Friday, May 10, 2019

The definition of the word "monopoly", prior to progressivism

You have to give credit to progressives, when they are intent on achieving their purpose they don't let anything get in their way. Even reality. So the definition of a word in some dictionary stands little chance of being protected from the onslaught of "reform" in the face of the machinations of these people. Realistically, it is to the progressives benefit to take words and weaponize them.

We have all been trained by progressive-dominated media, government schools, and even some of our "leaders" that a monopoly is a purely market-based entity and it's a bad entity. Well, not so fast. Let's take a look at what Merriam-Webster defines has to say about how a "Monopoly" is defined. Looking at the list, it is entirely in stereotypical ways and all of the entries are intended as condemnations of private industry.

One entry says "one that has a monopoly". Another entry says "exclusive possession or control".

This is plain garbage. A monopolist is a monopolist because they are a monopolist. That's basically what these are saying. Even the very first entry, which says "exclusive ownership through legal privilege, command of supply, or concerted action" is polluted. It kind of swerves into the truth with this "legal privilege" phrase, but that phrase is too loose to be useful considering the "or concerted action" nonsense it is connected with. It's the corruption of the language itself. Here is how a "monopoly" used to be defined: (source)

An institution or allowance by the king, by his grant, commission, or otherwise, to any persons or corporations, of or for the sole buying, selling, making, working or using every thing, whereby any person or corporations are sought to be restrained of any freedom or liberty that they had before, or hindered in their lawful trade.

That's really specific, now isn't it? This is Edward Coke's definition of a monopoly, in case you were wondering. In reality, the only kind of monopoly that can possibly exist is a legal monopoly. That is, for example, the Royal East India Trading Company, is rightfully described as a monopoly. It was never a monopoly because it was the only supplier in the field, it was always a monopoly because of the king's charter! But you see, progressives had to blow this definition of a monopoly out of the water because what does it do? It implicates them. Single payer healthcare, government schools, the TVA, utilities, the nationalization of the railways in 1917, the nationalization of student loans, etc etc etc. All of it are legal monopolies. Even where there is not a sole-supplier status, we do find monopolies. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both have a grant or a commission from the king by nature of their very existence. Both are monopolies - in this instance they would be a government sanctioned duopoly. Amtrak is another example of a monopoly. Ever wonder why you can't get CNN out of airports? Air travel is a government controlled monopoly.

In all instances, these government-dominated sectors were brought to you by progressivism. They want government, and only government, to control your health. To control your retirement. To control your food. To control where you can and cannot go via transportation. What you can or cannot see, or what you hear.

I suspect that the Sherman Anti-trust act plays a larger than life role in the re-structuring of the word monopoly, but I cannot say for certain when this ultimately took place. But I do know this. A definite answer as to "when" we went from a sane definition of monopoly and arrived at a pro-big-government definition of it would be to the benefit of constitutionalists and to the detriment of progressives.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

The transformation of Robin Hood during the French Revolution

In modern times, "Robin Hood" is synonymous with robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. But originally, that's not what he stood for. Ironically, in general he stood for the opposite, as the mode and method by which the "rich" got that way was excessive taxation primarily through the oppression of King John. This transformation took place right at the end of the 1700s in the middle of the French Revolution, through the work of one man: Joseph Ritson. Dr. Matthew PhillPott, a researcher at the University of London in the Institute of Historical Research, asks the question "When did Robin Hood start giving to the poor?" and goes on to explain:
One man in particular can be credited with drawing out this moral aspect to Robin’s tales. That man is Joseph Ritson (1752-1803), a Jacobin from Stockton-on-Tees, who collected together all of the remaining extent materials relating to the Robin Hood legend and published them in two volumes in 1795.

Dr. Phillpott quotes from Ritson then explains:

Ritson’s interest in Robin Hood stemmed from his political opinions and fitted into the context of his times.

And "fitted into the context of his times". There's a word for this. That's called revisionism - historical revisionism. That's what Ritson engaged in, in order to release the focus from how the rich got that way - taxation - to merely a focus on their greed and simple size of their monetary holdings.

Historian Stephanie Barczewski, a professor of History now at the University of Clemson agrees, writing:

Not surprisingly, Ritson issued his collection of Robin Hood ballads with a polemical introduction which used the legend as a vessel for expressing his political ideas.

Professor Barczewski highlights a letter of Ritson's where he explains why Robin Hood could be empowered to rob from the rich and give to the poor. Ritson wrote that it was:

That same power which authorises kings to take it where it can be worst spared, and give it where it is least wanted.

In other words, Joseph Ritson saw that the kings were redistributing wealth upward, and thought that it ought to be redistributed the other way. True to the nature of revolutionaries, Ritson wanted revenge. Robin Hood was his vessel to achieve that revenge.

J.C. Holt, a professor of history at the University of Cambridge, wrote an exhaustive study of Robin Hood in 1982 in which he observed the following:

With [Martin] Parker, Robin's Gifts to the poor illustrate Christian charity and penitence for crime rather than any deliberately conceived social policy.

This is critical to understanding the entire Robin Hood lore as it evolved, in particular how it became a point on the political map. Not too much is known about Martin Parker, but professor Holt has one very succinct thing to say about him: "Parker was no revolutionary" It doesn't get any more plain than that. According to Holt, Parker's ballad expansions that stress kindness to poor people were unmoving which "failed to spread into the popular tales which became its common jargon." Again, quoting Holt: "He [Ritson] certainly reconstructed him[Robin Hood] in the image of a radical".

Holt concludes with the following comparative observation about Parker and Ritson:

He became an ardent royalist, best remembered for his When the King Enjoys His Own Again. Ritson was different. Politically, in different circumstances a century and a half later, he went the other way, and transformed Robin into a social rebel.

Three historians, and Ritson himself explaining why he transformed Robin Hood.

Since Ritson, Robin Hood has lost much of his government-oriented connection; that is in relation to specifically government-oriented enemies. The King. The Sheriff, and later officials from the established state-church. These days it could be Robin Hood stealing from Big Oil, from bankers, from pretty much any corporate entity you could name. Robin Hood the social rebel begins with Joseph Ritson. Not with the original lore.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

With fake history, as it is with fake news, truth is not the truth

In understanding the fake news that pervades every day life, it is important to understand the fake history which is fueling it. The problem here, is the mistaken belief that all fake history can be sourced back to Howard Zinn's publication of A People's History of the United States.

The critical flaw with this is that Zinn's book was published in 1980, and even those who claim that all of our ills can be traced back to the 1960's can't make this timeline work. The progressives, however, have been manipulating the historical record in a major way since 1913. Preceding Zinn's book by 67 years, Charles Beard practically admits to his scheme with the title of his most well known work An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States. "An economic interpretation" is in actuality a re-interpretation - the first of its kind for Americans - under the sole basis that money rules all. A People's History, it can be truthfully stated, is nothing more than the offspring of a much earlier progenitor.

Early in its pages (page 90) A People's History embraces its heritage, quoting directly from the economic re-interpretation. On page 13 of An Economic Interpretation,(as quoted in People's) Beard wrote the following:

Inasmuch as the primary object of a government, beyond the mere repression of physical violence, is the making of the rules which determine the property relations of members of society, the dominant classes whose rights are thus to be determined must perforce obtain from the government such rules as are consonant with the larger interests necessary to the continuance of their economic processes, or they must themselves control the organs of government.

Progressives just cannot handle the concept that government's job is to protect our liberties. It just can't be that, because in the progressive view all rights come from government anyways. It all has to be about money, right, this is a capitalist society, after all. Such flaws in the progressive reasoning. Such profound, staggering flaws.

Reading the introductory pages of Beard's work is very illuminating, as is the rest of the work, because while the arguments we face today have reached their maturity you can see those very same arguments in a more juvenile form right there on his pages.

The most interesting part of Beard's book is that as he introduces three theories of history, his being the third, he can't even give it a name. It's that new. Today we would know it under the name of Critical Theory, but back then it was something..... something, anything we can get onto paper, anything we can grow with, make progress with. Something that can be a brand new beacon with which to remake the very historical record itself. Taken in full, Zinn's book is quite insignificant by comparison.

The progressives knew: We can't make progress until the American people forget about the founding - and the people can't forget it until we force them to forget it. This won't be forgotten, it must be maliciously erased.

And starting with Beard, they did just that. What makes it so devious is the patient and surreptitious nature of how they set out - and achieved their purpose. The most dangerous aspect of progressivism is their patience. They make plans that outlive their human lifespans.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

The time is long overdue to abolish the FDA.

In the last several days I've had four different people in discussions about what is going on with cigar regulations. For whatever reason, this story has people talking. On the surface, that's great. The devastation that government regulation wreaks upon our society normally goes unnoticed.

But my answer to solve the problem is one that nobody ever considers: Abolish the Food and Drug Administration. And I know what thoughts people have in their minds because I can see the look of surprise on their faces: "But what about our food?" "what about drug safety?" These and other questions just like them only prove just how well progressives have embedded themselves within our culture. We simply do not need government controlling every aspect of our lives.

Yes, I said control, because that's the real reason why the FDA was invented in the first place. The early progressives are just like today's progressives. They didn't care about our food. What they saw was an opportunity. A crisis is a terrible thing to waste. They even admit it. All of this government usurpation of our food arguably got started with the book "The Jungle", by Upton Sinclair. Sinclair famously stated that "I aimed for the public's heart, and hit it in the stomach". Translation: I was malcontenting for ways to make government bigger and help out my union thug friends, and ended up creating a new kind of opportunity in the process. So I really don't need to hear from anybody that the progressives are oh-so-caring and just had our best interests at heart with their creation of the FDA.

And even if you're the kind of person who refuses to look at ideology, acknowledge the motivation that ideology has in people's lives - even if you would rather play hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil about progressivism, the results of the FDA are just as obvious.

To the progressives, attacking industry is all that matters. That's why they use an organization originally put together for FOOD as a weapon against a non food maker. When is the last time you saw someone eating a cigar? Well the FDA doesn't care about that. They just care about their power. The FDA has proven to be untrustworthy.

And it's not like this is some lone isolated case. Cases like this happen routinely in whatever form they manifest themselves. And then there's the arbitrary roadblocks for experimental medicine. But these one-off examples are actually a distraction. If the progressives couldn't use the FDA for their attacks, they would probably use the ATF to get it done. For them, it's a big fat whatever. They know the media will cover for them anyways.

"But can't we just fix the FDA instead of some extreme measure like abolishing it?" What's broken about it, exactly? The FDA is doing exactly what the progressives designed it for in the first place. It's putting controls into society for the purposes of whatever goals the progressives have in any given month or decade. Oh you meant just fixing the FDA so that it only actually focuses in on Food and Drugs and nothing else? But that's not its true purpose. We have over 100 years of progressivism now to prove this. We have their words to prove it, in book after book after book. Progressives have only ever cared about control and the proof is also everywhere you look.

I would argue that the FDA was the progressive movement's first step toward government control of healthcare in the United States. When did we get the FDA? 1906. When did the progressives start calling for government healthcare? 1912. Anybody who understands progressivism knows that's not a coincidence. It only took them six years to "make progress" and move on to their next goal of usurpation. What about the D in FDA? Does that have anything to do with health or healthcare?

The FDA and the long road to government control of healthcare is actually a tale of progressive greed. Enough is never enough with these people. They simply check off a box, and move on to the next thing hoping to gain more control. They don't just say "We want to control your food, but just your food. After that we're done! We swear! Honest! We won't ask to control anything else, never dream of it! We honestly do not have any other ambitions in your private life." The fact is that the progressives just keep on plotting and scheming and intriguing over the next target.

You want to put a significant crater in the move toward socialized medicine? Then your top priority is the abolition of the FDA. Go right for the source, the foundation. Go for the jugular.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Benjamin Franklin was not referring to the Patriot Act, he was referring to Obamacare

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety"

What does this quote mean? It doesn't mean anything, when it is disconnected with the full of its author's words. Franklin wrote this in his Reply to the Governor in 1755, but how many people even know that? His letter is less than 2000 words, so it is not a long read. I recommend everybody read the full letter, because that is to the detriment of progressivism.

So, what does this quote mean? It only, only means what Franklin himself meant at the time he wrote it. It does not mean anything else. Here is a large part of what Franklin wrote to the Governor, in 1755:

Our Assemblies have of late had so many Supply Bills, and of such different Kinds, rejected on various Pretences; Some for not complying with obsolete occasional Instructions (tho’ other Acts exactly of the same Tenor had been past since those Instructions, and received the Royal Assent;) Some for being inconsistent with the supposed Spirit of an Act of Parliament, when the Act itself did not any way affect us, being made expresly for other Colonies; Some for being, as the Governor was pleased to say, “of an extraordinary Nature,” without informing us wherein that extraordinary Nature consisted; and others for disagreeing with new discovered Meanings, and forced Constructions of a Clause in the Proprietary Commission; that we are now really at a Loss to divine what Bill can possibly pass. The proprietary Instructions are Secrets to us; and we may spend much Time, and much of the Publick Money, in preparing and framing Bills for Supply, which, after all, must, from those Instructions, prove abortive. If we are thus to be driven from Bill to Bill, without one solid Reason afforded us; and can raise no Money for the King’s Service, and Relief or Security of our Country, till we fortunately hit on the only Bill the Governor is allowed to pass, or till we consent to make such as the Governor or Proprietaries direct us to make, we see little Use of Assemblies in this Particular; and think we might as well leave it to the Governor or Proprietaries to make for us what Supply Laws they please, and save ourselves and the Country the Expence and Trouble. All Debates and all Reasonings are vain, where Proprietary Instructions, just or unjust, right or wrong, must inviolably be observed. We have only to find out, if we can, what they are, and then submit and obey. But surely the Proprietaries Conduct, whether as Fathers of their Country, or Subjects to their King, must appear extraordinary, when it is considered that they have not only formally refused to bear any Part of our yearly heavy Expences in cultivating and maintaining Friendship with the Indians, tho’ they reap such immense Advantages by that Friendship; but they now, by their Lieutenant, refuse to contribute any Part towards resisting an Invasion of the King’s Colony, committed to their Care; or to submit their Claim of Exemption to the Decision of their Sovereign.

In fine, we have the most sensible Concern for the poor distressed Inhabitants of the Frontiers. We have taken every Step in our Power, consistent with the just Rights of the Freemen of Pennsylvania, for their Relief, and we have Reason to believe, that in the Midst of their Distresses they themselves do not wish us to go farther. Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Such as were inclined to defend themselves, but unable to purchase Arms and Ammunition, have, as we are informed, been supplied with both, as far as Arms could be procured, out of Monies given by the last Assembly for the King’s Use; and the large Supply of Money offered by this Bill, might enable the Governor to do every Thing else that should be judged necessary for their farther Security, if he shall think fit to accept it.

So, what is he talking about?

He is talking about wealth redistribution, in the context of the legislation itself. What was the Pennsylvania legislature doing at the time? Franklin describes how they were putting together "Supply bills". Supplying what, exactly? It was appropriating money and handing out guns to people who seemingly needed them to fight against the invading British French and Indians. But as Franklin made clear, the people in question not only left the responsibility to others to procure their guns, but they also left the responsibility of actively defending themselves to others.

Now I know a lot of you are going to be shocked to learn that an American government was using wealth redistribution as a means to hand out guns to some of the citizens, but Franklin makes it clear that they were not exactly bitter clingers here. They weren't interested in lifting a finger for themselves in this context. And we shouldn't have a government that redistributes money for guns. Franklin is correct here. Wealth redistribution is evil, and the object sought is completely irrelevant.

He does have a different context for this quote as well, it should be stated. He also means a reference to these people who were beneficiaries of the new colonies, but would not help defend those colonies. They sought safety and security instead with the British crown. But because the King did not represent Liberty and was not offering it either, these people deserved neither safety nor liberty. In this context its actually quite brilliant. To use a word, these people were punks. But I digress.

Let's compare the Patriot Act with Obamacare.

Does the Patriot Act redistribute wealth? No, it does not.

Does Obamacare redistribute wealth? Yes, it does.

Not only that, but a large portion of the arguments surrounding Obamacare are rooted in safety and security. The arguments sound a little like this:

"My family ...... safety and security ...... in times of job loss ...... "

"The evil corporations ........ keep raising their prices ...... we need to be safe from them ......"

We have heard them all and we have heard others as well. There's the constant caterwauling about people who can never afford any kind of healthcare, and are thus insecure. And then there's this: Gallup and other polling agencies are out there running polls from time to time about "healthcare insecurity"!

Well guess what Gallup. Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

So then at the end of the day, by definition, Franklin could not have been referring to something like the Patriot Act. To claim as such, is taking him out of context.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Herbert Hoover and the largest tax increase in American History

I like how the constant harping and carping about tariffs these days gets invoked together with fearmongering about Smoot Hawley and the Great Depression. What is missing? The Revenue Act of 1932. After the 1929 crash there was a small tax cut, but this was overshadowed by Smoot Hawley just months later. In the middle of bad economic times, you simply don't raise taxes, and yes, a tariff is a tax. But let's get to the meat of the numbers, shall we?

The Revenue Acts of 1918 and 1921 had a top tax rate of 73%.

The Revenue Act of 1924 reduced this to a top tax rate of 46%.

The Revenue Act of 1926 reduced this again to a top tax rate of 25%.

It was not raised from this number until The Revenue Act of 1932, which had a top tax rate of 63%. This was lower than the ninteen-teens tax rates of 73%, but considering the jump of 25% to 63%, this is over a 100% increase and it indeed was at the time the largest peacetime tax increase in American history.

But that is not what we received in 2017. For all its flaws, the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act does a reverse-Hoover by lowering taxes. I can explain; there is a certain formula here:

1929: poor economy, raising tariffs, largest tax increase in American history. (From what I can tell, they were not lowering burdensome regulations in 1929 either)

2017/2018: decent economy, raising tariffs, lowering taxes as well as lowering regulation.

See the stark differences here? Most of the time we hear that these tariffs should not exist and they will only lead to trade wars and other issues. But in reality it is the 16th amendment which should be repealed. The only thing they get correct when talking about this issue is that a mixture of income taxes and tariffs is a deadly combo. They should not be mixed. But it isn't the tariffs which should be eliminated, it is the income tax which should die a horrible and bloody death.

The Founding Fathers used tariffs as the only (or at least main) form of taxation, and that is probably the most proper way of taxation. The irony of tariffs is that they are in general taxes only on the rich - the problem is that it does not grant the kind of authoritarian domestic controls that income taxes bring, which is really what the progressives love and seek.

Even with taxes, the issue is not actually the issue. For progressives, control is the issue and control is always the real issue. Everything else is merely window dressing. It's always been about control and it has been this way going back to 1906 when income taxes were first proposed by the president in his SOTU that year. It's all about control.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Who was the first President to implement price controls?

The more I research progressivism to discover ways to use their history against them, the more I understand why nobody's ever really done this before. Nobody actually wants the answer to the question because it always leads back to Theodore Roosevelt.

In today's episode of erased history, or how American progressive historians have turned TR's legacy into the American version of a picture missing Nikolai Yezhov, we examine how price controls, contrary to popular belief, was not first implemented by Nixon, or Franklin Roosevelt, or even Woodrow Wilson as a part of the effort for World War I. But it was, naturally, the offspring of authoritarian progressivism. The first progressive is the one who gave us this nonsense. These progressives, they just couldn't wait to take control of everything.

You see, price controls were first implemented in the mix of Theodore Roosevelt's anti-capitalist efforts. Specifically, the war on railroads. The year was 1906. The act was the Hepburn Act. Judge Napolitano, a brave man for taking on TR's legacy and doing the job that most mainstream historians just do not want to do, describes it thusly:

The Hepburn Act gave the Interstate Commerce Commission(ICC) the power to set maximum rates for railroads

In other words, price controls. Which have never worked btw. Price controls are a guaranteed 100% failure of a policy and it was also a failure for TR. In the end, the railroad companies were so damaged by the totality of Hepburn that it gave rise to the modern trucking industry as we know it today.(I wrote about this about a year and a half ago, here) The FTC is quite proud of this legacy of price fixing, as they write here in a suspicious little footnote: (p. 19)

Most significantly, the 1906 Hepburn Act (different from the 1908 Hepburn Bill, discussed infra) empowered the ICC to replace existing rates, upon complaint, with “reasonable” maxima

Yeah right. If you like your railroad rates, you can keep your railroad rates. We know what the progressives consider to be "reasonable" and its never reasonable. But notice their play on words. To "replace existing rates". They could have just said price controls. Theodore Roosevelt even wrote in his own Autobiography, the following: (page 560)

I have always believed that it would also be necessary to give the National Government complete power over the organization and capitalization of all business concerns engaged in inter-State commerce.

Go ahead and show me any big time TR historian who has collected this information and presented the big-government progressive side of our 26th president. I've never seen it. The world has never seen this. We have been lied to on a grand scale by progressives.

As far as the progressive historians are concerned, Theodore Roosevelt was just a great guy. He was just an outdoorsman. Isn't that great? He was just almost assassinated, but nothing more. He even kept speaking! Wasn't he great? Strenuous lifestyle! Strenuous lifestyle! Strenuous lifestyle! In no way shape or form should you ever examine his substantive political record, in no way should you ever examine big government. Shame on you.

Well, shame on me anyways. And it's a shame I proudly wear. Sunlight is the best disinfectant and we've got ourselves a century's old outbreak of progressive bacteria to cleanse. You don't just mow a stubborn garden weed and then hope it goes away. You have to destroy the roots.