“Oh what you belong to ___ group? I thought you libertarians and anarcho-capitalists hated collectives! Ha, everything you stand for is disproven.”
Ever heard that one, or some variation of it? Well I can’t say it much better than Bastiat himself, however I will expand on his rebuttal.
I feel like a broken record: no we aren’t against helping the poor, we are against forced extortion to supposedly help the poor. No we are not against education, we are against forced indoctrination. No we are not against law and order, we are against forced grouping that makes us subservient to others to whom the law does not equally apply, and who can initiate force without the same consequences as the civilians.
Anarchists and libertarians are not against voluntary collectives, they are against forced collectives.
Yesterday I was walking in the woods with some friends. We had been hiking for a while and turned and twisted around many paths when we came to a four way intersection. Not wanting to turn back, we began to discuss which way would be best to take. In fact after some discussion, we all agreed to take the same path. But suppose I thought a different path was better. Should I attempt to force them to take the path I want? Or should they, being in the majority, attempt to force me to take the path they want? Of course not.
In a voluntary group, I am free to leave or stay. In the middle of the woods my options are to agree with the group, or be left alone. I see value in the group, and that is why I submit to the majority. Not because the majority has the right to force their will on the minority, and not even because the will of the majority is necessarily better in some way than the minority. No one claims that groups cannot be of great use and help. But they must be voluntary groups in order to serve this purpose best.
In addition to the post I wrote on Sociopaths Among Us for this blog, I tailored a similar post for my other, non-political blog. A commenter brought up an awesome point, inspired by the book The Gift of Fear by Gavin Debecker. The book is non-fiction about how our intuition is actually picking up subconscious signals which logically lead us to be uneasy in certain situations when everything does not line up, even though we might not be able to pinpoint why.
Interestingly enough, I just thought about this book yesterday because the book discusses a tactic used by these types of people called “forced teaming” where they create a “we” or “us” when there really isn’t one. For example, a stranger approaches you and says “look at this rain we got ourselves stuck in, I guess we’re going to have to go into this dark abandoned structure together”. The point is is that there is no “WE”. The person is a stranger and this is a tactic that they use to get you to do something that you normally wouldn’t be comfortable with doing.
The reason why I thought of that is because I kept seeing political slander ads that said things like, “this candidate is not for us” and “this candidate doesn’t share our values”. I immediately thought, who is “us” and “our values”? It is scary the little things that people or groups do like that that the untrained or unsuspecting person might fall prey to.
Emphasis added. If forced pairing is a tactic used by dishonest people who are attempting to get someone from you, or victimize you, why would we think it is any different when politicians do it? The government is attempting to victimize you and me by getting us to feel apart of a team that does not exist. There is no us when it comes to government! Any “us” is a forced us, through arbitrary borders, or the IRS, or congressional districting, etcetera.
There is no “us” when it comes to a politician. They are attempting to steal your money, and give it away to their political donors after lining their pockets. They want to force you to comply with a new law, or get you to join in on the forced pairing, and benefit at the detriment of your “team mates”. Some want to make sure gay couples can force bakers to make them cakes, and force pastors to say they are married. Some want to throw you in jail if you smoke a joint, or take more of your money for bombing… I don’t know who, just pick a middle eastern country, I’m sure we are bombing them.
But the only legitimate collectives are voluntary, and all the others ones are for someone to gain while the forced members lose. When it is an individual sociopath trying to get you alone inside a dark building, we see the evils in forced pairing. But somehow when a politician does the same thing, so many are inclined to believe them: “Oh I like him, he looks me in the eye”. Great… great… have fun inside that creepy basement.
Any forced collective is bad, because it just means that some people are slaves, or caged to the desires of others. And when collectives are not forced, only the best ones form and persist. When a collective is voluntary, people only join for mutual gain, and can leave when they no longer value the group. And likewise, the group can expel a member who takes and takes without contributing.