Sunday, March 21, 2010

An exercise in futility: "Throw the bums out!"

My friend Billy Beck writes,
I keep hearing about how this DeathCare deal will be the end of the Democrats in November. I cannot think of a single reason why that should matter, and there are many why it doesn't. (For instance: when this thing is in the bag and done, who do you think is going to come along and take it all apart? Like Medicaid, for instance? {snort} Stop with the comedy, already. You will go to your grave carrying this rock.)
Jack Gargan's movement that began in 1990, and the "Contract with America" nonsense of 1994, really did a lot to restore liberty to this land, huh?

There's a line in Heinlein's novel Friday:

"If the horse can't jump the hurdle, shoot the horse. Keep on doing this and eventually you will find a horse that can clear the jump -- if you don't run out of horses. This is the sort of plausible pseudologic that most people bring to political affairs. It causes one to wonder if mankind is capable of being well governed by any system of government."

This was in an exchange discussing the assassination of bad public officials, but it still applies to Americans' notions of voting out bad politicians. Tea Partiers and other similar groups figure that eventually they'll elect someone "good" and undo what bad people had created. History has shown, though, that this trial-and-error has never worked, and if you think about it a little, there's a very good reason it never will.

Ask yourself what this "hurdle" is. It is governing, which can indeed be done "well" -- in that the people are restrained (to whatever end) by government. It only takes enough force to do that, because "governing" in all cases, without exception, is merely rule. (Note to Billy: it took me until a couple of years ago to realize "in all cases, without exception.") And the last sentence is no problem, because anyone can be "well governed" if he submits.

Libertarians like to talk about "restraining those who violate life, liberty and property," but as an ex-libertarian I must ask, why does a government need to apply to me, since I violate no one's rights in the first place? The very reason, the only reason, for the state's existence is because I and others refuse to surrender our lives, our liberty, our conscience, to the decisions of others. I don't need to force others in anything, because I will use peaceful mutual exchange to get things from others. Virtually all of society, however, cannot get what they want from me without force. Thus they band together, calling it a "government." There is actually no shortage of people who can do that "effectively," whether forming the government in the first place or acting as its "officials," and it's really quite easy to do:
Give us what we demand, cried out the multitude, lest we seize it by force.

And the merchant replied, Depart in peace while ye yet can, for ye have no right to my possessions save with my consent, and as I have done no wrong to any man, none of ye have any authority to seize any of my possessions.

Behold, cried out his neighbors with one voice, that we have declared ourselves a government, and as such we have given ourselves the authority.

The merchant replied, Ye have no authority, for one cannot give authority unto oneself.

That matters not, they replied and began to grumble, for we are a greater number than thee and thy family, and because of our greater numbers, we have decided that thou shalt pay us tribute.
The paradox is that when voters cast their ballots and call it "democracy," they're not setting a "hurdle" for an election winner to follow. It's the election winner that will make them jump hurdles, And when any particular citizen-subject cannot clear the hurdle that has been set for "the people," then the government need have no compunction at all to dispose of him.

Once you understand the nature of government, the futility of voting in someone "good" becomes evident. It isn't possible to receive anything "good" from a system that is fundamentally based on forcing others against their peaceful wills. The only way to make government "better" is to restrain that, and it can't be done from within. It can only be done by individuals on the outside.


Blogger Underground Carpenter said...

Hi Perry,
The Republican Bums were thrown out because "The People" wanted to stop the constant wars. Now the Democrat Bums will be thrown out because "The People" don't want socialized medicine. Net result: Nothing. We'll still be bankrupting the country with constant wars and socialized medicine.
Fred Woodworth of The Match said it best: "Voting is an admission of your powerlessness."
This is not a problem that will be solved with pitchforks and torches. The problem is ideological, and with the current state of education, the outlook is dismal.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010 6:52:00 AM  

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