Prohibition, Taxes, Coercion, Crimes, Laws
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Before any of the institutions created by humans, there were humans. As civilizations evolved and societies advanced various institutions were created to better satisfy human needs. There is one thing common in all of these institutions. These were created to serve individuals, their needs and protect their rights. Every institution is awarded with certain responsibilities and duties, and some authority to fulfill these responsibilities. The Creation of every institution was based on certain motives and objectives which usually are a mix of which may be perceived as positive, as well as negative. For example, the major objectives behind the creation of institutions of marriage and family were sex, commitment, preservation and improvement of future generations, control, ownership and division of responsibilities.
Depending upon your perspective and circumstances, you may have a positive or negative view of each and every one of these objectives. Similar objectives lead to the creation of businesses, educational institutions, community organizations, charities, social welfare and watchdog groups. The most controversial and talked about is by far government. Government evolved from families, as families grew into extended families which grew into communities, neighborhoods, clans and tribes. Governments were formed on the bases of ethnicity, language, religion, ideology and race. Finally it all became geographical.
People living in a certain geographical area are now considered a nation. Every nation is supposedly has its sovereignty, socioeconomic setups and systems, citizenship, national identity and government.
As with most other institutions, government was created by people who had the resources to create it and who had their interests directly involved in the creation of such institution. This group is commonly termed as elite. Only they had money, power, authority, influence, coercion and other necessary resources when governments were mostly formed by might is right rule. Rich and powerful people, families, and groups of families would claim divine right and force people to live under their divine law.
Those governments while only served elite, they always gave common folks the deception of safety and security. Commoners would generally serve lords with very limited rights, if there were any rights at all, under, mostly, very harsh conditions. They would be massively enrolled in ever growing military powers for the dominance of one empire over the other. If they survived the everyday harsh service to lords, they would certainly end up dying in a battle field. Life expectancy, especially for young males, was very low in commoners, for the same reasons. They were born to live and die for their lords.
Commoners did have the numeric advantage. Due to the nature of their class, elite were always very few and commoners were massive in numbers. Finally, common people started to realize, why in spite of being in vast majorities, they are always being ruled and exploited by few elite? Certain primitive technologies like invention of wheel, use of animals for transportation and cargo, birds for communication, invention of writing and paper, helped people think, understand, communicate, educate, convince and organize. Awakening resulted into unrest. Gradually, commoners started to demand for more rights and better treatment.
The evolution of human societies went through several stages and varied experimentation. Religion, ideologies, different forms of government and power structures, and socioeconomic reforms were tried. But, as Nietzsche said, somehow 2% always ended up ruling everyone else. If you analyze the evolution of different societies and nations, in all the different parts of world, you find one thing in common. Governments always served elite, and failed to provide promised safety to commoners. As a matter of fact, contrary to that claim, infinite number of young people were continuously killed in unending religious and national wars.
Democracy was finally introduced as a revolutionary idea to end the dominance of elite, and form the government of the people by the people and for the people. Beside several other attempts to guarantee the natural basic rights to all individuals like Magna Carta, for example, U.S. constitution made a very bold and unprecedented attempt to maximize the liberty for individuals, and keep the government which usually represents elite, very small and limited in size and authority. Constitution is written on behalf of “We the people”. If you carefully read it, the only sovereign in constitution is individual. The term citizen came later on. The constitution makes it very clear that anything not enumerated in it belongs to people first and then to constituting states.
The whole text leaves no doubt about the fact that the federal government has very limited authority which must strictly remain confined within the authority provided by the owners of this country, “We the people”. This greatest document ever does not grant government the status of sovereign. It is elected by the people. Its job is to represent and serve the people. The term public servant comes from same constitutional spirit. To make this even surer the limited powers of government are divided into three branches.
All this was done to make sure that America breaks the tradition of every nation being ending up ruled by a small group of elite. When a political system based on this constitution was coupled with capitalism, human history witnessed the greatest miracle ever. America became the largest and richest economy ever in human history within two hundred years. It created the largest and wealthiest middle class, ever, too. World, in its history, never witnessed, such a sharp and rapid decline in poverty levels. There are only two words which do the justice of explaining this unmatched success in human history; freedom and equality of opportunity.
Up to the beginning of last century, it was extremely difficult for government to get in bed with elite. This, of course, changed soon after the turn of century. Although the progress was great, middle class was huge and poverty was on sharp decline, by making economic cyclical events like recessions and Great Depression as excuse, starting from Teddy, government took the task of alleviating remaining poverty by destroying the very system which got us there. In spite of empowering the individuals to work hard and smart for success which was the root cause of overall success of system, now, government took the responsibility of ending the remaining poverty. This could not be done without enormously increasing its size, ever growing spending, unfair taxation, brutal coercion, immense expansion in authority and destructive force which is very clear in the history of all big Fascist governments.