Book Review: Liberty and Tyranny (2009)

Liberty and Tyrannyby Mark Levin
Review by Brian Wright
And I thought I knew what blasphemy was

From the Acknowledgments:

… And to my friends Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ed Meese, and Mary Matalin for their constant inspiration and support. I also want to acknowledge the champions of liberty—the great philosophers, scholars, visionaries, and statesmen—on whose shoulders we all stand….

Wow! Lumping in Rush Limbaugh with Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine!

To include Rush, Sean, Ed, and Mary—thank heavens he left out Ann Coulter—on the same page of “champions of liberty”—e.g. progenitors Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, John Adams, Sam Adams, et al, and those stars who have come along after, all in some fashion associated with the libertarian movements of their day (Lysander Spooner, Benjamin Tucker, Rose Wilder Lane, Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, Ayn Rand, Mary Ruwart, Pete Hendrickson, and so many more)—is to confess a complete misunderstanding of liberty… right from page vii.

Note: My comments on this book by Mark Levin apply almost universally to any such ballyhooed statist-conservative[1] tract—e.g. Glenn Beck’s Arguing with Idiots, Sean Hannity’s Winning the War for Liberty (over Liberalism), and the small library of Ann Coulter’s screed. Levin’s book is actually best in class (from the few I’ve read) mainly because he avoids the ad hominem attacks, the ridicule, and the dehumanization of the statist-liberals… some of whom, like Levin, actually have very important truths to convey in rational discussion.

To be kind, in (what Rand used to refer to as) “the intellectual bankruptcy of our age,” any literary or mildly conceptual assertion of liberty, however limited, must be appreciated. And Levin doesn’t seem to be malicious or suppressive of the truth as he ignores the fundamental principles of liberty from the “Great Libertarian Thinkers, Writers, and Activists” of history. He is simply blithely and blissfully clueless of this vast body of freedomwork… I think.

On the other hand—and this is the perfect question for all modern “conservatives” who pose as promoters of liberty—”What’s their problem with Ron Paul?” Hasn’t the libertarian-Republican Congressman from Texas, among all those in positions of influence and power in our American world, best articulated the vision of freedom in our time? Why doesn’t Levin even give the good doctor a mention[2]. Was Levin freeze-dried or living in a cave during the 2008 Republican primary? What sort of liberty does Levin seek if he makes no connection whatever to the only true libertarian—and I’m using libertarian in the generic sense here, as anyone who advocates/ practices liberty—in recent memory on the national political stage?!

But Levin doesn’t live in a cave. He certainly knows who Ron Paul is. Same as Rush, same as Sean, same as Glenn, same as the whole glittery stable of limousine-conservative pretenders pulling up to the plush studios of Fox Broadcasting. They know Ron Paul. They know the Libertarian Party. They know some of the more notable libertarian “think tanks”—Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), LewRockwell.com, The Cato Institute, The Reason Foundation, Institute for Humane Studies, etc., and a whole bunch that never see the beam of the controlled-corporatist media pen light. And they don’t want anything to do with ’em… leastwise not those libertarians.

At the risk of jumping ahead and forgetting to review the book, let me give you my two cents about what’s really at root of the modern statist-conservative movement [and statist-liberal movement, too, for that matter] represented by Levin and friends. First, we need to understand that the terms liberal and conservative are essentially meaningless today, and that that is intentional.[3] Here is the short version:

Roughly in the middle of the 19th century, the United States economic system was taken over by “the Cartel”—a coalescence of money power in the central banks in Europe and (off and on until 1913 and the Fed) the central bank in the States… and the various sub-cartels fostered by and profiting these centralized financial institutions. The sub-cartels, via “the (state-privileged) corporation” model, emerged in all areas of economic society: education, transportation, energy, agriculture, social services, and most especially: media (journalism qua propaganda) and war.

War is definitely the health of the state, and as Lysander Spooner notes in his dissection of the Constitution in No Treason, the Rothschild banking dynasty (the Rothschilds are the Big Gahuna of the banksters) had discovered that in large government systems, war is highly profitable to support (with loans to governments via central banks); it’s risk free. Regardless of who wins or loses, governments pay interest through the spoils of their mass-killing machinery and, then, through compulsory taxes. The banking practice is called the Rothschild Formula (RF). [The RF is the essential cause of every major world conflict since the War of 1812.]

Conscientious people will note that the Cartel system is parasitical, and can only survive if the productive class is tricked or forced into allowing the plunder and killing to continue. (Still eventually, if you kill the productive class you kill the parasite.) This is why, in particular, the provisions in the United States Constitution restricting the federal power had to be eviscerated… and they were, through legal treachery and popular ignorance. [Popular ignorance is the entire objective of the education and media cartels: The Cartel rewards handsomely those who can authoritatively dissipate ideas that expose the Cartel’s methodology and antihuman crimes.]

Hence the modern false-alternative mumbo-jumbo conservative vs. liberal. Divide and conquer. By creating false enemies and hobgoblins in the provincial intelligentsia, the debate becomes a false-flag Brand A vs. Brand B contest, i.e. “the people who want Brand-A tyranny are intolerable, let’s destroy them…” and vice versa.

Both Brand A and Brand B (who at root support the Cartel) are cleverly contrived by the Cartel’s mind controllers to exhaust the alternatives. So we think the only choice is between Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin, Joseph Stalin vs. Adolph Hitler. They fight each other leaving the parasitical ruling class (that sets them both up) intact. Think Goldman Sachs.

Which is why to break out of that loop, one needs to see and acknowledge the pervasive source of our disinformation. No one from the modern left or from the modern right recognizes the Cartel in its entirety. Even Ron Paul is limited in his grasp of the Cartel’s unspeakable crimes of state: from the sinking of the Lusitania to Pearl Harbor to the JFK assassination to the 9/11 inside job. [This may be a political consideration on Paul’s part, because the mind-control media is clinging desperately to its illusions, and will label him a crackpot at the slightest perturbation of the Cartel’s ‘truth’ orthodoxy.]

Further, one must go to the root. We don’t want conservatism. We want liberty. Levin comes up with a conservative manifesto in his appendix, because he cannot honestly state he’s a libertarian. [Besides, The Libertarian Manifesto has been done… by Murray Rothbard.] Patrick Henry did not say, “Give me fewer regulations on business or give me death,” or “Give me the right to enjoy beer with more than 3.2% alcohol by volume or give me death.” It was, “Give me liberty or give me death.”

Right, now let’s talk about the book.

First of all, I’m a man of peace, and so are most of the liberty people I know. I do not want to hurt anyone. Nobody who loves liberty wants to hurt anyone, much less kill them. Tar and feather? Well, only under strict medical supervision. [Truthfully, all liberty people must be especially careful not to fall into the anger trap; we only win if we adopt the methods and the loving, enlightened spirit of Thoreau, Gandhi, and King.] The point is libertarians aren’t conservatives and conservatives like Levin are not libertarians.

Yet, I do give Mark’s book a few kudos.

  • He understands that corporatism is not capitalism.
  • He understands that classical liberalism is not bad, so the proper term for the modern liberal is Statist. (Unfortunately, he does not see that “conservatives” like the neoconservatives, like the Bush-Cheney junta, are Statists as well.)
  • He extols standard economic values of industry and productive work, and he points out the problems caused by federal government interference conferring privileges in the economic system.
  • He is adamantly opposed to the national health care bill. Indeed, if there is one issue that tells me I’m more a modern conservative than a modern liberal it’s this atrocity that just passed the House in the dead of night on Saturday: Pelosi-Care, the government take over of the health care industry. Libertarians must make common cause with conservatives on health care, make sure the Senate kills Obamacare.
  • He raises flags on environmental statism. Many of his references I
    shall check out, as I’m all too aware that the elites will use any pretense to gather power. But humans are undeniably affecting the planet ecosphere, in a manner requiring communal action… action consistent with property rights and the free market.
  • He’s understandably wary of granting special privileges to non-citizens (but he does not seem to realize that the Constitution does not dictate who may or may not simply set foot in the geography of the current boundaries of the United States. Further, the absolute forever-and-ever need for national borders seems to be bored into his brain cells.) But some good precautions noted on potential statism from massive immigration from the south.[4]
  • Standard stuff on big government is fine, and may hold up liberal-statism in economic affairs to a welcome degree, but, again, what about the national security state? What about the empire? What about the CIA and the Unspeakable?

Still, unfortunately, much lameness:

  • Nowhere does Levin lambaste the War on Drugs, discuss the massive violations of liberty entailed in incarcerating and enslaving hundreds of thousands of people who prefer to ingest nonmajoritarian substances. Costing the country easily $1 trillion per year.
  • The empire? Where is the discussion of the illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US provocations of Iran, the support for the Israeli-Zionist genocide in Gaza and in Palestine? It’s total silence. Again, roughly a $1 trillion/year cost to the productive class.
  • What about torture and the CIA atrocities? How about depleted uranium? Is any issue that offends the national security state off limits to Mr. Levin? Aren’t torture and US WMDs a form of tyranny?
  • Legal hemp? The insanity of banning agricultural hemp is a $trillion dollar per year loss of business to Americans. This is loss of liberty. (Mark probably thinks hemp is okay, but shouldn’t he say so?)
  • 9/11 truth: totally absent. Perhaps he will one day look at the evidence. I hate to pass judgment on the basis of a single book. Candidly, I’ve not listened to Mark on the air. Is he any good? Calm and reasonable?
  • What about Real ID? Does Mark feel we should all have biochips implanted in our arms so that some poor undocumented paisano won’t be able to cross the border to mow my lawn or cook my meals? Scapegoating of Hispanics for problems caused by big government plays right into the hands of the Statists that Mark purports to despise.
  • What about the Patriot Act? What has Levin come up with regarding Camp FEMA or ending the Fed or ending the Empire or ending the Drug War or eliminating theocracy or ending the thousands of state incursions into every area of our lives?
  • I don’t believe in the standard issue Christian supernatural being most call God; I think Levin feels that liberty somehow depends on such a being. Jefferson said, “no tyranny over the mind of man.” Superstitious belief is mental tyranny and of no use in fighting physical tyranny.

Where is Mark’s liberty on these matters? I know, doesn’t sell. Like Glenn Beck, like Limbaugh and all the right-wing bozos on TV, perhaps Mr. Levin is a Cartel plant, a mole, a false flag, a highly paid dissembler, a stalking horse, a Cartel enabler. But the book is well put together, and something tells me “the book” on Mark isn’t closed: he may be one of the right-wingers who actually learns to lift his eyes from the yoke of Godfaring warlust and see the full truth. [I sure hope we can work with these semi-good conservatives to stop nationalized health care.]

I recognize that Liberty and Tyranny sells a lot of copies [which is one reason I wanted to review it], but I’m afraid the book is indicative of a general lack of progress in human consciousness when we need it most.

[Statist liberalism is—I agree with Mark here—marginally worse than statist conservatism. Emotionally, I look at conservatives as children who will not grow up, but who have destructive power, e.g. Baby Huey (sometimes they grow up and become adults, libertarians); statist liberals are usually highly force-schooled, arrogant poseurs who want to tell us what to do in every area of our lives… because they worship the state. A statist liberal seldom becomes libertarian, because he knows everything already.]

We’re in a race, we humans, to become fully conscious before we wipe ourselves out. No guarantees we’re going to make it. Levin seems like a nice guy, but his limitations of understanding are so severe we need to look elsewhere for salvation. He ain’t it.

Go libertarian early and often.

At least start with Ron Paul.

###

[1] In my world view good conservatives and good liberals are libertarian; bad conservatives and bad liberals are statist… each in their own way. Bad conservatives tend to like the warfare state and bad liberals tend to like the welfare state.

[2] Complaint number two of L&T is it lacks an index. I don’t recall a single mention of Ron Paul, and I read every word of the book except for perhaps a few pages at the end.

[3] Please read Murray Rothbard’s short 1965 monograph, Left and Right: The Prospect for Liberty, for an understanding of the historical meanings of liberal and conservative. The conservative was one who wanted to “conserve” the ancien regime, the monarchy; he was the enemy of the Rights of Man… liberals in fact were libertarians of their day: they wanted the common man to enjoy his natural (not God-given or monarchy-given) rights to life, liberty, and property. Over the years, ironically, liberals became advocates of big government. Today a liberal wants big government for the little guy; conservatives want big government to support rich guys mainly via corporatism and the war machinery.

In either system, all the ordinary, honest guys get destroyed. The only term for someone who does not want big government, and who wants unmitigated recognition of the nonaggression principle is “libertarian.” [Levin, to his credit, indicates he has some understanding that classic liberal = libertarian, and he briefly abjures any truck with “corporatism” when he advocates capitalism.]

[4] And I totally agree English must be the official language for public affairs, i.e. street signs, drivers’ licenses, voter registration, anything to do with legitimate government functions. No laws should compel or encourage corporations to be bilingual Spanish, French, or Swahili. (When McDonald’s franchises in SE Michigan print bilingual Spanish monopoly-game instructions on the paper bags and tickets, we’ve gone too far in political correctness… and I just know there’s a law compelling that somewhere in the FTC regs.)


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