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Henry Herskovitz defends the 1st Amendment; Thomas Willcutts refutes libertarianism a.k.a. “anarcho-capitalism”

Listen live Fridays 8 to 10 pm Eastern on Revolution.Radio – then archived HERE (1st hour) and HERE (2nd hour)

First hour: Henry Herskovitz of Witness for Peace has been picketing the Beth Israel synagogue in Ann Arbor, Michigan for many years due to that congregation’s support for Zionism. Now they’re trying to shut him down…and he’s fighting for his First Amendment rights. Will attorney Marc M. Susselman succeed in his “lawfare” action contending that Witness for Peace has no First Amendment rights to carry signs on public sidewalks?

And are we lucky to even have public sidewalks protected by the First Amendment? Would a fully privatized world, in which all sidewalks are private property (as in shopping malls) and the owners decide what you can say and what you can’t, be a libertarian paradise or a dystopian nightmare?

We also discuss the internet oligarchs’ escalating violations of the First Amendment. Are social media and streaming platforms private publishers who are fully responsible for everything they publish—giving them the right to censor anyone they disagree with? Or are these platforms a de facto town square, protected under the First Amendment, in which individual users post their own material, and are responsible for their own Constitutionally-protected speech?

Thomas Willcutts

Second hour: Thomas Willcutts argues that pro-capitalist libertarians are wrong: scaling back government just intensifies corporate tyranny. He writes:

“’Government’ is the methodology by which any given human society – 1) Creates the rules of the society; 2) Interprets the rules and adjudicates disputes concerning the rules; 3) Enforces the rules of society.”

He argues that anarcho-libertarianism “does not do away with government – it privatizes it. Laws will no longer be created by legislative bodies – they will become a creature of private contracts. Laws will no longer be interpreted and adjudicated in courts of law, as those functions will be taken over by for-profit, private arbitration fora. And finally, the laws will no longer be enforced by the police functions of the State, but instead they will be enforced by ‘PDAs’ – private defense agencies. This book will compare and contrast these functions of government when operated under Public Law vs. Private Law. As set forth in the Title, the conclusion reached herein is that privatization of government is a formula for a tyrannical corporate dystopia.”

40 minutes into the hour, libertarian Rolf Lindgren calls in with a different view.

Thomas Willcutts has undergraduate degrees in Physics and Philosophy from Rice University, and he is a trial attorney by profession, where he specializes in representing individuals in securities fraud cases against the major banks of Wall Street.  Willcutts has had a life-long interest in political philosophy, and he frequently engages in on-line debates and discussions on this topic, several of which can be found on YouTube, including here, here, and here.

 

 

8 Thoughts to “Henry Herskovitz defends the 1st Amendment; Thomas Willcutts refutes libertarianism a.k.a. “anarcho-capitalism””

  1. Amin Abdullah

    To speak of Government and corporate tyranny as if they were different entities, is plain naivete and/or utter hypocrisy. Even the untrained eyes can see that they are just different facets of the human-farming business. It is even in the open, when they speak of PPP (Public–private partnership).

    Throughout history, inhumanity to man by man, has always benn done in the name of “Government”, by “Government” and for the sake of preserving one version of “Government” at the expense of another.

    “Laws” and “regulations” by the ruling class (Government), are for the most part just to train people to be obedient and submissive. In every society there has always been an overly ambitious class of parasitic people, whose drug is to control and rise as demigods.

    The mummy ‘Henry Kissinger’ is quoted as having said : “Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac”. The New York Times (28 October 1973). Those parasite are so confident, they don’t even feel the need to be discreet about their narcissistic motivations.

    The majority of people are not inherently bad, have a reasonable amount of common sense and just want to live in peace with their families and neighbors. As such, communities of people can and should run their own selves, in cooperation with other communities. It would be a more peaceful world.

    The self-preservation instinct of people will drive most of them to behave in a rational, moral and civilized manner.

    Here below, 2 articles illustrating  that point of view :

    “Ecuador legalized gangs. Murder rates plummeted.”

    https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/3/26/18281325/ecuador-legalize-gangs

    “Legal marijuana cuts violence says US study, as medical-use laws see crime fall .”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/14/legal-marijuana-medical-use-crime-rate-plummets-us-study

    Those who can not let go of the idea of government, it is because they can not crave something they never tasted, which is being Truly Free, no pressure, nobody’s slave. They are like someone who always drank nothing but dog piss to quench his thirst and he was told it is normal and natural. That someone can never long for a glass of pure water : he never tasted it, nor heard of it.

    “The most dangerous superstition” is a .pdf that can be found online.

    This is not the first time ‘Thomas Willcutts’ goes around pontificating about the imaginary good of “Government”. He drank dog piss for too long and it is the only thing he knows. He is one of those cows on the payroll, who have been trained to go around lecturing the other cows about the blessing of living under the boots of the human-farmers.

    An idle question : where does ‘Thomas Willcutts’ stand on the issue of 9-11 ?. How much noise has he made about it ?.

    The gig is up, more and more people are peeling off their many layers of indoctrination :

    VIDEO ‘The story of your enslavement’ :
     https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ubNSUl-JcxM

    Or again, this AUDIO by ‘Larken Rose’ :

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6GMbxqq9WY4

    Or again this great VIDEO by a french filmaker (‘On Modern Servitude’) :

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xoG0D4ofcv8

    1. Tom Willcutts

      Amin – you miss the point. I am not making the case that there is any virtue to government. My only point is that getting rid of public government does not do away with government – it merely exchanges public government for private government. And history shows that the abuses of government can be expected to become much worse once they are privatized. Larken Rose is sincere and well-meaning, but he does not have the education or practical experience to understand what will happen when public government is exchanged with private government. Rose’s belief that a corrupt and abusive private legal system would be out of business as soon as its corruption manifested itself is incredibly naive. He stated in reaction to the hypothetical I gave to him, and his belief in this regard is demonstrably false.

      And I have an idle question for you, Amin: Where does Larken Rose stand on the issue of 9-11. How much noise has he made about it?

      1. Amin Abdullah

        “My only point is that getting rid of public government does not do away with government – it merely exchanges public government for private government. And history shows that the abuses of government can be expected to become much worse once they are privatized.”

        You still insist on making a distinction between two aspects of the human-farming business. Same BS : private, public, semi-private…it does not matter.

        As for ‘Larken Rose’, while I find him occasionally inspiring, I am not putting him on a pedestal whatsover. That said, I can try to guess why he is not lingering on the issue of 911 : for him probably, 911 was just another monster-child of the abomination that is “Government”. Being vocal and outraged about 911, from his perspective, only betrays the fact that one had faith – at least to a certain degree – in “Government”. Which he does not, as we both know.

        Anyway, maybe : “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.”

        Hey, we have the ground already setup for a debate between ‘Larken Rose’ and  ‘Thomas Willcutts’. How about that Mr Kevin, you as the moderator. You want to go for it ?.

        As for being Truly Free, that I mentioned earlier, The Ultimate Liberating Experience is To Surrender To Allah.Very few lucky people arrive to that conclusion.

        Thank you for your reply Mr Willcutts.

        1. Tom Willcutts

          “As for being Truly Free, that I mentioned earlier, The Ultimate Liberating Experience is To Surrender To Allah.”

          Speaking of Allah, I’m not a follower myself, Amin, and my education lacks any in-depth study of the Koran, but I do have an appreciation and respect for people such as Kevin Barrett who articulate and are faithful to what I consider to be the spiritually enlightened aspects of the Abraham-Jesus-Allah tradition. And in the spirit of that appreciation and respect, I sent the following post-Interview email to Kevin, which I told him I would also post to these comments:

          Hey Kevin –

          … [I]t dawned upon me that I may given to you a misleading notion of how I view Islam, on the basis of the [following] Statement … [included as one of the bullet points for our discussion:]

          “How the Western States came to overtake the Islamic World — the rise of the Nation State and Private Corporations.”

          I have a very firm belief that Islam’s refusal to engage in usury practices represents a vastly superior model for organizing society than the [usury practices adopted by many] western nations, in addition to other good traits of the religion.

          My main point [regarding Islam and its failure to embrace the corporate model of organization] is the ability of unrestrained corporations to dominate everything in their path. There are natural efficiencies that corporations create – the ability to pool together capital and spread the risk for ventures that require large investment. On the other hand … these creatures need to have reigns upon them and rational limits upon their potential power.

          The problem Islam had was simply in competing from an organizational standpoint [sans embracing corporation efficiencies]. But this organizational tool has now turned into a monster – so which was better from a quality of life and existence standpoint? I think the World may have been better off if Islam did develop the corporation as well and placed proper restraints and controls on them, so that Islam remained competitive with the West and kept the West in check and stood as a counterbalance and counterexample to the ways of the West. Clearly such a counterbalance is needed in the World. What would the World look like if Russia and China did not provide a check on US hegemony?

          Anyway … let me make clear that i did not mean to demean Islam in anyway, in noting how it was the superior organizational tools adopted by the West – not a superior culture, religion or people, as some argue, that led to the West coming out on top in the balance of power that ensued. And now the people of the West are becoming slaves to the genie they let out of the bottle – unrestrained corporate power.

          – Tom

          1. Amin Abdullah

            Thank you Mr Willcutts for the addendum and best wishes to you..

    2. Rick Dalton

      Abdullah wrote:

      “Throughout history, inhumanity to man by man, has always been done in the name of “Government”, by “Government” and for the sake of preserving one version of “Government” at the expense of another.”

      One could substitute the word “Religion” for “Government” and the new sentence would have as much validity as the original.

      Abdullah wrote:

      “Laws” and “regulations” by the ruling class (Government), are for the most part just to train people to be obedient and submissive. In every society there has always been an overly ambitious class of parasitic people, whose drug is to control and rise as demigods.”

      Likewise, religions, including Islam, have their ruling classes too, and so in every religion there has always been an overly ambitious class of parasitic people whose drug is to control and rise as demigods.

      Abdullah wrote:

      “The Ultimate Liberating Experience is To Surrender To Allah”

      This statement is not only contradicted by human history, it is also nonsensical in that it claims one achieves liberation by surrendering.

      Abdullah wrote:

      “The self-preservation instinct of people will drive most of them to behave in a rational, moral and civilized manner.”

      Now who’s being naive?

      Abdullah continues:

      “Here below, 2 articles illustrating  that point of view :
      “Ecuador legalized gangs. Murder rates plummeted.”
      https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/3/26/18281325/ecuador-legalize-gangs
      Did you even read the article you linked, Abdullah? The whole transformation was government sponsored, and largely brought about by bringing gangs into the government fold – giving them money and other aid, and giving them access to and a voice in government. They “legalized” them and then seduced them with a stake in the State system. Now who’s being a hypocrite?
      As for your other linked article, the authors note:
      “Anecdotal evidence suggests the cartels are now trying to get into the legal marijuana business in California by opening their own farms. Others are turning to human trafficking and kidnapping to shore up their falling profits. There are also reports that some cartels are switching to new forms of drug cultivation by growing poppies in Mexico to produce their own heroin rather than importing it from Afghanistan.”
      So much for the self-preservation instinct driving them to behave in a moral and civilized manner.
      Abdullah wrote:
      “The majority of people are not inherently bad, have a reasonable amount of common sense and just want to live in peace with their families and neighbors. As such, communities of people can and should run their own selves, in cooperation with other communities. It would be a more peaceful world.”

      Again I ask, who’s being naive? All of human history shows that the minority who are inherently bad will in time rule those who are not, because they are willing to do whatever is necessary to acquire wealth, power, and control. They are willing to resort to actions and behaviors that the majority are not. Governments are created by groups of people in order to restrain this minority. While governments are flawed institutions that have failed to completely reign in the malignant minority, they are not inherently evil or tyrannical. Governments become tyrannical because they are administered by people who are tyrannical. Governments have never forced anyone to do anything, only people have done so. Government is nothing but an idea to facilitate community-living. People are the actors. If you take government away from such people they will find another means to exert their will over others, perhaps a religion. What you and Larken Rose have not yet articulated is a better way to restrain these malefactors.

  2. Amin Abdullah

    “And I have an idle question for you, Amin: Where does Larken Rose stand on the issue of 9-11. How much noise has he made about it?”

    Hallelujah, Mr Thomas Willcutts is now a 911 truther, albeit not as directly as some others. (lol)

  3. Tom Willcutts

    Mr. Dalton – well said. You stole some of my thunder.

    Mr. Abdullah – when I said that Larken Rose lacks the education to properly analyze this subject, let me explain …

    The anarcho-capitalist focus upon the non-agrgession principle is meaningless. Aggression has always been profitable (from a material wealth standpoint) and, therefore, a persistent force within human societies, going back before modern governments existed up through the present. One tribe would plunder a neighboring tribe or one individual would simply plunder his neighbor. Human societies evolved to the point where they made rules against aggression, which is a form of public government.

    Further, modern States were created, in part, as a means of communities banding together to protect themselves against aggression. The modern English State was created when Alfred the Great (1st King of England) united the English “Nobles” and their Clans in order to stand together against the Viking invaders.

    And yes, the State itself at times later became the aggressor against the people, and the Nobles banded together to create rules and laws to restrain the power of the State, resulting in the enactment of Magna Carta – enshrining fundamental protections for all citizens, like due process and a trial by one’s peers. These fundamental protections carried over into our Bill of Rights, and the U.S. Constitution created a government of Checks and Balances, in a further effort to reign in the power of the State. This Constitution was later amended to outlaw slavery.

    The fundamental rights contained in these documents are Public Laws, and Larken Rose and people who share his viewpoint would unwittingly do away with them. Centuries of evolution of public laws designed to protect individuals against the abuses of government would be thrown out. Anarcho-Capitalist Professor Walter Block candidly admits that slavery would, under Rose’s society, once again become legal – so long as it was “voluntarily” agreed to. In other words, if a parent needed food or medicine to save their child, they could sign a contract to become a slave for life in order to save their child. This “voluntary” contract would be enforceable, where private contracts were the only source of law.

    Again, Larken Rose would not do away with government — he would merely privatize all of its functions. He thereby does away with all of the fundamental protections set forth in Public Law documents like the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights. These documents alone do not protect the people. As Jefferson noted, the citizens need to be forever vigilant to avoid tyranny. But the simplistic notion that doing away with all Public Government is some sort of magical cure displays a lack of knowledge of history and how Public Government came into being and evolved.

    And your statement that the majority of good people should just be left alone to run their own lives and communities is a nice sentiment, but as Mr. Dalton aptly noted … it is not a solution to the problem of aggression and the presence of evil people who will not simply leave them alone.

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