As I continue reading Jeffrey Race’s War Comes To Long An, I find that the genius of the American system of government was confirmed by what the communists did in Vietnam. Early on, the communists recognized that the central government of South Vietnam held all the power.
Mind you, in the communist system of government, the central government holds all the power, but the communists, wisely, deceived the people to that reality. In order to leech power from the central government, they focused all their efforts on the chi bo - the local government.
Decisionmaking was pushed to the lowest levels of the societal organizations - the village council. In fact, the communists stated that completely autonomous local councils was their goal. Obviously, this was not their longterm goal, but deceit is their stock in trade.
By pushing all decisions down to the lowest level and only providing guidance from the upper levels, they empowered the people. The chi bo made decisions about land distribution, tax collection, security, etc. By doing this, the little people felt that the Party cared about them.
It was a complete ruse, of course, because, eventually, they would take all the land away from the people, but it served the important purpose of getting the people on their side. And from this, I see the genius of American government, as it was originally designed.
Not only are many decisions made at the state rather than federal level, but the vast majority of decisions that affect people’s lives are made at the local level. Think about it for a moment. If you need a piece of property rezoned, who do you go to?
If you need police protection, if you need water, sewer service, trash service, electrical service, who do you get them from? Your local government. Local government is where you are most empowered. Your vote matters a great deal more in a city councilman race.
Your input is much more likely to be heard by a decisionmaker if it’s at the local level. So, what I see in the Race’s book is that the communists fully understood the American system and used it to their advantage. Once they had achieved their goal, the mask came off.
You see this in the books written by disillusioned National Liberation Front leaders who thought they were fighting for freedom. Once the communists took over the South, they were pushed aside for more “pure” Party members.
But the fact remains that, in order to achieve their goal, they had to lie about who they were and assume a very American form of government in order to win the people to their side. Race quotes a communist document from the early sixties about the importance of the chi bo.
“Consolidation of the chi bo is the immediate and most important requirement of our Party organization at the present time, which every one of us must act to carry out.” They wrote often about how weak the chi bo was and how the revolution could not succeed without them.
IOW, the communists were well aware that the winning logic was pushing power down to the local level, so that’s the lie they sold. And it worked, for a while. But, once again, it reminds me of the genius of the American system.
Involve everyone in government and the people are happy. In most governments, the local city councils answer to the state or provincial governments, which in turn answer to the federal government. In our system. they answer to themselves, primarily. Yes, there is some overlap.
But a great deal of that overlap has come about because of greedy men who centralized power in order to increase their profits. The more Trump pushes power back to the states, and by extension to the local governments, the harder it is for the elites to win the argument.
This is the reason people are so excited about what Trump is doing. They feel like they actually have a voice again. And the more Trump returns the federal government to its central purpose, security and foreign policy (which are intertwined), the more the people will vote 4 him.
This is a dense, academic book, yet the more I read it, the more insights I gain into what’s going on currently in America. It also gives me great hope. Because it explains why centralized government will always fail.
The more you disenfranchise the people, the more you lose their support. The more you re-enfranchise the people, the more you bring peace and prosperity to the people. At some point, the evidence becomes so overwhelming, that all but the most stubborn must admit it.
Once the stubborn are won over, the battle is won. You will always have people trying to change the system. That’s the nature of man. So, the key to restoring America is returning power to the local governments and then fighting constantly to block usurpation of power.
I have noticed this in Texas, where the GOP government has passed laws that usurped the power of local governments. For example, a law was passed to stop cities from banning plastic bags. Well-meaning perhaps (unless you’re an environmentalist), but usurpation nonetheless.
If we are to restore freedom to America, we must resist such efforts. Power must be seated, and remain, in local governments as much as possible. That’s why efforts by the state and federal governments to control local school boards must be resisted at all costs.
If the people are to rule, it will be at the local level. It must be. Because the farther away we move from the local government, the more our power is diluted. And the more evil and greed will take hold.
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