Well surprise surprise, looks like I’m behind again. University stuff, mostly. Been meeting with my teachers a lot–extra help and the like. Turns out that the differences between True Pure Land Buddhism and the more classical mainland Mahayana schools were more subtle than I’d thought.
But enough about my useless degree! I’ll get back on track. Expect The Solution to be ready by Wednesday at the absolute latest.
Hmmm…it really does sound rather sinister, doesn’t it? Like I’m a supervillain describing his latest evil invention…
Anyways, for those of you who missed the announcement, this is The Problem, the first part of a two-part series that will serve as essentially a brief overview of what I see as the major problem facing the world today and what I see as a likely solution. You can essentially see this as Voluntarydactyl’s Grand Grand Unifying Theory of What the Hell is Going On (hint: The State).
I’m certainly not the first person to consider these things, nor could I ever claim to be. How many of our thoughts can we truly ever call our own anyway? So a lot of different thinkers have contributed to this brief synopsis, most notably the work of the always excellent Larken Rose, with a smattering of Lysander Spooner and various other folks.
So now we come to the big question: what is The Problem? There have been thousands upon turgid thousands of pages written on this topic, but I feel safe in saying that it can all be condensed down into one word: Leviathan.
What is that? Essentially, Leviathan is authority. But, I must point out, a specific kind of authority. Leviathan is government authority, and therefore by definition hypocritical authority. No other type of social authority gets that sort of moral pass. When your father uses his parental authority and tells you not to steal, you instantly lose respect for him when you catch him smashing open your little brother’s piggybank for meth money (yes, I know that dad’s got a lot of other things wrong with him. But the moral argument still stands). But you let your government “authority” get away with violating all manner of societal and ethical norms every day. You went to a public school and were taught (as much as that word can apply to anything public schools do) that being a good neighbor meant being considerate and not stealing or assaulting people. At the same time, the government funding those schools routinely demanded money from your parents without their consent (taxation) under threat of kidnapping and possible rape/death (arrest and prison time), with the possibility of death if they resisted. And all of society, all of whom understood perfectly well that extortion and kidnapping were wrong, cheered them on.
Morality for thee, but not for me.
Leviathan is the authority that hides behind respectability, much like its namesake hides in the deepest sea. It is authority based in coercion and threats instead of consent and respect. It is the violent and exploitative entity that hides its brutality behind a perceived moral right. It don’t think it would be very controversial to say that we all generally see violence as a bad thing. And almost everyone lives their lives based upon that principle, and holds others to that principle in turn. But almost all of us give Leviathan a special exemption from these basic instinctually-ingrained rules of behavior. Most people think that if we just call it theft and murder by a different name, then it suddenly becomes moral, justified, and necessary for civilization.
What other social authority do we let get away with that? None. When Leviathan controls the education of the young, Leviathan gains a stranglehold on the minds of the adults those children will become. And oh, does it set to work on them. It turns different segments of the population against one another in an unending pseudo-bloodless civil war for free stuff. It promotes nonsensical and self-refuting ideas of “equality” to justify its expansion. It encourages patronage and rent-seeking, because it provides them with a steady stream of patsies eager to prop up its moral facade. It sticks its tendrils into even the most private, personal, and (dare I say it) sacred elements of your life under the guise of protecting you. It can manipulate currencies and markets on a planetary scale and destroy economies with a scribbled signature. It sends your friends and family of to die for lies and empty promises of freedom. Its villainies can’t even be reined in by economic constraints, because unlike other social authorities, it gets to steal more funding whenever it wants to, because it knows we’ll let it.
How does it know? Because we love it. We’ve been raised to love it. We’ve been bred to love it.*
Leviathan breaks every possible moral law and social taboo with impunity, because we love it.
The concept of government as currently understood, the Leviathan itself, is not just prone to violence and abuse. That loophole, that one blind spot in the collective mindset of humanity, that cynical lie is the only thing separating Leviathan from just being another healthy and beneficial social institution. It is without a doubt the primary force of violence and corruption in the world today. Even the Catholic Church is peanuts compared to this monstrous idea. It would seem that trying to end this monster is a moral imperative for anyone who values their freedom first and foremost.
But what about all the people who just…don’t?
What about the hundreds of millions of good, everyday folks who just want to live their lives peacefully without making waves?
What about the people who’ve lived in the stomach of Leviathan for so long that they’ve forgotten how to be human, the people so self-domesticated even the thought of a new way terrifies them?
What about the devotees of the largest religion in human history (Leviathan-worship), the people who feel like they gain genuine meaning in their lives from rituals like voting, and who would probably have a better time of things if they stayed domesticated?
What about the sociopaths who cling to Leviathan like barnacles for the dark thrill of wielding power, and who would return to cause mayhem and evil in the private sector if the government ended?
Smashing the state sounds all well and good, but what about the empty people in the world who’d be better off being herded around? Is it really right to force them to compete in a world they’d be morally and experientially unprepared for? Just imagine how much of a pain all those ex-government employees are going to be to re-integrate. Not to mention all the welfare recipients who’ve grown so used to dependency that they wouldn’t know what to do with freedom once they had it. We need to take these things into consideration if we want our children to live in a free and happy world.
*People genetically predisposed to value independence and personal agency tend not to see much need for government. They also tend to be killed by policemen (“tax evasion”)and totalitarian regimes (“treason,” “right-deviatonism”). Given all of the independent-minded people murdered by their own governments in the last two centuries alone, I’d honestly be surprised if this didn’t have some sort of net dysgenic effect on humanity as a whole. When the individualists die off quickly, the less independent-minded have an evolutionary advantage. Thus the once noble Homo sapiens sapiens slouches towards his fate as free-range tax livestock for the sharply-dressed statesmen. Funny, the first aristocrats were land-holding farmers as well…