“Democracy: The God That Failed”

Author: Hans-Hermann Hoppe

Several years ago, while living in Los Angeles, I began to realize that the American experiment had failed and tried to puzzle out why. I wondered:  If the Founders had put an express right to secede in the Constitution, would the federal government have respected States’ rights more? If Lincoln had not been elected or if he had let the South go, would the federal government have been checked giving rise to two truly federalist (rather than nationalist) governments, or to a voluntarily reunited country whose government respected the voluntary nature of the Union? If Wilson had not been elected or if we had entered the First World War on the side of Germany (a distinct possibility) would Classical Liberalism have been saved? If we had never gotten ourselves involved in any foreign entanglements as President Washington had advised, would we be today a free society shining a beacon of hope to the rest of the world? But with every question I asked myself, the obvious answer kept rearing its ugly head: no matter what the Founders could have done, no matter what change could have been made to the Constitution, no matter what politician was or wasn’t elected, the experiment of liberty-preserved-by-government would have failed. I concluded that if there is a seat of power, eventually it will be filled and expanded by those who desire power and its rewards, not by those who wish to limit power and promote liberty.

I distinctly recall having this epiphany while vacuuming my bedroom–it was like when the Twin Towers fell or, as they say, when JFK was shot–I remember the exact instant, it was so momentous to me. My despair was total but at the same time, liberating. I knew it was utterly hopeless, that man was destined for servitude, but I didn’t have to worry about it anymore because there was nothing that could be done. I actually thought I had come to the end of my quest for truth the way the guy in the commercial a few years ago, bleary-eyed and unshaven, after obviously spending days surfing the web, got a message on his screen: “You have come to the end of the Internet.” That was me. I had come to the end of the metaphorical Internet, or so I thought.

In fact, it was the very Internet that saved me for the exact fact that it doesn’t end. It led me to a truth beyond my truth: anarcho-capitalism. While searching for an old book my uncle recommended, America’s Great Depression, by Murray Rothbard, I stumbled upon the website of Lew Rockwell. I noticed one of his recent podcasts was titled: “Democracy: The God That Failed, an interview with Hans-Hermann Hoppe.” I thought, c’mon, don’t tell me someone else thought of this–it’s gotta be some communist thing or some other totalitarian horror show, but I clicked on it anyway. I could not believe what I was hearing. I simply could not believe it. Not only was this guy saying EXACTLY what I had thought but there was so much more to it. What’s more, he wasn’t desperate, he was hopeful–he had cracked the code! Or at least he deciphered the code that Murry Rothbard had cracked. A just, self-limiting government was impossible, that’s true, but it was also unnecessary! Hoppe, like Rothbard, claims (and does a good job demonstrating) that capitalist society, that is a society based on the division of labor complete with a price mechanism, is self-ordering. That’s it. No government necessary. This was the gateway book I hadn’t known I was looking for!

Hoppe lays out the argument for anarcho-capitalism in a series of essays which so captivated me I not only read all of the many footnotes but also read most of the books cited in the footnotes! Democracy: The God That Failed lays out the irrefutable theoretical foundation for the moral and practical illegitimacy of a territorial monopoly on the use of force (i.e., government). For the nitty gritty of every question a Statist will ask you (What about roads? What about national defense? What about zoning? On and on ad infinitum), however, you will have to read a few more books (check out www.mises.org). I must warn the casual reader, however, I bought this book for quite possibly every single person I know and many of them found it a bit too dense, so I do think a grounding in or fascination with economics will probably make it more penetrable. For those wanting something slightly less math-y, try “the Libertarian Manifesto” For a New Liberty, by the great Murray Rothbard.

“Our Enemy the State”

Author: Albert Jay Nock

I recently found Our Enemy the State, by Albert Jay Nock, under a chair in my kids’ playroom — I must have bought it long ago and misplaced it. I flipped the book open to a chapter: “Politics and Other Fetiches,” and despite the unpromising chapter heading I was immediately riveted.

Although written in 1935, Our Enemy the State provides an eye-opening analysis of the true nature of the State.  This short book–only 88 pages–is packed with huge concepts, historical analysis and staggering observations which reveal to the reader not only that the State is a tool designed solely to bestow privilege, but also that one’s own social conditioning runs deep. In particular, Nock’s discussion of the American colonial period forced me to realize that the ideological myth of the State still defines important aspects of my understanding of history. (This is a humbling admission from a dyed-in-the-wool anarcho-capitalist such as I!)

Our Enemy the State is divided into six chapters, each with a subject that could easily fill a volume, but I will only touch briefly on the major points.

Social Power vs. State Power. Nock explains that the balance between social power and State power is a zero-sum game and that no gain of State power can occur without a commensurate depletion of social power. He explains that people begin to expect the State to replace society in every aspect and the balance of power shifts ever-Stateward until people fail to recognize social power at all.

Nock offers a few examples to demonstrate the transition from social to State power:

  • Citizen’s arrest–true law exists outside of the State and is known to all and enforceable by all.  The right of one citizen to arrest another for malfeasance (fraud, theft, assault, murder) is a vestige of social power.
  • Fighting fires–there was a time when anyone who saw a fire would stop to help fight it, now almost everyone assumes the State will do it.  (State power has supplanted social power to such an extent in this regard that, according to reason magazine, Great Britain is considering removing fire extinguishers from buildings so people are not tempted to fight fires themselves!)
  • Charity–instead of giving one’s spare change to someone who is down on his luck, one often thinks when approached by a beggar, “The government took the quarter I would have given you and said they would take care of you.  Go see them about it.”

The Government, the State and Class. Nock distinguishes government from the State and claims that without State-bestowed privilege society would not be ordered along class lines. Nock differentiates government and the State utterly, emphasizing that the two concepts do not represent a difference of degree–the State is not government-run-amok–but a difference of kind–the State is a different animal altogether, actually contrary to legitimate government. According to Nock,

There are two methods or means, and only two, whereby man’s needs and desires can be satisfied. One is the production and exchange of wealth; this is the economic means. The other is the uncompensated appropriation of wealth produced by others; this is the political means. …The State…is the organization of the political means.

It is the political means, organized under the legitimizing mantle of the State, that results in classes: the privileged (or parasite class) and the exploited. Legitimate government, on the other hand, is a purely negative institution emerging in society solely to protect individuals from being harmed by others.
Nock further explains the evolution of the State and the classes it created:

The primitive exercise of the political means was, as we have seen, by conquest, confiscation, expropriation, and the introduction of a slave-economy. The conqueror parceled out the conquered territory among beneficiaries, who thenceforth satisfied their needs and desires by exploiting the labor of the enslaved inhabitants. The feudal State and the merchant-State, wherever found, merely took over and developed successively the heritage of character, intention and apparatus of exploitation which the primitive State transmitted to them; they are in essence merely higher integrations of the primitive State.

Nock elaborates that the feudal state–consisting of a Church hierarchy plus a titled group of hereditary, large-holding landed proprietors—gave way to the merchant-State through which the merchants gained hold of the mechanism of the State and converted the exploited class from the peasantry to the industrial laborer.  In support of this view, I note that the exploited class is created by the State’s coercive methods, not by the free association of individuals.  To wit, in England, serfs were legally tied to their land for centuries, following which labor unions were illegal from the middle of the 14th century to the middle of the 19th century. Today, the system is much more subtle and efficient:  the exploited class are neither serfs nor forced laborers, but tax slaves who cannot earn a living without remitting a portion to the parasite class.

The State in Colonial America. Even Murray Rothbard in his huge work Conceived in Liberty seems to accept that the United States was founded on the concept of what Nock would consider legitimate government, but Nock doesn’t accept this premise.  While the struggle between the anti-federalists and the federalists is widely represented as a struggle between those who would keep government at bay by decentralizing it and those who favored a strong and powerful federal government, Nock claims that the tension in early American politics actually represented a battle for privilege between the waning landed class and the waxing merchant class as the power structure shifted from one group of elites to another. In Nock’s words,

The colonists regarded the State as primarily an instrument whereby one might help oneself and hurt others; that is to say, first and foremost they regarded it as the organization of the political means. No other view of the State was ever held in colonial America. Romance and poetry were brought to bear on the subject in the customary way; glamorous myths about it were propagated with the customary intent; but when all came to all, nowhere in colonial America were actual practical relations with the State ever determined by any other view than this.

On Politics and Parties.  In his analysis of politics, Nock begins by pointing out that it is men’s ideas that allow the State to exercise its control and nothing more.  He points out that at one time the Church held sway over men’s minds so that no one would question it’s supremacy, now it’s the State that holds that position. Nock observes further that man thinks the State is himself and also that the State has some independent power to address problems more easily and at less cost than if he had to address them himself–as if somehow the State made a whole greater than the sum of its parts when of course the opposite is true!  The whole is much less than the sum of its parts, the entity itself diminishing the worth and contribution of its members while at the same time siphoning resources to sustain itself. By way of example, Nock makes a point that’s as relevant today as it was when he wrote it 75 years ago:

Does social power mismanage banking-practice in this-or-that special instance–then let the State, which never has shown itself able to keep its own finances from sinking promptly into the slough of misfeasance, wastefulness and corruption, intervene to “supervise” or “regulate” the whole body of banking-practice, or even take it over entire.

Another example Nock brings up pertains to the huge boom-bust cycle of the railroads in the late 19th century.  This example is used even today by Statists and inflationists in support of federal regulations and the Federal Reserve, falsely claiming that the free market (as exemplified by 19th century railroads) is more unstable than one manipulated by the State.

The fact is that our railways, with few exceptions, did not grow up in response to any actual economic demand. They were speculative enterprises enabled by State intervention, by allotment of the political means in the form of land-grants and subsidies; and of all the evils alleged against our railway-practice, there is not one but what is directly traceable to this primary intervention.

Nock is also spot-on and still relevant in his assessment of American political parties:

…the party system at once became in effect an elaborate system of fetiches, which, in order to be made as impressive as possible, were chiefly moulded up around the constitution, and were put on show as “constitutional principles.” The history of the whole post-constitutional period, from 1789 to the present day, is an instructive and cynical exhibit of the fate of these fetiches when they encounter the one only actual principle of party action–the principle of keeping open the channels of access to the political means. When the fetich of ‘strict construction,’ for example, has collided with this principle, it has invariably gone by the board, the party that maintained it simply changing sides.

Of course this remains the case as President Obama, a Democrat, recently signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act, one giant leap forward in the government’s war against our civil liberties, and President Bush, a Republican, brought us both Medicare D, which at the time was the largest expansion of government-sponsored medicine since President Johnson, and the ban on incandescent lightbulbs.

The Remnant. Nock quotes Jose Ortega y Gasset on where our path will inevitably lead us:

…society will have to live for the State, man for the governmental machine. And as after all it is only a machine whose existence and maintenance depend on the vital support around it, the State, after sucking out the very marrow of society, will be left bloodless, a skeleton, dead with that rusty death of machinery, more gruesome than the death of a living organism. Such was the lamentable fate of ancient civilization.

But even with this future ahead of us, Nock recognizes that there is always a small segment of society, “the remnant,” whom he describes as follows:

…in every civilization, however generally prosaic, however addicted to the short-time point of view on human affairs, there are always certain alien spirits who, while outwardly conforming to the requirements of the civilization around them, still keep a disinterested regard for the plain intelligible law of things, irrespective of any practical end.

I would add only that in addition to keeping a “disinterested regard for the plain intelligible law of things,” the remnant must keep this law known and available for when it is needed for the foundation of a new society–perhaps, at last, a free and just one.

For more on Nock, check this out: Albert Jay Nock and Alternative History.

“Dollars for Terror”

Author: Richard Labévière

In Dollars for Terror, Swiss journalist Richard Labévière lays out a convincing case that the United States, through its proxy, Saudi Arabia, guided the evolution of Islam, cultivating radical strains of Sunni Islamism to combat the modernizing and stabilizing trends of Arab nationalism which threaten US domination of the Middle East.

Written in 2000, Dollars for Terror predates 9/11 and calls into question the premise that Islamic terrorism against the United States is a spontaneous expression of Muslims “hating us for our freedoms.” Labévière instead sets out to demonstrate that radical, political Islam is a calculated tactic used to facilitate Saudi hegemony and American mastery over the oil-rich region stretching from North Africa through the Middle East and across Central Asia.

Dollars for Terror predates the term Al Qaeda – or at least its widespread usage – referring instead simply to Osama bin Laden’s “Afghans,” which Labévière introduces as a group President Carter’s National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski fostered in Afghanistan in response to the country’s 1978 election of a communist government.

Contrary to the commonly accepted narrative of “Charlie Wilson’s War,” the CIA’s radicalized Islamists provoked the Soviet army to invade Afghanistan in 1979, a reaction that was anticipated when the Carter Administration made the call to help mobilize the mujahideen out of Pakistan. As Labévière quotes Brzezinski: “Which is more important from the perspective of world history? The Taleban, or the fall of the Soviet Empire? A bunch of excited Islamists, or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?”

In the video below, Hillary Clinton misrepresents the genesis of the mission as being Reagan not Carter and as a reaction to the Soviet invasion rather than the catalyst for it, but she does admit that the United States funded the mujahideen.

Labévière’s exposé of the Taleban’s origins is just one of many fascinating revelations in Dollars for Terror. Another is the telling quote by radical Islam expert and former Kabul, Afghanistan, CIA Chief Graham Fuller:

The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvelously well in Afghanistan against the Red Army. The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter the Chinese influence in Central Asia.

With this quote, Labévière begins to explore the history of the United States, together with Saudi Arabia, in cultivating radical, political Islam for decades in the Middle East and North Africa (“MENA”), beginning with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and its challenge to Gamal Nasser in the 1950s.

The author cites Nasser as the first example of an Arab nationalist leader who threatened US domination in the MENA area, but other secular strongmen also spring to mind, including Qaddafi, Hussein and Assad. All of these men and their states not only defy or defied total domination by the west in their own rights, but also were open to and sometimes pursued alliances with America’s competitors on the world stage, most notably the USSR/Russia.

The main theme of Dollars for Terror is that the US, Saudi Arabia, and also Israel, will not feel secure in this region while strong Arab nations thrive, so these states and their leaders must be replaced with a less cohesive and less stable force, namely, political Islam, which is most effectively delivered through disruptive, radical organizations including the networks financed by the Saudi billionaire Osama bin Laden.

Labévière illustrates his point with a quote by Oded Yinon, a former official in the Israeli ministry of Foreign Affairs:

Breaking up Lebanon into five provinces precedes the fate that awaits the entire Arab world, including Egypt, Syria, Iraq and all the Arab peninsula; in Lebanon, it is already an accomplished fact. The disintegration of Syria and Iraq into ethnically or religiously homogenous provinces, like Lebanon, is Israel’s top priority, in the long run, on its eastern front. In the short run, the objective is the military dissolution of these States. Syria will be divided into several States, according to the ethnic communities, so that the coast will become an Alaouite Shiite State; the Alep region, a Sunni State; Damas, another Sunni State hostile to its northern neighbor; the Druses will make up their own State, which will perhaps extend to our Golan, and in any case in Haouran and northern Jordan. This State will guarantee peace and security in the area in the long run: that is an objective that is, now within our reach.

Although the author focuses on Bin Laden, he is not the only radical Islamist who has ties to the CIA according to Labévière. He cites firsthand sources who reveal that the Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel-Rahman, who is currently serving a life sentence for the World Trade Center bombing of 1993, got his visa for that trip to the US directly from the CIA! This is a scary detail given that one of the other planners of that event, the primary witness against Abdel-Rahman and an FBI operative, makes the very serious allegation that the FBI allowed if not arranged for live explosives in that attack (Click here for more on that shocking story).

Given that this book was published in 2000 – before 9/11 – there is no sense that the author is trying to shift blame for 9/11 or establish an alternative explanation for it. Osama bin Laden was still alive and powerful as of that writing, as were Qaddafi and Hussein. The author merely points out with interviews, meetings, events and facts that Osama bin Laden and his “Afghans” served as mercenaries for hire, agents provocateurs, drug runners, assassins and more, often with the help or at least blind eyes of the authorities, British and American, who must have known that bin Laden personally and frequently passed through London in his course of business as did some of his billions.

I highly recommend Dollars for Terror to anyone with the patience for it. It can be a little difficult to understand, presumably because it is translated from French, so some paragraphs need to be read a few times for full comprehension. The references in the footnotes are often to French sources, so follow up is difficult. Also, there are not enough references, which in part is due to the fact that Mr. Labévière is an investigative journalist and is often recounting information he received first hand from sources in the know, but still, it would be nice to be able to get more details on certain subjects. Also, there is no index so it is very difficult to find specific passages or subjects without making notes. Finally, the book itself was physically messed up! The last six pages were switched with the first six pages so the Table of Contents is at the end of the book and as you open the front cover you are faced with page 392! All the pages are there, though, so you can puzzle through it!

As is often the case, journalists on a mission against “American Imperialism” are Marxists and Labévière’s denouncement of global corporatism smacks of this bent. But whatever my disagreement with Labévière over the cause of cronyism corrupting the world–I say it is rooted in the underlying threat of violence inherent in the modern state, a situation Marxism would exacerbate–I greatly appreciate his work in this field. He has suffered for his integrity as a journalist and that in itself proves how critical it is now more than ever for men like him to get the truth out.

“With God in Russia”

Author: Father Walter Ciszek, S.J.

I am a big fan of well-written survival stories and I have read a few great ones. Here is a list of my favorites: Stories of Survival. I wish to feature, however, the one I read most recently: With God in Russia, by Father Walter Ciszek, S.J.

This is the story of a Jesuit priest who went to Poland and ultimately went undercover as an ordinary peasant to minister to Poles behind Russian lines during World War II. Upon being discovered as a priest by the Russians, he was charged with subversion and imprisoned for 23 years until his release through exchange for two Russian prisoners in 1963.

The story is so humbly and straightforwardly written that it takes awhile to realize how greatly Fr. Ciszek is suffering through all of this. For his dedication to the service of God and his defense of the Faith, Fr. Ciszek is up for sainthood. He has many devotees, including my mother, who pray for his canonization regularly–there are whole societies dedicated to him, and I can understand why.

I won’t go through all of the many hardships Fr. Ciszek endured, but I will relate how his story stays with me and why I think of him often. It starts with the challenge of being a young mother. I always thought: I can do anything if I get enough sleep. I figured I can work all day every day if only I get eight hours of sleep every night. And in fact, I might have been right about that, but we’ll never know because it never happened. Now my kids are school-aged and I don’t have a problem getting sleep at night, but boy do they run me ragged during the day. As my physical workload increases at the same time as my age does, I have noticed something new. While in my youth I was lazy–I had a manageable amount of work to do but never wanted to get off the couch to do it. Now I have a tremendous amount of work to do and I do get off the couch to do it only to find that I tucker out pretty hard before it’s all done. And fuhgeddaboudit, if I haven’t had enough to eat I fall to pieces! Not only can I not get my work done, I feel downright sick and weak and snap like a dragon at any family member who happens to be near. Nowadays I think: I can do anything as long as I get enough to eat!

That’s where Fr. Ciszek comes in. His days in Russia span decades–from his mid-thirties til he was nearly sixty–in which he was in forced labor camps slaving endlessly while STARVING! On one occasion when he was a new fish in the jail, he and his cellmate saw for the first time a full slop bucket of runny eggs. They were so excited! They couldn’t believe it! It smelled slightly sulfurous, but they weren’t picky–they were starving! So they ate their fill of the eggs–and they regretted it. Apparently, that sulfurous smell was the only signal that the eggs were bad–really bad. Fr. Ciszek and his cellmate were violently ill after eating the eggs and realized why the slop bucket had been full in the first place–none of the other inmates would eat the eggs having learned the same lesson the hard way.

In my mind’s eye, I often see Fr. Ciszek, skin and bones, slaving in mines in the service of evil under threat of death seeking all the time to fulfill his higher purpose in this life and I think to myself: do I really need to growl about all the laundry because I missed my morning muffin? When I do, thoughts of Fr. Ciszek put me to shame.

Apparently, I’m not the only one who carries around Fr. Ciszek stories for inspiration. My brother George (aka, George the Friendly Truckdriver) wrote an article featuring Fr. Ciszek that was published in the trucking magazine Overdrive awhile back. I highly recommend reading With God in Russia to put your own life, suffering and accomplishments in perspective; and for your immediate amusement as well as an unusual glimpse of life from a trucker’s perspective, I also recommend George’s article:

The Divine Breakdown

It was in December of 2004 that my mother gave me a book to read. With God in Russia was the story of Father Walter Ciszek, a Pennsylvanian of Polish extraction who was a wild young man well on his way to becoming a good-for-nothing adult. Destiny, combined with the circumstances of the times, set a different course for this budding reprobate.

He became a Jesuit priest and requested a posting to the Soviet Union. His wish came true in 1940 – on the eve of the 20th century’s greatest upheaval, which in six year’s time would send 60 million souls to their maker. He was arrested near Moscow, charged with espionage and spent more than 20 years imprisoned in Siberia. Upon release from the gulag he was placed on parole and was forbidden to leave northeastern Russia. He obtained a job driving a truck in that frozen hinterland continue reading…

“The First and Last Freedom”

Author: Jiddu Krishnamurti

Several years ago, I came to the conclusion that no form of government could limit itself sufficiently and therefore there is no hope that a geographic monopoly on the use of force with the right to demand taxes under threat of violence (ie., government) could result in a free and just society. For example, I could see the futility of restoring the US Constitution since that is the document that led to this state in actuality, whether the document is ideal or flawed. I then came across a book, Democracy the God that Failed, by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, and was shocked and exhilarated to find he had the same idea (his final chapter being called “The Impossibility of Limited Government”), and he had much more to back it up than my musings.

Once I realized this truth, I was convinced that people just didn’t see it–they were duped and if they could be made to understand they would reject this system of violence and exploitation in favor of a libertarian anarchy of private law and it’s resultant order and peace. After a few years of proselytizing, I concluded that people aren’t being duped by the system, they are buying into the system, usually compromising objective principles for mere scraps. So my inquiry evolved into, What is wrong with people?? Why are they like this? And concluded there is no hope for a just and peaceful society if the vast majority of people don’t want it.

Krishnamurti, a philosopher of Indian origin and tradition, attempts to answer this question. His claim is that we are all operating with the sole focus of the self and its context in time and place–this results in competition, conflict, and the constant promotion of one’s own self over all others, even those closest to us. He further claims, as does the Dalai Lama and many others, that the only hope is the internal transformation of individuals, and finally he seems to believe that this may be possible to a great enough extent to change society.

Krishnamurti offers as a “fact” that ALL institutions are designed to exclude others and provide a group through which individuals feel better able to dominate those outside the group (or maybe even those within it). He rejects the state and religions in the same breath, not drawing the crucial distinction between physically forced participation (as in the state) and voluntary participation (as in religions), as I always have. He may be right in that most people voluntarily buy into the state for the same reasons they buy into religions, and that the source of this buy-in is the same in both cases and that this is the fundamental sickness that leads to evil, hatred, war, injustice, or even merely the continuous serving of the self above all.

Krishnamurti exhorts us to become aware of the activities of the mind–not to become introspective, not to condemn or to judge, but simply to become aware of the mind and the origin of the thoughts. He claims that this awareness itself changes the process and the mind can no longer engage in its self-centered machinations. I tried to be “aware” in this way for a couple of days and found both that it is possible and that it was heading toward Krishnamurti’s promised “liberation,” but it took such a tremendous amount of concentration that I question whether self-supporting people can really do this and still function economically.

I am still trying to determine if I believe his solution is the only solution (and I’m leaning toward saying that I do) and am also trying to determine if it could actually happen (and I’m leaning toward thinking that it can’t).

If you are ready to really think, this book is worth reading, regardless of your ultimate conclusions.

“The Innocence of Oswald”

Author: Dave Baker

The great Dave Baker recommended to me a book written by Gary Fannin, a local author who was recently a guest on Dave’s show on WSB. The book is The Innocence of Oswald: 50+ Years of Lies, Deception & Deceit in the Murders of President John F. Kennedy & Officer JD Tippit. I could not put it down. I usually read two or three books at a time, picking them up and putting them down as the mood strikes me, but this book I read straight through from the moment I picked it up.

The Innocence of Oswald isn’t your typical 800 page JFK assassination tome laying out every last detail of political backstory. Usually those books are slogs and only end up attempting to explain that, despite all the intrigue, Oswald was a lone nut who pulled off this (literal) coup on his own and for no reason whatsoever. I have long been unconvinced by that narrative–probably since I was old enough to understand that Oswald said “I’m a patsy,” and soon after was himself assassinated while in police custody–but the truth of what exactly did happen has remained to me uncertain. I have boiled it down to the likelihood that either the CIA did it or LBJ did it or both.

Fannin leans to the Johnson explanation and provides some compelling evidence for that position, particularly an accounting of LBJ’s bizarre demand that he be sworn in on Air Force One as it was about to fly JFK’s body to DC, insisting Jackie leave her husband’s casket and stand at the new president’s side just two hours after she scrambled to pick up the pieces of JFK’s brain as he was assassinated beside her.

Fannin’s conclusions were fascinating and well-supported, but they weren’t what kept me riveted to the book. What kept me turning page after page was the book’s cataloging of the copious evidence that weighs against the notion that Oswald was a lone assassin. Fannin’s presentation of the evidence was not bogged down by every nuance of the events of the day, nor did the author bury the evidence among assumptions and speculation that can obscure the facts in many of the bulkier treatments of the subject. Because of this, however, I found that already having a working knowledge of the events and controversies surrounding the assassination was helpful in getting the most out of the book.

The Innocence of Oswald is self-published so it doesn’t have the high polish a big publishing house would give it, but it’s well-worth the trade-off to have at your fingertips an uncensored, scrupulously researched collection of convincing evidence against the fatally flawed mainstream narrative of an event that marked the dawning of a new age in government power and media collusion.

“JFK: The CIA, Viet Nam and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy”

Author: L. Fletcher Prouty

L. Fletcher Prouty was Mr. X, Oliver Stone’s version of “deep throat” in the movie “JFK.” Prouty was “a retired colonel of the US Air Force, jet pilot, and former professor of air science and tactics at Yale University….during the Kennedy years, [he] served as the chief of special operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was directly in charge of the global system designed to provide military support for the clandestine activities of the CIA.” (From the book jacket.)

While those credentials can give Prouty a tremendous amount of credibility, they can also throw up a red flag. Something like this–a tell-all by someone associated with the intelligence community–almost always spells disinformation in my experience. Furthermore, it was first published as a serial by the Church of Scientology. That in itself is not enough for me to dismiss the book’s veracity–I know a few Scientologists and they are not as nutty as they are made out to be. However, I have read convincing reports that L. Ron Hubbard was a government operative whose personal history was a “legacy” created for him by Intelligence and whose operations were fronts for psychological experimentation. Therefore, it is somewhat suspect to me that this work by a special operations chief first appeared in a Scientology publication, and I must consider the possibility that this book is in fact disinformation. On the other hand, if this is not disinfo, then Prouty is a courageous hero who should be honored. It’s a tough call!

No matter which way Prouty shakes out, though, good disinformation is still mostly true. This is necessary to establish veracity and can be described as a “limited hangout,” in which the intelligence community deems that it is worth saying some things against interest in order to drive home critical disinfo. My goal in examining a work like this is to take from it the real information, the stuff they are “hanging out,” while not falling for the disinformation.

With that in mind, let me share with you what, to the best of my judgment, are profound truths found in this book. Specifically, what drives the power elite? And how exactly does the CIA micromanage events to serve their goals?

What drives the power elite?

Prouty claims that the power elite spans countries and creeds and surely it does. He gives no more detail than that, thereafter using Winston Churchill’s nebulous name for it: the High Cabal. So, while he doesn’t tell us who they are, he does tell us their underlying assumptions, which do seem to explain the direction modern history has taken. In Prouty’s words:

The power elite is…influenced by the persuasion of a quartet of the greatest propaganda schemes ever put forth by man:

1. The concept of “real property,” a function of “colonialism” that began with the circumnavigation of Earth by Magellan’s ships in 1520. A “doctrine of discovery and rights of conquest” was described by John Locke in his philosophy of natural law.

2. The population theory of Malthus.

3. Darwins’ theory of evolution, as enhanced by the concept of the survival of the fittest.

4. Heisenberg’s theory of indeterminancy, that is, that God throws the dice, and similar barriers to the real advancement of science and technology today.

Although all four of Prouty’s points are fundamental, the first one was the only one that was totally new to me. As an anarcho-capitalist, I believe in absolute property rights and I don’t believe the government has any right whatsoever to infringe upon them, but there is always the question of where property rights originate, particularly in land. Locke’s idea, to simplify, was that mixing toil with soil yielded land ownership and I’ve accepted that, but with nagging reservations. If a hunter-gatherer society claims a territory, is it theirs? They are actually parasites on the land and do not mix their toil with the soil, but do they have rights of occupation? If not, what then justifies claiming territory such as the Louisiana Purchase and selling it off to speculators before any of the parties involved had ever even stepped foot on that land, much less mixed toil with soil?

As an American, these questions remained for me highly theoretical because land was effectively limitless for anyone who actually did want to mix toil with soil to get it. England, on the other hand, seems to derive its class system from inherited property without questioning the origin of the property rights that buoy their upper classes from generation to generation. But that’s their problem—or so I thought. Prouty claims that the original worldwide seizure of real property following Magellan’s historic voyage is the bedrock of today’s power structure.

It may be postulated that this single bit of physical awareness brought about the greatest change in the mind of man since the dawn of creation…From that date on (circa AD 1520), the powerful rulers of the seafaring countries assumed the ownership of all real property in those discovered lands, and the natural resources on that property became one of the driving forces of mankind.

To clarify, once Magellan made clear that ships could circumnavigate the Earth, it became self-evident there was a finite surface area and the greatest of the western powers determined to claim it all through colonization. This method was not simply a matter of sending pilgrims abroad to mix their toil with soil. As Prouty puts it, “The power centers of that period were taking over the real property of the world—no matter who was on it or who had been living there—using little more than the surveyor’s chain, the missionary’s cross, and the explorers’ gun.”

While Prouty’s critique might sound like a call to so-called social justice (a fraudulent movement which I detest), one must not ignore real injustices merely because they are exploited by ideological rivals, especially when those injustices continue to defile not only our own economic and personal liberties, but those of the most powerless around the world. The process Prouty describes continues today as the IMF, transnational corporations and the rest engage in neo-colonialism, a coercive and fraudulent cronyism that unfairly takes and besmirches the name of capitalism in an effort to gain control of resources and stifle local competition in under-developed countries.

How on Earth does this all relate to who killed JFK? It sets the stage for the who, what and why of world power, money and politics, and justifies the theory that JFK’s decision to withdraw from Viet Nam would have interfered with a centuries old process of cronyism, colonization and transformation around the world by a power elite he could not dominate.

What really happened in Viet Nam?

Several times in this book, Prouty refers to The Report from Iron Mountain, a “novelized” account of a study group commissioned during the JFK administration that addressed the question, if there is no war, will there still be a way to control society? The answer: “No.” The report claims that if a major leader is unable to garner support for a “desired war,” the results would be “catastrophic.” This could not be allowed. When I first read this, I recalled how Obama tried and failed (yes, he DID try), to start a war with Syria in August 2013. That’s when I knew he (“they”) would keep trying until they succeeded, and they have. But I had failed to make the connection that The Report might have been referring to JFK himself–perhaps he was the leader who failed to conduct a desired war, not because he couldn’t garner public support for it, but because he himself did not support it. If that were the case, he might have had to go. The CIA had put a lot of effort over two decades into manufacturing war in Viet Nam and no mere elected official was going to derail it.

As an Air Force pilot and a special operations chief, Prouty was on the scene beginning in the 1940s straight through the 1960s observing and participating in the machinations of the CIA in creating conflict in Viet Nam. The most significant activities in this regard, according to Prouty, are:

(1) Bringing arms from the Pacific theater at the end of World War II into both Korea and Viet Nam – arms that Ho Chi Minh later used in his communist conquest of Viet Nam.

(2) The US government’s physical relocation of totally non-political villagars (Tonkinese)–1.1 million of them–from the North Viet Nam to South Viet Nam. These refugees, supported by our puppet government in the south, displaced local natives (Cochinese) who had occupied the land for tens of thousands of years, driving them into the forests to be falsely labeled “Viet Cong.”

(3) The lawlessness created by the displaced Cochinese was exacerbated when the new South Viet Namese government ordered all French officials (the only law and order in the country) to leave.

(4) Finally, economic devastation ensued when that same South Viet Namese government (our puppet government), made the Chinese merchants and traders leave. Rice rotted on the docks and natives were unable to trade for the necessities of life.

According to Prouty, these were some of the ways the CIA deliberately created upheaval in Viet Nam to intensify conflict and suck the US military into a war there with purposes ranging from societal transformation to creating demand for helicopters. This war, and the big spending that was to become associated with it, was an indispensable part of the military-industrial complex’s plan for post-World War II America.


L. Fletcher Prouty makes a coherent, convincing case that JFK was killed by the CIA in the service of the “High Cabal” for disrupting a 20 year effort to conduct war in Viet Nam, generate defense spending and debt, and transform peoples and politics in Asia. I’m sure I wouldn’t agree with his politics, so I take his prescriptions and social judgments with a grain of salt, nonetheless, I found his narrative compelling and plausible.

Although my usual purpose in reviewing books like this one is to identify and distill the critical points the author has made so busy, working people can stay informed without having to slog through pages and pages of nonfiction. In this case, however, I recommend you read it yourself. It’s a very well-written, well-edited narrative that goes into just enough detail to be convincing and explanatory without going into so much detail that the narrative is lost. Even if the purpose of the book is to throw us off the scent of who the “High Cabal” really is, there is enough truth and insight in it to qualify as a must read.

Related posts: This was posted before I ever even heard of L. Fletcher Prouty….
What’s at the bottom of the rabbit hole? The Report from Iron Mountain.

Update: I just pulled this quote from the book to use in my argument against the deceptively-named tenet “American Exceptionalism.” While most Republican voters think this means the American Experiment was extraordinary, particularly in that it acknowledged the sovereignty of the citizen (or of the subsidiary governmental unit of the state some would argue), what the neo-conservatives who invented the term really meant by it is that America is an exception to the Law of Nations and need not respect the sovereignty of other nations though its own sovereignty must at all costs be respected (excpet to t he extent the international elite traitors from within chose to violate it.) Here is the relevant quote from Prouty, p. 24-5 in the Birch Lane Press hardcover:

During the postwar years, a number of important events took place as mankind was herded from the old era to the new….

[Through the CIA], “peacetime operations” were carried out whether or not they were secret and whether or not they could be disclaimed plausibly, without benefit of a declaration of a state of war among the adversaries. This was an important shift. Any country–whether it was the United States or the Soviet Union, or even a smaller country, such as Greece or Israel–that employed its undercover forces in peacetime, within the borders of another country with whom it was not officially at war ignored and degraded the age-old concepts of the independence of nations and of national sovereignty.


“Barack H. Obama: The Unauthorized Biography”

Author: Webster Griffin Tarpley

My husband recently said to me after a party, “You’re like my pet hyena. When I take you out I really should ask people, ‘How close do you want to get?'” When I repeated this to a few friends, they were shocked at how well I took it. I, on the other hand, was shocked that they were shocked – it’s just too apropos to take offense at! I actually go out of my way sometimes to up the intensity with people I meet just to see how far apart we are. If I say something “deep” and the audience catches right on, I start from there, otherwise I proceed with caution. Here was my opening line that evening…

“I just read something in a biography of Barack Obama that really shocked me. The author claims that there’s a difference between Democrats and Republicans!” By the looks I was getting, I read the message loud and clear: back up, slow down.

So I explained that it seems pretty clear to me that American foreign policy, for example, doesn’t change from party to party – we either control the places we want to control or we create chaos so no one else can have them. Is it not proof enough that Obama won a Peace Prize for the anti-war b/s he fed us then proceeded to bomb 7 different countries, including Libya, on which he unilaterally authorized 770 bombs dropped?

Yet this author, Webster Griffin Tarpley, claims that the Neo-Cons (Bush, Cheney, Perle, Rumsfeld, etc.), represented by the Republicans, want all the big powers to sit at the same table as long as “we” (read “they”) are at the head. (This has been dubbed the Wolfowitz Doctrine.) Tarpley contrasts this with what he calls the Trilateral Crowd, represented by the Democrats and most greatly influenced by Zbigniew Brzezinski, who want not only total domination but also to knock China and especially Russia down a rung. The funny thing about Tarpley’s claim, though, is that he wrote the book in 2008 before Obama even got elected.  That’s well before Obama violated the Wolfowitz Doctrine and created hot conflict in Syria and escalation in Ukraine – both confrontations one step closer to Russia than the neo-cons had dared. Add to that the facts that Democratic President Bill Clinton absorbed all Warsaw Pact countries into NATO in direct violation of Republican President George HW Bush’s assurance to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev; Democrat Clinton was responsible for the Kosovo aggression; and, with the help of his buddy Russian President Boris Yeltsin, Clinton also delivered Russia into the hands of oligarchs, fostering cronyism over laissez-faire entrepreneurship, besmirching the image of capitalism in the eyes of former Soviet countries and effectively denying them its rewards forever. Reflecting on all this, I had to admit, Tarpley might be on to something.

My small audience didn’t find this “conspiracy theory stuff” very compelling, with one speaking for all, that “Obama is just shockingly incompetent – no one is pulling the strings.” I had to counter with the question, “So Bill Gates and Warren Buffet and George Soros, who paid big bucks to get this guy in office, are just sitting there with their fingers crossed hoping he gets it right? And when he doesn’t, they just sit by while it crashes and burns?” That’s the kind of investment strategy that makes guys billions these days? I don’t think so.

All that said, however, I’m not taking Tarpley’s view to the bank. Some claim he is a disinformation agent whose job it is to mislead those seeking to understand the true nature and structure of power in the world today. I don’t know if this is true or not. Tarpley cut his teeth under Lyndon LaRouche and his early stuff is worth listening to simply for historical information. I do have my doubts about his analysis, however, in no small part because he says Ron Paul is controlled opposition, which is a claim that discomfited me, so I looked into it and evaluated it, and ultimately concluded it is false. Tarpley might be sincere and he might not, I don’t know, but the value of the things I got from his book is independent of whether or not he is a disinformation agent, so while I did not regale my fellow party-goers with the rest of the gems I gleaned from the book, I present them here for you.

The first takeaway from the book was what I explained above–in sum, Tarpley’s view is that, although there is a western power elite that works to control the world’s resources and people, there is some infighting at the top with different strategies and tactics. I’m not sure I believe this is true, but it would explain why Obama is so aggressive in antagonizing Russia and perhaps also China while the neocons took a less direct approach. Another explanation might be that the power elite is organized and patient with a long-term plan that contains several phases. Perhaps Obama is responsible for the “start World War III phase” – that seems to fit current events too!

The second take-away was the basic philosophy Tarpley and LaRouche hold that led me to a much deeper understanding of my own. Their position, like mine, is that Marx was a psy-op…he was set up by the bankers to create an “alternative” to capitalism that concentrated all the power at the top and made it just as easy to access by the power elite as monarchy, cronyism, etc. Tarpley and LaRouche’s position takes a hard left away from mine at that point, however, in that they are what I’ll call “Platonist Collectivists.” They believe Plato’s conception of political morality is correct, where society is the central unit of humanity and all should serve to optimize that body. This contrasts with what I’ll call “Aristotelian Individualism,” which is the morality many of us take for granted – individual rights and liberties inviolable by the political unit. But please don’t take my interpretation of any of this as textbook – I had to piece it together from Tarpley and LaRouche’s writings and even got down from my shelf the fantastic summary work by William Durant, The Story of Philosophy. The first hundred pages of Durant clarified for me the distinctions between Plato and Aristotle that seemed to be the heart of the LaRouche philosophy. I think this exercise is essential because it is important to question basic assumptions, especially morality in the context of civil society, and apparently that analysis starts with the Greeks. So there’s some food for thought.

The third take-away was Tarpley’s discussion of race. He absolutely hates prominent black leaders of today because he claims that they are deliberately misleading lower class blacks into thinking the dominant social problem they face is racial when in fact it is class. Normally I go running and screaming from anything based on “class” as being Marxist, but in actuality, class is a state construct as explained in Nock and as admitted in The Report from Iron Mountain. Class does not exist without laws that treat different groups of people differently (for example, progressive taxation prevents earners from accumulating capital). Of course Tarpley is claiming wealth redistribution is the answer to class problems and my claim is that because the state itself is the source of class distinctions, do away with the state or at least minimize it and issues of race and class would become insignificant. My conclusion here, like my philosophy in general, is the opposite of Tarpley’s.

Finally, the fourth take-away has nothing to do with ideology, philosophy or theory, it was just a litany of what appears to be solid evidence of Obama and his Chicago crowd’s corruption. Tarpley starts by outlining Obama’s power-elite connections from his mother who worked for Tim Geithner’s father at the Ford Foundation (which Tarpley claims is a front for cronyistic transnational global domination of inner cities and developing countries), to his step-father’s work as liaison between Big Oil and a post-(US-)coup Indonesia, to his birth father’s family’s African connections and their roles as facilitators for the powers-that-be. Obama’s personal corruption in the Rezko affair is brought out, as well as a surprisingly believable account of Larry Sinclair’s charges that he fellated Obama while the then-Illinois State Senator smoked crack. Really, I’m not making this up!

The book is a bit of a task to get through (except for the Sinclair part–that’s pretty juicy!), but it’s not incoherent, implausible or poorly referenced as some reviews have suggested. If you’re interested in some of the smoking guns that might reveal Obama’s true nature, his past, his vulnerabilities and his direction, this is a good resource. The fact that it’s a criticism from someone far, far to the left of Obama makes it refreshing as well, even prescient when one considers it was published in 2008, before Obama betrayed the anti-war left among other factions. If you want to know more about deep history in general from this author (an erudite if perhaps co-opted conspiracy theorist), you might prefer to watch this long but gripping video of a decades-old seminar Tarpley and LaRourche hosted.

“PEACE: by the Wonderful People Who Brought You Korea & Viet Nam”

Author: Archibald E. Roberts, Lt. Col. AUS (Ret.)

As soon as listener Craig recommended this book to me, I was dying to tear into it. It took a bit to find a copy but when I did I dove right in. I must say, I was a bit put off to find it was a collection of essays, speeches, newspaper articles, entries into the Congressional record and a few executive orders, finished off with the complete text of the United Nations Charter. As someone who likes history written in the form of a suspenseful thriller, I was a bit disappointed! Once I got into the rhythm of it, however, I couldn’t put it down. After reading to the end, I found that the format was well-chosen in that it did not at all embellish the harsh reality it exposed: the United Nations is an instrument meant to shape the countries of the world into pieces that will ultimately fit together under a world government.

The UN claims to be an institution of peace, but in fact it is, like all governments, an instrument that uses the threat of force to bring to heel its constituents. It took me a while to fully appreciate the title of the book as well. The UN was established in 1945 by a war-weary world with the promise of peace. Within a handful of years, unnecessary and fruitless wars were fought under the UN banner both in Korea and Viet Nam.

Purely through documenting broad brush strokes of the history of the UN, Roberts demonstrates that the UN is a government, it has an agenda, it claims the right to use force and to demand the United States use force on its behalf and finally and most important, the United Nations Treaty “is the supreme law of the land” according to the United States Congressional record!

Reading the UN Charter to which the Treaty binds us shows the inherent contradiction in this claim. The federal government of the United States does not have the power to implement the social, economic or military mandates dictated by the UN Charter, much less delegate them to a foreign body, yet by allowing the Treaty to stand, we, the sovereign citizens and the sovereign states, implicitly validate the claim that the UN Treaty is in fact law.

Lt Col Roberts urges the states, as the true sovereigns and signatories to the United States Constitution, to repudiate the UN Treaty and restore our sovereignty. The book was written in 1972 and, to my knowledge, no state has yet repudiated the UN Treaty. On the contrary, the UN Treaty has infiltrated every level of government in the United States and its Charter eerily foreshadows the unconstitutional developments that we have accepted since its drafting 70 years ago. Modern scourges such as bloody interventionism, Obamacare, erosion of private property rights and the loss of cultural identity around the world, among scores of other current trends, are rooted in the United Nations Charter and the activities of its many institutions.

PEACE has further convinced me that in fact the movement toward world government is alive and well; that it is embodied most tangibly in the United Nations and its affiliates; that it undermines rather than promotes peace and prosperity; and that it is the driving force behind the neutralization of the United States Constitution and our Bill of Rights.

“Neo-Conservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea”

Author: Irving Kristol

Several times on the show, I have made mention of the book Neo-Conservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea, Selected Essays 1949-1995, by Irving Kristol. If his name sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Kristol was a popluar and influential writer and political commentator for over fifty years; he was a father of the neo-conservative movement (neo meaning “new”) and the father of Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard who carries on his father’s tradition and, with his own compatriots, profoundly influences the Republican party to this day.

Neo-Conservatism lays out the decades-long journey Irving Kristol made from self-described neo-Trotskyist and neo-Marxist to one of the founders of the neo-conservative movement. The book is beautifully written with a truly elegant style, and Kristol brings to the subject levels of sociological analysis that one rarely finds on the right.

As a matter of fact, it’s the kind of sociological analysis that one never finds on the right – the traditional right, that is – because it is a fundamentally leftist view which starts with the assumption that the basic unit of society is society itself instead of the individuals who comprise it. As beautiful and interesting as the book is, it’s also an offense to sincere Americans, from its total lack of recognition of objective individual rights to its Machiavellian prescriptions for the Republican party.

I still recommend the book both because it is intellectually gripping and also because the essays are artfully written, but the real value of the book is that it reveals the origins and goals of the neo-conservative movement, and they are quite illuminating.

For the benefit of those who don’t have the time to read the whole book, I have selected several telling passages and added some of my own commentary. Here is the first from the 1976 essay The Republican Future:

[The Republican] party has never fully reconciled itself to the welfare state, and therefore has never given comprehensive thought to the question of what a conservative welfare state would look like. . . .

The idea of a welfare state is in itself perfectly consistent with a conservative political philosophy–as Bismarck knew, a hundred years ago. In our urbanized, industrialized, highly mobile society, people need governmental action of some kind if they are to cope with many of their problems: old age, illness, unemployment, etc. They need such assistance; they demand it; they will get it. The only interesting political question is: How will they get it?
This is not a question the Republican party has faced up to, because it still feels, deep down, that a welfare state is inconsistent with such traditional American virtues as self-reliance and individual liberty.

The dirty little secret is that Bismarck recommended the modern welfare state to the Kaiser because the citizenry was getting too prosperous and too independent following the Industrial Revolution. Bismarck sensed that the populace was beginning to question the Kaiser’s value-added and he knew he had to shore up the government’s position or risk revolution.
As the great Professor Robert Higgs points out in his essay The Welfare State and the Promise of Protection and elsewhere that Bismarck’s motive in creating the modern welfare state was to rekindle the people’s love for the Kaiser by making them dependent on him. The people did not demand the welfare state as Kristol suggests, it was sold to them like a bad insurance policy–which is exactly what it is.
Motives aside, however, what exactly does Kristol mean by a conservative welfare state?

The basic principle behind a conservative welfare state ought to be a simple one: Wherever possible, people should be allowed to keep their own money—rather than having it transferred (via taxes) to the state—on condition that they put it to certain defined uses.

That is one big condition! It’s a condition that may be consistent with Kristol’s new conservative philosophy, but it’s not consistent with a fiscally conservative philosophy, and it’s not consistent with sound economics or with liberty.
Being told how to spend your money is not the same as keeping it, and although it may cut out the middle man and some of the inefficiency of government, it also creates dangerously inefficient markets in targeted services. We’ve already seen the effects of government-promoted spending in industries such as health care, education and housing, effects that include excess demand and inflated prices. In addition, anytime you encourage certain behavior over others by artificially interfering with free market pricing you reduce the total utility that otherwise would result. That is, people maximize their utility with each free choice they make—being induced to make a different choice either by being taxed and given a “free” service, or by being forced to use one’s own money to consume that service, results in a reduction in net social utility.
Kristol goes on to say:

If the Republican party were capable of thinking politically–i.e., thinking in terms of shaping the future–it would realize that its first priority is to shape the budget, not to balance it. Then it could go to the electorate with the proper political questions: How do you want the budget balanced? By more taxes for more governmental services? Or by lower taxes, lower governmental expenditures and incentives for the citizen to provide for his own welfare.

This is not the language of someone who believes in free markets, civil liberties and limited government. A traditional American conservative does not think of how to use government to shape the future. He knows that in a free society, the future emerges organically (and gloriously) from the creativity, ingenuity and efforts of millions of free actors maximizing the value of their gifts and the resources at their disposal.
Furthermore, Kristol’s exhortation to forget about balanced budgets is like foreshadowing in a horror movie! He continues presciently to add:

Obviously there is some risk in such a bold approach. The budget, for a while, would indeed be in a perilous condition if some such Republican programs were passed while Democratic programs were not cut back. But that is the only way to permit the American people to choose their future—by making the choice, not only a clear cut one, but a necessary one.

Could Medicare D and No Child Left Behind be the “Repbulican programs” that Kristol urges? Was our current budget crisis deliberately or at least recklessly precipitated by neo-conservatives to force America to choose? It seems too great a coincidence for this not to be the case.
While I do believe Kristol and his gang set this plan in motion, it also seems clear they could not control the outcome. As this last presidential election seems to have demonstrated, the sheeple Kristol bases his elitist theories on aren’t as easily deceived as he predicted, and after the Republicans intentionally or ineptly initiated the budget crisis, voters seemed to know better than to run to them for a solution.
But don’t get your hopes up that these political animals will learn from their failure and abandon their grandiose aims. In dismissing the risks of his strategy, Kristol pragmatically points out that:

Unless and until the Republican party is willing to overcome its book-keeping inhibitions and become a truly political party, it will be of only marginal significance which faction is in control, or which candidate it proposes.

Herein lies the rub: Instead of offering the voters on the right what they want – a small, fiscally responsible government – the neo-conservatives will fight for big government to the last man standing because, as Kristol points out in this passage, it’s not worth winning elections if only a small government is the prize. It’s big government do or die for neo-con power seekers.
This is part one of a two part post. Click here for part 2 in which I will offer passages on Kristol’s plans for the religious in America and for shaping foreign policy as well as his “conservative” defense of radical socialism.