Are we the government?
“Are we not the government?” In the phrase “we are the government,” the useful collective term “we” has enabled an ideological camouflage to be thrown over the naked exploitative reality of political life. For if we truly are the government, then anything a government does to an individual is not only just and not tyrannical; it is also “voluntary” on the part of the individual concerned. If the government has incurred a huge public debt which must be paid by taxing one group
on behalf of another, this reality of burden is conveniently obscured by blithely saying that “we owe it to ourselves” (but who are the “we” and who the “ourselves”?). If the government drafts a man, or even throws him into jail for dissident opinions, then he is only “doing it to himself” and therefore nothing improper has occurred. Under this reasoning, then, Jews murdered by the Nazi government were not murdered; they must have “committed suicide,” since they were the government (which was democratically chosen), and therefore anything the government did to them w as only voluntary on their part. But there is no way out of such grotesqueries for those supporters of government who see the State merely as a benevolent and voluntary agent of the public.
And so we must conclude that “we” are not the government; the government is not “us.”
Page 60, “For a New Liberty” by Murray N. Rothbard