Shooting the players doesn't end the game

A post on Roderick Long’s site from last month came back to life, turned a sharp corner, and led to a very long exchange between MBH and Rad Geek that included this, in the context of the former criticizing the latter’s rhetoric:

If this guy thought the government would be overthrown by his action, would he be justified in shooting the Congresswoman in the face?

Short take of my opinion: No.  Now to expand on that a bit…

The anarchist view of the state is so obvious that it’s in the dictionary definition of “anarchist”.  We oppose it, don’t think it should exist, full stop.  In spreading this viewpoint, naturally the crimes committed at the hands of the claimed “legitimate” initiator of force are detailed: war, mass theft & fraud for the benefit of insiders, violence against people engaged in consensual activities — all claimed to be “for your own good”.  It’s understandable for people to be angry about this, even outright furious (and yes, anger is preferred on our part, because the alternative is acceptance).  Where most of us part is when someone takes in those crimes & concludes “let’s go shoot (insert politician’s name here)!”.

Someone might look at that & say “why not?  I thought you said the gov’t does blahblahblah?”.  Yes, it does.  However, though we may point out what particular politicians are doing, the point is the state as an institution.  Government isn’t solely the people within it, or even primarily, because the key to it is an ideology, a belief system.  The belief system of government is basically this:

“A society without some to be obeyed simply cannot exist.  Humans are wild animals who’d eat each other alive if not for guidance from above.  WE can be that guidance, never mind that whole we’re-human-too thing”

Sure, you can assassinate a politician.  You can even assassinate several.  But this belief system will still exist.  Ending the state by shooting a congressman, or even a president, would make about as much sense as someone who hated the sport of baseball thinking they could eradicate it by shooting Derek Jeter — which is to say, none.

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2 Responses to Shooting the players doesn't end the game

  1. ricketson says:

    From what little I know of “Just War” theory, it probably provides good guidance for when violence is appropriate. It isn’t enough that the target is “guilty”, the act also has to directly protect lives.

  2. augustus818 says:

    It also compels the government and those involved in it to play the perfect martyr card, which only serves entrench the ideology even further, making it THAT MUCH harder to disengage as a concept. As they say the best propaganda is that which is true.

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