The U.S. Is a Failed State: Dissolve It (Michael S. Rozeff)
Tuesday July 23rd, 2013
America is a very sick patient with a curable cancer that, if left alone, will cause death. The cancer is the Union or the state known as the U.S.A. More commonly, the Union and the U.S.A. are referred to as the U.S. government, the federal government or simply the government. It is the body established by the Constitution that administers the powers described in that Constitution. Phasing out and dissolving the U.S. government, which can be done by constitutional means, will remove the cancer and restore a degree of health.
Ending the Union will certainly not cure all of America's ills, because they trace back to wrong and false ideas. These are like bad habits, genetic and environmental factors that cause cancer. If they are not changed, the cancer will come back. The search for non-destructive politics is as never-ending as the search for health and longevity.
The main reason why Americans should dissolve the Union is that it is a failed state. For those who believe in the efficacy and goodness of states, their most essential, central and important task is to keep the peace within their domain. This goal entails protecting the lives and property of the citizens under its protection, the people of the United States.
Perfection of the government at keeping the peace is not to be expected. A certain amount of failure of a state to keep the peace is normal and tolerable, but at some point when war becomes the norm or becomes so extensive, permanent and destructive that keeping the peace is all but forgotten or impossible to attain, we can safely declare that the state has failed. This has happened with the U.S.
It diverts us too greatly to recount in detail the history of the repeated failures of the U.S. government to keep the peace. The Civil War (1861-1865) was a notable failure, the end result of which was a Union no longer operating under any pretense of consent but instead at the point of a gun.
The Spanish-American War followed by the Philippine-American War set the U.S. on a path of empire, which necessarily could not be peaceful because it would involve Americans in global conflicts.
The next step was to abandon neutrality altogether, and that occurred when the U.S. entered World War I. The U.S. even invaded Russia in 1918.
In the early twentieth century, the U.S. began operating under the deeply flawed idea that keeping the peace within America could be and had to be accomplished by violent interventions in other countries. Peace through war, anywhere and everywhere that it seemed necessary and feasible, became U.S. doctrine. Making the world safe for democracy became the doctrine, with the emphasis being on the word "making".
The American empire rested on a firm belief that good results could arise from high-level and centralized control. This control mentality saw nothing wrong with using force to achieve and maintain that control. The erroneous belief, held deeply by the U.S. government, was that power and control could mold societies, peoples, economies and governments into peaceful forms.
World War I plus the U.S. push into the Pacific and the Pacific Rim were major factors leading to U.S. participation in World War II, a huge failure to keep the peace. The Korean War was closely related.
The American war machine, the military-industrial complex, that was built up required oil, and the U.S. began to intervene in the Middle East.
Eventually the U.S. began to invade countries outright, such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Libya.. It began to have military, training, arms and support operations in dozens of trouble spots, like Yemen and Syria. Keeping the peace came to mean perpetual war.
One of the most signal failures of the U.S. to keep the peace by protecting the lives and property of its citizens was 9/11. The huge might of the U.S. military, police and intelligence agencies operating worldwide had led to a retaliation by terrorists that this same might failed to prevent.
The highest officials of the U.S. began forecasting that eventually a nuclear attack by terrorists would occur on American soil. They were mongering fear but in the same breath they were admitting that the U.S. government had failed at its most basic mission.
Consequently, the people now became subjected to disturbances of the peace instituted by the U.S. government. Far from keeping the peace, the government instituted unnecessary and intrusive invasions of lives and property in the name of protecting its citizens. What stronger marks of a failed state could there be than the DHS, the TSA, the growing brutality and militarization of police, and the wholesale surveillance of the NSA?
But there is more, far more.
I do not limit the term keeping the peace to consideration of needless foreign wars. Like most terms, the word "state" has changed meaning over time. The term "state" in the medieval tradition at one point referred to the state of the commonwealth, the state of the public thing. The Romans called it the public affair or res publica, which is the root of republic. Today, the government has drawn the economy into its sphere of influence. Whole sectors and industries have been made into a public affair or thing. Here too there is a signal failure to keep the peace. Peace in the economic realm means smoothly functioning free markets, not widespread unemployment, large social welfare programs, controlled health care, controlled education, cities going bankrupt, bubble markets, wealth transfers to an oligarchy, an unstable currency, and huge interventions in mortgage markets.
Keeping the peace in an economy cannot be done by expanding the mentality of control to economic regulations, controls, licensing, taxes and subsidies of industries. All of this is the very opposite of keeping the economic peace. All of it is the violent intervention so ably brought to our attention by Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard.
In the area of the Bill of Rights, the U.S. government is mounting attack after attack. These abridgements in rights are further evidence of a failed state. They are direct attacks on the peace. So are war crimes, the use of torture, the use of kidnappings, arbitrary imprisonments, and denials of rights.
Courageous individuals, such as Assange, Manning and Snowden, have been attempting to awaken the American people to the failure of their government to keep the peace. This is because other institutions that might possibly have held the government to some sort of account have utterly failed to do so, at least so far. Social institutions like the church and the media, have failed to pressure the U.S. to change. They have, in fact, largely supported the government. The lower courts have proven to be an inadequate barrier against government's failures in keeping the peace. The two-party system has failed to produce a peace party with influence. Intellectuals, journalists and opinion-makers have failed to set peace as their objective and rally the public around a peace movement. Instead, we see success of warmongers, fear mongers, and those who benefit from war.
The major purpose of government, according to its supporters, is to keep the peace, which means protecting rights, freedoms, lives and property. It cannot be done by invasions of these. The U.S. government has failed so badly that today we wonder what bad thing it will do next. We wonder if there are any institutional limits to what laws the U.S.A. can enact. We wonder what powers the Executive will claim next. We wonder what the government will do next to its citizens. Since the Supreme Court, which is part of the U.S.A., claims the power to decide what is lawful and what is not, we wonder how there can be any legal limits to government usurpations and tyranny.
When there are failures in any activity, we look to find out their causes so that we can remedy them. This is not being done with respect to the failure of the U.S. government. There is failure in the feedback cycle, a break in it that prevents error correction. The system is not under proper control, not that it ever has been or can be. The government doesn't even admit failure, even when it is far larger and worse than Watergate. Partisanship is not enough to produce feedback and correction as in the Watergate case, not when both parties are war parties. The utter failures to keep economic peace go uncorrected because both parties believe in and benefit from economic control.
The average person is thwarted. He or she can criticize the people occupying the positions of power and attempt to elect others, but it's fruitless. Americans can change administrations, but if the laws remain intact, this is to no effect. The government operates under the theory that the laws it makes stem from the people via their representatives and their government. Hence, no matter what laws they pass, they are a-ok. Once elected, they are empowered to do as they please and feel it's the will of the people. The people who believe in this system cannot recognize insidious usurpations and tyrannies. They cannot identify the seat and root of the usurpations and tyrannies, much less remove them. They are caught in the snares of their own democracy. If the government is not keeping the peace, they hardly see it, much less understand that the form of government -- the system itself -- is at fault.
The U.S. is a failed state. It doesn't keep the peace. This has been the case for a long time, but the productivity of the American people papered it over. Each in his own way, Assange, Manning, Snowden and other whistleblowers are telling us that the U.S. has not been keeping the peace. Just the opposite.
The U.S. government has gone into denial mode, attempting to paint these messengers and men of conscience as enemies of the people, spies and traitors. What have they actually done except to reveal information that is a necessary but not sufficient condition for recognizing and correcting government failure? Under the dominant theory of government that now is widely held, no people can control its government unless they know what that government is doing. The traditional Fourth Estate has not been up to the task. That is why these men have come forward.
Dissolve the Union. Dissolve the U.S. government. Do it in steps, if need be, but do it. Do it constitutionally or by actions deemed constitutional by the individual states. America is one big pressure cooker and the U.S. government is keeping the lid on. There is no need for an explosion. Remove the U.S. control and the natural energies of a free people will be released productively.
Michael S. Rozeff [send him mail] is a retired Professor of Finance living in East Amherst, New York. He is the author of the free e-book Essays on American Empire: Liberty vs. Domination and the free e-book The U.S. Constitution and Money: Corruption and Decline.