Column by Jesse Mathewson.
Exclusive to STR
Manifest destiny: these two words were used to promote genocide, the expansion of the state and War with Mexico. This term was coined and subsequently popularized in 1845 by John Sullivan in an article titled “Annexation” written for the United States Magazine and Democratic Review. There was and remains, an overwhelming belief, among state supporters that the United States was not only destined to consume all property from sea to “shining” sea, but that we as a nation were meant to promote and defend democracy around the world.
Abraham Lincoln was a firm supporter of manifest destiny and the role of the United States as international policeman. The establishment of a Britain-like empire was the primary goal of the Hamiltonians as noted in my column, Understanding Why the Constitution Was and Remains a Detriment to Individual Liberty. The government did not bring freedom when it annexed the West piece by piece, it brought genocide to the American Indian. The government allowed and promoted the enslavement of hundreds of thousands of Chinese. When the railroads were done with the Chinese, the government passed legislation making it illegal for them to stay in this land they had built. The Chinese Exclusion Act was signed into law in 1882, and effectively suspended immigration, specifically that of the Chinese, who had been brought to this nation by the thousands to build the railroads and roads.
Walter Block wrote in his book The Privatization of Roads and Highways that: “We must realize that just because the government has always built and managed the roadway network, this is not necessarily inevitable, the most efficient procedure, nor even justifiable.” (Block, 2009) I tend to disagree with his opinion regarding the government always building and maintaining or managing the roads. In fact, I would direct the reader to the various waterways around the Great Lakes that were built and adjusted for better commercial transportation by none other than individuals. I would also direct the reader’s attention to the many roads that crossed the plains and land west of the Mississippi. These were not put in place by the state but by the hundreds of wheels of wagons and hooves of horses of those individuals moving west to secure liberty. I can accept that the modern interpretation of the road in its paved condition is financed by government theft. However, they are still built by private companies, using the proceeds of government theft from the private individual.
The creation of new railways and dedicated roads brought the state. The many stories of the Wild West and of the U.S. cavalry riding in to save the day are at best inflated. The terrible truth was that the United States sent its army to take the native tribesmen off of their land. The shocking truth is that until the state’s military enforcement authority was sent into this land of liberty, massacres were isolated. Yes, they occurred, however, almost every one of the major atrocities against whites by Indians were precipitated by the state and were the result of the state’s drive to remove the Indian from land it claimed as its own through the genocidal doctrine of Manifest Destiny.
I was raised to believe that Custer was a hero and that those poor Indians were bloodthirsty savages. And yet, the truth is that Custer visited several atrocities upon innocents in his campaign to rid the West of the Indian menace. In the Battle of Washita River, he murdered women and children and took several more captive. So his eventual death at the hand of those who would defend their country from invasion by the state was fitting. Genocide was the result of the campaigns, roads and railroads. Manifest Destiny can be seen in the plethora of Indian casinos and skyrocketing rate of diabetes among the contemporary Native Americans.
Yes, the state and its enforcers in uniform brought roads, rails and easier ways to tax the minions who accepted their authority. However, with that they also brought genocide to millions. The end of the Wild West is not something to be celebrated, but mourned. Liberty and freedom are no longer real ideals; they are words bandied about without thought. We bring freedom at the point of a gun, and liberty is dropped by the ton from airplanes. What exists now is a road building entity that taxes, enslaves and ensures that liberty is neither obtainable nor understood. What exists now is a state bent on dominating the world and enforcing democracy whether you want it or not.
Voluntary societies have existed; liberty is obtainable, and anarchy is not a dirty word. Only when each of us begins to realize that liberty cannot be had without hard work, only then, will we also begin to embrace the sense that it is again possible. We need a new Wild West; maybe space is the new frontier?