Every so often I come across a post that needs very little comment. Today is one of those times. This is the blog entry by Martin Armstrong.
In the beginning of the entry there is a question posed about “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force.” To which Mr. Armstrong, a highly respected and sought after financial guy waxes eloquent. Not because he is a financial guy, but because it far more than just that. I read his blog everyday.
The source of the statement in quotations above is of little importance when you actually consider the statement itself. Mr. Armstrong is not sure of the source but thinks it could be Aristotle and/or Plato as to them, “the Greek doctrine is very clear on this subject. The very essence of the state consists of is the essence of force. The existence of force is for Plato and Aristotle alike, a sign not of the state dignity or Majesty, but of a state’s utter failure. The more a state moves toward economic bankruptcy, the more they will use force to retain power.”
You might ask you how is this force manifested? Do not think it terms of soldiers in the streets with guns and grenades, but rather consider onerous taxation, endless regulations conceived by unelected bureaucrats which in turn ratchets up more taxation, as well as control of the airways and means of disseminating information such as the internet.
Continuing to quote Mr. Armstrong; “The view of Aristotle and Plato, with respect to the state’s exercise of power, comes from the struggle between conflicting misconceptions of what is good or being happy. Insofar as men conceive the good or being happy, this happiness is not actually the primary exercise of virtue personally, but it is the exercise of virtue in governing an ideal state. The best states are closely knit together so that the interests of one person are the same as the interests of all. Consequently, a person who acts for his or her own interest must also act for the interest of all fellow citizens. In a way, this is Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand. It therefore would follow that discussions of Aristotle’s altruism are generally misconceived. From a collective standpoint, people are united politically and the state therefore represents their common agreement. However, when that unity breaks down into opposing forces due to self-interests as we have today (left v right), then the state historically turns to force to retain its own power. The good of the individual is subordinated to the survival of the state. Since all groups eventually divide along opposing philosophic concepts, whether a perfect union ever exists is typically measured a brief periods of prosperity in between moment of utter upheaval and chaos. The key is to eliminate the self-interest of the state which is the power of force and then if the two factions are restrained from dominating the other, then society can prevail undisturbed. The likelihood of that being sustain indefinitely appears to defy history and cycles.”
Seems like the heart of the problem is selfishness. And the root of selfishness is pride and the erasing of definitions of good versus evil.
Consequently, “Government Is Not Reason, It Is Not Eloquence — It Is Force” is a correct statement. Who really cares who said it, is a correct statement. Furthermore a corollary is working together as is ownership is a mutual insurance company is reason, it is eloquence, it is voluntary.
A few questions to consider:
- Are taxes going up or down in the future?
- Do you want to pay those taxes?
- Where will governments get the needed funds to stay in power?
- How do you best protect your assets?
- Is what you have an what you want the same thing?