Category Archive 'Realism'

07 Jan 2019

There is No Ideal Reality…


Karl Notturno looks on the bright side and argues for putting in the work.

The free market exists all around us. It is continually playing its role in how government works. Libertarians don’t seem to grasp that the government is a solution that communities have put together to address some collective needs. And globalists don’t seem to grasp that international order already exists to facilitate cooperation between countries. Now, both of these institutions could be a lot better. But improving these institutions requires a lot of hard work—thankless, low-paying work.

Improving government and international relations is not glamorous. In fact, it’s very tedious. There are many entrenched interests that will fight you and try to destroy you—after all, many special interests want to control where the people’s money is going. Because, especially in this country, that’s a lot of money. People are happy to spend billions of dollars to try to control the flow of trillions and few citizens are impervious to corruption.

Typically, one can find many ideological shills in this group. They are the snake-oil salesmen who claim they have a system that can run perfectly and needs very little oversight. In the case of the libertarians, the salesmen need a lot of money to educate people about the free-market and freedom and to lobby for lower taxes. In the case of the globalists, they have an entire governmental system that is very complicated and must be run by experts (who, not coincidentally are themselves and their friends)—after all, it’s too complicated to be understood by commoners.

Now these machines can continue to make terrible decisions and produce mediocre outcomes, but they will tell us that it just needs to be recalibrated and that the outcomes are actually not that bad, because . . . well, because we’re experts and we say that it’s good enough, so shut up.

Many people are happy to spend money with these salesmen because very few want to work in public service at all. They are all looking for the miracle pill, the perfect system that will solve all of our problems without civic involvement.

This system does not exist. There are things that societies can do to make their governments better and there are structural features of bureaucracies that can facilitate this betterment, but there’s no way to get around the difficult civic work that citizens must do in order to make sure that our representatives do the job we’re paying them to do and to keep them from wasting our money.

We should think of our government as we think of hiring a contractor—the less you oversee their work, the more they can rip you off. And if they can convince you that you need to be an expert in order to paint a wall, then they’ll really fleece you.


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