Voluntary Serfdom Captured on C-Span Live

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Pelosi, with
raised fist, squawked, "Jobs. Jobs. Jobs. Jobs."

The shamefulness
of the spectacle of the passage of the Climate Bill did not spring
from the squeaked two votes "win" (217 would have denied
passage; 219 was secured) nor Pelosi's embarrassing squawks.

No. It oozed
from the now predictable spectacle of Democans and Republicrats
birthing yet another monstrosity of oppression.

Powerful parasites
teamed with clever-thinking thugs, clueless confidence men and large
numbers of brainwashed bellies to disgorge the latest bread and
circus baby that would have made Machiavelli proud. Machiavelli
knew all the ways to get people to voluntarily consent to their
own enslavement.

We witnessed
it live on C-Span. It was an ugly sight. The very nature of the
State apparatus itself was on display. Clearly, the tyranny ruling
our land hasn't been established by force or by inheritance; it
has been elected. Those elected have obviously worked feverishly
to convert a short-term shot in the driver's seat into a near-hereditary
entitlement for themselves and their friends, with the single exception,
known to me, being a humble doctor from Texas who has even refused

The men and
women who comprise Congress may not be evil, but they are aggressively
designing our economic and cultural prisons. Many of us are as convinced
as they are that the common good is their goal. It is untrue, but
how has this palatable corruption and deceit come about? Two strategies
– one material and one ideological – were implemented.

First, elected
representatives got as many as they wanted in on the take. This
is the raw purchase of consent. That tactic attracted a hard core
of powerful people benefitting from the pillage. Waxman, Markey,
Pelosi and Obama are busy this minute distributing promised loot
to big business special interests. The other side of the aisle will
get theirs also. It is equal-opportunity plunder.

Second, an
intellectual propaganda network bamboozled us with tales of a large
planetary cause, a looming crisis that they would avert. Such perception
management permitted the despots to appear wise and protective.
Some participant-props had been awarded Nobel prizes. Most garnered
authority credentials. Anthropogenic global warming was, this time,
the crisis-opiate that girded our loins and softened our forthcoming
sacrifice. We are duped into believing that we, or the planet, will
benefit by the micro-regulation and macro-taxation of our behaviors.
Prostituted scientists and "climatologists" in black robes
had christened natural, life-sustaining carbon dioxide a "poisonous
pollutant." The over-reaching Environmental Protection Agency
teamed with the pathetic Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
to steamroller legislation before their gig was up. (Way
too many inquiring minds had been exposing the AGW urgency, as presented,
to be fraud.
The Australian Senate is rejecting its own version
of Cap-and-Trade. The EPA has been caught red-handed censoring a
global-warming study that was inconvenient. New EU Parliament Group
includes climate skeptics. The Polish Academy of Science is challenging
man-made global warming. The earth's temperatures have flat-lined
since 2001, despite growing concentrations of CO2. Green
jobs are found to be a cost not a benefit to our national economy

Thus, in two
subtle strategies, we have strengthened the chains that will keep
us bound to tyranny. The bad-seed baby – H.R. 2454: the American
Clean Energy and Security Act – sets in place a gargantuan
government army of bureaucrats to fleece trillions from an already
burdened and sinking middle-class sheeple. Rationing energy will
give this mob the power over who literally lives and who dies. There
is no part of this inflicted pain that will gain any significant
reduction of global warming. There is every piece of this inflicted
pain that will be impoverishing Americans through its economy-killing
mandates and, very likely, be precipitating
a trade war by taxing our large trade partner, China.

Having created
this new monstrosity, some members of the House may be feeling the
shame. There had been, after all, a refreshing crack in the serious
work of plunder and obfuscation when Minority Leader John Boehner
(R-Ohio) began to read from page after page of the 300 additional
pages that dropped onto the already massive 1200 page bill at 3:09
just that same morning. Mind-numbing details gave mere glimpses
of the newly unleashed tyranny to come. Guffaws were a rational
and healthy response as many members realized the absurdity of pretense
that any of them had had time to read and comprehend what he was
being asked to vote on. So much for transparency.

This awful
bill passes now to the Senate. Perhaps Senators will actually read
it. Having read it, perhaps there are enough Senators with integrity
to defeat it.

members have opportunities to redeem themselves. They can repeal
laws. Begin now. And, they hold the most important power. The House
of Representatives in the Congress of the United States of America
constitutionally holds the power of the purse. House Representatives
can, in fact, strangle oppressive activities by withdrawing financial
support. Just cut off funds and wars will wither from the Executive
vine. Just deny money and plunderers will have to turn to production.
Tough love could find a home in the House.

And, individually,
tough wills could find a way out from under this tyranny. We can
just say no. We can withdraw consent. The Prince had his
Machiavelli to show him the way to rule. We have our Gandhi and
our tienne de La Botie (the first libertarian political philosopher
in the Western world) to show us how to undo the seemingly overwhelming
power of the ruling State. Murray Rothbard uncovered those liberty-saving
strategies in The
Political Thought of tienne de La Botie.
Listen carefully
to his sage and stirring words.

Tea Parties,
secession movements, bailout protests, and plummeting approval ratings
of both elected and unelected "leaders" show that thoughtful
citizens are restless. When our monopoly cartel central bank is
transparently audited, the statists' failed experiments and unhealthy
entanglements will be exposed. Unexamined faith in government will
face fresh and critical examination. If it withdraws its consent
to servitude, free society will flourish.

29, 2009

Lilley [send her mail]
is an adjunct faculty member at the Mises Institute. She was formerly
with the University of Texas at Austin’s Chair of Free Enterprise,
and an attorney-at-law in Texas and Florida.

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