This is the fourth instalment of this series. Each instalment will be published independently and can be read independently. We are tackling head-on the 6 reasons why you should distrust governments, reasons that were kindly provided by the apparatchiks of The OECD A Bureaucratic Organization You Should Know.
Some time ago, we published the article In Government We Distrust and promised we will continue in that direction because of the massive amount of useless information (i.e. job security) that the apparatchiks from the OECD created. If you are interested in the original OECD article, search for the "Directorate for Public Governance and Territorial Development", specifically "Trust in Government". Let's make it happen.
TRUST IN LAWS
The OECD says many things, most of them utterly nonsensical. Let's take a look.
According to the OECD:
Building, maintaining and validating trust… is addressed through implementing good regulatory practices.
It is true that governments want to build, maintain and validate trust. This is so because without the trust of the majority of the population politicians will be out of their jobs in about 5 seconds (yes, we are being widely generous). This is so because without trust any government must use the only tool left to keep population under control: widespread state terror. Although all governments use terror (see State Sponsored Terrorism) and this terror is spreading, the terror is not yet absolute and widespread. In order to maintain absolute population control, absolute terror is required. The USSR tried it with the Checka, NKGB, MGB and finally with the KGB. Eventually, it failed. Politicians know that in current societies there is too much freedom for such terror to be effective long term. Therefore they have no choice but to ensure the trust of the population through proper "education" and Public Relations (see for example Lost Memories). Why try to impose control by force if it is far more effective to do so through brainwashing? Self-control (however mislead it may be) works equally well if not better than just control.
Trust is indeed extremely important and we are not the exception. The difference is that we say that you should trust yourself, not a deeply flawed and deprecated (obsolete) system.
The OECD recommends that governments achieve this "trust" by implementing "good regulatory practice". This translates as "good laws and regulations". There are many problems with this point of view to the point of making it laughable.
To begin with, the definition of "good" or "evil" is a personal one. It is purely dependent upon the ethical, moral or religious point of view that each person may hold. There is no such thing as "good" in absolute terms. Therefore it is a philosophical impossibility (and an absolute one as such) to determine if something is "good" or "bad". It all depends of your point of view.
Of course, the OECD adopts the Political Theory of Socialism in their statement. This is so because according to socialism "good" is what is "good" for society and not for the individual. Therefore your point of view is irrelevant. You don't exist from this point of view. Feeling better now?
Furthermore, there is a really deep mystery at work here. All politicians have what many people would politely call a "dubious morality" (see Government Morality). As such, how is it possible for them to create "good" laws seeing that their concept of "good" is utterly twisted and incompatible with "the greater good"?
OK. Let's ignore this for now and let's take a step forward. Let's assume for a second that through some magic technology politicians can determine what is "good" for society. And so they implement this "good". The problem is that there is no free lunch. Every decision, every action we take in the real world, carries a cost associated with it. And this cost is again, very much subjective and personal. Take for example taxation and redistribution to poor people through welfare. This is "good" right? Well no. It so happens that this is not good for the people being taxed. But who cares, right? The people being taxed are the minority, right? Well…no, they are the majority. But this would then mean that this "good" is not actually a "good" but a "bad" because it affects negatively the majority of people... But nevermind. Let's overlook this tiny and glaring contradiction and let's keep moving forward. OK then, but at least taxation is "good" for poor people because it gives them free money which makes their lives easier, right? Well…no. On short time scales, sure. But what happens on longer time scales? By extracting wealth from the markets and destroying it, taxation is preventing the overall wealth of humanity to increase. In so doing it is preventing poor people from attaining better jobs and better incomes far above what they receive in welfare. And so in a different time scale, taxation is indeed "bad".
The point is that no matter which decision politicians make; which laws they create, they are all "bad" because the cost of such laws ends up affecting negatively the vast majority of the population. It is impossible to have "good" laws. This is simply the most basic economic law. Tit-for-tat. Ying and Yang. In every economic transaction there is a give and a take. You (and nobody else) is the only person on the planet that is qualified to decide how much are you willing to give (the "bad") in return for something (the "good"). This is so because the perception of "good" or "bad" is ultimately and at all times a subjective and personal one.
Moving on, we have the issue of "regulatory". According to the dictionary, to regulate means:
- A rule, principle, or condition that governs procedure or behaviour
- Laws through which governments can control privately owned businesses.
In other words, the innocuous word "regulate" simply means to control what is not your property. This is, to tell you what you may or may not do with your property through the use of force. How can this ever be "good"? Other people with whom you have no contract of any kind decide what you may or may not do with your property. More specifically, laws are what is known as "negative rights", this is, prohibitions. If you produced damage to other people's property through the use of your property without a voluntary agreement, we would understand (although we still wouldn't support laws). But laws are pre-emptive in nature, not reactive. This means is that they determine your behaviour whether there is actual damage or not. It is not the prevention of damage that laws are enforcing but the enforcement of laws themselves. And how are laws created? Through the "Principle of Authority" (see State Sponsored Terrorism). What this all means is that "people in authority" create arbitrary rules enforced by people with guns and badges just because they can, regardless of your opinion, knowledge or consent. Happy now with "regulations"?
And what about "practices"? To "practice" something means to do something in reality. What this means is that laws are designed to have an effect on your life. They are not just theoretical ideas or wishes. Laws actually, in reality, have effects on you. Therefore, you cannot just ignore laws or wish them away, except When Countries Dissolve.
We have now come full circle. Time for a translation. What the OECD means when they say:
through implementing good regulatory practices.
They recommend that governments brainwash population into trusting them by means of creating prohibitions on your property (enforced by people with guns and badges) without your opinion, knowledge or consent that will negatively impact your life just because they can.
Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.