Controversial Observations

There are some things that seem so obvious to me, but seem to create considerable consternation when mentioned in public. Perhaps my fellow Steemians can offer some insight and help explore why these observations are so controversial?

Remember, what Charles Manson did on a small scale is identical to what politicians do on a large scale.

This is not exactly a new concept. In the 5th century AD, Saint Augustine expressed a similar sentiment in The City of God saying,

Indeed, that was an apt and true reply which was given to Alexander the Great by a pirate who had been seized. For when that king had asked the man what he meant by keeping hostile possession of the sea, he answered with bold pride, "What do you mean by seizing the whole earth; because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, while you who does it with a great fleet are styled emperor."

Augustine believed that a Christian ruler could alter this comparison by enforcing justice, but he did not understand the nature of government. It is consistent to say that government is organized crime, taxation is extortion, licenses are racketeering, wars are mass murder, and every victimless crime law is criminal. The nature of political power is corrupting, no matter how virtuous the intent of those who wield it, and it is a siren song to those who are already corrupt.

Government borders are not analogous to property lines, and the government that claims those borders is the biggest threat to your property.

Again, this is my response to "alt-right" claims that try to make government look like a protector of libertarian values. If my argument is correct in the first point, government borders are analogous to gang turf boundaries. I know people argue that elections and the Constitution mean we are represented by government, and government is just exercising our rights on our behalf through the authority it was granted by the democratic process, but political representation is a lie, and democracy is a myth. As Lysander Spooner wrote in his 1886 Letter to Grover Cleveland,

You have not so much as the honest signature of a single human being, granting to you or your lawmakers any right of dominion whatever over him or his property. [...] These votes were given in secret solely because those who gave them did not dare to make themselves personally responsible, either for their own acts, or the acts of their agents, the lawmakers, judges, etc.

These voters, having given their votes in secret (by secret ballot), have put it out of your power—and out of the power of all others associated with you in the government—to designate your principals individually. That is to say, you have no legal knowledge as to who voted for you, or who voted against you. And being unable to designate your principals individually, you have no right to say that you have any principals. And having no right to say that you have any principals, you are bound, on every just principle of law or reason, to confess that you are mere usurpers, making laws, and enforcing them, upon your own authority alone.

In short, government does not represent you, so its territorial claims are not an extension of Lockean property rights.

Dictatorships are anti-liberty, period. Neither Pinochet nor Stalin was a hero.

It's hard to believe this is a controversial opinion, but I personally know members of the "alt-right" who claim that Pinochet's tyranny was justified because he targeted communists, and I know socialists who idolize Stalin as a hero. I certainly oppose attempts by Communists to seize political power, but I also know that the enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend. I am hardly a supporter of the Russian monarchy, but I can't support Stalin's brutal regime or misguided centrally planned economy either. How is it rational to imagine that "right wing" totalitarianism is better than "left wing" totalitarianism, or vice versa, and that acceptance of totalitarianism won't backfire?

If nothing else, consider the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This means don't be a tyrant if you don't want to be subject to a tyrant. Don't support political plunder or police brutality against your adversaries if you don't want your adversaries using such means against you. Be consistent rather than petty and vengeful.

Do you agree or disagree with any of these arguments? Comment below!


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Jacob T.
Bad Quaker, market anarchist, librarian, gamer
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