“No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: the officious demands of policemen, government clerks and electromechanical gadgets.”
Petty tyranny is the worst kind, don’t you think?
OK, victims of a shelling by Syria’s president, Assad, would understandably disagree. But there’s something especially galling about small-minded people doing small-minded things.
The principal of a high school in Oklahoma has refused to release a high school diploma to a top student because she said the word ‘hell’ in her commencement speech: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/us-valedictorian-denied-high-school-diploma-for-saying-hell-in-speech/article4489629/
Check out this incredible statistic: 40,000 brand new state laws went into effect in the U.S. in 2012.
“40,000 activities or practices that had been perfectly legal for decades have now been declared verboten by state legislatures and governors everywhere.” (http://www.offthegridnews.com/2012/05/09/local-government-and-the-age-of-petty-tyranny/)
This man was bold enough to outrageously plant a garden in the city without getting permission from city hall first: http://www.mofreedom.org/2012/07/victory-freedom-center-uproots-petty-tyranny-in-ferguson/
This article cites a statistic: 69% of Americans don’t think the government has the consent of the governed and virtually half think the federal government of that country is an immediate threat to the freedom of citizens: http://www.city-journal.org/2011/21_4_tyranny-and-liberty.html
These are all U.S. examples, but it would be unwise to assume Canada doesn’t have its own. While it would be hard to tabulate which country is more “free” – a term that can be defined numerous ways – rest assured there’s no shortage of petty micro-managing and obnoxious rules in this country, too. My guess, and it’s just a guess, is that Canadians just squawk less about it because we’ve been trained to believe “liberty” is an American word.
Here’s a campaign platform I’d vote for: a politician who promises to do less.
“Ladies and gentleman, my goal is to be the wrench in the gears. To slow the progress of government, and reverse it if at all possible. I won’t pass laws, I’ll revoke them. Yes, we will always need a new law or two, but for every one I pass, I’ll discard two. And I’ll keep doing it until our legal code is small enough to fit in a single volume an average citizen can carry and understand.”