Government and its “Solution”

Difficulty    

This Text Can Be Found in the Book,
The Evolution of Consent: Collected Essays (Vol. I)


As soon as we look for “solutions”— being the end of conflict—, rather than real solutions— being the end of the cause of conflict—, we get into the same problems that we have today. If people are engaged in conflict there is a reason, and this reason must be resolved.

We need to acknowledge that conflict itself is a natural part of living, and, like the pain we feel when we burn ourselves, tells us that the cells (people) of the organism (society) that are acting out are not being looked after. As pain is to the individual, social distress is to the social unit. We can say we want the pain (social distress) to be over, but it does no good to put a bandage (government) on a finger (citizenry) that is still in a fire (conflict).

This is not to say that social intervention is never necessary, but social intervention, if just, should not be confused with government; nor should it try to preempt conflict with force. Standing armies become stagnant institutions that, as soon as the generations who created them are gone, forget their own purpose, and so do their subjects.

People naturally want to resolve their disputes. Governments, by getting in the way of cost-exchanges, get in the way of voluntary resolution through contracts, but enforce involuntary “social contracts.” Contracts are the way people resolve conflicts and reduce their own costs, but they’re meaningless, and even oppressive (as seen by rejection of social contracts the world over), to people who were not involved in their creation, should we even continue to call such involuntary actions contractual, and confuse the meaning in the first place.

Contracts, being vernacular in nature, will always be informed by the culture in which they take place. Cultures change with innovation—new ways to do things—, and culturally informed contracts would reflect the resolution of past conflicts, without imposing a monocultural and uniform system. Thus, culturally informed contracts mimick the natural laws of ecology and economics, where difference (mutations, entrepreneurs) is selected in or out in accord with its necessity, always riding an equilibrium.

Peace starts in the mind. To impose a contract from the top down does not create peace— the lack of which caused the conflict— in the minds of the offenders (who are also offended). Only the act of creating a contract, which may be a learned response from cultural exposure and others doing the same, can make the individual want to enforce it or be in accord with it; any other involvement is an act of coercion, which must be resisted by the losing side.

Tort offenses are conflicts unresolved, and that is just simply a fact of nature. Look what government has done for our economic torts: Government has busted unions (both worker and tenant), and has protected the landlord class from the peasants, who have declared “Land to the people!” Yet, the conflict over land exists for a good reason, the conflict over labor is for good reason, and its resolution, given by government, shall not suffice.

Government itself is the single largest cause of conflicts, for what are governments but the true lords of the land, collecting taxes from all classes, making its people poor and destitute? Governments arose where it was rich and the rent was high—the Fertile Crescent—, and were the result of exclusive claims to the lands which God gave us all to use, where they set up permanent stake, raped the soil, and enslaved the labor of those outside of them. This is government and its “solution.”

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