Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Finding Hope in a World of Perpetual War

Because I'm free
Nothing's worrying me.
“Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” by Hal David and Burt Bacharach

It takes time to steal a wise man’s freedom.  He can’t be talked out of it.  But he can be made to give it up for something higher.  What’s higher?  Why, his country, of course.  What is his country?  He doesn’t know exactly.  Whatever it means it can’t omit the government.  The government, he learns in government schools, is a vital part of the better things in life.  

It started long ago, well before even the oldest among us were alive.  Ruthless exploiters had taken over the economy.  What was needed was regulation, we were told.  Not market regulation - not the profit and loss kind, which only fed the cutthroats of the world - but government regulation, the kind that uses government ways.  Free markets, we were assured, meant scoundrels were free to chew up innocents.  With government regulations and the institutions they created we would have nirvana.  The bad boys would be put in their place.  The little guys would be the economy’s poster boys. 

But there was more to it than this.  The regulations would come within the framework of a new ideology.  The bad boys wouldn’t want to be bad anymore.  They would shed their shell of arrogant individualism for the enlightened beauty of selfless service.  They would repudiate their exploitative ways.  They would seek to cooperate.  With whom?  With the regulatory agencies.  The big tycoons and their friends in government would partner to serve the little people.

Partners in war

What better example of this new partnership than the combined efforts of government and business leaders in getting the country into the 20th century’s two world wars.  The little people were served by the honor of being conscripted into the military and sent overseas to kill as many of our enemies as possible - the enemies on the battlefields and on the seas, who were also conscripted and ordered to kill by their governments.  And when the enemy finally surrendered most of the little guys came home.  Many died, but Americans are told they perished for a value higher than themselves, their country, whatever that is exactly.   

As for the big tycoons, they joined with important officials and ran the war economy by fiat - cheap credit, higher taxes, pro-war cheerleading, and ruthless suppression of anti-war sentiment.  As fate would have it, some of the businesses made record high profits.  Freedom was outlawed to a great extent but only because of the wars.  Freedom cannot be tolerated during war, especially wars that could easily have been avoided.  But when the wars ended the little people got most of their freedom back.

As long as people have freedom, they can push back when pushed and know that the law will stand by them.  Except, as noted, during war.  They can start a business, pursue a career, move wherever they want, buy and sell, get married, raise a family, travel - all without getting permission from the government.  They can do anything except violate another person’s freedom.  With the exception being war.

And that’s precisely the problem.

Perpetual war for perpetual control

War in the 21st century has achieved a unique status.  War now is war without end.   Bringing the troops home from Iraq did not end the war on terror.  The war on terror is a war on a concept.  You cannot negotiate for peace with a concept.  If you believe terror is your enemy, your enemies could be anywhere - the North Pole, a soccer game in Africa, or Dr. Seuss Day at your local elementary school.  What is terror?  Whatever the U.S. government declares it to be.  Disagree and you could end up in a FEMA camp.  Or dead.  Who is to be the judge of whether one is committing an act of terror?  The commander-in-chief.  We are at war.  The commander-in-chief runs the show in wartime.

There are three possible ways the war on terror can be stopped.  Perhaps the most obvious - and too nuts to consider seriously - is for U.S. agents to kill so many people it would shake the pillars on which government rests.  Since government by nature is a parasite, destroying its host - humanity’s net producers - would kill the parasite and end the war.  There would be no one to produce and thus no one to tax, either directly or through monetary debauchery.  Another way is by decree - a president such as Ron Paul says, “Game over.”  An announcement such as that could be the equivalent of JFK announcing his intention to bring all U.S. troops home from Vietnam by the end of 1965 - with the same results.  I trust Dr. Paul is fully aware of the risks and would manage them accordingly.  Finally, the third way is through bankruptcy.  A government that can’t pay its bills cannot prosecute a war.

Led by the Federal Reserve, the western world’s central banks are bringing down their governments by doing what governments so desperately want: loaning them more money.  Money in this sense is the thin-air variety, the kind that confiscates wealth.  Paper money will keep the charade going until the currency becomes so worthless no one uses it, not even the governments’ enforcers.  With the currency destroyed the wars will stop, at least temporarily.  At that point it’s anyone’s guess as to what will happen.  The Keynesians could be in ascendance and force a new paper regime on us, or we could at last achieve monetary freedom and bring government under our control. 

Ron Paul’s election would amount to a second American Revolution.  Even with powerful forces opposing him he could, in time and with the aid of an uncompromising constituency, kill the Fed, kill the income tax, stop the wars, bring the troops home, and put government back in its cage.  If this sounds impossible consider that it was once normal - a benevolent, prosperous normal.  There would be pain but it would be the pain of a doctor administering a needed medicine to treat a deadly disease.  The goal would be the restoration of health, rather than the perpetuation of government destruction.   


Our greatest hope lies in the election of Ron Paul.  If the establishment somehow keeps him out of the White House, we would have to wait for government to default on its debts and fight for freedom under those conditions.

My latest book, The Jolly Roger Dollar: An Introduction to Monetary Piracy, is available in Kindle format on Amazon.

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