US Polycracy

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The number of gears in the government machine greased by taxpayer money is staggering. Currently, the US government has 15 major departments, with over 450 supporting and independent agencies. The breadth and depth of these alphabet soup bureaucracies is astounding. Did you know there is a government agency called the Office of Minority Health (OMH)? Are minorities’ physiologies different than the rest of the US population? I mean, don’t ALL Americans have the same concerns with health issues? Who knew? This illustrates the ongoing specialization and redundant creation of myriad organizations spawned by a nanny government. Pick an issue, any issue, no matter how small or insignificant, and — poof! — our progressive government creates ex nihilo another government ancillary to appease the sheeple’s concern that something is being done to address it.

Merely wasting taxpayer money, and ensnaring citizens with new regulations — regulations put in effect without congressional review by said agencies — would be bad enough. But a more sinister trend is occurring among these multitudes of government organizations — the accumulation of personal power. Newly appointed Secretary of the State, Hillary Clinton, is currently pursuing to widen the power to the State department before taking office. Ms. Clinton proposes a bigger budget, additional envoys, and a greater role in economic affairs. Her justification?

Mrs. Clinton’s push for a more vigorous economic team, one of her advisers said, stems from her conviction that the State Department needs to play a part in the recovery from the global financial crisis. Economic issues also underpin some of the most important diplomatic relationships, notably with China.

So our government, which has ripped off trillions in US citizens’ tax dollars via bailouts and the Federal Reserve, without accountability, now wants to assist in repairing the international financial crisis through the State Department? Under "Whitewater" Hillary Clinton? Ok, now if that isn’t the official starting gun for the worldwide apocalypse, nothing is.

This latest development, along with the recent clash between Biden and Cheney on the role of the Vice Presidency, confirms my growing suspicion that the departments in the US government are shifting from a vertical hierarchy to a horizontal network of competing agencies: a system otherwise known as a polycracy. A unique mutation of this polycracy includes the appointment of "Czars" — Drug Czar, Car Czar, Health Czar, Cyber Czar, et al. — all of whom become the proverbial too many cooks that spoil the broth. The habit of government to throw more money at a problem is nothing compared to its obsession to spawn whole litters of power-wielding appointees and boards to advise the advisors of the advisory committees. More ominous is that many agencies are given carte blanche for the unrestricted carry of firearms listed on John Lott’s blog. They include Internal Revenue Service agents, Health and Human Services Department, and the Environmental Protection Agency. What, the EPA, armed? Why, so they can shoot litterbugs and non-recyclers? I do agree the Health and Human Services Department should carry guns — so they can mercifully give the coup de grace to those citizens who have suffered under their mediocre, "good enough for government work" care.

At the risk of abusing Goodwin’s Law, this expansion of US departmental power is reminiscent of the polycratic system in the Nazi government. According to "The Hitler State" by Martin Broszat, the Third Reich government resembled an "Organizational Jungle" of competing agencies. Historian Ian Kershaw makes the case that Hitler either sought or unconsciously allowed this "Political Darwinism" to take place to kill off the weak factions and to keep the stronger ones at each other’s throats — to occupy them from making a power grab for Hitler’s position. Only in such an environment could a virtually unknown, weak-chinned, bespectacled chicken hawk with metagaming Machiavellian skills rise to power and control both the internal security police and the State Praetorian Guard. And no, I am not referring to Dick Cheney, but Heinrich Himmler. But I can forgive the reader for mistaking one for the other.

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