“VISIONS in COLLISION”: “TRAGIC” vs. “UTOPIAN” Worldviews
The ROLE of GOVERNMENT
[borrowed/adapted from Thomas Sowell]
Today’s political divide between “left” and “right” is fueled by one’s “worldview”.
Views on certain issues surrounding the world and the nature of “reality” impact one’s views on politics.
Which ‘worldview”, TRAGIC or UTOPIAN, informs your politics ???
GOVERNMENT (humanity and POWER)
LIMITED govt. – power corrupts VS. UNlimited govt.- power towards solutions
govt. power “DIVIDED” VS. power “CONCENTRATED”
checks & balances) to “prevent” tyranny VS POWER to build “utopia”
limited, incremental change VS. vast, sweeping change
evil diffused throughout humanity VS. evil “localized” in the “unenlightened”
unintended consequences of govt. VS good intentions of government
LEADERSHIP and “THE PEOPLE” (humanity – govt. & governed)
“populist” (what the people “want”) VS “elitist” (what the people “need”)
skepticism of government & state skepticism of “the people”
private choice VS. public “social engineering”
autonomous decision-makers free VS. the “anointed”, enlightened elite
To reject or seek own well-being VS. leading people on “crusades”
tyranny of “majority” ??? VS tyranny of “minority” ???
APPLICATIONS: GLOBAL WARMING
Global warming is a worldwide danger. Government is the only body able to “solve” this problem. Individual and “private” interests are selfish and self-destructive. Government regulation is necessary to counter this. “The people” cannot be trusted to act in the best interests of the collective planet. This “tyranny of the majority” needs to be countered, or we will all suffer. Public “social engineering” is the necessary solution. Government power needs to be “concentrated” towards vast, sweeping changes. The benefit would not only be the stopping of global warming, but “progress” towards building a more “utopian” society that is more “nature” or environmentally friendly.
The global warming “crisis” is scientifically questionable. Evidence shows both warming and cooling on certain parts of the earth. Then there is the question of whether or not global warming has a man-made cause or is a cyclical, “natural” fluctuation.
The “threat” is based on questionable computer models, based on small samples of evidence that could be way off when “extrapolated” on global terms. Forty years ago a coming ice age was predicted. Global warming supporters advocate an environmental “fundamentalism”. a “simple”, absolutist “solution” to a complex and mysterious phenomenon.
Radical “social engineering” would have excessive and unintended costs. China and India are the biggest environmental offenders. The United States would put itself at an economic disadvantage by following Kyoto Protocols, without fixing the “global” problem. Setting gasoline prices at $7-9 dollars a gallon would cut fuel consumption and carbon emissions, but lead to the inflation of prices of all other goods that involve transportation. Governments build expensive public transportation systems that are not “profitably” used by the masses. San Francisco’s government “tickets” people for not recycling properly.
Many express skepticism at government concentration of power to police “green” lifestyles for the masses.
The result would be a “totalitarian” and intrusive government, led by a tyranny of the minority.
Limited government that allows for incremental change of people’s behavior, done by their own choice for their own best interests, is a more “realistic” option.
“The People” will eventually “do the right thing”.
They do not need government and elitist coercion to do it.
___1)Given the size of society’s problems, government is the best means or tool to make society BETTER.
Government needs concentrated and unlimited power to bring “progress:
and solutions to fixable problems. Government is meant to provide collective happiness.
___2)Given humanity’s flawed nature, (Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely) government needs to have limited powers.
“Checks and balances” are needed to “prevent” tyranny. Government is meant to protect individual rights, choices & pursuit of happiness.
___3) Government guided “social engineering” is needed to solve society’s universal problems such as global warming and obesity. Government is a necessary solution.
___4)I am skeptical of state and government’s ability to “solve” problems. Their attempts often have “ unintended consequences”, making things worse, not better.
Government is the problem, not the solution. Government attempts to create “utopia” are historically dangerous.
___5)Government intervention is needed and NECESSARY to solve the dangers of global warming.
Private individuals cannot be trusted to act in public’s best interests. If government does not act to head off this collective crisis, we could all face a “tragic” ending of our own making.
___6)Global warming is a dubious “crisis” that is used to give government more and more power and control over individual lives and liberty.
A “green” elite with a radical and questionable “agenda” is seeking to impose their “utopian” vision on everybody.
This “tyranny of the minority” resembles an environmentalist “fundamentalism” that is intolerant of anyone that questions their environmental “orthodoxy”.
The end result will be a “new” type of “totalitarian” government, a “nanny state” that increasingly regulates our lives.
FREEDOM vs FASCISM: I do not want to want to live in a “green” state run by a “fascist” elite that “knows best”?
APPLICATIONS: FOOD-DIET REGULATION
Obesity is a growing national epidemic, especially with children. In the name of public health, government needs to do something to “fix” this situation. It already does so with tobacco, why not in other areas? New York City has a trans-fat ban. Our schools have banned sodas in vending machines. Government has tried to ban “toys” which entice children to eat unhealthy fast food. Bad diets lead to more health care and insurance costs that everybody ends up paying for. Government should give people what they “need”, not what they “want”. Government regulation of food production and consumption is “progress”.
Individuals have the right to eat whatever they want. Government should play little or no role in what people eat. Government regulation of food has unintended consequences. Where does regulation stop? This leads to a “slippery slope” towards government “tyranny”. Are you forced to do fundraising here at school? Soda sales at the student store used to generate tens of thousands of dollars that funded student activities. Government regulation of our diets is obnoxious and intrusive.
___7)Food diet regulation by government is necessary.
It is in the best interests of the state. Public health takes priority over individual choice. Attempts by the government (e.g. First Lady Michelle Obama) to better public health are noble and beneficial.
___8)I do not want anybody (let alone government) telling me what or what not to eat.
I’ll make my own choices. Government involvement is a public nuisance, not benefit.