“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”
– George W. Bush
The younger Bushevik did not recognize the irony of his statement but there it is: “and neither do we.”
People often mistake my scribbling for politics and it is a rejection of the same, categorically. The common argot for the word is the use of compulsion systems to create and grow societies. I chatted up a local Bernie Sanders drone and explained why my opposition to initiated violence locks me out of even considering him (even though as a non-voter, it is a moot point). These woolly-headed collectivists are usually miffed at this notion because they think they have a monopoly on love and peace when in fact they love war with a passion they don’t even realize as long as it’s waged domestically. The Grand Old Politburo loves war on any front. But there is the odd train of consistency that WWi, WWII, Korea and Vietnam were all Democratic enterprises. Go figure.
Politics is nothing more than a polite diversionary word for violence brokerage. A quick thought experiment would solve this fundamentally: if a government could not tax, fine, kidnap, cage, maim and kill with its constabulary forces depending on the level of non-compliance of the Helot, how would it rob any man of liberty much less control vast swaths of geography?
Much like the imbecilic notion of the possibility of good cops is so brilliantly destroyed so adroitly by Higgs below, the existence of the state relies on a powerful yet extraordinarily tenuous proposition. The subject populations under state control greatly outstrip the resources and manpower of the government so the state must resort to various means of co-opting behaviors that showcase compliance and alienate the individual thinker or actor who wish moral autonomy and individual volition.
Why do you think that the leviathan dominates every educational institution in America? Why do you think the quaintly identified government civics classes are nothing more than state obedience courses? Why do you think that so much of the dross Hollywood pumps out is thinly disguised government supremacist gruel?
“The whole good cop/bad cop question can be disposed of much more decisively. We need not enumerate what proportion of cops appears to be good or listen to someone’s anecdote about his Uncle Charlie, an allegedly good cop. We need only consider the following: (1) a cop’s job is to enforce the laws, all of them; (2) many of the laws are manifestly unjust, and some are even cruel and wicked; (3) therefore every cop has agreed to act as an enforcer for laws that are manifestly unjust or even cruel and wicked. There are no good cops.”
One can see where this is simply an explanation of the state in miniature. This is why most moral men are queasy about the notion of politicians in the first place. The very position begs the question of virtue and rectitude. Even the vaunted Ron Paul was part of massive system of theft and coercion. One would be hard to confine your inquiry to American history and not find every “politician” to be a grasping sociopath seeking to expand the government reach to and in human lives and commerce.
Even the pet libertarian President in Grover Cleveland gave us the Interstate Commerce Commission based on a sentence in the wretched Constitution, which has led to vast penal colonies posing as states interfering in American business today. You can thank that and a myriad of legal mischief on the severely anti-small business attitudes of most local politicos nationwide. In my tiny burg in Arizona, the local violence brokers simply don’t see commerce as anything more than an opportunity to cajole, dismiss and lift vast amounts of money from peoples’ pockets through licensing, inspection regimes, regulations and simply intimidation. They are just as bad as vampires and remoras. Most are no better than the low level apparatchiks that doomed the USSR to fiscal penury and an over-reliance on the black market to deliver the most basic goods and services. This is why you’ll see local inspectors skulking about farmers markets, garage sales and cruising through neighborhoods to see who is improving their homes so they can swoop down and demand loot and threaten various sanctions that end in violence.
So I wish to extend Higgs’ proposition to the politicians. These craven and psychopathic creatures busily try to make the lamprey and the remora a noble profession in human form. Impossible. The politician or better yet and more accurately violence broker, creates the laws that the murderous police profession in America deals out on the mean streets of America every day.
Much like voting, it is a notion of the utmost cruelty. Voting assumes that your neighbor is your property much less your friends and family. Anyone who has ever had the terrible experience of participating in a homeowners association can see this on vivid display as the petty tyrants of the your neighborhood rush to impose majoritarian tyranny on all their cohabitants. Voting is a handy tool for political villains planet-wide and throughout history; it allows them to blame their excesses on the charter granted by the sheep braying for a next master. Masses of sheep gazing on the fences and convinced by their betters that the barrier protects their freedom. Voting is a failure of imagination where the franchisee quite literally thinks their personal freedom is auctioned off to the highest bidder and they must comply. They have no other vision outside the confines that they must have a master willing to deliver the wood shampoo or worse for what their neighbors would consider misbehavior.
The politicians are simply the zookeepers, the wardens of the state. Fear and obedience is the brick and mortar of the state. Absent that, no state could exist.
Politics proves that there is no rule of law. If you doubt this, take a look at the legal disposition for the state’s sainted constabulary when it comes to murder on the job versus the ordinary tax subject in the US. This is fascinating in light of the thousand plus murdered by cops in 2015 alone. Of course, police functions are the ultimate expression of political will and ambition. Absent coercive mechanisms and forcing functions, all tyranny dissolves. It has no legs or traction to compel the unwilling or unwitting to adopt the system.
It also assumes that zero sum solutions are the only possible scenario for any transaction with the voters usually on the dinner table.
There are two outcomes for anyone involved in the political process throughout human history no matter the variant of the recipe for arranging society through threats and violence. One either gets political favors or suffers political repercussions none of which are applied fairly so much as who the states satraps are and who the enemies are.
Tom Wolfe brilliantly slices and dices the political mindset in A Man In Full where he posits that the sole reason the political psychopath becomes so enamored of his power and position is the deference to him by most people when he walks in to a room full of strangers. Much like the military flag officer that command deference by decree, he wears a uniform of more subtle but substantial coercive power; more estranged in its application but more powerful in implication.
The whole rotten system is a complex web of compliance through intimidation and making examples of selected malcontents and troublesome Helots.
There is not a shred of nobility to the political “profession”. It is quite simply comprehensive banditry in God mode. If one takes the brilliant Netfilx series House of Cards at its dramatic peak, the show is more a documentary than anything else. A paean to Buppert’s corollary to Acton’s axiom that not only does power attract the corruptible but absolute power attracts even worse.
So sit back and watch the pageant of the latest race for the Offal Office and the party supplicants fellating the state for attention and power.
But have a little dignity and don’t participate.
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
– H.L. Mencken