There are two people in the photo above. They outnumber you, two to one.
They constitute a voting majority over you. They have the means to impose their will upon you by the sheer force of their numbers. With that in mind, I invite you to stare at the photo as you candidly ask yourself who you’d rather have making decisions about:
- Your children’s education;
- Your medical care;
- The food you eat; and
- …every other facet of your life that is governed and regulated by the
whim of “the majority”.
Should you make these decisions for yourself, or should two
other people make them for you simply because they outnumber you?
We justify government as a “necessary evil”. That label concedes two
Government is “necessary”; and government is “evil”. This is not a new observation.
“The creation of the world – said Plato – is the victory of persuasion
over force… Civilization is the maintenance of social order, by its own
inherent persuasiveness as embodying the nobler alternative. The recourse to
force, however unavoidable, is a disclosure of the failure of civilization,
either in the general society or in a remnant of individuals…
“Now the intercourse between individuals and between social groups takes
one of these two forms: force or persuasion. Commerce is the great example of
intercourse by way of persuasion. War, slavery, and governmental compulsion exemplify the reign of force.”
-Alfred North Whitehead (“From Force to Persuasion“)
The authors of the articles that formed our country acknowledged this, and went to great lengths to ensure that the scope of the governmental reach was severely limited. But two hundred years of legislative erosion on the federal, state, and local levels have resulted in so many laws that even small villages need to employ full-time city attorneys to try and sort the whole mess out.
You and I don’t enjoy that luxury. Every day we skirt, trample, and violate laws both willingly and unwittingly, whether inching over the speed limit to get to work on time, or stepping off the curb in the wrong spot once we arrive. The sheer volume of our laws ensures that we are all violators to some degree. We can’t know them all.
Here’s a challenge: Quickly, right this second, point to something in your home or office that isn’t regulated. We’ve legislated everything already, so how are more laws the solution to anything?
Consider this the next time somebody proposes to allow “the majority” to introduce yet another ordinance about our telephones and our dogs and (y)our cigarettes and everything else under the sun:
Are you the best person to make the decisions in your life, or is everybody else better qualified to make those choices for you?