By any name, it kills

First, here are the classical definitions of socialism:

  1. Government (not “communal”) control of property, and ownership of the means of production.
  2. Some definitions include the elimination of private property, but this overlaps with communism, and somewhat contradicts Marx’s definitions.
  3. In Marxist theory, an intermediary/transitional form of government between capitalism and communism distinguished by unequal distribution of property and income. “Corresponding to this is also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.” – Karl Marx

Socialism

Now, the use and meaning of the word “socialism” has changed a LOT recently.  So I’ll contrast it to communism, as defined by Marx:

  1. The state is eliminated (true anarchy) and all property and means of production is owned equally by the people as a collective.
  2. No private property. “The theory of Communism may be summed up in one sentence: Abolish all private property.” – Karl Marx
  3. Distribution of goods and services by: “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.” – Karl Marx

People can of course believe whatever they want.

If they want to call themselves socialist and then redefine socialism to be something they like better than the old definition…well, who am I to argue?

Words change all the time. The English language hardly resembles what it did before the Vikings and French and Shakespeare started messing with it.

But let’s not fool ourselves with our words, either.

Words are extremely powerful.  It’s by words, and the actions we apply to words, that we turn corporate abstractions like “tribe,” “gang,” “army” and “nation” into deadly forces of oppression, slavery, genocide and war.

I know a lot of decent, well-meaning, well-educated and very intelligent socialists. They all perform the same, subtle linguistic/mental alchemy:

They trans-substantiate politicians into “The People,” and are, really, advocating communism.Atheists

In other words, today’s socialists dismiss the inevitably violent and impoverishing despotism of an almighty government, and transmogrify the realities of authoritarianism into the dreams of a Marxian Kumbaya.

Now, to a degree and in a way, we all do that, and it’s not all bad.

All government is by consent of the governed. Politicians, elites and even the legions of bureaucrats all put-together, are vastly outnumbered by the people who in one way or another consent to be ruled. So even the most oppressive tyrants reflect The People’s willingness to submit, if nothing else.

We’re tribal, pack animals, and we tend to Follow The Alpha. But even the most well-armed and entrenched ruler can be thrown down when the actual human populace (and not an abstraction like “The People”) get mad enough to finally act.

So it’s true, though we act like it’s not: ALL government is by consent of the governed.  ALL government is a reflection of the people.  It is the collective’s avatar.

But socialists aren’t thinking of We The People as a republic with representative politicians. Even more strangely, when they’re asking politicians to take over every aspect of life, they’re imagining this will lead to freedom, not being subjugated by an authoritarian despot.

I really do understand this. It sounds great. In fact I used to do this mental trick on myself, and I fell for a good bit of Marx and Engel’s rhetoric:

If you’re unhappy with the way things are in general, or the way your life is working in specific, doesn’t this sound appealing? “We call communism the real movement which abolishes the present state of things. …Both for the production on a mass scale of this communist consciousness, and … the alteration of men on a mass scale is, necessary, … a revolution; this revolution is necessary, therefore, not only because the ruling class cannot be overthrown in any other way, but also because the class overthrowing it can only in a revolution succeed in ridding itself of all the muck of ages and become fitted to found society anew.” – Karl Marx

And how about this one: “Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workingmen of all countries, unite!” – Karl Marx

And this one from Marx is absolutely true: “A nation cannot become free and at the same time continue to oppress other nations.

I’m not sure why “socialists” don’t just come out and say it; again, here’s Karl Marx: “It is high time that Communists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the Specter of Communism with a Manifesto of the party itself.

But let’s consider the label “Democratic Socialist” (which is itself very Marxian: “Democracy is the road to socialism”).

A few hours ago I read a rose-colored “Democratic Socialism” article that said “Socialism can be defined as ‘a system of social organization in which private property and the distribution of income are subject to social control.’

OK, fine. But what the heck is “social control” if we don’t have it already?

What doesn’t our government control right now, today? Are socialists somehow saying that our government is not the social organization of our society?

You can argue all you want about the benefits of income redistribution and that mysterious ether “social justice.”

But if you’re using “social control” of property and income as the definition of socialism, then we’ve already got it, and socialists should be delighted.NoGun

But they’re not, are they?

So, what do they really want?

Well, actually, I think most want, in a broad sense, what I want.

  1. They may be angry at people, and even violent toward their political foes; but all the “socialists” I know say they want peace. World peace. As in, quit bombing people. That’s a fine wish. I’d be happy to work with them on this.
  2. They want prosperity, however they define it. I may strongly disagree with their ideas on economics, but our goals are the same. People should prosper.
  3. They know our current social order is corrupt, and want that to go away. Me too! Oh man do I agree with them on that.
  4. They want something like “fair.” OK, they do tend to categorize people and have special classes of rights and privileges for special people, and I hate that. But they still have a sense that things aren’t fair now, and that something has to be done. I’m cool with that.
  5. While I think they’re calling oppression down on their own heads, they think they’re working toward freedom…personal freedom. I’m totally for that goal.

So, my problem with socialists isn’t their goals; it’s their chosen plan to attain their goals. I don’t think they’re thinking straight about their “social control” versus authoritarian corruption, poverty and violence. I think they’re grabbing onto the same, ancient snake-oil political promises and imagining that they’re the newest Get Rich Quick scheme.

lucy-charlie-brown-footballWe’ve done this before. We’ve done it to death. We keep believing the promises of dreams and ending up with the nightmares of yet another despot.

I know the arguments about western intervention in socialist nations like North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba and other descendants of the Russian revolutions of 1917. They have some merit. Our Presidents T. Roosevelt and W. Wilson did tremendous damage to the world in making war into a grand adventure of Empire instead of self-defense only.

But the arguments that socialism quickly tears itself to bits are much stronger, in my opinion.

Strong enough, I think, that the real peace, freedom and prosperity lovers among us should keep offering a much, much better way for a better life, and try to convince our fellows that what didn’t ever work as advertised before…still won’t work.

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Quit mortgaging our future, dang it!

Freedom, IN – Of course we need to cut taxes.  I’d vote to end income tax entirely.

But we already know this game. Politicians say that “government is too big,” but then make it bigger. They trumpet the need to cut spending, but then spend more.

And, of course, they cut taxes (just a little) without fixing the first two things; meaning that they’ll later raise taxes, and cut promised benefits.

Nobody likes to pay taxes.  But taxes are a symptom, not the disease itself.  The disease is ungoverned, unregulated, out-of-control politics and all the cost and violence that entails.

Every single one of the other 2018 primary election candidates for Indiana’s US Senate seat are promising more government. Every one of the others promise more fear-aggression-syndrome foreign policy, more domestic militarization, more intrusions into our privacy, trade and personal interactions.

I’m the only candidate promising less.

A lot less

I have a plan for Peace, prosperity, Security, Liberty and Justice for ALL, in eight steps.

But the summary is that I mean to cut the corruption, cost, intrusiveness, abusiveness and ineffectiveness of our central government by actually cutting powers, programs, agencies…and people, from that government. I propose establishing a truly federal (instead of our increasingly unitary) government as defined by the authorizing compact.

That is how this is supposed to work. That is still the law, as written and amended.

And I’m the only candidate who’s all about that.

Liberty or Bust!
Andy Horning
Freedom, Indiana

Rule of Law Reboot

What follows is a resolution that’d be a good first step to a better course for our nation.
If elected to congress, I’d introduce it immediately.
But don’t wait for me…please feel free to send this to your representatives in local, state or federal office.
PLEASE do this or something like it!
I’d of course prefer that this be passed as a Bill or Joint Resolution.  But even as a Concurrent or Simple Resolution, it’d open a discussion on what sort of nation we’re to be; a nation with governed government, or a great big crime syndicate:

Whereas the plain wording of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution for the United States of America is binding law;

Be it resolved that;

No federal law, agency, program or international treaty that depends upon authority not specifically granted by the Constitution for the United States of America shall be valid;

Any federal agency, law,  program or international treaty transcending authority specifically granted by the Constitution for the United States of America is null and void;

Unconstitutional laws, agencies, programs and treaties have created both problems and dependencies that will take time to rectify;

All unconstitutional federal powers, delegations, laws, programs, treaties and entities that cannot be immediately nullified must be phased out within no more than ten years.

 

cropped-youAn Indiana/local version of this could be (SOMEBODY PLEASE INTRODUCE THIS HERE IN INDIANA!):

Whereas the plain wording of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution for the United States of America, and Article I Section 25 of the Indiana Constitution is binding law;

Be it resolved that;

No federal or state law, agency, program or international treaty that depends upon authority not specifically granted by the Constitution for the United States of America  or the Constitution of the State of Indiana shall be valid;

Any federal or state agency, law,  program or international treaty transcending authority specifically granted by the Constitution for the United States of America is null and void;

Unconstitutional laws, agencies, programs and treaties have created both problems and dependencies that will take time to rectify;

All unconstitutional governing powers, delegations, laws, programs, treaties and entities that cannot be immediately nullified must be phased out within no more than ten years.

BattleofLongisland

Your vote’s not a poker chip; it’s weapon.

Updated Annotations to the US Constitution

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve edited this…

https://wedeclare.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/the-united-states-constitution.pdf

Who’s been bought off?

It makes news when some foreigner (like Henrique Capriles Radonski) challenges a foreign, long-entrenched murderous thug (like Hugo Chavez).  Such news makes headlines and waves all over the world.  In foreign politics, sports, and even in real life, we love a “come from behind” “Cinderella Story” of bravery challenging the odds.

But what do we hear about those who’d challenge the world’s longest-running and most-corrupt crony network operating here in the USA?  Do we admire the underdogs who’d offer an alternative to a machine of war, theft and deceit that’s been left alone with near-total power in the USA since 1913?

From personal experience, I must say, no.  In fact, we call them “fringe,” “lunatic,” or at best, when we don’t want to come out and say, “loser,” we call each of them a “wasted vote” with “no chance” in that entrenched, violent, stinking-rotten and generally disliked two-faced regime we’ve come to call (because we’ve been told to) “the Two Party System.”

Why is that?  Why do we voluntarily choose to live in a downward-spiraling, robbing-Peter-to-pay-Paul cronyism, lawless and brutish debt bomb?

Well, I think it’s because we’ve been bought off with our own money, that’s why.

Who among us doesn’t at least at some point in the day feel a part of some arbitrary abstract “class” of citizen that has a “special interest” in our adversarial system of politics?  Whether it’s the struggle of men versus women, gay versus straight, black versus white, or something even more abstract like activated Reserve, beneficiary, incorporated businessman or taxpayer, we all seem forced to “take a side” in a system that is now entirely based upon taking something from somebody, and sometimes, giving it to somebody else.

Sometimes it’s just taking; and we hope to keep a little more than the next guy gets to keep.  Sometimes we’re on the receiving end (Medicare, Social Security are the biggest, broadest examples), and we have come up with all manner of justification for what we take from our neighbors.

Always, it seems, one half of the “two party system” is “on your side;” while the other half is “against you.”

It’s hard for me to imagine why we’ve not demanded at least a year’s military peace since the War to End All War, but we’ve been told that our whole system will crash down like dominoes unless we keep ferreting out and smacking down the hobgoblins and demons always lurking somewhere overseas.

Anyway, you have invested, and you feel stuck.  You’ve witnessed “rope a dope.”

That it is immoral in the extreme as well as very clearly illegal doesn’t matter.  It is, we’re always told, and so we always say, “The Way Things Are.”

Well, life is what you make it.  We The People have exactly and only what we choose.  It’s in your power to keep “The Way Things Are” the way things are; or change it to whatever you want.

I have a proposal.  I offer rules that apply to everybody equally – written rules that are few enough that everybody can know them; simple enough that everybody can understand them; and important/useful/critical enough that everybody must obey all of them without exception, all the time.  The rules are proven to work if obeyed, and they’ve been called brilliant and exemplary by people all over the world.  They are also the law, right now.

It’s all here, and here.

I’m not holding my breath that my quixotic campaign will do any better than ever before.  I’m not even saying that I’m a brave person to offer such a challenge to our corrupt status quo.  And please don’t call me Cinderella.

I’m just putting rule of law under existing state and federal constitutions on the ballot under the name Andrew Horning (L).

Whatever happens next isn’t my decision at all.

It’s all yours.  You’re the one who must decide if you want to keep doing what you’ve been doing, or something else for a change.  A real change.  It’s up to you, and the time to choose is just around the corner.

Calling all Antiestablishmentarianists!

If you’ve been looking for a wholesome, constructive way to thumb your nose at the entrenched, corrupt, violent and stupid “Two Party System,” I’ve a suggestion…

Join my campaign team for US Senate!

This will be a practically zero-dollar campaign that I mean to run with mostly newbies.   I’m looking for people who love life …and mistrust politics enough to track it down, beat it down with a club and keep it hungry on a short leash.

I plan to fill all key positions in the next month or so.  I’ll need people to update lists, blast emails, coordinate volunteers, make movies, chalk sidewalks, perform street art, and so on.

andrewhorning@hotmail.com

For those who couldn’t make it today…

Today was Step #1.  I think it’d be great to do pretty much the same thing again on Constitution Day, Saturday, September 17.  We had a good band of patriots in attendance today, but hopefully, Constitution Day will be much, much better.

Here’s pretty much what I’d said today:

Eleven score and fifteen years ago, our founding fathers waged war against their own government.

Yet it seems that to many Americans today, Independence Day is about flags, fireworks, and a day off work.

Let us humbly recognize that because of our founders’ sacrifices, We The People have what We The People have chosen. Our votes and our daily actions leave us nobody else to blame for any of the injustice, corruption and violence around us.

Indeed if the so-called “Arab Spring” of uprisings in the middle east teaches us anything, it’s that ALL government, even the most oppressive, is by consent of the governed.

Here in the USA, we can simply choose how we’d like to live; and we can do it in safe, air-conditioned, button-pushing comfort.

After generations of choices, it’s obvious that the life we have chosen is not at all what our founders sacrificed, fought and died to bequeath us.

Out of the 27 specific complaints listed in the Declaration of Independence, there is only one, rather minor mention of taxation. Obviously there were no complaints about healthcare or Social Security. The colonists weren’t mad about working conditions or Daylight Saving Time. They weren’t asking for anything special or even new.

Our nation’s founders’ first and underlying complaint was that they’d been denied what was due all English people: They were denied English Law.

The very first-listed complaint against the king was that “He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.”

That’s important; let me repeat that. “He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.”

Now, to those who don’t know anything about Libertarians, it may seem odd that I would stress that our libertarian founders wanted laws.

But what we have instead of laws today is an endless stream of contradictory words, spit out like machine gun bullets by bureaucrats, judges, lawmakers and executives that produce the effect of power without authority; politics without any restraint …ungoverned government. Rules change daily, corruption is everywhere, and the violence is incessant.

This lawless, politicized anarchy is just not working.

It’s a basic human need that we must know the rules by which we must live. It’s the most basic justice that these rules should be applied in a way that’s fair, or at least predictable.

So here’s what we’re asking for:

We want rules that are few enough that everybody can know them; simple enough that everyone can understand them, and important enough that every one of them is to be obeyed by everybody without exception, all the time. We want these rules to stay put for long enough to plan a business or a retirement; or better yet, to raise a child to see that law and order is a thing to be desired, and chosen.

OK, so we’ve all had reasons to oppose such simple order and justice. Maybe our fear of foreigners, our political tribal loyalties and hatreds, the past sins of slavery or our greed and ignorance made us use the constitutions as tug-of-war ropes. We’d grab onto our favorite rights to yank away somebody else’s.

But those of us here today have learned our lesson. We will sacrifice our pet violations, or even the degree of freedom we think the constitutions deny us, in order to gain some measure of liberty and justice, for all.

We want to know the rules. And we’re all fine with what is already the proven, signed and once-revered Law of the Land.

Bottom line: We want our constitutions, state and federal, as written, back.

Published in: on July 4, 2011 at 4:37 pm  Comments (2)  

Do you really want to live like this?

According to our Declaration of Independence, governments derive “…their just powers from the consent of the governed.”  But as demonstrated in the Middle East today, all government powers, just or unjust, are by consent of the governed; and that consent can be withdrawn from even the most oppressive dictators.

So the problem with despotism is never really the despot.  The problem is that for every despot there is a majority of citizens who empowered that despot.  Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Caligula and countless others didn’t kill hundreds of millions by themselves, you know.   Do not fool yourself; people like Kim Jong Il, Charles Taylor, Hirohito, Mugabe, Quadhafi, Nebuchadnezzar II, Nero or even Vlad the Impaler are everywhere and always among us.  They are nobody special by themselves.

Here in the USA, we can conveniently, painlessly choose how we are to live.  Deny it or not, we have exactly what the majority of us have freely chosen.  We may say we want change, but we vote for mostly elites and incumbents. We may say we don’t like the corruption and money in politics, but less than 10% of us ever vote for anything else. Many dictators of the past century, including Benito Mussolini, were elected by people just like us.

So consider what we’ve chosen.  We’ve not had even a year’s peace since the War to End All Wars.  The Home of The Brave has sacrificed freedom for empty promises of security.  The Land of The Free has the world’s highest percentage of citizens in prison.  We really do tax people out of their homes to pay for homelessness programs; and we tax, regulate and litigate away businesses to stimulate the economy.  We guard borders everywhere in the world except at home.  For the first time ever, we’re working longer hours, taking fewer vacations, spending less time with our kids, and living more poorly than the previous generation.  The rules we must live by are unknowable and ever-changing – law has now become little more than incantations, as high priests of law in grand courts decree, apparently on whim, how things are to be.

Are you happy with this?  Is this how you want to live?

Humans can learn.  When we want something, we know all about our choices of color, flavor, engine size, craftsmanship, price or caliber.  We spend crazy amounts of time on sports, or romance novels.  I know people who can tell you the vertical jump height of their favorite basketball stars, or can detail Oprah’s diet ups and downs.

But by what I’ve personally seen in tens of thousands of average voters, We The People apparently don’t care about the injustice and madness we’ve chosen to make of our lives.  We know less about those we’ve chosen to lord over us than we know about movie stars.  We certainly don’t know anything about our state and federal constitutions.

Despite what we may say, our votes say that we want unaccountable people of status and money to tell us what to do.  Our behavior in the voting booth is beckoning a dictator.  I believe we’re going to get one soon.

May I make a request?  I’d like for you to read your state and federal constitutions and see what we’ve thrown away…and could have back anytime we choose.  They are still law, though we act otherwise.  They would still work better than anything else ever tried, if we’d only try them.

If you’ve taken the hour or so it takes to read the federal constitution, you already know that federal government should be invisible to almost all of us almost all the time.  The Indiana constitution is the contract most relevant to Hoosier life.  It’s a longer read, but still not terribly long or complicated.  Both comprise rules of life that are few enough to know, simple enough to understand, and important enough that everybody should obey them without exception, all the time.  The free life these contracts describe is simpler, safer, and in every way better than the politicized lives we’re living now.

You can read these constitutions (with my annotations)here:
https://wedeclare.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/annotated-usa-constitution.pdf
https://wedeclare.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/indiana-constitution-book.pdf

Please ask other people to read them too.  If you know somebody who wants to read them, and has no internet access, and you’re too cheap to print them out yourself, then contact me at thefreedomfarm@gmail.com, and I’ll get you copies.

Yes; it’s that important to me. I have to live here too…

Andy’s Annotated US Constitution

With all the disinformation and historical revisionism buzzing like flies on politics (even with the “Tea Party” as much as anywhere else), I just had to present what I believe to be the facts.

So here’s an annotated USA constitution again: https://wedeclare.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/annotated-usa-constitution.pdf

A Short History of Health Care: Let Doctors Be Doctors

I just ran across this on another website.  It’s a column I wrote for Indiana Policy Review a couple of years ago that seems more appropriate than ever now.

A Short History of Health Care: Let Doctors Be Doctors
By Andrew Horning

Healthcare is an odd business in that it has always been both expensive and unpleasant. Until the 1920s, the average doctor couldn’t even help with the average ailment. While medicine then included a range of arts like phrenology, acupuncture, homeopathy and allopathy it really was a coin-toss whether you’d be saved or killed by a doctor’s work.

Then the 20’s brought insulin, sulfa, other “miracle” drugs and sterile fields that meant, for the first time, that healthcare actually worked more often than not. From there, doctors, scientists and medical engineers really took off; rapid advancements increased life expectancies and decreased suffering. And because of increasing effectiveness and supply, healthcare was even becoming cheaper in real cost-benefit terms.

However, politicians had nothing at all to do with this, and that was apparently a problem. Teddy Roosevelt proposed a German-style, cradle-to-grave “socialized” healthcare system, but it was assailed as “the Prussian Menace” in those anti-German years before WWI, and Teddy’s scheme died. Even so, politicians wanting to seem compassionate started promoting socialized healthcare. The July 1919 issue of the Insurance Monitor made this prescient assertion: “The opportunities for fraud upset all statistical calculations. . . . Health and sickness are vague terms open to endless construction. Death is clearly defined, but to say what shall constitute such loss of health as will justify insurance compensation is no easy task.”

No matter. Between The Revenue Act of 1939’s health-related tax breaks, and 1943, when the War Labor Board excluded employer-paid health insurance from its wage freeze, American politicians charged into health care on their favorite horse, income tax.

In a nutshell, here’s what happened: Tax breaks for employer-paid health insurance meant that health insurance became a part of employment, and insurance became an integral part of healthcare. This inserted middlemen, which of course made everything more expensive. But who cared? The tax-subsidized, payroll-deducted cost was invisible enough that Americans started using insurance to pay for routine visits, dental checkups, eyeglasses and even plastic surgery. Group insurance offered large corporations better plans than small companies could muster, giving large corporations even greater advantages in hiring and competition than corporate laws already gave them. This also meant that the poor, or worse, the self employed, were even further distanced from the rich and incorporated in a very serious way. Obviously this created problems, but politicians never admit error, do they?

Four days before Tax Day, 1953, President Dwight Eisenhower established the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, giving government even more direct control over some of humanity’s most precious commodities. More political money and power meant more reasons for businesses to make campaign contributions and lobby. Of course, politicians at every level of government have used healthcare policy to reward their friends and punish their enemies. That’s their stock in trade.

Now tax money and policy is sifted and sorted through political appointees, immortal bureaucracies and defense-contract-style arrangements to feed a dwindling number of profit-starved insurance companies who then deny your claim. Doctors hire legions of workers to manage the regulatory, litigative, and insurance paperwork hassles; or leave private practice to become an employee within a clerically staffed healthcare corporation. So healthcare is still both expensive and unpleasant. But now it’s only because politicians, not doctors, are practicing medicine. Our healthcare injustices and vital statistics have decayed into an embarrassment at just the time when technology should make healthcare cheap, effective and available to all.

It is hard to imagine what politicians could have done to make our healthcare situation any worse. Yet, according to a July 2006 Harris Poll, Americans rate the issue of healthcare well-behind Iraq, the economy, immigration and even gas prices. Even more strangely, most people now think we must, to some degree and by some unspecified method, “socialize” healthcare just as Europe, Canada and other nations are now scrambling back toward free market reforms. What are we thinking?

Let politicians have their way with Iraq, the Colts and toll roads. Let them run lotteries and practice voodoo. But please, let doctors do healthcare at last; they’ve earned the right.

RELATED POSTS:
https://wedeclare.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/can-politicians-even-define-health-care/
https://wedeclare.wordpress.com/2009/07/28/health-insurance%E2%80%A6or-healthcare%E2%80%A6choose-one/