Years ago, Leonard Read stated it well.
“Much the same thing” is not, of course, quite the same as identical, of course. There are differences. Perhaps different flavors. Just as there is a subtle but clear differences between Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, and Royal Crown Cola.
Or perhaps the difference in how we die when we breathe in hydrogen sulfide versus how we die when we breathe in carbon monoxide. Either way, we are dead.
BUT… knowing the differences between CO and H2S, knowing their characteristics and exactly how they threaten us, can be the difference between life and death – and between a near-miss and a fatal situation.
In the same way, I believe it makes sense to understand the differences between different political views and philosophies. The flavors of the different kinds of THE STATE that we are dealing with call for different attitudes and actions. Actions to do what? In the short term, to defend ourselves against the State, no matter what they call themselves. No matter what philosophy they claim to follow. In the long run? The actions we must take to destroy them.
I know that is blunt. But we must be realistic. No matter how well we defend ourselves against the evil activities and animus of the state, the state and its controllers, its masters, do not give up. Beat them down and they rise up again to viciously assault our liberties, our livings, and our lives. Time and time again. Surely we have learned that, in the long run, there is no compromise: it is tyrannical government or it is freedom. Any attempt to choose something in between those two extremes is certain to shift to one end or the other. And is more likely to shift to tyranny, as history has shown time and again.
Government steals liberty.
Government steals our wealth, our time, our creativity: our living.
Government steals our lives.
Some governments may do more on one or another of these things, but it is a matter of degree and not kind.
The WAY the various systems of government, the various platforms of politicians, and promotion of “their” solutions, DO these things is different. Some are more subtle, more hidden, more “tolerable” to those not alert. By identifying the various flavors or breeds, we can watch more carefully and understand both the dangers and how to defeat and destroy these enemies.
What hides behind the façade of political differences – not just between the few that Lawrence Reed lists, but so many more?
Greed for wealth – earned. unearned, stolen, “given…” It doesn’t matter. The love of money that manifests itself in dozens of evil ways, and justifies them all by the ends.
Greed for power – the power to do whatever they want, whenever and where ever. That sounds like a possible libertarian goal, but it is not, because they want power to do whatever they want to WHOM ever they want.
Greed for control – the power to force other people to do what the greedy want done. Whatever the consequences to the controlled person. Not to KEEP people from doing something – like harming them or others – but to steal their time, their skills, their very thoughts.
At the heart of these things is an attitude that says some people are intrinsically worth more than others. A narcissism that makes only them (and perhaps their families) valuable. For anything other than exploitation.
To achieve these ends (never goals, as their appetites for these things are incapable of being satisfied), those people in governments will do anything. ANYTHING. Including lying to you and me. And lying to themselves. They will even do some GOOD things in their quest for more wealth, more power, and more control.
But their evil far outweighs the good. As we have seen in the last decades, and especially in the last years. In the Pandemic Panic, the War on Terror, the War on Some Drugs, and much much more.
The methods those in government (officially or not) use to gain these things are quite varied, and many of the differences in the systems Lawrence lists above are due only to a preferred or trademark method. But we can never forget these all are done to work to those ends: wealth, power, and control.
In some follow-up commentary, let us discuss some of these systems and how the system is used to produce tyranny to a greater or lesser degree in pursuit of these things.