Friday, January 04, 2008

The Mommy State

Gus has a very astute commentary on the current system of government in the US: the parentalist democracy. The role of the government is to parent all of us adult citizens, for our own good. Witness the banning of the incandescent lightbulb.

I'd say this idea bears out in my recent experience (the first of many, I expect) with the Census Bureau's stupid statistics form, and the person who left a comment on my blog. The entire thing reeks of "this is for your own good" and "don't you see how you'll benefit?" and "if you don't fill out the form, then we will make you pay us money." The commenter wrote:

I can provide you with dozens of examples where census data have helped everyone in the community. . . .

When I was a small child, my catchphrase was "I can do it my ownself!" Can you believe that I'm still as independent-minded as an adult? :o) My government doesn't. It doesn't think you're bright enough to "do it your ownself" either.

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