“Here in America you can see how slightly a people needs to be governed… Here are governments, but no rulers – governors, but they are clerks.
“All the great educational establishments, the churches, the great means of transportation, etc., that are being organized here – almost all of these things owe their existence not to official authority, but to the spontaneous cooperation of private individuals. It is only here that you realize how superfluous governments are in many affairs in which, in Europe, they are considered entirely indispensable, and how the opportunity of doing something inspires a desire to do it.”
-Carl Shurz (US Secretary of the Interior, US Senator from Missouri)
This is the same observation that Alexis De Tocqueville had as he toured America in the 1830s. Both saw that Americans both wanted their Freedoms but understood their responsibilities to others (aka Civic Duty and not that horrific phrase in vogue today of “Giving Back.” The former are the actions of a Free Man, the latter the reverse of that such that men are owned by Society.
These earlier Americans were Volunteerists – when something needed fixing, they fixed it themselves in conjunction with other like-minded people. And once the problem was licked and put to bed, they disassembled and went their own ways.
Progressives, once the Socialist ideas grabbed them later on that century, believe that the only good things happen with Government involved in some way. Look around – how many former charities (now known as “Non-Government Organizations”) have tied themselves to the Government via their grants and YOUR tax monies. How much more insular have we become because we say “I gave at the office”, or worse, “Government took it from my paycheck already,” and think all bad things are someone else’s responsibility – The government.
And as Ronald Reagan told us, the closest thing to eternal life is a Government program because it NEVER seems to solve the problem it was started to handle. Of course not – there’s no incentive for them to do so for if they do, they would rightly work themselves out of a job. Instead, the problem always becomes “worse” and needs more Government workers to “solve”.
And if we, who are involuntarily dragooned in to paying for it (“Taxation is Theft”), complain, we are labeled as insensitive, uncaring, and coldhearted when all we really mean is “if you can’t solve the problem, it’s being done the wrong way”.
Government shouldn’t be a “job provider” just because other people are too lazy to “do their Civic Duty”. Well, almost right.
Some, if not many, problems CAN’T be solved by Government and it is a fool’s errand to believe it’s possible. Those in Government and those whose “pet project” is to have Government solve that problem willfully put blinders on so as to not see the problem (often, the problem lies with those the program is supposed to “help”) and are not willing to give up that Power. Too many of these Government-philes truly show that believe that Individuals can’t solve anything on their own.
Wished they’d move themselves to a Socialist nation and leave the rest of us alone.
(H/T: Cafe Hayek)