The True Source of Political Power

You've probably heard the old quote by Chinese Communist Chairman Mao, "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun." It is an idea that is almost universally held as true. That the state is able to maintain power because of what some call their "monopoly on the initiation of force", they are the only ones allowed to beat and jail people without being beaten and jailed for doing so. The fact that the state can arrest or even kill you is taught to be the reason why we so willingly submit to them. This idea is so prevalent that we rarely even question why one person who is dressed up in a certain uniform is allowed to do things to other people that if anyone else attempted they'd be arrested, committed, jailed, or possibly even killed. You pay your taxes, drive the speed limit, refrain from certain substances, and tolerate intrusive searches and accusals all because these things are either mandated or restricted by an edict from the state, and the state has armed enforcers that they employ to coerce your compliance. Sound about right?

What if I told you that this is all a very clever sleight of hand? While the use of violence may be how the state carries out much of their political agenda, it is by no means the source of their power. It is not simply might that establishes authority. The right to wield the sword of the state must first be granted by the people, or the violent attempts to garner political power will only result in a constant stream of rival gangs overthrowing each other. These kinds of incidents do happen, but they are generally not long lived, because an authority established in violence cannot maintain power and because eventually an entity finally steps up and garners the actual authority from the masses. Political power is established by a mandate from the masses that choose to accept or tolerate the authority of a ruling class, however it is not simply achieved by the ruling class through the application of violence.

Who are the masses? Are they the wealthy elite? Not even close. Are they the middle class? Close, but no cigar. The masses are the hungry, homeless, sick, uneducated, unmotivated and dependent poor. The people that the rest of us are often taught to either despise and dismiss or patronize and pigeon hole, possibly because doing so hides the fact that all political power finds its source in the dependency of this group of people. Throughout history it is the downtrodden masses that rulers have toiled and schemed to placate, subjugate, and domesticate in order to maintain and ensure their own political position.

How do the masses transfer their self determination to another? Is it by voting? Worship? While these techniques may be used, they, like the application of violence, serve as a distraction from the actual means to the transfer of power. The transfer is accomplished by the meeting of felt needs and creating dependency. When the state feeds the poor as a part of that exchange it receives their dependency.

All charitable/benevolent transactions include an exchange of authority and dependency; it is an inescapable part of the nature of these transactions. Systems of social welfare inherently establish political power, and most of the time this is why they are established. Once established they can be manipulated in order to sway public opinion, or even to destabilize a population to create conflict and justify violent tactics on the part of the state, under the guise of keeping the peace. In reality the entire process is used to establish some deeper entrenchment of power.

Have you ever wondered why we tolerate the abuses of the state to the degree that we do? We regularly put up with incompetence at a level that is unacceptable, fraud to a degree that it almost unimaginable, and abuse by their agents for fabricated non-crimes that have no victim. We daily hear stories of people being beaten or even killed by agents of an oppressive state. We often even see videos of these events, but strangely the videos never include a scene of the people fighting off the state's agent on behalf of the victim. We often find ourselves with the hand of the state wrapped around our throat, or poised in a fist threatening to strike us lest we obey. Why on earth do we tolerate this extortion? The simple fact is that we know that the hand that is on our throat is connected to the same body as is hand that is feeding us.

You might retort: "I am not fed by the state, I am a very self-sufficient middle class American, working hard to be independent." I would first challenge you to inspect your self-sufficiency. The system is very pervasive, making us dependent even upon the use of its own counterfeit money for the food we eat. However, even if you are more self-sufficient than one who relies totally on the state's welfare, the state uses their care of the poor to coerce the compliance of the less dependent. This is done by creating sub-classes of people who are totally dependent upon the state. Many of these people are strategically situated in ghettos, prisons, nursing homes, and orphanages located throughout the country. These ghettos serve as a sort of standing army unaware; the middle class of the area is coerced into compliance by the prospect of theĀ under-fundingĀ of these ghettos. Where would all these people go, what would they do if they were thrown out of their homes and had nothing to eat or nobody to care for them? So in an act of self-defense, the less dependent classes vote, submit, and tolerate an incompetent, fraudulent, and violent government. Obviously the vote of the dependent class (if they are afforded suffrage) is a forgone conclusion. The government then uses a combination of threats, violence, and the manipulation of the poor to maintain their power.

KEEP READING: How Power is Maintained