I once read a quote that summed up the problem with the Occupy Wall Street movement very well. It went something like this, “blaming Wall Street for controlling Congress is like blaming the other woman for controlling a cheating husband.” So many on the left (and the “occupy” movement in particular) are looking at the small fry and refuse to look at the real force behind their discontent. Large corporations and industries hire lobbyists for a sound, solid reason and not to just toss money around. They hire lobbyists and toss money around D.C. because the central government of the U.S. is where the power and coersive force is located. They can get protection there. They can get special favors and consideration there. They can get in tight with the seat of corruption.
The “progressives” can not seem to distinguish capitalism from corporatism. The laissez-faire free market that makes the consumer the king is conflated with the fascism developed by Mussolini in Italy in the 20s. They see the fusion of big business and industry with the State as the same thing as the free-market of laissez-faire! How does someone get that deluded? Or is it that they are power seekers who want to attack freedom and liberty in any underhanded manner that they can?
Progressives love the awesome power of the coersive and brutal state and see the only problem being that their own tribe might not be in power. If the voters elect good progressives to brutalize the people then progressives are all a-twitter with delight. Of course the progressives don’t see the state domination over you as “domination” really; they see it as your re-education and, of course, it is “all for your own good” anyway.
So what about the marketplace? They see government controlling the market just like the USSR once tried to do. The fact that this led the people of the USSR into poverty and famine does not seem to bother the progressives at all. The fact that Cuba and North Korea are poster children for backwardness, poverty, and police state actions does not seem to bother the progressive a bit. Well, as long as they can envision themselves as being inside the ruling circle that is.
Libertarians, on the other hand, seek freedom and liberty so that people can do as they please as long as they don’t commit aggression against another person or his property. They see all private business under laissez-faire as having to provide the best service or good for the least amount to gain the business of the very fickle customer. We see every consumer as being the king or queen of the market. Business can not make people deal with them as the armed thugs of the state can. No, business in the freed-market must satisfy their customers in voluntary, mutual exchanges.
Murray Rothbard once pointed out that “Man has found that, through the process of voluntary, mutual exchange, the productivity and hence, the living standards of all participants in exchange may increase enormously.” It should be obvious that the “natural” course for mankind is to cooperate and to attain as much “wealth” as possible to attain the highest standard of living that is possible in this mortal plane. The Austrian School of economics, following in the footsteps of von Mises and Rothbard, have shown us that the laissez-faire freed market along with well defended property rights is the best and most sure path towards a high standard of living for all.
So how come the American progressives and the Occupy Movement continue to peddle the idea that the State should control all aspects of our life? How can they attack the warfare-state while trumpeting the welfare-state and the nanny-state? How can they continue to believe that state enforced egalitarianism is anything other than a revolt against nature?
I continue to see craziness like “tax the rich” out of people that should know that “taxing the rich” was the slogan that gave us income taxes in the first place. Now the working poor see about 50 percent of their income go to the government in one tax or the other while the rich know how to avoid taxes. The answer is not to steal from the rich, but rather stop the thief called the state from taking what little we have now.
There are those who think that if we tax and bleed business to death as the city of Detroit did then all would be peace and light. What heifer dust! The minions of the State love to play divide and conquer. They love to get one group fighting another group when it is the intervention of the state itself that is the real problem. And when it all comes crashing down? Why then they say you need to give the state even more power to “fix it”.
The answer, my friend, is still blowing in the wind. The answer is to withdraw all consent from the state and to try to educate your fellow man as to the real nature of the problem. For as many have pointed out over the centuries, every complex social problem caused by the State has a simple State solution and it is always wrong.