My Year in Writing: 2015
63 Libertarian Essays, ICYMI
As I reflected a year ago, 2014 was the year I came into my own as a writer. In 2015, my improved skill and confidence as an essayist translated into wider readership through multiple venues, for which I am very grateful. Below are links to my 63 essays of 2015, along with excerpted highlights and notes about their inspiration, reception, etc. Each link goes to the DanSanchez.me version of the article, at the bottom of which are links to the editions hosted elsewhere (Medium.com, Antiwar.com, etc).
My first article of the year explored the nature of policing in general and debunked the “broken windows” doctrine in light of the NYPD semi-strike then underway:
What the NYPD’s “Virtual Work Stoppage” Reveals About Policingwww.dansanchez.me
I applied the same “Seen/Unseen” analysis to Broken Windows policing that Frederic Bastiat applied to the Broken Windows fallacy. In response, economist Chris Westley tweeted this very kind and overwhelmingly generous compliment:
“Had to remind myself I wasn’t reading Rothbard when reading this exc article by @DanSanchezV”
Here are the closing paragraphs:
“Broken Windows proponents adopt for policing the medical maxim, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” But that ratio is only true for actually preventative measures, and not for pathogens, which is what Broken Windows policies are. A medical precept more befitting matters of crime and punishment is, “First do no harm.”
Although it’s for all the wrong reasons, the NYPD is closer now to following that injunction than it has been for a long time. But the institution of state policing is completely antithetical to non-aggression, so we shouldn’t expect it to last long. All too soon, they’ll surely be back to generating broken lives and broken bodies in the name of Broken Windows.”
Next, I wrote a sweeping tribute to defiance, with regard to the police state, education, and other areas:
I shared it in a Facebook thread with my teenage nephew, who was a police cadet and is now at boot camp. I was not able to reach him, but one of his friends wrote this in response:
“I agree with you dan, i finished reading the article a few minutes ago, and its very strong, its make me think alot more now.”
I encouraged the young man to explore these ideas further by checking out the blog of the heroic Will Grigg. I dearly hope Will’s exquisite writing has as deep an impact on him as it did on me.
For a personal touch, I included this childhood memory:
"Having a questioning attitude is even frowned upon over trivial matters. One of the earliest memories I still retain is walking up to my third grade teacher’s desk and pointing out to her that a worksheet read, “The food is ready to eat.” This struck me as wrong at the time, as it seemed to imply that it was the food that would be doing the eating. I asked whether it should read “ready to be eaten” instead. I distinctly remember the rotund bespectacled old lady scolding me, “Oh, don’t be so critical!” I have since endeavored to make my life and career in the world of ideas one long act of defiance against that early admonition.”
Next, I wrote what I consider my best economics essay ever, in which I distill an under-appreciated aspect of Ludwig von Mises’s thought: his vision of the inherently “populist” nature of capitalism:
Scott Horton had me on his show to discuss it. A reader wrote to me: “Mr. Sanchez, how did you come to write like that? Does it come naturally?” This was my response:
“Thank you! Well, I don’t know about ‘naturally,’ but it comes more easily than it used to. Felicitous phrases spring to mind more readily, as long as I’m in the right frame of mind. I think it’s a function of reading a great deal of superb thinkers and writers, especially in the past 4 years, and of writing very regularly, especially in the past year. But mind you, the final product you see is not all the first flush of inspiration. Much of it is the result of a great deal of rewriting. With this last one, I reconsidered just about every other sentence singly, asking myself if there was any better way of saying it.”
Here is an excerpted highlight:
“Free entry/exit is the logical corollary of liberty: inviolate self-ownership and private property. It is the freedom of an individual to put his labor and earnings to whatever productive use he finds advantageous, irrespective of the pretenses to privilege of vested interests.
Under capitalism, no longer can nobles rely on a captive labor force and “customer” base, or enjoy the impossibility of having resources bid away by more efficient producers. No longer can these robber barons turned landed barons rest on such laurels of past armed conquest.”
Next, I wrote a couple of blog posts for Antiwar.com in response to the then-rampant adulation for “American Sniper” Chris Kyle:
Judging from Kyle's own words, this character is a much more accurate portrayal of Chris Kyle's psyche than the one…www.dansanchez.me
…were not Chris Kyle’s Archenemies, but his Beneficiarieswww.dansanchez.me
After reading the comments left for the “Butchers” post, I wrote this on Facebook:
“I did NOT expect my latest American Sniper post to elicit more anger from hypersensitive Iran partisans than from hypersensitive Chris Kyle devotees. #LearnSomethingNewEveryDay”
I closed that post with the following observation:
“As radio host Scott Horton never tires reminding his listeners, the chief role of the American troops in Iraq was to fight a bloody civil war on behalf of the Shiite side and to install Iran-backed Shiite militias in power. These militias used death squads to ethnically cleanse Baghdad and other cities of Sunnis, and, as Will Grigg never tires reminding his readers, imposed a Sharia-compliant constitution over a once-secular country. This Shiite jihad was, in effect, Chris Kyle’s true mission, for which millions of American Christians now lionize him.”
That was January. My February began grimly. On February 2, I posted on Facebook:
“Yesterday was night one of two weeks I’ll be without my wife and daughter, as they stay with family in Baton Rouge. And what I thought was a cold may instead be strep throat. So how do I spend my first two nights sick and alone? Watching comedies to cheer myself up? Nope. Working my way through heart-wrenching and rage-inducing war documentaries: The Fog of War, Vietnam: American Holocaust, and The Trials of Henry Kissinger.
Learning about how monsters like Lemay, McNamara, Johnson, Kissinger, Nixon, and countless obedient soldiers massacred and horrifically brutalized millions of Japanese, Vietnamese, and Cambodians in their home countries, including women and children in their homes.
And right when I’m missing my precious Asian wife and half-Asian little girl. Real smart Sanchez. <facepalm>
In case anyone else is an anti-sadist masochist like me, start with this excellent compilation by Scott Horton: http://scotthorton.org/documentaries/page/2/ Some of the embeds are broken, but the missing ones can usually be found elsewhere.
The timing of my viewing may be highly ill-advised, but every American MUST know the truth about and feel the horror of these atrocities committed in our name, or else we won’t have the resolve to really stand up against future ones.”
My self-inflicted war horror marathon resulted in this essay for Antiwar.com, which I wrote after recovering:
The piece was republished at LewRockwell.com. Here is the essay’s close, which ties back to its opening:
“How can we be so sick as a culture as to send waves of our precious sons halfway around the world to make Manson-surpassing mass murderers of them, and then when they come home and grow older, lift those who took on the role most readily to the highest echelons of wealth, fame, and prestige? I can only answer with the last words of Sergeant Camile’s Vietnamese stabbing victim.
Cum beck. I don’t understand.”
Then I wrote an essay for Antiwar.com inspired by a post by my friend Jessica Pavoni, and informed by my recent reading of Franz Oppenheimer and Herbert Spencer:
The piece was republished at David Stockman’s Contra Corner. Here is a key paragraph:
“The conquerors graduate from shortsighted wanton ravaging to prudentially-curbed extraction. They then evolve from alien tribute demanders to domestic tax collectors, and become progressively entangled with their subjects as a ruling class.”
In my next essay for Antiwar.com, citing Harry Browne, Anthony Gregory, and Justin Ramondo, I attempted to refine the libertarian ethical theory of war, and to apply it to the Terror War:
Here is a key paragraph:
“Any conception of “just violence” that includes collateral damage is an ethic of perpetual war. Does the imperative of security dictate that we sanction the slaughter of foreign innocents in retaliatory and preventative wars? Well, if this is an ethical norm for all mankind, what kind of response, then, does the imperative of security dictate to those threatened foreign innocents and their defenders? As Anthony Gregory pointed out, it would sanction their slaughter of our innocents. Our innocents/defenders may in turn respond similarly, and so on, until everyone on either side is considered “justified” in killing anyone on the other. This norm, if followed by all to the fullest extent, is a recipe for mutual extermination: an ethic of extinction.”
For my next Antiwar.com piece, I tried writing the definitive rebuttal to libertarians who are confused about Ukraine and Russia.
To Debunk the Distortions of Warmongers is Not to Defend Tyrannywww.dansanchez.me
This long, research-heavy article was also picked up by David Stockman’s Contra Corner. Key quote:
“Ron Paul had no love for Saddam then or for Putin today, just as, notwithstanding endless smears to the contrary, there was no love nurtured by Murray Rothbard for Khrushchev, Justin Raimondo for Milosevic, Lew Rockwell for Lukashenko, or Jacob Hornberger for Chavez. Rather, it just so happens that, to paraphrase Stephen Colbert, the truth has a well-known anti-war bias. That is the only reason why, when speaking about the same international crises, principled anti-war voices so frequently find themselves in agreement over points of fact with tyrants who want to avoid being attacked. The truth can, in some cases, happen to serve the purposes of both good and evil men. That doesn’t stop it from being the truth.”
In March, after Google disabled its ads on Antiwar.com, the site’s founder Eric Garris, asked me to write an article about it. The piece ended up being a lengthy expose of the Google-gon as a psy-war branch of the Military Industrial Complex:
Google's boycott campaign against war photography and alternative mediawww.dansanchez.me
This was my first hugely successful article of the year. Thanks to being prominently linked on Antiwar.com, the version on Medium.com alone has had over 21K views. Scott Horton interviewed me about it on his show. It was widely reprinted and linked (The Unz Review, Ben Swann, Infowars, etc) and commended by the great journalists James Bovard (of USA Today, Washington Times, etc) and Kelly Vlahos (of The American Conservative, FoxNews.com, etc). Here are Mr. Bovard’s kind words about the piece and my work in general:
It was even tweeted by WikiLeaks:
“Their problem is that media blackouts, like the one that occurred with the Gulf War torched corpse photo, have relatively little effect in an era in which anyone can post war photos to their blog and watch it go viral through social media. That is where a ubiquitous ad provider like Google can be of great service, by limiting the appearance of war photography on the millions of sites that depend on its ads.
Is that what Google is starting to do now? It is a troubling coincidence that Google’s sudden interest in the old Abu Ghraib photos happens to coincide with a Federal judge’s ruling that the government must release the remaining Abu Ghraib photos still under wraps. Will Google give the new wave of photos the same treatment they are giving the old ones, thereby suppressing the sensation it will cause? Has Google in practice changed its motto from “Don’t Be Evil” to “Don’t See Evil?””
After the success of the Google article, Eric Garris offered me a slot as a weekly columnist for Antiwar.com. The parent organization of Antiwar.com is the Randolph Bourne Institute. And I had just read Bourne’s classic essay, “The State” (my friend Charles Johnson had given me a copy from his stock for tabling conferences). So I thought it would be fitting for my first Antiwar.com column to write an essay clarifying exactly what Bourne meant by his famous (but frequently misinterpreted) phrase, “War is the health of the State.”
Reading and analyzing Bourne was transformative to my thinking, and it has deeply influenced my writing ever since. Later in the year, it also resulted in great moment in my career (discussed below). Key quote:
“In peacetime, Bourne explained, the State is largely relegated to the background; individuals are then more concerned with their own affairs and purposes. But during the build-up to war, and especially following its breakout, the foreign enemy looms large in the public imagination. Hence, the Country is overtaken by war fever and develops what Garet Garett called a “complex of vaunting and fear.” This hybrid mania of boastful belligerence and timorous terror (“fight-or-flight”) causes the populace to regress from a civilization to a herd. The people seek safety in numbers: in a multitude unified for a single purpose (a “great end”) and directed by a single agency. The varied dance of individuals gives way to the uniform huddle and stampede of the unitary drove, with the Government as drover.”
In April, I delivered a talk at the Mises Institute’s seminar on Sound Money. I adapted the talk as my second column for Antiwar.com:
Inflation, War Spending, and the Federal Reserve’s Shell Gamewww.dansanchez.me
I have yet to see as clear an explanation as I give in this piece for the cheap sleight of hand used by the Federal Reserve and Treasury to surreptitiously enrich its cronies through inflation.
“Now let’s review. What were our benefits? Goldman Sachs has $5 million more and my Pentagon has a shiny new fighter plane. And what are our costs? The Fed has $200 million in Treasury IOUs, and that means the Treasury now owes the Fed $200 million plus interest. My right hand owes my left hand some money. But it’s all just me, the government. I didn’t give up anything. There are no costs for the government or its buddies. The inflation simply made us richer at the expense of the public, just like it did in the simpler example.
But to the average observer it’s not clear that it did, because of the little shell game I just played.”
For my third Antiwar.com column, I extended Bourne’s “Herd Mind” analysis to domestic politics by integrating it with Mises’s “Warfare Sociology” analysis (which I expounded in my 2014 essay “Identity Politics and Warfare Sociology”):
The essay was reprinted by David Stockman’s Contra Corner. Key quote:
“Rather than “live and let live,” which according to Bourne, is what individuals do in a true state of peace, most people in a welfare democracy (including especially crony capitalists), corrupted as they are by access to the State machinery of compulsion, are bent on subsisting extractively on each other. As Bastiat characterized it, the modern State is a plundering, Hobbesian “war of all against all” sublimated into a seemingly genteel, orderly process. The law of the jungle is instituted and regularized under the mantle of the rule of law.”
I have been a fan of Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki for years. In 2015, I finished watching all of his classics. With the films fresh in my mind, I wrote this Antiwar.com piece in April discussing nearly all of them:
This essay became my second smash hit of the year. After being shared by the Medium Staff account, it reached #5 in Medium’s “Top Stories.” Later, the Medium.com version was also shared by Hacker News, which gave it an even bigger boost; it has since accumulated 26K views, surpassing the Google piece as my most popular story on Medium. It was also reprinted at David Stockman’s Contra Corner.
“This film’s reverse image of firebombs are the fireflies that so enchant Setsuko. In a beautiful moment amid their tribulations, the brother and sister gather fireflies to dazzlingly illuminate the cave they are living in. Setsuko’s look of wonder is heart-piercing.
But the magic disappears the next morning when she finds that the fireflies are all dead. This memento mori causes her to think of her mother. She buries the fireflies in a grave as she thinks her mother was buried, and asks her brother, “Why do fireflies die so soon?” The question foreshadows her own unbearably untimely death and the flickering brevity of her life. Life indeed is already so brief, which makes it all the more a crime for war bringers to make it even shorter for so many, and so painful in the duration.”
For my next Antiwar.com column, I returned to my furious indignation against killer cops:
HBO's The Wire, David Simon, Baltimore, and the Police as an Army of Occupationwww.dansanchez.me
When I was sick in February, in addition to Vietnam documentaries, I binge-watched HBO’s The Wire. So after cops from the same police department depicted in that show killed Freddie Gray, I was fully prepared to draw the crucial parallels. Republished by David Stockman’s Contra Corner. Who knew a former Reagan appointee would run an article containing a passage like this?:
“‘Fuck your breath’ is a perfect motto for the State. Lungs perforated by bullets? Airway compressed by a tatted up forearm? Entire pulmonary system burst by a 1-ton bomb? Economically suffocated by fines, taxes, and regulations? Fuck your breath.
While the police murder of Eric Harris provided an extremely representative motto for the state, the police murder of Walter Scott provided an extremely representative image. A dead man lying prostrate with his face in the dirt, as a cop, having cuffed the corpse, stands over him, indolently regarding his kill.”
Then came an Antiwar.com discussion of a recent super-hero film, explaining the Bush and Cheney Doctrines:
Captain America Vs. the Stark Doctrinewww.dansanchez.me
“Since SHIELD is basically NATO, the CIA, the FBI, and the NSA all rolled into one, this direction is rich with propaganda potential. ‘Worry not, little Baltic man, NATO is your friend and protector! How would you like some NGO money? Fret not, little hacktivist girl; despite what Snowden told you, we at the NSA are the good guys! How would you like a job?’”
Next came a comparative essay I, as a fan of the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, long wanted to write:
“Sparta and Israel were both impelled to become thoroughly martial states by their need to periodically bring their helots to heel. Sparta had to maintain a permanent war footing in order to crush the helot uprisings (like the one that followed the great earthquake of 464 BC) that periodically erupted throughout its history. And Israel has taken a permanent war footing in order to crush recurrent Palestinian intifadas.”
This was the first of many columns of mine that publicized the blockbuster release of a Pentagon report anticipating the rise of ISIS due to US foreign policy.
That DIA report also featured prominently in my next column:
The Biggest State Sponsor of Terror of Them Allwww.dansanchez.me
…and the one after:
From Uncle Sam, the Bruce Wayne of Jihad, and his Cronieswww.dansanchez.me
This was the first piece of many to be featured at Voices of Liberty. Closing quote:
“That is what war is all about: selling gear and mongering fear. Anyone who tells you different is probably in on the racket.”
For July’s FreedomFest, Angela Keaton was scheduled to debate Stanford historian Ian Morris, author of a mass market book and Washington Post op-ed defending war as beneficial for civilization. I wrote the following extensive rebuttal of Morris to provide arguments for Angela:
The Latest Ivory Tower Paean to Mass Murderwww.dansanchez.me
Angela didn’t really need my help, because she did wonderfully against Morris. Key quote:
“Once again excluding the middle, Morris’s conclusion boils down to, “war is the health of peace.” George Orwell, who in 1984 had that book’s propaganda-spewing, war-mongering, totalitarian state trumpet the motto, “War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength,” would be smiling wryly if alive today, and perhaps might even write Morris in as an aspiring functionary in the Ministry of Truth.
Now that we have Morris’s war apologia dismantled, let us see how its key components are built defectively and completely malfunction.”
My next Antiwar.com column my first in a long series of “big picture” essays on Israel, the neocons, and the Terror War.
Shattering the Middle East for Israel's Northern Frontwww.dansanchez.me
This article was another big success. It was reprinted by the Ron Paul Institute, LewRockwell.com, Zero Hedge, David Stockman’s Contra Corner, and Voices of Liberty. It was also brought up by Daniel McAdams in discussion with Ron Paul on the Ron Paul Liberty Report. Key quote:
“This is the context of “A Clean Break”: Israel’s obsession with crushing Hezbollah and dominating Lebanon, even if it means turning most of the Middle East upside down (regime changing Syria, Iran, and Iraq) to do it.
9/11 paved the way for realizing the Clean Break, using the United States as a gigantic proxy, thanks to the Israel Lobby’s massive influence in Congress and the neocons’ newly won dominance in the Bush Administration.”
Next came an overview of the bitter fruits of the Terror War, and a debunking of the ridiculous “flytrap” doctrine:
“The American war machine has barreled throughout the Muslim world, running over country after country, leaving each one as so much roadkill. And rotting corpses are not flytraps, but breeding grounds for infestation. Far from being pest control, fully and endlessly prosecuting the War on Terror would eventually afflict us with a “plague of flies” of Biblical proportions.
Furthermore, asymmetrical wars generally do not end up being flytraps for guerrillas, but quagmires for empires. If anyone is being lured into a fatal trap, it is us.”
Then in July came Mises University, the Mises Institute’s flagship conference for undergraduates, which has been the highlight week of my year since 2012. This one became particularly special when, sitting in the audience after Lew Rockwell presented the Murray N. Rothbard Medal of Freedom to the great scholar Robert Higgs, I heard Dr. Higgs cite my “Herd Mind” essay. As I reported on Facebook:
“Robert Higgs recommends one of my essays in his final keynote Mises University lecture before retiring to Mexico. Then Judge Andrew Napolitano, right before his own talk, immediately recognizing me, greets me by name and asks me to print the essay Dr. Higgs cited for him to read. I’d say this qualifies as a great day.”
Later, Judge Napolitano also asked me to add him to my essay email list.
My cup did runneth over when later at Mises U, Dr. Higgs offered me a wonderful gift. As I posted on Facebook:
“So honored to receive as a gift from the great Robert Higgs a complete set of the books he’s either written or edited, plus the entire run of The Independent Review under his editorship. Dr. Higgs is truly Rothbard-like in his generous encouragement and inspiration of younger writers like myself and the great Anthony Gregory. I will treasure these books always, and pour through them often for the wisdom they contain.”
For the sake of space, here are my next three columns without comment:
Struggle Over Substance, Not Symbolswww.dansanchez.me
Cold Wars Freeze Despotism in Place, and Thaws In Foreign Relations Melt It Away…www.dansanchez.me
Recent Attacks Rooted in State-Funded Religious Extremism…www.dansanchez.me
Knowing that the Mises Institute’s celebration of Ron Paul’s 80th birthday in his home town in Texas was coming up, I made it a point to read and review his new anti-war book Swords Into Plowshares beforehand:
Ron Paul’s Faith in Basic Human Decency and the Power of Ideaswww.dansanchez.me
I timed it perfectly, because my review was featured on his web site at the time of the celebration, where I got to meet him for the second time, where he received a print-out of my review (which he said he liked), and where he signed my copy of his book. (I also got to meet there in person for the first time Scott Horton and Daniel McAdams.) Here is Dr. Paul at the celebration with me, my wife, my daughter, and my mom.
Key quote from my review:
“But what most pervades the book is Dr. Paul’s faith in humanity: his belief that mankind is naturally inclined to peace and averse to war. He devotes an entire chapter of his book to “Our Peaceful Nature.” And, he gives no credence to platitudes about “the inevitability of war,” largely because of this faith in man’s basically peaceful predisposition.
This is no blind faith, but a thoroughly informed one.”
Due to my drive to Texas from Alabama, my next column for Antiwar was an update and reprint of my 2014 essay “The Cycle of the State.”
Having celebrated the anti-war themes in the work of my favorite animator, I next gave the same elaborate treatment to the work of my favorite comic writer Grant Morrison, after reading his phenomenal book Supergods.
Then came the wretchedness of election season, to which I responded by expanding on my theory of political change and libertarian strategy, which I first developed in 2014.
Dr. Higgs shared the essay on Facebook with the following kind words:
“Without even trying, many of us end up reading a lot of crappy writing. Why not read something intelligent and beautifully written, something that deals with a subject of fundamental importance, to boot?
Fine job, Danny. More understanding here than most people acquire in a lifetime.”
“A greater predictor of the future of freedom is not who people vote for, but whether they vote at all, and whether they let themselves get caught up in the electoral folderol: in the power ritual of Hate Season.
The only election that really matters is the attitude the public elects to adopt toward the State.”
Another big step in my writing career came when the great libertarian journalist and YouTube star Carey Wedler invited me to join the hugely successful web site Anti-Media (one of the top 6,000 web sites in the country, and over a million likes on Facebook) as a contributor. Unbeknownst to me, my friend Amir had recommended my work to her. And she loved my “Messianic Israel” piece from earlier in the year.
I was game for trying my hand at a completely different writing style for an entirely different audience. So I went full-on “snark” and “clickbait” for my first Anti-Media piece:
Pembroke Pines, FL - Police Sergeant Jennifer Martin rolled up to an Arby's drive-thru Monday night…theantimedia.org
I was very gratified to find that my first time at this new plate was a home run, as the piece quickly went viral.
Another anti-politics essay:
My next Anti-Media piece was an even more viral hit, being liked and shared by tens of thousands on Facebook:
Another newsflash: this is what war displacement looks like, both in the sea and on dry land. What you see in his face…www.dansanchez.me
“Newsflash to the oblivious citizenry of the power-projecting “free world”: this is what war looks like. This times ten million. That which is mere “foreign policy” to you and your government is desperation and death to those on the receiving end of it.
Children just as innocent and precious as Aylan are beingdriven into the sea in Libya, incinerated by drone in Pakistan, or starved to death in Yemen all the time, and it is all on your dime. And every single instance creates a sight just as achingly forlorn and horrifically tragic as the one above, even if it isn’t photographed and seen by millions.”
Another on Anti-Media:
"Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House?" That is what President Obama tweeted in support of Ahmed…www.dansanchez.me
Another on Antiwar:
From American Occupations to European Detention Campswww.dansanchez.me
Then an extensive sequel to “Clean Break to Dirty Wars”:
Reprinted by The Ron Paul Institute, Anti-Media, Zero Hedge, and more. Scott Horton particularly liked this one, and had me on his show to discuss it. The great Sheldon Richman commended it as well, and discussed it in an essay of his own. Key quote:
“That is Israel’s position. ‘Assad must go. We prefer Al Qaeda. Let ISIS prevail.’
In other words: “To hell with your towers, America. And your big city residents can go to hell too, where they can burn along with the Syrian victims of Al Qaeda and ISIS for all I care. Israel has its own regional strategic goals to think of. Now get back to work to pay your taxes so your government can keep decimating Muslim countries for me and my power clique and keep sending us billions of dollars in foreign aid.’”
Two more Anti-Media pieces:
US/NATO planes bombed a hospital operated by Doctors Without Borders in Afghanistan on Saturday. The attack lasted an…www.dansanchez.me
My next Antiwar column applied the Bournean analysis I developed in essays 12, 14, and 30 above to the Trump phenomenon:
A quartet of peace negotiators has won the Nobel Peace Prize for its role in preserving the Tunisian Revolution. That…www.dansanchez.me
A third installment to my history-heavy neocon/terror war series, this one using Star Wars as a frame of reference:
Embracing the Dark Side for Their Galactic Ambitionswww.dansanchez.me
This essay was cited/linked by British analyst and former diplomat/spymaster Alistaire Crooke.
“But beware, the imperial war party will not go quietly into the night, unless we in their domestic tax base insist that there is no other way. If, in desperation, they start calling for things like more boots on the ground, reinstating the draft, or declaring World War III on Russia and its Middle Eastern allies, we must stand up and say with firm voices something along the lines of the following:
No. You will not have my son for your wars. And we will not surrender any more of our liberty. We will no longer yield to a regime led by a neocon clique that threatens to extinguish the human race. Your power fantasy of universal empire is over. Just let it go. Or, as Anakin finally did when the Emperor came for his son, we will hurl your tyranny into the abyss.”
A return to the police state and education for my next Antimedia piece:
Richland County, SC - A Spring Valley High School student took her cell phone out in math class. According to her…www.dansanchez.me
“As John Taylor Gatto makes clear in his work, schools only succeed in fostering the learning they were designed to impart in the first place: (1) habitual slavish compliance to authority and (2) an inert, incurious dullness and revulsion for the world of ideas. The second teaching reinforces the first.
Schools are prison labor camps where children are forced to toil at the production of their own spiritual chains.”
“Yet even in these talks, significantly broadened to include Assad supporters Russia and Iran, Syrians themselves were not deemed “relevant” to their own fate, since there was no seat for them at the U-shaped table in the opulent conference room of the aptly named Hotel Imperial.
Who the hell is John Kirby of St. Petersburg, Florida to decide “what the Syrian people deserve”? Or his bosses John Kerry and Barack Obama? Or any of the foreign ministers who gathered in Vienna and their bosses, for that matter?”
An activism-oriented Antimedia post:
In 2013, the Obama administration was gearing up to launch an air war on the government of Syria. Antiwar…theantimedia.org
Antiwar (and Ron Paul):
Social media exploded with reports of UFO, comet, or missile sightings. As the US military confirmed, it was indeed a…www.dansanchez.me
A very well-received Antimedia piece:
Anti-war activists are sometimes scolded that they owe their freedom to speak out against war to the very soldiers they…www.dansanchez.me
“So, no, the activity of U.S. soldiers has not secured our freedoms, but eroded them. More specifically, contrary to the common argument discussed above, the troops are not busy protecting freedom of speech for all Americans, including those who are anti-war. Rather, by contributing to foreign wars, they make it more likely that someday the country’s siege mentality will get so bad that speech (especially anti-war speech) will be restricted.
Since foreign wars are inimical to domestic freedom, it is those who strenuously oppose war who are actually fighting for freedom.”
A brief immediate reaction to the Paris attacks for Antiwar, integrating recent discoveries about ISIS’s strategy with my “Symbiosis of Savagery” point:
Tragically, with today's attacks on Paris, the cycle continues apace. As I wrote in March: "To take a more recent…www.dansanchez.me
For my column, a more extensive treatment of the same theme:
This essay was reprinted in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (a paper and ink journal). And Scott interviewed me about it. Key quote:
“In other words, the gray zone is the realm of coexistence, communication, cooperation, and commerce among people of different creeds. The gray zone is where civilization resides.”
An Antimedia (and Zero Hedge) excurus into the campus/PC controversies:
If You Aren’t Free, You Aren’t Safe…www.dansanchez.me
A fourth Terror War “big picture” historical piece for Antiwar (and Zero Hedge):
How Uncle Sam Seeded Global Jihad & Cultivates It to This Day…www.dansanchez.me
Judge Andrew Napolitano, who had called several of my previous essays “superb,” emailed me to say that this essay was, “Another courageous articulate masterpiece.”
“True to their names, Operations Cyclone and Desert Storm sowed the wind. Years later, it was 3,000 American civilians who reaped the whirlwind.”
Another viral Antimedia report:
A Turkish fighter plane shot down a Russian bomber near the Syria-Turkey border early this morning…theantimedia.org
Next, a concise, rigorous argument with a clickbait title for Antimedia:
“You’ve seen those internet ads that offer “one weird trick” for eliminating belly fat or boosting testosterone, right? Well, here’s one weird trick for getting rid of ISIS and boosting our security from terrorism. The “trick” is non-intervention. And it is only weird in the sense that it is so uncommon in this age of war. Nonetheless, it works.
And it will work against ISIS because it was intervention that propelled its rise and it is intervention that sustains it. Non-intervention would eliminate ISIS by simply withholding its fuel and withdrawing its props.”
Also featured on Zero Hedge, Information Clearinghouse, AnonHQ, and Laissez Faire Books.
Next, a personal reflection in the wake of the Paris and San Bernardino attacks:
This essay has been extensively “meme-quoted” on Facebook, especially these passages:
“When I saw these responses, it fully sank in just how surrounded my family and I are by human livestock and just how acutely dangerous that position is. I realized that, when an attack of that scale and shock-value again happens on American soil, the pack-minded multitudes all around me will deafeningly bay for war. And the herd-minded hundreds of millions will stampede to the State for security, bleating toplease, please be shorn of their remaining liberties.
I am not terrified of the terrorists; i.e., I am not, myself, terrorized. Rather, I am terrified of the terrorized; terrified of the bovine masses who are so easily manipulated by terrorists, governments, and the terror-amplifying media into allowing our country to slip toward totalitarianism and total war.”
And the piece has been widely reprinted (Zero Hedge, Activist Post, Mint Press, Blacklisted News, Sott.net, etc). It was also cited and discussed in essays by two great libertarians: John W. Whitehead (featured on the Huffington Post) and Michael Maharrey.
Yet most heartening of all was an email from Judge Napolitano, who wrote to me:
“This piece is truly a courageous masterpiece. It is by far the best I have seen in this field. God bless you.”
My next Antiwar column tied together threads from several previous essays:
This was featured at the Ron Paul Liberty Report and was my first regular reprint at Washington’s Blog, whose admin invited me to become a contributor.
And one more big hit before Christmas:
War, Tyranny, and Terror in the First Two Star Wars Trilogieswww.dansanchez.me
This long and long-projected Antiwar.com piece is my most widely published, having been reprinted by Zero Hedge, Antimedia, Infowars, David Stockman, Sott.net, Natural News, Activist Post, Blacklisted News, Daily Sheeple, Strike the Root, and more. It was also shared by the Medium Staff account, which made it my third-most popular story on Medium (after Miyazaki and Google).
“The dark side is the health of the State. But it is the sickness of civilization.
Luke Skywalker’s heroic victory was that he resisted terror, renounced hate, and rejected aggression. Inspired by his son’s example, Anakin finally turned back from the dark side, and so was redeemed.
If we would but be similarly inspired, then America could be redeemed as well. And we would finally step off the dark path to global suffering and universal serfdom.
May liberty, justice, and peace be with you. And enjoy Episode 7.”
After the Star Wars piece, entrepreneur Chad Grills invited me to become a contributor to his successful Medium publication Life Learning. My first piece there was a reprint of my 2014 essay on Spencerian Parenting.
And finally two articles I wrote during the holiday vacation:
My deepest thanks for hosting and promoting my writing to Eric Garris, Scott Horton, Justin Raimondo, and Angela Keaton at Antiwar.com, Nick Bernabe and Carey Wedler at Anti-Media, Ron Paul, Daniel McAdams, and Chris Rossini at the Ron Paul Institute/Liberty Report, Lew Rockwell at LewRockwell.com, Ron Unz of The Unz Review, David Stockman at David Stockman’s Contra Corner, Jeffrey Tucker and his team at Liberty.me, Nick Hankoff at Voices of Liberty, Chad Grills at Life Learning, and the admins of Zero Hedge and Washington’s Blog.
I am also deeply thankful for the support, friendship, and inspiration of Robert Higgs, Judge Andrew Napolitano, David Gordon, Will Grigg, Ana Martin, Floy Lilley, Jonathan Newman, Joey Clark, Tho Bishop, Brandon Hill, and everybody at the Mises Institute.
In 2016, as my career evolves, I will be devoting even more time and energy to fighting for peace and liberty and against war and the State through extensive research and carefully-crafted essays (eventually books too). If you would like to support those efforts, feel free to donate via Paypal or per-essay via Patreon.