By Fighting over the Gun that is Government, Both Liberals and Conservatives Contradict Themselves

Last ferry to Ms Liberty

In the acrimonious political atmosphere of the early twenty-first century, where Obama fans desperately defend their latter-day Luke Skywalker at all costs and without much introspection, where authoritarian conservatives fall back to their contrived small-government script and where the middle just wants to know what’s in it for them, those few of us talking about liberty and refusing to choose between the Tweedledee-Tweedledum, false dichotomy of Republicrats and Demopublicans or liberty and security tend to get funny looks when we’re not outright ignored as incomprehensible ideologues.

Liberty Underpins Both Teams

However, both right and left desperately need to recognize the value of liberty. Liberty – the freedom from your fellow man to do what you think best for yourself as long as you don’t initiate force against anyone else – underpins their very existence. Without liberty, the distinction between liberals and conservatives evaporates, since the freedom to discover, hold, advocate for, practice, defend and financially support your principles presupposes the liberty to do so!

Stop Fighting over the Gun

So when you fail to challenge this system whereby certain people doing business as “The Government” claim the right to limit your liberty for your own good, but instead validate it by fighting over:

  • which little dictator gets to give you orders;
  • which little dictator should be removed from power;
  • which inefficient, pork-laden “program” to benefit the friends of the little dictators you should force each other to pay for;
  • which innocent foreign people to initiate force against, when and with which overly-devastating and expensive weapons to be produced by which friends of the little dictators;
  • which of your liberties the little dictators should infringe upon; and
  • which friends of the little dictators should get the property you worked so hard for that they took from you with a credible threat of force,

You Bring Closer the Day of your Destruction

What you are really doing is acting against yourself and the very principles you hold so dearly. By validating the people who do business as “The Government” – an entity that can only violate your liberties, never give you any – and the forceful actions it takes to get what it wants, you erase your own right to dispose of your property and act freely however you see fit, thereby bringing closer the day when you, the ones you love and the ideals that guide your life will be trampled underfoot by drooling legions of lock-step government-lovers who think they know what is best for you and have the right to force it down your throat, no matter what principles you hold dear.

A Thought Experiment

Let’s say you have a favorite government program. Maybe it’s Social Security, the police, the war on terror or public education. Do you really want the government program? Or the value that it provides? If you like Social Security, you want to be secure in your old age, and because you care about your fellow man, you want that security for them, too. If you like the war on terror, you don’t want to see innocent people harmed, you just want to be safe from attack and for the terrorists to be brought to justice.

Imagine all the Good

These are admirable and worthy goals. You rejoice at the idea of seeing them implemented. Imagine all the good that would come out of it and how much better off everyone would be!

Persuasion or Force

You’re faced with two options: use persuasion to convince other people to participate in your program, or use force. If you choose the former, you believe you have equal authority to others. You respect each person’s right to make their own decisions. If you choose force, however, you believe you know better than others what is good for them. You believe you have the right to run other people’s lives and spend their money – even against their will. You agree that “might makes right“.

By Using Force You Contradict Yourself

If you choose the path of force – government – you contradict yourself. You want people to be free to enjoy their retirement, free from terrorist attack, free from theft or free to be productive and enlightened. But when you involve government, you’re also saying “I know better than you what’s good for you. Do as I say, or I will send men with guns to make you do as I say!” The contradiction in this line of thinking is obvious: You want to use force to make people free.

Abjure the Initiation of Force

Abandon the Red Team vs Blue Team partisan games. They serve not only to distract you from the real battle – Liberty vs Servitude – but also to gain your implicit consent for the side of Servitude. Your team is Liberty; nothing good for you can come without it. Don’t let the other team trick you into abandoning it! Don’t affix your personal stamp of approval to your own bondage.

Photo credit: J Gutierrez. Photo license.

By George Donnelly

I'm building a tribe of radical libertarians to voluntarize the world by 2064. Join me.

4 replies on “By Fighting over the Gun that is Government, Both Liberals and Conservatives Contradict Themselves”

“By Using Force You Contradict Yourself”
au contraire. If a rapist was attacking your wife, and you knew what you were doing as far as violence, you’d employ it. If your best friend in the world was being held in a cage, and you had the power to set them free, but only by risking killing the guards, you’d do it.

By initiating force, they invite it. Now then, this is not good PR, but then again, until the rebels started killing redcoats (defending their guns), the colonies were openly molested and cowed as well. There were always Brit sympathizers as well.

We don’t use violence, only because we are weak. Otherwise, why allow 550,000 innocent people per year to be killed by the FDA blacklist on information? No good reason for that, …is there? Are we cowards? Or are we physically weaker than the state? Or do we agree that 550,000 innocent people should die for no reason other than to protect big pharma’s governmental investors?

How is that justified?

The state IS violence, and violence used in an ugly way.

There are better ways (possibly not invented yet), to rebel without violence. …But within the limits of our physical means, skilled retaliatory violence is the most likely way to prevent gross injustice and democide. I may lack the skills necessary for such a thing, but I don’t begrudge those who don’t. The world is full of all kinds of people, with all kinds of skillsets.

Asked another way, would you allow a weak little 8 year old to climb into your neighbor’s window and spray each of the family members in the whole household with bullets? What if he had just done that to three houses in a row? And he’s walking towards your house now?

He’s irrational and you are rational and well defended. Do you lay down and accept the death of your family as ‘inevitable’?

Why then, when the ATF and DEA behave in an identical way, do we counsel “education” as they go about murdering innocents in an irrational way? They completely refuse to even acknowledge logic, reason, the facts, or truth. They do nothing but murder, miseducate our kids, and imprison innocent people. That’s their full time job, and they aren’t slowing down for anyone. They refuse to even debate us. The ONDCP chair is not even allowed –according to his job description!– to question whether drugs should be illegal. …The same with the ATF!!!

–I lack the balls to be violent. I openly admit it. I am a coward.

I cannot criticize or condemn those who are not. I wish them well.

“If there is any hope, it lies with the proles.”

-Freedom Jury

“By Using Force You Contradict Yourself” au contraire.

You took that out of context. I’m talking about people initiating force via this thing called “The Government”. The scenarios you posit are uses of defensive force. I have said nothing against the use of defensive force.

In fact, I’m a big fan of defensive force. :)

That said, I think Gandhi was right. Sometimes you have to pocket the insult, turn the other cheek and respond with firm love (satyagraha). Gandhi says:

I have also called it love-force or soul-force. In the application of satyagraha, I discovered in the earliest stages that pursuit of truth did not admit of violence being inflicted on one’s opponent but that he must be weaned from error by patience and compassion. For what appears to be truth to the one may appear to be error to the other. And patience means self-suffering. So the doctrine came to mean vindication of truth, not by infliction of suffering on the opponent, but on oneself.

But you can bet I would gun down anyone who attempts to fire on my family.

Everyone is a coward. It’s difficult to overcome and nothing to be ashamed of. One simply must persevere. But I think Satyagraha is a better tool for overcoming tyranny than the use of defensive force, no matter how right that force may be.

Oh that is an interesting video. Geez.

Thanks for commenting. :)

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