The Value of Government

Wayne's World

For almost a year since June 2010, the Belgians had been without a national government. Not a single one of the seven political parties that won seats in parliament has been able to cobble together a viable coalition. Belgians may be frustrated but they are not suffering. The absence of a federal government has little impact on daily life. Education, culture, sport, welfare, health and other realms of government service have been managed by regional authorities. Without any international foes, security issues are not a factor so there is no rational need for a military force or its application. Moreover, the inability to spend tax dollars (since there is no authority to do so) may even help the Belgian economy! Political philosophers have long debated why a strong central authority was originally sought. Thomas Hobbes argued that without a powerful government (read monarchy) society would degenerate into a condition in which human life would be “solitary, nasty, brutish, and short.”   The Belgian experience has proven him wrong. Perhaps no government is better than bad government.


Words to Live By

What lies behind you and what lies ahead of you pales in comparison to what lies inside you.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Rabbi Allen on Twitter