The Big Lie (German: Große Lüge) is a propaganda technique. The expression was coined by Adolf Hitler, when he dictated his 1925 book Mein Kampf, for a lie so "colossal" that no one would believe that someone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously."
In politics a noble lie is a myth or untruth, often, but not invariably, of a religious nature, knowingly told by an elite to maintain social harmony. The noble lie is a concept originated by Plato as described in The Republic. A noble lie, although it may benefit all parties, is different from a white lie since a white lie does not cause discord if uncovered whereas noble lies are usually of a nature such that they would do so.... The "noble lie" (also translated as "magnificent myth") is a fictional account that Plato's Socrates gives for the origin of the three classes in his proposed republic. He talks of a stratified society, where the populace is told a tale of how all citizens are brothers born of the same mother-earth, but different kinds of people are constituted of different types of metal.
Rulers have gold in them, auxiliaries have silver, and farmers have bronze and iron. Most children of rulers have gold, but some will have silver or bronze and would be demoted to lower classes, whereas some farmers or auxiliaries would be born with silver or gold and promoted. Plato's Socrates claims that even though this tale would be literally false, if the people believed it, an orderly and cohesive society would result as the story would explain the origin and importance of the three classes and would make them care more for the city and for their fellow citizens. This is his noble lie "gennaion pseudos".
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? is a Latin phrase from the Roman poet Juvenal, which is literally translated as "Who will guard the guards themselves?" Also sometimes rendered as "Who watches the watchmen?", the phrase has other idiomatic translations and adaptations such as "Who will guard the guards?"
Celine's Laws are a series of three laws regarding government and social interaction attributed to the fictional character Hagbard Celine from Robert Anton Wilson's Illuminatus! Trilogy. Celine, a gentleman anarchist, serves as a mouthpiece for Wilson's libertarian, anarchist and sometimes completely uncategorizable ideas about the nature of mankind. Celine's Laws are outlined in the trilogy by a manifesto titled Never Whistle While You're Pissing. Wilson later goes on to elaborate on the laws in his nonfiction book, Prometheus Rising, as being inherent consequences of average human psychology.
A piece entitled Celine's Laws appears in Robert Anton Wilson's The Illuminati Papers, which features articles written by Wilson under the guise of many of his characters from the Illuminatus! Trilogy alongside interviews with the author himself. One article pulls from another, as well as from the original Trilogy.
Celine, in his manifesto, recognizes these are generalities, but also says that their basic principles can be used to find the source of every great decline and fall of nations, and goes on to claim they are as universal as Newton's Laws in applying to everything.
Celine's First Law
National Security is the chief cause of national insecurity. Reflecting the paranoia of the Cold War, Celine's First Law focuses around the common idea that to have national security, one must create a secret police. Since internal revolutionaries and external foes would make the secret police a prime target for infiltration, and because the secret police would by necessity have vast powers to blackmail and intimidate other members of the government, another higher set of secret police must be created to monitor the secret police. And an even higher set of secret police must then be created to monitor the higher order of secret police. Repeat ad nauseam.This seemingly infinite regress goes on until every person in the country is spying on another, or "the funding runs out." And since this paranoid and self monitoring situation inherently makes targets of a nation's own citizens, the average person in the nation is more threatened by the massive secret police complex than by whatever foe they were seeking to protect themselves from. Wilson points out that the Soviet Union, which suffered from this in spades, got to the point that it was terrified of painters and poets who could do little harm to them in reality. At the same time, given the limitation of funding and scale, the perfect security state never truly emerges, leaving the populace still vulnerable from the original threat while also being threatened by the vast and Orwellian secret police.
Celine's Second Law
Accurate communication is possible only in a non-punishing situation. Wilson rephrases this himself many times as "communication occurs only between equals." Celine calls this law "a simple statement of the obvious" and refers to the fact that everyone who labors under an authority figure tends to lie to and flatter that authority figure in order to protect themselves either from violence or from deprivation of security (such as losing one's job). In essence, it is usually more in the interests of any worker to tell his boss what he wants to hear, not what is true. In any hierarchy, every level below the highest carries a subtle burden to see the world in the way their superiors expect it to be seen and to provide feedback to their superiors that their superiors want to hear. In the end, any hierarchical organization supports what its leaders already think is true more than it challenges them to think differently. The levels below the leaders are more interested in keeping their jobs than telling the truth. Wilson, in Prometheus Rising, uses the example of J. Edgar Hoover's FBI. Hoover saw communist infiltrators and spies everywhere, and he told his agents to hunt them down. Therefore, FBI agents began seeing and interpreting everything they could as parts of the communist conspiracy. Some even went as far as framing people as communists, making largely baseless arrests and doing everything they could to satisfy Hoover's need to find and drive out the communist conspiracy. The problem is, such a conspiracy never existed in any form. Hoover thought it did, but any agent who dared point out the lack of evidence to Hoover would be at best denied promotions, and at worst labeled a communist himself and lose his job. Any agent who knew the truth would be very careful to hide the fact. Meanwhile, the FBI was largely ignoring the problem of organized crime (the Mafia), because Hoover insisted that organized crime did not exist on the national scale. Not only does the leader of the hierarchy see what he wants to see, but he also does not see what he does not want to see. Agents who pursued the issue of organized crime were sometimes marginalized within the organization or hounded into retirement. In the end, Celine states, any hierarchy acts more to conceal the truth from its leaders than it serves to find the truth.
Celine's Third Law
An honest politician is a national calamity. Celine recognizes that the third law seems preposterous from the beginning. While a dishonest politician is interested only in bettering his own lot through abusing the public trust, an honest politician is far more dangerous since he is honestly interested in bettering society through political action, and that means writing and implementing more and more laws. Celine argues that creating more laws simply creates more criminals. Laws inherently restrict individual freedom, and the explosive rate at which laws are being created means that every citizen in the course of his daily life does not have the research capacity to not violate at least one of the plethora of laws. It is only through honest politicians trying to change the world through laws that true tyranny can come into being through excessive legislation. Corrupt politicians simply line their own pockets. Honest idealist politicians cripple the people's freedom through enormous amounts of laws. So corrupt politicians are preferable according to Celine.
Anarcho-capitalism (also known as “libertarian anarchy” or “market anarchism” or “free market anarchism” or “private-property anarchism”) is a libertarian and individualist anarchist political philosophy that advocates the elimination of the state in favor of individual sovereignty in a free market. Economist Murray Rothbard is credited with coining the term. In an anarcho-capitalist society, law enforcement, courts, and all other security services would be provided by voluntarily-funded competitors such as private defense agencies rather than through taxation, and money would be privately and competitively provided in an open market. According to anarcho-capitalists, personal and economic activities would be regulated by the natural laws of the market and through private law rather than through politics. Furthermore, victimless crimes and crimes against the state would not exist.
Anarcho-capitalists argue for a society based on the voluntary trade of private property and services (including money, consumer goods, land, and capital goods) in order to maximize individual liberty and prosperity. However, they also recognize charity and communal arrangements as part of the same voluntary ethic. Though anarcho-capitalists are known for asserting a right to private (individualized or joint non-public) property, some propose that non-state public or community property can also exist in an anarcho-capitalist society. For them, what is important is that it is acquired and transferred without help or hindrance from the compulsory state. Anarcho-capitalist libertarians believe that the only just, and/or most economically beneficial, way to acquire property is through voluntary trade, gift, or labor-based original appropriation, rather than through aggression or fraud.
Anarcho-capitalists see free-market capitalism as the basis for a free and prosperous society. Murray Rothbard said that the difference between free-market capitalism and "state capitalism" is the difference between "peaceful, voluntary exchange" and a collusive partnership between business and government that uses coercion to subvert the free market. "Capitalism," as anarcho-capitalists employ the term, is not to be confused with state monopoly capitalism, crony capitalism, corporatism, or contemporary mixed economies, wherein market incentives and disincentives may be altered by state action. So they reject the state, based on the belief that states are aggressive entities which steal property (through taxation and expropriation), initiate aggression, are a compulsory monopoly on the use of force, use their coercive powers to benefit some businesses and individuals at the expense of others, create monopolies, restrict trade, and restrict personal freedoms via drug laws, compulsory education, conscription, laws on food and morality, and the like. The embrace of unfettered capitalism leads to considerable tension between anarcho-capitalists and many social anarchists that view capitalism and its market as just another authority. Anti-capitalist anarchists generally consider anarcho-capitalism a contradiction in terms.
Criticisms of anarcho-capitalism
Criticisms of anarcho-capitalism fall into several categories: statist criticisms that hold that anarcho-capitalism is unworkable in practice; critiques that hold that capitalism requires a coercive force (public or private) to exist and that a society can be anarchist or capitalist, but not both; general critiques of the morality of capitalism and liberalism, which also apply to anarcho-capitalism; and a utilitarian critique, which asserts that anarcho-capitalism would not maximize utility.
Another critique is that an anarcho-capitalist society would degenerate into a "war of all against all". Other critics argue that the free rider problem makes the provision of protection services in an anarcho-capitalist society impractical.
Another state would replace the first
It can be argued that a private defense agency would inevitably gain a military monopoly through economy of scale thus securing significant market power and undermining potential entrants into the market. Anarcho-capitalists cite the power of market competition as a check on monopoly, the defensive nature of private security, and the level of offensive force that is required to prevent competition.
On page 41 of The Market for Liberty, Linda & Morris Tannehill write that "[Government] attracts the worst kind of men to its ranks, shackles progress, forces its citizens to act against their own judgment, and causes recurring internal and external strife by its coercive existence. In view of all this, the question becomes not, “Who will protect us from aggression?” but “Who will protect us from the governmental ‘protectors’?” The contradiction of hiring an agency of institutionalized violence to protect us from violence is even more foolhardy than buying a cat to protect one’s parakeet."
The Tannehills, however, maintain that no coercive monopoly of force can arise on a truly free market. They write on page 81 that "A private defense service company, competing in an open market, couldn’t use force to hold onto its customers—if it tried to compel people to deal with it, it would compel them to buy protection from its competitors and drive itself out of business. The only way a private defense service company can make money is by protecting its customers from aggression, and the profit motive guarantees that this will be its only function and that it will perform this function well." They go on to write:
"Private defense service employees would not have the legal immunity which so often protects governmental policemen. If they committed an aggressive act, they would have to pay for it, just the same as would any other individual. A defense service detective who beat a suspect up wouldn’t be able to hide behind a government uniform or take refuge in a position of superior political power. Defense service companies would be no more immune from having to pay for acts of initiated force and fraud than would bakers or shotgun manufacturers. ... Because of this, managers of defense service companies would quickly fire any employee who showed any tendency to initiate force against anyone, including prisoners. To keep such an employee would be too dangerously expensive for them. A job with a defense agency wouldn’t be a position of power over others, as a police force job is, so it wouldn't attract the kind of people who enjoy wielding power over others, as a police job does. In fact, a defense agency would be the worst and most dangerous possible place for sadists! Government police can afford to be brutal—they have immunity from prosecution in all but the most flagrant cases, and their “customers” can’t desert them in favor of a competent protection and defense agency. But for a free-market defense service company to be guilty of brutality would be disastrous. Force—even retaliatory force—would always be used only as a last resort; it would never be used first, as it is by governmental police."
Nonetheless, critics like Randall G. Holcombe point out that PDAs much like cartels such as OPEC and international mafia groups such as Cosa Nostra, would eventually engage in the same business model in order to maximize profit. Holcombe, in an essay titled Is Government Inevitable?, argues that:
"Firms might prey on their competitors' customers, as competing mafia groups do, to show those customers that their current protective firm is not doing the job and thus to induce them to switch protection firms. This action seems to be a profit-maximizing strategy; hence, protection firms that do not prey on noncustomers may not survive."
Holcombe states that "the mafia offers protection for a fee, but it also uses its resources for predation; and thus profit-maximizing firms could be expected to employ them in the dual roles of protection and predation."
Minarchist critics argue that, if monopolies of force are inevitable, community-controlled monopolies are preferable to privately controlled ones. Anarchist critics of private defense agencies state that community militias should exist alongside or instead of private defense agencies. Other critics, both anarchist and minarchist, argue that formal police forces, whether community controlled or privately controlled, have institutional flaws which informal defense arrangements do not.
Anarcho-capitalism and other anarchist schools
Some scholars do not consider anarcho-capitalism to be a form of anarchism, while others do. Some communist anarchists argue that anarcho-capitalism is not a form of anarchism due to their understanding of capitalism as inherently authoritarian. In particular they argue that certain capitalist transactions are not voluntary, and that maintaining the class structure of a capitalist society requires coercion, which is incompatible with an anarchist society. Moreover, capitalistic market activity is essentially dependent on private ownership and a particular form of exchange of goods, selling and buying.
On the other hand, anarcho-capitalists such as Per Bylund, webmaster of the anarchism without adjectives website anarchism.net, note that the disconnect among non-anarcho-capitalist anarchists is likely the result of an "unfortunate situation of fundamental misinterpretation of anarcho-capitalism." Bylund asks, "How can one from this historical heritage claim to be both anarchist and advocate of the exploitative system of capitalism?" and answers it by pointing out that "no one can, and no one does. There are no anarchists approving of such a system, even anarcho-capitalists (for the most part) do not." Bylund explains this as follows:
"Capitalism in the sense of wealth accumulation as a result of oppressive and exploitative wage slavery must be abandoned. The enormous differences between the wealthy and the poor do not only cause tensions in society or personal harm to those exploited, but is essentially unjust. Most, if not all, property of today is generated and amassed through the use of force. This cannot be accepted, and no anarchists accept this state of inequality and injustice. As a matter of fact, anarcho-capitalists share this view with other anarchists. Murray N. Rothbard, one of the great philosophers of anarcho-capitalism, used a lot of time and effort to define legitimate property and the generation of value, based upon a notion of “natural rights” (see Murray N. Rothbard’s The Ethics of Liberty). The starting point of Rothbard’s argumentation is every man’s sovereign and full right to himself and his labor. This is the position of property creation shared by both socialists and classical liberals, and is also the shared position of anarchists of different colors. Even the statist capitalist libertarian Robert Nozick wrote that contemporary property was unjustly accrued and that a free society, to him a “minimalist state,” needs to make up with this injustice (see Robert Nozick’s “Anarchy, State, Utopia”). Thus it seems anarcho-capitalists agree with Proudhon in that “property is theft,” where it is acquired in an illegitimate manner. But they also agree with Proudhon in that “property is liberty” (See Albert Meltzer’s short analysis of Proudhon’s “property is liberty” in Anarchism: Arguments For and Against, p. 12-13) in the sense that without property, i.e. being robbed of the fruits of one’s actions, one is a slave. Anarcho-capitalists thus advocate the freedom of a stateless society, where each individual has the sovereign right to his body and labor and through this right can pursue his or her own definition of happiness."
Murray N. Rothbard notes that the capitalist system of today is, indeed, not properly anarchistic because it is so often in collusion with the state. According to Rothbard, "what Marx and later writers have done is to lump together two extremely different and even contradictory concepts and actions under the same portmanteau term. These two contradictory concepts are what I would call 'free-market capitalism' on the one hand, and 'state capitalism' on the other."
"The difference between free-market capitalism and state capitalism," writes Rothbard, "is precisely the difference between, on the one hand, peaceful, voluntary exchange, and on the other, violent expropriation." He goes on to point out that he is "very optimistic about the future of free-market capitalism. I’m not optimistic about the future of state capitalism—or rather, I am optimistic, because I think it will eventually come to an end. State capitalism inevitably creates all sorts of problems which become insoluble."
Murray Rothbard maintains that anarcho-capitalism is the only true form of anarchism – the only form of anarchism that could possibly exist in reality, as, he argues, any other form presupposes an authoritarian enforcement of political ideology (redistribution of private property, etc.). In short, while granting that certain non-coercive hierarchies will exist under an anarcho-capitalist system, they will have no real authority except over their own property: a worker existing within such a 'hierarchy' (answerable to management, bosses, etc.) is free at all times to abandon this voluntary 'hierarchy' and 1) create an organization within which he/she is at (or somewhere near) the top of the 'hierarchy' (entrepreneurship), 2) join an existing 'hierarchy' (wherein he/she will likely be lower in the scheme of things), or 3) abandon these hierarchies altogether and join/form a non-hierarchical association such as a cooperative, commune, etc.. Since there will be no taxes, such cooperative organizations (labour unions, communes, voluntary socialist associations wherein the product of the labour and of the capital goods of those who join which they were able to peaceably acquire would be shared amongst all who joined, etc.) would, under anarcho-capitalism, enjoy the freedom to do as they please (provided, of course that they set up their operation on their own -or un-owned- property, in other words so long as they do so without force).
According to this argument, the free market is simply the natural situation that would result from people being free from authority, and entails the establishment of all voluntary associations in society: cooperatives, non-profit organizations (which would, just as today, be funded by individuals for their existence), businesses, etc. (in short, a free market does not equal the end of civil society, which continues to be a critique of anarcho-capitalism). Moreover, anarcho-capitalists (as well as classical liberal minarchists and others) argue that the application of so-called "leftist" anarchist ideals (e.g. the forceful redistribution of wealth from one set of people to another) requires an authoritarian body of some sort that will impose this ideology. (Voluntaryist socialism, of course, is completely compatible with anarcho-capitalism.) Some also argue that human beings are motivated primarily by the fulfillment of their own needs and wants. Thus, to forcefully prevent people from accumulating private capital, which could result in further fulfillment of human desires, there would necessarily be a redistributive organization of some sort which would have the authority to, in essence, exact a tax and re-allocate the resulting resources to a larger group of people. This body would thus inherently have political power and would be nothing short of a state. The difference between such an arrangement and an anarcho-capitalist system is precisely the voluntary nature of organization within anarcho-capitalism contrasted with a centralized ideology and a paired enforcement mechanism which would be necessary under a coercively 'egalitarian'-anarchist system.
Stability of anarcho-capitalist legal institutions
Two of the more prominent academics who have given some serious thought to essentially anarcho-capitalist legal institutions are Richard Posner, who is now a Federal Appeals Judge and a prolific legal scholar, and economist William Landes. In their 1975 paper "The Private Enforcement of Law", they discuss a previous thought experiment undertaken by Becker and Stigler in which it was proposed that law enforcement could be privatized, and they explain why they believe such a system would not be economically efficient. According to David D. Friedman's later rebuke "Efficient Institutions for the Private Enforcement of Law",
"[Landes and Posner argued] that the private system has essential flaws that make it inferior to an ideal public system except for offenses that can be detected and punished at near zero cost. They concede that the private system might still be preferable to the less than ideal public system that we observe. However they argue that the prevalence of private enforcement for offenses that are easily detected (most civil offenses) and its rarity for offenses that are difficult to detect (most criminal offenses) suggest that our legal system is, at least in broad outline, efficient, using in each case the most efficient system of enforcement."
Friedman, however, proceeds to argue that "the inefficiency Landes and Posner have demonstrated in the particular private enforcement institutions they describe can be eliminated by minor changes in the institutions."
Ten Thousand Commandments 2011
By Clyde Wayne Crews
April 18, 2011
President Barack Obama’s new federal budget proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2012 seeks $3.729 trillion in discretionary, entitlement, and interest spending. In the previous fiscal year, the president had proposed outlays of $3.83 trillion. As of January 2011, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) now projects FY 2011 spending will end up at $3.708 trillion.
For reference, President George W. Bush proposed not only the first-ever $3-trillion U.S. budget, but also the first $2-trillion federal budget—in 2002, only nine years ago.
The result: Thanks to the bailouts and other amplified spending, CBO projects a FY 2011 deficit of a previously unthinkable $1.48 trillion, greater than FY 2010’s actual deficit of $1.294 trillion.4 With the unveiling of the 2012 budget, President Obama projects an even larger FY 2011 deficit than CBO does: $1.645 trillion. This figure will be the largest deficit since World War II, at 11 percent of the entire U.S. economy.
To be sure, many other countries’ governments consume a greater share of their national output than the U.S. government does. However, in absolute terms, the U.S. government is the largest government on planet Earth, whether one’s metric is revenues, expenditures, deficits, or accumulated debt.
Those costs fully convey the federal government’s on-budget scope, and they are sobering enough. Yet the government’s reach extends well beyond the taxes that Washington collects and the deficit spending and borrowing now surging. Federal environmental, safety and health, and economic regulations cost hundreds of billions—perhaps trillions—of dollars every year over and above the costs of the official federal outlays that now dominate the policy debate.
Economics 101 explains how and why firms generally pass along to consumers the costs of some taxes. Likewise, some regulatory compliance costs that businesses face will find their way into the prices consumers pay. Precise regulatory costs can never be fully known, because, unlike taxes, they are unbudgeted and often indirect. But scattered government and private data exist on scores of regulations and on the agencies that issue them, as well as on regulatory costs and benefits. Compiling some of that information can make the regulatory state somewhat more comprehensible. That is one purpose of the annual Ten Thousand Commandments report.
"What’s Left of the Left"
|Free forum by Nabble||Edit this page|