Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
Did Neil anticipate Tom Wood’s new book, National Divorce? — Editor
In spite of millions of man-hours and billions of dollars spent every year to keep the American productive class voiceless, deprived of an effective franchise, the era of its exploitation by corrupt politicians and even more corrupt mass media is coming to an end.
Few productive class Americans understand (yet) that they stagger under taxes five times greater than those endured by a medieval European serf. What they do understand is that the harder they work the less they have left — and the less they have to look forward to.
Few productive class Americans understand (yet) why their grandparents enjoyed spacious, comfortable homes and they don’t. What they do understand is that, increasingly, they’re forced to live in tiny suburban cardboard boxes or wheeled tin cans so that their senator or congressman can have his mistress — and a limousine.
Few productive class Americans understand (yet) why every year a red-tape noose pulls tighter around their necks. What they do understand is that life seems bleaker every day — and offers fewer options.
Few productive class Americans understand (yet) what the media gain from their collusive partnership with government. What they do understand is that there’s never really any good news, that the newspapers and TV tell them they’re incompetent and their neighbors are criminally insane — and that somehow life never seems to get any better.
Few productive class Americans understand (yet) how their rights have been systematically gnawed away by politicians elected to protect them. What they do understand is that more and more their rights are treated as trivial — and everything seems to be against the law.
Few productive class Americans understand (yet) how the Federal Election Commission and a phantom national reporting service rig elections as effectively as any banana republic. What they do understand is that their ballot never seems to count — and that if voting could really change things, it, too, would be illegal.
Few productive class Americans understand (yet) the ancient evil inherent in the doctrine of Sovereign Immunity. What they do understand is that the government always wins — and that they’re always in the wrong.
Few productive class Americans understand (yet) how the Bill of Rights has wound up being a one-sided bargain interpreted and enforced by a single entity pretending to be divided powers. What they do understand is that their country is overrun by lawyers — and that somehow their rights never turn out to be quite what they thought they were.
Some productive class Americans blame it all on poor minorities, forgetting that we’re a nation of minorities, most of whom arrived here without a penny. Sooner or later they’ll learn not to blame the welfare mother with her pitiable child support check, but the $60,000-a-year official whose non-productive ways keep everybody destitute.
Some productive class Americans blame it all on immigrants, forgetting that we’re a nation of immigrants — and immigrants’ children — many of whom fled the same tyranny and corruption we face today. Sooner or later they’ll learn not to blame people with funny names, funny clothes, or funny customs, but to look upon their own “representatives” as the foreign despots they’ve really become.
Some productive class Americans blame it all on labor unions, forgetting that for every gangster lounging at the top, a million workers only want an honest day’s wages for an honest day’s labor. Sooner or later they’ll learn not to blame the worker, but the crooked leaders and tangled regulations which make productive labor all but impossible in America today — and almost always unrewarding.
Some productive class Americans blame it all on the rich, forgetting the vital difference between making money and stealing it, and how the system always lets a few individuals get ahead for exactly the same reason Las Vegas allows the occasional big winner. Sooner or later they’ll learn not to blame individual achievement, but a system which more consistently rewards failure and punishes success — and loves to rub their noses in what they can never hope to have.
Some productive class Americans blame it all on the lunatic fringe, forgetting that the mass media told them everything they think they know about such people and that everybody is somebody else’s lunatic. Sooner or later they’ll learn not to blame the unconventional individual, but TV’s well-groomed talking heads — and the officials they themselves elected.
A Great Explosion is coming. Productive class Americans are sick of being menaced by laws their parents naively thought were being created to protect them. They’re sick of being looted by officials with five and six-digit salaries. Sick of being decimated by one senseless war after another, arranged, conveniently, for almost every generation. Sick of being wooed and cast aside in two- and four- and six-year cycles by public figures they wouldn’t trust alone with their children. Doubtless the American productive class have made foolish choices in the past. Doubtless they’ll make them again in the future. But in the end, the American productive class will triumph, precisely because they ARE productive, while their enemies are not.
A Great Explosion is coming — and as usual, the politicians aren’t listening. But by this time in the 21st century, with the welfare/warfare state all but forgotten, history will want to know what kind of idiots in the major parties tried to sell out the American productive class at the very moment they began coming into their own.
Then again, history may not care.
* Title borrowed from the novel by Eric Frank Russell
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