21 February 2010

The Government is Not the Country

My kind of loyalty was to one's country, not to its institutions or its officeholders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death. _Mark Twain_quoted_in_Ain'tNobody'sBusinessIfYouDo
When Al Fin philosophers first discussed this concept, long ago, few persons were able to grasp the idea that a person could be independent of a government or king, a prince or duke, a lord or overseer. The founders of the young American republic discovered the concept, and later popular writers such as Mark Twain helped to propagate the spirit of liberty to later generations. But the idea never truly caught on in Europe, Asia, Africa, or most of South America. Oceanian nations New Zealand and Australia possess a fair share of independence-minded persons, as does Canada. The USA probably contains the most adherents to philosophies of liberty than any other nation -- both in terms of absolute numbers and in proportionate terms.

But the numbers have diminished with the years, and clearly even in the US, there were not enough lovers of liberty to prevent the onslaught of the Obama - Pelosi green reich of dieoff leftist hyper-statism. Personal and economic freedoms are being siphoned off in the name of social justice and environmental justice, and soon Americans may find themselves stripped of their beloved freedoms of speech and association -- just like Europeans, Russians, citizens of Muslim countries, and the Chinese.

The government is not the country. The government derives its powers from the consent of the people. If the government seizes its powers against the consent of the governed, it loses its legitimacy.

Multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-ideological countries are difficult to govern. The US Constitution is the most sophisticated instrument of government for a pluralistic nation that has yet been devised. Unfortunately, the current government of the US is largely antagonistic toward the very aspects of the US Constitution which provide the vital protections to a nation's pluralism.

Modern governments presume too much, attempt too much, seize too much authority and power. This has almost always been true of governments past a certain size, prior to the US Constitution. Now, even in the US, limits on government are being hammered away by power-hungry despots of unlimited ambition.

The US Tea Party movement is largely despised and reviled by the mainstream media and the pseudo-intelligentsia of academia, politics, and culture. And yet the US Tea Party represents perhaps the last best chance to prevent a massive and irrevocable schism between the slaves-of-the-state and the dwindling but still potent students of liberty.

The incredible economic growth of the US throughout the 19th and 20th centuries illustrated the power of a free people to innovate and produce. As that freedom has been gradually shut down by the growth of the state, the innovation and the ability to produce within the limits of extant technologies, has steadily diminished. Government economic statistics are, of course, not trustworthy -- you must read between the lines and make significant corrections in order to understand the underlying reality.

The government is not the country. Most governments have become over-sized parasites upon the country, and must be cut down to size before they suffocate the life out of the country. How will this "cutting down" be accomplished? That is a good question.

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Blogger Wild Bill said...

Thanks for the insight.
I have always felt my duty is to the Country. I am currently deployed with the Army in Afghanistan. Our oath though is to defend the constitution not the country.
So there it is.

Sunday, 21 February, 2010  
Blogger neil craig said...

I would institute a ban on hiring of any new public employees & then, over time, relax it for those departments which (A) genuinely find themselves undermanned at a job that cannot be outsourced (mainly the armed forces) & which actually perform a constructive job. That would cut the size of government employment by roughly 5% a year without firing anybody or related hassles. This deopends on government spending & its political power being closely related to the number of government workers.

Monday, 22 February, 2010  
Blogger read it said...

When I was at boarding school, we wore a little badge on our uniforms with the initial GHCS. They stood for God, Home, Country, School suggesting the property order of loyalty and priority. While some are not religious per se, they still have guiding principles that they put first in their lives. Then loyalty to Home and Country (which is a collection of Homes pledged to defend them all). Kids in school these days are taught no civil idea of loyalty in any kind of logical priority. These little buggers are a massive threat to society what with their gang and tribal loyalties of base origin.

Monday, 22 February, 2010  
Blogger read it said...


should be "suggesting the PROPER order of loyalty"

Monday, 22 February, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

Wild Bill: Do your job and protect the constitution. Then return home safely and help to protect the country. If you stay in the army long enough, you may have to defend the constitution against the government.

Neil: In the US it is government employees that help finance the Democratic Party campaigns and vote to keep it in office. Democrat Party politicians will expand government as quickly as they can.

SG: The moral development (all religion aside) of modern children is neglected to the detriment of the future. The leftists who devised modern school curricula believe that as long as you sever children from their loyalty to the US Constitution, that the little buggers will grow up magically moral, well behaved, and whole.

William Ayres and company. Obviously they weren't allowed to blow up nearly enough buildings in their youth, so they have to blow up an entire society to compensate.

Monday, 22 February, 2010  
Blogger ee_ga said...

On a govt. related note- Not sure if anyone caught this yet, but: Lockerbie Link?

The original tinfoil hat theory was that BP was the driver of the release (not that I doubt that). This makes me think it is likely that our govt. was involved as well.

Tuesday, 23 February, 2010  

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