I’ve been reading through R. J. Rummel’s Death by Government, which is honestly the best argument against the state ever written. A common theme runs through the book, the most dangerous individuals are those who are so sure of their ideology that they’re willing to kill others in its name.
The Soviet Union, Maoist China, and Nazi Germany (among many others) shared a common trait, any dissidence was punished severely. One of the examples noted in the book is the fact that an individual could find himself in a forced labor camp for disrespecting Mao’s Little Red Book. That book was treated like a religious text, which is funny in a rather twisted way because Communism claims to be an atheistic philosophy (which isn’t true, they merely replace the god(s) of religion with the god of the state). Mao was so sure of his ideology that merely disrespecting the book he wrote was a punishable offense.
Statism is frightening because it gives these people a platform from which to inflict their beliefs on others. Let’s look at the healthcare debate (no, I’m not claiming that debate is anywhere near the scale of the atrocities inflicted on the people of the above mentioned countries so don’t bother making such a claim). Proponents of the Affordable Healthcare Act and universal healthcare are absolutely sure that their solution is the correct one. They’re so sure of their belief that they’re willing to use the state’s gun to inflict it on the entire population of the United States. Just look at the consequences laid out in the Affordable Healthcare Act for those who don’t buy health insurances, they’re taxed (or fined, use whatever word you want as they all mean the same thing). As with any tax, the tax collected for not buying health insurance isn’t voluntary, not paying it will result is punishment (in all likelihood the state will steal actual assets from you).
Gun control is another example of an ideological belief whose proponents are so sure of that they’re willing to use physical force to make others comply. When somebody advocates for gun control what they’re really demanding is the state inflicting punishments on anybody who owns or manufactures a firearm. Once again the gun control advocates are demanding the deceptively named assault weapon ban be reinstated. What would that actually do? It would mean the state would punish, primarily through kidnapping and imprisonment, anybody in possession of a firearm that met the criteria set forth by the state to qualify as an assault weapon. Those who refused to comply with their kidnappers would find themselves at the receiving end of physical force; they may even find themselves shot dead by the state’s agents. According to the ideology of gun control I should be subjected to violence for merely owning an AR-15 even though I’ve never used it to commit an act of violence.
Individuals wanting to prohibit same sex marriages are also so sure of their ideology that they’re willing to use physical force to inflict it on others. The United States government grants married individuals benefits that single individuals do not get. What happens when two men or two women claim themselves to be married and file for taxes and benefits accordingly? In the case of taxes they’ll find themselves at the wrong end of an Internal Revenue Service (revenuers) audit and forced collection. In the case of other benefits they will likely find themselves facing charges of fraud. Both cases result in the state’s gun being pointed at the individuals.
What happened in the Soviet Union, Maoist China, and Nazi Germany was the epitome of statism. All three states claimed total dominion over the lives of those living within their borders and all three states were willing to inflict physical violence on dissidents. When somebody demands the state regulate the healthcare market, prohibit individuals from owning firearms, or ban same sex marriages they’re demanding the state claim more power and, as Death by Government demonstrates, the more power a state has the more people it will kill.
My opposition of the state stems from my fear of individuals who are so sure of their ideology that they’re willing to kill for them. The state not only gives these individuals a weapon to use but also masks them so that they can use the weapon anonymously and thus avoid repercussions. Nothing is as dangerous as a man on a crusade who has been availed of any consequences.