From a taxi driver:
“In the 1970s and 1980s I was out in the streets… urging the government to do this or not to do that. I saw the government as an extension of me… something I might influence… something that might express my own character and my own will.
“I was a fool. I was really trying to get something I couldn’t get on my own… by using the power of the government to force other people to do something they didn’t want to do. Like taking back the Malvinas. Why should Argentina control them? Why send in troops? Why not just ask the islanders? Or why not just leave them alone?
* * *
“Why do we do it? Because we are genetically programmed to do these things. We have always had wars. But in the old days, these wars made sense. A man could get something out of it – you know, some loot or some p****. But in the modern world, they don’t make sense anymore. Not for the ordinary soldier. Or for the guy who pays the bills. The only ones who get anything from it are the politicians, the government, the military and its suppliers. That seems obvious to me. But there are still a lot of wars going on.
“And then I began to think about what other things work this way… where they don’t really make sense to the people who pay for them. But people go along with them because they have been programmed to go along with everything over thousands of years. It made sense in an evolutionary way. Those who didn’t have it in their genes to act a certain way – like going to war – died out.
“And I began to see government as an archaic institution. Democracy too. When I drive you in the cab and you pay me for the service, that is a modern, civilized transaction. But if I vote for a law that prevents someone else from operating a cab, I am essentially acting like a barbarian.”