Sunday, March 26, 2017

Why isn't this tyranny?

Columnist: ‘It should be illegal’ to be a stay-at-home mom – TheBlaze

This is what disturbs so many of us; those on the left seem to have no problem using the government to force others to do what they want them to. And, yes, I know the conservatives have their areas too.

I'm a Libertarian. I believe the best course is for the government to provide military protection, police, and the courts and precious little else. The private sector will better take care of the financial issues and
The Great Conversation" will take care of the social. In my opinion, using the government to bully others into obedience will always lead to tyranny, even if the short term consequences seem good.


  1. That would definitely be tyranny *if* it were attempted. But I can tell you that zero percent of my friends would support such a measure. Pretty sure the most common response would be, "uh, people should be free to live the way they want to."

    I do have a question, though! It seems to me that it used to be the case that government *did* stick to the spheres you outlined -- in fact, the idea of a professional police force is less than 200 years old, so you could argue that your list of core government services is /overbroad/. I mean, it would be a dumb and pointless argument, but I've never let that stop me. ;D

    So my question is: why didn't states STAY that limited? I mean, in, say, 1500, European states had a really, really minimal reach. Forget about not having a police force; they didn't even have standing /armies/.

    So what changed? What forces pushed Europe *away* from low state capacity and *towards* stronger and more centralized governments?

    P.S. Why, yes, this COULD double as an essay question for your kids' next world history course. A really good one, if I do say so myself! You're welcome. :)

  2. Glad to know most aren't thinking this way. I wonder sometimes....

    My dad worked with some men from Sweden once. They told him it was illegal for them to quit their jobs without government permission, and I know when Hitler took over Austria (and I would assume other countries) they instituted food vouchers. You had to have a job or be enrolled in a government school to get a voucher, so essentially it was illegal for anyone to be a stay at home parent, unemployed, early retiree, self employed without government approval, etc. as well as homeschool or send your child to private school. So there is precedence to be a bit concerned about these types of statements.

    My answer to why governments have moved to doing more is because governments are made up of humans and humans are greedy for money and power. They will always increase control over others if they can.

    If you look at the larger scope of history, you see a constant increase in government power, followed by revolt of some type, then chaos, back to a free society with limited government.

    Rome fell because the people saw they would have more freedom under their invaders from the north than the oppressive taxes of Rome, and so didn't bother fighting them off. China built that great big wall to keep their enemies out, but the gate keeper left the gate open because he was more oppressed under the Chinese government than he would be under Mongol Hordes. Even in America, it was the oppressive government of England that caused the colonists to revolt and set up a limited government of their own.

    The second Law of Thermo Dynamics; All systems left to themselves tend toward disintegration. If we are not VERY diligent every government will become a tyranny, simply because humans like to bully others into doing what they think is best.

  3. Y'know, "humans are greedy for money and power" is a GREAT phrase. If I ever need a one-second answer to a history question, that's what I'll say. 'cause it's almost guaranteed to be right! Incomplete, of course, but still. :) Good answer, Betty!

    I dunno, though. I used to be drawn to libertarianism, but nowadays I think it would be an awful idea. Here's why:

    For me, war-fighting is /the/ core function of the state. And modern warfare -- which is high-tech and complex and information-dense -- requires a *much* bigger and more intrusive state than libertarians want.

    It's no longer enough to give your boys a rifle and throw 'em in the trenches; having a top-flight military takes huge investments in R&D. And that in turn means that national security *requires* states to have a functioning, widely accessible system of higher education, one that can produce the engineers and programmers and scientists who'll *do* the R&D.

    So to keep our military strong, the state kinda has to have its fingers in a lot of pies just for higher education alone. So I think you need a high level of state *capacity* to wage war successfully, but that also means you're gonna have to live with a lot of state *sprawl*-- you can't have one without the other.

    Or maybe a better way to put it is: there's a level of state capacity below which *you may not sink* if you want to wage war with any success. And my gut instinct is that libertarianism would put us waaaay below that level. So I'm opposed to it.

    TL;DR I think the think the United States of America would *wipe the floor* with the Libertarian States of America, and I don't think it would even be close.


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