CXXX – Political Science 101

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If
I were the chairman of a college political science
department, there are two things I would immediately
do: (1) drop the word u201Cscience,u201D as it does
not apply to what is essentially a normative
field of study; and (2) have the introductory
course in this department be titled u201CFollow
the Money.u201D u201CConstitutional government,u201D u201Cchecks
and balances,u201D u201Cdemocratic systems,u201D u201Cpolitical
theory,u201D and other traditional course offerings,
have no bearing on inquiries into the nature
of modern government.

My
wife and I watched the film Why We Fight,
a wonderful expos of the military-industrial-congressional
complex. With Chalmers Johnson and Karen Kwiatkowski
providing clear focus, the present war system
is revealed for what it is: a racket for siphoning
money from the pockets of gullible people willing
to be convinced of the presence of ever-evolving
bogeymen who pose a never-ending threat to their
lives. These u201Cthreatsu201D can, of course, only
be repulsed by a strong government that (a)
has sufficient police powers to detect their
presence both at home and abroad, and (b) can
generate weapons systems to u201Cprotectu201D Americans
— and their hot tubs — from attack by these
sinister forces. Boobus Americanus — like
its cousin Boobus Britannia and other
close relatives — has become so conditioned
to both the concocted threats of the ogre du
jour and to an omnipotent and omnipresent government
scarecrow, that it is willing to surrender,
without question, its wealth and liberty for
the sake of u201Cprotection.u201D

To
demonstrate the effectiveness of this shakedown
racket, look at the Bush administration's proposed
budget for fiscal year 2007: $2.8 trillion
in government spending, with $439 billion
to be tossed into the national defense trough.
This budget is twenty-eight times greater
than the $99.9 billion budget proposed by President
Kennedy, who did not want to be the first president
to have a $100 billion budget!

Unfortunately,
the budget will whiz through the collective
sinecure of Congress with no substantial objection.
The defense swindle has — by intention — metastasized
into every state, thus assuring the support
of senators and congressmen who do not wish
to incur the wrath of u201Cwhat have you done for
me lately?u201D voters. There will, of course, be
the token objections to fringe government programs
(e.g., National Endowment for the Arts, Public
Broadcasting, etc.) about which a few millions
of dollars will be deleted in order to allow
the congressional rubber-stamps to bleat to
their constituents about u201Ctoughnessu201D on government
spending.

The
conservatives will love this budget, as it promises
major increases in defense spending while, at
the same time, proposing cuts in Medicare and
other welfare, foreign aid, and various other
non-defense programs. I can imagine many conservative
legislators urging even greater amounts for
military spending, as if to confirm their super-patriotism.
Those who resist such legal levels of looting
— which will cost each American over $9,000
a year, or $36,000 for a family of four — will
doubtless be condemned by Fox News tub-thumpers
for being u201Cterrorist sympathizers.u201D

The
liberals will find no objections to such runaway
spending, seeing it as the opportunity to raise
the ante for programs they hope to shove down
the throats of Americans upon their return to
power.

For
every Ron Paul struggling to revive even a modicum
of integrity to a corrupt system, there will
be one hundred congressional pimps working to
insure their corporate clientele favored rooms
in the beltway brothel. With numerous untold
stories of military-industrial corruption inviting
their inquiries, members of the established
media can be counted upon to supply diversions.
Like the purple smoke or multi-colored strings
of silk used by magicians to distract their
audiences, television newscasts will continue
their in-depth reporting on missing teenagers
and bridegrooms; tunnels used to smuggle marijuana
into the United States from Mexico; unsolved
murders; and chickens that can play the xylophone.
For truths of a more significant nature, you
must turn to either the Internet or documentary
film-makers.

It
has been suggested, by some, that political
systems grew out of piracy, with brigands —
tired of having to chase the lootees — establishing
permanent ports through which tradesmen would
have to pass and pay fees. It should be evident
to any rational mind that, contrary to the view
that governments were instituted to protect
property, wealth preceded political agencies;
otherwise there would have been nothing to steal
or control.

The
state exists for one purpose only: to forcibly
extract from people money that could not have
been obtained in the marketplace. Coercive power
is desired for no greater end than to exercise
decision-making authority over others concerning
money, and the resources that can be exploited
for monetary benefit. References to u201Cfreedom,u201D
u201Cdemocracy,u201D u201Cconstitutional principles,u201D the
u201Cproletariat,u201D the u201Cgeneral welfare,u201D u201Clove
of country,u201D the u201Cfatherland,u201D u201Cterrorism,u201D
or any of an endless supply of bromides, are
made for precisely the same reasons that underlie
television commercials: to get you to part with
your money. Beer ads promise you the u201Cgood life;u201D
automobile commercials suggest that members
of the opposite sex will fall in love with you
if you are driving the new Belchfire 99X; even
Viagra is peddled on behalf of the happiness
of women!

If
marijuana did not grow in the wild, but could
be effectively monopolized by the pharmaceutical
companies, do you think it would be legally
opposed as a u201Ccontrolled substance?u201D In much
the same way that Donald Rumsfeld changed from
being Saddam Hussein's close buddy to his nemesis,
can't you imagine today's self-righteous anti-drug
warriors — at the behest of the pharmaceutical
industry – shifting gears to plead for
the rights of the desperately ill who need marijuana
to extend their lives?

Steve
Kubby — who suffers from adrenal cancer — now
sits in a jail awaiting trial, deprived of the
marijuana which, alone, can extend his life.
What conservative voices — for whom u201Cright-to-lifeu201D
is their middle name — have demanded that the
state stop depriving him of a substance that
nature, itself, has provided? What liberals
— who champion u201Cchoiceu201D whenever it serves their
programs — have arisen on behalf of this man
whose only wrong was to have contracted cancer?
But if the drug companies were able to control
marijuana's supply — and thus able to profit
enormously from the sick and dying – don't
you think his case would be pleaded in both
Congress and the media on behalf of u201Cdrug policy
reform?u201D

I
recall, not so many decades ago, the case that
Republicans and other conservatives made to
reform the inefficiencies of government by incorporating
business principles into government agencies
and programs. The assumption was that businessmen,
accustomed to the rigors of marketplace competition,
could weed wasteful practices from government.
The notion was an absurd one, as any first-year
student of economics could confirm: the state
operates on the basis of commands, not
transactions freely negotiated with market participants.

But
the institutionalization of absurdity is what
government is all about, and thus has been created
the military-industrial-congressional-mercantilist
complex of which President Eisenhower warned
in his farewell address in 1961. Taxpayers now
routinely fund the unwanted costs of doing business:
constructing sports stadiums, providing research
and development funding, and paying for the
bankrupt retirement programs of many corporations.
Private corporations now run government schools
and other prisons, and even conduct wars.

Even
many libertarians — who ought to have known
better — have been suckered into the u201Cprivatizationu201D
racket. Privately owned schools, roads, parks,
fire departments, security systems, and other
alternatives to government systems, are to be
encouraged and praised. But in the name of u201Cprivatization,u201D
corporations have been brought in to manage
state programs. To flesh out what this u201Cpartnershipu201D
between the business system and government entails,
take a look at what the mainstream media has
become: a platform from which government agencies
propagandize the public in the name of u201Cnews.u201D
Far too many print and broadcast outlets have
become like RCA-Victor's dog, who sits before
a megaphone listening to u201Chis master's voice.u201D

If
you would like further understanding of how
Americans have the best government that money
can buy, I urge you to see the Why We Fight
film. On the other hand, if you prefer a
mindset in which u201Cnever is heard a discouraging
word,u201D turn your television to either CNN or
Fox News: they might provide you with an update
on the missing teenager in Aruba!

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