Saturday, February 21, 2009

The "Rich Warlord" Boogeyman

One of the main factors that cause people to cling to the archaic notion of "government" ("the state") is a fear of the "rich warlord" who would supposedly take over your life without repercussions if no government were holding him back. It is claimed that government is the only thing that keeps him contained or from gaining power.

Let's examine this idea.

Would people who have tasted real freedom be so easy to take it from again? Probably not for a generation or two. However, there would undoubtedly come a time when the lure of ease and "safety" would sound nice to the less honorable among us. Then the cycle would start anew. However, I think it is better to start from scratch occasionally than to watch the state get bigger, more tyrannical, and less benevolent. Even if this is inevitable, which I am not convinced of, I think it is good to make them rebuild the state from the ground up ever so often. If you can't dig up the weed, at least chop it off at ground level from time to time.

But considering the "warlord" again: First of all, would this really be worse than the situation we are in now? We already live under a rich warlord who steals over 87% of our economic production, and demands more every year. He will kill us if we refuse to pay. He demands a ransom be paid on our homes or he will steal them from us. He demands control over whether or not we are allowed to own and carry effective weapons of self defense, and has criminalized the most effective ones; the very ones his own Constitution puts off-limits for him to touch in any way. He demands control over our travel, our business, our children, even our own bodies. He pretends to be a benevolent protector, and seems honestly bewildered at those of us who see through his velvety smooth words to the harsh truth behind them. This rich warlord is the main proponent of the boogeyman of the other, unknown, rich warlord.

Perhaps the monster we don't know is worse than the monster we know. What then? I think that the only time to keep the rich warlord from becoming a real problem is before he consolidates his power and passes "laws" that make it hard, or even impossible, to stop him. In other words, kill him upon his first act of aggression. Do you think he will behave nicely his whole life until one day he suddenly starts acting like the blossoming monster he is to become? I would imagine he will have a life-long history of aggression and coercion. Remove the "legal" prohibitions on self-defense and he will not survive to become a real threat. This means we are already at an extremely difficult phase in trying to rein in the full grown monster we currently know. Not impossible, but it will take a paradigm shift where enough people realize it is necessary. What is the tipping point?