The Fluid Morality of Statism

by | Aug 8, 2023

The Fluid Morality of Statism

by | Aug 8, 2023

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For anyone who has been forced to justify their beliefs when it comes to individual liberty, we are often placed onto the back foot in the defense of the imaginary. The what if? emerges as an ideological assault that somehow is expected to prove the supremacy of the status quo and reveal the failure of liberty. Yet, when the basic concepts of statism are questioned, very seldom do we find a satisfactory validation outside of the “greater good” or human evils needing to be regulated by angels. The argumentation for most ideologies, especially the government-centric, is a sense of morality. It is the belief in moral supremacy that legitimizes the ideals. The understanding of morality differs according to ideology and the importance of certain aspects tend to vary. Socialism boasting an egalitarian moral justice while certain conservative sects value a spiritual fixation are examples of different priorities while also addressing material and immaterial focuses that permeate.

Most human beings understand that murder, theft, and rape are wrong. Yet, we are told under certain conditions they can be legitimate. Bad things happen in war, for example. (As though it is a given that innocent human beings should be killed or that war itself is inevitable and is rarely above reproach.) Often the enemy belligerent is defined by a lack of moral principles or their willingness to do great harm with malice and indifference. In the defeat of such an enemy, similar traits are embraced. In a domestic setting, when a group has been deemed a pariah, the public is likely to get behind their government when it comes to extra-judicial killings. This may be based on the race or religion of the individuals, and soon perhaps their gender. The 1993 mass murder of the Branch Davidian members in Waco, Texas is an example of human beings—children included—depicted as pariah and thus murder-able. So long as the government decides it is righteous in doing so and the murdered are viewed as dangerous cultists, justifications will be formulated.

With regular intervals the validity of Allied bombing of civilian targets in World War II arises and the justification delves into the madness of collectivism. Every person in a geographical region or of a particular race or national identity are determined to be legitimate targets based on the enemy faction’s ownership of such a demographic. A Japanese baby can be murdered because of an attack on a U.S. colony years before it was born; that’s acceptable from a certain collectivist and statist mind virus. The madness that occurs when statism takes on a moralist crusade, especially in the time of war, will celebrate the intentional targeting of children. Many of those who use children as a vantage point to protect from particular influences or ‘evils’ will also rationalize that other people’s kids are fair game to be starved and slaughtered so long as it satisfies national ambition or even the honor of the state.

The crimes of the Japanese or German governments are raised and used to condemn all Japanese or Germans from a specific period in time. Yet, the United States’ mass bombing in Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos lacks the same reason to inflict mass death, although such tactics are omitted or supported by the advocates of nationalism and variants of statism. War allows murder to occur, even if no declaration of war was made and none of the places bombed were aggressors against the United States itself. The moral conviction to murder all or many remains nonetheless. The vigor for a moral crusade, to kill and conquer, is the singular ambition and where most statist ideologies find their value.

In the case of theft, it’s widely accepted—and for some welcomed—when money is pilfered so long as it is given a name like tax, tariff, or levy. Such theft is taken by government, under threat of violence, at local, state and federal level. Should someone work harder, they are punished by having more of their earnings stolen. Should one save, improve an item or even die, they are also taxed. Government has also required licensing and registration that adds an added tax. Individuals are forced to constantly pay for the right to own items or to perform tasks. Individuals face confiscation or even having their homes raided if items are determined contraband, and this retribution is considered perfectly fine by a wider community.

When the National Socialist government in Germany first started to relocate their Jewish population, individuals were told that they could only take fifty kilograms worth of personal effects with them. It was common for the German Red Cross to then confiscate these items to be redistributed among the German populace or for local officials to take for themselves. Once the government had declared a group of individuals to be a pariah, their property is fair game. Japanese citizens in the United States during World War II experienced a deprivation of property when the government made them illegal human beings. Theft, abuse, kidnapping, and in more extreme cases murder and torture become valid acts so long as a government invents laws. Individuals who otherwise would be less inclined to do such things feel a validation and even motivation to commit evil. Government has never been ruled by angels, only human beings with their magical pen strokes that enables and legalizes the most evil of the human character.

The War on Drugs has added an extra element when it comes to the assault on the individual. The possession of certain matter is considered so severe that government agents are able to search an individual’s body, including inside of them with intrusive disregard to their dignity. It is with little compassion that individuals are forced to endure intrusions on their person because it’s supposedly understood that drugs are bad. The excuse is if individuals are under the influence of drugs they may become murderers, thieves, or rapists. Yet, the War on Drugs has allowed murder, theft, violence and rape to occur so long as these actions are taken in the name of waging the war against drugs.

The emergence of the health state is revealing the sinister nature of experts and professionals who believe that other people’s bodies belong to them. The super status of public health has created dependency and the removal of alternative medicine-health while waging a war on individual rights. The belief that a single approach is required to most, if not all health concerns and crises is going to have far more devastating effects over time. The altruistic nature of public health culture is that everyone should have access to medicine and care. As noble as this sounds, as an ideological decree it fails in practice. As a system it has shown to be less efficient and turns not only into a bloated monopoly but a dangerous one that lacks the accountability of market competition, alternative opinions, scientific scrutiny, or free choice. The great moralists declare that health should not be for profit, while experts, medical practitioners, and bureaucrats profit from the monopoly that becomes more about them and less about the patients in their care.

The public health culture that is infecting most first world nations has ensured that more people cannot imagine an alternative to the medical state which they live in. The US.. system, which appears increasingly fascist, is often cited as an example of the failure of the free market in medicine. Those who do live in a public health state understand that it may have some initial perks until you encounter the many flaws or are very sick. Then you run the risk of being at the mercy of funding-based economics and the rationalization of centrally planned hubris. Philanthropic or charitable execution of medicine is either deterred or made illegal. Your body is at the mercy of the state and it will determine what you can and cannot do with it.  If the government can decide what you are not allowed to do with or put into your body, it soon determines what you have to do to your body.

The moral argument that health and medicine is a human right crumbles beneath a monolith of incompetence, bureaucracy, and central planning. It becomes an entity upon itself that seeks a mandated consensus, which mitigates the practice of medicine or science itself. The morality soon becomes the perpetuation of the health state and ensuring that it retains its singular importance, widespread dependence, and a lack of true accountability or options. As it is said, doctors bury their mistakes. A health state only reforms and ensures it remains, regardless.

The ultimate example of the fluid nature of statism is the widespread mercenary cynicism that exists within its apparatus. Many of the doers in government are not there because of a sense of ideological belief, rather they are there for perks and benefits. The doers are often individuals who have little to no faith in policy or any confidence in what they are doing. It’s just a job. It pays well, with a pension and some departments offer status. The incentive is money. Even those who espouse socialist diatribe are usually motivated by money and the benefits found inside of government. Whatever great proclamations are made, very rarely are true believers found and seldom are there those who make humble sacrifices themselves for the greater good, it is for others to suffer.

Statism tends to reward those employed within it. Its meritocracy is a strange status that invites politically motivated individuals and those who will climb at the expense of others. For all the criticism of the corporate world and capitalist greed, statism draws the most greedy to it. It rewards a specific kind of motivation, whether it is those with a lust for funding or others with a compulsion for power. It provides the sociopath a platform to become a great celebrity or historically adored. Those who do exercise a sense of moral concern are usually punished. They do not ascend, or they are forced to become whistleblowers with an ugly implication attached to such a status. The true believers tend to suffer and burn out or become crushed by “the system”

Government is made up of human beings, but the ideology of statism is powered by belief. No matter how righteous the moral inclinations are of those planning and doing, it requires coercion. Violence and money are the motivators; the paid will inflict violence on those governed. If anything dripping in statism is abusive paternalism, a religion, or a leviathan, it is anything but moral. Yet its doers will murder, rape, and steal under the name of morality or, more likely, because it’s a job.

About Kym Robinson

Kym is the Harry Browne Fellow for The Libertarian Institute. Some times a coach, some times a fighter, some times a writer, often a reader but seldom a cabbage. Professional MMA fighter and coach. Unprofessional believer in liberty. I have studied, enlisted, worked in the meat industry for most of my life, all of that above jazz and to hopefully some day write something worth reading.

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