Bullies, Muggers, Sneak Thieves, and Con Men
Under the title, Four Types of Government Operatives: Bullies, Muggers, Sneak Thieves, and Con Men Robert Higgs, Senior Fellow in Political Economy for The Independent Institute, considers why the beginning of political wisdom is the realization that despite everything you’ve always been taught, the government is not really on your side; but is, instead, out to get you. Here’s a taste:
Without dismissing the alleged dangers entirely, a sensible person quickly appreciates that the threat (of attack by foreigners—nowadays, by Islamic terrorists, in particular) is slight—just do the math, using reasonable probability coefficients—whereas the cost of (purportedly) dealing with it is colossal. In short, as General Smedley Butler informed us more than seventy years ago, the modern military establishment, along with most of its blessed wars, is for the most part nothing but a racket. Worse, because of the way it engages and co-opts powerful elements of the private sector, it gives rise to a costly and dangerous form of military-economic fascism. Lately, the classic military-industrial-congressional complex has been supplemented by an even more menacing (to our liberties) security-industrial-congressional complex, whose aim is to enrich its participants by equipping the government for more effectively spying on us and invading our privacy in ways great and small.