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Decentralize the Cities, and the States, Too!

I posted this in December of 2010 and will repost it now. I added a video of Hans-Hermann Hoppe explaining the advantages of smaller states and the dangers of centralization, a video I have posted here before.

December 30, 2010 (with additional video added)

Yesterday Mark Steyn was filling in for Rush Limbaugh and he was discussing the Business Insider story of the 16 U.S. cities facing bankruptcy, and several of them are located in California, which itself is facing bankruptcy. And Steyn was asking, well if a city such as San Diego needs to be “bailed out,” how can nearly-bankrupt California possibly bail out San Diego, and so who is going to bail out California? And so on. That means that the debt-ridden federal government would have to bail out Commiefornia and its bankrupt cities? How absurd is all this stuff? This is a truly sick, dysfunctional country, when city, state and federal governments usurp so much control over community life and steal more and more private wealth and property away from the workers and business people, when organizations unionize and use collective might and intimidation to get city councils, state legislatures, governors and congressjerks to seize such control away from private individuals and businesses. These mob-ruling selfish parasites are literally turning America into a Third World tyranny.

One major problem, besides the usurpation of individual rights and confiscation of private property through taxation and regulation of course, is the centralization of government, not just nationally in Washington but in each state in which the state government has grown like a balloon about to explode and in the big cities in which the city government is becoming so tyrannical it is literally pushing the productive Middle Class and businesses out to the more “red” cities (as in “red state”), i.e. freer cities and states. Take New York City. Please. Rush Limbaugh isn’t the only one with any sense who has left NYC (and California for that matter) — those who don’t like being picked up and turned upside down and shaken down for every last cent by the greedy Mayor Bloomberg (and his fellow communist flunkies) are leaving in droves.

The more people who are fleeing these big communist cities, the less wealth there is for the politicians to steal from them. When you allow people in power to take your wealth and property, rather than requiring them to acquire such income through voluntary trade and contracts, you are removing from them the incentive to budget their incomes and treasury wisely and responsibly. And when you allow the governments to have monopolies that restrict the right of others to do business in whatever endeavor that has been monopolized, you are removing from them the incentive to serve their “customers” which is reinforced through competition.

In recent interviews Congressman Ron Paul has addressed the “moral hazard” of the monopoly that the Federal Reserve has in our monetary system, in which Americans are compelled by law to use the constantly value-crashing dollar for trade and commerce, while competitive currencies and the people’s right to use other means of trade and commerce are restricted by law. (Robert Wenzel has a post today, in which he thinks The Bernank is going to print more money in response to city protests and riots in the near future, so that with more phony money the cities won’t have to make any cuts in budgets.)

We are experiencing the same kind of “moral hazard” from other forms of government-monopolizations besides the Fed’s money scheme, such as in law and judicial decision-making, local policing of communities and territorial protection, among other activities that federal, state and local governments have usurped from the people. The “moral hazard” in the cities has also been exacerbated through cultural and ethnic collectivization and politicization, in which the traditional family has been torn apart by the welfare state’s discouragement of personal responsibility. Hans-Hermann Hoppe has addressed these issues in his book, Democracy: The God That Failed, and in many other writings including his 2005 article The Rise and Fall of the City:

With the upper class and the merchants leaving in larger numbers, however, one of the last remaining civilizing forces will be weakened, and what is left behind in the cities will represent an increasingly negative selection of the population: of government bureaucrats who work but no longer live there, and of the lowlifes and the social outcasts of all tribes and races who live there yet who increasingly do not work but survive on welfare. (Just think of Washington, DC.)…

Rather than regarding intra-family or -household matters…as no one else’s business to be judged and arbitrated within the family by the head of the household or family members, once a judicial monopoly has been established, its agents — the government — also become and will naturally strive to expand their role as judge and arbitrator of last resort in all family matters. To gain popular support for its role the government (besides playing one tribe, race, or social class against another) will likewise promote divisiveness within the family: between the sexes — husbands and wives — and the generations — parents and children. Once again, this will be particularly noticeable in the big cities.

Every form of government welfare — the compulsory wealth or income transfer from “haves” to “have nots” lowers the value of a person’s membership in an extended family-household system as a social system of mutual cooperation and help and assistance. Marriage loses value. For parents the value and importance of a “good” upbringing (education) of their own children is reduced. Correspondingly, for children less value will be attached and less respect paid to their own parents. Owing to the high concentration of welfare recipients, in the big cities family disintegration is already well advanced. In appealing to gender and generation (age) as a source of political support and promoting and enacting sex (gender) and family legislation, invariably the authority of heads of families and households and the “natural” intergenerational hierarchy within families is weakened and the value of a multi-generational family as the basic unit of human society diminished.

Indeed, as should be clear, as soon as the government’s law and legislation supersedes family law and legislation (including interfamily arrangements in conjunction with marriages, joint-family offspring, inheritance, etc.), the value and importance of the institution of a family can only be systematically eroded. For what is a family if it cannot even find and provide for its own internal law and order! At the same time, as should be clear as well but has not been sufficiently noted, from the point of view of the government’s rulers, their ability to interfere in internal family matters must be regarded as the ultimate prize and the pinnacle of their own power…

Just as the removal of the welfare state and other government interferences in private life must be removed in order to restore Liberty and order, especially in the cities, and require that people within communities help one another out voluntarily and not through government-imposed coercion or compulsion, politicians and bureaucrats must be forced to not just cut budgets but to eliminate whole programs that should be taken care of in the private (voluntary) sector. “Tough love” is necessary: No Bailouts!

Related: Carl Watner’s article, The Tragedy of Political Government

…The main tragedy of political government is that few people realize it is an immoral and impractical institution. Nor do they realize “that the power of any government is dependent on the cooperation of the people it governs, and that government power varies inversely with the noncooperation of the people.” They have been conditioned to accept government as a natural part of their environment. After being raised in a culture in which “politics” is the norm, and after attending years of public school and being taught that political government is a necessary component of society, most people place government in the same category as the weather – something they complain about, but can’t change. As people accept the structural trap called politics, they fail to realize that their actions support and undergird the State. Their demand for government services – from Social Security benefits to police protection – is what fuels the State.

Most people are capable of high values and responsible behavior, but once they enter the seductive garden of politics, they no longer notice that its wonders cannot be reconciled with individual responsibility and their own personal moral values of honesty and hard work. It is not usually apparent that what they are doing or supporting is vicious and would not pass the test of ordinary decency. So long as the criminality is veiled by the political process, most people accept it because they do not see that it conflicts with their basic values. The main tragedy of political government is not only that the voters are the ones pointing the gun, but, most importantly, that the indecency of this act is concealed from them by the political process. It is the concealment that is the tragedy. The concealment is not the result of some conspiracy by some distant elite: it is inherent in the political process…

Here is the video of Hans-Hermann Hoppe explaining the advantages of smaller states and the dangers of centralization:

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