In seeing the constant clamoring for military intervention in Egypt, a quote springs to mind.
When your only tool is a hammer, all problems begin to look like nails.
Sorry, but I’m a stickler for giving credit where credit is due! A famous quote should be attributed to it’s creator. This quote is by Abraham Maslow in The Psychology of Science. (Abraham Kaplan stated it earlier in a different way: “Give a small boy a hammer, and he will find that everything he encounters needs pounding.”
Thanks for putting up with the literary lesson for today! That’s all!
All government is force — not just foreign relations. That is why healthcare reform is a “mandate.” It’s why welfare looks like robbery.
There’s a reason why everything government does looks like someone stared at the problem and asked, “How could I make this better if I sent in some nice people with guns to fix it?”
Don’t limit your thinking to those who want intervention in Egypt — it applies to everything you want from government here, at home, as well.
You’re missing the intention of the quote. The meaning being that when you only have one tool in your arsenal, you start to believe that it can be used in all situations. It’s sort of like how some people believe that tax cuts are applicable in EVERY situation.
Also, if you truly equate all government with robbery and force, well, I wholly encourage you to move out into Africa where a number of those countries have no government at all. Should be right up your alley, right?
That’s a strawman. My point is that if a person is inclined toward more government, it means they tend to evaluate more problems in terms of how things might be improved by sending in nice bureaucrats with guns. That has become their hammer, and every social cause translates into some other application of bureaucrats with guns.
I am exactly the opposite — I recognize that sometimes bureaucrats with guns are the solution. But because even nice bureaucrats with guns are still bureaucrats with guns, I treat that as a last resort — it’s always better to have people work things out voluntarily.
And yes, sometimes the problem is that there are already too many bureaucrats with guns involved. How often do you even wonder whether things might be better with fewer bureaucrats??? I have to point out that even if we had only half as much tailored regulation in our lives, it would still be illegal for individuals to use force or fraud — would things really be worse if people were required to reach voluntary agreement on everything instead of fighting over how to use the bureaucrats with guns???
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