Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What’s the Point of Demonstrating?

After I wrote yesterday's post, I came across Robert Higgs asking, "What’s the Point of Demonstrating?

The comments on the blog are pretty interesting. One point made by several is that the demonstrations are a big pat-on-the-back party, and encourage the demonstrators themselves, even if the media distort the message, and even if politicians don't get any message at all. That's a good point, and justifies the march only if it is a stage in political growth that results in more -- and more focused -- demonstrations. Otherwise it's not a political event, but just personal recreation: some people spend their weekend at the beach, others dress up in costumes or matching T-shirts and march on Washington with their friends.

I'm reminded of the Bush Bailout. Voters made their opinions clear, and politicians got the message. The House voted against the Bailout. Then something sinister happened. I don't know the details, but it's clear that the House was taken out to the woodshed, so to speak, and told to go back and vote the right way, which they did, reversing their previous vote, and ignoring the obvious will of their constituents.

Proving that our "representative government" is not.

Congress does not govern the Federal Reserve System. The Fed governs Congress.
Congress doesn't represent "the People," it represents the Fed.

The 9-12 marchers still assume, I believe, that government is representative of the will of the people, the will of the marchers.

It is and it isn't. It represents the People only when the People serve the interests of the Fed.

One suggestion made by several of Higgs' commenters was to boycott the Fed's fiat money. I have often thought that this would be the direction in which an answer might be found. But if the marchers represent a minority of Americans, only a small minority of the marchers are ready for this strategy. I wonder how many of the marchers themselves have gone to their local Federal Reserve franchise and asked the government to create some fiat money for them.

We have to find the pressure point, the place where politicians will finally listen. Letters and calls to Congress, and marches on Washington, don't hit this point. Kicking out of office every Congressman who will not abolish the Fed is probably much closer. But if that's the point that makes Congress squeal, we also have to have enough Americans willing to apply this pressure. If the boycotting of fiat money is that strategy, we're not even close to having enough. Most Americans, and even most of the marchers (I suspect), want something for nothing, and even if they criticize the government when it threatens to redistribute the marchers' wealth or their healthcare to others, they're not ready to give up government redistribution to themselves. As long as they want some "fiat money" for themselves or their businesses, Government is happy to "represent" their desires. And the Fed is happy to collect their interest.

And not much is going to change.

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