Wars are Started by Governments

droneIts amusing but sad that people always seem to come from the same perspective for “solving problems”. Everybody wants to use a top down approach when dealing with borders. People just assume that we need to group people together, even if they don’t like it! So in the U.S. we have parts of Colorado that want to form a new state, we see a piece of California trying to secede, and Texas was once its own country, and entered into the U.S.A. from the position that it could leave if the population so desired. The Kurds never really wanted to be part of Iraq, and borders within the United Kingdom have shifted countless times over the past 2,000 years. So we see these problems and think, how do we divide up who controls this land? But control is the very problem.

I think a hundred years from now people will look back on the debate about whether or not part of Colorado or California or whole states should be allowed to do their own thing, and laugh because of how ridiculous it seems that anyone would try to force people to remain under their jurisdiction, like subjects or serfs. I hope the prevailing notion of that day a century from now will be that of course people have the freedom to move as they like, associate as they like, and live as they like, as long as they aren’t hurting anyone.

Because isn’t that really the issue, that governments want to force people under their control? If the Kurds hadn’t been stuck between Iraq and a hard place, they could have just continued their society and lived their lives in relative peace. But Iraq and Iran made promises, broke their promises, lied, and Saddam Hussein gassed an entire city of “his people”. They couldn’t just be left alone?

Or how ridiculous that Denver or Sacramento want to hold onto their population in the outer districts in order for the capital to extract money and labor to fund the government programs, expenditures, and extravagance which mostly takes place in the capital. I think there is a book like that…

Then there’s Crimea, and Palestine, and Israel and it has never occurred that people don’t need to be controlled, or told what to do, or where the borders are, or to whom they are supposed to pay protection money—or taxes if you prefer. It seems immature as a species that whole groups of people routinely use their military strength to force others into their way of life, or their way of thinking, or within their borders.

Who would fight wars if not for governments? Who would enforce borders, and collect taxes, and make up laws that you can lose your life and liberty for breaking, even if there is no victim? Here’s the thing: the guy that starts the war, never fights in it. Sure, sometimes he overplays his hand and kills himself in a bunker, or gets hanged or slaughtered by his own people, but these are more like exceptions to the rule. So in whose best interest is a war? Tell me, who is going to start a war, and who is going to fight a war, if we don’t have government relations to sour, and government force to muster, and government controlled populations to enslave?

War is only in the best interest of those who have something to gain from it, and nothing to lose from it. Only those who can use force without retribution are in that position, and only governments can use force without retribution. Who would be sending men off to die if people were truly free from the initiation of force? What mutually beneficial transaction includes death and destruction?

I’m not going to get into right now how a society could be organized without government, I’ve written enough about that to give you a good idea. I just want people to reflect on the dynamic that we have always seen on earth, governments starting wars with governments and pretending it is in the best interest of the people: the people who die on the battlefield so that the government can say, “see, this is the border” or “these are my subjects” or “no, no, this set of victimless crimes is legitimate, theirs was not!”. And yes, we have certainly had better governments than others; the American government as defined in the Constitution was pretty good, but not perfect.

I once thought of ways to design the perfect government, with the perfect restraints, and checks on its power. I thought of ways to design elections, to form opposing powers, and to decentralize control. This is the “government is evil but necessary” philosophy. Then it occurred to me that nothing evil should ever be necessary. Why keep a beast in your house that would devour you if its chains are too loose, or break?

Would a lion be a great deterrent to crime at your home? Yes, but it might also eat you and your family. A big dog can be just as good a deterrent to crime, and you have control over it. Your dog loves you because you feed it and pat it; you trade food and affection for protection. Protection that will never be turned on you and your family, even though your dog can go anywhere in the house. The lion you feed so that it doesn’t eat you, and it dictates where you can safely walk in your own home. And the lion provides protection only if its chain is long enough, which also puts you in danger. But if the chain is too short, it won’t be able to stop an intruder.

Right now we are a society of lion keepers, and we should be a society of dog owners.

11 thoughts on “Wars are Started by Governments

  1. Anarcho-capitalism sounds great to me being a libertarian but I also can see problems developing. Let’s take a neighborhood association. There are usually fees associated with living in that type of neighborhood and a president/treasurer who runs it. They usually start because a group of neighbors have similar wants and needs, such as plowing. Things go accordingly as long as everyone is in agreement. Now Joe moves out and Rick moves in. Unlike a condo assoc where you have to sign a contract so you must meet the obligation, a neighborhood association is voluntary. Rick refuses to pay up. But he’s right in the middle of the neighborhood that gets plowed so he benefits. Now Lisa says, well, he’s not paying, so I’m not paying and so on. A libertarian response may be, well, so be it, no plowing. Or move. But civilized people want plowing and most don’t want to constantly uproot, so eventually they will pay and you will have freeloaders in the group unless you forcibly remove them or harass them into moving which should not be legal. The other option is to require that everyone in the neighborhood pay the plowing fee, which is how I’m guessing towns were started because the association expanded. The idea of towns makes sense to a lot of people because instead of constant trial and error by moving in and out, they can choose a town to live in that may have posted by-laws that they can examine before moving in, giving them a pretty good idea of what is expected of them and what will be done for them when they ante up (pay taxes). I would think under anarcho-capitalism towns that tax would be illegal because it’s force, not voluntary. Even as a libertarian, I do like government on a very limited, very small, town by town or state by state basis for it’s practical purpose of living my everyday life and letting the people who choose to run things (every town has them) do their thing and I can get on with my life until I feel the need to become involved which doesn’t involve an 8 hour ride to DC. My issue is with a centralized government that for all practical purposes has no need to be dictating from afar

    • Thanks Kerri, good points. Theres a few ways that this issue could be solved without having to involve government, which at some level still amounts to force (taking the money to be used for plowing) as opposed to agreeing on how to get the neighborhood plowed. One thing that might happen is whoever owns the road would take care of plowing, included in the fee to access the road. When the new neighbor comes in, he would either have to access his land by helicopter, or pay for access to the road, and therefore also pay for plowing, but he would know this ahead of purchasing the home. (and fees for the road don’t need to be a toll booth, it could be a subscription).

      But let’s say the neighborhood association owns the road, and buying a house buys you into that road, but that does not include plowing. The neighborhood associations made up of all the original people who all agreed that plowing was worth chipping in on would need those rules to be written into the deed of each home. That way the person buying the house would be required to pay a piece of the plowing costs, based on the product he is buying in the first place: the home, property, and all the stipulations that go with it. This is not force like the town would use, where everyone in a particular geographic area is forced to pay taxes; the option is entirely the association’s in the first place to make the rules (with homeowners agreeing to write rules into their deeds which could make the property harder to sell), and later the buyer, who can look at the deed and see that there is a perpetual yearly fee paid to the neighborhood association which is required under contract if that deed is purchased.

      But let’s say there is a small dirt road and 2 people live on it (say, joint ownership of the actual road). One guy decides the road needs to be plowed, so he asks his neighbor for half the money. “No thanks, I drive a jeep!”. Should that jeep driver really be forced to subsidize his neighbors plowing, when he neither wants nor needs it? This is what a town does, just spread the cost of plowing out, versus having only those who want or need plowing paying for it. There are countless ways to cut costs by joining together, as in a town, but with the key difference being agreement instead of force.

      And yes, under anarcho-capitalism towns that tax would be illegal simply because they would be initiating force when collecting the taxes. But say I want to start a “town” without force. I just simply need to buy up enough land, and put by-laws into any deed for each parcel of land I sell off, or include by-laws in any agreement for lease or rental. This could be yearly fees in order to cover things like plowing, roads etc., but again there would be no force because everything would be agreed upon in contracts.

      Thanks for commenting!

      • Everyone in a town is not required to pay taxes only homeowners because it’s part of the deed. Under anarcho-capitalism this would be illegal whether it was just for plowing in an association because you are forcing the person to accept services for simply buying a piece of property.
        And what about beach front? I think it’d be sad if a select few could go and buy up all the beach front and no one else had access to it. These are reasons in my opinion anarcho-capitalism has issues even tho most of it I agree with

      • It would not be illegal in anarcho-capitalism to write a requirement into your deed, and whoever bought that deed would be buying into that requirement. The reason people would not want to include stipulations on their deed is because it would make property harder to sell. So in the neighborhood association you would not be forced to accept the services, you would agree to accept them, for a fee, as designated by the deed which you can choose to purchase or not.

        And currently someone could buy up all the beach front, I don’t really see the difference there. Since there would be a market for beaches, what are currently “public beaches” (meaning even the people who never go to the beach pay for them by force) would just charge a fee. I just think any issues that anarcho-capitalism has are already currently present with government, and indeed worse based on the monopolization of force.

      • Isn’t a town just basically a big association? I don’t see the difference between the two. And I personally like the idea even though I might not personally use every single service I sign up for by purchasing the home and agreeing to the real estate taxes, I also want some things like street plowing, water, trash pickup to be dealt with in one lump instead of having a different bill for every service I want. And because town hall is right down the street I feel I have a reasonable chance of protecting my rights so I’m willing to have a little bit of government on a local level but still agree with the basics of AC.
        And I think there are stretches of beach front that an individual couldn’t buy in massachusetts, that are under state jurisdiction. You are right though, no system is perfect and our current system of massive government at every level is unacceptable so alternative options should be explored. Thanks for listening

      • You hit the nail on the head, you WANT these things, I’m assuming other people do too, so there would be a market for “towns”, they would just be structured without force. The “town government” would allow you to pay for everything in one payment, and choose which ones u want. Some people would choose trash pickup, some wouldn’t. And if the town was structured as I mentioned earlier, with agreements on the deeds so that you would be agreeing to the services and fees up front, then no one could change the rules without your consent, which could happen in a town as it currently stands. So there would be the option of living in the exact same town as it currently is set up, but there would never be any surprises or force involved. The benefit, is never allowing the camel’s nose under the tent, so to speak. If things were structured to exclude force in the first place, it would be much harder to justify one small centralization of government at a time.

        And as always, thanks so much for commenting, I really enjoy the discussions we have! 🙂

  2. Keep up the good work. Your posts bring up very good points on many interesting and important subjects that I wish more people were willing to discuss!

  3. Pingback: Debating Anarcho-Capitalism versus Limited Government | Joe Jarvis

  4. Pingback: The Bad Quaker talks Abolition with Bill Buppert | Joe Jarvis

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