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Slavery, Civil War and The State

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Perhaps – I want the old days back again and they’ll never come back, and I am haunted by the memory of them and of the world falling about my ears.

Monty Pelerin /

There was a land of Cavaliers and Cotton Fields called the Old South… Here in this pretty world Gallantry took its last bow… Here was the last ever to be seen of Knights and their Ladies Fair, of Master and of Slave… Look for it only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered. A Civilization gone with the wind…

Gone with the Wind”

It is easy to lose sight of what was and what is happening and how wrong things have become.

This country was formed believing government to be a necessary evil. Our Founders knew the dangers and attempted to put in place a structure which would contain the necessary beast. It was, after all, a rebellion against oppressive British rule that motivated the formation of America. Today, the slogan of that time, “taxation without representation,” looks pretty attractive when the levels of taxation of the two periods are compared.

Our ancestors revolted over what today seems like unfettered freedom. There was no income tax, Federal Reserve or other machinery of plunder. Government didn’t mandate the size of soft drinks, how your hamburger had to be cooked, the amount of water in a toilet flush or the light bulbs you must buy. They didn’t mandate and control schooling, force you to buy healthcare, take 40% of your earnings and oppress the citizenry with millions of other large and small regulations and intrusions. In comparison, the Founders seemed to live in a utopia. They were free beyond what we can imagine. Yet these wise men saw oppression and knew where it had to lead. They chose to stop it and risked their lives and fortunes on principle.

The passage of time dulls our senses to our condition. Like the proverbial frog placed into the pot of lukewarm but slowly heating water, we are oblivious to our condition and where it leads. We have been dumbed-down and conditioned to believe that the world we live in is a better one as a result of a caring and kind government. It is not. Personal responsibility and individual initiative made our country and both have pretty well been destroyed by various government schemes and programs. Without them, the economy cannot grow. King George, in retrospect,  looks kindly and tolerant in comparison with our King Government.


Our present King pretends benevolence but is a thousand times more evil than King George. We exist to serve the State, at least in its eyes. What we own or earn is no longer ours. Property rights are routinely trampled, whether it be via eminent domain, onerous taxes, redistribution of income and wealth or outright confiscation as happens with drug violations and the recent Cyprus incident. What we think we own is subject to the whims of the King. Even Princes at the local level exhibit the same behavior. You never really own your home, even when it is “free and clear.” You have a partner who demands continuing payments in the form of property taxes. To find out that you really don’t own your home, try not paying these taxes.

Most people over the age of fifty can identify with the following thoughts:

I didn’t ask for the crap that is going on today. I don’t want it. I am near 60 years old. All I wanted was to live out the rest of my days in peace. I wanted to live out those days in the America that I knew and loved, where one was safe and didn’t have to worry about what the government was planning to do to you.

These are the words of Jim Copenhaver in an article entitled  This nation is closer to a Civil War than it has been since 1861.
Mr. Copenhaver’s title is startling until you begin to think about where we are and what little freedoms are left. Given where we are,

one wonders why his war hasn’t already been fought and the chains of tyranny overthrown.

Does anyone think that what happened in Cyprus is not under consideration in this country? The rule of law and the Constitution no longer matter.

The Civil War was a truly awful event. It closed one of the most repugnant chapters in this country’s history — slavery. I know there were other issues in addition to this and some will argue that slavery was not the reason the war was fought. Regardless, this chapter of our past ended.  Sadly, the current chapter is being written and it has a similar theme. Instead of having a Southern slave owner who owns us, we have a State assuming that function.

We still have more freedom than did real slaves but this gap is closing. When the State takes up to 60% of your income and wants more, we approach the economic freedom of the slaves of old. They had an effective tax rate of 100% but were provided with food and shelter. What tax rate, without the provision of food and shelter, is the economic equivalent to slavery.

I do not mean to suggest that our condition is anywhere near to the horrors of true slavery. Obviously it is not, at least not yet. We still have the freedom to change employers. But like real slaves we cannot get out from under the ownership of the State which continues to demand more and more of what we have. Even a citizen of the US who has never lived or worked in the US is hounded by our IRS for taxes. At what point do we call this system the equivalent of slavery?

Anything — and I mean anything! – can and will be done to preserve the criminal activities of the State.

There is no chance that the State will change its ways, except to become more tyrannical. It will never relinquish its power and plunder willingly. Power once gained always seeks to strengthen itself.

We have reached the point where we can continue to meekly accept the increasing State demands and become true slaves in the fashion of the citizens of the old Soviet Union or today’s North Korea. or we can have the civil war that Mr. Copenhaver’s speaks of.

There is no third alternative. It is that simple … and horrific.

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