Who Rules America: Power Elite Analysis, the Deep State, and American History

Power Elite Analysis (also called Libertarian Class Analysis or Establishment Studies) is a theme I have repeatedly stressed to understand both present-day and past historical events. Knowledge is power. Empower yourself by learning about Power Elite Analysis and how it impacts specifically upon the welfare-warfare state and the parasitical elites which benefit from this leviathan within our midst.


In July of 2010, Angelo Codevilla’s magnificent manifesto, “The Ruling Class: How They Corrupted America and What We Can Do About It” was published initially online in The American Spectator (and later in book form). It immediately went viral on the Internet and started a widespread national conversation about America’s hubristic power elite and the arrogant way they reign over the rest of us.


When Codevilla’s article appeared, I stated that it was the most important essay I had ever read. I still believe this because it is a superb synthesis of class analysis with keen insights on contemporary power elite relationships regarding today’s rulers and the ruled.


This class division of present-day America into two factions, Court and Country, has absolutely nothing to do with any Marxian view or analysis. It is a reaffirmation of the seminal insights of Bernard Bailyn’s Pulitzer Prize winning volume, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, and Murray N. Rothbard’s Conceived in Liberty.


These books demonstrate that the Founders’ world-view saw the crucial struggle of the Revolution as a battle of liberty versus power. Codevilla posits today’s battle in the same dramatic terms.


This is the central theme this article will develop below.


An understanding of power elite analysis is the “litmus test” separating real libertarians from alternative lifestyle dilettantes dabbling in free market theory. This examination of causal relationships regarding the nature and scope of political power, who has it and how it is exercised, is crucial to understanding the State as organized crime.


The similarity between this analysis and what researcher Peter Dale Scott calls “Deep Politics,” the critical examination of the sub-rosa reality behind surface events, are both attempts to unmask the true face of power, exposing the elite social, economic, and financial groups and individuals who benefit from the exercise of State coercion.


In July of 1978 I had the honor of attending the Cato Institute’s First Summer Seminar on Political Economy at Wake Forrest University. The distinguished faculty of libertarian luminaries included Murray N. RothbardLeonard P. LiggioArthur A. EkirchWalter E. Grinder, and Roy A. Childs. This was before the devastating Cato Institute split detailed by David Gordon in his excellent series of articles.


The curriculum was hard-core Rothbardian – natural rights libertarianism from The Ethics of Liberty, Austrian Economics, revisionist history, and libertarian class analysis.


The Cato organizers gave us each a ton of excellent books (including Rothbard’s Power and Market) and photocopy reprints of classic articles including Rothbard’s libertarian strategy memorandum which served as the guideline for the Institute’s creation.


Rothbard later admitted that these early Seminars were organized as “best and brightest” talent searches for Cato.


But it was the powerful lecture presentations by Walter E. Grinder, “Libertarian Class Analysis” and “American Power Elites” which had the most truly lasting impact upon me. Over the decades Walter has remained my mentor and inspiration in these areas.


As homage to him and his outstanding efforts in helping me and so many others by his gracious and thoughtful guiding hand throughout these years, I have consciously followed in his pioneering pathway blazed by his initial research in drafting this bibliographic outline composition and format.


Who Rules America: Power Elite Analysis, the Deep State, and American History


Part One

  1. Realization of the General Aversion of Most Persons to Deal with Classes.
    1. General Discussion of Individuals in Groups
    2. Groups and Group Interests
  2. Why Power Elite Analysis (Libertarian Class Analysis) is Distinct From And Superior to Marxist Analysis
    1. Libertarian Class Theory Antedates Marxist Theory
    2. The English Civil War (The Levelers)
    3. Jean-Baptiste Say,  Charles Comte and Charles Dunoyer
      1. The Industrial Society Versus the Statist Society
      2. The Competitive Free Market Versus the Monopolistic Society
      3. The Free Market Pitted Against Mercantilism and Feudalism
    4. Henri de Saint-Simon and the Distortion of Class Theory
    5. From Saint-Simon to Karl Marx
    6. Later 19th Century Libertarian Class Analysis
      1. Herbert Spencer: Military Society Versus the Industrial Society
      2. Sir Henry Maine: From Status to Contract
      3. Richard Cobden: War and the Interests
      4. American Libertarian Class Theory
        1. From the Beginning: Liberty Versus Power
          1. The Impact of John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon in America
          2. Wilkes Liberty in America
          3. Thomas PaineThomas JeffersonJohn Taylor
        2. John C. Calhoun: Net Tax Consumers Versus Net Tax Payers
        3. Lysander Spooner: Taxes and the Highwayman
        4. 20th Century Libertarian Class Analysis
          1. Vilfredo Pareto and Ludwig von Mises
            1. The Circulation of Elites
            2. The State’s Role in Freezing Elites into Castes
          2. Franz Oppenheimer
            1. The Economic Means Versus the Political Means of Gaining Wealth
            2. The State as the Organization of the Political Means
            3. Smoothing and Legitimizing the Exploitive Transfer of Wealth From the Productive
          3. Albert Jay Nock and Frank Chodorov
            1. The State Versus Society
            2. The History of the United States as a Rise of the State at the Expense of Society (Constitution, Civil War, Progressive Era, Wars, New Deal)
          4. Murray N. Rothbard
            1. The Anatomy of the State
            2. Legitimacy and the Role of Court Intellectuals and National Security Managers
          5. 21st Century Libertarian Class Analysis
            1. David M. Hart
            2. Sheldon Richman
            3. Roderick Long
            4. David D’Amato
            5. Wendy McElroy


Who Rules America: Power Elite Analysis, the Deep State, and American History


Part Two

  1. Early American Historical Overview

Theme of Liberty Versus Power – The Country Party Versus Court Party: The Declaration of Independence and the Revolution (Bernard Bailyn, The Origins of American PoliticsThe Ideological Origins of the American RevolutionAngelo M. Codevilla, The Ruling Class: How They Corrupted America and What We Can do about it)

  1. Counterrevolution
    1. U.S. Constitution (Sheldon Richman, America's Counter Revolution: The Constitution Revisited; John Taylor, New Views of the Constitution of the United States; Charles A. Beard, An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United StatesSaul Cornell, The Other Founders: Anti-Federalism & the Dissenting Tradition in America, 1788-1828)
    2. Alexander Hamilton and the Plutocratic Federalists: “The Funding Fathers” (John McConaughy, Who Rules America: A Century of Invisible Government; Thomas J. DiLorenzo, Hamilton’s Curse: How Jefferson’s Archenemy Betrayed the American Revolution – and What It Means for America Today)
    3. The Early Nationalist Period (Stanley Elkins & Eric McKitrick, The Age of Federalism: The Early American Republic, 1788-1800Gordon Wood, Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815;Phillip H. Burch, Elites in American History: The Federalist Years to the Civil War)
  2. Jeffersonian-Jacksonian Drive to Roll Back the Federalist Program and Rid America of its Powerful Ruling Elite (Lance Banning, The Jeffersonian Persuasion: Evolution of a Party Ideology)
  3. Failure of Jefferson/Madison Regimes and the Rise of the Old Republican “Tertium Quids” (Norman K. Risjord, The Old Republicans: Southern Conservatism in the Age of Jefferson)
    1. John Taylor of Caroline County, Virginia (John Taylor, Tyranny Unmasked)
    2. John Randolph of Roanoke, Virginia
    3. The Panic of 1819, James Monroe, and the “Era of Good Feelings
  4. Martin Van Buren and the Founding of the Democratic Party (Robert V. Remini, Martin Van Buren and the Making of the Democratic Party)
    1. After Visiting his Hero Jefferson, Van Buren Prompted to Found the Democratic Party to Reinvigorate the Two Party System
    2. The Election of 1824 and “the Corrupt Bargain:” After the Defeat of William H. Crawford, Van Buren Puts his Organizing Skills to Winning the Presidency for Andrew Jackson (Harry L. Watson, Liberty and Power: The Politics of Jacksonian America)
    3. Ideological Focus of the Democratic Party
      1. Anti-Central Bank
      2. Hard Money: “Gold is the People’s Money”
      3. Free Trade and Anti-Monopoly
    4. The Twenty Four Year Plan
      1. Eight Years of Andrew Jackson of Tennessee
      2. Eight Years of Martin Van Buren of New York
      3. Eight Years of Thomas Hart (“Old Bullion”) Benton of Missouri
    5. The Rise of the Whig Party: Rebirth of the Hamiltonian Consolidationists
      1. Pro-Central Bank: Opposition to the Separation of Banking and State Proposed by Jackson and Van Buren – the Independent Sub-Treasury
      2. High Protective Tariff: Anti-Free Trade
      3. Corporate Welfare: The “Internal Improvements” System
    6. Civil War: Reconsolidation of the Yankee Mercantile Elite (Thomas DiLorenzo, The Real Lincoln; Joseph R. Stromberg, “The War for Southern Independence: A Radical Libertarian Perspective;” Murray N. Rothbard, “The Civil War and Its Legacy”)
      1. High Protective Tariffs
      2. Abraham Lincoln’s “Pro-Slavery” 13th Amendment
      3. Income Tax
      4. Conscription: Led to Widespread Anti-Draft Riots and Protests
      5. Paper Money: Greenbacks
      6. National Banking Act of 1863: Eliminated Competing Currencies
      7. Suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus
      8. Mass Arrests of Opponents of Lincoln and the War in the North
      9. Reconstruction: Military Government and Occupation of the South
    7. Post-Civil War Period
      1. The Roots of America’s Modern Power Elite (Murray N. Rothbard, “Wall Street, Banks, and American Foreign Policy,” Phillip H. Burch, Jr., Elites in American History: The Civil War to the New Deal; Richard F. Pettigrew, Triumphant Plutocracy: The Story of American Public Life From 1870 to 1920; (.pdf)
      2. Quasi-Free Trade Within the New Constraints
        1. Tariffs: The Source of Republican Power
        2. Railroad Land Grants and Subsidies (Murray N. Rothbard, “The Railroading of the American People“)
      3. The Rise of Morgan Power
      4. Problems of Free Market for the Post War Elite (Murray N. Rothbard, “The Decline of Laissez Faire”)
        1. Dynamic Competition Keeps Eating at Economic and Political Power (Murray N. Rothbard, “The Rise and Fall of Monopolies)
        2. Pools, Mergers, Holding Companies, Trusts and Voluntary Cartel Movement: Unsuccessful From the View of the Power Elite (Murray N. Rothbard, “Tariffs, Inflation, Anti-Trust and Cartels“)
        3. Political Parties As Political Churches: Postmillennial Evangelical Protestant Pietistic Republicans Versus Liturgical Democrats: Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and Old Fashioned Calvinists (Murray N. Rothbard, “Pietism and the Power Brokers”)
        4. Regulation to the Rescue of Vested Interests
          1. The Progressive Era and the Foundation of the American Corporate State  (Gabriel Kolko, The Triumph of Conservatism; Murray N. Rothbard, The Progressive Era; "Progressivism and the Family;“ Charles A. Burris, "The Progressive Era")
          2. The Role of Increasingly Secular Postmillennial Protestants and German Educated Ph.Ds.’ in Formulation of Progressivism
          3. The National Civic Federation (James WeinsteinThe Corporate Ideal in the Liberal State 1900-1918)
          4. Partial Solidification of Ruling Class Control
          5. Federal Reserve as the Central Key of Control and Rationalization (Murray N. Rothbard, The Origins of the Federal ReserveThe Case Against the Fed, “The Federal Reserve As A Cartelization Device: The Early Years, 1913-1930;” Ron Paul, End the Fed)
  1. Struggle Within the Power Elite (Ferdinand Lundberg, America’s 60 Families (,pdf)
    1. Rockefeller Versus Morgan (Republicans Versus Democrats)
    2. Uses of Anti-Trust Measures by Both
  2. World War Solidifies the Power Elite (Murray N. Rothbard, “Woodrow Wilson and World War I”)
    1. Morgan’s Push for War (Morgan Ties with Rothschild and England)
    2. America Becomes partner With England and France in Control of the Western Imperial Order (Role of Oil in Foreign Policy)
    3. War Industries Board: Culmination of Control (Murray N. Rothbard, “The Great Cooperation“)
      1. Later Model for the NRA under FDR: Bernard Baruch
      2. Food Czar: Herbert Hoover
    4. Versailles, “The Inquiry,” and the League of Nations
      1. The Birth of the Council on Foreign Relations (Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope (.pdf); Peter Grose, Continuing the Inquiry: The Council on Foreign Relations From 1921 to 1996; Robert D. Schulzinger, The Wise Men of Foreign Affairs: The History of the Council on Foreign Relations; Laurence H. Shoup and William Minter, Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign Relations and Untied States Foreign Policy; Laurence H. Shoup, Wall Street's Think Tank: The Council on Foreign Relations and the Empire of Neoliberal Geopolitics, 1976-2014; James Perloff, The Shadows of Power: The Council on Foreign Relations and the American Decline)
      2. Colonel Edward M. HouseElihu RootJohn W. DavisRaymond B. Fosdick
    5. The Rise of the Foundations (Rockefeller, Carnegie, Ford), Think Tanks
      1. Relation of Idea Centers and Public Policy
      2. American Economic Association, Brookings Institution, 20th Century Fund, etc.
      3. Indoctrination and Control
      4. The Emergence of Banking Groups: Struggle Between Industrial Capital and Finance Capital: DuPont, Morgan Versus Rockefeller, Harriman, and Kuhn Loeb ( Nomi Prins, All the Presidents' Bankers:  The Hidden Alliances That Drive American Power; Thomas Ferguson, Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Party Competition and the Logic of Money-Driven Political Systems)
      5. The Oil War: Rockefeller Standard Oil Versus British Royal Dutch Shell (Ludwell Denny: We Fight For OilAmerica Conquers Britain); William Engdahl, A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order
  1. The Great Depression: Caused by the Fed’s Monetary Policies (Murray N. Rothbard, America’s Great Depression)
  2. The New Deal: The Rise of the Welfare-Warfare State (Phillip H. Burch, Jr., Elites in American History: The New Deal to the Carter Administration)
    1. The Fall of the Morgan Bloc and the Triumph of the Rockefeller Bloc
      1. End of the Gold Standard: Fiat Currency and the Fed
      2. Glass-Steagall Act: Separation of Commercial and Investment Banking Aimed Directly at Morgan Bloc
      3. Pecora Congressional Hearings on Chase National Bank
      4. Morgan/DuPont Bloc Seeks Revenge: The Plot to Overthrow FDR; (Jules Archer, The Plot To Seize The White House (.pdf)
    2. NRA: Corporatism
    3. “Old Right” Opposition to FDR’s New Deal Domestic Policies and the Rush to  War: H. L. MenckenAlbert Jay NockJohn T. FlynnGaret Garrett, “Colonel” Robert McCormick (Justin Raimondo, Reclaiming the American Right: the Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement)
    4. British Intelligence and the eastern seaboard American anglophile establishment’s war against American non-intervention (Thomas E. Mahl, Desperate Deception: British Covert Operations in the United States, 1939-44)
    5. World War II
      1. The Coalition War: Morgan War in Europe, Rockefeller War in Asia
      2. CFR Plans the Post-War World
      3. The United Nations: Wilson’s Dream Now FDR’s Realization
      4. Bretton Woods: Birth of the World Bank, the IMF, and the Dollar as the World’s Reserve Currency: John Maynard Keynes and Harry Dexter White
    6. The Cold War and the Emergence of the National Security State
      1. ContainmentThe Central Intelligence Agency, and the American Empire of Bases (Richard Harris Smith, OSS: The Secret History of America’s First Central Intelligence AgencyPatrick K. O’ Donnell, Operatives, Spies, and SaboteursThe Unknown Story of the Men and Women of WWII’s OSSBurton Hersh, The Old Boys: The American Elite and the Origins of the CIATim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIAJoseph J. Trento, The Secret History of the CIARichard J. Aldrich, The Hidden Hand: Britain, America and Cold War Secret IntelligenceDavid Wise and Thomas B. Ross, The Invisible GovernmentHugh Wilford, The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played AmericaL. Fletcher Prouty, The Secret Team: The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the World; Victor Marchetti and John Marks, The CIA and the Cult of IntelligenceJohn Marks, The Search For The Manchurian Candidate: The CIA and Mind Control: The Secret History of the Behavioral SciencesW. H. Bowart, Operation Mind Control: Our Secret Government’s War Against Its Own PeopleErnest Volkman and Blaine Baggett, Secret Intelligence: The Inside Story of America’s Espionage EmpireFrances Stonor Saunders, The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters; Peter Coleman, The Liberal Conspiracy; John Loftus and Mark Aarons, The Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Intelligence Betrayed the Jewish People; Bill Moyers, The Secret Government: The Constitution In Crisis; Michael Swanson, The War State: The Cold War Origins of the Military-Industrial Complex and the Power Elite, 1945-1963Alfred W. McCoy, The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug TradePeter Dale Scott, American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection, and the Road to AfghanistanAlexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair, Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs And The Press; Peter Grose, Gentleman Spy: The Life of Allen Dulles; David Talbot, The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government; Stephern Kinzer, The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War; Jefferson Morley, The Ghost: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton; David C. Martin, Wilderness of Mirrors; James Bamford, The Puzzle Palace: Inside the National Security Agency, America's Most Secret Intelligence Organization; James Bamford, Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency; James Bamford, The Shadow Factory: The NSA From 9-11 to the Eavesdropping on America; James Bamford, A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America's Intelligence Agencies; Evan Thomas, The Very Best Men: The Daring Early Years of the CIA; Evan Thomas and Walter Isaacson, The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made; Kai Bird, The Chairman: John J. McCloy and the Making of the American Establishment; Kai Bird, The Color of Truth: McGeorge Bundy and William Bundy: Brothers in Arms; C. Wright Mills, The Power Elite; G. William Domhoff, The Higher Circles: The Governing Class in America)
      2. The Korean War: UN Police Action (Thomas Paterson, ed., Cold War Critics: Alternatives to American Foreign Policy in the Truman Years; Murray N. Rothbard, “The Foreign Policy of the Old Right,” Justus Doenecke, Not to the Swift: The Old Isolationists in the Cold War EraRonald Radosh: Prophets on the Right: Profiles of Conservative Critics of American Globalism)
      3. “I Like Ike” and the Covert Campaign Against Robert Taft (Phyllis Schlafly, A Choice Not An Echo)
      4. CIA Covert Operations in Italy, Iran, Guatemala, South Vietnam, Cuba, etc.
      5. William F. Buckley, National Review, and the Death of the “Old Right” (Charles A. Burris, “I’m Convinced That The Whole National Review Is A CIA Operation” — Murray Rothbard; Charles A. Burris, The Phony Legacy of William F. Buckley, Jr.; Charles A. Burris, How the CIA Bamboozled The Public For 70 Years; Murray N. Rothbard, The Betrayal of the American Right)
      6. The Bilderberg Group (Daniel Estulin, The True Story of the Bilderberg Group; John Laughland, The Tainted Source: The Undemocratic Origins of the European Idea)
      7. The JFK Assassination and Coup d’ Etat by the top tier of the National Security Establishment (James W. Douglass, JFK And The Unspeakable: Why He Died & Why It Matters; Charles A. Burris; The Deep State and the November 22, 1963 Coup d’état; A Researchers's Guide To Resources Concerning the JFK Assassination; John M. Newman, Where Angels Lightly Tread: The Assassination of President Kennedy, Volume 1; John M. Newman, Countdown to Darkness: The Assassination of President Kennedy, Volume 2;)
      8. Vietnam and the Rupture of the Establishment’s Foreign Policy Consensus (David Halberstam’s The Best and the Brightest)
      9. The Neocon Contagion (Alan M. Wald, The New York Intellectuals: The Rise and Decline of the Anti-Stalinist Left From the 1930s to the 1980s; Len Colodny and Tom Shachtman, The Forty Years War: The Rise and Fall of the Neocons, from Nixon to Obama)
      10. Richard Nixon and Watergate (Charles A. Burris, It’s the 40th Anniversary of the Watergate Conspiracy; Jim Hougan, Secret Agenda: Watergate, Deep Throat, and the CIA; Len Colodny and Robert Gettlin, Silent Coup: The Removal of a President; Phil Staford, White House Call GirlRoger Stone, Nixon's Secrets: The Rise, Fall, and Untold Truth about the President, Watergate, and the Pardon)
      11. David Rockefeller, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter and the Trilateral Commission (Thomas R. Dye, Who’s Running America? The Carter Years; Holly Sklar, Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management; Murray N. Rothbard, “The Treaty That Wall Street Wrote”)
      12. The Iranian Hostage Crisis and the 1980 October Surprise
      13. The Reagan Revolution (Thomas R. Dye, Who’s Running America? The Reagan Years; Jonathan Marshall, Peter Dale Scott, and Jane Hunter, The Iran Contra Connection: Secret Teams and Covert Operations in the Reagan Era; Joel Bainerman, The Crimes of a President: New Revelations on Conspiracy & Cover-Up in the Bush and Reagan Administrations)
      14. The Fall of the Soviet Empire and the End of the Cold War
      15. George Bush, Global Governance, and The New World Order (Thomas R. Dye, Who’s Running America? The Bush Era; Kevin Phillips, American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush; “Global Governance;” Peace and World Order Studies: A Curriculum Guide)
      16. Lost Decade: The Clinton Years (Thomas R. Dye, Who’s Running America? The Clinton Years; Roger Morris, Partners in Power: The Clintons and Their America; Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The Secret Life of Bill Clinton: The Unreported Stories)
      17. George W. Bush, the Neocons, and “Red State Fascism” (Thomas R. Dye, Who’s Running America? The Bush Restoration; Robert Parry, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq; Russ Baker, Family of Secrets: the Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put It In The White House, And What Their Influence Means For America)
      18. Barack Obama: The United States of Goldman, Sachs (Charles Gasparino, Bought and Paid For: The Unholy Alliance Between Barack Obama and Wall Street)
      19. Donald Trump (Roger Stone, The Making of the President 2016: How Donald Trump Orchestrated A Revolution; Ilana Mercer, The Trump Revolution: The Donald's Creative Destruction Deconstructed; Dan Kovalik, The Plot to Scapegoat Russia: How the CIA and the Deep State Have Conspired to Vilify Russia;
      20. The Deep State (Peter Dale Scott, The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Attack on U.S. Democracy, Laurent Guyenot, JFK-911: 50 Years of Deep State; Michael J. Glennon, National Security and Double Government; Eric Wilson, editor, Government of the Shadows: Parapolitics and Criminal Sovereignty; Alfred W. McCoy, In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power; and Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, Suicide Pact: The Radical Expansion of Presidential Powers and the Lethal Threat to American Liberty)

Recommended Reading


Autumn Cote Added Jan 7, 2018 - 7:43pm
Please note, it's against the rules to post articles here unless you comment on the work of others.  
Jeffry Gilbert Added Jan 7, 2018 - 11:01pm
For libertarianism to work all participants must have an IQ north of 120. Very few do therefore it's little more than a semi-interesting theory. 
Charles Burris Added Jan 7, 2018 - 11:29pm
On the contrary, libertarianism is based on one simple, easily defined ethical principle, a universal principle found and taught in almost all major religions and philosophies of morality for centuries. That principle is the non-aggression principle (or NAP; also called the non-aggression axiom, or non-initiation of force).
The Non-Aggression Principle
This is the ethical stance which asserts that "aggression" is inherently illegitimate. "Aggression", for the purposes of NAP, is defined as initiating or threatening the use of any and all forcible interference with an individual or individual's property. In contrast to pacifism, the non-aggression principle does not preclude forceful self-defense. The NAP is considered by some to be a defining principle of natural-rights libertarianism.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Jan 8, 2018 - 1:07am
On the contrary, libertarianism is based on one simple, easily defined ethical principle, 
That most people, especially DUHmericans are too stupid to absorb, internalize and act upon.
a universal principle found and taught in almost all major religions and philosophies of morality for centuries. 
Yeah, and look how well that's worked out. Further support for my premise. 
Look, you're free to live and espouse whatever kind of life that pleases you even when it morphs into semi-religiosity as it appears to have with you. Enjoy.
George N Romey Added Jan 8, 2018 - 8:59am
Elites come to extreme power by eliminating road blocks. We then get choices that aren’t very good choices like the 2016 election. When power has constraints it doesn’t overwhelm a population.
Bill Kamps Added Jan 8, 2018 - 10:45am
George, it isnt even bad choices among leaders, it is also bad choices about legislation.  Do you want Obamacare or no change to health care? do you want Trump's tax reduction or no tax reduction?
We aren't given choices about specifics, just choices among very large pieces of legislation which encompass bits of good and lots of bad.   Most of the time we dont really want either possible outcome, and then we divide ourselves along partisan lines to fight over which choice we want.  In reality we dont really want either choice.
I would agree with Jeffry, most people arent educated enough to make intelligent choices.  Often times the issues are pretty complex because the devil is often buried in the details, or there are unintended consequences that even smart people often dont see.
Charles Burris Added Jan 8, 2018 - 12:50pm
So who makes up the deep state? This sinister alliance is composed of three primary elements.
First, the “too big to fail” Wall Street banks who profit by the billions from taxpayer bailouts stolen from the US treasury and the Fed, who fuel with their plunder the corruption of our political process by their Super Pacs’ funding of their complacent and compliant shills and political puppets, most notably Hillary Clinton.
Next, it is composed of the corrupt crony corporatists who again benefit at the public’s expense from their phony “free trade” deals (such as NAFTA and TPP) deindustrializing and destroying by millions the livelihood and jobs of American workers and their families.
Lastly, and most importantly, the Deep State is made up of the military-industrial surveillance complex, comprised of pentagon profiteers and the National Security State it sustains, with seemingly endless no win wars which have murdered millions of hapless victims across the planet, generating terrorism as blowback from its decades of covert actions and preemptive wars of aggression.
These groups are those who pull the strings of our elected officials, threatening blackmail and well-financed primary challenges to any who question the way things are. These are the Elites who rule us all.
Princeton Professors Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page concluded a recent study of 1,779 government policies over several decades entitled Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens.
They concluded that “Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.
The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination…” In other words, we no longer live in a democratic republic. We are no longer governed by Congress or the President or the Courts, but by a Corporate, Financial, and Military Elite that write the laws to suit themselves.
Welcome to Oligarchy.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Jan 8, 2018 - 1:06pm
We are no longer governed by Congress or the President or the Courts, but by a Corporate, Financial, and Military Elite that write the laws to suit themselves.
Yes indeed. 
Chris Crawford Added Jan 8, 2018 - 1:24pm
libertarianism is based on one simple, easily defined ethical principle
Mr Burris, I think that this is both libertarianism's greatest strength AND its greatest weakness. Libertarianism starts from a firm philosophical principle and deduces a great many "oughts" from that principle. It is philosophically consistent and readily provable -- once you agree that the foundational principle is correct. It is profoundly normative in nature.
Its gaping failure lies in its utter rejection of pragmatism. The history of civilization, the successes and failures of various societies, play no role in libertarian thought. This makes libertarianism an admirable theoretical concept, a Utopia that lives only in the clouds. While I greatly admire the intellectual integrity of libertarianism, I sadly observe that it just doesn't work in the real world.
Bill Kamps Added Jan 8, 2018 - 1:40pm
Over the centuries we have substituted the rich and powerful, for the kings, noblemen, and the Catholic Church.   I'm not sure how we got the impression that the average person actually was involved in running things.  Even after the Declaration of Independence most people in the US could not vote, and the people that put the government together were the most wealthy and powerful men in the Colonies.   The freedoms they wanted were not for the average man, but for themselves so they could become more rich without the annoyance of the King of England bothering them.
On a relative basis, the average person has more freedom, and more mobility than they had 100s of years ago.  But the system is still run by the rich and powerful, why would we have assumed it was any other way?   The rich are not going to give up their advantages, and they will use their wealth  and power to ensure they  keep their advantages.  We all want to keep our own advantages however small they may be, this is just human nature.
Dave Volek Added Jan 8, 2018 - 4:00pm
Thanks to Bill Kamps for bringing up that tidbit of history that it was the CEOs of the 1790s that designed the American constitution. I don't think we would our current CEO's design a new system of governance today.
To me, the turning point of history were the Protests of 1848 in which the common man took to the streets, many sacrificing themselves, after the Industrial Revolution really made things worse for average citizens. After that year, the aristocracy yielded some of its power and authority. Common people had more say in how they were governed, and that trend has been increasing from that time, albeit not fast enough and through a few bumpy roads.
As Bill says, common people have a much better life than they did 200 years ago. This is a good sign that humanity has made progress.
We are capable of more progress, but I fear we have take western democracy as far as we can. It is time for a new system of governance.
Chris Crawford Added Jan 8, 2018 - 4:15pm
A small point about the authors of the Constitution: back in those days, the wealthy were the only ones with an education. Many citizens were not even literate. There is some sense to confining suffrage to those who have the potential to understand the issues. While literacy is near-universal in this country, the complexity of the issues has gone so far that we still have large majority of the citizens who fail to grasp even the basics of the issues we face.
Charles Burris Added Jan 8, 2018 - 4:34pm
There are many myths concerning American literacy and the absence of public education. Actually in the early years of the colonies and the Republic there was a higher literacy rate (around 90%) than today.
So why were government schools created? 
From the 1640s in Puritan Massachusetts to today it has been the conscious, deliberate intention all along to create a nation of unreflective, deferential and compliant drones, first in classrooms and later in the corporate workplace.
Here are the incomparable trio of books on the history of tax supported, compulsory government schooling with which every informed and educated person should be familiar:
Murray N. Rothbard, Education: Free and Compulsory  
target="_blank">https://mises.org/files/education-free-and-compulsoryrothbardpdf/download?token=DCC-pqs4 -- (.pdf copy)
Samuel L. Blumenfeld, Is Public Education Necessary?  
-- (.pdf copy)
John Taylor Gatto, The Underground History of American Education: A School Teacher’s Intimate Investigation Into The Problem of Modern Schools  
target="_blank">https://ia800309.us.archive.org/5/items/TheUndergroundHistoryOfAmericanEducation_758/TheUndergroundHistoryOfAmericanEducation.pdf --  (.pdf copy)
For the record, the author John Taylor Gatto is a retired American school teacher with nearly 30 years' experience in the classroom, and has written several best-selling books on education. He was named New York City Teacher of the Year in 1989, 1990, and 1991, and New York State Teacher of the Year in 1991.
However, constant harassment by unhelpful administrations plus his own frustrations with what he came to realize were the inherent systemic deficiencies of our `public' schools led him to resign; he now is a school-choice activist who writes and speaks against our compulsory, government-run school system.
THE UNDERGROUND HISTORY OF AMERICAN EDUCATION is a freewheeling investigation into the real - as opposed to the `official' - history of schooling, focused on the U.S. but with examinations of other historical examples for the purposes of comparing and contrasting, as well as for tracing where ideas and concepts related to education originated.
You will discover things you were never told in the official version, things that
Charles Burris Added Jan 8, 2018 - 4:39pm
You will discover things you were never told in the official version, things that will, at times, surprise, disgust, and scare you. You will also be introduced to the little-known historiography of the the darker side of the construction of compulsory government schooling.
In the final analysis, Gatto believes that compulsory, government-run schooling is inherently destructive to true education, the cultivation of self-reliance, and indeed to individualism - which used to be a defining element of the American character. The true purpose of our public school system in reality has more to do with control than it does with learning. This does not mean that rank-and-file teachers, principals, and even superintendents believe they are making students dumber, more conformist, less self-reliant, less capable of genuine analytical, independent thought, and more easily controlled; most people involved in the system no doubt believe that they are trying their best to really teach their students. However, the system itself (which Gatto often characterizes as a complex web) ensures that its real purpose is served, despite the efforts of individual reformers within it - that true democracy is rendered unworkable even as the trappings of democracy are allegedly bolstered. 
Seen in this light, these institutions that produce barely literate, dependent, conformist, incomplete individuals full of emotional and psychological problems, who lack real knowledge (and whose capacity for acquiring such is deliberately weakened or eliminated), and who are just `educated' enough to pay their taxes and buy the latest products, are not, in fact, failing schools - on the contrary, if we are to believe Gatto's analysis, they are performing their designated function PERFECTLY. That purpose is to mold people in such a way as to make them more easily controlled by corporations and the state (a clear-cut example of how, contrary to popular myth, the interests of big business and those of big government more often than not coincide.)
Dave Volek Added Jan 8, 2018 - 4:39pm
The elitist thinking of around 1800 was that children from poor (common) families were incapable of being educated. Rather that waste society's resources by putting the children in a classroom, just put them directly to work.
However this still begs the question that having literacy skills does not necessarily translate into critical thinking skills for understanding the complexities of society. So there is some argument for taking away the vote of such people without those critical thinking skills, for such people are more apt to vote for emotion or favors rather than for reason.
Dino Manalis Added Jan 8, 2018 - 7:31pm
They're not doing a very good job of it anymore and we've had chronic economic stagnation and disarray at home and abroad.  Trump is trying but faces enormous obstacles.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Jan 9, 2018 - 3:07pm
We are no longer governed by Congress or the President or the Courts, but by a Corporate, Financial, and Military Elite that write the laws to suit themselves.
So what do people intend to do about that ? Sit back and enjoy it ? ;-)
Jeffry Gilbert Added Jan 9, 2018 - 7:06pm
So what do people intend to do about that ? Sit back and enjoy it ? ;-)
Indeed, while they await the latest on the royal wedding du jour and honey, where's the remote I want to watch X- factor......