Saturday, May 21, 2005

So, how do you turn a democracy into a dictatorship?

Let me tell you how, Mr. Lucas ... it is actually quite simple.

You start by its people replacing that mixture of common sense and profund wisdom that leads to a respect for absolute truth ... with a mixture of myopic idealism, relativism, and outright selfishness that leads to a desire for expediency.

As you already have told us, the "easy way out" leads to the Dark Side -- yet in so many areas, that is what we seek ...

... an affinity for government help that, in the name of helping people "get by", leaves them mired in poverty (or just spinning their wheels) while bleeding further productivity from the rest of us.

... the replacement of sound judgment with "zero-tolerance" -- where all problems are discerned with "one-bit resolution"; i.e. all offenders are equally bad, and are treated with equal harshness, regardless of degree, intent or motivation. The result: "collateral damage" to the good and honest among us, all in an effort to avoid the hassles of dealing with those who see due process and mercy as opportunities to "game" us "suckers" and gain the advantage.

... a loss of confidence in our own decision-making ability, leading us to subordinate ourselves more and more to the dictates of professional "experts" who are so specialized in their expertise, they often cannot see the forest for the trees -- and try to reduce every problem to that special kind of nail that their particular "hammer" is made for.

... a willingness to let tyranny stand, thinking that ignoring it will lead to peace ... when history shows us otherwise.

(Hat tips to Arthur and SMASH.)

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