Monday, September 22, 2008

the mainstream utopian

state apologists, because their arguments are irrational, will often resort to the anecdotal claim that anarchism is a utopian ideal that would never work in the "real world". of course, they claim that chaos would ensue, etc. what they fail to understand is that the argument for the state is true utopian idealism riddled with contradictions and impossibilities to the point of absurdity.

for one to advocate statism, one must assume that the economic laws governing monopoly do not, for some reason, apply to the state (which we have seen to be false, here). this flies in the face of the vast evidence to the contrary. government is clearly highly expensive and the resultant services low in quality. the state is unresponsive to demand and is generally the root cause of most economic difficulty. the stated goal of government is to protect people from predations on person or property, yet it is the single largest predator of such rights. in fact, the idea of a coercive state institutionalizes the very transgressions it exists to prevent, through widespread and massive theft through taxation and laws designed to control the property of citizens through the various licensing schemes, prohibitions and regulations, both socially and economically.

in the u.s. today we see social and economic problems gaining ground at an ever-accelerating rate, but at the same time we see state power increasing. if the state is the key to civilization, why doesn't its increased power result in the desired outcome? shouldn't the increase in state power at least stop social and economic decline? not only has it failed to do this, but there is the correlation of declining civilization and increased state power. how does the statist explain this? this is a similar trend throughout state history, and the answer is that the state is the cause of, not the solution to, civil decline.

another difficult question for the state apologist is this: "if a society cannot maintain civilization without government, from where will its leaders be recruited?" certainly one would not choose leaders from the very same group of people who cannot govern themselves. if the people cannot be trusted with decentralized power, how is it possible that they will be more civilized when the power-hungry are given centralized power? if, in the decentralized society, the rich and powerful will prey upon the weak (which is, of course silly), how does it fix the problem by giving the rich and powerful centralized power?

often, it is said that the state must care for the less fortunate and provide a safety net, or a welfare system. if it is the will of the majority of people to democratically support such an institution, why the need to have the state administer it by force? if the majority of people care enough about the poor to institute welfare, why can’t those virtuous people do it privately, with much more efficient private funding? as p.j. o’rourke famously quipped:

“There is no virtue in compulsory government charity, and there is no virtue in advocating it. A politician who portrays himself as caring and sensitive because he wants to expand the government's charitable programs is merely saying that he is willing to do good with other people's money. Well, who isn't? And a voter who takes pride in supporting such programs is telling us that he will do good with his own money— if a gun is held to his head.”

few would argue that they have no right to their own person or property. Few would argue that people have a right to the person or property of others. Yet, by advocating the state, they contradict themselves. They argue that, indeed, politicians have the right to the person or property of others and they are able to do things to peaceful people that would constitute crimes by anyone else, such as mass murder through war, theft, through taxation and appropriation of property and all sorts of other subjugations.

If these people really do have such rights to the property of others; how? If one person has the right to the property of others, shouldn’t all people? Are politicians born with greater rights than others, thus making them super-human or others sub-human? If so, what are the genetic differences between we lesser beings and the super-human politician?

If election to office gives them such rights, how are they derived, since the electors have no such rights to give?

it is also argued that anarchy would result simply in the arising of another government (it wouldn't - explained in a future post). if we assume that is true, why commit suicide-for-fear-of-death by instituting the very thing feared by statists - the arising of a state!?

From Stephan molyneux’s “everyday anarchy”, concerning “democracy”:

In short, democracy is predicated on the premises that:

A. The majority of voters are wise and virtuous enough to judge an incredibly wide variety of complex proposals by politicians.

B. The majority of voters are wise and virtuous enough to refrain from the desire to impose their will arbitrarily upon the minority, but instead will respect certain universal moral ideals.

C. The minority of voters who are overruled by the majority are wise and virtuous enough to accept being overruled, and will patiently await the next election in order to try to have their say once more, and will abide by the universal moral ideals of the society.

This, of course, is a complete contradiction. If society is so stuffed to the gills with wise, brilliant, virtuous and patient souls, who all respect universal moral ideals and are willing to put aside their own particular preferences for the sake of the common good, what on earth do we need a government for?

In other words, the majority of society is perfectly willing to give up an enormous chunk of its income in order to help the sick, the old and the poor – and we know this because those programs were voted for and created by democratic governments!

the final utopian dream and possibly the most fanciful of the statist ideal is the idea that the state can overcome or change the nature of mankind through scribbles on paper called "law". there are many who still don't see the inherent absurdity of such ideas as "constitutions". this is the idea that some rules jotted down on a piece of paper and left to be enforced by the very people they seek to restrain will insure that the power-mad, seeking public offices, will be stopped from abusing power. it is an idea which is, at best, laughably naive, as are all laws in the hands of those with unlimited power and zero accountability. want to create a prosperous economy while regulating every aspect of it from a centralized bureaucracy? just write a law! want to stop people from using certain drugs? just write a law! want to create prosperity from war, stop pollution, educate all children, eliminate the negative economic consequences of price fixing? all this is possible (and more!) in the childlike eyes of the state apologist, by simply having a god-like politician write it down with his magical pen on a piece of mystical paper and declare it to be law! all one has to do is ignore the results and the precedents and live a blissful, head-in-sand life.

yes, the state is a contradiction in every way. it has never worked for the good of society and has crushed civilizations countless times throughout history. isn't it about time to give up on this silly dream and come down to reality? let's reject the state and all of its impossibilities and get on with our lives in peace and prosperity.

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