The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Foxes and henhouses

I've been reading "The Most Dangerous Superstition," by Larken Rose. Virtually every word is quotable, but I've chosen a few of them to pique your interest. Whattya think?

The mindset of statists usually starts with a reasonable concern, but ends with an insane "solution." The average person who looks out at the world naturally wants some sort of assurance that he will be protected from all the negligent and malicious things others may do. Most believers in "government" openly describe that as the reason "government" is needed: People cannot be trusted, because it is in man's nature to steal, fight, rape and otherwise make life miserable for innocent and weaker people.

Statists often assert that without a controlling authority, without "government" making and enforcing the rules of society on everyone, every dispute would end in bloodshed, there would be little or no cooperation, trade would all but cease, it would be every man for himself, and humanity would degrade into a "Mad Max" type of existence.

As a result, the debate between statism and anarchism is often incorrectly assumed to be a question of whether people are inherently good and trustworthy, and therefore need no controllers, or are inherently bad and untrustworthy, and therefore need "government" to control them. In truth, whether humans are good, bad or something in between, the belief in "authority" is still an irrational superstition. But the most popular excuse for "government"--that people are bad and need to be controlled--inadvertently exposes the lunacy inherent in all statism.

If humans are so careless, stupid and malicious that they cannot be trusted to do the right thing on their own, how would the situation be improved by taking a subset of those same humans and giving them societal permission to forcibly control all the others?

1 comment:

BF said...

Interesting point. I think the experiment in Democracy that is the US Constitution is intended to stave off what would otherwise naturally happen in a free market anarchy when the exploiters take it all the way to tyranny. (i.e. blood in the streets).

Seems like we're about due for a correction. Hopefully it will be another peaceful one and the Constitution holds. (...he says as the streets are alive with agitated people even as he types his close parenthesis.)