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Who Are the True Exploiters?

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April 01, 2010 – Comments (13)

FreedomChatter.com

Was it the “free market” that exploited Japanese Americans in World War II? Was it “capitalism” that drafted thousands of young men to be sent off to Vietnam, with many to return in body bags? Is it the free market that implements mandatory wage and price controls, takes a third of each American’s income, and leeches money to politically connected corporations? Who is the true exploiter, free markets or government? All things involuntary and compulsory are not compatible with freedom, yet it is constantly government using its monopolized force to accomplish its various goals, not the market. In a free society and market your greed, anger, and any other such negative qualities are purely limited to free and voluntary exchange. You cannot work like government using coercion to sell your products, force to maintain your position, and threats of imprisonment as your insurance.

There are many social injustices, uneven economic scenarios, and plenty of misery in the world today. Saying these miseries come from the free market is a gross misunderstanding of where the free market itself is born: freedom. Freedom has its root in the individual, not in an all-powerful group of people such as government. If some people choose to live in a socialist system with limited property, redistributed wealth, and controlled production, there is nothing standing in their way. But the line is drawn when they feel they have the right to force others into the system. Freedom does not mandate how you live, it simply prevents you from coercing others (either an individual or a group) into a certain lifestyle. No one can force you to buy their product, live the way they think is best for you, and no sensible person can use force with bogus reasoning such as “protecting you from yourself.”

Yet again we see that it is government coercing individuals to subsidize corporations such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, General Motors, AIG, and a host of others, in effect forcing individuals to contribute funds to corporations against their will with nothing in return. Where is the free market exploitation we here so much about? Freedom cannot coexist with aggressive force, which is why both establishing government and maintaining freedom has been especially tricky business throughout American and worldwide history. In a free, non-coerced society hair-brained schemes would die out as quickly as they were created. However, when government is in the picture those schemes become the law and survive solely through force. For instance, no free people would see the benefit in bailing out corporations (because there is none), because people would instantly recognize that any corporations seeking money must offer people a product or service worth paying for, not the pathetic excuse that the entire economy hinges on their existence.

History has shown that the great majority of people do not voluntarily drift toward a powerful centralized government if given the ability to choose for themselves. A splendid example is that of the Native Americans, who migrated to the Americas many thousands of years ago. There was no preexisting government, no bureaucracy or group controlling where they go or how they live, interact, or trade; people were generally free to establish and spread as they pleased in the new land. What we saw was the creation of a vast amount of local tribes and communities, each with a mix of similar and unique customs to the tribes around them. There were no wars or coercive threats that compared to the destruction in the highly centralized and “governmentized” nations of Europe.

In fact, according to Encyclopedia, ideas (such as hunting methods or other helpful techniques) spread through developing trade routes among the various tribes on the North American continent. Spirituality and religious ideas were developed by each tribe and spread through these trade routes, as opposed to much of European history where governments and churches collided over religion and its place among the people. The tribes “did not centralize power into the hands of dominant political leaders.” After all, who in their right mind would voluntarily give their individual power to one all-powerful central leader or group? This is an excellent demonstration of how a free society leaves power with the individual where it rightly belongs. As the pre-Columbus years of Native American history are explored, it shows a period of many different tribes cooperatively living and spreading goods and ideas with tribes across a massive continent. Government was decentralized and it appears that political decisions were commonly made through “consultation and consensus” from the entire adult community of a tribe. While Europe was suffering through poverty, government and Church corruption, and horrendous injustices in the Middle Ages, Native Americans were experiencing a world of peaceful living and voluntary interaction and trade, within vast amounts of local tribes who resisted central empowerment that plagued much of the world.

The Native Americans are one of the few examples of a truly free society unbounded by central force, and the result was hardly a corrupt and exploitative age. Creativity flourished, voluntary trade and diplomacy abounded, and ideas were not punished or restrained. European “civilized” governments existed through force, rather than the decentralized governments of Native American tribes that were created and maintained by the entire adult community. When force is not in the picture, people have naturally chosen local “systems” to that of a powerful centralized government. Local governmental structures are naturally created when freedom is “free” to flourish and provide the groundwork for a society of individuals who are empowered with responsibility of their life, liberty, and well-being.

Modern politics has become a win or loss type of deal. Issues are seen as black and white, jailed into sides with no room for compromise. The beauty of freedom is that it is precisely the basis needed for voluntary actions, diplomacy, exchange, and compromise. Freedom encourages education, involvement, and creativity; it is the only sustainable “system” precisely because it allows all individuals to adjust as necessary. Freedom and liberty are the building blocks of a prosperous society built on the luxury of choice, wisdom of nonaggression, and sustainability of voluntary actions.

13 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On April 01, 2010 at 4:39 PM, alexxlea (58.26) wrote:

They were a lot more chill, and their leaders sucked a lot less. Simple.

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#2) On April 01, 2010 at 10:30 PM, devoish (98.53) wrote:

 Was it the “free market” that exploited Japanese Americans in World War II? Was it “capitalism” that drafted thousands of young men to be sent off to Vietnam, with many to return in body bags?

Was it the American gov't that owned African slaves, or were they privatly owned property?

 History has shown that the great majority of people do not voluntarily drift toward a powerful centralized government if given the ability to choose for themselves. A splendid example is that of the Native Americans, who migrated to the Americas many thousands of years ago. There was no preexisting government, no bureaucracy or group controlling where they go or how they live, interact, or trade; people were generally free to establish and spread as they pleased in the new land. What we saw was the creation of a vast amount of local tribes and communities, each with a mix of similar and unique customs to the tribes around them. There were no wars or coercive threats that compared to the destruction in the highly centralized and “governmentized” nations of Europe.

I'm not sure your facts are correct. I believe Native Americans fought. I don't think they were any different from Europeans, just alittle behind the pace of development. Probably just beginning to develop feudalism (the Pueblos) and the concept of property rights. The biggest difference between most Native Americans was the lack of a belief in private land ownership.

The Southwest. Indian fighting in the Southwest during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries followed the mourning-war pattern prevalent among the eastern woodland Indians. Like their eastern counterparts, both sedentary Pueblo Indians and seminomadic tribes such as the Navajo warred to avenge the murder of their kinsmen. In important ways, however, warfare in the Southwest differed from that practiced in the eastern part of North America. First, semisedentary Native Americans raided both other seminomadic tribes and the Pueblo Indians in an effort to acquire material goods through plunder. More importantly, the Pueblo Indians living in and near the Rio Grande valley often fought wars that were more similar to European conflicts than to the woodland Indians’ blood feuds.

Semisedentary Tribes. Like their eastern neighbors, tribes such as the Apache and Navajo fought to avenge the deaths of kinsmen rather than to acquire territory. When a clan member was killed by Indians from another tribe, a war leader related to the deceased formed a war party composed of kinsmen and unrelated young men who sought the prestige that came through success in battle. After two nights of war dances and a day of feasting, the war party moved into enemy territory, where it took women and children captive and killed enemy warriors. Because semi-nomadic Indians such as the Navajo had to avenge every clan member killed by a rival tribe, blood-feud warfare was, as in the East, self-perpetuating and never ending. As with eastern woodland Indian conflict, moreover, warfare among the Native Americans of the Southwest produced light casualties in comparison to contemporary European wars.

Raiding Parties. There were, however, important differences between the objectives of eastern Indian warfare and the goals of their southwestern counterparts. While eastern Indians fought almost exclusively to achieve retribution, southwestern Indians clashed with their neighbors both to avenge previous wrongs and to loot them of material possessions. Apaches and Navajos, for example, raided both each other and the sedentary Pueblo Indian tribes in an effort to acquire goods through plunder. Though the distinction was missed by the Pueblo Indians and, later, by the Spanish, raiding parties differed substantially from war parties in terms of their objectives and their approach. While war parties sought to take captives and to achieve vengeance through killing, the smaller raiding parties hoped to avoid fighting and focused instead on taking booty. Raids often spawned blood feuds, though, because a tribe had to avenge the death of a warrior who died either in a raid or in an ensuing battle with pursuers.

Pueblo Indians. The sedentary Pueblo Indians of the Rio Grande valley likewise engaged in the vengeance-motivated

warfare that was common to kinship-based societies. Pueblo warfare was not, however, limited to blood feuds. Living in and near the densely populated but resource-poor Rio Grande valley, Pueblo tribes such as the Hopis, Zunis, Piros, and Tewas fought with one another to secure control of the region’s limited supply of arable land. Such economically and territorially motivated warfare led the Pueblo Indians to make their adobe towns—called pueblos—powerful defensive fortifications. They did so by building their settlements atop steep mesas, by constructing their multistory buildings around a central plaza to form sheer exterior walls, and by limiting access to the main square to a single, narrow, easily defended passageway. Navajo and Apache raiding parties consequently found the Pueblo Indians’ settlements to be tempting but formidable targets.

 Do you think that Feudal Europe was the equivalent of private corporations, with one owner and everyone else working for him as laborers and security?

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#3) On April 01, 2010 at 10:33 PM, devoish (98.53) wrote:

The biggest difference between most Native Americans and Feudal Europe was the lack of a belief in private land ownership

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#4) On April 04, 2010 at 1:21 PM, TMFPencils (99.80) wrote:

"The biggest difference between most Native Americans and Feudal Europe was the lack of a belief in private land ownership"

This is a major myth that has been developed to help explain why the Native Americans just couldn't be integrated with the expanding world. They did in fact have a belief in property rights, such as on hunting grounds to help preserve species for the future. Sure, they generally believed in collective property, but it still stems from individual property nonetheless. Start watching this video around 27:00 to hear some of the misconceptions with Native americans: http://www.freedomchatter.com/2010/01/recommended-video-applying-economics-to-american-history/

I did not say that the Natives experienced no war or violent conditions, but compared to the devastation in Europe at the time it seems like a far superior environment. When engaged in war, the Natives did not wipe out entire tribes or villages, and they were shocked when they saw Europeans slaughter an entire village during King Philip's War. Their method of conflict was, for the most part, far less brutal than that of Europe. I encourage you to read the chapters on Native Americans in Lies My Teacher Told Me to understand the true nature of the Natives and many of the common misconceptions we are taught. 

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#5) On April 04, 2010 at 8:51 PM, devoish (98.53) wrote:

 lack of a belief in private land ownership"

They did in fact have a belief in property rights.

Probably just beginning to develop feudalism (the Pueblos) and the concept of property rights.

I confused the point. When I wrote property rights concerning the Pueblos I should have repeated private land ownership.

I have no confidence in Mises, Wheraminow or your freedomchatter as a reliable source of information. I'm sorry.

 

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#6) On April 05, 2010 at 2:18 AM, TMFPencils (99.80) wrote:

Okay, for one thing I am not using my site as a source of information. Check out Lies My Teacher Told Me and the wealth of evidence, sources, and thorough research in the book that explores the misconceptions of Native American culture.

Private land ownership does not have to be individual. If people volunatirly join together into an agreement with their rights and property I consider that an extension of property rights. On the flip side, when governments start limiting or destroying property rights by forcing people into a collective, centralized system, that certainly does not strike me as a sound understanding of individual property ownership. 

There is little actual evidence that suggets the Natives did not any understanding of property. They experienced the misery of being treated as secondhand citizens (or savages) and being discriminated with different (and less) legal rights than those of the "settlers." 

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#7) On April 05, 2010 at 2:20 AM, TMFPencils (99.80) wrote:

Agh, sorry, obviously that should be "voluntarily" not "volunatirly." Oh jeepers...

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#8) On April 05, 2010 at 9:01 PM, devoish (98.53) wrote:

Like I said, "private land ownership".

If people volunatirly join together into an agreement with their rights and property I consider that an extension of property rights.

Of course you are not suggesting that all the different Native Americn tribes consisted of Native Americans all in voluntary agreement witht the status quo of property rights. Someone had to be disgruntled. And if there were 300mil Native Americans and an internet I am sure we would all be suffering relentless postings of how evil Native American Government is.

And unless you are, someone in those tribes had to be upset when Native American governments start limiting or destroying property rights by forcing people into a collective, against their will. Of course maybe or maybe not like them, you can leave this collective and get by on your own resources.

Honestly, I think this line of discussion preys on weak minds that cannot consider that Native American cultures were likely just as contentious as we are and supported different policys and different leaders just as we do, and instead imagine what they see in the Disney version of Pocahantas is an accurate portrayal of Native American life whether it was the Iroqouis or the Blackfeet or the Ogalala Sioux.

 

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#11) On April 05, 2010 at 9:18 PM, whereaminow (21.01) wrote:

Oh man, I'm sorry I missed this great post David!

American Indians recognized scarcity as a determining factor of human existence, just like every other human on this planet. Where land and food was abundant, property rights didn't matter.  Like Thomas Woods points out in the video David linked to, we don't argue over who is breathing what amount of air, because air is abundant.  When the Indians realized the resources were scarce in their area, just like every other human civilization, they instituted property rights.

devoish,

You asked if governments were responsible for slavery in America?  Absolutely!

The first slave to arrive in America was brought by a Dutch officer. Check.

The first slave law was the Virginia Slave Code of 1705. Check.

Slavery was institutionalized as a legal act in America in the Constitution. Check.

But let's not just look at America.  History of Slavery.

Whoa!  Just look at that list.  And since the beginning of time, it has been governments using force and the threat for force to enslave other people.

It's so easy, even a Liberal can understand it.

David in Qatar

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#12) On April 12, 2010 at 6:51 AM, devoish (98.53) wrote:

David,

The first line of your wiki link says The history of slavery covers systems throughout human history in which one human being is legally the property of another,

It does not say they are legally the property of a Government.

Once private individuals decide they have the right to own onother person as property, their legal system will reflect that belief just as it reflects their belief that they may own a car, a house or a factory.

Of course sometimes in Democratically elected governments, things change for the worse, or the better - Slavery was a contentious issue in United States politics from the 1770s through the 1860s, becoming a topic of debate in the drafting of the Constitution; a subject of Federal legislation such as the Fugitive Slave Act and the ban on the trans-Atlantic slave trade; and subject of landmark Supreme Court cases such as the Dred Scott decision. Slavery was resisted through rebellions and non-compliance, and evaded through flight to non-slave states, facilitated by the Underground Railroad. Advocates of abolitionism engaged in moral and political debates, and encouraged the creation of Free Soil states as Western expansion proceeded. Slavery was one of the principal issues leading to the American Civil War. After the Union prevailed in the war, slavery was made illegal throughout the United States with the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.[9] A few instances of enslavement of Indians by other Indians persisted in the following years and in the South practices of slavery shaped the institutions of convict leasing and sharecropping. Illegal enslavement of captive workers, often immigrants, has occurred into the 21st century.

You will be hearing more about "modern slavery" in the news soon. Despite its being illegal in the United States there are still private individuals who feel they can disrespect the laws of the United States (similar to you) and perhaps a larger Gov't supported by its citizens could prosecute slaveholders more quickly than our verbally maligned one.

Although slave ownership by private individuals and businesses has been illegal in the United States since the 1865 ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the amendment does specifically allow "punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted".

Instances of illegal slavery are still found periodically. The United States Department of Labor occasionally prosecutes cases against people for false imprisonment and involuntary servitude. These cases often involve illegal immigrants who are forced to work as slaves in factories to pay off a debt claimed by the people who transported them into the United States. Other cases have involved domestic workers.[135]

There have been incidents of slavery amongst illegal immigrants working in agriculture. The Immokalee region in southern Florida, which grows most of the tomatoes eaten in the United States during the cold months, has had many cases of slavery. Since 1997, several prosecutions have resulted in over 1,000 slaves being freed.[136]

The New York Times[137], ABC News[138], and The San Francisco Chronicle[139], among others, have reported on child and teenage sexual slavery in the United States. There are also reports on children working in organized criminal businesses and in legitimate businesses under both humane and inhumane conditions.

In 2002, the U.S. Department of State repeated an earlier CIA estimate[140] that each year, about 50,000 women and children are brought against their will to the United States for sexual exploitation.[141] Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said that "Here and abroad, the victims of trafficking toil under inhuman conditions -- in brothels, sweatshops, fields and even in private homes."[142] 

- But not as Gov't employees.

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