Anti-theists believe religion is the problem. Libertarians believe government is the problem. Populists believe corporations are the problem. But they’re all wrong. People are the problem. Give them power in religion, government, or a corporation, and they will likely abuse that power. Especially since the path to getting such power is biased toward those who will abuse it.
All this came to me while washing the dishes, and the solution seemed to be government. Which the libertarian in the background immediately points out is the problem. And they have a point. Every society needs to answer the question: Who watches the watchmen? It would be interesting if we could set up government in a way to protect the people from the abuse of power, and design government to prevent itself from abusing it’s power.
There is some of that in the checks and balances system, but I’m not sure it’s really effective. Certainly there are problems in the management of executive branch agencies and some of the more whack judges out there, but there is especially the problem of Congress. In my experience in the executive branch, 95% of the things people complain about the executive branch doing it is only doing because it was required to by Congress. Not to mention bridges to nowhere and towers of pork.
While the government I envisioned two paragraphs back might be a nice idea, we’re not going to get there from here. That is always the problem with my ideas about what government should be. We’re stuck with what government is, and we rarely have the chance to drastically change it (and getting to that point is generally a whole lot of not fun). But perhaps we can keep these dreams alive in our minds, and use them as tools to examine public policy proposals, to better determine their value.
And, yeah, I haven’t posted here in ages. But writing is supposed to be one of my priorities, so I’m going to try to get back into that.