The law in this country has been perverted. A human being needs to be safe in his person, he needs to be able to able to enjoy the fruits of his labor, and he needs to be free. Free to speak, to travel, to work, and to associate as he sees fit. Protecting these three elements is the proper purview of the law. All people have the right to use force to defend themselves from theft, assault and enslavement. When the law expands beyond the community’s protection of the individual’s rights, it becomes an instrument of plunder and oppression.
Democrats and Republicans alike are guilty of perverting the law. The only difference is that in the ranks of the Republican Party are those who wish to reverse this trend. The Democrat Party seeks to further expand the role of government through even greater perversion of the law, with some statist Republicans going along as willing accomplices.
When the Law is used to abridge personal freedoms, as in the case of our current drug laws, the result is the rise of a black market and with it a criminal class. The failed experiment in prohibition should have reversed this trend. It has not. Progressives, like Woodrow Wilson, pushed through a series of laws starting with the Harrison Act to curtail drug use. This was the beginning of our 100-year odyssey in Federal social engineering. Our abject failure in this arena is more than obvious; it is tragic. Today close to 1.5M people are in the prison system because of possession charges. Like alcohol prohibition, the only lasting impact is that the citizenry loses respect for all laws.
When the law is used to codify the plunder of one group at the expense of another, the result is not equality. Three familiar forms under which this plunder will occur are crony capitalism, socialism, and communism. In the first form, crony capitalism, a favored industry or company is handed a monopoly through the erection of tariffs against competition, or the industry is subsidized through the taxation of the general public. Under communism, the state directly seizes all the means of production at every level and the end result is a planned economy. The Great Leaps Forward of 1950’s China and the Five Year Plans of the Soviet Union are object lessons in the misery and death spawned by such state sponsored plunder of private property. Socialism serves as the bridge from the statism of the Crony Capitalist to the statism of the Marxist. State sanctioned plunder is a betrayal of the citizen and eventually leads back to the feudalism we witness today in places like North Korea. Too-Big-to-Fail is but one of our steps down this path.
State sponsored plunder serves only to balkanize the nation. Those whose property is plundered resent the beneficiaries of this wealth transfer. Those who receive this plunder develop a festering resentment, as they justify this largess as their deserved recompense for the structural inequities of society. The political class plays upon these resentments. When plunder has been codified long enough, the citizens are reduced in stature from being freemen who elect public servants, to dependents of a political overlords patronage.
Republican Party statists seek to criminalize every vice and Democrats seek to make every virtue a requirement. These impulses are perverse, for they employ the overwhelming force of the state to crush the free will of the individual. A man has the right to ruin his health and turn his back on his neighbor. A man has the right to be ignoble. The state becomes monstrous when it usurps the conscience of a man. A people, if it is to remain free, must refrain from the base impulse of using the law to right past wrongs or use the law for social engineering; the result is always a spiral of violence, poverty, and reprisal. The 20th century is a testament to this folly and the millions of graves are a rebuke to those who would play God, which is the ultimate perversion.