“Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties: 1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes. 2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depositary of the public interests. In every country these two parties exist, and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves. Call them, therefore, Liberals and Serviles, Jacobins and Ultras, Whigs and Tories, Republicans and Federalists, Aristocrats and Democrats, or by whatever name you please, they are the same parties still and pursue the same object. The last one of Aristocrats and Democrats is the true one expressing the essence of all.” ~ Thomas Jefferson to Henry Lee, 1824. ME 16:73
Thomas Jefferson is simply saying that some people want to live by the “political means” of extracting wealth and making a living from others via the force and fraud of government, while others want to use the “economic means” of creating wealth and services for others and thereby living as voluntary, cooperating adults in society. Will you pick the “Throne and Alter” to rule over you or will you pick voluntary cooperation? That is the eternal question, is it not?
Thomas Jefferson also observed:
“Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.” ~ Thomas Jefferson: 1st Inaugural, 1801. ME 3:320
This is the observation that first struck me as one of the basic paradoxes of governance back decades ago when we talked that over in high school history class. Who watches the watchers? Who guards the guards? Who judges the judges? Who controls the controllers? In other words, it can not be that we need government because man is not an angel since we would, by that logic, need angels to rule over us — and they are in terribly short supply as of late.
The only answer to the problem of government is to not play that game. Don’t choose rulers as there are no men who are immune from the fact of human nature that power corrupts and that power will be abused. I am not being Utopian here, I am being practical. It is far better to have no great collection of armed thugs claiming the only legitimate right to use force within a given territory and instead to rely upon the spontaneous society that is generated by human cooperation. Unfortunately we can not just flip a switch and have anarchy reign, so we will have to work within whatever system we find ourselves and hope to find some way to move the game ever closer to freedom and liberty from were we are now. Looks bleak, don’t it?
Ron Paul moved the youth of America toward accepting that freedom and liberty was a far greater gift than any empty promises from the government. He did this better than any other man in my lifetime. He did this through having a platform to speak from, having great knowledge of the issues and their solutions, and consistently speaking from the heart. While the message of Ron Paul was that of the Classic Liberal, he has helped millions find anarchism. Anarchists are just people who believe in the free market without a violent, coercive ruler called government.
As the world comes unglued with the collapsing financial system, protests, riots, revolutions across the globe, and other signs of collapse we see our present crony-capitalist (fascist) system is coming unglued. Perhaps the end of democracy and the nation-state as we know it is also coming to an end. One can hope. We do know that thanks to a mostly free, empowering Internet that people around the world are awakening to an understanding of what a corrupt, enslaving system we live under. Many are discovering anarchy, libertarianism, free-markets, and/or voluntarism.
Free-market capitalism is a network of free and voluntary exchanges in which producers work, produce, and exchange their products for the products of others through prices voluntarily arrived at. State capitalism consists of one or more groups making use of the coercive apparatus of the government… for themselves by expropriating the production of others by force and violence.
— Murray N. Rothbard, The Logic of Action (1997)
It is the right time in history for people to trust each other and not politicians or ruling systems. Politics is the culture of death and destruction; while free-market anarchism is the engine of peaceful society. If you are so inclined, now would be a good time for a prayer for world sanity; for peace in the world. That will come when we have universal freedom and liberty.