Thursday, June 10, 2010

More on Government

More musings on "government": government is a success. That is, government is a success in that we the people now think that government is and has been successful and so we turn to government for "solutions" to our "problems." But what is striking here is how often government is not successful, at least not successful in "solving" our "problems." Other times, "the government" claims or is credited with success when in fact other variables were more or just as important in "solving" our problems.

Now, I am not saying that government never solves any problems, for the simple reason that it does. The issue for me is: Which or what kind of problems can the government solve? Obviously, or so it seems to me, the government cannot solve the "drug problem" or if it can it has not done so so far. I am assuming that this is because the government cannot solve this problem. I don't know why yet but I am fairly confident that this is the case, that this phenomenon points to the limits of government. What is interesting here is that some communities have, apparently, solved the drug problem because members of those communities don't do drugs. The Mormons come to mind here, as well as the Amish. [Another distinction to be explored herein is the one between "government" and "community." I am of the opinion presently that government cannot create community, that this too is a phenomenon that illustrates the limits of "government." And in fact I am of the opinion that government was created to render community unnecessary because, among other reasons, communities are fragile, far more fragile than bureaucratically run groups of human beings.]

So then why is it that "we the people" - or at least a lot of us - turn to government when we perceive a problem we think needs solving? That is a good question and one that I don't have a particularly good answer for. But the fact that this is a good question illustrates the success of government, that is, its success in making us think that it is the problem solver par excellence. This is evidence of a peculiar, particular, and controversial mindset and it is this which needs to be explored.

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