Much Less a Whole Rat

A great deal of seemingly dead-serious conflict is occurring in the USA (and other countries). Trumpers versus Bidenistas; lockdowners versus anti-lockdowners; pro-abortionists versus anti-abortionists; and so forth. It is tiresome because one knows that these disputes will never be resolved and that regardless of who wins the presidential election or gains appointment to the Supreme Court, the only winner will be the all-powerful state. Much of the world, and the USA in particular, appears to be in a pretty much hopeless condition so far as politics and government are concerned. So many people are obsessed with these matters. Friendships are being destroyed. People are increasingly dividing into hostile ideological camps.

Perhaps it is wrong of me, but I must admit that I find it increasingly difficult even to take the whole situation seriously, to give a rat’s ass about it, much less a whole rat. People have created such expansive government powers that they cannot live with the predictable consequences. Whatever happens is unacceptable to one side or the other. They were warned again and again and again against their creation of the totalitarian state, but they did not listen. And now they find the situation beyond their control. It’s not easy even to feel sorry for the fools.

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Robert Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy at the Independent Institute and Editor at Large of the Institute’s quarterly journal The Independent Review. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University, and he has taught at the University of Washington, Lafayette College, Seattle University, the University of Economics, Prague, and George Mason University. He has been a visiting scholar at Oxford University and Stanford University, and a fellow at the Hoover Institution and the National Science Foundation.