I Won’t Let the State Choose My Friends or Enemies for Me

by | Apr 9, 2017

I Won’t Let the State Choose My Friends or Enemies for Me

by | Apr 9, 2017

“I reject the right of the government to choose my friends and enemies for me.” – Bill Kelsey

Indeed, Bill, it makes no sense to allow the government to do so.

But the situation is much worse than such nonsensical allowance by the people at large. From time immemorial, the reigning myth of rule has been that the rulers provide a quid pro quo: in exchange for the people’s submission and payment of tribute, the rulers protect the people from the enemies who lurk “out there.”

The promise was often unfulfilled, however. The lord of the manor might well flee into his castle, leaving the peasants outside the walls to suffer whatever outrages an invader chose to wreak on them. Or the lord might haul them off to a distant war in which they had no real interest, merely to satisfy the lord’s feudal obligation to the baron or duke just above him in the feudal pecking order.

Most important, however, is the sheer fact that the ordinary people’s most dangerous enemy, the one by far the most likely to plunder and abuse them, was their own impudent lord, the selfsame “nobleman” who forbade them to leave their place of birth or to engage in a variety of tasks and pleasures they might prefer—that is, the man who held and exploited them in a condition of serfdom.

Today as always, the “bad guys” from whom the government purports to protect the people are, as a rule, not a particularly serious threat to the people’s enjoyment of their life, liberty, and property in their own country. And when the threat is real, it is usually the product of provocation by the presumptive protector who rules the people at home.

That people allow this rapacious government to decide one’s friends and enemies abroad (or at home, for that matter) is indeed preposterous. The root cause, however, is now ideological; it is the people’s nationalism, which causes them to stand idly by—or, in many cases, to cheer wildly—as their true enemy, the one who plunders and oppresses them every hour of every day, goes on its merry way of creating and supposedly combating foreign devils in order to frighten the people into submission, loyalty, and continued payment of tribute to their de facto lord of the manor.

Reprinted from the Independent Institute.

About Robert Higgs

Robert Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy at the Independent Institute, author or editor of over fourteen Independent books, and Editor at Large of Independent’s quarterly journal The Independent Review.

Our Books

5 Libooks072420lg

Our Books

5 Libooks072420lg

Related Articles

Related

What ‘Experts’ Miss About Economic Inequality

What ‘Experts’ Miss About Economic Inequality

How can the U.S. reduce economic inequality? That’s a question USA Today posed to three “policy experts on the left and the right” in this recent article. The responses, while unsurprising, were nevertheless disappointing. For libertarians, economic inequality itself...

read more
How the Military is Using Your Data to Fight China

How the Military is Using Your Data to Fight China

A new generation of Cold Warriors want your data to build artificial intelligence-powered weapons for their escalating conflict with China. This has been made explicit by the U.S. National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI), a relatively new and...

read more
Free Assange, Demand Coalition of World Leaders

Free Assange, Demand Coalition of World Leaders

A group of over 160 current and former politicians endorsed a letter that demands the United Kingdom government release WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange immediately. The publisher is currently fighting extradition to the United States at Old Bailey court in London and...

read more
Book Foolssm

Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan

by Scott Horton

Book Paulsm

The Great Ron Paul

by Scott Horton

Book Griggsm

No Quarter: The Ravings of William Norman Grigg

by Will Grigg

Book Animalssm

What Social Animals Owe to Each Other

by Sheldon Richman

Book Palestinesm

Coming to Palestine

by Sheldon Richman

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This