The Necessity of Choice

If I put a gun to your head and tell you to rob a liquor store, are you guilty of robbery? No. By placing your life under threat of death, I have removed all choice from you, and subsequently all agency. Anyone who tells you that you still had a choice is clearly demented as they think death is a viable option. Agency is moral responsibility for your actions. Without agency, there can be no virtue as the morality of the choice is removed from you. This is why government and all of its actions are morally wrong. Everything the government does comes at the threat of death or as a result of it.

Do you pay your taxes? I do, but not willingly. I pay them because I know that if I refuse, eventually a man with a gun will come to my house, threaten my life, put me in chains, kidnap me, and place me in a cage. If I refuse, or attempt to defend myself, he will shoot me. I have no agency in the action of paying my taxes. This is also why taxation is theft.

Now, you may say the government does some good things with the money it steals from me and everyone else in the form of taxation. Even if the money stolen in taxes goes to feed poor, blind, starving, AIDS ridden children in Africa, it is still an immoral act as the funds are ill-gotten gains. When the government provides welfare for the poor, retirement funds for the old, and education for the illiterate, it is not committing a moral action. The ends do not justify the means. Even if you support what the government is doing, you are not making a moral choice. No matter how much you delude yourself, you do not have agency in what the government is doing, and therefore neither you, nor the government is making a moral choice.

This is why anarchy is the only moral political ideal. Every individual has full agency for his or her choices, and morality falls squarely on his or her shoulders. If you choose to help the illiterate become literate, the poor get food, or the old live comfortably, you are acting morally because you have the freedom to choose not to do those things. Likewise, if you choose to rob that liquor store, you are responsible for that immoral act. Anarchy is the only system that allows humans to reach the full potential of their agency, and it is therefore the only system that can achieve human flourishing.

4 thoughts on “The Necessity of Choice

  1. Those taxes pay for law enforcement, which protect you – chances are, you’d be dead without a stable government. Assuming you even live to the point where you can take care of yourself, consider the effort you’d then have to put into protecting yourself and loved ones. Africa is pretty lawless, as is the middleast, russia, etc.

    Or right, and those are only internal problems. Let’s not forget the various genocidal dictatorships around the world that would happily invade other countries just for giggles.

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    • Louis, thank you for checking out my post! You make some false assumptions, so I will address them here. First, you assume that without a violent coercive monopoly on the use of force, individuals and societies would not be able to form voluntary protective services. The next false assumption you make is that individuals are prone to violence. Violence is extremely expensive, and the consequences are very high, i.e. death. Africa and the Middle East are as violent as they are because governments, mainly the U.S., have destabilized and destroyed them through war. Governments are only able to wage war because they have a violent coercive monopoly over a stable tax base and a monopoly over the currency used. Through these two things, the central bank can issue loads of debt on the promise that the tax slaves will pay it back as well as inflate the currency due to the fact that there is no competition for it.

      The world was a much less violent place at the beginning of the 20th century than it is now, and you know what has changed? The amount of government in the world has increased, and the control of the central banks has expanded. It is no coincidence that a century of total war has coincided with a century of central banking from the Federal Reserve. In addition to that, more people died as a result of government fratricide of their own people in the 20th century than died in WWII. Without government, we might not have police or law enforcement as we know it today, but we definitely would not have had Nazism, Communism, Socialism, or Islam, let alone the genocidal dictatorships you are thinking of.

      Lastly, I will say this, if individuals were so prone to violence, society would have never been able to form. We are not civilized because an authoritarian few whipped us into cooperation. In fact, it is the opposite. We are cooperative because we know we are better off for it, and it is an authoritarian few that seek to take advantage of our natural tendency to cooperate in order to receive homage for something they had no part in creating; civilization.

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  2. I’m an anarchist, so as long as you aren’t aggressing against me, you are free to do what you like. Your disinclination to engage in meaningful dialogue about topics that challenge your perceptions is disappointing, but I do wish you well.

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