The Last Days of Government

Column by Jim Davies.

Exclusive to STR

At about 7.35 p.m. ET on February 22nd, the NBC News TV reporter grabbed my attention with the following, as well as I can recall it:

“Government has disappeared.” and “The are no policemen to be seen. Not even traffic cops.”

This, again, was 2014 – not 2027. And it was not a spoof, like the alien invasion one in 1938. The newscaster was casting news the way it was. What a feast for the ears!

More below, but this is one of two bits of news that were new to me this month, on the subject of the likely way in which government will expire; and they were of great interest because I've already written a book about it: Transition to Liberty, on whose cover is a photo of an avalanche because I believe that long-overdue event is both imminent and inevitable. Readers who are already familiar with its contents may care to scroll down to the paragraph with “New Stuff” at its head, while I summarize its theme for everyone else.

Transition tells how a process of replicative, exponential growth started back in 2006 with the advent of The On Line Freedom Academy, in which participants do four key things:

 

  • Study the material and Graduate from that interactive course, so understanding liberty
  • Resign in disgust, accordingly, from any government job they may hold
  • Recruit one friend a year to join the Academy and do the same, and so, each year
  • Repeat, until every literate American has graduated and stopped being one of the PIGS (Persons In Government Service)

 

That forms a handy acronym, GRRR – making us Growlers. We don't bark, we certainly don't bite or use other violence, but we do growl. And we will eliminate altogether the institution of government, for it consists of nothing at all except those who work for it. Nothing more is needed, and nothing less will suffice. Twenty-eight years of annual doubling equals 268 million, or the entire literate US population. And nobody even breaks a sweat.

The “recruitment” part of that is to invite and mentor one friend a year, and currently I reckon the average American has one chance in 100, this year, of being invited to join TOLFA. Next year, those odds will shorten. Towards the end of the process, he will be invited – by different friends - several times a year and ultimately several times a day. Hence, the avalanche.

So I've not been too worried about the admitted and obvious fact that people working for government will be among the later graduates of TOLFA; more reluctant than most to join. Naturally. But that intensity of invitations will, I reckon, suffice to move them off their perch. At the very time he sees government falling into collapse (and so, that his own job is actually a long way from secure) the PIGS will be bombarded by friendly invitations to explore some ideas about freedom. Almost irresistible.

Now to the new stuff.

First came the extraordinary events In Kiev, Ukraine, this month. The country was being ruled by an elected tyrant, who inter alia had reneged on a promise to move the country towards membership in EU, with the advantages of free trade that brings (for now, never mind the extra layers of bureaucratic control it also brings). The communications from the Maidan that I saw included this video, which emphasized that the protesters were not interested in the EU, but “want[ed] to be free from the politicians, who work only for themselves," and "We are normal people . . . civilized people; but our government are barbarians." I suppose they did not have the advantage of an in-depth anarchist re-education like TOLFA's, but on its face that does look pretty libertarian.

On the Thursday, February 20th, government police carefully sighted 70 protesters in their rifle scopes, and shot them dead. Then the next day, encouraged by government ministers from Germany and Poland (!), the tyrant, sensing the collapse of his support base, fled the capital. As one marvelously witty observer remarked, “Chicken Kiev.”

And so by Saturday, even NBC was reporting that government had quit. Other strong rumors held that the police, some of whom 24 hours earlier had been murdering them on command, had changed out of their uniforms and joined the protesters. Wonderful!

Because of the lack of in-depth re-education, it's quite possible that this revolution will fail to develop into a real libertarian one, with at least a radical reduction in government power. It may turn out to be merely an exchange of one government for another. At this writing it is severely threatened by four malevolent influences: the EU, which wants to move Ukraine out of Russian hegemony into its own; the US government, which wants Ukraine in its sphere of influence and disparages the EU with a four-letter word; a rather sinister internal group of Ukrainian Nazis who might hijack the movement, and of course Vlad Putin, whose aim is directly opposed to those of the EU and US. So it could be strangled at birth.

The strong positive that comes out of the extraordinary week ending February 22nd is that this government, probably like all others, is so vulnerable. One day it looks impregnable; next day, it is history. For us who want to terminate governments, this is enormously encouraging. Sometimes it's said I have overestimated the ease with which the government bubble can be burst; the events in Kiev suggest the very opposite may be the case.

Second, an STReader passed along his observation of a detail of the Milgram experiment that I had failed to notice.

Professor Milgram, you'll recall, experimented in 1963 at Yale with volunteers who obeyed an “authority” figure by administering electric shocks of increasing intensity to others whom they thought were other volunteers (in fact they were collaborators and no shocks were given). He showed that two thirds of the volunteers were willing to go all the way with 450 volts, a fatal figure, and concluded that obedience to authority frequently overcame instinctive moral standards. A very scary study.

The reader wrote:
 

“I was reading about the Milgram and Berkely prison experiments in the book Behavioural Investing (which is heavy on psychology) when I read something that I had never heard before (on p. 606): "The only thing Milgram found that consistently resulted in rapid dropoffs in compliance [with the "scientist" telling the subject to administer a shock to the supposed subject] within his experiment was dissent . . . . Milgram ran one variant of his experiment with one psychologist and three helpers (two of whom were confederates of the experimenters, and one genuine subject). One of the helpers asks the question, another says whether the answer is correct, the third (the real subject) throws the switch to administer the shock. At 150 volts, one of the helpers (one of the confederates) walks out of the experiment. At 210 volts, the other helper (confederate) also walks out. The psychologist goes on alone with the true subject. Once the first helper leaves, the number of compliant subjects drops from 90% to around 35%. Following the second helper walking out, the compliance rate drops steadily, although 10% still go on to administer the maximum voltage.”

So evidently the subjects have a troubled conscience about continuing to obey Authority, and when one of “their number” gets up and walks out, many more of them do the same; the dissension is contagious, the first brave dissenter strengthens the spine of the second, and so on. How would this apply to the rate of acceptances of invitations to study in TOLFA, by government employees at a time when many (say, a quarter or a third) of their colleagues have already not only taken the course, but also quit their jobs as a result?

It certainly can't hinder, but let's consider whether it will help. Remember, the motivation at this time will be the many signs that his employer is disintegrating, together with a failure of his salary to maintain its purchasing power, and the pressure of so many repeated invitations from several of his friends to open his mind to what the Academy teaches. Will the probability of acceptance for this subject increase because the guy at the next desk accepts?

It will, I think, provided that at this stage of the process the subject has a troubled conscience. That is what the Milgram volunteers all had; they had accepted money to take part, but were being told to injure a fellow human being, which went against their lifetime moral standards. That is not normally the attitude of government employees. It seems ridiculous to us, but they really think they are “doing God's work” and that resistors to government are the “bad guys.”

However, that is now, not then – when the suggestion that government is actually the primary source of evil in the world will daily be gaining widespread currency. The subject will not have to burn midnight oil in front of a TOLFA screen to get the outline of that message. Therefore, it's not unreasonable to assume that at that late stage in the process (say, around a year prior to E-Day) very many government employees will, indeed, be having moral second thoughts.

Accordingly, I think this perceptive reader (to whom many thanks) is correct: This part of Milgram's work shows that government employees, at that late but vitally important stage of the process, will quit their jobs at an accelerated rate.

The avalanche will gain even more momentum than I had thought.

 

 

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Jim Davies's picture
Columns on STR: 243

Jim Davies is a retired businessman in New Hampshire who led the development of an on-line school of liberty in 2006, and who wrote A Vision of Liberty" , "Transition to Liberty" and, in 2010, "Denial of Liberty" and "To FREEDOM from Fascism, America!" He started The Zero Government Blog in the same year.
In 2012 Jim launched http://TinyURL.com/QuitGov , to help lead government workers to an honest life.
In 2013 he wrote his fifth book, a concise and rational introduction to the Christian religion called "Which Church (if any)?"

Comments

Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture

Hi, Jim.
I like your view on many of these things, but what do you think about McAdams and his take on the Ukraine:

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2014/february/06/...

You probably know that Justin Raimondo believes that the Kiev episodes are just another case of a US-sponsored coup d'etat:

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2014/02/23/coup-in-kiev/

Jim Davies's picture

Lawrence, you could be right; and Ms Nuland's uncouth remarks certainly indicate that Hillary's Department is trying to pull the puppet strings.
 
Also, the heavy weight of Leftist opinion is just as you say.
 
You watched the referenced video clip I hope, and that strongly suggests that to the contrary, it's a home-grown grass-roots movement. Either way, perhaps you'll agree with my point about government vulnerability.
 
In any case, my paragraph beginning "Because of the lack..." acknowledges that the revolution may fail, or be diverted; and says why. Let's hope not.

Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture

Thanks, & I will watch the video afterwards. I can't during the day because I'm working. But yes I really do appreciate the idea that governments are finally imploding. It's about time. They have reached the natural elastic limit of their overreach and piggishness, haven't they?

Jim Davies's picture

Update: there's a Daily Coin video out, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkGYl4rPgaA which is well worth watching, even though less polished than the clip whose link I gave. Recorded last Friday.

It's an interview with a libertarian Ukrainian American called Roman, now living in Lviv, who has recently been with the Maidan protesters. It's an on-the-ground report. He confirms that FedGov agents are rather blatantly trying to influence them, but that the core motivation is home-grown and genuine. At the end he calls it a struggle between the government and the population.

He has a lot to say... great stories of prosecutor's offices being raided and all the files being burned on the street.

One fact I'd quite forgotten is that Ukraine continued fighting the Soviets for ten years following WW-II. For good reason (nine million of them were starved to death by Stalin) there is a powerful anti-Russian sentiment.

Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture

Hi, Jim:
Like you, I really hope it is a genuine bid for freedom, but I doubt it for several reasons. Maybe I'm just to skeptical, but here is my thinking:
 
1. That video is too polished, the girl too lovely, the timing too perfect (even though any good advertiser would do the same). I think it is an attempt at information dominance by the powers-that-be.
 
2. In the straightjacket of US media, there have been no broadcasts aired showing the anti-protester protests by the Russian population. There have been numerous anti-protester demonstrations in favor of the elected government, but they are carefully ignored in Europe and in the USSA. They, too, have a camp near the square.
 
3. The fact is that the Ukrainians rightfully despise the Russian regimes, if for no other reason than the very good one you just mentioned--the engineered Ukrainian famine that killed them by the millions. Meanwhile, many ethnic Russians "settled" there under various Soviet policy "incentives," and their descendants remain and cannot be blamed since they were not born yet -- primarily in eastern Ukraine. But this mutual conflict seems more tribal than a bid for freedom--my tribe vs. your tribe. Even worse, it may be my collectivist tribe vs. your collectivist tribe.
 
4. Let's not forget that agreements backed by the USSA and EU are in the nature of a bailout, and they come with long and fetid "strings" attached -- namely mandates to purchase weapons systems from US and EU manufacturers for the military-industrial-congressional complex. Mandated arms sales are part and parcel of these economic arrangements. This is an attempt to bring NATO to the doors of Moscow. It is a continuation of the Cold War under another set of cross-dressing apparel. Look what happened to Poland. After decades of coercion by both Nazis and Soviets (and despite their history as the most tolerant society in Europe for hundreds of years, allowing [comparatively] unmatched freedom and non-persecution of Jews, 80% of whose world population lived in Poland at some time or another), they knuckled under completely to a new dark master: the death-bringing USSA and the vampire Uncle Sam-Dracul. It should not surprise us that Poland is now the site of US kidnap-rendition-and-torture centers worthy of Egypt and Jordan. They have been suborned and corrupted by the promises of bullies. And you won't get a straight story from an immigrant living in the USSA. Most immigrants adopt a bizarre nationalism once they arrive here and want nothing but US warmaking aginst the people they left behind. Look at the native Chaldean population here -- nearly all of them neocons to a man and woman, or at least they were in San Diego. Once the USSA gets its claws into Ukraine, I foresee much of the same thing--a suborning of otherwise wonderful people to the new bully on the block. I wouldn't be surprised if their food becomes adulterated as well -- with GMO potato bread and kasha varnishkes that can be converted into a polyester shirt circa 1973.
 
 
I can only hope that a massive wave of indigestion hits the US government before it can gobble up yet another tortured people. As former UN weapons inspector and Marine, Scott Ritter, once said: "All empires die of the same thing: indigestion." I just don't want to be around for the flatulence. The air promises to be unbreatheable.

Jim Davies's picture

Again, Lawrence, you may be right; but I don't want to debate how this or that government may try to hijack last weekend's revolution. We hope none do; we may be disappointed. I will leave it there.
 
What I shall long remember is the sheer pleasure of learning that a tyrant had been toppled, and that a government had vanished, along with its uniformed enforcers. It taught me that they are by no means as invulnerable as they pretend. The image I'll also remember is of a family on some street in Kiev, which accompanied the quoted NBC News words; parents and a couple of small kids, who were skipping along the sidewalk as small kids do everywhere. Then there was a lady, walking her dog.
 
This was close to the central square, and there wasn't a cop in sight, and all was perfectly normal.

Glock27's picture

Lawarence: 1) I don't believe you are skeptical--I think history and current events have proven that

The videos having a powerful, professional presentation, much like the commercials we have on the flat screen. Slickifying the media helps sell what most Americans are use to and nothing is lost from crude presentation. Besides the national media has been on the [o]bama side from the beginning. Free press is a joke.

The U.S. Media is not in a straight jacketed. If you have debased yourself long enough you notice they leave out piles of information and press their own agenda's. I don't know if FOX is telling the truth but they seem to be doing something causing the Major Media Outlets and other Communist, psychopathic, socialist is trying to break them and get them off the air.

I wait for Americans to hate the Federal Government for starving us, depleating our supplies, bowing to other nations.

No Lawrence I think you are right on. Maybe you don't give yourself enough for your analytical ability

Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture

Glock: The only reason that the Fox network appears slightly palatable today is that the Republicans are no longer in office. Don't forget that the liberal Air America was much more tolerable during the Bush administration. Once the Republicans win again, Fox network and its various friends will once again be totally unlistenable warmongers and big government advocates once again. As an example one afternoon talk show host on Air America in 2008 was featuring Ron Paul speeches for 3 hours straight. She was booted off of the air by Air America because she called Hillary Clinton a bitch and whore, which shows that it does not pay to tell the truth.

Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
Thunderbolt's picture

In the U.S., the number of laws on the books is phenomenal: many thousands of pages. There are cops of various types behind every bush, no matter where you live. That other Bush was correct that the famous document is completely shredded. An avalanche seems likely here. Bring it on!

0point's picture

Great point Thunder, and here is an excellent visual illustration of it: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/01/13/mike-lee-in-one-simple-photo-...