By Craig J. Cantoni
March 29, 2006
A specter is haunting the new United States of America — the specter of unlimited Big Government. Some of the powers of the old USA have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this specter: traditional conservatives, libertarians, capitalists in the Adam Smith mold, Ayn Rand objectivists, intellectuals from the Austrian and Chicago schools of economics, owners of small businesses, entrepreneurs, and other remnants of individualism, classical liberalism, free markets and limited government.
These reactionary relics of a bygone era decry Big Government as socialist, collectivist, immoral and anti-family. But where in the world has the party in power not been decried in such derogatory terms by a shrill and shrinking opposition of extremists? The opposition is so desperate that it has even gone so far as to attack the latest proposal to extend the public education protectorate beyond kindergarten to pre-kindergarten.
Two things result from this fact:
I. The stridency and extremism of the opposition show that Big Government has won and is here to stay.
II. It is high time that the advocates of Big Government should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims and their tendencies in a manifesto.
Individuals versus Central Authority
The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of the struggle between central authority and individual liberty.
Tribal chieftain versus tribal member, emperor versus slave, lord versus serf, communist dictator versus the bourgeoisie, fascist dictator versus minorities, the U.S. Supreme Court versus property owners, the Internal Revenue Service versus wage earners, and the protectorate of the U.S. Department of Education, school boards and the National Education Association versus parents who are delusional enough to believe that they know what is best for their children. In a word, a central authority and the individual, standing in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted fight throughout history, ending each time with the central authority or its successor winning.
The only exception was a brief dark period in the USA after the nation’s founding, when it was believed that a utopia could be created in which individuals would be independent, self-reliant and self-governing. Like all utopian ideas, it was based on a false premise about human nature: that people value freedom over security.
That the premise was false can be seen by the fact that the American people have freely chosen an all-powerful central authority without it being imposed on them by a chieftain, emperor, king or dictator. They have voted for the Sixteenth Amendment, the New Deal, the Great Society, Compassionate Conservatism, the Nanny State and an alphabet-soup of unconstitutional federal agencies. They are willing to toil for more than four months a year to support the hundreds of thousands of regulations and tens of thousands of bureaucrats spawned by the central authority. And they consistently vote for the party of Big Government, the Republicrat Party, which was formed in the late twentieth century when Republicans conceded that Democrats had been right all along about the public valuing security over freedom.
The Party has a twofold mission: one, to increase and protect the power of the ruling class; and two, to see that its mandarins in the government bureaucracy, in K-12 public schools, in universities, in the mainstream media and in large corporations conform to the party line and support their benefactor, the Party.
Great strides have been made in accomplishing the mission. Party members are rarely voted out of office, thanks in large part to campaign finance reforms that protect incumbents. Government workers are a new aristocracy, with better job security, benefits and pay than the average taxpayer. The Party has co-opted former conservatives by creating lucrative professions for them that depend on the regulatory state, such as tax accountants, lawyers, lobbyists and regulatory experts. And even farmers, the most independent-minded Americans, have been co-opted with farm subsidies.
Forty-two percent of national income is now in the hands of government. Equally important, 62 percent of the federal budget is money that is taken from individual taxpayers and handed over to special-interest groups in the form of entitlements, welfare, subsidies and grants. In 1900, near the end of the American Dark Age, only about two percent of the budget went to such transfer payments, and only about 12 percent of national income was in the hands of government.
Big Government Planks
The essential conditions for expanding Big Government even more are as follows:
Select Supreme Court justices who will rule against private property, political speech, freedom of association and states’ rights. At the same time, lead people to believe that the nation is a majority-rule democracy instead of a constitutional republic, thus paving the way for the majority of tax takers to plunder the minority of taxpayers.
Encourage people to be angry over the taking of private property for private developers. This distracts them from a much larger taking: the taking of every-increasing amounts of their income with no reimbursement whatsoever, unlike the reimbursement that occurs when the government takes someone’s home.
Give the majority of taxpayers a tax refund each year, thus making them believe that they pay less in taxes than they really do. Hide taxes whenever possible in the price of goods and services and in withheld earnings.
Continue substituting government for individual responsibility, family obligations, personal morality and private charity. This will result in social pathologies as men behave like musk-crazed buck deer on the lookout for brief couplings with the opposite sex, as women marry the state instead of the fathers of their children, and as parents delegate their parental responsibilities to government teachers, babysitters and bureaucrats. As the social pathologies increase, call for more government intervention.
Put children at younger and younger ages under the supervision and indoctrination of the government. Encourage the mainstream media and public schools to propagandize this as being good for the emotional, social and cognitive development of children. At the same time, maintain the government’s monopoly over K-12 classroom thought, so that Americans learn about government, history, capitalism and economics from unionized government teachers.
Send the bills for today’s entitlements to the unborn who don’t vote. Through the tax code, penalize people who save and live below their means, and reward those who live beyond their means. Give the masses the opiate of subsidized sports, give the upper crust the opiate of subsidized art museums and light rail, and give the elderly the opiate of free medicine.
Continue destroying a consumer market in health care while blaming private industry for skyrocketing costs, thus paving the way for nationalized health care.
Outlaw or tax private behavior that doesn’t harm other people, such as smoking tobacco and eating fatty foods.
Demonize private industry and corporate executives for misdeeds that pale in comparison to the misdeeds of politicians and the government.
Characterize anyone who disagrees with these planks as a selfish, mean-spirited extremist.
With these planks and your support, comrade, the utopians don’t have a chance of stopping the Party.
Mr. Cantoni is an author, columnist and founder of Honest Americans Against Legal Theft (HAALT). He can be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.