Page:Rise and Fall of Society.djvu/167

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A Matter of Degree

subtle but no less effective means, which the proceeds of income taxation made available: by the establishment of a vast propaganda machine for the channeling of thought in favor of State ventures, including the distortion of facts as to its operations; by the subvention, with favors, of news-vending and opinion-influencing publications; by the subsidization of educational institutions and educators.

If the carefully constructed constitution of 1789 has not been able to contain the power-grabbing proclivities of the federal establishment, it is reasonable to conclude that no body of laws can accomplish that purpose. The key to centralization, to the consolidation of conquest, is taxation. All things considered, the Sixteenth Amendment made a shambles of the constitution of which it is ostensibly only a part. It gave the Executive branch the means of undermining the independence of Congress (which was supposed to hold it in check), for with the vast funds at its disposal it is able to purchase compliance from the legislative branch and to suppress opposition. It made possible the virtual liquidation of the autonomy of the states, first by sapping their sources of revenue and then by bringing them into line with subventions; the doctrine of states' rights has thus lost all meaning. It provided political authority with capital enough to venture into the market place as manufacturer, distributor, financier, publisher, farmer, physician, employer, to the disadvantage of private entrepreneurs. It set the State up as the largest eleemosynary institution in the history of the world. And along with all these interventionary measures came the vast bureaucracy dedicated to the perpetuation and extension of these interventions. Thus, one change in the constitution did away with its original character.

Within their respective areas, the state establishments