It seems to me, Mr. Boehner, that government has a serious and valuable purpose to see that the
right of the strong does not overwhelm the weak, that the
right of the healthy does not exploit the unhealthy, that
right of the abled-body does not manipulate the dis-abled, that the
right of the group does not overwhelm the individual, that the
right to marry does not have to conform to religious values, that the
right to own guns does not include assault weapons, that the
right to free speech does not include lies, distortions, and libel, that the
right to cultural differences .
Get to work, Mr. Boehner, and do your job. Empower the weak, unhealthy, dis-abled, individual, marriage, gun safety, and truth. Become an empowerer instead of a blocker.
My "What is the purpose of government?" is in response to Boehner's comment.
Here's a quote from the movie, Braveheart, which speaks at least a fair bit to this whole business, Joan:
You think the people of this country exist to provide you with position. I think your position exists to provide those people with freedom.
-- William Wallace
Government has been captured by corrupt a financial system.
The banking giant HSBC has escaped indictment for laundering billions of dollars for Mexican drug cartels and groups linked to al-Qaeda. Despite evidence of wrongdoing, the U.S. Department of Justice has allowed the bank to avoid prosecution and pay a $1.9 billion fine. No top HSBC officials will face charges, either.
"Here we have a bank that laundered $800 million of drug money, and they can’t find a way to put anybody in jail for that. That sends an incredible message, not just to the financial sector but to everybody. It’s an obvious, clear double standard, where one set of people gets to break the rules as much as they want and another set of people can’t break any rules at all without going to jail."
The message that this sends to everybody, when banks commit crimes and nobody is punished for it, is that you can do it again. You know, if there’s no criminal penalty for committing even the most obvious kinds of crimes, that tells everybody, investors all over the world, that the banking system is inherently unsafe. And so, the message is, this is not a move to preserve the banking system at all. In fact, it’s incredibly destructive. It undermines the entire world confidence in the banking system. [emphasis mine]
Allow me to be somewhat of a contrarian here. Government had been and is in current society, by its very nature, an extremely violent institution. It exists to keep society in order. In ancient Egypt, it taxed the farmers to latch onto a part of their crops to feed the scribes, the priests, and the army to keep the foreign enemies away. Of course, using the magic sky spirits to keep the population in line. Not all that different today. And, if you don't believe me, try not paying your income tax and argue with the U.S. federal marshals who appear at your doorstep with a warrant for you. Or, for that matter, not paying your real estate taxes for years - after you've paid off the mortgage - and argue with the armed deputies who are there to evict you.
Part of the problem is that there are those of us who believe this violent organization should really be used for the common good of all of us. And, there are those that believe this violent organization should be reigned in to protect individual human freedom.
It's a delicate balance. Which, in my personal estimation, is completely out of whack. Ruth's comment about cannabis and large banks is squarely on point.
Government began as a protection racket.
Imagine yourself tripping back to ancient times, after hunting and gathering has given way to herding and farming.
Most people herd animals or grow crops. A few people, when they get hungry, steal animals and crops from others.
It's an activity for individuals, until one day one of the thieves gathers other thieves into a gang.
"You guys stay here," he tells them. "I'll go talk with some shepherds. I'll tell them I know a few guys who will keep thieves away if each of them will give us an animal once each month. If any of them refuse, you'll go visit them and take several animals. They'll soon decide that giving us one animal each month is better than having several animals stolen each month."
And he's right; most of the shepherds agree. They "pay" one animal each month and get protection from thieves.
The one or two who don't agree lose several animals each month...until they agree to pay for protection.
End of story; let's return to the 21st century.
BTW, remember to pay your taxes. For police and fire protection, water, trash pickup and more.
Unless you want the government to take what you owe plus a late payment fee, or maybe your car or house.
Tom, you have a way of catching one's attention and giving perspective to a situation. Yes, that sounds familiar ... we had a gang of cops in Spokane who used to shake down small businesses; it happened in my family.
Given that is a valid description of how corruption works, and how helpless the average person is against such thievery, and how ingrained it is in society, it seems to me the purpose of government is to prevent such greed, with laws preventing it, law enforcement tracking and ending it, and judges and juries putting heavy penalties in the form of prison and money fines. The system has to work without corruption to work at all.
Therefore, how does one protect oneself from such tyranny?
Get off money economy?
Form coalitions of like minded citizens to organize a community?
Speak up when crimes occur?
Hide under a blanket for the rest of our lives?
Cry? plead? implore? negotiate? compromise? turn the other cheek? submit? yield? pray? obey? threaten? retaliate? revenge? sabotage?
Build a Star Trek?