[July 9, 2017] Tyranny comes in many forms and formulations; having been a brutal form of government throughout the ages. But it was the leadership of 13 newly formed states that in the year 1776 rejected King George III of Great Britain’s practice of “absolute Tyranny over these States.”
“He has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harrass our People, and eat out their Substance.” – United States Declaration of Independence, 1776
Like so many of my peers, this particular sentence is a personal favorite as it describes one of the multitudes of methods the British tyrant was using to squeeze its American colony into submission. The Declaration of Independence (see full text here), unbeknownst to most citizens of the U.S., is actually a philosophy of principles of a fair and righteous government (yes, we know that one) and a listing of grievances against King George III (yet few know this).
For those of us who study both grand leadership and the politics of federal governance, it is particularly ironic that this statement in part regarding “… a Multitude of new Offices …” because it applies today as well as in the year 1776. A new awareness in contemporary America is the recognition that bureaucracy of governance has expanded many fold in these past few decades and is squeezing us.
Some have suggested I think accurately, that the grievances stated here were not about sending the British Navy and Army but that it refers to the many government officials. Thus it is about how the King governed and taxed the people (without representation). The many unelected and unappointed government officials have considerable say over people’s lives on a daily basis.
While there are citizens who argue that this “bureaucracy” is necessary (as I have, see my comments here, here, and here), there comes a point that it becomes overly burdensome and defeats its main purpose. Its original intent was to create efficiency, standardization, and the fairness of government.
The trend has been however to use it as a political weapon against groups of citizens who would disagree with a particular form of political ideology. Our founding fathers had exactly this in mind when they wrote the Declaration of Independence and laid down their grievances for all to see.
And now the U.S. government is sending swarms of government officials to harass those who would stir the pot and question why the government has grown so large so quickly.
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