SEARCH BLOG: ECONOMY and GOVERNMENT
There are those who fear big government and see it as inefficient and riddled with special interests. There are those who fear big business and see it as ruthless, unethical, and inhumane. Some are hard pressed to find a legitimate role for government; others are hard pressed to find a legitimate role for business. Most of us would like to have a system that respects the individual and protects the societal framework; a system that unleashes the creativity of the individual while respecting the benefits that come from cooperation and altruism.
Language has bearing here. Anarchy, licentiousness, and liberty are shades... colors... of a philosophy or orientation that places the individual above all else. Cooperation, social responsibility and communism are shades... colors... of a philosophy or orientation that places the group above all else. The different words... the shadings... represent the degree to which one or the other is given preference.
Most individuals want some degree of order in their lives. They want to be able to rely on a system and structure that does not force them to consider every variable as they go about their activities... anarchy. On the other hand, they don't want to be constrained by a system that so limits choices and possibilities that the choices and possibilities become mundane and joyless... North Korean style communism.
When it comes to the political spectrum, most people seek a pleasant balance... not all, of course. Most people want a system that allows personal choice for personal matters, but collective choices for collective matters. That is what, historically, has made the U.S. system so dynamic and so desirable that millions have left the systems into which they were born to become part of this one. But this system is being assaulted by both extremes.
On the one side are those who want a system to guarantee welfare and security and are willing to forgo choices for those guarantees. On the other side are those who want a system that demands little and gives little in return. It's not just a matter of followers versus leaders. It is a matter of what seems to be important... seems to be.
Here's a few choices from the extreme:
- Which is better, a society run by big corporations or big government?
- Which is better, a society with no rules or a society with no protections?
- Which is better, a society that rewards only the strong or a society that supports only the unproductive?
- Which is better, a society based on profits or a society based on guilt?
UPDATE: Check this somewhat long article at NRO.