12 Jun 2013

Who Created the Golem of Big Government? (It Wasn’t Rabbi Löw. It Was You.)

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Mikuláš Aleš, Rabbi Löw oživuje Golema (Rabbi Löw revives the Golem)

FINEM RESPICE (a Private Equity professional, and another obviously well-educated elite cynic) has a nice sardonic rap for Americans appalled by the recent Government-snooping-or lying- or out-of-control scandals.

If you live in the United States it may finally be dawning on you that you have something of a problem in the government to which you are now a Subject. In fact, the details of the [NSA Snooping|Verizon Metadata|IRS Political Targeting|Bankruptcy Preference|Fast and Furious|State Department Coverup|Libyan Ambassador|George Takei Facebook Ghostwriting] scandal are meaningless. You are already far too late. It will get worse before it gets better, it may never get better again, and, frankly, finem respice has not a shred of sympathy for your plight or that of your countrymen/women. In fact, given the manner you have quashed the opportunity- almost unique in the history of the species- created by an impossibly rare coexistence of liberty, private property, free markets, the rise of scientific method, and freedom of expression (to name just a few) there is more than a passing argument to be made that your society has squandered one of the greatest intellectual and individualistic fortunes in history.

Moreover, less charitable commentators may one day look upon what you have vainly and arrogantly loosed upon the world and wonder if the word “criminal” might not actually be excessive. To the extent humanity was headed towards something approaching a post-scarcity society finem respice would not wonder if you have collectively set that project back decades, or even centuries.

You see, for generations now you have collectively built and nurtured a massive, living, metabolizing creature. From the inanimate, intellectual detritus of “progressivism” and your unending and increasingly all-consuming narcissism you have kneaded it into a shapeless husk, pouring in rank mud like “Save the Planet,” “Global Warming,” “The American Dream of Home Ownership,” “The War on Drugs”, “Mothers Against Drunk Driving”, “The War On Terror”, “Speculators”, “Too Big To Fail”, “The 1%”, and of course the essence and spark of its life, “…if it saves just one child.” In conjunction with (but far more so than the other buckets of intellectual mud) “…if it saves just one child” has created the Golem of Government.

It was useful once, certainly, but it has since grown larger and more unwieldy as you slumbered. It is more potent than you now, and now it wields its own momentum with a self-directed animus of its own design, winding to and fro, unpredictable and twister-like, a destructive force that, despite what you thought, is not magically contained by the frontiers of the United States. Its power is extraterritorial and carves a wide swath across and through international law, international relations, international taxation, “force projection,” and grips a stranglehold on the global financial system, which it greedily claims as its own and uses as hostage to bend the laws of other states to its will.

With almost Tolkienesque malice it seeks to see all, hear all, and know all- and owing to complacency that runs the gamut from your blithe acquiescence to your active participation, increasingly looks close to meeting its total information omniscience goal. Yet, the Golem is possessed of no craft, no subtlety, no art. Its sensory organs inform crude appendages that know how to do nothing but squeeze, smash, stomp, kidnap, and explode the targets of its interest without apology or feeling. Moreover, the Golem has no sense of proportion, happily imposing costs of $10 billion on the developed world to collect less than one tenth of that in revenue for itself, raining fire from the sky upon any collection of persons it feels might maybe contain a couple troublemakers. It thinks nothing of shutting down the 20th largest city within its borders (at a cost of many billions of dollars) to hunt down a single sleep-deprived, starving, wounded, and suicidal criminal. Likewise, it laughs to spend hundreds of thousands in time and expenses to ransack those of its Subjects’ entities with operating budgets of $20,000, $15,000, or even less, or to ruin a mid-sized enterprise with a displeasing political orientation over vague foreign regulations on the exportation of wood.

Like its namesake, the bureaucratic Golem you have formed may at one time have grudgingly served the better angels of The State’s nature (if such can even be said to exist), but it has long since grown past your control. Try to rein it in and it fights back mercilessly, turning to bite and scratch and often inflicting mortal political (or corporal) wounds without thought. Try to starve it and it merely helps itself to lucre by encumbering the royal mint with its debts and thus accelerates the process of impoverishing you and yours with its ceaseless appetite for blood and treasure, growing even more potent and desperate in the meantime until every challenge to its ever-growing hunger occasions a political crisis, a violent and deadly storm that none dare to brave for more than the briefest of interludes, and never twice in a row.

It seems you once believed that the proper demigod might tame the Golem, direct its purpose to your own pet causes, or at least blunt its influence and attenuate the heat of its hate and ceaseless anger. You believed those heroes from the lands to the West had the steel to domesticate it, or those philosopher kings from the Northeast the intellect to reason with it. Those from the political right, you argued, or those from the left, you insisted, would best shrink its influence, or channel its immense power for good. How foolish it must feel (if you even bother to take the time to reflect) to learn, finally, that none of the last ten of your modern heroes have ought but grown the Golem’s power and influence. None have felt its power and resisted the urge to attempt to pollute that power for their own ends. In fact, of late those who scorned it most vocally seem to have coupled with it most passionately, spurting forth from their sinful and false loins the seed that spawned ever more Golem offspring. For how many more cycles will you perpetuate the insane hope that the “right leader” will tame it? When will you finally recoil in horror to watch the Golem consume these offspring, growing by absorbing these massive juggernauts in their own right with names like “DHS”, “CFTC”, or the nearly 150 nameless progeny spawned off in one massive birthing in March of 2010?

Read the whole thing (and weep).

Hat tip to Vanderleun.


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