“He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.” –The Declaration of Independence
By now you’ve heard about the “Miami Zombie” who was shot dead by a police officer before he could finish chewing off the face of a homeless man in Miami, Florida. Shocking, we say.
Shocking indeed, but not unusual. We have, it seems, grown used to a different kind of cannibalism. After all, what is cannibalism, if not an expensive exchange of valuable goods (think skin, muscle, soft tissue, etc.) from a victim to a consumer. The exchange is voluntary by only half of the parties involved, as the victim is definitely not a willing participant.
Does this not describe our present societal situation? Cannibalism is not limited to human flesh. While cannibalism is generally thought of that way, the above quote from the Declaration of Independence tells a different story.
The colonists said that the British King George was “eat[ing] out their substance”. He was helping himself to their goods at their expense. Whereas market transactions are voluntary, state transactions are not. In a market transaction you usually have winners on both sides of the transaction, as both participate voluntarily.
But state transactions generally take place at the expense of someone. Like the cannibal, the state consumes what it did not produce and to which it has no right. Look again at the above quote: “He has…sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out theirsubstance.
And, like the cannibal, the state can only consume what others produce. So unless the cannibal begins to chew up his own flesh (not likely), he can only stay alive while there are others who will support themselves to the extent that they are healthy and growing, i.e., good enough to eat.
Which brings me back to our Miami cannibal. He wasn’t as bad as our present day tax and regulating army of cannibals at the state, local, and federal levels. He picked on a homeless man, someone who was easy to attack. His societal counterparts are far more discriminating. They don’t go for the homeless.
They’d rather eat out the substance of the productive. After all, the productive are the only ones who can generate anything worth eating.
~ Joel Saint