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Article posted Mar 20 2012, 9:21 AM Category: Commentary Source: Jeffrey Tucker Print

What a Lovely Day for the Total State

Jeffrey Tucker

Ah, what a weekend, with blue skies, singing birds, budding cherry blossoms and the government's announcement that it has totalitarian control over everything. Wait, what was that last thing? It was an Executive Order released late Friday that no one on the planet seemed to notice until about 30 hours later. It is unnumbered, but called "National Defense Resources Preparedness."

Let's call it NDRP. The first I heard of it was Sunday morning. Something called The Examiner had a write-up about this order in which President Obama would, in the event of an emergency or even in "peacetime," assume control of all energy, food, water, people the whole of the material and natural world as we know it! and claim the right to requisition professions to serve the state.

Nuts, right? Some more of the conspiracy stuff that has lately been clogging up the web. By 6 a.m., there was still only that one news story, but there were 463 forum discussions and 1,410 blog commentaries. Six hours later, there were eight news stories (none of them from a mainstream source), plus 712 forum discussions and 3,640 blog commentaries. Oh, and an uncountable number of Tweets.

How could all these paranoids be yammering on about something that hadn't even been conformed by The New York Times, CNN, and MSNBC? No wonder the government has such trouble governing this nation of gullible oddballs.

There was only one problem: this link. Here is the order itself as hosted by the White House. You can read it with your own eyes. It was issued Friday evening, March 16, 2012, the last day of spring break for many colleges, just as most news shops had closed up for the week and people were otherwise planning barbecues and outings.

Here at we find the announcement that "The United States must have an industrial and technological base capable of meeting national defense requirements and capable of contributing to the technological superiority of its national defense equipment in peacetime and in times of national emergency," and so therefore it must assume all control of energy, food, water, health care, equipment and, of course, people

Yes, you read that last one correctly. The executive branch claims it can perform a civilian draft of people of "outstanding experience and ability without compensation and to employ experts, consultants or organizations." (Emphasis mine.)

The authority cited in the document is the Defense Production Act of 1950, another dictatorial imposition, but which happened to have congressional approval. The dictator this time was President Truman. It allowed him to requisition every manner of resource to fight the Korean War: to draft people into war and to enable the executive to impose wage and price controls at will.

This was the Act that Sen. Robert Taft spoke about on the campaign trail in 1952. He regarded it as unconstitutional, illegal and totalitarian, nothing more than an attempt to reclaim the total state of World War II as part of the regular powers of the state in all other times. He said it was the surest sign that we had lost our moorings as a nation.

Historians of the period regard this act as the thing that cemented in place the political culture of the Cold War, in which the government accumulated ever more weapons of mass destruction, instituted the draft, went to war with whomever and wherever and presumed total control over all industry, all while the civilian population lived in fear of nuclear holocaust.

It is no different today: an unconstitutional power grab piled on top of a previous unconstitutional power grab piled on top of previous cases. So far as I can tell and the real experts really need to get involved here to explain the details there is very little new here at all except that perhaps the claim that the government can force everyone into slavery without compensation, plus the addition of a strange role for the Federal Reserve.

Part III, Sec. 301(b) says: "Each guaranteeing agency is designated and authorized to: (1) act as fiscal agent in the making of its own guarantee contracts and in otherwise carrying out the purposes of section 301 of the Act; and (2) contract with any Federal Reserve Bank to assist the agency in serving as fiscal agent."

This suggests that any federal department that is part of the executive branch can make a separate deal with the Fed to print as much money as the agency needs to do whatever it wants, without having to ask Congress for any kind of special allocation. It is also possible that this power already existed.

As the day progressed, a number of people from the "responsible" portion of the blogosphere began to say pretty much the same thing. This is nothing new. It is merely an update of what existed previously. There was an update in 1994 and one under every previous administration. There is nothing to see here: This is business as usual for the executive branch.

It's being going on for 60 years. Make that eighty. Make that 100 if you count the wartime central planning of World War I. Actually, take it back further to the Civil War, when Lincoln assumed dictatorial powers. Or go back to the Adams administration, which criminalized sedition during a war fever over France.

True, the water in which the frog is being boiled is perhaps slightly hotter than before, but don't blame Obama for coming up with the idea for frog soup! True, this point has some relevance for those who would try to score some political victory at the expense of the Democrats alone. What I don't get is why this background is supposed to bring comfort to anyone who has in mind the broad interest of human liberty.

What is true now was true in 1994 and true in 1950 and true in 1932 and true in 1917. Anyone with a love of human liberty should be alarmed by the presumption of totalitarian control anytime, and especially during our own times, when there might be something we can do about it.

These powers might be old as the hills, and the battle between power and liberty is the core drama of human history, but there is a major difference this time: We have digital media that allow us to see this stuff with our own eyes.

That's what makes the difference.
Jeffrey Tucker, publisher and executive editor of Laissez-Faire Books, is author of Bourbon for Breakfast: Living Outside the Statist Quo and It's a Jetsons World. You can write him directly here.

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Comments Add Comment Page 1 of 1

Posted: Mar 21 2012, 11:34 AM

Whats new about the executive branch having dictatorial powers? There
was no government after the southern states walked out of congress on
March 27,1861. At that point Lincoln used his power as commander-in-
chief of the military to govern. With no congress, this put the country under
military control, which is martial law. The problem is the President/Commander
-in-Chief Lincoln was assassinated before he could complete plans to bring
back constitutional government. So martial law is still in effect in America
to this very day. That is why you see the gold fringed flags in court rooms in
America today. They are military flags telling you " that your guilty untill you are
proven innocent." Everything in America is under Martial,Admiralty Law.
Codified under the Uniform Commercial Codes. Open your eyes people.
In 1871 a government was formed for the District of Columbia,which was
created by the American people. In that same era,the 14th amendment was
passed which put the people of the states under this new government that
was formed . By the way, this new government was incorporated,under the
Organic Act of 1871. By allowing this to happen, our congress committed
treason against the people. European bankers had pushed America into a
civil war in an attempt to recapture its former colony and prize,which was
America. The passage of the Federal Reserve act of 1913; the Bankruptcy
acts of 1933;The Brentton Woods agreement of 1944 and America's entry
into the United Nations were acts of treason. These acts made Americans
corporate citizens and subjects under the New World Order/ European
Bankers/ Bilderbergers/ Skull and Bones/ Jesuits of Rome/ and Rothchilds
of Europe. Together they are the New World Order. Their base is the
United Nations. The American president is only a figure-head. He takes
orders directly from the" Council Of Foreign Relations." Americans as a
people have been tricked from the beginning of its so-called independence
from the monarchs of Europe. The truth is finally coming out. The Bankers
of Europe are coming for their property. They fell that the American people
and their property is theirs. When we let these criminals take away our
freedom-of-speech then we are done. Certain politicians want this to happen.
We are subjects to the NWO. We the people must face the truth to
change the truth. May the laws of the Universe/ God help us and all of the
people of the earth equally.

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