That Reckless Protection Racket of Military Socialism and Fascism

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In previous
articles, I have referred to military socialism while others have
referred to the military industrial complex, and some of these descriptions
need to be clarified for a better understanding of the dysfunctional
nature of the U.S. government's national security monopoly, and
an alternative
must be presented.

The Washington
Post recently published a series of articles with the title,
Top Secret America, regarding how out of control our federal
government's national security Leviathan has become, and how much
the centralized bureaucratic Leviathan depends on private contractors.
The series by investigative reporters Dana Priest and William Arkin
was in three parts (Part
1
, Part
2
, and Part3).
In the same week, the whistleblower website WikiLeaks released
a massive number of documents revealing much of what has already
been known about the U.S. government's failing war in Afghanistan.
According to Priest and Arkin of the Post:

  • Some 1,271
    government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs
    related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence
    in about 10,000 locations across the United States…
  • In Washington
    and the surrounding area, 33 building complexes for top-secret
    intelligence work are under construction or have been built since
    September 2001…Many security and intelligence agencies do the
    same work, creating redundancy and waste. For example, 51 federal
    organizations and military commands, operating in 15 U.S. cities,
    track the flow of money to and from terrorist networks.

As the Washington
Post series notes, "Private firms have become so thoroughly
entwined with the government’s most sensitive activities that without
them important military and intelligence missions would have to
cease or would be jeopardized." The Post provides a
list
of the private contractors
.

In response
to the Post series, economist Robert
Higgs
noted:

The whole
business is akin to sending a blind person to find a needle inside
a maze buried somewhere in a hillside. That the massive
effort is utterly uncoordinated and scarcely able to communicate
one part's "findings" to another only strengthens the
conclusion that the goal is not stopping terrorism, but getting
the taxpayers' money and putting it into privileged pockets….

It's a rip-off,
plain and simple…

Now, socialism
can be described as public ownership of property and wealth, and
redistribution of wealth, administered by the State. And fascism
is State control of private property and industry, and also includes
an enmeshment between private businesses and the State. Under either
socialism or fascism, the tasks of territorial protection have been
monopolized by the State, whereas in an actual capitalist system,
which America has never actually experienced, the tasks of territorial
protection would be performed by competing
agencies
and would not be restricted or interfered with by the
State.

Prof. Higgs
had written an article in 2007 on military-economic
fascism
, which he claims is worse than military-economic
socialism.

In the latter,
the people are oppressed, because they are taxed, conscripted,
and regimented, but they are not co-opted and corrupted by joining
forces with their rapacious rulers; a clear line separates them
from the predators on the “dark side.”

With military-economic
fascism, however, the line becomes blurred, and a substantial
number of people actively hop back and forth across it: advisory
committees, such as the Defense
Science Board
and the Defense
Policy Board
and university administrators meet regularly
with Pentagon officials… and the revolving door spins furiously
— according to a September 2002 report, “[t]hirty-two major Bush
appointees are former executives, consultants, or major shareholders
of top weapons contractors”…and a much greater number cross the
line at lower levels.

Moreover,
military-economic fascism, by empowering and enriching wealthy,
intelligent, and influential members of the public, removes them
from the ranks of potential opponents and resisters of the state
and thereby helps to perpetuate the state’s existence and its
intrinsic class exploitation of people outside the state. Thus,
military-economic fascism simultaneously strengthens the state
and weakens civil society, even as it creates the illusion of
a vibrant private sector patriotically engaged in supplying goods
and services to the heroic military establishment (the Boeing
Company’s slickly
produced television ads
, among others, splendidly illustrate
this propagandistically encouraged illusion).

Whether it
is military socialism or military fascism, or whether these private
contractors are pathologically enmeshed with the U.S. government,
it is made possible by forced redistribution of wealth, pure and
simple, and it is not a productive service of security.

Another aspect
of the State's monopoly of territorial protection is "military
Keynesianism," as Prof. Higgs has
also discussed
. Keynesian economists and policy makers believe
in deficit
spending
as a means of stimulating the economy. Keynesians love
war and Big Military Socialism/Fascism. George W. Bush's starting
two wars sure stimulated the economies of many private defense contractors
and government employees. Barack Obama's policies are Keynesianism
on steroids.

Those kinds
of policies are named after John
Maynard Keynes
, whose economic ideas of short-sightedness ("In
the long run, we're all dead…") and irresponsibility, and selfish
disregard for the welfare of future generations, is what got all
the world's economies in the mess we're currently in.

Contrary to
the American Founders' blueprint for societal progress and upward
mobility through individual liberty, freedom of association and
private property, Keynes's blueprint was for downward mobility and
societal deterioration through collective covetous theft of private
property and wealth.

The underlying
condition that has caused the corruption, ineptness and the State's
ever-expanding collusions with private businesses is the U.S. government's
monopoly in territorial protection, in which the State monopolist
has no competitive incentive to actually provide quality of protection
services.

Because of
being institutionalized monopolists, the bureaucrats in Washington
could not recognize or would not acknowledge the terrorists' actual
motivation for their terrorism, as expressed
by the terrorists themselves, that motivation being the U.S. government's
intrusions into Middle-Eastern territories for at least six decades.

Those intrusions
include the CIA's overthrowing
Iran's leader and replacing him with a brutal dictatorial regime
for 25 years, the U.S. government's (and private U.S. companies')
involvement
in the 1980s Iran-Iraq war, and the U.S. government's war
and sanctions
against Iraq throughout the 1990s, all of which
caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings.
For decades, the only actual accomplishments of these intrusions
by the U.S. government have been to inflame anti-American hatred
throughout the Middle East. And all that was before 9/11/01,
and before all the death and destruction the U.S. government
has caused in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan since 9/11.

But typical
of government bureaucrats and monopolists of the protection racket
they control, the answer to the problem of the terrorism that was
motivated by U.S. government's intrusions was to commit more
intrusions in the Middle East.

Now, regarding
the use of private contractors, the Washington Post article
uses the phrase, "privatization of national security,"
which really isn't the privatization of national security, because
the State is still in control of it all, and the funding of such
private interests is not by voluntary contract, but by compulsory
taxation.

Only a monopolist
of territorial protection would do the stupid things that the socialist/fascist
U.S. government officials have been doing for these past many decades.
The alternative to such
counter-productive policies and redistribution parasitism is to
outlaw the State's protection racket and legalize competitive protection
agencies. It is not as far-fetched as it may sound. In their book,
The
Market for Liberty
, ch.13, authors Morris and Linda Tannehill
note,

Those who
doubt that “the private sector” of the economy could sustain the
expense of a free enterprise defense system would do well to consider
two facts. First, “the public sector” gets its money from the
same source as does “the private sector” — the wealth produced
by individuals. The difference is that “the public sector” takes
this wealth by force (which is legal robbery) — but it does not
thereby have access to a larger pool of resources. On the contrary,
by draining the economy by taxation and hobbling it with restrictions,
the government actually diminishes the total supply of available
resources.

Second, government,
because of what it is, makes defense far more expensive than it
ought to be. The gross inefficiency and waste common to a coercive
monopoly, which gathers its revenues by force and fears no competition,
skyrocket costs. Furthermore, the insatiable desire of politicians
and bureaucrats to exercise power in every remote corner of the
world multiplies expensive armies, whose main effect is to commit
aggressions and provoke wars. The question is not whether “the
private sector” can afford the cost of defending individuals but
how much longer individuals can afford the fearsome and dangerous
cost of coerced governmental “defense” (which is, in reality,
defense of the government, for the government…by the
citizens).

In fact, it
is inevitable that the protection racket monopolist will provoke
hostilities as a means of expanding the monopolist's own power,
made possible by the monopoly's compulsory nature on the territory's
inhabitants.

However, you
won't find a private security firm starting a war against Iraq in
1990 as then-President George H.W. Bush did, or deliberately getting
one's clients involved in other people's conflicts, because that
would make one's protection clients more vulnerable to external
hostilities. A private security firm would not have deliberately
lured the
Japanese
to bomb Pearl Harbor, and a private security firm would
not have put its employees in harm's way in Vietnam, or used deceit
and emotional rhetoric to get his clients to agree to invade Iraq
a second time as the younger George
Bush
did.

After the federal
monopolists of protection have been destroying Iraq for 20 years,
and Afghanistan for 8 years, and Pakistan now, as well as impoverishing
America and burning our Liberty to the ground, Iran
is next
, and for no good reason.

We will soon
see if Americans really are masochistic gluttons for punishment
and whether they will support yet another unnecessary campaign of
wanton aggression, this time against Iran and based on the same
emotionalistic propaganda that sucked America into Afghanistan and
Iraq, and if Americans will support even more U.S. government murder
of innocent human beings and destruction of foreign territories.
Remember the old saying: "Fool me once, shame on you; fool
me twice, shame on me." (Or 3 or 4 times now. Or is it 6 or
7 — I've lost count.)

Not only have
the Anti-Federalists been proven right about the dangers of a centralized
national State, but, given how ineffective and counter-productive
a socialist and fascist State monopoly of territorial protection
has been, as the Washington Post series and the WikiLeaks
disclosures have shown, we now have good reason to decentralize
America and cut the chains of serfdom, dependence and government-institutionalized
impoverishment.

Scott
Lazarowitz [send him mail]
is a commentator and cartoonist at Reasonandjest.com.

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