Sunday, April 11, 2004

Government: An Inevitable and Constant Threat.

Despite claims by anarchists, there is no way to avoid government. A rule here, an agreement there and before you know it you have a government. Whenever two people come together, there are rules; as more people join the association more stipulations are needed. Eventually, the rules have to be enforced and a government is born. It is as inevitable as rain. There has never not been government; even the Quakers found it unavoidable, the only variable in taming the beast is to limit its size.

There are, of course, various types of governments. Those created by the left are of the communal variety, with gangs of paupers roaming the countryside laying claim to anything that gets produced in order to redistribute it, in the name of social justice, to those that can’t or won’t produce. Some justice. They are heavily invested in creating government programs that manage everything. But, it should be abundantly clear, to even the mentally challenged, that money spent on government programs is wasted. The ‘poverty figures’ are as high today as they were in 1965; health care a costly disaster and the public schools are unquestionably worse. (Logic would dictate that at some imaginary point in history the schools would have enough money. After all, there must be a limit to the number of vice principals a school district can support, but I digress.)

Those of a utopian bent believe that a successful government is a mere matter of design. They believe that somewhere out there is a magic formula that will create the perfect government. Their quest for this philosopher’s stone of government begets boutique governments of every philosophy and configuration. Anarchists go a step further believing it is possible to do without government altogether by consigning our fate to private protection agencies. When pressed they will allow that there will always be rules and regulations, but we are assured that these private companies will never quarrel with each other or exceed their authority to evolve into (shudder) governments. In other words, we can forestall a single tyrant, by supporting 1010 enfants terribles.

If government is inevitable, we need a good one and more importantly a way to limit it. Once you have planted the vine of governance, there is only one way to control it, issue every citizen a metaphorical axe with which to hack away at it periodically.

The American republic, as conceived, was the first in human history build upon the premise that government holds power by the consent of the governed, rather than the other way around. With a few redactions and the single addition it will do us nicely. I recommend we keep the first 15 amendments, add an amendment that congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of production and trade, re-reinterpret the interstate commerce clause, revoke the duty to provide for the general welfare, lose the nonsense about 4/5s of a Negro, and above all stop paying politicians.

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