There was once a boy who was a fan of old gangster movies—too much of a fan, it seems, because he developed a fear that grown-ups were hiding some awful truth. He began to suspect there was this huge criminal gang that forced all adults to pay “protection money.”


He wondered how old he would be when his father would sit him down and explain it to him. Worse, he feared the gang would just show up and start demanding payment. His childish fear never quite went away. His paper route and lawn mowing transitioned into better-paying jobs, and—much to his relief—the criminal gang never showed up, or so he thought. The truth turned out to be only slightly different from what he had once feared. We have government instead of a gang. We have politicians, not mob bosses. Taxes, not protection money.

Children must obey their parents and anyone else charged with caring for them. The child has no choice, nor any responsibility for the choices others make for the child. Later on, we become responsible for our decisions but still place ourselves under authority voluntarily. So we obey our employer, the bus driver, even social or religious leaders to whom we voluntarily submit.

Finally, we are required to obey government and we become—once again—like children or animals. Whether the society is a dictatorship or a representative democracy, our consent is not required. We must obey under threat of force. We have no choice.

Photo of Congress / Organized Crime


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