In the freest nation, the best men would be least attracted to a job in government, let alone a lifelong career there.

Freedom expands possibilities for living, and incentivizes men of initiative and intelligence to invent new possibilities. In such a climate — one in which the “collective will” of the state is limited precisely to the extent that the individual will is unlimited — a life in government has no appeal to the serious and self-motivated, precisely because such men see political arrangements as the mere environmental means to their private growth, rather than as any sort of end in themselves.

This leaves the arena of government, in a free society, to the most ambitious and envious mediocrities: men forever trying to make the honor roll to impress Mom, or to become captain of the football team to impress girls. The truly talented, intense, and mature individuals, who thrive on the border of chaos and respect convention by rational choice rather than by emotional need, naturally seek to live freely. The middling, envious, and resentful, eager to have what they cannot earn and to deny what they cannot see, naturally seek to regulate, to curtail and offset the freedom that frightens and challenges them.

In the freest nation, it is the latter who would be drawn to careers in government.


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