Various thoughts; Part 4 – The challenge

Someone decided to respond to my previous post. There were a few comments, but at least one voice wasn’t trying so much to create a meeting of the minds but rather to state his opposition to my way of thinking. At least that’s how it started. How it continued turned into something quite beautiful. Hopefully the start of new friendship or positive relationship online.

The good thing about disagreement is that it can challenge one to think about one’s position. It’s important for me to do this or else I can just get comfortable, and just accept what I think because I’ve held that view for some time. And as this series is called “various thoughts”, it makes sense to try the rethink here.

Please note, I’m not doing this to continue the conversation with the person who disagreed with me, or to simply respond to him. This is me considering these things for myself.

So, what points should I think about?

“Your anti-statist views are largely based on emotion.”

Now first a little thing. The reason I prefer the term “antiestablishmentarian” rather than “anti-statist” is that “anti-statist” looks like I’m against statists whereas my views are actually “anti-state”, against that establishment, hence “antiestablishmentarian”. Just a little thing.

Now, how do I know if my view is mainly based on emotion? Not sure. If I take away my hostility to the government, would I love it, respect it, wish to support it while trying to alter it to my own morality, the seven laws?

I thought it over again and again. But I just don’t see to not to hold modern governments as opposers to God’s laws, to God and his laws. Is that emotion or principle? It seems like principle to me.

Also, personally, I can’t see how politicians get authority. They’re humans, like me. They don’t have a different nature. Individuals don’t have the power or “right” to tax others, to force them to pay them under threat of force for services unrequested, or demand obedience from others because one says so. So if individuals don’t have that “right”, there’s no way a bunch of them can give what they don’t have to a certain group. Is that emotion or principle? I don’t see the emotion, only the principle of “from nothing, nothing comes.”

That’s part of what makes atheism stupid.

Anyway, some say God gave the authority to rulers. But factually, that is untrue as can be seen in so-called “democratic elections”. That’s where a bunch of individuals who have no such authority delegate that non-existent authority to a certain person or group. That wasn’t God directly and explicitly giving authority; it was a bunch of people with no such authority.

Or maybe people, who generally reject the one true God, take this authority that he created, and give it to whomever they like however they like in different countries and eras. But then it would have to be clearly shown that God created such a thing as authority, something so amorphous and flexible that any manner of dictator and tyrant, good or evil, as long as something called “the people” accept it, could wield it and whatever they say goes.

The term, “the people”, does not have a clear meaning. It doesn’t mean all the individuals in a certain group. It doesn’t mean the majority as can be seen in how meaningless “we, the people” meant in the constitution of collectivist America when the vast majority of the place did not have a say in its formulation or initial imposition. Again, it’s another nebulous term used to justify what the individual using it wants to hold to.

Also, there’s the fundamental lie in the term “representative.”. What does it mean “to represent”? It means to act in my place, to be my delegate and spokesperson with my interests at the forefront. To be my delegate, that person can only use what I have and what I give them. How can a stranger to me represent me? How can someone who doesn’t know my interest be my spokesman? In fact, how can an individual truly represent a whole group of millions? Realistically, he cannot. I don’t have the ability to tax others, so where does this “representative” get the right to demand the fruits of another man’s labour, much less my own? If I’m against the government and political means, then how can an avowed servant to what I oppose represent me? How can a person who rejects the seven laws represent me?

The fact is that I have no political representative. There is no evidence that I personally have delegated anyone to be my political representative. The fact that I say “I have no political representative” means I have no such representative. And if someone else come along and forces such a thing upon me, it will only prove that he is not my representative because I have no voice or consent to such a thing.

Where’s the emotion? To me, apart from that which the Owner of the world has clearly delineated, as he has a claim to control what he made, there’s no real foundation to government. And when the institution opposes God’s law, it has no moral foundation to say God authorised me to do x.

Personally, I can’t see the emotion my stance is based on. My reasoning may be fallacious, but emotion-based? I don’t think so.

“I’m not forcing my views on someone by voting …”

This logic is the same as saying this: “I helped choose your assassin. But I’m not putting your life in danger. I’m not the one who killed you.”

Let me explain.

Government is a monopoly of legitimised aggression in a certain territory. To me, morally, the government is a criminal gang. It is nothing more and nothing less. It’s a mafia getting protection money from its victims (taxation), making threats that is backed up by the force of its goons (laws), and pushing out the competition through whatever means necessary (corporatism, cronyism, public services, etc). Its (visible) head honcho is the prime politician, whatever you choose to call that person, prime minister, president, chief parasite, whatever.

What then is the willing vote? What, in effect, does it mean to vote? It’s a person’s action to step out and say who they want to force their will on others or who will fill positions in the aggressive organisation. It’s a person’s action that supports the legitimacy of the aggression and the organisation, which, these days, is normally against parts of the seven laws and against parts of morality. It’s also support of a “might makes right” political system, which democracy is. The might of the numbers determines what view will be (en)forced on people as the right.

Think about the moral soul that just wants to make sure unborn babies are not killed, and so they vote for a political candidate or party. More often than not, if not every time, if by some miracle that this candidate doesn’t ultimately lie, that candidate will protect one or a few principles while despising the rest. For example, babies are saved from many abortions (not all, because, as the top down approach is being used and the grass-roots, educational approach is more or less impossible in this society, “black market” abortions will still continue), but that party will most likely ignore most of the laws about forbidden sexual partners, or, and especially, the prohibition against idolatry. In this political and multi-cultural and God-rejecting environment, part of the seven laws will inevitably be trashed. But the vote for one law, the abortion law, or even a good portion of the seven laws, is always a vote for the abolition and undermining of the others.

As I’ve said before, voting for the lesser of two evils tricks good people into choosing evil.

That’s the sort of irresponsible thinking, that a vote has nothing to do with imposition and aggression, that comes from an anonymous voting system. Voters are made to seem like they are not responsible for the crap their politician does. If a person who is supposed to uphold the seven laws supports a party that will reject some of the laws, as well as doing many other despicable things, then isn’t that person also complicit in the evil? I’m not talking about the person who is coerced into funding the state, as he is not responsible any more than a victim of a robbery is responsible for supporting the robber. But the one who willingly goes out and gives that voice of support … Although a vote in numerically insignificant, making no real numerical difference in the outcome of politics, since both the seven laws and human decency shouts out about the importance of personal and individual responsibility for one’s actions, the act itself, at least in my eyes, becomes very questionable.

Let me be blunt. A government is a monopoly on legitimised coercion and aggression in a certain territory. To support it is to support the coercion and aggression. As even a statist admitted, apparently George Washington,

“Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force.”

[Aside: I will admit that he wrote it could be used responsibly. It’s my personal conclusion, and I believe there are facts to back this up, that its destruction and harm greatly outweighs its “responsible use.” As I’ve said before, voting is an irresponsible system where voters hide their identity, so the chance of responsible action when irresponsibility lies close to, if not at, its roots is frighteningly small.]

Government is force. Therefore, a vote is about forcing your view on others.

“[Some injustice] could be changed with political action.”

I wanted to bring up this point against my view even though I’ve partly dealt with it already. Political action in the form of voting, for an individual doing the voting, is numerically insignificant. It is practically worthless. And, because voting in this current system is always linked to the undermining of the seven laws, where it comes to personal responsibility, it is generally detrimental. So there is no significant benefit in doing it. Thoughts of shrinking the corruption, shrinking the system or tyranny, or turning the head of the beast in your favoured direction, even if it be towards the seven laws, is always laboured with that fact.

So what other political action is there? Well few people are in significant positions in wealthy corporations, so there’s little chance of bribing politicians to make laws in your favour. Writing to one of the lesser, more local members of the government mafia? Protesting? Civil disobedience? Each of these may plant seeds in the common man, but apart from education, and a change of heart in a significant portion of the “common man,” I personally see little benefit in pleading to the aggressive monopoly.

“By their nature, any court system will be coercive.”
“The anti-government position is intrinsically incompatible with the command to establish courts.”

Now this is the challenge I must face. I have to ask myself whether this is true.

Let me look at the latter argument first, that an anti-government stance, such as what I hold, is intrinsically compatible with the command to establish courts. Is this true?

Now if the core command was to obey and respect government, I would be in trouble. If the law was called “Government” as opposed to “Civil laws” or “Justice” or “Equity” or “Courts”, then I would be in trouble. But what is interesting is that the command is called a lot of other things, but not government. If the command was centred on respect for government, then yes, my anti-government stance would intrinsically be incompatible with the command.

The main thing is this: if there were a clear and explicit, majority position, detail in the laws to “establish courts” that a person must respect and support the government, then, and only then, would my anti-government stance be intrinsically incompatible with that law. There is no such detail. In the Talmud’s discussion on the law of Justice in tractate Sanhedrin, government isn’t even mentioned. Neither is it mentioned at all in Rambam’s summary of the law in Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings. Let me just check Ramban as well … Nope, not there either.

BUT … But, let me ponder this further. What if a ruler creates the courts? What if, just as police are part of government, then so are courts part of the government? How are they part of the government? They are the enforcers of the dictates of the politicians, the ruling class. In fact, I’m sure that courts would be considered government buildings. I remember some issues I had with the local government, they would have me sent to either a court or some judging solicitor.

So for me to say I’m anti-government, that would seem to include courts.

Woah, that’s heavy. Am I anti-courts?

But then I started that by saying “What if a ruler creates the courts?” I’ve lived with the government system all my life. It’s what I was born into and it has had a stranglehold over me since birth, being educated in public school, only really thinking about these topics almost 4 decades after the government has entrenched itself in my life. But I don’t believe governments have always existed. The first unit of humanity was the individual and then it was the family. Before someone, a human being, said “I own you”there was the family. Maybe the family then became a tribe. But judgement and conflict resolution was still needed. And decisions had to be made by the person deemed to be the wise, with sufficient experience and integrity.

But I didn’t live in that land or time. I live in the time of the institutional overlord, where he’s/it’s made sure to indoctrinate the world into shoving law and government together until it can’t be seen any differently easily.

Anyway, since I don’t believe a court is necessarily a product of government, then I’m not anti-court or anti-justice.

Where was I? I think that’s enough waffling. Let me deal with the statements more directly.

So the claim that courts are, by definition or by necessity, coercive, I agree with. I don’t have a problem with that. A court is, by definition, supposed to be a place where justice is administered. So it would have to enforce those decisions using enforcement. As enforcement is a synonym of coercion, as it is forcing the decision of the judge into reality, then a court must, at times, be a place of coercion.

But to the claim that my anti-government stance is intrinsically incompatible with the “command to establish courts,” that requires a lot more thought. I know that “establishing courts” is actually just a part of the command of Justice. But a court is supposed to be a place where justice is dispensed. That, in and of itself, doesn’t need a government. But it all depends on the understanding of the command, and, unfortunately, the command of Justice seems to be vague in some parts. As I’ve said before, government or kingship or some tyrant or another, justice wouldn’t have been dispensed by a government.

But the question is not whether a court is coercive, because any means of punishment or enforcement, which is part of justice, is coercive. The coercion I despise from government isn’t about justice, arbitration between disputing parties, guarding divine law. A government is not a court; they are not equivalent things. A government is just a bunch of people that expect to be obeyed simply because they said something, and will use the intimidation and aggression of armed mercenaries or armed devotees to force compliance. They solved no dispute, they didn’t wisely decide a case. It’s just “we made a threat (law), now do it.” This is not the elders, the wise, a gathering of those respected people with integrity and virtue. It’s simply the (popular) dictator.

Maybe it’s the fact that the courts nowadays are so linked to government that makes its judges more tyrants than wise men and women.

Or maybe, just maybe, courts are government, or so intrinsically linked to government that for me to hate or oppose government is to hate and oppose courts too. Maybe. I’ve not reached that conclusion yet. I’m not saying I’ve learnt it all yet. If I’ve missed something, then I hope I learn it before it’s too late. Maybe this blogpost is part of my process or maybe it’ll be a help to someone else.

But let me be blunt. If a government or court does stuff against the seven laws, then I’ll oppose it. How can I be expected to do anything else?

“Your view that all governments are illegitimate is illusory and unjustified. You hold onto an idealism.”

What makes a government legitimate? Some say that as long as a people accept it, then it’s legitimate. If that’s the standard, then who am I to argue? But as I’ve said before “the people” is a vague term to the point of being meaningless to me. So let’s imagine that the vast majority of individuals in a place accept a government that rejects the seven laws in part … wait there, that’s the situation I’m in now. The government’s relation to the seven laws is totally irrelevant. It’s just about that portion of the people’s acceptance. So if that’s the litmus test of “legitimacy,” then I can’t dispute it.

But is there a law, a moral principle that says I must listen to or obey to it? I know of no such principle. Except for avoiding its aggression, to me personally, it has no legitimacy, no authority over me. I must obey it to sustain society? I’ve heard that argument, that my disobedience or lack of respect that destabilise things, cause things to go in the opposite direction to “settling the earth.”

Meh.

Yeah, not impressed. Not a compelling or powerful argument. Considering how much the government has destroyed and killed and stolen and undermined the seven laws, to be concerned with the disrespect an individual has for the beast lacks firm principles. And those issues I have with government aren’t illusory or unjustified. Shrugging off any claim of government over me because of those issues is not illusory or unjustified. I won’t place my life in the paws of such an evil thing!

I’m not sure what is idealistic about such a position. It’s a highly personal view. I don’t like to push my view on others. I’m not saying I have a master plan for the world. I’m not saying the world should think like me. This is my personal position. If atheism was a person, I would shoot it in the head if I could. I’d do the same to government since it has done a lot more crimes than what atheism has. And it’s more of a physical and financial threat to me and my family than atheism. In fact, it has interfered in my life much more than atheism.

But if everyone did adopt my view of government, how would that be idealistic? It’s not utopian. I’m not expecting humanity’s usual behaviours to change. There’s still be injustice and pain and evil people. Maybe without government to strip the individual of the means to protect oneself, an aggressor may think twice before attacking, assaulting or robbing. Or maybe the rabbis fears will come true and men will eat each others, even though the government has done a great job of doing a similar thing of devouring and impoverishing lives.

Honestly, I don’t care. It’s all hypothetical. For now, it’s just a personal view.

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12 Comments

  1. Let me ask a few questions here.
    Paraphrasing – you technically believe that someone who believes in the 7 laws and takes part in the government in any way is guilty of the other depravities that the government employees do?

    Do you drive? If so do you at any time obey any traffic rules or signs?
    Do you purchase anything that any taxes are or would be collected?

    Any yes to the above, would it not be supportive of the government, even in its smallest form.

    Because of the time we are in, do we all overlook one or more of the 7 laws?
    How many of us know at least one idolater, thief and so on?
    Do we overlook them or do we force the 7 laws on them?
    If there is any overlooking of any form, do we believers take part in their crime?

    In my study of Nineveh, even the sages say there is no mention of the idolatrous places was not dealt with (paraphrased) but what they did was stop the robbing and injustice they did toward another. But still the Creator still forgave them and spared the city.

    • Thanks for commenting and questioning, Terry. Much appreciated.

      Two phrases you used, “take part in” and “guilty”, I personally wouldn’t use. I tend to use the word “complicit” rather than “guilty”. Guilty and complicit are not synonyms. In this article I was focusing on voting, where a person makes the willing choice to actively select who is going to force his opinion on the population, who will sanction the theft and wars and murder, who willingly inputs his efforts into the “might makes right” system. He, in that actions, supports the system and the actions done in it. By voting for the illegality of abortion, he also votes for the abrogation of other laws. So he’s complicit in the immoral acts of the government he chose to support.

      If someone takes part in government, but is also working to sabotage it or to create sedition and subversion, like being a school teacher but also planting seeds concerning the importance of morality over legality, personal responsibility, stuff like that, then it would be hard to call that person complicit like a voter would be.

      Now with your driving example, first let me remind you that government is force, and it, like any kidnapper with hostages, is in the place to threaten with pain or death to get compliance. If a bank robber with a gun shouts “EVERYONE ON THE FLOOR NOW OR I’LL BLOW YOUR BRAINS OUT!” and you do what he says, would I be supportive of the bank robber or just doing what I can out of self-preservation? I know I’m telling you what you already know, but you remember that one of the principles in the seven laws is that a person is innocent if he breaks a law because of coercion.

      So a politician, in effect, says “ANYONE DRIVING OVER THIS LIMIT, I WILL ROB,” my complying (when he or his thugs are watching) can’t be deemed as support. And knowing that the factual and actual definition of tax is “YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE”, then just as my complying to a robber can’t be deemed as support of a robber, in the same way my complying to a minion of the dictator is not support of the dictator.

      It’s my belief that the sort of questions that you asked could only come from a place that overlooks what laws and taxes are in effect, the dictatorial and extortionate nature of government. Even if it was attached to a belief that the robbery and threat results in good things, like healthcare and compliant behaviour, that doesn’t change the nature of the threat and robbery.

      You talk about “overlooking the 7 laws.” The commandment against idolatry says “Don’t actively worship idols.” It doesn’t say, “Don’t talk to or be associated with idolators.” So it can’t be an overloooking. Even if you were to bring up my favourite version of Rambam’s depicition of the law of Justice that says “a witness to one breaking the seven laws and doesn’t bring him to justice”, 1) it still doesn’t prohibit association; and 2) it can’t be done in today’s immoral culture/society and legal system.

      Plus, I didn’t accuse the government of “overlooking” the seven laws. I don’t think that’s anywhere in this article. I accused it of actively undermining or going against the system. Creating a legal system where homosexuals can be married or where abortion after 40-days post conception is protected by law, that isn’t simply overlooking the seven laws.

      None of the seven laws demands that we force them on people. You can’t overlook something that isn’t even part of our seven law system.

      Voting isn’t “overlooking.” Actively advocating for systems that contradict the seven laws is not “overlooking.” So where did the question come from where ou said “If there is any overlooking in any form, do we ‘believers’ take part in their crime?” The system is not in place, the society is not in the right place for the seven laws to be enforced. So the notion of “overlooking means complicity”, something not even mentioned in any of my articles (unless you can provide a quote), seems out of place.

      “Believers”? Hmmm … well a person can be a believer in socialism and capitalism and statism, so I shouldn’t feel any way negative about the word.

      I do remember you telling me about your study of Nineveh and the fact that idolatrous places were not destroyed, and yes THE CREATOR didn’t destroy the city. First, let me say, when I capitalised “the creator” it was not shouting in anger or annoyance, only emphasis. But can I point something out? Based on what you’ve said, only pointing out robbery and injustice, sexual immorality isn’t mentioned either, neither is cursing God’s name, neither is eating the limb of a living animal, neither is individual idolatry. Now your bringing up Nineveh, maybe even if you brought up the evil that caused the Deluge, or the evil that caused the destruction of Sodom, what exactly is your point? I ask this question especially in light of the contents of the article you are responding to. What are you saying?

  2. I guess I am still trying to learn to walk in this world and in the Creators rules at the same time.

    I hope that this answers your questions.

    • Bluntly, no, it doesn’t answer my question.

      BUT, I don’t think you need to. You and I are fellow-travellers in life, trying to understand our divine obligations in order to live acceptable in the sight of our Creator. We may not have all the answers, but sometimes it’s about finding the right questions too.

      I pray the Great and the Good One gives you success along the way, my friend.

  3. Hrvatski Noahid

    People believe the government will make them healthy and secure. What about HaShem? What about HASHEM??!!

    • Someone said it best, HRV. Many people of varying worldviews claim to follow or reject God, christians, Jews, Hindus, atheists, whatever. But in their lives their religion must always be subservient to their one true god: the state.

      You and I know that it’s no different to the motives for other forms of idolatry. Baal will provide. Chemosh brings the grain. Give our youths and our minds to our god and he will provide. The state, the government is no different.

      But God’s challenge is the same as it ever was. Will we just follow after our eyes and hearts to what superficially comforts us, or will we choose truth. He always sets before us life and death, truth in God or trust in some creation of man. Unfortunately it’s too easy for any person, no matter which religion they claim to follow, to place a creation of man over the truth of God.

  4. We might be lapsing into a reification fallacy, where we’re treating The Government as some concrete monolith rather than a vast collection of abstractions and particular instances. It’s not as if I’m in favor of the Death Star (it creates jobs!) and you’re opposed (they kidnapped Princess Leia!)

    The city where I live is filled with murderers and thieves and monsters. My wife cannot safely leave the house unaccompanied. Each morning we peruse the online Neighborhood Message Board to read about the latest victims. Our problem isn’t the unauthorized monopoly on aggression by an illegitimate government. Our problem is the murderers and thieves and monsters who will destroy our lives if something doesn’t stand in their way. Absent a police force and the means of supporting it, my city would devolve into Lord of the Flies. Life would be impossible. It would become a war of all against all. Beyond this basic protection, I don’t want much of anything from “the government.” (Deliver the mail, defend the peace, and stay the heck out of my life.)

    “Maybe without government to strip the individual of the means to protect oneself, an aggressor may think twice before attacking, assaulting or robbing.”

    EVERYONE in the US has guns. How we doin’?

    “Government is force. Therefore, a vote is about forcing your view on others.”

    The prohibitions of murder, theft, and assault are not personal hangups; they’re the necessary prerequisites for any human group to survive. They must be enforced if we’re to have any civilization at all. I remain unpersuaded that my adamant support for their illegality is a form of evil. The sole means at my disposal for enforcing them is via a circuitous, grossly ineffective system that involves dubious alliances with people who don’t share all my values. I can’t undo the catastrophes of history that brought us here.

    “For example, babies are saved from many abortions (not all, because, as the top down approach is being used and the grass-roots, educational approach is more or less impossible in this society, “black market” abortions will still continue), but that party will most likely ignore most of the laws about forbidden sexual partners, or, and especially, the prohibition against idolatry.”

    Which anti-abortion groups are in favor of gay marriage?! This is patently false. There is no necessary incompatibility between a top-down approach and an educational approach. The latter could lead to the former and sustain it. The only interface most people have with the 7 Laws is Christianity. It’s the only way they’ve heard about G-d and the Torah. A system that respects most of Noachide law is better than one that disregards most of it. We don’t currently have the means to prohibit idolatry. It’s not possible. Christians are opposed to abortion and forbidden unions for the same reason we are: because G-d said so. They’re just using the wrong interface. Any anti-religious movements will be just as hostile to Noachides.

    “Or maybe the rabbis fears will come true and men will eat each others, even though the government has done a great job of doing a similar thing of devouring and impoverishing lives.”

    Wise men, those rabbis! There’s a counterfactual problem with anti-government positions. I’m expected to compare government-induced atrocities with what might have happened in the absence of The Government. But we can’t do this. I can’t imagine our species not forming systems that implement various prohibitions. We’re social critters. The more of us there are, the more complex the systems will be. (And the more powerful the sytems, the greater the potential for mayhem.) I can’t compare the dismal history of The Government with an imagined absence of it. This isn’t a fair comparison.

    • “We might be lapsing into a reification fallacy, where we’re treating The Government as some concrete monolith rather than a vast collection of abstractions and particular instances.”

      Who’s “we”? Are you talking about you and me? But I wrote the article. How did you get involved? Is it the polite “we” where you actually mean “you”?

      When I refer to government, I’m not talking about some abstract entity that I’m treating like a real thing. I’m talking about the real institution, a group of politicians and underlings, their thugs and pen pushers. I’m talking about a group of real people and a title, an institution that gets passed down or across to other individuals. I’m not sure where the reification is. Give a specific instance where you feel the reification occurred; quote me and tell me where I went wrong, and I’ll do my best to get it a fair hearing.

      “The city where I live …”

      It sounds like your city is a scary place. For you to have loved ones for whose lives you worry, I really empathize with that. Your community has a particular problem, and I hope a solution is found. But you haven’t shown that your only salvation is government and their police. When you jokingly said “if you want to be without government, go to Somalia” (it was a joke, I’m not holding it against you), you didn’t say “come to my city.” Let me tell you what I believe, and you can correct me if I’m wrong. You don’t live in a city that has no government. If your city is filled with such terrible things, have you ever thought that government may be part of the cause?

      Look, I don’t live where you live, and I don’t know the details, so it would be wrong for me to judge. But there are examples like Detroit, where there is a private “police” outfit, not government, that seems to have had good results (Detroit Threat Management). The notion that “without the government or their mercenaries, life would devolve into a war of all against all” isn’t a law or principle that has been demonstrated across humanity or the majority of it.

      To summarize, what you described in your situation is that you live in an area “full” of murderers, thieves and monsters. That was the problem you described to me, a lack of security due to the multitude of evil. You gave the only solution as “government” or their mercenaries, their police. I don’t share your conclusion that when you see such a problem, the only solution is government.

      What is interesting is that when a politician wants protection, he puts his hands into the pockets of others, his serfs, the “taxpayer”, and hires security, pays for his own protection force, he makes his own police and army. They are just people. But when a community wants protection, they don’t seem to think like the politician and pay for their own security force who will also be people. Too often, they look to the political heavens and pray for the flesh god, the politician, to send their “angels”, because those “angels” have more power than just the common man. Apparently.

      “EVERYONE in the US has guns. How we doin’?”

      DoB (Donkey of Balaam), errr … when you said this, did … errrr … hmmm … I don’t know how to answer this in a way that won’t cause offence. Should I be blunt? Can I be blunt without offending? Hmmm … maybe I should be blunt because I may have already offended you with my previous responses. Yeah, you know what, I’m gonna throw off this “walking on eggshells” crap. In our last exchange, you helped me see that I should treat you as a person, not simply an argument, so I hope you can see that I don’t mean evil or wrong at you if we disagree. I pray you see that and know that I still appreciate you despite disagreeing.

      OK, bluntness.

      I checked the statistics. Your comment is statistically incorrect based on what I found through a cursory search. The notion that “EVERYONE” in America has guns is false. One statistic said that 47% of American households have guns. That’s far from everyone. If the population of America is 300 million and 80 million have guns, then that’s not everyone. Why did you say that? I’m not calling you a liar because I think you said what you said for some reason.

      Now, I beg you, don’t make me go through an experience that I’ve been through recently. I beg you, sincerely. Someone told me “this is my conclusion based on all the facts.” I pointed out that he couldn’t have ALL the facts because he’s human, he should probably say “all the facts that I have”. Then this person said something like “I didn’t mean ALL” and “any intelligent person would understand that” insinuating my stupidity. I said that it’s better to actually say what you mean rather than say something that’s not true but expect me to understand. DoB, please, understand that I’m only going on your words, that’s all I can do. If you didn’t mean “everyone” then – I’m not saying you’re a bad person – just say … Oh, I don’t know. It’s just, how can you say “EVERYONE” in capitals, which means emphasis to me, when not even most people have guns according to statistics?

      If you have statistics that shows that everyone or even the vast majority of Americans have guns, once again, give the link to those statistics, and, believe me, I’ll look and see.

      Also, it appears to be easier to quantify how many people have died by guns than how many people how many people have been saved by guns, i.e., because someone had a gun, a robber or murderer decided not to take the risk; or because someone had a gun, they were able to shoot the attacker or robber.

      Plus, if America has such a huge population in such a huge landmass, how can anyone say how that whole bunch of individuals are doing? That’s unrealistic. Maybe in smaller areas, but such a huge land? I don’t believe anyone can make a fair appraisal of the situation.

      “The sole means at my disposal for enforcing them is via a circuitous, grossly ineffective system that involves dubious alliances with people who don’t share all my values. I can’t undo the catastrophes of history that brought us here.”

      It is really and truly disheartening that you hold that belief. You understand that we are both opposed to “murder, theft, and assault.” I think we’re opposed to much more than that, but let’s just limit it to that. I too am in support for their immorality, without needing a politician to deem it illegal. Now, as I stated in the article, your vote is numerically worthless. Whether individually you vote or not, the government is gonna do what it’s gonna do. You don’t enforce government law, they do. Your vote is factually not the enforcement of law. But factually your vote is support, not simply for the bits of the government that you like or support, but also for the bits that are immoral and wrong that government does. Of course you can’t undo the catastr … wait, no, that word leaves out the responsibility of politicians for causing the horrific messes. No, you can’t undo the past evil actions of government. But your continued support unfortunately makes you complicit in the horrific acts they carry out now, even if you voted for the candidate that didn’t win, because you still support the immoral system of might makes right. You opting out of that doesn’t all of a sudden mean that the world will end, that government will all of a sudden forget that murder, theft and assault is “illegal.”

      But, just as a brief note, none of your response actually contradicted the point I made: that government is force, and voting is forcing your views on others. But I should also extend that in light of your response. Government is force, and voting is forcing your views on others AND ALSO making sure they, the politicians of government, can force their will on others too. See, it’s not just about you and the good that what you want. It’s that, as I’ve said before, choosing the apparent lesser of evil tricks good people, like yourself, into choosing evil. And you’ve shown no way past that.

      I know, you’ve said it before, you are more than willing to buy into a coercive monopoly to get your morality out on the streets. Unfortunately, it isn’t your morality. It’s theirs.

      “Which anti-abortion groups are in favour of gay marriage?”

      You do understand that this is not a response to what I said, right? My point was concerning all the seven laws, and I was only giving examples. I don’t know what you mean by “anti-abortion groups” either. I was talking about political parties. Let’s pretend that what you said applies to my point, that an anti-abortion politlcal party was not in favour of gay marriage (which is only a small portion of the forbidden sexual partners law in the seven), and note I did NOT mention gay marriage. Let’s imagine that this political party got into power and managed to force gay marriage to be illegal. Maybe you know such a political party that wants that. I didn’t know that either the democrats or republicans (I’m assuming you’re living in america, sorry if I’m wrong) wanted gay marriage illegal, but let’s pretend. Now, since that’s only a portion of the law of forbidden sexual partners, a law that talks about the sexual act of homosexuality, not simply the marriage. What does that mean for idolatry? What does that mean for the law of Justice? What does that mean even for adultery? Don’t you see that my point is that the law will ignore parts of the seven laws or even undermine it? The constitution of the united states undermines part of the seven laws.

      It doesn’t matter which party you vote for, DoB. It doesn’t matter. Where it comes to the seven laws – those are my main principles, all of them – it is a vote that says “the seven laws comes second” or “I will pick and choose which are important.” To me, the seven laws, not just the laws concerning murder and theft, and the bedrock morality. I will not support a political party that goes below it. Whether society is ready for them or not, those are still the principles I hold to, and to support a government system that ignores or abolishes them, I can’t do.

      Look, I know you can. You will. You have. That’s fine. As I’ve said in the article, as much value as you put in your vote, factually it’s numerically worthless. There’s little point in me doing the worthless to support a system I can’t even agree with. I don’t want to be complicit in that evil or the other evils of government. I too cannot undo the evils of the past, but I definitely will not support the evils of today, including the wars, the laws that you don’t vote for but are still on the books, like, in the UK, fining someone … no, robbing someone for smoking a cigarette in their own private car, robbing a person for driving on the wrong road, for driving 3mph over the speed limit. I won’t support a police force that attacks and arrests people from Youtube for saying things they don’t like. I won’t support a police force that murders and protects itself from prosecution. There’s so much more than that which is happening today. I won’t support that just to make sure segments of my morality are still on the books, even though people in government and people that they like or which to do favours for can get away with such acts. I won’t support that.

      I know you say that you just want a certain select “service” from that bunch of politician. Keep the peace, leave me alone. But dude, that may be what you want, but that’s not what your vote gets you or anyone else in the whole territory the top bunch of murderers, thieves and robbers control.

      What is sad is that you talk of a city filled with murderers and thieves, and yet you support the murderers and thieves, the immoral people, at the top, i.e., the government. And the amount of murder, assault and theft done by the government police that is extant all over youtube … Isn’t that self-defeating?

      “There is no necessary incompatibility between a top-down approach and an educational approach.”

      I never said there was an incompatibility. I just said what is happening.

      Christianity isn’t a person’s only interface with the seven laws. That makes it seem like the seven laws is only a religious doctrine when it’s actually a moral one. Since you focus on murder and theft and assault, all manner of worldviews have those values. Now people may only know the “old testament” because of christianity, but, as we both know, christianity doesn’t teach the seven laws, but rather, like other worldviews, they teach somewht of a similar morality.

      “I’m expected to compare government-induced atrocities with what might have happened in the absence of The Government. But we can’t do this. I can’t imagine our species not forming systems that implement various prohibitions. We’re social critters. The more of us there are, the more complex the systems will be. (And the more powerful the sytems, the greater the potential for mayhem.) I can’t compare the dismal history of The Government with an imagined absence of it. This isn’t a fair comparison.”

      Who expects you to compare government created atrocities with what might happen in the absence of government? I don’t. And again, who is “we”? Is that a version of saying “I”? Are you talking about me and you? Are you talking about a known group? Are you attempting to speak for all humans? Who is “we?”

      Again, your inability to do a comparison has nothing to do with any point that I’ve made. I never told you to do this and you provided no quote where I expressed any such expectation.

      But what you said demonstrates a point that someone called Robert Higgs made that brings together what you were saying about a world of endless violence and war without police and this comment about comparing the actual with the hypothetical.

      “Anarchists did not try to carry out genocide against the Armenians in Turkey; they did not deliberately starve millions of Ukrainians; they did not create a system of death camps to kill Jews, gypsies, and Slavs in Europe; they did not fire-bomb scores of large German and Japanese cities and drop nuclear bombs on two of them; they did not carry out a ‘Great Leap Forward’ that killed scores of millions of Chinese; they did not attempt to kill everybody with any appreciable education in Cambodia; they did not launch one aggressive war after another; they did not implement trade sanctions that killed perhaps 500,000 Iraqi children.

      In debates between anarchists and statists, the burden of proof clearly should rest on those who place their trust in the state. Anarchy’s mayhem is wholly conjectural; the state’s mayhem is undeniably, factually horrendous.”

      I couldn’t be classed as an anarchist because anarchy means “no rulers” and I acknowledge a supreme ruler, God. But as anarchists do share my anti-state stance, his point is very true. My stance against the government isn’t based on a desire to be without it. It has nothing to do with imagining worlds without it. It has to do with, not only its immoral foundations, but the real and actual atrocities that it has committed and continues to commit. So please, forget any comparisons with the actual and the hypothetical that you imposed on yourself. That’s not what I bring up in my articles at all. What I bring up are the actual immoralities of every government on the face of the earth right now, especially those of the UK and the USA.

      And please avoid saying that you put no trust in the state, because in this response, you stated that that that is your only means of doing this or your sole means of having this. You, to me, have shown the faith.

      Also, please avoid taking any of this personally. We’re dealing only with issues. I’m not saying you’re a bad person. I don’t believe you are at all. We just have a fundamental disagreement on this point and, as you have said, we have agreements in other places.

  5. It’s never personal. Ever. I’m like some Irish Don Rickles, but it doesn’t always come through in my posts.

    “If your city is filled with such terrible things, have you ever thought that government may be part of the cause?”

    The cause is individual humans misusing their G-d-given free will. Period. Humans are not billiard balls helplessly bounced by deterministic forces. When I was an atheist I believed this. I no longer can. If you wish to make the case that The Government actively causes people to kill and rob from each other you’d have to flesh it out. A rhetorical question proves nada.

    “But there are examples like Detroit, where there is a private “police” outfit, not government, that seems to have had good results”

    By what means were the members of this police outfit selected? Was there, perhaps, a vote? Who specified the parameters they must observe, and by what authority? To whom do they answer in the event of abuse? Is it a Noachide court? Who pays them their wages? Are they given voluntarily? What if a citizen refuses to pay? What standards must new recruits observe? How does the community express their approval or disapproval of the service? How can the community annul the contract, should they wish to do so? Do they have a representative? How was he selected?

    All this does is remove lots of middle-men. They’ve replaced a failed government with a little ad hoc one. (More power to them! Pray to HaShem to be merciful to this collapsing empire. We don’t deserve it.) But to pass this off as some solution to Government is intellectually dishonest. They’ve done what humans always do. My chess club has a government, complete with elected officers and dues and outrageous decisions most of us resent (a tournament game in 30 mins!?) My company has a very different type of government, where I don’t get to vote. We’re political animals by nature.

    “Everyone has guns in the US” was stone-obvious hyperbole. You devoted 3 full paragraphs to a GOTCHA, as if I might have intended to literally mean that every single man, woman, child, cat, dog, and parakeet is packin’ a Glock. We’re saturated with guns, for good, ill, and both.

    “Plus, if America has such a huge population in such a huge landmass, how can anyone say how that whole bunch of individuals are doing? That’s unrealistic. Maybe in smaller areas, but such a huge land? I don’t believe anyone can make a fair appraisal of the situation.”

    It’s called statistics. Everything can be quantified and compared. For example: “How many people were murdered in cities above a certain population this year compared to five years ago? What similarities and differences characterize them? Can we make testable hypotheses?” We can learn all sorts of important factual information about these things. It’s more depressing than anything you can read. (One could check and see if there’s a correlation between less police and less crime in our major cities …)

    “Now, as I stated in the article, your vote is numerically worthless.”

    Does this apply if my neighbors and I are selecting a private police force? At what point does voting go from worthless to vital, or is it always wrong? Won’t I be culpable for any abuses my security service commits? And won’t they be forcing my views on others?

    “The constitution of the united states undermines part of the seven laws.”

    If the constitution suddenly goes down it won’t be replaced by a Noachide court. It’ll be replaced by Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. Yes, it’s based on Enlightenment [sic] deism and the illusory idea that the universe came complete with 47,000 “Rights.” But it’s been the best home to the Children of Israel since their Exile, and the best friend of Israel, and it’s what I inherited and hope to improve for those who follow.

    “So please, forget any comparisons with the actual and the hypothetical that you imposed on yourself.”

    No, the hypothetical is your burden of proof. I deny that anarchists (or anti-statists, or whatever) can address the challenges I’ve made to a hypothetical private police force. It’s my inability to even imagine such a thing that nudges me toward my “authoritarian” position.

    • Oh, a gotcha? You put in your post an attempt to catch me out or embarrass me (that’s what “gotcha” means). Was that an attempt to help me understand your point of view? “Ha, ha, I got you”? I’m not into that.

      Ok, I’ve read all of your response. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Singling out my statement “EVERYONE in the US has guns” like it was meant to be literal rather than hyperbole (and checking the stats!) was your attempt to catch me.

    • Huh? Taking you at your word is an attempt to catch you? Rather than talk around the point, I’ll be blunt and direct.

      I didn’t see what you said as hyperbole. I made no attempt at all to catch you or do a “gotcha”. That is the truth. I did not single out one statement, I responded to many of your statements. To me, you made a claim and I responded. We’re still very much strangers and I don’t assume that a stranger is speaking in hyperbole, so it wasn’t obvious to me.

      So that is the simple and direct truth. I built no traps nor attempted to catch you or embarrass you whatsoever.

      If it’s a simple misunderstanding, then so be it. But I’m not into “gotcha’s”, I don’t like doing that to people I’m trying to build respect with.

      Look, just leave it. This discussion can be over for now. No harm done.

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