What Came To Be

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The latter
half of the 19th century marked the beginning of a new
era of mankind, an era of politics and comparative economic stagnation.
Through an illusion of need, the political class has managed to
shrewdly maneuver the people under their rule so that its position
as government has been ever fortified. Today almost no one seems
able to even imagine a society without a ruling class of political
gods-wannabes. How did we come to this?

Looking to
the history books will not help. History, as we know, is written
by the victors, not by the people carrying society on their backs.
But through looking at historical events from a non-statist point
of view we can easily see how we came to this. Let's recapitulate
the last hundred years or so, and see where all this madness comes
from.

In the 19th
century the Western world experienced enormous economic growth.
The reason was partly due to the changes in Europe from dictatorial
rule by monarchs to a less easily controlled, and thus less regulated,
society through the development of technology, but also in part
because of the great opportunities for "ordinary" people
west of the Atlantic Ocean. Parliaments were ordained to attend
to the revealed political shortcomings of monarchs, resulting only
in limited monarchical powers and ineffective parliaments. Progress
in the areas of science and technology combined with decreasing
State power called for enormous economic growth.

The majority
of the European and American populations were lifted from poverty
to prosperity thanks to this. Of course, such an enormous change
did not come about without problems; when society changes from a
stable and stagnant rural order to industrial mass production with
rapid economic growth, some people lack the courage, opportunity
or means to seize the promising prospects. So the first real noticeable
change of this mammoth growth in the economy was inequality.

This first
effect, where some quickly became very rich while others stayed
very poor, made people call for the centralist power of the State
to redistribute the newly created wealth, i.e. to steal from some
in order to flatten the wealth hierarchy. It is safe to say there
were quite a few people being exploited back in those days, but
it was most likely a temporary problem. In a society under the strain
of rapid change, some people find themselves unwanted and unfit
(before finding their new role in society) whereas others find great
opportunities. Some people surrender to their greed and cross the
natural border lines of ethics and natural rights.

One would think
the State, seen through minarchist eyes, would protect those whose
rights have been violated and then stay out of people's business.
That is exactly the opposite of what the State is about, and it
is exactly the opposite of what the State did. Politicians have
no sense of morality or ethics; they are always worse than any greedy
industrialist. After all, industrialists seize opportunities to
create wealth (even if they sometimes exploit workers to get there),
but politicians seize only opportunities to destroy wealth through
appropriating it from the people creating it. Politicians are unable
to create.

So the most
progressive politicians of the State responded to the inequalities
following the enormous economic growth through creating alliances
with some of the great industrialists, dismissing others. This system
of politics destroyed whatever innovation was available in the marketplace,
in order to protect industrial allies, and used appropriated wealth
to set up enormous systems to bribe voters, while proclaiming these
systems a "safety net" for those vulnerable.

The monarchs
were criticized for being remnants of old times, and were eventually
dismissed or their powers removed. Parliaments of politicians took
it on themselves to be the leaders of the State and society, and
the only source of authority and progressive policies. A system
of rewards is set up in order to keep the masses in check and provide
a basis for power. The people is used as a source of legitimacy
through letting it decide who (rather than whether) should rule
it.

We are now
some years into the 20th century, and to keep this reward
system, i.e. the machinery of buying votes going, it has to be constantly
growing. To keep the illusion of a common need for a centralized
power alive, more rewards have to be handed out and more people
made into believing they, as a people, have ultimate power. Thus,
whatever free market there was was bit by bit eliminated by state
regulations, rules, laws, taxes, and subsidies — under the guise
of being for the public good. Regulations and taxes were imposed
to counteract inequality and injustice.

While living
happily with their industrial allies, politicians could control
their voting populations and benefit greatly personally: how many
politicians have not accomplished to be thought of as "great
men" and the "fathers" of nations? Politicians are
a class of unable, unwanted, unproductive, indecent, dishonest people,
who try to remedy their inferiority through oppressing those morally
superior. Nothing pleases them more than being the center of attention,
to be called upon as the pious providers of mercy.

So the State
increases in size and gives room for more politicians, the friends
and allies of the formerly very limited political class are rewarded
for their loyalty and bought off to ensure friendships. The number
of power hungry grows at the expense of the poor people leading
decent, hard-working lives. The First World War marks the end of
monarchical rule in Europe, and the beginning of the age of parliamentarian
political parasites. The grip tightens at the same speed as economic
growth is stifled. More problems occur that need to be fixed. Political
rule stands unchallenged and unquestioned. "War is the health
of the state."

President Woodrow
Wilson is appalled by the States' dedication to destroy each other
during the war. He believes States' governments should be able to
coexist and thrive in union, they should not tear each other apart
and while doing so leaving the back door open for potential opposition.
The Fourteen Points are presented and an organization founded with
the purpose to see to the interest of States and mediate when political
interests collide.

The Western
States back each other up in times of need, or so the newly instated
League of Nations was supposed to work. The international peace
during the years after the First World War lets the political bodies
of all nations concentrate undisturbed on national issues such as
regulation, taxation, and border controls. To keep the illusion
of politically provided public goods alive — and to pay for the
warfare — the parasitic class goes further in their quest to find
ways of satisfying the "public need" for reforms and alms.
They start meddling with the value base of currency, which quickly
devastates the financial system and results in a depression.

The Great Depression
is not a real problem for the political class, even though the history
books discuss it in terms of despair and misery. There is a reason
it is called "great," and it is not because it was a period
of very difficult years (even though it was). To the political establishment,
the depression was truly "great" in many ways: it was
a perfect catastrophe to be blamed on political enemies and used
as a foundation for increased power. "The market" was
said to be the problem, and only more politics would be able to
solve the problems the market had caused. The depression acted as
a catalyst for political power-grabbing all over the world.

Some countries
were affected more than others, and in Germany a certain power-hungry
fellow managed to inspire the population with hope through providing
both scapegoats and a strategy to restore ancient glory.
This mustached little man aspired to real and eternal greatness
through trying to create a Third Empire of Europe, and made a pact
with an equally successful and mustached man to split half a continent
between them.

As things are
in politics, you cannot for sure trust anyone. Politicians tend
to make alliances with anyone who can increase their personal influence
or power, and break any agreements for a seemingly better deal.
Russia's mustached ruler thus broke the pact and became allied with
the little man's enemies, which eventually caused the downfall of
the little German and his State.

The end of
the Second World War called for more propaganda: yet again "evil"
was defeated and "good" (i.e. our kind of State) was victorious.
Now all people needed to do was trust their governments to organize
the restructuring and rebuilding of their States and societies.
The immense destruction of the war created a great need for construction
workers and engineers, as well as for a political leadership generously
supporting the remaking of order and infrastructure.

These times
called for a political focus on domestic organizing and weeding
out political opponents; this great effort to rebuild society could
not be allowed to be jeopardized by the selfish concerns of the
few unsympathetic towards our great civilization. The Bretton Woods
system of fixed currency exchange rates was established in order
to direct attention from the worthlessness of fiat currency to problems
suiting the power elite. The States needed to focus on more important
problems, such as regulating and taxing the restructuring of society.
Bretton Woods supplied a great illusion of stability to provide
for economic growth and enough prosperity for the populations to
tolerate and unquestioningly accept more fundamental contradictions
in political society.

The League
of Nations was reestablished as the United Nations to provide for
national sovereignty and protect the interests of modern princes.
A time of fictitious economic growth and the illusion of inherent
peacefulness of "democratic" States followed. Power was
secured as the masses were kept under control through a belief in
the promises of future opportunities.

At the same
time, the former allies of the East and West played a game of mutually
reinforcing political power. Through portraying "the other"
as the greatest threat to "our" way of life, support was
gained for further increases in political power. The establishing
of a "Cold War" made sure opponents to political rule
could easily be done away with.

This time period
is characterized not by war, but by unwar — unlimited State spending
on military and intelligence in order to make sure there would be
no war. The State is yet again declaring society's need for strong
leadership and rule, and the point is proved to the masses through
pointing to the obvious threat of "the other side."

After more
than eighty years of a too tight grip on society, the eastern power
finally collapses under its own weight in 1991. It seems too much
control, too much harassment of the people, too much regulation,
too much taxation — i.e. too much political power — causes too many
problems for power to survive. This is a real threat, and the fall
of the Soviet Empire was not welcome news for the political leaders
of the "West."

Of course,
the public statements say differently, but the power elite had to
continue the lie. The collapse of the "evil empire" meant
but one thing to politicians of the "West": now they had
to figure out how to continue the lie without relying on the obvious
communist "threat." And the powers of the State had to
be salvaged and reinforced.

The lesson
of the Soviet People's Republic was quickly learned by the powers
of the western hemisphere, where a greater degree of unregulated
markets were allowed and some markets were even opened up in order
to avoid a possible collapse. As a direct result of the collapse
of the eastern threat to "our" way of life, and thus as
a result of the threat of not being able to threaten the masses
with "the other," more markets were partly deregulated
as a drastic measure to avoid the End of Power.

The decade
following the collapse of the "East" included a few wars
to direct attention from domestic failures, but was at large characterized
by politicians desperately seeking ways to reinforce the illusion
of a public need for structure, order, and rule. In Europe this
post Cold War decade of political desperation had effects even among
people in the masses. This caused breaks to long-term party majorities
in many national parliaments — even the seventy years suite of socialist
rule in Sweden was temporarily broken — and a chance for former
oppositions to enjoy the sweeter side of the political power struggle.

This politically
rather unnatural state of affairs in a time without obvious enemies
to combat, forced the political elite to look further away and consider
new strategies to provide for a solution to the "problem."
On both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, the political classes considered
unconventional methods as a way to force society back to "normality."

In Europe,
a union was created from a formerly inter-State community for the
mutual benefit of economic growth. The union was quickly maneuvered
so that formerly national parliaments bit by bit transferred their
powers to a centralized European Parliament and government. Through
stressing inequalities on a pan-European level rather than nationally,
politicians found they could still prove society's need for their
existence.

A constitution
was drafted in which all rights of Europeans were ultimately revoked
in exchange for unlimited power for the new Brussels- and Strasbourg-based
political center of the United People's States of Europe. Aiming
for regaining ancient glory, the European Union strives to establish
a Third Empire through domestic control and integration of political
powers rather than waging war on foreign States. Diplomacy and "peaceful"
political means — not wars.

America tried
that other strategy never considered by the rather cowardly laid-back
Europeans: war. The power elite of the United States launched a
number of military campaigns abroad in order to direct the people's
and media's attention to non-domestic issues. Being a super power,
the federal government claimed the provoking role of World Police,
and set out to command leaders of other States as well as the Organization
for Securing State Supremacy (more known by its new-speak name,
the United Nations).

A Gulf War
was launched by George Bush I as a great policing effort to restore
justice in the Middle East and show the Iraqi prince Saddam Hussein
he wasn't allowed to continue doing what the Americans had taught
him to do. American troops were also sent to Somalia in a "humanitarian
campaign" where they mercilessly mowed down innocent Somalis
in the recently declared independent north-western part of the country.
The Somalis, anxious to defend their homeland and newly regained
state of statelessness, were publicly identified as "war lords"
and "militias."

In 2001 an
attack, possibly a provoked counterstrike, was launched on
the States of America by religious fundamentalists, making quite
a few things easier for the people in Washington DC. This first
attack ever on American soil (well, except for the civil war) proved
in a political sense the existence of a nation-wide need of the
people for the State to aggressively fight back on terrorism in
an attempt to bring safety to the people and justice to those responsible.
Wars were waged on Afghanistan and Iraq and the State could thereby
accelerate in its attempt to continue growing.

Through a number
of reforms called the Patriot Acts, centuries-old rights of the
people were abolished or "modified" to simplify further
growth of political power and control of the opposition. The Patriot
Acts had the same effect on American society as the harmonization
efforts in the European Union had on Europe and thus political powers
on both shores of the Atlantic were enforced and strengthened, however
different in appearance.

The police
state on the western shore grows rapidly in terms of public welfare
and domestic control and surveillance, whereas the socialist state
on the eastern shore leads the way in welfare spending but is quickening
its pace regarding policing and surveillance.

This is where
we stand today.

March
31, 2006

Per Bylund [send him mail]
works as a business consultant in Sweden, in preparation for PhD
studies. He is the founder of Anarchism.net.
Visit his website.

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