Limited government

When I hear politicians talk about the necessity of an internet kill switch, data retention (Vorratsdatenspeicherung) the war on terror and such, I get the feeling that the nation-state is getting too much power over us and is ruining our freedom.

It boils down to the question of what the scope of government should be. I do not have an answer, but I like the idea of leaving as much power and freedom to the people as possible and to avoid a totalitarian society.


When I came across this very old recording of Nobel-prize-winner Milton Friedman talking about limited government, it resonated very deep with many of my believes.

At minute 25:00 he concludes his talk by saying that we may be headed towards a totalitarian state ... "but will not avoid it unless the people of this country recognize the danger and take very difficult and important steps to set a limit on the extend in which they permit government to interfere with their lives"

The talk is mostly about government taking control of our money.

I like the American distrust of government. We need more of this, because I feel that whatever happens, we Germans always cry out for strong politicians to take care of a problem by setting up rules, enforcing them and spending money on a solution. Politicians like that, because it gets them votes and keeps them employed.


We have a deep distrust against big corporations, which I think is important. But corporations can never be as dangerous or evil as government, because they are forced to act economically wise or perish.
Even if you do not all share his view on social security, the following excerpt shows what I mean by distrust.


Starting at 11:00 He states that the basic fallacy of the welfare state is the assumption that ... "It is feasible and possible to do good with other peoples money. ... 


That view has two flaws:


If I want to do good with other peoples money, I first have to take it away from them. That means that the welfare state philosophy of doing good with other peoples money at its very bottom is a philosophy of violence and coercion.  It's against freedom, because I have to use force to get the money.


In the second place: Very few people spend other peoples money as carefully as they spend their own."


He rather suggests voluntary cooperation. I will have to do a little more research in what he means by that.


I really like his description of government.


Around minute 22:00, after Mr. Friedman states that people are selfish and greedy, the interviewer, Mr. Heffner replies "I understand, but again, this is the philosophic basis of the argument, that government must step in."

Fr. Friedman replies "It's a false argument, because it assumes somehow, that government is a way in which you put un-selfish and un-greedy men in charge of selfish and greedy men. But government is an institution whereby people who have the greatest drive to get power over their fellow men get in the position of controlling them."


Why this video needs the creepy music at the beginning, nobody knows...


Enjoy the film. 

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