Trying to explain the US government system, even to American students, is sometimes a lesson in futility. I happen to think that government can be useful, as long as we understand its aims.
If you do not want to live in a normal, functioning society, then I think you should be allowed to leave it, and never be allowed to use any government services, because why should I pay for your selfishness and stupidity?
Oftentimes, people who believe that we should return to self-sufficiency tend to forget that humans have never been self-sufficient. True, there were rebels and revolutions and people who had the means and motivation to ‘forge it alone’, but everything in Western society (which I am critiquing) has been built on the backs of someone else. Sure, you may not think you are receiving a government handout, but you are not running public transport or handling (or mis-handling) public water systems or building anything except private enterprise.
And government, more than that private enterprise, has been more reliable about protecting our ‘inalienable rights’. In the United States, at least during some progressive reform movements, it was the federal government that protected and guaranteed civil rights, though it took a very long time. It is state governments now, in states like Georgia and North Carolina, that are trying to dismantle protections guaranteed LGBT+ folk. It will probably be the federal government that has to come in and secure these protections.
Government is a hammer for us to use to build a society we want to live in, not a cudgel to destroy the parts of our society with which we disagree. I may disagree mightily with many of the things that my state decides, but I have only one tool: my vote. And instead of being discouraged by the failures of our government, we should force them to recognise the needs of their citizens. And if they do not, it is time to vote them out, and forge a new path.
Until next time. – SDM
If you’d like to read my other posts in this year’s A to Z challenge, check them out here.
Photo by dcandau