"If the major opportunities for future growth of government lie in the area of conventional taxation, are there any defenses available to the citizenry? ... Perhaps the most fruitful advice comes in two parts. The first piece of advice is to avoid war and the rumor of war: this is history's greatest boon to the tax man. ... The second piece of advice is to seek ways of inhibiting government's ability conveniently to increase its collections. Possibly the very increase in that ability that is in prospect can be turned to account by a constitutional provision which forbade the income tax, and perhaps even the storage of information regarding individual incomes by third parties, including government." ~ Benjamin Ward
I Want My Flying Car!
I have no use for the State, if State is defined as the Political Means of death, coercion, violence and theft. What good can come from the State? None.
It's been estimated States killed up to 200 million people in the 20th Century.
Think about all those lost in all of history, due to what States has done. How far behind are we? Two thousand years, maybe? Think of all the inventions lost, all the advances in all fields delayed.
It is the year 2005. I swear, when I saw '2001,' I honestly thought we'd have space stations and men on the moon and maybe Mars by 2001. Hah! Was I fooled! Where's my flying car? I should have a flying car by now, so I could go to the moon on weekends and hit golf balls!
It should actually be the year 4005! There should be cures for all diseases, we should be pulling energy straight out of the fabric of space, and I SHOULD HAVE A FLYING CAR! I want a robot vacuum cleaner! And maybe it should wash my clothes, too! That's what the State has done to the human race -- put us behind 2000 years!
And do not get me started on Star Trek! Transporter, phasers, starships zooming across the galaxy, medical scanners the size of salt shakers! Ack! I couldn't stand it, not when doctors were still sticking needles in me!
Richard Maybury, in his book Ancient Rome, notes there is a Roman grist mill near Arles , France that has 16 water wheels operating in tandem and a system of gears and grinders so complex it could produce enough flour for 80,000 people.
Roman buildings had central heating, plumbing, baths, glass windows, mosaic tile floors, and plastered and painted walls. Roman civilization had advanced engineering, math, literature and philosophy. They were right on the verge of the Industrial Revolution. But it all collapsed because of war and empire and inflation and everything else States always do.
After the Roman Empire collapsed (as all empires collapse), Europe entered the Dark Ages for 500 years. It went backwards a thousand years. The majority of the population didn't live any better in 500 A.D. than they did in 500 B.C.
And what has created all the wonderful things we have today? Not the State. The free market, that's what.
The last time a culture succeeded in establishing economic and political freedom was in 1776. If you look around you, you'll find that almost everything that has been invented, has been invented in the last 200 years, because of that freedom.
Planes, trains and automobiles. Surgery with anesthesia. Computers and video games. Dentistry where you don't have to get drunk and have your friends hold you down. TV, movies, CDs. Cheap, plentiful food and clean, free water. An eight-hour workday with weekends off, instead of back-breaking labor 12 hours a day, six days a week, so you could live in a too-hot or too-cold hovel, barely have enough to eat, and die in your early 40s. Vacations. RVs. Air conditioning. Retirement. Dentures. The list unrolls and unrolls.
And what has the State given us? War, inflation, deficits, recessions, depressions, conscription, slavery, genocide. Widows and orphans. Fathers burying their sons instead of the other way around. The few times the State has done something right, it's the same reason a stopped clock is occasionally right. If the State was a private business, it would always be fired.
Where would we be now if early attempts at freedom and capitalism had succeeded permanently? If wars hadn't slaughtered hundreds of millions of people and delayed the inventions they would have created? Maybe it should really be the year 5000!
And what do we have today? The Mommy State taking away our freedoms at home, and the Daddy State starting wars abroad. That certainly isn't conducive to the advancement of society. It's going to be like it's always been -- two steps forward, one step back.
With the State opposed to Civilization (as it is always opposed to Civilization), maybe it's not just two steps forward, one step back -- it's 500 years forward, a thousand years back, then 500 years forward again. If the State is anything, it's Sisyphus, the greedy king condemned forever to Hades, where he rolls a rock up a hill so it can roll right back down again.
Today, every time I look at the Moon, I wonder what it would be like to hop in my car, travel there for the weekend and hit golf balls.
Sometimes I just can't stand it.