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Deconstructing libertarianism

A response to G Edward Griffin, and other modern libertarians, re the 'collective communist conspiracy' and related wonders better left with the Red Queen

by Dave Patterson, September 2013

A bit of background...
This all started as a short letter to a well-known writer, and libertarian, named G Edward Griffin. His original fame came from a book he wrote in the 90s called The Creature from Jekyll Island, which became quite well known, and which he later made into an equally popular lecture. The book was an examination of the origin of the US Federal Reserve money system, and basically concluded that it was not a 'federal' reserve at all, as the US government did not really control it, but a cabal of the largest private banking interests of the day, and that the same system controls the US money supply today. The history and analysis seem accurate, it is certain that in Canada the money supply, or more accurately credit supply, is controlled by Canada's private banking institutes, a cartel in themselves as far as Canada goes, and which is at the root of most of our major problems, as I have explained in my earlier essay, What Happened?. Over the years I have not paid much attention to Mr Griffin, because following the relatively good expose of the money-credit system, he goes off into what I consider to be poorly considered ideas (or just lalaland when offered by some of the less well-educated and -spoken people obviously shilling for Big Money under the name of 'libertarianism' one encounters at times) that seem rooted in modern 'libertarianism', notably that the solution to the Federal Reserve is to 'stop it printing money' by re-instating a gold standard, which I think is simply wrong (for reasons I get into anon), and complaining that the problems we have today, monetary and otherwise, are the result of some great international 'communist collectivist' conspiracy (explained in another lecture, The Collectivist Conspiracy), which to me is nonsense. But then recently I came across another newer lecture of his, called The Capitalist Conspiracy and I wondered if he had finally started to see the light, as it seems pretty obvious that the current attempt to 'take over the world' is driven by those with big money, who are all very much obviously capitalists, which is where all the big money is these days, so had a watch. And for the first part, the first 25 minutes or so, I was quite pleasantly surprised, as it was all pretty much 'right on the money' - but then it appeared his old ideas just could not be resisted any longer, and he went back into the 'collectivist communist' conspiracy nonsense again, with the new (at least to me) twist explaining the apparent contradiction, apparently by saying that it was 'wealthy, evil socialists' pretending to be 'capitalists', who really are nice and well-meaning and very smart and honest and hard-working altruistic people who just want the best for everyone and would never do such a thing as planning a nasty world takeover, that were at the root, or top, of the conspiracy - quite blatant nonsense all, and it would seem no-one except a serious propagandist would offer such transparent garbage as serious social-political commentary. But still, so much of his analysis and research up to this point is so good that I wonder if he is just a bit misguided, a bit too influenced by some deep propaganda he absorbed in his younger years - the 50s in the USA must have been a difficult time in which to retain any sanity, for anyone young or deluded enough to believe any significant amount of the anti-communist demonising propaganda that was at the heart of everything back then - and he is actually a well-intentioned writer and researcher, rather than a hard-core libertarian propagandist knowingly working to destroy democracy by a kind of stealth, rather than honestly advocating for a new 'masters and serfs' society which would, of course, be a next-to-impossible sell (but is a common capitalist propaganda strategy, stridently accusing others of what they are doing themselves, i.e. whining about the 'leftist media' when it is so obviously completely corporate capitalist propaganda, bringing 'democracy' to other countries they are bombing when they are destroying it, 'free' trade to bring prosperity to all when they are actually impoverishing the working people, cutting taxes to increase revenue, etc etc). So I thought I'd write him a short note about this, and started what soon became a somewhat longer essay, as in response to his more egregious slanders and misunderstandings(?) of various things I actually started putting down on paper in a sort of organised way some things that were only in my brain prior, a kind of organised response to the several major problems with modern libertarianism that I have recognized over the years I have interacted in various ways with those promoting this political philosophy, if it deserves such a name, as promoted by a few major spokespersons such as Mr Griffin.

Anyway, that is the short background of this short essay. For anyone interested.

Basic analysis good ...
I am familiar with much of your work, like many (many many, I guess) people I first heard of you when I watched your 'Creature from Jekyll Island' talk/film with much interest, and learned much of interest from it (this was not my first exposure to these ideas, I am not a newcomer to 'monetary reform' or the fraud/scam/crime of bank-created money at all which you talk about in US terms with the "federal" reserve system, having first gotten suspicious about what they were telling me about 'terrible government debt' in Canada in the late 1980s, and starting my research back then). More recently I watched your 'Collectivist Conspiracy' interview, after which I did not write because I thought you were too deep down the part-illusory, part-intentional-decoy libertarian rabbit hole to be rescued, but then I just came across your 'Capitalist Conspiracy' talk, and for the first half or so I thought you had finally seen the light, as that analysis is 'right on' as far as I have been able to determine after my own many years of research and writing in this area - but then your old demons reassert themselves, and the 'great international communist collectivist conspiracy' pushes its way to the surface, and your analysis became tainted with this fictitious bogeyman. Quite simply, Mr Griffin, although it is pretty certain there is indeed an international conspiracy, as you have understood, wishing to rule the world or as much of it as it can manage through creating some kind of 'omnipotent lords and passive, ignorant serfs' society, this conspiracy has nothing whatsoever to do with 'communists' or 'socialism', and as long as you analysing the basic problem correctly, but then jumping off to wildly wrong conclusions and pointing your guns at decoys while the real enemy continues their work of surrounding us all and building walls around both our brains and bodies, you are actually being counterproductive with your work, encouraging, along with other leading libertarian spokespeople, so many people to be, as I said, believing fairy tales and chasing ghosts rather than the real enemy - and also creating 'divide and conquer' barriers between a lot of ordinary people who should be working together to fight our common enemy, not continually sniping at one another over illusory differences. Let me explain how I see things, briefly, in terms of the major mistakes you, and most other 'libertarian' types, are making; I hope you will take the time to honestly consider what I write here, as I have taken quite a few hours listening to you with some attention, and trying to avoid the knee-jerk, completely inadequate talking point responses I have had thrown at me when talking about these things by others somewhat indoctrinated with the false ideas you continue to repeat in your films that I will address.

Myth 1: The 'collectivist' myth of the 'international communist conspiracy'
- I am not entirely sure where you get much of your rhetoric about 'collectivism' from, but I can tell you that most of it is simply bad fantasy, more closely aligned with the somewhat hysterical US communist propaganda of the 50s than with any sort of reality (as of course most US propaganda is not related to any kind of reality - really, when you are exposed to any of this, you ought to be looking around to see what they are trying to conceal or what false views of 'reality' they are trying to promote, not believing any of it ...). As far as I can tell, what you are calling 'collectivism' and 'big government' are just expressions of democracy, a form of 'we the people' organising our society with a government, which is the result of various forces, but choosing some sort of Big Brother ruler to rule over we small folk who see ourselves as nothing more than bee-like drones, which you seem to believe by your dismissive definitions of 'collectivism', is assuredly *not* one of them. When some powerful force enslaves a large group of people, which you seem to be talking about, it is very incorrect and misleading to call this 'collectivism', which implies a voluntary association, and to say that a great number of people want to be enslaved, or even worse (and less credible) enslave themselves, is quite obviously a statement that you are not ever going to be able to have much luck convincing others of. In later statements you move on to saying that some governments engage in propaganda and indoctrination to create a large group of people who do not understand their indoctrination, and are thus coerced into acting against their own best wishes by voting for politicians who are lying to them about what they are doing, and you seem to add this situation to your 'collectivist' definition - but again, these are not truly free-thinking people choosing something, they are nothing more than indoctrinated children believing in santa claus, and to try to justify arguments against 'democracy' by using an obviously undemocratic example is a false argument.

Let us consider first a bit of history to get some perspective and inform the discussion with a bit of light rather than propaganda insofar as both 'democracy' and 'communism' are involved, which you talk about at times (history) but seem to have a bit of a selective reading of. Our modern wouldbe-democracies, dating back 2-3-400 years, began as a response to kings or other forms of rulers who conquer some place by violence, and turn the people therein into serfs of some kind, ruling more or less omnipotently, treating their serfs like nothing more than farm animals. These kings ruled by simple violence, and were good at it, which is how they became kings, and very few of the less warlike 'we just want a home and simple life' peasants had either the ability, or courage, to challenge them individually; the warlord-type kings were quick to recognize any peasants with the gumption to challenge them and remove them (or enlist them), leaving the more tractable to be their serfs. But any king-peasant feudal-type society is always heavily weighted in numbers in favor of the peasants, and although they may be unable to stand up to a strong kind individually, if they stand together, they have a chance to stop the king, or at least push back enough to force him to allow them some control over their lives without starting a war nobody will win, and everyone will lose. And over time the peasants did that, and slowly forced the kings to back off their claim of omnipotent rule, and grant them some rights. Of course, it was clear enough that they could not just rise up in anger and get some concessions from the 'king of the day' and then go back to their farms, because as soon as they let the king go they would just start plotting about how to reassert their 'right' to rule as they pleased, or some other wouldbe warlord-king would just see easy pickings and move in and start it all over again - so to maintain their freedom and hard-earned rights, they had to get organised somehow to create a permanent sort of government to get some things permanently in place to guard their freedom, and stop these wouldbe looter-kings from continually raiding them, trying to create a kingdom for themselves and put the chains back on the peasants - and over time that permanent organisation became 'democratic government'.

There are of course many things that follow that process, which would of course be much more nuanced over the lengthy following period of time than that simple explanation, but it would seem pretty clear that that process, or something along those lines, was the basic beginning of our modern 'democratic' governments. And to ignore those beginnings, and try to take the current situation completely out of context and assert that our modern 'We the people' democratic governments are just little 'collective-minded' peasants looking for a queen bee, or king, or omnipotent, uncontrollable 'big government' to bow down to and make us all little identical drones, is simply a non-starter and exposes nothing more than either an ignorance of history and historical processes, or a fairly shallow attempt to argue dishonestly. In reality, of course, it is just the reverse - we 'normal people', with no aspirations to be kings ourselves, but equally no desire to be ruled by some violent amoral greedy warlord running our lives and stealing whatever we have to steal, are looking to maximise our freedom, and well-being in general, by getting rid of the 'king bee' who wants to make slaves of us and steal our work, creating a country that *we* rule, not some omnipotent king. That was basically the scenario in England during the 1500s and on, when 'the mother of parliaments' was born - not 'we wanna be drones' collectivism, just the reverse - freeing ourselves from lawless warlords who wanted to make herdanimal-like peasants (not to mention cannon fodder) of us all by gathering together and pooling our strength to stop them, and take the chains off, or at least loosen them a lot, not put them on. The modern situation is certainly much more complex after a few hundred years of evolution, as the wouldbe kings, who are very clever and very determined and very willing to do whatever it takes to get power, of course saw the potential to take such governments and turn them to their own desires and have largely done so, but that does not change the intentions of the people who founded, and who still desire, 'democracy', which, of course, basically means self-rule of the majority, rather than meekly turning their lives over to one or another type of self-declared omnipotent god-king-emperor. And if some compromises have to be made by all of us, for the larger good of us all - most of us are quite willing to accept such compromises - if the choice is essentially an omnipotent king with we peasants having basically no rights at all as the king rules at his pleasure, or a democratic government with which we have rights but with some limits, very few people will choose the king. (your idea of choice being between the 'stifling limited' rights of democracy, and 'unfettered rights' of 'libertarianism' is a somewhat unrealistic dichotomy, as your 'perfect world' seems to ignore the predators who would be king, whom dealing with is going to have an impact on what you can do - a bit more on this later .... )

Of course, those who harbour aspirations of being powerful kings (or influential managers working for that king) are going to hate this organisation, this pooling of resources to create a government of, by and for 'the people' that will stand against them 'collectively', and do what they can to destroy it, and this dynamic will always be part of our ongoing, ever-changing political process. For a long time now these wouldbe lords have exerted considerable influence in 'our' democratic governments through the corrupting influences that their great wealth (and complete lack of anything we normal people would recognize as morality in our dealings with others) can command, and the propaganda that their wealth can buy through controlling the media from which all people get their information, but we can also assume with some confidence that they would be even happier with a return to the days when there were no such 'democratic' governments at all hindering their desire for unfettered power, and it is no great deduction to understand that as part of their sophisticated strategy to get rid of the even quasi-democratic governments, they are doing what they can to get the people to think that 'big government' is evil, we need to have less of it, 'big government restricts our freedom!', and so on. It's a clever strategy, for a somewhat uneducated population, but we need to be careful here - you do not get rid of these wouldbe rulers by getting rid of the only way we have to stand against them, our 'stand together against wouldbe oppressors' government, no matter how infested with traitors it has become - you get rid of them by creating an educated, engaged population who demand, and make for themselves, a better democratic government which truly works for us as we try to defend ourselves against these wouldbe Lords and Kings who are trying to destroy our government. Breaking up the government it took centuries to develop simply means taking a big step backwards, perhaps a fatal step off of a big cliff, allowing the wouldbe feudal lords to once again use their willingness to use violence to establish and maintain their 'king of the hill' battle - a position from which, considering modern weapons and means of control, we would find it a great deal more difficult to find our way back to even the beginnings of a new 'democracy' than our ancestors did a few hundred years ago. We are fighting a very powerful, very aggressive, very determined enemy - the solution is not to destroy the best way we ever had to try to stand together to control them, to give them their kingdom back on their terms, but to become strong enough to understand and turn back their threat, and take back *our* democratic government.

Some other of your major problems that are leading you down false paths in your analysis, and thus coming to wrong conclusions about what we need to do:

Myth 2: Communism and Socialism
- are not 'evil' plots to turn us all into little dronebees as the massive US propaganda of the 50s tried to make everyone believe, and obviously many libertarians (and other Americans) still do believe, any more than 'democracy' is 'evil' because a number of dictatorial countries like North Korea have falsely labeled themselves 'democratic'. You need to recall the roots of these political philosophies, as with 'democratic government' in general, back in the 1800s, and inform your ideas with such history. At that time most countries in Europe had not gone through the British parliamentary revolution with its attempt to create some freedom from the feudal lords, and were ruled by kings, still, and even in countries with some form of parliament, such as Britain, it was becoming obvious that the 'democratic' governments were being heavily influenced, even controlled, by the wealthy businessmen of the times, in concert with traditional aristocratic powers, and the peasant-workers were not a lot better off with the state of their 'democracies' of, by and for the newly emerging wealthy capitalist class than in earlier days of omnipotent hereditary lords. Also, by the mid-1800s the 'industrial revolution' had created a new class of people, the millions of 'workers' who performed the work necessary to keep the great early factories of various sorts operating, a class which was being mercilessly exploited by the capitalists, with long and brutal working hours at next to no pay, little better than abused farm animals. The early 'communist' movement was, as I think you realise, a gathering together of the European peasants/workers to create a common voice with the strength to stand up to these factory owners, and create better working and living conditions for themselves. Again, very obviously, this was no 'we want to be drones with a queen bee telling us all what to do' 'collectivist' movement (they had that already, from the other side, rulers whether wealthy factory owners or wouldbe kings who wanted them to be nothing more than powerless nameless serfs, it was that they were trying to get rid of ...), it was, essentially, as it had been planned earlier in England, a democratic movement *freeing* themselves from such rulers - and *true* communism, or socialism, as is quite clear from any of the early, or current, documents talking about and describing them, are equally democratic in terms of their intent of rule by the majority of workers rather than some oligarchy of whatever designation (kings or capitalist business owners of industry or 'strongman dictators') - the fact that dictators under various guises saw a chance for personal power that they craved but was not available to them in the 'godkings of hereditary power' older system, and violently took over such movements in later years during the 20th century, but kept the communist appellation, is no more valid as a critique of 'socialism' than pointing to 'the democratic republic of North Korea' is valid as a critique of either democracy or republicanism. As the old saying goes, you can put a dress on a rat, but that does not make it a duchess no matter how many little dressed up rats it gathers around with signs saying 'look at the duchess!!', it is still a rat to those with eyes and brains unclouded by propaganda and/or indoctrination. Likewise with either communism or 'democracy' - some people obviously acting as dictators, but calling themselves something else, does not make them whatever they want to be thought of as (or others want them to be thought of), and I think this is one of the serious flaws in your analysis. (you point to Mao in China, and he indeed did seem desirous of creating a 'collective' of passive, obedient workers, or Stalin, who shoved the Leninists aside and created his own dictatorship but retaining the 'communist' name - but these rulers were no more 'communist' than Jong-il in Korea was a 'democracrat' - they were all dictators pretending to be something else; they all ruled by force, doing their best to heavily indoctrinate a lot of people to accept their serfdom, but again this has nothing to do with true democratic socialism, of by and for engaged, informed citizens making decisions by themselves democratically, which was the original goal of the original communist movement) (and for clarity, I guess you realise the Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Obama rulers in America are no more 'democratic' than Mao or Jong, they just run their propaganda and indoctrination and manage their own serf/peasant/workers a bit differently, and more effectively - they are not dictators, obviously, in the same out-front way, but equally obviously puppets working for a behind-the-scenes very undemocratic oligarchy, rule by the rich elite, ruling again by massive indoctrination, some of which you seem to have not managed to shake yet yourself concerning this 'worldwide evil communist collectivist conspiracy' which is part of the American propaganda that leads the American serfs to accept their own situation, a quasi-police state necessary to protect them from 'the terror of Communism!!!', one of the great bogeymen ever invented by a ruling class to keep their serfs tractable ...)

Myth 3: 'collectivism' vs 'individualism'
- the general idea you present seems to be that 'collectivists' are restricting the 'rights' of those who wish to be strong, independent 'individuals', ubermenschian John Galts standing alone with no state help, or interference, as they live their lives being all they can be. There are a lot of problems with this utopian sort of dream, but the most basic one is simply this. As noted above, we have formed democratic governments to protect us from those who would be kings, with no interference from the peasants stopping them from doing whatever they want. If you do manage to support those who would be kings and get rid of these governments entirely (which is, in essence, what you are doing, whether you actually realise it or not), you're going to get a serious shock someday (and that will be sooner rather than later) when the new warlord-kings come knocking on your door, and you find you are not a 'freeman' at all to the new kings, but just another serf, with far, far fewer 'rights' than you had under the wouldbe-democracies you so despise. If you think you can stand up to these wouldbe kings, you ought to take a more realistic look at that idea - in a 'law of the jungle' human society, which is what you are essentially proposing, the people who wish to be kings fight amongst themselves, and one person wins and everyone else loses - so either you are going to be the king, or one of his gang, or you are going to be a serf. Feudal societies do not have 'rulers' and 'serfs' and 'freemen' - they have kings and serfs. You seem to envision a society in which no wannabe-kings will inhabit, looking to establish a kingdom, but again, taking note of history, you will find no such place - there are those who rule, and those who are ruled, with very, very few and limited exceptions, and the current US, or any other western country, is not going to be one of those exceptions. Your ideal society may be possible sometime in the far distant future, but in our current world, there are obviously many, many people out there who want personal power, and who are willing to do whatever it takes to get that power, and they are NOT going to leave you be as some kind of 'freeman' in *their* kingdom - and no matter how strong and independent you think you are, with a couple of guns in your house and a big attitude, any warlord will have a lot more guns, and a lot more people to wield them, and you are not going to last long as any kind of 'freeman' in their new feudal society, and is it simply delusionary in the extreme to deny this historical reality. Yes indeed, we see this around us today, with the current state going after anyone who resists them, which is exactly what I am talking about - your mistake here is in believing that our current government is some kind of 'collectivist state' restricting your 'freeman' rights - today's quasi-democracies are the result of those who would be rulers taking over the attempted democracy, and slowly changing it into their desired 'new feudal' state. We do **not** have any kind of true 'democracy' today, I hope you realise, and what is happening to 'our' government today is exactly the kind of state we are all fighting to get rid of, we 'progressives' and social democrats, so we can get back on our desired path of creating a *true* democracy of, by and for engaged, informed citizens. You need to realise that in any society, there are going to be compromises to be made, and to my way of thinking, it is far better if we work these differences out democratically than returning to some 'law of the jungle' situation, where the powerful do as they wish, and the weak put up with whatever the strong decree. All of the freedoms you have today, limited though you feel they are, are much, much greater freedoms than you will have under what those trying to establish their new feudal state will ever allow, and you need to quit being so deceived that you are actually helping them create a state which you will like a great deal less than the one you have now, if they ever succeed.

There will never be complete freedom for all of us, but the 'individual' in a democracy has far more rights than the 'individual' in any kind of plutocracy - aside, of course, from the handful who actually rule the plutocracy - which may be what you are seeing for your own small group, if I read the next thing I wish to comment on correctly.

Myth 4: The 'problem with democracy'
- I have heard these arguments before, with some surprise and consternation, as you attack and belittle 'democracy', which you portray as the 51% telling the 49% to wear seatbelts, or even worse, some kind of 'mob rule', with a mob hanging a man. And then your argument seems to be that it is basically either 'stupid' mobs, or brainwashed 'collectives', voting as their leaders tell them to vote, and thus restricting the 'rights' of the 'freemen'. It's one of those shallow sort of arguments that sound meaningful on the surface, but like so much of what basic libertarianism offers, turn out to be pretty shallow when some light is shone on them, and they turn out to be little more than arguments for privilege of some kind. The first rather glaring problem that nobody ever mentions, from the other perspective: if you do not have majority rule, then obviously you have a minority ruling a majority, which can be called many things (including the pretend-communist dictatorships you are so afraid of), but obviously 'democracy' is not one of them. There are a lot of problems here - notably, of course, if you are going to have any minority establishing their 'right' to rule over the majority, it would be hard to see how this would happen in any peaceful way, so you would seem to be arguing for a society ruled by those with the power to enforce their rule, no matter how undemocratic such rule might be. I'm afraid we 'collectivists' seem to be more concerned with individual rights than you 'individualists', if you are willing to tell a majority of we individuals that we are too stupid to be allowed to rule ourselves, so your minority of individuals will rule our majority of individuals against our will. Note again - that is your basic feudalism, or simply dictatorship - a minority of people able and willing to use violence dominating the majority, and that is, in the end, all this 'argument' seems to be about - the 'freedom' of some to use whatever means they can muster to dominate the majority, who might have other ways they prefer to organise themselves.

(another telling question - who exactly decides that your 'freemen' minority is 'right' in some universal sense, and thus have a 'right' to impose your will on others, even if those others are a majority in number? Again, there is no 'god' out there confirming the 'universal correctness' of the things you assert, you are just using rhetoric to try to justify using force to impose your will on others, it certainly seems - you talk about no force in your desired society, but how else is a minority going to impose their beliefs on a majority, other than by force? Another 'go around in circles' argument, it seems, that you cannot win, logically)

Myth 5: left and right
- you make another false argument, that both the far left and far right today are more or less the same thing, 'collectivist' communism or 'collectivist' fascism, neither democratic, both completely restricting individual freedoms, and thus the 'left-right' idea people have is false as they are both really one thing with different names. Like so many things today, the original idea was very different than the current manifestation, and your portrayal thus quite false and misleading. If you will recall some history once again for some context and enlightenment, the original terms came into play after the French Revolution, after the guillotine was put away and the dust settled, when the 'nobility' sat to the right hand of the king, and the commoners of the Revolution to the left - a very real division in terms of interests and the desired kind of society, and what the *true* left-right dichotomy still means today no matter how the capitalist corporate press has intentionally muddied the waters with their very self-serving deceptions and lies and propaganda. The *real* left-right divide remains - average people vs entrenched wealth and power, and that is what we 'progressives', we 'social democrats', see very clearly, and you libertarians seem much more confused about (unless you understand it a bit better than you admit, and just don't want to be honest and say you side with the nobility against the commoners, as could easily be thought from a simple analysis of most of your writings). We might relabel it 'down vs up' more accurately, but the idea is the same - a majority of average people fighting for the right to govern themselves against whatever powerful minority forces claim the right to rule their society. Today, of course, the *true* left, the voice of the people, is not the 'democratic' party or their equivalents in different countries, that is part of the sham you seem to understand is being played - but neither, which you do not seem to understand, is the *true* left some kind of 'collectivist' communist plot which you seem obsessed with - the true left, today, is basically, as it was in the beginning, as is the true 'communist' or socialist movement, the voice of the people, the workers, demanding democracy, in opposition to the voice of the (true) right, the entrenched minority nobility fighting for their 'right' to rule, and claim the wealth of the society for themselves, speaking through all of the mainstream parties in the major western countries which they control as multiple faces speaking with one voice - and none of them truly 'the voice of the people'. Of course there are a great variety of voices claiming to speak for 'we the people', including any number of false voices, imposters working for the rulers whose only purpose is more of the 'divide and conquer' strategy which is one of the enemy's main weapons, but that in no way lessens the legitimacy of the true left, or their and our enemy, the true 'right'.

The dictatorial forces claiming to be 'communist' and politically being located on 'the far left' are no more a true representation of 'socialism' or even 'communism' than the current rule-by-wealth in America is a true representation of 'democracy'. And throwing 'fascism' into the mix just muddies the waters unnecessarily more - fascism is a new beast, and anyone familiar with political terminology and history understands it is the joining of corporate 'business' forces and the state - capitalist dictatorship, in other words - a 'far right' party in truth, as representing the 'right' of the wealthy elite to rule their society. In truth, given that the current drive to take over our societies and world is controlled by wealthy individuals whose wealth is largely derived from modern multi-national corporations, it would be far more accurate to identify the 'new feudalism' drive as a modern fascistic drive, than some kind of 'leftist collectivist' conspiracy.

Myth 6: Capitalism
- you seem to harbour the illusions so many harbour about 'capitalism' being simply a great economic system for generating wealth. It is not, this is the reverse of the other major aspect of the serious propaganda emanating from the greatest capitalist state ever, the US, of the last 100 or so years you seem to have absorbed without questioning, like so many others - like any other undemocratic power (including of course wouldbe dictators painting themselves in 'socialist for-the-people' colors (or having others paint them that way), they try to paint themselves in colors that will fool not-too-bright people into buying their snakeoil. But capitalism is not some 'neutral' wealth-generating economic system - it is a political-economic system, for controlling both wealth and people - and where you have a strong capitalist system, you have a weak or non-existent democracy, great wealth and democracy are as immutably opposed as mixing oil and water. As one of your great thinkers said, you can have either great wealth in the hands of a few, or you can have Democracy - but the two cannot coexist. And since great wealth in the hands of the few is what both capitalism and America are very obviously all about - then 'democracy' is present very much in theory, or rhetoric, only, no matter how much 'the masses' have been indoctrinated to believe otherwise (again, more evidence that insofar as part of your thesis is correct, that 'indoctrinated masses' support governments which are lying to them and trying to enslave them, and passing laws you libertarians do not like, this is *not* some 'international communist collectivist' plot to make little collectivists out of you and everyone - it is a conspiracy of, and by and for, the wealthy capitalist overlords of the USA, to create a new kind of feudal society of a ruling class of very wealthy Lords, and a large, ignorant, powerless peasant population - a drive which we social democrats have been fighting forever, not instigating or supporting.)

This is one of the great modern fallacies, or myths - our western countries are very prosperous, and we have capitalism to thank for that, so all bow at the altar of this great god and never question her benevolence!! This is kind of like santa claus, a myth that falls apart as soon as you grow up and wipe the childhood illusions, and indoctrination, from your eyes. Capitalism, by definition, is a hierarchical, exploitative system, the very antithesis of a true social democratic, and free, market-based economy. What is 'capital'? 'Capital' is *NOT* 'money', capital is NOT the few bucks in your pocket, or even the house you own or the small business you run, these are just more misperceptions spread by the propaganda to fool poorly educated people into accepting a false, and malevolent, god. Capital, by definition, is *big* money - big enough money to buy or start a large factory or business, a business in which the owner then hires workers who have no real options (if not this capitalist exploitative industry, then another) and pays them $10 to make a widget which they then sell for $20, or $50 or $100 if they have good enough market and labour control. As Marx wrote (which many others knew and know), this system is entirely dependent on the exploitation of workers, and those controlling it maintain that control through any means they can, exactly as the old feudal lords maintained their control through any means required - violence, lies, corruption, stealing, intimidation, controlling the 'democratic' government to pass laws chaining workers in various ways and enabling the wealthy to control them 'legally', any means that most average humans think immoral or dishonest or unethical or illegal are the daily occupation of those who would be kings, or capitalist lords of industry. Yes, there are various small 'just wants to run a decent small business' niches that can be found in such a system, but most people are not smart or lucky or willing to work hard enough to manage to find or use those niches, and all the system requires is that the great majority of workers are forced into the capitalist-controlled industries or businesses - and in such a system, even those not directly employed by the capitalist are controlled by the system in which all business occurs, and the capitalist-government regulations and laws.

In a social democracy, these exploitative businesses or factories would be owned by the workers in some form of cooperative, and they would enjoy 'the fruits of their labours' - more money and security, much easier and more enjoyable work, not feeding the great parasite sucking as much of their blood as it could get away with. And of course our society would be far better off not supporting all of these parasites, including maintaining the expensive health care system that must deal with so many problems caused by stress and poverty and the generally unhappy life style of the people forced to endure such a system.

Joe Smallbusinessman hiring Jane and Jim to run cash registers and stock shelves is NOT 'exploiting' labour as a 'capitalist businessman', he is simply part of the social market as a small businessman, hiring people to do work he does not have time to do, or his time doing management is too valuable to waste in simple labour tasks - a very different idea than controlling the worker's options and forcing them to produce things at a small price that the owner of their labour sells at a high price and claims the difference as 'profits'. Likewise Granny Jane with her little bit of bond interest every month - bonds and investment are not 'capitalist' things, any more than the small business - anyone can buy a business bond, or government bond, as a small savings income - this does not make you a 'capitalist', it just makes you a person with a bit of savings making a small investment, which can be done in any system.

But the biggest and most damaging lie, for those many who are completely mesmerized by the capitalist propaganda, is this - we have a great society today, *because* of capitalism?!?! Huhh??!! C'mon!!!!! - that is just a *gross* lie, there is no milder word that fits, and only someone with no idea at all of our history (or, of course, lying through their teeth, as propagandists get well paid to do) could even manage to get such nonsense out of their mouths. Every decent thing we have in the west is due to the struggles of workers over the last 150 years against capitalists to get a bit more of the wealth they produce for themselves - every good thing in the US or Canada was fought against tooth and nail by the robber baron capitalists, and they are still engaged in fighting to get rid of the gains that those earlier workers fought for - and quite successfully waging this war to drive us back to robber baron days. If the capitalists had their way, American and Canadian workers would be in exactly the same condition the 3rd world sweat shop workers are in today, the 14-hr days, 6-day weeks, subsistence wage extreme poverty conditions our ancestors fought to get out of, the mill towns of 18th century Dickensian England, or the 19th century US. It has always been ordinary, intelligent, creative people who build on the work of those who went before creating new and better ways to provide the things we want and need to make our lives and society better - it was the workers who created the wealth the enabled our great society, and then the 'collectivists', those who fought against the feudal capitalist lords who knew they had to, and have to, stand together against the violent, brutal forces of those who would be rulers to enjoy some of the fruits of their own labour. The capitalists have never been anything other than parasites, part of the subset of humans who aspire to a more opulent and powerful life than the average person aspires to, who believe they can rise to their desired place in society through lies and stealth and their own cleverness at manipulating other people and stealing from them in various ways rather than the hard and honest work most people rely on to establish their place in their community, using violence and lies to climb over the normal workers to claim the right to control their labour, and appropriate the wealth they produce - accumulating great fortunes primarily from exploiting, and otherwise stealing from, the workers of the country, and the world.

Again, to point it out - this is not some 'socialist' plot - it is the wealthy parasites in our society, the capitalists, who are behind this drive to force us back to the kind of society they prefer, where there is no even quasi-democratic government to get in the way of their desired master-serf society.

Those you so wrongly dismiss and vilify as 'collectivists' are just those who desire a true voice in the running of their societies, who fight for democracy in their countries rather than some form of Lords and Serfs society, and understand that acting together to fight those who would be kings by any name and are ready to use any violent and dishonest means to achieve their aims is necessary to resist those wouldbe kings.

{{But, to forestall one of the talking points mindlessly regurgitated to such truths, I hear you protest that the capitalists raised the great amounts of capital necessary to start the great businesses that produced the consumer goods that are a central part of the prosperity of our great society! - and so they did, but that was only because they worked with the collaboration of another branch of the rulers of society, the banks which control the money, to maintain and increase the desired master-serf divide, the banks which you are also fighting against and should recognize as true - if we had *democratic* banks, honest 'of, by and for the people' banks, managing a money-credit supply under direct democratic control with the goal of enabling a prosperous, stable, and fair economic environment for all of us rather than a system under private control being manipulated to enslave the people and steal from them, then those wishing to create exploitive master-serf industries would never get our help, but the workers themselves could raise the capital to start any industries that required a bigger investment and management team than 'small business' could reasonably manage - large industries that would, of course, have some democratic government input. In the elite-controlled society, of course, the dynamic is the complete reverse - the money is given to the capitalist owners, and denied the workers, maintaining the exploitative system ... which leads to the final myth that must be addressed -)

Myth 7: Stable money supply
- your analysis of the problems we have being the result of private control of the money-credit system is quite accurate, but when you move on to solutions, I think you miss the boat. It seems to be another of the 'deep misunderstandings' you and most libertarians have that in order to regain economic stability we must return to the 'gold standard'. This is not an idea that is supported by a clear understanding of what is really going on in our society, indeed, simply recognizing reality shoots the entire 'gold standard' idea quite decisively out of the water. Quite simply, if a plutocracy running the country can manipulate the fiat money (credit-accounting) system - then they will manipulate any 'gold standard' you believe you can somehow convince them to put in place. The problem is not the 'fiat money' basis of the money-credit system, the problem is that currently it is managed and thus manipulated by a small private clique for their own personal benefit, and they will manage any 'gold-standard' economic system in exactly the same way as long as they are in power - and as long as they are in power, there will be nothing you can do to stop this, any more than you can currently stop the abuse of the fiat money system. The only cure for our chaotic money-credit system is, as with the other problems we face, Democracy, of by and for an engaged, informed populace. The argument is not really refutable - if you cannot control the people managing the fiat money supply, what good would changing to an equally manipulable gold standard be, if you have the same people in charge? If you cannot make and enforce rules to control the fiat money system (which could easily be done by a democratic government working for 'the people' rather than the banks) - how are you going to make and enforce rules to control the manipulation of any 'gold standard'? (and of course the converse observation must be noted - if you have rules that control the fiat money system democratically, then you don't need to go to the gold standard, which would have any number of serious problems (what if somebody loots or nukes or hoards your gold, or suddenly a huge gold supply is found which reduces the value to the same as brass or something - your economy collapses? - a democratic, social market economy is based on the work of the people in the country, and the credit-accounting system is nothing more than a way for them to account for their work, and use their credits to exchange their work for goods and services they want - money is a tool in a true democracy, not a weapon, as it currently is in the plutocracy - get rid of the plutocracy, get rid of the money problem, no need to worry about a commodity such as gold at all - it is gold, not 'money', and will so be dealt with in the market ...)

- and to conclude
Well, that seems all pretty conclusive to me - modern libertarianism exposed as being built on a handful of great-sounding ideas but justified by a completely deceptive portrayal of both the modern world and historical facts. Supported by either a naive adolescent, or promoted by people doing more sophisticated propaganda in favor of the new feudalism, another strand of the 'divide and conquer' tactic that is so very effective in keeping 'we the people' fighting and arguing amongst ourselves rather than joining together to stop this very strong enemy.

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