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Why Do So Many Accept That Government Can Protect Us Without Totally Destroying Liberty?

{Editor’s Note: This is the 18th installment of a series of articles attempting to address the 32 questions posed by Ron Paul in his recent farewell speech given in front of Congress. Check out the previous installment, “Why Do So Many In Government Believe That Creating Money Out Of Thin Are Creates Wealth?”}

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin

Most of us, from the time we were children, have been taught that the most necessary and proper role of government is to protect the citizenry. Whether the threat is from a common criminal or a foreign boogeyman, it has been instilled in us that we at the very least need a minimal government to protect the people both from each other and mysterious foreign evils. The concept of the State as protector is essential to justifying its’ existence, and thus the State will remind us of this necessity at every opportunity.

In his essential essay Anatomy Of The State, Murray Rothbard describes how the State ensures that the population accepts it’s existence as necessary or at least inevitable by instilling a general fear of any alternative system:

the chief task of the rulers is always to secure the active or resigned acceptance of the majority of the citizens…The present rulers, it was maintained, supply to the citizens an essential service for which they should be most grateful: protection against sporadic criminals and marauders. For the State, to preserve its own monopoly of predation, did indeed see to it that private and unsystematic crime was kept to a minimum; the State has always been jealous of its own preserve.

We are reminded of the necessity of the State’s role as protector through constant headlines about the latest serial killer caught or the latest terror plot foiled. The President will march out on national television and announce that he has murdered an evil cave dwelling terrorist mastermind and therefore protected all of our freedoms. The government will even go as far as to stage an “underwear” bombing in order to justify expanding it’s role in security. The result can be seen in the vast abuses of the TSA being generally tolerated by the public at large.

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My Answer to #18

Government bureaucrats and politicians exhibit Grandiosity and Narcissistic Personality Disorder type behaviors. They have an unrealistic sense of superiority, a sustained view of being better than others which causes them to view others with disdain or as inferior.

They also feel a sense of uniqueness, a belief that few “average” people have anything in common with them and that they are a part of just a few very special people. World Health Organization studies show that approximately 1% of the world’s population are afflicted with Grandiosity and Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Interestingly, 1% of the population owns half of the worlds wealth.

All 32 of my answers are here:


for liberty