Step Four: “Authority” = Immoral Violence


Almost everyone agrees that sometimes physical force is justified, and sometimes it is not. Though there is a large, debatable gray area, it is generally accepted that aggressive force – the initiation of violence against another person – is unjustified and immoral. This would include theft, assault and murder, as well as more indirect forms of aggression such as vandalism and fraud. On the other hand, using force in defense of the innocent is widely accepted as justified and moral, even noble. The legitimacy of such force is determined by the situation it is used in, not by who is using it. To simplify, the types of force which anyone has the right to use can be termed “good force,” and any acts of force which normal people do not have the right to commit can be termed “bad force,” (The reader can apply his own standards, and the logic here will still apply.)

However, agents of “authority” are imagined to have the right to use force not only in the situations where anyone would have such a right, but in other situations as well, It stands to reason that if everyone has the right to use inherently justified “good force,” and “the law” authorizes agents of “government” to use force in other situations as well, then “law” is the attempt to legitimize bad force, In short, “authority” is permission to commit evil – to do things that would be recognized as immoral and unjustified if anyone else did them.

Obviously, neither the enthusiastic voter who proudly posts a campaign sign in his yard, nor the well-intentioned citizen who “runs for office,” understands this fact. If they did, they would understand that “democracy” is nothing more than majority-approved immoral violence, and cannot possibly fix society or be a tool for freedom or justice. Despite the mythology which claims that a person’s vote is his “voice,” and that the right to vote is what makes people free, the truth is that all “democracy” does is legitimize aggression and unjustified violence. The logic of this is so simple and obvious that an enormous amount of propaganda is needed in order to train people to not see it, If everyone has the right to use inherently righteous force, and “government” agents are allowed to use “force” in other situations as well, then, by its very nature, what “government” adds to society is immoral violence.

The problem is that the people are taught that when violence has been made “legal” and is committed by “authority,” it changes from immoral violence into righteous “law enforcement.” The fundamental premise upon which all “government” rests is the idea that what would be morally wrong for the average person to do can be morally right when done by agents of “authority,” implying that the standards of moral behavior which apply to human beings do not apply to agents of “government” (again, hinting that the thing called “government” is superhuman). Inherently righteous force, which most people generally agree is limited to defensive force, does not require any “law” or special “authority” to make it valid. The only thing that “law” and “government” are needed for is to attempt to legitimize immoral force And that is exactly what “government” adds, and the only thing it adds, to Society more inherently unjust violence. No one who understands this simple truth would ever claim that “government” is essential to human civilization.

The notion that man-made “law” can negate the usual rules of civilized behavior ha: some fairly terrifying ramifications. If “government” is not limited by basic human morality, which the very concept of “authority” implies, by what standards or principles would “government” action be limited at all? If 30% “taxation” is valid why would 100% “taxation” not be valid? If “legal” theft is legitimate and just, why couldn’t “legalized” torture and murder be legitimate and just? If some “collective need” requires society to have an institution that has an exemption from morality why would there be any limits on what it can do? If exterminating an entire race, or outlawing a religion, or forcibly enslaving millions is deemed necessary for the “common good,” by what moral standards could anyone complain, once they have accepted the premise of “authority”? All belief in “government” rests on the idea that the “common good” justifies the “legal” initiation of violence against innocents to one degree or another. And once that premise has been accepted, there is no objective moral standard to limit “government” behavior. History shows this all too clearly.

Almost everyone accepts the myth that human beings are not trustworthy enough not moral enough, not wise enough to exist in peace without a “government” to keep them in line. Even many who agree that there would be no rulers in an ideal society often opine that human beings are not “ready” for such a society. Such sentiments an based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what “authority” is and what it adds to society. The idea of “government” as a “necessary evil” (as Patrick Henry described it) implies that the existence of “government” imposes restraints upon the violent aggressive nature of human beings, when in reality it does the exact opposite: the belief in “authority” legitimizes and “legalizes” aggression.

Regardless of how foolish or wise human beings are, or how malicious or virtuous they might be, to say that human beings are not “ready” for a stateless society, or cannot be “trusted” to exist without having an “authority” that they bow to, is to say that peaceful civilization can exist only if there is a huge, powerful machine thai introduces an enormous amount of immoral violence into society, Of course, statists do not recognize the violence as immoral, because to them, it is not mere mortals committing the violence, but representatives of the deity known as “government,” .and deities have the right to do things that mortals do not. When described in accurate, literal terms, this nearly universally held belief – that it is necessary to introduce immoral violence into society in order to prevent people from committing immoral violence – is exposed as the patently absurd myth that it is. But everyone who believes in the myth of “government” has to believe exactly that. They do not believe it as a result of rational thought and logic; they accept it as an article of faith, because it is part of the unquestionable doctrine of the church of “government.”

This is an excerpt from the book “The Most Dangerous Superstition” by Larken Rose


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