The ever-expansive government born of collectivism results in power for the elite and insanity for everyone else.
How did we get to this point? How did we get to a situation where reading the news is akin to trying to drink from a fire hose in attempting to take in the events of the day?
There were times in the not so distant past were this wasn’t the case, when we could go about our business not having to waste time with such concerns. This is clearly a vestige of a political movement that wants to impose expansive government on every aspect of our lives. The elite of the collectivist Left would prefer a society driven to distraction intimately involved in everyone’s private life. The only way we can survive this is by reversing course back to a point where government and society doesn’t control every aspect of our lives.
Colleague JD started this conversation with his article on limited government in continuation to the insane situation we find ourselves. Two important points being that we need dispense with tribalism and that Liberty can only survive when the government is limited.
Individualism vs. Collectivism, Limited vs. Expansive government, Liberty vs. Tyranny
In the engineering field, any analysis of a situation begins with basic equations and principles. In this case we begin with the two primary sides of politics, the individual and collectivist mindsets corresponding to Limited and Expansive government models.
- Those trying to conserve Liberty: Libertarians, Conservatives and true Liberals are on the political Right of the individualist mindset.
- Those trying to expand government for their own benefit in property and power: Leftists, socialists, communists, fascists, Statists, etc. are of the collectivist mindset.
To be sure, there are those who would prefer to keep these discussions in a far more complicated realm. Their motivation showing a desire to confuse the issue and obscure their actions. One cannot analyse any form of technology without delving down to the underlying equations and the same holds true for politics. If the examination shows one side is motivated by a desire for power, then this is the conclusion, no matter how certain factions would like this to be concealed.
Liberty is maximized when government is minimized
The critical point in this analysis is that expansive government is antithetical to freedom.
“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.”
This theoretical expression is borne out by practical reality. Authoritarian systems are clearly bereft of freedom. One would be hard pressed to demonstrate that national socialist worker’s party Germany or the old USSR were paragons of Liberty and human rights. Even the present day examples of socialist Venezuela or communist North Korea are more akin to open air penitentiaries than places of freedom.
Supposedly the argument is that free college, free housing, free health care, free food, free childcare and even free money is ‘freeing’ to some – but not all. The problem is that all of this is funded at some point by other people’s money, with the bite hitting ‘progressively’ lower and lower as people of the higher classes figure out methods to stop their property from being stolen. None the less, there will be those who will effectively be reduced to involuntary servitude, the opposite of being ‘Liberated’.
The problem has always been one of those who wish to get something for nothing and those who desire power no matter how it’s obtained. Without strict limitations on government, such people will always find a way to empower themselves at the expense of everyone else. Therefore, those people have to be constantly monitored, else they implement some new program here or a new tax there.
It becomes a rhetorical law of attrition, were people just become worn out trying to keep the power hungry in check. They may get upset at one issue, only to overlook another that crops up somewhere else.
Do you trust the government?
This is the critical questions of our time. Most people will answer that they don’t, albeit for differing reasons. However the central theme still remains.
- If one does not trust the government, then why would anyone want it larger with expanded power?
- If one does not trust the government, then why would anyone want it in control of one’s health care?
- If one does not trust the government, then why would anyone want it to have a monopoly on the use of force?
We could go on and on, but the point is clear, a government that is inherently untrustworthy should only have limited power. This is why the strict limitations on government reveal the sheer genius of the founding fathers and the superiority of the American system of limited government.
The preservation of sanity by limited government
A government with strict limitations as to it’s proper functions [such as formulating and imposing budgetary restraints on itself] as well as what it cannot do doesn’t have to be watched 24/7. The citizens can be assured that they can go about their business without worrying that the government will grow out of control.
This is why we need to get back to a government that lives within its bounds and budget. This is why politicians of all stripes should have limited power in a limited governmental system. That is the only way to conserve Liberty and our sanity.