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by Neville Kennard, veteran preaching and practising capitalist

Throughout history the Tribal Chief and the Witch Doctor have found it beneficial to be on the same side. The Tribal Chief has the warriors and weapons and money, while the Witch Doctor has the hearts and souls of the tribe. Witch Doctors spin their magic, dispense their potions and weave fear; they can promise health and eternal happiness or threaten agonising death, eternal damnation. Tribal Chiefs promise security, abundance, happiness in the here and now — if you follow their plan. Together they are a powerful force.

For “Tribal Chief” these days read King, President, Prime Minister, or Party Chairman.

For “Witch Doctor” read Pope, Archbishop, Mullah, Green Guru or Global Warming Alarmist …. Whatever is the religion or belief or fear of the time.

Politics and Religion — they need each other. Politics is about living at the expense of others. A Religion is a Cult that has gained political acceptance.

The Spanish Inquisition and burning witches at the stake — they were women who the real “Witch Doctors” saw as a threat — kept these Witch Doctors of the day on top and on side with the Tribal Chiefs of the day.

Kings and Premiers don’t often go against the Witch Doctors. Mao Tse Tung and Joseph Stalin had Karl Marx and Frederick Engels and the religion of Communism. Tribal Chief Adolf Hitler dispensed the belief of his people being a “Chosen Race”, with some “inferior races” — Jews and Gypsies — to act as real-time devils. Pol Pot had behind him the religion of Communism and Witch Doctor “Anker” to dispense fear and hope to the people (mostly fear).

King Henry VIII of England didn’t like his Witch Doctor — the Pope — so he fired him and got a new one; it caused some confusion and discontent (Witch Doctors do have a certain hold) but at least the new one could be “local” and head up the Church of England — they formed a pretty good local duo —local Chief, local Witch Doctor.

American Presidents typically have a basket of religions and belief systems and convenient Witch Doctors — Christianity and Democratism are a couple. Australian Prime Ministers recently have had the religion of Global Warming/Climate Change with appropriate alarmist witch-doctors to support their cause (of a clean planet, higher taxation and more control).

President George Bush, a Christian, as well as having “God on His Side”, had Saddam Hussein, Weapons of Mass Destruction and the Al Qaeda devils on the other side; and “Making the World Safe for Democracy” as his cause and excuse for a war or two. There’s nothing like a war to get patriotic fervour going — but you have to win, otherwise the tribe will get restive. Governments like wars; the tribe doesn’t like a losing war. They can look for another Chief or Witch Doctor. President Barrack Obama seems to need some new Witch Doctors right now — the “change you can believe in” mantra is fading, Obama-Care is not credible and the wars are not going so well. The tribe may look for a new Chief and/or Witch Doctor.

The old religions are fading with their Witch Doctors so new ones are needed; the climate, the environment, threats of extinctions are available for a while. The old Tribal Chiefs pass their use-by dates too, but the next election gives some choices, and hey, the religion of Democracy is still alive and well so we have that to believe in, for the time being anyway. And the next Tribal Chief may bring us out of the Global Financial Crisis with some Economic Witch Doctors! Ben Bernanke is trying to replace Alan Greenspan as Economic Witch Doctor; he will have a tough time as Greenspan got a rails run for way too long and left poor Ben with a pile of debt and trouble.

I don’t like Tribal Chiefs or Witch Doctors or anyone telling me what to do with my life — in this life or the next.

(in order of appearance on Economics.org.au)
  1. Welcome from Neville Kennard
  2. Think Tanks Don't Work
  3. "Market Failure": Just what the government ordered!
  4. The Tragedy of the Tax Pool Commons
  5. Corporate Welfare
  6. Citizenship for Sale?
  7. I Don't Vote
  8. Voting: Right or Privilege?
  9. Stockholm Syndrome and our Love-Hate Relationship with Government
  10. Civil Disobedience: The Rules of Engagement
  11. Should Respect for Law Extend to Bad Laws?
  12. Jaywalking as a Demonstration of Individuality
  13. Government Likes War
  14. Collusion is Our Right
  15. Why Not the Drug Olympics?
  16. Unconventional Wisdom
  17. Tiger Farming: An Alternative to Extinction
  18. Looking Backwards: Mont Pelerin Society Conference, Sydney, 2010
  19. Tax Avoidance is a Patriotic Duty
  20. Kennard Writes to IPA Review Editor
  21. Genocide by Welfare: A Tragedy from the Aboriginal Welfare Industry
  22. Separating Sport and State
  23. Your Home is Not an Investment
  24. Dick Smith, Celebrity Philanthropist
  25. A Libertarian's New Year's Resolution
  26. Extend Politicians' Holidays to Create Prosperity
  27. Entrepreneurs are Disruptive, and Bureaucrats Hate It
  28. What is a good Australian?
  29. Governments Like Employment But Hate Employers
  30. The Market Failure Industry
  31. Neville Kennard: The Tax Avoidance Imperative
  32. Wot if ...?
  33. The Tribal Chief and the Witch Doctor
  34. The Tannehills
  35. Democracy versus Property Rights and Prosperity
  36. Government Doesn't Work, and That's the Way They Like It
  37. Minarchy vs Anarchy
  38. Euthanasia and Self-Ownership
  39. The Right Policies to Fix a Depression
  40. Is Howard Our Best PM?
  41. Tax Producers vs Tax Consumers
  42. Where There's a Queue, There's a Business Opportunity
  43. Authoritarian Freedom
  44. Why Classical Liberals Should Debate Anarchocapitalists
  45. The Tyranny of the Majority
  46. If you could choose to whom you paid your tax
  47. Business Should Exploit Boat People
  48. The Immorality of Trade Unions
  49. "America" vs "The United States"
  50. Sweet Anarchy
  51. The Illusion of "Job Creation"
  52. Gold Is Money
  53. Guilty Capitalists
  54. Bureauphobia
  55. Prosperity vs Growth
  56. Capitalism vs Democracy
  57. More people = More fun
  58. Self-Ownership - the very idea!
  59. Government will murder Neville Kennard if he doesn't back away
  60. The Australian Dollar Has Been Cowardly and Criminally Devalued, Harming the Poor Particularly
  61. Is Taxation Theft and Government a Tax Cheat?
  62. My Journey to Anarchy:
    From political and economic agnostic to anarchocapitalist
  63. Government Needs Bad Guys –
    that's why they like wars
  64. What Is Obscene?
  65. Traffic Economics
  66. Wayne Swan stands on the shoulders of other intellectual pygmies
  67. Neville Kennard Obituary
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