As a young boy growing up, I occasionally heard the refrain, “Because I told you so!”. It was usually uttered by my frustrated mother in reaction to my monosyllabic question, “Why?” Of course, she would not usually go straight to the final phrase. The conversation would go something like this:
Now I admit that it probably wasn’t easy trying to manage a smart-ass like myself, and mom did a pretty good job of explaining the reasons using logic in a calm, thoughtful manner.
When my kids were that age, I tried to avoid falling into the BITYS trap. Like my mother, I thought that providing a logical reason for my rules would be much more lasting than simply asserting my desire for unilateral conformity. Moving straight to “Because I told you so” is a sign of bad parenting.
But isn’t that what the government people do every day? They spend all their time creating these rules. Some are based in logic (don’t hurt people, don’t take their stuff), but most are based on arbitrary ideas that, I’m sure, made sense to some bureaucrat at some point in the past.
The arbitrary nature of government rules leads to exchanges like this:
Imagine if the government bureaucrat tried to explain patiently the reasons for one of these rules. Let’s listen in to this imaginary conversation:
At this point, it’s pretty clear that the rationalization is based on something that has no relationship to logic or reason.
What kind of hubris does the bureaucrat possess that makes him think he can get away with this type of parental substitution? It’s easy: because the people calling themselves government have decided on their own that they belong in the role of being our parent. and we obey. They know what’s best, and enforce their rules with the threat of violence against their subjects. We obey because, like the child looking up at his sadistic father with a belt, we are scared.
At best, the government is the worst kind of parent.
At worst, this type of arrangement leads to two very different classes of people, those who rule with arbitrary laws, and those who are threatened with violence if they disobey.
Now put your hands up and walk through that x-ray machine!