Politics Is A Bummer

A recent article in New Republic goes into some detail about Harry Truman’s preferences concerning Palestine and a Jewish state. The article provides quite a bit of evidence that Truman didn’t want a Jewish state. He preferred other setups like a federated or binational Palestine. Truman told one delegation of Jews that “the government of Palestine should be a government of the people of Palestine irrespective of race, creed, or color.” He recognized the dangers of a religious state and he recognized the severe shortcomings of Israel’s leadership. Why then did Truman end up recognizing Israel? It was because of the Jewish vote in critical states and the capacity of American Jews to launch a campaign against him if he did not recognize Israel.

Politics constantly produces dysfunctional outcomes on any issues that enter the political arena. This story of Israel’s recognition by Truman is an example. Politics doesn’t produce “solutions” to any issues or problems. It produces winners and losers, impositions, edicts backed up by force, stupid outcomes, folly, deadweight losses, frictions, battles, wars, destruction of markets, cultural hatreds, widespread unhappiness, wealth destruction, and irrational outcomes. These often go on for generations, with one injustice creating further injustices. The politics exemplified by the behavior of states is a real bummer.

Minarchists and anarchists agree on one thing, which is that the state’s capacity to rule on “issues” and “problems” should be vastly reduced. Peoples everywhere, in their own interests, should be actively seeking to remove issues from the political arena, not introduce issues and problems to that arena. They should be actively seeking to reduce the state’s powers.


12:39 pm on July 29, 2014