This is one of the BEST cogent and succinct extrapolations of the significant premises of liberty contrasted with contemporaneous rationalizations for authoritarianism.
By Larken Rose
Why is it that so many people treat one's political affiliation as no more significant than one's preference of ice cream flavor or choice of hats? People talk as if "politics" is something that polite people shouldn't bring up, because we wouldn't want to offend someone who simply has a different political viewpoint. After all, someone's party affiliation has nothing to do with whether he's a good person, does it?
OF COURSE IT DOES!
Someone's "political" belief is nothing more than an opinion about what type and what degree of VIOLENCE should be initiated against everyone else. How is that NOT a moral issue? How does that NOT reflect on whether the person is moral or immoral, good or evil? People who supported the Nazis, or supported slavery, supported something EVIL. Calling it "politics," and treating it like something of no importance is looney.
In this age of moral relativism, people like to imagine that every opinion is "equally valid." Aside from being patently insane (is the "opinion" that 2 + 2 = 5 as "valid" as the "opinion" that 2 + 2 = 4?), it also serves as a great get-out-of-responsibility-free card for all those who advocate unjust violence--which is almost everyone.
In fact, many can only just barely bring themselves to say that someone who routinely robs and kills people is a bad person. (They'd rather say he is misunderstood, or had a rough childhood.) Well, guess what: if you steal from people and assault people, and I don't, I'm a BETTER person than you. Yes, I know that's very "judgmental" of me to say. Too bad. But here comes the part 99.999% of Americans really won't like:
If you advocate robbery via "taxation," or murder via "war," or kidnapping via "law enforcement" of non-violent "crimes," then I'm a BETTER person than you, because I don't. Politics is 100% about morality. If you advocate unjust violence, as ALL Republicans and ALL Democrats do, you are a WORSE human being than those who don't. And the ONLY people who DON'T advocate the initiation of violence against their neighbors at all are anarchists (voluntaryists) and "hard core" libertarians.
You can wear the "honest, upstanding, church-going model citizen" badge all you want, but if, via your "vote" or your expressed opinions, you are a proponent of the initiation of violence against innocent people, then you are a BAD PERSON. Yes, someone ELSE will be carrying out the evil you support, but that doesn't make you blameless or good; it makes you evil AND a coward, for not doing it your own dang self.
I'm finished treating people as if they aren't responsible for the evils committed as a direct result of their "political beliefs." If today someone publicly admitted to being a Nazi, he would be rightfully subjected to scorn and ostracization. Well, when Americans admit to subscribing to the modern Nazi-lite parties (Republican and Democrat), why should they get a pass? Why is it OKAY for half the beer-swilling country to support the forced imprisonment of nearly two MILLION human beings for possessing a DIFFERENT mind-altering substance? It isn't. Why is it OKAY for almost all of the country to advocate the extortion and robbery of anyone who has more than they do? It isn't. And why do these people think they have a right to advocate such evil, and a right to not be publicly condemned for it?
Today (6/24/08) happens to be my 40th birthday. My birthday wish is that all those of you who understand and advocate freedom (I mean all the way) ask some statist you know why he feels okay about advocating that YOU be forcibly robbed every year to pay for things you don't support--whether it's the welfare state, the military, etc. See what he says. And see if he can look you in the eye, with an expression of confidence and shamelessness, as he explains to you why it's okay for him to want you forcibly controlled and extorted.