Tuesday June 19, 2012

 

 

 

For Those Still in Darkness

by Bill Willis

11/12/07

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

 

“The mind is its own place, and in itself / Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” - John Milton

 

“Why doesn’t the government do something about that?” We’ve all heard this familiar refrain, in response to a perceived slight or annoyance to the person making the statement. Coddled by the welfare state from cradle to grave, today’s American citizens (and more and more illegal residents) expect no less than full and complete ministration from their great unseen Nanny, the Federal Government.

Potholes in the street of your otherwise bucolic residential neighborhood? Why hasn’t the government fixed that yet! Gangbangers hanging around your downtown apartment complex? The government should take care of those thugs! Local water supply running low? Better call the government! Lost your job and low on cash? Get some suction on the fed’s money teat and don’t let go!

Why is it, when Americans have historically been independent – with a decidedly self-determinant bent – do so many now acquiesce to an “all-powerful,” centralized, authoritarian State? How can so many Americans believe that an all-powerful federal government dictating every detail of your life is an ideal situation – making “a heaven of hell”?  What caused this sea-change in attitude? And is it too late to change back to the type of government our Founding Fathers created: small government, limited powers, and truly representative of the people?

Leviathan Growing

In 1925, the federal government comprised just 3% of the GDP. In other words, the government required 3% of the GDP to operate – that includes all expenses, both foreign and domestic. After WWII, during which the scope and powers of the federal government grew rapidly, the size of the government hovered around 15%. As of 2006, that figure had risen to almost 20%. That means, in as simple terms as possible, that in 2006 the federal government took 20% of every dollar the country makes. Why this gargantuan governmental growth?

There are many theories and reasons as to why the federal government has grown beyond the scope envisioned for it by the Founding Fathers. We could discuss McCulloch v. Maryland, Roosevelt’s New Deal, the rapid expansion of federal powers during wartime, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution authorizing income tax without apportionment, the Jekyll Island Conference and subsequent passage of the Federal Reserve Act – all moments in this country’s history that contributed greatly to the expansion of federal powers.

Instead, we’ll focus on what was undoubtedly the defining moment in the young history of the United States, the one conflict that is almost universally misunderstood by Americans today – the Civil War.

American Fascist

Lincoln was the Founding Fathers’ worst nightmare – a dictatorial Executive who went on a rights-trampling rampage, tyrannizing both North and South, all in a quest to enforce Hamiltonian nationalism and prevent Southern secession. Slavery? Lincoln cared not a whit about slavery, openly admitting to using slaves as political pawns to begin his brutal war. In fact, throughout his political career up until he was elected President, Lincoln consistently voted against slave rights and for the institution of slavery. When he first took office, he even supported a Constitutional Amendment to prevent the federal government from ever interfering in a state’s right to conduct slavery.

Lincoln’s actions during the war were those of a dictatorial fascist “king,” ruling by fiat and executive order. Lincoln’s tyrannical acts are well-documented: he suspended habeas corpus and then issued arrest warrants for speaking out against this suspension, illegally arrested and imprisoned thousands of political dissenters in the North, shuttered hundreds of opposition newspapers, began the war without congressional approval, confiscated legally owned firearms, imprisoned many in the Maryland legislature, censored all telegraph communication, used soldiers to rig Northern elections, among many other despotic acts.

Unsurprisingly, when dictators and fascist leaders after Lincoln have suspended civil liberties and subjected their citizens to increasing levels of tyranny, they invariably point to Lincoln as justification. Lincoln’s true goal was not “ending slavery” – it was the elimination of federalism and states’ rights created by the founding fathers.

After Lincoln’s conflict, the philosophical tug-of-war between the Jeffersonian ideal of limited government and the Hamiltonian desire for broad “implied powers” was over. The winner, firmly ensconced in national politics via the energized Republican Party, was Hamiltonian nationalism. The inevitable result was federal government “power creep” – the slow but inexorable usurpation of state and citizen rights by the federal government. More so than any event in United States history, the Civil War was the tipping point in favor of “big government.” Not only had the federal government appropriated for itself new, unconstitutional powers, it demonstrated that it would not hesitate to use these powers to quash any dissent, as brutally as necessary.

The Land of the “Free”

The United States Code (the document that codifies all federal law) includes 50 sections with 27,000 pages – covering everything from giving grants to study where sexual attacks are most likely to occur (Title 42, Section 9511) to the perpetual maintenance of an American Hospital in Paris, France (Title 36, Subtitle II, Part B, Chapter 215) . Included in these 27,000 pages are over 4,000 federal crimes – many with harsh minimum sentencing requirements. And not only do you have to worry about breaking some arcane federal law, you’re also subject to the State Code for wherever you happen to live, some more overbearing than others. As just one example, as of 2005, Colorado had over 30,000 laws – let’s repeat that – thirty thousand laws in its Code, the Colorado Revised Statutes.

The obvious result of this orgy of law-making is the more laws are passed, the larger government grows, and the less individual liberty you have. More laws require bigger government bureaucracies to administer those laws, which require larger law enforcement agencies to enforce those laws, which invariably require higher taxes to pay for this ever-more-bloated government.

“So what’s the big deal if the government passes another law to fight ‘terrorism’? I’ve done nothing wrong – I’m not a terrorist!” You say you’re not a terrorist? Well, what if the government says you’re a terrorist – what then? If that “unlikely scenario” were to occur, you can pretty much expect to be stripped of habeas corpus, rounded up and thrown into prison without due process, and remain there indefinitely, at the complete mercy of the Executive. In other words, KYAG*.

Sound familiar? It should. Remember Lincoln, that most-respected of American Heroes, did the exact same thing to “terrorists” of his day – those who had the temerity to actually speak out publicly against his tyranny. And where else do we find this type of tyrannical behavior? How about Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Russia, Mao’s China, East Germany, Hirohito’s Japan, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Kim Il Jong’s North Korea, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, and under the countless number of European kings and despots who had simply to utter the words “Off with their head!” to quash political dissent.

There Is Hope

“So what can I do – is it really possible to make a difference in the face of the leviathan just described?” Yes, it really is possible to make a difference. First, you need to educate yourself, which means reading. That’s right, r e a d i n g. You won’t educate yourself by watching TV. The fact that you’re still reading this article means you have an open mind and are ready to fully engage the truth.

Read as much material as you can about the following topics: Jeffersonian Principles, the problems with the Federal Reserve, the difficulty associated with maintaining an American empire, “blowback,” and Libertarianism. Get online (http://www.lewrockwell.com is a great starting point), go to your public library, or spend some of your hard-earned money on good-quality books covering these topics.

Second, once you’re educated, start educating others – let them know what the Founding Fathers meant by limited, or constrained, government. Raise your children to ask questions, never taking on faith what they learn in public school. Discuss – in a non-aggressive manner, of course – Libertarian ideals with your co-workers and family members.

Third, get involved. Become politically active – support candidates who believe in personal liberty, self-determination, state’s rights, and limited federal government. Give your money and time to these candidates, ensuring that Jeffersonian ideals are represented at all levels of government.

And, finally, vote for Ron Paul for President in 2008 – he is the only candidate on the national stage who represents Jeffersonian and Libertarian principles.

 

References:

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdoc.cfm?index=3521&type=0

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdoc.cfm?index=6060&type=0&sequence=1

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/35xx/doc3521/125RevisedJuly3.pdf

http://www.heritage.org/research/features/index/country.cfm?ID=Unitedstates

http://masonc.home.netcom.com/big_govt.html

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=5217

http://www.i2i.org/articles/IP_9_2005_b.pdf

http://www.lewrockwell.com/dilorenzo/dilorenzo133.html

*Kiss Your Ass Goodbye

 

 

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