I’m sorry to tell you, Walter, that things are on the way back to the way they used to be. There have always been men (used in the generic sense, pace, feminists, this includes you!) who being unable or unwilling to improve themselves by their own efforts found ways to leverage power through violence to do so. Violence understood as brute force has gotten a bad name, and rightly so, Two points need to be made. First, there will always be men whose aim is wickedness and whose preferred method is brute force, such men can only be constrained through the just exercise or threat of counter violence. Secondly, there are forms of violence more subtle and pernicious than mere Compulsion through brutality. Three forms of this spring immediately to mind: Collusion; Manipulation and Seduction.
Government has always exercised, or threatened to exercise violence by brute force; as has been pointed out since the inception of the American Republic, that is part of its legitimate function. Government has since time immemorial favored specific individuals and groups over others by granting them favored status and thereby favorable access to resources in exchange for support either political or remunerative. Thus, collusion, which we have elevated to a high and legitimate art in our times, as witnessed by the common (but not common enough!) prosecution of officials at all levels of government, unions and business. Manipulation is also an ancient art of which governments are past masters. Information is withheld, bent, spindled and mutilated to persuade others to behave in preferred ways, whether those others are foreign governments or voting citizens.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt introduced government seduction on steroids and initiated the fall of the Republic long ago foretold by Alexis de Tocqueville. Roosevelt offered tax dollars to favored constituencies in exchange for votes. Since Roosevelt’s day the purpose of government, and increasingly its reason for existing, has been to seduce the voters by buying votes with their own tax dollars. It is no wonder government has become so large, it must grow in order to offer more and more services to more and more favored constituencies to obtain ever juicier payoffs. Ironically, this is not greed on government’s part, it is called compassion, a clear instance of manipulation. A side effect of this has been the explosion legislation and regulation which compulsorily funnels goods and services to the favored donors and preferred voting blocks that keep the gravy train rolling. By over enthusiastically indulging in these forms of power as violence American government at all levels has sown the seeds of its own destruction.
The American government was founded to “form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty …” and to secure, among others, the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Liberty is essential to the American way of life. It turns out that liberty, freedom, is the incubator of innovation and prosperity. Richard Fernandez of The Belmont Club has a nice discussion on this topic which is highly recommended. By their actions to maximize government our political leaders are constraining the freedom not only of action but of information necessary to keep the engine that pulls the gravy train running. Economically we are seeing the slowdown everywhere. But it also seen everywhere, though not recognized as such, in the fabric of society itself. In place of a more perfect union we have greater and more antagonistic diversity. In place of justice we have “justice” for the preferred disadvantaged while the meritorious are denied. In place of domestic tranquility we have gangs of [omitted] youths rampaging and savaging those of paler complexions. In place of the common defense we have betrayal of our national interest to our avowed enemies. In place of promoting the general welfare we have chronic unemployment and generational welfare queens. In place of the blessings of liberty we have the curse of political correctness and speech codes. In place of the right to life we have the right of women to choose (or have chosen for them) infanticide. In place of the pursuit if happiness we are beset by a relentless army of self-righteous do-gooders to deprive us of joy for our own good.
So long as government shirks the duties for which it was instituted to those by whose authority it exists and either actively enforces, promotes and abets policies inimical to freedom, including its own untrammeled enlargement, it works to loot, plunder and enslave the people. So long as it continues to aggrandize its power to micromanage the economy, enriching itself and it’s cronies at the expense of the producers it work its own destruction. So long as it acts like a parasite and not a symbiote it will kill the host from which it draws it life. Despite the best technology that government security organs can deploy the government will die; the security organs will just make the process uglier. Government has become the impoverishment disease, Gubernatoris pestis.