We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Across the pond, Mediocracy is often thinking about the sorts of things that we puzzle over. In this case, the tendency of people to expect governments to perfect the world. One quote from his piece on "Freedom To" vs. "Approval Of":
Another point of confusion for some libertarians, as for most others with enthusiastic views about the right way to run the world, is the false dichotomy between 'everything is fine' and 'collective action is required'. It is in fact possible to hold a third position, namely that: (a) the world is imperfect (b) a legal framework which upholds private agreements is a good thing, because it helps to exploit the benefits of exchange (this principle is usually abbreviated into 'free markets') (c) specific market failures may require collective action (defence is definitely one; education and medicine definitely aren't; other putative market failures are a matter for debate) (d) apart from providing a safety net, trying to address any other imperfection by means of government action is to be avoided, if for no other reason than that it invariably involves some form of coercion.
There is a tremendous psychological pressure in contemporary society to jump from 'something less than ideal is happening' to 'the state must intervene'. In fact, it is more than a pressure, it has become an unconscious automatic connection.
Well, not an automatic connection for me. Despite all of the accumulated evidence to the contrary, many insist on that "hope" the hope that government can and will fix "it." And politicians are more than happy to exploit that, because accumulating power tends to be their "unconscious automatic connection."
I heard it yesterday from somebody at lunch: "Bush doesn't care that we're in a recession." I noted (to myself) that this nice Liberal lady was assuming 1. that how much Bush emotes matters and 2. that a President could control international markets if he only chose to do do. I elected to move on to other subjects.
You were much the gentleman to move to a new subject. My wife, knowing me, usually forces that choice upon me when a comment such as you received is uttered. I enjoy the ensuing badinage and liberal meltdown from nice to raving maniac so often accomplished with so little effort. There is much to be said for the schedenfraude of the distressed liberal.
I know that's hard for many of you to believe, but with age and financial freedom you can let'r rip. So I do.
The"a" comment on Mediocracy, that the world is not perfect is sufficiently the end of the conversation. There is no perfectibility of mankind, and chaos in the physical universe as far as we can ascertain so far (yes there are orbits etc but even they change, not to mention the asteroid that is headed our way in what 200,000,000 years..I'm scared)
Liberals simply want what mankind has always desired ...power. Be that power to alter the course of a river or power to alter the behavior of those in opposition it remains the end all and be all of man's endeavor. Religion even seeks power.
John F Kennedy was asked why he wanted to be President. He was in societies Blue Book, a millionaire war hero, a US Senator author,etc. His response.." Cause that's where the power lies"
This fits in nicely with John Nance Garner, the thirty-second Vice President of the United States (1933-41) and fellow Texan to LBJ. Now LBJ went to Cactus Jack as he was known, to ask about the Vice Presidential position Kennedy had him slotted for. Cactus Jack looked at LBJ and said "The Vice Presidency isn't worth a bucket of warm spit" i.e. no real power.
A continued address of the Mediocracy article has me once again placing emphasis on Aristotle's work. So few , it would appear, ever read Aristotle and STUDY Aristotle that questions such as:
"In this case, the tendency of people to expect governments to perfect the world."
A question such as that would never have been proffered in the salons of the informed. It is absurd and any number of philosophers, beginning primarily with Aristotle's Six Fold Classification of Governments" would have answered it before it was uttered.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_(Aristotle) sorry for the one source but others are not hard to find.
I thought in school while taking courses in Ancient and Medieval Political Theory that any good that might come of it would be meager. Today I find it so clarifying as to disdain much of the drivel published.
To save MF'ers a longer suffering I will not read the remainder of the article. Suffice it to say in conclusion that all governments eventually constrict the populations they rule ...even republics with Bills of Rights.
PS. Next time opt for the James Cagney grapefruit in the puss of the old broad..you'll feel liberated. (right after you post bail)
The quoted bit describes the conclusions I currently hold. I have “tried on” several other philosophies and found them untenable in light of experience.
I most often argue this view against statists, leftoids and other defectives who truly cannot conceive of non-government solutions to anything. They talk of community and society and some duty to those ideals. When I press (with more honesty than politeness), I am told that they do not want to be in community with me. But they would never concede that this shatters their basis for collective coercion. If I am not of their community, I am merely a slave to it.
Also I argue this view against libertarian fetishists who seem unable to accept that there can be valid trade-offs on moral questions. They must be completely free at all times, or the outcome is unacceptably evil. To them, a compromise that increases some liberty is an endorsement of the corrupt system. All they seem to offer are abstracts and platitudes (which sound great!) but offer no insight on the operation of the political world as it exists now.