Sometimes, like Odysseus before the Sirens, we seek to limit ourselves, to put ourselves under the control of others, because we do not trust ourselves.

Insurance has this function – we tax ourselves in order to put something aside in case of adversity. While this strategy can be useful it can be also dangerous.

In a democracy we see the same phenomenon when citizens are taxed from afar, that is passing their resources far away, to higher authorities – only to have them come back (or some proportion of them come back) with strings attached.

Some people like this process, it encourages national uniformity and if you trust those who further away more than you trust yourself or those who are more local it makes sense. But this indicates a kind of weakness and an unintegrated mentality. This encourages centralisation of power and undermines the community’s own development.

Sometimes, as with health care, we are right not to trust ourselves – we would be better to trust others. But we must be wary of unfounded faith in ‘the system’ and ‘the powerful.’