"A little government and a little luck are necessary in life; but only a fool trusts either of them."
"When politics are used to allocate resources, the resources all end up being allocated to politics."
~ P.J. O’Rourke
Within the populace of the United States there seems to be a slow awakening to the destruction that is beginning to overtake us. After my last article I was asked by more than one reader: "What happened? How did we get into this mess? What did you mean by u2018survive’?"
The answers to these questions have no simple explanation but the bulk of our problem stems from a wave of philosophical attacks which have corrupted the fundamentals that have, throughout history, assured happiness, and more than a modicum of prosperity.
These corrupting influences have not always been readily identifiable; the reason being that as with any heretical doctrines, they seem logical, inspiring and thus judged by the majority to be the correct. It should also be noted that the numbers of those who see the future destruction, which ultimately follows a new orthodoxy, are always far less than those who don’t; thus the implementation of the harmful principles are always accompanied by intimidation and the associated threat of violence, when the academic arguments falter.
It is the old tired mantra of tyrants everywhere; you will be convinced by the force of our argument or we will convince you with force.
Once adopted by society, it is only the passing of time which reveals how perverse, irrational, harsh, and caustic these false standards are to the individual and social order.
Whether we like it or not we live in a world of scarcity. Economists tell us that scarcity is the constant characteristic of the human condition whereby our desires and needs are always greater than our ability to satisfy them.
Certainly history testifies to the fact that human wants are almost limitless and encompass a wide array of material and spiritual desires.
The caveat, as Thomas Woods explains, is that man’s "resources and his body itself exist in finite quantities; any expenditure of these things in the pursuit of some end necessarily comes at the expense of a foregone alternative. He cannot simultaneously perform or enjoy the fruits of all the ends he wishes to pursue. Time, for example, is an irreversible continuum; an hour, once devoted to a particular task, is never again available in the service of another task."
The conflict arises when we as humans realize — consciously or unconsciously — that the ability to satisfy our desires is limited by the finiteness of our resources; including the number of years in our lifetime.
This is man’s Achilles’ heel that allows governments to promise — contingent upon allegiance to the state — "You can have it all." Humans gladly accept this faade for one simple reason; they tend to make choices based on what they believe will bring swift and complete happiness.
It is human nature to take promises as acts which will either avoid danger or that which is unpleasant, thus satisfying a need or desire. Consider the ultimate swindles (Social Security, Medicare), spurious notions (Unlimited credit, "Universal" Health Care, Welfare) and surreptitious campaigns (One World Government, Global warming, saving the planet) that have cajoled the people to the brink of economic disaster.
The common thread of human misery, weaving through centuries of man’s history, resides in the fact that the more utopian, the more feckless, the more fatuous the pledge, the more faithful the public adherence.
Mankind’s wretchedness derives from what is known among Austrian economists as the law of marginal utility.
"This law says," explains Thomas Woods, "that each additional amount of a homogeneous good yields a lesser amount of utility. This law follows from the existence of value scales: the more units of a good a person possesses the lower and lower ranked are the ends he can satisfy with them. His first unit of water, for example, he may devote to drinking, in order to keep himself alive. He may devote his second unit to bathing. A third unit might be used to water his lawn. The value of the marginal unit, therefore, is the value of the end he could no longer satisfy if that unit were taken away. If he loses the third unit he will certainly not go without drinking; he will instead refrain from watering his lawn — in other words, he will refrain from pursuing the least valued of the ends he was previously able to satisfy."
It is often forgotten that "The Government" or "The State" is not an independent, omniscient entity. Rather it is an organization made up of individuals and as such is subject to the same laws of economics — including the law of marginal utility — that govern all human beings.
As more and more power, along with society’s resources, are concentrated in the hands of the "elite," wastefulness ensues in the form of debts and mismanagement or outright theft of resources. Ultimately this squandering, decadent misuse of assets becomes pandemic throughout all government entities, manifesting itself in the cavalier, haughty, if not total disregard for private property and even human life.
This is not some academic exercise but rather a considerable fact of history. Predictably, the empty-headed barbarians among us will continue to find their fantasy world of a benevolent government preferable to reality; spurning self-reliance and personal property while endorsing state terrorism (TSA, FDA, FEMA, Homeland Security, etc…) with its unabated misery.
Just how dangerous this can be was recently brought home to me while speaking with a delightful lady whose youngest years were spent under the Stalin régime (1928—1953) and grew up in the "liberated" Soviet Block country of Poland. (The Soviet Empire held Poland in subjection from 1945 to 1983.)
Eva was not born in Poland; she was born in the west, in Austria which by 1941 was in the orbit of Nazi Germany.
She has little or no recollection of either her father or uncle. During the war they had left the house to do some personal shopping and were never heard of again. Eva has no idea; neither did anyone else, whether they deserted the family, were incarcerated, or killed in a bombing raid.
This, however, was only the beginning of the family’s sorrows.
During the war German ideals of "racial purity" and "politically incorrect" were evident by a number of means. Eva remembers, "…Granny told me the letter "P" had to be sewn on all our clothing so we would be recognized as non-German…"
In 1945, at the conclusion of WWII, this racial profiling continued to put her family in an untenable position, which ultimately resulted in the family being consigned to the deprivation of the Soviets. "…[M]y mother was born in Austria," she elaborates further, "but my Granny was Polish hence the Germans considered us Poles and the Russians as Germans and that’s why we were evacuated to Poland."
Criminals, then as now, wear uniforms and the trip to Poland, as related by her mother, is complete with the shameless arrogance that accompanies state sponsored crime. "The train we travel(ed) on was stopped several times on the way and we were removed from the train waiting on the platforms until the Russian soldiers robbed our possessions and then we were ordered back on the train. Mama and the rest of the family learned (by) the second time to grab whatever they could before the train stopped. By the time we arrived (at our destination), Gorzow Wielkopolski, most of our possessions were gone."
"The whole city was full of Russian soldiers," she continues, "We… kids were forbidden to open our mouths on the streets as we did not speak Polish and whenever we ask mom something in German we were called German swine… We were not allowed to speak German at all; we had to learn Polish from Granny and Mom." Eva’s mother’s wisdom even extended to forbidding the speaking of German at home. "So by the time I went to school I already spoke good Polish. The rest I have learned (in school)."
However, there was more to come. Eva discloses that "[b]y the time I reached the 3rd class [grade] (10 years old) [the] Russian language (had) become compulsory… one day the Russian soldiers came and all Polish history books were confiscated and replaced with Stalin’s/Lenin’s and Dzierzynski’s (Feliks Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky) Russian revolution history."
It was during those years, while learning to speak Russian, that she had a problem rolling her "r" in a manner acceptable to her teacher. "One day," she recounts with more than a painful expression, "the teacher got very mad at me. She then went into the kitchen and got a tablespoon." Returning to the classroom this "teacher" grabbed Eva, pinned her against the wall, then "… jammed her knee into my stomach, pushed my head against the wall, and forced the spoon under my tongue. She held me like that until I rolled my "r" to her satisfaction."
Nor was there a lack of political correctness. "During all my time in Gorzów, that is the school time, we were not allowed to address our teachers in any other way but by calling them u2018citizens.’ If you said Mr. or Miss. or Mrs. they would not reply until you said citizen."
It was at the age of 4—5 years old, while walking home one afternoon, another traumatic event occurred. "I was beautifully dressed when a Russian woman (we called them Uncle or Auntie IVAN) pulled me into a doorway and started taking the dress off me. She kept saying she only wanted to see if the dress was the right size for her daughter. She stole my dress and never returned. I was found later by friends and my Mom standing in a doorway half naked."
When I inquired as to what they ate and the availability of food, Eva gave a most startling response. "Some of the food was coming from UNRA [United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration] from (the) USA and karitas (charitable) church organizations. The only spare meat that was available was horse meat and pork dipped in boiling water. (The) rest of the food was grabbed by the Russians before even the butcher was open."
Fruit was equally hard to come by. "We could get, with great difficulty, 4 oranges for Christmas and Easter and the same applied to lemons and other exotic fruits. They were simply not available to (the) normal public." The rest can be presumed to have gone to the "elite" and well connected.
Remembering the hardships she and her family endured brings an obvious look of pain to Eva’s face. That pain, however, is quickly replaced by unbridled joy as she remembers the first time she ever saw a grocery store display with oranges, in any quantity desired, available to the general public.
"…(T)he day I arrived (in) Dover, after missing Mother in Amsterdam, Lila with her husband picked me up at the (train) station and we were driving along one street when I suddenly saw a shop window full of oranges…. I shouted to Richard, u2018Stop!’ u2018Stop the car!’"
Her brother-in-law asked; "What was the matter?" and Eva pointed to the window with all the oranges and asked, "Are they real?" "I just could not believe that they were real and nobody was queuing (standing in line). I went inside the shop to check for myself if the oranges were for real; THEY WERE!"
During her teenage years, in Poland, Eva recalls. "Most of the books were forbidden and just vanished from the libraries and book shops. Listening to any foreign radio stations (or Radio Free Europe) was forbidden and very dangerous."
She and her friends would go into the basement cover themselves with whatever was available and turn a radio on, being sure to keep the volume down very low, just to hear the news or listen to music. "Music like Rock and Roll and Elvis Presley were absolutely out. You could have been severely punished if caught with his record bought somewhere on the black market."
Even so, Eva became an accomplished singer. In a dichotomy which properly belongs to a black comedy those decadent western songs which had been banned by the regime were the very tunes, "…I sang… at the official parties of the dignitaries in Warsaw and got away with it."
There are many more horrifying events which could be recounted from the time Eva and her family spent in Communist Poland but the most troubling comes from her preteen years. "The most frightening were some nights when drunken soldiers would knock (on) our door, with their rifle butts, demanding to be let in or they (would) open fire. I was usually pushed to the door to say that: u2018Mom is away working and I am alone sleeping.’ That made me very nervous and for the rest of my life I become very nervous when somebody knocks on my door, even now."
I will leave it to the reader to decipher these drunken soldiers’ intent.
Eva now lives comfortably in a western country but is still ever cautious about what she says, to whom she is talking, her surrounding and especially who is following her: behavioral traits that aided and acted in concert to assure her survival.
I can hear detractors declaring: "That was then this is now!" "We don’t live in Communist Poland, this is America and it can’t happen here!"
Are you sure? Take a hard look at the TSA; government intrusion into every aspect of our lives; rogue police officers committing crimes that only a few years ago would have brought public outrage but now are sanctioned by "law"; regulations upon regulations designed to leave us no better off than defenseless, destitute medieval serfs; then there is Congress which is staffed by blatant fools who have brought one of greatest economies in modern history to its knees and on the verge of a catastrophic meltdown. Do I really need to go on?
The executive branch of the Federal government is embracing and openly declaring its support of ideologies and espousers of pogroms who have been responsible for the death of millions upon millions from Europe to China.
What is the ostensive difference between the actions of our present chief executive’s administration, in concert with its dupes in Congress over the last year, and Lenin’s statement that “Communism is power based upon force and limited to nothing, by no kind of law and by absolutely no set rule”? Lenin’s Collected Works, Vol. XVIII, page 361
With the acceleration of government size and power are we that far away from certain books, websites, cable news networks, and radio programs being outlawed? Can we expect harsh penalties being exacted for dispersing, or even speaking certain "unapproved, government banned" ideals? You think not? Consider how many words are no longer "politically correct" and construed as "hate crimes."
Is it a stretch of the imagination to see a future that has government induced food shortages or clothing shortages? You had better be sure of your answer. Our banking and financial systems are failing!
How long do you really think it will be before we are reliving the worst that history has to offer? Take a look at your children and grandchildren; will they survive? Could you survive? Before you answer don’t let a modicum of present wealth and comfort lull you into apathy or a false sense of security.
Survival begins not with guns, gold, and a garden. It starts with self-reliance, strong family and communal bonds, a plan of subterfuge, and clandestine acts centered in the refusal to be subdued. You can’t have it all so you had better spend the scarce time, energy and resources you have left to prepare.
Tim Case [send him mail] is a 30-year student of the ancient histories who agrees with the first-century stoic Epictetus on this one point: u201COnly the educated are free.u201D