Power Kills, Absolute Power Kills Absolutely

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Posted: Jun 18, 2019 12:03 PM
Power Kills, Absolute Power Kills Absolutely

Source: AP Photo/Desmond Boylan

“So when fear shapes our lives, safety, often times, becomes our god.  We worship; we bow down to a risk free life.”[1]  This is the false god; the deception that the collectivists work to impose on us to accept their tenets of the “rights” of employment, wages, health, education, etc.   But as we know, these actually create insecurity and a loss of liberty (see my article, Hayek Proved That Collectivism Cannot Provide Security). This scenario has repeated throughout history under the guise of democracy – Adolf Hitler in 1933, the Czechoslovak communists in 1946, the Palestinian elections of Hamas in 2006, and the Islamic revolution in 1979, to name a few.  All came into power under a democratic election.

The 1917 Bolshevik Revolution with Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky, Mao Tse-tung and the Chinese Revolution in 1949, the Cuban Revolution in 1959 of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, and the French Revolution in 1789 with Maximilien de Robespierr and Louis Antoine de Saint-Just all promised freedom and liberty, but all delivered devastating tyranny.[2]  All cheered for democracy.  We still hear those cheers today for democracy.  Democracy will bring liberty and security to a nation.  This is not true.  In fact, Marxism has brought death on a massive scale – and estimated 100 million killed in the name of Marxism.[3] 

The delusional utopian view of collectivists is simply that – a delusion.  The espoused objective of all communist revolution is violence against the populace.  This evil is detailed in The Black Book of Communism.   It points out that:

…there never was a benign, initial phase of Communism before some mythical “wrong turn” threw it off track.  From the start Lenin expected, indeed wanted, civil war to crush all “class enemies”; and this war, principally against the peasants, continued with only short pauses until 1953… mass violence against the population was a deliberate policy of the new revolutionary order; and its scope and inhumanity far exceeded anything in the national past.[4]

Leon Trotsky, one of the key leaders of the Bolshevik Revolution, described clearly the brute force of socialism.  “It is quite clear that if our problem is the abolition of private property in the means of production, the only road to its solution lies through the concentration of state power in its entirety in the hands of the proletariat, and the setting up for the transitional period of an extraordinary regime…Dictatorship is necessary because this is a case not of partial changes, but of the very existence of the bourgeoisie.  No agreement is possible on this basis.  Only force can be the deciding factor…Whoever aims at the end cannot reject the means.”[5]  This is very nature which Enlightenment philosopher Charles Montesquieu warned of when he wrote, “nobody aims at equality; this does not so much as enter their thoughts; they all aspire to superiority.”[6]

Today the force and coercion is made in the name of “what is best for people or society” whether it’s health care, food choices, educating children, and so on.  These are always part of the push for the collectivist’s utopian worldview on to society.   It is no different now, other than perhaps in magnitude, but over time the magnitude increases as the state continually consumes control over citizen’s lives.

Our Founding Fathers warned extensively about this and it was the very reason for, not just limited government, but a Constitutional system to retain a limited government.  The state always demands more power until it utterly destroys, as was seen during the Bolshevik Revolution.  “In a disparate attempt to hold onto power, the Bolsheviks made terror an everyday part of their policies, seeking to remodel society in the image of their theory, and to silence those who, either through their actions or by their very social, economic, or intellectual existence, pointed to the gaping holes in the theory.[7]  Once in power, the Bolsheviks made Utopia an extremely bloody business.”[8]  This process, although different in velocity and magnitude, was the same for every revolution mentioned above (and many others) in the name of collectivism.  But as Tzvetan Todorov points out – and as is present even today with the collectivists in the United States, “The enemy is the great justification for terror,[9] and the totalitarian state needs enemies to survive.  If it lacks them, it invents them.  Once they have been identified, they are treated without mercy…[Collectivism] demands the repression (or in moments of crisis, the elimination) of the bourgeoisie as a class.  Belonging to the class is enough; there is no need actually to have done anything at all.”[10]

In the fourth book of his series on the destructive force of genocide and government mass murder, Dr. R.J. Rummel paraphrases and elaborates on the famous quote by Lord Acton.  Lord Acton, in 1887 in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton, expressed that “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”[11]  This was the very reason our Founding Fathers labored diligently to institute a limited government.  As history illustrates, government always moves toward tyranny of the people, and, if uncheck, this power eventually kills the people it is supposed to govern and serve, as was illuminated in the Federalist Papers; this is human nature.  Dr. Rummel opens Death by Government by writing:

Power kills; absolute Power kills absolutely…The more power a government has, the more it can act arbitrarily according to the whims and desires of the elite, and the more it will make war on others and murder its foreign and domestic subjects.  The more constrained the power of governments, the more power is diffused, checked, and balanced, the less it will aggress on others and commit democide.[12][13]

[1] Pastor Dan Busse, February 6, 2011, “Courageous Faith,” sermon, (Pendleton Christian Church, Pendleton, IN).   Pastor Busse was referencing Matthew 14 and the story of the Disciples, Jesus walking on water, and Peter’s Faith.

[2] Pat Buchanan, March 11, 2011, “After the Revolution,” Townhall.com, [http://townhall.com/columnists/patbuchanan/2011/03/11/after_the_revolution/page/full/].

[3] Stéphane Courtois, Nicolas Werth, Jean-Louis Panné, Andrzej Paczkowski, Karel Bartošek, and Jean-Louis Margolin, 1999 (Originally published in 1997), The Black Book of Communism:  Crimes, Terror, Repression, (Cambridge, MA:  Harvard University Press), p. 4; and p. 15, “But the intransigent facts demonstrate the Communist regimes have victimized approximately 100 million people in contrast to the approximately 25 million victims of the Nazis.”

[4] Stéphane Courtois, Nicolas Werth, Jean-Louis Panné, Andrzej Paczkowski, Karel Bartošek, and Jean-Louis Margolin, 1999 (Originally published in 1997), The Black Book of Communism:  Crimes, Terror, Repression, (Cambridge, MA:  Harvard University Press), p. xviii.

[5] Stéphane Courtois, Nicolas Werth, Jean-Louis Panné, Andrzej Paczkowski, Karel Bartošek, and Jean-Louis Margolin, 1999 (Originally published in 1997), The Black Book of Communism:  Crimes, Terror, Repression, (Cambridge, MA:  Harvard University Press), p. 738.

[6] Charles de Montesquieu, 2010 (originally published in 1748), The Spirit of the Laws, “Book V: That the Laws given by the Legislator ought to be in Relation to the Principle of Government,” (Digireads.com Book), p 57.

[7] Emphasis added to point to this exact same view, method, mindset, behavior exists today in the United States, albeit much more mild than in the case of the revolutions mentioned in this section.  But what keeps this coercive behavior at bay is the individualist, God-fearing, freedom-loving disposition of Americans; vigilance is constantly needed.

[8] Stéphane Courtois, Nicolas Werth, Jean-Louis Panné, Andrzej Paczkowski, Karel Bartošek, and Jean-Louis Margolin, 1999 (Originally published in 1997), The Black Book of Communism:  Crimes, Terror, Repression, (Cambridge, MA:  Harvard University Press), p. 738.

[9] In the United States terror is not used, but the use of coercion and pitting one’s enemy against another, class warfare is the most common, is ever present to move more power into the hands of the collectivists.

[10] Stéphane Courtois, Nicolas Werth, Jean-Louis Panné, Andrzej Paczkowski, Karel Bartošek, and Jean-Louis Margolin, 1999 (Originally published in 1997), The Black Book of Communism:  Crimes, Terror, Repression, (Cambridge, MA:  Harvard University Press), p. 747.

[11] Louise Creighton and Mandell Creighton, 1904, Life and Letter of Mandell Creighton, Vol. I, Letter from John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, first Baron Acton (Lord Acton), 1887, “Letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton,” (London, England: Longmans, Green, and Co.), p. 372.

[12] Democide is the murder of any person or people by their government, including genocide, politicide and mass murder.

[13] Rudolph J. Rummel, 1994, Death by Government, (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers), pp. 1-2.  Referenced in Walter Williams, April 4, 2014, “How to Assist Evil,” Townhall.com, [http://townhall.com/columnists/walterewilliams/2014/04/09/how-to-assist-evil-n1819754/page/full].