kinder, gentler, self-congratulatorier, same old force

Anton Sherwood (
Wed, 7 Jan 1998 18:33:52 -0800 (PST)

> Got news for ya: government is inherently adversarial - if it weren't,
> it wouldn't need force. If you're serious about "eliminating the `them
> vs. us' syndrome", concentrate on voluntary action *outside* the domain
> where every action is a defeat for somebody.

> Is it possible that the force that government occasionally uses

Occasionally? What is government, if not the threat of force?

> is due to
> the lack of participation by those effected by lack of fair and equitable
> representation? Is it possible that the system is so non-representative --
> and becoming increasingly so -- because of the constraints imposed on
> those selected to be our representatives by monied special interests?

Do I detect a hint there of a faith that *further* narrowing the
field of candidates able to campaign effectively, as every "campaign
finance reform" has done, will *increase* participation?

> Is it possible that increased, and improved education with a stronger
> focus on scientific method, critical reasoning,emphasizing independent
> and skeptical thinking might result in a small first step towards
> eliminating the "them vs. us" syndrome? Is it possible that increased
> involvement by those many people who feel disenfranchised, frustrated
> and disgusted by the the present system might, through their activism,
> help the present system evolve?

Not so long as the system is built on coercion in the name of a majority.

Where there is true agreement, there's no need of force (or the threat
of force). But because people are different, you'll never get everyone
to agree on everything, unless it's to leave each other to enjoy (or
suffer) their respective choices in peace.

It's tempting to imagine that if people were smarter, more rational,
more honest, more conscious of the general good and more able (and
willing) to put their narrow interests aside, then there need never
be another disagreement, because Truth would necessarily be recognized
by all. The last century's developments in mathematics (not to mention
physics) suggest otherwise, but suppose it's true; FIRST you have to
choose a way to reform the schools, and lotsa luck getting agreement
on that!

Why pour good wine into a sewer? (You don't get a better grade of sewage.)
Where coercion is legitimized, there is and will always be
a magnet for corruption.
Apply your ingenuity instead to build a new kind of institution.

Anton Sherwood *\\* +1 415 267 0685 *\\*