Sunday, September 11, 2011

Episode 79. Do We Need The State At All?

Everyone knows that without the state we would be brutes in a state of nature, right?

Everyone knows that Anarchy is chaos, bad for everyone, and anyone who advocates it is crazy.

But does the absence of government necessarily mean chaos, and are its advocates crazy?

Most people don’t think the state is evil or corrupt. They think it is a force for good. And yet almost every one of them can cite examples of state corruption, and acts of evil committed by the state. Or if you present them a factual description of such a case, they will admit that it’s an example of state corruption or evil.

In spite of this, most people think absence of government is the craziest idea they've ever heard. America isn't perfect, they'll say, we need maybe a tweak of the tax code here, or adjustment of a benefit program there, but what we have is a pretty darn good system, why in fact it’s the best in the world. On the other hand, a society without authority, without a ruler, without a government? Why that is so off-the-charts crazy that only a Martian would think it was a good idea. Or maybe Charlie Sheen.

But reality is less black and white than that. History has shown us over and over again that it is a dangerous thing to give people power over others. Even through “free and democratic” elections. When you look closely at the services that government claims to provide, you see that the apparatus set up to deliver the service often causes more damage than the service is worth. And that the service is either contrary to the rule of law or can be provided much more effectively and efficiently by non-government organizations.

If you look under the covers of most government institutions, you will find many disagreeable things. Corruption. Destruction of values. Denigration of people. In addition to the confiscation of property and denial of liberty.

Most of what government does, and possibly ALL of what government does, is corrosive to the human soul. It robs us of our liberty, and it makes us dependent.

We need an awful lot less government than we have today. And it’s possible that we just don’t need government at all.

You have to think outside the box to handle the assertions made in this show. Slay a few sacred cows in your mental pasture, and give this one a listen. Comments welcome.

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  1. I really think you hit this one out of the park Pete!

    Personally, I like Voluntaryism - let everyone associate with whichever group they want. One can imagine the Amish doing what they do now, but not being bothered by the State collecting taxes and waging war in their name. Other people might form a socialist circle where they pool their resources for schools and fire/police, etc. Life isn't one size fits all, so how can a single (massive) government work well for everybody?

  2. Hey Pete,
    Long time since I posted anything, but I haven't missed any of your installments. I enjoy your podcasts more than most others I listen to.

    On to the topic at hand, though. The difference that I see between the elected goon and the mythical strongman arising in the absence of government boils down to one thing. The elected goon enjoys a purported "consent of the governed." This is the thing that keeps most of them from being tossed out of their "clown house", as Spirko puts it. There is this notion that, since they were elected to the position by at least a plurality of the votes, they are deserving of the office for their term.
    The elected goon will not hesitate to hold this over the heads of the voters. It becomes an instrument of mass extortion against those who believe in elections and democratic action.
    The non-elected goon has to preserve his position by brute force and extortion against individuals, families, etc. He is also much more likely to be removed from his position by the same methods he employs to achieve and maintain it.
    Don't think that this fact is lost on the psychopaths and sociopaths, who fancy themselves better suited to run your life than you.

    Jeff Anderson, aka Echo5Alpha

  3. Hey Pete, how's this for a buggout location?

    "LA Porn Studio Begins Construction On ‘Post-Apocalyptic’ Underground Bunker"