How to Topple a Tyranny

The Mechanics of Monopoly

Man is a fallible beast, and the moral strength to resist the lure of power to control others without reprisal is as rare as hens' teeth. The worst class of offenders are drawn to the occupation of politics because, without the checks and balances of market discipline that is dispensed in a competitive marketplace, one is not held accountable for one's offenses. Only when he is granted immunity from the natural corrective process can anyone hold a monopoly over a good or service for any length of time, because his competitors will quickly seize the opportunity to gain a share of the wealth.

Certain conditions are required, however, in order for a slithery serpent to evolve into a soaring, fire-breathing dragon. A tyranny can only come to birth when a subsidy of four key industries has been granted by his subjects or a third party; defense, communication, finance and law. The tyrant has many tools at his disposal to enslave both his subjects and his enemies, and thus grow his empire. But none of them can be fully maintained without monopolization of these four key industries. Denationalizing any of the four will significantly reduce his power to manipulate others, but eliminating all four monopolies will render him fully mortal once again.

The Pillar of Defense

The first of these, defense, has historically been provided through a centralized military that could be used both defensively and offensively. Even the liberal US Constitution provides for a centralized military that can be funded temporarily by the States out of the general fund when the militias of individual States are deemed unfit to supply their own protection. The State delegations held out on ratification of the US Constitution until the primacy of the militia over the Army was included. Centralization, however, enabled it to become thoroughly engulfed by the federal military-industrial complex. It was not a difficult transition, however, because politicians at both the federal and state levels shared control over their management. Of course, centralized control over the military makes all rights and freedoms irrelevant. Even the rights nominally guaranteed by a Constitution are rendered void, because those with the power to enforce them also have the power to violate them - which becomes increasingly attractive. The power to subjugate an official foreign enemy is the power to subjugate a peaceful citizenry. A tyrant makes no distinction.

A tyranny that is based on sheer military strength alone must be many times more powerful than the combined power of the masses, because, since they have not been convinced that it is worthy of their support, they will tend to resist it en masse the moment it flexes its muscles. As demonstrated when the collectivist Soviet Union, exposed, bankrupt, and a statutory laughingstock, had nothing left but a vast, magnificent, military force, the final thread was snipped and it fell to the earth with a great thunder. An offensive military is rendered obsolete where money to purchase armaments cannot be generated from thin air, where justification for military action requires reasoned thought, and where costs are internalized.

Tomorrow's Defense

Today the rapidly growing private security and insurance industries are demonstrating, at minimum, the tremendous inefficiency of tax-funded, centralized provision. Those who fear replacing the war machine with such civilized alternatives have been led to believe that they have enough in common for such industries to have the ability to become tyrannical in a competitive marketplace. A rudimentary understanding of the discipline of natural competition to expose and expel even the least significant of offenders should quickly dispel such misguided myths. In contrast to the state, private insurers and defenders have a vested interest in actually protecting their clients - when they are fighting among themselves for customers to grant them existence. Failure to do so - and to do so efficiently - results in a loss of one's client base to competitors, and a prompt business failure. Imagine what would happen if a private company in plain view did not quickly reimburse those who suffer losses and damages resulting from the scope of collateral damage for which the secretive official military is notorious.

Reinsurers have access to an immense reservoir of capital and finance with which to reimburse insurers for major catastrophes such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, fires, and any act of god imaginable. How much less would the malicious acts of man cost. Insurers adjust their rates by quantifying the risk through professional mathematicians called actuaries. War generals, in contrast, don't know from which end of a pen the ink flows. Politicians, while more skilled in the brandishing of a writing instrument, fancy themselves capable of employing it to rewrite the laws of nature. Moreover, professional insurers offer incentives for their clients to minimize risks and thus minimize the probability for losses. They have a vested interest in working closely with security companies to provide a pure defense. Other than the nostalgia of tradition, what excuse is there for warlords to continue claiming the exclusive right to provide defense? Their record speaks volumes.

The Pillar of Communication

The second pillar, communication, allows tyrants to enslave the masses without their even knowing it. In fact, if one's thoughts can be controlled efficiently, he can be made happy to be a slave. Tyrants who control language can rewrite the law of the land to their hearts' content by redefining terms used in the governing Constitution. In the US, "welfare" has been redefined from "well-being" to a system in which wealth is forcefully redistributed from a less politically connected group A to group B - the political class. The "commerce" clause has been interpreted by "experts" in league with their political cronies in a way that supersedes powers specifically delegated to the federal government regarding trade between the states (who, along with the sovereign individuals are supposedly the Principals of the contract), and grants them the power to dictate the types of light bulbs one can use, or the volume of water that passes through one's toilet before it returns to the clouds and oceans. According to these guardians of knowledge, unless we give them the power to control our lives, water would disappear from the planet, turning it into a desolate rock. Trees would be over-harvested, and become extinct. Of course, having control over our minds, they are able to deprive us not only of the insight into the interactions between the elements, but also of a basic knowledge of the simple supply/ demand/ price equation, making it seem that it is possible for demand to "exceed" supply, and turning price itself into a political commodity.

Communication is customarily monopolized by tyrants via two bottlenecks; education and information channels. In the hands of the tyrant, education becomes the ideal tool in which to mold the minds of youth - who are at their most vulnerable and gullible stage of intellectual development. After twelve nine-month school years, a subject becomes so thoroughly indoctrinated that it would take an act of god to wake him from his sound slumber. While the homeschooling revolution has forced politicians to allow parents to educate their own children (not a very revolutionary idea, really), it hasn't come close to breaking the monopoly over the remaining children's minds. Public schools are subsidized mostly by property taxes - which links education to the value of someone else's real estate. How convenient for the anticapitalistic left to get their propaganda funding from property holders.

Breaking the Bottleneck

Before education was "free", it was affordable. Joseph Lancaster, who is not in the official history books, of course, developed a system of education in which advanced students taught subjects to those who hadn't yet mastered them - and were rewarded for doing so. In this way, he was able to teach many students efficiently. After he was put out of business by subsidized "public" schools, the fate of quality, performance-based education was sealed. Under the current system, the more funds that go into the education budget, the dumber the students get. Now these institutions are in the same class as jails, and security is so lax that unarmed students and faculty are sitting ducks and classrooms are shooting galleries. Were education funded exclusively by those who have the greatest interest in quality education - the students themselves, businesses that employ them, and philanthropists - through scholarships, grants, loans, and tuition, there would be a semblance of accountability.

Information channels are also a closely guarded possession of tyrants. The Federal Communications Commission was created - unconstitutionally, of course - to prevent the scarcity of airwaves that it in reality creates. The electromagnetic frequency spectrum between audible sound and visible light is allotted in the same way that the Politburo of the Soviet Union distributed property. As a result, these bands are excessively wide, preventing them from being used efficiently by those who develop communication technology in keeping with the state of the art in scientific knowledge. The familiar "big three" TV networks, ABC, NBC, and CBS tell us who is electable, what the "authorities" are doing to protect us from ourselves, and who our enemies are. They place everyone into two opposing political camps which assures that each side, incapable of understanding the other, constantly battles to be the majority. The "left" conceptualizes reality in terms of person, and has little understanding of the nature of capital, property, and markets. The "right" conceptualizes life in terms of property, and has little appreciation for humanity. The political left seeks to collectivize property. The political right seeks to collectivize personality. There is no room for the sovereign individual in the political netherworld.

Fortunately the internet is gradually breaking up the old guard media establishment, but it's hard to quantify the extent to which they continue to dictate the proper etiquette of political correctness through the shear volume of their greatly amplified voice. Further, the seemingly innocent concept of "net neutrality" suffers the same defects as the FCC idea. It fails to understand the chaos in which an unbiased internet has come to flourish and spontaneously organize itself. Only through elimination of the FCC can a level playing field for "news" develop in the airwaves. Broadcasters naturally seek the ability to communicate clearly with their audience. The electromagnetic frequency spectrum is a no less divisible form of property than land, and a no less marketable commodity than capital.

The Pillar of Finance

The third pillar, finance, is monopolized by the tyrant in two ways; through taxation and currency debasement. Any valuable service is automatically rendered on a voluntary basis in a free market. If Caesar has to force his subjects to pay for his services, then he has not earned the right to provide them. If he is able to exact the fruits of their labor against their will, he is unlimited in his ability to further enslave them. Involuntary taxation is theft, plain and simple, and would be denounced immediately by moral leaders throughout the world - if they truly subscribed to the golden rule.

In the past, tyrants clipped the edges off of gold and silver coins. Now they can print paper money and put any value on it that they wish. During the Wiemar Republic, this power - supplemented by the other three pillars of tyranny - was taken to its logical conclusion: In this well-known chapter of history, a wheelbarrow full of German Marks was needed to buy a loaf of bread. That account ought to be kept in the first chapter of textbooks dealing with the concept of money. A gold standard - which has not officially been amended out of the US Constitution - does not allow the fraud of fiat paper money. The States are still required - on paper - to exclusively use gold and silver coin as legal tender. Although, in accord with its delegated powers, the federal government may coin money, it is not granted the exclusive right to do so, nor to print "paper" money - a devious invention.

Sound currency is generated when competition among private currency providers is allowed, and monopolized currency is no longer subsidized. Even if the state is merely forced to honor its commitment to sound money, currency holders will not need to flee. But captivity to a debasable single currency is no longer possible where currency itself is demonopolized.

The Pillar of Law

Law, the last and most important pillar of tyranny, is monopolized through advancement of the ancient concept of "crime". In reality, in order for any offense to occur, there must be a victim and an aggressor. Even a toddler can understand this. When someone is wronged, the matter is incomplete until he is once again made whole. Until a victim is compensated, the process of justice is not complete. If the offender is not required to make amends, there is no disincentive for his aggression. If a "crime" has no victim, that is, if no one has suffered losses or damages, then it is a fiction, and merely propagates a state to punish those who the state declares to be outlaws. For if justice entailed no settlement, than only a state could provide it, but if aggression can be settled without a state, then for what end is the state?

Contrary to what you have been taught to believe, there is a world of difference between an offense and a crime. Theft, murder, and any other undertaking that creates a victim at the hands of an aggressor is properly termed a tort - not a crime. A tort has a clear victim or victims and aggressor or aggressors. A crime is merely what a tyrant declares it to be. Nothing more, nothing less. Whether the definition is made by a bureaucracy, a majoritarian democracy, or any other brand of state, it can only at best approximate the natural process of justice. But it cannot duplicate it. Human instinct produces the impulse for an average person to go after a thief - perhaps even tackle him to the ground - even when the stolen property is not one's own. This is an entirely natural reaction to dissonance that only a corrupt justice system can hinder.

Private Justice

The private arbitration business has rendered thoroughly obsolete the concept of crime and, by extension, the supposed necessity of a judicial system that is dictated by a third party that claims to represent "the public". In reality, victims are fully capable of selecting their own arbitrator. Contracts have detailed arbitration clauses included. Customer-seeking arbitrators have an irresistible incentive in a competitive marketplace for impartiality. Methods of selecting arbitrators have been perfected into a fine art. Plaintiff and defendant can select their own arbitrator, each of which select a third arbitrator. Plaintiff and defendant can each offer a remedy which, in turn, is selected by an arbitrator. Since the most acceptable remedy is the one that will tend to be chosen, each party will have an incentive to provide a remedy that avoids extremes or "divides the baby".

Subrogation naturally develops when a third party is transferred the right by a victim to recoup losses and damages from the aggressor. Insurers who subrogate claims can reduce rates that they charge policyholders, because they are compensated by the aggressor for costs involved - thus reducing operating expenses. Subrogators can directly pay uninsured victims, and can work in concert with investigators, bonding agencies, job placement and training agencies, to provide a big improvement over standard incarceration paid for by innocent tax victims. It is not difficult to find much more palatable alternatives to standard incarceration - which, with now-common prison violence, has morphed into cruel and inhumane form of punishment. With full subrogation, the entire process is self-funded - and quite civilized.

Law becomes a tool of justice when taken out of the hands of politicians, and returned to victims and their chosen defenders and arbitrators. The axiom of nonaggression is automatic in a free marketplace where victims can choose their own securers, judges, and enforcers, and where property, association, and freedom of contract are sacred.

Nails in the Coffin

Tyranny is an anomaly. The State is its cloak. It cannot exist without violation of will. It cannot exist where it must pay for itself - with real money. It cannot exist without deception. It cannot exist where it is held accountable. The State will crumble of its own accord without any loss or damage to the innocent. Those who live at the expense of others, however, will need to find productive employment once it dissolves. It does not require a massive campaign to convince the majority of the evils of politics, because this characteristic is well-known. The motivation is already there. Once the masses realize that this monstrosity is a wholly unnecessary evil, they will cease to feed the hand that bites.

While it certainly wouldn't hurt the cause of liberty for those of high moral standing in churches and temples to officially herald taxation to be the evil that it is, the fact that the costs of tyranny directly hurt the pocketbooks of honest taxpayers will provide a more heartfelt motivation of its subjects. Quantifying the extent to which tyranny turns the sovereign individual into an economic captive drives the point home. Despite the unfounded fears of the state-generated libertyphobes, man is fully capable of caring for himself, and the gentle marketplace is the most just arena possible in which one could hope to abide. It cannot be otherwise - even if it were desirable. For the natural laws of the marketplace cannot be disobeyed without repercussions; monopoly, corruption, and queues, when the infractions are misdemeanors, and wars, droughts, and famines, when they are felonies.

To topple a tyranny, it is only necessary to expose it. Once the State is known for the farce that it is, no one will have the will to sustain it and, by extension, the tyranny that it sustains. It is just a matter of time until this parasitical foreign beast is hung from its own Appian cross. Unplugging it will speed its demise.

Caesar's Appian Way
Caesar's Appian Way

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