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Socialism Kills Freedom

Socialism kills liberty and life. The USA, always much freer, most-recently has been dragged down by crony socialism but now is on the verge of becoming freer again. 

James Anthony
March 26, 2021

To Survive, Socialists Kill Freedom

Freedom is an individual’s natural right to choose any actions that don’t harm anyone.

Your Freedom When You Shop

The choices under your control that add the most value are your choices when you shop.

Shopping adds value that you see. You know better than anyone else knows what you need and want now and later, and what you can afford now and later. Using that information, you choose the products that give you the most value.

Your shopping choices reveal this detailed information about your needs and wants to producers.

Your shopping choices also control producers. Producers guess how your needs and wants will be satisfied by their planned products, quality, prices, and quantities, but the final products, quality, prices, and quantities are determined by your shopping choices. Your shopping choices control which producers get to use more resources and which producers don’t get to use more resources.

Your inputs to producers and your control of producers add value that you don’t see directly. You do see this added value indirectly, in the products, quality, prices, and quantities offered now by the producers that people chose earlier when they shopped.

Your Freedom When You Produce

The choices under your control that add the next-most value are your choices when you produce. Production choices divide into investment choices and operating choices.

Investment choices, which many people make when they invest their retirement savings, pay for production knowledge, production plants, and additional costs that must be paid upfront to provide products.

These investments make a given amount of work produce more products. These investments don’t provide returns that are guaranteed, since shoppers make the final votes. But whatever returns these investments do provide come in the form of profits.

Reduce profits and you reduce investments. This reduces productivity, increasing costs, which increases prices. This means that if you reduce profits, you ultimately reduce how much value is added. That makes everyone worse off.

Operating choices further determine what products, quality, prices, and quantities that producers can offer. The operating choices that are under your control as a worker are additional choices you can make that can add value.

Socialism Eliminates People’s Freedom When They Produce and When They Shop

Socialism eliminates shoppers’ control.

Pure socialism is when government people have direct control of production by owning all production investments and controlling all production operations.

Crony socialism is when government people have supervisory control of production by controlling what can be done in production investment and what can be done in production operations.

Crony socialism isn’t voluntary cooperation but it has been mislabeled as crony capitalism.

Various aspects of crony socialism have been called bad profit rather than good profit [1], regulation, and the administrative state.

In pure socialism and in crony socialism, one way or another the government people control production investment and production operations.

Producers no longer must satisfy shoppers’ economic needs and wants but instead must satisfy government controllers’ political needs and wants. Government controllers don’t require diverse products, high quality, low prices, and ample quantities. Government controllers require obedience, face-saving lies [2], and the appearance of stability.

Shoppers no longer control what products, quality, prices, and quantities are produced. Shoppers ultimately are reduced to expressing their preferences only by waiting in long lines for adequate products and by shunning inadequate products.

Crony-socialist partial control that limits the freedom produce and to shop, which limits the value added, has infiltrated the USA economy broadly, in health care (18% of gross domestic product), housing (15%), education (13%), energy (12%), transportation (10%), banking (8%), agriculture (8%), and technology (8%)—nearly every sector of the USA economy (92% of GDP) [3]. And across the board, the crony-socialist partial control keeps deepening.

Socialism Kills Liberty and Life

The National Socialist German Workers’ Party came to power in early 1933. These people used the government to print money to finance a vast increase in government spending for public works, subsidies, and war.

By 1936, prices and wages were starting to inflate, so the National Socialist government people started dictating prices and wages. Inflation kept increasing, so the resulting real prices were artificially low.

This produced shortfalls in real returns, which fell unevenly on various producers. The producers who got the short end of the stick couldn’t afford to keep producing products in the quantities that shoppers needed or wanted. Supplies to producers and supplies in stores began to fall short.

Having partially eliminated the freedom of producers and of shoppers, the National Socialist government people had to deal with the consequences of the reductions in freedom up to that point. They had a choice: reverse course and allow increased freedom, or take even more control by eliminating the remaining partial freedom to produce and to shop. The National Socialist government people chose to eliminate the remaining partial freedom to produce and to shop, by also dictating production quantities.

Whether it’s like in German National Socialism where the nominal production ownership remains in the hands of individuals but their hands are tied by the socialist government people, or it’s like in Russian Communism where the production ownership is formally seized by the socialist government people, changing from distributed control by well-informed shoppers to centralized control by poorly-informed socialist government people can only result in suboptimum production choices by producers, production choices which leave shoppers with far more unfulfilled needs and wants.

Even when socialist government people make production chaotic, producers still try to earn enough to cover their costs and meet their other needs and wants. Shoppers still try to eat and to meet their other needs and wants the best they can. So people try to exercise freedom to produce and to shop.

The resulting unofficial, government-disapproved voluntary transactions are, as a group, called black markets. Since the socialist government people have grabbed control of everything economic, any transactions outside the socialist government people’s control are regarded by the socialist government people as theft and conspiracy.

Socialist government people try to shut down this free and voluntary cooperation by criminalizing these exercises of freedom as major felonies, by penetrating these arks of freedom by creating informants, and by conducting trials without juries, whose members would empathize with the accused people since they would all have the same needs and wants.

Compromise of socialist government people’s control would leave the minority group of rulers subject to mob justice from the majority of people, whom the rulers enslave, so compromise of socialist government people’s control must be prevented. Socialist government people control resources, police, courts, prisons, and ultimately power to murder. The exercise of basic freedoms like free assembly and free speech becomes life-or-death-serious criminal activity [4].

This continues until the appetite for imprisoning people and killing people is not sustained in the latest socialist government rulers, or until some other people overcome the socialist government rulers.

Socialism’s Supposed Successes All Result from People’s Remaining Freedoms

Wherever a socialist nation is held to be a success, the truth is that the nation’s government has socialism that eliminates some freedom, but the nation’s people also have some free and voluntary cooperation.

The socialism doesn’t bring success, the freedom brings success. And the success due to freedom gets exploited by the socialists.

Chinese Communists have socialist political control. Meanwhile, Chinese people have had some economic freedom for a while. This increased economic freedom has let many people lift themselves out of poverty and has let people greatly improve their economic quality of life.

This increased economic freedom also has let people create additional added value that the Chinese Communist government people have grabbed away and have used to maintain control over people and to threaten military control over more people [5].

Nordic governments have activist-crony socialism. Meanwhile, Nordic people have free and voluntary cooperation that’s relatively free from business-crony socialism.

This economic freedom lets people create added value that activist-crony socialist Nordic government people grab away and use to produce coerced votes to keep the government people in power [6].

Socialism shows everywhere and always that it’s best if people leave maximum control and freedom in the hands of the value-adding people who produce and shop.

Good vs. Fatally Flawed

Killing the freedom to produce also kills the freedom to shop. Choices stop being economic and well-informed and start being political and ill-informed. This leaves people with far more unfulfilled needs and wants.

Maintaining political control requires heavy control that kills liberty and life.

Freedom, Quantified

Freedom can be assessed using a single unified scale:

Freedom can be assessed using a single unified scale:

This scale focuses on bedrock freedoms, uses a functional form that appropriately captures the successive effect of each freedom, and uses measurements that are readily available or can be estimated simply and consistently.

Life, liberty, and property rights each flow directly from each person’s ownership of himself. The freedom to live comes first. Once a person has life, then the freedom to not have his time fully owned by others comes next. Once a person has both life and liberty, then the freedom to not have his time partially owned by others—by losing property that costs him time—comes next. These freedoms have never been fully secured, and they are substantial and quantifiable. A scale based on these freedoms will suffice to indicate differences in freedom in various places and times.

The overall functional form of a product of three terms reflects how each freedom successively impacts people. The first term in the product captures that only a fraction of people have life that’s secure. The second term captures that only a fraction of those people also have liberty that’s secure. The third term captures that for those people, only a fraction of their property is secure.

The property term’s functional form of a value, property, raised to a power, work/discretionary, provides results that are exactly correct at the extreme values of the exponent work/discretionary.

If people would spend all their discretionary time working, the exponent would equal one. Then the value entered for property rights would directly and fully affect freedom. This calculation would match reality for this extreme case.

If people would spend none of their discretionary time working, the exponent would equal zero, which would make the property rights term equal one. Then the value entered for property rights would have no effect on freedom, and only the security of life and liberty would affect freedom. This calculation would match reality for this extreme case too. People wouldn’t work, so people would be free to do what they choose with their time. People wouldn’t need property rights to ensure that their time at work supplied their needs and wants, because these would be supplied through the natural progress of opulence [7].

The property term’s functional form also provides results that, for all values of the exponent, vary monotonically and smoothly. Varying monotonically ensures that the impacts of property rights on freedom are sorted into the proper sequence. Varying smoothly ensures that the impacts of property rights on freedom are separated from one another by well-proportioned amounts.

Measuring the security of life, liberty, and property is straightforward to do well enough to indicate differences in freedom in places and times that are emblematic of socialism and freedom.

Life is insecure for nonparty members in socialist nations, is insecure for soldiers who are at war, and is denied to people who are aborted.

Liberty is denied to slaves.

Property rights are denied approximately to the extent that property is taken through taxation—a reasonable approximation since total taxation can in practice approach zero, having been as low as 1%-2% of GDP in colonial America [8] and 4%-8% of GNP in the USA through 1913 [9]. Work hours as a fraction of discretionary hours across the lifetime have been estimated in the literature for the selected places and times examined here.

This approach has helpful simplicity: a focus on bedrock freedoms, an overall functional form that’s primarily a product of these freedoms, and the ready application of quantitative inputs by others. This simplicity makes the approach straightforward to trace from inputs to outputs, transparently objective, easily scalable for broader investigations, and easily and transparently modifiable to make improvements or to accommodate somewhat-different available data.

The resulting unified scale for freedom makes it possible to examine very-different governments and make direct comparisons. These comparisons are shown in Figure 1 and Table 1. Bold type identifies the governments discussed in this section, which include all but the USA government in 2021.

Figure 1. Freedom is secured far better by USA governments than by pure-socialist governments.

Figure 1. Freedom is secured far better by USA governments than by pure-socialist governments.

Table 1. Life, liberty, and property rights are secured far better by USA governments than by pure-socialist governments [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15], [16], [17], [18], [19], [20], [21], [22], [23]

Table 1. Life, liberty, and property rights are secured far better by USA governments than by pure-socialist governments.

USA governments have always secured significant freedom, while pure-socialist governments have always killed freedom.

Freedom Rose in the USA in 1840

In the USA in 1840, life was secure.

Liberty was absent for the many black people in states with slavery. Liberty was threatened for the few black people in states with abolition, since free black people could be misidentified as escaped slaves.

Even in this darkness, black slaves were helping create a freer nation where they would become free. The American Revolution had included wealthy states with slavery [24] and had brought a giant step up in freedom, and the Democratic Party’s coalition now included states with slavery [25] and brought a further rise in freedom.

For the 87% of people whose lives and liberty were secure [11], property rights reached their most secure. Total local, state, and national government spending had been driven down to just 4% of the gross national product [9], the national government’s debt had been paid down to zero for 1835 through 1836 [26], and the national government was newly independent of an inflationary national bank [27].

Property rights still weren’t fully secure. Money wasn’t backed 100% by gold or silver, and debts weren’t indexed for deflation. As a result, a debt crisis had begun that brought deflation as severe as in the Great Depression.

But unlike in the Great Depression, under the initial Democratic Party there would be no bailouts, and no government people discouraging business people from temporarily reducing wages in line with the temporarily-deflated prices. This way, people who hadn’t caused the crisis could keep their jobs and keep buying the same products they had been buying before the deflation.

Keeping government people out of the way worked much better. People rode out this crisis’s severe deflation with much-higher employment.

As a result this great crisis only lasted 4 short years. And in those 4 years, people’s production rose a robust 16% and people’s standard of living rose an impressive 21% [28].

Freedom Fell in the USA during the Civil War, Then Leapt Up in Peacetime

In the USA in 1865 during the Civil War, war was significantly reducing freedom.

Life was less secure. In most nations—including in Brazil later, where slavery was comparably large in scale—slavery was ended without war [29]. But in the USA, the big-government initial Republican Party had responded to secession not by honoring the national government people’s contracts with the seceding states’ people but instead by escalating to industrial-scale war. The Republicans’ escalation to war made life not secure for males of ages 15 through 39 [30].

Liberty remained insecure for black people [14]. Emancipation had been proclaimed only for former Confederate areas controlled by the USA government, and even in those areas the threat to liberty remained deadly serious.

For the people whose lives and liberty were secure, property was less secure because of the war. To keep the calculations simple and traceable, no separate accounting is made of the property destroyed paying for war material and war damage and of the additional property threatened by war. With most of these hefty costs and risks set aside, the resulting local, state, and national government spending turns out to have been temporarily held down by war, leaving the total government spending near the historic low level that the big-government initial Republicans inherited from the small-government initial Democrats [9].

In the USA in 1865 in peacetime later that year, freedom temporarily leapt up to its peak.

Life was again secure from war. Liberty was newly secure for black people. Property was again secure from war, and total government spending remained near the historic low.

Socialism Killed

Back in Europe, Karl Marx was inventing and refining socialism’s political messaging and economic planning [31]. Socialist messaging and planning became available to help rulers create regressive new governments that eliminated freedom [32].

Socialism, by definition, must eliminate the freedom to produce. This eliminates shoppers’ choices, which eliminates the freedom to shop. To stop people from freely producing and shopping, people must be severely controlled.

The socialists who first seized power in the early-to-mid 1900s didn’t wait until their severe control over producing and shopping would have led them to deprive people of liberty and life, they murdered from the start and kept murdering. By 1939, Russian Communists had committed mass murders [33] in the Red Terror, Collectivization, and the Great Purge [34]. German National Socialists had committed mass murders in the Night of the Long Knives [35] and the Crystal Night [36]. In 1950, the brand-new Chinese Communists were committing mass murders of so-called landlords [37], [38].

In these places where one political party ruled and where that party’s people committed murder, the threat of murder by socialist government people was clear and present for all people who didn’t have some measure of protection by being members of the ruling party or by being their immediate family members.

Only small fractions of the eligible populations were party members. They and their immediate families totaled from a low of the brand-new Chinese Communists’ 1.9% of people [21], [22] to a high of the older German National Socialists’ 10% of people [15], [16]. For everyone else, life was not secure.

The health of coercive nations is war [39], so naturally these socialist government people also threatened adult males’ lives with war.

For the miniscule 2.3% to 6.9% of people whose lives were relatively secure from murder by socialist government people and from war, liberty was relatively secure.

Property was less secure for these ruling families than for most people in the USA. Taxes left take-home pay totaling from a low of the Russian Communists’ 55% of income to a high of the Chinese Communists’ 87% of income.

These socialist governments’ taxes reduced freedom more than modern-day USA taxes reduce freedom because under these socialist governments’ people, people worked during much-higher proportions of their discretionary time.

Under Russian Communism, even before the socialist government people sent people into World War II the people were already working 8 hours a day, 6 days a week [40]. Under German National Socialism, people worked 10-12 hours a day, 6 days a week [41]. Under Chinese Communism, people mostly worked as subsistence-level farmers, working strenuous hours to stay alive.

The combined effects of child labor, long work hours, and short lives made people’s lifetime ratio of work hours to discretionary hours in these socialist nations in 1939-1951 approximately the same as in the USA in 1880: of the hours available in a person’s lifetime, the proportion spent working was 81% [10].

Even as free people advanced spectacularly [42], all people under socialism, even rulers, were held back to living lives that were nasty, brutish, and short [43].

Crony Socialism Rising

Shoppers, by relentlessly deciding which producers survive and which producers die, are the key to how voluntary cooperation brings steady, unrivalled improvement. Under crony socialism in the USA today, this key freedom to shop has fallen. The government people compromise property rights through Constitution defiance.

Constitution defiance has the grave side effect of enabling abortions.

The net result, shown in bold in Figure 2 and Table 2, is that freedom has fallen.

Figure 2. Under crony socialism, freedom in the USA has fallen.

Figure 2. Under crony socialism, freedom in the USA has fallen.

Table 2. Under crony socialism, rights to life and property in the USA have fallen [9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23]

Table 2. Under crony socialism, rights to life and property in the USA have fallen.

Freedom Has Fallen in the USA

In the USA in 2021, life hasn’t remained secure. New lives begin at conception [44], and many new lives are murdered in abortions. This massive fail came only after decades of lesser denials of rights.

For the 89% of new lives that are secure [12], liberty—which falls when government people prepare for large-scale wars—is secure, for now.

Property rights, though, have become progressively less secure.

Wars, which destroy some people’s lives and everyone’s property, have become near-automatic. Treaties position vulnerable troops in hot spots, build support for wars, and create cover for fighting undeclared wars. Treaties strongly encourage member-nation government people to commit troops every time, so that the treaty remains insurance that they could call on later.

Money not only isn’t constitutionally backed 100% by gold or silver [45], it’s no longer backed at all. Most of our unbacked money is created by bankers, who don’t wait to take in deposits but simply write debts into their books and hand borrowers checks that are newly-created money [46]. The resulting debt-accumulation economic cycles not only continue [47] but now are responded to by rapidly increasing national, state, and local government debts [48].

Rights are damaged not only by these systemic corruptions of the national government’s enumerated powers but also by wholesale grabs of unenumerated powers. Every corruption of an enumerated power and every grab of unenumerated power is crony socialism.

Crony socialism eliminates the voluntary free choices of shoppers, earners, savers, and producers—choices which provide greater overall benefits to everyone—in order to provide lesser overall benefits to government people and their cronies.

Activist-Crony Socialism Is Coercion

In the many government scope areas that usually aren’t criticized as crony capitalism, what’s happening is activist-crony socialism.

The choices of individuals donating to charities are maximally democratic, decentralized, and efficient.

People’s voluntary choices are eliminated when activist government people fund their pet people and pet causes. The government’s taxes and borrowing empower these activists to coerce away people’s property for government collection, government administration, and government aid that together far exceed the total property that people would voluntarily donate to these agencies’ specific pet people and pet causes.

The choices of producers’ people who are left to their own devices are voluntary. To keep attracting customers and employees to their valuable brands, producers’ people must keep evaluating what’s feasible and practical, and producers’ people must implement changes quickly.

The voluntary choices of producers’ people are eliminated when activist government people regulate on behalf of the activist government people’s pet causes. The government’s monopoly on law [49] enables these government people to dictate to producers’ people what they may produce, how they may produce, and who may they sell to.

These changes far exceed what these activists could persuade producers’ people to change voluntarily.

Business-Crony Socialism Is Coercion

In the many government scope areas that usually are criticized as crony capitalism, what’s really happening is business-crony socialism.

Voluntary cooperation between shoppers and producers is maximally democratic and efficient.

The choices of shoppers and of value-adding producers are eliminated when government people unconstitutionally rig laws, usually in the form of so-called regulations, to favor business cronies.

Government people and cronies exchange coerced favors.

Government people have made law a government monopoly [49], and this gives government people mechanisms they unconstitutionally use to produce coercion-driven prices. Government people directly impose protectionist tariffs, create barriers to entry by competitors, provide subsidies, create monopolies for producers, and create monopolies for workers. Government people implicitly favor large producers by requiring large compliance costs, which producers must recoup regardless of whether they produce products in large volumes or in small volumes, so small producers must make larger increases in their products’ prices. Government people threaten to eliminate favors and to impose harm [50].

In coerced exchange for government people’s favors that produce coercion-driven prices, government cronies produce coercion-driven votes. Many votes, and funds to draw in more votes, are significantly motivated by government favors to cronies in banking, finance, defense, agriculture, railroads, education, healthcare, law, accounting, food, drugs, unions, broadcasting, trucking, housing, aviation, and autos [51].

Government Collection and Administration Are Wasteful

Resources always are scarce and have alternative uses [52], so limiting the government’s scope is highly desirable. Government scope always burdens the voluntary economy with heavy overheads for government revenue collection and government administration.

In government revenue collection, compliance is costly, and evasion, avoidance, and enforcement also add cost. Work in the voluntary economy is disincentivized. Compared to the voluntary economy’s actual value added that’s taken away by government revenue collection, plus the voluntary economy’s additional potential value added that’s disincentivized by government revenue collection, the net government revenue collected is just 61% [53].

In government administration, government people’s monopoly power [49] and defensiveness work against obtaining a reliable overview. But compared to the net revenue collected, the benefits transferred to people can easily be just 52% [54].

Together, government revenue collection and government administration make it so that of the total value added and the potential value added by people in the voluntary economy that’s coerced away by government people, the net value that government people transfer to other people can easily be just 32%.

In contrast, when value added by people in the voluntary economy is instead voluntarily donated to charities, the median collection costs are much lower. The net value that charities’ people transfer to other people can be a full 90% [55].

Government Regulations Are Wasteful

Government regulations burden the voluntary economy with costs that are staggering. Current costs as a proportion of gross domestic product are around 9% [56]. Twenty-two years’ costs reduce ongoing GDP by around 25% [57].

Some fractions of these costs would be spent voluntarily. Once people’s survival needs are met, people are willing to pay for a better quality of life. Shoppers and producers’ people can choose other producers, so producers must protect their reputations and brand names.

In Britain, air quality began generally improving as early as 1900 [58]. In the USA, indoor air quality began improving by the mid-1940s, ozone in California in the mid-1950s, particulates around 1957, sulfur dioxide in the early-to-mid 1960s, carbon monoxide in the mid-to-late 1960s, ozone outside California in the mid-to-late 1970s, and nitrogen oxides in the late 1970s.

Transitions from rising pollution to falling pollution took place largely through people’s voluntary choices, not through government people’s coercion [59], [60].

Regulatory compliance is less proactive, slower, and costlier. Regulations must make it through government committees and reviews. Later, burdens of proof can be very heavy [61].

Despite these built-in long delays and high costs, regulations start out no more effective than whatever is feasible at one point in time. After that, regulations remain unchanged for long time periods, freezing the status quo.

Further, government controls have the counterintuitive effect of making harms seem all legal and normal. This dissuades producers from self-regulating.

Polluting was unconstitutionally enabled by government people, and producers were dissuaded from self-regulating, when the property rights of polluters’ neighbors started no longer being protected by government courts in the 1840s and 1850s.

The result was that the mess that government people grabbed credit for cleaning up later had been encouraged in the first place by government people having made people’s property rights no longer secure, in order to favor the government people’s business cronies [62].

Crony Socialism Is Unconstitutional

Coercion to favor pet people and pet causes is intended to be blocked by the Constitution. Naturally, then, this government coercion violates the Constitution multiple ways.

The Constitution enumerates a limited scope for the national government. Most of the national government’s enumerated powers have to do with preventing or fighting war. A few enumerated powers facilitate commerce [45], which prevents war best [63]. The final few enumerated powers keep the government operating [45]. When any program violates these enumerated powers—coercing away people’s property, consuming some of that property internally, and favoring pet people or pet causes—this program is unconstitutional.

Also, the Constitution creates unique, specific processes for lawmaking [64]. Bills are passed by both houses of Congress and are signed by presidents [65]. The Constitution is designed to outlaw and block the unconstitutional processes that are used to create regulations, since regulations, with their rules and penalties, actually are laws [66], [67]. So regulations not only usually violate the Constitution’s enumerated powers but also always violate the Constitution’s allowed lawmaking processes, making these coercions doubly unconstitutional.

Plus, the Constitution is designed to enforce these limits on government by having people in government follow through on their oaths of office [68], [69] by having each individual never execute unconstitutional statutes or opinions [70]. For an unconstitutional coercion to take place, multiple people in government must violate their constitutional oaths, making the coercion multiply unconstitutional.

Crony Socialism Can Be Eliminated by Following the Constitution

People in the voluntary economy who want to eliminate crony socialism can evaluate whether their own actions produce coerced votes. People in the voluntary economy can then change their actions as needed to produce free votes.

Government people who want to eliminate crony socialism can evaluate whether existing government actions produce coercion-driven prices. Government people can then choose to not execute and to repeal unconstitutional statutes and regulations as needed to produce free prices [71].

But ultimately we need government people to follow the Constitution fully.

Government people must use their powers to limit other government people. Voters must choose people who use their powers. And such candidates must be offered by at least one major party.

This change is brewing already.

Freedom Rising Again

Freedom can be increased substantially by using the best practices with respect to life, liberty, and property that are shown in bold in Table 3.

Figure 3. Freedom can be secured best by making USA local, state, and national governments free from crony socialism.

Figure 3. Freedom can be secured best by making USA local, state, and national governments free from crony socialism.

Table 3. Life, liberty, and property rights can be secured best by making USA governments free from crony socialism [9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23]

Table 3. Life, liberty, and property rights can be secured best by making USA governments free from crony socialism.

Freedom Grows Exponentially

The American Colonies had the world’s-best property rights for white people, including total taxation of just 1%-2% of GDP [8]. This enabled the colonists to build up per-capita income purchasing power to where it exceeded that of Great Britain’s people by a spectacular 68% [72], [73].

1800s USA had the world’s-best property rights [9], [74], and this enabled the people to build the USA into the world’s preeminent power.

These dramatic successes show what can be built economically when people get to keep the returns on their investments and when people choose to keep reinvesting significant fractions. The more that people invest, the more the investments grow. The resulting growth that rises faster and faster is exponential growth.

Exponential growth is deceptive. At first, few people have earnings. Their earnings are valuable for these people, but the overall earnings don’t stand out. Over time, more people have earnings, and the overall earnings take off.

Coercion Also Grows Exponentially

Constitution defiance also grows exponentially. The more that people defy the Constitution, the more the defiance grows.

At first, few people defied the Constitution. Their defiance was satisfying for these people, but the overall defiance didn’t stand out.

Even as Constitution defiance built up and could have started standing out, the defiance was inadequately understood. Also, the defiance’s impact was masked by the opulence that was generated by secure property rights and reinvestment. And the defiance’s impact was actively misrepresented [75].

Over time, more people defied the Constitution, and the overall defiance took off.

Property rights recovered some security from 1865 to 1880, then plateaued through 1894 [9]. Then the Democrats changed from being the last major party supporting constitutional small government to being just another major party supporting unconstitutional big government [76], and property rights began falling. Finally, property rights fell precipitously from when the 16th Amendment passed in 1913 to now [9].

Liberty has been secure, except surrounding major wars, since 1865.

Life had been secure except surrounding wars.

But life became less secure starting in 1973, when a 78% supermajority of justices—decisively followed by every state and every national executive, legislative-majority member, and judicial-majority member, from then till now—dishonored their oaths to protect or support the Constitution [68], [69]. Each government officer’s oath can only be satisfied if the officer independently evaluates that abortion, by depriving a person of life [44], is unconstitutional [77], [78], and if the officer stops abortion as fully as he can, using his full constitutional powers [70].

Freedom Requires Full Use of Constitutional Powers

Founder James Madison argued that elected representatives would tend to be enlightened and honorable. He also argued that combining many interests from many regions would disempower single interests [79]. Wrong, and wrong.

Madison also argued that under the Constitution, power would oppose power [80]. Exactly what we need.

But the Founders themselves didn’t respond to Constitution defiance when it was smallest, by reversing its exponential growth by enforcing constitutionally-required zero tolerance [81]. Instead, individuals’ rights were left insecure by both major parties. George Washington’s Federalists permitted unconstitutional fractional-reserve money [82], [83], and Thomas Jefferson’s Republicans let that defiance stand [84].

Those Republicans’ successors the initial Democrats, starting with presidents Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren, did respond vigorously to the Founders’ Constitution defiance. They made excellent progress—requiring gold and silver money [28], paying off the national-government debt [26], eliminating the national bank and its inflation [27].

But the Founders’ early Constitution defiance on fractional-reserve money meant that these initial Democrats had inherited a banking system that was plagued back then, like our financial system is plagued now, by wholly-unnecessary serious instabilities [85], [86]. During Van Buren’s presidency the Democrats were wracked by corrections to debt-accumulation cycles starting in 1837 and in 1839. These corrections empowered political opponents to block further progress of the Democrats’ program of rolling back the Founders’ early defiance [27].

In time, the overall Constitution defiance started to take off.

Government People Have Powers to Limit Government People

The Constitution is designed to secure individuals’ rights by limiting the national government. The limits are to be enforced by having individual state and national government people use their constitutional powers against other people in government.

People are more-or-less aware of the offsetting powers that are designed to control the national government’s work in process.

Vice presidents are to preside over the Senate. Vice presidents are to vote when the Senate’s votes are equally divided [87]. Presidents can object to bills [65], block treaties [88], and appoint officials during Senate recesses [89]. The Senate is to first advise and then consent on appointments [88]. Congress can reconsider bills [65]. Congress can make exceptions and regulations on national courts [90]. Congress can create and can redesign inferior national courts [91].

People are unaware of the offsetting powers that are designed to limit losses.

These are the informal powers to conscientiously object, which are formalized into oaths of office that deputize national and state government people and that require each individual to conscientiously object.

Apart from the military officers who work for presidents, all other officers of the governments, both national and state, in all branches, are constitutionally required to individually take oaths to protect or support the Constitution [68], [69]. To uphold his oath, each individual must disregard statutes or opinions that he himself considers unconstitutional.

This means that every past action by government people that calls for present action by any government official is required to be reviewed by the government official. And if that person, in his own limited and imperfect best judgment, considers his prospective action unconstitutional, he is required to not take that action [70].

These loss-limiting powers are spread very broadly and deeply throughout the state and national governments, providing multiple layers of protection [92] of constitutionality.

Finally, people are unclear about the offsetting powers that are designed to rapidly prevent future losses: impeachment and conviction.

These powers are yet another layer of protection [92] for the people against government people who are elected or appointed as explicitly specified in the Constitution, and against any remaining government people who a president won’t let go.

These powers don’t threaten government people’s rights to life, liberty, or property. These powers simply take away government people’s privilege of working for the national government if extending this privilege to hold a current or future office would more likely than not place we the people at risk of future losses. These powers better-secure we the people’s rights to life, liberty, and secure property.

Freedom Requires a Party

Most of these offsetting powers are used rarely, or not as intended, or never.

An unbroken chain throughout USA history brought the Federalist Party, reconstituted as the Whigs, became the Republicans, and since 1894 was joined by the transformed Democrats [76]. Throughout our lifetimes, supermajority control has been maintained over us by these people: Progressives.

Progressives’ social disruptions are diversions. Progressives’ primary way of achieving their goals is to limit our freedom.

Progressives limit our freedom by defying the limits on government that are designed into the Constitution. The key defiance is to make sure that the Progressive supermajority of Progressive Democrats and half-Progressive Republicans blocks the use of the Constitution’s offsetting powers.

To block the use of the Constitution’s offsetting powers, Progressives must dominate constitutionalists in elections. Progressives dominate constitutionalists in elections not by informing voters and winning voters but instead by misinforming voters and eliminating voters’ choices.

Progressives directly affect elections in multiple ways. Republican Progressives make sure not to qualify candidates based on candidates’ voting records, since most voters would want Progressive candidates disqualified. Progressives agree to participate in debates controlled by Progressive media, agree to hold initial primaries in more-Progressive states, and agree to primaries that are open to independents and to voters from Progressive parties. And Progressives make use of crony contributions to misrepresent themselves as constitutional conservatives and to spread lies and misrepresentations about constitutionalist challengers.

Progressives also limit how far information that’s true can spread and influence outcomes, again in multiple ways. Progressives limit campaign contributions by wealthy individuals that would level the playing field for lesser-known challengers. Progressives replace voter-informing caucuses with voter-isolating primaries. Progressives hold multiple primaries on the same day or in the same week. Progressives make primaries winner-take-all or winner-take-most. All this rigging helps crony-funded Progressives’ early leads get magnified and become insurmountable quickly, before voters can learn much more.

With candidate selection comprehensively rigged, Progressives are able to maintain centralized party control with an iron grip, eliminating any limits on the power of party officials.

Constitutionalist grassroots activists are dominated by Republican party officials just like individual American colonists were dominated by the British legislature and executive.

The solution to securing the rights of individuals is to follow the Constitution, which is designed to limit the national government by having government people limit other government people. The solution that will secure the rights of the constitutionalist grassroots will be to follow a party constitution, which will limit the party government by having party officials limit other party officials. This will let the grassroots nominate and the voters elect constitutionalists who will use their constitutional powers to limit other government people, securing the rights of individuals.

Given the control that the current parties’ officials have over the current parties, implementing this solution will require a new major party [96].

Major Parties Are Networks Built by Activists

Our enduring major parties were each started through actions that shared a broadly-similar pattern.

The Federalist Party was formed by the First Great Awakening, small-government activists, an amplifying press, a war, a first stalemated national government, and elected representatives.

Thomas Jefferson’s Republican Party was formed by small-government activists, an amplifying press, and growing networks of activists and elected representatives.

The Democratic Party was formed by small-government activist elected representative Martin Van Buren, an amplifying press, and growing networks of activists.

The Republican Party was formed by the Second Great Awakening, abolition activists, an amplifying press, and growing networks of activists.

The pattern that emerged was that people always rallied for a unifying principle or cause that would better secure freedom. Activists and media created a large base of support, then candidates jumped on the bandwagon [97].

This pattern is repeating now.

Constitutionalist Activism Keeps Bubbling Up

The unifying principle of securing freedom by limiting government successively brought us presidential nominee Barry Goldwater, President Ronald Reagan, and Tea Party activists.

Republican media maneuvered to end up being the best-available media, but these Republicans haven’t focused on limiting government. Republican representatives and senators and Republican president Donald Trump maneuvered to end up being the best-available candidates in general elections, but these Republicans haven’t limited government. This incumbent party’s media and most of its elected representatives remain the key mechanism for ratcheting unconstitutional big government into place long-term [98].

Meanwhile, largely unexamined by political commentators, changes keep developing.

New Media Change Everything

Uncensored, on-demand media are a new experience. They provide user control much like reading, letting users choose the information they’re interested in as soon as they’re ready for the information. Also, on-demand media can be information-rich and quickly absorbed. Key examples are video storytelling and video interplays of generalists interviewing experts. On-demand media’s combination of user control and enriched information promises to become a potent influence.

A recent development, BlazeTV from Blaze Media [99], is a kind of incubator. Under the BlazeTV umbrella, there is natural selection. Wherever media people offer messages that resonate, more media people follow, offering complementary messages. This provides a strong technological backing for the talent pool of constitutionalists.

It’s early in this experiment.

From the start, BlazeTV’s Tea Party activists, exemplified by Glenn Beck, Matt Kibbe, and collaborators, are a core presence.

A major infusion of talent might be provided by attracting additional activists who are libertarian, who historically have been natural constitutionalists. Other leaders in new media might also join this ecosystem directly. We can anticipate that eventually media aggregators will integrate multiple feeds and make all such activists’ work easy to select and watch seamlessly under a larger umbrella. Activists and developers have great opportunities.

As the unconstitutionally-large government continues to weaken the voluntary economy and hold people back, new on-demand media have breakout potential to accelerate in influence.

The growth of these constitutionalists could well turn out to be exponential. If so, then right now we’re in the deceptively-slow early stage of growth.

The dawn of new technology that’s building activism for freedom is a major advance. 

A Strong Core Caucus Is Ready

Another major advance is the Tea Party-driven advent of the House Freedom Caucus and additional like-minded representatives and senators. These elected representatives, when measured reliably such as using Conservative Review Liberty Scores [100], [101] are much different from the rest of their nominal Republican Party.

Treading water but holding their own inside the formidably-hostile Republican Party, they are the ready and waiting core of a new party. They are constitutionalists.

Good Change Should Be Fast and Extensive

As Table 3 highlighted in bold, the USA’s local, state, and national governments have in the past already had zero government-enabled abortion and have in the past already had constitutional small government for extended periods of time. We can return to these freedoms now, this time with lighter work hours and longer, healthier lives.

It’s simple to use existing constitutional powers to end unconstitutional government enabling of abortion.

It’s simple to use existing constitutional powers to close and repeal unconstitutional government departments, agencies, and programs, limiting national and state governments to the powers enumerated in their constitutions.

State governments are in place and can easily take control of any unconstitutional national-government programs that state voters want continued. Doing so will immediately eliminate one major layer of administrators. State government people can rapidly differentiate themselves from competing state government people and see who attracts and retains state residents the best.

Bad change must be erected stealthily over decades, hidden under the cover of increasing opulence [7] and of government-caused crises, and ratcheted into place [98], [102] by Progressive supermajorities [101]. Good change can and should be fast and extensive [103]. The path to good change is already being made straight.

Freedom will soon rise again.


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James Anthony, a chemical engineer with a master’s in mechanical engineering, is the author of The Constitution Needs a Good Party, rConstitution Papers, and articles in The Federalist, American Thinker, Foundation for Economic Education, Chemical Engineering Progress, and rConstitution.us.


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