Building Bridges

Column by Alex R. Knight III.

Exclusive to STR

Linda Waite-Simpson, an ultra-left, pro-government “state representative” here in Vermont, recently lamented to local press that her rejected bid to impose sweeping gun control measures upon the residents of the most gun-friendly tax farm out of the 50 was shot down (pun intended) because of the “strong libertarian bent in this state.”

As implied by the quotation marks above, there exists no “state” – the idea is entirely fictitious – nor, it would seem, are Waite-Simpson’s views very “representative” here in Vermont, at the very least when it comes to ownership and carrying of firearms. Of course, the fundamental idea of any individual “representing” any one other individual, much less hundreds or thousands of them, is absurd on its very face.

That said, there are any number of persons milling around out there of her particular stripe: There is no limit to the good government can do, it’s the solution to 99% or more of the world’s problems, and anyone who just can’t see that is a racist, paranoid, hateful, greedy, black-helicopter conspiracy nut just salivating to shoot up a school – or more recently, goes the accusation – bomb a marathon.

I had an experience of late that I think utterly crystallizes this kind of Government is God mentality: Until a very brief time ago, I was a participant in a Facebook discussion group, “Libertarians and Liberal Bridge Building,” the ostensible purpose of which, I would think, is pretty clear – to find common ground between the former and the (misnamed) latter.

In the interest of making a short story even shorter, the “moderator” of that page (who, incidentally, was not the page’s creator), a Leftist who goes by the monicker of “LIB,” contended adamantly that taxes are indeed voluntary. His alleged evidence and rationale for this preposterous position is that since one is born into a certain set of circumstances, that one must forever accept such as a “given,” and arrange to avoid paying by conducting one’s self only within the context of that statist framework. Thus, if one does not wish to pay taxes on earnings, one can deliberately earn under any taxable amount, or not work at all. If one does not wish to pay property tax, one can opt to not own a house. And so on. And, failing all else, there’s always the old statist remedy of simply moving – if you don’t like (or even love!) the state-system, then why don’t you leave?

In other words, “LIB,” and those like him, are rigidly convinced that the arbitrary human actions of applying coercive, violent force to anyone who wishes to remain rooted where they are geographically, yet do not desire or even refuse to abide by such aggressive dictums – and still want to eat food and have protection from the elements -- are, in effect, the aggressors. And that the various machinations of government are an inherent, immovable condition of life on earth – like the wind, or rain, or mountains. They simply exist, can never be changed in favor of any other methods, and you must either accept them, or be quite correctly brutalized by those assigned to make you comply.

It is worth noting that “LIB” also expressed to me, at various points in our repartee’, his belief that ethics are entirely subjective – that “right” and “wrong,” even as such concepts apply to human affairs, can be equated to quantum physics, and therefore have no meaning. That his vision of the way things are is justified in light of the “fact” that the earth is merely a random quirk in an equally random universe (even though this flies sharply in the face of the latest scientific data), and in truest Orwellian fashion, that aggression is really non-aggression -- I’m just incapable of seeing things otherwise, since I’m not a grateful and appreciative Marxist.

Do I really need to point out that I “Unliked” this Facebook group forthwith and have no plans of ever returning?

In an earlier essay, I pointed out where I think the philosophical debate here in America – and in other parts of the world – is headed. It is rapidly coming down to those who wish government to be everything and those who wish it to be nothing.

Meanwhile and therefore, not to be negative, but I see little prospect for building bridges between the two – not when those like “LIB” want them built by monopolized force they obstinately see as an unshakable part of the planet’s landscape, and the rest of us who are intellectually expansive enough to allow for other solutions.

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Alex R. Knight III's picture
Columns on STR: 112

Alex R. Knight III is the author of numerous horror, science-fiction, and fantasy tales, including Tales from Dark 7.  He has also written and published poetry; non-fiction articles, reviews, and essays for a variety of venues; and is former Communications Director for the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire.  In 1998, he was awarded Activist of the Year for that organization.  He now lives and writes in rural southern Vermont where he holds a B.A. in Literature & Writing from Union Institute & University, and looks forward to living in a governmentless society of liberty.

Comments

Glock27's picture

Alex,
First off it does not sound like she was voting or thinking the way the people think. She is agenda driven and f**k the people. This is what I want. Sure wish we had more legislators here in Michigan whoo thoought about the people and not themselves, it's gotta be a disease.
This sounds terriable of me but "bomb a marathon" I am just so happy it wasn't a shoot out with AR's and AK's. Had that been the case you can be sure that huge gun control would explode upon the scene and probably passed in every state. I guess you can say this was not a statist sponsored event?
I was terriably thrilled that harry reids SB469 got shot down even by his own party, so currently there are no federal bills to threaten the second amendment, at least not yet.
I like my guns and I like using them to kill things that go in my freezer and onto my table, but WTSHTF and you don't have a firearm all will be at the mercy of those who do possess a firearm.

Why does Homeland Security need 1.6 billion bullets and 2700 armored vehicles and why are there 800 FEMA camps located in every site. I have a listing of where these sites are for each state.
In conclusion I would guess that Linda-Waite Simpson may not be elected next year.

jd-in-georgia's picture

Good job, Alex. Don't get me wrong. You have done better but when my dear liberal friend who tries to tell me that Bill Maher is a "libertarian" I can think of this essay. I think the best way to explain it to a LIBeral is that a true LIBertarian will argue equally against republicans and democrats. Bill Maher is still convinced that EVERYTHING left of his center is a good idea. Mr. Maher uses the Libertarian lable frequently but his personal attacks "burn" that bridge you speak of.

Peace

Samarami's picture

You've done a good job here, Alex. There is no such thing as "building a bridge" between anarchy and those who even suspect the possibility of there being a smidgeon of redeeming value in the coercively funded monopoly upon violence commonly lauded as The-State. Better spend effort and time designing a bridge to the moon.

Or training foxes to eat grasses and herbs, and to leave the chickens alone.

Sam

Paul's picture

"Of course, the fundamental idea of any individual “representing” any one other individual, much less hundreds or thousands of them, is absurd on its very face."

Oh, I don't know. There are any number of free market examples where one person represents another, and does a fairly good job of it. It's representing two (or more) people where the impossibility comes in. It's also absurd to have a "representative" that you cannot fire immediately at your volition - such cannot be a true representative.

As to the rest of it, I too think of government as a force of nature:
http://strike-the-root.com/government-force-of-nature

However I come to somewhat different conclusions about that. Like any other force of nature, we either adapt, or we change things to fit our desires. Or some combination of the two. Just because it rains, doesn't mean we cannot come in out of the rain.

Glock27's picture

Paul: The reference I've read before, but glanced over it again to be sure. "A force of Nature" I believe is an excellent analogy. The problem with this for me is my roof leaks too much to ignore that force. I am most certain that you would disagree with my rebellion as would most everyone here, but I write the psychopaths on a regular basis running my objections up my flag pole. True, only the troll will read what I write, sort and separate then, collate the information, then file in basket 13. I just hope I have not been put on a list to be watched.

Glock27's picture

Alex: At one time representation at the time seemed to be the most logical choice. I wonder if they honestly believed this Nation would get so big and do the things it does, or rather those elected to represent does. How do you represent my interest and your interest and Paul's interest and every single individual? I guess you can't. Government is a lost cause for it must become a dictatorship, a tyranny, or monarchy or something wherein a individual or collection of individuals are going to choose what they believe is in their best interest. How do I continue to be a representative? How do I continue to be a senator? Free lunch. And it is in my best interest if I wish to be re-elected into power.