Can Violence Solve Violence?
Rarely do I hear anything from Stefan Molyneux that I can substantively disagree with, so allow me to jump on this rare opportunity to take issue with something he said. (I'm hoping this rant finds its way to him, and I'm betting one of you forwarding it to him will work better and faster than me trying to find his e- mail address in my infinite, messy pile of stuff.) In a recent podcast, where he gave his thoughts on the Joe Stack incident, Stefan asserted that violence cannot be solved with violence. Partly true, partly false. Here is the link for that clip:
I think Stefan would agree that the initiation of violence is a symptom of something not being right in the head of the aggressor. And it is absolutely true that the root CAUSE of the aggression cannot be fixed via more violence. However, the EFFECT (or symptom) of that problem CAN be. As a very simple example, if someone breaks into my house at night, my 12-gauge is not going to repair whatever mental damage led the guy to want to do such a thing. However, it has a good chance of stopping the EFFECT of his psychosis. In such an instance, my goal w
Likewise, the irrational belief in the myth of "authority" is the direct cause of the vast majority of theft, assault and murder in the world. The people at the IRS, for example, routinely commit harassment, terrorism, extortion and robbery, because they t
So the root cause of the problem is their indoctrination into the cult of authoritarianism, and all the propaganda and rhetoric they were fed about "law," "taxation," "government," and all the other bunk which is designed to paint theft as a GOOD thing when the slave-masters do it, and only bad when us peasants do it. And the SOLUTION to that problem is, quite literally, "deprogramming" people out of the most dangerous superstition: the belief in "authority" (the notion that some people have the right to rule others). So no, cursing at, punching, shooting, or blowing up IRS employees cannot fix that underlying problem.
HOWEVER--and this is a big however--while delusions remain, violence can sometimes deter the EFFECTS of those delusions. No matter how much an IRS employee has bought into the state
In general, it's a bad idea to focus on treating the SYMPTOMS of a problem, instead of treating the problem itself. This is true in medicine, economics, philosophy, and just about everything else. However, if the symptom of ONE person's problem is the SUFFERING of another, then treating the symptom is a worthwhile goal, for the sake of the innocent victim.
Suppose someone came up with a way to convince all 100,000 or so employees of the IRS that if they showed up for work the next day-- or ever again--they would all die horrible deaths. And supp
So the question is, when do we focus our efforts on trying to enlighten the deluded, and when do we do whatever it takes to stop the deluded from hurting people? My answer is, we should continually focus on both. Those of us who know that we own ourselves have the absolute right to do whatever it takes to stop others from initiating violence against us, whether they fully understand what they're doing or not. At the same time, it sure would be nice if we could make it so they didn't WANT to initiate violence against us. But if fear of harm is all that will keep thieves from stealing, it's better than letting them rob people.
This brings to mind a related topic--which I'll rant about more in some later message--having to do wit
In the ever-popular example of the Nazis, which of the following would have been more appropriate or more effective?: 1) lots of Germans politely trying to point out the philosophical inc
I spent years trying to make various IRS employees (and other state mercenaries) consider the possibility that maybe "doing their job" is immoral. Joe Stack spent a day showing them that "doing their job" might be hazardous to their health. Which of us did the IRS folk learn anything from? Sorry to say, I don't think it was me.
"Then along comes this '861' thing, and suddenly I saw, not just a really nasty fraud that needed exposing and resisting, but potentially a means of achieving real positive change (not the fictional kind that politicians endlessly yammer about), WITHOUT violence ... Imagine that: a nonviolent way to rein in some of the government's gargantuan power. Sounds good to me. To be blunt, I still see exposing the income tax deception as the only way to avoid an eventual (but not too distant) large-scale violent conflict between the U.S. government and the citizenry. ... To put it another way, I did what I did in part because I saw this endeavor as the best hope for avoiding large-scale violence AGAINST THOSE IN GOVERNMENT. No, that wasn't a t