Wondering

2003-02-18

Perhaps it is derelict of me, but I have not paid much attention to all the crazy happenings in the world of late. I know I'm supposed to care, but apathy keeps creeping up on me because it's all so far outside my span of control. Yet I do wonder sometimes....

I wonder why the central government of the USA is planning to wage war against the central government of Iraq (I pointedly do not say that the USA is planning to wage war against Iraq -- that would be quite a different phenomenon). For it seems that the government headquartered in the city of Washington wants to remove the leader of the government headquartered in Baghdad, and I wonder why a war is necessary to effect that change when assassination would do the job with a lot less pain and suffering. Why is assassination supposedly uncivilized but war is not?

I wonder why the government headquartered in the city of Washington sees fit to take by force a large proportion of the monies earned by most individuals in North America, in order to build weapons and pay soldiers and move both all over the globe in pursuit of objectives that have nothing to do with the defence of North America. And I doubly wonder why other monies forcibly collected from said taxpayers are sent to far-flung places in order to prop up other central governments and buy their support for the policies of the government headquartered in the city of Washington. Why is isolationism a dirty word when it seems to be a natural synonym for peaceful relations with all, entangling alliances with none?

Abraham Lincoln said: "No man is good enough to govern another man without that other's consent." I never gave my consent to be governed in this fashion, and I don't think anyone else did either -- I mean true, explicit consent, not the supposedly tacit kind extracted from me when I am forcibly taxed or when in self-defense I attempt to vote for the lesser of two evils (and no, I don't think I'll make that mistake again). So I wonder about the legitimacy of the government headquartered in the city of Washington, and of every other government on the planet. And I wonder: wouldn't the world would be a much safer place without all these governments (especially without their weapons and armies)?

Henry David Thoreau said: "There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root." One can argue about the "justice" of this war or that war, but large-scale war happens because large-scale government happens. I wonder if we will ever fully absorb this painful lesson of history.

These are the things I wonder.


Peter Saint-Andre > Journal