Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun, and Caligula, Were More Honest . . . by Butler Shaffer

Never fool yourself that government is anything more than organized violence. From Butler Shaffer at

What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people. It’s not good at much else.

– Tom Clancy

…than modern politicians in at least one respect: these ancient tyrants made no pretense of being the agents of those over whom they ruled. They established their vicious authority in the same way all political systems of power are created: by violent conquest. Men and women obeyed these thugs for one reason: the fear that their defiance would result in instant death. Despots gradually realized that their power over others could be made more secure by convincing the ruled that their authority was sanctioned by God, with whom they shared a pipeline. By the time of the Enlightenment, the “divine right” rationale was replaced by the principle of an imaginary “social contract” between rulers and the ruled.

In my reading of history, I have yet to find any political system that arose by voluntary agreement amongst members of a given population. Even the history of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution demonstrates the fallacy of such a “contract.” After New Hampshire’s approval satisfied the minimal number of states that would have to have ratified the document, the state of Rhode Island refused to do so. Some 92% of Rhode Islanders voted to reject the document. Rhode Island was home to many independent-minded persons, including Roger Williams, Anne Hutchinson, and Quakers. Such people distrusted power – particularly as many of them had been driven out of Massachusetts by those in power. As such, Rhode Island refused to send delegates to the Constitutional Convention. With the U.S. government now in business, one of its first acts was to threaten Rhode Island with military invasion, the cutting off of trade, and the blockading of its ports. Rhode Island was forced to concede obedience to a system that 92% of its residents didn’t want, leading to the conclusion that it was the first victim of American imperialism!

To continue reading: Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun, and Caligula, Were More Honest . . . 


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