Guest Post: Pimping the Empire, Conservative-Style

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

"Conservatives" and "Progressives" alike are pimping for the Empire when they support the Central State's essentially unlimited powers.

Yesterday I described how so-called "Progressives" are pimping for the Empire. The same is true of so-called "Conservatives." (I am reprinting the intro for those who missed yesterday's essay.)

(I say "so-called" because the "Progressives" are not actually progressive, and the "Conservatives" are not actually conservative. Those labels are Orwellian double-speak, designed to mask the disastrous consequences of each ideology's actual policies.)

Let's begin by stipulating that ideology, any ideology, is an intellectual and emotional shortcut that offers believers ready-made explanations, goals, narratives and enemies without any difficult, time-consuming analysis, study or skeptical inquiry. This is the ultimate appeal of ideology: accepting the ideology relieves the believer of the burdens of analysis, skeptical inquiry, uncertainty/doubt and responsibility: all the answers, goals and narratives are prepackaged and mashed together for easy consumption.

This is one of the core messages of Erich Fromm's classic exploration of ideology and authoritarianism, Escape from Freedom.

And what is the essential foundation of authoritarianism? A central state. This is not coincidental.

What few grasp is the teleology of the centralized state: by its very nature (i.e. as a consequence of its essentially unlimited powers), the central state is genetically programmed to become an authoritarian state devoted to self-preservation and the extension of its reach and power.

This is why the Founding Fathers were so intent on limiting the powers of the Central State. They understood the teleology of the centralized state: by its very nature (i.e. as a consequence of its essentially unlimited powers), the central state is genetically programmed to become an authoritarian state devoted to self-preservation and the extension of its reach and power.

You can't cede unlimited, highly concentrated powers to the central state and then expect the state not to fulfill its teleological imperative to protect and extend its powers. The state with unlimited powers will be ontologically predisposed to view any citizen that seeks to limit its expansion of power as an enemy to be suppressed, imprisoned or marginalized.

The state with unlimited powers will be ontologically predisposed to protecting its powers by cloaking all the important inner workings of the state behind a veil of secrecy, and pursuing and punishing any whistleblowers who reveal the corrupt, self-serving workings of the state.

The state with unlimited powers will be ontologically predisposed to view any other nation or alliance as a potential threat, and thus the state will pursue any and all means to disrupt or counter those potential threats.

The state with unlimited powers will be ontologically predisposed to create and distribute propaganda to mask its self-serving nature and its perpetual agenda of extending its powers, lest some threat arise that limits those powers.

Democracy and a central state with unlimited powers are teleologically incompatible.

Though they piously claim to desire a limited State, conservatives cede it essentially unlimited powers because they want that state to be powerful enough to impose their agenda on others and reward their constituencies.

Conservatives are masters at projecting a preachy devotion to a limited state, democracy, liberty and free enterprise while their support of the Central State undermines every one of these values. Conservatives are like the preacher who issues stern sermons on righteousness every Sunday while skimming big money from pimping sordid, destructive policies Monday through Saturday.

Conservatives claim to want to limit the Central State, but their slavish support of Medicare, Social Security, the Pentagon, the National Security State, the Federal Reserve (and thus interest on the national debt), farm subsidies to Big Ag, law enforcement and the War on Drugs Gulag means they support virtually 100% of the Central State's unlimited powers. Their proposed "cuts" are farcically tiny slices designed for propaganda purposes--out of $4 trillion Federal budget, conservatives preach "austerity" while leaving the Empire and their crony-capitalist cartels entirely intact.

Conservatives claim devotion to national defense while actually having no interest in actual defense. Their sole interest is supporting their favored cartels and projecting a politically useful facade of being pro-national defense. In the real world, they support the revolving door between the Pentagon and defense contractors and profitable but ineffective weapons systems. Conservatives happily shove weapons systems down the nation's throat the Pentagon doesn't even want, all the while masking their crony-capitalist agenda behind pious claims of supporting the military.

That is particularly Orwellian: ignore the military's true needs in favor of funneling profits to your crony-capitalist pals. The same Orwellian agenda powers conservative support of the banking sector (conservatives never met a banking subsidy they didn't love), Big Ag, Big Pharma, Big Everything--conservatives will support any Big Business at the expense of the taxpayers and the national commons.

The one essential tool conservatives need to force their crony-capitalism on the citizenry is an powerful Central State--and so they support the essentially unlimited powers of the Central State with gusto, even as they bleat piously about the Founding Fathers.

The Founding Fathers had two primary concerns: foreign entanglements and the dangers of an unlimited Central State. So-called Conservatives are blind to the gap between the reality of their support of a Global Empire and an all-powerful Central State and the fantasy that they even understand the Founding Fathers' concerns, much less actively pursue them.

Conservatives are against Big Government except when Big Government benefits their constituencies. Boost the Pentagon budget by 10% a year, rain or shine, to counter every possible threat to the Empire, boost the National Security State (Homeland Security, NSA, etc.) every year, boost the War on Drugs Gulag annually, leave Medicare, Social Security and interest on the national debt as sacrosanct, and guess what--you've created a self-liquidating monster State.

Behind their preachy facade, conservatives have turned democracy into an auction of political favors. As they belly up to the limitless trough of central State revenues and power, conservatives have embraced the auction as the true mechanism of governance: banking statutes are written by banking lobbyists and then signed into law.

What is the difference between a so-called Progressive who tells us Congress has to pass a crony-capitalist healthcare law to find out what's in it and a so-called Conservative who pushes a banking law penned by lobbyists? There is none: both are pimps.

Once you cede unlimited, highly concentrated power to the central state, you get an authoritarian empire that is driven to protect itself from any threat at all costs--including democracy, though the state may maintain a facade of carefully managed "democracy" as part of its propaganda machinery.

You cannot have a state with essentially unlimited power and not end up with cartel-capitalism. So-called Conservatives defend their favored cartel-fiefdoms, yet these cartels are busy bankrupting the nation and destroying the very bedrock of the liberties Conservatives claim to hold dear.

Once you choose to cede essentially unlimited powers to the Central State, all decisions after that are made in service of the state. The idea that the state can be limited to national defense is illusory.

The only legitimate duties of the state are limited: 1) protect the commons from destruction and exploitation; 2) protect the citizenry from exploitation or oppression by those with superior power or resources; 3) maintain transparency in all governance and 4) maintain a system of sound money.

The so-called Conservatives will learn what the teleology of the state means in the real world when the state comes after them. Once you cede unlimited power to the central state, any attempt to limit that power marks you as an enemy.

Supporting the Central State to protect your favored cartels and protect your political power over the state's tax revenues is simply pimping for the Empire. You can call it "conservative," but it's still pimping for the Empire.

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Rising Sun's picture

fuck ideologies


vote with your wallet - cut my taxes?  you get my vote, raise my taxes - you can fuck right off.

falak pema's picture

moonshining with the red red sunset? 

You never fuck ideologies its always the other way round! Unfortunately.

So knee jerks are fine when you drink wine or beer. But not when u r soberrrr...

Pool Shark's picture



The author uses the word "Conservatives" when he really means "Republicans." While there are still many "Republicans," few of them are still "Conservatives."

As a Conservative I share virtually none of the beliefs ascribed to "Conservatives" by this author.

Never confuse Republican with Conservative.

Event Horizon's picture

yup, the author tries to bebunk the false left right paradisgm (TRUE of course) from within it,,, poor execution when you use self ascribed labels as contextual anchors..

Just call it Statism, then go from there... the meaning of the term "Conservativism" has been corrupted 

Tapeworm's picture

@ Event Horizon

 The last presidential candidate worth a damn was Barry Goldwater.

 Although he didn't write his book, "The Conscience of a Conservative" he lived it and endorsed it. If you find a copy try it out to see just how far the Neoconservatives have inverted Barry's thesis.

 I was a kid of thirteen when I picked up on that and worked a lot of hours for his campaign. I got thrown out of shool for a resoned rebuttal to my English teacher's LBJ infomercials during class hours.

disabledvet's picture

i agree with this. you still have to GOVERN...and this is the purview of Republicans. So sure..."want my NASA? You can have my NASA! Want my Post Office? You can have my Post Office!" The best quote...or is it quotidian?...i've heard is from Felix Solomon who said "they've put a striking faith in the Federal Reserve here." This largesse isn't being's being given away....all it takes is a State Actor (call "a Governor") simply to take it. Believe me the Supreme Court will not stand in the way. So far the Center is "hanging on" but eventually the asset sales coming from District 9 will be stupendous...Soviet style if they're not careful here.

JR's picture

One wonders why a man like Karl Rove would be considered a “conservative.” The reason is this disinformation enables the Republican Establishment to work with the Democrat Establishment in Washington to share the political largesse that comes to the capitol city.

Not only has the Republican Party disserted its principles and caused many to leave the party in recent years, but the Republican Establishment is actually disserting those Americans who still identify as Republicans.

The Republican Establishment now is amnesty, empire for international oligarchs and open borders, Obamacare socialism (the Republican-controlled House funding of the Affordable Care Act and McConnell’s Senate support for the Reid cloture bill that enabled ACA passage in the Senate), AIPAC authority over U.S., surrender to out-of-control national debt,  votes for Leftist destruction of America’s Christian culture, and total agreement with the Norman Podhoretz neocon military policy and Obama's radical Left appointees to the U.S. Supreme Court...not to mention, of course, internationalist Janet Yellen to implement central banks' policies of the international financial oligarchy.

And, now, not only has the Republican Establishment generally supported the policies advanced by the Democrats, but they are actively attacking conservatives and Tea Party challengers in Republican priimary races and, in some cases, such as former Republican Senator Lugar’s campaign PAC, funding Democrat challengers opposing conservative Republicans (consider also the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's $50,000,000 donation to oppose conservative challengers to the Republican Establishment).

spooz's picture

I don't get how people still think Obamacare is socialism.  Its a crony capitalist plan that leaves millions without healthcare while locking in profits for Big Pharma, Big Insurance and Big Healthcare.  If the poor are lucky, they will be in a state where they can get Medicaid, although studies show access to Medicaid does not increase good outcomes compared to being uninsured.

CH1's picture

Never confuse Republican with Conservative.

If they pull the R lever in the booth, they share the guilt.

starfcker's picture

couldn't have said it better, poolshark. props

CH1's picture

vote with your wallet

Yes. Withdraw from the system.

GoldRulesPaperDrools's picture

But half of the people *don't pay* any (income) taxes, so they don't care about that.  Actually, when income taxes for others are raised, people who don't pay any income taxes get more free stuff, so half of the people are already voting against you.

El Vaquero's picture

Pimpin' explained:


My bitch better have my money

Through rain, sleet or snow.

My whore better have my money,

Not half, not some, but all my cash,

Cause if she don't,

I'm gonna put my foot in her ass.

Pizza man's picture

I've said it before...95% of the Dems have to go and 85% of the GOP with them.

Xibalba's picture

Ron Paul is the only Conservative politician I'm aware of.  

Martin Silenus's picture

The two faces of Janus, without the J.  Divide and conquer, bitchez!

janus's picture

or, better yet, unite and rule...

in either case, it's time these United States take out their greatest enemy -- washington d.c.

nothing but a haunt of demons and foul spirits.

'they' constitute their only remaining support.

here's the story of Jehu, king of israel's northern kingdom, who took a very dim view of ahab and jezebel and their statist policies (i copied and pasted time right now; otherwise, i'd tell it the colorful janus way)

Jehu, meaning Jehovah is he, was the tenth king of Israel (that is, the northern kingdom of Israel, which was separate from the southern kingdom of Judah - see Kings of Israel and Judah and Jews At War With Israel). He was the son of Jehoshaphat (2 Kings 9:2), and grandson of Nimshi, although, according to ancient custom, he is sometimes referred to as the son of Nimshi. Jehu begins in the record of Bible History as a soldier in King Ahab's army (Ahab's wife was the wicked Jezebel), however God commanded Elijah to anoint him king over Israel, which was later done through Elisha, who was designated by God as Elijah's successor (see Where Did Elijah Go?) at the same time (1 Kings 19:16). Jehu's rise to power was one of the bloodiest in Israel's history, although in obedience to God's command to destroy the corrupt and wicked from the land.

Jehu Of Israel

At a time when Israel and Judah were at war with Syria (as has again happened a few times since the modern state of Israel was founded in 1948), King Joram of Israel was wounded in battle, and retired to Jezreel to recover. While there, his ally King Ahaziah of Judah went to express his concern (2 Kings 8:25-29).

With both kings away, the military commanders, including Jehu, met to discuss strategy. Just as this was happening, a young prophet sent by Elisha arrived, asked to see Jehu, and while speaking with him privately, he anointed him king over Israel and ordered him to destroy the house of Ahab, in accordance with God's will (2 Kings 9:1-10). When the other officers were told of what had been done, they proclaimed Jehu king (2 Kings 9:11-14).

Jehu then went to Jezreel. When Joram came out of the city in his chariot to meet Jehu, he was shot with an arrow and killed by Jehu himself (2 Kings 9:24). When the king of Judah, Ahaziah, who also happened to be there, saw what was happening, he fled in his chariot, but he too was hit with an arrow. He later died in Megiddo, also known as Armageddon (2 Kings 9:27-29).

Jehu then entered Jezreel where he was immediately met by one of the most infamously wicked people of the Bible - Jezebel. Jehu ordered the palace eunuchs to throw her out of a window, which they unhesitatingly did, where she died in the street (2 Kings 9:30-37).

Continuing on, Jehu ordered the officials of the capital city of Samaria to kill all of the royal princes of the former king, thereby ending his dynasty. The next morning, their severed heads were delivered to Jehu in Jezreel (2 Kings 10:1-7). The slaughter continued the next day until the house of Ahab was completely destroyed, in keeping with God's condemnation of the house of Ahab and Jezebel, delivered through Elijah (2 Kings 10:10-14).

Jehu then turned his attention to the idolatry in the land. Upon entering Samaria, he lured all of the ministers of Baal to unwittingly assemble together, upon which they too were all killed, their idols were destroyed, and the temple of Baal was demolished (2 Kings 10:18-28).

Having been chosen by God as Israel's king, and having proven himself a very zealous servant of God, Jehu then ironically, and wrongfully, tolerated the worship of the golden calves (see also The Golden Calf) at Dan and Bethel that had been set up as places of worship for the northern kingdom of Israel, so that their people wouldn't travel to Jerusalem which was within the southern kingdom of Judah (2 Kings 10:28-29).

Jehu died after a reign of twenty-eight years, and was buried in Samaria (2 Kings 10:34-36). His dynasty (see Israelite Dynasties) ruled Israel, the northern kingdom, for about a century.



there are other interesting aspects to the story; but janus (with the "j") hasnt' the time to now include them...maybe some time in the future -- as the story, at least to me, seems VERY relevant.

ahhhh, the Holy's the revolutionary's bible.

in my defense: in a world of TOTAL deception, Truth must be mingled slowly and carefully...and why hold me responsible for using the enemy's tactics against it?  they've proven their method's efficacy; i'm only attempting to show that the sword cuts both ways.

strange but not a stranger/

i am an ordinary guy/

burning down the house/

...there has got to be a way,



maskone909's picture

progressive- in connotation; suggests progress, positive change, with a hint of kill whitey sprinkled on top.

progressives, in the context of political action, move to create reforms that limit liberties, bash "the archaic" constitution, and label anyone that supports the bill of rights as a conspiracy nut or a redneck. 



Sean7k's picture

The only legitimate duties of the state are limited: 1) protect the commons from destruction and exploitation; 2) protect the citizenry from exploitation or oppression by those with superior power or resources; 3) maintain transparency in all governance and 4) maintain a system of sound money.

Here is the problem in a nutshell: CHS FAILS to understand there are zero legitimate duties, because states are not legitimate. 

The State is incapable of protecting the commons, because it functions at the behest of those that want those commons to exploit. The State cannot protect the citizen, because it places itself ahead of the citizen and their needs. Transparency is useless, you only need it if the State is criminal and then it has to allow you options which the State never allows. Finally, money should NEVER be in the hands of the State, legal tender laws purposely create an abusive monopoly. 

Until we move past the State and systems of law as governing constructs we are destined to lives of slavery.

kridkrid's picture

Would those who voted this post down care to share why?

disabledvet's picture

I didn't vote it down but the problem is that "the State exists" and unfortunately "it exists to solve problems." Polity exists too...

El Vaquero's picture

I did't downvote, but state or no state, there are still sociopaths and control freaks out there who would just love to have control over your life, and IMO, no matter what system is in place, they're going to do everything in their power to find the loopholes.  I'm no statist, but I'm not an anarcho-capitalist either.  I agree that the state is bad, but I'm not convinced that not having one would be any better.  I just want whatever keeps those sociopaths and control freaks out of my life, and I readily admit to not knowing what would bring that about.

Sean7k's picture

The crux lies in your statement, " no matter what system is in place...". As long as there is a system, there is an apparatus for them to wreak havoc. 

Think of it this way: all herd animals must deal with predators. The most successful have local organizations that come together to defend the whole herd. Yes, they occasionally lose members (this is just life), but how much worse could it be if part of that herd made a deal with the predators to trade a certain amount of the herd, in exchange for their personal safety? 

Worse, where would the predation stop? 

El Vaquero's picture

I greened you for engaging in honest discussion. I think you and I both want the same fundamental result, we're just not quite aligned on how to get there. 


My issue is that systems will arise in one way or another.  Maybe not ridged ones like we have now, but there will be some sort of social organization.  The question is, how to you prevent one person or one small group of people (or even a large group) from having too much power over other people?  The biggest thing that I can offer there is that no one entity should have a monopoly on force, and that should be made exceedingly clear to everybody, whether it be an anarcho-capitalist world, or a world with a state, or something yet to be thought of.  

Sean7k's picture

I agree systems will arise. My previous example is a "system". How is it different? There are no laws, States or structure that can be commandeered. Social organization implies rules, but rules can be ignored- they are voluntary. There may be consequences in terms of social stigma, but coercion does not exist.

As for how we get there? The people must refuse to go along- which is the only reason I still comment here, to hopefully stimulate a conversation.

Pizza man's picture

about 300 million guns..for a start!

kchrisc's picture

Great article, even better info and extremely important things to think about.

Unfortunately, by the down votes, etc., I can see many here are still living on the "government" farm--"That fence over there is to keep the 'foxes' out, not to keep me in." LOL

"First they marched the Jews and other 'undesirables' off to death in the camps, then they marched us off to death on the battlefield."

Woodhippie's picture

Mankind will never be free until the last politician is strangled with the intestines of the last priest.

spooz's picture

So who exactly SHOULD be in charge of money?  The banksters, without the burden of any regulation whatsoever? They already own the money supply and the corrupted regulatory system.

Sean7k's picture

No one and everyone. Are you incapable of distinguishing what is good money and what is bad? You are capable of completing an exchange?  When you have legal tender laws, you have zero choice. The dollar has lost 98% of its' 1913 value, yet you are FORBIDDEN to try another currency or value commodity. This is criminal theft, pure and simple.

spooz's picture

I use and enjoy the convenience of using fiat. I would prefer a debt free version of it, however.

  In my ideal state, the treasury would be in charge of the money supply, banks and their derivative funny money would be wound down, and liquidity would be provided during this implosion with a citizen's dividend, which would provide for the general welfare (enumerated power from the constitution) and get money flowing in local economies.  Kucinich's NEED Act that died in committee explored such a debt free fiat monetary system

Sean7k's picture

Debt free money can be inflated or debased. If it is legal tender, you are forced to use it at ANY value. Lincoln's greenbacks were debt free money, research its' ability to retain value during and after the Civil War. Ideal State, now, that's funny.

spooz's picture

Controls could be put in for inflation (smaller dividends).  Greenbacks were very popular and their value changed with the health of the economy. I think people who are receiving a citizens dividend from the fiat creation would be happier than those whose fiat was used to finance the Civil War.

There are lots of ideal states on which real states are based.  Like "free markets", which don't exist except in idealized states.

Sean7k's picture

Please show where "controls" work. SEC? CFTC? ad nauseum. Greenbacks were NOT popular. Please read the history. Now, think through your idea of citizen dividend. Why would money pay out a dividend? It is not an investment. It is a method of exchange. Finally, free markets exist in many places- black markets especially. 

Instead of investing in a policy, you might want to invest in education so you can analyse a policy before you adopt it. :)

spooz's picture

Since the dividends would go to all citizens, there would be little room for gaming (banksters bamboozling or bribing regulators). Money isn't "paying a dividend". You seem to be caught up in terminology.  Call it a Basic Income Guarantee if that helps you grasp the concept. It is liquidity provided to citizens to keep the economy running.

 Greenbacks were popular enough for the economy to run on them.  The Intercontinental Railroad was built with Greenbacks and provided employment and infrastructure without debt. 

In the words of Lincoln:

"The Government should create, issue, and circulate all the currency and  credits needed to satisfy the spending power of the Government and the buying power of  consumers. By the adoption of these principles, the taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest. Money will cease to be master and become the servant of humanity."

Also, if unregulated black markets, with related extortion, violence and swindling, are your idea of what free markets look like, why on earth would you support such a thing?

akak's picture

I'm smelling unpleasant whiffs of the stench of distortion, monetary ignorance, dishonesty and historical revisionism from Ellen Brown the Money Clown and Bill Still the Fiat Shill in your post here.

What is needed is not a tinkering of just what branch of big, centralized government issues our currency (not money), but a complete SEPARATION of government and money!  Money should flow from the free market, not from some centralized and coercive monopoly power.

spooz's picture

My, my, don't you get nasty when you need to defend your biases.  I don't know of those names, came upon my knowledge elsewhere.  Strawman arguments like yours are pretty useful when you have nothing to say and have lost the ability to think outside your self imposed useful idiot box (or are you a shill yourself, paid for by neolib masters?)

So in your system, money is entirely privatized.  Pretty much like it is now, with banks creating the money supply (endogenous money creation by banksters), but you would eliminate even the pretense of regulation.  Do I have that right?

akak's picture


So in your system, money is entirely privatized. Pretty much like it is now

LOL!!!!  I rest my case.

(Not even going to waste my time further here.)

spooz's picture

Read up on what endogenous money creation means.  As if the banksters are run by the government and not the other way around. lol

nmewn's picture

So who exactly SHOULD be in charge of money?  The banksters, without the burden of any regulation whatsoever? They already own the money supply and the corrupted regulatory system."

"So in your system, money is entirely privatized.  Pretty much like it is now, with banks creating the money supply (endogenous money creation by banksters), but you would eliminate even the pretence of regulation.  Do I have that right?"

I never thought you were even capable of holding two opposing thoughts at the same time until now, yet, there you are.

Why does money need more regulation when it already serves the purpose of keeping poor people in serfdom now, with EBT, SNAP and a hundred more contrivances?

The question you should be asking yourself is why are they are doing it through regulation now.

spooz's picture

I'm not arguing about regulation, fool. Money doesn't need more regulation, it needs to be created by the treasury and distributed to citizens.  The free market banks can still take deposits from citizens and lend money.  They just wouldn't fractional reserve lending anymore. Who cares about regulation then, its buyer beware time.  Why are you so devoted to  deregulating banks?

nmewn's picture

Do you still beat your wife?

spooz's picture

I am arguing for monetary REFORM, not more regulation. Do you get paid for your propaganda?

nmewn's picture

I liked your first one better "Do like posing loaded questions."...before you edited it.

Why did you do that?...because its the same shit I did to you ;-)

spooz's picture

When you start throwing SNAP and EBT into an argument about monetary reform, its more like propaganda than a loaded question, was the thinking behind my revision.

nmewn's picture

Its treated AS MONEY, isn't it?


I'm gonna say stumped...and bye ;-)

spooz's picture

The creation of EBT and SNAP comes through adding to the public debt.  There need be no public debt if we issued a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) to all citizens with treasury issued fiat.  No need to wash it through the banks with debt free fiat.  No need for much regulation, either.


nmewn's picture

Because I don't trust you anymore to NOT edit >>>content<<< before I comment...

"The creation of EBT and SNAP comes through adding to the public debt."

So, basically, unicorn farts and debt doesn't matter?

My my my, how polar opposites can become one, for their own purposes.

What does this tell you about them...and you?