Government by Town Meeting

A quintessential example of America’s current crisis is the Bell, California scandal that broke in July. ­The little town of Bell, population 38,000, discovered that their city manager was being paid $800,000 per year and their fire chief was taking in over $450,000 a year. ­These salaries are ten to twenty times the income of the average citizen that these men were hired to serve.

Americans across the nation are waking up to corruption at all levels of government. ­They are recognizing that we, as a people, will either govern ourselves or be driven into poverty and servitude by an all powerful state. ­Those who know history and the biblical view of mankind’s fallen nature know that corruption and waste in civil government is the universal plague of all nations throughout history.

­The Secret of Local Power

Town meetings were held in each community of New England beginning with America’s first settlers in the 1600’s. Localism with town meetings became the most powerful force for freedom and prosperity that had ever entered civil government in all of history. Careful, local oversight by citizens is the only solution to the plague of “political tricksters” that has enslaved virtually all peoples since Nimrod. Historian Robert Fiske records how this antidote to corruption in government and in all institutions worked for centuries in America. Writing in 1890 he says:

“Within its proper sphere, government by town-meeting is the form of government most effectively under watch and control. Everything is done in the full daylight of publicity. ­The specific objects for which public money is to be appropriated are discussed in the presence of everybody, and anyone who disapproves of any of these objects, or of the way in which it is proposed to obtain it, has an opportunity to declare his opinions.

Under this form of government people are not so liable to bewildering delusions as under other forms. I refer especially to the delusion that ‘the Government’ is a sort of mysterious power, possessed of a magic inexhaustible fund of wealth, and able to do all manner of things for the benefit of ’the People.’ Some such notion as this, more often implied than expressed, is very common, and it is inexpressibly dear to demagogues.  It is the proli­fic root from which springs that luxuriant crop of humbug upon which political tricksters thrive as pigs fatten upon corn.

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