On the Absurdity of The State

Sun, Jan 27, 2013 - 7:40am

Murray Rothbard

Let us assume... that a sizeable number of people suddenly arrive on Earth, and that they must now consider what sort of social arrangements to live under. One person or group of persons argues as follows (i.e., the typical argument for the State): “If each of us is allowed to remain free in all aspects, and particularly if each of us is allowed to retain weapons and the right of self-defense, then we will all war against each other, and society will be wrecked. Therefore, let us turn over all of our guns and all of our ultimate decision-making power and power to define and enforce our rights to the Jones family over there. The Jones family will guard us from our predatory instincts, keep social peace, and enforce justice.” Is it conceivable that anyone (except perhaps the Jones family itself) would spend one moment considering this clearly absurd scheme? The cry of “who would guard us from the Jones family, especially when we are deprived of our weapons?” would suffice to shout down such a scheme. And yet, given the acquisition of legitimacy from the fact of longevity given the longtime rule of the “Jones family” this is precisely the type of argument to which [supporters of the State] now blindly adhere.1

Hans-Hermann Hoppe

Assume a group of people, aware of the possibility of conflicts between them. Someone then proposes, as a solution to this human problem, that he (or someone) be made the ultimate arbiter in any such case of conflict, including those conflicts in which he is involved. Is this is a deal that you would accept? I am confident that he will be considered either a joker or mentally unstable. Yet this is precisely what all statists propose.2

1. Rothbard, Murray N. "The Inner Contradictions of the State." The Ethics of Liberty. New York: New York Universtiy, 1998. 175. Print.
2. Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. "The Role of Intellectuals and Anti-Intellectual Intellectuals." The Great Fiction. Baltimore: Laissez Faire Books, 2012. 35. Print.

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