Forgotten Definition from Issue No. 12


Government as Selfish Individual Fallacy

Common amongst proponents of neo-conservatism and generally ignorant, reactionary individuals with a libertarian streak, this remarkably ubiquitous fallacy involves a strange, anthropomorphic conception of (democratic) governments as self-serving, avaricious monarchs who want to "take" the hard-earned money of the poor "taxpayer" for themselves. It is a consequence of Western individualism and American conceptions of "freedom" run amok that people conceive of themselves as so independent, self-sufficient, and frankly bratty that they cannot fathom why society ought to involve any sort of sharing or consideration of how others are affected by one's supposed, selfish "freedoms" (like the "right" to bear arms or indulge in environmentally-ruinous practices).