Historically, the great tension between liberty and authority was between government as embodied by the ruling class and its subjects. Marauding barbarians and warring city-states meant that society endowed a particular class within society with great powers to protect the weaker members of society. It was quickly recognized that the ruling class could use these powers for its own benefit on the very people it was meant to protect, and so society moved to preserve individual liberties first by recognizing certain rights that rulers dare not breach lest they risk rebellion. The natural next step was the establishment of a body of some sort that was meant to represent the interests of the ruled, which rulers sought agreement and counsel from, and became the precursor to the modern day English parliament and the American Congress. Of course, progress in governance did not end with rulers imbued with a divine right to rule being held in check by third parties. The right to rule eventually ceased to be a divine right, and instead came courtesy of a periodical choice of the ruled in the form of elections. The power the ruled now wielded over those who would seek to rule lead some to wonder whether there was any reason left to limit the power of a government that was now an embodiment of the will of the people.
Thank you. This needs to be said more often and more loudly! I struggle to understand why more don't see this and speak out! But I admit I have lost "friends" and offended relatives in doing so... so be it!
Sorry, just another comment on your statement, "It would be a laudable goal to improve health care for everyone, of course, but the practical translation of this ethos is to purposely and systemically treat certain racial groups in a poorer manner to balance the scales."
If this is what passes as an enlightened approach to distributing resources and services in a multi racial society, then it is predictable that racial groups being treated relatively poorly would seek a way out of the arrangement. The form of this escape could involve secretly cheating the racist rules of the system, creating closed networks of resource and service allocation, increasing physical isolation and segregation, or in the extreme, violent rebellion with the aim of forming a new polity (a bit like what California and Texas did in the 1800s).
It seems to me that we are seeing motion in all of these directions now. This "enlightened approach" to resource and service distribution will promote political instability, requiring an ever stronger authoritarian hand for maintenance.
Wonderfully executed essay. History, philosophy, cdc data, all in one interesting and beautifully written piece. Thank you.
This is fantastic. Thank you for writing this. It sheds additional light on the current difficult situation we all face in this country.
It's remarkable to me how well what De Tocqueville wrote in the 19th century fits speech in America today. And Taleb's "dictatorship of a small minority" describes not only our time and place, but also, I believe, the Roman Empire when Christianity took over, demonizing and eliminating the existing pagan religions in the process. This social dynamic has probably repeated itself thousands of times throughout human history.
Thank you - informative & wonderful essay. I'm passing on. GOD bless you ...