Ayn Rand used to have what she called “the horror file,” wherein she would report on the various outrages of the state and collectivist thinking that she encountered. Modernly, it would be useful to start a “humor file,” to reflect the absurdities to which the state has managed to reduce itself. Jon Stewart has capitalized on this need quite well in his “Daily Show” presentation which, in satirizing news events, does a far better job of informing the public than the rest of the mainstream media combined.
What day goes by that does not bring to our attention not just the wickedness of the state, but its utterly ludicrous nature? Becky Akers has done a wonderful job keeping us updated on TSA craziness, while Tom diLorenzo and Karen DeCoster report on other examples of institutionalized foolishness. Numerous other bloggers provide daily examples of just how mindlessly the state acts in the world. Today’s report that the British police have found a “War on Terror” board game – a board game! – to be a potential terrorist weapon subject to confiscation, illustrates the seemingly bottomless pit of nonsense capable of being dredged.
All of this should remind us of Henry David Thoreau’s wonderful reduction of the state to its absurd depths. Speaking of his now-famous arrest, he stated:
“They plainly did not know how to treat me, but behaved like persons
who are underbred. In every threat and in every compliment there
was a blunder; for they thought that my chief desire was to stand
the other side of that stone wall. I could not but smile to see how
industriously they locked the door on my meditations, which followed
them out again without let or hindrance, and they were really all
that was dangerous. As they could not reach me, they had resolved
to punish my body; just as boys, if they cannot come at some person
against whom they have a spite, will abuse his dog. I saw that the
State was half-witted, that it was timid as a lone woman with her
silver spoons, and that it did not know its friends from its foes,
and I lost all remaining respect for it, and pitied it.”