One of the nation's most vociferous defenders of liberty and vocal opponent of big government has given his last goodbye on the floor of the House of Representatives: Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). Among his many astute observations -- and warnings -- he left for the American people, the segment of his speech on liberty was among the most striking:
Liberty can only be achieved when government is denied the aggressive use of force. If one seeks liberty, a precise type of government is needed. To achieve it, more than lip service is required.
Two choices are available.
1. A government designed to protect liberty—a natural right—as its sole objective.
The people are expected to care for themselves and reject the use of any force for
interfering with another person’s liberty. Government is given a strictly limited
authority to enforce contracts, property ownership, settle disputes, and defend
against foreign aggression.
2. A government that pretends to protect liberty but is granted power to arbitrarily use force over the people and foreign nations. Though the grant of power many times is meant to be small and limited, it inevitably metastasizes into an omnipotent political cancer. This is the problem for which the world has suffered throughout the ages. Though meant to be limited it nevertheless is a 100% sacrifice of a principle that would-be-tyrants find irresistible. It is used vigorously—though incrementally and insidiously. Granting power to government officials always proves the adage that: “power corrupts.”
Once government gets a limited concession for the use of force to mold people habits and plan the economy, it causes a steady move toward tyrannical government. Only a revolutionary spirit can reverse the process and deny to the government this arbitrary use of aggression. There’s no in-between. Sacrificing a little liberty for imaginary safety always ends badly.
Today’s mess is a result of Americans accepting option #2, even though the Founders attempted to give us Option #1.
The full text of Paul's Farewell Address is available here via the TheHill.com. Give it a read. Read it and weep -- but read it and take action.