Politicians–all self-appointed, one may note–in the Arab world have recently been teaching us all lessons in how to win the love and support of the people. You achieve this by establishing clear rules that create an ordered society.
- You may not criticize leaders, all of whom are better than you;
- You may not demonstrate;
- You may not seek hospital care if injured, especially if by gunshot;
- You may not apply for a job in your local police force (all positions are reserved for foreigners);
- You may not attend a funeral.
Clear rules applied to all citizens lead to a happy society. The penalty for those who disobey is to be shot.
Now let us consider the mathematics of such a system of governance. Let us say that one social deviant who wishes to break the core rule exists (there’s always a loser in every crowd). This loser makes a sarcastic remark and is shot. Problem solved? Well, not quite. He turns out to have a couple brothers, who are also such losers that they now get angry, so they demonstrate. Both are shot but not killed so their relatives take them to the local hospital, which is promptly bombed. This eliminates the two losers, not to mention a whole bunch of other potential losers. Think of this as a small-scale version of preventive war.
Brilliant as the theory of preventive war is, the practice varies, and so with bombing hospitals. All those losers and potential losers in the hospitals turn out to have relatives and friends. I don’t know how many people are willing to attend a funeral after a loser is shot by the government, but let’s guess (the point is, the politicians don’t know either!!) it is “three.” Now, for every loser properly shot for disobeying the rules the government established to maintain a peaceful society, we have three people illegally attending a funeral.
Do the math (you have an advantage here because politicians can’t). A hospital may have 200 patients. So what started as one loser shooting off his mouth has now become 600 losers at a funeral, and when the government is forced to shoot at them, not only do they (if still alive) get angry, but so do all of their loser friends and relatives. This is called a side effect. You should not blame the government: government leaders, after all, are just politicians, not mathematicians. Politicians do politics so they understand the idea of enforcing rules, but they are not mathematicians so they do not understand the side effects of shooting people.