Even Libertarians Love Big Government by Bill Buppert

 

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”
– Groucho Marx

“…and he loved big brother.”  Orwell’s chilling first line to 1984.

I have written before about the impossibility of limited government.  Let us make sure our terms are correct.  Government is any entity that attempts to monopolize the use of force and reserves first use of same to itself.  They make noises about consent but this is simply window-dressing to keep the animals in the feedlot from feeling oppressed or taken advantage of.  Their variants range from communism to socialism to democracy.  The first two, at least, are honest in their intentions of ballooning government oppression to proportions common in history but democracy is probably the biggest and most dangerous sham when it comes to governance.  While the usual bugbears of collectivism make themselves manifestly evident in terror-states like the USSR and Communist China, the Western democracies make Orwell proud.  The pastiche of 1984 and Brave New World come to the fore in Europe and America.  Here in the land of the unfree and home of the formerly brave, the huge Federal leviathan is helmed by telegenic Presidents whose claim to fame is the ability to speak (George Bush?) in platitudes and illiterate homilies to the joys of government intervention and using the state as the means to empty your neighbors pockets and, magically, the pockets of the unborn through non-consensual deficit spending. Boasting the highest corporate income tax and capital gains rate in the galaxy, America continues to run up mountains of debt and oceans of red ink in pursuit of …bigger government.  In addition, we are afforded the opportunity to spend countless billions and trillions maiming and murdering tens of thousands of men, women and children overseas in the name of liberation and advancement to the joys of democracy (God help them…).

Take a breath because I am about to insult most of my readership and increase the volume of my hate-mail.

If you believe in limited government, you are no different than the Communist Party apparatchiks or the socialists or even the Democrat Party or Grand Old Politburo (GOP) members.  You all share a common bond with every democidal maniac traipsing through the sordid and bloody history of government on Earth.  Whether an active member or simply the usual electronically tethered shambler that makes up most of America, your belief in limited government is a fraudulent assessment of what is going on around you.  Limited government never has and will never exist. Whatever the hopes and dreams of the political schemers at the heart of the creation of the new government, usually in the ashes of the last epic government failure, the government will metastasize into a monstrous and bloody-minded giant intent on crushing freedom at every turn and annihilating self-ownership of individuals whenever those unfortunates make their intentions known.

All the Founding Lawyers, even the sainted Thomas Jefferson, were guilty of this tragic delusion that armed strangers must be invested with the power to fine, cage, maim and kill residents of tax jurisdictions (also known quaintly as nation-states) to maintain a just and prosperous society.

So I just arrived from another dimension and know nothing about the formation of societies and Western culture on Earth and the man in the street explains to me why America looks the way it does:

Inter-Dimensional Being (IDB):  What is the purpose of government in this country?

American:  To make us free and prosperous.

IDB:  How is this accomplished?

American:  Well, the government sets up rules for us to live by.  It seeks to make it fair and equitable for every citizen to attain the American Dream.

IDB:  What is that?

American:  To get rich and be free and prosperous.

IDB:  Do you sign a contract?  Can you disagree with the policies of this government?

American:  What contract?  Sure, we can disagree but we may very well end up in big trouble like fines or jail if we don’t agree with the majority or whatever our elective representatives have done.  The only contracts I am familiar with are the ones I have with the cell company or mortgage on my house.

IDB:  So if you have a moral disagreement with your government, they will still harass you or worse if you refuse to comply, yet you have signed no contract?  On what grounds can they hold you responsible in that way when they do not even have your personal signature?

American:  That is just crazy talk, I have to do what the government says or I can get in big trouble.

IDB:  Is the government so good with money and resources that you trust it to be financially frugal and make competent decisions?

American:  Look, if you have any experience with TSA or the DMV, you know the government can’t find its ass in the dark with five Klieg lights.  Hell, you should see the total amount I pay in income, sales and property taxes much less the millions of rules and regulations that strangle my small business on a daily basis.

IDB:  The government appears to be no better than organized crime or highwaymen.  Who would put up with that?

American:  I have to go to work now…

Limited government is a chimera and has never existed anywhere.  It is impossible.  One may be a happy minarchist libertarian carping on endlessly about returning to the Constitution, placing government within reasonable limits and holding the elected officials responsible through voting but you may as well be a Communist Party USA organizer or teachers union official; you all speak the same language.  You are providing the government with all the power it needs by simply acknowledging its rightful existence.  Once you fail to question its expansionist nature and participate in endless debates on how to curb the beast, you have lost already.

The question is not how to limit government but simply to take the path to dissolve it, salt the earth where it stood and swear on the blood of your children that you will never let that tragedy happen again.

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace in a continual state of alarm (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing them with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
– H.L. Mencken


Copyright © 2011 by zerogov.com

 

Bill Buppert
thirdgun@hotmail.com
6 Comments
  • Kent McManigal
    Posted at 09:53h, 26 April Reply

    Yes! Absolutely right!

  • Chris W
    Posted at 21:10h, 26 April Reply

    Wow, a few more sermons like that Bill and I may renounce my minarchist beliefs.

    In my heart I know that zero government is the best path but people are imperfect and there will always be leaders and followers and leaders will always do what they can to gain more and more power regardless of the structure. I wish that wasn’t the case but that is how I see it. The best we can hope for is to put as many constraints on Leviathan as possible.

  • Chris
    Posted at 05:48h, 27 April Reply

    Damn you Bill, you beat me to it! Anyways, great article brother!

  • aaron
    Posted at 17:31h, 28 April Reply

    What is your alternative?

    If we have centralized control of force, then we have government, and the only question is how to best limit the abuses of the centralized power.

    If we have no centralized control of force, what protects individuals from other power blocs? What about ethnic, religious, or ideology-based groups seeking to impose their collective will on other individuals and on each other?

    What protects the overall territory of the ungoverned from the incursions of organized and well-armed aggressors acting on behalf of other governments?

    You say limited government is a chimera and has never existed anywhere. Nice sound byte, but of course government is more or less “limited” in its various incarnations and formats.

    Certainly it was the intent of the US Constitution to impose some limitations on government, and compared to the governments that then existed, America’s is quite limited – at least we have no king or emperor or dictator whose word is unquestioned law.

    It is libertarianism or anarchy that seems to me the chimera that has never existed anywhere. As nature abhors a vacuum, human nature abhors a vacuum of power – such have always been filled, and you provide no reason to doubt that they always will.

    To emphasize how awful it is, your IDB compares government to organized crime or highwaymen – but without centralized control of force (i.e., government) there would be nothing but organized crime and highwaymen – until some warlords emerged to fight it out – and they wouldn’t likely be fighting for the rule of law and reason, or for any “limits” on their own power.

    If there is some reason to doubt this would be the end result of anarchy, I have never even seen it put forward as a reasonable argument, much less seen any evidence in history to indicate that any other outcome would be possible.

    If you have some rational argument or historical evidence – let’s see it.

    • Bill
      Posted at 09:05h, 29 April Reply

      What is your alternative?

      Freedom from initiated aggression and bondage to an un-contracted authority whose compliance is compelled by maiming and killing. Slavery is wrong. If you wish to defend it, say so.

      If we have centralized control of force, then we have government, and the only question is how to best limit the abuses of the centralized power.

      If we have no centralized control of force, what protects individuals from other power blocs? What about ethnic, religious, or ideology-based groups seeking to impose their collective will on other individuals and on each other?

      What you are, in essence, saying is that the possibility of injury and liberty deprivation is so great, you would rather countenance the enormous government we labor under today. Nonsensical at best since you liberties and freedoms are sequentially extinguished under government auspices.
      What protects the overall territory of the ungoverned from the incursions of organized and well-armed aggressors acting on behalf of other governments?

      What prevents the world’s greatest historical military power in Afghanistan from stopping the threat and trillions of dollars later still mired in a defensive fight at best? Armed individuals and groups who live there who resist the incursion of a foreign occupation. Look at the history of resistance and rebellion and you discover that empires fall and small bands of determined resistors can turn the tide against numerically and qualitatively superior forces. You will no longer have the luxury of relying on proxies for your defense and will have to do it yourself but such is the price of freedom.

      You say limited government is a chimera and has never existed anywhere. Nice sound byte, but of course government is more or less “limited” in its various incarnations and formats.

      I am all ears for what those limitations are…let me know when you find them. The only reason they don’t exterminate their subject populations purposefully is the absence of a tax base to exploit once all the corpses are bloating in the sun. I say purposeful because history is chock-full of examples of government incompetence and savagery leading to untold millions perishing.

      Certainly it was the intent of the US Constitution to impose some limitations on government, and compared to the governments that then existed, America’s is quite limited – at least we have no king or emperor or dictator whose word is unquestioned law.

      Examine the first ten years of the Constitution and you find a nation that taxed land, slaves, documents, imports and anything else they could get their claws into. I would contend the only reason they did not impose an income tax is because the significant barter aspects of the economy at the time and insufficient accountancy technology prevented it.

      It is libertarianism or anarchy that seems to me the chimera that has never existed anywhere. As nature abhors a vacuum, human nature abhors a vacuum of power – such have always been filled, and you provide no reason to doubt that they always will.

      No cigar for you, you practice anarchy everyday with your family, in the marketplace and your personal business unless you are inferring that you would murder your neighbor if the state did not impose punitive sanctions on you. That may not be a far stretch since you now infer that mugging your neighbor to support government programs is A-OK.

      To emphasize how awful it is, your IDB compares government to organized crime or highwaymen – but without centralized control of force (i.e., government) there would be nothing but organized crime and highwaymen – until some warlords emerged to fight it out – and they wouldn’t likely be fighting for the rule of law and reason, or for any “limits” on their own power.

      So a government issued badge makes them better people?

  • aaron
    Posted at 11:41h, 29 April Reply

    Sorry, but your arguments hold water like a sieve.

    You return again and again to your hatred of government and taxes – I already got that.

    You throw in a few unwarranted and irrelevant personal attacks. Since I disagree with you, I support “slavery.” I’m cowardly (enjoying the luxury of relying on proxies for my defense – for the record, I’m a veteran; I believe the Constitution is worth defending even to the risk of my life). I might want to be a murderer, but for fear of law enforcement – which crime you seem to believe is not a far cry from the crime of believing that government is necessary – even if I think of it as a necessary evil.

    Your example of Afghanistan is perfect – perhaps you would prefer to be ruled by mullahs – I would not.

    Your contention that people who live in a society protected (more or less) by an established government and the rule of law are practicing anarchy in their everyday lives is absurd.

    Though I personally would not murder or steal from my neighbor, it is abundantly clear that without law and some enforcement apparatus, some people would.

    The government issued badge doesn’t make the enforcers better than highwaymen or organized crime. But in every concentration of population with a density higher than supportable by a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, in all of human history – some centralization of force has occurred. That is specifically because the highwaymen and organized crime bosses are subject to no controls at all, and governments can be brought under some control (even if it is just magna carta level control – where the big boss is limited in his exercise of power over the outlying local concentrations of power).

    Limiting the power of that centralized authority is not easy – but your denial that there is any difference between totalitarian autocracy and representative government is a fallacy – specifically, it is the fallacy of the excluded middle – a nice accompaniment to your ad hominem approach to debate.

    Again – do you have any meaningful reason to believe that if government were utterly abolished that other equally-if-not-more abusive power structures would not arise, religious, ideological, plutocratic, or what-have-you?

    The fact that such power structures always arise in human society is the root of government, and our form of government is at least partially based in a philosophy that considers government a necessary evil that should be controlled as much as is possible.

    Rant on if you like, but please stop pretending that you are presenting a point of view based on logic and reason.

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