O'Rourke om "The Wealth of Nations"

Jeg ved ikke med jer, men for egne vedkommende ved jeg ihvertfald godt, hvad jeg skal lave ved midnat den 9.I.2007: Jeg skal sidde klistret til min PC-fladskærm for at følge med “live”, når den ufatteligt morsomme forfatter, journalist, satiriker og lommefilosof P.J. O’Rourke hos Cato Institute lancerer sin nye bog, “On the Wealth of Nations”.  I den vil P.J. anvende Adam Smiths logik til at behandle nutidige emner–og sikkert gøre lidt grin med alle.

Der er nok få læsere her på stedet, som ikke allerede kender O’Rourke lidt, men gamle som nye fans kan altid få sig et godt grin over den bedste politiske satiriker, jeg kender til.  Skulle man ikke kende ham, eller have glemt dem, eller bare have lyst til at få dem genopfrisket, så er her et par guldkorn fra forfatteren til klassikere “Republican Party Reptile”, “Parliament of Whores”, “Holidays in Hell”, “Kill the Rich” , “Give War A Chance”, m.fl.:

  • “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”
  • “You know, if government were a product, selling it would be illegal.”
  • “What is this oozing behemoth, this fibrous tumor, this monster of power and expense hatched from the simple human desire for civic order? How did an allegedly free people spawn a vast, rampant cuttlefish of dominion with its tentacles in every orifice of the body politic?”
  • “Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in a democracy the whores are us.”
  • “Government is a health hazard. Governments have killed many more people than cigarettes or unbuckled seat belts ever have. Government contains impure ingredients — as anybody who’s looked at Congress can tell you.”
  • “A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them.”
  • “Our democracy, our culture, our whole way of life is a spectacular triumph of the blah.”
  • “The Tenth Commandment sends a message to socialists, to collectivists, to people who believe that wealth is best obtained by redistribution, and that message is clear and concise: Go to hell! It’s as simple as that.”
  • “You can’t get good Chinese takeout in China and Cuban cigars are rationed in Cuba. That’s all you need to know about communism.”
  • “Idiots are blind to the coercive power of government. Bigots are blind to everything else.”
  • “What I discovered in Somalia is a place where there was no shortage of food … There was a shortage of public order. There was a shortage of a social system to provide food for people who were powerless. Rice was selling in Mogadishu at 10 cents a kilo — the cheapest rice in the world because of all the rice that had been donated. The problem was that if you didn’t have a gun in Mogadishu you didn’t have 10 cents. It didn’t matter how cheap or readily available the rice was. There were people with guns taking it away from the people who didn’t have guns.”
  • “Government is not a machine with parts; it’s an organism.”
  • “The three branches of government number considerably more than three and are not, in any sense, “branches” since that would imply that there is something they are all attached to besides self-aggrandizement and our pocketbooks.”
  • “When government quits being something we use only in an emergency and becomes the principal source of aid and assistance in our society, then the size, expense and power of government are greatly increased.”
  • “No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the sources of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.”
  • “Money is preferable to politics. It is the difference between being free to be anybody you want and being free to vote for anybody you want. And money is more effective than politics both in solving problems and in providing individual independence. To rid ourselves of all the trouble in the world we need to make money. And to make money we need to be free. But, oh, the trouble caused by freedom and money.”
  • “The difference between corporations and governments is governments have a monopoly on force. It’s a lot easier to vote with your feet or your wallet than it is to change a government with your vote.”
  • “Let’s reintroduce corporal punishment in the schools – and use it on the teachers.”
  • “The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.”
  • “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
  • “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.”
  • “In an egalitarian world everything will be controlled by politics, and politics requires no merit.”
  • “You can’t get rid of poverty by giving people money.”
  • “There is no virtue in compulsory government charity, and there is no virtue in advocating it. A politician who portrays himself as ‘caring’ and ‘sensitive’ because he wants to expand the government’s charitable programs is merely saying that he’s willing to try to do good with other people’s money. Well, who isn’t?”
  • “When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.”
  • Om narkotikaforbud: “We won’t dispassionately investigate or rationally debate which drugs do what damage and whether or how much of that damage is the result of criminalization. We’d rather work ourselves into a screaming fit of Puritanism and then go home and take a pill.”
  • Om Hillary Clintons bog “It Takes A Village”: “Some kinds of stupidity cannot be faked.”
  • “Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.”
  • “If you say a modern celebrity is an adulterer, a pervert and a drug addict, all it means is that you’ve read his autobiography.”
  • Om Cato Institute: “The Cato Institute has an unusual political cause — which is no political cause whatsoever. We are here tonight to dedicate ourselves to that cause, to dedicate ourselves, in other words, to … . nothing. We have no ideology, no agenda, no catechism, no dialectic, no plan for humanity. … All we have is the belief that people should do what people want to do, unless it causes harm to other people. And that had better be clear and provable harm. No nonsense about second-hand smoke or hurtful, insensitive language, please. I don’t know what’s good for you. You don’t know what’s good for me. We don’t know what’s good for mankind. And it sometimes seems as though we’re the only people who don’t. It may well be that, gathered right here in this room tonight,are all the people in the world who don’t want to tell all the people in the world what to do. This is because we believe in freedom. Freedom — what this country was established upon, what the Constitution was written to defend, what the Civil War was fought to perfect. Freedom is not empowerment. Empowerment
    is what the Serbs have in
    Bosnia. Anybody can grab a gun and be empowered. It’s not entitlement. An entitlement is what people on welfare get, and how free are they? It’s not an endlessly expanding list of rights — the “right” to education, the “right” to health care, the “right” to food and housing. That’s not freedom, that’s dependency. Those aren’t rights, those are the rations of slavery — hay and a barn for human cattle. There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences. So we are here tonight in a kind of anti-matter protest — an unpolitical undemonstration by deeply uncommitted inactivists. We are part of a huge invisible picket line that circles the White House twenty-four hours a day. We are participants in an enormous non-march on Washington — millions and millions of Americans not descending upon the nation’s capital in order to demand nothing from the United States government. To demand nothing, that is, except the one thing which no government in history has been able to do — leave us alone. … There, ladies and gentlemen, you have the Cato Institute’s program in a nutshell: government should be against the law.”

2 thoughts on “O'Rourke om "The Wealth of Nations"

  1. Martin Millard

    Den sidste quote, om Cato instituttets program, er meget interessant, og et sjovt emne at debatere. Det er jo en ultraliberal holdning, at der ikke bør være nogen love, og at menneskers eneste pligt er at tage ansvar for konsekvenserne af deres handlinger.På nogle punkter kunne det være rigtigt, især, som der vist tidligere har været debateret, ift. stoffer, alkohol o.lign.Men hvad med i forhold til et meget aktuelt emne, nemlig anarkiets højborg, Ungdomshuset?For hvis ikke der er nogle love, så er der jo heller ikke behov for teorien om magtens tredeling, hvorfor vi ikke vil have noget politi til at opretholde en (ikke eksisterendede) privat ejendomsret! Hvordan vil en stat uden love, andet end indbyggernes individuelle moralske kodeks håndtere en sådan sag?Findes svaret i teorien selv, således at uden udefrakommende reguleringer, vil en sådan bevægelse slet ikke opstå, fordi de derved ikke (som det antages) vil kunne leve af overførsler fra en ikke eksisterende stat, og derved have travlt med at arbejde for at forsørge.Forudsætter en sådan teori ikke, at alle har det moralske kodeks, at det er OK at handle for egen vinding, så længe det ikke sker på bekostning af andre?En meget kompleks diskussion, men det er vel også det der gør den interessant. Der er uden tvivl aspekter jeg ikke har rørt, eller noget der kan modbevises. Jeg håber der kommer nogle gode/sjove forslag, også selvom der er “juleferie”


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