Doctor Smith’s Miracle Snake Oil Elixer is a cure-all. At least according to Dr. Smith. In earlier times the like of Doctor Smith had to stay on the road, finding new audiences and avoiding the ones they just sold to.
Not that the snake oil did not have a few that benefited from it’s mystical properties. The placebo effect always benefits a few.
It’s the failure of the snake oil to do all that was promised, or anything close, that leaves most customers with more than the bad taste of the elixir in their mouth. Credulous buyers find out that their lumbago and rash didn’t go away. Many find themselves suffering new ailments after ingesting the poison.
Modern purveyors of snake oil have discovered a more efficient and lucrative way to move their product. Enlist the legal power of government and the media.
When all the Doctor Smiths’ get together they can influence government to act for the benefit of consumers—establish a licensing system. To protect the consumer from incompetent snake oil mixers.
Works every time. Not the elixir. The legitimization of fraud, gussied up to look like just what we need for what ails us.
Licenses do little to protect anyone but the snake oil salesmen. They keep the competition limited. And give their work official validity.
Having practiced in a licensed profession for 35 years I can assure you that licensing boards don’t protect the consumer from incompetence. Peruse the disciplinary actions of any board and you will find out for yourself.
Kiddie porn, Medicare fraud, and substance abuse. Those will take away your license. But incompetence? You might find yourself under probation. Humble yourself before the board and submit to fines and a few years of being supervised and your life goes on without interruption.
Add a government agency like the Food and Drug Administration and you establish a sure-fire path to control the market. Laws and regulations can be established to mandate exactly which brand of snake oil they can purchase. And, indirectly, how much it is going to cost them. And you can be sure it will cost them more.
The next step is to use the power of government to force your consumer to buy your product. For example, inn a dream world you could mandate that they buy auto and health insurance, an insurer’s dreams. Wait, that’s not a dream world.
Then force every product that competes with snake oil off of the market, as being “unsafe” to the consumer. Either do it directly or make it so expensive for the competitors to jump through the government hoops.
When he prospers enough to own a major corporation, Dr Smith has the money to directly purchase his new laws. Anyone who thinks money is not behind each new regulation is naive. And probably drinking snake oil by the gallon.
We are a credulous people. Ready to believe just about anything if it comes with the stamp of government approval and authority.
Why is that? Are we that gullible. I don’t think so.
We have sinfully elevated government to a supreme position in our lives. We have come to think that it is a great force for good, the answer to the problems of life. Poverty. Sickness. Violence. Inequality. Racism. Employment.
We’ve trusted it with the power to dictate whatever it wills or thinks wise with the force of a gun. We’ve agreed as a majority that if any individual refuses to consume the mandated snake oil, they should be forced to. Imprisoned. Or even shot when resisting.
We’ve made the government to be God. And our messiah. The modern messianic state, as some call it.
Were it possible for humans to form perfect institutions that were good and just, maybe it would work for our good. But there’s the rub. Humans are a fallen race. Driven by greed and self. And easily corrupted.
The modern messianic government is no messiah at all. And its snake oil is appropriately named. It comes from the most famous serpent of all—Satan.
If the teachings of the Bible isn’t enough to convince, then simply look at the evidence. Years of government control of all aspects of our lives have not changed any of the problems that they have been claim to fix. The case can be easily made that government has made most if not all of them worse.
The problems of man cannot be fixed by the modern messianic state because they are not fixable. But they can be made a lot worse. And almost always are.
War? More than before. Unemployment? Check. Violence? Just look around. Racism? Ferguson’s Are Us. Poverty? No change. Health? We are unhealthier as a whole than we ever have been.
The reality is that the modern messianic state is evil. And only when its powers are greatly restricted by law can its evil effects be reduced.
Some think that if they just vote a new collection of snake oil vendor’s into office, things will get better. The likely result will be a different brand of snake oil. To expect anything else is nothing but credulity.
The only tonic for what ails mankind is the Word of God. In it we learn that we are not just sick, but quite dead. We don’t need any magical elixir, we need a miracle. To be born again. Of the Spirit.
Then and only then can we place the institutions of this world into proper perspective. Institutes of fallen man. Incapable of fixing anything. Charged by God with two functions—justice and defense. And not empowered for the purposes of restoring the world.
So don’t buy the snake oil.