Saturday, April 18, 2009

Since we were talking about drug gangs

I thought it would be good to bring in what the philosopher I'm studying now has to say (beginning at the bottom of page 110):
It is very hard to understand the logic and intelligence of the argument that, in order to protect us from a group that might overpower us, we should support a group that already has overpowered us. It is similar to the statist argument about private monopolies – that citizens should create a governmental monopoly because they are afraid of private monopolies. It does not take keen vision to see through such nonsense.

What is the evidence for the view that decentralized and competing powers promotes peace? In other words, are there any facts that we can draw on to support the idea that a balance of power is the only chance that the individual has for freedom?

Organized crime does not provide many good examples, since gangs so regularly corrupt, manipulate and use the power of the government police to enforce their rule, and so such gangs cannot be said to be operating in a state of nature. Also, criminal gangs profit enormously by supplying legally-banned substances or services, and so also flourish largely due to state policies.

A more useful example is the fact that no leader has ever declared war on another leader who possesses nuclear weapons. In the past, when leaders felt themselves immune from personal retaliation, they were more than willing to kill off their own populations by waging war. Now that they are themselves subject to annihilation, they are only willing to attack countries that cannot fight back.

This is an instructive lesson on why such men require disarmed and dependent populations – and a good example of how the fear of reprisal inherent in a balanced system of decentralized and competing powers is the only proven method of securing and maintaining personal liberty.

Fleeing from imaginary devils into the protective prisons of governments only ensures the destruction of the very liberties that make life worth living.

On the emphases, the italics are his, the bold is mine and not his. My emphasis, not my thought.

MAD is a personal philosophy. Take it personally.

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