We have to have a government, we all know that. It is the degree/amount of government that we are fighting over. Some believe that government should be limited with less taxation and regulation and others believe that there is a significant amount of government necessary to regulate the free market that requires a significant level of taxation to pay for the regulatory oversight. The “misunderstanding” or lack of agreement is about how to best determine the proper mixture of free enterprise and government to perfect the ills of society and prosper at the same time.
Sadly, however, the facts do not bear out a social compromise. Government(s) around the world, in just the twentieth century, according to Professor R.J. Rummel – Professor Emeritus, Political Science, University of Hawaii, 1996 – Present http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/welcome.html the governments of the world have killed around 170,000,000 people and these people were killed by people within their own government(s). Another 139,000,000 soldiers, who are referred to as “enemy combatants” were also killed in the various wars in the 20th century. A lot of people died over this simple “MISUNDERSTANDING”?
Or how about the fact, that not one country of the world has ever existed for a prolonged period of time, without being overthrown by its own military. The very organization that is created to protect the Civilian society eventually overthrows their government. The America Civil War is our example and we are a relatively young nation. That war was just as much about individual and state sovereignty (Articles IX & X) which are amusing, philosophically a part of the issues of slavery and taxation. Both sides obviously had contradictions in their rationale. The north wanted greater taxes/tariffs but supported the abolition of slavery. The South supported slavery but did not want increased taxation or tariffs and therefore wanted to succeed from the union. The Northern States used the force of arms to stop them. There has been a long-standing argument as to who fired first, but the North was surely the protagonist. Lincoln went as far as to arrest the Southern politicians and brought them back to Congress. Because of this, as an example, Florida has an older Constitution of 1837 as do some other States that have been replaced by a newer version created by the victors and they generally do not have the same Constitutional protections the earlier one did. We are not quite the same Democratic Republic as we had started out to be because of that war and the spoils and power surely went to the winners of the north. Thankfully, at least the abolition of slavery had begun, but so did the increased federal powers of taxation regulation and the use of military force against our own people. I believe that the abolition of slavery would have occurred in a reasonable time anyway without the Civil War, as it was playing out in the courts most often times favoring their freedom. The Fugitive Slave Act was actually repealed by Jury nullification.
Because of the use of force of arms, many died maintaining the geographic boundaries of our nation instead of civil means of debate, negotiations and compromise or just agreeing not to agree and going their own ways. The point is that there are always some who are willing to risk the lives of others to achieve greater powers. The northern industrialist and bankers gained tremendous amounts of wealth and power during the Civil War and many Citizens lost their lives for basically that reason. If the U.S. was two countries instead of one, would it have really made that much difference? As we now know, Abe Lincoln wanted to free the slaves, but he wanted to send them all back to Liberia through forced exile. What? He ended up, in reality, being a tax and spend liberal who thought that African Americans and Caucasians shouldn’t mix in society at all. Honest Abe was not quite the great character we were taught in grade school. Remember that history is also most often times written by the victor and the northern victors surely wanted their slain leader immortalized as the righteous hero that saved America.
We all want to believe that government is really protecting us but we must consider that historically there are individuals within the government that are willing to go to the extent of murdering/killing their fellow countrymen/women to maintain their livelihood, jobs or power? We all like to think that “our” public servants will not turn against their own Citizens, but that has not been shown to be true throughout the ages. As an example here in the U.S., relatively large massacres in both Ohio and New York of anti-war protestors by police and military personnel occurred prior to the Civil War. In the ’60s there were the killings at Kent State, now known to have been a protagonist action by members of the FBI but blamed on the National Guard.
History has shown us that some individuals in government are obviously willing to justify whatever means are necessary to satisfy an end, even killing their own Citizens as collateral damage. Governments even go to the extent of fabricating reasons to justify their actions. The acronym WMDs is now infamous because of the failure to find any Weapons of Mass Destruction during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the primary reason given to start the wars, in reality, for profits and other spoils of war.
Now here is the interesting part. Only the institution of government seems to abuse their power to the levels of what we call “mass” atrocities or tyranny; a blatant and aggressive usurpation of the rules of law for the primary goal of maintaining their existence. Some will say religious institutions also have carried out such atrocities but consider that only when they are granted political authority, does this happen. The Roman Catholics and Church of England prior to the separation of church and state throughout the world are good examples but there are many throughout history by all the major religions but only when legally linked with government. Think of this, human beings (people within the church and state in combination) actually accused “rebellious” people of being witches and warlocks during the 1600 and 1700s based on some justification to achieve some end and lit them on fire and burned them to death; supposed Christians trying to rid the world of non-believers and/or heretics. The Nazi’s tried the rid the world of Jews, Gypsies and various other so-called undesirables and even drafted many Jews to assist them. How can such atrocities happen; apparently, only by the government(s).
So what makes this particular institution (government) so potentially evil, way beyond the scope of any other institution that mankind has ever created or utilized in their endeavors to make this a so-called better world? It’s really pretty simple. It (those controlling the laws) has the ability to legalize protagonist force and more importantly enforce it with an almost never-ending stream of money and “expendable” personnel. The government can, for instance, mandate that because you are a Citizen within our boundaries, and are unwilling to pay a “specific” tax, that they can put you in prison and confiscate your property. Of course, people in government have an answer for this. If you don’t like the law, change it. What they fail to teach and tell the majority through education and media, is that democracies have always failed, as have Democratic Republics for very specific reasons. Go to https://rsjexperiment.wordpress.com/tag/democratic-illusion/ or just google democracy an illusion and you will get a plethora of versions and mostly valid opinions. Add in the Myth of the Rule of Law https://rsjexperiment.wordpress.com/2011/12/29/the-myth-of-the-rule-of-law/ and you will come to understand that there are specific reasons why government institutions who utilized some form of democracy have always failed us over the long term. So it doesn’t really matter what type of government you have, they all fail to do what is in the best interest of the majority over the long-term and people do not want to believe this despite the evidence. All politically governed societies go through a historic boom and bust curve, starting when government is minimal and free enterprise is at its fullest, generally a time of peace and prosperity for the majority, and when economic collapse, civil unrest and/or war create mass chaos and those times in between generally occurring over a 200 to 300 year period. The period of time in which you live during the cycle and what position you have in society generally determines you’re like or dislike of your government.
The one thing that can be stated unequivocally is that we will always, as long as government exist as it is institutionalized today, have an economic and political power struggle between those who benefit from greater involvement with government and those that do not and history has shown that it is generally the super wealthy who benefit the most.
A friend of mine, Robert Podolski states that Government is a Power Brokerage Cartel, with its members historically willing to violently defend both their positions and the geographic area they lord over. Those in the government, deal first of all in “JOBS”, from low-level janitors and secretaries to Ambassadorships and there is often a cost (political patronage) to get especially the higher level jobs. 770,000 Federal employees make more money than the Governors of the respective states in which they reside. Then there are the $trillions of “GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS” that seem to go to the same individuals, universities or companies time after time. Some companies just specialize in being the bidders on contracts and have won thousands of them at any one given time. Past and present government employees and politicians are employed by these type companies on a revolving door basis. They specialize in many of the consultancy contracts that politicians constantly call for to evaluate a project. The third item brokered by the government cartel is “ACCESS”. It comes in several forms. The one that has done more to harm our country, is what is called red tape. What an individual or business has to go through and pay to get approval(s) to do just about anything. Many companies have and are making the decision to go offshore to foreign jurisdictions rather than expend the tremendous amounts of money and time getting approvals from the assortment of alphabet agencies at the various levels of government. Special Interest groups and their PACs and Super PACs are designed specifically to fund and gain access to politicians and the various agencies and approval processes. This system has surely placed a tremendous burden on individuals and businesses and why many are calling for less regulation that has influenced the closing of over 41,000 factories in the last decade. “FOREIGN AID” is another influential power source for the government as they try to gain loyalty from other power brokerage cartels around the world. Not only are we corrupting our system, but we are also corrupting and encouraging other governments to do the same things.
The government has become similar to a for-profit agency designed to grant approvals and loyalty in exchange for money and those that have the most money and political influence get the approvals. A power brokerage cartel turns out to be a very fitting name.
A great example of how a power brokerage cartel operates is, according to the Washington Times, Vice President Joe Biden is charging the Secret Service rent for agents to apparently stay and protect him on his own property. Records show the U.S. Secret Service has approved several purchase orders to pay Biden thousands of dollars for agents to stay at a cottage on his lakefront property in Delaware. This is just one of the many ways in which the most powerful within the bureaucratic cartel are stealing and extorting money from the taxpayers.
The power brokerage cartel in America has become so powerful, that there are now enough repressive rules in place to make it virtually impossible for most Citizens to achieve redress or fight back against the cartel. At last count over 6,800 Occupy Wall Street protestors have been arrested, virtually eliminating their individual rights to association and protest. Another ‘right’ bites the dust.
The question is can the government create a system of true fairness, prosperity, and peace. It hasn’t so far and here is why “in my opinion”. Simply, political power has been shown historically to corrupt those that gain that power and here is why it is different than any other institution. Government is essentially the use of “force” to maintain/control over the Citizens of a society, enforced through police and military power from judicial determinations. Because it is all controlled by the government, it makes it potentially the most powerful but potentially tyrannical institution. Kings would cut off people’s heads or burn them at the stake to maintain their power and control. Hence it is not difficult to understand the various atrocities committed over the millenniums by individuals in positions of power within the various types of government. The Citizens naturally fight back against this corruptive and tyrannical forces but he who controls the police and military power generally wins. Since Democracies and Democratic Republics have fatal flaws, there does not appear to be any other form of government that can exist under the institutionalized and legalized force of police power.
I don’t think that all individuals within the government are necessarily bad people. They are just trying to work the system to their benefit just as all people are trying to do. It is just that by being a participant in the institution of government and being perhaps unwary of the huge negative ramifications, their ignorance and naivety puts them in the position of being complicit to the potential destruction of the society in which they are reportedly governing and protecting. It is not necessarily what any one individual is doing; it is what they are doing collectively. Making it more difficult is the negative ramifications may not become really obvious until government reaches a specific size compared to the society they are governing. Interestingly, it appears that no matter what Citizens have tried over the millenniums, they have yet to be able to curtain the constantly encroaching power of the protagonist force of government. Much like a snowball going down a hill, mankind has not been able to suppress the increases in protagonist force despite valiant efforts from some pretty great people throughout history. Eventually, governments collapse under their own weight, but the pain and agony during the process imposed on many people are what socio-economists call tyranny and/or oppression.
In this writing, I have only presented a small piece of the sociological issues with touches of psychology as to government inability to achieve peace and prosperity over prolonged periods of time. An economic analysis also adds tremendous insight as to why institutionalized/legalized force has been such a protagonist component to the evils of our world.
Just think, mankind has yet to be able to curtail the brutality that all governments eventually inflict on their own societies and others, and yet probably 97 of every 100 people still are under the illusion that government is both a necessary element to a peaceful and prosperous society and that their generation (youthful naivety) is going to be the ones that finally put the necessary rules in order to curtail government tyranny. Just watching political participants in action, except for just a few, is like listening to a room full of children fighting over toys; of course but instead, it is money and power that is the means to an end, making it potentially a very deadly game.
Believing that the government, the ultimate Power Brokerage Cartel with an economic foundation created by protagonistic force, coercion and/or extortion can create an ethical society is an illusion. As George Washington stated, “Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force, like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” Our founders tried to create the last potentially possible form of working government and it has surely failed to meet or maintain the basic tenants that they believed were necessary for a civil society. Minimal government powers and the protection of individual/inalienable rights was the foundation for the Democratic Republic of the United States and we have failed at both, as they are inadvertently antithetic to one another.
No other institution grants itself “the use of legalized protagonist force” and therefore no other institution of mankind invented or envisioned has yet to overcome, harness or restrain this powerful force. This is surely one of the valid reasons why people within government could commit such horrific atrocities throughout the ages. Because they must do it, as a means of preservation of their own self-interests in maintaining the status quo. Being often times able to get away with it, increases the potential as individuals within government also end up protecting many within its ranks, making them realistically Accomplices to Tyranny.
It does appear that only by eliminating this legalization of protagonistic force will mankind ever reach its true potential. Just think, the anarcho-capitalists led by libertarian principles and Austrian Economic Model have been right all along. Too bad the world didn’t listen to them.
We must acknowledge what we are really fighting over or which laws do we think should apply to our society. Since the government can’t seem to create and administrate them in a “cordial” manner there is only one other possible means. To allow groups and individuals to mitigate their differences by agreements open to all those that want to participate in the judicial process. We’ve tried elected and appointing the courts by various sorts of political methods and it (the Courts) have become a Den of Inequities. Perhaps it has always been this was to some degree, because it was run by the government. Just think, we have a system were the final rule of law is determined by just nine (9) Supreme Court Justices who are appointed by two highly manipulated political parties that are run as a power brokerage cartels and we wonder why we have been in recession, depression or warfare one out of every two years over the last century. We wonder why the differential between the poor and wealthy has grown drastically, why we have an 18% E-6 unemployment rate and why we have more people in prison per capita than any other nation on the planet. Why we’re 25 in education and 43 in healthcare, etc. We’re run by perhaps the largest and most powerful power brokerage cartel on the planet and we are really comparing ourselves against other power brokerage cartels which all have the same fatal flaws as ours.
It is truly about the rule of law and those who control the laws and therefore the money have the greatest power. The laws and courts need to be run by the people, not politicians and their appointed judges who have slowly usurped the rights and power from the Citizens. Mitigating our differences must be accomplished at the local level by those concerned enough to participate and not by politically elected or appointed cronies whose primary goal is to broker power and money.
We have the technology to do it. If we can talk to people on cell phones halfway around the planet, we surely can create a justice system that actually works at administering real justice.
The computer allows us to rapidly and correctly make mass determinations if we make an asserted effort to eliminate any potential manipulation. Just institute a hard copy vote as verification and you will see computer systems all of a sudden count the digital votes correctly but the computers must be controlled at the local level. Just think of a Supreme Court decision being made by 2,500 to 3,000 individuals all participating together from local levels, evaluated and supported by their fellow Citizens working together to mitigate our differences instead of just 9 people making the decisions for a country of 325 million people. Just think of a system where We The People can easily fire and replace local Justices for making poor decisions that don’t represent us. Sweden does it in a political context and it has been working relatively better than most countries for decades but once again, they utilize force in their system so the negative ramifications are tremendous. It is interesting that once the Citizens find out they can vote themselves benefits from the treasury they make the socio-economic mistake of doing so. Some call it a direct democracy but it is more a system where people can voluntarily participate and they use a democratic decision (majority rule) to make the determination. Two keys to any potential success are voluntary participation and maximizing the number of qualified participants in the decision making process. Today because of technology, we can accomplish both.