“Government is a beast” – Thomas Paine
I copy the following from a conversation I had with a Democratic friend, because I think his is one of the most common arguments in favor of the status quo, and I think it is faulty. My friend said,
“The compromise of Democracy or Republicanism or whatever you want to call it (I think you’re splitting hairs – nobody is advocating mob rule) is what makes our country great… the constant push-pull of left and right that always eventually ends up in the middle.”
My response was this:
“Is it great to bomb Pakistan? Is it great to invade Iraq? Is it great to detain people without evidence? Is it great to start wars and support the pre-emptive first strike doctrine? Is it great that the government can listen to your phone calls, read your emails, etc.? Is it great to condone torture? Is it great to imprison non-violent drug users? Is it great to reward failed business practices? Is it great to call dissenters terrorists? Is it great that both parties support all of these measures? When policies like these have become your cherished middle ground, is the push-pull of left and right really so great? I think justice is great. Many have died willingly for it, and i think they were all great. Supporting moderation in the pursuit of justice is the mark of a person who is not great.”
There is nothing beautiful about two parties whose petty quarrells never fail to bring more government, more police, more imperialism, and less freedom.