Thursday, August 2, 2012
The Fantasy of Government Protection
“How can an otherwise sane individual become so enamored of a fantasy, an imposture, that even after it’s exposed in the bright light of day, he still clings to it – indeed, clings to it all the harder? No amount of logic can shatter a faith consciously based on a lie.” – Lamar Keene on why it was so easy for him to fool people who believed deeply in his ability to speak to spirits of the dead.
The purpose of our government, according to many, is to protect us. More specifically, our form of government, the so called representative republic so carefully crafted and established by the European settlers of the colonies that came to be known as the United States of America, was set up to protect smaller state governments from foreign intervention while honoring the individual liberties of the singular human being. Its powers were to be limited in scope. It was supposed to protect the little guy, the least powerful individual, against the most powerful individuals and organizations including other powerful governments. Its focus was to be on protecting individual rights from being violated by powerful special interest groups. This hasn’t worked out too well, has it?
Government in general, and the federal government in particular, has a tendency to protect not the people, not individual rights, but the interests that serve them. Government serves the wealthy and influential because, well, they’re wealthy and influential. Governments make laws that tend to protect the wealthy and influential and at the same time do harm to those who are not so wealthy and not so influential.
The evidence of this is all around us. It is on the nightly news. It is the bailouts protecting the big banks and the financial sector. It is Obamacare protecting the insurance industry. It is the supreme court protecting Obamacare. It is the EPA protecting BP and big oil. It is the drug war protecting the prison/industrial complex. It is the FDA and the AMA protecting big pharma, etc., etc., etc. All these federal agencies and others help to protect the big, multi-national corporations while harming the little guy either through enforcement of the laws created or by regulations making it financially impossible to compete with the big boys.
We can question why this has happened. The answers will likely be many and varied. We became too nationalistic in the 1940s in order to defeat our enemies overseas. We became too socialistic in the 1930s because of the economic downturn back then. A law was passed in 1913 that created a privately owned central bank commonly referred to as the Fed in the modern vernacular. The Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons and entitled to the same rights as a person. Abraham Lincoln and the Republicans didn’t want to honor the spirit of the constitution and allow states to secede when they felt the federal government had become too powerful and intrusive. John Adams signed the Alien and Sedition Acts. George Washington put down the Whiskey Rebellion.
In my view all these things helped to usher in the current environment we live under. Yes, even things that happened hundreds of years ago created ripples that still have effect in the modern age. Even though no permanent laws came out of the two older examples, we are still shown that even the smallest of governments wants to grow, wants to flex its muscles and tyrannize someone. Even in its infancy the most freedom oriented government the world had ever known was unfair to some of its citizens. Now we are living in a nation that imprisons more of its citizens than any other nation on earth. We are one of the most taxed people on the planet, and now with the new supreme court ruling on Obamacare we discover we are going to be taxed at an even higher rate. How can we continue to believe we are the freest nation on earth?
Our descent into the collectivist society we have become with the authoritarian government we have created did not happen overnight. It happened over the course of a couple hundred years or so as little by little the populace became less and less involved. They began to go along to get along. They stopped speaking out when laws didn’t affect them directly. As long as they were in the majority and injustice wasn’t visited upon them, they ignored unjust laws. So long as a law was aimed at someone else or “made sense” or didn’t cost too much, it didn’t matter to most if it violated the individual liberties of a few. They bowed to authority and let it have a little more power, let it get away with a little more tyranny. That’s how the cancer of collectivism works, growing slowly at first and then speeding up in its later stages as it eats away at the body politic and works on killing its host. Now we are paying the price for our apathy. Now we just might begin to see just how brutal and controlling the authoritarians can get.
The problem the authoritarian collectivists seem to be having these days is that more and more people are catching onto their games. They’re beginning to realize that any talk of the federal government protecting the individual is just fantasy. They’re beginning to realize that the federal government isn’t protecting them, it’s harassing and even terrorizing them. It’s herding them into a position they don’t want to be in. It’s doing everything in its power to hold them down while the mega wealthy sheer them for all they’re worth.
They’re beginning to understand the fear propagated by government. They can correlate that whenever global corporate interests or government wants something that public opinion is against, some newsworthy event takes place to help sway public opinion. They wanted the Patriot Act, 9/11 happened. They wanted a bailout and they threatened economic chaos. They wanted naked body scanners and there was suddenly an underwear bomber. Every time new gun laws are being debated a lone nutcase shooter suddenly pops up out of nowhere. How many times can something happen that’s coincidental before people start to think maybe there’s something more here than simple coincidence?
But if so many people are waking up, how is it they are able to continue to get away with their malfeasance? It could be that too many people still worship at the feet of the government god. Too many people still look to government to provide answers for problems that government created. Too many people still believe there is a significant difference between Republicans and Democrats. Too many people trust party politics. Too many people still believe some candidate for office is going to change things and turn it around for them. Too many people still believe we live in the best, freest nation on the face of this planet with the best possible political system and the fairest justice system and they are protected as long as they just keep their head down and don’t say nothing to no one. Even when shown the facts and while all around them are shouting otherwise, these people want to believe in the fantasy and so they put their blinders on and continue to make excuses for government. These are the people who support the establishment, the status quo, and the system as it exists. This is why government can get away with so much criminal activity, because people would rather believe in a fantasy than face reality.
What can be done in the face of such denial? I’m not sure. I’d like to say ignore them. I’d like to say just walk away. I’d like to say just move on to more enlightened souls and forget about the debris that will be left floating adrift in the wake of a sinking ship of state, but somehow that doesn’t seem right. I suppose all you can do is politely as possible explain your position and then stick with it. Keep pointing to examples of the government caring for the elite instead of the common folk. Sooner or later I think just about everyone is going to come to the understanding that they have been depending on the system rather than their own best judgment to get along in life.
Government doesn’t care for you, it doesn’t care for your family and it doesn’t care for your friends unless it serves its needs to do so. You do care for yourself, your family and your friends. You can take care of those entities much better than government ever could. The best you can hope for right now is for government to simply leave you alone. The best that you can hope for is that they keep their control freak noses out of your business as much as possible. The best you can do is make it known that you wish to be left alone. The best you can do is stop asking the government for favors and start figuring out how to best take care of yourself and your own. The best you can do is withdraw your consent and help others determine that it is time for them to do the same.
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