Statists think of freedom in a contradictory way. For instance, they say things like this…
“People should be free from want.”
To the Statist mind this means that if some are hungry then others must be forced to feed them.
The end sought is noble, but look at the means…
Some people must lose their freedom to choose so that others can be free from want.
I too want to see everyone fed. I’m eager to help finance efficient means for achieving this, but I do not consider The State to be efficient. This does not matter to the Statists, who maintain that I must be compelled to comply with their way of doing things, against my will.
The Statist insists on dictating…
In other words…
The Statist wants to enslave me for however long I must work to fund his monopolistic approach to achieving our mutual goal.
We both want everyone to be free from serious deprivation, but only the Statist is willing to enslave people to achieve this.
Statists sometimes pursue worthy goals, but the means they choose are vile and contradictory. The Statist destroys the most fundamental kind of freedom in the name of a lesser kind. To the befuddled Statist mind, freedom requires slavery.
Copyright (c) 2013 by Perry Willis. Permission to distribute this article for educational purposes is granted, if done with attribution to the author and the Zero Aggression Project. Permission to use for commercial purposes is denied. You can find a full explanation of our copyright policy here.
Nice and concise way of getting right to the heart of the matter. People often lose site of the fact that many goals are shared between liberals, conservatives, libertarians, Democrats, Republicans or whatever. The important part is how we go about achieving goals. Force is not the answer, voluntary cooperation is.
To expand on Michael’s comment, the fact that we disagree with the State on its programs does not mean that we disagree with the end goal…It’s that we disagree with the method of achieving the goal. The State feels that it knows better than the people what needs to be done and wants to use the threat of force to fund its goals. The ZAP principle,also known as the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP), wishes to achieve the same goals through the voluntary association of individuals working together to achieve a common goal.
The real divide in our perspectives is not political parties or religion – it’s about a belief in authority (hierarchy) or belief in true freedom, which of course requires personal responsibility. To believe in authority is to believe in slavery.
I very much agree with you Cynthia. The mindset that advocates or submits to hierarchy is a big part of the problem.
I agree with both of you, however, I believe a distinction should be made between rightful authority, with checks and balances, and a hierarchy, where who ever is at the top is essentially autonomous. (a law unto himself or herself). The rule of law was something that most Founders supported, as long as that law did not unduly remove life, liberty, or property. The reason why some of the original Founders did not support the Constitution at first was that they realized, regardless of its connection to the Declaration of Independence, that without the Bill of Rights there was no law truly protecting individual rights. (This is why Samuel Adams withheld his signature). I agree as well that true freedom requires responsibility, and that when we don’t take responsibility for ourselves, some statist will try to, endangering life, liberty and property in the process.
On a side note, Francis Schaeffer warned us over 30 years ago about statism, and his words have been largely ignored by the majority of Christians, sad to say. R.C. Sproul has a link at his website , Ligonier.org, to an article he wrote on statism that is worth the read, especially if you profess the same faith as he does.
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Thanks for sharing this with your readers Militant Libertarian.
The differences between the U.N. and the U.S. Constitution are the difference between freedom and slavery. We live in a world,, but the U.N. wants us to serve something we were born into. That is slavery by circumstance. My view is this. I am not a member of a “Global community” ,nor ,do I owe any debt to the country I was born into. People can twist anything they want however ,my ONLY allegiance is to the principles I believe in by my own choice. Man has no impact on my choices as I believe in a loving ,caring God and I will serve no UN charter nor bow down to any man made ideas of what I should accept.
As I believe,,we are all endowed with the common sense to follow law. I will do so as I see necessary to fit in with society and as I follow the man made laws with common sense ,I will do unto others as they do unto me.
If I fail to live up to the laws of man,I will be given my due by the principles of life.However,,,relating to what is going on in the World,,I would say The USA should revoke ANY UN ties and follow a complete Isolation policy(Close all borders and kick the UN out of this land),,,we can only recover by taking care of our own land and people and tell the UN to go Bye Bye. (And take their phony climate change with them,,,and give their Agenda 21 to the evil excuse for humans who came up with this insanity. If they want to depopulate ,,they should start with themselves.
Shared your article at Popular Liberty, Against Statism and the Mystical View of the State, and think it is worthy of a book, as does at least one other person . Would you consider writing or co-writing a book on this?
I realized (after the first comment 🙁 ) at the end of the article that you were intending to write a book and include the article in it. Sorry about the question… I still believe it could make a book by itself, however. Especially when you look at the history of ‘statist’ churches, and how other believers were forced ‘underground’ to stay alive, there is a compelling case for statism, not faith being the issue.
“Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.”
― Frédéric Bastiat, The Law
Thanks for the quote Peggy. Bastiat was probably the greatest libertarian thinker of all time.
I’d also like to say that the appeal of authority is the idea that someone else will take care of it. When people have an authority to turn to to tell them what to do or what to think, they then don’t have to decide or do or think for themselves. Which in some people’s minds is an easier and better way of living. People who depend on intellectual authority aren’t thinking and don’t understand the subject, in which they are depending on said authority, to the degree that they are dependent. Essentially people can give their responsibility over to the authority. But, as freedom requires taking responsibility, when you give your responsibilities to someone else you also perforce relinquish your freedom to the degree that you give others responsibility over yourself.
But, it’s a specious idea with insidious results. In short, freedom hinges on people taking responsibility for themselves and their environments, communities, etc. The greater the responsibility taken the greater the freedom. The less responsibility taken the less freedom.
So, it seems slavery is self imposed in the context of societies. The more freedom minded individuals being adversely affected by the more lemming minded individuals as societies move towards more authoritarian forms of government.
I feel like maybe I’m preaching to the choir, posting on this site. But, I’ll say it anyway.
Yuri: The self-enslaving, irresponsible, politically immature zombies would not be so dangerous if they would “live & let live” but they also support using deadly force on everyone who chooses independence. They view tyranny as order, freedom as chaos, and do so unwittingly.
Many justify coercive govt as the only alternative to chaos as if a lawless ruling class is politically stable. How do they explain war, poverty, and social unrest? Certainly not by thinking about politics. They delegated that to their rulers who brainwash them with ridiculous slogans, myths, and false promises.
What Yuri and Voluntaryist are describing is Ego Foreclosure.
Normal healthy adults make decisions for themselves, based on facts and logic. Ego Foreclosed people fear to make any decisions for thenselves. They require a leader to make their decisions for them.
The rest of us see arguments as a learning opportunity, when we can gain insight into why people disagree with us, discover new facts, and narrow our differences. The Ego Foreclosed person views any disagreement as dangerous chaos, and becomes dependent on the sociopath who can create the appearance of total agreement
This is how cult like groups form. Those taught not to think for themselves come to need a Leader to rule them.
The State is really just a few billionaires (what the statist is supposedly against) inserting legislation that requires you to use their products and their prices.
Pursuit of wealth, property, and goods and services is what drives Statism. From what I have observed on Facebook, people seem to be divided into seeing the govt as getting them things and seeing govt as getting in the way of getting things. And all the ancillary issues logically follow each path. IE Guns. Statists are against guns because they represent a very real threat against their desire to use legislation to take from others. The problem with Statists is that they never get anything from the state. Oh, perhaps a temporary bump at the behest of others. But it quickly goes from zero sum to the tightening noose around everyone’s neck. I call it Barbarism. The low-iq Barbarian Federalist No 10 warned us about