The definition of a protection racket is, “Pay up, or we’ll break your knee caps.” Sound familiar? It’s the modus operandi of crime organizations the world over. They threaten businessmen with violence in order to extract an income from them.
They call it, “protection money”, but is that because if a protected businessman finds himself intimidated by a rival group of armed thugs, he’ll be protected?
The first gang of thugs doesn’t have a large heart, nor does it choose to help people in need on the weekends out of charity.
The reason he’ll be protected from rival gangs is simple: The businessman is regarded as property; chattel that produces an income; an asset with a positive cash flow. The racketeers protect him for the same reason a person protects their property.
Protection rackets are basically a form of slavery
The relationship between an organized crime family and the businessmen under their ‘protection’ is not voluntary. It is not mutually consensual. The businessman did not, as a potential customer might, seek out the services of a security company.
They did not enter into a voluntary contract, and the businessman cannot simply terminate the service agreement.
Ultimately, the reason a businessman pays up is because he needs protection from the protector. He pays up because he doesn’t want his business trashed, or his kneecaps broken with a baseball bat.
No sane person would conclude, based on even the most cursory observation of this relationship, that the group of armed thugs extracting protection money are heroes, or saviours – that they keep a semblance of order, and push back the tide of chaos that would otherwise ensue if people weren’t systematically robbed at gunpoint.
And yet as we shall see, this is exactly what happens the moment this same story is presented in a new wrapping.
So what does a protection racket have to do with taxation?
Everything. Taxation falls exactly under the definition of a protection racket.
While it would seem as though the government protects you from all manner of threats, what it really comes down to is this: If you don’t pay your taxes, you will be subjected to the Pyramid of Violence.
The Pyramid of ViolenceTM
This process is activated when you fail to pay tribute to your overlords.
Step 1 – A stern letter is sent to your address, informing you of your failure to fund the various illegal wars of aggression in the Middle East and North Africa, redistribution of wealth schemes, fluoridation of the water supply, and the local bureaucrats’ latest pork barrel project to build some unjustifiably expensive monument to profligacy.
Step 2 – Withdrawal symptoms of OPM (pronounced opium, defined as Other People’s Money) begin to aggravate, and the next series of letters contain open threats.
Step 3 – A court date is set, and your slave-masters demand you attend your show trial. The court will inevitably determine that your protection money payment was late, and that you are now a criminal of the highest order in the eyes of the State – a tax evader.
Step 4 – If you do not show up, you will be tried in absentia and found guilty. If you do, you are found guilty anyway. You are then scheduled a visit by a mob accountant (tax collector) and a couple of enforcers (probably the local police).
Step 5 – The tax collector will steal (confiscate) a portion of your property to pay for the protection racket (taxes, plus fines, interest, and court charges).
Step 6 – Should you foolishly resist, brandishing the patently absurd claim that you have a right to the product of your own labor, you will be subdued and kidnapped (sent to jail).
Step 7 – Should you decide to use lethal force in the protection of your hard-earned money, you will be put down, like a dog who has outlived its purpose (which was to provide an income stream to the mob – I’m sorry the government).
Now the real beauty (or horror) of this system is that the Pyramid of Violence rarely needs to be activated. The best system of slavery is one in which the slaves aren’t aware of their own chains.
After all, the stupid criminals go into illegal crime, the smart ones steal, cheat, and murder the legal way – the government way. It brings to mind that old quote, “We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.”
How does government accomplish this?
Deception. The best trick in the book for keeping someone obedient to authority is to convince them that it’s for their own good. Thus is born…
The Necessity of Evil
I’m a firm believer that nothing evil can be necessary, and nothing necessary is evil.
But not most people.
Most people will defend, with great vigor and passion, the necessity of the protection racket, of their chains. They’ll suspend critical thinking, abandon all reason and empirical evidence, and spin bizarre tales of the chaos that would ensue if people were set free, as if they were suddenly seasoned historians of political developments over the last few millennia.
That reminds me of that other quote – except the devil didn’t fool you into believing he didn’t exist – he fooled you into believing he was necessary.
The government has actually fooled people into believing that without an institutionalized, systematic use of violence, society would collapse overnight into a fiery inferno, or an apocalyptic wasteland.
Without the government’s version of a protection racket there would be no roads, no defense from invading armies, no law, no justice, no comprehensive system of healthcare, no help for the poor or the disabled, and bandits would rape and pillage their way through city after city, until our civilization crumbled under its own weight.
And I’m sure that if you ask some North Koreans, they’ll tell you that without their Dear Leader, they’d have nothing to eat, and food would never be grown.
The role of indoctrination
People, indoctrinated from a young age into believing that systematic evil is necessary, exist in a painful state of cognitive dissonance. On the one hand, their inner moral compass tells them murder, theft, and abuse are wrong. On the other hand, they’ve been taught that these things are all necessary for the continuation of the human race.
When you turn on the news, the likelihood is that about half of the segments will be dedicated to telling you stories of your slave-masters, who have endless meetings and speeches (after all, they do not actually work or produce anything of value, they only make decisions on how to spend other people’s money).
The other half will be split between an expose of the day’s horrors and murders – just to make sure that people continue believing in the inherent evil of other people, and hence clamor for the State’s protection. Various disasters, mishaps, and accidents will ensure you have an irrational fear of leaving your comfort zone, or even your house. And my favorite: the gimmicks that are treated as news, such as the latest celebrity scandal.
So when your entire source of information is a few government and corporate news channels, all of which are interested in preserving the status quo of the protection racket, it’s not surprising that people search for problems rather than solutions, and take the limits of their masters’ field of vision for that of the world. Their regularly scheduled programming essentially makes them putty in the fear-mongering ways of government.
The Illusion of Choice
The political system was created, and exists, to give people the illusion that they have some kind of a say when it comes to who their rulers are.
The entire purpose of the political process is to keep people within the system. If they want change, fine, go ahead and try to change things, as long as you play by our game, with our rules.
If they want to fight, let them fight each other, but never their masters.
They can vote for the Red team, or the Blue team. They can even try to vote in an ‘alternative’ party candidate, but what they cannot do is escape the system itself.
You cannot choose to throw off your chains – only replace them with another model. Hey, you can even customize their color, just don’t question the necessity of their existence.
Put in a more crude way, you can’t choose not to be prison raped, but you can choose who your rapist is.
Thinking you have a say in how things are run is a very important element of pacifying the population, which makes for a far more effective protection racket. As the clichéd crime boss would say: “Blood is bad for business.”
Systems of government that manufacture consent and enslave the minds, rather than the bodies of their subjects, are simply more effective. Thus, in the evolutionary competition among protection rackets over the centuries, it is democratic forms of governments that have refined the deception of their protection rackets to be the least noticeable.
Government isn’t just a protection racket, it’s the ultimate protection racket. It’s a den of thieves and liars that have successfully manipulated their own slaves into defending the concept of slavery. From where I stand, the situation is as surreal as if American slaves from plantations were all collectively defending their right to be enslaved, and the wisdom and necessity of slavery.
People cannot free themselves from the chains that bind them, so long as they are unable or unwilling to see them.