Systems of control that depend on victim participation reflect the way we think. If we believe a strong central authority with power over us is necessary, that is the kind of government we will get. Seeking and resisting control have always been part of life, but over time we have demanded more self-government. We have moved from acceptance of crude slavery and serfdom to demanding some role in “participatory” government. Statism is the ideology of turning to organized force to solve problems better solved through peaceful persuasion.
Considering how much force and violence have shaped our destiny, it is understandable why statism is so tempting. Do you care about the poor? Want to protect the environment? Care about national security? Value a society that makes education freely available? Governments would like you to think you have done your part on important social issues by voting and paying your taxes without thinking critically. The threat of violence makes government monopolies and other organized crime distinct from voluntary organizations. Even the good things they achieve are made possible by coercion.
Over the course of human history, as we have demanded more self-government, the government racket has adapted. At one point, it was accepted that whoever could pick up the biggest rock was in charge. Then we had to be convinced of the divine right of a king or queen. Then we needed a vote to be satisfied. The racket will be plenty lucrative until we see it for what it is. As we demand self-ownership, rather than participation in the oppression known as democracy, the racket will become impossible.
If it is wrong for one person to do something, why is it acceptable when 51% of a voting population agrees to hire someone to do it for them? Democracy is not freedom. When fully living up to its ideal, democracy is at best a majority coming up with an excuse to impose its will on a minority. More often, it is a completely bogus pretense for the powerful to exploit the rest of us as much as possible without creating more discontent than they can manage. Democracy also conveniently provides a false outlet for discontent with the promise of “change” from the next election.
As long as people demand a protection racket, they will get one. Regardless of what it is called, or what false ideology is used to justify it, government is based on forcing ideas on people. Statism is the dominant paradigm today because most of us are in denial or ignorant of its true nature. Dependence on government makes it scary to consider something new. When enough of us realize the ideals of freedom, and turn to cooperative solutions instead of turning to force to solve problems, the paradigm of statism will have passed, and the government racket will be seen for what it really is, before it is quickly abolished.
This is an excerpt from the book “FREEDOM!” by Adam Kokesh