25 May 2013

The Scary Part

Is the general reaction to this story:

The Internal Revenue Service inappropriately flagged conservative political groups for additional reviews during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status, a top IRS official said Friday.
Organizations were singled out because they included the words "tea party" or "patriot" in their applications for tax-exempt status, said Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups.
In some cases, groups were asked for their list of donors, which violates IRS policy in most cases, she said.
"That was wrong. That was absolutely incorrect, it was insensitive and it was inappropriate. That's not how we go about selecting cases for further review," Lerner said at a conference sponsored by the American Bar Association.
"The IRS would like to apologize for that," she added.

The scariest part of this whole mess is that the IRS admitted that it was corrupt.  Normally, government corruption is a given, even in early eighteenth century America.  No one’s surprised to discover that there might be some sort of corruption in the government because that pretty much goes without saying.  However, all but the most despicable governments will avoid offending the citizenry’s sensibilities, and will thus refrain from admitting to corruption unless it’s accompanied by swift and decisive punitive measures.

In this case, the punishment for government corruption is … a handful of resignations.  This time through, the IRS, aka the agency that will destroy your life if you accidentally misplace a decimal point, intentionally targets non-profit political agencies that are generally concerned about the federal government being a little too power-hungry and large.  When caught, the IRS admits what it does, then offers a half-hearted apology and a couple of resignations.  This same organization would be decidedly less that content with an apology in the event that you make an honest mistake, let alone intentionally cheat on your taxes.  No apology is good enough for the IRS; the IRS demands restitution and then some at a minimum, and might even require jail time.  But when they intentionally harass you, you should be content with an apology.

Anyhow, the scariest part in this whole affair is the response of US citizens.  Most seem to be content with an apology, though some conservatives appear to be demanding restitution for those groups who were targeted.  Personally, though, I don’t see how anyone is content with the fact that the IRS agents that intentionally targeted “hostile” political groups are still alive.

In all seriousness, every person involved in this scandal should be strung up on the Jefferson memorial for all the world, to stand as a warning to other IRS agents not to abuse their power.  Furthermore, this incident should serve as a decisive argument that IRS needs to be abolished.  It is clearly nothing more than a politically abusive arm of the current regime, and does absolutely nothing to ensure fairness or justice; instead, it plays political favorites, and radically undermines the entire concept of rule of law.  Thus, the IRS should be abolished, all IRS employees should be fired and barred from working for the federal government in the future, and all those directly involved in this scandal should either put to death or serve life sentences in federal maximum security prisons.  Accepting anything less is a demand for tyranny.

The Problem of Responsibility

Society needs responsible men and men need responsibility. The obvious solution is for society to start giving young men responsibility, full responsibility. Give him his own part of life to have dominion over; give him a domain.

The whole post is worth reading, but I want to focus on this part in particular.  The problem of this modern time is that everyone demands that men be responsible, but they do not give him the freedom attendant with responsibility.  Running your own business is a crushing task in this modern age, thanks to taxes, mandatory health insurance, and the myriad costs associated with regulatory compliance (hence, as Vox notes, the decline of entrepreneurship).  Entering into a civil union is fraught with financial risk. Raising children to have any sort of independence and competence basically requires homeschooling and decoupling from modern culture, and is generally frowned on by the state.  Any man that wishes to take on any sort of real responsibility faces the strong possibility of jail time for violating any number of trivial offenses, not to mention the possibility of economic ruin in the event of making one minor mistake.

Of course, there is always the option to enjoy the pretense of responsibility by taking on a grinding, parasitic corporate job and slaving away at the sort of relationship that is passed off as husbandry and fatherhood.  In this version of life, you spend the bulk of your days at the office doing meaningless “work” to give lots of money to your wife and kids so that they can engage in petty status games.  This is the essence of feminine behavior, which is why women tend to be drawn to fields that require lots of petty paperwork.

Obviously, acting like a woman is not something a good number of men want to do, and so the calls for “manning up,” which are actually calls for men to take on the pretense of responsibility, remain unheeded.  Unfortunately, in ignoring the calls to take on the pretense of responsibility, men are starting to ignore the calls to take on actual responsibility.

In many ways, it’s difficult to blame young men for not wanting to make their own way in the world.  Thanks to nigh-unstoppable creep of government regulation and storm-trooper heavy-handedness, it’s difficult for any man to make decisions for himself without worrying whether he’ll end up facing massive fines or jail time.  Nonetheless, the responsibility that all men face—to be spiritual leaders and providers of their own families—remains fully intact, and the mere fact that it is more difficult to accomplish this call does not negate its existence or men’s amenability to it.  Just because it might be more difficult than ever to make your own way in the world does not mean that you have a free pass to spend the rest of your life in your parents’ basement playing video games.  It means you need to work hard.

If this sounds difficult and unpleasant, it’s because it is.  But responsibility remains a reward unto itself.  Therefore, it is up to each male to decide whether he will shirk his duty, or whether he will be a man.  Hopefully enough males will decide to be men, and perhaps we can have a masculine revolution.