Sunday, October 14, 2012

Talking to idiots
I’m not sure what’s more offensive, the moralizing paternalism, liberal authoritarianism, of earnest bookmen or the barbarism of libertarian fundamentalists: the cult of puritanism or of the frontier.

The socio-economic relations in any country are largely the result of policies which are the products of and which affect culture. But changing policies and changing the results of policy by fiat are two very different things. The author of this post understands I hope that representative government and the rule of law are procedural, not ideational. Democracy is due process not one man’s opinion of due result.

But we do not live in the anarchist non-states of America. If the people and their representatives choose to tax capital gains at 50% and offer free public education through graduate school, those decisions do not in any way question the second law of thermodynamics. Society is an artificial construction. It’s art not science.

In this case laws against child abuse are enough. The decision concerns whether or not they apply. It does not foster maturity among the populace to treat the populace like children. We can allow dwarf tossing, prostitution and public humiliation for cash as we allow the existence of the Nazi party, the KKK, murder ballads, narcocorridos and gangta rap, not because actions are like words or because of some spurious Platonic model of the state, but because at some point regulation becomes counterproductive. We need a public, educated and engaged. We do not need more scholars playing preacher and more lawyers playing John Wayne.
Grow the f*ck up.

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