Friday, October 9, 2009

Put your trust in no one above yourself

Distrust and caution are the parents of security. - Benjamin Franklin

It shouldn't be incumbent on anyone to school a self-professed libertarian like Glenn Beck on the suicidal recklessness in trusting government. This lover of liberty no doubt professes to be an admirer of the founders, yet is conspicuously unaware of the virulent disdain nearly all of them had for government. You may not have noticed this from past entries to this blog, but I don't buy it. Glenn Beck is a belligerent neocon who defecates on the Founders and everything they stand for.

Now that I've told you how I really feel, why is it exactly that government can never, ever, ever be trusted?

In an ideal world, all of us would have the self esteem, the motivation, the education - or the willingness to learn, to have faith and trust in ourselves first and foremost, and not completely put our lives and the lives of our children blindly into the hands of others. What better cause of our current state of woe? If you're looking for someone to blame, find the nearest mirror. Murray N Rothbard - not a Founding Father - once said that government is a gang of thieves writ large. Not our government; all government. It is its incontrovertible, insurmountable nature, because, as Lord Acton said, power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Pop quiz: name one thing government accomplishes effectively. War doesn't count. Hmmm...neither does taxation. Come on, people...think! Come up with anything? Me either. But, what about the roads and bridges? Most Americans are grossly unaware - not surprising - that our nation's infrastructure is on the brink of achieving third-world status. And you wondered why they still can't get electricity 24/7 in Iraq yet? Everything government gets its filthy, thieving, murdering hands on turns to, well, excrement. Social security? Bankrupt. Medicare? Bankrupt. Medicaid? Bankrupting our economy. The FDIC? Insolvent. Education? An engineered failure. The Federal Reserve system? An unmitigated disaster of epic proportion; the greatest and most ingenius fraud in the history of mankind. As if we have been cursed by the Chinese, we're living in interesting times. And if you think health care deteriorated to its sorry state all by its lonesome - another victim of capitalism run amok - HA! Nixon created the HMO. Obamacare will make us even more sick, and more broke. Everything that ails this country today is the fault of government intervention, which metastasized due to the people's apathy and ignorance. And I hate to break it to you, but it wasn't just one big, massive bureaucratic SNAFU; this is as they intended. Why, you ask? Because that's what government does. It robs. It cons. It murders. Writ large. We have forgotten this, and we have turned our back to government. Now we must remove the knife.

But back to the Founders. Perhaps the best indicator of the Founders' woefully low opinion of government comes from George Washington:

    Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.
Doesn't seem like George Washington trusted government very much Glenn Beck, and he doesn't seem too apologetic about it. His meaning is clear: even if you control government, it is dangerous; when government controls you, you will tremble before it.

    [G]overnment, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. - Thomas Paine

This theme permeates from the writings of most of the founders: government is evil, albeit necessary.

    A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives. - James Madison

This is another popular theme of the Founders: an ignorant populace will have their necks stepped on by the government's boot. Why? Because an ignorant people have put full faith in government to handle their affairs, and, as government is wont to do, will be oppressed by it. Thomas Jefferson makes this point countless times. Here is perhaps his most well known:

    Cherish, therefore, the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention. Do not be too severe upon their errors, but reclaim them by enlightening them. If once they become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress, and Assemblies, Judges, and Governors, shall all become wolves.

And one more for Glenn Beck, and the rest of you boot-licking statists out there, that long for a fictional time of yore when government could be trusted:

    All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree. - James Madison

Duh.

This shouldn't be that difficult to grasp, but in a country whose people have slowly and incrementally been chemically lobotomized and indoctrinated to worship the State, we keep searching for the ever elusive, mythical savior which will return America to its former glory, a time when Americans could fatten themselves up with fast food and beer and hypnotize themselves with reality TV and mega-hyped and over-commercialized sporting events. Wait a minute, I seem to have gotten ahead of myself; we still live in that country now.

Americans know things are bad, but, alas, we are content to be slaves, so long as we don't have to put the remote down and inform ourselves, so we could stem the tide of tyranny. We are slaves who are content with fooling ourselves that we are free. We are this way, Glenn Beck, because we trust everyone but ourselves.