By Chris Rossini
No matter what one's knowledge of mankind's history, whether it be an understanding of just a few decades ago, or even a few centuries ago, everyone can answer the following question with the same exact answer:
Which man-made institution has produced the most violence and death...whether it be in the current year of 2019, or thousands of years ago in 2019 BC?
The answer, of course, is the government, or the state.
No other group of people can come even close to matching the violence inflicted by governments.
It's very easy to understand why this is so. Government, after all, is the only institution that is granted a pass on how it collects its revenues. Government is able to do what no one else can do legally, and that is to confiscate its revenues through the threat of force.
If any other individual, or even a group of individuals, try to confiscate their revenues by force, they are punished for the crime of theft.
But government gets a pass, and because of this pass, those who are taxed have no way to withdraw their consent to financing government's violence. You either pay up....or else. So you pay up.
With such power to confiscate revenues, governments are able to build themselves into violence-wielding machines who have weapons that can destroy life on Earth many times over.
Again, no other group can do this. If a corporation tried to do it, customers could withhold their funds. Likewise for churches, non-profits, charities, or any other combination of individuals.
Government doesn't allow a way out, so you may hate the wars and destruction with every fiber of your being, but you still have to go to work and send in your money to pay for the reprehensible acts.
This violence has to be directed by someone, or some group...and that's where politics comes in. That's when the other groups get into the fray.
Various factions get together and ruthlessly fight with one another in order to get in control of violence-wielding apparatus. The factions want to control the violence for their own benefit. No one wants the violence directed at them. Everyone wants it directed at everyone else.
In America, government started out very small, hence the name "land of the free." But today, the violence-wielding apparatus is so big that it appears no one, and no single group, can control the whole thing anymore. It's like riding a wild bull. Politicians pop-in for a few short years, grab and steal whatever they can, and then pop-off into the Caribbean sunset.
The wild bull gives politicians and their friends a few gray hairs, and they definitely have to suppress any moral principles that they may have been taught, but the money is great....and lots of people cheer them on and idolize them.
If there's one thing that history teaches us, it's that man-made creations (and especially governments) come and go like dust in the wind. It's only logical since their existence runs directly against human nature.
Violence and theft are not the building blocks of life and civilization. If they were, none of us would be here right now.
Peace and voluntary exchange are the bedrock of civilization. That's why we're still here.
With this being the case, mankind goes through ups and downs. Life accelerates forward at break-neck speed when the ideas of peace and voluntarism dominate, only to fall back when the violence-wielding apparatus of government is believed to be everything to everyone.
Where we are in this cycle in 2019 is obvious. You'd be hard-pressed to find any aspect of life where government hasn't invaded in some form or another.
But there is very good news. While history teaches us that man-made governments rise and fall (as they must) there is always one thing that is constant and remains no matter where we are in the cycle: individual liberty.
Individual Liberty is not man-made, but a part of our nature as humans. America's Founders (of the Declaration of Independence persuasion) identified this to be "self-evident."
Individual Liberty is not bestowed on us by other human beings.
Liberty is "Universal," to use the language of people who foolishly look for government to bestow "universal" things on them.
We always have individual liberty, and it's what makes us truly individuals.
The only difference between, say an American in 1776, when government was minuscule, to an American today is the degree to which we can enjoy and express our inherent Liberty.
Obviously today, it's much more difficult, since there are so many hands picking away at our earnings, and so many busy-bodies looking to "regulate" everyone but themselves.
But if you're creative, use your imagination and are entrepreneurial, which lots of Americans are, you can still create a wonderful life for yourself and your family.
The American spirit might be against the ropes, but it is not dead.
You'll notice that those who believe in government the strongest are always the biggest complainers about it. Their expectations can't possibly be met......ever!
As we went over at the beginning, government is a violence-wielding apparatus that produces the greatest destruction of any institution.
How odd that people would expect this very same institution to educate the people, care for the poor, provide healthcare for everyone, take care of the most vulnerable.....etc...etc...etc...etc....ad infinitum.
Why would anyone ever expect a violence-wielding apparatus to do any of these things?
Bad means can never produce good ends.
Violence is a bad means.
The use of one's mind and one's individual liberty to voluntarily interact with other individuals is a far better idea.