Sheldon Richman on Searching for the Balance Between Liberty and Power at the Historical Freeman Magazine
The Daily Bell is pleased to present an interview with Sheldon Richman (left).
Introduction: Sheldon Richman is editor of The Freeman, published by The Foundation for Economic Education in Irvington, New York, and serves as senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation. He is the author of FFF's award-winning book Separating School & State: How to Liberate America's Families, Your Money or Your Life: Why We Must Abolish the Income Tax, and FFF's newest book, Tethered Citizens: Time to Repeal the Welfare State. A former newspaper reporter and former senior editor at the Cato Institute, Mr. Richman is a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia.
Daily Bell: Give us some background. When did you become involved with libertarianism and free-market thinking and why?
Sheldon Richman: From a young age I was thrilled about stories of the American Revolution as a struggle for personal liberty. I first started thinking about politics in 1964 during the Johnson-Goldwater campaign. This excited my interest in liberty, free markets and the myriad ways that government interferes.
Daily Bell: You're the editor of The Freeman. Shouldn't the magazine be named The FreePerson in this day and age?
Sheldon Richman: It's an old name with brand-name value. The contents make it clear that it stands for individual liberty for all.
Daily Bell: We were just joking. Seriously, give us an update on this most important publication. Is it doing well? Where can people find it? Has the Internet helped its circulation?
Sheldon Richman: It is posted in full online a few days before the new month at www.TheFreemanOnline.org. I am biased, of course, but I think the magazine is better than ever. We have dedicated readers who would miss it badly if it weren't there. Judging by the comments section after each article, the Internet has been great for the magazine. A donation gets you a year's worth of the paper magazine.
Daily Bell: Give us the history of The Freeman. Give us a sense of its impact over time.
Sheldon Richman: There has been more than one magazine called The Freeman. The great libertarian Georgist Albert Jay Nock published one in the 1920s. Around 1950 another magazine by that name was started, run by people who hated that America was becoming bureaucratized. In the mid-1950s Leonard Read, who established the Foundation for Economic Freedom in 1946, bought The Freeman (he had been a board member) and published it independently for one year under the editorship of Frank Chodorov, an important libertarian writer.
Chodorov's Freeman engaged on the issues of the day, including foreign policy; he opposed the militarism and deficit spending of US Cold War policy. A year later Read made the magazine an official Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) publication, edited for many years by Paul Poirot. At that point it became more of a publication to introduce people to the principles of sound pro-market economics. It has had a major impact in helping to shape the modern libertarian movement. Most of the today's older libertarians, myself included, got started reading The Freeman.
Daily Bell: You are a Senior Fellow at the Future of Freedom Foundation, a Research Fellow at The Independent Institute, a member of the Advisory Panel for the Center for a Stateless Society. Tell us about these groups and how you became involved.
Sheldon Richman: I became involved in all these groups through personal relationship with the people who direct them. I guess they appreciated my work and wished to be associated with me. I write regularly for FFF and have occasionally written for Independent. My role with C4SS is advisory, and I occasionally post at its website, c4ss.org.
Daily Bell: You were with the Cato Institute. Why did you leave?
Sheldon Richman: I moved too far from its office to continue working there.
Daily Bell: You were at George Mason University. What is your opinion of that august institution?
Sheldon Richman: I worked for the Institute for Humane Studies, which was and is affiliated with GMU. I loved being on the campus and having access to its library. Most of my contact was with the economics department, which was great then and is great now. I met or got to know so many fantastic people during my time there: The late Don Lavoie, James Buchanan, Gordon Tullock, Richard Wagner, Walter Williams, Peter Boettke, Steven Horwitz, Donald Boudreaux, Tyler Cowen, Daniel Klein and many more.
Daily Bell: You are the author of a long-ago three-part essay entitled "Beware Income Tax Casuistry," which critiques various tax protester arguments about the constitutionality of the US federal income tax. Tell us about that. Why did you write it? Have you changed your mind?
Sheldon Richman: I have not changed my mind. No court has ever said that taxing wages and salaries is unconstitutional. The Sixteenth Amendment was passed not to make such a tax constitutional but only to make an unapportioned tax on incomes from real and personal property (rent, interest and dividends) constitutional. That's all that the Supreme Court actually struck down in 1895. Unfortunately, not everything bad is unconstitutional. That's one problem with the Constitution.
Daily Bell: Should the income tax be abolished?
Sheldon Richman: Yes, along with all other taxes.
Daily Bell: Is government capable of spending taxes wisely and well?
Sheldon Richman: No. Nothing government does faces the market tests of profit-and-loss and competition. That's because it is founded on aggressive force.
Daily Bell: You've written a lot on government schools. Tell us about some of your publishing efforts in this regard.
Sheldon Richman: I've written many articles on this subject, and the culmination is my book Separating School and State: How to Liberate America's Families, published by the Future of Freedom Foundation. I also have a chapter opposing "school choice" reforms in the newly published book Freedom and School Choice in American Education.
Daily Bell: Why are government schools so bad for kids?
Sheldon Richman: Because they are virtual monopolies financed through the coercive tax system. They don't face the full force of competition.
Daily Bell: Did President George W. Bush help things with "No Child Left Behind"?
Sheldon Richman: No. It further centralized education policy in Washington. Barack Obama continues on that path.
Daily Bell: Who founded the current educational system? Some say it was Otto von Bismarck. He wanted better and more loyal soldiers, so he invented a system whereby each individual would be schooled with others of his age.
Sheldon Richman: In America the driving force was Horace Mann, who got started in Massachusetts in the late 1830s, before Bismarck began building the first modern welfare state later in that century. Prussia, however, did have an early start in the building of State education and was influential on American thinkers. The system was revamped after the defeat to Napoleon, and raising future soldiers was surely part of the mission.
Daily Bell: What is your opinion of "the father of American education," John Dewey?
Sheldon Richman: Not very high. He saw State education as a tool for molding children into his model of the good citizen. Some of his ideas about child-centeredness are fine, but not in the government's hands. I prefer Maria Montessori.
Daily Bell: Are people being dumbed down on purpose?
Sheldon Richman: I wouldn't say that. It is inherent in a government system, which is intrinsically incompetent. I do think that government education has an interest in not raising rebels, however.
Daily Bell: You've written about healthcare in America. What's happening to healthcare? Is a national system inevitable?
Sheldon Richman: For many years it has been one of the most thoroughly interfered-with parts of American life. Government and big, nominally private institutions manage every aspect. Privilege (such as licensing) is rife. It is nothing like a free market. Obama's so-called reform is just more of the same. If we stay on this road, we will end up with a single-payer system, which is what some people intend and hope for.
Daily Bell: How should health care and medicine be offered in a free society? What would be the benefits?
Sheldon Richman: We should have a free market based on competition, contract, consent and compassion, as we should have in everything else. The benefits would be individual freedom, innovation and lower costs.
Daily Bell: You've written about the Old Right, along with Justin Raimondo. Has the Old Right made a resurgence? What is it and who is leading it?
Sheldon Richman: What we mean by "Old Right" is a group of writers and politicians (notably Sen. Robert Taft and Rep. Howard Buffett, Warren Buffett's father) in the 1940s and 1950s who opposed the loss of freedom as a result of the bureaucratization of the economy through the New Deal and the militarization of society through the spreading American Empire.
It's probably too much to say that it's making a resurgence, but Rep. Ron Paul is very much in that tradition, combining nonintervention in the economy and in foreign affairs. (I disagree with Ron Paul on some things, for example, his opposition to open borders and free migration.)
Daily Bell: Do you consider yourself an anarcho capitalist?
Sheldon Richman: I don't like the word "capitalism" because it suggests a privileging of capital, which I oppose. I do think that we could get along just fine without government.
Daily Bell: Is there any role for government? Anything government can do right – or can do better than the private sector?
Sheldon Richman: I don't believe so.
Daily Bell: Is America involved in too many wars? What has caused so much military action of late?
Sheldon Richman: One war would be too many. For years American foreign policy has been in the hands of people who think the world would be unacceptably disorderly if America were not the de facto global government. This policy also happens to make some people very rich.
Daily Bell: Is there a cabal of families that run central banks and want to take over the world?
Sheldon Richman: I doubt it.
Daily Bell: Who is responsible for 9/11 and why? Is 9/11 a central issue of the Modern Day?
Sheldon Richman: There is overwhelming evidence that the attacks, which were atrocities, were what the CIA calls "blowback." For many years US policy in the Arab and Muslim world has been responsible for untold death, misery and oppression, from its support for Israel vis-à-vis the Palestinians, to its backing of corrupt dictators and monarchs, to its starvation of Iraqi children during the ten-year embargo after the Gulf War. That sort of thing tends to make people vengeful. The US government has made the "war on terror" central to our lives, but the policymakers are only doing what they wanted to do anyway. Without 9/11 they would have found some other excuse. We should stop making enemies.
Daily Bell: Is there going to be a larger war between the West and Islam? Is it being manufactured? Why?
Sheldon Richman: There need be no such war. It is being manufactured because the dominant policymakers believe, as I said before, that the world needs a de facto government and the US State is "destined" to be it. As I also noted, there is much money to made in a military establishment with global reach. The military-industrial complex is pervasive.
Daily Bell: Is the West headed into another Great Depression? Is it being managed on purpose?
Sheldon Richman: Probably not, but it is likely headed into a long period of close-to-zero and even negative growth and high unemployment. I don't think that's the policymakers' intention. Rather they are locked into Keynes-think because it rationalized their power.
Daily Bell: Is the dollar-reserve system finished?
Sheldon Richman: Unfortunately, I think it will muddle through.
Daily Bell: Will the euro survive? How about the EU?
Sheldon Richman: I really don't know.
Daily Bell: What about China? Is China running a healthy economy?
Sheldon Richman: No, because the government is heavily involved.
Daily Bell: Should people be buying gold and silver or US Treasuries?
Sheldon Richman: I never give financial advice, not even to myself.
Daily Bell: We cover a lot of fear-based themes we think are generated by a global elite that wants to consolidate power. We think the Internet is undermining these themes and globalism generally. Your take?
Sheldon Richman: The Internet is a great source of independent information and action. So it has to help loosen the grip of the ruling elites.
Daily Bell: Is the Internet going to be controlled in a short while? Is it all over for this form of communication? Is it finished as a subversive, truth-telling device?
Sheldon Richman: Not by a long shot. It is too decentralized. It will survive and thrive.
Daily Bell: It's exposed a lot of falsehoods, however, and rebutted a lot of fearfulness. What's your take on global warming, for instance?
Sheldon Richman: I'm not a climate scientist, and I do not choose whom to believe in science on the basis of politics or economics. I consider myself a skeptical agnostic on the question of whether catastrophic warming is taking place. No matter what is happening, I don't trust the ruling elite to get anything right.
Daily Bell: Is the world running out of food and water?
Sheldon Richman: I see no reason to think that.
Daily Bell: What about over-population?
Sheldon Richman: We're underpopulated. There are not enough innovators, and innovation comes from the intermingling of ideas. More people mean more ideas and more potential for such intermingling. I agree with Julian Simon that human intelligence is the ultimate resource.
Daily Bell: Do you have any new focuses at FEE? Any new projects?
Sheldon Richman: I'm just trying to put out the best magazine I can, while writing articles that provoke debate in the contest between liberty and power.
Daily Bell: How about The Freeman? Anything we should know about going forward?
Sheldon Richman: We're going to keep on keepin' on.
Daily Bell: What's next for you? Any more books? What other projects are you involved with?
Sheldon Richman: I have no books or big new projects in the works.
Daily Bell: Any other points you want to make?
Sheldon Richman: I'm excited about the convergence beginning to take shape between people over the issue of corporatism and empire. The recent joint appearances of Ralph Nader and Ron Paul are encouraging. Libertarianism is the true progressivism, but libertarians have to recognize that our chief adversary is the corporate state/empire, not proletarian socialism.
Daily Bell: Any other material you want to point to?
Sheldon Richman: Watch for a forthcoming book, Markets Not Capitalism, edited by Gary Chartier and Charles Johnson, which contains several of my articles.
Daily Bell: Thanks for your time!
Sheldon Richman: Thank you.
We want to thank Sheldon Richman for continuing the great work of The Freeman, which is as close to an institution as libertarianism has. What is both frustrating and notable is that The Freeman has been a reasonable case for free markets for over half a century – and things seem worse than ever.
Almost every point made by writers for this prophetic magazine has in one way or another likely been vindicated and yet a publication such as, say ... Time continues to "get it wrong" on every count and still manages a far greater presence (though diminishing influence).
Mr. Richman may not wish to admit it, but it seems evident and obvious to us that there are larger forces at work conspiring to retard the message of the publication he runs so wisely and well. These same forces evidently and obviously uplift publications that specialize in narratives of the divide and conquer sort.
We have often noted the peculiar persistence of establishment publications despite their failures. BusinessWeek, Newsweek, AOL and many more can (and do) pile up huge losses and yet somehow stay in business. They bounce back over and over – like Superballs. Their recoveries are almost magical, as if some great force is lifting them back up.
We often hear that capitalism is a merciless mistress that winnows failure on a regular basis. But we long ago stopped believing that the great Anglosphere institutions – banking, publishing or any other field – were subject to the same rules as smaller industrial efforts.
Thus, we have decided on a new yardstick to indicate when Western societies finally become freer. We will know this is the case when Mr. Richman's magazine begins to claim a circulation in the hundreds of thousands while Time declines with irreparable finality and the Daily Beast/Newsweek combo fades into the irrelevancy it so richly deserves. May that day come soon.
Posted by William3 on 10/17/11 02:19 PM
Thanks, DB, for this interview and the Freeman site. Sheldon Richman seems to have a clear libertarian view. I particularly like the way he applies it to unique American issues.
Posted by Summer on 10/17/11 05:22 AM
'Daily Bell: Is there going to be a larger war between the West and Islam? Is it being manufactured? Why?'
Sure is. And if Islam, as many of its predecessors, being in a tradition - the same faith at different evolutionary stages, from one and the same God; then the question is: if there is a God who will 'win'?!
The aforementioned conflict is inevitable because corrupt worldly 'leaders' must oppose rules that transcend theirs in importance, validity and power.
The anti-Christ (modern day elites) first eroded Christianity as taught by Jesus via the Pauline philosophy of trinity and the literal interpretation of 'Father' thus completing the distortion of the faith - Jesus never said: 'worship me'.
Next the Western world was easy prey - eroding morality and replacing it with 'sophisticated' philosophies to replace religious narrative - people confused easier to rule.
The only obstacle left is Islam, the latest world faith. It is still widely practised in the world - problem for those who seek world dominance. Two birds with one stone - portrayal of Islam as the bad guy coupled with racist dominance and cultural superiority (attacking Islamic philosophy and 'Islamic' countries with war, 'destabilisation', sanctions and manipulation of corrupt leaders etc.).
But what of the Messiah? If all faiths' prophecies are correct: There should be a Messiah AND if there is one God then surely all faiths are a continuation (forms of attaining peace under the direction of the Creator but at varying stages of evolution/societal sophistication), culminating in a universally applicable ultimate message suited to an interconnected global era. The Messiah then would be the fulfilment of all the prophecies past under the universal guidance of Islam (all religions were Islam (submission to God's will)).
The anti-Christ's final battle, then, will be an ideological one: Materialism and immorality verses morality and guidance. What will be the triggers? There are prophecies some which have been fulfilled others to be fulfilled.
Already fulfilled: Gog and Magog (Capitalist and Communist Superpowers), the Antichrist (modern day colonialist elites using a warped form of Christ-worship to attain political and material mastery of the world, with a Zionist component), Extremism and Mullah-ism to discredit religion, Widespread immodesty and vulgarity, Economic sanctions and conditional aid, HARP and the arrival of the Messiah (yep, you missed it, as did the Roman contemporaries of Jesus!). Click to view link
To be fulfilled: The anti-Christ will not succeed and when his ideology will wither then its followers will be jolted for blindly following him. There will be a great sign - five earthquakes that will shake the world and leave no one in doubt of the fact that there is indeed a God.
Posted by Jeanna on 10/16/11 09:27 PM
Yes. Individuals find solutions to problems, and often in ways others did not expect. We don't have to know what the solutions are, only trust in individual creativity. We will solve any problem with free association, bilateral contracts, and sound money. Most of all .. sound money.
As an example, in response to the new health care laws, I've heard of some doctors in Dallas closing their practices due to administrative costs of compliance, some even taking on day jobs. They then offer night and weekend home office visits for their current patients, some at a monthly retainer, some at a fixed visit rates. But, they are not taking on any new patients.
Solutions are presented by individuals. Central planning is twisted into helping the privileged few.
Posted by NAPpy on 10/16/11 08:46 PM
Check out Click to view link. They have archived many of the best writers on voluntarism. Also check out Click to view link. Molyneux's anarchist perspective is not new, but I think his ideas about how psychology affects one's predilection for freedom are interesting. Walter Block's "Defending the Undefendable" is a good read. My personal gateway to voluntarism was Hoppe's "Democracy, the God that Failed".
To me, it's a moral issue, and the issue of slavery provides an effective analogy. In the 1800's, people made excuses for slavery--how will the slaves find work? how will we pick our cotton? they like being slaves, everything is provided for them; they're lazy, how would they compete in the free market? Molyneux's argument is the old abolition argument. Slavery is evil. I don't need to predict the unpredictable to stop participating in or condoning slavery myself. The same argument applies to the government. A monopoly on the use of force in a given geographical area is evil. How would the roads work? How about contracts? Crime? Courts? My answer is government is evil. I don't need to predict the future to stop participating in evil. Freedom is a mult-generational issue, just like slavery was / is. Right now, I can stop voting, minimize taxes, barter, use hard money, and quietly and politely make people aware that just because you haven't thought the issues through, doesn't mean that the issues haven't been written about.
Posted by rossbcan on 10/16/11 06:28 PM
"Also isn't talk of no govt. kind of 'pie in the sky'?"
No, the services can be (and once were) private (people trading among themselves) and, people in a geographical area, armed with freedom from the state to defend themselves are perfectly able to keep local bullies in check. And, an armed population will be cause for external predators to find lower hanging fruit.
Posted by Bluebird on 10/16/11 06:28 PM
For whatever reasons, we let government grow to the size it is. But that does not mean we have to just roll over and let them control. I don't know what the solutions are, but I will never quit looking for some. One thing is for sure, there are more of us than them. Keep hacking away at a tree and sooner or later it will fall. Would another grow in its place? Sure. But hopefully we can keep better vigilence and keep the yard weeded to keep it from taking root. I will never give up! I see nothing but misery around me and it can only get worse if we say quit.
As each group of freedom seekers rise up, they are taken over by the tricksters and wind up falling on their face in the mud. But sooner or later, people will start to see the tricksters coming and know them for who they are, and the tricksters will eventually find themselves with mud on their face. Never be defeated by thinking they are too strong and we are too few. That is what THEY taught us. Reach out to a friend and convince them to join you in this educating process. But hurry. The gate is closing and darkness is closing in.
Posted by rossbcan on 10/16/11 06:23 PM
"Should we just ignore the deadly threats to our individual well-being that
government has the power to deliver, at their whim??"
No! consider the source of their power. Cowardice of their victims allows them to coerce the economic resources NECESSARY to fed the guns, armies, hit men, strutting constables and bribe support especially from our idiot fellows who believe that they have the bully given right to exist off the servitude of their fellow human beings, for "fairness" of all absurdities.
Shrug, keep P=1, and use civil disobedience to increase their costs since, with the lie of being the morally, socially concerned "nice guys", they cannot stray too far from their self constructed trap (meme). Don't believe me, the macroeconomic stats indicate that the proper choices (to deal with predators) are being collectively made:
Click to view link
... and, if you use violence, you lose the moral high ground and feed into the economics of a system that is partially designed to use the actions of those who violently resist as a pretext to increase the scope and profit of their police state (organized predators).
yah think that just "going along, to get along" is going to result in anything but collective demise?
Posted by budwood on 10/16/11 04:15 PM
No, Tawny, you're not wrong. In fact, your observations are right on.
. . . And, unfortunately, it's always been that way.
Posted by budwood on 10/16/11 04:12 PM
Strange question that DB asks: "Did George W. Bush help things with 'No Child Left Behind'"?
Seem to me that "No child left behind" essentially says, "No child forges ahead"!
Then, Sheldon Richman says "We're underpopulated". I thought that we were until FDR said "we're over populated"; then I knew that we were (are) underpopulated. However, SR equates numbers of mouths with number of brains. That has not proven to be any where near a correct count. In fact, some psychologists reckoned that there is one sociopath for every twenty-five people, so more population equates to more politicians.
In any event, I can't disagree with the theme of SR's responses. Indeed, almost everything in which governments become involved becomes messed up.
Posted by tawny on 10/16/11 04:10 PM
The Founding Fathers basically had it right - small governmental units, small enough that the people can keep tabs on those in power and have real influence on them - and 'eternal vigilance.' And an educated populace.
The opposite of this is what the usurpers have been doing steadily ever since the early days of this country - centralizing power and creating another "good ol' boy" network/clique.
I don't see how it would work to have no govt. at all because any geographical area with no government would be in essence a 'power vacuum' and up for grabs.
Looking at all the castles and moats and etc. in Europe, and just looking at the record of history, we see that undefended/weakly defended wealth/land is/always has been up for grabs.
Of course maybe I am wrong, so fire away if you think so.
Also isn't talk of no govt. kind of 'pie in the sky'? How are we going to persuade the ruling elite cliques to give back the keys to the castle? Basically, at this point 'gangstas in pinstripe suits' rule. They have worked hard to get the power they have. Why would they voluntarily surrender it?
Posted by DarbyJie on 10/16/11 03:27 PM
"There is nothing mystical about government. It is just a group of people with self-decreed powers and a faux mythology than makes far too many people believe they are "necessary" and a bad "obey or else" attitude that it is legitimate to make dissenters extinct"
Nothing *mystical* Ross, but something very *powerful* and threatening. I do not understand how it is possible to "tolerate none to be predator or prey" when all the guns, all the power to inflict unimaginable harm, lies in their hands.
Should we just ignore the deadly threats to our individual well-being that
government has the power to deliver, at their whim??
In other words, do you think it is cowardly of we Americans that up to this point we have not been willing to openly resist, not been willing to risk - to put it plainly - our deaths?
I would greatly appreciate your clarification/thoughts on this issue; it's something I've wanted to ask you for a long time. Thanks.
Posted by rossbcan on 10/16/11 03:03 PM
"Basically, it seems to me that there is NO problem-free system of governance, because the history of human life on this planet is a history of plunder and 'might makes right' aka 'You and who else are gonna stop me?' (from taking what you got that I want)."
Does that not imply that eternal personal vigilance and not tolerating any bullies (monopolists) to get the upper hand such that they can coerce anyone to do what they want is sorta required?
There is nothing mystical about government. It is just a group of people with self-decreed powers and a faux mythology than makes far too many people believe they are "necessary" and a bad "obey or else" attitude that it is legitimate to make dissenters extinct.
Which is why, if we want peace and civilization, it must be:
"Tolerate none to be predator, or prey" or else, lose it.
Posted by tawny on 10/16/11 02:45 PM
Re the problems at the Daiichi plants and the extremely serious nuclear problem generally (there are many - run down, dangerous - old plants that should be decomissioned in the USA; the industry is very powerful and very corrupt, with the usual situation of regulatory 'capture') --
Here is a good website with good info, which I check out daily.
Energy News - Click to view link
Posted by tawny on 10/16/11 02:29 PM
Re not needing government at all - my main questions there have to do with a few problems I see with it - how would contracts be enforced? What about national defense?
Basically, it seems to me that there is NO problem-free system of governance, because the history of human life on this planet is a history of plunder and 'might makes right' aka 'You and who else are gonna stop me?' (from taking what you got that I want).
My basic observation/conclusion has been that: the mind of man can figure out a way to subvert (for selfish purposes) any system of governance (including statelessness)that the mind of man can devise.
Like others, I was aghast (the mind reeled, the vision clouded; good thing I was sitting down when I read it) that your guest has no problem with the 'Arab guys with box cutters' officially sanctioned story of 9/11. I guess you could say the honeymoon was over at that point. (Not to say that he does not make many points with which I am in agreement.)
TimorTheLame's point might on 9/11 might have been that saying several things the dissident movement agrees with and then inserting the dis-info is SOP for the CIA/Cointel operatives. I make no accusations here, but I think that might have been one thing Timor was getting at.
Also, just for the record, it seems to me that the large and growing human population on the planet IS a problem (especially with the reckless heedless ways with the environment of the reigning power-elite). However a good way way to ease the problem, based on my info, would all along have been to get the corrupt Anglo/Euro/American corporate/banking elites OUT of control of Anglo/Euro/American government(s), ditto those of the Third World countries (could be done if the people of said robber baron nations had access to good uncontrolled info, and more actual control of their own governments). As it is, the robber baron nations (CIA comes in handy here) MO appears to be to install corrupt puppet governments in resource-rich undeveloped nations which in exchange for all sorts of 'live like kings' perks for themselves, allow said trans-national elite corporations to rape the people of their countries of the value of their labor and natural resources.
If the people were allowed to profit fairly from their own labor and natural resources, they would become more prosperous, their education level would rise, and the usual consequence of those developments is the use of birth control and a drop in the birth rate, as happened in the USA, Canada, and most of the developed nations of Europe. This might not solve the problem of the damaged/dying ecosphere, but it seems it would certainly ease it.
However right now, with the ongoing irradiation of the Northern Hemisphere from Fukushima Daiichi, the 'reset' button has been pushed and the eco- problems exacerbated many-fold. A micro-gram of plutonium, inhaled, is a lethal dose, and enough has already been released from the damaged nuke power plants there to deliver the coup de grace to every living soul on the planet.
And the plutonium, of which many tons have been created (and still counting), remains that toxic for 250,000 years (!) And over a thousand other toxic radionuclides have been/are being released, and are poisoning the air, food, water, and our bodies; and eventually the radionuclides will get into the Soutnern Hemisphere, too.
I'd say it is indisputable that indeed we have severe ecological problems on the planet.
Posted by Bluebird on 10/16/11 01:33 PM
Correction: In the last paragraph, that should say "I hate to say this"
Yes, DB, we have discussed the moon landings alot. For the record I will state that after you brought it to our attention, I find it hilarious we ever believed the moon landings at all. But some still fight this.
The Daily Bell is my main source of news, mainly because I believe in you.
Posted by Bluebird on 10/16/11 01:20 PM
It may be harder for non-US citizens to understand, but many of us are fed up. But there is so much left/right hyperbole in which we have been fed a steady diet that many are just now realizing they are same/same and the future is looking mightly hopeless. Some are just not looking at the 9/11 problem. My brother is a very inteligent man who has been ranting about the government for years. He is the one who opened my eyes, yet he still does not buy the 9/11 truth. This is mostly due to a very busy life (working long hours) and limited time for reseaching such matters. I am sure he is not alone in this catagory. Does that mean he is a government stooge? No! I had to research for a while before I understood what he meant when he told me he was a libertarian.
If you fail to realize how important the 9/11 scheme is, for whatever reason that may be, you just may not put a lot of time into searching for that truth, or more sadly, just do not have the time. Perhaps some may think it would take time away from searching for solutions to the left/right treason we have been prisoners of. And before any suggest he must not be too smart, he had such an influential position in his company that they sent him to almost every country there is to speak for them. (An engineer of some sort, not gov.)
And I hate to hate this, but it is true: Many just hate the Muslims and could care less if they did it. They want them gone anyway. Sad times we live in. Give freedom a chance where you may find it.
Posted by memehunter on 10/16/11 12:33 PM
Bluebird, I would not be so charitable regarding 9/11.
I think that many of these thinkers know as well as we do that 9/11 was a false flag but they don't have the courage to say it. They prefer to endorse a lie than to tell the truth. This is a lot worse, in my eyes, than mere ignorance. I don't know specifically about Mr. Richman, of course.
The Bismarck mention was the most interesting bit of the interview for me (and, no, this is not a criticism of DB).
Posted by rossbcan on 10/16/11 12:11 PM
Our beliefs and viewpoints are too diverse, interfering with consensus.
Best to work bottom up, starting with "NOT OK to initiate aggression", for any individual or group, independent of pretexts (excuses). Agree to disagree, otherwise.
Then, we can start building the hierarchy of truth and consensus on firm, unshifting ground.
Posted by Bluebird on 10/16/11 11:56 AM
Most of us readers at the Daily Bell do not believe the official story of 9/11. We believe it is a false flag operation designed to "justify" the wars. But come on, guys.
Many people "saw" the planes hit the towers via MSM, just like we all "saw" the moon landings. Do we all believe the moon landings were fake? No. In fact pushing these ideas as the top criteria for being "one of us" will drive many freedom fighters away. It may be hard for some to believe they did not see what they think they saw with their own eyes. It has been a very deeply rooted idea.
By cutting them off because they still have not come to terms with such an evil plot may be cutting off some of the best freedom fighters. It is harder for some to grasp the idea that our own people would go so far as to commit such a horrible act.
As for myself, I thank the Daily Bell for this interview and for giving us another place to read from. I will check it out, but with my "radar" turned on. Maybe some good ideas can be found there for the cause of freedom.
Reply from The Daily Bell
You wrote: "Do we all believe the moon landings were fake?"
You know DB and feedbackers have discussed this topic quite a bit!
Posted by rossbcan on 10/16/11 11:37 AM
"I prefer the red pill... "
... consider the horrible possibility you may be color blind...