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21.11.16

A Spooner-Fed Radical

Take a moment, if you will, to ponder these two propositions:

  • Compulsory membership in any organization is, in fact, slavery;
  • The US Constitution offers citizens only two choices: ballots or bullets.
Interestingly, the anti-Trump riots in the US at this time are legitimate reactions, because there is no other remedy allowed by design of the US political system, according to these two propositions.

These are extraordinary statements to many people.  If you live in a country that has a constitution, as the US and Indonesia do, then you are a slave, and your only options are to support slavery by voting, or start shooting if you are a US citizen.  The Indonesian constitution offers no such choice.

These are the propositions of a rather extraordinary political thinker named Lysander Spooner.  To most people, his name is completely unfamiliar, but his writings are the foundation of my own political reasoning.  He lived in the US from 1808 to 1887, and is probably one of the great anarchists of all time.  He is also the spiritual father of UPS, FedEx and DHL, but that's a different issue.

Spooner is probably as close as I get to having a "hero." His thinking was so far off the beaten path as to make him one of the few truly free thinkers of all time.  He influenced writers like Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, and his essays form the basis for much of modern libertarian thinking.

I first encountered Spooner at a place called Patriot Oil in Midland, Texas in the early 1990s.  Patriot Oil was the most underground of underground bookstores anywhere in the country.  Located off the interstate in a remote part of West Texas, it was owned and run by a man who had turned his independent gasoline station into an outlet for any and all materials generally considered subversive - meaning they successfully opened people's minds to the tyranny all around them.

By the way, you could also buy surplus ordinance obtained from a near-by military base.  Everything from hard-to-get caliber rounds to mortars and small rockets were arranged in displays around the property.

I had made a pilgrimage to this isolated gas station for the express reason of obtaining materials that could not be had anywhere else (the internet had not yet become what it is now).  Many of the titles in this other-worldly bookstore in the middle of nowhere were photocopied texts of public domain pamphlets, books, essays and letters.  They were arranged haphazardly on shelves in the office, outside and scattered across the garage, where spattered motor oil and tire black smudges had made the top pages unreadable in many cases.

Here. one could obtain copies of The Anarchist's Cookbook and The Poor Man's James Bond, as well as Lysander Spooner and Ludwig von Mises.  This was radical stuff, and my heart was pounding as I scanned the saddle-stitched volumes.  I was in the presence of words that had put men in jail and even gotten them killed.  This was heady stuff for a fledgling radical.

I purchased enough reading material to fill a carry-on bag, since the 36-hour round-trip to remote West Texas was not something one wanted nor could afford to do on a regular basis.  Among those materials was a rather short book called No Treason, by Lysander Spooner.  I had no idea at the time, but it was destined to heavily influence my thinking up to this point.

Spooner is the radical's Radical.  He presents some of the most insightful and erudite arguments against government of all kinds, and especially constitutional governments, that I have ever encountered.  He makes the case that the individual is, for the most part, self-governing and doesn't need massive institutions full of blowhards making lofty speeches about unobtainable concepts.  Humans merely need a judiciary to mediate contract disputes among themselves.  The rest is complete bunk.  And when you finish reading his arguments, it is hard not to agree.

Writing at the time of the American Civil War, Spooner argues that any union from which the members cannot extract themselves is, in point of fact, slavery.  Thus, the Civil War did not end slavery, but rather expanded it to all citizens.  By denying the States the right to leave the Union, the federal government was basically stating that the Union was a compulsory thing, much like prison for felons, and therefore was not dedicated to liberty and freedom.

Furthermore, Spooner argues that the Constitution has no authority.  The phrase often used is the "social contract," in which the Constitution forms a contract between the People and the government, noting the powers granted and the structure desired.  However, as he points out, the Constitution does not contain several of the parts of a contract, such as Warranty and Performance, nor does it have a place for the Parties to signify their compliance.  In other words, it is not a contract and the government is not bound to behave in any particular way.  The only means by which the People can indicate their complicity is by voting, so that voting becomes not a right but a binding agreement to follow whatever they are told.

After reading Spooner, one is convinced that, instead of the People agreeing to a form of government, they have instead volunteered for slavery, because the government has no penalty for non-performance and it has the force of grievous bodily harm to force the People to comply.  Voting is simply a voluntary submission to this one-sided arrangement, since the individual is forced by threat of death to submit to government without the means or right to force government to heel.

In the case of the US Constitution, the only two remedies that the individual is given are either to vote, or to shoot.  There is no middle ground, since the government reserves the right to reject any law suit brought against it, and protest and petition - as has been shown again and again - is completely useless.  Even when one refuses to vote, one is still compelled to submit to the System, even though one has clearly demonstrated a lack of willingness.  

In polite circles, this is known as slavery.

As Spooner so adroitly points out, this is the fundamental flaw in Enlightenment thinking.  Just because an elite few draft a Constitution that becomes the Supreme Law of the Land does not compel the individual to comply with it if he or she does not sign the "social contract."  When any of the Parties to a Contract are forbidden under pain of death to withdraw from the agreement, it is no longer a Contract, it is servitude.  Since the masses are generally inculcated from birth with submission to the government, none of the People freely choose their slavery and none have any means to extract themselves from it, short of the use of arms.

Not only is it vital for the thinking person to read the Enlightenment writers to understand just how revolutionary and profound that philosophy was - and what the Illuminati were really trying to achieve - but it is equally important to read Lysander Spooner to understand exactly how the Snakes have usurped that amazing awakening, and turned humanity's greatest attempt at liberty and freedom into a tool for even deeper enslavement.

Spooner is a sobering read for the conservative and liberal alike.  He demonstrates clearly and succinctly the basic flaw in the thinking of both sides.  He also makes a solid case for enlightened anarchy and why we really don't need government at all.

Truly, the greatest weapon We the People possess is education.  It is the only means by which we can fight the true root of all evil: government.  As Henry David Thoreau so beautifully put it, "There are thousands striking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root."  Reading Spooner is to watch in amazement a man who is striking deep blows to the root.

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