So I saw today that the government consulted with itself and decided to grant itself a new power. Now, according to them, they are legally allowed to kill “belligerent” journalists. See the article here.
Go ‘Merica!! Sadly most will not just accept this, but probably not pay much attention to it at all. If the government is doing it, they must have a good reason! Just like the TPP that they’ve more or less passed now. A free trade agreement!; that’s always good! (except that government free trade is always the opposite of free trade.)
What if Business Tried to be Government?
Let’s consider if other entities tried to act like the state.
What if Exxon violently took over the retail gasoline industry. Then they decide that since they’re providing us the important service of fuel pumps, and since there is no one else to do it (because they violently keep them out of the market) we all must “contribute” an extra $50 a month. Would people just accept this and eventually be saying, “But without Exxon, who will fuel the cars?! If you don’t like Exxon, you can go to Somalia!” [taxes and the myth of the state]
Now lets imagine the dairy industry doesn’t like all these alternative milk options. How dare these people come in to our territory with their Almond, Soy, Cashew, and Coconut milks! We won’t let this happen! This is our turf. So they declare all alternative milk products illegal and hire a security firm to hunt down all offenders. They figure out it’s a pretty nice way to make some extra money by handing out “contraband milk fines” and making people pay fees in milk court. So they don’t completely take over the alternative milk industries, but they create an artificial black market that they can profit off of. [the drug war and other controls and prohibitions]
What if Walmart was just sick and tired of shoplifters. So they decide they’re no longer going to bother with calling the police, or giving warnings, or giving the people the benefit of the doubt, or treating people like human beings. If they even suspect anyone of shoplifting they will be shot on the spot and dragged off to the trash compactor in the back. [the police state]
Or what if the pharmaceutical industry got together and decided, “you know what, we’re tired of all this information about our products getting out. We can’t have people knowing the truth. That’s just dangerous to public safety! So they call up some gang and hire them to put an end to it. Anyone caught telling the truth about how many of their products are dangerous, don’t work, or just flat out kill people – will be caged, “disappeared”, or “suicided”. [attacks on journalists, whistleblowers, etc.]
Granting Legitimacy to the Gang
Of course people would be appalled if businesses or individuals tried to act like this. So why are there different rules for government? And “because they’re the government and we need them to do what they do” is not an answer. “At the moment, I can’t personally imagine better, more peaceful ways for society to get along” is not an excuse for blindly granting government legitimacy to do evil things.
Do people think about what law and legality really are? The state is a violent monopolist in the market for law. Contrary to the popular notion that government is the objective framework that spans over society and allows us to peacefully coexist – that isn’t the case. Throughout human history, governments have been self driven, self motivated entities, intent on growing larger, stronger, and more powerful. The same goes no matter who is in charge; a king, a priest, a warlord, a senate, an emperor, or a president. At the fundamental level, nothing changed about that in 1776; just an elaborate 200+ year ruse was started to make people think they “governed themselves”, are better than the rest of the world, and are objectively “free”.
So when government wants to do something, it doesn’t need to convince us, or create a better product, or compete in the marketplace to be the chosen provider of services to society. Government is a violent monopoly. They will merely let us know they’ve made something legal or illegal and people don’t bat an eye . If we translated one of their speeches or press conferences it would sound like this… “We’ve investigated ourselves and found that we are not guilty, oh and while we’re at it, we’ve decided that we’re allowed to do a bunch of stuff; stuff that if anyone else did it, they’d be thrown in jail…and here’s your extra tax bill to pay for all this. Thanks, Your Government.”
To most people, anything the state does is good and legitimate. In America the “rule of law” supposedly sets us apart from the rest of the world. In reality, government law by its nature is arbitrary and corrupt. Law exists without the state. Morality exists without the state. And without the state, law and morality are closely interconnected. What is naturally a crime is also wrong. That is where the idea of crime comes from. Don’t commit assault, theft, fraud, rape, or murder. Just about anything else is probably an arbitrary command of some ruler.
The problem is, people have confused government law with natural law, and most dangerously attached morality to government laws. And with that, it’s a self fueling system, where any who disobey government edicts are “bad”, and those who obey the state are “good”. The “laws” they make are just subjective dictates of a monopolist though.
We Must Look Inward
Some might see this makes sense, and say “yeah! why does government get to play by different rules?!” Well I don’t think this phenomenon is entirely some problem “out there” or with “the system”. To a large extent, this is a problem in our own minds. We accept contradictions and exceptions to the basic laws of human behavior, and within our own minds, accept the notion that government has “authority” to do what it does. When we are young we learn as an absolute don’t hit others and don’t take their things, but for some reason, we discard that idea if government is involved.
Fueled by our own contradictions and fears of the unknown, we grant the state legitimacy and defend the way they operate. Sure we make tiny cuts here and there to the beast, winning some small victory, airing some truth, repealing some law – but we never get to the heart of the matter – that it is wrong for some group of people calling themselves a government (no matter if they wear a crown or suits with lapel pins) to create arbitrary rules that we must follow, or else be throw in a cage, or killed. Their “authority” is nothing more than an imaginary idea. We don’t actually need to be “lead”, and no person or group has any moral or natural legitimacy to violently control other human beings.
Seeking Freedom and Spreading the Message
And again, “But I can’t imagine any other way of doing things!” is not an adequate reason to shut this out of your mind and never question the nature of government. I think there are most definitely better ways of getting along as humans. We don’t have to keep demanding to be ruled. Believe it or not, it is possible, has been done, and happens everyday – that we can live peacefully and without rulers. Seek out the answers, empower yourselves, and share what you find with your family and friends.
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Freedom! by Adam Kokesh – free in all forms online, or possible to purchase physical books
Many of the ideas in this article regarding authority and legitimacy come from Larkin Rose. See more below.
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