Until now, I've always considered Randolph Bourne's admonition: "War is the health of the state" to simply pertain to actual military action as a succinct description of the perverse and debilitating functions of war and how nothing aggrandizes the state more than warfare. But of course that's wrong. While Bourne may have indeed only being referred to military conflict, the same words of wisdom apply to all government "wars". From the 'war on..' drugs, crime, poverty, terror-you name it-all of them are a rather brilliant attempt by the ruling classes to blind the senses and numb the consciences of the public to support any and all government expansion and assaults on liberty. From this year's Libertarian Party National Convention:
We have all heard Randolph Bourne’s famous quote “War is the health of the state”. War is the four letter word that lets government officials who are mere mortals, almost as human as you and I, place themselves above the rule of law, above due process, and above habeas corpus because, of course, all’s fair in love and war. War is such a useful concept to politicians that they declare wars on everything. The war on terror, the war on drugs, the war on ignorance, the war on poverty, the war on pornography, and even the war on trans-fats. You see, we can’t afford to respect life, liberty and property… WE’RE AT WAR. Drowning people in fear is the key to power. But we also learned five years ago that antiwar is the health of the anti-state movement. And even if we do nothing other than end ALL the wars, real as well as metaphorical, we will be well on our way to a free society. And millions are ready to rally around that banner.