In our post-Constitutional police-state, rulers often pass laws and regulations according to the following formula: someone suffers, whether from a genuine tragedy or mere inconvenience; said victim bewails his pain while demanding more laws to save the rest of us from his particular agony, however unusual its cause; the corporate media amplifies his screams while praising his “courage”; and presto, politicians pretend to solve the problem as they gain more control over our lives.
A better question is: How much government do the American people need? We need our defense forces to protect us from our enemies. We need policemen to protect us against criminals. We need a court system to prosecute criminals and adjudicate disputes among us. Taxes are required to pay for all of these legitimate government functions, and if that’s all we needed and wanted, taxes would be extremely low.
The year 2011 marks the 123rd year since the publication of Edward Bellamy’s famous utopian novel, Looking Backward, in which the author depicted a happy, socialist America in the year 2000. In Bellamy’s optimistic fantasy, greed and material want ceased to exist, brotherly harmony prevailed, the arts and sciences flourished, and an all-powerful and pervasive government and bureaucracy were efficient and fair.