Sunday, January 30, 2011

We Are All Fascists Now

My fellow blogger, and a man I respect, Francis Porretto left a comment to my post entitled This and That last Thursday here. I had not read Garet Garret's work before that I was aware of, but I had known the gist of it from studying other authors. For reference, Garret's piece entitled The Revolution that Was? is located at Lew Rockwell. Garret's point is that we have lived in a Fascist State for 80 years! Four generations. I would actually place the date somewhat earlier, in 1913, which puts it 98 years ago. It has been a soft Fascism to date, what Jonah Goldberg called Liberal Fascism. Most people didn't much notice, but we have not had a "free market economy" in years. With the ratification, in February of 1913, of the 16th Amendment, the slow process of destroying our property rights began, and with our property rights, our freedom and liberty went too.

A tax on income is a tax on a your very life, the hours of your days.  Most of us are paid based on how many hours we work.  But even salaried people can break down their salary by the number of hours they work during the year and come up with an amount per hour.  Every pay day, a person can look at his pay stub and see the amount of taxes taken out.  Every April 15th, you can look at your tax return, and figure out what percentage of your life you were allowed to work for yourself and your family, and what percentage Master took.  That is the portion of your life that is taken from you by government.  It is like they are cutting off a little piece of you.  But worse is the presumption behind the notion of taxing your sweat and toil, for in taxing your income, the Government presumes that your money, that you traded your life for, is really theirs.  We often talk about the fact that legally, Congress represents us, we don't work for them.  But the income tax puts the lie to that theory.  The fact is, we do work for them, and they have become our masters.

I have bemoaned the slow loss of liberty that has taken place in the nearly sixty years I have been on this earth.  When I was a kid, many of us boys had pocket knives, which we carried everywhere with us, even to school (!)  It was our father's job to decide at what point a boy learned the basics of knife etiquette and care, and not the school board's job.  It was a mother's job to feed her children, and not the President's wife's job to tell her what to feed them.  James Brovard has detailed the loss of liberty that has occurred in this country in a now dated book Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberties. The book was published in 1994, but the problems cited then have only grown more entrenched since then.  You see, the mistake that the Fascists made was not that they were in effect ruling us, but that under Obama, they did so nakedly, for all to see.  Obama dispensed with the legal niceties and let us see who really is in charge.

But, if the Government actually owns your income, and thus your life, why not infringe your liberties? Why can't they tell you and me that we can't carry a weapon for our own defense? Why can't they tell us what to eat, and what not to eat? After all, unhealthy habits such as smoking affect us all, since we all pay for healthcare. Like a slave or a serf, your bodies are not really your own, so why can't they see your naked form, and pat you down at the airports?  You have no dignity, you are only a serf.  And who are we to cry about liberty; we who toil daily for the State; we who own nothing and whose lives the State suffers at its own discretion.  We the serfs.  And they are right.  Until we are prepared to live as free men, and suffer the fate of all those who have come before who lived as free men, we do not deserve it.

Update:  Today at the American Thinker, Selwyn Duke has a good article bearing on this topic entitled The Nanny Staters at Life's Dangerous Intersections. Go read the whole thing. A quick quote:

The problem is a common one. People instinctively think about achieving new levels of safety but seldom worry about losing old levels of freedom. And the result is not necessarily greater safety, but greater levels of tyranny. I call this the New Red Light Syndrome. This is because it's much as when a locality identifies the most dangerous intersection in town. The traffic planners, realizing that something must be done immediately lest a person who means so much to those around him meet an untimely end (as opposed, I guess, to someone whose demise is desired by all and sundry), erect a new traffic light as remedy. This does seem to make sense and is hard to argue against. It saves lives, right? The problem is that even if it does, now some other spot is "the most dangerous intersection in town." Thus, there can always be justification for another red light.

And this:
Of course, we do need a few red lights at both literal and metaphorical intersections. And if we want but a few, we must realize that old levels of freedom require old levels of virtue. But our nanny-staters are content to destroy virtue and make the whole nation a red-light district, a place defined not just by licentiousness, but also by license to do little but indulge it. Their government will change the signal to green if and when you can go. And you will be happy...and controlled.

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