One of my favorite quotes that never ceases to amaze me, just how prescient Ayn Rand was 45 years ago:
“Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against– then you’ll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We’re after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you’d better get wise to it. There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens ? What’s there in that for anyone ? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Rearden, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”
From ATLAS SHRUGGED (1957)
My coworkers and I daily check a website, Gwinnett Mugs, showing most of the previous day's catch into the justice system of Gwinnett County, Georgia. Several things have struck me about the daily parade: just how many shoplifters there are, how many women arrested for prostitution were so butt ugly the only customer they ever could have hoped to catch was a policemen, and just how trivial a crime could get you into jail these days. Which brings me to the smiling man at the top of the page who was arrested for "outdoor storage". Coincidence? I better go clean my carport.