They Love Their Chains

The great majority of the American people are oppressed and abused by their governments. But if you imagine that some group of revolutionaries undertook to overthrow these governments, it’s perfectly obvious that this same oppressed and abused portion of the people would overwhelmingly support and assist the merciless crushing of the revolt.

The people may bitch about their oppression and abuse, but when push comes to shove, they love their chains more than they resent their masters’ cruelty. In such a situation, nothing constructive can be done except that individuals can still leave the country. (Be advised, however, that the U.S. government [and perhaps your former state’s government as well] will follow you and threaten you in various ways [e.g., seizure of your assets] if you do not continue to pay tribute to it.)

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Robert Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy at the Independent Institute and Editor at Large of the Institute’s quarterly journal The Independent Review. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University, and he has taught at the University of Washington, Lafayette College, Seattle University, the University of Economics, Prague, and George Mason University. He has been a visiting scholar at Oxford University and Stanford University, and a fellow at the Hoover Institution and the National Science Foundation.

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