Saturday, August 01, 2009

Ruler- the Definition

A "Ruler" is someone other than yourself who orders you to act in certain ways. A leader "leads" by example; a Ruler orders you around. A Ruler may demand that you act in ways that violate your values and principles. Government and bureaucracy is composed entirely of "Rulers".

While you probably regulate your own behavior, and therefore "rule yourself", I do not consider you a "ruler" over yourself, as such, since you still will probably act according to your own values and principles. You are on equal footing with yourself, and not "over yourself". That is why, when I use the word "Ruler" I am referring to someone external to yourself.

The Reason for the Definitions

I get told frequently that I define words to mean what I want them to mean. Yes, I do.

I believe everyone does this, but if they do not buck the status quo, no one notices. There is no way for you to mean every dictionary definition each time you use a particular word. Not unless you have many different personalities inside you giving you conflicting ideas.

Therefore I make an effort to tell people what I mean when I use a certain word in order to minimize confusion. In order to facilitate this I decided to define the words that receive the most attention.

Just use the "definitions" label if you ever get confused about my usage of a word. If the word is not there, ask me to post it here.

Government- the Definition

"Government" is the shorthand way of speaking about individuals who choose to initiate force and theft (using the political means rather than the economic means) while hiding behind a name they think gives them legitimacy; they attempt to govern others.

Technically, when most people use the word, they actually mean "State", but through common usage the words have come to mean the same thing to almost everyone.

"Government" can be thought of as an organization of individuals who attempt to make the rules for a particular geographical area. Regardless of their claims, they are not voluntary or consensual, as "voting" and other participatory acts never really make a substantive difference because of the rules which the government has established to regulate the election process.

Government employees allow no competition with their organization and no opting out. Government acts are financed through "taxation", which is merely statist-speak for "theft by government". It holds a "legal" monopoly on the use of force, enforced by its own hired guns and backed up by the courts it runs, and is perpetuated by youth indoctrination centers ("public schools").

Because government employees are expected to enforce the rules that limit their own power, there is really no limit to what they can get away with, given time.

The belief in the existence of "government" is based on the superstitious belief in "authority".

Unless I qualify the term by placing "self-" in front of "government", I am referring to an external coercive force, and not the necessary condition of "self-control".

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Anarchy- the Definition

When I use the word "anarchy", I am using the original usage: without (an-) ruler (archos). This doesn't mean, to me, a free-for-all. This means YOU are responsible for all your actions and accept ALL the consequences of those actions. It means you have accepted your basic human responsibility to govern yourself, instead of abdicating to some external coercive force (a Ruler or a government).

I realize that the dictionary has a lot of "chaos" mixed in with its definitions of "anarchy", but that is not ever what I mean. If you have a better word, just substitute that when I write "anarchy". OK?

Evil- The Definition

When I use the word "evil" I am referring to any act which intentionally harms any person who isn't currently initiating force or violating private property; harms someone who does not deserve to be harmed at this moment*.

Philip Zimbardo, in The Lucifer Effect, defines it thusly: “Evil consists in intentionally behaving in ways that harm, abuse, demean, dehumanize, or destroy innocent others—or using one’s authority and systemic power to encourage or permit others to do so on your behalf.” So he includes those using their (imaginary) "authority" to influence others to be evil under his definition of evil. I agree.

(*An "innocent" person. No one is "innocent" all the time, nor is anyone never "innocent". All you can do is judge their innocence or guilt at this moment.)

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Need for government is a weakness

Need for government is a weakness

Recently I was taken to task for characterizing a need for government as a weakness. My actual words were "I am not so weak that I need anyone to 'govern' my neighbors". I stand by that statement.

Now, I will preface this by saying this is how I see it. This is what I do- I explain my views. Advocating or supporting government is a weakness in my eyes. How could it be seen in any other light? Government is only "useful" if you feel you can't do something on your own, right? Something "too big", "too expensive", or "too dangerous" for you to attempt on your own. Otherwise, what would be the point? Government is very good at co-opting large numbers of people and taking over a large segment of the market to do its work. It is also very accomplished thief with armies (real and figurative) to make sure its victims pay up. Government is also able to waste a lot of lives in pursuit of its goals with no real regrets. Things accountable people with actual moral character couldn't - no, wouldn't do.

Which gets back to my main point: Government is a crutch. Just as there are physical weaknesses (such as my 20/1600 eyesight), there exist character weaknesses and moral weaknesses.

Needing government is a character weakness. Desiring government is a moral weakness. Just why would you advocate for government? Do you need to be protected from others? I see this as an indication of a character weakness. Do others need to be protected from you? I would say that is a sign of a moral weakness. Do others need to be protected from other others? I think this is the most common excuse. I also think this is a rational disconnect; blaming your advocacy of institutionalized theft and coercion on ambiguous "others". Or does everyone need to be protected from themselves? If that is the case, why not just bubble-wrap the whole world or make the world one big padded cell? It would be less harmful in the long-run. Actually, this is what government is trying to do, but using coercion instead of logic and reason.

One question keeps coming to mind- If government is such a grand and noble idea, why does it always have to be forced on people, and maintained and protected with a monopoly on force?