The New Barbarians
Recent abuses of power are a reminder that the barbarians are still with us, using the power of progressive government to punish anyone who dares oppose them. Barbarians have no regard for others and depend on plunder for their existence, as they have throughout history, taking from the productive by force.
J. Bronowski described the barbarian Genghis Khan in The Ascent of Man:
From AD 1200 to 1300 they made almost the last attempt to establish the supremacy of the robber who produces nothing and who, in his feckless way, comes to take from the peasant (who has nowhere to flee) the surplus that agriculture accumulates.
Modern plunderers realize they don't need Genghis Khan's horsemen, and can use the power of the state in place of the sword. Known by various names, the left, liberals, socialists, communists, progressives, et al., these new plunderers are able to corrupt the civilized rule of law, enlisting government as plunderer-in-chief. The most aggressive American plunderer is the radicalized Democratic Party, whose hold on power depends on distributing the loot. This, of course, requires the use of force. There is no box to check on the tax return, "I agree to contribute to the Plunderer's Fund."
The victim of plunder is not free, as Mark Levin remarks in Liberty and Tyranny:
In the civil society, private property and liberty and inseparable. The individual's right to live freely and safely and pursue happiness includes the right to acquire and possess property, which represents the fruits of his own intellectual and/or physical labor. As the individual's time on earth is finite, so, too, is his labor. The illegitimate denial or diminution of his private property enslaves him to another and denies him his liberty.
The American who has worked hard and earned his own surplus is no better off than the peasant confronted by a Mongol raid. At least the Mongols were honest. They came to plunder. They probably didn't tell the peasant, "We are just collecting your fair share." The new plunderers claim to be the champions of "the unfortunate" or "the poor," for who would dare to be against the unfortunate? Wealth redistribution by plunder is not compassion, and it is not charity. Charity is voluntary. Plunder is forbidden by all the major religions. The moral standard is not "Thou shalt steal for others," but "Thou shalt not steal."
Yet the left claims to hold the moral high ground. The peasant who desires to keep his surplus is called "selfish," while the plunderers are called "compassionate." The moral commandment of the left is "Extort thy neighbor." Government operating under this commandment abandons the rule of law, pits one citizen against another, and destroys the civil society.
In prehistoric times, the man with the biggest club won (and got the girl!). The barbarians continued the "biggest club society," wielding their swords against the helpless peasant. As societies became more civilized, plunder was more difficult. The Founders of the United States of America wrote the Constitution to protect the individual and his property against use of force. They abhorred the redistribution of wealth (plunder).
James Madison said:
Government is instituted to protect property of every sort.... This being the end of government, that alone is not a just government, ....nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has in his personal safety and personal liberty is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest.
And John Adams:
Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist.
For 130 years, Americans were protected by their Constitution against plunder, until the 16th Amendment opened the door. The Progressives rushed in while the courts eventually left us defenseless. The resulting tax system allows government social engineering that would otherwise be prohibited, such as providing cover for the implementation of the unconstitutional ObamaCare. Those in power can reward friends (corruption) and persecute political opponents (tyranny). Abuses by the IRS are not so much about misuse of power, but that a government organization with such power exists.
Unfortunately, Americans have gone along with this for a hundred years now. Today, to object to the power to plunder is to be vilified as some kind of unenlightened radical. The immoral concept that someone else has a "right" to the fruits of my labor, in essence turning me into a slave, has become entrenched into American life like a leech which cannot be burned off.
Unlike my parents' generation, many feel no shame in accepting the plundered loot, as if they somehow deserve it. They vote for it, some even lie to receive it. They are blind to tyranny as long as the check comes. They would be insulted to be called thieves. But if not thieves, how would one describe beneficiaries of extorted money?
Genghis Khan (after leaving his sword at the door) could give a speech to the Democratic Convention to rousing applause. After all, wasn't it "unfair" his people didn't have as much as the peasant they raided? Since they are the "unfortunates," don't they have a "right" to free health care, free legal advice, free food, and even free condoms? Should you not want to give it to them, the IRS will make you an offer you cannot refuse. The power to plunder has no place in a free society. The new barbarians have legislative titles, work in government agencies, and wear judicial robes. But underneath is the sword of Genghis Khan.
An old "country boy," Gary Horne is one of them "small government radicals," and the founder of BarberShopValues.com.