Jeff Neal for C.U.R.E. - Certain Unalienable Rights Endowment

What motivates politicians?

In Opinion on April 8, 2013 at 9:06 pm

There are among the political class constant complaints about the inefficiency of grid-locked government.  The complaints come from left and right, depending upon the agenda of the complainer.  They must want to do more and better things, huh?  They must have the “general welfare” in mind when they plead for more power that they’ll use to do good things for you and your neighbor, right?

I beg to differ, but first some background.  A just government is not supposed to be efficacious, as it should not be doing anything that is measured in such terms.  Government is not meant to be powerful or decisive in matters other than basic questions of law (See F Bastiat- The Law).  In all other matters – religion, commerce, culture, social customs and life in general – the federal government was designed and constituted to be silent, powerless and irrelevant.  The government, the republic bequeathed us by the founders was meant to be an impartial enforcer of laws that are limited to the sole purpose of protecting every man’s natural right to sovereignty over his life – his right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Pretty basic.

Any federal action that breaches that principle is an unconstitutional act of tyranny and is properly met with staunch opposition.  Resistance to the ever-increasing role the government is arrogating unto itself is the essence of the conservative opposition to the Obama administration in particular and the federal government in general.  That resistance is rational, moral, just and very well-grounded and supported in the philosophical teachings of many of the greatest thinkers in Western history.

Yet, the statists – Democrats and Republicans alike – constantly express shock and dismay over any and all political opposition based on the principal that more government necessarily means less freedom.  They scoff at the idea that protection of individual liberties is the singular role of government and that state welfare – taking from one man for the sake of another – is tantamount to theft and is antithetical to the concept of freedom.  They laugh at a defense of a man’s right to protect himself and his property with a gun.  They shriek at the mere mention of the concept that a free man will perform heroic acts of benevolence even when there is no gun to his head.  They can not grasp the idea that production, the very purpose of life, is benevolent in and of itself and that trade and commerce are the only sustainable (indeed, they are self-sustaining) means of minimizing human suffering.  They demean and demonize any one who refuses to roll over and play dead in the wake of their attempts to make the government increasingly intrusive in our lives, as if their agenda is sacrosanct and beyond reproach, because they can point to a poll or survey that says a majority wants more ‘free’ stuff to be given away by Uncle Sam.  No explanation needed – ‘We won the election!’

So, what is behind the political class’s stated objective to give us better government, more bang for our tax buck?  They mock liberty, they dismiss rational defense of freedom and small government.  That leads to the conclusion that this tendency of theirs is explained by one character trait – a lust for the power to control outcomes, an unquenchable desire to own the lives of other men.  Armed with that truth, no amount of disdain and bile-filled rhetoric shall ever deter your opposition to their attempts to own and control the lives of people.

Damn the torpedoes.  Stay the course.

  1. This comment would ignore much of modern developments in political theory, particularly the developmental state model. Are you familiar with this?

    • No theory, modern or otherwise, can make me less free. No theory can justify any man being subordinate to another.

      • Have you ever read John Locke? The entire basis for Western political thought is that some freedoms are sacrificed for greater societal stability. If you wish to complain about politics, you should at least get familiar with the theories you are objecting to, their origins, and their applications. Your complaints do not have any real meat behind them, they simply seem petulant.

      • JA – referencing John Locke and purporting to know my level of knowledge or ignorance about a particular topic is not the same thing as making an argument. It’s not about me, so if all you care to do is attempt to make yourself feel smarter than me, waste your time elsewhere – I have no interest in what you think of me.

  2. Here is an example…

    “In all other matters – religion, commerce, culture, social customs and life in general – the federal government was designed and constituted to be silent, powerless and irrelevant. The government, the republic bequeathed us by the founders was meant to be an impartial enforcer of laws that are limited to the sole purpose of protecting every man’s natural right to sovereignty over his life – his right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Pretty basic.”

    The problem is that the very people you are referencing here, “the founders”, took action that contradict your statement, and you do not seem to know it. You went to Thomas Jefferson’s university, how can you know so little about this period in history?

    Your opinions do not line up with historical fact at all. It does not appear that you have read John Locke, that you have read history, or that you have read much pertaining to your opinions at all. It does appear that you have opinions, but nothing to support them.

    There is also the hypocrisy factor. You decry the government, but then your actions and life make many of the programs you detest necessary. This relates to the Locke issue, you do not understand the social contract. The problem you have is not that you know so little, but that you consider understanding a negative.

    • I’m no hypocrite and you’re a presumptuous jackass. I am not a party to any social contract and I own my life. If Thomas Jefferson and any of the other founders displayed inconsistencies between their lives and their philosophies, that is an indictment of them as individuals not a rebuke of their philosophical thinking as exhibited in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

      You seem to believe that arguing is the equivalent of thinking. You do both very poorly. Go away.

      • No, you are a United States citizen. The United States was founded on the philosophies of John Locke, which include a social contract. Your writings show zero understanding of this, and this is a problem. If you do not like it, you are free to leave the society.

        The problem is that you want to have your cake and eat it too. You want to enjoy the benefits of the society without contributing in any meaningful way. I discussed this here…

        http://liberalmormon.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/income-inequality-and-personal-responsibility/

        And you will get angry, you will bluster, but at the end of the day none of it matters. You will have to contribute, or you can leave, but you won’t, so…until then you have to provide recompense for your actions. You will have to be responsible. This is the point of the whole “Liberty” movement these days, people who don’t want responsibility. The “Liberty”-ers, the Tea Party, it is all a very childish move to avoid responsibility.

      • There is no social contract.

  3. “These ideas were used as justification for both the American and the French revolutions in the 18th century. Even Thomas Jefferson sustained that the preservation of the natural rights, as a part of the social contract, should be a fundament to any exercise of governmental power.”

    http://www.pages.drexel.edu/~id24/index.html/Social%20Contract.htm

    You went to Thomas Jefferson’s University, do you really know nothing about his beliefs?

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