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January 2014

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... or, stuck in the middle with you.

When I was a kid, I always looked to government as a way to solve all sorts of problems. It seemed to me that some people had too much, others had not enough, and somebody really needed to do something to even the scales a little. Shouldn't the people who are doing a little better pitch in to help that poor fellow who lost his job pay for some health care, after all? But if those people with more don't want to help out, shouldn't the government do something?

As I've gotten older, I've begun to really question this form of idealism. It's become pretty obvious what role the Federal government has in this country - it exists only to extend its own powers and to entrench control among the elite.

The Federal government is gradually acquiring powers that are expressly forbidden by the Constitution, and it is at the same time usurping the last ounces of control the individual states hold onto. The Federal government no longer exists to provide for the common defense or ensure domestic tranquility - it's a behemoth that cannot be satiated, and it will continue acquiring control until there is nothing left to acquire.

Now, there are those who believe you can wield that sort of power for the greater good, but it seems as though corruption can only breed corruption, and that the system isy beyond saving. Can we force our government to actually serve the people, protecting their rights and acting on their behalf to ensure everybody has some basic needs met? Can we trust the government to help people who are too ignorant to even pay attention to what's going on in their own neighborhoods, much less the country as a whole? Federal government as benevolent dictator and upholder of justice truly seems to be a pipe dream, as it's become clear that instead of protecting ourselves from our own stupidity, government feeds off of that ignorance to further extend its control and consolidate power.

So then you have to start considering the other end of the spectrum, ideas such as Anarchy, or its more reasonable cousin Libertarianism, wherein the powers of the government are reigned in and people can have the freedoms that our founding fathers thought were self-evident. But how can anyone hope to use the system to limit its own power, when at every juncture in the past it has done the opposite? And the Libertarian form of idealism may throw off the yoke of government oppression, but in its stead we could have equally or potentially more frightening rulership by international conglomerates and capitalist czars who, unchecked by regulation, could consolidate power more effectively than the government could ever hope to by monopolizing production and distribution of goods and services.

So, I don't know what to think. I'm a little worried that I'm becoming a realist, and that I should just accept that we're all fucked.

Oh well, not quite yet. Ralph Nader 2008!

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