Pork Roast!!!

When:  August 29, 2009 @ 11am

Where:  Rochester, New Hampshire Fairgrounds

Sponsored by the New Hampshire Advantage Coalition, The 9.12 Project, Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers & Cornerstone Policy Research and many others.  This event will bring taxpayers and fellow patriots together to hear from speakers on the dangers of local spending, nationalized health care, national cap and trade schemes, as well as state and federal budget analysis.

The event is $10 per ticket or $25 per family of four.

You may obtain your ticket from Tom Hudson …or via the New Hampshire Advantage website.

For additional details, please visit the New Hampshire Advantage Coalition website.

Stephen Kinsella Needs to Take a Nap

by Scott McPherson

Writing on the LewRockwell.com blog on June 19, Stephan Kinsella claims that it “is a surprise…that we have libertarians who are still in favor of government – so called ‘minarchists’…It should be clear by now that minarchism is just another form of statism.

“America was not some minarchist paradise,” continues this invective, “it was a flawed utopian experiment resulting from an illegal coup…It was a society that condoned slavery, one of the worst evils ever, while establishing a constructivist new order based on a ‘rational, scientific’ paper document and rejecting traditional, superior [sic], unwritten, monarchist limits on state power, thus setting the world on the path of democracy and democratic tyranny, and all the evils of the 20th Century.”

Mr. Kinsella is essentially saying that if someone refuses to embrace “anarcho-capitalism” then they are, by definition, a statist. Further, anyone who sees the foundation of the American system as a dramatic improvement in how people are governed, relative to anything that ever came before, must also be a statist.

Worse, such people are no different, in theory, from any dictator, and are instead following the “path of democracy and democratic tyranny, and all the evils of the 20th Century.” (I guess it is a sign of my own corrupted, statist mindset, but I thought it was flawed moral ideas – collectivism and paternalism, for example – that brought us all these bad things. No, says Mr. Kinsella, it was a “path”.)

Am I really to believe that Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Ayn Rand, Clarence Carson, Henry Hazlitt, Jacob Hornberger, and Ron Paul are the moral equivalent of Josef Stalin, Pol Pot, Abraham Lincoln, Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Franklin Roosevelt, Augusto Pinochet, Fidel Castro, and Osama Bin Laden?

Objectivist author David Kelley, in his book The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand, wrote about the danger of Objectivists’ equating libertarian “anarcho-capitalists” and nihilists with communist dictators. Kelley argued that to say libertarians are no better than butchers means butchers are no worse than libertarians – a position he rightly calls “moral hysteria”. Such hysteria destroys the concept of morality altogether.

If one were to ask a self-described “liberal” to define the term, he would likely refer to himself as a “progressive” who advocates racial tolerance, “social justice”, and “equality”. But if push came to shove – if pressed hard enough – he would admit that what he really wants is a centralized society with government control over the economy, or at least a large part of it.

But originally the word “liberal” meant someone who wanted government to maintain law and order and otherwise leave people free to regulate their own economic and social affairs – a world view that has since come to be identified as “libertarian”. Though the self-proclaimed “liberal” of today would likely bristle at the term, a more fitting description of his political ideal would be “statism”.

One wonders if Mr. Kinsella ever thought about consulting a dictionary before insulting many of his fellow libertarians. Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (Tenth Edition, 1994, page 1149) defines “statism” as the “concentration of economic controls and planning in the hands of a highly centralized government.” Employing the arbitrariness of a spoiled child, Mr. Kinsella would change the definition to “any system that isn’t anarcho-capitalism.”

To suggest that minarchists or limited-government libertarians are really statists stretches the word so far as to destroy its meaning. That was the goal of  those who co-opted the word liberal. The truth of the matter is that Mr. Kinsella, and some of his fellow anarcho-libertarians, see themselves as the self-appointed Protectors of All Libertarian Virtue, and wish to drum from the Freedom Movement anyone who doesn’t see through the exact same prism as they do – exactly the tactic used by the statists to destroy liberalism (and by Objectivists, to purify their own sacred pool). In this way, at least, Mr. Kinsella shares more in common with the statists and – Shock! Horror! The Objectivists – than he would ever care to admit.

After the mis-labeled “Republican Revolution” of 1994, some libertarians were actually threatened by the possibility that a conservative majority in the Congress might begin to tear down the Welfare State and start moving America back towards a system of limited government. What to do when your life’s work is realized?

I wonder if some anarcho-capitalists – threatened by the current momentum of the Freedom Movement – are seeing themselves as ever-smaller fish in a growing pond. Or could it be that with more people joining the movement the anarchist is pressed to distinguish himself from us lesser mortals? Either way, let’s not let delicate egos and delusions of superiority destroy all our good work. The true statists would love nothing more than a major rift in our ranks.

My personal views on government did not develop without a great deal of consideration, study, discussion, and debate, and it is not my intention to revisit the “anarchy vs. limited government” argument here. Feel free to email me your 8 page dissertation on the virtues of anarchism, if you like. My Delete buttons works just fine. But if you wish to call me a statist, or a sellout, or in any other manner question my commitment to  freedom, I sure wish you’d say it to me in person. I’ve dedicated over a decade of my life to this cause, and have reached the conclusion that the best hope for freedom is to educate people on the value of capitalism, individual rights, limited government, and private property. If this be treason, make the most of it!

Scott McPherson is a policy advisor at the Future of Freedom Foundation and a member of Seacoast Liberty. He would be very easy to find in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

New Hampshire HCR 6 Rally

Below is video footage from today’s HCR6 Rally in Concord, New Hampshire.  As noted, there were about 350 people (some accounts state over 500 as there were additional people in the State House passing out information regarding the resolution) in the cold weather at 8am.

While the rally went well, the resolution did not pass (see how your representative voted here) which was not too much of  a surprise.  It is wonderful news though now that we know who doesn’t understand this resolution, as well as the encouraging news to see states all across the union bringing similar resolutions up in their state legislative bodies.

Might Does Not Make Right

Fellow member of New Hampshire Seacoast Liberty, Scott Mcpherson wrote a great essay today entitled “Memo to the Nashua Telegraph: Might Does Not Make Right” that is up on Lew Rockwell today. Here’s a brief excerpt:

To the victor go the spoils, and the winners write the history books, this latter coming unavoidably with the former. Still, facts persist, despite their inconvenience.

One fact that seems particularly inconvenient to the editors of New Hampshire’s Nashua Telegraph is that the government of the United States is a limited government.

This article was reprinted in the Nashua Telegraph on March 1.

1 Year Later…

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. – Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

In January 2008, a group of liberty lovers from the Seacoast drove to Concord to be trained on the NHLA bill review process.  On the way to the event, I brought up that we should start a group to continue the momentum of the recent presidential primary.  After the training, another individual was there from the seacoast who suggested the same idea; that evening back at my house New Hampshire Seacoast Liberty was started.

Upon the formation of SeaL, we discussed that we did not want a formal organizational structure; people would do as they saw fit and we would support their cause as long as it moved freedom in a positive direction.

During the past twelve months, we have grown from a few to over one hundred members; of which a majority of our members have been active in one fashion or another.  The events have been numerous and we have had so many great accomplishments.  While I will not list all of our accomplishments, I would be remissed not to list a few:

As the new year dawns and SeaL celebrates it’s first anniversary the discussion of goals naturally arises.  Our goal is simple and will remain to be so: spreading liberty and freedom, one community at a time.  The tactics to achieve this are up to each individual and are implemented through, a purely voluntary effort.  If you want to distribute copies of Freedom to Fasicm on April 15 by your local Post Office, run for office, get involved in FIJA, etc. then simply execute your task and our mission will be achieved.  It’s that simple.

I wish to thank everyone that has been supportive to the cause of advancing liberty, not only here in the Seacoast region of New Hampshire, but across the state, country and world.  Thank you.

Maybe I did well and maybe I led the battle but nobody ever said we were going to win this thing at any point in time. Eternal vigilance is required and there have to be people who step up to the plate, who believe in liberty, and who are willing to fight for it. – Milton Friedman

New Hampshire 2009 Legislative Session

The 2009 House Bills for this years New Hampshire legislative session are trickling in and are ready to be reviewed!  For those of you that have been trained to utilize the NHLA Bill Review system, please begin reviewing them at your leisure.

If you have not reviewed bills in the past for the NHLA and are interested, please contact the NHLA.   I fully anticipate that we will have further training sessions as well as bill review get togethers on the Seacoast.

Who needs free speech, anyway?

Another great letter to the editor by a member of New Hampshire Seacoast Liberty, Jason Howard.  This is in response to the story regarding the arrest of Mr. Montenegro.  Here’s a brief excerpt:

I would like to congratulate the Dover police in arresting this unsavory individual. It is completely outrageous that Mr. Montenegro would have the audacity to publicly question any government official. What if everyone were allowed to question the action of public officials? People may start thinking they live in a free country, and we certainly can’t have that.