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Thread: When Tyranny Ends

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    When Tyranny Ends

    Thanks to the owners for creating this forum on RPF!! Original link is here.

    “Tyranny ends when we cease to voluntarily support our own serfdom.”

    One of my trips abroad took me to Cambodia where I saw sobering sights as seen in the picture. Seeing an obelisk several stories tall filled with human skulls leads one to imagine how such a tragedy could have occurred – and how the seeds of tyranny can be prevented from sprouting.

    I won’t bore you with the details on how the unintended consequences of the illegal bombings of neutral Cambodia during the Vietnam War led to the demise of Lon Nol’s regime and the rise of Saloth Sar’s (Pol Pot) Khmer Rouge – a demented communist agrarian-torture-chaos state. However, the stark reality is the means to prevent such evil lie within us.

    The truth is the collective rule of the Democrats and Republicans has been impoverishing America for quite some time. Ultimately, economic suppression is no less evil than physical suppression. We must remember that once the skulls start piling up, the situation is already totally out of control. Sure, by no means do I infer the modern-day United States is the equivalent of Pol Pot’s Killing Fields.

    However, what about the several million dead in the 20-year-long Iraq War? Are the 10,000+ civilian deaths during the Afghanistan War any less horrific because they did not occur on American soil? Care to tell the mothers of the 5,511 American service members who died violently in Iraq and Afghanistan that no heads are rolling?

    The below excerpt is taken from an acceptance speech given at the Instituto Mises Brasil by Helio Beltrao. It was included in this month’s Free Market newsletter, shipped to your home free of charge by the Mises Institute. Click here to spend 1 minute ordering:

    The history of ethics has been a history of exploitation. From time immemorial, individuals were set apart into two groups: those that must obey the rules, and those that need not. The people must observe ethics and morals, while rulers not.

    The ethics that you and I must observe correctly advocates that one should not steal the property of others, should not murder, and should not force others to do something against their will.

    But note that those ethical rules do not apply to government — the government takes your money, calls it “democratic taxes,” and presto! — it is now authorized to steal.

    If one enslaves another, this is considered a heinous crime. After all, slavery is the antithesis of individuality! However, in the case of government, they will draft you to “serve your nation” for a year, call this conscription “military service,” and serfdom becomes perfectly legal.

    If one kills a neighbor, this is murder. However, if he is an agent of the government — particularly that of the United States — using an olive-green uniform, and invoking a “preventive” war or similar excuse, suddenly it becomes permissible to murder — legally.

    Counterfeiting is a crime, but only for you and me. For the government has the money-printing machine, or more precisely, the counterfeiting machine. If it is they doing it, fine. If it is we, we go to jail.

    Three hundred years ago, a substantial part of the population in the Americas was comprised of slaves. One hundred percent of the fruits of their labor were the property of their owners. Today, we are no longer slaves. However, about 40 to 50 percent of the product of your efforts and talent are not your property, but your masters’ — that is, the government and its friends. This is what you pay, whether you like it or not, embedded in the prices of the products, or through other taxes, duties, or tariffs. We are no longer slaves, but we are serfs.

    Previously, the slave owner would threaten to punish with a whip a slave who refused to work. Now, if you refuse to pay the government, you are summoned and attacked with lawsuits, until you are finally thrown into jail. In both cases, the violence is of the same nature. The gun doesn’t even need to be displayed, as in the case of the customary robber. The mere threat of violence suffices. But the gun is always present, in the robber’s pocket and in the ruler’s jacket.

    Theft and slavery are crimes, even if sanctioned by the majority of the people! Theft of the government, by the government, and for the government is somehow accepted and rationalized by the population at large. Why does that majority agree with this theft?

    We must analyze the most misrepresented concept nowadays: the concept of democracy.

    The conventional use of the term “democracy” conveys a certain disrespect for semantics. Most of us utilize the word democracy when we actually mean other concepts, such as the “rule of law,” “liberty,” “equality before the law,” “individual rights,” “solid institutions,” “justice,” and other concepts that have specific words to designate them. Democracy is, formally, the regime of majority rule, that is, the majority of voters decides whatever it sees fit. Or, as is commonly said, it is the tyranny of the majority — which in practice means the tyranny of the minority: that of the politicians who rule over our lives and property.

    The adulteration of meanings has practical consequences. When we say that Brazil is a “democracy,” we assume that we are “rulers of ourselves” — while, in fact, there are still rulers on the one hand, and citizen-subjects on the other. The concept of democracy is employed to obfuscate and confound, with the purpose of having us believe that there is equality among all.

    Yet, dumbfounded or not by the smoke and mirrors, why do we suffer so much at the hands of those ruler-governors, if we are many and they are few? Why do we become enchanted with the belief that our ruler-governors are just and benevolent, when we experience evidence otherwise every day, everywhere? Why do we allow so many abuses of liberty and property, if the power the rulers possess is only that which we bestow onto them? Why do we let them treat us like beasts?

    The recapture of our rights does not require that we take up arms, demonstrate, or even vote — we are, after all, a much larger legion than our ruler-governors. In a face-to-face combat of the many against the few, where the many fight for the grand prize of liberty, while the few fight for the chance to subjugate the many, it is likely that no shots need be fired before the many are declared the winners. We, therefore, reach the paradoxical conclusion that we don’t reclaim our rights because we do not want to; because we support, explicitly or tacitly, the tyranny inflicted by the ruler-governors…

    To read the conclusion to the speech, please visit here. Below is a video on the philosophy of liberty.

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  3. #2
    That was incredible, Jake. Thank you!

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