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The State is the true enemy of the people

By Derek Franklin 

“If the bulk of the public were really convinced of the illegitimacy of the State, if it were convinced that the State is nothing more nor less than a bandit gang writ large, then the State would soon collapse to take on no more status or breadth of existence than another Mafia gang.” (Murray N. Rothbard, The Ethics of Liberty) 

In the 1998 movie “Enemy of the State,” Robert Clayton Dean (Will Smith), a Washington D.C based labor lawyer, is framed for murder to cover assassination of a sitting congressman. The assassination was to assure passage of sweeping surveillance legislation. The film highlights the depths of depravity that the State and those that serve it will sink to acquire power.  

The movie argues the real enemies are the self-interested bureaucrats and “agency” men, not the government itself. But I beg to differ. In the film, just like in the here and now, the State, its bureaucrats, and “agency” men are on the same team. They are the real enemies of the people, “another Mafia gang.”  

This “Mafia gang” is more dangerous than a loaded gun in the hands of an immature child. It’s more pernicious than a malignant tumor. And it’s more lethal than the inland taipan snake – one bite is enough to kill 100 fully grown men. 

That’s because they transact their business under the veneer of legitimacy.  

The State, like a raging forest fire, eventually consumes everything in its path. Oxygen gives the fire life. The more there is, the stronger and more destructive it becomes. Similarly, the government survives by consuming the productive resources of its citizens. The more productive they are, the more the State attempts to take from them.  

In 1913, the 16th amendment to the constitution was ratified and a graduated tax structure was made law in the US. 1% for incomes between $4,000 and $20,000 increasing to a top rate of 3% for those making $50,000 or more to be exact. 

In typical class warfare fashion, a Constitutional Rights article said, “the main argument for ratification was that the amendment would force the wealthy to take on a fairer share of the federal tax burden that had in the past been largely carried by those earning relatively little.”   

The following year, on March 1, the first income tax collection day took place. Since only about 4% of American made $3,000 or more in annual income, most people didn’t have to pay any income tax. Form 1040 was only 3 pages long.  

Fast forward to today. Roughly 43% of Americans are subject to the income tax. As of 2015, the federal internal revenue code was 2,412,000 words long and federal tax regulation was 7,655,000

Income tax complexity puts every taxpayer at potential risk of being a violator of tax law and therefore potentially subject to government prosecution.        

Deception is the currency the political class spends to expand the reach of the State. They fuel its growth on an unsuspecting populace.  

Like cockroaches hunting for food, the State always looks to exploit the public they’re supposed to serve. There’s not a regulation they wouldn’t pass, a tax they wouldn’t levy, or a war they wouldn’t send our youngest, best, and brightest to fight if they thought it would help them occupy the halls of power for just a little longer.  

Distract the citizenry with stimulus (“stimmie”) checks, ancient Rome’s version of bread and circuses, and they won’t recognize the government’s creeping encroachment into their daily lives. Dupe the American public into thinking COVID-19 is the 21st century black plague, and those same people will accept society-wide lockdowns. 

At the same time, they’ll overlook the economic, financial, mental, and emotional carnage it causes. 

Rothbard was right when he called the State “a bandit gang writ large.”  Since this is true, the State must be opposed at every level and exposed as the menace it is.  

What is the State? According to the German sociologist Franz Oppenheimer, the State is the “organization of the political means; it is the systematization of the predatory process over a given territory.”  Simply put, the State, or the government, is “the full-time bureaucracy” whose main function is to steal the property of others through force and coercion.  

Using its customary weapon – legalized theft, otherwise known as taxation – the political class takes American taxpayers’ production and gives it to crony capitalist corporations unable to succeed in a free market. 

Likewise, the criminal class steals the production of American citizens and distributes it among themselves. The difference between the two is simple. One conceals its criminality under the guise of serving the public, while the other is up-front about its law-breaking activities. 

Consider the case of Solyndra. Founded in 2005, the solar panel company received $535 million dollars in federal loan guarantees, vital to its operation at the time. Fast forward to September 2011, and the company filed for bankruptcy protection, suspended its operations, and laid off its 1,100 employees. 

Similarly, SunEdison, at one point the 13th most subsidized US company, misused taxpayer funds by embarking on an ill-advised acquisition spree. Pretty easy to do when you’re spending other peoples’ money. 

The company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2016, but not before receiving $598 million of federal grants and $582 million in loan guarantees, courtesy of the State.  

Now, there’s nothing unusual about a company going out of business. Unfortunately, it happens all the time. In the case of Solyndra and SunEdison though, State actors chose instead of the marketplace. 

The result? Taxpayers wound up on the “hook” for over $1 billion dollars in loan guarantees. Additionally, $598 million dollars of taxpayer grant money went down the drain. 

One might ask, how is the State able to perpetuate this criminality against everyday American citizens? In a word: Intellectuals. 

Intellectuals – academics, think tank VPs, and public policy and research institution senior fellows – ensure the preservation of the State. They do this by conceptualizing and parroting an ideological narrative that presents the government as good, wise, and benevolent. 

In doing so, these same intellectuals form an alliance with the government. They embark on a never-ending campaign to mold the opinion of society to accept government as inevitable.   

In exchange for their services, the intellectual class is welcomed into the State’s inner circle. In Anatomy of the State, Murray Rothbard said, 

“The State …  is willing to offer the intellectuals a secure and permanent berth in the State apparatus; and thus, secure income and the panoply of prestige.”  

Ceasing to do real journalism long ago, the bought-and-paid-for media is happy to help the intellectuals in their movement.  

The modus operandi of them all is to “secure the bag.” 

One of the most successful ideological weapons intellectuals use is the fusion of Church and State. Dating as far back as the absolute rulers of the Chinese and Ottoman empires, this merger presented them as God. Opposition to their rule would be considered blasphemy, the unpardonable sin. 

Theodore Roosevelt, the progenitor of the “cult of the presidency,” functioned as a sort of bridge between the God-rulers and the president of the United States as ruler of the Kingdom of America. This freed Roosevelt, and later presidents, to exceed the limits the constitution placed upon the government.   

In Gene Healy’s Cato Institute article, “The Cult of the Presidency,” Teddy Roosevelt, while speaking at the 1912 Progressive Party convention, alluded to the president as ruler of the Kingdom of America. He says, 

“To you who strive in a spirit of brotherhood for the betterment of our Nation, to you who gird yourselves for this great new fight in the never‐ending warfare for the good of humankind, I say in closing.…We stand at Armageddon, and we battle for the Lord!”  

During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama captured this spirit when he addressed an evangelical congregation in South Carolina, saying, 

“We’re going to keep on praising together. I am confident that we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth.” 

As president and former president, Obama was and is worshipped as if he were a god, someone in whom it is no fault. 

Moreover, the State fears threats to its power, and, by extension, its very existence. The basic threats to the existence of the State – whether by defeat at the hands of another state or by the revolutionary overthrow by its own citizens – inspire its greatest efforts to propagandize the people “to come to the State’s defense in the belief that they are defending themselves.”   

Randolph Bourne said, “war is the health of the State.”  And the State is all too willing to spend precious “blood and treasure” under “defense” and “emergency” sloganeering. 

As Murray Rothbard said, “In war, State power is pushed to its ultimate.”  It allows them to commit unspeakable atrocities against its citizens.  

The true test of whether the State is more interested in protecting itself rather than its citizens can be found by asking: which crimes does the State punish more harshly, those against itself or those against private citizens?  

Consider that the State is supremely concerned with crimes against itself rather than crimes against private citizens. Crimes like desertion of a soldier, failure to register for the draft, counterfeiting, income tax evasion, or the assault of a policeman. 

In recent years, law enforcement officials in Chicago have only been able to solve about 4 out of every 10 murders. During the nineteen months from the beginning of 2018 to July 2019, 47% of the homicides were solved when the victim was white, 33% when the victim was Hispanic and 22% when the victim was black.  

Conversely, over 500 people were charged and/or arrested in connection with the January 6 storming of the Capitol building. Newscasters referred to the building itself as “sacred” as if it was a modern-day St. Peter’s Basilica of Vatican City. Federal authorities are still in pursuit of other alleged participants in the January 6 riot at the Capitol. 

At the end of the day, the State, and the actors that serve it, are interested in their own welfare. Whether or not their interests align with the American public is of little to no consequence.  

Don Delillo said, “Never underestimate the power of the State to act out its own massive fantasies.”  And pay no attention to the millions who are crushed as a result. 

The State is truly and demonstrably the enemy of every human being on earth. 

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Derek Franklin


Derek Franklin is a native of Chicago, is an ordained minister and also works as a finance professional in the banking industry. He’s a small “l” libertarian who was introduced to the political philosophy through the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns of Ron Paul.

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