March 11, 2014

What The Masses Always Misunderstand

By In Articles, Politics

It is remarkably easy to opine that politicians are a bunch of liars and crooks.  On that, the emotionalism and artificial victimization of the mindsets of the masses verify that those who have, are bad, and those who do not have, are the revolutionary proletariat.  Politicians therefore are bad primarily because they do not give to the people what they want.  Why, they give tax cuts to the rich on the backs of the middle class and poor!  Yes this, this must be what it means when it is said that politicians are, well, politicians!

Their solution therefore, is to give more democratic power to the masses –themselves.  We need more representation!  We need congressmen and presidents to fight for the people!  But in promoting their method to simply get what they want, they demonstrate how little they actually do understand.  In vain they rush to the election booths to cast their vote for the latest and greatest man who longs for the power!  In vain do they wish for the system to be more democratic!  Yes, in vain to they tell us that the politicians are a bunch of crooks and liars.  All they do is in vain because they simply do not understand.

Who are these masses?  There are those on the left that blindly trust in the Democratic Party to give them what they want, to speak for them and to ensure that “their voices are heard.”  They despise the GOP and all that they stand for.  The GOP, to them, is nothing but a party of crooks and liars.  Are they the masses?

There are also those on the right who believe in their heart that all will be right in the world if their “representative” has an “R” next to his name.  Low taxes, pro business, social conservatism!  These are the folks that will make it known to the world that, while Romney wasn’t as conservative as he could be, at least he wasn’t an Obama!  Or a Hillary Clinton.  Or a Bill Clinton or a John Kerry or a Jimmy Carter.  Are these Republicanites “the masses?”

Democracy is a bad idea.  It is loved and therefore emphasized by those currently in power.  The false dichotomy, masquerading as a grand choice for our time, is between the increasingly vile and imperious Fascist State as it currently exists, and more democracy.  We hear this all the time: the Government should serve the people, not the well-connected!  But both options allow for the expansion of the State.  Democracy is socialism parading as freedom.  Look around you and notice the mindsets, the worldviews of those who make up the majority of the people.  Will these individuals, if given the power to vote for themselves anything at all, really refrain from giving to the State more responsibilities?  And therefore is not democracy the very means by which the well-connected centralize control?  The people, in desiring more democracy, will always walk into a trap.  Democracy is a farce for individual liberty is threatened by the will of the multitudes.

Jon Rappoport once noted:

It may seem strange, but a person living out of an Obama-welfare cell phone, and a Wall Street investment banker dealing from an office high in Manhattan, are both working from the same basic mental playbook.

Their situations are vastly different, but they’re making moves inside the crime-bubble.

The very same “crime-bubble.”  What did he mean?  He meant that the government structure, the system itself, is where the corruption lies.  He meant simply that “democracy” is a farce and that all that goes on in Washington could only possibly be crime due to the nature of the State.  It is this that the masses will never understand –will never want to understand.  For when the masses worship the false god in DC, there is nothing that can turn their eyes away from the beauty of Rome and all it claims to be.  The politician as “crook and liar” then embodies in the abstract the belief that the problem in Washington is that the right things are not getting done according to their own standard of subjective preferences.  They have no idea that the very activity of Washington, theoretically or practically, de facto or de jure, is an abomination to justice and law.

The masses seek to make better the politicians that run our lives.  That is to say, they seek to make dogs no longer dogs.  That is to say, they seek to make triangles a shape that has more than three sides.  That is to say, they seek to turn a role that is ipso facto a criminal role into the role of the good Samaritan.  They want to bring about change in Washington.  Oh, the lunacy!

Rappoport, in the article linked above, also writes:

There is no such thing as rule by everybody or by “the voice of every citizen.”

Politicians and their cronies, of course, know this. So one of their jobs is to present illusions of “togetherness.” These illusions are crafted. They are long-term covert ops.

He continues:

PR people and propagandists and educators and media pundits are deployed for the purpose of painting pictures of “free democracy,” whatever that means.

In a democracy, organizations of citizens are put together. These groups then reach out to government with their agendas. Each group becomes a faux individual seeking…what? Key symbols and phrases are deployed to answer that question—and one of the most potent is JUSTICE.

Groups are going to government to find justice.

This action becomes part of the mythology of what democracy is.

Hundreds, thousands of groups in the democracy seek justice, which simply means: favorable treatment. I’m talking about every kind of favor, from government-funded gender-changing surgery all the way to massive corporate tax breaks…and everything in between.

If you add up all the long-term effects and outcomes of this seeking, you discover that much of what the groups win for themselves doesn’t last. It deteriorates over time. Planned obsolescence is built into the system.  

Libertarians too believe that politicians are a bunch of crooks and liars.  But the difference is that we are not looking for a better man to fill the office.  No, we are looking to educate.  Our method is knowledge.  What good is knowledge?  Knowledge is the means by which tyranny is delegitimized.  That is to say, where the people have no intellectual capability, the State thrives.  When individuals can think for themselves, their dependency on the State is wiped out.  The State fears knowledge.  And thus we embrace it.  Where the State longs for the masses to misunderstand, the libertarian seeks understanding.

What is Democracy but a magnificent PR stunt to convince those who refuse to think, that they must embrace the State for their own well being!  What is the answer given to those who want to make a change?  They answer is to sign a petition, mob to the election booths, run for office, call your congressman!  And yet, all those things give credence to the justness of the State. And further, these are the means by which the State grows and the minds of the people, now engrossed in the assumption that social action is equivalent to State action, become deluded.  This of course is the very opposite of the solution.  This feeds into the problem.

One great example in our time is the conservative heart-melt Ronald Reagan.  For in him the conservatives have found a politician –the same office that they say is identified by the phrase “liars and crooks”– that they can truly worship, for he spoke words that they wanted to hear.  And yet, his record shows that he was worse than Carter and in many ways the opposite of what people think of him.  Taxes went up, spending went up, deficits went up, government agencies grew and expanded, and we became more involved around the world.  Even the issue of monetary policy was horrifically handled during a time when some important individuals (Ron Paul) began to challenge the fiat currency system.  Murray Rothbard wrote: “The gold standard was the easiest pledge to dispose of. President Reagan appointed an allegedly impartial gold commission to study the problem—a commission overwhelmingly packed with lifelong opponents of gold. The commission presented its predictable report, and gold was quickly interred.”  Reagan was key in building the Empire.  Many do not know this because they do not want to know this.

So then, what is it that the masses always misunderstand?  Is it that the State is by its very nature an institution of theft and coercion writ large?  It is truly factual that the masses do not understand this.  But I think more basic to their intellectual deficit is that the masses think that they need something other than God and the gifts that he has given them.  They go to the politicians because this is they fill the proverbial hole in their hearts.  (Modern) conservatives and (modern) liberals (it is all about definitions here) are alike in this way.  Yes they have different ideas of what the government should be spending taxpayer money on and yes they help to fund differing lobbying groups, but they both suffer from the same disease.  They must let go.  When they do, when they move on, when they move out, the central State will fall.

The solution to the current structure is not more democracy.  The solution is simply less government.  Less central control.  This implies that the solution is more individual property rights, more decentralization, and laissez faire free-markets.

If those who love liberty realize they’ve been duped by the government’s talking points, when they turn away from the idolatry of governments nationwide and focus on their own lives, their own communities, it will prove impossible for the governments to carry on as they are.  Indeed the Kingdom of God, not the kingdoms of this world, offer hope.  Let every kingdom fall and let the true King reign supreme forevermore.

Written by C.Jay Engel

Editor and creator of The Reformed Libertarian. Living in Northern California with his wife, he writes on everything from politics to theology and from culture to economic theory. You can send an email to reformedlibertarian@gmail.com
  • Thanks for yet another wonderful article on the subject of the booboisie (as H. L. Mencken referred to them). Concerning Reagan, when I was beginning my road to libertarianism, I still had a soft spot for Reagan; but not anymore. After reading “Ronald Reagan: An Autopsy” by Murray Rothbard and “The Reagan Fraud” by Jeff Riggenbach, I now recognize that Reagan was not a libertarian; he was a fraudulent person who, while having libertarian rhetoric, was no libertarian in content. Plus, when he started talking about capitalism (under the hire of General Motors), he knew nothing about what it was; he was basically a New Deal leftist (as the neocons used to say, “I didn’t change; the Democratic Party did.”) It disappoints me somewhat over the soft spot some libertarians have for Reagan; even Tom Woods, in his book THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT GUIDE TO AMERICAN HISTORY (a great book, by the way), had a somewhat soft spot for Reagan.

    Also, on democracy, while I am aware of the dangers to liberty democracy can pose, my view is ultimately that of Rothbard’s: that democracy (of the classical and republican kinds) is merely a process that should not be made an end to itself. If democracy is made the be-all, end-all of the (classical) liberal society, it will not be good.

    • cjayengel

      Woods’ book is indeed great. I would suggest that he has become more radical after writing it. And I therefore am comfortable with assuming that his views on Reagan have shifted as well. I simply can’t imagine him taking the same mindset nowadays.

      You are certainly right (and you have reminded me before) that Misesian democracy is good whereas political democracy is bad. That’s the problem with words –they are so abused! You know what I mean by democracy. But it is very accurate to point out that democracy when not controlled by the state or the political environment is simply the market –people going around “voting” for their wants with each and every dollar spent.

      But it hasn’t been used as such in so long, every use of the word now refers to political democracy. A dangerous trend to be sure. Thanks for continuing to read us Anand!

      • Agreed. I believe that Woods has indeed become more radical since writing that book. Maybe he has come to the point where he has learned to distinguish, as does most of the Mises Institute, Ludwig von Mises, Frank Chodorov, and the great libertarians of the past, present and future have done and will do, between conservatism (the political, not the cultural kind) and libertarianism. While cultural conservatives can be libertarians, as Laurence Vance (www.lewrockwell.com/2013/07/laurence-m-vance/cultural-conservatives/) and Gerard Casey (http://www.cobdencentre.org/2011/05/can-conservatives-be-libertarians/) show, political conservatives cannot be libertarian and conservative at the same time.

        Also, on democracy and Rothbard’s views, I would refer you to POWER AND MARKET (which I have not yet read).

        • cjayengel

          Great points on your first paragraph. Per your second paragraph, I know what you are saying. I have read pieces of it:) Rothbard is always fantastic.

          Hey so, I also sent you an email:)

  • RA Jameson

    C. Jay, I love your comment that we libertarians are looking to educate and that our tool is knowledge. Mises said the same thing when he stated, “Against what is stupid, nonsensical, erroneous, and evil, liberalism fights with the weapons of the mind, and not with brute force and repression.” When you find yourself in agreement with Mises, I think you are doing very well. Great post.

  • Antonio Germano

    I found your site from your comment at Bionic Mosquito (thanks, BM), and I’m glad I clicked on the link.

    This what I am – Reformed, Libertarian, socially conservative and eager to learn about Liberty.

    I agree with you that educating people in order to de-legitimize the State is the thing we ought to be doing, not trying to “work within the system”, trying to elect more conservatives or any other such nonsense. The system is the problem and working within the system can only serve to legitimize the State in the eyes of the people we want to reach.

    I think I may still stay with LRC as my primary Libertarian site, because it has articles as well as a blog, but this site will be a very close second.

    Keep up the good work.

    • cjayengel

      Welcome! Thanks for the comments (and your other comments as well).

      Although LRC is a way better resource than this one!