From the October 2004 Idaho Observer:

Editor's Desk

From the bottom up to the top down in 200 years

When the United States were born we had hundreds (and soon thousands) of communities encouraged to grow and develop as a reflection of the needs and preferences of their new inhabitants. Today we have almost 300 million people forced to comply with whatever decisions come from Washington, D.C.

The original structure of government was from the bottom up-people led their own lives as they saw fit (within the boundaries of acceptable conduct) and delegated the functions of civil government to representatives they themselves chose. Ideally, so long as one did not harm another person or damage their property, government had no reason to meddle in people's personal business.

The structure of government today is from the top down. The president and his appointed cabinet decide foreign and domestic policy and, if Congress fails to pass laws in support of executive policies, the president signs executive orders and commands city, county, state and federal police to enforce them.

For the bottom-up construct to serve the needs of a community its members must set the example for acceptable behavior, stay informed on important issues and publicly voice their social and political views. The bottom-up construct will become only as corrupt as a community and its resources will allow.

The top-down construct gains its authority when the bottom-up version of government fails through lack of noble participation on the part of the people. One can say that the level of authority enjoyed by top-down governors is directly related to the level of dysfunction in our bottoms-up communities.

Said another way, the people are required to function for bottom-up government to work while the source of top-down government power is dysfunctional people.

The top-down regime, headquartered in Washington, D.C., now has the authority to tax, imprison, murder, bomb, poison, kidnap, steal, lie, cheat and regulate anyone or anything it pleases. What does that amount of power say about Americans' level of dysfunction?

Worse, what does that say about the future of freedom in America? How about the world? The European Union is a top-down creation that intends to govern the historically religious and ethnically diverse nations of Europe under a uniform set of laws. Will the dignity of the common man be recognized anywhere in the world once the top downers conquer Europe and North America?

The answer is a resounding, "No." If we allow the top-downers to overrule us, through our own social, political and spiritual dysfunction, then there will be no dignity left to recognize-except, perhaps, among those who choose to die honorably rather than accept their chattel status.

The conundrum in all this is that not one ordinary (non-corporate) American or European I have ever talked to appreciates boundless top-down government regulation and administration of their lives; but most feel powerless to prevent bureaucratic intrusions into their personal affairs.

Our world is upside down because the order of governance is upside down. The evidence is all around us: Guns and bombs, not parks and museums, define our current age. (DWH)

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