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The seductive power of royalty

Posted By Russ Roberts On January 19, 2009 @ 9:23 am In Politics | Comments Disabled

The general reaction to the incoming administration reminds me of the book of Samuel [1] when the people of Israel ask for a king. Samuel, the prophet is not pleased. Neither is God. He tells Samuel to warn the people of what the king will do. Here is Samuel's warning:

11 And he said: 'This will be the manner of the king that shall
reign over you: he will take your sons, and appoint them unto him, for
his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and they shall run before his
chariots.

12 And he will appoint them unto him for captains of thousands,
and captains of fifties; and to plow his ground, and to reap his
harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and the instruments of his
chariots.

13 And he will take your daughters to be perfumers, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.

14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.

15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.

16 And he will take your men-servants, and your maid-servants,
and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.

17 He will take the tenth of your flocks; and ye shall be his servants.

18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king whom ye
shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not answer you in that day.'

19 But the people refused to hearken unto the voice of Samuel; and they said: 'Nay; but there shall be a king over us;

20 that we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.'

.

We are in a very dangerous time in America right now—a time when people think the President can change our lives [2], bring us hope, transform us. Such expectations cannot be realized. But the desire to see the King or the President as a savior opens the door to much mischief or worse, tyranny. Watch your liberty and your wallet. They are both at risk.

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[1] the book of Samuel: http://www.mechon-mamre.org/e/et/et08a08.htm

[2] change our lives: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/18/AR2009011802326.html?hpid%3Dtopnews&sub=AR

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