In an era when monarchs, oligarchs , autocrats and aristocrats governed according to their whim, having derived their right to rule on caste or bloodline, a motley collection of men steeped in principles led a revolution and established a nation dedicated to natural law and declared inalienable rights, the foundation to the Declaration of Independence.
There is nothing more exceptional in human history than two sentences: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…” and “Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” and the nation that resulted from their utterance.
Yet even at the nascent stages of the American experiment, the author of liberty, Thomas Jefferson, saw how our system would metamorphose into something entirely different. “Experience hath shown, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.”
What started as a small list of enumerated powers in the Constitution has evolved into hundreds of thousands of pages of laws and regulations and a government that has debt greater than the entire gross domestic product of the nation. Laws have become so obtrusive that in any given day, millions unwittingly commit “crimes” against the state, as documented in the Alan Dershowitz and Harvey Silverglate book, Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent. In short, we have a new Master and we are all its subjects.
Theodore Lowe, a political scientist, attested to this devolution from liberty to governmental tyranny forty years ago in his book The End of Liberalism. He empirically documented that “modern liberalism has left us with a government that is unlimited in scope but formless in action.” He illustrated how such a government “can neither plan or achieve justice because liberalism replaces planning with bargaining and creates a regime of policy without law.”
Is it possible to reverse America’s demise? It won’t be easy. For every dole paid out by our federal masters there is a clientele that would vociferously denounce any effort to reduce spending. It will require a resolute and informed electorate that is more vocal than the beneficiary recipients of our nanny-state master’s noblesse oblige.
If we are to prevent the otherwise inevitable collapse of our currency, our economy, and our nation, we must find the will and determination to begin shrinking the scope and cost of government. As Thomas Jefferson said, “The best government is that which governs least.” It is also more likely to endure.
You can read America, Founded in Liberty, Now Mired in Tyranny, by Richard Larsen in full at this link.