The Penalty is Always Death
In a society that has utterly lost the essential distinction between malum in se offenses and malum prohibitum violations with its ever-burgeoning number of enumerated felonies enforceable by multiple agencies at the local, state, and Federal levels of government, this essay slices through the cant.
...The State’s ultimate penalty for real crime (initiations of force or fraud against people or their property) as well as all those non-crimes the State takes umbrage at is always death. This is the nature of the State; killing is the instrument by which it maintains itself.
To be sure, the State is mostly careful to not exercise the penalty too often. The system of compulsion and coercion, backed by the ultimate tool of death, is one which States have learned functions much better when the sword is cloaked in layers of misdirection and abstraction. The simple — and perhaps more honest — compulsion of the local tyrant demanding of his subjects, “Do it thus, or I shall kill you,” has been replaced with a long chain of escalation beginning with paper things like demands for compliance and citations, leading through more forceful papers such as summonses and warrants, but ultimately grounded upon the power of that barely-concealed blade.
If we accept the natural-rights view of self defense as given by libertarian theory, we can see that the penalty for every infraction is death.
Fail to pay your taxes? You will be killed.
Consume a proscribed substance? Death awaits you.
Neglect or ignore some trivial regulation? Murder is your fate.
“Oh come now,” they will cry, “the government doesn’t kill people for not paying their taxes!” In general this is true. In general people are compliant, whether out of worship or fear.
But as situations escalate from non-compliance to the State’s demand for enforcement, be sure that the blade remains ready to plunge into the belly of the scofflaw.
I’m quite fond of hyperbolic examples. Let’s make one now...
Read the whole thing, and reflect on where we are today, as well as where we are headed.
Hat-tip to Billy Beck, who synopsizes the issue as follows:
"At the bottom of every stack of government paperwork there always lies a well-oiled and loaded .45."