Is Anarchism (or libertarianism) a Moral Philosophy?
Popping the child's bubble
Anarchist: “You believe in theft.”
Regular person: “No, I don’t.”
Anarchist: “You support government.”
Regular person: “So?”
Anarchist: “Then, you believe in theft.”
Much of the angst that anarchists and libertarians have toward the common man seems to be centered around the issue of morality. I hear a lot of about natural-law, i.e. “God’s Law”, whoever that is. Excuse the sarcasm. This isn’t a religious debate. But let’s be careful of what ideologies we adhere to. I believe the pursuit of knowledge is a dangerous one. Without workable philosophies, knowledge can be used to our detriment.
Natural-law is a moral philosophy. It explains what is right and wrong. And it proclaims that no man has a right to steal from others, even if they are from the government. I agree with this statement for my own reasons. But is this the basis for a “moral” argument? The common person would not agree since services they receive through taxation are considered by them to be essential. More importantly, they believe that these essential services provided by government cannot be provided any other way. They believe government is the only way. Does that make them immoral?
Moral arguments in support of anarchy are like bubbles blown by a child. The bubbles don’t have to exist. It takes a child to create them. And the bubbles can pop at any time. They are fleeting, transient. And so should moral arguments in support of anarchy.
Anarchists often have an air of moral superiority about them. A fellow anarchist once told me that a cop pulled him over, but let him go because he was working. I said, “See, all cops are not bad.” He responded, “He’s still a piece of shit.” This attitude is self-defeating. I believe this attitude is not born out of rational or objective thought.
The cop may have a family who he treats with love and respect. He may never have been guilty of a crime. He might be the kind of person who finds a valuable watch and attempts to find the owner. His only “crime” may be that his pay is provided by taxpayers.
In order for anarchy/libertarianism to be a moral philosophy, the non-anarchists would have to be considered immoral. This is not workable; it doesn’t explain the actions of people in support of government. Nor is it practical; it cannot be applied to achieve the goal of anarchy. The common man is no more immoral than anarchists are immoral. Any objective-thinking person could see morality displayed by the statist and conclude the statist is a moral person. There is just some reason outside of “morality” that explains their support for government. Taking into consideration the observed morality of the common man, logic would dictate that the only difference between them and the anarchist, is that the common man cannot see the benefits of a free world, absent government.
I do not believe lack of morality is the driver of acceptance of government. Again, that viewpoint is not workable. If anarchy is a moral philosophy, logically, you would have to claim that acceptance of government is a result of a lack of morality. I believe it is time to pop that child’s bubble.
The problem is with the anarchists. They have failed to produce the proper evidence in support of anarchy. Maybe they have not, in the minds of the common man, provided an alternative to government?
That’s it. Have a great day!