Libertarian Commentary #16-08E by Nathan Barton
As I discussed in a recent commentary, government’s nature is both evil and secretive, not because it necessarily wants to be, but because that is how government functions, for many reasons. The nature of its power, the people who are attracted to work in it (especially those who run for office), and the attitudes of those who live under its rule (voluntary and involuntary).
The British-born, American commentator John Derbyshire has written this. “Ultimately, however, as the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter pointed out, a powerful bureaucratic class is in the same relation to commerce as was the scorpion in Aesop to the dog on whose back he crossed the river. They will destroy commerce and establish socialism, even if it kills them, because that is their nature.”
It may take centuries (though sadly, usually much less time) for this to happen, but it inevitably does. In some cases (Soviet Russia or China or Vietnam, for example), it can be seen in just a matter of a few years. But the results are devastating. We see it in many other modern and early modern settings: post-Reconquista Spain in the 1500s, post-Napoleonic France in the early 1800s, and of course, the Fifty States over the last half-century, and especially the last fifteen years.
News stories today point out the impact of government on commerce, and the socialistic nature of government from the tiniest local agency to the FedGov and that evil pinnacle the United Nations.
Even while former Reagan adviser David Stockman is talking about the imminent destruction of what was once called the most popular investment of the 21st Cenury, Business Insider points out it is worse than anyone thought on Wall Street. Things are not just stagnant, but posing for a massive downward spiral. The stock market is both showing the effects of the rapid increase in socialism recently (accelerating the trend that has existed since the Wilson administration a century ago) AND the fact that Wall Street itself is basically a part of government today – it has been “socialized.” (And we must not forget that government’s track record over the past century-plus is NOT good: government’s actions have inevitably made the economy worse, and not better, usually by making the economy MORE socialist.)
At the same time, Business Insider also reports that the Saudis have screamed out loudly that they will NOT cut oil production. After all, government (even the kind of extreme criminal gang government that Arabia has), is more powerful than the free market and its “invisible hand.” They don’t have to pay any attention to supply and demand and the way prices are set in reality: oil production was long-ago “socialized” and only because it is such an essential element of modern life has it take THIS long for the commerce in oil to be destroyed by governments. And this is NOT some conspiracy to do so: this is just the way that government works.
One of the major areas in which “socialization” is proceeding at an incredible rate is the health care sector. So it is no surprise to hear the squatter and tyrant blame the American people and private business for the national debt because we “use a lot of health care“ as reported by CSN News. So, it is NOT the imperialist govgoons and bureaucrats and politicians’ fault; it is ours because we get sick too much and so need health care. Health care which has been, for 70 years, more and more a socialistic system. Start with the Veterans Administration and the Public Health Service (originally for merchant marine seamen) and the Indian Health Service (treaty obligations on reservations) and expand it with SSI as a part of Social Security, and then Medicaid and Medicare and an insurance scheme designed to work around government “wartime” wage controls, and then toss in the insanity of regulations and decrees that make the “privately-owned and -operated” hospitals and clinics all BUT branches of government, even if they don’t have a VA or PHS or IHS logo over their doors. But it is all the fault of the American people, according to this piece of work in DC, and his excuse for full medical socialism: the grand and glorious “one-payer” system.
Socialism doesn’t require, as I’ve pointed out many times, that government OWN the businesses: the industry and pits and mines and oil wells (though the FedGov and state and county governments DO own many): they simply need to CONTROL them for it to be Socialism. And if you are the SOLE source of income for a business enterprise, YOU control it. The official ownership doesn’t really matter, any more that I “own” or control GM because I happen to own a share in the company.
Not directly related to this, please read this extract from a message by Tim Cook of Apple, which is refusing to cooperate with the FBI and a court order to create a backdoor to the phone of the dead terrorist.
The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone’s microphone or camera without your knowledge.
Opposing this order is not something we take lightly. We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the U.S. government.
We are challenging the FBI’s demands with the deepest respect for American democracy and a love of our country. We believe it would be in the best interest of everyone to step back and consider the implications.
While we believe the FBI’s intentions are good, it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products. And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect.
I certainly do not agree completely with Cook, but most of it is dead-on. (What don’t I agree with? That the FBI’s intentions are good.) Cyberspace is the future of war – and of peace and liberty. Cook, at least, is not surrendering immediately. The RESULT of this backdoor (whether “intentional or not”) would be to give government MORE control of commerce – and every other aspect of life. It is time to take a stand. I only wish that Microsoft and Google and their managers had a little bit of this courage to defy the immoral actions of the thugs of the FedGov.
Mama’s Note: Good article here regarding the Apple thing.
It has finally come to this. After years of arguments by virtually every industry specialist that back doors will be a bigger boon to hackers and to our nation’s enemies than publishing our nuclear codes and giving the keys to all of our military weapons to the Russians and the Chinese, our government has chosen, once again, not to listen to the minds that have created the glue that holds this world together.