Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Government is Force

When a society matures it tends to take on an ever increasing amount of 'responsibilty' for its citizenry. It is an unfortunate truth that most people consider this a good thing. You don't have to scrutinize the food in a box you buy in the store, just open and gobble without a second thought! After all, the government makes sure it is safe and nutritious (well, at least safe). And if polluted food from China kills a few people? No problem, Uncle Sugar will make it all better. How many people can even recognize that their food might not be 'good' anymore? What is that smell? Does this taste funny to you? What are those blue flecks in this chili? I sat next to a woman in a fancy restaraunt last week when she commented that it tasted "very funny" to her partner. After a moment she shrugged and gobbled it down. I doubt even our parents (I'm speaking to my fellow boomers here, you Gen-x types are on your own) would have done that. Spoiled or poorly preserved food were a common thing then. Of course then you just tossed it out and made more. These days its more complicated, involving a call to a lawyer, or at least the obligatory new media press conference. The truly scary part is we not only expect perfect and safe food with every bite, we demand it.
This mindset goes across the spectrum of products and services in the US, and most of the western world for that mater. Is it a good thing? I have mixed reservations. But of course if my tuna sandwich has a strong metallic taste, I'll send it back to the kitchen (I've checked the news for announcements of poisoned patrons in Palisades NY, nothing yet). We do enjoy a period of unprecedented consumer confidence. Oh, we're not sure of the economy, but we know that the new $4,000 big screen TV we just bought will work, at least for a year or so. Yes, that is a new 42" Samsung LCD in my living room, and I researched the purchase for a week before deciding on this modest choice. More than one guy in the checkout line gave it a self-satisfied sneer, no doubt thinking about their 52" model at home. I just smiled back because I paid cash for my TV. How many of them can say that?
Anyway, the issue if our nanny-state. So far who can argue at this wonderful safe world? Oh, there are a few who try to look through the crystal ball and see us strapping on government mandated bath helmets before climbing into the water with temperature careful controlled by government approved temperature controled water system delivered by government treated and purified water from government guaranteed watersheds. I scoff, like this could really happen? Wait a second...
Anyway, what can really come from this? Is there a possibility the goverment might get a little high handed in their protection of their 'constinuants'? No shit, you think? How about this one?

I'm sure a lot of you watched as the Texas CPS swooped in and snatched the kids from those whakos. Religous nuts! I'm sure you thought; "good thing before they did another Branch Dividian and killed themselves!" (more on that one some other time). Well, read the story above. Oops, turns out those 'religous nuts' were not considerate enough for the high handed government goons, they didn't bother actually breaking any laws or hurting those kids. Damn it, you need to cooperate and break some laws so we can 'help your kids' here! So now those kids, who all turned out to be happy, healthy, and a lot better educated that most of our screwed up brats, are actually screwed up by the morons who went to help them. Yep, big surprise. We went to help them, and screwed them up in the process. Many of those kids are going to bear emotional scars for the rest of their lives. Texas is going to end up writing some checks for this one, and for a change I agree. They had no damn right to do that. Cases like this need to be taken on a case-by-case basis. Swooping in and abducting a hundred or so kids from a religous retreat just because a few people don't like or understand the way those people live is not a 'civilized' thing to do. In our great American experiment we are now in the 'knee jerk reaction' phase of our growth. In the early days the state just ignored everything the people did until it drew a body count. Later the goverment would react, usually slowly and often innapropriately. Now in the modern info-age, the reaction is almost always expensive, too extensive, and usually innefectual. But why are we surprised from government? Like the subject line says, 'government is force'. I can't place the quote, but it's true. You don't pay your taxes or stop at stop lights because you are overwhelmed with feelings of altruistic love of your fellow man. You obey the laws because if you don't the government thugs will show up with guns and take you to jail, break up your family, and confiscate your wealth. Fear makes you obey, fear of goverment force.
One more thing. This whole incident with the kids was mainly triggered because the government has been watching that clutch of religously zealous followers with a microscope. Why? Well if you read the story or watched any TV you know they're a splinter group of the LDS, the ones that beleive in polygamy. In modern America, sodomy is perfectly okay, but don't you dare try and have more than one wife. Hell, in the Seattle area (unfortunately where I grew up), there is no law against raping an animal, but there is against having more than one wife. Don't get me wrong, I'm not an advocate. One is quite enough for me. But I have to ask the question, why is one formerly moraly reprehensible behavior now 'normal', but another not? It seems the love that dare not speak its name, now the love that won't shut the hell up, has some questions to answer....

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home