Sunday, November 01, 2015

Government from a blank slate?

(Previously posted to Patreon)

Last week, things got busy and I forgot to read The Libertarian Enterprise. Until today, when I went to the archives and dug out last week's issue before moving on to the current issue.

But, before I go too far into that without telling why I mention it, I'll tell you about last night. I woke up in the middle of the night with ideas for columns and blogs swirling in my head. Yeah, it happens fairly often. I didn't want to get up and disturb the cat sleeping on my legs, and didn't feel like turning on the bedside light to write a note to myself, so I stuck the ideas in my rather pathetic mind palace and eventually fell back to sleep.

When I woke up I was able to write out all the ideas except one. Somehow it had been misplaced in my mind and wasn't quite accessible.

Back to today. I was reading last week's The Libertarian Enterprise, specifically a classic essay of L. Neil Smith's under the wordy title "Unanimous Consent and the Utopian Vision or I Dreamed I Was a Signatory In My Maidenform Bra"

A ways into it I came across the words:
"We're trying to envision a new society uncontaminated by a previous social order."

Suddenly, my thought from last night fell into the open.

My thought had been that I wonder, if someone could erase the political memory of every human on Earth, whether they would fall into the trap of forming "governments" once again. In other words, if "government", or more specifically The State, didn't exist, and no one remembered it once had (or the forms it had taken) would anyone organise it again? If people didn't already believe it was "necessary", would anyone bother to invent it?

Anti-liberty bigots are always lecturing me that "government" is natural, and humans will always form them no matter what. And, I accept the fact that ignorant humans who are unable to think for themselves or to take individual responsibility will always seek out someone to "govern" them, and that evil humans who want to attack and steal, but who wish to find a way to do it more safely than "common thugs" will always seek to become government. But, how much of that is real "human nature" and how much is conditioning combined with a knowledge of "this is how it is done"?

I don't know, and I don't think anyone else really does, either. It would be interesting to find out, though.


Other people's (bad) choices

I can't understand when people choose to enslave themselves. I want them to choose liberty. I find myself wanting to force them to be free... which is a horrifying contradiction.

I can't make other people's choices for them.

I can live my live, by the Zero Aggression Principle, and help others when possible.

And I can grit my teeth and stay out of it when people make dumb, self-enslaving choices. Even though it hurts sometimes.