'll be a couple of centuries putting out, and we will never have to hear any of their smarmy Marxoid rhetoric ("The land belongs to those who work it") again.
L. Neil Smith
It seems nearly inevitable that confused ideas come to me from reading your excellent news magazine's letters to the editor. Renata Rusell has, however, pushed me to new heights of confoundedness. [Reference link: http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2006/tle366-20060507-01.html#letter2]
Going with the courtesy thing, let me first please congratulate Renata on choosing to sign the new covenant. I am glad it is the proudest day of her life, as it is an important document. My good friend Dennis Lee Wilson persuaded me that it was in my own best interests to sign a few years ago, so I did.
Supposing that patience might be a better mode for teaching than anger, let me then address her first idea. She asks, "Why don't we annex Mexico?"
First, what does it mean "we"? We as in the folks who have signed the new covenant? Those of us who believe as Renata does that "under no Circumstances shall we acknowledge any Liberty to initiate Force against another Person, and shall instead defend the inalienable Right of Individuals to resist Coercion employing whatever Means prove necessary in their Judgement" cannot participate in the force application needed to annex Mexico. Rather, we would have to defend the right of individuals in Mexico to resist a coercive annexation.
Could Renata mean "we" the United States of America should annex Mexico? But, again, how could she be identifying herself with the coercive and brutal government of the USA if she is sincerely for the new covenant? The USA imposes taxation and all kinds of regulation with deadly force on Americans, it invades and conquers other countries such as Panama and Iraq, and it imposes new governments in these places when it is able. These are not actions in any way consistent with the new covenant provided we each acknowledge that the individuals who live in Panama, Iraq, and Mexico are like us in having the stated inalienable rights of sovereign self-determination.
I suspect that Renata is indicating an enthusiasm for USA intervention in Mexico because of her next sentence which seems to elaborate somewhat on her plans: "Teach 'em English, put in a slightly less corrupt government, etc."
There's no question that people in Mexico like to learn English. A great many of them do so because English is the language of airline pilots and ground controllers, of international trade and commerce which is 83% conducted in USA dollars, and of the Internet which still boasts a majority of pages in English. But, the new covenant, although it is presently seen in English only, works just as well in other languages such as Spanish and Nahuatl. (Indeed, it might be a fun project to begin translating the new covenant into other languages such as Spanish, Mandarin, Nahuatl, Dutch, Russian, Arabic, maybe even French.)
Teaching people supposes that the students want to learn. Governments have imposed language requirements on subject populations from at least the time of the ancient Sumerians. So, perhaps the idea is to re-educate the people of Mexico and force them to use English only? That sort of activity would be coercive and thus inconsistent with the new covenant's terms. Besides, people who are subjugated and forced to use the dominant culture's language do not forget their own, even if they have to teach it to each other in hidden rooms for thousands of years, as seems to have been the case for Hebrew, among other examples.
Then Renata opens up the floor to discussion with her question, "Or could this be a bigger can of worms than I thought?"
Yes, Renata, it is, I think. For example, if the people of Mexico resist, would you volunteer to be in the army that occupies and subjugates their country? How would volunteering for such duties be in any way consistent with your agreement to honor the sovereign self-determination of all individuals?
Mexico and Venezuela export about one-third of all the oil consumed in the USA. We currently see very high fuel prices because Iraq, previously a major petroleum exporting country, has been in turmoil for three years, ever since the country was occupied by the USA military. It turns out that disrupting oil supplies is easy and can be done with decentralized (guerrilla or commando) forces whereas securing a stable oil supply requires a lot of cooperation and is more suited to a market economy based on consent rather than a command economy based on coercion.
Moreover, the sovereign self-determination of the individuals who live in Mexico is being felt there, today. Consider the work in Sonora being done by Ricardo Valenzuela and Eduardo Bours. My friends at the International Society for Individual Liberty wrote about Sonora recently:
So, please excuse my confusion. I try to have a logical approach to discussing current affairs, so holding two completely incompatible ideas in my head at the same time is tough for me. Cognitive dissonance, or having conflicting ideas imposing themselves simultaneously, is sometimes a lot of fun, especially when humor or sarcasm is intended.
But, Renata's words seem to be sincere, indicating an innocent desire for more information about whether an idea like annexing Mexico would be a good one. I do think that Mexico is filled with sovereign and self-determining individuals. It is certainly the case that their existing government is corrupt, as the article on Sonora mentions. But, the way to move forward, seems, to me, to be working with the individuals there who want to bring about change, rather than imposing from outside changes they are not in agreement with.
There is some prospect for a new nationalist and socialist radical to be elected by a plurality vote in an upcoming election in Mexico. While that would be a bad thing (as the outcomes of elections are generally bad for individuals), it is up to the people who live in Mexico to choose for themselves. It would be worse to impose a solution on them against their will.
Meanwhile there are many places that seem to be coming awake to the possibilities of individual liberty. Why annex Mexico and force a new form of government on them coercively, when there are so many pleasant developments in other places? Free market economies in Estonia, Iceland, Ireland, Malta, Dubai, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Alberta, Coast Salish territories, and Wyoming point the way toward a better tomorrow. Even New Hampshire has found in its House of Representatives the will to resist the evils of the Real ID act, although their state senator John Barnes has proven to be a cowardly and influential man.
My suggestion would be to avoid annexing the land of other people. They tend to resist being coerced. Instead, consider ways to make your home a better place. Make plans to resist the coercion of your own government. Find other free market and individual liberty enthusiasts with whom to work on activities such as free market money which may prove to be the undoing of enormous coercive power by the government of your country.
I was somewhat surprised to see another attack on the Spanish language version of the "Star Spangled Banner" in your magazine's pages. For the life of me, I cannot find anything in the First Amendment that prevents people from reciting the nationalist anthem in any language they please, or singing any other song to the same tune.
Maybe it is in that anti-flag-burning amendment that I've not seen ratified just yet?
Alan Korwin doesn't seem to like Mexicans, Hispanics, or muslims. It is always a pleasure to see racially motivated hate speech in your publication, as further evidence that freedom of expression is alive and well and living in the Free Mountain West.
Reply from Alan Korwin
1. The First Amendment is a limit on Congress. It is not a limit on public sentiment. And it's not the language so much as the change of name and new lyrics (have you seen them?), and the goals of those behind the effort that's caused so much legitimate ire.
2. A website is not a magazine. [This one is!Editor]
3. Racism: A false charge of devastating power that can be used against an adversary when no legitimate arguments exist.
Muslims aren't the problem, the jihad they're running is.
Your ad hominem attack lacks substance, but that is typical of people who cannot see the truth.
Re: "Twilight Zone" by Katheryn A. Graham, in which she states that PGP has a back door. Phil Zimmermann, at his web site explicitly debunks that notion:
If Ms Graham has other info, she should present it to the readers of TLE instead of making the assertion without facts.
Gee, I have had the 2 at a time, unlimited for the month, program for almost two years nowupgrading and downgrading from there as my cashflow dictated. And as yet nobody has complained about my usage rate, or threatened to charge me extra.
Of course, I do have a life outside of watching DVD's on TV . . .
Complaints like this remind me a bit of the "all you can eat" buffet issue, where some idiots want to stuff themselves so full they are sick . . . just because it's paid for already!
Concerning Netflix alleged fraud please see www.netflix.com/Settlement?mqso=60178549, and then www.netflix.com/SettlementFAQ. Click on the link for FAQ 1. and it will take you to the settlement. This case was in California.
As a result of the lawsuit, Netflix now has inserted in the small print their "fairness algorithm" as explained at writ.news.findlaw.com/ramasastry/20060224.html.