Guest Post: A Politician's Promise

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by James E. Miller of the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada,

The sure sign of a halfwit is someone who believes a politician’s promise. They can be observed at candidate rallies with their faces beaming and their hands grasping tightly to a cardboard sign. In bars and restaurants they speak endlessly on how their preferred dictator is smarter, kinder, and cuter than the rest. In doing so, they make up for a lack of drunkenness with exuberance over the prospect of being ruled over. This mix turns the political enthusiast into a package more bothersome than either the chastising puritan or the destitute drunk.

This heap of idiocy finds its source in the promises made by public officeholders. Instead of relying on intelligence and reason to make their case, all an aspiring politico has to do is declare before a mob what he can give it in exchange for their votes. Every election hinges upon the degree that he can manipulate the public into believing his sincerity. Electoral contests are won and lost by the biggest coalition of fools who chant slogans devoid of actual meaning and purpose.

With the recent reelection of Barack Obama, there is speculation abound on how far the soon-to-be anointed king will deliver on his promised agenda. His leftist base of support is expecting an aggressive launch of statist initiatives aimed at righting some undefined injustice. Many of Obama’s detractors seriously believe he will use the Oval Office to institute a kind of socialist hell. Both are wrong. Obama’s second term will be a continuation of the centralization and consolidation of the state that has been occurring since the ratification of the Constitution. The path has already been laid out by the ruling cadre of politicians, high level bureaucrats, military generals, CEOs of banks, and the heads of politically-favored corporations. Obama’s promise of a robust American economy will not come to fruition because that was never the goal. Like all presidencies before it, the Obama presidency is there to ensure the “right” people keep having their pocket’s filled.

Meanwhile, an increasing number of young adults are becoming disillusioned with their own future and income earning potential. Many have witnessed the success of their parents and are now questioning why they aren’t experiencing the same level of achievement. In other words, they make perfect targets for political sloganeering. Through pledges for good jobs, these unemployed will easily be whipped into a frenzy of support for whichever candidate promises them a decent, salaried job. Their role as dupes has already been enshrined by the political class.

The record of unkempt campaign promises may be staggering but it has so far failed to deter a significant portion of people from participating in the electoral process. Time and time again, voters are promised an end to war, poverty, sickness, unemployment, addiction, obesity, starvation, homelessness, mental illness, crime, and violence. And with every election, each problem is exacerbated through state policies. Left to its own devices, a free, market economy has a tendency to improve living standards for all. That’s precisely why economic freedom is never granted by the state. It would make every politician, government worker, and state contractor’s perceived worth vanish overnight.

There are two types of promises that originate from a politician’s breath. The first is a starry-eyed pledge that is practically unworkable. The second is an assurance that would constitute a threat if given by a private individual. When announced, these promises are sold as a cure-all for all of society’s ills. They hardly ever come into fruition but are referred back to only if they aid in another reelection campaign.

The science of politicking is quite simple: appeal to the lowest common denominator of human life. This, most often, is the dim yearning of folks who aspire to do no more than feed themselves day by day. As long as this primitive instinct can be appeased by promise, a career in the nation’s capital is virtually guaranteed. Finding an honest politician is like searching for a virgin in a whorehouse. If you happen to stumble across one, they are always eager to give away what little integrity they have left in return for power.

The goal of the ruling class is a full blown return to feudalism. This social decaying is emboldened by the circus known as democracy where the mob votes away its own humanity for a naïve feeling of comfort. The masses have been fooled by years of unrelenting propaganda that government is, as Leo Tolstoy called it, “the representation of the citizens in the collective capacity” rather than its true designation of “one set of men banded together to oppress another set of men.” They are assured by campaigners for public office of a life that requires minimal effort, little intellectual stimulation, and no prudence whatsoever. A pol who speaks of freedom and responsibility is quickly gutted and cast aside. The mass-mind prefers to grovel at the feet of those who promise them a first class ticket to the land of plenty. In return, they receive a pittance while the more industrious of political brownnosers retain enriching privileges.

That is the true purpose of a political promise. It is a tool to maintain dominance over the herd. As long as the masses are lead to believe that success is only enabled by the state, they will cast a ballot for anyone that will grow state power to they believe is their benefit. Individual achievement in the context of laboring and serving others is belittled as being a waste of time in comparison to the sacrifice of the public sector. Politicians will pay lip service to individualism but only to point out that success is impossible without central government dictation. That way, campaign promises hold more weight and legitimacy in the eyes of voters eager to stick it to their fellow man. They are means to keep the state machine running smoothly as humanity slowly digests itself through continued warfare and destroying any incentive to save and invest for the future.

Mark Twain once wrote,

To make a pledge of any kind is to declare war against nature; for a pledge is a chain that is always clanking and reminding the wearer of it that he is not a free man.

Under normal circumstances, breaking a promise is regarded as unbecoming for any man. That is why pledges are hardly made except in instances in which they can be followed through with quickly and earnestly. Only the truly dishonest will often make promises since their frequent use has made them into a cheap currency used to solicit favors. The political class is the greatest practitioner of this tradition. It’s become a running joke in Western culture how conniving politicians can be. The fact that so many make light of the pathetic reputation shows a disdain for honest character.  Even worse is that such a criminal gang is still respected by the greater public. This terrible truth ends up reflecting worse upon the latter than the former.

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Cognitive Dissonance's picture

When we reject our own inner personal sovereignty we feel compelled to fill the empty void with any (extremely poor) external substitute.

This is the leverage that is constantly, and successfully, used against us.

HelluvaEngineer's picture

OT - this just hit.  Going after ban plus required registration of grandfathered weapons:

who-is-john-galt's picture

Someone explain to me why it is too difficult for someone to get an ID to vote, but completely acceptable to Feinstein that you register your gun.


"... shall not be infringed..."

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Anyone citing the Constitution or Bill of Rights is clearly a threat to national security.

<Get ye to Gitmo, Galt.>

Cole Younger's picture

The constitution and bill of rights are void..when are people going to wake up to this fact, Necessity has no law and that is what the Necessary and Proper clause is. Natural rights and natural law were enumerated, meaning they don't exist unless government chooses to allow them to exiist. They can enforce them or take them away..once you understand this, the fallacy that is called the Constitution has no meaning...

pods's picture

That which is infringed upon still exists.  

And I think you have it backwards.  The things enumerated in the con were the powers that the people delegated to the government.  It ain't the other way around.

Now I will agree that today it seems to be the other way around. And this was the big beef with the BOR, even at the time of adoption.  That because we were specifically stating rights we had as a people, that any rights not stated could be interpreted to not exist.  Whether the 14th amendment actually turned things around on the people and made them citizens is a whole nother argument.


Cognitive Dissonance's picture

As long as 'they' cite the Constitution and Bill of Rights as the reason for their outrageous behavior I will continue to cite it as well. When they finally admit that those documents are null and void we shall see what new excuse they use for their escalating totalitarianism. 

<Someone has to call out the naked emperor so it might as well be me.>

derek_vineyard's picture

fiscal cliff?  now we get several months of bickering and pouting before a retro-active bill is enacted.  drama queens!!!

all this press and attention and what is different january 1, 2013?????..........NOTHING

Dollar Bill Hiccup's picture

The hysterical old witch has finally gone full retard.

Never go full retard,

fuu's picture

"A Justice Department study found the Assault Weapons Ban was responsible for a 6.7 percent decline in total gun murders. However, since the 2004 expiration of the bill, assault weapons have been used in at least 459 incidents, resulting in 385 deaths and 455 injuries."

In 2011 cops shot and killed 349 people...

pods's picture

Don't argue on their terms.

My rights are not subject to their wants and desires.



overmedicatedundersexed's picture

the beefing up of internal security via tsa, hsa, buying millions of rounds of ammo, now the plan to remove weapons from private ownership..nsa, cia and fbi dsa were not enough?? drones across our skies, someone on high is very very worried.

fuu's picture

I'm just doing math.

pods's picture

I understand you are fuu, maybe my message should be to others.

As soon as you start to talk about effectiveness of any policy that is an infringement of your rights, you have lost.

I just hate it when people look at a policy proposal in terms of it's effectiveness when it deals with violating my rights.

I don't care how well it will work, the document that you (the government) operates under specifically states to stay the fuck away from these areas.

I cannot understand how much clearer we can be?


knowless's picture

wtf does: "Semiautomatic rifles and handguns with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds" mean.. so only revolvers are ok now? or are they talking about some kind of gatling gun type thing?... or do they mean anything that could possibly accept a magazine over ten rounds..



this shit is insane.



pods's picture

I can assume that old Diane can read?

"shall not be infringed"

Traitorous bastards, all of them.



nmewn's picture

"Going after ban plus required registration of grandfathered weapons..."

This just in...boating accidents soar!

Segestan's picture

Given the reality of our world.... what does your view mean?

Debtless's picture


That is all.

Shizzmoney's picture

Meanwhile, an increasing number of young adults are becoming disillusioned with their own future and income earning potential. Many have witnessed the success of their parents and are now questioning why they aren’t experiencing the same level of achievement. In other words, they make perfect targets for political sloganeering. Through pledges for good jobs, these unemployed will easily be whipped into a frenzy of support for whichever candidate promises them a decent, salaried job. Their role as dupes has already been enshrined by the political class.

I think you give the corporate agenda too much credit.

Maybe for those young who decended from the upper-to-rich class believes this, but the working and lower classes, sure do not.....especially when it comes to economic opportunity.  We all know that politics is bullshit when it comes to this, and that in reality, any young person with any sense of reality, who ever been through struggle, and who has actually paid attention to the promises the Great Liar Barack Obama has failed upon: we know it is all bullshit. 

That's why Occupy Wall Street happened during the tenure of a supposed "socialist" president (well, he's socialist if you are an investment bank or in a union).

The problem with MY generation? Our obession with social issues over critical issues that effect the countries' health.  We'll fight for Gay Rights, but not reform or ending the Federal Reserve.  We are passionate about Marijuana legalization; but most of us don't even know what Glass-Steagall is.

Although that tide is changing, but not nearly enough to wake the majority up to fixing this shit.  

Bascially, the only way I see the older working class taking on TPTB is if the Market crashes and epople lose everything.  Which is why the banks and the Fed need to prop this up as long as they can until we back into somethign that makes the country money, like the Internet.


Dollar Bill Hiccup's picture

But the President speaks so nicely.

Baaahhhhh, Baaahhhhhh!

moneybots's picture

The half wit is the one who gives congress a 13% approval rating, then re-elects the very same people back to congress.

Azannoth's picture

hey but it*'s a demo-cracy, no?

northerngirl's picture

LOL!  Good post!  Sad, but true.

TheObsoleteMan's picture

I don't know how many times I have said it, but to be a politician you have to be a sociopathic liar. I am forever telling people not to count on Social{ist} Security being around in the future. They say:"I have paid into the system all of my working life, and damn it, I want my money!" I tell them they won't get their money. It's already gone, spent on something else, whether it was a war, banker bailout, or just plain old theft. I tell them:"Your mistake is that you trusted a politician with your money, YOU OUGHT TO KNOW BETTER THAN TO TRUST A POLITICIAN WITH YOUR MONEY!" Then their face turns red and they try to speak, but nothing comes out, like they are choking on something. Politicians have being lying for as long as I can remember. Honest politicians are either sent to prison for some put-up scandal {like James Traficant was}, or their district is redrawn, effectively making re-election not possible {like Dr.Paul}. Washington HATES honesty.

moneybots's picture

"A pol who speaks of freedom and responsibility is quickly gutted and cast aside"


That is because, in the first place, he is lying when he says that.

Diogenes's picture

King: Isn't there an election coming up? Where is that list of promises I made in the last campaign?

Lackey: Here it is, sire.

King: Did I keep any of them?

Lackey: No, sire.

King: Good, then I can use them all again.


From a Wizard of Id cartoon, 30 years ago.

TheGardener's picture

Good article like most of what you posted here, James.

But aren't you giving feudalism a bad name ?

Isn't it REVERSE FEUDALISM being ruled over by
the lowliest of serfs ?

SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

Mr. Miller, how silly of you to think lying, today, is the exclusive domain of the political class.  Today, EVERYONE LIES ANYTIME THEY THINK IT WILL BE A NET BENEFIT TO THEM.  Only a fool thinks otherwise.   I even had person tell me that lying, other than against one's neighbor, is not addressed in the 10 Commandments.  So lying to one's neighbor?  Well, just fine. I submit that lying, is the great scourge of our current age.

Gimleteye's picture

and thus it was ever so, gear up

bloostar's picture

Snakeoil salesmen. Same folk, different era.

koncaswatch's picture

One strategy used to be to "buy the f**king dip". Now it's buy the f**king lie. The question is; which lie to buy?

Radical Marijuana's picture

Yet another superficially correct article by James E. Miller.

The deeper truths are that our entire civilization was built on thousands of years of militarism. The oldest book on military strategy in the Art of War pointed out that success in war depended upon deceits, and therefore, spies were the most important soldiers. For thousands of years, the biggest bullies perfected their bullshit social stories. The reality has always been organized lies operating organized robberies. Modern fake "democracies" are more than 99% bullshit, because they are based upon well-established ways of deceptions, with the deepest deceptions being that they are self-deceived, and do not want to be undeceived.

The origin of the present system was violence, backed up by lies. As civilization evolved, to make information become more important than power, the social systems more and more became lies, backed up by violence. Politicians are the puppets who are selected to be the best professional liars and immaculate hypocrites that money can buy. Their job is to be incompetent with respect to everything else than being liars and hypocrites.

The primary reality is the application of the methods and principles of organized crime. Politicians that refused to be bribed or intimidated were assassinated. That went on for generation, after generation, after generation ... It still goes on today, and that is the primary way to understand our political realities. However, the paradoxical nature of those developments is that the biggest bullies become popular, by forcing everyone else to agree with them, or else be eliminated. Thus, there is an automatic runaway triumph of frauds, backed by force. Our politicians and mass media exist as a result of that prolonged process. By and large, most of the opposition is controlled, and therefore, continues to promote basically the same bullshit social stories as the biggest bullies do, except for pointing out that the politicians are not living up to their own statements. Since what the politicians are supposed to be doing is absolutely impossible, and can never exist in the real world, the work of the controlled opposition, promoting the same old impossible ideals, based on the same old false fundamental dichotomies, always backfires, and actually makes the opposite happen in the real world. I call that kind of fake and controlled opposition, who promote the same bullshit as the biggest bullies, "reactionary revolutionaries." This article by Miller is another good example of the work of reactionary revolutionaries, who continue to believe in false fundamental dichotomies, and impossible ideals, which then results in them providing good analysis, followed by bullshit solutions.

IF young people finally move past that kind of cul-de-sac, that Miller premises all of the articles I have read by him reposted on Zero Hedge so far, THEN they are going to have to go through a much more profound paradigm shift with respect to political science than anything being offered to them anywhere in the mass media, or in the vast majority of the so-called alternative media.

Politics should begin with the murder system, or the death controls, since those are the central social facts. Those then were the reasons why we have our current money system, and its debt controls. IF we were going have any kind of greater use of information and higher consciousness, through more public participation in political decisions, then the primary requirement to make that work would be to democratize the death controls. The public would have to accept the basic facts that they are necessarily members of an organized crime gang, and the primary things which need to be decided and done is who to kill and how to kill them.

As long as the biggest bullies are still able to brainwash the vast majority of people to believe in impossible ideals, based on false fundamental dichotomies, then the puppet politicians will continue to be able to preach to masses of muppets. The puppet politicians will continue easily being the best professional liars and immaculate hypocrites, whose only job is to fool enough of the people enough of the time. Of course the politicians will ALWAYS NECESSARILY betray the people, whenever the politicians do not talk about the real murder system, backing up the real money system.

Basically what has happened is the human ecology has bifurcated into a relatively small minority that acted like Vicious Wolves, and a much larger majority that acted like Zombie Sheeple. The Wolves have taught the Sheeple to bleat their morality. The majority of people are constantly told that everyone needs to be better Sheeple. The reality is that the actual systems are run by the Wolves, and the only good solutions are for everyone to become better Wolves.

The growing gap is between progress in all other physical and biological sciences, while human sciences are held in retrogressive loops, due to them being primarily based on the biggest bullies' bullshit social stories, at least, as far as they are allowed to be presented in public. The growing gap is between understanding energy laws and systems theory in everything else, EXCEPT with respect to human things, BECAUSE, when we do that, the obvious conclusions are what the historians of militarism have been saying for millennia!

Our modern fake "democracies" are the superficial ways that the biggest bullies' bullshit controls civilization through legalized lies, backed by legalized violence, which includes that all of the people who are the best at being dishonest, and backing that up with violence, are the most wealthy and powerful people. There really are layers of organized crime gangs, arranged like the levels of a pyramid, or the shells of an onion, or more accuratley, as nested toroidal vortices.

The best organized gangs of criminals, the biggest gangsters, are the banksters. They have already taken control over the real governments, through Centuries of application of the principles and methods of organized crime, so that politicians were systematically bribed and intimidated, or assassinated when that was necessary and possible. The public went through the same wringer, in more diffuse ways. Therefore, the muppet masses and the puppet politicians are the historical product of the triumphs of frauds, backed by force, going on and on and on, generation, after generation, after generation ... with all those people adapting to live their lives inside of those enormous established systems of legalized lies, backed by legalized violence, which we call "civilization."

A deeper problem is that the truth about that, namely that human reality is ALWAYS organized lies, operating organized robbery, and can never be anything else, and therefore, human societies MUST be operated as organized crime gangs, where the murder system death controls are the central features and social facts, are precisely those TRUTHS which are most banished from public debate, and most distorted by the preaching of impossible ideals, based on false fundamental dichotomies, advanced by both the government, and its controlled opposition. An even deeper problem is the growing gap between human beings becoming trillions of times more powerful, due to progress in all other sciences and technologies, EXCEPT those regarding human beings, where the triumphant biggest bullies' bullshit social stories are driven to be the most triumphant lies, and promoted as the impossible ideals, as somehow providing the solutions to the problems driven by the FACTS of FRAUD, backed by FORCE.

Paradoxically, we DID have plenty of progress in human sciences, since warfare is the oldest and best developed of social sciences. However, since success in warfare was based upon deceits, the astonishingly paradoxical nature of the "progress" in social sciences has primarily manifested as getting better and better at controlling people with deceits. THAT IS WHY we have such "excellent" fake democracies, as the interaction between puppet politicians, fooling enough of the masses of muppets, while maintaining a growing and increasingly out of control system of legalized lies, backed by legalized violence, which is basically INSANE, since it is based on triumphant frauds, backed by force, driving itself, due to its own success, into final failures, which will be the psychotic breakdowns of civilization being excessively controlled too much, for too long, by HUGE LIES.

The deepest problem is that those who promote various solutions almost never embrace the paradoxical nature of the militarism, and therefore, address the central issues of the murder system's death controls. Paradoxically, an "honest" politician would have to be honest about their death controls. However, never before in the history of militarism has that been a viable strategy. However, now that we have, very recently, within the life time of those alive today, developed weapons of mass destruction that are trillions of times more powerful, we should go through quantum leaps in our political science, to develop a politics that can address the necessary death control issues in a more direct way, and thereby enable us to negotiate better death control systems.

None of the other economic problems could ever be resolved better without that quantum leap to understand evolutionary ecology better. Blaming the lying politicians, or the public that is tricked by them, is way too superficial, although it is partially correct. The greater TRUTH is profoundly paradoxical, since it requires understanding how and why warfare was the oldest and best developed social science, and therefore, understanding the psychology of the various actors within that system, according to those overall selection pressures, in the longer term greater evolutionary ecology context.