For most people the name "La Linea" means absolutely nothing. This is understandable since it is a "criminal" organization that operated in Guatemala. Who cares, right? Well… for one we do! And why do we care? Because La Linea operated at the "highest levels" of the Guatemalan government; as high as the president himself. The lesson to take in is not difficult, on the contrary, it is quite simple: we are all on the same boat.
Many people believe that we are US or EU-centric and this could not be further from the truth. We are world-centric because the failure of democracy is world-wide. We are all the same. It does not matter if you live in US or France or China or… Guatemala for that case, we all suffer the same and thus we all require the same solution; get rid of all governments!
The goals of La Linea (literally, "the line") is interesting not because it exposes bribery, but because it exposes the failures of democracy and the behaviours such failures encourage. If you are interested in a full article, head to El Universal and search for "La Crisis de Otto Perez Molina".
La Linea had simple goals; it was a network of smugglers who were operating with a network of customs brokers which were aided by "key" employees of the "Superintendencia de Administracion Tributaria" (the Guatemalan Tax organization). Through this process merchandise could be introduced into Guatemala without paying taxes. Furthermore, through political "contacts" (i.e. bribes) tax policies were changed to benefit members of the group.
Now let's stop for a second and analyze this situation.
A GROUP OF PEOPLE
A group of people wished to introduce merchandise into Guatemala without restrictions. This group of people did not steal or such merchandise but they pay for it through mutually agreeable contracts. It was their merchandise fully paid. As such they had (and continue to have) absolute rights over it.
This merchandise wasn't designed to cause harm to other peoples' properties in Guatemala, but to be offered to the people of Guatemala for sale. In so doing, this merchandise would increase Guatemalan standards of living. We must remember that members of La Linea were not forcing people to buy their merchandise; they were simply offering it for sale.
So far so good. Nothing unusual here. No properties were damaged. No people were abused. Actually, it was a win-win situation.
ENTER THE GOVERNMENT
However, the Guatemalan government had (and continues to have) other points of view. Out of thin air, they created the right to tax other peoples' properties. The Guatemalan government did not own the merchandise of La Linea's members. The Guatemalan government was not part of the voluntary contracts signed between La Linea's members, their suppliers or their customers. As a matter of fact, the Guatemalan government used what all other governments on earth use to enforce their lack of rights; force!
Consequently, the members of La Linea did what any self-respecting property owner would do when confronted with armed and organized theft (i.e. taxes); they defend themselves as best they could.
And how did they do this?
By bribing officials. And here is where things get interesting. We have long stated that bribery is OK (see Bribery The Universal Equalizer) but corruption is not. There is a key difference. Bribery simply means using your own property (i.e. money) to enter into voluntary agreements with other people. Corruption, on the other hand, is to become part of a government conspiracy to steal "government property".
Now, "government property" is, of course, a misnomer. There is no such thing as "government property" because if it would be then this property would belong to the state, which is nothing but a representation of all citizens. In other words, the state is similar to a company where all citizens have shares. However, in reality, citizens cannot dispose of their "shares" of government property because government property is… well… the property of the government and not of its citizens! Basically, the rights-owners have been overruled by the privilege-receivers. But just for argument's sake, let's assume that "government property" is indeed peoples' property.
What members of La Linea did, did not take away property from the people, because taxes are not peoples' property! Taxes are simply money stolen through the use of brute force.
Members of La Linea did not foster "corruption"; they simply used bribery to prevent the state from stealing their property! As such, they did not interact with other peoples' properties without their consent and therefore they did nothing wrong! It is the very presence of the Guatemalan government that turns all this upside down.
And what were the consequences of La Linea's activities? Who were at its helm?
- The President
- The Vice-President
- The Minister of Finance
- The Minister of Communications
- The Minister of Education
- The Minister of Economy
- The Minister of Health
- The Head of Income and Fiscal Evaluation
- The Secretary of Presidential Planning
- The Vice-Minister of Financial Administration
Yup! That's right. Pretty much the entire Guatemalan government at the very top. If you think about it, it is quite enlightening. The very people who are supposed to embody the highest principles of democracy are the very same ones that are screaming loud and clear (through their deeds) that democracy does not work! At all!
But of course, there is more. The investigation was massive. It went on for 8 months, most of them following and through surveillance of many people. How many? We shall never know. It also included the interception and analysis of over 66.000 phone calls, 6.000 electronic communications and undisclosed effort of financial forensic accounting.
The question which thus arises is; who paid for all of this? You guessed it: the Guatemalan people.
Guatemalan people have their standards of living decreasing all the time through taxes. This process was partially palliated by the actions of La Linea, thus improving peoples' lives. However, the Guatemalan state spend an enormous amount of money to stop this process which benefited people only to make sure the destructive taxation process goes on!
Does this make any sense? At all? Of course not.
It is adding insult to injury and on top of that having to pay the bill.
Governments are not bad because they do not operate democratically; governments are bad because they do! Granted, democratic governments represent a step in the right direction in our political evolution. But only a step. A step cannot last forever. A step cannot be permanent. Evolution marches on. What happened in Guatemala, at the very top, shows how politically evolved are people who really -and we mean really- know how democracy operates in real life. They are the first ones to embrace evolution through their actions. They are the ones showing us the path through their actions.
True. This point of view is not popular because most (brainwashed) people would consider "tax evasion" as "cheating". Nothing we can do to change their point of view. Time will do so for us. Meanwhile, if you still believe that "tax evasion" is cheating, please do yourself a favour and make an effort to remember your position in this matter in a few years from now. When you are taxed into oblivion by "democratic" governments who only represent themselves. Yes, dear delude reader; communism-light is here!
Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.