PostHeaderIcon Dilbert’s FBI Hero

Scott Adams has done it again. He has provided something worth seriously pondering: “The FBI, Credibility, and Government“:

The primary goal of government is its own credibility.

That notion needs some explaining.

Governments do many things, including building roads, providing social services, defending the homeland, and more. But no matter what the government is trying to accomplish, its macro-responsibility is to maintain its own credibility. Governments without credibility devolve into chaos. Credibility has to be job one.

That is profound! I had never considered it this way before; but upon reflection, he is absolutely right. I would say that this is particularly important in a state like the USA, which claims to be a self-governing, Constitutionally limited, representative republic, where citizens voluntarily accept the rule of law, within the concept of a participatory democracy.

Whether any of that is in fact true, is somewhat beside the point, as long as the sheeple believe enough of it, to accept the legitimacy of the state to rule over their lives. Somehow over the years, the American sheeple have been brainwashed, to uncritically accept some rather naive and debilitating beliefs:

  • The state is an unquestionably necessary institution.
  • The individual owes allegiance to the state.
  • The welfare of the state is more important than that of any individual.
  • The purpose of the Constitution is to ‘grant’ rights to the people.
  • It is the state that provides freedom for the people.
  • The majority elects representative ‘leaders.’
  • The leaders hire ‘experts’ to run the bureaucracies.
  • The bureaucrats write, execute, and enforce the rules.
  • The individual is morally obligated to obey the rules.
  • The individual is morally obligated to pay taxes.
  • It is immoral to be selfish.
  • It is immoral to create wealth.
  • It is the obligation of the state to redistribute wealth to the poor.
  • It is the obligation of the state to regulate the economy.
  • It is the obligation of the state to regulate employment.
  • It is the obligation of the state to regulate trade.

I could probably go on for pages; but if you believe and/or uncritically passively accept any of the above falsehoods, consider yourself among the mentally crippled victims of public schooling. I do not say this to offend you. I too once accepted nearly all of these conventional beliefs, which I had been taught; but that was long before I had lived over 70 years, and spent the last half of them studying, and pondering such matters on my own.

As the scales fell from my eyes, one by one, I have increasingly withdrawn my once rather patriotic support for the USA, to the point where I now regard it to have zero credibility. Back to Adams:

Consider all the different government systems around the world, and all the different laws they created. The Chinese government is different from the United States government, which is different from Jordan’s government, which is different from Great Britain. But each of those governments is credible to its own people, and that’s the key. The specific laws and the specific forms of government don’t matter too much, so long as the public views its own local system as credible.

The notion of credibility is why my political preferences don’t align with either of the candidates for president. I look for credibility in government, not for my personal agreement with a particular policy.

More profundity. Those conservatives claiming we need a functioning state to prevent chaos, ought to regard its basic credibility to all citizens, as far more important than whatever they expect to gain by imposing their moral values on others by fiat. Of what value would strict morality laws be, if most of the citizens regarded them as illegitimate and ignored them? Once one decides it is impossible and/or unnecessary to abide a particularly onerous rule, the notion that one is morally obligated to obey any law soon evaporates. Had the state left me alone, to live my life as I choose to live it, as long as I didn’t forcibly interfere in the lives of others, I would undoubtedly still be a law-abiding patriot, rather than an anarchist.

After discussing the dilemma Comey faced over indicting Clinton and upsetting the election process, he offered:

Thanks to Comey, the American voting public will get to decide how much they care about Clinton’s e-mail situation. And that means whoever gets elected president will have enough credibility to govern effectively.

Comey might have saved the country. He sacrificed his reputation and his career to keep the nation’s government credible.

It was the right decision.

Comey is a hero.

That sure isn’t how I regarded it at first; but I must admit that Adams made his case well, and I now concur that Comey deserves a medal. Wow! I love it when my mind is changed by a cogent argument. It means it is not yet ossified, and I can still learn. That is important to me. 😉 â—„Daveâ–º

5 Responses to “Dilbert’s FBI Hero”

  • I’m going to have to start reading this guy.

    He’s right. Credibility is job one, but I don’t think I prefer a credible government.

    Where would our monetary system be without credibility? The paper would be instantly worthless. I think this issue alone can really show a huge divide between how people think. I thunk your average person says to this that we need to keep the credibility high to keep the currency functional. Then there are those few of us that ask why we don’t just make the currency inherently credible. Making all of the underpinnings of society reliant upon the credibility of the government allows it to maintain it’s hold on the populace rather than the other way around, and it makes for a nasty fall when that credibility crumbles.

    • I’m going to have to start reading this guy.

      Yeah, that is what happened to me. Bookmark his homepage, and check it once a day. His latest Dilbert cartoon strip is at the top, and a single [Page Down] will reveal if there is a new blog post. I even often find the tech posts interesting. The latest is about the killer robot used in Dallas, a notion I find unsettling.

      Yes, having to deal with fiat currency provided by a shaky state, is a bit like gambling with the future; but so is investing on Wall Street. Yet, on a personal level, I haven’t worried too much about it. I never think of FRNs as money. I only keep enough cash available for a few months normal expenses. All excess wealth is always kept in physical assets, which would not evaporate when the crash occurs. Of course, if one is still young and building one’s wealth, one should make maximum use of credit in a profitable business. Owing fiat currency one has invested in assets for one’s own productive business, which will be repaid with depreciated currency in the future, is not a problem. It could even be quite a windfall when the crash comes. â—„Daveâ–º

      • Go to the page once a day?
        Get yourself an rss reader. I use Just login, password, and then you paste in addresses for all the sites you like. It puts all unread content from all the sites in chronological order for you all in one page. In this case, the address would be

        Credibility is weird sometimes too. I was hearing the police talk about how they were in Dallas to protect protesters, which is just nonsense. 100 cops to protect 400 people protesting police brutality. I don’t think they felt safer, and if anything it just incited violence. They were clearly there to protect from the protesters. The protesters knew that, but to people who find their overlords credible, it never occurs to them to question the narrative. Despite misbehaving protesters, the police are losing this battle, because every time the government loses a bit of credibility, more people hear the other narrative. Once the credibility is lost it’s hard to regain. A switch of political party in power does a lot, but good luck keeping puppet strings on Trump.

        • Thanks for the tip, Steel. I haven’t messed with RSS for many years, since back when doing so created too much e-mail. The Feedly reader seems cool, and also allows me to save items to my “Pocket” / “Read it Later” account. Thanks.

          I am somewhat inclined to believe the police narrative that their goal was to protect the demonstrators. Without police protection, the good ol’boys of Texas would probably have cleared the streets of BLM protesters in a bloody heartbeat. In fact, I often lament that the primary function of police is to protect the guilty from the wrath of their victims. That said, your point regarding eroding credibility is well-taken, and the independence of Trump has them all terrified. We are living in interesting times. 😀 â—„Daveâ–º

  • Chris says:

    Like I said in another post. Mr. Comey by doing what he did laid bare all that is Hillary. Rather than keep it secret and have the DOJ sandbag until after the election and then not prosecute. He debunked every Hillary lie. Many stated under oath before congress. Now the people know. Is she guilty or not? The jury will decide in November.

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