garynorth.com / Gary North /
I have been writing about legitimacy for decades. I recently republished an article I wrote on this in 1997.
Liberty flourishes under this environment: self-government under law. Individuals apply the legal principles to their own situations. The general rule is: “Just say no.”
When self-government declines in any government — church, family, or state — the enforcement arm of the government must devote an increasing quantity of institutional resources to policing. The central government becomes more authoritarian. At some point, if self-government is not restored voluntarily, it is replaced.
To gain voluntary cooperation, the government must be perceived by most participants as legitimate. If the government is seen as illegitimate, people begin to violate the rules at the margin. It may take decades for this to bring down the central government. It took from 1917 to 1991 for the USSR to collapse, but it eventually did.
This brings me to the topic at hand: the Presidential election of 2016. Both candidates are viewed negatively. There has never been a Presidential election that has been conducted on the basis: “The other one is worse.” This really is the lesser of two evils. We talk about it, but this time it’s the real deal. People are thinking: “How bad will it get if the other one wins?”
It is going to get unimaginably bad economically because of central banking, not party politics. The public will not perceive this.