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Quick! Call an authority figure!

Mark Steyn has an amusing column on Canadians' increasing reliance on government to solve our problems. (Registration required, or you can go here to borrow a login.)

In nanny-state Canada, the dominant culture tells us don’t act, don’t think, don’t make adult judgments. Leave it to the government, they’ll show up any minute, they’ll pass a new law. Not every story has a hero, but every story needs human impulses, and in the Canadian press most of our “human interest” stories are, in human terms, less and less interesting. If the benign theory of state power is that it obliges us to subordinate our selfish interest to the greater good of society as a whole, the reality on the ground seems to be precisely the opposite: a state in which the citizen’s response to everything is “the government oughta do somethin’ about it” is one in which he’s less and less inclined to do anything other than look out for Number One.
What we constantly hear from the media and government is that you, as an individual, are powerless. If confronted by racism, bullying, or unfair pricing, the solution is to abdicate responsibility to an authority figure.

I get the feeling that senior government ministers and bureaucrats (and the media leaders, who are the government's muse) feel their fellow citizens are dull-eyed simpletons who spend their days in tedious, meaningless work and do it only to shuffle through Wal-Mart looking for something shiny or fattening to buy. We cannot be expected to look after ourselves and probably should be subject to a licensing process before we're allowed to live in the real world. But as far-sighted and gifted altruists, they genuinely feel they can help these people with yet more targeted programs and new laws that cover any possible difficult situation. What they don't see is that all this hand-holding and infantilization of our population just makes their insulting funhouse-mirror view of the nation become more likely to occur...

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Comments

They just can't help themselves (the politicians who draft these laws and the voters who approve them) it's like a neurotic tic.

But is it just me, or is it getting worse? I swear, I've never seen such a torrent of stoopid schemes coming down the pipe in all my days. Or am I just paying more attention?

And the condescention! My last report from my MP said nothing of all the boodle he was delivering to my riding, he just told me how I have to fight global warming and get more exercise. Next time I'm sure he'll be telling me to floss more regularly...

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