Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 478, July 27, 2008

"Our would-be keepers in both 'major'
parties want you to accept a lower
standard of living, and begin a long
slide back into the Dark Ages"

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

Back at the beginning of the Twentieth Century the United States faced problems. Powerful corporations controlled Congress. Crooked political machines dominated state and local politics. Wild eyed radicals (and/or agents provocateur working for private security companies trying to frame said radicals) were throwing bombs. The banking system was unstable, and recessions and full out depressions, both regional and national, struck regularly. Immigrant criminal gangs were running wild, crooked politicians used illegal votes by immigrants and all decent people knew those damn foreigners were wrecking the country.

Eventually a group of reformers known as progressives gained power. They ended up passing 4 amendments to the Constitution, two of which were good, one was bad, and the fourth so bad it had to be repealed. Existing laws were enforced to limit the power of trusts. Honest politicians were elected and/or appointed to office.

They created the Federal reserve System to stabilize banking and currency in the US. Necessary? Probably. Constitutional? That's a good question. Able to influence elections? Ask the Bush family about that.

While they were at it they began creating regulatory agencies to implement various laws intended to control various activities they believed violated peoples rights. To help these agencies carry out their duties they were authorized to write and implement regulations that had the force of law. The Constitution was out the door. Eventually this power was abused and people began to get attracted to the libertarian movement.

Decent men trying to protect the American people's rights acted outside the Constitution, They knew they were decent men acting on good intentions. They never considered that over time evil or foolish men would misuse the power they were given. They never imagined the expansion of government caused by the New Deal. They never imagined how complex tax, immigration, and gun laws could get. They never realized how the laws and resultant regulations they were creating would be used to prevent instead of encourage honest competition.

Now we have problems, some we brought on ourselves, others thrust upon us by enemies or, more likely, dumb luck. Politicians will begin promising us solutions and often solutions that bend if not totally violate the Constitution and end up destroying our freedom. Many of them will be driven by good intentions and know in their hearts they have no desire to violate our rights.

We've walked this road before, we recognize its paving stones and know where it leads.

When gas gets expensive, and a bigger part of your budget goes to food and you have to bargain hunt for your next computer and someone offers you a path away from these problems, take a good look at the paving stones and remember the old adage.


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