By William Spencer-Hale
Clash Daily Contributor
Thomas Paine is credited with boldly saying, “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.” Although I don’t consider myself an intellect worthy to contradict such wisdom, I do have to ask, “Why?”
Why is government a necessary evil? Or to be more to the point, why is it necessary?
I look around the country and see millions of people, fully able to live their own lives and attend to their own affairs without the meddling hands of government. The America you see today is not how it always was, or the original intention of our founding documents. Once upon a time, this country will filled with dangerous freedom, where people lived, died, prospered and failed based on great ideas, hard work and a political and economic environment that allowed people to live as they saw fit, within the confines of a well-understood, timeless morality.
In the myth that was America, things were much different than they are today. Let’s look at a few examples.
In the America of old, schools were planned and built by the communities they served. Teachers were hired by local governments and children were taught history, literature, mathematics, science and civics, as well as the morality and ethics of their community and their world. It’s a simple fact that young adults graduated from those schools far more educated than today’s children.
In those days, any child in their early teens could lecture you on the folly of Rome in its last days or the foundations of democracy in Greece. They were well-read in the classics of literature and could express their thoughts in clear, grammatically-correct and often beautiful prose.
Then, the government got involved in education, starting laundering money from the individual school districts through Washington, and created the Department of Education. Now, a high percentage of college graduates have trouble explaining our system of government, write in short, choppy and often abbreviated sentences and find it difficult to explain who their own leaders are in Washington.
They are stupid by design, as a stupid population is a dependent population. And now we have Common Core, which is nothing more than a federal takeover of the public education system and a way to remove parents from education equation, giving government free reign to create a population more in lockstep with government ideals. Tyranny is easy when the subjects are willing.
Washington, in the early days of the Republic, never bothered itself with roads. It kept its nose where it belonged and tried to stay faithful to the few powers it was allowed, as defined by the Constitution. As such, local communities built and maintained their own roads and bridges, based on their needs. Communities would pitch in and build roads to link themselves together, and a spider web of roads, bridges, paths and thoroughfares emerged across a growing nation. We linked ourselves together out of our own needs, and communities became states; states became a nation – a nation built by entrepreneurs, not by government.
But Washington again saw an opportunity to line their pockets. Thus, they began taking tax dollars from local communities to build overly priced infrastructure that could have been completed at a fraction of the cost from local builders. Rest assured, Washington kept their share of those tax dollars to line their pockets, as well as fill the purses of special interest groups kind to their pet causes.
The Stimulus Bill that passed in 2009 took nearly a trillion dollars from taxpayers for “shovel ready jobs” for the American infrastructure. All the roads in my neighborhood, adjoining neighborhoods and the local freeway system are the same as they were. Washington is a whole lot richer.
And the same is true for project after project, and could be detailed in far more space than I am allowed for this article.
Americans can build their own world, run their own schools, supply their own police and militias for local protection and make trade agreements with local communities and states for the economic betterment of all. Government only gets it the way, increases prices and slows production times.
Government is only necessary to government. Government’s only real duty is to itself. Government, in truth, exists only to propagate government. And as government becomes larger, the citizens and communities become smaller. As government becomes more important, vital, necessary, the citizens become only the fuel to burn in the engine of government. As government expands the people contract.
So, if government is only necessary to government, when does that “necessary evil” just become evil? And when does that evil become intolerable?
And what do we, the citizens, do about it?
William Hale is a polymath, a conundrum amongst his friends and coworkers, a man whose interests run contrary to modern stereotypes. William is equally adept at both trapshooting and pastels portraiture, armed defense instruction and Christian philosophy. A veteran of the Cold War who served as a Pershing crew member during very worrisome times, his faith runs deep and his knowledge of history is formidable. This combination gives him an understanding and insight into the intertwined physical and spiritual aspects of life that few understand. His gift is that he has no fear of the evils he perceives and is able to explain the world around him to those who listen.