by Wendy McElroy, Dollar Vigilante:
One of the most alarming trends in American politics is the lack of pretense being displayed by authority. Like a ravening beast that loses its fear of humans, government becomes more dangerous when it loses the need to pose as a public servant who performs legitimate tasks. In short, government becomes more dangerous when it doesn’t care what you think of it. The sentence-long version of the argument for pretense is this: the need to pretend is a restraint upon authority.
The libertarian icon Murray Rothbard used to chuckle gleefully over the statements and antics of the notoriously corrupt politician Boss Tweed (1823-1878) of Tammany Hall. Murray loved the blatant quality of the man’s corruption. “Those were the days before politicians had PR agents, and a crook was a crook,” Murray would declare. He found the transparent corruption to be charming because it was non hypocritical and it publicly revealed the ugly face of politics.
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