Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Society exists in spite of the state

Society exists in spite of the state

(My Clovis News Journal column for June 13, 2014)

Power, organization, and direction. Many people seem to feel these are good attributes to always be encouraged, but they miss the destructive potential these very same qualities possess in many situations.

Think of tornadoes, for example.

Tornadoes have plenty of power, organization, and direction, but are lacking both wisdom and ethics based on the fundamental principle of never harming the innocent or their property.

The same can be said for the state. Running roughshod over people and their property, without their explicit consent, no matter what force is doing it, is never good.

When people face the choice of whether or not to join a powerful, organized, and directed force- and choose to do it without an absolute commitment to never use that force to violate the rightful liberty of any other person- they are worse than a tornado. While the tornado is a mindless, amoral force of nature, the person has consciously chosen to be actively promoting evil.

As Albert Jay Nock pointed out in "Our enemy, the State", the aforementioned state- what many people equate with government- is the polar opposite of society. The two sit on opposite sides of a delicate balance and are mutually exclusive. The more of a state you tolerate, the less of your society survives. Society and civilization don't exist because of the state, but in spite of it.

States are estimated to have killed over 170 million non-military individuals in the 20th Century alone- and that's the low-end estimate. Just imagine how many tornadoes it would take to equal government's body count. It's a legacy of death and destruction no other group of terrorists or individual murderers could ever dream of approaching, even if they all managed to have free reign with little chance of being stopped. That kind of destruction requires the power, organization, and direction of states. And it's not civilized.

All states have power; too much of it by any rational measure. They are organized- against individual liberty. And they have direction- even if some parts appear to be pulling against other parts, the main thrust is always toward more power and more organization for the state, and toward unifying the direction of the pull.

Individuals must choose to never, under any pretext or justified by any job, use force against those who are not physically attacking them nor violating their property, in order to make power, organization, and direction work for good. It makes all the difference in the world, and is something anyone can choose.

Just because tornadoes have always existed, and probably always will, it is no reason to embrace them, defend them, or try to unleash more of them.


Importing new Democrats? Or creating them?

"Conservatives" yapping about "illegals" sound just as dumb as "liberals" droning on about guns.

But consider this: "Conservatives" say they oppose the independent migrants because they are being imported (or allowed to enter) to become "new Democratic voters". Well, who do you think they'd vote for? The people who are "welcoming" them with hatred, calling them "illegals", and waving the Federal flag in their faces?

Sure, it would be better if they refused to play the political game at all. It would also be better if there were no welfare for anyone to become dependent upon, and no "offices" to vote any parasites and tyrants into.

But consider who immigrants are inevitably going to see as the ones on their side. Consider who they'll end up being exposed to in a positive way. It's not going to be the "conservatives".

If you want new immigrants to become more like you, treat them with respect. If you don't want them to slip into the arms of your ideological enemies, then don't drive them there. Give them a chance. Encourage them to be independent and self-reliant. Lead by example and kindness.

Treating them like scum is guaranteeing the outcome you claim to fear. A self-fulfilling prediction. And unless you are as deeply in denial as those you rail against, you have to see how much of the responsibility is yours.


Being predictable

Do you imagine me to be a difficult, grouchy person? Sometimes I wonder if I come across that way.
I don't think I am... with some exceptions.

I'm very nice and friendly to people who are not trying to violate me- or arguing that violating me is good.

However, I won't stay silent when someone is happily relating some exciting new scheme for violating me or others. And, there does seem to be a lot of that around.

I know some people around me roll their eyes and think (or say) "there he goes again" when they have casually mentioned some new "law" or a victim of some "law"- and they aren't condemning that "law". Well, keep your "laws" to yourself and I'll never find a reason to mention liberty or say your "laws" are evil and stupid.

I really would prefer to never think about, much less speak of, "government", politicians, "laws", or things of that sort. And, I usually don't on my own. But, don't bring it up in my presence and insist I not point out the evil of that which you support. It ain't gonna happen.

Although, I would like to try the opposite approach sometime. When someone advocates a new "law" or expresses support for some current "law", I should enthusiastically suggest enforcing it with an immediate death penalty. "Close the borders? Yes! And forget the border wall- let's build a nuclear bomb booby trap mine field all along the border! That'll show 'em! I'll bet Brewer and Perry could buy plenty of nukes from former Soviet serfdoms! They can charge a big tax on Mexican food to finance the program!"

I wonder what they'd think of that sort of reaction.