Government officials regularly violate the rights of the people they allegedly serve. Why? Generally speaking, there are three types of motives for these attacks: ideology, corruption and ignorance. Ideology and ignorance are something of polar opposites. The former implies a carefully thought-out (if erroneous) worldview, while the latter implies random action unrelated to any particular agenda. More commonly, ignorance is explained away by saying, “He thought he was acting in the public interest, but he was misguided.”
In the middle there’s corruption — the attacker acted for material gain, if not now then in the near future. Given the “revolving door” nature of government agencies, where this morning’s regulator is this afternoon’s lobbyist, it’s easy to assign most regulatory action this motive.
However, there’s a fourth motive that’s rarely considered in regulatory attacks: The regulators are sociopaths. They enjoy violence for its own sake and not any financial or ideological reward. It amazes me that people — including many libertarians — would rather believe their government is corrupt or ignorant than simply the product of rewarding antisocial behavior. Perhaps this is because the other motives imply a workable solution: Ideology can be doused with “pragmatism”; corrupt officials can be replaced with “honest” ones; and ignorance can be eliminated by creating more “experts”. But there’s nothing that can be done about regulators that are antisocial and violent — except to stop them and destroy the agency that enabled such behaviors in the first place.