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: ashley rose
Robert Lefevre was expressing a fundamental truism when he declared that government is in reality a disease that also masquerades as a cure. Of course, this duplicitous double punch requires placing the blame for the disease on others’ shoulders. For if people understood that government caused the problem, they would be less inclined to listen to and accept its proposed solutions.
Why is this so? The answer lies in a basic component of human nature: the desire to remain secure and prosperous in one’s employment. But when a person is a so-called “public servant”, and his employer is the tax-paying citizen, convincing said employer of a need for more money, resources, and power requires making a compelling case. After all, nobody likes taxes. Ronald Reagan once remarked that government bureaus are the closest thing we have on this earth to eternal life, and he was right. In order for “civil servants” to maintain their employ, they need to find problems to fix.
In business, expanding your market requires convincing people through various forms of advertising that they need your product. You identify problems, and explain how your product or service can meet their needs at an affordable price. In government, however, this process is distorted; through taxation, inflation, manipulation of data, and legislative or executive fiat, the public can essentially be told what it needs. The greatest benefit to a government policy or program’s perpetuity, then, is a cycle of negative effects which continually lead citizens to accept new government solutions.
A few examples should illustrate this point.
Much has been said in recent weeks about health care. Team Obama is anxiously engaged in a Democrat cause, trying to convince frustrated Americans that their thousand-plus page miracle bill will solve all of our medical problems. There is no shortage of proposals coming from the government on how to improve and/or “fix” the health care system. And yet, if you pay close attention to where the blame is being placed by government officials with a vested interest in seeing this current bill pass, you’ll see an inaccurate if not intentional attempt at shifting blame for the current failures of the system.
However, the onerous regulatory burdens imposed by government, as well as the mandates for providing care to those who otherwise could not afford it, inflate the costs for all involved. As such, the rising prices create widespread frustration and become an easy target for opportunistic politicians who can convince people that greedy insurance companies or other parties are at fault. Not understanding how the government’s previous involvement in managing the health care industry has resulted in the high costs we now must pay, people willingly support using the strong arm of government to push those prices back down. If a reckless construction worker severely botched the construction of your new home, would you hire him for future projects, or even to fix the existing problems?
Speaking of houses, few people would contest the sticky fingers of government having an effect in the housing market. The creation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Community Reinvestment Act, the easy money policy by the Fed, and a host of other influencing factors created the “bubble” which we’ve all heard about, and which has popped (if only in part) recently. And what happens? The government starts providing economic incentives such as grants for new home purchases, puts pressure on banks to modify existing loans, and creates new legislation to further regulate the foreclosure process so that people can stay in “their” homes for a longer period of time.
Again in this case, government caused so many of the issues that warped the housing market and created a groundswell of public anger, and then comes along portending to have the perfect solution to make life better and stop those greedy speculators (another misdirected outlet of blame) from ruining things again.
The influx of illegal immigrants into this country is a concern shared by most people, but the various remedies differ in the amount of political support they enjoy. However, few people seem to try and understand the incentives that bring people to our country. Many individuals correctly assume that these people come for economic reasons: to earn more money than they could in their own country, send some home to their own families, and enjoy a higher standard of living. All of these are respectable endeavors, despite the fact that they’re subverting immigration law in order to earn their wages. But why, then, is there a problem with illegal immigration? Is it really a bad thing for these individuals to participate in our economy and contribute their labor?
The problem stems from (surprise!) what the government has caused to happen in relation to illegal immigrants. The legislated mandate of providing social services (free school lunches, emergency room health care, housing subsidies, etc.) to illegal immigrants creates a comfortable security blanket these individuals do not enjoy in their home lands. Solutions include building a big fence, forcing employers to verify the citizenship status of their employees, and increasing the number of border patrol agents actively deterring those crossing the border. But we seem to overlook the fact that if these people did not enjoy “free” services (for which we must foot the bill), hardly anybody would have a problem with people coming into our country to find a job and make a better life for themselves. Immigration is the bedrock of this nation, but our ancestors did not have the opportunity to receive food at the expense of their neighbors. Government has created the problem, and now government claims to know how to fix it.
False Flag Wars
A false flag operation is one in which the government either knowingly acts to antagonize any enemy and create a situation that calls for escalated war, falsifies actual events in order to place blame on the enemy and thus whip up citizens into a war fever, or has knowledge of an attack that has been planned, and allows it to happen in order to have a good reason to enter a war. Numerous examples exist in this nation and others, all demonstrating the deceit used to create support for a war that otherwise would not occur. Failed diplomatic pursuits and arrogant political leadership are also a factor here, for just war is always a last resort. But in such situations, government instigates a circumstance that calls for military action, and thus is naturally the entity charged with handling the resulting actions.
Conclusion: Too Many Cures
An antidote (whether legitimate or otherwise) is of little profit to its owner if there is no disease to cure. The pursuit of wealth and power, and even the preservation of one’s employment in government, bring along with it the corresponding need to justify one’s actions by amplifying an existing disease or creating a new one out of thin air. Tyrants and snake oil salesmen alike depend on a gullible group of believers that will take their description of a disease at face value, and thus beg for the cure to be administered.
Observant individuals can detect a foul smell, even when it is wrapped in the political perfume worn by government officials. The myriad solutions being touted on all fronts by the government are actually small doses of poison that will further aggravate the underlying diseases it has already brought into existence. A proper diagnosis of our current problems requires first identifying the culprit and then rejecting it. Only then can the proper prescription be given, and the disease cured.