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So now it’s out in the open: Joe Biden is creating an out-and-out socialist state.  In his State-of-the-Union speech last week he bragged about interfering in gas prices, election reform, electric vehicles, bridges, computer chips, “20,000 infrastructure projects,” and Medicaid expansion, and vowed that he would go on to put the Federal government into every aspect of Americans’ lives, including price controls, airline and ticket fees, child care, pre-K schooling, student debt, teachers’ salaries, leaded pipes, non-compete agreements, abortion “rights,” billionaires’ tax, police reform, anti-trust enforcement, big tech limitations, housing, and psychologists to fight crime.
All government, all the time.  And I’ll tell you why it won’t work, one salient fact that all socialists choose to forget: governments always fail.
That bald statement may seem absurd on the surface.
But this should not be mysterious: we have had 10,000 years of governments in many various guises, monarchies and republics, empires and democracies, and they all provide us the evidence, time and again, that it is in the nature of governments to fail, and the bigger they are the more frequent are the failures and the greater the consequences.  The business of control over people is difficult and complicated, which is why governments always have armies and police, for whom failure or success are irrelevancies, and they always have bureaucracies, in which failure is almost always a certainty.
We have only to look at the last three years of human history, a time when almost every government in the world, democratic or despotic, has failed to deal competently with a deadly coronavirus, and the failures of action are almost as bad as the failures of inaction,  The hasty rolling out of “vaccines” and their forced adoption by millions of citizens the world over has failed to stop millions of deaths so far, and the dangers that their consequences hold for us are only now becoming clear.  Not to mention the social, economic, educational, psychological, and political disasters that have accompanied them as governments worldwide have forced them on remarkably subservient populations.
Or look at the world’s failure around “climate change.”  Whether you think the whole movement is an evil hoax or not, the fact is that 193 of the world’s governments, and the world government itself, have set themselves an “existential” task to limit greenhouse gas emissions so as to keep the global temperature from rising to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.  This has been their publicly stated goal since the Kyoto conference in 1997, a generation ago, since ratified by a succession of world meetings, especially the UN Climate Change conference in Paris 2015 and most recently in Sharm-el-Sheik last November.
And what has happened in real life?  We’ve had the hottest years in the hottest decade ever, greenhouse gasses are increasing (36 billion tons 2000, 45 billion 2010, 50 billion 2019), and global temperatures are inexorably rising (36 degrees 2000, 68 degrees 2010, 92 degrees 2019). Call all this meaningful or not, it is unquestionably government failure writ large, and on a project that the world says it agrees is critical to its existence.  Can’t get worse than that.
But none of this is arcane.  It takes only a moments reflection to see that governments habitually fail.  Take the U.S., where presumably the greatest amount of money is spent and the most sophisticated bureaucracies are at work, not to mention noble legislators and king-like Presidents in charge.  Public education, mental health, preschool care, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan (and reconstruction and withdrawal), Syria, Ukraine, school integration, gun control, crime in the streets, poverty eradication, baby formula shortages, welfare, fatherless families, homelessness, drug addiction, fentanyl deaths, Libya, Benghazi, Somalia, conflict minerals, covid, warp-speed vaccines, life expectancy, war on terror, immigration and assimilation, affirmative action, passenger railroads, Hunter’s laptop, Nord Stream bombing, diversity, community empowerment, bowling alone, home ownership, emancipation and reconstruction, World War I, border protection, drag queens in schools, Presidential elections  nuclear power, taxes, the CIA, market regulation. You can name your own.
But let me close with one final and ultimate failure of governments in their one essential task: survival.  Toynbee tells this story in his masterful study of human civilizations, Lewis Mumford in many of his sweeping books of history, Leopold Kohr throughout his works, and though each has his own way of recounting the tale, each comes to the same conclusion.  Governments, even those that change essentials in attempts to hold on, inevitably fail.
“What has destroyed liberty and the rights of man in every government which has ever existed under the sun?  The generalizing and concentrating all cares and powers into one body.”  Thomas Jefferson, letter to Joseph Cadell, February 2, 1816.  Case closed.

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