Man… I keep linking Radley Balko. So often, there’s just no damned way around it.
From the guy I link to probably second only to Balko myself. Here’s what I said recently, and Billy agreed. And I’ve got seven of Balko’s posts at the ready for yet another roundup when I get a chance here.
The post Billy is linking to is one I’d read just minutes before, but it was not one I’d intended to blog. Then I saw this:
Look: everything is wrapped-up — necessarily implicit — in the
first clause of that first sentence […so long Congress continues to spend…], and that first clause, itself,
requires analysis to uncover the fact that this ability to "spend"
stands on the power to steal. Not one of you reading these
words is authorized to go to your neighbors and take from them what is
theirs in order for you to transform it into something that you think is good for them. There is no such moral right. And you know it. You would not have any of them do that to you. There is no way that any such right comes to existence by numbers of you gathering to say it does.
You cannot delegate to "representatives" a right that is not yours, and
this includes the authority to take anyone’s goods without their
explicit individual consent. That is the very essence of theft, and
there is no sleight-of-logic able to make this fact go away, whether
you like it or not. And if you don’t like it, then you have a problem with facts, and you still have no right to chain me to your psychosis.
Billy: you just don’t understand The Very Exceedingly Complicated Nature of Society.™
In other news, all this above went along quite well with this Sobran article.
At the time I considered myself a
conservative, with libertarian leanings. Much as I respected Robert, I believed
in limited government under the U.S. Constitution — but none at all?
That was taking a good idea too far, I thought.
Notice the illogic of my reaction. I
was thinking of a philosophy as a matter of personal taste, as if you could
draw an arbitrary line and stop there. "Would you prefer a little bit of
government, a moderate amount, or a lot of it?"
After a while (years, actually) it
sank in that Robert wasn’t just telling me what quantity of government he’d prefer. He was saying that the whole idea of it
was wrong in principle — no matter whether it was democratic,
Communist, monarchist, Christian, or something else. He would agree that
some are worse than others, but he insisted that all were wrong. Any
government is a monopoly of organized force, inherently unjustifiable; and
once accepted, it’s bound to get out of control sooner or later.