Sunday, November 21, 2010

Small Government Violence

In today's political discourse, the rhetoric of "small government" is entirely divorced from state violence, and evidently makes no reference to it.

If you rail against the incompetence of government, but support the death penalty, then you have faith that the government will be mistake-free in investigating crimes, prosecuting the guilty parties, and carrying out executions.

If you say that government cannot solve problems, but support a massive defense budget and interventionist wars, then you believe that the government can solve problems through the use of government military force.

If you decry government tyranny over the individual, but support torture, then you want government officials to have power to inflict devastating harm on the individual.

In other words, if you support many forms of state violence while decrying the size and power of the state, your rhetoric is empty.

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