Why is violence increasing in America?
Professor C. Northcote Parkinson, author of Parkinson's Law, in a witty and perceptive book entitled, The Law and Profits, says:
"…first it becomes apparent that the government is absorbing too great a share of the available talent and energy; there is a decline, therefore, in individual initiative and the spirit of inertia takes its place. Second, there is a decline in the sense of property, and the spirit of envy takes its place. Third, there is a decline of freedom, and a spirit of dependence takes its place. Fourth, there is a decline in the sense of purpose, and the spirit of rebellion takes its place. All this adds up to a decline in the sense of individual responsibility, and so to a decline of individuality itself. And while the technical trend of the age goes to make the individual matter more, politically, the trend is to make him matter less. In this grinding the individual to nothingness, the most effective instrument is the steamroller of taxation."
Taxation requires the initiation or the threat of initiation of physical force by the government, in order to expropriate an unearned value—money. It is the initiation or threat of initiation of physical force by the government that is the major cause of violence in America (or any nation).
Treat a man like an animal and he will act like one. Cage a man and he will not ignore the bars. He may not be able to determine the identity of his captivators, in which case, he will strike out in some unguessable direction—at a senator or forty innocent victims on a Texas campus. But do not expect a caged man to sit quietly. Do expect a nation of (partially) caged men to eventually explode into violence. Do not be surprised at the sight of blood when you return to clean the cage.
With every increase of government power (the "power" to initiate force against innocent citizens), violence by private citizens against private citizens has increased. Why?
Observe that the underlying premise of the "laws" the Congress is passing is that it is either moral, or practical, or both, to use force to deal with men, that men are brutes, that reason is impotent, and that the gun, the whip, the rack, and the guillotine are the molders of human destiny. Politicians tell us, in effect, that force is expedient. All the citizens have done is take their word for it. How completely, can be ascertained on the front page of any newspaper.
Keep in mind that man requires a moral code in order to know how to act; he is not born with instincts of right and wrong. Religion as a moral influence has fast been declining in the U.S., and, in our ethical-educational vacuum (see "Get a Good Education!", next issue), there has been only one thing to replace it—government.
People look to the government for a sense of justice, for a reaffirmation of right and wrong. What were they to think when they see a known assassin given the royal treatment, while an innocent businessman is given a kangaroo court for the so-called "crime" of making a profit. What was supposed to happen to their sense of justice when the government treated looters like kings, giving them whatever they demanded, but penalized honest people for their efforts with a 10% surtax?
What was supposed to happen to the morals of the millions of young men subjected to eight years of psychological extortion at the hands of Gen. Hershey and his cohorts? How were they expected to feel, when they knew that for every time HHH patted the head of another slum child, that meant another dollar from their already nearly empty pockets? How were they supposed to react to a government that sends men to fight an enemy that it has supplied with food, computers, technical assistance, and best wishes? The question should not be "why is violence increasing?", but "what took it so long?"
The government has legalized immorality; no one should be surprised when, as if by signal, the crooks begin streaming out of the cracks. Our politicians have made it stupid to be honest; no one has the right to be shocked by the rising crime rate. The government has institutionalized violence; no one should dread reading their newspaper. It is cause and effect.
With every legislative, judicial, and administrative negation of man's rights, the bars of the cage move closer together, and the blood runs thicker.
The solution to violence in America is painfully obvious:
Unlock the doors and empty the cage.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Violence in America—The Cause".