Monday, February 18, 2013

The Destruction of Trust

This quote from Lao-Tzu reminds me of an Ayn Rand quote from, I believe, Atlas Shrugged:
"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted and you create a nation of law-breakers -- and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system." 
Now that's the system.

The burden of so many laws, intended to protect us from the dangers of freedom in others, carries an insidious poison which destroys a society faster than the intrusion of an overbearing government. The enactment of laws is almost always in response to calls from the citizenry to "do something!" Such pleas from the people to the government serve to destroy the trust among the citizens, for the laws are enacted because they are deemed necessary and they are deemed necessary precisely because of a lack of trust among the citizens.

When we don't trust each other to be free, we will enslave each other through our distrust.


  1. Just one more little thread. It's just there to protect you. Really, you'll hardly notice it. It mostly just a limit on those other people who want stupid things anyway. We promise, perfect safety is just around the corner. Straitjacket? Oh, you shouldn't think of it that way. It's just snug. Very, very snug.

    1. Exactly. Every time we scream that "something must be done" we are actually saying that we don't trust our neighbors, our community, our friends. It destroys the trust in society and a society without trust MUST become totalitarian. It's the only way to feel safe.