Plato valued Order as the supreme virtue that can be attained through a government. Order, as seen by a few, was the only goal, for centuries, in state building. For the most part, governments became increasingly successful at maintaining order. This naturally leads one to question the “State of Nature” as Locke coined it, why do we need wise overlords?
To answer this question, people often point at examples of statelessness in today’s world as some sort of damning evidence against a stateless society. These couldn’t be farther from the truth, as government intervention to overthrow a state is far from outside the reach of Statism. To understand how statelessness can, and has worked, I refer you to “The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia” by James C. Scott.
For those still reading, I assume that you have long since seen the moral, and pragmatic high grounds that the State claims to occupy as the farce that it is.
So, why is it that so many people look to the Feds to solve so many problems? Price Gouging? There ought to be a law. Car Accident? There ought to be a lower speed limit. People are starving? The government ought to feed them.
Now am I arguing that the government should not be involved in any of this? Nope, I’m arguing that they can’t do any of it. They have made that very clear over and over again, from Katrina to Sandy, from Prohibition in the 20’s, to prohibition today. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid. Bankrupt, bankrupting us, and bankrupter.
So why do people continue to seek government assistance with everyday problems? The majority of these problems can be addressed through voluntary interaction among free people, after all the state is merely an abstract concept, made up of people.
Because it is convenient to those unaffected. Refugees in FEMA tent cities this week would argue otherwise. It sure is easier to send the Red Cross a text message donation and forget about it though right?
None of this seems to matter to those who think the government can solve any problem. They forget the days in which private charity far outweighed tax revenue. They are unaware that forced charity is no charity, as an unjust law is no law. They are conditioned to see the world through the government approved lenses that they have never taken off.
They trust their captors. They identify with the State. They overlook the overarching violence that keeps the whole show on the road. They have Stockholm Statism Syndrome.
They refuse to see the government performing the only duties it was given, that of ensuring freedom, instead of order. Ordo Ab Humanus.