The Pathological Selfishness of Government Officials
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Recently I wrote about how some people use the armed, compulsory powers of government to restrict the rights and economic activities of others as a means of protecting one’s own selfish economic interests, profits, etc. That includes the unions and minimum wage laws, and big corporations such as those among Big Pharma in their legal restrictions against generic and supplement makers.
But there is another kind of government selfishness, even worse. That is when the government officials themselves restrict the rights of and threaten those people who publicly express dissent and criticism toward those government officials and their bad policies.
On his blog yesterday, Future of Freedom Foundation President Jacob Hornberger wrote:
“Leaving aside what Awlaki did to justify his assassination, one big problem is that governments often end up viewing citizens who oppose their policies as enemies of the state, ones who are considered just as dangerous to ‘national security’ as those who actually take up arms against the government.
Thus, governments with the omnipotent, non-reviewable power to take out their own citizens oftentimes end up sliding the assassination scale to encompass those who are threatening national security or demoralizing the war effort by simply opposing what the regime is doing…
In (government officials’ and statists’) minds, whatever the U.S. government is doing to combat communism or terrorism has to be good and anyone who opposes it must be helping the communists or the terrorists. The best way to describe this statist mindset is through the simplistic statement, ‘You’re either with us or against us.’ Thus, if a person is opposing the government’s actions against communists and terrorists, that person must be supporting the communists or the terrorists.
That’s how dissidents and critics end up on their government’s watch lists, terrorist lists, communist lists, no-fly lists, or assassination lists. By standing up against the government’s policies, they are inevitably viewed as enemies of the state by government officials.”