Tyranny vs Anarchy

by drclarkjensen on September 17, 2010

To continue the train of thought from yesterday, some 25 years ago I attended a seminar put on by the National Center for Constitutional studies.  I learned a lot.  As I discussed in ruler’s law vs people’s law, there were some simple yet profound truths that were taught that day.  Another simple truth I learned about government was the importance of avoiding the two polar extremes of anarchy and tyranny in government.

Anarchy of course is the condition where no law exists.  It is the worse kind of government because it is chaos and survival of the fittest.  No one is safe, nor is property safe or respected.  If you can take it, it is yours.  If you can’t hang on to it tight enough, it belongs to someone else.  When society totally breaks down, anarchy is the result.  No one wants to have anarchy.

The other extreme is tyranny.  Tyranny is the condition where too much law is present.  The rules are oppressive and usually tyranny is the result of a man or a group of men having too much power and authority and then misusing that power and authority to take away from men freedoms and God given rights.

The challenge of government is to find the perfect balance between too much law on one hand and too little law on the other.  When the colonies were first formed they adopted the Articles of Confederation as their charter.  Unfortunately the Articles were too close to anarchy.  Under the articles the confederacy had no authority to tax, raise money, or enforce any law that was passed by the legislature.  Nor was there any provision for either an executive or a judiciary.

George Washington and the Revolutionary War armies fought under the Articles and they almost starved to death as a result.  After the war, it looked as if the country would fall apart.  States were treating each other as soverign nations, they were charging tarrifs to each other and inflation was terrible.

Thankfully, they Constitutional convention was held and our divinely inspired Constitution was written.  It provided our new nation with enough law, but not so much that the people were at risk of loosing our freedoms.

Unfortunately over time, all governments tend to drift towards tyranny.  Our government is not exception.  As our federal government ignores the ideas of limited government and separation of powers, power becomes concentrated in the federal government and we move towards rulers law and towards tyranny.

If we want to get back to the balanced center, the states and the people need to reclaim the authority and power that is theirs.  To do that, we need an educated people.  Go tell your neighbors.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

NoSerfing January 11, 2016 at 7:01 am

Anarchy is no government. As you said “if you can take it, it is yours”. If I stop you, I am governing your behavior, individual governing.

“if you can take it, it is yours”. This is what our current government does to us! I often refer to government as organized crime for this reason.

Bastiat said government is collective defense of rights and that we cannot give the power to government that we ourselves do not first possess. The power I possess is to defend my rights, The Declaration was based on that principle. Just governments are instituted to secure these rights.

I believe the most fundamental sentence in all our founding documents is
“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”.

Many people it seems tend to gloss over words. Maybe a product of the speed reading era. People that believe themselves to be well versed in politics don’t seem to have the depth. Sowell talks about the leaders of a superpower Gorbachev and Yeltsin did not understand the free market needed no central planning to keep the shelves stocked in a supermarket.

But words are important. When the founders used “unalienable” in The Declaration, how many people do you know that have actually looked the word up? When they say “among these” How many people say what other rights beyond “life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Well that is answered with the Bill of Rights, but again, how many read Amendment IX and ask what other rights have we retained.

What was once well understood principles have been lost to the younger generations because we have not passed them on. Look also at fairytales. They had a purpose of educating the young with moral values. The young could understand these Stories. How many kids today learn these morals. I suspect less and less every year.

But what stories do we have to pass on about natural rights and duties these days? Slap a smartphone in a child’s hand as a pacifier.

Skousen lists rights and duties in his book. It is something we need to teach the young as well. All the talk of rights these days are often confusing privileges as rights. And rights are being made into privileges. As Bastiat also said
“It has converted plunder into a right, in order to protect plunder. And it has converted lawful defense into a crime, in order to punish lawful defense. ”

I do not need permission to exercise an unalienable right and my right may not infringe on the rights of another. If I need permission it is a privilege. Just don’t tell the governments that lest you be branded a terrorist and put on a no fly list without due process.

On the same token, duties are all but forgotten. A welfare abuser has a duty to be a productive member of society. Also is a duty to that child to provide for the child. The child has a right to be provided for.

I see welfare abuse as child abuse. I see a person that didn’t utilize the taxpayer funded education, or that person doesn’t mature and continue that missed education and has children they cannot provide for as child abuser. I would be a bigot to assume that person incapable. Bastiat said labor is pain and people will resort to plunder when it is less painful than labor.

Obviously at this point we cannot take their children or throw them in jail, the pain. So we are left to take back the minds of children from the government indoctrination centers. and teach them these principles.


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