The presidential inauguration is barely a day away, and the United States of America is about to engage in a peaceful transition from one form of self-congratulation to another. Not much change is really in store.
All across America, people are wetting their pants with the anticipation of a new president. This is partially understandable, given the monstrous tyrants who’ve run this country for the better part of the past decade. Nevertheless, the remainder of the excitement is, I’m afraid, based upon the legendary short memories of the American electorate, along with that ageless failure to understand human nature, and, more specifically, the nature of politics.
I do not hold any personal animosity toward Barack Obama. None. I’m sure he’s a nice guy. The bottom line, however, is that he is a politician, and politicians practice politics, which is the art of legalized theft and violence. This art is enacted to coerce one section of society to do something for the benefit of another section of society, usually at the former’s considerable expense or inconvenience. Moreover, politicians are the consummate Statists and expect the citizenry to be, as well. When it comes down to it, we all belong to the State in the minds of these bureaucrats.
With all of this in mind, it would be hard to get excited about change even if the next president were a nominally laissez-faire thinker, which Obama most assuredly is not. At the same time, perhaps my pessimism guards me from the hysterical hooting and hollering of the self-styled conservatives who are still too stupid to know that they ruined their political standing without any help from their enemies and who actually believe that there is a dime’s worth of difference between the Democan and Republicrat parties. Socialism or Fascism. Take your pick.
In a sense I miss the days when I was just as susceptible to the moronic emotional vicissitudes of politics as so many others seem to be; it’s as though I have one less sport to watch. Maybe I’ve been reading too much Albert Jay Nock. Or maybe I’ve been reading just enough.
I suppose the danger here, however, in the midst of recognizing the intrinsic evil of politics and the insoluble morass that is earthly life in this vale of tears is the temptation to stick one’s nose in the air, declare oneself to be above it all, and then to walk away into isolation. Then there is the temptation to think that, just because one has ascertained the depth of the moral turpitude of politics, that one is therefore a saint, someone untouched by the ugliness that happens when we men butt heads.
This is foolishness. In particular, it is utter folly in the case of your humble scribe, for I am a jackass. I always have been, and I probably always will be, even if I set out to improve society using means other than the political.
But at least I didn’t vote.