Loving the State: Leviathan and Optimism
Here in Canada, we are about to surrender our infants to the State. Government daycare will be imposed upon us, and now not even the needs of their newborns will keep our citizens from returning to the tax-galleys. Another cluster of unionized State leeches will attach themselves to the body politic, hoping to feed on us forevermore.
I have mixed feelings about all of this. I am dismayed, of course, because like all optimists I resist the lessons of history. For every civilization in history, the State has always expanded to devour the host society. It is an iron rule, without exception. But still I hope that somehow our State will go into a remission of sorts, stabilize and let us live our diminished lives as only partial slaves.
It will not be the case, of course. Like all addictions, irrationality and violence are inherently unstable, and inevitably expand to collapse. The true addict has to hit bottom before he has even the slightest chance of recovery. And there is no addict like the State. Thus it is inevitable that State power will grow until it self-destructs. To imagine otherwise is to imagine that the alcoholic will give up drinking while he is still flying high, or that a gambler will quit the casino while he’s on a winning streak. It is unthinkable.
So what is my relationship to the expansion of State power? Overall, I have come to accept that I have been forcibly wed to an addict, and that to experience shock and dismay every time my ‘spouse’ acts irrationally is, itself, irrational. If a man has been a lifelong drinker, to be appalled every time he reaches for a drink represents a foolish failure to learn from experience.
The only answer, of course, is to get a ‘divorce’ and get rid of the State completely. If we are wedded to a hopeless crack addict, and cannot get away, the only hope we can have is to encourage all his self-destructive habits until he is no longer a problem. It is risky, of course, but it is the only option. A woman who wants to be free of her alcoholic and abusive husband gets him drunk on snowy nights then gives him the car keys. If a slave-owning population is partial to cocaine, their slaves should grow it enthusiastically and supply it for free.
This approach has given me quite a bit of freedom, though it has been hard to accept. It feels somehow wrong to cheer and encourage failure, but in the case of the State, the fall of the few is the rise of the many, and I try to remember the multitude who will have a chance to flourish after the State collapses.
Therefore, I have changed both my attitude and arguments to the ever-expanding power of the State. I now passionately advocate the following positions:
1. Pay your taxes. The more money you give the State, the more it is able to borrow. The more it borrows, the quicker it will collapse.
2. Encourage State spending. I am now an enthusiastic advocate of corrupt schemes like State-run daycare. “It is a wonderful program,” I say, “because it will help bankrupt the State, and so set us all free!”
3. Demand additional programs. I want a video-game academy, and a Department for the Advancement of Amateur Haiku. I want subsidies for groups advocating subsidies. I want pork piled on pork. Let’s starve the Leviathan with its own insatiable greed!
4. Buy government bonds. The more people buy bonds, the more lenders will give to the government. More programs! Quicker bankruptcy!
5. Go to the doctor. Don’t take up much of his time. Complain about being ‘tired’. Or a light sleeper. Get in, get out, and get him billing the State! He’ll be more than happy to oblige.
6. Don’t give to charity. If you feel like helping the poor, give your money to a government welfare agency instead. You’ll be doing your part to help break the back of government aid, which is the best thing you can do for the poor anyway.
7. Advocate bizarre rights. The right to marry an ostrich. The right for a bachelor to claim an ‘equivalent to married’ deduction for his right hand. The right to parade down the Mississippi. Go for it. Get politicians commissioning studies, hiring think-tanks, pushing for funding inclusions in military spending bills.
8. Support US invasions. This is hard to stomach, I know, but think about it: tens of thousands of Iraqi’s died – and continue to die – as a result of the US invasion. Half a million died during the ‘peaceful’ sanctions of the 1990s. See? Fewer Iraqis are dying now than before the US invaded. Also, the UN isn’t giving Saddam billions of dollars for free. So everyone’s better off. Except Saddam.
9. Support your troops. Troops are expensive. The more troops the State deploys, the quicker the State will collapse – and the freer the world will become.
10. Be an entrepreneur. Start creating jobs. The more people you get paying taxes, the more money the State will imagine it has, and the quicker it will self-destruct.
11. Speculate in real estate. Land transfer taxes. Enough said.
12. Drink and Drive (though not together). Alcohol and gas taxes. Fuel the fire!
13. Support foreign aid. Because of the billions of dollars spent in foreign aid, Africa is a complete mess. Let’s keep it going! More! Free AIDS drugs! Free food! More money to dictators! Arms aplenty! The only chance poorer nations have is for the governments of the rich nations to implode and so stop funding the loathsome thugs that strangle them.
14. More money to artists! The government especially needs to fund artists, because no more tangible and revolting example of corrupt government waste exists. Wasting money doesn’t mean much. It’s not visceral enough. Too abstract. What we need is more statues made out of shit. More cows sawn in half. More crucifixes hung in piss. That sends the real message! It gives us that much less to miss when the State finally goes down.
15. Support money mischief. What, you’re not willing to swallow double-digit inflation to bring down the Leviathan? Where’s your love of freedom? Write your local representative and demand deficit financing. Demand the printing of additional money. Demand that interest rates be kept artificially low. Inflation will rise, and government debt payments will break the back of the beast. Sing as you roll your wheelbarrow of money to go buy bread! Short term pain, long term gain…
16. Live forever. Old age pensions. Long term health care. Little chance of taxation. Don’t be healthy, but don’t die either. Linger on. Be demanding. See? Even the old and infirm have their part to play.
17. Support trade sanctions/subsidies. Basically, the more power the State has, the more it will be funded and corrupted by leeches intent on using that power to suck the lifeblood out of any productive person in sight. Farmers – sure, they need money, because there’s, like, you know, weather and stuff. The steel industry? Tariffs! Subsidies! If the State sells its favours, it will have more donations to use as collateral to borrow on. Let’s keep government and corporations nice and cozy. That way, when the brutal State goes, it will take the inefficient parasitic corporations with it, and we can all get back to doing something actually useful.
These are just some of the approaches I’ve taken to the ‘problem’ of the expansion of State power. Each and every one has been incredibly helpful to me. Now, rather than getting frustrated every time the State increases its power, I try to do everything I can to hurry it along. For out of the rubble of its self-destruction, we shall arise free. And surely that’s something we can all really get behind.
So the next time someone asks you what you think of some new government program, stand on your feet and applaud it. Cry your approval to the very skies! Praise every aspect of it. For the State is enslaved to its appetite, and it is only by feeding it to bursting that we shall finally end it, and become free.
Stefan Molynuex, is the host of Freedomain Radio (www.freedomainradio.com), the most popular philosophy site on the Internet, and a “Top 10” Finalist in the 2007-2010 Podcast Awards.