Government Is Force


“Government is force, and war is the inevitable, ultimate and deadliest expression of that base characteristic. Force and coercion are not only incompatible with freedom and liberty, they are destructive of them. Freedom and liberty can only survive and flourish in a society where peaceful exchange of goods, services, and ideas is preserved and protected by the respect of everyone involved, by mutual consent. Just as freedom and responsibility are said to be two sides of the same coin, so are peace and prosperity.” – R. Lee Wrights

War, Big Government, and Lost Freedom – Richard M. Ebeling

Apache Troop,1-33 CAV, 3rd Brigade Combat Team,101st AB Division


We are currently marking the hundredth anniversary of the fighting of the First World War. For four years between the summer of 1914 and November 11, 1918, the major world powers were in mortal combat with each other. The conflict radically changed the world. It overthrew the pre-1914 era of relatively limited government and free market economics, and ushered in a new epoch of big government, planned economies, and massive inflations, the full effects from which the world has still not recovered.

All the leading countries of Europe were drawn into the war. It began when the archduke of Austria- Hungary, Franz Ferdinand, and his wife, Sophia, were assassinated in Bosnia in June 1914. The Austro-Hungarian government claimed that the Bosnian-Serb assassin had the clandestine support of the Serbian government, which the government in Belgrade denied.

Ultimatums and counter-ultimatums soon set in motion a series of European military alliances among the Great Powers. In late July and early August, the now-warring parties issued formal declarations of war. Imperial Germany, the Turkish Empire, and Bulgaria supported Austria-Hungary. Imperial Russia supported Serbia, which soon brought in France and Great Britain because these countries were aligned with the czarist government in St. Petersburg. Italy entered the war in 1915 on the side of the British and the French.

The United States joined the conflict in April 1917, a month after the abdication of the Russian czar and the establishment of a democratic government in Russia. But this first attempt at Russian democracy was overthrown in November 1917, when Vladimir Lenin led a communist coup d’état; Lenin’s revolutionary government then signed a separate peace with Imperial Germany and Austria-Hungary in March 1918, taking Russia out of the war.

The arrival of large numbers of American soldiers in France in the summer of 1918, however, turned the balance of forces against Germany on the Western Front. After having been driven out of the French territory they had occupied since the first year of the war, the Germans agreed to the armistice on November 11, 1918 that ended what was already called the Great War – the “War to End All Wars” as it was falsely believed.


Read the rest via War, Big Government, and Lost Freedom – The Future of Freedom Foundation

The Nonsense of War – Lucy Steigerwald

The Islamic State (ISIS) beheads people, which proves that they are evil. Saudi Arabia beheads people, but they are allies of the United States. On March 30, Saudi airstrikes hit a Yemeni refugee camp and killed at least 29 people, mostly civilians. Oh, and whether we know it or not, the U.S. is totally at war with Yemen. But not, like, officially.

Billboard with portrait of Assad and the text ...

We’ve finally gotten word on the Iran nuclear deal (though the officially binding bit will happen at the end of June). Iran hardliners hate America. American hardliners distrust the mysterious, foreign, overly religious dudes who stormed our embassy. (Not like America and Britain ever overthrew the Iranian government or anything. Wait, yes they did.).

Oh, and we need to do something about ISIS. Just like we needed to do something about Bashar Al-Assad. Because they are the enemies of freedom. One of them is. We’ll get it sorted once we figure out who we need to send money, weapons, or training to. Either the president of Syria or ISIS, though, they are definitely the worst people who represent an existential threat to America, or possibly Israel, or at least the Middle East. But they’re bad, and we need to pick a side.

Clear? Good. Let’s go on.

Read the rest via The Nonsense of War by Lucy Steigerwald —

Conscription and other Draconian Taxes – Ryan McMaken

Conscription (i.e., “the draft”) was ended in the United States more than forty years ago, but it continues to be widely used outside North America and Western Europe. Recently, conscription in Ukraine has become an international issue as the Ukrainian state has reinstated the draft and met with significant opposition in many areas of the country.

Map that shows which Countries adopt conscript...

The use of forced military service in the region is hardly unique to Ukraine — Russia has a draft, too — but recent opposition has highlighted the fact that conscription is fundamentally incompatible with even a moderate amount of respect for private property.

Conscription as a 100 Percent Tax

“Conscription is slavery,” Murray Rothbard wrote in 1973, and while temporary conscription is obviously much less bad — assuming one outlives the term of conscription — than many other forms of slavery, conscription is nevertheless a nearly-100-percent tax on the production of one’s mind and body. If one attempts to escape his confinement in his open-air military jail, he faces imprisonment or even execution in many cases.

Conscription remains popular among states because it is an easy way to directly extract resources from the population. Just as regular taxes partially extract the savings, productivity, and labor of the general population, conscription extracts virtually all of the labor and effort of the conscripts. The burden falls disproportionately on the young males in most cases, and they are at risk of a much higher tax burden if killed or given a permanent disability in battle. If he’s lucky enough to survive the conflict, the conscript may find himself living out the rest of his life as disfigured or missing his eyesight and limbs. He may be rendered permanently undesirable to the opposite sex. Such costs imposed on the conscript are a form of lifelong taxation.

Fortunately for those who escape such a fate, the term of slavery ends at a specified time, but for the duration, the only freedom the conscript enjoys is that granted to him by his jailers. Rothbard explains:

… at whatever time the federal government deems fit, he is seized by the authorities and inducted into the armed forces. There his body and will are no longer his own; he is subject to the dictates of the government; and he can be forced to kill and to place his own life in jeopardy if the authorities so decree. What else is involuntary servitude if not the draft?

Mises Daily | Mises Institute.

War Party Is Ready for 2016 – Justin Raimondo

Walter B. Jones is seventy-two years old, but the feisty Republican congressman representing North Carolina’s third congressional district has no plans to retire. Asked by Roll Call if he’s going to be running again, he answered “Absolutely!” and said fundraising has already started, adding: “I like to be a thorn in people’s ass.”

English: American billionaire Sheldon Adelson ...


Yes, that’s Jones all over – a thorn in the War Party’s very vulnerable backside. He represents a district with the most military bases in the entire country, and yet this militantly anti-interventionist Republican has managed to beat back repeated challenges from within his own party.


Jones, you’ll recall, was virulently pro-war in the run up to the invasion of Iraq: when the French refused to support the war, it was he who demanded the congressional cafeteria change the French fries on their menu to “Freedom fries.” As the Iraq disaster unfolded, however, and the lies that got us into that war were revealed, he changed his tune quite dramatically from “Onward Christian Soldiers” to “Taps.” Particularly affected by the heartbreaking letters he received from families of soldiers sent to the battlefield, he answered every single one – and made his opposition to the war into a personal crusade.


The neoconservatives in the GOP establishment targeted him for political destruction but he beat back a challenge from their chosen carpetbagger, one Taylor Griffin, despite the War Party funneling over $1 million into the campaign. Griffin didn’t dare confront Jones directly on the issue of war and peace: instead, he concentrated on the ridiculous assertion that Jones is “too liberal” for the district. Yet FreedomWorks, a group that campaigns to elect Tea Party-oriented candidates, rated him the most conservative member of the North Carolina delegation: the American Conservative Union, which has been rating the conservative bona fides of members of Congress for decades, puts him in the top 25 percent. In the end, the voters didn’t buy Griffin’s propaganda, but the margin was only six points – a thin one for a 20-year veteran officeholder.


Griffin is angling for another try, and he’s sure to get support from the same pro-war types who funded his campaign last time: hedge fund manager and fanatical warhawk Paul Singer, the “Emergency Committee for Israel,” and Seth Klarman, another billionaire for endless war.


The same people are out to target likely Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul, and they are raising money hand over fist. The New York Times reports:

“Though Mr. Paul will not formally announce his campaign until April, prominent Republican officials and groups are already organizing to undercut his approach. One of the party’s biggest donors, the Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, has told associates he is open to underwriting an effort to stopping Mr. Paul, should he gain traction in the primary.”

Read the rest  via War Party Is Ready for 2016 by Justin Raimondo —