Government.  Big buildings made out of marble and granite.  Political campaigns, politicians, and welfare programs.  Military force, police officers, schools and courts.  Government.  We are all familiar with the word.  But where did it come from?

To answer that question, we must look at the origin of man.  “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” [1]  As soon as there began to be a substantial number of human beings on earth, things started to get more complicated.  The natural tendencies and desires of man are things such as laziness and greed.  If these natural tendencies are not controlled, crime occurs.  At first, these issues were taken care of individually—if someone comes to your house and tries to rob you, you have the right to use as much force as necessary to get them off your property.

But after a while, they realized that it would be much more efficient and effective to organize together into a government—or as Frédéric Bastiat put it, a “collective organization of the individual right to lawful defence.”  In the Declaration of Independence, we read the following:  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. [emphasis added]”

The only reason for the existence of government is simply for the protection of our rights.  Summarizing Frédéric Bastiat in his book The Law, the organized union of individual forces cannot be greater than the individual forces which make it up.  Just as individual forces cannot infringe on the liberty, rights, or property of another individual, the collective force, or the government, also cannot infringe on the liberty, rights, or property of an individual.  

Although this should be simple, human nature provides for major complications.  The leaders of the government are just as human as the rest of us.  Because of this, they have the same tendency of laziness and greed.  Combined with their powerful position, this is a perfect setup for disaster—and has been in almost every government in the world.

Instead of protecting against plunder, they sanction legal plunder through excessive taxes.  Instead of protecting our rights, liberty and property, the people in high positions use their power against these very purposes for which they are in power!

Bastiat has pointed out, “Another effect of this deplorable perversion of the law is that it gives to human passions and to political struggles, and, in general, to politics, properly so called, an exaggerated importance.”

Of course, this exaggerated importance of politics is caused because of the distribution of the loot.  If the purpose of the government was to solely provide for the protection of our rights, liberty and property, no one would care who the next president, king or prime minister would be.  

This is where the beauty of the American system of government comes in.  Our inspired Constitution provided an exceptional protection against corrupt people in the government.  For a while, it worked wonderfully—even Bastiat pointed to the United States of America in 1850 as the model for free government that actually does its job—protecting the liberty, rights and property of the people.  

Sadly, this did not last forever.  Powerseekers have since been working to erode our Constitution and our nation’s values, such as Christianity, liberty, equality, opportunity, hard work, integrity, etc.  As a result, our nation has become less and less of what it was meant to be.  We have sanctioned legal plunder instead of abhorring it.  We have become more concerned about safety than liberty.  

This must stop.  Where should we start?  Here’s what George Washington had to say: “A primary object should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important? And what duty more pressing than communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?”

Start today by education yourself and those around you.  Read the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.  Buy a copy of Bastiat’s The Law and study it.  Learn about what makes this nation great and how we can restore it to what it was meant to be.

The battle might be long and hard, but in the end freedom will win.  Which side will you join?  Just remember, not making a choice is making a choice, because, as a quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson says, “All tyranny needs to gain foothold is for people of conscience to remain silent.”  Will you help tyranny by remaining silent?  Or will you join the cause of freedom?

[1] – Genesis 1:27, KJV