steven yates


steven yates
By Professor Steven Yates

Whatever philosophical defenses at our disposal, the truth ought to be plain to anyone with a functioning brain: for all practical purposes, for the average person private property rights simply do not exist anymore in the United States of America! And without private property rights—the right to own and control what one does on one’s own land, property, or other personal space, which one has justly purchased or contracted for—there is no such thing as liberty!

Property corporations, moreover, have grown just as intrusive as government bureaucrats. If you live in a large apartment complex, you are increasingly smothered under a blanket of regulations over what you can and can’t put on your front porch, etc. Apartment complexes gradually ceased to be locally owned in the roaring ‘90s, being bought up by megaconglomerates who would fire most of the local people (or “encourage” them to quit) and instill their own employees trained in “property management.” I was told by the resident manager of the complex I’d moved from that I could not keep cat litter boxes in the bathtub, I had to keep them on the bathroom floor.

I wondered: who cares? Enforcement of such petty nonsense is one sign you are under the thumb of a control freak. I’d moved from a place two years before that having had a problem with the storage of items on my back porch—very much out of sight from the street, and so not an eyesore or a hazard to anyone. I considered such matters to be no one else’s business once I turned in my rent check, as my private living arrangements were (1) not interfering with anyone else’s and (2) not inconveniencing anyone else or causing a problem within the complex as a whole. Arguments to property managers that these petty regulations did not exist even ten years ago fell on deaf ears. You can’t reason with corporate bureaucrats any more than you can with government bureaucrats. They are trained to follow rules, not listen to reason.

Such cases as that of the “Roswell Chicken Man” tend not to reach the general public through today’s controlled mainstream media environment. You hear about them only if you get your news from the Internet. Few of us factored into the equation the long-term devastation public schooling has wrought on the American consciousness. Millions of American students have graduated from major universities unable to list the rights acknowledged in the First Amendment, identify what the first ten Amendments to the Constitution are called, or in some cases even get the signing of the document in the right century.

Such students—figuratively if not literally brain-damaged by an “education” stressing sports, self-esteem, and political correctness—are hardly going to understand the reasoning that leads to economic and personal liberty—or recognize its violations unless it happens to them. (They approve of personal freedom if it is the freedom to have an abortion or use drugs or have sex with someone of the same sex. They do not understand the difference between liberty and license.)

In today’s America, multiple generations have been brain-damaged in this way. If public-schooled parents are irresponsible, it is a given that their public-schooled children will be even more irresponsible.

Moreover and finally, there is a cadre of individuals with a bully mindset that has fallen, hook, line and sinker for the leftist-corporatist-statist ideology of the day. These individuals, who identify with authority, portray libertarian-leaning folks, Patriots and Constitutionalists as crazy—possibly even dangerous. They have Saul Alinsky down cold when he says that “ridicule is man’s most potent weapon” They are immersed in political correctness—perhaps as members of the Brave New Generation who grew up never having seen a world where there was no such thing. These include the “trolls” I mentioned at the outset. A few years ago I crossed verbal swords with a couple such people in an online forum. They are capable of being extremely obnoxious, and are not above cyber-stalking (I was, in fact, stalked online by one of these people during summer 2007). The idea, of course, is to drive away politically incorrect or other outside-the-mainstream thinking.

The point here being: for all the careful reasoning available defending liberty, and for all the warnings readily available on the trouble the U.S. is in—especially with the Internet having made information available that would be completely suppressed otherwise—the growing police-statism and the steadily increasing danger of slow (or possibly rapid) economic decline in the U.S. in the near future: those who must respond—including the Stay and Fight crowd but necessarily also many ordinary Americans who are fed up—have not come forward in sufficient numbers or with sufficient organization. There is no critical mass of Americans organized on behalf of liberty in the U.S. Were there such a critical mass, it would have taken to the streets of Washington, D.C. quite some time ago. There are too many people who are happily inured within the various governmental or corporate systems—or enslaved by them both economically and emotionally—or who simply don’t care.

This is true despite Ron Paul’s greatly enhanced visibility a Republican nominee. Dr. Paul was liberty’s last hope. What should be clear is that the Establishment was (and is) ready to do what was (is) necessary to deny Dr. Paul the nomination, ranging from probable vote fraud to attacks on and arrest of his supporters at Republican events. Had Dr. Paul received the groundswell of support that would have overwhelmed the neocons and conceivably win him the nomination, I would not have put it past the Powers That Be to stage a false flag “terror attack” somewhere on U.S. soil.

And were either Ron Paul’s supporters or others who may not favor Ron Paul but are aware of the non-choice between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to begin protesting in large numbers at this point, the likelihood is that they would be met with increasing levels of brutality. A friend of mine came to this realization two years ago, prior to her leaving. She realized that government in the U.S. had become an agent of facelessless that would respond, if at all, to peaceful assembly not with dialogue but Tasers and pepper spray.

Her words: “Game over.”

While there have been U.S. citizens living and working outside the United States all along, of course, never have there been so many who are moving abroad for political reasons. A small “colony” had formed in Santiago before I arrived. All its members believe essentially the same thing: there is no longer any peaceful way to reverse the trend toward tyranny in the U.S., if only because there are not enough people who care, and those who do, lack the means and the motivation to organize themselves into a single force.

Moreover, as mentioned briefly above: an economic storm of vast proportions is coming. The storm is not limited to the U.S. but on the verge of striking everywhere the fractional reserve banksters have established power centers. It has already hit Greece, which is in a depression. Spain is in serious trouble, as are other European nations. The European Central Bank can’t go on bailing them out indefinitely. In the U.S., longstanding fiscal irresponsibility at all levels has created several bubbles—the national debt bubble, the student loan debt bubble, the derivatives bubble, and more besides—and when these burst, the country is in for a lot of pain—and probably significant civil unrest.

Consider what the Greeks are currently going through, then imagine the world’s largest economy in that kind of tailspin. Sadly, any civil unrest will probably focus on whoever is president, or whichever party is controlling Congress. It will not focus on the real enemy: the superelite, operating through the Federal Reserve and banking leviathans like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, and whose goal I’ve called technofeudalism: the kind of “scientific” dictatorship portrayed very effectively in novels such as Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and promoted by British philosopher and Fabian socialist Bertrand Russell (see his The Impact of Science on Society).

These two are likely to dovetail. A massive economic meltdown caused, e.g., by a collapse of the financial system leading to runs on banks (of a sort that has already happened in Greece), resulting in civil unrest and efforts to move money out of the country in large quantities could precipitate a crackdown by presidential executive order.

Some, whom I call Apocalyptics, see a sudden, catastrophic meltdown coming. They envision riots in the streets amidst closed banks, skyrocketing inflation, and disappearing foodstuffs—and a declaration of martial law that suspends the Constitution. One such person who moved to Chile last year put it to me this way: “Would you rather watch the coming riots in the U.S. on your Chilean TV screen or through your front window?” Truthfully, I’ve long found such visions a bit dubious.

Those who want power and whose ultimate goal is world government have been able to make gradual approaches punctuated by occasional shocks (e.g., 9/11, the Meltdown of ’08) work nicely. Thus we have seen the slow death of freedom “by a thousand tiny cuts,” as it were. The masses have been kept frightened by visions of terrorists behind every tree and otherwise pacified by the entertainment culture. The growing legions of unemployed have been kept at bay by bought-and-paid-for “economists” promising a “recovery” that doesn’t exist outside of government numbers. In this sense, I am a gradualist who sees steadily increasing government / bankster power amidst a steadily declining standard of living in the U.S., doubtless punctuated by a few major jolts (precipitated, perhaps, by another major war or two in the Middle East) for which mainstream media will do damage control.

I could be wrong, though. Were something to happen that large numbers of people see as threatening their livelihoods, they would panic. A financial meltdown could do that. One author recently argued, relying on purported inside sources, that for all practical purposes this has already happened: since 2008 the bankster elites have been holding the Western financial system together with the equivalent of paperclips, rubber bands and Scotch tape! If she is right, the entire mess could come unglued at any time. If that happens, the roof caves in.

Thus many of us—one at a time—reached the decision that the time had indeed come to pack our bags. I had begun pointing out to groups to whom I spoke: the U.S. is one 9/11-type event away from martial law over at least the affected areas, and possibly over the entire nation.

Were that to happen—or if legislation limiting expatriation is passed—it could become very difficult to leave the U.S. legally with one’s assets intact. With new and stricter requirements just for obtaining a passport having gone into effect, a bureaucratic Berlin Wall is already going up.

When I look at the Stay and Fight crowd, I see many decent and sincere people. They are not violent; if anyone is violent, it is those running the Omnipotent State. Their main drawback is that they haven’t figured out how to pool their resources and work together. (Some groups back in Greenville scheduled monthly meetings on the same night, back to back. That gives you some idea of the lack of coordination through communication.) Many still appear to believe that if they just get the “right” people into public office, or if they can get enough people convinced of the truth of liberty economics or liberty philosophy, or what-have-you, they can still stop the onrushing police state. But without unified leadership, organization, and a strong critical mass of support which will necessarily include visible media capable of competing with, say, CNN or Fox, the Stay and Fight crowd will be limited in what it can accomplish.

Some will disagree with this. My response: prove me wrong! Nothing would make me happier!

For over four years now, Ron Paul has been the most visible figure whose vision of liberty should have been capable of unifying and leading such a movement—which I believe cannot succeed unless it unplugs the U.S. economy from superelite / bankster control. Dethroning the superelite is only possible by focusing like a laser beam on their primary power center: the Federal Reserve System. Dr. Paul began in the right place: calling for a comprehensive audit of the Federal Reserve, which would be followed up by a call to shut it down, and to criminalize fractional reserve banking in the U.S.

Dr. Paul has certainly done his part, but clearly this just isn’t going to happen!

The Stay and Fight crowd will continue to struggle on; of this I have no doubt. I wish them well—and reiterate my challenge: prove me wrong. I’d be the last person to tell them simply to give up, especially since I know of many, many Patriots who either lack the personal resources to move from the U.S. or have spouses or other family members who refuse to leave. There are people, moreover, that I care about a great deal who cannot leave—remaining family and close friends. In case anyone is wondering, it is a complete fluke—perhaps evidence of Divine Providence!—that I was able to leave. But that is a story for another day.

Will we turn out to have been mistaken, as the U.S. continues muddling along, lurching from crisis to crisis, with no recognizable tyranny emerging? The answer is that when people cannot sell raw milk or collect rainwater on their own property without being arrested, jailed and fined, recognizable tyranny has already emerged.

If tyranny comes to the U.S., won’t it also come to nations like Chile who, after all, are affected by what happens in the States? All I can say is that the economy here is considerably better than the economy in the U.S., although I know that’s not saying a whole lot.

Won’t some of us realize to our dismay that we’ve made bad personal decisions to leave when, for whatever reason, we are unable to maintain the standard of living which we had in the U.S. (or, more bluntly, when we start to run out of money)? I don’t have a ready answer for that one. All of us are in uncharted waters. Every choice any of us makes carries with it an element of risk.

There is still a very good abstract case to be made that a rediscovery of the basic principles of liberty, and of the sort of economics that brings about genuine prosperity, could turn the U.S. around. But due to the need to flush out over 30 years worth of malinvestment and pseudo-prosperity, the ride from where the U.S. is now to such a state of affairs could be extremely rough! The economy would appear to nosedive, at least initially. People would have to learn independence all over again, in some cases from scratch; while of course they could and should help each other, they would not be able to turn to the government for assistance. So-called “preppers” are aware of this and doing something about it.

Theirs is a form of internal “expatriation.” But they, too, are facing legal and bureaucratic harassment. Bureaucrats must be made to get out of the way if things are to turn around. I have a bridge to sell anyone who believes that will be accomplished without a struggle that could easily turn violent at some point, in some locations. I emphasize: none of us want that result. But those in power, their many underlings, and those who defend them in the media, in online forums and elsewhere, or go along in corporations, have made the peaceful restoration of liberty and Constitutional government very unlikely if not impossible.

We are, after all, talking not just about power-hungry politicians / enforcers or greed-driven CEOs, but also myriad little bullies, invisible within the larger picture, with self-importance but no life accomplishments of significance, and who have learned to work out their frustrations within the system by tyrannizing those under their thumb. Some of these people are as sociopathic as any dictator!

In sum, I foresee more and more repression in the U.S. of anyone whose ideas or business ventures or lifestyle choices (unless they are politically correct, like abortion and homosexuality) deviate from official approval. Legal avenues for self-defense will diminish, since (1) given such evil legislation as the National Defense Authorization Act, if an accusation can be worded in the proper way you may soon be incarcerated indefinitely and denied legal representation; and (2) even if legal counsel is technically available to you, the lawyers able to represent your interests competently may well be priced out of your reach. (An economic base able to create employment opportunities that will sustain a middle class existence is not being destroyed in the U.S. for no reason at all!)

Thus I would urge those who have the means to do so, to re-examine their prospects realistically and think seriously about where they might go and what they might do. Do your homework; the cultures and languages are different out here. I wish I knew what to say to those who lack the means, as I know they are out there, perhaps reading articles like this one: except that in the end, of course, this is God’s universe and that He will accomplish His purposes in this world even if it means that some of us humans face a rough ride in the meantime. Following 9/11, you saw God Bless America! everywhere—on road signs, banners, etc.

But given the wanton slaughter of over 50 million unborn babies since 1973, given the country’s embrace of, e.g., homosexuality, and given the countless less visible violations of His precepts for civilized living, perhaps God has withdrawn His blessings from America. Perhaps he hasn’t blessed a movement many of whose members, in their arrogance, see His existence as incompatible with their pursuit of a worldview based exclusively on Reason (or Science). We presuppositionalists see Reason as presupposing God. That, too, is another article. What is important in the here and now—given our present situation, of ultimate importance!—is for each of us to be sure we are right with Him. This can be accomplished only by acknowledging and embracing what Jesus Christ did for us sinners on a wooden cross just over 2,000 years ago. Only then can we have a prospect of someday enjoying genuine liberty and genuine safety, even if we remain “strangers and pilgrims” on this Earth (Heb. 11:13). For part one click below.

Steven Yates, Ph.D., now lives in Santiago, Chile. His most recent book is entitled Four Cardinal Errors: Reasons for the Decline of the American Republic (Spartanburg, SC: Brush Fire Press of America, 2011).