Jul
08
2009
0

“Eternal Vigilance,” or, the Argument from Exhaustion

In a recent debate between Michael Badnarik and Stefan Molyneux, Badnarik commented that anarchy wouldn’t work because (paraphrased) people lack the killer instinct. One must be eternally vigilant against the hordes of marauders just itching to destroy one’s life and livelihood.

A comment by a FDR poster completely collapses this “argument”:

I wonder, are we currently being “eternally vigilant” for any signs of slavery coming back into society or is this no longer a concern? It’s just time that makes these problems appear worse. In the midst of a statist world there is much hand-wringing and brow furrowing over the idea of anarchy whereas when it does finally start turning around (I dunno, a few hundred years from now) people will look back at our time and think, “Cripes, can you believe how paranoid those people were back then about a government!?”

The reason slavery hasn’t returned to society is because people recognize that the ownership of human beings is completely immoral. This has not penetrated our social consciousness to the degree that it is commonly understood that we exist as tax livestock, but there is no chance of slavery being accepted as moral.

This is what will cause statism to be rejected: a recognition that the initiation of violence to solve social problems is completely immoral.

Once we put this into practice, vigilance against statism will no more be required than vigilance against slavery is today.

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