Scolds and other Devils

Political tags—such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal conservative, and so forth—are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.

–Robert A. Heinlein

It is, I think, worth noting that all of our would-be masters are of the first sort. Examples abound, but two come ready to hand: 1) the EuroManiacs who, given the examples from Caesar and Atilla to Napoleon and Hitler, nevertheless believe it would be a good thing, in this age of the dying out of the nation-state (</sarcasm>), to unite all of Europe into a single, uniform, scientifically-ruled, meritocratic, neo-despotic … well, yes, … nation-state, and 2) (closer to home) those who grasp at any straw, spin any lie, pervert any institution to dictate to others what they may do with their lives — from food nazis to the gun grabbers.

Heinlein is rather even-handed in his description, though he makes it clear where his preference lies. I myself see those who would control others as being affirmatively evil — with or without reference to a divinity. In any case, they should not be tolerated among us. When you encounter one of the type, give him the back of your hand (metaphorically speaking).

Cross-posted at Eternity Road

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