The Government’s Wedge Into Police State

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DHS federal police do random identification and building checks, as here in Leesburg, Florida at a Social Security administration office:

It is almost impossible while living in America not to come into contact with some government-affected or government-controlled thing, be it a road, a building, a bureau, a bus, an airplane, a train, an auto, a bridge, or any activity where people congregate, such as a concert, a mall, a parade, a bar, and a restaurant. These all provide seemingly proper venues for the government to say that it is protecting either its own property or some property it regulates or us, its citizens. These all provide wedges for the growing presence of armed federal police in daily life, where they do not belong and where they can easily be transformed into a very oppressive force. In fact, they already cow most people who are helpless in their presence.

This entire force and its spread turn America into a militarized country in which intimidating men with guns turn up anywhere and everywhere. This whole thing is definitely wrong. It’s no way to live. Yet the government can continually propagandize that it is protecting its property or publicly-used property or some such notion. From the government wedge that is already here, the government can wedge further with police and many more invasions of privacy.

The government’s protection rationale is a strong argument. It will persuade many. But where does such protection end? What limits it? It should be limited by a pervasive knowledge of appropriate rights that is continually enforced by institutions of justice that restrain government and keep it down. Only an informed and active citizenry can do this, and it must pass on the requisite knowledge and institutions to each new generation.

At present, there is altogether too much trust in government, accompanied by too much government propaganda, media that reinforce such propaganda, and training in public schools that also reinforces trust in government. But at the same time, I suspect that there is a fairly large or at least growing degree of disenchantment with government, uneasiness, and suspicion of it. This is an American tradition, or at least used to be an American tradition, and it is a tradition that should be renewed and strengthened, as opposed to the more recent flag-waving and state-supporting tradition that has lost touch with American roots. Thank goodness that many people naturally rebel against such indoctrination and seek out ideas that reinforce and support rights.

When people have little or no choice in government and lack control over the laws, regulations, edicts, and measures of a monopoly government, then the limits evaporate. The government’s control can and does expand at the expense of its trapped citizens. The DHS is a clear symptom of such expansion. So are the laws and executive orders that decimate ancient rights of due process of law.

The limits to government control come from a people that knows its rights, guards them, and does not allow its government to get out of control.

I happen to believe that privacy is an age-old natural right. I also believe that travel along customary paths and roads is another natural right. I do not believe that these depend on ownership of private property. I believe this strongly, and so I see the government’s growing intrusions into everyday life  as not only doing away with due process of law but also as invading basic human rights.

The bottom line is quite simple. Either people control their government or else the government controls them. The balance has noticeably shifted toward the latter, to our detriment. We can shift it back. This takes an educational effort.

The educational impact of Ron Paul and his candidacy have been very great. I’m especially encouraged by the fact that the ideas he is expressing are attracting young people. Although I wish him a long and healthy life and the continuation of his work, I know that he will not be around forever. None of us will. The work that must be done obviously doesn’t depend on any one person. And so, invite yourself into the defense of liberty in any ways that you see fit.

7:36 am on January 8, 2012