This post is by way of addendum to Eric Parks' recent article The last exit ramp on the road to unlimited government. I find Eric's post noteworthy not least because it reminds me of how undiscerning and crude people have become in the face of the most blatant violations of justice and the rule of law. The position taken by the Institute for Justice (see Eric's post) is a pleasant exception, deserving wide dissemination.
On a different level, this post on Hayek's thesis that in a politicised society the worst get to the top forms part of the background to Eric's observations.
I like the author's definition of a statist, i.e. a person passionately asking for leadership by the worst:
“Someone who learns nothing from human nature, economics, or experience, and repeats the same mistakes over and over again without a care for the rights and lives of people he crushes with his good intentions.”
Even the worst features of the statist reality, Hayek showed, “are not accidental byproducts” but phenomena that are part and parcel of statism itself. He argued with great insightfulness that “the unscrupulous and uninhibited are likely to be more successful” in any society in which government is seen as the answer to most problems. They are precisely the kind of people who elevate power over persuasion, force over cooperation. Government, possessing by definition a legal and political monopoly of the use of force, attracts them just as surely as dung draws flies. Ultimately, it is the apparatus of government that allows them to wreak their havoc on the rest of us.