Monday, July 22, 2013

Define Your Scope

Having recently returned from Lebanon, Missouri from the Get Prepared Expo as hosted by USAPrepares.com and Vincent Finelli, I have had one phrase bouncing around in my brain: Define your scope.

Its seems very simplistic and easy to understand but it was almost too easy to not do. At this expo there were many people including Sheriff Mack (CSPOA), Michael Evans (America's Voice Now), and John Moore (The John Moore Show). Many of these names are regional conservative heavy-hitters who span the whole array of non-mainstream sentiments. One man who really caught my attention with that simple phrase was Sam Bushman. Mr. Bushman is the host of Liberty Roundtable and TechWatch Radio and is one of the most energetic people I have heard in radio in a long time. He is almost eternally optimistic and credits everything to God. I should also mention at this time that he happens to be blind. While in the seminar "How to Make Your Own Radio Station", Sam stated that no matter what you do whether its podcasting or live streaming broadcasts online or over the airwaves, you must define your scope. That is to say, that you must find what YOUR topic of expertise or focus is. As a Rothbardian Libertarian, its fairly easy to say that I can be a jack-of-all-trades, but is that really the case? Can I confidently talk on anything that happens to come up without falling back on the "abolish the government" statement every single time?

I walked in there with the thought that live radio is my thing, but the more I considered it, the more I realized I wouldn't be able to (at least currently) fill up an hour or two hours with just general anarchist talk. I am better suited as a podcaster/YouTuber in putting up content at my leisure and at any length for any topic I decide at the time.

Do you want to be a messenger of liberty? Do you want to make an impact? Decide what your focus is, whether its self-reliance, survivalism, economics or complex architecture make sure you stick to your knowledge. Start with a blog or small YouTube channel and if interest grows enough, it may be time to consider live broadcasts.

Please consider listening to the men I have named above as they all have something interesting to add to the cause of liberty. Their shows will be hyperlinked in their name.

Have any questions, comments or ideas? Leave them in the comments section below or email me at bradticus@gmail.com

Peace and Love in Liberty!

Written by Adam Bradt. Owner and editor of Libertationis Reipublicae and Libertarian Entertainment TV, host and administrator for the YouTube Channels of Liberationis Reipublicae and Libertarian Entertainment TV. Contact him at bradticus@gmail.com with quesitons, tips, ideas or anything else.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

There Are Only Cooperating Individuals


“We are all in this together.”
“We need to impact society.”
“This is for the good of society.”
“We need to protect society from the evils of (insert person or organization here).”

What do all those statements have in common? They all focus around the collectivist concept of society. You may be questioning why I have taken such a stance. Society is a mere label right? Its a label like “nation”, “country” “American, Canadian, Mexican, Spaniard, etc”. Well the issue is that the label “society” much like the others above creates a situation where the label is considered an individual apart from the individuals that make it up. It is treated as a superior or god-like figure with rights of it's own that transcend the individual. Sometimes its even blamed for the problems we face such as poverty, crime, violence, war and other actions of individuals.

A libertarian, or more correctly an Individualist, says that ONLY individuals exist, choose and act and that society does not exist as anything other than a label of co-operating individuals. Saying that society is an entity that acts and chooses ends simply hides what (or who) is really behind the actions.

The libertarian view of “society” can be summed up as: society is everyone but you..

It stands to reason that since there is no society and that only individuals act, each individual is supported by others through co-operation. It doesn't take a state mandate for one neighbor share sugar with another. It doesn't take a government mandate to tell one factory what parts to send to another factory. Why do we need not only the labels of the collectivist mindset but the collective at all? By returning to the idea of individualism and individual cooperation with others, maximum liberty can be achieved.

FREE THE MARKET! END THE STATE!

Written by Adam Bradt. Owner and editor of Libertationis Reipublicae and Libertarian Entertainment TV, host and administrator for the YouTube Channels of Liberationis Reipublicae and Libertarian Entertainment TV. Contact him at bradticus@gmail.com with quesitons, tips, ideas or anything else.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth of July! Time to Revolt!

In the interest of keeping things fresh, I altered the title of the article by Rick Vandeven. The original title is : "You Say You Wanna Revolution?"

I thought to myself, "This year, I am really going to kick that football". I did have some good, albeit misplaced, intentions of saying something positive about these here United States of America on Independence Day, or as the holiday has become known in the popular vernacular- The Fourth of July. Riddle: Do the English have the Fourth of July?

So I got to thinking about what I could possibly say about the USA that was happy, but honest. This dilemma has filled my head for the past several days; so much so that I was beginning to think that the alcohol had finally caught up with me.

Then I remembered that one of the primary reasons that I drink is to tolerate people who get their jollies worshiping the government of the USA; propagating the lie that we are a free and superior people, and claiming that our military fights perpetual wars so that we have the right to say the Pledge of Allegiance.

It's not that I dislike the USA. Hell, I've lived here my whole life. We have neighborhood grocery stores with 175 different types of breakfast cereal. I can watch thousands of 45 minutes documentaries on a plethora of topics ranging from the mating habits of rain forest birds, to the common construction methods at the height of the Aegean Bronze Age.

This is my home. I take no pleasure in watching my family, friends, and neighbors struggle to make an honest living. I can't stand the thought that so many members of our society have traded liberty of the abstract and false promise of security. There is no joy in the realization that the right/left paradigm is patently, and completely phony despite the fuss made over which duopoly party can tell better lies, and convince 50% plus one to vote them into power every election cycle.

The reasons that the American Revolution was fought seem petty when considered in the modern context. Taxes: we have plenty of those; direct and indirect. The standing army: mere child's play in comparison to the encroaching police state. No representation: don't get me started.

Instead, I like to think that those crazy bastards who took on the most powerful enemy ever assembled, some while wearing three cornered, really did believe that they didn't have to sit around and take crap from some inbred monarch who lived thousands of miles away. And if they went down, at least they went down fighting because their ancestors didn't leave that mess behind so that they could make public statements commending the swell job that the king was doing to protect them, while surrendering their dignity in the process. The movement that spawned the revolutionaries to secede from the British crown was not overwhelmingly popular among the colonies, yet we still (supposedly) commemorate it on this day. Why? Who actually celebrates overthrowing the government on 7/4 anymore?

I truly do believe if a grizzled, starving, desperate insurrectionist (yes kiddies, this country was founded by terrorists), begging for another round to fire at a fiendish redcoat, were to appear at a local half baked "fourthofjuly" festival today, he would pull down his britches, and show all the fine patriotic American what we could kiss during the final stanza of "Stars and Stripes Forever".

It is Independence Day! Not, In Dependence Day! Be an American! Disobey! Revolt!

Rick Vandeven is a former Libertarian Party candidate for US Congress (MO-8). Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/rick_vandeven

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

No Confidence

Democracy is an inherently flawed system. The proponents of democracy have argued for centuries that such a system of governance would bring about equality and prosperity for all. The practice of one man one vote is intended to give each member of society control over their own destiny, but in reality the democratic government is plagued by political gang warfare. It takes only a majority and in some cases a plurality to legitimize the right of a sovereign to lord over the whole of society. The end of any form of democratic rule is always the legitimization of state power, and with the existence of the state comes the democratic power vacuum. The state is the ultimate monopoly in that it is capable of wresting control of any industry with the point of a gun. This creates an environment wherein individuals decide that it is in their best interests to form a collective in order to fill the democratic power vacuum, after all democracy thrives on the idea that authority is derived from mass action. This is the origin of political parties and special interest organizations. In a system of pure capitalism this monstrous monopolistic power structure known as the state holds no legitimacy and therefor there is no power vacuum to be filled by collective warfare. The idea of the freedom of an individual to control his own destiny is fully realized through capitalism. If one decides that the power structure chosen for him by the masses is illegitimate, one has the ability to voluntarily choose to associate with another more desirable power structure. Democratic governance does not afford one such freedom of choice, each individual is forced to accept the rule of the democratic monopoly with the threat of being labeled a traitor if they attempt to form their own system of governance separate from the system authorized by the masses. Pure capitalism would allow us the freedom to truly control our own destinies, but sadly we have been forced to bow to the rule of the American democratic monopoly: The United States government.
 
So how then may we go about freeing ourselves from this system of monopoly? There are many steps which we may take to reclaiming our freedom of choice, some more practical than others. Currently I favor the agorist approach of simply living as if the state had no say in the direction of your life, but for many agorism is seen as reckless and far too risky for the average American citizen. We will set aside agorism for now and focus on one solution that is rarely discussed, that is the practice of “no confidence” voting. When one votes “no confidence” they are stating that they have given their support to NONE of the candidates on the ballot. It has been my experience that the average American voter tends to be of the mindset that they are given the choice of “Evil” and “Less Evil”. The less jaded voters tend to choose the latter. When asked why they had not voted for a third party, the American voters usually express their worry that a vote for a third party is a vote for the “Evil” candidate, and they would be better off siding with the “Less Evil” candidate. Of course most libertarians realize that this is a self-defeating attitude that will always lead to the legitimization of evil,and that is why many of us are happy to vote “third party”, but what if we were given another option? What if each ballot contained a bubble at the very top that read: “NO CONFIDENCE”? Could it be possible then that more voters would be willing to damn the election altogether and demand a new crop of candidates across the board? Of course some voters would see a vote of “NO CONFIDENCE” as a vote for “Evil”, but we must not discount the fact that there is nothing partisan about a vote of no confidence. When one chooses to vote Libertarian they will often hear cries of “traitor!” from Republicans who seem to think that they own the Libertarian vote, and the same can be said for individuals who vote Green party, though their criticism most often originates from the Democrats. What if one decided to vote for nobody by voting no confidence? What party could claim ownership of such a vote? No party!
 
By the very fact that a vote of no confidence is non-partisan, it is superior to a third party vote in its ability to attract skeptical establishment party voters. Detractors of such a vote would then argue of course that if everyone voted no confidence, the government would not be able to function as well. I say in response: “GOOD!”. If the American political parties cannot provide us with something better than “Evil” and “Less Evil” then why should the government be allowed to function? The hamstringing of the government through votes of no confidence is a positive, efficient, and quick way to loosen the state's grip on our lives. Individuals would have to look to private firms to replace the functions of the state until confidence is once again restored in government (and it may never be!).
 
If then votes of no confidence would be so detrimental to the function of the state, how could we convince politicians to implement such a system? Herein lies the ultimate problem with this solution. Since the United States Government is legitimized by the American voter, it is up to the American voter to collectively demand that a vote of no confidence be included with all ballots. Sadly history has proven that the American voter is a fickle creature that is easily ensnared by the offering of stolen goods, and therefor many Americans would oppose any measure that would limit the power of the state to provide them with “benefits”. This is the struggle of all revolutionary movements, they must first overcome a mountain of collective apathy.

-Skyler Miller
 
Skyler Miller is President of the SEMO Student Libertarian Association and former campaign manager for Bill Slantz during the Missouri 8th Congressional District special election. Contact him at AnCapMiller@gmail.com

Welcome to Rick Vandeven!

As part of a new partnership with Rick Vandeven, he has offered me a number of articles and rants that he put together in the past. This will range from stuff years ago to current posts.

Adventures in Liberty

Chalk up another successful day gathering signatures for the Show-Me Cannabis initiative. My friend and mentor Greg Tlapek, Executive Director of the Missouri Libertarian Party, helped out once again. My daughter Amber and her friend Preston helped corral my youngest daughter Rori Beth by keeping her occupied in the park. My oldest daughter, Autumn, also helped petition.
We gathered 63 signatures in two hours. Not bad for Cape. Our original goal was to hit up a tea party rally that was being held at Capaha Park in Cape Girardeau. The tea party is sold as a grassroots, decentralized movement whose goal is reducing the size of an intrusive, overbearing, and expensive government. My thought process was that a local tea party rally would be the ideal place to find help reeling government back through ending the unnecessary and extremely expensive war on drugs via a ballot initiative petition drive to legalize cannabis in Missouri. Actually, I was completely wrong (shocking, right?). The tea party movement is a complete waste of time; a public act of contrition made by geriatric lawn chair “political activists” for their decades of supporting the right wing of the bird of prey (the Republican Party). Our experience at the tea party rally was totally negative.
Greg, Autumn, and I proceeded to move our operation to the “Freedom Corner” of the park where we could hold our homemade signs in view of oncoming traffic in the hope that some drivers would pull over, and sign the petition. This was much more successful as we garnered a lot of attention to our cause, and more importantly, gathered several signatures from this location. As a matter of fact, we caught the attention of one of Cape Girardeau’s finest law enforcement officers. This LEO will simply be referred to as “Officer Friendly” from this point of the story on.
(Disclaimer: I am not even sure that Officer Friendly was an actual law enforcement officer. His vehicle [a truck with a large cage in the bed] was marked “Police City of Cape Girardeau”. However, his uniform was brown as opposed to the usual dark blue / black that I usually see the Cape police officers wear. He didn’t carry a firearm either; it looked like a taser pistol. I am starting to believe that Officer Friendly was indeed a disgruntled, angst ridden, and slightly retarded municipal dogcatcher.)
Officer Friendly took exception to your humble heroes exercising our First Amendment rights. He issued several “warnings” to us (“your First Amendment rights are superseded by local law”), all of them under the all-too-familiar guise of “safety”. Officer Friendly cited a public ordinance that prevents people from standing 15 ft. from a public road. The fact that the sidewalk and crosswalk buttons are exactly 0’ from the public road was of no concern to Officer Friendly. When Greg and I refused to leave, Officer Friendly sat in his truck, stewing in his own juices, while making several phone calls (and probably contemplating beating his wife when he got off duty).
Ultimately, the presence of Officer Friendly was enough to deter anyone else from stopping, and signing a marijuana legalization petition. That and simply being a little unsettled over a costumed stooge threatening me from petitioning my government was enough to make the decision to call it a day 45 minutes later.
But only after Officer Friendly left first, of course.
I am fully convinced that what we are in the middle of is not a battle between the government and the citizens, nor the rich and the poor, nor (definitely) the right and the left. It is a battle between the authoritarians and those of us that simply want to live our lives in peace. Officer Friendly was not the only authoritarian on the scene today. Greg was confronted by a veteran who took angry vocal exception to us carrying on a “little protest” in front of what he considered to be a monument to the armed forces. The “freedom loving” tea party crowd would have allowed Officer Friendly to arrest us for expressing our free speech rights, and undoubtedly would have cheered him on if they could have removed their wrinkled, polyester clad carcasses from their lawn chairs long enough to interrupt their participation in their right to free speech.
There is no political solution. The only way out of this fine kettle of fish that we have cooked ourselves in is for individuals to decide to live their lives in whatever manner they so peacefully choose, so long as they don’t hurt anybody else, and extend that same right to everybody. We don’t need the permission of Officer Friendly and the rest of his authoritarian gangsters to accomplish this. They have no legitimate authority to prevent us from living free. Stop being bullied! Stand up for something you believe in! Nobody is going to deliver liberty to you, only you can accomplish this. Rock the State! Choose peace!

Rick Vandeven is a former Libertarian Party candidate for US Congress (MO-8).
Find out more about the legalization of freedom at http://show-mecannabis.com/
Twitter: @rick_vandeven



Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Marriage Debate Is Far From Over

Millions of Americans are now celebrating the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. This was a major achievement for the liberty movement and proof that libertarians are making a big impact on the political arena, but let us not forget that the marriage debate is far from over. 

As a libertarian I am concerned with the elimination of POSITIVE rights. Positive rights are not really rights at all, they are specific privileges granted by the government to certain segments of the population. For many people the gay marriage debate was never about “equality”, it was about gaining the positive rights granted to straight couples by the government. There are over 1,000 government benefits that married couples enjoy, including special tax breaks. Positive rights and special government benefits do not foster equality, they only divide us further. 

True marriage equality means the total elimination of all specific government benefits granted to married couples. Let individuals form their own contractual relationships. End government involvement in marriage across the board!

-Skyler Miller


Follow him on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SkylerMillerLibertarian

Check out the Student Libertarian Association: www.facebook.com/StudentLibertarianAssociation

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Be An Optimistic Libertarian!

The state has been a force of evil since the beginning and has never seemed to lose power. When it happens to lose power it comes back later to be more powerful. This is the cause of great pessimism in the cause for liberty. Many say, "It's all well and good to fight the State but we won't see liberty in our time so what's the point?" or "Its all worthless to try to fight the State even if it's the worst and most oppressive because its just gonna get stronger." Despite the constant encroachments on our liberties through spying and the destruction of the free market, we still have the chance to turn things around. It may not be possible in our lifetime but why should we not set the groundwork for the future?

Consider the following excerpts by Libertarian Murray N. Rothbard in his book The Ethics of Liberty:

  If liberty is to be the highest political end, then this implies that liberty is to be pursued by the most efficacious means, i.e., those means which will most speedily and thoroughly arrive at the goal. This means that the libertarian must be an “ abolitionist,” i.e., he must wish to achieve the goal of liberty as rapidly as possible. If he balks at abolitionism, then he is no longer holding liberty as the highest political end. The libertarian, then, should be an abolitionist who would, if he could, abolish instantaneously all invasions of liberty. Following the classical liberal Leonard Read, who advocated immediate and total abolition of price-and-wage controls after World War II, we might refer to this as the “button-pushing” criterion. Thus, Read declared that “If there were a button on this rostrum, the pressing of which would release all wage-and-price controls instantaneously I would put my finger on it and push!” The libertarian, then, should be a person who would push a button, if it existed, for the instantaneous abolition of all invasions of liberty—not something, by the way, that any utilitarian would ever be likely to do.
     Anti-libertarians, and anti-radicals generally, characteristically make the point that such abolitionism is “unrealistic”; by making such a charge they hopelessly confuse the desired goal with a strategic estimate of the probable path toward that goal. It is essential to make a clear-cut distinction between the ultimate goal itself, and the strategic estimate of how to reach that goal; in short, the goal must be formulated before questions of strategy or “realism” enter the scene. The fact that such a magic button does not and is not likely to exist has no relevance to the desirability of abolitionism itself. We might agree, for example, on the goal of liberty and the desirability of abolitionism in liberty’s behalf. But this does not mean that we believe that abolition will in fact be attainable in the near or far future.
     The libertarian goals—including immediate abolition of invasions of liberty—are “realistic” in the sense that they could be achieved if enough people agreed on them, and that, if achieved, the resulting libertarian system would be viable. The goal of immediate liberty is not unrealistic or “Utopian” because—in contrast to such goals as the “elimination of poverty”—its achievement is entirely dependent on man’s will. If, for example, everyone suddenly and immediately agreed on the overriding desirability of liberty, then total liberty would be immediately achieved. The strategic estimate of how the path toward liberty is likely to be achieved is, of course, an entirely separate question.

Consider also this:

  There are good and sufficient reasons, however, for libertarians to be optimistic in the short-run as well as the long run, indeed for a belief that victory for liberty might be near.
     But, in the first place, why should libertarians be optimistic even in the long run? After all, the annals of recorded history are a chronicle, in one civilization after another, of centuries of varying forms of despotism, stagnation, and totalitarianism. May it not be possible that the great post-seventeenth century thrust toward liberty was only a mighty flash in the pan, to be replaced by sinking back into a gray and permanent despotism? But such superficially plausible despair overlooks a crucial point: the new and irreversible conditions introduced by the Industrial Revolution of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a revolution itself a consequence of the classical-liberal political revolutions. For agricultural countries, in a preindustrial era, can indeed peg along indefinitely on a subsistence level; despotic kings, nobles and states can tax the peasantry above subsistence level, and live elegantly off the surplus, while the peasants continue to toil for centuries at the bare minimum. Such a system is profoundly immoral and exploitative, but it “works” in the sense of being able to continue indefinitely (provided that the state does not get too greedy and actually kill the goose that lays the golden eggs).
     But fortunately for the cause of liberty, economic science has shown that a modern industrial economy cannot survive indefinitely under such draconian conditions. A modern industrial economy requires a vast network of free-market exchanges and a division of labor, a network that can only flourish under freedom. Given the commitment of the mass of men to an industrial economy and the modern standard of living that requires such industry, then the triumph of a free-market economy and an end to statism becomes inevitable in the long run.

Finally a closing sentiment from Rothbard that seems to be very applicable to 2013 as it was in 1982:


The rapid growth in these last years of libertarian ideas and movements has pervaded many fields of scholarship, especially among younger scholars, and in the areas of journalism, the media, business, and politics. Because of the continuing objective conditions, it seems clear that this eruption of libertarianism in many new and unexpected places is not a mere media-concocted fad, but an inevitably growing response to the perceived conditions of objective reality. Given free will, no one can predict with certainty that the growing libertarian mood in America will solidify in a brief period of time, and press forward without faltering to the success of the entire libertarian program. But certainly, both theory and analysis of current historical conditions lead to the conclusion that the current prospects of liberty, even in the short-run, are highly encouraging.

We need not give up our push and fight for true liberty. We must celebrate every victory (even if they are small ones) and we must be ever vigilant continue to tear down the State. Whether that destruction happens brick-by-brick or in massive blows with a wreaking ball, its the removal of that wall between us and liberty that is the ultimate goal.

Peace and Love in Liberty,

Adam Bradt




Now On Soundcloud!

Here is my first track on SoundCloud. This is going to be a great way to incorporate audio into this blog as opposed to using videos all the time. This audio content is going to be focused around a discussion of different publications and perhaps a semi-regular podcast. I have no idea what's in store just yet but thats part of life. Let's see where this takes us.