Robert Ringer

The Omnipotent State

By Robert Ringer - Monday, June 10, 2013

Is there a connection between the destruction of the free market and the serial scandals that have shined the spotlight on America’s criminal, out-of-control government?  I believe so, and here’s why:

For more than a hundred years, governments around the world have worked hard at trying to destroy the free market — through credit expansion and easy money policies, trade barriers, subsidies, taxation, and stifling regulations, among other things.  Even war has been used as an excuse for interfering in the natural flow of the marketplace.

Anti-capitalist politicians have transformed taxation into outright confiscation.  They have championed more and more government spending as the best way to increase a nation’s wealth.  They have sold their citizens on the belief that more and more government welfare is the best way to increase the wealth of individuals.  Their methods, of course, have always failed, but that doesn’t seem to faze them — or prevent them from continuing to blame capitalism (which today is light years removed from real, or laissez-faire, capitalism) for their failures.

There is no mystery as to why governments around the world are able to get away with this false finger pointing.  It’s simply because a majority of their citizens are envious, lazy, avaricious, and/or uninformed.  Thus, it’s not hard to understand why they see capitalism as the cause of their nations’ faltering economies, high unemployment, and rising prices.

As a result, for at least a century, a majority of people have favored putting more and more power in the hands of their governments.  And because actions have consequences, they end up getting the governments they deserve.  (Unfortunately, the rest of us get those governments as well.)

In the case of the United States, its history can be roughly divided into two ideological periods.  The first period emphasized freedom and self-determination, which resulted in the establishment of democracy, the emergence of capitalism, and an astounding increase in people’s living standards.

It is the period during which the foundation was laid for the richest, most civilized, greatest nation in world history to emerge.  It is the period during which most people believed, in the words of Thomas Paine, that “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.”  Most people were patriotic in that they were anti-government!

The second ideological period (roughly the past one hundred years) has focused on the omnipotence of the state.  As the masses became what Eric Hoffer called “the newly poor” — people on the lower rungs of the economic ladder who no longer had to focus on day-to-day survival — they had time to think about a natural aspect of capitalism that politicians happily seized upon:  the great disparity of wealth between those at the top and those at the bottom.

As politicians fed them a daily diet of poisonous envy, a majority of Americans, through the phenomenon of gradualism, became anxious to cede government the power to use compulsion and coercion “for the good of society.”  In other words, turn the Constitution on its head and demand that government employ its monopoly on the use of force to redistribute property rather than protect it.

Today, the average person, forever preoccupied with the difficult decision of whether to play with his iPod, iPad, or iPhone, cheers politicians who mask government intervention as progress.  They really believe that the superior humanoids in Washington are capable of fundamentally transforming America into a cheap-steak and sports paradise.

(If this were not so, why would they keep reelecting the same scoundrels to office year after year?  Names such as Hatch, Kennedy, Specter, McConnell, Reid, Frank, Graham, Pelosi, Dodd, Boehner, and various other strains of political cockroaches that roam the halls of Congress come quickly to mind.)

The most serious threat to the political cockroaches is freedom and thought.  If a person tries to question the accepted doctrines of socialism/statism, he is thought of as a heretic — ridiculed, cursed, and, finally, ignored.  It is seen as outrageous for anyone to doubt the beneficence of the state.

A perfect example of this was illustrated just a few months ago when the consummate lifer statist, Mush McCain, responded to Rand Paul’s thirteen-hour filibuster on the Senate floor by saying, in part, that Paul’s concerns that the U.S. could kill innocent American citizens on U.S. soil bring the debate into the “realm of the ridiculous.”  He finished his slap down by adding, “If Mr. Paul wants to be taken seriously, he needs to do more than pull political stunts that fire up impressionable libertarian kids.”

McCain, a lifelong supporter of the omnipotent state, was skillfully employing one of Saul Alinsky’s most cherished techniques — isolate your target and ridicule him.  Uncle Saul would have been proud of him.  Eat your heart out, Barry.

Statists, of course, in the name of progress and freedom, constantly try to outlaw progress and freedom (e.g., the Patriot Act) — and they back up their laws with police power.  If Americans actually took the trouble to think, they would realize that if laws that impede freedom and progress were so beneficial to everyone, they wouldn’t need to be backed up by the threat of violence.

Which brings us back to the destruction of the free market.  Once the American people allowed the government to destroy capitalism in the name of fairness, it gave politicians the power to trash the Constitution and do anything they damn well pleased.

What puzzles me is why so many people are so surprised that we now have serial scandals like the NSA’s surveillance of American citizens, the IRS’ targeting of conservative and Tea Party groups, and the White House’s relentless attempts to silence the press.  Such violations of human freedom are natural consequences of the omnipotent state.

Unchecked government power is what you end up with when citizens happily give criminal politicians the go ahead to destroy the free market.  Once you open the door to evil, evil takes full control.  Thomas Paine certainly gave us enough advance warning about this phenomenon.

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Copyright © 2018 Robert Ringer
ROBERT RINGER is a New York Times #1 bestselling author and host of the highly acclaimed Liberty Education Interview Series, which features interviews with top political, economic, and social leaders. He has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business, The Tonight Show, Today, The Dennis Miller Show, Good Morning America, The Lars Larson Show, ABC Nightline, and The Charlie Rose Show, and has been the subject of feature articles in such major publications as Time, People, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Barron's, and The New York Times.

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14 Responses to “The Omnipotent State”

  1. William says:

    When are enough people going to realize that the only way to get rid of these "cockroaches" is to raise a boot and crush them.
    Too bad the only "boot" that could do a good job is the military and I don't know if they are interested in preserving freedom.

  2. Paul says:

    Nailed it again. Thanks Robert

  3. Kate says:

    so how can we fix it since we can't seem to get rid of the career politicians because half the country has been brainwashed?

  4. johanberger519 says:

    You mentioned ten specific 'cockroaches' that roam the halls of Congress.
    Despite your being historic in debating capitalism as a theory and a practice at improving the livelihood of the 'little man' I think you owe an apology to Messrs Hatch of Utah and Mr McConnell of Kentucky. The latter has a reputation for protecting the rights of the People's Congress – the lower chamber – and Mr Hatch is a reputable jurist, no? Seem to remember that he sided with Pres. GHW Bush when the Dems destroyed the career of Robert Bork..

  5. texas wolfie says:

    Let's suppose you have a child with a serious drug habit. Would you rather see him/her in a casket or in jail for a couple years? Obviously jail is preferable. Would you then rather see this country suffer for a few years of a depression again, or go over the cliff permanently? I say let's suffer a new depression and see then how many people in this country wake up.

  6. libertarianzen says:

    Honest relationships require that people trade value for value. Government interventionism guarantees that some people live at the expense of others. Yet people cry for the government to keep the auction of stolen goods going full speed around the clock.

    Let’s be honest about this sorry situation. The present entitlement mentality of living at the expense of others is nothing but a cannibalistic philosophy that can only end in disaster. We need to face the fact that a long-term economic recovery is impossible as long as we believe government should exercise it power of violent compulsion and coercion and take from Peter to give to Paul. I'm afraid that unless a philosophical change in the mentality of the average American citizen takes place, there isn't much hope for the future of our once great nation.

  7. Reality Seeker says:

    "I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men." -Woodrow Wilson, after signing the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment (income tax) on February 3, 1913 and the Federal Reserve into existence on December 23, 1913.

    100 years ago was, indeed, as RJR said, a turning point in U.S. history.

    amerika is now a Big-Brother state; and the majority of dimwitted voters have yet to realize that all of the spying is not done for them but it's done to them.

    Behold the "Boundless informant"! What a fitting name for an NSA program designed by a boundless government, don't you think?

  8. PitBull says:

    All our most heartfelt commentaries — and RJR's fine essay — cannot wipe away the dreadful fact that 50% of our American brothers and sisters placed te country in the hands of a slick, crafty, wily rabble rouser. Cloaked as he and his minions are in the benefits of elitist educations – with many entitlement gurus given free rein to do their fine work behind the scenes – this last remaining bastion of individualism and free markets goes to its demise willingly, happily and with no thought of the 'law of unintended consequences' that will surely wreak its havoc on the many.

  9. Lawrence Ekdahl, says:

    Lets face it. I fear God is using these tyrants to destroy America because America has discarded the God of the bible for freefood goods and sports{beer and TV]. This nation believes it no longer needs God.

  10. OMG says:

    My dear brother Ekdahl, “They know not what they do!” – “They are without excuse!” – “The amazing grace is no longer so sweet!” – “OMG!” if only he was!

  11. Enjoy your column Robert.

  12. frank says:

    thanks again for a great essay……I enjoy yours and judge Napolitano's also….let me borrow from his style a bit here and ask WHAT IF the serious attempts and appalling criminal behaviorof
    the us gov't contractors,politicians,parties,
    and employees to muzzle the us media and the first amendment is the straw that broke the camels back next election year?
    what if the powerful us media decides this is too much to bear and decides that the dead wood in congress is easily replaceable? what if stepping on the toes of liberal and conservative media is a major error by the out of touch politicians in Washington dc?

  13. In my house when I get bored, afterward I just ON my computer and open YouTube web site The Omnipotent State to watch the YouTube video tutorials.
    Nike Enfant Air Jordan 8

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