IPFS Larken Rose

More About: Campaign for Liberty

One Road to Freedom

The "Campaign for Liberty" is about to have a huge event in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, in just a couple of weeks. I'm not sure yet whether I'll be there (as a spectator), but I know I won't be speaking there.

Being faced with the tyrannical monstrosity that now resides in Washington, a lot of pro-freedom folks are talking about how everyone who loves liberty should do whatever it takes to "get along" and to "work together" toward our common goals. The question is, what are those supposed common goals?

Let me start by saying that I have a lot of respect for people like Ron Paul, Andrew Napolitano, Adam Kokesh, and many others, for their vocal opposition to tyranny. And it's great to see so many people, with the numbers growing every day, aware enough of what is going on that they want to do something about it. But what is it that "C4L" (Campaign for Liberty) is actually doing? I hate to be a stick in the mud, but can we pause the comradery and excitement long enough to ask what the game plan is? What is the end goal of all the time and effort being put into things such as C4L?

I know people will get mad at me for saying this, but most of the effort is, by its very nature, doomed to fail. The reason for this is quite simple: any effort to take over "the system," in order to make it be pro-freedom, is utterly pointless. Not only is it impossible for "government" to be used to support freedom, but playing the tyrants' games, by supporting this or that candidate, or pushing for this or that legislation, only legitimizes the notion that politicians have some divine right to rule.

In fact, it's one of the most brilliant tyrant tricks of all times, and I discuss it in my first book, "How To Be a Successful Tyrant." If the tyrant builds into his regime the illusion that the peasants have some say in the matter, some recourse within the tyrant's own "system," by which they can beg for freedom and justice, they will rarely actually resist. They will instead waste all of their time and effort trying to influence a system of control that is made entirely of the tyrants, by the tyrants, and for the tyrants.

A lot of liberty-minded people "run for office" with the best of intentions, when what they should be doing is running from "office" as fast as they possibly can. What they fail to understand is that the problem is not the particular lying crook that happens to currently occupy that office; the problem is the office itself. Every "election" is nothing but a ritual designed to legitimize a ruling class, to make it look like the master somehow has the "consent" of his victims, or somehow "represents" them. It's nothing but a show, designed to redirect any discontent among the peasants into completely ineffectual and fruitless endeavors (voting and lobbying). In other words, it offers the slaves a means of "redress" that never accomplishes anything, but gives them an outlet for their displeasure with the masters, so they don't resort to actual resistance.

Even if it were possible to take over the system (and it isn't), you can't achieve freedom by becoming the ruler; you can only achieve freedom by tearing down the entire notion that the Divine Right of Politicians is valid to begin with. To put it another way, you can't show your support for the concept of unalienable rights by asking the tyrants to let you do something. Playing that game implicitly acknowledges that you do not have any unalienable rights, because it implies that you need "legal" permission to do something. (My Fourth of July rant, which has caused quite a stir, touched on that point.)

In short, the entire concept of a "Libertarian Party" is a contradiction. The principle of non-aggression is absolutely incompatible with any "government," no matter how small and "limited" you try to make it. The very premise that some group has the right to enact and enforce "laws" on the rest of us is logically incompatible with self-ownership and individual rights. And by running for office, or voting, or begging your congressman to vote for or against some piece of "legislation," you are condoning the notion of a ruling class, and reinforcing the myth that such pseudo-religious political rituals are in any way legitimate, and that they can actually bestow upon anyone--even a good guy--the right to rule. In other words, instead of trying to tear down the authoritarian superstitions that allow for tyranny, most supposedly pro-freedom folk are trying to co-op it, in the hopes of somehow using the power cult as a tool for freedom.

Sorry, but it can't be done. We all know how hard it is for someone who likes freedom to compete with the collectivist liars. Ron Paul showed just how hard the establishment will work to protect its power from outsiders. But even when a miracle occurs, and "limited government" folk get into office, what good does it do? Do we all remember the 1994 "Republican Revolution," where a bunch of libertarian-leaning conservatives got into Congress? Remember all their promises to shut down a bunch of bureaucracies, slash taxes and dramatically reduce regulation and oppression? And what was the result? "Government" grew, freedom shrank.

I even believe that some of the people who ran in 1994 meant what they said (while others were just exploiting the anti-socialist fervor of the day). But they quickly learned that the show put on for the cameras is not how things actually work in Washington, and that reducing government power is something the system cannot be used for.

I hope that no one is still so silly to believe that the United States government is even trying to "represent" us. Like every other "government," it is nothing more than a control machine, that cares about its subjects as much as a butcher cares about cows. It's not that there is some miscommunication, or that a good idea was spoiled with some "corruption"; it's that the entire system exists for one purpose: the subjugation of mankind. As such, the only people it will ever serve are those who love to dominate their fellow man. (This reminds me a lot of the "One Ring" in The Lord of the Rings. Any attempt to use it for good is doomed to backfire.)

How much of history consists of the downtrodden masses desperately trying to get their guy onto the throne? And how often does it work? Hardly ever. And even when it does work--when the people do manage to replace the current tyrant with their own guy--then what happens? He becomes the new tyrant, even if he's not trying to. (As an example, I believe that Ronald Reagan actually believed in limited government, and yet the system still found a way to turn his presidency into an expanding "government," by way of the military and the immoral "war on drugs.")

Government is not your friend. It never will be. It cannot be. You can't co-op a system of extortion and oppression and use it as a tool for freedom. There can't be such thing as a good slave-master. As long as the slaves invest their time and effort begging the slave-master to be nice, or trying to appoint a new slave-master, they will still be slaves. Only when the slaves stop thinking like slaves, and realize they don't need the master's permission to be free, can they be free in mind. And if their minds are never free, their bodies will never be, either.

I will keep saying that, and conservatives and Libertarians will keep criticizing me for it. And they will keep demonstrating, with all their well-intentioned, Herculean efforts, that "authority" cannot be used as a tool for freedom.

Instead of continually trying to get freedom "legalized," those who value individual liberty should be working to come up with ways to outwit, escape, resist or defeat the tentacles of "government." Yes, I mean they should be figuring out ways to be free, despite the fact that freedom is, and always has been, "illegal."

6 Comments in Response to

Comment by Charzhome S.
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To whoever wrote the first response (and I wish I knew his/her name), I couldn't agree more.

Thanks too Jet, for your poetic comments which are a delight to read.  (no blushing allowed :)

Comment by Anonymous
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 Sorry, Oyate and Larken, they really wont.

You see, while hypocracy exists everywhere and, as a proportion, libertarians suffer no less from the disease hypocracy than do democrats or republicans, it's far more egregious an offsense when a Libertarian engages in it because they claim to know better, whereas republicans and democrats do not.

Witness the phenomenon of the meetup groups, especially during the Ron Paul campaign.  A great example of spontaneous grassroots uprising an disorganized organization?  Perhaps.

Though look where it is today.  The meetup groups controlled (and I chose that word carefully) by libertarian moderators are the most authoritarian of all meetup groups!

These libertarian moderators are tinpot tyrants who are extremely jealous of any and all communication to their group, claiming to be inclusive but decisively excluding those who disagree with them.  They also claim equal access, but continue to drive away anyone who is not ready to wild up their hair in front of the mirror in the morning.  Forget about differing points of view, there are none.

No, there will be no libertarian revolution.  None of the founding fathers were like the wild hairs of today, continually arguing and exercising their impotence or eating their children in their search for subjective perfection (while claiming to be objectivist.)

I love you guys, but as long as you suffer from the same malady as other "mainstream" party members, you're engaging in mental mast.....bation while the world moves on, nay, rolls over you continually.

If you were able to at least be consistent with your own principles, I could give you some respect.  Unfortunately, it's worse when you engage in hypocracy because you claim to know better.

Comment by unsheepled michael
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Some   parts of  C4L  was  infiltrated early on  by rinos, some  parts are  run by  hard core  neocons in liberty clothing

Comment by Donald Worthy
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Wow, I am not sure what is next for this country. Very insightful article. Please keep speaking up. My partner and I have started making original music videos to wake people up and I am sure you will enjoy them:

There is more coming. Thanks for keeping people thinking.

Comment by Jet Lacey
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Great article!

If the clouds broke and the thunder clapped and the horses whinnied and the entire freedom movement were to unite under one weird, huge, gaudy umbrella toward something-or-other, it should be to take words like 'anarchy' and 'militia' out of the bastardized pile and help restore them to their rightful places in the vernacular lexicon. 

Why?  'Cause I'm currently using them. 

Comment by Found Zero
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Leading to my reluctant conclusion: the movement will rift (again) over these very lines.

The situation is eerily reminiscent of the "republican revolution" of mid-90s. The Pied Piper's tune remains as compelling as ever.