Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Man vrs State: The Proper Role of Government

 by John Russell Turner

IT IS INFORMATIVE TO ASK WHY MANKIND INVENTED GOVERNMENT. It’s not a difficult question to answer: we made government because it became clear to all of us that there were some who just wouldn’t follow the rules. Some people will cheat. Some will steal. Some will commit crimes, break contracts, smoke in public places…wait a minute, smoke in public places? Is that something any government should be concerned with? 

Man invented government  to give a group of people the power to enforce the law,  and also, to run a military force.

Government gives men and women the time to pursue their self-interests, by taking away from us the burden of having to constantly defend ourselves against criminals, invaders, and other scum; and it provides the teeth to enforce the laws that make for a civil, peaceful society.

What is the “teeth” of the government? The police, for domestic issues. The military, for national defense. In both these cases, it is the legally sanctioned use of force that is the operative thing here. This is the primary reason the human race invented government years ago.

It probably wasn’t long, however, before someone figured out that government workers (and that includes heads of state, lawmakers, policemen, teachers, et al) have a lot of power, and could grab even more once in office. And so, just like we do with everything else, man went to extremes and perverted the true purpose of having a government. Instead of being a protector of individual rights, it became an oppressor, a taker of individual rights (for whatever the excuse de jour is at the time). And the reason it becomes so is because some men lust after power over others, and working in the government offers them the opportunity to slake that lust. It’s that simple.

In this context, the question “is it right for government to redistribute income?” becomes appropriate.  The answer is no, of course. That’s because redistributing wealth is outside the function and purpose of government. It gives some men far too much power over other men. The only purpose for which the government may use its monopoly on the use of force is to protect its citizens from violence and civil wrong doing; to use force to take (to steal) from one man and give to another-no matter how good your intentions are-is to reduce government to the level of the common thief. Besides, who told the government that it had any business helping the poor and disadvantaged? Is this the proper role of government? Private charity, church groups, and a booming economy will take care of the poor and disadvantaged. Why do we need a group of people with guns (i.e., the government) to do this? If someone in government wants to help the poor, then he can go out and find a poor person and help him-that would be immediately effective. If he wants to help as many people as he can, but can’t afford to, then he can organize a charity and go out and fund raise. Notice that this applies to everyone, not just government workers.  

Besides, if you really think about it, helping others is NOT the true motive of the so-called statist, the man who tells you that the government has the right to redistribute income to help the poor and disadvantaged.

No. Because if love and concern for others were his true motive, then he would abandon his lust for power over others, immediately embrace and promote capitalism (as close to laissez-faire as possible), and abolish all the confiscatory taxes and burdensome regulations placed on the productive. Most people, however greedy they may be, still feel inclined to help others when in need; generosity of spirit and even a sense of justice comes into play here. But people usually are generous and kind only when they can afford to be. In an environment of heavy taxes and onerous regulations, most of their cash is being used just to pay the bills, to stay alive paycheck to paycheck. In an environment of prosperity and economic health, i.e., in an environment where people get to keep more of their earnings, people have more money at their disposal. When they see someone hurting, they can afford to help now. What do they need a government official for? 

If you still doubt the transformative power of capitalism, take a quick look at actuarial tables made before the Industrial Revolution, compared to after, when society first began to realize the benefits of the Industrial Revolution. These will show you that on the average, mankind was living longer lives. Indeed, for those who love themselves and therefore love others, and care about them, capitalism is the way to go. But your typical welfare statist hates capitalism, rejects it and will not listen to anyone defending it, no matter how logically sound the defense is. 

Why? Because wealth re-distribution schemes (socialism, communism, et al) are just a rationalization for some bastard to indulge his lusts, usually for power over others.
Stealing is wrong, no matter who does it. Taking away a man’s freedom to enable you or others to benefit is wrong, no matter how noble your reasons are. Unless, of course, the man in question is going around hurting people. 

Because of this, I am a classical liberal, a liber-tarian, in this regard: all men have the right to live their lives as they see fit (which includes keeping ALL of what they make), just so long as in so doing, they do not interfere with the very same right in others.

Your alleged desire to help others does not in any way give you the right to steal from others to fund the means of achieving what you desire.

You bastards who honestly believe that the ends justify the means ultimately value your ends more than you do the lives and property of others. Here’s a clue for you: whenever anyone has to die, or otherwise be sacrificed for your ends to come true, then something is wrong with your ends. Or perhaps, with your motives. In fact, if you look at history and notice that every time government tried to initiate redistribution of wealth schemes, it failed; if you look at what the men in power did in these governments-they slaughtered millions of people-then you will see the truth: socialism and all the other forms of wealth distribution schemes are evil. They provide psychopaths with a rationalization for their narcissistic indulgences.

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