“You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot lift the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot establish security on borrowed money. You cannot build character and courage by taking away men’s initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.”
– William Boetcker
“Indeed, in a free government almost all other rights would become worthless if the government possessed power over the private fortune of every citizen.”
– John Marshall
I issue a standard challenge to everyone within earshot: show me one government or nation state which became smaller and smaller over time and increasingly less injurious to the freedom and liberty of individuals. Again, I hear the bleating of the usual suspects on the alleged Right who claim that new-found respect for the Constitution will set everything right and we will all skip down the yellow brick road of the small government paradise known as America. You are either a coercionist or a individualist, there is no middle ground.statist I will not belabor the details here for I have covered the Constitution abundantly in both essays and speaking engagements to show it for what it is: a doomsday machine designed to bring maximum government to bear against a helpless citizenry reduced to bondage to the same document. It is the great centralizer and grants unlimited power of taxation to the overlords in DC at Mordor on the Potomac.
I have championed the Articles of Confederation in the past but even those documents were flawed but certainly gave smaller government a chance. In the end, limited government and small government never exist for long before metastasizing into enormous machines built for one purpose: to extract unlimited obedience on pain of caging, maiming and/or death of all persons living within the acknowledged confines of the taxing jurisdiction known as nation-states. Nothing less, nothing more. Politicians are neither statesman nor public persons of noble intent; they are simply a self-selected class of psycho-/socio-paths whose only agenda is the monopoly of the power to enforce what I just described. Despite all the court historians, collectivist apologists and contemporary mouthpieces who sing paeans to government and the denizens who run it, the agenda remains the same: the destruction of individual direction and volition and the harnessing of the captured citizenry to the whims and will of the rulers. You have been lied to and civics class in the government education system then and now has been a descriptive mechanism to rationalize yoking individuals into the collective hive of the state. Civics class is nothing more than obedience training make sure your leash remains fastened even when the government isn’t snooping.
You cannot have a government without willing or unwilling submission of the subjects to the will of the rulers. There is no historical antecedent or precedent for a government ever staying within the confines of its originating power. None. This speaks to my interpretation of the Western exodus in America in the 18th and 19th century. The court historians talk about the wide-open spaces and the frontier mentality. This was certainly a component but the main reason was a desire on the part of those sickened by the liberty-crushing Atlantic Constitutionalists to flee from that document and its strangulation of their freedom bit by bit. I can just imagine the two Celt brothers coming to a screaming halt at the beaches of California, looking over their shoulders and shouting: “Swim, Seamus! The Constitution is right behind us!” Limited government is a legal fiction, a chimera and a cruel and tempting illusion. It is the same as a belief in unicorns. Unless I fasten a narwhal tusk to a most displeased horse’s forehead, they have never existed nor ever will (barring genetic engineering advances). Judging from the behavior of the elected Grand Old Politburo in the recent “landslide” in 2014 in the unholy corridors of power of DC, they should ditch the Gadsden and hoist a unicorn bedecked flag. Political action will never reduce the size of government. The incentives are so perverse to do otherwise that Buchanan’s Public Choice theories come to the fore with a vengeance. Buppert’s Corollary to Acton’s Axiom is that power attracts the corruptible and absolute power attracts even worse.