Saturday, February 25, 2012

Political Tolerance

Benjamin Marks wrote The Minarchist Case for Anarchism.  Here's one of my comments...


There was Buddha talking about the blind men touching different parts of an elephant…and Socrates saying…”…it seems that I am wiser than he is to this small extent, that I do not think I know what I do not know”...and Smith's Invisible Hand...and Bastiat’s Seen vs the Unseen...and Hayeks’ Conceit vs Humility...

They were all basically saying the same thing...all our perspectives are extremely limited.

What we are trying to do here is determine the proper scope of government. Given that our perspectives are extremely's impossible for any single person to really know what the proper scope of government is.

Does the proper scope of government include forcing people to pay taxes? You can say that it doesn't...but you can only say that for can't say that for everybody. Maybe from my limited perspective people need to be nudged to contribute to the common good. Maybe I'm right...maybe I'm wrong.

So I do have an objection to allowing people to choose not to pay taxes. There's just no way I can truly know that forcing people to pay taxes is not within the proper scope of government. But the truth would be revealed by implementing pragmatarianism.

There are smarter people than myself who say that the government is not necessary...and there are smarter people than myself who say that it is necessary. It seems that I am wiser than they are to this small extent, that I'm saying that I don't know whether it is or isn't necessary. And this is why pragmatarianism is a cut above the rest.

1 comment:

  1. "...proper scope of government..."

    Whereas it may be true that no man can know the whole story about anything - let alone everything - it is NOT true to say in a conclusion that we can NOT determine moral vs immoral means to accomplish goals.

    Your position - because we do not know "for sure" all the consequences of our actions - we do not know if the use of evil may actually produce a 'good', thus using evil is a valid means up to the point we suffer from the consequences of using evil....

    But such a position is false.

    We do know that using evil to accomplish a goal produces more evil - one does not need to provide an extensive and complete list of all the production of evil, categorize it, judge all of it, and produce a definite documentation to know this!

    As often with most people, you fall into the membership of "the end justifies the means" club.

    As long as you perceive -in your admittedly limited capacity- the your "end" is "worth it", you justify the evil you do today to achieve it. What is lost -the unseen- that in the long term, evil always costs far more than the gains it offers. Evil is always a zero sum game - some one innocent always ends up suffering.

    If in your belief system - one of immorality - this fact of evil is meaningless to you, then indeed evil will be one of your tools.

    As long as most of humanity refuses the principle "the means justifies the ends", human evil will continue to plague mankind.