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Government is doomed. The whole miserable apparatus of local, State and Federal politicos, liars, thieves, pimps, bullies and bureau-rats will disappear a couple of decades hence and a few years later, the peoples of every other country in the world will follow our example. Those of us who understand why it has to go are now, happily, equipped to make it happen.
A few weeks ago in Avalanche, I asked Strike The Root readers to name any hostile action they could think of, which government might use to stop this stampede towards liberty. I had some lurid replies which I'd not considered--thank you very much!--but was able to see how none of them could prevent the inexorable progress towards freedom, given the three key assumptions named in that article. So I've been able to complete my book about the final five years of government in America , and it's now available here under the title "Transition to Liberty ."
Having done so, I considered again whether there might be anything I'd overlooked, any obstacle that might darken the outlook. Since government hostility will be impotent, might there be anything else that might delay the arrival of a free society? I can see only one possibility.
That would be a showstopper, with nuclear and/or other weapons of mass destruction. If that were to take place, all bets are off; the human race may well not survive, or not in recognizable form. There's not much we can do about this, except to pursue the termination of government with all deliberate speed so as to minimize the exposure.
So far, no government of a well-developed nation has started such a war--their leaders may be stupid, but they aren't dumb; even though they may be unable to spell the word or keep pronouncing it "nucular," they know well that they would be personally fried, and that's not part of their agenda. We've been lucky so far, but given time, it's inevitable that one of them, in a fit of pique or by mistake, will press the button. I don't want to give them time; I have some really cute grandchildren.
Recession, or Worse
Is there anything else that might change the date on which government evaporates? How about a depression?
It's a fair question. Such massive dislocations have been introduced to this and other major economies worldwide by the arrogant intrusion of governments that it's a wonder they have continued, more or less, to stand upright. Glen Allport has given us a clear warning that they may be about to tumble. Suppose that happens; will it delay the arrival of a free society, or will it cause E-Day to arrive sooner?
The last one (1931-45) was a miserable affair, but greatly reduced the level of liberty and enhanced the standing of government in society! Having blundered into the depression, propaganda was so well managed as to convince almost everyone that government was its solution instead of its cause, and that fiction has lasted two whole generations and counting. No wonder FDR carries the status of a saint among Pols of every stripe. He magically plucked a government victory out of a government disaster. Never before have so many been so thoroughly and wickedly deceived by so few.
But things are different now.
For one thing, there is a substantial, intelligent and articulate minority of scholars and others who understand what really caused the catastrophe, and Rothbard's America 's Great Depression is still available for anyone else to buy and study. For another, this and a large number of other web sites, radio programs and investment gurus have for decades been warning (in various words and to varying degrees) that "government is a disease, masquerading as its own cure." And for a third, a clear and systematic understanding of what government is and what freedom means has now begun to spread exponentially from person to person, friend to friend. None of these things were true in 1929, which is why virtually nobody understood what was going on or what to do about it, and why government was able to get away with the Great Deception as above. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.
Government's grip on mass communication remains powerful, with indoctrination spewing hourly from schoolteachers and TVs and magazines and even newspapers, still, everywhere--but now there is the Internet. Anyone with a pulse can Google "gas puzzler" for example, and find (as I just did) the top three places of the search pointing to my recent article here under that title, ahead of references to the phrase in major world newspapers. Nobody could do that in 1929.
It may well be, therefore, that as disasters hit during the coming depression, if they do, a lot of minds will be open to hear "we told you so." Not, of course, that we should be too strident in using so inflammatory a phrase; but stridently or subtly, that is what we will be able to say, and what will matter is the context in which we say it.
The context that counts is not so much just a public forum in which are aired competing explanations of whatever disaster hit us, but rather the one of inviting a friend to join the freedom school. Even if a free-market interpretation of events were to win an "Editor's Pick" from the New York Times or Washington Post--fat chance--that would not cause government to evaporate. What will cause it to evaporate is that a TOLFA graduate will be able to say, 'Look at this STR article from 2006, which predicts and accounts almost exactly for what took place last week!'--that would sometimes be the deciding factor in his friend's decision to join. Then it may be slightly easier for each to recruit one or more friends a year, and so its exponential growth may be completed a few months earlier.
Therefore, in my opinion, it won't make a whole lot of difference whether a depression takes place or not. Freedom is urgently necessary whether the age of government becomes less tolerable or more so; the rational imperative to end that age springs from fundamental reason, not from the trappings of current prosperity or the lack of it. And once it is achieved, any increase of poverty in the interim will be quickly swept away by the torrent of enterprise, innovation and prosperity that will follow.
A factor of slightly greater importance is the degree to which freedom-seekers grasp the opportunity now available. The nature of exponential growth means that one person joining today will bring a large number with him downstream, after several years; so if another 500 were to become active this Summer, a whole year would be clipped off the time needed for government to vanish. A further 1,000 or so would chop it by a second year. Root Strikers who haven't yet joined the Freedom Academy might want to consider that.