The Rabid Conservative

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Posts Tagged ‘ebert

People and Government – A Teachable Lesson in Civics

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So, because people don’t agree, Progressives opt to use the power of government to force their will on the people, even if they don’t want it. This is the reason why the health care bill is still being pushed forward, even though every opinion poll out there shows a majority of Americans simply don’t want ObamaCare.

Did you ever see this movie?  The context is that a masked character wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, depicted here, launches a single assault on a dictatorial government in Britain, one created as the result of people giving silent consent to a charismatic figure who made lofty promises of peace and security, will removing from it the ideals of freedom.  The story was edgy and gutsy.  The characters were believable and the ending pretty poetic.  I could have done without the one girl-girl kissing scene, however. 

Anyway, I was trolling through the net this morning and, after looking at quotes, I saw one that reminds me of the perspective of what government should be, “People should not be afraid of their governments, Governments should be afraid of their people.” I, then, happened on this quote by Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times:

There are ideas in this film. The most pointed is V’s belief: "People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people." I am not sure V has it right; surely in the ideal state governments and their people should exist happily together. Fear in either direction must lead to violence. But V has a totalitarian state to overthrow, and only a year to do it in, and we watch as he improvises a revolution.

While I have great respect for Roger Ebert’s take on movies, having watched him back on WGN-9 Chicago (before they went cable), I find his position on this point to be part of what is wrong with how America relates to its government.  Yes I know this movie has been out there for a while and what Ebert said has a great deal of time between it and now, but it’s still a perfect teaching moment.

Ebert first says, “surely in the ideal state governments and their people should exist happily together”; he has two things wrong in this statement.  First, the people are not the possessive of the government; it is the other way around.  People possess THEIR government.  The minute we start thinking that the people are owned, controlled, or managed by their government, we create a state that is very different than the one the Founders envisioned.  Today’s Progressive moment likes to think, in their sheer arrogance, that people are the ward of the government.  This is an absolute distinction from this writer’s point of view.  Second, it is naiveté to think that people and government exist happily together.  Thomas Paine said in Common Sense, “Government at best is a necessary evil, at worst, is an intolerable one”.  Either way, it is not cynicism to consider that government itself is evil.  The minute we begin to think in this idyllic fantasy that people and government live in some sort of ‘kum-bay-ah’ harmony, we are turning ripe for the conquering and subjugating.

God’s original intent was for people to govern themselves and the primary unit for humanity’s management was the family, not some elected, appointed, or nobility-born external body, designed to regulate the affairs of people.  The Founders understood this clearly because they believed in the utmost respect for individuals and their families.  Progressives today simply push for more government because individualized self-governance means that people won’t always comply with Progressive dogma.  So, because people don’t agree, Progressives opt to use the power of government to force their will on the people, even if they don’t want it.

This is the reason why the health care bill is still being pushed forward, even though every opinion poll out there shows a majority of Americans simply don’t want ObamaCare.

Ebert then goes on to make the statement, “Fear in either direction must lead to violence”.  This is not necessarily true, and it’s not true generally.  Fear doesn’t always produce violence, but rather, as the Bible correctly states, fear, specifically of the Lord, produces wisdom.  Fear of disciplinary action keeps students in school from becoming delinquent twits.  Fear of legal punishment keeps people from breaking the law (why else does a person slow down in an area where they know the police are monitoring for speeders?).  Fear from constituents keeps the government from getting so out of hand that its citizens don’t begin expressing anger at the ballot box.  Fear doesn’t always produce violence; I’m not saying it doesn’t, just not always.

Government exists at the pleasure of God and the people (even when God and the people disagree) and has risen and fallen when either has mandated for a change.  This is the reason why the best forms of government are those that are “of the People, by the People, and for the People”.  Governments that are not of/by/for the People have great reason to fear, because if the people, in unified consent, decide to remove their government, they’re toast.

Freedom forever, my friends.

Written by Rick

December 16, 2009 at 12:53 pm

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