Anarchy, Anyone?

Filed in Gather Politics News Channel by on October 27, 2008 0 Comments

"Mommy, what's an anarchist?"

"That's somebody who wants to get rid of the government." For some reason, as a child I believed that anarchists achieved their aims by killing everyone in the government. I had a picture of an endless procession of would-be government leaders, each assuming office, only to be assassinated in turn. Eventually, the anarchists would kill us all. I was closer to correct than I could guess.

McCain on the stump this week sounds like an anarchist. "Big government," he wails, "Obama wants to return to big government!"

If an ordinary woman stood on a busy street corner or got on the Internet and openly called for the overthrow of government, the NSA, FBI, Homeland Security and the local police would know her business by sundown. Yet John McCain sings the same song from the mountaintops, broadcasts it on the media, and no one bats an eye.

McCain comes from a long line of Republican conservatives who have spent the last three decades working for anarchy. They just don't call it that.

McCain's patron saint, Ronald Reagan, appointed James Watt to head the Department of the Interior. Watt was memorable for blocking environmental interests in favor of commercial uses of public lands. The party faithful saw the genius of this move immediately. Whenever an agency gets in the way of big money, conservatives simply appoint an official who cuts the budget to prevent the agency from carrying out its mission. Note that the IRS is never included in this governmental seppuku. It's a good bet it never will be.

The Declaration of Independence claims that governments derive their power from the consent of the governed. This statement is a concise definition of social contract theory. In return for citizens' consent, the government is supposed to maintain civil order. The people relinquish some freedom to the government in return for its promise to protect them.

The founders stated clearly that when government does not live up to its obligations toward the people, they have a right to abolish it. Oddly, some of the founders' complaints about the British Crown read like a litany of Republican strategies, but I digress.

For whatever reason, the conservative Republican Party has decided to abolish the parts of government that protect the weakest members of society from the strongest. They have used many tactics to do this, besides appointing officials who obstruct the mission of the agencies they direct. They appoint judges who consistently interpret the law in favor of corporate and big business interests. They support laws that favor big corporations over individuals. They have tried to limit people's right to sue companies who harm them through what they call tort reform. Any candidate who opposes such measures is called a tax-and-spend big-government liberal.

Just as there are laws that say your neighbor can't come into your house and take your TV, there are laws that say that corporations can't poison your drinking water. The Republican Party's mission for the last 30 years has been to repeal those laws because they pose an "unjust burden" on companies. They claim that the companies will do the right thing because it is in their own best interest to do so.

Corporations, whose directors are only responsible for delivering profits to shareholders, are amoral creatures. They seek one thing only: profits. The United States needs a strong government to prevent corporations from destroying the environment and everyone in their path for gain.

Letting Wall Street police itself worked out well, didn't it?

When a robber is trying to break into your house, do you want a strong lock or a weak one?

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