Reactive behaviors are dangerous. Proactive actions are strong. Proactive actions are the essence of planning, analytical analysis, and review of historical data. Proactive actions are based upon careful deliberations and well designed preparations and procedures. Reactive actions are spur of the moment. By their nature, they lack clarity of thought, lack deliberation, and are fraught with shortsighted reasoning. We should take a quick look at this issue and how we see its results intentionally thrust upon us in the real world.
Benjamin Franklin’s quote, widely butchered and amended, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”, would seem to be more appropriate to this topic than most would realize. That quote is commonly applied to arguments regarding the surveillance state and excessive governance/protection. In fact, most people are not aware that Franklin was referring to monetary seizures through taxation. Of course, taxation is an affront to freedom, and threatens liberty if you fail to comply. The solution to the people’s lack of desire to comply is gained through the application of the Hegelian Dialectic. Rahm Emmanuel popularized, or vilified, the concept with his
Problem – Reaction – Solution Paradigm
- The government creates or exploits a problem then attributes blame to others.
- The populace reacts by asking the government for protection and help to solve the problem.
- The government offers the solution that was planned by them long before the crisis occurred.
Outcome: Rights and liberties are exchanged for the illusion of protection and help.
Bruce Yandle (The Freeman) put it well in a recent article:
“… When it comes to crisis management, opportunistic politicians such an [Rahm] Emanuel never miss a chance to convert crises into political pork for special interests.
Rahm’s Rule is a useful accessory to a body of theory that seeks to explain the political economy of regulation. The rule tells us that major crises can provide cover for distributing benefits to targeted special interest groups. The greater the magnitude of a given crisis and the shorter the interval for forming legislation to deal with it, the larger the spread of pork that can be packed into the final legislation. Rahm’s Rule is a guarantee that efforts to resolve a deadline-based crisis will go on to the very last minute."