Category Archives: Ideologies (Classical Liberal)

Whodunit? Who “Meddled” With “Our Democracy”?


By ilana mercer

Republicans have revealed that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) treats Americans not as citizens, but as subjects to spy on. I’d expect nothing less from a Court created and perpetuated by George W. Bush and his Republicans.

But, what do you know? Following Barack Obama’s lead, President Donald Trump and his Republicans have renewed FISA Section 702, which, in fact, has facilitated the usurpations the same representatives are currently denouncing.

Also in contravention of a quaint constitutional relic called the Fourth Amendment is Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Mueller has taken possession of “many tens of thousands of emails from President Donald Trump’s transition team.” There is no limit, seemingly, to the power of the special counsel.

Look, we’re living in a post-Constitutional America. Complaints about the damage done to our “democracy” by outsiders are worse than silly. Such damage pales compared to what we Americans have done to a compact rooted in the consent of the governed and the drastically limited and delimited powers of those who govern.

In other words, a republic. Ours was never a country conceived as a democracy.

To arrive at a democracy, we Americans destroyed a republic.

The destruction is on display daily.

Pray tell where-oh-where in the US Constitution does it say that anyone crossing over into the US may demand and get an abortion? But apparently, this is settled law—a universally upheld right, irrespective of whose property and territory it impinges.

The only aspect our clodhopper media—left and right—deign to debate in such abortion-tourism cases is the interloper’s global reproductive rights. So, if abortion is a service Americans must render to the world, why not the right to a colonoscopy or a facelift?

Cannabis: The reason it’s not in the Constitution is because letting states and individuals decide is in the Constitution. That thing of beauty is called the Tenth Amendment:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

That’s right. In American federalism, the rights of the individual were meant to be secured through strict limits imposed on the power of the central government by a Bill of Rights and the division of authority between autonomous states and a federal government. Yet on cannabis, the meager constitutional devolution of power away from the Federales and to states and individuals Republicans have reversed. Some are even prattling about a constitutional cannabis amendment, as if there’s a need for further “constitutional” centralization of authority.

After 230 years of just such “constitutional” consolidation, it’s safe to say that the original Constitution is a dead letter; that the natural- and common law traditions, once lodestars for lawmakers, have been buried under the rubble of legislation and statute that would fill an entire building floor. However much one shovels the muck of lawmaking aside, natural justice and the Founders’ original intent remain buried too deep to exhume.

Consider: America’s Constitution makers bequeathed a central government of delegated and enumerated powers. The Constitution gives Congress only some eighteen specific legislative powers. Nowhere among these powers is Social Security, civil rights (predicated as they are on grotesque violations of property rights), Medicare, Medicaid, and the elaborate public works sprung from the General Welfare and Interstate Commerce Clauses.

The welfare clause stipulates that “Congress will have the power … to provide for the general welfare.” And even though the general clause is followed by a detailed enumeration of the limited powers so delegated; our overlords, over decades of dirigisme, have taken Article I, Section 8 to mean that government can pick The People’s pockets for any perceivable purpose and project. Witness a judiciary of scurrilous statists that had even found in the Constitution a mandate to compel commerce by forcing individual Americans to purchase health insurance on pains of a fine, an act of force President Trump has mercifully repealed.

So you see, Rachel Maddow, it’s not the Republicans who’ve ruined our system. Sean Hannity, it’s not the Democrats. It’s not even “the Russians.”

At root, they all did. It happened over time and is a fait accompli. The reality today is that there’s simply no warrant in the Constitution for most of what the Federal Frankenstein does.

 

Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She is the author of “The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016) & “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011). She’s on Twitter, Facebook, Gab & YouTube.

Advertisements

Mises 2018: Sean Gabb on “Libertarian Toryism”


Libertarian Toryism
Speech to the Mises UK Conference
at the Charing Cross Hotel in London
27th January 2018
Sean Gabb

Though ultimately about the future, this will also be a speech that dwells on the past. The first past event that I wish to discuss is what happened in June 2017. When I stood down as Director of the Libertarian Alliance, I was asked if I had taken leave of my senses. I was not visibly broken down by age and ill health. I had evidently not run out of things to say. Why, then, was I steeping aside in favour of a young man who was nearly forty years my junior?

The answer to this question it to look about you. I ran the Libertarian Alliance for several years on life support. I did so with considerable success. One thing I could never do, however, was to arrange a conference – certainly not of this quality nor on this scale. As I stand here, I am more convinced than ever that Keir Martland is the right person to give the British libertarian movement a new start. Read more

Reflections on the importance of the medieval English parliament


Reflections on the importance of the medieval English parliament
Keir Martland
(Feast of Michael and All Angels, 2017)

What was the importance or significance of the mediaeval English parliament? This is a vast question and my thoughts on it are particularly difficult to articulate, but I think it requires a lengthy process of ‘setting the scene’ to begin with. To put the disputes between kings and representative institutions in their proper context, it is important to consider earlier mediaeval notions of law and kingship. The early mediaeval ‘customary law’ was not one of sovereignty, like the Roman law – whose famous maxim put it ‘whatever has pleased the ruler has the force of law’ – but one of compromises worked out according to a few immutable principles. In such an understanding, law – being the law of one’s fathers – was good because it was old, and old because it was good, and law was sovereign. The king was under the law, bound by it, and his very existence was predicated upon it. Indeed, the mediaeval Icelandic constitution functioned well without a king for centuries, with only one part-time ‘government employee’, a single lawspeaker. Furthermore, since ‘feudal’ relations were essentially personal ones of reciprocal rights and duties, territoriality, like sovereignty was alien to the mediaeval social and political order. As Frank van Dun has it in his essay Uprooted Liberalism and its Discontents, “…power rested on personal allegiances between freemen. Thus, the feudal lord-vassal relationship was not a transitive relation…” Tacitus’ words might well be applied to the early Germanic or barbarian societies, ‘Nec regibus infinita aut libera potestas’ (Their kings are not unlimited or free). Read more

Barcelona and Beyond: How Politicians & Policy Wonks Play God With Your Life


By ilana mercer

No sooner do terrorists attack, than those who monopolize the conversation revert to abstractions: “terrorism returned,” “terror struck,” when, of course, not terrorism, but terrorists struck Barcelona, Spain, on August 17. Terrorists did the same days later, in Newcastle, England and in Turku, Finland.

The men who murdered 14 in Spain, maiming and injuring over 100, 15 of them critically, are flesh-and-blood. Young, Muslim, Moroccan men with murder on their minds. It is the duty of governments to bar such men from civilized society, or keep such barbarians at bay.

So, drop the Orwellian bafflegab when describing what elites have wrought through their policies. The Maghrebi Muhammadans—aged, 17, 18, 22 and 24—had been given free range and limitless access to their victims, in the name of those victims’ freedoms.  The only lucky sorts living safely are the elites who grant the barbarians license to kill.

Thus were Theresa May, the Spanish royals and other leaders—well-protected courtesy of their taxpayers—able to flout the reality faced by the ordinary fellow and utter fatuities like, “These assassins, these criminals won’t terrorize us.” The truth is that these darling buds of May and Merkel do and will continue to terrorize ordinary men and women, but will spare invulnerable elites for reasons obvious.

Of Spain’s many millions, “only” 14 lives were lost in one day, in Barcelona. Similar numbers obtain in London, Manchester, Melbourne, Paris, Nice, Normandy, Stockholm, Saint Petersburg, Berlin, Hamburg, Columbus (Ohio): Only a few people were picked off in each attack, this year. In the grand scheme of things, the numbers are relatively small. Or, so we’re lectured by the contemptible aggregators who decide who will reside among us.

On TV, June 1, 2017, Alex Nowrasteh, immigration expert at the libertarian Cato Institute, argued that “foreign-born terrorism is a hazard,” but a “manageable” one, “given the huge economic benefits of immigration and the small costs of terrorism.”

Spoken like a collectivist, central planner and utilitarian rolled into one.

This is the Benthamite “utilitarian calculus” at its cruelest. It requires, first, for someone to play God. Whether she sits in Downing Street, D.C., Brussels, or Barcelona; the Godhead has determined that Muslims in our midst are a must in bringing “the greatest good to the greatest number of citizens.” Along the way, a few people will die. For the greater good.

In the words of “Stalin’s apologist” Walter Duranty, ”You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.”

However, a natural-rights libertarian values the life of the innocent individual. Only by protecting each individual’s rights—life, liberty and property—can the government legitimately enhance the wealth of the collective. Only through fulfilling its night watchman role can government legitimately safeguard the wealth of the nation. For each individual, secure in his person and property, is then free to pursue economic prosperity, which redounds to the rest.

See, statistics are silly unless given context. If you have one foot in fire, the other in ice, can we legitimately say that, on average, you’re warm? Hardly.

Probabilities, in this case the chance that any one of us will die-by-Muslim, are statistically insignificant—unless this happens to you or to yours, to me or mine.

It is this crude calculus that politicians and policy wonks like the Catoite mentioned peddle.

Were it possible to arrange for wonks, pols and their beloved to pay for the policies they promulgate—were these ugly aggregators told, “Yes, we like your idea of flooding western societies with Muslims at the price of a few lives—provided that those lives lost belong to you and yours. The John McCains and Jeff Flakes of the world would quickly retract their policy follies.

 

Ilana Mercer is the author of The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016) & Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011). Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Gab & YouTube channel.

« Older Entries