Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Our society able to govern itself

Our society able to govern itself

(My Clovis News Journal column for July 13, 2012. I think I woulda left out the word "Our" in the headline, but...)

Technology has evolved. I can now carry an entire library of books in one hand when I leave the house, and I still have a library full of "paper and binding" books at home. This is a wealth unimaginable to even the kings of previous generations.

Knowledge has grown. For example, the human genome has been read and is being studied to find causes and cures for many horrible conditions. This raises possibilities undreamed of just a generation ago. Not only of extending the typical lifespan, but of improving the quality of more of that lifespan. (Unless ObamaCare kills health care in America.)

Everywhere you look, things show promise of getting better. Well, almost everywhere you look. Why, in the midst of all this exciting advancement, do we still settle for the bronze age notion of externally-imposed government?

Sure, governance is necessary. Self governance. You have to take responsibility for your own actions and accept the consequences, but this primitive notion of having a ruler- either one man or "the majority"- to interfere in the consensual, non-aggressive aspects of your life is positively barbaric. Very few things should be subject to a vote of any sort, and then only when you allow the non-consenting parties to opt out without leaving their home turf.

This problem springs from the silly belief that society needs to be run. As if society were a machine that will stop functioning without someone sitting in the driver's seat. The truth is much happier: Society runs just fine without so much as a steering wheel.

Snowflakes form a six-sided crystal due to the way water molecules arrange themselves as they freeze. It is just a natural example of self-organization; it will always occur unless there is some contaminant introduced into the mix. In the same way, people naturally arrange themselves in a peaceful society where each interaction benefits both. Those who attack or steal get eliminated as a matter of course. Until or unless you allow the contaminant of legitimized coercion to pollute your society. Then you end up with something uncivilized. Something resembling what we live under now.

"Patriots" frequently suggest that if I don't like it, I can move to Somalia- a society which has been destroyed by those who keep trying to impose a state on people who never wanted one. It would be funny if it weren't so tragic and backward.