If there’s one thing that stands out to me about America and Americans in general it’s their detachment from the rest of the world and its ideas. There seems to be a lack of engagement that frequently stems from ignorance, but is defended as “pride”, “nationalism” or “freedom”. There are stratas of people who hate this situation and actively fight against it, but very few of them are prepared to embrace radically different views.
OK, if you’re an American and reading this you’re probably already irritated by this seemingly condescending viewpoint. Please bear with me.
Over here you are almost guaranteed to encounter arguments concerning “Republicans” and “Democrats”, or “Conservatives” and “Liberals” but very few people, even outside of the cracker stomping grounds, would ever argue in terms of “left”, “right”, “authoritarian” or “anarchist”. That’s odd to me.
Last week, a friend from work kindly gave me a lift home and we listened to a Rachel Maddow podcast which contained an interview with Pat Buchanan in which he successfully managed to make Nick Griffin seem like a reasonable logician. We discussed the interview and he explained that he believed that Americans have been indoctrinated with the idea that rules, and therefore laws, and therefore governments (who create laws) are bad and should be avoided.
Now, personally I agree; the more laws you have, the more flawed your society must be. But what I find bizarre is the animosity towards “government” in general. The entire point of government in America is supposedly that they represent the people! It’s obvious that these days that clearly isn’t the case, and that the government is prone to corruption but surely THAT is the problem. The idea of a democratic government is that it represents the viewpoints of you and me! That’s what the founding fathers were on about! Whether it be a local government, city government, state government or national government. If any of these governments are corrupt, dishonest or un-democratic then that’s what we should be fighting!
Even more perplexing is what the these so-called “libertarians” would prefer: private companies! Whilst attacking “gubmint bureaucracy” they are defending free enterprise which bleeds them dry every second of the day. These “libertarians” don’t seem to acknowledge their debts to the major companies (Comcast, Verizon, Bank of America, Energy companies, Visa, Mastercard etc) as “rules” or “laws”. They regard tax, which is supposedly intended to benefit everyone who contributes, as evil whilst happily bending over to take some serious taxing from the private sector who owe them NOTHING in return.
And let me tell you, as someone who has worked in environments ranging from UK local government up to some of the most enormous private companies in the world, I can state quite firmly that the worst bureaucracy I’ve come across was in the private sector. I can give you some case studies if you’re interested.
Thanks for reading this far.