Look, everyone knows that the Santa Claus
story is just a linguistic concoction that is publicized to influence the behavior of children. Parents could simply say to their kids instead, “hey, do what I tell you and I will give you some presents that you will like, but if you misbehave or rebel or bug me, then you won’t get as many presents or the ones you asked for.”
Image via Wikipedia
It’s a classic case of bribery
first and of fraud
only secondarily. It directs the attention of the children to a future reward and teaches them discipline. Sure, the Santa myth involves some trickery and, since it is pretty popular, we can presume that it has worked well enough to keep the story popular for however long so far.
Governments govern people, right? They implement rewards and punishments
(like the tortures of the Holy Roman Inquisition
). Along with using organized violence like cops and armies and jails, governments
concoct myths and propaganda to influence behavior. They promote their agendas through public schools and the media.
Governments redistribute wealth. They take from some groups (like taking Texas away from Mexico) and give to other groups (like for building roads and weapons of mass destruction and to pay for the elderly to get expensive pharmaceutical drugs that suppress the functioning of their immune systems). Maybe all of that is scandalous. Maybe all of that is “business as usual.”
Did governments “suddenly” get corrupt? Well, if the use of deceptive stories like the Santa Claus story is an example of corruption, then is government even any more corrupt than any other category of social organization?
Did politicians begin lying just recently, or has that been going on for “a while?” Thousands of years ago, did humans commonly enslave other humans, like in Egypt or Greece? You could name a type of corruption and I could name cases of that type of so-called “corruption” that are hundreds or thousands of years old, right?
Didn’t early European imperialists like Columbus and Coronado massacre or enslave Native Americans
? Were blankets that were infected with small pox intentionally distributed to other Native Americans later as “gifts?”
Churches and governments teach us what is corrupt (punishable) and what is proper (rewarded). The Holy Roman Inquisition may have promoted the idea that murder is one of the ten basic sins punishable by an eternity of torture in hell, but a short torture and public burning was a primary practice of their system of ritual human sacrifice. However, now they are against abortion because it is allegedly evil to take a human life.
So, just as our parents defined to us what behavior is good (rewarded) or bad (punished), so do social institutions (like producing alcohol was legal at first, then criminalized by a constitutional amendment in the US
, and now it is subsidized as an alternative to fossil fuel). Whether our parents used a deceptive fraud like the Santa Claus myth is really rather incidental. We all got rewarded and punished by our parents, right? Whether they used fraudulent methods of bribery or direct, explicit bribery is a secondary issue.
Whether governments use fraudulent PR or not is also incidental. For instance, alcohol is now legal to sell to the public in the US in most jurisdictions, but only if first you pay the government $20,000 or whatever a license costs these days. It does not really matter why. If you break the rule and get caught, the government will probably punish you. Also, if you have a great lawyer that you can pay $10,000 to defend you, then the government will probably punish you less, if at all.
So, whose rule is it that alcohol is only legal to sell to the public if the government approves? That is their rule: the government’s. They make up the rules and then enforce the rules on you and they do not require your agreement, just like Santa’s definitions of good and bad behavior do not require your agreement.
“Yeah, but can’t the people influence the government’s rules?” Of course. Try lobbying for the elimination of the government licensure of the public sale of alcohol. Go ahead. You might even win. So what?
“Yeah, but shouldn’t I be personally responsible for fixing governments so that they are no longer corrupt?” Who made up that rule? What are the effects of acting as if it is true?
“Yeah, but shouldn’t we eliminate the corrupt practices of bribing children and deceiving them? Shouldn’t I influence how other people discipline their children, like to defend the children from those evil, corrupt parents? Shouldn’t I be responsible for fixing how other parents operate? Shouldn’t I avoid bribing my children or deceiving them with stories of Santa Claus?”
If that is what you were taught by your parents or your public school or your church or your media or your government, then go ahead. You might even succeed. So what?
“Yeah, but those trustworthy people told me that it is okay to eat lots of candy, especially on Halloween, and best to eat lots of empty carbohydrates and dangerous to eat things that nourish me. Now, I think it was inaccurate and maybe even intentionally deceptive!”
Aha, and so is this the first time that something inaccurate and intentionally deceptive has ever been presented to you, Santa? By the way, when you say that those people are trustworthy, are you sure that a more accurate term might be “trusted?” You trusted them. Then you found out they lied and that they probably knew they were lying all along. They were never trustworthy. They were lying all along- whether or not they knew it, right?
“Yeah, but the government people told us that if we ever noticed any corruption, then we should report it immediately to the government people so that the government people could investigate the alleged corruption.” Right, and then they would punish any unlicensed fraud as a threat to their monopoly on fraud. So what?
“Wait, are you saying that the government trained us to report ourselves to the government if we ever caught on to any instances of corruption, like so they could better cover up their corruption and to make it easier for them to distinguish the half-wit people from the no-wit people?” Well, I did read about that once in a book by George Orwell
called 1984, but I am sure that those trustworthy people in all the governments of the world would never create a deception in which they protected their network of other deceptions by training half-witted people to report themselves to the government by campaigning earnestly for justice in regard to some isolated instance of deception or corruption or organized violence or fraud or governing.
However, I will say that when I reported my parents for bribery and fraud in regard to their manipulative use of a fabricated story about Santa Claus to influence the behavior of myself and my sister when we were small children, my parents were acquitted by a jury of their peers. I was shocked. Then, I realized that all the other people on the jury implemented the exact same methods of bribery and fraud on their own children.
Anyway, if you want to go to some government people to report the methods of some other government people, go ahead. Government people love to justify their programs of coercive wealth redistribution by occasionally spotlighting an allegedly isolated case of government corruption
and then condemning it harshly.
“Governments should not be corrupt! Oliver North
should not have used bribery or fraud! By the way, this [allegedly] isolated case is [allegedly] obviously just an isolated case!”
That makes for a dramatic scandal and attracts a big audience, which advertisers like. Then, when Oliver North is pardoned by the President on the last day of his administration, only a few people notice.
The rest of the people are still celebrating that governments protect people from corruption and all things that are bad or evil or dangerous. Those celebrating people got so drunk with alcohol- purchased from a licensed seller of mind-numbing potion of course- that they were still passed out from intoxication when the pardon was announced.
By the way, Santa Claus is a staunch opponent of bribery and deception and manipulation, which are dangerous, at least for those without proper licensure. That is why you will not get any presents if we catch you committing acts of bribery, deception, or manipulation. Now, consume all of your biochemical nutrients until your dish is empty, or else we will not give you any fix for your addiction to refined carbohydrates, which would mean that you are good as in obedient as in valuable to us.
Governments protect us from corruption and organized violence by using organized violence and corruption. Churches protect us from things like the psychological torture of an eternal hell by psychologically torturing us with threats of an eternal hell. The media protects us from paying attention to anything besides whatever they are broadcasting. Finally, Santa Claus protects us from accepting gifts from strangers.