The Case Against Big Government

Society and government come about because of a need to protect rights from those who would unjustly abridge them. In a system of 100% liberty, liberty too often belongs only to the strongest who have the power to press their own at the expense of everyone else’s.

So, people band together and form governments, giving up just enough of their liberty – and no more – to protect the rest. In order, however, for such an arrangement to not be tyrannical, it must be completely voluntary. In other words, if a person, for whatever reason, chooses to not be subject to a society’s laws, then he must have alternatives. Perhaps he can move to another society – city, county, state, etc.- where the laws are more to his liking. Or, perhaps he can move to an area where there are effectively no laws whatsoever.

In a situation where there might be a single government for the whole world, what would be the alternative for anyone who wanted to escape its abuses? Another planet, perhaps? So, that’s a pretty obvious example of why larger is probably not better.

Now, let’s take the above example a step farther and look at a couple of potential scenarios in this country:

Scenario 1:  Weak federal government
Most political power rests in the states
In this scenario, any abuses of the federal government would be minor and the states would provide protection to their citizens against potential federal abuse. But, what if the state in which you (and/or your business) reside becomes abusive, perhaps with tax rates that you find too onerous to endure? In this scenario, there would be 49 other states which would love to have you and your family (and your business) move there, and the spirit of competition among states would tend to be a powerful disincentive to any state to become abusive. It wouldn’t be easy to pick up and move to another state, but it wouldn’t be hard, either, and the competition mentioned above would tend to make such moves unnecessary.

Scenario 2:  Strong federal government
Federal abuses follow you to any state
States are not an effective protection to their citizens
In this scenario, the federal government has grown way beyond its constitutional limits to become more powerful than the states that created it. Correspondingly, the states have become much weaker and are no longer an effective protection agains federal abuses, and such abuses would, therefore, tend follow you to any state in which you sought refuge.

In a situation such as this, moving to another state would provide much less relief from federal abuses than you might achieve under Scenario 1. Liberty can be said to be all about choices. Where your choices are limited, so is your liberty.

Which of the above scenarios do you think is closest to that which exists in America today? Which do you believe is closer to what the Founders intended, and why?

If we truly want liberty to be re-established in this country, we must scale back the powers of the federal government to only those specifically given to it in the Constitution and allow the states to assume any powers that their citizens want them to. That’s the only way that the people can have any hope to significantly influence the direction of this great nation. The closer the government is to the people, the greater the people’s power to control it. With each step up – city-county-state-nation – more control is lost. What allegience do you think that Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, and Steny Hoyer of California have to the people of Georgia? Very little, yet their crazy socialist votes affect every Georgia citizen.

We must bring the power back to the states. We must seize those powers that the federal government cannot legitimately posess and put them back where they belong – with the states! Only then will we once again have meaningful choices. Only then can there exist the kind of competition among states that would make your state value your citizenship so much that moving to another state would never be necessary.

So, when you hear someone speaking about states’ rights, pause and take the time to listen. Realize that your state is your best protection against an out of control federal government. Pick a Tea Party group, and then join and participate. Write down the contact information for all of your representatives from the city on up, and contact them all frequently. Do your best to make them remember your name – in a polite way, of course. What you don’t want is for them to write you off as a kook. Be concerned and insistent, but always polite.

And, when you hear terms like “globalization”, “one world government”, and “new world order” realize what they mean – fewer choices, less liberty.

Jere Moore
Jere Moore has been blogging about political matters since 2008. His posts include commentary about current news items, conservative opinion pieces, satirical articles, stories that illustrate conservative principles, and posts about history, rights, and economics.

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