In an ideal society, people honor agency and run their own lives in tune with righteous principles.
But today, those who seek power believe people are too dumb to run their own lives – they must be told in detail what they cannot do and what they must do.
Such bossy disciplinarians believe it’s government’s job to control the individual and they write more and more rules to that end.
It is backfiring.
As the do’s and don’ts pile up, the thinking shifts:
“I will be guided by principles.”
“My society sure has a lot of rules.”
“Am I really responsible for obeying all these rules?”
“I don’t need to control myself; that’s government’s job”
“It’s not my fault if I take advantage of events.”
It’s the big morph from self-governing to rule-obedient to responsibility abdication to external control to situational justification.
Self-responsibility has dwindled and people cease to be guided by an internal compass. All that matters is not getting caught.
There isn’t enough paper to write all the rules that could be written. There aren’t enough cops to enforce the hundreds of thousands we already have.
No society can exist for long unless its people agree to be self-governing and voluntarily obey a minimum of proper laws necessary for an orderly society.
Unfortunately, we may be watching the evidence.
An elaboration from the Statism chapter in the author’s forthcoming book “The Magnificent Gift of Agency; To Act and Not Be Acted Upon.”