I have noticed that in many of the conversations that take place here, there is a persistent play by some who oppose all government. That play is to jump up and end every argument by claiming that government’s only purpose is violence. It doesn’t matter what the debate begins being about, it always ends with that statement. And it ends at that point for a very different reason than the reasons it should end. I decided to once again put forth my vision for where America needs to go in order to take back our country.
Obviously I don’t pull many punches in this blog. That just wouldn’t be any fun. Black Flag is the most obvious culprit of using this tactic, but isn’t the only one. I will admit that he is the smartest one using it. If you haven’t tangled with him here, you should know that he is very intelligent and can take a debate in circles until it drives you mad and you give up, not because you submit that his side of the argument was correct, but simply because there is no end to it. He won’t concede any points and cannot be reasoned with on his points.
But that doesn’t mean that what he says isn’t valid many times. I have several times admitted in these posts that he certainly has the ability to make you think about your position, and defend it. It would be more effective if he allowed you to defend it instead of twisting it into something else (sorry BF). But I encourage any of you to engage him. If nothing else he will help you clarify your positions in your own mind.
That isn’t the point of this post. The point I wanted to discuss with all of you and debate below is his constant belief that all government is evil and only exists to do violence. All politicians are evil and even if they start out honest they will eventually become evil because that is the requirement for membership. What I really want to address is the contention that government can only exist through the use of violence against non-violent people. The contention that government serves no other purpose than this.
I just don’t believe this to be true. I do believe that there are a lot of bad and violent people in power today. The political system in America has fallen into a good ol boy network that promotes this and makes use of it. My contention is not that today’s government is not evil or that it doesn’t use violence to retain power. Instead my contention is that this doesn’t have to be the case.
I advocate getting government back under the control of the people. That is what I want. The constitution and the other documents of that time were meant to allow this to be the case. One of the comments here from Cheute79 got me thinking about this and prompted me to write about it yet again. What I want to see is a dramatically smaller federal government than what we see today. The federal government was never meant to be as big and powerful as it has become. The founders knew that it could happen and tried to warn us not to let it happen. Unfortunately the American people got lazy and allowed themselves to be manipulated over and over into giving up the power.
Cheute79’s comment was well written and relevant. I copied and pasted it here: I have been a follower of the Libertarian Party since I could vote in 1975, actively campaigning for the party in ‘76. I stopped active support when it allowed itself to be overtaken by a group I refer to as the “free sex and drugs party”. They may be results, but not the purpose or focus. I’m not a newcomer to the movement. I also read the Federalist Papers in the early ’70s. I now consider myself a Conservative Constitutionalist.
That said, it seems that virtually everyone misses the fact that, even under a Libertarian Federal Government, assuming it is in “power” long enough to have corrected all the wrongs, local and even state governments can apply other “local” laws, much of which could provide for services, restrictions, or exclusions at the behest of the local population, as long as they don’t conflict with the Federal laws (basically the Constitution). Everyone agrees that local entities (whether a state, county, city or neighborhood) can or should provide schooling, facilitate transportation (drivable roads, railways, or dirt paths), recreational facilities, ad infinitum. They can also provide police services, or contract them out, regulate their authority, or define physical requirements for an officer. A “locality” could even decide to have an “official” religion (Massachussetts specifically called out Christianity as its official religious belief in its Constitution; Utah never did specify one, contrary to what people often think). Now, if the decisions made a better, more prosperous life for the residence, more people would either move in or emulate it. If they made bad decisions, people would either move out or reverse the decisions. Except for the functions that must devolve to the Federal Government (provide for the common defense, etc.), there could be significant regional differences, and the Federal Gov’t would just need to make sure that they all played nice together, but not use force. This was the vision of Madison, Hamilton, et al. The purpose is to assure that “the people” are the sovereigns, not a distant, impersonal government.
I think that this goes a long way to showing how I view what government could become. It isn’t exactly my vision or belief, but it gets some basic points across as to how the country can still function with a smaller federal government. Getting things down to the local level is a key to getting government back under control. I don’t believe that the world really works without rules, regardless of the inane arguments to the contrary. But localizing things would allow for easy movement into and out of municipalities based on the rules that are set in place there. It would hold accountability at the local level, where politicians are forced to answer to their constituents.
Will there be some violence that goes along with enforcing the rules of the society? Yes. That is an unfortunate side effect of rules. They must be enforced. Will there still be taxes that are collected to allow local governments to serve the functions now served by federal government? Yes, and I am OK with that because people are more apt to be involved in deciding what those taxes are at the local level. I would eliminate much of the Federal taxes we see today. No national welfare or retirement benefits. No medicare. But provide for National Defense and a small amount of other things. Federal Income Tax, however, would be abolished.
But to the crux of my argument here. There are tons of honest people in America that are willing to serve the greater good of their fellow citizens. These people exist in our communities today. They are soldiers and policemen, firemen and doctors, teachers and nurses. And given the chance to serve their community on a local level or a state level, they would gladly do so. And most of them would do so with honesty and respect. They would do so with integrity and leadership by example.
I consider myself to be one of those people. I know that many of you do as well. And that kind of integrity and honesty CAN translate to the national level as well. Ron Paul is a good example that even in today’s political landscape, those kind of people can and do survive. And when those people are the representatives of the people in government, it won’t be violence that is the identifying factor in government, it will be leadership and servitude.
So what needs to happen to make my vision a reality? A LOT. And that will be the subject of tomorrow’s post.