Foreign Policy, Part I

While I favor Agorism, Voluntaryism, and Anarcho-Capitalism, I do have a solid knowledge base on the United States Constitutional Republic. This article will focus on normative foreign policy in this context,  and later articles will deal with more philosophically palatable foreign policy questions. While I have studied politics and related topics intensely and broadly (my B.A. in Political Science represents the minority of my accumulated relevant knowledge), I do readily admit that I’m far from an expert on foreign policy. I’ll be learning as I write.

Let’s go through the U.S. Constitution, and see what we can learn along the way.

Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3: “[The Congress shall have Power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations…” What should U.S. foreign policy on trade be? Laissez-faire. Free trade with all, for all. No tariffs, period. Why? Because:

1.) it’s the right thing to do and

2.) it’s better for the economy and

3.) as always, taxation is theft.

Perhaps you doubt me. Think about it this way: countries do not trade with each other, but individuals trade with other individuals in the same country and foreign countries. It is not within the purpose of government to give some individuals an economic advantage over others, even if those individuals reside in separate countries. This point segues into the second one with the observation that tariffs give one segment of the domestic population advantage over other parts. Let’s take the recent steel tariffs for example. While they may have helped some domestic steel manufacturers by raising their foreign competitors’ prices and thus encouraging American consumers to purchase more domestic steel and less foreign steel, the cost is passed on to the entire rest of the country who now has to pay more for steel than they otherwise would have. This artificial price manipulation is dangerous for the economy, in part because the increased cost of steel takes funds away from other endeavors, with limitless potential for helping the economy. Regarding the third point, (#TaxationIsTheft) I’ll just refer you to this meme I stole from someone on Facebook.

Article 1, Section 8, Clause 10: “[The Congress shall have Power] To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations…” The “Law of Nations” does not refer to International Law as some may suppose. Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England — an authoritative tome on common law with which the Founders were intimately familiar and to which they referred frequently — explains it. “The law of nations is a system of rules, deducible by natural reason, and established by universal consent among the civilized inhabitants of the world…. offences against the law of nations can rarely be the object of the criminal law of any particular state. For offences against this law are principally incident to whole states or nations…. The principal offences against the law of nations … are of three kinds; 1. Violation of safe-conducts [as in war]; 2. Infringement of the rights of ambassadors; and, 3. Piracy.” There’s more involved in the “Law of Nations,” including the Law Merchant (a fascinating topic about which I’ll write one day) but this is the most relevant part for our purposes today. This clause touches slightly on foreign policy. Essentially, the U.S. should courteously refrain from violating the customs of international interactions as well as provide for discouraging the small possibility of their citizens doing the same. In the context of a Constitutional Republic, this is all good and proper.

Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11: “[The Congress shall have Power] To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water…” Here we have a power that is over-used and a power that is under-used. Congress has not declared war since World War II, but the U.S. has been at war somewhere all but five years since then. If the country is going to be at war, make it official. Or not, I guess. The Constitution provides for making it unofficially official. The Letters of Marque and Reprisal is probably the most underutilized of all the Congressional powers. This clause empowers Congress to commission privateers and mercenaries to go after enemies for profit. Congress should not be going to war willy-nilly all the time. After 9/11, Congress could have put a billion dollar bounty on Bin Laden and saved a few trillion dollars and untold human lives.

Article 2, Section 2, Clause 2: “[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties … and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls….” This section deals rather directly with foreign policy and diplomatic relations; it is the part that George Washington famously cautioned about in his farewell address.  As we know, a system that depends on persistent suppression of human nature dooms itself from the start. We now have many “entangling alliances,” even though the first man in charge understood the danger and explicitly warned future leaders in a permanent record! The lesson about human nature here is more important than the lesson about treaties.

That’s pretty much all I could find in the Constitution about foreign policy. In the next part of this series, I plan to discuss why the U.S. should recognize Liberland diplomatically.

Continue Reading

Will’s Journey, Agorism, & Content Recommendations (1h8m) – Episode 093

Episode 093 welcomes Will Treadway to the podcast for a chat with Skyler. Topics include: industrial work, his lifelong passion for reading, recommended books and television series, comic book movies, 9/11, becoming anti-war, adoption, agorism, civil disobedience and challenging jurisdiction, occupational licensure, caveat emptor, the courage in digging for truth, and more.

Listen to Episode 093 (1h8m, mp3, 64kbps)

Show Notes

Will Treadway, Facebook Profile
Leadership and Self-Deception

Subscribe

via RSS here.
via iTunes here.
via Stitcher here.
via blubrry here.
via Player.FM here.

Continue Reading

I Am a Voluntaryist

I am a voluntaryist.

Voluntaryism: the doctrine that relations among people should be by mutual consent, or not at all.

I am also an anarchist and libertarian.

Anarchy: the absence of rulers [from the Greek an- (not) archos (ruler)].
Libertarian: a person who believes in the doctrine of free will and upholds liberty as their principle objective.

I’m also an agorist and capitalist.

Agorism: social philosophy advocating for civil disobedience via voluntary exchange without government permission.
Capitalism: private property ownership and free enterprise.

I see all of these as compatible. The common thread is that people have natural rights and should not be slaves or slave masters.

You own your life. The philosophy of liberty is based on the principle of self-ownership and non-aggression.

The opposite of voluntaryism is statism (involuntaryism). Statists promote violence and control of peaceful people by those who claim state authority.

None of this means that I don’t support and advocate for people voluntarily organizing and cooperating to accomplish things. In fact, I’m all for it.

Frédéric Bastiat once said:

“Every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all.”

There are legitimate, effective ways of accomplishing worthy goals without resorting to authoritarian control.

Common objections I hear usually go something like this:

“But total freedom would be chaos! There would be no consequences for people behaving badly.”
“Nature abhors a vacuum! What would stop warlords from taking over?”
“Who would build the roads/schools/hospitals?”

The answers to these and other common objections to liberty involve a clear understanding of things like natural law, mutual consent, private property, education, persuasion, and free markets. Rather than attempt an exhaustive list here, those links explain in separate posts how voluntary solutions to societal issues are not just more humanitarian and ethical, but also more practical than coercion.

Continue Reading

A Voluntaryist 7-Point Plan

As advocates of a truly free society, we voluntaryists, unlike the statists who outnumber us, do not engage in traditional political activism. This simple fact got me thinking about a habitual plan or checklist each of us might form or follow quite naturally, in the course of our daily lives, in order to promote the kind of stateless socioeconomic order we envision. In doing so I arrived at seven core essentials, listed here in what I believe to be a descending order of import, from most to least effectual:

1.) Spreading our ideas. As most of us already know, comparitively few people will listen to or agree to seriously learn about voluntarist philosophy. But a few will. Introducing the uninitiated and fellow-travellers from less “radical” camps to voluntaryist literature, videos, websites, and other media is key to deprogramming statist prejudices and misconceptions about governments.

2.) Agorism, barter, metals, cryptocurrencies. Finding ways to avoid and subvert use of government-issued fiat currencies – and the taxation associated with such use – deprives those calling themselves the State of a great deal of power they otherwise have over us. Indeed, even the head of the International Monetary Fund made a very recent and open admission about the future of cryptocurrencies and the potential threat it poses to centralized banking and governmental control of traditional “money.” Every transaction made, in any form, which utilizes a non-State medium that insures privacy and insulation against inflation, potential seizure, and taxation is a victory for liberty.

3.) Homeschooling/Unschooling. Allowing young people (or any person!) to seek an education outside of state-sanctioned mechanisms is absolutely critical to breaking the government-centered society paradigm that permeates such stultifying tax-financed institutions. If the future is to be one of freedom, the current newest generation and all those that follow must have the widest possible opportunity to learn about the real benefits of liberty, free markets, and sovereign autonomy. These are personal values and elements of knowledge no governmental forces will or can condone or withstand. Freeing students from the moral and intellectual prison of state brainwashing is a must.

4.) Avoiding government employ. In all forms. From cop to postal worker, from schoolteacher to CIA agent, government institutions require willing manpower even more than they require tax revenues. When people are unwilling to work for government – both directly, or as outside contractors who provide supplemental goods and services – the State simply cannot function. Then the free market must take over. And that end result is the goal of every voluntaryist.

5.) Non-voting. This should be self-explanatory. The only “vote” possible for a voluntary society is a non-vote in all political elections. In fact, non-registration sends an even clearer message to those who wish to control us, and it means you end up on one less government list too.

6). Guns and prepping. While I would think most would want a wholly peaceful transition from a coercive state-centric society to a free one, to ignore what history has shown us regarding governments would be tragic and naive, if not in fact suicidal. It is imperative we provide for our own defense with weapons. It is equally important to be able to provide for our own sustenance in case of any number of conceivable future contingencies (war, social upheaval, economic collapse, etc.). Stockpiling food and drink in cans and jugs, freeze dried comestibles, MREs, personal hygiene products and medicines, and growing and raising crops and livestock are all ways of making ourselves far less dependent on outside entities for our basic survival. Solar panels, windmills, and generators can all make us less energy dependent, as well.

7.) Living life. This might actually also be most fitting in the #1 position itself. Life is finite and precious. We all only have so much of it, and how much, we know not. None of the above is to suggest squandering it with obsessive activism (unless that’s what most floats your particular boat). Rather, these are all suggestions that, once implemented, can more or less become part of a passive routine, requiring little to no effort beyond certain initial threshholds. It is important to recognize at all times, I think, that even under the increasingly intolerable yoke of the State, our existence still contains many pleasures and wonders to enjoy to the fullest: Travel, hobbies, intellectual stimulation, music, food, the outdoors, relationships, sex…you get the picture. Have many of those moments. Delve deep into them. Cherish and relish them to the fullest. Be you.

And as much and often as possible, in spite of present circumstances, be free.

Continue Reading

Liberty Lifestyle 007 – Permaculture and Planning for the Future (38m)

Liberty Lifestyle 007, “In this special presentation by Michael Cundick with tips from David Turner, we learn about the importance of Permaculture Gardening and building stronger, healthier communities.”

Listen to Liberty Lifestyle 007 (38m, mp3, 96kbps)

Show notes can be found on the video version of this episode here.

Subscribe

via YouTube here.
via RSS here.
via iTunes here.
via Stitcher here.
via blubrry here.
via Player.FM here.

Continue Reading

Liberty Lifestyle 006 – Eric McCool (1h19m)

Liberty Lifestyle 006 has Tyler sitting down with Eric McCool of Permagora, a website on permaculture and agorism.

Listen to Liberty Lifestyle 006 (1h19m, mp3, 96kbps)

Show notes can be found on the video version of this episode here.

Subscribe

via YouTube here.
via RSS here.
via iTunes here.
via Stitcher here.
via blubrry here.
via Player.FM here.

Continue Reading