Saturday, April 17, 2010

More power to government?

Now, what happens when government is given too much power? Generally speaking, there appear to be 3 main types of government in modern societies with some variations. The most oppressive may be the dictatorship. This type of government depends almost entirely on one man who has come into power either through inheritance, popularity, or force. His position and the controlling force of his followers depend upon the appearance that they cannot be run out or defeated. Sometimes this is done through propaganda and deception, sometimes by actual force and the brutal slaying of any who oppose the dictator and his agenda. The dictator often takes control for the purpose of reform (societal or religious) but then must defend his position of power whether or not that reform is actually successful. The damage to society is often irreparable for at least 2 generations because of the resulting distrust of government, the financial collapse, the disregard for individual rights and the regressive foreign policies.

The communist ideal is a Utopian society where everyone owns everything and all work together for the benefit of the state. The difficulty is that it is all managed by the government so it's actually the government that owns everything and has first choice at all the best while everyone else has no options, no hope for a better future, and no independence. We see clearly the results of this type of society in the aftermath of the Soviet regime and in modern China.

The third major type of modern government is the representative or democratic government. Of course there are a huge variety of approaches to this type and most are currently in a socialist/bureaucratic mode at this point in time. The more control the government has over the private sector and the more government regulatory and welfare programs exist, the less effective this type of government becomes. As government control increases and the 'care' for the poor in society expands, the harder it is to reform and revitalize this gradual decay into a welfare state of inefficiency, un-creativity, over taxation, political maneuvering, bribery and much worse.

The framers of the US Constitution were well aware of the dangers of government. Here are a couple great quotes:

“Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. And force, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” - George Washington

"A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government…” - Thomas Jefferson, first Inaugural address