Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Violence and State

As usual, Butler Shaffer has a fantastic column on LRC today on how some lives are considered more important than others, through examining the role of the state in outbursts of violence such as the recent murders in Atlanta, Chicago, and Wisconsin. Here's one of the best passages:
We live in an age of politicogenic conflict, wherein any condition that a sizeable number of people wish to see changed is presumed to give rise to state authority to redirect people’s lives. Farmers are subjected to criminal penalties for plowing their lands if their acreage is the nesting ground for some favored species of bird or rat. Homeowners have had their residences condemned, through eminent domain, and turned over to private businesses for the building of a factory or shopping center. Before one can enter various trades or professions, one must secure a license, to be issued by a state agency controlled by those already licensed. Prisons are over-populated with individuals whose only crime has been to choose which chemicals to ingest into their bodies. Parents are penalized for not educating, medicating, supervising, or raising their children in accordance with the preferences of those who presume the state’s role of “super-parent.” Individuals are subject to state mandates regarding health care alternatives, including forthcoming government controls over vitamins and supplements. The police system expands its surveillance and weaponry into more and more corners of life. Our world has become as dystopian as that envisioned by Herbert Spencer, in which “no form of co-operation, small or great, can be carried on without regulation, and an implied submission to the regulating agencies.”

And furthermore:
The state’s relentless efforts to regulate and micromanage the lives of people frustrates goal-directed behavior and, as a consequence, produces the anger and violence that manifests itself in so many sectors of modern society.

Now doesn't this just make more sense than all the pseudo-philosophical hokum we hear from the legacy media?

This is also the first time I've seen the phrase "state-supermacists" to describe people who follow and worship the state. It's much more descriptive than "statists," and I intend to use it with alarming regularity.

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