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Statists who champion the systematic theft of private property do not understand fundamental property rights. These welfare statists not only commit verbicide with the very word “welfare,” but also clearly do not understand basic market dynamics, or even simple economics. What they do understand is that government is the only social institution that maintains a monopoly on the initiation of coercive force, and if they can seize control of it, they can dictate the “policy” of regularly stealing the wealth of a nation’s producers and doling out portions of it to those whom it does not belong.
Henry Hazlitt observed that:
“Everywhere we turn today we find the welfare state – the state that promises guaranteed jobs, guaranteed incomes, the guaranteed life, security from cradle to grave, the quick if not overnight elimination of poverty. And the principal way in which it undertakes to achieve these goals is to seize from those who have and give to those who have not.”
That statement, written in 1969, is just as true today in 2013 as it was back then. In fact, it has only grown worse because of the central bank’s deviousness that has resulted in many perversions, one of which is that the current number of Americans on food stamps, between FY 2011 and FY 2013, have increased from ~ 44,000,000 to ~ 47,000,000. No amount of minimum wage statutes, artificial job creation, or central planning is going to save them, or anyone else, for that matter. If the currency wasn’t being regularly debased through the deceitful and evil process of inflating and borrowing, which is only possible because of fractional reserve lending, then the power that the welfare state currently enjoys over the lives of the American people (both directly and indirectly) would become so greatly impaired as to be laughable.
It has become pandemic to expect something for nothing… free lunches, as it were. It matters not that true Christian charity is voluntary and best expressed through friendly societies, “liberal” statists only spout back what their masters have taught them; that only the welfare state, as an instrument of force by the government, can help the destitute, the unwed single mothers, and the ill.
The truth is, whatever institutionalized religion any of these sycophants claim to follow is nothing more than empty window dressing; what they truly worship, the God they actually bow to, what they really believe in, is the State. “Thou shalt not steal,” unless you can do it by way of government, then it’s just fine, isn’t it? If you call it “taxation” and “inflation,” it stops being a sin, right? After all, it was only your God that said you shouldn’t steal, but the State said it was okay. It’s pretty obvious which one outranks the other in their minds.
God said, “Thou shalt not covet,” but coveting is the lifeblood of the beast that is the State. Voters are taught to resent, despise, and hate anyone who has anything they don’t have. They clamor for the State to tear other people down, steal their property, and give it to them. And worst of all, it’s all done in the name of “fairness.” What is the endgame result of all this systematic thievery for you, though?
You end up suffering an excruciatingly slow death when you become hopelessly dependent upon the government, which is truly a gut wrenching experience. Much like a declawed cat or defanged snake, you incrementally begin to give up on life once you realize that you will never again exercise your natural powers. Day in and day out, time begins to waste away at your soul, whittling you down to a level below that of the animals. Right before you hit rock bottom is when you realize that you will never be the same again.
Probably the worst part of this whole mess is that the logical end of it ends in premature death, resulting from either gluttony or emaciation, until your heart gives out. All that will be left of you then, that anybody can find, is your skin and bones. At least during a war (or even a revolution), there is the possibility of “going out in a blaze of glory;” here, your early demise is quite anti-climatic, pathetic, and in vain. It literally will have become a waste of space.
Thus, the vicious cycle of not being to find the work you want, which exacerbates you becoming more socially secluded and physically degraded, wastes away at your very being and renders you that much more dependent on that which you resent the most – someone who has unwittingly sold out to the Establishment by being willing to take whatever scraps from the table that they allow you to keep. The most important thing that you can do is to reject the victim mentality by doing whatever it takes to get off the dole. So, what if the welfare state is enticing you with handouts that you happen to qualify for? Either make a detailed accounting whose money it really is and return it to them as soon as you are able, or better yet, improve your vocabulary and skill sets so you can create your own job and eventually become financially independent of both the corporations and the State.
At the end of the day, the victim mentality ultimately robs us of our individual sense of responsibility for our own lives. This notion that somehow you are entitled to goods and services, or even love and affection from your fellow man, is utterly repugnant to any concept of freedom. Love, like money, has its own currency and its own standard of value; neither are subject to the arbitrary whims of the unearned. The decision to invest, or to love, is inherently rooted in the premise that something (or someone) has earned a level of respect and admiration, otherwise it (or they) would not be valued. No claim of alleged “victimhood” provides the moral basis for any sort of entitlement, whether it be financial or emotional. Taking the virtue of responsibility seriously is the only reliable way of defeating the victim mentality.
Don’t be misled by those who make the claim that it is morally straight for you to apply for welfare entitlement benefits under the justification that it is somehow mystically “getting some of your tax money back.” By pursuing the acquisition of it, you are sanctioning the original theft, especially since there is no accurate accounting of whose wealth was stolen, and precisely how much from each individual. Do not pay your taxes if you must (provided you are willing to risk violating mala prohibita), but certainly at the very minimum DO NOT take other people’s money under the paper thin ex post facto rationalization that “it’s really only your own money coming back to you.” That’s just the fictional story you tell yourself in order to ease your own conscience by attempting to justify “doing unto others as they do unto me.”
Granted, because of the rampant statism that is incrementally engulfing us, nobody can liberate themselves entirely from the multifaceted tentacles of the government. For instance, it is impossible to avoid driving on the roads, or pay for even basic necessities without using Federal Reserve Notes (FRN); however, the caveat here is that what you are morally obligated to do is to actively reduce your complicity in the system where it is possible to do so. Fortunately, it is possible to not use the United States Postal Service and avoid voting, so there are decisions you can make.
My own personal favorite rationale for the welfare state is that, if I think it is immoral, I must be a racist. Well, geez, talk about a fallacious ad hominem argument, huh? So, if I oppose the initiation of force to steal from the productive and give some of the proceeds to those whom it does not belong, I am supposedly “intolerant” of those folks who happen to have a different ancestral lineage than I do? What absurdity the statists will come up with next, I cannot even fathom. Apparently, cheating the productive out of their wealth, by way of government, is perfectly okay so long as you belong to a collectivist ethnic group, such as La Raza, which, ironically, is blatantly racist, given their outspoken support for the Plan of San Diego. Of course, it’s considered “racist” for a “gringo” like me to remind everyone that even the tejanos don’t appreciate the illegals scampering across the border and violating their property rights.
Speaking of illegal immigrants….*ahem* “undocumented workers”… being used as pawns in order to break up the country as part of a larger game of world domination, the welfare state is also a mechanism with which to deindustrialize America and render her more susceptible to globalization. Now, some mainline libertarians get all confused and think that globalization is good so long as it is done in the name of “free trade,” not realizing of course that the Establishment only uses that term to obfuscate what they’re really up to, which is nothing less than an incremental step towards forming a superstate on this continent called the North American Union (NAU). The danger of this is that the NAU, with its concomitant currency known as the Amero, will replace both the FRNs as well as the U.S. Constitution; put another way, the formation of this superstate will move us out of the frying pan and into the fire.
Corporatism, and its tumor-riddled younger brother consumerism, is justified on the same grounds as the welfare state. The Madison Avenue social engineers unrelenting convey the notion that we are not intrinsically worthy, or otherwise just disastrously inept. For instance, just watch any men’s hygiene, cereal, or automobile advertisement, and it will be conveyed to you that you need some corporation’s product in order to “better yourself.” That, without them, you are nothing. By understanding also the predictive programming elements in films and televisions shows, you can decipher the values they are attempting to have you internalize as a way of life. Such devious mechanizations are all aimed at creating an artificial dependence on the Establishment.
If you really think about it, the warfare state itself is little more than a welfare entitlement benefit scheme. As Lew Rockwell wonderfully pointed out back in 1997, probably the worst example of an immoral cesspool that should frighten the pants off the conservative statists is the military base. Rockwell illustrates:
“Young people are put in distant places where they face no supervision from family or an organic community. They have little work to do and an abundance of discretionary income. Their housing, food, medical care, and clothing are provided at no charge by the government. Nobody need plan, for example, to come up with next month’s rent…[i]t’s no surprise that the military is riddled with sexual abuse: in their off-hours, these guys are feeding our tax dollars to naked performers. It reflects the absence of chivalry inherent in all government operations.”
He goes on to describe how illegal drug use is rampant, tattooing is normal, gambling is acceptable, and all manner of sexual profiteering have served as a magnet for once clean-cut middle-class communities. If there was one more reason to never voluntarily enlist in the military, it would be for the sake of your own soul.
Speaking of the imperialistic wars of aggression, it is true what the conservative statists say when they cite that the federal domestic spending on social insurance schemes and welfare entitlement benefits exceeds that of total military spending. In FY 2010, the Defense Department’s budget only comprised 20% of all federal spending (that is $689,000,000,000 out of the $3,456,000,000,000 total) yet Social Security alone accounted for a very similar 20% ($701,000,000,000), not to say anything of Medicare & Medicaid together comprising a whopping 23% ($793,000,000,000) or any other handouts, for that matter. 43% of the total federal budget (which is well over a $1,000,000,000,000) being allocated for Social Security, Medicare, & Medicaid alone should legitimately concern anyone about the power and scope of the welfare state.
Psychopathic authoritarian statists are not known for releasing what control they have on the reigns of power. Conservative statists judgmentally denigrate anyone who has been harmed by the Establishment as being inherently worthless, when the truth is quite far from that. Liberal statists intrinsically don’t like people, for if they did, they would understand that if given half a chance, those “needy” people could be self-sustainable quite easily if you just left them the fuck alone. Both are grossly in error, and do not exhibit any slight notion of true Christian charity.
The free market is life itself. Everything we have, everything we’ve done, everything we are is because we chose (in some way, shape, or form) to provide for ourselves and our loved ones by extracting the raw natural resources from this absurdly abundant planet, and mixing it with our creative genius and physical labor. No propaganda or coercion was required; just some old fashioned self-interest is all that is needed for providing the fundamental motivation necessary to produce what we require to not only survive, but also to thrive. And that is something no corporation or government can ever take away from you.
Either you have a belief in the supremacy of the individual and trust people with their own self-determination (or at least possess a great appreciation for the rational selfishness inherently rooted in the dynamic processes of the free market), or you don’t. At the end of the day, this is what the philosophy of Liberty demands. You cannot half-ass it by insisting that there needs to be some “reasonable” regulations, or that the “community” needs to intervene in the personal decisions of others by way of government in utter violation of the very purpose and end of the Law; ultimately, both are forms of trespass upon the natural liberty and human dignity of individuals.
Are there any morally sound exceptions to accepting handouts from the welfare state? The only two that have been proffered thus far are the notions of the professional leech and the mole-type activist. A professional leech, on a version of a theme of “going Galt,” decides to go out and apply for every form of government handout available to him. Unlike those who suffer under the illusion of “getting some of your tax money back,” the professional leech already knows better, but does it anyway in the hope that it will bring the welfare state down….somehow. The only problem with this approach is that the professional leech runs the risk of still being genuinely dependent on the welfare state, as well as also being a total hypocrite. At that point, it would be better to be more consistent with the values you claim to follow by becoming self-reliant, which can be done very cheaply if you dumpster dive and live in a travel-trailer.
Claire Wolfe is noted in libertarian circles for suggesting that there are three types of activists: the agitator, the ghost, and the mole. It is the mole-type activist that I am concerned with here, for in this context, if you remain in your government job, you might be able to help the resistance in some way, shape, or form. While I can appreciate beating the secret police at their own game (or simply doing a workaround), I don’t think it is particularly wise for dissidents to choose this role, for the very simple reason that it is better suited for those disgruntled “civil servants” who desire to seek revenge against their current (or perhaps former) employers (they’re better suited at faking conformity, anyway). It is much more productive for all lovers of liberty who are currently government agents to become more consistent with the values they profess to follow by quitting their “public sector” offices and getting a real job within the remnants of the free market.
At the risk of sounding like a hypocrite, but in the interest of full disclosure, the one government handout I still willingly use is the local public library. The only reason I do this is because I am technically one of those 53% of all college graduates who are either unemployed or underemployed. I do realize that my good intentions for writing my own book reports as a way to increase my own liberty (as well as of those who also benefit from my literature reviews) is helping to pave the way to hell, yet I do not know what my other options realistically are, at this juncture. Pay for books from a corporation? I used to do that during Bush Jr.’s Reign of Terror, but I quickly realized any college textbooks you can get used, or for free, are just as good as brand new ones (unless the professor makes it compulsory for his students to get a particular edition, in which case, they’re screwed, as I was several times). Delay on reading and writing book reports until such time that I can comfortably afford purchases from said corporations? My answer to that is, how is wasting any more precious time, that I can never get back, going to be beneficial in terms of securing my liberties? Whatever sins I may have incurred from my previous actions and continuing behavior to still use the public library, they are mine solely to bear, and no one else’s.
I am simply trying to make the best of a bad situation, and if I am morally culpable for willingly benefiting from it, even minutely, then I freely choose to bear the cost of it, until such time I can free myself more completely. In other words, I am taking a guerrilla approach to the very act of acquiring temporary access to books for the purpose of trying to figure out how I can escape, and eventually destroy, the Establishment. As the fictional character, Professor de la Paz, said:
“A rational anarchist believes that concepts such as ‘state’ and ‘society’ and ‘government’ have no existence save as physically exemplified in the acts of self-responsible individuals. He believes that it is impossible to shift blame, share blame, distribute blame… as blame, guilt, responsibility are matters taking place inside human beings singly and nowhere else. But being rational, he knows that not all individuals hold his evaluations, so he tries to live perfectly in an imperfect world… aware that his effort will be less than perfect yet undismayed by self-knowledge of self-failure. [emphasis added]”
Who knows? Perhaps I am allowing myself to be unproductively dismayed by self-knowledge of my own failure in this regard. I can only hope that my work can serve as a form of reparation, or even restitution, for my own faults as they may infringe upon the liberties and property of others; only time will tell.
So, what can be done to stop the welfare state? First, and most importantly, DO NOT ACCEPT any of the following:
- Food stamps
- Housing allowances
- Social Security
- Corporate subsidies (even those subsidies for small businesses)
- Government contracts (for example, the military-industrial complex is just another handout)
- Government jobs (this includes, but is certainly not limited to, legislators, judges, bureaucrats, all of their assistants and staff, as well as soldiers and especially police officers)
- Discretionary “guaranteed incomes”
- Any other form of government handout, unique privilege (such as incorporation), or “special consideration” (usually via bribery…*ahem* “lobbying”).
As Hazlitt put it, “The only real cure for poverty is production.” While it is true that 6.8 million jobs were lost in the private sector between 2008 – 2010, 3.9 million jobs were added between 2010 – 2012, so the markets are trying to recover as best as they can (I find it humorously ironic that immediately as a result of the 2009 bailouts, 31 thousand some odd government jobs were added between 2008 – 2010, yet 475,704 government jobs were lost between 2010 – 2012). Of course, even the federal government’s own numbers demonstrate that total imports exceeds total exports; combine this with the real unemployment rate of 22.3%, as well as the astronomical increases in both the total budget deficit and the national debt, it should become clear that a service-based economy cannot not even maintain the accumulated wealth as exemplified in both physical infrastructure and personal property. Americans don’t even make anything anymore. If the welfare state is to be eventually defeated, a serious effort to reestablish a manufacturing base must be undertaken. Consider small-scale manufacturing, especially additive manufacturing such as 3D printing, using either abandoned factories you refurbish or even as something you can do in your own home.
Next, consider participating in the underground (or counter) economy. Before you make a decision though, realize first that this necessarily requires committing civil disobedience, thereby violating mala prohibita. If (or when) such time you are ready to take quite a profound step, make sure to prepare the ground ahead of time in order to reduce your chances of being caught by agents of the State. Remember, you are fundamentally trading risk for profit.
In the overall aggregate though, all of these previous recommendations really only serve to ameliorate the effects of the welfare state on your life alone. At this late hour, unfortunately, nothing less than a completely full out and widespread effort at regaining control of the current government structure from outside the mainline political process is going to stand even a modicum of a chance of actually working. The psychopathic authoritarian statists and their various despotic special interest cronies have so firmly entrenched themselves, using both the soft and hard powers of the State, that treating the rampant property theft and wealth redistribution schemes as if it were a single item political issue is already doomed to failure from the start. Fundamentally, the handouts are systematic and interwoven with other control mechanisms (such as fractional reserve lending and the warfare state), so even if you oppose their actions on principle, they still retain forceful control of the physical infrastructure that you must use in order to live, thus rendering you complicit, one way or another.
These welfare benefit entitlement handouts are nothing more than an insidious plot to devalue and denigrate the property, liberty, and even lives of the American people. It is a mockery of the philosophy of Liberty, of any sense of justice, and even of human dignity. Nobody who claims to be a follower of Christic principles (or who otherwise tries to be morally straight) is able to remain faithful, or even good, in the face of this totalitarian nightmare.