"If the major opportunities for future growth of government lie in the area of conventional taxation, are there any defenses available to the citizenry? ... Perhaps the most fruitful advice comes in two parts. The first piece of advice is to avoid war and the rumor of war: this is history's greatest boon to the tax man. ... The second piece of advice is to seek ways of inhibiting government's ability conveniently to increase its collections. Possibly the very increase in that ability that is in prospect can be turned to account by a constitutional provision which forbade the income tax, and perhaps even the storage of information regarding individual incomes by third parties, including government." ~ Benjamin Ward
Tragedy or Triumph?
Scandals such as these are certainly tragedies for the individuals deprived of their lives. But the after effects produced by these misfortunes can also be viewed as positive for those people who prefer liberty rather than State bondage. Highly publicized events, such as these, illustrate how The State has the inherent tendency to eat its own. This helps further de-legitimize government and expose The State's true character of being corrupt mobsters fighting over turf rather than benevolent servants fighting for truth and justice. The State is an amoral creature where the ends always justifies the means. Maintaining power over the collective that feeds it is its number one priority.
State crimes against its own (meaning its employees and beneficiaries) and corruption among its membership occurs nearly daily at the local level. Just pick up any newspaper and you'll be sure to find reports of crooked government employees unable to resist the powerful temptation provided by their position. I fear that because these events occur with such frequency that the public ignores them to the degree that they would ignore daily, repetitious reports of auto accidents and burglaries. It's just part of living.
We may view the more shocking of these reports (such as concern Diana and Wellstone) as mere pulp for the scandal sheets. But they do perform a service toward revealing The State's deceptive reputation; a reputation built by propaganda masters, truly skilled in their craft, deceiving the masses too lazy or over burdened by State-imposed obligations ( i.e., taxes, regulations, etc.) to notice, let alone investigate.
You would think the sheer repetitiveness of these revelations would create a change in the consciousness of the public. But, apparently, a populace, whose behavior is well structured on a routine of 'bread and circuses,' is unable to connect the exposed facts of evil and corruption to being a threat to their freedom. Some may feel too helpless to do anything about it, which arguably, they are. The only option available is to 'vote the bastards out' which, of course, merely brings in a new wave of 'bastards' to deal with. Internal corruption and aggression against individuals continues, just under a different regime and party motto.
Most, I feel, just consider such disclosures a form of entertainment. One need look no further than how the public viewed the crimes and peccadilloes of Bill Clinton. Bubba's goofs provided ample fodder for nightly comic material and made him, virtually, a well respected hero among the denizens of pop culture. Rather than fueling a healthy distrust of overly powerful leaders, the 'bread and circus' crowd discovered a brother in arms that shared their nihilistic attitude and low brow behavior.
We must make clear to the 'bewildered herds' (as Willie Nelson so eloquently described them) that if The State will commit aggression against their own kind they certainly won't hesitate committing aggression against them, as long as it serves The State's purposes and agenda; and, of course, as long as these same aggressors can cover up the damning facts of their crimes. Damaging evidence that is uncovered can always be dealt with by spin-meisters who skillfully turn the tables and put the accusing party on the defensive.
Until the masses no longer find themselves well medicated, well fed and well entertained, the process of enlightenment will be a difficult one. Most, unfortunately, appear unable to decipher for themselves that events of these kind illustrate an immediate danger to their lives, their liberties, their families and their property. The challenge laid before anarchists and libertarians will be to remove The State's deceiving cloak of darkness and shine the light of truth, revealing the menacing reality of State aggression and deception.