I hate this country’s government and everything it stands for.
The corruption, the lies, the tyranny. The violence and intolerance. “Political correctness.” Conformity. Control. Power. Empty gratification. Mindless acceptance. It’s a vile creature, this government.
It started okay. Good idea behind it. Wonderful Constitution, and all that. Yay for freedom! But the government today has devolved into an entity which is quite frankly beneath contempt. My personal belief is that this change started in the Civil War of the 1860s. That war was, at its core, about state’s rights. Yes, the excuse both sides used was the issue of slavery. But ultimately, this was how it went: the states in the South didn’t feel like the U.S. government was very good for them, and therefore, they wanted to secede from the Union and make their own country. The Government, however, didn’t like that. They didn’t want to lose any of their power. So they started a war to force the Southern states back into the Union, though they had no legal or moral right to do so. After the Civil War, the rights of individual states decreased a good deal. I consider this unjust and tyrannical application of power on behalf of the Northern Government to be the start of the current Federal Government’s corruption.
It can be argued, however, that the beginning is even earlier, at the very introduction of the constitution. According to Patrick Henry,
The fate … of America may depend on this. … Have they made a proposal of a compact between the states? If they had, this would be a confederation. It is otherwise most clearly a consolidated government. The question turns, sir, on that poor little thing—the expression, We, the people, instead of the states, of America. …
With the replacement of the Articles of Confederation by the Constitution, the United States became a single country rather than a collection of principalities united toward a common goal. Thus, it can be argued that the start of the government’s unjust powers was in fact with the acceptance of the Constitution. Do I think the Constitution was a bad thing? No. It was an enlightened document. Unfortunately, humans are capable of abusing any law, no matter how enlightened it might be.
At any rate, this country has reached a point where the its people are in thrall to a government that wants nothing but more power and more money. A government that will use any excuse to tighten its stranglehold on the public (case in point–the SOPA Act, the Patriot Act, and the recent modifications made to the National Defense Authorization Act, which allow the government to detain for an indefinite period any US citizen who is suspected of terrorism). A government that spends with no thought to the future and forces its citizens to bear the burden of its own lack of fiscal wisdom. A government run by corrupt thieves for whom lying comes as easily as breathing, which supports any suppression of free thought. A government eager to use violence and physical force to cow its enemies, be they foreign or domestic. A government… that needs to fall.
I realize this may seem to some like a gross over-simplification. I realize that not everyone in the government is an evil bastard. However, consider this: power, by its very nature, is an extremely corrupting influence. Because of the way this country’s government is designed, the people who gain power tend to be the ones who look for it, who will do anything to attain it. It’s been said that the man most worthy of holding power is the one who wants it least. Draw your own conclusions.
I could spend a long time ranting about the Government’s various shortcomings, and how these can be tied into all levels of American society. However, I don’t think that would be very constructive. Instead, I shall present a possible alternate form of society, which would, I think, resolve most if not all of the problems with this government. I don’t claim that this idea is practical, and I have little idea of how it could be put in place, but it’s good to ponder other options. There is rarely only one way to do something.
The first and most important thing to do: abolish the Federal Government. A big government creates the exact opposite of freedom. There is, in modern society, a very large misunderstanding of what the government’s role should be. People tend to think that they are owed something by the government. They feel entitled. This starts young: “everyone’s unique and special! You have to follow your dreams! Don’t let anything stand between you and happiness!” And this view is carried into adulthood. The government only encourages the view, by running welfare programs and putting out economic stimulus packages and doing other such things. However, the government’s purpose is not to be a breadbasket for the population. The purpose of a national government is extremely simple: enforce the laws and protect the people. That is it. There is absolutely nothing else the Government should be doing. It is not the government’s place to interpret or create laws. It is not the government’s place to declare war. It is certainly not the government’s place to run the economy or give financial aid to anyone with a sob story.
So clearly, the Federal Government’s powers must be drastically reduced. I would reduce the government to one single entity: the Court. This would be a simple system of judges. Every town would have a judge, who would handle local disputes. If a dispute involved certain criteria, it would be passed upward to a higher court, of which there would be as many as needed to keep things running smoothly. I imagine there would be some “circuit judges,” servicing the more remote towns. There would be no lawyers. Juries would be used, and they would of course be raised from the local folk. The Court would have its own private army–what is today the Police–in order to ensure that its verdicts are carried through. A Code of Laws would be set up at the beginning of this administration, which could be amended only by consent from a large amount of voters. Punishment would be swift, public, and in proportion to the crime. “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” would be the Court’s motto. A murderer would be put to death immediately–courthouses would have their own facilities for punishment–most likely by hanging, a historic and effective form of public execution. It is important to make these punishments public because public punishment dissuades others from committing the crime, or at least that’s the theory. Many punishments would involve public humiliation, such as being put in the stocks. The fear of having one’s pride demolished would be an effective fear in the prevention of crime. Punishments would also be applied evenly regardless of age. It does little good to coddle the young, because such coddling reinforces the belief that one can sin and get away with it, making it more likely that the youngster will commit the same crimes when he’s older. In short, the justice system would be swift, efficient, and as impartial as possible–as well as the only permanent government entity.
Now, that sounds like an awful lot of power. In order to balance that power, there would be a militia. This militia would serve a couple of roles: protection from foreign threats, and keeping the Court’s powers in check. The Court and the Militia would serve to keep each other in check, so that neither entity could abuse the people. A further check would be that Commanders and Judges would be elected, not by members of their own organization, but by the local citizens.
A nationwide council would be elected, by popular vote, to handle foreign affairs and other such things that are better handled by a small group of people than by a large country. Its members would change every few years, and it would hold little real power.
The Federal Reserve would be abolished and inflation would become a capital offence. Each bank would issue its own money, but money would really become less important, as a more compact barter system would have equal prominence. No one entity would be allowed to control the economy, and each state–each community–would have free rein in terms of trade.
There would be no standardized, government-run education system. Such things encourage only close-mindedness.
There would also be no centralized medical care. Medical care would be run on a smaller and more local basis, rather than being controlled by huge hospitals and pharmaceutical companies.
Standards would be enforced by the Police, who follow a series of Codes–Construction Codes, Educational Codes, etc. However, the if Police became overzealous, it would be the job of the Militia to step in and keep them in check. Also, there would be no gun control laws (beyond perhaps age-based permits), and common citizens would therefore be able to defend themselves from both the Court and the Militia.
In essence, everything would be decentralized and taken out of the control of the Federal Government. By spreading power, freedom would be maintained. The country would no longer be so unified, but unification comes at a steep price, and I don’t believe this price is always worth paying.
Of course, I don’t claim that all this would work. But I think something like this would be a better option than the current power-hungry monstrosity that controls the nation. Another thing I find interesting is a revival of the feudal system in modern society, which I might discuss in a later post….