Brandon Smith, Contributing Writer
The concept of government power is a strange and complex cipher. The existence of government has always been predicated on assumptions of necessity, but few societies have ever truly considered what those necessities might be. What is government actually good for? What do they do that is so important? And, what happens when a government fails in the roles and duties that a culture deems vital?
We tend to view government as an inevitability of life, but the fact is, government is not a force of nature; it is a creation of man, and it can be dismantled by men just as easily as it can be established.
In America, many people see government as an extension of the Republic, or even the source, and an animal that feeds at the behest of the common citizen. An often heard argument against the idea of drastic change or even rebellion within the establishment system is the assertion that the government “is us”. That it is made of Americans, by Americans, and for Americans. That there is no separation between the public, and the base of power. This is, of course, a childish and fantastical delusion drawn from a complete lack of understanding as to how our system really operates today. How many people out there who make this argument really believe at their very core that they have any legitimate influence over the actions of the state? I wager not many….
At bottom, to cling to the lie that the government as it stands is a construct of the people is an act of pure denial designed to help the lost masses cope with underlying feelings of utter powerlessness.
Unfortunately, the U.S. government has shown clearly through word and action that its concerns are not with the average American, and that its loyalties rest with decidedly smaller and more elite interest groups. When elections once meant to dissuade political abuse become a false paradigm tool for the maximization of tyranny, have we not lost our voice as a society? When any government decides it is no longer concerned with the freedom and prosperity of a nation, no matter how righteous that government claims to be, we must, as citizens, ask ourselves whether that government is still useful to us, and what kind of power it should be allowed to wield. It is a dereliction of our duty not just as Americans but as human beings to simply treat government as a realm outside of our control or concern. It is lazy. It is dangerous. It could very well be disastrous. Government should answer to us, now and forever.
As the new millennium stampedes forward, however, it appears that the intended roles of the American dynamic have been reversed. The progression of the past decade has seen a hailstorm of legislation and executive orders that impede personal liberties and erode Constitutional protections in place for centuries. So many trails toward totalitarianism have been blazed recently that it is becoming difficult to track them all, and, yet, I do not think many in our country have asked themselves what this means to their future. What kind of rights are you ready to hand over to government? How many aspects of your life should the establishment be able to dictate? How much freedom are you willing to give away?
While pondering these questions, each man and woman should also take into account the powers that those in government think they deserve. What have they asked for lately? What have they taken without permission? Here is just a short list of the more detrimental declarations of authority attempted over the past decade along with the pieces of legislation and executive orders used to make them “all legal”….
The Power To Invade Your Privacy
The U.S. government has long held at least a private belief that it should be allowed access to every aspect of a citizen’s personal life. In the past, the excuse of criminal suspicion was a standard rationalization, but this expanded beyond the targeting of individuals to broader surveillance of the populace as a whole with the advent of the drug war. Financial records especially became subject to government perusal without warrant and generally without any criminal charges filed.
This trampling of the 4th Amendment over a fabrication of a “war” on substances that by all rights should be legal anyway was just a taste of what was to come. With the explosion of the war on terror (another fabricated conflict), the application of mass surveillance became standardized.
The Patriot Acts and the FISA bill, both upheld by so called “Republican” and “Democratic” presidents, have opened the door for centralized electronic spying in the name of “national security”. Never before has the world seen such an unbridled assault on the private lives of common citizens. The big brother grids of the Soviet era are child’s play compared to the data mining of the 21st century, and this tyranny is made possible by the marriage of government and corporate interests, working in tandem to ensure an ever tightening net.
The usual ill-conceived debate point for such surveillance is the claim that it is “for the greater good,” for our own safety, and that if we have nothing to hide, we have nothing to fear. It is not uncommon for slaves to embrace the loss of privacy in the name of safety, even if that feeling of safety is an illusion; but, in the end, whether we have something to hide is none of the government’s concern. In a true Republic, innocent until proven guilty is a paramount ideal, and this ideal cannot exist in a country where everyone is treated as a suspect at every moment of every day. No politician, no corporate body, no president, no alphabet agency in existence is exalted enough to play the all-seeing all-judging eye of god. This kind of power in the hands of an organization whose sole purpose is self preservation and expansion at any cost? Absolutely unacceptable!
The Power To Silence
From the DHS, to the private Federal Reserve, to Google and Facebook, the tides of opinion and social observation are being tracked, cataloged, and flagged for future intervention. With active programs now in place to identify and isolate negative online criticism of these institutions, as well as to marginalize freelance web journalists and more mainstream media icons with a strong voice, the general public is finally beginning to see what we in the Liberty Movement have been warning about for years:
The invasion of privacy is merely the first step in the process of silencing dissent. If the citizenry is put in a position in which they know they are constantly being watched, they may decide to censor themselves to avoid possible retribution. In fact, the destruction of free speech has always been accomplished in history first by the target population itself. Terrified of real and imagined consequences, people begin to filter their own views, until a single harmless and homogenized collective voice forms.
The near miss of SOPA legislation has proven as well that the government hopes to one day be able to summarily vaporize Internet outlets based on whatever guidelines they see fit to apply. It also showed that the American public is not going to roll over while this occurs. I think it safe to say that the Internet is the very last bastion of free speech in the world; free from filtration, bureaucratic meddling, and corporate vampirism. SOPA was a test case. New and more subversive methods will arise, and shutting down the Web as we know it will be a number one priority for our government for the foreseeable future.
“Free speech zones” aside, protest is becoming far more difficult in this country. Less-than-lethal devices like tasers, rubber bullets, tear gas, sound cannons, microwave guns, etc. have “humanized” the act of government violence against peaceful protest, but the effects of violating the 1st Amendment are the same. Add to this the use of Fusion Centers to coordinate armies of riot cops with the help of the DHS, the FBI, and even the military, and you have a high-grade goon machine constructed to undermine the people’s right to redress grievances. It has become obvious that this government not only wants to stifle your ability to affect change through electoral means, but it is also determined to make sure you can’t openly complain about being muscled out of the political process either.
The Power To Financially Destroy
Of course, much of the economic distress that we suffer today was generated by the corrupt activities of the Federal Reserve (a privately controlled banking cartel) and global financing conglomerates like JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs; however, the government’s complicity in these activities cannot be denied. It was the Congressional repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act that gave international banks the ability to derivitize massive numbers of mortgages and create the ongoing implosion of the housing bubble. It was the SEC that turned the other cheek for years while credit fraud flooded markets and ratings agencies gave AAA status to toxic and basically worthless assets. It is the U.S. government to this day that defends the Federal Reserve’s nonstop quantitative easing, the destruction of the dollar, and increased deficit spending driving our nation even deeper into debt. The passage of the bailouts despite an 80% opposition from the public sent a stark message; the government does not care what you think about the economy, and will do what it pleases, even if it means destroying your means of fiscal survival.
The Power To Imprison Without Trial
The NDAA is truly a perfect representation of the kind of power the government would like to have over the people, no questions asked. The Obama Administration’s half-hearted promises to not use the provisions of the legislation to detain American citizens indefinitely without trial are little comfort, especially when one considers that the man has not kept a single positive promise since taking office in 2008. Frankly, I would have slightly more respect for the president (which isn’t much) if he had the guts to come out and admit what the language of the NDAA clearly states; that American citizens can and will be designated as enemy combatants under the rules of war, and that anyone, regardless of citizenship, can be labeled a “terrorist” by the executive branch for any reason.
I suppose the one good side-effect of the passage of the NDAA is the level of awakening going on in the American public to the direction our country is taking. Not to mention, the scrambling that political representatives now have to do to cover themselves and explain away their support for the draconian measures.
For those who do not grasp the ultimate goal of this kind of legislation, the NDAA seems outlandish, or insane. But, in a certain light, it is perfectly logical. A government that seeks totalitarian control is required to remove the protections that a jury trial affords, otherwise, it cannot function in the manner it desires. If a person is given the opportunity of a jury by his peers, this takes the ability to criminalize out of the hands of government and places it in the hands of a third party. Just as in the economy, the globalists who stand at the helm of our country would very much like to centralize law. This means removing all checks and balances from the equation. In the name of national security, Washington D.C. considers all things possible….
The Power To Kill Without Trial
Another program supported by both Republican and Democratic presidents, the ability to assassinate American citizens without trial based on mere accusations from the executive branch is a highly useful tool for tyranny. Over the past couple years the questions have always been; how far do they plan to take this policy, and, will they try to use it against American citizens on American soil? These questions have been indirectly answered by FBI head Robert Mueller when he tried to dodge them in a recent hearing:
Mueller’s claim that he is “not sure” if Americans can be assassinated on U.S. soil is the same as an admission that this is at the very least being considered. Given the legalese wrangling that both Mueller and Eric “Fast and Furious” Holder have tried to implement in rationalizing the use of assassination, I find it hard to fathom that anyone would not expect they would use the policy for Americans on home turf. The power to kill or imprison without trial is expressly forbidden by Constitutional law and the Bill of Rights. Such abuses were the primary cause of the Revolutionary War; yet, here we are again, dealing with the same murderous reasoning with a slightly different face.
The Power To Militarize
Federal fusion centers and funding for local law enforcement has irreparably damaged state and county objectivity and opened the door to a steady diet of anti-liberty propaganda for police officials across the nation. Some eat it up, some don’t. However, the issue here is one of intention. Why does the federal government feel the need to arm divisions of local law enforcement with automatic weapons, predator drones, and even tanks? Why is Congress going out of its way to free up FAA regulations to allow police organizations unprecedented access to predator drones, up to 30,000 by 2020, for use in civilian airspace?
Why does the DHS suddenly need 450 million rounds of .40 cal ammunition from ATK?
And why has Obama quickly and quietly signed the Executive Order for National Defense Resources Preparedness? Though many will claim the order only rehashes such continuity of government policies seen in older programs like Rex 84, I find it a bit disconcerting that our government suddenly feels the need to rehash Rex 84 powers at all!
The order is a claim to eminent domain, not just over land, but over every resource imaginable in the face of a “national emergency”. Using military force, all goods, services, and property, can be confiscated in the name of support for military and governmental logistics. In an article written in February titled “The DHS Defends Globalism, Not America”, I warned that Janet Napolitano’s language of supply chain protection and resource allocation could only be supported by the pilfering of goods from one place to feed another:
Now we see that this was indeed the intention all along. Given that the John Warner Defense Authorization Act allows the president to declare a national emergency and martial law for almost any reason at any time for at least 6 months without oversight from Congress, the possibility of vast programs of resource confiscation becomes much more likely.
The power to militarize a culture at will, and to force that culture to work and produce in the name of the state and the benefit of the state is perhaps the most terrifying power of all. It is, for all intents and purposes, the power to enslave.
What Has Our Government Become?
Really, who needs terrorists when you have a government like ours? If it is the widespread destruction of the principles that founded our society that you fear, then the last enemy you need worry about is the Muslim bogeyman. The greatest threat to our way of life is an institution that has always operated right under our noses and acted with impunity sheltered by the very borders it is tasked to defend. It is the only group in existence that has the resources, the military backing, and the proven intent to undermine liberty in America. It is the supreme threat to individual freedom in the world today. And, the worst irony of all is that it commits every one of its crimes in our name.
So, there comes a point when we have to decide what kind of respect this brand of monstrosity deserves? It would appear that the government, or at least root elements of it, see the American people as the enemy. And why not? We are, in the end, the only force on the planet in a position to deconstruct the machine, so it only follows that we find ourselves locked in its crosshairs.
We have not been given much choice. The only decision left to make is one within each individual. How much do we really need the system, and how much pain and horror are we willing to endure to satisfy its insatiable hunger? Where will we finally draw the line?
Brandon Smith is the founder of Alt-Market is an organization designed to help you find like-minded activists and preppers in your local area so that you can network and construct communities for mutual aid and defense. Join Alt-Market.com today and learn what it means to step away from the system and build something better or contribute to their Safe Haven Project. You can contact Brandon Smith at: [email protected]