Saturday, March 20, 2010

Concensus and 'need' are not sufficient

Concensus and 'need' are not sufficient

Government may be an effective way to get some things you see no other way of getting, but it is still always wrong to use coercion. In the same vein, rape may be an effective way to "have sex" or to "feel strong and dominant" but it is always wrong, no matter how powerful your need and no matter the circumstances.

Even if you would die unless you use government to steal on your behalf you are not right if you do so. This is a harsh reality, but it is still reality. Just like you may not like the fact that if you try to walk across the surface of the moon without protective equipment the realities of the Universe will cause your death. You may think it is "not fair" but the Universe does not care.

"Fair" is not a part of reality, except when people with ethics intervene. Intervention can go either way. People can intervene for good or for evil. Coercion, theft, and fraud are forms of intervention that are always on the side of evil and any "good" that can come from them is nullified by the harm they cause. Both to the aggressor and to his victim.

If everyone- every regular person, every philosopher, every scientist, and every other expert on earth throughout all of human history- agreed that aggression and theft were OK as long as you wear the silly hat of government, and not even one person ever questioned this premise, they would still all be wrong. That is enough for me.

This has a connection with the traffic camera news from my previous column.

The Albuquerque City Council is upset that this new law could end the entire traffic camera program in Albuquerque. What a shame. Look, Albuquerque City Council, theft is wrong even if you think the city really needs the stolen money. And to attempt to justify those profitable cameras by saying their loot pays for your entire camera system is completely twisted. If you (or your program) can't survive without stealing from travelers you don't deserve to survive. Go find an honest job somewhere, hope for charity, or starve.