Thursday, January 29, 2009

We don’t need the State to direct progress

Even Einstein agrees:
The really valuable thing in the pageant of human life seems to me not the State but the creative, sentient individual, the personality...
Which agrees with what I said earlier:
The idea that governments must be actively involved in the free life of citizens is extremely pervasive. Most people believe that without the government manipulating something all the time, there would be no progress of civilization. When something goes wrong, people ask, “Why doesn’t the government do something?” The government officials themselves see a need to be constantly regulating and monitoring something — otherwise, people who have elected them will think they are slacking off. It reminds me of Seinfeld’s George Costanza who needed to look annoyed, concerned and busy all the time to make his boss think he is doing something.

Indeed, the word itself, “government”, suggests that its role is to constantly “govern”, direct progress. Yet, an intelligent and educated student of history immediately recognizes that the majority of developments leading to progress and improvement in standard of living were done through private efforts of free enterprise (≡ striving for success) and personal innovation, not through some wise Central Committee’s “governing”.

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