Any discussion of government should begin with a simple question: Should I sound serious, semi-serious, or downright mocking?
Pretending semi-seriousness, people ask “What are the true intentions of liberal Democrats?” Or “modern Liberals?” to give the question more gravitas, or “the Left?” to give it more bite. But the real question always has been “What are the true inclinations of government?” Know this, then the others answer themselves.
And since natural law is involved in answering this one question, our first real job is to determine just how best to answer this, again, seriously, semi-seriously, or mockingly?
H L Mencken answered in this way, around the 1920s:
“All government is, in its essence, organized exploitation, and in virtually all of its existing forms it is the implacable enemy of every industrious and well-disposed man.”
“Government is a broker in pillage and every election is a sort of advance auction of stolen goods.”
“The politician, at his ideal best is a necessary evil, at his worst an intolerable nuisance,”
“The only good bureaucrat is one with a pistol at his head. Put it in his hand and it’s good-bye to the Bill of Rights.”
Government is composed of people, politicians and bureaucrats mostly, but also a few service providers way, way down at the end of the money tree, all human, and all who take themselves and their jobs very, very seriously, which, by the way, violates the AA’s Rule #62, just so you’ll know how deep the waters run here. There’s not a laugh amongst them.
You can draw up any kind of government you can imagine on a piece of paper, just like I did space ships as a kid, and in some circles it will automatically receive the respect of a parchment of the Dead Sea Scrolls. But it is still a piece of paper. Only then, commission that piece of paper to a few people, add territory larger than a city block, a desk and office, a few dollars to operate, a mission statement, and you have a living breathing organism which immediately sees all its possibilities for growth as quickly as a new-born colt can stand and walk or a hatched guppy swim. Innately government knows immediately what it wants to be when it grows up. All it needs to do is find the right environment to become bigger.
This is why, for centuries, lazy men have done just that, sit around and draw up new ideas for government. Universities are famous for sponsoring this sort of thing, and have been since before the Founders’ day.
So, if we are looking for the “intentions” of government we are looking from the wrong end. We already know government’s intentions, for natural law dictates them. Government doesn’t have to grow more than from the size of a pea to that of an apricot seed before it knows it wants to get much bigger.
So these natural laws about government, its politicians and its bureaucrats, are not new. They have been universally understood by men of good sense for centuries, which is why the Founders imbedded these understanding into the Constitution.
Mencken’s comments (a man I personally do not like) lean more toward mockery than seriousness, yet the undeniable truth of what he says is all too serious. While a little sarcastic, these truths reflect natural laws that can be expressed both philosophically and scientifically with great certitude. They are laws.
The Founder’s solution was for the people to hold politicians by the throat and their purse strings on a three-inch tether. And they gave citizens the tools to do this. Again Mencken:
“The ideal government of all reflective men, from Aristotle onward, is one which lets the individual alone–one which barely escapes being no government at all.”
So first, we need to change this infantile belief that bad politicians can be replaced by good ones. Although there are some, and will always be some, they will always be swallowed up, giving us little more than a fond nostalgia for better days gone by, while we pine for the next Ronald Reagan to come along, and even as almost all of the first Reagan’s achievements are jettisoned and destroyed. So there you have it.
The Founders had something a little more permanent in mind than a can a Fabreeze as we walk past that pig-kill facility on Capitol Hill.
Our default view should be that they are all thieves-in-the-making until they prove themselves otherwise, with the readiness to drop them like a hot rock at the first sign of a new tie that looks too expensive. Since we know government’s game, the real question is whether we will allow our government to be a pickpocket or a bank robber. That they want to grow to be bank robbers is a given.
Bottom line, you can’t fight bad government or control good government unless you understand where government, by its nature, is instinctively driven to go.
As the title suggests, let me illustrate this mathematically, for there is a certain math to how government sees its natural place among men and what it considers to be to its rightful dominion over them.
The Gold Standard of Tyranny: 20:80
The Gold standard of government is that the 20% shall rule the 80%. More specifically, the 20% state class shall own or control 100% of the territory, while the other 80% will do only what they are licensed or paid to do; at their work, buying and selling, spending what the state will leave them, but devoting their working lives to the feeding, care and comfort of the 20%.
It took a couple of thousand years for government to arrive at this ratio, actually. Ancient rulers were absolutists about power, and had an abnormally high opinion of themselves, including declaring themselves immortal. But in order to live sumptuously, they had to spread the wealth around (to coin a phrase), drawing into their circle men who could protect their domains and themselves, as well as sponsor the growth of artisans and builders who could produce up-scale lines of goods in clothes and finery, and anything with gold and precious gems attached. Things befitting their court and that high opinion they have.
So, while not really relinquishing ownership in anything, the nobility allowed the spread of a mercantile private sector, which sometimes got out of hand, the king owning the land and the military, but the merchants having more cash on hand. In Italy this tug of war gave the world the Renaissance, but the guillotine and Terror in France.
This kind of 20:80 life was a “hard tyranny” because of the barbaric manner in which the 80% were kept. Under the hard tyranny of the feudal system 100% of the people lived at the sufferance of their liege lord but 80% were slaves to the land, owned by whoever owned the land. The rest, from the richest merchant to the village tailor, spent a large part of their waking hours trying to find ways to keep their liege lords from taking away their profits, or even knowing they had any. For them, life wasn’t too bad, and many were among the 20%.
20:80 is still the gold standard for governments today, only they have had to modify the formula, all because of America. Modern world government now has to disguise its power, from hard tyranny to soft tyranny, all because of the one fly in government’s buttermilk:
The new American Ratio– 0:100
In 1787 the world’s entire 20:80 “government paradigm” came undone because one of its royal proprietors in England lost part of his North American dominion. Then, for the most curious of reasons, the people there, when they could have appointed a perfectly good king, instead took government ownership from 80% all the way down to Zero. leaving the whole shebang; land, business, shipping, banking, housing, entirely in the hands of the people. The Government they created didn’t get a farthing until they convened a Congress, whatever that was, which then empowered the government to levy a tax. It would be some years before the people allowed government to own a bit of land, a swamp, where they could build their offices and seat of government.
(Consider what I said at the top, about the colt knowing its true nature even at its first steps, in drawing the image in your mind of how Washington City has gone from a swamp with no buildings to a cesspool housing 650,000.)
By taking government from 2o:80 to 0:100, you can understand why America is the enemy of all the world’s governments and politicians today, including our own.
Because of America, the history of “government ownership” in the world has tracked on two rails, the American, and all the rest. Words like “freedom”, “democracy”,”citizen”, grabbed hold of the common folk especially, so that even those kings who had absolutely no intention of letting go of their domains had to insert these words into their new government designs, making it appear they were doing something to make their peoples’ lives as appetizing as the Americas had made for their own guttersnipes. And they had to find ways to do this without hocking the queen’s jewelry.
Today, every government has to have an election, as a bow to this ugly and costly innovation from America. “Democracy” has to appear in some form or another in public pronouncements, so that it appears that the people have actually demanded, not merely authorized, with a pistol to their heads, that they be taxed 85% of their wages, so they can get into see a doctor within 30 days of an illness cropping up. It is all very fraudulent, the rhetoric of this soft tyranny.
But what the royals refused to grant to the people, power sharing, they had to cede over to a fat buffer zone called the civil service (bureaucracy) anyway, all because of the French Revolution and Terror, where Europe leaned that the things English peasants could do in North America, their peasants could never do in Europe. Educated Europeans found it especially galling that Anglo-settlers in the New World had a 200 year head start on a kind of civilization the continental Europeans had always denied their people. Then, for 150 more years, as Europe cleaned out its gutters, sending its losers, its detritus, it social bottom feeders, over to America, they had their noses rubbed in their successes as well, disproving every theory they ever had about the natural backwardness of those peasants. There are far more Italo-Americans who are millionaires, own homes, etc, than there are Italian millionaires or homeowners, etc.
The 20:80 gold standard still rules in most of the world today, only is now a soft tyranny controlled by fat, insatiable super-state bureaucracies and politicians instead of kings. The 80% are still held in thrall, but they do live in better holes in the ground, with better furnishings, food choices, except, as with all the Aframericans living in the inner cities, there is no ladder up. Or out. Every gate has a lock, or a toll booth.
This is about to change, for the European governments are about to run out of money, which will shortly (under 50 years) put them in a position of having to surrender their power, or, move from a soft tyranny of taxed coercion to the hard tyranny of dictatorship in order to hold onto it.
Which brings us back to America.
It would have been better had I written this in 1850, when America had merely trickled up to say a 1:99 ratio, for I could have prescribed preventatives.
Until the Civil War government in America really had very little to show for itself, in terms of stretching its legs. Defending the shores and delivering the mail was about it. All the land it bought it turned around and gave away to settlers. What Gascon prince does that?
It would be nice to blame the Marxists for what happened next, but the Republicans have to share the blame, for the Civil War conferred great wealth on many men, and the industrial revolution created many more. And the Republican Party was the only Party in town in those days, so was the one they bought. The GOP controlled Congress throughout the rest of that century, government becoming an arm of business which, within a hundred years would reverse, business becoming an arm of government. The Democrats, shed of their agriculture base in the South for awhile, searched for a new identity and base and found both in the swarms of immigrants with funny sounding names coming ashore. Democrats became the party of the working man (spoken out loud) and the party of anti-business and anti-capitalism (spoken more quietly, since that’s what all the immigrants came here to become).
Law: Bring in government to referee a fight, and before it’s over, government will own the ring, the boxing federation and one of the fighters. And it will triple the price of a ticket to see the fight.
Short-sighted business ambitions is always government’s greatest ally.
I don’t have to relate for you then how, from Dr President Wilson on, the government has become a larger and larger shareholder of America, now that they own the ring where the stock offerings are printed.
When younger, I thought the national park idea of TR’s was a great idea, but now that 28% of America’s land mass is held in title by the government, and they treat it as their own, I’ve had second thoughts. If you work, they own a minimum of 25% of your paycheck, to cover over half of the citizens who pay no taxes, but who sometimes receive better housing, food and clothing, than you do. While the government only owns 25% of you, one could say it owns them lock, stock, and barrel, if that’s any consolation.
Obamacare represents a 16% shift of the US economy from the private sector to the government sector. Even if the private sector survives ten years, every private company, from insurance, medical supply to pharmaceutical producers, will live or die at the sufferance of the government. Junior partners. There’s another 16% shift from the private to the government side of the ledger.
The government only sees it own employees, the state class, as the middle class, and must dispose of this competition from the private sector.
This should make you think differently about the way back.
Government Realized vs Government Denied
In America our outcome is not yet decided, for private people still are in charge of about 50% plus of America, and we have the Second Amendment.
But the natural laws are the same here as in Europe. Once government becomes too big to send to its room without supper, it must always strike out to protect itself. This is why government’s first constituency was always the bureaucracy, and never the taxpaying citizen. That is its true army. Bureaucracy can make every American’s life a living hell on a daily basis, far worse than having a SWAT team storm through your house. More than the police or the army, they can inflict sustained wrath.
This should make you think differently about that bureaucrat down at the county building and the high school, and certainly that state or federal office worker at one of the myriad of offices buildings in virtually every mid-sized in American city. Yes, I’m sure most are nice people. Still.
In America, at least, there are things unique to us that gives us ways to defeat them, which I won’t discuss here. Just know this is the direction they must go…toward 80-20. They are not about to retreat voluntarily.
I have managed to write almost 2700 words here and never mention “the Left” ,”socialism”, “fascism” or even “Obama”. My purpose has been to give insights to the nature of the Beast in his most elemental state.
My next job will be to explore what comes next, not from the perspective of what we want ideally, but what government will force us to do because of what it must do to protect itself.
Rolling it back won’t be easy, although it is still possible. But I will save that outline for another time. Just know, the key to rolling government back is the reeling in of the bureaucracy without them wrecking everything.
Think on it.