In Charles Mann’s 1491, about the (surprisingly big and diverse) cultures that existed in the Americas before the arrival of smallpox, he offers this:
“The celebrated anthropologist Clifford Geertz has half-jokingly suggested that all states can be parceled into four types: pluralist, in which the state is seen by its people as having moral legitimacy; populist, in which government is viewed as an expression of the people’s will; “great beast,” in which the rulers’ power depends on using force to keep the populace cowed; and “great fraud,” in which the elite uses smoke and mirrors to convince the people of its inherent authority. Every state is a mix of all these elements…”
Which of course leads to speculation about where today’s US is on such a spectrum. Obviously, this is an eye-of-the-beholder kind of debate, but from the libertarian/gold-bug perspective it’s been clear for some time that we’re lurching from pluralist/populist to a toxic combination of “great fraud” and “great beast,” and that the process probably won’t end well.
The table below lists recent developments that seem to fit into each of the latter categories:
These just scratch the surface; there are plenty of other compelling examples, with more apparently in the pipeline. Together they paint a picture of a system that’s trying hard to confuse its citizens while building an apparatus to coerce them into obedience when its lies are exposed. For more, here’s a recent Zero Hedge article on the rights we’ve already lost.
What does this mean? Again, from a perspective that values transparency and individual liberty over near-term efficiency, it means we’re not the same country that we once were. Americans are being secretly taxed via inflation, lied to about the economy, spied upon by no-longer-constitutionally-constrained authorities, and arrested/harassed/murdered without due process. “Great Fraudulent Beast” indeed.