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Barack Obama, Dictator

Jacob Hornberger
Campaign For Liberty
June 23, 2010

What better example of dictatorship than President Obama’s dictate to BP to deliver $20 billion to a special fund that will be distributed by some political appointee to victims of the BP oil disaster?

Either a nation is ruled by a dictator or it’s governed by the rule of law.

Under a dictatorship, the dictator simply dictates to people what they’re going to do and not do. Those who refuse to obey are punished severely.

Under the rule of law, if a company commits a tort against other people, the victims have the right to sue in a court of law for damages. That’s one of the reasons we have courts — to enable people to peacefully resolve their differences by following well-established judicial processes.

Someone might say, “But America is a representative democracy and, therefore, can’t be a dictatorship.”

Nonsense! It is entirely possible for a society to democratically elect a president who then exercises dictatorial powers.

Some might say, “But Obama only requested BP to do it, and BP could have chosen to reject his request.”

Anyone who believes that also believes in the tooth fairy. What would have happened if BP had refused to go along with the president’s dictate? Just ask Joe Nacchio, former CEO of Qwest Communications. He was the guy who, unlike his counterparts in other U.S. telecommunications companies, refused to go along with President Bush’s illegal NSA scheme to spy on the American people. Today, Nacchio is residing in a federal penitentiary, serving a 6-year sentence for violating insider trading laws.

Oh, U.S. officials would say, Nacchio wasn’t really punished for refusing to obey President Bush’s illegal dictate but instead for violating economic regulations.

But, you see, that’s the big benefit of the regulated economy. Whenever they want to get a businessman who hasn’t been cooperative, they know that there is always some criminal or civil regulation that they can go after him for. Every businessman knows that given thousands of regulations, there is no way a business can be in compliance with all of them during every minute of every day. The regulated economy provides a standby power to federal officials to ensure cooperation and submissiveness of those within the business community.

Here’s how the slimy bureaucrat Dr. Floyd Ferris put it in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged:

“Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?”said Dr. Ferris. “We want them broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against — then you’ll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We’re after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you’d better get wise to it. There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted — and you create a nation of law-breakers — and then you cash in on guilt. Now, that’s the system, Mr. Rearden, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

Leftists continue to declaim that the BP drilling disaster reflects a failure of free enterprise. It would be difficult to find a better example of nonsense than that. In fact, the disaster reflects a textbook case of the failure of public (i.e., government) ownership and government regulation.

After all, the federal government owns the seabed under which the well was drilled. As the owner, it had the right to set whatever terms it wanted when it leased the property to BP for drilling. Thus, this was a dream-come-true for proponents of government regulations. As the property owner, the federal government could have come up with a thousand-page book containing a million regulations, which it could have incorporated into its lease with BP.

So, obviously whatever regulations the federal government did incorporate into its lease failed to prevent the disaster.

And this is precisely what we libertarians have been saying from the get-go about government regulations. They cannot and do not protect people. They simply create the false appearance of protection, lulling people into a false sense of security until disaster strikes.

Of course, President Obama can’t bring himself to admit the fundamental failure of public (i.e., government) ownership and government regulations. Instead, he circumvents America’s judicial process and adds fuel to the Gulf fire by seizing the crisis to become a modern-day, democratically elected American dictator.

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