Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Long past time to reject government

(My Clovis News Journal column for April 28 (?), 2016 )

George Washington may have once said something along the lines of "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence — it is force. Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

Actually, he probably didn't say it. With quotes, though, it doesn't matter who said it as long as it's true.

So, is it true?

No. It most definitely is not true.

When anyone claims government is a servant, they are lying in order to get you to accept the unacceptable. Government-- or more accurately, The State-- is never a servant. If it were, you could fire it and hire a replacement, or choose to do away with the position altogether. If a fire becomes a threat to your life, liberty, and property, you douse it. If you, individually, can't fire government and eliminate it from your life, it's not a servant.

Which leaves us with something admittedly dangerous, and not a servant. A dangerous, fearful master.

Once you learn what goes into making certain foods, you can't unlearn it. Maybe you don't care, or maybe you can get past it, but you'll always know.

It's the same with government. Once you learn what makes a group a "government" you can either ignore it or not let it bother you, but you can't forget.

Cooperation, such as pooling money and labor, mutual defense, and protection of the weak, is good. The moment you add theft and aggression-- the defining characteristics of government-- all the good is gone.

Force and taxation changes governance into government. It poisons everything it touches. It turns restrooms into battlegrounds of "must" and "must not", where everything not prohibited is mandatory. It eliminates private property and self ownership. It turns personal choices into crimes.

Government leaves no room for morality or ethics.

Statists are those who believe governing others is a legitimate activity. To this end they try to confuse you. They know you recognize governance can be good and necessary, so they substitute the degraded form, government, and hope you don't notice their sleight of hand.

Governance includes self control, but self control is never externally imposed. It doesn't enslave. Government, in the form of The State, is always evil. Always harmful. Always a net negative to society.

It's long past time to stop tolerating the dangerous, fearful master others want to impose on your life. Reject government in favor of liberty. Once you use the blunt instrument of government to have your way, you have failed. Why not win instead?


My struggle with Rightful Liberty

(Previously posted to Patreon. See what you've been missing? Subscribe today!)

No, it isn't always easy. Sometimes it is a bit of a struggle.

Sometimes I want to punish people. Sometimes I get mad and want to strike out. Sometimes I want to give up. Sometimes I feel the pull of my personal opinions and morals trying to convince me that violating someone else would be OK "just this one time".

When people around me do things I disagree with, things I think might reflect poorly on me, I feel the desire to force them to do what I think is right- but I realize that would be just as wrong as what they are doing. Perhaps even more wrong. Because I know better and they, apparently, don't.

In some ways liberty is so easy. The rules are simple and few: don't initiate force and don't violate the private property of anyone. A child can do it- and most already know the rules.

It takes years of indoctrination to make people forget the rules or believe they don't apply in certain cases. Overcoming that indoctrination, once it has taken hold, it not easy. That may be where all the difficulty lies.

Peer pressure is a powerful force. "Everyone else does it" (justifies aggression and property violation). It would be so simple to fall in line and do the same. No one would blink an eye or judge.

But I know it wouldn't be right. Not for me. For me it is harder to live with myself if I'm doing what I know isn't right than it is living without the approval of statists around me.

However, the Zero Aggression Principle isn't like a law. It doesn't give me excuses to beat you; it is a promise I make to you, telling you what to expect of me. Telling you that if I choose to violate my promise, I know you are justified defending yourself from me.

If you want "easy", maybe life isn't for you after all.

(If you know someone who might like [or hate with a white-hot seething passion] these posts, please share with them and encourage them to subscribe one way or another.)