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You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension. It is the middle-ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition. And it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. You've just crossed over into the twilight zone.

Submitted for your consideration, the outraged fascist, who calls himself a conservative, angry that a low-wage laborer is eligible for food stamps. Witness the same fascist reacting with jubilation upon discovering that a corporation he owns stock in has been given a large subsidy by the government.

Through the wisps of spectral murkiness, watch the whining socialist, who calls himself a liberal, insist that social justice requires that the low-wage laborer receive a larger number of food stamps. The socialist then proposes that the laborer pay more for every product he buys by demanding that every corporation pay more in taxes - which will be passed on to consumers (including low-wage laborers) - to pay for the extra food stamps.

Observe the conservative, who call himself a libertarian, lurking in the shadows as he proclaims that minor tax cuts have envigorated the economy resulting in a record high for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Notice that he is blissfully unaware that while his stock portfolio rose by 10%, his dollars lost 30% of their value.

Peering deeper through the fog of economic confusion, one will see the communist, who calls himself an anarchist, demanding government intervention to stop globalization, which he calls free market capitalism. Then witness the armed agents of globalization spray tear gas into the face of the communist as the elitist bankers and governments with controlled economies go about their business, which they also call free market capitalism, with the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO.

Perhaps the confused anti-globalist is too dazed from the tear gas to realize that the type of globalization being imposed would be impossible without the government he is appealing to. Maybe the sting of rubber bullets has prevented the communist from comprehending that it has been government intervention into markets that has created a command and control form of global trade that has nothing to do with free trade or free markets.

Through the tinted glass of high-rise offices, one can see the globalists, who prefer to call no attention to themselves, planning economies, pulling political strings, and counting the money they will earn in the future. Protected by rubber bullets and tear gas, and armed with laptops, the elitists call their public/private partnerships free market capitalism instead of the corporatism (economic fascism) that it is.

Meanwhile, hidden in the dark cloakrooms of the U.S. Capitol, witness the vote sellers, who call themselves Republicans, plotting to outsource part of the Social Security system to their clients on Wall Street. They refer to this partial outsourcing as partial privatization. Observe the vote buyers, who call themselves Democrats, as they realize that they will be deprived of funds they had planned to spend on buying votes. Watch as they object to the outsourcing, which they also call privatization.

This is a sordid tale of people swept up by the distorted realities of competing special interests. On one side, there are the pro-corporate interests that seek to use government to fulfill their goals. On the other side, we find pro-government interests that seek to tax the private sector to achieve their goals.

The pro-corporate faction favors outsourcing government operations to corporations. The pro-government faction favors turning over private sector functions to government. Both factions embrace the fascist public/private partnership. Both factions insist America has a free market economy, despite thousands of rules and regulations, a massive tax code, licensing, and government management of the economy and the monetary system.

When viewed away from the twilight zone dimension of misinformation and disinformation, it becomes clear that a free market can only exist in the absence of government intervention. The pro-corporate forces can't claim that free markets work while they use the government as a tool to create cartels, special treatment, or monopolies. The pro-government forces cannot claim the free market has failed, thus requiring government intervention. There is no free market.

One can clearly see that what these factions call privatization has nothing to do with either a free market or privatizing government functions. Consider the function of garbage collection in a small town. Where the town owns garbage trucks and hires garbage collectors to operate a system paid for by tax dollars, garbage collection would be a function of that town's government. Should the mayor outsource the operation to his nephew and pay for it with tax dollars, there is no privatization. This would be outsourcing.

Privatization would occur if the town stopped garbage collection. People living in the town would have the option of hiring anyone they wished to pickup their garbage. The town would not pay for garbage collection. Individuals would pay for it. This is privatization. The town would no longer have to collect taxes to pay for garbage collection. If garbage collection had been the only service provided by the town, the town's government could be eliminated.

Stepping outside the shadows and being freed from superstition and fear, the imagination can present endless scenarios where actual free markets and true privatization could provide people with more options, lower costs, less corruption, and less government. Alternative systems of organization could even replace government, rendering it obsolete.

Crossing back into daylight from the twilight zone enables one to correctly call something what it is. Outsourcing is not privatization. Capitalism is not corporatism or fascism. Managed trade is not free trade. Anarchism is self-rule, not government rule. Free markets do not exist where thousands of laws, rules and regulations exist. Freedom does not exist when elitists determine what choices you have.

Step away from the darkness and contemplate whether the benefits of a huge centralized federal government are worth the endless wars, the constant debasement of your money, the increasing invasion of your privacy, the growing police state, the mountains of debt, and the rise of megacorporations. Abandoning dreams of utopia, would you be better off without the federal government than with it?

This article contributed by Tom Blanton of Richmond, Virginia.