‘Alas! yes,’ said Elrond. ‘Isildur took it, as should not have been. It should have been cast then into Orodruin’s fire nigh at hand where it was made. But few marked what Isildur did. He alone stood by his father in that last mortal contest; and by Gil-galad only Cirdan stood, and I. But Isildur would not listen to our counsel… But soon he was betrayed by it to his death…’
‘Fruitless did I call the victory of the Last Alliance? Not wholly so, yet it did not achieve its end. Sauron was diminished, but not destroyed. His Ring was lost, but not unmade. The Dark Tower was broken but its foundations were not removed; for they were made with the power of the Ring, and while it remains they will endure.’ –Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring
After he won a great battle against Sauron, and vanquished the evil of Mordor, Isildur had the opportunity to throw the Ring that he cut from Sauron’s finger back into the depths from whence it came, destroying it. Though it was thousands of years ago, Elrond the Elf Chieftain was there, and watched in dismay as Isildur took the Ring for himself. He had the opportunity to destroy power all together, so that it may never grow from a tiny seed into a mighty forest, but he chose instead to take the power for himself.
Isildur had the chance to free the people, but he chose to rule them. This would be his immediate undoing as he was murdered for the Ring, for the power he possessed. Had he simply destroyed the power of force, there would have been nothing to take from him, no reason to kill him.
There will be no peace while there is government, and there will be no equality while government exists. This is for the same reason that the Ring must be destroyed, or evil will work through it. Isildur had just fought a great battle and saved many lives in his realm, so he thought he deserved the Ring for all he had been through.
If you come together to defeat an evil power, you cannot replace the evil power with “good” power and expect evil to stay dormant. Through the power of force, evil will always rise again. The only solution to vanquishing evil once and for all is to destroy any mechanism for that evil to take hold: the state.
The ends do not justify the means. Even if one accomplishes temporary peace and marginal equality for a short time using force to do so, the means leave the door open for all sorts of evil. And that is the problem we have with government, that we depend on good people being in government in order for it to run properly, and create positive effects. We say voting is the best mechanism for keeping good people in office, yet we all know it doesn’t work. Evil people are drawn to the power of government and good people are corrupted by the power of government, much like the Ring.
In the beginning of this country, the founders of the USA could be compared to Isildur failing to destroy the Ring. Yes, they threw off an oppressive power and created a better life for countless people, but they stopped short of creating true freedom. They stopped short of destroying the power of force once and for all, and handing authority back to individuals.
Fruitless did I call the Constitution? Yet it is not wholly so. Government was diminished, but not destroyed. The foundations of that evil power to force others to bend to your will was not unmade by the Constitution, but cleverly disguised so that a mightier, more evil beast would someday rise again. And rise again Sauron did, more powerful and more evil than when he was originally overthrown.
Lysander Spooner said the Constitution “has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it.” The Ring either allowed Sauron to return to power, or was powerless to prevent it while being wielded by “good” people. The founders figured they would create just a little government that would be used for good, but in doing so opened the door to evil, which has worked its way through the top ranks, and sunk into every facet of our government.
Because the Ring was not destroyed, Sauron, the embodiment of evil, was able to rise again. Because government was not destroyed, an evil empire has now taken hold where the embodiment of oppressive government was once vanquished.
In a sense, the Ring is the myth of authority. We can all recognize a common criminal who robs us, and thwart him. But when the criminal dresses himself up as an authority, many are tricked into thinking he is not robbing them, but simply exercising his right to rule. The Ring is what helps evil masquerade as authority; the government is the magical entity that transforms evil into good. If the government is destroyed, evil will be recognized as evil before it can take a hold.