Will Facebook Bring Down the Government?
Gary North – April 26, 2014
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Passive resistance will bring down any institution. This was the insight of Saul Alinsky a generation ago, and it was the insight of Mohandas Gandhi in the 1920′s and 1930′s. When people withdraw their support from an institution, because they believe that the institution is no longer trustworthy, that institution’s days are numbered.
People will cooperate for a lot of reasons. They don’t want trouble. They don’t want to be singled out for prosecution by some federal agency. They don’t know the limits of the law. They just want to go about their daily affairs, and they are willing to remain in habitual patterns of behavior in order to avoid trouble. But decision-makers in the federal government should not expect this cooperation to continue when the going gets tough. When external events are disrupting the lives of large numbers of people, their habits will change. If they see an advantage in breaking the rules, they are going to start breaking the rules. They will not be restrained by a sense of conscience, precisely because they no longer believe that the federal government is operating on the basis of morality.
This sharp decline in trust has not been triggered by a particular event. In other words, the federal government cannot reverse this decline by changing its position on any particular piece of objectionable legislation or enforcement. The decline appears to be the result of nothing in particular. The government now has to hope that this decline in trust will be reversed by nothing in particular. If it cannot be reversed, then the government’s ability to use coercion to gain specific public responses is going to decline. Too many people will not cooperate.
We do not see any major change in policy in Congress. We do not see any particular branch of government encountering anything resembling organized resistance. But trust is rapidly disappearing. Public critics of the government do not appear to be the source of this decline, because there is no single issue that has triggered this decline. It is not clear what cause-and-effect is.
This is good news for the critics of the federal government, and it is bad news for Congress.
These poll results indicate that people are in a default mode of distrust, yet they are also in default mode of obedience. This discrepancy cannot continue indefinitely. Either obedience is going to be withdrawn, or else some degree of trust is going to be restored.
Erosion of obedience will follow the erosion of trust. This will make things even tougher on bureaucrats. They will not gain the implicit subsidy involved in all voluntary compliance.
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And when the taxpayers “revolt” that’s when it will hit the fan.
When those “pulling the wagon” realize there are too many “free riding in the wagon”, the scam stops.
When gold and silver becomes money again, then that’s the end of the current political class.
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