Murray Rothbard Explains Why the US Government Spies on Us
WikiLeaks may have finally done what many small and anti-government advocates have only dreamed of. They exposed the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for what it is: a bloated government bureaucracy that has grown much too large to be restrained.
According to the document dump released by Julian Assange’s whistleblower hub, this list of highly confidential information regarding the CIA emerged from the agency’s Center For Cyber Intelligence in Langley, revealing details on the agency’s “global covert hacking program.”
The CIA’s hacking effort has been so powerful and effective, the leaks show, that it includes the weaponization of exploits used against products such as the iPhone, Android phones, Samsung TVs, and Microsoft Windows. This means any of these devices can be used as spying mechanisms at any given time.
But perhaps most troubling is the revelation that the CIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal over time. That includes viruses, malware, trojans, malware remote control systems, and the previously mentioned weaponized exploits. In so many words, this means the US government has handed over the key to the most intimate secrets of every single one of us to anyone with access to these lost tools. By allowing the CIA to grow so absolutely powerful, we also allowed the agency to be absolutely careless with our own lives.
What have we learned from this? That regardless of how detached we may seem from politics, its influence and power grows as we refrain from restricting it — even if most of those involved aren’t quite aware of the mechanisms that allow for this expansion.
As economist Murray Rothbard wrote in his pivotal essay, Anatomy of the State, the government is entirely wired to be “that organization in society which attempts to maintain a monopoly of the use of force and violence in a given territorial area.” In other words, the state maintains its power through the “use of compulsion; that is, by the use and the threat of the jailhouse and the bayonet...”
But, as Rothbard notes, “the miasma of myth has lain so long over State activity” that many continue to refuse to see the coercion and lack of moral legitimacy that lies at the foundation of the state. Consequently, government is powerful because we, the individuals, have allowed it to have sole guardianship over our property — including self-ownership — and freedoms.
Once government has total control over every basic aspect of our lives, those within government see no boundaries. Why? Because the burden of self-censorship or even personal responsibility doesn’t lie with the individual any longer. Once the government employee crosses over, stepping into a world where he’s protected by an invisible authority, he is no longer a person who is led by the same morals that guided him before he assumed this position — he’s now a bureaucrat. And as such, he now knows he will no longer have to be accountable for his actions.
What does that have to do with the latest revelations on the CIA? When a lack of personal responsibility meets the needs of the monopolistic State, the individual loses any sovereignty he has over his own life. The government worker becomes a thirsty member of the State, always looking for ways to undermine freedom while the so-called private individual becomes just another government enabler under its control.
The CIA has been careless with the tools it uses to spy on all of us, and whether or not we are guilty of committing crimes, it is clear that it has been equally careless with what it’s extracted from us over the years. This invites abuse from inside, which is what we saw happening within the National Security Agency (NSA) after Edward Snowden revealed the massive spying program sweeping our personal data (while also giving malicious elements outside of the CIA the same access to our personal communications).
We only have ourselves to blame for how out of control the CIA has become, and that’s because we have forgotten — or perhaps never knew — that the government’s monopoly over our lives is granted, not warranted. Will the CIA leaks be the straw that broke the camel’s back?
Somehow, I highly doubt it.