Government Isn't the Victim; It's the Perpetrator
In Jonathan Nolan's excellent television series, Person of Interest, stars Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson intervene each episode to avert violent crimes predicted by an artificial intelligence. Receiving only Social Security numbers from their computerized accomplice, though, the heroes never know whether they are protecting a potential victim or hunting a future perpetrator.
Emerson's character designed the A.I. system after the 9/11 terrorist attacks as a way to safeguard the country from future harm but almost immediately realized he had constructed an oppressive surveillance apparatus infringing all Americans' civil liberties. More than ten years ago, when the show debuted, Nolan's incisive critique of the PATRIOT Act was evident. However, with the emergence of more advanced computational systems approaching at least the mimicry of true artificial intelligence and increasing evidence that the national security surveillance State has been intimately involved in the operations of Twitter, Facebook, Google, and other privacy-invading platforms perhaps since their inception, Nolan's project looks more like an early, albeit ignored, warning to the American people that they were already "being watched." This much is clear: in both the television series and America today, Big Government is not the victim; it is the perpetrator.
Around the country, almost every problem Americans endure is a result of Big Government action or inaction. Government overspending and central bank money-printing have crushed the value of ordinary Americans' income and savings. The Intelligence Community's use of the PATRIOT Act and other unconstitutional tools to violate Americans' Fourth Amendment rights against warrantless searches has not only eliminated privacy, but also made every citizen a suspect. The Biden administration's choice to leave America's borders wide open has exacerbated crime, drug addiction, and identity theft while breaking city budgets and local communities.
Washington, D.C.'s endless bureaucratic rule-making touches every part of every American's life. What products can be bought and sold? What can a citizen do on or with his private property? What speech should be censored because the government judges its content "hateful" or unacceptably contrary to the bureaucracy's official point of view? While Congress never stops passing laws, agencies never stop exponentially compounding those laws with new standards, rules, and regulations that micromanage everything Americans do. Bureaucrats never ask, "Is this government coercion worth the additional loss of a citizen's liberty?" In fact, one Biden agency head bluntly admitted recently that his army of government workers were "having fun" writing new regulations to control the American people. Protecting personal freedom could not be farther from his mind.
In an essay entitled "Why the Left Is Pro-Mask," Dennis Prager wrestles with why so many leftists refuse to abandon face coverings, even when a growing body of research demonstrates they do no good — and may actually cause harm for individuals suffering from other conditions or reusing dirty masks. In four salient points, he argues that leftists (1) are governed by fear; (2) never ask, "At what price?"; (3) remain ignorant of opposing points of view; and (4) insist on controlling others. That's an insightful, succinct deconstruction of leftism. Leftists have little self-reliance, insist on advocating for solutions before problems have even been well defined, and believe that the brute force of government should regularly be used to impose those solutions upon people against their will.
In fear of everything and inclined to control everyone, leftists will abandon liberty, free speech, private property, religious faith, and personal autonomy for government's soothing yet hollow promises of safety and security. Irrational leftist fear is why Western leaders would rather destroy their economies than admit that the benefits from hydrocarbon energies vastly outweigh the costs of chasing "global warming" models that have been consistently wrong. Leftists' insistence that COVID could never have come from a Chinese lab; that Dr. Fauci would never have funded gain-of-function research; and that the "vaccines" were not only perfectly safe, but also entirely effective at preventing illness and transmission comes from an inability to entertain and grapple with competing points of view. Obviously, those who require "trigger warnings," "safe spaces," and cancel culture are not capable of handling ideas contrary to their inviolable worldview. This is why we are barreling at full speed toward a future where government censorship is rampant, the FBI is a "weaponized apparatchik" of the president, the courts are used as institutions for persecuting political dissent, and bureaucrats such as Dr. Fauci believe that it is their job to "break" Americans who "don't like being told what to do." As Prager correctly noted in a recent interview, there is "no instance since Vladimir Lenin in 1917 that the left has come to power and allowed dissent."
Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and their ideological cohorts have worked quickly since 2008 to lop off the Bill of Rights from the Constitution and transition America into a slave state. As president, Barack Obama always enjoyed mocking proponents of limited government and seemed genuinely bewildered why anyone would detest bureaucratic power. A typical leftist, he could rail against what he perceived as police abuse or warmongering or government intrusion into someone's bedroom and then turn right around to push for militarized police forces, undeclared foreign wars, and government intrusion into someone's religious faith. He would applaud political protest as free speech and encourage Black Lives Matter to "get in the faces" of Americans and then define all dissent as "disinformation," demand censorship of competing points of view, and label J6 election protesters as "insurrectionists." These types of contradictions run rife on the political left because leftists simultaneously blame government for their problems while seeking even more government to solve those problems. Hypocrisy is the inevitable result.
Unlike O'Biden, the Founding Fathers behind the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, and Bill of Rights had an expansive understanding of the various forms of government that have risen and fallen these last three thousand years. Many of them could read and write in Greek and Latin and had acquired a classical education that prepared them for the pitfalls naturally lurking within political systems. They were well versed not only in English common law, but also in the civil laws of continental Europe. They were knowledgeable of the Roman canon and that of Ancient Greece. They were students of Aristotle's Politics and appreciated the distinctions among "kingly rule, aristocracy, and constitutional government," as well as their "corresponding perversions" arising in "tyranny, oligarchy, and democracy." When they set out to design a system of government that would have a greater chance of enduring than all those that had come and gone in the past, they did so with both a sober respect for history's lessons and a deep political, economic, and legal expertise. With this historical education in their minds and a sense of serious trepidation against fashioning any national government doomed for failure, America's architects sought to create a system that would maximize personal liberty while limiting government power. Dividing political power into the smallest possible parts and distributing that power as widely as possible among the people is not only the surest safeguard for preserving human liberty but also the surest safeguard for preserving governing institutions. Concentrated power is a precursor to civil conflict, disintegration, revolution, and government collapse.
As the derelict custodians of American government continue to jettison the wisdom of the Founding Fathers and embrace the Big Government predilections of Obama, Biden, and other leftist saboteurs, America's political system will no doubt succumb to the same fate as so many fallen governments of the past.
Should that awful reality become unavoidable in the near future and we are forced to once again lay the foundations of something new, keep this advice in mind: Big Banks, Big Government, and Big Espionage are routinely the problem. Maximized individual liberty remains the ingenious solution.
Image via Pexels.