Thursday, January 21, 2010

Why I am an Anarchist.

Why I am an Anarchist.

By Harry Felker

I have met more resistance for being an open anarchist, in criticism and denial of the validity of such a possibility, than for anything else in my life. I have questioned why, and met the same tired arguments, battled them with reason and common sense and for the life of me I cannot wrap my mind around how people do not get it. My lovely wife explains to me that freedom is a state of being, and if one is not of that particular state then there really is no point in arguing with them. The more I interact with these people the more I am tending to agree with her, to let them go about their merry way, being house slaves, and let them pay the consequences for such accordingly. The false logic some people cling to in the face of reason that troubles me the most, is that they rely on an assertion to silence the thought of freedom in their mind.

People are Evil…

This argument really gets me, just right between the eyes, they vary in subject but they are all the same, people are so evil that we need (some group of people) to perform said function: and the only way to make sure that they get the right people, we have to be a collective and go through some choosing process, this choosing process is how we pick the few good people from the sea of bad ones. This argument is used to justify monopoly court and police, government in general and a myriad of other tyrannies too numerous to mention, but at the end of the day, it is still as logically ridiculous.

If we are to assume that all the world’s people are evil, how are we to ensure that the people we choose are the good ones, how do we know they do not lie to get in a position of power and then have their way with us? Look at the last president of the US, he was elected on a platform of no nation building, and what did he do once he had the opportunity to justify it? But if we examine history, this is not a singular case, but rather the norm, it seems that choosing by popular vote yields poor results at best. Maybe this bleak outlook that people are evil is not so much so as it is people who crave power over other people that are evil?

If we are to assume that all the world’s people are evil, why are we still here? Surely, if you are of one political persuasion, the Soviet Union should have in a fit of evil; nuked the US, came in a red dawn scenario or some other nonsensical plot? If you are of the other should not the evil capitalists during the Reagan or other like administrations done it to them? On the local level, one would think if this argument were true, with the increase in police and law that crime would drop, but the opposite has actually happened. Yet again, history shows us that regardless of the opinion that evil people are abound in the world, there is very little evidence to prove this opinion true, at best there are few evil people in the world, most likely few good as well and the vast majority are a sea of sheep following the charismatic shepherd around, giving little thought as to why they do as they do.

I am beginning to believe that the argument that people want to convey with this tactic is in truth, very real, that people in general are sheep, and do not think about what and, more importantly, why they are doing as they are told, they are just going through the motions until they shuffle from the mortal coil. Without the group in control of them, these people will not act, they will not know what to do and in large part will die, as any animal that has lost all sense of survival. So the argument then becomes, for the sake of others, those that are not sheep ought to be their slaves, pay for the system that allows them survival. Basically, what people making this argument are saying is if one is able to live independent of the system the sheep need, one ought to be part of it, that is, sacrifice autonomy for nothing. In reality, “people are evil” is an argument for slavery, meaning the sheep that require enslavement to a state do not want to be alone in slavery, it is them looking to share their misery with their betters.

Someone Will Always be in Control

This argument can be said to be truth in a context, I agree that someone will always be in control, even as an anarchist. There is a primary difference though in the context of the argument and what I mean, that is, whom is in control of what. The argument put to me is really that there will always be a slave master, and if you are not the master, be a good slave and do as you are told, this is not my stance. My thoughts are the individual is either in control, or he chooses slavery, there is always someone in control, and you have the freedom to choose.

This argument really boils down to the right of ownership of the self, do you own you or does someone else? Posed to me is that people will choose an authority to control them, maybe not consciously to enslave themselves, but rather to enslave others (refer to previous argument), and as such, everyone ought to participate. This is basically the self-defense argument for government that does not prove its authority just, it only proves the government is a coercive device that if you are not a part of you are the victim of. What they are failing to logically put together is that they are explaining why any Statism is wrong, that it is inherently slavery and it does not stand as the best option.

I believe that people ought to be in control of themselves, that their day to day life is their business and not some authority’s, that when they enter the market they decide what they want, what they offer and what values they place on these things. This is someone being in control, it is just, simply because it is the individual being in control of his possessions, be it his body, or his property. What people who use this argument are really saying is that humans cannot control themselves and need an authority, which leads us to the next argument.

Civilization requires Government

This is nothing more than the most heinously fallacious argument that can be imagined; it is basically stating that the human condition is so depraved that without someone to force them to be civil, they will destroy one another. Not only is this showing the world that the person making the argument is basically equating everyone to savage beasts that cannot wait to victimize his fellow man, but also completely disregards the reality of how government came about. Civil society did not derive from government, rather government is a product of uncivilized people trying to control a civil society, civility cannot be forced, it comes from free interaction in trade. If one owns his property and wants something someone else has, he may interact with this other person in a number of ways. He can trade property the other wants in exchange, offer services for this desired property or he can take it, only one of these is uncivilized, what the person who accepts this argument says is that individuals will opt for the only uncivilized choice. The claim is that it is easier, that it is no loss and that it is effective, none of this is true. It is not easier, at no loss or effective because of retaliation, if you trade for something you are not investing time, energy and resources to dissuade or react to retaliation. Not to mention that it is not effective because you do not know for certain that you will succeed, so the investment made to do the act of taking over trading may produce no results. But with all of this logic stacked against this argument, people insist that the choice will be to be uncivilized.

Civil society was derived from interaction between humans, in absence of any authority, by simply choosing to trade over take, if this never happened we would never have had any society to begin with. Claiming that government produced civil society is not only wrong, but also quite dumb, it is like saying that one man was civil among a group of savages and he forced them to be civil. How this makes sense is beyond me, the reality is that people civilized naturally, by finding that trade was preferable to taking, it is effective, it requires only the work to acquire the desired property and the individual makes the subjective decision on the value he is willing to trade for the property. Then came government, when uncivilized people decided that if given authority they could take with less risk. They gathered other uncivilized people and forced government on civilized people, through coercion of civilized people was government born, not the other way around. Evidence of this is seen all throughout history, as governments cast tyranny after tyranny on civilized people time and time again; every war, every genocide, are all products of government. As a matter of fact government cannot help itself but show what it really is all it takes is time.

Monopolies and Cartels and Trusts, Oh my!

If there was ever the biggest lie we have been taught in schools it is that there have been big business interests that completely dominated the market when the market was “freer” in the United States. The real economic history has been revised to make laissez faire seem as if the rich will take all control and enslave the people, when quite frankly the opposite occurred in reality. The myth that the Sherman Act was used prior to Theodore Roosevelt to protect the people from these big business interests is propaganda to the tune of what the Soviet citizens were inundated with about America and Capitalists alike. The truth is far less convincing that the free market produces predatory monopolies, and in fact, the predatory monopolies could not have existed without the assistance of the government to secure.

Every industry it was tried in, in the less regulated market, the monopoly, cartel or trust, at gaining monopolistic status, that is 60% or better, and they had gone about cutting production and raising prices, the opposite of what we were taught happened, time and time again. There was no mighty tycoon crushing the masses, withholding a standard of living from people because of their intolerable greed, when the monopoly set up was achieved, and the production cut and price raise was applied, people freely entered into the market against the monopoly. In fact, most monopoly corporations, without state intervention, failed because of this truth, the free market will always tend towards the true market value. If ones firm wishes to artificially inflate the market value for his commodity, he will be out competed by new firms in a free market, that is, one that allows for free entry into it. The only thing that allows a monopoly to remain after it has formed is the government, through tariffs, licensing, regulations and such. The government, through willful action or ignorance, is the sole reason monopolies persist, and that the government education system teaches the opposite is telling that it is more willful and less ignorance.

In short, the government mandate riddled, regulated market is the predatory market that fosters monopolies and causes untold suffering on the general population, this is the opposite of what the government would like you to know to be the truth, but the real truth prevails.

The Question of Liberty

It is said that the “proper role” of government is to protect the rights of the citizens, it is a nice story, but the reality of the situation is quite the opposite. Even the founders of the US Constitution believed in majority that the government is not the protector of the rights of the people. The basic language of the Declaration of Independence suggests, but not demands, that a government would be formed to replace the original government, which would be disposed of, and so on if the replacement turned out to be another tyranny. In fact, Jefferson, in the Declaration, in his use of language basically claims that treason is not a crime, but rather the right of the individual to break ties with a tyranny that has become oppressive, inherently tied to the right of secession. This is one of the reasons why Jefferson said there should be a rebellion every 20 years:

God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part, which is wrong, will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty.

~Thomas Jefferson

A wise man once said:

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

~Benjamin Franklin

The trade off for any security is always liberty, I would even hazard to say the personal security that one would have in absence of government would be paid by some liberty in a sense. The difference being of course that when I actively secure my home, the liberty I trade is the liberty to do things that do not involve my security. For example, if I contract a service from others, the resources used to pay for those services are not at my liberty to dispense in other projects, or if I chose to provide for my own defense alone, the time and effort cannot be used elsewhere while employed on my security. When one uses government to take this role, history proves the Franklin quote true, what liberties have we relinquished to the government already for minor security bonuses? Financial liberty has been attacked to pay for foreign wars, a bloated military and interventionist policies. Privacy has been destroyed in National Security interests, not to mention Speech, Press, Religion, Petition, Property, and Due Process. Using the argument that the US has not had a terror attack on our soil in the past X years is made of rice paper, rather than being attacked here we are sending people to the middle east, basically saying those who fight in this war do not count as they are subject to a world of car bombs and ambush attacks. Most often the people applauding the lives of our soldiers are inadvertently saying they are worth less than the average citizen as they are pushed into mandatory suicide.

The blatant lie of the concept of rights protector is so obvious it boggles the mind that the masses believe it is true, simply because they have no coherent understanding of what liberty actually is. Orwell’s statement in 1984 “Freedom is Slavery” is quite honestly the only way someone can rationalize the idea that the government protects their rights, it is as oxymoronic as the Orwellian quote. When one looks at the reality of what government does, all law is a rights violation on behalf of the state on its population even laws that would exist without the state are inherently a rights violation because the state has no authority to make any laws dictating the behavior of individuals. Laws that dictate what an individual does with their own body, property or what an individual can own as property, can only be seen as rights violations, it implies that the individual’s body and property is in part automatically under the control of the state. So the idea that the state protects rights falls apart once the state passes a law that gives itself access to the individual’s private property, one could go on with the reasoning that private property does not exist within a government controlled area.

Tell Me What the Free Market Anarchist Society Will Be Like….

It is amazing how people really do not understand what a free market is, we have a regulated market in the United States, it always has been the case, the Constitution allows for it at the hands of Congress. No one can tell you what a free market anything will be like, it is not like what we have today, that is the best I, or anyone else that understands the free market philosophy, can tell you. I can give predictions on likely possibilities, but it is impossible to predict real free market results, as they are based on individual actions, and as such are based on the choices of individuals, which are wholly subjective.

Let us start with the daunting task of a potential prediction in the field of the market itself, right at its heart, money. Free market money is one of the taboo topics of statists mainly because when you control the money in creation and use, you control the people. Free market money would mean basically that the media of exchange would be created privately, this could be in any form, paper, metallic coin, etc, and the value would be chiefly maintained by the producers of such. The reason I default to a money system and not barter is because the money system has portability and storage benefits that are highly efficient. It is the profit motive that stabilizes the money, which a private creator produces, because if his money is unstable, people will opt to not use it, remember I am talking about an anarchist society, so there is no government to coerce the people to use it. Also in the free market scenario there is the availability to compete in this business so it cannot be assumed that there will be a monopoly dominating money creation.

In dealing with a medium of exchange, that is, money, most people have the argument that you cannot have money without the government, that there must be some authority to regulate it. This fallacious notion comes from a thought that the government has a role in the economy of an overseer of sorts, that without the “master” the slaves will run amok is more realistic to the representation of this argument. The economic position of government is to be a consumer, not a regulator, not a producer but only a consumer, it consumes goods and in the usual case it undermines the market by allocation (legal theft) rather than purchase. The market is controlled by people that produce goods and services and those that consume these goods and services by purchase, a common mugger helps the economy as much as the government can in this respect. The only visible end of the government in the market is coercion, seizure of assets through taxation (or you are imprisoned), regulation (or you are fined/imprisoned) and/or manipulation of the money supply (based on a false authority). So why is the production of a medium of exchange supposed to be different, why would we assume that money is where the government is honest, when it is dishonest everywhere else, why is it that we assume that government can defy economic science and have a neutral or positive effect on the economy? Furthermore, placing the medium of exchange in the hands of a private enterprise means that there is a vested interest in sustaining a stable value to the currency, that is, retaining the utility of their product. Hayek proposes in A Free Market Monetary System:

I think it is entirely possible for private enterprise to issue a token money which the public will learn to expect to preserve its value, provided both the issuer and the public understand that the demand for this money will depend on the issuer being forced to keep its value constant; because if he did not do so, the people would at once cease to use his money and shift to some other kind.

I have to agree with Hayek, the private business has more at stake to retain a stable value of the currency it issues than a government does, historically we have seen the manipulation of money with no alternative have drastic effects on the people of a given nation, any of the hyperinflation incidents of the 20th century can tell us that.

Classically people default to police and courts as another reason we need government, but I really do not see how one requires the other, in a free market scenario, police would most likely be made possible by private business, as well as court. Again the profit motive would protect the consumer, since the consumer is not required to subscribe to a particular service, each will look to provide the best service for the least cost. One may attack this scenario as slighted to the rich, but in reality, more purchase power is in the hands of all but the rich. Asset ownership is what makes the wealthy actually wealthy, this is not liquid asset, but rather other property, and as such is not useful for immediate usage.

Another popular attack is that they would make war between themselves, and again this is destroyed by profit motive. It shows that the price of violence is a concept completely alien to many people that argue against the free market. If you consider the price needed to pay a free individual to risk his life, the costs in benefits if he does die, resources allocated to ensure victory and dissuade retaliation as compared to a protection company that would not choose such Viking-like measures, the market logic presents itself. Paying a business that defaults to making “war” over peaceably solving issues will cost more, and as such will not be attractive to most subscribers, this is not to say these businesses will not exist, but will not be the norm, and more than not will not be successful in retaining clientele or employees. As Murray Rothbard suggests in For a New Liberty: A Libertarian Manifesto:

To assume that police would continually clash and battle with each other is absurd, for it ignores the devastating effect that this chaotic "anarchy" would have on the business of all the police companies. To put it bluntly, such wars and conflicts would be bad — very bad — for business. Therefore, on the free market, the police agencies would all see to it that there would be no clashes between them, and that all conflicts of opinion would be ironed out in private courts, decided by private judges or arbitrators.

I am not too sure that violent protection agencies would survive long, possibly at all, on reconsideration, because the ones willing to pay the fees have to have in the back of their heads the consequences of others potentially out bidding them. Not to mention that if such were the standard accepted practice, those that could afford the service would not for long, impoverished because they cannot force others to pay for a violent group of thugs through taxation.

And then there is the other troubling thought about police protection, that it is a commodity the government provides to all equally. As Murray Rothbard poses in For a New Liberty: A Libertarian Manifesto:

In the first place, there is a common fallacy, held even by most advocates of laissez-faire, that the government must supply "police protection," as if police protection were a single, absolute entity, a fixed quantity of something which the government supplies to all. But in actual fact there is no absolute commodity called "police protection" any more than there is an absolute single commodity called "food" or "shelter." It is true that everyone pays taxes for a seemingly fixed quantity of protection, but this is a myth.

The train of thought behind the need for police protection, or a military for that matter, justifies the State to provide food and shelter to all for paying taxes as well, as these are “needed”, much in the way people stand on police protection. How does one on the “right” disambiguate police from the entitlement mentality they associate checks, food and shelter, one would think, if we boil away all the jargon, are they not the same? The myth about the difference in what is known as welfare in the United States and police protection is simply that, a myth, if you justify the State in taking taxes for police protection you justify the State doing the same for all “Welfare” programs.

In Conclusion

Philosophically and economically the state is unjustifiable, so the only alternative is anarchism, which is, existence without the state. There is no reason for the existence of the state aside from the usefulness of the state to those that would steal from others in the populace, it is fundamentally an organization meant to minimize the threat of punishment for theft. Civilized people do not require a state to keep other civilized people from violating their rights, rather uncivilized unsuccessful people need a state to be predatory on other people in order to mitigate the costs of their failures. No one can rationally argue that the state is beneficial to anyone without first violating the rights of others, and the claim that this is the price of liberty is not only erroneous, but a malicious lie propagated by the state. Nothing can defend the position of the state without first admitting that the defender is in fact a beneficiary of the state and the root cause of the defense is in fact the desire to benefit off the backs of other people.

The state does not and cannot defend individual liberty, which if experience does not make it obvious, the historical reality of law making (specifically in the US) viewed through epistemic examination amply proves. Law making, inherently, even when the law is relatively just, is a rights violation simply because it is surrendering to non-consented authority. For one to epistemologically justify the state, which could only be done by an individual consenting to every action the state takes, still only justifies it on an individual basis. This combined with majority prevailing on each vote, to elect representatives and to pass laws, creates an atmosphere where unanimous consent is impossible. If, in the US, we are to adhere to the philosophical basis of the American Revolution, since consent is impossible to prove on a mass scale, any government derived will be non-consented and therefore unjust. So on a philosophical basis, only autonomy (Self Government) is just simply because it is the only way to have unanimous consent.

The state is not economically beneficial, rather it is disadvantageous, it violates market logic, and not only in its existence, but also in every action it takes. It acts as a monopolist does: it creates false scarcity, it dictates price and it is a predatory market presence. It uses the aforementioned unjust authority in order to maintain its monopoly status in the economy, and as history shows us, unjust authority is the only maintainer of its monopoly status. The insanity continues when the state’s actions cumulate to foster private monopolies, this is how they reinforce their own monopoly status over the economy, basically, by causing a problem and then promoting more economic control as the solution.

In short there is no durable benefit on the individual basis that the government provides, in the long run, there is no benefit at all, in contrast to the free market. The free market and the capitalist system of ownership, existing in a society of autonomous individuals are the only reasonable path to durable benefit, in short and long term. When one examines the prospect of individual liberty, capitalist ownership is how it is realized in reality, and the same holds true for economic prosperity and the free market. As our inherent right to own ourselves, which is to not be slaves, is present only in capitalism, the free market is the only way to interact in capitalism and the only way for a free market to exist is in absence of government, anarchy is the only option remaining.

I am an anarchist because the right to our lives, liberty and property are paramount, and only realized in an anarchic capitalist setting.

Friday, July 17, 2009

May I please have your attention?

Attention, attention...

Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to address you, those who support a government that does not work for you, those who are lying quietly while being raped...
A man tells you that you should put on these handcuffs, and climb in the back of his van, he promises nothing bad will happen, and that after a little while he will let you go, and he will offer you anything you want, aside from release, while you are cuffed. But he does promise to let you go, after a little while...
A person is sitting in their van on the street corner, offering candy and gifts in his van to all passing children...

Why does this scenario make you think the person offering to be handcuffed is a fool or the child that accepts has bad parents but when it is the government doing the same basic thing it is acceptable?

When the government says give up the right to bear arms, how are they not like the man with the handcuffs, how are they any better, how do they justify the people giving up the right to fight tyranny that would be sourced from them? They do it by telling you that they are our government and these things could never happen in the United States, they tell you that the government is here to help, that they love you, they are your big brother, in quite the Orwellian fashion. They expect you to believe that you must give up this one thing, your ability to fight back against them, in order for them to protect you from bad people, they expect you to believe that if you are stripped of the means to fight tyranny, these same means will vanish from the earth, and not even those that would victimize law abiding citizens would have them. Only the government would have these means, and they love you, so they would never turn them on you, they love you so they would never oppress you, except of course if you view taking the right to bear arms away from individuals as oppression.

When they say give us your tax dollars (economic freedom) and we will offer you health care and cash assistance for free, how exactly is this different from the man with candy? They tell us it is for the greater good, that it is to help so many people, and they love all the people, after all we are one big national family, and everyone is their brother's keeper. They proclaim it is the burden of the rich to pay for the poor, and that individuals cannot be trusted to donate to charity, so the government must take it with guns and threats of prison, or in some cases, death. Every time they utter taxpayers they mean fuel, and every time they say government they mean inefficient machine, government in their eyes is a machine that eats a quarter of the lives of the average taxpaying citizen, for this fuel it puts out maybe 1% of the input as output, the other 99% is eaten by an inefficient machine. Taking candy from a stranger is a bad idea, why is it a good idea for the same mentality when it comes from your government, often, oddly enough, at your own expense?

How do you represent having a line drawn?

There are four ways to draw your line, with your vote, with your voice, with your dollars and finally with your weapons, there are no other ways, all the rest is compliance. In the past decade, and even further if you are astute to this country's history, the vote is a failed tactic, you do not have to fool all the people all the time, just 3% more than the other major party candidate, and either way it does not matter as they are fighting the same war against we the people, the war for power. Next you can vocalize, but as a very close friend said, "when you scream at the deaf, you just lose your voice," and there is no way to make those that must listen hear you, as their ears are full of ash, provided astutely by MSM, or are deliberately ignoring you, in the case of public servants. Tax protest, real protest, which is not paying you taxes on the individual basis is given the consequence of massive fines if not imprisonment, despite being what was supposed to be a completely voluntary program. The only way tax protest will work is if the entire state you reside in refuses to accept dollar one from, or remit dollar one to the federal government. I find this an eloquent plan that will most likely never pan out, because if the precedent is set with the federal government, the state may be subject to it next, and they would not like it too much. It is the idea that one should never make it possible to be shot with ones own gun that will keep this from happening, unless your state legislators are very short sighted. Lastly is violent revolt, a possibility that many are not too happy to consider, but in the sense of realism, even if every other route were possible, violence would always be the defining moment, whenever liberty is at stake, life will have to be lost, this is something Thomas Jefferson understood, and is quoted, "As our enemies have found we can reason like men, so now let us show them we can fight like men also."

So now, what is it, does slavery equal freedom, does freedom equal slavery or is it that freedom equals freedom and slavery equals slavery? There is a well known expression that freedom is not free, this is absolutely true, it comes from many sources but as to its meaning, it does not mean to send your children off to another country to fight and maybe die, it means that you may be inconvenienced in order to preserve the freedom that was offered by the authors of the Constitution. You may be inconvenienced, in order to repay the debt in blood that was paid at the end of the 18th century in order to preserve a nation founded on the principles of liberty and freedom for all. You may be inconvenienced; you may spill your blood to nourish the tree of liberty, forging the same blood debt on future generations to preserve the freedom for their future generations.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Guidelines for Responsible Media

“The press is the best instrument for enlightening the mind of man, and improving him as a rational, moral and social being”
Thomas Jefferson

In our day and age we have an incredible amount of information at our fingertips, facts and opinions pour into our heads 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No time in history is the integrity of an honest media and the responsibility of the individual to objectively analyze all information more important. I extend this beyond the main stream media (MSM), to all the independent news feeds and even the “Bloggers,” each commands an implied veracity to their statements based on propaganda. All the more reason for two basic principles of media to be maintained and recognized; firstly the media sources should only report honestly, objectively and with integrity, second the audience should research the reported facts objectively and demand their media be honest. These two principles are the only way media can truly be an instrument for the good of mankind, and the second is integral in securing the first.

“To the press alone, chequered as it is with abuses, the world is indebted for all the triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression”
James Madison

I think we are at a time when these two basic principles of a free and honest press are not well kept. This is not specifically one or the others fault, both media sources and the audience are equally culpable. Media has traded honest integrity for sensationalism and editorials, one specific media source espouses a motto, “Fair and Balanced” and seems completely oblivious to the point of media as an instrument of freedom, which is to say that it should always be “Factual and Objective”. The “Blogosphere” and Independent news sources are no better, they rarely even pretend to be honest media at all, they post unfounded opinions based on personal belief with rarely a fact to back up such claims they report. Most bloggers refuse to or better stated are unable, to refer to sources, either because their source does not report what they did, only led to the conclusion, the source is poor quality or in most cases, there is no source. The audience is just as bad, they rarely if at all check their media beyond the first exposure, in the rare case where works are cited the audience usually does not check these, and will set the claim that the source cited works, so it must be true. The Internet audience is a step worse, posing as both audience and source; they work, probably unwittingly, to proliferate the unfounded opinion articles with the quality cited works, with wonton disregard for fact. The real issue is that since the audience does not recognize the difference in the two types of articles they treat them equally. There is usually no reference to the original article, if there was one and it was not received in an e-mail, nor are there any works cited in the original article included in most reposts. With this phenomenon you have even the best article holding the same value as a work of opinion, with no proof to back up the claims. The audience that takes media at face value presents media at face value, which only serves to make all media worthless.

“Freedom of the press is not an end in itself but a means to the end of [achieving] a free society.”
Felix Frankfurter

The only remedy to the situation is an attentive skeptical audience, they should all act as if they were from the Great State of Missouri, the show me state. The audience must be responsible enough to avoid sensationalism, discern opinion from fact and resist the tendency to trust any source without corroboration and factual basis. One cannot trust the media to avoid bias, and must always assume the first principle is broken, as it is not in the direct control of the audience to control the content of the media. The only answer, I repeat myself for emphasis, is the second principle, research the facts reported objectively and demand honesty. A free press is integral to a free society, and a free society is dependent on responsible and attentive populace, this is a logical axiom one cannot escape all rests on the shoulders of a responsible and attentive populace. This is another instance of “freedom is not free,” if you are expecting an honest media without doing your part to ensure it, you do not deserve an honest media, and you directly risk your freedom. Every time you are complacent with your media, of any variety (MSM, Independent News Feed, Blogs), you advocate this:

I cannot force you to be responsible, I cannot force you to look at the disease and treat it, I cannot force you to agree with me and I will not try, I can only bring you the observations I have made over the years and the logical conclusion of them. Though I will be honest, I look with skeptical attention to anyone that is willing to disregard this message; I am forced to question their motives or their sanity.

Liberty, the Moral Choice.

For the premise of my commentary, I must first familiarize everyone that reads further with a quote from Ayn Rand, I am of the knowledge that some people do not like her, but this is the assumption on which the foundation of my commentary sits, and I fully believe this assumption to be true as it is not open to contradiction.

Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.

Ayn Rand

As happiness is the moral purpose of your life, happiness is a prime value, not sacrifice, and not mindlessness, this leads to the question of how one stands the best chance to achieve happiness. For the purpose of this proof we are going to examine liberty and its opposite, slavery, logically if I am to prove liberty is the moral choice I must examine slavery as a moral choice and be able to denounce it as false. Slavery offers no happiness, we do not achieve happiness at the sacrificial alter of the looting and mooching people demanding our best effort as their right offering nothing in return. Liberty requires our best effort, our best virtues, as liberty grants all the freedom of existence, but the responsibility to not take the existence from others.

Slavery as a moral choice was defended in the centuries past as the burden of those that have beset on them by their slaves, that the slave is merely a moocher that offers poor and forcefully provoked labor in return for the necessities of life. The slave sees that none of his effort is his own and he is the property of the whip holder, in current times slavery has changed in form but never in function. This is an important truth folks, slavery exists today as it had at this country’s founding, instead of the slaves being brought in on ships from Africa, they are born here, of all races and genders. The only marked difference in this is the hand holding the whip, for now it is the federal government, and it has been since 1865, it started then as a small snowflake sliding down the mountain, now we have a full blown avalanche on our hands. The illusion of freedom has been the subject matter of the public education system for some time, the declining quality in education, force-feeding the new American ideology on the students. Children are being manipulated to accept slavery, this is a key point to the amorality of slavery; if it cannot come natural to a child there is an issue with it, and our schools are demanding children to not question authority, to obey unflinchingly, as one would expect from a slave. One must then ask, is there happiness in this tactic for training the children, does the result produce happy individuals? If a teacher is happy producing a mindless drone, than they are the most evil creature ever to exist on Earth, the kind of sadist that enjoys with glee the handle of the lash as they strip away the minds of the future. There is no joy to be had in slavery, in any form of justification it is a burden, on both the slave and the master, each is forced to produce for the benefit for another, and never truly owns his own production. Slavery is therefore removed from the moral choice and into the realm of the amoral, as it achieves no happiness for any but the most depraved sadists, and it as an institution, past and present, has no value to humanity.

Liberty, in all beliefs that are true and just to humans, is the ideal, some are flawed in their methods, but they do all recognize the benefits of liberty. The religious believe that man is gifted life from a creator, and only reason dictates that if we are all children of a true and just "God" then one must accept, as we are his children, that this creator will want the best for us. What better opportunity than in liberty is presented to reach this goal, and in reaching the best for us, would that also dictate that there is happiness in the result? Atheists believe there is no such creator, and that life is the result of random action, does this deny that liberty is the best option? I would think not, as one's happiness is one's own responsibility, not having to answer to a "higher" being, the atheist should look to all opportunity to achieve happiness. Moral virtue is more than a religion can own, it is a value, and all value has a way to be exchanged, happiness as a moral value is exchanged only by volition. Take the example of the business owner and the employee, the business owner is made happy when his business thrives, and in order for this he requires the effort of men that are motivated to the task. The employer will, in true appreciation of value, reward the diligent and able worker, both are happy, the employer, as his business will prosper through better quality product from his employees, demanding a higher price for his product, and the employees, as they are finely rewarded in a just manner for their best efforts. This is directly opposite of slavery, slavery requires that someone must sacrifice value in order to provide for others, only in liberty can this scenario be made possible.

Logically, if happiness is a value to humanity, and to achieve one's values is a moral virtue, than choosing the best chance to achieve happiness must also be a moral choice. There is little argument that the end of a whip provides happiness, for either participant in the act, the whipped is obviously not in agreement, and the whipper is never pleased with the product. The only conclusion is that liberty is the only moral choice, further the only choice that will achieve any moral value, as any choice that is not liberty must be bought at the price of chains on someone, somewhere.