Would Libertarianism Make People Fat? 4

In the spirit of Paul LaFargue and Bob Black. This is precisely the kind of libertarianism we need, not bourgeois conservatism or SJW ninnyism. “But freedom will make people lazy and decadent!” Response” “Yeah? What of it?”

Anarcho-Dictator

Without all the taxes and regulations that force people to continuously generate income to survive, it’s quite possible that many people would be even lazier than they are today. If one could simply build on land or buy it, and had to pay for nothing but repairs and vittles for themselves, many people might find themselves at work two or four hour days and spend the rest of their time watching hentai and drinking beer.

An increase in economic prosperity has led to an increasingly slothful and self-indulgent population in every case I can think of. A large, free trade economy might produce hordes of people for whom survival is so simple as to make effort almost superfluous.

Such an environment would also open the pathway to many low-efficiency lifestyles – the wealthier you are, the more you can indulge cult superstitions, smoke crack and alienate everyone without risk of starving to death. Imagine all the ‘anarcho-primitivists’ with their camping gear shipped into the Amazon by Amazon drones – making a few dollars a day selling pictures of the rain forest to advertising firms.

Why State Provision of Social Services is a Bad Idea, Even in the Context of Corporate Plutocracy Reply

Some interesting comments from “Dick Moore” on Facebook.

I wanted to write a little bit about the question of ‘social services’ provided by the State as alleged ‘alternatives’ to for-profit systems.

To start with I will admit (as more sophisticated libertarians do) that really-existing capitalism and its major appendages – the international joint-stock corporation – benefit in a myriad of ways from state intervention, both direct (subsidy, tariff and government contracts) as well as indirect (the creation of ‘friendly business environments’ in foreign lands through political pressure by the American state, intellectual property, and so forth). Existing corporations, even if they provide really valuable services, are almost certainly far more profitable and extensive that would be possible in a market of free competition and without State control of access to credit and so forth.

Many liberals and socialists demand, as an antidote, that many social services should be provided by the government rather than left to the whims of the corporate oligarchy.

‘Obamacare’ has resulted in the funneling of money into huge insurance companies and a further disconnection between patients and care providers, with no apparent improvement in the cost or availability of medical care. After the failure of Obamacare (which even some leftists admit) the solution usually offered is a single-payer system, that is full state operation of medical services, or at least a system of free state-run hospitals for those who cannot afford private services.

Yet is this really an antidote? The almost entirely state-operated school system provides billions a year to corporations – through construction contracts, purchase of computers, purchase of Microsoft Windows, purchase of internet access through FCC-regulated-and-connected agencies such as Time-Warner. And because of this these corporations are raking in huge sums of money without being responsible, while schools can draw potentially infinite funds without any reference to outcomes.

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The danger of race-based politics Reply

Kotkin’s class analysis, his recognition that progressives are just as bad on class issues as conservatives, and his stating the obvious fact that racial demagoguery is a bad idea are all spot on. However, he seems to retreat into a naive civic nationalism that’s likely to prove increasingly untenable as class, cultural, racial, political and other divisions grow. The United States of the future will likely continue to be a wealth, technologically advanced society that is increasingly diverse in terms of population demographics. The society will become increasingly integrated as well (more Buddhists in Congress, etc). However, the emerging class system is one that resembles the kind of class structure traditionally found in Latin America, and social conflict between contending demographics will likely continue to escalate as well. The role of the increasingly all-pervasive public administration state will be in part to manage that conflict, largely through unprincipled means like buying off the loyalty of some groups, suppressing others, playing different groups off against each other, negotiating or forcing settlements between rival groups, etc.

By Joel Kotkin

Orange County Register

Overall, perceptions of worsening racial relations have been building since the Obama years. And now, with everything from the Kate Steinle murder verdict to President Trump’s dog-whistling Muslim tweets, they see destined to worsen further.

Ironically the strongest demand for racial exclusion comes mostly not from traditional racists — still not extinct — but from a campus left determined to address the evils of “whiteness” through policies of racial separation not seen since Jim Crow days. At some campuses, events are held that whites are excluded from and racially separate dorms are being developed. Even at the high school level, there are attempts to be “racially conscious” towards students, essentially teaching them to their racial “profile,” with dubious educational benefits.

President Trump’s unfortunate tendency to go out of his way to offend non-whites, whether they be Navajo war heroes, Hispanics or inner-city African Americans, makes this all worse. The president and the radical racialists both seem to find common purpose in the creation of kindling for racial bonfires.

Race in not the fundamental problem — class is

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National Precious Metals Company Announces Sound Money Scholarship Winners Reply

By J.P. Cortez

December 13, 2017 (Eagle, Idaho) — A national precious metals dealer has selected four outstanding students to receive tuition assistance from America’s first gold-backed scholarship fund.

Beginning last year, Money Metals Exchange, a national precious metals dealer recently ranked “Best in the USA,” teamed up with the Sound Money Defense League and well known members of acedemia and freedom-minded non-profits to offer the first gold-backed scholarship of the modern era.

The groups set aside 100 ounces of physical gold to reward outstanding students who display a thorough understanding of monetary policy, sound money, and the damage caused by the Federal Reserve system.

After a blue-ribbon panel examined nearly 100 applications submitted this year, Money Metals Exchange & Sound Money Defense League today revealed the 2017 winners:

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Social Class and State Power: Exploring an Alternative Radical Tradition Reply

This looks to be quite good. Available at Amazon.Com.

This book explores the idea of social class in the liberal tradition. It collects classical and contemporary texts illustrating and examining the liberal origins of class analysis―often associated with Marxism but actually rooted in the work of liberal theorists. Liberal class analysis emphasizes the constitutive connection between state power and class position. Social Class and State Power documents the rich tradition of liberal class theory, its rediscovery in the twentieth century, and the possibilities it opens up for research in the new millenium.

The 21st Century is Becoming the 19th Century: Repeating Tragedy as a Farce 2

History repeatsfirst as tragedy, then as farce” … -Karl Marx, The 18th Brumaire of Louis Napoleon

By Keith Preston

The present era of globalization in the early 21st century is very similar to the era of industrialization in the early 19th century, in the sense of both the way that it is transforming the world, as well as the conflicts that it is generating.

The primary political conflict in the early to middle 19th century was the battle between the rising bourgeoisie and the Ancient Regime. The present day equivalent of that conflict is the emerging conflict between the “national bourgeoisie” (represented by, for example, the declining WASP elite in the United States), who are the contemporary equivalent of the throne and altar traditionalists of earlier times. This declining ruling class sector is pitted against the globalist techno-oligarchs, financiers, and information/managerial class professionals that comprise the New Elites (the present equivalent of the 19th century bourgeoisie). The populist-nationalist movements of the West who serve as the ground level constituency for the national bourgeoisie are comparable to the 19th century European peasants and petite bourgeoisie who supported the royalists against the rise of the classical bourgeoisie (and whose opposition to the global economy is somewhat comparable to the Luddites who opposed the advent of industrialization). For instance, to understand the presidency of Donald Trump, and the rise of the Trumpians, one needs only to read Marx’s The 18th Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, which describes how “how the class struggle..created circumstances and relationships that made it possible for a grotesque mediocrity to play a hero’s part.

Louis Napoleon Bonaparte

Image result for louis napoleon bonaparte

Donald Trump

Image result for trump

The rise of the bourgeoisie in the 19th century, the subsequent institutionalization of the bourgeoisie as the new ruling class (replacing the monarchs, aristocrats, and clerics), the parallel growth of industrial capitalism, and the related class polarization, generated the rise of opposition to the bourgeoisie from the Left. This opposition took the form of the socialist, communist, anarchist, and labor movements of the 19th and early 20th century.

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Against Plutocratic Communism 2

“Plutocratic Communism” is a great term. Communism was one of the biggest scams in history. “Wealth and property are bad! Let’s give it all to the state!” Not even the priestly conjurers of god-emperors or the divine right of kings came up with something that good. Communism was what you would have had if the Jim Jones Peoples’ Temple cult had been in charge of 46 countries  (with Nazi Germany being the equivalent of the Manson Family running an actual state).

Instead of a Blog

Libertarian liberty CAN be totally subsumed under ‘property rights’, but one must also account that the strict interpretation of ‘property rights’ rules out legal monopolies of jurisprudence. The problem with a lot of ‘vulgar’ libertarians is that they still believe in useless garbage like ‘limited government’, the State is and always will be an agent for the wealthy and well-connected, this was true in the 14th century, the 19th century and today. ‘Property rights’ under a system of state-administered ‘justice’ is just a racketeering operation, and its ‘laws’ are nothing more than a pretense for tyranny. There is no such thing as a system of libertarian property rights and contract so long as the State exists, end of story. ‘Libertarians’ who aren’t willing to face up to the need to abolish all centralized states and empires – not ‘reduce’ them, no ‘control them’, not write garbage ‘constitutions’ – are useful idiots for the Plutocratic Communism engendered under state dispensation of the law.

Proudhon was Not a Communist Reply

I first heard of libertarians in 1980 when Ed Clark ran for Prez on the LP ticket. I first heard of anarchists around 1983 when I came across William Godwin in a high school English literature class (which I probably failed). I first became an anarchist by reading Proudhon’s encyclopedia entry around 1987. What started as youthful fancy became a lifelong activity.

Instead of a Blog

Proudhon was not a communist. Proudhon agreed with Bastiat on basically everything, except he was more extreme about it. He wanted to deprive the illegitimately-wealthy of their monopoly of credit. Look into the history of how ‘capitalism’ actually happened, as opposed to the pure theory – the State was involved at every turn, old feudal monopolies were liquidated into state-subsidized and protected industrial monopolies. Proudhon was not a ‘socialist’ in the sense that Marx or Bernie Sanders is.
Libertarians really need to learn more about fucking history, brah. The 19th century was not unfettered laissez-faire, it was the massive expansion of the state and an non-stop incestuous relationship between big capital and big government. That’s how the modern world was born.
Also, the Marxists are right about almost everything except Communism. Marx’s economics are basically rehashed Ricardo with a bunch of nonsense, but the general theme of Marxist work is more or less correct – that a super-elite of politically advantaged banksters and capitalists are funneling resources into their own pockets and levering up global trade with imperial expansionism. Any well-informed libertarian can give you exactly the same story, it’s the dumbasses who think historical capitalism was a ‘free market’ that don’t get it.
Keep in mind that I say all of this as a supporter of unilateral free trade, unlimited property accumulation, joint-stock companies, and heavily armed citizen-militias supplemented by mercenaries as the sole defense force. I ain’t no Red. But I do read.

The USA is Becoming Latin America in Class Relations Reply

It’s interesting how the US is developing a class system similar to Latin America. I don’t think the reasons for this can be traced to a singular cause. It probably has several dozen causes.

https://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/mt/assets/international/gini%20map%20large.jpg

It’s also interesting how all the different political factions have their proposed ideal solutions. Liberals and social democrats want a more progressive tax code and a larger welfare state. Nationalists want restricted immigration and high tariffs. An-caps want to abolish central banking. Conservatives want to abolish welfare to the inner city. Libertarians want to reduce taxes and regulation. The far Left wants some kind of socialist revolution. Probably none of those by themselves would produce the results they want even if a general political and popular consensus for their implementation could be developed, which is unlikely given the ongoing fragmentation and polarization of US political culture.

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President Trump’s Fateful Choice 1

The Trump administration is Republican business as usual, as virtually all serious observers predicted it would be. The great thing about the Trump presidency is not only is Trump generally unpopular outside of his dying right-wing of the WASP middle class “base,” but he is demonstrating that Presidents are simply CEOs of America, Inc., and the state-capitalist oligarchs who serve as the de facto Board of Directors.

By William S. Lind

Traditional Right

President Trump ran as a Republican, but he did not win as a Republican.  He won as a populist.  If he is to be a successful president and win re-election, he needs to make a fateful choice: will he govern as a populist or as a Republican?  If he chooses the latter, he will fail.

Unfortunately, the president seems to be leaning more and more towards governing as a Republican.  The tax reform proposal he recently offered is classic Republican:  it may benefit the middle class indirectly by creating more jobs, but its direct beneficiaries are high-income people.  One simple change would transform it into a populist measure: a high tax rate, say 75%, on earned incomes over $1,000,000 annually (indexed for inflation).  The people who elected Mr. Trump would cheer.

On the vexing problem of health insurance, the president’s latest action, cutting government subsidies to insurance companies to subsidize low income people, may hurt Trump voters.  Many of his supporters have modest incomes. They are not Republicans with money to burn.  The populist answer to health care is Medicare for all, with Medicare’s ability to control prices.  The origin of the health care affordability problem is grossly excessive prices for anything labelled “medical”. Any policy that does not deal with those prices is a band-aid.

In foreign and defense policy, Trump voters do not want more unnecessary wars halfway around the world that kill our kids and waste our money.  That is the populist position: America first.  If we are attacked, we fight, but why should young Americans die in the centuries-old war between Sunni and Shiite Islamics?  Here again, President Trump seems to be governing as a Republican, not a populist.  Continuing the futile war in Afghanistan, re-involving ourselves on the ground in Iraq, putting “advisors” in Syria, spooling up the long-standing and strategically meaningless war of words with North Korea—none of this is populist.  It all comes from the playbook of Republicans such as Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who cannot stand the thought that there is a quarrel somewhere in the world in which the U.S. is not involved.

I suspect President Trump knows the Republicans have taken over his administration and pushed the populism that elected him to the side.  Unfortunately, he seems not to know what to do about it.  There are sources of ideas and people from which he could assemble a different, populist-conservative agenda and set of advisors.  I write for one of them, The American Conservative magazine.

What the Republicans in and around the White House do not understand, in addition to the bankruptcy of the Republican “we serve the rich” agenda, is that populism is the wave of the future, both here and in Europe and on the Left as well as the Right.  Establishment Republicans and Democrats alike fear populism.  But to a president elected because he was seen as a populist, the populist wave of the future is one he should seek to ride.  If not President Trump then someone else will combine the Trump and Sanders voters into a new, enduring political majority that will shape America’s future agenda.  In the end, it is not President Trump or Senator Sanders who is important.  It is the people who voted for both.

 

Congressmen Press the U.S Mint for Action on Counterfeit Gold and Silver Coins Reply

By J P Cortez

Washington, DC (October 27, 2017) — Congressmen Alex Mooney (R-WV) and Frank Lucas (R-OK) today delivered a formal letter to the United States Mint and Secret Service, urging aggressive action on the growing problem of high-quality counterfeits of U.S. precious metals coins entering the country from China and elsewhere.

“Enclosed herewith is a 1995 1 oz. Gold American Eagle coin, carrying a face value $50 and ostensibly minted by the U.S. Mint,” Mooney and Lucas wrote.  “You are free to keep it, as it’s a worthless tungsten fake.”

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Does Universal Basic Income Require a State? 4

By Lexi Linnell

Center for a Stateless Society

Recently, Vishal Wilde advocated for a universal basic income (UBI) on the grounds that it promotes economic freedom and social justice. Indeed, UBI has long been attractive to libertarians of various stripes. However, this idea suffers from the problem that, to date, UBI proposals have generally relied on the state for a taxation and distribution mechanism. From the libertarian point of view, a voluntary UBI would be highly preferable. As Wilde notes:

Although it’s worth noting that all contemporary, publicly-funded services have coercive origins, a voluntarily-funded UBI would obviously be ideal. Ensuring that a voluntary UBI utilized suitable mechanisms for delivering and enhancing trust is an unenviable but profoundly important challenge. Even if this can be accomplished, the difficult task of convincing people to adopt these mechanisms remains.

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What is the Ruling Class? Reply

An excellent general introduction to class theory from an anti-statist perspective.

By Sean Gabb

In delivering this speech, I make no pretence to originality of thought. Everything I am saying today has been said already – usually better, and always in greater detail – by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, by Roderick Long, by Kevin Carson, by Christian Michel, and by many others. If I can contribute anything to the libertarian analysis of class, it is brevity alone. 

Libertarians often define a ruling class as that group of politicians, bureaucrats, lawyers, businessmen, therapists, educators and media people who derive income and position from the State. By definition, so far as such people operate as members of a ruling class, they are parasitic on the efforts of ordinary people. Their position comes from forcing others to act as they would not freely choose, or by excluding them from activities they might freely choose. Their income is based on forced transfers of wealth.

The size and activities of a ruling class will be determined by the physical resources it can extract from the people, by the amount of force it can use against them, and by the nature and acceptance of the ideology that legitimises its existence. None of these determinants by itself will be decisive, but each is a necessary factor. Change any one, and the working of the other two will be limited or wholly checked.

Of these determinants, the ideological are the most open to control and change. In the short term, resources are fixed in quantity. At any time, the amount of force available will be limited. What will always interest ruling classes, therefore, is the nature and acceptance of its legitimising ideology. This will vary according to circumstances that are not fully within the control of any ruling class. It may involve averting the Divine Wrath, or promoting acceptance of the True Faith, or protecting the nation from external or external enemies, or raising the condition of the poor, or making us healthier, or saving the planet from us. The claims of the ideology may, in other times and places, seem unfounded or insane. What they generally have in common is the need for an active state directed by the right sort of people.

Since the function of these ideologies is to justify theft or murder or both, they need to be promoted by endless repetition – which is a valid form of argument if truth is less important than winning – and by at least the discouragement of dissent. Efficient promotion will produce a discourse – this being the acceptance of a language and of habits of thought in which dissent cannot be expressed without also conceding its immorality. Efficient promotion will also produce a state of almost universal false consciousness – in which ordinary people are brought to accept ideological claims as true that are opposed to their own interests as these might be reasonably considered.

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Was Karl Marx Right About Anything? Reply

This is an interesting discussion by Tom Woods exploring the similarities and differences between Marxist and Austrian class theory. The basis of the discussion is an article by Hans Hermann Hoppe suggesting that Marx was essentially correct about everything but the labor theory of value. This analysis of Hoppe that Tom is discussing fits well with Murray Rothbard’s essay from the mid-1960s called “Left and Right: Prospects for Liberty” where Rothbard argued that libertarianism is historically to the left of socialism.

Bitcoin Icon Roger Ver Is Starting His Own Country With No Government Reply

We need many, many more projects like this with each reflecting the ideals of their founders and participants.

By Evan Faggart

BitsOnline

Roger Ver, a highly visible figure in the Bitcoin community, is teaming up with entrepreneur and cryptocurrency enthusiast Olivier Janssens to create a brand new country. Here’s the catch: this country will have no government, opting instead to adhere to the principles of the Anarcho-Capitalism philosophy.

Also read: Canada May Soon Get Its Very Own Bitcoin ETF

Roger Ver and the Free Society: A New Anarchist Paradise?

Called the “Free Society,” the country’s website is currently barebones. At press time, the only things displayed on the website are a two-sentence ‘About Us,’ a newsletter subscription box, and a ‘FAQ’ section.

Roger Ver Free Society
Free Society logo

According to the FAQ section, Roger and the rest of the Free Society team are negotiating with different, undisclosed national governments. The Free Society’s goal is to reach an agreement with a national government that will grant them sovereignty over a piece of the existing government’s land, or a nearby territory.

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Reflections on Class Relations in State-Capitalist Liberal-Democracies Reply

Modern liberal democratic states are oligarchies of state-capitalist power elites in practice (C. Wright Mills). But they have to afford a reasonable standard of living, level of protection, and quality of life to the middle class in order to maintain their legitimacy. States tend to collapse when they can no longer hold the support of the middle class. The middle class generally fears the lower class more than the ruling class (for a range of reasons, e.g. crime, economic competition, perceived cultural threats, status anxiety, etc). So the state will maintain the loyalty of the middle class by ensuring the lower class is effectively suppressed. Political rivalries in liberal democracies either represent different factions of the elite attempting to build constituencies for themselves (e.g. FOX News or MSNBC) or various middle class factions seeking favors and preferential treatment from the state and other elite institutions.

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Gold and Lord Rama- The Reason for the Diwali Season Reply

By J P Cortez

October 19, 2017 marks an important holiday in the Indian culture. Diwali begins.

Diwali is one of the biggest festivals for Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains. It is a lavish celebration of the victory of light over darkness with its gleaming candles, luxurious works of art, and opulent feasts. Diwali is also characterized by gift giving. Buying and gifting gold is considered auspicious during Diwali.

Given the nature of the holiday and the number of people who celebrate it, according to CNBC, the past few years have seen a tendency for the gold price to rise around Diwali. Last year during Diwali, Mihir Kapadia, founder & CEO of Sun Global Investments, said “As heavy consumers, the festive seasons always tend to surge the demand, and considering the current low prices, this should increase the market activity and thus push the prices a little.” Kapadia continued, “We do not expect it to boost prices significantly as the overall market is subdued due to the worries about rising interest rates.”

There is no shortage of economic analysis during the buildup to this year’s celebration as The Economic Times reported “bullion has climbed almost 10 percent on the Indian market this year as world prices increased on… reduced chances of a further hike in U.S. interest rates in 2017.”

However, history shows that rising interest rates do not necessarily make bonds and cash more attractive or push the demand for (and therefore the price) gold down. Interest rate hikes are usually a gold bullish event.

“Gold prices going down after rate hikes is a myth propagated by the financial establishment and portfolio managers who may be intellectually lazy or have a vested interest in scaring people away from gold,” says Stefan Gleason, president of U.S. precious metals dealer Money Metals Exchange. “In reality, central banks are almost always behind the curve, and real interest rates may be going in the opposite direction despite the rate hikes.”

Slaying the Beast Takes Multiple Blows

Diwali is a grand, extravagant multi-day festival celebrating many things by many different groups of people. One of the more popular tales remembered and celebrated during Diwali is that of the brave Lord Rama. According to legend, he returned from exile after having saved his kidnapped wife and slayed the evil demon Ravanna.

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Keith Preston: Interview with C-Realm Radio Reply

Listen here.

KMO welcomes Keith Preston back to the program to discuss the difference between absolute and relative poverty. There are a lot of people who make less than the national average, but most of the so-called poverty in the US is relative poverty. Even so, social stratification and wide disparities between rich and poor, even when the poor are not facing starvation, erodes the sense of shared national identity and makes democratic government difficult to maintain.

More signs point to Mark Zuckerberg possibly running for president in 2020 1

It could be that Trump has started a trend where the political class, corporate class, and celebrity class are increasingly blended into each other. Also, a Zuckerberg presidential candidacy would be significant in that he represents social and economic forces outside the traditional WASP plutocracy to a much greater degree than Trump in that he is both a minority (Jewish) and part of the rising class of the “newly rich” (i.e. those from outside the traditional elite who have acquired enormous amounts of wealth in newer, high-tech industries.)My suspicion is that Trump’s upset victory in 2016 largely represents “WASP America’s last stand” and that the trend begun by Obama of political leaders increasingly being drawn from the ranks of those outside the traditional elite (e.g. ethnic minorities or the newly rich from outside the traditional plutocracy) will continue in the future.

By Shawn M. Carter

CNBC

There’s increasing speculation that Mark Zuckerberg, the self-made billionaire chairman, co-founder and chief executive officer of Facebook, may one day run for office. And though it’s unclear that he will make a bid for to be the next U.S. President in 2020, he could certainly afford it.

The clues

According to Politico, some of the signs that he does plan to run are there.

Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have hired Joel Benenson, a Democratic pollster, adviser to former President Barack Obama and chief strategist of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, as a consultant for their joint philanthropic project, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

The pair also hired David Plouffe, campaign manager for Obama’s 2008 presidential run; Amy Dudley, former communications adviser for Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va.; and Ken Mehlman, who directed President George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign.

Zuckerberg is on a yearlong “listening tour,” where he is traveling to all 50 states and meeting with leaders and constituents in each — and, to document the trip, he has hired Charles Ommanney, a photographer for both the Bush and Obama presidential campaigns.

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