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The War Is Here

by D.V. Bowden

WE'RE AT WAR! "Old news," you say? But I'm not talking about "war" with Iraq, Afghanistan, or some other country too poor to fight it's way out of a wet paper sack. I'm talking about the war that's going on right here, in YOUR country, YOUR state, YOUR city. And it's not the mighty U.S. military against some hapless foreigners--it's your government against you. It's a war of the GOVERNMENT versus the PEOPLE, and so far, the government seems to be winning.

It [mostly] isn't a shooting war, as most folks haven't yet gotten quite to the point where they feel the need to take G. Gordon Liddy's advice to "aim for the head" of their local jack-booted thugs, but if you think there isn't a war going on, read this article:

Police plan to steal vehicles from private property in Northport, Alabama.

Would you think about taking out a few JBT's if they came to take your property? It's merely the latest example of how the government views your "inalienable" rights: as privileges which it may revoke at any time. So what if the Constitution says you can't be deprived of property without Due Process and Just Compensation. That's just an "archaic" document that doesn't meet the needs of today's "fast-paced" society. [Note: I don't accept the "selective incorporation doctrine" applying parts of the Bill of Rights to the states, but the U.S. Supreme court does, so the government in this case isn't even following its own rules. I guess they're "inconvenient."]

Northport's plan to enter private property to steal inoperable vehicles from their owners is outrageous! How can a supposedly free people allow such a usurpation of their rights to go unchallenged? It is none of the city's business whether a citizen keeps a car on his own private property, running or not. Any "official" seizing a car on private property under this ordinance should be considered a car thief.

Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor has once again shown how worthless he is as a defender of individual rights by pronouncing this tyrannical law constitutional. What about property rights? What about Due Process? What about protection against unreasonable search and seizure? I guess none of this matters as long as the government is taking action to "raise property values." What is it with this "property values" crowd? Where do they get this puritanical tendency to want to control their neighbours? Do these people like paying higher property taxes? Evicting minorities and low-income people from the neighbourhood would probably raise property values too. How about an ordinance for that?

Alabama's motto is "We Dare Defend Our Rights," but if the people of Northport don't rebuke their mayor and council for creating this tyrannical law, in the words of patriot Samuel Adams, "May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Many people in recent decades have woken up to the fact that there is a civil war brewing in this country. Unlike the first "civil war," which was actually a war between two separate countries, the CSA and the USA, this will be a true civil war with factions factions fighting for control of the same government. One one side will stand the statists, bureaucrats, gov't-check parasites, and power-elite who control the system, and on the other, the hapless exploited taxpayers and various other groups seeking to reduce the scope and size of government.

Economist and historian Murray Rothbard saw history as a continuous struggle between power and liberty. The forces of war, regulation, centralisation and tyranny on the one side, and the forces of peace, free-markets, decentralisation and liberty on the other. States, like individuals, have finite lives. Their potentially-infinite lifespan is purely theoretical. States are born, grow, flourish, decline, and die. When a state embraces liberty, free-markets and individual action, it flourishes. When it embraces statism, regulation and bureacracy, it declines and eventually crumbles. America has long passed the growth-and-flourishing phase. We are in the decline-and-death phase. I, for one, will not mourn the passing of this government when it collapses. Government does not make a country great. Liberty makes a country great. With the eventual collapse of the Federal Leviathan, there is a chance that we can get back the liberty that our forefathers once had. Our government is undeniably out-of-control. The lifeblood of government is money. The more money the government has to spend, the bigger it gets--the correlation is direct. As Congressman Ron Paul has recently pointed out, we have passed the point where federal spending, and thus federal power, can or will be reined in. It will continue to grow uncontrollably until it self-destructs. Every empire destroys itself, and the American Empire will be no different.

Though often called Leviathan, big government is more like the ancient Greek monster the Hydra, in that it has many heads. The Federal monster is not the only one we have to worry about. Closer to home, Alabama Gov. Bob Riley is trying to increase taxes by over 1 BILLION DOLLARS!!! If he succeeds, one thing is for sure: the government will grow. Giving money to government is like pouring fertiliser on a plant--it makes it grow. [P.J. O'Rourke remarked that "Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys." That's also an accurate assessment.] Make no mistake about it--Riley is no "conservative." He is a statist who wants to make Alabama government bigger, more intrusive, and more costly. If he succeeds, it will just be more proof that however bad the Democrats are, the Republicans are even worse, because they cloak themselves in small-goverment rhetoric and talk about fiscal responsibility while gorging themselves on the very same taxpayer dollars as the Democrats.

Some people realised we were heading for a crisis with news of events like the federal murders at Ruby Ridge or the Waco massacre. When the Feds prevented state authorities from prosecuting FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi for killing the unarmed Vicki Weaver at Ruby Ridge, it became clear that the Feds were above the law. Waco likewise showed that the Feds considered themselves untouchable--with them bulldozing the scene of the crime while it still burned.

The flurry of increased regulation and growing federal power in the wake of the 1995 OKC bombing, which was a boon to pro-government forces, in retrospect now seems like a comparatively halcyon time. The September 11, 2001 attacks on the WTC and Pentagon have proven to be America's "Reichstag fire." The gloves are off. The government will do what it wants, when it wants, to whom it wants, and you had better get used to it. Complain too loudly and you may get a one-way ticket to Guantanamo Bay as an "unlawful enemy combatant." The flurry of mindless patriotism which swept the country like influenza has millions of Americans who loathed Bill Clinton now espousing his dictum that "you can't love your country and hate the government."

Nonetheless, many people still thought that even if the federal government was out of control, their state and local governments weren't like that and really did have their best interests at heart. Well, wake up and smell the coffee folks, 'cause it just ain't so. State and local governments are increasingly becoming more intrusive and tyrannical themselves, at the same time as all levels of government are coming under greater control and domination from Washington. State and local governments are fatally-hooked on federal money, and thus under federal control. The mask is off. The Republic is dead, and everybody knows it. We live in the Empire now.

Increasingly, it is local and state governments that are the prime violators of individual rights, especially property rights (of course, libertarians understand that all rights are ultimately reducible to property rights). The Institute for Justice has litigated numerous cases in recent years where local governement have taken private property and given it to private developers to build a mall, factory, or other commercial development. Government is similar to the machines in "The Matrix"--it lives parasitically off of us humans. You are the governent's source of funds, it's "battery." It will milk you dry, and then, if it finds you can be replaced with a taxpaying business that will result in more revenue, it will unhesitatingly displace you from your private property. The government has NO RESPECT for your property rights. Even if you think you own your property, and are in no immediate danger of being evicted for a Wal-Mart to move in, you're forced to pay rent to the government in the form of property tax--the modern equivalent of the ancient feudal tyranny of the quitrent. Failure to do so will result in men with guns taking your property away from you and selling it on the courthouse steps. So who is the real owner?

Don't despair! There is hope! As Etienne de la Boetie explained in his Discourse on Voluntary Servitude, no matter how large or powerful a goverment appears to be, it has no real power except that which it's citizens give it. No government can maintain its existence by force alone. It must always obtain from the people at least their tacit consent to be ruled by it. Government at every level in America has abandoned the legitimate functions of protecting it's citizens rights and has begun taking complete control of every aspect of your life. Government controls your pocketbook, your seat belt, your yard, your health, and can require you to sacrifice everything, including your life, if your "leaders" feel the need. It's time to fight back. It's time to withdraw consent. Stop cooperating. Start complaining. Tell your local government tyrants what you think about them. If they're stealing people's property, call them thieves--that's what they are. Stop supporting the state--it's a monster that kills, devours, and destroys lives.

Voting may not accomplish much, but when Bob Riley's tax increase comes up for a vote this fall, vote NO and send this huckster a message:

We DO NOT consent!

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