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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Little Boxes Filled with Tiny Numbers

I have decided to enter a more productive phase of my life.

Henry David Thoreau once said that he went to the woods to live "deliberately".  Good old H.D. understood that back in civilization, it is the bookkeepers who rule and where the bookkeepers rule, no one lives as he wishes. He lives as others wish. 

I too want to live deliberately. I just have to finish up all this paperwork that the government wants from me. Have I told you how much I HATE paperwork?  Other people seem to relish paperwork - they make paperwork their life's work. Some even get advanced degrees in the art of paperwork. 

For me, however, filling in boxes with numbers makes me a little crazy and a whole lot cranky. I'm not sure why. It could be my ADHD. When I am done with all this paperwork, however, I am assured by those who appear to need this paperwork to give their live meaning, that things will be better for me.  At least it will be better until once again it is not and they demand that I fill out more paperwork.

You see, this is why I'm opposed to bigger government. The bigger the government, the more bureaucrats we have. The more bureaucrats we have, the more little boxes on sheets of paper they create for us to fill in in order. These little data filled boxes apparently give meaning to the pathetic and boring lives of bureaucrats.

To paraphrase Voltaire, "I tabulate, therefore I am."

A Harvard sociologist once suggested that people with ADD served as pioneers in the United States, moving the frontiers of the fledgling country westward and southward till they hit the ocean or the Mexican borders and ran out of places to go. He suggested that this impulse to move away from "civilization" was, in part, due to a powerful desire to escape the tyranny of bookkeepers and bureaucrats. I suspect Thoreau was feeling that pressure of rule by bureaucracy, when he went to Walden Pond. Being a good liberal, he didn't stay very long at Walden Pond, torn apparently between the desire to "live deliberately" and the desire to embrace the collective and make sure the slow-witted of the world were forced to be happy and secure. 

It's a very odd thing that so many on the left claim to hate being restricted in their behavior and desire freedom from various kinds of moral, religious and government oppression. Yet, at the same time, they believe so strongly that mankind should be moving toward some vast form of collectivist government in which smart people tell all the slower-witted folks what to do - a system that gives the masses just enough food, clothing, and shelter to keep the proletariat from revolting against the benevolent so the leaders of said better government can enjoy the well-deserved fruits of the peasants' labor. 

Collectivism is supposed to solve all our problems. If everybody serves the state (another name for the collective), then, we're told, we will all blossom forth as creative productive human beings without the necessity of religion or even the tyranny of morality. So if we will just obey the state, we'll all be free from the need to be good? 

Don't kid yourself, there are plenty of slow-witted
voters out there ready to join the "proletariat".
Me? I aim to misbehave (just as soon as I get all the paperwork submitted).

© 2016 by Tom King


*Just for fun, check out this totally serious dude writing on a Portland-based website about how wonderful all the guys up there in the placards in the picture above are. He does not, however, mention the hundreds of millions of dead people they left behind while creating their wonderful workers' paradises. Funny that.

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