Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ray Bradbury Hates Big Government

What does it mean to call for a revolution? This week Ray Bradbury, sci-fi author of The Illustrated Man and Fahrenheit 451 said, “I think our country is in need of a revolution. There is too much government today. We've got to remember the government should be by the people, of the people and for the people.”

In an L.A.Times article titled Ray Bradbury Hates Big Government we can read a litany of other things Mr. Bradbury dislikes, including cell phones (too many), machines (too many), our failure to build a base on the moon so we can explore Mars, and President Obama. Mr. Bradbury is 90 now, that venerable age when you can pretty much say whatever you want.

I think there are a lot of people who have a dislike for Big Government to various degrees, from visceral hatred to perpetual annoyance, but at what point does one actually call for a revolution? There are idealists who believe any change will be a change for good but a revolution sounds like a dicey proposition to me. The French Revolution brought a reign of terror. The Russian Revolution resulted in rivers of blood during the Stalin purges. Solzhenitsyn's Gulag paints a pretty grim picture of that catastrophe.

I agree with Bradbury that we have too much government. But who will do anything about it? Or who even agrees which areas of Big Government should be trimmed? The GOP strives to tap into this discontent for votes, but the record shows how neither party delivers on that score. The State grows and grows, has grown for a hundred years and will most likely grow a hundred more.

The problem is that the people presenting alternatives (Libertarians, among others) are probably unelectable because many people do not like too complete of a paring back of government's role. Here is a selection of quotes from Michael Badnarik, Libertarian Party candidate in the 2004 presidential election.

"Drug prohibition has caused gang warfare and other violent crimes by raising the prices of drugs so much that vicious criminals enter the market to make astronomical profits, and addicts rob and steal to get money to pay the inflated prices for their drugs."
Michael Badnarik

"Government is necessary for our survival. We need government in order to survive. The Founding Fathers created a special place for government. It is called the Constitution."
Michael Badnarik

"Gun bans disarm victims, putting them at the mercy of murderers or terrorists who think nothing of breaking the gun laws."
Michael Badnarik

"Gun control means being able to hit your target. If I have a 'hot button' issue, this is definitely it. Don't even think about taking my guns. My rights are not negotiable, and I am totally unwilling to compromise when it comes to the Second Amendment."
Michael Badnarik

"I am opposed to any individual taxes until we eliminate all of the unconstitutional agencies, and I suspect we wouldn't need a tax after that."
Michael Badnarik

"I find it very offensive when the government tells me what I can and cannot watch. Censor yourself."
Michael Badnarik

"I just want everyone to know that 20,000 gun laws in the United States are unconstitutional. They infringe on your right to protect your life, the lives of your loved ones, and your property."
Michael Badnarik

"If we really want liberty - if we really want liberty - then we need to go out and get it, we need to take it, because nobody is going to give it to us. And we need to do it now."
Michael Badnarik

"On average, drug prisoners spend more time in federal prison than rapists, who often get out on early release because of the overcrowding in prison caused by the Drug War."
Michael Badnarik

"The first lines of defence against criminals are the victims themselves."
Michael Badnarik

"The government never does anything successfully."
Michael Badnarik

"The question is: how bad do things have to get before you will do something about it? Where is your line in the sand? If you don't enforce the constitutional limitations on your government very soon, you are likely to find out what World War III will be like."
Michael Badnarik

"When the state or federal government control the education of all of our children, they have the dangerous and illegitimate monopoly to control and influence the thought process of our citizens."
Michael Badnarik

I wonder if Ray voted for Michael in the last election? My guess is that Mr. Badnarik wouldn't want tax dollars spent on that trip to the moon, and Mr. Bradbury wouldn't like that either.

No comments: