Morpheus gave to Neo in the original Matrix was elegant
and eloquent. But were not in a movie and most of us
are not masters of verbal ju-jitsu any more than we are masters
of actual ju-jitsu. So, how do we we being those of us who
believe in non-aggression, voluntarism and thus, human liberty
make our case to people who dont think in such terms?
The other day
I had a chat with a neighbor friend. He posed a rhetorical question,
You do believe some taxes are necessary, right?
Rather than debate the merits of this or that tax, this or that
function funded by taxes I merely replied that as a non-violent
person I am opposed to the use of violence, for any reason
except in self-defense. I therefore oppose, I told him, the violent
taking of other peoples property for any purpose whatsoever.
That while I might prefer this or that outcome, I would rather people
dealt with one another on the basis of persuasion and mutual free
consent and not at gunpoint.
usually at least results in a momentary pause. It may even get your
including most of us grew up with authoritarianism.
It envelopes us, from womb to tomb. And so, we grow up accepting,
implicitly, the moral schism that says violence is ok when it is
Or by a group,
having so voted.
No. It goes
much deeper than that. Because the violence is never or rarely
spoken of openly. No politician running for office ever says,
I will threaten your neighbors with violence to provide money
that I will use to provide schools for your children at their
expense and if they refuse, Ill have them caged
politician talks blandly about his support for public education.
The lethal violence he is advocating remains in the background.
He is thus able of all things! to posture as a concerned
and public-spirited citizen, who cares about the
the present of his victims.
about the need for this or that never mentioning
or even considering that what they propose entails threatening people
who have done them no harm and who owe them nothing with murderous
violence if they disagree and decline.
And so on.
of our society is so pervasive, we swim in it as naturally
as obliviously as fish in water. We most of us
literally cannot even see it. We merely accept it as the natural
order of things and go about our lives accordingly. We vote
casually to put our neighbors into cages
unless they Submit and Obey. To send armed men to their doorstep.
To control and micromanage them, with the ever-present threat of
the fist, the baton, the Tazer, even the gun always in the background.
To deprive them of property even life.
And they, in
turn, to us.
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columnist and author of Automotive
Atrocities and Road Hogs (2011). Visit his
© 2012 Eric Peters
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