May 3rd, 2007

Are We Slaves?

photo credit: And-rey

In the representative system, the reason for everything must publicly appear. Every man is a proprietor in government, and considers it a necessary part of his business to understand. It concerns his interest, because it affects his property. He examines the cost, and compares it with the advantages; and above all, he does not adopt the slavish custom of following what in other governments are called LEADERS. (Thomas Paine, via Quoty)

The litmus test for any representative system is how well the populace feels it is being represented. Once a disconnect is apparent, the sycophantic “representatives” should be hurled from office.

Here Paine masterfully explains why it is the duty of every American to understand and be involved in politics. It governs so many aspects of our lives that an abdication of that responsibility equates to voluntary slavery.

We have been counseled to so be involved by both former and current leaders:

The Elders of Israel should “understand that they have something to do with the world politically as well as religiously, that it is as much their duty to study correct political principles as well as religious.” (John Taylor, via Quoty)

We urge Church members to register to vote, to study the issues and candidates carefully and prayerfully, and then vote for those they believe will most nearly carry out their ideas of good government…. (First Presidency Letter, July 31, 2004)

It is especially interesting to note the wording of Paine’s last sentence. We must be very careful in referring to and treating our elected representatives as “leaders”. Why? Repetitive history (both secular and scriptural) clearly shows the rampant corruption in government and conspiratorial actions of those in power. With questionable men as our leaders, the people are left to mourn.

Seeing such men as our leaders puts “We the People” into a subservient, obsequious role. Such was not the intent of our Founding Fathers who instituted a republic in order that the people might maintain an awareness of governmental affairs and make their voices heard through their representatives (not leaders). Paine elaborates on the importance of having a republic in this regard:

Every government that does not act on the principle of a Republic, or in other words, that does not make the res-publica [public good] its whole and sole object, is not good government. Republican government is no other than government established and conducted for the interest of the public, as well individually as collectively. (Thomas Paine, via Quoty)

Our republic by nature of its very name should serve the “public good”. Sadly, such is not the case in our day. Special interests, lobbyists, and corporate America have the government in a taut grasp and will not easily let go, if ever.

Why is this so?

It is for no other reason than that We the People have shirked our responsibility as government watchdogs and American citizens, outsourcing our responsibilities to those we have elected into power to supposedly represent us.

Or, in Paine’s words, we have become slaves to our leaders.

One Response to “Are We Slaves?”

  1. Kelly Winterton
    May 3, 2007 at 10:33 am #

    We definitely need to be more involved in world politics. We become slaves when we are not aware of things happening around us, and just “go with the flow.” Nowhere is this more evident than in the issue of taxes.

    Every American thinks that we just need to lower taxes, and complains that taxes are too high, regardless if the tax rate is 2% or 40%.

    Yet, in Germany (where I spent my mission) the taxes are higher than in USA. But Germans seem to accept their taxes with a different attitude. The services derived from their taxes are much better than ours, so they see that their tax money is being spent in a responsible manner, giving them the services they want from government. (Much better roads, better health care, better mail service, better education, etc.)

    But in USA, we have no idea where our tax dollar goes. We don’t know if our taxes are buying the services we as citizens want. We then hear the stories of our tax dollars being spent on $600 toilet seats, and all we want is lower taxes – never even questioning if our taxes are getting us a good value or not. If we could know our tax dollars were being spent wisely, we wouldn’t complain at the tax rate.

    But, government seems to think their measurement of success is if they can keep taxes down, or even lower them. But, their success should be measured by whether they give us good value for our taxes, and spend only those tax dollars we give them, and not OVERSPEND.

    But, government seems to think that we should be taxed less, and then they will give us the services instead by deficit spending. This deficit spending accelerates inflation, which has the effect of lessening the value of our dollar. Therefore, everyone’s dollar is worth less, making the goods we purchase more expensive. This is actually a tax levied on every citizen that purchases. (Taxing without representation?)

    The list could of course go on, but my point is this – we play the slave game by just complaining about government, not studying or contributing to the process. We become a slave to taxes when we complain about them only, instead of working to ensure our tax dollars are wisely spent.

Leave a Reply

Leave your opinion here. Please be nice. Your Email address will be kept private.