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October 11, 2014

Fundamental Concepts - Government is Theft [WeirdDave]

Like most of you, I've watched with horror as our American society, culture and population gets dumbed down every year. Whether it's the inevitable result of the comfortable lives we live, said comfort made possible by the conservative principles that you and I wish to preserve, or the result of a Gramscian Long March Through the Institutions set in motion by the bastards from the Frankfurt School* isn't what I want to discuss in this essay. No, the topic of this essay is one of the fundamental realities of government that is absolutely foreign to 90% of the people out there, one that was taken as a given by the founding fathers. I sympathize with those of you in the let it burn camp, really I do, but the (usually) unspoken assumption of LIB is that we can rebuild after the burning an America based upon first principles. We might be able to do it (I have my doubts, can anyone give me a historical example of the total collapse of a society and culture that was followed by anything other than a totalitarian regime? Anyone? Bueller?), IF.....IF (and it's the biggest if in the world), we were dealing with a population that understood and believed in certain fundamental concepts that in previous generations were ingrained in the population, we might have a chance. They're not ingrained anymore. Do they even teach civics in school these days?

There are a number of these concepts to discuss, I might make this a series, but the one that I want to focus on today is simple: Government is theft.

It is often said in the liberal media that we conservatives hate and mistrust government (broadly true), and that we want no government at all (False, that would be the anarchists, a group that should be furthest right on the political spectrum but oddly, these days, seem to be mostly leftists**). What we want is a government that is limited to a narrowly defined role. Why do we want that? Many will ask this question. Government exists to make our lives better. Stupid haters!

We want that because we realize that in order for government to function, it MUST take money from the populous to fund it's endeavors. We're perfectly willing to acquiesce to that reality, as long as what government is doing is strictly limited by law. Defense? Definitely. Police and courts? Yes. Taxes? Grudgingly. Regulate trade? Absolutely. And so on. As long as these functions of government are strictly defined and regulated, we're on board, but the basic principle is one of theft. The government takes (at the point of a gun. We're willing to accept this, but it is still done by force) some of our property in order to function.

Where it all goes pear shaped is when government seeks to do things outside it's enumerated powers. Why? Why, that's the subject of this essay. As I said, government is theft. We are willing to allow them to take a small part of what we earn to fund the functions that we agree are necessary. When government goes outside those boundaries, however, it will continue to take and take and take, more and more and more, becoming a parasite vastly larger than it's host. It HAS to, just as you or I have to MAKE more money if we want to buy a new car, government has to TAKE more money if it wants to do more things.

Think of it this way. Suppose you owned an apple cart. You sell apples on the street to support your family. Every day, the beat cop stops by and eats an apple. You don't exactly like this, but you're ok with it because the cops keeps robbers away with his presence. Soon, however, he brings everyone from the precinct down to enjoy your apples too. You hold your tongue because with all the cops around eating apples, no robber would dream of accosting you, and enough of the neighborhood folks buy apples that you can still support your family. You made the tacit agreement with the cop to give him apples in return for protection. Even with all the cops eating apples, that agreement is still being kept. Now suppose the cops start handing apples out to every passerby. Now nobody buys your apples and you go out of business. Until that happens, however, who objects? The cops? No, they are enjoying your apples. The passerbys? Ditto. No, only you object, and nobody except you and your now starving family even cares.

Now extrapolate that across 330 million people and you begin to get the idea, and that's how government grows. It takes your apples and gives them to everyone, and while you don't like that, you're busy eating the pears it took from the cart across the street. Everybody becomes a passerby, benefiting from theft from others. Obviously, it cant last forever, soon there is nothing left to take, and everybody goes out of business. It's a Faustian bargain.

All of this used to be generally understood. It's not anymore, and until and unless the majority of the population realize that we're all Faust, selling our souls for a few crumbs of bread (knowledge in Faust's case), we're irrevocably damned, like Faust. It's only by realizing this fundamental nature of government, and accepting it, that we can control it. If we forget this, then government becomes Santa Claus, supplying never ending gifts without cost. This will continue until it doesn't. What happens then?

Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. -George Washington

*Have I talked about Gramsci and the Farnkfort School? It seems I must have, it's a subject I'll go off on at a moment's notice (ask my wife), but I can't remember if I have or not.

**The true political spectrum is another good topic. This garbage that fascists are right wing drives me nuts.

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posted by Open Blogger at 01:00 PM

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