Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Government Laws Hurt the Environment

I was once made aware of this scientist named Guy Negre when visiting France back in 2004. This Frenchman created a technology nowhere else available at the time. He has created an engine that runs on pure air, the air we breathe. All that is required of this engine is the energy to recharge the engine, such as plugging it into the wall. Yet they are also creating a further technology that will allow the engine to recharge itself on-board without needing to plug it in, creating a cyclical recharging of the engine. Wow! Imagine that, no externalities, no pollution.

Here we are in America, with our safety standards imposing laws to keep people safe, and government laws finding ways to measure externalities (as if they can be measured somehow), and the technology to reduce pollution to nothing actually exists. Safety standards are intended to keep people safe on “the government's” public roads, yet safety standards prevent these inventions from being mass produced or entering the market. Moreover, if the roads were private, the rules would be left up to the private owner. This would mean that an air car could be driven on these roads. Furthermore, patents harm the lowering of prices by not allowing this technology to become ubiquitous, all for the benefit of the state and it's practice of crony capitalism.

With the array of government laws, the barriers to entry of these French men entering the US market has prevented this car from arriving here. From what has been seen is that Honda will be the first to now bring their air car into the US market. It seems the agreement between the corporate powers of Japan and the US will only allow the government to make way for their desired seller to enter the market. Even though Guy Negre created the air car concept, government has thoroughly displayed its only method of accessing new inventions, and that is through crony capitalism. On the free market, there are neither corporations nor any monopolies. Government creates these things. On a free market, an air car does not have to be so expensive or rare as is the case with the Honda air car, but it can be mass produced, cheap and a car everyone wants to drive for its economical existence. Government laws have hindered such progress, and will only further hinder it. Not only is there an air car that we are deprived of driving or seeing around, but there is also another car that runs on wood.

States like California should take a good look at this form of innovation and progress these inventions afford us. Especially since the state feels subsidizing green energy will lead to less externalities and less harm to the environment than would be the case with no government. Private competitors have the incentive to make profits, and this could mean mass producing cheap and environmentally safe cars as is the case with the air car. The state’s laws destroy the environment; they do not preserve or help the environment at all.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Secession: The Application of Anarcho-Capitalism

Many statists become perplexed at the idea of a stateless society. Not only are they fearful of a notion they lack knowledge on of its innerworkings, but they also expound naive platitudes of such a society of anarchy. Statists think anarchy (in the anarcho-capitalist form) is a society without laws or full of chaos as is stereotypically and incorrectly portrayed on television and in your every day fiction novel. They even many times go as far as suggesting anarchy is idealist, and a government or existence thereof, is realist and pragmatic. But the actual truth is that the existence of a government, whether large or small, is itself idealism. Governments are an idealized form of controlling the free-market and its spontaneous and efficient order. It also creates more distress and less harmony, since what government is is coercion. They create nothing, they exist on the grounds of force. Thus their extortion of tax dollars, and their monopolized law system (as well as all other systems they have monopolized by interfering in those markets, i.e. military and defense) is akin to slavery.

Under slavery, the master treats the slaves as he does his livestock, horses, and other animals, using them as factors of production to gratify his wants, and feeding, housing them, etc., just enough to enable them to con­tinue in the master's service. It is true that the slave agrees to this arrangement, but this agreement is the result of a choice be­tween working for the master and injury through violence. Labor under these conditions is qualitatively different from labor not under the threat of violence, and may be called compulsory labor as compared to free labor or voluntary labor. If a man agrees to continue working as a slave under the government's dictates, it does not mean that the man is an enthusiastic advocate of his own slavery. It simply means that the man does not believe that revolt against his master will better his condition, because of the costs of the revolt in terms of possible violence inflicted on him, the labor of preparing and fighting, etc.

The interpersonal relation under slavery is known as hege­monic. The relationship is one of command and obedience, the commands being enforced by threats of violence. The master uses the slaves as instruments, as factors of production, for grati­fying his wants. Thus, slavery, or hegemony, is defined as a system in which one must labor under the orders of another under the threat of violence. Under hegemony, the man who does the obey­ing-the "slave," "serf," "ward," or "subject"-makes only one choice among two alternatives: (1) to subject himself to the mas­ter or "dictator"; or (2) to revolt against the regime of violence by use of his own violence or by refusing to obey orders. If he chooses the first course, he submits himself to the hegemonic ruler, and all the other decisions and actions are made by that ruler. The subject chooses once in choosing to obey the ruler; the other choices are made by the ruler. The subject acts as a passive factor of production for use by the master. After that one act of (continual) choice made by the slave, he engages in co­erced or compulsory labor, and the dictator alone is free to choose and act.[i]

Thus the government impedes human action and it destroys the market, all for the sake of a fantasy of peace and equality. Yet the notion of equality is an objective fantasy as well. Indeed there is spiritual and philosophical equality, but this perspective is simply based upon a person's values.[ii] And a person's values are subjective. Yet equality imposed in the market, or in a central planning sense, exacerbates the notion of force, and allows for the scenario of slavery mentioned above. Equality imposed by a central planner, goes against economics, biology as well as the division of labor. For if one wishes to see all the inequities people apply to the free-market, eliminated, this does not require more government, it requires a removal of government. Governments create corporations with their statutes and laws, they create monopolies with these same laws, they create unemployment by distorting the market and banking system, the list goes on and on. When a statist is finally educated on these things (that is if they desire listening), they then ask how such a plan of complete privatization and its functions including law and defense services would be implemented.

In response to these questions, it is first necessary to remember that neither the original American Revolution nor the American Constitution was the result of the will of the majority of the population. A third of the American colonists were actually Tories, and another third were occupied with daily routines and did not care either way. No more than a third of the colonists were actually committed to and supportive of the revolution, yet they carried the day. And as far as the Constitution is concerned, the overwhelming majority of the American public was opposed to its adoption, and its ratification represented more of a coup d'├ętat by a tiny minority than the general will. All revolutions, whether good or bad, are started by minorities; and the secessionist route toward social revolution, which necessarily involves the breaking-away of a smaller number of people from a larger one, takes explicit cognizance of this important fact.

Second, it is necessary to recognize that the ultimate power of every government — whether of kings or caretakers — rests solely on opinion and not on physical force. The agents of government are never more than a small proportion of the total population under their control. This implies that no government can possibly enforce its will upon the entire population unless it finds widespread support and voluntary cooperation within the nongovernmental public. It implies likewise that every government can be brought down by a mere change in public opinion, i.e., by the withdrawal of the public's consent and cooperation. While seeing things this way, government is ironically forceful and coercive in its existence. By people voluntarily submitting to the idea of central planners (or governments) they are essentially enforcing the will of a third party on the minority. The ramifications of seemingly benevolent ideas, result in the slavery and inequities aforementioned. Thus government is an idealist product of whimsical men lacking knowledge on economics and the free market, overall lacking knowledge on liberty and justice. Their imposition and existence, leads to force, robbery and mass murder. Surely by education and knowledge building this type of destructive mentality can be toppled.

And while it is undeniably true that, after more than two centuries of democracy, the American public has become so degenerate, morally and intellectually, that any such withdrawal must be considered impossible on a nationwide scale, it would not seem insurmountably difficult to win a secessionist-minded majority in sufficiently small districts or regions of the country. In fact, given an energetic minority of intellectual elites inspired by the vision of a free society in which law and order as well as defense services is provided by competitive insurers,[iii] and given furthermore that — certainly in the United States, which owes its very existence to a secessionist act — secession is still held to be legitimate and in accordance with the "original" democratic ideal of self-determination (rather than majority rule) by a substantial number of people, there seems to be nothing unrealistic about assuming that such secessionist majorities exist or can be created at hundreds of locations all over the country. This could occur by these knowledgeable individuals on anarcho-capitalism and its innerworkings, or simply those hungry for maximum liberty to share and exude these ideas anywhere and everywhere. The most effective manner these secessionist regions and areas can arise is by those educated people joining and forming pro-liberty groups and continuing the anarcho-capitalist movement they learn. The Mises Institute is the first and foremost bellwether in such a movement that is arising today. Many anarcho-capitalists are already beginning these very endeavors.

In fact, under the rather realistic assumption that the US central government as well as the social-democratic states of the West in general are bound for economic bankruptcy (much like the socialist people's democracies of Eastern Europe collapsed economically some years ago), present tendencies toward political disintegration will likely be strengthened in the future. Accordingly, the number of potential secessionist regions will continue to rise, even beyond its current level. We should only encourage and uplift this vast movement of reform and freedom.[iv] It can finally be said that the statists that assume anarchy or statelessness as idealist, are themselves what they say to others. Anarchy and statelessness are pure realism. Thus it is important for people to get involved, to take part in learning about anarcho-capitalism, to accept other anarchist friends, and to learn about what true and maximum freedom really is. By doing so, the secessionist movement will gain its muster and the reform we all attempted within the political movement would actually come from without, and with great fortitude and effectiveness.

[i] Man, Economy and State with Power and Market by Murray Rothbard: http://mises.org/rothbard/mes/chap2a.asp

[ii] Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature by Murray Rothbard: http://mises.org/daily/3071

[iii] State or Private-Law Society by Hans Herman Hoppe: http://mises.org/daily/5270/State-or-PrivateLaw-Society

[iv] Rollback by Thomas Woods: http://www.tomwoods.com/books/rollback/