Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The myths of statism

The myths of statism

The news in Albuquerque has been strangely quiet the past few days. I suppose the appearance of "The Annointed One" has distracted his mindless worshipers, and his mindless opponents, enough that they have stopped committing their regularly scheduled aggression, theft, and fraud while they watch to learn how the Master does it.

In the meantime I'll offer some philosophical thoughts.

People have a powerful desire to believe myths- whether religious, political, or philosophical. I'm not talking about useful tales that teach a valuable lesson here, but harmful lies that form a false foundation for cultural beliefs. If it makes them feel better they follow it and refuse to accept the truth, any truth, that discredits their myth.

It is a myth that coercion is necessary in order to force people to get along together, but it is a persistent myth because it feeds a desire many people have. That desire is to be able to justify hurting people who have done nothing other than offend them in some way.

This is the foundation of "conservatism" and "liberalism/progressivism". It is why they reject voluntaryism of any sort without giving it any real consideration at all. It is why they invariably must fall back on the same tired old retorts: "How cute. Now grow up!" - "No government based on that has ever been successfully established anywhere in the world, ever!" - "Government is necessary to keep people from selfishly stomping on everyone who gets in their way." - or whatever other completely silly and empty insult or "argument" they can dredge up. All those objections have been tried before, though, and they are no more true now than they were years ago. (And soon I'll address the claims that libertarianism is "childish" and "selfish".)

There is a comfort in being "conservative" or "liberal" that those of us beyond that simplistic view don't have. It is the comfort found in large numbers. The comfort of the herd. Large numbers of mindless drones or bleating sheep. But we do have the comfort of being right in the face of seemingly overwhelming opposition. That is enough for me. I can do without the myths.

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