Menckens Ghost

More About: Philosophy: Socialism

The Forgotten Word in the Presidential Race

A very important word was not mentioned once throughout the long and nauseating presidential race—not once in the torrent of inane campaign commercials, not once in the hundreds of silly interviews conducted by the sophomoric media, not once in the avalanche of pitiful punditry, and not once in any of the juvenile presidential debates. 

True to form, not one empty-headed, unlearned, unoriginal member of the media hyena pack noticed that the word was missing.

And out of a population of 324 million, only a couple of hundred Americans probably noticed that the hyena pack didn't notice.

Yet it is the most important word of all in choosing presidents or, for that matter, in choosing any politician at any level of government.

Who said that public education doesn't work well?  The government education monopoly has worked wonders in conditioning, brainwashing, and spinning the population like socks in a washing machine so that they don't think of the word when they think of government.

What is the word?

The word is "coercion."

The most important role of government in a nation of supposed free people is to keep coercion at a minimum—to keep government force at the minimal level necessary to protect lives, civil liberties, and property. 

Tellingly, keeping coercion at a minimum wasn't the platform of either Republicans or Democrats.  Nor was it the platform of Donald Trump, or Hillary Clinton, or Bernie Sanders.

In fact, their platforms were the opposite.

Their platforms were to use government coercion to brazenly take money from one person or group and give it to another, to surreptitiously use the Federal Reserve and Treasury to create money and credit out of thin air to abet the stealing, to pretend to care about social justice and fairness while causing great injustice and unfairness, to purport to stop racial and gender discrimination while making human relations worse, to reorder society in their own egotistical and corrupt images and then to act surprised over society being selfish and immoral, to try to win the hearts and minds of people around the world by bombing the crap out of them, and, of course, to continue to pour money into the washing machines of K-12 schools and universities so that the sock puppets continue to be washed, conditioned, and spun.

Whatever issue faces the country, none of the control freaks who influence public opinion first asks, How can we address this with a minimum of coercion?

They're in bad company.  The Mafia doesn't ask the question, either.

Examples abound.  Take healthcare.  The question wasn't asked, and still isn't asked, on the subject of making medical care and insurance more widely available at a cheaper cost.  Instead, a coercive scheme nicknamed ObamaCare was developed, following other coercive schemes that had preceded it for a half-century.

If the foregoing question had been asked, policy makers might have stumbled on the idea of changing the tax code and regulations to enable religious, fraternal, social, and charitable organizations to provide medical care and insurance to their members and public at large.  It's startling and telling that the question wasn't asked in a supposed religious nation that preaches about healing the sick, feeding the poor, and following the Golden Rule.  Coerced compassion is not compassionate.

One reason the question isn't ever asked is that the education establishment doesn't want to teach the masses to ask it.   After all, if the masses were to learn to ask the question, they might ask why there has to be an education monopoly based on coercion.  This in turn might lead them to study the sordid history of the public education movement in the United States and discover the answer:  Not only doesn't there have to be a monopoly based on coercion, but the masses would be better educated without one.

Things have gotten so bad in the absence of the question being asked that sports fans see nothing wrong with coercing non-fans to pay for their stadiums, as if stadiums wouldn't be built without coercion or as if stadiums are some sort of public good.

Once coercion is accepted as the engine that makes society work, there is no limit to government power.

That's because coercion begets coercion.  It triggers resentment, a backlash and a quid pro quo.  If a millennial votes for the government to coerce a boomer to pay his $30,000 in tuition debt so he can buy a $30,000 car, the boomer will vote for the government to coerce a millennial to pay $30,000 for his heart surgery so he can buy a $30,000 car.  Or vice versa.  Maybe that's why colleges, the auto industry, the American Medical Association, and pharmaceutical companies love coercion.

Naturally, politicians, government bureaucrats, public-sector workers, and crony capitalists also love coercion, because it gives them power, prestige, and money.   It doesn't matter to them that it destroys the nation in the process.

One would think that Americans would've learned their lesson with the horrible coercion of slavery.  If in colonial times the British government and then the new American government had embraced the idea of restricting the use of government force to protecting civil liberties instead of using force to take civil liberties, slavery never would have happened.  In turn, Jim Crow never would have happened, the horror of black ghettos never would have happened,  black welfare dependency never would have happened, the EEOC never would have happened, and Black Lives Matter never would have happened.

Those on the right say they value small government and individual liberty; those on the left say they care about social justice and civil liberties.  But both sides advocate coercion without ever saying the word, thus demonstrating that there is no difference between them where it matters most.

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Charlie Patton
Entered on:

Knocking politicians because they don't discuss how to perform their duties with a minimum of coercion is like knocking milkmen because they don't discuss how to nourish your family with a minimum of diary products. The single factor that distinguishes governments from every other institution on the face of the planet is that they are legally allowed to initiate coercion, and everyone else is not. If you're running for political office, you clearly believe you can exercise coercion more beneficially than other people. It's silly to be surprised at the consequences of this.


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