Sunday, August 09, 2015

Statists by any other name would advocate governing

[Previously posted as a status on Facebook]

Some people who advocate governing others don't like to be called statists. Seems odd to complain about reality, but OK.

They advocate the existence of States, but are upset at being called on it. They say the word "statist" applies only to near totalitarians. Of course, it's only a matter of degree, not a difference in kind. But, if the word hurts their feelings, let's make up a word just for them. Maybe I'll call them "gentlists". That sounds gentle, harmless, and sweet, right?

So, a gentlist would be anyone who believes governing others is a legitimate human endeavor. It says nothing about how they advocate doing it, or the level of governing they approve.

So, maybe some gentlists only want a little bit of control over the non-aggressive acts of others. Maybe they only want a little bit of aggressive theft committed under the euphemism "taxation". Maybe they only advocate kidnapping those engaged in free market economic trades sometimes; if the trades are disliked by a vocal subset of the population. Maybe they turn their heads and pretend their gentlism isn't enforced by the implied threat of murder in every single case- especially if people comply so universally under the threat that death rarely results. We could call these "min-gentlists"- they want what they consider to be the minimum level of gentlism.

Other gentlists might want almost total control of your every action. They might demand you give all your property to them, and dole it out according to a central plan. These totaligentlists would obviously be more extreme than the min-gentlists, but again, it is not a difference in kind, only in degree.

The foundational beliefs are identical- that there exists somewhere a right to control other people and take their property when it suits those who have been put in charge. The only difference is in how blatant they are willing to be about it, and how quickly they want to escalate their violence, and perhaps, where they plan to focus their governing. But the end is the same. And what you call it is really pretty irrelevant in the end.

So, be a whiny statist if it makes you somehow feel better.

Or, suck it up. If you advocate something, own it. Otherwise you look like a fool who knows he is advocating evil and wants to avoid being ashamed for doing so. It makes you look like someone who needs to change, and deep down inside, KNOWS it.



  1. ,The statists that are most sensitive of being called such, are usually the same people who label freedom advocates "extemists".
    To the statist, anyone that isn't happy about the constant and seemingly exponential growth of government are to be labeled this way.
    Soon they will have a medical label for the mental disorder that you, Kent, and your freedom-loving-fellow-travellers are afflicted with.
    Imagine what would happen if everyone thought that they owned their own bodies and the fruit of their own labor.
    It would be anarchy.

    1. Thomas Szasz, Ceremonial Chemistry describes a study where chronic alcoholics chose to not exhibit symptoms of their "disease" when offered enough financial incentive. Is a disease a disease if you pay someone not to have it?