America’s Hunger Games, Circa 2022
In 2012 Americans flocked to the theater to witness the airing of a new dystopian film called The Hunger Games. In this post-apocalyptic feature, there are twelve hinterland districts where one girl and one boy each are forced to serve as sacrificial tributes to the Capital of Panem. They are the punishment meted out on the people for a previously failed revolt in the districts. The tributes take part in a publicly televised fight where they suffer often brutal deaths at each other’s hands. The fight starts with the tributes on pedestals around a Cornucopia where supplies are stored for each to attempt to gather before evading into the woods. If they survive long enough to accomplish even that much, the deaths are celebrated, and the sole victor is crowned. Victory is defined as being the last one alive.
The comparison of the fictional world of Panem to real-world America today is fascinating. The capital of Panem is a veritable theater of the ridiculous where politicians and bureaucrats think the world revolves around them. A world where the districts do not need the capital, but the capital needs the districts. The districts make things from masonry to technology and garments, and the capital makes government rules and throws parties. Most of what the districts make, they are unable to use themselves as the capital consumes most of the resources. The victor in this lethal game is treated as a hero. The bureaucrats in the capital are fine with this so long as the victor plays their part and allows themselves to be bribed into silence by their sudden largesse.
The Hunger Games is about socialism, communism, and fascism played out on a fictional gameboard that is all too real today. Doubters need only look at one example of a map generated from the movie.
This is how the federal government in America views the states today. They think the states work in a subordinate relationship to the federal government when the opposite is true. The 10th Amendment is clear on this. The states are where all useful production occurs. The capital, by public plunder made possible through spending bills, wastes the efforts of the citizens and consumes resources while providing little value in return. Even national defense spending is used as an excuse to fund special interest desires having nothing to do with national defense.
Just like Panem’s capital city needs the districts to survive, in America, the federal government needs the states. If the states in America are looked at as districts, our “tribute” is embedded in the federal tax code where Congress has successfully voted in a nationwide extortion scheme. Politicians reward their benefactors through tax codes and use those same tax codes to punish those who would dare stand against them. For proof of this, just examine who in America is being audited by the IRS. They also fear a population awakened to their schemes and trickery and send out agencies like the IRS and FBI to ensure compliance sometimes with violence.
There are numerous other forms of “tribute” in America today besides our taxes — the takeover of private lands in the guise of public interest, restrictions on energy production, forced choices like jab or job, and the requirement to send your children to government schools for indoctrination if you cannot afford private options. The people are seen only as the producers necessary to keep the gears of the oligarchy in Washington, D.C., turning and its bureaucrats fat, dumb, and happy. It is like we are living in a simulated world where the victor is the last one left alive, and the tiny tyrants are doing all they can to ensure it is them. They seek total control of the cornucopia but fail to realize they cannot produce anything useful in government. In their world, a cornucopia cannot exist since they don’t know how to make one.
In Panem’s capital, the people lived off the work of others and treated them poorly, but they also needed them. In Washington, D.C., the same is true concerning American citizens. The great We-Set in America can come when we remind politicians and bureaucrats that the real power in America is the people. Without us, they will not survive. Bureaucrats only thrive in government; they are lost in the real world.
Lt Col (ret), US Army, Darin Gaub is a Co-founder of Restore Liberty, an international military strategist and foreign policy analyst, an executive leadership coach, and serves on the boards of multiple volunteer national and state level organizations. The views presented are those of the author and do not represent the views of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, or its components.