Liberty Forged

the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own. ` Nock

The 3am Phone, a “hallmark of Empire”

Posted by Jesse on March 3, 2008

Just finished The Betrayal of the American Right by Murray Rothbard. Awesome book. So inspiring to know that the movement that Ron Paul stands for is not new. This book chronicles Murray’s life in regards to the Old Right as well as the major players in politics and media from the 30’s to the 70’s.
It’s dedicated to Howard Homan Buffet, Frank Chodorov, and the Old Right.

It was this excerpt I harkened to when I saw Clinton’s 3am Phone Ad:

What, then, were the hallmarks of Empire? The first requisite, Garrett declared, was that “the executive power of government shall be dominant.”

“For what Empire needs above all in government is an executive power that can make immediate decisions, such as a decision in the middle of the night by the President to declare war on the aggressor in Korea.”

LoL.
Ain’t that the awful truth.

“In previous years, he added, it was assumed that the function of the Congress was to speak for the American people. But now it is the President, standing at the head of the Executive Government, who says: “I speak for the people” or “I have a mandate from the people.”. . . Now much more than Congress, the President acts directly upon the emotions and passions of the people to influence their thinking. As he controls Executive Government, so he controls the largest propaganda machine in the world. The Congress has no propaganda apparatus at all and continually finds itself under pressure from the people who have been moved for or against something by the ideas and thought material broadcast in the land by the administrative bureaus in Washington.”

I continue to cite Rothbard citing Garrett:
A second hallmark of the existence of Empire, continued Garrett, is that “Domestic policy becomes subordinate to foreign policy.” This is what happened to Rome, and to the British Empire. It is also happening to us, for
as we convert the nation into a garrison state to build the most terrible war machine that has ever been imagined on earth, every domestic policy is bound to be conditioned by our foreign policy. The voice of government is saying that if our foreign policy fails we are ruined. It is all or nothing. Our survival as a free nation is at hazard. That makes it simple, for in that case there is no domestic policy that may not have to be sacrificed to the necessities of foreign policy—even freedom.. . . If the cost of defending not ourselves alone but the whole non-Russian world threatens to wreck our solvency, still we must go on.

Garrett concluded,
We are no longer able to choose between peace and war. We have embraced perpetual war. . . . Wherever and whenever the Russian aggressor attacks, in Europe, Asia, or Africa, there we must meet him. We are so committed by the Truman Doctrine, by examples of our intention, by the global posting of our armed forces, and by such formal engagements as the North Atlantic Treaty and the Pacific Pact.

Hmmm…strikingly similar to the nightly news isn’t it?

A third brand of Empire, continued Garrett, is the “ascendancy of the military mind.” Garrett noted that the great symbol of the American military mind is the Pentagon Building in Washington, built during World War II, as a “forethought of perpetual war.” There at the Pentagon, “global strategy is conceived; there, nobody knows how, the estimates of what it will cost are arrived at; and surrounding it is our own iron curtain.” The Pentagon allows the public to know only the information that it wills it to learn;

All the rest is stamped “classified” or “restricted,” in the name of national security, and Congress itself cannot get it. That is as it must be of course; the most important secrets of Empire are military secrets.

Garrett went on to quote the devastating critique of our garrison state by General Douglas MacArthur:
Talk of imminent threat to our national security through the application of external force is pure nonsense. . . . Indeed, it is a part of the general patterns of misguided policy that our country is now geared to an arms economy which was bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and nurtured upon an incessant propaganda of fear. While such an economy may produce a sense of seeming prosperity for the moment, it rests on an illusionary foundation of complete unreliability and renders among our political leaders almost a greater fear of peace than is their fear of war.

Garrett then interprets that quotation as follows:
War becomes an instrument of domestic policy. . . . [The government may] increase or decrease the tempo of military expenditures, as the planners decide that what the economy needs is a little more inflation or a little less. . . . And whereas it was foreseen that when Executive Government is resolved to control the economy it will come to have a vested interest in the power of inflation, so now we may perceive that it will come also to have a kind of proprietary interest in the institution of perpetual war.

A fourth mark of Empire, continued Garrett, is “a system of satellite nations.” We speak only of Russian “satellites,” and with contempt, but “we speak of our own satellites as allies and friends or as freedom loving nations.” The meaning of satellite is a “hired guard.”
As Garrett notes:

When people say we have lost China or that if we lose Europe it will be a disaster, what do they mean? How could we lose China or Europe, since they never belonged to us? What they mean is that we have lost or may lose a following of dependent people who act as an outer guard.

Armed with a vast array of satellites, we then find that “for any one of them to involve us in war it is necessary only for the Executive Power in Washington to decide that its defense is somehow essential to the security of the United States.” The system had its origins in the Lend-Lease Act of 1941. Garrett concludes that the Imperial Center is pervaded by a fear of standing alone in the world, without satellites.
Fear at last assumes the phase of a patriotic obsession. It is stronger than any political party. . . . The basic conviction is simple. We cannot stand alone. A capitalistic economy, though it possesses half the industrial power of the whole world, cannot defend its own hemisphere. It may be able to save the world; alone it cannot save itself. It must have allies. Fortunately, it is able to buy them, bribe them, arm them, feed and clothe them; it may cost us more than we can afford,
yet we must have them or perish.

So how did we arrive at this point????

Garet Garrett’s classic The Revolution Was talking about the “revolution within the form”.

Conclusion
“So it was that a revolution took place within the form. Like the hagfish, the New Deal entered the old form and devoured its meaning from within. The revolutionaries were inside; the defenders were outside. A government that had been supported by the people and so controlled by the people became one that supported the people and so controlled them. Much of it is irreversible. That is true because habits of dependence are much easier to form than to break. Once the government, on ground of public policy, has assumed the responsibility to provide people with buying power when they are in want of it, or when they are unable to provide themselves with enough of it, according to a minimum proclaimed by government, it will never be the same again.

All of this is said by one who believes that people have an absolute right to any form of government they like, even to an American Welfare state, with status in place of freedom, if that is what they want. The first of all objections to the New Deal is neither political nor economic. It is moral.

Revolution by scientific technic is above morality. It makes no distinction between means that are legal and means that are illegal. There was a legal and honest way to bring about a revolution, even to tear up the Constitution, abolish it, or write a new one in its place. Its own words and promises meant as little to the New Deal as its oath to support the Constitution. In a letter to a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, urging a new law he wanted, the President said: “I hope your committee will not permit doubt as to Constitutionality, however reasonable, to block the suggested legislation.” Its cruel and cynical suspicion of any motive but its own was a reflection of something it knew about itself. Its voice was the voice of righteousness; its methods therefore were more dishonest than the simple ways of corruption.

“When we see a lot of framed timbers, different portions of which we know have been gotten out at different times and places, and by different workmen… and when we see those timbers joined together, and see that they exactly make the frame of a house or a mill, allthe tenons and mortises exactly fitting, and all the lengths and proportions of the different pieces exactly adapted to their respective places, and not a piece too many or too few… in such a case we find, it impossible not to believe that… all understood one another from the beginning, and all worked upon a common plan or draft, drawn up before the first blow was struck.” —Abraham Lincoln, deducing from objective evidence the blueprint of a political plot to save the institution of slavery.”

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2 Responses to “The 3am Phone, a “hallmark of Empire””

  1. […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt Just finished The Betrayal of the American Right by Murray Rothbard. Awesome book. So inspiring to know that the movement that Ron Paul stands for is not new. This book chronicles Murray’s life in regards to the Old Right as well as the major players in politics and media from the 30’s to the 70’s. It’s dedicated to Howard Homan Buffet, Frank Chodorov, and the Old Right. It was this excerpt I harkened to when I saw Clinton’s 3am Phone Ad: What, then, were the hallmarks of Empire? The first […]

  2. […] 3am Phone, a “hallmark of Empire” Centerfield wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt Just finished The Betrayal of the […]

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