Ruling by Intrigue

The purpose of government is to rule and control. Government’s role, therefore, seems at odds with liberty and the rights of the individual. Having just gone through a major election cycle, as our nation sees a broad change of office holders, we might anticipate a different attitude from government. However, what we perceive as true can be entirely different from actual truth. The dictionary defines intrigue as, “the use of underhanded machinations or deceitful stratagems, or a plot of crafty dealings” (noun); and “arousing curiosity or interest by unusual, new or otherwise fascinating or compelling qualities; to appeal strongly to; to captivate, to plot craftily or underhandedly” (verb). An example in a sentence might be “your plan intrigues me, but I wonder if it will work.”

There was a much intrigue leading up to this election. Isn’t it reasonable that there will also be a lot of intrigue going forward with a whole different cast of characters? Different approach, same end point! A great part of the role of government today is to promote ideas that are compelling and fascinating that leads to new and bigger programs. For example, the whole issue of global climate change, while doubtfully true, is presented so the average person is seduced into thinking that government must take some action, i.e. spend lots of money to solve a problem that likely does not even exist. What about energy sources? Is it possible that much of what is said about the armful effects from traditional sources of energy, i.e. oil, coal, natural gas, is intended to seduce us into believing there is another compelling problem that government must solve? Would it be inappropriate to suggest that much of what is said and done by government is an underhanded plot to arouse our curiosity and captivate public thinking? Isn’t this the very way that we have gotten from a government with enumerated powers to one of perceived unrestrained power?

Stop and consider if there is any role for the truth in these discussions. When it is suggested that forces are harming you beyond your control, is it because the real intent is to captivate your imagination? Surely the government would not give falsehoods. Isn’t the real intent to gain your support to create new laws, investigate new inequities, or remove some unbearable threat? The hidden message, “the government must provide more security to protect you, even though you have to sacrifice some liberties.” And so it is that we will go forward for a short time in the hopes that the wrong is made right, and that justice is restored. But it is the very role of government that must be questioned! Daniel Webster said it very well. “It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions…there are men, in all ages…who mean to govern well; but they mean to govern. They promise to be kind masters; but they mean to be masters… They think there need be but little restraint upon themselves…”

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Guard against those whose messages make us curious, seduce with their fascination, and captivate with their sincerity. Make no mistake about the nature of all those that seek to rule over you. To quote George Washington, “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence — it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” Do those that seek to rule over you, intrigue you? Then you will be wise to understand that ruling by intrigue is a high skill of government that seeks only your submission, not your liberty!

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