Thursday, March 12, 2009

The State Is Not The Problem

Picture in your mind for a moment the image of a crazy man angrily shaking his fist at a non-existent foe.

Many libertarians are passionate defenders of the right to bear arms. They say things like …

“Guns don’t hurt people. People hurt people.”

I would argue, however, that libertarians who blame the state for violence have a lot in common with those who blame guns for violence.

The state is just another kind of weapon is it not?
It doesn’t hurt anyone on its own.
It’s just a tool.

“The state doesn’t hurt people. People hurt people.”

Ponder that disturbing truth for a moment.

The state is not the problem.

The state is just one type of weapon that people use to impose their will on each other.

The problem is not the weapon.

The problem is with those who seek to use the weapon to force their will on others.

More specifically, the problem is the pattern of thinking that gives rise to the desire to exercise control over our fellow human beings.

I submit that if people did not desire to impose their will on each other there would be no state.

The real enemy of freedom and the root cause of all conflict and violence in the world is that pattern of thinking in the mind of man that gives rise in him to a desire to impose his will on his fellow man.

So the critically important question to ask is “Why?”.

Why do people desire to impose their will on each other?

You need only search your heart to find the answer.


The state is not the problem.

FEAR is the problem.

You can completely destroy the state but if man has not learned to condition his mind to overcome FEAR he will just find another weapon he can use to impose his will on his fellow man.

Somalia proved that did it not?

Admittedly, this is a humbling truth that is difficult to accept. Many libertarians have spent their entire lives railing against the evils of the state.

If you are one of these, please consider the disturbing possibility that the crazy man shaking his fist at a non-existent foe might be you.


My apologies to any of my libertarian friends who might find this to be offensive. My goal was not to offend. Rather it was to challenge your thinking. I have found that sometimes patterns of thinking are so deeply ingrained that it sometimes requires a bit of a shock in order to get us to question them.

I believe very strongly that achieving the free society we all dream of requires us to radically change our entire way of thinking about the nature of the problem and, consequently, the range of solutions that might be effective in solving it.

One of the most fascinating things about the world in which we live is that problems which at first appear to be complex and intractable often turn out to have staggeringly simple root causes that can go undetected for decades or more. In such situations, solving the problem by dealing directly with its root cause can result in an almost magical melting away of the heretofore observed complexity.

I strongly believe that to be the case here and make the following bold prediction: The day that man learns to condition his mind to face and overcome his fears will be the day in which the state itself will cease to exist. More so, all forms of coercion, conflict and violence will simply disappear as humanity enters into a new age of emotional maturity and bids farewell to the age of barbarism.

The resultant ripple-effect of changes to human society of this one simple change will be of such staggering vastness that it may well be impossible to predict exactly what the world would look like. There is, however, one thing of which we can be sure. It is a world worth fighting for.


Anonymous said...

Violence is not the answer. "B" is the answer.

Damon Lile said...

That other comment was my comment. And the author of that comment has amazing insight.

pierre_georges said...

I agree and I would add an element of reflexion.

Yesterday an old man with good intentions told me "but if you take the State away, it will be war."

It was not even the will of this man to impose his will on his fellow man, that made him want a State, but rather his fear of chaos (so it is still fear at the root, but not acting the same way). We where teached this: institutions and police help us have a peaceful world.

So, I would say that it is not only the will (of imposing ...) that makes State exist, but also ignorance and habits. We need to learn that we can live on our own, and that the world will not be chaotic, then.

In this aim (learning that we don't need a State), we need to have less State, because State makes the decisions instead of us, and makes us children. The more State decides for us, the less we do ourselves, and the more we think we need help and protection. State is a drug, we need a detox cure.

As you said, I think that fear is a root of lots of bad behaviors and constructions, so we have to learn live with fear (I don't believe in a world without any fear), and for that we need to have less State to "protect" us.

And I still agree with you that eliminating State should not be "the main thing to do", but it is one of the things to do.

pierre_georges said...

You could say that people who want a State "to stop war" are imposing their will to a fellow man, by creating a State to impose peace.
This would make my example fit into your explanation.

Still, we need to be State-detoxed and for that temporary State elimination is good.