My irregular musings on city life, politics, baseball, roller derby, and whatever happens to be getting my goat today.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Why I am not a libertarian part 762

Horrible news coming out of Kenya today, which I'm sure no one around here is paying attention to because no one seems to care much about Africa.
Thousands of villagers in northern Kenya fled their homes in fear as new
inter-clan violence wracked parts of the remote region after at least 77 people
were killed in a brutal massacre and reprisal attacks this week, officials and
residents of the area said. . .

members of the rival Borana and Gabra clans, which have long-running
disputes over water and pasture, continued to clash two days after the attack on
Turbi which has been blamed on the Borana. . .

The death toll from three days of clashes had stood at 76 earlier Thursday
but after one of 10 Boranas reported killed on Wednesday was found alive but
critically injured, the two new confirmed deaths brought the total to 77 dead,
officials said.

The flight of the villagers and new killings came 48 hours after 300 to
500 heavily armed Borana raiders slaughtered 56 Gabra villagers, including 22
children, in Turbi on Tuesday.

At least 10 of the attackers were killed during and after the raid that
was followed by a revenge attack in which nine Boranas, including four children,
after Garbas pulled them from a car driven by a priest near Sololo.

I hear lots of people complain about government and blithely claim that people would be better off if they were allowed to fend for themselves or form noncoercive, cooperative communities in freedom. Unfortunately, that's just not what people are like. Whenever state authority is withdrawn, people quickly resort to violence to obtain the resources and power they think they need to survive.

In an organized state, disputes over water and land are resolved by laws and court systems, which provide a system for making these decisions which may not be perfect or fair, but at least doesn't involve machetes.

In other words, a core function of government is to play Solomon and hack the baby in half, so you don't go kill 4 of them.

You believe you would be different in a lawless world. You look in the mirror and all you see is the makeup, or the cool shirt, or the hair. You don't see the monster that lurks beneath the skin. That frightens me. Because I know it's in there.

One of the first steps in learning to live as a decent adult person is admitting to yourself that you just don't deserve to get everything you want by any means necessary. You're not that special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.

Libertarians in essence believe that if everybody goes out and just selfishly tries to get whatever they want and works for their own happiness, that the result will be the greatest good for the greatest number. This is fatuous and false. In reality under such a system, the strong will take what they want from the weak. The greatest good for the greatest number is accomplished when the biggest dog on the block is not a wealthy individual or corporation but a government, which takes power from the strong and gives it to the weak to level the playing field. The problem with governments in practice is that they become corrupted by the wealthy and powerful, not that the trample the alleged rights of property.

Just because I make common cause with them when I feel our government is overstepping its constitutional bounds doesn't make me one of them. I'm not sure what you'd call me, but I'm closer to the New Deal than the Cato Institute.

Big Government now, Big Government forever.

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