MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Government’

Government Is Not Owned and Controlled by the People, People Are Owned and Controlled by Government – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on January 13, 2021

Most all of our problems stem from government. This government is made up of politicians and the political state they built, and they have been the direct cause of our disorder and tyranny since the beginning. Why do any still believe that politics and government are the answer to our ills, and that the kings in power today are any better than the kings of the past? Consider where we are now and where we are going.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/01/gary-d-barnett/government-is-not-owned-and-controlled-by-the-people-people-are-owned-and-controlled-by-government/

By Gary D. Barnett

“Any government, that is its own judge of, and determines authoritatively for the people, what are its own powers over the people, is an absolute government of course. It has all the powers that it chooses to exercise. There is no other or at least no more accurate definition of a despotism than this.”

Lysander Spooner (1971). “The Collected Works of Lysander Spooner: Legal writings”

Other than self-government such as peaceful anarchy or voluntarism, government in every circumstance is structured to manage and control the people by force. This is regardless of what particular type of governing system exists; whether a democracy, a constitutional republic, an oligarchy, or confederacy; whether it may be socialistic, communistic, fascist, or a monarchy. These and any other of the many forms of governance are all based on power and control over the masses. This has always been, and the people themselves have not only allowed this to happen, but have purposely structured these systems of rule.

We are now in a living hell in this country, and all that consumes this pathetic American population is which repugnant candidate of one or the other political parties will be selected as their new master. Both sides of the herd are playing each toward the middle, while both sides of the political class are using the election circus that they purposely created for their own advantage, in an attempt to gain power for themselves over the proletariat. This of course is to the detriment of all except the ruling class of monsters. The two fighting factions that are the most prevalent, those supporting the Republicans or those supporting the Democrats, are equally very stupid, and cannot understand that by fighting against each other, they are simply allowing this evil totalitarian system of rule to continue on while gaining strength that will be leveraged against the people in order to benefit the few in the top one percent. No matter who ‘wins’ any election, we all lose.

Each side will continue to blame the other for all the ills that befall them, without once understanding that all the fault lies only with them. The people of America were taught that the founders of this country gained their freedom because they threw out the ruling class, kicked out the government, seceded, and denounced the king in favor no political rule. Of course, once that revolution was complete, many of those that participated in the overthrow of the British government decided that they now wanted another government because they could gain more power for themselves. And so it began again, and to this day, we have always had a government that continued to gain more and more power every year of this country’s existence.

Most all of our problems stem from government. This government is made up of politicians and the political state they built, and they have been the direct cause of our disorder and tyranny since the beginning. Why do any still believe that politics and government are the answer to our ills, and that the kings in power today are any better than the kings of the past? Consider where we are now and where we are going. Our economy and livelihoods have been destroyed by the very system that is allowed to exist. State brutality is rampant, and getting worse every day. Every aspect of life is controlled, regulated, restricted, and surveilled by the growing technocratic state, and draconian mandates of behavior are out of control. The entire country has been locked down over a fraudulent ‘virus pandemic,’ travel has been nearly eliminated, deadly masks are required in much of the country, and we are all being told to not have relationships with others, gather together, or socialize in any way. Every joyous activity is being closed down or cancelled. There are no live music concerts, dining out at restaurants with family and friends has become similar to a scene from a dystopian horror movie, and shopping is now akin to walking silently in a faceless zone of zombies.

In addition to all this, the police state atmosphere is becoming more obvious, tracking and tracing each and every individual is common, and terroristic tactics by government enforcers have already begun with much harsher treatment coming for any that disagree or dissent. The military is being called upon more often, is being used for additional domestic policing, and has been commissioned to distribute poisonous vaccinations to all. In the midst of all this, attempts to silence any that do not fully agree with the state narrative is going forward at lightening speed, and alternative news sources are being closed down and censored on a daily basis.

We are living in a time where no rights whatsoever are respected concerning the people of this country, but the controlling ‘elite’ and their government puppets continue to live mostly without restriction. We are now ruled by an oligarchic upper class, while all the rest of society languishes at the bottom of the heap as serfs. Where is all the anger due to this tyranny that has consumed society? It seems that we are all fighting against one another while those in the ruling class that are causing all the problems are laughing while plotting the final stage of the coup called the “Great Reset.”

This government has been given massive power by the very same people that are now being abused and destroyed because of that power. This is the truth of the matter, but the masses cannot see it. Until this truth is fully understood and accepted by the common man, our fate is not only uncertain, but we are doomed to a life without freedom.

The political system has never existed to give or protect liberty; it is only there to seek more money, power, and control over society. No political solution to this debacle exists, no voting process is worthwhile, and in fact, no remedy for this tyrannical sickness will ever be due to politics or government. The only solution is for the people themselves to stand together instead of fighting each other, to dissent at every level possible, and to disobey all government orders.

Where is the outrage? How can over 300 million people lay back and take what this heinous government has done to them this past year? Why are so many afraid to protect their own liberty and that of their family? The only hope for Americans is to find the truth and act on it, and not expect the government or any politician to take care of them. The government does not care about you. Politicians do not care about you. The one percent and the large corporations do not care about you.

Together we have the power to reclaim our freedom, and to eliminate the power structure of this governing system that was created by the people. It is time to remove the chains of tyranny that bind us, and to eliminate the political class and its government by whatever means necessary. We are living in pure madness, and are on the verge of losing everything of value due to a totalitarian takeover of this country. There is no reason to allow this travesty, and there is every reason to fight against it!

“If you’re not ready to die for it, put the word ‘freedom’ out of your vocabulary.”

~ Malcolm X–Chicago Defender, November 28, 1962.

The Best of Gary D. Barnett Gary D. Barnett [send him mail] is a retired investment professional that has been writing about freedom and liberty matters, politics, and history for two decades. He is against all war and aggression, and against the state. He recently finished a collaboration with former U.S. Congresswoman, Cynthia McKinney, and was a contributor to her new book, “When China Sneezes” From the Coronavirus Lockdown to the Global Political-Economic Crisis.” Currently, he lives in Montana with his wife and son. Visit his website.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Watch “How the Government Literally Drives People Insane” on YouTube

Posted by M. C. on September 7, 2020

How Government Literally Drives People Insane

The most effective way to change the world is to raise your children properly. Everything could change in one generation if there were a radical shift in parenting.

Unfortunately, some indicators suggest things are getting worse. For instance, there has been an increase in kids hospitalized for attempted suicide or suicidal indicators.

The most concerning thing about this is that these incidents tend to be concentrated at certain times of the year. One of the most likely times for a child or young adult to need hospitalization because of suicidal tendencies or attempts is in the fall when school starts.

There are a few likely reasons for this.

One, being ridiculed and bullied by their peers makes students feel like social outcasts. Evolution has programmed the human mind to want acceptance of the group for survival reasons. So being ostracized can make you literally feel like you are going to die because if this was 10,000 years ago, you probably would.

And then there are the drugs. You know, the legalized forms of meth that we give to kids to make them alert and focused, or calm and manageable. There are all sorts of side effects to the drugs, and based on the spiking and dropping levels of dopamine and other chemicals in the brain, this can cause erratic behavior.

Finally being forced into an institution against your will, having to ask permission to speak and use the bathroom, and being told when to eat, sit, walk is a deeply frustrating situation to be in. This lack of control, and desperation to be free causes psychological damage.

The school system is definitely the root of the problem– where it begins. But this is only preparing them for an equally coercive society after graduation.

Coercion is Ruining Society

It turns out coercion is a serious problem that can lead to mental health issues. Coercion might even cause most of the ills we see in society today. The same thing that makes a teenager lash out and rebel in opposition to strict rules is what makes people do crazy things in a society dominated by arbitrary and oppressive governments.

Bruce Levin, PhD, explains this in his article, Societies With Little Coercion Have Little Mental Illness.

Coercion—the use of physical, legal, chemical, psychological, financial, and other forces to gain compliance—is intrinsic to our society’s employment, schooling, and parenting. However, coercion results in fear and resentment, which are fuels for miserable marriages, unhappy families, and what we today call mental illness.

It Starts With Your Kids

Most parents have their kids’ best interests at heart when parenting. Yet some still treat their child like a wild animal that must be broken. So many people in our society would have no idea what to do with freedom if they got it, because all they have ever known is oppression.

It starts in childhood, and evidence suggests that a freer child leads to a happier adult.

Levin points out that some cultures see very little mental illness, and he suggests it is because of the way the children are raised.

For many indigenous peoples, even the majority rule that most Americans call democracy is problematically coercive, as it results in the minority feeling resentful. Roland Chrisjohn, member of the Oneida Nation of the Confederacy of the Haudenausaunee (Iroquois) and author of The Circle Game, points out that for his people, it is deemed valuable to spend whatever time necessary to achieve consensus so as to prevent such resentment. By the standards of Western civilization, this is highly inefficient. “Achieving consensus could take forever!” exclaimed an attendee of a talk that I heard given by Chrisjohn, who responded, “What else is there more important to do?”

Among indigenous societies, there are many accounts of a lack of mental illness, a minimum of coercion, and wisdom that coercion creates resentment which fractures relationships.

All interaction should be voluntary and consensual.

Let kids be who they want to be, with the steady hand of your guidance, not an iron fist. Clearly, a child cannot always get what they want, that would create a spoiled brat. But that doesn’t negate how important freedom is for children in order to grow and learn.

This is why the public school system is horribly damaging to a large percentage of children. That is not the only or the best way to learn. And in fact it really just teaches obedience to authority.

Public schooling sets children up to be mindless drones in the work world, where they will be used to the coercion, but not happy about it.

[Jared] Diamond, in The World Until Yesterday (2012), reports how laissez-faire parenting is “not unusual by the standards of the world’s hunter-gatherer societies, many of which consider young children to be autonomous individuals whose desires should not be thwarted.” Diamond concludes that by our society’s attempt to control children for what we believe is their own good, we discourage those traits we admire:

“Other Westerners and I are struck by the emotional security, self-­confidence, curiosity, and autonomy of members of small-scale societies, not only as adults but already as children. We see that people in small-scale societies spend far more time talking to each other than we do, and they spend no time at all on passive entertainment supplied by outsiders, such as television, videogames, and books. We are struck by the precocious development of social skills in their children. These are qualities that most of us admire, and would like to see in our own children, but we discourage development of those qualities by ranking and grading our children and constantly ­telling them what to do.”

Quick not about Jared Diamond: some of you may have a problem with some his views. But even if the conclusions he draws are sometimes flawed, I think he has a lot to contribute in terms of his data. We don’t have to agree with everything he says in order to derive some benefit from his writings. It’s really just a matter of being able to separate the science from his opinion or spin. 

Then It’s Your Job…

I don’t believe the reason so many hate going to work is the work itself, but the fact that we cannot act like ourselves when at work.

Leading a life of “quiet desperation” as Thoreau (and later Pink Floyd) put it, of a 9-5 you hate–saving for retirement, but probably drinking yourself to death before you get to enjoy it– is that really the way to live?

Critics of schooling—from Henry David Thoreau, to Paul Goodman, to John Holt, to John Taylor Gatto—have understood that coercive and unengaging schooling is necessary to ensure that young people more readily accept coercive and unengaging employment. And as I also reported in that same article, a June 2013 Gallup poll revealed that 70% of Americans hate their jobs or have checked out of them.

Unengaging employment and schooling require all kinds of coercions for participation, and human beings pay a psychological price for this. In nearly three decades of clinical practice, I have found that coercion is often the source of suffering…

In all societies, there are coercions to behave in culturally agreed-upon ways. For example, in many indigenous cultures, there is peer pressure to be courageous and honest. However, in modernity, we have institutional coercions that compel us to behave in ways that we do not respect or value. Parents, afraid their children will lack credentials necessary for employment, routinely coerce their children to comply with coercive schooling that was unpleasant for these parents as children. And though 70% of us hate or are disengaged from our jobs, we are coerced by the fear of poverty and homelessness to seek and maintain employment.

In our society, we are taught that accepting institutional coercion is required for survival. We discover a variety of ways—including drugs and alcohol—to deny resentment.

And the government is perfectly happy with the arrangement because it is easier to control–and tax–“normal” people who just go to work every day.

How the Government Exacerbates the Problem

We cannot even simply live on a piece of land without being coerced by government to earn some money in order to pay the property taxes. But we have to earn more than the amount owed in property taxes because we are taxed on our earnings as well. We are taxed on the vehicle and gas that gets us to work– in a vicious cycle which forces us to earn more, only to be taxes on that too.

Governments have piled so many laws, regulations, and statutes on top of each other that you can’t go through life without being told perfectly normal, non-violent behavior is wrong,

I think this highlights the root cause of mass shootings for example– a last desperate act of retaliation by an oppressed man. Of course, their response is insane, and often related to the drugs they take– drugs which are also a response to the quiet desperation of a coercive society.

The hopelessness felt when being forced, is one of those deep gut wrenching feelings of despair that grow inside some people until they burst.

But now imagine that the government has taken everything from you. They take your car with civil asset forfeiture. They take 50% of your income. They prevent you from starting a business, building your dream job, or pursing happiness.

The government takes people’s kids, and shoots people’s dogs for no reason.

Sadly, all these things happen relatively regularly, in the Land of the Free.

And even those of us who never face such extreme oppression are inundated daily with the burdens and restrictions of government. They tell us what we cannot or must put into our bodies. They tell us we have to ask permission to earn a living, or trade goods and services.

They never tire of thinking of new rules, new regulations, new laws, all hoops to jump through just to live a normal life. One false move, and the government brings crushing blows down culminating in physically kidnapping you, and caging you– often for victimless crimes no less, when you haven’t hurt anyone.

And the Covid-19 pandemic has only emboldened politicians to take all the more power to micro-manage every facet of our daily lives– permission just to leave your home, or open up your business.

Many of us are baffled by why someone would become a terrorist, especially a suicide bomber.

Again, this is the coercion the Middle East is smothered in by the US foreign policy.

Imagine losing your childhood because you could not go outside because of the American drones.

Imagine family members having been murdered by laughing soldiers.

Imagine all your hopes and dreams bombed away in the blink of an eye.

Again, this is the unfortunate reality for many people today.

And now we are seeing US military equipment and tactics coming home to be used against the American people.

Bruce Levin finishes his essay, writing:

In the 1970s, prior to the domination of the biopsychiatry-Big Pharma partnership, many mental health professionals took seriously the impact of coercion and resentful relationships on mental health. And in a cultural climate more favorable than our current one for critical reflection of society, authors such as Erich Fromm, who addressed the relationship between society and mental health, were taken seriously even within popular culture. But then psychiatry went to bed with Big Pharma and its Big Money, and their partnership has helped bury the commonsense reality that an extremely coercive society creates enormous fear and resentment, which results in miserable marriages, unhappy families, and severe emotional and behavioral problems.

 

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Government, Death and Yoga

Posted by M. C. on August 18, 2020

When reading of yet another business struggling to avoid complete closure, a beloved establishment in Crawford county PA in this case, a few things come to mind.

Governor Wolf and his health secretary issuing “mandates”, NOT voted on by any legislature. Obey or get your state license pulled.

Now that COVID deaths, real and fabricated, are dropping like a rock we now have “cases”. A spike of acquired immunity “cases” that are twisted by the state and media to feign illness and death, like the passenger list on a river Styx cruise ship. Immune people don’t need vaccines and passport tattoos. Bad for control.

There appears to be another outbreak prevalent among PA government and media.

Yoga

In PA I have noticed that whenever Governor Wolf and his minion issue a ”mandate”, local government officials and media immediately strike the Cat Pose.

I suppose that explains Wolf’s Mona Lisa smile.

wolf

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Truth About the Rich Calling For Higher Taxes to Fight COVID-19

Posted by M. C. on July 22, 2020

If the wealthy want to pay more to help fight COVID-19, they can choose to do so themselves. They don’t need government to force them.

Their real motive has nothing to do with addressing the pandemic, and everything to do with raising taxes to make government a bigger part of your life. If they succeed, the costs will fall not only on rich taxpayers but on everyone, because our liberty will be a bit more compromised.

https://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2020/07/the-truth-about-rich-calling-for-higher.html

By Randall G. Holcombe

More than 80 wealthy individuals are petitioning for higher taxes on the rich to help pay for the billions in new government programs made necessary by the Covid-19 pandemic. This is petition is disingenuous at best.

If the wealthy want to pay more to help fight COVID-19, they can choose to do so themselves. They don’t need government to force them.

Many wealthy individuals already have pledged to devote more than half their wealth to charitable activities, without government force. What this petition actually asks is that government tax other people, who don’t share the values of the petitioners.

It’s their money to allocate as they want. If they want to allocate it to others, that’s their choice, although as I document in my book Writing Off Ideas: Taxation, Foundations, and Philanthropy in America, sometimes the results are not as desirable as the intentions.

In my book, I note that Henry Ford was notoriously uncharitable during his lifetime, saying that the best thing he could do with his money was to reinvest it in the Ford Motor Company to give people good jobs and affordable automobiles. Was he wrong? Regardless, it was his money and his choice to make.

There are two other troubling aspects to this petition. One is the presumption that the best way to fight the virus pandemic is to give the government more money. On the contrary, governments may not be the best organizations to fight diseases. Moreover, COVID-19, while raging right now, is a temporary problem and there are already aggressive initiatives underway to quickly develop a vaccine. It is unlikely at this point that sending more money to government will hasten the end to the pandemic.

A second issue—the most disingenuous part—is that the petition calls for a permanent increase in taxes to address a temporary problem. The petitioners are using the current pandemic as a cover to further their pro-government agenda.

Their real motive has nothing to do with addressing the pandemic, and everything to do with raising taxes to make government a bigger part of your life. If they succeed, the costs will fall not only on rich taxpayers but on everyone, because our liberty will be a bit more compromised.

Randall G. Holcombe is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, and the DeVoe Moore Professor of Economics at Florida State University. 

The above originally appeared at the Independent Institute.

Further comment from RW:

What Holcombe says above is correct but there are two more issues that must be kept in mind.

1. That the virus is not so out of the ordinary that extraordinary measures must be taken.

2. It is not clear that more money needs to be thrown at COVID-19. The pharmaceutical companies are throwing billions at attempting to find therapies and vaccines to fight the virus. Basic medical insurance can handle the few who fall seriously ill because of the virus. And private charity could take care of the rest.

In other words, Holcombe’s warning is spot on that this a call by the rich to expand the state—a state that is controlled by the very rich.

It also should be noted that Millionaires For Humanity is a project of a bunch of big government lefty “social change” groups:  Bridging Ventures, Club of Rome, Human Act, Oxfam International, Patriotic Millionaires, and Tax Justice UK.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Yes, Mother – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on July 21, 2020

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/07/laurence-m-vance/yes-mother/

By

Those of us who had a good mother growing up were generally given some good and practical advice:

Don’t swim right after you eat.
Don’t bite your fingernails.
Don’t suck your thumb.
Eat your vegetables.
Don’t be late for school.
Don’t stay out too late.
Don’t stay up too late.
Do your homework.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Don’t sleep in too long.
Don’t skip breakfast.
Put on your coat before you go outside in the cold.
Brush your teeth.
Look both ways before you cross the street.
Don’t take candy from a stranger
Take your vitamins.
Don’t get into a strange car.

Then the government started to give us what it thought was motherly advice:

Don’t eat eggs.
Don’t eat butter.
Don’t smoke.
Don’t consume trans fat.
Don’t breathe in second-hand smoke.
Don’t eat too much red meat.
Don’t drink sugar-laden soft drinks.
Don’t use chewing tobacco.
Don’t use drugs.
Don’t abuse alcohol.
Exercise.
Don’t inhale fumes.
Wear your seat belt.
Wear a bicycle helmet.
Wear a motorcycle helmet.
Don’t drink and drive.
Don’t text and drive.
Sneeze or cough into your elbow instead of your hand.
If you see something, say something.

But now the government actually thinks that it is our mother:

Don’t forget to wash your hands for at least twenty seconds all throughout the day.
Don’t shake hands with anyone for any reason.
Don’t hug anyone for any reason.
Don’t visit anyone in the hospital.
Wear a face mask whenever you leave the house.
Don’t visit anyone in a nursing home.
Don’t go to a bar.
Don’t go to the beach.
Don’t go to an amusement park.
Don’t go to a sporting event.
Don’t take your kids to a playground.
Use hand sanitizer all throughout the day.
Don’t take your kids to a park.
Don’t go to a museum.
Maintain social distancing of at least six feet.
Don’t get a haircut.
Don’t go to the movie theatre.
Keep your interactions brief.
Don’t go to the nail salon.
Don’t go to unessential businesses.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Don’t sing in church.
Don’t take communion in church.
Don’t go to church at all.
Don’t take a cruise.
Refrain from gathering with family and friends.
Don’t go bowling.
Don’t sit on a park bench.
Don’t play basketball at a park.
Don’t fly on a plane.
Stay home if you feel even the slightest bit ill.
Get tested for Covid-19 even if you have no symptoms and don’t feel sick.
Minimize the travel of your employees.
Don’t go on a date with a stranger.
Install Plexiglas shields at your place of business.
Avoid close contact with anyone who is even the slightest bit sick with any illness.
Stay home as much as possible.
Regularly disinfect everything in your home or business and then do it again.
Listen to the government experts about the dangers of the coronavirus.

Oh, and I almost forgot: Don’t exhale without wearing a mask—you might kill someone.

Hey government, you are a mother all right, but you are not our mother. If we want to voluntarily do any of the above things, that is our business. But we don’t need you to tell us what to do.

Laurence M. Vance [send him mail] writes from central Florida. He is the author of The War on Drugs Is a War on Freedom; War, Christianity, and the State: Essays on the Follies of Christian Militarism; War, Empire, and the Military: Essays on the Follies of War and U.S. Foreign Policy; King James, His Bible, and Its Translators, and many other books. His newest books are Free Trade or Protectionism? and The Free Society.

Be seeing you

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Keep Government Out of Developing a COVID-19 Vaccine

Posted by M. C. on July 18, 2020

Historically, government funding to promote scientific advancement has fared poorly. In his book The Economic Laws of Scientific Research, author Terence Kealey finds that scientific advancement and economic growth are more prominent in countries with less public funding for science. Kealey also finds that public funding for science tends to crowd out private investment, which is spent more carefully because it is tied to profitability.

Kealey’s findings indicate President Trump’s “blank check” for public officials and private producers to develop a vaccine is problematic to say the least. Indeed, one STAT article is already detailing conflicts-of-interest and other ethical issues with picking which drug developers and vaccines to include.

Conflict of interest spelled M O D E R N A.

https://blog.independent.org/2020/05/27/keep-government-out-of-developing-a-covid-19-vaccine/

In late March, California became the first state to issue mandatory “shelter in place” orders. By mid-April, nearly 94 percent of the U.S. population was under order to stay at home.

Nearly three months later, millions are still desperate to get back to their lives. Protest rallies held to “reopen the economy” have emerged across the country, even when gathering can result in criminal charges.

Several states have allowed their stay-at-home orders to expire. Other states are lifting their orders more gradually. However, as a recent Fox News article notes, several states are not willing to lift their pandemic-related restrictions until a COVID-19 vaccine is developed.

As New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy stated, citizens in his state should “expect to continue with this [stay-at-home orders] for the foreseeable future . . . until either a proven vaccine is in our midst or proven therapeutics are widely available.” Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a similar statement.

“Here’s the truth. And I don’t like it any more than you do,” Gov. Pritzker said. “Until we have a vaccine, or effective treatment, or enough widespread immunity that new cases fail to materialize, the option of returning to normalcy doesn’t exist.”

Influential healthcare professionals are also holding out hope for a vaccine. Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb believes, “Life’s never going to be perfectly normal until we get to a vaccine.”

He may be right.

A serious shortcoming of the “stay home, save lives” approach is that less of the population becomes exposed to the virus, which increases the risk of a second wave of COVID-19 outbreaks when isolation ends. Consequently, the pandemic either continues through a series of deadly waves until herd immunity is developed or scientists develop a vaccine.

But developing a COVID-19 vaccine is a considerable challenge. Medical professionals still struggle to understand the novel coronavirus. Developing vaccines for viruses that harm the upper respiratory tract is especially difficult. Scientists have yet to develop a vaccine for any of the viruses in the coronavirus family. Even with a scientific breakthrough, estimates of when a vaccine might become available range from two to ten years.

Hoping to meet the challenge, President Trump recently announced that he hopes to have a COVID-19 vaccine available by January. His plan, named Operation Warp Speed, is to create a public-private partnership between federal regulatory agencies, the Department of Defense, and selected drug producers to develop “the people’s vaccine.”

Is the partnership up for the task? Not likely.

Historically, government funding to promote scientific advancement has fared poorly. In his book The Economic Laws of Scientific Research, author Terence Kealey finds that scientific advancement and economic growth are more prominent in countries with less public funding for science. Kealey also finds that public funding for science tends to crowd out private investment, which is spent more carefully because it is tied to profitability.

Kealey’s findings indicate President Trump’s “blank check” for public officials and private producers to develop a vaccine is problematic to say the least. Indeed, one STAT article is already detailing conflicts-of-interest and other ethical issues with picking which drug developers and vaccines to include.

We should also note that private efforts were making progress toward developing a vaccine well before Operation Warp Speed began. Johnson and Johnson began working on a vaccine in January. Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine received fast-track status by the Food and Drug Administration, allowing it to pass through the agency’s approval process more quickly.

Instead of developing public-private partnerships to bring a vaccine to the market, we should be looking to cut regulations that impede the progress private drug providers have already made. Deregulation has brought much needed medical goods to patients quickly both in the United States and abroad.

In 2012, the U.S. generic drug market faced a backlog of about 2,800 drug applications. That same year, Congress passed the Food and Administration Safety and Innovation Act. The act eliminated redundant components of the generic drug approval process and allowed drug producers to receive an expedited review by paying a fee. By 2018, the backlog was under 100 applications.

In 2015, South Korea experienced an unexpected outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). After the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (South Korea’s version of the FDA) was unable to provide enough testing in a timely manner, the South Korean government implemented a significantly faster approval process for emergency test-kit approval.

Their efforts were successful. Seegene, one of the first South Korean private drug producers to develop a COVID-19 test-kit, received approval in ten days and was able to conduct over 230,000 tests.

Developing a vaccine to curb the COVID-19 pandemic is a daunting enough task. To give scientists and healthcare researchers the best chance of success, get government out of the way.

Raymond J. March is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and Assistant Professor of Agribusiness and Applied Economics at North Dakota State University.
Be seeing you

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Do We Need The State? – Doug Casey’s International Man

Posted by M. C. on May 21, 2020

Editor’s Note: Sociopaths are drawn to the government. They seek power and control over others through coercion, taxation and more.

Muslims, Christians, and Jews lived together peaceably in Palestine, Lebanon, and North Africa for centuries until the situation became politicized after World War I. Until then, an individual’s background and beliefs were just personal attributes, not a casus belli. Government was at its most benign, an ineffectual nuisance that concerned itself mostly with extorting taxes. People were busy with that most harmless of activities: making money.

https://internationalman.com/articles/do-we-need-the-state/

by Doug Casey

Rousseau was perhaps the first to popularize the fiction now taught in civics classes about how government was created. It holds that men sat down together and rationally thought out the concept of government as a solution to problems that confronted them. The government of the United States was, however, the first to be formed in any way remotely like Rousseau’s ideal. Even then, it had far from universal support from the three million colonials whom it claimed to represent. The U.S. government, after all, grew out of an illegal conspiracy to overthrow and replace the existing government.

There’s no question that the result was, by an order of magnitude, the best blueprint for a government that had yet been conceived. Most of America’s Founding Fathers believed the main purpose of government was to protect its subjects from the initiation of violence from any source; government itself prominently included. That made the U.S. government almost unique in history. And it was that concept – not natural resources, the ethnic composition of American immigrants, or luck – that turned America into the paragon it became.

The origin of government itself, however, was nothing like Rousseau’s fable or the origin of the United States Constitution. The most realistic scenario for the origin of government is a roving group of bandits deciding that life would be easier if they settled down in a particular locale, and simply taxing the residents for a fixed percentage (rather like “protection money”) instead of periodically sweeping through and carrying off all they could get away with. It’s no accident that the ruling classes everywhere have martial backgrounds. Royalty are really nothing more than successful marauders who have buried the origins of their wealth in romance.

Romanticizing government, making it seem like Camelot, populated by brave knights and benevolent kings, painting it as noble and ennobling, helps people to accept its jurisdiction. But, like most things, government is shaped by its origins. Author Rick Maybury may have said it best in Whatever Happened to Justice?,

“A castle was not so much a plush palace as the headquarters for a concentration camp. These camps, called feudal kingdoms, were established by conquering barbarians who’d enslaved the local people. When you see one, ask to see not just the stately halls and bedrooms, but the dungeons and torture chambers.

“A castle was a hangout for silk-clad gangsters who were stealing from helpless workers. The king was the ‘lord’ who had control of the blackjack; he claimed a special ‘divine right’ to use force on the innocent.

“Fantasies about handsome princes and beautiful princesses are dangerous; they whitewash the truth. They give children the impression political power is wonderful stuff.”

Is The State Necessary?

The violent and corrupt nature of government is widely acknowledged by almost everyone. That’s been true since time immemorial, as have political satire and grousing about politicians. Yet almost everyone turns a blind eye; most not only put up with it, but actively support the charade. That’s because, although many may believe government to be an evil, they believe it is a necessary evil (the larger question of whether anything that is evil is necessary, or whether anything that is necessary can be evil, is worth discussing, but this isn’t the forum).

What (arguably) makes government necessary is the need for protection from other, even more dangerous, governments. I believe a case can be made that modern technology obviates this function.

One of the most perversely misleading myths about government is that it promotes order within its own bailiwick, keeps groups from constantly warring with each other, and somehow creates togetherness and harmony. In fact, that’s the exact opposite of the truth. There’s no cosmic imperative for different people to rise up against one another…unless they’re organized into political groups. The Middle East, now the world’s most fertile breeding ground for hatred, provides an excellent example.

Muslims, Christians, and Jews lived together peaceably in Palestine, Lebanon, and North Africa for centuries until the situation became politicized after World War I. Until then, an individual’s background and beliefs were just personal attributes, not a casus belli. Government was at its most benign, an ineffectual nuisance that concerned itself mostly with extorting taxes. People were busy with that most harmless of activities: making money.

But politics do not deal with people as individuals. It scoops them up into parties and nations. And some group inevitably winds up using the power of the state (however “innocently” or “justly” at first) to impose its values and wishes on others with predictably destructive results. What would otherwise be an interesting kaleidoscope of humanity then sorts itself out according to the lowest common denominator peculiar to the time and place.

Sometimes that means along religious lines, as with the Muslims and Hindus in India or the Catholics and Protestants in Ireland; or ethnic lines, like the Kurds and Iraqis in the Middle East or Tamils and Sinhalese in Sri Lanka; sometimes it’s mostly racial, as whites and East Indians found throughout Africa in the 1970s or Asians in California in the 1870s. Sometimes it’s purely a matter of politics, as Argentines, Guatemalans, Salvadorans, and other Latins discovered more recently. Sometimes it amounts to no more than personal beliefs, as the McCarthy era in the 1950s and the Salem trials in the 1690s proved.

Throughout history government has served as a vehicle for the organization of hatred and oppression, benefitting no one except those who are ambitious and ruthless enough to gain control of it. That’s not to say government hasn’t, then and now, performed useful functions. But the useful things it does could and would be done far better by the market.

Editor’s Note: Sociopaths are drawn to the government. They seek power and control over others through coercion, taxation and more.

Unfortunately, there’s little any individual can practically do to change the course of these trends in motion.

The best you can and should do is to stay informed so that you can protect yourself in the best way possible, and even profit from the situation.

Be seeing you

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

What If the Government Has It Wrong? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on May 21, 2020

What if the COVID-19 virus has run its course and run into natural immunities? What if many folks have had symptom-free episodes with many viruses and are now immune from them? What if the government refuses to understand this because it undermines the government’s power to control us?

What if — as Thomas Jefferson said — the blood of patriots should be spilled on the tree of revolution at least once in every generation? What if we nullify the government that has nullified our rights?

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/05/andrew-p-napolitano/what-if-the-government-has-it-wrong/

By

What if the government has it wrong — on the medicine and the law?

What if face masks can’t stop the COVID-19 virus? What if quarantining the healthy makes no medical sense? What if staying at home for months reduces immunity?

What if more people have been infected with the virus in their homes than outside them?

What if there are as many credible scientists and physicians who disagree with the government as those who agree with it? What if the government chooses to listen only to scientists and physicians who would tell it what it wanted to hear? What if the government silences scientists and physicians, and even fires one, who attempt to tell it what it didn’t want to hear?

What if the government wants to stoke fear in the populace because mass fear produces mass compliance? What if individual fear reduces individual immunity?

What if a healthy immunity gets stronger when challenged? What if a pampered immunity gets weaker when challenged? What if we all pass germs and viruses — that we don’t even know we have — on to others all the time, but their immune systems repel what we pass on to them?

What if the COVID-19 virus has run its course and run into natural immunities? What if many folks have had symptom-free episodes with many viruses and are now immune from them? What if the government refuses to understand this because it undermines the government’s power to control us?

What if government orders to nursing homes and assisted living facilities to accept the sick and contagious are insane? What if the same government that micromanages nursing homes and assisted living facilities knows that they are not hospitals and are not equipped to cure the sick or contain contagion?

What if the government makes health care decisions not on the basis of medicine or human nature but statistics? What if reliance on the government’s statistics has made many folks sick?

What if we’d all be healthier and happier if we make our own choices with our own physicians rather than the government making choices for us? What if it is un-American for the government to tell you how to care for yourself? What if it is equally un-American for you to follow the government when it intrudes into your personal choices?

What if the Supreme Court has ruled many times that your health care decisions are private, personal and to be made between you and your physician? What if the Supreme Court has also ruled many times that your private health care decisions are none of the government’s business?

What if we never elected a government to keep us free from all viruses, but we did elect it to keep us free from all tyrants? What if the government — which can’t deliver the mail, fill potholes, stop robocalls, or spend within its income — is the last entity on earth into whose hands we would voluntarily repose our health for safekeeping? What if the government won’t admit that its understanding of science is colored by politics?

What if the government has misunderstood its mandate? What if the government thinks it can do its job by keeping us safe but unfree? What if — according to the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence — government’s first duty is to safeguard our rights? What if there is no legal basis for the government to keep us at home or to close our businesses?

What if the government gave itself the power to interfere with our personal choices? What if that self-imposed power violates the basic constitutional principle that the government derives its powers from the consent of the governed? What if no one consented to a government that interferes with our personal choices? What if our personal choices to take personal chances have never needed a government permission slip?

What if the Constitution was written to restrain the government? What if all in government — local, state and federal — have taken an oath to uphold and comply with the Constitution?

What if the government decrees that liquor sales are essential but clothing sales are not? What if the government decrees that abortions are essential but orthopedic surgery is not? What if the government decrees that music stores are essential but the free exercise of religion is not?

What if these decisions about what is essential and inessential are for individuals — and not for the government — to make?

What if to the barber or short-order cook or retail sales person a barbershop and a luncheonette and a clothing store are essential? What if to those who love God, the free exercise of religion is essential?

What if the government makes essential whatever serves its friends, enhances its wealth, maintains its stability and removes obstacles to its exercise of power? What if the Constitution — with its protections of our rights to make free choices — is an intentional obstacle to governmental power?

What if America’s founders and the Constitution’s framers chose liberty over safety? What if the government doesn’t like that choice? What if the government only nominally endorses it?

What if — when the pandemic is over — the government remains tyrannical? What if — when the pandemic is over — folks sue the government for its destruction of life, liberty and property only to learn that the government gave itself immunity from such lawsuits? What if — when the pandemic is over — the government refuses to acknowledge its end?

What if — as Thomas Jefferson said — the blood of patriots should be spilled on the tree of revolution at least once in every generation? What if we nullify the government that has nullified our rights?

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Essentials of Panarchism

Posted by M. C. on April 23, 2020

Time to re-visit Panarchism.

Panarchy is a condition of human relations in which each person is at liberty to choose his own social and political governance without being coerced. Panarchy means that persons may enter into and exit from social and political relations freely. It means that government exists only with the consent and by the consent of the governed.

Panarchism has new conceptions of what a people who are governed, a government, and consent mean. These give rise to a new conception of the nonterritorial State and revised ideas about sovereignty and authority. By viewing government as nonterritorial, panarchism reorients the movement for liberty away from destroying the governments that others may prefer and toward obtaining the governments that each of us may prefer.

https://www.panarchy.org/rozeff/panarchism.html

Michael S. Rozeff

Note

Those who, in the name of civilization and the protection of personal liberties, refuse categorically an imposed state religion or an economic system based on monopolies, should be ready to acknowledge that a government exerting a monopolistic territorial sovereignty leads to the same situation of lack of civilization (wars, clashes, feuding) and unfreedom (subjection to and manipulation by a central power) for everybody, irrespective of personal needs and wishes. That is why Michael Rozeff is all in favour of Panarchy because “Panarchists do not attempt to smash the governments others want. They deny no one the freedom to be unfree. However, they deny others (and their States and governments) the freedom to make them unfree.”

Panarchism is a new political philosophy that builds upon and extends the core concept of consent of the governed, which goes back primarily to John Locke. Consent of the governed is a concept that permeated revolutionary America. It appears in Article 6 of the Virginia Bill of Rights. It appears in the Essex Result. Benjamin Franklin wrote “In free governments the rulers are the servants and the people their superiors and sovereigns.” The Declaration of Independence asserts that “Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Panarchism proposes a comprehensive extension of liberty to the consensual choice of government itself, in form and content. It proposes government by consent for any persons who arrange such government for themselves. Conversely, it proposes that a government has no authority over any persons who do not consent to it.

Panarchy is a condition of human relations in which each person is at liberty to choose his own social and political governance without being coerced. Panarchy means that persons may enter into and exit from social and political relations freely. It means that government exists only with the consent and by the consent of the governed.

Panarchism has new conceptions of what a people who are governed, a government, and consent mean. These give rise to a new conception of the nonterritorial State and revised ideas about sovereignty and authority. By viewing government as nonterritorial, panarchism reorients the movement for liberty away from destroying the governments that others may prefer and toward obtaining the governments that each of us may prefer.

Free persons in a free society already practice a degree of panarchy. By individual consent, they associate with those whom they wish to associate with (and who wish to associate with them), and they do not associate with others. By choice, they vary their associations by time, place, duration, and other dimensions. They choose companions, places to live, workplaces, clubs, and churches on the basis of individual consent rendered in a noncoercive social context. Free persons form consensual organizations, associations, and groups. They form themselves into sub-societies and “peoples,” which are groups of persons that, via individual consent, willingly aggregate on various grounds and interests. In doing so, they create multiple coexisting forms of governance whose basis is not territorial (although it may optionally be so) but relational.

Panarchism proposes that panarchy be extended to government (or functions of government) in the same way that it is already present in society. Let persons be free to form peoples and to choose their own forms of government.

Why? Because consent today is too limited to allow a meaningful sovereignty of people. Because the rulers have become the sovereign and the people their servants. Because complex systems of voting and parties have diluted consent to the vanishing point. Because would-be peoples are thwarted from forming. Liberty does not mean a vote for one of two parties that runs a single monopoly government. It means active consent over the very form, as well as the content, of one’s governing relations.

Why panarchism? Because in today’s governing relations, we find ourselves living under distant States and governments whose form is not of our choosing. Because the planet is blanketed with States and governments that too often deliver injustice, insecurity, disorder, waste, misery, death, and destruction, as States and governments historically have done. Because States and governments focus and amplify power, using it for purposes that many of us do not believe in. And because governments today legitimate and encourage contentious struggles for domination where one group’s gains is another group’s loss, and where the struggles absorb more and more resources and divert energy from productive to unproductive uses.

The liberty that is basic to panarchy promises a better way of life, by extending to each of us the capacity to engage in the social and political relations of our own choosing in accord with our own beliefs. Since persons will not freely consent to governments whose decisions in the main leave them, by their own estimation, worse off, the free choice of government will provide the kind of check-and-balance on government failures and misdeeds that is a critical missing element of today’s political arrangements.

Panarchy envisages many possible societies and sub-societies across a land, region, or province. There need not be a single sovereign authority that imposes law on all, unless it happens to be by consent. In panarchy, multiple and diverse sources of self-chosen sovereignty coexist side-by-side, each finding its source of legitimacy from the consent of those who are willing to place themselves within a particular set of governing relations. People freely place themselves within multiple non-territorial governing associations, as contrasted with finding themselves assigned by authorities on a geographical basis.

The American revolutionaries blazed a trail toward nonterritorial government when they called for consent of the governed, but they simultaneously veered away from that trail. Just as they skirted the slavery question, they skirted the issues of what constituted a people, a legitimate government, consent, and secession. Article 14 of the Virginia Declaration of Rights sought “to maintain Virginia’s sovereignty over its restless, far-flung western counties.” It proclaimed “That the people have a right to uniform government; and, therefore, that no government separate from, or independent of the government of Virginia, ought to be erected or established within the limits thereof.” This particular territorial idea of government was justified by a false appeal to a mythical right to uniform government, in order to prevent the formation of West Virginia. Some 85 years later, West Virginia, which for decades had many sound reasons not to be governed by Richmond, finally seceded from Virginia.

Little has changed. Despite hundreds of breakaway and secession movements worldwide, the territorial notion of government has not changed. Indeed, many such movements themselves view government as territorial. American federalism has become nationalism. Governments of today are making societies over, based upon claims of legitimate authority that are less rooted in consent than in territorial claims of rulership.

The idea of government needs to be severed from the idea of the territorial State and from the notion that the government of such a State is all that government is or can be. Since the State is single, territorial, and coercive, such an idea views government as single, territorial, and coercive. The territorial idea supports States in place. It empties consent of all real meaning and replaces it by the machinations of meaningless votes, party politics, lobbying, redistricting, power, and campaign money flows. The territorial idea of government without consent dooms mankind to living without one of the most basic liberties, which is the liberty to choose one’s government.

It is a mistake to identify government as the executive and administrative means of the monopoly State. When those who are pro-State do this, it leaves little or no room for those who do not consent and wish to live by their own forms of government. When those who are anti-State do this, they become anti-government, a position that does not allow those who want various forms of their own government to exercise their choices.

Government is the social coordination of human personal interactions. To the extent that human beings interact with one another, government is thus inescapable. Advocates of no government, unless they eschew all social interaction, can no more live without government than can statists. But the necessity of government does not imply that government must be nonconsensual and territorial. We have an alternative to living under a single territorial State that makes and enforces all sorts of rules, for all of us, all the time. Panarchy is that alternative.

We ourselves govern a vast range of human activities by consent, nonterritorially, and without the State. This was historically and is currently the case. Persons within human societies create governance from varied and multiple sources that include moral and ethical codes, custom, bodies of judge-discovered law, rules, principles, manners, religion, pacts, agreements, understandings, and contracts, as well as through a variety of instruments, institutions, and organizations that include family, associations, churches, schools, corporations, and business firms. Society, in this sense, which is really many interpenetrating and diverse societies, already reflects a high degree of panarchy. Societies everywhere already employ panarchy as a beneficial principle of social organization and order.

Panarchism proposes extending panarchy further. It stands for a world in which people live by the governing relations of their choice while abiding by the decisions of their neighbors to live by theirs. A society with such liberty will hold together in the same ways that societies have always held together: through a complex network of shared values, beliefs, ways, language, and other commonalities that are put to work through self-interest that is expressed in individual, associational, and cooperative endeavors. It will hold together better than today’s societies because the nonconsensual government that fertilizes today’s constant political and economic battles, rebellions, and civil wars will have been reduced.

Different people understand freedom and liberty in different ways, and even when they agree, they place different values on liberty. One woman may choose to labor for another for a wage, while another may regard wage-labor as slavery. One man may allow himself to be inducted into an army, while another may look upon the draft as slavery. These different ideas of good and bad government can coexist in panarchy. Liberty and government are not at mutually exclusive poles. Abolishing government per se does not bring liberty for all. Abolishing government and replacing it with one’s own personal vision of liberty does not bring liberty for all. Liberty for all entails the capacity for all to choose their own governments. In panarchy, men and women are free to be unfree (in the eyes of others) to any desired degree. They may enter into many different kinds of governing relations. This sets panarchy apart from political conceptions that deny them the choice of State and government. Panarchists do not attempt to smash the governments others want. They deny no one the freedom to be unfree. However, they deny others (and their States and governments) the freedom to make them unfree.

Once we open up our thinking on the question of what government is, we can get away from the idea of “a government” and “the government.” Government is a set of functions that can be identified. Change is not a question of today’s government or none. There are all sorts of intermediate possibilities.

National governments have absorbed major functions such as old age security, aid to the indigent, and health care from civil society and local government. They have done so via complex majority rules and voting procedures that circumvented consent of the governed. Governments across the world often suppress minorities of many kinds. The imposition of nation-wide rules discriminates against and suppresses all those who do not consent and who do not want their government to handle certain critical issues. Medicare, for example, involves a taking and a wealth transfer. This kind of program could become nonterritorial and consensual. Mr. K can subscribe to a plan and belong to a government that deducts from his wages, while Mr. J need not. They can be neighbors and do this.

Many of today’s government functions can remain in place for those who want them while making them voluntary for those who do not. The idea in these cases is not to end government but make it consensual. Vast amounts of regulation of labor relations, energy, education, health, and welfare are such that one neighbor can live without certain rules even if his neighbor wants them. Instead of attempting to take Medicare away or attempting to persuade voters to vote it down, which plays the game of accepting monopoly and territorial government, panarchism goes at the problem of lack of consent and unjust powers of government in a different way. Let those who want Medicare have it; let those who don’t withdraw. Panarchism seizes the moral high ground. Why should those who don’t want Medicare be impressed into it by those who do? Isn’t this like making everyone belong to the same church? How can there be consent of the governed when we are herded, whether we like it or not, into programs that affect our lives in major ways?

Coordination problems involving human interaction are not going to disappear. The reform of government even where coordination issues are not at issue may well be difficult. Panarchism does not deny these difficulties. It sets out a just and peaceful destination that can be achieved peaceably, which is a future of reform in which the State abandons its territorial claims. This may happen little by little. It may happen by degrees. It may happen partially and gradually, or it may happen by leaps. Consensual and nonconsensual government are likely to continue to exist alongside one another for some time. Reforms, small and large, are unpredictable. They are for people themselves to advance and accomplish. Every step that people take, peaceful and nonaggressive, toward devising and living by their own government is a step toward more complete panarchy and greater liberty.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Exactly How Many Deaths Are Needed to Justify Giving Governments Control of Everything? | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on April 20, 2020

So, a government looking to extend its powers, to assume additional rights from its citizens, will need to manufacture consent, else rebellion with ensue. And there is no better opportunity to manufacture consent than during an existential crisis, whether it’s enemies massed at the gate or ones concealed within.

Obviously, if those enemies do not exist, they have to be invented.

https://mises.org/wire/exactly-how-many-deaths-are-needed-justify-giving-governments-control-everything?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=c19a729e74-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-c19a729e74-228343965

Listen to the Audio Mises Wire version of this article.

The CDC estimates that 61,000 Americans died from the flu during the 2017–18 flu season (with a range of 46,000 to 95,000 deaths). Few of us even remember that event. Stores stayed open, folks met and worked, and everyone lived as normal.

Taking sixty-one thousand deaths as our baseline, how deadly does a virus have to be to justify the destruction of our livelihoods and economy in general?

Half as deadly? No that wouldn’t make sense. But neither would “as deadly,” either.

Would twice as deadly cross the panic threshold? But that would be just twice something we didn’t notice while it was happening. So maybe even double is not enough.

No one is ever safe, ever. But we all lived lives in a world of uncertainty. That is, until many panicked and allowed governments to drive us into our own caves, so to speak.

But who incited panic? Media and social media initially sounded the alarm, sparking fear. However, it was government that provided justification for that fear, wrapping dour pronouncements in a veneer of supposed science and truth. Soon the panic threshold was breached. While the various media live off provocative headlines, government lives off fear.

So we end up with this strange symbiotic relationship: with the aid of a friendly media, government justifies the fears it propagandizes; constituents panic and turn to both government for help and the media for information. Certainly, it has to be this way. Why? Because government rules through the consent of the governed.

As Mises noted:

Only a group that can count on the consent of the governed can establish a lasting regime. Whoever wants to see the world governed according to his own ideas must strive for domination over men’s minds. It is impossible, in the long run, to subject men against their will to a regime that they reject.

So, a government looking to extend its powers, to assume additional rights from its citizens, will need to manufacture consent, else rebellion with ensue. And there is no better opportunity to manufacture consent than during an existential crisis, whether it’s enemies massed at the gate or ones concealed within.

Obviously, if those enemies do not exist, they have to be invented. As Schumpeter stated:

There was no corner of the known world where some interest was not alleged to be in danger or under actual attack. If the interests were not Roman, they were those of Rome’s allies; and if Rome had no allies, then allies would be invented. When it was utterly impossible to contrive such an interest—why, then it was the national honor that had been insulted. The fight was always invested with an aura of legality. Rome was always being attacked by evil-minded neighbors, always fighting for a breathing space. The whole world was pervaded by a host of enemies, and it was manifestly Rome’s duty to guard against their indubitably aggressive designs. They were enemies who only waited to fall on the Roman people.

Not too long ago, the devised enemy was ISIL—haunting the Levant in Toyota trucks. We were told daily that ISIL was readying a strike against the US some fifty-five hundred miles away. Plausible? Hardly. However, the propaganda machine was able to create some angst, for some time, anyway.

Today the enemy is through the gate unseen, infiltrating bodies and minds. COVID-19 is a government’s dream. Folks who just yesterday, or so it seems, said certain acts of government, such as closing churches, would ignite rebellion, gladly consent to authoritarian edicts. But why?

There is the manufactured fear, the product of the propaganda machine—the good doctors making dire predictions about likely death counts, surrounded by somber officials, all standing near a dais backed by the richly colored, acronymed logo of some official sounding agency. Great video, great propaganda.

But there is more. Government is blaming the virus, not itself. That serves several purposes. It allows government to employ a misdirect, pilfering the public purse and annulling rights while the masses concern themselves with social distancing.

It also provides personal cover to minor agents of the bureaucracy, who do not have to spend sleepless nights fretting about their role in the destruction of our economy.

Hannah Arendt wrote about the Eichmann trial and tried to answer the conscience question:

The trick used by Himmler…was very simple and probably very effective; it consisted in turning these instincts around, as it were, in directing them toward the self. So that instead of saying: What horrible things I did to people!, the murderers would be able to say: What horrible things I had to watch in the pursuance of my duties, how heavily the task weighed upon my shoulders! (Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem)

So you hear statements that twist reality in this manner: “The virus will let us know when we can reopen the country.” As if the virus is dictating policy.

We are told that government officials are only reacting as the virus commands. And the enforcement agents spreading tickets and handcuffs are simply shouldering the horrible tasks that must be pursued.

Is this how we, the people, choose to live? In a world where government foments fear for its own purposes and then stands back, blaming its actions on an enemy of its own creation?

Once more, how deadly does a virus have to be to justify the destruction of our livelihoods and economy in general? Twice the usual? Three times? I can’t decide the issue for all. I simply ask you to consider first what we are allowing (crashed economy, record unemployment growth, exploding government debt, unconstitutional government edicts, well, you get the picture).

And I ask you to consider who, or what entities, are benefiting. It is true that some cui bono (to whom it is a benefit) arguments are fallacious, but not all. However, consider this: besides a shift of rights and power from the people to the state, there is that matter of trillions moving from our wallets to those of the friends and families of the politically connected.

As I wrote above, no one is ever safe, ever. But until a month ago, we all accepted a world of uncertainty and didn’t panic. What was true then is true today—to be free is not to be safe. However, to live free is to live. Period.

 

Be seeing you

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »