sympathy for the devil

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One Response to sympathy for the devil

  1. Nobody says:

    I want to make a few points convulated though they may be. Let’s suppose that we agree that taxation (even for police protection) is robbery. After all, I never asked for police protection.

    There are all sorts of conceivable alternatives to state-monopolized police protection. I could voluntarily decide to band together with others. Or we could pay another group to do our protectin’ while we go about our business.

    Would this work as well as what the state provides?

    I think it working well presupposes that on balance people are rational. But what if they’re not. What if they are on balance quite aggressive.

    But I suppose that the same objection could apply to the state? But what if the state is merely the outcome of a war of each against all. So, the strongest and most cunning and aggressive and luckiest claw their way to the top (and fight to stay there–at least temporarily). And then they exact tribute, i.e. tax. But, someone might object, that society doesn’t seemed to be ruled by such violent struggle. No? Try not paying taxes, and see what happens. Try resisting arrest in self-defense.

    Now we all might agree that the above is grossly unjust. Yes, but what does that do to change it? What if this just the way things are? Free markets? As you point out in one of your excellant essays capitalism is compatible with unfree markets. I mean look at 17th century mercantilism. But in free markets everyone benefits… Surely we can persuade people… Ah but what if people are not rational? Perhaps really truly free markets are a pipe dream?

    Anyway just my convulated thoughts.

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