We, the Dogs of the State

At what point did we decide that we’d be better off trusting a stranger to know best what’s good for us? In doing so, didn’t we in fact demonstrate that we know what’s best for us? After all, how else did we deduce that that stranger knew such?

I’m speaking of state leadership, of course. We delegate the definition-making and decision-making responsibilities for which we, by nature, should be responsible. Do we do this because we have thought it out thoroughly and came to the logical conclusion that this is the best way, or did the current state of things develop by some other means?

Whatever the means (and I have a few hypotheses), we are in an unnatural state. We are in an unnatural state not only as individuals, but as a species.

Consider the domestication of animals into household pets. It is well accepted that, once domesticated, it is very unlikely that an animal would survive well in the wild (its natural condition). But, they are beasts, and we’d rather have them as companions and/or helpers. So, we domesticate them. We know this, in some ways, make them less what they’re naturally inclined to be, and more what we’d prefer (or what’s most convenient for us).

Consider further, those poor obese pets. You’ve seen them. Perhaps you have one (I’m not passing judgment upon your character if so…I have such a cat). Compared with the fit, agile wild counterpart, such pets are living what at first glance could be considered luxurious, but upon further inspection poisonous lives (or lives characterized by intoxication by gluttony).

This domestication is self-sustaining, cumulative, needing more and more of itself, the pet believing it needs more and more of these luxuries of domestication until it dies a fat, unhealthy, but (so far as we can tell) happy life.

But look at the wild dog whose life is up for grabs often. Look at the pride, hunger, and confidence as he looks upon the field for prey. Look at his satisfaction while he finally eats, the reward for valuing his life so much that he’d risk it by using what little energy he had left for the chase. Look at his muscular structure, thin as it may be. He knows what he is, and he has no choice but to be the best dog he can be, lest he die either of starvation or became the reward for some other animal of some greater physical prowess.

Now, look at your fat pet. It may be happy (or at least content), so far as it relates to its experience, just as a slave or a housewife in decades passed would appear. That does not mean that they are living their best quality of life possible.

Look back at mankind today, “civilized” within our developed societies and ever evolving technology and humanitarianism. We look at ourselves and say, “What uncivilized we beasts we are in our natural, unsupervised state! Let us set up for ourselves an overseer. No, several overseers so as to ensure that we don’t gravitate to closely to our wretched natural inclinations! We are incapable of living amongst each other peaceably without some force to keep us from devouring each other. Where can we find such a force to protect us? Of course! We must create some such force out of our collection. There must be some special select few of us who we could trust to enforce our peaceful cohabitation.”

Even worse, however, is the nature of our relation to our current political process (particularly in America, but elsewhere as well). We (most likely) never even meet our elected people face-to-face. We never even talk to them over the phone. We never discuss matters even by email, text message, or even online forum. We quite literally know nothing for sure about any one candidate or elected official to which we’ve delegated many of our natural responsibilities.

Why?

Think about the nature of even a purely (and effectively) representative government. If the government is truly representative, then why is it needed at all? Such a government would be a perfect representation of the individuals it has been elected to represent. Why, then couldn’t the individuals have just governed themselves, each individually?

Are people afraid that, without government, some horrible, violent chaos would ensue? Don’t people realize that the government is not the sole provider of protection and consequence? When my child misbehaves, is it the government who corrects her, or do I? I do, of course! When my friend contemplates making a poor decision, is it the government who steers him correctly, or do I? When a man breaks into my house and tries to harm myself and take my property, do I stand by idly while waiting for the government to help or do I do what I can to protect my life and property immediately?

Do we not know right from wrong without guidance from the government? Are we not inclined to provide consequences for actions good and bad?

The likewise services of the government – weren’t they first agreed upon by us? If the government is a reflection of the will of the people, then why do we fear taking back that responsibility that we’ve surrendered (gladly gave over) to the government?

Finally, what is the government if not a collection of individuals created by God no differently form ourselves? What, then, makes them more capable than us to assume our responsibilities for us. The other way around, what makes us less capable?

The only difference is this: one of them is listed on a voting ballot, one is not.

Worse: one is master, the other is pet.

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4 Comments

  1. Do you believe some people better off trusting others to judge their own actions than they can trust themselves doing the judgments themselves? If so, maybe this is why people trust things like government/social constructs of the collective.

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    1. I do believe some people (maybe even most people) are best off seeking guidance from others and feedback from others to better make choices in the future (learning and applying knowledge requires learning from external sources). I can see how trust in things like governments/social constructs might seem like such media. What I don’t like about governments in particular is the force of one person’s (or even a majority of people’s ) choice(s) on those in disagreement. Mentors, parents, and friends are critical to the growth of all people. Each person should have/seek out such people as direct interpersonal helps as they see fit, but not to designate their supports as helps for strangers or even friends/family.

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