Archive for the ‘#theresistence’ Tag

Tribalism Feels Warm & Fuzzy   1 comment

From “The Law”‘ by Randolph Bourne (1917)

 

Randolph  BournePsychologists recognize the gregarious impulse as one of the strongest primitive pulls which keeps together the herds of the different species of higher animals. Mankind is no exception. Our pugnacious evolutionary history has prevented the impulse from ever dying out. This gregarious impulse is the tendency to imitate, to conform to coalesce together, and is most powerful when the herd believes itself threatened with attack. Animals crowd together for protection, and men become most conscious of their collectivity at the threat of war. Consciousness of collectivity brings confidence and a feeling of massed strength, which in turn arouses pugnacity and the battle is on. In civilized man, the gregarious impulse acts not only to produce concerted action for defense, but also to produce identity of opinion. Since thought is a form of behavior, the gregarious impulse floods up into its realms and demands that sense of uniform thought which wartime produces so successfully. And it is in this flooding of the conscious life of society that gregariousness works its havoc.

For just as in modern societies the sex-instinct is enormously over-supplied for the requirements of human propagation, so the gregarious impulse is enormously over-supplied for the work of protection which it is called upon to perform. It would be quite enough if we were gregarious enough to enjoy the companionship of others, to be able to cooperate with them, and to feel a slight malaise at solitude. Unfortunately, however, this impulse is not content with those reasonable and healthful demands, but insists that like mindedness shall prevail everywhere, in all departments of life, so that all human progress, all novelty, and nonconformity must be carried against the resistance of this tyrannical herd-instinct which drives the individual into obedience and conformity with the majority. Even in the most modern and enlightened societies this impulse shows little sign of abating. As it is driven by inexorable economic demand out of the sphere of utility, it seems to fasten itself ever more fiercely in the realm of feeling and opinion, so that conformity comes to be a thing aggressively desired and demanded.

The gregarious impulse keeps its hold all the more virulently because when the group is in motion or is taking any positive action, this feeling of being with and supported by the collective herd very greatly feeds that will to power, the nourishment of which the individual organism so constantly demands. You feel powerful by conforming, and you feel forlorn and hopeless if you are out of the crowd. While even if you do not get any access to power by thinking and feeling just as everybody else in your group does, you get at least the warm feeling of obedience, the soothing irresponsibility of protection.

Joining as it does to these very vigorous tendencies of the individual—the pleasure in power and the pleasure of obedience—this gregarious impulse becomes irresistible in society. War stimulates it to the highest possible degree, sending the influence of its mysterious herd-current with its inflations of power and obedience to the farthest reaches of the society, to every individual and little group that can possibly be affected. And it is these impulses which the State—the organization of the entire herd, the entire collectivity—is founded on and makes use of.

 


We all like to hang out together and be part of a group. It feels good when other people agree with us. That’s part of our nature. Adam was no good alone and as soon as he had Eve to be with, he pushed God away. We use our herd mentality to create enemies even when there are none. War heightens that warm, fuzzy feeling because being part of the herd makes us feel powerful. And, because the State promises to organize the herd against its enemies, it seems reasonable to let it. Lela

 

Herd Mentality   Leave a comment

From “The Law” by Randolph Bourne

 

Randolph  BourneWar—or at least modern war waged by a democratic republic against a powerful enemy—seems to achieve for a nation almost all that the most inflamed political idealist could desire. Citizens are no longer indifferent to their Government, but each cell of the body politic is brimming with life and activity. We are at last on the way to full realization of that collective community in which each individual somehow contains the virtue of the whole. In a nation at war, every citizen identifies himself with the whole and feels immensely strengthened in that identification. The purpose and desire of the collective community live in each person who throws himself whole-heartedly into the cause of war. The impeding distinction between society and the individual is almost blotted out. At war, the indvidual becomes almost identical with his society. He achieves a superb self-assurance, an intuition of the rightness of all his ideas and emotions, so that in the suppression of opponents or heretics he is invincibly strong; he feels behind him all the power of the collective community. The individual as social being in war seems to have achieved almost his apotheosis. Not for any religious impulse could the American nation have been expected to show such devotion en masse, such sacrifice, and labor. Certainly not for any secular good, such as universal education or the subjugation of nature, would it have poured forth its treasure and its life, or would it have permitted such stern coercive measures to be taken against it, such as conscripting its money and its men. But for the sake of a war of offensive self-defense, undertaken to support a difficult cause to the slogan of democracy, it would reach the highest level ever known of collective effort.

For these secular goods, connected with the enhancement of life, the education of men and the use of the intelligence to realize reason and beauty in the nation’s communal living, are alien to our traditional ideal of the State. The State is intimately connected with war, for it is the organization of the collective community when it acts in a political manner, and to act in a political manner towards a rival group has meant, throughout all history—war.

There is nothing invidious in the use of the term, herd, in connection with the State. It is merely an attempt to reduce closer to first principles the nature of this institution in the shadow of which we all live, move and have our being. Ethnologists are generally agreed that human society made its first appearance as the human pack and not as a collection of individuals or couples. The herd is in fact the original unit, and only as it was differentiated did personal individuality develop. All the most primitive tribes of men are shown to live in very complex but very rigid social organization where opportunity for individuation is scarcely given. These tribes remain strictly organized herds, and the difference between them and the modern State is one of degree of sophistication and variety of organization, and not of kind.

 


A herd is a whole lot easier to control than a bunch of individuals. Individuals don’t follow one another into a paddock or over a cliff. They go their own way, seek their own truths. The State prefers if we’re homogeneous. Unity around the war effort provided that in a largely individualistic society under Woodrow Wilson. Bourne didn’t live to see our own time when everybody is encouraged to join a group – particularly an aggrieved group — but in the next section, he does write about tribalism and why it leads to problems. Lela 

War Is the Health of the State   Leave a comment

From Randolph Bourne’s “The Law”

 

Image result for image of randolph bourneThe classes which are able to play an active and not merely a passive role in the organization for war get a tremendous liberation of activity and energy. Individuals are jolted out of their old routine, many of them are given new positions of responsibility, new techniques must be learnt. Wearing home times are broken and women who would have remained attached with infantile bonds are liberated for service overseas. A vast sense of rejuvenescence pervades the significant classes, a sense of new importance in the world. Old national ideals are taken out, re-adapted to the purpose and used as the universal touchstones, or molds into which all thought is poured. Every individual citizen who in peacetimes had no living fragment of the State becomes an active amateur agent of the Government in reporting spies and disloyalists, in raising Government funds, or in propagating such measures as are considered necessary by officialdom. Minority opinion, which in times of peace was only irritating and could not be dealt with by law unless it was conjoined with actual crime, becomes with the outbreak of war, a case for outlawry. Criticism of the State, objections to war, lukewarm opinions concerning the necessity or the beauty of conscription, are made subject to ferocious penalties, far exceeding [in] severity those affixed to actual pragmatic crimes. Public opinion, as expressed in the newspapers, and the pulpits and the schools, becomes one solid block. Loyalty, or rather war orthodoxy, becomes the sole test for all professions, techniques, occupations. Particularly is this true in the sphere of the intellectual life. There the smallest taint is held to spread over the whole soul, so that a professor of physics is ipso facto disqualified to teach physics or hold honorable place in a university—the republic of learning—if he is at all unsound on the war. Even mere association with persons thus tainted is considered to disqualify a teacher. Anything pertaining to the enemy becomes taboo. His books are suppressed wherever possible, his language is forbidden. His artistic products are considered to convey in the subtlest spiritual way taints of vast poison to the soul that permits itself to enjoy them. So enemy music is suppressed, and energetic measures of opprobrium taken against those whose artistic consciences are not ready to perform such an act of self-sacrifice. The rage for loyal conformity works impartially, and often in diametric opposition to other orthodoxies and traditional conformities or ideals. The triumphant orthodoxy of the State is shown at its apex perhaps when Christian preachers lose their pulpits for taking in more or less literal terms the Sermon on the Mount, and Christian zealots are sent to prison for twenty years for distributing tracts which argue that war is unscriptural.

War is the health of the State. It automatically sets in motion throughout society those irresistible forces for uniformity, for passionate cooperation with the Government in coercing into obedience the minority groups and individuals which lack the larger herd sense. The machinery of government sets and enforces the drastic penalties. The minorities are either intimidated into silence, or brought slowly around by subtle process of persuasion which may seem to them really to be converting them. Of course, the ideal of perfect loyalty, perfect uniformity is never really attained. The classes upon whom the amateur work of coercion falls are unwearied in their zeal, but often their agitation, instead of converting merely serves to stiffen their resistance. Minorities are rendered sullen, and some intellectual opinion bitter and satirical. But in general, the nation in wartime attains a uniformity of feeling, a hierarchy of values culminating at the undisputed apex of the State ideal, which could not possibly be produced through any other agency than war. Other values such as artistic creation, knowledge, reason, beauty, the enhancement of life, are instantly and almost unanimously sacrificed, and the significant classes who have constituted themselves the amateur agents of the State, are engaged not only in sacrificing these values for themselves but in coercing all other persons into sacrificing them.

 


Bourne wrote in 1917, not during World War 2, Vietnam  or in our present age, but he nailed what we should probably know of those war-time eras in our society. During wartime, the nation walks in lockstep, empowered by a general feeling of unity and us-against-them. So, here we are at war for 17 years and why is there no sign that it will ever stop. Could it be because “war is the health of the state” and as long as the state can keep us concerned about war, the state doesn’t have to reform its spending or reduce its domestic spying capabilities? Lela

Not Crumbs   Leave a comment

According to Nancy Pelosi and 90% of the progressive liberal news media, the tax cuts of 2017 amount to crumbs for middle- and working-class wage earners. We should be up in arms that the “rich” (i.e., our employers) got such huge cuts and we only got a little.

I ran the numbers.

Image result for image of nancy pelosiBrad and I together made just a little less than $50,000 in 2017. We had a nice bump from book sales this year – not exactly burning up the best-seller’s lists, but it felt good. Because Brad is self-employed, we won’t know how much tax reform affects him until we do our 2018 taxes, but my income from my job comes with check stubs. Starting my first paycheck in 2018, I immediately saw $150 extra in my net pay. That works out to almost $4000 for the year. Then, I just finished our 2017 taxes. Reform had a muted effect this year compared to what it will have next year, but our tax refund was $1000 more than it was in 2017 because we could take a deduction for our full-time student who still lives at home.

That’s $5000 for 2018 – money that I earned that was stolen from me in taxes and is now being given back to its rightful owner.

When you make $50,000 a year, $5000 is a lot of money. That’s my tithe, or a pretty-decent new-for-us vehicle. It certainly isn’t crumbs, Mrs. Pelosi.

When Was the Last Time an Actor Assassinated a President?   Leave a comment

I’m not terribly surprised by Johnny Depp suggesting “it’s been a while and maybe it’s time.” He’s never struck me as a particularly intelligent person. Celebrities don’t have to be bright or informed. That’s not their job. Their job is to be entertaining and apparently Depp thought his British audience would be entertained by a suggestion that it’s okay to kill a sitting president. It speaks a great deal about the British audience that they laughed. Seriously, people, you were laughing over the prospect of killing another human being.

It’s a great big stupid world. It’s okay to murder babies (and presidents we don’t like), but we really must save the whale … and the snail darter. (With compliments to Randy Stonehill)

Related imageI’m not worried about Depp actually attempting the murder the president, but people unaccountably listen to celebrities and people do stupid things … like whomever sent suspicious white powder to the woman who won the Georgia special election.

Remember when Jared Loughner shot Gabby Gifford? The news was focused on a campaign ad by Sarah Palin that featured what was said to be gun-sights on various election campaigns around the country. “Oh, it’s all Sarah Palin’s fault! Destroy the Tea Party. They want to assassinate politicians.” It turned out Loughner had never seen the ad and there was absolutely no evidence that his rampage was caused by an affiliation with the Tea Party (he had long rambling posts on social media about admiring the Communist Manifesto). But the stink stuck and there are still liberals who will bring it up in conversation. “The Tea Party caused what happened to Gifford.” No, it didn’t. No one in the Tea Party advocated for anyone to go out and shoot anyone … including the President. We gathered peacefully in parks and along highways to protest the socialization of the country. Mentally ill people had to act upon their own delusional systems to decide to shoot elected officials.

And that is the difference between the Tea Party and the Resistance. The Resistance seems to be actively calling for violence against Trump and anyone who doesn’t see his presidency in the same way they do. Kathy Griffin (beheading Trump), Snoop Dog (shooting president in the head), Madonna (blowing up the White House), Robert DeNiro (I’d like to punch him in the face), Joss Whedon (what he wants a rhino to do to Paul Ryan isn’t acceptable fodder for this blog), Marilyn Manson (killing Trump in music video), Larry Wilmer (suffocating Trump with Scalia’s pillow) and several others have actively engaged in violent rhetoric, sometimes veiled as humor, but all designed to invoke a response both from their own followers and from “the other side.” I find it ironic that people are so worried about hurting the feelings of Muslims by talking honestly about Islamic terrorism or the feelings of transgendered people by using standard pronouns to describe them are okay with suggesting that murdering someone for their political views is fine.

So, if some Squeaky Fromm-like person tries to kill President Trump, Johnny Depp should be put on trial right next to that person, as an accessory before the fact. There are limits to what you can say under the concept of free speech. Shouting fire in a crowded theater and suggesting someone should kill the president are examples of when you cross a line and should pay a penalty. But, hey, my guess is that this will not hurt Depp’s career in the least and should an assassination attempt occur, nobody will remember who planted the idea in the public’s mind.

 

Incivility on the Letters   Leave a comment

These are the comments on the Letters to the Editor page of Alaska Dispatch News on June 15, 2017. This is what I’m talking about when I say incivil rhetoric is leading to violence such as the shooting in Alexandria.

Balto

2 days ago

What’s the crime Mr. Whittaker? Besides a move for impeachment will fail and will guaranty a conservative sweep in 2018. Just relax, no more hysterics.

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TRUMP: 100 Days Of Failure And Counting

2 days ago

Aside from obstruction of justice, I guess we’ll see if Mueller is allowed to do his job.

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©Dump Trump™

3 days ago

Trump’s Birthday ‘Gifts’ Include A One-Way Ticket To Russia

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TRUMP IS ILLEGITIMATE

2 days ago

After months of Trump recruitment, Cindy McCain is reportedly headed for a job at the State Dept.

Senator John McCain’s wife.

If you are keeping tabs at home, Donald Trump named Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, as secretary of transportation.

He recently named Calista Gingrinch, Newt’s wife, as the ambassador to the Vatican.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, daughter of huckster Mike Huckabee, is the principal deputy White House press secretary.

And now Cindy McCain is reportedly headed to the State Department after months of schmoozing from Trump.

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Pope of the North

3 days ago

Pete Kelly reminds us of a better groomed Steve Bannon

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TRUMP IS ILLEGITIMATE

2 days ago

Staged public events that only serve to massage Trump’s ego will totally be taken at face value by future historians.

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TRUMP IS ILLEGITIMATE

2 days ago

Since President Trump won the Republican nomination, the majority of his companies’ real estate sales are to secretive shell companies that obscure the buyers’ identities

A decade ago, when Donald Trump’s seventh bankruptcy had wiped out his ability to borrow, he was dragged back from the brink of financial failure by money from Russian oligarchs. That infusion of money came not only in the form of big investments in new building projects, it also came through a money-laundering scheme that created LLCs for the express purpose of grabbing Trump properties at premium prices.

Among the dozens of companies the Almaty lawyers say the Khrapunov laundering network used were three called Soho 3310, Soho 3311 and Soho 3203. Each was a limited liability company, meaning their ownership could easily be concealed.

What was sold then is a fraction of what secretive LLCs are buying from Trump today.

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Lela Markham

2 days ago

Don Duff – I could actually agree to a sales tax, but not before the State’s departments have returned to 2010 funding levels, which is a 25% cut from the high when Parnell left office. We need to remember that Parnell increased the budget by 27% during his years in office and now we’re being told that they can’t possibly cut the budget or survive at a budget set lower than $100 a barrel when we managed to do well with a budget set at $60 a barrel for decades. That’s ridiculous and until it is remedied, we the people should say NO.

I prefer a sales tax over an income tax because I am not being penalized for going to work everyday and I have some choice in how much I participate in this tax. Productive people shouldn’t be penalized for being productive. Consumption taxes tend to encourage savings and investing, which is much better for the economy than the folly of spending every dime we make on consumer goods that wear out and need to be replaced repeatedly.

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©Dump Trump™

3 days ago

#Sad Birthday party will be hosted by Rise and Resist, a direct-action group formed in the wake of Trump’s election victory last November. According to a press release from the group, it will involve hundreds of protesters gathering outside Trump Tower in New York City and delivering a special gift: plane tickets to Russia—or, as the group puts it, “back to Russia.”

“Donald Trump is proposing policy after policy that will be destructive for America,” said Andy Ratto, a member of Rise and Resist. “While he is in D.C. blowing out the candles on his cake, we’ll be out in the streets saying we hope none of his wishes come true.”

The party in Manhattan will be just part of a “national day of anti-Trump events,” which will also include protests around his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and at Trump National Golf Course in Westchester County, New York, the group said.

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TRUMP IS ILLEGITIMATE

2 days ago

Republican senator tells 73,000 West Virginians they’re not losing Medicaid, they’re in ‘transition’

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Joe Smith 543

14 hours ago

Frank Baker, Obama put the US on the hook for $$Billions through the Paris Accord. We can’t afford that, nor should we pay it if we could afford to. We can stick with the clean energy agreements contained within, and some entities have already agreed to do their part. The same can be accomplished without the heavy-hand of the feds requiring it. If the accords were such a great thing, Obama would have asked the senate to ratify it as a treaty; he knew it would never pass, so he didn’t even ask.

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TRUMP IS ILLEGITIMATE

2 days ago

Office of Government Ethics nixes Steve Bannon’s ‘unsigned and undated’ retroactive ethics waiver

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TRUMP IS ILLEGITIMATE

2 days ago

DeVos Dept. of Education sued for ignoring request for info on sexual harassment investigations

——–

Title IX, which is a federal law which requires schools that receive federal funding to properly respond to and prevent sexual violence, is enforced by the Department of Education. Title IX has to do with civil rights—something that Betsy DeVos doesn’t seem too concerned with. During the confirmation, DeVos declined to answer multiple inquiries about whether she would enforce the civil rights of American students, and the ignored FOIA request hints that she has no intention of doing so. The fact is, she willingly serves as a member of a sexual predator’s presidential cabinet.

And that’s precisely why the Department’s refusal to share information is so important.

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TRUMP IS ILLEGITIMATE

2 days ago

Republican legislators who you would probably never invite into your own home.

Today’s poster child will be Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, who has truly embraced the modern Republican tradition of flatly denying things they’ve said or done despite those things being (1) quite memorable and (2) on da videotapes.

Ben Sasse denies he said Obamacare was ‘worst law in our history’—but it’s from his own campaign ads

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TRUMP: 100 Days Of Failure And Counting

2 days ago

The right put a bunch of nihilistic egomaniacs in power. Even if we get rid of Trump we’re stuck with Religious nutball Pence. Check out Margaret Atwood’s seminal book and Hulu series The Handmaids Tale.

No Crisis in the Cheap Seats   Leave a comment

I’m less concerned about Donald Trump’s antics than most of the people I know. It might have something to do with my choosing to “throw my vote away” on a third-party candidate who couldn’t win rather than on either of the two bad choices available this time around.

Image result for image of a fan watching a hockey fightBut listening to the mass media hysteria about Trump’s antics, you could easily get the impression that America is is in the throes of a crisis. Democrats stonewall Congressional legislation and dream of impeaching Trump out of the presidency. The Republicans are in panic mode that they will lose their majorities in the House and the Senate in 2018 because Donald Trump is eating away at their credibility and legitimacy, which they need to get anything done in terms of ObamaCare, and tax and regulatory reform.

The media is in its own frenzy, especially in the left-of-center press. Day-in-and-day-out, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The New Yorker and CNN assure the citizenry and readers and viewers around the world that the Trump presidency is in chaotic disarray, trending towards unconstitutional authoritarianism, and threatening the free press in the United State. He’s supposedly pushing the country to the verge of international conflicts in various parts of the world and acting as partner or puppet to Vladimir Putin in Russia.

Judging by this coverage, the people of the United States must be psychologically, socially and economically paralyzed by all the controversies, conflicts, and confusions enveloping all that is happening in Washington, D.C.

But … no … out here in real-world land, people are getting up every morning and going to work. Production goes on the same as before Trump was inaugurated on January 20, 2017. Goods roll out of the manufacturing plants and facilities and onto the retail outlets where the consuming public continues to compare, choose and buy.

Parents are still driving their young sportsmen and -women to recreational facilities to play organized team activities. Summer vacations are being planned. Construction sites are still busy building new residential homes, office buildings, and new or expanded manufacturing units.

Politics comes up in various conversations, and political discussions have become more tense, confrontational and argumentative in some circles in the Age of Trump. There are some people you just avoid, but for the most part, people talk about sports events, family activities, movies and all the other affairs of ordinary, daily life.

The vast majority of Americans are mostly uneffected by the events in Washington, D.C. Government taxes, regulates, intrudes, surveils, and in general makes life more frustrating, costly and less free than it could be and that leaves many of us wishing government would do less or none of these things, leaving people more liberty to go about their individual peaceful, personal and private business.

American society has not been sucked into a vortex of political paralysis because of Donald Trump’s personal antics and verbal rants on Twitter.  We don’t even care about his making up words on Twitter. The country is not frozen like a deer in the headlights of an oncoming car due to the rhetoric from and rancor between the Republicans and Democrats in Congress.  Everyday life is bigger than politics, even in our epoch of the pervasive interventionist-welfare state and national security state.

Yeah, there is danger and damage from the enveloping straight-jacket of growing political paternalism and regulatory cronyism. Those things concern me quite a lot, but “society” generally remains greater than the “state,” though the balance between the two shifts in the state’s favor with every extension of political control and command over people’s personal, market and social interactions.

Outside of politics and the presidency, Donald Trump is a fast-talking, deal-making blowhard, who apparently has learned how to navigate the real estate markets to make millions. He has searched for market opportunities, but has also used government means to achieve his ends when they have been available to include in his “deal making.”

The world went on before Donald Trump became president and will continue after he has left that high political office, though perhaps in a less entertaining way. 

The supposed “crises” of political leadership, the anger and frustration that that  “man” is in the White House rather than “our” experienced, qualified, and forward-looking candidate who should have been the first woman president of the nation, has horrified “progressives,” shocked Congressional Democrats, and driven the left media into attack mode. But for most of us in our homes and workplaces, about our regular activities, it doesn’t matter at all.

Politics and government policies matter only insofar as the political battle lines over who runs various levels of government and what that power is used for have very real influences on the direction, form, and prospects for society. Especially in the 24-hour news cycle, it’s easy to forget that “society” is different from the “state.” What goes on in each is based on two distinct principles of human association: voluntary agreement versus compulsory direction.

In the competitive marketplace, human beings interact on the basis of peaceful and mutually agreeable association. In the political arena, human relationships are based on command and control, with those in governmental office able to impose coercive regulations, restrictions, and redistributions which the people are bound to obey or accept under the threat of force.

It is the private sector, however hampered and constrained by government, that produces the goods and services available to all of us.

In a free society with government limited to a few essential functions, primarily the protection of life, liberty and honestly-acquired property, the sphere of political presence and influence on society is limited and non-intrusive in the affairs of the large majority of people. A historian once noted that before the First World War, a British subject could live in London their whole life and never come into contact with the state beyond the constable walking his rounds and the occasionally inconvenience of jury duty.

Today the state is pervasively present in our daily affairs in numerous visible and invisible ways. We notice government when:

  • the cashier rings up the applicable sales taxes at the checkout counter
  • the government dictates the wage a businessman must pay a worker
  • the government dictates how a businesswoman may organize hers production activities and market a product
  • when we need zoning and building permissions from a local regulatory commission to repair or modify our home or other property
  • when we have to apply for a passport to leave the country and declare if we are returning to the United States with more than $10,000.

Less visible to most of us as we go about our daily affairs is the extent to which the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the forms of transportation we use, the design and content of many of the products we buy, or the services we use have all been restricted, commanded or controlled in some way by the vast network of governmental bureaucracies that surround and have power over everything we do.

But nonetheless while the encroaching presence of the state touches all of our lives, the “private sector,” though hampered and constrained by government, produces the goods and services available to all of us, and generates the employment opportunities which enable us to earn the income that allows us to buy all the things we wish to purchase from all the other producers in the marketplace.

The political crises and conflicts that fill the mainstream media concern the attempts of politicians, bureaucrats and special interest groups to interfere with the nature and normal flow of events and peaceful human interaction by introducing regulatory, fiscal and monetary policies that redirect society and the market from the course and patterns they would follow if determined by only all of those private individuals going about their daily market business.

Just think of the headlines of the last several months since Trump assumed the presidency of the United States. Put aside the personal dislike and disgust felt by Trump opponents. Focus just on the rhetoric and some of the policy proposals emanating from the Trump White House.

During the campaign, Trump asserted that he planned to remove the United States from the role of global policeman and restrict American foreign activities to an “America First” agenda. After the election, he brought on advisors who represent the traditional foreign interventionist outlook that has guided U.S. foreign policy since the end of the Second World War. Trump is just as interventionist in his actual policies as George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

The professional diplomats, the network of foreign policy think tank and NGO “experts,” and the bureaucrats in the State Department who saw their role, influence and power threatened based on the statements and promises made by Trump during his campaign are now “leaking” about Trump’s statements and missteps in the arena of international affairs. What better way to undermine an administration that challenges their belief that they know best how the world should work. How dare this upstart threaten their enjoyment of all the benefits that come with being among the elite attempting to re-engineer society and create a global plan for humanity.

On the domestic front, the left-of-center media creates the impression that Donald Trump is about to end the re-distributive state. Libertarians ought to be cheering, but we’re not. Why not? In reality, Trump has no desire or intention of repealing the welfare state. He has made it clear that he wishes to preserve and protect Social Security, Medicare, a “reformed” version of “ObamaCare,” and implement a more school choice-friendly agenda with taxpayers’ dollars at the Department of Education.

Sounds like a mildly incremental approach in the right direction, but politicians, bureaucrats, and special interest groups that live off and control the existing system prefer to more intrusively extend it over society for their own personal and ideological ends and purposes. It’s all a matter who will control the levers of power and the direction the bureaus, agencies, and departments take, along with the hundreds of billions of dollars that come with those regulatory, redistributive and spending powers.

So the “national crisis” in Washington, D.C. is really a crisis between the “refined,” “polished,” and “progressive” political establishment versus a crude, rude, “stream of consciousness” crony capitalist who has the audacity to listen to the people who voted him into office. The “enlightened” can’t allow that because they KNOW how America should be ruled and guided for the good of humanity.

Take these two warring political factions out of the social nexus and America would do just fine. Do away with the interventionist-welfare state and there would be no power, privilege or plunder for these factions to fight over at the domestic level. There would be nothing to regulate, redistribute or manipulate. There would be no levers to pull or dials to turn to make people act and do things in ways they would peacefully chose if left to their own personal, social, and free market choices.

“America” is not paralyzed or in “crisis.” Americans are just going about their business everyday in their agreed-upon associations and exchanges, trying to the best of our ability to ignore and overcome that intricate web of government intervention that restricts, restrains and co-ops many of the choices and relationships we otherwise would freely pursue and undertake if government simply got off our backs and out of our way.  It is the politicians and political plunderers who are apoplectic and in chaos, not the ordinary people.

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