A (Necessarily Anti-State) Christmas Message

Christmas brings wonderment, and a sense of a future yet unfolded.  We practice gratitude, as therapy, sometimes fearfully, and occasionally, with quiet joy.  There is uncertainty all around us, and we crave certainty –  not the certainty of death and destruction – but rather the reliable and certain comfort of feeling blessed, in a blessed world.

What we are seeing today doesn’t look very blessed.  The United States Congress that supposedly represents us under Constitutional guidelines, just voted to fund and grow the US war machine, to fund overseas destruction beyond anything we have seen since we were scorching the jungle and destroying whole villages in Vietnam in the name of fighting communism…

Communism won – not in Vietnam, of course, today a busy, bustling, building, harvesting, and exporting phenom.  But in the US, we have all the societal decay and hostility, all the security state growth, and all the suppression of free markets that we used to say we opposed.  Economic and intellectual life is hampered, moving underground, off-grid, or overseas, along with our entrepreneurial youth and their wise grandparents. It’s the New American Dream, to leave the country and prosper.

Just before Christmas, the US Congress created the latest amalgam of constraints and barriers to peace, at home and abroad.  The NDAA added new unconstitutional ways to mass surveil Americans, and new unconstitutional laws to prevent a future president from exiting or defunding that stinking cauldron of incompetence and conflict we call NATO.  It protects government from military vaccine reparations, re-funds Ukraine Security Assistance Fund, and ratifies the AUKUS Treaty, specifically designed to stoke naval conflict with China for the next decade.  The NDAA matches inflation in military pay, and in news to the struggling heartland, caps the “base pay of all DEI staffers at $70,000 a year.” Who knew you could make that kind of money being a poorly educated lefty nag?

Beyond an inflationary $886 Billion budget, that leaves aside border defense for a yet-to-be passed Homeland Defense budget, the puppet-mastered sense of the Congress is that the NDAA will “send a $50 billion “demand signal” to domestic industry and spur investment in munitions and production lines.”

The economic expertise and sheer talent of the US Congress is astounding.  They are going to goose the market, send all the right signals, and export more munitions for years to come!  They have finally funded a defense strategy that does everything, except protect America’s actual interests.

On top of a government disconnected from reality, we have also seen aggressive reductions in freedom to produce, own, trade, move, speak, write and most importantly to think.  James Bovard’s new book Last Rights: The Death of American Liberty is a must read.  Buy it or borrow it, but read it!

Where is the wonderment, the joy of the season?  How can the average person feel that the world is more peaceful, or that our demands for peace are even heard?  Certainly not in Gaza, and not in Ukraine either, where the US funds and fosters destruction of land, water, economies and human life here and abroad without a single qualm.

All of the above is true.  It’s depressing and overwhelming.  But I am reminded of Jim Bovard’s optimism, and the optimism shared specifically by liberty advocates around the world.  Jim shared this story on the Mises Wire just over a year ago.  He’s descended from French Huguenots who lived in Paris in the 1500s.  On August 25th, 1572, the Pope and the French King organized a major slaughter of Protestant Huguenots across France.  Jim is descended from a few who escaped Paris.  The Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, engineered by a frightened monarchy and part of a religiously-framed civil war in France, was no doubt bloody, terrifying, and senseless to those impacted by it.  But Jim tells the story a different way – as a story of the power of ideas, and the power of the survivors of state inflicted madness.  Beyond being blessed with Jim Bovard’s prolific voice for freedom today, he points out that…

The 1572 carnage at least had some positive philosophical results. Philippe de Mornay barely avoided being killed in the massacre, but seven years later, his pamphlet Vindiciae contra tyrannos (A Defense of Liberty against Tyrants) was published in Switzerland. This pamphlet laid the groundwork for subsequent authors (including British philosopher John Locke) to clearly establish the right to resist oppressive rulers.

Learning from both history and our contemporary systems cannot be done except by people who are alive to do it.  So the first imperative is to survive – and if we are alive, we have this great wonderment, this perfect gift of life.  So many Americans, seeing what America is becoming, and glimpsing her likely future, say they are glad that they won’t live to see it, even that they hope they don’t live to see it.  Suicide and premature death is a weapon of the state – how could it not be!  The state kills, creates wars, conducts deadly state-mandated experiments, promotes assisted suicide for the elderly and ill and abortion for the young, the list goes on.  To be anti-state is to be pro-life – and more importantly, to be pro-life we must be adamantly, honestly and steadfastly anti-state.

How else can we explain the leadership of all the major political parties in the US, each desirous of state power and control – and not a single one can denounce the massacre and genocide in Gaza, with every home in Gaza destroyed, the water, the sanitation, the medical and food supply systems eliminated, and 95% of the Gaza population – over 2 million souls – simply made invisible, silenced, buried, vilified by the powerful states of the world.  The United Nations caught a glimmer of reality with the latest US UNSC veto of a ceasefire in Gaza – the US Secretary General bemoaned that the institutions “are weak and outdated, caught in a time warp reflecting a reality of 80 years ago.”  Yet, as a state worshipper, his hands are tied.  There’s nothing he can “do” about it.

How else can we explain the vocal cheering in the capitols of the US and the EU for the murder of half a million Ukrainian men, and the fleeing of six million of her women and children?   These disasters have occurred because of US demands for war, for military markets, for state mandated philosophical differences, and nothing else.  Every death of a Gazan and a Ukrainian means an opportunity for more weapons sales, and more US reconstruction projects when the bullets are exhausted.  This is how governments think and act – and it’s not part of a new 21st century future – it’s a continuation of the history of the state from the beginning.

To be alive, with our eyes and ears open, is to be able to actually do something about this.  The first fundamental of resisting the state and its constant perpetuation of evil is to simply be alive.  Because Secretary General Guterres is on to something with his “weak and outdated” observation.  States everywhere are collapsing under the weight of their arrogance and desperation for complete control.  States are superficial cancers on society, and they are metastasizing everywhere in front of our very eyes.

Israel is a prime example of this, as we see in its panicked obsession for complete dominant control in both Gaza and the West Bank – hurriedly, before the “world” steps in to stop them – but it’s already too late. BDS-style decisions are being made by hundreds of millions of people around the world. This trend is not controllable by the US and Israel, or any weak or outdated state, or indeed, any state at all.

A single Bud Lite microaggression against its core customer group cost billions, permanently shut down whole bottling plants, and forced corporate change.  This happened because mildly disgusted American beer drinkers “made better choices.”  What ought to be the global response to the ongoing terrifying and horrific macro-aggressions of the state?  What if hundreds of millions of us, even a few billion of us, simply ended – or even reduced by half – our financial and emotional support for murderous and lying governments?

How will this play out in 2024?  Will living breathing people make small choices to disrupt politics, decentralize and creatively destroy corporate/government media, discover and create of new markets, new networks, and new money, ridicule the state, de-mystify the state, and laugh at the state?

Wait a minute! Looks like we already are!

The season reminds us how small decisions of a mother and father, under duress, in great danger and in doubt, delivered that greatest, most wonderful gift – a single life to bless the Earth.  Merry Christmas!

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