"We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds...[we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers... And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for [another ]... till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery... And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression." ~ Thomas Jefferson
Anarchism Beats Statism, Once Again
A recent article by Tom Nugent from National Review asserts that Bush's reelection means that 'capitalism beats socialism, once again.' After discussing Bush's commitment to tax cuts, Nugent points out that:
President Clinton didn't have a capitalist agenda for America when he came into office in 1992 . . . . In contrast, today we have a confirmed capitalist as our president and a capitalist majority in the Congress. By the middle of 2005, the Iraq war should be winding down, oil prices should be moderating, lower tax rates will be in effect, and global prosperity will be on the rise. The stock market should be moving higher and eclipsing the record highs of the year 2000 as a result of these changes.
Finally, President Bush will be in a position to nominate a number of Supreme Court justices during the next four years, an important factor in keeping capitalism the driving force in America . Ironically, even the beaten socialists will benefit from the capitalist system they detest.
Again, how sweet it is.
While Nugent has some good insights, I must say that four more years of Bush are much more of a triumph for liberty than even he recognizes. As I said in my last article on Strike the Root, 'We may all have our differences with the president. We might think his wars are murderous and his domestic programs are evil. And he might broaden the war and kill tens of thousands more. But it doesn't matter. Free market anarchists have no choice but to vote for Bush. Not voting for Bush is the same as voting against America .'
And look what happened! Fifty-nine million Americans took my advice, and now we have until 2008 before we have to worry about a statist taking power in the United States .
Some readers will doubtlessly ask, 'But Anthony, how can an anarchist support George W. Bush ' a man who has increased the size of the federal government by about 30%, and who is slaughtering innocent people in the Middle East as we speak?'
Calm down. I know a lot of hysterical anti-Bush anarchists probably don't understand the true significance of his reelection. So let me explain.
George W. Bush, like all good anarchists, understands that human beings shouldn't be restrained by political institutions. And so we see a president who refuses to follow the Constitution ' a rotten statist document that any principled anarchist should reject. Bush also flouts international law, the United Nations, anti-torture treaties, and all sorts of other governmental abstractions, which all too many libertarians fall into the trap of defending. Are we not anarchists? Should we not celebrate Bush's dismissal of these laws and state institutions that seek to confine his actions?
Think about it. Bush refuses to listen to Congress, the CIA, and his advisors ' as should we all. Bush scoffs at the idea that 'democracy' should regulate his behavior ' and we should concur. Bush laughs at the courts that rule against him and the governments abroad that question his individualism. Go, Bush, go!
Now, some of you might be thinking, 'Now hold on there, Anthony, Bush is the head of our government! How can you like him when you think that government is evil?'
Well, we live in the real world. Until we have anarchy, we must settle for a government that is at least anarchistic enough to disobey its own edicts and defy the rule of law.
Another consideration: Bush has destroyed two governments, has he not? He has smashed the states of Afghanistan and Iraq . How can any anarchist oppose the elimination of a state?
Iraq is a perfect model of anarchy. There is no state exercising a monopoly of violence. Instead, we see several institutions practicing violence in a competitive, free-market environment. The US government doesn't control the country, nor does the Iraqi governing council, nor do the insurgents. Instead of the mob rule you would see in a country with a definitive uncontested state, we see in Iraq several defense agencies competing for domination of market share. The Sunnis, following Bush's anarchistic example, are boycotting the election. Democracy and centralized order crumble and anarchy reins! Is this not what we anarchists want ' minus the violence, perhaps?
Now, if you're still reading, you might be thinking, 'Anthony, this article flies in the face of everything I've ever seen you write! Have you gone crazy?'
Yes, I have gone crazy. Crazy about how much anarchy will progress under George W. Bush! Think of the pure chaos that will result! Think about four more years of aggressive militarism, paving the way for a revival of punk rock. Without punk rock, what's the point of being an anarchist, anyway?
'Well, Anthony,' the slow reader might respond, 'anarchy is not just about chaos and the Sex Pistols. Libertarian anarchists are supposed to be opposed to the initiation of force. They are supposed to favor liberty, which Bush certainly does not.'
Au contraire! Has Bush not taken the liberty to do whatever the hell he pleases? Sure, this liberty might only apply to one man, but since when have libertarians been about equality? Liberty has often only come to one group of people at a time. White men had it before black men or white women, for example. Should we despise the Founding Fathers because some of them had slaves? Of course not! So even if Bush regards all 300 million of us Americans as slaves, we should realize that by fighting for his own liberty to do what he pleases, we, too, will eventually reap the rewards. First it will just be Bush who can do what he wants. Then it will be Cheney and Rumsfeld and that new Gonzales dude in charge of the Justice Department. Before you know it, all officers of the government, including the police, won't have to follow the statist drivel in the Constitution, and the entire government will be liberated from the burdens of the law. Once the government has been completely freed from the clutches of legal tyranny, we can expect good things to follow for the rest of us.
So you see, while the folks at National Review regard Bush's win as a victory for capitalism, they are grossly understating the significance of the last election. Not just capitalism, but the absolute freedom to do whatever you want ' albeit on the condition that you happen to be the president ' has triumphed. George W. Bush's reelection is a stupendous step forward for the liberty of George W. Bush. May we stand by him, as he combats the forces of socialism that would attempt to rob him of this precious freedom for which he has fought so persistently. May we join him in the fight against the state for the unencumbered rights of the individual ' the individual named George W. Bush.