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Ray Haynes

Liberty v. The Arrogance of The Lazy Authoritarian

The COVID-19 situation has shown just how pervasive the presence of the Arrogant Lazy Authoritarian (which I will call “the ALA” from now on) has become in California government.

Let’s begin with the definition of the term:

Arrogant – the ALA is arrogant because he or she is absolutely convinced that only they know what is good for you and me. You can hear the arrogance in their voice and in the words they use, and in the attitude they portray to the public. Arrogance is an occupational hazard in politics, but the ALA puts that arrogance on constant display. He or she absolutely knows that he or she is smarter than you and me, and knows, much better than you do, how to run your life. He or she knows that if you were left to your own devices, you would make yourself sick, or purposefully act in such a way as to hurt other people, or spend your money on “nonessential” things. You are ignorant, or stupid, or a “rube” incapable of leading your own life without their control.

Lazy – the ALA is lazy, because the easiest solution for the ALA is to exercise government power. They don’t have to think about anything, they just issue the order, and the mechanisms of government act to enforce it. The ALA doesn’t have to think about the impact that the order has on your life, liberty or economic well-being, because the ALA can make you do what he or she says, so worrying about the problems the order causes you or me is just too much work. Finding non-coercive means of achieving the public health and/or safety is just too hard.

Authoritarian – the ALA is an authoritarian because he or she actually enjoys using the power of government. The ALA benefits from the exercise of that power, because it makes more people reliant on government, either to avoid government’s heavy hand, or to benefit from its exercise. That ensures that the ALA stays in power, because the ALA can use the power to reward his or her supporters and punish his or her opponents. In most countries, opponents in up in jail or dead. In the US, the ALA just subjects them to public humiliation or bankruptcy. To stay on the good side of the ALA, people will simply go along to get along. Free speech, religion or association? Very few people want to go bankrupt, or suffer widespread attack, in the defense of their freedom of speech, to associate with “unpopular” people, or go to church freely. For the ALA, that’s just fine. Liberty is very inconvenient, not to mention a threat to their power.

Examples of ALAs in California Government:

Xavier Becerra, California Attorney General – who recently said “No one is entitled to endanger the life of someone else simply so that he can extend the exercise of his or her religion beyond means that would now start to imperil the health and life of another person.” What a grossly incorrect statement of religious liberty, and so ALA-like. Read the first amendment. I can go to church as I please. I won’t endanger anyone’s life, because I am one of the 99.003% of the Californians who are NOT infected, and if anyone at the church might be infected, I am willing to take that chance to worship my God. I wouldn’t endanger anyone in my church if I even suspected there was a chance of me passing along the infection, and I trust my fellow parishioners have the same attitude. For some government official to tell me how, when or where I worship is well beyond their constitutional authority, and a deliberate intrusion on a very personal, and very important, constitutionally guaranteed right. A typical ALA response to religious liberty.

Governor Gavin Newsom – In response to protests calling for him to re-open the state, he said “I will be persuaded by science, not politics.” What? Scientists are not driven by a proper regard for liberty. And, if you really want to know how science works, read The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn. Professor Kuhn makes the real point that scientific conclusions are driven as much by the prejudices and preconceptions of the scientists as they are by the facts discovered by scientific research. History has proven that over the years. Galileo was arrested and imprisoned for insisting that the world was round because he was in the minority among the scientists of his day. Liberty is immutable, science, and what is “scientific truth,” changes. The Governor’s job is to balance liberty and public health, which means taking into consideration was his advisers tell him, but to look for ways to minimize the intrusion on liberty.

COVID-19 is not the only example of the ALAs in California government, just the latest, and most intrusive, demonstration of the abuse of power by these ALAs. I will spend the next few days documenting examples of the ALAs’ abuse of government power in California. Perhaps this crisis will result in an awakening across the state, and a desire to limit their power. We deserve the government we get, and right now, that government is actively destroying the lives of people without sufficient justification. A change is needed.