Thursday, August 01, 2013

Our troops are defending our benefits

Our troops no longer defend our freedom - they are defending our benefits. We can no longer be proud of their mission. The US has become a global bully defending its interests using military force and secret violent means all over the world. The violence that we unleash in the world is not for our safety but for the stability of the price of oil which allows us to live comfortable lives and drive large cars. We use the inherently coercive nature of government, its monopoly for legal use of violence, to bolster a business model of our lives that we imagine as the only one possible. Since we demand affordable healthcare, free education, cheap gas, well-paying jobs without heeding the intrinsic cost of delivering such goods. Someone has to pay the costs - and in our inability to face them we have shifted that burden away from ourselves on the most powerful player and the most dangerous of them all - the government. In this case the US federal or, shall I say, imperial government.

What shall the government do to pay the cost of our benefits? The obvious thing is to raise taxes and tighten the enforcement of its revenue collection. The other thing is to influence the world around us - China, Japan, Europe - with economic, political and military pressure - to protect what is perceived as the American interest. We went already almost full throttle on that foreign account by unceasing aggression abroad. This is so because the government is acting out its role as the enforcer which we have indeed authorized. The unique privilege of using violence is placed in the hands of government to protect freedom, but we have asked the government to use it to secure the practical, material side of life - to protect our benefits. The practical side of our life is supposed to be secured by peaceful economic process where the government is involved only to assure the honest execution of voluntary transactions.

We have asked the government to use its unique power in a corrupted manner. In the pursuit of the wrong goal.

What will happen next? Or has already happened in consequence? The coercive power of the government is a commodity for sale - today sold to large corporations. They are the suppliers of materials goods the government is to deliver to us as benefits, they are there to make money helping the government fulfill and expand its coercive function. They will be the suppliers of helmets, bullets, tazers, vehicles, prison cells and jailers, intrusive health care, intelligence analysts, data collection facilities, jobs in the security sector. The corporations will also pursue their goals by prodding the government to discipline us as consumers - by enforcing draconian penalties for so-called intellectual-property violations, for any activities perceived as computer fraud even when they might be research projects. The government will intrude into our lives to all the medical and intimate details - when it sees its role as provider of health care it will be an enforcer of compliance with proper health practices. We are already restricted from self-medicating by the intricate system of licensing and drug delivery rules which allows the health care industry and big pharma to rise above us as a cartel. And we are sponsoring that!

People, we are asking the government to kick our collective ass! Wake up! Do we want to be cattle raised for the glory of monstrous organizations which we had initially created to protect us as humans aspiring to life in freedom? Wake up!