Government is force
Let's look at some great passages from George Grant's The Family Under Siege: What the New Social Engineers Have in Mind for You and Your Children. He quotes a man who gives a good explanation of how government is force: "The essence of government is force: whatever its end, its means is compulsion. Government forces people to do what they would not otherwise choose to do, or it forces them to refrain from doing what they would otherwise do. So, when we say 'government should do x,' we are really saying, 'people should be forced to do x.' It should be obvious that force should be used only for the most serious reasons, such as preventing and punishing violence. The frivolous, improper, or excessive use of force is wrong. We used to call it tyranny. Unfortunately, too many people think that calling for the government to do x is merely a way of saying that x is desirable. And so we are increasingly forced to do things that are not genuine social duties but merely good ideas. The result is that the role of state coercion in our lives grows greater and greater."
Many conservatives want to use government force to prevent women from getting an abortion. Liberals want to use force to regulate business. Libertarians have the best view of force domestically. James Madison wrote that people need a tremendous amount of freedom. Government is just an umpire. He correctly believed government must walk the line between being too strong and too weak. This applies to men leading their families too. Madison wrote to Jefferson saying,"It is a melancholy reflection that liberty should be equally exposed to danger whether the Government have too much or too little power, and that the line which divides these extremes should be so inaccurately defined by experience." Government, he said, must keep"power within proper limits." Since the time of Madison America has had a lot of experience with power. The U.S. government has grown too big and intrudes too much. It is no longer an umpire, but a player. When umpires start playing we have total chaos.
Grant writes, "A century ago Frederick Bastiat predicted the possibility of a time when politically mesmerized busybodies would 'place themselves above mankind.' He feared that they would 'make a career of organizing it, patronizing it, and ruling it.' They would 'think only of subjecting mankInd to the philanthropic tyranny of their own social inventions.' Worst of all, he said, they would 'confuse the distinction between government and society.'"
"He was right. That time has come."
"For less, the founding fathers launched a revolution. What will we do? ... "the implementation of liberal welfare programs and policies has actually reduced the opportunities of the poor in the open marketplace. Walter Williams, in his brilliant book The State Against Blacks and Thomas Sowell, in his equally insightful book Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality? have shown beyond any reasonable doubt that most liberal welfare measures decrease work benefits through higher taxes, decrease job creation especially at the lower levels, and decrease entrepreneurial activity due to increased risk. Such measures as the minimum wage, occupational licensing, union supports, and the regulation of the taxi and trucking trades, instead of protecting the unskilled poor, only eliminate them from the marketplace .... The 'war on poverty' has become, in fact, a 'war on the poor.' Welfare has become a trap, victimizing its supposed beneficiaries."
"What can government do to really help the poor? According to economist Murray Rothbard, the only correct answer is, 'Get out of the way.' Thus he says (in For a New Liberty): 'Let the government get out of the way of the productive energies of all groups in the population -- rich, middle-class, and poor alike -- and the result will be an enormous increase in the welfare and the standard of living of everyone, and most particularly of the poor, who are the ones supposedly helped by the miscalled welfare state."
"Similarly, in his book, Welfare Without the Welfare State, Yale Brozen points out: 'With less attempt to use state power to compress the inequality in the distribution of income, inequality would diminish more rapidly. Low wage rates would rise more rapidly with a higher rate of saving and capital formation, and inequality would diminish with the rise in income of wage-earners."
"If the government were to reduce the level of taxation, remove industrial restraints, eliminate wage controls, and abolish subsidies, tariffs, and other constraints on free enterprise, the poor would be helped in a way that AFDC, Social Security, and Unemployment Insurance could never match. Jobs would be created, investment would be stimulated, productivity would soar, and technology would advance. If that were to happen, says Rothbard, 'the lower income groups would benefit more than anyone else." He says hordes of "welfare activists want to do good" but "a good thing is not good out of its place. As Wall Street journalist Gerald Wisz has argued, 'Government cannot do what the church must.'" The state is not the messiah.
He quotes C.S. Lewis saying, "Of all the tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely expressed for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent ideological busybodies."
Loss of Patriarchy
The key reason there are so many problems in the world today is the loss of patriarchy as I discussed previously. There was more patriarchy in Harlem 50 years ago so anyone could generally walk the streets safely day or night. Have you ever seen pictures of Harlem in the 1930s and 1940s? Black men looking sharp wearing suits and ties and taking care of their families.
Socialism vs. Captialism
It is wrong in advocating force to impose socialism and eliminate capitalism. If people are left to themselves they always choose captialism. The only way socialism can be a national policy is by force. In the ideal world there will be no force so it will have a capitalist economy. It is arrogance to think fallen people are selfish and need to have a gun at their heads to force them to produce and distribute goods in a way that is determined"fair" by the person with the gun at their heads. That person's motivation is irrelevant. It doesn't matter if it's the Mafia or a church run by well meaning people. Government is force. Americans must give up any idea to use force to impose socialism. We have to be higher than well-meaning Democrats and Republicans. Perfect people in the ideal world will not voluntarily have a socialist economy either because it simply goes aganist the spiritual laws of the universe. In fact the only way we are ever going to get to the ideal world is to give fallen man as much freedom as possible economically. We have to have some laws to protect against criminal behavior and use force against criminals and we need some laws to protect children and use force against those who would use them for prostitution, pornography and to sell them drugs. But adults should be trusted, as Thomas Jefferson trusted the people, and be given maximum freedom. The problem is government, not capitalists. God wanted the 20th Century to embrace free enterprise and limited government so the Father could speak and act freely. It is governments that have beat and imprisoned him and well meaning Christians supported the government because Father was seen as being everything from selfish and taking money from American young people to being a heretic.
We discussed socialism and capitalism in the last chapter but let's look at it again and analyze the logic of these two misquided brothers. First, let's define these isms.
Socialism: any of various theories or social and political movements advocating or aiming at collective or government ownership and administration of the means of production and control of the distribution of goods. A system or condition of society or group living in which there is no private property."
Capitalism: an economic system characterized by private or corporation ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision rather than by state goals that are determined mainly in a free market."
Communism: a theory advocating elimination of private ownership of property or capital -- goods are owned commonly rather than privately and are available as needed to each one -- equalitarian returns to those working."
As I was writing this section today there was a commentary in my local paper by a man who wrote"Government erects a second wall when it creates barriers to employment and enterprise by the poor. You cannot begin picking up your neighbor's garbage for pay in Portland; you are infringing on the garbage monopoly. You cannot paint 'taxi' on the side of your car and begin carrying passengers; a limited number of permits have been awarded by the taxi commission. Hundreds of occupations require special licenses and hundreds or thousands of hours of education, whether truly necessary or not. To give some kinds of nutritional advice, prepare an income tax return, massage someone, dig a grave, or counsel the troubled all require special licenses." He gives many reasons for the failure of government. For example he says,"The federal Social Security system is a forced purchase of a particular, inferior retirement program. Even low-income workers would receive three to four times as much retirement income if they were allowed to invest in private annuities instead of Social Security."
The book Inquisition tells of the hassle a Korean man had from people who were not into "autonomous non-violence." They perceived Rev. Moon to be greedy. Who do you fear? Monopoly socialist planners with guns or IBM with its mass advertizing competing with other computer companies? The problem is not capitalism but capitalists who go to bed with socialists bureaucrats in Washington D.C. who use force to prevent free trade with South Korean companies. To them South Korea is not "fair" in making computers cheaper. They must be punished. South Korean businessmen run to their socialist planners and try to punish the Americans. Capitalism is not the problem. Socialist violence is the problem.
Father for incentives
In one church publication we read, "In Rev. Moon's recent interview in a Russian newspaper he articulates support for a free enterprise system: 'I would encourage the efforts you are making in business and commerce to develop a wider-based individual incentive system. When people are stimulated, they are inclined to work hard and produce more. This is the secret of the success of the free enterprise systems." He goes on to say that profits are good but there must be balance. I don't think Father would advocate using force to make people lead balanced lives.