Government is a constant threat to the individual rights and liberty of every person subject to its authority. All one needs to do to understand this is to remember that the government is nothing more than a group of people charged with conducting the people’s business. Just as the CEO or the lowest employee of a large business can both violate the trust of those who own that business, so too can the highest leaders and lowest workers in government violate the public trust. It is a fact of human nature that the majority of people are susceptible to succumbing to the allure of the wealth and power inevitably connected to those in the highest positions of government. Whether for money, power or the ability to use government policy to create a utopian dream, everyone who enters into public service is subject to abusing the trust placed in them. The temptation to abuse one’s position even applies to the lowliest government employee. All those who work for the government knows that they are shielded from private citizens by the very nature of government, and this knowledge eventually corrupt all but the most zealous of individuals. Our founders understood this; it’s why they stressed the importance of understanding that government is never to be trusted and to always be held suspect:
“There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.”
“It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.”
“The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.”
“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence. It is force, and like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”
This is also why we should be suspicious of anyone who tells us we have nothing to fear from the government: because anyone who would make such a claim is either too ignorant of the most basic understanding of human nature and of history to be speaking on the issue, or they are intentionally seeking to deceive you.