This time from Ian Banks’ Matter:
“Perhaps it is different for humans, dear prince,” she said, sounding sad, “but we have found that the underdisciplined child will bump up against life eventually and learn their lesson that way – albeit all the harder for their parents’ earlier lack of courage and concern. The overdisciplined child lives all its life in a self-made cage, or bursts from it so wild and profligate with untutored energy they harm all about them, and always themselves. We prefer to underdiscipline, reckoning it better in the long drift, though it may seem harsher at the time.”
“To do nothing is always easy.” Ferbin did not try to keep the bitterness out of his voice.
“To do nothing when you are so tempted to do something and entirely have the means to do so, is harder. It grows easier only when you know you do nothing for the active betterment of others.”
Government does only two things well: nothing, and overreact.
In current times government has been likened to a parent to the people, with the Republicans being the “daddy party” and the Democrats being the “mommy party,” but as someone else said:
This guy is our uncle and that’s as close as I want the fucker.
I don’t need the government to be my big brother, my parent, my nanny, or my caretaker. It needs to maintain public services (roads, etc.), maintain foreign relations and the military, keep the states from squabbling, and stay the fuck out of my life.
Perhaps someday our putative “leaders” will learn enough to do nothing, rather than overreact.
(Who am I kidding?)