When Government Fails

If you’re like me then you know that before long, the government will kill itself off. By breaking its economic means, it will methodically lose the rest and simply become insolvent. I know most people who read this will disagree and that’s okay. Yet what if you’re wrong? What if the government were to go under and become insolvent and unable to fund its dependant society any longer? What could we do different in order to build a better society, using liberty as a foundation instead of government control?
To some people this thought is terrifying. It is widely believed that without the government, total anarchy would reign. Chaos would fill every corner of society, riots and mobs would go about dispensing their will upon the helpless and fear and suffering would abound. The strong would prey upon the weak, and civilization would be lost. Yet like most things, the likelihood of that happening is slim and none. All throughout history people have shown over and over again their efforts to build a meaningful society – using voluntary action to accomplish a better living for themselves, and their community.
I cannot understand why so many people these days fear so much. Fear of thieves, murderers, rapists, foreign attacks and chaos has our nation voluntarily paying a record amount of taxes and obeying victimless crime laws. The driving factor in their core belief system is not of reason and actuality but fear. In the land of the free and home of the brave, I find this to be as inexcusable as I do nonsensical.
Let’s start with a quick look at national defense. Many people believe that without a standing army, we would be invaded, over run, and conquered. Indeed many times have occurred in history when nations without a strong army have been gobbled up by one that does have one. For instance when Rome started its northern conquests, the Germanic and Gallic tribes fell piece by piece to the organized and funded Roman army. Likewise in our own Revolutionary war, it was not until a strong army was trained and built that we were able to truly hold our own against the English. Like many others, I was under the impression that such reasons were very good ones to have a standing army. Then I took a second, very hard look at things.
Every nation that lacked a standing army only lost ground to the ones that did because of a few simple things. The first is that they lacked the ammunition and supplies needed to make a sustained fight. Second they lacked the training needed to fight effectively against a unified enemy as the battles quickly devolved into an ‘every man for himself’ scenario. Finally, they lacked the initial conviction that their cause was worth fighting for and that it might just be easier to bow their heads and comply.
The solutions are cheap, equally simple, and require no standing army. The first step is that each citizen of the nation must believe in it enough to raise a rifle in its defense when foreign armies come knocking. If such were the case when the colonies rebelled – the war would have been significantly shorter. The second is that every citizen capable of defending their locality must know how to use a rifle, arm themselves, and train to fight as a unit. This allows for a flexible defense that knows its own backyard, and is competent to defend it. If the training is all basic in every locality, then one may fight side by side with another if need be without stepping on the other’s feet. Finally – stockpile enough ammo to make a solid defense capable of lasting long enough until help may arrive. Once this is accomplished, you can regularly buy ammunition for next to nothing and refresh your load on a periodic basis using the older ammunition for target practice. If done in such a manner, no liberty is infringed upon, no taxes are required, no political abuse may occur by a bureaucrat looking to play world policeman, and each may feel secure knowing that they are indeed defended. Oh, and you have the peace of mind knowing that you’re not paying to employ hitmen.
Without a standing army there is no excuse left to have a central bank. Historically speaking, the only thing any Central Banking system we have ever had in the US has given us, is widespread currency failure, propping up failed banking policies, kicking our economy when it’s down, and making the people enslaved to the only legal currency it controls by congressional charter. Yet somehow, people still believe it to be the only stabilizing force in the economy. For all you you-tubers out there who hate reading – look up Tom Woods, you’ll see what I mean.
This leaves bartering goods and services, and allowing people to use whatever currency they want. Once again the majority trembles at this. They say that without central control, people will be robbed, bank runs will happen a lot more, and our economy will become a wreck. History however proves otherwise – again and again.
Anyway, this solution has worked very well in the past. Without interference from the state, trade functioned far smoother than most give it credit for. It worked so well that until Gibbons vs. Ogden in 1824, that congress dare not touch it (a good 36 year period). Then due to this localized event, congress found that it could not only interfere with interstate trade, but regulate it as well. Many people think that without congress regulating it, that free trade would lead to smuggling and other underground illegal activities. Once again this is wrong – throughout history the amount of smuggling that occurs grows in line with the amount of taxes and regulations. The more a society is regulated and tax, the more smuggling there is.
Another fallacy is that everyone is greedy and self serving. The jerks of the world would swindle those less fortunate. Once again, minus legal enforcement and interference, this rarely happened, and when it did, society was free to ensure that it immediately stopped and amends were made. On the rare occasion that did not happen, the rest of society would happily help their neighbor in their time of need.
In such a society, money held little value when not backed by anything like specie (gold or silver). So money backed by specie was used to help keep transactions smooth. What the air-heads on TV do not tell you, is that bank runs happened when the banks had more money lent out then they actually had in hand. So to be quite honest, such runs were a great way to keep the banks honest. Today we are so used to banks lending us non-existent money that we do not even think twice about it. Once again, such a society is not only freer then we are today – but a heck of a lot more honest. In addition, a government cannot abuse money it does not have can it?
I am also tired of being told that without government, infrastructure would crumble and we would live in a third world again. From railroads, to bridges we are told that government has allowed us to be prosperous with a united country. Somehow they always leave out the ensuing mess it creates. Think about it – what do roads etc do? They make transportation across long distances easier. This means that a nation can prosper at a very rapid pace creating expansion. I would equate such actions to the careless increase in money supply that drives inflation. It does indeed create periods of short term prosperity, yet it comes with a high price tag and is never sustainable. Simply put – if people needed it and wanted it, then they would pay for it with the money they had – not incur high debts that go on for generations.
So how would we provide true infrastructure for ourselves? Well what are the basics? Water, electric, gas, oil, sewage, and trash. The plants already exist, and they are constantly being improved. A problem here is that too many people believe that government is the only people interested enough to provide for it. Yet if government failed tomorrow then what?
Well my hopes would be that there are people out there smart enough to see that these are all essential in the maintenance of society, and get enough people together to guard these plants against people who destroy them for fun or whatever reason. These services/commodities would then be able to continue their use. The people who run them are providing the service, and can still shut it down if needed for whatever reason. Either way, I can see no reasonable argument on how this would not be preferred to the government regulated sources we have today. Seriously I hope someone gives me one because I cannot think of any.
Finally you have law and order. Many people think that a free society is nothing more than a pipe dream because everyone would misbehave and create chaos. Once again I see no proof. I have heard many fallacies like the ‘wild west etc’ but have never seen any real proof. As stated earlier, people for the most part have a built in drive to accomplish – some more than others, but in the end, it is their choice. If you accomplish a lot, you will gain more (even if only in experience). If you accomplish a little – you will probably not make any long term gains. Because most people like to live comfortably, it is a huge drive to accomplish enough to meet that end. When people are not allowed to accomplish, (or given the means to) is when trouble starts. If no real jobs are available then of course more people will steal or sell underground to make ends meet than usual.
So finally there is only one problem I see to civil order should government end today. Ironically it is a government creation, and still grows due to government mandate. This is the rent seekers. I am not referring to any race or locale so don’t even think about writing this off as a rascist rant you statist pig. By rent seekers I merely refer to those who believe that they deserve the same as anyone else but refuse to do the work to earn it. This is as of now the minority in any society no matter where in the world you go. Yet government only exists by taking from others, therefore the more people dependant on government for survival, the more people will be out when government collapses. Sadly enough, many of them believe that government is protecting them from the evil fat cats etc, when the fact is that government is what is holding them down. Anyway, amongst this mass of people are those that abuse the system and take it for all its worth, and yes they exist. They range from being very poor to very wealthy so it is not isolated to the stupid class warfare BS you hear on the news all the time.
Anyway, as the number of said rent seekers grows, so will the danger it would present to a free society. They truly are the scum of the earth (rich, poor, white, black, man, woman – does not matter). They would use every advantage they could get to keep the free ride coming, and even steal it from those who are unwilling to protect what they earned. The only balancer in this instance is those who are willing to tell them to go someplace else, or have personal talk with Smith and Wesson.
In closing, I hope that all who read this ponder it. Will it require more personal responsibility and drive to live comfortably? In most cases yes. Will you be freer to set out to accomplish something and keep what you fairly earned? Very much so. You see freedom can be a very wonderful and valuable thing, and if you truly want it, you have to work to keep it. Like anything else, when you trust someone else to do it for you, not only do you lose your appreciation for it, but control of it as well. I don’t know about you, but my freedom is far too important to me to leave it in someone else’s hands – especially when that someone else has proven their inability to protect it time and time again.
So on the event that the current system fails, I will fight tooth and toenail to ensure that it never has the opportunity to take my freedom again. So if you are still terrified by the idea of a public service versus government control (sometimes wolf in sheep’s clothing) – then you have no right to call yourself an American, as these are what the people who actually fought were fighting for. We indeed have a long history of mistakes – let’s try to avoid them in future shall we?

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Responses to When Government Fails

  1. David Shirk November 4, 2010 at 10:57 pm #

    No comments yet? Seriously?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. When Government Fails « The Peace Freedom & Prosperity Movement - - govtpays.com - November 3, 2010

    […] Follow this link: When Government Fails « The Peace Freedom & Prosperity Movement […]

Leave a Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.