Crime Does Pay

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Making crime pay is literally true in America nowadays. Not just token work like making cons stamp out license plates or pick up trash along the Interstate. There’s not much money in that.

But there’s a fortune to be made when government “partners” with (cough) private business to tag team the public – as in the case of photo enforcement of traffic violations.

The profits can sail into the million annually in a major metro area such as Washington, D.C. (which has cameras everywhere) and the profits – yes, profits – are typically split evenly between the two.

Now, ordinarily, profits are a good thing. They are the result of having produced something of value that people not only want but but are willing to pay for. No one wants a traffic ticket – and few of us pay them willingly. We pay only because of the implied threat of violence that accompanies each such notice if we dare not to pay.

Profits are properly the realm of voluntary free exchange – not government force.

It is right and proper for the state to compel restitution, say – as when a criminal is required to make his victims whole. But there is something unnatural and vile about using the frightening power of organized state violence to make a buck. To point guns at people in order to funnel money – lots of money – to a “vendor,” that is, to a privately owned business, so that its owners can get rich off the misery of the citizenry, with government providing Mafia-style thugs to help him collect.

This is in fact the defining essence of fascism – and it is exactly the sort of system we’ve allowed to be erected under our noses. Often, with a good number of us cheering it on.

And we have allowed it because we’ve (that is, most people) been taught quite deliberately to misunderstand what fascism is. Our schools impart images of Hitler and his Nazis, of jackbooted stormtroopers and Nuremburg rallies – and most especially, of jew-baiting and racism. But those are incidentals. The essence of fascism is not racialism. It is corporatism. The marriage of Big Business and Big Government.

It is about for-profit government – at bayonet point.

And it’s much more than merely traffic tickets, though that has become an enormous problem – especially since many of these cons are almost entirely automated, without even a nod to due process. There’s no facing one’s accuser, no day in court. Just a ticket in the mail along with the private contractor’s affirmation of your guilt, unchallenged and taken as given (it being up to you to demonstrate otherwise, upending a basic principle that goes all the way back to Magna Carta) along with an order to pay up.

I’ve written before about mandatory insurance – first car, soon health and bet your bippie more to come (such as coercive life and perhaps home insurance) too. Once again, we have the essentially fascist practice of (so-called) private businesses enlisting the violence business of the state to enlarge their “customer” base by force. It is no accident, incidentally, that DMVs and other organs of the state began calling their unwilling victims just that – “customers” – beginning in the late 1980s, when fascism, American-stytle really began to pick up speed. But it also goes back a lot farther, to the 1930s – when FDR took a whole book full of ideas (including word torture such as calling compulsory taxes paid into the government Ponzi scheme called Social Security “contributions”) from his Italian mentor, Il Duce – the man who articulated the concept of fascism and made it state policy in Italy was widely admired by the West many years before that funny little man in Germany who ripped-off some of his ideas and symbols was anything more than a shabby beer-hall bully.

American schoolchildren have been educated in government schools, so of course they are largely ignorant of these things – of things like the National Recovery Act and its spread-winged adler mascot, cousin of another and very similar adler mascot across the sea. Il Duce went down in flames – actually, was hung up by his ankles – because of his association with German racialism. But fascism lives on in the very “Homeland” that once sent troops across that same ocean, ostensibly to stamp it out.

We – the average American dumbo, ignorant and propagandized as he is, attentive only to football and Dancing With the Stars – believes we can’t possibly have fascism here because America is diverse and doesn’t mistreat its minorities (A-rabs excepted, of course) as state policy.

But that’s just exactly what we do in fact have – and are getting more of every day. “Conservatives” have for years yarbled about the threat of communism and socialism, while the real threat ran right between their legs and set up shop behind them.

The “people” own nothing in this country – but large combines with political muscle control nearly everything. And make a handsome profit besides.

We may not have billboard ads for Der Sturmer along the highways. But we’ve got everything else that matters – from internal security checkpoints to “contributions” at gunpoint from unwilling “customers” for the profit of (cough) private “businesses” whose business is fundamentally about coercion, about enriching the small elite that runs the operation, all of it marketed as being in the National Interest and necessary for Public Safety.

Only we’re taught not to notice it – or call it by its rightful name – precisely because there aren’t cartoonish pictures of Der Jude (or der A-rab) all over the front pages of the New York Times.

The genius of latter-day fascism lies in its America-style reincarnation – wrapped in the the flag and family values and heterogenous “diversity” – but exactly the same program under the skin.

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Reprinted with permission from EricPetersAutos.com.

Eric Peters [send him mail] is an automotive columnist and author of Automotive Atrocities and Road Hogs (2011). Visit his website.

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