Strike the Root

  1. Column by Paul Hein.

    Exclusive to STR

    For centuries, from medieval times until, perhaps, the 17th Century or thereabouts, the theory of the Divine Right of Kings was widely accepted. At a time when religion was taken seriously, it made sense. God was the author of all good things, certainly, and if a man was king, it was because God willed it so, since He would not bestow His blessings upon someone unworthy. The King, therefore, was answerable to no one but God Himself, and to oppose the King was not only a crime, but a sin.

    Today we are enlightened, and regard the Divine Right of Kings as a bit of pious superstition. Oh, we have nothing against the idea of a king, but only as a figurehead, or symbol, lacking any significant power over his “subjects.” The king has been replaced with a house of representatives, or senate, or some such, representing the people, acting on their behalf, of course. Democracy has replaced royalty, putting an end to the endless bickering between royals in those past dark ages, replacing it with the universal peace, goodwill, and prosperity of our day, as anyone can plainly see.

    A nagging question remains, however. Aren’t we still ruled? With a little research, a person could fill a page with the things our rulers demand of us, and another page of the things our rulers forbid. We have gotten rid of the king, who claimed his authority came from God, and replaced him with a gaggle of rulers, whose authority comes from—whom?

    Were the question put to our rulers, their answer would come at once: our authority, they would insist, comes from the people themselves. We are merely their humble servants.

    Inspiring words, to be sure, but are they true? Has a single one of our rulers ever been elected by a majority of the people? I’d be willing to bet that in my long life, no elected official has ever been elected by a majority of the people—or even close. And even were that so, can we reasonably assume that what a majority of the people want is best?

    Today we smile at the naiveté of a people who believed that the rule of the king reflected the will of God, while accepting that the rule of men--calling themselves government, or the state--reflects the will of--themselves. We do not worship a golden calf, but, being ever so much more sophisticated, we bow before the wise, virtuous and dedicated individuals who, for our own sake, rule us. To disobey them is not, as in the case of the king, both a crime and a sin, but as “sin” is an outmoded concept, it is merely a crime. And, in their wisdom, our rulers have given us an almost limitless list of crimes of which we might find ourselves accused, should we fail to serve. It’s for our own good, of course.

    What is the source of their authority? Again, they will claim it comes from the people, but why should we believe them? Because they said so. Indeed, their very existence in the seats of power is founded upon an authority which they have given themselves. Why must we give them money when they demand it? Because it is the law, they will reply. But where does the law come from? It comes from them--as representatives of the people, of course. Thus, if we are taxed until our teeth ache, it is by our own will, as the rulers are merely the humble servants of us all, doing what is best for us, as we have appointed them to do. We’re taxing ourselves, you see!

    At one time, centuries ago, people believed that they were ruled by the will of God, as proclaimed by their king. Some might have subjected themselves to the golden calf, or some other idol, whose will was made known by seers or shamans. In our modern age, we are ruled by what our rulers piously refer to as “the law,” which, as the dictionary tells us, is merely their written will.

    But that’s OK, because our modern rulers are models of intelligence, virtue, honesty, and compassion.

    Well, maybe not.

  2. The Prime Minister wants to deploy the Army into no-go zones.

  3. "Biological women who legally define themselves as men will not be routinely scanned for breast and cervical cancer, even if they retain these organs and remain at risk, the National Health Service (NHS) has said."  Sure, why not?  The stupid taxpayer will pay for it.

  4. "Prins makes the case that the U.S. is headed toward another epic financial crash as a result of the unchecked powers of the U.S. central bank (the Federal Reserve) and its global counterparts who are creating dangerous new asset bubbles in an effort to paper over the last ones." 

  5. "In a financial heartbeat, China demonstrated that our government debt, built over half a century of excessive welfare-state spending, is a major threat to our national security."