My View of Politics
by Laurence M. Vance: And
Your Point Is?
me from your mailing list, "Iím just totally uninterested in
your view of politics," wrote a former student and friend.
I have been
described (and dismissed) by some of my former friends as anti-war,
libertarian, isolationist, or anti-government, not so much because
they think that one word encapsulates my political philosophy, but
because they are ignorant of U.S. history, the U.S. military, the
U.S. government, U.S. foreign policy, and their own Bible that they
profess to believe.
am a student of, and a commentator on, politics, I am not political
in any way. I donít vote. I donít donate to political campaigns.
I donít endorse candidates. I donít campaign for anyone. I donít
frequent political events. I donít watch political debates. I loathe
politicians, and especially members of Congress, of whom Mark Twain
said: "There is no distinctly native American criminal class
not to like about my "view of politics"? What could possibly
be so bad about it? And what is my "view of politics"
that some conservatives, evangelicals, and Red-State Christian fascists
find so uninteresting?
I have assembled
this brief explanation of my "view of politics." I am
using the word politics in its broadest sense, as is common.
Some of my views are best explained by quotes from others that I
like. Not in any particular order, here are twelve propositions
that make up my "view of politics."
On the state,
I believe with Lew Rockwell that the state is "a gang with
a flag." I believe with Murray Rothbard that the state is "a
bandit gang writ large." It is "a vast criminal organization
far more formidable and successful than any Ďprivateí Mafia in history."
I agree with H. L. Mencken that "every decent man is ashamed
of the government he lives under" and that "all government
is, in its essence, organized exploitation, and in virtually all
of its existing forms it is the implacable enemy of every industrious
and well-disposed man." I also agree with Voltaire that "the
art of government is to make two-thirds of a nation pay all it possibly
can pay for the benefit of the other third."
I believe that laissez faire is natural, moral, and biblical. I
oppose all government regulations and any government intervention
in the economy for any reason. I also subscribe to Richmanís
law: "No matter how much the government controls the economic
system, any problem will be blamed on whatever small zone of freedom
On taxes, I
believe that taxation is theft. I believe with Frank Chodorov that
the income tax is the root of all evil. But as long as we have taxes,
I believe with J. B. Say that the "best" tax is the lightest.
I therefore subscribe to the Rockwell
rule when it comes to any tax reform proposal: "Does it
reduce or eliminate an existing tax?" And I believe that tax
breaks, tax shelters, tax incentives, tax deductions, tax loopholes,
tax exemptions, and tax credits are always good because they allow
people to keep more of their money in their pocket and out of the
hands of the government.
On the Democratic
Party, I believe with Strom Thurmond, who left the Democratic Party
in 1964 because it was "leading the evolution of our nation
to a socialistic dictatorship." The Democratic Party is the
party of liberalism, socialism, feminism, collectivism, abortion,
organized labor, big government, environmentalism, affirmative action,
welfare, paternalism, taxing and spending, income redistribution,
and every alternative lifestyle known to man. That is, the Democratic
Party stands for everything I oppose. I think the last good Democratic
president was Grover
On the Republican
Party, I donít think it is the lesser of two evils; I think it is
pure evil. When Republicans say they believe in limited government,
they only mean that they want a government limited to one controlled
by Republicans. They are the party of war, torture, empire, militarism,
the warfare state and the welfare
state. That is, the Republican Party stands for everything I
oppose. All the talk by Republicans about the Constitution, the
free market, and limited government is just a bunch of hot air as
is the Republican Party platform,
to America," and books
by Republican "leaders."
I believe with whomever said that it "just encourages the bastards."
I agree with Noam Chomsky that "if voting could actually change
anything, it would be illegal," with Mark Twain that "if
voting made a difference, they wouldnít let us do it," and
with Charles Bukowski that "the difference between a democracy
and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take
orders later; in a dictatorship you donít have to waste your time
policy, I believe with Thomas Jefferson that the best foreign policy
is "peace, commerce, honest friendship with all nations entangling
alliances with none." U.S. foreign policy is reckless, belligerent,
and meddling, and has been for over 100 years.
On war, I believe
with Benjamin Franklin that "there was never a good war or
a bad peace." I see nothing good about a "good war"
(WWII) in which 50 million people died, the majority of whom were
civilians. I also like Ike when he said about the atomic bombing
of Japan that "it wasnít necessary to hit them with that awful
thing." I believe the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are especially
senseless, unjust, and immoral. I agree with Randolph Bourne that
"war is the health of the state."
On the U.S.
military, I believe that instead of being a "global force for
good," it is a global force for evil. Not only should the military
not be fighting foreign wars, no U.S. soldier should be stationed
anywhere but on American soil. All 1,000 foreign bases should be
closed, and all U.S. troops should be brought home. The sooner the
better. And to Christians I would add that the U.S. military is
not the Lordís army.
I believe, with Leonard Read, that people have the fundamental right
to do "anything thatís peaceful" as long as it is not
aggressing against someone elseís person or property. I believe,
with Lysander Spooner, that vices are not crimes. I subscribe to
the libertarian non-aggression principle; that is, it is wrong to
threaten or initiate violence against someone unless in defense
of oneís person or property.
I believe that abortion is not only morally wrong, but violates
libertarianismís non-aggression principle. However, I part company
with pro-lifers because I donít believe the federal government has
any more authority to concern itself with abortion than it does
to concern itself with the amount of parking ticket fines in the
fifty states. And I also extend my pro-life sentiments to children
and adults in foreign countries on the receiving end of U.S. bombs
On gun control,
I believe gun control is being able to hit your target. And unlike
some in the NRA, I actually believe that the Second Amendment prohibits
the federal government from infringing in any way on the
right to keep and bear arms. That is, the federal government has
no authority to ban or regulate any gun of any caliber or type,
any ammunition, any magazines, any gun sales or purchases, or any
gun shows. And the federal government has no authority to set up
a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms since it has no authority
to ban or regulate alcohol, tobacco, or firearms.
Iím sure I
am missing something. But the above, in a large nutshell, is my
view of politics that some are uninterested in.
M. Vance [send him mail]
writes from central Florida. He is the author of Christianity
and War and Other Essays Against the Warfare State, The
Revolution that Wasn't, Rethinking
the Good War, and The
Quatercentenary of the King James Bible. His latest book
War on Drugs Is a War on Freedom. Visit his
© 2012 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
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