The Misuse of “We” “Us” and “Our”


One of the biggest mistakes in the application of the English language is when the terms “we” “us” and “our” are used in reference to the government.  The fact that many individuals conflate themselves with a completely separate entity that they are not a part of and have no real control over is problematic.  It is this conflation that leads to perpetual conflict between groups of individuals and to ignorance of the actual nature of government.

The government is not us.  The government is a group of individuals who claim the right to control and manipulate the lives of other individuals.  We do not set the tax rate, create laws, enact regulations, or determine foreign policy.  A group of individuals do, and those individuals possess powers that all other individuals do not.

These people are not our leaders.  It is simply a mathematical impossibility for them to effectively and in actuality lead or represent the multitude of individuals under their rule.  They do not act with our interests in mind.  They act with their eye on raising campaign funds for their next election.  They act in order to pay back the individuals who were the big money donors of previous campaigns.  Those donors know full well that their campaign funding is an investment, not a public service.

We do not pay taxes.  They take taxes.  If an individual were to refuse them, he would find himself locked in a cage or worse.  The individual would not voluntarily enter that cage, instead he’d be forced into it by the government, a group of individuals that he is supposedly a part of.  What logical sense does it make to be locked in a cage against your will by a group of people that you are a member of?  It makes no sense, and that sentence alone proves that we are not the government.

Laws are not created at our behest.  Rather, at the behest of the individuals who comprise the government.  All other individuals must obey them.  Regardless of whether an individual agrees with the law or not (with drug laws being a perfect example), the individuals under the thumb of government power must obey or be imprisoned.  When the individuals who call themselves government are found to be breaking these same laws, it is commonplace for them to not be held to the same level of consequence.

The decisions to fight wars are not made by us.  They are made by people sitting in ivory towers, funded by defense contractors, who virtually never feel any of the negative effects of their decisions.  They tell lies, spread propaganda, and manipulate the media to garner support among a large contingent of the individuals under their control.  In recent times, they have even started making these decisions without any form consent from those individuals.

We do not control the education of the children.  Those individuals who control and comprise the government have claimed that power for themselves.  No longer do Boards of Education, comprised of individuals at the community level, hold any sway over the curriculum taught in the local public schools.  Curriculums are determined in a top-down, one-size-fits-all fashion that individuals at the local level cannot change.  This is by design.  The powerful individuals at the top have an incentive to teach children to love and respect them; for children to be taught to believe that their authority is legitimate, and that their power is necessary and good.  Those children grow into adults who are rarely able to see beyond the 15,000+ hours of indoctrination they were subjected to in their formative years.  It is this indoctrination that leads to adults believing that it is proper to use terms like we, us, and our when referring to an entity that they are no real part of.

It must be repeated; we are not the government.  There is no such thing as the collective us.  There are only individuals.  As has been the case throughout history, some individuals make their living through serving others while others make their living through taking from others.  Those who take are definitively parasitic to those they take from.

Today, the parasites are those individuals who call themselves government.  They produce nothing on their own.  Everything they provide is first taken from the individuals they claim to provide for.  The vast majority of what comes from government is harmful to the individuals who were taken from in the first place.  The individuals – the host of these parasites – will never receive back all of what was taken from them.  The parasites, like fleas on a dog, must sustain themselves at the expense of their hosts.  It’s well past time for the the real us, the individuals who live through the service of others, to rid ourselves of and exterminate the fleas.

Jared graduated in 2009 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He is currently employed as an energy efficiency consultant in New Jersey, drives for Uber in his spare time, and is an aspiring entrepreneur. He came to the philosophy of liberty through the Ron Paul presidential campaigns, and has evolved into a voluntaryist anarchist through reading and listening to the Tom Woods Show.

1 Comment

  1. The author’s argument is all based on the assumption that individual people do not have the power to influence government actions. I can understand this assumption, after all I would agree that a single vote is very unlikely to make any difference in an election. However, individuals do have the power of speech and dissent. History, has shown how speech and dissent can bring about change, Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi are but two examples.

    Speech clearly has power to educate and even transform other individuals. For example, “He [Author] came to the philosophy of liberty through the Ron Paul presidential campaigns, and has evolved into a voluntaryist anarchist through reading and listening to the Tom Woods Show.” Would the author deny the power of Ron Paul’s use of speech? In fact, why would the author be writing the article in the first place if he did not believe in the power to change people through speech?

    Dissent has power, and I’m not talking about being a martyr or anything dramatic, just everyday dissent. Could be something as simple as not telling your local government you have a pet. Just by not complying with dumb laws or just live your life to your desires (let other people live their lives of course) and not what is expected of you. Their is power in this even if it is just your little protest to the system.

    Now if you agree that their is power in speech and dissent, than comes responsibilities to use that power in your own way. For everyone this is different, for me, I talk to my friends and write dumb messages such as this. I can tell you from experience, I have influenced people or at least provided greater understand of liberty issues for others. Clearly education is the key and that is not an easy road, but I will not give in to being powerless or despair. So at the end of the day, this is my Government, I am to a small extent responsible for it because I have the power to influence it.

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