Conscience of a real liberal–
One of the great tenets of liberalism — the true sort of liberalism, not the dirigiste ignorance that today, in English-speaking countries, flatters itself unjustifiably with that term — is that no human being is less worthy just because he or she is outside of a particular group. Any randomly chosen stranger from Cairo or Cancun has as much claim on my sympathies and my respect and my regard as does any randomly chosen person from Charlottesville or Chicago.
Liberalism recognizes that people are part of families and friendships and a variety of different kinds of associations. Liberals encourage, or at least tolerate, any and all forms of voluntary associations, from marital ones to religious ones to trading ones. Liberals reject the romantic nonsense that demands that each person “love” or “care for” everyone in the same way that that person loves and cares for himself, his family, and his friends.
But liberalism rejects the notion that there is anything much special or compelling about political relationships. It is tribalistic, atavistic, to regard those who look more like you to be more worthy of your regard than are those who look less like you. It is tribalistic, atavistic, to regard those who speak your native tongue to be more worthy of your affection and concern than are those whose native tongues differ from yours.
The cyclone of legislation and engineered destruction of freedom and capitalism being whipped up by President Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress (the Republicans, a.k.a. the GOP, or Grand Old Pathetics, as I am want to call them, no longer can be said to count for opposition to anything) cannot help but be accompanied by an aggressive assault on the freedom of speech to suppress all spoken and written dissent and opposition, to silence those whose ideas the administration and Congress do not want to hear and do not want others to hear. This assault represents the logical amalgamation of Left and Right.
Historically, and by necessity, one of the first casualties of a collectivist “revolution,” such as we are witnessing today, has been the free press by either its complete abolition or its takeover by the usurpers. The goal of such physical force serves a number of purposes: to silence those whose ideas are a threat to the totalitarians’ ideological and economic hegemony; to impose conformity on the public, and thus create a population of passive, yeah-saying or silent slaves; to regulate the minds of the public by suffocating them with propaganda and with a fear of the consequences of open, public dissent.
In such circumstances, the guiltiest party is a “free” press which voluntarily parrots the government line, either from agreement with the government’s ends or from ignorance. The American news media today can be charged with a combination of both offenses.
And this one is a must-must-must-read – “The Nature of Man and His Government”–
Having granted that a government can perform a defensive function by apprehending and punishing the criminal, we must look at government on a broader scale.
It is immediately apparent that there is no government in all the world, saving only extremely small and local constabularies, which reserves for itself solely this simple and at least partially constructive function. The prevention of crime and the punishment of the criminal have become, in most instances, subsidiary departments of government. In the main, governments have gone far beyond this field of activity.
Today governments concern themselves in general not with criminals, but with law-abiding citizens. Every citizen is a victim of the aggressive tactics of government. Government begins by seizing the arbitrary and total power of deciding how much money it wants. Then it collects the money without a care or concern for the plight of the individual who must pay or be punished like a criminal.
Next, the government establishes hundreds and thousands of regulations which prescribe particular practices and proscribe others. Almost every action of every citizen has its legal “do” and “don’t.”
The list of prohibitions and compulsions is too lengthy for cataloguing here. But it pertains to business operations, licenses, building regulations, zoning, hours of employment, prices, trade, quotas, embargoes, subsidies, grants-in-aid, traffic, assembly, slander, libel, trespass, health, cleanliness, quality, quantity, method, education, indoctrination, propaganda, news, pictures, morals, food, drink, clothing, housing, sanitation, roads, farm products, transportation, search, seizure, mental outlook, exchange of parcels by post, and so on.
It can truthfully be said that there is almost no activity in which human beings engage which is free of legality. Think what you will, do what you will, there is a law somewhere which either compels, limits, or prohibits.
Try to think of something that people do. With the possible exception of breathing, laws bristle from the activity like quills from a porcupine. And the result of all these laws is to make any individual who does not conform in every respect, a lawbreaker.
Thus, the average person today, buttressed in by government, surrounded and overshadowed by government, finds himself a lawbreaker several times during an avenge day. And this fact turns him from being a law-abiding citizen into a lawbreaking citizen and equates him with any criminal who, in fact, breaks a law with aggressive intent.
But the government, as has been shown, cannot concern itself with anything but the universal obedience it must enforce. Thus, any violation of law becomes in essence a punishable offense. And whereas the government does maintain certain classifications — civil, criminal, and the like — the fact remains that even in civil matters government can and will punish and apprehend with vigor. This is not the fault of government. This is the nature of government.
especially this part-
Isabel Paterson, in her monumental work, The God of the Machine, gives us one kind of answer. She establishes that government is a tool, and she defines the nature of the tool as that of a guillotine. In effect she asks, what good does it do to have a saint of every conceivable virtue operating a guillotine? Personally, the man may be above reproach. He may have the highest of morals and ethics. He may be imbued with a passion for doing good. But the mechanism he is hired to operate cuts off heads.
He may dislike to cut off heads. He may weep with true sorrow whenever a head falls into the basket. But he was hired to pull the rope that lets the knife drop. And when it comes down, off comes the head. That is the way the tool works.
In her analysis, Miss Paterson is eminently correct. Government is an agency of force which can and must be employed against every deviationist. And this is only to say again that the government must oppose the individual. Therefore the “good” man in government is like a priest with a machine gun. The mechanism does the harm. The man who operates it merely pulls the trigger.
That I put a philosophical question a couple of days back is merely a coincidence.