Economic Selections, not Democratic Elections
by Bevin Chu
Taipei, China
March 16, 2007

 
Willie Stark in “All the King’s Men”: If you don’t vote, you don’t matter!

Do you want to remain free to determine your own destiny? Do you want your interactions with other human beings to be rooted in mutual consent rather than unilateral coercion?

Then don’t champion democracy. Don’t participate in democratic elections. Champion the free market and make only economic selections.

Democratic Elections are both Deception and Self-Deception

“Democracy,” as the National Endowment for Democracy informs us, “involves the right of the people freely to determine their own destiny. The exercise of this right requires a system that guarantees … free and competitive elections.”

“The authority of the government in democracies,” as Wikipedia informs us, “derives solely from the consent of the governed. The principal mechanism for translating that consent into governmental authority is the holding of free and fair elections.”

These characterizations reflect the Conventional Wisdom regarding the role of elections in modern democracies and other monopolistic states.

Unfortunately they are both deception and self-deception. They are deception on the part of the ruling elite, and self-deception on the part of the ordinary citizen.

The notion that “free and fair elections” actually reflect “the consent of the governed,” and that individuals must participate in democratic elections in order to determine their own destinies, has to be the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on the human race.

The Consent of the Governed? Determining One’s own Destiny?

In fact, so-called “free and fair elections,” by their very nature, can never reflect the consent of the governed, and the act of participating in democratic elections will only ensure that one is denied the right to determine one’s own destiny.

This is not hysterical ranting. This is a straightforward statement of fact.


2004 Presidential Election: Did you determine your own destiny?

To better understand why democratic elections can never reflect the consent of the governed, and why participating in them will only ensure that one is denied the right to determine one’s own destiny, we must clear our minds of preconceptions, and ask ourselves a simple question:

What does it mean to cast a vote in a democratic election, plebiscite, or referendum, and how does it differ from making an economic selection in the market place?

Economic Selection equals Self-determination

To make an economic selection in the market place is to take part in a non-coercive process in which one individual freely and willingly trades a product or service with another individual.

At no step in this process is either individual subject to compulsion. If the proposed transaction is unsatisfactory, and either individual reluctant, they are free to say, “Thanks but no thanks,” and leave unmolested, taking away with them whatever they came with.

Making an economic selection in the market place is an act of self-determination. In fact, only economic selections in the market place are acts of self-determination, and conversely, all acts of self-determination are economic selections in the market place. 


The Open Market Place: Where you really determine your own destiny

As the late, great Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises observed in his magnum opus, “Human Action”:

With every penny spent the consumers determine the direction of all production processes and the details of the organization of all business activities. This state of affairs has been described by calling the market a democracy in which every penny gives a right to cast a ballot. It would be more correct to say that a democratic constitution is a scheme to assign to the citizens in the conduct of government the same supremacy the market economy gives them in their capacity as consumers. However, the comparison is imperfect. In the political democracy only the votes cast for the majority candidate or the majority plan are effective in shaping the course of affairs. The votes polled by the minority do not directly influence policies. But on the market no vote is cast in vain.

As Mises astutely noted, casting a vote in a democratic election is nothing like making a economic selection in the market place.

Democratic Elections are Other-coercion

Casting a vote in a democratic election is an act not of “self-determination,” but of “other-coercion.”

To cast a vote in a democratic election is to take part in a coercive process in which some individuals compel other individuals to formally sanction and financially underwrite measures that the latter oppose and want nothing to do with.

The coercion comes in two parts.

First, the individual is coerced into allowing others to determine his destiny, merely because they outnumber him.

Second, adding insult to injury, the individual is coerced into financially supporting others who are determining his destiny, merely because they outnumber him.

Democratic elections not only do not protect the individual from coercion, they formalize, institutionalize, and normalize the coercion of an individual by collectives whose only distinction from the individual is not greater legitimacy, but superior numbers. 

Some democracies even go so far as to impose legal penalties on “qualified voters” who fail to exercise their “right to vote.”

It’s a peculiar “right” that gets one punished by the monopolistic state for not exercising it, is it not? One is reminded of an old joke: “Attempted suicide is a capital crime, punishable by death.”

These democracies are terrified that low voter turnouts will show that they lack the ostensibly voluntary mandate that democratic elections give monopolistic states.

Boycott Elections? Sure. Boycott Taxes? Dream on

Although most democracies don’t go quite that far, and although most democracies magnanimously allow “qualified voters” to boycott the election process, no democracy allows “qualified taxpayers” to boycott the taxation process.

Is it necessary to point out that all democracies care far more about our status as “qualified taxpayers” than our status as “qualified voters?”

Is it necessary to point out that all democracies care far more about counting “their taxes” than counting your ballots?


Willie Stark in “All the King’s Men,” extorting money from “taxpayer/voters” and remaking the world in his own image

The nomenklatura of democracies and other monopolistic states care only about being rubber-stamped as legitimate so they can get on with their real business: extorting money from “taxpayer/voters” and remaking the world in their own image.

Willie Stark’s campaign appeal, “If you don’t vote, you don’t matter!” is beside the point.
What is to the point is the monopolistic state’s attitude, “If you don’t pay, it surely does matter!”

Democracy is Feudalism

Package-dealing “the right to vote” together with “the duty to pay taxes” is nothing more than a con game. The “right to vote” in democratic elections, with its attendant duty to pay taxes, amounts to feudal era corvee, i.e., involuntary labor owed to one’s lord or king.

The “right to vote” in democratic elections is merely a veneer of progressive modernity applied to this feudal institution.

Once one’s political consciousness is awakened, one realizes that “taxpayer/voter” is not an badge of honor, but a sign on one’s back reading “Abuse me!”

Unanimity equals Consent. Less than Unanimity equals Non-consent

Any democratic election in which the result is less than unanimous does not reflect “the consent of the governed,” but only “the consent of some of the governed.”

Obviously those who voted against the outcome of the election did not consent, they merely acquiesced.

Even a unanimous election result reflects the consent of the governed only if every individual impacted by the result votes in the election, not just “qualified voters.”

The fact that no democratic election has ever met the above conditions demonstrates that “champions of democracy” have never given a damn about “the consent of the governed.”

Champions of democracy will argue that mere participation in a democratic election constitutes willing acceptance of the result as binding upon all participants.

Really? Do “champions of democracy” actually believe that everyone who participates in a democratic election considers it just that the result is legally binding upon them?

How many people feel that it is morally wrong for a mob, sorry, a “democratic majority,” to determine the destiny of sovereign individuals, merely because “We voted on it!”

How many people participate in democratic elections reluctantly, under duress, because they fear an even worse fate at the hands of the mob if they don’t participate?

How many people consider voting in democratic elections a “Sophie’s Choice,” i.e., a tragic choice between two unbearable options.

Do “champions of democracy” know? Do they care?

See:
Sophie’s Choice

The Consent of Some of the Governed

The phrase, “the consent of the governed” has an inspiring ring to it. But lip service to “the consent of the governed” within the context of a monopolistic state is nothing but Orwellian Newspeak, i.e., saying one thing while meaning its opposite.

In order to be truthful, the phrase “the consent of the governed” would have to be watered down to “the consent of some of the governed.”

Imagine ambitious politicians delivering ringing speeches in which they proclaim that their government has “the consent of some of the governed?”Now try it without breaking into uncontrolled laughter.

Democracy is Mob Rule, in every sense of the term

The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society.
–Thomas Jefferson to Pierre Samuel Dupont de Nemours, 1816

When democracies and other monopolistic states come knocking at our door, demanding that we pay “taxes due,” we must understand what is happening.

What is happening is that a “crime family with a flag” is demanding protection money by “making us an offer we can’t refuse.” We are physically coerced into paying for measures we disapprove of. We are physically prevented from spending our own money as we see fit.

A shopkeeper living under the thumb of a crime family is not free to say: “Thanks but no thanks. Instead of making monthly protection payments to you, I’ll buy a shotgun and provide my own protection against vandals who would break my store windows.”

Likewise, a “taxpayer/voter” living under the thumb of a democracy or other monopolistic state is not free to say: “Thanks but no thanks. Instead making annual tax payments to you, I’ll make monthly service payments to a private security agency and provide my own protection against thugs who would invade my home.”


Vito Corleone in “The Godfather,” making people offers they can’t refuse

During the 18th century the term “mob” referred to to “a disorderly or riotous crowd bent on or engaged in lawless violence.”

During the 20th century the term “mob” acquired another meaning: “a criminal gang, especially one involved extortion.”

The fact that democracies extort taxes from “taxpayers” in precisely the same manner that criminal gangs extort protection money from shopkeepers gives new meaning to the well-known characterization of democracy as mob rule.

The “Right to Vote” is an Oxymoron

We the Sheeple need to get something through our heads.

Voting in democratic elections is not a right. When we vote in a democratic election, we violate other peoples’ rights. When others vote in a democratic election, they violate our rights.

Voting in democratic elections cannot possibly be a right, because logically speaking there can be no such a thing as a “right to violate rights.” Therefore “the right to vote” is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms.

The violation is sufficiently indirect that most “voter/taxpayers” have no difficulty blanking it from conscious awareness, but that hardly makes the violation any the less real.

Voting in democratic elections would not violate peoples’ rights only if participation in both the election and taxation processes were made voluntary.

But if participation in the election and taxation processes were made voluntary, democratic elections would no longer be democratic elections. They would be proxy votes by shareholders of a corporation. They would be economic selections in the market place.

The defining characteristic of democratic elections is their involuntary, coercive, and violative nature. Democratic elections, by their very nature, necessarily violate the rights of democratic minorities. No amount of rationalization can wish this fundamental violation of human rights away.

Democratic Elections are the Problem. Economic Selection is the Solution

Democracy is the problem. The free market is the solution.

Democratic elections are the problem. Economic selections are the solution. 

The free market is everything that democracy is supposed to be, but isn’t. Making economic selections in the free market is everything that casting votes in democratic elections is supposed to be, but isn’t.


King George II: If this were a dictatorship, it’d be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator. [Actually this is a dictatorship, that’s why it’s already so easy]

Democracies are coercive dictatorships, and democratic elections are the principal mechanism for translating that coercion into government authority callously indifferent to the consent of the governed.

The free market on the other hand is, to coin a term, “Manifest Liberty,” and economic selections are the principle mechanism by which the sovereign individual translates individual liberty into individual destiny.

See:
The Founding Fathers’ Next Step

The Myth of Checks and Balances

Posted: February 11, 2007 in Uncategorized

The Myth of Checks and Balances 
by Bevin Chu
Taipei, China
February 11, 2007

A Pernicious Myth

One of the most pernicious myths about democracies, and it pains me to say, even constitutional republics, is the Myth of Checks and Balances.

Most of us were indoctrinated with this myth in junior high school and high school social studies class. I know I was.

According to this myth, also known as the Doctrine of the Separation of Powers, distributing the powers of a government among several branches prevents the undue concentration of power in any single branch.

As the Encyclopedia Britannica explains:

[The Separation of Powers is the] division of the legislative, executive, and judicial functions of government among separate and independent bodies. Such a separation limits the possibility of arbitrary excesses by government, since the sanction of all three branches is required for the making, executing, and administering of laws. The concept received its first modern formulation in the work of Baron de Montesquieu, who declared it the best way to safeguard liberty; he influenced the framers of the Constitution of the United States, who in turn influenced the writers of 19th- and 20th-century constitutions. See also checks and balances.

A Google Images search for “Separation of Powers” yields dozens of diagrams purporting to explain how the Doctrine of the Separation of Powers protects us from government tyranny.

Google Images search: Separation of Powers







The Myth Exposed

 
Unfortunately political systems in the real world do not function as illustrated in these diagrams.

Unfortunately the division of the functions of government into legislative, executive, and judicial branches does not prevent arbitrary excesses by government.

Unfortunately “separating the powers” doesn’t really separate the powers, and doesn’t really result in “separate and independent bodies checking and balancing each other.”

The Separation is Illusory, The Power is Real
  
The reason why is not mysterious. The reason why is quite simple.

The reason why “separating the powers” doesn’t result in separate and independent bodies checking and balancing each other, is that the separation is not real. The separation is illusory. The separation is nothing more than wishful thinking.In fact the “separate and independent bodies” remain inseparable parts of the same government, the one government, the only government that the limited government, “minarchist” paradigm permits within any given territorial jurisdiction. This government perpetuates its existence by robbing individuals at gunpoint. It refers to these acts of armed robbery as “taxation,” as if calling its crime by some other name absolved it of guilt.
 
As an old joke has it, “The only difference between the Mafia and the government is a flag.” The joke is funny because it is true. Every member of an organized crime family lives off the same protection money extorted at gunpoint from hapless shopkeepers and working men unfortunate enough to live within the crime family’s reach. In what sense can the bosses, underbosses, consiglieri, and soldiers of the same crime family be considered “separate and independent” from each other?

By the same token, every official of a monopolistic state lives off the same tax revenues extorted at gunpoint from hapless taxpayers unfortunate enough to live within the government’s reach. 

In what sense can members of such a “crime family with a flag” be considered “separate and independent” from each other? Can we really expect officials who are part of such a criminal enterprise to perceive each other as natural enemies and therefore check and balance each other? Can we really expect officials who are part of such a criminal enterprise not to perceive each other as fellow predators, and us, the taxpayers, as their common prey? Can we really expect officials who are part of such a criminal enterprise not to perceive each other as members of the same pack of wolves, and us, the taxpayers, as members of the same flock of sheep?

Resistance against such a monolithic “crime family with a flag” is virtually impossible. The proximate reason is that it has more goons with guns. But the ultimate reason is that the overwhelming majority of citizens in “advanced nations” believe they can’t live without a monopolistic state, and their collective behavior perpetuates its existence.

Citizens who believe they can’t live without a monopolistic state are the political counterpart of battered wives, who believe they can’t live without their abusive husbands, and who insist that “deep down” their abusers “really love them.”

The difference is that a battered wife who rationalizes away her husband’s abusive treatment of her victimizes only herself. 

Citizens who believe in and demand the perpetuation of monopolistic states victimize not only themselves, but also fellow citizens who know better.


The Godfather (1972, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, written by Mario Puzo)  

Michael Corleone: My father is no different than any powerful man, any man who is responsible for other people, like a senator or president.

Kay Adams: Do you know how naive you sound, Michael? Presidents and senators don’t have men killed.

Michael Corleone: Oh. Who’s being naive, Kay?

Why the Executive Branch always becomes The Government 

In theory, a democratically elected president is merely the highest ranking official in one of three or more coequal branches of government, the executive branch.

In reality, in any monopolistic state with a presidential system, the president is an elective dictator, the legislature is a debating society, and the judiciary is a rubber stamp. Real world experience has demonstrated that over time, the executive invariably co-opts the judiciary and marginalizes the legislature.

In theory, the coequal branches of government provide “checks and balances” upon each other, preventing them from ganging up upon the individual citizens they have sworn to protect and serve.

In reality, because the executive is the branch that has been delegated the power to “execute” policy (pun intended), it invariably usurps any and all powers delegated to the other branches of a monopolistic state. Real world experience has shown that “limited government” inevitably morphs into unlimited government, and that the executive is always the branch that winds up monopolizing that limitless power. It makes no difference whether the executive was popularly elected, self-appointed, or hereditary.

As George W. Bush put it, “I’m the decider and I decide what’s best.”


The Decider: Bush as Caesar 


The Decider: Bush as Superman, by R. Sikoryak

Baron de Montesquieu was dead right when he noted that there can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or body of magistrates or if the power of judging is not separated from the legislative and executive powers.

James Madison was dead right when he noted that the accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.

Montesquieu and Madison unfortunately, underestimated how far mankind would have to go to prevent the uniting and accumulation of all powers in the same hands.Montesquieu and Madison earnestly believed that establishing constitutional republics with tripartite divisions of powers would be sufficient.

Given their historical context, Montesquieu and Madison’s failure to champion market anarchism was understandable. The history of medieval Iceland had been lost to mainstream political awareness.

Montesquieu and Madison did not realize that only a market anarchist system, featuring voluntarily funded Private Defense Agencies (PDAs), vigorously competing against each other in the open market place, could ensure a genuine separation of powers and provide genuine checks and balances against tyranny.

A Thought Experiment 

To better understand why the “separation of powers” doesn’t really result in “separate branches of government” checking and balancing each other,” let’s try a little thought experiment.

Believers in Big Government, particularly self-styled “champions of democracy,” love to portray government as a “public service,” and government officials as “public servants.”

Market anarchists know this is nonsense, but let’s pretend we buy this “service provider” nonsense for the moment, and see where it leads.

Let’s say for the sake of argument that government is a service provider, and that the service it provides is the use of force, specifically, a military to defend against foreign invaders, police to protect against domestic criminals, and a court system to adjudicate legal disputes. 

Now suppose that instead of military, police, and courts, the service or product provided is computer software and software support services.

How many netizens would accept an arrangement in which a single software company, say Microsoft, would be granted a territorial monopoly in the provision of computer software and software support services where they live? In other words, no other company would be permitted to provide computer software and software support services, only Microsoft.

How many netizens would be mollified by solemn assurances from founder Bill Gates that Microsoft’s exclusive franchise would not result in arbitrary excesses because the Microsoft corporation would be divided into three “separate and independent” divisions, each charged with different functions?

One division would be in charge of formulating Microsoft policy. Another division would be charge of executing Microsoft policy. Another division would be in charge of verifying whether the Microsoft policy being formulated and executed was in conformance with the Microsoft company charter.How many netizens would trust such an arrangement to ensure that Microsoft would deliver well-coded software at competitive market prices?
 
Wouldn’t they scream their heads off, insisting that Microsoft as a de facto monopoly is already sitting on its behind, doling out long-delayed, bug-ridden bloatware at exorbitant prices, and that as a de jure monopoly it would be infinitely worse?

And wouldn’t they be right?

See:
What’s so Bad about Microsoft?

 
So why don’t they scream as loud or even louder about the government’s de jure monopoly in the use of brute force?

After all, Microsoft may be able to flood the market with overpriced, bug-ridden bloatware, but it certainly can’t force us to buy it. It can’t compel us to upgrade to Windows Vista upon threat of arrest and imprisonment, at least not without help from a monopolistic state.

Contrast this with so-called democratic governments, which have been empowered by self-styled “champions of freedom and human rights” to physically coerce us into subscribing to its products and services — or else
.

A Reluctant Anarchist 

I never wanted to become an anarchist, even a free market anarchist. I wanted to remain a constitutional republican in the tradition of the French Physiocrats, the British Classical Liberals, and the American Founding Fathers.I became an advocate of market anarchism reluctantly, after concluding that the limited government “minarchist” paradigm simply does not work as advertised. 

Until three years ago, around 2004, I still held out hope that Checks and Balances would in fact check and balance, and that the Doctrine of the Separation of Powers would be vindicated.

Accelerating political evolution, or rather, devolution within the American Imperium of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush; and within the Taiwanese kleptocracy of Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian, eventually disabused me of that notion.
The harsh reality is that the Doctrine of the Separation of Powers, within the context of a monopolistic state, is a contradiction in terms.No matter how hard one tries to divide a monopolistic state into “branches” the reality is that all such “branches” live off the same “tax revenues,” better known as protection money, extracted by force from “taxpayers,” better known as victims of extortion.
 
As long as a nation is ruled by a conventional monopolistic state rather than served by Private Defense Agencies, any ostensibly “separate and independent branches” of government will always perceive themselves as inseparable parts of the same government, the one government, the only government. 


A terrific political cartoon. But an even better caption would be: “We think people should be separated from power so that they can’t commit crimes.”

Constitutional republicanism is unquestionably superior to democracy. Unfortunately, merely being better than democracy isn’t good enough. Constitutional republicanism, given enough time, degenerates into democracy, aka elective dictatorship.

The Separation of Powers was supposed to be the primary firewall between constitutional republicanism and democracy. Alas, it has proven to be inadequate. Given time, it burns right through.

Democracy meanwhile, takes no time at all to degenerate into dictatorship. That’s because democracy is a form of dictatorship. It was never anything else.

It is high time defenders of natural rights and individual liberty forsook their irrational attachment to “limited government.” Limited government never remains limited. It always becomes unlimited.It is high time self-styled nation-builders ceased thinking in terms of “limited government,” and began thinking in terms of “no government,” of a radically different system that truly separates and limits the powers — free market anarchism.

See:
Anarcho-capitalism

How Democracy Really Works

Posted: October 12, 2006 in Uncategorized

How Democracy Really Works
by Bevin Chu

Taipei, China
October 12, 2006

The Founding Fathers knew Democracy doesn’t Work — Why don’t We? 

America’s Founding Fathers were farsighted political visionaries. In fact, they were much more. America’s Founding Fathers were “avatars,” i.e., embodiments or personifications of new principles, new attitudes, and new views of life. As such, they understood, as today’s kneejerk “champions of democracy” do not, that democracy is the worst form of government ever tried.
 

John Adams, 2nd President of the United States

As John Adams, 2nd President of the United States put it, “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

 
Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States

As Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States, author of the Bill of Rights, put it, “[A democratic] majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society.”

 
James Madison, 4th President of the United States

As James Madison, 4th President of the United States and Father of the Constitution put it, “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their death.”

Nowhere has the Founding Fathers’ understanding of the defects of democracy been borne out more clearly than on Taiwan. Over the past 18 years the political system administering the Taiwan region of China has degenerated from a flawed republic, the Republic of China, into full-blown “Taiwanese democracy,” and the result shows.

Taiwan does not lack either nativist demagogues or foreign neocolonialists eager to lecture us on how “Taiwan’s lively/thriving/vibrant democracy” supposedly works.
What Taiwan desperately lacks is someone, anyone, willing to talk about how democracy really works.

How Democracy Supposedly Works 

How democracy supposedly works is summed up in an October 12 Taipei Times article entitled “Protests reflected democracy, Chen tells foreign guests“:


Chen Shui-bian, “president” of the Republic of China

Taipei Times: President Chen Shui-bian said yesterday that the disturbances on Double Ten National Day reflected the preciousness of Taiwan’s democracy … “Freedom of speech is fully protected here in Taiwan … Taiwan is a fully fledged democracy where freedom of speech is fully protected and different ideas are tolerated. The clamor that happened on national day displays the pluralism and dynamism of Taiwan’s democracy.”

How Democracy Really Works on Taiwan

How democracy really works on the Chinese island of Taiwan is summed up in an October 13 Taiwan News Online article entitled “Police revoke Shih’s rally permit“:

Taiwan News: Taipei police announced yesterday that they have revoked permission for the “Million Voices Against Corruption” campaign to assemble on Ketagalan Boulevard and to hold a parade on Zhongshan South Road near National Taiwan University Hospital from tomorrow to next Friday.


Caption: Return to Ketegelan Blvd on the 14th? Taipei Police are inclined to deny permission

The Zhongzheng Police First District under the Taipei City Police Department said that it has decided to withdraw the assembly permit issued to the campaign which is aimed at deposing President Chen Shui-bian over a spate of corrupt allegations against his family members and close aides.

Comment: The phrases “revoked permission to assemble,” and “decided to withdraw the assembly permit” say it all.

To Taiwan’s “champions of democracy,” the right to public assembly is not an inalienable right granted to sovereign individuals by Nature, but a “permission” granted to lowly subjects by the State, to be “revoked” or “withdrawn” at the discretion of democracy’s elective dictators.

“President” Chen Shui-bian’s lip service to the contrary notwithstanding, freedom of speech is not fully protected on Taiwan, different ideas are not tolerated, and the clamor on national day is not evidence of democracy’s “pluralism” and “dynamism.”

Taiwan News: Fang Yang-ning, deputy director of the police district, at a press conference yesterday explained that the permission to hold the demonstration was withdrawn mainly because the campaign had violated the assembly and parade law.

Fang said that the authorities have collected enough evidence to prove that the anti-Chen campaign had held an assembly and public activities on October 1, 5 and 10 without obtaining prior permission, which not had only violated the law but also had adversely impacted on public order and the interests of Taipei City residents.

Fang denied that the decision to withdraw the permission for the rally was made under pressure from the Cabinet. The Cabinet had earlier suggested that the relevant authorities should not approve any application by the campaign to assemble because of the disruptions to the National Day celebrations on Tuesday when the protesters attempted to surround the Presidential Office.Comment: Is any comment necessary?

How Democracy Really Works in America

How American democracy really works, whom American democracy really protects, and to whom American democracy really answers, is summed up in the following October 13 article in The Sacramento Bee, entitled “U.S. agents question teen, Girl ran anti-Bush page on MySpace”: 


Julia Wilson, 14, got a surprise visit from two Secret Service agents Wednesday at McClatchy High after the words “Kill Bush” appeared on MySpace.com. Her mom, Kirstie Wilson, says she should have been present when her daughter was questioned

Sacramento Bee: The latest Sacramento resident to be questioned by federal agents in possible threats against President Bush is a 14-year-old girl with a heart on her backpack and braces on her teeth, a freckle-nosed adolescent who is passionate about liberal politics and cute movie stars.

Her name is Julia Wilson, and she learned a vivid civics lesson Wednesday when two Secret Service agents pulled her out of biology class at McClatchy High School to ask about comments and images she posted on MySpace.

Comment: Julia Wilson got a real life lesson in how modern democracy works, instead of the “Pleasantville” virtual reality version of how democracy works taught in civics class.

Sacramento Bee: Beneath the words “Kill Bush,” Julia posted a cartoonish photo-collage of a knife stabbing the hand of the president. It was one of a few images Julia said she used to decorate an anti-Bush Web page she moderated on MySpace, the social networking Web site that is hugely popular among teenagers.

The Secret Service refused to answer questions about the case or even confirm an investigation. Eric Zahren, a Secret Service spokesman, said the agency does not discuss its work “due to the sensitivity of our mission.”

But Julia’s mother, Kirstie Wilson, and an assistant principal at McClatchy High said two agents showed them badges stating they were with the Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security.

Federal law prohibits making serious threats against the president, and Julia and her parents say what she did was wrong.

Comment: If democratic governments were really were “governments of the People, by the People, and for the People,” wouldn’t federal law prohibit the Secret Service from making serious threats against Julia Wilson, instead of the other way around?

Morally speaking, Julia Wilson and her parents were under no obligation whatsoever to concede that she was wrong. Julia Wilson was not wrong. Julia Wilson was right. George W. Bush was wrong. George W. Bush is the one who should be conceding that he is wrong.

Paul Craig Roberts is a former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, former contributing editor for National Review, and was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration.

According to Roberts, “Bush’s illegal invasion of Iraq has cost 655,000 Iraqis their lives. That is the conclusion of a study financed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for International Studies and conducted by physicians under the direction of Johns Hopkins University epidemiologists.”George W. Bush is a war criminal, a mass murderer, guilty of the premeditated deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings. How many human beings is Julia Wilson guilty of murdering?

George W. Bush, according to democratic universalist eyewash, is a “public servant,” i.e., a “servant of the public” obligated to serve and protect his employers, members of the taxpaying public such as Julia Wilson.

Instead, George W. Bush, by murdering hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings, has provoked the anger of foreign terrorists, who are likely to exact revenge for their deaths.

Julia Wilson has not endangered the life of George W. Bush. George W. Bush has endangered the life of Julia Wilson.If democratic governments were really “governments of the People, by the People, and for the People,” shouldn’t Julia Wilson be the one questioning George W. Bush for his behavior, instead of the other way around?If democratic governments were really “governments of the People, by the People, and for the People,” shouldn’t t George W. Bush be apologizing to Julia Wilson? On his knees?

Julia Wilson does not appear to have made any “threats” against anyone whatsoever. She merely expressed anger. As anyone who has ever been in a personal growth workshop knows perfectly well, expressing “a feeling of wanting to stab someone” can hardly be equated with “intending to stab someone,” and still less with “threatening to stab someone.”

Anyone who doesn’t understand this distinction, is obtuse. Anyone who acts on the premise that there is no distinction, is a thug. Anyone who does not understand this distinction, and who acts on the premise that there is no distinction, is an obtuse thug.

The Secret Service and Homeland Security agents who descended on Julia Wilson’s biology class are real life versions of the dangerously literal minded government thugs caricatured in Hollywood films.

Kafkaesque is a term that has been overused, and consequently debased. Here is where it really applies.


Julia Wilson, high school freshman and dangerous assassin 

Julia Wilson and her name are about as whitebread Anglo-Saxon Protestant mainstream American as you can get. This is fortunate. I hate to imagine where Julia would be at this moment if her name was say, “Fatima al-Marnissi.” Being subjected to torture and sexual abuse at the American Gulag at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba?

Sacramento Bee: The couple are disturbed, however, that federal agents questioned a child at school — without her parents present. And First Amendment lawyers question whether the Secret Service over-reacted to a 14-year-old’s comments on a Web site made for casual socializing.

“I don’t condone what she did, but it seems a little over the top to me,” said Julia’s father, Jim Moose. “You’d think they could look at the situation and determine that she’s not a credible threat.”

Here is how Julia Wilson’s family tells their story:

Two Secret Service agents arrived at their Land Park home about 2:30 Wednesday afternoon, Kirstie Wilson said. They told her they wanted to speak with her daughter about threats to the president that she had posted on MySpace.

“She was in molecular biology, and I said I really didn’t want to take her out of class for this,” Kirstie Wilson said. “I said I’d make sure she came right home from school.”
She asked the agents to come back in an hour, and they left.

Then Wilson sent her daughter a text message instructing her to come straight home from school.

“… there are two men from the secret service that want to talk with you. Apparently you made some death threats against president bush. Dont worry youre not going to jail or anything like that but they take these things very seriously these days,” Kirstie Wilson wrote.
“Are you serious!?!? omg. Am I in a lot of trouble”? her daughter replied, using common teenage shorthand for “Oh, my God.”

Kirstie Wilson called her husband. While they were on the phone, she received another text message from her daughter: “They took me out of class.”

Comment: The federal goons were determined to “teach this little brat a lesson she wouldn’t soon forget” and to “send a message” to other budding troublemakers across the nation who might be “getting too big for their britches. ”

Sacramento Bee: It was a 15- to 20-minute interview, Julia said. Agents asked her about her father’s job, her e-mail address, and her Social Security number. They asked about the MySpace page she had created last year as an eighth-grader at Sutter Middle School.
“I told them I just really don’t agree with Bush’s politics,” Julia said Thursday. “I don’t have any plans of harming Bush in any way. I’m very peaceful; I just don’t like Bush.”

The MySpace page under question was a group page, similar to an online club.
Most of the groups Julia is a part of are fan clubs for movie stars like Jake Gyllenhaal and Ewan McGregor. The group that got her in trouble was called something like “People who want to stab Bush” — Julia said she doesn’t remember the exact name because she soon changed it.

After an eighth-grade history lesson in which she learned that threatening the president is against the law, Julia said she changed the group name to “So Bush is an idiot but hey what else is new?”

The group primarily consisted of her teenage friends who share her liberal political interests, Julia said. She deleted the group page over the summer when she decided that MySpace was juvenile and taking up too much time.

Moose and Wilson say they had no idea what their daughter had posted online.
“I was more than happy to have them talk to her about the severity of what she did. But I wanted to be here with her,” Kirstie Wilson said.

McClatchy Assistant Principal Paul Belluomini said he usually does not notify parents when law enforcement officials come to school to interview students.
“Parents usually interfere with an investigation, so we usually don’t notify them until it’s done,” he said. 

Comment: The phrase “interfere with an investigation” is a euphemism for “angrily demand that the interrogation be conducted in a manner that respects the suspect’s constitutional rights.”


McClatchy High School freshman Julia Wilson, left, with her sister, Maddy, mother, Kirstie, and father, Jim Moose, in their Land Park home. Julia used to run a Web page on MySpace.com, a social networking site for teens, but now says she thinks it’s too juvenile and a time-waster

Sacramento Bee: Sacramento City Unified School District policy calls for parents to be notified but doesn’t say whether it should happen before or after a student is interviewed. State law doesn’t require parental notification.

In any case, said Ann Brick, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, Julia Wilson’s post did not sound like a “true threat” to the president, making it political speech that is protected by the First Amendment.

“The courts have to distinguish between political rhetoric and hyperbole and a real threat,” Brick said. “A reasonable person would have to interpret what was said as indication of a serious intent to commit harm.”

Peter Scheer, executive director of the California First Amendment Coalition, said in the current political climate, “the threshold that brings (agents) in has gotten lower.”

Comment: Could it be any clearer? Does anyone truly not see how democracy really works? Democracy is not “government of the People, by the People, and for the People.” Democracy is “government of an elective dictator, by an elective dictator, and for an elective dictator.”

In what would appear to be a cosmic joke, both the R of C and the US of A have been simultaneously saddled with political leaders with nearly identical psychological profiles. Both Chen and Bush are ignorant buffoons. Both Chen and Bush are cunning demagogues. Both Chen and Bush possess the same uncanny ability to trample over their own nation’s basic laws yet somehow retain an iron grip on power.

I for one, don’t believe this is mere coincidence. I believe the Universe is sending both China and America a message, the same message.

The Universe is telling both China and America that this is how democracy really works. The Universe is telling both China and America that this is the sort of political leadership you can expect under democracy. The Universe is telling both China and America that it is time to start thinking about radical new alternatives.

The Founding Fathers’ Next Step

Posted: September 4, 2006 in Uncategorized

The Founding Fathers’ Next Step
by Bevin Chu
Taipei, China
September 04, 2006


Thomas Paine (1737-1809) 

A great part of that order which reigns among mankind is not the effect of government. It had its origin in the principles of society and the natural constitution of man. It existed prior to government, and would exist if the formality of government was abolished. The mutual dependence and reciprocal interest which man has upon man, and all parts of a civilized community upon each other, create that great chain of connection which holds it together. The landholder, the farmer, the manufacturer, the merchant, the tradesman, and every occupation, prospers by the aid which each receives from the other, and from the whole. Common interest regulates their concerns, and forms their laws; and the laws which common usage ordains, have a greater influence than the laws of government. In fine, society performs for itself almost every thing which is ascribed to government.
— Thomas Paine, from the Rights of Man

Read what Paine wrote. I mean really read what Paine wrote. “order … is not the effect of government … It existed prior to government, and would exist if the formality of government was abolished.”

“the laws which common usage ordains, have a greater influence than the laws of government … society performs for itself almost every thing which is ascribed to government.”

Let’s be sticklers for semantic precision. Anarchy means, literally, “no government.” Anarchy does not mean “chaos.” Anarchy does not mean “disorder.” Anarchy means merely “the absence of government.” Nothing more, nothing less.

As Paine pointed out, order existed prior to government, and would continue to exist even in the absence of government. As Paine pointed out, civil society can do for itself essentially everything that we credit to government. Sounds pretty damned anarchistic to me.

How does it sound to you?

Authoritarian conservatives in the GOP like to cast themselves as “defenders of traditional American values,” even as “champions of democracy.”

The problem with the authoritarian conservatives’ ahistorical spin control is that the “traditional American values,” i.e., the values held sacred by America’s Founding Fathers, were never authoritarian, conservative, or democratic.

America’s Founding Fathers were free-thinking radicals whose values were anything but authoritarian, anything but conservative, anything but “democratic.” As the above quote from Founding Father Thomas Paine makes quite clear, America’s Founding Fathers were borderline anarchists.

Hell, forget the qualifier, “borderline.” They were anarchists.

America’s Founding Fathers settled for a constitutional republic only because they thought it was the most they could get away with. Had they been more familiar with the successful precedent of medieval Iceland and other anarchist societies, they would surely have authored a market anarchist constitution rather than a republican constitution.

Anyone who professes to champion the Founding Fathers’ “traditional American values” is obligated to first acknowledge what the Founding Fathers valued, before blindly declaring that they are “champions of democracy” and “Jeffersonian democrats.”

The Founding Fathers were not “champions of democracy.” They despised democracy, and considered it the worst political system ever devised.Benjamin Franklin, who said “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!” was certainly no democrat. The Founding Fathers hoped that the structural safeguards embodied in a constitutional republic’s basic law, its constitution, would prevent the emergence of mob rule, i.e, democracy.

They were pessimistic about the long term efficacy of the safeguards they created.

As George Washington wrote in his Farewell Address of 1796,

“In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels … I dare not hope … that they will … prevent our nation from running the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations.”

They were right to be pessimistic.

As we, their intellectual heirs have discovered, constitutional republics gradually degenerate into democracies, and democracies rapidly degenerate into dictatorships.

To wit, George W. Bush’s recent outburst before his cabinet members:

“Stop throwing the Constitution in my face, It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”

Those of us who consider ourselves the Founding Fathers’ intellectual heirs, must take up where the Founding Fathers left off.

We must do what the Founding Fathers would be doing if they were alive to see what has been done to the great republic they founded, often in their name.

We must take the Founding Fathers’ underlying and overarching political agenda to its logical next step. We must popularize, and in the course of time, implement market anarchism.

Frogs and Fraud, a Fable

Posted: August 15, 2006 in Uncategorized

Frogs and Fraud, a Fable
by Bevin Chu
Taipei, China
August 15, 2006


Aesop’s Fables: The Frogs ask for a King

The Frogs, unhappy that they had no established Ruler, petitioned Jupiter for a King. Realizing the Frogs were simple-minded and didn’t know what was good for them, Jupiter threw down a huge log. The Frogs were terrified by the splash the log made and hid in the depths of their pond. But once they realized the huge log did nothing but sit there, they began squatting on it in contempt. After a while they felt neglected by such an inert Ruler, and asked Jupiter to send them another, so Jupiter sent them an Eel. When the Frogs discovered the Eel’s easygoing nature, they asked Jupiter to send yet another. Jupiter, enraged by the Frogs’ ingratitude, sent the Frogs a Heron, who gobbled up the Frogs one after another, until none were left to croak upon the pond.

Election Fraud, Conventionally Defined

We all know what the term “election fraud” means, conventionally defined.

Election fraud means inflating one’s own vote count or deflating the opposition’s vote count during the ballot casting stage. One does this by stuffing invalid ballots into the ballot boxes, or by removing valid ballots from the ballot boxes and hiding or destroying them.

Election fraud means inflating one’s own vote count and deflating the opposition’s vote count during the ballot counting stage. One does this physically by sleight of hand, or arithmetically by creative accounting.

Election fraud means preventing eligible voters from voting even once, while enabling ineligible voters to vote twice, thrice, or even more times. One does this physically by naked intimidation, or legally by means of procedural obstacles.Election fraud, in short, means interfering with the election process so as to ensure that the final vote count fails to reflect the actual votes cast, or would have been cast in the absence of interference with the election process.

Election Fraud, Realistically Defined

Democratic universalists, for whom democracy is a secular religion, and “free and fair elections” its holiest sacrament, would have us believe that granting citizens of a nation “the right to vote” safeguards their natural rights and individual liberty.

In fact, “the right to vote” is nothing more than one of those toy steering wheels mounted on infant car seats that give infants the illusion they are actually driving the vehicle.


Toy Steering Wheel on Infant Car Seat
 

Democratic universalists decry “election fraud.” But at a deeper, more fundamental level, all elections are fraudulent, including elections that precisely reflect the number of votes cast.
All elections are fraudulent because they delude the electorate into believing that the privilege of voting out Elective Dictator A and replacing him with Elective Dictator B means something.

All elections, including “free and fair elections” in “advanced democracies” are fraudulent because they fail to provide the electorate with “public servants” who actually serve the public.

In fact, they do the exact opposite.

Contrary to popular belief, elections do not safeguard the interests of the electorate. Elections safeguard the interests of elected officials. Elections are rubberstamps that allow elective dictators to claim “The People have given me a mandate, therefore I speak for The People!”

Elections turn the electorate into indentured servants of elected officials, physically coerced by the machinery of government — tax collectors backed up by armed police — to support the elected official against the electorate’s wishes.

Theory and Practice

“In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.
— Yogi Berra

Elections in Theory:

“An election is a decision making process whereby people vote for preferred political candidates or parties to act as representatives in government. This is the usual mechanism by which modern democracy fills offices in the legislature, and sometimes in the executive and judiciary, and in regional and local government. In political theory, the authority of the government in democracies derives solely from the consent of the governed. The principal mechanism for translating that consent into governmental authority is the holding of free and fair elections.”
— Wikipedia, as quoted by Answers.com

Elections in Practice:

An election is a mindless process whereby “sheeple” (people who behave like sheep) choose their own oppressors. Elections are the mechanism by which modern democracy fills political offices with elective dictators. In theory, democracy’s elective dictators answer to “The People.” In practice, since there is no such thing as “The People,” democracy’s elective dictators answer only to themselves. The principal mechanism for translating the consent of the victim into governmental oppression is the holding of “free and fair elections.”

Elected Officials are not Public Servants

Elected officials are commonly referred to as “public servants.” Elected officials, ostensibly, are servants whom the electorate hires and fires at its discretion.

But are they really?

An American president, elected in accordance with America’s presidential system, is for all intents and purposes, an emperor. An elective emperor, but an emperor nonetheless.

What is the presidential inauguration ceremony but a coronation? What is the White House, but the royal palace? What are Air Force One, Marine One, and the bulletproof black Cadillac limousines, but royal carriages? What is the US Secret Service but the Praetorian Guard?

The last time you hired a servant, did you commemorate the event with an inauguration ceremony? The last time you hired a servant, did you provide your servant with a stately mansion more spacious than your own tract house? The last time you hired a servant, did you provide your servant with a chauffeured limousine more luxurious than your own aging subcompact? The last time you hired a servant, did you provide your servant with armed bodyguards, with orders to shoot anyone who approached without permission, including you?

No?

Then let’s not kid ourselves. Elected officials are not “public servants.” They are our Lords and Masters.

Voters are Frogs, Officials are Herons

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”
— HL Mencken

The widespread belief that our relationship with our “public servants” is the same as our relationship with our servants in the private sector is pathetic self-delusion.

When we hire servants, we become the servants’ employers, and the servants become our employees. If we are dissatisfied with our servants’ performance, we simply tell them, “Thank you, but your services are no longer required.”

When we elect a president, we are not hiring a “public servant.”

Are you able to tell US President George W. Bush or ROC “President” Chen Shui-bian, “Thank you, but your services are no longer required.”

When we elect a president, we are like the Frogs in Aesop’s ancient yet prescient fable, “The Frogs ask for a King.” Not content to enjoy our precious freedom, we foolishly demand “good government.” We foolishly demand “democracy” and the right to vote ourselves into servitude and oblivion.

Life without Herons

“I believe that all government is evil, in that all government must necessarily make war upon liberty.”
— HL Mencken

“So what do you suggest instead of democracy?” democratic universalists will ask, “You certainly complain a lot. But what’s your alternative? Or don’t you have one?”

In fact the alternative is right under our noses.

The alternative is to learn from the Frogs, from their fatal assumption that they needed a Ruler, hereditary, elective, or otherwise.

The alternative is to realize that We the People, aka the Frogs, never should have petitioned Jupiter for Herons, Eels, or even Logs in the first place.

We don’t need them. Never did.

The alternative is to realize that the right to choose which Heron will gobble us up is not a hard-won prize, but a booby prize.

Democratic universalists concerned about “election fraud” are Frogs who worry about whether Jupiter is sending them the Ruler they asked for.

What they should be asking themselves is, “Why should we petition Jupiter for a Ruler at all?”

Opt Out of the State
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free-market_anarchism
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-capitalism

An Essential Step toward Genuine Freedom
by Bevin Chu

Taipei, China
August 08, 2006

 

Democratic Action Alliance animated gif[traditional Chinese]
Click to enlarge and trigger animation

Freely translated, the gif reads:

To manifest Heaven’s Will
A Bian must be toppled
A Bian Step Down!
For a Revolution of Conscience
The People must arise
The Democratic Action Alliance
Huang Kuang-kuo, Chang Ya-chung
telephone: 2393-8451
web address: http://www.daa-tw.com/


Huang Kuang-kuo, center, holds up a sign calling for President Chen Shui-bian to step down at a press conference outside Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall yesterday. Huang is joined by DAA convener Chang Ya-chung, left, and former Democratic Progressive Party chairman Hsu Hsin-liang, right
Photo: Wang Min-wei, Taipei Times

The China Desk enthusiastically supports the Democratic Action Alliance’s “Down with A Bian” protest movement. 

As readers of the China Desk know, I detest that abomination known as democracy.
As I have explained in previous China Desk articles, I have reluctantly concluded that natural rights and political liberty will never be secure under a democracy, or even a constitutional republic.

The natural rights and political liberty of individual human beings can only be secured under market anarchism, or some other political system structurally similar to market anarchism.

A democracy, or even a constitutional republic, simply does not contain the necessary structural constraints to safeguard against creeping dictatorship.

The problem with democracies, and even constitutional republics, is their territorial monopoly on the use of physical force.

Once individual human beings grant a political entity — any political entity — a monopoly on the use of physical force within any given territory, they have already “given away the store.”
The most essential check and balance on the limitless expansion of government power, is the right of individual human beings to use physical force in defense of their life, liberty, and property.

The moment individual human beings surrender this natural right to a political authority — any political authority — the game is already lost.

The question then is no longer whether the individuals affected will lose their freedom. The question becomes when the individuals affected will lose their freedom.

Market anarchists guard against this ever present threat to natural rights and individual liberty by categorically refusing to surrender the right to use physical force to any political authority in the first place.Expecting traditional “checks and balances” to limit the power of a political authority — any political authority — after one has granted that political authority a legal monopoly on the use of force, is naive beyond belief. It is as naive as the Frogs’ belated attempt to recall the Heron in the Aesop’s Fable, “The Frogs ask for a King.”
George W. Bush may be dumb, but he’s not stupid. He understands this harsh reality of political power perfectly. As he put it, succinctly if not elegantly:

“I don’t give a goddamn, I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way. Stop throwing the Constitution in my face, It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”


George W. Bush, President and Commander in Chief


The Constitution of these United States of America — “Just a goddamned piece of paper!”

Chen Shui-bian understands this harsh reality of political power every bit as well as George W. Bush. Chen knows that 70% of the Chinese people on Taiwan want him to step down. 

Yesterday is none too soon.

So why doesn’t he simply defer to “The Will of The People” and voluntarily step down?Chen will not voluntarily step down because he knows that a “democratically elected president” is not a “public servant,” but an absolute monarch with a four year term limit.
 

Chen will not voluntarily step down because he knows that democracy is not government “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” but government “of an elective dictator, by an elective dictator, and for an elective dictator.”
 
Most importantly, Chen will not voluntarily step down because he knows that government officials take their orders from higher ranking government officials, and not from any noble-sounding but meaningless abstractions such as “The People.”

When push comes to shove, military and police personnel will not obey their Bosses in Theory, i.e., the angry voters storming the barricades in front of the Presidential Palace, but their Boss in Fact, Chen Shui-bian.

The bullets they fire at their Bosses in Theory, “The People,” on orders from their Boss in Fact, Taiwan’s little emperor, will be any but theoretical. They will be all too real.

So why am I supporting the Democratic Action Alliance’s “Down with A Bian” protest movement?Because ridding Taiwan of a cronyist dictatorship is an eminently worthwhile short term objective that does not conflict with the promotion of market anarchism as a long term objective.

Because if market anarchism is considered beyond the pale even in Europe and America, imagine how far beyond the pale it is on Taiwan. When even jaded intellectuals in “mature democracies” refuse to recognize that a paradigm shift from “minarchism” (minimal government) to “anarchism” (no government) is long overdue, imagine how difficult it is for fledgling democrats in “immature democracies” to question their newly adopted political faith.

Because believers in democracy need to learn the hard way that democracy doesn’t work. Only then will they be emotionally and psychologically receptive to creative, unorthodox, “outside the box” alternatives such as market anarchism.

Democratic universalists like to hold forth on the distinction between “mature democracies” and “immature democracies.”

I have to laugh. To me the distinction between “mature democracies” and “immature democracies” is a distinction without a difference.

To me the term “mature democracy” is an oxymoron. A mature society would not tolerate a political system so crudely defective as democracy.

To me the term “immature democracy” is a redundancy. If a society is “democratic,” it is a sure sign that society remains hopelessly immature.Intellectual mainstream commitment to democracy is not about rational deference to objective reality. Intellectual mainstream commitment to democracy is about mindless conformance to a collective delusion.

Given that a critical mass of Republic of China voters remain convinced that “democracy” is the ne plus ultra of political systems, what is the dedicated market anarchist to do?

Market anarchists must help the public in western bloc elective dictatorships, better known as “democracies,” to awaken from their collective delusion, the way the public in eastern bloc non-elective dictatorships awoke from their collective delusion in 1989.

The ongoing Pan Blue attempt to topple Chen Shui-bian, belatedly joined by elements within the Pan Green camp, is an essential step on the long and painful journey toward genuine freedom.

If the attempt to topple Chen succeeds, the Chinese people on Taiwan will enjoy a welcome reprieve from a corrupt demagogue who has nearly emptied out the nation’s coffers.
If, on the other hand the attempt to topple Chen fails, the world will be one step closer to the complete and utter disillusionment that must precede a paradigm shift from minarchism to anarchism.

Democratic Peace: A Skeptic’s View
by Bevin Chu

Taipei, China
May 01, 2006

More and more political scientists are questioning the validity of the theory of “democratic peace.”

To which I can only say, “Not a moment too soon.”

Among these skeptics is Mark E. Pietrzyk, author of “International Order and Individual Liberty: Effects of War and Peace on the Development of Governments.”
In a promotional blurb for his book, entitled “The Democratic Peace: A Skeptic’s View,” Pietrzyk discusses the theory and his doubts:

International Order and Individual Liberty offers a critical examination of one of the most popular ideas among contemporary political scientists: that “democracies do not go to war with one another.” According to the school of the “democratic peace,” the long peace between democratic states since 1945 has demonstrated that democratic norms and institutions help states in the international system transcend traditional concerns about power-seeking and security, allowing for the possibility of a “perpetual peace” between democratic states. This theory has been the basis for recent claims that the establishment of democracy in Iraq could be the foundation for an expanding zone of peace in the Middle East.

Perhaps the most deluded and arrogant of these democratic peace theorists is RJ Rummel, who writes :

“The democratic peace been tested on every democracy that has existed in history most notably by Spencer Weart. See the summary chapter of his book Never At War. Another way of looking at this is that there are 121 democracies today, and there is not a chance of even military action between any of them, much less war. Not even among the European nations, which throughout history have been at each other’s throats. What changed this is that all became democracies.”

As opponents of Operation Deliberate Force and Operation Allied Force know full well, the United States, which democratic peace theorists consider the world’s leading democracy, along with fellow democracies comprising the NATO alliance, initiated an unprovoked war of aggression against the Serbian people in the former Yugoslavia, inflicting countless deaths and untold destruction upon them.

The late Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic, like him or not, was democratically elected by the Serbian people in what democratic peace theorists refer to as a “free and fair election.” Serbia,.according to democratic peace theorists’ own criteria, was a democracy.
Therefore the US instigated NATO war of aggression against Serbia constitutes a flagrant exception to the boastful assertion that “democracies do not go to war with one another.”
The US instigated NATO jihad against Serbia alone disproves the central tenet of democratic peace theory.

Rummel and Weart apparently missed the Yugoslav Wars when they “tested [the theory of democratic peace] on every democracy that has existed in history.”

But leave their minor oversight aside for the moment. Suppose for the sake of argument that democratic peace theorists were actually correct when they claimed that “democracies do not go to war with one another.”

My reaction would still be, “So what?” Are we supposed to be impressed by that? So what if democracies do not go to war with one another? Democracies go to war against non-democracies, all the time.

By that I don’t mean that peaceful democracies find themselves forced to defend themselves against unprovoked attacks from belligerent non-democracies. I mean that self-righteous, crusading democracies constantly initiate wars of unprovoked aggression against non-democracies that have committed no offense of any kind against the democratic aggressor. Most ironically of all, democracies initiate these wars of aggression in the name of advancing “democratic peace.”

As opponents of Operation Iraqi Freedom know full well, the US and UK, two nations which democratic peace theorists would refer to as the world’s “leading” democracies, initiated an unprovoked war of aggression against the Iraqi nation, murdering tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians and demolishing most of Iraq’s modern infrastructure and irreplaceable cultural heritage.

If we pause to consider the underlying logic of democratic peace theory, we realize how morally repugnant the boast that “democracies do not go to war with other democracies” actually is.

What democratic peace theorists are arguing, is that democracies do not murder “their own kind,” they murder only “others.” They do not murder democrats. They murder only non-democrats. Am I putting words in their mouth? Hardly. I am merely spelling out the clear implication of their own boast in plain language.

Ku Klux Klansmen do not aggress against one another. They only aggress against non-Klansmen. Are we supposed to be impressed by the fact that Klansmen display benevolence toward fellow Klansmen? Are we supposed to be impressed by the fact that Klansmen burn crosses only on the lawns of non-Klansmen, that Klansmen lynch only those whom they refer to as “niggers” and “kikes?”

What difference is there between the underlying moral calculus in these two examples?

How about none?

Yet in the face of all this, democratic peace theorist RJ Rummel smugly maintains that the solution to “democide” is democracy.

A fan wrote in to Rummel’s weblog, insisting that “The world needs a World Cop. I recommend a Human Rights Enforcement Group, of democracies only, with a test on the two most basic human rights: free speech and free religion.[sic] If the USA can get India on board with this, it could really go — and integrate with the Anglosphere challenge idea.”

Rummel replied, “Agreed. Along similar lines, I’ve been promoting an Alliance of Democracies.”

“Human beings,” as South African author Laurens van der Post observed, “are perhaps never more frightening than when they are convinced beyond doubt that they are right.”

The late, great Isabel Paterson wrote about such human beings in her immortal essay, The Humanitarian with the Guillotine.

I applied her prescient insights to modern day liberal democratic “Humanitarian Interventionists” in my 1999 Strait Scoop article, Globocops with Guillotines.

Pietrzyk writes:

However, an alternative view is that the long peace between democratic states is the result of reverse causation. That is, the current peaceful international order (created by such factors as U.S. hegemony, the solidification of borders, economic growth, and the nuclear revolution) has made it possible for liberal democracy to flourish in many countries which have found it difficult or impossible to build and maintain free institutions in previous eras of international violence and instability. Only states which are relatively secure – politically, militarily, economically – can afford to have free, pluralistic societies; in the absence of this security, states are much more likely to adopt, maintain, or revert to centralized, coercive authority structures. The book concludes with an overall analysis of the nature and causes of the contemporary peace between democracies, and the implications for U.S. foreign policy.

Pietrzyk is correct. What he refers to as “reverse causation,” or rather, reversal of cause and effect, accounts for much of the “peace” that prevails. Much of the “peace” that democratic peace theorists cite is the “peace” between Imperium Americanus and its puppets. Rummel boasts that “there is not a chance of even military action between any of them, much less war.”

Of course there isn’t. How could there be? The American Empire is much too powerful, and her puppets are much too weak for there to be “a chance of even military action between any of them, much less war.” How many democratically-elected leaders in central America dare to defy the American Empire? Only those that have forgotten what happened to Manuel Noriega or Jean-Bertande Aristide.

This of course, is nothing but our old and familiar friend, Pax Americana. Pax Americana has nothing to do with mutual respect among a fraternity of democratic nations for their “fellow democracies.” Pax Americana has to do with resentful submission to the overwhelming military might of Imperium Americanus. For democratic peace theorists such as Rummel to spin the “pax” in Pax Americana as mutual respect between democratic allies, rather than as unilateral bullying of imperial proxies, is disingenuous hypocrisy.

Finally, and most importantly, if democratic peace theorists really want to help “non-democracies” move toward “free, pluralistic societies,” the best thing they can do is mind their own god-damned business!

As Pietrzyk correctly notes, “Only states which are relatively secure – politically, militarily, economically – can afford to have free, pluralistic societies; in the absence of this security, states are much more likely to adopt, maintain, or revert to centralized, coercive authority structures.”

The implications for US foreign policy couldn’t be any clearer.

Market Anarchism, the Solution to the Dilemma of Taiwan Independence
by Bevin Chu

Taipei, China
March 23, 2006

 
Market Anarchism in One Easy Lesson

In order to better understand how market anarchism would solve the dilemma of Taiwan independence, we need to first remind ourselves what market anarchism is.

Market anarchism, or anarcho-capitalism, is essentially classical liberalism, paleo-conservativism, and “minarchist” libertarianism taken to its logical and radical conclusion. One might say that classical liberalism, paleo-conservativism, and “minarchist” libertarianism go ninety percent of the way to total liberty. Market anarchism goes all the way.

As Wikipedia explains, anarcho-capitalism is a political philosophy based on an uncompromising respect for individual sovereignty and an unyielding prohibition against the initiation of force. Anarcho-capitalists embrace laissez-faire capitalism and consider the state an illegitimate monopolist and systematic violator of individual rights. To anarcho-capitalists, a legitimate political system can emerge only from private property and voluntary contractual agreements between sovereign individuals.

Under anarcho-capitalism, all goods and services, even law enforcement, would be provided by the free market. Anarcho-capitalists believe in courts, military, and police forces only if they are established and funded on a purely voluntary basis. Coercion of any kind is unacceptable, and undermines the legitimacy of a political system from its very inception. According to Gustave de Molinari, the father of market anarchism, “Under a regime of liberty, the natural organization of the security industry would not be different from that of other industries.”

Private systems of justice and defense already exist. They emerge spontaneously wherever the market is free to compensate for the failure of the state: private arbitration, private security firms, neighborhood watch groups, and so on. These private courts and private police are often referred to as Private Defense Agencies, or PDAs. Anarcho-capitalists would replace the coercively established and coercively funded legal apparatus of the state with voluntarily established and voluntarily funded Private Defense Agencies that use physical force only in self-defense, and only against those who initiate it.

The Icelandic Commonwealth

Thomas Whiston is a free market economist with George Mason University. In his article, “Medieval Iceland and the Absence of Government,” Whiston provides us with insights into the truly remarkable Icelandic Commonwealth political system.

The Icelandic Commonwealth or Icelandic Free State, which flourished between 930 and 1262, offers modern libertarians a well-documented, real world example of how a market anarchist political system worked in the past, and how it can work again in the future, if only we can bring ourselves to “think outside the box,” if ony we can disabuse ourselves of Frances Fukuyama’s delusion that western liberal democracy is the final form of human government.

The Icelandic Commonwealth was a single, unified nation with a single, overarching constitution, but a multiplicity of “competing governments,” all of which had jurisdiction over the same territory.

Instead of public property, i.e., “government property,” the Icelandic Commonwealth had only private property. The entire island was privately owned by one private citizen or another.

As difficult as it may be for us to grasp, the Icelandic Commonwealth had no executive and no judiciary.

Instead of a judiciary, the Icelandic Commonwealth had private courts. Members of these private courts were chosen after a crime was committed. The defendant and plaintiff each had the right to pick half the arbitrators.

One of the few permanent officials was the “law speaker.” His duty was to memorize the laws, recite them back, and to provide advice on legislative matters.

Instead of a king, the Icelandic Commonwealth had a multitude of chieftans. These chieftans were not regional warlords. These chieftans were not local authorities. These chieftans were leaders of de facto central governments in competition with other chieftans’ central governments. Each chieftans’ jurisdiction was not a part of Iceland, but all of Iceland.
These chieftans were not conventional heads of government. After all, we are talking about anarchism, and anarchism means “no government.” These chieftans were heads of Private Defense Agencies.

These chieftans were not dukes, earls, and barons. They were not hereditary aristocrats. Their authority was not conferred upon them at birth by virtue of their ancestry. Their authority was provisional, conferred upon them by citizens who signed “law enforcement service contracts” with them. Their authority was subject to unilateral revocation any time by their clientele.

A citizen of the Icelandic Commonwealth unhappy with the service provided by one chieftan did not need to emigrate to a different jurisdiction in order to live under a different political authority. Like any customer of any service industry, he merely needed to take his business elsewhere, to another chieftan. If that chieftan disappointed him, he could reassign his contract for law enforcement services to yet another chieftan, ad infinitum.

Think of it as switching your cable television, cellphone, or Internet service provider at will, whenever your current provider’s service fails to meet with your satisfaction.

This option of switching governments, or rather, “law enforcement service providers” at an individual citizen’s discretion without having to pull up roots and emigrate to a foreign country, was the key to making the system work. This option provided de facto political secession all the way down the level of the individual, and made the term “civil servant” a comforting reality instead of a cruel hoax.

Market Anarchism works, Naysayers are Wrong

Naysayers of market anarchism, including the late Ayn Rand, have trotted out a wide range of theoretical arguments purporting to prove that market anarchism can never work.
The only problem with the naysayers’ learned arguments is that market anarchy has worked. The market anarchist Icelandic Commonwealth worked for over three centuries. The constitutional republican United States worked for only two centuries. Did the United States work? If working for two centuries means that the United States worked, then working for three centuries means the Icelandic Commonwealth worked.

The United States worked as long as it remained a constitutional republic. Once it degenerated into a democracy, sometime during the Progressive Era and the New Deal, it stopped working. The Icelandic Commonwealth worked as long as it remained a market anarchy. Once it degenerated into a theocracy, sometime around 1200, it stopped working. The Icelandic Commonwealth worked longer than the United States. While the Icelandic Commonwealth worked, it worked even better than the United States.

Naysayers of market anarchism who claim to have proven that market anarchism can’t work remind me of the aeronautical engineers who proved that bumblebees can’t fly. The fact is bumblebees have flown. Bumblebees can fly. The fact is market anarchism has worked. Market anarchism can work.

The aeronautical engineers who “proved” that bumblebees can’t fly were merely being funny. Ayn Rand and her “intellectual heirs” were not.

The extraordinary history of the Icelandic Commonwealth demonstrates in actual practice and not mere theory that every function that the Conventional Wisdom insists must be provided coercively by a state monopoly can be provided voluntarily by private entrepreneurs, without violating the prohibition against the initiation of force.

Due to widespread semantic sloppiness, the neutral term “anarchy” has become conflated with the pejorative term “chaos.” But the term anarchy, properly understood, does not mean chaos. It means “no government.”

Does no government mean chaos? It does not. It just means an absence of government. An absence of government is fully compatible with social order. In fact, an absence of government is highly conducive to enhanced social order. As the Daoist sage Laozi wisely observed, “The people are difficult to govern because of the excessive agency of their superiors in governing them. It is through this that they are difficult to govern.”

The presumption that an absence of government equals chaos is a myth perpetuated by obdurate statists. Anarchy need not be a Hobbesian state of nature, with a war of all against all, but rather extended periods of peace and prosperity.

See:
Medieval Iceland and the Absence of Government

China’s Quasi-Anarchism, Proto-Anarchism

I propose a market anarchist solution to the perplexing problem of Taiwan independence, inspired by the medieval era Icelandic Commonwealth. No one has ever advanced such a proposal before. You read it here first.

A market anarchist solution for the problem of Taiwan independence would begin with the half-century old cross-Straits status quo.

What is the cross-Straits status quo?

The status quo in the Taiwan Straits is not Lee Teng-hui’s “Two States” or Chen Shui-bian’s “One Country each Side.” The status quo is not “One China, One Taiwan,” or even “Two Chinas.” The status quo in the Taiwan Straits is “One Country, Two Systems,” with the key proviso that the “One Country” is the neutral term “China,” rather than the loaded terms “Republic of China” or “People’s Republic of China”

The fact that the term One Country, Two Systems is disliked even by some Pan Blues does not alter the facts. Pan Blues who are allergic to the term One Country, Two Systems because it was formulated by the PRC rather than the ROC are free to substitute the terminology of the ’92 Consensus, “One China, Different Expressions.” It amounts to the same thing.

For those unfamiliar with the 1992 Consensus, it stipulates that “There is only one indivisible China. This China includes both Taiwan and the Chinese mainland. Beijing will refer to this China as the People’s Republic of China. Taipei will refer to this China as the Republic of China. Chinese citizens ruled by the PRC government in Beijing will recognize it as China’s government. Chinese citizens ruled by the ROC government in Taipei will recognize it as China’s government.”

The political structure of the Icelandic Commonwealth was “One Country, Many Governments.” Each of these governments claimed sovereignty over all of Iceland, and exercised jurisdiction over all of Iceland.

The political structure of a China divided by the lingering Cold War “Mexican Stand-off,” is “One Country, Two Governments.” Each of these governments claims sovereignty over all of China, but exercises jurisdiction over only part of China.

China resembles medieval Iceland in that China has competing governments claiming sovereignty over all of China. China differs from medieval Iceland in that China’s competing governments are unable to exercise jurisdiction over all of China.

The obvious conclusion? In order to transform China into a modern version of the Icelandic Commonwealth, China’s competing governments must be allowed to exercise jurisdiction over all of China, in addition to claiming sovereignty over all of China.

The Market Anarchist Chinese Commonwealth

The newly reunified nation could be renamed the Chinese Commonwealth, the Chinese Free State, or just plain China. Just as we no longer need the terms West Germany and East Germany now that Germany has been reunified, so we would no longer need the names Nationalist China and Communist China, or Republic of China and People’s Republic of China once China is reunified.

The constitutions of the ROC government in Taipei and the PRC government in Beijing are “minarchist,” limited government constitutions, in principle if not necessarily in practice.
The Constitution of the newly reunified Chinese Commonwealth would be a market anarchist, no government/competing governments constitution.

Citizens of the Chinese Commonwealth would never pay another dime in taxes to any government, central, provincial, or local, because there would no longer be any government, central, provincial, or local. There would only be one unified nation consisting entirely of privately owned property, in which citizens would voluntarily contract with Private Defense Agencies for law enforcement services.

Taiwan independence advocates would relinquish all demands for political independence from the Chinese Commonwealth. They would cease and desist all attempts to undermine the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Chinese nation.

In return, the Constitution of the Chinese Commonwealth would authorize all political parties to reorganize themselves as Private Defense Agencies. The Taiwan based Democratic Progressive Party would be free to offer its law enforcement services anywhere in China, including the Chinese mainland. The mainland based Chinese Communist Party would be free to offer its law enforcement services anywhere in China, including Taiwan.

The right to establish Private Defense Agencies and to enter the law enforcement service industry would of course not be restricted to political parties. I mention political parties merely to illustrate one of many possibilities.

Anybody would be free to establish a Private Defense Agency and offer law enforcement services to the public. Entering the law enforcement service industry would be a purely economic decision.

Subscribing to any law enforcement service provider would also be a purely economic decision. Citizens would subscribe to those Private Defense Agencies that offered the most satisfactory service for the most reasonable rates.

The cross-Straits status quo, “One Country, Two Governments,” is already halfway to market anarchism. All that remains is to go the rest of the way. All that is necessary to transform today’s China into a modern version of the Icelandic Commonwealth is to take “One Country, Two Governments” to its logical and radical conclusion and create “One Country, Many Governments.”

Why Wait for Beijing? Let’s Roll!

Beijing won’t go for it, you say, therefore the market anarchization of China is a pipe dream?
When did Beijing’s unwillingness to do anything become a problem? The Chinese Communist Party under Mao Zedong rejected free market capitalism for the Chinese mainland, but the Kuomintang under Chiang Kai-shek and Chiang Ching-kuo implemented free market capitalism on Taiwan anyway, and Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, and Hu Jintao on the Chinese mainland eventually followed suit. The CCP used to stand for the Chinese Communist Party. Now it stands for the Chinese Capitalist Party.

Besides, haven’t Taiwan independence Quislings and Taiwan independence fellow travelers alike been telling the world that “democratic and progressive” Taiwan has exterted enormous internal political pressure on Beijing via the power of example? Were these just empty boasts, or where they for real?

Taiwan independence Quislings have been chafing at the bit, eager to get the secessionist ball rolling. That being the case, why wait for Beijing? As Todd Beamer told fellow captives aboard UAL Flight 93; “Let’s roll!”

Why not liberate ourselves from our statist captors in Taipei and Washington first? Why wait for the Chinese mainland to make the first move? Why not recognize the right of sovereign individuals to secede from the Taiwanese kleptocracy and the American Leviathan first? Why not implement market anarchism in the “Free Region of China” and the “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave” first? Why not show those uptight, repressive Commie bastards how “democratic and progressive” we are?

Beijing is unwilling to take the first step? No problem. We’ll go first. They can catch up later.
Unfortunately, as libertarians know only too well, even the moderate “minarchist” policy proposals advanced by the Libertarian Party of the United States are considered beyond the pale by the conservative Republicans, moderate centrists, and liberal Democrats who comprise the Great Silent Majority in the US and other “advanced democracies.” Never mind any political proposals containing the term “anarchist” in them!

During the bitter post 3/20 election protests in 2004, many Pan Blue protestors suggested that rather than suffer passively as Pan Green Quislings engaged in creeping secession from China, the Pan Blue democratic majority on Taiwan ought to seize the initiative and declare an independent loyalist Chinese republic in the northern half of the island, confirm Lien Chan as Pan Blue president, pay taxes to Pan Blue officials, and leave Taiwan independence Quislings in the south to starve themselves to death with their economically suicidal protectionist policies.

If Taiwan independence Quislings are serious about honoring the “Right to Self-Determination,” they can start by honoring the Pan Blue camp’s desire not to be ruled by a treasonous “Vichy China” led by corrupt Taiwan independence Quislings. 

The Real Reason for Taiwan Independence

Taiwan independence Quislings claim that the reason they collaborate with rabid Sinophobes in the US and Japan to split Taiwan off from the rest of China, over the objections of a democratic majority of Chinese citizens on Taiwan, not to mention an even larger democratic majority on the Chinese mainland, is that they demand “Freedom and Democracy.” They say they can’t enjoy Freedom and Democracy as long as Taiwan remains a part of China.

If that’s their objection to remaining part of China and for demanding a government of their own, I have good news. Market anarchism can give them what they say they want, without absolutely no need to betray their country.

Notice I said, “what they say they want.” Allow me to make a prediction. Rather than welcome a peaceful alternative to bigoted, unsavory “Taiwanese, not Chinese” identity politics, and racially-motivated “Taiwanese, not Chinese” nation building, Taiwan independence Quislings will trot out a million reasons why they will not settle for anything less than a separate “Nation of Taiwan.” They will do so because the desire for Freedom and Democracy is not their real reason for demanding Taiwan independence.

When Japanophile Quisling Lee Teng-hui makes his case for an independent Taiwan, he tells western liberals that his demand is motivated by political idealism, not racial hatred. In other words, he lies. Lee knows what’s Politically Correct. Lee knows what will ingratiate himself with progressive “Make the world safe for democracy” Wilsonian internationalists. That’s why he dutifully recites the mantra they are waiting to hear: “We demand Freedom and Democracy.”

But what’s the real reason Taiwan independence Quislings demand Taiwan independence?
Back in the early 90s, a Japanese MP interviewed Lee Teng-hui. In “Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui’s Tears,” the MP told the Japan Daily Post:

“Lee Teng-hui received a Japanese education during [the] Japanese occupation. His older brother was a soldier in the Japanese Imperial Army and died in action. The result is Lee Teng-hui is in his own heart and in his own eyes even more Japanese than the Japanese. His yearning and homesickness for Japan is intense.”

Lee Teng-hui knows he can’t tell western liberals the truth. He knows they would run from him faster than you can say “PW Botha” or “Pauline Hanson.” Lee Teng-hui, or should I say “Iwasato Masao,” knows he can’t tell sympathetic western liberals the real reason he is obsessed with separating Taiwan from the rest of China is that he despises China, hates the people of China, and considers them congenitally inferior to the people of Japan. He dreams of making his mark in Japanese history as the national hero who enabled Japan to annex Taiwan a second time.

Most Taiwan independence sympathizers have heard only the feel-good Freedom and Democracy catechisms regurgitated for their benefit by Cassidy and Associates, the Taiwan Lobby’s high-priced PR firm. They have never attended any of the Nuremberg Rallies held by the Pan Green parties on Taiwan and gotten an earful of the racist remarks Taiwan independence demagogues Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian make before wildly cheering Taiwan independence fundamentalists.

Little wonder the idealistic Sisy Chen, former DPP Public Relations Chief and one of the DPP’s shining stars, eventually parted company with the Taiwan independence movement and concluded that “The DPP is the KKK of Taiwan.”

The reality is Taiwan independence Quislings such as Lee Teng-hui, whom clueless Newsweek reporters canonized as “Mr. Democracy,” don’t give a damn whether people on Taiwan live under “Freedom and Democracy.” I’m not saying they resolutely oppose Freedom and Democracy. I’m saying Freedom and Democracy is not their highest priority. They recite the Freedom and Democracy mantra only because they know Taiwan independence fellow travelers like to hear it.

As their repressive and dictatorial behavior since “Son of Taiwan” Chen Shui-bian became the “Il Duce of Taiwan” reveals, they care only about indoctrinating Chinese people on Taiwan with their artificially fabricated, self-hating, “Taiwanese, not Chinese” race consciousness. They care only about founding a race-based “Nation of Taiwan” in which the three-fourths Hoklo majority of “zheng gang de tai wan ren” (genuine Taiwanese), rule the roost, and any minority unhappy about being forced to live under petty tribalist Hoklo Chauvinism can lump it.

See:
Japan has no balls, Lee says
Independence for Me but not for Thee
 

Market Anarchism, the Solution to a Global Problem

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Patriotic Chinese on Taiwan and China’s mainland face a challenge akin to the challenge faced by Frodo Baggins and the Fellowship of the Rings in JRR Tolkien’s epic novel, “The Lord of the Rings.”

First, they must defend the political sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Chinese nation against coordinated “Divide and Conquer” tactics by Neo-imperialists from without and Quislings from within.

Second, they must accomplish this defense without sacrificing the individual liberty and individual sovereignty of 1.3 billion Chinese citizens. As James Madison warned, “The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.” This is true even of an unprovoked, unavoidable war of self-defense.

Like Frodo Baggins and the Fellowship of the Rings, modern Chinese have been reluctantly saddled with the One Ring [Democratic Universalism],

an instrument of absolute power that could allow Sauron, the dark Lord of Mordor [Dubya, the dark Lord of the New World Order],

and his accomplice Saruman [Junichiro Koizumi],

to rule Middle Earth [the Middle East / Central Asia / China, the Middle Kingdom] and enslave its peoples.

Like Frodo and the Fellowship, modern Chinese must take the One Ring [Democratic Universalism]

to Mount Doom, where it first was forged, and destroy it forever [refute and neutralize Democratic Universalism’s hypnotic and evil spell at its source],

all the while combatting internal dissension [Boromir, who represents exasperatingly naive democracy activists on the Chinese mainland, and Gollum, who represents vicious ethnic separatists on Taiwan]

and the corrupting influence of the One Ring itself [the seductive influence of political power which overwhelmed even the pure of heart Frodo Baggins]

with the knowledge that the course of future history [a peaceful 21st century globalized world] hangs in the balance.

Enter market anarchism. Market anarchism not only has the potential to resolve China’s most serious dilemma, it has the potential to resolve America’s dilemmas, the former Yugoslavia’s dilemmas, Iraq’s dilemmas, the world’s dilemmas.

A Dangerous Opportunity

The Chinese term for “crisis” is a compound noun combining the terms “danger” and “opportunity.” A crisis is a “dangerous opportunity.” A crisis is an opportunity to turn lemons into lemonade.

The danger in the cross-Straits crisis is all too obvious and all too possible. The obvious danger is that rabid Sinophobes in the US and Japan will eventually play the “Taiwan Card” as their pretext for a preventive war of aggression against China. The prospect of nuclear armageddon involving 1.3 billion Chinese and 290 million Americans, provoked by a 20% minority of Taiwan independence fundamentalists indoctrinated with an ersatz “Taiwanese national consciousness,” is too appalling to contemplate.

The opportunity in the cross-Straits crisis is not so obvious and not so possible. The not so obvious opportunity is that this crucible of conflict will provide an answer to a question that has bedeviled mankind since the beginning of time — how to reconcile the requirements of collective security with the requirements of individual liberty.

The challenge for libertarian anti-colonialists/anti-imperialists in every nation in an increasingly globalized world is to delink patriotism from statism.

Market anarchism does just that. Market anarchism successfully delinks benign patriotism from malignant statism. A successful market anarchist solution to the problem of a Divided China would offer patriots the world over a means of safeguarding their national sovereignty and territorial integrity against Neo-colonialist, Neo-imperialist “Divide and Conquer” tactics from without, without compromising the individual liberty and individual sovereignty of their fellow citizens within.

Democracy, the Worst Form of Government ever Tried, Part III
Democracy, an Object Lesson for China
by Bevin Chu

Taipei, China
November 12, 2005

Champions of Democracy are Wrong

What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.
— Francis Fukuyama, “The End of History?”, a 1989 essay published in The National Interest

Self-styled “champions of democracy,” Western and Chinese alike, insist that “Communist” China ought to look to democratic Taiwan for guidance on how to reform its political system. They insist that “Communist” China ought to adopt Taiwanese style democracy as practiced by Taiwan independence fascists Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shiu-bian.

Champions of democracy need to think again. Democracy is the breeding ground for fascism. Democracy provides all the necessary conditions for fascism to take root and mature. Unless for some perverse, indecipherable reason champions of democracy want mainland China, with its 1.3 billion people, to march down the same fascist path as Taiwan’s Quisling nomenklatura, they had better check their premises and revise their recommendations.

Democracy incorporates a variety of legal constraints against the abuse of power. In theory, these constraints prevent the dangerous concentration of power in any single branch of government, particularly the executive. In practice, they merely legitimize state violence against defenseless citizens struggling to lead their own lives and follow their own dreams. In theory, democracy is government of the people, by the people, and for the people. In practice, democracy is government of an elective dictator, by an elective dictator, and for an elective dictator.

Fortunately for mankind, Frances Fukuyama and his fellow champions of democracy are wrong. History has not ended. Mankind’s ideological evolution has not reached its end point. Western liberal democracy is not the final form of human government. Otherwise mankind would be trapped within a Kafkaesque nightmare world from which there is “No Exit.”

Communism doesn’t Work. Neither does Democracy

“In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.”
— Yogi Berra

Communism was destined to fail even before it was implemented, because it was based on a fundamentally flawed assumption about human nature. The assumption was that human beings would behave “unselfishly,” as defined by Marxist-Leninists, if only political leaders with determination held guns to peoples’ heads and forced them to act “unselfishly.” Communism failed because human beings can’t be psychologically browbeaten or physically coerced into behaving “unselfishly.” People who want to coerce others into behaving “unselfishly” will themselves behave according to their fundamental human nature. They will impose their own selfish values of “unselfishness” upon others, and refer to it as “selfless service.”

What champions of democracy don’t realize, or realize but refuse to admit, is that the same holds true for democracy. Democracy was also destined to fail even before it was implemented, because it too was based on a fundamentally flawed assumption about human nature. The assumption was that “democratically elected” officials would miraculously behave “unselfishly” by virtue of “the democratic process.” Democracy has failed because elected officials don’t behave unselfishly merely because they promised to do so during their election campaigns. Elected officials, once in office, will behave according to their fundamental human nature. They will abuse the powers delegated to them by “the democratic process” to further their own selfish interests, then glorify their despotic behavior as “selfless service.”

Like Warsaw Pact victims of the Communist delusion, champions of democracy are victims of their own delusions about how democracy ought to work in theory, as opposed to how it actually works in practice.

Both Communism and democracy failed miserably as political systems because they are predicated upon wishful thinking about human nature. Communism and democracy are both predicated on the hypothetical premise that “If pigs had wings, they could fly.” Unfortunately for both Communists and champions of democracy, pigs don’t have wings, they can’t fly, and all the wishing in the world won’t make them.

The only politico-economic system, or to be more precise, metasystem, grounded in the fundamental reality of human nature, is the spontaneously generated free marketplace.

Democracy, Breeding Ground for Fascism

“Nothing matters more than winning. Not even what you believe in.”
— Tagline for “The Candidate” (1972, directed by Michael Ritchie, written by Jeremy Larner, former speechwriter for Eugene McCarthy)

Remember “The Candidate,” the biting political satire starring Robert Redford? The Internet Movie DataBase summarizes the plot: “Californian lawyer Bill McKay fights for the little man. His charisma and integrity get him noticed by the Democratic Party machine and he is persuaded to run for the Senate against an apparently unassailable incumbent. It’s agreed he can handle it his own way, on his own terms. But once he’s in the race and his prospects begin to improve, the deal starts to change.”

Why does the deal start to change?

The deal starts to change because democracy is inherently corrupting. Democracy incorporates certain perverse incentives. Democracy’s holiest sacrament is popular elections. Popular elections compel candidates for political office to resort to populist demagoguery, i.e., “impassioned appeals to the prejudices and emotions of the populace.” Popular elections compel candidates to sacrifice reason to passion, substance to image, and principle to expediency.

As the tagline for “The Candidate” reminds us, under democracy’s system of popular elections, “Nothing matters more than winning. Not even what you believe in.”

No wonder Thomas Jefferson, author of the Bill of Rights, complained that “Democracy is nothing more than mob rule.” No wonder James Madison, Father of the Constitution, concluded that “Democracies have … been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property.”

Austrian School economist Friedrich von Hayek’s landmark book, “The Road to Serfdom,” includes a chapter on populism and fascism entitled, “Why the Worst Get on Top.” The title of the chapter says it all.

Why do the worst get on top? The worst get on top because democracy’s defining institution, popular elections, do not work as advertised. In theory, democratic elections ensure that only the most farsighted leaders offering the most rational policies get on top. In practice, democratic elections ensure that only the most shameless demagogues, for whom nothing matters more than winning, who are willing to betray what they believe in, will get on top.

Adolf Hitler, democratically elected Chancellor of Germany understood this better than anyone. As Der Furher himself observed, “I know perfectly well that in the scientific sense there is no such thing as race. As a politician [however] I need an idea which enables the order which has hitherto existed on a historic basis to be abolished and an entirely new order enforced and given an intellectual basis. And for this purpose the idea of race serves me well.”

Democracy, an Object Lesson for China

“You can observe a lot just by watching.”
— Yogi Berra

Self-styled champions of democracy insist that “Communist” China ought to look to democratic Taiwan for guidance on how to reform its political system. Ironically, many political reformers agree, but not in the sense that champions of democracy mean. By observing real-life political developments on mainland China during the 50s, 60s, and 70s, and on Taiwan from the 80s til today, political reformers on both mainland China and Taiwan have learned two enormously valuable political lessons:

Lesson One: Communism doesn’t work. This lesson was learned watching desperately as Mao Zedong’s economically suicidal, coercive egalitarian policies destroyed mainland China’s economy and society.

Lesson Two: Democracy doesn’t work. This lesson was learned watching incredulously as Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian’s economically suicidal, pro independence policies destroyed Taiwan’s economy and society.

Taiwan’s ill-fated experiment in democracy has provided Chinese political reformers on both sides of the Taiwan Strait with an unmistakable lesson. Taiwan has shown them that democracy is as much a recipe for social, economic, and political disaster as Communism.

These two important lessons will stand the Chinese nation in good stead as the coming century unfolds, because the adoption of Communism and democracy are the two most catastrophic blunders committed by developing nations in the late 20th and early 21st century.

Chinese political reformers, like Yogi Berra, observed a lot just by watching.

Democracy is structurally defective. The defects of democracy, its ineffectual constraints against the expansion of power, its predisposition to reward fascist demagoguery, are defects in its incentive structure. Such defects were unwittingly designed into the system from its inception. Such defects cannot be “fixed” by “reformers” waving brooms in the air and promising to sweep out the cobwebs of the previous administration. The only solution to the insoluble problems of democracy, is to jettison the system altogether start over with a clean slate.

The mainland regon of China tried Communism and discovered it didn’t work. The Taiwan region of China tried democracy and discovered it doesn’t work either. A future, reunified China has an unprecedented opportunity, one that seldom arises in history, to try a radically different political system that does work, that genuinely ensures human beings’ natural rights and individual liberty. That system is known as “market anarchism” or “anarcho-capitalism.”

Ironically, if China were to move boldly forward and adopt such a system, it would actually be returning to its historical roots, to the great Daoist philosopher Laozi’s “wu wei er zi” (govern by doing nothing).

For an introduction to “anarcho-capitalism, see:
Anarcho-capitalism, from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For parallels between Chinese Daoism and Western anarchism, see:
Taoism and Anarchism

For a brief introduction to Laozi, the Chinese sage whom famed modern libertarians consider the world’s first libertarian, see:
http://www.theadvocates.org/celebrities/lao-tzu.html

Democracy, the Worst Form of Government ever Tried, Part II
America and China, Republics not Democracies
by Bevin Chu

Taipei, China
August 29, 2005

de·moc·ra·cy
n. pl. de·moc·ra·cies

1: Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives 2: A political or social unit that has such a government 3: The common people, considered as the primary source of political power 4: Majority rule 5: The principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community
— The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

1: the political orientation of those who favor government by the people or by their elected representatives 2: a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them [syn: republic, commonwealth] [ant: autocracy] 3: the doctrine that the numerical majority of an organized group can make decisions binding on the whole group [syn: majority rule]
— WordNet 2.0, 2003 Princeton University

Progressive Era

The Progressive Era … began in … the 1890s and lasted through the 1920s … Many reforms dotted this era, including Prohibition with the 18th Amendment … the Income Tax with the 16th Amendment and direct election of Senators with the 17th Amendment. Muckrakers … reaction-producing writers … were among … the best examples of progressive reformers … Initiative, Referendum and Recall, all parts of the … fully democratic state, were … pioneered during the movement.
— Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

China, like America, was never intended to be a democracy. Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the Founding Father of modern China, like Benjamin Franklin, intended that the nation he bequeathed to posterity would be “A republic, if you can keep it!” This much is beyond dispute. The name of the nation Sun founded, after all, is “The Republic of China.” This would hardly be worth mentioning were it not for the fact that so many people have forgotten it.

Yes, Sun made frequent and abundant use of the term “min zhu,” i.e., “people rule,” i.e., “democracy.” But Sun was using “democracy” in the greatly expanded, grossly inaccurate 20th Century sense of the word, as if it were a synonym for republic and an antonym for autocracy. When Sun used the word democracy, he meant republic. No one who knows anything about Sun’s “San Min Zhu Yi” (Three People’s Principles) can have the slightest doubt about this.

Sun, like America’s Founding Fathers, was a firm believer in republican government, not democracy. Sun, like America’s Founding Fathers, was a firm believer in indirect as opposed to direct government. Sun, like America’s Founding Fathers, was a firm believer in structural constraints as obstacles to “democracy,” aka “mobocracy.”

All this should be abundantly clear from the structural constraints Sun incorporated into the Chinese constitution, which closely mirror the structural constraints the Founding Fathers incorporated into the American constitution. The National Assembly is a good example. The National Assembly was Sun Yat-sen’s answer to the Electoral College. The National Assembly, like the Electoral College, is a proudly, unabashedly “undemocratic” feature of the Chinese constitution. The Control Yuan is another. The Control Yuan represents Sun’s attempt not only to emulate the American constitution’s checks and balances, but to enhance them.

What is the difference between a republic and a democracy?

A republic is a nation ruled by law. The highest law in a republic is its constitution. In a republic everyone obeys the constitution.

A democracy, on the other hand, is a nation ruled by men. The highest law in a democracy is the “Will of the People.” In a democracy, everyone obeys a man who represents the Will of the People. A man who represents the Will of the People is better known as a dictator.
It is no accident that Pan Green Taiwan independence fascists spearheaded the elimination of both the National Assembly and the Control Yuan. The aptly named Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) understands only too well that democratic political institutions such as Initiative, Referendum, and Recall, are highly compatible with fascism, whereas republican political institutions such as Constitutionalism, Original Intent, and the Rule of Law are insurmountable obstacles to fascism that must first be eliminated before the Pan Green camp can implement their fascist agenda.

It is no accident that Pan Blue “Da Zhong Guo” (Greater China) reunificationists spearheaded the successful boycott of Chen Shui-bian’s illegal and unconstitutional “Defensive Referendum.” Pan Blue reunificationists, after all, are true blue champions of the Republic of China Constitution and the Rule of Law.

George Orwell, in “Politics and the English Language,” observed that “The slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts… to think clearly is a necessary first step toward political regeneration… the fight against bad English is not frivolous and is not the exclusive concern of professional writers.”

Truer words were never written. What language could be more slovenly than modern political language? What thought could be more foolish than modern political thought?
Terms such as “liberal” and “democracy” once had exact meanings.

The term “liberal” originally meant “an advocate of laissez-faire capitalism.” A liberal was a disciple of Adam Smith and John Locke.

Today “liberal” means “an advocate of redistributionist welfare statism.” Today a liberal is a disciple of John Maynard Keynes and John Kenneth Galbraith. Today, the term “liberal” means the diametric opposite of what it meant during the Enlightenment. Today bonafide liberals have no choice but to refer to themselves as “classical liberals” or “libertarians.”
The term “democracy” originally meant “people rule,” or more idiomatically, “rule by the people.” A democracy was a form of government that stressed universal suffrage, multiparty elections, and majority rule. Nothing more. The term did not contain any unwarranted positive connotations. It did not imply superiority over other forms of government. It did not imply, a la Neoconservative polemicist Francis Fukuyama, that mankind had arrived at “The End of History” and that democracy was the final stage of political evolution.

Today democracy is defined as the only legitimate form of government. Rejecting democracy is not an option. “Non-democratic” is equated with “undemocratic.” “Undemocratic” is equated with “autocratic.”

Today “democracy” is no longer a scientific definition. It is a religious catechism, to be invoked in the same breath as motherhood and apple pie. It is a catch-all phrase for “good government,” for “enlightened government,” for “progressive government,” for “social equality and respect for the individual within a community.”

Today, two centuries after the American Revolution, one century after the fascistic, populist Progressive Era, the critical distinction between a republic and a democracy has been thoroughly obliterated. Today “democracy” is considered a synonym for “republic” and an antonym for “autocracy.”

This sort of equivocation, enormously useful for enforcing pro-democracy Political Correctness, has made our political language as worthless as fiat currency following runaway inflation.

Alexander Hamilton warned that the essential nature of democracy is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson warned that democracy is nothing more than mob rule. James Madison warned that democracies are spectacles of turbulence and contention, incompatible with personal security or the rights of property.

In today’s America, the solemn warnings of these far-sighted champions of republican government and opponents of democracy are treated as “er bian feng” (wind whistling past the ears), and the proud republic established by America’s Founding Fathers has been perverted into the very system they feared and loathed the most — democracy.

The Republic of China under the Two Chiangs was a republic — a flawed, imperfect republic, but a republic nonetheless.

The Republic of China under Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shiu-bian is a “democracy.” Not a democracy in today’s ambiguous, equivocal sense of the word, but a democracy in the Founding Fathers’ semantically precise sense of the word, i.e., an elective dictatorship.
What Taiwan needs today is not a Pan Green “deepening of democracy,” but a Pan Blue rebirth of republican government.