Monday, May 15, 2017

Government Corruption and Private Corruption

That the government is capable of corrupt and tyrannical practices, everybody knows. It is however in no way the only entity capable of such practices.

There is the Church of Scientology and Jehovah's Witnesses. There is the mafia and the inner city gangs. There are corrupt networks in law and medicine. There are the Enron and the Exxon. There are the men who like to beat their wives and rape their children.

I have heard horrors stories from people both in Russia and in America. The difference was that, while in case of the Soviets the perpetrator was the government, in case of Americans the perpetrators were private. Now I see no reason to see one as better or worse than the other. What difference does it make to you if the person violating you is public or private? In either case the wrong gets done.

Who really was worse, Mikhail Gorbachev or the Russian mafia? Who really is worse, EPA or Jehovah's Witnesses? I have a friend in America, an MD who had three of her relatives murdered in the US medical system. Corrupt doctors enlisted corrupt lawyers and corrupt coroners to bury the case. I know a woman in Australia whose husband got put away in a nursing home and murdered, and the body was cremated before an autopsy could be performed. I know a man in America who had every bone in his body broken when he was a child; a man in America whose father murdered his brother and kept anally raping him since he was 3; a woman in America whose father beat her to clinical death when she was 9. Are any of these perpetrators really better than the American government?

Should there be opposition to government tyranny? Of course. But do not deny the same scrutiny to private power. That something is unofficial does not make it any less real. In America and Australia at least, public power is elected, official, accountable, checked and balanced. Whereas private power in these countries is unelected, unofficial, unaccountable, unbalanced and unchecked. And this allows such power to get away with greater abuses than what we see done by official government in these countries.

The villains are very rarely where you expect to find them. Indeed many of them have a way of getting people to look for villains in precisely the wrong places. So that when the federal government makes an effort to fight incest, the people who like to commit incest get people to see the government as the oppressor that is invading their private family lives.

Governments are most certainly capable of corrupt and tyrannical practices. However so are all sorts of things that are not the government. Libertarians: Apply to private power the same scrutiny as you afford the government, and then you will have earned the right to call yourselves the defenders of freedom.


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