Category Archives: Blog Posts

Bastard Jurisprudence: The English Common Law Perverted

There are a few rights of passage in law school. Many of them occur in constitutional law.

For instance, constitutional law is where most students will learn for the first time that judicial review, the power to declare laws unconstitutional, was not a power granted to the Supreme Court by the Constitution. It is a power that the Supreme Court declared for itself in Marbury v. Madison, a decision interpreting an act of Congress.

Most law students are also shocked to learn that the Bill of Rights did not originally apply to the states. The Supreme Court merely interpreted the Fourteenth Amendment to mean that select provisions of the Bill of Rights (eventually most of them) applied to the states. The Fourteenth Amendment was drafted and ratified by Congress.

Also among these rights of passage are the abominable cases that your constitutional law professor lectured about in hushed disapproval. These are the cases that are an embarrassment to the bar. My colleague Dean amusingly calls these cases “anti-canon.”

As a very young radical in law school, I struggled—and continue to struggle—to make sense of what the principled view of constitutional law should be, especially given these abominable cases.

Of course, the correct answer is that the State is unfit to exist. This is because every State is necessarily predicated upon an illegitimate monopoly over legalized violence. However, this ethical principle does not always illuminate the correct intellectual path a young libertarian attorney should take. Like it or not, the State exists.

For a libertarian anarchist, it is a difficult, perhaps impossible, juxtaposition to concurrently maintain these three principles: 1) the Federal Government has no right to dictate a states’s own policy; 2) legislatures create illegitimate law by fiat—positive law; and 3) a judge’s duty is to say what the law is, and not what it should be, the latter being a dire violation of separation of powers—this is the sacred federalist axiom.

No better is this conflict exemplified than the contrast between two cases which are universally abhorred by “respectable jurists” throughout the United States.

In 1905’s Lochner v. New York, the Supreme Court struck down a New York state law which limited the number of hours bakers were allowed to work in a week. The Court found, inter alia, that the law violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

“Respectable jurists” across the country detest the Lochner Court’s decision because of its conservative activism in creating a “right to contract” that was not enumerated in the Constitution.

There is a problem with the federal government striking down a state’s legislature. The founding ethos of the American system rests upon the theory of popular sovereignty—the idea that a nation’s ultimate source of political power rests with its people. In the American system, the will of the people is (theoretically) expressed through their representatives in the legislature. As fellow anarchist libertarians, many of you likely scoff at this notion. I understand, but it is nothing to shake a stick at. The entirety of the western liberal tradition has culminated with this theory, from the ancient Anglo-Saxons to the Declaration of Independence

On the other hand, as a libertarian anarchist in *the current year,* it is more than apparent that a legislature may trample a man’s rights as utterly as any despot. The ruling in Lochner is satisfying in that the Supreme Court actually intervened on behalf of individual liberty.

That aside, a progressive Supreme Court may endorse a state policy which is completely antithetical to human liberty. The banner case for this is Buck v. Bell, perhaps the Supreme Court’s greatest abomination.

In 1927, the Supreme Court upheld a 1924 Virginia state statute providing for the sterilization of “mental defectives” who would, “become a menace” to society if discharged. Under this ruling, approximately 60,000 American citizens would be forcefully sterilized through the 1970s, when the policy was largely discontinued. The Buck ruling is arguably still binding precedent and could theoretically be used to justify forced vaccination.

I had actually set out to write this article as a deep dive on Buck v. Bell. I intended to lambaste the progressive ideology behind the eugenics movement and the Progressive Era of the Supreme Court. This is forthcoming.

Instead, this article took on a life of its own when I began to research Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., the author of the Buck v. Bell opinion.

Holmes was a eugenicist. However, an honest examination of his judicial philosophy will not allow me to chalk the Buck decision up solely to a progressive-activist Supreme Court. The man was a complex beast.

No, the common thread running through all abominable Supreme Court decisions is not judicial activism, nor even the progressive agenda (although a common culprit). It is positive law.

Black’s Law Dictionary defines “positive law:”

Social perspective of a legal rule’s validity being authorized by law and socially accepted versus being based on natural or moral law. View of man-made law as posited by man for man, rather than being fair.

In Lochner, it was the New York legislature that created an affront to liberty by conjuring up policy by diktat. In Buck, the controversy began when the Virginia legislature passed a law allowing for the involuntary sterilization of the “unfit.”

Of course, if I could wave a wand and disappear the convention of imposed positive law, I would. Perhaps as an end-goal, but not a practical reality.

Instead, this practitioner must view the state of the law with cynical bemusement. Jurists and counselors grapple with mutant precedent borne by legislative fiat. The law is no longer tended, nurtured, and kept, as it was in the canon of English common law. It is synthesized, manufactured, and packaged.

The mire of this bastard jurisprudence beckons. As a practitioner, one must wade in the muck, but always with an eye for what once was and what could become again.

Remembering Ron Paul’s “What If…” Speech: Memorial Day 2018

On this Memorial Day, I’d like to hearken back to Ron Paul’s amazing “What If…” speech. This short, iconic speech should echo through the annals of American history as a voice of sanity in a dying empire.

THE rEVOLution Continues!

Show Notes: 

Video Credit: Ron Paul and Jonathan Williams

Original Youtube (from Ron Paul’s Liberty Report)

What you need to know about the Iran Nuclear Deal and CIA Torturer Gina Haspel by: Patrick MacFarlane

The military industrial complex is in high gear as the United States has decided to step away from the Iran Nuclear Agreement–which was just about the only good thing to come out of the Obama Presidency.

There is absolutely ZERO evidence that Iran has pursued nuclear weapons since 2003. This is a claim that has been debunked over and over again by non-interventionists, most notably journalist Gareth Porter in his terrific book “Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare” (Amazon Affiliate Link).

The war hawks, guided by the Israel lobby, have been pushing for war with Iran for decades. In fact, since Donald Trump made the announcement, Israel has stepped up their bombing campaigns against Syrian and Iranian targets inside of Syria.

Distressingly, Iran has retaliated, by firing rockets at the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, an area of Syria that was illegally annexed by Israel in 1967.

The United States pulling out of the nuclear deal is just another step in the road towards a real confrontation between Israel, the United States, Iran, and their respective allies. Needless to say, it does not bode well for the prospects of peace, liberty, and prosperity.

In the meantime, the Senate Intelligence Committee interviewed proven torturer Gina Haspel as a part of her nomination for CIA Director.

In the words of veteran CIA analyst Ray McGovern, “[i]t is no secret that Haspel oversaw detainee torture, including waterboarding, at a CIA ‘black site’ base in Thailand,” later ordering the destruction of “dozens of videotapes of torture sessions.”

McGovern notes that, aside from being “intrinsically evil,” and in violation of international and domestic law, torture simply does not work and consistently yields false intelligence, which is then used to justify war.

A prime example: Colin Powell claimed to the UN security council in 2003 that there was a “sinister nexus” between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. This source of this false intelligence derived from the torture of Abu Yahya al-Libi, who less than a year later admitted that he made the story up while being waterboarded by Egyptian intelligence.

This “intelligence” resulted, in part, in the 2003 invasion of Iraq that destroyed the country. The ensuing chaos saw the rise of an international jihadist insurgency (Al Qaeda in Iraq (ISIS)) as radical Islamist militants flooded the country looking for any opportunity to fight against the American Empire.

It is of the utmost importance that the American Public be educated about these issues. Please take the time to share this content and get the word out.

Where is the American Antiwar Movement?

As voluntaryists, we understand that it is impossible to delegate rights to third parties that we do not ourselves possess. Therefore, murder is not justified just because “society” delegates that some men are “soldiers.” With this reasoning, we arrive to the conclusion that war is simply murder on an industrial scale.

Aside from being mass murder, war is also the health of the state. The state waxes fat off war, expanding its own power both domestically and internationally, using central banking to transfer wealth from the many to the few, thereby socializing the costs of war while lining the pockets of special interests.

To top it all off, war mobilizes the propaganda wing of the state, girding the opinion molders in academia and Hollywood to inundate the public with war fervor and state worship.

Because war supercharges the state apparatus, enslaves generations to debt-based servitude, erodes liberties at home, and results in the immoral death of millions, one must come to the conclusion that the issue of war and peace is one of the most pressing issues facing the modern Liberty Movement.

Great . . . so where is the rest of the antiwar movement in the United States? Where is the antiwar movement within our own movement? When is the last time this country saw a real antiwar movement?

True, the 1960s antiwar movement was not perfect and was corrupted with marxism, free love, and fueled by opposition to the draft as much, or even more, than moral concern.

However, we need some kind of antiwar movement. Where is it?

. . . Bueller?

Just as important, where is the antiwar Left? We need them too. At the moment, the prospect of an antiwar movement from the Left are not promising. Some on the Left have even decried antiwar sentiment on the Right as being a dog-whistle for white supremacy…seriously.

18 years in Afghanistan . . . bases all across the world? Largest military budget in human history . . .


More than just about anything else (aside from ending the Fed, the mechanism that makes this all possible), the United States needs a new antiwar movement.

Unfortunately, it is not enough to only prevent US military escalation in Syria. We must go further than that, or we will only be waiting for the next false flag push for escalation. We have to actually make progress in bringing the troops home. This will obviously demand heightened activism.

My question is, who is going to put that together? I think the onus is on us libertarians, because practically no one else seems concerned.

What say you?

Libertarian Anarchists are Modern Day Abolitionists

. . . Wait a second! What!?

Yes, you read that title correctly. Radical libertarians are modern day abolitionists, or at least those who would advocate a complete, peaceful (and permanent) dissolution of the State apparatus.

At first glance, that statement might appear to be grandiose, absurd, or hyperbole, but it is the absolute truth.

For instance, if a good definition of slavery is using force or coercion to take one hundred percent of someone’s labor, what is it called when the State takes eighty percent of your income? What about sixty percent of your income? What about half? Twenty-eight percent (the average Federal income tax rate)?

At what rate of taxation does the forceful appropriation of funds cease to be slavery?

Still struggling with this truth? Let’s examine it more closely . . .

Specifically, the income tax implies that the government OWNS YOU. Property taxes imply that you never really own any property outright. Retail tax is just a thinly veiled extortion fee. Capital gains taxes imply that you aren’t really the owner of your financial assets, the government is! (At some point in history, government actors realized it is more efficient for them that you be allowed to manage those assets, while they skim the cream off the top!)

Social Security fits the exact definition of a Ponzi Scheme. Most will never see their money returned, because the exact money they paid in is GONE. The government spend it bombing civilians in unjust wars of imperial aggression.

Finally, the Federal Reserve drives inflation, which robs your purchasing power out from under you.

With all these taxes, fees, and inflation tallied up the government eventually ends up taking more than half of your income, and you don’t even directly get to determine how it is spent!

Some may call us naive ideologues. They claim: “taxes are used to pay for important things like roads, schools, and other critical infrastructure that make civilized society possible. Sure, I may not always agree with how my taxes are spent and sometimes the government takes too much, but I gladly pay them because I like driving on roads and having a school to send my kids to.”

The problem is, the government isn’t even good at providing those things. In fact, nearly every essential service the government claims a monopoly of, or grants a private monopoly for the facilitation of, has at one time in history been provided more efficiently, affordably, and ethically on the free market (even policing!). If it hasn’t at one time been provided on the free market, it was never allowed to.

Hans Herman Hoppe, relying on Gustav de Molinari further asserts in The Fallacies of the Public Goods Theory:

“If there is one well-established truth in political economy, it is this: That in all cases, of all commodities that serve to provide for the tangible or intangible need of the consumer, it is in the consumer’s best interest that labor and trade remain free, because the freedom of labor and trade have as their necessary and permanent result the maximum reduction of price. And this: That the interest of the consumer of any commodity whatsoever should always prevail over the interests of the producer. Now, in pursuing these principles, one arrives at this rigorous conclusion: That the production of security should in the interest of consumers of this intangible commodity remain subject to the law of free competition. Whence it follows: That no government should have the right to prevent another government from going into competition with it, or require consumers of security to come exclusively to it for this commodity. [1]

He comments on this whole argument by saying, ‘Either this is logical and true, or else the principles on which economic science is based are invalid.’ [2] [3]

There is apparently only one way out of this unpleasant (for all
socialists, that is) conclusion: to argue that there are particular goods to which for some special reasons the above economic reasoning does not apply. It is this that the so-called public goods theorists are determined to prove.”

Regardless of the fundamental laws of economics, just because the government spends some of the money that it extracted from you (with the implied and credible threat of violence) in ways that benefit you, it does not change the fact that the money was obtained immorally.

For instance, slavery is not moral (or anything less than slavery) just because the plantation owner provides food, shelter, and clothing to his slaves with the money he obtained from their labor! Furthermore, if the government eventually takes half of your income, you are a SLAVE from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm every. single. workday!

Despite lifetimes of conditioning to believe the opposite, this is not acceptable.

Indeed, through a lifetime of conditioning, the declaration “libertarian anarchists are capital ‘A’ Abolitionists” may seem extreme or even cringe-invoking, but as long as society passively accepts the legitimacy of coercive institutions, the human race will remain enslaved, resigned to hand over (at least) half their incomes to violent sociopaths in the power elite that control every State apparatus on planet Earth. The founders revolted over much less!

So, yes, despite popular opinion, we must not be afraid to identify the State for what it is: a perpetual institution of human slavery. We must shout this objective truth from the mountaintops until humankind joins us in condemning it.

In conclusion, I will encourage the reader to contemplate the words of Robert Nozik in The Tale of the Slave.

The Tale of the Slave

By Robert Nozick.
From Anarchy, State, and Utopia, 290-292 (1974), winner of a National Book Award in 1975

“Consider the following sequence of cases… and imagine it is about you.

  1. There is a slave completely at the mercy of his brutal master’s whims. He often is cruelly beaten, called out in the middle of the night, and so on.
  2. The master is kindlier and beats the slave only for stated infractions of his rules (not fulfilling the work quota, and so on). He gives the slave some free time.
  3. The master has a group of slaves, and he decides how things are to be allocated among them on nice grounds, taking into account their needs, merit, and so on.
  4. The master allows his slaves four days on their own and requires them to work only three days a week on his land. The rest of the time is their own.
  5. The master allows his slaves to go off and work in the city (or anywhere they wish) for wages. He requires only that they send back to him three-sevenths of their wages. He also retains the power to recall them to the plantation if some emergency threatens his land; and to raise or lower the three-sevenths amount required to be turned over to him. He further retains the right to restrict the slaves from participating in certain dangerous activities that threaten his financial return, for example, mountain climbing, cigarette smoking.
  6. The master allows all of his 10,000 slaves, except you, to vote, and the joint decision is made by all of them. There is open discussion, and so forth, among them, and they have the power to determine to what uses to put whatever percentage of your (and their) earnings they decide to take; what activities legitimately may be forbidden to you, and so on.

    *     *    *

  7. Though still not having the vote, you are at liberty (and are given the right) to enter into the discussions of the 10,000, to try to persuade them to adopt various policies and to treat you and themselves in a certain way. They then go off to vote to decide upon policies covering the vast range of their powers.
  8. In appreciation of your useful contributions to discussion, the 10,000 allow you to vote if they are deadlocked; they commit themselves to this procedure. After the discussion you mark your vote on a slip of paper, and they go off and vote. In the eventuality that they divide evenly on some issue, 5,000 for and 5,000 against, they look at your ballot and count it in. This has never yet happened; they have never yet had occasion to open your ballot. (A single master also might commit himself to letting his slave decide any issue concerning him about which he, the master, was absolutely indifferent.)
  9. They throw your vote in with theirs. If they are exactly tied your vote carries the issue. Otherwise it makes no difference to the electoral outcome.

The question is: which transition from case 1 to case 9 made it no longer the tale of a slave?”

[1] Gustave de Molinari, The Production of Security, trans. J. Huston McCulloch (New York: Center for Libertarian Studies, Occasional Paper Series No. 2, 1977), p. 3.
[2] Ibid., p. 4.
[3] Hans Herman Hoppe, Fallacies of the Public Goods Theory and the Production of Security, Journal of Libertarian Studies 9, no. 1 (Winter 1989).

Charlottesville Underscores the Necessity of American Secession and Revamped Libertarian Tactics

Just in case you have not yet heard, this afternoon a grey and black 2010 Dodge Challenger plowed into a group of Left-wing counter protesters at the controversial “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Before reversing at high speed to flee the scene, the driver injured nineteen and killed one, and has since been apprehended.

The incident marked the climax of what has been a caustic weekend of violence in the latest flash-point of the politically engineered  “Culture War” between the American far-Right and the far-Left.

After a few years of this nonsense, the mind-numbing futility should be self-evident, right? This so-called “Culture War” has reduced grown men and women into mobs of children clad in homemade riot gear, carrying baseball bats and other household implements. How is anyone supposed to take them seriously? How can anyone take American politics seriously? These individuals should be ashamed of themselves.

The escalating violence and toxic rhetoric has only served to dispel the illusory belief that 323.1 million diverse Americans can successfully coexist under one political arrangement. Why, after all of this political turmoil and chaos, do Americans fail to grasp this?

In my opinion, the violence and squabbling in what has been portrayed as the most politically divided period of American history since the Civil Rights Era is in part caused by the Federal Government’s encroachment on States’ Rights.

Don’t get me wrong, the States have propagated their own tyranny and have, in many ways, been complacent to (and have even encouraged) Federal despotism. However, the fact remains that the consolidation of Federal power and the Supreme Court’s insistence on setting universal policy for all fifty states has goaded Americans into battling over illusory control of this policy-setting authority.

First and foremost we are voluntaryists here at Liberty Weekly, but if government does exist we would prefer the smallest one possible. Under our logic, it would be hard for the atrocities committed in the name of American hegemony or Maoist China to be carried out by, say, Saint Croix County, the City of Saint Paul (they cannot even fix the roads), or the State of Montana.

Surely, if given ample resources and power, those entities may attempt to commit said atrocities, but one thing is certain: the government of Saint Croix County, Wisconsin is infinitely closer to the people who reside there than the Federal Government (or even the state government, for that matter). Why should they have to live according to the dictate of DC identity politics?

While any time is a good time to talk secession, given today’s events, it is a particularly apt solution towards reversing our ripening contempt for those who would fight for the power to dictate rules for all of us to live by. Why don’t we just pack up our toys and go home?

There is a reason why Thomas Jefferson regularly referred to the Federal Government as “our foreign government”: Washington DC does not represent us in any meaningful way. Yet, despite this fact, we continue to live under its mandates.

Instead of taking to the streets to 1) beg our benevolent overlords to please, just this once, do something in our best interests, and 2) condemn others for doing the same, let us shed our faulty belief in the necessity of a universal political arrangement.

In doing so, we need to  focus on building voluntary connections between individuals in which the State is not a part. Let’s focus on the community-building tactics of our Agorist friends with an emphasis on civil dialogue and virtuous outreach without (open) contempt for “statists” (as the old saying goes, you attract more bees with honey than vinegar) or dissenters within our own ranks.

Let’s be better than those who would propagate the so-called “Culture War.” Let’s shed our aggressive predisposition (I am as guilty as any of this). Let us be paragons. Let’s lead by example and show normal Americans that there is an alternative to the dog-and-pony show of the “Culture War” and identity politics.

As the nation (hopefully) pauses to reflect on the toxic violence permeating from events like Charlottesville, perhaps we may humbly, and respectfully press secession as a viable alternative? By some crazy chance, we might get a proverbial foot in the door.

Of course, this all may be hopelessly naive, but nevertheless I will humbly assert secession as an effective solution, coupled with a modest change in approachability. Ultimately, open hearts and mutual respect will go farther than motorcycle helmets, household melee weapons, and shitposting on comment threads across the internet.

Do Trans People Have a Right to Serve?

This morning, President Trump sent shock waves across the Left-Right Paradigm when he made the following succession of tweets about trans people in the military:

As one would imagine, the backlash came furious and swift, with commentators splitting along familiar ideological lines. The arguments from both sides are so familiar that I will not even recount them here.

My question is: why do we waste our time with this trash? Arguing over this recent controversy only detracts from the point that we want the least amount of people in the military as possible.

I was similarly affected when Congress was considering making women register for the draft. During this time, our friends on the Left were celebrating the potential move as a step forward for women’s equality. This sentiment echoes a familiar phrase: “FREEDOM IS SLAVERY.”

Absolute garbage, I say.

War, in addition to being a pure racket, is also the health of the State, where instead of the State protecting its citizens from other States, as we have been lead to believe, the reality is exactly the opposite.

Even though most Voluntaryists maintain their own social beliefs, this is not a trans issue at all. This is about celebrating the fact that less people now bear the burden of going abroad to kill innocent civilians for oil companies and government drug cartels.

In the interest of completely separating ourselves from the political theater, let’s bypass this distraction and focus on removing all soldiers from the United States Military unless for the express purpose of protecting against aggression that immediately and legitimately threatens our life, liberty, and property.

Though, if they were truly interested in doing that, they may find that the true enemies are much closer to home . . .

For more on the realities of what war inherently is, I would refer readers to Episode 3 of the Liberty Weekly Podcast: