Ten Ways To Spot A Statist
In order to preserve liberty, prosperity and common sense it is necessary for logical people with sound beliefs to stand against the bossy authoritarians, tiny tyrants, petty bureaucrats and control freaks of the world. If only by trying to be the voice of reason and to moderate their attempts to Rule The World, one cul-de-sac at a time. But how do you spot them? In keeping with the popular meme of chatty magazines the world over here’s a ten point list of key identifiers by which you can know the enemy.
(1) ”Something must be done!”
Any time there is a moral panic there will be those who capitalise on the localised outrage by striding to the front, the paint on their banner still wet, and proclaiming themselves a leader on the issue.
(2) ”You should be ashamed!”
Devoid of any actual argument, or of any logical points to make, statists try to force their will on everybody else by using personal attacks and decrying those who hold a different view to their own – while steering as far as possible from anything that might actually be considered a reasoned argument.
(3) Broad Brush Strokes
To a statist, everything is simple. Any issue can be solved, obviously, by the exact thing that – surprise, surprise – they happen to support. That thing will always be more regulation or more control because force and coercion are the only method statists understand.
(4) Blind Spots
Anything which does not sit perfectly in their simply framed caricature of the thing they support is completely ignored. Evidence, argument, other opinions, no matter how well stated are completely ignored. A statist simply cannot see or hear anything which deviates from their position.
(5) No Fault Accepted
No statist will ever accept that the additional rules and regulations and controls they favoured didn’t work. It is always that their idea was improperly actioned or that it was not implemented with enough vigour. A statist’s response to regulatory failure is to propose more regulation.
(6) ”If it saves one life…”
The classic statist line, purporting that any measure – no matter how illiberal or extreme – should be supported if it can help one person. This most populist approach depends on emotional appeal while ignoring the most basic logical reasoning.
(7) Personal responsibility does not exist
To a statist, people are not responsible for their own actions. Anything that happens is the fault of a failure in regulation and control, which only the state can cure. Nothing is anybody’s fault. (The occasional exception to this rule is if the statist is proposing additional regulation or control on a social group, in which case everything is their fault. Hence the need for the additional regulation.)
(8) He who shouts the loudest
A statist will design regulation for those who are making the most noise. They will never consider that there is “another side” to the argument, even if that other side actually forms a silent majority. (There will always be an opportunity to support the other side when they are later faced with their own moral panic for which additional regulation can be proposed.)
(9) False Democracy
The best statists talk constantly about “democracy” because they enjoy finding and using the Tyranny Of The Majority. But their true intentions are always to further impose controls and sanctions on everybody else at every juncture and in every circumstance.
(10) For their own good
On the very odd occasion that they are unable to escape an actual debate and must defend their authoritarian nature, you might be able to get a statist’s mask to slip. This is very hard to do, but if you manage you might get to hear them, while talking about other adults, tell you that “sometimes you have to do these things for their own good” or similar. Only then do you really know what you are dealing with. An arrogant, tinpot dictator with delusions of grandeur who has the absolute belief that they know exactly what is best for everybody else and fully intend to impose their view of nirvana on you. Whether you like it or not.