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Jacob G. Hornberger

What’s So Great About Democracy?


US officials and statists in the private sector incessantly sing the praises of democracy. They even invade and wage wars of aggression against countries that lack democracy. 

But what really is so great about democracy? Actually, only one thing. And, no, it’s not freedom.

After all, if democracy is so great, why does the Bill of Rights protect us from it? We often forget that. 

The First Amendment, for example, protects us from a democratic vote in the US Congress that would punish us for criticizing government officials. In other words, even if Congress were to vote in favor of such a measure by a 95 percent margin and then it was signed into law by the president, this democratically enacted measure would still be null and void.

In fact, if one carefully searches the entire Constitution, the document that called the federal government into existence, one will note something important: Nowhere in the document is the word “democracy” mentioned. Given the outsized importance that US officials and private-sector statists put on democracy today, isn’t that an interesting and revealing omission?
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Abolish Sedition Laws


This week, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., sentenced Enrique Tarrio, the former leader of the Proud Boys, to 22 years in jail for the crime of “sedition” arising out of the January 6 protests at the Capitol. It wasn’t the first time that the judge, Timothy Kelly, meted out a high jail sentence for the sedition offense. Last week, he handed out an 18-year sentence to Ethan Nordean, one of Tarrio’s co-defendants. Last May, another D.C. federal judge, Amit P. Mehta, sentenced leader of the Oath Keepers militia, Stewart Rhodes, to 18 years for the federal crime of “sedition.”

Those high jail sentences for what amounts to a protest gone awry are so ridiculous that they serve as an excellent advertisement for the abolition of sedition laws, which have no place in a genuinely free society.

The federal crime of “sedition” is akin to the local crime of “disorderly conduct.” It is designed to give federal authorities the ability to severely punish people who have committed no real crime to justify severe punishment.
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Intervene Only When It’s In 'Our National Interest'?


One of the popular mantras for some conservatives and some libertarians when it comes to foreign interventionism is the following: “We should never intervene abroad except when it is in ‘our national interest.’”

There is one great big problem, however, with that qualifier: It serves as no limitation whatsoever with respect to foreign interventionism.

Why is that? 

Because the people who are ultimately deciding that particular issue are the Pentagon, the CIA and the president, all of whom always believe that whenever they are intervening abroad, it is necessarily in “our national interest.”

Consider, for example, the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Many years after those invasions and occupations, some conservatives and some libertarians began questioning the wisdom of having undertaken them. They maintained that in retrospect, it’s “clear” that those invasions and occupations were not in “our national interest.”
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Why Shouldn’t a University Be Free to Adopt Affirmative Action?


Not surprisingly, right-wingers are celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision to declare affirmative-action policies at American universities to be unconstitutional. In the process, conservatives fail to recognize that they are, at the same time, celebrating the further destruction of American liberty and private-property rights.

After all, why shouldn’t a private university, like Harvard, be free to establish any policy it wants for admitting students? It’s their university, isn’t it? Why should the Supreme Court wield the power to dictate to a privately owned institution what it can and cannot do? 

We can all agree that we don’t want a state entity to discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, or sexual proclivity. But in a genuinely free society, private individuals should be free to exercise the fundamental, God-given right of freedom of association and to run their businesses the way they want.

Thus, if a privately owned university wants to give preference to certain racial groups, it should be free to do so. Sure, people might disagree with that decision but that doesn’t mean that the government should wield the authority to interfere. If people disagree with a certain policy set forth by a university, they can go elsewhere. Consumers can also protest, ostracize, or publicly condemn a university with whose policies they disagree. The university is free to modify its policy in response to consumer sentiments or instead continue maintaining it. That’s how things work in a genuinely free society.
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The Cancer of the National-Security State


Suppose that after you visit your doctor for a physical examination, he informs you that you are suffering from the following ailments:

1) A stiff knee, which requires six months of physical therapy.

2) Being overweight, which requires a big change in diet.

3) Kidney problems, which require you to give up drinking.

4) A growing malignant tumor on your stomach that can be removed by surgery.

The doctor recommends that you give priority to ailment 4, but you instead decide to give priority to the first three ailments. 

At the end of six months, you have resolved your knee problem, you have brought your weight down to an acceptable level, and you have totally given up drinking. At your six-month review, your doctor commends you on your accomplishments.

There is just one big problem, however. Your malignant tumor has grown so large that it can no longer be removed. Worse, the cancer has spread throughout your body. Your doctor advises you to get your affairs in order because you only have three months to live.
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The Anti-Communist Crusade


A central feature of the Cold War racket was the anti-communist crusade. At the behest of the US national-security establishment, the entire nation became obsessed with the commies, both foreign and domestic. The Reds were coming to get us. They were everywhere. They were in Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, Russia, China, Guatemala, Chile, Indonesia, Brazil, and most everywhere else. They were in Congress, the military, the executive branch, the political system, the universities, and Hollywood. In the 1950s, people were even being exhorted to look under their beds for communists. 

In the foreign realm, the anti-communist crusade led the US national-security establishment to sacrifice almost 100,000 US soldiers in US interventions in civil wars in Korea and Vietnam. More than 250,000 US soldiers were wounded in those conflicts.

Here at home, the FBI and the national-security establishment targeted suspected communists and did everything to destroy them. This included the US Communist Party as well as leftist organizations, such as the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. 

The anti-communist crusade is also why the FBI targeted civil-rights leader Martin Luther King with secret surveillance, harassment, blackmail, and possibly even assassination. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was convinced that King was a secret Russian agent and that the civil-rights movement was a secret communist front that was paving the ground for the Russian takeover of the United States.
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Our Biggest Threat


Both liberals and conservatives are convinced that the biggest threat to our freedom and well-being lies with Russia and China. And, well, also the terrorists, Muslims, drug dealers, illegal immigrants, North Koreans, Cubans, Syrians, Vietnamese, communists, Reds, and others. 

They are wrong. The biggest threat to our freedom and well-being is our very own federal government, especially the national-security branch of the federal government.

The Framers clearly understood this. That’s why the Constitution strictly limited the powers of federal officials.

Our American ancestors also clearly understood this. That’s why they demanded the enactment of the Bill of Rights. They knew that the federal government would inevitably attract people who would destroy their fundamental, God-given rights of life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. With the Bill of Rights, they wanted to make it clear to all those future little federal power-mongers that they lacked the powers to engage in such destruction.

No Russian and no Chinese has ever infringed upon my freedom. The same holds true for all the other things that scare liberals and conservatives to death (i.e, the terrorists, Muslims, illegal immigrants, drug dealers, Cubans, North Koreans, Vietnamese, commies, Reds, Syrians, etc.)
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The US Military’s Recruiting Crisis Is a Positive Sign


A recent article in the Wall Street Journal demonstrates what a huge disaster conservatives are for our nation and for the rights and liberties of the American people. The article is entitled “The Military Recruitment Crisis Is a Symptom of Cultural Rot.” Co-written by a conservative veteran named David McCormack, the article laments the fact that fewer Americans are signing up to join the military. McCormack views this as a sign of “cultural rot” in America, a rot that, he suggests, entails a reduction of patriotism and love of country.

But McCormack is wrong. Actually, the reduced recruitments numbers are a very positive sign for our country. In fact, they might well reflect that the American people are finally waking up to the fact that America has become a military nation, one that is taking our country down from within.

Our nation was founded as a limited-government republic, one with a relatively small, basic army. If the Constitution had proposed the national-security state form of governmental structure under which we live today, there is no possibility that our American ancestors would have accepted it. That would have meant that the United States would have continued operating under the Articles of Confederation, a type of governmental structure whose powers were so weak that the federal government didn’t even have the power to tax.

Our American ancestors hated standing armies, which was the term used at that time to describe an enormous military-intelligence establishment, like the one under which all of us today have been born and raised.
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