Volume 2, Issue 13

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9 Thinkers Reveal How Government Runs Amuck

 by Ken West

Amid the chaos of an out-of-control government with such usurpations of freedom as:

  • IRS targeting of libertarian and conservative groups
  • NSA surveillance of Americans
  • Obamacare (government takeover of health care)
  • Militarization of the police
  • EPA and the Bureau of Land Management attempting to drive Ranchers off the land
  • An FDA that blocks or holds back new treatments for cancer and other maladies
  • Endless wars
  • Federal Homogenizing of education with “Common Core”
  • And a plethora of Federal, State, and Local agencies and regulations dedicated to prevent the use of ones’ property …

It may help all of us to consider the following quotes, and act of their wisdom to help address and correct our loss of freedom before it becomes too late.

Ludwig von Mises [author of Human Action]

“The main political problem is how to prevent the police power from becoming tyrannical. This is the meaning of all the struggles for liberty.”

Alexis de Tocqueville [from Democracy in America]

“[The sovereign] extends its arms about society as a whole. It covers its surface with a network of petty regulations–complicated, minute, and uniform–through which even the most original minds and the most vigorous souls know not how to make their way past the crowd and emerge into the light of day. It does not break wills; it softens them, bends them and directs them. Rarely does it force one to act but it constantly opposes itself to one’s acting on one’s own. It does not destroy, it prevents things from being born, it extinguishes, it stupefies and finally, it will reduce each nation to nothing more than a herd of timid, and industrious animals of which the government is the shepherd.”

J. S. Mill [from On Liberty]

“Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called or whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men.”

Thomas Paine [from Common Sense, and The Crisis]

“Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.

“Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil in its worst state an in tolerable 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 calamities is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer!”

Jean-Francois Revel [from The Totalitarian Temptation]

[The Totalitarian State] “tries to destroy the autonomy of private life, which it fears, by constant surveillance.”

Frederic Bastiat [from The Law]

“It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder.”

No legal plunder: This is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony, and logic. Until the day of my death, I shall proclaim this principle with all the force of my lungs (which alas! is all too inadequate).”

“Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.”

Isabel Patterson [from The God of the Machine]

“Nothing is more essential to the welfare of a nation that the counter-check on government, by legitimate means. A mechanism without a brake, a motor with a cutoff, is built for self-destruction.”

Ayn Rand [from Atlas Shrugged]

“There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.”

George Orwell [from Nineteen Eighty-Four]

“Big Brother is watching you.”