Posted by: nmontague | June 20, 2010

The system isn’t broken

I’m not going to make this blog a partisan blog. I want people from every walks of life and ideologies to be able to come, learn, discuss, and do the exercises and work on building virtues. However, I am going to make some political commentary today. Nothing partisan. But still something I feel like I should address.

I wanted to address the claim that “the system is broken” claim. Particularly in the context of the United States (though I am sure much of this could be applied to any system). A lot of people claim the system is broken so we need to change the system to make it work better. There are a few things that could make the system better. One major change would be restoring the Senate to it’s original design to allow the States to have a check on the Federal Government. But aside for that, I don’t know that there are major problems with the system.

No, the problems are with the people within the system. We have corrupt politicians representing us, because we are corrupted to the point where we will vote them in. Now, when I say we are corrupt, I mean as a people in general, and not necessarily all individuals. Nor do I mean that  individuals are corrupt to the same degree either. However, we need to remember that it’s the individuals who make up a society. Any change in society has to begin in the lives of the individual.

To the extinct anyone is corrupt, it’s not due to the system, it’s due to our own lack of honesty, ethics, morality, work ethic etc. If we tell lies in our life, even small “white” lies, we are corrupt to a degree. If we are idle, use our time poorly, and refuse to work hard in everything we do, we are corrupt to a degree. If we learn things that are incorrect and teach them, we are corrupt to a degree. If we violate the law, even a small one, we are to some degree corrupt. Etc.

Corruption isn’t merely a trait that slimy politicians possess. It’s a trait found among everyone. And no matter what the system you have set up, as long as there is corruption, the system will be tainted. The system is not to blame, the corrupt within the system are. Absolute power doesn’t corrupt people. People corrupt absolute power.

Some people seem to think that giving the politicians more power to change the system will eliminate the corruption in the system. That is a lie. Changing the structure of the system won’t reform the people within the system. In addition, you can’t trust corrupt people with more power over your lives and expect them to wield that power for your benefit. If they could be trusted, the system wouldn’t be “broken” in the first place. These people will act in their own self interest and use the power extended to them to eliminate any checks or balances set up to stop them. It will create greater corruption that we previously had because we will have abdicated our responsibilities to others who have no intention of actually doing them, just making us think they did them.

These corrupt individuals will deliberately create more problems and insist that the system is the problem in order to gather to themselves even more power. And it doesn’t matter what destruction it causes to others, because they will arrogantly assume that they can fix everything ones they have total power. But as long as corrupt people have power, they will do nothing but destroy the lives of those around them in order to satisfy their own vanity and corruption.

Because we can’t trust corrupt people to reform the system, the only true way to reform or restore a political system rests with reforming and restoring the individuals in that system to a state of incorruption. An individual in that state of incorruption is dedicated to the principles of self reliance, honesty, humility, diligence, patience, thriftiness, and pure love, among others. Every man and women has to step up to their duties and responsibilities and become individuals who carry them out with exactness. Needless to say, this is not an easy task. In fact, short of the Grace of God, I don’t know that it can be done. Thankfully, perfection is not necessary to begin building this character in our life. History demonstrates that as more people will uphold these principles and uproot corruption from their lives, they, and their society will prosper more.

This is what I long for in my heart. I despise corruption. I hate seeing people hurt by it. And the only way we can get rid of corruption in society is if each and everyone of us eliminates the corruption in our own lives. I am convinced that the more we master these principles, the happier and better our lives will be. That is why I started this blog, to encourage people to eliminate the corruption in their own life. But I also want to talk about freeing ourselves from over intrusive government.

The most important step we have to make is the commitment to be free and independent from government in as many areas as we can. There are areas where government is currently a necessity of life. And it will continue to be so until we step up and make it a non-necessity. We have to take back our own lives and quit abdicating our power to the government. We have to govern ourselves.

Self-government is an interesting concept. And I’m convinced the more we govern ourselves, the less power any other government can wield over us. This is a radical solution, but the only real solution so that we can remain a free people. We need to do as much for ourselves as possible and limit what we receive from the government. As we do things for ourselves, they lose power over us.

Needless to say, taxes are a painful part of life. And we should certainly do all we can to eliminate as many taxes on everyone as possible. We should be free to work hard and keep the money we earn. And I hope we will continue to support politicians from any part that allow us to work and keep what we earn. But I think we will have much more success if we eliminate the need for taxes to begin with.

We want to stop government spending? The key to that is to get individuals to be self reliant and stop relying on government to take care of the necessity of their lives. I’m going to outline a few of these radical principles to help us be free.

1) Work for whatever you receive. Don’t expect or accept assistance from the government.

2) If you need assistance, get it from private individuals and charity. Or better yet, get it from your family. Families are God’s way of providing individuals with resources when they can’t do it on their own. And do something in return for what you receive. If someone gives you something, give them something in service. Not because you own them, but so you can maintain your self worth and self respect. Because if you continually take and never give, you will kill those aspects of your life.

3) Be willing to support everyone in your family with what they need. If we can’t build strong families who can trust and rely on one another, we can’t build strong societies.

4) Live within your means. Yeah, we are taxed way to much. But find a way to live within your means. If it means living without some nice things in life, so be it. Budget your finances. Stay out of debt. Don’t purchase something just because you can make the payments, because often the cost is much higher than just the visible payments. Sure, that video game might be nice, but is it worth your freedom? I hope reading my internet blog is nice, but if you can’t afford it, don’t do it!

5) If you don’t know how to do something. Learn it. Ask someone to show you. Read a book. We have libraries for a reason. If you don’t know how to do something, Don’t remain in ignorance on any topic. Especially those that effect your power to influence your own life. We don’t need to go through years of school to learn everything to survive. Learn to educate yourself without a formal setting.

I am confident that there are other steps we can take that will help us be retake our power from over-intrusive governments. And if you can think of any feel free to share them. We need to reform ourselves and restore our values as individuals if we are going to create a lasting change for our nation and the world. We need to stand up and stop exploiting the system, but rather create a system to give us support and support others without the system.



  1. […] we need CFR.” (I’m paraphrasing). This always drove me crazy. Because as you know in my other blog entries, it’s not the system that’s corrupt, it’s the people that corrupt […]

  2. What you think? Is reformation is possible!

    I always wonders about it. !!

  3. The system may not be broken, but it’s out of balance. On a personal level, the issues you listed are certainly true. We expect to not work and expect the government to feed us and solve every problem, hence Obama’s claim during the recent oil spill, saying that the executive branch was in total control of the situation and BP was doing nothing without checking with them first……….as if the executive branch had any legal authority to do this or knowledge of oil wells.

    But the government is more out of balance in that we’re using the courts to promote public policy. If we don’t get what we want out of our elected representatives, we go to the courts and force it. Think of all the key public issues in last 30 years….all of them were decided by the courts. Through our own selfishness, we’ve gotten the balance of powers out of balance. The only way to right the ship is for the congress to take back some authority, which they have the right to do under Article 3 of the constitution, but are to gutless to do it. So for the foreseeable future, our government will remain out of balance.

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