This just in from the Rubber Room at the Wilson Think Tank and Kosher Yak Breeding Farm:
Now that The Election is over and the pundits have had their say, I think I may have it figured out.
Totalitarianism is inevitable. It is a product of human nature, original sin, a character flaw in mankind. Many have given it different names but it is the force that drives human history.
Every human is motivated by an effort, risk and reward triangle. Whether emotionally or rationally, everyone is acting under those three factors. Reward differs for everyone. Everyone has a different view of risk. Different people are willing to invest vastly differing amounts of effort. Different forms of government are the result of the majority of the people being more concerned about one of these factors above the other two.
Tyranny is the result of too much risk. People are worried about their survival. They aren’t worried about effort and reward — just being around tomorrow. Socialism is also the product of risk. People don’t believe the reward justifies their effort. They’d rather put in minimum effort for a small guaranteed reward. A democracy is low risk while minimizing effort. A republic is low risk with the emphasis on reward.
None of these forms of government are permanent because their own success changes the effort-risk-reward equation. As a Republic acquires wealth, it becomes risk averse and degenerates to a democracy by distributing government control to the people. A democracy continues to generate wealth but attempts to spread it among the masses to reduce risk. This redistribution becomes socialism. Socialism consumes wealth because effort and reward become disconnected. When this system breaks down, risk becomes excessive. People face starvation and look for a tyrant to save them from themselves. In a tyranny, the concentration of power breaks the relationship of effort, risk and reward. The people have nothing and nothing to lose. The only outcome is a revolt. External forces can affect the time and direction of these changes but have never prevented them.
History has shown us the destination but few of us have actually made the trip. For Freedom’s lovers, Bette was right: “…It’s gonna be a bumpy night.”
No trees were killed in the sending of this message but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
Brian Wilson [send him mail], nationally ignored talk show host and occasional LRC un-indicted co-contributor, is currently annoying miniscule audiences in a number of markets from his technically challenged studios safely outside the dictatorship of Toledo. Brian may be endured from 3p—6p at www.wspd.com.