A Facebook friend asked some questions about my political philosophy, and I am echoing my answers here for posterity. If you have questions for me, I encourage you to ask them. I know that I can be tough to take, but I also know that I talk about things you have never heard about from anyone ever before. I’m happy to help you see the world as I see it, if I can.
Here is my Facebook response:
Actual disgovernance, to use Vernon Vinge’s term, is probably not a near-term likelihood. Governmental collapse, on the other hand, may be imminent.
> You would take things that far, no government.
There is no government. Never has been, for the simple reason that all human behavior is exclusively self-controlled. Most individuals seek peace and plenty, which is why everything works so well. A few individuals — criminals — strive to live by predation. When a gang of criminals gains enough power to affect to dominate everyone else, we call that gang the government. Yet the actual domination imposed by government is never anything other than a pose, as “The War on Drugs” illustrates. You can bind or imprison human beings, or you can kill them or inflict permanent but non-lethal brain damage upon them, but as long as a genetic Homo sapiens is alive as a human being, there is nothing you can do to control that person’s purposive actions, choices or thoughts, and everything you might think of to try — and fail — to do to control other people will make human life worse, not better, starting with your own life.
You cannot eat rocks, but you can kill yourself trying to eat rocks. My take is that, since government cannot exist in the way that you want it to, the sensible thing to so is to accept reality for what it is and respond accordingly. You cannot control other people’s behavior, no matter how strident your laws, how bellicose your threats or how mammoth your prisons. But other people control their own behavior perfectly, and accepting this fact and letting them live as they choose — just as you wish to live as you choose — will result in salutary benefits all around.
> I think we see enough bad people even in our nation that government needs to fill some role in keeping the peace,
The very worst sorts of sociopaths are attracted to government because that’s where the power is. Accumulating psychos in an asylum might make sense. Giving them control of thermonuclear arsenals? Not so much.
Ordinary criminals are very easily dealt with in a society where every adult is armed and dangerous. Petty criminals persist at the margins right now, living lives of unquiet desperation, because the state, the mafia of superior firepower, keeps them around to scare the quality folk. When everyone stops pretending that Batman will rescue them, determined criminals will in very short order be dead criminals, while those less committed to a life of poverty-by-predation will quietly join the middle class.
I expect you won’t accept that assertion, though it seems perfectly pellucid to me. But as a fallback, do the math: How much damage do you imagine that dumbass freelance criminals could do to you, and how much are you losing in time, effort, tax money, regulatory hinderances, opportunity costs and compounded interest value to be “protected” from petty crime? Most people are out at least 40% of everything they produce in their lives — 40% slavery — but I’m betting your number is higher than that. Note that your children will have it much worse. Precisely what are you so afraid of that it is worth it to you to sacrifice half or more of your life for “protection”?
> not to mention paving roads
There is nothing about any sort of construction that requires the use of force, and the dumbass one-size-fits-all mentality that obtains in all criminal enterprises ensures that everything governments do will be done badly and at outrageous cost.
I’ve been frustratedly interested in roads-writ-large since I was a teenager, and it is astounding to me how badly the state performs this one function. It cannot do anything wisely or well, since crime cannot pay. But we miss out on everything that could exist in transportation by giving the job to the worst possible party. I wrote some notes on these ideas recently, and I’ll post them at SplendorQuest.com in a day or two. (Done — GSS)
> and supplying a monetary system. Would you suppose we trade in gold, that is basically a barter system.
More of the same. In the absence of the criminal monopolization of commerce, private banks of issue could easily do what their clients want them to do. On the one hand, the so-called “business cycle” would not exist, since national economic turbulence is caused by central banking. On the other hand, the investment practices of local banks would be easy to monitor by watching the exchange value of their outstanding notes.
Governments monopolize banking in order to steal from you and your children. There is no such thing as a world without peril, a world without risk, or a world where anything of value is “free.” But by encouraging you to believe that these fantasies can exist, that state distracts you from paying mindful attention to the real world while it picks your pockets and enslaves your kids.
Government is crime, and everything it does makes human life worse, not better. Without it, the human mind might well have conquered death itself by now. With it, there is every chance that we will eradicate all life on Earth, instead. How is that a good bargain?
Meanwhile: Thanks for asking. I live in a world that, seemingly, no one else can even see. It’s nice to have visitors. 😉
As an amendatory note, for a full understanding of human autonomy and sovereignty — exclusive self-control — see Man Alive, especially Chapter 11. And for a summary of some of those ideas in video, take a look at Embracing your inner anarchist.