The Nature of
Along the road to total government control, we may notice some of the landmarks that were seen in Rome, France of the 1790s, Germany's Third Reich, Zimbabwe, and Venezuela.
- Changes are couched in terms of the “common good” even though they are bad. Individual rights fall by the wayside.
- Some people advocate “partnering” with government, not realizing that a partnership requires an equality of partners. This, of course, can never be realized with the government because it can change its mind at anytime, back out of agreements, raise taxes, or change laws and imprison its “partners.”
- When bureaucrats are threatened with budget cuts, they always announce that this will require cuts to the essential government services (police force, fire department, garbage collection, etc.) first. This is designed to panic the voters and it usually works. The voters then back off on the idea of budget cuts.
- Propaganda grows. That means the “news” touts the advantages of a particular course of action as advocated by one party or another. With the advent of the internet, this one is particularly popular. It becomes politically incorrect to ask questions that expose the fallacies in the popular thinking.
- Threats become more commonplace. This can be another form of propaganda or it could be a means of showing strength to the people and getting them to fall in line behind the powerful one.
- Occasionally, a war is advocated as a means of ramping up the economy and increasing employment. Alternately, it may be “sold” as a means of protecting our freedoms. Most people don’t realize that this merely channels wealth into war materiel and military personnel, not into consumer and capital goods. This makes most people feel poorer in the long run (assuming they survive the war).
- Lies run rampant to protect the people from the truth (don’t yell “fire” in a crowded theatre, or panic the people over the approaching missiles…someone might be trampled to death, or get in the way of the military personnel), or as an excuse for justifying a particular act (setting up concentration camps to employ slave labor).
- People start disappearing, are assassinated, or publicly accused of heinous crimes to discredit them and/or eliminate their dissension or criticism. Watch for investigative reporters to be silenced, one way or another.
- Power becomes concentrated in one party or person. Either you’re with us or you’re against us…which is it? If you’re against us, you’re the enemy and need to be eliminated or isolated (in a concentration camp).
- Markets cease to function as the needs of the state take over. When the state needs “everything,” what are markets needed for? The allocation of goods and services is taken over by the state. Markets are manipulated, eliminated, or go underground.
- Oft times, a strongman (Caesar, Napoleon, Hitler, Mugabe, Maduro) appears on the scene, usually a former or current military type who will “save” the people from a fate worse than death; i.e., unemployment, poverty, starvation, takeover by a foreign power, etc.
- War is the ultimate goal/outcome of a powerful government. In the end, it must overcome other powerful governments.
Because governments are instruments of force, the logical conclusion is that they must grow until they crowd out all other forces. In the end, there can be only one supreme force. But history has also taught us that empires rise and fall. From Alexander the Great to the Third Reich, it's just a matter of time before they fall.
At this time, the United States is the world's super power, but for how long? Will it be destroyed by North Korea, or will its currency lose its world reserve currency status, relegating the United States to third world standing? It's hard to say, but its people are becoming poorer as the government wastes capital on wars, welfare, and weather victims. It probably won't be long before we get a strongman for the “public good” (since Congress can't seem to get anything done). How many of these landmarks do you recognize in the United States today?
Robert F. Sennholz