Posted BY: J.B. Shurk
Ordinary people have extraordinary power. Don’t believe me? Watch what happens if tens of millions ever decide to close their bank accounts all at once. Or critical sectors of the workforce decide to stay home for weeks. Or a sizable percentage of the population refuses to obey arbitrary and capricious government orders. When citizens become fed up enough to take matters into their own hands, those with government-bestowed titles learn quickly how little power those vaunted titles actually have.
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If you were to ask a collection of random people what governments do, you would hear a multitude of answers: they make and enforce laws, collect taxes, regulate industry, police citizens, and mobilize militaries. In actuality, what governments do, first and foremost, is prevent citizens from ever understanding the above paragraph. Their first order of business is to convince the vast majority of people not in positions of authority to obey the cumulative will of the small minority in charge of the government. For most of human history, this magic act, in which so few control so many, has been accomplished through intimidation, violence, and other forms of coercion.