ISSUES IN FOCUS
Week of June 7, 1999
WHAT IS A STATIST?
Statism is the doctrine that maintains that your life, money and property are not yours, but the property of the state. A statist is any individual who upholds this doctrine and/or supports its implementation.
A statist knows that he cannot get away with—at least, not yet—openly declaring that your life, money and property are not yours, so he advances these ideas by implicit means.
Statists enact laws that forbid you from taking certain actions altogether or only if you have their permission—and the idea is: if you may only act by permission, you do not have a right to your life. Statists, through their regulations, determine how much of your money you will be allowed to keep—and the idea is: if you do not have the right to decide how your money is spent, your money is not yours. Statists issue decrees restricting how you may use your property—and the idea is: if you do not have the right to control the use and disposal of your property, your property is not yours. These are the indirect means by which statists promote and implement their ideas.
An adult statist is grown up, physically, but in a state of self-arrested, stunted, mental development. His worldview is that of a child who can only do what his parents permit and who is dependent on his parents for everything. In the adult world, he seeks to forcibly impose this view on others. You are the child and the state, run by statists, is the parent. The statist may do anything he wants, while you may only do what the statist permits—bringing us a complete reversal of the way it should be. In fact, you should be free to do whatever you want (so long as you do not violate the right of another to do the same), while government officials should only be able to do what the law specifically permits—and no more.
The irony of it all is the fact that statists, left to their own devices, are impotent, powerless to harm you. The power that they wield comes from the willing support of their victims, from the very individuals they control, from any and all who earn a living and produce the financial and material means statists use to regulate others. All that it would take for statists to lose this power over you is for their victims, the productive, to stop supporting them. A statist’s greatest fear is your discovery of this fact.
In his impotence, a statist seeks to escape the terror of facing reality by ruling the competent, the capable—those who do face reality. In a free society, statists would only be able to rise to the level of their ability, which, for most, would not be very far. In a statist society, their ability to produce is irrelevant. They can rise to the extent to which they are able to forcibly harness others—taking statists to heights impossible to them in a free society.
A statist hates self-reliance, so he forces you to rely on others and others to rely on you. He will use anyone and anything to control you and force you into dependence: your children, your elderly parents, your neighbors who have fallen on hard times, your friends who are ill. Every human problem or disaster is an opportunity to be capitalized upon by a statist—another chance to enlarge his powers.
A statist is that schoolyard bully, or his spiritual equivalent, of your childhood. But now he is grown up, all dressed up in a suit. The only way he can allay his constant anxiety and dread is through the control and intimidation of others. He doesn’t want to conquer nature, but other men. He wants to cheat reality, not abide by it. He wants to get away with living, not live his life on his own.
A statist only has self-identity if the eyes of others are focused on him. He only feels alive if is he is part of some group, so he forces others into adoring, dependent herds who must curry his favor in order to survive.
A statist hates the independent mind, since he doesn’t have one of his own. He can’t really think, he can only manipulate words, ideas cut off from reality, emotions and other people—these are his only reality. To a statist, reality is not real—thus, the truth doesn’t matter. Lies, deception—and the truth, on occasion—are interchangeable tools, one as valid as another, to be used to pander to the worst in man: the desire for the unearned.
A statist is that mooching relative, now a bureaucrat, for whom there can never be enough handouts. He is a panhandler with a gun, who despises your charity as an insult, but claims your money as a right. He is a criminal who has gone from bad to worse: an armed robber doesn’t try to convince you that he is taking your money for your own good, but a statist politician does.
Such is the face and soul of a statist.
Before you vote for another statist politician, ask yourself this: would you—and take this literally—sign a legal document giving control over you life, money and property to another person—let’s say, to your Congressman? I doubt it. I doubt if even many of the witless supporters of statism would do this, yet this is precisely what you effectively do when you support statism. When you vote for statist politicians, you give them a proxy, a power of attorney of sorts, to carry out their ideas in practice, to vote away some part of your life, money and property.
The liberation of your life and the recognition of your right to it—to live it without seeking anyone’s permission—will only come once you revoke that proxy given to statists. Once this occurs, the rebirth of freedom will begin in earnest.
June 7, 1999
© Copyright 1999 Fulton Huxtable
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To read more by Fulton Huxtable, go to Fatal Blindness: America's Decades of Declining Freedom and The
Rise of Its Dictators.
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