The American Dictatorship Institute
By Thomas J. DiLorenzo
11/17/07 “Lew Rockwell” — — In response to Ron Paul’s phenomenal fundraising successes and his widespread, national popularity, the neocon establishment has commenced a smear campaign. One such smear artist is John C. Fortier, a “research fellow” at what Lew Rockwell has called the Supreme Soviet of Neoconservatism – the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).
Writing on the AEI website, Fortier complained that Congressman Paul “sometimes displays a sinister conspiratorial aspect, implying that those who disagree with him are the vanguard of dictatorial government.” The Congressman and his supporters, says Fortier, think they “are there to stop such a dictatorship.”
Fortier is especially incensed at the fact that Congressman Paul asked him many hard questions, and opposed some of his recommendations, when he was executive director of something called the “Continuity in Government Commission.” In particular, the congressman was suspicious of the neocon commissioner’s recommendation that the president appoint members of Congress in the aftermath of some kind of “emergency” that incapacitates Congress. (Leaving the definition of “emergency” up to Washington, D.C. politicians is always dangerous to liberty, as anyone with any concern about constitutional government would know.)
Well, the work of Fortier’s Continuity in Government Commission is now finished, and the results of its efforts are seen in something called the National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 20/51, also known as the “National Continuity Policy.” This is another one of those presidential “directives” that was sneaked in under the media’s radar screen that does indeed grant the president dictatorial powers. Judge Andrew Napolitano describes the meaning of this “directive” in his brilliant new book, A Nation of Sheep (pp. 74–76).
The White House published the directive on its website after it was already signed by the president. Most Americans who have actually read and studied the directive, writes Napolitano, “are terrified by its implications.” They are terrified because presidential “directives” as such can be issued without any oversight by any other branch of government. The “National Continuity Policy” directive “concentrates power into the office of the president to coordinate any and all government and business activities” in the event of a “catastrophic emergency,” writes the judge.
The problem this creates for the American public is that “the pliable language in the directive creates the ability for a vast scope of executive authority without the checks and balances of the other branches of government,” writes Napolitano. It creates dictatorial powers, in other words.
“Catastrophic emergency” is defined so broadly that it could include an economic downturn, an environmental catastrophe, large-scale protests against the Iraq war, a power blackout, a bridge collapse such as the one on the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis last summer, a tsunami, a volcanic eruption such as Mount Saint Helen’s, and, says Napolitano, possibly even if “a plague of fire ants invades Crawford, Texas.”
The president gets to decide what constitutes a “catastrophe” that allows him to enforce his own directive and assume dictatorial powers over the government and the economy. If the president does declare such an emergency, writes Napolitano, “he can take over all government functions including the Congress and the federal courts and direct all private sector activities.” Moreover, “the emergency exists until the president decides it is over.” The question is not, why was Ron Paul suspicious of the government “commission” that dreamed up this dictatorial nightmare, but why wasn’t every other member of Congress?
It gets even worse. The Bush administration, thanks to the work of John C. Fortier’s Continuity in Government Commission, was emboldened to simply ignore the federal National Emergencies Act, passed in 1976, that was intended to prevent a perpetual state of national emergency “and formalize Congressional checks and balances on presidential emergency powers.” They just thumbed their collective noses, figuratively speaking, at the Congress and the American public, and broke the law – again. But then, the president’s lawyers have argued for years that anything he does is legal and constitutional. The Constitution doesn’t say this, mind you; Republican Party hacks with law degrees do.
All of this is why, of all the former Trotskyites and other assorted neocons who hang their hats at AEI, it was John C. Fortier who took the lead to smear Ron Paul on the Institute’s website. It was Ron Paul, almost alone among members of Congress, who understood the potential devastating dangers to American liberty that might come from a commission such as the one that was directed by Fortier.
The “National Continuity Policy” was put in place in secret, without the knowledge of even very many members of Congress. Fortier must be in a state of panic. He understands that, because of his exponentially-growing popularity, Ron Paul has the ability to expose this atrocious attack on American liberty to the entire nation, which may come to understand that AEI – the Supreme Soviet of Neoconservatism – is best thought of as the American Dictatorship Institute.
Thomas J. DiLorenzo [send him mail] professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland and the author of The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War, (Three Rivers Press/Random House). His latest book is Lincoln Unmasked: What You’re Not Supposed To Know about Dishonest Abe (Crown Forum/Random House).
Copyright © 2007 LewRockwell.com
The U.S. Congress Legislates Genocide Of The Mind
By Jeff Knaebel
11/17/07 “ICH” — – Introduction. There are two mutually exclusive means of livelihood. One is to work and earn from production and exchange. This has been called the “economic means.” The second is to seize the labor product of others through force and violence. This has been called the “political means.” Sociologist Franz Oppenheimer defined the State as the Organization of the Political Means. It is the systemization of the predatory process within a given territory.
· “There are two distinct classes of men… those who pay taxes, and those who receive and live upon taxes.” ~ Thomas Paine
· “The State enjoys a monopoly not only on the lawful use of violence, but on the power to define the extent of its authority.” ~ Butler Shaffer, 17 March 2006
· “You get the same order of criminality from any State to which you give power to exercise it.” ~ Isabel Paterson, New York Herald Tribune
“Thought Crimes,” HR 1955 Passed With 404 Votes.
Submit, Ye Citizens, Silently to State Murder.
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed HR 1955, titled the
Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007.
The full text is available at www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=110-1955. It was passed with 404 votes in favor.
A close reading within an historical context – keeping especially in mind the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and Presidential Executive Orders, pursuant to which the government has engaged in massive surveillance of its own citizens, as well as detentions, extraordinary renditions, assassinations, and torture – leads me to the following conclusions:
· This is a “Thought Crime” bill of the type so often discussed in an Orwellian context.
· It specifically targets the civilian population of the United States.
· It defines “Violent Radicalization” as promoting any belief system that the government considers to be extremist.
· “Homegrown Terrorism” and “Violent Radicalization” are defined as thought crimes.
· Since the bill does not provide a specific definition of extremist belief system, it will be whatever the government at any given time deems it to be.
A few extracts of the Bill are presented below to show you its tone or “flavor.”
“(2) VIOLENT RADICALIZATION- The term `violent radicalization’ means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system… to advance political, religious, or social change.”
SECTION 899B. FINDINGS.
“(3) The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.”
“(6) The potential rise of self radicalized, unaffiliated terrorists domestically cannot be easily prevented through traditional Federal intelligence or law enforcement efforts, and requires the incorporation of State and local solutions.”
Section 899D of the bill establishes a Center for the Study of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism in the United States. This will be an institution affiliated with the Department of Homeland Security. It will study and determine how to detain thought criminals.
THIS LEGISLATION ENDS THE POSSIBILITY OF A CULTURE OF REASON.
It is an attempt at legislative lobotomy of conscience. It aims to eviscerate ethical sensibilities of an entire culture.
Having usurped the power of war and peace, life and death, the Corporatocracy now bludgeons even the thought of speaking for conscience. This is State murder of the mind.
It is just too awesomely obscene for words. It exceeds not only the scope of my vocabulary, but my imagination as well.
The minions and hired agents of politicians are free to murder, rape and pillage on government hire using our money, but to imagine alternatives to them and the degraded, psychopathic political “leaders” who design and perpetrate these atrocities is legislated as a thought crime!
This is the legislated, politically promulgated end of man as a thinking, self-directed being. Surely this must be the outer limit of “positive law,” that is, statutory laws passed by “Lawmakers.”
It further entrenches the Power Elite as separate from and above their “subjects.” It clearly demonstrates the paranoid delusions of the Establishment, pursuant to which it legislates a massive defense mechanism to protect itself from the populace that it subjugates.
I use these terms deliberately, because the so-called freedom of the vote has turned out to be a big con game. It is only the “freedom” to choose one set of thieves over the other. The blue suits or the red suits… all of them manufactured suits of the corporations.
Following in the train of this legislation will doubtless be internal travel documents, body tracking by subcutaneous RFID chips, neighborhood snoops and spies, rewards granted for turning in politically incorrect thought criminals, mass civilian detention centers – in short, the whole totalitarian control mechanism that we associate with the SS, KGB and other code words of criminal regimes. There will be “re-programming / rehabilitation” centers to correct errant free thinkers.
The infrastructure for this – especially mental conditioning – is essentially already in place. We have become accustomed to birth certificate (the government’s initial warehouse receipt), driving license, social security number, business and professional licensing, the Corporate Warfare State control of media, and recently announced, Google’s navigation to your house by keying telephone number into the web. Take note that the Department of Homeland Security already has more than 750,000 persons on its watch list.
For a glimpse of past as prologue, read Solzhenitsyn.
Who Will Be Thought Police and Under What Standards?
Who will define radical thought, and by what standards? For example, how about the reported millions who believe that 911 was an inside job, citing a mass of evidence from eye witnesses, physicists, engineers, and recorded statements such as “We pulled it,” essentially a confession by the building’s owner of the planned demolition of Building 7?
Will the writings of John Perkins in Confessions of an Economic Hit Man and The Secret History of the American Empire be thought crimes? Will this very essay be a thought crime?
What about Operation Northwoods, pursuant to which the Joint Chiefs of the United States planned for innocent people to be shot on American streets, for boats carrying passengers to be sunk on the high seas, for a wave of violent terrorism to be launched within the country, and for other depraved acts conceived in the minds of government-hired psychopaths? Previously top secret documents about this were released on 18 November 1997 and can be researched at www.wikipedia.org. Evidently, members of the Establishment will be permitted to engage in thought crime.
Soon enough, we will all be killing each other, and the statement of Mohandas Gandhi will be borne out: “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”
Will thinking about cleansing the national soul of our atrocities – of Iraq, Guantanamo, Abu Gharib, the advanced plans underway to nuke Iran, the crimes of Blackwater murders, the government’s domestic coercion and violence – be “Thought Crimes?”
Will it be thought crime to conceive of a domestic Truth and Reconciliation Commission pursuant to which high government officials are brought to book for crimes against humanity?
Will it be “radicalization” to think of alternatives to a government of, by, and for the Corporatocracy, which accumulates its vast wealth through the blood money of endless war?
What about imagination-consideration of a non-coercive society of free individuals acting in voluntary cooperation, what is commonly referred to as anarchy?
Would Thomas Jefferson be liable for saying, “Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of those ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it …”
Will it be radical to conceive of preventing the Cheney-Bush cabal from launching WWIII and the incineration of earth through a false flag operation against Iran?
Would the likes of Mohandas Gandhi be jailed for saying, as he did, “Civil disobedience becomes a sacred duty when the State becomes lawless and corrupt.”
BECAUSE WE PAY FOR IT
It has taken me too many years – and too much income tax – to come to the awful realization that these “public servants” are only hired mouthpieces and puppets of the Money Powers who operate behind the scenes to orchestrate war, to coordinate the Military Industrial Complex, the Homeland Security Complex, the NGO Help-The-Poor Complex, the “Third World Corporate Development” Complex. In short, the Exploitation Complex.
The roaring inside me is about the self-disgust at living by the whims of Nice Government Men and their intellectual and financial pimps – men who, for just one example, can force starvation upon Indian farmers by their money printing press maneuvers to save their own hides from the overreach of blind greed. Men like those in Goldman Sachs who have the power to bail out their own companies and pay billions in bonuses while manipulating currencies such that basic food staples become priced out of reach of the rural Indian poor.
Let our excuse for the sorry state in which we find ourselves be not ignorance, for history is quite clear to those who would study. I quote founding father James Madison, “History records that money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible, to maintain their control over governments, by controlling money and its issuance.”
A more honest excuse would be our own greed and laziness. The quick buck. Buy now, pay later. If you want to stop the war, quit taxes.
Statement of Conscientious Objection
HR 1955 as recently passed by the House of Representatives is in effect a Thought Crime Prevention Bill. This action simply stops my mind. It cannot be absorbed. This ultimate Police State freezes my imagination.
This newest version of draconian legislation on thought control is where Jeff Knaebel says enough is enough. Speaking truth to Power, I say – I am not your puppet. I declare my self-ownership. Come and get me if you wish. If you wish to own my body, you will have to imprison it. I am breaking the paper chains by which I have allowed you to enslave me.
You see, it is all a mind game. The government is powerless before our non-cooperation. Of course, although an abstraction, it is a heavily armed abstraction. I suggest that nonviolent civil disobedience has proven to be the most effective method of regaining control of our lives. There would be significant loss of life, but much less than with an armed struggle. It has succeeded many times, in many places.
Our thoughts arise from within us, not from or through someone else. It is not possible for someone else to come between us and our minds.
Is murder an act that involves the human conscience? Can any other hear the voice of my inner conscience? Then, how can any such other claim the power to “represent” me in choosing to kill? How can such other “represent” me in determining which of my thoughts is criminal?
To say, or even to imply, that these people “represent” me cannot be described as an obscenity. It is an absurdity. Really, I should laugh. Instead it generates a roaring inside me – the inner roar of a man who would be free.
Earlier Voices of Dissent
The following draws upon three writers of the mid 19th Century – Wendell Phillips, Lysander Spooner and Herbert Spencer.
Spooner. The right of rebelling against what I think a bad government is as much my right as it is anyone’s. It is nothing but tyranny to require of me an oath to support the constitution, as a condition for my being allowed the ordinary privilege of getting my living in the way I choose.
Phillips. The act of voting serves to delegate authority to an agent, and what one does by an agent, he does himself. Every voter, therefore, is bound to see, before voting, whether he could himself honestly swear to support the constitution.
Spooner. There can be no law but natural law. No human enactments can overturn the natural and inalienable rights to life, liberty and property. Legitimate governments must rest on consent. This contract cannot lawfully authorize government to destroy or take from men their natural rights, for natural rights are inalienable, and can no more be surrendered to government – which is but an association of individuals – than to a single individual. A majority, however large, cannot agree to a contract that violates the natural rights of any person whatsoever. Such a contract is unlawful void, and has no moral sanction.
Spooner. The right forcibly to resist unjust law is inalienable. The constant fear of an uprising by the people is the only thing that keeps rulers from becoming tyrannical. The right and physical power of the people to resist injustice are the only real securities that any people can have for their liberties.
Spooner. The whole American revolution turned upon, and in theory established, the right of each and every man, at his discretion, to release himself from the support of the government under which he lived. This principle was asserted as a natural right of all men, at all times, and under all circumstances.
Spooner. A man’s natural rights are his own, against the whole world. Any infringement of them is a crime, whether committed by one man or by millions – whether committed by one man calling himself a robber (or any other name indicating his true character), or by millions calling themselves a government.
THIS IS MY PLACE OF “LIVE FREE OR DIE.”
One cannot deal with this except to speak out and be willing to put his life on the line. One must resist this legislation and this government, or else surrender his humanity and become a dead thing.
This is the place where the soles of my feet meet the path of Liberty. This is where Jeff Knaebel refuses to renew his “permission to live” identification documents pursuant to which Big Brother tracks him like an owned domestic animal. Any situation in which I am not free to leave means that my presence is by coercion or threat of coercion.
If one cannot leave some “place” except by permission of the “owners” (passport), then he is a slave. To learn more about issues of expatriation and “man without a country,” visit my website at www.statelessfreedom.org. I have chosen loneliness, insecurity, and occasional bouts of fear over the guilt of blood on my hands from payment of taxes to finance murder.
My body is not the property of the U.S. Government. I will challenge the U.S. Government for ownership of my body, with my body itself. My mind will be forever free.
I was never the property even of my biological father, leave aside the absurdly stupid abstract concept of Nations — bounded by arbitrary lines drawn on maps — across which opposing armies of blood relations gun down the other.
I did not ask for US citizenship, and I will not accept its rules even if forced upon me. Suppose my birth under the system of Pol Pot or Idi Amin and their killing fields. Does this birth require me to uphold a regime of murder? Then, why would my birth in USA require me to uphold the murdering regime of Cheney-Bush?
Any situation in which I am not free to leave means that my presence is by coercion or threat of coercion. If I cannot leave some “place” except by permission of the “owners” (passport), then I am a slave.
The US State does not own the land called America, and it does not own anybody who was born there or lives there.
No bureaucrat has the right to define who I am — and the murder of which other person I may be forced to finance — by his stamp upon some arbitrary piece of paper. I served the USA in Vietnam during that unconscionable war. I was too young, ignorant and public school brainwashed to know better. And even at that, had they not a grip on me by paper chain of birth certificate, SSN and draft card, I would never have served.
I belong to none, other than Almighty Creation.
I claim my freedom to respect the lives of others, as I would be respected. Freedom to do no harm, and to eschew violence. Freedom to express compassion in action. Freedom to support life. Freedom not to finance murder.
No other can hear the voice of my conscience, let alone “represent” it, or speak for it. My conscience will be muffled by no person and by no law. Nor will I ever knowingly aggress against another.
Right to Ignore the State
Herbert Spencer. Right to Ignore the State: Even in its most equitable form, it is impossible for government to dissociate itself from evil. Unless the right to ignore the sate is recognized, its acts must be essentially criminal.
The State is an organization that controls territory through force of arms. It claims ownership of all property and even ownership of its citizen’s lives.
The laws of States are not about ethics, but about the application of political power to control their subjects and to make them perform in ways which serve political interests.
It is self evident that if I ignore the State, relinquishing its protection and refusing to pay for its support, I in no way infringe upon the liberty of others, for I am passive and not aggressive. It is equally self evident that one cannot be compelled to continue support of a political corporation without breach of moral law, seeing that citizenship involves payment of taxes, which is a taking of property against the person’s will, and thus an infringement upon his rights.
A person cannot be coerced into political combination without breach of the law of equal freedom. However, he can withdraw from it without committing any such breach, and he has therefore a right to withdraw.
An obvious implication is that the ethics of government, originally identical with the ethics of war, must remain akin to them, and can diverge only as warlike activities and preparations become less. – End Spencer –
No contract can be entered by a fresh young child. If my father is a thief, I don’t have to obey.
I entered no contract with the United States after reaching the age of majority because I would not knowingly enter into a contract with murderers. I obeyed due to coercion.
THE RIGHT OF NONVIOLENCE IS A UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHT
This Requires Conscientious Objection To Mandatory Citizenship
Great minds writing in great Universal Charters of mankind have said violence arises in the mind of man, and that men have right to life and liberty.
Yet, mankind continues to institutionalize the most bestial and degraded aspects of his nature through Sate promulgation of the three great poisons of greed, hatred and delusion.
These great charters drawn by great men do not grant a man the right not to finance the murdering State. This shows to me that these great men were part of the Political Establishment.
To grant citizens the Universal Right not to finance war would put them out of business.
I would not choose to live in a violent neighborhood where local thugs and criminals were ruling the neighborhood by force and terrorizing the populace. I would not choose to associate myself with murderers. Yet, in the present system of the institutionalized Corporate Warfare State, we have mass murderers, thieves and criminals in charge of the future of all life on earth who are claiming to represent me.
“The idea of creating systems designed to threaten, coerce, and kill, and to imbue such agencies with principled legitimacy [a façade of moral legitimacy], and not expect them to lead to wars, genocides and other tyrannical practices, expresses an innocence we can no longer affords to indulge.” ~ Butler Shaffer, June 2003.
The great job of Man on this earth is to alleviate suffering. How does financing the organized crime of the State help?
How did we get here? Break the frame. Get out of the box. Don’t be bound by the frame the dark forces have made.
It Is Man’s Duty To Love.
Imagination is more powerful than knowledge or thinking. By imagination we can create a new world. But, we must let go of the greed which hold us bound in shackles. We must move to the freedom of love.
It now must be of the “tough love” variety. We must see clearly and face bravely the reality of what we continue to create for ourselves. We must take up tough ethical positions.
We have proved again and again, over spans of millennia, that any kind of violent revolution will only turn the wheel of violence another revolution, around and around.
If we will but cease to destroy, we may live. We cannot negotiate with melting glaciers. Perhaps we can negotiate with the storms of insatiable greed and desire raging within our own minds. Perhaps we can come out of our addiction to more, more and faster, faster.
What is the money calculation of love? There is no solution at the level of political economy. Former questions in the realms of philosophy and abstract ethics have now become questions of survival. We must reach for a higher psycho-spiritual level.
To issue from the workshops of Nature, a thing must be worthy of Nature’s loving care and most painstaking art, exercised with the patience of billions of years of biological evolution. Should it not be worthy of my respect, at least? In fact, it is worthy of my love, and I would not destroy it, nor would I finance a government to destroy it.
“All works of life are significant – yea, marvelous, surpassing and inimitable. Life busies itself not with useless trifles. Men’s fevers are transmutable. The fever of war may be transmuted into a fever of peace. The fever of hoarding wealth may be transmuted into a fever of hoarding love. Such is the alchemy of the Spirit.” ~ Mirdad
The revolution we must undertake to save ourselves is a revolution within our own minds toward loving kindness, truth, and respect for life.
I maintain that it is the right of any individual person to reject and renounce a government which violates his moral conscience. I maintain that it is my personal right, in this very body, here and now, to ignore the State, and to refuse participation in its actions which violate humanity and life itself. I also declare that the same is my intention insofar as refusal to pay direct tax to any nation-state. There can be no treason if one’s first loyalty is to humanity and to life itself. Human life is above Nation-State. Personal conscience and individual moral sovereignty is above State sovereignty. How can the question of treason arise when one refuses to murder innocent women and children? He who claims self ownership can never commit treason because the State cannot own him. He is not the property of the State.
“Once it is conceded that any man or body of men have any right to make laws of their own invention – and compel other men to obey them – then every vestige of man’s natural and rightful liberty is denied.” ~ Lysander Spooner
I have not entered into a contract granting the United States Government any authority over my life whatsoever.
To those who would accept a legislated statutory slavery, I say — may your shackles bind you without too much pain. May you go quietly into oblivion, and may you not burden me with the memory that you ever stood a watch with me on Spaceship Earth.
(If you are interested in further exploration of personal statelessness, stop by and visit www.statelessfreedom.org.)
Jeff Knaebel is an expatriate American domiciled in India since 1995. He formerly practiced as a registered professional engineer, having been trained at Cornell Univ. and the Colorado School of Mines.