By Andrew Lepore | United States
You may have heard the term you don’t talk about politics at dinner. But why has political discourse become so hateful and volatile? Well, the answer lies in the system we have inherited.
Our system of constitutional republicanism is one of involuntary participation and involuntary funding. The debate will always consist of who is being coerced, who is in power, and who is required to fund it all.
Participation in our system is not like a voluntary organization or corporation, which has to convince you to voluntarily give up your money in exchange for a good or service that is provided by the corporation. If you don’t value the benefits as much as the cost, you aren’t required to give them your money or use their services. If they began providing shitty services at higher costs, you can no longer give them your business if you so choose.
Under our system, Politicians do not have to convince the populace that their programs are worthwhile; if you don’t like it well too bad. You don’t choose how much money you give, you don’t choose where your money goes, and you definitely don’t have the option to opt out.
People will say, “but wait, you have the right to vote and you have the right to have your voice heard!” People are so conditioned that they believe that is sufficient to expropriate you and your property. Using that as justification for the state taking your money is comparable to somebody saying “oh well it’s not theft if the burglar allowed you to argue your case why it is immoral for him to be taking your money.”
This idea of coercion and involuntarism applies to every person, every law, and every tax. When somebody is calling for the rich to be taxed, they are calling for the state involuntarily rob those who are more successful of the fruits of their labor because that’s what they want. If the “rich” refuse men with guns will come to punish them.
When somebody is calling for drugs to be banned, they are not only calling for sovereign individuals to be locked in a cage for consuming a substance which the state does not approve of, but they are calling for everyone else to be required to fund this prohibition.
When somebody is calling for assault weapons to be banned, they are calling for the state to forcefully prevent sovereign individuals from acquiring whatever means they wish to achieve the end goal of self-preservation. If they refuse to cooperate and are found to be in possession of an inanimate object which the state disapproves of, they will be punished by men with guns.
Now you can probably see why the talk of politics at dinner can get someone’s blood boiling. When you talk about politics, unless you are a libertarian, you are arguing who should be coerced, who should be robbed, and who should be thrown in jail. If this was debated in any other scope besides through the force of politics and government, it would be conspiracy to commit a crime. In what other sectors of our lives are we allowed to Decide who gets robbed and who gets coerced without it being seen as an egregious moral enormity?
As long as the mechanism of politics is thinking you know what’s best for the lives of others, and seeking to enforce your ideal with violence, the discussion will be rife with hatred and partisanship. The argument is who will be coerced and who will receive the benefits. It is who will be controlled and who will have the power.
In conclusion, this moral dilemma and injustice can only be resolved with a libertarian ideal of free, voluntary, and noncoercive society. When we talk about the betterment of society, it does not have to be through the immoral paradigm of force through government. When we talk about the betterment of society, it should be through the paradigm of peace, cooperation, and voluntarism.