Monday, October 14, 2013

#19. The Peacefulness of The Un-Governed - October, 2013

I have no desire to write a political editorial.

As I write this, though, our government is shut down, and has been for a couple weeks.

While everyone else is clamoring to score points with one argument or another, blaming Republicans, blaming Democrats, I prefer to sit quietly, watch the sunset, and feel the unusual calm of being un-governed.

I have often described my political views by quoting the line from the Groucho Marx song; "Whatever it is, I'm against it."

I think it's a reasonable position to take. It may be the only reasonable position to take on the politics of 2013.

This in no way makes me a Libertarian. I am as firmly against Libertarians as I am against all politicians.

The government shut means that food inspectors are furloughed. Scientists are not getting paid. National Parks are closed. Secret surveillance of our private phone calls has been interrupted.

This is a funny feeling, this state of being un-governed. It's something everyone should experience for a few weeks of their life.

I was reading, this past weekend, about several car-makers' intense desire to manufacture and sell self-driving cars within the next decade.

These cars will deal with traffic, stop for pedestrians, and take you wherever you want to go, all while you sit back and play games on your iPhone.

The stickiest problem these car makers have to solve is; who is responsible when the self-driving car malfunctions, runs up on the sidewalk, causes carnage when it fails to stop at a red light?

The government is getting in on the act. Government regulators will have to determine the safety standards before these machines can take to the road.

The standards will be extremely high. Government safety inspectors are funny people. They don't care what your politics are. they just take safety very seriously.

I think about this whenever I board an airplane. I trust the safety inspectors to have checked my plane thoroughly.

I don't much like government. I don't think the political process should be taken at all seriously, and politicians should always be viewed with suspicion, like mobsters, or salesmen, or CEO's.

So, I am enjoying being un-governed.

Whatever it is, I'm against it.

But I am also against the government being shut down for too much longer.

Being un-governed truly is a peaceful feeling.

It's like that peaceful feeling you have in the airplane, right at that moment you have accepted what's about to happen, seconds before the airplane crashes into the side of the mountain.
-Peter Wick
October 14, 2013