Every politically active group wants something from government, and government is happy to oblige ..Government has lots to give in the way of laws, loot, privileges, protections and punishments. Every pressure group and political party has an idea about how its power over us needs to be used.
Does it make any difference who gets the loot, really? Not really, not to you and me ..
We can and will argue interminably about how government ought to be used .. Either way, the state is being brought in to tell people what they can and can’t do. In this sense, the left and the right have more in common than either side cares to admit: Both have a plan for how the state can better manage the social order.
This is the great tragedy of living under leviathan. People have different ideas about how it ought to conduct its affairs. Who should be rewarded? Who should be punished? Who gets the privileges? Who must bear the cost? It becomes a war of pressure groups, everyone seeking to live at the expense of everyone else.
What is this thing we call government? It consists of the gang with an institutional structure that makes the rules, enforces the rules, and lives by rules that are different from those it imposes on the rest of the population. We can’t steal, but government can. We can’t kill, but government can. We can’t counterfeit, kidnap, and engage in fraud, but government can. This thing called government, obviously, has a strong interest in maintaining its power, prestige, and funding.
Government is a chameleon, pleased to wear any cultural or ideological cloak to blend in with its social and cultural surroundings. In a wrangling, struggling, grasping, dog-eat-dog democracy like ours, there are fifty shades of government, each suitable for a particular time and place, each adapted to purposes of the moment, all with the interest of firming up control by the ruling class.
But maybe it is not really a choice at all. Maybe it is time to let go of our dependency and reject the entire master-slave relationship that is the whole basis of the system itself. Fifty Shades of Government has been the best-seller for hundreds of years. It’s time that the governed write an entirely new book.