The Cult of Statism and the Misplaced Belief that Some Men are Angels

“At the end of the day, for all its faults, the U.S. military is the armed force of a political community I identify with and a government I support. I’m not a bystander to it. I’m implicated in what it does and I feel I have a responsibility and a right to a say, albeit just a minuscule one, in what it does.”
. . .
Like to… but trapped on Aeroflot flight to Cuba, you start noticing your lack of independence. And those journalists who didn’t get bamboozled into your lamentable predicament look so enragingly smug.

“We have no relation to Mr. Snowden, his relations with the American justice or his travel around the world.”

All those “journalists” who spent the last 5 years cheering on the state are a bunch of rubes. Just keep repeating, “The state loves me. The state loves me. The state really loves me.”

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
Robert J. Hanlon

Notwithstanding all the wisecracks about libertarianism being utopian, readers discover that our worldview is about pluralism — that is, that we each have different ideas about the good life and that any number of communities can form around those ideas.

Fundamentally, therefore, libertarians are anti-utopian and skeptical of power. We think people who are determined to be thoroughly facile in the face of growing government abuse are simply enchanted by the idea that if you get the right people at the top of the hierarchy, everything’s going to be okay. Such fetishists think those “angels” Madison spoke of, maybe those progressive paladins bestriding white horses (or on the right, those Christian soldiers) exist. And they can save us all. The paladin state will come and take all the abuses and the corporatism and the corruption and the poverty away.

E.J. Dionne’s big question

E.J. Dionne is a moral preener par excellence. No surprise he is a fan of the Moral Preener in Chief.

If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.

James Madison, Federalist 51



Unfortunately, it seems that the future Aldous Huxley predicted in 1932, in Brave New World, is arriving early. Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. However, we do need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT), learn what Members of Congress pay in taxes, and prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading.

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