The Federalist Papers

6/26/13 UPDATE: One of my readers has brought to my attention that I have been unfair to the Federalists and their proposed Constitution. Since realizing that I have been in error, I have endeavored to incorporate most of his corrections into this article. It was certainly not my intention to find fault with the Framers for not knowing to what extent those seeking political power would go to in order to increase that power. I understand that the ratification of the Constitution was an unique experiment, and my initial attempt to evaluate the results of that experiment was in error. Below is what I hope to be is a more accurate evaluation of The Federalist Papers.

 

Designing a form of government that is equitable is very hard, to say the least. There have been relatively few periods of history whereby the inhabitants of a given land had the unique opportunity to establish a government that was to their own liking; too often, the most common form in a change of government comes about through conquest. If securing Liberty is our goal, shouldn’t it behoove us to learn more about how this was done successfully last time?

 

 

America is described in several of the Federalist letters as a “confederate republic.” They thought that confederacies are prone to the destructiveness that accompanies the establishment of factions; that is, special interests:

 

“By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.” [Federalist Paper #10]

 

As the causes of faction cannot be removed, then its effects must be controlled; this could not be accomplished by a pure democracy, since such a society composed of a small number of citizens does not automatically control for potential balkanization. Republics, on the other hand, by its primary virtue of representation, does attempt to at least mitigate the incessant bickering common to democracies; also, since larger republics deal with power-hungry factions better than smaller republics do, it is for primarily this very reason the Federalists thought that a federal union, rather than a confederacy, of the American states would be preferable for keeping the special interests from seizing too much political power.

It is clearly explained in Federalist Paper #2 that the federal Constitution, produced by the Philadelphia Convention, was a proposal to be considered by the various state conventions, and thus not a forcible imposition. One of the Federalist rebuttals against the request by some of the state conventions for conditional acceptance of the Constitution, provided that any number of amendments be first attached to it before ratification, was that:

 

“The moment an alteration is made in the present plan, it becomes to the purpose of adoption, a new one, and must undergo a new decision of each state…[i]f, on the contrary, the constitution should once be ratified by all the states as it stands, alterations in it may at any time be effected by nine states. In this view alone the chances are as thirteen to nine in favour of subsequent amendments, rather than of the original adoption of an entire system.” [Federalist Paper #85]

 

In other words, the impetus behind what some historians labeled the “take this or nothing” attitude is primarily due to their rationale that it would be easier to set up a constitutional federated republic if subsequent (post-ratification) amendments were made, instead of previous (pre-ratification) amendments. During the Philadelphia Convention, nobody offered any viable revision to the the Articles of Confederation that would have provided remedy for its weaknesses. The biggest stickler was the requirement for the unanimous approval of anything.

With regards to slavery, the Federalists were by no means abolitionists. Why should they be, when their view of the Africans in bondage was that they were “half-free” already, by virtue of their dual qualities as both person and property? Although this viewpoint was expounded upon in Federalist Paper #54, at least some of the Federalists, to their credit, were keen on their 20 year plan to halt the importation of slaves into America:

 

“It ought to be considered as a great point gained in favour of humanity, that a period of twenty years may terminate forever within these states, a traffic which has so long and so loudly upbraided the barbarism of modern policy; that within that period, it will receive a considerable discouragement from the federal government, and may be totally abolished…” [Federalist Paper #42]

 

Needless to say, this is little more than a concession by the Federalists, for it does not address whether the offspring of those currently in bondage would be born free or enslaved (as their parents were). If such was the latter case, then simply halting the slave trade into America is nothing other than stemming the heavy bleeding on the body politic while completely ignoring arterial bleeding elsewhere, since I would be willing to bet that those in bondage were able to reproduce their children at a rate faster than the importation of captured adult Africans. Either way, if this “peculiar institution” was going to be phased out permanently, then both these angles should have been stopped cold in their tracks; had this been done, the “peculiar institution” would have been phased out in about one or two generations as those already in bondage would either die off, or be freed by their children who eventually bought them back out of slavery. Unfortunately, this was not possible to implement because it would have negated the willingness for some of the states to ratify the Constitution.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Federalists were also in favor of standing armies! It is asserted in Federalist Paper #8 that although standing armies are not prohibited by the Constitution, it is inevitable that they would emerge under a confederacy, just as the Continental Army did. The Federalists thought standing armies were okay provided that they are controlled by the legislature (instead of by the executive, lest they become the president’s personal shock troops) and that any apportionment of funds be allocated for no period longer than two years, provided the Congress debated about it first. They were reluctant to abolish standing armies because of their fears regarding the southern and western borders of the United States, especially considering Spain and the various Indian nations (respectively), realizing also that it is easier to train them before you need them, rather than afterwards (which is explained at length in Federalist Papers #24 and #26).

My favorite aspect of the whole Federalist sales pitch was their claim that direct taxes were indispensably necessary to the functioning of a federal republic, especially in light of the need to assure future lenders that they would be paid back in a timely manner (considering the national debt incurred from waging the Revolution). What makes this intriguing is that I think it (perhaps unintentionally) obfuscates the more significant ability of the federal government to borrow money on the credit of the United States:

 

“Money is with propriety considered as the vital principle of the body politic; as that which sustains its life and motion, and enables it to perform its most essential functions. A complete power, therefore, to procure a regular and adequate supply of revenue, as far as the resources of the community will permit, may be regarded as an indispensable ingredient in every constitution.” [Federalist Paper #30]

 

Does this presume the existence of a fiat currency as being part of the overall constitutional proposal? Worse, does it even go so far as to advocate for a central bank to mint the coin of the realm? As we can no doubt see since then, the reason there have been three previous central banks in these United States is because they all failed to maintain stable value in the currency that they were supposed to manage. Every time one of them failed, the privately issued free market currencies were able to stabilize everyone’s wealth since it was widely recognized that counterfeiting is a crime that steals from everyone through devaluing the currency. Demonopolizing the issuance of currency and credit is the last thing the Federalists wanted, considering that they seem to think that a violent monopolistic institution can safeguard the primary medium of trade better than the free market can, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

The Federalists also freely admitted that the militia would be used to suppress insurrections and quell violent factions, even outside of their native states. Although the Federalists, to their credit, recognized that the militia is the only viable substitute for (and best possible security against) a standing army (and by extension, the right of revolution), it would appear unfortunate that they would desire to centralize the militia in any way, so that the Congress could send the militia wither and thither wherever they damn well pleased (as explained in Federalist Paper #29). Armed revolt against the federal government is justified:

 

“If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defence, which is paramount to all positive forms of government; and which, against the usurpation of the national rulers, may be exerted with an infinitely better prospect of success, than against those of the rulers of an individual state….[t]he citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource, except in their courage and despair.” [Federalist Paper #28].

 

Unfortunately, even the very act of revolution itself is used by the Federalists as a pseudo-justification for a federal republic, in that, for some arcane reason, increased state power will actually greatly turn the tables in favor of any populist resistance effort:

 

“The natural strength of the people in a large community, in proportion to the artificial strength of the government, is greater than in a small; and of course more competent to a struggle with the attempts of the government to establish a tyranny.”

 

Here, I would strongly disagree with them to the degree that I think any community of people (proportionately speaking) is naturally stronger than the government; whether they be more competent should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, however (especially in light of the pernicious effects of social conditioning).

Probably the issue that really got under the craw of those Federalists the most was the insistence by many state conventions on a bill of rights. In reasonable fear of unwittingly sacrificing their liberty following the conclusion of a successful revolution, many of these anti-Federalists made it a point that further declaratory and restrictive clauses upon government power be added to the Constitution. The Federalist rebuttal to this was threefold: first, that it need not be enumerated what liberties the people already enjoyed; second:

 

“It has been several times truly remarked, that bills of rights are, in their origin, stipulations between kings and their subjects, abridgments of prerogative in favour of privilege, reservations of rights not surrendered to the prince.” [Federalist Paper #84]

 

And third, “that the constitutional is itself, in every rational sense, and to every purpose, A BILL OF RIGHTS.” They further elaborate that by establishing codified rules limiting government power, and passing on the heritage of Liberty culturally, then any further codified bill of rights is rather quite, well, limiting. Sadly, despite the affection that the Federalists have for jury trials and habeas corpus, judicial case precedent has shown just how important the Bill of Rights actually ended up being; my belief is that without the adoption of those first ten Articles in Amendment to the Constitution, our lives would be that much worse than they are now, since they have been marginally successful in limiting government power (albeit only so long as the judiciary thinks so).

Hamilton, Madison, and Jay’s The Federalist Papers are a historically significant work of political literature. It provides the best explanations for why government should be bestowed with more than enough power to limit itself, which is also (ironically) more than enough power to break those very limits. The Federalists themselves were really nothing more than spineless hypocrites who sought to impose their vision of republicanism upon an entire sovereign nation using heavy handed tactics and intellectual dishonesty so as to discourage any further discussion and negotiation with their opponents, especially considering there were no immediate dangers at that time necessitating any sort of hasty action. They made phantoms of imagined threats, and for that, they became the devil’s plaything.

War Against the Weak

Many of the bobble-headed Patriot Rockstars will claim that eugenics is the esoteric philosophy of the Establishment itself. Such an assertion certainly merited a serious examination as to its truth and veracity. Unfortunately for the Carousel of Carnivores, this argument of theirs is simply not that hard and fast with regards to its accuracy.

 

 

If Francis Galton was the grandfather of what later became known as eugenics, then Charles Davenport was its father. While it is true that the initial works of Galton and others, particularly Gregor Mendel, were primarily British in origin, eugenics really only took off as such only after it was consolidated by Davenport and the leading American eugenicists of the early 20th century. Do not forget that throughout this book, it is mentioned innumerably that both the Carnegie Institute and the Rockefeller Foundation deliberately funded not only the Cold Spring Harbor eugenics facility, but also many German scientists (at least up until the 1920s).

It was these American special interests that truly developed this prejudiced fake science, which was only seriously picked up by the Germans in the 1930s, who then led the field to its now widely recognized logical conclusion. The problem here was not one in goals, but one of techniques, for the Germans wanted to do everything hard and fast, whereas their American predecessors had slowly and quietly pushed through the government’s adoption of unconscionable legal statutes, such as compulsory sterilization, in no less than 20 of these United States. Obviously, following the end of the Second World War, the American eugenicists became “geneticists,” which is where their successors have congregated to this day.

I do have a serious problem with the alleged objectivity this book is supposed to possess. Considering the emotionally-charged subject matter, when combined with the author’s Jewish heritage, I can’t help but seriously question with how he wrote his history of eugenics. Granted, while the Third Reich was certainly tyrannical, there is all sorts of easily provable evidence that can demonstrate this, so there is no need to go seeking phantoms of imagined abuses. I found Mr. Black’s quickness to curse the National Socialists as “anti-Semitic” quite hypocritical, since he significantly hesitated to consistently apply that same curse upon the Americans, from whom even he admitted the Germans got all their ideas about eugenics from in the first place! Needless to say, I would have greatly preferred a writer to have broached this admittedly volatile topic who didn’t have a dog in the fight, especially in light of the fact that there were black Nazis.

Edwin Black’s War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race is really nothing more than an subjective narrative on the history of eugenics. Although I do think that many of the factoids presented herein were based on objectively acquired evidence, I disagree with Black’s interpretation of them, particularly in regard to his biased treatment of the Germans. As a libertarian, I abhor natural prejudice, yet I also recognize it as a facet of the human condition for many people; while I do think that ethnic collectivism is wrong (much like the vague notion of “society” itself), it is a widely held personal belief for many individuals, upon whom I have no right to infringe on their liberty of thought. As Thomas Jefferson wisely said:

 

“The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

 

Collectivism, ethnic or otherwise, is only so dangerous as it infringes upon personal liberty by coercing the individual at the barrel of a gun, by way of government. Such is the case here with eugenics, and it only became dangerous when its wealthy special interests backers were able (through their ostensibly “philanthropic” foundations) to acquire the government’s support in marginalizing their political opponents through the passage of legal statutes enforced by the police powers of the State. Also, there was absolutely no evidence offered with regards to eugenics as it is likely practiced now; not even a mention of such soft-kill eugenic weapons like fluoridated water. All in all, there is nothing productive or even enlightening about this book, despite Black’s last minute half-hearted attempt in the last chapter to impress upon the reader to care about their own personal genetic privacy.

Carousel of Carnivores

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly, one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”

                                                                                                         – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

 

 

Misinformation and disinformation are the mortal enemies of any free press. Inaccuracy in reporting is just as deadly as flat-out lying. Unfortunately, too many have infiltrated and hijacked the alternative media to such a degree that sensationalism has become the driving mainstay, and not any sincere attempt at discovering the truth.

Since realizing this, I was then struck by the idea that the Internet had become a kind of fairground for people who labeled themselves as somehow being anti-Establishment. John Martinson once described his metaphor, known as the Carnival of Distractions, thusly:

 

“On the one side of the lot, we have the radio host that convinces people that they can win by playing at his game. But, like his obvious connection to the very criminal enterprise he professes to fight, he has it rigged in their favor. Despite the disgust and warnings issued from those who can see the mathematically obvious, people keep stepping right up to pay their money and take their chances.

“On the other side of the grounds, we have the fortune-teller, who will feed you a little fear, with your personal prophecy, as she knows best what people want. Even if the fair should last all week, and her predicted misery doesn’t happen, we can expect that many people will give her nonsense another generous investment on their trip back to the fairgrounds; that is, if they haven’t spent all their money with the radio host, or whomever he’s promoting.

“Off to the palm reader’s left, we see the House of Horrors, which offers to scare you out of your wits, if you just remain seated and abide by the rules. And it’s true! If you see something from their controlled vantage point, it can look quite sinister.

“Finally, we have the Ferris Wheel, with people going ‘round and ‘round, no solutions, no foreseeable way off, just the same old ‘round and ‘round that people line up in droves to get on.”

 

A good friend of mine respectfully disagreed with Martinson about one, relatively minor, detail about the Carnival. He didn’t think it possessed a Ferris Wheel, necessarily, but something more akin to a carousel. This carousel, unlike a Ferris Wheel, does not cycle between aerial and ground-level views, but it is constantly stuck on only one level of perception. Further, it typically portrays carnivorous animals running within an inescapable circle. I find this to be a more apt description of what Martinson was getting at with his Ferris Wheel imagery – opportunistic carnivores accomplishing nothing at all.

I think the reasoning for this is quite cogent. A carousel has animal statues that you sit on, and during the ride, they go up and down, around and around, finishing exactly where they started from. Carnivores are viscous meat eaters who scavenge the land for anything they can feed off of; they are more deadly whenever they roam in packs, and are not known for their productiveness. Similar to how the American Cancer Society obstructs the development of possible cures, the Carousel of Carnivores does the exact same thing with anything effective, because entertainment is their goal, not any sort of real substantive accomplishments.

Charlie Veitch recently described the emerging sectarian nature of contemporary political activism:

 

“What we are having now in activism, we are seeing a schism – it’s going into sectarian lines between conspiracy theory and the kind of irrational madness of it. It’s infecting true activism, or rational activism, or people trying to make a difference without going into madness… but you’ll find, my dear conspiracy theorists, that most activism, that most people who have changed the world, most resistance groups have not been riddled with conspiracy theory. The sectarian nature now, we need to try and ensure that we separate conspiracy theory, which is a hobby, it’s a Dungeons and Dragons in real life, and its not designed to change anything, which is why Infowars, (now what?) for 15 years running, is still “fighting the New World Order,” or David Icke has released now 25 books (they all seem to be a rewrite of the last one, I’ve read bout 3 or 4 of them, they are all very similar). When you understand that conspiracy theory, like many other subcultures, it’s cosplayers, you’re costume players, you’re doing WWF wrestling in real life. The Rock would be Alex JonesDavid Icke is the British Bulldog, and the ‘fighting,’ the ‘activism,’ is not real activism.”

 

If anything, Veitch here seems to be describing a kind of whirlwind effect, whereby non-conspiratorially minded activists “get all caught up” in the various (and often contradictory) narratives being spun by the conspiracists (as he once was). I’m also glad he made an allusion to the video game mentality I’ve mentioned about before, which is critical to understanding the true motivations behind all these self-proclaimed “truth-seekers.” It’s no wonder Veitch has been the subject of derision and ridicule by these pseudo-revolutionaries who prefer to play make-believe, rather than actually risk their lives and resist tyrants. All I’ve ever asked from anyone, who is engaged politically, is for consistency; apparently, it may be the case that in regards to the conspiracists, I may be asking for too much.

Speaking of conspiracists desperately attempting to keep their story straight, who do they think is “behind everything?” Is it the Jesuits, the Zionists, the Freemasons, the Jews, the Illuminati, extraterrestrial reptilians, or simply garden-variety Europeans who are hell bent on world domination? I honestly don’t know, yet I also don’t think the answer matters very much, because what all these vague collective descriptors tell us is essentially the same story – a vast, mostly unidentifiable network of powerful individuals desire unmitigated totalitarian control over you and your family. And to top it all off, you can’t do anything about this omnipotently all-powerful cabal, but for some inexplicable reason, you should still bother to tell all your friends (and complete strangers) about them.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the snobbery of the conspiracists is all too well-known. Veitch elaborates:

 

“Conspiracy theorists talk abut this thing of, ‘waking up’ or no longer being a sheep, or member of the sheeple class, and there is a deep narcissm involved in that, because suddenly you become Neo from The Matrix and you have access to behind the scenes [of] the Matrix, to the ‘real world,’ and you see world events, like 9/11, 7/7, the Boston Bombings, the Woolwich attempted beheading (the stabiness) – you see all these things as being orchestrated at the highest levels. Indeed they are, everything’s being orchestrated, but not at the highest levels, at the smallest levels, at the unified field, which is a theory backed up by science and maths.”

 

So, what you have here is a cocktail of unintelligible rhetoric about who is allegedly “behind everything,” coupled with a noticeable superiority complex. Not a good recipe for political success, but like I’ve said, it’s not supposed to be. Consider also Claire Wolfe’s stereotypically accurate Reactive Ralphie character from her Hardyville article series:

 

“What poor Ralphie cries is something more along the lines of: ‘Tyranny is coming! Tyranny is coming!’ And who could argue? With secret searches authorized by secret courts, ‘detention’ without trial, and internal passports now an accepted part [of] The American Way, the Land of the Once-Free is indeed beginning to resemble Everyday Stalinism. The only thing is – what to do about it?

“Reactive Ralphie knows – or thinks he knows – exactly what we should ALL do. Drop everything! Write your congressthing! Come to the rally! Email an alert! Send This Article to Everyone You Know! Study the 2,000 pages of Astounding Documented FACTS I’ve Assembled on My Web Site! Send a contribution! Sign The Petition! Support a Patriot in Need! Take a Stand! DO SOMETHING! NOW, NOW, NOW, NOW, NOW! And Ralphie means that each and every one of us should do all of the above. All day long. All life long. In response to every bit of tyrannical [male bovine product] that plops out of the Internet or governmental sphincter.”

 

What this reveals about the Carousel of Carnivores (which is comprised of conspiracists and their assorted cohorts) is that they latch onto whatever is happening in the news cycle this week, proselytize about how awful it is, and then they run around like chickens with their heads cut off pretending to achieve something all the while accomplishing absolutely nothing; and yet you should still tune in next week for another “revealed secret” of…whatever.

So, where is the harm, you may ask? Well, if you look at the other (not so) thin line, every time there’s a massive infusion of newer dissidents, a huge bubble enters at the far left side of the line. Unfortunately, most of them do not move in any significant strides toward the right side of the line, where they would begin to enter into a state of nature. Part of the reason for this is that some people prefer to act as “culture vultures,” by profiting from the expropriation of wealth through deceit and guile (these conmen are also known as “patriots for profit”). Once there is a surge, the carnivores go in for the kill. Had they been men of integrity, you’d think they would, for instance, use shotgun barrels for bongs (like the Vietnam GIs did), instead of soliciting for money ostensibly for a legal defense fund while simultaneously benefiting from using a public defender.

Another key characteristic of the Carousel is their noisy bleating whenever a suspiciously violent event occurs as if it were automatically a false flag operation. In light of Sandy Hook and the Boston Marathon bombing, I’ve never would have thought I would hear so much about crisis actors, yet it seems to be the main sticky point with them, for some strange reason. Having painfully watched half-assed “documentaries” about the Sandy Hook “hoax” and other such inconsequential garbage, I think it is more than fair to say that the Carousel intrinsically has absolutely no concept of due diligence. Despite some leads being potentially fruitful, what was completely irritating to me was that they would briefly mention some tidbit that could not be debunked (at least not right away), they then would haphazardly jump to something else, instead of properly following up on it and seeing where it lead.

This, of course, begs the question as to whether the controlled opposition Faketriots are willfully feeding us disinformation that is right in line with the government’s agenda, or are the “guess-what-I-know” useful idiots just parroting the baseless speculations, conjectures, and rumors of others? Worse yet, are we doing so as well, without realizing it? Is it possible that any real solution to this problem entails avoiding what passes for “the news” altogether?

Armed Marches, Free Speech, and Legal Entanglements: The Kokesh Connection

Many within the Patriot Community will remember that back in 1994, Linda Thompson proposed a march into Washington DC where congressmen would be hung from lampposts. Needless to say, it was called off, perhaps because the idea itself was dangerously ill-conceived, but the kernel of the idea never completely went away. It has been germinating this entire time, yet most patriots consider it more as a fanciful whim rather than as a serious opportunity. A variation of this original scheme has been proposed recently by one Adam Kokesh; however, in the interest of fair play, it would behoove us to first understand him as well as other events that have recently transpired.

 

 

Kokesh has been accused by many conservatives in the blogsophere for courting “leftists” and otherwise associating with individuals and organizations held to be allegedly un-American. It would seem to be the case that the sources for these claims are simply based on unfounded speculations, conjecture, and rumor. Kokesh got his start in political activism by joining Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), even going so far as to tattoo the acronym on the inside of his right arm; however, this seems to form the only foundation for the potentially libelous claims, for from here, it gets quite slippery.

It is true that Kokesh had his picture taken, at least once with Medea Benjamin, one of the co-founders of Code Pink, which is an antiwar organization. It is also accurate to say that both the IVAW and Code Pink fly under the banner of International A.N.S.W.E.R., which is nothing more than a umbrella title for the massive coalition of the various and sundry antiwar groups. Most revealingly, there is no proven connection between IVAW and the Muslim American Society, other than they both, by default, come under A.N.S.W.E.R. So, for conservative bloggers to suggest that Kokesh has affiliations with several “leftist” antiwar groups, no matter how many degrees removed, is little more than blatant guilt by association. This would suggest that anyone who opposes government wars, if affiliated, in any way, with others of the same feeling, ought to be pigeon-holed similarly. I find this rather intriguing, for I had thought that only the Southern Poverty Law Center performed this same technique against the many patriot organizations, but I digress.

The original proposal that Kokesh made for his armed march into the District of Columbia was on May 6th of 2013. It very specifically spells out:

 

“On the morning of July 4, 2013, Independence Day, we will muster at the National Cemetery & at noon we will step off to march across the Memorial Bridge, down Independence Avenue, around the Capitol, the Supreme Court, & the White House, then down Constitution Avenue to peacefully return to Virginia across the Memorial Bridge.”

 

What this shows is that this event is primarily a protest march, so in that respect it is much toned down from what Mrs. Thompson claimed to have wanted to do. It also shows the rendezvous point and a parade route. Then the event description goes on to detail:

 

“This is an act of civil disobedience, not a permitted event. We will march with rifles loaded & slung across our backs to put the government on notice that we will not be intimidated & cower in submission to tyranny. We are marching to mark the high water mark of government & to turn the tide. This will be a non-violent event, unless the government chooses to make it violent. Should we meet physical resistance, we will peacefully turn back, having shown that free people are not welcome in Washington, & return with the resolve that the politicians, bureaucrats, & enforcers of the federal government will not be welcome in the land of the free.”

 

This is rather interesting for a number of reasons. First, he is suggesting that loaded firearms be used as symbols only, and not to be used for what they were originally designed for, should the government give the marchers any trouble. Second, this form of civil disobedience is reminiscent of the Free Staters up in New Hampshire when they do things such as smoke marijuana in a public park (keep that imagery in mind, for this story is going to take a similar turn). And third, it would seem that the goal of this march is to demonstrate what a good portion of the population already understands: that the federal government has no interest in abiding by the Constitution.

Following the release of this proposal (initially on Facebook), Adam Kokesh made subsequent appearances on both mainstream and alternative media outlets. Most pundits who commented about his open carry event were generally not supportive, albeit for very different reasons. It was at this time that numerous conservative bloggers attempted character assassination against Kokesh, in the attempt to persuade their readers to condemn his open carry march, such as by claiming that he lied about his activities during his time in the US Marine Corps based on one subjective interpretation of his DD-214.

On May 18th of 2013, this story takes an intriguing turn, for it was on this day that Kokesh was arrested for violating Title 18, United States Code § 111. The arrest occurred during another Facebook scheduled event, Smoke Down Prohibition V, organized by the Philadelphia chapter of the National Organization for the Repeal of Marijuana Laws (NORML) as well as by Mr. N. A. Poe of The Panic Hour podcast. Arresting Officer Donald Reed’s affidavit states:

 

“Because the event paperwork claimed to be about the legalization of marijuana, and because at past such events there had been claims that marijuana was possessed openly and illegally in the Park, that area was posted by the Park with signs reminding the public that possession of marijuana in the Park is illegal.”

 

Well, that explains why National Park Service (NPS) Rangers were on location: they were there to enforce the legal code. The affidavit continues with:

 

“During the event, defendant ADAM KOKESH was addressing the group over a loud speaker system just after RICHARD TAMACCIO, charged elsewhere, urged over the loud speaker those present to smoke marijuana and announced a ‘countdown’ to when participants should light their marijuana. The crowd was also urged over the loud speaker to form a tight circle to hinder law enforcement officers.”

 

That seems to explain why Kokesh was initially targeted: though he was not using or even possessing any marijuana that day; he was singled out as being a “leader” of some kind.

Now, let us take leave of Reed’s affidavit for the time being and examine what happened after the arrest. Mr. Poe, one of the event’s organizers, was arrested along with Kokesh for assaulting a federal officer. While incarcerated, Kokesh become his cellmate for the next week or so. It was during this time that Poe and Kokesh discussed the upcoming open carry march, since Poe had some concerns about it. This eventually led to Kokesh giving a press release that he signed on May 23rd stating that:

 

“A new American revolution is long overdue. This revolution has been brewing in the hearts and minds of the people for many years, but this Independence Day, it shall take a new form as the American Revolutionary Army will march on each state capital to demand that the governors of these 50 states immediately initiate the process of an orderly dissolution of the federal government through secession and reclamation of federally held property. Should one whole year from this July 4th pass while the crimes of this government are allowed to continue, we may have passed the point at which non-violent revolution becomes impossible.”

 

As you can tell, this is a bit different from the originally proposed armed march into D.C. Would it be fair to say that Kokesh simply changed his mind regarding his approach to civil disobedience? Or is there something more sinister at play here? And what exactly is the “American Revolutionary Army?” More importantly, who would their civil authority be?

Let’s now examine the actions of the federal government with how they treated the criminal complaint filed by Donald Reed against Kokesh (the documents and further research of which were kindly provided to me courtesy of Deborah Swan). The government prosecutor, United States Attorney Zane Memeger, filed a motion for pretrial detention on May 23rd because Kokesh refused to confirm his date of birth, social security number, current or former addresses, whether or not he was employed, whether he had any family ties in Philadelphia, or where his passport was currently located; such details would provide assurance to the Court that he would appear, as required, to face the charges against him. Of note, there are two proposed findings of fact made by the prosecutor, namely, that “There is probable cause to believe that the defendant has violated Title 18, United States Code, Section 111…” and “The evidence in this case is strong,” which then goes on to repeat Reed’s affidavit. Needless to say, the government’s motion for pretrial detention was granted that same day by the presiding magistrate judge, the Honorable Thomas Rueter.

The following day on May 24th, U. S. Attorney Memeger filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, stating:

 

“The United States, by undersigned Counsel, hereby moves the Court, in the interests of justice, to dismiss the complaint in the above-captioned matter. Counsel for defendant, has no objection to this motion. The government respectfully requests that the Court enter the attached order.”

 

That same day, the Court ordered the following:

 

“AND NOW, this 24th day of May, 2013, based on the government’s unopposed motion, the complaint in this matter is dismissed and the defendant is released from custody.”

 

Just like that, the feds dropped the charges, or so it would seem. Interestingly, the judge who ordered that Kokesh be released was not Judge Rueter, but the Honorable Elizabeth Hey. Considering that May 24th fell on a Friday, I found this to be rather odd. One of Judge Rueter’s staff told me that the federal district court judges rotate on a weekly basis; when I pointed out that according to their own policy, Rueter should have been there on the 24th, I was subsequently told that Judge Rueter had a scheduled day off that particular Friday, but if not for that, he should have presided over Memeger’s motion to dismiss Kokesh’s case. Might this have been a bona fide case of “judge shopping” by the prosecutor?

Of course, I was intensely curious as to why the prosecutor decided to drop this case in the first place. The Public Affairs Specialist for the US Attorney’s Office (Eastern District of Pennslyvania), Patricia Hartman, stated to me in an email the following:

 

“The government, in the interest of justice, has elected to recharge the defendant for violations of the code of federal regulations. Citations have been issued to the defendant and the government will not be proceeding on the complaint. The citations are for ‘interfering with agency function’ and ‘disorderly conduct’ (Class B misdemeanors) which each carry a fine or up to 30 days imprisonment.”

 

So, I guess the feds didn’t completely drop the charges, did they? I didn’t even know it was possible to “recharge” a defendant at all! This would seem to support PrisonPlanet.com’s brief article on Kokesh’s release, where they quote his Facebook page as saying:

 

“Released 130524 with felony charges reduced to citations which I refused to sign. Played hardball. Won. Talk to you Monday.”

 

This corroborates with what the Miss Hartman told me, as there is no further documentation I can find as to the current status of those citations, which are now under the auspices of the NPS. Perhaps if we revisit Reed’s affidavit one more time, we might find something else pertinent:

 

“National Park Service Rangers approached members of the crowd who were seen in possession of what appeared to be marijuana cigarettes. KOKESH was next to and had locked arms with a person who had a marijuana cigarette. As the Ranger approached the person with the cigarette, KOKESH physically blocked and obstructed the Ranger. As the Ranger pushed forward, KOKESH grabbed the Ranger by the arm to hold him back. KOKESH was then taken into custody.”

 

What is intriguing about this claim is that it totally contradicts the released video footage of Kokesh being hauled off by NPS Rangers. While it is entirely possible that this footage is what caused the prosecutor to drop the alleged violation of 18 USC § 111, it is only an assumption and not proof positive as to why the prosecutor filed the motion at all.

Besides the prosecutor inexplicably dropping the original charges, and Kokesh drastically changing his mind regarding his open carry march, there was another element at play here during this same period. Apparently, there were two separate legal defense funds; one for Poe, the other for Kokesh. This latter fund was managed by one George Donnely, of Shield Mutual. Kokesh was already a customer of Shield Mutual, which seems to be a freelance public relations and legal aid firm. Shield Mutual managed to raise $5,377.44 for Kokesh’s legal defense. To my understanding, a legal defense fund is established for the exclusive purpose of hiring an attorney to provide counsel to the defendant. Since Kokesh only used his public defender, James McHugh, it does kind of beg the question as to why a legal defense fund was created in the first place. Donnely admitted to me in a June 6th email (replying to my June 4th email inquiry) that “given that [Kokesh’s] charges were reduced to citations, I doubt [an attorney] will be hired.” Interestingly, Donnely published an article on June 5th announcing that Shield Mutual will be offering refunds to any donators who asked for one, just as long as they do so before the deadline on June 12th. What’s intriguing about this is that Kokesh’s media production company, Adam v. The Man (AVTM), released a video earlier on May 27th , which stated the following on-screen text:

 

“He resisted every step of the way and thanks to the efforts of those on the outside who made phone calls, protested, showed up in court, and donated to the legal defense fund, Adam was released on Friday with his charges reduced to citations, which he refused to sign. The legal defense fund is now a “Legal Attack Fund” and you can help Adam seek justice by contributing at adamvstheman.com/invest.”

 

Perhaps there was a miscommunication between AVTM and Shield Mutual, but it would seem to indicate that AVTM had no intention of refunding anyone’s donations, whatsoever, despite the fact that an attorney never was or would be hired; if anything, they were blatantly soliciting for even more money, and Shield Mutual’s 7 day window period seems a bit, well, short. As the old reporter’s adage goes, “Follow the money.”

What can we deduce from all this? Perhaps we should consider not following the plans of any political agitator who is quick to change the major details of a Facebook event that was originally scheduled two months ahead of time without a thorough consideration of the ramifications, and who did so while he was incarcerated because of his arrest at another Facebook event. Second, we should consider that a more subtle approach to civil disobedience be seriously considered whereby the government is not put on notice ahead of time; the fundamental problem here is that if the public is put on notice, then the government will also be put on notice, thus making any large event impossible as it cannot be advertised. Finally, we should consider refraining from contributing to anyone’s legal defense fund, at least until such time an attorney is actually hired, lest those funds be diverted towards a completely different purpose unrelated to getting someone out of jail or beating the government’s charges.

Should the Patriot Community think of Adam Kokesh as any sort of role model, since he seems to work on a knee-jerk reactionary basis without a well-thought out plan? Might it just be possible that sensationalism, and not actually reaching an achievable goal, was the entire purpose at play here? It is questions like these we must ask ourselves if we are able to ever discern between individual merit and shallow popularity contests.

A Pivotal Question for Anarcho-Capitalists

Recently, when I was renewing my apartment lease, the landlord informed me that I also needed to renew my renter’s insurance, of which “proof of insurance coverage” is required, otherwise I would not be allowed to sign the renewal contract (it’s probably the declarations page, but seriously, how the hell am I supposed to know this shit?). So, when I called the insurance agent, I was informed by one of his staff that the reason the annual fee jumped by an atrocious $50 was because of all the claims they’ve received this past year due to various bad weather here in Texas.

With that as background, here is my question for the sychophantic anarcho-capitalists who incessantly drum up the virtues of their hypothetical dispute resolution organizations (DROs): What is to prevent any DRO from passing on the costs of satisfying some customers onto the rest of their clientele who did not engage the active services of said DRO? Remember, these libertarian anarchists have consistently maintained that DROs are essentially insurance companies who also provide some level of security and criminal investigative services; if that is indeed the case, then what in God’s name would be the disincentive for them to not perform what is essentially corporatist behavior? Shouldn’t it be the insurance company that bears the expense of satisfying those claims, instead of jacking up the premiums on other customers who didn’t file any such claims? Isn’t such a business practice indicative of how corporate taxes are shuffled off to be borne upon the shoulders of customers, lower-level employees, and even sometimes share-holders?

It is nearly impossible to rent an apartment in Texas without also paying for renter’s insurance. Since I have now found out that it is cheapest when it is never used (by other customers, no less), then what good is it? It’s not as if I am in serious danger of needing to file a claim anytime soon, and even if I ever did, I would have to somehow reconcile myself to the fact that in order for my claim to be satisfied, other customers are going to have their premiums seriously jacked up. Would I want to be responsible for siphoning away other people’s hard-earned savings to a faceless insurance corporation that has unscrupulous business practices? Oh, and its not as if I haven’t considered upping and leaving their damn ass; sadly, it turns out that even with the serious jack in the premium, my current rental insurance provider is still noticeably cheaper than each of the other insurance quotes I called around and asked for.

My, oh my….what is a libertarian to do in such a pickle? It’s just a shit storm with no easily discernible answer that I can fathom on my own. Perhaps any real solution is somewhat long-term and entails me moving out of the damn city already and into the sticks by buying real estate and then building my own house on it. Not that I would mind, but it requires quite a significant investment of capital to make that happen, which is why I am renting for the foreseeable future.

If any of you can provide me with a serious answer to my primary question (as stated above), then please leave a comment below. For the privacy conscious types, feel free to email me instead.

The Society of the Spectacle

Never underestimate the tyranny of illusion. It is awesome in its power, terrifying in its scope, and absolutely hegemonic in its inherent nature. With the accelerating pace of pseudo-real fictions circulating amongst the minds of men, the more divorced those afflicted become from their own humanity.

 

 

Conspicuous consumption is an enemy of Liberty, for it tricks its victims to surrender a significant chunk of their productive energies over to valueless products that were manufactured from capital that was artificially pooled thanks to undue government privilege (and not because of genuine market demand). One could argue that it is a type of tax, but this is not entirely accurate, for the conspicuous consumer did, in fact, consent to the transaction. Instead, I would suggest that the solicitation and provision of corporate goods is more indicative of widespread rampant fraud, and thus should be differentiated from other kinds of fraud that are coercively inflicted upon the populace and thus robs them of their wealth by way of government, such as fractional reserve lending.

Although, in order to perpetuate such a scam, the target must be persuaded, not threatened. This is where the spectacle comes in:

 

“The spectacle does not realize philosophy, it philosophizes reality, reducing everyone’s concrete life to a universe of speculation…[t]he spectacle is the material reconstruction of the religious illusion. Spectacular technology has not dispersed the religious mists into which human beings had projected their own alienated powers, it has merely brought those mists down to earth, to the point that even the most mundane aspects of life have become impenetrable and unbreathable. The illusory paradise that represented a total denial of earthly life is no longer projected into the heavens, it is embedded in earthly life itself.”

 

The author here seems to suggest that this spectacle he speaks of is reminiscent of organized religions, complete with its own proselytizing priest-class.; it is, oxymoronically, a secular religion. He goes on to detail more of the spectacle’s authoritarian nature:

 

“The spectacle is the ruling order’s nonstop discourse about itself, its never-ending monologue of self-praise, its self-portrait at the stage of totalitarian domination of all aspects of life. The fetishistic appearance of pure objectivity in spectacular relations conceals their true character as relations between people and between classes: a second Nature, with its own inescapable laws, seems to dominate our environment…[t]he spectacle keeps people in a state of unconsciousness as they pass through practical chances in their conditions of existence. Like a factitious god, it engenders itself and makes its own rules…[b]ut the spectacle is not merely a matter of images, nor even of images plus sounds. It is whatever escapes people’s activity, whatever eludes their practical reconsideration and correction. It is the opposite of dialogue. Wherever representation becomes independent, the spectacle regenerates itself.”

 

In other words, the spectacle is a vehicle for the Establishment’s full spectrum domination of any given population. It is not there to teach you, empower you, or provide for you in any way; it’s sole purpose is to suck your natural life force right out of you, turning you in a vapid and shallow drone who does what he’s told to do by whomever is posing as “Authority” at any given moment, no matter how arbitrary or immoral those orders actually are to your personal well-being.

Speaking of vapid and shallow drones, there are also the all too familiar role models they are supposed to emulate:

 

“Stars – spectacular representations of living human beings – project this general banality into images of permitted roles. As specialists of apparent life, stars serve as superficial objects that people can identify with in order to compensate for the fragmented productive specializations that they actually live. The function of these celebrities is to act out various lifestyles or sociopolitical viewpoints in a full, totally free manner….[t]he agent of the spectacle who is put on stage as a star is the opposite of an individual; he is as clearly the enemy of his own individuality as the individuality of others. Entering the spectacle as a model to be identified with, he renounces all autonomous qualities in order to identify himself with the general law of obedience to the succession of things…[t]the admirable people who personify the system are well known for not being what they seem; they attain greatness by stooping below the reality of the most insignificant individual life, and everyone knows it.”

 

If anyone ever wanted to know why I abhored such things as celebrity gossip, this is why. Its not real, none of it is. But then what is so dangerous about the society of the spectacle, some may ask. Well, I would then refer you to the political implications of its hegemonic existence:

 

“Bureaucratic property is itself concentrated, in that the individual bureaucrat takes part in the ownership of the entire economy only through his membership in the community of bureaucrats…[t]he dictatorship of the bureaucratic economy cannot leave the exploited masses any significant margin of choice because it has had to make all the choices itself, and any choice made independently of it, whether regarding food or music or anything else, thus amounts to a declaration of war against it. The dictatorship must be enforced by permanent violence. Its spectacle imposes an image of the good which subsumes everything that officially exists, an image which is usually concentrated in a single individual, the guarantor of the system’s totalitarian cohesion. Everyone must magically identify with this absolute start or disappear…[t]he dominion of the concentrated spectacle is a police state.”

 

Wow, probably one of the best descriptions of corporatism I have ever read. Notice also how Debord equates the consumerist spectacle as being indicative of a police state. In this respect, it reminds me of how tyrants need a central bank in order to fund such a police state in the first place (of course, other techniques, such as unconstitutional direct taxes and civil asset forfeiture, are used with abandon by the Standing Army as well). Possibly the absolutely scariest element of this spectacle is another of its essential characteristics; that of doublethink:

 

“The spectacle is totally dogmatic, yet it is incapable of arriving at any really solid dogma. Nothing stands still for it. This instability is the spectacle’s natural condition, but it is completely contrary to its natural inclination.”

 

There you have it folks…an openly avowed socialist admitting on record that corporatism is throughly illogical and self-contradictory. It might behoove those libertarians who oh so delicately court the likes of corporations such as Wal-Mart to re-check their premises, because I can guarantee that at least one of them is totally just plain wrong.

Guy Debord’s The Society of the Spectacle is an eye-opening account by a political dissident of the 1960s witnessing the rise of corporations following the conclusion of the Second World War. I think the deeper lesson to be learned here though, especially for the Patriot Community, is that the fundamental problem ensconced by the Carnival of Distractions, is that it replaces the spectacle of the mainstream media by becoming its own spectacle, all the while telling its audiences that’s it not a spectacle at all! This is the most important realization of all…that there is more than one spectacle. Not only are there are multiple ones, but possibly worst of all, they compete with each other for your bottom dollar, thus copying exactly what the Establishment does to the mass populace on a daily basis. Such a business practice should be beneath what is supposed to be the superior morality of political agitators who claim to want to secure their Liberty. Or is it I who erred as to their true motives? Only time will tell.