To a rational man it has to be absolutely stunning as to what extent the American people believe in magic. Now, I’m not talking about the garden rabbit-out-of-the-hat variety, but something much more disturbing. So many Americans invert their moral beliefs, as if by magic, when they allow government to engage in an activity that they would abhor in the private sphere.
That became quite clear to me when Ron Paul was jeered and booed for extolling the virtues of the golden rule applying it to foreign policy. Here is a universal code of conduct, proffered by all religions, and also the non-religious. Yet, when it comes to foreign policy, shazamm. Immunity from logic. Individually, the golden rule makes sense. But collectively, through government, the rules are different? We can intervene in the affairs of other nations, bomb, torture, and murder, and not expect adverse consequences? Simply amazing. Shazamm.
Of course this cognitive dissonance does not just cover foreign policy. Virtually all people denounce theft as immoral. Yet, when government does it through the “democratic process,” shazamm, it becomes moral. Of course the founding fathers abhorred democracy. Thomas Paine said, “Democracy is the most vile form of government.” For some reason, most Americans apparently believe that as long as they can get 50 % of the people to go along with them, virtually any deplorable conduct is just fine, in fact, moral. The income tax code is filled with thousands of pages where numerous coalitions of thugs get together to steal from another group of people who didn’t feel compelled to participate in organized crime. As H..L. Mencken once said, “Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.” Theft in private is a vice; theft in the political process is a virtue. Shazamm.
I’ve been thinking of doing my part for the economy lately, instituting my PEE program for America, Prazak Economic Easing. Basically, I would go down to my basement and crank up the old printing press, and start issuing my Prazak Reserve Notes. Now I wouldn’t call them that. After all, my laudable goal would be to get more money into the economy to make everyone richer (especially myself). So I would make them look as close to Federal Reserve Notes as possible so that they would be universally acceptable. Now who could object to such a noble, lofty, yes, patriotic goal? Wouldn’t John Maynard Keynes be proud?. Being a prudent man, I passed along this idea to my attorney first, who was somewhat non-plussed suggesting that there was some law against counterfeiting out there. He went on to point out that only Ben Bernanke had the power to do such economic good for the nation. His heroic benevolent issuance of money to the government and big banks, he assured me, were done with the blessings of the oracles of Wall Street, and K Street. He went out to point out that any independent PEEing in public would get me prison time. The blessings of that sort of golden like showering of paper money are left to the anointed ones. Shazamm!
Ok, so I’m getting my mind right now. What other magical miracles happen when government waves its magic wand? Well, I do recall that George Bailey, in “It’s a Wonderful Life” was looking at jail time for losing $5000 of its building-and-loan’s funds. A serious crime. Yet, the day before 9/11, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld admitted that there were 2.3 trillion dollars unaccounted for in the Pentagon budget. Figuring in inflation, I do believe that the $5000 missing from the Bailey’s building and loan wouldn’t be quite worth 3.2 trillion in today’s dollars. I think that is a safe assumption. So one might think that there is no moral equivalence until we understand the following. We must remember the important work of the Pentagon wiping out Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East and other non humans. What’s a trillion here or a trillion there when it comes to the moral imperative of water boarding, drone-inducing collateral damage, a Haliburton jobs program, and Empire building? Moral equivalence indeed.
Well, even some vices are actually prohibited by our Constitution. Bribery is one. So maybe one can assume that that is one area where the magic show doesn’t apply. Yes, if I bribe an official to change the zoning of my property, I’m sure I could go to jail. If a lobbyist bribes an elected official, well I suppose it’s possible that there might be some negative consequences, but probably only if you are as arrogant or stupid as, say a Governor Blogojevich. The smart ones are a little more indirect in their approach. But there is one area where the magic show shines.
The federal government holds out gobs of cash to the states if they will enact various regulations in those states. When it comes to the drug war, seat belt enforcement, speed limits, and the drinking age of 21, the states are bribed with stolen goods of tax dollar money if they will pass those regulations. One interesting off shoot of this is the fact that 18 year olds can go out and give their life for the Empire yet can’t legally drink a sip of beer. Only in the magical “land of the free and the home of the brave” can such logic exist. We obviously can’t have drunkards protecting the Empire.
Now let’s move on to a law that isn’t in the US Constitution but is assumed jurisdictional by the Feds, that of kidnaping. Surely, this is one area where the magic show doesn’t apply. Right? Wrong. Regarded as one of the most heinous crimes, kidnaping is universally frowned upon, well except when it comes to in loco parentis guardianship in the government schools. Lockdowns that kidnap children for hours is routine in the warrantless searches for drugs on school campuses. It’s for their own good.
And then there is the paramount example of the IRS. On November 28, 1984, IRS agents raided the Engleworld Learning Center (a day-care center) in the Detroit suburb of Allen Park, MI, because of overdue taxes. The IRS agents forced parents to pay the center's taxes when they came to pick up their children. According to the Washington Times, "Inside were a handful of bewildered parents, unable even to see their children until they paid money for taxes they did not owe to two IRS agents sitting near the entrance. Allegedly, the children--as many as 30 of them-could not run to greet their parents . . . as ordinarily was their custom. IRS agents kept them closely guarded in Room C of the center. At least one agent was posted in another room where pre-schoolers, some still in diapers, were detained." Parents were not allowed to see their children until they signed an agreement with the IRS to pay up. It’s only right.
It all makes sense if you consider the fact that the real parents of children apparently are not the parents. In the Alice in Wonderland magical kingdom of government, it takes a village, no, come to think of it, Hillary was a a piker. It takes the State to raise a child.
And now consider the world of Ponzi schemes. The latest bad boy in the private sector was Bernie Madoff. He probably cheated people of tens of billions of dollars. Pretty serious stuff, but a mere pittance compared to Social Security, one of the most beloved programs by Democrats and Republicans alike. If a Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent practice where “investors” on the top of the list are paid by newer “investors” on the bottom of the list, where no true investment takes place, but an ever expanding source of revenue is required to keep the scheme going, than nothing compares more completely than the multi-trillion dollar Ponzi scheme of Social Security. Yet, there are some differences. Bernie Madoff didn’t hold a gun to anybody’s head to force them to invest. But Social Seucrity is so important that it has to be guaranteed successful by making it mandatory through the use of force. Shazamm! From financial fraud to Social Security nirvana. For good moral reason is Social Security the third rail of politics.
Let’s see. What vice haven’t we covered yet? What about extortion? There is a provision of the appropriately named Patriot Act that threatens US citizens with prison if they exercise their Constitutional free speech rights concerning a warrantless federal raid of their home. I guess today’s definition of a patriot is one who loves big brother so much that he can quite clearly see how two plus two equals five if big brother says so. After all, that is how the magic show works. Double thinking is necessary in the eye of the magical mystery tour of moral inversion.
When one thinks about it for not too long, one must conclude that most of the laws in this country do fall under the magical sway of state sanctioned extortion.
Be a kid selling lemonade, get shut down and fined
Plant an illegal plant, go to jail.
Ingest an illegal herb, go to jail.
Engage in a trade without permission from the magicians, go to jail.
Trade in real money, go to jail.
Tell a joke to the TSA, go to jail.
Exercise your free speech rights, go to jail.
Buy a gun to protect yourself, go to jail.
Educate your children at home, in some jurisdictions, go to jail.
Keep what you earn, go to jail.
The moral good of extortion, bribery, misappropriation of funds, theft, torture and murder are alive and well through the magical application of government. Shazamm!
Don’t get it? You don’t see how fair is foul and foul is fair? War is peace? Freedom is slavery? Ignorance is strength? By the magic of the government wand, the government is the good. There is always Room 101 for the recalcitrant learners. Still not sure, join the ranks of cool hand Luke. The President will oblige. He has already asserted the power. What we have heah, is failya to communicate.