The signs of a rapidly changing landscape of American government are showing up all over. Our attention is usually focused on issues of pop culture or if we do follow pertinent it is usually on at least the national level. Lately there has been a series of issues that come from the local governments in America, which are showing that the dream that once was is no more at home in our country. The governments of our land are encroaching on the liberties of it citizens on an ever increasing pace.
There was a time when for the most part Americans were left alone to do as they please as long as they do not harm other people or break major laws. This breed the American ingenuity and individualistic spirit that once permeated this land. For the last couple of decades this has changed as all levels of government in America have been passing laws to regulate every aspect of American life. They have gone largely unnoticed due to the lack of enforcement associated with these petty laws. Whether it is the age of information that the internet has brought upon us or the removal of little brother’s velvet glove a major issue is now having the ugly light of attention cast upon it.
Some stories of local government make headline news, and recently the occurrence is increasing more and more every month and week. There have been a couple instances of lemonade stands being such down this summer where police cite the need for children to acquire business permits. In some cases the local authorities go as far as to levy fines against children for improper business operations (which after public attention and outcry are dropped in some cases). These used to be the training ground for Americas future business entrepreneurs but they are now stifled by code enforcers and a decade or more of trained mindless obedience.
Another recent case of code enforcing taken to an extreme comes from New York City. A man was fined $2,000 for failure to water his beehive. Yet again the fine was dropped once there was public attention brought to the case.
From Michigan we find a situation where the town shows themselves to be filled with bullies because a woman is being harassed for growing a garden in her front yard. Julie Bass was facing 93 days in jail due to her refusal to remove a vegetable garden from the front of her house. Again, after considerable public attention the charges are no longer being pursued. In the classic case of bullying gone awry the town is now coming after her for an equally petty infraction of having dogs without acquiring a license.
It is at this point that we start to see what the heart of the problem is. Once we were a land that was governed by our elected servants. Now we have come to be governed by officials and authorities. A simple trick of word play have given rise to a different class of politicians and bureaucrats. This leads to the power hungry manipulators and corrupt politicians(which are almost passé to us now a days) to search out these vulnerable positions of power (the masses are so trusting to someone with the right wit and charm). Due to this all levels of government have changed.
The lesson here is to understand that we are no longer ruled by government, but by the rules of governance. Governance is the the exercise of political authority and the use of institutional resources to manage society’s problems and affairs. This has nothing to do with a governmental body to make sure that the garbage is collected and crime doesn’t take over our cities. This is management of our lives and society by those who believe they are the experts and authorities over how we should live (knowing better than you do about whats good for yourself). Depending on the motivations for the government that is regulating your front yard, your right to make money, your pets, your lives it is called socialism, communism, fascism….. by any name it is all just tyranny and oppression. We have seen the outcomes of walking these paths in every dystopian movie or novel we have ever written. If only they could have been stopped before these snowballs gains too much momentum. These are the warning signs (sadly we seem very far beyond warning signs). This battle has been fought in government for centuries, but it seems that this battle is being lost on all levels in America.
We have come to the age of governance in America and the world. In this age the experts will tell you the best way to live for order and sustainability. If we do not identify the control freaks that now ascend the steps of our government buildings it will be harder to resist their calls for order as the chaos of the modern world increases every day.We get lost in the speed of our everyday lives and heaps of useless entertainment, but we need to stop and realize it wasn’t like this not so long ago. If we want it it doesn’t have to be like this now. Stand up for your neighbors if code enforcers single them out. If government singles people out for petty reasons the door begins to squeak open for much graver labels to be handed out in the near future.
They came for my neighbors garden, next they may come for my ideas.
When the power hungry get to their positions of power they will seek to punish those who defy their undue authority in order to secure their position from challengers.
I will continue to explore the growth of governance replacing what is our government in future posts.