“It is incumbent [America] pay its… debts as it goes… which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.”

Graphic of Thomas Jefferson to Georgia Delegates in Congress, Paris, 22 December 1786.

Thomas Jefferson, oft described affectionately nearby his home atop the mountain top in Charlottesville, Virginia as “The Sage of Monticello”, penned in his letter to Antoine Louis Claude Destutt de Tracy of December 26, 1820 a most profound truth.

“It is incumbent on every generation to pay it’s own debts as it goes. a principle which, if acted on, wou [ld] save one half the wars of the world; and justifies, I think our present circumspection.”
— Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), letter to Antoine Louis Claude Destutt, 26 December 1820.

Profundity once applied never dies just because the concept was posited 195 years ago. Jefferson of course had experience to base his point through his own personal debts he never repaid, but also with reconciling the massive war deficits from Great Britain’s global war against France on the continent (Seven Years War) and in North America (French and Indian War) and how the colonies were to repay. The matter the Ohio Valley was requisitioned as the key tenet behind the Proclamation of 1763 by George Grenville’s government in the House of Commons would not have solicited such hostile reactions as the matter of Westminster imposing taxes without the legal courtesy of representation in Parliament. For while America was a British colony, she was not granted the full rights and privileges as His Majesty King George III’s subjects in the British Isles. Few dare deny the Revolution was fought over taxation with respect to political and economic matters, but to the contrary the reasons why with respect to support will be arbitrarily based on which side of the Atlantic one resides.

Much may be attributed to why the first foreign policy advocated by George Washington was in fact, no foreign policy with respect to globalization by way of political economy and militarism, for he seemingly advocated diplomatic isolationism. But prior to that, he also warned future generations to bear the responsibility of adherence to the nation’s credit through bare minimal public expenditures, to avoid raising undue taxation and to forgo at any costs that would lead to the expansion of the size and role of central government to prevent usurpations of one’s liberties.

As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it, avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertion in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear. The execution of these maxims belongs to your representatives, but it is necessary that public opinion should co-operate. To facilitate to them the performance of their duty, it is essential that you should practically bear in mind that towards the payment of debts there must be revenue; that to have revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant; that the intrinsic embarrassment, inseparable from the selection of the proper objects (which is always a choice of difficulties), ought to be a decisive motive for a candid construction of the conduct of the government in making it, and for a spirit of acquiescence in the measures for obtaining revenue, which the public exigencies may at any time dictate.
— George Washington (1732-99), Farewell Address, 1796.

Altogether differing from the why the colonists fought their British masters, taxation, just as Washington claimed to be “more or less inconvenient and unpleasant”, is an agreed upon trade-off for a functional government. But what can limit what is charged is also made clear by preserving a strong national defense initiative. Where libertarians are flawed is their proclamation any and all national defense expenditures and standing armies not only are unconscionable, but a total violation of the rights of man and the individual’s civil liberties. Yet no nation has ever existed under the Rothbardian model for libertarianism’s most basic tenet: Anarcho-Capitalism. Murray Rothbard advocated the total abolition of the state, its borders, the fetus as “an invader” of the female body and finally, all personal dependence. Such a devaluation of the most base of communal responsibilities by a government to its electors — the service of a third party arbitrator brokering contractual agreements for the right to own property — would dissolve into the calumny of the amoral platitude denying the role of God as to the matter of treating others as the individual would like to be treated, much less to love thy neighbor.

I define anarchist society as one where there is no legal possibility for coercive aggression against the person or property of any individual. Anarchists oppose the State because it has its very being in such aggression, namely, the expropriation of private property through taxation, the coercive exclusion of other providers of defense service from its territory, and all of the other depredations and coercions that are built upon these twin foci of invasions of individual rights.
— Murray Rothbard (1926-1995) “Society Without A State” in The Libertarian Forum (1975)

Such a pretension would indicate the contingency of perfection of the human apparatus, of the mind, that the individual is infallible and would not violate the arbitration of the individual’s right to self-ownership through killing neighbors for land not appropriated through a contractually-binding agreement, much less a government operated at the most fundamental level based upon the collection of peoples of a given culture, or nation, nor how differing cultures would interact based upon like-minded or opposing sentiments and prejudices naturally-endowed in all men and women. Interdependence is then a necessity, but how relationships are binding is not by a mere abstention of all foreign relations, but through serving as anchors where the alien partner would differ. Therefore Rothbard, in examining his pretension that a Utopia may not be possible but the next best thing is, failed to consider the subjectivity of the second option, and why people in small doses are best together rather than fragmented amid preconceived distrust, begetting bigotry and racism.

Once one concedes that a single world government is not necessary, then where does one logically stop at the permissibility of separate states? If Canada and the United States can be separate nations without being denounced as in a state of impermissible ‘anarchy’, why may not the South secede from the United States? New York State from the Union? New York City from the state? Why may not Manhattan secede? Each neighborhood? Each block? Each house? Each person?
— Rothbard, Man, Economy, State and Economy: Scholars Edition (2004)

For after all, there is no Paradise; ergo, there can be no Utopia. And should we ever achieve such an anomalous state, we should not like it, as it is the pathway to humanistic oblivion, the road as Friedrich Hayek stated, to serfdom. This is why at all costs there must be a revival of the Tenth Amendment and the ultimate check of the imbalances of statist power: the power of state and localized nullification.

To beg, barter and deal, an exchange in currency is critical. For years prior to President Richard Nixon’s ending the Gold Standard in 1971, the currencies of the world were based on the U.S. dollar following World War II under the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates. But by the mid-1960’s under socialism, the dollar was overvalued, worsened still by President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society programs and the unpopular Vietnam War (1964-1975). Between 1968 and 1973, the system dissolved beneath the weight of crushing deficits. The attempt to resuscitate the Bretton Woods system post-Nixon’s August 1971 announcement failed miserably. By March 1973, the currencies floated together, nearly worthless in value, soon to result in hyperinflation and massive unemployment from the printing presses mass producing fiat currency and the OPEC Embargo following the Yom Kippur War in October. In an attempt to curb rapidly rising inflation, President Nixon placed a freeze on the price of commodities, the effort of course, being in vain as inflation skyrocketed further as unemployment would see an unprecedented correlative effect.

America had learned a hard, fundamental truth. The federal government had truly run out of other people’s money. It no longer could merely tax and spend, pay to reinvigorate a stalled economy with tax dollars by workers who had too little or none at all from those unemployed or out of the labor force. The Federal Reserve monetized the currency through extreme high interest rates reaching at or above 20 percent by the inauguration of Ronald Reagan January 20, 1981. At that point, the purpose of the United Nations (UN) through the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank in curtailing warfare proved fruitless as more debt was amassed while unprecedented human suffering transpired through starvation and genocide as a result of bloody conflicts waged by communists influenced by the Soviet Union. As for the West, the debate between guns and butter grew into matters of crises on both fronts. The economics of John Maynard Keynes had run dry of answers to artificial growth and sustainability.

The Bretton Woods exchange rate system in theory was ideal if not for its purpose and employment of Keynesianism to spend what was not available. It robs nations of their sustainability, begetting their incapacity to maintain thrift through the growth of more lavish public expenditures to appease the unexpected consequence of soldiers returning home from war: the baby boom. Taxing and spending the public’s income led to deflationary measures with respect to rising debt, growing too unsustainable to contain just like much of the world watches in horror today, most notably the U.S. The Federal Reserve’s key role as the arbiter for what the currency should be worth with respect to valuation and exchange rates destabilizing the global monetary supply. And once the Gold Standard was killed alongside the Bretton Woods system, debt, inflation, interest rates and unemployment soared, central banks globally engaged in more of the same policies which not only worked so poorly before but were greatly exacerbated. Not only had the world run out of other people’s money, wage discrepancies hit unprecedented marks, the value of the dollar worth less than ever before. Such a trend yielded fears a return to the catastrophe behind Weimar Germany and the Great Depression that led to the second world war would prove to be the devolution into a post-capitalist world.

Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War with his famous “peace through strength” initiative, having never fired a shot in the process. The Reagan Doctrine was not so nuanced in its objectives due to the concept itself being as old as George Washington’s Farewell Address. As one recollects the rhetoric of the father of the welfare state German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, his policy of manufacturing the world’s first socialist nation following consolidating the German Confederation of States during the Franco-Prussian War of 1871 proved both a stroke of genius and in the long-run, the death to global political and economic stability. His comment expressed implicitly how that mean achieved his end.

“My idea was to bribe the working classes, or shall I say, to win them over, to regard the state as a social institution existing for their sake and interested in their welfare.”

An American admirer of German socialism named Frederic Howe explained the nature of the brave new phenomenon.

The state has its finger on the pulse of the worker from the cradle to the grave. His education, his health, and his working efficiency are matters of constant concern. He is carefully protected from accident by laws and regulation governing factories. He is trained in his hand and in his brain to be a good workman and is insured against accident, sickness, and old age. While idle through no fault of his own, work is frequently found for him. When homeless, a lodging is offered so that he will not easily pass into the vagrant class… The individual exists for the state, not the state for the individual. [T]he German enjoys a freedom far greater than that which prevails in America or England. This freedom is of an economic sort. . . . It protects the defenseless classes from exploitation and abuse. It safeguards the weak…  In the mind of the Germans the functions of the state are not susceptible to abstract, a priori deductions. Each proposal must be decided by the time and the conditions. If it seems advisable for the state to own an industry, it should proceed to own it; if it is wise to curb any class or interest, it should be curbed. Expediency or opportunism is the rule of statesmanship, not abstraction as to the philosophical nature of the state.
— Frederic Howe, Socialized Germany (1915).

By proxy of such a logistical nightmare where only the a posteriori conclusion is ever acknowledged by cultural visions and legal proclamations, historical revisionism is not only the required normative, realism is the enemy of all socialism. Economic boom/bust cycles due to high taxation, debasing the coinage through monetarism and finally, provisions of the false comforts social welfare and public expenditure programs will lead to massive debts, soaring inflation and finally, catastrophic global warfare that depopulates the planet through military and civilian casualties, famine, sickness and genocide. Malthusian principles leading to social Darwinism manufacture a culture so tyrannical that the state becomes a totalitarian master and commander over all she surveys, which University of Wisconsin economic professor Richard Ely evoked in his book on socialism in 1895 having long since become realized globally under the auspices of the Fabian Society’s definition of democratic socialism and later, Marxism.

“Looking into the future we may contemplate a society with real, not merely nominal freedom, to pursue the best; a society in which men shall work together for the common purposes, and in which the wholesale cooperation shall take place largely through the government. . . . We have reason to believe that we shall yet see great national undertakings with the property of the nation, and managed by the nation, through agents who appreciate the glory of true public service, and feel that it is God’s work they are doing, because church and state are as one.”
— Richard Ely, founder of the American Economic Association (1895).

Through a democratic consensus embarking upon a total social infrastructure regulating a state’s religious values and its intellectual curiosities through the open-minded approaches of regulating the arts and sciences through a politicized central education standard curriculum, we now live this nightmare today under Barack Obama, only in far worse measures as the state employs technologies to track our every movement, pattern and trend. Our debts maxed out the collective credit card, and through socialism stateside and across the world, we are just a shot away from the crucible of a third, penultimate global war. A globalized economic series of entanglements are impossible to avoid, but if ill-tempered, lead to conflicts through first hatred of one state alongside the alliances formed with those too closely affectioned. Our leaders have failed to heed the delicate balance prescribed us by Washington since 1796. The foundation for all things equal and opposite in their interactions is the root of causality which never heals aside from time simmering tensions until the next crisis.

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