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Since it came up in conversation, let's talk about aggression. The practical force of government is called "the police power." Projected internationally, it becomes "national security." At its core it is aggressive; it compels obedience at the point of a gun or a submarine armed with nuclear weapons. There is no way to justify this aggression with happy talk about self-defense or abstract defense of the innocent. Cops and soldiers are forbidden to question the wisdom of government policy, rarely actuated by defense. Policy is driven by the goal of winning and exercising police power. Our "police action" in deposing Saddam Hussein became a 10-year cavalcade of aggression and exhaustion. All policing ends up like that. The War on Drugs failed. Prohibition of alcohol failed. Today, peace and security domestically and internationally are shot. The only thing that cops are thinking about now is how to survive another attack by a sniper or a suicide bomber. They don't care about unstoppable urban crime. Our 50-year War on Poverty was an exercise of police power, compelling social progress, and it failed for that reason. What we do as individuals determines all human progress, including American industry and commerce. Corporations are led by aggressive CEOs. A little reflection will persuade you that individuals matter -- Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Sergei Brin, Jeff Bezos. Aggressive competition is the rule in commerce and nearly universal in our personal affairs and family life. If you have children, it entails private exercise of police power as head of household. Infants are incapable of deciding if their health is best served by legally mandated (school district police power) inoculations and vaccines. Husbands and wives compete as often as they cooperate, and it is a happy individual indeed who leads a household without opposition and sabotage. Women can become cunning tyrants and husbands pretend to be happy, or vice versa, concealing the private truth of slavery. Single parent households have to be ruled by aggressive adult willpower to prevent children from veering into drugs and street life. The impact of private aggression in family life and competitive commerce is small compared to government aggression, which honestly has no limit intellectually if you grant government police power for any reason. No serious person asserts that government mustn't initiate force or that it might operate under a pledge of allegiance to fine calculations of ethical behavior. No way. Government seeks to perpetuate and grow itself. That's been settled law in the U.S. since Hamilton defined the doctrine of "implied powers," the right of government to survive, no matter what the Constitution says. States cannot secede. We slaughtered 700,000 men to aggressively assert federal police power. The Civil War cost five times our total GNP of 1860, and we repaid private gold loans with worthless paper greenbacks. The Federal Reserve Note in your wallet is a debt instrument. It is not money with intrinsic value like silver or platinum, industrial commodities in short supply. So you're screwed again monetarily by police power. Inflation could wipe out your savings, your fixed income, and entitlement payola courtesy of police power that eats two-thirds of the Federal budget. The only way to roll our unpayable Treasury debt is to devalue the dollar again. Not a new policy. A nickel was worth a 2016 dollar when Ayn Rand came to America. Your liberty and privacy are toast. Public worry about security will inspire fascism on top of social welfare concordance, amplifying individual aggression. Potential promotion of Donald Trump from private tyrant to Sovereign Executive, backed by the world's largest military and homeland security layered in federal, state and local police, is not happy news. Clinton's brazen shakedown looks benign by comparison. All she wants is your money and property. But not Trump. He doesn't want your money. He's going to defend us, worldwide, by waging war overseas and reinforcing police power at home. Good time to buy prison shares, Ruger, S&W, and whatever name Blackwater goes by these days. Not a good time to hoard cash. One last point, please, about police power. The police were unable to stop recent homeland terrorist attacks. The FBI knew about the 9/11 trainee pilots and movements in Los Angeles. CIA had chatter about an impending attack. All the king's horses and all the king's men are frail and human and cowed by competing politicians in various offices of police power. Cops and soldiers are extremely vulnerable as combatants, no matter how heavily armored and protected from incoming fire. They tend to shoot first and prevail in the court of public opinion. Support Our Troops despite the fact we gambled and lost, got no Iraq oil, and created jihadi blowback with captured U.S. tanks, machine guns, mortars and ammo. Your tax dollars at work. Seven years of Obama was fatal to roughly a million people in Syria, Iraq and Libya. Trump promises to declare war. Confrontations with Iran, Russia, and China seem likely. Global police power? -- military aggression, flirting with genocide. We killed 10 percent of the entire population of Vietnam, and we lost the war. Please do not argue that we could have won. Police power does not work. Total war multiplies the deaths, but does not change the outcome. And we are no longer in a position to police much of anything: compare: https://www.sdvfp.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/proposed-total-fy2013-np.jpg https://media.nationalpriorities.org/uploads/2016-budget-chart-total-spending2.png http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10000872396390444914904577619671931313542 http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/10/us-usa-defense-navy-idUSKBN0M61V520150310 bottom line: http://www.armytimes.com/story/military/pentagon/2015/07/09/army-outlines-40000-cuts/29923339/ In total, the Army will have cut 120,000 soldiers – or 21 percent of the active force – since 2012 http://index.heritage.org/militarystrength/chapter/us-power/us-air-force/ The Air Force’s capacity in terms of number of aircraft has been on a constant downward slope since 1952... The F-16, the most numerous platform at 913 aircraft, has consumed 80 percent of its expected life span. The KC-135 comprises 87 percent of the Air Force’s tankers and is over 50 years old. The aircraft’s reliability is at risk due to problems linked to its age and high usage rate. ------ I believe that there are two possible views of Objectivism in American history. I tend to agree with the mainstream consensus, that Rand's salad days were in the 60s and early 70s, after which her ideas were erased by tens of millions of Boomers who wanted it all: reason, liberty, drugs, socialism, and solar power. A minority view is that some day in the unspecified future, Objectivism will be widely accepted and persuade government to back off. I suppose it's possible when all the "Me Generation" Boomers die off, but polls indicate that Millennials are more socialist than capitalist, less curious about philosophy than wearable tech, so a resurgence of Objectivism is likely doomed to an unspecified very distant future. Scholarship in feminist interpretations of Objectivism annoyed me, as did presentation of Rand's work by an exercise equipment salesman. Fortunately, the future belongs to practical factors that can't be ignored and take no study to comprehend. The police power is an enemy of the good, namely our individual choices as private actors in business and family life. The thing to do as freemen is protect and guide our children and employees. Nothing else can or will demonstrate the physical punch of Objectivism. If you have no children to raise, no payroll to meet, you aren't in the game. Romance with a government or the general public is -- as they say in Spanish -- paso tiempo, a hypnotic distraction for donors, candidates, journalists and teachers, which ends in more police power, less liberty.