Here’s the full quote from Havel:
“A state that denies its citizens their basic rights becomes a danger to its neighbors as well: internal arbitrary rule will be reflected in arbitrary external relations. The suppression of public opinion, the abolition of public competition for power and its public exercise opens the way for the state power to arm itself in any way it sees fit. A state that does not hesitate to lie to its own people will not hesitate to lie to other states.”
What struck me was how this echoed Robert E. Lee’s prophetic warning to Lord Acton:
“[T]he consolidation of the states into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of that ruin which has overwhelmed all those that have preceded it.”
Both Lee the Confederate and Havel the anti-communist described the ultimate enemy of freedom and security: the consolidation of power. R.J. Rummel’s studies confirm that the greatest threats to an individual’s life and liberty come not from foreign sources, but from his own government. Just as the tyranny of Reconstruction gave birth to the imperial rampages of the DC Empire (which continue to this day), the domestic and war crimes of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union were made possible – or inevitable – by the same mechanism, an all-powerful central government. The message is clear: Big Government is the enemy.
That’s why electing the other Establishment party is no solution. For proof, look at how Obama expanded both the war in Afghanistan and the Bush-Cheney assault on the Bill of Rights.
The only answer is devolution, the resumption of local self-determination. The only way to end the terror and corruption of the megastate is to dismantle it, and that means the return to human-scaled political units.
The good news is that the process has already begun. Secession is on the rise all around the world. Know hope.