"[T]here are, at bottom, basically two ways to order social affairs, Coercively, through the mechanisms of the state -- what we can call political society. And voluntarily, through the private interaction of individuals and associations -- what we can call civil society. ... In a civil society, you make the decision. In a political society, someone else does. ... Civil society is based on reason, eloquence, and persuasion, which is to say voluntarism. Political society, on the other hand, is based on force." ~ Ed Crane
Not Mainstream, Just Consistent
Column by Alex R. Knight III.
Exclusive to STR
An article from April of last year that just came to my attention is one that I find both astonishing and encouraging in scope. It was published by no less than Forbes magazine, and its author, Lawrence Hunter, according to the accompanying bio, was a “former staff director of the congressional Joint Economic Committee, former vice president and chief economist of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and former Reagan White House adviser.”
When you’ve had a chance to read the piece for yourself, you might then appreciate why I find such so amazing. There’s even a quote, appropriately hyperlinked, from Stefan Molyneaux, in addition to ones from Mencken and von Mises. Hunter does stop short of calling Market Anarchy by name outright, but you get the feeling that perhaps this might’ve been a bit much for Forbes’ editorship to condone. Indeed, it seems Hunter recently had another article dropped by Forbes, linking the use of various psychiatric drugs to instances of gun violence. Such, it would seem, is the conduct expected of those who wish to enjoy the perks and “respectability” of remaining “mainstream.”
But Hunter seems to be at least one person who has been inner sanctum “mainstream” firsthand – and has decided he didn’t at all like what he saw. Or what he’s seeing now. Here’s a little bit of “mainstream” from 2008 right here. And of course, Obama, like all politicians and bureaucrats, has since proven himself to be a liar. No big surprise there.
What baffles me is how anyone continues to believe that it is correct or legitimate for any other person, under any circumstances, to publicly proclaim that they will not take your shotgun, your rifle, your handgun – and actually have the perceived authority to back that up. In other words, why should such an individual’s claim to even contemplate such a decision be tolerated, ever?
If we knew the definitive answer to that, through and through, essays such as this one would scarcely be necessary. Social conditioning, indoctrination, lack of critical thinking . . . valid analyses, all. Yet, let’s tackle this monster from a different angle.
With regard to guns, we have seen an extremely robust outpouring of quite correctly indignant, often enraged, protest at the Obama/Democrat-fueled assaults on personal liberty. So much so that, other than in the already benighted statist dungeon called New York, almost all of these efforts have already been projected to fail.
Of course, this is no time and there is no reason to be lackadaisical. While I do not endorse or recommend voting, I do still believe in making a hell of a lot of well-projected and cogent noise when what few freedoms I have remaining are threatened, and so if you are of a like mind, you might just consider joining these good folks here, and here, and here. Being located in Vermont myself, where virtually any gun control in any form is absolutely verboten and non-grata, I am active with these fine people as well. (If you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned the largest and most well known of these organizations, then I invite you to read a prior STR piece published here. And that’s not the only reason by far in the nearly five years since I wrote it.)
This is all admirable, and gives me hope. What irks me, however, is that there is no uniformity with regard to the underlying principles involved here. In short, why is there no such similar animation, outrage, and resistance when it comes to taxation – a massive imposition of absolute injustice upon one and all at the hands of the pestilential disease known as government?
The list of State-imposed tyrannies, both small and large, obscure and in-your-face, could go on ad infinitum, and do. And yes, it is true that any caveman knows he is better off with a club or a spear than without one, while not necessarily possessing the same level of insight when it comes to something he believes to be part of some “social contract” or “civic duty.” Were that introspection achieved, and appropriate action to follow on as massive of a scale as we have seen of late regarding gun ownership, government would be disbanded in short order and true individual liberty – not license – would prevail, as Hunter alludes to above.
Gun owners have flexed their muscles and their wills of late, and it’s paying off. How about being consistent, and going the rest of the way?