A Republic (if you can keep it) with Lawrence Lessig

In this episode, I spoke with Lawrence Lessig, author, Harvard University law professor, and 2016 Presidential candidate. We spoke about his book, Republic Lost 2.0, where he describes the “green primary” where politicians are filtered to be better fundraisers than governors, and corrupted to be responsive to big donors rather than the people. Lawrence proposes a solution, that election receive public funding so that candidates may choose not to rely on big donors.

We also talk about the recent blows to net neutrality, and how the current state of technology, combined with the lack of competition, may lead to network providers deciding what content consumer can access.

The Ethno-state with Richard Spencer

In this episode, I traveled to Alexandria, VA, to speak with the face of the Alt-Right movement, Richard Spencer. Richard is a white nationalist identitarian, but rejects the neo-nazi label, and prefers to associate his ideas back to Nietzsche.

We talked a bit about Charlottesville and his involvement in the protest events. He purports to reject violence, other than self-defense, and claims it was Antifa that was causing the disturbance. He also notes that he could not control who else was involved in this public event, those that joined his side.

The main topic of this episode is the ethno-state. I have not heard any interviews that explore Richard’s ideas in depth, and so I thought it would be helpful to tease out the details so they can be judged on the merits.

I think it is fair to say that Richard identifies legitimate problems: economic decline, opioid addiction, difficulty integrating immigrants, etc. However, the solution he sets out seems misguided–it assumes that race is a major factor in determining how people behave and further assumes that “race-mixing” will degrade people’s inherent racial characteristics. Therefore, his solution (the white ethno-state) would not seem to alleviate any of the problems he identifies.

Broadly speaking, Richard wants a state that is comprises one large home for all white people. He believes that this will preserve the white race and allow white people to express their inherent characteristics which he says are the key to their “unique destiny.” Realistically, he says this is a post-American state, and while he is entitled to free speech, he does not necessarily want to keep the Constitution.

An interesting point of discussion was whether stereotypes, which can at times be true, are a product of race or a product of culture (which Richard argues is a product of race, whereas I argue they are separate).

So which do you think is more American:

Punching neo-nazis in the face, or disagreeing with someone but respecting their right to express themselves?

Disclaimer: the views expressed on this website and in the podcast are my own and not to be associated with anyone else.

Absolute Freedom with Adam Kokesh

In this episode, I traveled to Arlington, VA, and spoke with Adam Kokesh, who plans on running for President in 2020 on the platform of dissolving the government. Adam’s book, FREEDOM!, it is available for free in many formats.

Adam is a marine and Iraq war veteran, and says the war was a mistake and a crime. War is a symptom of militarism, as Lyndon Johnson warned us about.

Libertarianism is a philosophy based on self-ownership (which gives rise to property rights), this leads to the non-aggression principle stating that coercion is unethical. This gives rise to voluntaryism—the belief that all relationships should be free of fraud and coercion.

Statism the belief in state monopoly of violence in a given territory, and belief in goodness or righteousness of organized violence.

All government action is funded by taxation (theft) and is therefore illegitimate.

Adam describes government as “the racket.” He means that the purpose of government is to control you and rip you off, and it is willing to kill and lie to achieve that.

The average American works for government half the year [via taxation].

Adam cites professor Steven Pinker, saying we are living in the most peaceful times in Human history, as a trend predicting that nonviolent voluntary relationships will replace coercive government.

Adam says the Constitution is not libertarian document, and that the framers (vs founders) are usurpers that authorized out of control government; the only libertarian part was the Bill of Rights which was a compromise to allow for a power grab.

For Adam, one cannot be libertarian leaning, you either are or are not libertarian.

Govern means to control, and if you are under control you are not free and modern government is ultimately backed by violence. There is no such thing as consent to being governed.

More efficient society (freedom) is the trend that will prevail, and the market has preference for this over coercive relationships (government).

A Libertarian is an Anarchist, which means they accept no rulers, but can agree to live by rules voluntarily.

The origin of political terror comes from the French reign of terror, which was government-sponsored.

Private security has advantages over state police forces—they are more accountable. Government protects its own agents from responsibility.

Decentralization is an orderly transition from government-controlled relationships to community voluntary relationships. Local government by nature cannot do bad things on the scale federal or state governments can.

The Internet makes it harder for government to lie (although they can spread fake news, we still find out the truth faster).

Adam says 90% of violence is caused by government, and therefore if we dissolve government, society will be less violent.

A Southern Perspective with James Yeager

In this episode, I went down to Camden, TN, and spoke with James Yeager, the MFCEO at Tactical Response. I first heard about James on CNN in the infamous pack your bags video.

Second Amendment

What is each individual’s red line in the sand, in terms of how much overreach they will tolerate from government?

Governments use incrementalism to encroach on rights of the people, because there will be less pushback compared to abrupt changes in policy.

President Obama threatened to use an Executive Order to bypass Congress and restrict guns in response to the school shootings, which James also comments on in Active Shooter Part 2.

People often make the argument that the founding fathers did not anticipate the level of technology in modern firearms, but James would counter that private citizens had cannons and heavy ordinance during the revolution. The point of the second amendment is more than self-defense; it is the ability to check a tyrannical government, which means citizens shall have access to basic weaponry the average soldier uses, such as modern rifles.

Before one could take up arms against the government, it is his or her responsibility to exhaust other means of addressing encroachment on civil liberties, such as lobbying representatives.

Healthcare and Taxes

Healthcare was perhaps the most important legislative initiative of the decade, yet the Republican-controlled government failed to repeal or replace it, in part due to all of the pressure constituents put on their representatives. An issue like firearms, which may be less of a priority, should be easier to lobby.

We had roads and bridges before income tax, communities paid for them.

Robin Hood was a thief and killer, stealing from the rich is not heroic.

Other Western countries are dissimilar to the United States, in that they do not have defense spending like we do. Further, we have the best care for the money (although we don’t necessarily rank the highest in terms of outcomes).

Healthcare as a right will run out of money, and so the “guarantee” will turn into rationing.

Civil War and Slavery

Lincoln said he would do anything to preserve the Union, yet he ended up emancipating the slaves. Was this the plan all along?

James posits that slavery was going to end because it was too expensive to keep slaves; while Jordan points out that many decided it still made economic sense to keep slaves.

Regardless of whether the Civil War was or was not about slavery, the Civil War resulted in the end of slavery, much like WWII was not about Holocaust but ended it nonetheless.

Confederacy did not need justification to secede and should have been free to do so without a war, America should be two different countries.

James says that the Antebellum and post war periods are why there was animosity towards the North. He also says the war was about high taxes and state’s rights.

Charlottesville

Southerners contributed to many military tactics, thus they deserve some recognition.

Jordan distinguishes between whitewashing history vs celebrating a cause, Jordan and James disagree on whether the Civil War was “our own” cause.

James points out that there could there be interlopers or plants making the two sides look like they are comprised of Neo-Nazis and Communists.

DHS warns Antifa may be designated a domestic terrorist organization.

Jim Hinson’s One-Man War, a civil War Sniper.

Trump

People idealize their party’s leaders and demonize those with opposing views.

Trump hasn’t done much for NFA or healthcare.

Tweets offer transparency, good or bad.

Trump says generals lost the troops, rather than taking responsibility himself.

Travel Ban

Travel ban was political not practical, Trump did not use government resources to develop this plan. A legitimate policy would have taken longer to develop after taking office, and would have used Homeland Security and State Department expertise.

The list of countries with bans is nonsensical, in that some of them arguably should not be includes, while others that should have been included were not.