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One of the primary characteristics of cults is the denial of reality. The ultimate example of this occurred in the Heaven’s Gate cult: those cult members did not commit suicide; instead, they embarked on an exciting, intergalactic space adventure.
In principle, denial of reality is no different for members in the cult of the socialistic welfare state. For example, a few months ago, when House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Vice President Al Gore visited China, they extolled the virtues of “economic freedom” in the United States. In their minds, the United States is “capitalist” while China is “socialist.”
Suppose you were to ask Gingrich and Gore about the following aspects of China’s economic system: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public housing, public works, public spending, public schooling, public highways, trade restrictions, immigration controls, central banking, economic regulations, licensing restrictions, and drug laws. What would Gore and Gingrich say?
They would respond, without any hesitation whatsover, with the following: “We knew that China had made progress, but we didn’t know China had become that free enterprise.” In their minds, all of these aspects of the American way of life are “capitalism.” Therefore, they constitute “free enterprise oases” in the socialist countries that have adopted them. The denial of reality in the cult of the socialistic welfare state is as real as that which existed in the Heaven’s Gate cult.
What is sad is that the American people themselves engage in this denial of reality. We often think of public schooling as a terrible failure because of what it has done to learning and the love of learning among people. But in the minds of the welfare statists, public schooling is one of the cult’s biggest success stories.
How can it be just a coincidence that millions of Americans not only believe in the specific aspects of the socialistic welfare state but also view them as “freedom”? The fact is that it is not a coincidence. By having children under their control for 12 long years, the welfare statists have been able to mold their minds into believing that what exists in Cuba, China, and North Korea is “freedom,” as long as it is implemented in America and operated by Americans who have American flags patched on their sleeves.
The indoctrination of cult members is so effective that it is almost frightening. It brings to mind that terrifying movie from the 1950s — The Invasion of the Body Snatchers — in which people’s minds were taken over by aliens.
Compare the principles on which America was founded with those that exist in the cult of the socialistic welfare state. For more than 100 years, Americans said “no” to the following things because they considered them evil, immoral, and destructive: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, income taxation, public schooling, public housing, trade and immigration controls, licensing laws, economic regulations, paper money, and central banking. Today, the American people say “yes” to all of these. Yet, in the minds of the welfare statists, both systems constitute “freedom.”
But how can opposites be the same? Or to paraphrase Ayn Rand, how can “A” be “B”?
And make no mistake about it: members of the cult of the socialistic welfare state honestly believe they are free. If you are ever in doubt as to whether a person is a member of the cult, there is one sure-fire way to find out. If a person says, “We need to keep America free,” that person is a member of the cult. If he instead says, “We need to restore freedom to America,” that person sees reality for what it is — he is a libertarian.
This is one of the distinguishing characteristics between libertarians, on the one hand, and conservatives and leftists on the other. Libertarians have a fierce commitment to reality. They see the world for what it is. For example, they see the war on drugs and all of the murders, muggings, robberies, and thefts it has generated, not to mention the increase in drug abuse. As members of the socialistic welfare state, conservatives and leftists continue to live in their world of unreality — of illusion and delusion; despite 80 years of ever-increasing, vicious warfare, they continue to believe that “victory” in the drug war lies right around the corner with the next record drug bust.
The denial of reality is still not the worst part of the socialistic welfare state. No, the worst part is the kooky and bizarre behavior in which conservatives and leftists have engaged, in large part as an integral part of their denial of reality.
Many members of the socialistic welfare state were amazed at how “normal” the Heaven’s Gate people seemed to be. Perhaps that’s because the behavior of the Heaven’s Gate members didn’t quite match the kooky and bizarre behavior of the members of the socialistic welfare state.
What could be kookier and more bizarre than using innocent and unknowing Americans for nuclear radiation experiments? Imagine — exposing innocent people to plutonium, just to see what the results would be.
Then there was the Tuskeegee syphilis experiments. Imagine — luring into government “health” facilities unsuspecting, uneducated black men from the South who suffered from syphilis and trusted their government; after telling them that their illnesses were being treated, cult leaders instead let the syphilis spread, just to see what would happen.
What did the Heaven’s Gate cult and, for that matter, the Jonestown and Branch Davidian cults, ever do that was kookier and more bizarre than these things? And notice how this type of conduct integrates with the denial of reality with respect to the socialistic welfare state: Not only were such American “freedoms” as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public schooling, trade restrictions, immigration controls, public spending, public highways, and central banking a core aspect of the National Socialist (Nazi) Party in Germany, so was medical experimentation on human beings.
Every time a kooky and bizarre act is discovered, cult leaders describe it as an aberration — a one-of-a-kind occurrence. “Trust your government. We wouldn’t lie to you. We wouldn’t do bad things to you. We’re here to serve you. To suggest otherwise means that you’re a ‘conspiracy theorist.'”
For example, take the downing of TWA Flight 800. Many Americans have absolutely no trust in the government’s investigation of the crash and believe that it might have been a U.S. military missile that downed the plane. Yet, how do the socialist welfare statists respond? “Conspiracy theorist! You must be a conspiracy theorist! The government would never lie or do bad things to the American people. The government is here to serve you.” And then they add, “Anyway, there is no way that government officials could ever keep such a dastardly act a secret. Government always bungles things so badly that keeping such a horrible thing a secret, even an accident, would be impossible.”
After what the U.S. government has done to innocent and unknowing people — e.g., human plutonium and syphilis experiments — how could it be unreasonable for people to lack trust in governmental pronouncements and conduct? Even if the TWA crash was due to mechanical failure, as the government alleges, how can people be faulted for refusing to automatically believe the leaders of the cult and for asking questions?
Actually, the refusal to automatically accept the official version of the TWA crash is a good, healthy, positive sign — a reflection that Americans might finally be starting to break free of the cult.
It is amusing, to say the least, to hear cult leaders accusing Americans of being “conspiracy theorists.” Why amusing? Because the leading conspiracy theorists in the nation are smack-dab in the middle of the Justice Department. Enter into any federal courthouse in the country and check out the indictments that are issued on a weekly basis. An overwhelming number of them begin with an allegation of a conspiracy. That’s right — in the dark recesses of minds of the cult leaders, there are conspiracies being hatched on a daily basis in every nook and cranny across America.
Does anyone say to the cult leaders, “Conspiracy theorist! Conspiracy theorist!” Of course not. Saying bad things about cult leaders themselves is a real “no, no” in the cult.
It is also amusing how members of the cult automatically accept the old, humorous bromide about government officials not being able to keep bad things secret. If the bromide is true, then how did they manage to keep the plutonium and syphilis experiments secret for decades? And look at all the people who kept it secret: Presidents Franklin Roosevelt (known in public schools as a great humanitarian), Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, as well as their minions.
Moreover, if it’s true that government officials can’t keep secrets, why are there thousands of government files — including some dating back to World War II — that are still classified and unopened to the public? If secrets cannot be kept, then people must already know what’s in the files. Why then continue to keep them secret?
After the human medical experiments were disclosed, were any of the participants indicted? Are you kidding? Again, this would constitute a criticism of the cult itself and that is verboten! Cult leaders must be protected, not abused. Rather than punish the actual wrongdoers either criminally or civilly, cult leaders instead tax the citizenry to compensate the victims for what the cult leaders did to them. Of course, this type of collective responsibility and punishment is always characteristic of cults.
When disclosure of wrongdoing does occur, cult leaders always apologize and promise that the cult will never again engage in such kooky and bizarre behavior. But how can they be believed? Where is the evidence that the cult has been reformed? After all, didn’t cult members use flammable gas on innocent women and children at Waco? Didn’t cult members shoot Vickie Weaver in the head as she held her baby in her arms? Weren’t cult members awarded medals for valor after shooting a 14-year-old boy in the back? Aren’t cult members using U.S. military forces to capture Cuban refugees on the high seas and repatriate them into communist tyranny? Didn’t a CIA cult operative recently murder an innocent man in Guatemala? Didn’t the cult’s military industrial complex recently publish a manual teaching foreign military officials how to torture prisoners? Have any of these cult members been indicted or otherwise brought to justice? If you believe that there’s even a possibility of that happening, there’s a seat for you on the next intergalactic space trip.
So, what should libertarians do about the cult of socialistic welfare state? One possibility — snot recommended — is to begin kidnapping and deprogramming supporters of the socialistic welfare state. The better approach is for us libertarians to continue improving ourselves — doing our best to bring a sense of psychological, economic, and political soundness and stability to society. Ultimately, our fellow Americans may decide to confront the painful reality of what they have done in abandoning the principles of freedom on which America was founded to pursue the socialistic welfare state policies of the rest of the world. We libertarians must continue leading the way out of the socialistic morass — and all of its kooky and bizarre consequences — and leading America and the world upward to the highest reaches of freedom that mankind has ever seen — along with the health, harmony, peace, and prosperity that such freedom would inevitably bring.
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