Lazy Bums and Busy-Bodies: The Defenders of the State

I shall outline in this post the two personality types that I believe are antithetical to liberty and actively encourage the rise of an intrusive and fascist government.

1. The Lazy Bum

“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” (Mark Twain)

The lazy bums of the world feel a sense of entitlement to other’s property. They loudly proclaim “human rights”, which in their view includes such items as the right to “free” education and health. Of course, nothing is free. Somebody, usually other taxpayers, bear the costs. This is justified, in the view of the lazy bums, because it is heretical to suggest that rather than robbing Peter to pay Paul, we should minimize re-distributional transfers and cut out the bureaucratic middle-men.

Example: the Australian Council of Trade Unions, who believe employers owe their members a secure, well-paid job, as part of their God-given rights. One could also add the members of the academic-cartel, who feel guaranteed funding for their research projects should be the natural state of affairs.

2. The Busy-Body

“Politicians are always interested in people. Not that this is always a virtue. Fleas are interested in dogs.” (P.J. O’Rourke)

This category includes every single Australian Member of Parliament. Once in office, it’s not enough for busy-bodies to manage existing government programs and ensure they are operating adequately. Nay, busy-bodies feel a compulsive need to appropriate money for new programs, even if they conflict with existing policies, and even if they make the task of managing government agencies unnecessarily complex. These people have a mental defect that prevents them from minding their own business, and they spend much of their time prying their noses into everyone else’s sex life and recreational hobbies.

If you find yourself falling into either of these personality types, I strongly suggest you seek treatment!

28 thoughts on “Lazy Bums and Busy-Bodies: The Defenders of the State

  1. If you find yourself falling into either of these personality types, I strongly suggest you seek treatment!

    That’s most of the Australian electorate.

  2. Amazing stuff! Is every member of parliament prying into my sex life? I’m surprised they have the time for it. They must be exceedingly well organised.

    I don’t feel that these categories adequately explain most people. I think the reality is that most people simply lack a holistic and comprehensive appreciation for the mechanics of politics and government or the mechanics of alternatives such as markets or civil society. Asked what they want at the checkout or the ballot box they simply give an honest answer based on their understanding of the world and how it works. They are neither stupid nor simple, they just don’t spend their spare time studying the obscurities of economics or political theory.

    I know many good people who are defenders of the state. They are not lazy or nosey. They just want a better world which is also what I want. They are not looking for utopia just modest improvements.

  3. I know many good people who are defenders of the state. They are not lazy or nosey. They just want a better world which is also what I want.

    They are probably intellectually lazy at the very least, unless they are nosey or a busy-body.

    It’s a question of how to achieve a better world. The busy-bodies think they can make it better by forcing others to conform to their view. The lazy may be less interested in imposing on others, but they certainly expect others not to disrupt their view.

    There are also those who happily agree “if it is to be, it’s up to me” but never get past the theory. They are equally lazy.

  4. There are some defenders of the state who are neither lazy nor busybodies, but point out that States are prevalent everywhere, and so must have some value, and we do not yet have a non-coercive government to which we can point as an example to aspire towards. This third category can be called socially cautious.
    If we could show them a working example, they might be won over!

  5. You don’t gt anywhere calling people names, the first real step when arguing for change is to actually understand why people believe what they do.

  6. This third category can be called socially cautious.

    Yes, I thought of this category but didn’t include them because they don’t actively defend the State. I call them the “Scaredy Cats”. This category includes the majority of people, who are generally petrified of terrorists lurking under their bed, guns, drugs. But they can be persuaded to change their ways.

    The people who you’re unlikely to be able to persuade are the “Lazy Bums” (the organised unions and business cartels who detest having to compete in an open market) because they have vested interests. The “Busy-Bodies” are just naive.

    The best bet for libertarians is to hold the “Scaredy Cats” hand and reassure them that life will go on with a smaller government.

  7. Charles raises a good point, why are most politicians such busy-bodies? why are they constantly coming up for new programs? perhaps because thats what the public expects, or atleast according to the polls which politicians seem to base their decisions on, eg “should the gov. introduce new laws/regulations on X?” and you would get many in the public, or atleast those most vocal, in support of such moves.

  8. I think the busy bodies are just as bad as the lazies. Nearly 100% most of their views are based on narrow personal preferences and they are also 100% hypocritical in that their actions don’t fit with what they expect of others.

  9. David – I’ll agree that the term intellectually lazy applies. Although we are all intellectually lazy in areas where the motive is lacking. I’m not very adept at knot theory for much the same reason but if it was critical to my lifestyle or interest I’d probably be able to recite knot theory all afternoon. However this form of laziness is quite different to the “world owes me a living” variety of lazy that Sukrit referred to.

  10. Anwar- do you remember an event in November? It was called a National Election. You might have noticed it- politicians were opening their mouths and fertilizer was coming out. Some people believed the fertilizer would be good for them, and all it cost was a tick on a ‘ballot paper’. This gave the pollies the belief that they could make any sorts of promises, and if they won, that gave them a mandate to grow any sort of public servant they wanted.
    That is where politicians get the chutzpah to make more and more promises- they are on a treadmill, as the way to get votes is to make promises, and then try to live up to them, and if you succeed, you get the chance to make more promises!
    This is known as the Electoral Cycle of life, and it has always worked for politicians.
    A way around this is my idea of time-share government, where citizens are rostered for a turn as policy-makers when they join as citizens. A week or two a year of government for each citizen should replace fulltime professional politicians.

  11. I really like Mark Twain’s quote. It’s something I’ve thought for a long time.

    People who support big government welfare programs need a reality check to realise how arrogant and greedy their desires are. And how dishonest their justifications for big government are.

    Since biblical times, people seem to think the “haves” are obligated to give their wealth to the “have lesses” by acts of force.

    This erroneous belief which creates a logical contradiction in human rights theory, is then usually justified by an irrelevancy such as: People should be compassionate.
    Of course, the emotional state of a taxpayer is totally irrelevant when his money and property are confiscated by gun backed force.

  12. Since biblical times, people seem to think the “haves” are obligated to give their wealth to the “have lesses” by acts of force.

    Sometimes that is because the haves have because their ancestors forcibly took it off the now have lesses. Using your logic, every immigrant to this country should piss off back to where their ancestors came from.

  13. No John, that’s not true at all, and you’re lucky I’m bothering to answer such a lazy comment.
    Firstly I didn’t talk about anyone’s “ancestors”.

    Also, Plundering isn’t the best way to achieve wealth. A king or queen may have had wealth from plundering but not the masses.
    The masses only got wealth from developing natural resources, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. In fact it’s an extremely good thing.

    I agree that plundering is wrong and also counter productive to wealth creation. Personally I think monarchies are a relic of primitive superstitious times.

    Your conclusion about colonisation is totally incorrect however.
    1) There’s nothing wrong with immigration to a new country.
    2) Individuals are responsible for their own actions, not for the actions of their “ancestors”.

    To say that Aboriginals knew how to mine or farm before white people came along is ridiculous. Aboriginals wouldn’t have even known what coal was for example.
    I don’t even think they had the concept of land ownership.
    Natural resources by themselves are totally worthless. They must be developed, there must prior knowledge of their potential, and a culture ammeneable to their development. The wealth was not there before it was developed. So Aboriginals do not rightly own profits from gold mining for example.

    While colonisation episodes around the world weren’t handled perfectly – To insinuate that hard working, courageous colonisers became rich simply by forcibly taking from natives is totally ridiculous and naive.
    And then you bring ancestors into it!

    I suppose you support affirmative action then.
    I’d recommend you read some Thomas Sowell.

  14. Hasenkam- the ‘now have less’ people themselves took the wealth off mother nature! And took the land from the animals which first moved over the Earth! I am sure an Eco-Justice department could rectify all these wrongs! It would need to be under the UN, of course, and geared to reset all wrongs done- The West is most successful- sorry I mean GUILTY! The west is most guilty, and so will repay the most, but all humans will pay, one way or another! I bet its’ first order of business is to outlaw Israel.

  15. Tim, while you raise some good points, the Aborigines did have the concept of land ownership- but it was usually the tribe that owned the land, with individuals being, at best, custodians. And I don’t know if you’d call this ‘Farming’, but they did regularly set fire to the bush, which regenerated it.

  16. John Hasenkham (a Lazy Bum) raises a classic argument of the Lazy Bums – ‘it’s someone else’s fault’.

    Bit of my family history – very wealthy industrialists in the 19th C, lost it all to some greedy northern merchant, followed by two generations of poverty, then a very entrepreneurial ancestor popped up after WWI who bought a chunk of farming land in Cambridgeshire and the subsequent three generations have pissed it against the wall.

    Net – you cant blame your grandparents or someone else’s grandparents for the state you’re in.

  17. correction – you can blame other people’s grandparents if you truly believe that a race of people are inferior to your race (ie Germaine Greer and the aboriginals).

  18. Tim, you’re nailed and squared, we took the land by force. What we did after that is irrelevant. You’re straw man is roasted.

    There is clear evidence of aboriginal fish farms. Check your facts.


    How desperate, Mother Nature, oh please.

    Don’t be naive, power has always been a determinative force in human affairs. Our ancestors took this land by force, that is the way of human history.

  19. John – so is your answer to previous evil acts to commit more? The libertarian position is clear in its objection to unprovoked acts of aggression from one individual or group of individuals to another. The only question is, ‘what do we now?’

    BTW, saying that ‘we took the land by force’ is meaningless. Who’s ‘we’? My ancestors came to this land only about 100 years ago. To I need to pay for the sins of the first British Aussies just because I’m anglo-saxon? It’s fine to condemn the acts of those more ignorant and bigoted than ourselves; it’s insane to try and make reparations for acts that were carried out 200 years ago by people none of us knew.

  20. A bit of a crude categorisation, but reasonably accurate. Though instead of ‘lazy bums’ I would have said ‘socialists’, as both are primarily about forcible wealth redistribution.

    There is a third category (forth if you include scaredy cats) – the power hungry. Most dictators would fall into this category, and their hangers-on.

  21. Incorrect John.

    There was no organised Aboriginal ownership of Australia for starters. Aborigines were tribal. And many Aboriginals were not hostile to Europeans.

    Secondly “we” did not take the land. You and I weren’t there.

    Thirdly, there was virtually no wealth in Australia without mining and farming knowledge.
    Even though most Aboriginals were nomadic and therefore didn’t even own land, even if they weren’t nomadic, they had no wealth stolen from them like the Persian Empire trying to conquer the Greeks for example, or the pillaging of the Crusades or Nazis.

    You are missing my points and are guilty of a strawman argument in your original comment to me, by confusing issues.
    In my original comment, where did I state that the British settlers of Australia were morally perfect?

    I was stating that throughout history, people have believed it is OK to seize the property of others eg/ conquering, or taxation, compulsory tithing etc. And that this belief is wrong.

    Are you suggesting that people have a right to forcefully take the property of others simply because they happen to have been born and may or may not have less possessions than some other people?

    If so, explain why?

    Also, note that this is my interpretation of what I consider to be a pretty good quote by Mark Twain. Perhaps he may have even meant this on a more metaphysical level. ie: reality cannot be changed just because you have a grudge against it.

  22. The so-called Bradshaws were the original inhabitants of Australia, not the aborigines. It’s very likely the aborigines wiped them all out.

    So it’s only reasonable that Hasenkam’s ancestors took it off them. If guilt can be passed down the generations, revenge can too, even when delivered by proxy. What goes around comes around.

  23. And non-Abo Australia never gets the credit for stopping all that tribal fighting that went on before we arrived! Our methods of peacekeeping may be extreme, but they work!

  24. Are you being satarical again nicholas gray?
    David- do you believe because the Aborigines allegedly wiped out the Bradshaws (gwion gwion?) it makes it ok for early settlers to avenge the Bradshaws? I don’t know where you get your idea that guilt and revenge are passed down each generation, I certainly dont feel any guilt for what happened to the aborigines!

  25. I certainly dont feel any guilt for what happened to the aborigines!

    That’s because your ancestors were not involved, Anwar. Nor were mine. Hasenkam, on the other hand, has enormous inherited guilt. He admits to it as well – note his use of “we” in Comment #20.

    We must choose our ancestors wisely or we’ll pay a heavy price.

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