Arbitrary Power

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me that since the dawn of time, city states, nations and empires have warned of the dangers of arbitrary power. Throughout history rulers that attained arbitrary power have brought their people to ruination. The lessons of history are stark and unanimous in their critique of the dangers of giving anyone arbitrary power. From Solon to Stalin the worst atrocities of man upon man have been committed by those with arbitrary power. Yet despite all the warnings, philosophy, and empirical data, we choose to ignore them and bestow Obama with arbitrary power. There can be no good end of this newest experiment in the annuls of Man.

 

Solon, the lawgiver of Athens, warned of the profound dangers of arbitrary power. He was elected to solve the debt crisis in ancient Athens. He did so in a fair way, and went on to make a proscription against arbitrary power, the ostracism. Never a hypocrite, Solon gave himself up to his very own system and submitted himself to the ostracism, for becoming himself a danger to liberty. He was banished from Athens for several years. In those years he saved Croesus of Lydia from being burned at the stake by giving that tyrant sage advice.

 

After the horrors of Tarquinious Superbus, the last Etruscan king of Rome, the people began the Consular system, whereby the rule of Rome would be separated into two men, similar to the Spartan system of two kings. This way no one man could attain arbitrary rule. The system held out for hundreds of years, but was overthrown when Julius Caesar gained popular support, installing himself as emperor… with arbitrary power. Once his nephew was crowned and instituted the Praetorian guard the heart of the Roman nation rotted from within. Within two hundred years, a nation state that had lasted almost a thousand years and had conquered the known world, was destroyed completely. Only the Eastern part, the Byzantines, survived for a few more years, only to be utterly wiped out and the people enslaved, by the Muslim invasion.

 

The many republics of Europe that started as a result of the Renaissance, rose in democratic representation, but fell into tyranny by the executive who wrested arbitrary power for himself. The history of Europe is rife with examples of those who gained this most pernicious form of power and visited slavery, oppression and destruction on their people. Yes, history is unambiguous about the danger of arbitrary power, especially in the hands of an egoist.

 

Democratically elected leaders are no exception. Remember, Hitler was elected in a free and fair election. Tyranny doesn’t necessarily come at the point of a gun it can come from the ballot box as well. That a person is elected by a popular majority, like Caesar, can become a despot, is proven conclusively by history. No matter how a person gets arbitrary power, be it by revolution, machination or the suffrage, arbitrary power always brings with it oppression. It is a factor of human nature.

 

Despite all the warnings from history, philosophy and recent events, a large part of the American people are comfortable giving our elected President… arbitrary power. He has usurped the power of the Legislative branch by arbitrarily enforcing the law, he has silenced the free press through intimidation, he has armed drug lords in a neighboring country, he has taken over a third of the economy by simply deeming a law passed, he ignores court orders with impunity, he abandoned an ambassador and several Americans to torture and death at the hands of our avowed enemies, while at the same time arming those very enemies, then lied about it, he uses the power of the government against his political opponents, he uses the paranoia of national security to record our personal phone conversations, (us and our allies), the list goes on and on, moreover, anyone who stands in his way, like Ted Cruz, is vilified by the political establishment as well as the media that calls itself unbiased. Yes, Obama wields arbitrary power in all but name. History shows us where this will end… unless we stand and demand Our Constitution be followed. If we do not, we deserve what we get… too bad our innocent children don’t.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

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