Citizens Opposed to Bureaucratic Bullying and Excessive Regulation
Many TV News programs, radio news programs, and newspapers present a very negative view of what is happening in the world. The so-called news is highly selective and favours evil.
Gossip has always been with us, but modern communications technology causes an overdose – it can quickly glean the worst few events from around the country and from around the world.
To demonstrate my point, I select shock words from the headlines
of today’s paper (4/8/99), a normal daily, the biggest in the state:
page 1 murder, page 2 shot dead, 3 molester, 4+5 escape death, 6+7 oil spill, 8 ad, 9 massive loss, 10 revolt, 11 entertainment, 12 pain, 13 Govt $ misdirected, 14+15 sex scandal, 16+17 letters, 18 death, 19 biography, 20 wails, 21 forensic, 22 accuser, 23 battle, 24 tragedy, 25 threat to world, 26 missiles. That’s every news page. How’s that for a fair coverage of what the human race did today?* Some TV news is similar.
I am not singling out this paper for criticism. This pattern is normal for many big papers.
Each bad news item might be true, but in this false concentration, served up daily, the total concoction is a poison to the mind.
The bad news industry amplifies such evils as there are by spreading their ugliness into loungerooms everywhere. If there is a CHANGE in the likelihood of being murdered, robbed, raped, assaulted, cheated or otherwise molested by random individuals, THAT is news. But, barring extraordinary events, that is usually only worth an annual check.
[If you are really looking for a dramatic increase in suffering, just watch when soldiers, police or officials anywhere are given a free run by generals or tyrants. The worst of them come to the fore and cause wholesale distress.]
The 99.5% of people who have behaved positively or at least peacefully each day are not mentioned. Our distorted news creates the impression of a world getting worse by the day. As a result, people whose experience of the world is largely confined to the news media are inclined to get depressed or even get the horrors.
Scared people cry out for more regulation and harsher measures. Bureaucrats love to quote horror stories to justify their controls.
In most cases the horror stories are rare events, the bureaucrats are often not able to prevent those rare events anyway, and the sum total effect of a bureaucrat’s intervention in a given case is very often only that they have bullied a harmless individual.
Conclusion? THE JUNK NEWS INDUSTRY IS AN UNHOLY ALLY OF BUREAUCRATIC BULLYING AND EXCESSIVE REGULATION.
Look after yourself. Do not dose yourself daily on bad news concentrate. It falsifies life. If you actually go out there and deal with people, you will be pleasantly surprised to find that the vast majority of people are good, kind, helpful, and caring.
Yes, take notice of trends and of genuine news – that is new events. Ordinary old human crime in its ordinary old frequency is not news.
Train yourself to select the informative items, to see what, if anything, has actually changed in the way of the world. But don’t undermine your own morale by constantly drinking the diabolically filtered worst dregs of human behaviour.
*Out of curiosity, I checked the same paper the very next day and got:1 fury 2 vetoed 3 trauma 4 boycott 5 chaos 6 war 7 gun-raid 8 “butchers” 9 killed 10 ad 11 blast 12 death 13 extinction 14+15 sex scandal 16+17 letters 18 editorial 19 cheats 20 trivia 21 ad 22 children lured 23 killing 24 ad 25 kidnap 26 ad 27 death 28+29 ad 30 danger 31 murder 32 deaths 33 ad 34 robbed 35 killer – end of news section... Phew!
Lawyers are essential to civilisation. They step between parties who would otherwise have to slug it out with fists or clubs.
But words of laws, regulations and witnesses can be twisted by clever, amoral practitioners to work against justice. Therefore we depend on our lawyers to be virtuous, to be bound by voluntary codes of honesty and public service.
Legal process is painfully slow and expensive. It adds stress and complexity to a society already drowning in wasteful procedures. Litigation is at best a necessary evil. Too much of it will tear society apart.
“Feral” lawyers are those who are willing to damage society in the pursuit of profit. They encourage citizens to regard themselves as victims. They actively generate more litigation within society. They assault many innocent organisations and individuals with lawsuits and threats of lawsuits that have little or no basis in natural justice. They often win their cases through bluff. That is, the accused party often caves in, just to avoid the costs and/or damage of further self-defence.
Firms of feral lawyers pretend to make war on rival firms, but in reality they are feeding each other with the hard-earned money of their respective “clients”. Feral lawyers will target an innocent party over behaviour that they do not themselves sincerely regard as anti-social.
If they apply enough pressure, cause enough professional costs to the pursued, persist long enough in interrogations, use up enough of the time and labour of the pursued party, threaten to expose them to the damaging effects of negative publicity, (all parties are aware that the story will probably not be reported fully and fairly), they often “score” — that is, they often elicit payments for their “victims”, payments from which the feral lawyers take a large portion.
This is extortion. But it is not counted as a crime. We cannot out-lawyer the lawyers. We need the lawsuit industry up and running to deal with genuine grievances and worthy suits. We need the legal profession to be seen, not as a self-serving club of pure mercenaries, but as a pillar of society whose members solemnly make personal vows to serve the common good.
When you are innocent, unfairly targeted, be brave and exhaust the feral lawyers efforts by defending yourself and your organisation to the last word. Wear down the gossip industry by “having it out”. Thus help many others in the same vulnerable position.
You see, quite apart from the misery of the hapless victims of feral lawyers, society loses on a grand scale because of these “morally criminal” activities.
When one person or organisation is successfully sued on unreasonable grounds, such as a child injuring himself on a play object or on a school outing, countless other organisations retreat in fear, dismantle their play equipment, and avoid outings. The big losers in this example: thousands of children.
Similarly, many organisations impose more regulations and restrictions on themselves so as to keep pace with the ever-growing ways that feral law can “get” them. Withdrawal of freedoms, opportunities and choices has been occurring in all sections of our society as the feral lawyers do their rounds.
Conclusion? FERAL LAW GENERATES SOCIALLY DAMAGING EXCESSIVE REGULATION.
In recent years, many types of career – now including public management – have come under academic control. That is to say, tertiary qualifications are increasingly being required for bureaucratic office.
There is an unfortunate bureaucratic weakness at work here — passing the buck, transferring responsibility for decisions wherever possible. When hiring staff, it is considered safer to invoke documentary justification rather than exercise personal judgement as to who would make a good public official: “This person has a recognised degree in the field.”
Alas, such qualifications in no way ensure that the appointee is fair, reasonable, experienced, mature, respectful of fellow citizens, or possessed of common sense — qualities which are far more critical for good public service.
Indeed, fresh from the cloisters of the ivory tower, young adults are more likely to think they know it all, to lack respect for other people’s rights, and to lack empathy with citizens — who they are more likely to regard as beneath them.
Add to these tendencies the further hazard that university departments are easily dominated by a narrow ideological faction. This may infect a whole generation of graduates with arrogant assumptions that all too often prove embarrassingly wrong a few years later (when, in all likelihood, another equally presumptuous academic fad will take over).
This problem of ideological lurching is reduced when public officers are drawn locally from the ranks of mature citizens who have lived, and experienced regulation – and who may have long experience in the areas they will be regulating.
(from Newsletter #3)