What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
photo credit: fpsurgeon
For decades, politicians on both sides of the aisle have lampooned each others’ policies and programs while guarding their own as irreproachable. Democrats have steadily promoted the welfare state, while Republicans are most noted for their advancing of the warfare state. The truth is that each side loves both, but when a member of the opposing party is leading the cause, they often make a big fuss to placate their constituency. Democrats are anti-war when a Republican is commander-in-chief, but grow silent when one of their own takes over and expands the war; Republicans balk at the socialist agenda of a Democratic president, but are willingly complicit when their side is in charge.
The political reality of our country is that both parties support and expand the hybrid welfare/warfare state that has come to symbolize America. While once a nation of hard-working, independent providers, we have morphed into a cesspool of dole-dependent consumers. And while we as a people once understood and abided by the Just War Theory, we are now a nation of warhawks, pseudo patriots, and nation builders.
What happened to America?
The short answer is that America has transformed itself into an empire. Policing the world abroad and giving away “freebies” at home, it has injected itself into nearly every transaction in the lives of its citizens. Whether funding the troops abroad or the entitlement programs at home, the federal government has ballooned into a malevolent monstrosity unrivaled throughout history.
But this rapid growth cannot be ascribed to nothing; there is a reason why the past century has witnessed such a radical transformation in public policy and social mores. The government-expanding policies of both parties require money, and that money has to come from somewhere. In an honest government, citizens would consent to these programs in exchange for the direct taxes that they would incur. The government, in this case, would not be able to grow overly burdensome without first increasing the tax burden of each citizen. Big programs would likely not last long if Americans were having to openly pay for each program in a transparent and forthright manner.
This restraint, however, has historically been a severe thorn in the politician’s side. Eager to enact their pet projects but reluctant to turn their constituency against them, leaders have long looked for ways to circumvent this fair process. Whether shaving coins or diluting their metallic makeup, tyrants throughout history have experimented with ways to indirectly tax its citizens through a confiscation of their wealth.
The era of fiat currency rendered these counterfeiting techniques archaic and obsolete.
In 1913, America was deviously encumbered with a central banking system called the Federal Reserve. This institution is able to literally create money out of thin air. Since its inception and due to its power, it has primarily served to facilitate the desire of every big government advocate elected or appointed to office. If big government is the drug, then the Fed is the enabler; without its tempting supply of dollars, the congressional crooks in Washington would not be able to feed their addiction.
For all the fuss that is made over comparatively small acts of corruption, few realize that these and all other related acts of lawlessness would be non-existent were it not for the inflationary abilities of the Federal Reserve. Without the Fed, Congress could not pass health care, entitlement programs, economic stimuli, or housing programs. Likewise, they would not have the ability to support hundreds of thousands of troops worldwide, repair bridges we’ve just blown up, and grant no-bid contracts to arms manufacturers and mercenary contracting firms. In short, by turning off the money spigot, the flood of corruption ends.
The challenge to opposing corruption is that it works both ways, crossing partisan lines. Those who oppose social welfare programs cannot do so without giving up their support of our military adventures throughout the world. The opposite holds true as well: the anti-war crowd cannot realize their objective without also giving up their domestic spending sprees. Either faction requires a limitless supply of money to achieve its goals, and if that bottomless pit is allowed to exist, it is likewise accessible to and taken advantage of by the other party.
If we are to end the rampant corruption that has infested nearly every interaction with the federal government, we must go after the source. The Federal Reserve cannot be permitted to exist, for if it does, its easy money will saturate every transaction and attract all sorts of amoral bottom-feeders who thrive on the theft of others’ money. It is the equivalent of flooding the black market with cheap, addictive drugs and then fighting a “war on drugs” by going after one dealer at a time. Our time and resources would be better spent investigating and fighting the source of the problem, rather than slowly and individually targeting each by-product.
America has changed course because she has been seduced by free money. In reality, this money is not free, but is a hidden, indirect tax that has resulted in the destruction of 97% of the dollar’s purchasing power since the Fed took it over in 1913. In effect, Congress has been buying our support with our own money—stealing a dollar out of our left pocket and then telling us we should be pleased when it places a nickel in our right pocket. This seduction is only further solidified by widespread ignorance of this pernicious process.
If we are serious about purging America of corruption, then we must stop hacking at the branches and start striking the root. Any serious discussion of principled and effective activism requires a strategy for dismantling the nefarious enterprise that is the Federal Reserve.
End the Fed, and you then end the empire.