Bad and Worse Governments

Breaking new ground in evil modes of governance.

Having long since run off the end of what might be considered "normal" American politics, we're having to revisit many of our underlying assumptions about what can, will, or even should go on.  We're also having to reach farther back into history to find similar situations that might help predict eventual outcomes - our current politics is starting to bear far more resemblance to ancient Rome, Imperial Austria, a Chinese imperial dynasty, or even the Ottoman Empire than our Founders would have ever wanted.

Too Small or Too Large?

For instance: A standard false argument against conservatives is that they don't want a government, or don't believe it should have any real authority over them.  This, of course, is totally contrary to the desires of our Founders: the whole reason there was a Constitutional Convention in the first place was because the Articles of Confederation had created a government that was too weak to get anything done.  Although that government had been set up with the best of intentions, bitter experience showed that it lacked the authority to perform the essential tasks of government that must be performed in order to have an operational civil society.

No true conservative wants a government too weak and ineffectual to do anything.  The famous statement about conservatives wanting a government small enough to drown in a bathtub is true only insofar as you have the restraint and good judgment to not, in fact, actually drown it in the bathtub - because then you won't have a government anymore.

Thousands of years of recorded history prove conclusively that we need government.  Without it, we have the Hobbesian "war of all against all," where the strong prey on the weak and there is no law in the land - in a word, anarchy.  Anarchists aren't conservative, or even right-wing - they're the exact opposite, considered to be on the left.  Although the shadowy figures who sponsor the BLM riots profit, anarchy is no way any sane person wants to live, most particularly not intellectual sorts like your humble correspondent.

In fact, we've long believed that for most people, most of the time, even the worst and most evil government is an improvement on an anarchy.  For example, consider rule by Hitler's Nazis or Stalin's Communists.  Obviously, if you happened to be a Jew or a kulak, anarchy would have been an improvement in that at least that way you had a chance to survive.

But for everybody else who didn't happen to be a specific target of the irrational, psychopathic hatred of the government and its evil leadership, life was... well, obviously not heaven on earth, but by historical standards, far from the pits.  Until Germany started losing the war, the Nazis provided an above-average standard of living for their Aryan citizens, so much so that a great many Americans in the early 30s thought that Hitler was doing a better job than FDR and that FDR should become a dictator to keep up.

Similar, it's an historical fact that, under Communist rule, Russia moved from a giant, impoverished, backward giant of ill-educated peasants to a superpower capable of world-class science and with an average standard of living that, while far from the top of the heap, was equally far from the bottom.

Think about it: Assuming you are not Jewish or a devout Christian, would you prefer to be born or grow up in Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia, or, say, modern Haiti or Somalia?  Where would your life chances be better?  To take it one step further, suppose you were a devout Jew or Christian - would you prefer to be born or grow up in Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia, or, say, modern Haiti or Somalia?  An awful lot of Jews and Christians died in Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia, but quite a few didn't, and many of those have done rather better for themselves than the average Somalian or Haitian.

Let's pause a moment to make plain that we are not in any way, shape, or form defending Hitler, Stalin, Nazism, or Communism.  In no way are we suggesting that they were "good," nor are we wishing those evil forms of government or similarly wicked leaders on Haiti, Somalia, or anywhere else.

We are simply pointing out the objective fact that, as vile as they were, these authoritarian governments offered at least some of the bare essentials of what might be termed minimum good governance.  They actually did an OK job at meeting some subset of societal needs, for most of their people, much of the time.  Indeed, history unarguably shows that they did a significantly better job than quite a few of what President Donald Trump memorably and with literal accuracy termed "sh*thole countries."

Yes, Haiti and Somalia technically have governments and politicians, but they don't represent the people at all, and they don't appear even to effectively rule over the people either.  They're not figureheads, nor puppets - they're, what, actors playing a role perhaps?  Kleptocrats

As with Afghanistan, places like Haiti and Somalia are "countries" only on the map; in the real world, they're effectively anarchies, with each street, village, or sand dune ruled over by whatever gang happens to be there at the moment with a full AK-47.

We've always assumed that an anarchy like that is the worst possible situation to live under because it's effectively random and unpredictable.  The secret police of a dictatorship don't usually behave randomly.  While there are definitely elements of bad luck and being in the wrong place at the wrong time, under normal circumstances it is mostly possible to live life staying out of their way by keeping your head down.

Too Weak and Too Strong?

We're beginning to find cause to revisit this overoptimistic view, though.

Consider: In an anarchy like Haiti and Somalia, you're ruled by whoever happens to have the biggest gun, but with a little courage and imagination, that could just as well be you.  Maybe you simply need to sneak up behind gang-bangers with AK-47s, clonk them on the head with a rock, and now you have the gun, at least until someone does the same to you in turn.

Obviously, this wouldn't work in Nazi or Communist regimes which had well-organized, highly-trained, loyal troops and secret police to track you down and take away any gun you stole.  Criminal gangs are not nearly as effective at detective work, particularly not if you're using the gun to make your escape elsewhere.

But, might there be something worse?  How about a place ruled by corrupt, well-armed and organized, highly-trained, loyal troops and police, that enforce their diktats harshly on the people... except for a certain coterie of anarchic thugs who are allowed to rampage, loot, burn, assault, and murder whomsoever they please while the official forces stand idly by?  Except that, if some innocent but threatened party should happen to lay hands on a weapon and attempt to use it against the menacing hoodlums, only then does officialdom intervene, not to help them defend themselves, but to arrest them and preserve the lives of the criminals?

In other words, what if your life is oppressed by both a powerful and corrupt evil government, and also by random murderous criminal gangs?

Sound far-fetched?  Not at all: more and more, it exactly describes life in America's Democrat Disaster Cities.

Consider the celebrated case of the McCloskeys of St. Louis, whose property, located on a private, gated street, was invaded by a rampaging BLM mob who tore down the gate, pulled out weapons, and threatened their lives.  The McCloskeys, as Americans have done in similar circumstances for half a millennium, pulled out their own firearms - which happened to be both unloaded and unserviceable at the time, but the mob didn't know that.

Despite being both outnumbered and outgunned, the McCloskeys were able to preserve both their lives and their property, but then the real danger began.  Rather than arrest the criminal thugs who'd been rioting, local authorities pursued the McCloskeys, even making up fraudulent evidence to put them behind bars.  Only when the governor of their state officially pardoned them did they escape serious legal jeopardy.

Did their local government "serve and protect the innocent?"  Not on your life - they served and protected the guilty who shared their far-left and anti-American politics, and vengefully pursued the innocent victims who didn't.

We see something almost as scary in Portland, Oregon, whose police stood idly by for months as mobs attempted to burn down Federal courthouses and ICE facilities attempting to remove illegal invaders, and then did the same as an Antifa mob violently beat down a public Christian prayer meeting in a waterfront park in broad daylight.

At least this time the cops didn't join in on the side of the leftist thugs, they just sat and watched as Antifa beat up and robbed the Christians, doing no good but no particular harm either.  On the other hand, the Christians, being mostly employed, are paying the cops to not protect them; Antifa thugs, being generally unemployed or funded off the books, suffer no such oppression.

This reminds us of Germany immediately before the Nazi takeover, when rival gangs of Nazis and Communists rampaged through the streets beating up each other and whoever got in their way.  Most of the time the police stood down; occasionally, if the Nazis seemed to be having a rough go of it, they'd step in to arrest Communists.

Were the Communists violent and evil, fully deserving of prison?  Sure they were, and so were the Nazis, but given the choice between them, the police preferred Hitler.  We all know how that ended.

The Nazis actually did something similar on the infamous Kristallnacht, where semi-official mobs of thugs murdered Jews and destroyed Jewish property, unimpeded by the police - once.  But the international response was such overwhelming disgust that they never tried it again, instead mass-murdering Jews in a quiet, efficient, orderly Germanic way.

Germany of the day would have been better off without police at all, letting the Communists and Nazis slug it out while decent people rooted for casualties on both sides.  As Donald Rumsfeld said decades later of a similar situation, the Iran-Iraq war, "It's a shame they can't both lose."

Here in America, we have no such excuse: despite endless propaganda to the contrary, the right side of the aisle bears no comparison to the evil of the left.  Conservatives hold prayer meetings and truly peaceful rallies; the left burns down cities and murders cops.  The infamous January 6 "insurrection" was an historical unicorn, being the only insurrection in which not one single firearm or true weapon was brought to the party by the insurrectionists, and not one single government agent was killed or critically injured, despite an avalanche of lies to the contrary.

This week, we discovered that our vaunted military cannot defeat a few thousand illiterate savages over twenty years.  Knowing some of our soldiers personally, it's very difficult to suppose that they literally could not have - the only possible explanation is that their leadership did not care enough to actually win the war.  Shades of American cities for the last few years, where Rudy Guiliani proved that it was possible to run a giant megalopolis largely crime-free, with the right leadership and determination.

Which we now do not have, and if election results are to be believed, do not want.  Are we getting the government we deserve?

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other articles by Petrarch or other articles on Politics.
Reader Comments

This is a good article, I am glad to have read it. Those who ought most to read and understand such a theme will not, unfortunately.

August 20, 2021 6:52 PM

Great article!
Well thought out and in my opinion, gives a very accurate description of the current state of affairs.

August 20, 2021 7:22 PM

I hate to say this, but it appears that the ruling elites OF BOTH PARTIES seem to be deliberately tearing down America. This started with pres. Wilson who tried to give up American sovereignty to the League of Nations, but his successors have picked up on the idea and forged ahead.

August 20, 2021 10:15 PM

it appears that the link to the Yahoo! article about about an antifa mob attacking a prayer meeting of christians is broken ( generates a 404 error).

could it be that some leftish Yahoo! employee saw this article, then removed the story? nah, *that* would *NEVER* happen ...

September 21, 2021 10:42 AM
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