How Elites View "The System" and How Libertarians Can Change It

Robert Reich recently typed up a puff piece on the American system of government. You see, to the the establishment elites, there is nothing more important than to “maintain the system” or to keep “the status quo”.While the average American is feeling the heat, the political elites have never had it better.Reich displays the language that is required to keep the people positive about this:

While most Americans don’t like big government, Americans revere our system of government.

Ok, right off the bat, it must be stated for all the new people, that the U.S. government is the biggest government to ever occupy the Earth. It’s not even close. So the “system” that Reich thinks Americans “revere,” has produced that.Do Americans really “revere” it? I’m not so sure about that claim either. I’ve never heard a regular person in my daily life sing hosannas about the government. They definitely love the results of themarketplace. They love the abundance of goods and services that are available. But that’s not a result of the “system” of government by any stretch of the imagination. That’s despite it!The imagination cannot even ponder how much bigger the abundance of goods and services would be if we didn’t have the government albatross on our backs.

Government itself has never been popular in America except during palpable crises such as war or deep depression.

That’s a very telling statement, considering that just about my entire life, the U.S. government has been at war. And when I look back at the decades that preceded my birth, it was at war then as well! So, if that’s when the government is “popular,” it has obviously been the King of The Prom for a very very long time.

The nation was founded in a revolution against an abusive government…and that distrust is in our genes. The Constitution reflects it. Which is why it’s hard for government to do anything very easily.

The Secession (not Revolution…the American colonists were not trying to overthrow the British Crown) of 1776 was against a government that was a peanut compared to ours. King George III couldn’t even fathom the level of taxation and intrusion into American daily lives that our current government exerts.The Constitution, which was written up in secret in the Philadelphia coup, was not a representation of 1776 Secession. Some of the biggest patriots from 1776 were witnessing their revolution of Libertyturned into an instrument of Power. Needless to say, just a couple of hundred years later, they were right.And who is Reich trying to kid when he says The Constitution makes it “hard for government to do anything very easily”? Does his audience consist of 2nd graders?The government seems to do whatever it pleases, almost all of the time. Resistance may appear from time to time (as in the recently thwarted attack on Syria) but those instances are very rare.And massive public resistance doesn’t always work either. The opposition to TARP was just as strong. No one wanted it, and the phones were ringing off the hook in Congress. But guess what? The bankers got their bailout. The public be damned.

No one likes big government. If you’re on the left, you worry about the military-industrial-congressional complex that’s spending zillions of dollars creating new weapons of mass destruction, spying on Americans, and killing innocents abroad. And you don’t like government interfering in your sex life, telling you how and when you can have an abortion, whom you can marry. If you’re on the right, you worry about taxes and regulations stifling innovation, out-of-control bureaucrats infringing on your freedom, and government deficits as far as the eye can see.

For Robert Reich to say that “No one likes big government” is the pinnacle of irony. Read his column and you’ll quickly see why. And the left/right facade that he constructed there is all smoke and mirrors, designed to make it look like there’s a difference between the two.The reason? People like to believe that they have a choice when they vote. It’s human nature not to resist a single individual telling you what to do. But if the appearance of choice exists, it pacifies that resistance.Contrary to Reich’s claims, it is extremely obvious to many (though not enough) that both Republicans and Democrats expand all of Reich’s listed abuses. They’re a tag-team that switches up every few years.Watch out when someone different comes along; and especially if they sound like someone from the secession of 1776….like Ron Paul?…..BLACKOUT…He doesn’t exist.

While most of us distrust government, we’re indelibly proud of our system of government. We like to think it’s just about the best system in the world. We don’t much like politicians but we canonize the Founding Fathers, the Framers of the Constitution. And we revere the fading parchment on which the Constitution is written. When we pledge allegiance to the United States we bind ourselves to that system of government. Anyone who seeks to overthrow or undermine that system is deemed a traitor.

Lots of good stuff to finish this off.First, when the government has the kids until they’re 18 years old in their “schools,” is it any wonder that people think that this is the “best system in the world”. Then, when everyone comes home at night and turns on the FCC licensed media that spout the same line, should there be any surprise?Here’s a tip about “systems” by the way. If it works to increase and concentrate power, then the elites will latch onto it. And they can call the system whatever they want. History shows that every name and combination has been tried. Evidently, since the U.S. government is the biggest and most powerful ever, it must mean that “democracy” and “representative republic” are fantastic!!Finally, there’s a reason why Reich focuses on one “fading parchment” (the Constitution) and completely ignores the other (The Declaration of Independence). You see, in the Declaration, there are no signs of “pledging allegiance” to anything, and if you fail to do so, it means you’re a “traitor”.In the Declaration it states:

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…

Reich is not into those “Founding Fathers”. Those guys can go into the dustbin.Fortunately, there is a silver lining. As long as libertarians keep spreading the message of liberty,those “Founding Founders” will not be relegated to the dustbin, and their libertarian secession will not be a flash in the pan in the long history of tyranny.We have a tool that was not available to libertarians in the past, known as the Internet. This lifejacket does an end-around the government’s “schools” and FCC licensed media. However, the powers-that-be are coming for it hard, so it should not be taken for granted.If the U.S. government is ever to change in the direction of liberty, it surely will not be through the force of arms (nor should it be since libertarians believe in peace). The far more powerful and lastingway is to spread the ideas of liberty.We have the tools to do just that….Seize them!

Reprinted with permission from Economic Policy Journal.

Political Theatre

LRC Blog

LRC Podcasts