By Robert Wenzel
It's not surprising that confrontation between the state and the people of Ferguson, MO, following the shooting of the unarmed 19 year old teenager, Michael Brown, pits the most raw evidence of the true nature of the state, government force, versus that segment of the United States that has, arguably, been most damaged by government policies, that is, the black community. The black community has been ground down in many cases to a type of urban primitive existence, thanks to government laws and regulations such as minimum wage laws and drug laws, and a public education.
Put any kid into a situation where the public education resembles a zoo as seen, as HL Mencken might have said, from the inside of the cages, coupled with the barring of such a kid from all entry level job positions outside of illegally selling dope, and you are bound to get a very frustrated kid. Create a community of such kids and you get to see the eruption of blind fury from time to time. Unfortunately, these frustrated government created urban primitives don't understand the nature of the oppression they face.
There will be no good result from this eruption in Ferguson. Outside of perhaps more anger and distrust of the police, nationwide, by urban primitives, they will remain outgunned and outmanned by the state. From them will perhaps come even more misdirected hate of everything beyond their own ghetto communities. "Community leaders," meaning tools that work knowingly, or unknowingly, for the state, will ultimately prevail in quelling, at the surface level, the outrage. These "leaders" will call for cosmetic changes that will put more lipstick on the government PIGS, as though cutting deals with the violent oppressor state will reduce the violence and oppression, while the union encouraged minimum wage laws, the useless compulsory public education system and drug laws, continue to grind the urban primitives down and down.
Sadly, the urban primitives, thanks to the state, have never read or even heard of Lysander Spooner, Franz Oppenheimer or Murray Rothbard. Thus, they have no guiding lights to point them to the true nature of the oppression they are facing. They lash and destroy whatever is in front of them, including private operations which have nothing to do with the oppressive state. It is a tragedy that we can witness in its most raw form in Ferguson. To paraphrase what Chris Rock once said in another context, "I don't condone what they are doing, but I understand it."
Most people reading EPJ don't come from the Urban Primitive community, so we can watch the unrest in Ferguson with detached curiosity. But I tell you what should directly concern even the readers of EPJ. It is how quickly armored military-type vehicles showed up at the scene of the unrest. Where did they come from so quickly? And who were all those police in military type fatigues?
The battle now is, as I say, between the state and government created urban primitives, but the state is growing in its power and its oppression against all of us. For now, we have more money and skills and know how to generally work around the system in a better fashion than the urban primitives, but the noose is getting tighter. From money laundering laws to coerced government-styled healthcare to politically correct BS regulations, the state is also grinding the rest of us. At some point, some among us, tragically, may feel the need to erupt against the state. I am against direct confrontation with the government, but this may not be the case with all. Ferguson teaches us how the state will respond to those who erupt. The state is heavily armed and is adding to its stockpiles of ammo (CSNews). And as witnessed by Ferguson, the state knows how to rapidly respond against eruption from the oppressed.
The lesson here is clear. The growth of the state must be stopped now. The shrinkage of the government must be demanded now. If there is no successful effort to stop government growth and, indeed, reverse the size of government. There will eventually be more eruptions from more sectors of society. A direct battle against the state is always difficult. And indeed, even successful revolutions may not accomplish much. Ludwig von Mises taught us about "the futility of victory" that is not based on sound principles. First, it is clear he understood the nature of the problem. He wrote :
There is no reason to idolize police power and ascribe to it omnipotence and omniscience.But, he later went on to write:
To defeat the aggressors is not enough to make peace durable. The main thing is to discard the ideology that generates war.And, I would argue not only full out war, but government violence and oppression of any kind, including the police power that Mises warned about, can only be stopped in an environment where the importance of a society based on the principles of liberty is understood.
The effort to reverse the growing state oppression must be made now with words and education, the urban primitives aren't going to be able to help us. In fact, any chance they have of moving out of their urban primitivism will be based more on the rest of us getting the state off of all our backs. And the only way that can occur in a substantive manner is if a significant percentage of the people somehow begin to understand, at least on a gut level, the nature of government and its role always and everywhere as a violent oppressor.
Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of EconomicPolicyJournal.com and author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bank.