Why You Must Understand the System before It Can Be Dismantled Reply

Rutgers Online: http://online.rutgers.edu/master-library-info/

Many people who think of themselves as dissenters opposed to government regulations have hopes and dreams, and lofty goals of one day being the ones who help to take it all apart. Besides being able to recite the names of a few prominent pan-anarchists, do you fully understand the system that supports life as you live it today?

If the answer to that question is no, you will need to begin by working on your master of information education. You see, whether it is total anarchism or just a sense of social justice that you believe in, nothing can be accomplished if you have no clue what you are going up against. Reading books on your own will provide you with insights into the inner workings of traditional Western civilization, but you need to see these systems from the inside in order to dismantle them.

Why Information Is Power

You might not agree with the way that the majority people in this country live their lives or agree with the idea of one uniform power system. Most of them were raised to think that way, and in most instances, you were as well. At some point during your journey, you began exploring different schools of thought and came to the realization that anarchism was the most viable solution for modern society. It is likely that you did lots of reading and speaking to more educated people to come to that conclusion. The information that you can gain while completing an online master of information program will enable you to advance your individual ideas, even if they are contrary.

How You Can Resist Conforming

Growing up, you likely went along with everyone else because you wanted to fit in. Being socially well adjusted allowed you to earn the respect of your teachers, parents, and peers more easily. Although there are other benefits that you can get from conforming to group ideas, you won’t get the answers to many of your most controversial questions.

What if capitalism no longer existed and you didn’t need credit in order to make a major purchase. Would people be happier and more successful if they kept their money at home and didn’t allow banks to make profits from their deposits? With a formal education, you can still maintain your ideas but be prepared to give sources and cited materials that will back up your claims. Conforming is not necessary when you are pursuing your education.

Explaining Your Societal Ideas without Being Deemed As an Imminent Threat

As soon as the term anarchism is thrown out, people tend to think that you are in support of total chaos. Because few have been exposed to the reasoning behind pan-anarchism, there are lots who will think that you are not in support of freedom, liberty, or even personal choice. With a master’s degree in information, you will be looked at as an academic rather than a rebel. This will give you the opportunity to fully explain yourself and, hopefully, more people will begin to understand and support your cause.

In order to succeed in the pan-anarchism movement, more support is necessary. Those who have never logically thought of the benefits of leading their own lives can be intimidated by the thought of free rein. Use your education to quell their fears and empower them to be free thinkers.

 

The Lumpenproletariat as Class Vanguard: Why Anarchists Must Attack the Left from the Left 6

The conflicts between myself and the mainstream leftist-anarchist movement are well-known. When I am asked about the source of this conflict by outsiders to the anarchist milieu, my usual response is that what they are observing is a continuation of the historic battle between the anarchists and the Marxists. Fundamental to this conflict is a contending view of the concepts of state and class. For Marxists, the principal target of revolutionary conflict is capital. However, for anarchists it is the state that is the primary enemy. This difference was acknowledged by Friedrich Engels.

“The anarchists put the thing upside down. They declare that the proletariat revolution must begin by doing away with the political organization of the state. But after its victory the sole organization which the proletariat finds already in existence is precisely the state. This state may require very considerable alterations before it can fulfill its new functions. But to destroy it at such a moment would be to destroy the only organism by means of which the victorious proletariat can assert its newly conquered power, hold down its capitalist adversaries and carry out that economic revolution of society without which the whole victory must end in a new defeat and in a mass slaughter of the workers similar to those after the Paris Commune.”

– Frederick Engels, “Engels to Philipp Van Patten in New York,” London, April 18, 1883.

More…

Government Will Not Save You From Corporations Reply

Journalists and political partisans have expressed the mistaken presumption that government is a “balancing force” against the excess powers of corporations. This video explains that most excess power of corporations is provided and granted by government and that government seeks partnership with corporations and shares in the profits. This “public-private partnership” is so advanced that the public interest is no longer a primary concern of government. Government is now a for-profit operation serving itself at the expense of the public interest.

Africa Is Getting Richer, Thanks to Capitalism Reply

By Marian L. Tupy

Foundation for Economic Education

ub-Saharan Africa consists of 46 countries and covers an area of 9.4 million square miles. One out of seven people on earth live in Africa, and the continent’s share of the world’s population is bound to increase because Africa’s fertility rate remains higher than elsewhere.

Nigeria will be bigger than the United States in a few decades.

If current trends continue, there will be more people in Nigeria than in the United States by 2050. What happens in Africa, therefore, is important not only to the people who live on the continent but also to the rest of us.

The Hopeful Continent

Africa may be the world’s poorest continent, but it is no longer a “hopeless continent,” as the Economist magazine described it back in 2000. Since the start of the new millennium, Africa’s average per capita income, adjusted for inflation and purchasing power parity, rose by more than 50 percent, and Africa’s growth rate has averaged almost 5 percent per year.

For the first time, less than half of Africans are in extreme poverty.

Increasing wealth has led to improvements in key indicators of human wellbeing. In 1999, 58 percent of Africans lived on less than $1.90 per day. By 2011, 44 percent of Africans lived on that income — all while the African population rose from 650 million to 1 billion. If the current trends continue, Africa’s absolute poverty rate will fall to 24 percent by 2030.

READ MORE

US-Led Economic War, Not Socialism, Is Tearing Venezuela Apart Reply

By Caleb Maupin

Mint Press

A pro-government supporter wears a T-Shirt with image of Venezuela's late President Hugo Chavez, as he waits for results during congressional elections in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015.

WASHINGTON — (ANALYSIS) The political and economic crisis facing Venezuela is being endlessly pointed to as proof of the superiority of the free market.

Images and portrayals of Venezuelans rioting in the streets over high food costs, empty grocery stores, medicine shortages, and overflowing garbage bins are the headlines, and the reporting points to socialism as the cause.

The Chicago Tribune published a Commentary piece titled: “A socialist revolution can ruin almost any country.” A headline on Reason’s Hit and Run blog proclaims: “Venezuelan socialism still a complete disaster.” The Week’s U.S. edition says: “Authoritarian socialism caused Venezuela’s collapse.”

READ MORE

Arizona Ends Income Taxation on Gold & Silver Coins Reply

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey Greenlights House Bill 2014, Removing Income Tax from Certain Precious Metals at the State Level

 Phoenix, Arizona (May 23rd, 2017) – Sound money advocates rejoiced today as House Bill 2014 became the law in Arizona. HB 2014, which passed in the Arizona state Senate on May 10th by a margin of 16-13, removes all income taxation of precious metals coins at the state level.

Under House Bill 2014, introduced by Representative Mark Finchem (R-Tucson), Arizona taxpayers will simply back out all “gains” and “losses” on any precious metals that are in legal tender form and reported on their federal tax returns from the calculation of their Arizona adjusted gross income (AGI).

If taxpayers own gold or silver to protect themselves against the devaluation of America’s paper currency, thanks to the inflationary practices of the Federal Reserve, they frequently end up with a “gain” when exchanging those metals back into dollars. However, this is not necessarily a real gain in terms of a gain in actual purchasing power. This “gain” is often a nominal gain because of the slow but steady devaluation of the dollar.  Yet the government nevertheless assesses a tax.

Sound Money Defense League, former presidential candidate Congressman Ron Paul, and Campaign for Liberty helped secure passage of HB 2014 because it begins to dismantle the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money.

More…

Arizona Legislature Ends Income Taxation on Gold & Silver Reply

By Jp Cortez

Phoenix, Arizona (May 10th, 2017) – Sound money advocates scored a major victory today when the Arizona state senate voted 16-13 to remove all income taxation of precious metals at the state level. The measure heads to Governor Doug Ducey, who is expected to sign it into law.

Under House Bill 2014, introduced by Representative Mark Finchem (R-Tucson), Arizona taxpayers will simply back out all precious metals “gains” and “losses” reported on their federal tax returns from the calculation of their Arizona adjusted gross income (AGI).

If taxpayers own gold to protect themselves against the devaluation of America’s paper currency, thanks to the inflationary practices of the Federal Reserve, they frequently end up with a “gain” when exchanging those metals back into dollars. However, this is not necessarily a real gain in terms of a gain in actual purchasing power. This “gain” is often a nominal gain because of the slow but steady devaluation of the dollar.  Yet the government nevertheless assesses a tax.

Sound Money Defense League, former presidential candidate Congressman Ron Paul, and Campaign for Liberty helped secure passage of HB 2014 because it begins to dismantle the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money.

“Arizona is helping lead the way in defending sound money and making it less difficult for citizens to protect themselves from the inflation and financial turmoil that flows from the abusive Federal Reserve System,” said Stefan Gleason, Director of the Sound Money Defense League.

Dr. Ron Paul noted, “HB 2014 is a very important and timely piece of legislation. The Federal Reserve’s failure to reignite the economy with record-low interest rates since the last crash is a sign that we may soon see the dollar’s collapse. It is therefore imperative that the law protect people’s right to use alternatives to what may soon be virtually worthless Federal Reserve Notes.”

A few state legislatures, including Utah and Idaho, have also taken steps toward eliminating income taxation on the monetary metals.  Other states are rolling back sales taxes on gold and silver or setting up precious metals depositories to help citizens save and transact in gold and silver bullion.

Read more about what states can do to promote sound money policies here.

Jp Cortez is a graduate of Auburn University and a resident of Charlotte, North Carolina. He is a Mises University alumnus. He is the Assistant Director of the Sound Money Defense League, an organization working to bring back gold and silver as America’s constitutional money. Follow him on twitter, @JpCortez27

 

Cleaning the Muddied Waters of Anarchy Reply

By Will Schnack

Evolution of Consent

Ideologies and philosophies that go by the title “anarchism” are wide-ranging in their span. These include mutualists, individualists, collectivists, communists, capitalists, nationalists, primitivists, futurists, and more. It has become something of a common trend for people to come up with the next new “anarcho-” position. Even more recently, as a revival of an attempt to settle the “infighting,” positions which include all of these into their ranks have been taken, with titles such as “anarchism without adjectives” or “without hyphens” and “pan-anarchism.” However, when one actually analyzes these different factions, one quickly comes to realize that most of the hyphenated positions are not much different from the standard views of the statist, except for a few minor details, usually philosophically inconsistent.

I’m here to do what I can to stop all of the confusion.

The first form of anarchism was mutualism, as Pierre Proudhon was the first to label himself as such. Yes, there were thinkers long before Proudhon who espoused anarchic philosophies. These folks did not call themselves anarchists. William Godwin, labeled an anarchist posthumously, and Josiah Warren, whose writing precedes Proudhon’s by some years, were only widely referred to as anarchists after Proudhon’s use of the term in describing himself. Josiah Warren had actually resisted comparisons to Proudhon made by William Greene, but nonetheless Proudhon’s title of “anarchist” would be attached to Warren’s name in the United States through the thought of folks such as Benjamin Tucker. It is those elements which have something in common with Proudhon’s thought—mutuality—that are responsible for each individual’s claim to the title. Without these similarities to the man who was the first to identify himself as such, there would be no claim for these others. William Godwin and Josiah Warren, like Proudhon, described a liberty of the individual accompanied by a widespread access to land, which set them apart from both state socialists and classical liberals, and made comparisons to Proudhon easy.

Any positive use of the term “anarchist” must relate to the philosophy of Proudhon’s in some way, and indeed this seems to have been the case historically. Proudhon seems to have set the precedent for defining an anarchist. Perhaps what makes Proudhon the most relevant basis for anarchist thought is that it was Proudhon who was the main philosopher of anarchism during anarchism’s rise as a social movement in Europe, during the Paris Commune and First International, where Proudhonists were a dominant presence.  No other anarchic thinker had inspired a social movement of this magnitude in the modern era. Because Proudhon was both the first to self-identify as an anarchist, and because he was also the first to inspire a large movement of anarchists behind him, it’s not unreasonable to use his defining thought as a standard from which to gauge the merits of others. In fact, it seems the reasonable thing to do so.

More…

The Looting Machine Called Capitalism 2

By Paul Craig Roberts

Counterpunch

I have come to the conclusion that capitalism is successful primarily because it can impose the majority of the costs associated with its economic activities on outside parties and on the environment. In other words, capitalists make profits because their costs are externalized and born by others. In the US, society and the environment have to pick up the tab produced by capitalist activity.

In the past when critics raised the question about external costs, that is, costs that are external to the company although produced by the company’s activities, economists answered that it was not really a problem, because those harmed by the activity could be compensated for the damages that they suffered. This statement was intended to reinforce the claim that capitalism served the general welfare. However, the extremely primitive nature of American property rights meant that rarely would those suffering harm be compensated. The apologists for capitalism saved the system in the abstract, but not in reality.

My recent article, “The Destruction of Inlet Beach,” made it clear to me that very little, if any, of the real estate development underway would be profitable if the external costs imposed on existing property holders had to be compensated.

Consider just a few examples. When a taller house is constructed in front of one of less height, the Gulf view of the latter is preempted. The damage to the property value of the house whose view has been blocked is immense. Would the developer build such a tall structure if the disadvantaged existing property had to be compensated for the decline in its value?

More…

Why Good Economics Matters Now More Than Ever Reply

By Jp Cortez

 

In a newsletter published in 1970, economist Murray Rothbard wrote, “It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.”

This is an oft-quoted platitude within circles of libertarian philosophy and Austrian economics.

Today, we are seeing the embodiment of Rothbard’s fears. The woeful state of economic understanding has reached a critical mass. Economics has taken a back seat to issues deemed more important. What’s worse is that when economics is discussed, millennials tend to lean socialist.

I have a vested interest in seeing economics and sound money flourish as I work in the field. Yes, I believe that tying a nation’s currency to gold keeps government spending in check. This is hardly professional bias though, as we all have a vested interest in seeing economics and sound money championed, many just don’t recognize it. This piece is aimed at anyone with a vested interest in maintaining a standard of living higher than that of the depression-era breadline vagabond. Economics transcends race, gender, and political identification.

Let’s begin by examining the first of two reasons that good economics is paramount.

More…

The General Strike Reply

 

The centralized state apparatus maintains and enforces anti-union laws because without them, the centralized state apparatus would not exist. It is illegal for workers from one workplace to cease production in solidarity with workers from another workplace. An unified labor strike cannot be allowed to happen over multiple workplaces in multiple industries because that would destabilize the capitalist mode of production and the capitalist state. Imagine teachers, fire fighters, sanitation workers, baby sitters, and other workers walking out together at the same time. The economy would stop. The government would not even be able to wage war if it wanted to. This is concept is the General Strike. If the economy shuts down, then the workers can restart it on their own terms under workers’ self-management, public control of the means production, and the abolition of capitalism.

Image may contain: text
 

Funding the Enemy: War and Welfare Reply

martel-2

From March last year: Ann Sterzinger’s libertarian solution to the Islamist problem.


The welfare state is a gravy train for ISIS.

If the welfare state doesn’t end in Europe, the welfare state will end Europe. And future historians will look back on the way the West ended and think we were all out of our goddamn minds.

As the dust is still clearing in Brussels and Pakistan (killing kids on Easter… stay classy, ISIS) and wherever else the nut jobs hit before this goes to press—as the Left signals their concern that all these dead bodies and raped orificia might feed an irrational fear of suicide bombers and rapists—the press is busy lecturing European security agencies about their incompetence. They could have stopped all these attacks somehow, if only they knew how to do their jobs!

You know what? I feel sorry for the security agencies, bumbling though they may allegedly be. From where I’m sitting, their job looks freakin’ impossible. According to Pew, over a third of French Muslims think suicide bombing is at least on occasion acceptable (and among the 18-30 crowd, it’s an eye-watering 42 percent).

How would you like it to be your job to root out terrorists when a third of the base population—of whose diversity and feelings you must always be respectful—would be happy to house and hide the assholes you’re looking for?

Meanwhile the media have kept stumping for not just bringing more of the terrorist-supporting population in, but feeding and housing them at the expense of the very government budget that must also fund security operations.

I know, only a bad person would ever suggest that you end welfare, and no educated European wants to be a bad person. But what you are accomplishing by being too nice is very bad indeed, Europe. Because if you do not end the welfare state, you’re going to have a violent genocide, one way or another.

More…

Time to Hedge State Reserve Funds with Gold Reply

By Jp Cortez

Financially prudent individuals set aside surplus funds to protect against unforeseen expenditures. This way, when faced with loss of income, house repairs, car trouble, or anything else, they will have a buffer against unanticipated downturns.

In the same vein, almost every state in the United States has established a “savings account” for government operations. Primarily to mitigate a decline in tax revenues that comes alongside economic slumps, states have created so-called budget stabilization funds – colloquially known as “rainy day funds.”

Every state takes a different approach to budget stabilization funds, from the mechanisms by which they are funded, to the caps placed on balances, to the manner in which the funds can be allocated. If a state can put funds aside during years of increased revenue and growth, said state will be better equipped to handle a decrease in tax revenue, an environmental incident, or some other surprise.

But simply plowing rainy day funds into Federal Reserve Notes (commonly referred to as “dollars”) or other paper instruments is taking an entirely new gamble – inflation.

It is unwise to store large amounts of cash for extended periods of time because of constant and intentional devaluation of the Federal Reserve Note. This tax on savings is known as inflation. It works on both the micro and the macro level. For the same reason an individual would be remiss to hold his or her entire life savings in cash for the duration of his or her entire life, a state would be remiss to hold large amounts of cash for extended periods of time.

One Tennessee lawmaker named Representative Bud Hulsey (R-Kingsport) understands the risk involved in long term storage of Federal Reserve Notes, and he has proposed to do something about it by introducing House Bill 0777. House Bill 0777 is a measure that calls for the treasurer to invest at least 40% of the reserve for revenue fluctuations in gold bullion or other precious metals bullion.

The Tennessee Department of Treasury’s stated mission is “to enrich the lives of Tennesseans as a national leader in public financial stewardship.” To hold only Federal Reserve Note instruments as financial insurance, particularly over long term periods of time, is both irresponsible and inherently at odds with Tennessee’s mission statement.

Unfortunately, most state governments, pension funds, and individual investors remain vulnerable to inflation risk.

More…

Idaho Democrat Leader Brain Malfunction: “We Can’t Say Gold Is Going to Protect Us from Inflation When [It has Risen from] $27 an Ounce to $1,218 an Ounce” Reply

By: Jp Cortez

The Dunning-Kruger effect is the idea that low-ability people tend to suffer from illusory superiority. The phenomenon, first studied by David Dunning and Justin Kruger, says that people who know the least tend to overvalue their own competence, and tend to believe that they are experiencing some sort of upper-echelon level of thinking.

While the original study was conducted in 1999, we witnessed what appeared to be the Dunning-Kruger effect in action this past Tuesday on the floor of the Idaho House of Representatives.

And while it’s only March, but we also have identified the front-runner for our “Aurophobe of the Year” award.  (Aurophobia is the irrational fear of gold.)

During the March 14th floor debate on Idaho’s House Bill 206, a measure that promotes sound money by removing Idaho income taxation from precious metals, Democrat Representative Mat Erpelding — the House Minority Leader — couldn’t help himself and had to share his two cents, even after asserting that he had no opinion on the bill (but then voted against it).

“Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I don’t have an opinion on this bill. However, I do have an opinion on facts. Facts are somewhat important,” Representative Erpelding said with an air of superiority.  “If we say that gold is going to protect us from inflation, I want to point out that in 1868, gold was $27 an ounce, and today gold is $1,218 an ounce. So, we can’t say that gold is going to protect us from inflation when you have that type of a price range over the last hundred years. So, I just want to point out that facts are important.”

Huh? The purchasing power of the dollar versus gold has fallen nearly 98% and gold therefore offers no protection against inflation?

Despite Minority Leader Erpelding’s objection, House Bill 206 overwhelmingly passed in the House 56-13. Next, sound money supporters hope to receive a hearing and a vote in the Idaho Senate.

Watch the video here.

 

States Consider Removing Income and Sales Taxes from the Monetary Metals Reply

Listen to the Podcast Audio: Click Here

Precious metals markets can certainly be volatile from week to week, but over time they are a more reliable store of value than Federal Reserve Notes. Gold and silver remain the world’s most enduring and most widely recognized form of money. And, as spelled out in the U.S. Constitution, gold and silver coins are legal tender. Individual states thus can formally recognize gold and silver coins as legal tender alternatives to Federal Reserve Note dollars.

Both Utah and Oklahoma have passed legal tender laws in recent years recognizing gold and silver as money. The metals can be used freely as a means of payment and are free from all state taxes. More than 20 states have already removed sales taxes from precious metals transactions, with Alabama, Tennessee, and Maine now considering their own proposals to do so as well.

Other states, including Arizona and Idaho, are moving forward on legislation to exempt gold and silver bullion from capital gains taxes. Since Money Metals Exchange is located in Idaho, we would be particularly excited to see it become a haven for sound money.

Last Thursday a bill to eliminate capital gains taxes on precious metals passed the Idaho House Committee on Revenue and Taxation. Money Metals President Stefan Gleason testified before the Committee. Here is some of what he had to say:

More…

Sound Money Is Rising at the State Level Reply

By Clint Siegner, Money Metals Exchange

Inflation is the most pernicious of taxes levied by our government. Officials systematically devalue the Federal Reserve Note “dollar,” then levy capital gains taxes on assets when their dollar price rises.

The “gains” are largely illusory. Rising asset prices over time reflect the fact that the dollar buys less of everything. But the tax obligations triggered by this inflation are very real.

Bills calling for the elimination of capital gains taxes on money, i.e. precious metals, have recently been introduced in both Idaho and Arizona.

Money Metals Exchange president Stefan Gleason testified at the hearing and pointed out that “by taxing so-called gains on exchanging precious metals for devalued Federal Reserve Notes, we’re adding another tax on top of the inflation tax.”

Idaho State Representative Ron Nate adroitly observed, “Citizens aren’t allowed to declare capital losses when the dollars they hold lose value. So, it isn’t fair to tax capital gains when the gold and silver they own rises in value.”

The Idaho bill – HB206 – passed the House Committee on Revenue and Taxation last Thursday and is expected to come up for a vote on the house floor in the coming days.

The Arizona House of Representatives passed its own version of the Idaho bill, HB2014, in mid-February, sending it on to the state Senate which is holding a hearing this Wednesday. Former Congressman Ron Paul is scheduled to testify.

Meanwhile, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia, and Maine are working to eliminate sales taxes on gold and silver bullion.

Supporters of sound money are working hard to reestablish gold and silver as money according to state law and to make sure it is treated as such in the tax code. Trading one form of money for another should not trigger any tax. There is no sales tax when customers swap their precious metals for dollars, so switching dollars to bullion should also be tax exempt.

Oklahoma, Utah, Texas, Idaho, and nearly 20 other states already exempt precious metals from sales tax. Utah and Oklahoma have gone one step further, reaffirming the U.S. Constitution’s designation of gold and silver as legal tender. As such the metals are free from all state taxes – including capital gains.

Texas and Tennessee have both approved measures to establish precious metals depositories in their states. Utah legislators are now considering a bill to authorize the same. The idea is to facilitate ownership of gold and silver bullion in state-run investment funds including pensions.

More…

Idaho Bill Would End Taxation of Gold and Silver Reply

By Jp Cortez

The Framers of our nation established that gold and silver are money, but federal taxing authorities in recent decades have required taxpayers to pay taxes on this form of money when its exchange for Federal Reserve Notes results in nominal capital “gains.”

But that problem may soon be mitigated, at least in Idaho.

A prominent Gem State state representative has advanced legislation to remove state income taxes when Idaho taxpayers sell their precious metals.

House Majority Leader Mike Moyle introduced House Bill 206 on February 23rd to amend Idaho revenue statutes, providing “that capital gains and losses on precious metals bullion and monetized bullion sales be added to or subtracted from Idaho taxable income.”

More…