Monday, May 27, 2013

"Memorial Day"

Today is the legally designated Monday set aside mainly as a late Spring paid non-working day for most Americans to engage in seasonally appropriate outdoor diversions. This humble blogster thought it appropriate to urge his fellow citizens to spend a few minutes being reminded of some things of which our society has become bereft:
 On this Memorial Day it is appropriate to memorialize a number of long-dead American institutions (RIP). The first would be the main principles of the Declaration of Independence, beginning with the notion that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. The Lincoln administration destroyed that principle long ago when it responded to the withdrawal of consent by eleven Southern states by waging total war on their civilian populations for four long years, killing as many as 400,000 Southerners according to the latest research, while bombing, burning, and looting Southern cities and towns.

 The Declaration of Independence also declared in its closing paragraphs that the states were "free and independent" of any other government. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! At the time, "free and independent states" meant that Virginia, Massachusetts, New York, etc. were considered to be free and independent states in the same sense that Great Britain, France and Spain were free and independent states.

 Treason in the U.S. Constitution is defined as "only" levying war upon the states, or giving aid and comfort to THEIR enemies. This of course is exactly what the Lincoln regime did, while redefining treason to mean exactly the opposite of what it means in the Constitution: opposition to the federal government.

The notion of "limited constitutional government" is also long dead, thanks to the victorious Hamiltonian nationalists in American politics. It was Hamilton himself who invented the notion of "implied powers" of the Constitution almost before the ink was dry on the original document. In Hamiltonian language, "implied" means "unlimited." Jefferson believed that the Constitution could "bind" the government in "chains." His nemesis Hamilton was of the opposite opinion that the Constitution could be used to rubber stamp anything and everything the central government ever wanted to do as long as it was "properly" interpreted by slick, conniving lawyers like himself (or by fellow nationalists like John Marshall or Abraham Lincoln). Hamilton’s view has prevailed, as was proven for the millionth time by Chief Justice John Roberts when he declared the Obamacare mandate to be a "tax" and therefore constitutional despite the fact that Obamacare’s proponents argued before the Supreme Court that the mandate was NOT a tax.

Also dead is the notion that there is such a thing as personal liberty – at least in the eyes of the federal government. The government now claims to have a "right" to spy on every citizen without a search warrant, to monitor the mails, bank accounts and emails, to grope and sexually assault each and every citizen passing through an airport, and even to murder American citizens with drones, on American soil, in the name of "security."

 What’s left of America’s market economy is controlled, regulated, regimented, and suffocated by more than two hundred years of accumulated government bureaucracy. American businesses are regulated by more than 80,000 pages of fine print regulations in The Federal Register; by dozens of federal regulatory agencies whose agents often carry firearms to enforce their edicts against the citizens; and by hundreds of other state and local government regulatory bureaucracies that attempt to regulate and tax all aspects of business life. There are even local government taxes on the air above "public" sidewalks if occupied by a commercial enterprise. It is all a part of government’s relentless, never-ending war on capitalism and freedom.

 Almost twenty-five years after the worldwide collapse of socialism the American regime has embraced socialist central planning with tremendous zeal. The primary vehicle for the American version of Soviet central planning is the Federal Reserve Board, which claims "authority" to control, regulate, and regiment all aspects of financial markets. It is devoted to destroying market interest rates, which are a necessary ingredient for real capitalism to exist, and believes in the "fatal conceit" of a centrally-planned economy. Its head, the bearded Ben Bernanke, even looks a lot like Lenin.

Also gone are the days when American politicians would be praised with words like "he kept us out of war" or took seriously Thomas Jefferson’s warnings about "entangling alliances" with foreign countries. The new foreign policy mantra is: "Do As We Say, Or We Will Invade and Occupy Your Country and Murder Your Citizens by the Hundreds of Thousands." "Soldiers" are not defenders of American freedom but paid murderers for the state. Endless military intervention all around the world has made life more dangerous and more insecure for Americans by creating endless enemies who resent it when other countries invade, bomb, and destroy their homelands. Nothing has been more destructive of American freedom than the state itself and its military-industrial-congressional complex. War is the health of the state, and an expanded state is always and everywhere the enemy of personal freedom.

 Governments at all levels have been very busy for a very long time destroying American freedom and prosperity. A single day could never be long enough to memorialize all of our lost freedoms, but I guess one has to start somewhere.

Thomas J. DiLorenzo; professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland    May 27, 2013