Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Government Force as a Corrupting Influence

I enjoyed the opening of this article, as well as its warning. (HT John Lewis via OActivists). Here's the intro:

There are all kinds of corruption. Some are pretty easy to identify. You can’t miss it when a congressman sells the public’s vote for money, say, or a husband sets his personal promises at nothing in order to score some extracurricular sex. But the slow rot that enters the soul of individuals when the tendrils of the state overcreep the life of a society—that’s a little tougher to define. It may just be the toadying deference that steals into your behavior with the guard who searches you at the airport. Or it could be the baksheesh you pay the safety inspector to keep your business from being shut down. But as subtle as the effects may be, the rule is ironclad: the more areas of life are funded and regulated by government, the less free you are, and the more corrupt and servile you ultimately become.

Through the work of artist and blogger Patrick Courrielche, Andrew Breitbart’s new website Big Government—reporting the news so the mainstream media won’t have to—has just released a sickening transcript of an August 10 conference call jointly hosted by the National Endowment for the Arts, the White House’s Office of Public Engagement, and United We Serve, an initiative overseen by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency. The purpose of the call was to urge a group of pro-Obama artists to get out there and start creating art that would support the president’s agenda on health care, the environment, education, and community services. Speaking at the request of “folks in the White House and folks in the NEA,” Michael Skolnick, political director for Obama-mad hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, told the assembled artists, “All of us who are on this phone call were selected for a reason, and you are the ones that lead by example in your communities. You are the thought leaders. You are the ones that, if you create a piece of art, or promote a piece of art or create a campaign for a company, and tell our country and our young people sort of what do and what to be into, and what’s cool and what’s not cool.”


Blogger Galileo Blogs said...

Thank you for drawing attention to the "Big Government" website.

I agree completely with the contention of the first paragraph that government funding/regulation corrupts everyone insidiously. It is a creeping corruption of the souls of each of us.

I have witnessed examples of it among business executives on many occasions, who must toady and kowtow to regulators, even to the extent of self-censoring their creative plans. How many business executives kill their new ideas stillborn when confronted by the threat of antitrust, for example? Or by the many thousands of regulations they and their employees must contend with each day?

This is dismal evidence of why full individual rights must be recognized, and why each of us must fight for nothing less, to the extent we are willing and capable of doing so.

8:53 AM  
Blogger Amit Ghate said...

Hi GB,

The opening of the article really hit me because I used to travel a lot in the 1990's and the early 2000's. After 9/11 there was real outrage about the massive waste of time, effort and freedom involved in security screening that was implemented as a result of the Islamist attacks against us. I haven't traveled much since then, but happened to be in an airport last week and the acceptance and "normalcy" of the "security" really surprised me. Thus the line "It may just be the toadying deference that steals into your behavior with the guard who searches you at the airport" really hit me as symptomatic of the effects of government control (including your excellent examples).

And I couldn't agree more on the need to fight a principled, non-compromising fight.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Amit Ghate said...

BTW I should mention that I don't endorse the Big Government site. I only spent a few minutes there, and it looked like the typical mixed bag, with some good articles on spending but terrible ones on immigration, religion, etc.

4:16 PM  

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