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Three Malignant Tumors on the Body Politic

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As everyone knows, no matter how healthy a person might be, cancerous tumors, if permitted to remain in the body, will ultimately bring about the person’s demise. Depending on the size and aggressiveness of the cancer, the end might occur sooner or it might come later, but it will inevitably come.

The same holds true for the body politic. Once malignant tumors attach themselves to the body politic, unless they are removed it’s just a matter of time before society is brought down.

That’s the situation facing the American body politic. It is afflicted by three cancerous tumors, all of which are combining to destroy our country—not from the terrorists, communists, drug dealers, illegal aliens, Muslims, ISIS, al-Qaeda, Iran, Russia, or China but instead from within the body politic itself.

Here are the three malignant tumors that are threatening the health and survival of our nation:

1. The regulated society, including economic regulations (e.g., minimum-wage laws) and the war on drugs. This particular tumor consists of the countless rules and regulations that control and manipulate people’s peaceful behavior, choices, and decisions. This particular tumor has destroyed and impoverished lots of people within society and continues to do so. But by and large, people figure out ways to survive and avoid the impact of the rules and regulations. This tumor, being slow growing, will ultimately kill the body politic but it will take longer to do that given the ability of people to cope with its debilitating effects.

2. The welfare state, including all the socialist programs, such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, grants, subsidies, welfare, foreign aid, and bailouts, as well as the means that are used to fund them, particularly the income tax and the IRS, federal borrowing, and the inflationary practices of the Federal Reserve. This tumor is definitely a killer. It starts out slow but once it reaches a critical mass its aggressiveness accelerates and can take down a society very quickly.

As everyone knows, federal spending and debt are out of control. The federals continue spending far more than they are taking in with taxes. The difference is borrowed, which continually adds to the mountain of debt the federal government owes. Ultimately, the taxpayers are on the hook for repaying all that debt. In the early stages of the tumor, taxpayers are able to handle the taxes and debt necessary to fund all the welfare. But as the spending and debt grow ever-larger, the burden ultimately gets too large for the taxpayers to handle. The Fed begins to debasethe currency to finance the debt. The society ultimately caves in on itself.

This tumor is a killer. It sucks the lifeblood out of society. As long as the tumor is permitted to remain attached to the body politic, it’s just a question of how much time the society has left.

3. The warfare state, including the enormous standing army, the vast empire of foreign and domestic military bases, the military-industrial complex, the Pentagon, the NSA, and the CIA. This tumor is the worst. It is the most aggressive and the most voracious. It sucks the lifeblood out of the entire body politic in ever-increasing amounts. No society can last with this tumor attached to it.

One of the fascinating aspects to this cancer is that it generates forces that convince the body politic that the tumor is necessary to preserve the body politic. Thus, even though the tumor is destroying the body politic, people feel that they have to keep it in order to save the body politic from the external dangers that the tumor itself produces.

That’s what empire and foreign interventionism are all about. They generate the anger and hatred for Americans, which inevitably translates into anti-American terrorism. Then, that threat of terrorism is used to justify an ever-enlarging warfare state, which inevitably entails ever-increasing taxes, debt, and inflation.

Worst of all is the corrosive effect that this tumor has on all the healthy parts of the body politic. Warfare state officials, for example, convince people that such dark and evil practices as torture, assassination, coups, partnerships with brutal regimes and criminal organizations, surveillance schemes, and the militarization of society are all necessary and beneficial, when in fact they sap people of moral principles that ordinarily serve as an counter-force to the patient’s illness.

Oftentimes, when a doctor informs a patient that he has cancer, the patient gets angry and goes into denial. That pretty much describes the American people when we libertarians give them our diagnosis as to what ails the American body politic. People become angry and refuse to believe it, oftentimes even arguing that these three malignant tumors aren’t tumors at all but instead healthy and life-nurturing attachments to the body politic.

As every cancer patient ultimately discovers, however, denial of reality does not change reality. The patient is confronted with imminent death. That’s also what happens to societies.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.