Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Two Kinds of Government?

This guy may be crazy—he's written extensively about the Federal Reserve system, vitamin B-17 as a cure for cancer, and Noah's Ark—but he's close to the mark about government.

He argues that systems are either favoring individual freedom or favoring collectivism. He also argues that collectivism is a lie—there are no groups, only individuals. (No forests, only trees.) This is true in the sense that policies that favor groups tend to harm the individuals of those groups, but not true in the sense that we (humans) do have a very real desire to promote the survival of our tribe and species. (Unless you're PETA.)

Also, it's not really true that systems ever favor individualism. I mean, sure, they do in writing. But the system favors itself, and that favor transcends anything written or stated about the system. Almost as if systems were themselves organic.

Basically, you can draw a line, like this:

On the left, you have the ultimate totalitarianism, something along the lines of 1984. On the right, you have complete anarchy.

Now, the thing is, you can't have complete anarchy. I mean, it's theoretically possible, and if men were free in spirit (say, free of sin?) it would probably be an optimal set-up. But, under such circumstances, Communism could also work.

But nature abhors a vacuum, and anarchy (white) leads to the void being filled by black—the first strong-armed dictator who sees easy prey. And it's far from the absolute end where trouble occurs. Our Founding Fathers felt the need to override the Articles of Confederation to create the Constitution. (Which area of history I need to study more. How weak was the Confederacy? How much of the Constitution was a power play?)

"But Blake," you say, "you're always advocating pushing to the right as far as possible."

Why, that's very astute of you. Yes. Yes, I am. That's because the state—any state, at any given time—will move to the left, toward more power and less freedom. And we're in about as much chance of getting anywhere near anarchy as we are of getting pizza raining from the sky.

So, yeah, I push toward ever smaller government. I've long maintained there only need to be two parties at any given time: One arguing that the government should handle a particular issue, and one arguing that they shouldn't. The ones arguing that government shouldn't should usually be in power.

And forever banished should be the argument that just because one doesn't want the government to handle something, one doesn't want the situations handled. If anything, the reverse should be argued, as there is a lot more evidence to support it.


  1. You can get anarchy moving to the left too you know. If the collective tramples on the wrong individuals the system breaks down.

  2. True--but then you have anarchy which tends to lead back to some kind of dictatorial state.

  3. And if you get a cool motorcyle and some hot bike chicks you can push to the Sons of Anarchy.

  4. Katy Segal is rockin' that role let me tell you.

    She is the wife of the show runner and he is really showcasing her talents.

    And Ron Pearlman is great too!

  5. Oh wait, this is a serious thread. Sorry.

  6. "But, under such circumstances, Communism could also work."

    I will grant you that Communism would work better if people were all saints, but it still wouldn't work very well: The information contained in a functioning free-market will always be superior to what a central planning board could do.

  7. I love me some Katey Sagal! She's my favorite hot cyclops chick.

  8. dbp--

    I said it could work, not that it would work well.

    But since everyone would be a saint, you'd never hear any complaints. lol

  9. dbp: I will grant you that Communism would work better if people were all saints

    Strangely, one of the tenants of Communism was that under it people would change into a new type of person, they would like working so much that they would actually pay to work. It's a lot like a religion.

  10. Pushing to the right to compensate for the tendency of all governments to push toward the left (toward self-perpetuation and self-aggrandizement) makes me think of the theory that we're due to flip into another ice age, and only global warming is staving it off.

  11. Well, it's demonstrably true that the incredible success only a few people dedicatedly fighting (a small few areas of) government expansion have been all that's kept us from sliding into European-style socialism.

    Not just states but people seem to want to go to the left whenever times are hard. And then they never want to go back.

  12. Great post, great vid. I like the way that Griffin approaches Objectivism without falling into it, and puts utilitarianism away, cleanly and without prolonging its suffering. I'm working on a post that will mention this one and a few other things. If it takes me much longer to think it through, I'll just have to post it as a list, "here are some things that seem to me to be connected." In the meantime, for your enjoyment, I'll reveal that part of it will be this re-enactment of young Albert Einstein arguing with his schoolteacher.


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