Hierarchy is one of those concepts I see underinformed people bash pretty often.
A politicized hierarchy is bad, not because of the hierarchy, but because of the politics.
Hierarchy is the recognition that some people are better at some things than I am. I learned to make fire with the bow drill from Burnt Spoon because he knew more and had more experience than I did. Larken Rose is better at explaining liberty than I am. To deny those facts, just because I don’t want anyone in the hierarchy “above” me, would be insane and unhelpful.
If an employee doesn’t listen to a supervisor just because he doesn’t want to be “lower” on the hierarchy than the boss, he may mess up. The employee may lose his job. Yes, he might be right, and it might be worth it to defy the boss, but it’s not automatically oppression to defer to someone else who knows more about something than you do. Any legitimate hierarchy is a hierarchy of competence.
But, as with anything else, once you add politics to the mix your hierarchy is probably no longer based on competence, but on power and imaginary “authority“. This kind of hierarchy is illegitimate and you have no obligation to submit to it.
Years ago I encountered a wise quote:
“The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.” ~ H. L. Mencken
The more experienced I become, the more important– and wiser— that quote seems to be. To me, personally.
Over and over I have to step up and defend the natural human rights of people I don’t like. I understand it’s just as wrong to violate my enemy as it is to violate my friend. Or me.
Defending these people causes other people to sometimes get angry at me. They claim I’m taking the bad guys’ side. I get chided and scolded and even lied about.
Yet it’s worth it. If you can keep the counterfeit “laws” off the scoundrels, there will be fewer counterfeit “laws” used against the rest of us.
I understand the appeal of minarchy. After all, it’s where I came from; what I used to advocate. Even though I knew I was an anarchist personally, I used to imagine minarchy as the most practical way to be as liberated as possible.
But minarchy– keeping a little bit of cancer around and under control to prevent a different cancer from getting a foothold– is an unsustainable Utopian fantasy. Much more so than anarchy could ever be.
And, it’s confused.
As a minarchist, which “minimal government” would you pick? Only things such as government fire protection, government policing, military, government-controlled roads, and government courts? Other minarchists might have other preferences. Some would include “securing the borders” or other Big Government welfare programs. Any version includes the “taxation” to pay for it all, along with the bureaucracy to collect and distribute the money and find and punish the opt-outs.
Does every minarchist get to impose the particular flavor of “minimal government” they want? If so, it is no longer “minimal”.
Do you use v*ting to decide which bits of government you get to impose on me? Then it’s mob rule– “might (through superior numbers) makes right”.
Through v*ting and “taxation” you’ve cut the brake line on anything holding back government growth.
As I say, I understand, but a “little bit of statism” is still evil.
You’ve got to have a target in mind.
If you don’t know what you’re aiming for, how will you ever hit it?
The world will always try to fight against your aim. If you have a crosswind you have to take it into account, but still with the intention of hitting the target. You can’t just let the wind push your aim where it will. You have to think about where you intend to hit and compensate for the crosswind. If you let the winds push your aim downwind, you’ll not even hit close to your target.
By the same token, if you allow statism to push you in the direction it is blowing, you’ll never hit the target of individual liberty. Yes, you may have to compensate, by being even more “radical” than you’re comfortable with, but if you want to be on target you have no choice. You won’t hit the target by deciding that hitting the target isn’t realistic. You won’t hit it by finding a substitute target you believe would be easier to hit. You won’t hit the target by giving up and putting your gun down.
I know it’s frustrating to be told constantly that you’re not being realistic by insisting that the target you want to hit is the one you really are interested in hitting. That trying to shoot an easier target that you don’t even want is the pragmatic compromise you’re just going to have to settle for. Why even bother, in that case? And maybe that’s the point. Get people to give up. That seems like a tactic the other side– the statists– would be using against you.
Looking back at 20th Century “world leaders” [sic] such as the domestic enemies Woodrow Wilson, FDR, and LBJ, and foreign thugs like Stalin, Hitler, Churchill, and all the rest, it seems socialism was all the rage– even when called something else.
So many “common people” also fell for the socialism lie and thought envy was a great thing to rally around and use as a foundation for a “society”. Socialism was everywhere, and we are still suffering the effects.
The 20th Century should be known as the Socialist Century.
My hope would be that it would be a singular mistake, not repeated in the 21st Century. But I’m not optimistic. Judging by current trends, we may be entering Socialist Century 2.0. And it may end up being even worse than the previous century before it’s over and done.
Too many pseudo-thinkers still love the idea of stealing from some and giving to others. For political power and money. They lie when they claim it’s about caring. But, all politics is based on lies, so what do you expect?
It seems obvious that socialism will increase until self-inflicted disaster forces an end to it.
I hope you and I can use the awareness of what’s coming to prepare and prosper throughout it– or at least survive it. If you can profit from it, on the backs of the socialists who are trying to eat you alive, do it with a clear conscience. If you can profit off the socialism by helping the rare fellow non-socialist through the rough times, just know you are providing a service– you are one of the good guys.
Through all the pain it causes you, just remember the monumentally greater pain it will cause the dolts who embrace it when their chickens come home to roost. They’ll be shocked and caught by surprise. You won’t. That makes you mighty.
One thing I find very interesting, and a little frustrating, is how often people will try to put words in my mouth.
I guess it’s a facet of the straw man tactic.
Recently someone kept trying to say that I was against cooperation; that cooperation is against libertarian principles, so I have to be against it. Even after I explicitly said several times that I think cooperation is a great thing, and I’m completely in favor of it.
Libertarianism rejects cooperation? I’ve never made such a silly claim, nor have I ever seen anyone who understands liberty make a claim like that. It’s completely absurd.
But, because I’m opposed to stealing money to fund government or government “borders”, I must be against cooperation.
And if I am in favor of cooperation, then I must obviously see the “value” of theft and coercion in the name of government.
Yeah, I don’t get that connection either.
Government is the opposite of cooperation. If people willingly cooperate (and there’s really no such thing as non-willing cooperation) there is no need to rob them or to coerce them to do what you believe should be done. That’s not cooperation, that’s slavery.