I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but inform their discretion ~ Thomas Jefferson (4/13/1743 to 7/4/1826) an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the third President of the United States (1801 to 1809).
What follows is a somewhat accurate commentary by Libertarian blogger Willis Hart, except that most "states", historically speaking, have not been democratic or represented the will of the people. As such, the following is in reality quite dishonest, in that we KNOW Willis is talking about the US Federal government...
|Willis Hart: On the State... It is the greatest source of death and destruction known to man (it isn't even a contest), and the fact that there are still people out there who so casually want to enhance its power is exceedingly troubling. (3/29/2014 AT 12:33pm).|
In response all I can say is... DUH!! The state is the only entity that has the power to wage war, so OF COURSE it would be the greatest source of death and destruction. However, in a democracy it is THE PEOPLE who make the decisions, through their elected officials... arguably. A democracy requires, of course, that THE PEOPLE are informed and actually vote.
When they do the result will be a Democratic State that is a force for good in the lives of its citizens. But when the people don't stay informed or vote, that is when the special interests step in and take advantage of an apathetic electorate. In other words, it's all up to the people. But Willis OF COURSE completely ignores that reality. In his mind a powerful State representing the people is just as bad as a powerful State that represents the wealthy elites (the problem with our democracy), or itself (the problem with an aristocracy).
At least Mr. Hart makes no distinction what-so-ever with his commentary. He simply (and stupidly) says "State bad". And this from a fellow who SAYS he does not see things in black and white and "does nuance". Here he chucks nuance and goes completely black and white to sell his stoogeishly dishonest narrative that lumps a representative democracy in with totalitarian governments.
And, while it most certainly is true that, even in a representative democracy, we must be wary of a State that does not act in the interest of THE PEOPLE, the answer is not to neuter government by striping it of it's power so it can't do evil OR good. The answer is for the electorate to get politically informed and participate!
Participate by voting as well as running for office. We need more average Joes running to represent their fellow average Joes, and not well-funded Joes who represent the interests of their fellow wealthy and privileged citizens. And the answer to that problem is campaign finance reform.
There is a way by which we can ensure that the State works for us. But Willis clearly does not want that, which is why he conflates a representative democratic State that truly represents it's people with a State that "is the greatest source of death and destruction known to man", and advocates disempowerment instead of fixing what's wrong. Disempower the State (representing The People) and the only ones left with any power will be the plutocrats.
Now, Willis may be eager to give up (stop trying to fix government and disempower it... thereby disempowering The People) - so we can surrender completely to the oligarchs... but I sure as hell am not. And, what I find exceeding troubling is Willis' lying that there are people who want to "casually" enhance the power of the State. The Progressive agenda is to enhance the power of THE PEOPLE while guarding against abuses of that power by our elected representatives... there is nothing "casual" in our desire for achieving this goal.
I certainly wouldn't accuse the Hartster of being "casual" in his call for the disempowerment of the State... he's on the same page as those who wish to shrink government to a size where "drowning it in a bathtub" is possible. His stoogery to those who seek to disempower government and thereby empower the plutocrats, is appreciated, I'm sure.