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Anti-Government claims challenged

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It is worth reflecting on Lord Acton’s comment that “power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely”. It is not a problem confined to those in public service. All power – including economic power, can corrupt those who enjoy it. One of the roles of a government can be to hold to account those who have power.

That’s why I believe in active and strong legislative bodies – they can limit the accumulation of unaccountable power – through anti-trust (competition) laws; can regulate against activities which involve the deception; exploitation and endangering the health and life of others (consumer protection laws) they can bring those who abuse power to account for their actions (Congressional and, though weaker British parliamentary Select, committees).

Much has been achieved through progressive use of political power. Consider the exploitation of people in the 19th Century. We no longer permit child labour; there is a minimum wage; in most countries there are safety nets to protect people from the misfortunes of chance (and I’m very proud of the British National Health Service).

If you don’t trust your politicians, hold them to account – I have little sympathy for those whose motives in denigrating politicians and public servants is to allow the holders of economic wealth to escape accountability; to enable them to expand their unjust exploitation of fellow humans; animals and the planet on which we live. I’m very suspicious of those who are always calling for a “bonfire of regulations” and “getting government off their backs” – because I’ve found that in practice they mean they want to be free to kill off competition; pay others little while making a grossly unfair profit off other people’s labour; stop accountability through Parliament/Congress or the Courts (like so called “Tort Reform”).

[This was a response to an attack by one of the anti-government/progressive rants I received from the likes of a tea partier to my recent video]

Written by David

October 19, 2011 at 6:25 am

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