Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

15 June 2017

Political Discord and Anger Rule When Government is Too Big

With great frequency, we are told that the extent of the political discord in America today is too great and we must tone it down.  This is impossible because we have allowed government too much power. A government with the power of our federal government, and for that matter with the extensive powers of our state and local governments, just has too many ways to do harm to most of us and to rob and punish us for the benefit of those groups who control the power of those governments.  It is the excessive power and its inevitable use to harm most of us, and to allow profit to others at our expense, that calls forth great passions about politics.

Once government exceeds the limits of its legitimate function in protecting the rights of the individual to life, liberty, property, self-ownership, and the pursuit of happiness with broad freedoms of conscience and association, government will necessarily do harm to some even if it tries to do the greatest good for the greatest number.  That is not the proper function of government.  People should act for their own good in the private sector, taking full advantage of their protected individual rights to do so.  It is not for legitimate government to do harm to anyone.  Indeed, the wonderful thing about the private sector is that it in no way requires that harm be done to anyone.

Yes, some people will not fare as well as others in the private sector.  But, at least they have the opportunity to choose their own values in the private sector and to pursue those self-chosen values. When governments have grown beyond their individual rights protection functions, they chose the values that government will pursue and they drag us individuals along whether we would choose those values or not.  The government chooses values and imposes values on all of us by force.  This use of force to pursue its ends is the essence of government.  It is fundamentally why government must have very limited purposes and powers to pursue those purposes.  The Framers of the Constitution recognized this and the people who ratified the Constitution did too.

We have perverted that Constitution for highly limited and principled government with claims that it allows government to do anything in a law that includes taxes because it has the power to tax. Hogwash.  It has the power to tax only to support the very limited powers enumerated in the Constitution.  We have perverted the Constitution by claiming government has the power to regulate anything and everything that involves or could in any way affect interstate trade.  We have perverted the Constitution by ignoring the broad 9th Amendment that recognizes that individuals have rights not enumerated in the Constitution.  We have allowed the 10th Amendment to be weakened.  We have reduced the ability of the states to exert influence in Washington, DC by removing their power to appoint Senators to the Senate to represent the interests of the states.  We have reduced the representation of the People in the House of Representatives by allowing massive and ridiculous gerrymandering of Congressional Districts.

We have established government-dominated and controlled educational institutions with a serious conflict-of-interest problem.  These government-controlled institutions have seen to it that young Americans are unfamiliar with their individual rights and with the very limited role of legitimate governments.  They further the discord and distrust in order to further increase the powers of government.  The legislative law-creation function has also been substantially passed to regulatory agencies with little oversight by the People's representatives in Congress.  As a result about 80,000 pages of new regulations are produced each year.  No one knows how many federal laws and regulations there are.  In short, we have removed most of the limits on government power.

Consequently, it has become a matter of life and death whether one's personal interests are under attack by government.  Or, one might be in a particular band of robbers who stand to make out like bandits if only that band can control the levers of power.  The individual who stands up and defends his individual rights stands literally to be murdered as the governments exert their power.  Few people choose to suffer immolation at the hands of a brutal government eager to enforce its laws and regulations by using whatever force it may take.  But, though one may not present oneself for such immolation at the hands of overwhelming force, this does not mean that one is not suffering passionately one's subserviance.

Powerful governments with wily special interest groups working constantly to gain control over some function or other of said governments, understandably causes many citizens, who either do not have the time or who lack the mental power to understand what they are doing, to become very suspicious. Many begin to imagine that forces are arrayed against them that may not in fact be attempting to harm them.  The fact that many factions are taking advantage of the People in general, will cause many of the People to imagine the worst of motives for many who may only be trying to protect themselves from harmful government force.  Both rational and irrational fears will become common. This is a necessary result of governments that pursue the idea of doing the greatest good for the greatest number, which is made even worse by the fact that such governments only succeed in generating a general warfare among special interest groups for power at the cost of our general Welfare.

When the Framers of the Constitution and the People who ratified it, established a new government under that Constitution, they wisely opened it with:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
The document that followed described a highly limited government and the main opposition to the adoption of the Constitution was by those who believed that that government was too powerful, not too weak.  It was a highly limited government that the People looked to to provide for Justice, domestic Tranquility, the promotion of the general Welfare, and the Blessings of Liberty.

We have failed their vision.  We have abandoned the principles of legitimate and good government which they perceived.  We are paying for that with governments that create injustices, stir up passions that lead to violence and discord, that harm many in the interests of factions too politically savvy, and deprive us of many of our Liberties.

It is no wonder that we have little domestic Tranquility under these conditions.  Who controls the levers of government has become a matter of life and death.  The only way to escape this sad state of affairs is to return to a highly principled and limited ideal of government.  Government should first do no harm to anyone.  It should promote our general Welfare and domestic Tranquility by simply protecting our individual rights and leaving us free to manage our own lives.

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