On the Other Hand...

The Moral Imperative

by Jim Davies

In its fundamental nature, as Washington noted, government isn't about reason or eloquence, but about "force"; that is, everything it does imposes conduct on human beings and denies our freedom to make our own decisions. Therefore, government is in its basic nature "evil"; evil being that which undermines the wellbeing of the human race.

When the specific powers taken by a government are few, that evil may be tolerated in practice; it's hard to get worked up about. When those powers become pervasive, the evil is monstrous and flagrant and easily visible - like those of Pol Pot, of Stalin, of Hitler. But by then, power being what it is, it's too late. In the famous words of Pastor Martin Niemoller:

"[The Nazis] came for the Communists, and I did not speak up because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak up because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak up because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I did not speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for ME. By that time, there was no one left to speak up for anyone."

So the critical phase is the one between those two extremes.

America, Today

The United States in 2000 has some ominous parallels with 1935 Germany and there is time still to resist, as Niemoller wished he had. Let's see some examples:

The parallels are not perfect, of course; here there is no sign of a racial bias as there was in Germany. On the other hand American governments have gone far beyond the Nazis' wildest dreams in their erection of a "Social Security" system designed to impoverish the older generation - who might otherwise use their lifetimes' wisdom and considerable private wealth to form an effective counterweight. And they have taken that most destructive of German exports - the government school system - far beyond where even Goebbels could go, in indoctrinating each rising generation with the "G-myth"; that is, the ridiculous notion that government has any good and useful function.

And they have invented a trick that Hitler's gang of thugs quite overlooked: the "Drug War". The actual menace from illegal drugs is of course relatively trivial: 4,000 annual deaths from overdoses compare with 40,000 from automobiles, 240,000 from nicotine and another 3,000,000 from natural causes. But the irrational fear of pleasure- giving substances whose use goes back deep into antiquity in some cases, has handed government the means to scrutinize every single bank account while getting a free pass despite the plain wording of the Fourth Amendment. The mechanism of control is almost fully in place.

Christians

All of this - and much more - is manifestly, grossly "evil" by any rational moral standard. Indoctrination, control, exploitation have only one predictable outcome: a new, dark age of tyranny. Already in the last 100 years, the world's governments have murdered over 150 million human beings, all allegedly under their "protection" and in addition to battle casualties. If these observations are even roughly correct, that is merely a prelude.

Therefore, those concerned about morality - who like to think that their conduct is "good" and their legacy to the human race, benevolent - are absolutely obliged to make a decision. Shall we ignore it and do nothing, as Martin Niemoller did for ten years, before it became too late? - or shall we take action to resist, while time still remains?

One of the great ironies is that Christians, who are widely regarded as being keepers of society's conscience, are doing no more now than Niemoller did in the 1930s. Exceptions abound, but taking the many millions of them as a whole, that is a true statement.

Instead of exposing the G-myth at root, their spokesman split fine hairs over whether this politician or that is more worthy to take your decisions for you. They squeal and bleat about trivia like condom machines in schools, while ignoring the massive theft that makes government schools possible in the first place. They bemoan the teaching of evolution in those schools, while openly demanding to take over the levers of power so as to thrust creationism down the throats of the children of those from whom they would gladly continue to steal the entire cost of the exercise.

They shriek for laws to forbid the killing of the unborn, but favor strengthening the most monstrous killing machine in human history - the US military. They sometimes preach individual responsibility, but in the next breath call for "everyone to be subject to the higher powers." Y-u-c-k!

Their agenda for control is different (and arguably, more wholesome) but it is for control anyway, and not for liberty. For the most part, these preachers of the gospel are Socialists of the Right. Far from opposing humanity's greatest enemy, they play right into its hands. They strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

Neutrality is hardly excusable - "not bad men taking action, but good men doing nothing" - but most Christians are not even neutral. They don't stand on the sidelines of society and say "this is just worldliness, we are not part of the world, we have a higher purpose, we will take no part in it either way, it is Hell-bound by whatever route it chooses" - instead, they plunge in and take part, as above. To stand aside might be understandable. But they don't; instead of just inviting all to their wedding, they go out into the highways and byways to compel us to come in, by Law. In so doing, they strengthen the tyrant instead of denying him any moral validity.

Withdrawal of Support

There is a way, I believe, to stop the government juggernaut, and some Christians are joining those of us whose moral sense has other roots. It was best expressed in the 1500s by the French philosopher Etienne de la Boëtie:

"I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer. Then you will behold him, like a great colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces."

That withdrawal of support has many faces, and all of them are good and far, far better than doing nothing. A popular one is political action; to be active with the Libertarian Party.

That has merit, but has a deep flaw; the governing elite really doesn't give a damn which way anyone votes, at least until the aggregate of anti-government votes becomes large. Thus, if Harry Browne for example achieved even 33% while a Republicrat got 34%, all is well for the tyrants because the political system here is winner -take-all. A single vote achieves nothing; nor does a 5% vote, or a 10% vote, or a 20% vote, except perhaps to give them pause. And they have a proven track record of systematically preventing any upstart vote achieving any such total.

But compare the effect of denying them not our vote, but our money - and remember, they have absolutely no money of their own!

Every American household on average is surrendering over $8,000 a year to the Feds alone, in income tax; another $5,000 in SS tax. Both are avoidable, by any of several proven methods, without risk of jail. So a self-employed provider at an average earnings level could deny our tyrants $13,000 or so every year. That's $13,000 they could not use to wreak more havoc.

And when 100 such do it, that's $1.3 million a year. And when 5% of the population stops paying just the income tax, that's $40 billion a year that the Feds no longer have.

When 20% get on board the revolution, their votes would have no effect at all; but the denial of their money will have slashed the Federal government by about 10% (remembering that the i-tax supplies only about half of its revenue.) The arithmetic is really that simple, and a 10% funding cut would reduce the evil by that degree.

The evil is so great, the danger so immense, and this solution so easy, that it's my respectful submission that any person with a sense of morality and justice is reprehensible if he fails to use it, and nobody volunteering to subsidize evil that monstrous has any business laying claim to the occupation of moral high ground.

© Copyright Jim Davies 2000

Jim Davies lives in New Hampshire,
and enjoys contemplating which way is up.

The above is Edition # 311

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