The problem with the article I’m going to cite is that everyone will think it’s an article about the specific thing he wrote about. But it’s not.
This statist impulse is a knee-jerk preference for deploying
the force of the state (government) to achieve some benefit
— real or imagined, for one’s self or others — in
place of voluntary alternatives such as persuasion,
education or free choice. If people saw the options in such
stark terms, or if they realized the slippery slope
they’re on when they endorse such interventions,
support for resolving matters through force would likely
diminish. The problem is, they frequently fail to equate
intervention with force. But that is precisely what’s
involved. […] Liberty
is more often eaten away one small bite at a time than by
one big gulp.
I tried this reasoning on some friends. Here’s how some
typical attitudes were expressed:
Delusion: "It’s not really ‘force’ if a
majority of citizens support it."
Paternalism: "Force was a positive thing because it was
for your own good."
Dependency: "If government won’t do it, who
Myopia: "You’re making a mountain out of a
molehill. How can […] possibly be
a threat to liberty? If it is, it’s so minor that it
Impatience: "I don’t want to wait until […] [does] it on its
Power lust: "[…] that won’t […]
have to be told to do it."
Self-absorption: "I just don’t care. I hate […]
and I don’t want to chance […] even if […] [comes up with his own solution]."
If there’s one thing we must learn from the history of
regimes, it is that if you give them an inch they eventually
will take a mile. It’s wiser to resist liberty’s
erosion in small things than to concede and hope that bigger
battles can be avoided later.
Delusion, paternalism, dependency, myopia, impatience, power
lust and self-absorption: All are vestiges of infantile
Most or all describe, more or less, the approach to politics of just about everybody I know, democrat or republican, liberal or conservative. If, as our Christian friends tell us, mankind is naturally depraved, then everything you need to know about that depravity is contained in the above.