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Government, the Full-Time Con Artist

The insidiousness of the political system is no clearer than in the way it metamorphoses along with the complexity of the civilization it enslaves. 

Where enterprise has succeeded in developing the networks for utilities, transportation and supply, the political system will soon succeed in regulating or monopolizing it, albeit occasionally with sound intentions. 

Where these networks become increasingly complex, so too will government increase its claim over the processes in order to purportedly preempt abuse or enhance oversight for the so-called public welfare. 

That government will further finance subsidies and expenditures, its true aims, through a claim on some fraction of its slaves’ income streams, which that political system then claims as its own. 

The added complexity of those networks leaves the average slave, or taxpayer, bewildered as he couldn’t possibly begin to imagine replacing it with his own designs. 

So instead of rejecting the tax, he interprets it as the meager cost to retain access to the complex web of networks that he couldn’t even dream of understanding. 

So whereas simpler times witnessed more conspicuous forms of overreach and slavery, the modern slave must remain increasingly vigilant to stave off the unceasing and nuanced forces of that malignant institution which thrives in the spaces of uncertainty, abstraction and ambiguity. 

And this becomes a generational affair, whereby marginal complexity perpetually makes a case against the income, or even wealth, of the increasingly specialized slaves who remain none the wiser to the scam, who in fact possibly know even less, in relative terms, than their predecessors who mistakenly relented to, and incidentally corroborated, those previous claims. 

Despite the fact that private enterprise had originally furnished those networks, or in other cases enabled the original investment for their creation, the private company is due to expire long before the political system that will happily claim credit under the same seal that oversaw, authorized, championed or merely associated with the projects executed by that departed organization. 

What’s more, where that political system has failed miserably in subsidizing “internal improvements” in the past, their rhetoricians reorient their audiences away from the failures toward newer opportunities for “internal improvements” for the public and increased revenue and power for the political system. 

The silver-tongued politicians do this through charming their audiences with poetic proclamations, dazzling them with illusions of grandeur, and impressing them with lofty language, or what former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan called “syntactical destruction.” 

Of course, the orator can conveniently point to a laundry list of achievements after the trillions of dollars spent annually, while deliberately omitting the great share of waste, the boondoggles, the projects that failed, the opportunity costs of that largesse. 

The political system benefits handsomely not only from the spoils of a fleeced citizenry, but from the ways they can claim to have spent all of the loot: after all, they must have done something with such extreme measures of wealth. 

In a classic episode of “the seen versus the unseen,” the average citizen has no idea how to score the expenditures, as he simply has no way of measuring how things might have otherwise been without them. 

So while the political system chalks up one victory after another, conveniently excusing the failures along the way, private enterprise is nowhere visibly represented, and just as ironically the political system then hastens to invoke its apparent inaction as even further evidence for a role of government, when it was government’s expenditures in the first place that prevented private enterprise from effectively allocating those resources. 

And where those political initiatives have failed, the cunning politician faces little accountability from the unwitting public when attributing each failure to some nebulous combination of inadequate funds, insufficient authority, incomplete information or inept leadership. 

In jockeying for political advantage, the politician imbues the citizenry with false confidence in a "new" direction with "improved" methods that remain hampered by the very same fundamentals that ailed its predecessors, which were formerly sold under the same enchanting specifications.

Instead of gauging the merits of government by its track record, the citizenry all too often commits the error of measuring them by the apparent sincerity or conviction in their messaging, where the populace replaces logical evaluation with an assessment of agreeability, likability and presentation: this twisted system rewards con artists almost exclusively, who are arrogant enough to crave the authority and clever enough to mystify an audience. 

It is simply impossible for any human being to know everything; a known quantity, this deficit has yielded devastating results in the form of ceding authority to agencies and con artists employed 24-hours-a-day in the art of feigning omniscience and conning its uninformed or all-too-trusting populace into accepting their scams. 

Where this knowledge deficit guides ill-informed voting behaviors and renders the public vulnerable to rhetoric, it concomitantly grooms them to accept the prescriptions of government actors who have been entrusted with authority, who naturally have inside information about the internals of government, who specialize in favorably representing their departments, who have every reason to swindle the paying public into believing they’re doing an excellent job, and who possess the technical-sounding jargon to run a convincing case. 

Here we find every cause for remaining vigilant and suspicious of government, its persuasive promises, and the actors who stand to benefit the most from convincing their unsuspecting victims that they’re working for them instead of the other way around. 

In a world of people desperate for promise, magic and sophistication, whether a more “presidential” political candidate, a more mysterious spouse, a more mystical religion, a more refined automobile, a more elegant wardrobe, a more theatrical motion picture, a more exotic or adventurous lifestyle, people are just as susceptible to promises of utopia that even noticeably abandon truth and reality. 

As such, they are even willing to pay the fare to journey into the abstraction of empty promises. 

Unfortunately, this one-way trip offers no refunds, advertises first-class accommodations, and guarantees nothing short of a crash landing.


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