Why Big Government Will Inevitably Lead to the End of America
Our own government is our greatest threat
"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.
The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to complacency; From complacency to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage." -- Unknown, but often attributed to Alexander Fraser Tytler or Alexis de Tocqueville
Anarchy sounds fun in that teenage sort of way where you love the idea of doing whatever you want and not having to obey anyone’s rules. As a side note, that’s probably one of the reasons why zombie movies are so popular. It allows people to imagine a world where everyone starts from scratch and there are no rules. That big mansion on the hill? You can go live in there. You can go to the supermarket or the mall and just take anything you want. No matter what you do, no authority is going to show up and hold you accountable. Depending on your perspective, it’s either incredibly exciting (I get to do those things!) or deeply terrifying (Oh no, everyone else gets to do those things, too!).
Once you start recognizing that if you don’t organize to protect yourself, other people may organize to victimize you, then you start to understand why a government is necessary at all. It leads you to the first of three crucial duties of government.
1. Law and order.
Then the natural question becomes, “How can we create a government that preserves as much of each person’s freedom and natural rights as much as possible?” This is not as simple as it seems at first glance because human beings have different values, morals, and principles. Additionally, one of the things people are best at doing is justifying doing the wrong thing, as any of us who’ve said, “I’m going on a strict diet starting Monday” can say from personal experience.
Still, a set of broad, mostly mutually agreed-upon principles that lead to laws and enforcement of them is necessary for a democratic form of government to function.
So, we may say that someone can CHOOSE to sell you their land, but you can’t put a gun to their head and force them to sell it to you at pennies on the dollar. Someone can open up a business and sell you food, but they can’t pick up cow flop from the fields and use it as a filler for strawberry pies. You can express your opinion, and someone can express it back, but you can’t cut someone’s head off with a sword because they said it should be illegal to serve pizza without pineapples.
Once you set up a system to enforce these rules, you’re ready for the next step.
2. Protection from outsiders.
Once that basic set of rules is agreed upon, then the government needs to control the borders of your nation and take steps to protect you from outsiders. It doesn’t matter how wonderful your society is if a horde of barbarians can ride over the hill and sack it at will. As the late, great Margaret Thatcher put it:
3. Doing things we want to do together at a scale that we can’t easily do individually.
Sometimes, there are things that it makes sense to collectively do together. Roads, fire departments, stop signs, sewage systems, etc. We can actually have a very healthy debate about how much of these things we truly need to do as a society. For example, in many places, toll roads could take the place of government-built highways. For-profit, privately-run prisons (sometimes) or schools (usually) can be preferable to government-run institutions. UPS and FedEx are much more competent than the United States Postal Service.
However, it’s undeniable that it just makes more sense to come together and collectively do certain things. If the richest guy in town is funding the police force, guess who’s not getting arrested if he gets drunk and runs into your car? Do you really want traffic lights or street signs put up only if someone is willing to fund them? How about sidewalks? Those are pretty nice, right? Would they get built without the government? The same goes for certain roads, public transportation, and garbage collection.