Sunday, February 26, 2012

@VereSapiens responds to the "Tyranny of Good-Intentions"

@VereSapiens : "I don't believe government has 'good intentions'. That's part of their propaganda to excuse abuse of the citizens."

I would certainly be in agreement with you that some particular individuals make use the language and expressions of altruism, yet secretly concern themselves with only their own desires of power and self-aggrandizement.

However, in my experience and judgement, many, if not most people advocating various 'programs' and 'regulations' are truly under the impression that they are doing good; that the results of their actions will result in the outcome of a better world for all persons. Like an over-bearing parent, seeing their child in distress, seeks ways to 'assist' their child, such that either the child resents the 'assistance', or such that prevents the healthy development of autonomy; likewise, advocates of State action, see a 'social-problem', and having the need for some kind of *action* to correct the problem, yet feeling powerless themselves to assist in positive/voluntary ways, those advocates of State action, see the State as a magic-social-fairy that can wave the wand of 'public funds' to solve any social-ill (in no small part due to State influence in institutionalized education).

I guess what I'm saying, is that, while I am not so naive that I do not resonate with Burke's, "“There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men.” and Mencken's "Don't overestimate the decency of the human race"; neither I am not so cynical as to presume the *consciously* evil intent of all advocates of State action.

I rather take counsel from Mises' “In a battle between force and an idea, the later always prevails. ... Repression by brute force is always a confession of the inability to make use of the better weapons of the intellect – better because they alone give promise of final success. ... The ultimate outcome of the struggle, however, will not be decided by arms, but by ideas. It is ideas that group men into fighting factions, that press the weapons into their hands, and that determine against whom and for whom the weapons shall be used. It is they alone, and not arms, that, in the last analysis, turn the scales.”

I am inclined to think that the advocates-of-State-action adopt their position because they have adopted (erroneous) ideas.

Yet, all liberty-minded persons are painfully aware that advocates-of-State-action rarely respond to rational argumentation (deductive reason) or evidence (inductive reason), therefore there are deeper motivations that drive the advocates-of-State-action than the surface argumentation that they use to support their (erroneous) ideas.

This lack of response to rationality, can only be psychological/emotional reactions to unmet needs; when a person experiences fear or anger (stress) evidence suggests that their amygdala (primitive fight/flight instinctual structure) has increased metabolism (activity) and simultaneously the prefrontal cortex has inhibited activity; literally, when we are stressed/afraid/angry we have inhibited access to our complex reasoning functions, which explains why advocates-of-State-action do not respond to rationality (and often become obviously emotional).

Not only must we put forward better ideas, but we must learn ways to empathize with advocates-of-State-action, validating their feelings for their unmet needs and suggesting alternate, more productive ways to meet their needs.

In all likelihood, the advocates-of-State-action have been developmentally and emotionally damaged by behaviors/structures/institutions of domination, that thier advocacy of State action comes from a place inside of their psyches' that has reduced capacity to 'solve problems' outside of domination or submission.



1 comment:

  1. My contention is that the people in government use the often sincere desires of the advocates-of-State-action as the cover to implement laws whose actual intention is to benefit the State and the powerful insiders behind the scenes. So, we don't disagree on your characterization of the typical citizen advocates-of-State-power.