Tag Archives: government

Essential Liberty

Why there is no other sound basis for government than the preservation of liberty.

I was challenged recently as to why the protection liberty was the only valid basis for government. The person I was having the discussion with, pointed to a couple of other potential possibilities, such as human happiness, as other sound motives for government. The problem is, at the end of the day there is no other lawful purpose for government than the protection of liberty.

As I begin, let me address a few of the more popular alternatives put forward today, after all people don’t typically go around advocating for tyranny.

Democratic Socialism

The argument for democratic socialism, stems from the fact that all resources are shared up “equally” among the people as a whole. The government serves a mediator type role in making decisions about what is necessary for the public good, and uses regulations to push things in the right direction. At a moderate level the United States could be argued to be like this today, and Europe certainly is.

However, democratic or not, all forms of socialism are immoral and in violation of the Divine Law because they are fundamentally built on theft. Any time that the threat of government force is used to take a resource away from those who lawfully obtained and give it to another, including for government projects, it is theft.

At some point we need to begin applying the same standards to government that we do to individuals. The government after all only represents the people. Those who favor this type of government need to realize that every regulation they pass, every dollar they take for the “public good”, all of it is the use of force, threatened or actual. To force a minority to comply.

In addition, democratic socialism is ultimately self defeating for the same reason that communism was. By repressing the minority view in the name of “equality”, innovation is stifled. By taking by force wages from those who lawfully earned them, the incentive to succeed is stifled. The people on the border of being provided for by the wages of others, regardless of how low the initial limits may be, recognize that their poorer neighbors have more disposable income and move to get assistance themselves. This gradually results in a tipping point moment where the producers cannot provide for the rest of the country any more.

So essentially all socialism, democratic or otherwise, is immoral and fails to work.

Human Happiness

As mentioned above it is frequently suggested that human happiness, not liberty should be the basis of government. Typically, like the various forms of socialism, democracy is thrown into the mix to hopefully make everyone happier.

Let me be clear, history and all of the wise men who have gone on before us teach that democracy is far and above the worst form of government imaginable. Any time that the majority believe they have the right to press forward with their will, over and above any rights or wishes of the rest of the nation, oppression and tyranny are sure to follow. Look at the extraordinary violence and failure of the French Revolution, even when wielded against admittedly tyrannical aristocrats, democracy manage to produce worse results than the system it was trying to prevent.

So the question then becomes: Whose happiness? If we are talking about allowing each individual liberty to pursue happiness as they please, then we are just talking about liberty from the perspective of the pursuit of happiness. If, however, we are talking about the collective happiness of society, then we are talking about democracy, and that is indeed a very dangerous road.

The problem comes in this, sooner or later the collective majority will greatly desire something that requires the oppression of a minority to obtain. It doesn’t really matter what it is, but they will decide it is necessary for their happiness. Pretty soon a sense of entitlement will spring up and the minority will come to be viewed as oppressing the majority by withholding the desired resource. Sooner or later the minority will be forced to either “voluntarily” give into the demands of the majority or they will suffer violence and oppression for refusing.

The result, without liberty, is always the happiness of some at the expense of others.

Anarchy

I’m not sure why at the present, but I am seeing more and more calls for an anarchical system. Several of these have even gone so far as to attempt to argue that “anarchy” isn’t actually a system without rules, but one without rulers.

I find this redefinition strange, because it leads one of two directions. Either we are talking about no government, which historically has proven impossible. Or we are talking about a fixed set of laws carried out directly by the people to preserve individual liberty, in which case we aren’t talking about anarch at all but constitutional democracy.

The trouble comes in when we are talking about the first of these 2 choices, which is a more standard definition of anarchy. First of all, there is no historical basis for the idea that such a government could even exist. It has been attempted throughout history, and never with any success. Anarchy exists mostly in chaotic times for very brief periods, it is not possible for it to continue long term. Even the most primitive peoples on earth have some form of government and rule of law.

Second of all, despite its claim at being most free, anarchy is actually extremely oppressive. Scripture and history both teach us that mankind has inherit sin problem, we are not capable of being completely good. In fact, in many cases even 100% Christian societies have exhibited symptoms of this condition. Since man is not inherently good and will naturally tend towards oppressing his neighbors in his own selfish cause without some form of check upon him we have created government.

While I certainly favor limited government, we cannot have no government, because we must have means of protecting the weak from the strong. This can be best done when society as a whole recognizes the rights of each individual and forms a government exclusively to protect them.

Liberty is the only lawful form of government

What was once clear to our forefathers has drifted out of the public knowledge in relatively recent history, a government built on liberty is not simply a “better” form of government, rather it is the only lawful form of government that can exist.

There is, built into the very fabric of creation, a set of laws. Laws which make it clear that each and every man, woman, and child has certain intrinsic rights that they cannot be deprive of. These laws flow from a basic understanding of morality, and can be rooted in the Scripture, particularly the 10 Commandments. Let me give some examples:

Individuals have the right to life. A human being, cannot be lawfully deprived of his right to exist. Thou shalt not murder.

Individuals have a right to maintain control over their own property and to use their goods as they see fit. Thou shalt not steal.

The right of each man to liberty, follows naturally from His being created in the image of God; as well as from the basic laws of morality, without which no society can be organized. This natural law, which dictates the rights of mankind, derives its authority from nature’s God and not from any government or social contract. As William Blackstone noted, the natural law is of equal authority to the law of scripture, though scripture must have a fuller authority since it has been fully revealed by the Holy Spirit.

The issue at stake then, is that no government can be formed in opposition to that natural law. If one does, then it is an unlawful and unjust government. Governments built on other means than this are in direct opposition to the natural order and its Creator and are in error.

Instead, legitimate government, is set up coincide with, and protect people’s rights under, the natural law.

This means, when governments take action to seize people’s liberty, whether by taking away their possessions, taking them as slaves, taking away their right to protect themselves, taking away their religious freedom, etc; they are actually violating a higher law. They are acting outside the bounds of Divinely set authority and those who stand up to them are acting lawfully.

It is high time as a nation, that we reeducated ourselves on these principles, so as to be better able to take a stand on the oppressive tendencies now brewing within our government.

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Are Alabama’s Legislators all Tyrants?

I haven’t taken on any local issues here on the blog, but this one is very important to me personally. It probably won’t surprise many of you to find out that I am a big believer in natural and wholistic medicine as is my wife. Here in my home state of Alabama, it is actually illegal for a midwife to assist at a home birth. This is, as I said, pretty personal for me since I have had to make the drive to Tennessee to use a licensed CPM there for the births of my children. There has been a lot said about this issue already, but I think I offer a pretty unique perspective that needs to be addressed.

This is not an issue of appropriate healthcare, this is an issue of liberty versus tyranny. The question that Alabama’s legislators need to be called to task on is this:

Why is it that you believe you have the right to dictate to Alabamians the choices they may or may not make about their own health?

We got all up in arms about Obamacare in this state, and yet here are our own state representatives enforcing their will freely upon the people of this state in the very area of healthcare to affect every single one of us at the moment we come into the world. The government of this state is literally trying to control our lives in the very moments we are being born.

Let me tell you something folks, you may not be particularly pro-midwife, and if you aren’t that is ok; but a government that believes it can tell you what healthcare choices you can and cannot make doesn’t actually believe you have any rights at all. Despite their being Republicans, and despite their bold talk it seems very clear that we have a house full of tyrants in Montgomery who really do think this is their decision to make. They, through their actions, are willing to override the carefully thought out actions of families all over Alabama who recognize that midwifery is a better choice for their families, because they aren’t comfortable with it.

I don’t care one bit whether they are comfortable with my healthcare choices, it isn’t any of their business. The people of Alabama, contrary to the apparent opinion of our legislators are not total idiots. We are fully capable of making our own, informed health care decisions without the help of the special interest groups that run Montgomery.

Next time you decide to call or email your elected officials on this issue I suggest a general change in the way we address the issue. We can talk all day long about how midwifery is a beneficial form of healthcare that is much needed in Alabama, and it very much is; but that argument needs to be made to the people of Alabama at the grass roots level. The focus of our discussion with our legislators needs to be about discovering why they believe they have the authority to make health care decisions for us in the first place.

On this issue I would contend that our legislature is behaving itself as bad or worse than the Federal government in intentionally limiting health care choices that Alabamians clearly want. Until we begin to recognize that our states are just as quick to seize our liberties as the Fed, we will never get our freedom back. The way the state of Alabama has acted on this issue and a few others, if the old south “rises again”, I’ll move.

Dare to defend your rights! Take action on this issue while you still have the right to do so!

News Alert: Obama signs into law “Monsanto Protection Act”

I had intended to write mostly spiritually reflective posts about Passion week, but when I saw this I figured it had better be shared.

You can get the details from the link, but the short version is that the President has signed into law special legislation that provides Monsanto with protection from liability as the health effects of GMO crops become more well known.

It would be bad enough that we have allowed the thugs at Monsanto to patent living organisms and then destroy small farms by suing for patent infringement when there crops contaminate the neighbors field, but this adds a serious level of wickedness to an already wicked system.

I strongly urge you to take charge of your own food consumption and production while it is still legal to do so!

A Christian Nation?

The Balance Between Faith and Liberty

For the last several decades, the secular humanists and the “Religious Right” have been engaged in a political struggle for influence in the government and public life of our nation. The humanists claim to be non-religious and thus able to enforce their views forcibly on the nation without infringing upon the “separation of Church and State”. The Right claims that these United States were founded as a Christian nation and that our Founding Fathers never intended for Christianity to be excluded from the national life of the country. Both sides are ultimately basing there entire arguments on false assumptions. In order to understand the truth, we need to break down the false assumptions on both sides and then form a more complete world view in order to avoid some of the worst historical pitfalls.

To begin with, let me say this: Despite its not appearing anywhere in our founding documents, I agree 100% with Thomas Jefferson on the need for a “separation of Church and State”. In any case we look at historically, a merger between political power and religious institutions resulted in massive loss of life and great destruction of the spiritual vitality of the nation. The takeover of the German churches by the Nazi government was vitally necessary in properly indoctrinating the German people to accept the Fuhrer concept and later war atrocities. Pastors like Bonhoeffer who dared to call out the whole concept of the Fuhrer as contrary to the commands of scripture had to be jailed and ultimately killed. The opposite has also been true, the Catholic domination of the European political scene gave us atrocities like the Crusades and the Inquisition, as the inquisition demonstrates the temptation to use the political might of the “Church” to crush spiritual dissenters is to great to be overcome. In the most comprehensive early history of our nation The Life of Washington, Supreme Court Justice John Marshall even spells out the failures of the early Puritans when they sought to crush dissent despite having only recently fled persecutions in England themselves.

Ironically, this issue they claim to cherish so dearly, is in fact the ultimate issue for the humanists in their rise to power. Secular humanism is the religion of non-religion, it has no more right to oppress religious people than religions people have to oppress its adherents. America is teetering dangerously on the edge of accepting a new State Church in the name of tolerance and political correctness. We are approaching the point where those with certain world views are being treated more and more harshly in the public eye, most notably are dissenting views on the morality of homosexuality, abortion, the creation of the world, and the concept of just war. Most of these pushes are coming not from the Right (ridicule of just war excepted) but from the humanists on the left. Even while proclaiming toleration and justice they are engaging in exactly the kind of religious oppression they claim to abhor. It is not enough that they have different views on moral concepts than the rest of the nation, they are trying to force their vision of morality on the rest of us in the name of equality and toleration.

The ultimate issue, the root cause if you will of this fight, is the vast overreach of our Federal government. Consider some of the hot button “moral” issues facing the nation today:

Prayer in Public Schools: If the Federal Government had not chosen to completely seize control of our Pubic Education system, there would be no church/state issue where school prayer, or for that matter curriculum involving origins was involved. Schools need to be run at the extreme local level, and as has historically been the case parents need to be directly responsible for the hiring of teachers and selection of curriculum. Ultimately, it is the parent and not the government who is responsible for the well being of the child. As soon as we restore our education system to this recognition, this issue fades away.

Homosexual Marriage: The only reason that this is a national political issue is because the government, through the tax code, has gotten itself involved in determining who may and may not marry; which I may add is a very frightening and dangerous prospect indeed! Had we not violated the entire spirit and letter of the Constitution with the formation of the IRS and modern tax code, this issue would not exist. Marriage is fundamentally a religious institution, therefore each religions group ought to maintain its right to marry whomever it chooses. The state has no business coming in and defining marriage, but the tax code has made it necessary for the state to do so. While I’m on this point though, let me point out that much of the homosexual agenda does violate the separation of church and state. Any attempt to use the violent force of government to silence others because they believe that your actions are morally wrong, violates their right to hold their own moral convictions. Arguments that this kind of speech causes bullying, emotional trauma, or violence are a scape goat for the real issue, which is that the homosexual movement is unwilling to permit free speech that they find disagreeable. I would like to strongly advocate that this position be dropped before, like a double edged sword it comes back upon them. As soon as the force of the government is used to silence opposition, the majority (most of whom hold the opposite world view) will role over on the homosexual movement and we may actually see real oppression. Instead we need to get the government out of the whole situation and return to recognizing each other’s freedom of religion.

Notice I didn’t mention Abortion. Abortion is not actually a purely moral issue, and does fall under the authority of the Federal government to address. Abortion involves the murder and oppression of one group of defenseless citizens by the very people who are charged to defend them. The question in the abortion issue is are unborn babies people? To be totally honest, I have never seen strong evidence from either side that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt at what point in pregnancy they suddenly become people. Is this ignorance an excuse to continue wide spread killing until we “know” that they are people? NO! The unborn must be treated as full fledged citizens and as human beings with all the rights thereof from birth, precisely because we do not know at what point we are killing a human child. This then represents the repression of one group by another, and is therefore a liberty issue that must be addressed by the state, much like slavery was not a “moral issue” but rather a liberty issue.

I would warn caution on this one though, the root causes of abortion are moral and must be addressed at the cultural and religious level before any government solution will have any real effect. I believe, despite slavery being fundamentally a freedom issue, that the Civil War illustrates very clearly why morality, even when liberty is at stake, cannot ultimately be legislated nor forced at the tip of the bayonet. Finally passing legal protection for the unborn will not end the mass murder until the society behind the killing fundamentally changes.

This leads to the root question then: How are Faith and Liberty connected? What is the relationship between the two? We have established that morality cannot be legislated, but what about the fact that the overwhelming majority of the Founding Fathers were Christians?

The short answer is this, you cannot have liberty without faith. Unless the nation maintains its moral values at the cultural and religious level, any government built on liberty will ultimately fail. The reason for this is rather simple, the principle of liberty is built upon the belief that all men are created equal and have certain natural or divine rights as soon as my neighbor comes to believe that he has the right to take my rights away, the government must step in. Once government intervention is forced to become to frequent, liberty fades away into the distance. Only a society in which men acknowledge and revere each others rights can maintain liberty. This can only exist when men are sufficiently moral to know and protect each other rights.

For this reason, it was the strong Faith of our Founding Fathers, and Forefathers that ultimately produced the liberty rich environment upon which our Constitution was established. They did not set out to form some sort of Christian nation where the state enforced morality, this couldn’t have possibly been further from their minds. The Founding Fathers had no motivation to establish a political Christian nation, because these United States were already a Christian nation! As soon, however, as the faith and moral principles of the nation began to slide we began to lose our liberty. And so it is that every time the American people place their faith for salvation in the government, be it the Great Depression, 9/11, etc; we give away more of our liberty. Only a root level restoration of the faith that made America, America; the sort of Faith that moves from man to man and community to community, the sort of Faith our Fathers and Forefathers had, can create an environment from which our liberty can ultimately be restored.

Thank You Senator Paul

I won’t go on about this, but I would like to publicly express my appreciation for the actions of Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky yesterday who boldly seized the senate floor in a filibuster for nearly 13 hours to call American attention to the DOJ’s claim that it now has legal authority to use drones to kill American citizens.

Senator Paul’s actions called attention to the continued staggering by our Federal government towards total tyranny. Most American continue to be deliberately ignorant of the dangerous growth of our Federal government and of the now rather long list of prohibited behaviors. If you want to really know how bad it is, you have to try to do things differently than your neighbors, for more detail on this read my post Freedom Isn’t Free and Neither Are You

We need more men like Senator Paul who will continue to be vocal when the Federal government continues to seize more and more of our liberty.

On Immigration

There has been a great deal of discussion centering around the massive influx of illegal immigrants into these United States the last several years. Interestingly, from my perspective most Americans are fiercely divided into one of two very weak positions.

The “liberal” position argues in favor of full amnesty and takes no issue whatsoever with the massive inflow illegal immigrants. They argue that these United States have always been made up of immigrants, which in fact we have from our earliest origin. Some even go so far as to argue that the early Europeans themselves were illegal immigrants who came over and took by force land that belonged to the American Indian tribes that had previously lived here.

Perhaps some other time I will address the fact many of the initial acts of violence against them were the result of either the stupidity of the early Virginia colonists or of power lust in the British government and of how our Constitution originally put protections in place for the American tribes to be treated respectably as foreign nations, protections which were ultimately violated by Andrew Jackson against the ruling of the Supreme Court. For today lets just admit that our ancestors dealt unjustly with them and learn from their mistake. The real fatal flaw in this argument isn’t in the details of what happened at that time, it is the ultimate issue behind it. Nations have been overrunning and taking over weaker nations throughout all of written history, this in no way implies that those being overrun should stand by and allow it.

Now I’m not trying to imply that all the illegals coming over our boarder are trying to take over the nation, although I suppose the drug dealers would love the opportunity; I am just trying to demonstrate the problem with using the colonization of the America’s as an example. The real problem with unfettered illegal immigration is that it is simultaneously bad for America and bad for those who come here illegally. I’ll go into this more heavily when I propose my solution to this issue, so for now let me sum up:

Unfettered illegal immigration distracts us from repairing these United State’s very broken legal immigration system. Instead of working to insure an immigration policy that makes it attractive and easy for the world’s best and brightest to become part of our society we are keeping them out while allowing in a massive influx of undereducated day laborers.

With no boarder protection we are allowing the drug gangs, and according to some reports terrorist organizations, to cross our boarder as they please with no resistance.

Refusing to act on illegal immigration has created a massive human trafficking problem. Innocent people who think they are just hitching a ride to a better life in America are being used and abused by the drug lords and traffickers who bring them across the boarder.
Our inaction has created the most exploitable workforce since slavery. Since being here is illegal for them in the first place, these workers have no legal ability to fight against the abuses they face from corporate employers, most notably the big ag companies. What’s more these employers can use the illegal status of an employee to keep them in line regardless of how poor the working conditions may be.

Don’t be fooled, though. The conservative position that we must deport all of these immigrants, and which sometimes sounds anti-immigrant, isn’t any better. The general idea behind this argument is that we are being “taken over” by foreigners who are taking jobs away from Americans. What’s more there is a great deal of criticism that they don’t speak English and are not integrating well into our society. This mindset also brings with it a whole host of problems and falsehoods:

America has always been a nation of immigrants, and generally the first generation of immigrants always have to adapt to the culture and language of the United States. If you want the latino immigrants to improve their English, you should be encouraging an end to their illegal status. Otherwise they are going to continue to feel and act like vagabonds in our society.

Many of the jobs that are being taken by illegals really are jobs that most American’s wouldn’t take. The big ag jobs are jobs that require a labor force of near slaves, which can only be obtained by fear and manipulation. As for the jobs they’ve taken in the construction industry and trades, talk to anyone high up in that line of work and they’ll tell you they can’t find good people. For years now we’ve had a situation where anyone who came to work on time every day and drug free was automatically one the best employees. As a result there has been strong demand for skilled laborers willing to do the job, and the latino population has taken this opportunity.
Immigration, when handled well, is good for America! With the host of problems we are facing as a nation today, we could use a fresh influx of ideas and talent.

In reality, the American immigration system is a disaster and in need of total overhaul. Allowing a continued influx of illegal migrant workers won’t help, deporting all of those same migrant workers won’t help either. If you want to help solve this crisis, propose helpful change; but let’s just be honest here this is probably a fight we are a long way from being able to win. If you want to really see positive immigration reform then we are going to have to start electing third, fourth, fifth, etc. party candidates. The left-right paradigm is a sham designed to keep you fluctuating between to illogical, and often unattainable positions. Therefore if you want to actually see any of the following suggestions implemented, I suggest you stop electing Republican or Democrat.

How I believe this situation should be handled:

Close the boarders. As I said above, the problem with all of the illegal traffic across our boarders is not the importation of day laborers, its drug lords and potential terrorists coming in unmolested that should serve as the strongest motivation to get a handle of our boarders.

End the war on drugs. Begin a process of legalizing and regulating the drug trade and the most dangerous illegal immigrants will lose much of their motivation for coming across our boarder.

Demolish the Federal and State welfare systems and replace them with resilient, self reliant communities. Free access to our nation’s welfare system has been a large part of the draw for those crossing our boarder illegally. Knowing for example that just across the boarder is free access to high quality medical care and better education for your children is a big draw. While it would be nice for the United States to provide medical care and education for the whole world, it is simply not possible. Instead a network of non-profits needs to be focusing on how to teach Mexico to take care of herself.

De-industrialize agriculture. This is an area where you can definitely do something now. The initial and ongoing importation of illegal immigrants has been done with some level of intentionality by our nation’s industrial agriculture complex. When you patronize local, family run establishments you not only help the environment and eat better food, you are also contributing to put an end to our immigration policy. For more on this see the movie, Food Inc.

Come up with a path to legal status for those illegals immigrants with no criminal background. To be honest, this has to be done in order to end this situation; but under no circumstance should someone who came into the United States illegally be allowed to vote. If they are, then their votes will be like many of the inner city votes that are bought with welfare, and the government will be incentivized to do things that will harm them in the long term to win a few votes.

Encourage highly educated foreign nationals, especially those attending American universities, to immigrate. As I said, we need immigrants; but rather than allowing near slave labor to take place at the hands of our nations agriculture industry, we need to be bringing in highly educated, and motivated individuals with bright new ideas for the issues we are facing today as a country. Currently, immigration to the United States is an absolute nightmare, regardless of the background of those migrating. This process needs to be stopped, currently we are rewarding those who break the rules; instead we need to be focused on coming up with more common sense rules.

That pretty much sums up the only way out that I see to fix this problem. It will require a balanced approach that recognizes the more fundamental issues at play, but together there is an answer to the illegal immigration issue. In closing let me say this, illegal immigration may be a hot button topic politically right now; it really shouldn’t be. While I agree we need to do something, this is hardly the greatest issue we are facing as a nation today. More focus needs to be placed on the overreaching of our Federal, State, and local governments, on our pending economic collapse, on the total moral failure of our society, and on the ecological forces that pushes us closer to famine each day. Make sure you have your priorities straight.

Will Regulations Solve Our Environmental Crisis?

I don’t really care what you think about climate change; to be honest I barely care what I think about climate change. My reasons are simple enough, we can easily document the massive amounts of smaller environmental damage that has been caused by industrialization. Even more importantly, if we fix the things that we can easily prove are happening we also fix the larger situation that theoretically is causing climate change.

The question then becomes, “What do we do about it?”. For my part I believe we have to go after our agricultural problems first. The entire world is currently tottering on the brink of starving to death, primarily because of dependency on industrial farming. The damage we have done to the world’s farmland is so extensive that we could easily see a massive downward movement in food production at any moment. We have only been able to keep production as high as we have by pumping in more and more artificial pesticides and fertilizers every year.

The good news is there is a farming revolution taking place. Farmers like Joel Salatin are taking back our nations food supply and reintroducing the idea of the family owned, sustainable farm. They have found a model that creates high quality, nutritious foods in a way that is good for the environment and provides for the farmer. In short this method is wholistic it takes care of the soil, the animals, the people, and pretty much all other involved parties. Many are concerned, however, that this change is not taking place fast enough. They are arguing that for the sake of human health, animal rights, soil erosion, etc. the government needs to step in and use regulation to force the issue in the right direction.

Those who advocate such changes have a fundamentally flawed understanding of the nature of government regulations. We have a top down, government lead agricultural infrastructure now and it isn’t taking us anywhere good! In other words, we are calling on those who created the problem to now take the lead in fixing the problem. The problem is that regulation is fundamentally unable to improve the situation, because to do so is in direct opposition to basic the nature of government.

There are 2 very fundamental problems with regulation that contribute to its failure to create the kind of positive change that we are looking for:

1. Regulations are ALWAYS created by the industries they regulate. Regulations go into effect when members of an industry use “the common good” as a pretense for keeping their competition out of the market. Look at the key policy makers in the USDA, FDA, etc. pretty much all of them are former employees of companies like Monsanto, ConAgra, Tyson, etc. They can’t regulate agriculture in a way that damages their former employers, otherwise they won’t have anywhere to go back to when they get tired of being in government. In addition they are in government, precisely to aid their employers interests. Think about it, who else could claim to be qualified to regulate the agriculture industry? What’s more, any legal change has to come from Congress. Congress likes to get re-elected which means that they like campaign donations. The result is that Congress only passes laws that favor large campaign donors. Since the multi-national agribusinesses are loaded with cash and the small farm movement has only small cash reserves, all regulation is going to favor the industrial agriculture model. These causes exist in pretty much all government agencies but the results are always the same, regulations are used pretty much exclusively by the industries they regulate to keep out undesired competition. For this reason, regulation cannot bring in substantial change to an industry.

2. The government always reflects the majority opinion. The government cannot causes substantial change because it always reflects the view of the majority. No politician can push for substantial changes, unless the majority of voters approve, because in doing so he risks his political future. This is a simple, inherit fact in all representative forms of government. As a result, when the government is entrusted with care for an area like agriculture regulation, the industry will remain unchanged until a large enough majority of the American people care enough to make things change. In fact, the government will fight to protect the status quo in the name of protecting “democracy”. Only in a free market are minor innovations constantly created and then tested based upon their success. The result is that only the best innovations are brought to the forefront and the system gradually becomes the best it can possibly be.

The best course of action for the government to take, if we want to restore America’s ecological resources and food security, is to get out of the way.

Let me give some examples of how the government is currently contributing to America’s failed industrial model of agriculture:

Farm subsidies are used to coerce farmers to pursue certain courses of action. Money is a powerful tool, and it is frequently given with strong stipulations. In many cases these stipulations force the farmer to pursue an ecologically flawed method of agriculture because of the need for government money. They also create an economically flawed method, by encouraging farmers to put large amounts of capital into single use, capital heavy equipment.

Zoning and food safety laws are being used to keep American’s from growing their own food. The government has consistently used “food safety” and zoning laws to keep people from providing food for themselves, or from making food choices for themselves. It has become extremely common recently for homeowners to have food gardens removed by force in the name of zoning. It has also become difficult to buy, sell, or even grow food that doesn’t have government approval. In the recent food safety act, even home canning equipment got defined as “food processing equipment”, with the government giving itself regulatory control over all “food processing equipment”.

Regulations are used to make it prohibitively expensive to be small, local producer. The mandatory purchase of $20,000 piece of equipment in the name of “food safety” is much more manageable for a producer that produces millions of chickens every year than it is for one who produces hundreds. This clever type of legislation appears to create innovative food safety solutions, but it is actually being used to lock small operators out of the marketplace.

This is just a small sampling of how regulations are used directly to benefit the large agribusinesses that have created the crisis we face today. Only a return to an individually run, small scale, grass based system will bring us back to where we need to be. This will only happen if thousands of people begin making small decisions for themselves that push us back from the edge of the cliff and towards a more sustainable future.

One final objection rebutted: Don’t subsidies make food cheaper? Some have advocated the need for farm subsidies in the name of keeping food prices lower for those who have lower incomes. As a the head of a single income family of 4, I certainly understand this sentiment; however subsidies are making your food more expensive. Those who, like myself, have to keep up with grocery prices will have noted a substantial increase in the price of food every year for quite some time. The cause of this increase is inflation, inflation caused by the government printing more money to keep up with its growing debt burden. Since subsidies are one heavy contributor to Federal spending, you could say they are responsible for the inflation that is driving the prices up.

Beyond this, it should be noted that American’s spend a much smaller percentage of their income on food than has been historically noted, and instead spend a great deal more on healthcare. If American’s were actually spending as much as they should on food, perhaps they wouldn’t have such high healthcare costs. In addition, it has been historically normal for most of society to produce some of their own food. A better price control would be to teach those who are not financially well off how to produce their own food, rather than trying to artificially reduce the price of food.

At the end of the day the ultimate problem with any argument that we need a top down, centralized, government run food system is that we already have one. Any attempts at advocating for such a system are going to have to explain why over the last 100 years the system they are advocating for has done more extensive damage to our environment and the farming culture of America than any other farming method ever tried.