By Chris Rossini
For eons, governments have practiced dividing and conquering their subjects. Modern-day America is an example of how it's taken to the extreme. The political divisions have become too numerous to keep track of anymore. Say something (anything) and you're bound to offend some group that has designated itself "victim" status. Public apologies have become an almost daily occurrence.
One of the many government apologists at the New York Times, David Brooks, believes that these divisions have run amok.
...this year, it seems, everything has been stripped down to the bone. Politics is dividing along crude identity lines — along race and class. Are you a native-born white or are you an outsider? Are you one of the people or one of the elites?
These are the results of an all-powerful government. It is an unfortunate irony that the "land of the free" has morphed into the "land of government power."
Since government is a monopoly on the legal use of force, the bigger and more aggressive that it becomes, the more people look for an angle to get in control of wielding it. Ultimately, a battle of everyone against everyone must ensue. Either your compartmentalized group uses the violence of government against others, or others will use it against you.
At first, these groups were simple to identify. There were Democrats versus Republicans and Liberals vs. Conservatives. But the distinctions between these groups have all but disappeared. No matter who holds the reins of power, war and welfare ratchet upwards. No one (beyond campaign rhetoric) wants peace, liberty and individual responsibility.
Over the last century, as government gobbled up American liberties, divide and conquer birthed groupings that are based on race, sexuality, gender, age, height, weight, etc.
Because Americans are trained in government schools (that they're conscripted into attending) to always look to government for solutions, no human act is permissible without some kind of bureaucratic touch. If there's a problem, every American is conditioned to first reach for the healing power of the apparatchik.
Ultimately, people start to making up imaginary rights for themselves, like "gay rights" and "women's rights" and "minority rights". There are now claimed rights to another person's labor, like a "right to healthcare" and "right to a college education."
Cries for aggressive government force against "sexism" and "racism" and "ageism" reach a high pitch. Meanwhile, the government itself practices these very things with everyone's approval. Government wants to know the minutest details about everyone so that it can get the "black vote" or the "gay vote" or the "hispanic vote".
As reality keeps getting pushed further and further away from the conscious mind, government gets exactly what it wants (i.e., everyone looking to it for everything).
The whole process of divide and conquer must decay into a form of tongue-tied chaos, where no one knows what to think, what opinions to hold, who they can hire, who they can fire, what they can say, or what they can do.
There is another option to this nightmare, but Americans must sober up from this government power stupor. That option is liberty. It is the principle of "live and let live." No aggressive force against your neighbor. Likewise, your neighbor cannot (legally) use aggressive force against you.
No freebies. No attempts to get something for nothing. If it's wrong for you to walk to your neighbors house to steal his property, it's wrong for a third-party (government) to do it on your behalf. Theft is morally wrong even if you're not directly ripping the property from your neighbor's hands.
Despite the government albatross, we still see hints of how voluntary interactions work in the marketplace. You can go to the store and exchange property voluntarily with others. If you go to a retailer, you're most likely not concerned with the political opinions of the owner. It doesn't matter if he's black or white, or hispanic. You trade your money for his goods.
The cashier that rings you up may hold wacky religious beliefs and practice sexual acts that you find disgusting. But it doesn't matter. You hand over your money, take your goods, and you're outta there.
If the appearance of the owner and cashier do happen to bother you, you're perfectly free to never step foot in that retailer's store again.
Live and let live.
No government force, and no aggressive violence.
Liberty is a philosophy of peace, and it's a much better alternative than a war of all against all, with government supplying the guns.
It is possible to go from the "land of government power" back to the "land of the free".
But it has to be greatly desired first.
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