Schmoozing in Politics: The end does not justify the means–the train is leaving

For those who proclaim, “It’s not what you do in life, but it’s who you know,” you are committing a vast evil upon the possibilities of human potential. I have heard from many over the last couple months who assumed that through my work with the local school levies, and liberty groups that I was ultimately after a political position of some kind or another—that my work in those activities were to lead me to one of those “coveted government” jobs that provide so much money and security to the beholder. There was an assumption that I would idly comply as school board members and community parasites infiltrated the inner circles of my associates in an attempt to steer our offensive into a sort of–compromise. There was an assumption that I would hold my tongue when it was obvious that political ambitions and a need for money have tainted the ambition of the liberty groups, to maintain a status of good standing among the powerful. The assumption was that I had shown my skills in public discourse and my reward would be a rightful place among the politically powerful.

But that was never my intention—to be given a rightful place in the world of politics. It was never my intention to “get” something in exchange for my skill as a spokesman or crusader. Because in so doing I would break one of my personal rules that I live by every day, never to schmooze, suck-up, or gain favor of a person or entity that I otherwise might not associate with out of personal self-interest. My interest in political crusades and liberty fighting was not for gain, but out of a genuine desire to solve a problem. My work here at this site and out among the media has been simply to fix what is broken, and as I’ve gotten my hands dirty it has come to my mind that I desire to completely reinvent the entire political system. I do not wish to preserve the public education system, so I lost my desire to simply be a spokesman for a group that didn’t want to see its taxes increase. I still support the aim of such groups, but my interest has shifted. And now after two years of observation, it is obvious that the liberty groups do not have the resolve to solve the current political crises. They did not put their political effort behind the Ron Paul’s of presidential candidates, but the Mitt Romney’s. From people within my own family to trusted friends, the prospect of such a radical culture shift is just too great. Too many people are addicted to politics as usual—a system that depends on the premise, “It’s who you know.”

When a local personality or business owner says, “I know important people on council, or in the city or state government,” what they are proclaiming is that they can gain access to power that will give them an advantage over someone who doesn’t have that access. Someone seeking that type of access might take that powerful person to a baseball game, or invite them to play golf so that the exchange of favors can be placed on the table of thought. This is called schmoozing, and it is against the law in my book. In my book, the powerful person is supposed to be in service to the public, not handing out favors to their friends who have schmoozed them. If the so-called “powerful person” is a politician they have only become powerful through theft or extortion. They have intercepted tax revenue to be redistributed elsewhere, or they have the ability to write laws that can hurt one party or another. That is the source of their “power” and it is an abuse of their designated task.

I have several friends who are caught in this very snare; they spend a great deal of their time and money schmoozing people who might otherwise hurt them. It’s the old premise of “keep your friends close, but your enemies closer,” schmooze them into peace with you so that you can make a profit. Such a mentality is the same as the restaurant owner who might schmooze the mob to cut a break on “protection money” or eliminating a competitor. The same kind of thing is going on in legitimate businesses today and the golf courses of America are full of this activity. It’s may not be the mob as we think of it in the days of Al Capone, or the fictional Godfather, but the effect is the same.

Over Christmas I was invited to a popular meeting place on the high-end of reputation to celebrate the departure of a person I have a great deal of history with. I declared that I would not go because this person had become my enemy and I had no desire to break bread. It was explained to me that hatred was a powerful thing and that I might regret it later. I explained that I was fine with my level of hate. That I would not be going because my attendance would not be genuine. If I went it would be schmoozing, and I don’t do that. The person in question had earned my hatred, and it was not my task to ease their mind with forgiveness.

I have heard for years that hatred is a bad emotion, that to carry it around will erode my soul. Well—no it doesn’t. Hatred is a natural reaction to injustice and it lets the person who committed that injustice know that there are consequences for their actions. Without consequences there is no incentive for many people to do the right thing, because many do not chose to do the right thing out of a sense of justice, but out of fear of the personal impact of revenge should they cross the line. So when a pacifist speaks of not harboring hate, they are telling you to turn the other cheek to be abused again, and again and again. They will tell you that if your enemy feeds you to the lions then you should take the massacre with a clean heart and not wish ill on your enemy. That is what’s wrong with politics at every level, and the reason I reject everything about the current system. People are functioning from a weak philosophy that was given to them by history constructed by past dictators, and they accept it without question.

By default through the human tendency to build their entire lives around schmoozing for all the various combinations described above, two political parties have emerged. Liberals advocate intellectual freedom while putting their emphasis of government management on economic controls. Conservatives desire economic freedom while placing controls on the intellect. Both are wrong in their basic premise. This is the reason for our current “mixed economy” and general faults as a government. This is why young people reject activity in politics and instead play video games and watch silly television shows. Politics has become only applicable to the schmoozers of the world and until people have a need to schmooze someone, they do not engage in politics.

Now, to the schmoozers—which is most everyone—my views are considered radical. To declare that politics should be run by objective reason is a radical concept to a political system that is run by schmoozing, (who you know syndrome) Our legal system will never be fair as long as “schmoozing” from an attorney to a judge is accepted practice—which it is. Our political system can never function correctly as long as “schmoozing” (lobbyists) is accepted and openly embraced. Our politics at that point has no chance of being a representative republic, and it’s not worth saving because it’s broken at its core functioning from the wrong premise—the wrong philosophy right out of the gate.

If the definition of a radical is being the only one who believes something to the extreme opposite of accepted social behavior then so be it because in this case the accepted social behavior is wrong. America is the country that it is today not because of the decisions made during the progressive era. It was not The New Deal or the Great Society that built the skyscrapers of Manhattan, created McDonalds, or put man on the moon. It was the very brief time in American history after the Civil War where the industrial revolution was just emerging, and railroad’s made communication and transportation over vast distances possible and Washington was preoccupied with all the new developments. During that time there was a lot less “schmoozing” going on for about 20 years ending right around the McKinley administration. Pure capitalism functioned without the looters of politics sticking their hands into the process to disrupt manufacturing as leverage over their political rivals. Once politicians began doing this “schmoozing” again with one another and with business owners America fell back into a mixed economy and have cruised out the last 100 years off that small shot in the arm provided by pure capitalism. A few developments since then like the fast food industry, and the computer have managed to jump onto the scene before government could act as a regulator. But for the most part, government has stifled American productivity while attaching many socialist programs to the wealth created by capitalism such as Social Security and Medicare. It is those decisions that threaten to destroy America in the next century. The true impact of mixing the introduction of socialism with pure capitalism won’t be felt completely for another decade, but it’s coming quickly.

Instead of having a beer with those inviters of peace that night to see off an enemy and assure that particular person that I would not hunt them down for their evils against me 5 years down the road, 10 years or even 20 years in the future, I read some of the work of Niccolo Machiavelli. It was Machiavelli who proposed the term, “The end justifies the means.” What Machiavelli was proclaiming was an essential truth from the vantage point of protecting the success of the state. It is to that basic idea from Machiavelli that the art of “schmoozing” came to be, and it is why our current political system is a failure that I reject completely. It is also why I distance myself from groups when I see too much “schmoozing” going on because failure of the group will be imminent upon such action.

The ends do not justify the means if it is individual freedom that is desired. The rights of individuals are the only concern because in so doing, a society of goodness and prosperity that have only been touched remotely in America is possible. If such a philosophy could reemerge in America, then perhaps the rest of the world could have it too. But schmoozing only leads to one path, dictatorship. Just as a mixed economy will yield the benefits of pure capitalism to the tyranny of socialist state control, it all ends with one person more powerful than someone else and brings about some form of communism. That is the default mode of schmoozing, it gives one entity more power over another entity not by merit of their enterprise, but out of false obligation due to feelings and favors.

This is why I declare both political parties a complete and utter failure. The campaign donations given on both sides are a form of schmoozing and it corrupts the basis of republic government, and the more I have learned along the way, the less interested I have become in working with the current system as it is now. Rather, I seek to see it dismantled and rebuilt as a true republic with an emphasis on pure capitalism and the solitary pursuit of individual freedom for every single person on the face of planet earth. And there is no compromise. Schmoozing won’t dull the impact.

It is for the reasons above that I have decided a different approach to politics is desperately needed.  People may call it radical.  They may be very upset with me for rocking their sense of security.  They may be frustrated with my lack of tolerance.   But I do not schmooze and I do not look to others for anything in my life.  When I need to provide income for myself I write books.  A book to me is a offering of my work, talent, and imagination in exchange for something else of value, so when a fan of mine purchases a book I write, I know that an exchange of equal value has been made, and I feel good about the balance. 

I desire independence and respect for my freedoms, yet I have been given a world of schmoozers that have looted off one another incessantly for decades with schmoozing but looks to people like me to bail them out of their folly–and I’m not going to do it.  I don’t owe anybody anything and I don’t ask them to give me anything that isn’t already mine.  That is why I’m working toward a change in attitude and approach on a quest that will make many people very angry.  But that’s their problem, because they are the ones who placed themselves across the tracks of my personal freedom.   And anyone who wants to come along with me is welcome.  But my train is leaving the station, and it’s not going to stop. 

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Rich Hoffman!/overmanwarrior