Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Self-reliance not such a bad idea

Self-reliance not such a bad idea

(My Clovis News Journal column for April 26, 2013)

Throughout most of American history, interference in an individual's life by government employees, even under the worst administrations, was rare. Government and its regulations were practically invisible, like a ghost, and most people never noticed government because its laws didn't affect their lives or normal behavior in ordinary circumstances. The regulations that did exist were generally consistent with Natural Law; "don't steal", "don't attack the innocent", and "don't trespass". The rest of the rules, like "give the taxman his cut", were easily complied with (or ignored).

Now it seems almost unnatural to go about your day without being confronted with some sort of State interference.

Now how often do you find your course of action impeded by a law, fee, permit, license, tax, etc? How many times every week are you forced to interact with a government employee to satisfy some bureaucratic edict? Even once per week would have been too often to a person just a generation or two ago.

Yet, it only gets worse as government gets in our faces more every day.

We are watched by cameras so that any infraction can be fined. We are tracked in our cars and on our cell phones and computers. We must go through a gauntlet of groping hands, or worse, to get from Point A to Point B in many cases. We are told to pay for the privilege of exercising our fundamental rights. In short, we are ordered to submit to treatment worse than that which spawned a revolution. We are fast approaching the condition where everything not forbidden is mandatory. And we are always deceived and told it is for our own good or for "security".

Benjamin Franklin knew the score: "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." He understood that tyrants claim you must give up essential liberty for the illusion of security- for that is all security ever is when you allow liberty to be diminished even the smallest amount: an illusion.

So, does all this government intrusion make your life better? Are you better off when you are not permitted to make vital decisions for yourself? Do you need a Big Brother watching your every move so that you don't hurt yourself or others? Or so Big Brother can make sure you don't defy his commands?

I can handle my own life, and I know you can too. Neither of us needs to be treated like a stupid or naughty child. Big Brother can go jump off a cliff.

Slavery is wrong, whatever you call it

Yesterday, on my "Death-by-Government Day" post, blogger "Bonnie Gadsden" asked a very pertinent question:

"Kent, what do you think about draft dodgers?"

I responded:

"You might as well ask what I think about the slaves who escaped their captivity up until the 1860s- or those in Africa who escaped being captured and enslaved in the first place. Because conscription IS slavery.
 It isn't cowardice to keep your freedom, especially when you know the price will be high, it is bravery."

Do we revile those three women in Cleveland who recently escaped after a decade of captivity as sex slaves?  What about those who foil a kidnapping attempt?

Runaway slaves, those who hid to avoid being enslaved, and those who escape or avoid a kidnapping.  I'd say "draft dodgers" are in honorable company.  They are the ones who actually sacrificed for freedom.