Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Walter Williams: distrust of government is what made America unique

Walter Williams, in this article, pillories the power grabbing American government and critiques the debates surrounding bailouts (and, I would add, war) as never going above the political tactical question of whether Congress and the President can maneuver toward the desired objective without losing too much popularity. Politics in America has gone from distrust of government's ability to respect the rights of individuals to a moral nihilism whereby the only check on government power is the potential for popular revolt or civil war.

Government is a dangerous servant and a terrible master. Liberals should be careful what they wish for in government interventions into the economy. Conservatives should be careful what they wish for in government interventions into foreign affairs. Both prongs of government action empower the permanent bureaucracy and increase the control government has not only over our mercantile but our hedonic activities.

Even though he didn't practice what he preached, Reagan spoke the truth when he said that government is not the solution to our problems, government is the problem. It doesn't need to be reformed, it needs to be ruthlessly beaten back like overgrown weeds in a garden. If you value personal liberty to think and speak as you see fit without government telling you what to do or if you value personal liberty to do business and engage in private exchange of property as you see fit without government telling you what you can and cannot do (and taking their cut), then you need to join the revival of old-fashioned American skepticism towards government. As many people on this forum know, I am not merely skeptical of government, I believe it is evil and must be abolished. But I understand most people find that to be absurd. But even if you find complete abolition of the state apparatus to be absurd, you should at least be able to exercise critical thinking and skeptical analysis of the government's actions. It's what made our country great. Start doing it; our country could be great again.

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