Saturday, January 14, 2012

Even a Wrong Ron Paul is Right for America (part 2)

·     Big government is necessary when we are afraid of ourselves.
Here is another lesson from "Professor" Paul.

I guess one could make a case that "big" anything (big church, business, government, etc.) is only necessary when we are afraid of ourselves. At one point in church history, even placing the Bible in the hands and language of ordinary people was an outrage to those with the power in the religious hierarchy. When institutional authority is granted (or taken by other means) to individuals or groups, they almost always find a way to abuse it. The establishment in Washington, DC is no different, except maybe somewhat worse. The irony is that the Founders suspected that human leadership could easily be corrupted or assume too much power. Their fear was directed toward the government (why they wanted it so limited). Now, it has been flipped. The federal government fears leaving anything up to normal citizens. Promoters of government interference are, as Paul writes, "convinced that average people can't and won't do what's in their best interest" (page 162, LD). Fortunately, despite the reliance on government programs by so many in our nation, I still see a growing number of people rising up to say, "Enough is enough!"

I see why this subject is so important in my own experience as a public school teacher. In education, the full effect of this mindset becomes clear. Eventually, people begin to only look for solutions that can be provided by the organization. They see everything through an institutional lens without even knowing its effect on their vision. Ultimately, we get more of the same. We notice a problem or challenge so we create a program or policy to fix it. The result - more paperwork completed, more time lost, and more money spent, with virtually no benefits to show for it. In fact, sometimes the problem is worse.

See, an unspoken, yet palpable, notion begins to take hold in the minds of those of us "inside" the system. We (the school) must show them (parents, students, community members) the right way of doing things. After all, (and here comes the total contradiction in full) we have the resources to make it happen and see it through. Very rarely does anyone point out that the "resources" we have are individual persons and their time, talents, and money. It is not the government doing something for them. It is the government telling them what to do with themselves. Whether it is education, welfare, business, energy use, etc., it is repeatedly shown to be inefficient and ineffective. I believe Dr. Paul would add immoral to the list. It stands in contrast to his recommendation of "the path of winning hearts and minds through education, first of the individual, and then of others through every way possible" (page 323, emphasis added). Instead, it is a recipe for "hope and change" through regulation and control, and it is driven by fear.

Fear of us!

(to be continued...)

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