I thought it would be prudent
to look at the uses to which we are currently putting violence
in our every day lives.
Caring for those who are retired:
We have a social security system and through it, we provide a nominal amount of "care" to people who no longer work. The money they get comes from tax
revenues. Those tax revenues are collected from people who would not pay them if they had no fear of violence (state
sanctioned!) for not paying them.
Building streets, highways, sewer lines, parks, etc.:
These too are built using money collected in the form of taxes, under threat of a violence most people find perfectly acceptable
Educating our children (and the children of others too!):
Not only do taxes collected under threat of violence (acceptable to most people, mind you) pay the wonderful teachers and administrators (who, in my opinion, are worth far more than we are forced
to pay them) from taxes collected at the point of a gun, but the children themselves are rounded up for truancy violations if they choose not to take advantage of the educational system
Protecting ourselves (and our neighbors too!) from stupidity:
We have laws against drunk driving, jay-walking, and making employment decisions based on sex or race rather than ability. These laws are enforced using fines and jail sentences. Citizens unwilling to pay the fine or live in a cell are forced to comply using, once again, violence that most citizens find perfectly acceptable.
Identifying people who can invent more stuff for us to do using violence:
That's pretty much what voters do on election day
, isn't it? Is there any reason for relying on our government other than "we'll be worse off unless we ultimately resort to violence
Commentary from other noders:
points out that in order to resist the payment of fines or imprisonment, one must be violent. He also asked what country I'm in - that would be the United States of America
. To address his most important question - how I equate fines and imprisonment with violence, I suppose I should explain what his first point means to me. Violence, according to Webster 1913, is the quality or state of using physical force. Thus, themanwho's point is that in order for me to "resist" imprisonment (the nonpayment of a legal fine comes to that eventually, right?), I must use physical force. Without using force, I will simply be carried or walked into the prison. However, if I neither resist nor comply, I must necessarily be carried, against my will, into my cell. That might not be violence, but it is nevertheless a violation of the natural freedom of liberty. Our willingness to give up this freedom when we owe money, or to take this freedom away from others who have acted against the will of the government, is what I call "a use of violence." Perhaps it is a misnomer. I suppose I could rewrite this node as "How we use our ability to take freedom away from others."
Themanwho also points out that people usually find neither fines nor imprisonment dissuasive. Perhaps spreading the knowledge of the violation would work better.
suggests that I'm implying that "societal pressure" (which needs to be noded) and "violence" (which does not) are the same thing. He points out that "imprisonment and fines can be forced upon a person through a means that most people would not call violent." To simpleton, this is a flaw in my writeup. I see that equating "societal pressure" and "violence" would be a critical flaw, which is why I left out the term "societal pressure." I wholeheartedly agree that there is a way that does not ultimately resort to violence, and that is exactly why I wrote this node. We ought to be using that way instead of our current strategy which is "when all else fails, resort to violence."
If it doesn't make sense to you:
, who at first did not understand what the hell I was talking about (before I added "Commentary from other noders"), suggested that I spell it out. Anthropod figured this out with no help from me, but suggested that I spell it out anyway:
Since I'm a U.S. citizen
, when I write "we" in the title of my node, I mean "The U.S. government." I liked the idea of following the popular sentiment (however innaccurate
it might be), that we are the government.
I wrote this in the daylog
, but to clarify the steps I followed in coming to the conclusion asserted in the title of this writeup, I will repeat it here:
Our government uses violence as its foundation. Things have to be a certain way, they tell us, and to make them that way, those who refuse to comply must be dealt with, and if they cannot be made to comply without using violence, then violence is warranted. It is our acceptance of this claim that strips us of our liberty. I'm talking about psychological liberty, and it is the first liberty
that a person must possess in order to have meaningful liberty in any other sense.
If you downvote this writeup, please help me
to improve it or explain why it is the kind of idea that should be discarded. I'm always looking for that kind of information, and thanks for reading.