Reason VS the Hivemind

When you’re a curious and reasoning individual, election time has probably got to look like one of the most embarrassing human displays of collective intellectual inertia and laziness.

During the “off-season” knowledgeable people politely point out the inevitable consequences of current policies and are met with knee jerk derision, mindless platitudes, or plain disinterest.

Come election time, you’ll find numerous people vociferously beating each other up over inevitable symptoms of the inevitable consequences of the policies they derided others for criticizing.

And when the same knowledgeable people then politely remind them that these are the inevitable consequences of those past policies, they will be met with … oh well you know that part :)

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Less Than 1 in 5 Americans Believe that the Federal Government has the Consent of the Governed

A staggering Rassmussen poll confirms what’s been boiling under the surface – New Low: 17% Say U.S. Government Has Consent of the Governed:

Fewer voters than ever feel the federal government has the consent of the governed.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 17% of Likely U.S. Voters think the federal government today has the consent of the governed. Sixty-nine percent (69%) believe the government does not have that consent. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

The number of voters who feel the government has the consent of the governed – a foundational principle, contained in the Declaration of Independence – is down from 23% in early May and has fallen to its lowest level measured yet.

This is excellent news. When a the supposedly moral foundation of a system erodes, and people begin to see that they’ve been lied to … that’s when true change is on the horizon.

In red see the part where Thomas Jefferson went wrong in 1776:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,…

Government is aggression. Nothing good can come out of aggression. The evidence is in, once again. Let’s not make the same mistake. We do not need to “alter” this government, and we don’t need a “new”, shinier government.

We need to get this cancer of statism out of the minds of the people around us, once and for all. Then, and only then, will there be true change.

This may be a good time to recall what one of the great contemporary philosophers already said almost 3 years ago:

There are no stronger societal forces than moral attitudes in public opinion. This ball has gotten rolling and it’s not going to stop until the beast of statism has been buried once and for all.

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Government Constraints

A government operates under constraints that are different from that of an entrepreneur.

The entrepreneur has no choice but to satisfy his consumers by withdrawing from the market factors of production whose output, directly or indirectly, currently satisfies fewer consumers than they are looking to satisfy or currently satisfies less urgent needs than they are looking to satisfy. The profit they reap is a result of the improved allocation of these factors of production.

A government obtains goods in a different fashion. It needs to obtain them via taxation, which is in last resort an act of theft against the individuals within its territory. But individuals in general resent acts of aggression. In the long run a government can’t just send its police to collect taxes under no pretense whatever. Violent upheavals by the governed and subversion would inevitably ensue after some time. This holds true for a dictatorship as it does for a democracy. In order to justify its acts of aggression a government needs the consent of the majority of the governed, it needs public opinion on its side.

Which means it employs in order to attain this objective cannot categorically be determined. Throughout history, governments have employed different justifications for its existence:

Throughout history governments across the globe have always appealed to fear of foreign enemies to justify its necessity. But in addition there have been subtleties in other areas: In ancient days government leaders would be anointed by the clerical class which had the greatest influence on public opinion. During the age of enlightenment, with the appearance of capitalism, the idea of using government to protect private property and individual liberties became popular. When in the 20th century the concepts of socialism conquered the hearts and minds of the broad majority, the idea of complete government control of the factors of production had become unstoppable and was swiftly put into practice virtually everywhere in the world. When the attempts of socialism had proven impracticable and lead to the collapse of the Soviet Union, the ideas of interventionism convinced the peoples of the world of the necessity of government bureaucracy. Minimum wage, centrally planned welfare programs, fiat money and subsidies for special industries became the norm.

Thus the main constraint for a government is the approval for its actions by the majority of the people. It will always do its best to mold public opinion to the extent possible. So long as it confines its activity to the protection of individuals against aggression and theft no major harm is caused. As soon as it begins to embark upon broader expansions of its bureaucracy, those who are governed by it need to be ever more vigilant and doubtful.

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