In Search of a War


“Biden invokes the ‘Defense Production Act,’” which is among the President’s “War Powers.”

Did I miss a memo? Did Congress declare war against a foreign foe? If we are NOT at war, then please direct me to the Constitutional provision which vests “Central Planning” authority in the federal government? If the “power of the pen” allows a President to bring to bear the brute force of the federal government against any producer, supplier, or manufacturer, not in a time of war, but based upon a self-declared “need,” then what are the limitations of federal power, if any? If there are no affirmative limitations, then what role does the United States Constitution actually play in defining the legitimate authority of the state and in imposing limitations upon government?

Some may be heard to say: “But … but … THIS situation is DIRE … THESE actions are NECESSARY … THOSE things are done for GOOD.”

Perhaps, this is true, but almost any party seeking redress from government is likely to argue that the relief, which they eagerly command, is “necessary” as to them, and they likely deem potential alternatives as unpalatable and similarly “dire.” This is how we get incessant “wars” against nebulous and indomitable foes, such as: poverty, crime, disease, drugs, hate, terror, etc.

Do we, therefore, allow government action to advance the interests of any favored party or class (including an electoral majority)? What then of reluctant parties or disfavored minorities? Might more favored persons and parties forcibly take from “others” (through institutional theft and involuntary servitude) whatever is required to effect and enforce the “rights,” which a complicit government might assign to them?

What if the actions are not “noble” and the cause is not “worthy”? What if similar actions are undertaken solely to advance power for the sake of power? What if political minions become enamored with power and come to covet the position, prestige, and profit, which can be derived therefrom?

Are there any effective limitations to be placed upon a self-serving and increasingly dependent electoral majority, which serves to “legitimize” expanded government actions and which acts with a perverse moral certitude that it mistakenly believes can be derived solely from its number?

What happens when “National Security” is conflated with “Job Security” for those, who zealously clamber for and cling to the reins of power? Are we to believe that some limited subset of the population is entirely immune to the corrupting influence of unrestrained power? Are we to trust and hope that our masters will be gracious, just, and benevolent?

No, we should know from personal experience and should expect based upon millennia of uninterrupted history that they certainly will succumb to the universally corrupting influences of their newfound powers. As power trends toward absolute, so does the certainty for corruption, and with corruption, come abuse, oppression, and tyranny.

The people (individually and collectively) must actively defend themselves against illegitimate extensions of government power, even when such usurpations are done in the name of “good.” The charlatans, hucksters, and carnival barkers, who predominate the halls of power, can be quite creative and convincing in selling “snake oil.” Government is presented to the people as a panacea, which profiteers assure us can cure all societal ills; however, their would-be cure can be exceedingly more dangerous than the supposed disease. We are to be made “safe” from all but the state and “secure” from all but government.

The following words were first uttered more than two centuries ago by Wm. Pitt the Younger:

“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom: it is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”