by Jim Davies, 1/17/2012
It's the biggest lie of all the lies that government people tell, and they have been telling it for ten thousand years with sickening regularity, and yet they are still believed; that fact would be incredible if it were not demonstrably true. It's the lie that says "give us the power, and we will protect you." One of the few differences between government and Mafia is that when the latter makes the same promise to a business owner, he knows very well that it's fraudulent; voters, in contrast, still seem to suppose it's true despite the mountain of contrary evidence.
On its face, it's very obviously false. The racketeers are few, relative to the population they offer to defend; on their own, there is no possible way they could provide protection. In order to begin, they must use the population itself; to obtain not just the authority but other large resources. They must be equipped with weapons, from spears in the primitive village to drones in the "Defense" Department presently operated by Uncle. They must be supplemented by manpower, and the means to feed and train them. They may design and issue the orders and manage the defense, but the resources are taken - willingly or by force - from the population being "defended."
Even then, they "win" only 50% of their wars. Yet still people believe the lie.
After most of those ten thousand years since the first government fastened its fangs into human society, America's founders deliberately wrote into the new Constitution that the new, Federal government should provide defense for the member States; and possibly, that provision was the one perceived as most needed. Even those relatively enlightened people believed the collectivist lie.
Defense from actual, external aggression can in a free society be well arranged by its individual members, who (knowing they are responsible) will arm themselves well and make it clear that any invader will not find a single "authority" who might, after defeat in some battle, be induced to "surrender" on behalf of everyone - but that he will be continually harrassed until he leaves. Or in some circumstances, a defense company might be employed, with specialists to work under contract. These concepts actually work, almost always as deterrents; in 1942 the Japanese commander Yamamoto famously said Japan would never invade the United States. We would find a rifle behind every blade of grass.
It gets worse. Not only does government fail to protect its people, the people it presses into its service actually serve to protect the government; an exact inversion of the false promise. In effect the swindle is "give us the power, and you will protect us." Yet even that isn't the end of the racket. The "defense" force the racketeers assemble, entirely at the expense of the people, can be and often is used by the government to control and oppress the very people who are paying its expenses. We in America are now on the very cusp of this condition: with ample support from Congress, Obama recently signed into law the "National Defense Authorization Act", which provides in notorious part that his soldiers can arrest and hold indefinitely, without even a trial in government court, even US citizens on US soil. Notice the bloodthirsty relish of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R, SC): "And when they say, 'I want my lawyer,' you tell them, 'Shut up. You don't get a lawyer.'" The tail, armed to the teeth, is poised, right now, to wag the dog.
As I write, competing protection racketeers in Teheran and Washington are gearing up for a live war, in one of the least credible conflicts of all time. Hot on the heels of the Iraq deception by Bush-2 comes the ridiculous assertion that the Iranian government is about to deploy a nuclear weapon which will place the USA in peril, and that it must be stopped. There may be a nuclear bomb in preparation, but that it would harm Americans without extreme provocation is ludicrous.
Mind, there is provocation. Imagine you're in Teheran on a government rooftop, and look around. To the South and East you see Americans, in Kuwait and Afghanistan, well armed and having tens of thousands of nukes behind them that could be aimed at you in a heartbeat. In the West lies your sworn enemy Israel, bristling with nukes pointing your way. To the North West you see France and Britain in the distance, with hundreds more; and to the North, beyond the Stans, lies Russia, also with tens of thousands; you recall the Anglo-Soviet invasion of your country in 1941. Then to the South East there is Pakistan, nuclear armed and presently unpredictable. No wonder you want a deterrent. So you rattle sabers, threaten to close Hormuz, visit Cuba and meet - not just with President Raoul Castro but also with his aging brother Fidel, to make it extra obvious that your short-range missiles might be placed 90 miles off Florida's coast. You are of course yourself a protection racketeer. If you were just an Iranian resident eager to live in peace and prosper by trade with his neighbors, you'd not be threatening to push Israelis into the sea nor equipping bands of assassins with weaponry, all because of some religious superstition with which government's friends have indoctrinated the people.
In such ways do the protection racketeers scare and persuade the gullible public that they are still needed. They are not, and never were.