Author: Dylan Anders

The Military Oath of Enlistment is Self-Contradictory

By Dylan Anders | @realdylananders

A popular belief in a purpose of government is to provide the common defense. Ask any civics teacher, refer to a textbook, or take a look at the Constitution: this is quite evident. Despite the founding fathers’ intentions, though, the common defense came in the form of a standing army during times of peace and war alike. This defense’s primary duty was to protect the liberties that the new Americans had fought for. As such, specific guidelines bound soldiers. When joining, they must take an oath of enlistment in order to pledge themselves to that supposed goal.

What is the Oath?

The Armed Forces’ ‘Oath of Enlistment’ contains statements which a soldier is legally obligated to follow. However, the oath itself, especially in today’s political climate, is self-contradictory. It leads one into confusion as to what the true objectives of the soldier are. Below is the oath that all enlisting soldiers take (or with some minor variation):

I, (name of enlistee), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

Let me emphasize that the several provisions of the oath may not necessarily contradict each other. This is solely dependent on the presence of a presidential infringement of the Constitution. A dilemma occurs that the oath completely disregards. When the president commits a crime, be that one against the Constitution or another high crime or misdemeanor, Article 2, Section 4 provides the president should no longer hold office.

Despite the harsh reality that this punishment has never come to fruition, the contradictory nature of the Oath remains. If the president infringes on his limits of the Constitution, especially a part regarding executive powers during a war, he directly opposes the Constitution that every soldier swears to protect. Of course, the president would deserve a trial to prove his guilt before anyone takes action against him.

A Broken Oath of Enlistment

This is the ultimate catch 22. If a soldier abides by the Constitution, then he or she may be breaking line with the president, thus breaking the oath. But by following the words of the president, and breaking the Constitution, the soldier also goes against the oath. So, every time the president breaks from the Constitution, the oath goes out the window.

This raises the most crucial question: Who really is the military protecting the Constitution against? The absolute modifier ‘all’ in the Oath implies that the military would use force to defend the values of the Constitution against any enemy. However, the military would not feasibly defend against the executive power. So, the hope of justice lies not on the military’s oath. This thus furthers the realization that a nation’s military force and their head of state become one, exploitable for the executive’s motives.

What is the value of the oath? If the president truly is guilty, prior to any legal action at all, then the soldiers are subject to a guilty leader’s will. The common soldier, faithfully and honorably held under oath, is a threat to the Constitution at any time, at any order of the President of United States. 

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Politics is Awful but Necessary for Liberty in the Future

By Dylan Anders | @realdylananders

John Adams wrote, in a 1780 letter to his wife:

“I must study Politics and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematics and Philosophy.”

To be frank and seemingly hypocritical, I despise politics. The political system that many fellow citizens subscribe to is a perpetual debate of whose war is preferable, which tax plan would better supersede the previous president’s, and whether to legalize firearms or marijuana. All of these are the same question in disguise:

Which boot tastes better, the right or the left? In what way can the government claim itself all-powerful today?

These arguments are too childish for many of us, but we engage anyways, in a tangential manner. We criticize the deceit of Washington and its partners in an attempt to open the eyes of the masses. However, we should know that the masses do remain a part of the majority for the same reason that humans are drawn towards the thought of safety and dogmatism.

The necessity for contemporary politics means that there is a lack of liberty. This is inherent in today’s partisan system.

Thus, I hate politics. I yearn a feeling of gratification if I were to indulge in the studies of the sciences and the arts. However, I feel deeply obligated to debate, to write, to speak. One day, a day may come where society is free, but today is not that day. Today, it is not right to study the sciences and the arts, though they are fascinating. Liberty is necessary so that the next generations can indulge in life’s finer aspects.

Surely, these subjects are a noble cause in and of themselves, but I find myself baffled as to how seemingly intelligent men and women can be so complacent. After all, they are in the presence of an authority that will steal, kill, and abandon truth.

Being able to think critically, speak intently, and act willfully is the fundamental sign of a free human being.

Clearly, we know not what the future holds. However, one thing is clear. In the words of modern thinker Stefan Molyneux: We must debate or die. Otherwise, we are useless for the moral compass we claim to stand for.

For every wrongful act of government, be it the acts of genocide on innocent children, imprisonment of peaceful people, or authoritative policing on all citizens, I seemed to become more and more discouraged in this cause. But with this concept, hope can still exist. Our bodies may be compromised, but as long as I have my mind and my spirit, I am victorious against all tyrants. And by standing against these tyrants, the next generation may see a brighter future.

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Labor Unions Destroyed the Sanctity of the Worker

By Dylan Anders | @realdylananders

In a society abundant with lies, War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength, what makes us ‘free’ is what keeps us in chains. This goes for many facets of society; we believe we are strengthened by numbers, and as such, we collectivize each other. We are placed in a group from birth, depending on class, among others. Society fails to realize that the smallest minority in the world is in fact the individual. We orient ourselves to think in a way as to how legislation will affect a group based upon the supposed traits that may or may not be true.

This disposition is also found in labor unions that follow a range of circumstances where workers are put into a collectivist pool that does not care of the troubles of each and every individual. There is a financial struggle placed on the common worker and the inability to escape it that leads to their demise in the work field. In current iterations of labor unions, the laborer will, more times than not, find greater destruction of his or her economic freedom than benefits.

Labor Unions and the Free Market

Some creations from years and years ago may now be obsolete; 8 track tapes, payphones, and Congress are all cases of this. Labor unions are another such example. A free market, with only voluntary unions (not involved in government), in the current economy with superb job mobility may provide what labor unions had originally promised. The labor movement of many years ago, as put by,  “…grew out of the need to protect the common interest of workers. For those in the industrial sector, organized labor unions fought for better wages, reasonable hours and safer working conditions.” 

Coercion and Freedom

The vision in this is a concept of individual worker rights through voluntary bargaining. Simply put, these goals of worker freedom are not present today, as were before. The key contrast from then and now is worker choice. Randall G. Holcombe illustrated the difference between coercive association and voluntarism in labor unions. He emphasized that the hand of “labor law has given unions the power to dictate to employees collective bargaining conditions, and has deprived employees of the right to bargain for themselves regarding their conditions of employment.”

The lack of voluntarism in unions clearly should be counter-intuitive, but this has been the reality for a very long time. Sanctions are given for failure to comply with obligatory rules of labor laws regarding unions. In current, modern forms of unions, the worker simply is not satisfied and is disregarded in his or her rights of freedom of association in their compulsory activities with such unions.

The financial goals of early unions dealt with the idea of “livable wages,” a phrase often heard even to this day. The workers of the Industrial Revolution faced the hardships of more than humble pay, which was not enough to support a family. This time period, in the absence of unions, is often used to counter the argument against such unions, due to the severity of the time of industrialization. The push to fix this turned into a monster after economists realized the detrimental effects to the economy by way of minimum wage increases.

A Forced Living Wage Hurts Consumers

James Sherk of the Heritage Foundation recognized that if employers must raise wages for the sake of the law, they compensate for a profit loss when they “…pass on those higher wages to consumers through higher prices, and often they also earn lower profits. Economic research finds that unions… hurt consumers generally, and especially workers who are denied job opportunities.” The blow an economy of a certain market takes in this does not come unnoticed.

Consumers (which include the common worker as well) pay more for their goods. This is only a part of the equation; once employers are involuntarily forced to pay their employees more, they are left to fire workers, thus increasing unemployment. Increased wages will undoubtedly seem like a positive to all, but, throughout the last few decades, as Mises explained, “wherever and whenever the unions succeeded in raising wage rates above the potential market rate, i.e., above the amount the workers would have earned without union interference, ‘institutional’ unemployment developed as a lasting phenomenon.”

Many Left in the Dark

Sure, unions have raised wages, but these institutions are giving a smaller percentage of workers these wages, leaving plenty of unemployed union workers to starve. Evidently, labor unions fail their members financially, leaving the average laborer in a worse position financially with higher market prices and reduced employment rates.

Many wonderful concepts from brilliant minds may be useless in practice, where its flaws become ever so clear. Labor unions, institutions promising to help the worker, disappoint rather than support. In fact, unions have hit the polar opposite of the mark. Research findings regarding union worker satisfaction show “…when it comes to job satisfaction, the economic advantages of union jobs are not sufficient to compensate for job content and work environment factors.

It comes as no surprise to the job satisfaction researcher that job content — the nature of the tasks people are given to do — weighs heavily in overall job satisfaction scores.” Union workers find themselves trapped in a coercive group that causes unemployment and increased prices of goods, all due to the push for increased wages. Serious reform to the current system must occur before labor unions are considered to be a viable benefit to the worker.

A Never-Ending Game of Failure

The workers of America go to work everyday, in constant hopes of success. They wonder if it may be a never-ending game they are forced to play, with no real end, only a struggle. Workers may look for the escape from their troubles they cannot fight, though they try. It is sometimes a saddening spectacle to observe.

Even the strongest of us humans may fall victim to those in power. A god among men, Sisyphus, of Greek mythology was forced to push a boulder up a mountain perpetually, but “at the very end of his long effort measured by skyless space and time without depth, the purpose is achieved. Then Sisyphus watches the stone rush down in a few moments toward that lower world whence he will have to push it up again toward the summit.” The common man and women face this same dilemma. He or she may look, as any would, to escape what enslaves them. The labor force, unionized, is what will leave them in chains. And they may never know it.

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Yes, Voting IS Consent to be Governed

Dylan Anders | @realdylananders

Many libertarians seem to find an exception in voting as a means to achieve a free society. It evens appears that even anarchists are willing to use the state as a method to eventually abolish the state. This hypocrisy is not only disingenuous, but it clearly cannot happen. Any libertarian must understand that the system that they have grown such a deep distaste for will not fix itself, or even allow itself to be fixed. Such authority is too precious to those with it. Any sensible libertarian would recognize that the men that run this nation would stop at nothing to ensure that the power complex is secure.

George Orwell, in his famous novel 1984, says it well: “no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.” Simply put, the system will not willingly vote itself away.

When you vote, you legitimize the power of the system to subject their will onto the people. By casting a vote, you have followed the route that the government has established and as a result, you have shown that such a system is valuable. Quite literally, a voter admits that the governmental practice of voting is valuable, though a minority group (usually the individual) is often harmed by it.

Hypocrisy of the Voting Libertarian

A system of voting is inherently an antithesis to self-ownership and liberty, by way of democracy.

Voting admits to those who believe in the state that we must use state to bargain for our liberty. You either believe in the system and trust it to eventually do right by voting, or you do not vote.

Voting is a moral wrong. Subjecting your will, even if you are voting for small government, is done through an act of coercion, which Libertarians must be against if they are driven by the principle of self-ownership and voluntarism.

Voting is begging, a ransom, buying a lottery ticket into the system, and not incorporating the act of living freely in your own life.

Though voting to be freer can further the liberty movement, voting is asking to be free, rather than declaring your right to self-ownership. This sort of relationship is akin to a prison officer as government and the prisoner as the voter, asking to be let go. The fact of the matter is, asking to be free is counter-productive and is clearly not a worthy goal. Refusing to rebel against your oppressor is, in a great sense, Stockholm Syndrome. By doing so, you play the games of your oppressor.

A Way to Live Freely

Voting is different than revolution and agorism when it comes to obtaining liberty. Both revolution and agorism come with direct human action. Voters must be willing to supplement their votes with some external force, in order to destroy the oppressive state. Voting, in this sense, is just a poll that holds no real value, unless the citizenry takes the power back through revolution or agorism.

The greatest—and only—contemporary option there is is one free of government and its systems. We must be free and show people a world without governmental control over our lives. Agorism shows the power of self-ownership. While a revolution would come at a time no one could predict, engaging in the black market is prime way to work against the system. Show people that society can operate peacefully without government. By doing so, you can tear the State’s grip off of your hand and advertently own yourself.

Libertarian thinker Frank Chodorov put it best, when speaking on the abstinence of voting: “Since we as individuals have decided to look after our affairs, your services are no longer needed. “

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The Boomers and Their Greatest Weapon: Experience

By Dylan Anders | @realdylananders

We libertarian youngsters have never heard the end of it from parents and grandparents regarding our views. Of course, this does not apply to all of them, as each individual has a different mind. However, there are clear attitudes that majorities of generations hold. After ranting over police misconduct and tax law, it becomes apparent that many Boomers (which, for the sake of brevity, will be the term for those belonging to the group born between 1945 and 1965 affected by a dogmatic world-view) are not interested in changing their mind. At least, they won’t allow those younger than them to do so, the stereotype suggests. Our well-articulated arguments on the rights of man pales in comparison to the ‘superior’ experience Boomers hold. Simply nothing can refute a Boomer’s anecdote.

Some of the so-called experience that Boomers swear by is elementary:

The police system cannot be corrupt because I wasn’t beaten after being pulled over for speeding. I complied… and dutifully paid $300 for going 10 over!

…and the ever-so popular:

We have to pay the government our taxes, because who else will build the roads?

Sure, there may be some embellishment in the rhetoric, but many Boomers have uttered words quite similar to these.

We lack the worldly experience that would otherwise immediately credit the Boomer. Thus, our words, no matter how well thought out, are worth nothing to many of them. We must concede that experience is a valuable asset in the quest to find truth and reasoning. But, what the Boomer gets wrong is the sheer fact that right and wrong are constant and objective, and no amount of experience can change that to fit the Boomer’s mindset. Sure, the Boomer may be right, as we can, too. The longer life the Boomer has lived, though, is not sufficient evidence to determine what is right.

With age comes experience, but experience does not inherently bring reason. Even the same experience can breed different interpretations.

Where, though, does this mindset come from? Sociologist David Finkelhor coined the term as juvenoia: “an exaggerated fear about the influence of social change on children and youth.” The term quite literally comes from the words ‘juvenile’ and ‘paranoia.’ It has been here for a long time. Even Socrates complained much like how the Boomer does today—children nowadays have “contempt for authority” and “contradict their parents.” Juvenoia is natural. As a newer, younger generation experiences a change in technology or mindset, the older generation feels a moral heightening over the youth in a sort of ageist manner. As George Orwell says, “every generation imagines itself to be…wiser than the one that comes after it.”

Once we look at Boomer influence in government, their argument of experience really begins to sound like a broken record.

The most intriguing aspect of the Boomer’s mindset is their hypocrisy. They would be justified in criticizing our generation, if their own had not utterly poisoned the economy, as well as our liberties. Boomers seem to rarely criticize their coevals in office. Yet, they are the ones that destroyed the housing and education markets, gave newborns an inheritance of debt, bred the largest Ponzi scheme ever seen, and slaughtered the Bill of Rights.

Clearly, we must ask: what justification do Boomers have to blindly mock the new ideas of the youth? Only those lost in dogmatism would avoid the debate for reason with young minds.

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