From the Future of Freedom Foundation’s Freedom Daily (August 2010 issue, posted online today…)
Statism, the Greatest Threat
by James Bovard
Pervasive confusion over the nature of government and freedom has opened the gates to perhaps the greatest, most widespread increase in political power in history. If we are to regain and safeguard our liberty, we must reject the tenets of modern political thinking. We must repudiate the moral presumptions and prerogatives that allow some people to vastly expand their power over other people.
The State has been by far the largest recipient of intellectual charity during the past hundred years. The issue of government coercion has been taken off the radar screen of politically correct thought. The more government power has grown, the more unfashionable it becomes to discuss or recognize government abuses
The rise of the so-called “service sector” and its direct tie to increased statism is not an accident. The vaunted
“private sector” and the government become two sides of a bureaucratic coin with large sectors of the population shuffling papers or pressing buttons on a computer or cash register and almost wholly divorced from the production of tangible things of worth. One easily becomes a spectator in this kind of environment, a kind of human livestock, prodded by endless platitudes and conventional pieties.
The rise of the cockeyed notion of the Unitary Executive, with its many sunbeams in the media insures that corrosion will enjoy full license while nervous and jerky partisanship will maintain the illusion that this nation remains a representative democracy.
Jim, thanks for the good analysis. One question, however. When you wrote the following, were you using “sheepskin” in the sense of a condom?
Lawrence, I always referred to that type of wrap as a “lambskin.”
Since I was raised near West Virginia, women got nervous if I made any reference to sheep and sex in the same sentence.
Dirk, that’s an interesting point about the service sector. The service sector types I see in this neck of the woods probably identify far more with government clerks than with factory or farm workers.