One of our statist readers (yes, we actually have statists reading our stuff) is so anxious and distraught that I think he is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. He is pacing the floors. He is writing me emails telling me how scared he is.
What’s got this statist so riled up?
ISIS. Aka the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Aka the Islamic State.
Our statist reader is absolutely terrified. He’s heard about the Islamic State’s beheading of two Americans and he is convinced that he’s going to be next. He tells me that the Islamic State is the biggest, most dangerous threat that America has ever faced. Undoubtedly, he’s picked up that sentiment from Pentagon or CIA pronouncements or maybe from President Obama himself.
I feel sorry for the guy. What a horrible way to live. Constant fear and anxiety. And a certainty that the terrorists are going to barge into his home at any moment, cart him away to Arabia, and behead him or, even worse, take control of the U.S. Congress, the IRS, the Interstate Highway System, and the public schools.
I remind him that this is precisely how he felt about the many other official enemies that have confronted the U.S. national-security state during the past several decades. The Soviet Union, Red China, North Korea, North Vietnam, communists, Fidel Castro, Sandinistas, drug dealers, illegal aliens, Saddam Hussein, the terrorists, the Muslims, al-Qaeda, al-Qaeda in Iraq, Osama bin Laden, Bashar al-Assad, and others.
He was undoubtedly terrified when each and every one of those entities was the official enemy of the day. He just forgets that when his mind concentrates on the newest official enemy.
I recall another one of our readers, a conservative, who was totally obsessed, as were most conservatives, with Saddam Hussein during the entire 1990s. Thanks to a constant drumbeat of pronouncements emanating from the president, the Pentagon, and the CIA, this reader was absolutely convinced that Saddam was about to come and unleash a barrage of WMDs on the United States. There was nothing I could say that could put his mind to ease. For more than ten years, he lived in a state of anxiety, only to discover that his fears were transferred to other official enemies after Saddam Hussein was ousted from power (e.g., Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, etc.)
Welcome to life under a gigantic military empire, one whose foreign policy is based on interventionism. As we have been telling people for the entire 25-year history of The Future of Freedom Foundation, life under a gigantic military empire with a foreign policy of interventionism will inevitably entail perpetual environment of conflict, crisis, chaos, anxiety, and fear. You might say it’s all the coin of the realm under an empire. It always has been and always will be.
When you think about it, it’s really the perfect formula for big government and ever-growing government. The military and the CIA go abroad and establish military bases in foreign countries, partner with foreign dictators, invade, occupy, detain, kidnap, torture, assassinate, bomb, shoot, and kill countless people, and initiate coups and other regime-change operations, all in the interests of “national security,” whatever that term means.
There is just one big problem — all that empire and interventionism gets people angry, very angry. So, they retaliate, oftentimes with the same ferocity and brutality that was unleashed upon them with the bombs, missiles, and bullets.
Those people then become official enemies, which is then used to justify more interventionism, e.g., more bombing, which then causes more anger and retaliation, which then is used to justify more bombing. It’s actually a never-ending process. That’s why I have long maintained that the U.S. national-security state has become the biggest terrorist-producing machine in history.
It’s the perfect formula for big government and ever-growing government because the national-security state apparatus — i.e.., the military and the CIA — can say: We, our empire, and our interventionism are all necessary to keep you safe from all these scary creatures (which our policies have produced and continue to produce). Just keep sending us ever-increasing amounts of taxpayer money.
To keep us safe, they have to assume extraordinary, emergency powers, or so they say. That’s where such things as the super-secret surveillance schemes come into play, along with the powers to kidnap, detain, torture, and execute, all without a jury trial and due process of law, come into play.
And people like our statist reader mentioned at the top of this article are all too ready to fall for it all. “Do whatever you need to do to keep me safe. That’s all that matters.”
That’s how Americans have lost their freedom under the national-security state apparatus.
The solution to all this ongoing chaos and permanent state of crisis?
It’s really quite simple: Dismantle America’s military empire, close the foreign military bases (the domestic ones too), discharge the soldiers, abolish the CIA, and end the massive taxation that funds this monstrosity.
There is no other way. That’s what Americans need to realize. If you want a life of normality, peace, prosperity, harmony, and freedom, the only way to achieve it is through the restoration of a constitutional republic and a return to America’s heritage of anti-militarism, anti-imperialism and non-interventionism.
Absent that, then we should just be prepared for the fact that angry victims of the interventionism are going to retaliate. But it’s nothing to get all uptight and anxious about.
For one thing, the Islamic State is not going to invade the United States. That would take millions of soldiers, tens of thousands of transport ships and planes to cross the ocean, and tanks and other military armaments to conquer all 50 states. That’s not going to happen. The Islamic State does not have that capability. No one does, not even China or Russia. Don’t forget: Hitler and his massive army couldn’t even cross the English Channel.
So, the worst thing that angry people can do is engage terrorism against a limited number of people, perhaps even here on American soil, like on 9/11. Is there a chance you could be a victim of anti-American terrorism? Sure, but that chance is fairly miniscule. Don’t forget, after all, that when you step outside your home, you could fall victim to murderers, rapists, thieves, robbers, and the like. Life is insecure. If you don’t want to risk it, just stay inside your house and have your groceries delivered to your house and left outside your front door. And hope that drug-war agents don’t mistakenly raid your home and kill you.
Should we permit the national-security state to infringe upon our freedom in order to “keep us safe” from the official enemies (that its interventionist policies produce)? Of course not. Freedom is too important for that. It’s better to simply take our chances with terrorists (and murderers, rapists, etc.) than to sacrifice any part of our freedom in the hopes of being kept “safe” from the official enemies. Anyway, better to die a free person than to live a life of submissive and obedient servitude.
Bottom line: Conquer your fears of the Islamic State, the terrorists, the Muslims, the communists, the drug dealers, the illegal aliens, al-Qaeda, and all the other official enemies that keep popping up under empire and interventionism. If you want to get rid of those enemies, dismantle the military empire and the foreign policy of interventionism. Absent that, don’t ever let them convince you into surrendering your freedom in the purported attempt to “keep you safe” from the official enemies (that their policies are producing).