When you talk to people about ‘the government’, most of them immediately only think of the federal government, and the vast amount of departments that it compromises of in Washington D.C. But while that is one part of it, government is much more.
Government is also our state government. Government is also our county and city governments. More importantly, government, at any level, is not just the buildings or departments it comprises of however, but is, in fact, those people who inhabit the positions within those buildings and departments, from the federal level all the way down to your local municipalities. Yet most people in general don’t think about it that way.
Even more importantly, governments are those people who enforce laws and regulations that have been legislated by governments at every level. Agents of the FBI, DEA, your local state, county and city law enforcement officers are all government as well.
I’ve had conversations with many of my friends regarding this, and successfully changed their perspective on how they perceive what ‘government’ is. As libertarians, this is an important step in removing the blindfold that most of our fellow citizens walk around with during their everyday lives, so they can realize government’s unnecessary involvement in almost every single aspect of our lives, and how it perpetuates efforts – successfully, mind you – at controlling us in this invisible prison we live in. Libertarians, however, know better than this, and see it for what it is. Statism. It’s that level of Stockholm syndrome that has set it, where our captors are the government, and the captives who embrace them; the citizenry.
Most people bow down at the alter of government like it is something to be loved and embraced, which we as libertarians refuse to, and for good reason. It is a foolish notion to love and embrace those who wield direct power and control over you. But the minute you suggest this to non-libertarians, they are shocked and appalled at the mere thought or mention of it. Why? How did we as a society become these zombie minded statist loving slaves who created our own prison by allowing government to run amuck? I suggest the answer is decades of indoctrinated education, or gradual indoctrination via scare tactics via rampant bombardment of how this and that are epidemics and we must pass more laws to stop it, constantly coming at us via various news networks and publications, often influenced heavily by whom? The government, of course.
Our parents followed the propaganda – just as many do now – and then taught us we should trust “anyone with a badge.” In fact, however, any good defense attorney in today’s day and age would tell you the exact opposite. The reason is simple: They are a stranger, not your friend. so do not trust them. The second you open your mouth, anything and everything you say can and will be used against you. This is true even if you called them for help.
People today simply confuse “patriotism” – the love of your country – with “statism”, which means the love of your government. The two are not at all the same. I love my country, but I do not like my current government at all, and that’s at every level. I do not need to be ruled, I am quite capable of living without government rule and interference in my personal life, as we all are. Most just don’t realize it.
* Shane Foster has worked his entire career in military law enforcement, corrections, and as a private investigator. He has a unique perspective into how law enforcement operates from within its ranks, our judicial system, as well as our privacy laws and how every day our individual freedoms and liberties are gradually taken away from us and our individual rights abused on a regular basis.
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