Posted: February 10th, 2011 by Militant Libertarian
By Patrick Samuels, author of: “Memories of a Former American”
Coercion and evil are two things most of us believe are negative, things that should not be part of our lives as free individuals. Yet the insidious nature of the corruption of the American experiment has allowed us to turn a blind eye to our oppression, compelling us to focus on insignificant choices in entertainment and distraction while the chains that bind us grow thicker and heavier.
Our nation was founded on the premise that the individual; his life, liberty and property, was supreme, that a man was the master of his fate unencumbered by the advantages or disadvantages of birth, that the fruits of his labor belonged to himself alone, that his freedom of action was limited only by the prohibition of violating the natural rights of another. The Constitution was a compact of individuals, “We the people.” In our constitutional republic the individual is sovereign and is the source of all government authority, he is supreme even over the constitution itself, subject only to the natural law of the Creator.
The Constitution defines the authority voluntarily relinquished to public servants who are constrained by the law. The legal authority of the government to use physical force to compel obedience or punish wrongdoing is strictly limited to specifically defined areas and can only be utilized after due process.
Today that ideal is upside down. We have allowed the system to be turned on its head so the individual is now at the bottom; a serf, a subject, a slave to a system in which an elite cartel of interests utilize the power of government to consolidate and expand their power and wealth. We, our children and our grandchildren exist to serve the needs of the state as opposed to the state existing only to serve our specifically defined wishes.
Through “public” education and media the ruling class has convinced us that democracy exists. However, if our choices consist only of two parties which, despite their rhetoric, pursuing the same basic goals and policies, serve only to enslave us to an ever expanding government and whose real power has diminished as that of the ever expanding bureaucracy has grown, can we really say we live in a system substantially different than that of the one party autocratic rule we have been taught to deride around the world?
Coercion is defined as the use of force to compel or restrain. It is the use of force, or the threat to use force, to make us do something we would not freely choose to do. When a mugger accosts you on the street with a gun, he is threatening to use deadly force to compel you to give him something valuable, the products of your labor, that you otherwise would not relinquish. That is an example of coercion we can all understand. A thief stealing your property or even your life is wrong, no one questions that. Yet when the government uses the threat of force, fine or imprisonment, to coerce us to relinquish our property for purposes not in our contract or to give it to someone else, we meekly submit to the injustice.
When the government uses the threat of force through an army of bureaucrats in its multitude of agencies to target businesses who create products or provide services they don’t approve of or are politically incorrect at the moment, we accept it as the government working in our best interest even as it eliminates our freedom to choose what we believe is best for us. When the government approves dangerous drugs or withholds experimental treatments from desperate people, no one protests. When the government threatens parents with fines or imprisonment if they don’t send their children to the government indoctrination centers we call public schools and hold the power over our very homes if we refuse to pay for such a horrendous failure of a system, we timidly surrender. When, through the draft or “selective service,” the government asserts a claim on our very lives, we hardly whimper.
Certainly the government does not yet have the resources to prosecute every minor infraction but by selectively targeting those who dare to raise their heads above the herd, they can keep the rest of us living in fear. In other countries where a small group uses force to target highly visible people or organizations in order to bring about a political result or shape public opinion we call it terrorism. Yet individuals and business in this country live in fear of the IRS, the EPA, the FDA, OSHA and a host of other government agencies and their supporters and we accept it as normal!
Evil is “having bad natural qualities”, something that causes harm, sorrow, distress or calamity. At what point did we stop looking at government as did Thomas Paine? “Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.” Or George Washington who said, “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire a troublesome servant and a fearfulsome master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.”
Yet it is before the altar of government we kneel in supplication. Through our inattention and inaction we have allowed it to become irresponsible and intolerable. We have forgotten who we are as free men and women. We have ceased to be the informed and educated people we once were. We have allowed ourselves to be bought off with other people’s money. We have deluded ourselves into believing we can use government for our own benefit. We have become isolated and distracted. We have been conditioned to tolerate the gravest injustices and the theft of our property, our lives and our souls. The greater the evil has grown, the more blind we have become and the more difficult it is to confront.
Confront it we must, if we and our posterity are to live free of oppression and tyranny. Our national government, though its unbridled quest for power, has spent too much to buy us off and whose oppression of those who cannot be bought off is becoming all to obvious. It has caused harm, sorrow and distress to our culture, our families and to the very fabric of our lives. Calamity is soon to follow.
It is time to wake up and recognize the power of the individual. It is time we rose up and declared our sovereignty in the face of oppression. It is time we stopped playing the game of the tyrants and enforced the original rules. Our time is now. No less than the time of the revolution, “the times that tried men’s souls” when the enemies of freedom seemed overwhelming, today is the day when true patriots must be willing to pledge their lives, fortunes and sacred honor, to make the sacrifices necessary so the next generation can enjoy the fruits of liberty, free from the terrorism of our current oppressors.