(If you control food, you control people. Period! – DD)
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(David Brady, Jr., Activist Post) – Most students in America are introduced to the writings of Upton Sinclair. While they aren’t shown his incredible cover-up of the Holodomor or his other Soviet apologisms, they are presented with his most famous work: The Jungle. This work tells the tale of Sinclair’s investigation into the wretched working conditions of the meat-packers of its age. Between lost limbs and failed inspections, Sinclair writes about the meat being contaminated and barbarously prepared.
This tale is meant to show the supposed failures of laissez-faire capitalism, with its disregard for workers and health. Readers are supposed to walk away with a firm belief in the need for the regulation of these firms. Hurrah! Here comes the mighty state to provide safety to the masses that would otherwise be made sick by crony corporations. That’s far from the truth.
Murray Rothbard himself documents in The Progressive Era the truth of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulation. Rothbard observed that nearly every inspection passed in any form of legislature or bureaucracy was fueled by protectionism from existing firms. These regulations were not there to provide “safety” to consumers but rather to keep competition out of the marketplace by fiat. Rothbard states that the only meaningful definition of monopoly is an exclusive legal right granted by the state. Perhaps then, the only meaningful definition of so-called monopoly powers is a firm’s ability to push regulation that harms their competition through the state.
Even today, the USDA—and its regulations—threaten to crush…