Thursday, March 31, 2011


The urge to regulate represents a diversion of democracy and usurpation of the autonomy entrusted to citizens by reason and sanctioned by law. Thus “red-tape” has become the red-herring enabling governments to galvanize their efforts to prevent the emergence of truly free markets by manufacturing amorphous mechanisms that suppress the growth of cottage industries (and contrary ideas), which would ultimately enhance our ability to build a genuinely liberal and liberating society. If, however, this society sees itself as complete, then it is compelled to create oppressive protocols that stifle citizen’s efforts to implement their unique ideas.

This claim neither denies the need nor denounces the value of regulation as a means of managing public safety (e.g. Borders' attempts to retail his barbecue). However, it does substantiate his sentiment and sustain his argument that the regulatory state is effectually and efficiently becoming a new form of totalitarianism wherein only certain avenues are open to certain people with access to powers and persons that grant permits and permission for them to pursue their projects unimpeded.

Borders, however, launches a logical fallacy in his fertile comparison of over-regulation with applying for welfare, which is an equally arduous process. I also reject his reductionism, saying that, “In the end, all I wanted was to sell barbecue sauce.” In this regard, the relationship between ends and means are malleable. One feeds the other and informs both because of their bond. We just have to be Spartan to limit special interests from suppressing our pursuits which, unfortunately Borders wasn’t.

Characteristically, democracy and capitalism are constructed on contradictory, ambiguous and occasionally conflicting concepts supported by prescriptions and tempered by provisions designed for quality control. Concern with over-regulation, however, as expressed by Borders can become a form of “paper terrorism” whereby citizens are subverted by processes that require conformity to regulations multiplied beyond reason and without regard for commonsense. Perhaps a concept co-opted from philosophy might diminish the dominion of these mandates, namely, a revised version of Occam’s Razor, which would prevent “regulations from being multiplied unnecessarily in efforts to protect public interests.”

If this principle prevailed, the ability of special interests to suppress the emergence of entrepreneurial ventures by their vulturous actions would erode significantly. More important, such an approach would impugn the intellectual parochialism that imperils the progress of democracy, domestically and internationally. In this progressive climate oppressive provisions would cease to prevail, and yield rather to the rule of reason and the right of persons to pursue their peculiar projects in a climate of least resistance. Such a change, however, would require revision in the contemporary demeanor of American democracy, which routinely lets itself be bullied by global events that ultimately hinder citizen’s ability to exercise greater degrees of self-determination because of being deterred unjustly and illegitimately. Moreover, our allegiance to the logic of a flattened world seems to require inflexible systems that suppress rather than serve social interests and citizen needs, threatening freedom in the process.


Paper terrorism is the use of false liens, frivolous lawsuits, bogus letters of credit, and other legal documents lacking sound factual basis as a method of harassment, especially against government officials.[1] It is popular among some anti-government groups and those associated with the redemption movement. (

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