Sunday, February 27, 2005

A Brief History of Terror

The State requires two major groups to maintain power: the first are the thugs: the police, military, wardens and so on. The second, which can be more difficult to see, are the fear mongers. The fear mongers generate the terror that State power feeds on.

Fear mongers are paid by the State, or protected by the State. Fear mongers profit from the increase in State power, due to increased funding and protection.

Fear mongers create panic about two groups: external ‘others’ and internal ‘aliens’. External others are those outside the country who wish to destroy it; internal ‘aliens’ are minorities within the country who wish to profit at the expense of the majority. (Historically, internal ‘aliens’ can also be supernatural, imaginary entities, such as the ‘devil’, or ‘original sin’ – or even ‘bad thoughts’.) The term ‘aliens’ is used here because those so designated may have lived within the country for hundreds of years, but are still ‘different’.

In the Western past – or Eastern present – the fear mongers were priests. Brutal State power was required because sin was so prevalent, and human nature so degraded, that without endless coercion, pleasure and damnation would dominate.

The priests give moral sanction to the rulers – the ‘divine right of kings’ – and in return the rulers give protection and money to the priests. Both pillaged the pockets and psyches of the peasants.

The rise of rationalism in the 18th century – combined with brutal religious wars – broke the State and the priests in two. Without rampant religious fear mongering, State power collapsed throughout the Western world.

For almost a hundred years, State power struggled to grow, but failed, since the people were unafraid, and so did not need a false protector.

The State’s first triumph – in the mid-late 19th century – was the gaining of a coercive monopoly over education. Through State propaganda, children forgot their fear of the State – and were also inculcated with guilt, which is the first seed of State power.

The children were force-fed guilt about the poor. Because the State is an instrument for the violent transfer of wealth, it cannot understand wealth creation. Thus, when State employees look at the economy, and see rich and poor people, they can only imagine that the rich are wealthy because they have taken money from the poor. Asking a State representative to understand capitalism is like trying to teach win-win negotiating skills to a hit man.

Once the children believed that their parents’ money was stolen from others, they were susceptible in time to surrendering some of their own money to the State to ‘correct’ the injustice.

In order to sell itself as a ‘protector’, the State must turn children against their parents. By teaching children socialist lies, children innately understood that their parents’ wealth was stolen, and that their parents were bad people. If all concentrated wealth arises from exploitation, then my parents must have exploited others. Thus parents cannot be trusted. Only the State can be trusted.

This trust in the State is required to turn children into State thugs. State power requires the constant threat of coercion – and so it requires the police and military. State power demands the death of the young – and this is why the State is so fundamentally opposed to parents. Parents want their children to live; the State needs them to kill and die. This is why the State must constantly slander parents – so that the young will listen to the State and scorn their parents.

It is no accident that within 1-2 generations of the foundation of State education, 20 million young marched to their deaths in World War One. They learned socialism, mistrusted their parents, and swallowed wholesale the State babble about honour and courage and the noble slaughter of the innocent.

War feeds State power, and so the income tax was instituted and the State took control of money. Now the State had all the money it could dream of. Was it satisfied? Of course not! Those within the State probably were, but the more power and money the State accumulates, the more those outside the trough want in.

However, the State had a problem – no fear mongers. It could not bring back a State religion, and it could not start another war, since the horror of the last one was still fresh. Fortunately, through the general pillaging of the money supply, Western States provoked the Great Depression.

And that is when the socialist inculcation of State education truly paid off.

The State declared war on poverty – the poverty that the State itself had created – and because citizens were guilty, ignorant and helpless, they got behind the New Deal programs.

State inaction produced the Second World War, and in 1945, the Western States emerged with the greatest victory imaginable – they had vanquished one foe, and created another. The Axis powers were dead and buried, but the Soviet Union – and, all too soon, China – now rose as distant specters, perfect for the fear mongers.

Communism was constantly waved in front of citizens as the ultimate evil that required a constant expansion of State power. This was wildly ironic. Communism is the ultimate expansion of State power – thus expanding State power to fight communism is like shooting someone for fear of cancer.

The citizens rallied around the State, terrified of the specter of communism and nuclear war. The Second World War had been fought against State power, and although the Western governments had won, Western citizens lost completely. Throughout the Fifties and Sixties, taxation, regulation and other State power grew radically.

Then, a great difficulty arose. After the Second World War, many soldiers took advantage of State largesse to get educated – which was the greatest expansion of socialist thinking in Western history. Naturally, these men taught their children what they had learned. When their children reached adulthood in the Sixties, they were utterly unable to understand their own society. The traditional capitalist respect for thrift, hard work, responsibility, entrepreneurship and honestly-earned wealth, had been utterly lost.

These children – the hippies – were anti-war, so they could not be cowed into open violence. They were anti-State, because they were pure socialists, and the current State was considered a tool of the capitalists. State power stood to gain, but the current holders of State power stood to lose.

So – the State could not create enemies out of other religions, since the hippies were largely secular, or Eastern mystics. They could not demonize communism, since the hippies were socialist. They could not start a war successfully, since the hippies were ‘one world’ pacifists. It was hard to demonize capitalism, since Western countries were far richer than poorer countries.

Here is where the true genius of the State revealed itself – as it had done before, notably in the ‘back to the land’ wandervogel hippies of Nazi Germany.

The industrialists were the new enemy – the internal ‘aliens’ profiting at the expense of the majority, just as the Jews had been before them. Pollution was the new threat to survival.

This meshed perfectly with the unambitious, nature-loving hippie movement. It also turned the children even further against their parents.

The State began funding any and all environmental studies. It created Environmental Protection Agencies and began teaching children about the evils of industrialization.

Through the professional fear mongers, one wave of terror followed another. No more oil! No more food! Black skies! Acid rain! Dead seas! A new ice age! Global warming! Garbage overflows! Nuclear winter! Birth defects! Cancer!

The deadly drumbeats of terror continued without respite. Scared of capitalism, industrialization, wealth and freedom, citizens surrendered more and more power to the ‘protection’ of the State.

However, as environmental problems began to be solved – largely through the initiatives of industry – and human lifespan continued to increase, the environmental movement faced a problem. Mankind was obviously not running out of raw materials. People were obviously getting healthier. Industrialists were obviously committed to cleaning up production.

Understanding the central purpose of any movement is simple: simply identify the one principle that does not change. Surely, after forty years of failed predictions, the environmental movement should be humbled. The latest debacle of falsified ‘global warming’ statistics should give the movement pause.

However, the central purpose of the environmental movement is not to protect mankind from pollution, but to serve State power by inculcating terror in the general population. Thus a string of failed and unexamined predictions are to be expected – the predictions were never designed to be true, but to serve the needs of State power. In that capacity, they have succeeded admirably.

Two examples should suffice to show the hypocrisy of the environmental movement. Environmentalists accuse industrialists of being motivated by greed, in that they would rather make a few percent more profit than clean up production.

The principle behind the accusation is rather simple to extract: people choose profit over goodness. We can also assume that when more profit is available, less good behaviour is chosen – which is why environmentalists target multi-national corporations.

So – the environmentalists attack corporations for choosing a few percentage points of profit over ethical behaviour. However – the vast majority of environmentalists receive one hundred percent of their income by predicting environmental disasters.

If more profit produces worse behaviour, then without a doubt the environmentalists stand more condemned than the industrialists.

If more profit does not produce worse behaviour, then environmentalists are just engaged in a witch-hunt of industrialists, since there is no reason to single them out.

Also, any hint of pollution from a private-sector company draws endless attacks from environmentalists – but what of environmental disasters which arise from government programs, such as the rape of the rainforest, the decimation of Canadian cod stocks or the over-use of energy which results from State subsidies? Barely a word is spoken. The fact that State-owned properties are far more polluted than private properties is never commented on.

Thus it is clear that the majority of environmentalists are mere fear mongers, ancient tools of State power, well-paid to create the panic which causes populations to stampede into the false cages of State ‘protection’. In the environment of logical thought, environmentalists are one of the most dangerous pollutants.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

A Soldier's Freedom

Danny is born to a poor family. A poor mother, to be exact. His father has vanished, secure in the knowledge that his children will be taken care of by State welfare payments. His mother, faced with a life of low-paying jobs, prefers getting pregnant for a living.

Danny goes to a government school, where he is told that he would starve to death if not for government generosity. He is also told that, without the power of the State, the air would be unbreathable, companies would maim or kill him with unsafe work environments, and he would never have learned how to read. He would be a slave of the capitalists.

Over and over, Danny is taught that his government is his country, and that serving the State is the greatest thing he can do. He is never told that his country was founded out of fear of governments, or that the express intent of its founders was to limit the power of the State. Instead, the State is constantly portrayed as a benevolent, rich uncle, who selflessly cares for everyone and works tirelessly to keep them safe.

Danny only hears good things about the government – and in particular, three types of government workers. The first, of course, are the teachers. The second are the police, and the third are the military.

Government teachers are selfless and underpaid servants of the common good. They could do so much better elsewhere, but they sacrifice their material well-being to teach the poor and ignorant. Without them, poverty and illiteracy would reign, and democracy would collapse.

The police are tireless defenders of the helpless. They are the resolute men and women who stand firm against the growing chaos and violence of a decaying society. If they have to break the rules, it’s always with good reason. The front-line policemen are always right; the civilians who try to limit their power always petty, obstructionist bureaucrats. Policemen are harsh and cynical at times, but they are basically good, strong, decent people who are the foundations of a civil society. Without them, warring gangs would pillage civilians back into the Stone Age.

Soldiers, however, are the highest of the high. They selflessly defend the homeland against all threats, foreign and domestic. They are a brotherhood of loyal and honourable men. They have a higher calling. They are unimaginably brave, unimaginably dedicated, unimaginably noble. They represent the best that the country has to offer. Every November 11, the school pauses to honour their sacrifice. The names of the dead are carved in stone in the school’s front hallway.

As Danny prepares to leave High School, he begins to examine his options. There aren’t any decent jobs around, because most of the manufacturing companies have fled, for reasons that have never been explained to Danny (except as the bitter consequences of something called ‘free trade’). Danny doesn’t understand the world he lives in; he can’t reason, and has no knowledge of law, economics, politics or business. He can’t read or write very well, and his math skills are pretty terrible. After twelve years of State education, what skills does he have to offer a potential employer? He can’t negotiate, can’t think logically, doesn’t understand capitalism, knows nothing about sales, balance sheets or business plans.

But that isn’t the worst part. The worst part is that Danny has no idea how ignorant he is. He passed his subjects in school. He regurgitated what he was told. He’s never had to think for himself. He just doesn’t know how much he doesn’t know. So he goes to job interviews having no idea how little he has to offer. Potential employers look at him and know that he is going to be very hard to train, since they’d first have to teach him about his own sad ignorance.

So Danny can’t find a decent job. He gets some offers for dead-end, low-wage jobs, but as a High School graduate, he feels above them. He wants something with a future. He is special. He wants a calling.

Sitting at home watching TV with his mother on New Year’s Eve, 2000, Danny feels a sudden surge of panic. He just can’t seem to get his life started!

A few days later, when Danny is at the mall he is approached by Ben, an Army recruiter. Ben praises Danny to the skies, and lies about how easy it is to get out of the Army once he’s in. Danny can go to school, get well-paid, see the world, learn valuable skills. Besides, what war could America possibly get into? Another Vietnam? Of course not! The Soviet Empire is gone. Maybe a bit of peacekeeping – but even that’s unlikely. Danny is dazed and excited. After months of chasing uninterested employers, Danny is finally being aggressively courted!
Danny thinks it over. The risk is low – thirty years without a war! He could get educated. Learn a trade. He’d have some structure. The thought of killing or being killed never really enters his mind. Who would mess with the last superpower?

Sadly, Danny has never been told that his government has been involved in dozens of dirty wars over the past thirty years. He has no idea how many soldiers have been killed in these black ops. He doesn’t realize that none of these wars were ever declared, or publicized. Or that, many times, his government was getting soldiers killed in order to clean up some mess that the government had made in the first place.

In other words, he knew nothing about his own history, so he had no way to evaluate the risk.

Danny also knew nothing about the fact that his government had hundreds of military bases in trouble spots all over the world. He had never been told about his government’s installation and support of dozens of dictatorships – and the hatred that millions of people the world over had for his government and its foreign policy and its constant use of force. He was told that his government only used the military when it had to, and only against bad people.

Danny knew nothing about the truth. None of the government teachers had ever taught him the facts about his own government. They had kept him in the dark, and ejected him into the marketplace with no skills, no reasoning abilities – into a world with no jobs, no opportunities, and no future.

And the whole world – the media, his school, all the movies he’d ever seen – told him that there was no better thing than being a soldier.

So Danny joins up. He hates basic training, but sticks with it. Just as he is about to be deployed to Germany, he is told that Iraq is about to attack his country with weapons of mass destruction, and he will be going there instead. Bad luck, his thinks. He doesn’t really want to go. He brings up his concerns with his superior, who laughs and tells him he’ll spend the rest of his life in military prison if he doesn’t go.

So Danny goes to Iraq. No weapons of mass destruction are found – or any evidence of a threat to his country.

Then, one morning, Danny gets his head blown off.

Back home, people shrug and say: “Well, he joined voluntarily, didn’t he?”


· Through government schools, Danny was stuffed full of lies and evasions about the true nature and history of his own government.
· Those same government schools killed Danny’s potential by refusing to teach him skills that would be useful in the marketplace.
· Instead, by instilling blind patriotism, conformity and a worship of the military, his teachers really only prepared him for one occupation: soldier.
· Government regulation and high taxation drove away the companies that might have given Danny a decent job.
· The decay of the family brought about by government welfare programs robbed Danny of a father, which makes young men more susceptible to ‘groupthink’ and joining gangs like the army.
· Because he was ignorant of his government’s violent history – and current habit of provoking fanatics around the world – Danny was unable to assess the real risks of joining the military.
· Danny was told that it was easy to leave the military if he didn’t like it.
· Danny was lied to about the reasons for war.
· Citizens are forced by the government to pay for Danny's salary and expenses.

In Hitler’s Germany, millions of young men also voluntarily joined the army. They were lied to about the danger of foreign invasion, about the nature and intentions of the German government, and Hitler’s goals. Once they found out the truth about the military, they were shot or imprisoned if they tried to escape. Does that sound familiar?

One last example – a clarifying metaphor. Your whole life, you are told that Hawaii is a paradise, full of noble and heroic people. It is a beautiful land of little danger, and endless opportunity. If you don’t like it, you can leave Hawaii at any time. Tickets are free – in fact, people are pressing thousands of dollars into your hands to go and try out life in Hawaii. Oh – and you have no other opportunities.

So one fine morning, you go and take the plane to Hawaii. When you get out of the plane, however, you find that you’ve been flown to Siberia, and what’s been called ‘Hawaii’ is in fact a concentration camp. You will now be enslaved for ten years. If you try to escape, you’ll be shot.

Were you free to choose? Were you free at all?

If you were, then what about Hitler’s Holocaust victims? They were never told that they were destined for the genocidal ovens – they were told that the next stop on their journey would be peace, liberty and respect. Did the Jews then enter the ovens of their own free will?

If you now understand the reality of freedom, then spare a thought for the poor slaves in Iraq, who were led by lies to a land where they must murder or be murdered – either by the insurgents they battle or the men who have enslaved them.

And for pity’s sake, don’t say that they joined through free choice.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Future Danger, Present Change

Challenging the State is an extremely dangerous business – not just for individuals, but for society as a whole. There is great danger in losing such a confrontation – but great danger in winning as well. Toppling those who rule the State does not destroy the power of the State, no more than removing a Godfather destroys the power of organized crime. In fact, the power vacuum created provides greater incentive for a new ruling elite to claw their way to the top.
It is very important to understand this fact, since the reason that people do not want to challenge the State is that they are very afraid of such a confrontation – and with good reason. When arguing with people, it is important that we respect that very real fear.

These days, no one really believes that the State helps the poor, heals the sick, educates the ignorant or protects the innocent – simply because the evidence against such foolish ideas has been mounting for the past century or so. Every intelligent person is fully aware of national debts, high-level corruption, interest groups and the constant expansion of State power.
Thus, when people defend the State, they may claim that they are doing so because they want to help the poor, heal the sick and so on, but that is not the real reason for their arguments. People argue for the State for two reasons:
1. They benefit from State power, or;
2. They fear that things will get worse if the State is challenged.

Thus those who defend the State take basically the same position as abused women. Such women either stay with their abuser because he pays the bills, or because they fear greater injury if they try to leave. To rationalize their position, of course, they will sing the praises of their husband, but don’t be fooled by that perspective. A woman does not stay with an abusive man for love of his virtues, but rather for fear of his vices. Coaxing her to leave him by arguing that he is not really very virtuous will not work, since in her heart she knows that already. Arguing that he is evil will also not work, since she has learned to live with that evil already.

No, the only way to get a woman to leave an abusive husband is to help her understand that she is doomed to a life of escalating misery, degradation and physical injury. That things will only get worse if she does not act. If she cares nothing for her own life and happiness, then the argument must be expanded to include her children. By staying with her abuser, she is exposing her helpless children to escalating brutality, and quite likely inflicting a lifetime of continued abuse and self-hatred upon them.

In other words, if people do not understand that the State will always grow in power until it destroys society, they will have no real incentive to question or oppose the State. If this understanding is not reached, then all other arguments are rather futile. Smokers quite smoking despite the hellish discomfort because they understand that cigarettes have a good chance of killing them.

This raises a challenging question about how to change people’s minds about the inevitable destruction of ever-expanding State power. Libertarians have a habit of complaining about the State – and then feeling guilty about their negativity and trumpeting the virtues of liberty. This is like saying: ‘cigarettes are bad’ (not ‘cigarettes will kill you’) – and then saying ‘your life would be better without cigarettes’. Of course, it’s true that people would be better off without the State, but unless they understand that the State will destroy them, they won’t act against it.

How does this work in practice?

Try asking the following questions:
· Can you think of a single society in history that has not been destroyed by its own government, either through wars, revolution or collapse?
· Can you think of a State that voluntarily reduced itself in size? (The Soviet Union doesn’t count, since it went bankrupt.)
· Do you think that State power is growing, shrinking or staying about the same?
· What do you think is the logical end of the expansion of State power?
· How do you think that the national debt is going to be paid off?
· How much longer do you think we have before our freedoms are essentially gone?
· Do you think that there are more poor people, fewer poor people, or about the same number as when the War on Poverty began? (repeat for drugs, illiteracy etc.)
· Given that State programs produce more of what they are supposed to combat, what do you think the logical end is of those programs?
· How would an 80% tax affect your ambition?
· What kind of world do you think your children will grow up in? Will they have more freedom, less freedom or about the same amount of freedom as today?
· Do you think that your children should have at least the amount of freedom that you have today?

I find this approach very productive. Once you get people away from the immediate issues, and quiet the ‘disaster static’ that roars up whenever people think about cutting State programs, the trends generally become quite clear. There is no logical end to the expansion of State power except dictatorship, slaughter, poverty and collapse – an endless paradise for sadists and sociopaths; a living hell for any decent human being.

Once people begin to see what lies ahead, they can begin to change their behaviour in the present. Skin cancer prompts sunscreen; heart disease prompts exercise; lung cancer prompts butting out. Future danger spurs current change. If the future danger is unseen, stagnation and decay are inevitable, since no spur to action exists. It is this danger that we must make people aware of. If we do not see the oncoming train, we shall leave nothing behind but wet tracks.