Monday, November 08, 2010

Activism and Government

I stumbled across an acquaintance's facebook photo album entitled "The Best Signs from the Restoring Sanity and/or Fear" Rally held the weekend before the election.  Stewart, Colbert.  And a bunch of people gathered together to be seen gathering together and looking hep and cool, from what I can tell.

One of the signs had some arabic on it, and underneath it said "Relax, it just says McDonalds".  Another said "I Hate Taxes.  But I like roads and firemen and some cops and stop lights (except red ones) and national parks and the Coast Guard [etc etc]... so I pay them anyway"  then in small letters "oh yeah, and I hate war."   Yet another sign said "God Hates Figs - Mark 11:12-14".

Now everybody, and I mean everybody knows that this was a counter-rally to various Tea Party rallies and especially Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" Rally (at which there were no signs to speak of outside of counter-ralliers and provocateurs).   The RTRSaoF hid behind comedy so that it could say pretty much anything it wanted about the new conservative activism that so upsets them and if anything were off the mark, they could just say "hey, it's comedy, lighten up".   But they want their ridicule to stand.

So these signs were clearly targeting what people in this crowd believed represented mainstream Tea Party core beliefs.

I figure next Tea Party Rally I go to, I should carry a sign with an American Flag on it and underneath it say "Relax, I just love America".   And of course, except for a few rabid, hard-core capital "L" Libertarians, nobody is arguing for no taxes.   But some taxes do not justify endless taxes -- the constant mining of The People for new sources of revenue.   The incessant hoovering of people's pockets and invading their homes with shop vac hoses slorking under couch cushions, or in our bank accounts and 401k's that have collected "enough" money.

Or maybe they'll just crank up the money printing presses to pay off government excess using the most insidious and non-progressive tax of all  -- inflation.

And as I put it on facebook -- everybody --- every Tea Partier as well as every God-Snubbing Atheist or Big Government Loving Progressive hates the Westborough Baptist Church.  So that sign is right out as well.

I stated that I really for the life of me couldn't figure out what the rally was about outside of ridiculing a caricature of people they knew little to nothing about, and his response was "I love the debate.  I think it was about restoring activism to the country."    To which I replied that activism is alive and well, but the side that's been doing most of the activism isn't happy that the other side has finally gotten into it as well and the stage no longer belongs exclusively to them.  (Plus their bad acting has now been exposed for what it is.)

Which got me to thinking about activism and limited government.

Activism for just causes is great.   And a lot of times you'll hear people saying "we're just raising awareness".  How innocuously noble.  But that isn't really the ultimate goal.   They know it, but they hope the average Joe doesn't and they'll learn JUST ENOUGH from the activists to vote in more government regulation ... the regulation the activists want.

If they just wanted money to fight AIDS or help AIDS victims,  their activism would ask people to donate money and time.  They would make people aware, and persuade those people to get involved in helping.  Start foundations and collection drives.   But that's not what they do.

Government is sanctioned force.  That's what it is.  In the end, outside of self-defense, the government is the only entity that's allowed to apply force to people to get them to behave a certain way.   Ergo, it is power.   And what special interest groups -- activist groups -- want, is for the government to use that power on their behalf to get what they want out of people whether the people want to give it to them or not.  They want their very own set of levers on the power of government.

So what they try to do instead is to try to get people to vote to have the government take other peoples' money and give it to their causes.  And such justifications will never, ever end.  And so the government, which is not efficient at pretty much anything gets assigned more and more roles, sucking more and more money out of more and more people for more and more causes and the government itself grows and has an interest in self-preservation.  So it never drops programs, and it can never become more efficient and save money because we'd be "taking money away" from the people the program was supposed to aid, restricts more and more activities from more and more people and eventually you have a bankrupt government that is all-authoritative and the ideals of Liberty and Self-Reliance and real charity are sacrificed on the altar of Social Progress.   The debt spirals out of control, and the countries enemies divide the spoils.   That's the endgame.  I used to think it couldn't happen.  And in the end, I think this is why it happens.  People think it can't -- like the unsinkable Titanic.  And so they drive the State full-speed ahead into the night through waters that have been known to have icebergs.   One little steering mistake, and bam!   The band's playing "Nearer My God To Thee" as people jump over the rails into the icy water, with the deafening sound of groaning, creaking, cracking metal piercing the night over people in half-empty life boats floating away in disbelief.

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