Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Using right tool for the job is key

Using right tool for the job is key

(My Clovis News Journal column for May 17, 2013)

Humans have always created tools to give them more power than would be available with bare hands.

Hammers, can openers, computers, and guns are tools.

The State- what most people mean when they talk about "the government"- is also a tool.

Any tool can be used in ways that could be said to be good and bad. However, only one tool- The State- can't be adequately aimed and can never be used without creating victims.

Some people compare my desire for the end of The State with the demands of anti-gun advocates for the end of privately owned firearms. Just as with guns, they claim it isn't the tool, but how the tool is used. That would be true if it were possible to use the tool of The State without harming the innocent.

Imagine being forced to pay for a neighbor's gun and ammunition, even though you know he is dangerous and plans to harm innocent people. His right to own a gun does not negate your right to keep your own money or your right to defend yourself from him when he endangers life, liberty, and property. Nor does the human right to own and to carry a gun include a right to use that gun to harm innocent people in any way.

Similarly, your right to organize doesn't negate anyone else's right to live peacefully however they see fit.

The State is a singular kind of tool. Even when "good" results from its use, it comes at the cost of some amount of bad. That bad is an inherent part of the tool- one that can't be eliminated without abandoning the tool. If you don't have coercion and theft, then you have a voluntary arrangement, and it is, by definition, not The State.

You might like some of the "services" The State provides you, but do you stop to think about the true cost? People who don't want those services are forced to pay for them regardless. This is like using a gun that fires two bullets simultaneously every time the trigger is pulled- one at the target, and another in a random direction from an unseen barrel.

The State probably isn't going away soon, so if you love it and want to keep it around, don't worry. You'll never lose your security blanket because of me. Only you can free yourself by growing to accept your responsibilities, giving up theft and coercion, and working out your conflicts using the economic method rather than the political method.

The tool of The State is dangerous and obsolete. You can do better.



  1. I clicked on the link Kent and I got a survey about grocery shopping.

  2. Unfortunately the newspaper now has those "anonymous surveys" that you have to answer before seeing the column. Usually it is only one or two clicks, or just hit "show me another question" and often it goes away altogether. Or you can also "share" the column on facebook or something instead of answering the questions.

    Or, you can wait a month and I'll post the entire column above (after the CNJ's "exclusivity" expires).