Rulers Seek to Rule

Rulers Seek to Rule

When asked “What have we got?” after the signing of the U.S. Constitution, Benjamin Franklin replied with no hesitation, “A republic, if you can keep it.”  John Adams in 1798 declared point blank that, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

It is clear that the founders felt they had given us the best blueprint possible for the success and prosperity of a self-governed free nation with a limited federal government. But the undertones of these two statements and among the plethora of documents of the time also reveal that they understood all too well how difficult keeping it in tact would be.  Given their vast understanding of political history and human nature that accompanies it, perhaps they even understood that the chance of it remaining so was in fact not likely.  I for one have always thought so and Jeff Thomas offers here some insight into what they also understood about the psyche of any nation’s leadership, and their role in lending heavily to this seeming inevitability of nations to fall to tyranny and/or out of existence altogether.

Rulers Seek to Rule

by Jeff Thomas

Rulers seek to rule. Well, that seems a bit obvious, doesn’t it? And yet, time after time, we elect new leaders, imagining that, “This new group will be better—they’ll represent us as they promised.”

Unfortunately, the democratic system doesn’t really work very well at all. The idea is supposed to be that if old leaders overstep their bounds, new candidates may come forth who promise a reversal of the autocracy of the previous group, and we elect them. They will then proceed to implement that reversal.

Of course, we all know that it’s this last bit that consistently fails to happen. The new group does not fulfill its promises to the electorate—in fact, it almost invariably seeks to increase its power over them. And as each group assumes greater power than the previous one, the country slowly declines, until ultimately, it reaches the state of tyranny.

But what is at the heart of this process? Why on earth does it never seem to happen that the new leaders actually diminish their power and become true representatives of those who elected them? Surely, we must get a few good leaders once in a while.

To answer this question, let’s have another look at that title, at the top of the page…

Rulers seek to rule. Ruling is not a side issue; it is not a by-product. It is their very purpose. It is the reason they ran for elected office.

But then, why do better, less-obsessed people not run? Well, they occasionally do, mostly at the lower levels of public office, where they soon find that politics is a nasty business and that their fellow office-holders detest them for their integrity. In effect, they find themselves isolated, much like New York policeman Frank Serpico—a lamb amongst vipers. In such an environment, it’s unlikely that a “good guy” will last long.

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“We can surmise that, whether a sovereign state was founded as a free republic, or whether it was founded right from the outset as an oppressive state, it is certain that pathological individuals will be those who will most desperately seek office. This then means that, over time, the new state will invariably progress toward tyranny, until such time as the system is ended and started anew.”

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