The Invisible Government
"There are two governments in the United States today. One is
visible. The other is invisible."
"The first is the government that citizens read about in their
newspapers... The second is the interlocking, hidden machinery
that carries out the policies of the United States..."
"The Invisible Government is not a formal body. It is a loose,
amorphous grouping of individuals and agencies drawn from many
parts of the visible government. It is not limited to the Central
Intelligence Agency, although the CIA is at its heart."
The American people "know virtually nothing about the Invisible
Government. Its employment rolls are classified. Its activities
are top-secret. Its budget is concealed in other
appropriations... A handful of congressmen are supposed to be
kept informed by the Invisible Government, but they know
relatively little about how it works."
-+- History -+-
"The Invisible Government was born December 7, 1941, in the smoke
and rubble of Pearl Harbor." At the end of World War II,
President Truman disbanded the wartime Office of Strategic
Services (OSS). "Some of the OSS agents went into Army
Intelligence. Others were transferred to the State Department.
There they formed the nucleus of what became the Bureau of
Intelligence and Research, an important branch of the Invisible
"Four months after the OSS closed up shop, Truman, on January 22,
1946, issued an executive order setting up a National
Intelligence Authority and, under it, a Central Intelligence
Group, which became the forerunner of the CIA."
-+- The "Other Functions" Proviso -+-
"The CIA was created by the National Security Act of 1947." The
duties of the newly formed CIA included the following: "to
perform such other functions and duties related to intelligence
affecting the national security as the National Security Council
may from time to time direct."
Soon, "a decision was reached to create an organization within
the CIA to conduct secret political operations... [The Office of
Policy Coordination] was in the CIA but the agency shared control
of it with the State Department and the Pentagon. On January 4,
1951, the CIA merged the two offices and created a new Plans
Division, which has had sole control over secret operations of
all types since that date."
President Truman later stated that, at the time, he had no idea
that the National Security Act of 1947 would balloon into such an
all-embracing octopus. In a syndicated newspaper article
datelined December 21, 1963, he wrote:
For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has
been diverted from its original assignment. It has
become an operational and at times a policy-making arm
of the government...
I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that
it would be injected into peacetime cloak-and-dagger
-- Washington Post, December 22, 1963
[B.R. It is interesting that this article came out a month after
the assassination of President Kennedy.]
The "other functions" proviso of the 1947 National Security Act
"has been stretched to encompass activities by the CIA that are
not even hinted at in the law. It is not generally realized that
the CIA conducts secret political warfare under interpretations
of that law."
-+- Domestic Links -+-
"What has really changed since 1947 is not the general amorphous
shape of the Invisible Government, but its size, technology,
scope, power and importance -- all of which have increased in
geometric progression with a minimum of Congressional or public
examination or understanding."
"Although few Americans are aware of it, the CIA has offices in
twenty cities throughout the country... Since the CIA was created
to deal exclusively with foreign intelligence, the question might
be raised as to why it has field offices across the nation."
The CIA's domestic field offices are "useful in obtaining
intelligence from business firms that have extensive foreign
operations. In addition, the offices serve as contact points with
universities. The relationship between the CIA and the
universities is two-way -- the CIA secretly finances research
programs at some universities; in turn the universities help
"Despite the possible loss of academic freedom, most universities
and professors have shown little reluctance to work for the CIA."
"In addition to its links with the academic community, there is
evidence that the CIA subsidizes some foundations, cultural
groups and a publishing house as well... [The CIA] is deeply
involved in many diverse, clandestine activities right here in
the United States in at least twenty metropolitan areas. It can
and does appear in many guises and under many names."
-+- The "Special Group" -+-
"All of the Invisible Government's hidden money is buried in the
Defense Department budget, mainly in the multibillion-dollar
"The important decisions about the Invisible Government are made
by the committee known as the Special Group... The Special Group
was created early in the Eisenhower years under the secret Order
54/12. It was known in the innermost circle of the Eisenhower
Administration as the '54/12 Group'... [The Special Group] has
operated for a decade [written ca. 1964] as the hidden power
center of the Invisible Government."
Around 1955 the Eisenhower administration, alarmed by the
mushrooming power of the CIA, established a committee to
get to the bottom of things. The Hoover Commission's Intelligence
Task Force, headed by General Mark W. Clark, expressed its
concern "over the absence of satisfactory machinery for
surveillance of the stewardship of the Central Intelligence
Senator Mike Mansfield, of Idaho, introduced a resolution to
create a Joint Committee to oversee the operations of the CIA.
When introducing the resolution, Mansfield declared, "An urgent
need exists for regular and responsible Congressional scrutiny of
the Central Intelligence Agency... If we accept this idea of
secrecy for secrecy's sake, we will have no way of knowing
whether we have a fine intelligence service or a very poor one.
Secrecy now beclouds everything about the CIA." Mansfield's
resolution was defeated 59 to 27.
-+- "Black" Radio -+-
"The Invisible Government is heavily engaged in 'black radio'
operations of every conceivable type." These activities range
from the Voice of America "to highly secret CIA transmitters in
the Middle East and other areas of the world... [Many] radio
operations, financed and controlled in whole or in part by the
Invisible Government, are [skillfully concealed]."
Some of the CIA's radio operations "are hybrids -- broadcasting
organizations that solicit funds from business corporations and
the general public but also receive secret funds from the CIA.
While allegedly 'private' organizations, they receive daily
policy direction from the State Department and take orders from
"In some cases it is possible, indeed probable, that lower-level
employees of such an organization are unaware of the true point
of control of the particular activity."
"It is sufficient to note that an inevitable by-product -- as in
clandestine operations generally -- is that the American public
has been beguiled by some of this allegedly 'private'
-+- A Conclusion -+-
"The Invisible Government emerged in the aftermath of World War
II as one of the instruments designed to insure national
survival. But because it was hidden... it posed a potential
threat to the very system it was designed to protect."
As President Truman warned in the previously mentioned
*Washington Post* article (December 22, 1963):
We have grown up as a nation, respected for our free
institutions and for our ability to maintain a free and
open society. There is something about the way the CIA
has been functioning that is casting a shadow over our
historic position and I feel that we need to correct it.
Despite the CIA's "wide-ranging clandestine activities, and
despite the importance, the power and the vast sums at the
disposal of the CIA and the other agencies of the Invisible
Government, there has not been enough intelligent public
discussion of the role of this secret machinery. In general,
critics of the CIA have been hobbled by a lack of sure knowledge
about its activities."
Yet "even when a clear policy [regarding the CIA] has been
established, a President may find it difficult to enforce.
Presidential power, despite the popular conception of it, is
diffuse and limited. The various departments and agencies under
his authority have entrenched sources of strength."
Furthermore, "a President operates under a constant awareness of
the capacity of disgruntled members of the Invisible Government
to undercut his purposes by leaking information to Congress and
the press... The Invisible Government has achieved a quasi-
independent status and a power of its own."
Congress "has been denied information about the increasing
involvement of the Invisible Government in domestic activities...
No rationale has been offered for a broad spectrum of domestic
operations: maintenance of a score of CIA offices in major
cities; the control of private businesses serving as CIA covers;
academic programs; and the financing and control of freedom radio
stations, publishing ventures and of exile and ethnic groups."
"There should be a thorough reappraisal by private organizations
and by the universities of the wisdom of their ties to the
Invisible Government. There is a real danger that the academic
community may find itself so closely allied with the Invisible
Government that it will have lost its ability to function as an
independent critic of our government and society. The academic
world should re-examine its acceptance of hidden money from the
"These unseen domestic activities of the CIA have become
disturbingly complex and widespread. To the extent that they can
be perceived, they appear to be outside the spirit and perhaps
the letter of the National Security Act. No outsider can tell
whether this activity is necessary or even legal. No outsider is
in a position to determine whether or not, in time, these
activities might become an internal danger to a free society."
"In a free society attention should be given as well to the
increasing tendency of the American Government to mislead the
American people in order to protect secret operations. For
U-2 Spy Plane Incident: "There was absolutely no -- NO
-- no deliberate attempt to violate Soviet airspace.
There never has been." -- Lincoln White, State
Bay of Pigs: "The American people are entitled to know
whether we are intervening in Cuba or intend to do so in
the future. The answer to that question is no." --
Secretary of State Dean Rusk
Missile Crisis: "The Pentagon has no information
indicating the presence of offensive weapons in Cuba."
-- Department of Defense
"The secret intelligence machinery of the government can never be
totally reconciled with the traditions of a free republic. But in
a time of Cold War, the solution lies not in dismantling this
machinery but in bringing it under greater control. The resultant
danger of exposure is far less than the danger of secret power."
[Above excerpted from *The Invisible Government* by David Wise
and Thomas B. Ross. New York, Random House, 1964]
Brian Francis Redman
"The State is the coldest of all cold monsters." -- Nietzche
Our Enemy, the State
by Albert Jay Nock
"The State is the coldest of all cold monsters."
Nock begins by noting the redistribution of power between society
and the State. On its own, the State has neither money nor power.
"All the power it has is what society gives it, plus what it
confiscates from time to time on one pretext or another."
"Therefore every assumption of State power... leaves society with
so much less power."
Nock quotes James Madison, who in 1794 pointed out "the old trick
of turning every contingency into a resource for accumulating
force in the government." Under apparently benign pretext, the
State wrests social power from the citizenry and claims it as its
Over time, a habit of acquiescence develops. "New generations
appear, each temperamentally adjusted... to new increments of
Faith in political parties is partly based on the "assumption
that the interests of the State and the interests of society are,
at least theoretically, identical." But the State's appetite
remains the same irregardless of who is running it. "The exercise
of personal government, the control of a huge and growing
bureaucracy, and the management of an enormous mass of subsidized
voting-power, are as agreeable to one stripe of politician as
they are to another."
Competition between political parties is merely a "competition
for control and management."
Nock points out "the essential identity of the various extant
forms of collectivism. The superficial distinctions of Fascism,
Bolshevism, Hitlerism, are the concern of journalists and
publicists; the serious student sees in them only the one root-
idea of a complete conversion of social power into State power."
In all Statist regimes "certain formulas, certain arrangements of
words, stand as an obstacle in the way of our perceiving how far
the conversion of social power into State power has actually
gone. The force of phrase and name distorts the identification of
our own actual acceptances and acquiescences. We are accustomed
to the rehearsal of certain poetic litanies, and provided their
cadence be kept entire, we are indifferent to their
correspondence with truth and fact."
Because we are born into the State, it is paradoxically difficult
for us to *see* the State. We are like fish in a fish bowl that
have no idea as to what "water" is. We do not see the State
because we see nothing *but* the State.
Nock thinks that "with the depletion of social power going on at
the rate it is , the State-citizen should look very closely
into the essential nature of the institution that is bringing it
How does the State come into being? "It did not originate in the
common understanding and agreement of society; it originated in
conquest and confiscation... It contemplated primarily the
continuous economic exploitation of one class by another."
The State makes innumerable and onerous interventions, all "for
maintaining the stratification of society into an owning and
exploiting class, and a propertyless dependent class." Those who
administer the State are "indistinguishable from a professional-
Nock sees regimes as belonging to one of two types, *government*,
and *the State*. Regimes under the heading of "government" are
characterized by an ideal of *as little interference as possible*
from the regime. As an example, Nock gives the code of the
"legendary king Pausole, who prescribed but two laws for his
subjects, the first being, 'Hurt no man,' and the second, 'Then
do as you please.'"
"The positive testimony of history is that the State invariably
had its origin in conquest and confiscation... Every State known
to history is a class-State."
One definition of the State has it as an institution "forced on a
defeated group by a conquering group, with a view only to
systematizing the domination of the conquered by the conquerors,
and safeguarding itself against insurrection from within and
attack from without."
As the American statesman John Jay put it, "Nations in general
will go to war whenever there is a prospect of getting something
by it." More "primitive" techniques involved simply conducting
raids, stealing possessions and murdering the owners. "Very
early, however, it was seen to be in general more profitable to
reduce the possessors to dependence, and use them as labour-
motors... [This] modified technique has been in use almost from
the beginning, and everywhere its first appearance marks the
origin of the State."
The State "is purely anti-social. It is not based on the idea of
natural rights, but on the idea that the individual has no rights
except those that the State may provisionally grant him. It has
always made justice costly and difficult of access, and has
invariably held itself above justice and common morality."
"As Dr. Sigmund Freud has observed, it can not even be said that
the State has ever shown any disposition to suppress crime, but
only to safeguard its own monopoly of crime."
This helps account for the fact that "the State always moves
slowly and grudgingly towards any purpose that accrues to
society's advantage, but moves rapidly and with alacrity towards
one that accrues to its own advantage; nor does it ever move
towards social purposes on its own initiative, but only under
heavy pressure, while its motion towards anti-social purposes is
As the British thinker Herbert Spencer has noted, when the power
of the State is applied to social purposes, its action is always
"slow, stupid, extravagant, unadaptive, corrupt and obstructive."
Yet society constantly indulges the hope that the State, in spite
of its consistently criminal and exploitive past, will soon
surprise us all and do something right, decent and honorable.
The State propagandizes itself. One of these instruments which
the State employs in building up its prestige is Republicanism
[B.R. not referring to any political parties here].
"Republicanism permits the individual to persuade himself that
the State is his creation, that State action is his action... The
republican State encourages this persuasion with all its power,
aware that it is the most efficient instrument for enhancing its
The two means by which man satisfies his needs and desires are
*economic means* and *political means*. "The primitive exercise
of the political means was, as we have seen, by conquest,
confiscation, expropriation, and the introduction of a slave-
The State, then, "is *the organization of the political means*.
Now, since man tends always to satisfy his needs and desires with
the least possible exertion, he will employ the political means
whenever he can... [He will] have recourse to the State's modern
apparatus of exploitation; the apparatus of tariffs, concessions,
rent-monopoly, and the like."
So, as the British thinker Herbert Spencer has said, "in State-
organizations, corruption is unavoidable."
Nock points out the shift that occurred in Britain from the
monarchical-State to the merchant-State. This caused a concurrent
shift in economic exploitation and State ideology. "The earlier
Stuarts governed on the theory of monarchy by divine right. The
State's economic beneficiaries were answerable only to the
monarch, who was theoretically answerable only to God; he had no
responsibilities to society at large."
"The feudal State's economic beneficiaries were virtually a close
corporation, a compact body consisting of a Church hierarchy and
a titled group of hereditary, large-holding landed proprietors."
Given the narrow interests of this group of beneficiaries, the
dominant ideology wherein the monarch was "above the law by his
absolute power... by reason of the promise made upon oath at the
time of his coronation" was sustainable.
But this theory of sovereignty "did not and could not, suit the
purposes of the rapidly-growing class of merchants and
financiers." Under feudalism, exploitation had fallen on the
peasantry. The State at that time had never "countenanced the
idea that its chief reason for existence was, as we say, 'to help
But the new merchant-State *did* countenance this idea. The new
merchant-State "saw the attractive possibilities of production
for profit, with the incidence of exploitation gradually shifting
to an industrial proletariat. They saw also, however, that to
realize [this and other possibilities], they must get the State's
mechanism to working as smoothly and powerfully on the side of
'business' as it had been working on the side of the monarchy,
the Church, and the large-holding landed proprietors."
Nock notes the rise of the Puritan "work ethic" at this time and
sees it as part and parcel of the ascendancy of the new merchant-
State. "This erection of labour into a Christian virtue *per se*,
this investment of work with a special religious sanction, was an
invention of Puritanism."
"But the merchant-State of the Puritans was like any other; it
followed the standard pattern. It originated in conquest and
confiscation, like the feudal State which it displaced... Like
its predecessor, the merchant-State was purely an organization of
the political means, a machine for the distribution of economic
advantage, but with its mechanism adapted to the requirements of
a more numerous and more highly differentiated order of
A new theory was needed to replace the old one of sovereignty.
The old feudal State did not need an ideology which supported a
wide range of interests because it had an economic class-
solidarity which was easy to maintain. The greater size and
diversity of the ascending merchant caste necessitated a more
But essentially, little had changed. The ascendant merchant caste
"was not for any essential transformation in the State's
character, but merely for a repartition of the economic
advantages that the State confers." One of the chief problems
faced by the new system was how to keep their new ideology "well
in the forefront of political theory, and at the same time
prevent [its] practical application from undermining the
organization of the political means."
The problem of how to reconcile the new State doctrine with
political reality was accomplished by making "structural
alterations in the State, which would give it the appearance of
expressing these ideas, without the reality. The most important
of these structural changes was that of bringing in the so-called
representative or parliamentary system... [But this change] was
one of form only, and its bearing on democracy has been
The newly revamped merchant-State was transplanted to America.
The American "colonists regarded the State as primarily an
instrument whereby one might help oneself and hurt others; that
is to say, first and foremost they regarded it as the
organization of the political means... Romance and poetry were
brought to bear on the subject in the customary way; glamorous
myths about it were propagated with the customary intent." Still,
despite the State's self-glorification, its true function had
During the inauguration of what became the United States, the
basic idea was a continued perpetuation of *the State*. "Nothing
else was to be expected. No one knew any other kind of political
organization. The causes of American complaint were conceived of
as due only to interested and culpable mal-administration, not to
the essential anti-social nature of the institution
administered... The character of the State had never been
subjected to scrutiny."
This shows a pattern. "The philosophy of the institution that
gives play to [injustices] is never examined... Thus the
notorious failure of reforming and revolutionary movements in the
long-run [are due to] their superficiality."
There is one anomaly in this unflattering view of our
forefathers, according to Nock. Thomas Jefferson "believed that
the ultimate political unit, the repository and source of
political authority and initiative, should be the smallest unit;
not the federal unit, state unit or county unit, but the
township... His system of extreme decentralization is
interesting... because if the idea of *the State* is ever
displaced by the idea of *government*, it seems probable that the
practical expression of this idea would come out very nearly in
As Jefferson put it, "What is it that has destroyed liberty and
the rights of man in every government which has ever existed
under the sun? The generalizing and concentrating all cares and
powers into one body." [B.R. To those who would bring in federal
civil rights mandates as a possible exception, it should be
pointed out that the civil rights movement did not originate at
the federal level but rather was a grassroots phenomena. For
details see, e.g. *Who Will Tell the People* by William Greider.]
Nock, writing in 1935, points out the tendency to not see "beyond
the beltway." As he says, "We are all aware that not only the
wisdom of the ordinary man, but also his interest and sentiment,
have a very short radius of operation; they can not be stretched
over an area of much more than township size... Therefore the
principle must hold that the larger the area of exercise, the
fewer and more clearly defined should be the functions exercised."
But such ideas of popular sovereignty did not appear "in the
political organization that was set up in 1789 -- far from it. In
devising their structure, the American architects followed
certain specifications laid down by Harington, Locke and Adam
Smith, which might be regarded as a sort of official digest of
politics under the merchant-State; indeed... one might say that
they are the merchant-State's defence-mechanism."
"The sum of the matter is that while the philosophy of natural
rights and popular sovereignty afforded a set of principles upon
which all interests could unite... it did not afford a
satisfactory set of principles on which to found the new American
State. When political independence was secured, the stark
doctrine of the Declaration went into abeyance, with only a
distorted simulacrum of its principles surviving."
The new State was republican *in form*, but with its real task
that of how to "preserve the appearance of actual republicanism
without the reality... [The new State] improved upon the British
model" by adding
1) fixed terms of office thereby regulating the administration of
our system according to time rather than according to actual
2) judicial review and interpretation, which "is a process
whereby anything may be made to mean anything," and
3) "requiring legislators to reside in the district they
represent, which puts the highest conceivable premium upon
pliancy and veniality, and is therefore the best mechanism for
rapidly building up an immense body of patronage."
Though the Declaration of Independence "might have been the
charter of American independence, it was in no sense the charter
of the new American State."
So-called "bi-partisanship" is another example of the State's
illusive facade of republicanism. Right from the beginning, the
two-party system has been "an elaborate system of fetiches,
which, in order to be made as impressive as possible, were
chiefly moulded up around the constitution... The history of the
whole post-constitutional period, from 1789 to the present day,
is an instructive and cynical exhibit of [these fetiches.]"
"Throughout our post-constitutional period there is not on
record... a single instance of party adherence to a fixed
principle, *qua* principle, or to a political theory, *qua*
theory. Indeed, the very cartoons on the subject show how widely
it has come to be accepted that party-platforms, with their cant
of 'issues,' are so much sheer quackery, and that campaign-
promises are merely another name for thimblerigging."
The State is "an attitude of mind, a set of terms in which now
practically everyone thinks of the State... Instead of
recognizing the State as 'the common enemy of all well-disposed,
industrious and decent men,' the run of mankind, with rare
exceptions, regards it not only as a final and indispensable
entity, but also as, in the main, beneficent. The mass-man,
ignorant of its history, regards its character and intentions as
social rather than anti-social; and in that faith he is willing
to put at its disposal an indefinite credit of knavery, mendacity
and chicane, upon which its administrators may draw at will."
"Instead of looking upon the State's progressive absorption of
social power with the repugnance and resentment that he would
naturally feel towards the activities of a professional-criminal
organization, he tends rather to encourage and glorify it."
Our passive, accepting attitude ensures that society will more
and more tend to live *by* and *for* the State. And as, after
all, the State is only a machine, "whose existence and
maintenance depend on the vital supports around it, the State,
after sucking out the very marrow of society, will be left
bloodless, a skeleton, dead with that rusty death of machinery,
more gruesome than the death of a living organism."
Through the web of the State's self-propagandizing apparatuses
"the State is made to appear as somehow deeply and
disinterestedly concerned with great principles of action; and
hence, in addition to its prestige as a pseudo-social
institution, it takes on the prestige of a kind of moral
authority, thus disposing of the last vestige of the doctrine of
natural rights by overspreading it heavily with the quicklime of
legalism; whatever is State-sanctioned is right."
"This double prestige is assiduously inflated by many agencies;
by a State-controlled system of education, by a State-dazzled
pulpit, by a meretricious press, by a continuous kaleidoscopic
display of State pomp, panoply and circumstance."
The State is not "a social institution administered in an anti-
social way. It is an anti-social institution, administered in the
only way an anti-social institution can be administered, and by
the kind of person who, in the nature of things, is best adapted
to such service."
Before there was the State, there was the Church, specifically,
the Roman Catholic Church. "It is interesting to observe that in
the year 1935 the average individual's incurious attitude towards
the phenomenon of the State is precisely what his attitude was
towards the phenomenon of the Church in the year, say, 1500. The
State was then a very weak institution; the Church was very
strong. The individual was born into the Church, as his ancestors
had been for generations, in precisely the formal, documented
fashion in which he is now born into the State. He was taxed for
the Church's support, as he now is for the State's support. He
was supposed to accept the official theory and doctrine of the
Church, to conform to its discipline, and in a general way to do
as it told him; again, precisely the sanctions that the State now
lays upon him. If he were reluctant or recalcitrant, the Church
made a satisfactory amount of trouble for him, as the State now
"Notwithstanding all this, it does not appear to have occurred to
the Church-citizen of that day, any more than it occurs to the
State-citizen of the present, to ask what sort of institution it
was that claimed his allegiance. There it was; he accepted its
own account of itself, took it as it stood, and at its own
valuation. Even when he revolted, fifty years later, he merely
exchanged one form or mode of the Church for another, the Roman
for the Calvinist, Lutheran, Zuinglian, or what not; again, quite
as the modern State-citizen exchanges one mode of the State for
"The Church controlled the distribution of certain privileges and
immunities, and if one approached it properly, one might get the
benefit of them. It stood as something to be run to in any kind
of emergency, temporal or spiritual... As long as this was so,
the anomalies presented by its self-aggrandizement were more or
less contentedly acquiesced in."
One of the traits common to both Church and State has been a
common thirst for self-aggrandizement. "At the present time, a
citizen lives under half-a-dozen or more separate overlapping
jurisdictions, federal, state, county, township, municipal,
borough, school-district, ward, federal district. Nearly all of
these have power to tax him directly or indirectly, or both, and
as we all know, the only limit to the exercise of this power is
what can be safely got by it... [In other words] the cost of
government tends to increase from year to year, no matter which
party is in power."
Under the mantle of noble-sounding legislation, the State
confiscates more and more of the people's wealth. "Every
intervention by the State enables another, and this in turn
another, and so on indefinitely; and the State stands ever ready
and eager to make them."
"It is a curious anomaly. State power has an unbroken record of
inability to do anything [of a social nature] efficiently,
economically, disinterestedly or honestly; yet when the slightest
dissatisfaction arises over any exercise of social power, the aid
of the agent least qualified to give aid is immediately called
Yet we habitually turn to the State because we do not *see* the
State. We fool ourselves that the State will be able to help us
in our social problems because we are blinded by a
"misapprehension of the State's nature, [we presume] that the
State is a social institution."
The State "is primarily concerned with injustice, and its
function is to maintain a regime of injustice; hence, as we see
daily, its disposition is to put justice as far as possible out
of reach, and to make the effort after justice as costly and
difficult as it can. One may put it in a word that while
*government* is by its nature concerned with the administration
of justice, *the State* is by its nature concerned with the
administration of law -- law, which the State itself manufactures
for the service of its own primary ends [my emphasis, BR]."
So-called "defense" is part of the "overweening physical strength
of the State, which is ready to be called into action at once
against any affront to the State's prestige."
This force is not limited to the so-called "armed forces," but
includes various police agencies as well. "Few realize how
enormously and how rapidly in recent years [ca. 1935] the State
has everywhere built up its apparatus of armies and police
forces. The State has thoroughly learned the lesson laid down by
Septimius Severus, on his death-bed. 'Stick together, pay the
soldiers, and don't worry about anything else.'"
"Taking the sum of the State's physical strength... one asks
again, what can be done against the State's progress in self-
aggrandizement?" According to Nock, the answer is, "Simply
nothing... Our civilization may at the outset have taken its
chances with the current of Statism either ignorantly or
deliberately; it makes no difference... Nature cares nothing
whatever about motive or intention."
"The sites which now bear Narbonne and Marseilles have born the
habitat of four successive civilizations, each of them, as St.
James says, even as a vapour which appeareth for a little time
and then vanisheth away. The course of civilization [is always the
same]. Conquest, confiscation, the erection of the State; then
the sequences which we have traced in the course of our own
civilization; then the shock of some irruption... and then the
"What we and our more nearly immediate descendants shall see is a
steady progress in collectivism running off into a military
despotism of a severe type. Closer centralization; a steadily
growing bureaucracy; State power and faith in State power
increasing, social power and faith in social power diminishing;
the State absorbing a continually larger proportion of the
national income; production languishing, the State in consequence
taking over one 'essential industry' after another, managing them
with ever-increasing corruption, inefficiency and prodigality,
and finally resorting to a system of forced labour. Then at some
point in this progress, a collision of State interests, at least
as general and as violent as that which occurred in 1914, will
result in an industrial and financial dislocation too severe for
the asthenic social structure to bear; and from this the State
will be left to 'the rusty death of machinery,' and the casual
anonymous forces of dissolution will be supreme."
Synopsis by Brian Francis Redman
"Culture is an instrument wielded by professors to manufacture
professors, who in turn manufacture more professors."
-- Simone Weil
Labels: The Invisible Government