Government is Force

On page 194 of the book The Discovery of Freedom, written in 1943 by Rose Wilder Lane, we read the following passage:

“In demanding that men in Government be responsible for his welfare, a citizen is demanding control of his affairs by men whose only power is the use of force.

If men in public office accept that controlling responsibility, they must use force; they have nothing else to use. Then the citizen must lose the use of his natural human rights; his exercise of free action and free speech, his legal right to own property, must be checked and curbed and prevented, by force.

This use of force against the natural uses of human energy must reduce the production and the distribution of wealth—of the material goods that nothing but productive uses of human energy can create. If men believe that Government is responsible for their welfare, the increasing poverty increases their demand that men in public office control the individual’s affairs. This demand increases the use of force against productive energy. This use of force must progressively destroy all the protections of an American citizen’s natural human rights, and eventually—if at last he protests—his life.

The men in public office can no more prevent this result of their assuming, or accepting, responsibility for the citizen’s welfare, than they can prevent water from seeking its own level.

Responsibility-evading citizens in this Republic, if they become numerous enough, can wreck the Republic, the Revolution, and the whole modern world. But not one of them can evade responsibility. Each one will be responsible.”


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