The Trade Towers disaster on 9/11 immediately led to a sharp increase in comprehensive government in America, covering a wide range of actions, such as increased surveillance, the formation of the DHS, militarized police, initiation of foreign wars, Obamacare, more executive orders, greater Federal Reserve scope and activity, large bailout bills, much greater federal debt, and greater use of food stamps.
Since existing government is authoritarian (imposed by force), and only to a limited degree consensual, greater comprehensiveness of government means greater authoritarianism of government and correspondingly lower liberty.
This recent ratchet upwards in comprehensiveness of government is built upon a foundation laid in earlier decades by both Left and Right. Before 9/11, both parties, operating through all branches of the U.S. government, had already, each in its own ways, increased the scope of the U.S. government. Increasingly comprehensive government became the norm, the Constitution be damned.
There are many excuses offered for more comprehensive government by those who want to expand its reach and diminish liberty. There are always plenty of excuses, be they from Left, Right or both: freedom, equality, need, clean air, the environment, national security, safety, education, poverty, hunger, health, etc. They do not matter. What matters is that today’s government is force, not consensual, and so greater comprehensiveness for any excuse is greater use of force and less resulting liberty.
The government would have us fight among ourselves over the excuses for its expansion, but not about the expansion itself. The government would have us overlook the simple fact that its greater comprehensiveness necessarily diminishes our liberty at the point of government guns. The government wars against liberty, but hides this fact by focusing on the excuses for its greater comprehensiveness.
The Left wins some battles. The Right wins some battles. Whichever side wins, the government wins every battle in which its comprehensiveness rises.
Independence signifies the capacity of all men to pursue life, liberty, property and happiness, but this cannot be done except on personal and uncoerced terms. That is the radical tenet of libertarianism, and that is why libertarianism is unalterably opposed to comprehensive government that is imposed by means of force on the unwilling.10:01 am on July 4, 2013 Email Michael S. Rozeff