The unending national emergencies of the present age are the natural outcome of the doctrine that the President has near-dictatorial powers during and emergency. Even the U.S. Supreme Court recognized the danger of using emergences to give tyrannical power to the Executive and the court derided Lincoln’s theory of supposedly constitutional dictatorship by saying in Ex Parte Milligan (1866):
“The constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and peace, and it covers with its shield of protection all classes of men, at all times and under all circumstances. No doctrine involving more pernicious consequences was ever invented by the wit of men that any of its great provisions can be suspended during any of the great exigencies of Government.”
Even the Supreme Court in those days understood that if politicians can get away with declaring themselves dictators under the guise of a “national emergency” then there would be a never ending series of such emergencies. And what emergency is greater than war? Thus we have in the present day a never ending “war on terror” along with a series of other “wars” like the one the plant food CO2, the one on people using whatever drug they choose, and government’s new war on privacy.
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.” ~ H.L. Mencken
The main hobgoblin of our present time is no longer the “evil empire” of the USSR as it was in my youth, but rather the “evil” Muslim and his so-called “desire to destroy America” (as if we were not already doing a bang-up job of it). Or at least that is what we are told over and over by the State and its minions. I am told that Disney World in Orlando, Florida would be ashes if it were not for our military killing innocent men, women and children in far away lands. Yes indeed, they would mount camels that can swim and cross the Atlantic and invade the USA. Horrors!
Government today has grown far too strong, interventionist, and invasive to be remotely safe for the people. There are no longer any citizens in the modern world, rather, it seems that there are only subjects to be ordered about, looted, and brutalized. The state consists of a gang of men and women exactly like you and me except they live by looting those who can produce to give to those who are parasites while taking a healthy cut themselves.
The most dangerous man to the US government is the one who is able to think things out for himself, like Edward Snowden did. These people can put aside the current myths and taboos to think rationally and then they inevitably come to the conclusion that the State is a gang of thieves writ large just as Murray Rothbard said years ago. These men will try to change the situation if they have the temperament and guts for that sort of thing, or they will try to spread discontent among those who do have that temperament. Either way, the discontent is growing and the state will fall before long. Ed Snowden and his NSA revelations did more to undermine the legitimacy of the State than most anyone in memory.
Modern Americans tend to regard the State as a quasi-divine, selfless organization from which all good things in life flow. The State by its very nature can not give you loving care as it was build to use force, fraud, and intimidation to loot the masses for the benefit of the few. It is know for demagogic appeals to the masses to frighten them for votes. Many individuals do need guidance from experts, but going to the state is like seeking advice from your wife’s lawyer in a nasty divorce case — it will always lead to a bad end.
It is absurd how many people think they are served by a coercive, demagogic apparatus when it exists to further its own. The ruling elite and their loyal minions will use fear, an endless series of imaginary hobgoblins, propaganda, and myth to keep you in line. The murder of millions and millions of innocent men, women, and children in country after country just to keep you subservient is the nature of the state.
You may test the hypothesis that the State is largely interested in protecting itself rather than its subjects in a manner first suggested by Murray Rothbard. Do this by asking: which category of crimes does the State pursue and punish most intensely—those against private citizens or those against itself? It is obvious that the state punishes crimes against itself far more often and far more harshly than crimes against mere people.
It is time to withdraw your consent to be governed by such an evil entity as the state.