GOVERNMENT: THE DEADLIEST SCOURGE
Civilization is based on the fear of violent death. Thus concluded authoritarian politicalphilosopher Thomas Hobbes in his famous Leviathan in 1651, written following the dev-
astation and chaos of the English Civil War. Man’s fate without organized civil govern-ment was “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short,” Hobbes concluded.
Yet somberly reflecting upon the untold billions butchered over hundreds of centuries bythe systematic slaughter of war, slavery, torture and famine, one must agree with Ed-
mund Burke that, in fact, statism has been mankind’s deadliest scourge.
Burke, founding father of conservatism, in surveying man’s sordid record in his classic, AVindication of Natural Society, in 1756 observed: “By sure and uncontested principles,
the greatest part of the governments on Earth must be concluded to be tyrannies, impos-tures, violations of the natural rights of mankind, and worse than the most disorderly an-
archies.” The cure was worse than the disease.
History has seen the unvarying, wearisome parade of one parasitic government suc-ceeded by another for thousands of years. Is this the price we have paid for civilization?While we eagerly await the welcome demise of a Nicolae Ceausescu, an Ayatollah Ru-hollah Khomeini, a Ferdinand Marcos or Manuel Noriega, visible rulers are always vulner-able. It is in the hidden, murky political sub-strata where insurgency is born.Despite their labeling, all governments are oligarchies. All states or regimes are charac-terized by the brutal struggle for power in its diverse open and concealed forms by com-peting elites. (Just ask former House Speakers Jim Wright and Jim Barker).The most significant political division to be observed in such internecine warfare is that
between the rulers and the ruled, the “ins” and the “outs,” the elite and the non
-elite. Theprimary object of every government ruling elite is survival
masquerading under the ru-
bric of “national security” —
the jealous maintenance of its power, prestige, opulence andprivilege against all potential rivals.This rule is initially based upon naked force and fraud. Later, it is sustained by habituationto subjection and obedience by an elaborate formula propped up with a widely held ideol-ogy, religion, or myth.
“The devices —
of bread and circuses, of ideological mystification and dependency
that all rulers today use to bamboozle and gull the masses have not substantially
changed for centuries,” observed economist and political philosopher Murray N.