This essay is both a merciless critique of American politics, and a vision. So expect to be offended. But please believe that its purpose is not to give offense, but to give American politics a medicinal dose of constructive criticism.
For the sake of discussion, let's divide Americans into four broad political groups: "conservatives", "liberals", "libertarians", and "none of the above".
Modern "conservatives" are the political descendants of 18th- and 19th-century Liberals. By and large, as individuals, they're about as nice as anyone you could hope to meet. But even their luminariespeople like John Locke, John Stuart Mill, Frederic Bastiatseem to have been convinced of the necessity of "governance" and of made-up law (which bears no unavoidable resemblance to Reality).
Certainly, the idea of limiting government was a big step forward in politics. Lots of nations have had an Imperial track record that was "great" as in large, not as in wonderful. The United States has a track record that is great as in wonderful, direct proof of the value of Limited Slavery.
The problem with Limited Slavery is not that it isn't a superior performer while it lasts, but that it doesn'tand can'tlast. The whole psychology of Sovereignty delegation works against that. Also, the nature of made-up law is such that Barristocrats will never be constrained to Reality by a public that can't hope to figure out what they're actually up to.
Slavery is an abomination, and deserves elimination, not limitation. By being unwilling to give up Slavery, "conservatives" have helped to create a Monster that they no longer control, nor probably ever will again.
The term "liberals" is a euphemistic misnomer, applied to people who are actually Statists (or Marxists). There is nothing "liberal" or "progressive" about Slavery. It's oldit's bad.
It's one of the strangest ideas that human beings have advanced that it's okay to stick a gun in other people's faces and make them do things, so long as we know we're the "good guys". Seriously, how is that any different from the way Adolf Hitler thinks? Statists occasionally try to claim the mantle of Christianity, but to actually read the Gospel is to discover the opposite of Statism.
And yet, by and large, as individuals, "liberals" are no less nice than "conservatives". There's no reason to think their concern for Social Justice isn't realor necessary and proper. And their mistrust of "conservative" politicians isn't as misplaced as their trust in "liberal" politicians is. Statist politicians say many things, but their actions invariably involve seizing more Power.
Unfortunately for those who want to believe that the end justifies the means, when it comes to politics, the means (Slavery) become the end.
The hatred "libertarians" have for Aggression is manifest, bless them. That's an absolute prerequisite to Real Freedom.
But it's not so clear that "libertarians" love Defense. No one who spends any time in the Real World can imagine that Aggression will somehow go away all on its own. Laissez faire is just another name for "institutional vacuum", and nothing like that has the power to intimidate even garden variety Aggressors, let alone Joe Stalin.
What's needed in American politics is a synthesis of what's best in these sometimes very different points of view, and to pitch their defects.
It isn't just militia cult weirdos who mistrust and even hate government. Lots of normal people share that mistrust on an almost instinctive level. And their instincts are not wrong. But what's the alternative?
You can't just eliminate government without something better to take its place. The most likely outcome of that would be to have what's left of the United States fall to a foreign power in short order, probably China.
Then again, that might not be a whole lot worse than having what's left of the United States fall to its own corrupt political class. That's not some crazy theoretical projection, but observable actuality that's been proceeding virtually without pause for the last century.
The existence of someone like Ron Paul proves that it's possible to hire politicians who won't ferociously oppose moving necessary and wholesome functions currently "owned" by government into new private sector institutionswhere they would fare much better without the burden of Coercion (as counterintuitive as that may seem to Statists). The other functions of government are dross and don't deserve to be pursued at gunpoint. Never did.
Is it really possible that human beings have the ingenuity to create an endless supply of phones, computers and other clever little gadgets, and yet we somehow lack the ingenuity to create any effective, functional political institutions that aren't some depressing (and dangerous) variation on Slavery?
It's way past time to stop fighting over who gets to control the Monster, and put the Monster away for good.