Monday, February 6, 2012

Food for Thought

For any of you with e-readers of some kind (insert unsolicited plug for B&N's Nook here), you should go peruse the archives at Project Gutenberg. It has all sorts of wonderful works that have made their way into the public domain of copyright. Works such as St. Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The White Company. It also has, to my delight, a number of works by G.K. Chesterton. This gives me the opportunity to read Orthodoxy and Eugenics and Other Evils. The latter piece starts with the following paragraph:
The wisest thing in the world is to cry out before you are hurt. It is no good to cry out after you are hurt; especially after you are mortally hurt. People talk about the impatience of the populace; but sound historians know that most tyrannies have been possible because men moved too late. It is often essential to resist tyranny before it exists. It is no answer to say, with a distant optimism, that the scheme is only in the air. A blow from a hatchet can only be parried while it is in the air.
That opening paragraph illustrates, far better than I could, why arguments consisting of what may be characterized as "scare tactics" have some merit. It is a statement that is at the core of my reasons for arguing for limitations of government, and why I typically am not in favor of extensions of government power.

I know that I have friends who simply cannot understand my willingness to "prevent people from receiving adequate medical care because they can't afford it" and other such stances to curb social welfare projects. I believe those friends have the best of intentions. Nor am I unsympathetic to the needs of the, for lack of a better word, needy. I simply think that our government is one of strictly confined powers and those bounds should not be exceeded, no matter how good the intentions. (Good Intentions: sponsored by Hell Paving & Asphalt Co.)

Perhaps I could have more fully formed this post before writing, but if I tried to do that, I never would get anything done. That said, as I read more of Eugenics, I will pass on more political/ethical thoughts from the Chesterton/Cramer distillation project. (Ha, evidence of the supreme arrogance of a law student to make that comparison.)