All government roads lead to tyranny except one

By Craig Cantoni | February 4, 2009

There is a road called the Government Road. Let’s take it and see where it goes.

The road begins in a town called Anarchy, a town in which life, liberty, and property are at the mercy of roving bands of marauders. Good, decent, hardworking people left Anarchy as soon as Government Rd. was built.

Eventually the people reached a bright, shining city on a hill. It was the City of Republic, which was founded on laws that protect life, liberty, and property. The laws were codified in a constitution and weren’t supposed to be overruled by majority vote, or, as its citizens liked to say, by the rule of the mob. Because its citizens had civil liberties, economic freedom, and property rights, Republic was prosperous and the envy of the world. A statue of Thomas Jefferson stands in the public square.

Unfortunately, over the years many of Republic’s citizens became dissatisfied with freedom and began to move elsewhere. Known as idealists, they built three government roads out of the city.

The road on the left leads to Utopia, a city populated by idealists who go by the name of left-wingers. They designed Utopia to be a place where there was equality of results, meaning that everyone has about the same income. Accordingly, Utopia does not have economic freedom and property rights. It once had civil liberties, but those were taken away when some independent-minded people reverted back to Republic ways and began to work hard, trade with each other, and seek medical care and other goods and services without the approval of the authorities. Except for the oligarchy that rules the city, everyone is poor in Utopia. Food, clothing, housing, and medical care are rationed by committees of central planners, commonly known as apparatchiks. A statue of Barack Obama stands in the public square.

The road on the right leads to the City of Nationalism. It is a city of flags, pledges of allegiance, national anthems, police in black uniforms and armored personnel carriers, and a large military that threatens other cities and has hundreds of bases around the world. The city is populated by people known as right-wingers. Initially, they believed in economic freedom and property rights but were never too keen about civil liberties. Eventually, economic freedom and property rights were taken away by the ruling oligarchy when it was discovered that sustained free trade depends on civil liberties and non-belligerency towards other cities. Due to being overstretched militarily, the City of Nationalism is as poor as Utopia. A statue of George W. Bush stands in the public square.

The road in the middle twists and turns but ends up in the same place as the roads on the right and left -- namely, in a city ruled by an oligarchy. Known as the City of Progressivism, it is guided by the same principle that guides Utopia and Nationalism: that the individual should be subservient to the government, or collective, or society, or the common good, or whatever euphemism is used to mask the power of the ruling class. Its citizens have been led to believe that a few chosen leaders of intelligence and goodwill can make decisions that improve society. The city is as impoverished as Utopia and Nationalism. A statue of Woodrow Wilson stands in the public square.

What has happened to the City of Republic? Sadly, so many former citizens of the city have taken the three roads out of town and looted the city’s treasury on the way out, that the once shining city on the hill is bankrupt and in rapid decline. A remnant of industrious, frugal, and moral people remains behind, but the Utopians, Nationalists and Progressives did so much pillaging and plundering that the remnant cannot save the city from an ignoble end.

As history has shown, the founders of the city were right: All government roads lead to tyranny, except for the one that leads to a republic.

Mr. Cantoni is an author, columnist, and one of the remnant. He can be reached at