Wednesday, October 21, 2009

On Government and Slavery

All men are born with certain requirements placed upon them. Adam was not born, in the sense we are all born, but when he became conscious he soon learned he was required to give allegiance and honor to his creator. Cain, the first recorded human being born of a woman, was born not only with the requirement to give allegiance and honor to God, but also to honor and obey his parents—Adam and Eve.

With the advent of civil government, people were born with the requirement to work for the good of their government through taxes, many were conscripted into military service, many were literally slaves to the state, but all were required to serve the state interest.

Yet when the United States declared independence and won freedom from Great Britain in the eighteenth century, this ageless cycle was broken for a time. With the exception of slaves, men and women could live and work with virtually no external constraints placed upon them by the government—at least compared with previous systems, or even contemporary ones. There was neither military conscription nor an income tax. One's life was one's own, outside of the natural order of God and family. Slaves too began to receive limited freedom during the nineteenth century.

This American civil order lasted until the twentieth century. In 1913 the sixteenth amendment to the Constitution was ratified and Congress was granted the ability to tax the income. The Congress grants privileges to income earners as a means to retain a percentage of their earnings, but according to the sixteenth amendment the Congress has no restraint whatsoever upon how much of your income it may claim. Tax credits, tax deductions, and the like are all political ploys to incentivize specific behaviors and to grant favor. Americans began working for the state, rather than themselves or for their family. In 2009 Americans worked for the government until April 13th, when they finally began working for themselves.

Also in 1913, the Federal Reserve System was created which began the march toward the cartelization of American currency. The dollar that had once been tied to gold and silver became tied only to the whims of the Federal Reserve, Congress, and the President. Legal tender laws were passed to ensure only the dollar could be used in financial transactions, excluding gold and silver, or any private currency. President Franklin Roosevelt made it illegal for Americans to own gold and the Congress later confirmed this action. And finally when gold and silver ownership were again legalized, they fell under the purview of collector's items, meaning they were subject to a 28% tax upon sale. Americans are forced to use American dollars in all transactions and their financial futures are tied directly to the success or demise of the dollar. Americans can no longer even find financial safe havens outside of the United States, as the government has increased enforcement over international banks—specifically in Switzerland and islands like the Cayman Islands. The state holds your financial future in its hands and will not relinquish the privilege.

The history of conscription in America is a long one. Conscription began during the Civil War, though most soldiers were volunteers, only 2% of the soldiers were drafted, and another 6% were paid substitutes. However, in 1917, the Conscription Act was passed and signed into law. Men were forcefully required to join the Army and conscientious objectors were only allowed from specific religious sects. Those that refused conscription were court-martialed and jailed. President Roosevelt brought us peace-time conscription in 1940 and began the modern Selective Service System. Since then, men of mature age have been subject to the vagaries of the state. Men were conscripted again during both the Korean and Vietnam wars. Though the military is an all volunteer force, all men are still required to register with the Selective Service within sixty days of turning eighteen.

This list could go on and on, but effectively the income tax system, the government's monopoly over legal tender, and conscription has subjected Americans to a form of slavery. America is not a free nation, and has not been free for nearly a century. Your life is not your own—it is the government's to with you as it will. If you refuse to pay income tax, you will ultimately be threatened with jail time. If you refuse to subject your financial future to the American dollar, you will face jail time. If you refuse selective service registration, you face the threat of jail time. If you refuse conscription, you have to justify your actions according to the government's exception clauses or face jail time. The truth is plain as day, yet most Americans fail to recognize the truth of it all. The American government is your slave master. Just as in the days of old, all that is required to find freedom is the refusal of consent. If enough slaves rise up and refuse to be slaves, the system would crumble. Yet it persists. Paul writes in Galatians 4 of the human tendency toward returning to our slave masters. There is much wisdom there. Ponder this. Men are not inclined toward freedom, but slavery—just as long as the bonds don't chaff too much.

Yet men were made to be free.
Jesus read from Isaiah 61 in Luke 4:18-19 and said, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." Of course Jesus' primary concern here is spiritual, yet as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 7:23, "You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men." The ideal is for freedom, yet recall Romans 8:20-21, "For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God."

Seek freedom from all things, becoming only slaves to righteousness and God. This is where our allegiance alone, lies. And this is the only means to attain true freedom, because through it we are under grace, under the law of liberty. Unyoke yourself from slavery—slavery to sin, and slavery to men.

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