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Have We Already Lost the War?

"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't need to worry about answers"
-Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

So much energy goes into so much public debate, yet very little gets resolved? Why? Because we are fighting battles in a war that is already over. The war was over what you think. What questions you were willing to ask. And, most importantly, what you were willing to accept without even thinking about it.

How do they get you asking the wrong questions? By framing issues in a way that assumes as a given that some major element of your liberty must be taken away, for your own good of course. Then, the opinion molders set about arguing vociferously over the relatively minor details of how best to implement this monumental new undertaking.

Let's take C-19 for example. We are debating when is the right time to reopen. Some say now. Some say we must wait. But guess what? You can fight that battle all you want, the real war is already over. The real war was whether we would accept the idea that a government official can order a law-abiding business owner to shut down, or a healthy person to stay home. Once we accept that, they don't care who wins the battle over the "right" time to reopen.

The same applies to every aspect of C-19. Did Trump do a bad job managing the crises? Argue all you want. You may win that battle, but the war is already over. They were victorious in getting us to accept that a government may suspend constitutional rights to due process by declaring an emergency.

It's like the Japanese soldier who was stranded on an island in the Philippines for years after WWII. He didn't know the war was over, so he kept fighting battles.

Once you know where to look, you see this technique every day and throughout history. We argue over what the policy of the Fed should be. Ease? Tighten? They don't care who wins the battle. The war was getting us to accept that a government-created central bank has a monopoly on the creation of new money, which money is backed by nothing. Once we accepted that, they don't care how the Fed is run. Printing unbacked money is theft, because it allows them to transfer real wealth away from the producers who created that wealth, and in to their own hands. That's all they ever cared about.

In U.S. Politics, there is so little real difference between Republicans and Democrats that it is astonishing to witness people so adamant about their voting preferences. Both parties agree that government should have a strong role in running a health care system, but argue about the minutia. Both parties agree we should be in a perpetual war in the Middle East, and occasionally argue about the exact level of involvement. Both parties agree there should be a massive Welfare State, but might bicker about exactly how much compensation a single mother should receive for her third baby.

It's quite like professional wrestling. In case you're new, professional wrestling isn't real. They pretend to fight, when it's really just a show. That's exactly what your evening news is: a show.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, put your hands together and make some noise for The Government Show!"

They pretend to fight amongst themselves, when they are best of friends off-camera. And why wouldn't they be? They are all partners in the looting. Recently they have decided to print (at least) 7 Trillion (with a "T") dollars and "bail out" people companies affected by the lockdown. Of course, no country can bail itself out. All that can possibly happen is that real wealth will be transferred away from some, and into the hands of others, while the total economy contracts and the average person gets significantly poorer. There will be winners and losers, but mostly losers.

So, many lawsuits have been filed against insurance companies and against the governors of various states. And well they should be filed. If a business took out business interruption coverage, a claim should be covered. And if a governor violated the civil rights of free, law-abiding people, then under § 1983 there should be liability. But here's the problem:

There isn't even close to enough wealth to cover the liability.

Even if there was to be an honest judge in some federal court somewhere, or an insurance company committed to doing the right thing, it is not possible for these claims to be paid. It is literally impossible. So what will happen? It is easy to predict:

A few well-connected people will be allowed to profit tremendously, while most will be turned away. They will create a new Department of Something-or-Other, and claim that the whole problem before was that we didn't have a Department of Something-or-Other, and we get to spend the next 20 years in heated debate about what its exact policy should be.

-Alexander C. Baker, J.D.


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