If you would reap power, sow despair

If you would reap power, sow despair.

Desperate people will submit to indignities the proud and independent would never suffer. The shrieking alarms of “crisis” and thunder of “warfare” weaken our resistance to command. That’s why every political initiative is portrayed as a dire emergency, or the moral equivalent of war. You’ll notice that all those politicized “wars” on domestic issues are eternal – there are no victory conditions or exit strategies. Who feels a greater sense of despair than helpless civilians trapped in a series of endless wars? Statists reach through that gateway of helpless frustration to seize power and money.

The War on Poverty is the paramount example of such militarized socialist quagmires. Contrary to the copious promises of its early generals that the War on Poverty would be a battle to reduce poverty, its current champions insist that it’s all about making poverty easier to endure – a seamless transition of core reasoning from a clear objective and definite measures of progress, to a fuzzy perpetual mandate that makes the progress of the welfare state impossible to critique. In fact, the lack of progress becomes a supposedly irrefutable argument for spending more money. That’s what despair is all about: no matter how hard we struggle, we will never escape from the quicksand. No matter how much we spend, it will never be enough.

Meanwhile, the clients of the welfare state are fed their own steady diet of despair. They’re told life was rigged against them from the start. They are taught success comes only at the expense of the unsuccessful. They’re told what they deserve is more important than what they can earn… and no matter how much they are given, it’s never enough. The demands of such desperate people are music to the ambitious collectivist’s ears. It is often said that liberalism is the politics of envy, but the dark heart of envy is despair – we covet only what we believe we can never achieve on our own. You have to give up before you can get really serious about resenting those who have not. The best way to induce people to give up is to convince them further effort is futile.

Law-abiding people are taught to view themselves as criminals, suffering through an endless collective prosecution that will never end with a …read more    

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