anarchy and authority – beware the extremes
A random photo for our readers. Sent to us from San Francisco.
Today, there are young people who are very disillusioned with over reaching governments, with the depressed state of the economy, with corrupt corporations, and with the perceived collusion of governments and corporations. Some of these young people are joining so-called anarchy movements. (One such group is called the National Anarchy Movement. It appears to be an umbrella group for various loosely knit organizations with their own specific grievances. Some groups have their own charters or manifestos.) They envision a world where everyone gets along well and peacefully without governments. One cannot fault these young adults for their disillusionment with the current state of affairs. As well, one cannot fault them for their youthful idealism.
Anarchy does not work as it is not workable. How do I come to this conclusion? From a study of history and an awareness of what is going on currently in the world. Realistically, there has been no improvement in man’s moral character in the past few thousand years.
Anarchy, the absence of formal government structures and functions, does not work as there will always be a need for: a court system (breach of contracts, product liability cases, criminal prosecutions, divorces, etc.), law enforcement (police), a military to defend the country, etc.
Ironically, anarchists have been used by communists in past revolutions to help destroy the old order, and thus clear the way for the imposition of a totalitarian government.
The opposite of anarchy, namely authoritarian (even totalitarian) government, is not to be desired either.
Now, some long time readers may have the impression that I am opposed to authority or have a “problem” with authority. Let us be clear. There is a legitimate need for the proper application of authority in our lives. What I oppose is the abuse of authority, the improper use of authority. (With authority comes great responsibility.) And this opposition applies to the abuse of secular, civil authority, as well as to the abuse of ecclesial authority, and to abuse of parental authority.
We recall Lord Acton’s famous aphorism here. “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” There will be those – who even when they are flagrantly abusing their authority and taking your rights away – that will claim that it is only for your own good.
Similarly, one world government would be no utopia. Given the flawed character of humans, such one world government schemes would lend themselves to quite excessive authoritarianism and quickly move down the path to tyranny. (One need only follow for a short time all the nonsense that is seriously discussed at the United Nations to see the truth here.)
The collective good is served best when the government’s power is limited. A society can have such a limited government when the people in government truly respect the rights of the people. (To do that, those in government need to be virtuous individuals themselves.) In a republic, it is the responsibility of the citizens to make sure that their government does not encroach upon their rights and freedoms. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.
Government needs to get out of the way and not interfere in our lives for no good purpose. This is undeniably true about the economy. Government interference and attempts at micro managing the economy (or major parts of it such as the housing market) do not produce prosperity. Government interference usually causes distortions in the normal functioning of the free markets and that leads to inefficient functioning of markets and to costly, improper (wasteful) allocations of resources. (Markets do not work perfectly, but they work much better without government caused distortions.)
One of my friends on Facebook, Sharon, an African-American in the Houston, Texas area, lamented that one man should not be allowed to trash the country. I commented that the US Constitution was designed to prevent this, and that the checks and balances are only as good as the men and women in the other branches of the government. Meaning that President Obama is being greatly helped by the craven, corrupt, cowardly Senators and Representatives (of both parties) and Supreme Court justices.
It needs to be said that in the US, the poor quality of the elected office holders reflects negatively on those Americans who vote them into office, and then keep these same miscreants in power by re-electing them time after time. These are self-inflicted wounds!
My advice to young people in the US is: stop idolizing and idealizing this man, Obama – he is not a demigod. Try to look 2 or 3 steps down the road. His policies are robbing you of your future. Sadly, so few young people can see this.
Do you really want a regimented life? That is what the control freaks of the Left have in mind for you. Make no mistake. So-called “liberalism” in the US is, and has been for decades, about control over your lives. The pushers of liberalism are not just power hungry. Many really believe they know what is best for you. They may preach so-called “diversity”, but they desire excessive conformity in the people’s behavior so they can control us more easily. (Note the endless stream of new laws and regulations coming from Washington and from many state capitals as well.) Theirs is a world of homogeneity largely barren of individual freedom and initiative – much like an anthill or a colony of termites.
The reality check is a stagnant if not moribund US economy, an ever more debt ridden US government, and a society in the latter stages of social decay. This dismal landscape is littered with failed (and very costly) government programs and failed, bizarre social engineering schemes. (“Failed” in the sense that no good has come from them.)
Thanks for reading.