America Needs Another Revolution
The people of the United States of America have never been less united over political philosophy in their nation’s history. If the left-wing controlled government continues to impose its will on Americans and to thwart the majority’s wishes, then a bloody revolution is inevitable.
It used to be pointed out by political analysts that the differences between Republicans and Democrats were very slight: Both were grounded in classical liberalism, Constitutional governance, and a more-or-less capitalist economy. But it is becoming increasingly evident that the political schism between right and left in the country has never been greater.
The issue that launched the The War Between the States, the most divisive period in America’s past, was only superficially that of slavery. The real dividing issue was federalism versus state’s rights.
Many southern states resented the escalating power of the central government, which was increasingly controlled by the more industrialized northern states. Though slavery is widely presumed to be the first cause of the war, it was merely the moral justification for it. As Lincoln’s letters point out, the actual cause was the drive for “Union.” And by Union, one can read in a whole host of meanings, but it is safe to suppose that the term implies that the states should do the bidding of the central government.
The unmistakable message that the federal government sent in the Civil War is that the supremacy of the national government is not to be questioned; there is a supremacy clause that is to be assumed irregardless of the Constitutional limitations that qualify it. Slavery was a precipitating cause; but the bloody war lay in the conflicting visions of a strong central government that enforced justice upon the people or a diffused system of justice that allowed for self-rule, even if that necessitated a measure of injustice. Through state competition, people could always vote with their feet rather than become a victimized minority. Obviously, this was an option closed off to African-American slaves.
The period of Reconstruction following the Civil War can roughly be equivocated to that of “normalization” in the Soviet satellites. While America’s revolutionary upshot of ordered liberty had flourished spectacularly, the country was in its twilight period as far as economic freedom is concerned.
After the formal emancipation of African-Americans slaves, slavery of a more subtle and comprehensive kind was slowly instituted. Prior to the state takeover of the economy, government-run education became more widespread, homogeneous, rote, and consonant with the statist line.
While Manifest Destiny initially meant that Americans could flee the reach of the central government, the industrial revolution was meanwhile commandeered by the state to reign in the ruggedly independent settlers. Railroads, telegraph lines, and other capitalist innovations were captured by the statists and used to promote their cause of consolidation and integration. Subsidization led to monopolization; which was only later to be followed by anti-trust legislation. The trust-busting period was punctuated by arbitrary authority wielded to bring obeisant firms into the fold and to batter non-conformists with a big stick.
While communists believe that trusts captured the state prior to the progressive period, this erroneous conclusion is wrought out of willful ignorance. Their half-baked point of view is due to a combination of a utopian vision: animus against the supposedly oppressive rich, and good old-fashioned power-lust.
The indoctrinated socialists detest the capitalist system, which drives them to fanatical rebellion and to seek to obliterate or co-opt any and all institutional opposition to their destructive and unrealistic aims. Normal people cannot understand this fanaticism and thus, they dismiss it. But it is real, and it thrives in America’s universities.
It is clear to those who are serious about analyzing history with an unjaundiced eye that the prime mover in the drive towards American-style fascism is the state, or more narrowly, the government. It is force that brought the economy into the state fold, at least initially; and not avarice that corrupted the tendency of the government to be a benevolent guardian of the public trust.
The root of all evil is not “the love of money,” it is the tendency of men to misuse force to accomplish narrow ends. In a free market system, one whose machinery is lubricated by sound currency and whose fruits are safeguarded by private property rights, “greed” is irrelevant as long as laws are adhered to both within and outside of the state. In order to maintain a system where force is authorized to maintain justice, instead of to perpetrate or facilitate injustice, there must be citizens who understand corruption when they see it.
In present-day America, it is doubtful that most people see the corruption, let alone understand it.
Corruption of the system necessarily entails a disregard for the public welfare by either the courts or a disregard of the Constitution by those in the government itself. In a free market system, assuming sound currency and property rights, the only way for companies to cheat the citizens is to lie about their products and services, in which case, the most prudent protector of the people is the principle of caveat emptor.
No corporation can force you to buy a good or service from it, as opposed to from another provider. But now, thanks to the ruling on nationalized healthcare, the state certainly can. In summary, it is the state that is infinitely more to be feared and not corporations or a “capitalist” economy.
It is important to note that the establishment of a central bank and the progressive income tax, two institutions straight out of the Communist Manifesto, were brought about in 1913 by the unrepentant statist Woodrow Wilson. Both institutions would initiate a long war against two foundational assumptions of free market capitalism: A sound currency facilitating the trade of goods and services according to accurate information of supply and demand (in other words, that people are more or less trading “in kind” using the proxy of currency for goods that are reasonably available to market) and the right for people to attain greater wealth by adding value to the market and to retain the fruits of their labor.
The progressive income tax would penalize citizens for creating value and the central bank would devalue the currency nearly a hundred times over. The economic strain that such policies have incurred has fallen predominately on the shoulders of the working class, and has led inexorably to the greater inequality that the left decries so much.
In a sense, the left is right about the phenomenon of inequality; but their economic ignorance leads them to ascribe the cause as indicative of normal capitalist operations and not the intentionally inflationary activities of the central bank. To wit, when one adds new money to the system, it initially has the same value as the “old” currency; though this currency is devalued as it circulates throughout the system, bankers and certain investors nevertheless gain from the money’s initial introduction.
The end result of the aforementioned policies is an artificial contrivance of Marx’s revolutionary conditions: Greater inequality; and an oppressed working class that begins to disdain the “capitalist system” and either seeks economic shelter in the state or welfare supplication from the statists.
This is especially dangerous when government-educated elites are trained to correct “the wrongs” of the system; while, in self-serving fashion, they only serve to create more distress to the “capitalist system” through constant meddling. While never addressing the root causes of socio-economic problems (akin to treating symptoms and not curing the disease), they cause constant structural distortion through unsustainable projects and chaos through various social and economic interventions.
This is a system designed to cannibalize itself; leading eventually to a clash between those socialists who believe capitalism itself is to blame, and those who seek to preserve Constitutionally limited government and any semblance of liberty.
For the left, the retention of “liberty” means a passive continuation of capitalism’s “wrongs,” and thus they must gain complete economic control to right these wrongs, which stem from “inequality”; and for the right, theirs is a battle both against the state itself, which is orchestrating the conflict, and the useful idiots of the left, who want to bring the bloody revolutionary conflict to a head.
Mao Tse Tung famously wrote in his Little Red Book that “Power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” This is a superficial and simplistic statement, and certainly, one that Mao did not believe, or else his revolutionary pamphlet would have begun and ended with those nine words alone.
But perhaps what the future Chairman Mao meant was at the end of the revolutionary struggle, a period prosecuted first by a revolution of hearts and minds, there would finally be an armed conflict; one where the presumably oppressed would rise up and replace their old masters for new ones.
As I have sought to explain here, it is a misreading to believe that the period of revolutionary struggle against world capitalism would be waged using only the written and spoken word. The most subtle psychological effects are those that imperceptibly condition one to be receptive to ideas. The indirectly indoctrinated man falsely believes that he has arrived upon a conclusion all on his own; when actually he is the victim of a hidden or indirect form of propaganda proceeding from economic conditions, and their misinterpretation or lack of interpretation.
The great architect of the post-world war II economic order, Lord Maynard Keynes, was a Fabian socialist. Drawing on the strategy of the Roman general Fabian, Keynes believed in a war of attrition against the capitalist order. As the founder of the Mises Institute Lew Rockwell notes, Keynes recognized how key the role of inflation, or currency devaluation, is to collapsing the “Capitalist System”:
“Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the Capitalist System was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, government can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. – As the inflation proceeds and the real value of the currency fluctuates wildly from month to month, all permanent relations between debtors and creditors, which form the ultimate foundation of capitalism, become so utterly disordered as to be almost meaningless; and the process of wealth-getting degenerates into a gamble and a lottery.
“Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”
Keynes’ work was complete when the Federal Reserve completely abandoned the gold standard under Richard Nixon, who was a statist progressive. This act made the currency infinitely malleable and gave the government the ability to devalue the currency without bounds. In combination with an education system thoroughly penetrated by neo-marxist radicals, the conditions for bloody revolution at some point in the country’s future were laid in the late 1960s-early 1970s.
The distortions to the “capitalist system” caused by the state’s manipulation of capital are difficult to recount in a short space. It is a corruption of the economy that manifests itself in numerous ways. To borrow from Keynes’ phraseology, in an economy where one’s fortunes devolve into “a gamble and a lottery,” class resentment and “justifiable” lawlessness follows. The random misfortunes of life are replaced by systematic injustice, nonetheless taking the form of unsystematic injustices, which are ascribed to “capitalism”; the reason for the incongruity is what we have is not really a system at all, but a war of two ideologies taking place at once.
The ideal animating capitalism is that one should earn one’s keep and keep what one earns; socialism is the ruse that everyone can live at the expense of everyone else. These two systems cannot co-exist, and the chaos and human tragedy caused by welfare state economics is evidence of it.
Furthermore, in a system of “progressive” taxation (or theft), the bribery of officials to solidify one’s gains and to mitigate one’s risks necessarily follow. Therefore, even companies who seek to produce and accumulate wealth are forced of necessity to bribe the state to leave them alone; it causes the appearance of Lenin’s dictum being reinforced – that “capitalism” captures the state (the latter being the inherently pure manifestation of the “people’s” democratic will, presumably).
The more wealth is earned, the more justified the state is to confiscate it from the “offenders.” Equality is the uniform justification for such theft; though a world where virtue goes unrewarded, non-virtue is rewarded, and offense goes unpunished, without any discrimination between kinds of human action, is the most systematically unjust system that one can imagine. In such an “equal,” unjust world, corruption to the individual appears to be, and in some cases is, justified.
For socialists like the Fabians, economics and propaganda would work hand in glove to convince citizens to give up their freedoms willingly in exchange for a facile promise of a middling existence granted to them by their supposed betters. This proposition, if taken seriously, would reinvigorate the return of the state, and undo the Enlightenment project of ordered liberty pursued by the Founding Fathers.
America was founded on the demonstrable truth that men are inherently self-interested; and though a government comprised of men would be a “necessary evil” to protect the virtuous from the predatory, the government must be prevented from becoming the biggest predator itself by instituting a system of checks and balances.
The tendency of the government over time is to grow and enhance its sphere of coercion and to use it to enrich those in control of the state. Conversely, utopians are so daft as to believe that if they grant the government totalitarian power over economy and society, the state will magically “wither away” (in Engels’ words). To these newly “enlightened,” the state, in the estimate of both Vladimir Lenin and the revolutionary neo-marxist Antonio Gramsci, is merely an expression of bourgeois class interests, which rationalizes their primal hatred of “the rich.” To communists, the state is captured by the capitalist economy, instead of vice-versa.
It took two generations to get to the point where Americans are so fiercely opposed to one anothers’ vision for our country’s future; bloody revolt at some point is a virtual inevitability, whether sparked by the left or right, or even initiated by the state itself.
The socialist revolutionaries that can be proven to currently reside in the halls of government wait in the wings, salivating to come in and to “rescue” the nation from itself by installing their brand of tyranny. The “radical” statists got to where they are by embedding themselves in the hollowed-out shell of the central government, and they plan to expand its reach from sea to shining sea.
The once community leader (and verifiable socialist) of the aptly named group ACORN now stands poised to branch out and solidify the authority of the national government. Within the executive branch, whose authority grows by the consent of the Democrats in Congress and some Republicans, a cadre of revolutionaries plot to enforce their views on the country.
Once completed, their revolutionary plan entails subsuming the American government’s authority to that of the United Nations, which is a communist front-group run by socialist dictators and Islamists. This is not a fantasy, and a modicum of research can verify these claims. The ignorant and the willfully blind can make of these assertions what they may.
It is pivotal to understand that the free market economic system has done more to liberate men from servitude than any in human history; free market capitalism is rightly a system of self-servitude.
Revolting against what Marx monolithically labeled “capitalism” is the ultimate in being duped by the statists into believing a big lie. The poverty of the world is rampant in countries that have been impoverished since history began.
Those peoples who experience free market capitalism at some point in their history attain to general prosperity, eventually lifting most out of poverty. They do not seek to go back to being allowed a mediocre state of servitude to dictators and apparatchiks, regardless of how benevolent they fancy themselves to be.
In sum, free market capitalism is not the cause of impoverished peoples’ prosperity; it is the lack of it that causes them to be impoverished. If an avowed socialist can cut that gordian knot of logic, those on the right would be greatly appreciative of being disabused of their false notions.
Simply because one person is wealthy, that is not the cause of another being impoverished. It takes a twisted breed of totalitarian reasoning to assume as such. One can actually create or add value to an economy and be compensated in proportion to that increase of value. That person (or persons) can take the wealth accrued from creating value and use it to invest or buy goods and services, which benefits other creators of value in the economy.
For those who seek a way out of poverty, their task is to make themselves useful. This is not an unreasonable proposition. For those who cannot be useful or make themselves useful; then family, charity, and church is available. If one is indeed incapable of helping oneself, then state help in accordance with the mandate of protecting the life of the citizen may be warranted. But there is a world of difference between this meager view of the state’s role in the economy and the all-encompassing vision of the counter-revolutionaries in the state.
While such a disparate view of politics and economy between the preponderance of the citizenry and the “ruling class” calls for radical or even violent action, this plays right into the hands of the statists. And even if the state were to be overthrown somehow, you would still have to contend with the misguided fools on the left; and lest one become as evil as the socialists themselves, preferably in a humane fashion.
So violent revolution would also demand dealing with those on the left who are duped into believing that they are doing good instead of evil by increasing government power. Leftists view themselves as compassionate and inherently good, therefore they reason that they could do more good if only granted the power to do it.
Therefore the power of the state is something to be hijacked and expanded for the “public good.” Coercion is not even considered an inherent evil by such people, and they care little for reasoning with their ideological opponents, who in their view surely oppose all that is humane and compassionate. What does one do with such unfortunate creatures?
This is the tragedy of collectivism, for states as well as individuals: It binds us and throws in our lot together, for good or for evil. And as mankind is neither unremittingly good nor evil, it merely magnifies the scale of our fortunes and our foibles; irrespective of the merits or failings of any given individual’s behavior.
Civil war is ultimately the result of mass injustice, and the manifestation of a system where each individual is punished or rewarded utterly in disregard for his virtue. To avoid war, we must wage a revolution of the mind instead of one of arms; this demands a philosophical resurgence of individualism and free market capitalism. Time is running out.