WordPress once again is messed up and isn’t allowing my reply to go through within the thread itself, so:
Limiting us to the United States, the police are always on the right. They always serve those in power.
I don’t believe San Francisco activists are in support of gang injunctions as you claim. You’ll have to do some work in terms of evidence if you want to pursue that line.
At some point you also may want to provide evidence for your “big government” theories. Many on the left want higher taxes (especially for the rich) and a more European-style society in general. This is the Reformist Left though, not the Radical Left. The Radical Left usually wants a different kind of government entirely, whether Anarchist, Communist, Socialist. Tax rates vary by system and implementation.
What you claim is true of big governments is true of all non-democratic governments, whether on the right or the left. There is always corruption when people are controlled without having a say in the terms of the control. Greater problems occur not when government gets “bigger”, but when it gets more powerful, as we are seeing currently in the United States under the autocratic dictates of the Bush regime.
Your concept of degree of taxation = degree of power is false. Again, I refer you to Western Europe, with higher taxes than the US but less governmental power. The Bush regime is possibly the most powerful executive in the nation’s history (I think Kennedy’s was more powerful, but that didn’t last too long), and they have featured heavy tax cuts (for the wealthy).
All top-down governments have benefited the rich and well-connected.
The poor definitely do benefit from government. Even in Neoliberal America there is Welfare, Unemployment Insurance, Social Security. Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Medicare, Free Education. These are not insubstantial or meaningless programs.
The differences between Europe and America are quite substantial. Here’s an inequality chart by country:
I agree that governments serve the rich. I just don’t take the simplistic views you do.
Now for the poverty statistics:
Notice that the United States is 20th in poverty, behind Libya, China, Croatia, and Syria. That’s pretty embarrassing for the richest country in the world. That is to say, embarrassing to good people. The rich don’t give a shit unless it impacts their bottom line (either political power or economic wealth). Perhaps instead of burying corpses we should pile them up on their doorstep – the cost it takes them to remove them might make them reconsider their policies.
Also, check out Israel, a rich country receiving vast handouts from the United States: 42nd in the world in poverty. That’s the sort of crime that governmental leaders should go to jail for. Instead they’ll go kill or impoverish some Palestinians and call it a day.
Somebody else can pay for their goons. Third world military dictatorships are some of the most harsh and brutal governments in the world, and they often have very low taxes. They don’t need taxes when the United States sends them plenty of arms. The United States is a bit different since they can’t turn to someone else to supply them with the kind of military machinery they need – so there always needs to be a level of domestic inflow of money sufficient to keep the machine rolling.
You’re correct: Europe has less freedom of speech than America has. Europe also has seen two brutal world wars on its soil producing many millions of deaths and if they see a 3rd that could end world civilization entirely. So you’ll have to forgive them for being a little sensitive about which words might lead to which outcomes. It’s a bit strange to honor America, who hasn’t had a multinational war on it’s soil in almost 200 years and is a more or less unified mass, rather than the fractional nature of European politics, for it’s “freedom of speech”. It doesn’t have that because of it’s nobility, it has that because of it’s historical and political condition.
I agree that freedom of speech is meaningful for citizens. Before you get too excited however, you might want to look into COINTELPRO and related programs to see just how little effective speech there is in the United States.
You’ll have few allies with the words in your last paragraph unless you present what’s going to occur *after* all of those things happen. For someone who dislikes anarchy, you sure want to make it happen as soon as possible. You seem to want the sort of anarchy where there is no social order and everything is disorganized, rather than an organized anarchic system.