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Thursday, January 3, 2013

On the increasing willingness among Americans to give up personal sovereignty to the state

LIBERTY THOUGHTS OF THE DAY!

by Thomas L. Knapp

Why do people give up personal sovereignty to a group?

Being charitable, I'd say that some give up personal sovereignty because they a) are convinced that doing so will gain them some kind of security and/or b) are bullied/threatened into doing so.

More realistically, I suspect that many who do so are, in the terminology of Ayn Rand and Eric Dondero, moochers. The state, as Bastiat wrote, is the great fiction through which everyone attempts to live at the expense of everyone else. A lot of people accept the state because they believe it will help them get over on everyone else and get more than they could (or would) earn through their own efforts.

And why does this transfer increase over time?

Because the state's structure and incentives are such that it acts like an organism. Its priorities are wholly, and at all times, centered around its own maintenance, growth, power and security. States don't, in the normal course of things, get smaller or less powerful any more than animals get younger or ungrow their teeth and claws.

Tom Knapp's market-anarchist blog is RationalReview.com

3 comments:

Ran / SVP said...

"Why do people give up personal sovereignty to a group

Being charitable, I'd say that some give up personal sovereignty
because they a) are convinced that doing so will gain them some kind
of security and/or b) are bullied/threatened into doing so.

More realistically, I suspect that many who do so are, in the
terminology of Ayn Rand and Eric Dondero, moochers. The state, as
Bastiat wrote, is the great fiction through which everyone attempts to
live at the expense of everyone else. A lot of people accept the state
because they believe it will help them get over on everyone else and
get more than they could (or would) earn through their own efforts.
"

Yes, but not so fast. From a conservative viewpoint,
individuals also yield *some* authority to gain
c) certain efficiencies and conveniences and
d) to provide for mutual defense from external forces
- reasons that have nothing to do with moochitude,
and by design not all sovereignty.

Though the idea of a government designed to preserve liberty…
metastable at best, requiring a citizenry of robustly moral and independent actors.



"...and why does this transfer increase over time?

Because the state's structure and incentives are such that it acts
like an organism. Its priorities are wholly, and at all times,
centered around its own maintenance, growth, power and security.
States don't, in the normal course of things, get smaller or less
powerful any more than animals get younger or ungrow their teeth and
claws.
"

Amen.
One problem lies with the corruption of the individual that inevitably leads to the desire for power.
The point of the Constitution was to place severe limits on the power of central government.
I can respect those who doubted the Constitution's ability to check Power and keep it divided.

It kinda, sorta worked. Tocqueville noted that the sin of slavery would one day jump-up to bite us on the ass, hard,
and that the Constitution would be ignored and bastardized. Thirty-some years later it did, and bad indeed.
His comparrisons and contrasts of Ohio and Kentucky
ought to be required reading in every school.

Eric Dondero said...

Ran, if you wish to writ and article, submit it and we'll gladly run it here at LR.

After all, you are... AN ASSOCIATE EDITOR!

The Right Guy said...

Ran just replied publicly to what he did privately, which is where this post originated.