The initial post in this series showed that the American republic has persevered through crises since its inception. The next explored how the crisis of war may lead to the strengthening of the state’s control over a people. But another kind of crisis, stemming from disruption of the economic system, is the most potent cause of tyranny of them all. State-run education and the press provide the popular preconditions for people to scapegoat the voluntaristic, propertied basis of economic exchange for their relative material deprivation, rather than the state’s extraction of resources, over-regulation of the economy, and fabrication of disruption, which only leads to further fiscal extortion and massive theft from all citizens.
It is the thesis of many opposed to capitalism that under such a system the financial interests inevitably capture the state, and employ it to suit their own greedy ends. But this is a complete, and in some cases, deliberate inversion of the truth. The essence of the state being the legitimate monopoly of coercion, as the sociologist Max Weber classically termed it, direct compulsion is the kernel on which the entire enterprise of subjugation and exploitation turns.
In a nation with explicit safeguards built into the Constitution of the government and of the people, designed to foster a patchwork but harmonious social fabric through federal republicanism, it is necessary to the ends of those who seek to illegitimately extract the wealth of the economy to distort the perception of those to be preyed upon.
The warping of citizens’ apprehension has been largely accomplished through state-run and compelled education, now an ideologically tendentious, institutionally corrupt arm of the government. The attendance of state-run education, without constant external or internal intellectual challenges, leads not to reason and critical judgment, but to the uncritical reception of elite-approved narratives. These include the blind support of ‘democracy” and the belief that state intervention corrects the tendency of capitalism to lead to (unjust) inequality, when in reality such coercion-based “solutions” leads not only to greater inequality but to the ossification of inequality.
It should be added that reality is unequal; some goods and services are more valuable than others, therefore people and firms should be paid differently to provide them. If liberals actually believed people to be fundamentally equal, it would not need the state to correct for economic imbalances in a voluntaristic, property-based economy. People would eventually work their way towards relative financial equilibrium, especially provided a working start from within the shelter of a stable family.
But the left’s ostensible solution to all economic problems is to “democratize” them, which in plain speak means pressuring the government to use force in order to seize assets from one group and to give them to another group. This kind of governmental discretion is extremely dangerous, as has been seen time and time again throughout history.
Democracy in its pure form is but the rule of the mob; the two stage process to conquering the American public requires democratizing the government, and then manipulating mass public demands to achieve the aims of the elites. While immediate public demands are generally self-serving and expedient, in the long run, the country is ruined through the open struggle of interests over the scarce and diminishing spoils of the system.
When the society is continually thrown into upheaval and crisis, the state is strengthened through outcry to put a direct end to the skirmishing. This is the meaning behind the state-friendly “Occupy Wall Street” movement. Note how the executive branch, the corporate media, and the Federal Reserve ‘empathize’ with these protesters. Now notice how the anti-establishment, limited government tea party is shunned by the government, pro-democracy types, and the supposedly “watchdog” press.
State-run education manufactures the intellectual milieu that leads to a state of tyranny. But the other component of the radical democratization route to tyranny has been the corporate-run press, which is broadly and deeply owned by financial interests. The press sets the stage for the state’s increasing domination of the economy, by advocating for interventionism at the first hint of disruption or crisis.
The American government has bullied corporations, through high taxation and anti-trust legislation, supposedly meant to “protect” the consumer. The U.S. has the second-highest corporate taxes in the world, and it is a fact even allowed by the mainstream press that the richest one percent pay forty percent of all the taxes. The popularly despised petroleum companies, for example, are forbidden from developing in numerous cases, due to offshore drilling moratoriums, wildlife preserves, and other environmental regulations. States typically make between 15 and 33 times the “profit” on every gallon of gas sold than the petroleum companies that actually did the work to produce it.
This all leads to the conclusion that what corporations do to attempt to buy off politicians is at least in some cases self-defense. But this can quickly and eventually lead to a situation of kickbacks and payoffs, such as for subsidies or tariff protections. It should be strenuously noted that labor unions do the same thing for state contracts and other perquisites.
It should be no surprise, therefore, when politicians mysteriously become millionaires after going to Washington. While modern radicals blindly exculpate the politicians from any wrongdoing in the aim to condemn the capitalist system outright, and thus usher in a property-less utopia where all are paid the same no matter what value one puts into the system, it is the central government that wields control over the economy, and not vice versa.
If the government wants to rush into an office and shut down a non-compliant or troublesome business owner, as the Russian Kremlin does routinely, and which the IRS even does from time to time, that is what the government does. Quarterly share-holder statements are no defense for MP-5 ammunition. But political payoffs are.
As such, the state descends into a chaos of mutual looting, until the state acquires absolute control over the economic fates of millions.
With a combination of state-run education conducive to radical democratization and redistribution of wealth, along with an obeisant and manipulative corporate media, tyranny in the United States will likely take the form of fascism. Fascism can be defined as the union of the economy and society through the aegis of the state. Its purpose is to protect the elites, and to illegitimately extract resources from labor. It is founded on compulsion; the voluntary exchange of labor for capital is not inherently exploitative. If that were the case, life itself would be inherently exploitative; but upon reflection, life merely places demands upon people to labor as a fundamental aspect of providing for one’s needs and attaining one’s wants.
This is prelude to discussing the main cause of economic disruption in the widely dispersed market-based economy – the Federal Reserve. The Fed centralizes the control of interest rates, and can even “monetize” the incurred public debt while increasing the money supply. This process lubricates the slow descent into tyranny.