Kevin, over at the Smallest Minority had an excellent discussion of this some time back, but I would like to flesh this out a bit more here at Liberty Hollow.
What are these three colossal errors? The 17th Amendment? Voire Dire? Universal sufferage? Well, no. I submit that the three greatest mistakes in American history were these:
- The creation of the Federal Reserve Bank;
- The 16th Amendment purportedly allowing direct taxation of income;
- The establishment of taxpayer funded, state directed public schools.
1) The creation of the Fed took control of the currency away from the Treasury, and from the constraints imposed by the Constitutional requirement to use gold and silver as money, and gave it to a private banking cartel with essentially limitless power to manipulate currency and interest rates, thus nullifying the market's natural self-regulation. Fractional reserve banking caused numerous depressions prior to the Fed, but the Federal Reserve Bank was fractional reserve banking carried to the ultimate extreme. (See "the Creature from Jeckyll Island" for more) It was the bubbles blown by the Fed that caused the Great Depression, and every major economic downturn since 1913. It is the Federal Reserve Bank which has made the present insane spending spree being engaged in by the FedGov possible. Without control of monetary supply and interest rates, the Federal Government would have been physically incapable of engaging in this monstrous spending spree, which has ensured the utter bankruptcy of this nation.
Far from protecting the value of the currency, under the Federal Reserve, the value of the currency has declined over 98% in just 100 years. In 1913, a twenty dollar gold piece would buy a top of the line combat handgun, or a first rate suit. Today, it still will, but $20 in paper money won't even buy the tie or the box of cartridges that used to be thrown in with the transaction! (h/t to the late Jeff Cooper for this comparison) The reason is that there is more currency chasing a limited amount of goods. What few people comprehend is how regressive such monetary debasement truly is; the burdens fall disproportionately on the poor and the working class, while the upper middle class and the wealthy can place most of their wealth in investments not affected by it.
So the Federal Reserve has financed both the debt, and the leviathan State erected upon it, the fountain of tyranny. The first root has sunk deep; how of the next?
2) Establishment of the income tax provided the FedGov with the ability to claim truly staggering amounts of money from those it governs and to transform itself into the dominant governmental entity, far outstripping the States. Without the revenue, and more importantly the BORROWING POWER made possible by the income tax, the FedGov could never have grown as large as it presently is, or borrowed as much money as it has. Establishment of the Fed made truly horrific debt possible; allowing the FedGov to tax income made our present debts inevitable.
It is the height of bitter irony to read in the historical debate claims from proponents of the income tax that they only wanted to pay our Civil War and Spanish American war debts; that passage of the Progressive income tax was a matter of national honor. Yet, as you can see in more detail here, the moment that the income tax was passed, these presently united States issued MORE DEBT. The reality is that bankers want to be repaid, and the income tax amendment was used to increase the borrowing power of the FedGov, and it is this revenue stream that has allowed us to spend the wealth of future generations. The second root is entwined everywhere.
3)In 1900, literacy in these presently united States was high, but those in authority were troubled by populist movements. The Progressives, headed by John Dewey, may he be burning in Hell for eternity, determined that the answer to this problem was to have central control of the education process and to use the Prussian schooling system to indoctrinate the young, rather than to allow the then-extant system of home schooling, local public schools, apprenticeships, and the other components of a rich system which ensured a 95%+ literacy rate. For more information see "the Underground History of American Education" which you can read for free online here.
A quote from the Prologue: "Exactly what John Dewey heralded at the onset of the twentieth century has indeed happened. Our once highly individualized nation has evolved into a centrally managed village, an agora made up of huge special interests which regard individual voices as irrelevant. The masquerade is managed by having collective agencies speak through particular human beings. " And this is exactly what the Progressive Movement desired, the irrelevancy of the individual and the supremacy of the collective.
Another quote: "Nothing about school is what it seems, not even boredom. To show you what I mean is the burden of this long essay." If you read no other book this year, you owe it to yourself, to your family and friends to read this book. It will bring home to you the essence of modern schooling, whose function is to cripple the minds and egos of those subjected to it and to ensure COMPLIANCE as the highest value.
Ayn Rand wrote "The Comprachicos" in 1970; I read it shortly after I first read "Atlas Shugged" in 1974, and it was a revelation to me. The point is, that the function of modern education is not to teach anything except conformity. More discussion at Smallest Minority here, but all you have to do to figure that education is not a core function of the schools is to look at present day literacy rates, which, if the criteria used in 1913 are applied, are below 50%. High school graduates today cannot make change, and do not know the most basic things about our political structure.
An electorate ignorant of the heritage of liberty to which they are entitled, indeed ignorant of everything except the latest television craze, is the fruit of Progressive "education." What Progressive schooling has given us is a population which includes a large portion of ignorant tax slaves, who are more addicted to their 'entitlements' than a cigarette smoker is to nicotine. A nation of individualists, such as existed in 1913 would not have tolerated 1/100th of the tyrannical outrage being inflicted on the population of these presently united States, and that is the point. Without State run state funded public education, the third root, the modern tyrannical state could not exist.
And that is why I started this web log, to strike at the roots of tyranny, rather than lopping off branches and twigs. To quote from the Comprachicos: "The anti-rational philosophic trend of the past two hundred years has run its course and reached its climax. To oppose it will require a philosophical revolution or, rather, a rebirth of philosophy. Appeals to "home, church, mother and tradition" will not do; they never did. Ideas can be fought only by means of ideas. The educational establishment has to be fought—from bottom to top, from cause to consequences, from nursery schools to universities, from basic philosophy to campus riots, from without and from within." THAT is why I call this a war of ideas, for it is evil ideas that are tyranny's fuel, and it is those ideas that must be destroyed if we are to win the war, and not a battle.
Reversing the tide of tyranny will require reversing these three errors during our next 'at-bat', and crushing these three ideas, which can be thought of as the three roots of American tyranny.
With regard to all those who serve the Light,