Minimalist government

Mother Jones has a fun piece spoofing the rugged individualist outlook of the libertarian with the independent streak. Ian Frazier describes "His Own Private Kingdom":

I am an independent guy. I take a lot of pride in doing for myself, like my dad and my granddad before me, and I don't need any bloated, out-of-control government holding my hand. When I found our local public schools to be less than satisfactory, I said the heck with them, and began schooling our kids at home. …

We grow a lot of our own fruits and vegetables out back, and any produce from the store I always inspect myself. As for the meats and poultry we buy, I carefully examine and certify every single piece using techniques I learned in a meat-inspecting class on the Internet. I do a more thorough job, too, than those spot-checking timeservers from the USDA. Hey — it's my money, and it's my food, and I think I know better if it's going to give me botulism than some government scientist shuffling papers in a fully equipped laboratory somewhere.

I'm my own postal service, fire department, and sanitation. Don't need regular garbage pickup because I just dump our trash off the bluff. I told the EPA I'll handle all the groundwater monitoring and whatnot myself on a voluntary basis, and they signed off on that and thanked me — more taxpayer dollars saved! And thanks to the recent tax cuts, I now have the personal resources to regulate interstate trade. …

I'd say to go read the whole thing, except Mojo has only posted about 2/3 of it.

Another classic bit of satire along the same lines was recently made available online: this clip from Monty Python's Life of Brian.

For those of you without Quicktime, a transcript follows. Reg (John Cleese) is conspiring with his revolutionaries to overthrow the oppressive Roman Empire:

REG: … And what have [the Romans] ever given us in return?

REVOLUTIONARY 1: The aqueduct?

REG: What?

REVOLUTIONARY 1: The aqueduct.

REG: Oh. Yeah, yeah, they did give us that, ah, that's true, yeah.

REVOLUTIONARY 2: And the sanitation.

LORETTA: Oh, yeah, the sanitation, Reg. Remember what the city used to be like.

REG: Yeah, all right, I'll grant you the aqueduct and sanitation, the two things the Romans have done.

MATTHIAS: And the roads.

REG: Oh, yeah, obviously the roads. I mean the roads go without saying, don't they? But apart from the sanitation, the aqueduct, and the roads…

REVOLUTIONARY 3: Irrigation.



REG: Yeah, yeah, all right, fair enough.

REVOLUTIONARY 5: And the wine.

ROGERS: Yeah! Yeah, that's something we'd really miss Reg, if the Romans left. Huh.

REVOLUTIONARY 6: Public baths.

LORETTA: And it's safe to walk in the streets at night now, Reg.

ROGERS: Yeah, they certainly know how to keep order. Let's face it; they're the only ones who could in a place like this.

REG: All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?

REVOLUTIONARY 1: Brought peace?

REG: Oh, peace! Shut up!

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  • mark

    Is this aimed at me?

  • Fred

    I wouldn’t say “aimed at,” but I am grateful that you provided an excuse to post the Python bit (which, even libertarians must admit, is pretty funny).

  • carla

    People’s Front of Judea, or Judean People’s Front?