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Government as Criminal Conspiracy

From Robert Anton Wilson's Everything is Under Control:
The view that our government per se is nothing more nor less than one giant criminal conspiracy appears in both extreme right-wing and extreme left-wing forms. Anarchists hold that government is not a "necessary evil" as conservatives think but an unnecessary evil. This viewpoint is expressed variously by Proudhon, Bakunin, Tolstoy, Kropotkin, Warren, Malatesta, and many others. It was probably stated most succinctly by Tom Paine, who wrote, "The trade of governing has always been monopolized by the most ignorant and most rascally individuals of mankind."

Tolstoy put it even more bluntly: "Government is an association of men who do violence to the rest of us."

Lysander Spooner, lawyer and libertarian, deflated the "democratic" claims of modern governments with succinct sarcasm:
The right of absolute and irresponsible dominion is the right of property, and the right of property is the right of absolute, irresponsible dominion... But these men who claim and exercise absolute and irresponsible dominion over us dare not be consistent, and claim to be our masters or to own us as property. They say they are only our servants, agents, attorneys, and representatives. But this declaration involves an absurdity, a contradiction. No man can be my servant, agent, attorney, or representative, and be, at the same time, uncontrollable by me, and irresponsible to me for his acts.

RAW [Robert Anton Wilson] ends his entry by quoting Proudhon's famous vitriol about what it means to be governed.

I especially love Paine's quote (hence its formatting in bold), which to me beautifully encapsulates in a single sentence the inherent catch-22 of our species qua homo politicus, and thus why government — of any sort — can never succeed as an instrument of social organization working for the benefit of all: the very avowal of a wish to lead indicates a probable psychological predisposition making one ill suited to lead for the common good. (Why? Well... a wish to lead automatically implies a hierarchy — with the leader perched above the others, of course; it implies a non-egalitarian structure where the leader feels they have the right, or, more dangerously, the calling, to determine what is right for others. A leader, by definition, expects followers, not peers.)

To help illustrate this "Government as Criminal Conspiracy" thesis, how about a quick peek into the mentality of Murka's Ruling Class? Chris Floyd's look at Mitt Romney's exit speech is a good place to start. Here's a nugget:
The Terror War is simply an extension of the long-held goal of the American elite... to maintain and extend their dominion over the world's natural resources and political arrangements — and the exorbitant profits this dominion produces. There is ample evidence in the historical record of the Anglo-American elite's abiding — and quite open — anxieties on this score, going back for generations. Literally millions of people all over the world have been sacrificed to these ambitions and anxieties, which have not abated but grow more frantic and acute with each passing year.

And thus the climax of Romney's peroration: a frantic blithering about "evil and radical jihad" and "the inevitable military ambitions of China" and the burning need to "raise military spending to 4 percent of our GDP" and overriding imperative to keep the Terror War raging, particularly its central front in Iraq. None of this is remotely connected to the actual wellbeing, security and prosperity of the American people; quite the opposite. It is, however, absolutely vital to the preservation of the elite's power, privilege, self-image and status. And as they demonstrate day after day, they don't care how many people must die or suffer for this.

If you're feeling particularly brave check out John Spritzler's compelling theories about the origins of World War II. An excerpt, to whet your appetite (pp 60-61, em. mine):
Enormous revolutionary impulses were released by the restoration of peace immediately following the conclusion of WWI. The American ruling elite was frightened; so frightened that it resorted to the kind of actions that were dangerous because they risked revealing to the general public how undemocratic was the real exercise of governmental power in the country. Not only were government military forces ordered to attack Americans, and the right to assemble revoked, but other laws that made the country appear to be a democracy were flagrantly ignored. U.S. Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer conducted the infamous "Palmer Raids" against radicals and leftists in 1919. He struck without warning and without warrants, smashed union offices and the headquarters of Communist, Socialist, and other radical organizations, and arrested over five thousand people, deporting two hundred and forty nine. Also revealing, Congress refused to seat the duly elected socialist from Wisconsin, Victor Berger. Such heavy-handed actions were not necessary during the just concluded war. For America's ruling elite, war was not the problem; peace was.

Any feelings of deja vu one may have after reading this are understandable...

Government as Criminal Conspiracy ; The Balcony