When we think of tyranny, we tend to think of it in sharp, dramatic, bloody terms. Tyranny is the stark economic divide between a corrupt leader and his starving people, or it’s the day to fear of citizens in a police state. Few of us recognize, or are willing to acknowledge, that tyranny, at it’s most fundamental level, is the loss of individual freedoms, with a concurrent increase in state power. When people must bow to the state’s dictates all day every day, without recourse, they are subject to tyranny, even if they’re neither starving nor physically brutalized.
The soft socialism that increasingly characterizes the United States sees us increasingly in thrall to a bureaucratic dictatorship. A plethora of agencies at all levels of American life (local, state, and federal) ensure that every breath we take comes within a government function. The Founders tried to balance the need for a functioning society with their fear of tyranny by making our federal government one of specifically enumerated powers, while leaving all other powers to state governments. They understood that state governments, by virtue of their relatively smaller size compared to the federal government, are more responsive to their citizens needs and desires, and have less power. In addition, it’s fairly easy to leave a state that is becoming oppressive, and very difficult to leave a country that is doing the same.
Today, I reached critical mass in my email, with people apprising me of four separate posts and articles, three of which look at the dramatic increase in bureaucratic tyranny in the last few years (something prominent in, but not limited to, the Obama administration), and one of which offers some hope that there may be a way out of the soft socialism that is strangling America’s liberties:
To get a handle on the issue, begin with Wolf Howling’s magnum opus describing the way in which the federal government is stifling us with regulation sans representation.
After reading that, you’ll be able to appreciate Patrick O’Hannigan’s article detailing the way in which the Obama administration using its bureaucracy to avoid Congressional and judicial oversight, in order to carry out foreign policies and to target specific groups and ideologies at home.
Because those two articles are broad in scope, let me throw in here an article about local bureaucrats run amok, just so that you can appreciate that, once a bureaucracy takes hold, and when it becomes self-serving and corrupt, your life will be destroyed by something more than just a thousand bureaucratic-form paper cuts.
Finally, there is hope, although it’s only the smallest flicker of light at the end of a long bureaucratic tunnel.