WHERE DO THE “GREAT” BUSYBODIES COME FROM? — AN UPDATE

A painting by Andre Castaigne depicting the phalanx attacking the centre during the Battle of the Hydaspes. (from here)
A painting by Andre Castaigne depicting the phalanx attacking the centre during the Battle of the Hydaspes. The Indians had 200 war elephants. (from here)

UPDATE:  This is a related post => The Word became flesh.

When I was a boy, history fascinated me. So I read biographies about “great” people.  One man I still remember reading about is Alexander the Great. Why was he great? As a conqueror, he had no equal.

Read about Alexander, and you will discover a man who had no fear of unequal contests. With far fewer soldiers (see here and here), for example, Alexander defeated the Achaemenid Empire (Persia), led by Darius III.

Unfortunately, Alexander accomplished little good. When it comes right down to it, Alexander the Great was just a great busybody.

What finally stopped Alexander’s string of bloody conquests? Alexander’s soldiers grew tired marching farther from home, fighting farther from home, and dying farther from home. Alexander’s soldiers grew tired being pawns in Alexander’s grand scheme to conquer the whole world (see Revolt of the army).

Today we still have “great” busybodies with grand schemes that promise great things. Here are a few random examples and reasons why we must revolt against the schemes of busybodies.

Our National Infrastructure

In his opinion piece, The national infrastructure dilemma, John Sitilides observes why Donald Trump’s $1 trillion national infrastructure program may fail.

Here’s the bottom line: Even if President Trump successfully persuades Congress to immediately pass a $1 trillion infrastructure bill, he will be frustrated by the reality that the first project wouldn’t begin, and the first job wouldn’t be created, until 2021. The real first step to a national infrastructure and job-creation solution is requiring all environmental impact statements be completed in a 12-month “one-stop” permitting process. Only then will the Trump infrastructure plan have a chance to succeed in making America great again.

To put it short and sweet, government busybodies, unconcerned about wasting other people’s money, require too much red tape, but even Sitilides fix won’t fix the basic problem.  What happens when we give our money to politicians? Do they ever figure out exactly what we need and provide it to us? Doesn’t that work about as well as stopping at the entrance of a Walmart, giving the greeter 50 dollars, and asking greeter to go inside and bring you what you need?

Why wouldn’t giving our money to the greeter work better? At least you could give that greeter a list, but what is Donald Trump going to do with 300 million lists? How much can we trust that greeter? How much can we trust Donald Trump? How much can we trust Congress?

The Public School System

In Shakin’ Up the Little Red Schoolhouse, Suzanne Fields observes that our public schools keep getting worst.  To underscore the degree of neglect she cites an old report.

The concern is not new. A loud alarm was sounded in 1983 with a report entitled “A Nation at Risk,” and Ronald Reagan held it up at a press conference, decrying the substandard performances of school children across America. The report concluded: “If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. As it stands, we have allowed this to happen to ourselves.”

Think about Fields’ reference to the little red schoolhouse. American education began as a local enterprise. Neighbors who knew each other pooled their resources so they could hire a teacher to instruct their children. Now? Now we have four levels of government (school board, local government, state government, and Federal) sticking their noses into the education of our children. Politicians take our money and hire a grand bureaucracy, thereby rewarding teachers unions for their campaign donations.  Then, to add insult to injury they indoctrinate our children with politically correct courses and tout expensive school buildings (or classrooms in “temporary” buildings) as an improvement over the little red schoolhouse.

Is there a better alternative? What do the rich do? Don’t they send their children to private schools? Don’t we “invest” enough money in the public school system to do the same for everyone’s children? When the alternative is politicians who will reward special interests, what is wrong with parents deciding who educates children?

Political Favoritism At Our Nation’s Museum

In Clarence Thomas snubbed by Smithsonian’s new African American history museum, Washington Times reporter Bradford Richardson tells us about the blatant bias at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History.

Of the 112 justices appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court since its inception, only two have been black — and the second one apparently isn’t worth consideration, as far as the new National Museum of African American History and Culture is concerned.

The Smithsonian museum still has “no plans” to include in its exhibitions a reference to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, one of the high court’s conservative stalwarts who celebrates his 25th anniversary on the bench this year. (continued here)

I hardly think I am the only American who finds the whole idea of an African American Museum hypocritical. Don’t we all know how people would react to a White American Museum, even one funded by a private group? Yet here we have a Federally funded museum that overtly discriminates based upon race, and that’s not the story, not even in the Conservative Washington Times. Nope! The problem is that the museum is discriminating against a Conservative African American.

🙄

How stupid do we have to be to put up with this nonsense? What kind of moron thinks we can trust politicians to run a museum and not engage in political propaganda or worse? The museum is racist. Given that, what is the point in demanding that Clarence Thomas be included in the museum’s exhibition? That racist farce needs to be shut down.

Conclusion

From time to time I refer to an old post, BUSYBODYISM. When I wrote that post, I labelled the Democratic Party as the party of Busybodyism.  That’s not to say that members of the Republican Party are never busybodies. The point is that for Democrats being busybodies is ideological. Just as Alexander offered rape, pillage, and the glories of conquest to induce his soldiers to march to India, our modern political busybodies dream up schemes for spending “other people’s money”.

The government of the United States exists to preserve our freedom, not to run our lives for us. When we can do something ourselves, there is no reason to tax our neighbors and make them pay for it.  If something can be done by the local government, there is no reason for the state government to do it. If something can be done by the state government, then the Federal Government, particularly when the Constitution does not give it the authority, has no reason to get involved.

Still, there is more to Busybodyism than people sticking their noses where they don’t belong. Government busybodies don’t just stick their noses where they don’t belong; they wrest control from us. They take our money and spend it for us. They make our choices for us.  If we want to get what we want, roads where we need them, schools that work, or museums that respect the truth, then we have to make our own choices and pay for the services we use. That means tolls and user fees to pay for a decent transportation infrastructure. That means we pay for the education of our own children or at least insist upon education vouchers. That means private museums funded by the people who visit them. That means a limited government where we give busybodies the boot.

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26 thoughts on “WHERE DO THE “GREAT” BUSYBODIES COME FROM? — AN UPDATE

  1. Tony

    Jesus was a “great” busybody, some might say the greatest of them all. And those who claim to follow Him, sometimes for good and sometimes for bad, have been busybodying up the world for more than two thousand years. Seems to me that the business of the Body of Christ on earth is to be busy helping others and spreading the good news. 😊

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    1. @Tony

      Do you understand the difference between God and man?

      I do not belong to you. You do not belong to me. If I choose to help you, or you choose to help me, then that choice must be voluntary or there is nothing Christian or charitable about it. It is just slavery.

      We are God’s creations. Because we are God’s creations, we actually belong to Him. Jesus is God.

      God made us to love Him. He created us to love Him. Why should we love Him? Because He made us. Because He loved us first. We are God’s children. Through Him we live and grow.

      Even so God does not require us to love Him or obey Him, and some people do not. According to the Bible, God honors the wishes of those who do not love Him or obey Him. That is called the Second Death or Hell, eternal separation from God. What exactly it means I don’t know. I just know that choosing Jesus and putting my faith in Him works better than when I try to run my life without Him.

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      1. Tony

        I mostly agree with everything that you said. However, you can’t really have it both ways. Living in a society, even the most free and democratic society, requires the involuntary imposition of some rules on others through the institutions of governing. You have often said that “your” particular Christian belief system informs what you think those rules should be. So it is not really a question of whether you are a “great” busybody; rather it is a question of whether you ideologically agree or not with what you would involuntarily have others do. Government is a necessary facilitator of either greater social justice or greater social injustice so can’t you see that an ad hominem that its role is as a “busybody” ONLY when you happen to ideologically disagree is kind of self serving?

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  2. Tony

    Well, government’s role in “social justice” might be as simple and ideologically uncontroversial as writing, enforcing and arbitrating laws for disputes over whether one person is stealing another’s property, or obviously, it could be much, much more. As a matter of busybodiness, the disagreement is not whether government is a busybody, but instead one of the degree, philosophy and efficiency the government intrusion in a given case. I might agree with your opinions in some cases about the efficacy of government busybodiness and not in others, but either way, government has a busybody role.

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    1. @Tony

      You cannot define the expression “social justice”, but you insist government has a busybody role.
      🙄

      If you cannot explain it, then do you have a coherent or defensible philosophy? If don’t have anything except vague generalities, then what is your excuse for throwing people in jail when they don’t pay their taxes. How do you justify the use of force by government?

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  3. Tony

    I thought I did give an example of social justice, but you sometimes choose not to comprehend what you don’t want to, and then you assign to me personally the non sequitur role of “throwing people in jail”. And yet you accuse me of dealing in “vague generalities”? Ha!

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    1. @Tony

      When you put the word “social” in front of “justice”, you apparently meant to speak of a particular kind of justice that requires busybodies. No?

      Does the prohibition of stealing require “social justice”? Just plain justice is not enough? Why? Does the prohibition of stealing require busybodies? You think policemen, judges, and juries require busybodies?

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      1. Tony

        All justice requires busybodiness of government, even the most rudimentary social justice of the government’s prevention of stealing. How do you know that something is “your” property so as to call in the intervention of government to enforce against its theft? Or perhaps better put, no person can have any expectation of rights to anything that he or she cannot hold by greater force than another person who wants to take it away unless a given government is busybody enough to define, arbitrate and enforce those rights at law. Those rights can be material ones (such as property and nuisance rights) or non-material ones (such as the right to be left alone, for example, to practice one’s own religion in peace). After all, at law, every property right itself is nothing more than a given right that is defined, arbitratable and enforceable by a given government institution that allows the explicit use of something, tangible or intangible, and the explicit exclusion of others’ use to that tangible or intangible.

        Whether or not one has such rights running feral without the busybodiness of government is a matter of philosophic dispute, but as a practical matter such rights as property rights do not exist historically in civilized society unless they are enshrined by the definition, arbitration and enforcement at law of a busybody government institution. Social justice is the degree to which those government laws and institutions create a balance of equality and opportunity amongst its citizens that is perhaps best exemplified by the Preamble to the Constitution and by this part of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution:

        “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

        Do well meaning persons (and yes, also not so well meaning persons) sometimes overreach in using the powers of government in an effort to create greater social justice and actually have the opposite effect? Sure, and in many cases You and I would agree on that overreach, but once again, then we are only arguing about our personal philosophies on how best to implement social justice and efficaciousness of the degree and/or efficiency of a given government busybodiness, not on whether government busybodiness is necessary vehicle in the business for either the creation or destruction of the social justice that is envisioned in our Constition and the most noble purposes of every law.

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        1. @Tony

          Why do we need government? We are not angels. We don’t always listen to our moral compass. Remember when your children were small. Was not “mine” one of the first words they learned? We have to be helped to formed a good conscience. That is, we have to be encouraged to listen to and obey our moral compass. Otherwise, we risk becoming someone who never develops the self discipline or wisdom to heed the moral compass God has given us. Then we become a ravening beast, looking for and stalking the weak and unsuspecting. Then we become someone government officials must deal with.

          What is a busybody? That is a person who pries into or meddles in the affairs of others. That is a person who thinks they have the right to manipulate others. When Alexander the Great Busybody thought he just had to conquer the world, I suspect those he conquered did not appreciate it. Unfortunately, since many equated might with right in those days, highly successful busybodies were often highly regarded. Therefore, we still call Alexander great. Perhaps times have not changed as much as one might hope. Sigh!

          Nevertheless, good government does not require busybodies. Does the prohibition of stealing require busybodies? No. When a lion is on the prowl, is it not everyone’s business? Doesn’t a thief endanger everyone too?

          Does government define our property rights, or is it more appropriate for government to recognize what people already in their minds and hearts know to be their property and their neighbor’s property?

          I know you possess this notion that government gives us our rights, but it doesn’t. God gave each of us a moral compass. We know in our hearts the difference between right and wrong. In fact, the existance of that moral compass is one of the many proofs God exists. When our leaders ignore their and our “sense of right and wrong” and pass some stupid thing they call a law, it never works. It just blows up in our faces.

          It seems to me you are trying to make words mean what you want them to mean. Consider again how you interpret this portion of the 14th Amendment.

          No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

          You say social justice is the degree to which those government laws and institutions create a balance of equality and opportunity amongst its citizens that is perhaps best exemplified by the Preamble to the Constitution and by this part of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, but The Preamble to the Constitution doesn’t promote social justice and neither does the 14th Amendment. That portion of the 14th Amendment addressed an injustice promoted by certain state governments. Put bluntly that portion of the 14th Amendment just says state governments cannot arbitrarily enslave people.

          People working to put an end slavery, after all, did drive the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. So it is that the Constitution requires both the Federal Government and stage government must respect the rights of American citizens.

          Think again about your vague definition.

          Social justice is the degree to which those government laws and institutions create a balance of equality and opportunity amongst its citizens that is perhaps best exemplified by the Preamble to the Constitution and by this part of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

          What is a balance of equality and opportunity? Can you define an appropriate “balance”? How much power would we have to give our government to make everyone equal and to give everyone an equal opportunity?

          The Constitution exists to keep our leaders from seizing TOO MUCH POWER. Our government does not exist to make us happy; it exists to keep us from abusing each other. Our Constitution gives us the right to pursue our own happiness. It emphasizes liberty, not equality. Our government must respect everyone’s rights equally, but the Constitution does not empower our government to produce an equality of outcome.

          Our government cannot make us happy. Our leaders are too busy trying to make themselves happy. That is why men turn to God. He is the only one with the power to give us contentment.

          Philippians 4:11-13 New King James Version (NKJV)

          11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

          We must be careful of the kind of government we support. With even good intentions, we can endanger both the body and the soul.

          C. S. Lewis is famous for The Screwtape Letters. => http://www.gutenberg.ca/ebooks/lewiscs-screwtapeletters/lewiscs-screwtapeletters-00-h.html
          In that book, he imagined how a demon might tempt someone.

          Later he wrote Screwtape Proposes a Toast. =>http://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/wp-content/uploads/satevepost/screwtape-proposes-a-toast-SEP.pdf
          That little story describes where our foolish desires for government that creates a balance of equality and opportunity amongst its citizens could lead.

          Government belong to the citizens, by the way.

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  4. Tony

    Ultimately brother “busybody” is colloquially what a 12th grade bully calls a 12th grade girl who tattles on him to the teacher for his misbehaving.

    I will think about what you have written, however, and try to phase some cogent thoughts later. Love to you.

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  5. Tony

    Tom

    I think that you think that, like you, I am conflating materialism with spiritual happiness. Essentially, during the time of Christ, Isreal was an occupied nation. The Romans were forcing the Jews to pay taxes to finance their own military enslavement. Many Jews hoped Jesus would be a revolutionary leader who would save them from this Roman material enslavement. However, Jesus let them know on many occasions that he was not there to save them from enslavement to the material world, an enslavement which we will always have if we make such materialism our focus and our priority, but instead He came to save us from “spiritual” enslavement (that such materialism exacerbates) and toward spiritual enlightenment in God’s will. (See for example Mark 12:17).

    As a Christian, I don’t see governmental laws regarding equality and justice as my substitute for spiritual virtue (nor do I think we should reduce the greatest spiritual wisdom that comes from Scripture down to the right to call other people names such as liars, thieves and busybodies. Seriously, do you?). However, as you say, if we lived in a world where everyone were voluntarily and perfectly enlighten in God’s love, in mercy and in compassion, and we all treated each other with love and compassion, then perhaps we would not need a government at all, but we do not live in that perfect Christian world. Therefore, we can either choose the laws and institutions that provide the greater social justice intended in the language of the Preamble and the 14th Amendment, or we can have one that, like the Romans, enslaves us.

    Because it fits your name calling narrative, you imagine that I am defining greater social justice as some perfect material equality. I am not, and neither is the clear intent of the Preamble and the 14th Amendment. The social justice of which the Preamble intends is toward the common defense, the common peace, the common welfare and the common justice. The social justice of which the 14th Amendment plainly intends is toward a new national “equality of justice” and “equality of fundamental rights”, including the due process and other rights to equality of opportunity under the law. Although there is nothing particularly unchristian about a government that attempts some perfect material equality, given human nature, as we have both noted, unless everyone were equally enlightened in the love and compassion of God, such a utopian Christian ideal seems unlikely and therefore, practically speaking, unworkable in the present reality.

    In this reality, somewhat like in the time of Christ, many of our self proclaimed present day Christians seem more concerned about the material goods they feel that government is supposedly stealing from them in the form of taxes and less concerned about the common welfare and about equality of justice. Like the Jews of the time of Christ, many of us seem more concerned about the good on earth that we feel our government is taking and less concern about the spiritual goods we gain in heaven by doing our part in promoting greater and more equal justice for everyone.

    As it is, in an increasingly complex material economy, the highest ideal we Christians can really hope from our Democratic government is that its arc of justice is trending toward higher common ends and more equality of justice and not away from it. And the justice of materialism, in economic terms, for good or for bad, is all about how well and with what equality of justice the laws (such as property laws and other laws regarding rights) are defined, arbitrated and enforced by the institutions of government that define, arbitrate and enforce them.

    Tom, I assume that you are reading this on some sort of computer and using it to type your responses. How many governmental laws and institutions do you suppose define, arbitrate and enforce the tangible and intangible property rights that allow that computer’s software and hardware to be designed, developed, produced, marketed and protected from theft or infringement so that you can even communicate your disdain of that government that provides the environment for its very existence? Look up from your desk and around your room. How many objects do you see, including the property rights and responsibilities that attach to the use and exclusion of the use of the room and the home itself, that can only exist if they are definable, arbitratable and enforceable at law by the institutions of government. Look out into your public streets and their traffic laws. Look at the legal easements that bring power, water and sewer service to each home in your town or city. Look to the commerce of the whole country and a rapidly globalizing economy.

    You are swimming in an immense and complex sea of artificial rights and responsibilities that only exist through the evolution of modern state institutions, and yet you think it just arises and sustains naturally. Maybe this complex web of governmental law and institutional design also exists somewhere feral and benign in “the hearts of men” but, practically speaking, it does not actually exist without the laws that are specifically written, arbitrated and enforced by governmental institutions. Even the corporations that we rely on for our economy are legal governmental creations. Perhaps government is not the only way that a modern material economy can work, but if it were not the modern state then, for it to work, we would have to invent something just like government. Until you come up with something better to allow a prosperous modern economy, I prefer our complex modern democracy, even over the arcane 18th Century patronage system of our founding.

    The question is not whether we require these far reaching and complex laws and institutions for economic prosperity and cultural survival in modernity. No, the question for us Christians is whether that government will provide the more perfect system of social justice that our Constitution intends and envisions, or whether it will not.

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    1. @Tony

      No name calling? Then you accuse me of materialism.
      😆

      I asked you about your reference to social justice. So what do you do? You talk around it. You start talking about property rights, and you make property rights out to be something fantastically complicated. For a few people, I suppose enforcing their property rights is difficult. If you have a copyright or a patent, defending your intellectual ownership can be difficult. I don’t have such a problem. When someone wants to reblog or link one of my blog posts, I am flattered — even when they disagree.

      The problem with patents and copyrights is defining the property. That is why the law is complex. Moreover, the government does not give the owner the right. The Constitution authorized Congress to issue patents and copyrights because people have a right to profit from their ideas, and we all benefit when people are allowed to do so.

      As it is I own a house and couple of cars. The taxes on them cause me more headaches than defending my property rights. Of course, I understand some of that tax money goes towards defending my property rights and roads.

      So what are we really debating? Is Tom a materialist? Do I hate government? Think what you will, but I think you let the cat out of the bag when you brought up “social justice”. Social justice is basically an excuse for Socialism, lots and lots of government (see => https://citizentom.com/2011/08/07/christianity-and-socialism-part-1/).

      Should government defend our property rights? Who said otherwise? The problem is Democrats want to give us a second bill of rights (see => https://citizentom.com/2011/01/09/why-we-need-the-right-to-say-no-part-1/ and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Bill_of_Rights).

      FDR introduced Americans to the Second Bill of Rights. It sounds like something out of USSR => https://constitutii.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/1936-en.pdf).
      Not a good idea. When we allow government to give us our “rights”, then we have unlimited government and no rights.

      Why no rights? Government has nothing to give anyone that it does not take from someone. That’s why “workers” in a worker’s paradise become responsible for giving other people their “rights”. So it is that the behavior of the workers, even their desires, must conform with the objectives of the state.

      What are basic problems with “social justice”?
      1. Power corrupts. We cannot trust our government to administer that kind of justice.
      2. We don’t have the wisdom to provide so-called “social justice”.
      3. We have to steal from some people to give “social justice” to other people. That’s unjust.

      Effectively, putting the government in charge of social justice is wrong. Even if it was not wrong — stealing — it creates more problems than it is worth.

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  6. Tony

    I did not call you a “materialist” – I said that your complaints about government and taxes are materialistic rather than spiritual in almost exactly the same way that those who complained to Jesus about Roman taxes were materialistic rather than spiritual, and that the sum total of your scriptural argument seems to reduce down to Manichaean name calling, which basically is not an argument, but what someone does when they don’t really have a rational argument.

    Social justice is not socialism anymore than individual justice is individualism. Social justice is the level of commonality and equality justice a society affords through its laws and institutions of justice. Those laws and institutions, if they are just, provide and protect a myriad of rights including property rights that are indeed quite complex. Let’s just use the evolution of patent rights as just one example of the development of the amazing and necessary complexity of the law and government institutions that provide social justice in this regard.

    Patent law in inventions first developed with regard to noblemen and capitalists in Europe who owned mines from which they extracted valuable minerals and ores. As the mines were dug, they filled up with ground water that needed to be pumped out if further extraction was to continue. As a scientist, I’m sure that you can appreciate that, as the search for minerals went deeper and deeper, the weight of a given column of water that needed to be pumped out of the mine grew heavier and heavier until it exceeded the pumping capacity of what men and then animal labor effort could physically exert. Mines had to be abandoned even though their owners knew that they contained valuable minerals just beneath the surface of the water that flooded them. This problem needed both inventors with the knowledge to solve it and entrepreneur capitalists ready to front the investment costs of inventing.

    The capitalist investors were businessmen and the mine owners themselves. The inventors came in the form or guildsmen such as watchmakers. They were the only people at that time who had the necessay metallurgy skills combined with the knowledge of the basic physics knowledge. As guildsmen, they were also used to having their craft protected by the government monopoly in the form of guild laws. These guildsmen had the knowhow to create the first steam engines. However, their capitalist investors and the guildsmen also knew that, if they had no legally protectable intellectual property rights to their invention, it could and would be reverse engineered and copied by other investors and guildsmen before they could recoup their investment costs and make the money that rewarded their entrepreneurial risk and inventiveness.

    The crown had good reason to want these inventions out there as otherwise the kingdom was sitting on a pile of wealth that it could not get at so as to increase the kingdom’s overall resources and prosperity. The crown therefore granted a patent which is essentially nothing more than a monopoly right to an idea. The amount of push back was severe, and for good reason.

    Academics wondered how someone could actually “own” knowledge and what would such ownership would do to squelch the free spreading of the scientific ideas that were just blossoming during this period. Mine owners wondered why they had to continually and indefinitely pay the monopoly patent holder an exorbitant amount of money for something that owner could just hire his own guildsmen to copy, improve and produce with better results. Other guildsmen had even better and more efficient ideas for steam engines that were very different from the original patent holder’s invention, but the patent holder’s monopoly patent was so broad that it indefinitely covered any machine of any kind that extracted water from mines using steam power.

    The long and the short of this is that patent law and the governmental institutions that write, arbitrate and enforce those patent laws slowly developed in very complex ways to balance out these problems by protecting the rewards entrepreneurs and inventors expected along with various limitations on the patent monopoly that incentivized further development. The effect of this government involvement in the market has been profound.

    Arguably the Industrial Revolution could not have happened without this government involvement in creating patent monopolies. New markets could not even have formed. Scarce resources, not just the minerals but the inventions themselves, would not have been developed nor would there have been the market incentives that allow those scarce resources to (under Adam Smith’s “unseen hand” principle) go to there highest and best use as inventors and sellers of steam engines models competed for buyers by creating newer and more efficient designs. (Natural market reward incentives may have been an “unseen hand” in pushing scarce resources to their highest and best use, however, despite free market enthusiasts revisionism, Smith very well recognized that the very much “seen” hand of the government was required to regulate these markets).

    In developing patent laws, along with the institutions that arbitrate and regulate patents, the government facilitated the distribution of the wealth of production in an increasingly more just manner and thus social justice was improved toward greater equality of prosperity throughout society as increasingly more jobs were created and products became cheaper. And none of this greater social justice would have been possible without government involvement in constantly creating and adjusting the balance of incentives of this one area in its highly complex scale of justice, but all areas of justice work along similar evolving lines, from criminal law to tort law. Each area has changed and evolved over ages becoming more complex and adapting to modernity with sometimes a step backward and two forward as these laws and institutions attempt to always arc toward greater social justice.

    I know that you would like to think that there is and was always some timeless simple black and white answer to every question of justice, and you find it comforting to ignore the complexity and ambiguity that questions and solutions that actually arise in real world justice problems, especially as the world itself has dramatically advanced technologically and economically. However, this is just magical thinking that defies both the history of social justice and the current reality.

    Like all the virtues, justice is timeless and universal while, also like difficult and complex dilemmas regarding virtue, the sum total of the individual questions of justice that adds up to social justice also involves difficult and complex dilemmas. For every area of justice, imperfect solutions must be constantly weighed and balanced just as in the patent situation where incentives and rewards required constant balancing and adjustment as they evolved and continue to evolve today. Negative unintended consequences must be dealt with and the whole system must adapt as advances in technology and economy shift the whole scale. In this way, like the virtues, justice is both universal and timeless while being adapltable and changing.

    If one realistically only looks at this area of justice, patent law, then thinking that the social economic justice extends from the law that has developed just somehow happened without the busybodiness of tremendous governmental involvement is naive. Are there perfect God given intellectual property rights involved? Perhaps. Who knows? However, unless a government made up of men define, arbitrate and enforce those complex, ambiguous and often conflicting property rights so as to make them more perfect for the parties involved and for a more just society in general, then justice (social or individual) does not exist in a civilization. If one is wise and looks deeply into the history of law, he will find that the same is true for every other area of justice. One can only ignore this truth by being willfully ignorant about seeing it, but unfortunately this willful ignorance and magical thinking about justice seems to be the norm amongst so many of us these days.

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    1. @Tony

      How people solved the problem of developing pumps for deep mining is a good story. Thank you for the retelling.

      Some years back I read about the invention of the first sea clocks. You have sailed. Imagine knowing your latitude, but having to guess at your longitude. That bothered the British navy and Britain’s merchants. That is why the British crown had a contest and awarded a prize to the inventor.

      Until the Industrial Revolution, inventions were extremely rare. Inventions were also discouraged. Why? Before you vote for another big government, power hungry politician, that is something you might want to think about.

      Back to the subject. The way an expression is used establishes its meaning. If you google “social justice”, it does not take long to figure out the people who advocate “social justice”, like you, also vote for big government Democrats. So what is the point of debating the meaning of the expression “social justice”? The expression is used to justify more government.

      What is the innate problem with “social justice”? Genius is making the complex simple, not the simple complex. To achieve what you call “social justice”, politicians implement socialist programs. Then they proceed to make the complex more complicated.

      Justice already presents a difficult problem. As it is, we cannot achieve perfect justice. What requiring “social justice” does is make simple justice unachievable. These two ideas are at crossed purposes.

      Should we keep people from growing increasingly wealthy even though they don’t appear to be producing anything? Why? All simple justice requires is that the law should allow everyone to benefit from their labors. Social justice, however, looks upon the “rich” with envy.

      On occasion someone will have a great idea, put it into practice, and grow fabulously rich. Nothing wrong with that. When Bill Gates made his money, consumers benefited because Gates competed by bringing down the price (Ironically, his biggest problem is Linux, which is free because of honest charity.). However, many businesses, nonprofits, unions and whatnot compete by using government connections. Do I really have to give you examples? If so, I am wasting my time.

      How do people gain unfair advantage because of government connections? You are a lawyer. You don’t know?

      The more we pursue “social justice”, the bigger the government gets and the more valuable government connections become. Therefore, in practice “social justice” is an oxymoron, and that should be obvious to you.

      By the way, I have not argued that justice is easily achieved. I have argued that we in fact cannot achieve it. Even if we had the best government possible, we would never catch all the evildoers, and we will never be able force all evildoers to provide restitution. Even if we had the best government possible, when people must bring their disputes to the government for arbitration, we don’t have people among us with the wisdom to resolve all those disputes with perfect justice.

      Look, for example, at how we build our public transportation systems. We waste huge sums building systems that are poorly designed. The damn things are not designed to be efficient; they are designed to reward special interests.

      Yet you want the government to provide more than we have ever been able to achieve, simple justice. Because you want to make the world fair, you want “social justice”, whatever exactly it might be. Ridiculous.

      Some people will always be more favored by luck and good fortune. What if you could clone just one man and one woman millions of times each? What if their clones were the parents of all the children yet to be born? Would the world be socially just then? Would it even be socially just for your clones? Yet I have little doubt that there are social justice advocates who dream of trying such a scheme.

      Justice is the province of government. Social justice, to the extent it is within our power to achieve such a thing, is the province of charity.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Tony

    Ha! I give you a rather long and detailed explanation of just one example of how government works to provide to provide a complex web of social justice. You don’t actually respond with any rational rebuttal but instead just try to prop up your favorite collectivist straw man to debate. Sorry, that just has nothing to do with what I wrote no matter how much you want it to be.

    You are really to smart not to see the fallacies inherent in your arguments Tom, but besides the continuing non sequitur straw men you constantly throw out, there are two other glaring fallacies:

    1. The first of your continuing fallacies, I will call the “2 plus two equals 4, therefore we don’t need to solve for x” argument.

    Your refusal to see complexity in justice is exactly like the person who says 2 plus 2 equals 4, and 5 minus 3 equals 2. The truth of the addition and subtraction of positive integers has been true and all that was needed for most people since the beginning of civilization. Because we have this basic simple truth, he says why make it more complex? Why do we need algebra or calculus, trigonometry or advanced geometry? Simple addition and subtraction is easy to understand and true.

    An expert on higher math systems might present a detailed rational for how calculus, for example, is also true and necessary even though its truth is more complex than simple additional and subtraction. Rather than even responding to the rational of her complex math argument, the simple math advocate just keeps saying that her math systems are complex and hard to understand therefore unnecessary and not true. No matter how hard she tries to explain the truth of calculus or how many examples she gives of its usefulness, he just keeps responding that 2 plus 2 equals 4 is true and good, as if that is an answer to her argument.

    2. I will call your second fallacy the “complex math systems therefore Hitler” argument.

    Your constantly pointing out that big government has been used to enslave people is just like the person who throws out true examples of how higher math theories have been used by people like Hitler and Stalin to make weapons that enslaved people. Another person might respond that higher math systems that allow sciences like physics to exist have also been used to protect us from the tyranny of Hitler and Stalin, but no matter how many example she gives of this, he just keeps saying that higher math causes Hitler, as if that was his only argument.

    Justice in government is a virtuous balance between competing interests that, unlike a math equation, is never perfect or done. It is always subject to change as new factors arise. There is always the need for reform and the search for some simple elegance. However, like math, government should not be anymore complex than it needs to be, but as the world has gotten more complex, then in order to continue to be just, government has necessarily gotten more complex along with it. Just as complex higher math can be used to do terrible things and good things, complex government can be used to be just or unjust. Complex government is not inherently bad or good.

    The enemy of justice is not complexity, it is corruption. The enemy of justice is not government, it is corruption. The enemy of justice is not capitalism, it is corruption. And as Elie Wiesel might have said, perhaps the greatest corruption is the indifference of willful ignorance to its very reality.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. @Tony

      It seems to me that at least one of us is talking past the other. Envy is not corruption?

      Anyway, I decided to write a post.

      https://citizentom.com/2016/12/16/2016-post-election-strategy-and-tactics-part-2/

      All I think you just proved what I already conceded. The patent laws are complex. So you want the government to run everything. Adding governmental complexity increases efficiency and improves results? I think I would rather choose my own doctor. Thank you very much.

      In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith makes an interesting observation. Until the Industrial Revolution, there was not much to buy. So wealthy men used their wealth to hire retainers. When a variety of goods became available and people could buy lots of goods and services, the nobility had an awkward decision. They could buy things or hire people. The merchant class, including inventors, help make the decision for them, and that radically changed the nature of government, helping to kill the feudal system.

      My point is that until that time it did not make much sense to protect the ownership of an idea. Commercial mass production changed that. In a feudal society, only the nobility had rights worth noting, and they considered business beneath them. The industrial revolution changed that attitude.

      Until inventors had the power to and the interest in demanding their rights, nobody cared.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Tony

    Yes, the government made law of patents is complex, as are the institutions of government that have evolved to define, arbitrate and enforce patent laws. Related areas of government involvement such as copyright and trademark law are also complex. Without that evolution of government involvement in this one area of rights, quite likely the market system that we enjoy today, with all the stuff we have, including the computers that you and I are typing on, would not exist. That development has taken centuries to perfect to this point, and it is still evolving, still changing in virtue either toward or away from greater justice. I read a story some time ago that someone has mapped the human genome. The potential benefits to medicine and other science areas is profound, but the map developer is claiming that he should be able to retain intellectual property rights to that knowledge. Is the map developer being envious and corrupt? Or is that entrepreneur just trying to recoup a just reward that is incentive for the development?

    And government patent law is just one complex area of the law where governmental institutions define, arbitrateand enforce rights. There are many, many more that create a web of interlocking and intersecting justice that underlies and supports the very fabric of our society, without which capitalism and markets simply don’t work, and can either work more or less efficiently and more or less justly depending on how government sets up its scales.

    Is a slave just being immorally envious if he wishes for a fair share of the crops that his labors help to produce? Two thousand years ago many people would have thought so. Or, on the other hand, is the slave’s master being envious and corruptly stealing the slave’s labor? It would seem so today, but it has taken thousands of years in the development of governmental laws and institutions to create that common expectation of rights. In God’s justice, the slave may have always had a property right to a fair distribution of the fruits of his labors, but, as a practical matter, that fair market distribution does not take place unless government sets up a complex institutional scale which either legalizes enslavement or defines, arbitrates and enforces a property right for labor, just as it set did for invention and entrepreneurship. The question is not whether government needs to be involved or how complex that involvement will be (there is no labor law quite as simple as slavery whereas, as is often the case with justice, setting up a market for labor is quite a complex thing), it is instead whether government will be more or less just, or in other words, imperfectly and precariously balanced more or less toward virtue or more or less toward vice.

    Just as slavery cannot really exist without state involvement, freedom of all kinds does not exist without state involvement, but because you asked about it, let’s just stick for now with labor property rights freedom.

    America at its beginning was a mostly wild and agrarian nation. As such, free citizen laborers in the northern states were relatively uneffected by the injustice of we now would consider a “theft of labor” from slaves by the plantation owners in the south. Martin Luther King, Jr. once wrote:

    “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

    Although I believe that statement is true, I believe it becomes most true when people really do start to be practically effected less indirectly in their homes and communities by that direct injustice elsewhere.

    As our nation got smaller and its economy become more national, people in the north could not help but be more directly tied to the injustice of slavery. The labor theft corruption that is slavery could not help but start to have more direct and less indirect effects in multifarious ways on all the industrial markets in the North, but most obviously on labor markets.

    By way of a modern example of this indirect injustice getting more direct, think about the sweat shop worker in Bangladesh laboring away in an unsafe and torturous working environment for insanely low wages. Before globalization, it was easy for most Americans to see this only as a Bangladeshi injustice and a Bangladeshi problem, but not our problem directly. We had our own textile and garment factories with our own collective bargaining, wage and hour, and worker safety laws and institutions that allowed a more equal and more just labor bargaining situation than had existed in our own recent past. However, the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, through emerging globalization, trade and transportation costs had gotten so low that it became economical to participate in Bangladesh’s injustice, and that has effected Americans in both positive and negative ways.

    The textile mills and garment factories are mostly gone from the American landscape, along with the jobs that went with them. On the other hand, average workers can now afford these made-in-Bangladesh sweat shop products more easily than when they were made here, and in that way, our standard of living has risen.

    One could argue that the governmental misbalanced distributive effects of labor laws priced the property that is labor out of the market for these industries, and there is truth to that just as there is truth to the fact that a mistake in balancing patent laws could drive that intellectual property market out of the country. But that does not change the fact that what is happening to sweat shop workers in Bangladesh is horridly unjust, and that we are directly effected by, and even participative in that injustice, if in no other way than that, when we buy their cheap goods, we are both benefiting and being hurt by that economic injustice because it is allowing many of the real costs of an unfair labor bargain not to be internalized into the product, but instead to be externalized to the laborers through the lack of Bangladeshi labor laws and institutions that define, abatrate and enforce labor as a property right. (Sorry for that run-on sentence – I’ll take a breath now).

    Getting back to our American slavery, as our nation became smaller (just as the world became smaller in globalization), people in the north could not help but become more and more effected by and participative in the market injustice effects of slavery (just to name one kind of slavery injustice) if for no other reason than how sourthern slavery effected labor prices in the north and how it made the price of the cotton cheaper. To paraphrase MLK, the slavery injustice in the south started more and more to directly and less and less indirectly to effect people everywhere in our nation, their network of mutuality became much less escapable, and as our garment of justice become more singular, it was destined to either become one fabric of governmental justice, or irreparably tear at the seams. Or to use Abraham Lincoln’s Biblical metaphor, “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”

    We have just been looking and property rights, patent and labor rights specifically. I have tried to show how, for those rights to become either just or unjust, or even in practical fact to exist at all, it requires a complex government institutional involvement in defining, inforcing and arbtrating the laws that, practically speaking, engender those rights. However, you can also apply this government involvement to any kind of right, not just the multifarious forms of property rights.

    The question is not whether we need complex government involvement to have a balance of rights. Any indepth historical and systemic look at the problem of rights makes the answer that question obvious to anyone who takes the time to study it rationally and honestly. The real question is whether those laws and institutions will continue to slowly evolve in more just ways as the world continues to change economically and technologically, or whether they will not.

    As I have said before, this governmental development has been slow, and as the world has become smaller economically and technolically, the governmental institutions have naturally trended toward greater scale and complexity. Bloating and waste is a genuine problem for justice in government, but injustice is not necessarily inverse to this the size and complexity of government. Indeed, governmental scale and complexity has become a necessity of justice as we have grown more industrially as one nation and now through globalization, more one world.

    More perfect systems of justice in government derive from its virtuousness and effectiveness, which are related, rather than its smallness, and in the case of anything that men do on earth, becoming constantly a little better should never be the enemy of perfect. Governmental laws and institutions form the supports for MLK’s “web of mutuality” and that governmental support can either allow injustice to exist within that web of mutuality, or it can set us on a slow arc toward greater justice.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. @Tony

    Some people will always push the envelope, hoping they can get what they want instead of what they deserve. Look at Obamacare. Consider Obama’s executive orders. Consider the pure silliness of calling something we exhale toxic.

    When people apply for patents, they can get equally ridiculous. It is one thing to patent a technique. It is another thing to patent a discovery, for example. Should we have given the guy who discovered Antarctica a patent on it. Antarctica. The human genome. A spider no one has noticed before. How about Pluto? Someone had to see it first, but all those things were there all along. If someone creates a modified bacteria and then uses that germ to do something better, there is a patent there. The issue is properly defining the idea that is being patented.

    Government is necessary, but the more government grows the less useful it becomes. Would a 100 percent tax rate be just? Well, it might be socially just. After all, we would all be equally poor.

    We are not debating whether government is necessary. We are merely debating how much is necessary. More government than is necessary is just an infringement upon the rights of the people who don’t want it. It is in fact a form of slavery. To fund government, tax officials must take some portion of our earnings.

    Attitudes toward slavery have changed. That is primarily a result of Christianity. I have been doing a series of posts on a book, WHO IS THIS MAN? by JOHN ORTBERG. Without Jesus, I suspect slavery would still be the norm.

    Our laws are just a reflection of what we believe. We don’t make slaves of people we love. One we realize everyone belongs to God, and we don’t have the right to enslave His children, slavery becomes insupportable. Yet Caesar still deserves something, and that something Jesus told us to give him.

    You have dreams of government programs that you think could accomplish great things? Before you vote for some politician to implement your program, I just ask that you consider a few things.
    1. Can you implement your dream with private funds?
    2. Do you want to implement your dream because love of neighbor demands it?
    3. Are you willing to throw your neighbor in jail if he refuses to pay taxes for your program or participate in it?
    4. Are you insisting that people just render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar, or would you have them render unto Caesar what rightfully belongs to God?

    Do you ever answer such questions, Tony? It is important that you do. Government eventually comes down to soldiers with weapons. Do you know when George Washington commanded the largest force he ever commanded in the field? He commanded it when he put down a tax rebellion. See => https://citizentom.com/2008/09/08/the-morality-of-taxing-and-spending/.

    Fortunately, the show of force was enough to squelch that rebellion. Nevertheless, that tax gave large whiskey producers an advantage. So it was not exactly just.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tony

      I agree that the developement and spread of Christian virtues had a profound effect on in a great many ways on how western governments administer justice. In fact, what I have been trying to prove to you is that social justice itself is the practical application of such virtues through government in more just ways. The man considered the father of the social sciences, Max Webber, once wrote a book that theorized that the development and spread of Protestant theological concepts, like the idea of a personal “calling”, gave rise to the idea that making money industriously in the service of God, or what’s known as “the Protestant work ethic”, was its own virtue (see “The Protestant Ethic and the Spiriit of Capitalism”). Webber surmised that these Protestant virtues formed a catalyst for the Industrial Revolution, but he also lamented that, in the process, western societies have taken the “in the service of God” part out of the ethic and now, for most, making money is its own free standing virtue (basically the Frankenstein monster that is Trumpism).

      In an effort to not get too side tracked, while I think that we both agree that some system of taxation is necessary, I am not intersected in defending the justice of our current taxation system which taxes labor at a higher rate than speculation and extravagant consumption. (If you want to know what I think might be a more just and economically incentivizing system of taxation then read about the progressive consumption taxation system in the book “The Darwin Economy” by economist Robert Frank). I’d like to stick with basic principles here for now.

      Similarly, I am not arguing in favor of some perfect equality of material goods such as Bentham’s Utilitarianism. Equal justice, such as is called for in the 14th Amendment, is not the same as equality of ownership. Utilitarianism’s seeking the greater material good is indeed a “moral” philosophy. It is just that such “isms” (same also for communism, fascism, and including the “ism” that you would make out of Christianity, etc.) simply don’t work in practical application through government because they fail to answer many basic moral questions and because the ideological inflexibility of their formulaic dogmas seek to be determinative when, in the real world of modern society, there are too many variables that are constantly changing for any such rational formulas to actually be determinative or just. (For a wonderful argument against determinist philosophies, see Kara Popper’s three volume set “The Open Society and its Enemies”). Most people agree that, for a market economy to work effectively, at least some inequality of wealth is necessary. My argument is that a virtuous balance of equal justice in government’s defining, arbitrating and enforcing rights underlies every aspect of such a functioning market economy.

      The market game doesn’t even exist unless government in some form provides a level playing field, defines the rules of the game and referees the players. On that field, if government is doing its job justly some players with more talent and luck are rewarded with more scores than others, but the government has not set up much of a game if it allows only one player to have the ball and score all the time.

      And that leads to your comment about whether a thing can be done privately or not. In a modern state economy, very little is actually private if one looks at the underlying foundation. Setting aside for a moment the fact that money itself is a government construct (Caesar’s coin?), what is a corporation if not just another form of government?

      A corporation is a legal fiction. It is constructed and regulated by government and works like a government with its own executive and legislative branches, its own voters and taxpayers in the form of share holders. Exxon is the largest corporation in the world, with its own economy that is larger then many countries’ economies, and its own foreign policy division. Don’t you find it odd that many of us, yourself included, believe that we should let these government constructs run feral to govern our lives based on the sole justice of a profit motive, but they don’t want government to regulate those corporations based on seeking more virtuous justice?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. @Tony

        I am flabbergasted. You say Jesus did not start a political system. Then you try to use Jesus’ teachings as an excuse for big government?

        Did Jesus promote “social justice”? Since you won’t bother to define the term, only you know what you are talking about. In one paragraph, you jump from social justice to the Protestant work ethic, and then you lament that the service of God has been taken out of that work ethic. ?????????????? Side tracked? When did you ever address the subject of the post?

        You say the service of God has been taken out of Protestant work ethic. You do realize that is primarily due to our secularized education system, don’t you? Why would you expect a different result?

        The market game doesn’t even exist unless government in some form provides a level playing field, defines the rules of the game and referees the players. On that field, if government is doing its job justly some players with more talent and luck are rewarded with more scores than others, but the government has not set up much of a game if it allows only one player to have the ball and score all the time.

        The minute the government gets involved politicians will attempt to control the outcome to reward special interests.

        There is no such thing as a level playing field, and politicians have absolutely no interest in creating one. What happens in a free market, one that the government merely regulates to ensure the honesty of transactions taking place, is that people constantly try to find some advantage for themselves. An invention or two, and all of a sudden some formerly unassailable company is in a shambles. Then the government will step in to save what is now a horse and buggy business. How does that benefit our country?

        Is a corporation a legal fiction? You are unhappy with one of government’s proudest creations? Next you will be complaining about the government’s favoritism towards labor unions.

        Did you answer my questions? I wonder if you understood them.

        I have asked this before. Why is it moral for government to tax people? Consider what that involves. The IRS does not care whether you want to pay your taxes; it just insists that you do. Moreover, when the IRS goes after your money, it does so with no holds barred — except capital punishment. I guess that proves we are civilized.

        Effectively, the IRS looks and acts like a thief except it does its “stealing” in broad daylight with police protection. Why is what the IRS does moral? What makes a thief — even a modern day Robin Hood — immoral? What does the government do that justifies the morality of taxation? When does government go too far? When does taxation become immoral?

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Tony

    Your article above was a harangue about busybodies using government. All my responses have tried to present a methodical case why the such “busybodiness” underlies the very justice of our society when it is actually more just, or has greater “social justice”, and all of my posts here have been defining that concept. I can understand if you disagree, but instead you chose not to even comprehend, and then rather to read what you wanted your straw man to argue.

    Similarly, it was Webber’s “lament” that western capitalism has taken the God out of the virtue of making money and turned it into a virtue of pure greed, and you seem to agree with that lament (although falaciously turning a generalized miscorrelation into a causation) so why all the shouted question marks?

    You don’t like my game theory analogy, but then you basically describe what I said in the analogy as government’s job. Seemtimes I think if I called black black and white white, you would disagree on impulse and then say the same thing a different way.

    And I never said I was “unhappy” with corporations. I do think it is a “wonderful” legal fiction and government created tool, for all practical purposes, an extension of government in another form. Without the government invention of the institution of the corporation (and similar constructs), many beneficial aspects of capitalism would be more difficult. I work for a publicly held (and highly regulated corporation) and I love it. In a sense, more of my life is directly “governed” by that corporation than be the rest of the government institutions. I’m just telling you what a corporation is in reality, both for good and for bad. And facing that reality, I’m pointing out the fact that I would not replace government’s responsibility for justice with the profit motive of an unregulated corporation, any more than I would want to my union to do it either (even though I think unions have more virtuous concerns than just the corporation’s profit motive). Unions also need government laws and institutions to engender and regulate their existence. Have you ever heard of the Railway Labor Act or the National Mediation Board?

    Finally, as to the IRS, you want to demonized them and call them names, and you want to make me your straw man to defend that constitutional institution? No thanks? I think some kind of taxation scheme will be necessary if we want to have a military that is bigger than the next ten largest militaries in the world combined, and to pay for all the other things that even you would agree are functions of government. If Judge Richard Posner is to be beleaved, essentially every law and regulation, even the ones you like, are a tax in some sense. I agree that another scheme could be more just, but if you are looking for a perfectly just taxation system, then your being utopian. If you let perfect be the enemy of better in this life then you better plan to live in anarchy. Propose your own scheme, and if it’s interesting and I have something to say, I’ll respond. Sounds like it might be a fun discussion.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I ask questions, and you won’t answer them. Instead, you post long comments with lots of disconnected details and facts that are suppose to prove something. No focus.

      What is most puzzling is when you take something I have said as proof for your point-of-view. Yet the only thing you have made clear is you don’t like my point-of view. What is your point-of-view?

      If you were not my brother, I would just throw up my hands and give up. Cut the wondrous complexity baloney. Who cares? How is making our “rights” so complicated we don’t understand them a blessing for anybody but lawyers? Could you at least take the time to clearly state what you are for? How much government do you want? When is too much government too much and why?

      Anyway, this Bonzo has to go to bed.

      Love you brother. Say hello the family for me.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Tony

    We are not so different big brother. We both desperately stare into the blindingly complex history of the world, its many souls and even the deep well of our own souls, and try to discover patterns, draw conclusions, find trends. We just differ on what we think we find.

    You mentioned once the old story of the blind men trying to understand an elephant: one saw a snake, another saw a tree, etc. it seems the world is one massive elephant, layered and deep, and ancient in its long tangled history. We both are bound to be blind to most of it.

    There is an old proverb that derives from the Bible: “there is none so blind as one who will not see”. I think we are all often too quick to accuse each other of that kind of blindness. However, perhaps another related proverb could be “there is none so blind as one who is blind to his own blindness”.

    May we both learn the wisdom of knowing when we are blind and when we should open our eyes and just see. I could certainly use more of that humble wisdom.

    Love you too brother, and love also to your wonderful family. May the Holy Spirit bless you and keep you and yours with grace and peace.

    Liked by 2 people

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