The weight of the State is too much for even a self-confessed British statist to bear:
So there’s a subterranean triple whammy going on. The State’s reach is widening, its cost is mounting, but its grip is loosening. So much of the legislation that has disfigured recent years — the ineffectual ASBOs, the faith-hate and gay-hate laws, legislation to make child poverty “illegal”, the naming and shaming, and the itch to fiddle around with procedure and structure and uniforms and names — has been touted as “sending out a message”. Government by illustration.
I don’t think much of the Tea Parties in the USA in terms of accomplishing anything, but they are certainly an interesting symptom. It’s ludicrous to suggest a tipping point has been reached, as that won’t happen until masses of people start actively disobeying the system of laws, rules, regulations and customs that keep the present regime afloat.
Those walking away from their mortgages are far more revolutionary than the tea partiers because they are stepping outside the system rather than attempting to work within it. If the economic situation improves, social discontent will disappear again. If it worsens, as I expect, social discontent will rise. In general, people won’t risk anything unless they feel they’ve got nothing to lose. That’s why most rapid social change takes place during economic downturns. I find it fascinating that in spite of the clear lessons of history, government bureaucrats can’t seem to grasp that the present is a very bad time to be provoking the public by placing additional burdens on them.