(Part One (https://steemit.com/anarchy/@larkenrose/time-honored-tyrannt-part-1-of-3) and Part Two (https://steemit.com/anarchy/@larkenrose/time-honored-tyranny-part-2-of-3) of this series dealt with specific ways in which people have been trained, over time, to put up with gradually increasing and expanding authoritarian injustices that they never would have tolerated if they occurred all at once. The examples continue.)
5 - Controlling your own property.
The saying that “a man’s house is his castle” dates back hundreds of years, and often that was used in specific reference to “government” having no right to invade a private home without just cause.
“The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail — its roof may shake — the wind may blow through it — the storm may enter — the rain may enter — but the King of England cannot enter — all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement!” - William Pitt (1763)
Over time, Americans have been trained out of that sentiment. Now, for example, in many places you cannot do any significant renovations or improvements on your own property, even inside your own home, without the written permission of, and inspections by, “government” bureaucrats. In some places, collecting rainwater on your own property is penalized. Others have been ticketed for letting their own car warm up in their own driveway. And, of course, all manner of legislation against victimless “crimes” (particularly via the “war on drugs”) has been used as an excuse to invade the homes of non-violent people.
As it happens, a major contributing factor to the American Revolution occurring were the “writs of assistance” used by the British Crown, which were a very general type of “search warrant” used to invade and rummage through people’s homes (and other places). Americans today, as a result of prolonged training, put up with much worse, much more often.
6 - Regulating, controlling and limiting nearly everything.
This last item could be listed as literally hundreds of separate items—everything from the outlawing of unlicensed children’s lemonade stands, to people building and living in tiny houses, to people pumping their own gas at gas stations (yes, that’s “illegal” in New Jersey), to a thousand other activities and behaviors that different levels of “government” have exerted control over.
The number of regulatory bureaucracies that now exist, and the number of aspects of people’s lives that they intrude upon, is staggering. The number of trivial laws and regulations, at the federal, state and local levels, far surpasses what existed under even the most famous tyrannies in history. Yes, that means that the average person living in Nazi, Germany, communist China under Mao, or the Soviet Union, had far fewer aspects of their daily lives controlled and limited than Americans have today. Obviously those other regimes were far more harsh and oppressive in other ways, but in sheer number of things that “government” has its tentacles in, almost nowhere on Earth compares with the modern United States.
It has gotten so ridiculous that it is quite literally true that no one in the world has ever read, or can possibly know, what all the “laws” are that apply to Americans. Indeed, no one in the world has ever even read the entire federal tax code, yet tens of millions of Americans are expected to comply with it—with every detail of it—every year.
“Did you really think we want those laws observed? We want them to be broken. ... There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt.” - Ayn Rand (a quote from a character in Atlas Shrugged)
So not only are most Americans allowed to do hardly anything without “government” permission (and can’t ever get such permission to do many, many things), but literally no one in the country even knows what all he is or isn’t “allowed” to do. To have such a situation, which has slowly been building up over the course of over two centuries, and to have the people still referring to the U.S. as a “free country” (which was an oxymoron to begin with), is just ludicrous. There seems to be no limit to the amount of micromanaging controls and restrictions that the American people will put up with, as long as those controls and restrictions are introduced gradually, over time, like turning up the heat on the proverbial boiled frog.
The punchline in all of this is that authoritarian domination is never rational, or moral. And no one who accepts and condones one degree of violent aggression in the name of “law” can be consistent or principled in objecting to some other degree or type of violent “legal” aggression. If you have accepted the notion that it is okay, or even necessary and good, to have a collectivist authoritarian ruling class robbing or dominating non-violent people, then when that violence is turned on you, in some way that you object to, complaining or resisting would make you an absolute hypocrite. To put it another way, if you do not condone freedom for your fellow man, then you do not deserve freedom for yourself.
The freedoms that most Americans say they believe in are nothing more than a subjective, unprincipled hodge-podge of arbitrary preferences, with no real philosophical foundation at all. In short, the average statist will make excuses for whatever the current level of state extortion, intrusion and control is, saying that it’s unreasonable to expect significantly less authoritarian domination than that, while still pretending that, in principle, he would be against further or greater infringements.
But principle has nothing to do with it. Statists have no principles at all. There cannot, for example, be any principled reason to cheer for the “war on drugs” while swigging a beer. There cannot be any principled reason to oppose random searches of people’s homes, if you accept and make excuses for random searches of people’s vehicles. There cannot be any principled basis for objecting to 99% “taxation” if you have already accepted the legitimacy and morality of 1% “taxation.”
That is why there is only one consistent and principled “political” position, which is in reality completely anti-political. When it comes to politics, the only group of people who abide by the concept of, “Do unto others as you would have done unto you,” are anarchists and voluntaryists, who do not want to be aggressed against, and therefore do not condone that “government” aggress against anyone else. And a “government” that commits no aggression—that does not extort, or regulate, or legislate, or claim any special powers or “authority”—is not a “government” at all. When the human race is ready to look outside of its tiny, limited view of reality, to look past the time-honored, familiar forms of degradation and subjugation that they have grown accustomed to, then they will have a chance to have freedom, and true civilization.
(Larken Rose is a speaker, author and activist, having advocated the principles of non-aggression, self-ownership and a stateless, voluntary society for over twenty years. Donations to help support his articles, videos and other projects can be made by PayPal to "firstname.lastname@example.org" or by Bitcoin to 13xVLRidonzTHeJCUPZDaFH6dar3UTx5js.)