Over the past 50,000 years people have been slaves, subjects of kings, members of tribes and as of late they had opportunities to govern themselves. Yet, when asked, what exactly does government do for people, they never give a supportable answer. Is government supposed to keep people safe? Is government supposed to solve problems for people? Is it supposed to make everyone’s life turn out even? Is government supposed to act like a parent and make everyone behave?
It doesn’t really matter how these questions are answered. Government does not do any of these things and never has. Still these and other notions are assumed to be the job of government.
So when a government is organized what does it do in actual practice? Government provides a way for people to get what they want and force other people pay for it, or bear the burden of making it possible. That is what governments do today, the same as they have always done. In the old days, everyone served a king and the king got everything his subjects did for him at a huge discount. With the advent of democratic principles all who can obtain political power, use democracy to extract income and wealth out of everyone else. In all of history, surely there is an exception but I don’t know of one.
I meet a lot of resistance trying to get folks to favor having government do nothing but administer justice. Apparently the fantasy of getting more out of life than you put into it is so strong that people can’t part with the idea even when it is clear they have always paid all of the costs and have received no benefits.
Fascism is not a system that gets named in a constitution. A parliament or congress does not declare Fascism to be the way of the future. A Fascist does not know he is a Fascist. Fascism is system that evolves after decades or centuries of people using government to get what they want. In the end, the powerful get it all and destroy the system, themselves and everyone else. Self interest generates all income and prosperity but if it is completely unchecked the effect is disastrous.
In a free market system, self interest is tempered by good will. There is a limit to how bad a merchant can treat a customer without losing out. When government decides what people own and what services they pay for goodwill is lost. As a customer, you are no longer a merchant’s friend. You are cannon fodder because profit doesn’t come from you, it comes from what the government forces you to do to support the merchant, who has more political power than you do. A fascist system gets more brutal as time goes on. Exceptions are easily made to civil rights and some minority becomes a scapegoat on which people can focus their anger.
Supporters of the Fascist system are deemed patriots. Others are accused of destroying the viability of the system. Most citizens believe they are living in a free market system, especially those who identify as conservatives.
Do not be fooled into believing experts are on the verge of solving our economic problem. Doing that is only their job. They have not the desire, knowledge or savvy to use in doing so. The experts in which American’s place their faith are using government for the same reason ordinary citizens are. They are using government as a way to get what they want.