Much, naturally, has been made in the news lately of Joe Stack's suicidal intrusion into the Austin IRS building via Cessna. My favorite commentator on the myth of authority, Larken Rose (see LarkenRose.com), posted this today. Excerpts follow.
Suppose someone came up with a way to convince all 100,000 or so employees of the IRS that if they showed up for work the next day--or ever again--they would all die horrible deaths. And suppose they could be made to believe that without any of them actually being harmed. Frankly, I would be thrilled. Though it would do nothing to address the underlying problem--that the state's hired thieves believe "legal theft" to be morally righteous--it would, on a practical level, deter them from victimizing others as a result of their delusions.
The thugs with badges get paid to harass, terrorize, assault, extort, control, and otherwise oppress people who haven't hurt anyone. I don't believe sane people should talk as if it's up for polite discussion whether that's okay or not.
I spent years trying to make various IRS employees (and other state mercenaries) consider the possibility that maybe "doing their job" is immoral. Joe Stack spent a day showing them that "doing their job" might be hazardous to their health. Which of us did the IRS folk learn anything from? Sorry to say, I don't think it was me
If people can be shamed or brow-beaten into not acting like thugs, I'm all for it. Of course, it would be a lot better if they could instead be ENLIGHTENED into choosing the philosophy of self-ownership. And in the long run, that is absolutely what our goal should be. But history has shown all too well, all too often, that in the short term, it's a lot easier to shoot an aggressor than it is to reform him.