"I cannot accept, your canon that we are to judge pope and king unlike other men, with a favorable presumption that they do no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way against holders of power....Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." ~ Lord Acton
There Will Be No Victorious State
Column by Alex R. Knight III.
Exclusive to STR
One of the most absurd characteristics of democracy to me is the unspoken yet obviously present belief on the part of all active participants that ultimately, one day, through enough intellectual persuasion – or even underhanded political tactics so often openly engaged in – a single ideology will prevail, trouncing in some final imagined electoral victory any and all other voices, ideas, desires, motivations, and ambitions once and for all time. A unilateral consensus broad enough to withstand any future assaults will be achieved, allowing for the unmolested (or at least not seriously threatened) reign of a single party or group for the rest of all time. But it gets even better.
Of course, anyone familiar with my philosophical stance knows that I regard all governments – not just so-called democratic ones – as absurd and barbaric. And not the least reason for which is because every one of them is predicated upon the concept of applying some measure or another of aggressive violence against certain groups at certain times in order to attempt to bring about certain socio-economic outcomes.
If there exists a better definition of both evil and insanity, I’d love to see it. And yet, this is precisely what is called, in academic terms, “political science.” Dr. Josef Mengele is no doubt grinning with approval at this artfully sanitized label from the very depths of Hades.
Average Americans constantly battle each other over what is so euphemistically called “public policy.” They get in each others’ faces, and go for each others’ throats. And all over what the “law” ought, or ought not, to allegedly be.
The “law.” An opinion, dreamed up by and agreed upon by some bureaucrats, and enforced with violence. Including the lethal kind.
There will always be conflict in the world. Human beings are very disagreeing, if not always disagreeable, creatures when they congregate. In one sense, this is both beneficial and necessary: Unless everyone agreed on everything objectively true there is to know, no kind of scientific progress could be made. Hence, humanity would stagnate, and ultimately perish. Disagreement and failure are literally the only means we have available to ascertain the truth about the world and universe around us, and thus, survive. When we disagree about the subjective, this is most often in the form of harmless preferences, in which there is no real “right” or “wrong” answer: e.g., I like ham on rye, you prefer peanut butter and jelly. I dig The Who, you’re more of a Led Zeppelin fan. There are no rights or wrongs in these cases because no one else’s person or property is affected. Whatever choice is made, no aggression takes place.
Now one might argue that the end of the State in favor of a voluntary society involves aggression in itself, since it deprives those who wish to live under government rule of that choice, just as those – like myself – who wish to live without such governance are similarly deprived of such a choice. But such an argument falls flat, and for the following reasons:
A voluntary society means first off, an absence of initiated aggressive force. Whereas, a State’s very foundation depends upon aggression in order to exist. Further, the supposed “right” to governance implies that there is also a “right” to direct such unprovoked initiation of aggression against others. If so, by what authority? Can anyone claim to possess such with any measure of legitimacy? And further, if those who desire governance wish to band together within the context of a voluntary society and create such conditions exclusively among themselves – without the unwilling participation of even a single person – they’d be more than free to do so. However, such speculation may be simply academic: In order for a voluntary society to be such, enough people would have to concur on its basic premises so as to make any remaining believers in statism a minority comparable to the number of today’s voluntaryists. In other words, a complete reversal of the present paradigm – and nothing less – will suffice.
This is why programs of instruction such as this are so vital, along with other educational resources like Strike The Root. But it is also why there will never be a victorious State. So long as the paradigm of initiated aggression is accepted and generally tolerated, the end result of most conflict in the world will be utterly destructive -- whereas the disagreements most inherent to a voluntary society would likely bear the productive fruit of both reason and progress.