08 January 2009

Government

In a rant set off by a billing dispute with his monolithic and uncaring local electric company, Slacktivist muses on the essential self-destructiveness of opposition to government qua government in a democracy:
Reflexive or visceral anti-government sentiment, in a democracy, is strangely popular given that it is both a form of self-loathing and a self-fulfilling prophecy. Right now, for instance, there's a pseudo-libertarian reading this very paragraph and shouting, "How naive! The government isn't of, by or for the people -- the government is against the people!" He's wrong, of course, but if everyone believed that, then his nightmare could become reality. If all the citizens of a democracy abandon any belief in government as the servant of the people for the common good, and if they oppose every attempt to make it so, then they're not going to remain the citizens of a democracy for very long.
In a democracy, government is, by definition, what the People do together - if government isn't doing what it ought, whose fault can that be, exactly?

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