Don't Settle

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Published : August 31st, 2020
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Category : Editorials

There are people who fight for smaller government and call themselves conservatives or libertarians. They write, speak, join clubs, talk with friends and neighbors or otherwise promote their convictions about the dangers inherent in too-large a State.It’s hard for any freedom-lover not to sympathize with them to an extent, until you consider their lack of political principle.


Any given libertarian or conservative would almost certainly oppose what is called the Deep State, the swamp of foreign policy murderers that is so far untouched by the election process.  Many would say the Deep State, also called the National Security State, is unconstitutional.  They would almost certainly say it’s the chief cause of havoc in the world for overthrowing democratically-elected governments and creating military crises.  Beyond that, it’s hard to identify a political position that unites or separates them.  Some libertarians such as David Stockman support the federal reserve as originally conceived, while blasting it in its current form, and there are conservatives such as Pat Buchanan who regard FDR’s Good War as unnecessary.   


Is there any agreement among all political spokespeople, from extreme left to extreme right?  


Yes, quite obviously there is.  They all see a role for the State in civilized human affairs.  


And there is one other position that unites them, closely aligned with the first: Their alleged distrust of the free market.  


With the exception of the Austrian School, economists of every stripe claim trade is rife with hazards that only the imposition of a violent monopoly can resolve.  Free markets, in other words, are in need of the State’s “guns and badges” to prevent or break-up other monopolies, support compulsory schooling, create and support medical, banking, and other cartels, provide monetary policymakers who, by trashing the purchasing power of the dollar, will prevent crises such as the ones in the 1930s and 2007-2008, criminalize going to work or leaving one’s home during a crisis, while providing exemptions for state-approved (“essential”) businesses, and anything else that will keep the market working in the manner it prefers.


Without turning to theory, evidence alone fails to vindicate interventionism.  For details of interventionism’s current failures, see Michael Snyder’s Economic Collapse Blog.


But intervention was never about justice, as Gabriel Kolko detailed in his classic, The Triumph of Conservatism, and Murray Rothbardin The Progressive Era.  It was about using the power of the State for special privilege or protection.  For a few, for those with a stake in its continuation, it has been highly lucrative.  For the rest, not so.  


There is no reason to assume a free market cannot educate us, defend us, build roads, establish a sound money — in short provide everything we need, at far lower cost and higher quality than the State.  And without compulsion.


Furthermore, aside from the compulsory interventions, our lives are ruled around the clock by the free market — by the choices we make and don’t make, by competition, by customers, by the rewards of getting along with others -- by the requirements of life itself.


Conclusion


The free market is our true government, the only one compatible with human liberty.  We should never settle for limited government, meaning a limited State.  We already have the government we need.  To strengthen it we need to rid ourselves of a menacing intruder — the eternal destroyer of freedom, peace, and prosperity. 


We cannot vote ourselves free of the State.  The State won’t allow it.  But we can still “vote” for the government we want, which most of us do every day.  Setting our sights on the right goal is crucial for ridding ourselves of the State.  See my 10-minute movie for details.  And don’t forget to “vote”!


***


George Ford Smith is the author of nine books, including Do Not Consent: Think OUTSIDE the voting booth,  The Flight of the Barbarous Relic, Eyes of Fire: Thomas Paine and the American Revolution, and The Fall of Tyranny, the Rise of Liberty


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George F. Smith is the author of The Flight of the Barbarous Relic, a novel about a renegade Fed chairman and the editor of Barbarous Relic.com.
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