Author: Austin Anderholt

Austin Anderholt is an Anarcho-Capitalist editorialist and proud member of the Libertarian Party. He currently resides in Washington. Contact him at [email protected]

I Survived Socialist Venezuela

By Austin Anderholt | United States

Andrés is your average Latino teenager who enjoys his summer like any typical American kid. He’s relaxing on vacation and watching the World Cup with family and friends. Life is laid back, and adulthood isn’t even a problem yet for the brown-haired soccer enthusiast.

However, Andrés’s story hasn’t always been that nice. From 2000-2009, Andrés survived the socialist hell of Venezuela.

The South American country is home to over 31 million inhabitants, known for its warm and wet tropical climate, rich oil reserves, mountain ranges, diverse wildlife, incredibly delicious dishes such as meaty and cheesy arepas, and oh yeah… a failing economy created by the socialist dictator Hugo Chavez.

“In the seventies,” Andrés tells me, “Hugo Chavez nationalized the oil. He expanded the welfare state, and all government services relied on oil. In other countries, when oil prices go down, it’s not that big of a deal, but in Venezuela, it crashes down on everything. Innovation and economic growth and technology collapse.”

Because the socialist government is trying to survive on its oil exports alone, acquiring goods is a hardship in Venezuela. It’s a common sight for many people wake up in the early hours of the morning to wait in long lines for basic necessities such as toilet paper and food.

“The lines are just…you have to wait literal hours. And you can only buy one thing per week. If you miss that week, you’re done.”

The constant food shortages aren’t even the worst part about the communist ruin of the Venezuelan economy. The minimum wage was recently hiked up 150% to one million bolivars (the official Venezuelan currency) per month. However, this staggering amount of money earns you a whopping $1.61 on the Venezuelan black market. Not even close to enough for a family to survive for a month.

Starting in 2015, it was just as extreme: “One carton of eggs was three million Bolivars. A month of work to earn. Which by official exchange rate is less than a dollar.”

So how do Venezuelans survive the brutal left-wing economy? Andrés, who still has family stuck in Venezuela, has some ideas.

“For my family, we have to send money to our family in Venezuela just to feed them. They’re moving out, my grandma, three uncles, and an aunt.”

Venezuela hasn’t always been known as the economic hell that it is now. Back in the 60s, it was a much more capitalist social democracy and even known as “The Cancún of Latin America”. Even JFK visited the country, with Jaquelyn Kennedy delivering a speech in Spanish. “Her accent was bad, but whatever.” Remarks Andrés.

“Before Chavez, we used to compare Venezuela to Switzerland. It would be considered crazy for a Venezuelan to want to leave, and Colombians would illegally cross the border to live here. Even Americans flocked here. Now, it’s the opposite. Everyone wants to move out. We’re like the Syrian refugees of Latin America.”

Andrés’ family was lucky. As upper-class citizens, they enjoyed the ability to legally move to the United States. Ironically, many children of socialist Venezuelan politicians did just the same during this time period. However, most Venezuelans aren’t so fortunate:

“People try to cross the border or swim, but that’s impossible. Some people try to stay on their visas in America.”

I asked Andrés if people can still believe in socialism after coming out of a nation filled with starvation, shortages, and a daily struggle for survival. His response was unsurprising:

“Unless you’re linked to the government, it’s very hard to come out of Venezuela a socialist. Some are Keynesian. It’s very hard to be a Venezuelan and a socialist unless you’re a corrupt official or very very very very very poor person.”

Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, and Bernie Sanders have endorsed Venezuelan socialism. Once the government started gunning down protesters in 2017, they started saying ‘It’s not real socialism!’. Once the whole system collapses, it’s never real socialism.”

Andrés goes on to tell me that his whole family is made up of anti-authoritarian republicans, and he identifies as a libertarian. Either way, Venezuelans are sick of starving and are sick of their corrupt government. They want change, and there are a few ways to go about this.

There is always old-fashioned political voting. Groups such as the Movmíento Libertario are examples of young leaders trying to turn Venezuela away from its left-wing dictatorship.

However, a civil political movement might not be a good idea:

“The Chavista government gives welfare to people that vote for them. It will even promise housing to their supporters. Also, the regime gives 3-4 licenses to fans of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro. These licenses give them superhero names like ‘Batman’ or ‘Superman’. Also if you’re registered to vote, and don’t vote, the regime votes for you.”

“The only opposition is democratic socialists, so they’re not much of an ‘opposition’. They just kind of preach ‘peace and love’.”

“Some parties (like ‘Vente Venezuela’, a free market political party and one of the only right-wing Venezuelan political parties) are virtually illegal. And anyone who protests has the constant possibility of being arrested, or murdered by the Chavista regime.”

Decentralization is another huge option. Venezuela has a thriving black market and it is one of the only reasons that the populace can stay alive. André’s advice?

“Buy crypto. When the Inflation hit, people switched to Cryptocurrency on the black market. Bitcoin is being used to protect from people the regime from printing money to pay back debt and overinflating the market. However, the Chavista Government started cracking down on crypto traders, arresting anyone who wasn’t using the Nationalized cryptocurrency, called ‘el petro’. Crypto isn’t specifically illegal, but the government does whatever it wants.”

So what does the future hold for Venezuela? Only time will tell, but it seems like liberty and decentralization are a shining beacon of hope for a South American nation, enslaved by leftism.


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The American Government is a Terrorist Organization

By Austin Anderholt | United States

Ever since 9/11, the American public can’t stop talking about terrorism. According to a gallup poll, 58% of Americans were somewhat or very worried that them or their family might become a victim of terrorism. this is astoundingly high considering the fact that the average american has  a 1 in 3.8 billion chance of being a victim of foreign terrorism. Americans, rather than being afraid of highly improbable threats, should be worried about a newer, much more dangerous terrorist organization: their own government.

Read this excerpt from an article published on Telesurtv.net :

So far, the conflict in Afghanistan has resulted in between 106,000-170,000 civilian casualties, according to the March 2015 report “Body Count.” The report, authored by a group of doctors and medical experts, estimates the total death toll of the broader U.S. War on Terror as over 1.3 million. The report only focused on deaths in conflicts in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, and excluded U.S.-led military operations in countries such as Libya, Somalia and Yemen. The report’s estimate puts the death toll of the War on Terror at well over 300 times the number of dead from the initial September 11 attacks.”

Think about that. Name one terrorist organization that has killed 1.3 million people. The American government has killed well over 300 times as many civilians trying to avenge a terrorist attack than in the initial attack, and people only care about the initial terrorist attack. Why? Because to the American public, terrorism only matters if the government isn’t behind it.

Take the Oklahoma city bombing, for example. This attack killed 168 people and was labeled as domestic terrorism. Ironically, this attack (while totally wrong) was in response to another terrorist attack, which occurred a year earlier: The siege of the Branch Davidians at Waco, Texas, which also killed hundreds. So why is it, that only one is seen as domestic terrorism and another is pushed away and lesser known, especially as an act of terrorism? Again, because of the false notion that governments can’t be terrorists, especially the American government.

One may claim that governments are incapable of committing such actions.

We must remind ourselves of what a government simply is. A government is nothing but a group of coercive individuals with the ability to “legally” plunder and abduct. Just because we live in democratic mob rule doesn’t mean we don’t live under tyrannical rule. The government doesn’t have any excuses for why they kill innocent people.

I’m sure that at least some of the 1.3 million civilian casualties from the war on terror were on purpose, but let’s pretend they were all on accident. If a civilian commit 1.3 million counts of involuntary manslaughter, don’t you think that they would be punished? For some reason, government isn’t.

Government is also the master at fooling it’s citizens into obeying genocides. Ever wonder why citizens go berserk when a terrorist attack happens but when governments kill millions and millions in genocides, such as the holocaust, gulags, and other events, it seems like no one is fazed.

Furthermore, the American government has killed and imprisoned an astounding number of peaceful, innocent individuals. 86% of the 2012 federal prison population was in there for victimless crime. I again ask you. What would happen if a citizen started locking people in cages for doing something that said citizen disagreed with? That would be lunacy! Why does the state get away with it?

The September 11th attacks was the most violent terrorist incident in recorded history, killing almost 3,000 people. Governments consistently systematically kill more people, be it through wars, genocide, or “law enforcement”. The American government in particular consistently murders millions of innocent people. It should not be pledged to by our youth. It should not be loved. It is a terrorist organization and should be treated as such.


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Thinking like a Socialist: The Leftist Paradigm

By Austin Anderholt | United States

“Never argue with stupid people. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

-Mark Twain

A good long discussion can solve many political debates. In my experience, even the most liberal, pro choice, anti gun leftist can come to terms with the most pro life, gun owning, anti gay Christian fundamentalist with a long enough discussion. In fact, I believe debate can settle all political issues; all of them, except one. Capitalism or socialism?

Every capitalist I’ve talked to seems to ask why those “stupid commies can’t just understand economics” and every socialist I’ve talked to seems ask “Why are those capitalist pigs so greedy?” They simply cannot understand eachother.

To understand this bizarrely strong divide between economic ideologies, we must understand how a debate works. Almost every single political debate follows a structure:

There is one resolution, “X” and there are two positions. The positive argues that “X is true” and the negative argues that “X is false”. For example, one resolution in the abortion debate might be that “Abortion is murder.” The pro life positive might argue that “The resolution ‘Abortion is murder’ is true.” and the pro choice negative might argue “The resolution ‘Abortion is murder’ is false.”

This form of debate can follow every political issue, except the age old “Socialism vs. Capitalism” debate. Why? Because left and right think on an entirely different paradigm in this argument. There is no “Should we have X?” because under socialist ideology, leftists demand that “Healthcare is a right!” and that “I worked hard, so I get my share!” The entire ideology of leftists will dismiss dissent as evil and intolerable.

This idea of entitlement comes from not a bad argument, but no argument, replaced by emotion.

For example, the idea that “How hard I worked should determine how much I earn” is absolutely preposterous to not only a capitalist, but a rational thinker. I read a lot of books about business, and in many of these book, always one of the main differences between a rich mindset and a poor mindset is that “Rich people know that output determines how successful, they will be, while poor people assume that because they worked hard, they will earn a lot.”

This mindset between rich and poor can be seen not only in socioeconomics, but in left and right economic theory itself. One of the foundational principles of leftism is the labor theory of value. This theory states again that “How much I earn should be determined by how hard I try rather than how hard I produce.” Again we see that this is absurd. If a man is to build a business without breaking a sweat, the free market is totally justified in rewarding him more than a man who works extremely hard only to fail. As rational thinkers, we know that without the evil rich businessmen that provide our jobs, healthcare, and services, society would cease to exist.

Moreover, we simply cannot reward people for being unproductive. A great example of this was the collectivization of farms in the early days of the Soviet Union. Rather than letting the free market reward successful farmers with the income to buy more land or hire more people (which would lead to more effective farming) Soviet leftists rounded up successful peasants as “kulaks” and murdered them by the millions. They then rewarded the poor, unsuccessful peasants with more land. This resulted in huge famines of course. Killing the only productive members of an economy and replacing them with unsuccessful failures is doomed to fail.

However, leftists don’t care about what’s doomed to fail. Leftists will never debate this issue with logic and reason. They are more moved by the sad image in their heads of the “poor homeless people” than by statistics that prove socialism is what makes people poor and homeless. This is what makes the debate between capitalism and leftism so impossible. The debate is happening on two totally different paradigms. The capitalist paradigm follows reasoning and evidence, while the leftist paradigm follows emotion.

Bring Down The State By Refusing To Play Its Game

By Austin Anderholt | United States

The state is an entity of evil and force, for its very existence depends on stealing from, locking up, and brainwashing its victims. I have involved myself much politically, working to denounce this evil. I have started social media pages that have garnered massive followings. I have written articles that have been collectively seen by thousands of eyes. I have repeatedly denounced the murder, theft, extortion, kidnapping, fraud of both the United States federal government and all other states.

My activism, while possibly insightful, has done nothing at all to help the dissolution of the stage in the long term. It’s possible that I’ve convinced hundreds of people that “taxation is theft” and that “the state is evil” but to what extent? Everyone will still submit to paying taxes and obeying the involuntary state out of fear.

I ask you this: How many more children will be bombed by the american government before you say It’s time to end this. How many more trillions of dollars must the american government steal before you say I refuse to put up with this! How many more millions of people must be locked in a cage for victimless crimes before you take action against the coercive state?

It’s time to act. It’s time to make an actual change. The American civil rights movement didn’t abolish Jim Crow by convincing racists not to be racist. They disobeyed the laws of the state that they saw were wrong. They were actively insubordinate to demands that they deemed unjustified.

Notice, the American civil rights movement did not fight back against their tyranny by committing a specific act. They fought back by refusing to follow something. Did Rosa Parks protest bus segregation by destroying a bus? Fighting a bus driver? No. She simply stayed out, refusing to obey laws she felt were wrong.

Clearly, the most efficient revolutions are revolutions that, rather than actively aggress upon their enemy, simply refuse to obey the tyranny that they feel is being placed upon them. This can be illustrated through many examples in history, such the carnation revolution, velvet revolution, cedar revolution, and tulip revolution.

These ideas show us that government can be swiped away through a matter of simply everyone voicing themselves against the state at once. A simple, short, dissolution of coercion. Mises, after all, did make clear that governments depend on popular support. Without it, they have no foundation to stand on.

That is why I’m calling for an uprising right now. Many of you might notice it’s tax season right now. Imagine if we collectively sprang up against government one day against the extortion of taxation. It’s time that we no longer sit here and theorize; any insubordinate action against the state will get us that much closer to a free society.

Any small act will go a long way. Refuse to further submit. Albert Camus once said “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” This is exactly what we must do. I have been inspired by the many civil disobedience protests against the state that figures like Adam Kokesh have done. It is now time for us all to do the same. Don’t pay taxes, smoke a plant, do whatever you want to yourself without hurting anyone else because you own yourself and the state doesn’t. 

Resist its power over you and live as a free human.


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Patriotism and the State are not your God

By Austin Anderholt | United States

In American politics, the right loves to poke fun at the left. What seems to be their favorite way to do this is poke fun at how liberals base all of their politics on “feelings”. The right loves to call the left “triggered snowflakes” and other assorted names.

This rhetoric stems from the fact that the American right sees itself as the messiah of hard facts and logic, uncaring of your “feelings”. This is extremely ironic, seeing as the American right is the most emotional, childish piece of American politics.

Right wingers love to bow down to their government, calling it “patriotism”. They chant slogans like “Blue Lives Matter” and “Support our troops.” When thibking about it rationally, it becomes extremely silly to imagine that people cherish so dearly the very police that infringe on their basic rights. It seems so crazy that people would let the government steal more of their paycheck to fund the killings of more innocent children through wars. It becomes even sillier to imagine that people think that action is “supporting our troops”. However, the right doesn’t look at the government through a lens of logic and reasoning. The right looks at the government through a lense of emotion, more specifically, fear.

If you take a look at how Americans view patriotism, you get a sense that the government is some sort of Orwellian god. For example, the government teaches American schoolchildren as young as five to put their hands on their heart and pledge themselves to the state every morning. We also look at our flag as something that can never touch the ground. Americans get offended when someone desecrates it. It’s an idol.

When you ask Americans why they voluntarily pledge themselves to the state, or worship a government that hurts them through stealing their money and infringing their rights, they give very vague answers.

“Because people died for America!”

Oh really. People died for the swastika and the hammer and sickle. Just because people that I’ve never met decided to risk their life for their opinion doesn’t mean I should worship said opinion.

“America means freedom!”

Really? The government that infringes on my rights, steals from my money, and indoctrinates the masses into hailing it represents freedom?

From these vague responses on such a big issue, we can conclude that something else is the reason that Americans are so overly patriotic and worship the state so much:

Group pressure and fear.

Every dictator knew that in order to make a individuals submit, you must make the group submit. This is why Hitler’s rallies were so powerful. When everyone else is hailing Hitler in unison, it’s human nature to feel like you’re making the incorrect choice by not hailing Hitler.

This is why the pledge works so well. Everyone stands up and recites that they pledge themselves to the state in unison. You feel like an outcast if you’re not also there pledging the state. Soon it becomes a competition. We all want to prove to everyone that we love our state more than the next guy. This is why everyone just says “I love America! God bless America!” So much. Do they have any idea of why they’re saying that? No! It just seems so romantic to love something unconditionally no matter what, especially when state education has glorified it.

This is why we love our military so much. The thought of saying “Sure people in the military have been killed, but people have died for many reasons, and I don’t have to agree with their cause just because they died for it.” Sounds scary. Humans want to be a part of a group. They don’t want to be labeled a “traitor” to the all righteous state that everyone is apart of.

This is what makes the American right so emotional. The state is their god. They are afraid to think or speak against it. They are afraid of not being apart of the masses, and they are afraid that they will be an outcast if they don’t hail Hitler like everyone else does. Remember, be a rebel. Don’t jump off a cliff just because everyone else is yelling at you to do it. The state is not your god.

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