Justifies Your Cutting My Throat

I’m an American, as the saying goes. Spanish speakers have a more precise word for such gringos, estadounidenses. So what? Am I supposed to have a celebration? Am I supposed to pledge my life, treasure, and sacred honor to a pack of ruling thieves because of this accident of my birth?

Maybe you were born in Mexico City, or Copenhagen, or Beijing, or some backwoods village in Siberia. Okay, I was born in a little down-at-the-heels town in Oklahoma. Who gives a rat’s ass? Why are people making such a huge deal over accidents of birth? Why are military cemeteries all over the world filled with the remains of men who allowed themselves to be tricked into putting their lives at risk for the profit and pleasure of the pirates in charge of their respective tax farms?

I don’t care where you were born, or where you grew up, or where you are living now. You may have interesting stories to tell me, and I’ll be glad to listen. But if you think that being born and reared in some other oligarchy justifies your cutting my throat, I will have no choice but to consider you raving mad.

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Robert Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy at the Independent Institute and Editor at Large of the Institute’s quarterly journal The Independent Review. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University, and he has taught at the University of Washington, Lafayette College, Seattle University, the University of Economics, Prague, and George Mason University. He has been a visiting scholar at Oxford University and Stanford University, and a fellow at the Hoover Institution and the National Science Foundation.