Posts tagged Lincoln
I’m doing a history class this week on the War of 1812. This war has confused me and I’ve never been sure what to think of it. There are some very interesting things I’ve discovered so far.
- Madison knew he wouldn’t have a chance for reelection unless he found some way to unite the country and better his public image.
- The First Bank of the United States had just been disbanded, but the new owner of it (Stephen Girard) was very good friends with Madison’s Secretary of Treasury, Alexander Dallas. Girard funded about 95% of the War of 1812. And Dallas was responsible for getting the Second Bank of the United States approved. You think there’s any connection?
- The state militias in New England did not like the war as they depended heavily on trade with the British Empire. They even considered secession at the Hartford Convention of 1814. Some states refused to support the war and others did but only half-heartedly. And even Madison never questioned their right to secede from the union although it was in his interest that they stayed. At least Madison had more principles than that despot, Lincoln.
Sadly, there isn’t much to report…last night while playing piano I thought of some really good topic to discuss here, but of course I didn’t write it down, so I can’t remember now. Here are some odds and ends.
Yesterday the girls and I had a history class. It is usually on Wednesdays, but they were begging me to do it a day early. We were talking about the writing of the Constitution. I’m eager to buy Hans Hoppe’s book, “Democracy: The God That Failed.” I don’t think the girls quite understand the fundamental shift that occurred when the Articles of Confederation were abolished and the Constitution ratified. I’m having them do a project that I hope will help demonstrate this. I’m having them make a paper chain, and each link of the chain has a couple words from the Pledge of Allegiance. I know, I know…this sounds crazy. My mother said, “what? Have you gone out of your mind?” But there’s a reason for this. This chain, “united” by the Pledge of Allegiance is just that–a chain. We will talk about what it means for the country to be “indivisible.” How does this encourage more freedom? Are the links of this chain freer than they were before they were united? We’ll talk about some of these ideas…and of course, the Pledge of Allegiance itself. :) I hope it will give them a tangible way to think about decentralizing power.
And then last night another sister came in to “keep me company.” I usually reserve my evenings for studying, but I wanted to make the most of this opportunity. So I offered to read a book with her. Most of my books do not have pictures, so we looked at the Mises 2010 Book Catalog with lots of pictures. We also looked at the flier from the Institute, “About the Ludwig von Mises Institute” with pictures of Mises and others. We saw a picture of Tom Woods, so then thanks to Facebook I could show her pictures of his cute girls…and also a picture of their new van. I told her about how nice Lew Rockwell is, and she said, “does he listen to everyone?” I think this was meant in the sense of someone who obeys their parents…and I wasn’t going to try to explain how he was nice and yet didn’t listen to the government. That will come in time. She can recognize Mises and Rothbard now in pictures. I said that Rothbard was a funny man, and fun to be around. She asked, “does he play lots of games?” And of course we had to tackle this Lincoln myth. I explained to her how mean Lincoln was, how he would throw good people in prison. So she carried on this little dialogue, “I will say to Lincoln, ‘I’ll be your friend’ but he will say, ‘No, I’m going to throw you in prison!’ I don’t want to be his friend!” Suffice to say, this girl isn’t going to grow up politically correct.
So that was an interesting evening, and probably unlike any other evening she spends reading books.
It is good to start them young, you know.
Actually, this was a report on Tuesday, so what about the Wednesday report? Since we did history yesterday, the rest of this week will be preparing for the workshop on Saturday. I’m going to go buy some materials and such that I’ll need. Really looking forward to it, should be a fun day. If you didn’t register but would like to come, please feel free to sign up late. There aren’t any late fees or anything, you can still come!
And now we are left with three topics that, were it not for Lincoln, we might not have to discuss, taxation, the military, and the federal reserve.
If prostitution is the oldest profession known to the world, taxation is without a doubt the second oldest. Taxation is the extortion of money through the threat, or actual use of violence. when it is done by a gang, or by a common criminal, it is known as theft, or extortion, but when it is done by the most powerful gang in the land, and the strongest criminals it is called taxation. Go. Read Common Sense by Thomas Paine. He articulates far better than I ever could how the King traces his lineage not to some saint appointed by God, but to William the Bastard, a Norman leading a band of criminals onto the British Isle to subjugate the Anglo-Saxons to his own rule, to kill their men, ravage their women, enslave their children, and deprive their remaining descendants of their land, and their money. But for the Thomas Paines of today, there is no king, instead, we have democracy. where there is not one man, that might be poisoned beheaded or overthrown, but where there are 150 million men and women who subject the other half to their rule. I implore you, love liberty, and do not let your loyalty to liberty be subdued because it is a whole population that taxes you rather than a solitary king. Hold the democracy to the same standard that you would apply to the monarchy. If we were under a king today with the laws and regulations and restrictions, not to mention taxes that are imposed on us, there would be revolution. but because it is a democracy and not a king, this humble gathering reflects all of the outrage present in Comanche County! Taxation is theft. This is what Henry Lightfoot Lee referred to when he said “Government is a necessary evil.” he said that it was evil. evil is the chief adjective in the sentence, necessary only modifies evil. And let me add that he said necessary because he did not have sufficient faith in the free market to leave necessary out. But I will save this topic for another time. my complaint is not that we are taxed to Heavily by D.C., but that we are taxed at all! Let me digress back to the founders and the revolutionaries once again, Ben Franklin suggested that, since we were being taxed without representation, that we send representatives to London, to the house of Commons that we would be represented. Had his advice been followed we would never have gained our independence, nor thrown off England’s oppressive taxes. But the taxes weren’t only oppressive they were unjust, and even if we had sent men to London, they would have remained unjust, for what the Revolutionaries meant when they cried out against “taxation without representation” was not that we should be represented in the central government thousands of miles away, but that the assembly in Massachusetts had not approved the taxes that were levied on them. That the house of Burgesses had not approved the tax. The revolutionaries saw their own local body as their representatives, not some would be out of touch politician sent to the capital of the central government, as likely as not to get caught up in all kinds of scandals and self gratifying political deals. Now you may ask, without taxes how would we fund the government? This we can save for another time, but for now let me just ask just how much government exactly do you want to have? The fact is, if we were to eliminate the entire tax code, and to only allow our tariffs to stay in force, we would still be able to fund a government of the size that we had when Clinton left office. And even then, for those of you who remember, wasn’t the government then to big to bear?
Again let me turn back to history, we know why the patriots resorted to arms, over taxation, but what was it that sparked the taxation of the American colonies in the late 1760’s and early 1770’s? What caused the British government to resort to the Townsend Acts, the Stamp Act, the Navigation Acts? It was nothing else but the expenses incurred by the British Military and the recent war with the French. Understand I am not unsympathetic to those who have loved ones in the military, or those who have made sacrifices for what they thought was liberty. But the same case then is before us now. The British started a war, and sent soldiers to North America in order to “protect us from the French and the” allegedly “savage indians.” But did we need protecting? it seems that we had been doing quite well on our own for the previous century. but they started a war again for our defense and then want us to pay for it. The patriots knew it was nonsense, We didn’t need defending from the central government, we could defend ourselves just fine. In fact the war was quite unnecessary and caused great hardships the the families and the commerce of the colonies. To add insult to injury, they decided to tax us for it. Things are not so different today. The federal government has instigated revolutions, helped to put down other revolutions, and performed coups all over the world until finally someone attacked us, they use this to start a war, and then tax us in order to pay for it. We spend more on our military today than the next 25 countries combined. Now where does this money come from except from taxes? Any one who is truly against large government must also be against a large standing army. Remember that the Military is also part of the government and a very expensive branch of it.
Continuing on the military thread I have 2 points to make one historical, the other economical. For those interested in history, in Roman history in particular, no question draws more debate than that of “When did Rome begin to fall?” Some say with the Rise of Caesar, I say that was the end. I say the beginning came in 396 B.C. during an otherwise forgotten battle only 12 miles from Rome. The Siege of Veii was taking longer than expected, and the men were anxious to go back home to their farms, their jobs, and their families. They could not afford to fight through the harvest and into winter. So the Senate decided to pay the soldiers. From that point on, Roman men no longer fought solely for their home, or for “The Gory of Rome” as flawed as that cause was, but also for a paycheck. Finally the time came when the soldiers didn’t fight at all for Rome, but only for a paycheck. This should bother you. And my response to the question, how then will the soldiers be provided for, I say, that if you require a paycheck to defend your home and your family, you are not a man! Of course fighting on another continent isn’t exactly defending your family, and so I suppose we wouldn’t be in the wars we are in today.
On to the economic aspect. We currently view welfare as a person getting a check to buy food and pay the rent while he sits at home with the A/C running and watches Jerry Springer. This is certainly welfare, but it would be no less welfare if we gave him a check for digging a hole on the odd days of the month and filling it back in on the even days. A job is not just something to do, but something that needs to be done. Whether or not it is something that needs to be done is determined by the free will of people as reflected in the free market. Clearly no one will pay any amount of money to have a hole dug one day only to have it filled back in the next, and so this is welfare. The truth of the matter is, unless a job is done, and the wages for that job are agreed upon in the open and free market, it is nothing short of welfare. Given that the military is not hired on the free market, it must be concluded then that those in the military, and indeed all government employees are welfare recipients. Now you know how much of a drain on the economy and on your own pockets the welfare system is, but the same is true of our military system. instead of holding jobs that contribute to the betterment of the lives of others, we have over a million men and women receiving checks to fight wars and stir up even more trouble for ourselves in Iraq and Afghanistan, or at best sitting in motor pools smoking cigarettes in over 50 other countries around the world. How much richer would we be, how much better off would we be, how much freeer would we be if those million men and women were working at jobs contributing to the economy rather than being paid out of stolen money? Jefferson said that A standing army was one of the greatest threats to a free people. most people take that to mean that the army would come under the control of some tyrant like Caesar or Lincoln, but even without this occurring our liberty is put in peril by its economic implications.
Finally we come to the central bank, or the Federal Reserve as it is known today. You see if taxes were the sole means in which to pay for the military, everyone here, infact everyone across the country would be as opposed to the government military as Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson were. but the Federal Government came up with a trick, they would create a central bank that could just print money out of thin air. This way taxes could stay low (relative to what they would be if taxes were the only way to pay for things) which is good for getting votes, but they could still fund the military, and whatever projects, schools, roads, bridges, everything from NASA to the Navy, and Welfare to Warfare. But of course printing money is in fact a tax, it is a hidden tax. You all have heard of supply and demand, when there is a greater supply of a commodity then the price for it goes down, from cars to cereal this is the case. But few stop to ponder its validity when its applied to money itself. Turns out it still holds. the more dollars their are, the less purchasing power each dollar has. Economists on t.v. talk as if rising prices are inflation, but the fact is that inflation refers to the inflation of the money supply. Meaning that more dollars have been printed. This, as I’ve said leads to prices going up. Many complain that we are taxed when we earn money, and taxed when we spend it, but because of the Federal Reserve, we are also taxed if we save it! Because for every dollar printed, the dollars you have in the bank, and even the ones under your mattress loose in value. you will be able to afford less, to buy less with a dollar 5 years from now as you can today. Democrats respond to this problem with minimum wage laws, and Republicans ignore it. but the fact is that rising prices are only a symptom of a greater problem. The Fed! Were we to be on a gold standard, if gold were money today, You wouldn’t have to hire a wall street genius to invest your money. Instead of money loosing its value because its constantly being printed, your money would gain value, because the amount of gold in circulation would rise, due to mining, but only marginally so, since mining cost much more than a printing press, and relative to the population and increase in both capital and consumable goods it would actually decline. Supply and demand, the supply increasing slightly while demand increasing significantly over time, would cause the purchasing price of your money to increase over time, you would only need to have a secure safe in your own home to have a reliable retirement account. And even those getting paid the minimum wage, wouldn’t need a real raise, since the dollar as defined (today as 1/1250th of an ounce of gold) would increase in value slowly over time. giving the person at $7.25 an hour a slight real raise gradually over time.
This concludes every topic I wish to cover insofar as an outline of my core goals and values are concerned. Now let me turn to the area of strategy. Its said that Socialists concern themselves 90% with how to implement their programs and only 10% with how their ideas will actually work. While Libertarians spend 90% of their time thinking of how a libertarian society would work and what is wrong with the state, and only 10% of their time thinking about how to implement their programs. If there were a 12 step program on how to implement Libertarian policies, I wouldn’t be able to tell you what steps 2 through 12 would be. but I can tell you what step one would be. To work on Theory. What do we stand for? (if I haven’t said it explicitly yet, Life, Liberty, and Property. What does and what does not warrant violence? For this movement to be successful, we must be well read. and be educated. We had a revolution here, and it was successful, I attribute that success to the level of education and the ideological purity of the revolutionaries. Shortly thereafter, the French had a revolution, it started off strong, and it looked like it would be successful. but the French were just upset with the king. they had not read John Locke, nor John Trenchard, nor Thomas Gordon, nor John Wilkes, nor John Lillburne. And at the end of the day the French Revolution failed. They ended up with blood running in the street, starvation, conscription, the reign of terror, and an Emperor even worse than the king they had killed.
The Ludwig von Mises Institute is the vanguard, the elite, the best of the best when it comes to resisting governmental tyranny. It is primarily an economic institution, which I can not over emphasize the importance of understanding economics. As easy as it is for you and I to understand the depravation of Liberty under Socialism, many will only understand the unfeasibility of Socialism as an economic system. Ludwig von Mises, Systematically refuted Socialism as a system of production in 1927 in a time when everyone thought it was the wave of the future. The institute is named in his honor. His best student Murray N. Rothbard was the founder, he was also the founder of the Cato Institute, but it of course what hijacked out from under him. Rothbard wrote many books, What has the Government Done to Our Money? and The Case against the Fed are both must reads dealing with… Money. He also wrote Conceived in Liberty a history of the colonies from their planting until the Treaty of Paris in 1783. and the single work that needs to be read by everyone here before you read anything else. The Ethics of Liberty. the first 4 or 5 chapters being crucial to establishing a solid basis for a philosophy of Liberty.
The Mises institute, online at www.mises.org has over 6 TBs of data dedicated to accurate history, sound economics, and Liberty available for free. They have hundreds of books for sale, and dozens for free in PDF, .epub, and on audio that you can download for free either on their site or on itunes, under mises university along with plenty of speeches, covering everything from anti trust laws, to intellectual property laws, and the history of Rome, to the history of WWII.
Being in the moment, it is to soon to tell, but I can tell this much, unless we dedicate ourselves to liberty, and to being educated, this movement will at best fizzle, and at worst end up like the French Revolution.
Thank you for your time.
It seems rather strange to have someone else posting on www.savannahliston.com, but there are two reasons, 1) Savannah Liston doesn’t always have the time to write posts and 2) sometimes (well, a lot of times) other people can say things better than Savannah Liston does, so why not let them have a go at it? The author of this post is Andrew Hayes. I’m stealing his bio from his FB profile…Andrew Hayes is married and presumably happily married to someone who will remain unnamed until the aforesaid chooses otherwise. He appears to live in Oklahoma, but I can’t be sure because another FB friend says she lives in India when I clearly know she lives in Wisconsin. He has studied in some form at the Mises Institute and specializes in studying the boom-bust cycle, political philosophy, ethics and liberty. Without any further ado, I present…Andrew Hayes on “What the Tea Party Needs to Hear.”
The Tea- Party has finally come to Comanche County. And so I suppose this is my cue to finally get involved. But before I do I would like to address a few things.
In the first place its important to recognize that not all of the “founding fathers” were patriots. There was quite a large contingency of men during those formative years that were not in favor of liberty for mankind, nor for low taxation, nor for a limited government. Ben Franklin at one point put fourth the idea of doing away with the states entirely and having a single central government to rule the entire country. Hamilton envisioned an American empire based off the British Empire. And George Washington after Fighting a war over taxes on tea, was ready to fight a war against his own people who were rebelling over his unjust tax on whiskey. On the other side there were principled men, who were of the opinion that what London was doing wasn’t right, and it wouldn’t be right even if it were our government that did it. George Mason, and Patrick Henry, chief among them, campaigned against the Ratification of the Constitution in Virginia, and were instrumental in the drafting of the Bill of Rights, without which, the constitution would be clearly seen for what it is, the Charter of a centralized, overbearing, intrusive and unjust centralized government.
The Constitution is not holy, it was not written by the finger of God on stone tablets and brought down from Mount Sini by Washington! the men who voted for it, were not founding fathers, but traitors to the revolution. Its justification, the very excuse for a stronger centralized government was to beat the british and gain our independence, they said the Articles were not strong enough. And if we lived in Ray Bradbury’s novel, we might accept this as truth, but the fact is that the King signed a peace treaty with the 13 colonies and Vermont four years before the constitution was ratified. Turns out the constitution was entirely unnecessary. Yet there was a silver lining, in that dark our. The Anti Federalist, those against a strong centralized government gave us the bill of rights, the first 10 amendments to the constitution.
They were not the founding fathers, that is they had very little to do with establishing the government that we know today, instead I like to call them Revolutionaries. The Washington’s and the Hamilton’s wanted freedom from the british only to Found their own British system here in America, The Revolutionaries, wanted a real Revolution, to get out from under the yoke of the centralized government of England and to live free, not to “found” anything!
Thomas Jefferson and his compatriots would be shocked to know that millions of school children across this land pledge allegiance to the federal government. His idea of our republic was one of men, not of government. Imagine, that in those days, even eighty years later, a fellow living in a relatively rural area such as ours would likely live his entire life without seeing a federal employee except the USPS worker who brought his mail. (the USPS owes its origins to Franklin who again wanted the british system transplanted into America, the British established a government post office for the sole task of reading private letters of its subjects in order to sniff out sedition.) What has the federal government got to do with me?
The federal government is the servant of the states and of the people, thus it seems backwards, even Orwellian that the servant should demand allegiance from its master! How is it conceivable that a sovereign should pledge allegiance to his servant? It was only in the warped and twisted mind of a socialist named Francis Bellemy that this would be the case. He Authored the Pledge of Allegiance in 1892. His cousin wrote a socialist utopia novel entitled Looking backwards, assuming that shortly after 1888 America became socialists and imagining what the world would look like in the year 2000. Of course he and his cousin knew that socialism could never be realized until the State were supreme, and to that end Francis wrote the Pledge in order to reinforce that idea, that the central government demanded our allegiance over all other things and in all areas of life, the phrase liberty and justice was either meant as in “social liberty and justice” or just as ploy to make it more palatable to the masses.
I’ve seen on t.v., not on my own mind you, since I don’t have enough loose money to spend on FCC filtered media, that the United States flag is waved at Tea Party rallies across America. I promise you this, I will never be seen doing so. I am told that that is my flag and that I should love it. I can not muster this love. That is the flag flown outside the IRS building, where they count my hard earned money I’ve worked for. That is the flag flown outside of the FCC building where they do everything they can to filter the information that I am able to take in. That is the flag flown outside the Human Services building where they redistribute our money to those unwilling to work, and in the case where the individual is unable to work, they usurp one of the roles of the Church and the community. The flag flown outside the Social Security Administration building that takes your money for old age, but that you will most likely not see. It is the flag that is flown outside the Federal Education Department that tries to teach our children that the states are mere provinces of the federal government and that Lincoln saved the country.
He did not save the country, he saved the federal government, the country is the church houses, neighbors, businesses, friends and family, and even the landscape that you see everyday. The government is the monopoly apparatus of compulsion and violence that rules over the country. Thus I elect to fly the Gadsden Flag, the true American Flag, not the United States Government flag.
But let me touch more on Lincoln. You were taught in school that he saved the country, as I mentioned what he really did was save the American Empire. He a hero not just to the likes of George W. Bush and Obama, but was first the hero of Bismarck, Hitler, Karl Marx, and Stalin. Why? Because he did everything in his power, and even things outside of his power to retain control over people who wished to have their own government, be self ruling, and be left alone. He instituted a central bank, which created money out of thin air, the forerunner to the Federal Reserve today. It was under him that the income tax was first levied on Americans, a tax so vile it would make Patrick Henry cry out for british rule again, if not lead him to suicide. When a man named Vandingham in Ohio, a former congressman, at a rally spoke out against the income tax, Lincoln had him arrested without a warrant and deported to the South. Upon hearing this Chief Justice Tanney wrote the president a letter, rebuking him, Lincoln’s response was to issue an arrest warrant for Tanney himself (no one executed the warrant). He shutdown hundreds of newspapers in New York City and across the North. He forcibly kept the Maryland state legislature from convening. He did nothing to reign in his generals who stole from southerners, even those who wanted nothing to do with the war one way or another, or when they burned civilian homes and businesses, even churches across the South. Prior to lincoln the states had on occasion instituted drafts, but Lincoln was the first to successfully institute a national draft. denying men of their liberty, and in many cases ultimately their lives in order to deny other men their freedom. And while we are on the topic of freedom, the most famous and least read document must be the Emancipation Proclamation. The government schools teach us that Lincoln freed the slaves, in fact it freed not a one. The document only had effect, or only claimed to have effect, where the federal government had no control. Whole states were exempted, those that remained loyal to the federal government, Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, the capitol city itself, Delaware along with the 67 counties of Virginia that later became West Virginia. Even the places where the federal army had taken control of like parts of Tennessee were purposefully omitted from the Emancipation Proclamation. It was nothing more than a cheap political trick, the document was sent out across Europe in the hopes of casting the war as one over slavery in order to keep European powers from intervening on the side of self determination.
I mention this history to bring to light whats real, what is true. If we were a football team playing a game perhaps we could afford to aspire to a fictional hero. But the stakes are far to high here. Know your history. He who controls the past controls the present, and right now the past and the present is controlled by those who see the government not as the servant of the people, but the other way around.
And now we are left with three topics that, were it not for Lincoln, we might not have to discuss, taxation, the military, and the federal reserve.
* As I said, the reason I wanted to publish this is because I wanted to take a break from posting. It would be more effective if I were to split this article up into 2 parts. It would give me more vacation time and spare you from having to read a rather long article at one time. I tend to have a short attention span while at the computer, so if this is published in two parts, you might read it all…I hope. At least that’s my intention.
Note: Austrian economists distinguish between two types of capitalists, those who make money because they provide products that consumers want, and those who make money because they have connections in government and enjoy subsidies while their competitors are crippled. Also, there is a great controversy raging right now as to whether free market people should use the term capitalism or capitalist. I chose to use Capitalist for purely literary reasons. It would be awkward to say, “Lincoln: The Free Marketeer” or something like that. So there’s no great significance about my choice of words.
So, I hope you are not still living under the myth that Lincoln was anti-slavery and that the Civil War was about freeing the slaves. But I’d like to focus on Lincoln’s economic rather than political views.
To understand Lincoln, we have to understand mercantilism or protectionism. This is what Lincoln, Henry Clay, and others referred to as the “American System.” What is protectionism?
Tom DiLorenzo, “Protectionism is an indirect subsidy to politically influential businesses that comes at the expense of consumers (who pay higher prices) and potential competitors.” He also writes, “The American System, in other words, was the framework for a giant political patronage system.”
For example, during Lincoln’s campaign in 1840, he made numerous speeches in favor of establishing of nationalized banking system. He also attacked Andrew Jackson (who ended the Second Bank of the United States) and defended the alleged constitutionality of a national bank.
Lincoln ignored the work of Adam Smith, Jean Baptiste Say and other free market economists so he could study the work of Henry Carey. Carey spent his life to exposing the faults of Smith and more broadly, the free market, “although,” as DiLorenzo says, “Carey once admitted that he had never devoted three days to the study of political economy…”
In 1838, the Illinois legislature allocated $12 million dollars for “internal improvements” in the state. What are “internal improvements”? The 19th century equivalent of pork.
Lincoln assured his state that every river and stream would be widened, deepened and made navigable. Cities would spring up everywhere, and soon Illinois would become the greatest state in the Union.
How did that grand plan turn out?
After the money was spent, there were a few miles of embankments and a few abutments that stood for years, waiting for the bridges and ferries that never appeared.
Henry Clay, Abraham Lincoln and Daniel Webster carried on the legacy of Alexander Hamilton who proposed a powerful central government even at the founding of our country. To understand how this idea was carried through political parties, it was the Whig Party that first adopted the belief in big government and protectionist economic policies. When the Whig Party imploded, the mercantilist ideas didn’t die with it, but were resurrected in the Republican Party.
So, Lincoln wasn’t a supporter of the free market, and he created the legacy that the Republican Party would carry on, up to this day. We must understand the history of our country and this political party if we are to ever enjoy freedom again, otherwise we’ll be content to let another Lincoln rule over us, “because he’s a Republican.”