Welfare, Warfare, & Police: Dispelling the Mythology – Part 4
This essay was written by guest-author Will Porter.
Continued from Part 3
As we’ve seen, all of this public demand for government counter-measures can only compound the problems that already exist, leading to even more public commands for additional government intervention. The great economist Ludwig von Mises almost a century ago pointed out the exponential growth of government-created problems. Their attempted solutions complicate matters even further, and until this process is put to a halt, there is no end to the disasters which may be brought forth.
The Fed’s destruction doesn’t end with fractional-reserve banking and fiat money-printing, though. America’s central bank often intervenes to artificially set interest rates. When interest is pushed below the natural market rate, this spurs on mal-investment, primarily in the higher stages of production, like capital goods and the mining raw materials. Interest rates play a vital role in coordinating investments across time in any modern industrial economy.
The normal market function of the interest rate is to signal to entrepreneurs and investors that consumers are generally saving their money, instead of spending it. When people save, they refrain from consuming resources and this frees them up for longer-term investment projects. The relatively greater amount of money saved also allows for banks to make cheaper loans, because their pool of loanable-funds is more abundant. Putting this all together, the interest rate allows an investor to gauge consumption in society and determine whether or not a long-term project would be fruitful. When rates are low, this means credit is cheaper, and thus makes such long term projects more attractive.
However, when the Fed arbitrarily sets the interest rate, usually very low, the signal is sent out to investors to begin their time-consuming projects. Yet, at the same time, the populace is not actually saving their money, nor are they using up fewer resources. Somewhere along the line, a “cluster of errors” is revealed and many entrepreneurs realize their projects are simply unsustainable, and this can send the economy into a downturn, not to mention causes immense waste of time and resources.
This process is known as a “business cycle”,[i] and every major cycle in U.S. history has been brought on by the various actions of a central bank. Economic depressions are the result of government intervention, expansionary credit, money printing, and tampering with interest rates, thus harming the whole of society and further oppressing the already downtrodden lower and middle classes.
As already alluded to, the Federal Reserve System also gives government the impetus to wage offensive wars against vastly out-gunned foreign nations.[ii] This brings us to our third, and final, government myth: the myth of the Warfare-State.
It is oft-alleged that without a massive military-industrial-complex, hundreds of overseas bases, and colossal “defense” budgets, the United States would be at the mercy of foreign invaders and terrorists. This claim might seem valid if one has no historical context of the aggressive posturing of the United States government and armed forces.
It is said that people across the world “hate our freedoms” and culture, and so seek to destroy us. We are said to be in constant danger from extremist zealots who would gladly die for the cause of harming America in any way possible.
The modern-day bogeyman is found in various Middle Eastern nations like Syria, Iraq, and Iran. As the Cold War specter of Communism has proven to be incapable of offering a real threat since the collapse of the U.S.S.R. in the 1990s, new dangers must be presented to the American populace in order to spur on the perpetual fear which is so often the health of the state.
When people refer to the peril faced by America all around the globe, they almost never take into consideration the fact that the United States may have created these threats. This phenomenon is known as “blowback”,[iii] and it occurs when a belligerent nation provokes unexpected retaliations from their victim. The dangers presented to America by foreign aggressors are almost exclusively the result of blowback. The countless military occupations and interventions of the U.S. government over the last century have fomented a radical hatred of America and Americans.
For example, has anyone considered the possibility that some Iranians might hate the U.S. because once upon a time in the 1950s a CIA-backed coup overthrew the democratically-elected Iranian Prime Minister, Mohammad Mosaddegh, and propped up the brutal[iv] military dictatorship of the Shah?[v] Mosaddegh sought to nationalize Iran’s oil industry, and the U.S.-backed coup reversed this process to allow Western corporations continued participation in the Iranian oil trade. Not that the nationalization of an industry is usually a good thing, but the point is that rebellion against U.S. interests is not tolerated, regardless of what country it is, and there is no hesitation in disrupting, bombing, or somehow subverting a non-compliant country. This coup-de-tat eventually led to the fermenting of radical-Islamic factions in Iran, which culminated in the bloody Iranian Revolution of 1979.[vi]
Further down the line, Iran and Iraq go to war, and the United States backs Saddam Hussein[vii] with money, supplies, and bio-chemical weapons (including nerve gas, Anthrax, and the Bubonic Plague),[viii] which may or may not have been used in the mass killing of Iraqi-Kurds by Hussein during this war.
In addition, U.S. economic sanctions in the post-Gulf War period contributed to the death of over 500,000 Iraqi children, about which U.S. diplomat Madeline Albright said on television “it was worth it”.[ix] On top of this, “strategic” bombing of Iraqi sewage systems in the most recent Iraq war have contributed to new Cholera epidemics[x], as well as the general filth and unsanitary conditions which result in even more death and suffering of an already-oppressed people.
An entire series of books could be devoted to the list of moral outrages supported or directly undertaken by the United States military apparatus, as well as other Western nations, but these few anecdotes should begin to prove the point. Hatred for the United States, especially from the Middle East, is perfectly reasonable and justified! In case after case, Western military powers have continually bombed, invaded, and oppressed the populations of various Middle Eastern nations.[xi]
In the post-9/11 period, this hasn’t changed, and in fact has drastically escalated. With new undeclared wars and interventions ranging from Iraq and Afghanistan, to Yemen, Libya, and Syria (to give a very small sample), it seems the United States empire is nowhere near finished in its military aggression abroad.
The 9/11 attacks themselves (not to address here the mountains of inconsistencies within the official 9/11 story)[xii] were a perfect example of blowback. Not only did the United States provoke such an attack, but our government covered up and lied about it at almost every conceivable turn. The majority of the population knows essentially nothing about what really occurred on September 11th, or the real reasons why any terrorists would ever want to attack us in the first place.
For every government we overthrow, for every country we bomb, for every man, woman, and child murdered at the hands of U.S. soldiers, hordes of new “terrorists” are created and incited to radical hatred of the West. They don’t need religion or ideology to inform their malice, all they have to do is live in their own country for a day, a month, a year, a decade under U.S. occupation. I’m not sure what more they could ever need.
Can anyone imagine how the U.S. citizenry would react if, say, China decided we were being oppressed and needed to be “liberated” (and they would be right!), and so sent thousands of troops, tanks, and drones to occupy our country?
How many American “insurgents” would take to the streets to fight them off? How many “terrorists” would want to take revenge against the invading foreigners who would be slaughtering our people, beating down our doors in the middle of the night, torturing and imprisoning us, all in the name of our own liberation, precisely as we do in the Mid-East today?
Government proponents typically have no problem imposing terror and chaos across the world, yet never once think of how we would like it if the very same thing were done to us, here at home. This is the vilest and most blatant form of hypocrisy and it characterizes the myth of “American exceptional-ism”.[xiii]
The utter annihilation left in the wake of the U.S. armed forces isn’t the sum of the problem here, though. As with the Welfare and Police-State, the billions of dollars dumped into military-spending contribute to domestic poverty and crime, wasting the resources that could make society rich. Again, if these billions were left in the hands of the productive private sector, untold sums of wealth could be created, untold jobs could be generated, untold prosperity and flourishing of our nation (and the rest of the world) could take place.
The “private” military-contractors who are now running wild abroad also add to this heap of corruption. Ever-more billions are lost to crooked contractors, who deliberately destroy piles of equipment in order to embellish their “costs”.[xiv]
Many firms (like Dick Cheney’s Halliburton-KBR or Erik Prince’s Blackwater) are paid on a “cost-plus”[xv] basis, meaning that their pay is determined by how much they spend on personnel and equipment. Examples documented in various films[xvi] and news reports include the burning of mounds of brand-new, in-the-box computers and blowing up trucks that simply have flat tires in order to get new ones; the more that is spent, the more they are paid…in tax-dollars.
The notion that such contractors are at all “private” is also a ludicrous one. A company that gets the majority of their funding from exclusive, no-bid government contracts is not a market firm, but a branch of government that gets to “socialize” their costs/risks, and “privatize” their profit.
But hey, the banks and prison-contractors get to do it as well, so one may suppose that this is a fair deal.
I wish to push my argument even further here and claim that were it not for U.S. global military hegemony and oppression, this country wouldn’t even need a government-military at all.[xvii]
Contrary to American doctrine, the founding revolutionaries of this nation were not demi-gods, yet they were not geo-politically ignorant either. The warnings aired about a standing-military were serious and valid, and the primary reason there is so much complexity and tension around the world today is directly due to the fact that the U.S. and Western powers constantly have ignored this advice. At any point in the last 100 years at least, the U.S. has been involved in some sort of conflict, intervention, or war with another country.[xviii] The same hatred that is fostered in the Middle East is created anywhere else the U.S. flag is forcibly thrust abroad.
The strongest case for the necessity of a government-run military is certainly that of World War 2. Since this topic is full of myths, ever-so-commonly touted as truth, we should address this with due consideration.
The Axis powers were arguably one of the biggest threats to liberty that the world has ever seen. And yet, even here it can still be effectively argued that all of this was avoidable, if only the U.S. wouldn’t have intervened and made the problems worse at every given opportunity.
First of all, when America entered World War 1, we allowed for a much more brutal domination of Germany. Were we to have refrained from entering the war in 1914, Europe may have fought a long, drawn-out, bitter war. Such wars, as are historically common to Europe, tended to tire the population of conflict and strife, and periods of peace usually followed.
Instead, the forced unconditional surrender, resulting in the Versailles treaty,[xix] put Germany under crushing war reparations, harming the German citizenry who had no choice in entering the war in the first place. The resulting socio-economic climate in Germany[xx] created the perfect conditions for a totalitarian fascist like Hitler to rise to power. This could have possibly been prevented, but was not. You see, military contractors are not a new thing; they were around back then too! Where there is war, there is profit. Where there is war, government can implement “temporary” programs, agencies, and regulations that never go away. In short, there is always incentive to wage war so long as a corporate-state exists. The steps that could have avoided future wars were not taken, and seldom ever are.
This would help to explain why Franklin D. Roosevelt decided to ignore his foreknowledge of Pearl Harbor gleaned from decoded Japanese communications.[xxi] This gave America a “legitimate” reason to enter the war (see the rarely-mentioned “McCollum memo”[xxii] which outlines a strategy to provoke Japan into an overt act of war, devised by the U.S. 1 year before the Pearl Harbor attack) and thus allow the U.S. government to use all of the age-old dirty tricks of the Warfare-State.
Here also various steps could have been taken to alleviate some of the damage. Instead of allowing a “surprise attack” to occur, instantly launching the U.S. into the conflict, careful measures could have been taken to meticulously plan a strategy for dealing with the Axis with as little military power as possible. The situation was not as dire as it is typically made to seem, the U.S. armed forces were not the world’s only hope and much of the perils we faced could have been averted.
It also seems quite ridiculous to claim that America was “safer” with its military forces spread all over Europe and Asia, rather than concentrated at home. Sometimes the best defense is a good offense, but in this case it simply cost American lives as well as direly-needed resources, as we were, at the time, in the throes of the Great Depression.
I must address an often-touted myth regarding World War 2 and the Great Depression; that our economy was greatly helped by the war and that it was actually our sole salvation in escaping the economic downturn.
This is possibly the most vapid, outlandish claim one could ever conjure up.[xxiii] If war can actually get an economy out of trouble, why in the world are we just sitting here during our “Great Recession”? I have a plan to heal the economies of the world and blast us into financial prosperity never seen by the likes of the human race.
My plan: have every nation pour all of their resources in assembling vast fleets of ships, full of arms and weapons and resources—of course unmanned, no need to take lives in this process. We shall sail our fleets into the middle of the ocean and annihilate them from above, using bombs. That’s it. That’s the plan.
All that is ever accomplishing during war is the diversion of society’s resources into destruction, how anyone could think this brings prosperity is beyond this author’s scope of comprehension. Taking tremendous amounts of material goods and obliterating them, this is supposed to be good for the economy, and the world. Nothing could be further from the truth. Going on this reasoning, we should be able to enrich the people of Earth by blowing up all of their stuff with artillery shells. And as far as employment goes, employing people to do things that nobody wants done is neither a genuine way to alleviate poverty nor a way to elude economic standstill.
But I digress, returning to the prior point; the American government could have tried to avoid or minimize the destruction of Europe and the mass extermination of millions of human beings during the two World Wars, including Americans, yet the corporate-state’s thirst for power, of course, did not allow this to take place.
The common catchphrase is that “we’d all be speaking German now” was it not for our entering WW2. It is nothing but sheer nonsense. Does anybody truly believe that Germany could have invaded and conquered the United States? Japan thought about it, but concluded there would be “a gun waiting behind every blade of grass”,[xxiv] and that because of this, invasion was impossible.
They likely weren’t here referring to the military, but the armed-populace of America. No political leader is going to commit to the invasion of a country of 300 million people, where if even 1/3rd are armed, they are doomed.
To again lend credence to the American revolutionaries, their stress on an armed-citizenry and private militias were serious and well thought-out ideas. Guns are not just for hunting and sport, but to provide deterrence from crime and invasion.
The ironic, yet tragic, example of an effective armed-populace is found in Afghanistan. How many times now has a major world superpower tried to conquer them? The Soviet Union more than once, the U.S. now, and they simply cannot decisively win. Even with a vastly overpowering arsenal of bombs and technology, the fat, inefficient, government military cannot keep up with the rag-tag bands of native guerrillas fighting for their country. The same was true in Vietnam. I of course don’t mean that the U.S. didn’t/hasn’t slaughtered thousands of Afghanis (or Vietnamese for that matter), but only that no military defeat could be conclusively attained.
With an armed-public, and especially with decentralized militias, it becomes highly unattractive for any conquering tyrant to attempt to invade a country. Differing from a centralized state-military force, a decentralized network of militias won’t all surrender at one time, as one militia leader can’t surrender for another in some remote location. An invader would likely have to go and take over every single town, a daunting task militarily.
(And, moreover, without an existing-structure of bureaucracy and a state-mechanism for taxation, the prospect of invasion becomes yet more discouraging. Instead of taking over a ready-to-go “tax farm”, the would-be conqueror arrives at a “forest” which he must first clear in order to build any tax-structure at all.)
If it weren’t for American intervention, provocation, exploitation, and outright war with other nations, it is unlikely we would have to worry about foreign terrorism or attack. At one time in American history, we were relatively non-interventionist, both domestically and abroad.
During this time we became known as the global bastion of human liberty, free trade, and opportunity. When your country creates wealth and prosperity for the whole world to enjoy, it is not the case that everybody wants to kill and invade you.
Only when your country makes pretexts to Empire and constantly bangs their war drums does the rest of the world begin to hate you. Only when your country bombs and murders the children and elderly of foreign countries do such foreigners learn to despise you.
Empire is not, of course, unique to the United States alone; this country has just been the modern exemplification. From the Romans, to the Spanish, to the Dutch, to the Chinese and the British, over the centuries governments everywhere have collectively dominated the planet and murdered hundreds of millions of their own citizens, in an act called “democide”.[xxv] This doesn’t include war, only governments killing their own people. Combining with democide the lives lost to armed conflict, and the ravages of poverty manufactured by political regimes, this equates to an amount of crime, of suffering and death, which the human mind fails to sufficiently grapple with.
With the advent of the nuclear bomb, not only are various nations and regions in dire jeopardy, but the entirety of the human race. Even if we trust our current “leaders” here and now, it is the most extreme form of irresponsibility to leave even the possibility of nuclear warfare squarely in their hands. Reflection on the past offers a plethora of evidence which should, but rarely does, encourage individuals to view this institution with extreme skepticism, if not outright disgust and hatred. Instead of fearing the absence of government, the greatest terror which confronts man today is, indeed, its presence.
The sprawling black record of the state reaches back into the eons. There has simply never been a government which has kept itself limited. Those who proclaim to write the laws are never bound by them, and never can be. One thing which the U.S. A., the U.S.S.R., Mao’s China, and Nazi Germany all have in common is the fact that each of them was a “Constitutional Republic”. It is hopelessly naïve to think that a piece of paper could ever restrain the most corrupt, villainous gang that has ever plagued society.
The history of government is the Earthly manifestation of evil wrought through the bayonet, the gendarme, the concentration camp, and the hangman. The greatest crimes of bygone days have been carried out by society’s rulers, its kings, its political classes and the hordes of police, soldiers, and bureaucrats who serve them.
Every population eventually learns to accept, even enjoy, their servitude to some extent. Cults of State emerge, and mythologies are devised by the ruled to justify their own enslavement. Rather than face the fact that one is helpless at the hands of a tyrant, it is much more convenient to pretend that “we control” government, or even worse, that “we are” government, and that this institution helps “the people” in ways which ordinary human beings cannot. We must understand that we are not government, and they are not us.
The Divine Right of Kings has never departed from the basis of all government, yet only transforms over the generations until it is barely recognizable. Social institutions and technology change, but the superstitions never go away. The myths are still there, the supernatural power still remains. The people are made to grant glory and praise to the rulers, yet among their ranks are, at best, incompetent and bungling dilettantes, and at worst the vilest, lowest breed of jackals, wolves, snakes, and dogs.
The state faith is the most dangerous ideology known to mankind. It compels the virtuous to act at variance with their conscience. It turns morality on its head and infects the body politic with ignorance and corruption. Its creed bestows power and sway that no man should ever have access to; it bestows the right to expropriate, to coerce, to imprison the lowly class of the ruled to favor the high-priests of the Sacra Ordo ex Statum. No man fails to abuse it.
Government mythology has become so common that it has altogether replaced rational thought with low slogans and cheap platitudes. It is high time that somebody thought clearly about these issues and rebutted the empty arguments of government proponents everywhere.
No progress can be made until the minds of men have been changed. The only way to victory is to actively fight the prevailing wisdom of the age. The existing structure of power will always act to maintain itself; only with a strong voice of intellectual opposition can it be defeated and finally destroyed.
The state is truly too dangerous to be tolerated. Together we must smash its mythos into 1000 fragments and scatter them to the winds of history.
In case you missed it:
Note: Many of the references provided are simply to help illustrate the various points made in the essay and to direct the reader toward additional relevant information. It is always encouraged that the reader does their own research. Do not take these citations as themselves authoritative.
[i] The (Austrian) business cycle (theory):
[ii] War & the Fed:
[iv] Iranian Sha’s secret police force SAVAK:
[v] CIA & Iran Coup:
[vi] Iran Revolution:
[vii] U.S. backing of Saddam: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_support_for_Iraq_during_the_Iran%E2%80%93Iraq_war
[viii] Rumsfeld and U.S. government help Iraq get chemical weapons:
[ix] Half million Iraqi children die, Albright says “worth it”:
[x] Cholera in Iraq:
[xi] U.S. foreign policy in Middle East:
[xii] Government lies regarding 9/11:
Also see Operation Northwoods:
U.S. planned to stage a false-flag plane hijacking (sound familiar?) in order to establish a pretext to war, in this case with Cuba. Only one of the multiple false-flag terror events staged by the U.S. government, but unlike Operation Northwoods, many of them are actually carried out.
[xiii] American Exceptional-ism:
[xiv] Military contractor waste:
[xv] Cost-plus contracts:
[xvi] Documentary film demonstrating the wastefulness of military contractors:
[xvii] The private production of defense:
[xviii] List of U.S. military interventions:
[xix] Versailles war reparations lead to WW2:
[xx] Weimar Republic hyper-inflation:
[xxi] Foreknowledge of Pearl Harbor attack:
[xxii] Provoking Japan during WW2 & the McCollum Memo:
[xxiii] World War 2 did not end the Great Depression:
[xxiv] It remains unclear among historians whether this is a genuine quote, but the moral of the story remains the unchanged. Armed nations are much safer from crime and invasion than un-armed or dis-armed populations are.
[xxv] Democide stats and numbers: