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The Nanny State and the Anti-Twinkie Fascists

Written by Gary North on March 9, 2012

Jeffrey Tucker reviews a new book on the nanny state. The nanny state is the security-promising bureaucracy that treats citizens as children.

The phrase “nanny state” captures the spirit of this push to regulate our consumption in all areas of life. But the phrase misses the mark when it comes to the methods themselves. Nannies are respectable market institutions. To be sure, if you hired a nanny with jackboots, Tasers and guns with real bullets who punished disobedience with jail and even death, that would be a closer approximation to what we are dealing with every day in the Land of the Free.

The phrase is one of ridicule. It is an effective image: the nanny who runs the show, who keeps children from having fun. The point is: we are not children. So, why do we need a nanny. That’s why the image is an effective one. We live in an era in which state-worshipping busybodies want to tell us what to do. It is nice to think of them as nannies.

Sadly, they have hired thugs to tell us what to do. The state really is a nanny with a Taser.

Nothing is off-limits. What that means, in reality, is that there is no more freedom, since the idea of freedom is bound up with the right to make mistakes. We are not merely paying; we are obeying (or being told to obey) every minute of the day.

For all these reasons, I’m happy that someone bothered to attempt a nearly comprehensive chronicle. The wonderfully infuriating and deeply alarming book is Nanny State by David Harsanyi. And check out the subtitle: How Food Fascists, Teetotaling Do-Gooders, Priggish Moralists and Other Boneheaded Bureaucrats Are Turning America Into a Nation of Children.

The nanny state has intruded into our lives. But how?

It just happened bit by bit, over the course of half a century. Daily, this trend is ramping up. We think we live in a free country, and then we actually try to do something different, risky, wonderful, productive or whatever and suddenly discover that we are living in a legal minefield, all in the name of making us safer, better, more caring or whatever.

We are not safer. We are just less free.

The nanny state goes far beyond obvious issues such as smoking and eating, as Harsanyi points out. In New York, it is illegal to feed pigeons, sit on a milk crate in public, put a plastic frame around your license plate, take up a subway seat with a grocery bag, ride a bike without your feet on the pedals and other such outrages. All over the country, we are seeing bans on advertising, restrictions on happy hours and ladies’ nights and every manner of legal carrots and sticks used to force us to eat more carrots and look like sticks.

Invasion by invasion, the state is creating resistance.

This is all a sign that public policy the world over has gone through an identity crisis of sorts. It is discovering the inner truth about itself — that it really is and has always been at war with our well-being. The only difference now is that it is reaching further into our lives, wrecking them at every turn and daring to try to convince us that we should be grateful for this.

The nanny state will self-destruct. It will go bankrupt. It cannot treat people as children and then demand that the same children pay the nanny’s salary (high) and expenses (very high).

The problem with nanny is that we all have hired her to tell each other what to do. This is exactly what she does.

We need to fire nanny. We will do this, but not until we figure out she will bankrupt us. She will nag us to death with our own money.

Continue Reading on www.informationliberation.com

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13 thoughts on “The Nanny State and the Anti-Twinkie Fascists

  1. SEAN MURRY says:

    I dont need a nanny i am a senior citizen i can take care of myself.

  2. I'm with you. We rode our bikes without helmets, brushed the germs off a dropped gumdrop and "kissed it up to G-d," and played on real playground equipment like swings and slides. Sometimes we did stupid things and learned that scrapes and bruises were just part of life, and we learned to wash the blood off and go back to playing. Our parents decided what movies, books and music were acceptable, and we ate what was served to us without some government guru sticking a nose into our school lunch bags. Yet, somehow, without a ton of government regulation and oversight of our every move, we grew up to be productive, employable, non-drug-addicted, tax-paying citizens. AND NOBODY HAD TO TELL US NOT TO USE AN ELECTRIC HAIRDRYER IN THE SHOWER.

    G-d bless America, and G-d help us all.

  3. thegovtisnuts says:

    THE MOMMY DEAREST GOVERNMENT

    The government is nuts.

    "It breaks your legs and then sells you crutches, claiming that without it you couldn't survive." (Attributed to Harry Browne).

    Our federal/state/local Nanny State reminds me of –

    The parasitic COWBIRD,

    Or of a TAPEWORM.
    Or the horror movie "MISERY" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misery_(novel),

    Or of the movie "MOMMY DEAREST" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mommy_Dearest).

  4. we are dieing out now mabey it is for best

  5. p.s i am shamed of what younger gen has become

  6. GREAT COMMENT. I could not have stated it better.

  7. No nanny state. Right? Except I am a gay, conservative, business owner, who can't get over the fact that my party of small government has a big interest in what I do in the bedroom and who I choose to live my life with. If Santorum gets the nomination I will not vote in the general election.

  8. I'm sure your "private" bedroom will no longer be "private" if o should, God forbid, be elected (it would have to be illegally, though, just like last time). We are in the throes of "Big Brother". Read about it in "1984" by Orwell.

  9. no one cares what you do in your bedroom just don't try to make me watch and tell me i have to approve by saying you are married

  10. Here we go again. We have to turn EVERYTHING into a gay issue.
    So sick of the gay's "it's all about me"attitude.
    Be gay….I could care less.just get out of my face with it.

  11. 13862520 says:

    I'm tired of reading articles like this one about how terrible the Communists are that have taken over our government. I'm tired of filling out meaningless surveys, I'm tired of angrily responding to the endless Constitutional attrocities commited each day by these people. We don't have one leader that has the balls to do anything but whine about it. Where is the national outrage for Leon Paneta telling Congress that his policy decisions and approvals are guided by the international community and Congress has nothing to do with it. We have a country and a Confress full of wimps and traitors. I'm unsubscribing from all of this crap.

  12. I don't recall hearing Santorum say that he cares what you do in your bedroom. Santorum is a religious man. All I've ever heard him say was his belief that MARRIAGE should be between a man and a woman. Marriage is a RELIGIOUS ceremony. No one CARES if you're shacking up with another man. Live your life. The gay community which comprises of less than 2% of the population wants to control the entire population. Enough.

    Since Romney, Gingrich, and Santorum support the man/woman marriage, you must be supporting Ron Paul, he thinks anything goes. Too little law is known as anarchy.

  13. jimpeel7734 says:

    "Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    — C.S. Lewis

    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it."
    — Frederic Bastiat