The Economic Rape of America - Chapter Nine


So Samuel reported all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. He said, "These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen, and to run before his chariots; and he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his courtiers. He will take one-tenth of your grain and give it to his officers and his courtiers. He will take your male and female slaves, and the best of your cattle and donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take one-tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves; but the Lord will not answer you in that day."
1 Samuel 8, verses 10-18

"There are still peoples and herds somewhere, but not with us, my brothers: here there are states. The state? What is that? Well then! Now open your ears, for now I shall speak to you of the death of peoples. The state is the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it lies, too; and this lie creeps from its mouth; 'I, the state, am the people.' It is a lie! It was creators who created peoples and hung a faith and a love over them: thus they served life. It is destroyers who set snares for many and call it the state: they hang a sword and a hundred desires over them. Where a people still exists, there the people do not understand the state and hate it as the evil eye and sin against custom and law.

I offer you this sign: every people speaks its own language of good and evil: its neighbor does not understand this language. It invented this language for itself in custom and law. But the state lies in all languages of good and evil; and whatever it says, it lies - and whatever it has, it has stolen. Everything about it is false; it bites with stolen teeth. Even its belly is false. Confusion of the language of good and evil; I offer you this sign of the state. Truly, this sign indicates the will to death! Truly, it beckons to the preachers of death! Many too many are born: the state was invented for the superfluous! Just see how it lures them, the many-too-many! How it devours them, and chews them, and re-chews them!

... It would like to range heroes and honorable men about it, this new idol! It likes to sun itself in the sunshine of good consciences - this cold monster! It will give you everything if you worship it, this new idol: thus it buys for itself the luster of your virtues and the glance of your proud eyes. It wants to use you to lure the many-too-many. Yes, a cunning device of Hell has here been devised, a horse of death jingling with the trappings of divine honors!

Yes, a death for many has here been devised that glorifies itself as life: truly a heart-felt service to all preachers of death!
I call it the state where everyone, good and bad, is a poison-drinker: the state where everyone, good and bad, loses himself: the state where universal slow suicide is called - life.
Friedrich Nietzsche, 1884

The people who masquerade as "government" operate in the mode I call economic rape - the political means of obtaining sustenance - "greed armed with a gun." The justification is "the public good." The reality is self-interest and easy rewards for no results or negative results. Sometimes we suspect the motives include vicious, destructive vindictiveness. Consider the story recounted by George Roche in America by the Throat: The Stranglehold of Federal Bureaucracy:

"The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today ordered the University of Illinois to tear down the handrails alongside walkways on campus, and to install new handrails exactly 42 inches high. According to OSHA, the old handrails are several inches too low to comply with regulations."

It is a true story - and it cost $500,000 to change the handrails. It is bureaucratic economic rape that has been growing geometrically or logarithmically. The growth of this rape over a ten-year period was encapsulated by Dr. Ravi Batra in his book The Great Depression of 1990:

"Many believe that the 1970s experienced an unprecedented growth in federal regulation. Between 1970 and 1980 twenty-one new regulatory agencies, with extensive powers to intervene in business decision-making of numerous industries, were established. The budget of the regulatory bodies expanded approximately 600 percent during this period, while their staffing level grew by over 300 percent."

In his book The Squeeze, James Dale Davidson has a chapter, "The Bureaucratic Squeeze," which starts with a quote by Ringo Starr: "Everything government touches turns to crap." Government is a faecal alchemist. And, of course, politicians and bureaucrats touch themselves and each other. Davidson said:

"Since 1972 there have been more bureaucrats drawing salaries in America than all the people at work in "all the durable goods manufacturing industries, including such giants as autos, electronics, steel, and heavy machinery." ["The Real Productivity Crisis Is In Government" by Richard S. Rosenbloom, Harvard Business Review, Sep-Oct 1973.] Each business day, the number of bureaucrats increases by about 1,300. And each new bureaucrat contributes an additional overhead cost to everything you buy: he makes your groceries more expensive - by imposing 4,100 regulations on a pound of plain hamburger; when you buy a new car you are paying more for the accumulated efforts of the bureaucrats than you are for all four wheels - General Motors alone must employ 23,000 persons simply to fill out government forms. If the estimates of experts are correct, then the total effect of all regulatory exactions is to impose an annual cost of more than $130 billion upon the economy. That is about $2,500 per family." [1980.]

And the growth of bureaucratic economic rape during the fifty years from 1935 to 1985 is described by George Roche:
"The problem is bureaucracy, and bureaucracy has become a national epidemic. The federal bureaucracy has more than tripled in size in the last ten years. It is ten times as large and powerful as it was twenty years ago, at the beginning of the Kennedy-Johnson years. It has swollen a thousand-fold in power in the last half century. This titanic expansion of bureaucratic power is shattering the foundations of a free society and menacing the well-being of every citizen. The federal government, designed and intended to be the Servant of the people, now bids to be become our Master."

The extent of the bureaucratic economic rape today and its continuing growth were encapsulated in an editorial - based on a study by the Heritage Foundation - in the Arizona Republic, dated July 14, 1992:
"... [T]he federal regulatory burden is strangling the U.S. economy. The explosive growth of burdensome rules during the Bush administration... has pushed the tab for the government's oversight of Americans' lives and livelihoods to a level at or above the cost imposed by even federal taxes.

Though economists differ slightly on their precise calculations, the cost of all the federal dos and don'ts ranges from $8,338 and $17,134 per U.S. household [per year]. The average federal tax take, in comparison, is about $11,000 per household [per year]. This "hidden tax" affects the economy in a number of counterproductive ways - from higher prices for consumer goods to additional unemployment... lower wages... overhead costs that businesses must absorb for processing paperwork... expenses of attorneys, accountants and others needed to comply with the bureaucracy's complex requirements... incalculable toll on business investment from the prospect of even more rules being passed at Washington's whim...

During George Bush's White House tenure alone more than 14,000 pages of new regulations have been added to the Federal Register, which now totals 67,716 pages... The number of federal employees required to police these federal dictates also has risen enormously - from fewer than 105,000 during Ronald Reagan's last year in office to nearly 125,000 today. Funding for Washington's regulatory army has increased, over and above inflation, by nearly 18 percent during the same period.

All told, regulation is estimated to cost Americans from $881 billion to $1.65 trillion. In contrast, federal taxes this year are expected to total a "mere" $1.05 trillion."

In 1974 William E. Simon was appointed Secretary of the Treasury. I have in my hands the paperback edition of his book A Time For Truth. He wrote, "I had resolved to fight for the free enterprise system. And shout, "Stop!" to bigger and bigger government." On the front cover of the book it says, "Over 200,000 sold in hardcover!" and "30 weeks a national bestseller!" Simon wrote:

"The redistribution of wealth from the productive citizen to the nonproductive citizen had become the principal government activity. This process - carried out through a vast array of "social programs" - had roared out of control in the sixties and had continued to proliferate. In 1960 federal, state, and local governments spent a total of $52 billion on assorted social welfare programs. After Congress passed the Economic Opportunity Act in 1965, expenditures soared, rising over the next decade from $77.2 billion to a staggering total of $286 billion in 1975...

The actual number of federal programs for transferring producer's income to nonproducer's pockets had proliferated. In 1960, at the end of the Eisenhower years, there were approximately 100 federal programs. By 1963 there were 160 such programs. By 1976 there were more than 1000."

Fourteen years after Simon wrote his book, what conclusions can we draw; what is the moral of the story? Might he as well have whispered into the wind, "Stop!" to bigger and bigger government? What can stop the cancerous growth of government? Simon quotes Frederic Bastiat, who about 150 years ago said:

"The government offers to cure all the ills of mankind. It promises to restore commerce, make agriculture prosperous, expand industry, encourage arts and letters, wipe out poverty, etc., etc. All that is needed is to create some new government agencies and to pay a few more bureaucrats."

Today presidential candidate Bill Clinton is making the same promises. One poll gives him a 63% to 33% lead over George Bush. I'm afraid the moral of the story is that the cancer is terminal. Remember the first principle of taxation from the previous chapter: "Tax is terminal. Any civilization that introduces taxation will eventually tax itself to death."

The famous futurist Buckminster Fuller calculated that - given the resources we have on earth and the technology to utilize these resources - every man, woman, and child should be a millionaire many times over. If it were not for the colossal economic rape of our territorial gangsters, who can tell the riches we would enjoy? There would be no poverty, no famine, no homelessness, no unemployment problem.

Federal agricultural policy is economic rape on a vast and grandiose scale. According to an editorial in The Arizona Republic of July 20, 1992:
"For 60 years the U.S. Department of Agriculture has waged war against increased farm production and lower food prices. Since the adoption of the Agriculture Adjustment Act in 1933, the intent of the government's farm policy has been to organize scarcity.

It is now apparent that this policy has failed. The government should declare a cease-fire in its war on agriculture and let the free market assume control of the nation's food supply.

... [T]he vast edifice of agriculture subsidies exists mainly for the benefit of a few millionaires and some behemoth agribusinesses. These are serviced by 108,000 USDA bureaucrats, or one for every three recipients.

"What does this system of socialized farming mean for the average American consumer? Higher prices, of course... Total subsidies run between $10 billion and $20 billion... A free agricultural market would work if it were given a chance."

Of course, it weren't for the 108,000 USDA bureaucrats, the oranges, apples, clover, corn, cotton, oranges, strawberries, and wheat wouldn't grow, and the chicken, cattle, pigs, and sheep would starve to death, and famine would wrack the land.

The Federal Reserve System with its consequent currency debasement and inflation is monetary and economic rape. The IRS is economic rape. Congressional spending is economic rape. The ballooning budget deficits are economic rape squared. And the national debt is economic rape times ten. In The Biggest Con: How The Government is Fleecing You, Irwin A. Schiff calculated that in 1975 the national debt was in reality over $5 trillion; whereas the government reported it as $538.5 billion. In a 54-page chapter Schiff provides extensive facts and figures, all obtained from the government. The discrepancy is due to the government not including in the national debt the "unfunded and contingent government debts and obligations." Remember what Harry Figgie said in Chapter Four about the government raiding trust funds?

"The government is doing that to nine trust funds, including Social Security, military pensions, railway pensions, and postal pensions. Uncle Sam is taking $120 billion in trust fund surpluses and replacing that with IOUs. Instead of funding them with cash, they're funding them with federal deficit. They don't count those IOUs or the interest on them. And when those IOUs start coming due, the government is going to owe trillions to Social Security, which will be supporting more retirees with fewer workers." [Emphasis added]

This corroborates Schiff's contention. The federal government has huge future obligations that are not included in the published national debt. Meanwhile most of the cash in the trust funds has been embezzled. Schiff describes Social Security as "The World's biggest Chain Letter." In 1976 he wrote that, "there are no monetary reserves available to the Social Security System out of which future benefits can be paid." In 1990 Harry Figgie said essentially the same thing. The Social Security System is economic rape with a vengeance. In The Squeeze, James Dale Davidson made these points:

This is what Congressman George Hansen wrote in 1980 about federal spending and waste:
"... [O]nly utter contempt for the plight of the taxpayer could produce the incredible waste of many of the federal agencies created by the government. Recently, HEW, the biggest money burner on the scene, admitted that more than $6 billion annually was thrown away in multiple payments, frauds, and bureaucratic errors... It was explained in self-defense that $6 billion is really not so significant in view of the fact that it represented less than 4 percent of the more than $160 billion annual budget of HEW prior to its division into two departments.

HUD was empowered a few years ago by Congress to guarantee construction projects for low-income housing recipients. The estimated budgetary cost to the taxpayer was $4 billion. As of this writing, HUD has committed $140 billion to this one project. The same geometric explosion occurred in the Agriculture Department's Food Stamp Program.

In forty-eight years, the national debt has gone from $2 billion to over $1 trillion, an increase of 500 times the original debt. The annual interest on the national debt is now more than $90 billion, forty-five times the total debt of 1932. No amount of idiot logic about owing it to ourselves or it being only a small percentage of the Gross National Product can jolly the beleaguered taxpayer out of his fear and anger that he personally and individually, is being pauperized by insane spending policies over which he has little or no control."

Since then the "national debt" the feds tell us about has ballooned beyond $4 trillion and the annual interest to over $250 billion per year - the Federal Reserve bankers must love it! And if the "Schiff ratio" still applies, then the real national debt is now over $40 trillion! Remember the words of John Danforth, Republican senator from Missouri, as reported in the Arizona Republic of April 21, 1992:

"I have never seen more senators express discontent with their jobs. ... I think the major cause is that, deep down in our hearts, we have been accomplices to doing something terrible and unforgivable to this wonderful country. Deep down in our hearts, we know that we have bankrupted America and that we have given our children a legacy of bankruptcy. ... We have defrauded our country to get ourselves elected."


Although the word "anarchy," based on its roots means "having no ruler," I shall use it in the popular sense of "lawlessness, chaos, and disorder." In a state of anarchy people form armed bands and shoot each other in the street. There is no respect for the law. In school, students learn violence rather than reason. Jails overflow. All kinds of systems break down - lawlessness, chaos, and disorder.

Theodore Becker, professor of political science at the University of Hawaii wrote a most interesting book in 1972, called Government Anarchy and the POGONOGO Alternative. He says:
"... [G]overnment has a great deal of anarchy, more trouble with anarchy in its own ranks than with anarchy outside it.

... Government anarchy has been, continues to be, and forebodes to be a worse subversion and perversion of much of our established legal order than any other anarchies, fancied or practiced. We don't need to destroy our system. We need to resurrect and salvage it, yes, even "liberate" it, from our own government officials.

... [G]overnment has become one of the most dangerous single factions in our society. Many high and low officials are drunk with delusions of superiority to us in the rank-and-file citizenry.

... [B]eing a government official gives a sense of being above the law and a sense of being more important as a person, a sense that rarely exists among those out of government."

Becker's book has a chapter on police anarchy. It analyses police riots, such as the 1968 Chicago police riot, similar riots in People's Park and Isla Vista, and the 1969 Jackson State police riot. Based on certain studies he estimated that one million Americans a year are arrested for no good reason and that 30,000 are physically abused for no good reason. In some studies, while police were being observed by independent observers, and the police knew they were being observed, the false arrests and physical abuse continued nevertheless.

Becker has this to say about government conspiracy:
"For those who might be appalled at calling government acts conspiracy, there is expert opinion to substantiate the fact that the first conspiracy statutes in English law were directed against government itself. Conspiracy, from the beginning, was a crime among officials to deprive individuals of their personal rights. One could only bring a conspiracy charge, though, upon being absolved of a criminal charge in a court of law; then one could sue the officers for conspiring to do him in. So a charge of conspiracy among government officials is in the best of tradition."

If you watch TV programs such as 60 minutes, 20/20, Inside Edition, etc. - not to speak of films like JFK and Incident at Oglala - you may begin to suspect that government conspiracy is not that uncommon. According to Robert Payne (The Corrupt Society: From Ancient Greece to Present-Day America):

"By its very nature, every bureaucracy tends to become a conspiratorial organization. Every bureaucracy becomes a closed society demanding implicit loyalty from its members. Implanted in all members is the need to serve the bureaucracy first and the public second. The bureaucracy's mistakes must be covered up, its black sheep removed as silently as possible. At all costs it is necessary to maintain the fiction that the bureaucracy works only for the public interest and is not in the least concerned with the perpetuation and increase of its own powers."

On police corruption, Payne writes:
"When the Knapp Commission met to enquire into police corruption in New York, it learned that there were two types of corrupt policemen - the meat-eaters" and the "grass-eaters." The "meat-eaters" were those who devoted their working lives to corruption, extracting huge payoffs and using all the weapons at their disposal for enforcing their demands, while the "grass-eaters" simply accepted the comparatively small payoffs that came to them whenever there was a sharing of the proceeds from gambling, drug traffic, and prostitution. In the five police districts they studied they learned that the monthly share per plainclothesman ranged from $300 or $400 in midtown Manhattan to $1,500 in Harlem. The pattern of corruption was strikingly standardized and institutionalized. Books were kept, and each plainclothesman signed a receipt for his "nut." Newly assigned plainclothesmen received nothing during their first two months of service while their reliability and trustworthiness were being investigated, and it was made clear to them that on no account must they reveal the existence of the "pad." Some of the "meat-eaters" became millionaires, but the Knapp Commission wisely pointed out that the "grass-eaters" were at the heart of the problem, because their great numbers tended to make corruption respectable."

This police anarchy is of course financed by we the victims. Other chapters in Becker's book covers military anarchy, bureaucratic anarchy, judicial anarchy, and local official anarchy. The most striking example of government anarchy I have come across, the Hsin dynasty during the reign of Wang Mang (9-23 AD), is described by Robert Payne in The Corrupt Society: From Ancient Greece to Present-Day America:

"Under Wang Mang a new kind of state emerged: everything was owned by the new emperor. All the gold of the empire found its way into the imperial treasury. He established monopolies of salt, wine, and iron tools. He devalued the currency, levied heavy taxes on hunters, fishermen, silk-workers, artisans, and professional men, and he acquired enormous revenues through his "equalization offices," which were designed in theory to buy cheap goods in times of plenty for resale at the original price in times of scarcity, thus preventing excessive price fluctuations and safeguarding the poor. In fact the "equalization offices" bought cheaply and sold dearly to the consternation of the peasants who thought they were being protected. In an imperial edict announced the year he founded his new dynasty, Wang Mang decreed that "all the land belongs to the nation, all slaves whether male or female are attached to the land, and neither land nor slaves may be sold." By "the nation" he meant "the emperor." With this decree he became the sole possessor of all the land and all the slaves

The historian Pan Ku... says that China lost half its population during Wang Mang's short reign. Presumably they died of starvation and of mass executions, and many must have fled across the borders."

You might feel relieved by thinking it could never get this bad in "the land of the brave and the home of the free." Don't get lulled into a false sense of security. On January 10, 1961 the Secretary of the Treasury issued the "Emergency Banking Regulation No. 1," described by Hans F. Senholz (Age of Inflation):

"Emergency Banking Regulation No. 1 is just one of a number of emergency measures that would impose government control over rents, prices, salaries, and wages, and introduce rationing. The Regulation orders the instant seizure of most bank deposits "in the event of an attack on the United States."

Right now, the President of the U.S. can at any time declare a "state of emergency" and "martial law" - and assume the kind of powers Wang Mang decreed for himself nearly 2,000 years ago. As Robert Ringer wrote in How You Can Find Happiness During the Collapse of Western Civilization:

"Unbeknownst to all but a handful of Americans, the machinery to implement a police state is already in place in the United States. It exists in the form of an unpublicized little piece of "legislation" called Executive Order 11490. It gives the president the right to invoke emergency powers in "any national emergency-type situation." Of course, it is the president himself who decides what constitutes an emergency. Once he has activated 11490, the president can do virtually anything he deems "necessary," including confiscating gold, silver, and firearms, nationalizing businesses, controlling the media, freezing bank accounts, censoring mail, forcing you to "share" your possessions with others, and preventing citizens from leaving the country."

Executive Order 11490 combines earlier Executive Orders, which give the federal government widespread powers to take over:

In addition Executive Order 11002 empowers the Postmaster General to register all citizens. 11004 subjects citizens to forcible relocation by the federal government. The time has come for Americans to wake up to the fact that a conquest has taken place. Congressman George Hansen thought in 1980 that we were on the brink of totalitarianism - since then we have moved even closer to the brink:

"But our return from the brink of totalitarianism will not be as easy as our journey there has been. Other federal agencies have followed the IRS through the cracks opened in civil and constitutional law by the excesses of bureaucratic regulation. We are now fighting on more than one front and stand in danger of being outflanked. OSHA, EPA, CPA, ICC, and hosts of other acronymic monsters, along with IRS, are busily regulating America into another "gulag.""


By "capitalism" I mean an economic system characterized by private property and voluntary exchange. By "communism" I mean an economic system characterized by public property and compulsory exchange. The myth that the America is a "capitalist country" is widespread. According to the Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels (first published in 1848), the following ten steps are necessary for a communist takeover:

  1. "Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
  2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
  3. Abolition of all right of inheritance.
  4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
  5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.
  6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state.
  7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of wastelands, and the improvement of the the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
  8. Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
  9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries, gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of the populace over the country.
  10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form."

For each of these ten planks I now give the measures that could be interpreted as implementing the plank, as well as my "communist percentage," determined by the extent to which I think the plank has been implemented:

1. Abolition of Property Rights.

2. Heavy Progressive Income Tax

3. Abolition of Rights of Inheritance

4. Confiscation of Property of Emigrants and Rebels

5. Monopoly National Bank

6. Centralization by the State of Communication and Transportation

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of wastelands, and the improvement of the the soil generally

8. Equal liability of all to labor; Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries, gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of the populace over the country

10. Free education for all children in public schools; Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form

The average for my "communist percentages" is 53.5%, that is, according to these criteria America is halfway between capitalism and communism. Note that for four of the most important criteria - education, communication, banking/currency, and taxation - my "communist percentages" are very high.

Note that the U.S. Constitution specifically empowers Congress to implement five of the communist planks. In practice, Congress has demonstrated its power to implement, at least to some extent, all the communist planks.

Also note that the two essential distinguishing characteristics of capitalism are private property and voluntary exchange. The U.S. Constitution gave Congress wide powers to violate private property and voluntary exchange. In practice, this is exactly what Congress has been doing. The Bill of Rights has slowed down Congress's march towards communism. But gradually the Supreme Court has been effectively dismantling the Bill of Rights. Today many courts rule defense based on the Bill of Rights inadmissible, particularly regarding tax matters.

As quoted By Robert J. Ringer in Restoring the American Dream, British historian Thomas Macaulay predicted in 1857:
"The day will come when [in the United States] a multitude of people will choose the legislature. Is it possible to doubt what sort of a legislature will be chosen? On the one side is a statesman preaching patience, respect for rights, strict observance of public faith. On the other is a demagogue ranting about the tyranny of capitalism and usurers and asking why anybody should be permitted to drink champagne and to ride in a carriage while thousands of honest people are in want of necessaries. Which of the candidates is likely to be preferred by a workman? ... When Society has entered on this downward progress, either civilization or liberty must perish. Either some Caesar or Napoleon will seize the reigns of government with a strong hand, or your Republic will be as fearfully plundered and laid to waste by barbarians in the twentieth century as the Roman Empire in the fifth; with this difference, that the Huns and vandals who ravaged the Roman Empire came from without, and that your Huns and vandals will have been engendered within your country, by your own institutions."

The Los Angeles riots of April 1992 could be seen as a case in point. Whether these are a harbinger of things to come remains to be seen.


Norman Cousins - best known for his book Anatomy of an Illness - also wrote The Pathology of Power:
"The attachment to total power in our time not only has not served the purposes of national security but threatens to bring about a basic change in the kind of balanced relationship between government and people that is the central feature in the political architecture of the American Constitution-makers. No aspect of this threat is more apparent than the way genuine national security requirements have been allowed to serve as the occasion for an assault on the wealth of the American people. The chapters that follow summarize the reports of public and private investigators - reports documenting the loss amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars, through waste, bribery, kickbacks, circumvention of competitive bidding, flawed weapons systems, and sheer incompetence in the military program."

Cousins tells the story of "the M-16: a rifle that couldn't." He describes how the Vietcong, after winning a firefight, would strip the dead American bodies of "everything useful - boots, canteens, knives, grenades, rations, and so on. Even relatively outmoded rifles of World War II were eagerly snatched up. Yet the Vietcong disdained the M-16s, leaving them behind on the ground." Cousins then quotes from an article on the M-16 by James Fallows in the June 1981 issue of The Atlantic Monthly. The article includes quotes from various letters from American infantry soldiers in Vietnam:

"Our M-16s aren't worth much... Out of 40 rounds I've fired, my rifle jammed about 10 times... These rifles are getting a lot of guys killed because they jam so easily... " "The weapon has failed us at crucial moments... as many as 50 percent of the rifles fail to work." "During this fight... I lost some of my best buddies. I personally checked their weapons. Close to 70 percent had a round stuck in the chamber, and take my word it was not their fault."

Cousins then describes the development of the M-16, which started with the M-14 rifle. The M-14 had a major drawback in that its recoil during automatic fire was so violent that it bucked and jolted, and was difficult to aim. Weapons designer Eugene Stoner invented the AR-15 rifle as a solution. It was manufactured by the Armelite Corporation. It fired high-impact .22-caliber bullets, and was much lighter than the M-14 which used .30-caliber bullets. As a result a soldier with an AR-15 could carry three times as much ammunition as one with an M-14. The AR-15 was virtually jam-proof. It was a dream weapon. The Green Berets and the paratroopers requested and got them.

But in the early 1960s the Army Material Command falsified tests to "prove" that the M-14 was superior to the AR-15. They blocked the general issuance of the AR-15. The top brass considered Armelite an "outside" company. The Army ordinance "experts" decided to redesign the AR-15. Among other "bells and whistles," they introduced a new pattern of spiral grooving in the barrel. They changed the gunpowder in the ammunition. The end-result was a disaster, called the M-16 rifle. It overheated and jammed, both in tests and on the battlefield. In 1967 the House Armed Services Committee investigated the M-16. Their verdict included that "The failure... of officials with authority in the Army to... correct the deficiencies... borders on criminal negligence."

Cousins also writes:
"In 1966, [Rear Admiral Gene] La Rocque was asked by the secretary of the Navy, Paul Nitze, to head a task force of ten senior officers to study the Vietnam War and make recommendations for action. The question put to them: "What should the U.S. do?"

The team went to Vietnam. "We looked at all the options for completing the war, "La Rocque recalled. "It became obvious that we were wasting kids without really knowing why. There were no real goals. And that was what I told General [William] Westmoreland, 'You're spending $90,000 a day... and you don't really know why.'" After nine months of research, the group concluded that there was no way they could win the war in Vietnam, and advised Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara accordingly."

These are just two samples from three pages of Cousins's book. Before we look at more examples, let us examine why governments love war. Murray N. Rothbard, professor of Economics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, wrote in For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto:
"... [W]ar, in the words of the libertarian Randolph Bourne, "is the health of the State." War has always been the occasion of a great - and usually permanent - acceleration and intensification of State power over society. War is the great excuse for mobilizing all the energies and resources of the nation, in the name of patriotic rhetoric, under the aegis and dictation of the State apparatus. It is in war that the State really comes into its own: swelling in power, in number, in pride, in absolute dominion over the economy and the society. Society becomes a herd, seeking to kill its alleged enemies, rooting out and suppressing all dissent from the official war effort, happily betraying truth, for the supposed public interest. Society becomes an armed camp, with the values and the morals - as the libertarian Albert Jay Mock once phrased it - of an "army on the march.""

The modern state has not shaken off its origins. It is still a murdering plunder-party, albeit more sophisticated. Some of the nations of the world are the modern versions of the ancient gangs of nomad-warriors raiding, murdering, and looting each other. The invasion of Kuwait by Iraq in 1991 was an example.

War is of course one of the quickest ways for the Federal Reserve bankers to run up the "national debt," so they can print and issue lots of currency which must be repaid plus interest. One person who understood the connection between political power, money, and war was Lysander Spooner. In 1869, soon after the Civil War, he wrote No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority:

"All political power, as it is called, rests practically upon this matter of money. Any number of scoundrels, having money enough to start with, can establish themselves as a "government"; because, with money, they can hire soldiers, and with soldiers extort more money; and also compel general obedience to their will. It is with government, as Caesar said it was in war, that money and soldiers mutually supported each other; that with money he could hire soldiers, and with soldiers extort more money. So these villains, who call themselves governments, well understand that their power rests primarily upon money. With money they can hire soldiers, and with soldiers extort money. And, when their authority or is denied, the first use they always make of money, is to hire soldiers to kill or subdue all who refuse them more money. For this reason, whoever desires liberty, should understand these vital facts, viz.:

  1. That every man who puts money into the hands of a "government" (so-called), puts into their hands a sword which will be used against himself, to extort more money from him, and also to keep him in subjection to its arbitrary will.
  2. That those who will take his money, without his consent, in the first place, will use it for his further robbery and enslavement, if he presumes to resists their demands in the future.
  3. That it is a perfect absurdity to suppose that any body of men would ever take a man's money without his consent, for any such object as they profess to take it for, viz., that of protecting him; for why should they wish to protect him, if he does not wish them to do so?...
  4. If a man wants "protection," he is competent to make his own bargains for it; and nobody has any occasion to rob him, in order to "protect" him against his will.
  5. That the only security men can have for their political liberty, consists in their keeping their money in their own pockets, until they have assurances, perfectly satisfactory to themselves, that it will be used as they wish it to be used, for their benefit, and not for their injury.
  6. That no government, so-called, can reasonably be trusted for a moment, or reasonably be supposed to have honest purposes in view, any longer than it depends wholly upon voluntary support...

The whole affair, on the part of those who furnished the money, has been, and now is, a deliberate scheme of robbery and murder; not merely to monopolize the markets of the South, but also to monopolize the currency, and thus control the industry and trade, and thus plunder and enslave the laborers, of both North and South. And Congress and the president are today the merest tools for these purposes. They are obliged to be, for they know that their own power, as rulers, so-called, is at an end, the moment their credit with the blood-money loan-mongers fails. They are like a bankrupt in the hands of an extortioner. They dare not say nay to any demand made upon them. And to hide at once, if possible, both their servility and their crimes, they attempt to divert public attention, by crying out that they have "Abolished Slavery!" That they have "Saved the Country!" That they have "Preserved our Glorious Union!" and that, in now paying the "National Debt" as they call it (as if the people themselves, all of them who are to be taxed for its payment, had really and voluntarily joined in contracting it), they are simply "Maintaining the National Honor!"

By "maintaining the national honor," they mean simply that they themselves, tyrants, robbers, and murderers, assume to be the nation, and will keep faith with those who lend them the money necessary to enable them to crush the great body of the people under their feet; and will faithfully appropriate, from the proceeds of their future robberies and murders, enough to pay all their loans, principal and interest.

The pretense that the "abolition of slavery" was either a motive or justification for the war, is a fraud of the same character with that of "maintaining the national honor." Who, but such usurpers, robbers, and murderers as they, ever established slavery? ... And why did these men abolish slavery? Not from any love of liberty in general - not as an act of justice to the black man himself, but only "as a war measure," and because they wanted his assistance, and that of his friends, in carrying on the war they had undertaken for maintaining and intensifying that political, commercial, and industrial slavery, to which they have subjected the great body of the people, both white and black. And yet these imposters now cry out that they have abolished the chattel slavery of the black man - although that was not the motive of the war - as if they thought they could thereby conceal, atone for, or justify that other slavery which they were fighting to perpetuate, and to render more rigorous and inexorable than it ever was before. There was no difference of principle - but only of degree - between the slavery they boast they have abolished, and the slavery they were fighting to preserve; for all restraints upon men's natural liberty, not necessary for the simple maintenance of justice, are of the nature of slavery, and differ from each other only in degree...

The lesson taught by all these facts is this: As long as mankind continues to pay "national debts," so-called - that is, so long as they are such dupes and cowards as to pay for being cheated, plundered, enslaved, and murdered - so long there will be enough to lend the money for those purposes; and with that money a plenty of tools, called soldiers, can be hired to keep them in subjection. But when they refuse any longer to pay for being thus cheated, plundered, enslaved, and murdered, they will cease to have cheats, and usurpers, and robbers, and murderers, and blood-money loan-mongers for masters." [Some emphases added]

In 1937 Philip Noel-Baker, who later won the Nobel Peace Prize, wrote The Private Manufacture of Arms. He quoted from a message sent in 1934 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to Congress:
"The peoples of many countries are being taxed to the point of poverty and starvation... to enable governments to engage in a mad race in armaments... This grave menace to the peace of the world is due in no small measure to the uncontrolled activities of the manufacturers and merchants of engines of destruction, and it must be met by the concerted actions of the peoples of all nations."

From the other side of the Atlantic, Noel-Baker quoted Lord Welby, Britain's principal Permanent Secretary to the Treasury:
"We are in the hands of an organization of crooks. They are generals, politicians, manufacturers of armaments and journalists. All of them are anxious for unlimited expenditure, and go on inventing war scares to terrify the public and to terrify the Ministers of the Crown"

Noel-Baker also wrote, "The British government has, it is probably true to say, given more knighthoods to Directors of Armaments firms than to representatives of all the rest of British industry put together." ("War is the health of the state.")

The Arizona Republic of November 12, 1991 reported as follows, under the headline, "Bush says gulf war healed 'nation's soul'":
"Leading the nation's Veterans Day observances, President Bush placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns on Monday and said victory in the Persian Gulf war has kindled overdue respect for Vietnam veterans that was "good for the nation's soul." ["War is the health of the state."] Bush pledged that the United States will "always be a force for peace in the world" as he paid special tribute to veterans of the nation's two most recent wars. ["War is peace."]

... Bush... said again at the annual ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery that veterans of Operation Desert Storm "freed a captive nation and set America free by renewing our faith in ourselves.""

War is government murder. In the Civil War it was government murder of over 300,000 Americans. In dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it was government murder of more than 200,000 people, mostly civilians. In The Pathology of Power Norman Cousins provides convincing evidence that Japan was already on the verge of capitulation, and few if any American lives were saved by the atomic bombs. General Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote in Mandate for Change about, "my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary." Most of the other American military leaders were also opposed to dropping the atom bomb. General Douglas MacArthur was never consulted.

President Harry S. Truman ordered the bombs to be dropped. In 1979 the diary Truman kept in 1945, when the atom bombs were dropped, was discovered - it had been misfiled. According to the diary, Truman had originally ordered Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson not to use the atom bomb against civilians. He also ordered that a warning be issued, "asking the Japs to surrender and save lives." Later he changed his mind and ordered the atom bombs dropped without warning. The reason was given by Secretary of State James F. Byrnes in an interview with U.S. News and World Report on August 15, 1960, "We wanted to get through the Japanese phase of the war before the Russians came in." The Russians were scheduled to enter the war against Japan on August 15, 1945. (Germany had collapsed in May 1945,) The atom bombs were dropped on August 6, 1945. The "powers that be" wanted the "spoils of war" for themselves - they did not want to share with the Russians. When Truman told the American public on August 6, 1945 that thousands of American lives were saved by dropping the atom bombs, was he lying through his teeth?

World War II was the first war, in recent times, during which civilians became cannon-fodder by the millions. Germany started the "trend" in 1939 with its V-2 bombing of London. Other notable examples are the saturation bombings of Dresden on February 13, 1945 (135,000 killed, practically all civilian) and Tokyo on March 9, 1945 (83,000 killed, mostly civilian). "Saturation bombing" involves high concentration bombing with incendiary and high explosive bombs to the point that an entire area becomes a burning fire-storm, consuming all the oxygen, and anyone who doesn't burn to death suffocates.

General MacArthur said in a talk to the American Legion in Los Angeles on January 26, 1955:
"The great question is: can war be outlawed? If so, it would mark the greatest advance in civilization since the Sermon on the Mount. It would lift at one stroke the darkest shadow which has engulfed mankind from the beginning. It would not only remove fear and bring security - it would not only create new moral and spiritual values - it would produce an economic wave of prosperity that would raise the world's standard of living beyond anything ever dreamed of by man. The hundreds of billions of dollars now spent on mutual preparedness could conceivably abolish poverty from the face of the globe... "

President Eisenhower, during his Farewell Address on January 17, 1961, said:
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity...

The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present - and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite."

Preparation for war is an excuse to rape the economy of America to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars every year. Examples from The Pathology of Power by Norman Cousins:

Cousins gives many more examples, but I think the above is sufficient to make the point: military spending is largely economic rape. I will let Lysander Spooner have the last word:

"The lesson taught by all these facts is this: As long as mankind continues to pay "national debts," so-called - that is, so long as they are such dupes and cowards as to pay for being cheated, plundered, enslaved, and murdered - so long there will be enough to lend the money for those purposes; and with that money a plenty of tools, called soldiers, can be hired to keep them in subjection. But when they refuse any longer to pay for being thus cheated, plundered, enslaved, and murdered, they will cease to have cheats, and usurpers, and robbers, and murderers, and blood-money loan-mongers for masters." [Some emphases added]


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