Jeff Neal for C.U.R.E. - Certain Unalienable Rights Endowment

Is Occupy Wall Street just another Tea Party?

In Opinion on October 11, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Money does not confer power on the man who has it.  No man can, with money, force another man to do something against his will or contrary to his self interest.  Yes, money may, if properly disposed, have the power to confer something akin to freedom on its owner, but money has no power.  Whatever transaction that might deliver some extra ‘freedom’ to the buyer is one that is conducted on a voluntary basis; you don’t like the bargain, don’t take the money.

However, in modern America money is being used to control the state, to buy its power, or, usually, to buy a reprieve from its power.  The state is the only entity modern societies have [correctly] given the license to compel certain behavior by use or threat of force.  As the American state has acted increasingly extra-Constitutionally, as the governing elite has arrogated more and more power to itself, money is understandably and inevitably being deployed to prevent that over-reaching federal government from taking freedom from anyone who possess enough money to buy protection or favors, to BUY, as it were, freedom.

What the OWS protests are about (if you think about them in this context) is that the protesters resent not having the money to buy protection (aka freedom) and they desperately want some of whatever it takes to get that freedom.

But they’re WRONG – they should not covet money, since what they really want is freedom.  And in America, freedom isn’t supposed to cost money.  Freedom only ‘costs’ an American what he volunteers to do for it.  He must merely wake up, breathe, and work enough to buy food/shelter, and he is free to do what he chooses with the balance his life.  Get rich, subsist, write songs, play the banjo, grow a long beard and a pony-tail, pierce his nose and tongue, invent the iPod, . . . whatever the hell he wants to do.

The problem is, government has started taking freedom from some people – regulating the acts of Group A and doing favors for Group B – repeatedly abusing its power by extra-Constitutional actions and laws.

The Tea Partiers experience this as over-taxation or as an infringement on their right to be left alone and live free – they don’t want to work so that bankers, car manufacturers, union members and unemployed people can eat.  (“You work so I can eat” is a form of slavery.)  They’re not for letting the less fortunate starve, they just don’t want the government doing the care-taking for them.

The OWS’ers experience this loss of freedom as the mistaken conclusion that money is what they’re missing, and they think they have to TAKE more of it so they can buy more freedom.  They haven’t been taught that money is earned, so they crash the mansion gates to pilfer the loot of the fat cat (he didn’t earn it, so I’ll take it, they figure).  What they’ll find is that the loot is worthless, unless or until they choose to be the ones who pay the government for favors and protection.  Is that their objective or plan?  I fear it might be, but I hope a leader steps forward to teach them that while their discontent is warranted, their response is criminal.

In The Godfather, the shop owners or vendors who pay the mafia bosses for protection aren’t the bad guys; the guys with the guns are the criminals.  In America, the government effectively possesses all the guns, since ONLY the government is licensed to use force to compel certain behavior – if you or I use force, we’ll be arrested.  The government – that’s where the bad guys are.

The Tea Party and the OWS’ers are BOTH right.  They realize, that no rational study of today’s US federal government would conclude that it is the product of the Constitution of the US as properly administered.  The Tea Party and OWS’ers resent that too much power has been accumulated in the federal government, and THAT is what both of those seemingly dissimilar groups have in common.  If they’ll both take aim at the government, make it abide by the rules of the Constitution, both groups will be content and go back to living the American lives of their choice, undisturbed by the nuisance of having to think about politics, and, once again, peace and prosperity will abound in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

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