The Season Six final episode of The Walking Dead introduced the character Negan, and in that scene (see clip below) he utters these words at the 2:30 mark:
Give me your shit, or I will kill you.
And at about 3:30 he says:
You are not safe. Not even close. In fact, you are pegged. More pegged if you don’t do what I want, and what I want is half your shit.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is government distilled to its very essence: You are not safe. Give me the portion of your shit that I want, or I will kill you or have you killed. And I won’t take it all, because if you’re dead I can’t keep taking your shit.
You’ll note that expressing this fact will result in a lot of protest, objecting that that is not the role of government at all!
Bullshit. Thank you government-schooling for obscuring the raw facts, for whitewashing reality.
The earliest form of government is the tribe, sort of an extended family, but tribes have a HMFIC, and that HMFIC can decide to strand you, kill you outright, or banish you to near-certain death. Each step up the ladder of government complexity has, as its base, the tax collectors who will take your shit or kill you if you don’t pay up.
“But might doesn’t make right!” you may object. No, it doesn’t. Might makes right irrelevant, though.
Coercion as a founding principle of government works, because people want to feel safe more than they want to be free. Here’s another clip:
It’s the unspoken truth of humanity, that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes life’s joy in a mad scramble for power, for identity. You were made to be ruled. In the end, you will always kneel.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but “Oh, bullshit.” But the man who stands to face him? He does serve as an object lesson. Just as Negan will kill one of Rick’s people to cow the rest into submission, Loki attempts to kill the man who opposes him to accomplish the same end – rule by fear.
It isn’t that humanity is “made to be ruled,” it’s that humanity contains rat-bastards willing to kill TO rule. And they will recruit followers who will kill at their instruction, and those followers will kill anyone who opposes them. Recent examples: Saddam Hussein & Sons, North Korea’s Kim family dynasty, Robert Mugabe, etc. History is replete with them. In fact, it is only historically recently that such rat-bastards have been displaced with democratic forms of government, and as I wrote in 2004’s Those Without Swords Can Still Die Upon Them, I believe that the reason for this is in large part due to the firearm. While watching that last episode of The Walking Dead, I kept asking myself, “What happens if someone blows Negan’s head off?” His is a cult of personality. Cut the head off the snake, who takes over?
As I also said in Those Without Swords, the ability to reason and the ability to exchange ideas leads to a belief in freedom, one shared among people. But only if those people are armed do they have a chance to break out of rule by fear. It’s not a given, but it’s a chance.
But one thing that people need to understand is – at its base – government is “give me what I want, or I will kill you.” We forget that at our peril.
And April 15 is fast approaching.