Done-To-Ourselves Insanities

1.It is a bit clichéd to say, “America cannot be defeated without Americans”, or to repeat the insight with Russia, or China, inserted. The finding is not limited to ranked global elephants. Since 1291, uppity Swiss peasants, survived as a republic the era of monarchy. Beyond the favorable geography, that record is man-made. They formed a self-governed confederation, in which power flew from below, and united in homogeneous cantons ethnics that, as nations, fought each other regularly abroad. In addition, when Europe caught one of its fashionable political viruses (Nazism, Communism), the Swiss refused to be moved by the passing craze.

Given that background, sound minds would make an assumption. A federalism paired with popular sovereignty that produced the richest country from an earned income must get undivided support. Not quite. Several parties, ranging from the left to the liberal center, wish to “rescue” the Helvetic Confederation by submersion in the European Union. Official intellectuals and “cultural” leaders cheer wildly.

Ask, with the Brexit in mind, why one would wish to jettison a successful model? Switzerland has “little government” and is not run by the EU’s governing elite. The EU is centralized and responds with “more government” to problems. However, this is government by the right elite. That attracts Switzerland’s political class. In control of the offices, they try to construct EU-Swiss relations so as to bankrupt independence. With that achieved, submission to Brussels can be sold as a rescue.

2.The expanding state. The more of your voters, friends, relatives, are on the state’s payroll, the more sense it will make to expand government machinery. Entire parties, notably those of the left that had once longed for the “dissolution of the state”, have ceased to be the “fist” of the “proletariat.” They have moved from being a “revolutionary avant garde” to harvest the fruits of a new “industry”. It serves to benefit privileged insiders that yield the power of the state’s “apparat.”

Long ago, the often-cited “class struggle” had been replaced by the battle of the officials against the innovative reflexes of society. Quite often, bureaucrats regulate, to their advantage, what would work better if left alone.

3.America is about to tackle a tax reform. Some see taxes as an instrument to expropriate the “robber barons”. Others regard them as a means to create equality. At first glance, this goal seems commendable. Well, at least until we insert reality into the picture.

Differences of wealth are natural. It expresses the diverse talents and efforts of individuals. Even Hollywood’s actor-apostles that sell themselves while they advocate ways to save the world they know little about, are beneficiaries of the system which rewards what is deemed to be outstanding.

The problem of a tax reform is that its legitimate purpose is to generate new revenue by reducing the tax burden on existing activities and sources of wealth. Although taxes –but not all taxes- finance “civilization”, they are a liability that burdens the taxed object. For instance, if labor is taxed, it becomes pricier so that less of it will be used. If capital is taxed, less will accrue because more will be spent on consumption and less will be invested. If inventiveness is taxed by claiming that its return is a profit of the lucky, then there will be fewer inventions and therefore less work, less profit, and fewer attractive goods.

An economy is on solid foundations if it is future oriented. That happens if risk-taking investments thrive. Risks are only “guesstimable”, and so their outcome brings either failure or success. In the latter case, the gain must reward risk-taking. By the logic of that, “safe” jobs pay less than the ones that involve uncertainty. After the fact, the original risk’s dangers are overlooked and so, the reward is classified as easily gained. At that stage, envy expressed by a “gain tax” tends to enter the picture.

Observing the long experience we have with economic development, we see that the dramatic improvement of the existence of the masses has a correlant. It is that the share of the “top” grew faster than the average’s. This justifies a rule. Unless uncommonly talented, to improve your lot by a factor of, say, two, the creative mover’s share must rise by a factor of 10. Through politics, thus through taxation, you can de-legitimize that “10” that let you get your mere “2”. This might be popular. However, by denying the “exorbitant profit” of the “lucky ones”, you deprive yourself of your share of the gain. If a system of taxation ignores this, it will succeed to keep the rich from getting richer while it will guarantee that the “poor” become poorer.

There is no way to circumvent this: If you divide the social product so that all get an equal share, then force is needed to impose this equality, not of opportunity, but of final results. Besides an expanding dictatorship, you will discover that the social product to be divided shrinks dramatically. A call to someone in a queue that waits for goods that do not arrive in Venezuela, will confirm the claim.

4.The path to poverty has markers of well-meaning intentions: “We should explore universal basic income so… that everyone has a cushion to try new ideas. That freedom… isn’t going to be free. People like me should pay for it.” M. Zuckerberg.

5.Man-made poverty that relies on a faulty theory makes one think of Africa. Since independence, it is aid-dependent. The results of stuffing money into elites are slight if compared to Asia’s achievement that became independent when Africa did.

Supposedly, before independence, Africa has suffered from colonial exploitation. After the end of that, billions were injected to trigger growth. Decades of aid has produced little beyond economic migrants. They are the symptoms of dropping GDPs, frustrated expectations, and inferior tyrannical governance. All of them are backed up by good sounding theories that guide the local political class.

6.What do we get to hear after terror attacks? One thing we “hear” is that the mainstream media tries to remain silent. Possibly, the case is classified as a “local matter”. If that fails, it is tagged as an “isolated incident”. Even if the killer shouts “Allah Akbar”, officialdom will claim unclear motives and unproven Islamist terrorism. Furthermore, just cool it: violence is normal and it happens all the time.

The managers of “proper think” tell you not to see “dots” anywhere. If you see any, unless you wish to be called a “racist pig”, you had better not connect them.

Just believe that the terrorist act is, in reality, not only a plain criminal deed, but also a “singular and isolated” incident, and as such, devoid of a general significance. Actually, all offenses, even if they fit a pattern, are unique events. Most of us just do not rape, abduct minors, or blow up folks. Once that exceptionality is “bought”, the next sedative to swallow is slammed on the counter.

Religion-endorsed terrorism in behalf of a despicable cause? What seems to be warfare by a shielded minority against the harboring majority is a misinterpretation. The in its intent lethal violence, is not part of the war of the few to drive the many into submission. No, these are acts of “mentally imbalanced” persons. That being the case, the proper reaction is to spend more on courses of integration and to send more therapists. Although the method is not optimal, the naughty have positive traits. They act out of convictions that express values held, and their actions are political statements of an opinion, therefore they are protected by democratic constitutions.

7.The helplessness of the confused when terror must be confronted has further aspects. Take the handling of violence such as recently at the G20 summit in Germany. It demonstrates the two-faced relationship of “peace” movements to violence. The contradiction is not only logical but also ethical. If the police act in the defense of society’s order, they demand that the action be limited to spraying holy water. If the demonstrators are violent, it is a “revolutionary” deed. Since it aims to serve mankind’s betterment, the use of violence is a moral act and the force applied to counter it is “disproportional”.

If the democratic state renders itself, after misconstruing its principles, impotent to guarantee public security, then its totalitarian replacement will provide order.

 

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