Previously I said that politics is a continuation of the war for resources and gave an illuminating little parable. This time, I’m going to talk a bit more realistically about how this shakes out. The most important resources today are the moral high ground, land, and money. I’ll start with money.
In the most simplified terms, you can tell whether you’re on the winning side or the losing side of this war by determining whether you’re paying taxes or receiving them. Putting social contract blather aside (what about the roads?), this is not difficult- unless your primary income comes out of the common purse, you are probably not getting your money’s worth for your tax dollars. You are effectively a slave, albeit probably a very well-treated one, because you don’t have a choice in the matter. If you don’t pay your taxes the political winners will use their now-systemized rhetorical powers to compel the local law enforcement into action, who will attempt to use their own rhetorical powers to compel you to pay your taxes.
If your job is in education, healthcare, finance, the military, or any of the other big ticket items on the federal budget, then you are probably on the winning side of the great rhetorical struggle for resource dominance. It doesn’t matter if you also pay taxes, because you are receiving more tax money than you are paying in. It also doesn’t matter if you are such a good worker that you create a net economic surplus, because your income and job security aren’t subject to economic laws. They are subject to political laws.
Money itself has rhetorical power, particularly amongst people who are accustomed to having much less of it. In times of peace and security it has a consistent power to compel men’s actions in mass and in concert, and this is the acme of rhetoric. But it is by no means the most important element in the resource war. It is a tactical consideration, having little importance in the strategic or moral domains of warfare.
International bankers may have the de facto upper hand at the moment, but they exist at the pleasure of those who hold the power of life and death. Their wealth can be confiscated at the point of a gun or devalued by a printing press. It is probably a sign of the times that the other important resources- land and the moral high ground- can be bought with money. I think it’s unlikely that this situation will outlast the century, because it’s an inversion of a lower state of entropy.
When considering such tasteless matters as politics, it is sometimes helpful to get back to basics. For what can a man be convinced to kill another, or to enslave another man with the threat of death? For money? How much money? Does he require a moral veneer? A military uniform? A great and noble cause? Whom is he killing, and how much does this matter to him?
I think I have a lot of ground to cover in this area, and not a lot of time.