The first and foremost purpose of government is to create government jobs. Going back to the early days of American history a time honored tradition of newly elected politicians was to obtain positions for their friends, their nephews and assorted cousins. In those more innocent times appointing someone an inspector of something was a cordial way of repaying a favor. But the problem with inspectors is that they inspect things.
A few centuries later we live in a country where every place that has more than three people living within three miles of each other is overseen by a multitude of agencies with overlapping levels of authority beginning from the locals to the staties and all the way up to Washington D.C. where the swamps were paved over to construct massive buildings full of agencies all descended from the day someone's idiot cousin got a sinecure, a government horse and an inkwell in a city that no one used to take seriously.
Many of us would gladly trade off those buildings and those bureaucrats in return for a few dozen idiot cousins drinking in Washington taverns on the public's dime in a country with no income tax and no one pounding on your door every five minutes because you don't feed your kids arugula, don't recycle your trash and don't care about the latest trendy cause already being written into the state religion.
Unfortunately like rabbits, idiot cousins lead to more idiot cousins. Corruption doesn't stop at a set line, it pushes as far as it can, and when a man with some big ideas gets hold of it, then bar the door because it's DOE/EPA/HUD/DOL time.
The idiot cousins are satisfied to think small. Their ambitions reach as high as a government salary for doing nothing and a few taverns and ladies of the evening to spend it on. A hundred thousand of them can be a problem, but a million of them organized under a creed that has set out to seize power using an unelected bureaucracy is one of those moments when a society must realize that its corruption has become a liability to its own survival.
We are of course far beyond idiot cousin territory. Idiot cousin jobs were handmade, much like Solyndra or other recent examples of crony capitalism. It's mass production that turns a problem into a plague and the mass production of government jobs began around the same time that many other industries were discovering that they could make money cranking out vast numbers of identical copies of things.
The cities were the perfect mold for a new mass produced bureaucracy. Not only did they have social problems and political machines galore, but they also had massive numbers of immigrants who came up the hard way in the industrial age and wanted their kids to have something better than they did. Drop the kids into the mold, then mold them and plop them into mass produced government jobs with the mission of managing the unmanageable aspects of overcrowded cities.
The parable of the industrial age is that of the man who turns on a machine that won't stop. The modern nightmare begins and ends with the question, "What if we can't stop what we're doing?" While this question has been applied to such diverse areas as factories, nuclear weapons and mass culture, it's rarely directed at government. Not government as a vehicle for exploring the bomb, the surveillance state or any of the trendy abuses of authority-- but government itself. What we might ask will happen if the machine doesn't turn off, if government just doesn't stop growing?
It's not a question that concerns those who preoccupy themselves with trendy anti-authoritarianism, marking down the number of surveillance cameras and denouncing some new government program to listen in on people's phone calls, but they never seem to make the connection to the source of the problem. Somehow they imagine that it is possible to have a society where people are compelled to purchase health insurance, where meters determine how often they recycle and where light bulbs are banned not because they are toxic but because they "waste energy"-- that won't put up surveillance cameras or listen to their phone calls.
Government isn't Baskin-Robbins. You can't choose the flavors of totalitarianism that you want. And idiot cousins aren't very good at making fine distinctions. Give them a script and they'll follow it to their deaths. Ask them to use common sense and you might as well ask them to build a moon rocket, which happens to be one of those things that we can't do anymore, ever since the idiot cousins took over major chunks of the space program.
Over the last century the idiot cousins have turned red and they are often no longer cousins, just college graduates looking for a job in the unreal world, but that hasn't made them any less dumb. Ideological programming is to creativity and flexibility as rat poison is to a fine luncheon. People who are taught to think in political formulations are just reading from another kind of script and it's often a script that they don't even understand.
There's a certain amount of hope in that. When no one in the Soviet Union understood what the point of Communism was, there was little resistance to being done with it. It wasn't so much the courageous struggle of dissidents that brought down the Soviet Union, it was the incomprehension of the ranks of idiots who parroted dogma and slogans that had been coined by men and women who were smarter than them by virtue of receiving a pre-Communist education in an independent educational system.
The good news is that if the left ever seizes complete control, their system will collapse within two to three generations because at some point no one will understand why everyone has to live without heat or listen to inspirational stories about Caesar Chavez.. The bad news is that by then it will be too late to ever rebuild the country into a workable place to live.
The beauty of the machine is still embedded in the fascist undercoating of progressive government. It is a vision of a dozen wise men pulling the switch while ten million overseers mechanically drive three hundred million people to their tasks. The plan is formulated, the blueprints are drawn up, the smart men look it over through their monocles and then the whole thing is fired up and it falls over a cliff because the theory is all wrong.
The left has rejected the industrialization of mechanical things, but it remains deeply in love with the mechanization of human beings, the mass production of impulses and the programming of their souls. It is constantly drawing up five year plans to achieve one social goal or another, and if the five year plans never succeed, then that just means that it's time for an even more ambitious ten year plan to fight people who use too much water or don't teach their children tolerance.
But the reasons why machines work is because people design them. Machines however cannot design machines. When the average functionary is as devoid of autonomy and innovative thinking as your Windows PC, then the society will begin crashing as it encounters errors not in its programming. Deploying masses of asses to tackle social problems while following a rigid script filled with inflexible assumptions is a surefire way to fail and use that as an excuse to throw more men at the job.
Failure is built into the system. Large armies of men following orders is a good way to grind down equally large armies. It's not a way to run a country. Human industrialization creates bureaucratic hives which worsen everything they touch. It fills the country with functionaries following scripts that require them to confiscate our freedoms for our own good, a good that even in their limited definition they cannot achieve.
The very inflexibility of the idiot cousins guarantees their tenure. The more they fail, the more of them are needed. If we spent X amount of money to achieve Y without achieving it, then next time we must spend X+2. It's the linear mechanical logic of the idiot who can only think in terms of tackling every problem with more resources until it finally cracks. If our last machine didn't do it, then our massive EDUTRON 2000 which is twice as big and costs twice as much will surely educate all our children properly.
We have been throwing idiot cousins are the war on poverty, at discrimination and at overeating. And now we're poorer, more bigoted and fatter than we used to be. Given another generation we'll have trouble getting up out of bed at the homeless shelter long enough to carry out hate crimes. That's not the official progressive party line which says that we are more tolerant than we used to be, even as they discover five new kinds of bigotry over the weekend. And as for poverty, it's tempting to say that the only people who got rich fighting poverty were the idiot cousins, but even they are worse off in a country which is poorer than ever and which can only afford fattening food.
Like the Soviet Union, the progressive agenda never fails, it just succeeds so much that it moves on to fight new challenges, like racist babies, the imminent destruction of the planet and understanding how right wing talk show hosts brainwash people into hating all their programs. There are never defeats, only strategic retreats. Each setback is an opportunity to create a new agency full of idiot cousins with a 40 billion dollar budget in order to "invest in our future".
We have been investing so much in our future lately, that we may not even have a future anymore. Forget peak oil, we are rapidly reaching peak government. Our exploitation of our human resources is unsustainable. Eventually we will have bankrupted the future due to all our investing in the future in such promising present day stocks as Idiot Cousins Inc, better known as the entire monumental structure of government and its assorted camp followers looking for a chance to wash clothes, hold a fundraiser or make off with a fat government contract.
The human machine that the left keeps building in our backyard
doesn't work. It can never work and it refuses to go away. It only keeps getting bigger and bigger.
The builders don't understand that it's not the fault of the machine,
it's the fault of the theory. The machine does what it's designed to do
which is carry out a linear process. It will not however transform
humanity. Nor will it clean up after itself.
A machine of ten million human parts is far dumber than any single human
being. It is far less competent, far less capable and far more cruel. It will
fail at all but the simplest tasks because it has no soul, it has no
conscience, it has no mind and it has no common sense. Its very
operation creates more problems than it can hope to solve. It is not a solution. It and its operators, the idiot cousins who fill its metal chambers, are the problem. They are our problem.
Each blessing happens to cary it's curse and too large post production society's curse of not in continuously in civil strife living happens to be the excess of incompetent individuals for whom a means has to be found. Regrettably or maybe not we have out multiplied, out aged, out war-ed, out medically advanced, out sourced and out efficiently designed human society thereby creating the need for a hydrocephaled government system as not to have these many useless and superfluous bureaucrats be homeless and starving on the streets or dyeing in wars or plagues which once was natures solution.ReplyDelete
DG wrote: What we might ask will happen if the machine doesn't turn off, if government just doesn't stop growing?ReplyDelete
What has been created is a Frankenstein monster. It will grow in power till it devours its own.
Apart from the faceless Kafkaesque bureaucracy, there is another threat of monitoring and control of all individuals using the Internet and mobile phone. In this scenario, which has been examined by SF, even switching of the computer will not slay the monster, as it has migrated to the cloud ie it is everywhere. Combine Kafkaesque bureaucracy with the Cloud, and we have a real problem.
Is it redundant to say that this is another masterpiece?ReplyDelete
the reality that critical mass was reached last decade will become inescapable this.
we are in fact witnessing the implosion of an unsustainable governing structure, here and in Europa.
synchronicity can be a bitch.
I must elaborate further after reading my previous... statement.ReplyDelete
the governing structures are not collapsing due to fault within our Constitution. they are collapsing due to manipulation of such.
saying the same thing...
Sometimes your articles are so cruelly precise and devastating that I feel absolutely hopeless after reading them!!ReplyDelete
How could we possibly make the delusional lovers of the idiot-cousin structure (i.e. the vast majority of the populace of any country) read this and let the words soak into their minds till they see the light?
I think I need some coffe... Oy vey!!!
I'm a fan of trying to use direct democracy to neuter some of the problemReplyDelete
Samuel Johnson said it all: "Nothing concentrates one's mind so much as the realization that one is going to be hanged in the morning!".ReplyDelete
In 1860, 1917 and 1941, when in actual peril of war, this nation magnificently rose to the occasion in managing unprecedented industrial and military feats.
Little Israel, being in constant such peril ever since its inception in 1948, produces such feats routinely.
Lincoln's civil war management was initially heavily burdened by Idiot Cousin incompetence. But a few years of war and a many thousands of casualties eventually helped alleviate the "cousin" problem.
Daniel, Daniel My Friend, Take 2 aspirins, sleep, breathe deeply, spare your soul, write an article about the good old days, like, Rules, "Anyone could have seen that was a fastball strike, right down the middle" or "An elbow to the jaw is always a foul" or "Thirteen men on the Field", paint a simple picture my friend,your passion for the Truth is Noble, it is the Drones of Plato's Republic we see swarmming,ReplyDelete
Remember the Cave Allegory?
"The first and foremost purpose of government is to create government jobs."ReplyDelete
And here I thought the "first and foremost purpose of government" was to "provide for the common defense".
Under Obama it is undeniable that one use to which government is being put is in the creation of unnecessary and redundant government jobs.
But even under Obama, I would argue that the first and foremost purpose to which government is being put is the creation and entrenchment of ever more 'positive rights'.
Followed closely by repeated attempts, to move America ever more closely toward the European transnational model.
The creation of government jobs is part and parcel to the accomplishment of those goals and the society to which that purpose is oriented is the creation of a society in which everyone works for and is dependent upon the state. Big Brother triumphant.
“Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties:
1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes.
2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depository of the public interests.
In every country these two parties exist, and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves.” –Thomas Jefferson to Henry Lee, 1824.
"There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - Daniel Webster
"Political tags – such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth – are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire." - Robert A. Heinlein
An outstanding find, this blog. Outstanding article, like the one I read before it, Cult of the Warm. Look forward to returning here for more of your blog, Daniel.ReplyDelete
Oh, Daniel, thank you again - you are required reading for all of us who are trying to stay sane on planet madhouse - are you a modern Dickens [I guess you've read Bleak House - a devastating critique of nepotism and many other things we have continued to gaily OD on ever since he wrote it] or Douglas Adam's Wonko the Sane?ReplyDelete
Keep diving for those pearls, please, they are priceless.
Thank you, Mr. Greenfield. You have touched upon a topic for which I have attempted two aphormisms. One is that we cannotregulate ourselves into prosperity. Laws are to prevent the lawless from preying upon the lawful, but too often, laws become an end to the mean of keeping lawyers and politicians employed. The other is that we have the foxes guarding the henhouse, so it is to be expected that poultry consumption will go up astronomically, while poultry production plummets, so that there are widespread shortages for those outside the henhouse.ReplyDelete
"What, we might ask, will happen if the machine doesn't turn off, if government just doesn't stop growing?"ReplyDelete
A thing that does not stop growing is a cancer, it due course it will kill its host.
Daniel Greenfield is my hero.ReplyDelete
Fat Man, I know you're right. What can I do to help my children?