Best Government – Governs Least
Best Government – Governs Least
Once upon a time the Founding Fathers were considered to be the personification of the American Republic. Most notable among giants, was Thomas Jefferson. The significance of his authorship of the Declaration of Independence is heralded as the very essence of the purpose for fighting the revolution. Jump onward to the present era and examine the sentiment held by the populace. The seeming disconnect from the political thought of the 18th and 19th century to the attitudes in this 21st totalitarian collectivist mindset that dominates the culture, often resembles life on a different planet.
According to Monticell.org, the quintessential statement closely associated with Jefferson, “That government is best which governs least” is clarified.
“Although the ideas expressed in this quotation may be in line with Jefferson’s opinions to some extent, the exact phrasing is almost certainly not Jefferson’s. However, this quotation has been associated with the ideological descendants of Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican party for a very long time, and this is likely why it ultimately came to be attributed to him. Merrill Peterson even referred to the quotation as a “Jeffersonian maxim” in The Jefferson Image in the American Mind”.
It can be fairly accepted that this world view was commonly acknowledged as the norm for most Americans. During the formative years of nation building, the proper role of government was narrow in scope. At a minimum, the civic culture professed a need and desire to keep government intervention limited on all levels.
National Affairs proposes in the article, The Art of Limited Government a new standard.
“What guidelines could preserve Jefferson’s ethos while also recognizing that the world has changed in dramatic ways? A good place for conservatives to start might be Friedrich Hayek’s The Constitution of Liberty, in which he sanctioned two spheres of domestic activity as legitimately belonging to government: offering a minimal social safety net and providing limited correction for failures of the market. Neither of these two roles, Hayek believed, was inherently incompatible with economic freedom or the rule of law.”
In the same vein, Peter Coulson from Australia writes in the article, the best Government is that which governs least.
“This is the central premise of libertarian political theory and is designed for two main aims. Firstly it protects the rights and liberties from a government pursuing a course of action that requires coercion of the public to achieve its desired outcomes.
The second reason for this theory is the belief that government should “focus on its knitting”: providing a stable economic management framework, with robust and predictable rules within which the market can effectively operate to create wealth for its participants.”
The premise that official authorities operate on, the precept for the “Good of Society” has little in common with the actual conduct of government policy. In addition, the public has abandoned the quest for individual liberty in their pursuit for the good life at the expense of their neighbor.
Political Crumbs starts out with the statement: We’ve moved a long way since Locke’s minimal vision of government, then goes on to express the fantasy myth of achieving a “Good Society”.
“Indeed, we widely regard it as an urgent moral task of the government to guarantee a minimum quality of life for all of its citizens. Where to draw that “minimal” line is a matter of debate, but few would argue about clean drinking water, free firefighters, free hospitals, free sewage treatment plants, free schooling for children…all this is something the government of a rich state ought to, at the very least, guarantee its citizens.”
The absurdity that it is government’s role, or even its duty to provide FREE services, exemplifies the mental illness that underpins the general decay in societal attitudes and the lack of rational thought. Government is hardly free. The notion that social programs are a moral imperative, when government never produces any wealth or monetary value, by the very nature of its composition stands on the self-evident premise, that the state derives its cash flow from coercive confiscation under the penalty of punitive laws and regulations.
Even the notion that “so called” responsible citizens would not debate, much less rebuke the collectivist civic benefit of government fluoride poisoned water, mandated taxable fire fighting fees and government school socialization indoctrination, or the death panels that provide their euthanasia care are all symptoms of deranged Utopian insanity. The real sewer treatment plant is the governmental apparatus that seeks to dominate every facet of individual life.
Absent in the state worship culture is any admission that the state has failed miserably under the tyranny of governmental imposition for well over the last century and a half. Material consumerism and socialist programs are no substitute for personal dignity and individual responsibility.
Quality of life is directly proportional with the degree of the absence of government intrusion in the lives of citizens. By this standard, we all live under the dictatorship of a system designed to dehumanize, impose dependency and demand ultimate deference to a despotic and authoritarian system.
Well prior to the inception of the country, the model of a direct form of democracy, embodied in the Town Hall Meeting provided for participatory community decision making. Author Frank M. Bryan of the book, Real Democracy: The New England Town Meeting and How It Works notes.
“Town meetings have suffered a loss in attendance over the years. Most of this decline can be attributed to increases in town size, which explains about 60% of the variance in attendance from town to town. But a decline in the number and variety of issues over which towns have control has deprived townspeople of the opportunity to make decisions that matter in their lives. That has hurt attendance dramatically.”
While rule by direct democracy certainly conflicts with our Republic representational form of Federalism, the tradition of local citizen’s involvement in local government is a mainstay for a free people. Yes, the size of the community directly marginalizes the effectiveness of a single person; however, the message of a lone voice often is more powerful than the goon squads of a police state. Of course, a moral citizenry is the indispensable ingredient necessary to stand up to tyranny.
As previously cited in the essay, The TUN – a true representative council provides the proper alternative to the current version of electoral office selections in the land of the timid. Read the details of this method of representation and accept the conclusion that “By applying the prudent principles of the TUN method, a real representative republic is possible. Consider a model that retains the current levels of government separations that exist today.”
Now for any form of government to justly administer and honor individual natural rights must be based upon the willful consent of responsible citizens. In today’s environment, the requirement that the people will discipline themselves is not exactly a widespread practice. Even if the multitude would accept the principle, very few have the internal strength to reject or shun the “FREE” cradle to grave government welfare society.
The leap from innately knowing that less government produces more freedom just does not motivate the captured masses from resisting all those social benefits from the “Free Lunch”.
In a report entitled, What Americans REALLY Think about Government, the conclusions sadly indicate how the public has sunk to the low view of their own obligations.
“Surveys also reveal that surprisingly large numbers of people believe that the government should take the lead and be responsible for dealing with a wide variety of social and economic problems. 71% of Americans believe that the government has an important or essential responsibility for seeing to it that anyone who wants a job can have one. 63% believe that the government has an important or essential responsibility to provide citizens with adequate housing; and 78% of us think that the government has an important or essential responsibility to provide citizens with good medical care. Similarly large majorities strongly support the notion that it is the responsibility of the public sector to “guarantee a quality public education,” “protect the environment,” and “ensure equal opportunity for everyone.”
Such attitudes are typical of those non-participates to the actual functions of governmental administration. Only job seekers, bureaucratic careerists, political aspirants or “PC” collectivists will ignore the true record of government incompetency, deliberate corruption and misguided expenditures that bloat budgets to the point of impoverishing the once prosperous Middle America.
The National Center for Constitutional Studies sums up the plight of the lost Republic with a quote from Alexis de Tocqueville. “Democracy in the United States will endure until those in power learn that they can perpetuate themselves through taxation.”
Dismissing the harm that irresponsible citizens have caused with their destructive demands for more government bennies, paid for by others or just pushed onto future generations, allows for the culture of State repression. The principles embodied in the TUN framework are a solution and remedy to the psychosis of Big Government.