There is no doubt that we live in a world where some people have the power to claim governmental authority over others. Add to this the tendency of so many to say that they need a leader because it is the will of God or because they think there will be no societal organization without some force applied to the choices of others. The result of all this is territorial borders, used to designate all people and land within as basically belonging to one governing body or another. The governed, the vast majority of people, are supposed to honor those who harass their souls with taxes and humiliating oversight. To top it all off, they are supposed to defend this power structure with their own lives against invaders, the same power structure that threatens their lives and liberty if they attempt to thwart or ignore it.
Assuming the positive possibility that some government entities really have our protection and best interests as their priority, the first question has to be, “Why won’t they let us be free to protect ourselves?” There is no formula or safe guard for government positions that makes sure that only the pure in heart achieve such status. At best, they are no different than the rest of us; at worst, the power attracts corruption. Why can’t we, the general populace, be trusted with the means of protection, but a person in government can? Any system that abrogates the power of the average person to defend themselves attracts those who will abuse such power, in spite of respected documents to the contrary. So, every government system will degrade into corruption, no matter the positive beginnings.
Another issue is the physical impossibility for even a well meaning government official to provide security for each individual. The problem of scale is unmanageable on both ends of the spectrum. They cannot provide a bodyguard for each person, even if we wanted one. The potential for such a guard to be used to curtail our freedom and privacy are obvious. The closer any system comes to monitoring everyone and everything, the more everyone become s a suspect. Enforcers don’t know most individuals and are frequently inclined to view everyone as potential combatants. Citizens live in fear of accidentally sending the wrong social cues. The wrong look or stance could be misconstrued as aggression, resulting in “justifiable” violence on the part of government forces.
Along the same lines, the government cannot protect us all from each other. We must rely on mutual good will or concern about defensive retaliation to dissuade attack. A glance at neighborhoods embroiled in gang warfare is a reminder that when common courtesy or respect break down, the government forces often just exacerbate the problem by adding more bullets to the fray.
The negative perspective is that rather than provide protection, in the truest sense of the word, the government powers really want us to behave in approved ways, ways that are convenient for their goals in life. The word “security” on their lips is only a deceptive slogan enabling them to accrue perks, money, and power. Those lower on the governmental power ladder will serve the same verbal styrofoam in hopes for some share of the power. Fellow non-governmental people are tempted to turn others in for the slightest infraction or even made up ones for fun, fear, or compensation.
Metaphorically speaking, to ask the government to protect us is to feed the monster that is already devouring our land. The government is not “us.” To say that it or we are defending our own country against invaders is to make two mistakes. It is not our country and it is not our government. It is a government over us, like field bosses telling slaves it is “our plantation, so be proud and work hard!”
The political abstract of “country,” is really land that is either pseudo-privately owned (because all property owners are forced to pay taxes on all manner of property), or land that is ostensibly public, but the average person has pretty much nothing to say about how it is used and neither are they free to use it as they like. If anyone thinks to defend their own property, they are at risk of the government prosecuting them for doing it in ways the government doesn’t agree with.
If it weren’t for such government interference, people might band together for mutual defense against aggressors. This would be voluntary, and the organization of such would need to acknowledge the individual conscience and priorities of each other. Some people might even want to travel to help defend someone else, on their land, with their approval. The argument here is not against defense, individually or collectively. It is against the conscription of resources and people by a select few or majority mob. It is against forcing some people to fight whom and how someone else wants to. How can anyone want a government that has proven itself corrupt and inept to have even more power over who comes and goes where.
Speaking of deceit, there is good reason not to trust much of the news about refugees. Or anything. In my 55 years, I have discovered that a disturbingly large percentage of people are willing to lie. Their motives may range from saving face to stealing, but lying is not uncommon. I have witnessed how when a relatively small sum of money was involved in an organization, people in the benevolent hierarchy were willing to skew the story enough to “not be lying,” but still let most people come to less than flattering conclusions about someone else’s reputation. All this so that the money would be used the way they wanted without exposing their own duplicity. Because they were widely thought to be friendly and humble, and their position esteemed, they were believed. Did you know that liars can look friendly and humble? The fact is, when control of the purse strings is involved, too many people will lie if they can get away with it. The higher the position in government, the more tempting and the easier it is to get away with it.
It usually doesn’t matter if there are witnesses. Not only do people see what they want to to fit with their own visions of controlling others, but the witnesses too often are manipulated to “see it a certain way.” They comply with the government story for their own safety or for their standing in the system. Expert witnesses, special reports? There is no more reason to trust them than your two year old telling you who ate the cookies.
What people in power can’t easily lie about, they can manufacture. To question their motives and methods is to risk being shouted down as a conspiracy nut, but why would corrupt powers hesitate to manipulate situations and stories? Why should we trust so-called news reports from people we’ve never met and have little reason to think have similar priorities to ours. They do it with budget numbers right before our eyes. Surely, they do it with other “more sensitive” information as they deem necessary.
You can want to believe in the good of humanity all you want, but there are too many reasons to be careful about whom you trust. Which is ironically the same reason we are told to accept governmental agendas. We are told we can’t trust that other government or that other culture, but we are not supposed to question our “own” government.
But what news is wrong, you ask? It is really hard to tell, and that is the point. It is all a tangled web of contradictions and propaganda. The best that can often be done is to find people whose basic principles about life seem honest and true to reality. Then, still evaluate what they say. We were each given a brain and a conscience. We could also ask if we really need to know what is going on all over the world. Much of the time, the only impact it has on us is how the government manipulates it to impose further restrictions on us.
Some of the news reports that seem disingenuous to me are the ones that complain about “all the weapons the enemy has.” Those other guys are supposedly so obviously nefarious that we are told we have some moral right to disarm them. Any weapons they have brings them heavy accusations. We might as well suspect our own police departments. Why do they need so much invincibility and fire power? To monitor traffic or show up after a burglary or murder? Even when I worked in the nether regions of Los Angeles, sometimes lost in neighborhoods as a visiting nurse, I never saw any kind of street warfare they might have felt they needed to protect me from. Who has the moral superiority or authority over individual sovereignty to make decisions about weapon ownership for others? No one, really. Some people do it anyway.
The final blow to all my resistance to government enforced security measures is supposed to be that Islam is a violent religion. Let’s just say we agree that this is true. I would still contend that:
- there is much recorded violence among all people, of every location and culture.
- every man-made religious system creates a kind of governmental hierarchy within it that tends to also attract corruption
- no spiritual creed has been exempt from religious perversion and political violence
We are not talking here about whether any given creed is right or wrong. Religious systems are notorious for fighting each other and within themselves. You can tell me until you are blue in the face that Muslims have done “too many” violent things. I will tell you that John Calvin had dissenters burned at the stake. The Puritans cruelly extinguished those they didn’t understand or found it politically expedient to dispose of. Much of the current American military personnel will say they are Christian and rationalize following orders to bomb hospitals or perform questionable drone strikes because of a unspoken motto that the only good Muslim is a dead Muslim.
The word “Muslim” is such a hot word right now that it is almost the only defining feature many people remember in a news report. If a Muslim didn’t do it, it fades into oblivion faster than a dog eats meat scraps. I read recently about how Southerners were spoken of by Northerners and the federal government during the Civil War era. It sounded hauntingly like how people describe Muslims, but I’m pretty sure most Southerners back then would have considered themselves Christian.
Do I think there are some angry, violent Muslims out there? Yes, I do. I also think there are a fair number of average American neighborhood bullies, cultural Christians who do terrible things, and policemen who are too fond of their governmental authority. There is danger in the world, but everything in me is repelled by the idea of trusting my security to the hands of government agents, whether it be for local or global threats.
These are reasons why I choose to make decisions about security and defense based on principles of liberty. Let people be free to deal with other people without feeding the government monster. Let me see and evaluate individuals on a personal basis. Let me be wise in my dealings and methods of protection without a dominating government that is so “protective” that it threatens to chew me into oblivion if I question it’s validity. If anyone thinks it is okay to compel me to give up my liberty for their perceived security, I cry “foul.”