Something Feral

Digging up the flower-beds.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Nature of the Beast

Evidently, BBC is an acronym for Big Brother Communications:
"Using a television without an appropriate licence is a criminal offence. Every day we catch an average of 1,200 people using a TV without a licence. There is no valid excuse for using a television and not having a TV Licence, but some people still try - sometimes with the most ridiculous stories ever heard. Our detection equipment will track down your TV. The fact that our enquiry officers are now so well equipped with the latest technology means that there is virtually no way to avoid detection."

-- from the official website of the British Television Licensing Authority, May 2003


In an email, Bennett wrote that "living without a television in the UK is not as simple as getting rid of the TV set. In the UK the licensing authority operates under legal statute giving them wide powers. The licensing authority have no real concept of the non-viewer and class them as suspect licence-dodgers. Thus, we are subject threats and other manner of persecution. Considering we are only refusing an entertainment service it is a ridiculous situation."
I suspect in the not-too-distant future that the wards of the United Faildom can expect to have daily dosings of antidepressants with mandatory viewings of State programming for several hours a day. "You're watching BBC... watching you."

If nothing else, the situation highlights the danger that stems from government involvement in the marketplace. Protectionism creates a symbiotic relationship between the protected and the government, and like any bureaucratic entity will seek to perpetuate itself by any means necessary and at the expense of the governed. Britain-That-Was carries a long history of mercantilist behavior; in this case, the entity has been subsumed into the government, empowering said entity by means of regulatory powers with little oversight or self-discipline.

And if you think this is outrageous, realize that this is precisely the relationship that exists between the government and the banks in any nation that utilizes a central-banking philosophy.

I'm not going to quibble about the minutiae regarding the nature of the philosophy that would best establish a governing entity (or lack thereof), but attempts at interventionism in recent history by governments to guide the economic activity of the people in the long-term have been ineffective at best, monstrously destructive at worst. Indeed, the only proven correlation has been that involvement acts as a damper for market change, often to the detriment of those being governed.

Tragically, this country has forgotten that government is a primitive, impulsive, ravenous beast. It has no morals, no remorse, no sympathy. It does not sleep, it does not rest, it does not relent. Only through constant vigilance can it be chained and its will subdued, and we have let the chains rust from neglect. Now, with the election around the corner, rhetoric hangs thick in the air over the choice of deaths we are offered: the beast is unchained, and we presume to choose someone that will use the reigns to lead it to captivity rather than to gorge itself on the unwary. Both of them have sworn in front of millions, live, that they will feed it and in so doing bind it to their will.

The majority are fools, the minority helpless, and all of us doomed if we cannot put away childish things and speak with one voice, a voice of reason. We are a nation of laws, a people with inviolate rights and an extremely-limited government, or we are no better than that which we struggle against... Beasts.

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