Pondering a thing or two about lasting freedom and liberty, I ask myself, is there any form of government which does not eventually lead to oppression and or dictatorship? I am beginning to think not. Our government of the United States of America is certainly no example. Our greatest government the world has ever known is, quite arguably, becoming one of the most oppressive governments of the many by the few the world has ever known.
If it is true that all good government eventually becomes oppressive tyrannical government, then it naturally follows, that only true freedom and liberty lies in its polar opposite, peaceful anarchy, as some advocate. Not chaos, but peaceful anarchy. Peaceful anarchy, absolute total freedom and liberty, if at all possible for the shortest time, will always lead to chaotic anarchy. In time, indisputably, the strong will always seek to dominate the weak. So, even peaceful anarchy, the complete opposite of tyranny, in time, cannot be maintained without enforced order.
The necessary maintenance of order at any level in a peaceful anarchy is, by definition, government, and hence, cannot be anarchy, however peaceful. The one is not possible without some level of the other and is, therefore, contradictory. Some one person or entity must always set and enforce minimum ground rules to keep order and peace in even the smallest group. Therefore, it follows, peaceful anarchy is not possible. It also naturally follows that good and fair government will always, in time, develop into oppression of the many by the few or the one. British 19th century historian Lord Acton’s maxim that “Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” holds up this impossibility.
Lasting freedom and liberty is as elusive in our time as it has been since the earliest known history of the world. Without a drastic or total reset of our American government to our founding constitutional principles, oppressive government is where we are and where we’ll stay.
By Antony Craig Freeman