Friday, April 23, 2010

Regulation: The Most Beautiful Word…

… in the political language.

Regulation almost sounds like a sexual thing, something you might get arrested for doing in the 1940’s. “Yeah, they picked him up for regulating in a state park.”

I know I can safely classify someone as ill informed if they advocate “less regulation.” We need far more regulations, I assure you, and it is regulation that makes America great.

What is the Constitution? It is a giant list of regulations… on the government. About the only thing the Constitution specifically orders the government to do is… anyone? Bueller?

Conduct a census every ten years.

I find it odd that people who talk about how we need to protect and cherish the Constitution are also vocally against the Census.

The Constitution is, by and large, a set of regulations on the government. As it turns out, those with power sometimes wield it abusively, so regulating those with power is a great idea. The problem is, power does not lie exclusively in the hands of government.

Well, this isn’t a “problem” in and of itself. Government does not need to have all the power, nor does it necessarily even need to be the most powerful entity, but it must maintain the authority to regulate anything (though a great many things need little or no regulation).

Sometimes you lack something for so long, you forget why you got rid of it in the first place. Case in point: kings. Kings are a really bad idea. Putting a country’s power in the hands of one man curses a nation to the fickle fate of the monarch.

As it turns out, the king uses most of his power defending his power, and the well-being of the nation is largely forgotten. The king is more concerned with the politics of the nobles who oppose him than of the common people who barely exist to him.

In my view, kings are not exclusively heads of state. A king is merely one who wields vast amounts of power in a unilateral fashion. There are dozens of kings in America, and they wear suits and power ties to work. They are more powerful than the government, and their wealth affords them the ability to literally buy the “right” to exploit people, not only in spite of the government, but under its legislative protection. These kings even get bailed out when their risky behavior derails the gravy train.

When I hear people talk about “less regulation,” I hear a fool who fails to see the problem. The government has been bought because power was allowed to be concentrated in the hands of a few. We have welcomed and fostered the foul specter of Nobility, that grotesque beast that cast us out of Europe.

It is the nobility who look upon the practices of the common folk with disgust and demand they be outlawed. They seek to bury common people in complexities and inconveniences, all while denying them basic pleasures. The drug war, the tax code, the difficulty of running your own business, censorship… these are tools of the nobility that are used to keep the cattle under control. These are not “regulations,” they are un-Constitutional burdens masquerading as legitimate legislation.

To me, Liberty means freedom from government oppression, privatized exploitation, and individual criminals. There will be laws passed which will be unjust and need to be repealed, but that does not mean government is evil. There will be companies that create dangerous products that need to be regulated, but this does not mean the free market is wrong. There will be individuals who harm others, but this does not mean people are essentially bad.

Liberty is not an heirloom handed down to us by past generations, it is an on-going struggle which each of us can choose to participate in or ignore. It is a multiple-front war, one in which conservatives, libertarians, Tea Partiers, and Republicans have set up their Maginot line facing the government.

The truth is, the government is our ally. In fact, it is the commoner’s outlet of power. The average person has absolutely no power to prevent the actions of the rich, but the collective aggregate of average people select the government.

The government is not the enemy, it is merely an employee we cannot fully control (perhaps because they receive a bigger paycheck from elsewhere…). Every few years we get the chance to fire them, it’s just a shame the hiring pool is so small.


  1. You are opening a can of worms with this one. Every Deadhead who went into the woods and smoked weed for years to assist in creating the wonderful world of conspiracy theories is gonna have something to say.

    Ideally, democracy is a government elected by the people to serve the people. When they no longer meet our needs, regulation should be imposed. End of story.

  2. the collective aggregate of average people select the government.

    Right, sure they do..

  3. I've always wondered what would happen it all those who are eligible to vote did vote. I think we'd have a very differnt country.

  4. Right, sure they do..

    I agree that this does not happen, but we do have the right to do so. There is opposition standing in the way of liberty, and it does no good to throw our hands in the air and give up simply because no one is just handing it to us on a silver platter.

    It is important that we identify what is unjust and bring our grievances to the attention of legislators and the voters who select them.

    I've always wondered what would happen it all those who are eligible to vote did vote. I think we'd have a very differnt country.

    I have yet to find a candidate worth voting for, and I reach this conclusion not because I lack interest in politics, but because I pay closer attention than the average voter. I believe SE's comment adequately sums up how I feel at my more pessimistic moments.

    I don't think it's the number of ballots cast that determines the quality of a democracy, but rather the quality of a democracy that determines the numbers of ballots cast. Ours is the oldest extant democracy, and we're showing signs of wear. America's model is a crude prototype with thousands of jury-rigged quick-fixes that will be biting us in the ass until we figure out a way to unclutter the system.


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