Friday, October 14, 2011

Defining the Police State

If political theory were reduced down to its most rudimentary math equation, it would likely be this:

Government = Force. (But not the good Force from Star Wars)

What this means:

If the government asks you to do something and you say no, they can force you to do it.  If your home is taken through eminent domain and you refuse to vacate, then you will be physically removed from your home.  Resistance to government force is punishable by incarceration, resistance to incarceration is met by physical violence, resistance to physical violence could get you killed. 

This is how I have determined that Government = Force.

In my perverse view of Government, I think that the only time force should be used is to enforce rights of individuals against the aggression of another.  This may mean offering police services, national defense or providing a court to enforce contract rights.  The majority of people think the Government should do more than this.  This "majority rules" mentality has been very prominent lately.  Even people who should or actually DO know better use this majority rules argument because it allows them to implement their view of society.  These same people ignore it when they think their ideas are good for you.  When the President tells you to eat your peas or whatever else patronizing thing he says, what he means is this:  "Eat your peas or we will force you to eat your peas.  If you resist our efforts to force you to eat your peas we will arrest you and place you in a prison, where you will be served peas apparently.  If you resist arrest, we will be forced to violently take you into custody and if you resist our violent aggression you may be killed."

Pretty extreme example right.  How is this one? 

During the great depression, the government actually wanted to drive UP the price of wheat, this helps farmers (a small group) by increasing the price of wheat based food on all groups (everyone else).  They did this by setting an upper limit on the amount of wheat that you could grow on your land based on a given acreage.  This restricted the supply while the demand continued to grow.

Enter Roscoe Filburn, a farmer who grew too much wheat.  He grew this wheat so he and his family could make bread.  He wasn't selling it.  The problem, according to the government was that he wasn't buying it either.  Roscoe was fined and forced to destroy his wheat crop.  They could not force him to buy other people's wheat, but they could prevent him from growing his own, and they can enforce that with violence, if necessary.

Lest you think I'm making this up, feel free to google Roscoe Filburn and read all about his case.  It actually went to the Supreme Court, where they affirmed the government's authority to enforce these controls.

Still don't think Government = Force, next time a policeman tries to pull you over, ignore them.

Am I saying that the police should be prevented from enforcing laws?  No, that's not at all what I'm saying.  What I am suggesting is that before a law is passed, the legislator who passes it or the Executive who signs it into law should be able to positively answer that they would be willing to use force to achieve these goals. 

Once again, in my warped sense of fairness and perverse view of government, the only times that that is warranted is to protect the infringement of another's rights to life, liberty and property or protect the entirety of the nation from foreign aggression.

And people think corporations are bad?  Yes, a corporation can take your money or take your job (and you know they're really out to get you), but the Government holds a monopoly on the use of force to achieve its goals.  When it comes to jobs and money, you have other options, when it comes to life and liberty, you have none. 

One concept I love is that of restraint.  It's an ideal to be admired in any setting.  When it comes to the exercise of power that only a government can wield, restraint is of paramount importance. This is not restraint.  For those who do not follow links, what this is is an article about a bill.  More specifically it's an article about a small section of a bill that makes it a crime to impersonate or "convey the impression" of belonging to the TSA or other similar government agency.  This would, in fact, criminalize much satire about the TSA. 

So, you're wearing a t-shirt that says TSA - Department of Molestation, you're a criminal.  This is the police state.

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