There is one subject in politics that everyone avoids like the plague, that of violence. Sure, the left says Tea Partiers are violent and the right says leftwing activists are violent, but that's all "he said, she said, BS." Because the truth of the matter is, everything the government does is enforced through the threat of, or actual use of, violent aggression.
Left or right, it doesn't matter. Whether you want to take money from the rich and give it to the poor, or forbid someone from smoking marijuana, your demands are enforced down the barrel of a gun.
No matter what you want the government to do, you are agreeing to a) steal someone's property (fines), b) lock someone in a cage (jail), or c) shoot someone with a gun for not complying with your wishes. None of which represents civilized behavior.
Please watch the following video. It's a good illustration of what government means.
Home invaded, guns fired with a child present, pets killed ... for a misdemeanor, non-violent "offense."
Is this really how you want to treat your fellow man?
Is this really how you want to immanentize the eschaton?
So much political language is designed to obscure the simple reality of state violence ... We must, however, continue to peel back the euphemisms to reveal the socially-sanctioned brutality at the root of some of our most embedded social institutions.
I was recently involved in a debate with a woman about public schools. Naturally, she came up with reason after reason as to why public schools were beneficial, how wonderful they were for underprivileged children, how essential they were for social stability etc etc. Each of these points – and many more – could have consumed hour upon hour of back and forth, and would have required extensive research and complicated philosophical reasoning. But there was really no need for any of that – all I had to do was keep saying:
"The issue is not whether public schools are good or bad, but rather whether I am allowed to disagree with you without getting shot."
Most political debates really are that simple. People don’t get into violent debates about which restaurant is best because the state doesn’t impose one restaurant on everyone – and shoot those trying to set up competing restaurants. The truth is that I couldn’t care less about this woman’s views on education – just as she couldn’t care less about my views – but we are forced to debate because we are not allowed to hold opposing views without one of us getting shot. That was the essence of our debate, and as long as it remained unacknowledged, we weren’t going to get anywhere.
The reason that euphemisms are constantly used to obscure “the gun in the room” is the simple fact that people don’t like violence very much. Most people will do almost anything to avoid a violent situation. Even the most bloodthirsty supporter of the Iraq invasion would have a hard time justifying the proposition that anybody who opposed the invasion should be shot – because it was to defend such freedoms that Iraq was supposed to have been invaded in the first place! But how can I have the right to oppose the invasion of Iraq if I am forced to pay for it through taxation? Surely that is a ridiculous contradiction, like arguing that a man has a right to free speech, and also that he should be arrested for speaking his mind. If I have the right to oppose the invasion, surely I cannot be forced to fund it. If I am forced to fund it, then any right I have to “oppose” it is purely imaginary.
In essence, then, all libertarian arguments come down to one single, simple statement:
"Put down the gun, then we’ll talk."
This is the core morality of both libertarianism and civilization. Civilized people do not shoot each other when they disagree – decent people do not wave guns in each other’s faces and demand submission or blood. Political leaders know this very well – I would say better than many libertarians do – and so constantly obscure the violence of their actions and laws with mealy-mouthed and euphemistic weasel words. Soldiers aren’t murdered, they “fall.” Iraq wasn’t invaded, but “liberated.” Politicians aren’t our political masters, they are “civil servants,” and so on and on.
Supporting government means supporting violence. Whether you want to steal money from the rich, stop people from smoking cigarettes, or forbid 2 people from entering into peaceful contract, you are advocating the threat of, or use, of violence against another human being.
This isn't civilized behavior. It's barbaric.