"There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it's only a hundred billion. It's less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers." ~ Richard Feynman
Mommy at Home, Daddy Abroad
I can't get Star Trek's Borg out of my mind. They're a horror always there, pestering me, always asking me, "What do we mean?" At least I don't dream about them telling me, "Resistance is futile; you will be assimilated," and then holding me down and using nanotechnology to drill all those contraptions into my skull and brains ("Here, you don't need these frontal lobes." Splortch.).
If I did dream about them, I'd always be waking up and running from door to door to make sure they're locked. Although I'm sure a locked door wouldn't do any good to stop those Borg drones. They'd find me even if I hid in the closet, or even under the bed covers. It's a good thing they don't exist, except in my imagination.
Well, maybe not totally in my imagination.
The Borg are actually based on a bee hive. They even have a "hive mind," which is a pretty common concept in science fiction, one that's never portrayed as a good thing. Like bees, the Borg have a Queen, workers and drones. And while their society works for bees, it certainly doesn't work for people. Not that people don't keep trying and trying to bee-hive everyone (it's called "fascism"). And always failing, which reminds me of the saying, "Insanity is trying the same thing over and over even though it never works."
The Borg are a perfect example of the welfare/warfare state. Because the Borg have no freedom, they lack creativity. They're literally babies in their Borg womb, flying through space. They're completely safe, like all babies in the womb are ideally supposed to be.
Because the Borg have no liberty and no creativity, they can't produce what they need. For all practical purposes, you can say, No Liberty Equals No Brains. When you give up your freedom, you also give up your brains. Security equals Stupidity. (Um, can anyone say, "public schools"?)
I suppose I could make a joke in which Man goes before God and says, "Want security!" and God answers, "Okay, but it'll cost you your brains!" Like most accurate jokes, it's half humorous and half horrible.
So, to get what they need to survive, the Borg steal it from others. That's where the warfare comes in. Welfare at home always leads to warfare abroad, which is especially easy when you're the biggest and baddest and only give lip service to principles but really believe might makes right. Welfare and warfare are just opposite sides of the same coin.
Want an example from the Roman Empire ? Jeffrey St. Clair writes about how the Roman historian Suetonius "chart[ed] how the expansion of that ancient empire paralleled the rise of a totalitarian regime at home that plundered the provinces to bankroll the invidious habits of a degenerate ruling elite."
The Borg are actually a Mommy State at home and a Daddy State abroad. Mommy takes care of the kids at home, and because they can't work and support themselves, Daddy goes abroad and steals what they need to live.
Yeah, I'd say that's degenerate, all right. That's certainly the kind of family I'd like to grow up in: Mom won't let me go outside to play while Dad's out siphoning gas out of the neighbor's car.
They're actually a Bad Mommy and a Bad Daddy, ones who never let the kids grow up because they think it's not possible, and freedom doesn't work. A Good Mom and Dad allow kids all kinds of freedom, because they know it does work, and is the best thing for them and society. It's the difference between Satan and Ward Cleaver.
Unfortunately, the Bad Mommy and Bad Daddy are what's happening to the US right down. The Mommy State at home is saying, "No, you can't drill for oil here, or build nuclear power plants, or not wear a seatbelt, or own a gun, because those are dangerous things, and you are just selfish, irresponsible little kids who have oatmeal for brains. You just listen to me and you'll be nice and safe. Now give me that bad, bad water pistol."
And, of course, without drilling for oil in those mud flats in Alaska , or the Gulf of Mexico , we can't get the energy supplies we need. So where are we supposed to get them?
Yep, you've got it--other countries. That's why I don't care how much the administration denies it, one of the reasons it is in the Middle East is to secure our oil supplies. Instead of building dozens of new nuclear power plants, and drilling for our own oil on our own property, and unleashing the power of the free market to come up with who-knows-what new power sources, like making oil out of garbage, which is a technology that has existed for over 20 years, the administration is instead invading and occupying other countries so we can take their oil.
That's what's always happen with Mommy's welfare state at home--the attempt to be "safe" destroys liberty, creativity and production--indeed it snatches our brains away!--and always leads to Daddy's attacks abroad to get what we need. Just like our Borgian friends.
It's not possible to make life completely safe. The world would have to be made of Nerf. And personally, I'd rather take my chances riding in the back of a pick-up truck, the way I did as a kid, than be strapped in the back seat. I wouldn't be surprised if pretty soon there's a law that anyone in a car will have to wear a seatbelt and a helmet.
One of the worst things people can do is give up their liberty for an impossible safety. They will always end up with neither, because Daddy will always be involved in foreign wars to support Mommy at home, who's busy annoying the hell out of everyone. And then the kids will scratch their heads and say, "First I was in the basement hiding from Mom and watching The Simpsons and now Dad has sent me to a foreign country where I'm machine-gunning the fuzzy wuzzies. What happened here?"
The Borg are supposed to be one great big happy family, although everyone in it has scrambled brains. Mommy always wants a big happy family, with no envy. Unfortunately, the only way to get rid of envy (which actually isn't possible) is to make everyone equal, identical and interchangeable. Like the Borg. Or like pennies, which is about what individuals are worth in a fascist state.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on whether you believe in fascism or freedom, the Bad Mommy State always collapses. Mom obviously can't rule by herself. Then it's followed by tyranny, the Bad Daddy State . So obviously Dad can't rule by himself. The Greeks noticed this, when they wrote that democracy is always followed by tyranny, which then turns into monarchy, which is followed by democracy . . . and the cycle repeats.
What we have then, is the Bad Mommy State (democracy) followed by the Bad Daddy State (tyranny). Then comes monarchy, which when mature, is both Mommy and Daddy together. It's why mature monarchies always have a King and Queen. Obviously, it takes both Mom and Dad together to rule. Unfortunately, under monarchy those who believe in Mommy start agitating again for "equality" and "security" (just look around) and then the whole mess starts over again.
History bears out that politics is not the way to go. What was that saying again? Oh, yeah: "Insanity is trying the same thing over and over . . . ."
So, then, where is the country at right now? Abroad, we can forget this nonsense about "imposing democracy" on the wogs by caning them. Dad's either going to impose tyranny on them or else get out. I don't think we're going to get out, though. Their resources are ours, sayeth our corrupted elites.
As for at home, Mommy is starting to act more and more like Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest. Or better yet, Alice Krige as the Borg Queen ("Why do you resist? We only wish to raise quality of life for all species.").
Personally, I plan on sleeping with one eye open. No one's getting my frontal lobes without a fight.