Caged Arbitrarily: KC Massey on Government Dungeons

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Imprisonment, like war, is hell. Understanding the nature of it is vital to empathizing with the grievances of those prisoners who are suffering because the government arbitrarily decided to tax, ban, or regulate something produced by the free market. First hand accounts of prison experiences, even if offered by a convicted felon, are incredibly valuable to those without any criminal record, due to the likely probability that such eyewitness testimony foreshadows the tribulations any man faces, especially considering that the sphere of legally permitted human action is noticeably shrinking as the police state coerces larger segments of the American citizenry.

 

 

I had the unique opportunity recently to speak with KC Massey, who is an American patriot being unjustly prosecuted by the federal government for the malum prohibitum status “offense” of being a felon in possession of firearms, despite the fact that Texas Penal Code §§ 46.02 & 46.04 say otherwise. Rather than exploring the merits of his currently pending legal entanglements, I chose to focus my inquiry strictly to his own experiences as a prisoner. Much like Shane Radliff’s attendance earlier this month at a McLean County Board meeting in Illinois, I think that the best evidence of the government in action is when credible witnesses come forward publicly to speak truth to power about what phenomena they observed and experienced, in the hope that the rest of us are able to better comprehend the tyrannical despotism engulfing our freedoms.

In January of 1988, Massey was arrested for burglary, which he was eventually convicted of, and subsequently sent to prison at the age of 21 years old. His daily routine, as a prisoner, was to arise at approximately 4:30 am, eat breakfast, then lay around his cell for about an hour and a half before being sent to work in the fields. He was stripped searched twice a day, first at about 11 am when he came in from working the fields for lunch, and then again around 3 pm preceding dinner, which began at 4 or 4:30 pm; these searches included spreading his butt cheeks so the guards could take a peek. Afterwards, he was released into his “tank” (the housing unit or cellbock) for leisure time; at 9:30 or 10 pm, the guards turned the lights out, and the daily grind repeated itself for the length of his sentence.

Working the fields entailed its own social norms. Prisoners were expected to churn up the fields in sync, much like boot camp recruits singing cadence. These “hoe squads” used large hoes for flatweeding, which is a form of hard labor where the fieldhands are lined up “nut to butt” and must be “hitting on it” in cadence, where every time a number is announced, they must hit the ground. Failure to hit the ground in sync was perceived by the guards as a type of slowdown, and the prisoner in question would be encouraged to quickly get in line with his fellow inmates. If a prisoner outright refused to work the fields by “laying it down,” he would then be placed in the “shitter” (solitary confinement). The goal of any incarcerated fieldhand would be to “roll up” to a regular prison job, such as working in the garment factory, kitchen, or garage; field bosses noticed and reported on the job performance of prisoners whom they thought deserved to be “rolled up.”

According to Massey, the government’s cages have been dramatically altered since the late 1980s, and he would be in a position to know since he was placed in solitary confinement last year for two weeks before being let out under house arrest on an “unsecured bond of $30,000.” During the 1980s, sounds did not reverb off the walls, because prison bars allowed sound waves to travel freely, as well as the sensation prisoners enjoyed by being able to stick their arms through the bars, thus lessening the feeling that they were being confined to a box. The architectural design of the prisons and jails were not intended to break a prisoner’s will back then, as they are now.

Massey’s recent experiences in solitary confinement, before being convicted of anything this time, are quite harrowing, to say the least. There was no social interaction of any kind, whether in “g-pop” (general population) or with who would’ve been his cellmates, for half a month. He had no access to books, and was confined to his cell for 23 hours a day, only permitted 1 hour a day for exercise. The only way Massey knew what time of day it was, was by the meal delivery through the “beanhole” of the solid steel door to his cell.

As it turns out, Massey was incarcerated in the “aggravated segregation ward,” which is a prison-within-a-prison whereby only the most heinous of criminals are locked up, in cells six feet wide by seven feet long. Every single time he left his cell, Massey was required to put his arms through the beanhole, be handcuffed, remove his hands, and then the guard would open the door; when returned to his cell, the reverse procedure was used. His daily hour of exercise also crunched into his time to shower and watch television.

Passing the time in solitary is no small challenge, let me assure you. Massey’s daily routine was little more than sleeping and eating, since he was not put on a work detail or prison job of any kind. Although he experienced no weight change or illness, he didn’t get in any better physical shape as he had during the ‘80s working the fields. The attitude and mentality of the guards was noticeably different, according to Massey, in that thirty years ago, the guards were half-assed in giving a presumption of innocence, as opposed to now, where Massey enjoyed no such presumption by the “keepers of the key.”

Speaking of architecture, the design of the cells now is outright dehumanizing. Prison bars have been replaced by solid steel doors with a six inch wide, two feet tall glass window that gives off the atmosphere of being in a zoo. Fluorescent lights adorn the ceiling, and absolutely everything, from the wall to the bunk within the cell, is colored gray. Cells are literally echo boxes for all sounds, because, they are unlike the open acoustics in a church or an orchestral hall’s wood paneling, since both deflect sound waves; similarly, the closed acoustics in a speaker box or a recording studio’s sound room absorb these sound waves. This reverb effect within the cell is most like standing inside a semi-truck trailer, except there is less space in jail; imagine, if you will, ten cells to one trailer.

This intentional separation, while also being put on display like the “glass houses” of old, is designed to mentally torment the prisoner. Bullet-proof glass line the inside of these steel boxes, and because there is no possibility of escape, this breaks the will of many prisoners. Massey bore witness to some inmates “whigging out” by screaming, yelling, and scratching madly, in a literally insane attempt to crawl their way out of their cage, which if anything, is suggestive of an existential crisis. Heavy-duty psychiatric drugs had to be administered to these inmates, and many of them experienced the “thorazine shuffle,” where they behaved little differently than the zombies of popular cinema.

My conversations with Massey about his time as a prisoner really opened my eyes as to the degree the government is willing to go in order to exert absolute power over Americans. Massey strongly conveyed to me that the human mind is a powerful thing, and if a man can be tricked into believing that his life doesn’t belong to him, then he will feel the emptiness that comes with being the useless meat for his rulers. People who have never been forcibly incarcerated don’t value their individual liberty anywhere nearly as much as former prisoners do, yet, the sad irony is that those who have never been hurt by the beast that is the State are also the same ones who are the quickest to unfairly judge any defendant as being guilty.

If anything, Massey’s experiences in lock up have confirmed my worst fears, and then some. I don’t quite understand how America can be the “land of the free” when it simultaneously sports the highest incarceration rate in the world, exceeding that of the Chinese communists, with all of their well-documented human rights abuses, to boot. Whether Massey intended to or not, his eyewitness accounts have solidified my advocacy for prison abolition, because I fail to see how government can ever lower recidivism through so-called “retributive justice” if they can’t even provide something as basic as reliable security services, which they have no constitutional duty to provide, anyway.

Freedom Holidays: How to Reappropriate Government Mythology

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All too common during the holiday seasons, people are wracked with guilt, typically stemming from either real or imaginary transgressions. Objectivists, uniquely, have always explained that individuals should live their lives without giving sanction to emotional blackmail, even if it comes from one’s family. Is it any wonder then that libertarians wouldn’t be predisposed towards exorcism, of a kind, towards government holidays whenever they came up to the forefront of casual small talk?

 

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Freedom holidays are defined as a type of libertarian culture jamming technique whereby government mythology is undermined through reappropriation of Americana. What this means, specifically, is that by way of renaming mainstream statist holidays, American political dissidents become able to help grow an emergent society from within the shell of the old, by repurposing a government holiday towards one that is more liberty-minded. Common values like rugged individualism, the family being the most important societal unit, and the sanctity of autonomous free will (that is, self-ownership) are what, presumably, bind American libertarians under one banner of freedom.

Reappropriation can be used in a variety of ways to celebrate these freedom holidays. One rather moderate approach to do so would be to ignore only the national (that is, federal) holidays, in favor of celebrating the ones recognized by “your” state government; in my case, this would be the Texan holidays. A more abolitionist way would be to replace all government holidays with freedom holidays, wholesale. Probably the most effortless way to reappropriate statist mythology is by simply establishing brand new freedom holidays.

Examples abound regarding the existence of freedom holidays. Kal Molinet, an honorably discharged Air Force veteran who has been promoting freedom holidays for at least a few years now, began one of his vlogs by saying:

 

“Hello. My name is Kal Molinet, from Richmond, Virginia, and I am an anarchist, and today, I’d like to talk to you about Agorism [Day]. It’s a freedom holiday that we celebrate on the second Monday of September; it’s our replacement of federal statist holidays, it’s our way to reappropriate them. Not just to, of course, end that culture, but to replace it with what would exist in a free and voluntary society.”

 

Obviously, Agorism Day is the freedom holiday replacement for Labor Day, since the latter is all about worshiping trade unionism, instead of appreciating the agora (that is, the unlicensed, untaxed, and unregulated laissez-faire freed market). Molinet has already reappropriated several government mythologies into freedom holidays, as the following list demonstrates:

 

 

As you can no doubt tell, the anarchist and patriot factions will likely disagree as to which holidays should be replaced, yet, this is how reappropriating a pre-existing government “high holy day” into a freedom holiday is done.

Nationally, there are other freedom holidays that ought to be mentioned here that don’t always replace a pre-existing government one. Some have suggested that the reappropriation of Valentine’s Day into International Day of Men Going Their Own Way by the MGTOWs (who are a type of “men’s rights activists”) is an expression of self-ownership, and Lemonade Freedom Day, which appears to be held any old Saturday in August, is arguably a simplified version of Agorism Day. Other recommendations have included replacing the following national holidays as such:

 

 

If there’s anything I’ve learned thus far from the examples by Molinet, the MGTOWs, and the Lemonade Freedom advocates, it’s that freedom holiday reappropration is nothing more complicated than turning the mainstream narrative on its head, while promoting truly American values.

These freedom holidays need not be limited to the national stage, however; Texas Government Code § 662.003 also lists the Texan-only holidays. For the sake of comparing and contrasting, I’ve included not only these Texan holidays, but also potential replacements, just in case the good people of Texas ever decide to abolish the government here, pursuant to Article I § 2 of the 1876 Texas Constitution. These Texan holidays and their proposed surrogates are listed as follows:

 

 

Naturally, there can’t always be a one-to-one ratio in the sense of deliberately contradicting the government version, and in those cases, freedom holidays were included to highlight the government’s heavy handedness in other matters, such as consumer choice.

Are there any drawbacks or limitations on the use of freedom holiday reappropriation? Unfortunately, it bears mentioning that there are, in the interests of truth and fairness. Notably, the kinds of extracurricular activities one would normally expect from the mainstream versions don’t easily translate well into the freedom holidays, such as fireworks you would expect for July 4th being possibly incongruous with anarchist theory, or a Thanksgiving family dinner having anything to do with private dispute resolution. Personally, I just don’t see how being against corporal punishment encourages a familial atmosphere that recognizes the Founding Fathers (or an eager appetite, for that matter).

Far too many people hold government approved holidays as nearly sacred, yet I suspect the only reason some people even slightly care is because, simply put, they get the day off from work. Maybe you’ll decide that freedom holiday reappropriation is stupid or otherwise symbolic and therefore not practical; despite that, I would encourage all of you to ponder this technique as a likely viable option, perhaps debating amongst yourselves as to whether it’s of any worth to you, or not.

Just the other day, I myself proposed Death of America Day to be held every February 29th in a mocking gesture against conspiracy entertainment, mainly because conspiracists all too often tilt at windmills, instead of attempting to expose and circumvent statism. I’d also like to think that after constitutional government has been restored, maybe the calendar could be reset back to year one, akin to the fictional North American Confederacy, yet somehow, I doubt that will ever occur.

 

Postscript: I’d like to acknowledge and thank 11th Cav for his assistance in suggesting some of the proposed freedom holidays in preparation for this article, despite his intense aversion to becoming a “YouTube Hero.”

Announcing the “Death of America” Holiday!

Conspiracists, those individuals who consume and produce conspiracy entertainment, have exploited the alternative media for decades. By scaring their audiences senseless, these conspiracists enjoy both the notoriety and money that comes from pandering to the worst fears of the body politic, at a few cents a click. Since that does appear to the case, why not try to mitigate their influence by christening a new holiday, just for them?

Predictions are all the rage nowadays, especially from certain areas of the Internet. Christian Patriots ran a story alleging that the so-called “Islamic State” will launch a first strike nuclear attack within the next twelve months. Funny, I remember when the “North Korea wants to nuke Austin” claim was exposed as the hoax that it was; how is this any way fundamentally different from the Christian Patriots story? Perhaps conspiracists just want an excuse to senselessly scare their audiences into donating towards the black hole that is propping up Charles Dyer’s mug into yet another round of activist legal defense fund scams?

Allegedly, there’s also supposed to be a stock market crash this upcoming September, or thereabouts. I can’t help but chuckle, but I remember George Hemminger conning his audience for years about the imminent “economic collapse” that he eventually admitted he just roleplaying about. Ironic, isn’t it, that almost no one has called out Gerald Celente when he was completely wrong about the so-called “Crash of 2010” that was supposed to be the socio-economic collapse all the preppers were nearly salivating in anticipation for; as Celente likes to remind everyone, “current events inform future trends.”

The latest series of predictions all revolve around the Jade Helm 15 military exercises in the American southwest (including right here in Texas) that are set to begin on July 15th, ending on September 15th. Conspiracists showed up in force to the Bastrop County Commissioners Court (the legislative branch of that county’s government) during their town meeting this past April 27th in order to cast aspersions upon what U.S. Army Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria was presenting before that legislative body. Unless they are genuinely preparing for a Red Dawn invasion scenario now before July 15th comes to pass, libertarians such as myself are just not going to take these conspiracists seriously at all; besides, why waste time filming a depot of Humvees when you can be defending Texan ranchers instead?

What this is really about is nothing more than cartoon politics, plain and simple. These conspiracists’ intend to distract from real grievances, such as dragnet wiretapping, civil asset forfeiture, and the gradually emerging cashless society, because their goal is not to tell the truth about anything, or to help you increase your own personal freedom, but rather, to sensationalize the hell out of non-issues in order to get both their “fifteen minutes of fame,” and make a quick buck off of their gullible audiences. Although some of these conspiracists, like the Truthers, birthers, and tenthers, might sincerely have the best of intentions, they are still inadvertently paving the path to hell by unwittingly serving as pawns of the statists. This is dangerous to the rest of us who are expressing our dissent by highlighting the arbitrary and capricious nature of government itself, which does not require elaborate conspiracies, real or imagined, simply because it gives statists a convenient excuse to condescendingly belittle our legitimate grievances vis-à-vis guilt by association; what finer way is there to easily chill dissent than by fake dissent?

Naturally, there is a reasonable question to ask here, whether such fake dissent is promulgated by “guess what I know” types, or actual government lackeys? Conspiracism increases opportunity costs, because the time and effort spent on proselytizing… whatever… is time and effort squandered. Imagine if we were able to free up the time of genuine people, who care about freedom, for more productive tasks; the results would be nothing short of astounding. Committees of Safety, much?

Hard as it may be for some of you to hear, conspiracists, by and large, are just yet one more special interest group, just like the sovereign citizens, the social justice warriors, and even the so-called “men’s rights activists,” because they are all examples of controlled opposition. Absolutely none of these miscreants are allies or colleagues of mine because they are more than happy to backstab a gubernatorial candidate like Debra Medina whenever it suits their reformist agendas. Perpetuating the tall tales so common to patriot mythology only accomplishes to deceive, inveigle and obfuscate the nature of what Americans are facing during this time period.

Admittedly, there was once upon a time where I entertained and passively accepted their nonsense, because I naively believed there might be a kernel of truth to it, but I refuse to do so any longer. Conspiracists deliberately make it unnecessarily difficult for me, as well as others, to restore constitutional government, or to pursue any other productive objective. I cannot violate my conscience anymore by pandering to these manipulative Internet pundits anymore, so I figured the best comeuppance, besides ridiculing their nonsense as being antithetical to human liberty, would be to give them their own holiday.

Yes, you read that correctly – I think conspiracists absolutely deserve their own holiday, and I would like to suggest that it be held on February 29th every leap year. These conspiracy hobbyists would probably jump for a chance at holding their own “pride parades” where they get to “come out of the closet” as believers in all of this tripe. On that day held every four years, and clothed in their politically correct language, conspiracists would eagerly celebrate this or that calamity, because as nearly everyone who is mildly knowledgeable knows, conspiracists never desire a solution or mitigation for what ails the body politic, but simply an opportunity to wallow in their vision for the end of the world. Finally, I suggest this new holiday be christened “Death of America Day” (DoA Day).

There you have it. If you a conspiracist, or simply a friend or otherwise associated with one, why don’t you suggest to them that they celebrate DoA Day next February 29, 2016? That day, they may rail on about Georgia coffins, post office torture rooms, and the Philadelphia Conspiracy to their heart’s content, while leaving the rest of the time in between their holidays to the responsible adults who understand the anatomy of the State and who are doing their best to, at least, shrink government back down to its constitutional cage.

Do Americans really need another Oreo cookie to remind everyone that failed predictions are the bane of the alternative media? Hopefully, with the celebration of this new “Death of America” holiday, the conspiracists can be appeased, so that relief can be provided for the rest of us, who are actually serious about our freedoms, can get back to work doing whatever we can to secure our liberties during the 1,460 days that now have been freed up, instead of being sidelined by these circus freak side shows that statists use against libertarians as their ace up the sleeve.

Exposing the evils of the State, not by screaming bloody murder about unprovable theories, but by taking effective action to oppose those who imagine themselves to be our rulers, is the actual remedy needed to bring about a truly free society at some point, not pontificating about “Sandy Hoax” or whatever suspiciously violent event happened during this week’s news cycle.

Chilling Dissent: How Government Demonizes Americans

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“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

Martin Niemöller

One of the most effective propaganda techniques is to manifest a chilling effect through the demonization of targeted individuals. Chris Broughton was originally cast by the mainstream media as an “angry racist protester,” yet upon discovering he resembled Malcolm X noticeably more than Hal Turner, they had to change their portrayal of him to an “irresponsible gun owner.” Debra Medina was initially hailed by the alternative media as the female incarnation of Ron Paul, yet when she tried to avoid explicitly supporting the 9/11 Truth movement, the Truthers and their ringleader, Alex Jones, cast her as a “flip-flopper” soon after her infamous interview with Glenn Beck, regardless of the fact that she was deliberately attempting to focus solely on Texan political issues instead of commingling them with national ones.

Statists favor the use of censorship, intimidation, SLAPP lawsuits, and malicious prosecutions in order to stifle our common freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and petition, which are explicitly recognized by the several American constitutions. According to the First and Tenth Amendments to the United States Constitution of 1787:

 

“Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

 

What this tells us is that the national legislature is clearly forbidden to enact any laws that violate the exercise of those liberties. Since we are also implicitly told by the Tenth Amendment to consider the relevant state constitution, let us now consult Article I §§ 8, 27, & 29 under the Texas Constitution of 1876:

 

“Every person shall be at liberty to speak, write or publish his opinions on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that privilege; and no law shall be passed curtailing the liberty of speech or of the press.”

“The citizens shall have the right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble together for their common good; and apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances or other purposes, by petition, address or remonstrance.”

“To guard against transgressions of the high powers herein delegated, we declare that everything in this ‘Bill of Rights’ is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain violate, and all laws contrary thereto, or to the following provisions, shall be void.”

 

So, we have a constitutional situation here in America whereby expression of a man’s thoughts are considered sacrosanct in the law, and cannot be abridged or curtailed by either the U.S. Congress or the Texas Legislature. If men freely choose to collectively gather together in order to express themselves, that too is sacred, much like the right to keep and bear arms.

The Omnibus Crime Control & Safe Streets Act of 1968, aka, the “Wiretap Statute,” formed the bedrock statutory legislation for all intelligence on criminals. In 2001, both the USA PATRIOT Act and the Aviation & Transportation Security Act were passed; the former permitted the government to warrantlessly search bank statements, medical records, and even your library borrowing history, whereas the latter created the now dreaded Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Following Amerithrax, the Homeland Security Act of 2002 gave more power to the Office of Homeland Security by “upgrading” it to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which is concomitantly headed by a cabinet secretary. Thankfully, the Violent Radicalization & Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 gloriously failed, although it shouldn’t be ignored that the Congress sincerely tried to criminalize so-called “homegrown terrorism,” a term so vague at the time that its applicability would easily include those constitutionally recognized activities mentioned earlier.

Federal judicial case precedent is blatantly clear about the legality of personal expression, especially political free speech. The United States Supreme Court’s decision in Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 US 444 (1969) explicitly spells out that mere discussion, or even advocacy, of the people exercising their common right of revolution is constitutionally recognized political expression under the Free Speech and Free Press clauses within the First Amendment, with the only proviso being that said advocacy not threateningly identify any particular individual, and not incite unlawful actions quickly. Now, although the Brandenburg decision should be a suitable defense against all charges of either sedition or seditious libel, because of the lack of incitement, I am hesitant to say whether the case law would suggest it might work should a defendant be charged with conspiracy.

Despite the constitutionality of political expression, the government willfully engages in pigeon-holing American dissidents for “thought crimes” by their political targeting campaigns through the use of defamation, libel, and slander. The copious documentation available to the press and the public about the “intelligence” reports issued by the fusion centers unquestionably demonstrate the government’s ubiquitous attempts at criminalizing dissent primarily through guilt by association, just as in a police lineup. Law enforcement officers are brainwashed by DHS’s scenario training, which encourages their paranoia about the American citizenry. Government police are deceived by the troves of misinformation that play on their inclination to fantasize about catching “the big one,” thereby making them highly susceptible to the Jack Bauer Syndrome. The result of all this government-sponsored defamation is nothing less than the manifestation of a chilling effect through demonization.

Unjust dissident profiling and labeling is not only arbitrary, but also factually incorrect. Whether it be by way of profiling specific behavior as indicative of the “signs of terrorism,” or the regular use of fallacious arguments, the incessant portrayal of American dissidents as criminal malcontents is really beyond the pail. Anyone initially declared an “unlawful enemy combatant” by the Bush White House was legally considered to be so under § 948a(1) within the Military Commissions Act of 2006, although this was meaninglessly changed to “unprivileged enemy belligerent” under § 948a(7) within the Military Commissions Act of 2009, since both terms entailed “material support,” a concept that is ever expanding beyond its purported meaning, which was originally limited to jihadists.

Speaking of fallacious arguments, the government and their corporate partners appear to enjoy using the ad hominem and straw man fallacies without hesitation. The constitutionalist patriot faction is routinely labeled as “anti-government,” despite their public advocacy for restoring constitutional government (that is, the early American republics within these United States). This same political faction is also regularly accused of being “racist” or “racially supremacist,” despite the fact that there is nothing to suggest in what Justices Miller and Moody wrote in the 1872 In Re Slaughter-House Cases and 1908 Twining v. New Jersey decisions, respectively, that race is even relevant to state citizenship at all. Less common name-calling over the years has included, “radical,” “enabler,” and “tax rebel.”

Probably the most commonly used defamatory label used by the State these days is “extremist.” This is rather curious, for up until recently, the closest definition for “extremism” was that there was no objective definition, yet a leaked Department of Defense military scenario training document provided this definition:

 

“Extremism [is a] term used to describe the actions or ideologies of individuals or groups who take a political idea to its limits, regardless of unfortunate repercussions, and show intolerance toward all views other than their own.”

 

If I didn’t know any better, I’d suggest that the military’s definition of “extremism” describes the GOP and the so-called “democrat” political parties accurately, but I digress. Unfortunately, this is a tad problematic when you consider that the Congressional Research Service described the term “extremist” as being deliberately vague so that the government can enjoy prosecutorial flexibility in charging defendants for terroristic actions without having to formally charge them with actual terrorism. When Larken Rose, an avowed anarchist, was labeled an “extremist” by a YouTube user who claimed he was a policeman, I’m sure you can begin to appreciate the seriousness of the mere accusation itself, although thankfully, a joint intelligence bulletin by DHS and FBI issued last month (on April 16th of 2015) finally defined, after all these years, what “domestic extremism” means:

 

“Domestic extremism [is defined as] individuals present in the United States who seek to further political or social goals, wholly or in part, through unlawful acts of force or violence. The mere advocacy of political or social positions, political activism, use of strong rhetoric, or generalized philosophic embrace of violent tactics may not constitute extremism, and may be constitutionally protected.” [emphasis added]

 

How very revealing this newest definition is, isn’t it? Suffice it to say, the government appears to be backpedaling by narrowing the definition after the fact, much like they did with “terrorism.” So, according to the new DHS/FBI definition, not only does extremism necessarily require actual committed acts of violence, but also that the mere advocacy of such techniques is constitutionally recognized, presumably via the 1969 Brandenburg case. Should Larken Rose, as well as the patriot faction, be expecting apologies from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the Homeland Security Advisory Group, the United States Coast Guard, the Federal Protective Service, the United States Military Academy at West Point, or Demos, among other entities, for their systematic demonization of American political dissidents?

This begs the question, though, as to the role of civil disobedience, or perhaps, civil defiance, in light of this newest understanding by what the federal government means by “extremism.” Would Saul Alinksy’s radicals be considered extremist? Alinsky is constantly mentioning throughout his primer about the “revolutionary organizers,” yet I cannot find a black bloc keying cars or bashing in storefront windows anywhere in the text. Would Gene Sharp’s revolutionaries be considered extremist? Again, it’s not as if they are shooting cops anytime soon, so I’m going to assume that even calling them “revolutionaries” is intellectually dishonest. Fascinatingly enough, the removal of the barricades in front of the World War II Memorial during the last government shutdown by WWII veterans, as well as the Cattle Unrustling a little over a year ago in Nevada, were “nonviolently” peaceful, despite the fact they were both acts of civil defiance.

Let us now examine a rather unique case study where said unjust government profiling was used to essentially balkanize and dismantle civic groups. For fiscal year 2012, the New Hampshire Department of Safety applied for a federal grant in the amount of $258,024 for a Lenco BearCat, which is literally an armored personnel carrier. Within the application was this description of New Hampshire’s “terrorism” problem:

 

“The State of New Hampshire’s experience with terrorism slants primarily towards the domestic type. We are fortunate that our State has not been victimized from a mass casualty event from an international terrorism strike however on the domestic front, the threat is real and here. Groups such as the Sovereign Citizens, Free Staters, and Occupy New Hampshire are active and present daily challenges. Outside of the officially organized groups, there are several homegrown clusters that are anti-government and pose problems for law enforcement agencies.”

 

This spurred justifiable outrage, such as the Thanks But No Tanks campaign, simply because the NH Department of Safety profiled the Occupiers, sovereigns, and Free State Project (FSP) members as domestic terrorists, without any evidence or probable cause to sincerely believe any of them have engaged in any criminal activity whatsoever. Once Christopher Cantwell explained the rationale as to why statists would want to use APCs against Free Staters, the Free State Project Board of Trustees quickly purged him from their organization, without any consultation from the rank and file membership of the FSP. The subsequent fallout from this has been the adoption of the mainstream media term “violence advocate,” by such alternative media outlets like Free Talk Live (FTL), to describe any political dissident who simply reminds the public at-large of their common right, and even duty, of revolution. Ironically, this politically correct thought policing by the FSP and FTL directly contradicts not only § 627:4 of the New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated, but also Articles 2-a & 10 within the New Hampshire Constitution of 1784, which say, respectively, that:

 

“All persons have the right to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves, their families, their property and the state.”

“Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.” [emphasis added]

 

As you can no doubt tell by now, this peacenik agenda by the FSP & FTL is rather, well, anti-libertarian, because these pacifists are using the non sequitur fallacy by insinuating that self-defense implicitly endorses revolution. Individuals who live by the non-aggression principle understand that the deontological burden of proof is much higher for revolution than for self-defense, and the Texan equivalent of NH’s constitution and statutes on this matter lie in Article I §§ 2 & 23 of the Texas Constitution and in the Texas Penal Code §§ 9.31 – 9.33, especially § 9.31(c). This ongoing attempt by the FSP & FTL to drive a wedge between libertarians and the patriots is nothing short of utterly disgusting; whether or not the FSP & FTL are controlled opposition, or are just very useful idiots playing their role according to the Hegelian Dialectic formula, does not matter much, because I think the effects of this peacenik rhetoric speaks for itself in terms of chilling dissent, thereby doing the work of the State for them.

Alarmingly, the very accuracy of the government’s profiling of dissidents, whenever it’s not being deceptively vague, is always methodologically skewed. Fictional predictive programming elements, in movies like Minority Report or television shows like the anime Psycho-Pass, give the impression that the government is omniscient because of its precognitive capabilities. This entire notion of “precrime” is a blatant abuse of mens rea, because it presumes that mere potential criminal intent, absent any criminal action, is sufficient for prosecution by the State. Actual criminal profiling is always done on an individual basis, not collectively (as DHS is all too eager and fond of doing) Actual profiling is very labor intensive in terms of gathering and sorting the evidence, and even then, only specially trained profilers have any sort of real accuracy in constructing offender profiles, above and beyond that of the comparable accuracy of college students, psychologists, and even homicide detectives.

Unfortunately, it’s not just the State that is unjustly profiling dissidents, but also non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as well. The Militia Watchdog by the, ironically titled, Anti-Defamation League (who exist only to defame others), and Meet the Patriots by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), showcase different enemies lists whose purpose is to illustrate specific examples of their political opposition. Personally, I have zero problems with the whole concept of drafting an enemies list for other reasons; what I do have a problem with here is the fact that these NGOs are deliberately lying to the government about said dissidents in the blatantly obvious attempt to sic the King’s guards upon all of them. The SPLC itself is nothing more than a huge scam that was begun by Morris Dees in the admitted attempt to make money by any means possible, as evidenced in part by locals in Montgomery, Alabama describing the SPLC’s headquarters as the “Poverty Palace.” Interestingly enough, it would seem as if the SPLC only backpedaled with regards to their portrayal of Dr. Ben Carson, albeit half-heartedly. Bigotry, much?

Another key aspect of this whole mess is the government’s insistence on “policy” over that of the law. Nearly everything, when it comes to the notorious hoax that is the so-called Global War on Terror, is about “national security policy,” not criminal law or even the Congress’s enumerated power in granting letters of marque and reprisal to privateers in order to attack and capture these elusive “terrorists,” just as if they were the Barbary pirates during the early American republic. Instead of following the legal remedies available to the Congress that are clearly enumerated in the federal Constitution, they have chosen instead to construct this elaborate illusion of security theater throughout much of the federal bureaucracy where due process is routinely denied and the malicious prosecution of individuals such as Larry Myers, Robert Beecher, and Kevin Massey is the “new normal,” not the exception.

Some detractors at this point might question, why should they care if they or others are unjustly profiled by the government, presumptuously skeptical that these attempts at chilling dissent are only practically effective if they are actually enforced. Consider, for a moment, national defense projects such as C3CM, or the TSA’s Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) microexpressive profiling method, the latter of which the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommended SPOT be scrapped. Those fusion centers with the inaccurate “intelligence” I mentioned earlier, which were recommended by the 9/11 Commission to facilitate “intelligence sharing,” exist today in the form of the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Texas Fusion Center, which comes under the auspices of the Regional Organized Crime Information Center (ROCIC) that is one of the Regional Information Sharing Systems (RISS) administered by none other than the BJA, much to the chagrin of religious clergy here in Texas.

Enforcement is not only limited to integrated databases and Stasi-styled behavioral detection police checkpoints. Police militarization includes not just the “armoring up” of officers, as evidenced by the earlier referenced BearCat case study, but also the use of Visible Intermodal Prevention & Response (VIPER) teams in Tampa and Atlanta, the dangerously violent midnight raids to enforce narcotics prohibition, and the military’s treatment of protesting as “low-level terrorism.” Whether it’s the U.S. Army Reserve conducting surveillance on End the Fed protestors, or the NYPD turning Pier 57 into a temporary concentration camp, the takeaway here is that the State has a multitude of enforcement options to use once they’ve profiled you as an American dissident.

Of course, the enforcement need not be as draconian as being killed by drone strikes like a Pakistani, simply because the government could just blacklist or incarcerate you on a whim. TSA’s infamous No Fly List has banned young children from flying on commercial jets, yet the No Fly List was also promoted to become a No Gun Buy list by Rahm Emanuel on the premise that your right to keep and bear arms should also be canceled, regardless of the incompetent “mistakes” TSA gets routinely caught doing.

More insidious enforcement necessarily uses Soviet tactics to identify, search, and capture the politically undesirables in question. The advanced imaging technology TSA was using to scan the naked bodies of nearly all passengers, was just exploiting the airports as laboratory beta-testing, for what they want to use everywhere else with the mobile x-ray scanners and their handheld equivalent. DHS’s initial promotion of the Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST) featured asking stupid questions about copyright infringement while also using biometric facial recognition to scan the hapless citizen for behavioral clues of “malintent,” as if it were a high-tech version of TSA’s SPOT.

Those fusion centers, yet again, come back into play for their role in attempting to profile dissidents as being gang members, pursuant to Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 61.02, Texas Penal Code § 71.01(d), and even 28 CFR §§ 23.1 – 23.4, whose authorizing legislation was none other than the infamous 1968 Wiretap Statute, all of which was admitted by the Texas DPS’ TXGANG database overview. Greenmail, much?

Involuntary commitment laws are still legal here in Texas, pursuant to Article I § 15-a of the Texas Constitution, and the Texas Health & Safety Code Ch. 573, 574, & § 571.020. If you express your political dissent on Facebook like Brandon Raub did, then just don’t be surprised when you get whisked away by the government police off to the American version of the Psikhushka.

A few more thoughts on surveillance and enforcement before moving on to mitigation options. Fake online users hired by the government to harass or entrap you is only viable if you leave behind a noticeable digital footprint. Efforts at data-mining your voter files or other metadata is useful only insofar as it increases the predicative ability of the government to anticipate future trends accurately. As United States Attorney Ann Tompkins said regarding Bernard von NotHaus’ Liberty Dollar:

 

“Attempts to undermine the legitimate currency of this country are simply a unique form of domestic terrorism. While these forms of anti-government activities do not involve violence, they are every bit as insidious and represent a clear and present danger to the economic stability of this country. We are determined to meet these threats through infiltration, disruption, and dismantling of organizations which seek to challenge the legitimacy of our democratic form of government.”

 

Putting aside the very high degree of cognitive dissonance imposed by that very Orwellian and self-contradictory language by Tompkins, this is exactly what happens when lawyers use vague and ill-defined definitions for words like “terrorism.” It is precisely because of this irrational blind obedience to illusory authority that has led to these ongoing attempts at chilling dissent.

How might it be possible to reign in these tyrannical excesses of government, which directly violate our freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and petition? The answer to security theater is security culture. Hard as it may be to hear, the fact of the matter is that due to the nature of our overall political situation, you and I might as well be kulaks in Soviet Russia or Parisians in occupied France. Civil liberties are, quite frankly, a sick joke, so unless you find yourself in court, despite your attempts to avoid litigation using the tattered vestiges of American republicanism as part of your defense, screaming bloody murder at the airport about constitutional infringements will get you nowhere.

Many people have their own ideas about how to make security culture work. For instance, Bruce Schneier has recommended thinking of security itself as a trifecta of feelings, model, & reality, by which he means our emotional attitude, rational conception, and the objective facts regarding security, ideally bringing our emotions and concepts of security towards what is actually happening to us objectively. What I enjoy about Schneier’s trifecta is that I can extrapolate it out to mean that the government’s security theater is completely skewed because all of its feelings about risks are grossly disconnected from reality, besides the fact that its models are based on feelings and not reason. This is why I believe security theater to be the polar opposite of security culture.

Security culture also entails the use of practical techniques for minimizing threats by adversaries. Aton Edwards has counseled his audience to never underestimate the power of disinformation, by which he means using false information against your adversaries. For instance, driving an inconspicuous car, or using other low-profile techniques, might just make the difference as to whether you are going to have to use the skills you’ve practiced from role-playing police interrogations. Learning what the specific characteristics are that the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) and BJA are looking for in what they consider to be “suspicious behavior” or “signs of terrorism” will give you a leg up in determining whether you want to antagonize or avoid government police. Better yet, just keeping your own counsel and using believable legends will save you a lot of heartache.

An almost untouched upon element of using security culture in order to sidestep the chilling effect by the State is the secured archival of one’s records. Whether it be by way of encrypted online cloud storage or physical media such as an external hard disk, USB memory sticks, or burnable CDs & DVDs, the fact of the matter is that should your computers be seized or hacked into, you need mirrored spares of your most important files (probably with file encryption to boot). Chilling dissent can be something just as simple as coercively depriving you of your records through subpoena or seizure, so having both digital and paper copies of the same information, preferably in different locations, is definitely something to consider.

While most people could easily begin incorporating security culture into their own lives gradually, there is also a lifestyle choice you could make that is consistent with living off-the-grid. The vonu strategy is the epitome of what some libertarians have called “Going Galt,” where instead of willful apathy, you become purposefully invisible. Practitioners of this strategy believe that the best way to avoid being coerced is to remove yourself from all influences of coercion; this could be done by living in a semi-nomadic way, using mail drops, pseudonyms, crypto-currencies, bartering, or even as a perpetual traveler, all the while abstaining from engaging in activities requiring licensure. Tom Marshall is usually credited with coining the term, and it would also appear that he began following his own advice ever since 1974, when he literally disappeared.

Heading off misconceptions before they rise, I’d like to point out that security culture is not limited to being a “lone wolf” affair by any means. Formulating an “arrest plan” entails having at least one person you implicitly trust on the outside who’d be your single point of contact should you need anything, such as access to the press. People interested in organizing along the lines of leaderless resistance must implement security culture for their affinity group, regardless of whether such affinity takes the form of a security team or a private defense agency. The reason why American patriots like Kevin Massey and William Wolf got persecuted by the federal government the way that they did is because they both had terrible security culture; if monkey-wrenchers can perform their operations successfully most of the time without getting caught, shouldn’t we at least consider the possibility that they take security culture much more seriously than the patriot faction?

In order for the State’s program of chilling dissent to work, they must identify, isolate, and eliminate perceived threats to their alleged legitimacy; what this means is that they cannot eliminate whom they cannot isolate, and they cannot isolate whom they cannot identify. Therefore, their tyrannical designs necessarily requires relentlessly undermining their attempts at identification. As I have admitted before on at least a few occasions, the name “Kyle Rearden” is just my current nome de plume, and in that respect is similar to my previous alias. However, this is not just a pragmatic choice I made, but it is also a principled rejection of my legalized slave name, in much the same way Malcolm X did with his name. I mention this yet again only to stress the fact that if we all are to secure our liberties again, implementing privacy safeguards ought to be an indispensible element in order to avoid becoming susceptible to the temptation of allowing our dissent to be chilled.

 

Postscript: I’d like to extend a special thanks to Shane Radliff of Liberty Under Attack for graciously hosting all of the original source material I used in preparation for this article. Should you want to learn more nuanced details about how the government profiles dissenters, then I would encourage you to download and read all of the documents and videos from LUA’s profiling archive.

When Men Become Truly Free

This poem, by Colin Ryan, does not just contain a wonderful message, but is also a terrific example of when people are free to copy and remix the media of others. Des Brittain narrated Ryan’s poem, and Charlie Veitch used Brittain’s narration in one of his short films. SentientMind used his CGI and video editing skills to make a music video using The xx’s Intro,” which he said was inspired by Veitch’s film. For a brief explanation on why more libertarians over time are opposing the statist monopoly concept of so-called  “intellectual property,” please watch Copying is Not Theft.”

 

There comes a time in the lives of men

When the ruthless and the criminally insane

Who rule the masses for their own gain

Make the fatal mistake of enjoying too much

Their psychopathic entertainment

They lose control in their lust for blood

And take too far their need to tread men down

By destroying any sense of a secure life

And taking away each and every freedom

Stealing the last piece of wealth they possess

So they cannot even care for their own

Stifling their voice with laws and corruption

Beating them down with rule by force

Where no justice exists for those being played

And there is no direction left for men to turn

When this insane game is taken this far

Comes the time when men have nothing left to lose

This is the time when the minds of men are freed

It is a time when man loses his fear of death

This is the time when a man becomes invincible

He becomes free to do whatever he must do

Without fear for his life or for his future

He will take control of the destiny of the world

Away from the bloodied hands of the soulless

Any action he takes he will take with a surety

That he must do something for he has no future

So the act he chooses will be all the greater

For when faced with oblivion and with no way out

He will take down as many of his oppressors with him

Gladly die in a selfless act to change the world’s future

This day is coming soon as it always does

The perverse minds of evil always self destruct

As their addiction to our suffering can never be sated

Exerting control for their paranoia and fear of men

For every good man will take down these brutes

Every free man will give up himself for his brothers

For a man with nothing left becomes fully empowered

And he is the most unassailable weapon against evil

This IS What The Government Is!

Today’s meme explicitly shows the inherently coercive nature of government itself. Although Cathy Reisenwitz and Marianne Copenhaver were trying to satirically discourage libertarians from reminding people about the anatomy of the State, I think their parody could be taken to mean that is exactly how we should talk to people about ethics, voluntarism, and the evils of the State. Original image attribution taken from thelibertarienne’s “How NOT to Talk to People About Liberty.”

This is what the government is, this is what it does to people

FREEDOM!?

If you haven’t yet readAdam Kokesh Gets Arrested…Yet Again,” “Armed Marches, Free Speech, & Legal Entanglements: The Kokesh Connection,” andThe Activist Legal Defense Fund Scam,” please do so first before continuing. This article is, more or less, the concluding installment to my series about Adam Kokesh.

 

 

After the fallout caused by loading a shotgun within the District of Columbia’s Freedom Plaza, Adam Kokesh seems to have moved from his raided home in Herndon, Virginia all the way out to Los Angeles, California. Despite apparently changing girlfriends from Carey Wedler (who, besides his father Charles, was the only real family who was actually supportive of him while he was incarcerated, and who was also described by Kokesh himself as “the best girlfriend ever”) to “Macey,” Kokesh decided to write a book and promote the hell out of it. By finally committing his rhetoric to paper, the rest of us libertarians can actually begin figuring out what exactly Kokesh has been promoting this whole time.

Right off the cuff, Kokesh advocates for non-aggression and self-ownership as the core libertarian principles, but I don’t think he ever quite defined his terms, so I’ll do what he should have done, now. Libertarianism is the only political philosophy that upholds human liberty as its highest value; this is expressed by its twin moral precepts of the non-aggression principle and the self-ownership axiom. The non-aggression principle absolutely forbids all coercion and initiatory force; the self-ownership axiom justifies the existence of the free market by upholding individual property rights. Every political grievance can have its authenticity judged by whether one or both of these ethical principles are being violated; hence, these twin principles not only compliment each other as a duality, but also serve as the primary yardstick by which to gauge the quality of freedom in our own lives.

Similarly, Kokesh denigrates government, but alas, he again fails to define his terms. Government (or “the State,” if you prefer) is the only social institution that enjoys a coercive monopoly on the initiation of force. By existing in a completely different moral sphere from the one you and I inhabit, government is the only entity that is allowed to perform actions, that, if you or I did, would not only be illegal for us to do, but also downright immoral. In order for the rulers to maintain their hegemony over the population long-term, the State must perpetuate this illusion about itself that it is somehow serving some useful function to us in the attempt to justify its very legitimacy.

As you can no doubt tell by this point, the entire fanciful notion of government is inherently anti-libertarian, because it sanctions all violence committed by its agents while simultaneously condemning nearly all violence used by the population at-large. Besides this, the State is also inherently anti-propertarian, since it declares that in order to provide their monopolistic service of secured property rights (via legitimate property acquisition and titling), they must first blatantly violate said property rights above and beyond your consent, through such acts as civil forfeiture, taxation, and inflation. Statism, interestingly enough, is the faith placed in the (alleged) universal beneficence of government, as can be evidenced by the fact that you and I are ruled under the divine right of bureaucrats and their lawyers, which is an extension of the foundational concept that “the King can do no wrong.”

Kokesh mishandled the concept of patriotism so much so that it was impressively bad. Randolph Bourne correctly described the idea of a nation or country as being a somewhat looser aggregate of humans who possess similar traits, such as a common language; this is what constitutes the backbone of the patriot, that is, an individual who has a special fondness for said country, not blind obedience to the State, as Kokesh would have you believe patriotism entails. Whether or not voluntary collectivism, as that espoused by syndicalists and even mutualists, is desirable at all, is a separate consideration altogether.

Adam’s treatment of technology is also quite problematic, in that, unless I am misunderstanding him, he seems to want to have his cake and eat it too. For instance, Kokesh says:

 

“Governments are often empowered by technology in ways the public is not, sometimes secretly. Technology has allowed governments to be far more destructive that they would be without it. In many ways, technology is now empowering us to challenge government power. As long as we are susceptible to the racket, available technology will determine the nature of the oppression, but eventually technology will empower the general population to demand self-government and render the psychological roots of statism irrelevant.”

 

How is that possible? Stefan Molyneux has previously argued that because the free market produced so much abundant wealth under a limited government (some of which included better developed technologies), the State would inevitably break its constitutional cage and reassert itself as the inhuman monster that it is; therefore, even if constitutional government were restored, all that would be gained is rewinding the clock back to 1787 (or 1860) and having the same situation we’ve suffered in our lifetimes roll forward very similarly against our progeny. Consider the following also:

 

“While there is the underlying curve of all technological development, we can now see it following the development of computing power, which follows a clear exponential curve…[j]ust using technology automatically leads to individual empowerment and will inevitably lead to greater freedom. Unfortunately, governments have always known this and sought to control technology. They have spent obscene amounts of money to ensure their technological capabilities are always one step ahead of the rest of us…[a]ll technology is fundamentally empowering. The only question is to whom and to what ends…[w]e can see some technologies on the horizon and predict their impact. Cryptocurrency or other decentralized money will render government money irrelevant.”

 

Is Kokesh trying to say that technology is a double-edged sword, and as such, is morally neutral, since it can be used for good or evil? Kokesh goes onto list examples of different applications of technology to either free or enslave people, but I get the impression that he wants to argue here that technological development is fundamentally a good thing, regardless of its application. If my inference here is correct, then how does he explain the use of biometrics as the enforcement mechanism for the cashless society? Or how about how the Bitcoin Foundation had a behind the scenes, closed-door meeting with several of the alphabet soup boys about not only Bitcoin’s protocol, but also the “regulatory challenges” the bureaucrats will experience? Look, I’m sure Mr. Kokesh meant well, and had the best of intentions, but I don’t see how his rhetoric would be persuasive to much of anybody, much less deep ecologists or freegans. Transhumanism, much?

Speaking of Molyneux, it would also appear as if Kokesh has been swept up in the rhetoric of so-called “peaceful parenting.” He says:

 

“Most governments create a legal framework around the idea that children are the property of their parents or at least are not fully people until they attain an arbitrary age or legal status. This reinforces the idea that rights are merely privileges to be given or taken away by an authority. While parents take on a certain responsibility as caregiver, they have no right to deny the will of a child to the extent it is properly expressed. Parents are not justified in using government to help them enforce their false ownership of a child. Children know when they are being treated like property and tend to resist it. The best parents are those who raise their children with an understanding of the great responsibility of parenthood and establish relationships based on understanding and respect, rather than the threat of force.”

 

This is rather misleading, as Kokesh appears to have committed the sin of misplaced emphasis. When people beget children, they hung around their own neck the obligation of raising them, simply because they directly participated in creating their very lives (to put it delicately). Parents are the guardians, not the owners, of their children, and as such must respect individual self-ownership (just as libertarians do); however, until those children become adults, their exercise of free will must necessarily be curtailed. Don’t get me wrong, I will concede to Kokesh that age of consent and truancy laws are bullshit, yet, he is obfuscating that fact in order to argue that parents are somehow complicit with the State in oppressing their own flesh and blood. Although this may be true in statist families, it is most certainly not true universally, and Mr. Kokesh should know better than to falsely collectivize parents in this manner. He goes on to say:

 

“The most important thing you can do as a parent is ensure that your relationship with your child respects their personhood. As we better understand parenting, we can eliminate the use of force as a tempting, but counterproductive, technique to influence our children’s behavior. But truly respecting and nurturing a fellow human means much more than not spanking them…[w]hen a parent hits a child, they often forget the physical nature of the relationship from the child’s perspective and just how intimidating they can be. This also warps a child’s view of authority. The use of violent language, yelling, and anger can have the same effect and teach children the same destructive habits. Parents should use reason and logic to influence the decisions of their children and use force only when immediately required for their safety.” [emphasis added]

 

Ah, another falsehood to debunk. Well, just because parents chose to beget children, does not therefore mean children are equal in status to adults. Yes, they are human, and yes, they enjoy the same natural liberty you and I do. What is missing from this equation is the social contract between parents and children, just as there is a social contract between spouses. Although the involuntary position of the child with regards to his parents is blatantly obvious, what is deceptively being pushed here is an “egalitarian” agenda to undermine parental rights by asserting that children are entitled to handouts because they are “victims.”

Put another way, children, just like adults, only enjoy negative liberty, that is, the freedom to not be arbitrarily punished for their actions. Thus, any housing, food, education, and any other goods or services bestowed on the child by the parent is simply nothing other than a debt incurred when the parent in question reproduced, yet even this is primarily limited to the nature of their relationship being a temporary guardianship. Once the child has demonstrated the maturity of an adult, regardless of whether his age be 12 or 25 years old, the two individuals in question now enjoy something resembling an “equal” relationship, especially with regards to its voluntariness. The reciprocal obligations between parent and child, that is, a duty of upbringing in exchange for a duty of obedience, is not entirely unreasonable or inequitable, especially on behalf of the child, in the absence of coercion by the parent. Obviously, I cannot further explain other details, such as the use of spanking, or the unholy alliance between the “peaceful parents” and the “men’s rights advocates,” this briefly, but suffice it to say (for now) that I think John Locke got it right.

To be fair, though, Kokesh’s manifesto does have its good aspects. For instance, his economic analysis of central banking, minimum wage, and unionism were refreshing. I particularly enjoyed what he said about those “public” utilities:

 

“In many places, governments don’t operate utility monopolies themselves, but license corporations to enjoy monopoly privileges. It is just as true about electricity and water as it is about anything else: a monopoly policy that limits competition by force will lead to underserved customers. They will pay more and services will be worse. Nowhere is corporatism stronger than in highly-regulated ‘free’ markets for infrastructure, and this is where some of the worst corporate abuse happens. During period of high demand, utilities run or regulated by governments often force rationing of critical services when a free market would respond to that demand with increased supply.”

 

Kokesh really nailed it on the head there. According to conservative statists, their conception of the “free market” is little else other than fascism, which is what Kokesh described here quite well. An actual free(d) market would be laissez-faire, not composed of miles of bureaucratic red-tape holding back the creative potential of entrepreneurs to innovate. Good explanations were also offered by him on a variety of other political grievances as well, such as public schooling, coercive medical insurance, narcotics prohibition, environmental regulations, intellectual property, and the welfare state.

The attitude Kokesh expresses about his desire for the abolition of the State is completely not surprising. Regarding the patriot faction, Kokesh says:

 

“When advocating for freedom or educating those around us, it is important to stay true to core principles. If we argue for the fantasy of limited government, we are promoting at least limited injustice, which is still promoting injustice. One approach when discussing these issues with people close to us is to personalize government violence. It helps people understand the immorality of what they are advocating when we can put their positions in terms of individual implications. Every time they advocate for government, they are suggesting that some form of violence be used against us for disagreeing.” [emphasis added]

 

Well, even I have to admit, he does have a viable point there. As I implied in my fictional story, An Allegory of the Freedom Train, there is a very strong temptation by the patriot faction, at some point once they’re successful, to bring the other friendly factions under their rule. As the anarchist faction has correctly pointed out time and again, the most significant problem with the patriots’ grand strategy of restoring constitutional government is that at some point, the “rule of law” will be re-imposed by the new American Republic at the point of the sword. Unless the patriots are willing to compromise by allowing the friendly anarchist faction to “go their own way,” as it were, then I don’t see either of them peacefully coexisting should the patriots defeat the federal government, because minarchists are “frenemies of the State.” Personally, I think my proposed business model for defending Texan ranchers can help smooth this over to the point where a compromise can be eventually agreed to, but for the foreseeable future, I’m pretty cynical unless both of these factions get their act together for the cause of liberty. Interestingly, Kokesh also promotes agorism:

 

“Every time we create a relationship free of force, violence, and coercion, we are helping to build a freer world. When those relationships are deliberately conducted outside the government’s ability to inject violence through taxation, legislation, or other means of control, we are practicing agorism. The term agorism comes from the ancient Greek word for an open marketplace, ‘agora.’ Governments try to demonize agorist activity as the ‘black market,’ but that is only because they want our trade to occur where they can control and tax it, in their coercion-dominated ‘white market.’ Agorism comes naturally to anyone who can see its tangible benefits. To achieve a voluntary society, agorism will be essential to building the economic structures that will help us wean ourselves from governments. While we might be tempted by flashier activism, reaching out to those closest to us and in our communities is most important.” [emphasis added]

 

Agorism deserves to be examined in more detail based on its merits, but I will mention briefly here that agorism is defined as the practice of discretely civilly disobeying the government’s edicts by trading in the black and grey markets based on the counter-economic principle of exchanging risk for profit (the more risk, the more profit, and vice versa). What is rather ironic here is that Kokesh is promoting something that must be done quietly with excellent security culture, despite the fact that Kokesh himself gained notoriety for practicing brazen civil disobedience by stunts such as dancing at the Jefferson Memorial. Perhaps Kokesh has learned his lesson?

Adam Kokesh’s FREEDOM! is, rather, well, only useful for brand new people; otherwise it’s an exercise of “preaching to the choir,” much like Murray Rothbard’s For a New Liberty. I don’t know about you, but the libertarian echo chamber can be deafening at times. As Kokesh remarked:

 

“Sometimes for worse, but overall much more often for better, the anonymity of the internet allows us to say things we might be afraid to say ‘in real life.’ The therapeutic effect of this cannot be underestimated as millions have already benefited from support communities that were impossible before the internet. We can challenge the status quo in ways never imagined and speak without fear of retribution. This should inspire us to be more conscious consumers of information. Governments depend on lies and deception to maintain their rackets, but now, we have the ‘truth button’ at our fingertips!” [emphasis added]

 

I’m pretty sick of this rhetoric that the alternative media is infallible, despite all the evidence to the contrary. If anything, there is more misinformation and disinformation available than that pushed by corporate media; however, all this means is that it is our individual duty to sift the wheat from the chaff, no matter which special interests decry us, their opponents, as “government agents” for doing so.

In conclusion, you may be interested in also reading Matthew Reece’s rather glowing review of FREEDOM!, as well as Kokesh’s 12 easy steps for shamelessly promoting his book, should that strike your fancy. Personally, I’d recommend you read actual libertarian literature instead of this tripe, such as Lysander Spooner’s Vices are Not Crimes, Frédéric Bastiat’s The Law, and Étienne de La Boétie’s The Politics of Obedience. They contain better quality content without all the baggage that Kokesh, unfortunately, brings to the table. I take no joy in pointing this out, as I have done before about Mark Dice’s flip-flopping, or the fact that the suffragettes and the “civil rights movement” were just convenient patsies for the State. The only solace I can take away from all this is that I now know that I can get on with my life knowing I gave this Patriot Rockstar more than a fair shake, so I truly hope this review of his manifesto lays all questions to rest as to whether he is worth a minute of your precious time.