Friday, August 28, 2020

Why statism?

Why would anyone be statist?

There are several reasons, and you'll find one or more of these traits at the core of every statist: Weakness, cowardice, laziness, greed, envy, hatred. Probably some others I didn't list.

Sure, you'll find those same flaws in libertarians as well, but the difference is while those traits are fundamental to statism, libertarians are likely to be unlibertarian when they display those traits. You could theoretically be libertarian without having a single one of those traits, but those traits are what makes a statist what they are. They are core characteristics of statism.

I can't imagine anyone basing their worldview on such negative traits.

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  1. I'm married to someone who is statist about quite a few things, as is her family, and none of those pejorative you used applied. Essentially, they were indoctrinated early on, and haven't had the experiences that would lead to so much cognitive dissonance that they would have to reexamine those core beliefs.

    The "core beliefs" thing particularly stings, since that is language that was recently leveled at me for refusing to say that masking up was virtuous and necessary to being a good person.

    Jim Henshaw

    1. What core beliefs do you see in them, then? Everyone has core beliefs-- some are more grounded in reality than others.

      I love my statist relatives, but every one of their statist beliefs is based in one or more of those traits. I don't say that to them, but I still think it's important to know where it comes from. Otherwise, how to chip away at it over time? If I can help them cure their fear, maybe their statism will diminish somewhat. That has acrtually been working for me-- to recognize the foundation of the statism and work to help them see why it isn't reasonable. It works better than confronting the statism head-on in my experience.

      Even when they claim to be statist for compassionate reasons (for example) that's not what I see them displaying.

      For example, those who criticize the idea of getting rid of police. They invariably say they are thinking of others who can't afford hiring private security or aren't physically able to defend themselves. They conveniently ignore the fact that they'd have more money if they didn't get "taxed" to pay cops, charity would still exist, guns are a great equalizer, etc. Their arguments fail reality. They appeal to weakness, while displaying cowardice, laziness, greed in that one example alone. Or do you see something else there that I'm not seeing?

      And every other justification for statism comes out the same. They can believe whatever they want, no problem... until they try to impose those things on others. Keep your police, but keep them away from me. Yet, they simply can't agree to this civilized compromise. Their compromises always result in me giving up a lot while they give up nothing.

      If your core belief is that it is not virtuous and necessary to being a good person to wear a mask, how is that an insult? It's true. Truth should be part of your core beliefs. I would take that as a compliment even if it weren't meant that way. It reflects poorly on the person who thought they "gotcha" with that one.

  2. I see the statism of most of my in-laws as being the result of decades in an ideological echo chamber, where they've just accepted some ideas as doubleplusgood because they're surrounded by people who've been indoctrinated that this is not something that needs questioning.

    I had my wife's nephew visit recently for over a month, and because he was new at it, I kept backing him into a corner where he would find himself confronting the inconsistencies in his logic and briefly saying things that made sense - guns are necessary for self-defense, say - only to hear the statist default reset next time we revisited the argument. It was like rhetorical Groundhog Day - the logic couldn't stick, because these were emotional beliefs about what everyone else had said were goodthinkful, and so the emotions reset or overturned the logic after a day or so.


    1. I think, though, that an ideological echo chamber can create all those negative traits in people exposed long enough. I'm not saying it's the victim's fault, exactly. Being tortured or brainwashed can have emotional and cognitive consequences. Wherever the negative statist traits come from-- whoever is to blame-- I think they are still present.