The Coercive Influence of the State.
What is the State? I have made reference to this entity numerous times in previous posts – but what is it? My definition of the State is the existence of any non-capital-generating institutions. This has been referred by many as the public sector. The public sector is not void of noble institutions. There are aspects of government and their services that are required to exist for a civil society to sustain itself. The detractors of what I am going to say will use the first line of defense by saying I don’t care about anyone and that we all should provide for ourselves…I am about five steps ahead of you. What those distractors do not understand is that the “far right” hardly proposes the abolition of government entirely. Those who do can go live in countries of anarchy and see if they will support it after. It is a non-starter for adult conversations.
All that I propose is that we contain the cancerous nature of centrally-planned government. To what level? Where does the State have the, in the United States’, Constitutional authority? The obvious answer is the Constitution itself – mainly the enumerated powers. Pretty limited right! Obviously, the contortion that we see exists and evade our culture is approaching 180 degrees out of phase from which we were founded. The plain simple truth is that our Federal Government does not follow the Constitution, they view it as “chains” that bind benevolent bureaucratic planners from achieving perfection. Their intentions are so nobly stated – equality for all! Sounds good to the ear, but that is where the logic stops. If you let those three words enter you head, to think about it, you have taken it too far in the Progressive Planner’s mind. So how have they and how do they get away with it still?
Frankly they have something you do not – your money – aka the General Treasury. As we all know they have lots of money, but they borrow what they don’t have to keep you plugged in. No private institution can sustain this activity as the State can – it has to balance what it can give against what it requires to sustain operation, profits withstanding. This unequal advantage is precisely how the State can manipulate individual behavior to achieve their objectives. The interesting part of this is that very few Social Programs are actually diabolical at their onset. However the unfortunate reality is very few remain noble in their application. Why is this? How can the State get so many thing wrong – so often? Expanding on this topic, in full, would require several independent articles. Of which we hope to cover in due time, so stay tuned!
I only want to “wet your whistle” with the realistic notion of State programs. This reality is hard to face for some because it actually requires individuals to enter into a closer dependency on one another – accountability could be another way to describe it. How so may you ask? Well, do you see a difference in having a unknown portion of your tax dollars used towards the support of American Red Cross as opposed to personally writing them a check? Certainly there is a difference! What society promotes the greater degree of charity? Often the argument is that you are greedy for wanting to keep more of your earned capital. In a society where nearly half of that capital is removed to support State policies of course you should be fortunate you are allowed to keep that share, right? Those “greedy” individuals rightfully have a white knuckled grip of their money. The half sequestered from them, in their mind, should be enough to provide for those less fortunate. How perverted of a sense on society. This is what the State can do to individual compassion – make them defensive and encourage them to despise whose receiving help. This seed cuts both ways. Those who feel entitled are envious, bitter, and spiteful of those they are taking from because their situation has not improved. Their only means for improvement is to take more – they know of no other way. This sparks the perpetual division of “classes” arbitrated by the State.
Consider the latter of my two methods to support the American Red Cross. If I were to enter into their administrative building with a modest check of $10,000. How would I be greeted? With envy, bitter, and/or spite? Unlikely! I would be greeted with kindness, care, and grace. Now that might be all I need to commit my capital – some times I might ask it to be used for a certain event that occurred in the world. The point is, I fulfilled what I wanted to do – to help those less fortunate without the State telling me to whom or more importantly how much is acceptable at that moment in time. If this behavior was rewarded over the forced theft of our capital – how would the world treat itself? Better or worse?
So where are we as a society? I would argue that the virtues instilled in previous generations have died off and ceased to be to held within the majority of individuals character. The way I see this is as follows: as the Statist’s influence persists across the spectrum of culture and over the generations – the less and less virtue remains with the individual with each emerging generation. This is what I define as The Law of Unintended Consequences. The reason for this contortion is the simple failed understanding of human nature and the reactions of humans to the conditions presented. These reactions are as sound as the Laws of Physics – just not as well defined. These definitions are what we aim to clarify here as we move towards the pursuit of truth.
“The real tragedy of the poor is the poverty of their aspirations.” – Adam Smith
“A State which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands — even for beneficial purposes — will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished.” – John Stuart Mills, On Liberty (1859)
“I would rather belong to a poor nation that was free than to a rich nation that had ceased to be in love with liberty.” – President Woodrow Wilson
“It is better that some should be unhappy than that none should be happy, which would be the case in a general state of equality.” – Samuel Johnson, Boswell’s Life of Johnson (1791)
Among the above statements and attempted qualifications of the State – which one do you prefer or agree with more? Are you using you head, your heart, or both? Do you prefer today’s social attitudes towards each other or do you yearn for a society that willing participates without vitriol? Which one can get us there and which one will keep us on the same path?