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Government: Great Servant, Horrible Master



Unnamed (1)The murder, suffering, and destruction wrought by government through the ages—governments like those of Caligula, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, and their ilk—reduces the evil of common criminals like Al Capone, Daniel Ortega, Bernie Madoff, and El Chapo to the scale of breaking wind at Sunday dinner.

There is a historical lesson here for any of us who would entrust our sustenance, security, and happiness to government. History teaches us that when governments go bad, they can really stink—bad enough to make us ashamed of our very species itself. But the more we entrust to government, the bigger it gets, and the bigger it gets, the more likely it is to become our ill-odored master, instead of our servant.

Governing is all about power, of course. Otherwise, those governed would not obey, and anarchy would ensue, assuming it wasn’t there already. Thus, the first power of government has to be the appropriation of violence, such as imprisonment, torture, and execution, unto itself for its sole use. All other forms of violence are outlawed.

To put it bluntly, if you or I kill someone, that is murder, which is illegal, but if government kills someone, that is execution or warfare, which is perfectly—and ever so conveniently—legal. If we take money from someone by force or stealth, that’s theft, but when government does it, that’s taxation. If I break into your house, I do not pass “Go,” and I do not collect $200. I go straight to jail. If government breaks into my house, they get the police to do it.



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