The cap and trade in carbon emissions, the creation of homeland security, the TARP bailout, and the federal health care proposal are all examples of major political viruses. This does not mean it is wrong to be concerned about the environment, our physical security, a sound economy, or affordable health care. All of these things are socially desirable. The problem is that these social goods are used as a cover for political viruses.
Politics has been described as “war by other means.” In modern politics we have controlled the outright conquest of territories by armies, so those people who would seek to enrich themselves by conquering others have devised new ways to usurp power and wealth though political viruses. These viruses seek bureaucratic positions and the redistribution of taxpayer funds through “legal,” although not principled, means.
In 1883 William Graham Sumner described modern social processes thus:
A and B get together and decide what C will be made to do for D.
In my book I explain in our current political process:
A (the lobbyist) and B (the politician) decide what C (the taxpayer) will do for D (a special interest)
Let’s look at “Climategate.” Here was an opportunity to create an entirely new global bureaucracy with thousands of bureaucratic jobs for climategate loyalists. The cap and trade on carbon emissions would sidetrack billions of dollars from energy production, eventually paid by consumers in higher utility bills. The “special interest” in this case is global warming, but that is just the cover to make the process politically palpable. The real goal is power, money, and jobs for people who are not producing genuine science, goods, or services—an educated parasitic class.
A political virus can be based on any fear. There was a shooting at the San Diego airport. It was a domestic dispute, but a small group of FBI agents used the occasion to get several million dollars to study airport terrorism based on this incident.
There is a new class of political opportunists who exploit social wants and fears to rip off governments and taxpayers. They have this down to a science, and every once in a while they get exposed. This is what happens when citizens are not vigilant. It is the behavior Thomas Jefferson warned about.
This is why I compared this new class to the Nomenklatura in the Soviet Union. They were a class of cynics that got power after Stalin died. They greatly expanded the Soviet bureaucracy under Leonid Brezhnev, bloating the lean and mean totalitarian regime of Stalin. They did not believe in socialism but milked the Russian system in much the same way contemporary political opportunists in the West do. They milked the political system that they inherited for their own advantage when weak leaders were not minding the store.
This problem is currently rampant in the EU and the US. It is an expression of selfish and exploitative behavior playing itself out on the political stage. It is conquest by other means. The contests between Republicans and Democrats at the federal level is not ultimately a contest between socialists and free marketers. Those ideologies are covers to get voters who favor one ideological side or the other to vote for the Party. But, the parties are both looking out for the special interests that control them, not the citizens of the United States or the health of the country or the economy. Both parties are controlled by viruses.
In my book, I call these political viruses, because like computer viruses they make the system weak, overburden it, and will kill it if we don’t build up our immune system and knock them out.
The big problem in the United States is that the founders originally built checks and balances into the government to prevent such political viruses. However, over the last 200 years, political opportunists have been able to make basic structural changes, like the 16th and 17th amendments, which in essence hijacked the entire system. You can blame Presidents Roosevelt and Obama for big socialist plans and unleashing myriads of viruses, but such plans can only be carried out with funds and power possible through these constitutional amendments passed in 1913.
Please read my book to understand this in greater detail. We not only need to undo these backdoor trojans to our political system, but also check against new concentrations of power the founders never anticipated based on the development of new economic and social institutions that did not exist in theri day.