Governments Are Failing at Their Most Basic Duties—While Promising Free Stuff
Three city blocks were systematically burned to the ground as hundreds of the local police stood by and viewed the violence. They were obeying orders not to harm the arsonists. The National Guard was called, adding more armed watchers. A passive gendarmerie consorting with open rebellion has rarely been seen in American history, until recently.
Except for variation in detail and numbers, this sort of thing is happening today.
Does the above sound as if it had been written recently? While it could easily have been written earlier this year, it was not. Leonard Read wrote it in “Social Reformers as Keepers of the Peace,” chapter 8 in his 1969 The Coming Aristocracy. But it offers keen insights into America’s recent turmoil and violence.
Most important for us today, however, is Read’s analysis of why it has happened. In particular, the relationship between what is being promised by political candidates and their ability to keep the peace seems just as descriptive of this year as when he wrote.
These increasing depredations … pose the question: Have we of the “free world” lost the art of keeping the peace and, if so, why? What really lies at the root of this rampaging violence?
A good part of the blame rests upon the electorate which has put social reformers into Federal, state, and local government office.
Keeping the peace is the highly specialized task of government, and social reformers are peculiarly unqualified to perform this function; they are agitators, not peacemakers. When it comes to keeping the peace, social reformers are misfits—deplorable failures!
We are electing reformers to city councils, state legislatures, the Congress, and to top administrative posts. This being the case, is it any wonder that the rioters go unrestrained? The mobsters are among the clients of these agitators for change … and all too often in a manner consistent with the avowed policies of the social reformers.
What did Read mean by “social reformers” that made them “peculiarly unqualified” to keep the peace?
How can we tell whether a candidate for public offic
Article from Mises Wire