Monday, July 20, 2009

Quote of the Day II: Government is Not Compassion

The single most damaging error of the modern age is the misperception of government as an agency of compassion. As a replacement for the "divine right of kings," this misperception has, for those in power, been an astonishing success. For the rest of mankind, it has frequently been a disaster beyond imagining.

Government is nothing more than structured, widespread coercion, and the idea that it can implement compassion for us by force is simply a vile and cunning lie. It is cunning because people are primed and willing, even desperate, to believe it. It is vile because government allows, facilitates, and encourages mass murder, widespread torture, needless famine, and every form of tyranny. No other tool than coercive government does this.

~Glen Allport (Thanks to an anonymous commenter.)

4 Comments:

At 7/20/2009 10:51 AM, Anonymous Benny The LIbertarian said...

Does the Pentagon come to mind when reading this post? If so, why not? The post office? The Department of Agriculture? The Department of Commerce?
Or the IRS?
The Border Patrol?

 
At 7/20/2009 6:33 PM, Blogger Lucia said...

Walter Williams pointed me to these two quotes about the government and compassion, or charity:

" The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government."
-- James Madison, speech in the House of Representatives, January 10, 1794


and


"I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit."
-- President Grover Cleveland vetoing a bill for charity relief (18 Congressional Record 1875 [1877]

 
At 7/21/2009 12:20 AM, Blogger Robert Miller said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7/21/2009 10:35 AM, Blogger misterjosh said...

Lucia, we've come a long way baby.

Unfortunately it's been in the wrong direction.

 

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