October 02, 2009
Richard’s comments on the “Audit The Fed Conspiracy” are close to my views on the subject albeit with one major caveat – I’m not sure the idea is a good one at all. The idea that auditing the Fed would expose its destructive policies to the public eye resulting in a groundswell of support to tear the whole thing down is interesting in theory. But it puts too much faith in a population that has consistently shown itself incapable and unwilling to do anything about the widespread corruption that permeates our culture. Though I have clumsily described myself an anti-egalitarian populist in the past – and still cling to that contradictory label despite its obvious problems – I admit that I see little reason to believe that the work of even the most independent of accountants is going to have the effect of rallying the troops around the Gold Standard.
If this was my only reservation about the “stealth plan” to take down the banksters, I would probably find myself supporting it anyhow. In the past I have cast votes for political figures who I agreed with on far fewer issues than I do with those who are seeking transparency from the Federal Reserve. Unfortunately, I’m also plagued with doubts about the level of independence one would actually get from an Audit of the Fed.
Despite having grown up a hardcore leftist, I have always been an opponent of federal power. A big part of this has been my life long aversion to the various commissions and committees that perpetual do-gooders seem to think will be the solution to every problem. In practice, these commissions nearly always turn out to be watered down affairs, run by career bureaucrats, most of who are riddled with multiple conflicts of interests. In the rare occasions when these “independent” elites do stumble upon a sensible proposal or two in their closing report they are routinely shouted down by the liberal-neocon press and mainstream politicians – or their more sensible policy prescriptions are simply ignored. Obviously the ideal audit of the Fed would not end the same way, but the ideal 9/11 Commission would not have been a total farce that resulted in even more conspiracy theorizing from the unpersuaded public.
In many ways the campaign to Audit The Fed reminds me of the Fair Tax movement. Devotees of both ideas have their hearts in the right place. They see a hopeless broken system and are clinging to the reform idea with the strongest legs. But both ideas attack the symptom and not the problem. Just as the problem with the income tax is not that it is a withholding tax, the problem with the Fed is not that it is too independent. In fact the problem with the income tax and the problem with the Fed is a shared problem – they both exist when they shouldn’t.
Several months back I had lunch with a well-known intellectual and fellow opponent of the Federal government. At the time the Audit The Fed movement was in its infancy and the local Campaign For Liberty chapter had asked each of its members to garner as many petition signatures as possible. Assuming that this somewhat famous name would be a slam-dunk, I passed the petition over the table and he briefly skimmed over it. He then dismissed signing it with never so much as a second thought. “I don’t do petitions and I don’t do politics of this kind.”
I’m not an advocate of dropout culture, but this sort of approach is completely understandable to me. Radicals must take radical positions if they expect radical change. I don’t oppose the Audit The Fed movement, but the “conspiracy” to End The Fed might be better off taking a more direct route.
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