DOWN WITH POWER
Narrated by talk show host, Brian Wilson, “Down With Power” a Libertarian
Manifesto, by L. Neil Smith now downloadable as an audiobook!
L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 994, October 14, 2018

The existing system
is unsustainable and
is going to go away

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On Politics
by Jim Davidson
jim@resilientways.net

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Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
— HL Mencken, In Defence of Women, 1918

Back in 1918 women were about to get the right to vote, men were about to ratify the prohibition of alcohol, Woodrow Wilson had orchestrated the entry of the USA into World War One after having signed the Federal Reserve Act, pushed the ratification of the income tax amendment to the constitution, and segregated the civil service, bringing Jim Crow to Washington, DC. Wilson also instituted the “Black Chamber” predecessor to the National Security Agency to monitor all American telephone calls and telegrammes, especially those going overseas, and to open everyone's mail. Wilson also instituted the Union League, a brownshirt outfit that was meant to beat up German Americans and attack freedom groups in the name of home front solidarity. Wilson also created the Federal Bureau of Investigation giving J. Edgar Hoover the opportunity to climb to power by extortion. In all, he was a most unsatisfactory person.

Please excuse me if my views are not popular or agreeable. I am an anarchist. I believe that each person is better at running her own life than at running everyone else's life. Like John Brown, “I acknowledge no master in human form.”

A Few Numbers
In November 2016 there were something on the close order of 63 million votes cast for Trump and 66 million votes cast for Hillary. There were about 4.5 million votes cast for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and about 2 million votes cast for Green candidate Jill Stein. Other candidates got a few tens of thousands of votes. Thus there were a total of 136 million votes cast in November 2016 for someone to take charge and run everyone else's life. However, at that time there were 335 million Americans in the country, according to the census. So 199 million Americans did not vote.

There are reasons to believe that about 75 million Americans are under age 18 and therefore are refused the opportunity to vote. Some of those 16 and older have jobs and have income tax withheld, so they are victims of taxation without representation. Oh well.

That still leaves 124 million Americans who were legally qualified to vote and did not do so. Who represents them? Nobody represents them. If there non-votes were all counted, 124 million for “none of these candidates” would have been recorded. That's more than for any individual candidate on the presidential ballot. It is the case that politicians claim to represent everyone in their “district” or in the country, but these are lies, and politicians lie very often.

Metaphorical Cul-de-sac
In my opinion, politics is a cul-de-sac. Imagine there are 63 million red cars, 66 million blue cars, 4.5 million yellow-gold cars, and 2 million green cars, as well as a half million or so cars of other colours. These cars are all racing around in a giant circle, and every two years some cars pull out of the cul-de-sac (some people stop voting) and a few come in from new voter registrations and so forth. There is vying for position, there is a race to see which cars are “in the lead,” there is a lot of shouting and honking as people claim affront for one imagined incursion or another, but when you step back and look, nobody ever gets anywhere. That's because there is no outlet from politics that takes you anywhere new. The most you can hope to do is survive the circulation of the vehicles and get back out the way you came in.

Every few years there is some sign that things might get better. Problems like the deficit might be solved. Clinton showed a surplus in 1999. Problems like violent crime are reduced in states where concealed and open carry are open to everyone, but violent crime goes up in cities like Chicago and Baltimore where guns are forbidden, and the politicians and the media companies owned by the deep state defence contractors only pay attention to the problem places.

People have passed constitutional amendments in a few states allowing for medical and recreational marijuana, but the federal police still prosecute these “crimes” and people are still serving long jail sentences for possession of a few ounces of pot. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has gotten Trump to fund a multi-million dollar publicity campaign to “prove” that pot is evil and harmful and must be re-criminalised, and all states acting to the contrary must be punished. We had no new wars after Clinton stopped fighting in Kosovo, but now we have endless wars. Nothing very big improves very much.

Changes
Changes occur. Politicians ignore those changes. Military contractor companies, banks, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and insurance companies buy the politicians. They stay bought. They pretend to fight for good ideas, like not having incarceration as much, and then they “lose” in committee or in a statehouse vote, and they are all apologetic, and act surprised and sad. And nothing changes.

More people go to prison in this country, in total numbers, than in any other country in the world, including India, China, and Brazil which are more populous. Politicians that say they will change this fact are either new at the game and have not yet been bought, or they are liars who have been bought and paid for by the prisons for profit industry. These are not just imaginary people, statistical people, they are friends of mine. I write to prisoners in prison. You can look up addresses in prison for Ross Ulbricht, for Morpheus Titania, for Reality Winner, for Leonard Peltier, and for many others and do your part to keep them from going crazy with boredom by writing a short letter. Some prisoners have limited access to email and some to other platforms, so by all means do some research and do what you have time to do.

How Few Changes Matter
I understand that some changes have happened. These are mostly minor and cosmetic. A few states make it easy to carry a gun, and violent crime drops in those states. A few states make it legal to own and use pot, and drug crime reduces in those states. But the system as a whole is against these changes.

The people in power want everyone disarmed for the same reason that Hitler disarmed Germany, Stalin disarmed the Soviet Union, Mao disarmed China, and Pol Pot disarmed Cambodia. First the dictator disarms everyone, then they excuse indefinite detention, then they excuse torture, and then people they don't like disappear. Jeff Sessions wants to imprison everyone who smokes pot. He profits from the prison industry.

You may believe that the United States government will go on and on forever. I do not believe it will.

Political Accountability
Politicians fear dying poor. They fear losing election so they won't be able to get lots of campaign contributions. They do not fear being held accountable because they are not. Nixon was never punished for any of his crimes in Cambodia, nor for any of his crimes in Watergate, nor for any of his crimes in domestic policies that attacked the lives of men and women in this country. He was pardoned. Kissinger is accused of war crimes in many countries for his role in Cambodia and other messes, so he doesn't travel to places where he would be arrested by local authorities. I could go on and on.

War crimes are not prosecuted, by anyone. I don't think accountability exists. The last time war criminals were hanged on this planet, I believe, was after World War 2 at the Nuremberg trials, and very few war criminals were in fact executed.

A Brutal System


How can we hope to fix a brutal system that offers so few methods for change if we turn our backs on politics? Interesting question. How do you fix a deadly disease? You don't. You get rid of it and replace it with nothing. You don't try to make it slightly less deadly. You kill off the disease.

I plan to live long enough to see that system destroy itself and I plan to help the people I can help survive the collapse of that system. I do not vote and 199 million other Americans do not vote, and we aren't going to start voting unless there is some reason to believe that an anti-war, including anti-drug-war candidate has a serious chance of winning. The people who have power will never allow that to happen.

Revolution?
I have no interest in revolution. The most this country could produce is another rebellion, which would be brutally suppressed like the Whiskey Rebellion and the 1861-71 “War of the Rebellion” as Congress called it at the time. Many would be killed, nothing would change except possibly the names of who was ruining the lives of hundreds of millions of others. If the same percentage were casualties in the next rebellion as died in the last one, about 19 million Americans would be dead or injured. That's not something I will have anything to do with, ever.

Going Off Grid
Any home in America can go off the grid this calendar year. The home owners would have to want to go off grid. Anyone can tear up their lawn and plant a garden full of flowering plants, including ones that produce fruit. Lawns are stupid anyway, they symbolise wealth in sheep and have done so since the days when nobody had a lawn mowing machine. Sheep are tasty, but if you try to feed them on suburban lawns, the pesticides and herbicides would kill your livestock. You can improve your life a great deal by getting off the grid and helping to build alternatives. Even simply growing your own food helps you be more independent.

Humanity
I am a follower of the teachings of Jesus and I believe, as Jesus taught, that mankind can be better than we are. Humanists also say they believe in the “perfectibility” of mankind. So perhaps I am a humanist. When I was a teenager, I called myself a humanist. I believe humanity is a good set of people, and that more people are better. The population of Earth has more than doubled since I was born, and there are more than twice as many geniuses, and things are a lot better now than they were in the early 1960s. People live longer, healthier lives, and we know many things we did not know back then. Also we've created a lot of opportunities for people who were disenfranchised because they were black, or poor, or both. People have more opportunities than they did, and women, minorities, and people of alternative sexuality are not as violently discriminated against by the governmental systems as they were in the early 1960s. Things are better.

The Profit in War
If I knew how to take the profit out of war, I would. Part of the process involves the Federal Reserve system. Lots more wars have been fought since 1913, and lots more people have died in them. I would end the Federal Reserve if I could. My friends in the computer community are working on crypto-currencies to replace the Federal Reserve system with free market money. That might work out. But millions will suffer in the transition anyway. I am working on helping people who are suffering, now, because I need to help a lot more next year. There will be more suffering for several more years, no matter when the collapse comes.

Whether the system is destroyed by people having the freedom to keep their own money with effective encryption and crypto-currencies, or whether the system destroys itself, I do not know. But the existing system is unsustainable and is going to go away. I cannot do anything to prevent its failure. I can work to help those who suffer as a result. Voting won't change things enough to matter. And it wastes my time which I'd rather spend working to earn money to give to needy people, or working to solve the problems of the needy by attending directly to their needs.

Vote or Don't Vote as You Wish
If you were able to show me any persuasive evidence that voting is helping, I would look at it. I have looked very closely at the voting systems, the vote machines, the Hursti hack (Harri is a friend of mine and he proved in 2004 that the voting machines are easy to hack), and the ways in which voters are prevented from changing anything.

Please don't feel that I am sitting in judgement of those who still vote. Maybe a miracle would occur. Maybe an angel in human form would run for office. But the evidence seems overwhelming that none of the people who want power are worthy to wield power. And I cannot agree to take part in the ways in which politicians who win elections hurt their fellow men and women.

I do not expect to change the system. I may not survive its collapse. All I'm able to do is help the people who are suffering now, because the system does not work, and help the people who will suffer when this system fails. Being prepared and ready for the collapse does not mean I'm working to cause the collapse. As a Collapsitarian, I don't have to do anything to topple the system, it is falling over all by itself. (Readers of Etienne de la Boetie's essay On Voluntary Servitude will recognise that he was an early Collapsitarian.)

Put not your faith in princes. I'm not a prince. I don't seek to lead a revolutionary army, and I don't seek to overthrow anything. I'm just one man, and though I am only one man, I am all of one man. And being who I am, I will do all I may do to help.

Take the profit out of wars and the wars will end. Cause the people who are gaining profits from wars to suffer some of the consequences of the wars, some of the death and some of the maiming injuries, and perhaps they would show less enthusiasm for war.

Do I know how to do that? No. Not yet.

 

Jim Davidson is an author, entrepreneur, actor, dancer, and story-teller. He is currently the CFO of three start-ups and the vision director for HoustonSpaceSociety.net

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