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"In the following pages I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense; and have no other preliminaries to settle with the reader, than that he will divest himself of prejudice and prepossession, and suffer his reason and his feelings to determine for themselves; that he will put on rather than off, the true character of a man, and generously enlarge his views beyond the present day." - Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Illusion of "Checks and Balances"

Remember back in grade school when you were taught about the three branches of the Federal government? Maybe you do, maybe you don't; in truth, it doesn't really matter. At the time, we were all instilled with this idea that our government is completely invulnerable to corruption; that the tyranny of one branch over the others is impossible due to the brilliant "separation of powers," by which each branch has certain "checks and balances" allotted to it in order to reign in the others. It's as airtight as rock-paper-scissors.

Or is it?
I never questioned it until I "converted" to libertarianism (and then anarchism), I just accepted it as fact because it was taught to me as fact. But the simple truth is that our system of "checks and balances" is just empty rhetoric. Think about it: all three branches of the Federal government are still part of the same government, so we're essentially expecting a bunch of politicians to regulate themselves, which they do about as well as a crack addict nearing withdrawal.

Then add in the fact that both parties are identical (in their actions, not their rhetoric) and that the Constitution is, by its nature, powerless against the kind of oppressive and corrupt government it was supposed to be defending against when it's simply ignored or falsely interpreted. Suddenly the reality sets in that throughout our country's history, the three branches of government haven't stopped each other at all from becoming too powerful. Instead, they've colluded together for more power while putting on a show for you and I to make us believe everything they do is for our own benefit. You know, the same thing every government has done since there has been government.


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