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Survival of the most Socially Connected

© Jen Sorensen

What I don’t get is that if Ron Paul wants everyone to chip in to help out people who have medical problems, why wouldn’t he just want the government to do it? Isn’t that somewhat the whole point of government — to provide things like education, police, defense, roads and other things that we all want to have?



  1. Jeff wrote:

    Paul won’t endorse a government program of mutual support. He’s a libertarian, and doesn’t believe in government regulation or control of any kind. What’s interesting, though, is that Paul’s beliefs do seem to mirror the philosophy of single payer.

    The GOP wants to privatize everything, and Paul is right there with them. It will be interesting to see how things work when all of our “education, police, defense, roads and other things that we all want to have” are held in the hands of private businesses.

    Friday, September 23, 2011 at 5:44 am | Permalink
  2. Michael wrote:

    Jeff, here’s an illustration of how well things will work when they are privatized:

    As for Ron Paul and other libertarians/objectivists, the problem basically derives from an idea in Atlas Shrugged: Because the government (e.g., police and military) ostensibly have the power to physically harm you for failure to pay, all taxation is theft. It’s not that it’s analogous to theft. It IS theft, because someone is taking your money with the point of a gun.

    Of course, this idea comes naturally to someone like Ayn Rand, who grew up in the Soviet Union. In such countries, individuals are distinct from the government, and those governments do not have to answer to the people. However, in the U.S., we were raised on the ideal of a government of the people, by the people and for the people. That is, the government only has power granted to it by the people. So Paul’s ideas only work if people perceive the government to be some external uncontrollable entity, rather than one made up of individuals from our society.

    Friday, September 23, 2011 at 7:46 am | Permalink
  3. Jeff wrote:

    Michael, Thanks for posting that link. I’ve seen that before, and it’s just as shocking today as it was then. The idea of taxation being theft is clearly at the heart of many GOP/TP individuals. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any understanding of how taxation is used to help the people who pay. They see the government as an enemy, as you said an “external, uncontrollable entity.” That view is self-destructive and concerning, especially considering the amount of influence people of that mindset currently have.

    Friday, September 23, 2011 at 9:12 am | Permalink
  4. Michael wrote:

    Personally, I think the anti-government stance is just a cynical negotiating tactic. In truth, they’re only against parts X, Y, and Z. But by claiming that they are against the entire government, they can then present themselves as being reasonable and willing to compromise by “only” dismantling parts X, Y, and Z. If you want $100, ask for a million first…then your request seems more reasonable.

    On the other hand, it is possible that they are truly against all government. In that case, they’re either sociopaths or they haven’t considered the logical implications of their argument.

    Friday, September 23, 2011 at 10:15 am | Permalink
  5. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    Take a moment to appreciate the humor and irony of a dozen people campaigning for political office under the general slogan, “government is terrible.”

    “Please vote for me to fill a position that is inherently bad!”

    This helps preserve my sanity over the clamors of privatization (and essentially the creation of mercenaries).

    Friday, September 23, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Permalink