(My Clovis News Journal column for April 28 (?), 2016 )
George Washington may have once said something along the lines of "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence — it is force. Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."
Actually, he probably didn't say it. With quotes, though, it doesn't matter who said it as long as it's true.
So, is it true?
No. It most definitely is not true.
When anyone claims government is a servant, they are lying in order to get you to accept the unacceptable. Government-- or more accurately, The State-- is never a servant. If it were, you could fire it and hire a replacement, or choose to do away with the position altogether. If a fire becomes a threat to your life, liberty, and property, you douse it. If you, individually, can't fire government and eliminate it from your life, it's not a servant.
Which leaves us with something admittedly dangerous, and not a servant. A dangerous, fearful master.
Once you learn what goes into making certain foods, you can't unlearn it. Maybe you don't care, or maybe you can get past it, but you'll always know.
It's the same with government. Once you learn what makes a group a "government" you can either ignore it or not let it bother you, but you can't forget.
Cooperation, such as pooling money and labor, mutual defense, and protection of the weak, is good. The moment you add theft and aggression-- the defining characteristics of government-- all the good is gone.
Force and taxation changes governance into government. It poisons everything it touches. It turns restrooms into battlegrounds of "must" and "must not", where everything not prohibited is mandatory. It eliminates private property and self ownership. It turns personal choices into crimes.
Government leaves no room for morality or ethics.
Statists are those who believe governing others is a legitimate activity. To this end they try to confuse you. They know you recognize governance can be good and necessary, so they substitute the degraded form, government, and hope you don't notice their sleight of hand.
Governance includes self control, but self control is never externally imposed. It doesn't enslave. Government, in the form of The State, is always evil. Always harmful. Always a net negative to society.
It's long past time to stop tolerating the dangerous, fearful master others want to impose on your life. Reject government in favor of liberty. Once you use the blunt instrument of government to have your way, you have failed. Why not win instead?
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