“The greatest danger to the State is independent intellectual criticism.”
-Murray Rothbard, Anatomy of the State
The State,” Murray Rothbard writes in his Anatomy of the State, “is almost universally considered an institution of social service.”
“Some theorists venerate the State,” he says, “as the apotheosis of society; others regard it as an amiable, though often inefficient, organization for achieving social ends; but almost all regard it as a necessary means for achieving the goals of mankind, a means to be ranged against the ‘private sector’ and often winning in this competition of resources.”
Not I, said Rothbard. Not I.
Rothbard, as you may know, didn’t see a smidge of disinterest, amicability or, for that matter, necessity in any so-called State “function.”
The self-described anarcho-capitalist made no bones about his uncut repugnance for any and all forms of government power.
Government, he said, is just another two-bit monopoly. And as far as monopolies go, in fact, government is Mother Ghetto… the most inferior strain in the strawberry field.
The main reason being, of course, is its abhorrence for competition.
Government does not steer clear of competition because it itself is stronger, wiser and superior in providing value to human beings. But simply because it alone has the power to keep others from being stronger, wiser and superior over it. (And it sets the bar pretty low in the process.)
Thus it’s no surprise that government is often the epitome of complacent, unsupervised corruption.
A fitting analogy: Last week, a girl’s basketball team in Minneapolis was kicked out of their league for being too good.
Rogers Area Youth Basketball Association (RAYBA): The most intimidating basketball team in the world…
The Northwest Suburban Basketball League has decided RAYBA does not fit into the league,” KMSP-TV reported. “The main reason they made this decision is because other teams do not want to play RAYBA due to the skill level.”
Sure, it’s outrageous. But the outcry is fairly disproportionate. This happens nearly everyday in the “public” sector without even a finger lifted in protest.
In fact, government takes this tactic of non-ambition even further: It burns down the gymnasium before the first game and proudly declares itself undefeated.
But that’s not even the biggest problem.
The biggest problem is that individuals generally think this system is more virtuous because of the very things that make it destructive. As if its inability to create wealth or value in the markets is the only proof we need of its righteousness.
Apparently, the high and mighty road looks something like this…
a) Steal productive wealth from people who help raise the standard of living…
b) Use that money to regulate the disadvantaged and less-productive and push them into poverty…
c) Trap much of the population in dependency…
d) And subsequently point the finger at the people you steal the productive wealth from in the first place as the primary cause (while, at the same time, enriching the “evil capitalists” you happen to like)…
e) Repeat steps a through d as many times as possible.
Not only is our current State far from honorable, it’s also nothing new
It’s the same old hag. Except, this time, her shopping cart has a few new bells and whistles. French philosopher Bertrand de Jouvenel explains:
Only those who know nothing of any time but their own, who are completely in the dark as to the manner of Power’s behaving through thousands of years, would regard these proceedings [nationalization, the income tax, etc.] as the fruit of a particular set of doctrines.
They are in fact the normal manifestations of Power, and differ not at all in their nature from Henry VIII’s confiscation of the monasteries. The same principle is at work; the hunger for authority, the thirst for resources; and in all of these operations the same characteristics are present, including the rapid elevation of the dividers of the spoils.
Whether it is Socialist or whether it is not, Power must always be at war with the capitalist authorities and despoil the capitalists of their accumulated wealth; in doing so, it obeys the law of its nature.
The Secret Government That Wants All Your Secrets…
By Bill Bonner
Over the years — hardly noticed by the press or the public — a group of insiders has taken control of Washington.
These zombies and cronies — who number in the thousands — have much more power and authority than 100 million voters. Research shows that if they want legislation, they get it.
Voters, on the other hand, get what they want only rarely… and probably only because the insiders want the same thing.
Taken together, this network of elites comprise the “Deep State.”
But who, exactly, is part of the Deep State? What are their objectives? And why is the Deep State’s spying apparatus such a dangerous, growing threat to your freedoms?
Identifying the Deep State
The Deep State, to be clear, describes the way the U.S. government really works, rather than the way it’s supposed to work.
In the popular myth, we have a government that responds, clumsily but eventually, to the will of the people.
It is supposed to be “by, for, and of” the people. So we are tempted to believe that what it does is, ultimately, for our own good. We can trust it, in other words, to look out for us. We do not have to fear it. After all, as Hillary Clinton said, “The government is all of us.”
But the Deep State is not all of us. It is only some of us.
The Deep State is a curious group, comprised of foreign governments, billionaire political donors, lobbyists, international corporations, global organizations, and supra-government agencies.
Together, they — along with domestic favored industries, the bureaucracy itself, special interests, and cronies of various stripes and persuasions — run the U.S. government and control the police, the armed forces, the financial industry, the medical industry, the education industry, and other major parts of the economy.
How the Deep State Works
Yes, this may sound like a conspiracy. And it is, in a sense. But not the sort on which you could get a conviction. It is just the natural evolution of a political system.
In the beginning, government started out small.
But as time goes by, more and more people — usually in loosely organized groups — find ways to “game the system.”
They exploit the “government” to gain an advantage or privilege. As this happens, the system retains its outward appearance, but it is corrupted from the inside out so that it gradually ceases to serve the common interest that made it so successful in the first place and begins to serve, primarily, the interests of those who actually control it.
“This may sound like a conspiracy. And it is, in a sense. But not the sort on which you could get a conviction.”
Today, while we do still have the same apparent structure of government in the U.S. that we had 200 years ago, it’s not what it used to be.
The words are the same. The form is the same. But, under the hood, the motor is completely different.
The Deep State doesn’t care what you want or who you voted for. And it definitely doesn’t care about the nation’s safety. It cares only about its own safety.
The Deep State and Its “Enemies”
In 1989, the Deep State faced its biggest challenge. The Soviet Union renounced its goal of world domination. The Cold War was over. This left the security industry with nothing to provide security against. Huge budget cuts loomed. Early retirements beckoned.
But by then, the Deep State was already largely in control of the federal budget. After a pause, “defense” spending began to rise again.
That is the beauty… or perhaps the ferocious power… of the Deep State system. It doesn’t require a plan or a brain. It doesn’t need a smoke-filled room or a meeting of the minds. It just develops on its own as people use the government for their own purposes.
This is an important point in the context of today’s war on terror.
More people probably die from peanut butter allergies than from terrorist attacks. But when people are killed by terrorists, it occupies a big and sensitive spot in the collective imagination.
“Terrorists pose no dangers to the Deep State system; they strengthen it.”
The threat of terrorism, then, helps scare citizens into transferring more of their money to the security industry. Individual soldiers risk their lives, but the Deep State wants to see terrorists flourish, not eliminated.
Terrorists pose no dangers to the Deep State system; they strengthen it. But you or I, however, might threaten it.
“If anyone gets on the government’s ‘enemies lists,’ then the stored information will be used to target them.”
It is unlikely, but a strong candidate may still be able to revive enough of the old atrophied organs and dust off enough of Americans’ old sense of pride, independence, and solvency — so as to menace the Deep State.
There might be enough kindred spirits appalled by the theft, disgusted by endless senseless wars, and shocked by the debts to make possible a march on Washington, and maybe even a real insurrection.
Like the Spartacus slave uprising in 72 B.C., an “end the Fed” chant coming from the National Mall… a “stop the wars” banner flying over the Lincoln Memorial… might be enough to deeply unsettle the Deep State.
That is why the Deep State so desperately wants to keep tabs on everyone.
Everybody’s a Target
Built at a cost of $1.5-2 billion — plus another $2 billion for electronic components — the NSA’s massive data center in Bluffdale, Utah, came online in May 2014.
It consumes about $40 million worth of electricity each year and uses 1.7 million gallons of water each day.
You don’t put that kind of hardware in place just to snoop on a handful of terrorists.
Instead, the idea is to keep records on everyone so that at any time, the Deep State can find out what it needs to know about anyone.
Bill Binney worked for the NSA for 32 years before blowing the whistle in 2002. He was the one who “created the agency’s mass surveillance program.” Now, that program collects 100 billion emails per day… and 20 trillion communications all together.
If anyone gets on the government’s “enemies lists,” then the stored information will be used to target them. Specifically, [Binney] notes that if the government decides it doesn’t like someone, it analyzes all of the data it has collected on that person and his or her associates over the last 10 years to build a case against him.
All of the information gained by the NSA through spying is then shared with federal, state and local agencies, and they are using that information to prosecute petty crimes such as drugs and taxes. The agencies are instructed to intentionally “launder” the information gained through spying, i.e., to pretend that they got the information in a more legitimate way… And to hide that from defense attorneys and judges.
Lavrenti Beria headed Stalin’s secret police. He had no access to an NSA-style database. Still, even with his limited resources, “Show me the man, and I will find the crime,” he said. Today, the secret police never had it so good.
And it could get a lot better for them. With the coming of a “cashless” economy, all transactions, no matter how small, may have to pass through the Deep State’s information technologies. With the flip of a switch, your secrets could be revealed and your money could be turned off — a 21st-century assassination.
How does the Deep State really affect us? There is no way to know for sure. But what we have found is that it is not at all bound by the rules, goals, or financial restrictions that limit the rest of the society.
[Chris’ note: This article appears in February’s issue of our premier research monthly, Laissez Faire Letter.To secure your online identity and disappear from the NSA’s cross- hairs, we put together a special report for Laissez Faire Letter subscribers which you can download for free by clicking here.]
Managing editor, Laissez Faire Today